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Question: Why do you own a digital M Leica?  (Voting closed: October 30, 2011, 07:03:58 AM)
Because I prefer shooting with a rangefinder. - 9 (45%)
Because I want to use Leica and other M lenses. - 11 (55%)
Total Voters: 20

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Author Topic: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?  (Read 88030 times)
scooby70
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« Reply #80 on: January 23, 2012, 08:32:18 AM »
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In this company I'd probably get shot for saying this...

I hung onto rangefinders but in the end I gave in to the reality that my photography was 99% digital and when a GF1 became my carry about camera I sold / gave them away.
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DeeJay
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« Reply #81 on: February 05, 2012, 01:13:06 PM »
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Well I just bought an M9 Kit.

I'm truly and instantly converted. This system is INCREDIBLE.
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hasselbladfan
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« Reply #82 on: February 07, 2012, 03:06:34 AM »
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How do you vote?

I would vote 7 x glass. And I have not finished buying them all Smiley
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JeanMichel
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« Reply #83 on: February 08, 2012, 02:11:09 PM »
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Hi,
I thought that i would post an UNFAIR comparison of an image made with a Canon 5D2 with a 24-105 lens (at 105 mm and f/11 ) on a tripod, live view, 10 second timer, triggered with a remote control; and a handheld shot with the M9 with a 50 mm Summicron from 1965, 1/60 second at f/2 --I know, the file says 2.8, but it was 2.0, the Leica guesses OK but not exactly. The Canon crop is 3420 by 4805; the Leica crop is 2982 by 3867. The Leica shot was made at the minimum focusing distance, about 3'4" at at an awkward stance, it is a bit soft due to perhaps a bit of body motion after focusing, etc. The point is that for documenting exhibitions -- I am sold on my Canon, with LV it is a mini view camera, and the results are excellent. Yet, the quick, handheld and wide open Leica shot, if not viewed side by side with the Canon image, is quite fine and has a nice glow to it. For much of my work I am very happy to be back using my Leica lenses (this 50, a 1962 35 Summicron with goggles, 135 Elmarit and a 21 VC). The 135 is a bit of a challenge to use and will probably not be used much. It may be that new lenses would be 'better' and that was partially why I hesitated a long time before purchasing the M9, but with those i make equal or better prints that made in the darkroom, and at a larger size.
Enough rambling, here a is a screen shot from LR.
Jean-Michel
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KevinA
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« Reply #84 on: February 09, 2012, 05:13:28 AM »
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Michael,
Maybe the question should be why have you not bought into Leica given their excellent reputation for quality images.
I have been on the brink so many times, but always pulled back.

Kevin.
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Kevin.
Gary Ferguson
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« Reply #85 on: February 10, 2012, 11:06:26 AM »
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Mike Johnston at The Online Photographer has commented that he suspects many photographers who use Leica M's don't really like using rangefinders at all, but the attraction of the great optics or even just the glamour of the Leica name makes them overlook the manifest shortcomings of the rangefinder system.

I get that. I've been a Leica M user for thirty years despite really disliking rangefinders,

1. They're not great for spectacle wearers
2. They're uncomfortable in the portrait position
3. The viewfinder experience is terrific for one or two focal lengths...and compromised for everything else.

So why continue?

Basically because I travel a lot with my job, and when the Leica M9 was launched it offered the best quality in the smallest and most portable package. Hey, with the 50mm collapsable lens it was even pocketable! And you can always find room in a briefcase or travel bag for an M9, a couple of lenses, and that great little Leitz folding tripod.

But that title of the the miniature champ is now being strongly challenged, so I doubt I'll stay with the M system for much longer.

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KLaban
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« Reply #86 on: February 10, 2012, 11:21:30 AM »
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So why continue?

Basically because I travel a lot with my job, and when the Leica M9 was launched it offered the best quality in the smallest and most portable package. Hey, with the 50mm collapsable lens it was even pocketable! And you can always find room in a briefcase or travel bag for an M9, a couple of lenses, and that great little Leitz folding tripod.

But that title of the the miniature champ is now being strongly challenged, so I doubt I'll stay with the M system for much longer.

I’m waiting to see what the Leica M10 has to offer or their promised 'mirrorless' offering. I'm also keen to see how the Fuji X-Pro1 performs.

Ideally I'm after a compact full frame system that has the option of accurate framing, focus confirmation and quality lenses. For the moment it doesn't exist, but I have the feeling it isn't that far off.
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Rob C
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« Reply #87 on: February 10, 2012, 02:32:41 PM »
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I’m waiting to see what the Leica M10 has to offer or their promised 'mirrorless' offering. I'm also keen to see how the Fuji X-Pro1 performs.

Ideally I'm after a compact full frame system that has the option of accurate framing, focus confirmation and quality lenses. For the moment it doesn't exist, but I have the feeling it isn't that far off.





Keef; welcome to the Noble Company of Seekers After the Holy Grail (NCSAHG).

You can be Vice- to my Pressy!

I've dreamed of that for ever and the closest I did get was, hold your breath - the Nikon F. Pocketable? If you have big pockets; accurate? 100% viewfinder image. Interchangeable lenses? Of course, but then you'd need a trench coat, as with any other system camera.
 
For a while there you had me worried: Hassy and Leica? I thought you might be the guy getting between me and the Euromillions twice a week!

;-)

Rob C
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KLaban
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« Reply #88 on: February 10, 2012, 03:29:50 PM »
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Rob, I've a feeling the sacred object is almost upon us.

And it shall be mine.
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Gary Ferguson
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« Reply #89 on: February 11, 2012, 01:33:03 PM »
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Here's another thing. When the M9 came out it pretty much matched the maximum pixels that you got on any 35mm DSLR. But there's now a Dalsa based rumour that the M10 will be 24 MPX, where as the Nikon bar (and Canon et al surely won't be far behind and may end up ahead) is now at 36 MPX.

As a long time Leica user I thought I was far too mature and wise to let that be an issue...but sadly it is!
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KLaban
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« Reply #90 on: February 11, 2012, 02:05:15 PM »
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24MP would be just fine, 36MP would be a bonus.
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Christoph C. Feldhaim
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« Reply #91 on: February 11, 2012, 03:20:27 PM »
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I don't own a Leica (wished I had some spare coing for an M9 system), but I've been working with Rangefinders most of the time.
I just traded my Mamiya Press system against a Mamiya 7 II.
Reasons originally for me were to have a cheap MF system (M.Press), but now the decision for the Mamiya 7 ii was for image quality mainly and bulk.
I am still waiting for the 43 mm lens (will arrive soonish), but expect superb IQ from that Biogon designed lens.
If I would sell my Nikon LS 9000 scanner and the Mamiya 7 I could get a great DSLR kit for that, but I won't do it.
Instead I'll go for a view camera (Arca Swiss F I hope one day) with roll film magazines.

For me the reasons for the Mamiya 7 ii were (in that priority):
1. IQ in wide angle
2. Bulk

If I would ever get a Leica system it would be for the highest IQ/bulk index.

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DeeJay
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« Reply #92 on: February 15, 2012, 08:10:50 AM »
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Here's another thing. When the M9 came out it pretty much matched the maximum pixels that you got on any 35mm DSLR. But there's now a Dalsa based rumour that the M10 will be 24 MPX, where as the Nikon bar (and Canon et al surely won't be far behind and may end up ahead) is now at 36 MPX.

As a long time Leica user I thought I was far too mature and wise to let that be an issue...but sadly it is!

I think the 36mp samples from the new Nikons show why the Megapixel race ended with the flagship cameras. While I haven't heavily tested every system I'm sort of feeling that anything beyond 22mp in a dSLR is just marketing.

It will be interesting to see what the impending Canon files will look like at a rumoured 45mp, but I can guess and will place a bet that they really look no different from a Canon 5D2 file, just bigger.

These camera companies have had a decade of making a lot of money out of people, pushing us with the upgrades -  intact the industry has seen nothing like it in its entire history. There was a mystery of "how far is it going to go". But I really think it signals the boundaries of 135 and If I need bigger than 22mp I will turn to my medium format kit.

All IMO of corse but I'll gladly stick with my 18mp M9.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2012, 08:13:27 AM by DeeJay » Logged
Paul Kay
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« Reply #93 on: February 17, 2012, 09:47:40 AM »
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Michael

I have used Leica Ms off and on throughout my 30 year photographic career. Fundamentally I enjoy using M rangefinders. However I also find that the latest designed lenses are also probably the best that I've ever owned or used - they are utterly reliable in their ability to produce superb images.

I also find that I like the discipline of shooting with a limited number of fast, fixed focal lengths. This forces me to think much harder about my images and this combined with the fact that I often leave a tripod behind, means that I have to work harder to produce useful material - which is, I believe, as a consequence, often different from other photographer's work. I have just returned from a trip away and reviewing my images against those held by libraries shows some significantly different material - no bad thing in today's ultra-competitive world.

Whilst I might consider using M lenses on another type of body, it would have to be full-frame (or minimally 1.3x) and as well made and with simple controls to entice me to do so. I also shot 5D2s and have no desire to see an M lens fitting camera with lots of buttons on it. As far as I am concerned the M9 is an exceptionally effective digital replacement for the M6 I used to own and I am very content with it as it is at present.
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250swb
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« Reply #94 on: February 21, 2012, 03:14:22 AM »
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Never had a problem using a rangefinder with glasses, never had a problem with a limited set of focal lengths. The M9 is a simple camera and that is why I like it, but that doesn't mean it only takes simple pictures and the only saving grace are a set of fine quality lenses. If people paid less attention to price and lens quality and more attention to creativity and productivity we may get beyond the 'I need' syndrome that keeps people at home wishing for the next imaginary model.

It is true that taking a simple camera out the front door is tantamount to leaving your 'blue blanket' behind, and that is perhaps why people always want something more, it is the fundamental insecurity of being metorphorically naked in public without a zoom lens to cover your bits up. But you can be sure of one thing, the next camera still won't be good enough, not until the insecurity of needing multi function DLSR's or EVIL camera's etc. is overcome. Photographers who use simple rangefinders and stick with them are not dinosaurs, but perhaps they do have a more pragmatic view of the world that makes them look old fashioned from the outside. They know that the only thing that makes a good photograph is the photographers eye, because there is precious little else regarding equipment to help them out, and that can be a scary thought.

Steve
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Rob C
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« Reply #95 on: February 21, 2012, 03:41:00 AM »
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Never had a problem using a rangefinder with glasses, never had a problem with a limited set of focal lengths. The M9 is a simple camera and that is why I like it, but that doesn't mean it only takes simple pictures and the only saving grace are a set of fine quality lenses. If people paid less attention to price and lens quality and more attention to creativity and productivity we may get beyond the 'I need' syndrome that keeps people at home wishing for the next imaginary model.

It is true that taking a simple camera out the front door is tantamount to leaving your 'blue blanket' behind, and that is perhaps why people always want something more, it is the fundamental insecurity of being metorphorically naked in public without a zoom lens to cover your bits up. But you can be sure of one thing, the next camera still won't be good enough, not until the insecurity of needing multi function DLSR's or EVIL camera's etc. is overcome. Photographers who use simple rangefinders and stick with them are not dinosaurs, but perhaps they do have a more pragmatic view of the world that makes them look old fashioned from the outside. They know that the only thing that makes a good photograph is the photographers eye, because there is precious little else regarding equipment to help them out, and that can be a scary thought. Steve



Even more scary that anyone should approach photography from a position of fear! It's simplicity itself, once you realise that primitive camera functions actually make life that more well, simple!

Great snapping all depends on what you find once you are out there.

I watched part of a recent link to HC-B in conversation wirth Charlie Rose: part of, because the thing stopped streaming - but what struck me was that the old snapper was so obviously bored and frustrated with the age-old questions and the with the interviewer himself that he appeared to be about to walk off set at any minute. Refreshing was his stance that you must not actively want anything - you must be receptive and open instead.

Rob C
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cole2010
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« Reply #96 on: February 21, 2012, 07:05:21 AM »
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Ricoh is using Sony sensors for its M-module
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Dan Wells
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« Reply #97 on: February 24, 2012, 10:49:10 AM »
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     I've used M8s, loved the glass (of course), could never really get used to the rangefinder for landscape (what I do, but in the Eastern US, it's NOT always at infinity focus - a lot of "landscape" here is really halfway between landscape and macro). I'm still looking for something that will give me the image quality of my D3x without the weight (both body/lens weight, and it takes a lighter tripod). The M9 is both too expensive and not close-focusing enough (plus it's really hard to focus a rangefinder accurately at 1 meter). I've been using a GH2 as a travel camera for the past year, and it's "almost there", but doesn't have the dynamic range I want - DR is a bigger issue than resolution (and the single-dial controls are a bit clunky - I like to have aperture plus either shutter speed or exposure compensation right at hand). I have an NEX-7 body on order, and I'm hoping this'll be the solution - a lot of control, plus a sensor with supposedly very good characteristics. I'm a little worried about the lenses, but I'm guessing the Sony G/Zeiss situation will improve in the next year, plus there are always adapters - I think the peaking will work better than a rangefinder for what I do.
    On a related note, a lens category I haven't seen in some time (and I mourn the passing of - correct me if I'm wrong) is the modest-sized, not terribly fast, but HIGH-QUALITY zoom. Nikon in particular used to produce "super kit" lenses that were not f2.8 (they were in the range of f3.5-f4.5), and had fairly modest zoom ranges, but they had much better optical quality and somewhat better maximum aperture than regular kit 18-55s (or their film equivalent, the 28-85). They were at least twice the price of a kit lens, but only ~20% bigger, and, when stopped down to f5.6 or f8, their image quality rivaled pro zooms. I'd love to see Sony make a "SEL 18-70 f3.3-4.5G" that complements the NEX-7 better than the 18-55 coke bottle. I think a lot of NEX-7 buyers would pay $600-$700 for that lens (and it could be sold with the body in a $1599 kit). I am always shooting between f5.6 and f13 (stop down any further, and diffraction rears it's ugly head) anyway, so the lack of f2.8 would be made up for by the size and weight of the lens.
      A camera that I'd LOVE to see, but I suspect will be too specialized to get made (Nikon once played with a prototype, from various indications (they called it MX format in some leaked literature)) is a Medium-Format NEX-7... It would look like a Mamiya 7 with a big ol' screen on the back (plus a NEX-7 grade or better EVF) and a couple of extra dials, and have a 40+ MP 645 sized sensor. Focus would either be Contrast AF (with manual override) or purely manual, with magnification and peaking to help. One really off the wall possibility would be electronically controlled sensor tilts and shifts, which should be possible in a Mamiya 7 sized body with a 645 sized sensor. I think this type of camera would find a niche among landscape photographers, as well as among studio folks...
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HJW
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« Reply #98 on: March 13, 2012, 02:36:30 PM »
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Both lenses and camera; probably slightly more for the camera.

I've been shooting rangefinder Leicas for a _LONG_ time and therefore I'm mostly just plain used to the flow. My keeper rate is higher with my M's than it is with any AF system. I shoot single shot for 99% of my stuff, but I sometimes fire off quite a few shots in a short time, so the current slow processing and writing and limited buffer are things that interrupt the shooting flow compared with film M's, and those are the things that bother me about the digital M's. 'Course film changes don't slow me down now. Better high ISO performance and better dynamic range would always be useful. More megapixels aren't necessary but could be useful, as long as things don't slow down, since the electronics are struggling as it is. Things that bother other people, like 'inaccurate focus' - well, up to 90mm I have more keepers with my M's than with my DSLR's, and yes, I've had and have a fair number of DSLR's since they first started showing up. I shoot regularly with the 75/1.4 and 50/1, and do quite well. Very occasionally I shoot with a 135, and with some care that's OK too, but it's not a focal length I'm very fond of no matter what the camera. In general I find focussing extremely fast and accurate.

Framing: Probably since I've been shooting with Leicas for 50 years, I'm used to the framing and shoot accordingly. When I used slide film, I still managed to get what I want, but there I would have loved more accurate framing, but now with digital I don't really care. I like the framelines for the M8 best, the M8.2 ones least and the M9 ones are second best but quite workable.

Live view would be nice if I used the camera on a tripod, but since I don't I don't really care about live view. I generally have the rear screen shut off, and usually only chimp if the contrast range is very high and I'm concerned that I may not be setting exposures to capture what I want best.

Henning
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fastfoodforthought
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« Reply #99 on: March 16, 2012, 09:42:36 AM »
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I discovered photography quite late in my life despite my father being a photographer and film documentary maker. He always used Canon cameras (A1) and an Aaton film camera. I followed suit and bought a Canon 40D with 24-105 and 10-22 lenses. I had a blast but as my interest in photography deepened I became despondent with the digital process. It was fun, but there was something missing from it. I used to be a chef and I like cooking, I also love chemistry, science and magic. I found the digital process akin to cooking with a microwave oven.

So I bought a Mamiya RZ67 Pro and learned to develop my own BW pictures. I was using a digital process and scanning the negatives. Then I put a darkroom together and started learning about developing. I was still using my digital camera, but mainly as a sketch tool and light meter. I would take test shots with the digital and when I think I had the frame I wanted, I'd bring out the Mamiya.

Then I got the Mamiya 7ii (80mm, 65mm) and I never used my digital camera again. I fell in love with rangefinder photography. I loved that a rangefinder made me stop, think, compose, frame, focus... breath and finally click. It slowed me down and as much as I love the anticipation of waiting for the film, I missed a digital assistant.

So I bought myself an M9. I have the APO Summilux-M 35mm ASPH and the Summicron 90mm ASPH lenses. I love that the same philosophy of manual rangefinder applies, but I can get an instant result and use it as both my artistic tool and research camera. Even though I can snap away, it still forces me to stop and think. The rangefinder gives me a different moment, one that seems different from one of a series shot in quick succession on a regular DSLR.

I will buy an M7 and use my M9 and its lenses. I do a lot of travel and portrait photography. I will travel with my Mamiya 7ii, M9 and forthcoming M7. All of these will take up less weight and space than what I used to travel with; the Canon 40D, lenses and associated clobber.

I love my M9 and I love that it's a rangefinder. I would not want it otherwise. I no longer care about megapixels, ISO, focus points and all the other noise that distracts me from what I really want. I want the close relationship I have developed with my rangefinders and I want the personal relationship it then forces me to have with my subject.

I will also spend less time warming my hands by the slow-burning embers of analog photography as I hone my craft on the M9 and make my darkroom sojourns more meaningful.

Great forum by the way, I'm glad I joined it.
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