Five photographers who still use the M8

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by kdghantous, Oct 5, 2016.

  1. This was just published on Steve Huff's site and I think that some of you would appreciate it.
    If the proof of the pudding is in the eating, the M8 is relevant today - unlike almost every single digital camera from 2006, except for medium format backs.
  2. I don't know...any good photog can shoot with most cameras and still come up with a good series. What's relevant in 1976, 2006 or today are just great pictures, the camera matters little.
    nevertheless great link:)
  3. I love M digital bodies. Not surprised at all the M8 users who still use them. When it's 10 years old, I'll still be using my black paint M9-P and the M262 I bought new this past February, my first ever new Leica M body.
  4. I see it uses a Kodak sensor. Is Kodak just licensing its name at this point? Does Leica still use Kodak sensors?
  5. Not in the current models.
  6. Well, yes. Typical Huff article though.
  7. Kodak spun off the sensor business in 2011 to Platinum Equity, a private equity company, as part of their desperation to avoid bankruptcy.
    The business was eventually known as Truesense Imaging.
    In 2014, Platinum Equity sold the business to ON Semiconductor.
    Can't recall any recent cameras with large (APS-C, full-frame, or medium format) with sensors from them. The semiconductor business is ruthless, takes constant investment and development to stay competitive.
  8. The Kodak sensor is the magic!
    I have a Kodak camera with Kodak sensor.
    Incredible color and BW if light is good.
    Cloudy, makes magenta shadows.
    Kodachrome used to do same.
    Shot a fashion model with emerald green coat and recv'd Brown coat.
    Kodak tested a piece of cloth on spectrometer and stated , "Coat is brown" to Kodachrome.
    I used Ektachrome and made green.
    10 years is not really a long time.
    The M8 and M9 will be in big trouble, if no battery available.
  9. The M8 is my go-to camera for just about everything. Straightforward menus, compatibility with every new and vintage Leica M mount or screwmount lens I have, black and white that reminds me of Verichrome Pan, plus handheld IR with a R72 filter. It does the job for me and I guess that's the bottom line.
  10. @Jason: I don't see a serious battery issue. The M9s seem to be not sold off yet. - I guess there are still a few old Monochroms in the shelves. Third parties made somewhat usable battery knock offs. - Why should they suddenly go out of business? And if things turn really bad, I wouldn't mind drilling holes into my baseplates to wire a battery dummy to an external battery of different shape but proper voltage. I like my CCD Ms enough to keep shooting them however!
    I was pretty late to jump on the M8 bandwagon but it is an impressive camera doing its job well enough for my taste in a somehow delightful way. - Last studio session was at an M8 : SLR ratio of 7:4. Outdoors the M8 does about 20% of the work at the MM's side.
    Maybe I could go MFT to safe weight producing probably the same quality but that would require lens purchases and I really like the MM and wouldn't know how to replace it.
  11. The handheld IR is great with the M8!
  12. I use each week the M8 side by side with the M9. I enjoy very much using the M8.
  13. Even at current pre-owned prices, and coupled to the "parts no longer available" policy from factory service,
    buying one of these is a "paper weight crap-shoot"...
  14. "a "paper weight crap-shoot"..."Gus.
    Somewhat harsh, Gus
    If it works and does the job for you...what more is there to say. I use a M8, Fuji, and a Mobile Phone....Im happy with all of them. It has never been a concern of mine what gear folk use but I suppose for some folks it matters.
  15. Every person has an opinion. I am more interested in photography and in enjoying the images that I manage to create.
  16. Yeah whatever Raid, it's not an opinion, it's a fact.
    Those of you who own a Leica M8, great that you like it; but if it has a major failure, you're stuck.
    The way so many of you owners praise this model, you could spark an unsuspecting buyer to hand over $1,500 for a ticking time bomb.
    These folks should know that a much better alternative exists.
    Putting out the same money for a far superior pre-owned Sony A7 mark II full-frame camera is much more advisable:
    • 24.3MP sensor (No crop factor or IR color issues)
    • 5-axis sensor-based image stabilization for ANY lens mounted including 1936 LTM Leica lenses !
    • Hybrid AF system with 25 contrast-detect and 117 phase-detect points (So its AF lens capable)
    • E-mount with countless lens adapters available (Name a lens and it will fit on this camera body)
    • 3-inch tilting LCD with 1.23 million dots
    • 2.36M dot OLED viewfinder (Electronic viewfinder for more accurate manual lens focusing)
    • Wi-Fi with NFC capability
    • Smaller than a Leica M digital etc...
  17. Many of us who own Leica digital M's already own a second system with many of those features, like the Olympus E- M1
    system I use. When I use my Olympus system, the last thing I'm interested in doing is adapting lenses that do not "speak"
    with the body. If I owned a Sony A Series body, I wouldn't be adapting my Leica lenses (I don't believe a lens like my
    18mm Super Elmar would perform very well on the Sony sensor anyway due to the thicker glass over the sensor), I would
    own 2-3 of their better lenses that used all the available technology.

    I use Leicas for the rangefinder style of shooting. The thanks, BUT, I wouldn't spend on an M8 today either. An M9 fitted with the new sensor is as old as I would go on Leica digital M's. Anyone who's already owned an M8 for 8-10 years has gotten their money's worth.
  18. The A7's are terrific. Some of them work very well with M lenses (you just need to do a bit of research). The A7 is a DSLR replacement (for almost all applications) but if you want a RF camera, you have to use an actual RF camera.
    Mirrorless systems will eventually replace DSLRs completely, but the RF is a category that cannot be replaced by either DSLRs or mirrorless.
  19. Leica has discontinued manufacture of M8 and M9 Battery, according to a person involved at Leica.
    Out side parties may have battery but seldom work as well as original.
    Same person has an older digital Leica for which no batteries are available.
    I offered to fit leads and drill small holes, but same person not interested.
    If my information wrong, sorry.
    If it is true, start getting spares..
  20. This company has a good reputation AFAIK for third party batteries. I am not affiliated, though I did buy a couple of batteries from them:
  21. "Yeah whatever Raid..."

    Really Gus? Who are you to so offhandedly dismiss Raid's or any of us "paperweight" owners photographic tool
    choices we make achieve our desired results? We use what we like to use, as long as it works for us. I don't doubt the Sony A7 is wonderful. But M8 owners, that you take a seemingly judgemental tone to,
    buy them knowing the risks and are satisfied with its use and the resulting images, in spite of those risks. That's what really matters.
  22. Battery packs can be rebuilt; open them up and you will find standard cells. The M8 is a great camera. My oldest working
    Digital SLRs are 22 years and 19 years, respectively.
  23. Allan, Raid dismisses the hard truth by calling it an opinion, so he deserves the "whatever" comment.
    Nobody mentioned the "parts no longer available" policy from factory service.
    This must be revealed in the middle of all the glowing comments before someone gets overly excited and spends over $1,000 of their hard earned money...
  24. My M8.2 (purchased new in 2008) is a great camera. It has 117,000+ shutter activations and a new sensor (and with that a new body covering that's "leather" look). One thing about the M8 that is generally not mentioned. In the viewfinder for the 35mm frame lines are NOT 135mm frame lines but 24mm framelines. I don't believe any other M has frame lines for the 24mm. Yes, at 1.33 crop it's about 32mm equivalent but still a nice thing if you have a 24. Good luck with your photography.
  25. it


    I met a busy international photojournalist a couple of years ago, he regularly gets published in Report on Business Magazine in Canada, and works a lot around Asia. He has an M8 and one lens. That's it.
  26. The M8 is special.
    Leica quickly abandoned the concept.
    Parts as mentioned by Gus, the coming battery problem.
    Way better cameras for less money, with support.
    Stop seeing Leica as "Leitz".
    It's not about lifetime service but to next model.
  27. At $5,195 I paid for my M262 a few months ago, I expect at least double the life of most every other digital camera I use, if not longer. 8-10 years, or $500-$650 per year for a digital camera isn't all that bad at all. Anything beyond would be gravy. I pretty much expect the same service from the M9 I bought second-hand and just had the sensor replaced.
  28. I met a busy international photojournalist a couple of years ago, he regularly gets published in Report on Business Magazine in Canada, and works a lot around Asia. He has an M8 and one lens. That's it.​
    I tend to think of myself as 'minimalist'. No flash, no bulky SLR, no superfast lenses, etc. I was mistaken. This is minimalism at its finest. ;-) I'm going to guess that his lens is either a 24mm or a 28mm.

    Not that this kind of minimalism is new. HCB usually had one lens with him most of the time.
  29. I think the M8 battery wil have to be around for a while. They discontinued the M-E just over a year ago. Same battery. B&H has them in stock. I'm not sure I see reason for worry. Now *parts* - that's another problem - or future problem. I agree with that. The international photojournalist with one lens? I'm guessing a 35mm. Cheers and again - good luck with your photography!!
  30. Batteries are easy fixes. Leica had supply problems with the display screens- but unless you smash it, the worst issue is

    <img src="" width="1024" height="682" alt="I1015897">

    Leica M8 with an Orange Filter, blue channel gets IR only. M8RAW2DNG, custom demosaic routine that i wrote in Fortran.

    Unique capability due to the 5% leakage in the IR cover glass. As close to IR Ektachrome that I can get without having a custom sensor made to spec. Have not done that since 1992.<p>
  31. the M8 is relevant today - unlike almost every single digital camera from 2006​
    Utter nonsense. Even if the M8 was a flawless camera (and anyone with half a brain knows the M8 is far from flawless), that comment would still be utter nonsense. Yes it's relevant, but so are countless other digital cameras from 2006 and earlier.
    I regularly shoot with my old Canon EOS 1D MkII. That's older than the M8, cheaper than the M8, has no IR issues and continues to pump out beautiful 8MP images from its APS-H sensor.
  32. Gus: I meant you with my reply that everybody has an opinion. You have an opinion, and others have also opinions that may be different from yours.
  33. Taking Gus hand and walking him into the real world.
    If you can afford a Leica; why would you care if in some future date, it becomes obsolete....have a little think..
    And why would you want a Sony PlayStation?
  34. Big honking inferior lenses.
    More buttons than a PlayStation...ugly. Overheats and has poor auto focus compared with a mid range DSLR....and hey, a new version out tomorrow morning.
    You just have to wonder what they have to do with photography....or, are they are about selling unnecessary technology to those who think the camera is all about photography.
    Im now a" master of photography" because my camera has 42 million pixels. Just wonder how those old masters managed without the Sony A7 and 42 million pixels.
  35. Big honking inferior lenses.​
    You can use Leica M lenses on the A7
    More buttons than a PlayStation...ugly.​
    Still better looking than the M5
    has poor auto focus compared with a mid range DSLR​
    Has better autofocus than any Leica M camera in history.
    are they are about selling unnecessary technology to those who think the camera is all about photography.​
    For something with unnecessary technology, Sony have sold more A7 cameras than all the digital M bodies put together.
    Just wonder how those old masters managed without the Sony A7 and 42 million pixels.​
    Probably the same way Sony users manage without a Hasselblad and a Phase One 100MP digital back.
  36. "Big honking inferior lenses." Allen
    "You can use Leica M lenses on the A7"James
    Well, reading my web mates posts (Edward In gold) who has both cameras he stated categorically/spiritually that Leica lenses, paticularythe wide angles, do not work very well on the Sony. I believe him as his knowledge on Sony PlayStations is amazing. He also posted some photos from both cameras annd agreed that the Sony photos looked somewhat cold and clinical.
    "Still better looking than the M5" James.
    It depends on your tastes some folk particulary like the playstation look...all that shiny plastic and cheap metal.
    "For something with unnecessary technology, Sony have sold more A7 cameras than all the digital M bodies put together"James.
    So Macdonalds probably has sold more burgers that most decent restuarent put fast food, low wage bill; thats the place to be to turn a coin:)
    "Just wonder how those old masters managed without the Sony A7 and 42 million pixels".
    Probably the same way Sony users manage without a Hasselblad and a Phase One 100MP digital back James.
    Cant help thinking, if they had 100mp, what fantastic photographers they would be...hey, blow ups the size of...they could reach the cloads.
    Thanks for the entertainment, James...all in good humour. Im just a sucker for these "my cam is better than yours" posts. Indeed one of my all time favourite photographers mostly uses a iphone( sort of like Henri Carter Bresson who embraced new technology) not much more simple than a iPhone.
    Anway, Im still working out how to use the controller on my I can play FIFA.
  37. PS
    A Leica M can focus quicker that any camera yet made especially with wide angle lenses. Why, if you use the f8 infinity setting you don't need to focus.
    Can"t get much quicker than that.
  38. "Still better looking than the M5" - Jamie Robertson
    As a fan of the M5, them's fightin' words, Jamie :)
  39. <img src="" width="1024" height="681" alt="Picked the
    Wrong CornField to Invade!"><p>

    I find the latency on the Leica to be low.<p>

    How is it on the other cameras mentioned?<p>
  40. To those Leica M8 fans who are still fighting it:
    My "fair & balanced" factual contribution to this discussion is simply about possible buyers and "Caveat emptor"...
  41. I've never had a fight with my Leica M8. It has worked perfectly during 7 years of ownership.<p>

    As far as buyer beware- Leica has shown stronger support for it's cameras than most manufacturers, including repair work
    and firmware updates YEARS after the camera was discontinued. Buying any camera- get a warranty or return privilege.<p>

    1952 Jupiter-3 5cm F1.5, wide-open. <p>

    <img src="" width="682" height="1024" alt="Warm February Day"><p>

    <img src="" width="1024" height="682" alt="Spring Day"><p>

    I have and use a lot of cameras, DSLR, Mirrorless, and Rangefinder.<p>

    Use what works best for you. Leica works best for me, and the M8 has never let me down.Other cameras have.<p>
  42. Those of us who have, use, and have used the M8 generally love to use it, love the results and easily accept its quirks and limitations, as with any photographic tool of choice. It has proven itself to them (myself included) time and again.
    Having said that, I can understand the point Gus is trying to make. I'll admit, when I decided to take the plunge for an M8 two years ago, it wasn't without a bit of "roll of the dice" angst. But I did a lot of research and went into the purchase with my eyes fully open, fully aware of the potential pitfalls. There is a mountain of information on the web (LUF and RFF especially, but also here at PN), where just about everything and anything that has and can happen (it's been ten years after all) is documented and discussed repeatedly. The common problems are known; it's up to the buyer to ask the questions to make an informed decision. It's a risk versus gain scenario, and it was a calculated risk I was willing to take; I got my M8 from the Bay with no warranty from a private seller, having asked the relevant questions about its history. My case worked out fine, my M8 has been a faithful and trustworthy servant. As with any purchase of any used camera, variations and risk exist.
    Brian's point is also well taken; a warranty and/or return privilege removes a high degree of that risk for added peace of mind.
    And lastly, from the latest information I've seen, Leica still repairs and has all parts for the M8 except the display.
    R72 Filter, 50/2.8 Elmar-M, IR handheld, 1/24 sec, ISO 1250
  43. Here's somewhat of an example of what I'm talking about.
    A response from a young person who experienced a shutter failure on his M8 - "Leica Forum" February 2016:
    "Well, just got the ring from Leica today, $4500 Australian dollars to repair my camera, 2x what I paid for initially. I saved for 3 years (I'm only a student) and sacrificed so much to get that camera and kit for it and now its thrown in my face. Look for some nice kit in the classified's over the next week. Safe to say I'm pretty much over Leica" Kallum R.
  44. I followed KallumR's saga... turns out he claimed the broken camera against his homeowners insurance, sold it for parts
    then used the money to buy a M8.2 (with low shutter activations) plus a lens! Sounds like he got over his being over
  45. Well, Allan, I have made a vaguely similar mistake: I once wrote, on these forums, that I would never use film again, so enamoured was I by digital technology, and so ignorant was I about what film's performance level actually was, even though I have shot a huge variety of emulsions.

    I think a company such as Leica really ought to be more helpful than that, although of course I do not know the full story of Kallum's dealings with the company. I'm not saying that Leica should be responsible for all cameras that are out of warranty, but it should operate in a manner that matches our visions and expectations of the company.
  46. I agree with Gus. The Leica M8 was an interim solution for Leica while they produced a real digital M solution, the M9. To me, choosing this camera to buy today would be a somewhat bizarre over-obsession with the red dot that would just not be prudent. I am sure you can take great shots with it, but the idea somehow that the M8 is somehow more relevant today than when it came out strikes me as total fanboy talk.
  47. The M8 is about 1/2 the cost of the M9- $1K vs $2K at the low-end. It's 3 years older. It's the lowest price of any Leica
    Digital M camera. the RD-1 cost less, but not by much. The M8 is 10MPixels, the RD-1 is 6MPixels. I suggested the
    M8 for a friend of mine about 18 months ago. It's the first rangefinder camera that he has owned. A few months ago he
    sent me this:

    "Just returned from a trip I've been wanting to make since being about 9
    yrs old; Yellowstone and Grand Teton Natl Park. I took one camera with
    me, the M8, and two lenses; 5cm Sonnar and 35mm Ultron. Some samples of
    my photos are attached. I purposefully added vignetting to the Grand
    Teton photo.

    Completely love the M8. The process of using it definitely causes much
    greater consideration in framing a picture. Rather than taking a
    multitude of pictures, I take much fewer and find myself much more
    pleased with the result.

    Oh, I now always shoot with RAW mode and then use M8RAW2DNG."
  48. but the idea somehow that the M8 is somehow more relevant today than when it came out strikes me as total fanboy talk​
    Who said that?

    Brian, interesting story. Not only are the files very sharp, but the file sizes are also very small, too. And the good thing is that if you are still using Aperture, which is no longer supported, you can still use it to edit files from the M8/M9 (and many older cameras).
  49. Allan, I like your photo.
    " but the idea somehow that the M8 is somehow more relevant today than when it came out strikes me as total fanboy talk" Robin.
    Who said that? only you Robin.
    The red dot thing and fanboy stuff is old history; the same name calling is used on all manufactures.
    With any secondhand cameras the manufacturers, might or might not , have the parts available. It was not so long ago that Nikon had a problem with lubricants leaking into their D800 sensors which they initially refused to acknowledge...I suspect there are many D800's still out there with that problem.
    For what I have read Sony have not yet received a gold star for customer support...I just wonder how long they will continue to support older Sony A7's? I just get the impression they are more about moving boxes that customer support and service.
    From my personal experience Leica has been supportive. When my X1 had a problem(pop up flash stayed up) out of warranty they repaired it free of charge within 7 days of it being sent off.
  50. Lets have a think about Leica.
    1, Their premium products are made in Germany where a honest wage is paid to their staff.
    2. It is obvious, because of that fact alone, their cameras are going to be more expensive.
    3. Like any expensive products they are going to appeal to the wealthy and Leica will market their products to this market. Why, because like most Companies they need to make a profit.
    4. This does not mean their product is only for the wealthy.
    5.The wealthy will also buy top of the range Canons/Nikons...they particularly like those big white Canon lenses which are far more popular than any Leica camera.
    6.All cameras are now produced in Asia, Leica is the last of European manufactures; do we really want them to go out of business.
    7, Folk are still using M8's, not just because of the red dot, but because the results the camera is giving them.
    8. Because a camera is expensive it does not mean folks have to do the jealous thing....not all Leica owners have gold pockets they just like the RF thing.
    9. Leica support and serve is at least equal to any other manufacturer, and from my experience, better...they tend to value their customers.
    Just a few thoughts.
    A Leica will not make you a better photographer only you can do that. Its just a camera...a tool.
  51. 10. Cameras are disposable. It's the images you want to protect. ;-)
  52. I spend a lot of time keeping old cameras from being in the disposable category. Including some digital cameras. Funny= a
    10 year old Digital camera is considered old; a 10 year old film camera is considered new. Not sure what defines an old
    film camera. Most of the ones that I work on are 50+ years old.
  53. Thank you Allen. Some believe the M8's IR sensitivity to be a liability, I think of it as an advantage; the idea that I can shoot handheld IR with a (mostly opaque) R72 filter with no camera modifications is amazing to me, considering my past experience with HIE.
  54. Leica has supported the M8 as best as possible.
    Lack of replacement parts made by a now "deceased" part of Kodak.
    I own a Nikon which has battery door problems.
    Any issue to do with battery, is NOT part of warrantee.
    I noted that camera has "Wi-Fi".
    Looked on Internet.
    One year left of warrantee, BUT as camera is now obsolete,
    info is no longer available.
  55. If the proof of the pudding is in the eating, the M8 is relevant today - unlike almost every single digital camera from 2006, except for medium format backs.​
    That is the fanboy statement, as even a cursory thought would have realized. My daughter still uses the Rebel XTi from 2007 (Leica M8/M8.2 was the only Leica M digital available until the M9 of late 2009), and I know at least 3 people who still use as their main camera the original Canon 5D. So this is a silly sentence and is making some special claim for the Leica M8 that it does not deserve.
  56. That is the fanboy statement​
    Not really. Those older digital backs pretty much eat alive every single DSLR from that era. They also put the Leicas in their place, though not quite as severely. In fact, they're better than some modern DSLRs, but certainly not all.

    But I don't tell other people what camera they should use. I can suggest one. And I will engage in discussion, if appropriate. But people can use what they want. Rebel XTi? Sure. If it tickles your secret special fancy spot, why not? Okay, it's no match for Fuji Superia 400, but it's no match for a lot of things. It's the photographer's vision that counts in the end, isn't it?
  57. Fall Colors with the M8.<p>

    <img src="" width="682" height="1024" alt="Fall Colors">

    Minolta 50/1.4 MC Mount, converted to RF coupled M-Mount. Maintains RF coupling to 0.65m. Used Wide-Open.<p>
  58. Lovely shot. BTW how much would it cost to couple an SLR lens?
  59. Karim- Thankyou. <p>

    This lens was kind of a "dare" to myself. Went through the Pop Photo 1976 test of 32 "normal lenses" and bought some of the best. The Minolta was best over the center 2/3rds of the image, perfect for an M8. Cost is "Mostly time", this is a real "every lens is different, some work, some don't, everyone is custom".<p>

    <img src="" width="768" height="1024" alt="minolta2"><p>

    This one uses a Foto-Diox adapter (~$35), a cut-up leg from an old tripod, and some retaining rings. Hours of trial and error filing. The RF Cam is epoxied in place. Total cost including the lens, $85 and a lot of time. Cold winter-day, stuck inside kind of project.<p>

    A real technician would probably charge $200 or so for labor, and then there would be the cost of machining real parts...<p>
  60. Brian, that's quite impressive. I wonder if a total cost of $500 would be reasonable. I mean, the lens itself is not more than $100. Mind you... the CV lenses are more compact and are already available and not much more, if anything, than $500.
    There are some lenses I'd love to adapt, though, at least on paper. Such as, say, the Olympus 100/2.8, or the Vivitar 90mm macro. Some would love the Canon FD 50/1.2 (lovely bokeh).
  61. The 100 and 90 would require a custom helical, or using the focus mount from an existing RF lens with the new optics. The
    50mm lens requires a simple extension from the rear element to the RF cam of the camera, movement is 1:1. I have a
    couple of lenses on the "list-to-hack".<p>

    This is where the liveview feature of the M240 is most useful, but I'm stubborn and just like using the RF.<p>

    <img src="" width="1024" height="768" alt="Canon 50/1.4, now RF Coupled"><p>

    The Canon FL mount 50/1.4 is the easiest to convert, has a manual aperture switch built-in. This lens has very low spherical aberration due to the long optical path. It was second in performance next to the 50/1.2 Noctilux. Your looking at a total of $60 and ~8hours of work here.<p>

    IF I ever sell my M8, it will come with a most unusual assortment of lenses that were custom adapted to it.<p>
  62. My one and only M digital is M8. I got it upgraded and it is far more better than M8.
    It is better than any MDidigi ( Except M Monochrome ) Only thing is it is not full frame but as long as you are used to it's crop factor you can master it easily. The Colours are unique and CCD Kodak sensor is the reason behind all. This camera is limited in so many ways due to discontinuing. It's major after sales, spare parts and repairs are limited. They are not available anymore.
    So the camera will be ended up as a paper weight one day.
    So get the maximum out of it while it is living.

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