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Questions and Oddities

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My CL just arrived and after a brief time spent going thru the menus Ive discovered a few odd behaviors/omissions.

Overall a great little camera, build quality is exceptional...if it was full frame and this size it would be nearly a perfect camera. After limited time with it, I'm pretty impressed. A higher res EVF would have been nice, but its not bad. Once my M adapter arrives, I'll be able to better evaluate. For AF lenses its more than adequate. Absolutely love the locking diopter adjustment...hard to believe its taken this long to perfect the function. Leica has come up with a perfect solution to a knob that has annoyed me for years on pretty much every camera ever made.

 

My CL came in a kit with the 18mm...which is quite impressive. It is extremely compact and makes the CL pocketable assuming you have some deep pockets (in more ways than one). On to the questions;

 

1- Video mode forces Auto ISO mode on...why? Please fix this...what is the logic behind disabling manual ISO? 

2- FN button- when I hold the button to select a function (say Profile). as soon as I use that function, it reverts back to the first option the next time I select FN rather than the last selected function. Is this normal behavior? It seems like it should stay on the selected FN until I change it.

3- CAPTURE ASSISTANTS- RESOLVED

4- Is there any way to scroll thru view modes (similar to M10, where I can have clean display, add histogram, add all data, etc)

5- AUTO REVIEW- Why has Leica omitted the hold shutter to preview image function? This was my favorite review mode. I hate being forced to either no review or 1/3/5 sec review. Please consider restoring this option to the M and CL

 

The CL has so much potential...hopefully some of these issues can be fixed in FW. So far very impressed with the CL, I think this will make a great companion to the M.

 

 

As far as numbers 2 goes...  It actually works exactly as you would want with one exception.  If you choose "Profile" from that FN button and then choose a profile, part of what is stored in the profile is the last FN button use, so, guess what, you effectively reset the function button last selection by choosing a profile!  I know someone else mentioned that it worked properly aside form "Profile", but there was no explanation why.  I'm pretty sure it's because the choice of a profile will include the last function use.

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My understanding is that a full frame 50mm F/2 lens, would render depth of field like a 75mm at f3 on the T, though the light gathering capacity would remain similar to that of a F/2  (Hope someone will correct me if I have misstated anything).

 

I don't know whether the depth of scale readings on the lens can correspondingly be multiplied by the 1.5x crop factor but I would think not.

 

 

First, a typo correction.  A full frame 50mm f/2 would render depth of field like a 75mm at f/2.8 ('ish') on the 'M', not the 'T'.  The T is a crop mode camera just like the CL. As a result, the depth of field scale on 'M' lenses is going to be too generous.  In fact, that scale was really designed for the film days when people were a bit more tolerant of circle of confusion size, so I'd say it is more like two stops too generous as far as what will be acceptably sharp.  If you are shooting at f/5.6 with your 50mm, you should probably use the f/2.8 markers for determining what your depth of field is going to be.  A little experimentation is probably in order to determine your own personal tolerance for larger circles of confusion, but it's at least one stop different from what the lens indicates, and I'd argue closer to two just because times and expectations have changed.

 

As far as light gathering... f/2 is still f/2 in terms of calculating exposure, but full frame cameras have a one stop advantage with regard to signal-to-noise ratios, all things being equal.  In other words, if you have two cameras set to ISO 100 (an 'M' and a 'CL' for sake of discussion), they should require the same shutter speed at f/2 in order to get a "correct" exposure.  You may find some slight differences because the meters are different or because the ISO 100 rating is only approximate or because the vignetting is going to be different with the crop sensor vs. the full frame or because the manufacturers aren't all that consistent in how they rate their cameras' ISO values.  But to a first approximation, f/2 is the same on all formats at least as far as "correct" exposure is concerned.

 

One interesting note that is often not well understood... The reason larger format sensors tend to outperform smaller format sensors of the same megapixel count actually has nothing whatsoever to do with the sensor itself.  Larger pixels are not more light sensitive or intrinsically less noisy.  Rather, its the lenses that help the image quality.  A 35mm f/1.4 lens shot with an APS-C camera and a 50mm f/1.4 lens with a full frame camera should provide the same field of view.  However, the 50mm lens has a physically larger aperture--something like 36mm in diameter--while the 35mm lens has a much smaller aperture, about 25mm.  That means the 50mm lens actually collects about twice as much light from the subject as the 35mm lens.  Same field of view, but more total photons.  That means you get a higher signal-to-noise ratio out of the 50mm lens than out of the 35mm lens even when you shoot then both at the same f/1.4.  It's literally more light being sent to the sensor.  More light means higher image quality in terms of noise.  The image is cleaner.  In addition, the resolution that a theoretically perfect lens can provide is dependent on the aperture, so the 50mm lens on the full frame camera may well provide a touch more resolution than the 35mm.  That difference is going to be small since a 24 megapixel camera is nowhere near the diffraction limit of either lens when you are shooting between f/1.4 and f4, but as you stop it down even farther, diffraction will start to set in much sooner with the APS-C camera.  With a good lens, you will start to see resolution falling off somewhere around f/5.6 with APS-C format, and it's more like f/8 with full frame.  So the three advantages to a larger format are better control over depth of field, higher image resolution (especially at smaller apertures), and cleaner images, and all of these advantages are in the lens and the light, not in the chip.  

Edited by Jared

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Sorry - you left one thing out. The "more light" has to be spread over a larger image circle making the light energy per square unit the same.

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Sorry - you left one thing out. The "more light" has to be spread over a larger image circle making the light energy per square unit the same.

 

 

Left it out on purpose.  Yes, it's a larger image circle, but the pixels are also larger on a full-frame camera which exactly offsets the larger circle (at least if you are shooting Leica who have standardized on 24 megapixels for both full frame and APS-C crop sensors).  The SL, Q, and M have 6 micron pixels and the CL and TL2 have 4 micron pixels.  So even though I have spread the light out over an area that is larger, that is exactly offset by the change in pixel pitch.  Hence, my comparison is still accurate.  Better signal-to-noise out of the larger format since there is more light captured from the subject both in total and per pixel.  The irradiance--the amount of light per unit area--is the same for both formats just as you pointed out, but the amount of light per pixel is twice as high for the full frame camera, hence signal-to-noise is roughly 1.5x higher.  

 

Look at it this way.  Compare a 52mm lens to a 35mm, I collect 2.25x the light with the physically larger opening of the lens (same framing).  I spread it out over 2.25x the area (864 sq mm vs 384 sq mm for a full frame chip vs. an APS-C size chip).  Same light per unit area, just as you said.  But I am using pixels that have 36 sq microns of area each rather than 16 square microns of area.  Again, a factor of 2.25.  So, the pixels in the full frame chip receive 2.25 as many photons each for a given exposure duration. Better image quality from the physically larger lens.

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That is obvious.  What I am saying is that the whole bit about "light gathering" of the lens is irrelevant.  The lens has an aperture producing a given light stream per surface unit.

The only thing that counts is the amount of light striking a given surface unit of any sensor, and the number of pixels on that surface unit, which determines the amount of energy gathered per pixel, assuming that the sensor architecture is the same. Which is the same as saying that noise is determined by pixel size /density as the amount of light per surface unit is solely determined by the aperture, irrespective of the size of the sensor the lens is designed for or the focal length of the lens.

Hence: a larger pixel will give less noise. Which lens produces the light or which size the sensor is, does not come into it.

 

But: the smaller the chip, the more the image needs to be magnified. Magnifying the image will magnify the noise. So the noise will be more visible coming from a smaller sensor. Compare the M8 and M9. The sensor architecture is the same, the pixel size is the same. Yet the noise on identically sized prints is less on a print of the M9, solely because the magnification is less.

 

Obviously, I am ignoring other things like the transparency of the filter stack, the efficiency of the microlenses, the quality/purity of the sensor materials, the type of sensor (CCD, CMOS, backlit, front lit or Foveon, etc.) and so forth.

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I am thinking of getting a non coded 90mm Elmarit lens for my CL. I think the menu in the camera gives me a list which I assume will include that lens. My question is do I have to find it on the list every time I attach that lens or will the camera remember once done the first time. Seems like a pain to have to do every time. Guess I could send the lens to Leica to get it coded if needed. Please let me know if anyone has run into this issue. Thanks

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You do sometimes wonder if Leica has completely different development teams for the different cameras that rarely if ever talk to each other ...... 

 

 

They do

 

 

Yes, but they do talk to each other. The 3 button / favorites menu / paged main menu is now consistent between the M10 and the CL - I think there is a real intention to have a more consistent interface, but with the SL at one end and the M10 at the other you have to start working towards each other (and the CL does do that). . . , even if the Play button is in the wrong place!

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Yes, but they do talk to each other. The 3 button / favorites menu / paged main menu is now consistent between the M10 and the CL - I think there is a real intention to have a more consistent interface, but with the SL at one end and the M10 at the other you have to start working towards each other (and the CL does do that). . . , even if the Play button is in the wrong place!

I agree it's in the wrong place - but I don't want it like the M10 - I would like it on the right, like the SL! My left hand tends to be curled around the lens or, with the 18mm, with the left thumb on the left edge of the camera - it find I need to shift my grip to use my left thumb on the three left side buttons, whereas my right thumb drops naturally to the SL's top right button.

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Guest VVJ

Yes, but they do talk to each other. The 3 button / favorites menu / paged main menu is now consistent between the M10 and the CL - I think there is a real intention to have a more consistent interface, but with the SL at one end and the M10 at the other you have to start working towards each other (and the CL does do that). . . , even if the Play button is in the wrong place!

 

Wrong choice unfortunately IMHO.

 

Both the S/SL 4-button UI and the TL2 Touch UI are to be preferred (again IMHO) over this old-fashioned 2000s UI.  

Edited by JorisV

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Wrong choice unfortunately IMHO.

Both the S/SL 4-button UI and the TL2 Touch UI are to be preferred (again IMHO) over this old-fashioned 2000s UI.  

 

Wrong for you, right for me, matter of taste. The Play button is at the same place as that of my Fuji X-E2. And that of my M240 is not at the top left but in second position there. Not a problem for me. I'm not shooting when i have to chimp and then my left fingers are not lazy enough to let the right ones do the whole job. I must be old-fashioned 2000s or rather 1900s i'm afraid....

Edited by lct

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X

Wrong choice unfortunately IMHO.

 

Both the S/SL 4-button UI and the TL2 Touch UI are to be preferred (again IMHO) over this old-fashioned 2000s UI.

 

Sorry, it works well for me. I don’t think it is a wrong choice. It is just a choice that obviously does not appeal to some users. Personally the TL system is a disaster area for me. When the T came out I returned the camera for it.

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Looks like new-fashioned camera makers don't like the left hand BTW. Did you see those lenses w/o manual controls? Must be because new-fashioned lenses tend to be bulkier and bulkier then the left hand is just here to hold those barbels i guess

. Just kidding but not that much.

Edited by lct

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I'm glad I'm not an interface designer!

 

 

Ah! It's something I do, and I like it, as long as you ignore the idiot users it's all fine

 

I guess that had I made the decision I'd have put the 4 button system from the SL on both the M10 and the CL . . . but I don't agree about the play on the right . . . and I'm infuriated that pressing TL brings up favorites (which is then connected to top L) But the bottom line is that when you get used to them it really isn't a problem

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Guest VVJ

I guess that had I made the decision I'd have put the 4 button system from the SL on both the M10 and the CL . . .

 

+1.  And I sincerely hope that Leica will not try to bring the M10/CL UI to the SL2...

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Ah! It's something I do, and I like it, as long as you ignore the idiot users it's all fine

There's always the Apple approach -- assume the users won't know what they want until it is shown to them, with the right dramatic presentation and a burst of religion.  That seems to be the Leica path as well.  Although behind the silver clouds of "Das Wesentliches" there seem to be some designers trying to get functions to behave commonly without enough time or software budget to quite get it finished...  At the menu level, approaches are very similar, but the path down to the underlying menu in each (SL&S, M10, T/CL) involves different dance steps.

Edited by scott kirkpatrick

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