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Thanks guys. In hindsight, I should have shot the barrel scene with the Lux ASPH as well because I suspect it would have shown a fairly different background rendering from the Nocti than seen in the flotation ring and ladder scene, where the background is farther away and much less detailed.
Ryan: what are you finding to be an issue at MFD?
Gary, I don't think it needs to be a low light situation, but of course, that is where f/1.0 is quite useful. I think you're right - it's the relationship between camera to subject to background distance.
Charles, thanks for the gallery link. Those images are quite informative about the Nocti. I'm really impressed by how well it handled the strong backlighting when you were in the church shooting towards the entrance. I've experienced similar situations at numerous weddings, primarily with the 85L, with somewhat lesser results. Did you bump contrast at all for those backlit shots in post? I just shot something with the 50L in a church with mottled patches of sunlight in the background and was somewhat surprised to see how quickly the lens lost contrast when part of the foreground subject was adjacent to the bright background areas... Whenever I get the new M, I'll have to do a side by side of the 50 Lux and 50L. What I also see in the wedding shots, and like about the Nocti, is how it retains some structure to the out of focus background elements compared to my experience with the quite neutral look of the Lux ASPH (and I assume the f/0.95 Nocti), as well as the slight bright edge to the out of focus specular light blobs.
Wayne: there's a thread here discussing the banding a bit. Unfortunately I started off by looking at and aggressively pushing the bread loaf shot, which exhibits the worst banding. It's apparently from an earlier FW version and an earlier preproduction camera than the map shot. But the map shot, when pushed, does show pattern banding as well, just that the lines don't have as clear an edge as seen in the bread shot. There's a pretty good discussion about the images (and a link to the files) in this thread at LUF where Jono Slack and Chris Tribble chime in about the images. I've gone through all of the DNG files in LR, including some of the earlier unofficially released files, and not all of them show banding. The 'normal' scenes, where even +3 practically blows out the image, mostly hold up well. My impression is the dynamic range of the new sensor is quite good. The inside shot of the girl with the dog handles highlight recovery quite nicely. As does the unofficially released bar scene. This is quite reassuring coming from the M9 where overexposure is not a good thing. Having had limited experience with the Sony sensors, I can't really make a comparison, but it feels like the M240 might not be quite as clean when pushed aggressively.
There's some question about why Leica would release such samples, knowing that the files will be pushed and prodded excessively. I can only speculate, but it might serve to temper expectations that otherwise seem to be through the roof for the M240. It would also be difficult for M240 buyers to argue they didn't know what they were getting with the camera, as this has now been quite thoroughly discussed. At the least it would appear Leica isn't trying to cover up deficiencies in the camera. I agree we need to see what they deliver once the cameras start shipping, but I would be (pleasantly) surprised to see absolutely no signs of pattern banding. It'll probably be more like the M9, where banding sometimes exists, but often isn't noticeable in 'normal' use.
The barrel shot above was at this building under renovation:
Wandering around to the backlit side, and by happenstance peering in through a window, revealed this nice find:
There was someone working inside (could hear the power tools) kicking up the dust. Would have been great to get a figure in the scene, but the sun set so quickly it was nice to just get this.
First shot with the 28 Cron and the rest with the 90 Summarit.