Leica M8 - is the lens mount THAT expensive?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Chris Loffredo, Sep 20, 2006.

  1. jeremy wrote:

    > I've read about several informal "blind" tests where the participants were
    > unable to determine which camera took which photograph. Bob Monaghan did
    > one such test. So how much is Leica's legendary (or should I say,
    > "mythical") margin of superiority worth? Is there any photo taken with
    > Leica equipment that couldn't have been taken with a Nikon or even a
    > Minolta?


    I suppose that if you're shooting with your back to the sun, close your
    lens down to f/8.0, don't enlarge to more than 12x18 cm, turn a blind
    eye (or two) to optical distortion, vignetting, bokeh, colour
    saturation, soft corners and a few other aberations, then yes - Jeremy -
    you might not be able to tell a difference.

    BTW: You should add a footnote when you paraphrase Ken Rockwell...
     
    Chris Loffredo, Sep 20, 2006
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. Kinon O'Cann wrote:
    > "jeremy" <> wrote in message news:LRfQg.26$Kh.1@trnddc05...
    >
    >> There comes a point where the cost of the equipment is too high to justify
    >> actually *using it.*
    >>
    >> Even Erwin Puts has recently acknowledged that photographers, except for a
    >> small band of dedicated ones, long ago abandoned the precision rangefinder
    >> in favor of Japanese SLRs.
    >>
    >> I've read about several informal "blind" tests where the participants were
    >> unable to determine which camera took which photograph. Bob Monaghan did
    >> one such test. So how much is Leica's legendary (or should I say,
    >> "mythical") margin of superiority worth? Is there any photo taken with
    >> Leica equipment that couldn't have been taken with a Nikon or even a
    >> Minolta?

    >
    > I've seen lots of tests that compare Leica glass to other stuff, and the
    > Leica stuff is usually much better. Trust me, I'm not seeing things. On top
    > of initial image quality you also have to consider how long a lens will
    > provide that level of quality. Company a 30 year old Leica lens to a 30 year
    > old Nikon or Canon lens and then draw a conclusion.


    I "moved" to Leica (and Zeiss in the form of Rolleiflex) after using
    Nikon for a couple of decades.

    I find nothing at all wrong mechanically with my c. 25+ year-old Nikon
    AI/AIS lenses - which are roughly contemporary with my Leica & Zeiss
    lenses. But then, IMHO, one of the great advantages of "classic" Nikon
    equipment was its indestructability.

    It's the quality of the glass which makes the difference to me: L & Z
    glass is *usually* better for flare resistance, distortion, bokeh and
    often has a 1-2 stop quality advantage over the Nikon equivalents. Not
    to mention some less definable characteristics like 3-d & colour rendition.
    For example, the 90mm Summicron at f/2.0 is slightly better than the
    Nikkor 105mm at f/2.5. The Zeiss 85mm at f/1.4 only slightly worse.
    At f/5.6 and beyond they will be practically indistinguishable, but keep
    in mind that - IMHO - the 105mm f/2.5 is one of the very best Nikkors.
    With (most) wide-angle lenses the differences are greater.

    Some of the Leica M (& even Zeiss) lenses are especially compact, being
    a fraction of the size & weight of their Nikon equivalents.

    Leica also has the nice habit of making very well-designed lens shades
    either built-in or as standard equipment (despite Ken Rockwell's
    statement that lens shades are unnecessary).

    Is Leica too expensive? New stuff probably (and the M8 definitely!), but
    on the used market they are competitive with new plastic stuff, and
    there - unlike classic Nikon equipment - I'll accept bets on which will
    last longer.
     
    Chris Loffredo, Sep 20, 2006
    #2
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  3. nathantw wrote:
    > Tony Polson wrote:
    >> It was already clear that you didn't have the faintest idea about the
    >> performance of Leica lenses. Thank you for confirming that, beyond
    >> all possible doubt.

    >
    > You obviously didn't read one of my messages that stated that when I
    > was choosing a new camera system one of the two choices was Leica.
    > Certainly I must know something if one of two choices is that brand.
    >


    So Mr. Expert, have you actually *used* a Leica and/or tested its lenses?
     
    Chris Loffredo, Sep 20, 2006
    #3
  4. Chris Loffredo

    nathantw Guest

    Apparently there's a new Leica M8 that was just announced.
    http://www.electronista.com/articles/06/09/14/four.new.leica.cameras/

    What the heck? Why in the world would a rangefinder camera cost as much
    Nikon's flagship digital SLR and almost as much as Canon's top of the
    line camera? The only thing I can think of is that it must be the lens
    mount. It's almost like Leica took the price of their regular M7 and
    added on top of that instead of starting from scratch. Granted their
    cameras are probably hand made (not always equating to better) and
    you're basically paying for one worker's monthly salary when you buy a
    camera, but damn, $5647US is a LOT of money for a rangefinder. Then
    again, to put things in perspective a Patek Phillipe men's watch STARTS
    at $12000, but a Leica isn't made of gold.
     
    nathantw, Sep 20, 2006
    #4
  5. nathantw wrote:

    > Actually, I think it works well. Patek Phillipe isn't the only watch
    > maker in the world, but their watches have been sold at auction up to
    > $13 million. Yes, you read correctly. There are "cheaper watches" out
    > there but they're considered the best made watches. Others would
    > disagree with that statement just as we're doing with the Leica and
    > "cheaper cameras."
    >
    > A "cheaper camera" could include a Hasselblad, a Rollei, a Linhof, a
    > Sinar, a Zeiss Ikon, a Contax G and a multitude of cameras from
    > established companies that professionals have used for years if not
    > decades. We all know what kind of photographs could be made with those
    > "cheaper cameras."


    First, if you compare cameras, you have to stick to the same format:
    Comparing Leica to LF doesn't make sense.

    Of the 35mm ones you mention, the designers of the Contax G had the
    *wonderful idea* of making it autofocus and then implementing it poorly
    at that. Main reason why the Contax G failed.
    The Zeiss-Ikon is an interesting alternative, but you can buy a used
    Leica for less than a new Z-I. The Leica will outlast the Z-I by several
    decades.
    The Cosina-Voigtländers aren't that well built and have short
    rangefinder bases.
    So there really aren't that many alternatives in the world of quality
    35mm rangefinder cameras.
    You also can't compare a leica to, say, a Nikon F6; they have totally
    different uses.

    > Until then we can basically
    > say that the Leica 10MP camera will be similiar to the ones taken with
    > a Nikon 10MP camera since they use the same imaging chip.


    There's a thing hanging on to the front of your camera. Its called a
    lens. It makes a difference.
     
    Chris Loffredo, Sep 20, 2006
    #5
  6. Chris Loffredo

    Kinon O'Cann Guest

    This question has been asked many, many times, and long before the first
    digital camera was produced. Leica builds a premium quality camera for a
    small but dedicated group of shooters. The materials used and quality of
    construction is absolutely unmatched. Simply put, Leicas aren't for
    everyone. In the end, the decision is simple: it's up to you whether or not
    it's worth the money. Best lenses on the planet, too.

    FWIW, I did own a Leica a long time ago, and they are amazing cameras...

    "nathantw" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Apparently there's a new Leica M8 that was just announced.
    > http://www.electronista.com/articles/06/09/14/four.new.leica.cameras/
    >
    > What the heck? Why in the world would a rangefinder camera cost as much
    > Nikon's flagship digital SLR and almost as much as Canon's top of the
    > line camera? The only thing I can think of is that it must be the lens
    > mount. It's almost like Leica took the price of their regular M7 and
    > added on top of that instead of starting from scratch. Granted their
    > cameras are probably hand made (not always equating to better) and
    > you're basically paying for one worker's monthly salary when you buy a
    > camera, but damn, $5647US is a LOT of money for a rangefinder. Then
    > again, to put things in perspective a Patek Phillipe men's watch STARTS
    > at $12000, but a Leica isn't made of gold.
    >
     
    Kinon O'Cann, Sep 20, 2006
    #6
  7. Chris Loffredo

    Advocate Guest

    "nathantw" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Apparently there's a new Leica M8 that was just announced.
    > http://www.electronista.com/articles/06/09/14/four.new.leica.cameras/
    >
    > What the heck? Why in the world would a rangefinder camera cost as much
    > Nikon's flagship digital SLR and almost as much as Canon's top of the
    > line camera? The only thing I can think of is that it must be the lens
    > mount. It's almost like Leica took the price of their regular M7 and
    > added on top of that instead of starting from scratch. Granted their
    > cameras are probably hand made (not always equating to better) and
    > you're basically paying for one worker's monthly salary when you buy a
    > camera, but damn, $5647US is a LOT of money for a rangefinder. Then
    > again, to put things in perspective a Patek Phillipe men's watch STARTS
    > at $12000, but a Leica isn't made of gold.


    Suggested retail prices seldom reflect the real world street price. Perhaps
    the Leica will cost what is stated in the release; it depends solely on
    supply and demand.

    If Leica only manufacturers 1,000 of the M8's and there are 5,000 eager
    Leicaphiles waiting to buy one...they may bring even more.
     
    Advocate, Sep 20, 2006
    #7
  8. Chris Loffredo

    Peter Chant Guest

    Kinon O'Cann wrote:

    > This question has been asked many, many times, and long before the first
    > digital camera was produced. Leica builds a premium quality camera for a
    > small but dedicated group of shooters. The materials used and quality of
    > construction is absolutely unmatched. Simply put, Leicas aren't for
    > everyone. In the end, the decision is simple: it's up to you whether or
    > not it's worth the money. Best lenses on the planet, too.



    I'll add economies of scale, if they sold as many Leicas as Nikons they
    could probally bring down costs a bit.

    I am sure I could get you a one off pinhole camera built, but it would cost
    as much as the Leica.


    --
    http://www.petezilla.co.uk
     
    Peter Chant, Sep 20, 2006
    #8
  9. nathantw wrote:
    > "Chris Loffredo" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >> You also can't compare a leica to, say, a Nikon F6; they have totally
    >> different uses.

    >
    > Uh...you're right. Taking pictures with a Nikon F6 is totally different than
    > what you can do with a Leica.
    >
    > Okay, you want 35mm, how about a Hasselblad Xpan? Oh, that doesn't count
    > because it's made of metal but it only take a few interchangeable lenses,
    > right? And let's see, ah yes, it doesn't do the same things as a
    > Leica...take pictures.


    Actually, I'd love an Xpan; it just happens to be more expensive than a
    Leica (even used). It will probably be my next purchase...

    > Okay, how about an old Olympus OM-camera? It's quiet, has interchangeable
    > lenses (some great ones at that)...ah yes, it's an SLR. Not the same thing.
    > Plus it doesn't do the same thing as a Leica...take pictures.


    The lenses *don't* compare, especially the wide-angles. There is a
    physical reason for that: Google for "retrofocus"...

    > Then how about a Hexar RF? You can mount the all important LEICA labeled
    > lens on it. Ah, but it doesn't have a red dot on it. And it's not intended
    > towards what a Leica is suppose to do...taking pictures.


    I don't happen to like cameras which are 100% battery-dependent. If
    that's not an issue, the Hexar sounds nice.
    Personally, I don't really need to spare my thumb.

    > So what are you suppose to do with a Leica? Ah, I know, put it into the
    > closet for safe keeping and pull it out when you need money and sell it on
    > Ebay. So it's suppose to be for collecting. I get it now. No wonder Leica
    > made so many commemorative editions, such as the very useful gold Leica, the
    > special plated ones, the ones with special leather, and the rest that were
    > all sold at a very reasonable price mind you.. It all makes sense. So, yes,
    > those other cameras don't compare with the Leica.


    Yawn... The old Leica-is-only-for-jaded-collectors line. Again.
    While Leica has made some silly cameras aimed at collectors, it also
    makes some great one which *do not* live in my closet.


    > It's still as good as a Nikon 10MP camera at the moment. You show me a
    > picture taken with a M8 right now compared with a Nikon 10MP camera or even
    > a Canon 10MP camera side by side. Let us see how much of a difference that
    > Leica lens makes. Come on, do it. What? You can't? Why? Because it doesn't
    > come out until November, 2006. So, what did they say in the movie "The Bad
    > News Bears 2?" Oh yeah, when you ASSUME it makes an ASS out of U and ME.


    Hey, give me an M8 and I'll be glad to oblige!

    So, what's your issue with Leica? Envy? Guy with a Leica run off with
    your wife?
     
    Chris Loffredo, Sep 20, 2006
    #9
  10. Chris Loffredo

    Rich Guest

    Kinon O'Cann wrote:
    > This question has been asked many, many times, and long before the first
    > digital camera was produced. Leica builds a premium quality camera for a
    > small but dedicated group of shooters. The materials used and quality of
    > construction is absolutely unmatched. Simply put, Leicas aren't for
    > everyone. In the end, the decision is simple: it's up to you whether or not
    > it's worth the money. Best lenses on the planet, too.
    >


    At about 650 grams, it costs $352 per oz. 1 oz of silver costs $12.00.
    So, it costs less to mine and process and refine the equivalent amount
    of silver
    out of 29 tons of rock than the Leica is worth. The Leica, by weight
    is about
    1/2 the price of gold. Then again, something NASA might send into
    orbit that size
    might cost a few million $'s. A 16 meg medical grade CCD (if they
    exist) would probably cost about $100,000. It's all relative.
     
    Rich, Sep 20, 2006
    #10
  11. Chris Loffredo

    Kinon O'Cann Guest

    "Rich" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >
    > Kinon O'Cann wrote:
    >> This question has been asked many, many times, and long before the first
    >> digital camera was produced. Leica builds a premium quality camera for a
    >> small but dedicated group of shooters. The materials used and quality of
    >> construction is absolutely unmatched. Simply put, Leicas aren't for
    >> everyone. In the end, the decision is simple: it's up to you whether or
    >> not
    >> it's worth the money. Best lenses on the planet, too.
    >>

    >
    > At about 650 grams, it costs $352 per oz. 1 oz of silver costs $12.00.
    > So, it costs less to mine and process and refine the equivalent amount
    > of silver
    > out of 29 tons of rock than the Leica is worth. The Leica, by weight
    > is about
    > 1/2 the price of gold. Then again, something NASA might send into
    > orbit that size
    > might cost a few million $'s. A 16 meg medical grade CCD (if they
    > exist) would probably cost about $100,000. It's all relative.


    Sure, and it's all about perceived value. A lump of silver or gold can't do
    anything but sit there. The Leica serves a purpose by producing images.
    Lumps of metal, by themselves, are useless (mostly). And, as you said, how
    much was the 1MP digital camera that went to Mars? Probably even more than
    the 10MP M8...

    >
     
    Kinon O'Cann, Sep 20, 2006
    #11
  12. Chris Loffredo

    jeremy Guest

    "Rich" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >
    > Kinon O'Cann wrote:
    >> This question has been asked many, many times, and long before the first
    >> digital camera was produced. Leica builds a premium quality camera for a
    >> small but dedicated group of shooters. The materials used and quality of
    >> construction is absolutely unmatched. Simply put, Leicas aren't for
    >> everyone. In the end, the decision is simple: it's up to you whether or
    >> not
    >> it's worth the money. Best lenses on the planet, too.
    >>

    >
    > At about 650 grams, it costs $352 per oz. 1 oz of silver costs $12.00.
    > So, it costs less to mine and process and refine the equivalent amount
    > of silver
    > out of 29 tons of rock than the Leica is worth. The Leica, by weight
    > is about
    > 1/2 the price of gold. Then again, something NASA might send into
    > orbit that size
    > might cost a few million $'s. A 16 meg medical grade CCD (if they
    > exist) would probably cost about $100,000. It's all relative.
    >


    There comes a point where the cost of the equipment is too high to justify
    actually *using it.*

    Even Erwin Puts has recently acknowledged that photographers, except for a
    small band of dedicated ones, long ago abandoned the precision rangefinder
    in favor of Japanese SLRs.

    I've read about several informal "blind" tests where the participants were
    unable to determine which camera took which photograph. Bob Monaghan did
    one such test. So how much is Leica's legendary (or should I say,
    "mythical") margin of superiority worth? Is there any photo taken with
    Leica equipment that couldn't have been taken with a Nikon or even a
    Minolta?
     
    jeremy, Sep 20, 2006
    #12
  13. Chris Loffredo

    ASAAR Guest

    On 20 Sep 2006 09:08:12 -0700, nathantw wrote:

    > Apparently there's a new Leica M8 that was just announced.
    > http://www.electronista.com/articles/06/09/14/four.new.leica.cameras/
    >
    > What the heck? Why in the world would a rangefinder camera cost as much
    > Nikon's flagship digital SLR and almost as much as Canon's top of the
    > line camera? The only thing I can think of is that it must be the lens
    > mount. It's almost like Leica took the price of their regular M7 and
    > added on top of that instead of starting from scratch. Granted their
    > cameras are probably hand made (not always equating to better) and
    > you're basically paying for one worker's monthly salary when you buy a
    > camera, but damn, $5647US is a LOT of money for a rangefinder. Then
    > again, to put things in perspective a Patek Phillipe men's watch STARTS
    > at $12000, but a Leica isn't made of gold.


    Two days ago I saw what appeared to be a cheap, crudely made pair
    of bright red plastic shower shoes. As my current pair are nearing
    the end of their useful life and these would be used only indoors, I
    looked for a pair in my size. The 7th (and last) one was the right
    size, and I then checked the price tag. It had an obvious typo, so
    I checked the others. Oh. No typo. $99, marked down from $300.
    They probably cost the manufacturer less than $2 to produce, and
    were of slightly lower quality than others, such as the Okabashi
    shower shoes that sell for $10. But they didn't have the cachet of
    the Dolce & Gabbana label that seems to be worth $90 or $290.
     
    ASAAR, Sep 20, 2006
    #13
  14. jeremy wrote:
    > I've read about several informal "blind" tests where the participants were
    > unable to determine which camera took which photograph. ... So how much is
    > Leica's legendary (or should I say, "mythical") margin of superiority
    > worth?


    [Gag reflex off]
    It isn't about the destination but the journey.
    [Gag reflex on]

    A Leica is just a nice thing to have, it is beautifully
    built, nice to hold, makes a nice sound ... but it takes
    the same picture.

    A Chevy will get you there just as well as a Bentley.
    But the Bentley is more fun in ways that have nothing to
    do with getting somewhere.

    > Is there any photo taken with Leica equipment that couldn't have been
    > taken with a Nikon or even a Minolta?


    >>> _Even_ a Minolta <<< ???? Like Nikon's take better

    pictures than Minoltas ????

    There are very few true dogs in camera land. 99% of the
    cameras work better than 99% of the photographers using them.

    Oooops, this is an equipment newsgroup. My bad.

    --
    Nicholas O. Lindan, Cleveland, Ohio
    Darkroom Automation
    http://www.nolindan.com/da/index.htm
    n o lindan at ix dot netcom dot com
     
    Nicholas O. Lindan, Sep 20, 2006
    #14
  15. Chris Loffredo

    Kinon O'Cann Guest

    "jeremy" <> wrote in message news:LRfQg.26$Kh.1@trnddc05...

    >
    > There comes a point where the cost of the equipment is too high to justify
    > actually *using it.*
    >
    > Even Erwin Puts has recently acknowledged that photographers, except for a
    > small band of dedicated ones, long ago abandoned the precision rangefinder
    > in favor of Japanese SLRs.
    >
    > I've read about several informal "blind" tests where the participants were
    > unable to determine which camera took which photograph. Bob Monaghan did
    > one such test. So how much is Leica's legendary (or should I say,
    > "mythical") margin of superiority worth? Is there any photo taken with
    > Leica equipment that couldn't have been taken with a Nikon or even a
    > Minolta?


    I've seen lots of tests that compare Leica glass to other stuff, and the
    Leica stuff is usually much better. Trust me, I'm not seeing things. On top
    of initial image quality you also have to consider how long a lens will
    provide that level of quality. Company a 30 year old Leica lens to a 30 year
    old Nikon or Canon lens and then draw a conclusion.

    Rangefinders aren't for everyone, and that goes double for Leica. But if you
    can afford it, they are a real joy to use, and can provide decades of
    service.

    >
    >
     
    Kinon O'Cann, Sep 20, 2006
    #15
  16. Chris Loffredo

    Kinon O'Cann Guest

    "Chris Loffredo" <> wrote in message
    news:...

    >
    > BTW: You should add a footnote when you paraphrase Ken Rockwell...


    Footnote? Hell, anyone who paraphrases Rockwell should be ashamed of
    themselves!
     
    Kinon O'Cann, Sep 20, 2006
    #16
  17. Chris Loffredo

    Kinon O'Cann Guest

    "ASAAR" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On 20 Sep 2006 09:08:12 -0700, nathantw wrote:
    > Two days ago I saw what appeared to be a cheap, crudely made pair
    > of bright red plastic shower shoes. As my current pair are nearing
    > the end of their useful life and these would be used only indoors, I
    > looked for a pair in my size. The 7th (and last) one was the right
    > size, and I then checked the price tag. It had an obvious typo, so
    > I checked the others. Oh. No typo. $99, marked down from $300.
    > They probably cost the manufacturer less than $2 to produce, and
    > were of slightly lower quality than others, such as the Okabashi
    > shower shoes that sell for $10. But they didn't have the cachet of
    > the Dolce & Gabbana label that seems to be worth $90 or $290.


    Yup, no question, that Leica MP is the same quality as an Instamatic 104. No
    question. Must be the red dot.

    >
     
    Kinon O'Cann, Sep 20, 2006
    #17
  18. Chris Loffredo

    Scott W Guest

    Nicholas O. Lindan wrote:
    >
    > A Leica is just a nice thing to have, it is beautifully
    > built, nice to hold, makes a nice sound ... but it takes
    > the same picture.
    >
    > A Chevy will get you there just as well as a Bentley.
    > But the Bentley is more fun in ways that have nothing to
    > do with getting somewhere.

    The problem I see Leica having with this camera is that they are
    missing the main selling point of a Leica. In the past many people
    considered their cameras the best 35mm cameras available. But it is
    the photos you care about and not the journey then there are much
    better camera. And how many photographers are going to use a camera
    that cost top dollar but does not produce top quality images? Is it
    worth that amount of money to many people for the feel and sound of the
    shutter (wish they messed up on the M8 anyway)?

    Scott
     
    Scott W, Sep 20, 2006
    #18
  19. Chris Loffredo

    Max Perl Guest

    Leica is good at mechanical work.....but not very good at electronics?....so
    hopefully they
    have got a partner to design and produce the electronic part of the camera.

    Is it possible to find a working R4 today?? .....I guess that most SL2's
    still working.

    Max

    "Kinon O'Cann" <> skrev i en meddelelse
    news:9WgQg.4$...
    >
    > "jeremy" <> wrote in message
    > news:LRfQg.26$Kh.1@trnddc05...
    >
    >>
    >> There comes a point where the cost of the equipment is too high to
    >> justify actually *using it.*
    >>
    >> Even Erwin Puts has recently acknowledged that photographers, except for
    >> a small band of dedicated ones, long ago abandoned the precision
    >> rangefinder in favor of Japanese SLRs.
    >>
    >> I've read about several informal "blind" tests where the participants
    >> were unable to determine which camera took which photograph. Bob
    >> Monaghan did one such test. So how much is Leica's legendary (or should
    >> I say, "mythical") margin of superiority worth? Is there any photo taken
    >> with Leica equipment that couldn't have been taken with a Nikon or even a
    >> Minolta?

    >
    > I've seen lots of tests that compare Leica glass to other stuff, and the
    > Leica stuff is usually much better. Trust me, I'm not seeing things. On
    > top of initial image quality you also have to consider how long a lens
    > will provide that level of quality. Company a 30 year old Leica lens to a
    > 30 year old Nikon or Canon lens and then draw a conclusion.
    >
    > Rangefinders aren't for everyone, and that goes double for Leica. But if
    > you can afford it, they are a real joy to use, and can provide decades of
    > service.
    >
    >>
    >>

    >
    >
     
    Max Perl, Sep 20, 2006
    #19
  20. "Max Perl" <> wrote

    > Leica is good at mechanical work.....
    > but not very good at electronics?....
    > so hopefully they have got a partner to design and produce the electronic
    > part of the camera.


    Panasonic?

    --
    Nicholas O. Lindan, Cleveland, Ohio
    Darkroom Automation
    http://www.nolindan.com/da/index.htm
    n o lindan at ix dot netcom dot com
     
    Nicholas O. Lindan, Sep 20, 2006
    #20
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