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THE ORIGINAL FAQ THREAD


andybarton

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Question:

 

I miss my rewind lever. Is there a way to hold the camera more securely?

 

 

Answer:

 

When the M8 came out many people, used to film M cameras, began to realize that they had been using the film rewind lever as a thumbrest.

this gave rise to the construction of the "Thumbs Up" by Tim Isaacs, which is still the leading thumbrest on the accessory market. There are however, a few other options.

First the venerable SNOB by Leicagoodies, which has been around for quite some time, and now there is a newcomer, the "Thumbie" by Steve Barnett ( 250SWB on this forum)

 

How do they stack up against each other?

 

 

The Thumbs-Up:

Well built and designed.

Ergonomically sound. (follows the thumb)

Can be temporarily removed and replaced easily.

Has a (limited edition) silver variant.

 

Is the most expensive of the three.

Blocks the hot shoe ( but has an accessory shoe for a viewfinder)

Might damage the finish of the camera if grit gets under it.

Throws some mechanical strain on the hot shoe.

 

match Technical Services - Thumbs Up CSEP-1

 

 

The SNOB

 

Is very cheap.

Does the job.

 

Cannot be temporarily removed

Has doubtful ergonomics.

Looks funny

 

Get your SPARE for the Leica M!

 

 

 

The Thumbie

 

Very reasonably priced.

Well built and designed.

Excellent ergonomics ( Follows the angle of the thumb)

Leaves the hot shoe free.

Small and elegant.

 

Cannot be temporarily removed

Comes only in black

 

mailto:barnet@globalnet.co.uk

 

For the record: those that cannot be temporarily removed kan easily be taken off without damage to the camera!

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Edited by jaapv
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  • 2 weeks later...

Question: I want to use an old flash, but I am afraid that the trigger voltage may damage my camera. What is the maximum for a digital M ?

 

Answer:

This is the official position by leica:

 

The M9 is capable of triggering flash devices using high voltage.

It is possible to use flash devices with a voltage up to 600 Volts.

 

But it is important that the positive terminal is on the middle contact of the hot shoe and the ground terminal is on the mounting bar.

 

Mit freundlichen Gruessen / kind regards

 

Stefan Staudt

 

Leica Camera AG

Informationsservice Software Support

Gewerbepark 8 / D-35606 Solms / Germany

Edited by jaapv
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Question:

I get odd f-stop readings in Lightroom metadata from my M10 and a 50mm Summicron.
After downloading shots to Lightroom the f-stop metadata reads thing like f 2.4 , f 4.7, f 5.9 and even though I shoot at f2 it always displays f-2.4. Why? Is something wrong?

Answer:

The setting of the aperture is not transmitted from the lens to the body. The camera compares the light which reaches its little eye above the lens with the light reaching the sensor. It then calculates from that ratio what may or may not be the aperture of the lens.

Question by Kissov, answer supplied by Pop

Edited by jaapv
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Question:

Hi, I'm new to the M system and I have a new M10, very nice, one funny thing though is now and again when shooting indoors it seems that now and again the focus patch just seems to disappear, I focus on something else and half a min later or so I can focus again with the patch. Any ideas?

Answer:

Your finger is blocking the rangefinder patch on the front of the camera.

Question by awoof

Edited by jaapv
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  • 1 month later...

Question:

 

Hi all.. I have a new M9 which shows odd mosaic effects on certain scenes with close vertical lines (Railings etc.) in them.. they look like 'Greek Keys' in differing colours..

 

Question and images provided by Andykcole

 

Answer:

 

provided by Adan

 

 

There are actually two related things going on here.

 

The orange/cyan barberpole stripes are color moiré, caused by the lighter spaces between the railings or other fine black lines being so fine that they only affect one set of pixels in a Bayer quadrant. I.E. if the black railing covers a red/green pair, and the bright area illuminates the blue/green pair, the sensor sees "cyan" rather than white or gray.

 

If the subject's pattern is not exactly the same scale as the sensor pixel spacing, it will move in and out of "sync" with the sensor across the image, causing a "beat" from orange to blue to orange to blue. Not unlike the audible beat sometimes heard when riding in a two-engine aircraft where the engines aren't quite synced. "Thmmmm-thmm-thm-thm-thm-tm-tm-tm-thm-thm-thm-thmm-thmmmmm" over and over.

 

(Beat (acoustics) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

 

The maze artifacts are caused by the de-mosaicing algorithm (either in camera for jpegs or in developing RAW images after the fact) becoming confused as to whether a given dark pixel is part of a horizontal or vertical line. Some RAW developing programs handle this confusion better than others.

 

(The de-mosaising algorithm is the math that converts a checkerboard of purely red, green, and blue pixels into an array of full-color pixels, by borrowing color information from the surrounding pixels).

 

________________________

 

a link to a review of the Nikon D70s (2004), in which the anti-moiré filtering was reduced over previous itterations of the same sensor, to improve sharpness. It also notably produced color and maze artifacts - so the effect has been "consumer knowledge" for at least 7 years. Nikon D70 Review: 17. Photographic tests: Digital Photography Review

________________________

 

It has been an intentional and publicized "selling point" of the Leica/Kodak CCDs going all the way back to the digital back for their SLR ("DMR") that no anti-moiré filtering is used on their sensors, to maximize the resolution of the images.

 

At the cost of occasional artifacts like these in the 5% of subject matter prone to moiré. Railings, bricks, cloth textures or any repetitive pattern that HAPPENS to be on the same scale as the pixels.

 

In your first shot - the white wall boards bottom-front form a repetitive pattern too big to cause moire, and the bricks in the beige wall are too fine to be resolved, but the railings are "just right" to cause an interference pattern.

 

In your second shot, it is not the railings, but the fine screening between the railings that is being resolved (kudos to the Leica lens) at a level that aliases, moirés, or interferes with the pixel checkboard

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Edited by jaapv
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Question:

 

I have an image with moiré problems. Does it make a difference which raw converter I use?

 

Answer:

 

Yes, it does. Some raw converters are more effective at removing moiré and fringing. Capture One has an excellent reputation in this respect

 

Image provided by DeNoir

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Question:

What is a good way to sharpen my images?


Answer:

Many users still use single-pass sharpening. Nowadays we know that , for maximum quality, we need a multi-pass sharpening workflow. If you apply single-pass sharpening you are attempting to account for image source, image content and output process in a single round of sharpening. Multipass sharpening takes account of the sometimes contradictory requirements of the different steps in sharpening.
To begin with we need a content optimized master image that can be used in further processing to apply creative sharpening and the finally sharpening for specific output.

I will take the case for Photoshop because that is what I am used to.

Always work at 100% or larger!

The object of this capture sharpening is to create an artifact-free ( as far as possible) optimally sharpened file to process further. The image content can be divided in three types:
high-frequency images ( think of a landscape with plenty of leafy trees, large amounts of small detail) and
low-frequency images ( portraits with smooth skin) and
mixed images.

The three require different approaches.

The main tool here is the radius slider: The higher the frequency, the lower the setting 0.5 to 1.0
Low frequency images require settings between 1.0 and 1.5 That is about the maximum you can use.

Typical amount settings would be 15-30 for M9 files, 5-20 for M8 files.

The obvious problem is the mixed image. Think eyes and eybrows/hair in that low-frequence portrait.. There are several approaches.

1. Set the radius to 1.0 and try to correct in Photoshop
2. Set for low frequency in sharpening and use the correction brush on areas that need more detail
3. Make two smart objects for different frequencies and blend with a layer mask in Photoshop.

You can (in ACR 6.0) create an edge mask using the masking slider. Enlarge to at least 100% and hold the ALT key whilst sliding. You can see where the sharpening will be masked.

Then you can bring back detail by using the detail slider in the same way. It is not a simple slider, because it influences a number of parameters. Never mind what it does, the results are quite visible.

Then you can switch back and use the clarity slider to enhance your settings. Don't forget you have local control with the adjustment brush.

When you are in Photoshop you can sharpen creatively by enhancing areas. You can either use the sharpening brush or make a layer, (over)sharpen it, use a layer mask and play with opacity. In general, always sharpen on a layer, to work non-destructively.


There is also the trick of setting USM to a radius of 50 and threshold to 1, using the amount slider for control (normally around 20) to get midtone contrast enhancement to bring out extra detail, but I digress
When you have the image to your taste you flatten it and go to output sharpening.

For printing you can use your Scott Kelby technique (*) and learn the optimum setting by trial and error or you can delve into the theory and set the sharpening halos mathematically.
The advantage is that you have an optimally sharpened image to start with so you won't have any nasty surprises.



(*) Use Unsharp Mask to taste and go to "fade unsharp mask" in the edit menu and fade 100% on Luminosity


Lightroom works a bit differently, but I do not have the expertise to explain that clearly .


LR addition by Marquinius

Lightroom works mostly like you describe. When you are used to the ACR (the RAW editor upon opening a photo in Photoshop), you'll get used to LR in a jiffy.

For sharpening you have the same tools, to be found under DETAIL. What I do (in simple steps):

1) I import a photo in LR with the standard primary sharpening (very low, just to get rid of the softness resulting from RAW).

2) I work the photo until it's "perfect" (all conversions, editing, even side stepping to CS, whatever) BUT (and this is important) WITHOUT any further sharpening.

3) I make a virtual duplicate of the edited photo

4) I start my sharpening on this virtual, following the same logic Jaap just described.

In this way you always keep the unsharpened image separate from the sharpened ones: printing for screen asks for a different approach the sharpening for print (and for print you can even go to small print/big print, soft paper, toned paper, whatever). You use the unsharpened photo as a starting point.

Of course you could make a snapshot and return to that point every time you want to sharpen for a different output, but the you'd overwrite previous efforts.


Follow-up question:

How do I prepare an image for display on this forum?

Answer:

My favorite technique is to set the crop tool to 1280 px wide (and 640 px high if desired) and crop the full image. Then add Unsharp Mask at maybe a 15-30 amount at radius 1.0 and threshold 0 for a bit of sparkle. Go to Edit, fade Unsharp Mask, choose "Luminosity" in the pull-down menu.

Save as JPG using a quality that gives a maximum file size of max 500 kB. (1000 kB for sponsoring members)

Edited by jaapv
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  • 4 weeks later...

Question: What is the shutterlag on the M9?

Answer:By Lindolfi
You can establish shutter lag with sound. Here two releases of the M9, one with 1/60 sec. (top panel) and one with 1/30 sec. (bottom panel) shutter time, sampled at 44.100 Hz. The first burst of sound happens right when pressing the button. Then there is a 0.09 second silence and the first curtain starts to travel, shown by the second burst. The third burst is the sound of travel of the second curtain, closing off the sensor. Remarkable how similar the sound waves are due to the exact way the mechanism of the shutter is operated. Every time the same way.

answer supplied by Lindolfi

 

 

Remark: The M10 should be similar or the same.

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Question:

Sometimes the rangefinder patch seems to lose the "overlay" and I can't focus without it. I realize I need to be looking straight through the finder for best results, not at an angle, but even adjusting my eye position doesn't bring it back. Does this indicate the need for a camera adjustment, or some other type of "operator adjustment?"

 

Answer:

You're covering the rangefinder window on the front of the camera with your finger.

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Question: Does EXIF file from the M9 include full exposure information (f-stop and shutter speed)?

 

Answer:

 

As the camera has no way of reading out the aperture, it cannot be included precisely in EXIF. However, the blue dot at the front is a light meter, so the camera can compare the actual shutterspeed with the measured light. That way it can estimate the f-stop used, which is written to EXIF.

This is just an estimate, which can be far off it - for instance there was a filter used, or a finger in front of the dot, or just because the metering fields differ, so it can never be completely reliable.

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Question: The aperture I used is not displayed correctly in the EXIF information.

 

Answer:

 

 

There is no mechanical or electrical linkage between the aperture of the lens and the body. The camera estimates the aperture using the exposure data and the input of the external light meter (the blue dot on the front).

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Question: Is it safe to collapse a lens with retractable tube (e.g. 50mm Elmar) into the body of the M8 or M9?

Answer:

First of all, Leica says in the manuals for the M8 and M9: „Lenses with retractable tube can only be used with the tube extended, i.e. their tube must never be retracted into the LEICA M8/M9. This is not the case for the current Macro-Elmar-M 90mm f/4, whose tube does not protrude into the camera body even when retracted. It can therefore be used without any restrictions.“

On the other hand many users have reported in this forum that they regularly retracted the tubes of other lenses into the camera bodies without any problems.

Let‘s look for some facts:

There are two reasons for Leica‘s warning about collapsible lenses in the manuals:

1. The „throat“ of the digital M (the open space between the bayonet mount and the shutter) is much narrower than with film Ms. If someone would mount or dismount a lens with it‘s tube retracted and hold it in a certain angle it might touch and scratch the sides of the „thoat“. Therefore you should only mount or dismount a lens when the tube is extended.

2. The retracted tube might touch and damage the shutter.

If you look into the body without a lens you see two black metal ridges above the shutter. The distance between those two ridges is approx. 25mm. The diameter of a retractable lens tube is at least 27mm (in most cases considerably more). So if the tube hits anything it will be the ridges and not directly the shutter. This does not make it safe, for pressure on these ridges, which are made of rather thin metal, might interfere with or even damage the shutter.

Do the tubes of retractable lenses touch the ridges?

I measured 24mm as the distance between the surface of the camera‘s bayonet and the ridge both for the M8 and M9. Let us stay on the safe side and say: a tube which enters 22mm or more into the body will be critical or dangerous. That is certainly the case for the collapsible 4/90 Elmar (old type ILNOO; 11631, 11131, which was produced from 1954 to 1968 - so not to be mixed up with the current Makro-Elmar-M, 4/90).

How long are the tubes of other collapsible lenses entering into the body?

Some examples: For the tube of the collapsible version of the 2/50mm Summicron (screw-mount) I measured less than 14mm when it is collapsed, so I see no risk at all that it could touch the ridges. For the Elmar-M 2.8/50 (last version) it‘s 20.5mm, same for the first version of the 2.8/5cm Elmar with M-mount or it‘s 3.5/5cm M-mount precedessor. But a „red dial“ 3.5/5cm from 1951 (screw-mount) gives a very risky result of 22.5mm; for a nickel 3.5/5cm from 1932 I measure 20.5mm again. The 2.5/5cm Hektor had the longest tube I know: 23mm, which is dangerous! The Summar‘s and the Summitar‘s tubes were shorter than those of the Elmar (18mm). For all screw-mount lenses the adapter, which is necessary to mount them on an M, gives 1mm more space. The different results for the 50mm- or 5cm-Elmars from different times show that individual measurements of certain lens types are not reliable for every other lens of this sort. There may be variants in the tube‘s design, even protruding sharp edges on the ends of a tube.

So before retracting a lens into the body of a M8 or M9 one should measure the retracted tube (always fixed on infinity) looking especially for protruding edges. Anything which is 22mm or longer should be never retracted but the extended tube secured by a Dymo band that it won‘t retract accidentially.
Edited by jaapv
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Question:

 

 

I am getting confused over the frame line accuracy issue. I read with the M8 the frame lines are optimized for 0.7m, the M8.2 for 2m and the M9 for 1m. At various distances the frame lines for each camera are more accurate than the others.

 

If we are using prime lens, why would the angle of view change with respect to distance? Shouldn't it be the same and hence it is optimized for all distances?(obviously not otherwise Leica wouldn't need to optimize it)

 

 

 

 

 

 

by NWK00

 

 

 

Answer: (by MJH)

 

 

Because the angle of view doesn’t strictly depend on the focal length, but on the distance between the lens (or properly its rear nodal point) and the sensor. If focused at infinity this distance is indeed equal to the focal length, but it gets longer if you focus on subjects in the foreground.

 

Lenses using internal focusing show a different behaviour since they also change the focal length. The prime example are our own eyes which focus by changing the focal length exclusively; the distance between lens and retina stays the same. For that reason the eyes always have the same angle of view, regardless off what we focus on.

Edited by jaapv
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Question:

Does anyone of you experience this problem? I am constantly getting the same result whenever I shoot in back light conditions.

The problem does not appear when I take a photo indoors or in a more neutral environment.
Question provided by Choon Wee




Answer:
That is a classical case of blooming. We rarely see this since the sensor of the M9 would have to be overexposed by about 10 EV above the limit of its dynamic range until the pixels succumb to the flood of excess photo-electrons, despite anti-blooming gates doing their best trying to drain it away.
Answer provided by MJH

 

This should apply to the M10 as well

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  • 2 weeks later...

Question:
When I reformat a card to ready it for the next use, should I not overwrite?

Answer:

Normally always use format. Overwrite takes too long and adds nothing in a technical sense

The function of overwrite is to make the card completely unreadable, even by special recovery programs. It may be useful for war corresponents or photographers that wish absolute protection of their subjects' privacy for instance

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Problem:

 

My flash sometimes works, sometimes not. Either via a hot shoe trigger or a flash mounted directly onto the hot shoe itself.

 

Answer:

 

Check your shutter speed. This is especially true with flash heads or triggers which cover the left hand portion of the shutter speed selection dial. The M9's maximum sync speed is 1/180. There is a little flash symbol on the shutter dial to indicate this. All speeds up to and including 1/180 will trigger the flash. Above 1/180 however the trigger signal is shut off. Unlike other cameras which allow you to shoot above the max sync, but produce areas of underexposure in the image as a result, the M9 simply will not trigger the flash.

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Question:
Does it make sense to use the same filters on my M10 that I was using on my film cameras?


Answer:

The use of filters is well established in film - but on digital, many filter effects can be simulated in postprocessing.

However, filters that cannot be dispensed off are pol filters, nd filters, to a certain extent grad filters. Some special effects filters like a star filter,cross filter, soft focus filter, etc can be simulated in post, but are simpler to use as a physical filter.

If you want to use a strong color filter it is very easy to get the same effect in postprocessing, but the corresponding color channel will be limited in dynamic range, so that is a case for a real filter again.
If you were planning to shoot a dramatic B&W landscape for instance you will get a better result by using a red filter than you would get by pushing the red slider in Photoshop, although the overall effect would be similar.

So it is not a good idea to toss all your filters in the eBin as soon as you switch to digital

Specific for digital is an IR cut filter. If short focal length does not forbid the use it can improve color rendition in high-IR situations, even on the M9 and M10


On the M8 and to some extent M9 and M10 an IR pass filter will allow IR photography.

There is no need for an UV filter on Leica M lenses, as they are UV filtered from the factory. One can only expect any benefit in extreme circumstances like over 4000 meters in the mountains

Edited by jaapv
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