First Rangefinder purchase please help! M8 questions

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by mark_won, Jan 15, 2009.

  1. Hello everyone,

    After much thought I am considering jumping into my first rangefinder, probably a used M8 with a 28 or 35 cron. I have come to love the Digilux 2 and enjoy the Digilux 3 as well. Having come from a Nikon DSLR, I really enjoyed their manual style ergonomics for a change. The inability to changes lenses on the D2 and the poor finder and bulk of the D3 however, has made me crave a Digilux MkII. Knowing that such a camera will not happen, the M8 has been more and more appealing.

    I would like to give the M8 a shot without breaking the bank. Would like to get a clean used body and a used standard lens. I guess the 35 will be closer with the crop factor.

    Could you seasoned M8 users give me advise on the following:

    1. Any special quirks with either the 28 or 35 on the M8, besides the IR/UV filters? Any filters you recommend? How do the CV or Zeiss lenses in this focal range compare in price/performance as a first starter lens?

    2. I read that the use of the IR/UV filters causes some problems on the edges needing some type of correction. Is this in the firmware update or done in pp

    3. I also read about the need to code the lenses and even saw somewhere about a DIY approach? Is it reliable and safe? Or do all older lenses need to be sent to Solms?

    4. Will I have problems using my R 90 Cron and 35-70f4 on the M8 w/adapter? Recommended adapters?

    Any other important considerations or information would be very much appreciated.

    As always, I look forward to helpful responses from the community here. Thanks in advance!
  2. Hi Mark,
    1. I don't have a 28 but I have a 35 Summilux and a 35 CV f:2.5. Neither have any particular problems or quirks on either my M8 or Epson R-D1. The 35 is closer to the field of view of a 50mm lens on 35mm. You may also want to consider the CV 40mm 1.4.
    2. The filters are needed to correct for color shift observed in certain synthetic fabrics. Unfortunately, they cause another problem, a cyan color shift at the periphery of the frame. The amount of this varies from lens to lens and is more prevalent in wide angle lenses. This is sometimes referred to as cyan drift. If you have coded lenses, the camera firmware will correct for this. Otherwise there are post processing techniques which I haven't used but understand work quite well.
    3. Lenses can be hand coded with a black marker pen. There are a couple of template kits commercially available and some you can download from the net and print on card stock. I've used the M-Coder to hand code five lenses successfully. The problem with hand coding is that the ink will rub off over time. My solution was to use a Dremel tool with a diamond bit to mill indentions in the spaces where the black code marks are and then fill in the indentations with black acrylic paint. Not difficult if you have a relatively steady hand. I have one more lens to do I'll post a step by step tutorial on my web site in a few weeks.
    4. Sorry, no experience with R-lens
    Hope this is helpful.
  3. I don't understand why you couldn't change lenses on D2 (H? X?) or your problems with the 100% great finder on the D3, but as to your actual questions:The faster lenses block part of the frames- 28mm-stay with elmarit; 35/2 Zeiss is a wonderful lens.
    2. Not a problem
    3. Marker is ok; fingernail polish is best.
    4. R lenses really don't work that well with M's.
    Extra-I have a black M8 with less than 5K shots-no problems, whatsoever. I'll sell it. Contact me off forum.
    Good Luck
  4. Bob and Mike, thanks for your comments.
    Its good to know that the coding is doable at home.
    What about with the zeiss/cv lenses, do they suffer the same type of color shift and require the IR/UV filters and identical coding?
    Mike, I'm not sure if we are referring to the same camera but the Digilux 2 has a fixed vario-summicron 28-90 lens. The viewfinder on the D3 is just too dim, small and with stop-down metering, it is difficult to focus indoors beyond f5. Although the focus-confirmation helps, I still can't make out the target.
    For me, the M8 offers better manual focusing and handling in a smaller package. Of course, access to M lenses and a better sensor than either the D2 or D3.
    BTW--I sent you an email on your M8
  5. "D2 (H? X?) or your problems with the 100% great finder on the D3"

    I think Mark Won is referring to the Digilux 2 and Digilux 3, not Nikon models.
  6. SCL


    R lenses can be fitted to an M body with an adapter...I haven't heard of any personal experiences with this arrangement however. Of course in the film world one would have to manual focus as there was no RF linkage.
  7. thank you all for your comments...any recommendations on a first starter lens that would be easy to get used to with the M8? price/performance is also a factor for me. thanks.
  8. Hello, I`m on the same situation as Mark, (want to find a use m8 with a cheap lens, just to begging...) does the cv 40mm ultron, for example, works ok on the m8?, lens code are only for leica lenses?, or for every lens?
  9. For the M8, you need to have any lens 35 or wider coded if you're going to be making color photos. If you're only going to shoot black and white, or convert to black and white, you don't need them coded.
    Here's a chart:

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