M8 or Canon 5D with 2 lenses or Nikon D300 + 2 lenses

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by jun_park, Dec 20, 2007.

  1. I will have a budget of $5,000.00 and not necessarily spend it all.

    Equipment wise currently I have M6 and IIIf and 50 Cron, 35 4th Cron, 90 Tele-Elmarit and CV 21.

    I also have Nikon F3 with 24, 50 and 105 and Tamrom AF 28-300.

    I did some research on the online and here are 3 choices since 5D and D300 prices are close.

    Choice #1: M8 body only and use lenses I have and have them coded for M8 (thou they are not fast

    Choice #2: 5D with 35/1.4 (or 24-105/4) and 85/1.2

    Choice #3: D300 with 17-55/2.8 and 85/1.4 and D3 is too expensive and too bulky and heavy.

    What I'm after is image quality and bokeh quality. Isolating object from BG is more important.
    I don't shoot sports.
    I sometimes use it indoors so I prefer fast lenses.
    I need to shoot plate of foods where central part is sharp and front and back is rapidly out of focus.
    I do travel/landscape shots.
    I love B&W and use film and wet darkroom with Focomat.

    CONS & PROS:
    -M8 have a few problems and need digital coding and 1.3 crop. and if I want 75/1.4 it'll cost me a
    fortune but it's compact and I can carry it with M6 in one bag.

    -5D is great but I have to buy two new lenses. Rather bulky and noticable. Possibly best resolution/
    Bokeh for the money.

    -Nikon D300 has a 1.5 crop factor and might not have same bokeh as Canon 35/1.4 or 85/1.2

    In the mean time, I use cheap Nikon D40 + kit lens for family snap shots. I can sell this after.
    I'm leaning towards Canon 5D or the possible NEW 5DII in the early next year.
    I can certainly wait. I'm not in a super hurry to get it.

    I appreciate your input.
  2. Which fruit do you prefer: a grapefruit, a banana or a pear?
  3. Ellis,

    If it cost as little as fruits then i don't bother asking on this forum. I'd bought them all.
    I'd appreciate a little more sincere input than a sarcastic way.

  4. Not to put words in Ellis' mouth, but I think he's saying (and I agree) that they are all good choices and the decision will really come down to personal preference.

    If you offer more information about what the equipment will be required to do, then the community might be able to offer up some meaningful suggestions.
  5. How important is bulk to you? Viewfinder? Having zooms?
  6. Stick with film, buy a 50mm lux, 90 cron and film scanner. Sell 50 cron and 90 tele-elmarit
  7. Isolating object from BG is more important. I need to shoot plate of foods where central part is sharp and front and back is rapidly out of focus. This sounds to me like a job for full-frame SLR. Of those you offer us to choose, the only one is the 5D.
  8. I don't quite see your problem. The Leica M lenses you have right now are perfect for the M8. They are the bokeh lenses, so forget about finding any others. You don' need to worry about having them coded, but you will need Leica IR filters for them. If you want a digital M, then buy the M8.

    You already have a Nikon D40, so you're now quite aware of the advantages of digital versus film. Furthermore, you already own a digital Nikon that will take your existing Nikon lenses, with manual focusing which you're also used to. Why waste any more money on a Nikon digital. All the reviews suggest that the D40 is good enough for most purposes. If the Leica will be your main camera, then why invest any more money in a Nikon or Canon digital camera. Wait til the D40 dies, and then by the lastest Nikon at that point. There may be a D90 coming along to replace the D80. What's your hurry?
  9. For travel and landscape, the M8 for sure. I have to say, I love the fact that I can easily carry around my M8 and four lenses in a bike messenger bag. In fact, because of its small size, I always have my M8 with me (but with only 2 lenses).

    However, the M8 can't do food shots worth a damn (no macro, and the minimum focusing distance is about 2.5 - 3.5 feet for the lenses you listed, I think) and the full-frame 5D will be able to do this extremely well.

    So, in short, stick with your perfectly capable M6 for travel - buy a 5D for your food shots, and buy an M8 (or M9) when you can afford it.


  10. Gotta admit, I agree with Ellis.

    You say you already have an M6 and a F3.

    Rangefinder vs SLR.

    Have you not noticed the operational and philisophical differences between the two?

    Your looking at the same issues here. Pretty cut and dried.

    To me it sounds like your fishing to get advice so that if you spend this not inconsiderable amount of money and are then not happy with your choice you can say...'but the advice I got was...'
  11. I find myself asking the same kind of questions.

    I love shooting with Leica M's but I just can't rationalize spending the money on an M8 and the lens I would need. If it was technically possible to pull off a full frame sensor in an M body it would be a much more difficult decision. My 35 Asph becomes a 45.5mm lens. To get back to a 35mm FOV on the M8 I'd need to get either the $3,300 28mm cron or the $1,600 Elmarit.

    The technology is changing at such a rapid pace I can't rationalize spending $5,500 on a body when a 5D can now be had for $2,180. The Canon 35 1.4 L is $1,120. That's $3,300 for the two items versus $7,100 for the M8 and elmarit or $8,800 for the M8 and Summicron.

    Like you I'm going to wait and see if Canon announces a 5D mark II at PMA and make a decision then. I'm tempted to get the 35L, the 50 1.4 and one of the L zooms. Right now leaning towards the 17-40 as a street/travel lens and the primes for low light and limited DOF shots. Having used the Olympus E-1 and now the Pentax K10D, I'm finding I again want the look that comes from full frame. Knowing what I know now I would have bought the 5D a few years ago and skipped my foray in the world of crop sensor cameras.

    Backup is another thing I'm thinking about. When traveling I like having two bodies. Sometimes it's good to shoot with both to avoid changing lenses, but having a backup is a must for me. I was in Zion Park a few years ago when my MP locked up on me. Luckily I had an M4 for the remainder of the trip. If the 5D drops even more I would be tempted to get one as a backup/2nd body to compliment the expected 5D mark II. Even a digital Rebel would be better than no camera at all. Other than a PS camera another M8 is not practical as a backup/2nd body.

    When I'm craving to make images with a rangefinder I can still use my M's and scan the film. I've played with an M8 a few times and honestly could not feel the love compared to the film M bodies.
  12. Yeah! This is more like it.
    I think M8 is "WANT" and 5D is "NEED" maybe?

    Zoom is not a must since I don't shoot sports. I'm used to M6 and primes.
    I like Leica because it's simple and less bulky.
    Less bulk is important. If it's bulky, I simple don't carry it or leave at home or in the car.
    The bulk won't matter only when I shoot table top food shots.

    Since I have some leica lenses, I'm very tempted to go M8 route but I don't know how good
    the bokeh is on the crop factored my Leica lenses versus bokeh of Canon 85/1.2 of which
    people praise for it's wide open sharpness and creamy bokeh.

    If I want the same bokeh then I have to get Leica 75/1.4 then it's way over my budget.

    I don't want to end up M8 and discover that I need 5D with 85/1.2.
    I think Mark's suggestion make sense more.

  13. Since you have a Nikon F camera, the choice is obvious if you want a digital camera, a D3/D300. Why buy new lenses for a Canon?

    Unless you want an M8. Or unless you want a 5D. Then you should buy one of those.
  14. Ditto Mark Demeny's suggestion. For the scenario you've described the 5D would seem most suited.
  15. You should be aware that the Canon zooms do not offer great bokeh, they are nice sharp don't flare but great bokeh it isn't. I would suggest that you find some nice Leica R or Zeiss (flame suit now on) with appropriate adapters for a 5D. I would suggest you go over to FM alternate digital board and look up Guy Mansco he had a very long post 1000 plus contributions on what worked and didn't. Emphasis was placed on color and bokeh along with did the lens fit on the 5D (not all did).
  16. Why bother having them coded? Just shoot RAW.
  17. Unless you need f/1.4, get the f/2 35mm Canon for a little over $200 with the 5D.
  18. Another thought, Jun: Pentax K10D with a couple of high quality Pentax prime lenses, providing:

    (i) excellent photos, using RAW; and

    (ii) a few $$thousand in change

    Just a thought.

    [Note: This would not be my recommendation if you needed state-of-the-art fast autofocus, higher frame rate (Pentax is 3 fps), or long fast lenses. But the K10D body is well-built, has weather sealing, and body-based image stabilization.]
  19. Jun, your situation is not unusual. My equipment is similar to yours except that I have a few more lenses, BUT, I have not taken the dive into any DSLR because I am stubborn and parsimonious. BUT, you already have a D40. I would think that for macro work you could use the D40 with any number of macro lenses and do fine because maximum speed of focus or metering is not so much an issue. I realize you want shallow depth of field for your food shots, but wouldn't a Nikon macro 200 or 105 give you enough? What is really cool is that you could even use a pre-ai macro on your D40, and you could pick that up cheap. You would have to chimp for exposure of course, but that's not really a problem for macro, is it?

    If I were you, I would get a macro lens of my choosing, new or used, and save my money for a more economical Nikon full frame, which I think is in the works, AND an economical M mount digital rangefinder, which is more speculative, both of which will hopefully emerge before my life insurance premium increases substantially. If they don't make the equipment you hope for in the next couple years, then it doesn't matter because you've already acheived what you need to do. (It is also good to have other interests to meter the perils of this one.)
  20. The 5D is probably going to be upgraded soon.
  21. What would I do? I`ll wait for "... the possible NEW 5DII in the early next year. I can certainly wait..." If so, you will have what you`re looking for; 1.4 lenses, etc.

    If that release were delayed, or you want it now, I would go for the D300. It has been my choice, at least for now. I avoid to expense big ammounts on digital cameras because 1/. Image quality is good enough to my needs. 2/. I prefer to upgrade them when available (digital improvements proves to be fast and big). 3/. Product quality is astounding (D300).

    This let the M8 to be the 3rd choice; I agree with your reasonings.
  22. I own an M6 and a 5D. In your position, if you like shooting rangefinders, I'd get an M8.

    If you do get a 5D some of the L lenses should, I think, satisfy most people who are used to Leica quality - the 85mm f1.2L is fantastic, the 35mm f1.4L is great, and if you google the 135mm f2L you'll find a lot of people consider it the best 135mm ever, if not one of the best lenses ever.
  23. Yes, they are all possibilities.
  24. You can get very very nice bokeh using the M8. No problem there and you don't have to
    have a 75 lux to do it , i just did a long tests on the 75 Summarits and even at 2.5 it has
    nice bokeh . The 50 lux in many flavors pre and asph gives nice bokeh. I use the M8
    system professionally every day so it can be done. Yes i have some limitations no question
    but if your sitting on Leica M lenses than you also sitting on some of the best glass ever
    made too. Don't ignore that either. I think you need to read some stuff on the M8 and
    lenses that you can use. Now the d300 looks great and I almost just bought one myself
    but i did just buy a 5D for certain things. I have a Oly 24 shift lens made into a R mount
    that i don't want to give up so I had to get a Canon to use it with adapter and I bought a
    200 for a Runway gig that will pay for the whole purchase so i will use it for certain things
    and it will sit because i really love the M8 warts and all and that is because the bottom line
    for me is image. So i really don't care about the bells and whistles of some of these new
    computer style camera's. Although many folks do and the 5D and d300 represent some of
    the latest technolgies so don't overlook them. Honestly do your homework and you have
    to think in terms of system and what YOUR needs are. The M8 has a 90 macro , maybe not
    as ideal working as a 5D and a macro lens but this stuff can be done. Word of caution you
    get a M8 you the photographer have to work the camera, there is no auto anything and if
    you lazy don't buy one

    Here read a couple threads here and it may help somewhat give you some better ideas on
    the M8 and glass


    Just some stuff to read and look at with images
  25. here this thread you can see the bokeh from 35,50 and 90mm lenses in a comparsion with
    The new Summarits against the 35 cron version IV, 50 lux and the 90 cron. These are 1500 or
    less the new Summarits and they are very nice lenses also. this test shows many things but
    bokeh can be seen in every one.

  26. When I had that choice to make, I picked the 5D and the 24-105/4L but then I was an amateur landscape photographer not a street shooter. It's a big handful after my M2, but I've been very pleased with the results from the 5D. I just couldn't justify double the price of the 5D for the M8, especially when the resolution was better on the 5D and IT was full frame (which I wanted because mostly I use wideangles).

    I don't have an M8 so I can't compare the quality, but just remember that Canon has a lot more experience producing Digital cameras than Leica does. I love rangefinder photography, and if money was no object I'd probably have an M8 too, but it is so I'll stick with the 5D.
  27. I have a 5d and an M8, using the better Canon lenses I can't tell the prints apart.
  28. Everyone's suggestions make sence in it's own way.
    What I want/need is image quality of Leica 35/1.4 Asph and 75/1.4 in digital format.
    So, here is the price comparison.

    M8 + 35/1.4 + 75/1.4 = Approx. $13,900.00

    5D + 35/1.4 = 85/1.2 = Approx. $4865.00

    From what I read online Canon L lenses come pretty close to Leica quality. Especially the
    very shallow dof and creamy bokeh.

    5D for color work and M6 for B&W film. If I need macro or TS lens, I could just rent or buy
    used one. I think this might be the best solution for the budget I have.

    Nikon full frame/D3 cost too much and I don't want to build system on a crop factored
    Camera/D300. My F3 and some prime lenses not worth much. Display only on a shelf or
    sell off.
    I could sell Nikon D40 and 90 Tele-Elmarit after I get 5D. Additional savings of about

    I hardly use 90 Tele-Elmarit on M6. I love 50 cron on M6 for B&W. I want to keep it simple
    and carry everywhere.
    A few years ago, I've only used 50 cron with M6 with B&W film for a month travel to Italy
    and France. For me B&W is 50 cron.

    I may sell 35 4th cron once I get Canon 35/1.4 L, additional savings!

    Thanks all for your suggestions and links.
  29. jtk


  30. For thin DoF, definitely the Canon. You can always have the 50 f1.2 or even the 24 f1.4 if you need those focal lengths in addition to the 35L and 85L.

    The 75 framelines on the M8 is the worst, so framing can be an issue. Am using the M8 and had to give up the 5D due to weight issues causing me Tennis Elbow.
  31. Pentax k10d +



    Good, relatively inexpensive (compared to your other options)

    Superb lenses.
  32. If you do go with a Nikon D300 then consider the new Voigtlander 58mm f/1.4 Nokton in Nikon Ai-s fitting. It is manual focus but has the necessary chip to allow full matrix metering. It is based on an old Topcor design.....

  33. On second thought: $5000 is about the daily budget of an average African country. Think
    about that - and think of the F3/M6/IIIf/D40 you already have.
  34. Trevor Hare wrote:

    << ... Pentax K10D ... >>

    I've always said that Trevor Hare was one smart photographer. :)
  35. Don't get the canon 50F1.2 it has numorous focusing issues, the old 50F1.0 in EF mount had good focusing (it was dog slow but it worked) a little expensive for what it gives. The 50F1.4, 50F1.8 (I or II), and 50F2.5 works fine BTW.
  36. Today, I met a friend, a designer and a serious amateur photographer who has Contax G,
    Mamiya 7II, Canon 5d with 24-105.

    Ha said Canon is heavier than Mamiya and not enjoying as much as Contax G rangefinder.
    He likes the results from canon but don't like to lug around a big brick.

    He said I wouldn't be happy with canon 5D and I'll be more happier with M8. Since I love
    M6 and Crons. That sound make sense too. It'll be perfect for travel, hiking, evening out to
    downtown etc. Keep Nikon D40 for table top shots I guess, since I have some prime Nikon
    Trevor Hare mentioned the new Voightlander 58/1.4 for Nikon Ai-s fitting and it could be
    perfect for D40 and it's price relatively cheap compare to Canon 85 and Nikon 85. I saw a
    few nice samples from online. Good bokeh.

    I guess I can buy used M8 for $4000 to $4500 and if I don't like it for some reason, I can
    pretty much re-sell for what I paid for. Not much loss, I hope.

    Thanks again for those who contributed.
  37. I'd wait and see what Canon announces in the new year. The 5D is due for a replacement.
  38. When I recently bought my car, I couldn't decide between a BMW, Mercedes or a Volvo. So I rented (borrowed) them all and then made my decision.

    It's the same with the cameras you are considering.

    Oh yes. if the store wont rent(loan), shop elsewhere!
  39. you could not choose the car because the Porsche was not included in the list :).
  40. Stephen. I chose the car!

    The reason a Porche was not on the list is that (a)it's totally impractical for my needs (b) they (Porches) have never appealed to me
    (c) to get into the gas guzzling SUV "pepper" Porche, i.e. more than 2 seats, would be outrageously expensive (d) I like my vehicles to be reliable and require "normal routine" maintenance only.

    After driving and "reviewing" the cars, the choice was easy.

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