Leica M8 Field Test, Iraq

Photojournalist Michael Kamber’s detailed and rather scathing review of the Leica M8:

My first disappointment with the M8 occurred the first time I put a lens on it. The 28mm focal length is my most commonly used optic, as it is for many photojournalists. Taking into account the 1.33 multiplication factor of the M8, a 21mm lens will give an approximately 28mm equivalent field of view. It would be logical therefore for the Leitz 21mm lens (six-bit coded ASPH, $4,000) to trip the 28mm frame lines in the M8 finder. It does not. Instead it activates a frame line equivalent to approximately 35mm.

I was told, “Well you just use the whole finder — it’s approximate.” It seems unreasonable that for $10,000 I have to guess at the composition or use an external viewfinder. The M6 and M7 had an accurate 28mm frameline; the M8 does not.

It gets worse from there. Really disappointing low-light performance, for example.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008