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Thread: M9 shutter speed automation - A blog?

  1. #1
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    M9 shutter speed automation - A blog?

    I come from a history of machine-like DSLRs, taking care of a third of the exposure for me; the shutter speed.

    I have only tried an M9 until this weekend, and that was a year ago. This time around, Iīve had my own M9 for close to two months, but lacking a lens, that was pretty much all I did. I was (still am) a Leica owner, as I do own a Leica, but no lenses to use on it.

    That changed temporarily this weekend, as I got to borrow a lovely 35mm Summicron v4 from my uncle, and used it extensively over the weekend (posted a few pictures in the fun...thread).

    Now, focusing manually isnīt new to me. Choosing the appropriate aperture on the lens barrel isnīt, either. Hell, choosing the shutter speed isnīt even new to me. (wooo!) This was all on film, though, and thatīs years ago.

    I figured Iīd start with the A-setting on the shutter speed dial, though, as I felt it more important to achieve familiarity with the rangefinder focusing and dialing the aperture physically, and not via a dial on the camera.

    The thing is, the metering felt so weird to me - Iīve read Mr.Overgaardīs notes on the M9 metering, that I started to just stick "around" the red dot in the viewfinder, and mostly well below it, except when there was a bright highlight in the scene. Canīt explain it, but in Norway we have a bastardized German expression that says "gefühlen" - it means that we basically lick our finger and stick it in the air to see which way the wind is blowing.

    This all felt so natural with the M9 (which in case itīs not obvious is my first rangefinder, and my first Leica, certainly not the last of either), and I love it dearly. My right hand index finger adjusts the shutter speed as my left is on the focus tab. In case of an emergency, "the decisive moment", the finger tip is on the shutter in an instant, getting the shot.

    I love this tool. End of blog.

  2. #2
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    Re: M9 shutter speed automation - A blog?

    I very much feel the same way, except that I tend to treat the M9 as though it were shooting slide film. I meter for the highlights and add 2/3 to 1 stop. This tends to protect the highlights, though at higher ISOs, adding fill light in LR to bring up the shadows tends to introduce a bit of noise.

    Alternatively, you could meter for the shadows and call in -1 stop on the exposure compensation.

    Give it a shot

    Gotta love shooting digital - it takes the guesswork out since feedback is instant. Once you learn the nuances of how the sensor responds, it's easier from there
    My images on 500px : http://500px.com/ghoonk
    H4D-40 | Xpan | Leica M9P | Leica M Monochrom | X100 | Hasselblad 500CM | 501CM | 503CXi
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  3. #3
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    Re: M9 shutter speed automation - A blog?

    Indeed. Way back when I was shooting slide(only 12 or so years ago, really, as Iīm just 26 years old), I was taught to underexpose slightly so as to not kill the highlights, and keep some shadow detail (essentially, meter for the shadows).

    Even though the M9īs high ISO isnīt extremely good, I find that if one gives a +1/3 EC for highlights, it really does quite well in the detail department, in some ways better than my 1DsII at ISO 1600 when the M9 is set to ISO 2500. Part of it is the lack of an AA filter, Iīm sure, and part of it is a more precise focus. I find I can focus quite a lot more precisely on the M9 in dim lighting than the AF processor on the 1Ds can.

    I find that the white balance tends to lay itself quite a bit cooler than on my Canons when set at auto, so there is just a tad more fiddling in post with the M9 regarding color mix and white balance, but the outcome, for my use (important point!), is far superior with the M.

    My chimping time has gone down due to the fear of killing the battery, and quite miraculously, the files tend to be more in focus when I upload them in LR than ever before.

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