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Thread: Any ZM 21 4.5 users?

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    Member dannh's Avatar
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    Any ZM 21 4.5 users?

    I recently decided to try the Zeiss ZM 21 4.5 with my M9. I know of the red edge issues, but I was really drawn to the lack of distortion with this lens. I knew I'd mostly be using it for B&W.

    Here's an example image, with minimal RAW processing:



    Looks ok, besides the red edge. What I'm concerned about is what I'm seeing when processing in B&W. I'm using NIK SilverEfex2, and for example if I thrown on the High Structure filter, here's what I'm seeing:



    The horizontal and vertical banding at the top of the image was unexpected. To rule out the SW filter and confirm it's not my sensor, I used the same M9 with a 35 cron, and applied the same SW filter:



    I don't see the same banding as I do with the 21/4.5 ZM. I can clean up the red edge and some vingetting, but the banding won't be so easy.

    Is this typical for this lens? Not sure how many people out there are using this lens/body combo due to the known issues, but thought it was worth asking.

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    Re: Any ZM 21 4.5 users?

    Sorry I can't help much - I have used the lens but don't own one. I found no banding problem and I don't think Sean Reid did in his tests either.
    Bill

    PS I wonder if SFX2 is the cause?

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    Re: Any ZM 21 4.5 users?

    Thanks Bill. I don't think that SEFEX2 is the cause, although it's likely the higher contrast from the filter has made it more noticeable. As I've shown above though, using the same SEFEX filter on an image from the 35 cron shows no artifacts, so I don't think it's software induced.

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    Re: Any ZM 21 4.5 users?

    I have this lens but I'm using it on an M8. I saw some red edges even on the M8 so I started trying various lens codes to see what worked best for me. How do you have your's coded? I'm currently coding mine as "Elmarit-M 28mm f/2.8 (III)" with a code 000011.

    Haven't seen any banding like yours though but I don't use SilverEfex much. Do you get the same banding doing a B&W conversion without using SilverEfex?

    -Thomas

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    Re: Any ZM 21 4.5 users?

    Hi Thomas, I've been using the lens selection option on the M9, for this lens I chose Leica 21mm Elmarit 2.8. I haven't experimented much with other lenses, that's on the list of things to do.

    The artifacts are there in the RAW image. Within Adobe Camera RAW, if I take the saturation down to zero and the contrast up to 100, I can see the artifacts. Really all the filter is doing is making it more obvious.

    I'm guessing this part of the frame is cut off when using your M8, so maybe that's why you don't see this.

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    Re: Any ZM 21 4.5 users?

    One interesting thing I notice between the color and B&W version is that on the left edge, there's red tint only, while at the top there's red tint as well as vingetting. This is where I also notice the artifacts.

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    Re: Any ZM 21 4.5 users?

    Quote Originally Posted by dannh View Post
    I must say the red edge really works on that shot.

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    Re: Any ZM 21 4.5 users?

    Hahah, I assume you're joking, right? ;-)

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    Re: Any ZM 21 4.5 users?

    Load the image into PS and examine the channels before and after Silver Efex. My experience has been that Silver Efex can really aggravate noise - no doubt because it increases local contrast.

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    Re: Any ZM 21 4.5 users?

    Quote Originally Posted by dannh View Post
    Hahah, I assume you're joking, right? ;-)
    Only in part - I like the way it looks because Pt Reyes is often so drab and dull, and not easy to shoot at all. Looks like you shot with a coffee GND. Of course, it's a joke in part because for most use it's of no value.

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    Re: Any ZM 21 4.5 users?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jan Brittenson View Post
    Only in part - I like the way it looks because Pt Reyes is often so drab and dull, and not easy to shoot at all. Looks like you shot with a coffee GND. Of course, it's a joke in part because for most use it's of no value.
    That's really true. Whenever I'm there, it's either foggy, or the sky is totally blown out bright. It's almost like you have to shoot right into the sun to make it interesting, you know, add some flare (or red edge!).

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    Re: Any ZM 21 4.5 users?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jan Brittenson View Post
    Load the image into PS and examine the channels before and after Silver Efex. My experience has been that Silver Efex can really aggravate noise - no doubt because it increases local contrast.
    Interesting point. To be clear though, you're suggesting the noise is present in the RAW image. That's the part I'm puzzled about, as I've never seen noise like this, localized, horizontal and vertical, and seemingly only occurring with this particular lens. I'm making a lot of assumptions in that last statement, it could be that the noise is there throughout the image, but more noticeable at the top due to the vignetting.

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