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Author Topic: M8 in war zone article  (Read 20906 times)

BernardLanguillier

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M8 in war zone article
« on: June 12, 2008, 07:16:24 am »

What a beating!

I guess that it shows how hard it is to compete with the big guys in terms of fully validating the scope of usage of pro digital cameras.

Cheers,
Bernard

Andy M

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M8 in war zone article
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2008, 08:24:09 am »

If I were Leica I'd fly the gentleman in question in to speak to their tech guys.

Only by facing, and adapting to, such scathing criticism will their digital cameras get close to their film offerings IMO.
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Nemo

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M8 in war zone article
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2008, 09:25:08 am »

Kamber's article on the M8 is very interesting.

There are other opinions from photojournalists though:

http://digitaljournalist.org/issue0709/cam...r-leica-m8.html

http://www.popphoto.com/cameras/4133/extre...m8-in-iraq.html

http://digitaljournalist.org/issue0709/cam...assignment.html

and fashion photographers:

http://www.lexar.com/dp/tips_lessons/irakly_leica_m8.html

After two years in the market and a very high price the M8 needs a revision, but Kamber's view is too negative (I agree with several points though).

R.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2008, 09:25:24 am by Nemo »
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Eric Myrvaagnes

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M8 in war zone article
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2008, 10:51:56 am »

Ouch! How the mighty have fallen.

I remember well the first time I handled my father's M3. It felt so elegant and solid in my hands that my own lowly Pentax felt like a piece of junk in comparison. And all the controls were so beautifully placed and worked so well.

Ah, the good old days . . .
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-Eric Myrvaagnes (visit my website: http://myrvaagnes.com)

maxgruzen

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M8 in war zone article
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2008, 12:53:17 pm »

In the mid sixty's I worked as a combat photojounalist in Vietnam using two leica's and three lenses's: 35,90 and 135. This gear was under water, covered in mud and abused more in one day then a lifetime of normal use. I never, ever ,had one of these bodies or lenses fail. It is very sad to hear of Leica's  demise.
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Brian Gilkes

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M8 in war zone article
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2008, 05:35:32 pm »

The report is more than "passing interest".
I'm sure the M8 is fine for gentlemen photographers and is just fine for weekend and travel snaps.
Leicas have a distinguished heritage of serious photojournalism under difficult conditions.
It must be possible for Leica to come up with something that cuts it- silent, small, fast, tough, reliable and with exquisite results.
No-one else has done it. Leica did it for decades and we expect it of them in the digital world.
If they can pull it off there are thousands of us who willl put ourselves into hock and go hungry to get one.
Cheers
Brian
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BernardLanguillier

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M8 in war zone article
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2008, 05:49:22 pm »

Quote
No-one else has done it. Leica did it for decades and we expect it of them in the digital world.
If they can pull it off there are thousands of us who willl put ourselves into hock and go hungry to get one.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=201228\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Many of the issues reported can probably be solved, but as of now Nikon appears to be a better candidate to release the perfect digital viewfinder in terms of combined heritage, technology and ability to innovate while controlling costs...

Regards,
Bernard

James R Russell

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M8 in war zone article
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2008, 06:35:03 pm »

Quote
Many of the issues reported can probably be solved, but as of now Nikon appears to be a better candidate to release the perfect digital viewfinder in terms of combined heritage, technology and ability to innovate while controlling costs...

Regards,
Bernard
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=201231\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


I don't go to war zones with my M8 but I do treat it like an old shoe and it's held up.

It's a quirky camera, not much good over 320 iso, the white balance will just change as you work and it does make a loud clank when you shoot.

Still, it's a Leica, the lenses are off the scale, the lack of an aa filter on the sensor gives a great look and the raw files correct to a spectacular level.  

In post you can work them much deeper than a Canon or Nikon file.

It's a strange little machine but if I didn't have it I would miss it.



JR
« Last Edit: June 14, 2008, 01:55:10 am by James R Russell »
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Rob C

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M8 in war zone article
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2008, 03:46:13 pm »

James

The person in the pic with vehicle - boy or girl? I´ve looked at the chest area, at the boots, tried to suss out the muscularity of the arms, but am still left with a disturbing lack of certainty about gender.  Androgyny seems an odd sort of quality in people, I´m not sure it´s all that attractive, to tell the truth. But perhaps the picture is just out of context, hence the confusion.

Anyway, which optic did you have on the Leica?

Rob C

James R Russell

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M8 in war zone article
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2008, 01:56:12 am »

Quote
James

The person in the pic with vehicle - boy or girl? I´ve looked at the chest area, at the boots, tried to suss out the muscularity of the arms, but am still left with a disturbing lack of certainty about gender.  Androgyny seems an odd sort of quality in people, I´m not sure it´s all that attractive, to tell the truth. But perhaps the picture is just out of context, hence the confusion.

Anyway, which optic did you have on the Leica?

Rob C
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=201424\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Rob,

You must be haning around some pretty round women.

Anyway I changed that photo to help you out.

Leica 28mm 2.8.

JR
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Rob C

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M8 in war zone article
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2008, 04:12:37 am »

Quote
Rob,

You must be haning around some pretty round women.

Anyway I changed that photo to help you out.

Leica 28mm 2.8.

JR
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=201500\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

James, I´ve LOST the pictures now, all of them!

Edit: Got them back - surely, not the original bearded lady, then?

Funny thing, a beard. I used to sport a full one, totally untouched from the day I decided to cock a snoot at the establishement - well, untouched in the sense that I did allow it to be trimmed so I could eat - and certainly not as ferocious a one as Zee Zee Tops (?) until one day, standing in front of the mirror wearing a yellowish sweat shirt, I realised that the glorious thing had, in fact, turned grey and that the yellow of the shirt was being carried over into the beard itself. So, faced with this hellish proof of the passing years, I decided that enough was enough and off it came. (Obviously, this was before PS, because that might have opened alternative solutions for me.)

However, I opened the door to one of our friends one day after the event and she screamed in fear when she saw me for the first time sans hair. I tok the hint and allowed it to grow again, but only around the lower part of the face, and certainly not in the area between the Elvis line and the side of the jaw.

I don´t know about the States, but the doctors in our hospitals (in Spain) are very given to following the House example and designer stubble is very de rigueur as are jean and NO ties. It does, actually, inspire a sense of confidence or perhaps a lowering of the walls between doc and patient. I support the move, as long as they make sure they wear proper masks during operations.

Assuming the guy in the new pic is the same one as in the former, does the fact that I failed to see the stubble in the first one mean that Leicas lenses can´t resolve detail that well, or did I just miss the obvious? I often do, particularly when it concerns myself.

Rob C
« Last Edit: June 14, 2008, 04:32:48 am by Rob C »
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Andy M

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M8 in war zone article
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2008, 05:26:42 am »

There's a photographer on Flickr who has done quite a bit of photography in a war surrounding in Iraq. I believe one of his reasons for signing up was in order to get closer to the 'action', as it were...










Here was his reply to the M8 review:

Quote
Hey,

Just read this so called "war photographer's" review on the M8. I think in his case, regardless of what reward he's put himself in for... I think he'll need the best camera that he can get his hands on. Rarely will I see a photographer break out of that IMAGINED aspect of what war is and what was thought it was beforehand. There is this preconceived notion the usual civilian will have, much like I did long ago that attracted and romanticized me to the point to push me to actually enlist. The real people I have met in life, in all aspects of their interests... do take that extra step and do become a participant.

It's evident that he's pretty much a witness and will become nothing more. The world is full of them. I could care less what the hell he used nevertheless but if you certainly took the words, I, ME or MY out of his conversation, he wouldn't have much to say. I feel pretty much the same as Nachtwey. There was a day when I once thought guys like these knew combat, embodied it and so forth but some 800 days of real combat myself has changed that idea altogether.

As far as the M8? I can say that I beat mine up pretty good for about a year. It's been dropped about a dozen times from heights, survived 130 degree weather on those sixteen hour days and been there right along with me when I got my bell rung looking for IEDs that couldn't kill me but would have had it been anyone else. Whether that means anything I could care less. It may be be not good enough for someone who calls themself a photojournalist but it is good enough for a soldier.

You should email the poor guy and ask him if he's seen what I just wrote...

Thanks for the link, I'll be sure to share it with a few of the guys and let them in on what this thing combat is according to Michael Kamber.

..jAy..
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zlatko-b

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M8 in war zone article
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2008, 11:12:59 am »

Quote
Assuming the guy in the new pic is the same one as in the former, does the fact that I failed to see the stubble in the first one mean that Leicas lenses can´t resolve detail that well, or did I just miss the obvious?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=201509\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
No, it's just hard to see such small details in web resolution photos.

James R Russell

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M8 in war zone article
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2008, 12:22:54 pm »

Quote
The report is more than "passing interest".
I'm sure the M8 is fine for gentlemen photographers and is just fine for weekend and travel snaps.
Leicas have a distinguished heritage of serious photojournalism under difficult conditions.
It must be possible for Leica to come up with something that cuts it- silent, small, fast, tough, reliable and with exquisite results.
No-one else has done it. Leica did it for decades and we expect it of them in the digital world.
If they can pull it off there are thousands of us who willl put ourselves into hock and go hungry to get one.
Cheers
Brian
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=201228\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I think some of this report rings true, but a lot of it is misleading.

I've never owned a camera, film or digital that you couldn't accidently change some setting.

Even in studio we lock down a lot of stuff with gaff tape, from shutter, to f stop to file quality on the Canons, Nikons, Contax/Phase and yes the Leica.

Also I've never seen a ccd camera that will go to extreme iso settings as well as cmos cameras and whether that's the in camera processing or the actual sensor, ccd always is about 1 or 2 stops below a comparable cmos camera.

The Leica is not perfect, far from it and for me it was a 6 months learning curve as I've never shot a rangerfinder camera before, but now it's second nature and probably the easiest camera I shoot.  

Granted you have to test all the lenses, because focus is critcal and some lenses, like my 90mm just aren't calibrated properly so Leica does need to step up the quality control efforts.

It also has a different look from the usual AA filtered dslrs and that proably is a combination of the leica glass and no AA filter.

I wouldn't want to shoot it in pitch darkness, but once again, I don't know any ccd camera that goes to extreme iso settings without a lot of noise, though up to 640 is useable and 1/15th of a second is easy to hand hold.

Given all of this, I would like to see some improvements like actual full frame sensor and proably one from cmos without an AA filter, autofocus would just be amazing, but probably Leica purists would have a heart attack over that request.

Still, if my M-8 disappeared tomorrow, I would walk over and buy a new one as I don't use it that often but when I do I find it to be very special.



JR
« Last Edit: June 14, 2008, 01:45:16 pm by James R Russell »
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Nemo

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M8 in war zone article
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2008, 05:36:19 pm »

M8 image:


5D image:


(Page 6)


See the vignetting in the Canon image.

How can he prefer the Canon photograph?
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James R Russell

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M8 in war zone article
« Reply #15 on: June 14, 2008, 05:48:01 pm »

Quote
M8 image:


5D image:


(Page 6)
See the vignetting in the Canon image.

How can he prefer the Canon photograph?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=201600\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Because the bottom shot is prettier, better pose, better skin colors and I think the vignetting adds a tranditional film look to the image.

Regardless, the M8 will do this, but you'll have to work it in post and if you work it right, it will do more.

JR
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Nemo

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M8 in war zone article
« Reply #16 on: June 14, 2008, 06:51:37 pm »

Quote
Because the bottom shot is prettier, better pose, better skin colors and I think the vignetting adds a tranditional film look to the image.

Regardless, the M8 will do this, but you'll have to work it in post and if you work it right, it will do more.

JR
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=201603\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

When you compare two JPGs you are comparing two different processing processes as well. Those two pictures show a much better optical system in the Leica (maybe partially explained by the crop factor of the sensor).
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Dale_Cotton

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M8 in war zone article
« Reply #17 on: June 14, 2008, 07:22:21 pm »

My engineering skills stop just short of changing a light bulb unassisted, but I wonder whether there is anything intrinsic in the technology of an electronic camera like the M8 that makes it inherently more fragile and/or susceptible to temperature, humidity, etc. than an all-mechanical camera like the M3? I'm thinking that a ruggedized laptop is thicker and heavier than a non-ruggedized laptop.

Cameras like the 1D series that Michael Kamber reports as working where the M8 fails are 3 lb designs, not 1 lb. If so, it might be that the level of ruggedizing required to bring an M8 up to the job would add weight and bulk that would simply contradict its M-ness.

Of course, I'm not suggesting that lack of ruggedizing explains all the problems he reports, I'm asking if it explains any of them.
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John Camp

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M8 in war zone article
« Reply #18 on: June 15, 2008, 12:25:20 am »

Quote
<snip> I wonder whether there is anything intrinsic in the technology of an electronic camera like the M8 that makes it inherently more fragile and/or susceptible to temperature, humidity, etc. than an all-mechanical camera like the M3? I'm thinking that a ruggedized laptop is thicker and heavier than a non-ruggedized laptop.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=201624\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Probably not. The basic problems with the Leica involve design and execution. This was a first try for Leica, with this kind of camera, and they didn't do it as well as an electronics company would have done (see the Epson RD-1.)

Also, they were whipped between the opposing goals of coming up with a first-rate camera, while preserving the traditional Leica design. Some people, for example, find the necessity to remove the bottom of the camera, to change the battery or memory card, to be charming. It's what you did with an M3, etc. It's charming, but with a digital, it's goofy. There are no advantages to it whatsoever. A spring-loaded bottom would have been much more practical. The LCD on the top left is small and round, at the place, and about the size, of the old rewind knob, of which it's supposed to remind you. Unfortunately, it only gives you two pieces of information -- the battery state and the number of remaining shots. If the LCD were slightly larger, and perhaps rectangular, it could have shown lots more critical information -- like the working ISO. If it had been back-lit, it could have shown you the shutter speed, the lens selection, the mode selection, etc., in low light situations...and so on.

The Pentax 20D is somewhat ruggedized, and it's not much bigger or heavier than the Leica, but it's much more handy. The Leica is just an obsolete design, open to the weather, with a digital sensor.

The one thing the Leica does is give you a different "look," one that I haven't seen with any other camera. James Russell captures some of it in the photos above. I don't know what it is, but when I see a Leica photo, especially in B&W, I tend to pick up on it immediately. I'm not a romantic -- there really is something there -- maybe the lenses -- and the "look" is terrific. It seems less...homogenized. In the two photos of the man squatting next to the car, I much prefer the Leica shot...It seems crisper and somehow, more honest. (That seems crazy even to me...8-0)

JC
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Rob C

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M8 in war zone article
« Reply #19 on: June 15, 2008, 06:22:08 am »

Quote
No, it's just hard to see such small details in web resolution photos.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=201555\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Hi

My question about the Leitz lens was meant to be tongue-in-cheek, but thanks, nonetheless, for replying! That´s one of the problems of web writing and, I suppose, letters too: facial expression is missing and short of using those horrid emoticons which, I imagine, are mostly ignored anyway, there is ever the possibility of doubt or misinterpretation. Face-to-face is undoubtedly a superior form of exchange.

This fault line is crossed many times in these pages, and where a simple explanation might suffice, some choose the course of verbal battle and resolve nothing but do sour the waters. Trouble is, when one tires of the pointless confrontation, somebody somewhere imagines a moral victory, whereas the truth is that that person has probably shown himself to be an ass and not worthy of further time. Just in case there is any confusion in THIS post, the remarks are NOT aimed at you!

Take care

Rob C
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