Any reason to look at M8

Started Dec 18, 2012 | Discussions thread
spiegellos
Forum MemberPosts: 73Gear list
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Re: The M8 is still amazing... Here is why (with samples)
In reply to Bryan Campbell, Dec 19, 2012

Bryan Campbell wrote:

The best way to describe the M8 is that it's slightly more difficult to get perfect results in everyday use, simply because you are in completely control. You'll need to nail the focus, learn how to press the shutter down with minimal vibration, and you will need a UV/IR filter for each lens you use on the M8.

However, when you do nail the exposure, get spot on focus, and have that beautiful Leica glass, the best looking M8 photos I would prefer over ANYTHING I've seen outside of medium format cameras, with the exception of the M Monochrom, which is takes the most impressive photos I've ever seen.

I've had my M8 for awhile now and I even owned the Leica M9 breifly. I don't like the M9 color as much, there is something not quite right about it, although there are plenty of wonderful M9 photos out there by better photographers than me. The M8 is also slightly sharper than the M9 do to the lack of internal UV/IR filter.

I used to use the M8 up to ISO 1250 with black & white, but now I only use mine for ISO 160 and ISO 320 which the occasional ISO 640. I think that ISO 160 is completely magical. I've never seen another camera come close to this at low ISO.

Here is the kind of color and sharpness I can't quite get out of a CMOS sensor:

M8, 35mm Summarit, ISO 160

Here is a good example of smooth tonality and purity of colors you can get:

M8, 35 Summarit, ISO 160

A good example of sharpness throughout the frame, and if you are creative you can find ways to brace the camera and still use ISO 160 in dim lighting:

M8, 35 Summarit, ISO 160

Here is an ISO 640 photo with a little bit of noise reduction applied... It doesn't look quite as good as the above photos, and there is a bit less:

M8, 35 Summarit, ISO 640

Another ISO 640 photo when it was darker outside. Oddly enough it looks better than the one above that was taken during the day:

M8, 35 Summarit, ISO 640

Find out what focal lengths are you favorite and stick with just 1 lens at first and then work your way up to 2 or 3, but only if you feel the need. I recently added the 50 Summilux ASPH to my arsenal, but it's not calibrated perfectly with my M8, so I often miss focus. I do get lucky and guess the focus from time to time. This lens along with the 35 Summarit are the best I've used on any system by far.

M8, 50 Summilux ASPH, ISO 160

Anyway, I say forget the Leica M9 or Leica ME and get yourself a Leica M8 or Leica M8.2 that is in good condition. Find your favorite focal length and buy the Leica version. Don't forget to buy a UV/IR filter for it otherwise your color will be awful. Use Lightroom if possible for processing and get a good Leica M8 color profile installed. Take time to learn the camera, rangefinders are very different beasts than a DSLR.

I also have the Leica M8.2 and I agree 100%. It is together with my M6 the best camera I have in my collection. The workflow to get the best out of the M8 is another story but at the moment a combination of Lightroom 4.3 and RPP is a very good deal. A dream combination for the M8 is for sure the Summicron 28 and the Summilux 50 1.4 ASPH. Sharpness and look is hard to beat for every camera. The 8.2 fo me is the digital M3 only for the way the camera is made. Like a rock!

Best whishes from Germany Wetzlar.

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