Upload & Sell: Off
Thanks guys. I also like the first one of mine best. They graininess is a consequence of using the 'channel mixer' feature of Lightroom rather than just desaturating the image. Because the scene is primarily green and yellows, it has a fairly narrow spectrum, and when I pulled back in the green slider and boosted the yellow, I guess there's just too little file information for smooth transitions. With chroma NR enabled, the image looks really blotchy. But with chroma NR at zero, it results in a nice grainy look.
Michael, I think I like the first one better, with the stronger lines. I guess I was taking too long to write my post and didn't notice the continuation of the B&W theme. I only have color to offer at the moment.
Phil - forgot to mention I really like the image of the bamboo rod and water!
Joakim - I have a couple 3-stop NDs from Hoya. I feel they're OK and introduce a bit of a green/cyan color shift. I don't have any of the B+W or other more premium filter brands at hand, so not sure how they compare against the Hoyas.
Safe travels, Edward!
Ryan, very nice mood in those. The Summaron seems to have a nice smoothness.
Jonas - nice find.
Adam - it would be interesting to see a comparison of the 21 SEM against the ZE/ZF 21. On paper the SEM should be pretty much equal, if not better. On paper, the ZM 21/2.8 doesn't match the ZE/ZF, so interesting to read your thoughts about it.
M9 & Nikkor 10.5cm/2.5 and last with 50 Lux ASPH.
BTW, finally received the Panasonic Gold (non-pro) cards I ordered last week and have done some preliminary tests with them against the Transcend SDHC Class 10 (non-UHS-I) cards I currently use. Just as some background, the battery used was one of my older ones, at about 80% full, DNG was set to compressed and firmware is still 1.176. I did both black frame tests, lifted 5 stops in LR, as well as real world shooting, where I intentionally underexposed a bit and lifted 1-2 stops in post. So far I see little difference between the two cards. With both I can see relatively faint streaking in darker areas of 'real world' images, especially if pushed a bit in post. This is definitely the case when shooting quick bursts of more than a couple frames, where the later frames in the sequence will show more streaking/banding. This happens both with single frame advance and continuous. In the dark frame 5 stop pushes, I'm leaning very slightly in favour of the Panasonic card. Despite it still showing streaky banding, it appears more random than the Transcend card most of the time. With the Transcend sometimes the banding is like a fixed and repeated pattern of streaks. I also noticed that shooting at ISO 640 instead of 160 results in much less visible banding because the noise in the file masks most of the banding. This applies to both cards. So far I haven't been able to reproduce the really bad banding I posted samples of recently...
From these preliminary results, I think for things like weddings. I will definitely favour shooting at ISO 640 in darker situations, rather than at ISO 160 and pushing more in post because the grain of the ISO 640 images will help mask the underlying banding.
I've heard Nik's Define 2 might be effective against this banding and will give it a try and report back