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Thread: S2 >base iso

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    Member markowich's Avatar
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    S2 >base iso

    i am rather happy with S2 IQ at base iso, except the CA problems discussed in a different thread here. beyond base iso i am not to happy...320iso is mostly ok, 640iso is hardly usable for critical work. i attach an frame taken with the 180mm lens at 640iso (full image) and a 100% crop. you can see a lot of colour noise which comes in ugly speckles. well, the face migt be a bit underecposed but nevertheless.....no manipulations were done after converting to jpg in LR3 with NR and USM turned off. this is much worse than the M9 in my view (even when doenreszed to 18mpx).
    i'd be interested to hear other users' experience on these issues.
    peter

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    Re: S2 >base iso

    I am not saying this to troll, but have you considered turning the noise reduction ON? That is what it is for, after all. Even if you use only color noise reduction at a low setting, you could remove all of those color blotches. And to be honest, it does not look any worse to me than the M9 does if you turn off all correction. It is certainly 10 times better than my 22mp Sinar back was!

    So, looks pretty good to me...are other people's S2's outperforming yours, or are you just dissatisfied with its performance?
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    Re: S2 >base iso

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Richardson View Post
    I am not saying this to troll, but have you considered turning the noise reduction ON? That is what it is for, after all. Even if you use only color noise reduction at a low setting, you could remove all of those color blotches. And to be honest, it does not look any worse to me than the M9 does if you turn off all correction. It is certainly 10 times better than my 22mp Sinar back was!

    So, looks pretty good to me...are other people's S2's outperforming yours, or are you just dissatisfied with its performance?
    believe it or not i tried to turn NR on. color NR in LR3 removes the speckles and detail at the same time. and to get a feeling for the noise characteristics one should have NR off of course.
    p

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    Re: S2 >base iso

    Peter,
    Did that shot have a upward exposure adjustment?
    The color noise seems reminiscent of an underexposed frame pushed a bit.
    Sometimes a camera will do just that when shooting above bas iso, but there does not seem to be enough bits of information to support that well
    OTOH, a tough of color NR ought to clean it up quite a bit without causing havoc if the luminance NR is set real low.
    -bob

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    Re: S2 >base iso

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    Peter,
    Did that shot have a upward exposure adjustment?
    The color noise seems reminiscent of an underexposed frame pushed a bit.
    Sometimes a camera will do just that when shooting above bas iso, but there does not seem to be enough bits of information to support that well
    OTOH, a tough of color NR ought to clean it up quite a bit without causing havoc if the luminance NR is set real low.
    -bob
    bob, no push, no exposure adjustment. this is precisely my point. and NR in LR3 does not work wel on it.
    peter

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    Re: S2 >base iso

    it reminds me of my Nikon D1 at 800 Iso, back in 1999...... sorry

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    Re: S2 >base iso

    Peter, in the Beta of LR3 there was a new tool protecting details in conjunction with Col.NR. Didn't that tool make it in the final release? I found it to work really good. However I don't know how effective it is with such bold blotches.
    The color noise is truely heavy (especially if consider it's daylight, not tungsten). My P21+ at ISO800 looks better ... and if I am not mistaken even my old school P45 looks better at ISO400...
    Maybe try RAW Developer; normally it handles noise quite good.

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    Re: S2 >base iso

    Quote Originally Posted by H3dtogo View Post
    it reminds me of my Nikon D1 at 800 Iso, back in 1999...... sorry
    yes, and-to be honest- of my H3DII50 at 320iso---))). it is bad in terms of modern FX nikon technology -actually very bad- and reasonably good in terms of MF CCD technology. although i fear that the H4D40 beats the S2 at 320 iso and above. certainly an area where leica has to catch up.
    peter

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    Re: S2 >base iso

    Quote Originally Posted by thomas View Post
    Peter, in the Beta of LR3 there was a new tool protecting details in conjunction with Col.NR. Didn't that tool make it in the final release? I found it to work really good. However I don't know how effective it is with such bold blotches.
    The color noise is truely heavy (especially if consider it's daylight, not tungsten). My P21+ at ISO800 looks better ... and if I am not mistaken even my old school P45 looks better at ISO400...
    Maybe try RAW Developer; normally it handles noise quite good.
    thomas, NR can do many things but this is the OOC file (modulo jpg conversion). yes, it is more or less like the old P45. i am asking myself (and leica): where is the progress in med-iso noise?
    peter
    ps:the details slider is still there in LR3.

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    Re: S2 >base iso

    Quote Originally Posted by markowich View Post
    thomas, NR can do many things but this is the OOC file (modulo jpg conversion). yes, it is more or less like the old P45. i am asking myself (and leica): where is the progress in med-iso noise?
    peter
    ps:the details slider is still there in LR3.
    I see.
    So use "Sensor Plus" then... i.e. downsize 50%

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    Re: S2 >base iso

    Quote Originally Posted by thomas View Post
    I see.
    So use "Sensor Plus" then... i.e. downsize 50%
    that does miracles---)))) i have a better one though: use a D3x or a D3s.
    p

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    Re: S2 >base iso

    Quote Originally Posted by markowich View Post
    that does miracles---)))) i have a better one though: use a D3x or a D3s.p
    yeah, then you'll have some more resolution than the S2 in "sensor plus" mode...
    back to topic... I think RAW Developer is worth a try for the S2 (I found the results of S2 files better in RAW Developer than in LR3 Beta). The workflow of the software is a bit cumbersome but IQ is really fine!

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    Re: S2 >base iso

    If I had a S2 I would most likely be using Raw Developer with it.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: S2 >base iso

    Quote Originally Posted by thomas View Post
    I see.
    So use "Sensor Plus" then... i.e. downsize 50%
    It's a like a religion for me. I use Sensor Plus a whole bunch and you can uprez it back up pretty nicely as well.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: S2 >base iso

    Used properly, LR3 noise reduction on this file should be almost undetectable in terms of detail loss on screen and definitely a non-issue in print. I actually think that it's not too bad for 640ISO. It might not be as good as the H4D40 or Sensor+ on Phase backs, but it's okay. And lets get real here people, it's way better than a 1999 D1! Those things were truly a different animal, all be it amazing for the time.

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    Re: S2 >base iso

    Kodak DCS 460 had more noise than there are stars at night looking up. WE have come a long way baby!!!
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: S2 >base iso

    Peter, I find ISO 320 to be very good for most shooting conditions and use it without much reservation. I avoid ISO 640 if at all possible and when I do use it, I don't have high expectations - at least with current processing tools. Improvements in LR3 treatment of S2 files or another software package could change the S2 ISO useability in the future so I won't trash an otherwise good image just because of noise.

    Have you tried taking the black level slider down to about 2 from the default 5? I noticed blotchy noise in dark/black areas of properly exposed photographs last November at the S2 demo at PhotoPlus. I asked the Leica product manager about it and he recommended changing the defaul black level. That was back in the days of LR2, but I have kept it that way in my S2 import preset. I don't think it will solve the problem completely, but should be a better starting point. You will still need some noise reduction.

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    Re: S2 >base iso

    It might be worthwhile to check with RAW Developer and make sure they have good test files for the S2. I suppose the Phase One could add an S2 profile as well if they were so inclined.

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    Re: S2 >base iso

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Gowin View Post
    Peter, I find ISO 320 to be very good for most shooting conditions and use it without much reservation. I avoid ISO 640 if at all possible and when I do use it, I don't have high expectations - at least with current processing tools. Improvements in LR3 treatment of S2 files or another software package could change the S2 ISO useability in the future so I won't trash an otherwise good image just because of noise.

    Have you tried taking the black level slider down to about 2 from the default 5? I noticed blotchy noise in dark/black areas of properly exposed photographs last November at the S2 demo at PhotoPlus. I asked the Leica product manager about it and he recommended changing the defaul black level. That was back in the days of LR2, but I have kept it that way in my S2 import preset. I don't think it will solve the problem completely, but should be a better starting point. You will still need some noise reduction.
    Ditto.

    I'll use 320 ISO as a general purpose ISO as it buys just a tad more shutter speed and/or a tad more DOF by stopping down. ISO 640 is good when the exposure is right, but the situations usually requiring the bump to 640 are typically not the best light conditions.

    My black level in LR is glued to 2. I never touch it (I do bring down my shadows and dark tones quite a bit, though). This most certainly made a difference to my S2 files relative to eliminating much of the blotchiness in shadows.

    David
    David Farkas
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    Re: S2 >base iso

    I guess each of us has different standards ... when testing the S2, I found the noise to be okay going in, and with adjustments made fine prints. I never really experienced the type of noise you are showing in the picnic pics at that ISO.

    Here are some screen grabs with 100% insets just done in Bridge CS5 (my Lightroom program is crammed with over 3000 wedding shots right now ... tis the season : -)

    Some at ISO 320, 640, and 1250. No adjustments ... straight DNG grabs from the preview window. Some done at dubious shutter speeds, so forgive the blur

    -Marc

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    Re: S2 >base iso

    Remember I still have those noise test raws still on the server for you folks to download. Might be worth trying them again in your favorite processor. http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?t=12243
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: S2 >base iso

    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: S2 >base iso

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Kodak DCS 460 had more noise than there are stars at night looking up. WE have come a long way baby!!!
    Has anyone tried the Topaz noise reduction software. I just got a trial copy and it seems to work really well!

    Woody

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    Re: S2 >base iso

    I've had an S2 on loan today and must say, especially considering the resolution, I've found noise to be acceptable up to 640 ISO, but only if exposure is on the money and noise reduction is used carefully. 320ISO, if you're looking at 100% on screen, is okay. Noise is there, especially in flat shadow areas, but it's easily handled. All of my shots have pretty much been in worst case situations under mixed or solely tungesten light. These are the conditions I'm most interested in comparing it's performance to film. This type of equipment really deserves weeks to test properly and I can only afford two days between other commitments, but at the moment I'm impressed. More later.

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