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Thread: Leica M9 Review ( The Journey Begins)

  1. #201
    alexanderruas
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    how do you all feel about this 18 vs 36 mb file size?

    my q's are:
    why not shoot the bigger? what's the point of the bigger files?

  2. #202
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Bigger? They are compressed vs. uncompressed. The compressed file encodes the image data into 8 bits, like the M8, i.e. it is lossy. Some people have already seen undesired artifacts from this, apparently, so for me it is uncompressed only. I want to shoot 200-300 images per card, so I need to pick up some 8GB cards.
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    16gb is 438 or so. Perfect or 212 for 8gb

    files are 36 mg uncompressed. I really see no value in compressed if it drops to 8 bit . Disk space is so cheap now
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  4. #204
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Just got our M9, looking forward to following this thread and learning the ins and outs.

  5. #205
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Quote Originally Posted by alexanderruas View Post
    how do you all feel about this 18 vs 36 mb file size?

    my q's are:
    why not shoot the bigger? what's the point of the bigger files?
    I use uncompressed. As said before diskspace is cheap and I dont want to compromise in IQ.

  6. #206
    Subscriber Member mwalker's Avatar
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Quote Originally Posted by monza View Post
    Just got our M9, looking forward to following this thread and learning the ins and outs.
    Monza, You are a dealer correct? Is this the one that all dealers got on the first pass? Do you have any idea how many you'll recieve week to week or is it a crap shoot.
    Mike

    website under construction

  7. #207
    Workshop Member tollie's Avatar
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    "Todd - Have you tried stitching M8 files? You can soon get way beyond Medium Format pixel count [I realise that's only part of the equation]. You'd be working with a tripod anyway - why not go 'Large' format with your M8? It's amazing what a one lens rig can produce.

    .......... Chris"

    Yes indeed... Chris. I have been very impressed with what the M8 can do. There are some great stitching applications available... and PS CS4 does a great job as well. This example is a 7 panel stitch... its of El Moro, a Spanish fort in San Juan.

    Attachment 22534

    Cheers.

  8. #208
    Alexander Bauer
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Quote Originally Posted by monza View Post
    Just got our M9, looking forward to following this thread and learning the ins and outs.
    congrats

    send you my list via PM waiting for your reply?

  9. #209
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Quote Originally Posted by tollie View Post
    "Todd - Have you tried stitching M8 files? You can soon get way beyond Medium Format pixel count [I realise that's only part of the equation]. You'd be working with a tripod anyway - why not go 'Large' format with your M8? It's amazing what a one lens rig can produce.

    .......... Chris"

    Yes indeed... Chris. I have been very impressed with what the M8 can do. There are some great stitching applications available... and PS CS4 does a great job as well. This example is a 7 panel stitch... its of El Moro, a Spanish fort in San Juan.

    Attachment 22534

    Cheers.
    Beautiful pano, of one of my favorite places. I lived in Rio Piedras in 1974-75, and loved old San Juan.

  10. #210
    Alexander Bauer
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Guy this report is worth some $$$

    L E I C A

  11. #211
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Not done yet . Will continue in the morning. On location today and typing on iPhone is no joy at all. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  12. #212
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Quote Originally Posted by docmoore View Post
    Marc and all,

    Sandymc has posted an ACR / LR calibration file for the M9 at Chromasoft.

    http://chromasoft.googlepages.com/referenceimages

    Interested in your feedback.

    Bob
    Whew, that stuff is a bit over my head technically. I'll try to wade through it. Thanks.

    Marc

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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Well Carsten, to be correct, the IR problem has been solved in a way. However better than on the m8 ? I don't know. We will always have the huge cyan drift in the corners, no matter whether we use filters or a filter in front of the sensor. The draw back on the m9 approach is that we loose corner resolution compared to the filter on lens approach. A certain benefit is that we don't have to use these stupid filters anymore.

  14. #214
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Whew, that stuff is a bit over my head technically. I'll try to wade through it. Thanks.

    Marc
    Hey, I'm with you. I'd use those, but I don't have a clue how to begin.

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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Quote Originally Posted by John Black View Post
    Marc, have you tried shooting an 8-bit compressed RAW? If Leica is using the same calculations on the M9 as the M8 to create 8-bit DNG compressed, then that might do the trick for you.
    That's a thought. But I can be flipping back and forth during a shoot. Good reason to get a second M9 if this idea works

  16. #216
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Quote Originally Posted by mwalker View Post
    Monza, You are a dealer correct? Is this the one that all dealers got on the first pass? Do you have any idea how many you'll recieve week to week or is it a crap shoot.
    Actually, only 20 dealers got an M9 in the first pass (including us); most dealers haven't received one yet.

    This particular M9 is a Leica demo unit.

    I'll have more info soon from our rep regarding availability, he's calling me in about an hour. Hopefully it will be good news.

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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    ...This example is a 7 panel stitch... its of El Moro, a Spanish fort in San Juan......
    Todd - thanks for posting that, I always enjoy considered panoramas. Clearly you are familiar with this form of chip enlargement for landscape work.

    ............. Chris

  18. #218
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    After 2 more days of shooting I can only show these since it had nothing to do with the job which i am not allowed to show. Just starting to catch up to the real world check in with more data later but these are kind of fun. It was windy outside so ignore some of the plants
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  19. #219
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    After 2 more days of shooting I can only show these since it had nothing to do with the job which i am not allowed to show. Just starting to catch up to the real world check in with more data later but these are kind of fun. It was windy outside so ignore some of the plants
    Nice stuff, Guy. I'm impressed particularly by the shots with the 24mm.

  20. #220
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Thanks having a little processing fun Sepia
    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
    Nice stuff, Guy. I'm impressed particularly by the shots with the 24mm.
    Yes I like the 24mm and it holds barrel distortion pretty well.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  22. #222
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Thanks having a little processing fun Sepia
    Oh yeah. Workin.

  23. #223
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Selling MF kit. LOL

    I just got a note from Leica on where to send the kit , maybe i did not get that e-mail. I DON"T want to give it back. LOL

    I think long term testing is the real answer here. I think I need it a couple more months. What do you guys think. LOL

    It should be noted I had NO tripod for these. But placed on walls and such
    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 Guy Mancuso View Post
    Selling MF kit. LOL
    Ha! High praise indeed.

  25. #225
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Not so fast . LOL I want both actually

    The M9 is great and for it's intended purpose but coming on MF in detail will be a little tough. Just a quick example I sized up the M9 to the P30+ pixels width. Certainly you can see a difference on the detail end but it is very very good. 1200 pixel wide crops. Now it is not very accurate because one is 4:3rds and the other is 3:2 formatting but just a good idea for the moment. No matter how you do it to match up it will be a bit unfair either way . Certainly not apples to apples and not intended that way either. The M9 is still not the same crop and needs to be blown up more
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  26. #226
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Wow... The MF detail is definitely visible. (Who says Mamiya can't make good glass? )

    Is it just my eyes -- or possibly the conversion method -- or does the MF image have notably better micro-contrast too?
    Jack
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  27. #227
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    It does Jack and the M9 will probably need about 40 or 50 on the clarity which I only go 20 on the P30+ for this type of work . Portraits i don't use clarity
    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 Guy Mancuso View Post
    It does Jack and the M9 will probably need about 40 or 50 on the clarity which I only go 20 on the P30+ for this type of work .
    But, you think you can match the actual micro-contrast just by using clarity? I ask, because I've found that while it certainly helps with my 1Ds3, it doesn't ever get to the same level as my P45+...

    Portraits i don't use clarity
    Agreed!
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  29. #229
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    I think it can get close and hopefully when we have the M9 in Oregon we can test that out.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  30. #230
    Senior Subscriber Member Mike Hatam's Avatar
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    The P30 certainly has more detail than the M9 - just as expected. One interesting question is this... at what print size will the difference be noticable?

    I would speculate that the difference would not be noticable under 16x24, and maybe even larger than that (I think native print size for M9 is about 17" wide at 240ppi).

    For those of you with both an M9 and a P30 (hint, hint), a print test like this would be interesting. But be sure to use tripod mounted, carefully controlled shots, to eliminate motion blur as an issue.
    Mike Hatam
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  31. #231
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    M9 Thoughts and time for Ramble

    Thought I would reflect a little here since I am waiting on about 60 files to get processed and I already have the Leica gear boxed up and heading for UPS to the next lucky guy to shoot this. Been a busy morning processing about 400 files and just getting stuff out the door since I have a three day shoot starting tomorrow but this time no M9 and back to the clunkier. LOL

    The M9 is certainly a big improvement over the M8 and on paper it may not seem so but in practice it is functional better by at least 50 percent and that is a lot. The setup is much smoother to allow you to work not only faster but more reassuring. The M8 which I had several for quite awhile there was a nice camera the M9 is the polished version of it but overall has some real pluses as mentioned I can't put a real value on the Info, Set and ISo buttons. I was never in any doubt on what I was doing at any time. The M8 felt more like guessing at the functional side.

    Now the FF 18mpx over the M8 10 mpx. If your not seeing the value there with a low side of the house MF camera than you not seeing very clearly. On the MF side going from 31 to 40 is almost not seen it's there but it's not on the same level as going from 10 to 18. Not saying the M8 was bad but very limited to print size , cropping and just having some horsepower under it's belt and it left me short with clients , reason I moved up. Now if the M9 was what it is today back than I may have not been so inclined to move to MF. To me CCD 18 mpx 6.8 micron sensor with Leica's glass is a REAL sweet spot and very equal to if not better than the D3x at the same cost. Sure different animals but everyone compares like this which I personally don't but hey I may look at things differently. I'm a CCD sensor guy plain and simple and on the small side Leica M9 is the biggest and most powerful at the moment in 35mm. That alone is very appealing to me and with Leica glass even more so. Is it in the MF league , no but maybe only in certain area's the MF will still produce a major big file with a lot of great things going on DR, Tonal Range, Color and such but from the last week of shooting this . I do not see it taking a back seat to it but more a cousin to MF and that is a big compliment coming from me. It has the same qualities and that is the part that gets me going. It has a nicer ISO range than the M8 , the no filters thing is very nice and I did not see any IR bleed at all and yes I shot a load of black cheap plastic cloths for sure. You get some very nice DOF falloff going FF and I see it as the file is much cleaner.

    Now price lets face some facts Nov 6th 2006 I paid 5400 for a M8 . It's 3 years later a much improved camera at 7000. That considering the time is not all that much. Now for me it's hard right now to get one but you can only go by your budget and needs and I can't sit here and say it is a great deal or to expensive either. All I can tell you is from em it is a great camera so far and Leica put some real effort in it to make it one. I honestly want one to add to my system but I also need to see the S2 as well and also need to get some real money floating again.

    I'm coming back to this and add more. I'm sad it is time to go to UPS and ship this along, this is not making me a very happy camper. I want you all to feel really bad and start sending donations for Guy to have a new M9. Okay . ROTFLMAO
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  32. #232
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Hatam View Post
    The P30 certainly has more detail than the M9 - just as expected. One interesting question is this... at what print size will the difference be noticable?

    I would speculate that the difference would not be noticable under 16x24, and maybe even larger than that (I think native print size for M9 is about 17" wide at 240ppi).

    For those of you with both an M9 and a P30 (hint, hint), a print test like this would be interesting. But be sure to use tripod mounted, carefully controlled shots, to eliminate motion blur as an issue.
    The shots are already in the can Mike as you described wanna send over a 9600 Epson. LOL

    But you have a good point at what point does it fall apart and at what point can you size up and at what point can you sharpen to get the absolute best out of it before it falls in the tank. My guess 20 x30 and that is just a guess. Something that can be done with the files I shot in my real test against each other. There are at least 5 sets which I have yet to process myself but they are up on Idisk
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Generally speaking, my experience is that if you can see any difference onscreen at 50% view, you will see it in a print.
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

  34. #234
    Workshop Member tollie's Avatar
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Guy,

    I'm really impressed with how clean those files look... at 800. I assume you did not clean them up?

  35. #235
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    No did nothing in C1 to them
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  36. #236
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Lets get back to this clarity issue but here again in the M9 I can see in C1 where my clipping warning is hitting at the correct exposure and when I put the P30 file with same exposure it is not so in essence the M9 DR is more compact compared to the P30 which gives the P30 more DR. On the P30 I am barely clipping in the gate area and the WB card my pure white is not clipping in the M9 the pure white the clipping warning is on and it is clipping more in the shadows so common deduction without a machine is the DR is larger on the P30 which is rated at 12 stops than should we assume the M9 is 11.5 because that is difference on what I am seeing. These files are up on Idisk and can certainly see this by the way my clipping warning is 255 . I reset it in C1 because I like to know when i hit it exactly. Default is 253

    Clarity as you can see which is a little hard to tell since color does get in the way a bit but with no clarity the image has a more flat appearance when you use clarity it bumps up the mid range contrast same principle as local contrast . The M9 straight is a little flat looking in this example but when I bump it to 45 it gets a very nice bump in contrast and appears to be a sharper image.

    The P30 is somewhat the same without clarity but not as flat but even at 30 here it gets more contrast and I never have gone past 30 on any image . Obviously we have to find the sweet spot for the M9 now I like it in this image but again I would not be doing this to a portrait but on the same token I would be doing this for ultimately going to B&W to give it punch. The M9 files in my mind need it and something you will have to find as the sweet spot . Many times in C1 with my P30 this and WB are the first thing I do and apply to the whole folder or whole set of similar images. BTW this is a great candidate for printing everything on both cameras is locked down and both very similar angle of view. The orange is this is either the 4:3 or 3:2 format so we have to figure out how to deal with that aspect ratio. Again we are comparing here for the quality of image and not so much as a comparison but we take a gold standard like the P30+ and use that to see how well the M9 matches up to it. And frankly folks this is the best i have seen in 35mm up to a MF back. So end of the day it's all good stuff for the M9 and i want one and it is not only for health reasons this matches my file system. I can take either file without much adjustment and put it is the same folder for a client. That's magic

    Now save the images and compare sets side by side in Cs4 or CS3 and you will see a nice improvement with clarity or it's alternate name local contrast
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  37. #237
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Now playing around a touch if you notice the M9 still has a bit too much saturation in the file compared to the P30 now this is not a bad thing until you start doing portraits and can get in a little trouble with skin tone . Now by lowering the saturation by 10 points in C1 you get a file that matches much more closely to the P30 Plus. Here is a example of that. This looks perfect actually
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  38. #238
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    M9 Good News

    Just had a 20 minute conversation with Leica we will have at least one M9 for sure and a several lenses for the Oregon Workshop that has just been confirmed and they are actually trying to get us two or three for the attendees. Leica reps will not be on hand due to the Photo Plus shows and some other things going on but they will be in Jack and My capable hands to give all the data and gear you need to play with the M9. We should have a lot of lenses on hand to try also. That along with C1 and LR training you will be well on your way to be a M9 guru. LOL

    We still have 2 spaces available and please contact Jack if you would like to join us
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  39. #239
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Pay attention to that last test . That was the gold mine on saturation. Your after a neutral file after that play to whatever you like.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    BTW, we just got official confirmation we will have an M9 -- one for sure, possibly two and a host of glass -- at our Oregon workshop! SO, if you want to demo an M9, this is the perfect opportunity!!!
    Jack
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Guy,

    Great thead, like i said, it is going to cost me $$$$, LOL.

    Just for me to understand, the difference in the CMOS with AA versus CCD without AA, how, or in what way, does it look different when you llok at the result on screen and on print? Can you give me a description of the difference one would see?

    IQ is Technology, PQ is YOU!

    Jan R.

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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    BTW, we just got official confirmation we will have an M9 -- one for sure, possibly two and a host of glass -- at our Oregon workshop! SO, if you want to demo an M9, this is the perfect opportunity!!!
    Hmmm... That's really tempting. I need to see if I can be away from work that week. Of course I'm already supposed to be saving for a M9 (amongst other things.)

    So the real question is who really doesn't NEED a Christmas present this year on my list...
    Sony Visible Light & IR Photographer
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Quote Originally Posted by JanRSmit View Post
    Guy,

    Great thead, like i said, it is going to cost me $$$$, LOL.

    Just for me to understand, the difference in the CMOS with AA versus CCD without AA, how, or in what way, does it look different when you llok at the result on screen and on print? Can you give me a description of the difference one would see?

    IQ is Technology, PQ is YOU!

    Jan R.

    www.janrsmit.com

    Good question I'm going to let Bob and/or Jack take a shot at this one. They both have Canons and can address this a little better.
    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)

    Another nice candidate for printing. Here I took what I learned from the saturation post on the M9 went -10 and than I had to balance the exposure between them to balance.

    But here just looking how nice cousins they really are . Holding up ever so nicely together .

    I should note I do have a thing for the Kodak sensors that I always liked there color better. Now with the new Dalsa sensors I still have to play around with that. Some may say these are old sensors the P30 and M9. Trust me nothing wrong with these older tech sensors in the slightest. They produce and that is what counts. Again watch the marketing out there
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  45. #245
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Yes I did clean both sensors after this day of testing
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    ^ LOL... Well, it is dusty out there.

    I have to say, the M9 is putting on a darn good show. It would be hard not to be happy with results like these. Definitely an "M8 on steroids" as it were.

    Now, what to spend $7k on... An M9 or a CFVII...

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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Quote Originally Posted by JanRSmit View Post
    Guy,

    Great thread, like i said, it is going to cost me $$$$, LOL.

    Just for me to understand, the difference in the CMOS with AA versus CCD without AA, how, or in what way, does it look different when you look at the result on screen and on print? Can you give me a description of the difference one would see?

    IQ is Technology, PQ is YOU!

    Jan R.

    www.janrsmit.com
    OK, here is a stab at what the differences are and sometimes can be.

    For a decent overview of the basic differences between cmos and ccd sensors, there is a not bad reference by Dalsa at http://www.dalsa.com/corp/markets/CCD_vs_CMOS.aspx. I think that it is pretty fair not only because it is technically correct but because they make both kinds and thus are grinding both sides of the axe so to speak.

    There have been some discussions in several threads of some of the differences that folks tend to see, but many of these differences are not due to CMOS vs CCD in general, but more in terms of the specific sensor's implementation.

    So here are some points that are independent of implementation and are the result of the basic design differences between ccd and cmos sensors.

    1. Noise.
    Noise tends to appear different between CCD and CMOS. There are a few reasons for it:
    a) CMOS is subject to variability of the on-chip analog to digital converters. CMOS a to d converters can be made quite precisely, but most cmos implementations tend to devote less chip area to a/d converters since they are trying to build many of them, sometimes one per column to optimize shooting speed. Since they are subject to process variation, they are not individually trimmed, so variations between them often are larger than separate off-chip a/d converters. That variation is "profiled out" somewhat using the same sorts of techniques used to map bad pixels and so forth but the result is that each pixel column may have a slight dynamic range variation which is visible as noise. The best CMOS sensors are pretty good in this regard, but it is still measurable. CCDs generally use off-chip specialized a/d converters which can be higher quality then those that can be implemented on-chip. Some folks "see" this as improved neutrality or linearity of CCD sensors, but this is a function of the converter, not the sensor array itself.
    b) the CMOS a/d converters are subject to on-chip noise. Clocking of the chip tends to generate on-chip noise which is coupled to some degree with the accuracy of the a/d conversion process. This tends to generate high-frequency noise which tends to be fairly easy to post-process out. CCD sensors, with off-sensor a/d converters are more subject to system noise. Sysytm noise is a result of all the other clocking that occurs all through the entire camera. Board layout and decoupling techniques are used to minimize this, but those clocks sometime "beat" with sensor readout clocking. This produces a lower frequency noise that is not that easy to post process out. This can be seen pretty easily by "stretching" an under-exposed image which will sometimes reveal those patterns of noise as a repeating pattern across the image. So in general, CMOS noise is less objectionable than CCD noise and some components of it is not easy to post-process out.

    2. Sharpness
    Sharpness effects are the result of the AA filter. Both cmos and ccd may have an AA filter. The AA filter acts as an optical low-pass filter to approximate the high-frequencies to a level approximately half of the inter-pixel spacing. From Nyquist we see that a periodic function must be sampled at least at double its period for it to be reproduced as a square wave. By reducing the high frequency components (reducing sharpness) the AA filter prevents the appearance of moire (actually sampling artifacts). Of course, there are other sources of moire which are due to other periodic relationships of sensor pitch to subject pattern pitch at spacing of more than two pixels. AA filters reduce those only if they degrade sharpness more than the bandpass requirement of double the sensor pitch. There is a trend in the industry to limit AA to approximately double the sensor pixel pitch to optimize the apparent sharpness.
    So what you see on screen or on print is this.
    When there is a very light or no AA filter:
    a) Apparent sharpness is increased before capture sharpening.
    b) Less capture sharpening is required
    c) Moire shows up more frequently and is devilishly hard to completely remove
    Of course by varying the subject distance or sometimes the aperture, or by hand-holding, which introduces blur) this sort of moire effect can seem to go away
    When there is a very heavy AA filter
    a) nothing ever looks sharp directly out of the camera
    b) more capture sharpening is required

    Either way, apparent sharpness can be made to appear equivalent and on-print the printing process itself introduces even more blur than most A filters, so additional pre-print sharpening is required in either case.
    Effect on screen when pixel-peeping a raw file:
    Wow, it seems major blur with a heavy AA
    Effect on-print with appropriate sharpening technique:
    Nil

    Summary:
    Theoretically the best quality images are produced with a CCD array and well isolated external a/d converters. ALL of the mil spec stuff uses this technique. In cameras that the average person can afford to buy, often the results relate to the linearity of the conversion, in particular, transitions appear smoother in CCD systems.
    The lowest apparent noise at high-ISO theoretically also come from CCD systems since external amplifiers and a/d converters just can be made better. With a 6 micron sensor at ISO 1600, threshold black amounts to only something like six photons, no no matter what is done, there will be noise since we are in the realm of the tyranny of small numbers.
    In practical terms, the high-frequency noise of CMOS sensors tends to produce more pleasing high-ISO images.

    one other effect:
    The highly integrated nature of CMOS sensors cost a lot more to design than CCDs, which are often stock designs. Companies with limited R&D funds often opt for CCD for this reason alone.

    Sorry for the longish ramble.
    -bob
    Last edited by Bob; 24th September 2009 at 06:18. Reason: fixed many typos

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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    I think I have a new motto for the forum

    Is there not a old saying and if there is not let me make one up. "Always surround yourself with genius when you don't have a clue". ROTFLMAO

    I could have wrote that but i would be here till next Sunday correcting it

    Bob love ya!
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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    OK, here is a stab at what the differences are and sometimes can be.

    For a decent overview of the basic differences between cmos and ccd sensors, there is a not bad reference by Dalsa at http://www.dalsa.com/corp/markets/CCD_vs_CMOS.aspx. I think that it is pretty fair not only because it is technically correct but because they make both kinds and thus are grinding both sides of the axe so to speak.

    There have been some discussions in several threads of some of the differences that folks tend to see, but many of these differences are not due to CMOS vs CCD in general, but more in terms of the specific sensor's implementation.

    So here are some points that are independent of implementation and are the result of the basic design differences between ccd and cmos sensors.

    1. Noise.
    Noise tends to appear different between CCD and CMOS. There are a few reasons for it:
    a) CMOS is subject to variability of the on-chip analog to digital converters. CMOS a to d converters can be made quite precisely, but most cmos implementations tend to devote less chip area to a/d converters since they are trying to build many of them, sometimes one per column to optimize shooting speed. Since they are subject to process variation, they are not individually trimmed, so variations between them often are larger than separate off-chip a/d converters. That variation is "profiled out" somewhat using the same sorts of techniques used to map bad pixels and so forth but the result is that each pixel column may have a slight dynamic range variation which is visible as noise. The best CMOS sensors are pretty good in this regard, but it is still measurable. CCDs generally use off-chip specialized a/d converters which can be higher quality then those that can be implemented on-chip. Some folks "see" this as improved neutrality or linearity of CCD sensors, but this is a function of the converter, not the sensor array itself.
    b) the CMOS a/d converters are subject to on-chip noise. Clocking of the chip tends to generate on-chip noise which is coupled to some degree with the accuracy of the a/d conversion process. This tends to generate high-frequency noise which tends to be fairly easy to post-process out. CCD sensors, with off-sensor a/d converters are more subject to system noise. Sysytm noise is a result of all the other clocking that occurs all through the entire camera. Board layout and decoupling techniques are used to minimize this, but those clocks sometime "beat" with sensor readout clocking. This produces a lower frequency noise that is not that easy to post process out. This can be seen pretty easily by "stretching" an under-exposed image which will sometimes reveal those patterns of noise as a repeating pattern across the image. So in general, CMOS noise is less objectionable than CCD noise and some components of it is not easy to post-process out.

    2. Sharpness
    Sharpness effects are the result of the AA filter. Both cmos and ccd may have an AA filter. The AA filter acts as an optical low-pass filter to approximate the high-frequencies to a level approximately half of the inter-pixel spacing. From Nyquist we see that a periodic function must be sampled at least at double its period for it to be reproduced as a square wave. By reducing the high frequency components (reducing sharpness) the AA filter prevents the appearance of moire (actually sampling artifacts). Of course, there are other sources of moire which are due to other periodic relationships of sensor pitch to subject pattern pitch at spacing of more than two pixels. AA filters reduce those only if they degrade sharpness more than the bandpass requirement of double the sensor pitch. There is a trend in the industry to limit AA to approximately double the sensor pixel pitch to optimize the apparent sharpness.
    So what you see on screen or on print is this.
    When there is a very light or no AA filter:
    a) Apparent sharpness is increased before capture sharpening.
    b) Less capture sharpening is required
    c) Moire shows up more frequently and is devilishly hard to completely remove
    Of course by varying the subject distance or sometimes the aperture, or by hand-holding, which introduces blur) this sort of moire effect can seem to go away
    When there is a very heavy AA filter
    a) nothing ever looks sharp directly out of the camera
    b) more capture sharpening is required

    Either way, apparent sharpness can be made to appear equivalent and on-print the printing process itself introduces even more blur than most A filters, so additional pre-print sharpening is required in either case.
    Effect on screen when pixel-peeping a raw file:
    Wow, it seems major blur with a heavy AA
    Effect on-print with appropriate sharpening technique:
    Nil

    Summary:
    Theoretically the best quality images are produced with a CCD array and well isolated external a/d converters. ALL of the mil spec stuff uses this technique. In cameras that the average person can afford to buy, often the results relate to the linearity of the conversion, in particular, transitions appear smoother in CCD systems.
    The lowest apparent noise at high-ISO theoretically also come from CCD systems since external amplifiers and a/d converters just can be made better. With a 6 micron sensor at ISO 1600, threshold black amounts to only something like six photons, no no matter what is done, there will be noise since we are in the realm of the tyranny of small numbers.
    In practical terms, the high-frequency noise of CMOS sensors tends to produce more pleasing high-ISO images.

    one other effect:
    The highly integrated nature of CMOS sensors cost a lot more to design than CCDs, which are often stock designs. Companies with limited R&D funds often opt for CCD for this reason alone.

    Sorry for the longish ramble.
    -bob
    Bob,

    Thanks for your long ramble.
    Hmmmm, if all is ok, then the most "life like", "3D appeal", "want to look into", etc images will come from a CCD based system. But design decisions in the electronic internals of the camera, and downstream limitations, ie printing, does reduce this advantage. Currently using a Nikon D700 with Leica R glass, so far it is a better combo than using Nikon glass, but the explanation and the reports from Guy makes me want this M9 even more. I am also using a M6 with a nice set of glass, and a modified Nikon filmscanner to scan my transparencies. The mod is the removal of the coverglass of the sensor, primarely to remove some serious ghosting, but as a bonus result it is as if a thin black veil is lifted off the image (woman in a black thin veil is beautiful, images are not). Would like to test a M9 to see if it produces the same effect compared to the D700. If so, i am sold, LOL


    Jan R. Smit
    IQ is Technology, PQ is YOU!

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    Re: M9 Another Leica Journey (Report)

    Quote Originally Posted by JanRSmit View Post
    Bob,

    Thanks for your long ramble.
    Hmmmm, if all is ok, then the most "life like", "3D appeal", "want to look into", etc images will come from a CCD based system. But design decisions in the electronic internals of the camera, and downstream limitations, ie printing, does reduce this advantage. Currently using a Nikon D700 with Leica R glass, so far it is a better combo than using Nikon glass, but the explanation and the reports from Guy makes me want this M9 even more. I am also using a M6 with a nice set of glass, and a modified Nikon filmscanner to scan my transparencies. The mod is the removal of the coverglass of the sensor, primarely to remove some serious ghosting, but as a bonus result it is as if a thin black veil is lifted off the image (woman in a black thin veil is beautiful, images are not). Would like to test a M9 to see if it produces the same effect compared to the D700. If so, i am sold, LOL


    Jan R. Smit
    IQ is Technology, PQ is YOU!
    You might try a large radius small amount of unsharp mask for those images that seem to lack the "3D" effect. Try a radius of about 35-75 depending on the image size, and an amount in the neighborhood of 10-15%. This is in addition to regular sharpening.
    Also, despite my better judgment, I am sorely tempted by the M9 myself.
    -bob

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