Poll

Why do you own a digital M Leica?

Because I prefer shooting with a rangefinder.
- 9 (45%)
Because I want to use Leica and other M lenses.
- 11 (55%)

Total Members Voted: 20

Voting closed: October 30, 2011, 08:03:58 AM


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Author Topic: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?  (Read 144861 times)

IWC Doppel

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Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
« Reply #160 on: April 05, 2013, 06:37:06 PM »

I would answer the question first : lenses.

Long ago I was wondering what could be that little plus Leica could have that a Japanese brand was lacking for the enormous price difference.
Until the Nikon FA hit the shelves, the F…k All we used to call it, because it was really flawed ! I already had a very bad experience with the EL, destroying ten rolls of Kodachrome.

From that point on I knew the trend would be going all electronic. So I stepped into Leica.
Then I discovered deep detailed shadows in my slides, sharpness right into the corners, unctuous greys in the prints…. and as the equipment can last a life or two, I switched to Leica entirely.

Then digital arised and there Leica was lost. They shine in optical and micromechanical, they are specialists, but electronics is a complete different world, far less demanding with programmed obsolescence policy. This is a consumer industry, high turnover and low reliability. Two opposite worlds that tatooed Leica cannot grasp, they still identify Leica with abosolute quality, they throw 7000 $ into a piece of electronic that Leica doesn’t produce, believing they are buying the long famous high quality product.

The lenses remain what they have always been (at least until Leica get into AF) excellent, but the cameras have nothing to see with what they used to be, it is electronics into a Leica box, their value should be around 800, period.

Now if the question was about Leica film M cameras vs lenses, my answer wouldn’t be so straight. Range finder shines for candid shoots, but I manage as well with reflex. Where RF is best suited for is low light situations…..if you have a Leica lens together with. So I would keep my first answer : lenses.

Going a bit further, as I said earlier, the day Leica get into AF, then just forget about the brand altogether. They are thirty years late on this, they will have to switch to plastic components and again electronic and they will ask you 4000 for a lens…. then the answer to the question would be : neither.

Have you ever shot with an M9 and compared it to a Canon 5D ? Even with Leica R or Zeuss glass ill take the 9 every time (apart from high ISO. But being able to hand home at a 1/15 th the gap can be smaller than you imagine.

For me Leicas challenge is the CMOS sensor with the M, which loses some of the qualities of CCD
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WarrenRoos

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Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
« Reply #161 on: May 02, 2013, 07:41:05 PM »

A99 or A900 for me. Zeiss Glass.

Want to love and use the Leica again but the RF focus (that I grew up with) slows composition and shooting speed.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2013, 09:49:17 PM by WarrenRoos »
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
« Reply #162 on: May 03, 2013, 02:09:08 AM »

Which qualities, exactly?

Best regards
Erik


For me Leicas challenge is the CMOS sensor with the M, which loses some of the qualities of CCD

schrodingerscat

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Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
« Reply #163 on: May 05, 2013, 03:05:53 PM »

After purchasing the 9 and before unloading the 5D II I did a couple of test shots. The 5D II had the 16-36 L II on it, at 35, and the 9 had a '69 35 Lux. Just went out and grabbed some images of a white car in front of the house on a bright sunny CA day. Lots of dynamic range and color, with tree branches at the corners. Both cameras were at f8 and native ISO, saving to RAW.

While I had been quite happy with the 5D, the images from the 9 had better detail in the shadows, as well as better detail overall and dynamic range. And absolutely no CA at the corners. And yes, Leica glass does have a signature 'look', which is important to some and not others. Just as charts are important to some and not others.

Insofar as auto focus vs manual is concerned, just got back from a couple weeks in Italy. All those people with their DSLRs and P&Ss were still at it long after I had gotten my shot and was moving on. Once you know how to use a rangefinder it becomes second nature, and then there's hyperfocal...
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Rob C

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Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
« Reply #164 on: May 05, 2013, 03:45:08 PM »

Insofar as auto focus vs manual is concerned, just got back from a couple weeks in Italy. All those people with their DSLRs and P&Ss were still at it long after I had gotten my shot and was moving on. Once you know how to use a rangefinder it becomes second nature, and then there's hyperfocal...


By chance, I walked into a local bar where some musos I know had just been offered a gig three hours earlier. I'd been walking about with my D700 and 2/35mm down by the boats, playing with a polarizer and shooting up at the sky from below on the hard. Nothing much. Then I found the musos setting up.

You know, playing at f2 and seeing what you get, is beyond price.

Hyperfocal is open to all systems - as long as you have the wit to buy old lenses with a scale(!)

I'm afraid that in the end, once a dedicated slr user, it's almost impossible to go back to guesstimates...

;-)

Rob C

schrodingerscat

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Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
« Reply #165 on: May 06, 2013, 12:06:14 AM »


By chance, I walked into a local bar where some musos I know had just been offered a gig three hours earlier. I'd been walking about with my D700 and 2/35mm down by the boats, playing with a polarizer and shooting up at the sky from below on the hard. Nothing much. Then I found the musos setting up.

You know, playing at f2 and seeing what you get, is beyond price.

Hyperfocal is open to all systems - as long as you have the wit to buy old lenses with a scale(!)

I'm afraid that in the end, once a dedicated slr user, it's almost impossible to go back to guesstimates...

Guess I was lucky in that I never became 'dedicated'. The 5D was always a love/hate relationship.

The first night in Rome was Good Thursday where all the Basilicas are open 24/7, but dimmed, and the whole town turns out to see how many they can hit in an evening. Handheld, wide open(ish), and 1/6 to 1/15 second with a 28mm. Actually got some decent images that printed well at 13X19.
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TMARK

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Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
« Reply #166 on: May 10, 2013, 12:24:08 PM »

I'll tell you, the M digitals are brilliant cameras but, at least for M8 and M9, are a complete pain in the ass.  They require so much special care and feeding because the electronics are a few generations behind their contemporaries.  The 240 may have rectified this, but here are a few things that are just stupid:

1. Low battery (and by low I mean 75% charge) = banding in shadows at all ISOs on both the M9s I've owned.  Firmware helped fix the problem.

2. Modern Fast SD cards gives banding.

3. Review of images while it is writing to the card from the buffer gives banding, randomly, in shadows.

4. Non-Leica batteries cause problems.

5. PCB Boards go bad, resulting in a kind of blooming that destroys an image if an area is over exposed.

6.  In that past, poor service.  This seems to have been remedied, at least with Leica USA in NJ.

All of these issues are easily solved (Leica Battery, Sand Disc Ultra cards, keeping the battery charged.  Not shooting sequences in "Discreet" mode, leaving teh camera be while it writes to a card, etc.  BUT, a Nikon just works.  If a bad lens or body slips past QC, its fixed and on you go with your life.

All that being said, shooting an M9 and maybe soon an MM or M240, is worth the hassel.  No other camera allows me to shoot like I can with a Leica RF, and god knows I've tried with other digital compacts and dslrs.  I won't give up my Nikon, but I'd like to.
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eronald

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Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
« Reply #167 on: May 14, 2013, 09:53:58 PM »

I won't give up my Nikon, but I'd like to.

I know how you feel: I just got a used junk Canon 1Ds3, after a bunch of Nikons and suddenly I'm shooting random street images again.

Edmund
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bcooter

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Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
« Reply #168 on: May 17, 2013, 02:29:24 PM »

I know how you feel: I just got a used junk Canon 1Ds3, after a bunch of Nikons and suddenly I'm shooting random street images again.

Edmund

I have had 70% of the issues T mentions with my M-8.     I thought about buying an M9 or what's it called now M? 

I even thought about the M240 (is that really it's name?) but I'm not that wild about the cmos samples I've seen from this camera and the M digital is so strange.

Actually the battery issue is the one that just breaks your brain.  A new battery at 75'% and the camera shuts down.  Put another battery in and it runs again, then same thing.

Unlike T I don't think an M is worth the hassel.  Not with some of the newer cameras that are out there.

So I've passed on another Leica for now.

The last few months I have been buried in production and post production and yesterday, had to clear my head and went out for 2 hours to a camera store I personally like, not too far from our Dallas studio in Arlington.   

A kind of throwback in time where people that love photography are actually behind the counters and will let you try a camera . . . any camera.   Really fun.

Anyway I'm looking at a 4/3's camera for an upcoming project, mostly for video capabilities as I need a small form factor, autofocus and the ability to shoot video level stills in the same format as the motion, so I compared the Pana gh3 and the Olympus OMD.

Across the board the GH3 is a much better video camera, the touch screen autofocus for video is really amazing and the build quality is tank like.   It feels like a  smaller 1dx and acts like one, though maybe even more sturdy and has autofocus for video.. 

It is very well thought out for video and shoots a nice still file.

It even wi-fi's solidly to an Ipad which is pretty amazing for the cost. 

The Panasonic will do exactly what I want, especially with the two new 2.8 constant zooms, the problem is it's just a camera that works, not a camera that you get attached to.

The Olympus on the other hand is the opposite of the Pana.   It reminds me of a leica  because it's so jewel like.  .  It doesn't do the professional things I need like the Pana, but it's such a tremendously compelling camera and
the only camera I've held in a long time that is exciting, especially with the series of fast little primes they offer.

I'll buy the Pana on Monday, but want the OMD, actually really want the OMD and then I messed with the Fuji X1 Pro.   

The Fuji is not as jewel like as the Olympus and it feels larger though lighter than a Leica M, but operationally it's what a modern Leica should be. 

Autofocus, high iso with a different looking file through Fuji's sensor, a crazy hybrid viewfinder and three nice primes, (though only three). 

It doesn't wow me like the Olympus, actually nothing has moved me like the Olympus, but the X1 is really nice.

I like these 4/3's cameras. (the Fuji is a 2:3 crop APS)  though   I wish the sensorof 4:3  was larger in size (not really pixels, just dimensionally larger), though love the 4-3 format for verticals and the articulating screens.  They're really well thought out,
have new lenses that are sharp, articulating screens that are not a gimmick but really usable.

Actually the 4/3's and the X1 somewhat illustrate to me where digital could really go.    Different form factors, articulating screens, wi-fi to Ipads, phones, interesting lenses, in all speeds,
hybrid viewfinders and in the case of the olympus and Fuji cameras that don't look like the lump of plastic dslrs.

It's a shame that Panasonic doesn't have a camera history to fall back on.  The Fuji is interesting, the OMD is interesting, the GH3 boring, but does so much. 

IMO

BC


Shot with gh1, around 1,000 iso, Broncolor HMI.

eronald

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Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
« Reply #169 on: May 17, 2013, 11:11:27 PM »

I have had 70% of the issues T mentions with my M-8.    

The Olympus on the other hand is the opposite of the Pana.   It reminds me of a leica  because it's so jewel like.  .  It doesn't do the professional things I need like the Pana, but it's such a tremendously compelling camera and
the only camera I've held in a long time that is exciting, especially with the series of fast little primes they offer.


I had a bunch of issues on my M8 too; beautiful images, completely unreliable.

BTW, James, have you thought of using the Olympus lenses on a different 4/3? I think 4/3 is supposed to be interoperable between manufacturers, like the old 42mm Pentax screw mount.

I found an interesting set of comments on this topic on the preview forum :)
Edmund
« Last Edit: May 17, 2013, 11:16:51 PM by eronald »
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bcooter

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Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
« Reply #170 on: May 20, 2013, 06:03:13 AM »

I had a bunch of issues on my M8 too; beautiful images, completely unreliable.

BTW, James, have you thought of using the Olympus lenses on a different 4/3? I think 4/3 is supposed to be interoperable between manufacturers, like the old 42mm Pentax screw mount.

I found an interesting set of comments on this topic on the preview forum :)
Edmund

Edmund,

I'm still testing both the OMD and the Panasonic.

The Pansonic does everything right, great video, two new 2.8 constant zooms, 3.5 jack for sound in, sound out to headphones, better tracking autofocus and more accurate autofocus  both for video and stills.

The articulated lcd screen for touch screen focus for video is simply amazling.

The OMD shoots slightly better stills with their mft fast primes qnd Olympus has some large 4'3's lenses (not micro 4/3's) that are large pro level primes.  Expensive lenses but a huge range.

You can switch lenses form both or add Leica M's (manual focus obviously) and even the larger Olympus 4/3's which are amazing are professional but focus slower.

The thing is the Panasonic is the camera I need, the OMD is the camera I want.  The OMD is really special, it's a little small, but it's rolex like in it's build quality.

The Panasonic is a tank and not much smaller than a 5d2, but it really is well thought out.

Personally, I think I could shoot 90% of my work with both these cameras.

I may buy the Pansonic for video, the OMD for stills.

Even though I have a lot of cameras which produce a more detailed image, these 4'/3's cameras are amazing to me.  The Pansonic even wirelessly tethers to an Ipad.

The thing that keeps them from being cross pollinated is the stabilization.   The olympus stabilizes from the body, the Pana from the lenses.  The Olympus has better and smoother stabilization for video, though the video options are more limited, i.e. codec, frames rate, kbs, sound.

The Upside to both is you can actually use Leica M lenses and see the exact framing, even the 90, which is impossible on an M.

The OMD is really out of the box thinking with a traditional feel and with both cameras I love the 4:3 framing for verticals.  

They aren't as detailed as my Canon 1dx's, the focus isn't as good, but the Olympus really feels like a camera, the Panasonic more of a tool.  

If I was shooting mostly for pleasure and did walk around photography like you, the OMD would be my first choice.

IMO

BC



TMARK

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Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
« Reply #171 on: May 20, 2013, 12:56:19 PM »

I have had 70% of the issues T mentions with my M-8.     I thought about buying an M9 or what's it called now M?  

I even thought about the M240 (is that really it's name?) but I'm not that wild about the cmos samples I've seen from this camera and the M digital is so strange.

Actually the battery issue is the one that just breaks your brain.  A new battery at 75'% and the camera shuts down.  Put another battery in and it runs again, then same thing.

Unlike T I don't think an M is worth the hassel.  Not with some of the newer cameras that are out there.


Its funny because every M8/M9 has different versions of the same issues.

I went back to the M9 because, despite its flaws, I can operate it faster and more intuitively than any other camera, save the RZ.  I make better photos with an M.  Its impractical but I've accepted that.  Since I don't really shoot for commerce, aside from the odd editorial, I can live with the M's issues.

I do dig the OMD and I really like the Fuji x100.  I sold the x100 because I couldn't get it to do what I wanted it to do if I was working quickly.  Lovely casual camera.  It looks like the x100s addressed many of the issues I had with it.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2013, 03:56:31 PM by TMARK »
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eronald

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Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
« Reply #172 on: May 20, 2013, 03:21:35 PM »

Edmund,

If I was shooting mostly for pleasure and did walk around photography like you, the OMD would be my first choice.

BC


James,

 I will look at it; at least carrying an OMD is feasible. What I like about the "big" bodies is that when a situation is accidentally good, you can flash-freeze it, then crop and postprocess it to death.

 I think in walkaround, as in sports, the body is as important as the lens if you are the type that catches the moment.

 I remember coming on a roller skater doing backflips, and caught him upside down in mid-air with the 1Ds at a second's warning, no effort,  and the print got hung in a gallery window, bought within the week.

 Speed is also really useful in improvised portraits - there is sort of a fifth of a second where people have a spontaneous expression, then they present a different, composed visage.
 
Edmund
 
« Last Edit: May 20, 2013, 03:37:24 PM by eronald »
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bcooter

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Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
« Reply #173 on: May 21, 2013, 05:52:11 AM »

James,

 I will look at it; at least carrying an OMD is feasible. What I like about the "big" bodies is that when a situation is accidentally good, you can flash-freeze it, then crop and postprocess it to death.

 I think in walkaround, as in sports, the body is as important as the lens if you are the type that catches the moment.

 I remember coming on a roller skater doing backflips, and caught him upside down in mid-air with the 1Ds at a second's warning, no effort,  and the print got hung in a gallery window, bought within the week.

 Speed is also really useful in improvised portraits - there is sort of a fifth of a second where people have a spontaneous expression, then they present a different, composed visage.
 
Edmund
 


Edmund,

As I mentioned the GH3 is better at focus at shoots at something like 15 to 20 fps, full rez.  I don't think you'd miss much.

The only issue is the camera is kind of like a 10% smaller 5d with a better build quality and they have two f 2.8 zooms that cover an effective 24mm to 200mm.

Two small lenses, one camera, that covers a lot of territory.

If your good at post, and are careful with the files I think you'd be hard pressed to tell any difference between a 4-3 file and almost any sub 20 mpx camera.

Still, for sheer enjoyment, I'd go with the omd.

The omd is a walther ppk, the gh3 a glock 27.  (sorry for the evil gun comparison)

With the Leica mount you could find some very interesting older lenses and produce some very interesting imagery.

IMO

BC

Rob C

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Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
« Reply #174 on: May 21, 2013, 03:42:15 PM »


Edmund,

With the Leica mount you could find some very interesting older lenses and produce some very interesting imagery.

IMO

BC


Saw this programme on tv; very interesting tale about a Leica fan with penchant for older lenses.

http://banyak.co.uk/#/james-ravilious/

Rob C

eronald

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Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
« Reply #175 on: May 21, 2013, 06:26:47 PM »


Saw this programme on tv; very interesting tale about a Leica fan with penchant for older lenses.

http://banyak.co.uk/#/james-ravilious/

Rob C

Incredible trailer. What is interesting is the way they manage to match the B&W shots with their contemporary film - point a decent cinematographer at something and he can do it.

Edmund
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bcooter

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Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
« Reply #176 on: May 22, 2013, 03:11:47 PM »

Incredible trailer. What is interesting is the way they manage to match the B&W shots with their contemporary film - point a decent cinematographer at something and he can do it.

Edmund

This is such beautiful work and shows me how important a story is to a photograph, moving or still.

I don't mean the voice over, i mean every still image has a story.

We all go on about cameras and detail and . . .   though we all know cameras don't make the photograph, but something small and personal like a leica always seems to to somehow force it's personality on the photographer.

IMO

BC

Rob C

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Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
« Reply #177 on: May 23, 2013, 09:54:03 AM »

Incredible trailer. What is interesting is the way they manage to match the B&W shots with their contemporary film - point a decent cinematographer at something and he can do it.

Edmund



For quite some time I have been convinced that cine guys do landscape better.Yes, I accept that the budgets are usually far higher, and that air shots are often used, presenting a paradigm that's usually far more exciting than what's visible from the ground. But I think it's deeper: I think it's probably much to do with BC's point about telling a story: it's what movie folks do and most of us still folks don't really consider - we tend to go for the beauty shot. At least, if I do anything, I do that.

The entire film is really gripping, and his widow, Robin, comes over as a very kind and good lady. Support from a spouse is so invaluable  in life, especially for the lone wolf worker: emotional security back at the ranch is beyond price.

Rob C

eronald

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Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
« Reply #178 on: May 23, 2013, 05:07:17 PM »

Rob,

 I think you may be right, the cine guys may just be better at it - maybe playing a story in one's head, and then summing it up in a shot may help, but I guess it's no alternative to filming, filming, filming and then cutting.

Edmund



For quite some time I have been convinced that cine guys do landscape better.Yes, I accept that the budgets are usually far higher, and that air shots are often used, presenting a paradigm that's usually far more exciting than what's visible from the ground. But I think it's deeper: I think it's probably much to do with BC's point about telling a story: it's what movie folks do and most of us still folks don't really consider - we tend to go for the beauty shot. At least, if I do anything, I do that.

The entire film is really gripping, and his widow, Robin, comes over as a very kind and good lady. Support from a spouse is so invaluable  in life, especially for the lone wolf worker: emotional security back at the ranch is beyond price.

Rob C
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bcooter

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Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
« Reply #179 on: May 29, 2013, 03:52:48 PM »

Edmund,

I think your looking at this in a traditional way.

In fact maybe your not, because this off link is a documentary about a still photographer, that is more than a traditional documentary, it's a multimedia show, because it features a still photographer.

Now take this up double speed and that's the present.

That's what we do now . . . multimedia, video, stills, both, it doesn't matter, other than creative content needs to tell a story.

The days of  . . . "that's a pretty picture" are fading fast, not that what is shot can't be pretty, but it has to be interesting.

That's why my latest camera is a Panasonic.  cough, choke, wheeze.

It's the last brand I ever thought I'd buy, but the GH3 is a multimedia camera.  Horizontal, vertical, 4:3, 16x9, art filters, stabilized video and stills, it's a camera for it's time.

I'm not in love with the camera, I'm in love with what it does.

The world's changed, really, really changed and whether it's one of those crappy repeating gifs, or a real story telling multi media piece, what commercial clients, or even amateur blogists want to see is something that is more than that one photo, regardless of how beautiful.

Look at Leica's next new M.  It won't even have a traditional viewfinder.

For someone like you, that shoots for enjoyment, you should look at some of these new mirror less cameras.

In fact if I want to find interesting, inspiring content, I don't look at traditional websites or portals.  I look at tumblr.

My camera of the future?  I don't know, probably a camera that shoots a real 4:2:2: 12 bit video, a 18 to 20 mpx stills, fast, really fast zoom lenses and electronic finders that wi-fi.

Lighting, needs to be adaptable, but moveable.   Not huge 40lb strobe packs, but Lightpanels that work off of v-locks. 

IMO

BC



  

« Last Edit: May 29, 2013, 03:55:39 PM by bcooter »
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