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Zhangyue, thank you very much for your comments. It's interesting that color esthetic is different between Asians and Westerners. My Thai-Chinese girlfriend and my Thai friends to whom I showed the comparison prefer the Leica profile, while Westerners seem to prefer the Adobe profile.
Maybe because they have personal experience about the place (or similar places) in your example (IIRC some of Michael's water scenes from China had a similar color quality). I conform to wester expectations and prefer the Adobe version with the 'purer' blue because it's my memory color for such a scene. My memory of blue skies tells me that such a cyan/green shift is 'wrong' but I've definitely seen that color of water before, just never with that color sky. Therefore my mind wants the blue sky of the Adobe profile even though the sand under the water looks too magenta. Also interesting because my impression is many Asians prefer a skin tone rendering towards the pink side rather than yellow, but those differences in your example are subtle and probably difficult for most to see because the sky and water are so different between the two, it masks the differences in skin hue.
At least that was my immediate thought when first seeing the two versions. Looking at them again, I can appreciate the first one has a more dusk-like feel to it and would probably prefer a blend of the two versions.
Mitch the 21 Lux does require more focus precision for exact focus wide open, but it's going to be nowhere near the same as any longer lens. It's still fairly forgiving at most street-scene distances but depth of field will still be pretty shallow. I have no experience with the 21 Elmarit versions, but when I started off with the M9 and ZM21/2.8 found that f/2.8 was sometimes fairly limiting for indoor/night hand held scenes. While one can hand hold such a lens at fairly low shutter speeds, the problem is often subject movement and the extra couple stops from the Lux helps a lot with the M9. It's definitely a large and heavy lens, at least for the M system. I posted some street scenes at night from a local event in this thread about a year ago here. There are additional images in a second post down the page. Exposure was in the 1/45 f/1.4 ISO 1250 range, meaning it would have been quite difficult to get these results with an f/2.8 lens without either dropping the shutter speed considerably lower, or pushing the files a lot in post. If you do get the Lux, make sure you also get the 'steer' from Leica Goodies. I find the focus and aperture rings are too close together and with the same tactile feel, therefore very easy to accidentally move the wrong one especially since on my lens the aperture ring has fairly weak click-stops.
Regarding the question about Thorsten Overgaard's statement about the differences between CCD and CMOS noise - I don't believe CMOS is less random in noise quality than CCD, rather it depends a lot on the individual camera/sensor. The biggest problem might be underlying banding characteristics that subtly become more obvious as files are pushed in post. The M240's sensor appears to have this problem as do those from the Canon 5DII and 5DIII. Banding can be a problem with the M9 too, but might not be strictly a sensor fault, rather a result of complications involving interference within the entire electronics system. My old CCD sensor Canon 1D also had banding problems.
It's only a guess, but one difference that might lead him to this conclusion is how low ISO noise is suppressed in the M9 vs. M240. My feeling is the M9's low ISO files always show fine luminance noise while the M240's seem a bit cleaner and more in-line with what one sees from other current cameras. It's possible the sensor software for the M240 and other CMOS cameras apply some noise reduction at all ISOs that results in a somewhat less randomized looking noise structure for some observers?
From the images you posted, I agree about the light quality shooting night street scenes and like that quality in the first one. Overall I think I like the third image best. On the technical side, I find the purple frame edges to be somewhat annoying. Unfortunately this is a side effect of pushing M9 files. If your lenses are also coded, then the camera applies some vignetting correction, which compounds the effects from pushing in post. This is about the only downside related to the technique of shooting at lower ISOs and pushing in post because the strength of the M9's lens correction varies with the ISO - it's stronger at lower ISOs.
Charles - excellent daily life scenes and it seems skies there are blue!
Phil - very nice balance and tonality!
Michael - glad your 50 Lux is back and appears to be working. Shall we set a timer to see how long it stays true? I really like the first and fourth from the set!
Gary, the 90 pre-AA certainly has great Leica color and tonal quality. Love the feel of the first and second. Nice try with the M240 & sports. From my impressions, the M240 is probably too laggy in live view for precise timing of fast action. I had the chance to shoot a MLS soccer match with the Sony A77 last year and found the EVF to be somewhat annoying for this application. I think because the pixel density is still insufficient and therefore difficult to really see where the exact point of focus is. But I think manual focusing will be a thing of the past pretty soon. Combine the new on-pixel phase detect AF of the sensor in Canon's 70D with plenoptic (Lytro) lightfield technology and we may not be that far away from tweaking focus in post.
Bruno - nice friends!
Scott - looks like it was a fun time out with the family!
Joakim - I think I like the third one best, but then am very much drawn to such geometric compositions. Not entirely sure I like the processing of the first two. The heavy shadows/blacks create a hard feeling for scenes my memory tells me should have more tonal nuances and a softer, more lush feeling. But this is only my opinion.
Completely OT, but wanted to say I really liked your series posted in the GR thread from the last game at your hometown stadium. We just went through that last year here where I live. But the entire process was very tense due to the competing interests of various parties about where the new stadium should be built, who will pay for it, and what it should look like. Your old stadium seems to have some interesting character, such as the brickwork, which hopefully can be replicated in the new one. I'm afraid that here we're going to get an uncreative and sanitized version of what we had. One that will look vaguely similar, but will be missing the interesting quirks of the old one. It will also be smaller, which means the football team will raise the average price of tickets to offset the lower capacity, which will probably displace many of the interesting, though lower income individuals who were a fair percentage of past attendance. Usually stadiums are rebuilt to make them larger, but not here!
A couple more from the ROM:
Both 28 Cron. Unfortunately without any control over the situation, couldn't do much about the window reflections...