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Thread: Up and running here...

  1. #1
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    Up and running here...

    OK, finally have a DMR, a R9 and a first lens.

    I got the 60mm-macro; checked some comments out on this forum, thought after shooting mostly M8 for the last 1.5 years, a macro capability should come in handy and it must be a sharp lens so I can also test optics/sensor.

    Grabbed a few shots today; one right in NYC after getting the lens;
    the other image from one of our lakes (our town is only 40km west from Manhatten, that's one of the great things about the location here).

    The DMR does what its supposed to do in these images; shows plenty of resolution....

    Maybe a little bit oversharpened on the backgrounds (need to increase threshold for sharpening), but one sees the resolution clearly. Tried the newest Flexcolor 4.8.6, C1 3.7.6 and Raw Developer 1.7.2. The images posted are processed in Flex. The building is ISO-400 (shows in the sky/sharpening), the branch ISO-200.

    Black-and-whites from the evening with ISO 800 and 1600 look as expected; OK; I like grain. A f1.4 lens will do better (35-lux will be my first) to get more light into the viewfinder.

    The shutter feels a bit like an 'explosion' coming from the M8.
    Ergonomics of the body is as good as I hoped for; the small LCD is OK, makes one less chimp. No sign of back/front focusing so far, so camera body seems to be in spec.

    So far quite satisfied with my "retro expedition".

    Peter

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    Re: Up and running here...

    Peter, Nice to see that you are up and running!

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    Re: Up and running here...

    Peter:

    What firmware is on your DMR?

    Robert

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    Re: Up and running here...

    Quote Originally Posted by robsteve View Post
    Peter:

    What firmware is on your DMR?

    Robert
    I downloaded 1.3 yesterday from Leica.
    That's it, I guess.

    By the way, I registered with Hasselblad, entered the DMR as product and got access to Flexc and Phocus. My PowerMac is not on 10.5 yet, so can't run Phocus for now.

    One question (I have seen you used it, Rob):
    Does it have better noise tools than Flex?
    In Flex I can only see the grain input field under "sharpening"; I can't see any further denoising options. Did I miss something or is it quite limited that way...?

    Does Phocus offer more noise removal options?

    The C1 noise removal does not really thrill me either.
    --

    Otherwise ... the camera rocks!

    Peter

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    Re: Up and running here...

    Nice work Peter. If you find that you want to experiment with some R lenses, I am in Brooklyn (Williamsburg...one stop from Manhattan) and I have a bunch that you could try out -- 19mm, 35/1.4, 50/1.4 E60, 28-90 ASPH, 100/2.8 APO, 180mm f/2.8 APO and 2x APO. Just let me know.
    My photos are here: http://www.stuartrichardson.com and more recent work here: http://stuartrichardson.tumblr.com/ Please have a look at my book!
    My lab is here: http://www.customphotolab.is and on facebook

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    Re: Up and running here...

    Do you guys use the option of cocking the shutter manually (lever half outward when shooting)? Does it really save battery?

    Focus screen: I put in the microprism finder that came with the DMR (and the R9 had the big eyecup, nice seems I have glasses).
    Anything better or is that the best option for focus accuracy?

    Exposure measurement: I put in -1ev to get better readings; corresponds with your experience?

    What else - the DMR had firmware 1.1 on; it did not see a lot of usage from the way it looks.

    Peter

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    Re: Up and running here...

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Richardson View Post
    Nice work Peter. If you find that you want to experiment with some R lenses, I am in Brooklyn (Williamsburg...one stop from Manhattan) and I have a bunch that you could try out -- 19mm, 35/1.4, 50/1.4 E60, 28-90 ASPH, 100/2.8 APO, 180mm f/2.8 APO and 2x APO. Just let me know.
    That is tempting; do you work in Manhatten? That would be easiest to catch up.

    Q regarding the 180mm: How in this world do you guys shoot that hand held??

    I had really to concentrate with the 60mm-macro at 1/60th to have no blur. 1/125 was better, 1/180 made it easy.

    One can see the handshake since you look TTL; different to the M's, where the effect of longer lens/magnification and steady hand is not visible.

    PS

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    Re: Up and running here...

    Regarding 180 lens"

    ... maybe I am too spoiled from my Canon 70-200/f2.8/L USM IS;
    the image stabilization really works well....

    PS

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    Re: Up and running here...

    Peter --
    I prefer the microprism. The other option is to get aftermarket upgraded focusing screens from Brightscreen and Maxwell Precision Optics. I prefer Maxwell. Actually, since selling my DMR, I still have one. I will sell it to you for a very good deal if you are interested.

    -1 EV is what I shot at...it seems to work better than the straight reading.

    I agree about the eyecup...the big rubber one is much better.

    As for the shutter, occasionally I used it to keep it quieter or when I was shooting macros, but in general no. In fact, towards the end of my time using the DMR, the DMR and the body seemed to get out of sync when I cocked it manually, so I stopped doing it.
    My photos are here: http://www.stuartrichardson.com and more recent work here: http://stuartrichardson.tumblr.com/ Please have a look at my book!
    My lab is here: http://www.customphotolab.is and on facebook

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    Re: Up and running here...

    Sorry Peter, I cross-posted with you there.

    I am on my way out of New York (moving to Iceland by the end of September), so I am not currently working in NYC. I am happy to meet you there though. I live right along the L train, so somewhere around 14th street is quite easy.

    As for the 180...generally I shot it at f/2.8 or f/4 which kept the shutter speeds high. It is astoundingly good wide open, so unless you need the depth of field, its best aperture is f/4. Generally though, I would not shoot it below 1/125th and expect a better than 50% success rate.
    My photos are here: http://www.stuartrichardson.com and more recent work here: http://stuartrichardson.tumblr.com/ Please have a look at my book!
    My lab is here: http://www.customphotolab.is and on facebook

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    Re: Up and running here...

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Richardson View Post
    I prefer Maxwell. Actually, since selling my DMR, I still have one. I will sell it to you for a very good deal if you are interested.
    Which screen is it exactly and how does it improve versus what I have with the stock DMR screen?

    Thanks,
    Peter

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    Re: Up and running here...

    It is the standard microprism with the dmr croplines, having been improved by Maxwell's hi lux system. Basically, it is brighter, less grainy, and easier to focus. You are welcome to try it if we meet. If it makes a difference for you, you can take it, if not, don't.
    My photos are here: http://www.stuartrichardson.com and more recent work here: http://stuartrichardson.tumblr.com/ Please have a look at my book!
    My lab is here: http://www.customphotolab.is and on facebook

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    Re: Up and running here...

    With the f2.8 and faster lenses, I found the microprism only screen to be the best for quick focusing. It is similar to the stock DMR screen except that it doesn't have the split image aid, just a solid micropism circle in the middle, rather than just a ring/doughnut of microprisms.

    BTW, the 180mm APO will make your Canon shots look out of focus I have shot both.

    As for exposure compensation, my R9 was set by Leica service to -1/3ev and on matrix metering it will get the exposure right 90% of the time. If I do dial in exposure comp, it is usually on the plus side if the scene is backlight or -.5 if it is a scene with some very bright areas. You should try to expose so that you get the highlight clipping on only minor spectral highlights. The DMR works best shot on the side of more exposure than less.

    Robert
    Last edited by robsteve; 27th August 2008 at 09:01.

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    Re: Up and running here...

    Robert,
    You are anyhow a focusing genius, from what I have seen from your action shots...

    Regarding Phocus: Do you recap whether there are any noise processing tools in there?

    Yeah, the DMR is noise sensitive, so exposing to the right can be critical.

    Peter

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    Re: Up and running here...

    Peter:

    I haven't looked a Phocus in a while, but I am pretty sure it has some noise reduction tools in it.

    Robert

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    Re: Up and running here...

    You may want to try C1 v4.1 with the DMR files. If you do a search over at the L-Camera forum, I put up a custom DMR ICC camera profile for use with C1 v4. You may find the rendering a bit more pleasing.

    Do keep your shutter speed high. The R9/DMR will not forgive even the slightest movement. Here's a trick you can try: flip the MLU switch so that the first press locks up the mirror, then take a breath and gently press the shutter a second time. As long as you can hold your framing resonably well, you can get sharper pictures at 1/15th-1/60th sec.

    As Robert does, I also shot mine at -1/3 EV, but the camera really shines when exposed to the right. If you use -1EV a lot, you may end up with some murkiness.

    Ease off on the sharpening. You just don't need it. The camera and lenses are really sharp. I generally print 20x30 and I use almost no more than the default sharpening in C1. The M8 actually requires more sharpening than the DMR.

    My experience with firmware v1.1 was the camera shot very yellow. For a birght sunny day, I'd set it to 4800K instead of 5600K and get far better results. Others can give you first hand experience if this was fixed in v1.3.

    Don't underestimate the LCD screen. It is actually the most visible in bright daylight of any screen on any camera I've ever used. Is it as nice to look at as the new Nikons' screens? No, but try to see anything on a D300 screen in Florida midday direct sun....

    For me, I liked just a plain matte focus screen with crop lines. The point where the lens snaps into focus is plain as day. I never bothered with a brightcreen, or a magnifier, or with x-tra large microprism, or with a split image. YMMV of course. But, I nailed my focus over 90% of the time.

    Anyway... enjoy your new R journey. The R9/DMR still remains one of my favorite cameras/systems to shoot. The file quality is just stunning, the ergonomics are really nice, and the R lenses are just awesome. I would still be shooting it now, but it was stolen in a burglary earlier this year.


    David
    David Farkas
    Leica Store Miami

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    Re: Up and running here...

    Thanks, David.
    I give C4 a try.

    The shutter "explosion" is really significant and needs careful handling/holding.

    Yes, agree, the LCD is very readable even in bright sun light. That surprised me yesterday too when I photographed in NYC.

    Color in Flex looks good; C1 seems to boost yellow more than Flex, which comes in cooler.

    Peter

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    Re: Up and running here...

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Richardson View Post
    Nice work Peter. If you find that you want to experiment with some R lenses, I am in Brooklyn (Williamsburg...one stop from Manhattan) and I have a bunch that you could try out -- 19mm, 35/1.4, 50/1.4 E60, 28-90 ASPH, 100/2.8 APO, 180mm f/2.8 APO and 2x APO. Just let me know.
    Peter won't need to try your 35/1.4 because mine is winging it's way to him right now

    Peter, you should have also grabbed my now sold Brightscreen Magnifier, it does help a lot with f/1.4

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    Re: Up and running here...

    Quote Originally Posted by robsteve View Post
    Peter:

    I haven't looked a Phocus in a while, but I am pretty sure it has some noise reduction tools in it.

    Robert
    Yep, you can set the levels anywhere you want ... and it has a separate dark limit when sharpening to avoid noise in the shadow areas.

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    Re: Up and running here...

    Hey Marc,
    That is great, just saw your shipping confirmation.

    Thank You very much for express service!!!

    Looking forward to the 35-lux...

    Pete

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    Re: Up and running here...

    Quote Originally Posted by psorantin View Post
    The shutter "explosion" is really significant and needs careful handling/holding.
    I think you'll find that the bulk of the noise/vibration is after the shutter closes so it will have no effect on the exposures.

    I generally have my R8 set for -1 exposure comp to avoid blowing out detailed highlights, but the meter reading for me is just a starting point. More often than not I'll use the camera in manual exposure mode using the meter reading as a starting point, then checking the histogram after the first couple of exposures to be sure I'm not clipping any highlights; adjust exposure as necessary to fit the tonal range within the camera's dynamic range, as far to the right as possible:


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    Re: Up and running here...

    Peter - a nice feature of the DMR is the white-line Histogram during auto review. If you don't know about it here is how to turn it on:
    Menu > AutoReview > Histogram > and select Standard

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