Any reason to look at M8

Started Dec 18, 2012 | Discussions thread
mrwilkins Forum Member • Posts: 70
Re: Any reason to look at M8

Hey there!

I'm not sure what country you're in, but used M8 cameras are available for under US $1500.

As an owner of both an M8 (with the 35/1.4 ASPH, 50/2 non-ASPH, and 75/1.4) and a Nikon D800-based system, I can offer some thoughts.

The Leica M-system, being strictly oriented toward manual focus, is awesome when you're shooting a still scene and very, very challenging when you're trying to shoot anything in motion.  Yes, there are effective tricks for pre-focusing and manually executing the equivalent of trap focus, and if you become an expert Leica user you're going to have a lot of practice with these, but it takes work and you're going to have a lot of missed shots.

The Leica system's optics are amazing. I also own an M7, and when I first started shooting with it, I'd get a roll of film back from the lab and my jaw would drop open wide at a few of the 4x5 prints from each roll.  I have trouble putting my finger on what it is that made me feel this way.  It's not really sharpness, because I would be having this reaction looking at small prints at arm's length.  It might be contrast, but more I feel like it was something about the quality of the transition between in-focus and out-of-focus areas.  The 35/1.4 ASPH and the 35/2 ASPH (which I briefly owned) both provoked this feeling.  I feel like the Leica's an optimal low-light tool.

However, I do prefer my Nikon system for general photography.  It's just too easy to screw up a particular shot with the Leica.  (Particularly on the M7, where I have at least once opened the bottom cover without rewinding the film, but that's a different matter.)

I mentioned this in another thread on here, but I like using the Leica when I can be slow, deliberative, and careful.  If a friend wanted a really striking portrait and was willing to tolerate a long session, I might reach for it.  However, a camera with good autofocus will help you capture a decisive moment a lot more reliably.

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