How relevant is the M8?

Started Dec 11, 2013 | Discussions
user_name
Senior MemberPosts: 2,801Gear list
Like?
How relevant is the M8?
Dec 11, 2013

Given that I shoot with the Nikon D800, I was wondering if the M8 would be relevant as a second camera for more discrete casual shooting where carrying the D800 is not so practical?

While I find the idea of a small rangefinder tantalizing I am wondering if I will find it disappointing with its limitations.

Incidentally, I tried the Sony A7, but the EVF is a turn off, so I am thinking other mirrorless cameras will be an even worse letdown.

Is my consideration of the M8 more folly than anything else?

 user_name's gear list:user_name's gear list
Leica M8 Nikon D700 Nikon D800
Nikon D800 Sony Alpha 7
If you believe there are incorrect tags, please send us this post using our feedback form.
mgatov
Senior MemberPosts: 1,039Gear list
Like?
Re: How relevant is the M8?
In reply to user_name, Dec 11, 2013

It is an outdated APS-C body that is no longer rebuildable by Leica.  Folks who have had them fail receive coupons for a discount off of a current body.  It also requires the lenses to have IR filters on them. It is now over 7 yrs. old.  Would you want to buy something that old from another manufacturer?

 mgatov's gear list:mgatov's gear list
Sony RX100 Sony RX1 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 Nikon D810
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
JDLaing
Senior MemberPosts: 2,235Gear list
Like?
Re: How relevant is the M8?
In reply to user_name, Dec 11, 2013

Relavent is the wrong word.

It is still a very useable camera. Probably the cheapest way into rangefinder photography.

An M8.2 would be a better choice. A full frame M9 even better.

 JDLaing's gear list:JDLaing's gear list
Leica M8.2 Leica M9-P Leica M Typ 240 Leica Tri-Elmar-M 16-18-21mm f/4 ASPH Leica Summilux-M 50mm f/1.4 ASPH +8 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
jpfisher
Regular MemberPosts: 259Gear list
Like?
Re: How relevant is the M8?
In reply to user_name, Dec 11, 2013

I sold my M8 about a year ago.  It's an older camera, with some limitations that your D800 doesn't have. The sensor is a CCD and, if you shoot Raw/DNG, I'd keep it set to ISO 1250 or less; was always very happy with the output at ISO 640. Even with an f/1.4 lens that limits the light you'll use it in, but then you have the D800 for those times.

The mechanics and build are still impressive. Bright, clear viewfinder and rangefinder patch with excellent contrast.

If you haven't shot with an RF before, there are differences between it and an SLR. You deal with rough, rather than precise, framing, a different focus method, and a lack of DOF preview.

If you're intrigued by the idea of the M8, give it a shot. Try and find a used body with a recent service from Leica, start with one lens. If you like, great. If not, shouldn't lose too much in value, depending on how long you hold on to it.

There are other SLR options to consider, D610 and DF among them. Not worlds different than the D800 in size, but if you pair them with a smaller prime... Nikon made a 45mm pancake that might be a good fit.

 jpfisher's gear list:jpfisher's gear list
Ricoh GR Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 Leica M Typ 240 Pentax smc FA 31mm F1.8 AL Limited Pentax smc FA 43mm F1.9 Limited +26 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Daedalus2000
Senior MemberPosts: 4,564
Like?
Re: How relevant is the M8?
In reply to mgatov, Dec 11, 2013

mgatov wrote:

It is an outdated APS-C body that is no longer rebuildable by Leica. Folks who have had them fail receive coupons for a discount off of a current body. It also requires the lenses to have IR filters on them. It is now over 7 yrs. old. Would you want to buy something that old from another manufacturer?

Just a small correction. It does not have a APS-C sensor, it has an APS-H sensor (multiplier of 1.33 vs 1.5 for the APS-C).

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
xtforest
Regular MemberPosts: 490Gear list
Like?
Re: How relevant is the M8?
In reply to JDLaing, Dec 11, 2013

There are plenty of M8 fans here, myself included. I happen to like the M8's metering better than the M9's, and it doubles as a great B&W cam when used without IR-cut filters.  I can hand-hold it in dim light at 1/8s without any focusing issues, unlike with a dSLR. Sure, it's days are numbered, like any electronic appliance these days, so enjoy it whilst you've got it.

Rob

 xtforest's gear list:xtforest's gear list
Leica D-Lux 6 Leica M8 Olympus E-1 Olympus E-3 Olympus E-500 +34 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Gunston Gun
Regular MemberPosts: 348Gear list
Like?
Re: How relevant is the M8?
In reply to xtforest, Dec 11, 2013

xtforest wrote:

There are plenty of M8 fans here, myself included. I happen to like the M8's metering better than the M9's, and it doubles as a great B&W cam when used without IR-cut filters. I can hand-hold it in dim light at 1/8s without any focusing issues, unlike with a dSLR. Sure, it's days are numbered, like any electronic appliance these days, so enjoy it whilst you've got it.

Rob

how does the M8 metering differ from M9?

 Gunston Gun's gear list:Gunston Gun's gear list
Leica M8.2 Leica M9 Fujifilm X-Pro1 Leica Summicron-M 50mm f/2 Carl Zeiss Biogon T* 2,8/25 ZM +7 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
user_name
Senior MemberPosts: 2,801Gear list
Like?
Re: How relevant is the M8?
In reply to jpfisher, Dec 11, 2013

Looked at the Df and it's size is still a little larger than I want for discrete shooting.

I did not like the front command dial as it was horrible to adjust.

The Df viewfinder is smaller than the D800 in apparent size, which doesn't help aging eyes.

I have not looked at the D610, but I suspect the size is going to be no better.

I bought a Voightlander 40mm SL II f/2.0 for the D800, which helps reduce the size some.  Neither the D800 nor the Df is really designed with manual focus in mind (no availability for a dedicated focus screen).

I remember playing with my Dad's Leica when I was a kid and I guess I just have a returning interest in trying a RF for the fun of it.

I expect my RF perception no longer matches reality any more, so I have my reservations about what I will find.

The M8 seemed like a relatively inexpensive way to toe the water, but as people have said, it is a 7 year camera and I am using a relatively high end D800 now.

I suppose there is always something like an M3 film camera.

 user_name's gear list:user_name's gear list
Leica M8 Nikon D700 Nikon D800
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
fti
fti
Contributing MemberPosts: 950
Like?
Re: How relevant is the M8?
In reply to user_name, Dec 11, 2013

In your signature it seems you have a A7 also. Isn't this small enough for you? Seem like a great camera.

I would recommend the M8 to anyone....anyone that is who wouldn't have problems focusing. I wear glasses and when I tried my hands on the DF I was taken back by how big and bright the VF was. You might be let down by the VF of the M8. That aside, the M8 is still relevant and can take superb pictures in the right hands.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
user_name
Senior MemberPosts: 2,801Gear list
Like?
Re: How relevant is the M8?
In reply to fti, Dec 11, 2013

No A7, just a D700 & D800, but I did try one and I found the EVF very disturbing with its smearing and jittery picture.

 user_name's gear list:user_name's gear list
Leica M8 Nikon D700 Nikon D800
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Toccata47
Senior MemberPosts: 2,235
Like?
Re: How relevant is the M8?
In reply to user_name, Dec 11, 2013

Do you shoot color above iso 640, or b&w above 1,250? Do you plan to use lens filters? Are you okay with spending roughly 2,000 usd for a 7 year old digital camera with a cropped sensor?

If the answers are no, no and yes the m8 is entirely relevant.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
jpfisher
Regular MemberPosts: 259Gear list
Like?
Re: How relevant is the M8?
In reply to user_name, Dec 11, 2013

Understood. I am puzzled that Nikon didn't put a split-prism in the DF, or at least offer it up as an option, given that it lauded compatibility with pre-AI lenses. But I believe you'd be able to change it aftermarket if you really wanted to; you can do the same with the D800, even though it's not officially supported. (Whether you *want* to do that is another matter.)

You should be able to get an M8 for under $2000 at this point. Like I said, if you don't like it, you won't lose too much in value reselling it. Starter lens depends on your preferred focal lenght, but if you like a 40mm on full-frame, consider a 28mm on the M8. Older Leica 28mm lenses sell in the $1,000 range, and there are more modern options from Leica (an Elmarit 28mm ASPH should be around $1,700 used), Voigtlander and Zeiss.

The camera has some quirks. There is the magenta cast color issue, solved by using a B&W 486 UV/Ir filter. It's slow to write to a card compared to more modern bodies. The rear LCD is blah, and some panels have stopped working over time. (That's one part of the camera that Leica cannot fix anymore, apparently.) Just be aware of what you're getting yourself into.

 jpfisher's gear list:jpfisher's gear list
Ricoh GR Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 Leica M Typ 240 Pentax smc FA 31mm F1.8 AL Limited Pentax smc FA 43mm F1.9 Limited +26 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
bosjohn
Veteran MemberPosts: 4,890
Like?
Re: How relevant is the M8?
In reply to user_name, Dec 11, 2013

the M8 is a fine image making machine.  you could hardly do better for a second camera. While its not the most up to date Leica it still is capable of some very stunning images.

the m8 was and is a fine camera. it has a couple two three quirks but is capable of fine imaging, these are all m8 images.  The camera has a few qirks such as the need for cut filters and removing the batterey to un freeze it. but an M8 in good working order is still a competitive machine.

-- hide signature --

bosjohn aka John Shick bosjohn@yahoo.com

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
bosjohn
Veteran MemberPosts: 4,890
Like?
Re: How relevant is the M8?
In reply to mgatov, Dec 11, 2013

aps C H its much bigger than the average aps C sensor. I did and still does perform very very well and give you instant access to the superlative leica lenses without adapters etc. all in all if I wanted a second body I would find an m 8 in good working order very attractive.

-- hide signature --

bosjohn aka John Shick bosjohn@yahoo.com

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
user_name
Senior MemberPosts: 2,801Gear list
Like?
Re: How relevant is the M8?
In reply to bosjohn, Dec 11, 2013

Thanks!

Love the shots.

On the first picture, what is that square box at the right end of the log?

 user_name's gear list:user_name's gear list
Leica M8 Nikon D700 Nikon D800
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
bosjohn
Veteran MemberPosts: 4,890
Like?
Re: How relevant is the M8?
In reply to user_name, Dec 11, 2013

This shot is from Acoma Pueblo and I believe the small building to be an out door ahem well you know out side ok privy

-- hide signature --

bosjohn aka John Shick bosjohn@yahoo.com

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
user_name
Senior MemberPosts: 2,801Gear list
Like?
Re: How relevant is the M8?
In reply to bosjohn, Dec 11, 2013

I know. I'll bet you never tried one at -15°F.

 user_name's gear list:user_name's gear list
Leica M8 Nikon D700 Nikon D800
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
TClair
Senior MemberPosts: 2,643Gear list
Like?
Re: How relevant is the M8?
In reply to user_name, Dec 11, 2013

I'm currently selling my M8 (upgraded to M8.2) on E-Bay but I know I will miss it.  It offers a involvement with the photo taking process that you don't get anywhere else.  I was always very happy with the image quality and the only time focus was off was when I screw up.  Another thing I noticed after two years of shooting with it is I shot less images and had more keepers.  The only reason I'm selling it is support other hobbies and I'm content with the quality from my M4/3 camera.  I do plan to keep my lenses as they work on my existing camera.

 TClair's gear list:TClair's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5 Sony Alpha 7
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
bosjohn
Veteran MemberPosts: 4,890
Like?
Re: How relevant is the M8?
In reply to user_name, Dec 11, 2013

poooooolllllllleeeeeeezzzzz heheh I am a Minnesota and Vermont boy

-- hide signature --

bosjohn aka John Shick bosjohn@yahoo.com

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
LeitzKameraAktion
Regular MemberPosts: 104
Like?
Re: How relevant is the M8?
In reply to Gunston Gun, Dec 11, 2013

Gunston Gun wrote:

how does the M8 metering differ from M9?

The M8 has a single central white line on the shutter, while the M9 adds a pair of mid grey lines either side of the single white line. This makes the M8's metering a bit more selective than the M9's - more heavily centre-weighted.

On a per-pixel basis, M8 images look noticeably crisper than the M9's, and the M8 delivers better colour too - providing you use the IR cut filters, of course. I find the M8 produces truer more natural skin tones. M8 colours look brighter and 'fresher' than the M9. And don't forget the M8's excellent B&W tonality - again, not matched by the M9!

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads