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Thread: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

  1. #51
    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Talking Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Hi Roger


    Well . . . I've been doing testing for a few months, and then I've been methodical - and of course, with different firmware versions things have changed.

    The last few weeks (after the release and the official firmware) I've just 'gone with the flow'.

    I don't need to see side by side comparisons to understand the capabilities of the equipment . . . because I don't believe they ever tell you more than how the camera will perform in a set lighting environment, and I'm never shooting in a set lighting environment.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not criticising that kind of information, and I read it avidly. But when I'm shooting, it all ends up back with instinct and experience, and other peoples' experience with bowls of fruit, or rows of bottles . . however rigorous it may be, simply isn't terribly helpful.

    My photography is the one area of my life where I DON'T need to be rigorous and scientific, and for me the Leica embodies that kind of free spirit. But I realise that's my idiosyncracy.
    Jono

    Not trying to be a smart ***....but you were the beta tester and shot 6000 images in all kinds of situations. You have the perfect test..your own work.
    But ....I am in this case the reviewer of your report? I would hope you are satisfied and don t need side by sides. No reviewers test is a substitute for your own work.

    But ..I started the thead with an observation about Sean Reid s tests and how to interpret them. I consider Sean s tests the gold standard for testing equipment. He busts his butt to give you the same tests he uses...along with his real world experience. I have already given my POV but hey ..what do I know? That was the point of the thread.

    I sure hope you are correct and even conservative in the improvements. Its easy to see a step up in resolution and micro contrast in your images....which are excellent examples of the true Leica photographer.

    Lets see what Marc says after he uses an M8 and an M9 on the same wedding...this is a perfect test for my concerns.

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    Jono

    Not trying to be a smart ***....but you were the beta tester and shot 6000 images in all kinds of situations. You have the perfect test..your own work.
    But ....I am in this case the reviewer of your report? I would hope you are satisfied and don t need side by sides. No reviewers test is a substitute for your own work.

    But ..I started the thead with an observation about Sean Reid s tests and how to interpret them. I consider Sean s tests the gold standard for testing equipment. He busts his butt to give you the same tests he uses...along with his real world experience. I have already given my POV but hey ..what do I know? That was the point of the thread.

    I sure hope you are correct and even conservative in the improvements. Its easy to see a step up in resolution and micro contrast in your images....which are excellent examples of the true Leica photographer.

    Lets see what Marc says after he uses an M8 and an M9 on the same wedding...this is a perfect test for my concerns.
    Roger and Juno .... I think both of you would agree that there is some value in both rigorous clinical tests and real world response in the hands of skilled users. It is just a matter of degree how one personally weighs one verses the other.

    Until camera makers start providing 3 month demo loaners to everyone, many people can only rely on clinical data mixed with other people's real world experiences ... which may or may not meet your shooting criteria.

    However, we must remember that this is not infallible ... it took about two days for the IR contamination to be discovered after the launch of the M8 .... a camera that was both clinically tested, and beta tested by skilled hands in the real world for months.

    Personally, I am a visceral type photographer ... in the end what other people say or show has limited value in my decision making process. I LOVE looking at other people's work, and to a limited degree will look at/read or even participate in "tests" ... but in the end the final decision lands squarely on what the e-contact sheet looks like over-all, and how the prints for my clients look.

    I do NOT need to shoot this camera side-by-side with anything including my M8 at a wedding to know it delivers. I've shot so many weddings and related assignments I can immediately tell if a camera is going to cut it, and how well it'll do against what I already have in my gear closet.

    The minute I opened yesterday's assignment and looked at the Browser full of over 200 M9 shots I was sold.

    For me, for my applications, Leica has produced a real winner.

    Not a perfect camera, not an end-all camera, just the best digital rangefinder in the world (depending on how long it stays reliable ). I'll go one step further ... again "for me and my uses" ... short of my 39 meg MFD camera this is now the best " image maker" I have in the bag.

    I then did something I very, very rarely do ... I called my friend Irakly and told him to dump everything he could and go for a M9. In his incomparable hands this camera will sing a full opera with endless standing ovations

    Now back to my processing as I have a client here @ 10:30AM.

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    Administrator Bob's Avatar
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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    I have sort of a hybrid approach.
    First and most important I have to pleased with the results.
    Second (and I am probably a bit obsessed) I have to figure out technically why I am pleased or not.
    Sometimes I am tickled pink with technical near-perfection, sometimes it is the non-perfection that provides character. Sitting in my cabinet are both clinically near-perfect and old technically crappy but luscious lenses.
    I do find, that for my own taste, I tend to use the more perfect as a matter of habit, and haul out the lenses with "character" for special purposes.
    -bob

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Marc, tell Irakly to post his M9 images here. I would be very interested to see his take.
    Mike

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    However, we must remember that this is not infallible ... it took about two days for the IR contamination to be discovered after the launch of the M8 .... a camera that was both clinically tested, and beta tested by skilled hands in the real world for months.
    IF you remember, the reviewers were well aware of the IR issue, just chose not to let us know. Its a question of where do their loyalties lie, with their readers or the companies? They lost their credibility for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    I do NOT need to shoot this camera side-by-side with anything including my M8 at a wedding to know it delivers. I've shot so many weddings and related assignments I can immediately tell if a camera is going to cut it, and how well it'll do against what I already have in my gear closet.

    The minute I opened yesterday's assignment and looked at the Browser full of over 200 M9 shots I was sold.

    For me, for my applications, Leica has produced a real winner.

    Not a perfect camera, not an end-all camera, just the best digital rangefinder in the world (depending on how long it stays reliable ). I'll go one step further ... again "for me and my uses" ... short of my 39 meg MFD camera this is now the best " image maker" I have in the bag.

    I then did something I very, very rarely do ... I called my friend Irakly and told him to dump everything he could and go for a M9. In his incomparable hands this camera will sing a full opera with endless standing ovations
    I guess you can judge a camera without spending months with it, !
    Looking forward to seeing some of your shots Marc.

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by mwalker View Post
    Marc, tell Irakly to post his M9 images here. I would be very interested to see his take.
    Well, we will have to wait until he gets one to shoot, and it ain't gonna be mine ...

    Although I have loaned him my M8 at a wedding we were shooting, and he made that sucker sing also. He has a M8 now.

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    For me it all comes down to results I trust from a reviewer whose motives I trust...

    Seeing what the camera can do in the hands of a capable photographer like Guy, Jono, Marc or you Roger, mean a lot more to me than a formal review because they use their camera the way I will be using mine. Their observations about how the camera handles, control layout, UI, etc, are usually right in line with I experience when I get around to picking the same camera up, and moreover, their experiences working with the files in how to get the most from them as well as final file quality usually echo my own experience and save me a bunch of getting up to speed time. In the end, I just feel more comfortable relying on their results.

    My .02,
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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Jack,
    I am glad you said the above. After reading through the thread, I was just about to post the same. To me, it is more valuable to read even a disjointed and rambling review (truly no offense to you, Guy) with lots of images under normal real world shooting conditions, than anything else. The "rigorous" tests and more lab-like testing is also good, as it helps quantify and compare things that some folks may find important, but overall, a variety of shots under all sorts of lighting, weather, etc., then processed simply, provide more practical information to me. While I have appreciated reading most of the reviews, nothing tells the story like images from a user one trusts to just put them out there, unvarnished, with minimal tweaking.

    LJ

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    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    The whole detailed testing thing seems almost foreign to me. I know, it's not a mature attitude. There's a part of me that feels like I "should" pay attention. And I do try to follow some of them. In fact I'm sure I've benefitted from at least one of them in some way in the past. I mean, the odds are that I MUST have right? Maybe I passed on a lens that was really, really crappy and I discovered that fact through someone else's rigorous testing.

    In a strange way it's a bit like sex (isn't everything?), everyone has their own turn-ons and turn-offs. While I do pay attention when someone here or in a venue I trust says a certain piece of equipment is a dog, what really, really turns me on is a stellar shot. A fantastic capture with drool-for color or depth or 3-D-ishness. A shot that gives me a tingle. THEN I want the thing. THEN I really want to be able to do that.

    Those kinds of titillating shots appear here on this forum from time to time and nudge me in one direction or another more than any test shot ever taken. I find that as I get a little older my desires have become more diverse. I can get almost equally turned on by shots taken with a D3X, an S2, an M9, or an A900. All the brick wall tests on the other hand are well... sort of "missionary position" by comparison.

    Still, a lot of people do tend to get all excited by a rousing round of fruit bowl test shots. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

  10. #60
    Member beamon's Avatar
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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    I judge an ice cream maker's product by their vanilla. But, if you prefer chocolate or even, {gasp} strawberry, that's fine and I'll still respect you in the morning!
    Roger
    Leica M6, M8.2 & assorted Leica glass

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    I enjoyed Jonos write up and photos quite a bit. I am a real world kind of guy and appreciate seeing what the camera can do in a good photographers hands. I SHOULD be getting my M9 next week and can't wait to put it to good use! So far I am enjoying the real world users reports I have seen and hope to see more!

    Steve
    Leica M8, M9 & Lens Reviews!
    http://www.stevehuffphoto.com

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by LJL View Post
    Jack,
    I am glad you said the above. After reading through the thread, I was just about to post the same. To me, it is more valuable to read even a disjointed and rambling review (truly no offense to you, Guy) with lots of images under normal real world shooting conditions, than anything else. The "rigorous" tests and more lab-like testing is also good, as it helps quantify and compare things that some folks may find important, but overall, a variety of shots under all sorts of lighting, weather, etc., then processed simply, provide more practical information to me. While I have appreciated reading most of the reviews, nothing tells the story like images from a user one trusts to just put them out there, unvarnished, with minimal tweaking.

    LJ
    I will actually take that as a compliment to be honest.

    Look here is how I review this stuff and it all comes down to use. I honestly could care less how it actually gets made, or what the frequency pattern of the Ad converter does or not do if there is one such thing. I go into these this things with a open book and think out loud and you bet it is scrambled because everything is like a puzzle you have all these parts and you need to connect them. There is no order to it and i truly believe people learn it better than reading a document that put's you to sleep. I read something and after 5 minutes my thought is so where's the beef here . Does it do this or that and can i make it work for me. I'm like Jack if Marc for example says something than I listen just like he is printing these images if say Guy these things rock , I don't have to question it or figure out why I just know it does.
    Other things like trusting someone is key if is working for them and they are showing you images that prove it than all doubt is gone. My M9 report was purposely done to show as many images as I can shoot than let folks have the DNG and try it themselves. This way they can see for themselves and judge instead of getting it rammed down your throat.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Tim,
    I understand your thinking and feeling here. Probably share the same feelings at times. That being said, some of the testing is really useful, though can be mind-numbing at times. The brick wall shots you mention are a good example, but they really do help when deciding if a particular lens can be counted on to deliver what you may want or need whenever you are going to shoot something yourself. One of the problems is that those "brick wall" shots are sometimes not accompanied by other useful and attractive shots that help create some of that inspiration you mention. Not all testers are artists, so it is good to see the blending of things on a forum like this, where you can get the details and inspiration at the same time. It is also good to see real world shooting and processing for where that matters. It is good to know that a camera can deliver a good file that is robust, but looks pretty good from the start. From that point, one can employ all the post processing they desire to get the art they want. For folks that may have to or want to deliver volume shots, like an event, or wedding, or that kind of need, knowing that the images one is looking at for review have come from a normal sampling of many hundreds of shots taken under normal shooting conditions, and have gone through minimal processing is helpful to evaluate things, rather than one or two shots that may have been massaged through dozens of steps of who knows what process or skill level to produce an image or two meant to dazzle or impress. Are you being impressed by the camera and what it can deliver, or by the skills of the processing, or by the artistic composition and subject? All do matter, so being able to view and separate the parts in different ways helps a lot. Just my thoughts.

    LJ

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    I do NOT need to shoot this camera side-by-side with anything including my M8 at a wedding to know it delivers. I've shot so many weddings and related assignments I can immediately tell if a camera is going to cut it, and how well it'll do against what I already have in my gear closet.

    The minute I opened yesterday's assignment and looked at the Browser full of over 200 M9 shots I was sold.
    HI Marc
    It took me twenty four hours to realise. At that time, every time you switched the camera off the menus reverted to German, and about one in a hundred shots had delightful purple zigzags over it. Firmware was 0.015 (oh yes, I remember).

    It was this shot which did it for me . . .


    I'm not even sure why. Sure, I've been doing lots of methodical testing, and I'll probably do more, but right now I'm simply enjoying it.

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by TRSmith View Post
    All the brick wall tests on the other hand are well... sort of "missionary position" by comparison.
    As long as it gets the job done...

    Why would any shot compel anyone to buy a camera (I can imagine someone wanting a print of that shot.)?

    Aren't there other factors (cost, reliability, and such mundane factors) to consider?

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    You mean the drop test i tried it but half way down I realized it was Leica's gear so i put my foot out to break the fall. Don't repeat this too loud though. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Hope your foot is OK, Guy.

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by LJL View Post
    Jack,
    I am glad you said the above. After reading through the thread, I was just about to post the same. To me, it is more valuable to read even a disjointed and rambling review (truly no offense to you, Guy) with lots of images under normal real world shooting conditions, than anything else. The "rigorous" tests and more lab-like testing is also good, as it helps quantify and compare things that some folks may find important, but overall, a variety of shots under all sorts of lighting, weather, etc., then processed simply, provide more practical information to me. While I have appreciated reading most of the reviews, nothing tells the story like images from a user one trusts to just put them out there, unvarnished, with minimal tweaking.

    LJ
    The only part of that I do not agree with is the "minimal tweaking" part.

    This is a rangefinder ... as fast moving piece of gear used in less than ideal conditions quite a bit of the time. I can't imaging shooting available light with a M7 and going into the dark room and just souping and printing it.

    I am far more interested in how well a M9 file takes pushing around. How well does it convert to B&W? How much placidity does it has to manipulate lights and darks when the lighting is well beyond the dynamic range of any camera made? How do my PS actions work on the files? How well does it handle mix lighting? And so on.

    In other words how well does it help me realize my own vision and what I want my photography to look like?

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Appreciate all the input on how to evaluate different testing methods etc. And I will concede that the ultimate test is in the hands of the photographer and the best possible application of the tool.

    The performance of the M9 will surely exceed any IQ requirements that I will have . When will Atlanta stop raining?

    Low light performance has been the weakest part of the M8 and the most important part of improving my street. As I indicated before holding shadow detail without burning out highlights is a neat trick. Color is a little different at night and as ISO increases you seem to loose color depth. This is true of every digital sensor. Miss your exposure by 1/2 stop and you can t make it work (or at least I can t ). So maybe that will help with the context of my initial post.

    As far as I am concerned Sean Reid is the most respected equipment evaluator both for the rigorous testing methods and for his getting to the essence of what matters in real life situations. I look to his reviews not to make a buying decision but to understand what to look for in my own tests. I guess if you already know how to "read the xray" ....great . This is why I recommended the links to DXO sensor evaluations...because you can see the issues and know what to look for.

    Let me provide a few examples of what I learned about the M8(from the technical reports).

    1. The noise at 1250 is about all I can stand without "magic post processing" and even then the images will be lost in the selection process when I edit...because they will not be good enough.

    2. The limits of DR and color saturation are at 640. Stop beating a dead horse trying to make 1250 work. And yes ....sometimes the moment ,light etc carries the image. DR range at 640 provides about 1EV of pull back in the shadows.

    I try to never use more than 640 .....use my fastest lenses wide open and take great care with the shadows.....

    I have seen countless posts over at the LUF about high ISO performanceof the M9 ..most of which prove the opposite of what the poster has concluded. So I think consistent with others I have to draw my own conclusions .



    Since Sean s reports provide one of the only side by side comparisons .....you can see some evidence of the differences. Guy explained this in his post on CCD verse CMOS...there are trade offs. The CCD sensors tend to have a more dramatic drop off in high ISO performance. You can see that in every test ...but how does it compare to the most common benchmark (my M8).


    We have had input form 4 very competent but very different photographers..that they don t need tests to see the improvement in high iso performance? So are sean s tests irrelevant ?

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    The only part of that I do not agree with is the "minimal tweaking" part.

    This is a rangefinder ... as fast moving piece of gear used in less than ideal conditions quite a bit of the time. I can't imaging shooting available light with a M7 and going into the dark room and just souping and printing it.

    I am far more interested in how well a M9 file takes pushing around. How well does it convert to B&W? How much placidity does it has to manipulate lights and darks when the lighting is well beyond the dynamic range of any camera made? How do my PS actions work on the files? How well does it handle mix lighting? And so on.

    In other words how well does it help me realize my own vision and what I want my photography to look like?
    Marc,
    I really do not think we are in disagreement here at all. Having files that are robust and can be "pushed around" are important. It is also valuable to see just how the camera renders something straight up so you know what you have to start with. If the DR sucks, you are not going to get that back. If the gamut covered is compressed, you are not going to be able to open it and exploit it. If the color balance is way off to start, you may be sacrificing other things to get to where you want to be. If there is a lot of noise, it will compromise your final treatment in many ways. That is why I was saying it is good to have images posted that have minimal tweaking, along with files made available that one can test their own processes that you mention. It is also valuable to see captures under actual shooting conditions, not just static tests.

    That all goes for the image file/processing part. You are correct.....if the camera itself does not help you create or realize that vision you have, and in a way that is fluid and second nature, when you need it to be, then I consider that a handicap in its own way. One of the reasons why I have never really been attracted to things like view cameras or larger format. To me, the Leica has always been a tool that was meant to be an extension of what you see and want to capture. The M8 just took a lot more attention to get those results, in my mind, compared to what the older film versions delivered, or now what the M9 is delivering for you folks that are testing and using it.

    Did I misread what you were saying?

    LJ

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    So are sean s tests irrelevant ?
    Not at all what I was trying to say Roger. Just saying I look to photographers whose work and commentary I respect.

    Sean's tests may in fact be very good, but I no longer subscribe to his site, so cannot say one way or the other now. If you like them and glean helpful data from them, then it sounds like it's worth the cost of admission for your purposes -- but for me, it isn't and why I stepped off that train a few years back...

    Cheers,
    Jack
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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    I am far more interested in how well a M9 file takes pushing around. How well does it convert to B&W? How much placidity does it has to manipulate lights and darks when the lighting is well beyond the dynamic range of any camera made? How do my PS actions work on the files? How well does it handle mix lighting? And so on.

    In other words how well does it help me realize my own vision and what I want my photography to look like?
    Well said Marc. That is exactly what matters to me in my testing of a camera. I personally don't understand all those MTF charts and whatever. Too technical for me. To me it sounds like seeing your wife delivering a baby and trying to think about sex No magic, no creativity.

    But I guess that is just my thought.

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post

    It was this shot which did it for me . . .


    I'm not even sure why. Sure, I've been doing lots of methodical testing, and I'll probably do more, but right now I'm simply enjoying it.
    Jono,
    I have come back to this shot several times already, and I have to say that I really find it just flat out gorgeous. Not even going to try to explain my feelings about it either.....this one just clicks so beautifully. Thanks for sharing this one with your thoughts.

    LJ

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Why would any shot compel anyone to buy a camera (I can imagine someone wanting a print of that shot.)?

    Aren't there other factors (cost, reliability, and such mundane factors) to consider?
    Absolutely. But it's been my experience that new products aren't out there for more than about 30 seconds before someone discovers all their flaws and strengths (I'm exaggerating, but you know what I mean.) All the "big" stuff is easy to find and talked to death.

    But when I see someone working magic with a camera, it makes me want it. Can I achieve the same magic? Probably not. But their example shows me what's possible and what the real potential is far more than a dry, elaborate, technical write-up. And it could be ANY camera. When I see what some have done with a camera like the DP1 for example, I consider how it might work for me. Further reading and scanning on various threads and forums reveals that oops, it's slower than hell. Ahhh, ok. Decision made. And not a single technical term.

    It works for me. I love cameras, but like cars, I like using them more than buying them.

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    When a fine photographer, such as Jono, posts a lovely image, it does feed the gear acquisition reflex.
    I almost bought an A900 too
    -bob

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by TRSmith View Post
    When I see what some have done with a camera like the DP1 for example, I consider how it might work for me. Further reading and scanning on various threads and forums reveals that oops, it's slower than hell. Ahhh, ok. Decision made. And not a single technical term.
    Understood.

    I did not buy the A900 (won't buy an A850 either- nothing to do with Jono). It is an ISO200 camera as many users keep saying.

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    HI Marc


    It was this shot which did it for me . . .
    Very sexy shot Jono!

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    d about one in a hundred shots had delightful purple zigzags over it.
    Well now it sounds like Leica is finally designing a camera for me

    I suppose I'm in the majority camp here - reviews from people who I "trust" get a fair amount of weight. I generally rail against machine tests and brick wall shots but they do have their place. For instance, the Pentax 16-50* lens is notorious for QC issues. When you buy one, a quick set of brick wall shots will instantly tell you if you have a good copy or a bad copy. And Dxo gives you some data to help with decisions, as long as you understand that EVERY machine test has some form of bias, and the results must be interpreted accordingly.

    So for me it is a combination of some "objective" data, but probably more comments by people who I "know" (usually only digitally) and their subjective impressions. When you can collect enough of the latter you can usually get a feel for what will and won't work with you. The a900 is a perfect example. I looked at some of Jono's files and they were gorgeous. But the consensus is that you can't really shoot that camera at 3200 or 6400 and get a decent file without a lot of work. Since I need to shoot up there, it fell off my list despite the wonderful glass. Once could argue that it is worth it to buy the glass and hope that the a950 (or whatever) becomes a better hi iso machine, but I don't believe in buying in anticipation of vaporware.

    The beautiful images (like Jono's above) just help me to realize that the gear is not the limiting factor. The M9, in capable hands, can capture the slice of time. The question really becomes one of *my* needs/wants and preferences, and how well the tool fits. One can always change the way they work (as I've had to do going from Pentax to Canon for dSLR), but at some point there are limits to how much you can change, and whether you're working with or against the tool. Sadly, only some period of personal experience can tell you that.

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    ... it took about two days for the IR contamination to be discovered after the launch of the M8 ....
    I wonder if that was a case of the "Emperor's clothes" where the "skilled testers" did not want to point out the IR contamination to Leica as a big enough problem.

    Leica themselves were clearly aware of the IR problem but a bit foolishly assumed that it would not be noticed. Of course as soon as it got out of the hands of the "skilled testers" and out into the real world, the whole thing blew up in a day.
    A900 with a few lenses, flashes etc.

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    HI There
    Quote Originally Posted by roweraay View Post
    I wonder if that was a case of the "Emperor's clothes" where the "skilled testers" did not want to point out the IR contamination to Leica as a big enough problem.
    I don't think it's quite that. . . but it's true that when you're testing you get bound up with the intent, and there is a temptation to tread lightly about things. I can easily see how this happened. I'd guess that this time around those of us who were testing didn't want the embarrassment of having missed something which the internet community could find in two days! (certainly that was true of me).
    Quote Originally Posted by roweraay View Post
    Leica themselves were clearly aware of the IR problem but a bit foolishly assumed that it would not be noticed. Of course as soon as it got out of the hands of the "skilled testers" and out into the real world, the whole thing blew up in a day.
    I Don't think that's quite it either - with a rangefinder IR is always going to be a compromise (as it was with the M9 as well).
    If you said that they were clearly aware of the 'issue', then I'd agree - I don't believe that they assumed it wouldn't be noticed, I think they believed that the compromise was a good one (and they were clearly very wrong) without ever really considering whether it would be noticed or not.

    I think that it's also clear that Leica have learned a lot about communication (there are now FAQs on the website about IR and the compromise - and the testers have been encouraged to talk about their experiences and to publish pictures).

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Thanks for the kind words about the Azeri Restaurant shot.

    What I was trying to say, is
    Will that camera allow me to take the photos I want?

    If the answer is YES, then reviews and tests simply become interesting (or not, as the case may be). If you can't try out the camera then the tests may help you to answer that question (but they are never going to go all the way).

    As for brick wall tests. I nearly always use our brick wall to check out new lenses to make sure that they're okay - it's quick and easy and it works.

    The high ISO noise issue is rather different - Various tests have rather suggested that there is no difference significant between the M8 and the M9 (apart from the sensor size) . I don't take issue with those results, but in the 'real world' I'm finding that properly exposed ISO 2500 shots are often useable (when they weren't with the M8) I'm clearly not alone in this. It may actually be to do with a different colour response, different IR response etc. just looking at the noise levels may only be part of the equation.

    So, testing is useful, but the very process of making the test 'meaningful', i.e. carefully controlling the variables and taking shots in test conditions, may actually be making them less useful, as most of us take our pictures in uncontrolled conditions, and those excluded variables may actually be important.

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Hope youre not using a cornish wall Jono,youll end up with holgas,,,,,,wellcome back,

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by nei1 View Post
    Hope youre not using a cornish wall Jono,youll end up with holgas,,,,,,wellcome back,
    I wish . . . it's a suffolk wall I'm afraid! (mind you, it's quite wonky, Emma wouldn't let the builder use a plumline )

    Thanks for the welcomeback.

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by ddk View Post
    IF you remember, the reviewers were well aware of the IR issue, just chose not to let us know. Its a question of where do their loyalties lie, with their readers or the companies? They lost their credibility for me.

    c.
    HI David
    I think this is pretty unfair (especially as this thread refers to Sean Reid's review). He saw the effect straight away (as did some others) working out what it was took a little longer, but there was absolutely no question of "choosing not to let us know" that is quite a big accusation, and I'm actually not sure that it's true of any of the reviewers.

    Loyalties are a tricky thing in these circumstances, of course, every reviewer's loyalty is (or should be) to their audience, however, if you find something wrong it's only fair to refer it back to the company concerned before trumpeting it from the rooftops (not least to get a proper handle on it and provide the best possible information to the audience). I don't believe for a minute that reviewers were deliberately deciding not to inform the public. Especially not Sean (who is, or was, the subject of this thread).

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Hi Jono,

    I wasn't talking about Sean in particular, it was more of a generalization. If you remember SR came out and pleaded ignorance (?) of the IR problem, LL took the high road and apologized for not mentioning it while Askey decided not to run their M8 review until Leica came clean with the facts. Many users discovered the IR issue within 24 hrs of the camera hitting the streets and the other two sites knew all about it, SR had the M8 for an extended period and according to you saw it straight away but not even a word about it in his rave review. He didn't have to solve issue just mention it! After all it was always there, wasn't it? and he charges people for in depth reviews doesn't he?

    I'm not shouting on any rooftop nor saying anything new Jono, all this was common knowledge at the time. I've been in business for over 30 years and know all about allegiances and relationships.
    Last edited by ddk; 24th September 2009 at 05:50.

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    David,

    first of all, I wasn't in the market for an M8 at the time it was released, so while I do understand the anger which must have been felt by those who invested in the system very early on the strength of reviews... I'm also quite separated from the debate.

    I do, however, subscribe to Sean Reid's site... so your thinly veiled accusations towards Sean's credibility are very troubling - I went and quickly scanned Sean's 4 part in-depth review of the M8, and he does explain exactly how the issue was brought to his attention and how he helped with the analysis of the problem.

    Rather than paraphrase or misrepresent Sean, I dropped him an e-mail requesting the facts in case you're interested...

    Here's his word on this :

    "In my M8 review (of image quality) I published several color pictures that showed IR color shifts but I did not initially see that problem in them. Neither did the thousands of people who saw those sample pictures. The challenge is that when one is photographing strangers in a crowd its hard to remember what color clothing everyone was wearing. The people who saw those sample pictures also had no way of knowing, for example, what colors the firemen's uniforms really were. The fruits and vegetables I photographed for the color/noise tests didn't show a noticeable IR color shift problem. So I did miss the problem at first, as did many reviewers.

    Shortly afterwards, I was part of a thread on the LUF in which the IR problem surfaced. Once I could confirm this in my own tests (which are in the reviews) I reported on it and requested an official statement from Leica. I then began extensive coverage of the M8 and IR, filters, cyan drift, etc. All of this was on my site long before most reviews of the M8 were even published. In fact, long after I had published a lot of information about the M8 and IR, the problem still went unmentioned in some reviews."

    Hope that helps.

    Kind Regards

    Brian
    Last edited by Brian Mosley; 24th September 2009 at 06:45.

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Hi Brian,

    I wasn't angry at Sean or any reviewer, I was simply disappointed with the product and only became angry when I had hell of a time returning it. I'm not veiling anything nor accusing, my initial comments weren't directed at anyone specific. Jono brought up Sean and I remember reading his review, along with others, and there was no mention of the IR problem until people had the camera in their hand, this is a fact and not an accusation, the follow up excuses were after people started protesting. It also came up in several places that Leica had asked the reviewers not to mention the problem for the time being!

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    HI David
    Quote Originally Posted by ddk View Post
    Hi Jono,

    I wasn't talking about Sean in particular, it was more of a generalization. If you remember SR came out and pleaded ignorance (?) of the IR problem, LL took the high road and apologized for not mentioning it while Askey decided not to run their M8 review until Leica came clean with the facts. Many users discovered the IR issue within 24 hrs of the camera hitting the streets and the other two sites knew all about it, SR had the M8 for an extended period and according to you saw it straight away but not even a word about it in his rave review. He didn't have to solve issue just mention it! After all it was always there, wasn't it? and he charges people for in depth reviews doesn't he?

    I'm not shouting on any rooftop nor saying anything new Jono, all this was common knowledge at the time. I've been in business for over 30 years and know all about allegiances and relationships.
    After I posted that last, I did a bit of delving and unfortunately, having delved I was too late to edit it. When I said that he had 'seen it' straight away it might have implied that he recognised it - in retrospect it's clear that although he took photographs of it, he did not recognise it.

    As you say Askey decided not to run it until Leica came clean, LL apologised for not mentioning it.

    SR quite clearly didn't recognise the problem until after the first image quality review was posted (see Brian's post above) - Most of us didn't see it either, it's hardly culpable as it's not what one was looking for (In doing the M9 testing I was astonished at how many people really do wear purple tops!). He did publish a lot about it once he became aware of it.

    I should apologise for being ambigous - it's so easy to criticise people, and the critique sticks. I think it's pretty important to get things absolutely right when peoples' reputations depend on it.

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by ddk View Post
    Hi Brian,

    I wasn't angry at Sean or any reviewer, I was simply disappointed with the product and only became angry when I had hell of a time returning it. I'm not veiling anything nor accusing, my initial comments weren't directed at anyone specific. Jono brought up Sean and I remember reading his review, along with others, and there was no mention of the IR problem until people had the camera in their hand, this is a fact and not an accusation, the follow up excuses were after people started protesting. It also came up in several places that Leica had asked the reviewers not to mention the problem for the time being!

    The reason I brought him up, was because this thread is about his review of the M9 and because it was clear that when he wrote his review of the M8 he didn't know about the IR effect (as many others didn't) - retrospectively it could be seen in his photographs, but not at the time. Whereas your post was tarring all reviewers with the same brush and the fact that this thread bears his name makes the implication obvious.

    Your implied accusation is that he knew about it and didn't say so. this is not a fact, it is a non fact.

    You are now implying that he was asked by Leica not to mention the problem. I've no idea whether other reviewers were asked to hold fire, or even whether Sean was - what is perfectly clear is that:

    as soon as SR became aware of the IR issue he wrote about it on his website

    If you are going to imply something else then you'll need to produce evidence to back it up, and if you aren't meaning to imply it then you should probably say so.

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Jono,

    I agree that it's important to get the facts right before criticizing Sean or anyone else. I think it is at least as important to get the facts right before posting a review of a camera or other product. The reviewers understand that they will be relied upon for advise as to expensive purchases.

    The hundreds of posts about the online camera review world include too many that defend the rights of the reviewers and minimize the rights of the consumers of their reviews. My concern is that there be transparency in the review world. It seems like we've only begun to approach that recently.

    Steve

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    And all reviewers are human, many with their own unique methodologies. Lots of things are easy to miss unless the reviewer has a specific test for that particular characteristic built-in to their methodology.
    That is one reason why no review can be complete.
    Now the review I like best is to get the camera in MY hands and shoot about 1000 frames. That is my preferred way of deciding if I like it or not.
    Unfortunately, at the Oregon Workshop I will have to share with the other attendees unless Leica is so generous as to provide us with MANY M9s.
    -bob

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by stephengilbert View Post
    Jono,

    I agree that it's important to get the facts right before criticizing Sean or anyone else. I think it is at least as important to get the facts right before posting a review of a camera or other product. The reviewers understand that they will be relied upon for advise as to expensive purchases.

    The hundreds of posts about the online camera review world include too many that defend the rights of the reviewers and minimize the rights of the consumers of their reviews. My concern is that there be transparency in the review world. It seems like we've only begun to approach that recently.

    Steve
    Hi Steve
    Before the debacle with the M8, IR was something which really wasn't discussed with respect to cameras (at least, on a very small scale). Added to which, in Sean's case, most of his output is black and white.

    Having spent 3 months testing I understand how impossible it is to look at everything - one is testing for specific issues, and it's incredibly easy to miss other issues - especially ones which are so difficult to see, and the IR issue is really tough.

    Reviewers have a duty to be honest (I quite agree), but they don't have a duty to be perfect (at least, I don't think so). To say something is right when it's wrong is dishonesty, to say nothing at all (because you didn't notice it) is simply being imperfect.

    The general public on the other hand has a duty not to make implications of dishonesty unless they are pretty sure they're right.

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    What is interesting to me is that the Leica RF (camera and lenses) are very simple cameras compared to the ones from Sony, Nikon, Canon, etc.

    There isn't much to "review" about...

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    And all reviewers are human, many with their own unique methodologies. Lots of things are easy to miss unless the reviewer has a specific test for that particular characteristic built-in to their methodology.
    That is one reason why no review can be complete.
    Now the review I like best is to get the camera in MY hands and shoot about 1000 frames. That is my preferred way of deciding if I like it or not.
    Unfortunately, at the Oregon Workshop I will have to share with the other attendees unless Leica is so generous as to provide us with MANY M9s.
    -bob
    Quite right bob - if you're in the neighbourhood you're welcome to have a go with mine (and have a beer to go with it!)

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  45. #95
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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Lucky you Jono if youve been able to keep it!

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    probably some, but not the same as an M9, the M8 will still have an 8-bit data path without further hw upgrades, and the gains in NR would likely be in the shadows mostly, not mid-tones.

    I think the M8's noise levels are fine. Use fast lenses, and if still too noisy, shoot in b/w

    Quote Originally Posted by kitty View Post
    Is it possible that M8 noise could be improved same to M9 by new firmware? I am still happy with M8 and plan to use it for a while.
    My Photography Blog here

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Quite right bob - if you're in the neighbourhood you're welcome to have a go with mine (and have a beer to go with it!)
    Next week I will be in Hampshire. Unfortunately not close enough I am afraid.
    -bob

  48. #98
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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Dear Jono,

    This is now heading somewhere that was never my intention. I'm sorry if my tone is such that it implies double talk. My original comment about not trusting reviews in general was just that, a general comment with no one in mind. I much prefer to read people's experiences, like yours and enjoy the way Guy goes about shooting and writing, over professional reviews, nothing more.

    Please read what I wrote, I said that I read that Leica had asked reviewers not to comment on the IR issue, never said anything about Sean. Please read if for yourself, scroll down to the bottom of the page, Nov. 11, 2006, Clarification;

    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/re...leica-m8.shtml

    "I discovered these during my initial testing and put them in my review. I then sent my draft review to Leica, as I always do with manufacturers, for their comments. The company subsequently requested that I hold off mentioning these latter items because they were looking into them and hoped to have a response in short order. I acquiesced to this request, not wanting to delay my review, and expecting that I would be able to publish a follow-up quickly that not only mentioned these problems but also their potential solution.

    This did not happen. Instead, after the problems because obvious to new users and were being discussed openly on net forums, Leica eventually published a statement..."


    Regarding Sean, since you bring him up and instead of you reading into what I'm writing, let me spell it out.

    - His initial reviews never mentioned a word about the IR issue and there was tons of praise for the M8. This is a fact, you can check it out. Am I critical of this review? Yes, and as a paid subscriber at the time I have a right to be.

    - An explanation for not including it in his reviews was given once, the proverbial $hit hit the fan and not before. This is also there dated and in black and white. I'm not making anything up here!

    Since you asked, this next part is entirely my own feelings and conclusions regarding the issue. I might be wrong but I was never really convinced by Sean's excuses, the M8 launch was a huge event at the time and it was a relatively long term test period with everyone talking about it. I have a very hard time believing that none of the chosen 500 (according to Reichmann) talked to one another or at least Michael and Sean didn't compare notes during that time. I respect Reichmann for not making excuses and coming clean, what happened was understandble.

    Call me a cynic if you want to, but that's who I am...

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    HI David
    I don't think we disagree about the actual events at all. So I'll trim the first bit, and leave the dead horse because I like it so much
    Quote Originally Posted by ddk View Post
    Regarding Sean, since you bring him up and instead of you reading into what I'm writing, let me spell it out.

    - His initial reviews never mentioned a word about the IR issue and there was tons of praise for the M8. This is a fact, you can check it out. Am I critical of this review? Yes, and as a paid subscriber at the time I have a right to be.

    - An explanation for not including it in his reviews was given once, the proverbial $hit hit the fan and not before. This is also there dated and in black and white. I'm not making anything up here!
    Absolutely - this is what I said I quite agree - the initial review didn't mention it, and he said nothing about it until the proverbial hit the fan. He says this is because he didn't know about it until then, and I don't see any evidence to believe otherwise . . . innocent until proved guilty etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by ddk View Post
    Since you asked, this next part is entirely my own feelings and conclusions regarding the issue. I might be wrong but I was never really convinced by Sean's excuses, the M8 launch was a huge event at the time and it was a relatively long term test period with everyone talking about it. I have a very hard time believing that none of the chosen 500 (according to Reichmann) talked to one another or at least Michael and Sean didn't compare notes during that time. I respect Reichmann for not making excuses and coming clean, what happened was understandble.
    Well, my experience here was that other testers really didn't talk to each other - of course, not being a reviewer, I don't know whether they talk to each other or not.

    Quote Originally Posted by ddk View Post
    Call me a cynic if you want to, but that's who I am...
    Oh! surely not

    At least this is clear, you are making an assumption of guilt from no concrete evidence, which is absolutely your prerogative (but it's probably more graceful to do it in private), but that isn't quite what you said in previous posts, and if you make remarks about reviewers in a thread Called "Sean Reid's Review" then it's not a crazy assumption to think that you meant him . . and it turns out that you did!

    Anyway, I think you've made your position pretty clear, and we absolutely agree on the events, so shall we shake hands nicely and agree to differ on the interpretation?

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    Next week I will be in Hampshire. Unfortunately not close enough I am afraid.
    -bob
    Ah . . . and I'll be in Holland - ships in the night stuff . . . and it would have been such a good excuse for a pint

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