Used Leica M8 or wait until new Mx arrives and the price of an M9 to go down?
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paregorike
Registered: May 20, 2008
Total Posts: 1006
Country: United States

Used Leica M8 or wait until new Mx arrives and the price of an M9 to go down?

I've been reading and got into the allure of Leica. This would most likely be used primarily for portrait use.

I'm looking to spend 2k for a used Leica M8, or deciding on whether to wait until prices go down on the M9 when and IF a new Leica (aside from the Monochrom M) comes out.

I would be spending slowly on voightlander 50 1.1, and eventually MAYBE a Leica 35 1.4 eventually.

I have a plethora of camera bodies and lenses, so time isn't so much of an urgency.

Suggestions?

Thanks.

Ron



vallejo
Registered: Jan 20, 2005
Total Posts: 382
Country: Brazil

Just to know, have you ever used a rangefinder? I ask because many people see all the good things about Ms but after trying to quick focus with it on large apertures, change their mind...



paregorike
Registered: May 20, 2008
Total Posts: 1006
Country: United States

Never. I have seen videos and read about how the Leica M's focus... I was wondering how I would fare with the focus system.



edwardkaraa
Registered: Sep 27, 2004
Total Posts: 6861
Country: Thailand

RF focusing is very fast and accurate, but needs some practice in the beginning for someone coming from DSLR. As far as I'm concerned, I never had any accuracy problems, but I'm still working on the speed

I think the guys who change their mind give up too quickly.

As for the OP question, the M10 will be announced in September, but probably won't be available before the first quarter of 2013. Knowing Leica's history, there would be a long waiting list and slow deliveries, so counting on the price of the M9 dropping soon would be too optimistic IMHO.



JonasY
Registered: Aug 25, 2008
Total Posts: 416
Country: Sweden

What sane person would spend 2k of their hard earned money on a body with a five year old sensor that is worthless above ISO 640 and requires one to manually focus their lenses? The answer is of course no one, which is why I bought one.

Any sane person would be better off with a 5N and a EVF. The Leica is fundamentally different to every other German product out there, which you buy with your brain, and rather like an Italian car you know is faulty and totally useless but you still urge to have one because ... it attracts to your heart.



Bijltje
Registered: Jun 29, 2004
Total Posts: 758
Country: Netherlands

paregorike wrote:
Used Leica M8 or wait until new Mx arrives and the price of an M9 to go down?

I've been reading and got into the allure of Leica. This would most likely be used primarily for portrait use.

I'm looking to spend 2k for a used Leica M8, or deciding on whether to wait until prices go down on the M9 when and IF a new Leica (aside from the Monochrom M) comes out.

I would be spending slowly on voightlander 50 1.1, and eventually MAYBE a Leica 35 1.4 eventually.

I have a plethora of camera bodies and lenses, so time isn't so much of an urgency.

Suggestions?

Thanks.

Ron


I think when there will be a M10, it will be priced even higher than the current m9 or m9p. Besides long waiting lists ect. Also there were rumors about the m9P being kept next to the M10.

So eventually I don't see the m9's prices to drop that much. I saw some now for 3600 to 3700 euro but they came without documents so there was a reason for that. Seems like a pretty neat price to me and I don't expect that to drop fast, let alone to 2000 dollar.

The M8 at low iso's is an absolute joy to have. Together with an fast 28mm you really can't go wrong. I still like its colours better at iso 160 than what I get from the M9

And it being your first time M or rangefinder, the M8 can be sold quite easely for the same amount you will buy it for now. I placed my M8 two weeks ago on a dutch website for selling goods (bit like ebay) and in one day I got about 15 reactions. So if you don't like it there's not that much to loose.



Mescalamba
Registered: Jul 06, 2011
Total Posts: 2930
Country: Czech Republic

It will take at least year or two to M9 come to sensible price and only if M10 will be really good (eg. worth upgrading for current M9 users).

If you want some camera now and can afford it, its usually good idea to buy it.. Life is short. And I think selling M8 wont be much issue..



paregorike
Registered: May 20, 2008
Total Posts: 1006
Country: United States

Thanks for the input... I just have to figure out selling some current gear to buy the M8 and a lense or two.

Ron



saneproduction
Registered: Nov 03, 2010
Total Posts: 1224
Country: N/A

How bad are the downsides of the m8? It has a 1.3 crop, needs special filters etc right?



kosmoskatten
Registered: Oct 11, 2005
Total Posts: 2897
Country: Sweden

I've owned the M9, handled the M8 briefly but found the M8 lacking in too many departments to justify a buy.

The M8 comes very hard to recommend for several reasons. Build quality isn't one of them though.



Bijltje
Registered: Jun 29, 2004
Total Posts: 758
Country: Netherlands

kosmoskatten wrote:
I've owned the M9, handled the M8 briefly but found the M8 lacking in too many departments to justify a buy.

The M8 comes very hard to recommend for several reasons. Build quality isn't one of them though.


Only thing it has against it are:

1: you need uv/ir filteres. Not that big a deal because the filters are just on the lenses all te time like regular UV filters are used on other camera's. Only buying is more expensive over the standard UV filter (100 euro) but there are a lot of old M8 owners who gladly want to sell theirs for far less. So not really a disadvantage.

2: High ISO isn't that good, nevertheless I spend 3 years with the M8 and never missed a shot because of that. After some practice slow shutter speeds can be used than with a dslr.

3: 1,33x crop: This was for me the reason to upgrade to a m9p. But as with most camera out there being crop camera, its pretty easy to live with. Especially when you have a 28 cron as "35mm".
You also don't have the small finder you get with dslr crop body's, just the same 0,68 finder as you will find in the M9.

4: GAS or LAS, before you know it you have a 28 cron, 35 lux and 50 lux and are looking for a M9 or M10 to buy.

5: Prices: Simple things like a smaller charger, releasecable or battery still have leica prices.

6: No lens selection in menu like the M9. Lenses, really the ones under 35mm, needs to be coded. Not a problem when u only have leica lenses, can be with VC lenses. But for only a few dollars there are the sharpie code systems with works fine.

Things in its favor:

1: incredible quality and colors on low ISO's. Never been more pleased with pictures, like them more than the M9's low iso shots.

2: Its a rangefinder: Besides the Epson the only availeble digital rangefinder in reasonable price.

3: Build like a tank

4: pretty easy to sell, and won't devalue that fast if you buy used. I sold my M8 for 300 euro less than I bought it 3 years earlier. Can't do that with a canon or nikon.

5: Big sensor camera in a relative small body and with some of the best lenses out there under 2000 dollar .

6: Did I already say the colors are incredible??



rscheffler
Registered: Aug 23, 2005
Total Posts: 4614
Country: Canada

I also agree M9 prices are not likely to hit $2000 soon, but I have seen the occasional one selling for under $4000...

Not sure I would go for the Voigtlander 50 f/1.1 as my first lens. It seems to have its own set of quirks. The Voigtlander 50 f/1.5 would be an easier one to start with. It's discontinued but you can find good copies in the $500 range. Otherwise the Zeiss 50 f/2 is excellent without any unexpected surprises.

If you sold all that Nikon gear you could put together a nice Leica kit... well, maybe two lenses



paregorike
Registered: May 20, 2008
Total Posts: 1006
Country: United States

rscheffler wrote:
I also agree M9 prices are not likely to hit $2000 soon, but I have seen the occasional one selling for under $4000...

Not sure I would go for the Voigtlander 50 f/1.1 as my first lens. It seems to have its own set of quirks. The Voigtlander 50 f/1.5 would be an easier one to start with. It's discontinued but you can find good copies in the $500 range. Otherwise the Zeiss 50 f/2 is excellent without any unexpected surprises.

If you sold all that Nikon gear you could put together a nice Leica kit... well, maybe two lenses


I know.. LoL. I'd just probably have a used M9 and TWO lenses.. the most!



millsart
Registered: Apr 29, 2009
Total Posts: 4249
Country: N/A

Having owned a M8.2, M9 and Fuji X-Pro, given your budget and usage, I would suggest you consider an XPro first.

The 35mm and 60mm lenses are both excellent and would serve you very well for portrait shooting. Likewise, the Xpro AF isn't that fast, but again for portrait work it is very accurate, and the XPro high ISO performance is amazing as well, would but a M8 to shame in fact.

M10 or not, I don't think M9 prices are going to be anywhere near what your looking to pay and probably would be $4k still, if not higher.

You have to remember there is a very good chance a M10 could easily be $8000+. Leica doesn't operate like Canikon where each new model is better spec'd and cheaper than the one before it.

There simply isn't going to be a Leica D800 type camera for a mere $3k or a $1500 "entry level" FF offering with 24megs etc.

As such, I think many are going to be "stuck" with their M9's just because the price is going to get a bit hard to justify for a lot of users and its certainly not like the M9 is a bad camera either.

You could of course get a M8 but I personally thought it was a rather flawed camera and upgraded to a M9 ASAP.



Mescalamba
Registered: Jul 06, 2011
Total Posts: 2930
Country: Czech Republic

X-Pro 1 isnt rangefinder, its pretty much regular mirrorless with somewhat "rangefinderish" behaving. And its sh*t load of trouble in most aspects. Fuji stuff is usually for ppl who likes to suffer a lot.

M8 might be flawed camera, but at least it works and shoots.

There are quite cheap Leicas, even full-frames, small problem is, that they are using film. (M3 is quite worth trying IMHO)



saneproduction
Registered: Nov 03, 2010
Total Posts: 1224
Country: N/A

Which lenses are the best starter lenses considering the crop factor and bang for the buck.



millsart
Registered: Apr 29, 2009
Total Posts: 4249
Country: N/A

saneproduction wrote:
Which lenses are the best starter lenses considering the crop factor and bang for the buck.



Depends totally on what you like to shoot. I thought the CV15 was fantastic on my M8.2 because with the crop factor it gave me a 21mm equiv ultra wide (and Voigtlander just happened to make some very nice and affordable 21mm external finders as well)

Of course if one doesn't like wide angle, its hardly a good choice, and by that same token, for someone who enjoys shooting wide, a 90 Elmarit, while a great bang for the buck lens as well wouldn't be very fun



millsart
Registered: Apr 29, 2009
Total Posts: 4249
Country: N/A

Mescalamba wrote:
X-Pro 1 isnt rangefinder, its pretty much regular mirrorless with somewhat "rangefinderish" behaving. And its sh*t load of trouble in most aspects. Fuji stuff is usually for ppl who likes to suffer a lot.

M8 might be flawed camera, but at least it works and shoots.

There are quite cheap Leicas, even full-frames, small problem is, that they are using film. (M3 is quite worth trying IMHO)



It isn't Gee, how silly I must have been owning one and not knowing what it really is.

Of course its not a RF, but given that the OP hasn't ever used a real RF, and probably is more attracted to a smaller RF type system, that could hardly be a real problem.

Its gives a shooting experience difference than a DSLR, its got great lens in the portrait range and it easily fits into the OP's budget.

Having owned a S5 pro, X100 and X1, in addition to a F31d, I hardly can figure out what your snarky comments about Fuji users "suffering" is about either

My m8 on the other hand required me to get uv filters for all my glass and a 3 week trip for calibration, hardly painless.



rscheffler
Registered: Aug 23, 2005
Total Posts: 4614
Country: Canada

Yeah, if you want to experience traditional rangefinder shooting, you're not going to get it from the Fuji. There is a huge difference between an AF system doing the work for you and aligning the rangefinder split image yourself. To me it sounds like the OP is looking for the traditional RF experience. Not to say the Fuji is a bad option, but it's kind of a halfway step between DSLR and traditional rangefinder. If someone wants to try the rangefinder experience, why go halfway?

Good starter lenses would depend on what focal lengths you prefer. I think most people like FF angle of view of 28/35/50, so you'd be looking at 21/28/35. 24/25 might be an alternative to 21. For starting off I would suggest either some from Voigtlander, or if you're willing to spend a bit more, from Zeiss. No-nonesense Zeiss lenses are pretty much all of them. The only ones with quirks are the 21 f/4.5 with serious colour shift at the edges on the M9 (not sure how it fares on the M8) and the 50 f/1.5 is a less clinical, less perfect lens, with focus shift as it's stopped down. Otherwise, the rest are solid as all-rounders. I have less experience with the Voigtlander lenses in this range. Their 21 f/4 is super small, but I can't comment on quality. The 35 f/2.5 looks interesting and the softer edges stated by some, might be less of an issue on the M8. The 28 f/2 is lower in contrast and not as crazy sharp compared to Zeiss and Leica, and has some focus shift as well. The 35 and 40 f/1.4 are character lenses. Again, not clinically sharp wide open, exhibit fairly strong field curvature, some focus shift too. I have the 40 and it's an interesting lens, but maybe not a safe all-rounder to start with. The 35 f/1.2 is probably the best from Voigtlander in terms of being a 'modern' design. Sharp, no focus shift, nice bokeh. But it's big, heavy and not cheap. The discontinued 50 f/1.5 is similar to the 35 f/1.2 in that it's sharp centrally wide open and no focus shift. From Leica, the 28 f/2.8 is highly regarded even though the 28 f/2 gets all the love. The Summarit line is also very, very good. I've tried three of the four now (and own one) and have found no real image quality issues with any. There seem to be some common qualities across each line. Many of the Voigtlander lenses seem to be a bit on the lower contrast side, and as a result have a smoother, flatter, less saturated feel. The Zeiss trend towards higher contrast and sharpness. The Leica lenses seem to fall in the middle in terms of contrast, but with excellent sharpness and colour fidelity with good saturation.

I agree with what was commented earlier, that many who give up on digital Ms probably don't give them a long enough adjustment period. The cameras are physically different. Focus is different. Shot to shot speed is slower. Metering is unsophisticated. Image rendition is different, therefore post production will require adjustments. The files are not going to look as clean out of the camera as those from Canikon, in part because Leica simply doesn't do in-camera NR. Vignetting can be noticeable. AWB can be way off.

If you're starting off, pick a no-nonsense lens and just shoot for a while to slowly get a feel for the whole package. A no-nonsense lens would be one that's f/2 or slower because it will be more forgiving of slight focus misses. At f/2 with a 35mm and longer lens you're in the zone where rangefinder calibration is more critical. And it most definitely is at f/1.4 and faster. That's why I would be wary of starting with the Voigtlander 50 f/1.1. There are too many variables in that set to lead to initial problems that can dampen enthusiasm for rangefinders before getting a good grip on how the system works. The 50 f/1.1 seems to be a lens with some copy variation and seems to be a lens that may or may not be accurately rangefinder calibrated. Or it could be that the camera's rangefinder is a bit off. And there is the issue of focus shift and whether the lens is rangefinder calibrated for wide open focus.



edwardkaraa
Registered: Sep 27, 2004
Total Posts: 6861
Country: Thailand

Very interesting thread. I had the same dilemma last year when I decided to switch to rangefinders. I realized that the M8/M8.2 sensor performance is quite far from today's standards, not to mention the problems with IR and other imperfections. The M9 is great but not a good investment at this time when it has basically reached the end of its life cycle. So my decision was to wait until the M10 is released, and then decide whether to get the M9 (lower price, easy to get), or the M10 (latest model, LV, probably unobtainable before end of 2013). In the meanwhile I'm very happy with my film rangefinders.



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