Moving back to optical viewfinders

Leica M8 Voigtlander 75mm f/2.5 Heliar  M9 28mm f/2 Ultron

My S/H Leica M8 arrived yesterday, as did a couple of Voigtlander lenses.

A 28mm f/2 Ultron, which works as a 37/38mm equivalent on the M8.

Leica M9 Voigtlander 28mm f/2 Ultron

Leica M9 Voigtlander 28mm f/2 Ultron

Leica M8 Voigtlander 28mm f/2 Ultron

Leica M8 Voigtlander 28mm f/2 Ultron

I've never used one of these before and its an excellent lens. I'm not really surprised as every Voigtlander m-mount lens I've used has been good.

The other was a 75mm f/2.5 Heliar. I had one of these before and liked it because its relatively light. It becomes a 100mm equivalent on the M8.

Leica M8 Voigtlander 75mm f/2.5 Heliar

Leica M9 Voigtlander 75mm f/2.5 Heliar

Leica M8 Voigtlander 75mm f/2.5 Heliar

Leica M8 Voigtlander 75mm f/2.5 Heliar

Leica M8 Voigtlander 75mm f/2.5 Heliar

Even though this move away from EVF's is not by choice and in many ways is going back to a previous way of working, it does feel like a new start almost. To be honest, its not that much of a problem not using m4/3 and is something I've been thinking about doing anyway. I've always been very enthusiastic about CSC's and m4/3 in particular but a couple of things have been concerning me.

Firstly the move towards increasing miniturisation and the removal of physical controls and their replacement by software. This obviously has implications for me in terms of the amount of time I spend looking at flickering screens and viewfinders, but then I prefer a more manual approach anyway.

Secondly, what I see as more and more compromises on build quality. My GH2 felt cheaper than my GH1. The E-PL2 I bought is certainly less "solid" than my E-PL1. This was brought home to me by using the D5100. It really does feel much better made than my GH2, with only a marginal increase in weight and bulk.

Its often been said that CSC's etc. will eventually replace DSLR's. That's something that I would have perhaps agreed with, but now I'm not so sure. If the direction is going to be the GF3 and the NEX-C3 rather than the E-P2 and GF1 then I can see many either keeping or moving back to DSLR's.

Maybe the pundits who say that the real market for CSC's etc. is compact camera users are right after all. Those of us who want them to be modern AF technology rich Leicas are actually probably in the minority, and always have been. There are those of us who drool over cameras like the Fuji X100, and probably make a lot of noise on the forums, but how many of us have gone out and bought one? Its probably a lot less than the people who are going to buy a Sony NEX-C3.

Fashion and technology are notoriously fickle. Mobile phones were getting smaller and smaller but then smartphones appeared and because of all the new uses they had to get bigger, otherwise they would be impossible to use. Maybe there will be a similar development for cameras. Nikon, Canon and Pentax are proving that DSLR's don't have to be heavy, bulky and large, though getting lenses down to equivalent weights and sizes hasn't happened yet. Small primes are possible but I've yet to see a small "standard" zoom for APS-C.

Anyway, for the time being I'll be working with the Leicas and the D5100. Hardly a hardship!!