GAS: Please Share your Latest Desires Big and Small

It's always been interesting to me how stratospheric the difference in price between F1.5 and F1.1 (or more commonly F1.4 and F1.2) can be with lenses.
With vintage/collectible lenses- much of this is from the number of lenses made. The Nikkor-SC 5cm F1.5 sells for about the same as the Nikkor-N 5cm F1.1. Less than 800 5cm F1.5 lenses made, about 5000 of the 5cm F1.1 lenses made. I found the 5cm F1.5 for "only" $1500, with a "Made in Occupied Japan" Canon III with it. Typically both it and the F1.1 go in the $3K range. The Canon 50/1.2 with the Vt Deluxe body was $400. I was not going to pay more than the 7Artisan 50/1.1, which are very good lenses (I have 2).
 

mike3996

Hall of Famer
Location
Finland
I would love to shoot with a modern Leica like an M8-10 or even (or maybe especially) the monochrome one. It’s not any special belief in magic but just intense curiosity about what all the fuss is about. The problem is that itch requires a whole lot of scratch to satisfy. Maybe a Q . . .
I love it 😅

Your comment, it is me a year ago, two years ago, three. Right until I started to live that fantasy
 
I would love to shoot with a modern Leica like an M8-10 or even (or maybe especially) the monochrome one. It’s not any special belief in magic but just intense curiosity about what all the fuss is about. The problem is that itch requires a whole lot of scratch to satisfy. Maybe a Q . . .
The Leica M9 is my favorite Digital camera- I've been "doing digital" for a long time.

The M Monochrom- it is unique.


I like the "open standard" used to store images, and the ease in processing the raw files. With the M Monochrom: the level of detail captured in the shadows is incredible, sensor uniformity is amazing, and lack of noise in the image also incredible. I worked with digital sensors going back to 1981. The M Monochrom has flaws- but images produced are unique.
 
Location
Switzerland
Real Name
Matt
I really have no intention of buying a Leica. Not being a fan of 28 mm means the Q is not a real option, and the M bodies are out of reach. How has your Leica journey gone?
Since this thread has had me browsing even more reviews than usual and seriously contemplate the acquistion of yet more lenses (at least, not cameras ...), I might as well add to the frenzy and state that I do love the results from the much-maligned M8 - a camera that can be had in good condition for around $1000 (at least around here) and which pairs really nicely with truely affordable lenses like the quirky, yet fun Voigtländer Nokton 35mm f/1.4 and the very nice Voigtländer Ultron 28mm f/2 (my go-to lens for the M8).

The M8 offers a very pared-down shooting experience, uncluttered, considerate (very slow in some areas - buffer clearing does take ages) and thoughtful because frankly, for good results, you have to know what you're doing (keep your ISO as low as possible, understand how the meter works, learn the menu operations - which are surprisingly straightforward once you have memorised them - etc.). Paradoxically, it lends itself well to quick shooting too - if you choose to forgo all chimping and set the camera up consciously and conscientiously beforehand.

In many ways, it's the most Leica-esque digital Leica I'm aware of, and while it's a bit noisier than film Leicas (my reference being the M4-P here) and later digital M bodies, its firm feedback is very reassuring. I also like its smooth round corners - some say it doesn't offer a lot of purchase, but I love the way it just nests in your hand, with no protrusions whatsoever.

All in all, the most underrated, yet one of the more enjoyable Leicas to shoot with. And a marvellous entry drug ... I use mine whenever I consider using anything more expensive to be too hazardous - and when I just want to have some fun ...

Now, someone talk me out of this idea of getting a Voigtländer 50mm f/1.5 VM ... (this is my usual quest for a goldilocks lens again - futile, but fascinating, as I well know from having done the very same thing for the 35mm focal length already, and I'm not quite over that, either ...).

M.
 

mike3996

Hall of Famer
Location
Finland
And Leica Q will not scratch the itch for Leica M. Neither will Leica T, S, SL, CL, X, Dlux. You'll get a really big dosage of Leica drugs in your system but you will still jones for that vitamin M...

My advice: stay the hell away from drugs (leica) 😎
 

I've had the M8 for over 10 years now.


I wrote my own code to process the DNG files for the M8 and M Monochrom. Which means they run under DOS and written in FORTRAN and assembly. I'm looking at doing a version that runs under Windows using the Open WATCOM compiler.
 
Location
Switzerland
Real Name
Matt
Used to be. It’s not now though.
Still mixed reception ... I'd say that those who've actually used one usually like it, but the naysayers (and uncurable purists) are still around.

I'm certainly not a purist. I first got hooked when I went all in and bought a M10. But the M8 has its very own charm - as does the M9, apparently.

@BrianS I'm very impressed by your efforts to get the most out of the M8's and M9's files. Just to make sure: It all starts with RAW files, DNGs are created via M8RAW2DNG, correct?

M.
 

I've been using M8RAW2DNG since Arvid 1st made it available.


Using the "Button Dance" for the M8, true RAW files are stored. Arvid's "m8raw2dng" converts the RAW files to uncompressed DNG. My software starts with DNG files from uncompressed DNG from the M8, M9, and M Monochrom. I wrote a fair bit of code to determine why the High-ISO shots from the M8 compressed DNG files are so bad: it is the fault of the compression scheme used, not the fault of the hardware. The M8 CCD has a higher saturation count than the M9, by about 50%. The images from the uncompressed DNG (and RAW) files of the M8 have much more latitude than compressed mode. I cannot imagine why Leica used such a stupid algorithm to store such clean imagery. I wrote image processing code 40 years ago, and was doing lossless compression for imagery some 35 years ago.
 

mike3996

Hall of Famer
Location
Finland
Not really a big desire right now but the markets are right now such that you can get black M10-D's or silver M10-P's for 6000 € with some warranty left. Leica price hikes do affect the used prices as well. Trying to wait for the M11 instead even though I expect it to cost more than any previous release.

I had some exposure to a low-end Panasonic GX800 during the holidays.

The fact that I didn't die having used the menu system,
combined with the absurdly amazing tiny Pana 35-100 zoom that I still have in its box as leftovers,
combined with the fact that said light-as-a-literal-feather lens produced me the absolute best landscapes I've ever shot,
combined with the fact that I view m4/3 gear very affordable compared to Fuji/Leica,
combined with the fact that I view my skills and needs should direct and weigh my decisions towards a cheaper camera setup,
---several pages omitted---
have produced me some small gas and some desire to get my foot in the door again, wrt M4/3. Olympus menu system and feature design doesn't like me but what if Panasonic was more agreeable?
🤔
 
Location
Switzerland
Real Name
Matt
I'm looking into some lenses - very different beasts, to be sure, but all of them for M mount (which may or may not tell you something ...).

I've always loved the idea of super-tiny lenses - that's what draws me towards the MS Optics Apoqualia-G 28mm f/2. It's a capricious lens, but I love the results I've seen, and it's unbeatable when it comes to size - it's even smaller than the - flawed or even crippled - Lomography LC-A Minitar 32mm f/2.8, and it's clearly the much better lens. It's a bit expensive, though - but it's unique.

I'd also love to have a more compact fast fifty - as much as I love the Voigtländer Nokton 50mm f/1.2, it's a bit temperamental wide open, and it's a pretty big lens, certainly not ideal for travel. There are actually three lenses I'm quite intrigued by: the well-respected, yet somewhat pedestrian Nokton 50mm f/1.5, the renowned Carl Zeiss C Sonnar 50mm f/1.5 and the exotic MS Optics IMS 50mm f/1.0(!). Amazingly, the MS Optics is the smallest of the bunch - but it certainly doesn't qualify as the most well-behaved lens wide open - still, it settles down at about f/1.4, and its über-glowy character makes for really interesting night portraits at f/1.0. The C Sonnar has its own issues, mainly some noticeable focus shift slightly stopped down, something I don't particularily like (the Nokton f/1.2 has that too - but not to a major extend); however, the images coming from the C Sonnar are really appealing, especially wide open. Finally, the Nokton f/1.5 is the most "boring" lens by comparison - no major flaws, no peculiar character, it just works. So maybe that's the best choice for a universally useful travel lens after all ...

I confess to having put the MS Optics lenses into the cart at Bellamy's site (Japan Camera Hunter) once already. But for the time being, I haven't completed the order ...

However, there's a pristine Nokton 50mm f/1.5 for sale locally - for a very good price, too ...

M.
 
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