Jump to content
T44ISKN

Leica Q - banding & noise

Recommended Posts

Advertisement (gone after registration)

Hello all.

 

I've owned my new Leica Q for just under 2 weeks now and I'm still getting to grips with it.

This is the latest in a long line of "street photography" oriented cameras that I have owned (Leica M8.2, Leica X1, Ricoh GR, Fuji X100, Fuji X-T1), so I can't help but compare their performance - especially after all of the rave reviews that the Q has received.

I've got to admit that I'm feeling a little underwhelmed so far - I'll reserve judgement for, as there is bound to be a learning curve with any new camera.

 

One thing that has really surprised me is the amount of banding that is present at shots taken at 200 ISO (admittedly pushed 2EV in ACR).

I know that I can push the image through the Define 2 plug-in, but should it really be necessary at almost base ISO?

I honestly think I got better performance from my M8.2 at ISO 200.

 

Is this just a case of user error? Or have I got a dud?

 

 

Thanks for your thoughts!

T

 

Crop of full image, resized to 1400 x 1400:

/applications/core/interface/imageproxy/imageproxy.php?img=https://farm1.staticflickr.com/710/21234199831_525e785c2a_o_d.jpg&key=e91ab388526237af2f7f0737f6f57aea63e5a8ee467bf6eb98c4b791f4080016">

 

100% crop:

/applications/core/interface/imageproxy/imageproxy.php?img=https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5635/21200007356_02d6b85e5c_o_d.jpg&key=5fcad7f5306280ae596d1fcce65f0de02b8922565359ab0e6b8ed114346f1594">

 

100% crop:

/applications/core/interface/imageproxy/imageproxy.php?img=https://farm1.staticflickr.com/587/21038159920_25c72d0754_o_d.jpg&key=53c609bd8da12721e348028b37d4ba0014a0a79fac6d874859473b6f659a9a2e">

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wouldn't say it is user error as I too can get the same problems even at low iso's. What is strange is that sometimes it doesn't seem consistent the way it happens and I notice it most (like in your examples) in darker shaded clothing and other times when I think I will get some banding I don't. On the whole the files are just so good that it doesn't particularly worry me as when I do get it can be sorted in Dfine 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On the whole the files are just so good that it doesn't particularly worry me as when I do get it can be sorted in Dfine 2

 

Thanks for getting back to me.

I'm amazed that the ISO performance has been given such glowing reviews.

 

I'm using ACR that came bundled with Elements 11 to convert the DNG files.

Do you think this is having any impact on the banding / image quality?

I can't quite face getting to grips with the free Lightroom yet.

 

Any tips on how to use Dfine 2?

Do you use it for noise reduction also, or just banding removal?

Do you apply it to the whole image, or just brush-in the effect where it's needed?

 

Thanks again!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I only ever use Dfine 2 if I want to get rid of the banding and do all NR in Lr6

I use these settings

 

I would actually say that the DR and iso performance is in fact very good only to be let down by the banding which as I said before I don't really find to be a big issue as it can be sorted fairly easily.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks very much. Nothing to do with my version of Adobe Camera RAW it seems, as you're also seeing it in LR6.

 

I don't know - maybe I was spoiled by my Fujis and expected the Q to perform at least as well, given the price differential and gushing reviews.

 

Anyone else got any thoughts on banding? Is this something that could be improved in a firmware update?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Banding aside I find the Q files to be amongst the best  i have ever used, they have an incredible level of sharpness and very good DR. I have learn't that you need to expose further to the right and with some practise you will find how far you can go without clipping the highlights. I no longer have a fuji but used to have theX100s, X-pro 1 and XE1 and I can honestly say that I would take the Q files any day. I would really encourage you to see beyond this issue(yes it is a pain but it solvable) as for me at least this is to date one of the best digital cameras I have ever used. Can it be improved in a firmware update? I have no idea. Enjoy the camera for the little jewel it is

 

P.S I find the Dfine 2 clears up the banding 100% without effecting the rest of the images IQ. the first time I tried this a while ago with Leica M files I couldn't believe how well it dealt with the banding and it seems to be even more effective on the Q files which actually suffer less from noise in the shadow area than the M

Edited by viramati

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Advertisement (gone after registration)

Thanks again for your thoughts.

 

Dfine 2 is very effective at removing the banding, but I do find it has a tendency to remove other fine horizontal detail in the picture. I'm not surprised - how would it know the difference between banding and real information?

 

Anyway, the jury is still out for me. I definitely need more time to gel with the Q.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Could you show us the Histogram (without corrections in ACR/LR) ?

 

To be honest, this looks like a classic case of severe underexposure of the main subject by backlight.  The noise and banding are the least of the problem - you have lost the contrast and the colour as well. The only things you could have done were:

1. Take  a shot with the light.(but you would have lost the moment)

2. Use a fill flash (but I can imagine a reluctance to do so in a Street situation)

3. Expose for the subject and accept a blown-out sky (which is featureless anyway)

4. Make the best of it in PP like you did and get a sub-optimal image..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Could you show us the Histogram (without corrections in ACR/LR) ?

 

Sure - I'll do this when I get home.

 

It was 2 stops underexposed - I've pushed the Exposure slider +2 EV using ACR - no other changes.

 

Looks like the Q is a lot less tolerant of exposure mistakes than the "ISO-less" sensors in the Fuji cameras.

 

It's all good - I'll just have to learn to be less sloppy with my technique!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In fact, Dfine2 is very good, but it may well be that your default sharpening settings settings in ACR are too aggressive. Capture sharpening requires that it does not produce artefacts that will get in the way with further processing.

Do your capture sharpening and denoising in ACR, using the masking and detail slders as well, and you will find that you will get much cleaner files to work on.

You should read the noise sharpening "Bible"  by Schewe and Fraser: Real World Sharpening, to really get it perfect. Maybe not completely up to date with the latest ACR version, but it addresses all te basics -and more.

 

Edit: Considering your previous cameras (with the exception of the M8 and Ricoh) it is more than likely that your capture sharpening defaults are set too high.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks. To be honest, I never move the sharpening sliders in ACR, so they may well be set to a default that is too high for files coming out of the Q.

 

I'll take a look at that article later.

 

Cheers, T

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is more than an article - it is a book ( not too thick) that is required reading for everybody who is serious about his postprocessing workflow, IMO.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was 2 stops underexposed - I've pushed the Exposure slider +2 EV using ACR - no other changes.

So your reference point should be ISO 800 – ISO 200 plus 2 EV. The interesting question would be how this compares to a perfectly exposed shot taken at ISO 800.

 

Looks like the Q is a lot less tolerant of exposure mistakes than the "ISO-less" sensors in the Fuji cameras.

The sensor in the Q might be a little less ISO-less than the Sony sensors Fuji (and many other, including Leica) uses.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 

Could you show us the Histogram (without corrections in ACR/LR) ?

 

 

Here you go Jaap - the original shot is not massively underexposed.

 

/applications/core/interface/imageproxy/imageproxy.php?img=https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5771/20632098074_bfe047ff6f_o_d.jpg&key=7e7c502600a430a579c5d32be102823a09cc6db04199a4a70d6c52efb51c5597">

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can't make a silk purse out of a sows ear.......

 

I think criticising a camera because it cannot make up for the original deficiencies in the photo is a bit mean ......

 

There are threads here with similar photos and complaints for almost every digital camera that Leica has produced ....... banding in shadows when subjected to significant exposure adjustment is a fact of life. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 
 

 

Here you go Jaap - the original shot is not massively underexposed.

 

/applications/core/interface/imageproxy/imageproxy.php?img=https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5771/20632098074_bfe047ff6f_o_d.jpg&key=7e7c502600a430a579c5d32be102823a09cc6db04199a4a70d6c52efb51c5597">

 

 

Not extreme, agree, but there is considerable clipping in the shadows, and the colour temperature is surprising for an outdoor shot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Jaapv - I tend to leave camera set to AWB - this is what it chose.

 

Thighslapper - I agree that it's not a great picture. I picked it as an example as it clearly showed the phenomenon, to support this discussion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By Koen_NL
      From 1600 ASA upwards, my images from the Q2 start showing aspherical horizontal lines. I am not sure this is classic 'banding' or rather some other issue. Does anyone else experience this? I enclose a well exposed sample (taken at 3.200 ASA) and the same at +1 and +2 exposure. Check out the top right quadrant.
      In the next post, I enclose an image at 50.000 ASA in order to see the aspherical shape of the lines.
      3.200ASA - 1/60 - f1.7 - 28mm - normal exposure

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content. Hallo Gast! Du willst die Bilder sehen? Einfach registrieren oder anmelden! 3.200ASA - 1/60 - f1.7 - 28mm - +1 stop in Lightroom

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content. Hallo Gast! Du willst die Bilder sehen? Einfach registrieren oder anmelden! 3.200ASA - 1/60 - f1.7 - 28mm - +2 stops in Lightroom

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content. Hallo Gast! Du willst die Bilder sehen? Einfach registrieren oder anmelden!  
    • By jonoslack
      Hi There
      Several people have asked me about this, and so it seemed to be worth doing it! 
      All the files were originally shot on DNG - the sharpening and noise reduction sliders in Lightroom were all zeroed. The SL2 files were opened in Photoshop and the Image size reduced without any noise reduction help. They were then exported as 100% jpg quality 12 jpg files. I've then done an XY comparison zoomed in to approximately 100% and taken a screen shot. I'll put this on to the Review thread as well, but I thought it was worth putting it up as a separate thread.
      As you would expect - downsizing the SL2 images does help with the noise - but even so, at higher ISO there is still at least a stop difference. In each case the SL2-S is on the left. To me this is a little like angels dancing on the heads of pins, and it's also open to methodology questions - and anyway, why would you not use noise reduction?) 
      First of all, the Scene:

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content. Hallo Gast! Du willst die Bilder sehen? Einfach registrieren oder anmelden!  
      100 ISO: 

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content. Hallo Gast! Du willst die Bilder sehen? Einfach registrieren oder anmelden! 400 ISO

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content. Hallo Gast! Du willst die Bilder sehen? Einfach registrieren oder anmelden! 1600 ISO

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content. Hallo Gast! Du willst die Bilder sehen? Einfach registrieren oder anmelden! 6,400 ISO

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content. Hallo Gast! Du willst die Bilder sehen? Einfach registrieren oder anmelden! 12,500 ISO

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content. Hallo Gast! Du willst die Bilder sehen? Einfach registrieren oder anmelden! 25,000 ISO

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content. Hallo Gast! Du willst die Bilder sehen? Einfach registrieren oder anmelden! 50,000 ISO

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content. Hallo Gast! Du willst die Bilder sehen? Einfach registrieren oder anmelden! Finally 100,000 on the SL2-S and 50,000 on the SL2

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content. Hallo Gast! Du willst die Bilder sehen? Einfach registrieren oder anmelden!  
       
    • By bgb
      I purchased a Q end of last year, liked it so much that I sold my Nikon DSLR, Lumix FZ-2500 and Fuji XE-T3. I then purchased the CL with the 18-56mm lens a few months later. Now with adapters to use my Rokinon wide-angles, and 7 Artisan lenses I find myself using the Leica CL way more than the Q.  There's no doubt that the IQ of photos from the Q, a full-frame camera, are better than the Leica CL, t's a fantastic camera and lens with macro capability.. But I'm thinking of selling it add more lenses for the CL (or at least pay it off 😎).   Anyone else face this situation?    BTW, with all that's going on in the world at this time, I'm fully aware that this is no big deal, but it keeps my mind off the other cataclysmic issues  we're experiencing.  All opinions welcome, any recommendation for lenses?...thanks.  I am currently waiting for arrival of the TTArtisan 35mm F1.4 lens to ship.  Be Well everyone.
    • By Holger1
      RESERVIERT Verkaufe gebrauchte Edel-Kompaktkamera Leica Q (Typ 116). Die Kamera hat kaum Gebrauchsspuren. Das Display und das Objektiv sind frei von Kratzern. Sie diente mir als Zweitkamera, kam aber selten zum Einsatz, da ich doch lieber mit meiner SL fotografiere. Zwei original Leica-Akkus sind dabei, sowie ein neuer Tragegurt, ein Ladegerät, die Geli mit dem Metalldeckel der minimale Gebrauchsspuren aufweist. Dies ist ein Privatverkauf- I send only within EU.  
    • By onasj
      I obtained a customer-release—not pre-release/beta—M10-R and compared it side-by-side with the M10 Monochrom (hereafter referred to as the M10-M) on a test scene at high ISO values.  The firmware version for both was the latest firmware currently available to the public: 10.20.27.20 for the M10-R (upgraded from the initial released 10.20.23.49 firmware that was pre-installed in the new camera), and 2.12.8.0 for the M10-M. 
      Methodology: all shots were taken on a tripod with a 2-second delay to minimize vibration.  The same Leica 50 APO lens was used for all tests.  The aperture was set to f/5.6 for all tests, at which the resolving power of the 50 APO is about as high as possible among commercially available 35-mm format lenses.  The ISO value and shutter speeds were as follows:
      ISO 6400, 1/60 s
      ISO 12500, 1/125 s
      ISO 25000, 1/250 s
      ISO 50000, 1/500 s
      ISO 100000 (M10-M only), 1/1000 s
      To the best of my ability, the M10-R and the M10-M were treated equally.  The test shots were taken in one sitting, with the same tripod position 2.2 m from the target, and under the same lighting.  The images were focused by rangefinder and confirmed by live view for each camera.  The subject distance (2.2 m) was farther from the test scene than my earlier M10-R tests (1.3 m) because I anticipated that the M10-M might have no trouble resolving all the details of the scene from 1.3 m, even at absurdly high ISOs.
      To keep the test as pure as possible, all the test shots were taken as DNG files, then transferred and opened in Adobe Photoshop 2020 with Camera Raw 12.3 (which has native M10-R support) with no corrections or adjustments to the default image settings, other than clicking “B&W” to convert the M10-R images to monochrome.  Therefore, this test does not really answer the question of how the performance between the cameras compares if one were to bring the full power of modern post-processing, noise removal, AI-driven scaling and sharpening, etc. to bear on the images.  It also does not exploit the important ability of adjusting the levels of different colors when converting color files to monochrome files—arguably the largest advantage of using the M10-R to generate monochrome photos instead of the M10-M.  Instead, the purpose of this test is to compare the acuity and noise level of the two cameras at ISO 6400 to ISO 50000.
      Overall, both cameras take remarkably good monochrome photos, even at ISO levels such as 12500 that would previously be considered out-of-reach.  Here are 100% crops from a small portion of the center region of both cameras (M10-R on the left, M10-M on the right).  Click on the image below to view it at 100% to avoid scaling artifacts.  I would have no hesitation using ISO 12500 monochrome images from either camera for virtually any application.  But of course there are substantial performance differences.

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content. Hallo Gast! Du willst die Bilder sehen? Einfach registrieren oder anmelden! Finding #1: The M10-M captures higher acuity levels than the M10-R across the ISO range tested (6400 to 50000).
      As expected, given the lack of a Bayer color filter array (CFA) and no need to de-mosaic the red-, green-, or blue-filtered pixels, the M10-M offers significantly higher acuity than the M10-R.  To my eye, the advantage persists even if you give the M10-R an advantage of one or two stops: compare the sharpness of the fine features of the scene as captured by the M10-M at ISO 25000 vs. the M10-R at ISO 6400, or the M10-R at ISO 25000 to the M10-M at ISO 100000—a remarkable testament to the M10-M’s ability to capture a scene down to the smallest details, even zooming in to 100%.  Notice also that at the same ISO level, aperture, and shutter speed (chosen by each camera’s auto-shutter speed setting to be the same at all ISO levels!), the M10-M images are only modestly brighter than the M10-R; I was surprised that the Bayer CFA didn’t dim the M10-R images more strongly.  Perhaps the M10-R firmware partially compensates for the loss of light due to the Bayer CFA.
      Finding #2: The M10-M offers about a 1- to 2-stop advantage in high-ISO noise levels over the M10-R.
      Compare the M10-M at ISO 50000 to the M10-R at ISO 12500, or the M10-M at ISO 25000 to the M10-R at ISO 6400. The M10-M continues to blow me away with its high-ISO performance.  Indeed, Bill Claff’s measurements at https://photonstophotos.net/Charts/PDR.htm rank the M10-M’s high ISO performance as fourth among all cameras tested to date, behind the Phase One IQ4, the Phase One IQ3, and the Fuji GFX-100—three current or recent top-of-the-line medium format cameras.
      Overall, Leica has created in the M10-M and the M10-R two current-generation sister cameras with outstanding overall performance.  If acuity or high-ISO performance is more important than color for your particular application, than the M10-M outperforms the M10-R and is among the very best cameras to my knowledge, even joining some medium-format monsters.  And if color is needed, either in the final image or to enable creative conversion to black and white images that allows easy sky darkening, face lightening, etc. during post-processing, the M10-R remains an option worthy of its current flagship status among Leica M cameras.
×
×
  • Create New...