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M10 limited BULB mode

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Hello everyone!

 

I'm new here, nice to meet you.

 

It's a little bit of a let down to see the M10 doesn't have a "real" BULB mode but it's limited to 125s.

Similar to the Leica Q...

 

It's also weird that the time is ISO dependent.

 

I was wondering, why is that? The SL gets to 30min for example or the D810 can up to 1h30min and beyond i T mode.

 

Thanks for your time,

 

Tomas.

 

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It probably has something to do with heat to the sensor. The heat sink in the camera is probably smaller, especially since they removed video. As such they probably want to limit the amount of heat possibly created by an active sensor.

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i found it. it press and hold the front button. i have to say m10 is really really bad for long exposure. i get lines all over my picture even at ISO 100, 120second. its very sad that i missed my SL for landscape photography

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Welcome to the forum!

 

It is important to remember that the "design brief" for a Leica M is to suit the needs of these folks (and others like them):

 

https://www.magnumphotos.com/photographers/

 

It is not intended to be a "do absolutely everything that other cameras do" device. Go through those photographers and their pictures, and you'll probably find less than 0.01% that required long exposures (even one second). And if you do find some, they were likely taken with some other camera.

 

It is a fair question (debated here sometimes) whether a Leica M should ever even be burdened with a tripod at all, let alone for minutes and minutes or hours and hours. Oskar Barnack designed the Leica prototype 114 years ago precisely to have his whole photographic "load" fit into a coat pocket for hiking, without the tripods and other weight required by the cameras of 1913.

 

A Leica M is not intended to be like, perform like or compete with SLRs. As one of those Magnum photographers (David Alan Harvey) once said, "Shooting a rangefinder is as different from shooting an SLR as shooting an SLR is from shooting large format." The Leica M is about capturing "the moment" - not "hundreds of moments stacked together."

_________________________

 

However, speaking of "stacking"... Most of the pros I know who are into long exposures don't use one long exposure (with the consequent inevitable noise). They break a 3-hour exposure down into 360 30-second (or 90 120-sec.) exposures, and layer those together into one final image.

 

https://digital-photography-school.com/how-to-improve-your-long-exposure-with-photo-stacking/

 

https://photographingspace.com/stacking-vs-single/

 

It can be done manually - or there are programs for doing it.

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Welcome to the forum!

 

It is important to remember that the "design brief" for a Leica M is to suit the needs of these folks (and others like them):

 

https://www.magnumphotos.com/photographers/

 

It is not intended to be a "do absolutely everything that other cameras do" device. Go through those photographers and their pictures, and you'll probably find less than 0.01% that required long exposures (even one second). And if you do find some, they were likely taken with some other camera.

 

It is a fair question (debated here sometimes) whether a Leica M should ever even be burdened with a tripod at all, let alone for minutes and minutes or hours and hours. Oskar Barnack designed the Leica prototype 114 years ago precisely to have his whole photographic "load" fit into a coat pocket for hiking, without the tripods and other weight required by the cameras of 1913.

 

A Leica M is not intended to be like, perform like or compete with SLRs. As one of those Magnum photographers (David Alan Harvey) once said, "Shooting a rangefinder is as different from shooting an SLR as shooting an SLR is from shooting large format." The Leica M is about capturing "the moment" - not "hundreds of moments stacked together."

_________________________

 

However, speaking of "stacking"... Most of the pros I know who are into long exposures don't use one long exposure (with the consequent inevitable noise). They break a 3-hour exposure down into 360 30-second (or 90 120-sec.) exposures, and layer those together into one final image.

 

https://digital-photography-school.com/how-to-improve-your-long-exposure-with-photo-stacking/

 

https://photographingspace.com/stacking-vs-single/

 

It can be done manually - or there are programs for doing it.

 

i agree... but still, i missed my SL sometimes. 

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Welcome to the forum!

 

It is important to remember that the "design brief" for a Leica M is to suit the needs of these folks (and others like them):

 

https://www.magnumphotos.com/photographers/

 

It is not intended to be a "do absolutely everything that other cameras do" device. Go through those photographers and their pictures, and you'll probably find less than 0.01% that required long exposures (even one second). And if you do find some, they were likely taken with some other camera.

 

It is a fair question (debated here sometimes) whether a Leica M should ever even be burdened with a tripod at all, let alone for minutes and minutes or hours and hours. Oskar Barnack designed the Leica prototype 114 years ago precisely to have his whole photographic "load" fit into a coat pocket for hiking, without the tripods and other weight required by the cameras of 1913.

 

A Leica M is not intended to be like, perform like or compete with SLRs. As one of those Magnum photographers (David Alan Harvey) once said, "Shooting a rangefinder is as different from shooting an SLR as shooting an SLR is from shooting large format." The Leica M is about capturing "the moment" - not "hundreds of moments stacked together."

_________________________

 

However, speaking of "stacking"... Most of the pros I know who are into long exposures don't use one long exposure (with the consequent inevitable noise). They break a 3-hour exposure down into 360 30-second (or 90 120-sec.) exposures, and layer those together into one final image.

 

https://digital-photography-school.com/how-to-improve-your-long-exposure-with-photo-stacking/

 

https://photographingspace.com/stacking-vs-single/

 

It can be done manually - or there are programs for doing it.

 

Not on a Leica it can't. You've got mandatory long exposure noise reduction so stacking is often pointless (think star trails etc).

 

Leica have the same daft limitations on most of their cameras. Even the S007 which does 4K video can't do longer exposures than 125 seconds. And the TL. And the CL. And the video enabled M240. It's simply a stupid legacy decision by Leica they don't seem to want to change.

 

If they don't want you using a tripod, why the tripod socket? The M would make an excellent landscape camera except that leica still has it in a narrow niche in their minds.

 

Gordon

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Welcome to the forum!

 

It is important to remember that the "design brief" for a Leica M is to suit the needs of these folks (and others like them):

 

https://www.magnumphotos.com/photographers/

 

It is not intended to be a "do absolutely everything that other cameras do" device. Go through those photographers and their pictures, and you'll probably find less than 0.01% that required long exposures (even one second). And if you do find some, they were likely taken with some other camera.

 

It is a fair question (debated here sometimes) whether a Leica M should ever even be burdened with a tripod at all, let alone for minutes and minutes or hours and hours. Oskar Barnack designed the Leica prototype 114 years ago precisely to have his whole photographic "load" fit into a coat pocket for hiking, without the tripods and other weight required by the cameras of 1913.

 

A Leica M is not intended to be like, perform like or compete with SLRs. As one of those Magnum photographers (David Alan Harvey) once said, "Shooting a rangefinder is as different from shooting an SLR as shooting an SLR is from shooting large format." The Leica M is about capturing "the moment" - not "hundreds of moments stacked together."

_________________________

 

However, speaking of "stacking"... Most of the pros I know who are into long exposures don't use one long exposure (with the consequent inevitable noise). They break a 3-hour exposure down into 360 30-second (or 90 120-sec.) exposures, and layer those together into one final image.

 

https://digital-photography-school.com/how-to-improve-your-long-exposure-with-photo-stacking/

 

https://photographingspace.com/stacking-vs-single/

 

It can be done manually - or there are programs for doing it.

 

Thank you very much for this. When I think about the ISO discussions and now here the BULB theme it seems to me that I still did not understand the rangefinder camera. With great interest I read your text and think that you are fully correct. I have my M10 since March this year and I do 90% of my photography with this camera. It is so special and I get addicted. Of course, when I started having my own cameras in the mid 60ies I had no SLR nor AF. Just a 50mm and f/2.8. That was the time that I studied all the instruction manuals in detail and wanted to learn everything. And now I am back there again somehow. And its wonderfull.

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Not on a Leica it can't. You've got mandatory long exposure noise reduction so stacking is often pointless (think star trails etc).

 

Leica have the same daft limitations on most of their cameras. Even the S007 which does 4K video can't do longer exposures than 125 seconds. And the TL. And the CL. And the video enabled M240. It's simply a stupid legacy decision by Leica they don't seem to want to change.

 

If they don't want you using a tripod, why the tripod socket? The M would make an excellent landscape camera except that leica still has it in a narrow niche in their minds.

 

Gordon

 

and i agree to this also. M10 is beautiful in its own way. and SL is a beast of a camera. SL is still my favourite camera until now. even i already have M10. but M10 is so much joy to use. in perfect world, i'll have both. 

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Interesting point made about mandatory noise reduction... yet I have seen a few discussions using the M 10 for astrophotography. How do you reconcile that?

Albert 

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It is not intended to be a "do absolutely everything that other cameras do" device. Go through those photographers and their pictures, and you'll probably find less than 0.01% that required long exposures (even one second). And if you do find some, they were likely taken with some other camera.

Leica film cameras have a cable release that supports arbitrarily long exposures. There is no good reason for not having the same functionality on digital bodies. As with dark-frame subtraction, the user should also be free to choose settings that are appropriate for the task at hand and make the decision about trade-offs in image quality etc.

 

These restrictions look like arbitrary firmware choices, and if people would find it useful to have a less restricted camera why not let them? I can not think of any negative effect for users who are not shooting long exposures.

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There is no good reason for not having the same functionality on digital bodies.

 

Noise and heat and battery life prevent arbitrarily long exposures with any digital camera. Unless one has a really big battery or an external power supply, and liquid (or external fan, or heat-sink) cooling for the sensor.

 

https://petapixel.com/2016/10/11/cooled-nikon-d5500a-chills-sensor-clearer-star-photos/

 

http://www.onerivermedia.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Blackmagic-4.6K-Thermal-Cooling-Sensor.2.jpg

 

https://jwst.nasa.gov/cryocooler.html

 

The physics that apply to electronic capture are different from the physics that apply to film capture. For example: heat will damage the image quality of either film or digital pictures - BUT, film does not heat up due to long exposures - a digital sensor does heat up substantially, the longer it is "on" and converting photons to electrons. Resulting in thermal noise. Film can be fogged by random quantum events, usually over months or years (thus the expiration dates) - digital images can acquire "shot noise" speckles from the same quantum events, in a matter of minutes.

 

Certainly, Leica could easily change the firmware to allow longer exposure times and the option of turning off NR. Equally certainly, the results would be noisy €0,1 basura from a €6000 camera, in long exposures. A feature that results in garbage is not a useful feature.

 

For competent long exposures, the answer is to use a large, heavy camera with a generous heat-sink and a large battery.

 

Or perhaps more elegantly, and in the "Leica" way of doing things, for Leica to sell their own bolt-on, observatory-grade liquid-cooled heat-sink package and external battery pack, with a connection to the hot-shoe data contacts, that would override both NR and the 125-sec limit. For those that need it.

Edited by adan

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Noise and heat and battery life prevent arbitrarily long exposures with any digital camera. Unless one has a really big battery or an external power supply, and liquid (or external fan, or heat-sink) cooling for the sensor.

 

https://petapixel.com/2016/10/11/cooled-nikon-d5500a-chills-sensor-clearer-star-photos/

 

http://www.onerivermedia.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Blackmagic-4.6K-Thermal-Cooling-Sensor.2.jpg

 

https://jwst.nasa.gov/cryocooler.html

 

The physics that apply to electronic capture are different from the physics that apply to film capture. For example: heat will damage the image quality of either film or digital pictures - BUT, film does not heat up due to long exposures - a digital sensor does heat up substantially, the longer it is "on" and converting photons to electrons. Resulting in thermal noise. Film can be fogged by random quantum events, usually over months or years (thus the expiration dates) - digital images can acquire "shot noise" speckles from the same quantum events, in a matter of minutes.

 

Certainly, Leica could easily change the firmware to allow longer exposure times and the option of turning off NR. Equally certainly, the results would be noisy €0,1 basura from a €6000 camera, in long exposures. A feature that results in garbage is not a useful feature.

 

For competent long exposures, the answer is to use a large, heavy camera with a generous heat-sink and a large battery.

 

Or perhaps more elegantly, and in the "Leica" way of doing things, for Leica to sell their own bolt-on, observatory-grade liquid-cooled heat-sink package and external battery pack, with a connection to the hot-shoe data contacts, that would override both NR and the 125-sec limit. For those that need it.

 

1. On a cold clear night not enough should be raised to create a visual difference at a one second exposure. Why is the LENR set so quickly. Even here in Oz on a clear winters night the temperature can approach zero. Much longer exposures with little degredation are possible.

 

2. The process of stacking the images will already reduce the noise in the final file.

 

3. The user could choose to make a dark frame manually at the end of a session and use that instead of Leica doing one for us for every frame.

 

4. It's not up to Leica to decide on what is acceptable image quality. That's for the photographer to decide.

 

5. How does your small camera theory explain the the SL has longer exposures than the larger S007?

 

Gordon

Edited by FlashGordonPhotography

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1. Probably true - if one wants to limit one's time exposures to certain latitudes and certain times of year. "Standard" global atmospheric temperature is 15°C/59°F. I agree that choosing >6 seconds to start enforcing dark-frames may be a bit conservative.

 

2. Probably true - but once one is stacking pictures anyway, the time limit of the camera becomes less relevant.

 

4. Leica has a certain vested interest in not having poor IQ published to the world as "Leica image quality." And what about the client - don't they have a say? The photographer does always have a say, as well - it is called "deciding if this camera suits my needs."

 

5. Larger sensor = more heat, all other things being equal. Without an internal stripdown of the SL and S007 to look at the "heat control" systems, who knows what is or isn't equal?

 

It is quite possible that the time limitation on M10 exposures is to prevent heat problems even beyond their effect on images. For example, at what point will sensor heating trigger a camera shutdown to protect the electronics?

 

Remember that a prime directive for the M10 was "a camera with the dimensions of a film Leica" as closely as possible. A lot thinner than an M9 or M240 or SL, and certainly a D810/D850. At some point (iMac and laptop users will understand this) a cramped space with a running chip inside gets hotter faster than in a larger casing.

 

http://www.kenrockwell.com/leica/images/m10/cutaway.jpg

 

Everything else about the camera (including extra features like longer exposures or video, or microphones/speakers, or more battery capacity) was secondary, and expendable if it interfered with "as small as a film M."

 

Anyway, if Leica decides they were overly conservative in their noise-reduction schedule and 125-sec. limit, it is fine with me if they change them. (Data point - the M240 has a limit of 60 seconds, so the M10 doubles that, even in a smaller container). I doubt that they will. I don't think they picked 125 seconds arbitrarily, and I expect they would say "For longer time exposures, the SL is the better choice."

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Noise and heat and battery life prevent arbitrarily long exposures with any digital camera. Unless one has a really big battery or an external power supply, and liquid (or external fan, or heat-sink) cooling for the sensor.

I know - I have a degree in astrophysics and worked on liquid helium cooled telescopes for many years...

 

However, unless there is a risk of physical damage to the camera there is no reason to limit the bulb exposures (and Leica M cameras already have a thermal cut-off sensor). Why cannot the user decide what compromises they wish to make? Why do I have to have the same long exposure limit when shooting here in mid summer (45c!) as when shooting in mid winter ice?

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It is important to remember that the "design brief" for a Leica M is to suit the needs of these folks (and others like them):

 

https://www.magnumphotos.com/photographers/

 

 

 

'f/8 and be there', but it was never never said how long to be there 

 

An excellent post Andy. It is always going to be the case that determined photographers will either find workarounds or buy a different sort of camera, but Leica users tend to be an inventive lot by tradition and necessity. I tend to think that as soon as a limitation is found with a camera it breeds countless imaginary photographs that wouldn't have existed in the mind without that limitation. Myself I thought hard about exposure times when I swapped my SL for an M10, and after agonising did the obvious thing and checked how many digital exposures over 125 seconds I'd made in the last three or four years. I found a couple at 120 seconds, close but not cigar. When I know I'm going to need very long exposures I also know the best medium for them, film. But that is another discussion.

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Noise and heat and battery life prevent arbitrarily long exposures with any digital camera. Unless one has a really big battery or an external power supply, and liquid (or external fan, or heat-sink) cooling for the sensor.

 

https://petapixel.com/2016/10/11/cooled-nikon-d5500a-chills-sensor-clearer-star-photos/

 

http://www.onerivermedia.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Blackmagic-4.6K-Thermal-Cooling-Sensor.2.jpg

 

https://jwst.nasa.gov/cryocooler.html

 

The physics that apply to electronic capture are different from the physics that apply to film capture. For example: heat will damage the image quality of either film or digital pictures - BUT, film does not heat up due to long exposures - a digital sensor does heat up substantially, the longer it is "on" and converting photons to electrons. Resulting in thermal noise. Film can be fogged by random quantum events, usually over months or years (thus the expiration dates) - digital images can acquire "shot noise" speckles from the same quantum events, in a matter of minutes.

 

Certainly, Leica could easily change the firmware to allow longer exposure times and the option of turning off NR. Equally certainly, the results would be noisy €0,1 basura from a €6000 camera, in long exposures. A feature that results in garbage is not a useful feature.

 

For competent long exposures, the answer is to use a large, heavy camera with a generous heat-sink and a large battery.

 

Or perhaps more elegantly, and in the "Leica" way of doing things, for Leica to sell their own bolt-on, observatory-grade liquid-cooled heat-sink package and external battery pack, with a connection to the hot-shoe data contacts, that would override both NR and the 125-sec limit. For those that need it.

Which still begs the question how a digital camera can do video captures which involve using the sensor for many minutes.

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@MarkII: I guess my answer would be - What is preventing you from getting a camera that does what you want, without compromises? Is someone holding a gun to your head and demanding that you use a Leica, or an M10 specifically?

 

Maybe it's just an attitude thing. I've always just assumed that camera makers make their cameras the way they want to, for their own reasons (they are, after all, experts at making cameras) - and if I agree with them, I buy their cameras, and if I don't agree with them, I buy something else.

 

When I was using Nikon in the 1970s and wanted a 20mm lens, and they had a rather dismal 20mm f/3.5 - and replaced it with an even slower (and expensive) f/4, I didn't write to the photo magazine editors (there being no internet then) to ask "Why do I have to shoot with an f/4 lens when Canon has an f/2.8 for less money, and even Leica has an f/3.4!". Or call Nikon and complain. I simply sold my Nikons and moved over to Canon.

 

When Canon went to jury-rigged pseudo-bayonet plastic FD lens barrels that gimped the aperture mechanism when the lens was off the camera - same thing. I switched back to Nikon (who had a decent metal 20mm f/2.8 by then).

 

When Nikon quit providing split-image focus screens in their AF cameras, I didn't fuss at Nikon or to other Nikon users (well, much - I did once ask a Nikon rep why, face-to-face at a trade show). I just sold my Nikon gear and bought Contax (who were still commited to a good manual focus SLR system).

 

etc. etc.

 

It just seems - strange - to me to get into a camera system and then ask for changes because it isn't what I want. I get into a camera system because it is already what I want. (And if my wants change, or their system changes - I re-evaluate).

Edited by adan

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It's a Leica. the camera and lenses have strengths and limitations. It's not an astrophotography camera

 

from LHSA.  http://www.reddotforum.com/content/2017/02/leica-m10-review-the-quintessential-digital-m/

"The longest shutter speed is 125 seconds, but selecting speeds longer than 8 seconds isn’t immediately intuitive. I found myself struggling on this one. The secret is to press and hold the front focus assist button while the shutter speed dial is set to B (Bulb). This will in turn bring up a sub-menu on the display, which will allow you to select your desired shutter speed from 8 – 125 seconds. Note that as you go past ISO 400, the range of available speeds will be reduced by one stop for each stop of ISO. By ISO 6400, the maximum is 8 seconds. This shouldn’t pose a problem as most long exposures will be at low or base ISO anyway. The most sensitive setting will be 125 seconds at ISO 400, offering a two stop advantage over the same shutter speed at ISO 100. Also note that if the ISO dial is set to Auto, the Bulb menu will not allow you select a value."

 

 

 

 

Star photos? Milky Way? Large panoramas? I use a Canon 1dxmkii with a wide angle fast lens...I believe that a Canon L series 14mm 1.4 was used for the attached panorama taken in the shadow of the Keck Observatory looking east on Maunakea last summer...5 shots at 6400 iso, 30 seconds each stitched together in Lightroom...

 

When I take deep space photos I use a SBIG cooled CCD camera with a Kodak 9300 sensor attached to a Takahashi E180 Astrograph

 

There are the right tools for astrophotography and a Leica M10 isn't one

Edited by richardlipow

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@MarkII: I guess my answer would be - What is preventing you from getting a camera that does what you want, without compromises? Is someone holding a gun to your head and demanding that you use a Leica, or an M10 specifically?

 

I already have that - my film M does not have this limitation :-)

 

There are no cameras without compromises. But I think it is useful to object to compromises that are entirely unnecessary, whether due to poor implementation or (worse) due to deliberate firmware crippling for marketing segmentation (cough, Canon). Leica could easily lift the long-exposure limitations with a firmware update.

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