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Thread: Leica S (007) auto ISO help request

  1. #1
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    Leica S (007) auto ISO help request

    I just began my S journey and could use your help. For the most part, everything has been great! Handling is incredible, the mirror slap feels very soft compared to the 645Z. Lenses? Well, they are fantastic. Speed and handling are also great.

    When in manual mode and auto ISO, the camera seems to consistently under expose 1 to 2 stops. For example, let's say I set shutter speed to 1/125 and aperture to f/2, the meter in the viewfinder would show 1 to 2 stop under exposure. When I take the shot, the histogram is "biased to the left". I checked to ensure there's no exposure compensation. The camera exhibits this behavior even after a reset without any customized settings. Firmware is 2.0.0.1.

    Have you experienced this? Any ideas?
    Maybe it's because this is highlight safe and pushing shadow in post doesn't sacrifice image quality given the relatively ISO-less of modern sensors?

    Thanks in advance!

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    Re: Leica S (007) auto ISO help request

    Its because Auto ISO doesn't work in Manual mode. When you switch to manual mode the camera automatically switches to the last manually set ISO. I can't think of any photographer that would want to work this way, but Leica keeps insisting that they did this based on beta tester feedback. They did the same thing with the M 240 first launched and after a year of complaints finally released a firmware update which made it an option.

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    Re: Leica S (007) auto ISO help request

    I thought I remember the manual stating auto ISO in manual mode uses the last set ISO as well. But today, I tried setting ISO to 1600, take a shot (expose the way I wanted to). Switched to auto ISO and the camera picked ISO 800 for the same shot.

    I couldn't get auto ISO to work the way I've come to expect (auto ISO in manual mode on M246, A7RII, and 645Z all work pretty much the same).

    What's your experience of auto ISO in manual mode on the S007?

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    Re: Leica S (007) auto ISO help request

    I have the Leica S2 and I also could never get auto ISO to work as I expect it to work.

    I didn't give it much further thought as with a CCD sensor the usefulness of auto ISO is much more limited anyway IMO.

    I would be nice though to get some more information on how it exactly works.

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    Re: Leica S (007) auto ISO help request

    Agreed. I'd like to understand how auto ISO works in manual mode. I mainly want it for quick changing light conditions. Aperture mode + minimum shutter speed + auto ISO pretty much does what I need except when the light goes very low and I'd rather use a longer shutter speed than go too high on ISO.

    The usable ISO range on the S007 is amazing and having auto ISO in manual mode would definitely be a great feature (for the way I shoot, at least).

    I leverage auto ISO in the following ways,
    - if I want to control depth of field, I use aperture mode with auto ISO minimum shutter speed to minimize camera shake.
    - if I want to prevent motion blur, I use shutter speed mode with auto ISO.

    Ideally, I would like to use manual mode, pick an aperture for depth of field control, shutter speed for motion control, let auto ISO go from 200 to 3200/6400/12800. This allows the quickest adjustment as light changes. When there's lots of light, I can close the aperture for additional depth of field or bump the shutter speed to further prevent camera shake or let ISO stay at 200 for maximal signal quality.

    I'd like to hear S users' perspectives. Thanks!
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    Re: Leica S (007) auto ISO help request

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikec View Post
    Agreed. I'd like to understand how auto ISO works in manual mode. I mainly want it for quick changing light conditions. Aperture mode + minimum shutter speed + auto ISO pretty much does what I need except when the light goes very low and I'd rather use a longer shutter speed than go too high on ISO.

    The usable ISO range on the S007 is amazing and having auto ISO in manual mode would definitely be a great feature (for the way I shoot, at least).

    I leverage auto ISO in the following ways,
    - if I want to control depth of field, I use aperture mode with auto ISO minimum shutter speed to minimize camera shake.
    - if I want to prevent motion blur, I use shutter speed mode with auto ISO.

    Ideally, I would like to use manual mode, pick an aperture for depth of field control, shutter speed for motion control, let auto ISO go from 200 to 3200/6400/12800. This allows the quickest adjustment as light changes. When there's lots of light, I can close the aperture for additional depth of field or bump the shutter speed to further prevent camera shake or let ISO stay at 200 for maximal signal quality.

    I'd like to hear S users' perspectives. Thanks!
    I would like to have it that way as well.
    Even though I use A most of the time and then choose max. exp time 1/250 to avoid shake and motion blur. works quite goot. I dont use S because I like to have DOF control nearly allways.

  7. #7
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    Re: Leica S (007) auto ISO help request

    All Leica cameras are a struggle at first. And as firmware comes out. They become less so. Hopefully this is something that gets addressed.

    Though if you look on the bright side, no pun intended. You can always push your files after the fact.
    So for now. Maybe shoot on a fixed aperture and shutter speed. Since it's not likely you'll need to change them all that much. And also keep the ISO on the lowest possible point you can get away with. Then IF you bump the DOF by a stop. And forget about the ISO. It's not the end of the world because you can always push it a stop or so at home.

    I'm so use to using manual mode that I've just gotten use to the approximate ISO range I need in a given situation. And I have it set so I can switch it quickly on the fly.
    Though I rarely mess with my DOF once set. And the shutter speed I only make faster (because I like to start off on 250th if I can). That's why I'm annoyed that they moved away from a physical readout shutter speed dial. Because I usually spin it before I even bring the camera to my eye. I'm always paying attention to my subjects and the brightness of the scene. And it's the fastest way for me to vary exposure. The ISO method I can only do once holding the camera properly.

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    Re: Leica S (007) auto ISO help request

    In my opinion, I'd like to see auto ISO in manual mode implemented as follows,
    1. Ability to set min and max ISO.
    2. Allow exposure compensation to work. In other words, if the meter reads ISO 400 for the aperture and shutter speed and +1 exposure compensation is set, use ISO 800.
    3. If min ISO would "over expose", do it.
    4. If max ISO would "under expose", do it.

  9. #9
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    Re: Leica S (007) auto ISO help request

    I understand that with Leica cameras, things can start off rough in some places. What frustrates me is that there appears to be no institutional knowledge here. Leica got this working well with the M9, broke it horribly with the M 240, then took a year to fix it again with a firmware update and its stayed broken in the S. Feels like these cameras were built by teams that never talked to each other (or used each other's products).

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    Re: Leica S (007) auto ISO help request

    Quote Originally Posted by thedigitalbean View Post
    I understand that with Leica cameras, things can start off rough in some places. What frustrates me is that there appears to be no institutional knowledge here. Leica got this working well with the M9, broke it horribly with the M 240, then took a year to fix it again with a firmware update and its stayed broken in the S. Feels like these cameras were built by teams that never talked to each other (or used each other's products).
    I write crazy rants to Leica all the damn time. Trying to get them to fix one thing or another. Take it from someone who has, or has used all the bodies currently available. It's frustrating to see fragments of good ideas from one camera to the next.

    It'll get sorted.. Eventually. But yes, it sucks because A) it works so well in one of their other bodies B) you pay so damn much the **** should be sorted by the time the camera reaches you.


    Anyway, give them a bit... (meaning 6-12 months.)

  11. #11
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    Re: Leica S (007) auto ISO help request

    The auto ISO feature that I'd like is a nice to have feature for me. Given the price, it's a little disappointing that it's not working the way I'd like it to. I made the incorrect assumption that it works great on the M246 and it'd work the same on the S.

    For now, there isn't much that I can do but wait. Maybe our forum members who have connections to Leica can help communicate?

    In the meantime, I still get to enjoy the most amazing lenses, viewfinder, and handling of a camera with a larger than 36mm x 24mm sensor.

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    Re: Leica S (007) auto ISO help request

    I get what you are saying with respect to auto ISO, but it kind of seems like you might be better served by just using P or A mode 90% of the time, and just full on manual control of ISO and the shooting settings the rest of the time. The P mode on the S is actually very very good, and usually makes the right choices in normal light situations. The S lenses are so good that the aperture usually does not matter too much, and I find that at least with the 006, that the advantage of having the image shot at lower ISO is more than stopping down a stop or two. If the light is low enough that you are getting low shutter speeds at f4 or faster, then it is probably better to just pick a moderate/high ISO like ISO 800 or 1600 for example. Metering generally starts to fall apart a little bit in very low light anyway as contrast ranges become super high, so perhaps better to go fully manual?

    Anyway, of course if they offer Auto ISO it would be nice if it worked the way you wanted, but rather than raging against the sea, perhaps it is better to just change the method a bit.
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