Leica First was a tryout of the X Vario. Then, at less than 900 shutter counts ...


My first try was with an X Vario. Since I like shooting mostly scenery in decent light, I thought I give it a try. Hmmm ... comparing it to my Fuji XE-1, yes the build quality was better. The picture quality - it couldn't get focus as well as the X-E1 on auto-focus. With manual focus, the mid-field (10 or so yards away) detail was no better than with the X-E1 at the same focal, shutter, and aperture.

I suppose that makes sense. I believe I have an excellent copy of the 18-55mm on my X-E1. Since both sensors are without aliasing filter and both are fine, modern APC sensors, in retrospect I'm not too surprised.

What I missed on the X Vario: OIS. Had to shoot as much faster shutter than on the X-E1, as such the ISO needed bumping upwards. Also missed the level-indicator. I use a level indicator very often to set up my shots.

What I liked about the X Vario: Feel. Controls and Menu much more intuitive and natural to understand.

Now, with long-range green foliage, I'll guess the X Vario would have the X-E1 beat for detail. I don't think anyone has the conversion of the Fuji sensor just right yet. However, in time someone will, or Fuji will come up with the X-E2 or such that will solve this issue. And I can continue to shoot the native X glass I have: a "cracker" instance of the 18-55mm, and all-around amazing 14mm F2.8.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to confirm the green foliage suspicions for myself, the camera store needed the X Vario back with only the shots I had take already (21 or so), such that the camera could still be considered in new condition. So, back it went.

And so, with that same budget in the ready, I saw what I think will be a superb lens "starter range-finder" combination.

The camera is a silver M8, with less that 900 shutter counts, like new condition, half year warranty, all the boxes and manuals and such, at less than half the price of M9 variants, I couldn't resist it.

For a lens, a nice linear wide-angle that won't cost too much (something to start out with). I want equivalent FoV to roughly 20mm. With the 1.3X sensor crop and based on what I've read I'm hoping the Voigtlander 15mm F4.5 will fit the bill. On order, coming within a day of the camera.

The M8 has a 0.68X view. Does anyone know how that will play out with the 15mm Voigtlander? I would think low magnification would be what I'm looking for?

Thanks much to all who have been providing advice and info. It's all very much appreciated - and some of it taken. :)


The widest framelines on the M8 is 24mm with those framelines being at the far edges of the viewfinder FOV. For more accurate composition with anything wider, you will still need an external viewfinder.

Two versions of the 15mm f/4.5 exist.... one LTM and one is M mount. One is rangefinder coupled the other is not. Often with wide focal lengths, some do not find it absolutely necessary to have a rangefinder coupled lens. There is more than enough DOF to zone focus.


Real Name
Congratulations on the M8. It's a slipery slope you just started down. But the ride is oh so much fun. The 15 is a great little lens and the M8 excels in B&W.


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