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Thread: M9 at ISO 1000

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    M9 at ISO 1000

    Better high ISO performance has been a most desired feature of the M9. The M8 as good as it is at 160/320 starts to run out of gas as it reaches 640 and ,for me ,loses it at 1250. Not just because of the noise,which can be addressed particularly in black and white, but also because of the compression of DR and loss of color saturation.

    I found a great opportunity to test the M9 along with the 24/1.4 summilux and the 50/1 Noctilux at the Georgia Aquarium.

    I will apologize for the following images as I am sure I destroyed the raw files in creating the jpegs displayed..but you can get the idea.

    The first image is the 24/1.4 at 1000 and the 2nd is the Noctilux (shot at 1.4) at 1000. I tried to add about .7 to the metered exposure which still preserved the highlights and gave more room in the shadows.

    The 3rd image is at 800 and you can see little difference. The final ..actually a mistake was shot at 160.

    My conclusions line up with "the consensus of current reports" ISO 1000 looks like 640 and may actually be better because of the larger file. The shadows had about +1EV of range and the highlights looked good to me.

    The files at all ISO appear smoother and have greater color depth...you can beat on them more in the conversions..so in the end the results are better even using a +1EV as the useable ISO range.

    Both lens vignetted on the FF..the Noctilux quite a bit. An aquarium is like shooting a light box.

    Now if I could actually nail the exposure and could figure out C1 the files would sing.

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    Re: M9 at ISO 1000

    Roger, It looks to me that the ISO160 shows some color on the person's face and even the ISO800 shot.

    The two samples from ISO1000 makes everyone look monochromatic.

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    Member Seascape's Avatar
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    Re: M9 at ISO 1000

    Love that first shot Roger.....regardless of ISO or lens, just a great shot

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    Re: M9 at ISO 1000

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Roger, It looks to me that the ISO160 shows some color on the person's face and even the ISO800 shot.

    The two samples from ISO1000 makes everyone look monochromatic.
    the light underwater is predominately monochromatic-blue...which is why you don't get a full range of colours. Is this what you are referring to?

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    Re: M9 at ISO 1000

    I don't understand why people overexpose high(ish) ISO photos on the M8/M9 to reduce grain and colour noise but also claim it is a true, in this case 1000, ISO rated shot. I used to shoot colour neg film one third stop to a half stop over to reduce shadow grain and increase colour saturation, ie treat 400ISO as 320ISO, but with cameras like my old 5D and new D700, I shoot, generally, for the highlights as not to blow any detail out. Correct me if I'm wrong, but does your approach to overexposing M9/M8 files in low light effectively mean the cameras are less sensitive to light than the ISO ratings suggest? Not suggesting the M9 etc isn't a great camera or capable of top shelf results, just trying to get my head around the technology and how to use it effectively.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: M9 at ISO 1000

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Roger, It looks to me that the ISO160 shows some color on the person's face and even the ISO800 shot.

    The two samples from ISO1000 makes everyone look monochromatic.
    Thats the magic of Local Area adjustments in Lightroom....these aren t good tests of the color because the color of the ambient is filtered by the water. Like an underwater shot the REDS are filtered out. What was different was the shadow detail which was crushed a bit by the jpeg process but still shows up . There is a big difference in tone separation in the raw file.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: M9 at ISO 1000

    Agree 100% but my objective was to start with a histogram(tonal spread) that gave me the best chance of maximizing the DR and in this case shadow detail. I realize I am a novice and this is normal for the landscape experts...but with a usable ISO 1000 ..its relevant to the street shooters.

    I sure I am missing an education on how best to manage the tones across this file...but to improve on the shadow detail I think exposing to the right is required.


    Quote Originally Posted by tjv View Post
    I don't understand why people overexpose high(ish) ISO photos on the M8/M9 to reduce grain and colour noise but also claim it is a true, in this case 1000, ISO rated shot. I used to shoot colour neg film one third stop to a half stop over to reduce shadow grain and increase colour saturation, ie treat 400ISO as 320ISO, but with cameras like my old 5D and new D700, I shoot, generally, for the highlights as not to blow any detail out. Correct me if I'm wrong, but does your approach to overexposing M9/M8 files in low light effectively mean the cameras are less sensitive to light than the ISO ratings suggest? Not suggesting the M9 etc isn't a great camera or capable of top shelf results, just trying to get my head around the technology and how to use it effectively.

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    Re: M9 at ISO 1000

    thank you, Roger. i get what you were doing and why -- i do the same in similar situations with the M8... ISO 1000 looks to very useable -- hurrah!

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    Re: M9 at ISO 1000

    I was hoping you would educate me as I'm no expert by any definition of the word! I think exposing to the right is definitely the best way to go as long as there is no serious clipping and in the case of your examples it shows this tactic works for the M9.

    In terms of personal work, I've always shot film. I've shot digi for general, boring, paid work and had an M8 (actually, I had 3 faulty M8s) for about six months that left a stale taste in my mouth. I just got a D700 to replace my Leica film kit and have a heck of lot to learn about how to effectively expose in the digital world as well as how to process the files in ways that don't scream digital. These examples are really valuable to me and I hope others with more experience in the digital realm chime in a talk about how they deal with noise and / or dynamic range loss issues at high isos.

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    Agree 100% but my objective was to start with a histogram(tonal spread) that gave me the best chance of maximizing the DR and in this case shadow detail. I realize I am a novice and this is normal for the landscape experts...but with a usable ISO 1000 ..its relevant to the street shooters.

    I sure I am missing an education on how best to manage the tones across this file...but to improve on the shadow detail I think exposing to the right is required.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: M9 at ISO 1000

    There is an excellent post on this over at the LUF in the processing section. (called exposing to the right). I think the example that Jamie Roberts gave is exactly my issue. I think maybe a better way to describe my situation would be to add enough exposure to hold some shadow detail. Its easy to deal with the water as its well within the DR but the shadows will block .

    So I overexposed via the meter reading of the entire scene ..but properly exposed to ensure some shadow detail.

    This is a really common problem with street shooting at night. Before the fast wide angles...I couldn t get much. With the 21 and 24 at max f2.8 and a practical limit of ISO 640 (for color work) the resulting shutter speeds of 1/15 to 1/30 wouldn t stop any movement(even if I could find a way to hold it).
    Now give me 1.4 and wide and ISO 1000 with the M9 and we should be close.

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    Re: M9 at ISO 1000

    Roger, I really like the images you chose to illustrate your technique. I think it works well.

    Mark

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: M9 at ISO 1000

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Gowin View Post
    Roger, I really like the images you chose to illustrate your technique. I think it works well.

    Mark
    Thanks Mark....the M9 is a big improvement but low available light photography still has a way to go to match the Nikon solution. This will require much better technique both in getting the exposure right and in the raw conversions. The good news is that the larger 18mp files and the uncompressed monster DNG format gives you quite a lot to work with.

    The water filtering out the color may make it difficult to get a read on color saturation.

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    Re: M9 at ISO 1000

    Roger,
    Excellent shots, whatever the ISO is. I liked 1st and 3rd photos a lot.

    Seyhun
    H3DII-31, 5DII, M8, NEX-3 and Camera collection
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    Senior Member atanabe's Avatar
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    Re: M9 at ISO 1000

    Roger,
    Your findings reflect what I experienced the past week using a borrowed M9 at the LHSA in Seattle. The files across the board are better and the higher ISO is now usable at 1000. I myself would not shoot that much higher unless necessary and if in a pinch needed the extra speed there must be a good reason - so I'll accept a little noise. Nothing beats the stealth of the M camera and the performance exceeds the form factor!

    Regards,
    Al
    Al Tanabe my website https://www.altanabe.com

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