Leica M8 just a little too pricey...

Fiendish Astronaut

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I'm considering buying something like the Leica M8 for reportage photography but the price... wow!

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/specs/Leica/leica_m8.asp

Are there similar products to this which TPF members can recommend? I've not got a budget as yet but just want some idea of what I might be able to aim for in the future.

Thanks!
 
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Fiendish Astronaut

Fiendish Astronaut

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It's the only D-RF you're probably gonna find.

Interesting thanks. I'll think about film, but it really doesn't suit my workflow and without a darkroom I fear the camera might end up getting used less than it should.
 

reg

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Well, I did add in the word "new" in there but yeah. There are 3 or 4 digital rangefinders and the Leica is the only one still in production, and produced in any real numbers.
 

usayit

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Yes VERY pricey... unfortunately, Leica prices are becoming insanely expensive (I remember price increases across the board 3x already).

I HIGHLY recommend the Epson R-D1. Mine is a secondary body and I absolute love its mesh of old and new. More details on what I think about the camera is in this thread:

http://thephotoforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=93954

Since purchasing the camera just a couple months shy of a year ago now, I can say it is still a champ and I get a lot of enjoyment out of the camera. It is discontinued therefore there are obvious issues that go along. First, finding one for sale is might be difficult. It was not a high volume camera. Check www.rangefinderforum.com in their classifieds section (you need to register). Last time I checked, there were 2 for sale there. Second, is finding service if you run into the problems. The R-D1 was treated more as a pet project of one of Epson's Executives and initial sales really kicked them in the rear. As much as the D-RF community has pushed them to move forward to the R-D2, it seems Epson has not shown any interest. As such, finding service for an R-D1 also is a pain. I have seen one thread of a 100% repair and quick turnaround via http://www.stevecamera.com/. For the most part the Epson is reliable but as with most products a need for repair does crop up (and you hear about it quickly on the internet).

As for lenses, Leica is the obvious choice albeit expensive. A good alternative would be Voigtlander lenses (www.cameraquest.com). Very affordable. If you want to carry a film rangefinder as a backup, I highly recommend an M-mount Voigtlander Bessa. Essentially the same handling as the R-D1 (the R-D1 body is based on the Voigtlander rangefinder).

A great package for street to look into, R-D1 w/ 28-35-50 Tri-elmar and Voigtlander 21mm color-skopar (you estimate with two eyes open).

mods: if posting a cross link to another forum is a no-no please correct.
 

Steph

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Jeff Canes

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I just recently got the Epson RD-1 unused new in box from Matsuiyastore in Japan on ebay for $2100 US, it was delivered this last Wednesday, so far I like the layout of the controls and dials, I’m little worried about the file size, but the so far the few shots I,ve edit look ok
 

usayit

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yup... the Leica M8 is a very controversial camera. It has polarized the Leica community. You'll find reviews that really bash it and reviews that praise it.... kinda makes it difficult to decide whether the price is worth the admission. Some had such high expectations stemming from their experience in the film world that the M8 (the first digital RF out of Leica) was bound to feel lackluster. Others have a difficult time leveraging the most out of the camera.

For me, it was kinda of a jump and pray type decision. I'm definitely happy.. at least after upgrading to the last firmware (I have to admit..). A lot of the issues including the strange Auto WB that was brought up in the review link above have been fixed in firmware.

The M8 had a lot of teething issues in the beginning that really hit Leica hard. It wasn't a surprise to many that the CEO Steve Lee was dismissed shortly afterwards.

Right or wrong.. M8 shooters definitely walk a different path.
 

usayit

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I just recently got the Epson RD-1 unused new in box from Matsuiyastore in Japan on ebay for $2100 US, it was delivered this last Wednesday, so far I like the layout of the controls and dials, I’m little worried about the file size, but the so far the few shots I,ve edit look ok

Congrats!!! From what I hear Matsui is one of just a handful of places that still have stock. Mine was purchased as a refurb directly from Epson for a rock bottom price (woke up very early in the morning to do that impulse buy). I felt the same about the controls and dials... aren't they neat?!
 

Senor Hound

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I know I'll probably get flamed for this, and accused of not being a "real" photographer, but have you considered something with live view? That away you can keep your eyes on the surrounding areas just as easily. And people who say they suck because you have to hold it away from your body, they just don't know. With the new Sonys especially, its really become a feasable option.
 

usayit

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No reason to flame yah... not yet at least.. lol

Shooting live view is very similar to shooting with an SLR. When your eyes are focused on the LCD, you are still seeing the world through a tunnel.. in a disconnected way. Even worse.. you are doing this at an arms length away.

Its difficult to explain.. you just have to try it. The best I've been able to simulate is to walk with your hands out and your fingers forming a square (kinda like what movie directors do when planing out out a scene). Your tendency is to frame the subjects with your fingers rather than pull them into view as in an SLR. You can still see everything around and outside the perimeter of your fingers (forming a square). You can even walk and reposition yourself without fear of running into something.


Live view is perfect those situations that require difficult positions... like shooting really down low, around corners, or above your head. They are also great when positioning the camera on a tripod. I definitely can see an advantage to live-view BUT that feature seems a bit pointless unless the display can also be repositioned.
 

passerby

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I have read both reviews from Big Mike and from Steph. From that reading I have come to a conclusion. I am willing to pay this M8 just for the sake of it for $250. I will use it for show off only to those uninformed onlookers. Who knows maybe one of them willing to pay it for few grands.
 

tirediron

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May I ask why you are interested in this particular camera? Why not a Canon 5D or Nikon D300?
 

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