Is the M8 Rare? About to be Discontinued?

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by markdeneen, Apr 4, 2010.

  1. I have only recently been introduced to Leica cameras. I read two reviews here of the M8 and I was fascinated by this camera. I began to look for a used one, and it seems they are as rare as hens teeth! Is this because no one bought them? Or because no one wants to sell them?
    Is this camera still current enough to pursue, or is it about to be discontinued? A gem or a dog?
     
  2. It's a gem as long as you use coded lenses with IR filter on the lens if you're shooting color.
     
  3. SCL

    SCL

    Depending on your viewpoint, Leica has introduced the M9, which may be considered a replacement or upgrade to the M8. They're not really that scarce either, the big auction site has them for sale every week, and large Leica dealers, like Popflash, seem to have a steady supply of demos, reconditioned and used ones.
     
  4. Good info---
    I think the M9 is WAY out of my league on price. That's not in the cards. I see M8 bodies for about $2500 and I think yeah, I could do that.
    The "big auction site?" What is that? I'll look at Popflash. I've found maybe three used ones.
    Thanks all for the nice info.
     
  5. "big auction site?"​
    is eBay, A few forums may ban mention of the site, but not most unless you're trying to advertise your eBay listing, somehow.
    Like diamonds, only a very few models of Leica are actually "rare." However, also like diamonds, none of them is cheap.*
    ________
    * Indeed, cheapness -- a 'bargain'--is a nearly infallible indicator that the item being sold is a converted Zorki or some such. You can find real bargains in Hermann Göring presentation Leicas from WWII. Apparently many of them were captured by the victorious Red Army. ;)
     
  6. Ahhh, ok, the big auction site. Well, that's not for me. I had my butt reamed once by a crook there, and I don't bother with it anymore. I'll pay a few bucks and get stuff from a store - the insurance is cheap.
    Ok - - so, I found some nice bodies. Now I need a lens, and OMG the lenses cost more than the body! HA HA. I am wanting to start with a lens that will be the equivalent to a 35mm on 35mm format. So, I guess I need about a 24mm lens for the M8. I don't do telephoto shots of birds or anything. I like "street" and snapshots. Any suggestions for a lens that I can get at say $1200??
     
  7. Ideal starter lens for the M8 is the 28/2.8 Elmarit ASPH. Very attractive price, very compact. The M8 crop factor is only 1.3X, not 1.5X, so this is the equivalent of a 35mm on film.
    There is also a 28/2.0 Summicron, but much more expensive, much larger.
     
  8. Interestingly, although the current catalog has no mention of either the M8 or M8.2, they are still in the list of M cameras on the Leica website.
     
  9. @Shriver...
    That sounds great. I'm going to get on the hunt for one to see if I can find a used one. THX>
     
  10. SCL

    SCL

    Since the discussion has shifted from the original question to the desire for a wide lens, and you have chosen to not use the largest source of Leica gear, you might consider using one of the CV lenses (Cosina-Voigtlander) like a 21/4.0 or a 25/4.0. Check Steve Gandy's site www.cameraquest.com, as he is the largest USA distributor. Although he sells a lot of this line on the big auction site, he also sells thru his online site or by phone. A lot of M8 users have used the CV lenses; their rendition is different from the Leica line and less expensive (generally). Don't forget that you may also want a finder, which he likewise carries. I have no affiliation with him, but do use one of the ultrawides Steve sells.
     
  11. The M8 isn't about to be discontinued, it IS discontinued. I'd advise reading up on the problems with the early batch, then proceeding directly to either a trusted source who can guarantee that his/hers is a sorted out model or springing for the M8.2. Much as it pains me to say so here, since I recall roundly criticizing the fools who would buy a $5000 M8 when it came out, the results from the M8.2 are superb. I got mine from eBay in essentially new condition eight months ago, and have had no issues at all. The combination with the 28/2.8 asph is remarkable.
    If you are thinking Leica but are concerned about money, then don't do it. This is my second go around with the brand, and you just have to say to yourself that there will be a problem, it will cost a lot of money to sort out, and you will have a headache dealing with it. If you can make peace with the notion, then you can concentrate on your photography and be carefree, like me. Otherwise, just get a Nikon D700 and take great photos with it too.
     
  12. I'm not sure about problems with an early batch Andy, what was that?
     
  13. Maybe just Internet chatter, Ray, but there were issues with banding or a dark stripe and freezing that I can recall. They sorted it out with firmware mostly.I decided to get the M8.2 when all the dentists were dumping their three month old ones for half off so they could buy the M9.
     
  14. bms

    bms

    At the least, the early models had to go back to Leica for sensor issues with banding - I actually as one of the "lucky" ones who came in late to digital Ms and bought a demo M8, only to have to go back to Leica.... thought about upgrading to the M9 but I think the M8 is quite sufficient for most purposes.
     
  15. The M8 is a good camera and used is finally kinda affordable. You can see them pretty regularly at dealers who sell used cameras such as Tamarkin (where I bought mine) or KEH. It even has a special trick the M9 doesn't -- it's a great IR camera without conversion, and does a great job with normal photographs too.
    I might buy the Voigtlander lenses at B&H Photo too. I had a problem with a CV lens I bought from Gandy and he was unsympathetic. I prefer dealing with B&H because they're a bit better with customer service.
     
  16. My M8 went back to the Leica hospital twice and had some issues after the warranty was over that Leica Tokyo fixed for free. An M8.2 is a surer bet. I am serious thinking one. A little weird in the world of the M9. I have yet to see an M9 on shelves here in Japan. Last time I was in Obayashi Camera in Osaka I noticed all the M8s were gone. Maybe a sign of the coming of the M9s.
     
  17. Unless it has been mishandled (I would be concerned with the integrity and cleanliness of the sensor, the ability or not to scroll rapidly through frames in preview setting, and the colour balance settings being consistent when shooting, as well as the normal mechanical functions of the camera) it is quite likely that most M8s for sale as demos or used should now be free of any possible bugs. Mine has been working extremely well for a number of years now.
     
  18. " If you can make peace with the notion, then you can concentrate on your photography and be carefree, like me. Otherwise, just get a Nikon D700 and take great photos with it too."--Andy K,
    Clearly there's more to this camera than a casual purchase. I wonder if in place of that "Nikon D700" a person might advise a Voightlander Bessa, or a Zeiss Ikon??
     
  19. Well of course one could advise that but I assumed you wanted a digital
    camera. If you want a film camera with lenses as good as Leica M's
    get a Contax G1 with a couple of lenses for the price of a Leica finder.
     
  20. bms

    bms

    Mark,
    if you are thinking Bessa or Zeiss, i.e. film, you may as well think older M's. I started with an M4 with a 50 DR Summicron in great shape for $1,200.... no light meter, but otherwise great.
    Ben
     
  21. M8 > which Leica lens > Steve Gandy's CVs > Nikon D700 > film RFs....
    This thread has wandered so far that it really should be moved to the Travel forum.
     
  22. Whoops! I really didn't mean to introduce FILM. I hadn't had my coffee yet when I posted that Voightlander remark. Sorry.
     
  23. I find that my M8.2 coupled with a high quality Epson inkjet printer, used for black and white prints, produces the highest quality prints I have ever made routinely, with a minimum of fuss. Incredibly sharp up to 12x18 (printer limit), pure whites and deep rich blacks. It is my key to making pictures I'm proud of with the least time and manipulation I've experienced in 60 years of photography.
     
  24. I agree Peter Mann.
     
  25. I picked up a lightly used M8, 3 months old at the time, in January. It was listed in the rangefinderforum classified ads. I've taken over 2000 pictures with it so far. IR filters are a necessity. Best to use coded wide-angle lenses, but 35mm focal length and longer is not a problem.
     

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