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Fun with Light L16

Godfrey

Well-known member
Slowly, slowly working through all my photos. I've integrated all the Light and iPhone photos in my catalog, sorted out all the duplicates, and have started processing and merging the sequence shots that I intended to make into panoramas from the Light. I processed two of them yesterday ...

One is a 159 Mpixel shot of the Promenade deck from the main cafe there, the other is a 260 Mpixel shot of the port town of Roatàn in Honduras from the 15th deck of the ship. The first of these is a little blurred from the indoor lighting and being hand-held in capture. The other is *amazingly* detailed at full resolution with ISO 100-200 and high shutter speeds.

A few more like this to go, and then I have to figure out how to present them on-line without their losing all the magic they express.

:D

G
 

scho

Well-known member
It has been awhile since I last used the L16. After updating firmware and Lumen I finally got it working again. Quick snap processed in Lumen and then to Lightroom for exporting.

 

Godfrey

Well-known member
How cool! :)

Mine's been sitting in its box, all wiped, restored to factory defaults with the latest firmware, and ready to be sold, for months now. I should either list it for sale or put it back to work. It's a darn good camera.

G
 

scho

Well-known member
After getting the L16 back in service I took it up the hill for a few landscape shots. These images were downsampled from the original 40 MP DNG files. The last was a 2 shot 80 MP pano.





 

scho

Well-known member
A couple of examples of selective DOF adjustment. I reset focus point and aperture in Lumen to get a shallow DOF in the two images below. The first was shot at 28mm, f/2 and the second at 75mm, f/4.



 

Godfrey

Well-known member
It'd been a long while since I used it, but since my arm is healing but still very weak I needed something small and light to try taking some photographs on a walk. Yesterday I pulled my Light L16 out of its box for the first time in a year and a half, charged it up, and reinitialized it, installed the most recent version of Lumen on macOS Catalina, and went for a walk with it.

It still makes me chuckle that this little camera in its case ...
... is a 50Mpixel camera with a zoom FF equivalent of 28 to 150mm. It's only a little bigger than a plus-sized iPhone 8.

I found 14 exposures from my walk yesterday that fit a theme of 'Shape, Form, Shadow, Color" that I liked. Here are four of them:


Turret Windows


Beware of Dog


Leaves Akimbo


Pavement Marking

For the rest, please visit the album on Flickr.com : Shape, Form, Shadow, Color - 2020

It's interesting to compare the shooting experience of the Light L16 with the Leica CL, and the imaging qualities with that camera and the Hasselblad 907x. But I'll think about that and write it up another time. :D

Enjoy!
G
 

Godfrey

Well-known member
Two more photos from my walk a few days ago...


Orange Leaves - Santa Clara 2020
Light L16
ISO 200 @ f/16 @ 1/60 @ 55mm



White Flowers - Santa Clara 2020
Light L16
ISO 100 @ f/16 @ 1/90 @ 35mm

Enjoy! G
 

Godfrey

Well-known member
I've not been posting much, and been off the bicycle, for the past few weeks... various reasons, but I've continued my daily walks/photo sessions around the neighborhood as time and energy permit. And I've been processing/rendering a lot of exposures as well.

Even walks the past week or two have been limited due to heat and (now) wildfire smoke. Sheesh, what a year!

Here are six from Sunday's short walk around the neighborhood.


Blossoms


Leaf


Japanese Maple


Crashed Fruit


Window and Rose


Flag

All with Light L16.

More to come soon... :)
Enjoy!

G
 

AlanS

Well-known member
The rendering of this camera is very appealing Godfrey. I am not sure about the work required to get to this stage and I am somewhat put off by the state of the company that makes it (not sure if they are still in business)?
 

Godfrey

Well-known member
Light.co has discontinued manufacturing the L16 camera. It was always intended more as a technology demonstration for their multi-camera computational photography algorithms and they have since succeeded in negotiating a large number of licensees for the technology, so their development work and income has now shifted to developing the technology further and managing licensee deliverables with a number of major camera and smartphone vendors. They announced this plan and the termination of L16 production sometime around Summer 2019, and ceased production of the L16 around the end of 2019. It's a little sad because the camera is certainly ground breaking and very nicely conceived and built, but the hardware spec (first conceived in 2014-2015) is certainly aging and it would take a major development effort to update/revise it to continue going forward with the camera itself.

That said, the camera remains a good functional piece of equipment and its required image processing tool, the Lumen app, has been updated and is still current on macOS Catalina as well as current Windows operating systems. Latest updates to the camera firmware from a year or so back include a good deal of image processing tools built into the camera as well as the ability to download and use various Android image processing apps and tools to move files direct to services like Flickr.com. So as long as I keep a macOS Catalina box running and equipped with Lumen, I'll be able to keep using the camera until the camera itself finally gives up the ghost.

My workflow with the camera is this, post exposure:
- Run Lumen on my Mac mini
- Connect the L16 to the Mac mini
- Transfer all new exposures to a new folder in my usual original image repository with Lumen
- Scan through the exposures and pick which ones I think might benefit from using some of the Lumen specific tools, primarily lens opening adjustments. The default lens opening simulation for all exposures coming into the app is f/15.4, several of my photos from any given session benefit from setting the lens opening to a wider value in order to soften the background a little. I'm not a 'razor thin focus zone' fanatic, I'm often just looking for a very light softening of the area behind my principle subject plane of focus.

NOTE: While you have some degrees of freedom in adjusting the focus qualities and zone, the best exposures made with this camera always have the correct subject plane in sharpest focus. Since it is essentially the combined images of a bunch of small sensor cameras, it's also good to be aware of what the focus range of all the cameras is to achieve that good critical focus, and to use as low an ISO setting as is feasible to promote the best dynamic range and resulting image quality once coalesced. Using the touch-point focus targeting and learning how to get the most out of it is very important to getting the best exposures.

- Once I've made the focus zone adjustments I feel might be needed, I select all the exposures and download them as DNG files at full resolution into my image file repository. Lumen does this at a leisurely pace, but is happy to work in background, so if it's a large number of exposures I just set it running and do something else until it's done. :)
- From that point forward, the image files are treated as all other DNG files in my image processing workflow: Imported into Lightroom Classic and rendered to a finish state.

Pixel resolution with the L16 is dependent upon focal length. It is highest at 28mm (about 70Mpixel), Nominally 50Mpixel @ 35 and 75mm, and lowest at 150mm (About 12 Mpixel). Between 35 and 75, and between 75 and 150 the pixel resolution descends on a curve. This is another factor that you have to keep in mind as you're shooting if you're looking for the best possible image quality.

It's a very interesting if somewhat quirky camera. I'm always amazed at how good the photos can be if you get the settings right ... and what it can do is sometimes very surprising in what works and what doesn't, at least until you get enough experience using it. A truly fun thing to work with, for me. The fact that it's just a little bit bigger and marginally heavier than a plus model iPhone and yet can return near-medium-format digital quality when used right makes it a wonderful choice for my travel and bicycling use.

Whether someone should get involved with one now, well, that's up to how much you enjoy these sorts of challenges with known-dead-end cameras. I find it a lot of fun. :D

G
 

AlanS

Well-known member
Thankyou for your very thorough explanation. The size and quality of the camera and resulting images is very interesting, it is a great pity that it is now a cul-de-sac but if I could get hold of one at a reasomable price I may give it a try. Please keep posting your results!
 

Godfrey

Well-known member
Here are today's Light L16 photos.

I was on my usual Saturday Morning Ride to breakfast and such. As I reached my turnaround point at the south end of the airport, I thought, "hmm, this would be a good place to get a couple of new shots of me and the bike..." And then I saw this curious graffiti. So I made a few exposures ...


Curious Graffiti
Light L16
ISO 100 @ f/15 @ 1/500 @ 35mm[/I]


GDG and SBG #1
Light L16
ISO 100 @ f/3.5 @ 1/2700 @ 28mm



GDG and SBG #2
Light L16
ISO 100 @ f/2 @ 1/700 @ 28mm

Not the sharpest self-portraits since there was nothing for me to set the focus on ahead of working the shutter and letting the self timer run 10 seconds, but acceptable at this size rendering. :)

enjoy!
G
 

scho

Well-known member
I hadn't used my L16 since early June and since I've recently been re-visiting my legacy cameras before deciding which to keep and which to sell I pulled out the L16 again for some trials. I actually requested a quote from mpb but they were not at all interested in buying it so If I do decide to sell it will have to be on eBay or a buy/sell forum.

 
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