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Leica M - Exposure Compensation Issues

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Hi All, can ppl with an M comment on my experience with the exposure compensation so far.

 

I just received my new Leica M and it's fantastic but one of my most anticipated features (exposure compensation) really doesn't work in it's current form. There are two issues for me, 1 is hardware and 2 is software;

 

1. The focusing button on the front is really small and stiff and i cannot use it 4 out of 5 attempts when trying to set the exposure compensation. I have properly working hands but the button is impossible to press easily. And to press it consistently i have to adjust my grip to an awkward one which is not good for taking the photo.

 

2. I upgraded from the M9 to the M mainly for the use of the EVF adapter and live view capabilities. Now that i have it, it turns out that you can only see a preview of the final image after half depressing the shutter. This is too late. And defeats the purpose of having live view. I understand that you want to allow for accurate focussing but why not just use the 'bright' view for when the camera is zoomed in with focus assist. When i shoot in a room or any location, the exposure needs to be set first and then the focus as the exposure is normally constant for the whole room where ever i go but the focus can change each shot. At present the firmware treats it the other way around.

 

 

This can all be fixed in the firmware with 2 additions;

 

a) Allow exposure compensation to occur when ever i turn the Setting Dial while the camera is ready to take a photo.

 

Allow the live view and EVF to display what the final picture will look like. The current setting of showing how 0 exposure compensation looks can be maintained for the focus assist feature (when it zooms in).

 

So does anyone know who the best person is for me to talk to about the firmware updates? Thanks

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You don't say whether you are happy having image review going to the EVF when you are using the EVF for focussing. Some of us would like an option to review using the screen not least because keeping the camera to your eye gives the impression you are taking pictures when you are not which may cause problems with sensitive subjects.

 

As for who to contact, I started a thread to list suggested firmware improvements in the hope it might act as a master list for Leica to reference.

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As Mark mentioned both of these issues have been discussed at length during the last month (try a search?) and there is already a thread ongoing for suggested firmware updates.

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Careful, you might get berated for even using exposure compensation round these here parts. ("You should be shooting manual only!" Etc). Hope the firmware is resolved to make the process easier. I noticed that changing the compensation a real bind when I had a play with the M too. Yes. Sometimes I like to shoot on A too.

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Nobody is berating anybody! The remark is: "The way the camera is laid out, the easiest way to obtain exposure compensation is in manual mode" I cannot see what is wrong with saying that.

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Thanks all, i'll hunt down that thread. I do find this place somewhat of a quagmire occasionally. So i'll stop this one here.

 

On the 'A' usage. For mixed and back light i see the potential for live view in an EVF as a stellar evolution. And one i just paid to upgrade to. With so much iso range i get headaches do the mental sums and light meters are too ineffective in mixed light on the street.

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Nobody is berating anybody! The remark is: "The way the camera is laid out, the easiest way to obtain exposure compensation is in manual mode" I cannot see what is wrong with saying that.

 

Nobody is berating anybody? Hmm, I do seem to recall this remark:

 

Since, I agree with jaapv that EV compensation is for pussies:p,

 

Right, no berating there.

 

And for the record I still differ with you on exposure comp. It is easier to use the thumb wheel and keep your index finger on the shutter than it is to try to turn that stiff shutter knob on top of the camera with the same index finger that is supposed to be resting on the shutter button ready to take the picture.

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I have ordered a small pack of transparent self-adhesive domed polyurethane feet, made for going under glass bowls to prevent scratching of polished surfaces. I am going to try sticking one of those onto the focus/zoom/EV button to see if it makes it easier to use. These were only £1 plus 99p postage, so if it does not work, not a lot lost. I find the EV adjustment very difficult. I know you can round it via manual but it is a function of the camera that a lot of us use and it is not well implemented on the M. The implementation on the M9 was much better. I find it close to impossible to depress the button and roll the wheel at the same time.

 

Wilson

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I have ordered a small pack of transparent self-adhesive domed polyurethane feet, made for going under glass bowls to prevent scratching of polished surfaces. I am going to try sticking one of those onto the focus/zoom/EV button to see if it makes it easier to use. These were only £1 plus 99p postage, so if it does not work, not a lot lost. I find the EV adjustment very difficult. I know you can round it via manual but it is a function of the camera that a lot of us use and it is not well implemented on the M. The implementation on the M9 was much better. I find it close to impossible to depress the button and roll the wheel at the same time.

 

Wilson

 

Wilson, I 100% agree with you and will be intrigued to hear if it works. Then we can get someone to make some really expensive ones!

 

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I find the EV adjustment very difficult. I know you can round it via manual but it is a function of the camera that a lot of us use and it is not well implemented on the M. The implementation on the M9 was much better. I find it close to impossible to depress the button and roll the wheel at the same time.

 

This is the second feature I have heard of recently that is hampered on the M as opposed to the M9 (the other being the fact that the M can't bracket more than 5 shots, while the M9 would bracket up to 7). Interestingly, in both threads discussing these issues the people complaining about the lack of functionality compared to the M9 were told they should just do everything manually and forget about actually using the camera functionality (even though it worked just fine in the M9).

 

We get it. You guys like simplicity and full manual modes. But you need to get over the fact that the M is no longer a film camera. It has electronics. It has firmware. It has aperture priority autoexposure and autoexposure bracketing. Lots and lots of photographers gladly use these modes, as they make taking pictures easier for us. We just ask that these features be well implemented, and not be hampered in their functionality for no obvious reason.

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Wilson, I 100% agree with you and will be intrigued to hear if it works. Then we can get someone to make some really expensive ones!

 

 

Tim, I already have my package of self-adhesive domed polyurethane feet waiting and ready to try out it's effectiveness on a M240. If you want to quickly send me your body, I can try one out. If it work's, I'll hold onto that M (no sense sending it back and forth) and also as compensation for this extensive evaluation would even send you all the rest of the spares polyurethane feet for any future "M"'s you might repurchase.

 

Dave (D&A)

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Tim, I already have my package of self-adhesive domed polyurethane feet waiting and ready to try out it's effectiveness on a M240. If you want to quickly send me your body, I can try one out. If it work's, I'll hold onto that M (no sense sending it back and forth) and also as compensation for this extensive evaluation would even send you all the rest of the spares polyurethane feet for any future "M"'s you might repurchase.

 

Dave (D&A)

 

Dave, the M is in the post... but I couldn't afford the insurance so I'm sure if it doesn't arrive you'll be happy to reimburse the value....

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Wilson, I 100% agree with you and will be intrigued to hear if it works. Then we can get someone to make some really expensive ones!

 

 

surely the leica ergonomics department can take care of that. seems right down their alley.

peter

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I have ordered a small pack of transparent self-adhesive domed polyurethane feet, made for going under glass bowls to prevent scratching of polished surfaces. I am going to try sticking one of those onto the focus/zoom/EV button to see if it makes it easier to use.

Wilson

 

Wilson, did your high tech solution work? I sure hope so.

 

And perhaps Leica will offer a chrome matching version in a fancy box for maybe Euro 10- per self-adhesive dome?

 

Peter

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Wilson, did your high tech solution work? I sure hope so.

 

And perhaps Leica will offer a chrome matching version in a fancy box for maybe Euro 10- per self-adhesive dome?

 

Peter

 

Peter,

 

Hopefully they will be in this morning's post but as they are being sent second class maybe not. I will post a photo when I have fitted one.

 

As to Leica selling one for €10 - come on! When did Leica ever sell anything for as little as €10. Nearer €30 would be my guess. They charge £44 for a £5 cable release in the UK.

 

Wilson

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I have ordered a small pack of transparent self-adhesive domed polyurethane feet, made for going under glass bowls to prevent scratching of polished surfaces. I am going to try sticking one of those onto the focus/zoom/EV button to see if it makes it easier to use. These were only £1 plus 99p postage, so if it does not work, not a lot lost. I find the EV adjustment very difficult. I know you can round it via manual but it is a function of the camera that a lot of us use and it is not well implemented on the M. The implementation on the M9 was much better. I find it close to impossible to depress the button and roll the wheel at the same time.

 

Wilson

 

I'm sure they will ...... it only needs a couple of mm to make this button functional....

 

As for fixed/settable exposure comfirmation ..... I have always found it a menace as it is easy to forget you have set it ...... and merrily take several dozen shots blissfully unaware that they will be rubbish.

 

In fact a menu option to 'reset exp compensation when camera switched off' would be handy....

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I'm sure they will ...... it only needs a couple of mm to make this button functional....

 

As for fixed/settable exposure comfirmation ..... I have always found it a menace as it is easy to forget you have set it ...... and merrily take several dozen shots blissfully unaware that they will be rubbish.

 

In fact a menu option to 'reset exp compensation when camera switched off' would be handy....

 

Funny, but I have had this problem more with setting a high ISO than with the exposure compensation. But in the end it just comes down to developing good habits. When I finish taking the shots that required me to adjust exp. comp., then I simply adjust it back to zero. But I do like your idea for the firmware fix. Memory (or lack thereof) can be a bitch. Sometimes when I am switching between using my autofocus SLR and my M9, I start shooting the M9 and forget to focus the lens. Oops.

 

I have no problem with having a firmware option that makes you press a button before turning the exposure comp dial. That would provide a level of protection for those that don't want to accidentally turn the knob and unknowingly change the setting. But for those of us that use it regularly, it sure would be nice to have the option of doing it the way we have on our M9 (and on my Canon).

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I'm sure they will ...... it only needs a couple of mm to make this button functional....

 

As for fixed/settable exposure comfirmation ..... I have always found it a menace as it is easy to forget you have set it ...... and merrily take several dozen shots blissfully unaware that they will be rubbish.

 

In fact a menu option to 'reset exp compensation when camera switched off' would be handy....

 

Leica, please leave button #3 recessed. It is a perfect balance between ease of use and recessed enough that the camera can be handles without inadvertently pressing the button and bringing up LV when not wanted. This button is in an area where it is too easy to press while trying to hold the camera, leave it alone the ergonomics are well thought out.

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And for the record I still differ with you on exposure comp. It is easier to use the thumb wheel and keep your index finger on the shutter than it is to try to turn that stiff shutter knob on top of the camera with the same index finger that is supposed to be resting on the shutter button ready to take the picture.

 

Dirk -

 

You seem to have framed the eV compensation discussion as a comparison of ergonomics between the eV thumb wheel and the shutter knob.

 

I understand that for others pressing button #3 is difficult to use. And, that pressing button #3 + turning the wheel is even more difficult. That is one discussion and it is certainly up to each to decide if they like the implementation of the ergonomics.

 

But, these two methods of controlling exposure are different. One is manual control of exposure, the other (eV comp.) is meant to impart a bias to compensate for the inherent problems present in all auto exposure systems.

 

In other words one is exposure control the other is meant to compensate the meter's choice of exposure settings. The formers gives the user complete creative control of exposure the later leaves the exposure choice to the camera and tries to use a bias to make up for incorrect choices made by the camera's electronics for a variety of reasons.

 

That is why some of us don't use it for exposure control. It doesn't have anything to do with things like; we choose to use the shutter dial on the top of the camera instead.

 

 

We get it. You guys like simplicity and full manual modes. But you need to get over the fact that the M is no longer a film camera. It has electronics. It has firmware. It has aperture priority autoexposure and autoexposure bracketing. Lots and lots of photographers gladly use these modes, as they make taking pictures easier for us. We just ask that these features be well implemented, and not be hampered in their functionality for no obvious reason.

 

How we chose to control exposure has little to do with us liking simplicity. That is an idea of yours not mine. It has nothing to do with getting over the fact that the M is no longer a film camera. That is condescending and holds no logic. It doesn't even have to do with the the fact that lots of photographers gladly use the auto modes you mention. I don't make decisions based on what others gladly do. This is all nonsense.

 

We understand how the camera electronics work, but we chose to manage the creative aspect of controlling light, ourselves. We even understand that you feel that Leica has not implemented these things well. But, you don't seem to understand that eV control is not an exposure parameter, it is a bias used to control the limitations of auto modes. Some of us just chose to control exposure manually, use eV control when we want bias, and only use auto modes when we either don't care about setting our exposure or in limited situations where auto would work better.

 

I hope this helps understand how I view eV compensation and why I rarely use it. And, when I do, why I don't use eV compensation like the shutter dial or think of it as an exposure parameter.

Edited by RickLeica

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But Rick, given that Leica provide a mode that a lot of folks use, it is surely incumbent upon them to implement this mode in an ergonomically satisfactory fashion. A lot of who do use the EV compensation and were happy with the implementation on the M9, find the M240's method uncomfortable and difficult. It actually hurts my arthritic hands to do it. I am hopeful that the polyurethane button will help but I would still prefer a wholly different modus operandi for EV compensation.

 

I accept that you rarely use EV compensation but the majority of those us who do, seem to be struggling with it on the M240. There have been very few peans of praise for its implementation.

 

Wilson

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