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Hi community, I am quite new to the Leica Q and I expect the following to be a beginner's question. But, it is worrying me or at least I want to ensure that the phenomenon is not the cause of a technical issue. I am using the Leica Q in program automatic (aperture and time), multi-field metering and center-weighted metering. Auto focus is set to "single" mode, not continuous! (AF-S) My expectation was that whenever I press the shutter halfway through, the green rectangles indicate what is going to be in focus. Pressing it completely through should take the shot immediately. This works in 95% of the cases but sometimes it seems that the lens has to refocus when pressing the shutter completely through which causes a delay of 1-2 seconds! This is quite confusing as the moment was gone in those cases. Is this a technical issue or a normal behavior? I am not quite sure whether this happened with my SLR as well when I used in in auto mode! Thanks a lot for the help in advance! Cheers, Julian
Missing the Decisive Moment 1932, Paris, near the Gare Saint-Lazare the great Henri Cariter Bresson approaches a flooded construction site enclosed by an iron fence. He quickly realizes the potential of the situation and as a man dressed in black leaps over the ladder lying on the ground trying to avoid getting his feet wet, he presses the shutter just a fraction of a second before the heel of the man’s right shoe hits the water. He just made what was arguably going to be his most iconic street photograph ever. If, instead of using one of his beloved mechanical Leicas, he had used a Leica Q, looking though its fantastic EVF, he would immediately have avoided the parallax issue that caused him to include a part of the fence through which he was photographing and which forced him to apply a slight crop. The last glimpse he would see in the viewfinder was in fact the much desired decisive moment, but what he would find when hitting the PLAY button would be a picture with a big splash of the man landing in the puddle of water. Not because his reflexes were not quick enough, not because of any delay in the class-leading shutter of the “Q”, but because of a more serious quirk of the Leica Q which under certain circumstances makes it almost useless as a tool for capturing the “decisive moment”. It turns out that under certain circumstances the delay with which the real world is presented through the EVF (or the LCD on the back of the camera) makes it almost impossible to catch the right moment. By the time you see something happening in the viewfinder the world has moved on and what you get in the final picture is not what you had expected. Try this: set your camera for a typical daylight street scene on a sunny day using the “sunny sixteen” method (F16, Shutter = 1/ISO), so for example F16, 1/500th, ISO 500. Now watch someone walking while half-pressing the shutter and then press through completely just as the subjects front foot is just about to hit the ground (as in HCB’s picture). What you get is a rather unpleasant front leg with a bent knee. If you repeat the exercise looking at your subject directly (ie, not through the viewfinder) you should be able to get exactly the moment you want. To be more explicit, and in order for anybody to easily repeat the experiment, I’ve used a metronome app running on an iPAD as a continuously moving subject. In the following video I’ve set the speed of the metronome to 248 bpm running on an iPad set at maximum luminosity. The Leica Q is set to F16, 1/125th, ISO 50000 and the rear LCD screen and the iPad are recorded with an iPhone 6. I apologize for the quality of the video, but I think it is absolutely clear that when the shutter is half-pressed (which closes down the diaphragm) the delay becomes immediately visible. Also notice that if the shutter is not half-pressed there is no delay. In theory, therefore, it would be possible to follow the action without half-pressing and then doing a full press at the right time, but often you want to half-press to make sure all of the normal chores of autofocus, metering etc. are taken care of so as not to waste further time. The problem seems to be intimately related to the F-stop, the higher the F the worse. At F below 4-5.6 it is hardly noticeable. https://youtu.be/EPTyJrfnkgs In this second video I’m showing a Fuji X100T in the same conditions and as you can see there is no noticeable delay. Also the Fuji X-T1 is without delay in the same conditions, which leads me to believe the problem to be specific to the “Q”. https://youtu.be/8GoNQXW0Ke0 I hope the design engineers of Leica get a chance to read this post and perhaps to repeat these experiments for themselves in the hope that they may come up with a solution in a future firmware update. On a side note I wonder if the new SL has the same problems. Since it is marketed as an action camera I think it would be a real deal breaker if it did. Aside from the problem described I would like to express my full appreciation of the camera. For reportage/street photography with its excellent intuitive handling, super silent shutter, unquestionable image quality, buttery smooth manual focus, lightning fast autofocus and general unobtrusiveness the Leica Q is really hard to beat.
...new to digital, finally took the plunge and got the M9 after years of film M use. Intention is to continue shooting film and grow into digital. Initial feeling re: M9 is "wow", but I am a bit concerned about the discernible shutter lag (relative to mechanical Ms) and need to understand if this is normal for digital Ms. Would appreciate input from users that shoot with both film and digital Ms. Thanks.