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Leica vs. OMD w/ Voigtlander

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by dornblaser, Apr 11, 2013.

  1. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 13, 2012
    Chicago-area
    David Dornblaser
    Since Amin opened another sister site, Leica Place - link in upper right w/ the other sister sites, I have a question: can anyone compare, side-by-side, the M Leica system with the OMD with the 17.5 & 25mm Voigtlander glass? Yes, I know that it is an apple to grapefruit comparison but I want to know how close or far apart they are in the real world. I have no expectations, I just want to know where the best of the :43: sits beside the best in mirrorless.
     
  2. caimi

    caimi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2012
    middle US
    Caimi caimiphotography.com
    If anyone has the tools, I would like to see that comparison too.
     
  3. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013

    Ummmm... you must have missed the polls. The results are in: :hail: OMD is the official king of mirrorless.
     
  4. juangrande

    juangrande Mu-43 Top Veteran

    805
    Dec 2, 2012
    COLORADO
    I think it's more like apples to strawberries and champagne @ Wimbledon center court!
     
  5. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 13, 2012
    Chicago-area
    David Dornblaser
    Sometimes Craft beer wins. Not expecting it to, I just want see the comparisons.
     
  6. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2011
    But then which one is craft beer in this case?
     
  7. CaptZoom

    CaptZoom Mu-43 Regular

    48
    Apr 11, 2013
    How would the m4/3 lens mount to Leica M series cameras?
     
  8. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Gordon
    I no longer have either of the CV lenses but I do have a pair of E-M5s and a pair of M9's. I also have the best m4/3 lens, the 75mm 1.8 and the Leica APO-telyt 135 f3.4. The two lenses have nearly identical DOF wide open and are very close in angle of view. The Olympus lens is $900.00 and the Leica is $4.5K. I've shot over a thousand frames on each combination.

    At low ISOs the M9 has significantly nicer files than the EM5. There's more bit depth, less noise and much better detail. The EM5 does have more dynamic range even at base ISO but there's a hint of luminance noise that is always there. You need to remember that the Leica M9 is optimised for low ISO (CCD sensor) and has a 14 bit pipeline, which is significant. This is even though the 75mm 1.8 is a hair sharper than the Leica 135mm f3.4.

    At higher ISOs the EM5 is clearly better than the M9. The crossover point is about ISO640. SO if you're a high ISO shooter you'll prefer the files of the Olympus. At 1600 the EM5 files are noticeably superior to the M9 files. However if you don't expose the EM5 files perfectly they fall apart much quicker than an M9 file.

    At all ISOs the M9 files look less digital. I think this is because the EM5 has a very gentle roll off in the highlights so you can pull a lot of highlight detail back. This is very un-film like. The M9 has lots more to offer in the shadows just like slide film did. But over expose the highlights and they're gone.

    The M9 at least, is still unbeatable in the narrow band it is optimised for. I like the ISO 160 files better than any current DSLR (except the D800 because I haven't played with any of those files yet.). It doesn't have the most DR but it's spectacular everywhere else. Outside the narrow band where the M excels most other current cameras can beat it easily in pure image quality, for a lot less money. The EM5 has more DR than any current Canon DSLR so it does quite well against them. It doesn't do as well as the Nikons and the noise at base ISO can be a pain. But as an allrounder it does very well indeed.

    As someone who shoots almost exclusively at low ISOs the M9 has the better files.

    This of course ignores ALL the most important points about each camera. Size, weight, handling, focusing, build quality, ease of use and the sheer pleasure of a camera you connect with.

    Gordon

    p.s. I shoot mostly Voigtlander glass on my M9s and my favourite lens is the 50mm 1.5 Nokton ASPH.
     
  9. CaptZoom

    CaptZoom Mu-43 Regular

    48
    Apr 11, 2013
    Gordon,
    That CV 50mm f/1.5 is outright theft in Leicaland:)
    It's one of my favorites too.
     
  10. RuffDraft

    RuffDraft Mu-43 Regular

    134
    Jan 13, 2013
    Gordon, are you a millionaire?

    I'd kill for a Leica (not literally).

    After watching DigitalRev's video on Leica and how their system and rangefinder works, they just look like a compelling and most importantly, rewarding and fun system to use. It's a shame that they're so expensive. But I've spent about £2,500 on my OM-D setup, so I can't really knock Leica. Photography is as expensive as you make it, ultimately. I just need a tripod and flash setup now and I'm done for at least ten years. Might throw in the 75 though.
     
  11. bengtb

    bengtb Mu-43 Rookie

    22
    Jan 7, 2013
    I guess the initial question asks for a comparison of image quality, but don't forget the other qualities! Some of them at the end od Gordon's post.

    One thing that I get rritated over with the OMD is the time it takes to turn on the camera and EVF from sleep or when turned off. The Leica OVF excells here.

    I would like to see a cross between, say, the X100s and m43 glass. Best of both worlds when it comes to handling.
     
  12. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Thank you Gordon!

    Leica versus micro 4/3 threads has become a group session of egos and affirmation here along with this forums obsession of the price of other's cameras.

    Thank you OP, for framing a more specific line of questioning for discussion rather than the typical "Micro 4/3 rocks and Leica sucks" posts of late.

    From a pure imaging aspect, Gordon frames his experiences nicely. As he mentioned, there are a number of reasons why certain shooters, such as I, prefer the Leica M system as a primary. The Leica M system, in particular the lenses, is the all around better system for MY NEEDS and WANTS. I stress the word MY because really.... there is no all around best camera system for everyone. The micro 4/3rds system fills in the gaps with one of the best combination of features and quality where the M system leaves off. I wouldn't be so invested in micro 4/3rds if I thought otherwise.

    As for voigtlander, they ROCK! I've owned 4 examples of their lenses and they never disappoint at their price range. I've even shot with the Epson R-D1 (btw bested the Leica M8 to market) which is was a collaboration between Epson and Voigtlanders bessa rangefinders. It remains to be one biggest seller's regret. I still have voigtlander Nokton 35mm /f1.2 (going on sale) and a 12mm Heliar (no way its on sale). Going to miss the Nokton... lots of fun. They each have their unique character that sets them apart from even Leica examples.


    PS> I often get asked about salary and income when approached. Although I understand, after all it is expensive, I don't quite understand the logic behind it.... it gets a bit annoying. Here in the US, Its common to see 30, 40, 50k BMWs and Mercedes on the streets used as common commuter vehicles. So much is the need that people go into huge debt and dumb lease agreements to obtain such status symbols. Yet, its not typical to assume or ask how much they make or joke if they are a millionaire. My buddies do the same and usually back off quickly once I ask the final cost of their car once their loan matures. They back off even more quickly once I mention that 3 of my lenses are now worth 3 times what I paid for them. They back off permanently once they realize that my expenses are less than 1/3rd theirs.

    Buy many cheap things or a few expensive things... Never many expensive things.
     
  13. juangrande

    juangrande Mu-43 Top Veteran

    805
    Dec 2, 2012
    COLORADO
    Good one! It can now be called the " OMG " on this forum.
     
  14. fransglans

    fransglans Mu-43 Top Veteran

    991
    Jun 12, 2012
    Sweden
    gus
    I think stevehuff made a "crazy comparison" between leica and olympus e-p3.
     
  15. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 13, 2012
    Chicago-area
    David Dornblaser
    Thanks for the replies, particularly Gordon's, as they are exactly the information that I was looking for. I think that it is an interesting and fair question for camera/photography lovers although I appreciate the potential pitfalls in asking it. I have often wondered why the Paparazzi are reported to use this camera frequently. Gordon's comments about the M9's "narrow band" that it was optimized for was very interesting.
     
  16. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 13, 2012
    Chicago-area
    David Dornblaser
    Yes, Steve Huff and Ming Thein are two photographers that come quickly to mind that use both Leica and other mirrorless cameras, specifically the OMD.
     
  17. caimi

    caimi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2012
    middle US
    Caimi caimiphotography.com
    Gordon,

    I have no reason to dispute your conclusions but it would be nice to see some images from your camera/lens combinations to judge whether or not we can see the differences you mention. My experience, with a Leica M8, are similar. Film like images at low iso for the Leica and significantly better images in every respect with the Olympus once you get above 640. I finally had to conclude that Leica's limitations (not the least of which was price) far outweighed its advantages photographically. If I was wealthy I may have decided otherwise.
     
  18. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    This is remarkably hard for me to understand (actually there is quite a lot going on here so I'm trying not to mix too many things at once). Mostly the part about bit depth and noise yet still being lower in DR ... does not compute - I'm not looking for an argument or an explanation just stating my confusion.

    I fully and unhesitatingly concede that 'nicer' does not require technically superior (in terms of quantitative metrics) but there certainly is quite a bit more potential for improvement if there is more dynamic range than less - this means there is hope for improvement from the E-M5.
     
  19. RichDesmond

    RichDesmond Mu-43 Veteran

    356
    Nov 18, 2011
    It's funny how a camera system that might cost $10,000 seems to make people assume that the owner is "wealthy" or even a "millionaire". :rolleyes:
    People of average means commonly have things like a fishing or ski boat, or a personal watercraft, or a motorcycle, or other objects used for leisure that cost well over that amount, but those don't generate that kind of reaction. Why??
     
  20. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 13, 2012
    Chicago-area
    David Dornblaser
    While the societal reaction to Leica's is fascinating, can we keep this thread to the photographer's impressions and thoughts comparing the two systems (Leica - OMD)? However, performance per dollar is a fair discussion.