Sunday, January 11, 2015

My first few minutes with my Leica M8 in 2015

Ok, to be honest. its been hours now. If you remember what i wrote in my previous post, i was being a little bit biased towards the M9 as it is full frame, younger, a better version of the M8. I even had the thought of selling the M8 as i already own the M9, not even testing it. But now after testing and using the M8, i just cant let it go.

First, aesthetically, the silver is much more sexier and retro looking. It looked like a toy camera. Film camera? definitely! The 15mm Voigtlander is much better on the crop sensor of the M8. It converts to around 21mm, pretty wide but not so wide like on the full frame M9. I didn't even had to deal with the cyan corners issues. There's a slight vignetting and darken bluish corners but it did not really bothers me up to the level of fixing it in CornerFix program. The exposure of the M8 is pretty much spot on. a bit on the overexposed side but not so much, i find that i need to lower the exposure during post processing in Lightroom. like i said not so much, maybe around -0.2. And somehow this made the LCD looked much better than the one i had on the M9. Now i feel like i made a fool of myself. On previous post i really bashed that LCD on the M9, its still bad on the M8, still a low quality LCD, but i can see my composition and exposure better. On the M9 it was underexposed so much that i pretty much cant see a thing. Like a dimly lit screen. I need to try it again on the M9. See if overexposing brightens up the LCD or maybe it was a lens coding setting issue. But thats the thing, i didnt even code it on the M8, i did not use a UV/IR Cut filter and i dont think i need it. But of course there's the problem with black clothing. i dont need to go on details, pretty much a M8 issue.

I used Auto ISO max on 640 like i did on my M9. Its a bit grainy, the M9 is cleaner but again not so much. ISO640 is usable. I think its enough for normal indoor lighting in most situations. I find it amusing that my Fujifilms used higher ISO in the same indoor lighting albeit at fast shutter speeds. The M8 and the M9 uses shutter speed at 1/8 - 1/15 at ISO 640 and amazingly can capture sharp pictures at those speed, not on the X100S. And again, remind you its at f4.5 on the Voigtlander 15mm, on faster lens probably on a much faster shutter.

Didn't really notice the difference in shutter speed sound, probably a bit louder than the M9 but honestly, unnoticeable. I didn't do a side by side comparison though. But that Leica's shutter sound serenades me. It felt good to press the shutter and hearing the sound it made. It mimics those film days, at least thats how it sounded to me. It makes me want to take more pictures. I've tried the discreet feature, while it's nice the shutter rewinds? or recock after you release the button but the initial click sound is loud to be discreet me thinks, unless its a loud place. My M8 had the Leica grip on it which improves on the handling. At first i'm not really into those with grips look but now it grows on me. i keep on glancing the M8. Wow she's a beauty, just like lady in red!

And i got this baby only at 1196 shutter actuations!

Wide? Yes. Distort? Of course. Slight Vignetting? Definitely.

As seen on the above picture, slight bluish/greenish vignetting can be seen. but like i said it didn't bother me that much. I'm not into accurate colours and what not, i'd love false colour!

On occasion, there are times when the bluish vignette is more obvious like the one pictured below.

So here comes CornerFix to rescue things!

Perfect! Fix the bluish vignetting. Comparing them side by side in lightroom, the fixed picture looked like it had white vignetting put on. It also corrects the overall bluish look to a more neutral slash natural look! But i prefer the darken vignetting picture. Individual taste i suppose.

So is the M8 still worth it in 2015? You bet! Sure it has its quirks and weaknesses but no camera is perfect. It all depends on the user.

Inferior? Never. It compliments the M9 very well.

The only question begs how long will the shutter last me?

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