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Thread: Leica M9 Review ( The Journey Begins)

  1. #51
    Member markowich's Avatar
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Jono that is my feeling on the 24mm. Great lens but the very far corners might be a bit soft until F11. No surprise my 28mm Mamiya has the same issue. Frankly I would buy the 24mm in a heart beat. I do wish I had the 28 cron and a 50 lux. Kicking myself I did not ask Leica for it. The 35 cron though is very good and will get used a lot. Well off to a full day of shooting with the system. Trying not to like this again. Easy to say but fro a gear slut almost impossible maintain no I could not use it mentality.
    friends,
    as you know i am rather tough on IQ judgements but my 24 lux is stellar, up to the boundaries. i had a purple fringing problem with LR, resolved by C1. 28 summicron: STELLAR. 50 lux ditto.
    p

  2. #52
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Hey bud, skintones looking a lot better here than on some of the other sites -- good PP work!
    C1 Pro . Like F8 and be there.

    Honestly that was straight up
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  3. #53
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Quote Originally Posted by markowich View Post
    friends,
    as you know i am rather tough on IQ judgements but my 24 lux is stellar, up to the boundaries. i had a purple fringing problem with LR, resolved by C1. 28 summicron: STELLAR. 50 lux ditto.
    p
    Peter it is a great lens and I may have been off a touch on that test. Will retest it correctly tomorrow. It was handheld and frankly should not have tried without the tripod
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  4. #54
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Hope some of you have downloaded some files to work with. Please do me a favor though and don't publish them. It's a gesture on my part for our members so play nice. LOL

    I'm going to load a few more before I get back to work. On another break

    I put the girls up for skin tone
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  5. #55
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Quote Originally Posted by JSK Rangefinder View Post
    That is exactly what I asked Guy before, I personally couldn't believe they don't/can't realize that Guy could be their Jewel in this industry.

    No offense to all beta testers, they've come up with some amazing results (Seal included) and some amazing stories too, but I've failed to see the resemblance of full stretch raw test by anyone else until now.. Reading other test I always end up having a little pressure whether I like it or not, but with these kind of result I feel comfortable to pre-order extra two M9s even though I'm already waiting to receive my first pair of M9s

    Guy, your bottle of wine is waiting.. let me know when to send it

    PS: I hope Leica realizes (among others) who to send their S2 system this time around
    I have a e-mail address for you and just know exactly where to send these very nice compliments. Thanks if it helps folks that is what get's me going.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  6. #56
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    You guys are killing me! I want one of these so bad, but can't get rid of my D700 rig just yet, and that's what it would take to get one. Hoping for a nice year-end bonus!

  7. #57
    Senior Member Peter Klein's Avatar
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Guy: Thanks for letting us look over your shoulder!

  8. #58
    Senior Member nostatic's Avatar
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post

    I put the girls up for skin tone
    oh, I have to remember that line

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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Guy, I wish I was there to see your grin when you got an M back in your hands. Thank you for putting up the photos and especially the raws. I am almost afraid to look at them.

    Mark

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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Downloading RAWs now, thanks Guy!

  11. #61
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Yes check them. Really not looked at them real closely yet. Just getting as much data right now before I ship it back. So if you folks find things please post and let's figure it out. Bob saw CA on crosses
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Guy, the last 8 files in the folder are TIFF's not DNG's.

  13. #63
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Darn wrong folder . I will get the DNG up
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  14. #64
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Uploading now
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  15. #65
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    When I went back this evening I headed right for the Callaway display room and went to try the high ISO stuff . Camera is set on tungsten on all of these. Personally I would not go to 2500 although it looks pretty good and in B&W may look awesome for creative needs. But this is certainly better than the M8 and I don't care what anyone says. ISO 1250 is really nice and i could deliver that to a client and remember i am doing nothing on the back end here with noise control. I am going to load these shots for yourselves but this is a improvement over the M8. BTW the LCD is brighter in the sun. Someone just asked me my thoughts after a full day shooting with it and I have to say after a long day the weight loss gain on gear is more than welcome and it pretty much did all I ask. One thing and I need to go back and see if all is okay but the 135mm can be tough even though I hit some stingers, it is not a lens to take lightly. It is some work but if I owned a M9 i would buy one. It's a needed focal length now at least for me. Love the 35 cron and the 24 lux. The 90 summarit is very good but if I went back i may go for the 90 cron for the stop and I MISSED a 50 lux all day long.

    Okay here are some images and I will put the raws up . I did make one B&W in C1 and looks pretty dang good. Leica could forget they sent this to me and it would not hurt my feelings let's put it that way LOL

    I will load up the raws on these.

    Now for the plug and seriously I love doing this stuff and more than anything else I really really like teaching folks and main reason I do these and the biggest reason Jack and I do the workshops and we still have 2 spots open and its killing me they are not taken. If you can swing it, I promise you we put on amazing workshops and you will learn a ton and more than anything have fun. Everything here is free and we always want it to be that way so the support on the workshops is what drives this place. That will be all I have to say about that. I will hit the pavement tomorrow and do some more testing. On the noise issue some things look figured out and I can still do a formal one if folks want. I still have Saturday and Sunday with it
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  16. #66
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Dear Guy,
    thanks for being so generous and allowing people to download these DNG files. They are exactly the kind of thing I've been looking for since release. Those bad inside shop exposures people posted from demo days were not great to evaluate real world quality from.

    Please excuse the long rambling text to follow.

    Personally, I find myself in a bit of a bind when it comes to digital and the M9. I work in several capacities as a photographer. My "personal work" which equates to 90% of what I do and earn from, is most easily described as documentary / journalistic in nature and involves me interacting with people closely in varied conditions. Where I used to use three M series film bodies solely for this work, I now only use a Mamiya 7ii and several lenses and vary rarely a 4x5" field camera. I tend to work slowly and often with a tripod these days where as I used to do everything candidly and handheld. 35mm film doesn't cut it resolution wise for my purposes anymore and the Mamiya 7ii is perfect because I can carry it all day and not get tired (vs something like an RB/RZ 67.) I limit myself to 100ISO Fuji Astia as I love its fine grain and colour rendition.

    So, to the point... I have three very good and expensive Leica lenses sitting not being used at the moment. All new series and 6bit coded 35 'Lux ASPH, 50 'Cron and 28 Elmarit ASPH lenses. I love these lenses, especially the Summilux. I love the look of the M9 but I have several concerns, like many people, regarding the practical cost / benefits of getting such an expensive and specialized item. For personal work, the M9 would fit right in as an available light, (1250ISO max, as that's the max I did with 35mm film anyway,) hand holdable camera. But The small 10% of the work I do to supplement my income would really benefit from both better low light performance and the versatility of through the lens composition. Such work involves documenting exhibition installations, film stills, and other such mundane stuff. Obviously, I would take an M9 and 35 everywhere with me, no problems, but I wouldn't lug around a Nikon D3 and 24-70 as an everyday camera, plus Nikon don't currently make a 35 f1.4 or, in fact, any fast, wide, pro quality primes, which pretty much negates the ISO advantage the Nikon has in that area. Trading in my Leica lenses, one remaining M4-P and finders would fetch me nearly enough for a D3 body, leaving an estimated cost of a 50mm f1.4 and 24-70 f2.8, which equates to roughly 1/3 the cost of an M9 body. In other words, to keep my lenses and get an M9 would cost $6900US vs roughly $2500 to trade and get a D3 and two lenses.

    Obviously, a practical and economically conscious person would trade up, especially if the main purpose of the system if for commercial applications, but I love working with rangefinders, especially the small Leica Ms. They're such fun to use and have distinct advantages when used close quarters with people and composing with regard to knowing what's outside the frame and behind and in front of the point of focus. Ms are more intuitive, I guess.

    The 1250+ files I downloaded show some severe blotchy tones when viewed in Camera Raw, which I have read is a result of there being no profile M9 available for Adobe products yet. Skin tones display really bad yellow blotches. Can someone process some of Guy's high ISO examples in the new C1 that has the profile and post crops of skin / faces so I have a point of comparison? To be honest, this problem is one of the main concerns I have with the M9 at the moment. The D3's I tried at release gave superb results straight out of the box immediately without special support. I just wonder why there is something weird in the M9 files that requires special treatment. Maybe you could say the very, very bad experience I had with the M8 has left me skeptical...

    Again, sorry for the long post, especially since it's my first on this forum. I'm just thinking out loud, really, and appreciate unbiased opinion.

    Thanks.

    Tim

  17. #67
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Well first the M9 is a DNG file and inside that file is the algorithm for the camera and its raw corrections, so without a proper profile this stuff cannot be seen so blotchy will happen outside of C1 at the moment. Leica raised the red color filter and lowered the green and blue color filter and also with the AD converter improved the noise levels on high ISO stuff. Anything today outside of C1 is not reading the file well at all and this is a big issue right now. Adobe , Camera raw just don't have the proper profile or plugin and it may even be reading the M8 profile since the software is just dumb at the moment. No reflection on either product just not doing the M9 any justice at all.

    Now let me get into my speech about CCD sensor. I love them BUT they are not known for high ISO work. The best MF back out there today is the one I own and it goes to 1600 but to me only in a pinch. CMOS owners will enjoy higher ISO's period it is just a fact they use AA filters to help that besides cutting Moire but here is the key they lose detail in the high ISO's the CCD maybe more noisy but they hold the detail better. CMOS smears. Now I will say Leica has improved this with the M9 and it is promised for the S2 but that is only rated at 1250 also. Honestly and I mean this sincerely CCD owners are expecting too much with regards to high ISO. Bottom line they get the better sensor and the best detail than we ask it go past what it can truly do and basically the technology puts the brakes on and says hey dude that is as far as I am going.
    People have not wrapped there heads around this and are expecting too much out of it. It gets better every year but it will NEVER do a clean 3200 at least in my lifetime.

    It's a limitation as CCD owners have to accept, I hate to say that but it really needs to be said.

    BTW Tim awesome questions and welcome to the forum. Your shoes fit a lot of folks feet in gear. I'm still torn. I love my MF system but it does not do everything as much as I try it has it's limits just like RF. I love the Leica's but they have there limits as well and one reason I sold my M8's. As much as i am fighting buying a DSLR the fact is I still need one but would rather have this as the second system. Hopefully more folks can address this also.

    Tim you can download a 30 day free trail of C1 . Here is a link. http://www.phaseone.com/Content/Downloads/CO4.aspx


    Okay shutting down but those four last Raws are up. Good night all and thanks for all the support here.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Thank you for the DNGs Guy. You might want to try experimenting with the EIP packages - then we could see your corrections in C1.

    One of your lenses appears not to be coded. Which lens is that?

    Before you return the M9, could you also shoot some ISO 160 shots for dynamic range evaluation? Preferably uncompressed DNGs and the 35 ASPH or longer. Maybe some sunset images to see how the M9 handles the highlight roll-off. And I'd also like to see what happens in a high DR situation with ISO 160 vs ISO 80 Pull (like if I were to shoot the 50 ASPH Lux @ wide open during afternoon light).

    It would also be interesting to see the same focal length on your P30+ since these cameras both have Kodak CCD's at about the same pixel pitch. I think that comparison could be more interesting for you.

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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Thanks again, Guy.

    I downloaded C1 and by God, it does a good job at cleaning up chroma noise and with the M9 colour! Very impressive compared to ACR! The 1250ISO shots looked to be the limit I'd ever consider using however, compared to 6400 on the D3. Having said that, it's hard to know the real limits / eccentricities of either system without shooting them myself, side by side. If I was still making the kind of work I was several years ago I'd buy the M9 in a heartbeat. Now, I think, unfortunately, the D3 would be a better choice. I will see if I can have another test drive with the D3 to be sure though. I'll cry when I pass over that lovely Leica glass...

  20. #70
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Quote Originally Posted by John Black View Post
    Thank you for the DNGs Guy. You might want to try experimenting with the EIP packages - then we could see your corrections in C1.

    One of your lenses appears not to be coded. Which lens is that?

    Before you return the M9, could you also shoot some ISO 160 shots for dynamic range evaluation? Preferably uncompressed DNGs and the 35 ASPH or longer. Maybe some sunset images to see how the M9 handles the highlight roll-off. And I'd also like to see what happens in a high DR situation with ISO 160 vs ISO 80 Pull (like if I were to shoot the 50 ASPH Lux @ wide open during afternoon light).

    It would also be interesting to see the same focal length on your P30+ since these cameras both have Kodak CCD's at about the same pixel pitch. I think that comparison could be more interesting for you.
    John the 135mm is not coded. The Phase back and M9 are working together this morning . Its 4:30 am so going to head out pretty soon here. I'm looking for DR this morning , checking 24mm, Looking for color differences and just comparing the two against each other. All uncompressed and most likely will not get into the compressed mode. I will try pull on the M9.

    If I miss something today I still have Sunday for a few more shots. Hard part will be processing and such but if I can get everything shot I can work on it this week after Tuesday. I have two 16 hour days back to back starting Monday. Bad part is even if I had the M9 I could not post images anyway. Shooting a defense company event and had to sign a NDA more about what is said than images but still.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  21. #71
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Quote Originally Posted by tjv View Post
    Thanks again, Guy.

    I downloaded C1 and by God, it does a good job at cleaning up chroma noise and with the M9 colour! Very impressive compared to ACR! The 1250ISO shots looked to be the limit I'd ever consider using however, compared to 6400 on the D3. Having said that, it's hard to know the real limits / eccentricities of either system without shooting them myself, side by side. If I was still making the kind of work I was several years ago I'd buy the M9 in a heartbeat. Now, I think, unfortunately, the D3 would be a better choice. I will see if I can have another test drive with the D3 to be sure though. I'll cry when I pass over that lovely Leica glass...
    And the D3 maybe the case if you are shooting very high ISO on a daily basis. But you should try taking the ISO 2500 and playing with the noise level. Take the luminance and bump that up to about 20 and color to about 60 in C1. Basically the high the color slider the more smearing effect will happen so you need to watch for a setting that is acceptable. Let me try one here and post it. I'm on my first espresso lets see how it goes. LOL

    Let's take one from last night that I loaded up the DNG. Okay went in brought the Noise levels up to luminance 50 and color 80. Than from the100 percent view made 900 pixel square crops. It helped some but again this may be the time for Noise Ninja or DFine. D fine is really good and maybe Jack can download the DNG and run it again in D Fine for us. Jack time to get to work bud. LOL Jack can actually edit my post and put in a Dfine sample. Nice working on your own site to be able to do stuff like this. Main reason I have not put this thread anywhere else is I changed the back end to get LARGE images for you folks. Insert big **** eatin grin here. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  22. #72
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    This file Raw is up on Idisk if someone wants to play around here File number L10000585
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  23. #73
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Bob is going to work some magic with that file and place it in here . We have such a great support team with our Mods. and their smarter than me. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  24. #74
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Just checking the 135 again and when you nail it. It is very sharp
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  25. #75
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Need about 5 minutes in this machine for the M9. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  26. #76
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Guy These are good examples and maybe I can try to make my points again. In the pro shop example....

    1. Look at every face in the image ...most are only under by 1/2 stop and yet they have lost all detail and are starting to block up. The DR at 2500 doesn t allow for a pull back of even one EV in the shadows.

    2. Color saturation? the colors have no vibrancy left . Consider how this scene would look with professional lighting and MF ..big difference right?

    This is true of every sensor at some point they drop off a cliff and the IQ just isn t what it should be. My POV from looking at probably a dozen tests is that the M8 cliff is at 640 and the M9 looks to be at 1000. Beyond that you can get acceptable results only with exceptional care in exposure and best practices in raw conversions.

    The best information you could give us is a direct comparison to a standard. The M9 at 1000 looks like the M8 at 640 for example. I know this is just my perspective but trying to gage the ISO level t which acceptable performance is possible has so many variables and is highly subjective.

    I will have my M9 in a few hours and if its tops raining I will shoot the same scenes with both cameras.

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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    And the D3 maybe the case if you are shooting very high ISO on a daily basis. But you should try taking the ISO 2500 and playing with the noise level. Take the luminance and bump that up to about 20 and color to about 60 in C1. Basically the high the color slider the more smearing effect will happen so you need to watch for a setting that is acceptable. Let me try one here and post it. I'm on my first espresso lets see how it goes. LOL

    Let's take one from last night that I loaded up the DNG. Okay went in brought the Noise levels up to luminance 50 and color 80. Than from the100 percent view made 900 pixel square crops. It helped some but again this may be the time for Noise Ninja or DFine. D fine is really good and maybe Jack can download the DNG and run it again in D Fine for us. Jack time to get to work bud. LOL Jack can actually edit my post and put in a Dfine sample. Nice working on your own site to be able to do stuff like this. Main reason I have not put this thread anywhere else is I changed the back end to get LARGE images for you folks. Insert big **** eatin grin here. LOL
    Guy,

    Just watching the crop's in this post, i rather like the original, although a bit more noise, also a bit more detailed.
    Looking forward to more results, also counting some money, hmmm costly this "bible" you are putting together ;-)


    Jan R.

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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Here is the 900 pixel 100% crop from Guy's image above processed as follows:
    C1:
    Sharpening 98/0.8/2.0
    C1 Noise 20/60
    Dfine 2.0 Auto
    The upper right triangle is Dfine 2.0 processed, the Lower left same but without Dfine
    Attachment 22342
    -bob

  29. #79
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Well part of this also is just crap canned lighting from overhead too which we can't control. Yes I think 1250 is it for the M9 myself. I would not go into 2500 thinking I was going to get stellar results myself. It's just like my P30+ 1600 in a pinch but ISO 800 is my meal ticket. I tend to think the same on the M9 1250 is the number. Like I mentioned earlier we are in CCD land and it is not known for high ISO stuff. You are still going to need the D3 for that type of shooting. Honestly in all my years and can only go by what I shoot . I can pretty much count on one hand ever going over 1000 in ISO. I'll pull the lights out in that case. I know not always a option but if you have to slow down the shutter to stay under the radar you need to find ways to accomplish that and for people. You have to find there stop moment. Everyone stops at some point or hesitates. I fight this with podium work all the time some guy moving about up there and at some point he will freeze and you just have to be waiting for it. We have to find ways to overcome motion and crap light. I understand exactly what you are saying. There is and always will be a drop off point in any system. Now we can also pull the mid tones up and work the file also which I did not do. So again good processing techniques are needed as well. People need to understand you just can't push a button and see the magic ,we have to create it as well even after the shot. Okay heading out to test. Good points Roger as always
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  30. #80
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Quote Originally Posted by JanRSmit View Post
    Guy,

    Just watching the crop's in this post, i rather like the original, although a bit more noise, also a bit more detailed.
    Looking forward to more results, also counting some money, hmmm costly this "bible" you are putting together ;-)


    Jan R.
    It comes down to balance with noise and correction. Do you want detail or do you want less noise and honestly you can't have both. CCD is better on the detail but noisier. Cmos is better at noise but less on detail. Between the different types of sensors you need to try and find the balance point or acceptable levels. Now just seeing Bob's Dfine it brings in another element of control. Thanks Bob for running that

    Good discussion
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    DxO has the best definition of sensor performance that I have found. While many have noted that file sizes haven t been properly reflected in the summary ratings.....the detail graphs show exactly how the sensor is reacting over all the relevant dimensions.....noise,Dr,color etc.

    You can easily see for example in the comparison of the D700 to the M8 and the 5DII ...that the while the Nikon sensor can provide only a small improvement in DR at optimum (160 for the M8) that it hold this performance up to 800 and then drops off in a gradual way . The M8 free falls starting at 640 and is in the pits at 1250. By pulling the slider on the right you can see how a given DR affects a standard picture.

    This really isn t about better...its about understanding the trade offs . I know a lot of people say I always use 640 as my standard. Well then you are giving up 2EV of DR to 160.

    This also seems to provide a consistent set of definitions for sensor performance.

    Limitations of course ..doesn t take into consideration the lens ,the AA filter or the processing ..but its consistent .http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/eng...abase/Leica/M8 hope I pulled these in correctly

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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Thanks for sharing your M9 experiences with such good pictures.
    I'm most impressed from the outside pictures , the girls and the golfer with the 135mm lens.
    These pictures appear so clear without effort, I think that is a difference to other current FF cameras.
    The colours and the backgrounds look high-quality perfect and natural, I suppose thanks to the lenses.
    Very nice, I'm looking forward to seeing more pictures.

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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    It gets better every year but it will NEVER do a clean 3200 at least in my lifetime.

    It's a limitation as CCD owners have to accept, I hate to say that but it really needs to be said.
    Guy, you of all people should know by now to never say "never." I remember when the original Canon 1D came out -- a 4 MP CCD with barely useable ISO 400 -- and we all said, "If only I could get a useable 800!" and folks then said it would probably never happen with CCD...

    Seriously though, I hear you. If you want the cleanest, most detailed file shoot with a CCD-sensor camera. If you need uber-high ISO with the lowest possible noise, go for a CMOS-sensor camera. It's a tradeoff, and each needs to choose what works best for them.

    Cheers,
    Jack
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Quote Originally Posted by tjv View Post

    I downloaded C1 and by God, it does a good job at cleaning up chroma noise and with the M9 colour! Very impressive compared to ACR! The 1250ISO shots looked to be the limit I'd ever consider using however, compared to 6400 on the D3.
    Okay, can't resist, but this is a total "WHAT WE'VE BEEN TELLING YOU" moment!

    Cheers,
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    Here is the 900 pixel 100% crop from Guy's image above processed as follows:
    C1:
    Sharpening 98/0.8/2.0
    C1 Noise 20/60
    Dfine 2.0 Auto
    The upper right triangle is Dfine 2.0 processed, the Lower left same but without Dfine
    Attachment 22342
    -bob
    Great post Bob, and thanks for saving me the effort! Here I think the important point I take away is one can use 2500 and get decent results if they run it through some NR. Obviously this is going to kill some detail, but say you lose even 40%, you are only back to the original M8 at 640-ish net file quality with 2500. In my book, that amounts to a 2-stop ISO improvement over the predecessor, which is not too shabby IMO...

    Just an observation,
    Jack
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Had a chance to mess around with an M9 yesterday. Nice bit of kit and I will probably flip one of my M8s to get one. The "soft-release" coupled with discreet mode was a nice touch and I suspect will translate to an extra stop more or less of hand hold-ability. Not quite as sensitive as the release on my Mamiya 7II, but not that far off either. ISO improvements were notable and noise at 1600 was easily handled by Neat Image. High Pass sharpening crisped the files right up. Shot mainly with my 21/2.8 Elmarit Asph and the edge performance was o.k. Corners aside, this lens is blistering on the M9. But I only had the camera for about an hour or so....need to test edge performance more thoroughly stopped down to f/8 on a pod. There was a bit of overcorrection of the corners, but nothing that could not be taken care of in post. One thing that threw me a few times was when I had exposure comp engaged and then turned the camera off, it did not clear the value the next time I powered up. I was not yet "conditioned" to this behavior so made a few bad exposures before I realized what was going on.

    Is this a replacement for my Mamiya 7II/43/65 kit. Probably not. My suspicions are that the corner performance of the M wide angles on this sensor will not match the highly corrected optics of the Mamiya rangefinder, and coupled with a drum scan, final image size will not approach that of the Mamiya without the introduction of artifacts from up-sampling. But once I can get my hands on an M9 for a longer period of time, I will flush all this out. But in a nutshell, the M9 is one mean street machine with the improvements in ISO coupled to their Lux glass. Certainly a stand alone product in a sea of DSLRs.

  37. #87
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    I am waiting on my M9, but my initial observation from this and other posts is that here is a camera that is at least one stop better than my M8.2, it's full frame, and I get to use Leica lenses on it. I am sold.

    Also, it's fun to pixel-peep at 100% but I think the truth is in the prints, as always.

    I now use my Canon 5DM2 almost exclusively for HD video and for that it does a lovely job, especially with a RedRockMicro shoulder mount and follow-focus. Long-tele sports is another job for the Canon.

    There are very few situations that would call for another camera in my world, especially since there are Noctiluxes and Summiluxes.

    Now if only I could get my M9 right NOW...

  38. #88
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    WARNING Well strange thing happened this morning and something I did not go over in the menu video but really should be brought up. I start shooting my tests and was wandering why my LCD was so bright in A mode and got frustrated and switched to manual for the whole test and actually used my Phase Body and the Sun rule plus my Phase Histo to go through the test because I know it better. Anyway after I am all done I was looking at the Info in playback and seen that every exposure was 1.5 stops over in the EV. But it did not matter because I shot everything in manual mode. But here is the problem at some point yesterday when holding down the shutter release in A mode I spun the wheel around on the back which controls the EV compensation. Now you see the change in the finder but you really don't notice it because it is on the bottom. Problem is you don't know. Now Jack said the same thing happens in his Canon.
    So let's go back to that menu option again in writing so you know what happens.

    In the menu you have three settings SET menu only which when you hit the SET button on the back and bracket out the EV you can control it there which means your eye is off the finder

    2 is Setting Ring so no matter what if you spin that it will do the EV in either direction VERY DANGEROUS if your not paying attention

    3 is Setting ring and Release button which means both release half way and setting ring
    Not as dangerous

    Number 2 got me in trouble or really could have but everything last night and this morning was manual shutter so had no affect but A mode it will.

    I would read the manual on this if you get one But I would opt for number 2 even though you have to take your eye off the finder it just makes me feel safer.

    Something you have to try and find what you like the best.


    One other thing I missed in the menu video and actually a great function is after you shoot a shot hit the info button and Histo and shooting info is in there. Now that info button before the shot shows battery and SD card info plus shutter it also becomes a great tool after the shot. Suggestion get used to that button quickly very good tool


    Now maybe a idea for a firmware change in the EV comp. the setting wheel even though the EV is on the bottom of the finder a very quick red flash might be of benefit that you are going into EV. Maybe something to discuss but I really could have been screwed if I went in A mode and I don't know.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    I did this morning tests and will sort that all out and I will load the raws that way you folks can see as well. I used the Phase system on every shot along with the M9 and Color checker cards in each camera with each setup.
    I used my 28mm with the Leica 24mm which is almost equal FOV

    My 45mm and Leica 35mm cron which the Phase is a touch longer like 38mm I beileve.

    Than my 150mm and the Leica 90mm summarit which mine is a touch longer I moved when I had to match as best I could.

    What I think the easiest thing to do is sort them out in folders and place the Phase and Leica file of each setup in that folder. In C1 when you load that folder it will automatically switch the profiles for each system so it will make it easier to see side by side stuff.

    I still have a couple things to do i think.

    I shot thePhase system at ISO 200 to match closer to the Leica base of 160. My base is 100 but as I said earlier the Phase system is a good reference since it is a known system that is already fine tuned. Like the gold standard per say. So you may have to adjust exposure slightly and I would do the Phase to the Leica since you are really interested in the Leica results and that won't sway them. When testing the key is being neutral in your findings than work the file to death to see what you can do with it after you see what the test did. So bias is not good it just leads to mistakes and making bad decisions.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  40. #90
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Not part of the test but just two shots that look damn good Bikes are with a 90mm at F11 and building 35 cron at 5.6 or 8. I did nothing to them except the base pre-sharpen 1 in C1
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  41. #91
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    But here is the problem at some point yesterday when holding down the shutter release in A mode I spun the wheel around on the back which controls the EV compensation. Now you see the change in the finder but you really don't notice it because it is on the bottom. Problem is you don't know. Now Jack said the same thing happens in his Canon.
    The 5D2 has a 3 position power switch. By default in "on" the rear wheel doesn't do anything when shooting. Going to the 3rd position has the rear wheel doing exp comp with no other button pushes needed. I played a bit in both modes and decided that I'd rather be safe than sorry. Evidently people complain (and they moved it on the 7D) because the switch is in a position where it is easy to accidentally move.

    I think this is one good argument for a second top lcd - another visual reminder of exp comp and other setting. Too easy to miss things in the middle of shooting.

  42. #92
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Exactly so Leica can't change the physical camera now but they can do something in the firmware to give us a better visual warning. This can be a issue so i would go with set button on back of camera to be safe

    BTW this is a P30+ shot again nothing done. These two systems visually with color look like brother and sister. They should same sensor again slightly warmer on the M9 . I did not put a test card in these shots . The rest of the real test I did so you can balance them if you want
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  43. #93
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Just to show you and i could sharpen this but this is what MF is about BIG you can almost read the fine print. So yes there is some power in the big backs and this is considered a small one but the M9 is hitting the sweet spot on the power curve that 18 mpx is going to get you some really nice size prints and for for the power user we are a small number past that sweet spot and going 30 plus MPX. The MF in these tests are really to show you folks you are getting very very good results and if and when you need more than you know what step to take but 90 percent of shooters will never need more than 18mpx. So don't sweat the MPX war it's over and mostly marketing BS in 35mm. MF is a whole different league and a whole different expense and market. BTW I'm probably not even focused critical on that spot either.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  44. #94
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    I think the "sweet spot" is an interesting question. I went back and forth (and still do in my OCD mind) about 5D2 vs D700. Yes, 12mp is enough most of the time, but as you point out if you need to crop or want the fine print, then there is no substitute for pixels. That is offset by the iso/noise issues, and while there are other issues at play, I think you have a pretty good set of examples in D700/5D2/a900. That list is in order of decreasing hi iso ability and increasing resolution. I ended up with 5D2 as a "middle ground" and also because of certain glass and video, but maybe 18mp is an inflection point for performance. It'll be interesting to see what the next D700 iteration looks like. Of course as you've pointed out CCD vs CMOS is another consideration.

    I do have faith that technology will bend the rules once again, and we'll be saying that 30mp is the FF sweet spot in about 3-5 years. And the hard drive manufacturers will love us.

    btw, love the greens on the M9 shot in the palm trees.

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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Just got back from my 2 hour shoot, and downloaded 290 shots into both C1-Pro using the M9 profile, and into Adobe Lightroom.

    Was moving fast to multiple locations, shooting on the fly. Shot in heavy shadow, direct "eye squinting" contrasty light, inside with tungsten and God knows what mix of lighting. ISO 250 to 1250.

    All available light using every lens in my bag except the 24/1.4 which was to wide for this shoot.

    All I can say is ... OMG!

    The camera is fast to use. Changing ISOs on the fly is lots faster and more precise. My only wish would be for a direct exposure compensation button like the ISO one, or manual selector, when using aperture preferred rather than going into the menu.

    Also took the D3X and back-up M8 ... neither saw the light of day

    Gotta crunch through the files. Will post some when done.

    Looks damned good on screen, but I want to print some out before going ape over the results. Prints are what count to me.

    Tootles,

    Marc

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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Thank you for all this Guy. I'm looking forward to comparing the P30+ / M9 raws. I think that comparison will help us in ranking the M9 - as you said, it's being compared against a known (and high quality) benchmark.

  47. #97
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    John I got all the raws up and if open in C1 in the Folder there should be one CC shot and 1 normal on each set. Suggestion pull up the CC one WB off the second grey chip and paste onto the regular one for each set do this than you will have to pull the exposure up or down on the Phase One to match the M9 one of similar shot . That way you are back to apple to apples. There is some variance in exposure between the two so just need to make that adjustment. Looking at one set just with the warnings on for shadow and highlights the Phase looks like a .5 stop better in the noise which is pretty much expected but certainly can move either file quite a bit lot's of stretching can be done to the files on either camera. C1 did a nice job on the M9 profile, does not surprise me these guys are good at it. I'm very encouraged by what I am seeing in the M9. It's the small MF now in file. Please folks work the file . BTW these shots I don't care where you post them it was the people ones that maybe a issue . Test shots are no issue


    Also I am going to load the 24mm wall test raws starts at 1.4 to 11 so just remember that. Looking at the top left corner the 24mm hits it's sweet spot at 5.6 and gets slightly better after that. So we have a winner here and for a Lux can't beat that.

    I will get processing maybe latter tonight. Need to go shoot a quick noise test formally later and maybe my kitchen with very warm light do a run there as well.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  48. #98
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Just got back from my 2 hour shoot, and downloaded 290 shots into both C1-Pro using the M9 profile, and into Adobe Lightroom.

    Was moving fast to multiple locations, shooting on the fly. Shot in heavy shadow, direct "eye squinting" contrasty light, inside with tungsten and God knows what mix of lighting. ISO 250 to 1250.

    All available light using every lens in my bag except the 24/1.4 which was to wide for this shoot.

    All I can say is ... OMG!

    The camera is fast to use. Changing ISOs on the fly is lots faster and more precise. My only wish would be for a direct exposure compensation button like the ISO one, or manual selector, when using aperture preferred rather than going into the menu.

    Also took the D3X and back-up M8 ... neither saw the light of day

    Gotta crunch through the files. Will post some when done.

    Looks damned good on screen, but I want to print some out before going ape over the results. Prints are what count to me.

    Tootles,

    Marc

    Marc I think we all want to hear about the final print . Looking forward to hearing about that
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  49. #99
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    I may just go out and actually just shoot the M9 tomorrow morning and just get some decent images to post. Nothing really fabulous yet. Work and testing photos are just that. LOL

    Just hope this is helping and if I am missing something let me know. My mind is in about 10 places this weekend.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    I also made a few shots during the first presentation, ISO 1250 looks as good as 640-800 on M8, ISO2500 is usable in emergency situations. C1-developed files from 20+MP-DSLRs didn't look better noise-wise to me, different noise-characteristics but overall better (holding more detail, DR)? I don't think so.

    @JPlomley
    Here you can see edge performance with 21mm Asph:
    http://www.summilux.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=27772

    6x7-slides with a perfect workflow are a different beast, of course.
    Last edited by georgl; 19th September 2009 at 13:05.

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