Should I sell my SWC to get a M8?

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by justin_ng|1, Oct 12, 2017.

  1. I knew engineers that worked on Vanguard.

    I have two Pentium Pro tower computers, 20+ years old- work perfectly. I have two DSLR's that are older than those computers that work perfectly. My 1998 Micron Trek 2 laptops- 3 of the 5 original battery packs take 80% charges. There is a good chance that an M8 will last quite a bit longer. It's easy to make cheap electronic devices that will fail quickly, and expensive to make electronic devices that last a long time. Fabrication issues, such as the sealing on some of the LCD's cause unexpected problems. Chances are if it was going to fail due to a manufacturing defect in a parts lot, it would have surfaces by now. The real problem is the lack of replacement parts for a screen that has suffered a catastrophic failure. The repair, even if parts were available, would most likely exceed cost-to-replace.
  2. In 1979 I bought a small Sharp calculator to help me calculate exposures for close-ups for a 5x4" bellows camera. I still use it because it doesn't get bored and turn itself off in the middle of a calculation interrupted by a phone call. That's very reasonable for a bit of electronics.
    I am afraid I actually destroyed my oldest digital camera by inadvertently pouring coffee onto it.
    if the SWC isn't grabbing you, that's what is important. The M8, as an older digital with potential issues, is living dangerously. Sometimes that's good.
  3. That may be changing now that Sony is running in the middle of the big dog pack and gaining on the lead. They announced the formation of a Pro Services program at the same time as the A9 came out. There is a guaranteed 3 day service turn-around with service centers in Las Angeles and New York.

    Digital cameras might break, but the electronics don't wear out. They become obsolete with respect to your competition, or if they no longer meet your needs. The MBTF for newer shutters is 500,000 clicks. I'm barely at 200,000 since 2003 (for all cameras), and shutters can be replaced in a week for about $500.

    The M9 has good color too, more Velvia than Portra. The real niche for a rangefinder camera is wide angle and candids. A FF camera is a definite advantage in that regard, not to mention higher resolution. Regardless, it pales in comparison to the flexibility and performance of a modern mirrorless interchangeable lens camera (ILC). Image quality is not very good in the M9 above ISO 400, and focus is problematic the longer the focal length.
  4. "That may be changing now that Sony is running in the middle of the big dog pack and gaining on the lead" Ed.

    That maybe be true...but. how many variations of the A7 range will they continue to support? Lets be honest a new a7 comes out every 4/6 months Another thought how many pro's would change their DSLR for one of the many variation's of Sony a7's? Looking at the latest stats very few it would seem. And then Sony might get bored with the whole thing as not enough coin is dropping in their laps. Then we have some nice doorstop cameras

    Meanwhile the Leica M range keeps plodding on and on.

    Just a thought Leica lenses work a lot better on a Fuji than a Sony A7..... .used both.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2017
  5. And I strongly suspect in 5+ years the M8 will still be plodding on...But will the Sony A7 various, variations, be still plodding on;)

    You pay your money you make your choice.
  6. "Nikon recalls the Nikon D750 a third time for the same shutter release issue".

    Nikon sincerely said oops, sorry. Hope folks read one of the three recall notices.

  7. The A7Rii was introduced for sale in June, 2014, and no replacement has been announced three years later. I was among the first in line, with pre-order from B&H. The A7Sii is a low resolution (12 MP) camera optimized for light sensitivity and 1080p video. The most recent version, the A9, is designed for high speed focusing and operation, with a long-life battery, in direct competition with Canon and Nikon flagship cameras. Considering the depth of the system, including lenses, there is probably no finer camera for landscapes than the A7Rii, costing less than $35,000.

    If one breaks and needs repair, I have a backup which uses the same cards and lenses. That falls under "due diligence" for equipment you rely on. My Nikon D3 has been in the shop 3 times in 10 years, and each of my f/2.8 zooms at least once for major repairs. That's something you deal with, sans the "sky is falling down" attitude.

    The M8 is undoubtedly a fine camera, but not without significant faults. A weak IR filter leaves it vulnerable to color shifts. Leica recommend use of a hot mirror filter to overcome this design flaw. The 1.3x cropping factor makes the shortest lens useable without an auxiliary finder, 28 mm, have the field of view of 35 mm. That's not necessarily bad, but it is limiting compared to what most people are using these days. In the 10 years since the first M8, Leica has introduced 5 new models. Perhaps they listen to what Sony is doing. I've lost track of how many one, two, three and four digit versions of Nikon DSLRs are in existence.

    Everybody's needs and budget are different. Different cameras have different strengths and weaknesses.I'm not sure it helps to bash a brand, Sony, based on incomplete or inaccurate knowledge. I'm mildly surprised you haven't resurrected your long-standing complaint that Sony doesn't have enough lenses. Is 71 and counting enough?
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2017
  8. "@allen, after reading up on Wikipedia "Vanguard's solar cells operated for about 7 years" I can't get rid of the feeling it became an admittedly well placed cosmic paper weight pretty soon? or is there any proof of something still in working order aboard it?
    I'm not sure how bad service support for the M8 is in total"Jochen.

    'the Vanguard satellite has outlasted all its Soviet and U.S. predecessors'.

    "Scientists originally estimated that Vanguard would have a life expectancy of about 200 years. Now the estimate stands at 2,000 years, meaning that Vanguard should see many more anniversaries to come".

    From my understanding Leica still supports the Leica M8 apart from the rear screen.

    "I'm mildly surprised you haven't resurrected your long-standing complaint that Sony doesn't have enough lenses. Is 71 and counting enough" Ed.

    I'm not bashing Sony/Nikon merely putting in a context their numerous issues as a comparison with the Leica cameras. The Sony A9 is a fantastic camera and with a Zeiss zoom on it...

    Personally I have only two cameras that have failed a Voigtlander R2 and a Leica X1. The Leica X1 pop up flash decided to stay popping up....perhaps it wanted to enjoy the sunlight rather that than being confined to the dark interior of camera. Being a courage little fellow it decided to make a break for freedom:) The camera was out of guarantee by many years so I was expecting a exciting bill from Leica. They returned it within 7 days of receiving it and repaired it free of charge

    Nice folk in my opinion.
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2017
  9. I have to poke my web mate Ed {Edward to his mates) from time to time as he tends to nod off.

    If you have the coin it is a better call to buy the M9 as it is fully supported by Leica.
  10. I have an M9P, and is has none of the issues of the M8, save that it is also a rangefinder camera. The color and resolution are very good, but not necessarily what you had in mind when you pressed the shutter release. in terms of framing and focus. Much is to be said for pride of ownership, but make sure you're really committed to the limitations of a rangefinder before moving in that direction. That said, an SWC barely has a viewfinder, and focusing is strictly manual. In that sense, a Leica M8 or M9 would be a step up.
  11. Keep the SWC and invest some money to get an M8 ( M8U or M8.2) is the most advisable choice. The fact of the First M being M8 and as it had the fastest shutter 1/8000 and it was constructed with two different materials of metal and ( it is duel color black and white) one metal being more vulnerable fo this high speed, it started shattering occasionally.
    after they introdused the upgrade of M8.2 eliminating this high shutter of 1/8000. Leica had given up this feature completely from all M cameras they introduced up today. I am one of them who had that painful trouble to have an upgraded shutter. So it is well advisable and well worth not to go for M8 but for an m8.2 or M8u with good used and care.
  12. SWC one of the best cameras ever made, NEVER SELL IT.
  13. "SWC one of the best cameras ever made, NEVER SELL IT".Arthur Crown.

    So was the typewriter. Never sell your typewriter or your quill and feather pen.
  14. Vincent Peri

    Vincent Peri Metairie, LA

    I still have my typewriter LOL.
  15. "As already mentioned: Even mint M8/9 display screens are a compromise. To me they seem way more usable than Coolpix 990's or *istD's but more recent digital cameras improved again in that field"

    Okay, a M needs a nice screen to look at. Methinks not.

    Best buy something else..
  16. "I still have my typewriter LOL."

  17. I bought my SWC a few years after getting an M8 and M9. Why sell the perfect camera?
  18. Will selling an SWC buy you an M8? I would not get an M8 today. I tend to agree with others the SWC is a special camera but, there again, if you are not using it I'd sell it and get something you will use: i just would not get an M8. I'd save up for an M9 or up if you want to stay Leica.
  19. I love how Allen is so dedicated to Leica, and his M8.

    I had an SWC and found it to be a great camera, but let it go after awhile because shooting that wide was mostly a novelty for me.

    I had an M8 and have thought recently about getting one again. Sometimes I think the b&w is superior to other digital cameras, but then again it may just be the light and subject in certain photographs that make it seem that way. I doubt I'll get one, but if I did I'd make sure it was a purchase with at least a 14 day return. I've considered over the years getting another Hexar AF as well, loved it, but considering the age and fragility it's just not practical.

    I had an M9 as well, nothing at all wrong with that camera (aside from the sensor issue I didn't experience) but the framelines are way off and you get seemingly 30% more real estate in the pic than you bargained for looking through the viewfinder. It did have limited ISO capability, as I recall was just a stop or so better than the M8.

    I think the M240 is the best all around Leica digital to date. I'm hearing the M10 has some overheating issues, not sure if it's serious, but it doesn't seem to be enough of an improvement over the M240 anyway, especially given the cost, to go for.
  20. "I love how Allen is so dedicated to Leica, and his M8".Ray.

    Actually Im not dedicated to any camera or brand name. I just like to join in on the common camera is better than yours it has lots on whiz bang stuff to make me a better photographer.

    The M8 gets a lot of knocking particularly from Canon users which I find entertaining. A fun thing for me to respond.

    Its a great camera if you take into account its limitations, with image quality still there with the best. Don't believe the "tommy knockers" they wish they could afford one....;))
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2017

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