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Author Topic: M8 review  (Read 255475 times)
Jack Flesher
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« Reply #140 on: November 08, 2006, 07:59:30 AM »
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Regarding manual focusing and whether an SLR used in manual mode is any less effective than a Leica M used manually: The short answer is sometimes.  

The longer answer involves understanding rangefinder base lengths and that an SLR with a split or microprism focusing screen also has a rangefinder base length.  The longer that base length, the more accurate the focusing due to triangulation.  

With the M, the base length is fixed regardless of the lens you are using.  With an SLR, the *effective* base length changes and gets longer (more accurate) as the lens gets longer and shorter (less accurate) as the lens gets wider.  Depending on the camera *and its finder* (and yes, the 20D is going to be worse than a 5D) the point where the effective SLR base length exceeds the M base length is going to generally fall somewhere between 90 and 135mm.  So in most cases while using lenses shorter than 90, the Leica M is going to provide more accurate manual focus than an SLR with a split or microprism focusing screen.

FWIW, this is one reason why the Leica M is preferred over other RangeFinder camera options; its base length is quite wide for a rangefinder camera.  Just another reason why using just "any small black camera" isn't necessarily going to be good enough for some.

Cheers,
« Last Edit: November 08, 2006, 08:09:44 AM by Jack Flesher » Logged

Stephen Best
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« Reply #141 on: November 08, 2006, 10:05:42 PM »
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It looks like some folks just got their credit card statement:

http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/sho...ad.php?p=413272
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Ken Tanaka
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« Reply #142 on: November 09, 2006, 01:04:29 AM »
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It looks like some folks just got their credit card statement:

http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/sho...ad.php?p=413272
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

It looks like the M8 is turning up with some "new product" warts.  The [a href=\"http://www.leica-camera-user.com/digital-forum/8890-back-into-box-goes.html]magenta casts on some black areas[/url], perhaps an infrared filter issue, looks like a back breaker at the moment.

It will be interesting to see if Leica has the technical and logistical resources to deal with these early problems efficiently.  As an organization that moves at a geological pace this could be a tough digital-age lesson for them.

I feel badly for the gear-happy early adopters who just had to have the first M8s and are now whining.  (Not too badly, though.)  I can't help wondering, though, why the problems weren't revealed by the pre-release reviewers.  (Michael?)

Meanwhile it looks like my M7 will remain on the active duty roster until further notice.
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dlashier
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« Reply #143 on: November 09, 2006, 02:11:58 AM »
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Even if I had the money I would not be so foolish as to order the first run of a brand new model camera. Before ordering my 1D I waited a few months until teething issues had been sorted out.

- DL
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jani
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« Reply #144 on: November 09, 2006, 04:12:33 AM »
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Even if I had the money I would not be so foolish as to order the first run of a brand new model camera. Before ordering my 1D I waited a few months until teething issues had been sorted out.
Fortunately for both you and me, there are plenty of people who are willing to buy early, so that the issues do get sorted out.

I'm still waiting for the third generation of 3G (UMTS) phones.
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Jan
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« Reply #145 on: November 09, 2006, 04:27:37 AM »
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Fortunately for both you and me, there are plenty of people who are willing to buy early, so that the issues do get sorted out.

I'm still waiting for the third generation of 3G (UMTS) phones.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=84284\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I thought Norway was quite advanced in that area, or is that Finland?
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Oscar Rysdyk
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« Reply #146 on: November 09, 2006, 06:14:40 AM »
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I thought Norway was quite advanced in that area, or is that Finland?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=84287\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Bit off topic from the original thread.

The answer to that queston is anywhere but the USA. If you want advanced mobile technologies then head to South Korea. Most of Europe is pretty much in step at the moment. 3G is definitely here, and quite mature - take a look at Hutchsion 3G for innovative services. From a network technology point of view the current focus is on HSPA (High Speed Packet Access) and UMA (mobile phones which can access the network over the mobile network and switch to wi-fi if desired). Longer term (3-5 years) HSPA will get up to total speeds of around 11Mbps upstream and 22Mbps downstream - nearly enough to have a card in you camera and ftp images to your server in real time.
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David Plummer    http://photo.tanzo.org/
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« Reply #147 on: November 10, 2006, 07:33:58 AM »
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I'm surprised people aren't having a serious problem with the quality of  Michael Reichmann's review.  For someone who has become fairly well known on the internet, and even has a column in American Photo now, to flub a review so badly is startling.  I doubt Phil Askey over at DP review would have missed the serious image issues that have cropped up with the Leica.  What makes it even more significant is that Figure 11 in his review certainly looks a lot like the magenta issues that has exploded all over the place in the last few days, and he comments on the strangeness of the white balance problem he was having, and then dismisses it summarily.

Michael apologizes for sounding like a fanboy in his review; it';s too bad he didn't try to sound more objective, as had he sounded less partisan, this review might be easier to excuse.  The fact that he looks like a shill, singing praises to high heaven, managed to post a picture with serious color problems but not delve into it all, and then to have problems with the cameras quickly picked up by users on the internet is not good for his credibility.  I for one will be taking any future reviews or activities he posts or sponsors with a large grain of salt.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2006, 07:34:44 AM by Osprey » Logged
S Fitzgibbon
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« Reply #148 on: November 10, 2006, 08:48:20 AM »
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I am fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to "get" the Leica "thing". The first real camera I used as a ten year old was my Dad's single-stroke M3 (I was terrified of dropping it!). There are B&W prints from that camera stored down in the now disused darkroom that still astound me when I look at them. They have some special quality that all the other pictures taken with other cameras we have owned do not have. I, for one will always have a love of Leica glass that is beyond reason.
I am not so sure about Leica bodies. Michael says the M8 delivers the same quality as the film cameras - I will believe it when I see two prints side by side. Although such an exercise would also bring into play wet processing versus digital processing, I think that is also a valid part of the comparison of film versus digital with a camera like the Leica. Even though I couldn't afford an M8, I hope Leica has produced a camera (or will in the future) that captures the the quality of their lenses. I can enjoy other people's pictures taken with the M8. Otherwise, I have to say the review made me wish I could replace my Canon 20D with a 5D...
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michael
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« Reply #149 on: November 10, 2006, 09:11:35 AM »
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Osprey,

There is some validity to your comments.

In fact my initial testing came up with all of the issues that are now creating such a flap, including poor low light white balance (included in the review), infrared issues (included in the review), but also the banding and green blob issues – not included in the published review.

I brought these to the attention of Leica prior to publication and they requested that I not publish them because, they stated, that they wanted to investigate matters further.

I agreed, and rather than delay the review further I removed those sections, waiting for their clarification. Now, Leica doesn't respond to my queries, and I've been left blindsided. So, Phil Askey is thus the hero for "holding off" his review because Leica provides him with their "statement" first.

In any event, you are free to believe what you will, but be aware that there is often more going on that meets the eye.

Michael

Ps: The Leica M8, notwithstanding its initial problems, is still one of the most exciting cameras that I've ever used. Knowing all of its problems, even before they became public, I ended up buying one for myself. That's why I still stand 100% behind my review, whatever you may think of it.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2006, 11:01:29 AM by michael » Logged
DarkPenguin
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« Reply #150 on: November 10, 2006, 10:11:41 AM »
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wow
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mtomalty
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« Reply #151 on: November 10, 2006, 10:27:59 AM »
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but also the banding and green blob issues – not included in the published review.

I brought these to the attention of Leica prior to publication and they requested that I not publish them because, they stated, that they wanted to investigate matters further.

Michael

In hindsight,I think it would have been wise not to publish you review knowing that
you were asked to hold back potentially damaging info by the manufacturer.

In the rush to get the review out you have,now,inadventantly compromised your neutrality as
a journalist.

Kudos,though,for having the balls to come forward with some of the facts that went on
behind the scenes knowing,full well, that it wouldn't make your life any easier.

Mark
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michael
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« Reply #152 on: November 10, 2006, 11:00:07 AM »
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Mark,

No regrets. I've been writing product review for 30+ years, long before the Internet, and have a pretty good feel for the way the game should be played. If I waited for manufacturers to clarify things before publishing I'd still be waiting on some of them.

For example, I have a quite critical printer review update ready to publish. But the manufacturer asked me to hold off because they have a firmware update coming soon, which apparently addresses most of the problems that I've identified.

I agreed to delay publication, and gave them till a certain date. If the firmware update comes before then, I'll revise my update accordingly. If it doesn't then I'll publish.

With Leica I made the msitake of leaving my hold-back open-ended. Never again.

Michael
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John Camp
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« Reply #153 on: November 10, 2006, 12:42:22 PM »
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Michael

In hindsight,I think it would have been wise not to publish you review knowing that
you were asked to hold back potentially damaging info by the manufacturer.

In the rush to get the review out you have,now,inadventantly compromised your neutrality as
a journalist.

Kudos,though,for having the balls to come forward with some of the facts that went on
behind the scenes knowing,full well, that it wouldn't make your life any easier.

Mark
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=84496\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

These kind of trade-offs are made all the time, even in the very best newspapers. Do you publish when the topic is hot, or wait for all the information, thus publishing "history?" Would you be interested in learning, from a review published today, that the 1DsII is a very good camera? Or would you have preferred to learn that when the camera first came out?

When you do this kind of journalism a lot, you occasionally get burned. It's just part of the deal.

For myself, I would rather have had the information Michael published originally, than none at all.  If he'd included the line, "I had some other issues which Leica says they are addressing, so that I rather not talk about them," that would have covered his ass, in a way, but wouldn't have told me  any more than the review did. And I still would have bought the camera.

For me, the M8 is a great camera and fully lives up to the review -- I've done something like 600 shots since last Saturday, just learning how to use it, and the only time I got striping or the magenta cast or the green blobs was when I was forcing it (but I admit I don't shoot a lot of black fabric or super-bright lights at night.)

The fact that's Michael's actually discussing his review here is pretty interesting, and gives me *more* confidence in his reviews, not less.

JC
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Jack Flesher
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« Reply #154 on: November 10, 2006, 01:30:16 PM »
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~~SNIP~~
Ps: The Leica M8, notwithstanding its initial problems, is still one of the most exciting cameras that I've ever used. Knowing all of its problems, even before they became public, I ended up buying one for myself. That's why I still stand 100% behind my review, whatever you may think of it.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Agreed.  IMO the M8 produces the best *native* digital file I have seen to date.

The IR bleed issues can be dealt with using filtration per the examples I posted on page 2 of the other M8 thread on this site: [a href=\"http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=12864&st=20]http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index....pic=12864&st=20[/url]
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Tim Gray
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« Reply #155 on: November 10, 2006, 01:57:13 PM »
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Unless I missed it, I don't recall any of the "issues" being noted in Reid Reviews, either.
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Fred Ragland
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« Reply #156 on: November 10, 2006, 02:48:31 PM »
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Unless I missed it, I don't recall any of the "issues" being noted in Reid Reviews, either.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=84538\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Part 2 discusses problems with sensor glass cover...IR barrier, color fringing, rendering black synthetic fibres purplish, etc.  Notes that Leica promises IR barrier filter accessory with firmware update by end of November.
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med007
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« Reply #157 on: November 11, 2006, 12:46:33 PM »
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Guys,

I want to say something about the M8 review itself. All the great things in that review are true. The camera takes magnificent pictures! On the glitch, he was just stranded as happens in storms.

Michael has always served the community well. His reviews on the D30 showed where 35MM photography has arrived and where it was going and the future for film.

His work on MF is not reached by any other reviewer. Who else has systematically tested so many digital backs and published the results. Sure he's opinionated, but he can only be expected to present what is practical to his shooting conditions.

He has always been ahead of the curve in getting the latest ideas on digital cameras and processing for professionals.

How then could Michael have held back on presenting what the M8 does at 1/8 second handheld: make beautiful pictures!

Why should the baby be discarded with the bathwater? The messenger is just the messenger. When others are in this position let them make their own decisions.

From the many files I am now examining and the work of Guy Mancuso, Sean Reid and others, Michael's faith in Leica dealing with the issue as they assured him, is vindicated.

People who delayed their orders are now eagerly buying the M8. The IR problems can be mostly corrected either by a Phase One C1 profile or an IR cut off filter. So an ultimate solution for the current M8 cameras is likely already at hand.

Of course people are very upset and some are angry, that's understandable. Leica Solms is, however, serious about supporting its M8 owner’s investment.

We must thank Michael and other reviewers for the effort to bring the M6 features to us. Sure there's a bad glitch in the information transfer process!

However, Michael has delivered every time and he is honest. Just because he made this one judgment call (based on faith in assurances and Leica's standards for service), doesn't negate that! After all, his intention is all that matters!

He, himself, planned to shortly give an addendum with the arrival of their update.

Since Leica acknowledged his concerns and had a professional response, I see Michael's decisions to be quite difficult but correct.

I have a colleague that tests every camera to the extreme and even has them remachined to his specifications! However, he and others like him don't publish findings in a website like this!

So that's my take on this episode about disclosure and I think MR still is likely the most widely trusted reviewer of professional cameras and software anywhere. I personally don't fault him 1 iota! One the contrary, I still refer to the same M8 review!

So thanks Michael!

Asher
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Ken Tanaka
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« Reply #158 on: November 11, 2006, 12:55:29 PM »
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Michael:  Fairness often hurts the one offering it.  No good deed goes unpunished, eh?

I cannot offer you an opinion on what you should have done.  In a previous life I found myself in very similar positions reviewing pre-released products for publication on a Web site (video, in my case).  So I know what a dance it can be between fidelity to your readership and fairness to the manufacturer.  

Personally, however, I found your M8 review to be quite good in your usual non-clinical style.  

If it's any comfort to you consider that few, if any, readers could have run to their local store to pick up an M8 on the strength of your review.   The initial batch was sold out long before you published.  (Probably even long before the camera even existed.)  So I don't think anyone could say that you screwed them.

Keep on keepin' on, Michael.
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- Ken Tanaka -

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« Reply #159 on: November 11, 2006, 01:00:20 PM »
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@ Michael and John Camp, good opinions mates. If I had the money or social standing I would gladly be using the M8. As such, I still enjoy using my 30D and attempting to garner experience vicariously through the excellent people here online (despite those who create an account to post one flaming statement).

No, I'm not being a sycophant, I'm stating my views. Despite not having a chance at owning an M8 any time soon, I'll be crossing my fingers that Leica gets on the ball and addresses the currently discussed issues soon.
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