Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Fujifilm X100 at Crystal Bridges

The X100 is a brilliant modern/retro camera. Great sensor. Great lens. Rangefinder form factor. Quiet. Relatively small. I bought one used about six months after they were introduced. I try to wait until early adopters read something bad about a camera and decide it was a poor purchase and put it on the market in excellent condition. You have to be patient. 

Crystal Bridges opened a little over a year ago and is a fantastic museum both inside and outside. I've used the X100 almost exclusively while touring inside. It's quiet enough and at f2, fast enough to provide a great photographic tool.

Here are few shots from our last visit.

The Fuji jpeg engine is good enough that shooting raw with this camera is a luxury I don't normally need to afford. If I was shooting for money, I'd need to go raw but for pleasure, there's not enough upgrade. These were taken wide open (f2) at either 1/60 or 1/30. I shot manual but I set the ISO to auto up to 1200 and the camera made the adjustments for me if I missed on the exposure time. Fuji colors are outstanding. I rarely post process anything out of camera unless I'm attempting an a particular effect. Obviously a few of these were merged or reduced to B&W for effect. By now the X100 is old enough that the price, which began at 1,200 has now dropped on the used market to nearly 1/2. I see them priced mainly at 750 but once in a while 650. The new X100s model, with a new x-trans sensor is coming out this summer. We'll see what that does to used prices on the X100. In the marketplace of buy low and sell high, used cameras, especially electronic ones with built in lenses don't add up. If and when I sell the X100 I will take a loss. It has been one of the best value added purchases I've made though. The camera is a joy to use and the output a joy to behold. And thanks, Alice Walton, for providing the people of our country a first class art museum. If you haven't visited, you should. It's worth the trip ten times over. Be sure to walk outside on the various walking paths and if you bike, come for the bike trails too. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Going wide on a rainy day A850 @ 19mm

Just had a tornado warning and one just cut a 200 yard wide swath through the natural bridges area. Stuck inside for a bit while it storms and since this week I seem to be stuck on wide shots out back decided to go traditional and get a full frame with a wide lens. This from an A850 w/ 19-35mm Quantaray (Sigma) lens at 19mm. Not a great lens but serviceable. I got the camera used with a couple of lenses and this was one of those. Bracketed three shots and processed through PS HDR Pro. Since the process brings the older Macbook Pro to its knees, I shot in medium rather than fine mode to reduce the file size so I could process it in the Mac. I tried to maintain something of a photorealistic look rather than go over the top with the hdr. I had it shooting jpegs in landscape color which provides a little more saturation (not much but some) so the shots were contrasty to begin with, prior to the hdr processing.

 We sure needed the rain.

Sony recently introduced the RX1, which is a full frame compact camera with a Zeiss 35mm f2. The examples of its photos I've seen are just outstanding. 

Sony sensors are just top notch. The Kodak in the M8 is also a great rendering sensor. The A850, along with the M8 will be mainstays of my personal cameras for a "long" time. If I really need a guaranteed usable shot, I grab one or the other. I know there's some vignetting and I've got a corner of the roof on the upper right but it's just an example of the full frame and 19mm showing nice color on a really dull day to compare with some of the other wides I've shot this past week with a fisheye and some paste ups. It's also a decent example of high dynamic range that isn't overdone. It just punches it up a notch or two.

Here's an earlier shot around sunrise using a 15mm CV Heliar on a XP1 using an M lens adapter. f5.6. Two shots side by side photomerged. I did bracket the shots hand held and at f5.6 but they weren't usable as it took too long for each shot for the handheld to be close enough to blend without stereo edges everywhere. So the middle of the brackets were used for the merge. The 15mm on the XP1 translates to around 22mm with the crop factor.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Pentax Q auto hdr mode merge

The Pentax Q with zoom lens arrived today. The lens is designated 02 standard Zoom and it covers from  5-15mm - f2.8-4.5, when multiplied by the small sensor's crop factor translates to a 35mm equivalent range of 28-85mm (approx.). I've been using the 01 Prime lens which is about a 50mm and wanted a zoom to extend the camera's working range. I like the prime and it takes a great shots but for some things it's lacking. The past couple of days have been cloudy and I've been using fisheye and merged wide angle shots to capture the stormy clouds which have been rolling through from the south. It's unseasonably warm and humid today. 70 degrees and that must be the dew point too because everything is wet. Because there isn't much sun most shots are fairly dull, lacking definition good light can provide. Of course a sunny day provides problems too and most photographers love dawn and dusk for dramatic shots with saturated colors and interesting shadows. But you take what you have sometimes.

What follows are a series of shots taken today with the new Q. I do like the auto hdr mode. Of course the camera doesn't offer bracketing to do your own hdr [not true, see end of paragraph]*, so you must use this mode or get a tripod and alter the exposures yourself, manually and take three manual shots. That's doable but if the auto hdr works fairly well, it saves a lot of time and effort. *[Note: I sold two Qs and then purchased a third and have it now. I was wrong about the auto exposure bracketing, you can, indeed set the camera to take three bracketed exposure shots and set the + and - as you like, in thirds of a stop all the way up to + or - 3 stops of exposure. The setting isn't in the Main Menu, it's in the Drive menu, brought up by pressing the right arrow key, showing the clock symbol, which is where you set various drive options and quite logical. Sorry for the confusion]

Here then are three auto hdr (in camera) shots taken at 28mm and f3.5 which were combined in Photoshop. The hdr effect is pretty decent, I'd say.
 Next it's cropped so it can be rectangular. Unlike the fisheye, the horizon isn't smiling for us, it is straight, as you would expect it to be.
 Finally, a high key boost was provided by Topaz tools to brighten it up. I guess my favorite is the uncropped original paste up. You get a better sense of the drama of the clouds and you get some interesting areas that are left out in the cropped version.

The Q is an interesting camera.
I don't have a filter for the zoom lens yet. We'll see how the photos the Qs take compare. Looking at the detail from the DP1 and the Samsung NX, I'd say not very well. But they are smaller and quicker (a lot quicker than the DP1, which is glacial). Certainly the Prime lens is better than the zoom and some close up low light shots from the prime are really quite good. The zoom at distance, less so. We'll see if the trade off and the fun factor keep me reaching for the Q or they get boxed up and move along.

I eventually sold both Qs and was Q-less for a few months and then saw a cheap one on ebay with a prime and re-purchased it. I like the camera the most with the 01, standard prime. If I manage to get a fisheye cheaply enough, I'll throw up some more shots. I am shooting with 1.3 firmware, which was made available recently here:

Sunday, January 27, 2013

A Decided Lack of Photo-realism or how much is too much

Before I put the Sigma back on the shelf I wanted to use its auto bracket mode to try to go over the top a bit to see what I could get out of it. It's cloudy today, a bit gloomy. Cuts down on getting much from the background as it's grayed out with humidity. So you shoot the sky, which, on a day like today is endlessly fascinating. Some directors call for "more." Give me "more." Like riding a motorcycle on a speed course. Racers have a couple of sayings, which are mutually exclusive. The first is: "you can't win if you don't finish." The other is: "You'll never know how fast you can go through a corner until you lay it down. After that, get back up and cut it back just a hair and that's how fast you can go." So we're trying to give "more" here and going as fast as we can before we wipe it out completely.
I took a few series of bracketed shots of: 1 stop minus, 1 stop plus and even. I chose a couple of sets that were side by side and processed them through Photoshop's HDR pro process, choosing some pretty radical processing for the "more" part. First we'll have the two side by sides which are in the middle (correctly exposed). Then will come the HDR processed combined shot.

But I realize not everybody's into going farther than you need to. So for some photo-realism respect, I went back to do the HDR in a more conservative manner. Not more but less is more?
 I must say once you begin experimenting with HDR, it's hard to look at a photo and not wonder what you could get out of it and how far you can push it. How far you want to go with it may be dependent on how long you've been doing it. At first you want to punch it up to see how "interesting" you can make it (before you lay it down). Then you begin to have some respect for the original image and dial it back before you dump it. More isn't always better, sometimes it's just more and yes, sometimes less is more.

A Slow Sunday Sigma DP1 wide post process

Yesterday I did a wide capture of sunrise using a fisheye. It's misty this morning and a bit of a challenge to get an interesting capture. I just sold the DP2 and shipped it last week. I had to remove the gaffer tape from it as the new owner wanted it pristine. I still have the DP1 covered in it to facilitate holding it. Makes a big difference. Anyway the Sigma takes a very detailed photo that's easily post processed. Yesterday I said using the fisheye simplified a really wide shot and it did. But I did crop its top and bottom which negated some of the fisheye effect. So the mission this morning was to do a detailed wide of out back in misty conditions. The following shows the steps. Take two side by side captures (hold the camera steady aimed at one side of what will be wide, capture, then gradually pan over to the other side of the capture and take it. This was taken with a 28mm lens which is why only two were needed. Merge the two captures in Photoshop using File, Automate, Photomerge - then load (browse) in the two captures and tell PS to do the merge. After it's finished, the shot will need to be cropped a bit - it sets you up with the dotted line, just drag the dotted line around the outside of the final photo and then select: Image - Crop. Then File, Save As and tell it you want a JPG not a Photoshop file format. I sharpened it a bit using Topaz Tools, which is an aftermarket add on to PS. You can do something similar using PS itself. Topaz just makes it easier and offers some other ways to making the shot interesting. I then loaded it into Picasa, added the text and the frame and some vignetting (which you can do in PS but Picasa makes it brain dead simple) and it was where I started out to be. I have a couple of useable outputs to keep. I like the final color shot too. Here's are the step by step photographs beginning with the side by side captures from the DP1 (I shot Aperture priority using f4 - it's not very light out) and in RAW and I did run it through Sigma's photo pro to create the two jpegs. I just used standard output for the jpegs. You have three options from Sigma to use to save the jpeg. Anyway here they are (I loaded the final product full size so you'll have to click it to see it all):
left half
right half

Merged, then cropped (didn't have even border after the merge w/o cropping).

Punched up a bit using Topaz. I also then made it B&W before final save (shown below).

Made mono in PS, then added text, borders and vignetting in Picasa (click on it to see the whole shot)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Sunrise - Samsung NX10 - Samyang 8mm

Sunrise is delayed a bit by Miller's mountain when  looking east from our backyard. We don't see it in the valley until it crests the mountain, making our sunrise later than the technical one. There's a road that leads to the water tower close to the top if the mountain. Miller's mountain may look like a hill to you but when you try to ride a mountain bike up the road at what seems like a 45 degree angle, it becomes a mountain pretty quickly. The guy who owns the land (I met him one day riding up the side) keeps it open for hikers and bikers but no internal combustion vehicles. There is an unimproved mountain bike/ hiking trail that winds through the trees alongside the mountain, longitudinally. It is technical and I can't afford to break something up there so I walk it. There is evidence of homesteading here and there and there are various escarpments you have to navigate to continue to go up to the crest of the mountain. I've hiked the top but never from end to end. It's pretty extensive. I need to finish the tour. One day. Today's a beautiful day. I'll probably put it off though. I had the Samsung w/ fisheye out to take a shot of the camera for the blog, yesterday. It came in handy this morning to shoot the sky. I started out with a 50mm equivalent lens on another camera and quickly realized it wasn't going to cover the area I needed to cover. Here is the OOC jpg for comparison.

They say it's not the equipment you shoot with but the photographer that makes the shot. Maybe so but different equipment yields quite different results. You can take multiples and stich them together with the 50mm, which works fine but obviously it's easier to shoot wide to begin with and let's face it the final shot above would have required a lot of merging. So I went back inside and grabbed the Samsung, which was out and handy. I leave the Samsung in exposure bracket mode all the time. I shot three series of three HDR multiples (only used one of the three exposure series) and tried to combine them in Photoshop on my main computer, an old Macbook pro. It's an original intel pro, that's 32 bit. Photoshop has worked fine on it but today it couldn't combo the HDR shots from the 14mp Samsung originals. The combined shot was all black. I tried a few remedies but I think it lacks the necessary memory to do the job. So I had to revert to a Toshiba using Photomatrix. I cropped it because the top and bottom didn't add anything and converted to mono for my own esthetic. It also got some processing from an HDR filter I load into Irvanview. I took it because I like the large white cloud that arc's across the sky over the rays of the impending sun. I don't know if the arc started out as a contrail or not. It was pretty wide for that. Just another of those I'll never know. Let's hope I make good use of this beautiful winter day.

Friday, January 25, 2013

What Would Bugs Do with a Samyang 8mm

I'm unsure why most people get into photography. For me it's emulation. I see something I like and I want to see if I can achieve something approaching that model. Of course artists strive to produce something unique that pushes the envelope. I guess I'm not an artist because I simply want to be able to manage competency in producing a photograph. I try to please me, of course. Chuck Jones said he and his fellow cartoon artists at Warner Brothers produced Bugs and Daffy cartoons to make themselves laugh. In that respect I'm like Chuck and the boys working on Looney Tunes. I want to see something that pleases me. I've always liked classic black and white in medium and large format. The large plate film cameras don't produce the level of barrel distortion you're seeing here. You can get medium format digital cameras with great glass and avoid it but here we have an APC camera with a fish eye that's been straightened a bit. But even though there is distortion you do get a capacious feel to the scene, which is what I'm after. We're taking in pretty much the whole room and seeing a bit of outside. I chose the level of contrast to match a particular aesthetic perhaps lost in the translation. I won't bore you with the technical aspects of what I went through to produce this particular photo but I will display one of the composite shots that went into making it. What's hilariously ironic is at least half or more of viewers will likely like the original better than what I was trying to achieve.
And even though I said I wouldn't do it, this is from three shots combined to produce an HDR in Photoshop (this shot was in the middle of the three exposures) using a Samsung NX10 camera with a Samyang 8mm fisheye lens. Here's the camera and lens:
 It's a manual focus lens but with it's field of view and standard aperture setting pretty much everything from a few feet to infinity is in focus anyway. Great snapshot lens on a small build format, APC sensor camera. Here's one more shot from the combo:
 This was another three shot combo processed into HDR, which sort of works well with the super wide shot.

Sigma DP1 DP2

Sigma DP1 - DP2

Sigma introduced the high density pixel Merrill a few months ago. I've been using the original DP1 and over the past year the DP2 now and again. I won't get to sample the Merrill any time soon but I really like both the older camera's rendering. I've learned to shoot RAW only and consider it much like a film negative and develop the result either in Sigma's own Photo Pro which works fine or use Photoshop and Photoshop RAW. I mostly use Photo Pro, which is available 24/7 online from Sigma. You can download for free. Since it only works with Sigma's RAW format, they know you're using a Sigma camera or at least developing a Sigma camera's output. I am selling the DP2 this week, which prompted this post. I picked it up used a year ago at a good price and am now selling it for basically what I bought it for. The DP2s is the model I got. It's controls and interface are greatly improved over the original DP1 and it's a 40mm, f2.8 camera rather than the 28mm, f4. I still have a DP1 and will be keeping it as I got it really cheap and it's a great camera to shoot when you're out and about. It ain't quick and the interface is poor but I'm used to it and it doesn't really bother me. Over the years I've come to like the 35-50mm prime over the 28mm but you just move in closer with the 28mm, if you can. Here's the DP2 I'm shipping today.
Sigma DP2s
The finder is good but not critical to how I shoot. The screen on the DP1 is fairly poor (the DP2 is better), but you can see what's going to be in the photo. Most of the inadequacies of the Sigma's, especially the original DP1 don't really bother me. I appreciate the s and x models and the DP2's improvements but the output from the 1 is as post process workable (for me) as the latest models (prior to the Merrill's). I cover both cameras with gaffer's tape on all the slick surfaces I handle, including the shutter release button. Even though Sigma has put bumps on areas your fingers contact, the gaffer's tape makes the camera more secure feeling. Not sure why they make them out of shiny, slick metal but it is what it is. Maybe Michihiro Yamaki knew?

The 2s has white & red on black lettering, which you can see. The original DP1 is black on black and is very hard to see. Here you have some dedicated buttons, including the QS for quick select menu which gives 8 different settings to set with the up, down, right left menu buttons. It works well. The old menu button on the DP1 works okay too, for me. I'm used to it. I shoot AV, wide open most of the time, ISO 200 most of the time up to 1/60th. The DP1 won't focus in really low light but again, I'm used to it. Here's a few shots from the DP1.
UARK Fine Arts

Former Razorbike's coordinator riding a bike he made that also churns ice cream (the ice cream bucket is just visible in front of his left foot) and pulls a chariot. Don't want to try it going uphill unless you are Clint. Hey, Clint.

Shot out the window of the gallery through a screen. Great DR.

Current Razorbikes crew. Hey, Jamie.
Obligatory cameracide shot. 28mm f4. DP1, as are the rest.

Most of the shots are from the University of Arkansas campus, where I worked for the past six years. Some include friends who worked with me in the Razorbikes program, a bicycle recycling program. The foveon sensor renders uniquely vivid colors. The lenses are sharp. The DR is high. You can stretch the development of the RAW file in lots of directions. The files are capable of being printed at fairly large sizes. The sensor is big compared to the size of the camera. Sigma was the first to put a larger sensor in a small camera. The design still holds up. The out of camera jpegs are meh. The white balance options in camera are inadequate to the task without a custom WB but even that isn't always good. But you can tweak the RAW to whatever white balance you feel comfortable with post process. This is the strength of the Sigma camera. Shoot RAW like film and then develop in the virtual dark room. It's actually fun to get home and look at the RAW negatives and upsize them (they'll go 2X easily) and adjust the exposure and white balance. Once they pop into place the shots are amazingly good with a custom look all their own. All in all a photographer's camera. Most casual shooters will be frustrated with the camera. When I coded, we called innocuous bugs "features." If you really like photography and can pick up one of these used Sigma's cheap, I highly recommend it for days and weeks of shooting pleasure, assuming you can rationalize the Sigma's "features." If the Merrill's are flawed, I might get to shoot one in a year or two. I can't wait.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Pentax Q

Pentax Q

Backlit CMOS sensor. Good low light performance. These Q1s are selling at bargain rates. They are photographers cameras, with great controls, great build quality and excellent results in, well, the smallest interchangeable lens camera. I have the prime lens model, which is equivalent to 47mm and it starts at f1.9. With in camera anti-shake, I set it to auto iso up to 250 and can pretty much shoot anywhere at any time. Not much need to go above f4 because the camera has a big focus field, downside is it has a big focus field (if you like blurred backgrounds). You can blur the background if you get close. It is an enthusiast's camera (Japan is the capitol of camera enthusiasm, after all) and maybe at this size and in white a girlie camera. I am getting a bargain second camera with zoom lens which I got for giveaway price to try the zoom, which isn't as sharp as the prime but adds range to the lineup. I'd also like the fish-eye but it's popular and isn't discounted yet. I'll wait. The final cameracide shot was auto HDR, in camera. It's the best HDR mode. The other HDR modes look weirdly artificial - very HDR like of course but the auto mode just gives you the best natural looking picture you can get from the camera and it's all done in camera. If you set it to auto HDR you have to wait a bit for the three shots and processing to be done but the output is normally outstanding. Pretty nice camera if you can get over the sensor size and just look at the output. It's a small sensor but it's a very special small sensor wrapped around a semi-professional grade magnesium frame and it's controls are excellent +. At discount prices, a keeper.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Sony R1 HDR yesterday's RX1

Yesterday's RX1

Clearing out some excess inventory (cameras). Listing on ebay and Amazon. Some of these cameras I've bought and sold multiple times. The Sony R1 is one of those. Had a couple, sold them, then bought another one. Not a very modern design, or too modern (looks like a Klingon space ship), depending on your point of view.

Sony can design cameras to suit their engineering and marketing weltanschauung rather than me too other camera makers. Sony is after all an electronics giant, not a camera company. Of course the past few years Sony's offerings did turn more "me too" starting when they obtained Minolta and copied their DSLRs. [5D -> A100, 7D -> A700] I have an A850 and it is a very good camera with exceptional output. Recently Sony introduced a full frame compact camera (the first of it's kind), the RX1 and it's sorta a Leica killer at about 3K. You get the fast Zeiss lens married to a magnesium body (or some such metal) holding a full frame (35mm) sensor. The output is frightening good (assume you like that sort of thing, which, unfortunately, I do). Not going to drop the 2.7K on it, no. One day the price drops (say 3 years) and it's a real possibility (then). There are some positives to digital cameras losing their value over time. If you're a pro and sell your work, you can depreciate the equipment. Hobbyists who aren't following the quick release of newer and better cameras and the quick depreciation of same, could stick with what they have and get excellent output anyway and avoid the monetary loss. What you should do, eh?

But I digress. The R1 was Sony's no compromise camera of a few years ago. It's available now for around 300 beans, give or take. It started out at $999 list.  I had mine listed for 350 on Amazon and nobody bought it and I was about to lower the price and took it out and reviewed it a bit for value (to me). What I like:

Shoot from the hip with 2nd monitor on top. A great way to street shoot.
Shoot a Carl Zeiss designed lens. Sharp, controlled flare, etc. An expensive piece of kit were it one and not built-in.
Range: 24mm (you don't go that wide on many DSLRs on the cheap, that's for sure)
to 120mm. That's a wide range for one lens and it's a very, very good lens.
Speed: At wide, f2.8. A great place to start and the sign of an normally expensive lens.
Sensor: APC sized Sony 10mp - Good looking output here. Large enough for a really detailed and film like output, which is hard to get in a small sensor.
Shoots HDR easy as pie.
Grip: Almost perfect. Falls into hand well and easy to steady and hold,
Built like a tank. - Outstanding. - A pro build.
Never an dust spec. on the sensor. Don't need multiple lenses to carry around. Professional quality output.
By now: cheap when you compare what you get to what it costs.

Most of the negatives will center around high ISO noise, weird interface, small monitor (either of two), unusual design, no sd card (2 cards on board though) and so on.

So I commit camercide to check it's output to see if I want to continue to list the thing. I did a quick 3 shot HDR and then combined. Here they are:

and now the combo:
The camera has built in capability of producing outstanding images. It is relatively compact, has a great sensor, has great build quality, you can shoot from many advantageous angles, it is easy to hold and shoot, it's lens is very, very good quality and great range and good speed. It starts and shoots quickly enough. The battery lasts a very long time and is of a good quality and you don't need to take much along because of it's versatility and it goes wide at 24mm, which is relatively unusual and something I really like.

So I guess by now you realize I took it off Amazon. At least until the next great thing comes along that I can afford (be a while on the RX1) and I'll need to sacrifice something else to do it. For now the R1 stays with me.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Russian lens for M8 / X Pro 1

Leica Summicron 2nd gen. "rigid model" 50mm, F2.0, 1956

Sad to say I sold my old Summicron today. I've had it a couple years and enjoyed messing with it. I really felt I shouldn't be shooting the M8 without Leica glass. I can't exactly afford Leica glass but I got this one relatively inexpensively and got it cleaned up by Youxan Ye. By now, though I need to free up some cash and since I didn't use it extensively, it had to go. If you collect cameras or lenses I'd say the best financial investment is lenses over cameras and mechanical lenses, like this Leica, likely will only increase in value. This is the opposite of digital cameras which continually depreciate. Not so much lenses, especially good quality mechanical. Of course the fact that you can use these lenses on digital cameras, makes a big difference. Older great lenses which can't mount on modern cameras are not in high demand, in general. The point of this post, however is this weirdness: The M can make many lenses look pretty good with a little post process sharpening. If you leave them alone they look like film. If you sharpen them up they look like the output from a more modern camera.

JUPITER-8 2/50 Russian USSR Zeiss Sonnar Copy Lens M39 (same as saying LTM)

You'll need an LTM to M mount adapter which you can get pretty cheaply on ebay to mount it on an M8/9. It is blasphemy but here's the result:

 Not saying it's extraordinarily good but it's a $50 lens, eh? How much better is the $750 lens. Not $700 worth.  I will say the build quality of the Leica is $1,000,000 better. One's a joke and the other is an amazing work of art. So if you like your lens for build quality, always get the Leica. I would say if you buy one of these for fun and put it in an adpater, you might want to put a drop of blue loctite on the threads to hold the lens in the adapter. If you don't the lens will likely unwind out of the adapter and getting the adapter out without a lens attached is a chore.

Now, here's another thing that's hard to admit. The M8 is my favorite all time camera and part of it is about the build quality, which is unexcelled. I've also always said that the image quality is very, very good and very, very unique. Now, what follows is a shot from an X Pro 1 using the Jupiter with adapter adapted to the X mount with an M mount to X mount adapter. This shot is straight out of camera with no post processing whatsoever.
 The fact is the out of camera image is "better" showing more micro contrast. It's true that the M8 image is more filmlike with the older lens (un post processed). What's amazing is how good this image is from this cheap Russian lens right out of the camera. Focusing the M8 is likely better with the rangefinder patch system. The X Pro you have to enlarge the image and eyeball it which is a bit harder to get right. The truth is though, that ANY ltm lens, even ones that don't rangefinder couple can be focused on the X-Pro. Something to think about.
One more thing for those of us who aren't professionals but want to take the best photos we can. I had the X-Pro set to select it's own ISO up to 1200 or something. I do shoot manual a lot because I want to decide how to expose most of my shots. By setting the ISO to float, I lost some of that control. It is vitally true that letting the ISO float will rescue you from guessing badly wrong on an exposure and if you really, really need to get the shot, it is a safety net. I was exposing from 1:60 to 1:125 here to gauge the exposure and my forehead gets blown out, either way. I had to reduce the ISO to 200 and then adjust the shutter speed to get the shot I wanted.
 Man, that is one fugly build aluminum lens but the fast glass still does the trick. Also goes to show how good the sensor is on this camera. They used to say you had to have really good lenses to make a really good sensor shine. I've also found out that really good sensors make even mediocre lenses look darn good.
 Here's a shot from the 35mm CV Color Skopar at f2.5. This is a modern multi-coat lens that can render really well on most sensors, including the M8. I use it like an index. I think the shot from the Jupiter looks pretty darn good in comparison. Since this is more or less a portrait, it makes sense the longer lens will do better. The 35 would be better for other things. Maybe I'm paranoid but the camera is still losing highlights on my forehead even at the proper exposure.

Why the cameracide (shooting yourself with a camera)? I can tell more about how a camera's going to render a shot for color, exposure, micro contrast, low lighting, etc. this way than any other I've tried. I can also then post process to see what I can get out of it consistently. Just my index. Shooting books across a room or the mountains outback just can't give you the camera's ultimate capability, at least for my type of shooting. I do really like Jeff at dcresource's shots from inside a church in San Francisco he takes for most of his reviews. That tells me a lot about what capabilities a camera has. I don't shoot without a flash. Enough of all this trivia.