Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2006/09/21

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Subject: [Leica] M8 WONDER MACHINE! :-)
From: tedgrant at (Ted Grant)
Date: Thu Sep 21 22:40:13 2006
References: <> <> <>

Howdy crew,
The report you've all been waiting for. Right?:-)
It truly is an M camera! No kidding, you'll love it and it's digital and 
that's even better.:-)

My only major complaint? It's 40 years too late! ;-) Well Ok fer the old 

As Tom Abrahamsson put it in my hands I saw and felt by instinct I was 
handed a Leica M. The Leica M8 to be exact. There isn't any question if 
you're a regular shooter using an M body camera you'll automatically feel 
like you have an M body in your hand.

As Tom & Henning mentioned the body texture feel is a tad "silky and 
smooth." Not a complaint, an observation of feel which creates the hand 
gripping the body extra firmly to avoid having it slip from ones grip. But 
after a short bit it wasn't really obvious and you just kept clicking away. 
love it... you'll have goose bumps if your a regular M shooter... Oh I 
already said that didn't I. But it's true!:-)

I shot a frame and by instinct I moved my thumb to advance the film and 
re-set shutter. It was done so automatically it surprised me the advance 
lever wasn't there.

There has been some comment about the body being "thicker." It doesn't mean 
a farthing worth of anything as the camera really feels like you have an M6 
or 7 in your hands. Or any other M camera. A quite natural feeling.

The screen is bright and image pops up quickly after exposure. The control 
and setting buttons are simple and easy to use without opening one crossing 
onto something else and eventually you get where you want to be.

Because I normally used my M7's on AE Lock that's how I used the M8 and 
exposing from the mid-afternoon light through to after dark the exposures 
were bang bang right on the mark.

The really neat thing? I shot everything B&W and this camera is going to be 
the king of B&W shooters once again. Not only that, I'd bet there will be a 
great number of new  photographers who'll buy it for shooting B&W and use a 
DSLR for colour.

One thing photographers talk about is the loss of lens coverage due to the 
size of the sensor. We used a 12 and a bunch of others and they were all 
fine. My joy was shooting with the Noctilux at f1.0 and that was way 

One way of avoiding this "clipping due to sensor size is just forget it, 
period." Put the lens on and shoot away with what you see in the view 
finder. Besides if you're a worry wart about the lens you are using it's 
very easy click a frame and look on the screen if in doubt about the 
coverage. And if it isn't quite to your liking step back or closer and 
you'll be fine.

Talk about "available darkness" at ASA, I think it was 2500!:-)  I was 
surprised by the look of the "grain size," it looked far better than a B&W 
of any 3200 roll shot at 1600. Actually I think the 1600 setting produced as 
good an image as a tri-x at 800 with a few subjects that looked as good as 
Tri-x at 400.

This is a camera to be used for shooting where and whenever you're 
motivated. I didn't shoot any colour frames as I was having far too much fun 
shooting B&W. And there was.... "If this is what dynamic range is ?" the 
detail in shadows and highlights was incredible because the light outside 
through windows compared to darkness of inside, it was quite possible to see 
detail in both areas very well. Now if that's what this dynamic stuff is all 
about then this camera was obviously doing something with it very well in 
the exposure.

All in all anyone who is a regular M photographer this M8 will have you 
drooling over it in no time.:-)

Oh and for left eyed photographers? There isn't any question you'll be nose 
greasing the viewing screen at the first shot you make. Maybe Leica could 
have a special deal for left-eyed folks with a special Kleenex kind of 
tissue and a Leica logo to go with every purchase by left-eyed folks. ;-) 
Trust me you will be wiping a fair number of times.

Now that's absolutely a nickel and dime observation as it's no big deal, as 
all the rightie eyed's don't have this happen. :-)

I suppose like the old saying. ..."You can make a product perfect for some 
of the people but you'll never make a product perfect for all the people" 
will probably apply here when it starts appearing on the street.

But as far as I'm concerned I'm about as ready as I can be to order 3 of 
them as I usually do when I change cameras under these conditions.


Ted Grant Photography Limited
1817 Feltham Road
Victoria BC  V8N 2A4

Replies: Reply from bd at (B. D. Colen) ([Leica] M8 WONDER MACHINE! :-))
Reply from leicachris at (Christopher Williams) ([Leica] Re: M8 WONDER MACHINE! :-))
Reply from rangefinder at (Didier Ludwig) ([Leica] M8 WONDER MACHINE! :-))
Reply from hoppyman at (G Hopkinson) ([Leica] M8 WONDER MACHINE! :-))
Reply from jsluss at (John Sluss) ([Leica] M8 WONDER MACHINE! :-))
Reply from ken at (Ken Iisaka) ([Leica] M8 WONDER MACHINE! :-))
Reply from luisripoll at (Luis Ripoll) ([Leica] M8 WONDER MACHINE! :-))
Reply from kididdoc at (Steve Barbour) ([Leica] M8 WONDER MACHINE! :-))
In reply to: Message from dlridings at (Daniel Ridings) ([Leica] Not my usual subjects - and in color)