Upload & Sell: Off
Mitch Alland wrote:
With some photographs I find that it takes time to come to a conclusion on a new photograph, before you suddenly see that you really like it or really don't. That's the reason that I like to post continuous flow of pictures to my flickr stream: not that one consistently gets good comments on flickr; but once in a while someone comments in a way that makes you see something that you didn't about the picture. In other words, I don't post necessarily what I think are my best pictures to flickr, but post to see if there is...Show more →
Mitch, thanks for your thoughts on this. I find Flickr interesting. Some use it as a showcase for their very best photography, but I prefer your approach. I think I'm even less strict about what I post there, with it being more like a scrapbook where I 'dump' anything I kind of like. I guess the problem with this is after awhile the number of images amassed is quite substantial and highly unlikely for 99.9% of visitors to wade through.
Regarding this thread, my hope is someday we catch and surpass the ZE/ZF/ZM thread, even though they have about a 6 month head start. Seriously, the breadth of images posted here is what I enjoy most. It bucks the "Leica is only for street photography" stereotype (I realize you use it a lot for this) and shows the system can really be used for pretty much anything within its technical limits, though with the M240 now, even those limits are much more flexible. It's also interesting to go back through the thread, which I just did, and see images from a couple years ago, see how some photographers have changed their style or techniques, while others remain consistent to what they post now. Children have grown some too. Checking in daily over time results in a lot of gradually accumulated knowledge about the Leica M system as well as about images. Luka was a great source for this until he go busy elsewhere.
Clarity: an interesting topic. I'm becoming more selective in my use of it. Lately I've tried to avoid it most of the time in my 'base' adjustment of images. I think this is due to a few factors: I probably overdid it with clarity and contrast when I first got into the M9 system with ZM lenses simply because it was new and I could. It was also my introduction to Lightroom, previously having used only Canon's DPP raw converter and customized scripts in PS with overlay layers, etc. for my homebrew version of clarity. So to have it as a slider in LR was too easy to resist. But I also think the ZM lenses somewhat biased my image interpretations to harder, higher contrast, particularly any kind of urban scene I photographed with them. For example these photos of mine from March 2011 in Switzerland. I even commented on how much I liked LR & clarity. They look quite HDRish in hindsight. Or my images on these pages: pg240 & pg241.
Looking back at some of these I doubt I would process them the same way now. But there are times I will use a lot of clarity. Like Michael commented, with abstract architectural elements, clouds, snow, etc.. anything where I'm trying to boost texture. Also for scenes where I'm trying to extract a lot of buried shadow values. High clarity combined with boosted saturation, exposure and substantially reduced contrast can sometimes work better than the shadow slider. But now I usually do most clarity adjustments selectively with a brush. I also very often use negative clarity selectively with a brush on areas of skin, combined with reduced contrast and an increase in exposure. Or in high contrast transitions where I see halos forming from high clarity values in base adjustments.
Another factor in my change of taste about clarity is probably due to now primarily using Leica lenses, which have different characteristics than the Zeiss. The Zeiss have great contrast and I often felt like I could push that even more for greater effect, even if it looked less natural and more stylized. Now with the Leica lenses, there's a lot of subtle gradation that I feel I want to keep. To apply a lot of clarity to images by a lens like the 50 Lux ASPH and its really smooth background rendering, totally obliterates the unique character of the lens. Sometimes the image is about preserving that character to enhance the subject content, whereas other times, like a well stopped down urban scene that could have been shot with any brand lens, the unique lens character is not prominent and the PP is all about the subject content rather than the lens.
Thanks Adam. I should try to find another M9 to compare mine against. The streaky banding really only is visible if files are pushed a couple stops or more, at least most of the time. For most normal situations it's unnoticeable. It just really freaked me out last week with the blatantly bad banding I posted... Problem with the M240 is finding one. Too impatient to wait, too lazy to actually look for one. Saves me $7000 too. While I think it will be a pretty big improvement in usability over the M9, the little quirks you're reporting, and...Show more →
Think it's settled, I'm getting the 21 SEM, Ron your fault, so I'll send you the bill in the mail..
Now that you mention it, I actually do think that's the problem with the 28cron, it's to well corrected in camera. Maybe I should try turning off lens corrections and see if that helps?!
Honestly, there are a lot of small frustrations with the camera, the slow startup is the worst of them.. But I think it's just because I sold off the M9P a few months back, so I've been using D4/D700/D800 and they're all faster then necessary cameras. The other...Show more →
Don't send me a bill, instead buy through my B&H affiliate link
Keep up the M240 feedback! The start up would be annoying, since this also seems to be card dependent. That said, from what I've read so far, the M240 should be snappier to use compared to the M9. That extra fps probably makes a pretty big difference. And for me, at something like a wedding, would be a big improvement.
The portrait and its colors look really good for ISO 3200.
Luka - great sets! Favorite from the first set is #7 and really like the Sokrates portrait. Congrats on your wedding too! Any bets on whether you or Adam will be the first with a kid?
Ryan - thanks for the VSCO summary. I like what you're doing with it to emulate the Portra look, a film I always liked. Not as crazy about PX-70 Warm. While it has a nice aesthetic, it's ruined for me by all the Instagram filtered cellphone photos everywhere. Just yesterday I downloaded the Nik software package to try Dfine on my banding plagued images, but also messed around a bit with the other apps. I thought Silver Efex was pretty nice, particularly the film emulations. Less enthused about Color Efex. Maybe worth checking out VSCO instead since Dfine probably won't contribute much of a solution, therefore no point in spending the not inconsequential sum on the Nik package.
rirakuma: Fun shot of the Alpacas and really like #4! Don't mind the B&W either, though I agree the scene works better in color. I'm not sure I'm seeing much difference in your M240 images vs. what one can get from the M9. Maybe what you're seeing from the M9 is a consequence of its narrower dynamic range which results in inherently higher contrast images?
Michael, very nice and lush images!
Joakim - wow, love the clouds!
Charles - thanks for the info about changes to clarity in LR5. I didn't know that... one more reason to consider the upgrade.
Allen - thanks for the link! Didn't know about this..
Sorry, more playground photos, as that's what I have at the moment...
All with M9 & 21 SEM. The first two were cropped a bit, probably closer to 28mm equivalent FOV: