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Dr.Gargoyle
Feb 26, 2007, 07:48 PM
Just curious if anyone have anyone tried out or bought the new Leica M8 (http://www.leica-camera.us/photography/m_system/m8/).
I am very interested to put it mildly. But since it is a lot of money I would like to hear if anyone of you guys have any personal experience of the camera.



wmmk
Feb 26, 2007, 09:57 PM
Just curious if anyone have anyone tried out or bought the new Leica M8 (http://www.leica-camera.us/photography/m_system/m8/).
I am very interested to put it mildly. But since it is a lot of money I would like to hear if anyone of you guys have any personal experience of the camera.

I've been going to the Leica site about twice a week just to look at it and drool. I'd never buy it because I don't have that kind of money and also because my current level of photography prowess doesn't exactly warrant a purchase of that sort. That said, I hope to pick up an old screwmount Leica and a nice bunch of HP5+ film. The IIF Red Dial 1/1000 with a missing release collar is only $165 at keh, and I could get a 50mm f/3.5 genuine Leitz for only $149. Not particularly fast of technologically, but it'd be a $315 Leica kit. Not bad!

GoCubsGo
Feb 26, 2007, 10:09 PM
No but it is tempting. I think I may call some buddies and see if they can hook me up with a visit. With that said, I've used an M7 and I love it. Personally, I think people may believe Leica is a bit overrated, but I simply adore then and their digital line is to die for.
But I am biased, I love a good rangefinder.

Dr.Gargoyle
Feb 26, 2007, 10:41 PM
I've been going to the Leica site about twice a week just to look at it and drool. I actually held it in my hand a week ago. My credit card kept screaming until I let it go. You are correct in that hardware doesn't do the photo, but it sure helps.
Moreover, both Leica and Hasselblad play in a way different league when it comes to life span. How many 50+ year old Nikon or Canon still at work do you see out there? Ok, the house might be outdated faster than the old M cameras, but I am pretty sure the lenses will last you for life.
Leica and Hasselblad are known for extreme backward/forward compatibility. From what I have understood, you can use lenses from 1954 with the new M8 as long as you decode them.
But yeah... it is serious money. Just ask my credit card. :o

No but it is tempting. I think I may call some buddies and see if they can hook me up with a visit. With that said, I've used an M7 and I love it. Personally, I think people may believe Leica is a bit overrated, but I simply adore then and their digital line is to die for.
But I am biased, I love a good rangefinder.
Overrated? Sour grapes I say.
I like the compact form of the M-series. it comes in very hand when you want to be inconspicuous. Just try to sneak around with SLR. I used to lug around with two Nikons. Those two and extra lenses made me look like an old mine. It was very hard to get those "natural" shots before people spotted me or my cameras rather.
Besides, as I said above I think you have to look at it as a long term investment. Even if you for some reason need to get rid of the camera, the resale value of a Leica is extremely good compared to any other brand (Hasselblad excluded).
Please get back and tell what you think if you get an opportunity to try out the M8. I might be able to get my credit card to shut up.

Felldownthewell
Feb 26, 2007, 11:27 PM
I saw this when it first came out. I nearly had a heart attack. And I don't even like rangefinders. I use a 30 year old+ cannon SLR (AE-1) but not much can compare to the quality, both in the build and in the pictures, of a leica. When I win the lottery, this will be one my first purchases. And if you're nice to me I might buy you too :p

ksz
Feb 26, 2007, 11:57 PM
I know I'll be riddled with an AK-47 or a BFG-9000, but what's all the fuss about rangefinders? What is the unique benefit of a rangefinder?

Leica mentions that the M8 is "the first timeless digital camera..." However, the words "digital" and "timeless" don't seem to go together. Unlike film, which improved over the years and decades, and was still fully compatible with 35mm film cameras, digital is a different paradigm.

Digital sensor technology is about a decade old, and advances are going to be dramatic in the next 10 years, with improved sensitivity (dynamic range) and reduced noise and whatever else. You cannot remove and replace the sensor as you could do with film.

Leica's premise is that today's 10 megapixel sensor is going to last you a lifetime...okay. But digital technology is going to move fast. Five years ago, 3 and 4 megapixel cameras were everywhere. Today the norm is 6 to 8. Fairly soon, 10 MP will be entry-level. Yes yes, megapixels aren't everything, but there is an upward trend in megapixels.

Dr.Gargoyle
Feb 27, 2007, 12:37 AM
Leica's premise is that today's 10 megapixel sensor is going to last you a lifetime...okay. But digital technology is going to move fast. Five years ago, 3 and 4 megapixel cameras were everywhere. Today the norm is 6 to 8. Fairly soon, 10 MP will be entry-level. Yes yes, megapixels aren't everything, but there is an upward trend in megapixels.
First of all, I doubt you are able to see any difference in a normal sized photo taken by a 6Mpx and a 12Mpx camera with the same technology in the optic sensor. I am equally sure that you would be able to see a difference between photos taken with the same optic sensor but different optics.
In short, the lenses are the weakest link.
Secondly, A good "normal" cost just as much as the house. A fisheye is a fortune. As a consequence, most photographers have much more money invested in optics than in the house. That is one reason Leica and Hasselblad have become so popular. You can keep your old lenses for decades which implies a "new" camera isn't that expensive. You "just" have to pay for a new house.

When I win the lottery, this will be one my first purchases. And if you're nice to me I might buy you too :p
Deal! ...and when I win, I'll buy you a noctilux, ;)

ChrisA
Feb 27, 2007, 02:01 AM
I know I'll be riddled with an AK-47 or a BFG-9000, but what's all the fuss about rangefinders? What is the unique benefit of a rangefinder?

Leica mentions that the M8 is "the first timeless digital camera..." However, the words "digital" and "timeless" don't seem to go together. Unlike film, which improved over the years and decades, and was still fully compatible with 35mm film cameras, digital is a different paradigm.

Digital sensor technology is about a decade old, and advances are going to be dramatic in the next 10 years, with improved sensitivity (dynamic range) and reduced noise and whatever else. You cannot remove and replace the sensor as you could do with film.

Leica's premise is that today's 10 megapixel sensor is going to last you a lifetime...okay. But digital technology is going to move fast. Five years ago, 3 and 4 megapixel cameras were everywhere. Today the norm is 6 to 8. Fairly soon, 10 MP will be entry-level. Yes yes, megapixels aren't everything, but there is an upward trend in megapixels.

First off, the megapixel race WILL end. THere is no point in sampling more then about 80 lines per milimeter and that means about 200 pixels per mm. For a 24mm frame that means 4800 pixels across the long ways. After that there is no point. So if you have a full frame (36mm x 24mm) sensor that is about 35MP there is nothing to be gained with more pixels. Actually I doubt they will go past 24MP in consumer cameras.

CCD sensor technology is much older then 10 years. 10 years is only 1997. I remember seeing a digital camera used in the press box when the olympics were in Los Angeles in 1984. I was also in the press box and saw the camera first hand. No it was not a production camera but it was real. But I was in the industry and knew how CCDs worked and had dealt with many CCDimages in 1984. What has happened is that in the last 10 years the technoloy has gotten cheap enough that in is now in consummer cameras. Before it was only to be found in astronomical observatories and in space and cost more then anyone could afford. I think the basic technology dates from the 1970's A bit over 30 years old now. I know I have a book with 80's copyright on the subject.

For enlaments up to about 13 inches wide a 10MP camera will do fine. Doubling the MP count will only get you 1.4 times larger prints

THere is a limit to how much you can reduce noise. The limit is because light comes in packets call photons and photons are random events. Current CCDs are close to the limit there is nothing like a 10X factor of improvement left we are already close to counting photons. The way you imprve noise and dynamic range is by making the pixels larger. Market forces want to drive the pixels smaller. My guess is that there forces will balance at about a 24MP full frame sensor. When this happens digital will match the best film for image quality.

Dr.Gargoyle
Feb 27, 2007, 11:09 AM
I know I'll be riddled with an AK-47 or a BFG-9000, but what's all the fuss about rangefinders? What is the unique benefit of a rangefinder?

CNET (http://reviews.cnet.com/Leica_M8_silver/4505-6501_7-32077811.html?tag=also) explains it rather good:

"For those of you unfamiliar with rangefinders, the cameras offer certain advantages over SLRs. Foremost is the lack of a mirror. Since they use a rangefinder instead of a mirror and prism, you never lose sight of your subject as you do when an SLR's mirror flips up to capture an image. You also don't get the internal vibrations that go along with the mirror slapping up inside the camera, which can rob your images of an extra--though admittedly very minor--level of sharpness capable with a rangefinder. Plus, since rangefinders are smaller than SLRs, in this case 5.46x3.16x1.45 inches (body only), it's easier to bring them with you wherever you go.

Also, rangefinders--especially Leicas--are traditionally much quieter than SLRs, again the result of SLRs' mirror slap. This can be particularly advantageous in street photography or any other situation in which the photographer wants to remain unnoticed. However, the M8's shutter is electronically controlled, which means that rather than the winding lever found on the company's film rangefinders, an electronic motor cocks the shutter. While still a lot quieter than an SLR, the M8 isn't as whisper-soft as some Leicas."

ksz
Feb 27, 2007, 12:38 PM
First off, the megapixel race WILL end. THere is no point in sampling more then about 80 lines per milimeter and that means about 200 pixels per mm. For a 24mm frame that means 4800 pixels across the long ways. After that there is no point. So if you have a full frame (36mm x 24mm) sensor that is about 35MP there is nothing to be gained with more pixels. Actually I doubt they will go past 24MP in consumer cameras.
I mostly agree, but it's unwise to use absolutes like "WILL end." The future can be full of surprises. If sensor size stays the same, there is a practical limit to the number of pixels that can (or should) be squeezed into that space. However, new sensor technologies (such as the Foveon sensor) can improve image quality by eliminating the Bayer-type sensor and its demosaicing artifacts (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demosaicing).

By arranging the primary color pixels into three overlapping layers, Foveon can make each pixel larger and thus improve sensitivity and reduce noise. They can even increase pixel density. (Current versions of the Foveon X3 exhibit slightly reduced low-light sensitivity, but this may be resolved in newer generations.)

THere is a limit to how much you can reduce noise. The limit is because light comes in packets call photons and photons are random events. Current CCDs are close to the limit there is nothing like a 10X factor of improvement left we are already close to counting photons. The way you imprve noise and dynamic range is by making the pixels larger. Market forces want to drive the pixels smaller. My guess is that there forces will balance at about a 24MP full frame sensor. When this happens digital will match the best film for image quality.
A Bayer-type sensor is relatively inefficient because the pixels for each of the primary colors are co-located on the same plane. A Bayer sensor's total photosite area is about 1/3 that of a Foveon sensor. In the future there may be entirely new sensor technologies using more exotic materials and boasting higher packing densities.

Also, the future will bring replacements to USB and flash memory formats. Just as today's computers are shedding legacy components such as the RS-232 serial bus, PS/2 connectors, AGP, PCI, ATA, and floppy drives, future computers will shed USB and today's flash memory formats in favor of entirely new standards. The Leica M8, in this case, will not be able to export its data to those computers unless you buy adapters to mate old technology with new.

I'm therefore extremely leary of any claims of "timeless"ness in the digital world.

maxi
Feb 28, 2007, 06:31 PM
I love rangefinders, and while I'm a contax guy, the M8 looks nice. Still, there were serious color cast & IR issues with the camera, which were fixed by Leica by putting a filter in front of the lens. Do you know if this has changed in the newer production cameras or are you still required to use these filters?

SRSound
Feb 28, 2007, 06:38 PM
I saw this when it first came out. I nearly had a heart attack. And I don't even like rangefinders. I use a 30 year old+ cannon SLR (AE-1) but not much can compare to the quality, both in the build and in the pictures, of a leica. When I win the lottery, this will be one my first purchases. And if you're nice to me I might buy you too :p

Hey! I use a Canon AE-1P and love it!

Dr.Gargoyle
Mar 1, 2007, 07:58 AM
I love rangefinders, and while I'm a contax guy, the M8 looks nice. Still, there were serious color cast & IR issues with the camera, which were fixed by Leica by putting a filter in front of the lens. Do you know if this has changed in the newer production cameras or are you still required to use these filters?
I know about the problem with the too thin IR filter in front of the CCD. I don't know if it has been fixed, or if you still are eligible to get two filters for free.