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Discussion in 'Leica M Forum' started by Photorx12, Jul 5, 2011.

  1. Photorx12

    Photorx12 SC Regular

    177
    May 31, 2011
    After talking to my wife and seeing how serious I have become with photography we compromised into me being able to purchase an M8. Truth be told I know next to nothing about these cameras in terms of what to look for such as how many shutter actuations is reasonable, price, and where to look. I have seen prices anywhere from
    $2000.00 to 5000.00 (my wife likes the first number better considering there is still glass to buy and I'm technically still on a student budget...sorta). Any suggestions before I get heavily involved in my search.
     
  2. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 12, 2010
    Philly, Pa
    Yeah.... Go use the X100.
    Do not buy an M8 without a warranty from a reputable dealer.
    You may get lucky if you don't but it's against all odds.

    Unless you absolutely must have different focal lengths, breathe and work the X100.
    Bill has an M8, maybe he will chime in...
     
  3. usayit

    usayit SC Regular

    113
    Sep 4, 2010
    I love my M8 but please be aware it was the first digital M. In general I avoid first run anything... but I made an exception in this case. Get as low of an actuation count as possible AND shoot highest ISO against a blank wall underexposing between half and full stop. You are looking for any vertical line artifacts.. when viewing the image on a monitor. Even if faint, the condition can get worse over time. I cant say for sure but many have reported Leica fixing the issue with little to no charge even after warranty expiration. Mine... had to be fixed and fortunately for me I live near Leica, NJ. Turn arpund eas quick. Also note the differences between the M8 and the M8.2 or what was upgraded if considering an upgraded M8.

    Also... as with all rangefinders, check the viewfinder, patch and alignment.

    First step, I'd say decide on the glass first. In this case, it can and most likely be the larger portion of your budget if buying new lenses.


    Not a single hiccup out of the M8 since.... well... except for a misbehaving third party battery I tried out. I also wouldnt consider one for $5000. At that point, you might as well save a little longer for an M9. As a personal preference, I would actually feel better if the camera WAS serviced for many of the more common issues.... less likely to happen again.
     
  4. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 12, 2010
    Philly, Pa
    Sound advice above. Don't you still have to use those stupid filters on the lenses with the 8?
     
  5. usayit

    usayit SC Regular

    113
    Sep 4, 2010
    Yes.. never was an issue for me... but I can understand it can be for others.

    I use high quality filters on all my lenses since I dont use caps; front nor rear... I have a habit of cleaning with my shirt. Its something i have done even in the film days... keeps cleaning marks off of the glass.. especially vintage glass that tend to be soft.

    Ive started to dabble in infrared digital... so strangly enough the 8s high sensitivity to IR is working in my favor.
     
  6. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 12, 2010
    Philly, Pa
    Hmmmm, I got 2 8's on release of the camera....after a short period one crapped out and became a brick. Then Around 2 weeks later the other did some crazy stuff also....
    My dealer panicked and sent both back...then I had 2 new cameras which means 4 in a 30 day period. The 1st of the replacement never started and the 2nd locked up many times...
    I resented having to use the filters even tho Leica gave me 6. I just felt that I shouldn't have to pay to be a beta tester.

    I sent them both back again and gave up on the M8. I was extremely saddened as I am a devout Leica user and have been for over 45 years.
    I hear tell the M8.2 is a good camera again.
    So, buyer beware on the M8. The M8.2 is a lot more money but worth it in my opinion. Of course the M9 is the dream of many.

    I trust the X100 as I only need the 35 FOV. Fuji did wonders with this camera and if one can use just one FOV, it's perfect. Auto ISO, high ISO, the 2 viewfinders working together....just pure genius.
    I predict that many will sell off the X100 in a short time because they can't deal with just a 35mm FOV.
     
  7. Photorx12

    Photorx12 SC Regular

    177
    May 31, 2011
    Thanx, I'm still in research mode. there are not too many Leica dealers here in houston, Texas so it might be a challenge getting one in my hands before actual purchase. will keep doing research.
     
  8. usayit

    usayit SC Regular

    113
    Sep 4, 2010
    Grew up southwest Houston... Try the houston camera exchange off of Richmond and Chimneyrock (if i recall correctly)
     
  9. defektive

    defektive SC Veteran

    375
    May 4, 2011
    Tasmania, Australia
    Sam
    My advice? Go for it, just be wary and do heaps of research.

    I went through the same process a few weeks ago after much angst and consternation. I was very concerned about forking out 2-3 large for a camera that may need considerable funds spent on it after purchase if I got one of the many M8 lemons that are about.

    The things that you need to be aware of are (and some of these have already been covered in this thread):
    1) vertical line and coloured flare that can occur at high ISO in poorly lit circumstances;
    2) I think there were some issues with the shutter release in early models;
    3) you need to purchase IR-cut filters for all lenses otherwise you will get "cyan drift";
    4) to achieve the most accurate colour reproduction wide angle M-mount lenses need to be 6-bit coded and LTM lenses need to have a 6-bit coded LTM-M adapter;
    5) some lenses exhibit focus shift when stopping down.

    The first two points were corrected in later versions of the M8 and M8.2 (that's right, the M8.2 came out with the same issues) and the other points you just have to live with. There are a few other reported problems that escape my memory but I think they were pretty much corrected at the same time as the issues I have described.

    Make sure you get a late model - on one of the other forums (RFF I think) someone describes the approximate serial number that was the first of the non-lemons. Try and get one with a warranty if you can. I bought my M8 with about 1500 actuations for US$2200 without a warranty in an auction. It was a big risk that I wasn't entirely comfortable with but it came from a good seller with a "like new" description and it had a nice high serial number. I was about to buy one from Tamarkin cameras (US based) but then I got this one cheap. Have a look at the Tamarkin website, they had quite a few to choose from when I was looking. You should be able to get a really good M8 for under $3000 and a M8.2 for a few hundred more.

    I also suggest you pay the $30 subscription to Reid's Reviews as Sean does some very good in depth reviews of Leica (and other) cameras and lenses. I paid $2000 for a lens based on his opinion and I'm very happy with it.

    Hope this helps,
    Sam
     
  10. Photorx12

    Photorx12 SC Regular

    177
    May 31, 2011
    I plan on going there after I'm though with all my exams this week. Just to gauge their prices and their stock, to give them some credit I did get my X100 from them at reg cost.
     
  11. Photorx12

    Photorx12 SC Regular

    177
    May 31, 2011
    Does the auto ISO work well while manually manipulating the shutter speed and aperture? Because I have never tried that and I live shooting in low light situations.
     
  12. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 12, 2010
    Philly, Pa
    On the X100, yes...it works in M mode. That's a great feature as some cameras don't.
     
  13. akulya

    akulya SC Veteran

    219
    Mar 1, 2011
    I started this thread when in a similar position to you, and recieved a great deal of good advice.
    Only you can know what camera fits your hands, and vision best. I wanted to try an M8 to see it it was for me.

    The quirks of the M8 are quite well documented online, but using one has to be your own personal experience before you decide to buy.

    I bought mine from a good dealer with a 12month warranty. It was no more expensive than similar completed sales on that auction site.
    While perhaps things can get exaggerated online, (and if you listen to some hyperbole, you might wonder if a single M8 built actually works), and I have not had any issues with mine - that 12month warranty from a bricks and mortar store is a great comfort.

    Some things I perhaps did not fully appreciate prior to owning one -
    You will pick it up wrong. Before you know what you are doing, there will be fingerprints all over the viewfinder and rangefinder windows. Keeping them clean makes a real difference.
    It is not like focussing a manual SLR (which I have done before), it is a different skill, and to get good at it takes practice. To nail focus first time in a fraction of a second - while certainly possible, probably takes months and months of practice. And I'm nowhere near yet.
    If you want true colours, you must use an IR cut filter. I got a genuine Leica one for free with the camera (whoo!) - but filters still cause flares from bright spots of light. So if you are shooting in inclement light; remove the filter and either shoot B&W and enjoy the rich slightly IR tones, or hope there are no colour critical dark synthetic fabrics in the shot (which is usually an easy call). I tend to leave my filter on unless shooting outside after dusk, as streetlights flare horribly.

    But that's about it for negatives.
    So far I'm really enjoying the experience.
     
  14. usayit

    usayit SC Regular

    113
    Sep 4, 2010
    Just fyi:

    If you ever intend on doing any infrared photography, the M8 is the one to get.... Went out for the first time with both the M8 and M9. Simply removing the IR/UV filter and replaced it with the 092 IR filter on my Elmarit 24mm. To my surprise, I was able to get hand-holdable shutter speeds at ISO 160-640 between f/2.8 - f/5.6. The M9 was stuck at exposure times in the order of seconds.

    Posting some in the Leica M image thread shortly.