Leica M8 First Light

Seattle and surrounds through my rangfinder


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The Experience

I recently ordered a new Leica M8 digital rangefinder camera. This camera is similar to my Epson RD-1, but quite a bit more sophisticated and rugged. I waited a number of months before the camera was actually available. But, the benefit of in the queue early is that I got mine as part of the very first shipments to the US. I wanted to take the camera out and check out the operation in the field. The photos below are what we saw.

While not shot with the M8, it was still a pretty photo so I posted it. This was shot from my apartment balcony with my Canon 1DsMark2 digital slr several weeks ago (before the rain started).

I got up in the morning and noticed a fog bank rolling over Bainbridge island and heading toward downtown Seattle. The Olympic mountains are in the background.

The rain cleaned the air and when the clouds broke it provided a reasonable view of the new snow on the Olympics.

This is a wider angle view with the M8. Note the dirty color of the bay water. This is due to the runoff from the city storm sewers carrying silt and dirt.

As a practical experiment, we took a drive to Snoqualmie Falls to check out the views. Here is the first view of the falls.

The Salish hotel is at the crest of the falls, that is where we ate lunch. Note the mist in the air.

The falls were really pumping due to the large amount of recent rain.

Another view of the crest of the falls.

Looking north from the apartment at the Seattle Art Museum (SAM) during the rainy day.

Same view taken during rain and fog. Note the glare from the lights interacting with the fog. This was a 16 second exposure with automatic noise reduction.

A slightly over exposed shot of pier 70 across the street from our apartment. Note the illumination in the air that is a result of the street lights interacting with the fog. The streets are slick with rain, reflecting the sodium yellow steet lights. Alki beach and west Seattle are visible in the distance. This was a 24 second exposure with automatic noise reduction.

So far, so good on the M8. It has some differences from the Epson RD-1, but mostly these are things that will pass with additional use of the camera. Since this rig is substantially smaller than my Mark 2, it will likely become my casual travel camera.

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