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Thread: M9 visits Times Square

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    M9 visits Times Square

    On saturday night I finally had the opportunity to test the M9 and my Classic Noctilux(sounds better than the old model). Over the past two years I have shot on Times Square a half dozen times with various lenses and the M8. I always enjoy it ..who cares if the place has been photographed a million times.

    The bottom line was the combination was just beautiful together. The high ISO performance was about +1 stop better than the M8 . Which meant that at ISO 1000 I could shoot at 1.4 verse 1.0. Why do this ? Because I enjoy the bokeh of the original Noctilux and the way it renders colors . The M9 produces a smoother bokeh than the M8 and the color saturation reminds me of the DMR.

    The "Classic" Noctilux isn t that sharp closeup and wide open ..no floating elements but on Times Square the subject is typically 15-20 ft away with a 50MM. There is no doubt that the 50mm asph would produce improved resolution and for a few of the images would be better. But then the bokeh would be worse because it would look sharp.

    This isn t a test ..I know better ...but simply my examples processed in LR2 the way I normally do it . Without a doubt the processing can be better with C1 as the CA shows in places . But you can see how smooth the out of focus areas are and how it creates a special rendering.

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    Re: M9 visits Times Square

    Very cool! That classic Noct is one lens I wish I could have back. Anyone wanna trade a classic noct for my BP 50 Pre-Asph coded and new 35 Cron asph? ha ha...
    Leica M8, M9 & Lens Reviews!
    http://www.stevehuffphoto.com

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    Re: M9 visits Times Square

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    The "Classic" Noctilux isn t that sharp closeup and wide open ..no floating elements but on Times Square the subject is typically 15-20 ft away with a 50MM. There is no doubt that the 50mm asph would produce improved resolution and for a few of the images would be better. But then the bokeh would be worse because it would look sharp.
    Exactly my idea, too, about the 'classic': for close-up&wide-open there are far better options, but for this type of shooting it's magical .
    Now if only I had an M9 ...

    BTW - can't get enough of Times Square, been there a couple of times but the place never fails to thrill me to pieces.

    Thanks for sharing.
    Bart ...

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    Senior Member kevinparis's Avatar
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    Re: M9 visits Times Square

    some nice shots... pity about the reds being blown to hell... seen this before in other M9 shots... is this a fundemental sensor problem or Raw conversion problem.

    K

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    Re: M9 visits Times Square

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    On saturday night I finally had the opportunity to test the M9 and my Classic Noctilux(sounds better than the old model). Over the past two years I have shot on Times Square a half dozen times with various lenses and the M8. I always enjoy it ..who cares if the place has been photographed a million times.

    The bottom line was the combination was just beautiful together. The high ISO performance was about +1 stop better than the M8 . Which meant that at ISO 1000 I could shoot at 1.4 verse 1.0. Why do this ? Because I enjoy the bokeh of the original Noctilux and the way it renders colors . The M9 produces a smoother bokeh than the M8 and the color saturation reminds me of the DMR.

    The "Classic" Noctilux isn t that sharp closeup and wide open ..no floating elements but on Times Square the subject is typically 15-20 ft away with a 50MM. There is no doubt that the 50mm asph would produce improved resolution and for a few of the images would be better. But then the bokeh would be worse because it would look sharp.

    This isn t a test ..I know better ...but simply my examples processed in LR2 the way I normally do it . Without a doubt the processing can be better with C1 as the CA shows in places . But you can see how smooth the out of focus areas are and how it creates a special rendering.
    Nice pics, I also love TS ... yes, it's been photographed to death, but it changes from minute to minute .... so it's never the same.

    BTW, your assumptions that the Bokeh of the .095 is "sharper" are unfounded, and not my experience at all.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: M9 visits Times Square

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Nice pics, I also love TS ... yes, it's been photographed to death, but it changes from minute to minute .... so it's never the same.

    BTW, your assumptions that the Bokeh of the .095 is "sharper" are unfounded, and not my experience at all.
    I was speaking of the 1.4asph ..where the higher contrast creates the appearance of sharpness in the out of focus areas. Don t have enough experience with the .095 to know.

    Having taken a few thousand images with the M9 in different lighting...... I am convinced that the M9 will tilt most lens choices toward the newer asph lenses. The imperfections that looked nice on the M8 start to look like what they are. But thats all subjective of course.
    Last edited by glenerrolrd; 26th October 2009 at 17:27.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: M9 visits Times Square

    Quote Originally Posted by kevinparis View Post
    some nice shots... pity about the reds being blown to hell... seen this before in other M9 shots... is this a fundemental sensor problem or Raw conversion problem.

    K
    Kevin

    First you do realize that the steps in the bride image are backlit plastic. This creates a strong RED cast on that end of Times Square similar to using a RED gel.

    The M9 like the M8 often benefits from a reduction in Red saturation and a tilt of the RED hue toward yellow. This is typically done thru the camera calibration.

    But with that said the M9 color has depth in all colors that I don t find in my Nikon s and of course Times Square is an extreme for any sensor.

    Roger

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    Senior Member kevinparis's Avatar
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    Re: M9 visits Times Square

    do understand that the steps were back lit... still in all the pictures the reds do seem to be over saturated and generally the overall colour balance seems to be distorted even taking into account the obviously bizarre range of lighting sources.

    This is not a criticism... just an observation. Hopefully I will be in NYC in december.. and maybe I can experience the difficulties first hand

    best wishes

    K

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    Re: M9 visits Times Square

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    I was speaking of the 1.4asph ..where the higher contrast creates the appearance of sharpness in the out of focus areas. Don t have enough experience with the .095 to know.

    Having taken a few thousand images with the M9 in different lighting...... I am convinced that the M9 will tilt most lens choices toward the newer asph lenses. The imperfections that looked nice on the M8 start to look like what they are. But thats all subjective of course.
    Understood now ... which goes to a dilemma I now face since I also have the 50/1.4 ASPH ... with the chief attribute that it is smaller.

    I think I agree with the ASPH comment ... except maybe the 90/2.8 I have been using for portraits. That lens still holds up well on the M9.

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    Re: M9 visits Times Square

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    Kevin

    First you do realize that the steps in the bride image are backlit plastic. This creates a strong RED cast on that end of Times Square similar to using a RED gel.

    The M9 like the M8 often benefits from a reduction in Red saturation and a tilt of the RED hue toward yellow. This is typically done thru the camera calibration.

    But with that said the M9 color has depth in all colors that I don t find in my Nikon s and of course Times Square is an extreme for any sensor.

    Roger
    Actually the one that jumped out at me as being over saturated was the one with the red table/chairs.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: M9 visits Times Square

    You guys are absolutely right ...the reds are blown. I didn t see this as the highlight indication in LR is also RED so I missed it big time. But in working this I decided to download the new version of LR3 beta. I took the LR2 version and used the new M9 profile (that you get when you download the LR3 beta) brought the RED way down. Then I worked each image and they were much better.

    But then I tried the LR3 on the same files and did NOTHING. No blown RED highlights and actually I like them better than my best efforts. Lets see how they look after I crush them into jpegs. Will attach as follows.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: M9 visits Times Square

    using LR3 with std import settings

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: M9 visits Times Square

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Understood now ... which goes to a dilemma I now face since I also have the 50/1.4 ASPH ... with the chief attribute that it is smaller.

    I think I agree with the ASPH comment ... except maybe the 90/2.8 I have been using for portraits. That lens still holds up well on the M9.
    The dilemma with the best 50MM for the job will be with us for a while.

    The other advantage of the 50 asph summilux is the shorter throw on focusing..which I find much better for moving subjects. This last week I was shooting boxing in NYC with the Noctilux ..what punishment. I switched to the 50/1.4 asph and it was far easier. The rendering of the Noctilux was magic but the 50 1.4 asph was excellent just different ....so it depended on the specific situation.

    I think portrait lenses will always have a different criteria and taking a little edge off the asph performance makes sense.

    It seems now with the M9 that we really have many great choices ....

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    Re: M9 visits Times Square

    I really enjoyed your Times Square photos. Each has elements that draw the viewer into the photo. For example, I really am curious about what the little girl was pointing to and then I find myself looking around the photo at other stories in the scene. I love Times Square in the rain with the reflective streets and sidewalks that add to the abundance of light and color.

    Mark

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