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Thread: M9, the Nocti, C1 and other stuff.

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    Super Duper
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    M9, the Nocti, C1 and other stuff.

    I was going to post this under my Nocti question ... but after testing the Nocti f/1 in really crappy light, I had a few thoughts to share:

    I've done some home snap shot tests in low-light, and the focusing on this specific Nocti is spot on @ f/1 where it will be used 99.99% of the time. It's not 6 bit coded, but manually setting it in the menu is a no brainer. So, if it ain't broke, I ain't gonna fix it

    Processed a couple of shots in LR and C1 ... like the 24/1.4 ASPH this lens fares better in C1 where purple fringing around specular highlights is easy to correct. The attached candle shots comparison demonstrates that ... it took 19 minutes of screwing around in LR to get the flame edges even close to C1 with a one button click.

    I also did some sequences ranging from ISO 1000 through 2500 ... every shot was usable ... 2500 will make a fine 8X10 which is about what I need for 99.99% of printed wedding shots. This was in dark conditions and weak Tungsten lighting from one lamp and some twinkle lights. So dark that the Nocti at f/1 with ISO 2500 gave me a shutter speed of 1/30th.

    I highly recommend manually setting WB in these types of lighting conditions. WB affects actual exposure once WB is corrected and Tungsten contaminated shots can fool you into thinking they are properly exposed when they are not. Auto WB just can't handle color temps this warm.

    The over-all room shot was @ ISO 1000. which is VERY usable even for larger prints. I think it is as good as 640 was on the M8 given the same print sizes as comparison.

    Oh, and while the Nocti typically vignettes, the vignette control in C1 fixes that IF you want it fixed (most of the time I don't and actually like it for wedding photos.


    Here's some happy snaps I did for these tests:

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    Re: M9, the Nocti, C1 and other stuff.

    Nice work here. Question for you. Is there major softness in the Noct at f/1.0? I am sure sharpness is no issue when stopped down a bit, but given the price, we'll all be using it at f/1.0, no?

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    Re: M9, the Nocti, C1 and other stuff.

    Nice results, Marc. I am glad that you mentioned the benefits of doing a manual WB rather than using AWB. I have found the same issues of having the AWB not do such a great job in very low light, especially with tungsten on my M8. I usually try to shoot a calibration target to use as the custom WB, and wind up getting very good results.

    The colors look very good in these shots, considering the shooting conditions. The plane of focus is pretty darn narrow and unforgiving at f1.0, but it does a very nice job of isolating the subject.

    With respect to question from "francishmt"....what I have found with the Nocti wide open is that in the plane of focus, things are usually quite sharp. Yet the roll-off to the out of focus areas is strong enough to sometimes make it look like things are not very sharp. This is much more noticeable in wider framed views of stuff, rather than something closer, like a portrait. This tends to impart what looks like a softness, but I think it is more the roll-off transition that still has a lot of presence in the image for most viewers. If you have a subject that is more isolated to start, the sharpness of the Nocti at the plane of focus is very good. Just what I have seen with mine.

    LJ

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    Re: M9, the Nocti, C1 and other stuff.

    The shot of the head, is a tight crop of the full shot ... to show that what I focused on was indeed in focus and the lens is calibrated well for this new camera I just got (I focused on the edge of the eye glasses).

    The rest of it is supposed to be soft ... "creamy-dreamy" so to speak. It's what you get this lens for. I wanted it for low ambient light shots at weddings ... where "dreamy" is the objective

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    Re: M9, the Nocti, C1 and other stuff.

    Looking at your LR/C1 candles comparison here, I must say that I prefer LR's rendition. This might not be the best picture to go by but it seems that LR has more depth between the 3 candles. Also I like the tonal gradation on the pumpkins better, though this might be due to some kind of level adjustment.

    The CA around the candles don't bother me one bit, in fact they add to the flame and the air around them for me.

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    Re: M9, the Nocti, C1 and other stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    The shot of the head, is a tight crop of the full shot ... to show that what I focused on was indeed in focus and the lens is calibrated well for this new camera I just got (I focused on the edge of the eye glasses).

    The rest of it is supposed to be soft ... "creamy-dreamy" so to speak. It's what you get this lens for. I wanted it for low ambient light shots at weddings ... where "dreamy" is the objective
    Marc:

    You will find the Nocti excels at these mid distances such as the one you mention above in regards to focusing on the glasses. It is when people try to shoot tight and at the closest distance does the focus get most difficult and the lens contrast drops a bit.

    Robert

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    Re: M9, the Nocti, C1 and other stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by robsteve View Post
    Marc:

    You will find the Nocti excels at these mid distances such as the one you mention above in regards to focusing on the glasses. It is when people try to shoot tight and at the closest distance does the focus get most difficult and the lens contrast drops a bit.

    Robert
    Yes, I agree ... this will be my 3rd Nocti over the years, and I wanted it more for a bit more distant views at weddings ... like in dark churches and reception halls ... shooting further away at shutter speeds that help quell subject movement.

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    Re: M9, the Nocti, C1 and other stuff.

    I agree with Robert's assessment. The really close stuff (1-3m) is really tough and has a DOF of less than 1" (2.4cm) at 1m, and about 7" (21cm) at 3m distance at f1.0 on the full-frame sensor. And most (about 2/3) of that total DOF is behind the actual plane of focus. So for portraits/headshots, you have very, very little margin for error on hitting the focus, and any movement, including breathing, can move off the exact plane. When shooting at longer distances, the DOF increases, but not all that much. So for Marc's shooting at maybe 10m (approx 30 ft) distance, for example, the total DOF is a bit more respectable at about 2m (6.3 ft) or so. That is enough for isolating things and rendering the background with that nice dreamy OOF look. But again, not a lot of forgiveness on the front focus, while the back focus starts to roll off nicely.

    LJ

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    Re: M9, the Nocti, C1 and other stuff.

    How does the old Noctilux compare with the newer Voigtlander f/1.1 Nokton then? Any one has experience with the two?

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    Re: M9, the Nocti, C1 and other stuff.

    Marc, thank you for putting these up (i'd asked in the other thread).

    and thank you for bringing up the WB issue. i do admit to being lazy and keeping it auto most of the time but you're 100% correct that is effects the exposure with the Nocti wide open. usually over, which means slow shutter speeds, which (at least for me) means camera shake more often than bad focusing.... i'm still amazed by how much light can be gathered with that lens!

    pretty please post your thoughts about using it in action (weddings) with the M9 as well.

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    Re: M9, the Nocti, C1 and other stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by cam View Post
    Marc, thank you for putting these up (i'd asked in the other thread).

    and thank you for bringing up the WB issue. i do admit to being lazy and keeping it auto most of the time but you're 100% correct that is effects the exposure with the Nocti wide open. usually over, which means slow shutter speeds, which (at least for me) means camera shake more often than bad focusing.... i'm still amazed by how much light can be gathered with that lens!

    pretty please post your thoughts about using it in action (weddings) with the M9 as well.
    Will do ... I have a wedding this Saturday where I will try it out and try to post some stuff afterwards.

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    Re: M9, the Nocti, C1 and other stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by francishmt View Post
    How does the old Noctilux compare with the newer Voigtlander f/1.1 Nokton then? Any one has experience with the two?
    I'd imagine it was much better. From the pictures I've seen I prefer the 50/1.5 Nokton to the new one. Just my opinion though.
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    Re: M9, the Nocti, C1 and other stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by LJL View Post
    Nice results, Marc. I am glad that you mentioned the benefits of doing a manual WB rather than using AWB. I have found the same issues of having the AWB not do such a great job in very low light, especially with tungsten on my M8. I usually try to shoot a calibration target to use as the custom WB, and wind up getting very good results.

    The colors look very good in these shots, considering the shooting conditions. The plane of focus is pretty darn narrow and unforgiving at f1.0, but it does a very nice job of isolating the subject.

    With respect to question from "francishmt"....what I have found with the Nocti wide open is that in the plane of focus, things are usually quite sharp. Yet the roll-off to the out of focus areas is strong enough to sometimes make it look like things are not very sharp. This is much more noticeable in wider framed views of stuff, rather than something closer, like a portrait. This tends to impart what looks like a softness, but I think it is more the roll-off transition that still has a lot of presence in the image for most viewers. If you have a subject that is more isolated to start, the sharpness of the Nocti at the plane of focus is very good. Just what I have seen with mine.

    LJ
    Manual WB is usually not to hard at a wedding ... white dress and all. But I think I need to carry a bleached hanky in the bag from now on

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    Re: M9, the Nocti, C1 and other stuff.

    I think one of the overlooked pieces of M9 news here is the use of ISO 2500 without streaks and few artifacts. The chair close-up is in the lighting conditions shown in the wider shot with the lamp as the source of light ... which is pretty dark.

    I think we tend to push our luck with higher ISOs and try to pull off to many underexposed shots in an attempt to get the shot ... which just bites you later in post with ISO that are at the limit and leave you no where to go ... I know I'm occasionally guilty of this, and am trying to stop it.

    I just picked up a SF58 flash (outrageous price! ) ... which I'm loath to use ... but a little puff of fill can go a long ways to making an unworkable shot actually work without much detectable flash presence. I'm hoping it'll extend the usage of the M9 at weddings where there can be a fair amount of movement in pretty moody ambient lighting.

    We'll see.

    -Marc

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    Re: M9, the Nocti, C1 and other stuff.

    Doesn't seem to have the detail of one I took earlier. HaHa .....
    Last edited by Rolo; 1st October 2009 at 03:57.

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    Re: M9, the Nocti, C1 and other stuff.

    Well, the flash is going right back. Completely unbalances the M9 and is less than stellar for doing comp on the fly.

    The SF24D will have to do for now.

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    Re: M9, the Nocti, C1 and other stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Well, the flash is going right back. Completely unbalances the M9 and is less than stellar for doing comp on the fly.

    The SF24D will have to do for now.
    Marc,

    How about a Nikon SC-29 to move the flash off camera?

    Bob

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    Re: M9, the Nocti, C1 and other stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by docmoore View Post
    Marc,

    How about a Nikon SC-29 to move the flash off camera?

    Bob
    Thanks I have one of those for the Nikon ... I think it's to much stuff ... I just want a little puff of fill to avoid Racoon Eye and inky shadows where you don't want them.

    What we need is a SF24D-II with a stupid little bounce head on it.

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    Re: M9, the Nocti, C1 and other stuff.

    Wolf Camera sells a TTL for Nikon and Canon (either/or) that is very small and tilts and swivels...1/2 size of SF24...it may be adequate until Leica designs something new.

    http://www.wolfcamera.com/search/Qua...es%3Bciflashes


    I think the Nikon will trigger off the M9.

    Bob

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