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jonoslack

Freedom from Filters (here lies heresy)

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I'd like to know how you do that. I had shots of palm fronds in terracotta pots behind two lovely young women seated at a table, one wearing a green blouse and the other a yellow blouse. The palm leaves came out reddish-brown and nothing I did with any colour adjustment in any software corrected the leaves back to proper green without skewing the pots or the women's blouses, not to mention their skin tone. When I used Magnetic Lasso on the leaves then I could attack them without throwing off the rest of the shot. I still couldn't quite get the leaves quite to where I wanted. I regret having deleted the shot because I would love to try whatever technique you call "fairly simple". Nothing I'd love more than to relegate the IR filters to use with black fabric.

I'd like to have had a go as well, although maybe it would have beaten me too!

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Oh Jono, yer an 'eretic you are!

 

And I think I am too!

 

2 snapshots taken on the same day at Brooklyn Botanic Garden -- one with a Canon G7 (my "goes everywhere" pocket cam) and one with the M8 with the 28 Ultron and no filter, Both processed in Lightroom (I can't seem to find that M8 hack for Aperture, could you post a link please?)

 

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Are the M8 colors *wrong*? I don't care, I like the M8 shot better.

 

For me color is about emotion, not accuracy for its own sake, so like you and Sean, I am very willing to let the M8 "have its head" -- heck I always have mine!

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Guest guy_mancuso

Jono put those bloddy filters on or send them to me. LOL

 

Just kidding my friend . Foilage is weird i can tell you that. In my part of the desert i should say my foilage is yellow green normally so green green is really hard to come by anyway. But i agree outside with some of this stuff maybe the filters on is maybe better to have them off.

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... Printing a picture of a section of grass, and then going out and laying it on the patch of grass seems pretty objective to me.

 

 

Color and b/w photography is mostly about interpretation, not about objectivity. A long time ago film companies realized that one should not try to faithfully record tones or color. This is why the characteristic tone curve on film has a toe and a shoulder rather than being a straight 45 degree line. The same with color. In the case you mentioned of sunlight mixed with shade, it is the photographer's responsibility to achieve an acceptable balance that looks good - either to himself or to his customers.

 

When it comes to product photography, one needs to use the tools available to make the end result be the way the client wishes to depict the product. This is often very difficult because the original subject has various characteristics that affect color and these characteristics are very complicated and can't always be easily simulated on a monitor or with colored inks and dyes. IR reflectivity is just one aspect of a spectral response variable. There also are various surface characteristics of objects that affect color, along with scattering of selective colors and other issues that come into play such as iridescence.

 

In your case, the landscapes may be very pleasing to you and some others, but may not please a landscape architect or a company that is selling flowers, or plants. A film or digital camera manufacturer's type of test would be to shoot the landscapes with and without IR filters, then apply different color balances, contrast and other adjustments to produce a range of images. Then these images could be rated by a large number of average viewers.

 

When I was a student at RIT we had a class about this. The room was even equipped with various lights to simulate, daylight, tungsten, fluorescent etc. It turns out that for some subjects, warmer than "normal" images were often preferred. Sometimes even the order that these images were displayed influenced the results. (A cool one next to a warm one would have different results than a cool one next to a neutral one.) I think the image on the left had a favorable bias too, so we would have to organize our testing so that we could present the same images on the left and then again on the right to balance this out. There is a lot of research and testing that goes into this. Can you imagine what kind of testing a lipstick or car paint manufacturer must do?

 

All I'm saying is that in school, I was presented a lot of information and examples to show how color perception and color reproduction is a very complicated thing to deal with objectively. Fortunately most photographers, myself included, just have to get it the way we like. And in my case that usually pleases my clients too.

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All I'm saying is that in school, I was presented a lot of information and examples to show how color perception and color reproduction is a very complicated thing to deal with objectively. Fortunately most photographers, myself included, just have to get it the way we like. And in my case that usually pleases my clients too.

Hi Alan - I'm not sure quite what you're trying to say?

I think we agree - I'm saying that mixed light is complex, and that 'right' isn't an option - isn't that what you're saying?

The point of my thread is that I haven't seen ANYONE saying that it's okay to shoot the M8 without filters for landscape work, but I've seen a LOT of people saying it isn't. I am simply saying that it's possible to get 'good' (not necessarily 'right') colours without using the filters - nothing else

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Jono put those bloddy filters on or send them to me. LOL

Hmm - I'm sure we could come to some agreement over this (I'm missing a 50 'lux!).

 

Just kidding my friend . Foilage is weird i can tell you that. In my part of the desert i should say my foilage is yellow green normally so green green is really hard to come by anyway. But i agree outside with some of this stuff maybe the filters on is maybe better to have them off.

LOL - just bump up that yellow hue and you can have it as green as you like!

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Oh Jono, yer an 'eretic you are!

 

For me color is about emotion, not accuracy for its own sake, so like you and Sean, I am very willing to let the M8 "have its head" -- heck I always have mine!

Giving your Leica head eh? I'm not sure that was exactly the meaning of my post

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My two cents on the optional/required UV/IR filter issue:

 

CV15

I've convinced myself that the cv15 doesn't need a UVIR filter and works fine enough with John's special, codeable (sp?) adapter. I did some test shooting both ways and seem to get better color separation using lens rec:ON but no filter (only a standard Leica UVA for some protection). Like one other poster commented, color preference is an emotional preference (as well as a choice based on some visual expertise for those in this forum) so there is some latitute over what is 'correct'. Remember we used to choose films based on their different qualities in recording color. Biggest difference here came from getting the special codeable lens mount.

 

28 2.8 Elmarit (new)

Have the Leica one on here and colors are downright perfect.

 

Zeiss 50 f/1.5 Sonnar

Have the proper filter but no special coding. Result is just about perfect, no corner issues and can slide contrast/saturation preference in desired direction in post process.

 

75 cron (new)

Have Leica filter (my two free ones (for the 28 and 75) came this week) on and color is great.

 

I'm using C1 for all processing because I haven't found a better quality output. Work process is a bit of a pain and I keep trying to like Lightroom (mostly cause I paid for it) but it does seem to overdo it a bit with saturation - the C1 files just look better -- finer range in color and more detail somehow.

 

Thanks, Jono, for starting this thread and daring to say that filters could be a photographers preference and, for the testing. As someone with many, many extra MB of versions 1,2,3...10 etc files on my system, and reams of test prints, I can appreciate what it takes to finally make an informed decision about some of these issues.

 

Mark

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My two cents on the optional/required UV/IR filter issue:

 

 

Thanks, Jono, for starting this thread and daring to say that filters could be a photographers preference and, for the testing. As someone with many, many extra MB of versions 1,2,3...10 etc files on my system, and reams of test prints, I can appreciate what it takes to finally make an informed decision about some of these issues.

 

Mark

 

Hi Mark

I apologise that I didn't do my testing in C1 - the many versions was driving me crazy. With Aperture I still have the reams of test prints, but at least the versions don't take up space!

 

We all know the downsides of using filters - I was just trying to say that there may be an upside of not using filters. Thanks for the thanks!

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Guest guy_mancuso

Let's look at this from a logical standpoint . The reason for the IR filter was there was not enough blocking at the sensor without it to cause the magenta cast. Normally most camera's put a IR filter over the sensor to block IR contamination to a certain value. We all agree on this part. What happened to the M8 since the sensor is so close to the rear element adding the correct amount would have caused more internal issue 's than leica wanted . So how that came about who cares these are the facts now to control that amount to a normal state we are supposed to use the leica IR filters which together with the slight amount of the sensor already threre we would get back to a normal state of blocking the IR contamination just like any other camera on the market, we did get a side boo boo and that is cyan cast but that is not relevant right now in this issue. So logically the camera with the IR filter is back to this normal state, that is all well and good and what everyone wants and we can now make profiles for it and all that.

 

Now forget the M8 at this point let's assume it is just like the DMR or Canon from what i just described . Now what Jono is seeing can be seen in any camera and that is the IR being reflected from foilage and this is the varying issue here , In some scenes it looks better without the extra IR filter and in others it looks good with the IR filter when it comes to green and foilage. i think someone brought up Holly which different Holly send out varying degrees of IR and so do many other plants. this is one of those situations i don't think nothing is right or wrong but more on what the plant is doing. So it will be jumping around in different parts of the world and with different folks. i think this is very normal but having the M8 and it's issue we immediately think M8 which really is not the case it is more the enviroment and foilage on where the location is. Now bringing back the M8 into the fold you have two scenerio's shot without which more IR is hitting the sensor and with the IR filter which it is not hitting the sensor and that is were maybe the difference in what folks are seeing. Honestly i don't think you can make a call when you go out there and do this unless you tested every piece of foilage in your world. i think what one should do is maybe do both or stick with one way and work with it in post. in this situation i don't think there is anything you can call normal but only what you want to precieve or process too as normal.

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Hi Alan - I'm not sure quite what you're trying to say?

I think we agree - I'm saying that mixed light is complex, and that 'right' isn't an option - isn't that what you're saying?

 

I'm saying if it pleases you that's fine. It may not necessarily please everyone or even the majority of viewers let alone a specific client. If color reproduction is not a critical requirement than one can be as creative as one wants. This is no different than shooting b/w scenics with a red filter or shooting color scenics with a graduated color filter to enhance the sky. It is up to your interpretation.

 

I am certain that when film companies and camera manufacturers did their testing they explored various degrees of IR sensitivity to see viewers' opinions of the "preferred' way to reproduce a wide range of typical scenes. It seem obvious that after all of this testing they concluded it would be a good idea to filter out IR sensitivity in the emulsion or sensor. (Other than for specialized applications.) They've conclded that most viewers prefer it that way, but apparently you don't. Or at least there are times that you don't.

 

If others want to decide if they should or shouldn't use IR blocking filters, I'm sure they know how easy it is to shoot both ways and then decide which they like the most. (Plenty of photographers have posted their examples and conclusions.) If they do this enough they'll form preferences to use in the future.

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Let's look at this from a logical standpoint . The reason for the IR filter was there was not enough blocking at the sensor without it to cause the magenta cast. Normally most camera's put a IR filter over the sensor to block IR contamination to a certain value. We all agree on this part. What happened to the M8 since the sensor is so close to the rear element adding the correct amount would have caused more internal issue 's than leica wanted . So how that came about who cares these are the facts now to control that amount to a normal state we are supposed to use the leica IR filters which together with the slight amount of the sensor already threre we would get back to a normal state of blocking the IR contamination just like any other camera on the market, we did get a side boo boo and that is cyan cast but that is not relevant right now in this issue. So logically the camera with the IR filter is back to this normal state, that is all well and good and what everyone wants and we can now make profiles for it and all that.

Hi Guy

The flaw in your otherwise excellent logical standpoint is the word 'normal'. Different cameras have different levels of IR filtration, just like they have different levels of AA filter, and different methods of dealing with colour. So there is no 'normal' for the Leica to get back to - added to which an IR filter won't have the same effect on each lens.

 

I think your argument goes back to what I was trying to make everyone think about, which is that using an IR filter doesn't necessarily make it 'right', or, indeed normal. There really isn't anything 'right' about using a bayer filter with a sensor in the first place, and I've never had two cameras which handled greens in the same way (even though they all have IR filters). Until someone can produce a sensor which has properly colour sensitive photosites, there are going to be many many variables sloshing around.

 

As for the cyan cast - it IS relevant if you use filters - even with coded leica lenses it can rear it's ugly head, the new firmware helps a great deal, but it isn't simply gone.

 

Of course, I'm not saying that one shouldn't use filters - for lots of people the simple answer is to bung 'em on and forget them. I'm just saying that this isn't necessarily the right thing under all circumstances, and that filtering the IR out may not make for the most accurate foliage colours (which has definitely been the assumption around here).

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It certainly does treat different greens differently - holly leaves are particularly tricky (most dark evergreen leaves seem to reflect more infra-red), but it's still a fairly simple issue to sort them - no lassoing required.

 

Jono,

 

Most evergreens tend to reflect less IR than healthy, deciduous foliage. This can be clearly seen by shooting a forest scene with mixed hardwoods and conifers using an IR pass filter. The conifers usually will appear darker next to the lighter deciduous foliage.

 

Carl

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The simple truth is you don't need to shoot with filters.

 

See, there's nothing normal about the normal state of digicams, because they don't see like we do anyway.

 

Everything after the RAW sensor data is interpretation.

 

So I agree with Jono, with one qualification: you don't need filters for skin tones, either. I have *yet* to see any portrait shot from an unfiltered M8 properly processed that gives a bad skin tone because of IR. Because of white balance, yes...but that's another story.

 

You know what, though? I also agree with Guy. Filters are a great way of getting a relatively neutral (note I didn't say pleasing or even good) starting point for a print.

 

Heck--I just bought some B&Ws from Guy himself!! I hope they're on their way, because they make things faster for me sometimes.

 

But it's not an end point. Given that you can fix pretty much anything in PS, it's just a matter of what gets you there quickest, most comfortably, and with process control (for repeatability).

 

It's never about capturing "accurate" colour unless you mean "accurate as a machine would measure it, and not how I might see it" sort of colour

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Jono,

 

Most evergreens tend to reflect less IR than healthy, deciduous foliage. This can be clearly seen by shooting a forest scene with mixed hardwoods and conifers using an IR pass filter. The conifers usually will appear darker next to the lighter deciduous foliage.

 

Carl

Hi Carl - of course you're right, but how absolutely fascinating.

 

Because, if you shoot evergreens without an IR filter, then the colours are definitely wrong (brownish and missing the green componant) whereas deciduous foliage, which is brighter, is usually correctly displayed. I had assumed (quite wrongly) that because the colour was wrong, it was because it reflected more infra-red.

 

So, what you are saying is that in this case, the foliage which reflects less infra red is the foliage which is the wrong colour. . . . . . .

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Guest guy_mancuso

Agree the word Normal may have been a bad choice or words, neutral maybe better. But your also correct no two camera's are alike but that is algorythmns that OEM put in the firmware and there all different..

 

there on there way Jamie snail mail from US to Canada , we will be another year older by than

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HI Jamie

Thanks for chipping in

 

The simple truth is you don't need to shoot with filters.

 

See, there's nothing normal about the normal state of digicams, because they don't see like we do anyway.

Now why couldn't I put it like that!

 

Everything after the RAW sensor data is interpretation.

 

So I agree with Jono, with one qualification: you don't need filters for skin tones, either. I have *yet* to see any portrait shot from an unfiltered M8 properly processed that gives a bad skin tone because of IR. Because of white balance, yes...but that's another story.

 

You know what, though? I also agree with Guy. Filters are a great way of getting a relatively neutral (note I didn't say pleasing or even good) starting point for a print.

 

Heck--I just bought some B&Ws from Guy himself!! I hope they're on their way, because they make things faster for me sometimes.

 

But it's not an end point. Given that you can fix pretty much anything in PS, it's just a matter of what gets you there quickest, most comfortably, and with process control (for repeatability).

 

It's never about capturing "accurate" colour unless you mean "accurate as a machine would measure it, and not how I might see it" sort of colour

 

LOL - one of the great imponderables is whether we see colour the same anyway (almost certainly not).

 

You mustn't get me wrong - I'm not for a second arguing against the use of filters - I have 'em and I'll use them - when i think they will confer a benefit. I was simply trying to argue against what I saw as the perceived wisdom that one MUST use filters.

 

A simple point (and one I knew would cause the sky to fall on my head, as it has!)

 

Thanks for posting, I hope you're well.

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Guest guy_mancuso

I think it is time for cocktails, the IR light is getting to me . Maybe i need green sunglasses:D

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Agree the word Normal may have been a bad choice or words, neutral maybe better.

 

LOL - no, neutral is just the same, there's nothing neutral about an IR filter. Practical it may often be, even vital if you're doing a wedding with lots of blokes in plastic tuxedos!

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