Again following on from my claims about the image quality of the Leica Q, above is comparison with my Sigma DP2 Quattro. ISO 100 of course since the Sigma is not great at higher ISO's. Not the easiest test to set up with the difference in focal length - 28mm v 45mm '35mm equivalent' but I eventually put together a couple of samples which shows that the Leica Q (Typ 116) is in fact slightly sharper than the highly regarded Foveon sensor created image in the Sigma. Incidentally the Leica colour balance is pretty much on the money. The Sigma is too warm. Though I have to say in an attractive way. Add in the fact that the Leica is MUCH better at high(er) ISO's and a faster camera as well and it's clear to me which is the most useful camera. However, the fact that the Leica costs 4x as much hasn't escaped me.
So, there's not a lot of point in my keeping the Sigma, it's for sale on ebay. Where, unfortunately I'm about to take my usual large loss that I encounter selling Sigma gear. But, I've enjoyed using it, in spite it's 'original' styling (which I actually like) and most importantly the pictures I've taken with it. Though it has to be said, as is usual with the Foveon sensor cameras I've owned, I've taken far less images with it than makes economic sense. And for whatever reasons, my articles on the camera have some of the worst viewing figures of all my articles.
On the second part of this posts headline, yes you did read it right, I'm bidding on a Leica M8. This is Leicas first digital M camera and it's pretty old. (Introduced in 2006) But I've always had a soft spot for it. It was my first 'genuine' Leica and despite it getting soundly rubbished for it's IR compromised image quality, I've actually always loved the look of the files it produces. First off they are ultra sharp from a 1.3x cropped 10MP FF CCD sensor. The somewhat odd colour balance is something I like too. I always used my lenses without the IR filters that Leica released and changed the colour balance in Photoshop manually.
Just to make sure that I wasn't making some terrible mistake I re-edited some old M8 files and they are below.
Fortunately I still like the files as much as I did before.
I originally sold my M8 as I'd bought the M9 and much as I would have like to have kept it, I needed the money. I did buy another one but sold that too in one of my gear culls. Now, flushed with a PPI refund (UK readers will know what that is) I'm prepared to pay a relatively small amount (for a Leica) to take a trip down memory lane. Apart from anything else I think all Leica aficionados (posh word for fanboy!) should own an M series camera. At least that's my excuse. And yes things are moving ever onwards to that exclusively red dot camera shelf I seem to be stumbling toward. Though I did almost buy a Panasonic G1 I saw for sale the other day. (Almost)
What's happening I think, is as a result of all my smartphone activity, I'm more interested these days in the look of my files, rather than any tech. specs that might attract me. Though I'm still an unapologetic sharpness junkie, using smartphones has almost made me anti-tech. My somewhat pretentiously titled "Smartphone Aesthetic' and 'ART of point and shoot' philosophies are definitely taking me in a different direction. And while the M8 is far from a point and shoot camera, it is pretty simple. Anyway, hopefully I'll win the auction and have one to play around with a while.
On other things Leica, I've bought a leather bag, graphite flight case and flash gun for my Leica T system. Partly, I have to say as a result of seeing an interesting post on Leica Rumors that Leica is planning new lenses for the T, including the possibility of an f/0.95 one. Now I'll believe it when I see it, but if those rumours get more substantial I'll have to start saving. (Or sell an internal organ!!) Because I definitely don't trust myself not to buy an ultra fast lens for the T. However, it shows that there may be signs of life in the system yet. Not surprising because Leica do now have an APS-C lens mount and four great lenses and it would be pointless to write that off. So interesting times ahead for us Leicanistas. (God that's awful)