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Leica M/X/T/S/Q Picture Thread
  
 
zhangyue
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p.725 #1 · p.725 #1 · Leica M/X/T/S/Q Picture Thread


There are a lot has been said. (Ryan, nice showcase of M9 I agree most you said, leave out for comment about D700, a great camera, an instant classic in digital camera/Nikon history IMO)

Here is my feeling:
1) For investment/purchase like this, I will buy a 2nd hand camera first. In case you find your priority change and it is not for you, you can cash out without losssssss…
2) RF usage for me is :
a. Traveling, I have nice FF setup with class lead optics.
b. There is certain type of photography, rangefinder is great. Like WA to MA shot to capture the right moment. RF is like a crop tool for me, I am editing the world I see. I know you must have known it. For me, DSLR and rangefinder are two totally different systems and my outputs are hence different with each system.
3) If I forced to choose one system, it will be DSLR. It can be stretched to replace RF if I have to, but not other way around.
4) About M9’s file, it could be most impressive files I have seen. But like Ron said, it requires some work to get used to. The signature is very strong in that you either love it or hate it. But the file can be manipulate quite bit even more compare to my latest 6D. The color out of camera for landscape requires very less tweak to give you nice results. Low ISO is never a issue for me, I seldom find myself cheating on light means need a clean file at night.
5) For fast glass usage, Rf accuracy is important and can be a pain to maintain, thus, I prefer use f2 lens and WA which is more reliable. I can assume 21/24/35 f1.4 will be great, they are very expensive. VC35 is great lens but size is a problem for me.
6) About case, I bought two cases over the time, but seems always leave them home, the extra bulk definitely not welcome, and I feel it slow me down for shooting, changing. The body without case is very lean and barebone, nothing between you and your subject. Thumb up is a must though for me. I tried removing it but always come back with it for better handling.
7) Get a 28/35 and a 50 (any lens leica, VC, Zeiss) you are ready to go, enjoy the system It is a leica, in the end. How wrong it can be



Aug 08, 2013 at 06:36 PM
Jabberwockt
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p.725 #2 · p.725 #2 · Leica M/X/T/S/Q Picture Thread


Katie, if you are considering a M9. The M9 raws have huge amounts of details when shot in the decent lighting. That’s what I feel it does the best. I suspect if you pair another AA-less sensor (D800E?) with great glass, you can get similar amounts of detail, but the camera/lens sizes are would be nowhere similar. That said, the M9 has plenty of drawbacks: The tech is a few years old now and high ISO is really nothing to write home about, the LCD is just horrid, the battery life is a tad short, batteries are too expensive, and there’s the issue with certain memory cards. That said, I think most of us have learned to live with the shortcomings (or get a M240, lol)


Aug 08, 2013 at 06:53 PM
edwardkaraa
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p.725 #3 · p.725 #3 · Leica M/X/T/S/Q Picture Thread



M9 + Planar 50 by edward karaa, on Flickr


M9 + Biogon 25 by edward karaa, on Flickr



Aug 08, 2013 at 07:06 PM
KatieInTexas
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p.725 #4 · p.725 #4 · Leica M/X/T/S/Q Picture Thread


So I take it most shoot RAW? I have always only ever shot RAW and am currently using LR4. Is this compatible with the M-E or will I need to upgrade (yet again) to 5?


Aug 08, 2013 at 07:41 PM
seekuh
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p.725 #5 · p.725 #5 · Leica M/X/T/S/Q Picture Thread


KatieInTexas wrote:
So I take it most shoot RAW? I have always only ever shot RAW and am currently using LR4. Is this compatible with the M-E or will I need to upgrade (yet again) to 5?


LR4 works perfectly fine with the M-E (LR3 as well BTW).



Aug 08, 2013 at 07:43 PM
Mirek Elsner
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p.725 #6 · p.725 #6 · Leica M/X/T/S/Q Picture Thread


KatieInTexas wrote:
So, tell me if you think I am doing the right thing. I have children and animals and like to shoot PJ style - but can I live without AF on my main camera? I don't know... Will the quality make it worth it? I don't know...



Since you are ready to buy, you already know about the nice features of the M9/ME and the excellent performance at low ISO. However, the camera also has some unexpected features that you should be aware of and decide if they are an issue for you or not.


  1. High ISO performance, especially from artificial light is not good. Probably any other modern camera with APS or bigger sensor provides better high ISO images. With many of my higher ISO images I ended up converting them to B&W where the noise was more acceptable.
  2. Color in mixed light is not natural. At leas not for my eye. I haven't seen anybody else complaining about it, so take it as my personal opinion, but the colors that this camera generates in mixed artificial light differs from what my eyes think is right.
  3. Slow operations. Want to review currently taken shot? You gonna have to wait longer than with other cameras. Writing to card is also slow. Fast cards do not make any difference and are just waste of money.
  4. Bad 100% preview. If you zoom in to 100%, the image looks interpolated and can't be used for evaluation of sharpness. Even if you nailed the focus, the images in preview will look a little blurry.
  5. Bad battery life. I am not sure if this is bad design or nature of the CCD sensor, but the camera does not have good battery life.
  6. No live view. I found it a bit strange to invest into a system that has some of the best lenses around, but the focusing is dependent on the rangefinder only. The rangefinder is not 100% reliable with longer lenses. With something like 90mm, I really do not see enough difference in the focusing patch to nail the focus precisely. The other problem is that the RF focusing requires focus and recompose, which usually leads to back focus.



Aug 08, 2013 at 08:39 PM
KatieInTexas
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p.725 #7 · p.725 #7 · Leica M/X/T/S/Q Picture Thread


Thank you thank you! Keep it coming! I don't want to be caught off guard by anything. So far, there are NO deal breakers yet.

I primarily shoot B&W, so converting will more than likely be happening at high and low ISO. Also, for tricky High ISO situations, I always have the option of the X100 (or even pushing film!).

I never used live view - other than to focus using adapted lenses (as that was the only way to do it on the Fuji).

I'm not sure what to think about the battery life - get a second battery I suppose?



Aug 08, 2013 at 08:46 PM
zhangyue
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p.725 #8 · p.725 #8 · Leica M/X/T/S/Q Picture Thread


Mirek Elsner wrote:
Color in mixed light is not natural. At leas not for my eye. I haven't seen anybody else complaining about it, so take it as my personal opinion, but the colors that this camera generates in mixed artificial light differs from what my eyes think is right.



+1 And not easy to get it to neutral.

BTW, I don't feel I need AF for my personal need. but I am not sure how far you can go with it professionally, at least not as sole system to cover all the needs.





Aug 08, 2013 at 09:31 PM
adamdewilde
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p.725 #9 · p.725 #9 · Leica M/X/T/S/Q Picture Thread


KatieInTexas wrote:
Hi all - I am seeking advice and or reassurance as to a deal I am about to make...

I currently shoot 50/50 film/digital and my film cameras are: Bessa R4A, Bessa R3A and Mamiya 7 with 43 and 150. My digital setup is an XP1 kit (with both zooms) and an X100. The deal I am about to make is to trade my Fuji X Pro 1 kit (+cash) for a Leica ME. I have been wanting to consolidate systems for some time now, and love my CV lenses which I currently use on both the Bessas and the XP1
...Show more


I have/had all the cameras you mentioned.. I'd do it if I were you.
The Xpro will give you better ISO, but the M-E will give you a better user experience. As far as better image quality, it's more subjective then anything else, but to be realistic the files will look less muddy/mushy on the M-E. I believe that if you have the x100 for walk around, then it'll be enough to warrant using the M-E for everything else, until you get good enough with the M-E, then you'll probably not use the x100, unless you're just being lazy. Or of course if you hate range finders (some people do, I have a love hate relationship with them, but that stems more from the fact that I'm lazy).




Aug 08, 2013 at 09:41 PM
adamdewilde
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p.725 #10 · p.725 #10 · Leica M/X/T/S/Q Picture Thread


rscheffler wrote:
Thanks for the comments everyone. Cool image Gary. At first I thought you stumbled on a sci-fi movie set. There's something about it that looks like a stage prop.. difficult to really determine the scale of it.

Katie, I would think the core M-E shooting experience will be very similar to the Bessas. Have you been able to get by with those in the situations you expect to use the M-E?

As for image quality... At base ISO 160 you'll get very sharp files. I haven't used the Fuji cameras personally and can only go by the many images
...Show more


Ok should have just read this response first.. Ron's got it nailed, listen to him.



Aug 08, 2013 at 09:43 PM
 

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adamdewilde
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p.725 #11 · p.725 #11 · Leica M/X/T/S/Q Picture Thread


rsolti13 wrote:
Katie, a little more....if you want a simplistic system such as you mention, there is no better system than a Leica. It has everything you need and nothing you don't. On the M9, M9-P and M-E there is no video and the files are as good or better than anything you can get at 35mm or smaller. A few years ago I bought my first Leica, the M8. At the time I still had my Nikon D700 with all pro lenses such as 24 f/1.4, 85 f/1.4, 70-200 AF-S...etc. The files I was getting from the M8 at base ISO
...Show more

rsolti13 - First off there should be a limit to how many awesome pictures you could post in one go
Second, what 75 and 90 lenses are you using? I forget (75lux and 90rit?)



Aug 08, 2013 at 09:46 PM
adamdewilde
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p.725 #12 · p.725 #12 · Leica M/X/T/S/Q Picture Thread


Mirek Elsner wrote:
Since you are ready to buy, you already know about the nice features of the M9/ME and the excellent performance at low ISO. However, the camera also has some unexpected features that you should be aware of and decide if they are an issue for you or not.


  1. High ISO performance, especially from artificial light is not good. Probably any other modern camera with APS or bigger sensor provides better high ISO images. With many of my higher ISO images I ended up converting them to B&W where the noise was more acceptable.
  2. Color in mixed light is not
  3. Slow operations. Want to review currently taken shot? You gonna have to wait longer than with other cameras. Writing to card is also slow. Fast cards do not make any difference and are just waste of money.
  4. Bad 100% preview. If you zoom in to 100%, the image looks interpolated and can't be used for evaluation of sharpness. Even if you nailed the focus, the images in preview will look a little blurry.
  5. Bad battery life. I am not sure if this is bad design or nature of the CCD sensor, but the camera does not have good battery life.
  6. No live view. I found it a bit strange to invest into a system that has some of the best lenses around, but the focusing is dependent on the rangefinder only. The rangefinder is not 100% reliable with longer lenses. With something like 90mm, I really do not see enough difference in the focusing patch to nail the focus precisely. The other problem is that the RF focusing requires focus and recompose, which usually leads to back focus.
...Show more


Also all very true.. But she uses Bessa cameras and is fine. So just treat the ME like a film camera that you can develop film for at home by putting an SD card into your computer, and all the above mentioned points sound less annoying. Aside from the mixed lighting bit, which is more dependent on how/what you shoot.



Aug 08, 2013 at 09:56 PM
Gary Clennan
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p.725 #13 · p.725 #13 · Leica M/X/T/S/Q Picture Thread


KatieInTexas wrote:
I'm not sure what to think about the battery life - get a second battery I suppose?



Yes. I would even get two spare batteries.... They are pricey but used one's can be found on the B&S.



Aug 08, 2013 at 09:58 PM
rsolti13
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p.725 #14 · p.725 #14 · Leica M/X/T/S/Q Picture Thread


adamdewilde wrote:
rsolti13 - First off there should be a limit to how many awesome pictures you could post in one go
Second, what 75 and 90 lenses are you using? I forget (75lux and 90rit?)


Thanks Adam. Only 75 I ever used was the 75 Lux....the lens I have had the most difficulty with focusing. Got rid of it. The 90 is the Elmarit-M. My favorite tele lens to date though has been the Canon 100 f/2. If you want ultimate sharpness and excellent microcontrast in a small package, the 90 elmarit is the lens for you



Aug 08, 2013 at 10:43 PM
charles.K
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p.725 #15 · p.725 #15 · Leica M/X/T/S/Q Picture Thread


Thank you very much Mitch, Edward, Ryan and everyone for the likes
Edward and Ryan, Zigi is one of two Burmese cats we have. I have reduced the number of animals we now have to 3 cats, 1 dog and 3 horses! I use to have 3 cats, 3 dogs , 25 horses and 5 birds.

Gary, beautiful rich colors!
Ryan, excellent series!!!
Edward, I am really enjoying your series from Lebanon

Katie, welcome!!! There has been so much great advice on whether to jump ship, and experience the manual focusing with RF. Only caveat is that the system, that is M-E, lenses and eyepiece need to be calibrated well, and sync'd, otherwise this will frustrate you to no end. Manual focusing is very quick to learn, so long as everything well sync'd. Otherwise you will be second guessing, whether it is your technique or the gear. If the RF method of manual focusing gels, it is faster and more accurate, than most AF systems, particularly with fast lenses. I had no end of grief with the 5DII with the 50 f/1.2, and 85 f/1.2, even with the MFA. It is will take some time, but I personally love the style of having an optical VF, that you can see outside of the composition. Finally, probably the most important is, that I love the take out M-M/M240 and choose the style of rendering I wish for a day's shoot.
Your question of 75 or 90 will depend on your budget, but I find the 75mm framelines and MFD of 0.7m, for both the 75 Lux/75 Cron is a great advantage. The 90 FL's, is starting get small, and IMO harder to compose shots and more importantly harder to focus via the RF.

Shot last night with the M240 75 Lux @f/1.4 2500 ISO with an ICE light.









Aug 09, 2013 at 12:10 AM
Mitch Alland
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p.725 #16 · p.725 #16 · Leica M/X/T/S/Q Picture Thread


Jabberwockt wrote:
..the M9 has plenty of drawbacks: The tech is a few years old now and high ISO is really nothing to write home about, the LCD is just horrid...


Mirek Elsner wrote:
...High ISO performance, especially from artificial light is not good. Probably any other modern camera with APS or bigger sensor provides better high ISO images. With many of my higher ISO images I ended up converting them to B&W where the noise was more acceptable....


Katie, the above represents the conventional wisdom that I mentioned earlier, which states the M9/M-E is a poor camera for high-ISO. In my view, the M9 in fact is an excellent camera for night photography if a certain technique is used because it produces, in my view, superior color rendition, better than that of cameras that are famous for their high-ISO performance. If you're interested in high-ISO shooting you should read this thread. Based on extensive tests described in the thread, the technique for the M9/M-E is to increase ISO in-camera up to ISO 640, but from that point on increase Exposure in LR4/5 rather than in-camera and you will get less noise and better image quality.

Night Photography: Shooting at ISO 640 and Pushing in Post
The thread on this technique that I linked above, lists the following steps for Exposure and Processing:

Exposure
At ISO 640 start (with the Elmarit 21mm ASPH) by exposing at f/2.8 and a shutter speed of 1/60 or 1/90, and (with a Summicron-28) by exposing at f/2.0 and a shutter speed of 1/120 or 1/180, although I tend to use this lens at f/2.8 at night for the greater depth-of-field. The aim is not to blow out the highlights. On a dark night, I find that I don't need much depth of field because of the rapid drop-off in light intensity.

Lightroom 4/5 Post-Processing
1. Click Auto in the Exposure Panel and use this as the starting point.
2. Adjust the Exposure Slider to the point at which you like the look.
3. Press "J" and see whether any of the highlights are blown out.
4. If necessary (from Step 3), pull back on the Highlights Slider.
5. I like to pull back the Black Slider to negative numbers so that picture has a look that I like.
6. Click White Balance Eye Dropper in an area you want to be neutral grey, but I don't like to neutralize the colors completely because I want a "real" look from the lights in the picture.
7. Try moving the Clarity Slider between +10 – +30. (I find that increasing Clarity creates a good feeling of light in a high contrast scene, but sometimes this may not be necessary or even may not look good.
8. If you increased Clarity, you can probably pull back a bit on the Exposure.
9. In the Noise Reduction panel, after setting the View to 100%, move the Color Slider to the right until the color noise disappears.
10. Still at 100% View, move the Luminance Slider to the right if necessary to remove more noise, but be careful no to go too far. Some pictures will not need any Luminance Slide increase.

In the 10 post-processing steps listed above, step 5 is pull back the Black Slider to negative numbers so that picture has a look that you like. In the three pictures below, when I pressed Auto in the Basic Panel, the Black Slider went to +26 — and the pictures looked a bit washed out and flat; I pulled the Black Slider back to –26 for Nos. 1–2 and to –10 for No. 3. I find that pulling the Black Slider to the left to get negative number provides a look consistent to the rapid fall-off of light in partially lit, dark scene.

Now, in post-processing, starting with the list of steps for post-post processing above, there are many possibilities, including "selective pushing" (equivalent to dodging). In No. 5 below I have used the new LR5 facility of the Radial Filter to push the face area by 4 stops (equivalent ISO of 10,240). I'm also including No. 4 because it's my favorite night picture, although I doubt many people like it.



No. 1 | Elmarit-21 ASPH | ISO 640 pushed 0.9 stops | f/2.8 | 1/60 sec

Hua Hin




No. 2 | Elmarit-21 ASPH | ISO 640 pushed 1.8 stops | f/2.8 | 1/60 sec

Pak Nam Pran




No. 3 | Summicron-28 | ISO 640 pushed 2.25 stops | f/4.0 | 1/125 sec

Bangkok




No. 4 | Elmarit-21 ASPH | ISO 640 pushed 2 stops | f/2.8 | 1/90 sec

Bangkok




No. 5 | Summicron-28 | ISO 640 pushed 4 stops [on face] | f/4.0 | 1/60 sec

Hua Hin



KatieInTexas wrote:
So I take it most shoot RAW? I have always only ever shot RAW and am currently using LR4. Is this compatible with the M-E or will I need to upgrade (yet again) to 5?


Yes, I only shoot raw. LR5 is preferable to LR4 because it has a new Radial Filfer that, together with feathering, allows you to dodge and burn much better than using the Adjustment Brush in LR5. If you buy a new M-E you can download LR5 free from the Leica website, Someone recommended buying a used M9 — I would much prefer to buy a new M-E, which has a two-year warranty, so that you don't have to worry about what sort of problems the seller of the used camera may have had. Also, you'll be getting one of the latest cameras coming off the assembly line, which will have any of the unannounced manufacturing improvements that Leica occasionally makes.

—Mitch/Bangkok
Surabaya-Johnny



Aug 09, 2013 at 01:04 AM
edwardkaraa
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p.725 #17 · p.725 #17 · Leica M/X/T/S/Q Picture Thread


Charles, thank you for your comments and I apologize from Zigi for having mistaken him for a Siamese. I know it's a sensitive issue

The portrait of your wife is very beautiful by the way.

I also agree that well calibrated RF is far more accurate than manual focusing with a DSLR. When I go back to my photos taken on the 1Ds2 and Zeiss lenses, I realize how bad was my focusing accuracy, and how much better is the M9 even with the Sonnar 85.

Edited on Aug 09, 2013 at 03:34 AM · View previous versions



Aug 09, 2013 at 02:50 AM
Gary Clennan
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p.725 #18 · p.725 #18 · Leica M/X/T/S/Q Picture Thread


.






21SEM




Aug 09, 2013 at 03:33 AM
rscheffler
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p.725 #19 · p.725 #19 · Leica M/X/T/S/Q Picture Thread


Very nice Edward, Charles and Gary!

Katie, I'll second Gary's suggestion to get two spare batteries. Lately I've added two more for a total of 5 and it covers me for most day-long events, though I still always bring the charger too.

Charles brings up a great point about rangefinder calibration and also getting eyepiece diopter correction if you have less than perfect eyesight. I found this made a significant improvement for me, to the point where I stopped using a viewfinder magnifier. If the rangefinder/viewfinder is properly calibrated, the double image of the focus patch will 'snap' into alignment quite clearly.



Aug 09, 2013 at 05:17 AM
Mitch Alland
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p.725 #20 · p.725 #20 · Leica M/X/T/S/Q Picture Thread


Katie, one more thought that I came across on the Leica User's Forum by a fine professional photographer with a good eye for color: "I do think that the higher iso's on the M9 are vastly underrated, and in general much prefer the image quality of the M9 to the M240. The M9 (and Monochrom by de facto) imo are truly two of the most unique digital cameras out there when it comes to the quality of the image. Not the "best" on paper but they have a look, an "umami" as the Japanese might say, that no other 35mm digital camera, comes close to." That reflects my view as well.

—Mitch/Bangkok
Surabaya-Johnny



Aug 09, 2013 at 05:50 AM
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