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Thread: Leica M9 Review ( The Journey Begins)

  1. #101
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post

    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.

    Marc
    Marc - it might be a RTFM moment. They changed the access to EV and now it is very simple...or as Guy found out too simple. Have a look at his Warning post above #88

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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Thanks Guy!

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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Just for kicks I gave this one some juice
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Okay I'm ready for the S2 now. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    I thought you might be!

    You'd better save your pennies because I think you will be the first person to own a complete S2 outfit, you pixel junkie! You can use those big Guytalian forearms to powerlift the thing.

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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Guy, I downloaded two of the DNGs with lots of clue sky in the upper right. I am posting a crop that shows two things:
    a) the usual sensor dirt that we saw with new M8s
    b) there seems to be some sort of vertical banding (one light green stripe in the blue sky a little left of center) What is this?

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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Guy - is the 135mm the F3.4 APO, a tele F4 or one of the F2.8's with goggles? If it is one without goggles, are you using a magnifier? I'm hoping that the 135mm on the M9 is like a using a 90mm on the M8 sans a magnifier. If so, then I'd consider a 135mm as reasonable usable on a M9.

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

    John the 135mm 3.4 APO the good one. Yes I have been using a 1.25 all along. You know you can have it coded. I was the first one to do that with Leica US, they coded it for the 135 with googles. They have a code for that surprisingly. So it does show up in the Exif. Forget who I sold that too. Bummer
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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

    M9 Noise Test

    Okay this is the official noise test . I use my bathroom for it because it is all tungsten and you can really spot the noise in the cabinet and also watch the corner of the mirror for detail and it gradually starts to clunk up. I loaded the raws for you all also.

    Full frame than Base 160,320,640,1250 and 2500 . They are marked

    Camera with self timer , 35mm Cron at F8 and no noise reduction at all at defaults.

    No surprises here and what we have been talking about . Image at 100 percent and 1200 pixel square crops
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Quote Originally Posted by BerndReini View Post
    Guy, I downloaded two of the DNGs with lots of clue sky in the upper right. I am posting a crop that shows two things:
    a) the usual sensor dirt that we saw with new M8s
    b) there seems to be some sort of vertical banding (one light green stripe in the blue sky a little left of center) What is this?
    Hmmm Lloyd here on the forum had these at high ISO's. Looks like it is time to dig in. Is this the one with the cross in the image. Or what file name

    BTW nice to see you here and welcome. I have not cleaned the sensor just right out of box and this is a demo , not that it means anything.

    Just noticed I do have a dirty sensor look at the one I played with of the saddle shot . Yuk
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Hello Guy, I wondered what happened to you. Btw. I think you made a mistake selling your lenses. I shoot medium format film with my Contax 645, but I enjoy being able to carry the M8 around with me almost everywhere I go and the M9 will be amazing for its mobility.

    Anyway, I think the file this was from is L1001020. I opened it directly in Photoshop CS3. I haven't tried C1 yet. Can you see that stripe I'm talking about in The JPEG?

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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Found it and hell this sensor is really dirty. It is not what we saw in Lloyds this looks like a strike on the sensor from cleaning. Looks like I have to clean the sensor and check this out in the morning. I will clean and than try another blue sky and se if it is showing in the same spot which is the far right top. Problem is I don't know who had it before me and as a demo, you know how that goes. i will see what is going on and thanks
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    I'm glad I saw it. It made me aware of what to look for when I get mine.

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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Hmmm Lloyd here on the forum had these at high ISO's. Looks like it is time to dig in. Is this the one with the cross in the image. Or what file name

    BTW nice to see you here and welcome. I have not cleaned the sensor just right out of box and this is a demo , not that it means anything.

    Just noticed I do have a dirty sensor look at the one I played with of the saddle shot . Yuk
    still the same creams and baby powders, you sexy beast!!!

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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    That vertical line on the sensor looks suspiciously like a streak from using cleaning fluid. That said, it is worryingly straight!!

    Given the symmetrical nature of the lines it could be the sensor remapping around a vertical hot/cold line between them - maybe not though as it is many pixels there. Whatever it is, this looks like a good subject to get to the bottom of!
    Last edited by GrahamWelland; 19th September 2009 at 18:51.

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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    fwiw there are reports of green lines like this with the Pentax K7 when the sensor gets hot (live view/video especially). But that is CMOS and different application so...

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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Looks like cleaning fluid to me, stopped when going across. Going to clean sensor here in a little bit need to start processing that job from yesterday . I will post anything interesting from it
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Just FYI I got about 80 percent on the 135mm and it got better as the day wore on. When you nail it magic but just off and it's labeled G. If you happen to get one PRACTICE before anything important.

    BTW the 90mm Summarit is just hitting them out of the park , rarely missed with it. Save a few dollars here and also the 35 cron. but I really missed having a 50 lux.

    I used the 35mm a ton
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    It looks to me like there are more than one line, and that they aren't continuous.

    I'd vote for cleaning fluid residue. If you want to send it to me for a thorough cleaning....

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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Love to Steve but I may get a large invoice. LOL

    The sensor was really dirty from what I can see with 2 pairs of readers on. I sensor swapped it and will check in the morning but it does look like surface and not the sensor
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    The line here doesn't look like the lines (yes, plural... there were two) on mine. This looks like it could be residue, but it is very symmetrical, and that's a little worrisome. By the way, the lines on mine were in fact visible at all ISOs, but more apparent at high ISO. Going back and looking at some of the files, I occasionally found a hot pixel right on each of the lines, one of them was quite large.

    Here's an sample showing the two lines. One through the monitor on the left, and the other through his arm:
    Attachment 22405
    Last edited by Lloyd; 10th September 2010 at 10:06.

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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Thanks Lloyd for correcting me. BTW what is the story on replacemnt
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    I've put the replacement on hold for the short term, at least. We'll see how things go.

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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Lloyd have you by chance reloaded the firmware. 1.02 is the latest and it maybe worth a try to reload it.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  25. #125
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Okay processing that whole gig yesterday i found some more outdoor skin tones to view. I have done really nothing to these. I went through 800 images in 2 hours in C1 processed and ready for delivery so yes you can rock and roll. Nice to have good files to begin with though. That is the key. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Quote Originally Posted by Lloyd View Post
    Here's an sample showing the two lines. One through the monitor on the left, and the other through his arm:
    Attachment 22405
    Hot pixels/sensor error - either a sensor remap or replacement for that unfortunately.

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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    M9 Dynamic Range

    Morning just starting to get to this section and It's 5 am and will go out and just do a little shooting with the M9. I'm pretty much spent at this point and looking at 2 16 days starting in the morning. But I'm not complaining at ALL 3 months ago lucky to hear the phone ring. Been a rough year for freelancers.

    Anyway want to show how things look in C1 when you bring in the M9 against the P30+. Sorry but the M9 will not match the DR its close but you not going to get it at a bargain rate of 7 grand. Now you want to double that number i can get you hooked up right now with a Phase. LOL

    Just kidding and my good morning humor or attempt at it.

    So lets begin with the shot I loaded up on Idisk. I WB both images and BTW if you take your cursor orWB tool and float it over the M9 color chart image and than look up at the color values right in the middle at the top . You will see R 196 G 194 and BLUE at 176 now just looking at the numerical value you see you are 20 points off on blue which translates the images coming off the M9 sensor in the can is coming in WARM. Now that is not a bad thing at all but you need to know this and when working with skin tones especially
    Now go back up to the Phase file and check what it is doing now the numbers are slightly higher but that is the exposure is slightly lighter which means nothing on color value. Little hard balancing exposures between the two system because they are different. Anyway the point here is the Phase is R 231 G 229 and Blue 228 . The numbers may slightly be different in both systems overall but the numbers on the Phase back are much closer together so they are coming in more neutral and basically right on the money. So now you know theM9is coming in on the warm side and just be aware of that .

    Okay back to the DR. On the two screen grabs I turned on the highlight warning which is red and the more you see the more highlight clipping is going on. In the M9 image you see quite a bit and the Phase you will see less. Make sure you balance the exposures correctly . But also look to the left and look at the levels pane you will see on the right side it is getting clipped on the M9 and the P30+ is not. Now when i made the adjustment in the M9 i raised the slider for highlight control to 60 than I had to bring the exposure back up slightly to be more correct in exposure.

    Now what I did not show here is the clipping in the shadows which is a blue warning and the M9 was clipping a touch more here as well. Now lets get real here the m9 is going head to head with a MF camera and actually it's performance is damn good in the DR area. And better than what i expected. Also after going through 800 images last night in processing I could see more red warnings than I am used to seeing. Again your in the real world here and this is what i deal with daily and i can only give you my professional opinion of what I know and my experience. If you feel you need some real numbers from a machine be my guest but C1 tells me and my eyes tell me the real story . Please don't take that when i speak the world has to listen which is not true. I just know this stuff from working in it daily and can only give you my impression and what C1 is confirming .

    So here I posted screen grabs of what was coming in after balancing the exposure and white balancing. Than the final two shots are the ones adjusted to handle whatever clipping came up. Now personally I like to clip a little on the shadow side and get more black in my images but it also gives me more punch too. But that is personal touch and if your after some punch do it in the shadow side. Control the highlights first than work the image from there to taste.
    I have several image sets like this but this gives you some idea if you play around with the files what to expect. Hope this part is helpful and clear on my explanation. You all know writing is not my forte . I rather talk to you in person and show you which gives you a much better feel on how this works. I'm off to go play a little more
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  28. #128
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    BTW I did not process to jpeg. I changed it to Tif before I processed. That setting was for last nights gig. Also I shot the M9 at F11 and the Phase at F16. Wanted to match as closely as possible the DOF between the systems and MF you certainly lose DOF
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Have to say this is the closest I have seen to match the color and tonal range in 35mm to a MF back. Both WB and matched exposure
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Thank you very much Guy for going through all of this for those of us that don't own a M9 yet. I am very impressed with what I have seen thus far.


    Bigfeet

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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Guy I know you have a lot on your plate but can you make some comparisons on some B&W conversions...... if you have time.
    Mike

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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    [Here's an sample showing the two lines. One through the monitor on the left, and the other through his arm:
    Attachment 22405[/QUOTE]

    This is worrying. Clearly column defects. It would be interesting to ask Leica what their spec is for these.

    You can correct column intensity variation in the map (by faking in adjacent columns), but column response varies in both intensity and dynamic range - and is temperature dependent. In fact, best way to get rid of these things (and hot pixels) is with cryogenic cooling. Now THAT makes for an interesting camera. Very complicated to do in software.

    Much better to simply reject such defects by specifying the highest grade of chip from the manufacturer, and then doing a rigorous QC check at assembly. Would expect that from Leica. Bad columns are like runs in nylon. There may be lovely lines underneath, but once you notice it drives you nuts.

  33. #133
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Lloyd have you by chance reloaded the firmware. 1.02 is the latest and it maybe worth a try to reload it.
    I no longer have the camera, Guy. It went back to Leica the day after I discovered the lines.

  34. #134
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    M9 jpegs out of camera. I did nothing to these except resize them . Very early sun
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Some more. 35 and 90 on all these. They are much better than the M8
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Some ergonomic notes after 2 days with the M9...

    These are some items that I've seen little mention of yet, which may be of interest to those coming from the M8.

    Viewfinder blockage
    Now that the sensor is full-frame, the frame lines are further out in the viewfinder than they were with the M8. For example, the 28mm framelines are now out against the edges of the frame.

    Lenses that blocked little or none of the frame (inside the framelines) on the M8 will now block more of the frame (inside the framelines) on the M9. For those coming from film M bodies, this is no change. But for those (like me) coming from the M8, it is significant.

    I think this will make smaller lenses more attractive on the M9, for a clean finder view. Lenses such as the 28 Elmarit ASPH, 35 cron ASPH, 50 cron, etc, look much more attractive to me now.


    Naming the custom profiles
    You can store settings in up to four separate "user profiles", and now you can actually assign an alphanumeric name to each profile. This is really nice! On the M8, I always had to remember "1" was for landscape tripod mounted (low ISO, etc), "2" for walk around (Auto-ISO), etc...

    Now with the M9, I create four profiles for my most commone shooting situations, name them, and then can quickly just pick them by name when I need them.


    Conflicting EV lock and Release controls
    There is a very nice new option here, but unfortunately it conflicts with another important option.

    The "soft" shutter option releases the shutter on a half-press (the point where EV lock occurs). The best EV compensations setting is the half-press combined with the turning of the knob (see Guy's "WARNING" message several posts back).

    If you are very careful, you can still set to soft release, and use the EV compensation method mentioned above, but there's very little room for error in your 'partial squeeze' of the trigger. Just a tad too much squeeze, and you fire the shutter. I find that I fire the trigger unintentionally quite often while trying to wrangle my thumb on the wheel to dial in EV compensation.

    Also I cannot use EV lock with soft release. I'm a BIG user of EV lock (half-press of the trigger), so this is alone makes the soft-release something I will only be able to use in certain situations where I can dial in a manual shutter speed.

    I love the soft-release, and which there was a thumb button near the top right of the back of the body that could be assigned to EV comp or EV lock, to free up the soft release without interference.



    All in all, I'm really enjoying the M9. It is a joy to shoot, and the files are gorgeous.

    I'm still fine-tuning my processing in LR, and will share my best LR settings in about a week, when I return from a trip.
    Mike Hatam
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    Senior Member barjohn's Avatar
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Based on the new frame lines virtually filling the frame at 28mm it seems that you lose one of the RF advantages of being able to see what is outside the frame lines. Is this true on the film versions too? It seems to me that resolution aside it might as well be a 100% EVF if it fills the viewfinder.
    V/r John

  38. #138
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Mike thanks for adding to the list of stuff. Appreciate the input and hopefully others will jump in with more stuff I may have missed. I could use another week with this thing. Wink Wink

    Converting some to B&W and i am taking creative licensing on them.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  39. #139
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Quote Originally Posted by barjohn View Post
    Based on the new frame lines virtually filling the frame at 28mm it seems that you lose one of the RF advantages of being able to see what is outside the frame lines. Is this true on the film versions too? It seems to me that resolution aside it might as well be a 100% EVF if it fills the viewfinder.
    John - it's just the 28mm that fills the framelines, just as a 21 would do on the M8. Actually the 28 has slightly more room outside the lines on the M9 than the 21 did on the M8, but they are close.

    So if you want the the area outside the framelines (which I personally like), I think that 35mm will be a very nice focal length on the M9.
    Mike Hatam
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  40. #140
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    All of these are done inside C1 and i went a a little crazy.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  41. #141
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Hatam View Post
    John - it's just the 28mm that fills the framelines, just as a 21 would do on the M8. Actually the 28 has slightly more room outside the lines on the M9 than the 21 did on the M8, but they are close.

    So if you want the the area outside the framelines (which I personally like), I think that 35mm will be a very nice focal length on the M9.
    The 35mm out of all the ones I used all week are really good with regards to frame lines . Believe it or not so is the 135mm. The 90mm I am getting more than the frame lines.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Senior Subscriber Member Mike Hatam's Avatar
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    I like the B&W conversions Guy. Your shots from this morning, with the early sun and nice textures, really show what the M9 can do.
    Mike Hatam
    Sony A99, RX1, RX100

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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Quote Originally Posted by barjohn View Post
    Based on the new frame lines virtually filling the frame at 28mm it seems that you lose one of the RF advantages of being able to see what is outside the frame lines. Is this true on the film versions too? It seems to me that resolution aside it might as well be a 100% EVF if it fills the viewfinder.
    John,

    This was precisely why the latter M film bodies had three viewfinder magnification options. .72 was "normal," and as Mike describes the current M9. However, they added a .85 high magnification finder for more accurate focus with longer lenses, it did not have 28mm lines. Near the end, they added a .58 finder that had 24mm framelines, but no 135's, for better viewing with wideangles.

    I'd expect Leica to very soon offer a lower magnification finder, especially now that they have released the two new wide Summilux's. It would be really nice to get one where the full viewfinder matched the 21 FoV so no need for an external finder. I'd gladly lose the 135 lines for that, and of course then I'd own at least two bodies, one of each magnification .
    Jack
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  44. #144
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Thanks Mike i gave them a little Mojo and I have yet to do that to anything until right now. I will go back later this week and work some files up. I love to play with this end of post. I know some folks maybe saying i only see morning stuff , well that is about all you get here after 8 am the light just sucks. Just so harsh. I would love to have some real clouds so we can see how they handle skies this is where most CMOS sensors fall apart . Is blown highlights . the M9 seems so far very good there. I have yet to lose it. Been able to pull everything back in range. That bodes well for the M9 and also just jumping back up to the jpegs. Which I never shoot but the M9 could change some of that for quick work, they are very good.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    John,

    This was precisely why the latter M film bodies had three viewfinder magnification options. .72 was "normal," and as Mike describes the current M9. However, they added a .85 high magnification finder for more accurate focus with longer lenses, it did not have 28mm lines. Near the end, they added a .58 finder that had 24mm framelines, but no 135's, for better viewing with wideangles.

    I'd expect Leica to very soon offer a lower magnification finder, especially now that they have released the two new wide Summilux's. It would be really nice to get one where the full viewfinder matched the 21 FoV so no need for an external finder. I'd gladly lose the 135 lines for that, and of course then I'd own at least two bodies, one of each magnification .

    Maybe true but seriously you don't want to lose the 135mm lens. It all of a sudden became important at least to me. Not sure I would buy a M9 without a 90mm in the bag. That to me is a must
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Subscriber Member mwalker's Avatar
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Guy thanks for the black and whites. There was some discussion about B&W's falling flat compared to the M8....pic 4 has the high contrast look that I like.
    Mike

    website under construction

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

    Your welcome Mike . No not a chance you have tons of elbow room. They maybe flat just on a simple conversion but in C1 or PS you have plenty of tools. Mike in C1 I convert then with styles to Panchromatic than work them from there with levels , exposure and even color editor on a certain color sometimes.
    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)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Hatam View Post
    Naming the custom profiles
    You can store settings in up to four separate "user profiles", and now you can actually assign an alphanumeric name to each profile. This is really nice! On the M8, I always had to remember "1" was for landscape tripod mounted (low ISO, etc), "2" for walk around (Auto-ISO), etc...

    Now with the M9, I create four profiles for my most commone shooting situations, name them, and then can quickly just pick them by name when I need them.
    Can you also store the lens being used in the profiles?

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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Those jpegs out of camera really look good, Guy. Looks as though Stephan was tellin' it like it is when he said the jpeg engine was much improved.
    Roger
    Leica M6, M8.2 & assorted Leica glass

  50. #150
    Senior Subscriber Member Mike Hatam's Avatar
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Quote Originally Posted by skimmel View Post
    Can you also store the lens being used in the profiles?
    Nope - lens info is not stored in the user profiles.
    Mike Hatam
    Sony A99, RX1, RX100

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