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Author Topic: Leica M8 / Epson / Sigma  (Read 52895 times)
JohnBrew
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« Reply #20 on: April 12, 2009, 07:28:06 PM »
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I wish I could provide you with the website (which I have forgotten), but there was a post by a professional who acquired a 5D MkII who stated that the files from that camera compared favorably to his M8 files, but obviously with more resolution. I'm certain the M8 replacement when it arrives (not too soon, I hope, because I don't have any saved money yet!) will have more resolution. I personally can't imagine using a finer shooting device - the finest lenses and the lightest most discreet professional package.
Good luck in your search.
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dalethorn
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« Reply #21 on: April 12, 2009, 10:53:59 PM »
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Quote from: JohnBrew
I wish I could provide you with the website (which I have forgotten), but there was a post by a professional who acquired a 5D MkII who stated that the files from that camera compared favorably to his M8 files, but obviously with more resolution. I'm certain the M8 replacement when it arrives (not too soon, I hope, because I don't have any saved money yet!) will have more resolution. I personally can't imagine using a finer shooting device - the finest lenses and the lightest most discreet professional package.
Good luck in your search.

I handled a Leica M8 someone was carrying at the local art museum.  It felt like a brick almost - very heavy for its size.  Today I was holding someone's Canon XTI with a long zoom lens, and it felt half as heavy as the M8.
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Plekto
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« Reply #22 on: April 12, 2009, 11:28:40 PM »
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Quote from: carstenw
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.

The new sensor claims about twice the ISO of the original.  So it should work well for what it is.  As for it being 4.7MP, those are real pixels like on your monitor.  The Leica is 3936 x 2630, but if you convert it to real pixels due to Bayer losses, you get 2624 X 1753.  Or 4.6MP.  Bayer sensors suck to be honest, and need a lot of data points(I call them sub-pixels myself) to compensate.  If it was a 12MP+ camera, like, say, the G10 or the Fujis or the(list of better cheap pocket cameras continues...)

Oh wait... Just buy the G10.  Seriously.  Loads of pixels, small, and has a decent zoom.  It will crush the M8 quite easily.  Of those you mentioned, I'd get the DP2, but if you want small and great pictures in a pocket camera, the small prosumer types have to be added.  And the G10 is currently at or near the top of that list.

Leica M8 Horizontal LPH 1900
Leica M8 Vertical LPH 1700

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/leicam8/page20.asp

G10 Horizontal LPH 2450
G10 Vertical LPH 2500

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canong10/page23.asp
30% more resolution, give or take, and as good as both the Sigma and Leica images look, it's quite not enough to beat the G10.  14.7MP, even with a cheaper sensor, is enough to come out ahead.  

It's the best I can come up with until I see the DP2 in a month and make a final decision. The choice of the M8 seems odd, because the millisecond you mention it anywhere online, people start talking lenses.  But these lenses and a bag to hold them... it's suddenly as cumbersome as a small DSLR.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2009, 11:33:50 PM by Plekto » Logged
James R Russell
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« Reply #23 on: April 13, 2009, 02:24:57 AM »
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Quote from: ndevlin
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.

We tend to judge photographs, at least on technical forums in very different and somewhat strange ways.

I'm not sure what an inferior file is unless I pull it up on a screen at 300% and then kind of go huh, who looks at a photo at 1/100th of a crop at 300%.

This is going way off the original topic, (or maybe not, depending on how you are predisposed), but in my view, digital has changed the way we look at a photograph.

I know this forum is more about equipment than the actual photo, but last night my wife and I had a drink at the Joule Hotel in this library bar.  There was a few pocket sized books, one of photographic masters.

The books are small, but well done, simple and really is just about the photograph.  One image stood out to me and it was a Rolling Stone shot Annie did of the Blues Brothers.  It was film so it was raw, way un retouched, kind of off color and nothing special in technique, other than it was just really amazing and so much different than what she does now, or for that matter what most of us do now.

No over retouching, no pixel peeping, no smoothing down noise/grain until the image looks like a painting, just a very interesting photograph with very interesting colors in the raw, in the flesh with all the humanity attached to it, scars, pimples and all.

Now how this pertains to the M-8 is to me the leica is kind of like a film camera.  I've never shot an image with it I wanted to over retouch, or mask, or modify to the point that the humanity is washed off of it.  In fact I rarely take the lcd off the black and white setting, though I run a lot of color images from the camera.

To me, it's almost the perfect camera because I don't expect much out of it.  I like the noise/grain, the somewhat off colored look, the slightly surprised framing.  

I love the fact it has f stops on the lens, has a real shutter dial that actually has shutter speeds printed on it.  I like that the light meter in the camera is for s*&t because at this stage most of us should be able to look at the light and have a damn close idea of what the exposure should be.

I also like the fact the camera weighs more than a few ounces, doesn't fit in a pocket, but doesn't require a tripod or a rolling case.

It's not film, sometimes looks like film, sometimes doesn't but it's not a camera that you buy today, just hoping for the next upgrade tomorrow.  In fact I like the strange color so much, (especially with studio flash) that I've resisted even updating the firm ware because I don't want to loose the look I get from it.

Everytime I use this camera I think I'll just buy another one as backup and never use another camera again.  Just let things fall as they should. If it's noisy at high iso, then good, that's life, or if a few frames are out of focus, fine because focus can be way overrated, but then like most of us I start thinking about not have 20, or more  megapixels, or a clean 1000 iso, or the ability to tether 30" across and then think naw, I might get in trouble.

It's probably just me, but I do love this camera and maybe I'm fooling myself and I've been seduced by the red dot.

JRR
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #24 on: April 13, 2009, 03:12:22 AM »
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Hi,

Not talking feel, just technical issues, I'd say that the M8 is wasteful with optical resources. At 10 MPixel the sensor has relatively low resolution and it's just an APS-H size device. Leica puts a lot of effort into developing lenses which are corrected to the outmost corner of full frame at a very high resolution, but much of that effort is not even utilized. To fully utilize the quality of the optics probably something like 20 MPixels would be needed (as it seems that on APS-C we reach diminishing returns about 15 MPixels and APS-H is 1.33 (or so) times the areas of APS-C. To put it short:

- The lenses would require a sensor of at least twice the resolution
- The present sensor wastes at least half of the information from the lens

The calculation above is essentially based on normal designs, like a Canon 50 mm lens.

Having big pixels is of course good for low light performance. It's a bit like using Tri-X. Tri-X would probably not take any decent fixed focal to the limit, but T-MAX 100 or Technical Pan would do.

Another issue with the M8 is that it is a rangefinder design so the distance between sensor and the output pupil of wide angle lenses is very short. That is causing a lot of problems and was probably one of the reasons of Leica's choice of sensor size. It's a great pity, the most brilliant lens designs don't really fit in a filmless world. DSLR vendors were lucky in this sense, the need to have place for a moving mirror caused their designs be pretty optimal for digital.

That said, 10 MPixels is more than ample enough for much photography, it's just that you don't need 5000$-lenses for 10 MPixels, 500$-lenses will do fine.

By the way, resolution for films is more often than not given at a contrast of 1:1000 which is ridiculous. But essentially says that there remains a discernible difference between a black line and white line that was originally 1000 times brighter than the black one, or that MTF is going down to 0.1 percent (just in case someone comes up with a resolution of 100 lp/mm for Tri-X).

Best regards
Erik



Quote from: ndevlin
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.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2009, 03:18:17 AM by ErikKaffehr » Logged

geesbert
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« Reply #25 on: April 13, 2009, 03:18:01 AM »
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After having tried so many 'small cameras' i gave up and just used my 5 d with small manual lenses for carrying around. before i went digital my M6 was my preferred camera, but i couldn't get myelf to buying the m8.

a few weeks ago my local camera dealer handed me one without me asking an I just bought it. and i must say i really grow to this camera. somehow the 1,33x factor still puzzles me, as my old lenses don't feel as i knew them, the keeper rate is much lower than with any camera i am using, the color sucks most of the time, but still this thing is the nicest camera i have and use, and it is so much more joy to use than any canon or leaf or other plastic ikage computer i am using for my professional work.

the one thing i am not sp shure yet is whether my old lenses are really up to it, maybe i will getting one or two new ones.
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georgl
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« Reply #26 on: April 13, 2009, 05:45:38 AM »
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The new generation of microlenses (according to the technical specs of the 48MP DALSA) is further advanced than before, a Full-Frame-M9 will come and is necessary. As said, the M-lenses are spectacular but the sensor is too small. But the small flange distance is part of their secret, lenses like the new Summiluxes would have been impossible with an DSLR-retrofocus-design at this size.

But the M8 is not a P&S and has nothing to do with cameras like the G10! The DPREVIEW-data was measured with JPGs, which are horrible with the M8. In fact, the M8 delivers about the same resolution as a Full-Frame 12MP-camera. The DPreview-measurements are ridiculous, >2213LP with 4416Pixels are IMPOSSIBLE.
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35mmSummicron
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« Reply #27 on: April 13, 2009, 08:53:26 AM »
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Hi,

I just wanted to give my experiences having owned a Leica M8 since Feb 2007.  I grew up learning photography/shooting with rangefinders, so when Leica announced the M8, I HAD to have one.

Image quality wise, with proper exposures, it easily out resolves Canon 5D 12.8mp files (which I've also owned for several years).

Leica cameras are not for everyone, and they are not the most appropriate tool if you plan to shoot anything and everything under the sun.  That said, Leica lenses are just second to none, and the "tiny" sensor in the M8 is very unique when compared to the dSLR realm.

Owning a Leica will not make you a better photographer, but for me it somehow gives a greater connection to my work, lets me shoot in a looser, more abstract way, and DAM I just love the camera.



Taking good photographs is about a completed idea, choosing the right equipment is just such a minute part of the equation.


Attached are some photos from a promo mailer (I shoot fashion advertising) shot with the Leica M8 and a 50mm Noctilux about a year ago.  I chose this combo because it was appropriate for the look and feel of the location/wardrobe/concept.

hope this helps,
andy


[attachment=12986:Andy_Lee..._winner2.jpg][attachment=12987:Andy_Lee...winner04.
jpg]
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Dick Roadnight
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« Reply #28 on: April 13, 2009, 11:19:53 AM »
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Hi.

I have just bought the Hasselblad H3D11-50 as my first professional digital camera (or to use the DCU off it on a P3, which will be my first professional digital camera.)

I also have a Leica D-lux 3,  which I think is good by the 12 Megapixel yard stick, and has a useful zoom lens ( I think there are no zoom lenses for the M8). It produces adequate A4 prints, and is about a tenth of the price of an M8.

The main problem with the D-lux 3 is that it has no flash sync socket, and no fully manual flash mode, so you cannot use it reliably with external flashes (I did use it with my studio flash system by partially masking off the flash).

If there was a decent compact professional camera I would be interested.
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Snook
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« Reply #29 on: April 13, 2009, 11:38:02 AM »
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Quote from: Dick Roadnight
Hi.

I have just bought the Hasselblad H3D11-50 as my first professional digital camera (or to use the DCU off it on a P3, which will be my first professional digital camera.)

I also have a Leica D-lux 3,  which I think is good by the 12 Megapixel yard stick, and has a useful zoom lens ( I think there are no zoom lenses for the M8). It produces adequate A4 prints, and is about a tenth of the price of an M8.

The main problem with the D-lux 3 is that it has no flash sync socket, and no fully manual flash mode, so you cannot use it reliably with external flashes (I did use it with my studio flash system by partially masking off the flash).

If there was a decent compact professional camera I would be interested.

Yeh But the D-lux 4 does and supposedly BLOWS the D-lux 3 away.. Just have not wanted to spend $$$$ to upgrade yet!!
Snook
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henrikfoto
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« Reply #30 on: April 13, 2009, 01:40:44 PM »
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But why is Leica M8 always compared to other cameras in jpeg?
Seems to me itīs just done to prove what they are hoping for - Leica is expensive and inferior to Canon/Nikon.

Or what??
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carstenw
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« Reply #31 on: April 13, 2009, 02:33:58 PM »
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Quote from: henrikfoto
But why is Leica M8 always compared to other cameras in jpeg?
Seems to me itīs just done to prove what they are hoping for - Leica is expensive and inferior to Canon/Nikon.

Or what??

I can only see three reasons:

1) Laziness.
2) Ignorance.
3) Wanting the M8 to underperform.

DPReview, bless their heart, fall mainly into category 1), maybe a little into 2). I don't think they fully realize to what extent they are shafting certain cameras (M8, A900, ...) by only using ACR and/or JPGs. The M8 really needs to be shot in RAW, unless you only need small results.
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paratom
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« Reply #32 on: April 13, 2009, 04:18:43 PM »
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I have owned and used several small cameras but the only one which produces really image quality to my taste is the M8.
The dp1 produces very sharp and detailed images. However I see several problems:
1) color balance: Sometimes reds and yellows blow out pretty early
2) If you go to ISO 400 or higher color gets washed out and muddy
3) low resolution -> 4.7MP-> limited print size
4) slow lens
5) limited to one focal length

The M8 delivers IQ which is stuning up to ISO 640, very good and fast lenses (if they are calibrated correct). If the resolution is enough I dont know a camera which delievers better IQ (expcept the DMR under 400 ISO) ...for my taste.
Tom
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henrikfoto
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« Reply #33 on: April 13, 2009, 04:24:26 PM »
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Quote from: paratom
I have owned and used several small cameras but the only one which produces really image quality to my taste is the M8.
The dp1 produces very sharp and detailed images. However I see several problems:
1) color balance: Sometimes reds and yellows blow out pretty early
2) If you go to ISO 400 or higher color gets washed out and muddy
3) low resolution -> 4.7MP-> limited print size
4) slow lens
5) limited to one focal length

The M8 delivers IQ which is stuning up to ISO 640, very good and fast lenses (if they are calibrated correct). If the resolution is enough I dont know a camera which delievers better IQ (expcept the DMR under 400 ISO) ...for my taste.
Tom


What do you mean by calibrating the lenses? Do the older lenses have to be calibrated by the fabric, or is this a simple procedure you can do on your own?

H
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pss
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« Reply #34 on: April 13, 2009, 07:58:16 PM »
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i can only second what james has already said, there is very little logic in recommending the M8...rangefinder, expensive,....but yet the images tell the story...don't try and shoot sports with it, but then again, maybe you should!
either way it is in a completely different category then the G10 and all other p&s because of the size of the sensor....i bought the G10 and am very disappointed mostly because i know what a small package like the M8 can produce....the images just sing...
i don't really like anything over 400, which is annoying, to me the M leicas always were low light cameras...but the sensor is CCD, smaller and older....

i did a test M8, D3, 1dsIII....to check base iso raw image quality and resolution....and because of my findings i did not get the D3 which just did not have the resolution of the M8 (lenses? CCD?) but the DsIII...the m8 files also rezz up very nicely but just can't compare to the dsIII....at 800 or 1200iso, both DSLRs won easily....but of course there is all the other stuff like AF,...

i never shoot jpeg, so i don't know about that....there are some tests (on the leica forum!) comparing the m8 to the G1....and th eG1 looks very, very, very nice.....i haven't tried it....when they ship that tiny pancake fast lens for it, i will get one so i don't have to pick up the G10 anymore......

my fav. lenses on the m8 is the 35.....btw: voigtlander makes very nice cheap lenses....but unfortunately the leica lenses are better....
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Plekto
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« Reply #35 on: April 13, 2009, 10:18:20 PM »
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Quote from: pss
i can only second what james has already said, there is very little logic in recommending the M8...rangefinder, expensive,....but yet the images tell the story...don't try and shoot sports with it, but then again, maybe you should!
either way it is in a completely different category then the G10 and all other p&s because of the size of the sensor....

I wonder how much it is the camera forcing you to work to its design.
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pss
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« Reply #36 on: April 13, 2009, 11:18:57 PM »
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Quote from: Plekto
I wonder how much it is the camera forcing you to work to its design.

actually it is a perfect design! but not for everybody....i happen to love rangefinders...the fujis are maybe my all time favorite cameras....and the m8 is amazingly simple and efficient compared to canon/nikon,....i mean i shoot everything on manual with all cameras anyway....and the one thing i love about the G10 is the iso dial on top.....

i happen to love the m8.....but i would strongly recommend trying it out before buying.....that is what i meant...
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James R Russell
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« Reply #37 on: April 13, 2009, 11:46:06 PM »
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Quote from: pss
actually it is a perfect design! but not for everybody....i happen to love rangefinders...the fujis are maybe my all time favorite cameras....and the m8 is amazingly simple and efficient compared to canon/nikon,....i mean i shoot everything on manual with all cameras anyway....and the one thing i love about the G10 is the iso dial on top.....

i happen to love the m8.....but i would strongly recommend trying it out before buying.....that is what i meant...


I think it's also a perfect design except for two things.  The meter is just way, way off and works like some kind of spot meter and I would like just a little better iso . . . ok maybe three things, better quality control on the lenses . . . well maybe 4, a bigger buffer.

I have one lens that is just miles off in focus, it's brand new, sent back same  but since it's a 90 and I never use anything but the 28, I don't really care.

I do caution if you try the camera, try it for a few weeks, at least a week, not just a day, because if your like me and are not use to rangefinders it will drive you crazy at first.

Once you get used to it, it's like riding a bicycle and you never forget how to do it.

The only camera I find as enjoyable as the Leica is the Contax and they are both very similar in the fact they both have real lens f stops, real shutter knobs and feel like real cameras, not computers, ray guns on plastic.

I also love shooting with the Contax, more with the p21+ than the p30+ because the p21 is faster and let's the camera work more like it was designed for.  With the p30 it seems sluggish in comparision and like the M-8 if you want one I would buy it now before they do the mfdb thing and come out with a billion megapixel camera.  Buy it shoot with it, enjoy it.

JRR
« Last Edit: April 14, 2009, 12:17:48 AM by James R Russell » Logged

paratom
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« Reply #38 on: April 14, 2009, 02:35:17 AM »
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Quote from: henrikfoto
What do you mean by calibrating the lenses? Do the older lenses have to be calibrated by the fabric, or is this a simple procedure you can do on your own?

H

No,
all lenses should work fine. Its just that a rangefinder system needs to be calibrated very precisly. Its should be fine from the beginning but in my experience maybe 10-20% (estimation) are slightly off which can lead to slight front or backfocus when shooting wide open. So no matter if you buy used or new lens for the M, I recommend to run a quick focus test to make sure everything is in specs and fine. From then on justenjoy the great IQ.
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« Reply #39 on: April 14, 2009, 06:09:12 AM »
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another plus for the leica: i think the 10MB/raw image is just the perfect file size. there is plenty of resolution to go moderately large, but for 'daily photography' the 20MP & more is overkill in my book.  I use 4GB Sandisk dukati SD Plus Cards with it, which gives you more than 300 images per card. I know disk space is cheap, still after backup and redundancy i am fighting with too much file space.
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