Luminous Landscape Forum

Equipment & Techniques => Cameras, Lenses and Shooting gear => Topic started by: michael on October 25, 2011, 08:03:58 am

Title: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: michael on October 25, 2011, 08:03:58 am
A Poll For Those Owning a Leica M8 or M9 Only

I'm working on an article on the future of rangefinder cameras. I have my own ideas, but I am therefore curious as to what you think.

If you own (or have owned) an M8 or M9, I'd like to know whether this is primarily because you like shooting with a rangefinder / viewfinder style camera, or because you want to be able to use Leica M lenses (including Voigtlander and Zeiss).
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: eleanorbrown on October 25, 2011, 10:07:39 am
Michael, I own 2 M9's and 4 Leica asph lenses and shoot with this the majority ot the time. I still shoot with my P65 but not near as much since I goy the Leica system.  The Leica glass quality is Incredible, the system is small and light and perfect for travel, I don't use high iOS speeds much, and I like having full frame. Eleanor

A Poll For Those Owning a Leica M8 or M9 Only

I'm working on an article on the future of rangefinder cameras. I have my own ideas, but I am therefore curious as to what you think.

If you own (or have owned) an M8 or M9, I'd like to know whether this is primarily because you like shooting with a rangefinder / viewfinder style camera, or because you want to be able to use Leica M lenses (including Voigtlander and Zeiss).
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: JeanMichel on October 25, 2011, 10:40:59 am
Hi Michael,

First, thanks once again for maintaining this site and for the various articles, reviews, tutorials and such.

I purchased a new M4 with a new 50 Summicron on March 11, 1969 for $398.95 from Wongs Camera Wholesale on Yonge -- yes I still have the bill -- when a student at Ryerson.
I later acquired a used M3 (built in Ontario according to the serial number), 35 Summicron with goggles (Canada), a 135 Elmarit (Canada) (rarely used) and more recently an M6. I also purchased a Voigtlander  21.

The 35 with goggles was mainly used with my M4 or M6 -- I wear glasses and the 35 mm frame is outside of my viewing comfort zone, There was no problems with focussing with film.

Other equipment used included a Hasselblad 500CM and lenses.

When I finally decided to 'go digital' I opted for a Canon 5D -- your reviews helped with my choice. I strongly considered an M8 but was weary of buying a 'version 1.0' item at a substantial cost; did not like the crop sensor size, and did find it a bit weird to see the purple shirt on the man you photographed with an M8, and that was before the IR issue became news. I am quite happy to have delayed my purchase of a digital M.

I purchased an M9 this last July. I wondered if that meant also 'upgrading' my lenses but it appears that my old lenses will do just fine. Although I am sending them all (except the VC) to Leica for focus adjustment - the 21 VC, and 35 are fine, but the 50 is off by some 4 inches and the 135 is also off. i suspect that they were not perfectly adjusted by a local former Leica specialist.

As soon as I picked up the M9 all became familiar and easy again. With the Canon, even with a small 40 or 20 VC lens the camera feels like a fearsome rig; I mainly use the 24-105 with it, and it is an excellent tool. I use it to document exhibitions and the LiveView feature alone is worth the purchase. With the M9, I'm almost back to film thinking, where each frame cost - film, darkroom time, ...- I turned off the image display and only occasionally review an image to see the histogram. I was photographing an exhibition opening this past Sunday and it was neat to hear a few people commenting on 'Jean-Michel's liking to use old cameras' quaint!

So, to finally answer your question: I prefer using a rangefinder/viewfinder camera with a fixed focal length lens. I like the compact, unobtrusive size. The fixed focal length eliminates the distracting multiplicity of zoom settings when photographing, and unglues the feet.

When packing for a future trip, I will probably bring both the M9 and 5d2, and my wife will bring the GH2.

Thanks,

Jean-Michel




 
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: fredjeang on October 25, 2011, 12:09:46 pm
I've worked intensively with M9 cameras during about 3 months.
If I had to go on a deserted island and choose one camera (understanding a still camera), I would choose the M over any other gear available, included MF.

Don't get me wrong, I didn't like the handling at all except the left hand because the size of the glasses is just about right. I didn't like very much the dificult focussing in some situations, the position
of the viewfinder and found the size of the body a little too large.
I didn't particularly find this extreme built quality Leica is known for (in the body I refer). It's well built, no doubt, but being used of a 1DMK3 and 4 you don't particularly find a stellar difference, at least I didn't.


But...that said,

There is something different with this camera, the volume of pictures shot is much less while the rate of keepers is higher. That was constant on good or bad days. You can turn the problem up and down, left or right: it's a camera that helps to take better pictures. I suspect that it's because it's simple, non-intrusive and obliged to get more involved into the action. In other words, it's a camera that helps the photographer who is commited with what he-she's doing, and at the same time, very fast in use because it's dead simple. It's very painfull for fashion...in the studio, but, again, outside the studio, in a fashion session in-situ, it can smokes any dslr, without talking of MF.
The pictures taken by the Leica, or lets say in another way, the M allows a freedom in space that result in more dynamic and spontaneous action. It's a collaborative camera. The non-photographers (in short, the people that point the lens, talents included) react differently to a rangefinder and they tend to be more relaxed and let you enter in more intimacy. No other camera does that. A point and shoot, you look amateur voyeur, a dslr, you look distant pro. The M design is just about right. It's trustable.


But...that said #2

When I got the GH2, it was a discovery to me and a big surprise. The day I got the GH2 is the day I decided that I will not buy a M. Before someone jumps on me saying: "what? Are you comparing the GH2 with the M9?"...let me explains my view on that and then you can through your bombs on me if you feel like.
Yes, I will compare to some extend the GH2 to the M. (and I'm not making a mistake with the GF2 that looks more like a rangefinder).

The first time I used the EVF, I was amazed indeed. Now it's normal and Sony already does better EVF. But having all the infos inside, being able to zoom for focusing without having to get the eye away from the viewfinder, this is Leica spirit to me. Filming in live view within the viewfinder, this is M spirit too. Then, the size. The size of the gh2 is the size I'd like the future M generations to have, more or less. Also, the size of the m4/3 lenses are very much on the size of the M lenses. And it's just about perfect.
I found with the GH2 a camera with a similar flavour than the M, yes. It's fast, small, efficient and fun. But, it's electronic is way more advanced.
Then, the Leica M lenses are suiting very well the GH2, although, honestly, I don't find that they increase the IQ, at all.

So, a new generation Leica Rangefinder, but with the electronic of 2011 and video capabilities, then I would reconsider a possible M_ purchase.

Ps: and if an EVF, please, an EVF that display the "hors-champ"  (more than 100% but the surrownding).




Answering Michael question: my motivation to reconsider buying a M will not be because of the lens line, because those lenses are adaptable to more modern devices. It would be the body.
As I said, an EVF, maybe also a modular sensor, like Ricoh did, wouldn't be bad (something I'm asking for years), keeping the M spirit.
So shooting rangefinder, yes, but shooting modern, not any more with what's there.

And why not a universal mount, like the M42-M39 in the past ? (After all, I use the M39-M42 with the GH2 and it's great to have so many brands still usable in the 21' century)
With the recent progress of the APS, is it really necessary a FF rangefinder now? I 'm not sure really.
Leica could join a Sony Nex or a m4/3 standard, not kidding. Those are brilliant format in wich tech goes fast and they could benefit R&D. Then, they can apply their own sauce, a less agressive AA, hand-made built, golden components if they feel like, but the point is that they should escape the CCD.

And, oh yeah...video. With everything stabilized and digi ND filters so we don't need any more zacutories. The M should be able to shoot hand-held videos with no hassle. (actually, mobile phones do that now)


 
 


Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: John Camp on October 25, 2011, 06:13:25 pm
I currently own an M7 with a Summilux 35, and once owned an M8 with most of the fast Leica M glass, which I have sold off. For most of my shooting career, I shot Nikons, starting with an F2, and I currently shoot a D3 and D300; I also have a Panasonic system with most of the Panasonic glass, and that's the system I now use most often. Also got an adapter and tried using the Panasonic system with M glass, but found I didn't get much better results than I did with Panasonic glass. I did find that I got a heck of a lot better results with the Panasonic and the 135 and 90 than I did with the same lenses on an M8, though.

In my opinion, rangefinder cameras are simply an older and antiquated style of camera which, like large format film cameras, can be used by enthusiasts to make exquisite photos. But, the key there word is not "photo," but "enthusiast." Rangefinders seem to me to be like great old English sports cars, fine old mechanical watches, and exceptional old fountain pens. You can take pictures, drive fast, tell time, and write beautifully with those things, just not as easily, or with the flexibility and range, of modern instruments.

I don't know exactly why anybody would want evolve rangefinders, because the heart of the system -- the rangefinder device -- seems basically inadequate to the demands of modern photography. It's not particularly accurate (not with all lenses at the same time, anyway) and not particularly fast, and I think that the quality that everybody seems to like, the ability to view the area around the photo, could be replicated with a mirrorless system, if anybody wanted to do it. Furthermore, evolution seems to adamantly opposed by most people on the rangefinder forums. The *point* of what they are doing is to use this older system. The camera is the point, not the photograph.

If someone were to determine that, say, Leica glass is so good that a modern rangefinder-style system should be built around it, that might appeal somewhat to the John Camps of the world, I'd say give the new camera:

-Focus assist. Can't do autofocus without creating a whole news lens system, but focus assist would make up some of the difference. Focusing would be much faster in marginal situations.
-Live View. You'd have to go to a CMOS chip, I guess, which most Leica people adamantly oppose, for some reason or other, but it would make usable the 90 and 135 lenses, which are really hard to focus accurately, and you could even have longer lenses. And, if anybody wanted them, sophisticated long zooms.
-Electronic frame lines that would adjust for parallax and for each specific lens focal length.

All of that, I'd point out, is currently available in the Panasonic/Olympus m4/3 system which can be used with Leica lenses. The downfall there is the Panasonic sensor, which, at this point, doesn't have the refinement of the Leica M9 sensor. A D7000-quality sensor in a m4/3 camera would be all I'd ever need, perhaps.

I do know for sure that some people make great photos with Leicas -- I've seen some of Eleanor Brown's work (she posted up a couple of frames) and it's really fine. But I think that has more to do with a sort of meeting of the minds between a person and this particular machine, and that you can find people who have the same relationship with their Nikons.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: fredjeang on October 25, 2011, 06:34:40 pm
... Also got an adapter and tried using the Panasonic system with M glass, but found I didn't get much better results than I did with Panasonic glass. I did find that I got a heck of a lot better results with the Panasonic and the 135 and 90 than I did with the same lenses on an M8, though.

...



All of that, I'd point out, is currently available in the Panasonic/Olympus m4/3 system which can be used with Leica lenses. The downfall there is the Panasonic sensor, which, at this point, doesn't have the refinement of the Leica M9 sensor. A D7000-quality sensor in a m4/3 camera would be all I'd ever need, perhaps.



Totally on line with you. I did the same with the M on a Pana and got exactly the same conclusions. And if my memory doesn't fail, the man who runs "the online photographer" (can't remember his name while I'm writing this) did a long time ago similar comments. Yes, no need to ruin the bank account with Leica primes on a Pana, they don't affect the render. (yes the Leica R on a Canon FF !)

Although, there is a line optimized for digital and it seems according to some sources that they are way better. I'm talking strictly about the classics here. On the new line I don't know.

Maybe the m4/3 sensor is not capable of rendering the excelence of the Leica lenses, or Pana lenses are stellar (wich I doubt for the price).
I think it's simply the sensor.

I'm sure the m4/3 will improve very fast, and they already did. I use to be very hostile to this format when they started, I didn't beleive tech will go that fast and well. Now I think they have a great future. I remember the first units and low-light was garbage. They made incredible progress. I shooted at 1600 quite a lot with the GH2 and yes there is slightly more noise than with the bigger APS, but I find the noise "grainy" in a good sense and better quality than the APS canons except the 1DMK4. There is noise and noise and the Pana engineers have done a great job. So I'm quite confident this system will get each time better and more mature.

About focussing, if a center of the image in a EVF could display a magnification (for ex each time you touch the focussing ring), it would work. Electronic should be able to detect that even without contacts between lens and body.

By the way, you remember that Leica joined in the past the 4/3? They should re-joined the m4/3 for a rangefinder IMO, or this new Sony, XEN or NEX.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: ixania2 on October 25, 2011, 07:03:21 pm
i had three m6 and two m7 (and one mamiya 7II), and literally every single leica glass you could buy, summed up to big 6 figures. then no digi m showed up and i sold everything - some months before the m8 came to market eventually.

professionally i'm using two canon 1dsmk3 and one 1dk3.

for pleasure i'm buying cameras like desperate housewives are buying shoes: thake this, take that. but never leicas.

for me the spirit has vanished.

i can do street with a fuji x100 the same way i did it with my leicas then. you just have to know how to handle it, as always.

let's wait two more years, and there is no reason any more to buy a leica m body at all. you bet.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: geesbert on October 26, 2011, 03:02:21 pm
I always thought i loved shooting leicas for their glass, so I had to make up with the restrictions of the bodies, but recently i started to try to use my Leica glass on other cameras, like the gh2 and the sony nex, but it's not the same, optically they are fine, but the handling is lost. On the other side I never enjoyed shooting non Leica glass on a Leica body, not for quality reasons, which are mostly marginal, but again for handling. Any M with a 35 or a 50 Lux is a divine combo, which hasn't been bettered for pure joy of photography, at least for me.


I own lots of cameras, love doing that and my business rectifies it, but I always come back to my m9. It's my favourite camera of all times.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: fredjeang on October 26, 2011, 04:16:07 pm
I always thought i loved shooting leicas for their glass, so I had to make up with the restrictions of the bodies, but recently i started to try to use my Leica glass on other cameras, like the gh2 and the sony nex, but it's not the same, optically they are fine, but the handling is lost. On the other side I never enjoyed shooting non Leica glass on a Leica body, not for quality reasons, which are mostly marginal, but again for handling. Any M with a 35 or a 50 Lux is a divine combo, which hasn't been bettered for pure joy of photography, at least for me.


I own lots of cameras, love doing that and my business rectifies it, but I always come back to my m9. It's my favourite camera of all times.

I agree. Leica glasses on a GH2 didn't convinced me neither. "Something's wrong". I tried them because I thought that they will increase drastically the IQ, wich I didn't find except wide open. But as you point, the balance is broken. I'm not sure if that comes from the adapter but I found that the M39 adapter for ex, on the GH2 doesn't produce that weired sensation.
It's like that the M lenses are for the M body and don't like to go out with others.

Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: deejjjaaaa on October 26, 2011, 05:29:54 pm
All of that, I'd point out, is currently available in the Panasonic/Olympus m4/3 system which can be used with Leica lenses. The downfall there is the Panasonic sensor, which, at this point, doesn't have the refinement of the Leica M9 sensor. A D7000-quality sensor in a m4/3 camera would be all I'd ever need, perhaps.

Ricoh is using Sony sensors for its M-module... currently 12mp/AA-less... but may be along w/ Pentax they might acquire enough selling capacity (as sensors now will be purchased for both Ricoh and Pentax branded cameras) to justify using Sony 16mp sensors in the next iteration of M-modules... may be
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: deejjjaaaa on October 26, 2011, 05:32:30 pm
I'm sure the m4/3 will improve very fast, and they already did. I use to be very hostile to this format when they started, I didn't beleive tech will go that fast and well. Now I think they have a great future. I remember the first units and low-light was garbage. They made incredible progress.

if you compare the progress that Panasonic did from 12mp to their 18mp (GH2)/16mp (G3) sensors with what Sony did then I doubt you can use the word incredible... my GH2 is hopelessly behind even 3 generations old 12mp Sony sensor (Pentax Kx)
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Joakim Danielson on October 27, 2011, 09:15:01 am
When I got my M9 my main objective was I wanted to use a digital rangefinder but as I have gotten more experienced with the Leica M system it is now the lenses I favor the most, especially the 50 Lux :)
But if you're implying with the second option that I would be prepared to get rid of my M9 and use the lenses on some inferior crop sensor then the answer is definitely No, the quality and size of the M9 sensor is far more important to me than any of the bells and whistles you might find on the alternatives from other vendors.

Cool, my first post on the LL forums.  ;D
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Erick Boileau on October 27, 2011, 10:08:21 am
only for lenses and the simplicity of M body  , nearly no interest in range-finder
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: rickk on October 27, 2011, 04:09:41 pm
Alas, no M9 in my kit, but a couple of M3s were among my favorite tools prior to burning up. The Leica M lenses were and are my main attraction to the brand and the lens mount. Two tiny M-Rokkor lenses seemed completely comparable to the Summicron and Elmar equivalents (apologies to those who haven't tried them). I also had good results from a couple of the recent Cosina Voigtlander lenses (especially the 15mm). For the near future, my M-mount lenses will hopefully find use on a NEX-7, which has a vaguely similar form factor to the classic rangefinders. If Cosina (or Epson or Zeiss or somebody) can make a semi-affordable M10 competitor, then demand for M-mount lenses should remain high.

Regards,

Rick
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Joe S on October 28, 2011, 01:29:20 am
only for lenses and the simplicity of M body  , nearly no interest in range-finder


Same here.   I would prefer more accurate framing in a small simple body.   Looks like some answers are coming.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Geoff Boyce on October 28, 2011, 08:26:58 am
only for lenses and the simplicity of M body  , nearly no interest in range-finder


I agree with this also.  I bought my first M6 in 1996 when I realized that I used my Nikon SLR in centre-weighted metering, manual focus, single-shot mode, with 35mm and 50mm lenses in preference to all the other lenses.  The M6 suited me for its simplicity, quality and longevity.  It was already an old design when I bought it and, naively, I believed that it would be the last camera I would ever buy as it had reached a state of perfection as far as my needs went.  The M7's improvements did nothing to change my mind.  The same held true for the lenses which I bought under the gentle prodding of Reg at High Street Radio in Croydon, all being the last versions of the pre-Aspherical generation:  35mm Summicron, 50mm Summilux and 90mm Elmarit.  They would see me out.

Of course, digital happened and my Panasonic clone of the Digilux 2 (which I always preferred to the Leica version for aesthetic and ergonomic reasons) gradually pushed the M6 to the back of the drawer.  For many years I thought I would never use it or the lenses again.  The M8 was of no interest to me due to its idiosyncracies and the change in focal length with my lenses, but the M9 I resisted for only a few months after its introduction and I have now had it for 20 months.  It is my M6 reborn in a digital form, its simplicity only reinforced by my purchase, before the M9 was announced, of an Olympus EP1 the menus of which I can only assume were designed by a drunk business studies student on work experience.  I am no Luddite, and my day-job involves the use of complex software and GUIs but I have no desire to see them in a camera.

The rangefinder?  I like it and use it without a second thought.  However, it is not the reason I have an M9 and I would not shed a tear if it was replaced with focus-peaking or other form of focussing, provided that I can twiddle the focussing barrel and see the result in the viewfinder.  Is it the lenses?  I suppose so, and have voted so above, but in the end it is the simplicity, quality and longevity of the combined camera and lens.  I doubt it will last as long as my M6 but I cannot imagine wanting to upgrade unless it breaks terminally.  The M10 and onwards are unlikely to tempt me as the M9 does everything I want and produces images that are richer and more detailed than my printing skills can do justice to.  I have no interest in upgrading to the latest lenses for the same reason, although I occasionally ponder the wisdom of adding a 24mm to my little collection.

Apologies for the essay:  I suppose I am making up for lurking all these years on this august site!

Geoff
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Erick Boileau on October 28, 2011, 08:55:48 am
vote options should be with checkboxes and multiselect

Because I prefer shooting with a rangefinder.
Because I want to use Leica and other M lenses.
Because I like a simple and small  M-like camera


I can use of course a rangefinder , but a good central AF and live view x 10 will be a great option on M cameras
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: David Watson on October 28, 2011, 09:56:57 am
Michael I have an M9 as well as a MFD system.  Chalk and cheese ? yes!

To answer your question I did not buy the M9 because it was rangefinder I bought it because of the excellent image quality (lenses and sensor) and more importantly because of its compact size and build quality.

On your, and others, recommendations I have tried many compact and micro 4/3 systems as a lightweight carry anywhere camera but none, IMO, can match Leica's image quality.

So - lenses and image quality first - rangefinder not important to me.

PS keep up the good work!
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: eleanorbrown on October 28, 2011, 11:47:30 am
As I said in my post earlier, I agree with everything David said (below) but I will also add I have no interest in trying any other small compact cameras even if they will take my M glass. Eleanor

Michael I have an M9 as well as a MFD system.  Chalk and cheese ? yes!

To answer your question I did not buy the M9 because it was rangefinder I bought it because of the excellent image quality (lenses and sensor) and more importantly because of its compact size and build quality.

On your, and others, recommendations I have tried many compact and micro 4/3 systems as a lightweight carry anywhere camera but none, IMO, can match Leica's image quality.

So - lenses and image quality first - rangefinder not important to me.

PS keep up the good work!

Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: allegretto on October 28, 2011, 08:28:12 pm
Used so many different cameras over the years I lose track... admittedly I'm as much a gadget junkie as a photographer (there are probably some here just as sick as me though).

I like Leicas most of all for the stunning images. Maybe it's the lenses... maybe it's the sensor... maybe I just take so many pics with them over the years that I'm biased. Had M3's, 4's, 6's, 8 and 8.2 (wasn't that fond of the small sensor and filters however) and now the M9 and S2 are in my bag.

Many thousands of images in LR with Canons and Nikons as well. The reality is that one can tell instantly which images are Leica (sadly, I can also tell you which ones are Canon too for the same reasons, different direction), no need to look at metadata, just look at the image. Perhaps to some it's too...too. The contrast and color just blow away the others, just is.

Yes, the "feel" of the equipment is different too, but if the IQ wasn't there it wouldn't matter. And yes, the RF is good clean retro fun. Not being a pro, it really doesn't matter if I blow a shot cuz the darn RF focus fooled me here and there. Truly don't like RF focusing... but the IQ is divine.

But I have to tell you that A77 with Zeiss is a stunner too. Detail just about as good as the M9 unless you pixel peep.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: JohnBrew on October 29, 2011, 07:17:25 am
Michael, actually it's a little bit of both. I like the gestalt of the M series bodies, both film and digital. There is a tactile thingie going on also. Possibly I am, like the rangefinder, outdated! Perhaps Leica is seeing the writing on the wall as they have indicated an announcement soon on a new mirrorless system, possibly (?) using M glass. But the bottom line is its always been about the glass, daddyo  8) !
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: michael on October 29, 2011, 09:05:08 am
Thanks to everyone that voted and took the time to write.

At 50% / 50% split between RF body and just M lens aficionados, there's an interesting story here.

BTW, I met with Leica at the PhotoPlus show in New York yesterday and asked a senior executive for any insights into why there was a 3 – 6 month waiting list for virtually every M lens. I was told that even though they had almost doubled lens production over the past year  they still can't keep up with demand. Certainly an enviable position for any company.

M9s continue to sell very well, and with every M9 purchaser buying an average of two new lenses with their camera, there's even more pressure on demand.

Michael
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Erick Boileau on October 29, 2011, 09:34:34 am
maybe it is not a story between RF and lenses , the M9 body  is wonderful , but for me (and I guess for many)  I'd like to see a M10 as simple and built like the M9 but with one central AF or/and live view x10
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: 250swb on October 29, 2011, 12:28:05 pm
It is the form factor Michael. I'm not so bothered about the rangefinder as such, but the small system size, the simplicity, the variety of lenses available all contribute to why I like the M9 (and all the previous M cameras I have had).

I'm not even bothered about using the (technically) best lenses, I prefer lenses with some character, but there is something for everybody whether you use Leica, Zeiss or Voigtlander etc. And that I consider the M9 a very good landscape camera AND a very good reportage camera, so I don't need to chop and change the camera system, just pack a different set of lenses. Not wanting to go all the way back to my past and use large format again, and still wanting to use digital, but not wanting the complications and sheer phaff of lugging a DSLR around, the M9 is the perfect simple device for making photographs. I have had my M9 for two years now, and I already had some lenses, but for the first time in many years I have not had GAS for another new camera.

Steve
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: eleanorbrown on October 29, 2011, 03:36:57 pm
I'd like to see the M10 with no less than 24 megapixels. Eleanor



maybe it is not a story between RF and lenses , the M9 body  is wonderful , but for me (and I guess for many)  I'd like to see a M10 as simple and built like the M9 but with one central AF or/and live view x10
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Erick Boileau on October 29, 2011, 03:45:47 pm
I'd like to see the M10 with no less than 24 megapixels. Eleanor
for me 16 or 18 is enough on 24x36
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: baudolino on October 30, 2011, 01:59:17 pm
For me, the M9 makes sense for the compactness, simplicity of operation and incredible image quality from the combination of the lenses and the sensor. Ideal travel camera - which is a big point for me, because I tend to do most of my photography while traveling. Plus I really like how the files look great straight out of the camera, without much need for PP to bring them to life. Having said this, I miss AF (even though I've become quite proficient with the RF) and, in the future, would ideally like to use an AF version of the Lux 50 Asph with an FF camera producing the same image quality like the M9, but with ultra-fast face detection /nearest eye recognition (like EP3). A high-res EVF would also be useful, especially if it allowed me to use wide lenses (like my 24 Elmarit) without the silly accessory finder and with accurate framing.... So no, the RF is definitely not why I use the M9, I could say I use it despite the RF.
In the meantime, I am eyeing the S2 (in full knowledge that it is not a bigger M9) - AF, accurate framing with wide lenses, incredible image quality straight from the camera...
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: John Camp on October 30, 2011, 11:10:12 pm
I find it interesting how many people say that they don't really need the rangefinder in a "rangefinder style" camera. I completely agree, of course.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Erick Boileau on October 31, 2011, 02:56:51 am
they should build 2 M , one ringefinder and one simple 24x36 with AF like in the S2 
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: AlfSollund on October 31, 2011, 05:49:13 am
Agree, I don't really need the rangefinder in a "rangefinder style" camera, BUT it has to be as compact and user-friendly and simple in handling as the M9. So no live-view, no need to fumble with buttons nor menus while focusing, no cluttering of the viewer etc..
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: JeanMichel on October 31, 2011, 09:37:35 am
Good morning, afternoon or evening,
The replies to Michael's request make for very interesting reading. As does a column written by Rosie DiManno published by the Toronto Star today : http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1078488--dimanno-the-tactile-experience-of-newspapers-sacrificed-for-digital-dross
Rosie is not a Luddite -- she uses planes to travel and whatever modern equipment she need to file her columns. In a way her column brings me to clarify why I am so enthralled to be using an M9 with M lenses: the M is a familiar tool that I learned to use over the decades to help me convey my ideas photographically. In the end I produced silver on paper images and now ink on paper images that people may see and connect with. There was continuing changes: film emulsions changed, usually for the better, the M6 has a built-in light meter, and now the M9 records light digitally; ten or twenty years from now digital will also become a historical process and be replaced by I know not what but eager to see.
I have photographed since the mid-sixties and am still trying to get good at it. Making good photographs is hard enough without having to also figure out how to make mediocre videos or whatever other magical things that the camera to be released next week may make possible. In my case, an M9 or a camera similar to it lets me improve my work mainly because it is familiar and gives me all the control I need: shutter speed, ISO, aperture, ease of focus; and the design allows for a solid handling.
Jean-Michel 
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: fredjeang on October 31, 2011, 10:14:27 am
IMO, despite being an M fan, we have a camera that's been designed in a time and technology available completly different than the current reality, with a visual culture and outputs also very different.

It's good to keep respect for the tradition and learn from it, it's bad to be stucked in it, like we could be stucked into past memories.

Things have to move on.

The question IMO is this: what would be a contemporary M with the current tech keeping the M philosophy when they invent it in a remote time I wasn't born? The M9 is the path? I don't think so indeed.  

One of the terrain the M excels, is photojournalism. And photojournalism today is also motion and tomorrow it will be a lot motion. So if one of the M essence is reportage-journalism, the M_x will have to have video capabilities. Motion is not just about doing Godard or hollywood prods.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: mardag on October 31, 2011, 10:59:39 am

Hi Michael,

I΄m a wedding photographer in Sweden, shooting mainly with 5DII and primeLs. I bought the M9 for it΄s high image quality in a small package, but also since a had my eyes on the 50mm noctilux lens: http://dagnellfoto.se/lang/en/2011/09/leica-m9-noctilux-m-50mm-f0-95-asph-destination-wedding-photographer/
I΄ve come to appreciate the rangefinder experience after 1.5 years of usage and my intention is to add some more lenses, like 28cron ASPH and 21 summilux ASPH(which will serve as a compliment and backup to my canon). For my usage I would like to se faster write speed to the card(and buffer) and a better screen. Apart from that i΄m very satisfied with the camera.

Markus
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: fredjeang on October 31, 2011, 02:46:11 pm
I'd like to see the M10 with no less than 24 megapixels. Eleanor




This short post is interesting.

In the US (not that much in Europe), the M has been vastly adopted by landscape and fine-arts photographers. And the reason is obvious and understandable: reduced package with the closest output of a MF camera. So it was easy for the "landscapers" who generally need resolution and fine details, to adopt the Leica but lighten their bags.

Ironically, the M essence is not really at first targeting those kind of users. It came by accident because there is nothing similar today on the market.

So it's not surprising that people who need resolution and adopted the M, want more megapixels as they generally follow the MF backs evolutions.

It's a dilema IMO.
 
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Vivec on October 31, 2011, 06:56:44 pm
If it wasn't for the inherent shortcomings - others see these as advantages - associated with rangefinders I'd be using the M9 now.

I totally agree! What is great about the M9? it is a small light package with excellent image quality due to lenses and sensor, and it has a 'minimal' user interface: nice uncluttered direct access to shutter speed etc.
But composing and setting focus is not so great. Imagine using a high quality OLED for a viewfinder with focus peaking (as in the NEX7) -- that would basically fix all the troubles in one go. Or perhaps a solution like the Fuji X100 with still an optical viewfinder but an overlayed display of camera settings and focus peaking.  I am pretty sure that is what the M10 will be about. And I know Leica won't go that far, but if you add fast contrast detect autofocus, you could just as well bring out lenses with autofocus based on a ultrasonic motor (i.e. USM, SWM, SSM, etc)
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: stevesanacore on October 31, 2011, 06:59:27 pm
If it wasn't for the inherent shortcomings - others see these as advantages - associated with rangefinders I'd be using the M9 now.

I've come very close to buying an M system for many years now but hesitate because of the cost of the M9 body and it's limitations. I am guessing the high cost of the body is from the amazing workmanship in the old fashioned rangefinder system - as in a fine Swiss watch. I think Leica should get their teammate Panasonic to build a Leica branded M mount body with full size CMOS sensor, live view and digital viewfinder. Right now I'm waiting for the Nex7 with hopes of super high image quality with M mount glass. At the moment I lug around my Canon 1Ds3 and a set of Leica R lenses, so you can see my motivation for getting the same or even better quality in a much smaller and lighter package.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: allegretto on October 31, 2011, 07:01:47 pm
upon reading how many want the next M to have AF, Video and other things, I'm tempted to note that there are many cameras with those accoutrements. If those are deemed necessary, by all means buy one and be done. But to destroy the simplicity of the M for the sake of those features would severely detract from the factors most of us enjoy

does anyone really think an M9 can be graced with all those features (and M-lenses too) and retain the form factor and ease of handling? Not to mention reliability and trauma resistance?

AF M-lenses??? Hard to envision them being anything as compact and easy to carry as the current crop. I know all of you know how much plastic goes into AF lenses, unless of course you want their weights quoted in Kg.

If you want L-images and all those features, get an S2... but that's a horse of a very different color!
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: fredjeang on October 31, 2011, 07:22:14 pm
I've come very close to buying an M system for many years now but hesitate because of the cost of the M9 body and it's limitations. I am guessing the high cost of the body is from the amazing workmanship in the old fashioned rangefinder system - as in a fine Swiss watch. I think Leica should get their teammate Panasonic to build a Leica branded M mount body with full size CMOS sensor, live view and digital viewfinder. Right now I'm waiting for the Nex7 with hopes of super high image quality with M mount glass. At the moment I lug around my Canon 1Ds3 and a set of Leica R lenses, so you can see my motivation for getting the same or even better quality in a much smaller and lighter package.

FF Canon with R glasses work very well, but M glasses on smaller sensors like the Pana and the Sony aren't giving the excelence they deliver on a M body. There is no significant advantage to use M lenses on a GH2 for ex compared to the top-line m4/3.
This fact have been noticed many times by a lot of trustable experienced photographers.

I wouldn't bet a stellar IQ increment using expensive M glasses on a Nex except at full aperture.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: allegretto on October 31, 2011, 07:54:22 pm
ten or twenty years from now digital will also become a historical process and be replaced by I know not what but eager to see.

Jean-Michel 

Been photographing since mid-60's too... as you, one day I'll get the hang of it

anyway... emulsion was/is digital, sensors are digital, your eye sees digitally, your brain processes digitally.

expect the sensors to become more exotic, smaller, lower-noise etc. Expect the boxes, lenses and focusing systems to change (imagine "glass" that changes its IR in response to electrical signals to focus instantly etc...) but don't expect the loss of "digital". Nature is Digital, the Known Universe is Digital...
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: telyt on November 01, 2011, 01:27:21 pm
... Right now I'm waiting for the Nex7 with hopes of super high image quality with M mount glass. At the moment I lug around my Canon 1Ds3 and a set of Leica R lenses, so you can see my motivation for getting the same or even better quality in a much smaller and lighter package.

The NEX 7 has a lot going for it.  A compact responsive body for my Leica-R and Nikon AIS lenses with focus peaking certainly has my attention, but until it's adequately tested and proven otherwise I'm going to assume that a 12-bit AA-filtered sensor's output isn't a match for the output from the 16-bit no-AA-filtered DMR regardless of the number of pixels.  I'd like to see what Leica's compact EVIL camera will be.  I'm hoping for a user interface like the S2 and image quality at least as good as the DMR.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: stevesanacore on November 01, 2011, 07:41:55 pm
FF Canon with R glasses work very well, but M glasses on smaller sensors like the Pana and the Sony aren't giving the excelence they deliver on a M body. There is no significant advantage to use M lenses on a GH2 for ex compared to the top-line m4/3.
This fact have been noticed many times by a lot of trustable experienced photographers.

I wouldn't bet a stellar IQ increment using expensive M glasses on a Nex except at full aperture.

I have heard this from a few people here and wonder why this is the case? Is there a scientific reason? I guess I'll wind up with an M9 after all if turns out to remain the only option for ultimate image quality in a compact system.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: fredjeang on November 02, 2011, 07:04:41 am
I have heard this from a few people here and wonder why this is the case? Is there a scientific reason? I guess I'll wind up with an M9 after all if turns out to remain the only option for ultimate image quality in a compact system.


I'm not an engineer, but this is indeed the case. Putting M glasses on smaller APS sensors is not a profitable business IMO, because they are costly and the gain is academic. Of course if you already have a Leica lens collec you'll have great results. I'm talking about people who want to buy expensive  M lenses from scratch thinking mounting them on those cheap cameras will be the grail...this is not working as expected. No stellar miracle.

Maybe those sensors are not yet capable to deliver the M glasses performances and we really need to mount them on a FF with little AA or not if they keep the CCD line.

Regarding the GH2, I've noticed that there is no logic at all: some expensive glasses are just ok, and some cheap ones are working very well. I give-up trying to find a rational explaination because that's none of my business and I go pragmatic, testing in real world each unit. When not convinced, I sell.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: ErikKaffehr on November 02, 2011, 10:33:01 am
Hi,

The Panasonic sensor has a sensor pitch half of the Leica M9. The Panasonic lenses are designed for that small sensor pitch and the Leica lenses may not be optimized to such a small pixel size. I tried to compare RAW images from DPReview shot on their standard setup with both Leica M9 and Panasonic GH2. The GH2 was actually sharper, but working with "raw" I realised that DPReview shot the Leica M9 at /f16, so the Leica would be handicapped by diffraction.

Best regards
Erik

I'm not an engineer, but this is indeed the case. Putting M glasses on smaller APS sensors is not a profitable business IMO, because they are costly and the gain is academic. Of course if you already have a Leica lens collec you'll have great results. I'm talking about people who want to buy expensive  M lenses from scratch thinking mounting them on those cheap cameras will be the grail...this is not working as expected. No stellar miracle.

Maybe those sensors are not yet capable to deliver the M glasses performances and we really need to mount them on a FF with little AA or not if they keep the CCD line.

Regarding the GH2, I've noticed that there is no logic at all: some expensive glasses are just ok, and some cheap ones are working very well. I give-up trying to find a rational explaination because that's none of my business and I go pragmatic, testing in real world each unit. When not convinced, I sell.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: fredjeang on November 02, 2011, 05:57:22 pm
Hi,

The Panasonic sensor has a sensor pitch half of the Leica M9. The Panasonic lenses are designed for that small sensor pitch and the Leica lenses may not be optimized to such a small pixel size. I tried to compare RAW images from DPReview shot on their standard setup with both Leica M9 and Panasonic GH2. The GH2 was actually sharper, but working with "raw" I realised that DPReview shot the Leica M9 at /f16, so the Leica would be handicapped by diffraction.

Best regards
Erik


I think you're right. It must be something like that.

There are lenses that are incredible on m4/3, and they are top anyway: the Zuiko digitals of the 4/3 time (pro line). For a few thousand bucks you have the creme de la creme. They could compeat with any of the Zeiss, Fujinon or Cooke cine line, and for way way cheaper. IMO, the Zuiko digital of the pro line are as good as the best glasses available today.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: ErikKaffehr on November 03, 2011, 01:45:30 am
Hi,

I tried to find some valid data for comparing 4/3 lenses with Leica, but it's not easy. Erwin Puts has a lot of MTF data on Leica Lenses but although both Olympus and Panasonic publishes MTF data they are not that easy to find. Also the MTF data published is different.

DPReview has lens tests, and they have tested the Leica X1, and I found the enclosed comparison. In this I would say that the Leica and the 4/3 lens were on par, but if we keep on mind that 4/3 has 33% higher linear magnification than APS-C the 4/3 lens is significantly better. Sensor plays also a role in this kind of comparison.

The DPReview lens tests seem to be very good, in my impression, but there are only few of them.

Best regards
Erik


I think you're right. It must be something like that.

There are lenses that are incredible on m4/3, and they are top anyway: the Zuiko digitals of the 4/3 time (pro line). For a few thousand bucks you have the creme de la creme. They could compeat with any of the Zeiss, Fujinon or Cooke cine line, and for way way cheaper. IMO, the Zuiko digital of the pro line are as good as the best glasses available today.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: AlfSollund on November 03, 2011, 10:10:32 am
Of course if you already have a Leica lens collec you'll have great results.

Im not so sure about that. I have done my own small comparison of Leica M and Pana glass and GH2, and frankly I was disappointed by the results from Leica glass when comparing with Pana glass.

Please see:
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=55566.0

My understanding and hope is that the NEX5n and 7 will be better optimized for such glass than the "old" m43 bodies.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: ErikKaffehr on November 03, 2011, 10:29:16 am
Hi,

The sensor on the NEX is larger than 4/3. Also, the existing E-mount lenses seem to be less than impressive regarding sharpness. I don't think it's about optimization. Panasonic lenses are probably very good, and for 4/3 format they are probably better than most lenses made for 135 format.

Best regards
Erik

Im not so sure about that. I have done my own small comparison of Leica M and Pana glass and GH2, and frankly I was disappointed by the results from Leica glass when comparing with Pana glass.

Please see:
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=55566.0

My understanding and hope is that the NEX5n and 7 will be better optimized for such glass than the "old" m43 bodies.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: dseelig on November 04, 2011, 12:59:25 am
Hi Michael
forme is it is both the rangefinder and the lenses. The compact size the lack of intimadiing strangers that the leica gives me. For all of my personal projects in my life they have all been leica shot since I ot my first Leica m2 in 1977. I am working on a project on new orleans now and shooting wiht two m9s and 24 35 50 and 75 luxes and the wate. my only problem was extreme low light so I just picked up a sony nex 5n. i do not have it yet but I will try it was thinking of getting a noctilux but will try the sony first. I will get a m10 when they come out but they better do iso 6400 at leat as well as a canon mk iv
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: bobtowery on November 04, 2011, 10:37:32 am
For me it is the size/quality equation. Great size for both travelling and for shooting inconspicuously. Image quality surpasses anything else I have owned. (And thanks for the inspiration with the various M9 stories published here over the past four years.)
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: fredjeang on November 16, 2011, 05:01:12 pm
By the way,

Do you know how to read the serial number on M lenses?
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: JeanMichel on November 16, 2011, 06:46:09 pm
By the way,

Do you know how to read the serial number on M lenses?

Hi,
See if this link helps: http://www.kenrockwell.com/leica/lens-serial-numbers.htm

Jean-Michel
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: fredjeang on November 17, 2011, 03:54:27 am
Hi,
See if this link helps: http://www.kenrockwell.com/leica/lens-serial-numbers.htm

Jean-Michel
Thanks Jean Michel,

I had this list from another source, but the Rockwell link in the end is more detailed: http://www.imx.nl/photo/downloads/files/leicapocket_pod1.pdf
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: JeanMichel on November 17, 2011, 10:29:56 am

I had this list from another source, but the Rockwell link in the end is more detailed: http://www.imx.nl/photo/downloads/files/leicapocket_pod1.pdf
[/quote]

..and thank you for this link.
I have my 3 lenses at Leica(USA) for adjustments and it looks like that these are all the optics I will ever need a 21 would be nice, but the VC one I have is more than just acceptable). But should I be tempted by another lens, this publication will be useful. So thank you.

Jean-Michel
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: adanac on November 18, 2011, 11:55:06 am
With respect to the poll, I have and will buy M glass (Leica or otherwise) even though I have no current intention to buy a M digital rangefinder and my film rangefinder days are behind me.

I wouldn't bet a stellar IQ increment using expensive M glasses on a Nex except at full aperture.

Stellar? Maybe not, that's a high level to achieve, adjective-wise. Noticeable? Absolutely.

My sample size is very small though... I have but the single E mount kit 18-55mm lens and am not planning on buying any others at this point.

Comparing the one kit lens (do I have a bad copy or are they all similar?) at 25mm, 35mm, 50mm to every M and SLR glass I have, every single manual focus lens new and old outperformed the Sony in terms of resolution and apparent sharpness.  The Sony suffers from less flare than some of my decades old glass - a win there for the E team, barely. Sadly the Sony lens shows smearing at the edges and corners yet even the ZM 25 and 35 perform very well in this regard on the 5N.

Actually the sample size being small isn't really a concern - my observations aren't unique, as I've read similar accounts and seen visual evidence presented by others comparing various E mount lenses to current or legacy manual focus primes and zooms.

Back to the purpose of the thread, there was a time where a rangefinder body for me was a good compromise for a do-most-things camera. I especially liked the nature of the finder and how it supported shooting people in their environment. But for landscape and macro my small Contax with a nice Zeiss up front did things the rangefinder could not do, at the near and far end of focal lengths. A Contax 139 with a short lens is quite transportable in fact.

Yet I like rangefinder lenses; the dimensions (width primarily), the relatively short focus travel distance, better depth of field scales typically than my SLR glass. I really like using this glass on the NEX and have recently discovered the joys of a Hawk helicoid adapter on the NEX which drops the minimum focus distance  of any M glass by a considerable amount allowing for whole new perspectives. For example a ZM 25 with stock MFD of 1.5 feet becomes something of a macro exploration tool with a MFD of just a few inches. One such adapter expands the utility of every M mount lens in one's bag. This sort of utility is impossible on a rangefinder.

The one thing I miss is getting the true field of view and depth of field characteristics my rangefinder glass can deliver on full frame film or digital sensor. Were Sony or Ricoh to introduce a FF version of their M compatible products I'd be one of the many who would be very interested indeed, although in Ricoh's case they need to up the ante in their EVF first, and probably would if a FF version were to be on the drawing board.

That said, even if crop cameras are the only available host for my M glass aside from paying up for a M9, I don't consider it a waste to put M glass on a NEX or Ricoh GXR or any short flange focal distance camera that can be adapted successfully to use M / LTM glass.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Rob C on November 19, 2011, 03:38:51 pm
If it wasn't for the inherent shortcomings - others see these as advantages - associated with rangefinders I'd be using the M9 now.



Hi Keith

I think I detect a certain amount of tongue-in-cheek?

;-)

Rob C
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: ErikKaffehr on November 19, 2011, 04:17:10 pm
Hi,

Unfortunately it seems that the NEX lenses are not very good. It seems that the 18-200 is pretty good, and so is the new Zeiss 24 mm, at least at center. On the plus side the NEX accepts almost any lens, but on the minus side it has a crop factor of 1.5. Would be nice if Sony would produce a series of decent lenses for the NEX or release  a full frame camera that can utilize existing lenses.

But as Yoda says: "Difficult to predit the future is!"

Best regards
Erik

With respect to the poll, I have and will buy M glass (Leica or otherwise) even though I have no current intention to buy a M digital rangefinder and my film rangefinder days are behind me.

Stellar? Maybe not, that's a high level to achieve, adjective-wise. Noticeable? Absolutely.

My sample size is very small though... I have but the single E mount kit 18-55mm lens and am not planning on buying any others at this point.

Comparing the one kit lens (do I have a bad copy or are they all similar?) at 25mm, 35mm, 50mm to every M and SLR glass I have, every single manual focus lens new and old outperformed the Sony in terms of resolution and apparent sharpness.  The Sony suffers from less flare than some of my decades old glass - a win there for the E team, barely. Sadly the Sony lens shows smearing at the edges and corners yet even the ZM 25 and 35 perform very well in this regard on the 5N.

Actually the sample size being small isn't really a concern - my observations aren't unique, as I've read similar accounts and seen visual evidence presented by others comparing various E mount lenses to current or legacy manual focus primes and zooms.

Back to the purpose of the thread, there was a time where a rangefinder body for me was a good compromise for a do-most-things camera. I especially liked the nature of the finder and how it supported shooting people in their environment. But for landscape and macro my small Contax with a nice Zeiss up front did things the rangefinder could not do, at the near and far end of focal lengths. A Contax 139 with a short lens is quite transportable in fact.

Yet I like rangefinder lenses; the dimensions (width primarily), the relatively short focus travel distance, better depth of field scales typically than my SLR glass. I really like using this glass on the NEX and have recently discovered the joys of a Hawk helicoid adapter on the NEX which drops the minimum focus distance  of any M glass by a considerable amount allowing for whole new perspectives. For example a ZM 25 with stock MFD of 1.5 feet becomes something of a macro exploration tool with a MFD of just a few inches. One such adapter expands the utility of every M mount lens in one's bag. This sort of utility is impossible on a rangefinder.

The one thing I miss is getting the true field of view and depth of field characteristics my rangefinder glass can deliver on full frame film or digital sensor. Were Sony or Ricoh to introduce a FF version of their M compatible products I'd be one of the many who would be very interested indeed, although in Ricoh's case they need to up the ante in their EVF first, and probably would if a FF version were to be on the drawing board.

That said, even if crop cameras are the only available host for my M glass aside from paying up for a M9, I don't consider it a waste to put M glass on a NEX or Ricoh GXR or any short flange focal distance camera that can be adapted successfully to use M / LTM glass.

Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: DeeJay on November 20, 2011, 08:44:30 am
After reading such rave reviews about the m9. I really am excited about the prospects of dropping an MF system for the Leica. But for what I need it for, that is fast shooting and shooting tethered, I'm not sure the rangefinder is right for what I need. Pixel count is still a bit low for my needs. Accurate framing is another big thing too. i do like precision here. But I suppose if it was good enough for Bresson....ha. Manual focus on a tiny viewfinder which is "hindered" (for want of a better word) by rangefinder focussing is a turn off too.

But it really is a serious consideration for me but I'm not going to invest on a whim. I'm booked back to back and finding time to test something like this is near impossible these days. I suppose I'm looking for someone who is shooting fashion to say. "It's the best thing ever". I'm not sure I'm going to find that anytime soon though....

I love the look of the Leica files though. They are unique and distinct. That's a valuable characteristic. Would love the m9 in an slr. Manual focus would be ok. Either that or just someone to convince me that it will work well for what I need. Anyone? Please? :)

Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Rob C on November 20, 2011, 10:42:14 am
DeeJay

I think Cooter has said more or less what you seek to hear already... go spend the money!

Rob C
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: JimGoshorn on November 20, 2011, 01:16:06 pm
If your looking for photographers who use M's for fashion, you can always post the question on the Leica Forum:

http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-forum/customer-forum/

Jim
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: mardag on November 23, 2011, 07:19:10 am
Here΄s one photographer that uses the M9 for fashion:

http://www.shanidze.com/en/index.php
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Rob C on November 23, 2011, 10:27:51 am
Strange but interesting link; can't think his choice of an RF camera altogether suits some of the subject types, but I understand that sponsorship crosses a lot of considerations! ;-)

How differently people in different cultures see things; makes me wonder why a stock agency will edit everything in a single city and yet think it can cover all tastes... been there, forced to wear the T-shirt.

Rob C
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: fredjeang on November 24, 2011, 06:42:17 am
Am I right to say that the SOOGZ is to fit 39mm and not 41 as I read sometimes in internet.

Mine is for a 39mm filters,

I ignore if there was a version for 41mm wich seems strange to me.

So, SOOGZ=39mm ? or there where other versions produced?
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Sal_VE on November 25, 2011, 11:44:06 am
Having read all the posts I cannot avoid to put my two cents in.
When young and single I owned and used a great M6, dropped photography after marriage and sold the whole bag of goodies. Recently picked up shooting again (yes I’m divorcing) and bought a second hand M8 with a couple of lenses I knew by hart. Pressed by friends and pros about the fact that modern DSLR are equal if not better than Leica I went on to buy a 5DmkII with zoom and finally got my own view.
I had the chance to go to the same landscape setting twice and take more or less the same pictures, with the 5D the first time and with the M8 the second. 5 out of 84 5D shots went on to the printer while 12 out of 18 m8 shots are now happily showing in my portfolio book. Beside the lighter packing, the kind of involvement I have with the M8 is simply unparalleled. I foresee the picture before pressing the button, I’m in control of focus, aperture and exposure, all this at a much faster pace than the 5D on manual. Most of the time I end up getting what I was looking for and always with a little more twist.
M8 only drawbacks is sensor size and display readability. Using primes requires some PP cropping with file size not always large enough for the print I want. The M8 LCD is almost useless in most light conditions.
Maybe Christmas is the right time to trade the beloved M8 in for the M9.
Conclusion: it is not about range finder nor lens usage. Is the whole experience together with size and weight that make the M the most rewarding tool in my bag.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Rob C on November 29, 2011, 04:05:33 am
If I may slip in an opinion, as a non-owner, it's this: I'd love to have an M9 for one huge but simple reason - size. I find that carrying a camera as habit is impossible to achieve when thinking in terms of a single-lens reflex. It just weighs too damned much and takes up so much physical room that it's a nuisance if you stop off for a coffee or a snack somewhere; then, going to the rest rooms is even worse with that in tow, and as for a tripod... of course, that's on the assumption that you are travelling alone or are very trusting.

Now that I'm thinking about it, a further reason comes to mind: I don't like RF focussing, but as my eyes fail me, I am coming to accept zone focussing as the only way I'm going to be able to do it, regardless of viewfinding system. So much for my longer lenses :-(

Rob C
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: DeeJay on November 30, 2011, 06:11:38 am
DeeJay

I think Cooter has said more or less what you seek to hear already... go spend the money!

Rob C

Thanks, who's cooter and where is it been spoken about? I've looked in this thread and can't find anything.

Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Rob C on November 30, 2011, 01:16:58 pm
Thanks, who's cooter and where is it been spoken about? I've looked in this thread and can't find anything.




Do a search on the site for bcooter; he's one of the best pros we have here. You'll come across him quite regularly on the Video/Motion side of the action. You can accept his opinion on things photographic - he's not only been there and done that, he's still doing it!

Rob C
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: HJW on December 08, 2011, 02:07:27 pm
Basically, Leicas are the cameras I've had all my teenage and adult life. I've had other cameras during that time; often many but Leicas remained. I started with a IIIg and Ig and today have an M6, an M7, an M8 and an M9. The M6 and the M9 get the most use. In the last 50 years I've never had fewer than 4 Leica lenses and at present have a lot out of which I choose combinations for various reasons. An M9 and Summilux 35 would be the last camera/lens combo I would get rid of. As a straight picture taking machine, the M9 continues for the most part what Leicas have always done: take pictures without getting in the way, and with lenses you can trust to deliver at all apertures and under all conditions.

For telephoto and travel I mostly use m4/3's, and for paying work I mostly use Canon with tilt/shift lenses. For my own, general use I use Leica M's.

Henning
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Rob C on December 09, 2011, 08:19:21 am
Basically, Leicas are the cameras I've had all my teenage and adult life. I've had other cameras during that time; often many but Leicas remained. I started with a IIIg and Ig and today have an M6, an M7, an M8 and an M9. The M6 and the M9 get the most use. In the last 50 years I've never had fewer than 4 Leica lenses and at present have a lot out of which I choose combinations for various reasons. An M9 and Summilux 35 would be the last camera/lens combo I would get rid of. As a straight picture taking machine, the M9 continues for the most part what Leicas have always done: take pictures without getting in the way, and with lenses you can trust to deliver at all apertures and under all conditions.

For telephoto and travel I mostly use m4/3's, and for paying work I mostly use Canon with tilt/shift lenses. For my own, general use I use Leica M's.

Henning

Only Leica lens I have any memory of is the 21mm, possibly Schneider - can't remember now - that we used to use for room sets for BBC TV in Glasgow. Spectacular b/w 'colour' from it.

For myself, I'd go for the M9 and a 35mm, what I imagine must be the ultimate walk-around combination.

Sadly, all theory today.

Rob C
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: schrodingerscat on December 11, 2011, 01:50:31 pm
Used M 3s & 4s for thirty plus years, mostly with a 35 1.4. Went digital in '99 and worked my way up to a 5D II with the 16-35 II, a huge beast that felt wrong every time I picked it up. When the M9 came out, bit the bullet and started putting together lenses for it. Have concentrated on legacy lenses as I prefere the subtle contrast characteristics(and a fraction of the cost of new). Images in LR look very close to Kodachrome 25 by default and started dabbling in B&W again.

I just happen to prefere working with a rangefinder, and with the quality of the results will be happy with the camera for years to come. Have also gotten back in the habit of having it with me most of the time. Slung on a shoulder, you almost forget it's there. I've used large format, medium format, and a range of SLRs, as well as doing my own B&W processing(mostly 400 pushed to 800) and printing. Rangefinders are a good fit for me, and I still try and keep the craft of printing as part of the hobby. And no, I don't think everyone else should follow suite.

After almost 40 years of using Leica gear I'm still not a doctor...dangnabit.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Rob C on December 11, 2011, 03:11:23 pm
Used M 3s & 4s for thirty plus years, mostly with a 35 1.4. Went digital in '99 and worked my way up to a 5D II with the 16-35 II, a huge beast that felt wrong every time I picked it up. When the M9 came out, bit the bullet and started putting together lenses for it. Have concentrated on legacy lenses as I prefere the subtle contrast characteristics(and a fraction of the cost of new). Images in LR look very close to Kodachrome 25 by default and started dabbling in B&W again.

I just happen to prefere working with a rangefinder, and with the quality of the results will be happy with the camera for years to come. Have also gotten back in the habit of having it with me most of the time. Slung on a shoulder, you almost forget it's there. I've used large format, medium format, and a range of SLRs, as well as doing my own B&W processing(mostly 400 pushed to 800) and printing. Rangefinders are a good fit for me, and I still try and keep the craft of printing as part of the hobby. And no, I don't think everyone else should follow suite.

After almost 40 years of using Leica gear I'm still not a doctor...dangnabit.


But, have you been carrying the camera in a black leather case? Could make all the difference!

Rob C
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: schrodingerscat on December 16, 2011, 10:19:36 pm
Great idea, in the grand Hunter S Thompson tradition. Will start poking around on ebay.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: mas55101 on December 19, 2011, 07:52:05 pm
It's the rangefinder.  The CV 50/1.5 is phenomenal as is the Zeiss 35/2.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: yoni on December 23, 2011, 05:50:34 pm
I shoot with both rangefinder (R-D1, M9) and 1dsM3.  I have a love-hate relation with rangefinders. I like traveling light,  shooting discretely, and quick operation in street settings. All things I get from my rangefinder. While I appreciate the quality of the leica and zeiss lenses I have, its really the rangefinder style that is of greater importance to me.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Anders_HK on January 09, 2012, 07:24:36 am
If you own (or have owned) an M8 or M9, I'd like to know whether this is primarily because you like shooting with a rangefinder / viewfinder style camera, or because you want to be able to use Leica M lenses (including Voigtlander and Zeiss).

Michael,

I had the Leica M8 which is a lovely camera for the way it handles, simply as a traditionally camera and with digital implemented without any wiz and myriad of buttons but simple control, very manual.

The rangefinder viewfinder was excellent. Having also owned Mamiya 7 a rangefinder felt natural, but it should be like those an optical viewfinder. Now I shoot Hy6 with a waist level viewfinder, which is bright. A "traditional" viewfinder where you see the actual scene through a prime optics or a groundglass is in my view superior to any live view or electronic vewfinder. It is about previsualizing the image prior to capture and because it is bright and real. I fail to see the point of viewing an electronic image which does not accurate represent the scene infront of me, nor that represents the scene after I have processed the raw file.

Only reason I sold the M8 was it was too much money to keep in a system when I prefer image quality from digital back, and because the M8 was nearly same limited in ISO. A higher ISO version and smaller than M series rangefinder would be ideal as a complement. Please make that a Leica! - and less $$ than the M8.

Thanks for asking.

Best regards,
Anders
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: hasselbladfan on January 12, 2012, 09:30:41 am
Only for the glass.

Over the past 20 years I had surely 6-7 different bodies, but what always stayed constant are my Summicrons.

I am sure even my children will pass them on to their children.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Rob C on January 12, 2012, 01:13:14 pm
Only for the glass.

Over the past 20 years I had surely 6-7 different bodies, but what always stayed constant are my Summicrons.

I am sure even my children will pass them on to their children.




That post is steeped in genetics. I may have to refer it. I hope your Summicrons are still working - they tend to let you down as you get older. Or are on heart pills.

Rob C
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Pingang on January 15, 2012, 09:01:18 am
Rangefinder was designed in a time there is not much else and this is 2012, I mean, it is fun to use but not necessary the best way for photography. I love the rangefinder, shoot some picture, the lens factor in today's digital photography played a less important - but still important - roll, so as the choice of it. It is for me for fun (and it is important too), but for serious job, I think DSLRs (or those mirrorless) play better role for me.
The rangefinder system, like my M9, more for the fun and to make use of the lenses already have, not really that the lens play so much magic.


PA
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Rob C on January 15, 2012, 01:41:12 pm
Rangefinder was designed in a time there is not much else and this is 2012, I mean, it is fun to use but not necessary the best way for photography. I love the rangefinder, shoot some picture, the lens factor in today's digital photography played a less important - but still important - roll, so as the choice of it. It is for me for fun (and it is important too), but for serious job, I think DSLRs (or those mirrorless) play better role for me.
The rangefinder system, like my M9, more for the fun and to make use of the lenses already have, not really that the lens play so much magic.


PA



Well, I never owned a Leica, but I have printed a few Leica negs in my career! And my experience was that they really were different. The same held true for transparencies shot through Leica glass, and I did print some Cibas from them...

But perhaps it's just a phenomenon with film?

Rob C
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: mas55101 on January 15, 2012, 07:14:02 pm
Michael, definitely for the rangefinder, followed closely by camera and lens size. For anything other than 28-50 mm's  though, I use SLR's.

Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: scooby70 on January 23, 2012, 09:32:18 am
In this company I'd probably get shot for saying this...

I hung onto rangefinders but in the end I gave in to the reality that my photography was 99% digital and when a GF1 became my carry about camera I sold / gave them away.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: DeeJay on February 05, 2012, 02:13:06 pm
Well I just bought an M9 Kit.

I'm truly and instantly converted. This system is INCREDIBLE.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: hasselbladfan on February 07, 2012, 04:06:34 am
How do you vote?

I would vote 7 x glass. And I have not finished buying them all :)
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: JeanMichel on February 08, 2012, 03:11:09 pm
Hi,
I thought that i would post an UNFAIR comparison of an image made with a Canon 5D2 with a 24-105 lens (at 105 mm and f/11 ) on a tripod, live view, 10 second timer, triggered with a remote control; and a handheld shot with the M9 with a 50 mm Summicron from 1965, 1/60 second at f/2 --I know, the file says 2.8, but it was 2.0, the Leica guesses OK but not exactly. The Canon crop is 3420 by 4805; the Leica crop is 2982 by 3867. The Leica shot was made at the minimum focusing distance, about 3'4" at at an awkward stance, it is a bit soft due to perhaps a bit of body motion after focusing, etc. The point is that for documenting exhibitions -- I am sold on my Canon, with LV it is a mini view camera, and the results are excellent. Yet, the quick, handheld and wide open Leica shot, if not viewed side by side with the Canon image, is quite fine and has a nice glow to it. For much of my work I am very happy to be back using my Leica lenses (this 50, a 1962 35 Summicron with goggles, 135 Elmarit and a 21 VC). The 135 is a bit of a challenge to use and will probably not be used much. It may be that new lenses would be 'better' and that was partially why I hesitated a long time before purchasing the M9, but with those i make equal or better prints that made in the darkroom, and at a larger size.
Enough rambling, here a is a screen shot from LR.
Jean-Michel
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: KevinA on February 09, 2012, 06:13:28 am
Michael,
Maybe the question should be why have you not bought into Leica given their excellent reputation for quality images.
I have been on the brink so many times, but always pulled back.

Kevin.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Gary Ferguson on February 10, 2012, 12:06:26 pm
Mike Johnston at The Online Photographer has commented that he suspects many photographers who use Leica M's don't really like using rangefinders at all, but the attraction of the great optics or even just the glamour of the Leica name makes them overlook the manifest shortcomings of the rangefinder system.

I get that. I've been a Leica M user for thirty years despite really disliking rangefinders,

1. They're not great for spectacle wearers
2. They're uncomfortable in the portrait position
3. The viewfinder experience is terrific for one or two focal lengths...and compromised for everything else.

So why continue?

Basically because I travel a lot with my job, and when the Leica M9 was launched it offered the best quality in the smallest and most portable package. Hey, with the 50mm collapsable lens it was even pocketable! And you can always find room in a briefcase or travel bag for an M9, a couple of lenses, and that great little Leitz folding tripod.

But that title of the the miniature champ is now being strongly challenged, so I doubt I'll stay with the M system for much longer.

Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Rob C on February 10, 2012, 03:32:41 pm
I’m waiting to see what the Leica M10 has to offer or their promised 'mirrorless' offering. I'm also keen to see how the Fuji X-Pro1 performs.

Ideally I'm after a compact full frame system that has the option of accurate framing, focus confirmation and quality lenses. For the moment it doesn't exist, but I have the feeling it isn't that far off.





Keef; welcome to the Noble Company of Seekers After the Holy Grail (NCSAHG).

You can be Vice- to my Pressy!

I've dreamed of that for ever and the closest I did get was, hold your breath - the Nikon F. Pocketable? If you have big pockets; accurate? 100% viewfinder image. Interchangeable lenses? Of course, but then you'd need a trench coat, as with any other system camera.
 
For a while there you had me worried: Hassy and Leica? I thought you might be the guy getting between me and the Euromillions twice a week!

;-)

Rob C
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Gary Ferguson on February 11, 2012, 02:33:03 pm
Here's another thing. When the M9 came out it pretty much matched the maximum pixels that you got on any 35mm DSLR. But there's now a Dalsa based rumour that the M10 will be 24 MPX, where as the Nikon bar (and Canon et al surely won't be far behind and may end up ahead) is now at 36 MPX.

As a long time Leica user I thought I was far too mature and wise to let that be an issue...but sadly it is!
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Christoph C. Feldhaim on February 11, 2012, 04:20:27 pm
I don't own a Leica (wished I had some spare coing for an M9 system), but I've been working with Rangefinders most of the time.
I just traded my Mamiya Press system against a Mamiya 7 II.
Reasons originally for me were to have a cheap MF system (M.Press), but now the decision for the Mamiya 7 ii was for image quality mainly and bulk.
I am still waiting for the 43 mm lens (will arrive soonish), but expect superb IQ from that Biogon designed lens.
If I would sell my Nikon LS 9000 scanner and the Mamiya 7 I could get a great DSLR kit for that, but I won't do it.
Instead I'll go for a view camera (Arca Swiss F I hope one day) with roll film magazines.

For me the reasons for the Mamiya 7 ii were (in that priority):
1. IQ in wide angle
2. Bulk

If I would ever get a Leica system it would be for the highest IQ/bulk index.

Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: DeeJay on February 15, 2012, 09:10:50 am
Here's another thing. When the M9 came out it pretty much matched the maximum pixels that you got on any 35mm DSLR. But there's now a Dalsa based rumour that the M10 will be 24 MPX, where as the Nikon bar (and Canon et al surely won't be far behind and may end up ahead) is now at 36 MPX.

As a long time Leica user I thought I was far too mature and wise to let that be an issue...but sadly it is!

I think the 36mp samples from the new Nikons show why the Megapixel race ended with the flagship cameras. While I haven't heavily tested every system I'm sort of feeling that anything beyond 22mp in a dSLR is just marketing.

It will be interesting to see what the impending Canon files will look like at a rumoured 45mp, but I can guess and will place a bet that they really look no different from a Canon 5D2 file, just bigger.

These camera companies have had a decade of making a lot of money out of people, pushing us with the upgrades -  intact the industry has seen nothing like it in its entire history. There was a mystery of "how far is it going to go". But I really think it signals the boundaries of 135 and If I need bigger than 22mp I will turn to my medium format kit.

All IMO of corse but I'll gladly stick with my 18mp M9.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Paul Kay on February 17, 2012, 10:47:40 am
Michael

I have used Leica Ms off and on throughout my 30 year photographic career. Fundamentally I enjoy using M rangefinders. However I also find that the latest designed lenses are also probably the best that I've ever owned or used - they are utterly reliable in their ability to produce superb images.

I also find that I like the discipline of shooting with a limited number of fast, fixed focal lengths. This forces me to think much harder about my images and this combined with the fact that I often leave a tripod behind, means that I have to work harder to produce useful material - which is, I believe, as a consequence, often different from other photographer's work. I have just returned from a trip away and reviewing my images against those held by libraries shows some significantly different material - no bad thing in today's ultra-competitive world.

Whilst I might consider using M lenses on another type of body, it would have to be full-frame (or minimally 1.3x) and as well made and with simple controls to entice me to do so. I also shot 5D2s and have no desire to see an M lens fitting camera with lots of buttons on it. As far as I am concerned the M9 is an exceptionally effective digital replacement for the M6 I used to own and I am very content with it as it is at present.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: 250swb on February 21, 2012, 04:14:22 am
Never had a problem using a rangefinder with glasses, never had a problem with a limited set of focal lengths. The M9 is a simple camera and that is why I like it, but that doesn't mean it only takes simple pictures and the only saving grace are a set of fine quality lenses. If people paid less attention to price and lens quality and more attention to creativity and productivity we may get beyond the 'I need' syndrome that keeps people at home wishing for the next imaginary model.

It is true that taking a simple camera out the front door is tantamount to leaving your 'blue blanket' behind, and that is perhaps why people always want something more, it is the fundamental insecurity of being metorphorically naked in public without a zoom lens to cover your bits up. But you can be sure of one thing, the next camera still won't be good enough, not until the insecurity of needing multi function DLSR's or EVIL camera's etc. is overcome. Photographers who use simple rangefinders and stick with them are not dinosaurs, but perhaps they do have a more pragmatic view of the world that makes them look old fashioned from the outside. They know that the only thing that makes a good photograph is the photographers eye, because there is precious little else regarding equipment to help them out, and that can be a scary thought.

Steve
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Rob C on February 21, 2012, 04:41:00 am
Never had a problem using a rangefinder with glasses, never had a problem with a limited set of focal lengths. The M9 is a simple camera and that is why I like it, but that doesn't mean it only takes simple pictures and the only saving grace are a set of fine quality lenses. If people paid less attention to price and lens quality and more attention to creativity and productivity we may get beyond the 'I need' syndrome that keeps people at home wishing for the next imaginary model.

It is true that taking a simple camera out the front door is tantamount to leaving your 'blue blanket' behind, and that is perhaps why people always want something more, it is the fundamental insecurity of being metorphorically naked in public without a zoom lens to cover your bits up. But you can be sure of one thing, the next camera still won't be good enough, not until the insecurity of needing multi function DLSR's or EVIL camera's etc. is overcome. Photographers who use simple rangefinders and stick with them are not dinosaurs, but perhaps they do have a more pragmatic view of the world that makes them look old fashioned from the outside. They know that the only thing that makes a good photograph is the photographers eye, because there is precious little else regarding equipment to help them out, and that can be a scary thought. Steve



Even more scary that anyone should approach photography from a position of fear! It's simplicity itself, once you realise that primitive camera functions actually make life that more well, simple!

Great snapping all depends on what you find once you are out there.

I watched part of a recent link to HC-B in conversation wirth Charlie Rose: part of, because the thing stopped streaming - but what struck me was that the old snapper was so obviously bored and frustrated with the age-old questions and the with the interviewer himself that he appeared to be about to walk off set at any minute. Refreshing was his stance that you must not actively want anything - you must be receptive and open instead.

Rob C
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: cole2010 on February 21, 2012, 08:05:21 am
(http://www.herfree.com/avatar1.jpg)Ricoh is using Sony sensors for its M-module
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Dan Wells on February 24, 2012, 11:49:10 am
     I've used M8s, loved the glass (of course), could never really get used to the rangefinder for landscape (what I do, but in the Eastern US, it's NOT always at infinity focus - a lot of "landscape" here is really halfway between landscape and macro). I'm still looking for something that will give me the image quality of my D3x without the weight (both body/lens weight, and it takes a lighter tripod). The M9 is both too expensive and not close-focusing enough (plus it's really hard to focus a rangefinder accurately at 1 meter). I've been using a GH2 as a travel camera for the past year, and it's "almost there", but doesn't have the dynamic range I want - DR is a bigger issue than resolution (and the single-dial controls are a bit clunky - I like to have aperture plus either shutter speed or exposure compensation right at hand). I have an NEX-7 body on order, and I'm hoping this'll be the solution - a lot of control, plus a sensor with supposedly very good characteristics. I'm a little worried about the lenses, but I'm guessing the Sony G/Zeiss situation will improve in the next year, plus there are always adapters - I think the peaking will work better than a rangefinder for what I do.
    On a related note, a lens category I haven't seen in some time (and I mourn the passing of - correct me if I'm wrong) is the modest-sized, not terribly fast, but HIGH-QUALITY zoom. Nikon in particular used to produce "super kit" lenses that were not f2.8 (they were in the range of f3.5-f4.5), and had fairly modest zoom ranges, but they had much better optical quality and somewhat better maximum aperture than regular kit 18-55s (or their film equivalent, the 28-85). They were at least twice the price of a kit lens, but only ~20% bigger, and, when stopped down to f5.6 or f8, their image quality rivaled pro zooms. I'd love to see Sony make a "SEL 18-70 f3.3-4.5G" that complements the NEX-7 better than the 18-55 coke bottle. I think a lot of NEX-7 buyers would pay $600-$700 for that lens (and it could be sold with the body in a $1599 kit). I am always shooting between f5.6 and f13 (stop down any further, and diffraction rears it's ugly head) anyway, so the lack of f2.8 would be made up for by the size and weight of the lens.
      A camera that I'd LOVE to see, but I suspect will be too specialized to get made (Nikon once played with a prototype, from various indications (they called it MX format in some leaked literature)) is a Medium-Format NEX-7... It would look like a Mamiya 7 with a big ol' screen on the back (plus a NEX-7 grade or better EVF) and a couple of extra dials, and have a 40+ MP 645 sized sensor. Focus would either be Contrast AF (with manual override) or purely manual, with magnification and peaking to help. One really off the wall possibility would be electronically controlled sensor tilts and shifts, which should be possible in a Mamiya 7 sized body with a 645 sized sensor. I think this type of camera would find a niche among landscape photographers, as well as among studio folks...
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: HJW on March 13, 2012, 03:36:30 pm
Both lenses and camera; probably slightly more for the camera.

I've been shooting rangefinder Leicas for a _LONG_ time and therefore I'm mostly just plain used to the flow. My keeper rate is higher with my M's than it is with any AF system. I shoot single shot for 99% of my stuff, but I sometimes fire off quite a few shots in a short time, so the current slow processing and writing and limited buffer are things that interrupt the shooting flow compared with film M's, and those are the things that bother me about the digital M's. 'Course film changes don't slow me down now. Better high ISO performance and better dynamic range would always be useful. More megapixels aren't necessary but could be useful, as long as things don't slow down, since the electronics are struggling as it is. Things that bother other people, like 'inaccurate focus' - well, up to 90mm I have more keepers with my M's than with my DSLR's, and yes, I've had and have a fair number of DSLR's since they first started showing up. I shoot regularly with the 75/1.4 and 50/1, and do quite well. Very occasionally I shoot with a 135, and with some care that's OK too, but it's not a focal length I'm very fond of no matter what the camera. In general I find focussing extremely fast and accurate.

Framing: Probably since I've been shooting with Leicas for 50 years, I'm used to the framing and shoot accordingly. When I used slide film, I still managed to get what I want, but there I would have loved more accurate framing, but now with digital I don't really care. I like the framelines for the M8 best, the M8.2 ones least and the M9 ones are second best but quite workable.

Live view would be nice if I used the camera on a tripod, but since I don't I don't really care about live view. I generally have the rear screen shut off, and usually only chimp if the contrast range is very high and I'm concerned that I may not be setting exposures to capture what I want best.

Henning
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: fastfoodforthought on March 16, 2012, 10:42:36 am
I discovered photography quite late in my life despite my father being a photographer and film documentary maker. He always used Canon cameras (A1) and an Aaton film camera. I followed suit and bought a Canon 40D with 24-105 and 10-22 lenses. I had a blast but as my interest in photography deepened I became despondent with the digital process. It was fun, but there was something missing from it. I used to be a chef and I like cooking, I also love chemistry, science and magic. I found the digital process akin to cooking with a microwave oven.

So I bought a Mamiya RZ67 Pro and learned to develop my own BW pictures. I was using a digital process and scanning the negatives. Then I put a darkroom together and started learning about developing. I was still using my digital camera, but mainly as a sketch tool and light meter. I would take test shots with the digital and when I think I had the frame I wanted, I'd bring out the Mamiya.

Then I got the Mamiya 7ii (80mm, 65mm) and I never used my digital camera again. I fell in love with rangefinder photography. I loved that a rangefinder made me stop, think, compose, frame, focus... breath and finally click. It slowed me down and as much as I love the anticipation of waiting for the film, I missed a digital assistant.

So I bought myself an M9. I have the APO Summilux-M 35mm ASPH and the Summicron 90mm ASPH lenses. I love that the same philosophy of manual rangefinder applies, but I can get an instant result and use it as both my artistic tool and research camera. Even though I can snap away, it still forces me to stop and think. The rangefinder gives me a different moment, one that seems different from one of a series shot in quick succession on a regular DSLR.

I will buy an M7 and use my M9 and its lenses. I do a lot of travel and portrait photography. I will travel with my Mamiya 7ii, M9 and forthcoming M7. All of these will take up less weight and space than what I used to travel with; the Canon 40D, lenses and associated clobber.

I love my M9 and I love that it's a rangefinder. I would not want it otherwise. I no longer care about megapixels, ISO, focus points and all the other noise that distracts me from what I really want. I want the close relationship I have developed with my rangefinders and I want the personal relationship it then forces me to have with my subject.

I will also spend less time warming my hands by the slow-burning embers of analog photography as I hone my craft on the M9 and make my darkroom sojourns more meaningful.

Great forum by the way, I'm glad I joined it.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: darylgo on April 05, 2012, 12:21:14 am
Better late than never.  The M9 is the perfect digital camera, I pick the aperture, focus and if I don't like the shutter speed I spin either the aperture or shoot manual shutter speed.  Simplicity.  Less is more.  The only cameras I enjoy as much is a Nikon F3 and Contax 645. 
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Rob C on April 15, 2012, 04:49:10 am
Better late than never.  The M9 is the perfect digital camera, I pick the aperture, focus and if I don't like the shutter speed I spin either the aperture or shoot manual shutter speed.  Simplicity.  Less is more.  The only cameras I enjoy as much is a Nikon F3 and Contax 645. 


Still have one of those, but unfortunately it flourished on a diet of Kodachrome...

Rob C
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Christoph C. Feldhaim on April 15, 2012, 02:49:47 pm

Still have one of those, but unfortunately it flourished on a diet of Kodachrome...

Rob C

Rob - get some Tri-X! Seeing this book of Jean Loup Sief made pretty clear we don't need no stupid megapixels ...
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: stevesanacore on April 15, 2012, 03:43:18 pm

A 36MP Leica M would be a fabulous gift for the photographic community - but how in the world could Leica get that past the board of directors when they have a $23K 36MP camera already? It's sad to see when companies intentionally cripple their new products so as not to compete with other poorly planned older products.

Well I'd be very eager to order a 24MP Leica M with a CMOS sensor and live view. Add a cheap built in digital viewfinder, like the Sony Nex7, and they can dump their complex focusing system and hopefully lower the price too.

The two biggest things holding me back from buying into the M system is the weight of the M9 body and the rangefinder optical system with no live view as an option.

Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Rob C on April 16, 2012, 04:17:26 am
Rob - get some Tri-X! Seeing this book of Jean Loup Sief made pretty clear we don't need no stupid megapixels ...



Yes, he's an inspiration. But then, I worked through much of the same period and already know all any practical photographer needs to know about 35mm films and what they can do; the problem today is that analogue stuff has become the new luxury. I'm retired, money no longer hangs for the plucking from the tree of life and the sweet fruits of my labours are dying, rotting from lack of interest as they lie in the bank. I hope they still lie in the bank.

I share Slobodan's predicament and understand too well the anxieties therefrom, to which I can add: will I outlive my bank statement? Will my eyes deteriorate until I can no longer drive? Will governments screw my kids? Those are the real worries, not friggin' megapixels dancing on the nose of an invisible fantasy at 100%!

As with so much, we gain some and lose a hell of a lot more.

I envy you that Mamiya 67 ll!

Rob C
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Rob C on April 16, 2012, 04:28:33 am
Well I'd be very eager to order a 24MP Leica M with a CMOS sensor and live view. Add a cheap built in digital viewfinder, like the Sony Nex7, and they can dump their complex focusing system and hopefully lower the price too.

The two biggest things holding me back from buying into the M system is the weight of the M9 body and the rangefinder optical system with no live view as an option.



Well, I can confidently say that the single thing holding me back is the price of the damned thing. It's sad to read people feeling turned off because a camera, designed to follow in the path of its very successful forebears is castigated for doing just that. A pox on new viewing systems; people made beautiful pictures with the cameras exactly as they were. It smells of standard excuses for less than great visions. If I had this, then I could do that, blah, blah, blah. IMO. Heysoos! the majority of the world's greates images was made long before digital (and its marketing games) was even a wet nightmare in Kodak's lap.

Rob C
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Christoph C. Feldhaim on April 16, 2012, 08:10:57 am
Yes, he's an inspiration. But then, I worked through much of the same period and already know all any practical photographer needs to know about 35mm films and what they can do; the problem today is that analogue stuff has become the new luxury. I'm retired, money no longer hangs for the plucking from the tree of life and the sweet fruits of my labours are dying, rotting from lack of interest as they lie in the bank. I hope they still lie in the bank.

I share Slobodan's predicament and understand too well the anxieties therefrom, to which I can add: will I outlive my bank statement? Will my eyes deteriorate until I can no longer drive? Will governments screw my kids? Those are the real worries, not friggin' megapixels dancing on the nose of an invisible fantasy at 100%!

As with so much, we gain some and lose a hell of a lot more.

I envy you that Mamiya 67 ll!

Rob C

Honestly - I'm considering doing some street photography with Tri-X (for the look of it) with the old Minolta SRT 101b I inherited from my late stepfather. Some might call it retro - I just wouldn''t care ...
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Rob C on April 16, 2012, 09:31:46 am
Honestly - I'm considering doing some street photography with Tri-X (for the look of it) with the old Minolta SRT 101b I inherited from my late stepfather. Some might call it retro - I just wouldn''t care ...


Hey, retro is chic!

Rob C
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Rob C on April 16, 2012, 01:44:45 pm
Keith -

Now this is retro: shot on the 'phone whilst coveting Christoph's Mamiload of Velvia a couple of days ago.

In my own best Velvia simulation, and with Eats Shoots And Leaves in mind.

Rob C

Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: TMARK on April 16, 2012, 02:55:53 pm
The M9 is almost perfect, save the (over) price of the body and lenses.  I've had a raft of M cameras, the M6 being the best of the bunch.  What I eventually realized is that the Fuji X100 suits me just fine, and the extra features, which I never thought I'd use, are really welcome.  It has roughly 90% of the IQ of an M8, but with a (much) broader DR, and quality ISO up to, really, 3200 with a bit of work.  The in camera JPEGS are really very good, as is the color and auto WB.  Really amazing.  I've never used JPEGS straight from the camera, but the little Fuji makes that possible.  I use the Fuji just like I used my M8 and M9:  as B camera on editorial shoots and for street shooting, as well as shots of the kids etc. 

The problem with Leica, in my mind, is that the cameras and lenses are too expensive for their limited usability in either a professional or personal context.  They are ideal for street shooting and any situation where their small size and low key presence is needed, but other cameras can do this as well, for far less capital.  And in a JPEG digital world, the M9 files are overkill in most situations. 

The major technical issue, to me, are the fixed, inaccurate framelines.  I'm sure this was an issue with the film cameras, but with digital and instant review, the issue is immediatly brought to your attention, causing you to reshoot and reshoot and reshoot until what you saw through teh VF shows up on the screen.  I think I never noticed this with film because the lag time between pressing the buton and seeing the contacts made fuzzy the memory of what you were trying to shoot.  Otherwise, the VF of the M cameras is fine with me. 

I hope they keep making them, and I hope they don't fool around too much with the VF.  Maybe make the frame lines truly variable, and cut the cost of them to something that a professional would really use, not just a novelty or fetish item.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Erick Boileau on April 17, 2012, 02:16:01 am
I live in hope that the M10 has the means to check critical framing and focus pre-capture but I won't be holding my breath.
if not I could at once sell all my Leica M gear , I don't like the M9 but I'd like to keep on using the lenses
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: shadowblade on April 17, 2012, 08:14:56 pm
I hope the M10 has a CMOS-based sensor with live view, with at least 36MP, maybe even 54MP, like a scaled-up NEX-7 (some rumours say it will use a Sony sensor, so that's not out of the question).

The Leica lenses are spectacular, as are some of the other M-mount-compatible lenses (Zeiss Distagon 15mm, Voigtlander 12mm). But, when shooting UWAs, you are often very close to foreground subjects and parallax error becomes significant in the absence of through-the-lens composition and focusing.

If the M10 has a high-resolution sensor and live view, I'll be buying one as my 'daytime' kit for hiking/trekking/climbing (with the Tri-Elmar 16-18-21, Distagon 15 and Voigtlander 12mm, and maybe a telephoto), leaving my heavy gear with the porters, mules or camels for shooting in the 'golden hours' and at night around camp.

Also, I wouldn't mind a Leica 14mm lens or tilt-shift...
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Erick Boileau on April 17, 2012, 10:39:34 pm
I wouldn't mind a Leica 14mm lens or tilt-shift...
I need a TS lens too, if a Leica is M and R mount it will be possible  a 28mm shift Super Angulon
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: shadowblade on April 17, 2012, 10:55:13 pm
I need a TS lens too, if a Leica is M and R mount it will be possible  a 28mm shift Super Angulon

A tilt-shift lens would only make sense if the M10 has live view. Without live view or another kind of TTL focusing and composition tool, you couldn't focus a tilt-shift lens.

I'd like to see 14mm, 24mm and 100mm versions.

I also wouldn't mind a version with a tiltable sensor (similar technology to the rotating sensors seen on the current Olympus models) to allow us to control the plane of focus with current lenses. With increasing megapixel counts and diffraction becoming an issue at wider and wider f-stops, this is something which all manufacturers should consider - with a dense enough sensor, diffraction may kick in at f/5.6, but, by tilting the sensor, f/5.6 could cover everything from close-up all the way to infinity.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Erick Boileau on April 17, 2012, 10:59:39 pm
without liveview or evf or any of this kind I'll sell all, for me the M9 sucks


I hope the M10 ...., with at least 36MP, maybe even 54MP
18 mp are enough   and 36 mp  is a no way on 24x36  for 99% of M users   
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: shadowblade on April 17, 2012, 11:16:37 pm
without liveview or evf or any of this kind I'll sell all, for me the M9 sucks

18 mp are enough   and 36 mp  is a no way on 24x36  for 99% of M users   

But 54MP doesn't hurt (particularly with the ultra-sharp Leica and Zeiss lenses which can take advantage of the resolution), and they can always implement a sRAW format for those who don't want huge files.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Erick Boileau on April 17, 2012, 11:33:57 pm
But 54MP doesn't hurt
with any of the bests lenses in the world you will get diffraction at f/8
why do you need 54mp ?   do you plan to print 3 meters posters ?
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: shadowblade on April 18, 2012, 12:25:16 am
with any of the bests lenses in the world you will get diffraction at f/8
why do you need 54mp ?   do you plan to print 3 meters posters ?


Yes. For viewing at 10cm as well as appreciating from afar.

Sure, you'll get some decreased contrast at f/8 at the pixel level, but you will still continue to gain overall resolution. And, even regarding a circle of confusion of 0.008 as being sharp (as opposed to the usual 0.03, which isn't really all that sharp) you can still shoot most landscapes at f/6.3. At worst, you won't suffer a huge hit by stopping down to f/10 for more DOF - and, if tilt becomes available, all bets are off the table.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Erick Boileau on April 18, 2012, 12:30:36 am
54mp on 24x36   is the worst that can happen in digital photography
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: shadowblade on April 18, 2012, 12:48:44 am
54mp on 24x36   is the worst that can happen in digital photography

It's the same pixel pitch as 24MP on the NEX-7 - and that camera has great IQ even at the pixel level. 54MP would make it two-and-a-quarter NEX-7s stuck together, with the advantage of a 14- or 16-bit A/D converter.

And, if it's depth of field you're worried about, then there's no point to 80MP on the IQ180 either - the larger photosites are cancelled out by the longer focal lengths used.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Erick Boileau on April 18, 2012, 01:39:00 am
there is no reasons to get 54 mp , no needs and no reasons 99.99...% of photographers pro or not never print over A2
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: shadowblade on April 18, 2012, 01:42:15 am
there is no reason to get 54 mp , no needs and no reasons

Why not, if the technology is there?

If the concern is pixel pitch, then there's no reason for the NEX-7 (same pixel pitch as 54MP full-frame), 7D (45MP full-frame) or D7000 (36MP full-frame) either.

If the concern is total megapixel count, then there's no reason for the IQ160, IQ180, P65+ and any number of other MF backs either, nor is there a reason for large-format film.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Erick Boileau on April 18, 2012, 02:02:16 am
Why not, if the technology is there?

If the concern is pixel pitch, then there's no reason for the NEX-7 (same pixel pitch as 54MP full-frame), 7D (45MP full-frame) or D7000 (36MP full-frame) either.

If the concern is total megapixel count, then there's no reason for the IQ160, IQ180, P65+ and any number of other MF backs either, nor is there a reason for large-format film.
when you buy a IQ 180 you need it for your job , I am not really sure it is the same situation for a Sony Nex 7

if there is no needs for so many pixels why do you want to buy it ?  me not
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: shadowblade on April 18, 2012, 02:25:00 am
when you buy a IQ 180 you need it for your job , I am not really sure it is the same situation for a Sony Nex 7

if there is no needs for so many pixels why do you want to buy it ?  me not


Because, with a high enough resolution and sharp enough lens, you'd be able to use a 35mm sensor for things you'd previously require a MF back to shoot - effectively, you'd be able to replace the MF back for all but the most specialised purposes. 54MP on a full-frame sensor equates to 150ppi on a 40x60" print - a fairly significant milestone. At 21MP, you're getting just 96ppi.

Theoretically, an 80MP MF sensor should have no advantage over an 80MP 35mm sensor, apart from high ISO capability. In practice, it doesn't have an ISO advantage either, because all current MF sensors use CCD rather than CMOS technology. The 35mm sensor will be diffraction-limited at a wider aperture, but this is offset exactly by the fact that the MF sensor needs to be shot at a narrower aperture to achieve the same depth of field. The 35mm sensor requires more precise lenses, but it's easier to build a precise lens to cover a 35mm sensor (plus movements) than to build one to cover a MF sensor (plus movements). The MF sensor, built using the same technology as the 35mm sensor, will have less per-pixel noise, but, owing to the narrower aperture, will need to be shot at a higher ISO to achieve the same depth of field at the same shutter speed. Therefore, the MF back will only have an advantage when shutter speed doesn't matter - if you can expose for as long as you like and have the cameras on a tripod, the MF sensor will give a cleaner image, at the expense of having a shutter speed 3 to 4 times as long (the difference in total sensor area between the two sensors).
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Erick Boileau on April 18, 2012, 02:26:59 am
Because, with a high enough resolution and sharp enough lens, you'd be able to use a 35mm sensor for things you'd previously require a MF back to shoot
only if you need it   , who need it ?
and no it will never replace a sensor twice larger
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: shadowblade on April 18, 2012, 02:58:00 am
only if you need it   , who need it ?
and no it will never replace a sensor twice larger

Even if you don't need it, there's no harm in having it - particularly if there's a pixel binning option for those who are desperate to save disk space.

There's no technical reason it can't replace a sensor twice the size with the same megapixel count for almost every purpose, bar extremely thin DOF shots. The larger sensor's only advantage is twice as many photons per pixel. But to collect these photons takes twice as much time, if depth of field is to remain the same (you'd have to shoot at a narrower f-stop to achieve the same DOF). It takes a narrower f-stop before diffraction kicks in, but this is exactly offset by the narrower f-stop needed for the same DOF as a 35mm sensor. If you're shooting with an f-stop depth that isn't affected by diffraction (around f/5 on a full-frame 80MP sensor, or f/8 on a 54x36mm 80MP sensor) and can either increase your light source (e.g. flash) or lengthen your exposure time (tripod and non-moving subject) you can get a cleaner image from the MF sensor, although this is marginal at low ISO anyway. Other than that, you won't get any real advantage from the MF sensor. And, to top it off, f/5 on full frame and f/8 on a 54x36mm sensor (i.e. both just short of diffraction limited at 80MP) will give you exactly the same depth of field when shooting at focal lengths that give the same angle of view!
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Erick Boileau on April 18, 2012, 03:08:00 am
I give up
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Rob C on April 18, 2012, 11:39:08 am
The 35mm sensor requires more precise lenses, but it's easier to build a precise lens to cover a 35mm sensor (plus movements) than to build one to cover a MF sensor (plus movements).




Man, where were you some weeks ago when I fought a lonely corner stating exactly that in another thread to do with using larger format lenses on smaller cameras, the expectation of those suggesting it being that they'd get better results doing that because larger format lenses covered larger areas, but not understanding that the appearance of higher quality from the larger lenses was because of the lower magnification to reach the same size of print from both formats, not that the larger format lens was as good as the 35mm format lens within the 35mm format area and beyond.

Sometimes, like erickb, I too feel like giving up.

;-)

Rob C
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Jorge Recio on May 03, 2012, 07:40:16 pm
99.99...% of photographers pro or not never print over A2

so, there is a lot of people that would want to print over A2

oops
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Sam Kanga on May 17, 2012, 10:35:49 am
Hello Michael,

I’ve been shooting for many years, so it’s been mostly film. Sadly, I cannot afford an M9, however, as more appear on the used market, chances are that I will have one sooner or later. I typically stay off the forums, however I do enjoy your site, and would like to contribute to this discussion.

To answer your question, yes, I do like shooting with a rangefinder, or perhaps even a small size camera for that matter, as most of my photography requires that I am quick and unobtrusive, and a small camera lends itself to that. It is certainly possible to shoot that way with a larger and noisier camera, the small camera just makes it easier (“chapeau” to the photographers who use larger cameras).

My goal is to find a smallish digital camera that will let me work as quickly and confidently as the rangefinders. I haven’t tried the Nex-7 in any real situation, and the X-pro1 apparently has slowish auto-focus (I only had a chance to play with it at the Fuji event in Toronto, so I don’t know about that).

One can be blazing fast with rangefinders – I only know the Leica Ms, but I’m sure the Zeiss are just as quick. With the simple Leicas, I can be fast, rarely miss a shot, and can’t think of 10 shots I’ve missed in 30 years due to focus. I've missed way more shots because I've not been prepared (the 8th deadly sin, I believe). Regarding lenses – they’re lovely! I really only go between my 50, 2 Summicron, 35, 2.8 Summaron (both probably from the 60’s) and occasionally the 28, 2.8 Rokkor. I guess I could really use the tri-elmar.

In the interest of keeping this response short-ish, I'll keep it at that.

Sam
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Pingang on May 22, 2012, 03:23:07 am
A Poll For Those Owning a Leica M8 or M9 Only

I'm working on an article on the future of rangefinder cameras. I have my own ideas, but I am therefore curious as to what you think.

If you own (or have owned) an M8 or M9, I'd like to know whether this is primarily because you like shooting with a rangefinder / viewfinder style camera, or because you want to be able to use Leica M lenses (including Voigtlander and Zeiss).
I have use probably each Leica M (except some special edition models) since M6 to M9, when using film it is more for the purity of fine color, sharpness of the lens, and of course the mechanical feel. Going to digital, it is more for the memory of using M and sometimes for personal pleasure - because I believe I have overall better tools to produce digital image.  In short, it is less arguable of Leica M might represent the best of 135 quality image using film than with M9 in digital era, and I personally don't believe Leica would ever reverse it. But will Leica stays, I believe it will, photography for many is not a job, it is fun.

Pingang
Shanghai
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: davisline on June 01, 2012, 08:19:57 pm
This is my first post. I have been Canon DSLR/L glass user since jumping back into photography about a decade ago. Several weeks ago I made the decision to join the Leica world - starting with a M9, 24mm/f3.8 and 50mm/f1.4 lenses. At 54, I decided to migrate to a lighter weight system without having to compromise on sensor size or glass quality.  I wanted to invest in a system that I could comfortably use well into retirement and lenses that will perform well as sensor performance expands. Purchasing the lenses was an easy decision (save the cost) however I pondered the M9 for some time. Would a M10 be released soon or would we see a full-frame Fuji or other mirrorless camera announced. Rather than wait I decided to start learning how to use a rangefinder now. So far, I am enjoying the rangefinder experience although I have to admit the LCD monitor and small histogram are disappointments as I expected. Thinking about the next full frame Leica rangefinder, I hope Leica makes higher ISO performance and iPhone-like LCD monitor (where precise focus and exposure confirmation are possible) as top priorities. My interest is landscape photography so precise focus (especially given my aging eyesight) and exposure confirmation are important to me. Other features might be a bonus but not at the expense of adding complication to the future camera's use. I hope Leica continues to manufacture outstanding glass and improves the rangefinder experience rather than give us another high pixel, feature laden DSLR-like camera. I hope Leica's business plan keeps simplification and quality as top priorities.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: DaveL on July 06, 2012, 07:28:00 pm
M3; M4P

DaveL

prefer shooting with a rangefinder.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: georgl on August 18, 2012, 05:25:37 am
54MP on 24x36 would be quite interesting, maybe even ideal with current technology. It can lead to very sharp results under ideal conditions (tripod, best lenses), avoids aliasing/moire-issues and would allow for an interesting pixel-binning-mode like on the Phase One-backs to reduce file size and noise and still create decent sized images @13.5MP.
 
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Erick Boileau on August 18, 2012, 05:59:06 am
54MP on 24x36 would be quite interesting, maybe even ideal with current technology.
 
a nonsense
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: georgl on August 19, 2012, 08:46:54 am
Nonsense?

Not necessarily - processing power and memory is no issue today anymore. The file size of 54MP doesn't compromise handling much.

But more importantly the fill-rate of sensors has increased (certain designs are close to 100%) so by increasing the number of photosites on a given sensor area the light-sensitive area is no longer dramatically reduced.

But the high resolution would have following advantages:

1. higher resolution under ideal conditions (combine a NEX-7 with an excellent lens on a tripod and you can imagine the potential of a sensor with 2.25x the size (full frame)

2. less IQ-loss due to aliasing or AA-filter

3. Higher quality downsampled files (maybe even in-camera) with higher per-pixel quality. In cinematography, the most successful professional camera uses 1.5x downsampling to compensate for the AA-filter, increase contrast below nyquist and decreases color-artifiacts due to bayer interpolation - just like creating a 24MP-file from a 54MP-source (6000x9000 ->4000x6000)

4. Possibility of pixel-binning and still getting decent output sizes (like 2x2 binning which would result in lower noise and/or higher DR 13.5MP files)

Therefore I think a cleverly implemented 54MP-sensor is indeed better than a 24MP-sensor, not just for pixel-peepers...
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Erick Boileau on August 19, 2012, 09:46:57 am
and diffraction ?
and for what do you need exactly so many pixels ?
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: georgl on August 19, 2012, 10:10:46 am
With 4΅m pixel-pitch (54MP on 24x36 or 24MP on APS-C) you would start notice diffraction with the very best lenses somewhere between f5.6-f8, but even diffraction-limited, the IQ would still be superior to the native 24MP-file, it could even be used (stopping down beyond f8) to avoid aliasing without the need of an AA-filter.

54MP (or 6000x9000) would be sufficient for flawless 76cm wide prints (@300ppi) - which would be nice for some of us indeed, altough I don't print all pictures this large, of course...

Long story short: A cleverly implemented 54MP-sensor (4΅m) instead of a common 24MP-design (6΅m pixel-pitch) would increase IQ and versatility. The only downside would be the higher effort in R&D. When you seriously can't handle the file-size with your computer, you can still use in-camera-downsampling and still yield superior IQ.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Erick Boileau on August 19, 2012, 10:12:53 am
I really hope they will never do that
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: georgl on August 19, 2012, 01:10:03 pm
why not?
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Erick Boileau on August 19, 2012, 01:20:38 pm
because for A2  you don't need so many pixels, it's heavy and un-necessary, and diffraction will be worst than it is now
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: georgl on August 20, 2012, 03:20:35 am
In practice, diffraction is an issue of magnification (sensor size vs. output size), not the pixel-count!

One example: you have to make a 76cm-wide print and you use two cameras with identical MP-count but one is equipped with a 4/3-sensor (18mm wide -> 40x magnification), the other one with a 24x36-sensor (36mm wide -> 20x magnification). The 24x36-system can be stopped down two stops further at a similar level of diffraction.

But when you compare cameras with the same sensor size but different pixel count (we stick with the 24x36 24MP vs 54MP comparison) diffraction effects will be the same on both prints. On a pixel level, the 54MP-file will degrade earlier (let's say from f8 on) but this is compensated for by the higher pixel count. At the same stop, the 54MP-sensor will always result in a superior IQ compared to the 24MP-sensor.  Only the IQ-advantage over the 24MP-sensor degrades.

A hypothetical 24x36 camera with 54MP-sensor could also offer internal downsampling (e.g. to 24MP or 13.5MP) and would just behave like a camera with lower native pixel count. Most likely, the downsampled 24MP-file will be superior to the native 24MP-file. No disadvantages for the user whatsoever!

We have reached that level of technology now, we just have to implement it. No need for two cameras (like Nikon D3x vs D3s) - high-sensitivity vs high-resolution - anymore.

Yes, for a 300ppi-print (which is needed for a fine-art-print in demanding landscape-photography, not a portrait-poster viewed at several m distance...) A2 "just" takes 7000 pixels horizontally, A1 already 10000 pixels.

Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Erick Boileau on August 20, 2012, 06:46:34 am
georgl  I know all that theory

but thanks for your answer
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: jfirneno on August 20, 2012, 07:30:20 am
Looks like there may soon be another full-frame camera to attach Leica lenses to.  Rumor has it that Sony is developing a full-frame camera with an 18mm flange to sensor dimension (e-mount).  From all the buzz on the various Sony sites there seems to be a lot of enthusiasm.  Of course it's just a rumor, but stranger things have happened.  This would be a direct way of polling how many people want Leica just for their lenses.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Erick Boileau on August 20, 2012, 07:54:04 am
Looks like there may soon be another full-frame camera to attach Leica lenses to.  Rumor has it that Sony is developing a full-frame camera with an 18mm flange to sensor dimension (e-mount).  From all the buzz on the various Sony sites there seems to be a lot of enthusiasm.  Of course it's just a rumor, but stranger things have happened.  This would be a direct way of polling how many people want Leica just for their lenses.
if Sony does that FF  for 2000  I shall never buy a Leica for 8000
it's a good answer to the question I guess :-)
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Petrus on August 20, 2012, 09:54:56 am
because for A2  you don't need so many pixels, it's heavy and un-necessary, and diffraction will be worst than it is now

Diffraction is always the same, with lesser systems you just can not see it. Sharper sensor will always make pictures sharper than a less sharp (less resolving) sensor, diffraction or no diffraction.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Erick Boileau on August 20, 2012, 09:58:13 am
Diffraction is always the same, with lesser systems you just can not see it. Sharper sensor will always make pictures sharper than a less sharp (less resolving) sensor, diffraction or no diffraction.
no diffraction is not always the same
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Petrus on August 20, 2012, 11:49:08 am
no diffraction is not always the same

Diffraction is only dependent of the f-stop. Not sensor size, sensor resolution, image circle, lens quality. It can be calculated from a simple physical formula. That way it is always the same for the same f-stop. If the sensor and lens resolution* is better than the diffraction limit, it shows. If the sensor and lens resolution is less, it does not show (as much**). As the tests and common sense has proved, a sensor with better resolution than the diffraction limit makes sharper pictures even with diffraction coming into play than a sensor which falls short of the diffraction limit.

* meaning that the lens is diffraction limited, not optical quality limited.
** all quality constrictions affect the final output to some extent. It is like a chain of quality damaging factors (=>1) where the product of all the factors determines the final quality. If one of them approaches 1 its effect becomes negligible. With a truly good lens diffraction "factor" is practically 1 when using large apertures below the diffraction limit of the system.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Erick Boileau on August 20, 2012, 03:16:36 pm
Diffraction is only dependent of the f-stop. Not sensor size, sensor resolution, image circle, lens quality. It can be calculated from a simple physical formula. That way it is always the same for the same f-stop. If the sensor and lens resolution* is better than the diffraction limit, it shows. If the sensor and lens resolution is less, it does not show (as much**). As the tests and common sense has proved, a sensor with better resolution than the diffraction limit makes sharper pictures even with diffraction coming into play than a sensor which falls short of the diffraction limit.

* meaning that the lens is diffraction limited, not optical quality limited.
** all quality constrictions affect the final output to some extent. It is like a chain of quality damaging factors (=>1) where the product of all the factors determines the final quality. If one of them approaches 1 its effect becomes negligible. With a truly good lens diffraction "factor" is practically 1 when using large apertures below the diffraction limit of the system.
diffraction depends on the pitch,  the distance between 2 pixels
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Petrus on August 20, 2012, 03:35:02 pm
diffraction depends on the pitch,  the distance between 2 pixels

True, maybe I was not precise enough. I meant sensor resolution measured as pixel pitch, not number of pixels in the image. To nitpick: diffraction LIMIT depends on the pitch, diffraction itself is just dependent of f-stop, even if the lens was not attached to anything...

Diffraction limits can of course be calculated for different pitch resolutions for each sensor size just as easily. See the local chart for diffraction limits for each sensor size: http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/resolution.shtml , end of the article.

In any case the diffraction limit is the same for all (pitch) resolutions irregardless of sensor size. If we have different size sensors with different pixel pitch we get different diffraction limits. See the chart at the end of the linked article.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Erick Boileau on August 20, 2012, 04:06:36 pm
Thanks Petrus
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Quentin on September 08, 2012, 11:45:20 am
Basically we should just use bigger sensors. Cramming ever more pixels on to a redundant format that was not even ideal for still photography when it was first introduced is becaming increasingly ridiculous.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Rob C on September 11, 2012, 11:10:13 am
Basically we should just use bigger sensors. Cramming ever more pixels on to a redundant format that was not even ideal for still photography when it was first introduced is becaming increasingly ridiculous.



If you refer to 35mm cameras (135 format) then I have to say you are mistaken; I made most of my career out of 35mm and Kodachrome, despite owning two 500 Series 'blads at the same time as the Nikons. What 35mm did for me, it did very well and better than I could do by going larger; it's seldom all about one factor.

Rob C
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: lowep on September 18, 2012, 03:33:00 am
How about "Texas Leica" MF digital rangefinder cameras like this (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Modified-Mamiya-6-camera-Hasselblad-V-mount-digital-back-75mm-Lens-/261096296055?_trksid=p4340.m1850&_trkparms=aid%3D222002%26algo%3DSIC.FIT%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D11%26meid%3D2090997731841913905%26pid%3D100011%26prg%3D1005%26rk%3D1%26) one???
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Erick Boileau on September 21, 2012, 05:12:31 am
now both are perfect  and my M9 for sale in february  :P
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: John Gellings on November 29, 2012, 09:59:42 am
The only reason I use a M8/M9 is because of the rangefinder.  
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: IWC Doppel on December 08, 2012, 02:08:59 pm
The answer for me is both. I LOVE the look of older Leica glass and have no interest in a large DSLR. I moveforgot M8 to M9-P and have managed to accumulate 8 Leica lenses, I seem to settle on between 6 and 10 lenses. I have a few more to try before settling on a target of 6 lenses.

Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Shrev94412 on January 21, 2013, 03:19:39 pm
Michael,

Like others have said, I appreciate what you do here with this site. I have shot with many cameras including back in film days. The past five years has been a great camera rotation, buying and selling in hopes to find the ultimate image quality. I currently have a Nikon D3X, Nikon D800E, Many Nikon High End Lenses, Hasselblad H4D-40 with three lenses, Fuji GX617 Film Camera with three lenses and print to my Epson 4880 and 9900. In other words I use and try alot of equipment whether its mine or a loaner from a dealer.

I am currently looking at buying a Leica M system and lenses. Why? because the images from the camera and lenses look so dramatically different from anything else I have seen. But the main reason is because I just turned 50 and some of the places I have been hiking in and out of are just wearing me out carrying a Hassy or a DSLR and heavy glass. I can do it now, barely and I am in really great shape, but will I be able to do it in 10 more years.

So two main reasons, Image Quality and Portability. Headed back to Europe this spring and I am thinking that the rangefinder solution would be way more fun to carry around than a Nikon with a couple of heavy lenses. I think there is a future for lightweight, high quality camera gear, rangefinder or not. Sorry I cannot offer a "Technical Reason", I think the look of the images speaks for itself.


PS: Got the chance to meet Jeff Schewe at an Alain Briot seminar last November. What a great guy! Alain as welL. Both fantastic guys!
Title: DxO tests the Leica M
Post by: dreed on March 13, 2013, 04:11:04 am
http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Publications/DxOMark-Reviews/Leica-M9-M9-P-and-M-E-Type-220-Ahead-of-the-new-Leica-M-we-round-up-the-DxOMark-Scores-of-its-predecessors/Conclusion (http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Publications/DxOMark-Reviews/Leica-M9-M9-P-and-M-E-Type-220-Ahead-of-the-new-Leica-M-we-round-up-the-DxOMark-Scores-of-its-predecessors/Conclusion)

"In fact, with a DxOMark Overall Score of 68, or 69 for the Leica M9, M9-P and ME Type 220, these cameras offer the worst image quality DxOMark have tested on a full frame sensor, with the exception of the 10-year-old Canon EOS 1Ds."
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Petrus on March 13, 2013, 04:35:03 am
I am thinking that the rangefinder solution would be way more fun to carry around than a Nikon with a couple of heavy lenses.

My Nikon kit (D4 & D800E) weights 12 kg, while Fujifilm X-Pro1 & X-E1 kit is 2.5 kg (both with bag & rechargers). Guess which one I am taking to Nepal for 4 weeks of trekking?

Here are some samples from the Fujis:

https://picasaweb.google.com/109958612223411682295/Jerusalem2012?authuser=0&feat=directlink
http://suomenkuvalehti.fi/kuvat/kuvakertomukset/hyvaa-huomenta-burma

I did not even consider Leicas for both price, weight and image quality reasons. A lot of travel reportage happens in high ISO situations where Fujis excel.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: MartinDahl on March 15, 2013, 02:02:54 pm
Hi all

Since Leica started shipping the much anticipated M240 a couple of weeks ago I would like to hear from real users of this gem.... are you happy now ? :-)
I will get mine in june  :-[

br
Martin
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Rob C on March 19, 2013, 01:51:31 pm
Let's hope for your sake that in the reality it proves a bit more than a gem: Leica has already made plenty of them.

;-)

Rob C
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: sinwen on March 27, 2013, 04:26:14 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.
Title: RF Cameras
Post by: Telecaster on March 31, 2013, 06:14:31 pm
I know the poll is long closed (been offline for nearly four years due to nasty nerve compression issues, now thankfully resolved), but what the hey, I'll chime in anyway.

The camera where photography really clicked (sorry) for me was my dad's M2. Lucky for me, he actually preferred his Kodak Retina IIc 'cuz he could tuck it away in a jacket pocket whenever my mom wanted him to pay attention to more "important" stuff.  ;) Lining up those two images in the viewfinder just made such intuitive sense...I took to it immediately and before long the M2 was effectively mine (and later on became officially mine as part of a birthday present).

So for me the RF camera is the thing. Doesn't matter much who makes it. Leicas, Contaxes, Kievs, Voigtlanders, Epson (the RD-1...actually an Epson/Cosina collaboration, of course), whomever. Now I certainly don't object to a great lens, and I own my share. But give me a Voigt Bessa (the original LTM version) and an uncoated Leitz 50mm Summar, with its weird way of interpreting light, and I'll still have a great time seeing interesting, pleasing compositions and pushing the shutter button. I'll take an M240 too, of course, and imagine I'll end up getting one. Imagine the Summar on *that* camera!

-Dave-
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: IWC Doppel 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
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: WarrenRoos 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.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: ErikKaffehr 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
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: schrodingerscat 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...
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Rob C 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
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: schrodingerscat 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.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: TMARK 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.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: eronald 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
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: bcooter 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.
(http://www.spotsinthebox.com/pana_gh1_4_3.jpg)
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: eronald 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 (http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3126842) :)
Edmund
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: bcooter 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 (http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3126842) :)
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



Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: TMARK 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.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: eronald 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
 
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: bcooter 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
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Rob C 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
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: eronald 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
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: bcooter 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

Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Rob C 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
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: eronald 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
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: bcooter 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



  

Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: eronald on May 29, 2013, 06:40:41 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


James,

 I did training in video as an elective when I was at university; I have great respect for this discipline. I was the guy behind the camera in our street projects - but I think you guessed that already.
 However, what I like about still photography is that I can do it all alone. At one time I had to negotiate with a stylist, makeup, model, accessories, etc, but I was never good at that, and it's over. Now I can just hang a camera inside my coat, stuff a lens in a pocket, and walk. The moving picture is harder, one needs meticulous preparation and one cannot go it alone. And worse, how can one display it alone other than youtube?
 If I wanted to do movies, I think I would draw flipboard animations and do stop-animation photography, but I don't feel any real artistic need to *capture* moving images ... see, I'm old :)

Edmund
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Zerui on May 30, 2013, 03:06:16 pm
I have owned an M8, upgraded to M9 and hope to upgrade to M next week. I have four lenses: 21mm, 35mm, 50mm & 90mm. 

I never use the 35mm. I know it was THE street lens in the days of film, but the 21mm offers so much more. It is a fabulous lens. The high resolution if the M9 allows cropping to the size of the 35mm with plenty of detail when needed. I'm selling my 35mm as an anachronism in the 21st century.

Why did I switch to Leica rangefinder after forty years of SLR (Nikon F to Nikon D3)?  Largely because I was getting older and using a wheelchair. I continue to do street and travel photography (three books last year) but the DSLR is nowadays too cumbersome. My wife has inherited the D3 and loves it.

On the other hand, I continue to use a Hasselblad for landscapes (specifically for landscapes with people, which is my passion). I have been using Hasselblad since 1968, and now have an H3DII-50 which I find ideal for my Landscapes with people. When going digital I looked at Phase One but found the body awful and the sales staff worse. Hasselblad UK provided one of their own staff to talk me through the system during photo shoots in the field on two separate days. They have kept up that level of excellent support ever since. The Hasselblad camera AND lenses are excellent.  But, excuse me Michael, you were asking about the Leica.

To answer your question: when I downsized from DSLR to mirrorless, I chose Leica for the lenses.  I was not enthusiastic about the rangefinder, but it works OK for all but the 90mm lens.  I'm hoping that focus peaking on the M will solve that problem. Meanwhile I have to stop down to f/8 when using the 90mm lens, which takes away one of the great advantages of Leica lenses: shooting with wide aperture for beautiful Bokeh.

Put me down as choosing Leica for the lenses, and tolerating the rangefinder.

Goff
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: mmbma on September 05, 2013, 04:03:32 pm
The 24mm lux has been THE lens for me. I always found 35mm focal length a bit akward, and the 21mm too wide to compose properly on the fly.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: eronald on September 10, 2013, 08:36:20 am
So, what are your experiences after the upgrade?

Edmund

I have owned an M8, upgraded to M9 and hope to upgrade to M next week. I have four lenses: 21mm, 35mm, 50mm & 90mm. 

I never use the 35mm. I know it was THE street lens in the days of film, but the 21mm offers so much more. It is a fabulous lens. The high resolution if the M9 allows cropping to the size of the 35mm with plenty of detail when needed. I'm selling my 35mm as an anachronism in the 21st century.

Why did I switch to Leica rangefinder after forty years of SLR (Nikon F to Nikon D3)?  Largely because I was getting older and using a wheelchair. I continue to do street and travel photography (three books last year) but the DSLR is nowadays too cumbersome. My wife has inherited the D3 and loves it.

On the other hand, I continue to use a Hasselblad for landscapes (specifically for landscapes with people, which is my passion). I have been using Hasselblad since 1968, and now have an H3DII-50 which I find ideal for my Landscapes with people. When going digital I looked at Phase One but found the body awful and the sales staff worse. Hasselblad UK provided one of their own staff to talk me through the system during photo shoots in the field on two separate days. They have kept up that level of excellent support ever since. The Hasselblad camera AND lenses are excellent.  But, excuse me Michael, you were asking about the Leica.

To answer your question: when I downsized from DSLR to mirrorless, I chose Leica for the lenses.  I was not enthusiastic about the rangefinder, but it works OK for all but the 90mm lens.  I'm hoping that focus peaking on the M will solve that problem. Meanwhile I have to stop down to f/8 when using the 90mm lens, which takes away one of the great advantages of Leica lenses: shooting with wide aperture for beautiful Bokeh.

Put me down as choosing Leica for the lenses, and tolerating the rangefinder.

Goff
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: vaphoto on November 03, 2013, 01:26:02 pm
I used Nikon's with everything from macro to long telephoto for years. In 2009 when Leica announced the full frame M9 I knew it was time to switch systems. I had been looking for sometime for a high quality smaller, lighter and gadget free system. The reasons were many but primarily IQ, lenses, size and simplicity. Today I have both the M9 and M with 4-Lieca lenses and 1-Zeiss lens. This change required me to shift from lots of wildlife and bird photography, but still allowed me to do my landscape work. At the same time I added more urban, street and people photography. I feel I am a better photographer now because I am in control and I know what the camera is and is not doing. As an example of simplicity, if I reset the Leica M9 to the default settings I can completely customize it in less than 10-minuets without the manual. Try that with any DSLR or ever MFT. I am also having more fun and carrying a lot less weight.
Bob
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: wlemann on February 11, 2014, 11:46:24 am
Got my first M4 (used from Ken Hansen) along with used 35 and 90 lenses.  Then M6 + other lenses.  Leica contacts made an F4  I got on a lark look like the latter were shot through cheesecloth.
BUT about 2 years ago got M9 and could not focus at all!.  Problem was me....now 60 year old eyes, one with cataract, not made for rangefinder anymore... :'(
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: jankap on March 06, 2014, 01:30:23 pm
Change lenses! In your eyes to heal your cataract!
I haves used specs for 60 years of my life, now I am free of them.
Jan
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: barnack on April 15, 2014, 12:12:54 am
A Poll For Those Owning a Leica M8 or M9 Only

I'm working on an article on the future of rangefinder cameras. I have my own ideas, but I am therefore curious as to what you think.

If you own (or have owned) an M8 or M9, I'd like to know whether this is primarily because you like shooting with a rangefinder / viewfinder style camera, or because you want to be able to use Leica M lenses (including Voigtlander and Zeiss).

While I do not fit the strict criteria of your questions, I will offer you my thoughts in the hope that this information will be of benefit to your article.

I do not/have not owned an M8 or M9.  I do own an M4-P and four Leica M lenses and recently was extremely fortunate in acquiring a Leica M 240 body - after much deliberation and the trading off of hard-won Nikon equipment that I have acquired over the past two decades.  

I cannot say that ultimately it comes down to either the cameras or the lenses; the reason I am drawn to Leica M gear is both the cameras and the lenses - and the benefits offered by both.  

The Leica M advantages have been well documented by legions of Leica users over the past decades.  Among those advantages are the small size and light weight of both the cameras and lenses, the simplicity of the gear, the ease of operation of the cameras and lenses, the unobtrusiveness of the M cameras, the nearly silent operation of the cameras (particularly the older film bodies), the fast glass  and outstanding low light performance of the lenses, the astounding image quality produced by Leica M glass, the quality, durability and reliability of both M cameras and lenses and the shallow depth of focus performance of the lenses.  

Taken together, the strengths of the Leica M system are greater than the sum of its parts.  For travel, documentary, street and reportage photography, one would be hard pressed to find a system that comes close to the M system in terms of simplicity, functionality, performance and reliability.  

The M system is not for everyone, though.  Whatever their reasons, some people just simply cannot abide a rangefinder camera; they are too different from what many are accustomed to using.  For some, rangefinder cameras are just flat out weird.  For some, the maximum focal length of 135mm is too short (but the M 240 is capable of using long Leica R glass, at least partially negating that issue).  

For wildlife and sports photographers, the 600mm f/4 autofocus lens is a must have.  For macro photography, Nikon's 200mm f/4 micro lens that is capable of 1:1 image making is second to none in the field of macro photography.  Macro and super telephoto are two of the few weaknesses of the M system.  If you have to have either, a Leica M is admittedly not the best choice for your needs.

To each his or her own; but when you look at the strengths of the Leica M system as a whole, those strengths are compelling.  For some, they are irresistable.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Some Guy on August 16, 2014, 07:51:12 pm
Might be a dumb question, but why is this a sticky thread that appears at the top of this forum?  It's a very old poll verses others, but it seems stuck here.   ???

SG
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: melchiorpavone on August 17, 2014, 10:02:41 pm
Why are you asking about only digital?
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: ErikKaffehr on August 18, 2014, 01:06:17 pm
Hi,

Because film is history…

Why? The main reason may be that digital is sort of first generation…

With film you either enlarge (MTF of enlarging lens and photo paper) or scan (MTF of scanner, and good scanning is expensive).

A Mamiya 7 image on TMAX 100 using 6000 PPI drum scan with a lot of processing may better than a Nikon D800 image directly out of the camera.

I am shooting 135 at 24 MP, 645 at 39MP and film at 67, so I guess I have some experience with all.

Best regards
Erik
Quote

Why are you asking about only digital?

Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: melchiorpavone on August 19, 2014, 12:28:55 pm
Hi,

Because film is history…Erik

No, it's not. And with regard to the Leica, the digital cameras are basically the same as the earlier film cameras.

Your choices were:

"Because I prefer shooting with a rangefinder."
"Because I want to use Leica and other M lenses."

Nether of these has anything to do with digital.

I use Leica reflex cameras because I am not a fan of rangefinders, and the Leica reflex lenses are superb. At one time I considered getting an M5, but I prefer the reflex camera.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: ErikKaffehr on August 19, 2014, 01:32:13 pm
So,

You have a wet darkroom or enjoy scanning film? You may even have a drum scanner, or just send of your film for drum scanning?

Or, you just shoot slide film and project?

Best regards
Erik





No, it's not. And with regard to the Leica, the digital cameras are basically the same as the earlier film cameras.

Your choices were:

"Because I prefer shooting with a rangefinder."
"Because I want to use Leica and other M lenses."

Nether of these has anything to do with digital.

I use Leica reflex cameras because I am not a fan of rangefinders, and the Leica reflex lenses are superb. At one time I considered getting an M5, but I prefer the reflex camera.

Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: melchiorpavone on August 19, 2014, 09:42:56 pm
So,

You have a wet darkroom or enjoy scanning film? You may even have a drum scanner, or just send of your film for drum scanning?

Or, you just shoot slide film and project?

Best regards
Erik


I have a wet B&W darkroom, and shoot color negative for color, since Kodachrome has been discontinued. This is a scanned film shot taken with my 560mm Telyt-R 6.8. The lens breaks down into two pieces for ease of transport:

https://961dc35967d627118b55-fd8a6a8fd4678cb2b067bdc60196a7a3.ssl.cf1.rackcdn.com/models/23/17/231716-1_300x300.jpg (https://961dc35967d627118b55-fd8a6a8fd4678cb2b067bdc60196a7a3.ssl.cf1.rackcdn.com/models/23/17/231716-1_300x300.jpg)


The image is reduced resolution. I'll try to find a higher-res one tomorrow. The depth of field with this lens is about an inch at this distance, and the focus is close to perfect. It is a trombone-focussing lens, manual of course. Rangefinder cameras are not the way to go for long lenses. It would be very difficult (if not impossible) for any autofocus system to focus on the eyelashes as I did here, of a moving target with a helmet facemask in the way.

(http://)
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: melchiorpavone on August 20, 2014, 01:43:22 pm
Hi,

Thanks for sharing, I am much impressed by your focusing technique…

Getting back to film. I am pretty sure that large format film, properly scanned, has some advantages over digital. But, I also have found that small format film needs expert scanning to compete with digital. In my experience, pretty high end scanning is needed to match digital and I don't find scanning to be fun. So, from my point of view, film is pretty much history.

Large format film, combined with expert scanning, may make some sense and it is very definitively an economical alternative to digital backs.

With the knowledge, experience and tools I have, scanned MF film is not an alternative to digital. I would expect that would apply even more to 135 format.

Best regards
Erik


To the best of my knowledge, that particular image could not have been produced with any competing autofocus system. You'll note the face-mask is a little softer than the eyes. I don't think any auto-focus system could have matched that. 8)

The autofocus systems would have focused on the face-mask, not the eyes.

The scan is a little underexposed; thus the grain in it appears a bit more prominently than it should. (It was scanned in a photofinishing lab). The automatic exposure system left it a little on the light side, probably because of the dark uniforms. The lad's face should also be a little darker, since some of the light was blocked by the helmet.



Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on September 21, 2014, 09:50:44 pm
To the best of my knowledge, that particular image could not have been produced with any competing autofocus system. You'll note the face-mask is a little softer than the eyes. I don't think any auto-focus system could have matched that. 8)

The autofocus systems would have focused on the face-mask, not the eyes...

Sure it can... by pure chance and a stroke of luck, just like you got your manually focused shot.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: melchiorpavone on September 21, 2014, 09:55:45 pm
Sure it can... by pure chance and a stroke of luck, just like you got your manually focused shot.

No, and don't contradict me again. The auto-focus system will always fail at such a shot because it cannot distinguish between the mask and the eyes. It's the same problem as trying to photograph through mesh.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on September 21, 2014, 10:07:12 pm
... and don't contradict me again...

 ;D ;D ;D

Quote
... The auto-focus system will always fail at such a shot because it cannot distinguish between the mask and the eyes.

Even the best autofocus systems have tolerances and because of that they can and will misfocus occasionally, even when locked on the right target. So, if they locked on the helmet, but missed it, they could have gotten the eyes instead. Just as it was a sheer luck that you got it focused there, while, of course, you try to peddle it as a "superior manual focusing skill."

Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: melchiorpavone on September 21, 2014, 10:12:06 pm
;D ;D ;D

Even the best autofocus systems have tolerances and because of that they can and will misfocus occasionally, even when locked on the right target. So, if they locked on the helmet, but missed it, they could have gotten the eyes instead. Just as it was a sheer luck that you got it focused there, while, of course, you try to peddle it as a "superior manual focusing skill."



Uhmm, I am able to do it with consistency. It's the lens. If you have never used one you could not possibly understand how easy it is to get good at it. It does not require superhuman skill. That's the point! You don't need no stinkin' autofocus! Don't contradict me again, because you don't know.

You think you know, but you don't know. Is that clear?

Jim Mora expressed it best:

http://youtu.be/NHipzGL4dwM

"You really don't know and you never will".

You say a lot of things in this forum that are false because you don't know what you are talking about. In fact, most of your posts are wrong.

Wildlight know what he is talking about, but you don't, so stop contradicting me because I know what I am talking about and you don't.

Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on September 21, 2014, 10:26:43 pm
... stop contradicting me because I know what I am talking about and you don't.

Ok, massa, let's say I agree with you... would I know what I am talking about in such a case? ;)
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: melchiorpavone on September 21, 2014, 10:28:51 pm
Ok, massa, let's say I agree with you. By agreeing with you (that I do not know what I am talking about), would I know what I am talking about in such a case? ;)

If Jim Mora thinks so.

I have 50 years of experience in photography, 43 years with Leicaflexes. I have eight lenses currently and have owned several others. I know the system well, and I know it's the best system ever. The designs are brilliant. The equipment is a dream to work with. Everything functions flawlessly and simply. If you owned this equipment you would understand how idiotic and unnecessary auto-focus is.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Jim Pascoe on September 24, 2014, 07:28:51 am
No, and don't contradict me again. The auto-focus system will always fail at such a shot because it cannot distinguish between the mask and the eyes. It's the same problem as trying to photograph through mesh.

Oh no!  I cannot believe you are on about the same thing in this thread as the one on Sensors too.

Now I know you are deluded.  If you honestly expect me to believe that you can follow focus an eyeball, manually, with a child running towards you at that depth of field you are living in dream land.
And of course with your complete lack of experience with both digital and AF you must be an expert on both.  Have you ever used them?  Or did you just never have the time to learn how to properly take advantage of their benefits in certain circumstances?
It's not often one meets such unbelievable ignorance on LL.  Particularly when you insult another member who over the years has shown a lot of insight into photography.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: melchiorpavone on September 24, 2014, 09:31:29 am
Oh no!  I cannot believe you are on about the same thing in this thread as the one on Sensors too.

Now I know you are deluded.  If you honestly expect me to believe that you can follow focus an eyeball, manually, with a child running towards you at that depth of field you are living in dream land.

Actually, I was focusing on the third eyelash from the left, of the left eye.

 ;)


My point was that AF systems cannot handle that kind of scene well: the bars of the facemask on the helmet will throw off the focussing.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: 250swb on September 26, 2014, 05:11:34 pm
To the best of my knowledge, that particular image could not have been produced with any competing autofocus system.


Like you I have a lot of experience in photography, press work, theatre work, education, and sport. And I might agree with you that no AF system could make such a clear focus judgement as MF in differentiating the eyes from the face guard, if you had further qualified it by saying 'but it was pure luck'. I know when to admit luck is an important ingredient with this sort of image. And you try to make your own luck in eliminating all things that can go wrong, but hubris is the one thing beyond technique that needs to be addressed. In this case 'you' didn't focus on the eyes, the eyes ran into shot at the convenient moment you pressed the shutter. It is a subtle difference between where experience allows you to plan ahead for this, and implying you can do it every time on demand, and thereby making sweeping claims for MF against AF.

Steve
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: SeanBK on September 28, 2014, 08:04:59 am
Michael, Any reviews of new M Summarit lenses planned? Also in your Part II of LEICA Interview @ Photokina you addressed the delivery question (Thnx BTW). Have you heard @ any dealers having 75mm & 90mm in stock? And when 35mm will be available, as we are almost into Oct.
  In States all will be in 2nd week of Oct. I need to pair my M (240) w/35mm and 90mm, thence the query. Thank you.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Petrus on September 28, 2014, 01:33:48 pm
I have 50 years of experience in photography, 43 years with Leicaflexes. I have eight lenses currently and have owned several others. I know the system well, and I know it's the best system ever. The designs are brilliant. The equipment is a dream to work with. Everything functions flawlessly and simply. If you owned this equipment you would understand how idiotic and unnecessary auto-focus is.

Yet, for some reason, 99.99999% of the professional photographers use modern Digital AF cameras, not Leicaflexes. Why, could you make any educated guess? Is it just that you have not told anybody about it before?
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: JeanMichel on September 28, 2014, 04:00:06 pm
Yet, for some reason, 99.99999% of the professional photographers use modern Digital AF cameras, not Leicaflexes. Why, could you make any educated guess? Is it just that you have not told anybody about it before?

Nothing particularly wrong being in the 0.000001% club.  :)
Jean-Michel
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Osprey on September 29, 2014, 02:11:15 am
Yet, for some reason, 99.99999% of the professional photographers use modern Digital AF cameras, not Leicaflexes. Why, could you make any educated guess? Is it just that you have not told anybody about it before?

And for some reason >95% of professional photographers who were contemporary with the introduction and refinement of Leicaflexes, somehow did not use them when there was not only no Digital AF cameras, but no AF cameras at all.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: SeanBK on October 01, 2014, 01:37:27 pm
Michael, Any reviews of new M Summarit lenses planned? Also in your Part II of LEICA Interview @ Photokina you addressed the delivery question (Thnx BTW). Have you heard @ any dealers having 75mm & 90mm in stock? And when 35mm will be available, as we are almost into Oct.
  In States all will be in 2nd week of Oct. I need to pair my M (240) w/35mm and 90mm, thence the query. Thank you.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: ErikKaffehr on October 01, 2014, 02:29:35 pm
Hi,

No, that is OK, but basing a business case on that 0.000001% club may be an unsecure bet.

Best regards
Erik

Nothing particularly wrong being in the 0.000001% club.  :)
Jean-Michel
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: LesPalenik on November 09, 2014, 07:48:38 pm
Actually, I was focusing on the third eyelash from the left, of the left eye.

My point was that AF systems cannot handle that kind of scene well: the bars of the facemask on the helmet will throw off the focussing.

The picture below was not taken by Leica, and I used it already once before on this forum, but it illustrates quite well the delay between measuring the distance (obtaining the focus) and pressing the shutter. I focused on the (previously visible) paddler, but a few milliseconds delay was long enough that the paddler dropped into a hole about half a meter downstream. Interestingly, even missing the moment in time, the hand with paddle is still in focus. I could claim superior focusing skills, but between us, it was pure luck!

(http://www.longprints.com/ImgGroup2/Group1/A0-ArmWithPaddle0064W800.jpg)

Another second later, this time about one meter further downstream and fifty milliseconds later after the paddler re-appeared from the hole, I got my man.
(http://www.longprints.com/ImgGroup2/Group1/A0-Kayaker0065W800.jpg)

An article describing neurological facts potentially useful to an action photographer, can be found at:
http://advantica.wordpress.com/2012/09/20/neuroscience-for-photographers/ (http://advantica.wordpress.com/2012/09/20/neuroscience-for-photographers/)
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: svedosh on December 13, 2014, 05:12:56 pm
Rangefinder. Zeiss lenses are great, but their advantage over the best mass market lenses is dwindling. However no SLR can compete with a rangefinder for quiet smooth operation.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Jim Kasson on December 13, 2014, 05:31:36 pm
However no SLR can compete with a rangefinder for quiet smooth operation.

True enough. But the Sony a7S (in all-electronic shutter mode) and RX-1 (in any mode) are much quieter than the M9 or M240 (or any M, for that matter, including the film ones), and not a rangefinder in sight.

Jim
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: SeanBK on December 19, 2014, 01:51:32 am
Can't figure why this thread still open, so I assume Michael is still interested in Leicaphiles' thoughts.
I shoot w/Leica M type 240 & Leica lenses. Love the results w/Leica glass. Was shooting w/NikonD800e, no regrets in the switch. Nikon D800e is great but was getting cumbersome & sharpness from Leica glass is just great & very easy to focus w/Rangefinder.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: E.J. Peiker on April 05, 2015, 08:30:55 am
Can't figure why this thread still open, so I assume Michael is still interested in Leicaphiles' thoughts.
I shoot w/Leica M type 240 & Leica lenses. Love the results w/Leica glass. Was shooting w/NikonD800e, no regrets in the switch. Nikon D800e is great but was getting cumbersome & sharpness from Leica glass is just great & very easy to focus w/Rangefinder.

I was just thinking a similar thought, it seems strange that this thread continues to be pinned to the top.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Bo Dez on June 29, 2015, 09:04:52 pm
I have been a long term Leica M user and I have to say that it seems very soon I will be switching to another brand unless they can provide a 36-40mp body. Given the S, which is not even out yet, is still 37MP I can't see it happening. I'm holding out hope but don't like my chances.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: SeanBK on August 08, 2015, 10:07:54 am
Leica S (007) will be out by end of Aug, '15. 37.5MP
New rumored Leica by the end of the year 2015, supposed to be breaking the mold & highest ISO in the market.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Uhoh7 on September 10, 2015, 04:15:52 am
I broke down and bought an M9 in Jan 14, when it became obvious Sony had messed up their cameras with a thick sensor cover. I had returned the A7r in 2013, and replaced it with plain A7, which I kept and later did the Kolari mod, so now it shoots M glass pretty well.

So I use the A7.mod as a second body to my M9. The RF took a couple months to get used to, but now I'm addicted. I do hate the M9 shutter, and the Sony shutter LOL, but overall I really like the M9.

I learned with the A7r that pixel count is totally meaningless. Especially if you prefer to avoid crops, as I do. Many problems ensue with tiny pixels that big pixels are oblivious to: witness A7S.

I won't be selling the M9.....ever. I would like the same thing with a normal shutter in the M6 footprint.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: douglas fry on September 14, 2015, 09:03:52 am
I shot with Leica M6's before the year 2000 when I went digital (I had the 21mm Elmarit, 35mm Summicron ASPH, 50mm Summicron and 90m Elmarit) - all that gear went on a shelf and I went with Canon.

Fast forward to this year I sold all my 1DX bodies and L lenses and went with Sony A7II which allowed me to use my Leica glass once more....Beautiful images, so clear with great colour and compact of course...

I bought a Leica M240 and couldn't be happier, add to it the 90 APO Summicron for portraits  and I'm sorted for almost every shoot (I'm a professional photographer in UK). I still use a Sony for longer focal lengths but everything else is on the rangefinder.

I now carry my Leica everywhere, something I haven't done for years (just relying on my iPhone) - I shoot more personal work and it has generally given my photographic life a big boost - its a great camera. I'm going to add another M to the arsenal shortly.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Allen Bourgeois on December 21, 2015, 06:04:30 pm
The new M 262 is really quite.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Jim Kasson on December 21, 2015, 09:42:16 pm
The new M 262 is really quite.

Quite what?

Jim
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on December 21, 2015, 09:48:24 pm
Quiet?
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Allen Bourgeois on December 25, 2015, 01:04:20 pm
OPPPs sorry yes QUIET!!!

I picked mine up a week ago today along with a 1980-1998 90 cron.
(http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y118/airfrogusmc/Cameras/IMG_1827_zpsuoozq3mi.jpg)

with the MM
(http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y118/airfrogusmc/Cameras/IMG_1829_zpsmjey2ppf.jpg)

Merry Christmas everyone.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Nelsonretreat on February 18, 2016, 12:22:44 am
OPPPs sorry yes QUIET!!!

I picked mine up a week ago today along with a 1980-1998 90 cron.


The one on the right is an object of such pure beauty and classic design. I don't care how good the image is, just owning something like that must be a wonderful experience!
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Allen Bourgeois on March 15, 2016, 07:04:46 pm
The one on the right is an object of such pure beauty and classic design. I don't care how good the image is, just owning something like that must be a wonderful experience!

Thanks and yes the MM is very nice indeed. IQ is truly amazing. Here is the current line up.

Left to right M 262 and 35 lux FLE, M-E and 90 cron and original MM and Zeiss 35 Biogon c

(http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y118/airfrogusmc/Cameras/IMG_1934_zpsryrhpb3v.jpg)
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: budjames on October 17, 2017, 06:49:31 am
I was Canon FF shooter since high school (1973) and then switched to Fuji X about 3 years ago. Currently own the Fuji X-T2, X-Pro2 and X100F, all have the latest 24mp Trans III sensor. Using Fuji XF glass on the X-T2 and X-Pro2 bodies. Very happy with the IQ and capabilities of the Fuji system.

That said, I have also lusted after Leica since high school, but I could never justify the expense. With the introduction of the Leica M10, I decided to order one along with the Leica Summicron 35mm f2 and Summilux 50mm f1.4 lenses. The M10 and Summicron is on backorder from B&H Photo. They don't know when it will ship.

I also ordered the Fuji Leica M adapter so that I can use the Leica lenses on my Fuji X bodies.

Oh, I am so spoiled! :)

Regards,
Bud James

www.budjames.photography
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: BernardLanguillier on October 17, 2017, 10:45:32 pm
One question.

For someone interested in trying the famous Leica look... Among the following 5 options, which would Leica experts pick:

1. New M10 at 900,000 Yen
2. Second hand M240 at 450,000 Yen
3. Second hand M9-P (sensor changed) at 450,000 Yen
4. Second hand SL at 600,000 Yen
5. Second hand Q at 400,000 Yen

Thanks.

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: KLaban on October 22, 2017, 06:13:47 pm
One question.

For someone interested in trying the famous Leica look... Among the following 5 options, which would Leica experts pick:

1. New M10 at 900,000 Yen
2. Second hand M240 at 450,000 Yen
3. Second hand M9-P (sensor changed) at 450,000 Yen
4. Second hand SL at 600,000 Yen
5. Second hand Q at 400,000 Yen

Thanks.

Cheers,
Bernard

Bernard, you could worry yourself into an early grave searching...but if you really believe it exists or really want to find it then I think your time would be better spent researching lenses rather than bodies.

(http://www.keithlaban.co.uk/Rob1.jpg)
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Telecaster on October 23, 2017, 01:10:47 am
There are lotsa different Leica looks. Most of ‘em have little to do with the cameras other than that using a rangefinder can guide you (well, me anyway) toward seeing & framing in a different-than-SLR way. But you could use a Voigtlδnder Bessa or an Epson R-D1 and experience the same thing.

This photo is a Leica look in that I took it with an M8.2 and a 1937 50/2 Leitz Summar lens. The camera’s strong IR sensitivity gives it an unusual color palette in certain kinds of light, which can be mostly corrected for but which I typically leave alone. And the lens is…unique.  :)

-Dave-
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: ErikKaffehr on October 23, 2017, 02:05:49 am
Hi Bernard,

You may need to get a camera you can put film in...

It is a bit natural that cameras evolve into a common direction. Obviously, all try to achieve low noise, natural color, great DR and high ISO.

Best regards
Erik

One question.

For someone interested in trying the famous Leica look... Among the following 5 options, which would Leica experts pick:

1. New M10 at 900,000 Yen
2. Second hand M240 at 450,000 Yen
3. Second hand M9-P (sensor changed) at 450,000 Yen
4. Second hand SL at 600,000 Yen
5. Second hand Q at 400,000 Yen

Thanks.

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Bo_Dez on October 24, 2017, 11:13:53 am
One question.

For someone interested in trying the famous Leica look... Among the following 5 options, which would Leica experts pick:

1. New M10 at 900,000 Yen
2. Second hand M240 at 450,000 Yen
3. Second hand M9-P (sensor changed) at 450,000 Yen
4. Second hand SL at 600,000 Yen
5. Second hand Q at 400,000 Yen

Thanks.

Cheers,
Bernard

If it's just about trying the aesthetic out the M9 is the best and most cost effective way of doing it. It is an exceptional good and capable camera. I would recommend the 50 Summilux ASPH to go with it.

But the M240 is a much better camera in terms of operation and it has slightly better image quality all round and much better high iso.

Personally, in terms of testing the water out the M9 is a ridiculously good camera and probably all you need. The M240 is nice upgrade if you want to spend a bit more, it is worth it.

The lens is important if you want the Leica look. Take a look at the 50mm Summilux 1.4 ASPH, or the 35mm Summilux 1.4 FLE ASPH to get things going.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: KLaban on October 24, 2017, 12:35:00 pm
It would be good to hear from Bernard ;-)
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Rob C on October 29, 2017, 09:06:26 am
Maybe Bernard is away shooting pictures just now...

But the Leica "look" in photographs. This has been denied; this it has been held up as gospel; but in my own case, while I never did own Leica, I did process and print from it.

My experiences are this: in black/white prints I saw a difference between Nikon and Leica as I was printing side by side, same film stock, same development chemistry. I can't properly qualify the difference, but it was certainly there; perhaps I saw more mid-tone differentiation and less overall contrast?

I also made some Cibas from Leica originals, but though the trannies looked superb, Ciba didn't allow enough DR to work very well. That was common to all cameras, though - just a problem with the Cibachrome system. (Yes, masks could be made, but a normal studio such as the one that employed me never had the time or budgets for all that stuff, and when doing Ciba for my own clients, the same unhappy logic applied in the few instances folks wanted colour print.)

In conclusion, I think that today, in a digital world, the question and its answer have changed because the variables have, too.

If Leica lenses really can give more micro-contrast on a sensor, as I think they could on film, without making too much contrast overall, then the lenses have a quality that PS should be able to do miracles with because colour, today, can be so operator varied as to make it pretty much impossible for a "standard" colour look, native to one manufacturer, to survive the digital process itself. Let's face it: if Leica glass gives more intrinsic, tiny tonal separation than others, how can Leica not produce a better final image, operator skills and intentions being equal?

A digital R6 might have been the camera that I would have traded everything else to own, in retirement, where the needs are different. As much as I am in love with the M rangefinder camera's looks, always was, I know that those who advised me recently about my probable problem were I to go rangfinder are right. It's a mental approach to seeing, which has been created by a lifetime of usage and custom. Old dog problem. I think old horses suffer from this too.

Rob
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: BernardLanguillier on October 29, 2017, 11:22:14 am
Yes, I was out shooting indeed.

Thks a lot for the feedbacks, I’ll think about all that.

The M9 is tempting. ;)

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Rob C on October 29, 2017, 11:27:28 am
Yes, I was out shooting indeed.

Thks a lot for the feedbacks, I’ll think about all that.

The M9 is tempting. ;)

Cheers,
Bernard


She's exactly the Siren who's been tweaking my bits too!

Rob
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: KLaban on October 29, 2017, 03:23:42 pm
One question.

For someone interested in trying the famous Leica look... Among the following 5 options, which would Leica experts pick:

1. New M10 at 900,000 Yen
2. Second hand M240 at 450,000 Yen
3. Second hand M9-P (sensor changed) at 450,000 Yen
4. Second hand SL at 600,000 Yen
5. Second hand Q at 400,000 Yen

Thanks.

Cheers,
Bernard

Bernard, I've used the M9 together with the M240 but have ended up with 2 M240s. I found I was using the M240 to the exclusion of the M9.

My take on the advantages include:-
Better high ISO.
Better screen.
More MP.
Better range of auto ISO options.
The option to use live view, EVF, focus magnification, peaking and level etc. (think ultra-wide and telephoto lenses. A vast array of 3rd party un-coupled non-rangefinder lenses). And yes, I know this has nothing to do with the rangefinder ethic but the rangefinder has little to do with the specific look of the resulting files. That said I love using rangefinder cameras and value the way they influence my working methodology.

The price of good used M240 and M9 bodies are roughly the same.

The truth is either body would allow you to search for a specific look but it is lens selection that will deliver it.

BTW, I've a beautiful M9-P for sale but unfortunately I'm only willing to sell within the UK  :)

Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Telecaster on October 29, 2017, 05:03:48 pm
I went with a (lightly) used M9-P over the 240 due to its slightly smaller size and lack of EVF capabilities. Not that I don’t like EVFs—love ‘em in fact—but I wasn’t crazy about Leica’s implementation, so I chose a rangefinder-only option. From what I’ve seen the M10 is better in this respect. I also really like the M9’s files in the ISO 160–640 range. There’s not much room for error exposure-wise even in the RAW files. Shadows tend to be more recoverable than highlights. I shoot in full manual mode and meter carefully, same as with my M6 (b&w film) and M8s.

-Dave-
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: BernardLanguillier on October 29, 2017, 10:24:10 pm
Thanks for the additional feedbacks.

In the end I cannot help but feel that the M10 is the first digital M that is fully satisfactory.

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: KLaban on October 30, 2017, 05:16:18 am
Thanks for the additional feedbacks.

In the end I cannot help but feel that the M10 is the first digital M that is fully satisfactory.

Cheers,
Bernard

I see the M10 as having advantages and disadvantages over the M240. If I felt the M10 was fully satisfactory I'd be using it now. There again I've yet to use any camera that is.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: KLaban on October 30, 2017, 06:34:16 am
I went with a (lightly) used M9-P over the 240 due to its slightly smaller size and lack of EVF capabilities. Not that I don’t like EVFs—love ‘em in fact—but I wasn’t crazy about Leica’s implementation, so I chose a rangefinder-only option. From what I’ve seen the M10 is better in this respect. I also really like the M9’s files in the ISO 160–640 range. There’s not much room for error exposure-wise even in the RAW files. Shadows tend to be more recoverable than highlights. I shoot in full manual mode and meter carefully, same as with my M6 (b&w film) and M8s.

-Dave-

I loved using my M9-P, loved the simplicity, nothing I loved more than using it as a walk-around camera with a single lens. But ultimately I found it very limiting as I have no other systems or cameras. Now that I have a pair of M240 - I, for the moment - want for nothing.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: BernardLanguillier on October 30, 2017, 05:12:04 pm
I see the M10 as having advantages and disadvantages over the M240. If I felt the M10 was fully satisfactory I'd be using it now. There again I've yet to use any camera that is.

What disatvantages do you see with the M10?

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: KLaban on October 30, 2017, 06:23:56 pm
What disatvantages do you see with the M10?

Cheers,
Bernard

Greatly reduced battery capacity, no video, no level and continuous only via menu.

I was disappointed with the inclusion and implementation of the ISO wheel - there have been issues with cameras getting stuck on one ISO setting. I was also disappointed that the batteries, dioptres, grips, L brackets etc. aren't compatible with the M240 which makes for a much more expensive and unwieldy two camera system. I was hoping that base ISO would be genuinely low rather than 100 ISO which is a pull setting and that there would be an industry leading EVF as in the SL as well as a silent or near silent shutter.

To summarise, although there are certainly improvements the M10 wasn't the camera I was hoping for and I couldn't justify upgrading to a two camera M10 system when used M240 bodies are now relatively cheap and plentiful. The reality is the M9, M240 or M10 will allow you to chase the "look".

Other's opinions will of course differ.

Best
Keith   
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: BernardLanguillier on October 31, 2017, 10:19:05 am
Thanks, that makes sense.

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: ErikKaffehr on July 10, 2018, 08:49:42 am
Hi Keith,

Base ISO is a property of the sensor and a sensor takes 3-4 years to develop. Base ISO is essentially connected to the full well capacity of the pixel.

A camera maker can resorts to some tricks to lower base ISO, like adding a grey filter in the front of the sensor or reducing pixel aperture by artificial means.

I could agree on the other matters. But Leica's vendor of sensors pretty much decides what they can do with base ISO.

I would also guess that Leica uses Panasonic as technology partner and that may limit their choices of sensors. Their present vendor of CMOS sensors, TowerJazz is owned by Panasonic.

Best regards
Erik


Greatly reduced battery capacity, no video, no level and continuous only via menu.

I was disappointed with the inclusion and implementation of the ISO wheel - there have been issues with cameras getting stuck on one ISO setting. I was also disappointed that the batteries, dioptres, grips, L brackets etc. aren't compatible with the M240 which makes for a much more expensive and unwieldy two camera system. I was hoping that base ISO would be genuinely low rather than 100 ISO which is a pull setting and that there would be an industry leading EVF as in the SL as well as a silent or near silent shutter.

To summarise, although there are certainly improvements the M10 wasn't the camera I was hoping for and I couldn't justify upgrading to a two camera M10 system when used M240 bodies are now relatively cheap and plentiful. The reality is the M9, M240 or M10 will allow you to chase the "look".

Other's opinions will of course differ.

Best
Keith
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Jim Kasson on July 10, 2018, 10:42:36 am

A camera maker can resort to some tricks to lower base ISO, like adding a grey filter in the front of the sensor or reducing pixel aperture by artificial means.

Don't forget the CFA's effect on base ISO.

Jim
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: ErikKaffehr on July 10, 2018, 01:36:01 pm
Hi Jim,

Thanks for elaborating on the issue! I was considering mentioning it, but I would guess it to be a rare case for a camera vendor to reduce the transparency of the CFA to get lower ISO.

But, would a camera vendor be unhappy with it's CFA design and change it, it could have an effect on base ISO. We may have seen something like that going on at Phase One, with the Phase One Thrichromatic, but who knows what they actually have done...

So, you are absolutely right.

My main point was that the base ISO the result of the sensor design, but very clearly CFA design also plays a role.

Best regards
Erik
Don't forget the CFA's effect on base ISO.

Jim
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: ShawnBK on July 24, 2018, 10:07:24 am
I've been shooting w/M240 for a few yrs w/24 & 75mm Leicas & w/results I'm quite happy with, but I wish at higher ISO I'd have less noise in blks. I left my Nikon D800E & Hasselblads, I do reminisce @ them but doubt I could go back. I feel bad that Rangefinders can't find an easy solution for longer reach lenses beyond 135mm & even that with difficulty in focusing. Maybe Nikon's new offing would address that.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: Rob C on July 24, 2018, 12:36:46 pm
I've been shooting w/M240 for a few yrs w/24 & 75mm Leicas & w/results I'm quite happy with, but I wish at higher ISO I'd have less noise in blks. I left my Nikon D800E & Hasselblads, I do reminisce @ them but doubt I could go back. I feel bad that Rangefinders can't find an easy solution for longer reach lenses beyond 135mm & even that with difficulty in focusing. Maybe Nikon's new offing would address that.


Would a Visoflex housing work?
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: KLaban on July 24, 2018, 12:51:51 pm
All you need is the EVF.
Title: Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
Post by: ShawnBK on July 24, 2018, 01:44:39 pm
I have been using EVF-2 since I bought M(240). But sometimes highlights r not that precise as in rangefinder focusing. IMHO. Maybe it is just me.