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Author Topic: Leica M8 / Epson / Sigma  (Read 51535 times)
henrikfoto
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« on: April 11, 2009, 01:39:39 PM »
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I am looking to buy a small camera that is light and makes the best possible image-quality for the days I donīt feel like carrying my Hasselblad.

Is anybody using the Leica M8, Epson or the compact Sigma? How good are the files compared to those from the larger cameras?

Any experiences are very welcome.

I know this is not the correct forum, but I am sure some people here use this cameras??

Henrik
   
 
« Last Edit: April 11, 2009, 01:43:18 PM by henrikfoto » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2009, 02:53:46 PM »
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Yes it is the wrong forum, and I am not saying that as a policeman, but in trying to help. There are forums where cameras like these exact models are discussed and compared, and where you will find your answers quickly in the archives. Example: http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/board/55
« Last Edit: April 11, 2009, 02:54:21 PM by foto-z » Logged

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henrikfoto
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« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2009, 03:02:33 PM »
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Quote from: foto-z
Yes it is the wrong forum, and I am not saying that as a policeman, but in trying to help. There are forums where cameras like these exact models are discussed and compared, and where you will find your answers quickly in the archives. Example: http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/board/55


Thank you very much!

Henrik
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henrikfoto
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« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2009, 04:15:59 PM »
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I have now seen some tests that states that Canon 5d produces better images. The only problem is that it seems that all tests are done in jpg.

Has anyone seen tests on Leica M8 in RAW?

Henrik
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James R Russell
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« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2009, 04:37:22 PM »
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Quote from: henrikfoto
I have now seen some tests that states that Canon 5d produces better images. The only problem is that it seems that all tests are done in jpg.

Has anyone seen tests on Leica M8 in RAW?

Henrik


Actually this is a pretty good place to discuss the Leica M-8 because of any 35mm "professional" camera produced today it's the only one I know that has a ccd, no aa filter and gives somewhat the look and feel of a medium format back.

In fact it acts a lot like a medium format back as iso is more limited than the Canon and Nikon 35mms, the combination of Leica and no aa filter makes for very sharp images and like all specialty camera it has some quirks.

Color can be beautiful to strange, usually beautiful, black and white is pretty, the higher iso is grainy but so was high iso 35mm film so it's not that big of a deal.

Unlike most medium format backs the lcd is good.

It's a great camera and one I am very attached to.

Raw files are dng, will process in anything from Photoshop 7 and above.

Just a great little camera.


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I know nothing of the sigma though it looks interesting, especially the skin tones.

JRR
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henrikfoto
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« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2009, 04:45:37 PM »
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Thank you for very interesting facts. Have you tested the M8 in jpeg or should it be used in RAW only?
It seems like people who donīt like Leica like to compare jpeg files made from Canon and Leica..

Henrik
« Last Edit: April 11, 2009, 04:47:20 PM by henrikfoto » Logged
cyberean
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« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2009, 05:33:50 PM »
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to get the best out of an M8 you MUST shoot in RAW mode, and externally
process the resulting RAW files.
and if you are looking for a camera that will deliver solid JPG files, straight
out of the camera, you should be looking at cameras other than the M8.

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AlanG
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« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2009, 05:37:47 PM »
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Quote from: henrikfoto
Thank you for very interesting facts. Have you tested the M8 in jpeg or should it be used in RAW only?
It seems like people who donīt like Leica like to compare jpeg files made from Canon and Leica..

Henrik


The M8 requires the use of an IR filter on the lens in order for it to get the colors "accurate" under situations where IR radiation is being reflected from the subject.  It is not nearly as small and light as the other models you mentioned and is much more expensive. (Several consumer DSLRs and kit zoom lenses will be lighter.)

I really haven't compared any of these cameras but perhaps you should look at more alternatives.  The Panasonic GH1 looks interesting.  The consumer Canon DSLRs such as the new 500D with 18-55 lens is pretty light weight, reasonably small, inexpensive, versatile, and should make nice quality images.  A lot of professionals that I know really like the Canon G10.  Why don't you do some research and then go to a store and try them out?  DPReveiew.com should have reviews on all of these.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2009, 05:40:37 PM by AlanG » Logged

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henrikfoto
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« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2009, 05:51:01 PM »
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I am not looking for a camera that can deliver good jpegs. I am just looking for the best possible camera that can fit in a relative small camera-bag for trips I donīt want to carry a full
medium-format equipment. If the best result come from an expensive Leica, I would like to own one. But if itīs no better than a Canon G 10 it would be a sad waste of money..

If anyone have seen or done any tests I would be happy to learn.

Henrik
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« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2009, 06:00:43 PM »
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Quote from: henrikfoto
If the best result come from an expensive Leica, I would like to own one. But if itīs no better than a Canon G 10 it would be a sad waste of money..

That will partly depend on which apertures you like to shoot at. I don't believe there is a Noctilux equivalent for the G10

Noctilux @f1 (photo: 'Robsteve' at fredmiranda)
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henrikfoto
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« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2009, 06:13:29 PM »
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I normally shoot at the aperture where the lens is at itīs best. That is never at f.1. Not even Noctilux is very sharp at f.1, even if it creates an interesting look.  
« Last Edit: April 11, 2009, 06:15:13 PM by henrikfoto » Logged
dfarkas
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« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2009, 06:47:42 PM »
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Quote from: henrikfoto
I normally shoot at the aperture where the lens is at itīs best. That is never at f.1. Not even Noctilux is very sharp at f.1, even if it creates an interesting look.  

Many Leica lenses perform exceptionally well wide-open, like the 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-M ASPH or 75mm f/2 APO-Summicron-M ASPH. One of the biggest reasons to get a Leica is for the glass. Out of 20 current M lenses there isn't a single dog in the entire lineup.  The Noctilux, while pretty, isn't designed to be sharp at f/1 and is a 30+ year-old design.

I carry an M8.2, 16-18-21 WATE, 35 f/2 ASPH, 50 f/2, 90 f/2.8, small SF24D flash, 21mm finder, ND filters, and a bubble level in a Crumpler 5 Million Dollar Home (same size as a ladies purse) and the whole kit weighs less than 10lbs. This kit has served me well for travel and I cover everything from extreme wide-angle to medium telephoto.

The quality is really quite exceptional (provided you shoot DNG). I use C1v4 to process all my M8 files with great results. The files hold up perfectly up to 20x30 inch prints.

And, I would say that the M8 beats the 5D on image quality quite easily. I've shot both, and between the lack of AA filter and the superior glass, the Leica behaves much more like MFD.

Good luck with your decision.

David
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cyberean
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« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2009, 07:02:12 PM »
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Quote from: henrikfoto
... I am just looking for the best possible camera that can fit in a relative small camera-bag for trips ...

If the best result come from an expensive Leica, I would like to own one. But if itīs no better than a Canon G 10 it would be a sad waste of money..
what's "best" can only be determined by you ... and any
other observation of "best" is merely an opinion, of what's
best to the one offering such opinion.

an m8 is capable of delivering stunningly beautiful images,
in the right hands and/or proper circumstances.
an example of some such images can be found here: LINK

at the same time, the camera can also be quite finicky and
temperamental, and thus very frustrating to some.  
and in the "wrong" hands and under some circumstances can
be no better than your cell phone camera.

as was suggested earlier ... do your homework/research ...
then visit your local photo gear supplier for a hands-on demo
... so you can decide for yourself, as to what's "best" ...


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Plekto
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« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2009, 11:33:46 PM »
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The new Sigma DP2 seems to have the larger sensor of their DSLR and pretty decent(finally) software. They also seem to have fixed the DR and put a faster lens on it.

I love the look myself, even though it doesn't have the absolute resolution of some of the others (it's about equal to a 10MP Bayer type sensor, give or take).  It seems ideal to me for family photos and other average-user type tasks, because it creates very clean and photo-like looking results(speaking based upon the SD14 and older cameras).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtLylj3V-EQ...re=channel_page
I nice review of the older DP1(his comments I find to be more enjoyable than a boring review).  
http://www.rytterfalk.com/
He recently posted a blog entry of sorts about using the SD14 and DP1 for a year.  Lots of pics and scans and so on of both.  

It's coming out in May and should compete very well I think.
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carstenw
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« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2009, 10:11:30 AM »
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Quote from: Plekto
The new Sigma DP2 seems to have the larger sensor of their DSLR and pretty decent(finally) software. They also seem to have fixed the DR and put a faster lens on it.

I don't know the DP2 personally, but the DP1 produced images of stunning quality at base ISO. However, if the M8 is limited at high ISO, the DP1 is even more limited. The resolution is also very low, although the images scale well. I doubt that they will hold up to large prints though, because no matter how good the pixels, in the end there are only 4.7MP of them, which is about right for a stunning 8x10" print, but not much larger. It also has a fixed lens, and a non-zoom at that (DP2: 41mm f2.Cool. The crop factor is higher than for the M8, btw, i.e. the sensor is smaller.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2009, 10:14:59 AM by carstenw » Logged

ndevlin
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« Reply #15 on: April 12, 2009, 10:41:03 AM »
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For really top-notch image quality, of the three cameras you list only the Leica is a contender. I was very interested in the Sigma but it was a disappointment. Just not nearly enough resolution, and odd colour response.

While many shooters have produced excellent results with M8, I along with many others, was deeply disappointed with it as a camera. The response times are slow, the finders inaccurate for framing, and the LCD near useless.  I say that as a lover of rangefinder cameras and someone who desperately wanted the M8 to be my main camera.

I am told the M8.2 fixes some of these problems, but it is very expensive.

Personally, I did not find the image quality to be any better than my 1DsII. The Leica was noisier, and had less resolution.

Moreover, the Leica M lenses are completely out of control now in price.

I don't want to discourage you from trying the M8 - for some people it is a good solution they enjoy using. Just try before you buy.  There are a fair number at good prices on the resale market.

This may sound heretical, but the latest Rebel with a few prime lenses might be no heavier, a fraction of the price, and more productive.

Good luck,

- Nick.
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« Reply #16 on: April 12, 2009, 11:47:08 AM »
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Quote from: ndevlin
For really top-notch image quality

- Nick.


There is no logical reason to buy a leica.  Hell, regardless of what you read on this forum this is no logical reason to buy anything other than a Canon or Nikon, maybe that Sony.

Even the  Nikon N-90 file vs. file, inch vs. inch, ounce vs. ounce is a better camera than the Leica.

Like it or not Nikon and Canon are the real Toyotas of the camera world, not Mamiya, because they always work, the do it on the cheap and you don't even have to think about them, you just turn them on and shoot.

I would never tell anyone just to buy a Leica and compare it to anything, because it is slow to start, the batteries are small, the data card goes in the bottom and the framing is a surprise.  Color accuracy in available light is almost impossible to figure out.

The Leica does have a different look and you will shoot different things with it.  I know, I also laughed at the Leicaness of photos and of the photos I've seen through the years shot will all Leicas 90% are just snapshots though 10% are much more and well that 10% is something.

There is a difference shooting with the Leica and I'm not just saying this a mumbo jumbo, bigger is better, spend 5 grand to get to 2 because it doesn't make senses unless it makes you and your subjects feel good.

Then it's worth it and used M-8's are out there for $2,500.  Also you can buy all the Leica glass you want though most of the lenses are non usable.  Try a 90 on the m-8 and you'll laugh looking at a frame the size of a 12 pt. helvetica W.

So after buying a 24, or 28 and maybe a 50 you probably won't use anything else anyway.  Actually I haven't taken the 28 off of it in a year.

I have a lot of cameras, too many actually, but if today every one of them disappeared I'd go out tomorrow and buy 3.  Two 1ds3's (or Nikon D3x's)  to make a living and one leica to make me smile.

JRR
« Last Edit: April 13, 2009, 01:58:28 AM by James R Russell » Logged

henrikfoto
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« Reply #17 on: April 12, 2009, 03:21:42 PM »
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This is very interesting. I think the feeling of a camera is an important  factor, but do you think the image-quality of the Leica M files are inferior to the newer Canon-files at low ISO?

Can I ask if you use the 28mm f.2 or the f.2,8?

Henrik
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« Reply #18 on: April 12, 2009, 04:35:18 PM »
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Quote from: henrikfoto
This is very interesting. I think the feeling of a camera is an important  factor, but do you think the image-quality of the Leica M files are inferior to the newer Canon-files at low ISO?

Henrik

I sold my M8 to buy the 5D2, so I haven't directly compared, but my eye tells me that the 5DII produces a much more detailed (ie: high-res) image, irrespective of the presence of the AA filter or inferior (to Leica) Canon lenses. The files will are also 'smoother' . This is a comment on the texture of the image as a function of noise processing.  Canon has always had a smooth look -- and here I pass no judgment on this aesthetically. By contrast, I found that, even at ISO 160, the Leica produced more texture in the file.  I actually liked this. While not truly filmic in quality, this characteristic of the files was visually pleasing to me.  I liked how the camera looked at ISO 320 as well.  

I'd be interested in what James' view on this is, given his much greater use of (and affinity for) the camera.

- N.
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« Reply #19 on: April 12, 2009, 06:00:17 PM »
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I've owned and shot with most of them, including MF, and for sure at 11MP the M8 produces an outstanding file.  But then so did the 1D2 at 8MP, so did the 5D at 11MP, so does the D700 at 11MP, and so does the 1Ds3 at 21MP...  And guess what?  I own a little Panasonic G1 with the 14-45 kit zoom, and it produces superb images too!  All that said, I would say the M8 produced better files than either the 5D, D700 or the G1, but at the end of the day, unless you had big prints from each side-by-side, you'd be hard pressed to call any of them out.

My point is that the person behind the camera is probably the most important thing to making a good image.  You want really small and light that makes great images, get the G1; you want to own something few have mastered, is relatively small and light and makes great images, get the M8; you want something that is really versatile but isn't as compact as other choices and makes great images, get a Nikon or Canon DSLR.  

My .02,
« Last Edit: April 12, 2009, 06:00:37 PM by Jack Flesher » Logged

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