Leica has had quite a struggle in the last couple of years as it tried to bring its tenacious M film franchise into the digital age. The M8, launched a couple of years ago, was really not quite up to smack and it got lots of bad press despite kudos for taking on the herculean effort of turning a 60 year-old design with near-cult status into a modern camera acceptable to legions of hard-core fans. The M8.2 released near the end of last year addresses just about all the original flaws, and short of a full-frame sensor, fulfills the dream for most of us. The look, feel, ergonomics, and most importantly, the viewfinder are as good or better than the film versions. I took possession of mine today, along with an Elmarit M 2.8/28 lens (which gives an angle of view equivalent of a 35mm lens due to the 1.33 reduction in sensor size).
The Leica love affair has been with me since I was a teenager. The camera just always seemed to be so well-aligned with my eyes, hands, and brain….I know this sounds kooky but, it made me want to be a better photographer. The aforementioned love affair has included the following:
- Leica IIIf (bought in 1974 and sold the following year in order to get enough money to take my then girlfriend on a “date”).
- Leica MP-4 (bought in 1984 and stolen in 1990 after a break-in).
- Leica M6-TTL
- Leica M3 (a brand new vintage camera bought in 2005 from the estate of a collector who had died before he could use it. Built in 1962). It made me so nervous to use it for fear of damaging it that I sold it at a very tidy profit after a couple of years.
- Leica IIf (bought during a sudden attack of nostalgia).
- Leica MP (the ultimate mechanical/film Leica and the end of the road for film cameras).
- Leica M8.2