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Photographing people with the Q


Sam M
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Hi all

 

I am new to this forum (though have been browsing for a while) as I consider how to get into the world of Leica cameras.

 

I currently shoot with a Canon 5d (MkI) and the 'holy trinity' of primes: 35L, 85L and 135L. I am an amateur in every sense of the word! The 35 generally lives on the camera and I love that focal length. So versatile.

 

I've always had a hankering for a Leica Rangefinder but have discovered the Q as I started to look at Ms again most recently. The Q strikes me as the M re-imagined with today's technology - though with the dreaded fixed lens! If it were interchangeable, I would already have one in my hands!

 

So, to the question (finally!). My main purpose for the camera will be to carry it everywhere. I have a young family and also travel a lot for work. I want to catch the world (but mostly the people) around me as we grow up.

 

I think I'll be happy with the 35mm crops (12MP plenty for my purposes) but I don't know whether a 28mm lens will introduce distortion into the 35mm crop portion of the lens that would not be present with a true 35mm? I think back to that gif floating around the net which shows how a face shape changes in photos taken with different focal lengths.

 

Apologies for the rambling first post!

 

Kind regards

 

Sam M

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Although I agree that 12mp when cropped would be good enough for images saved on your computer to show family, I wouldn't buy a camera to use it in crop mode. If you are positive that you wouldn't be comfortable with 28mm then I would look at other cameras. Possibly the RX1R V2?

 

That being said, the iPhone is based off of 28mm for a reason and I think it was a smart move by Leica to make the Q with a 28mm lens.

 

You can't go wrong as the IQ is excellent and the functionality of the camera is excellent as well. The point of my long winded reply is if you are sure you cannot live with a 28mm I would look at other options.

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You will absolutely love the Q!

For the most part you'll be fine and will not have distortion issues. 

You might search an earlier thread on the Q site dealing with portraits. It was a discussion topic a few months ago.

(And you just may find that you do like the 28mm).

R

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I think I'll be happy with the 35mm crops (12MP plenty for my purposes) but I don't know whether a 28mm lens will introduce distortion into the 35mm crop portion of the lens that would not be present with a true 35mm? I think back to that gif floating around the net which shows how a face shape changes in photos taken with different focal lengths.

 

Apologies for the rambling first post!

 

Kind regards

 

Sam M

You need not fear on this aspect. Wideangle distortion with elongated heads is only an issue at the corners of wideangle images - and reading your post you'll be cropping down to the center. The big-nose type of distortion is not due to  focal length, but to subject distance. If you use your Q as a 35 mm or 50 mm lens camera with the subject distance that goes with your focal lens and crop, the perspective result will be exactly the same as by changing lenses.  The only variable aspect is DOF.

 

As for the loss in megapixels: Don't worry. Unless you are a fine-art landscape photographer who exhibits for critics that creep up to his images wearing lorgnettes, for amateur use MP counts around 10MP are ample for a very large print of excellent quality. I have several M8 prints of more than 1 m wide hanging on the wall and I can only say that I still find them more than adequate. After PP the MP count was probably even less than 10.

 

It sounds to me that you will be very happy with the Q.

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Contrary to all posters here till now, I do say you'll have face deformations, unless

1) the 'portrait' covers at least half or the person (no full-screen face)

and 2) the subject is not on the side of the pic.

That's definitely an issue for me, you always end with not publishing this family shot just because the group is incredibly cool but Mom on the right side looks like she was bumped by a truck.

Now there are ways to post-correct that (all photo editors, including the free open-source ones, offer a lens correction feature, often as simple as a slider with real-time preview). I do use this, sometimes even starting from the Raws (which are deformed way further). But it does waste your time, results are not always perfect, this generates some cropping...

So really, I repeat : not just the face, and nobody significant in a corner, or you'll definitely be disappointed.

Edited by Herve5
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Contrary to all posters here till now, I do say you'll have face deformations, unless

1) the 'portrait' covers at least half or the person (no full-screen face)

and 2) the subject is not on the side of the pic.

That's definitely an issue for me, you always end with not publishing this family shot just because the group is incredibly cool but Mom on the right side looks like she was bumped by a truck.

Now there are ways to post-correct that (all photo editors, including the free open-source ones, offer a lens correction feature, often as simple as a slider with real-time preview). I do use this, sometimes even starting from the Raws (which are deformed way further). But it does waste your time, results are not always perfect, this generates some cropping...

So really, I repeat : not just the face, and nobody significant in a corner, or you'll definitely be disappointed.

Not if you crop down to - and use the frame for- 50 mm. And raw files show exactly the same perspective as jpgs, which are derived from those raw files.

It is nonsense to suggest that they are  "deformed way further". The in-camera corrections are incorporated in the sidecar file of the raw.
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Not if you crop down to - and use the frame for- 50 mm.

True enough.

 

And raw files show exactly the same perspective as jpgs, which are derived from those raw files.

 

Well it seems you never opened a raw with something else than the provided Adobe thing.

All other raw readers show the (quite large) lens deformation -and also allow to correct it, of course.

This has been addressed many times, also, for instance, the fact that raw files contain dozen more pixels on the widest side (which show the presence of the lens hood in the corner, but not only)

DPReview for instance give an idea of that's in the Raw file at the bottom of this page, although a bit uncorrect as the raw is actually larger than the corrected file. (see how much more of the tree you get on the right...)

H.

Edited by Herve5
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Contrary to all posters here till now, I do say you'll have face deformations, unless

1) the 'portrait' covers at least half or the person (no full-screen face)

and 2) the subject is not on the side of the pic.

That's definitely an issue for me, you always end with not publishing this family shot just because the group is incredibly cool but Mom on the right side looks like she was bumped by a truck.

Now there are ways to post-correct that (all photo editors, including the free open-source ones, offer a lens correction feature, often as simple as a slider with real-time preview). I do use this, sometimes even starting from the Raws (which are deformed way further). But it does waste your time, results are not always perfect, this generates some cropping...

So really, I repeat : not just the face, and nobody significant in a corner, or you'll definitely be disappointed.

Thanks Herve for the additional perspective. I think what I was concerned with was being comfortable that if I use the 35mm (or 50mm) frame lines for a photo of people then the distortion should not be worse than if I were to take the photo with an actual 35mm (or 50mm) lens. I THINK that has been confirmed...

 

I do understand that if I fill the 28mm frame with a face, I get what I deserve!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think I mentioned this before, elsewhere but the UK photographer Don McCullin relies on two lenses for his work, a 28mm and a 135mm. He has produced some stunning portraits at 28mm (bearing in mind the advice above about avoiding placing subjects too near the lens or too near the edge).

 

Personally, I shot my son's wedding with two cameras - the Q and my Panasonic GX8 with a PanaLeica 25/1.4. Turned out to be an excellent combo.

 

LouisB

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True enough.

 

 

Well it seems you never opened a raw with something else than the provided Adobe thing.

All other raw readers show the (quite large) lens deformation -and also allow to correct it, of course.

This has been addressed many times, also, for instance, the fact that raw files contain dozen more pixels on the widest side (which show the presence of the lens hood in the corner, but not only)

DPReview for instance give an idea of that's in the Raw file at the bottom of this page, although a bit uncorrect as the raw is actually larger than the corrected file. (see how much more of the tree you get on the right...)

H.

That is something quite different. Optimizing a lens  on a fixed-lens camera by shifting aberrations into distortion and then correcting digitally is state of the art and practiced by many camera makers.

If you open a raw image in a converter that does not apply the corrections you are crippling the camera from the start.

It has nothing to do with the geometric distortion we are discussing here.

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Hi all

 

I am new to this forum (though have been browsing for a while) as I consider how to get into the world of Leica cameras.

 

I currently shoot with a Canon 5d (MkI) and the 'holy trinity' of primes: 35L, 85L and 135L. I am an amateur in every sense of the word! The 35 generally lives on the camera and I love that focal length. So versatile.

 

I've always had a hankering for a Leica Rangefinder but have discovered the Q as I started to look at Ms again most recently. The Q strikes me as the M re-imagined with today's technology - though with the dreaded fixed lens! If it were interchangeable, I would already have one in my hands!

 

So, to the question (finally!). My main purpose for the camera will be to carry it everywhere. I have a young family and also travel a lot for work. I want to catch the world (but mostly the people) around me as we grow up.

 

I think I'll be happy with the 35mm crops (12MP plenty for my purposes) but I don't know whether a 28mm lens will introduce distortion into the 35mm crop portion of the lens that would not be present with a true 35mm? I think back to that gif floating around the net which shows how a face shape changes in photos taken with different focal lengths.

 

Apologies for the rambling first post!

 

Kind regards

 

Sam M

The 28mm might not be the most appealing for portraits, but it can be done, and with minimal distortion. Just try not to tilt the camera when shooting or not putting people on the corners. I use the 28mm mainly for street portraits, and seldom have a shot ruined by distortion...

 

L1010428 by Alejandro Ilukewitsch, on Flickr

 

L1020561 by Alejandro Ilukewitsch, on Flickr

 

L1020747 by Alejandro Ilukewitsch, on Flickr

 

L1030886 by Alejandro Ilukewitsch, on Flickr

 

L1020364 by Alejandro Ilukewitsch, on Flickr

 

L1020164 by Alejandro Ilukewitsch, on Flickr

 

L1060347 by Alejandro Ilukewitsch, on Flickr
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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks all for helping convince me to jump right in. Wandered into a store here a couple of weeks ago intending just to fondle, but walked out much poorer (and very happy)!

 

Am loving this cam though have heaps to learn about the focal length.

 

As per my original post, intent is for this to be a carry everywhere camera and it is proving to be perfect for that. Here is a quick pic taken on its first outing.

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Thanks all for helping convince me to jump right in. Wandered into a store here a couple of weeks ago intending just to fondle, but walked out much poorer (and very happy)!

 

Am loving this cam though have heaps to learn about the focal length.

 

As per my original post, intent is for this to be a carry everywhere camera and it is proving to be perfect for that. Here is a quick pic taken on its first outing.

Great image up to a very good start

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