Passing GAS

mike3996

Top Veteran
Apr 2, 2018
104
Come to think of it, maybe the M240 is too easy a camera to adapt foreign glass to. Studying some high-ISO samples I notice the reddish noise looks like a rash of sorts o_O
 

mike3996

Top Veteran
Apr 2, 2018
104
Day 5. Busy, no time to play.

It's been a good 24 hours since last day. Work was busy and this was the first time I was able to socialize with the other gear freaks at the office -- only they too were very busy.

I wonder if HCB had GAS. Surely not, he's such a hero. Heroes don't have weaknesses now do they. :)

Yeah, I examined a couple of M240 raw samples that float around the net. Darktable will not do any noise reduction by default (unlike Lightroom and the like) so high-ISO stuff can look pretty bad before you go apply noise reduction. It's not the best looking noise pattern out there. Leica Q is a clear winner in the noise quality. Because Darktable's NR algorithms aren't the state of the art (or who knows, maybe they are. I just can't utilize them to a pretty result) so I'd probably stay away from ISO 3200+ and just push in post. It tends to go easier. Somehow the M9 tends to come across as a clear winner, when down to the pixel level, even if the spec sheet says otherwise.

Other thing the M240 has going against it, the weight of the setup. My current setup (Q and PEN-F with two M4/3 lenses) comes to 1.37 kg (3.0 lbs). With an all-Leica setup it's an easy extra pound. (Lucky I don't need to lug more lenses around... very satisfied with a holy trinity.) A three-pound camera bag during a vacation is nothing; as an EDC it could be a bit much. I don't know.
 

BrianS

Super Moderator
Apr 3, 2013
124
I've pushed the M9 to ISO 5000- shoot at 2500 with -1ev compensation, then push in post processing and use LR6 noise reduction.

With the M Monochrom: I use my Gamma Curve code to convert to 16-bit samples in the DNG file (normally is 14-bit). I change the black-level values, and the noise is naturally suppressed. "It just works". Sometime, I'll have to rewrite the code to work on the M9 files.

My big problem with the M240 is they use Big-Endian format to store data. The M8, M9, M Monochrom, and M10 use Little-Endian. The latter makes it much easier to parse the files when writing custom code. I'm a computer Geek and a Camera Geek. Digital Photography in the mainstream caused my two worlds to collide.
 

mike3996

Top Veteran
Apr 2, 2018
104
Day 6: Calm before the storm?

The seller will drop his ask tomorrow, if he's still doing his usual tricks. I fear the body going below €3k will be a trigger for me. Will probably contact him tomorrow to say hello, no matter how risky. :)

A 'local' 2nd hand camera dealer is selling a VF2 for €129. Surely not a good sign. Then again, I still don't know what'd I mount on the body.

It's kinda funny how I lust after an M for all year but when push comes to shove there are all these small things that I try to use as an excuse. This is a silver MP240. I tend to prefer silver, but without the red dot I think the all-black body would look sexier.

I can't help but think, with this acquisition I could be shooting Leica exclusively. Q+M would make a formidable pair. I could happily be a Leica fanboy. Mind you, I apply the term to myself without the usual negative connotations. You see, I thought I was a Canon fanboy in 2014. I kinda wanted to buy a DSLR, I bought a Canon because my first digital point-and-shoot was Canon. Then I just turned into a Fujifilm fanboy. Then I bought the Leica Q and I guess I was a Leica fanboy then. I bought the Pen-F but to be frank it couldn't convert me into a Olympus fanboy, and I tried! (Still a very nice camera and it's actually captured more keepers for me in a short time than the Fujis ever did.) Edit: for the record, given a clean slate (f.ex. all gear was destroyed in a fire or something) I'd probably go all Fuji if there were no fancy deals on MP240. So it's not like I'm set to be a Leica fanboy for life.

Gear doesn't make the photo or the photographer but I do tend to see more nature/bird shots in a M4/3 forum, and more street photography in LUF... And I'm no bird shooter.
 
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BrianS

Super Moderator
Apr 3, 2013
124
Well I am glad the subliminal audio function is working....

Go for it- Sometimes you just need to satisfy curiosity. As the M240 has pretty much stabilized in price, as has the M9: If it is not to your liking, you can sell it at close to what you paid for it. Cheaper than renting.

Buy the M240... Buy the M240.. You deserve it... you want it...
 

mike3996

Top Veteran
Apr 2, 2018
104
You know the camera is mine, must be. Has my initials on it... MP

Now I'm just trying to figure out if I want to get a second-hand 35 Summarit or a new 35 Color Skopar to go with it, to get my toes wet. There are also pre-ASPH Summicrons for about the same price as the summarit but the seller is being too honest and describes all the tiny scratches on them in gory detail :tomato2::tomato2:
 

BrianS

Super Moderator
Apr 3, 2013
124
You have a lot of choices with Leica.

I currently have a Jupiter-12 with Zeiss glass in it, was $70; the Nikkor 3.5cm F2.5 ~$300; Voigtlander 35/1.7 Ultron in LTM ~$300; and the Voigtlander 35/1.2 Silver- ~$1200. Sold the 35/2.8 Summaron in favor of the Nikkor, and sold a Canon 35/2 in favor of the Ultron. (I also have a made-in-occupied-Japan Nikkor 3.5cm F3.5 that is quite good, but the F2.5 lens is the one to get)

Showcase - Voigtlander 35/1.7 Ultron Aspheric (Cosina)

The F1.7 Ultron in Leica Thread Mount is small, fast, and sharp. The Bokeh is very smooth.

You cannot go wrong with any of the choices you put up. Small/tiny scratches do not impact performance. If the seller has a Trial Period, I would check out the Summicron as well.
 

mike3996

Top Veteran
Apr 2, 2018
104
You have a lot of choices with Leica.
That's what I fear somewhat. :) Perfectly good selection in all price ranges, plenty to explore, the modern high-resolving stuff doesn't necessarily cost any more than f.ex. Sony counterparts. One of the reasons actually I stayed away from ILCs for a while: feared I'd get constant GAS with lenses. Luckily turns out I'm not the lens hawk I thought I might be.

While of good volume of sellers and buyers, our camera community is small enough there's not much Leica goodness going around; a big player is this store that specializes on dealing 2nd hand stuff. Recently they started to internationalize by having English site as an option. The dealer will offer 2 weeks' of trial period per law. Products - Kameratori.fi (no affiliation).
 

mike3996

Top Veteran
Apr 2, 2018
104
Day 7 - The Price is Right(er)

As a reminder, when I started this thread/little "blog" about the GAS attack, I did so with full intent on holding on not buying any gear as per my promise to myself earlier this year. Most of the deals I could resist, this is the one that tempts me so much I'm at this situation where I'm almost broken. And I might break down during the day, by bedtime I regain my sense and tell myself to wait up.

As expected, the seller lowered the ask by €90 so we are just below €3k on this CLA'd silver (my favorite) MP240 (the most sensible M body for day-to-day for the price IMO) with only ~4000 actuations (nice, if true) on it. With two original batteries so it's like a really nice deal, for me anyway. I'm not a big barter, never been a successful haggler. I just like when I can get a really nice working camera without having to buy it brand new.

Anyone who has GAS sometimes makes up these irrational little reasons for themselves to justify their new gear-to-be. Somebody might absolutely "need" 45 megapixels on a camera even though they never even saw a print picture. I liked the X100T a lot for its flash sync even though I hardly ever used flash. The M follows a similar route. It's an M, it's what all the masters used. (Not actually one of my personal made-up reasons.) Leica cameras have the smallest shutter delays, that must account for something right? (Actually many "imperceptibly" small delays can still be perceived by humans, and smaller delays overall contribute to positive user experience.) Likewise, I have literally nothing but good things about EVFs but can appreciate how the OVF will always be the fastest, most responsive than any EVF, by the laws of physics. Again with the delays and ways to minimize them. I'm perfectly accustomed to faster battery consumption with the EVF cameras but still the idea of a DSLR-tier battery charge on the M240 pleases me.

Yesterday I watched again this wonderful comparison/shootout video by BigHeadTaco, putting the M240 + 28 Summicron head-to-head with Leica Q. While the Q came out ahead, understandably, this video somehow still convinced me to go for the M. That's how the power of desire works (against your wallet).

The soundtrack for tonight is Hans Zimmer's and Lisa Gerrard's Gladiator score from 2000. Seems fitting, even though I have a go-to song when I'm gassy, Moby's Mistake.


I'm pretty much overcome. Even though I do have some big expenses coming up (moving to a city 300 miles away) in the spring this is still something I'm currently fitting into my budget. No use to fight the gas.

In this extreme GAS pressure I can even figure out good reasons to get the camera now (while breaking my promises). Not to forget about the camera having my initials on it (actually the biggest reason to get the camera... j/k) but about the whole moving thing. Perhaps the single largest reason I'm moving to a town is to get my practice on. I'm happy where I live but rural woods is not the place a street photographer feels at home. And when I move, it's apparent that there's a photographer's honey moon period to ensue. What better time to get a camera that needs love and daily practice... It should be a grand opportunity to bond with the camera, which I'd like very much. If that makes sense. I think you Leica shooters know what I'm talking about. ;)

And while I'm on a roll here, as I each night think to myself how the Fuji makes all the sense and M makes little to none (to my style of shooting anyway) this one thing is very apparent: Leica is one for the experience. Every street photog seems to drift towards Leica at some point in their life, and it's okay if they decide it's not for them. But it sure seems like something you have to see for yourself. With the all-sensible Fuji X-T3 or a nice second-hand X-Pro2 lies the problem: I do have a pretty good picture of what the bodies are like, having used Fujis before. With Leica, it's a wonderful mystery at this point, will I be able to commit myself to the full M or not. With Leica, it's a "now or later" kind of situation, and why not choose, "now".
 

BrianS

Super Moderator
Apr 3, 2013
124
That's a great price for a CLA'd M240 with 2 batteries. Go for it.

Looking at some of the prices at the store that you linked to: decent prices on some, overpriced on others. The longer focal length lenses such as the Elmar, are high. Wide-Angle and Normal lenses tend to bring in better prices than longer focal length lenses. The Elmar is worth having in the arsenal, especially nice for portraits. If you can find a nice 35/1.7 Ultron in Leica Thread Mount, especially a Black Paint one, it is a great lens at a great price. It's small and fast. It is an aspheric design, very smooth and will handle well for low-light.

to add: I am stunned by the price that the Canon 50/0.95 fetches when the 50/1.1 Nokton is $700 new. Although I would not sell mine, I would not pay more than $1000 for one. Mine was $200. Times have changed.
 

mike3996

Top Veteran
Apr 2, 2018
104
The 35 Ultron sure lingers on my radar.

Lucky for me, I'm not into that high speed / super shallow DOF stuff. I was superbly happy with Fuji X100T's 23/2's DOF and OOF rendering, and I have hard time believing Leica would do worse. :)

With collecting the lenses I have to tread carefully. While still having the Q's tremendous 28 on me I may not need a 35 just yet. Or Olympus and the 35-100, I don't need to rush into buying a portrait lens just yet. I really have to remember to breathe. I'm not a 50 guy but who knows, maybe that's exactly what would kickstart this whole thing to a good start. I also have to keep in mind the mentioned Kameratori has a nice Black Friday week where they have almost everything at 10-25 % off.

The battle is not over though. I emailed the seller but I have plenty of time to change my mind...
 

mike3996

Top Veteran
Apr 2, 2018
104
Day 8 - total failure!

That's settled then. Tomorrow I'll go and pick up my new companion. I also bought a lens for it on eBay. In confused frenzy I went for "€1075 for a 35 Summarit is way too much" to "what happened with these €400 50 Elmarits" to finally "€1800 on a 35 Summicron ASPH". When I realized that I'm at €4700 just like that, yeah, I went weak on the knees and dizziness filled the head. The GAS couldn't be resisted, and what a failure it was! This kind of money on a camera with Finnish wages is pure madness.

Leica is all about character lenses (well actually not true) and then I went for the clinical one like that. To be fair, Q's lens performs very clinically but I just love it, partly for it. I need a stable foundation for my future M lens collection. When I can always fall back to trusty lens I can probably start to experiment with the good stuff. I'm a pixel peeper, too. I should have gone with a soft lens to help unlearn this terrible habit but there you are. With Leica M I believe you're going to wean off pixel peeping no matter how sharp lenses you shoot.

Still feeling so dizzy. But now that things are in motion, reading all the most romantic stuff about M helps a lot. (And staying the hell away from Fuji texts/pictures unless I want to experience buyers remorse going violent...)

And then there's this coincidence. A local camera dealer has these used Leica bodies for sale... they actually took €700 off of them. There are three M240 bodies for €2300 each. One even comes with the multifunction handgrip. I try not to think about it.

It's only been a week, but this concludes this agonizing little blog. Thank you, and my apologies.
 

christilou

Legend
Jul 13, 2010
164
Sunny Frimley
Congratulations, enjoy ;) I'm the opposite of you..... I have the M240 and M10..... and still hanker for a Fuji :rolleyes:. Trying to assuage this desire by considering a Zeiss Batis 40mm for my Sony A7RIII, then I won't have any funds for anything else :coco: ...... or I might downgrade my A7RIII to the A7III instead. And so it goes!
 

BrianS

Super Moderator
Apr 3, 2013
124
Wow. Just Wow.

The 35 Asph Summicron should be great for shooting street. Having a lens like that to select is always a great thing. I dropped $300 on Leica filters for my lenses on the M Monochrom at the last camera show, the same dealer that I picked up 3 Leica mount lenses for $60. The 3 lenses all needed work, they all work great now. The Orange filter is on the Summarit 5cm F1.5- that lens is a Character Lens.
 

mike3996

Top Veteran
Apr 2, 2018
104
The 35 Asph Summicron should be great for shooting street. Having a lens like that to select is always a great thing.
Yeah I'm fortunate I don't have big expenses other than cameras. :redface:

In the streets I shoot sloppily, sometimes blindly from the waist, so flare resistance was one key factor.
 

Burkey

All-Pro
Apr 18, 2011
124
Northern New England
To join your woes, I have a small pension payment due shortly..... and a yearning for the Leica CL :inlove:
Christilou - I've had a CL now for almost a year. It's a great camera and with the Leica M to L lens adapter it handles more "traditional" lenses wonderfully. It can even read coding and pass that information off to the CL body.
Just remember the APS-C crop factor. Something I forget about all too often.
Good luck.
. . . David
 

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