First weekend with M8

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by carbon_dragon, Jan 18, 2010.

  1. This was the first weekend with my new (to me) M8. Bought it from Tamarkin and I think I had quite a good experience. I've been out with it three times now, all (unfortunately) in less than nice weather, but good enough to evaluate how the camera works. One of those trips I took my M2 along loaded with Kodak Gold 200 and I tried to take the same shots with both cameras.
    My general impression is that the M8's feel is much the same as the M2, though I do notice the thickness and I also notice the lack of a film advance lever. I don't find the shutter sound volume distracting. It's kind of quirky to get to the battery and card through the baseplate, but hey, it's not like I'm not used to it. The display on full brightness is pretty visible in daylight, but I wouldn't want to have to use it without a viewfinder (as in the X1). The firmware level was fairly old (I've updated since) and I wasn't that impressed with the white balance and I think it tends to overexpose a bit. Hopefully 2.004 will fix this, but it's easily manageable, especially shooting RAW. Picture quality is excellent (even without the IR cut filter), quite competitive to my DSLRs. I definitely enjoyed having a rangefinder around my neck again.
    Developing the 200 Gold film was a bit frustrating. I took a while to find someone still doing 1 hour film and they developed it badly. There were stains on some frames, the prints were all out of focus, etc. But I was able to scan in the film with my Nikon scanner and get good scans. I found though that the M8's representations of the same scenes had more detail with less grain/noise than my film versions. With a finer grain film, I think they would have been closer.
    An interesting P.S. to the whole thing, I had a few frames left over on the 36 exposure roll of film and I shot the last few frames with a cheapo Russian screwmount lens and found it did an amazingly good job. Not quite up to the Leica 50/2 Summicron, but not at all bad.
    Wish I could afford an M9 but not until the price comes down in a few years, probably when the M10 gets here, or possibly the M11.
     
  2. No pictures?
     
  3. Yeah ... what Steve says ... pictures? You can't tell a nice story like that, particularly indicating you compared the images from your M2, and not show us? ;^)
    Looking forward to the VISUAL comparo myself, David.
    (And a big congrats on your new purchase!)
     
  4. Ok, Let's give this a try. Leica M8, 35/2 ASPH, handheld
     
  5. Ok, let's try this again
    00VXU7-211469684.jpg
     
  6. Now the M2
    00VXUD-211469984.jpg
     
  7. Closeup from the M8 picture
    00VXUI-211471584.jpg
     
  8. Now the M2 close up
    00VXUM-211471684.jpg
     
  9. Dave, which of the image sets is closer to the actual ambient light? Your image sets go from very warm to very cool. My guess is the digital set, but you tell us.
     
  10. Well, there are a lot of variables here -- the scanner, the film, and the white balance on the M8. It was just about an hour before sunset and the light was very warm, so the M8 is closer to the right color temperature, but then the scanning software is probably trying to color balance too and the result isn't always right. I'd say the M8. This area has changed a LOT over the years. Here's another image from several years ago.
    00VXZE-211525684.jpg
     
  11. bms

    bms

    Congrats. Did the same move ~ 10 months ago, also got it from Stan, but never shot M8 and my M4 in parallel. Maybe I should give it a try just for fun. But I have the same experience with the 1 h places.
     
  12. Hi, David. It's good to see the comparison. I've had an M8 since the early days (through the teething troubles) and I've enjoyed it even with the odd IR problems. But I mainly shoot B&W! However, on my screen (iMac) your first picture has horizontal striations in the sky. Anybody else see these or is it something at my end?
     
  13. I can see them too, but they're no apparent in the full size picture. Must be an artifact of compressing them into a jpg and reducing the size. It looks like I may have a few pieces of dust on the sensor though.
    I did a similar experiment some time back where I tried to look at my black and white shots with Tri-X vs. my first DSLR with the shots converted to Black and White to convince myself that you could do decent black and white using digital (and you could). I've had good luck with that, and I hope to do it even better with the M8. This is a shot with the Sony A350 converted to Black and White. I hope the IR contamination issue will actually give me better black and whites. Some say it does. But either way I'm sure I'll be pleased.
    00VXgL-211609684.jpg
     
  14. I'm glad to hear that the lines are not on the original. Re: dust spots. The best way to deal with them is to 'heal' them out unless they are really bad. I had a lot of dust in my Canon 5D which I could not remove by blowing so I took courage and used a SensorKlear Pro and cleaned the sensor. It took about 5 or 6 wipes to clean it but it's now clean with no nasty effects on the sensor or associated filters. Here's a B&W.
    00VXge-211613584.jpg
     
  15. But doesn't the M8 have a sensor cleaning mode, or does that just expose the sensor?
     
  16. That just exposes the sensor as is the case in the Canon 5D. Other cameras have a mechanism for preventing dust landing on the sensor but once it's there it has to be removed. If you set 'sensor clean' on the menu (having first made sure that the battery is fully charged) the shutter will stay open until you switch off the camera, giving you time to clean the sensor. If the battery charge is low you run the risk of the shutter closing while you are poking about inside the camera!
     
  17. I've cleaned the sensor on my 5D but it worries me. I think all I really did was take one of those rocket blowers and turn the 5D upside down and blow on the sensor with the rocket blower. Not sure I used the brush.
     
  18. There is quite a lot of hype about just how sensitive the sensors are. Of course they are covered in various filters. I think they could be scratched easily enough by sharp objects. Blowing might work for small loose dust particles which may just end up somewhere else on the sensor. "Professional" cleaners usually use cleaning systems which require contact with the sensor. They use either a 'wet' system using appropriate fluids that dry completely leaving no streaks or they use something like the SensorKlear Pro system where the 'moist' cleaner needs no extra fluid and is less likely to leave smears. As I say I cleaned my 5D using this system moving the cleaning pen over the sensor as described in the literature. It took several cleans before all the obvious dust disappeared, but there is no smearing or streaks and everything is much better than it was. Some professional photographers who change lenses very frequently, clean their sensors as often as once a month!
     

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