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Author Topic: M8 review  (Read 252204 times)
John Camp
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« on: October 30, 2006, 11:15:07 AM »
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Terrific. One of the best pieces of work I've seen on a photography forum. Coupled with Sean Reid's review, this could cause a stampede in the direction of Leica.

Also (and this may be a bit out of line), while I've always liked Michael's landscape photogaphy okay, I didn't think it was particularly better than a lot of other landscape photogaphers' work. Maybe because we're oversaturated with landscape photogaphy, dozens of books of it every year. But just rambling around with the Leica for a couple of days produced some really interesting shots. Michael -- I think you need to start a new site called Luminous Street. 8-)

JC
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Ken Tanaka
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« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2006, 12:07:36 PM »
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I agree with John.  Thank you for a non-clinical hands-on commentary of the M8, in your usual Reichmannesque style.  I read no surprises but many confirmations and expansions of what I knew or suspected.  I've been using an M7 for a while and am very eager to get an M8.

I also agree with John that your street images are good.  I've enjoyed them for some time.  "Luminous Lane" or "Luminous Lens" work for both street and landscape.
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DaveW
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« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2006, 12:28:17 PM »
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Excellent hands on report.

While its unlikely I'll ever buy one (budget really doesn't allow it) it still made for informative and entertaining reading.  

BTW - I saw Michael in BCE place last Wednesday with a small black camera.  I guess I know now what he was using at the time!
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FrankK
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« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2006, 01:13:14 PM »
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These are simply Leica photographs. You can see right through to the lens quality. There's nothing at all digital about the look.

At the Photokina in September, Leica displayed a couple of M8 prints photographed in London. Unlike the DMR prints (of the hands) that were hanging next to them and in contrast with Michael's findings in the review, all of the M8 photographs had clearly been taken with a digital camera. Especially the leaves and the metal fence (or some other metal object) in the images had that unnatural 'digital' look. When I discussed this with Leica representatives at the stand, one of them opened one of the images on his computer and confirmed that he could see this digital look. He could not explain, however, why Leica would put photographs on display that are less than perfect. According to him the sensor of the M8 was based on that of the DMR, so image quality should be similar. Did anybody else notice this 'digital' look in the Photokina prints? And, more importantly, does anyone know whether Leica has already been able to resolve this issue?

Cheers, Frank
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jani
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« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2006, 01:18:47 PM »
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Did anybody else notice this 'digital' look in the Photokina prints? And, more importantly, does anyone know whether Leica has already been able to resolve this issue?

From the mini-review, as said by Nick Devlin (if I got it right):

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"These are simply Leica photographs. You can see right through to the lens quality. There's nothing at all digital about the look. "
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Jan
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« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2006, 04:23:37 PM »
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At the Photokina in September, Leica displayed a couple of M8 prints photographed in London. Unlike the DMR prints (of the hands) that were hanging next to them and in contrast with Michael's findings in the review, all of the M8 photographs had clearly been taken with a digital camera. Especially the leaves and the metal fence (or some other metal object) in the images had that unnatural 'digital' look. When I discussed this with Leica representatives at the stand, one of them opened one of the images on his computer and confirmed that he could see this digital look. He could not explain, however, why Leica would put photographs on display that are less than perfect. According to him the sensor of the M8 was based on that of the DMR, so image quality should be similar. Did anybody else notice this 'digital' look in the Photokina prints? And, more importantly, does anyone know whether Leica has already been able to resolve this issue?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=82923\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

There's a lot of things that can contribute to a print looking "digital" including gloss differential, excessive sharpening, unnatural cleanliness, upsampling artifacts etc. But I suspect what you're alluding to is merely a limitation of the sensor's resolution. At 10mp, this equates to A4 at 360ppi or A3 at 240ppi. There's not enough information captured to resolve fine detail (such as leaves) at print sizes much larger than this. Of course, if the image isn't dependent on fine detail (like portraits) there's no limit to how large you can print them. Not having seen the M8 or any prints from it, I think it's unlikely to out-resolve what its analogue predecessors can achieve with the finest grain films. That said, if I could afford one, I'd get one in an instant and be well satisfied with, I'm sure, truly excellent modest size prints.
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JJP
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« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2006, 05:45:56 PM »
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In all honesty, the first thought after reading the M8 review was that Canon make top notch cameras with superb image quality!
jj
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JJ
Jack Flesher
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« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2006, 10:13:37 PM »
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Loved the review Michael, I give you an "A"...  

Turn the "Protest Reflection" photo right-side-up and it will be perfect A+!  

,
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dturina
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« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2006, 01:50:53 AM »
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Michael, your review really put a smile on my face - it's always good to see someone who really likes a piece of gear.  But personally, since the conclusion seems to be that M8 is almost as good as 5d in picture quality, and I happen to own a 5d, I feel even better.  I do admit it's tempting to have a camera that is light, compact and unobtrusive, though.
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Danijel
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« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2006, 02:18:16 AM »
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Hi
I would like to play devils, advocate: Not detracting at all from our host's superb photos, I couldnt help thinking that bar perhaps the old ladies on bench and punk photographer all of these images could have been made with any old dslr. The 'invisible' camera simply was not to be seen in most of the photos and was not necessary to achieve these   images. I am not saying that the M8 isnt a superb tool, just that one of the reasons we use for buying one, the invisibility of the tool didnt seem to be necessary in most of these photos. In fact couldnt a 4x5 on a tripod not have given much the same visual results?
Thanks Ivan
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jani
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« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2006, 04:12:09 AM »
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I do admit it's tempting to have a camera that is light, compact and unobtrusive, though.
"But it's heavier than a 400D!"
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Jan
Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2006, 08:34:18 AM »
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Michael, your review really put a smile on my face - it's always good to see someone who really likes a piece of gear.  But personally, since the conclusion seems to be that M8 is almost as good as 5d in picture quality, and I happen to own a 5d, I feel even better.  I do admit it's tempting to have a camera that is light, compact and unobtrusive, though.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=83003\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Likewise. I remember the sense of awe I had when I first held my father's M3 (which he bought for snapshots -- I was using Pentaxes at the time.) The feel of it alone just screamed "quality." I was afraid to try using such an elegant machine for ordinary photos.

But in later years I sometimes found it nice to have both an SLR and a RF camera -- they seemed to fit different types of pictures. If someone gave me an M8, I'm sure it and my 5D would both get substantial use.

Eric
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-Eric Myrvaagnes

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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #12 on: October 31, 2006, 08:36:46 AM »
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"But it's heavier than a 400D!"
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And the M8 wouldn't replace my S60 either.    

Eric
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tgphoto
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« Reply #13 on: October 31, 2006, 10:39:34 AM »
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-- I think you need to start a new site called Luminous Street. 8-)

No, no, no.  If anything, it should clearly be called "Luminous Leica"

In all seriousness, though, I found the review to be quite the surprise.  I don't think I expected the Canon to fair as well as it did against the Leica, and was a bit underwhelmed by the Leica's noticeable noise.

Would it be fair to say the noise exhibited by the Leica was displayed for testing purposes only, and that in real world situations, given the superb quality and low light capability of Leica glass, that noise shouldn't be so much of a problem?

Tim
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jashley
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« Reply #14 on: October 31, 2006, 11:34:55 AM »
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Also (and this may be a bit out of line), while I've always liked Michael's landscape photogaphy okay, I didn't think it was particularly better than a lot of other landscape photogaphers' work. Maybe because we're oversaturated with landscape photogaphy, dozens of books of it every year. But just rambling around with the Leica for a couple of days produced some really interesting shots. Michael -- I think you need to start a new site called Luminous Street. 8-)

JC
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[/quote]

I have to agree with this.  I think MR's people and wildlife photography is generally exceptional (and I would likely buy a book of either), but his landscape work  doesn't really seem to rise above the crowd.  Another vote for more street (and wildlife) photography from MR.
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tgphoto
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« Reply #15 on: October 31, 2006, 11:44:30 AM »
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...his landscape work  doesn't really seem to rise above the crowd.  Another vote for more street (and wildlife) photography from MR.
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I guess it all depends on the crowd.  Seems to me most landscape photography these days falls into one of two camps; A. (over)saturated captures of well-known locales, and B. faithful reproductions of places less traveled.  

Personally, I find camp B to be a refreshing and much needed return to the basics.  I find his landscape work to be an honest and incredibly detailed account of the experience.
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jashley
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« Reply #16 on: October 31, 2006, 04:01:43 PM »
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I guess it all depends on the crowd.  Seems to me most landscape photography these days falls into one of two camps; A. (over)saturated captures of well-known locales, and B. faithful reproductions of places less traveled. 

Personally, I find camp B to be a refreshing and much needed return to the basics.  I find his landscape work to be an honest and incredibly detailed account of the experience.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=83089\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

It sounds like you're describing documentary/representational photography, which I doubt is what he's principally aiming for.  If he is, then he's definitely hit his mark.  I would guess however that he wants people to look at his landscape photographs and say, "wow, that's a unique work of art".  I see that in his street/wildlife photography but not in most of the landscape work.  Usual disclaimers apply--JMO, etc.
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Dale_Cotton
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« Reply #17 on: October 31, 2006, 04:39:40 PM »
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A few points:

- A new thread would be good for a debate on the merits M. Reichmann's landscape photography:

- It can't be judged from miniscule JPEGs made by throwing away 95% of the pixels and then viewed in sRGB on a monitor instead of a print.

- His Monograph, which is a bound book of handmade prints that might be considered a requiem to his landscape film days, needs no apologies. I fully expect that a similar volume done after 5 or 10 years of digital photography would be well worth viewing and no less rich in both subtlety and vision.

- How do you rise above a "crowd" that includes the likes of Ansel Adams and Edward Weston?

- Landscape photography is a bit like writing sonnets: serious limitations must be honoured just to enter the contest.
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tgphoto
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« Reply #18 on: October 31, 2006, 05:22:46 PM »
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Dale,

You make a good and valid point.  My apologies for getting way off topic.  I agree, maybe a new thread called "The Luminous Critique" is in order?  (sorry!)
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vgogolak
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« Reply #19 on: October 31, 2006, 08:32:54 PM »
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This is really interesting. While the FM, RFF and other sites have garnered the Leica fans, here, there is a heavy skeptic, really dismissive group (come on, a Leica 10 MP being compared to a P&S?)
I guess every forum has their 'self definition of the IN group" and here, except for Michael, I do not sense a heavy Leica following.

It is amazing how our backgrounds flavour our preferences, and that is not bad. But I came to this thread wondering why after two days (I checked yesterday) there were only 5 posts on Michael's M8 review.

Now I come and find 11 (about 5% of what you would find on FM) and more than half are negative.
How many here are actually familiar with, say Leica vs Canon glass, or even Zeiss?

By the same token , MF discussions on FM are pretty scarce compared with the old RG and now here.

I guess each forum has its 'scope'. We should all remember that as we try to learn for the poster's comments, the backgrounds can be vastly different.

"Caveat Lector!"


regards
Victor
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