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jay968

New CL -- Images look awful

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Not sure if there is something I am missing or what but is there something that needs to be set to get the most out of using M lenses on the CL? I have researched this camera for weeks, and looked at images some of which look very good, some not so good. But nothing prepared me for what I encountered when I finally broke down and purchased one today along with the M adapter. I hate to say this but I am honestly seeing some of the worst looking images I have ever seen from a digital camera. I've been shooting for well over 50 years, have been using digitals since they first appeared, am on my 5th digiital Leica (other than the CL) and again, honestly, I have never seen images look so bad. They lack contrast, resolution, saturation, and color accuracy. If i had seen images like the ones I shot today and didn't know what camera produced them, I might have guessed some sub $100 throwaway camera and not a $3000 Leica.

What am I missing? Is there some menu setting or SOMEthing that I might be overlooking? I have everything set to default.

Please help, I want this camera to work for me and HOPE that it IS something I am overlooking. So far, I have only shot with a couple of M lenses (35 lux and 50 cron-non APO).

Thanks

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Surprising, as the output of the CL is really excellent and rivals the SL and M10.  So either there is something seriously wrong with this camera, or something is going seriously off the rails in post postprocessing. Check things like the camera profile used and reset all processing todefaultl. Upload a DNG to Dropbox and let forum members play with it.

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When you attach a M lens you will designate it from a list of M lenses in the camera.  Did you select your lens?

 

Are you set to DNG files or Jpegs?

 

Is your ISO set correctly?

 

It does sound like something is wrong with the camera as this is not the usual experience (and I doubt my checklist above would cause your issues).

 

Rob

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You didn't happen to apply one of Adobe's horrible new "artistic" profiles?

 

Like "artistic08"

 

 

For this (no-merit) image:

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Well if I open an out of camera JPG with any Leica and don't do any PP, the images lack resolution, so I know not to pay much attention to JPGs and use the DMG files instead. Files from my CL look much worse than those from my M10. I can make M10 DNG files look terrific in Photoshop but the CL's DNGs look pretty bad no matter what I do in Photoshop. Dull, lacking contrast, resolution looks as if the images were shot using a cheap plastic lens. There is no vibrance to the images at all.

I would think there is something wrong with the sensor but the thing that gets me is that I have seen images posted online from the CL and image quality seems to vary more so than with any other camera I have ever seen. I have seen images that look as what I have described here, and I have seen images that look much better. So this is why I ask whether or not there is a setting or suggested setting to make things come alive.

 

Lens selection is set to auto and I did notice the correct lens listed.

I shoot both JPG and DNG. Neither look at all acceptable to me.

ISO has been set to 100 (shooting outdoors, plenty of sunlight).

I have not played at all with Adobe's profiles. It's set to the default that I use with other cameras.

 

What I've noticed is that resolution just looks bad...not a mis-focus thing, just bad overall but shutter speed has always been plenty high enough so it's not camera shake.

 

Jaapv, that first image is somewhat like what I am getting. I have noticed that if I apply about +40 vibrance and clarity in ACR, things improve quite a bit. Is this normal?

What did you do in the second image to get that to the way it looks?

Edited by jay968

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If I look through the CL image thread, I see very few images that meet your description. You really should provide a few examples.

 

The resolution from a JPG file and a DNG file from the same sensor is identical, BTW. The number of pixels is the same.  I suspect you mean something else, like contrast, or compression artefacts.

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Thanks for your attempts to help, but the link you provided says I don't have permission to view that page.

The two images that you posted above. The first one kind've fits the description of what I am seeing out of my camera. It's lifeless. Lacks detail, contrast is low.

If I do a lot of post processing I can get the files reasonable...but is this to be expected? The last time I had to do that much in post was when I owned a Sony NEX-7, and out of camera, even those files look considerably better than the CL files.

For what it's worth, of the many hundreds of CL images that I have looked at in the past couple of weeks or so, I would say that more than half of them look pretty lifeless too. However, seeing the good stuff made me think that there are definitely possibilities with this camera. I had no idea that it would take so much post processing in order to get there. Is this what it is? Does it just take a lot of processing, or...Do you get out of camera images that look as good as out of camera M images? Or Q images? Full frame vs APS-C aside of course. I find that those cameras need some post too, but nowhere near as much as the CL.

Very disappointing.

 

Dpreview did a "sample image" post a while back --

 

https://www.dpreview.com/samples/2910218710/leica-cl-first-sample-images

 

Here several of the images are shown both before and after some post was done on them. The pre ones are the kind of image quality that I am referring to. I haven't seen samples posted very often where it was decided to post both pre and post processing samples to show the difference like this. Check this out along with the comments below the images.

 

Looks like I am not alone.

Edited by jay968

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Thanks. The LCD images actually look decent on my camera though. It's when I either open the JPG or RAW files on my computer (whether using Photoshop or the default photo viewers on my Mac or PC) that I am concerned. I have some Fuji equipment and have in the past used Sony APS-C equipment too. The Fuji stuff looks very good, the Sony stuff always looked so so but after reviewing some of those old files today, I saw that even they look far better than the CL stuff. I wish I could post something here. They are not pixelated, they are just dull dull dull. No life to them whatsoever. If I push vibrance and clarity way up in Adobe Camera RAW I can get something that looks somewhat reasonable. I don't have to go to such extremes with any other camera that I own now or ever have.

Something is just not right...maybe my camera is defective but I am not so sure it is as I have seen many samples online that lacked the same vibrance. I started this thread wondering whether something needs to be set up in the camera that isn't but so far I am seeing no indication of that either.

Oh well. Maybe I am just more critical than the average shooter, I don't know.

Edited by jay968

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Thanks. The LCD images actually look decent on my camera though. It's when I either open the JPG or RAW files on my computer (whether using Photoshop or the default photo viewers on my Mac or PC) that I am concerned. I have some Fuji equipment and have in the past used Sony APS-C equipment too. The Fuji stuff looks very good, the Sony stuff always looked so so but after reviewing some of those old files today, I saw that even they look far better than the CL stuff. I wish I could post something here. They are not pixelated, they are just dull dull dull. No life to them whatsoever. If I push vibrance and clarity way up in Adobe Camera RAW I can get something that looks somewhat reasonable. I don't have to go to such extremes with any other camera that I own now or ever have.

Something is just not right...maybe my camera is defective but I am not so sure it is as I have seen many samples online that lacked the same vibrance. I started this thread wondering whether something needs to be set up in the camera that isn't but so far I am seeing no indication of that either.

Oh well. Maybe I am just more critical than the average shooter, I don't know.

 

Really hard to know how to help when you can't manage to load an example -  simple thing to do.  Do you have a flickr account or somewhere else we can look, would be good to see some of your work so we can see what look you are aiming for.  I can't compare Leica CL DNG's to Sony, not a camp I have ever visited, but as regards Fuji, yes the jpeg's are great, but dealing with the RAW files was always an issue for me.  

Edited by Boojay

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At one stage I had an M240, TL2, CL and SL, and I can honestly say that without very close inspection it was difficult to tell any differences between the images at normal screen resolutions. Unsurprising as Leica do this deliberately with the sensor calibration/firmware to keep a uniform image look. The only major differences were the red handling on the M240 and the degree of sharpening the images needed/could tolerate to achieve optimum clarity. 

 

These two are from yesterday ....... unprocessed (left) and 5 seconds in LR (Auto, exp down, contrast up, 80 sharpening with 55 masking) on the right. Not exactly a startling difference .....

 

As others have said, if this is not what you are getting you need to post some images and raw files .....

 

        

Edited by thighslapper

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I do have a Fuji X-Pro2 outfit as well as MP240 and CL and have no such issues with any of them . I always shoot Raw (DNG's) and JPEGS and am very happy with the colour output on all though on balance I do prefer the Leica CL JPEG colour output to the Fuji's as for me it is just a tad truer whereas the Fuji is biased to green.

 

More to the point re your problem however is although I do not like the CL's menu system I do find its picture quality output quite stunning and dare I add I am saying that as a multi award winning former Pro photographer so I do feel something is seriously wrong at your end either with the camera itself, or how you have set it. Have you tried setting the cameras menu back to as supplied? Also kindly check through all or any 'User profiles' you have or have not set.

 

Whatever you only have to look at the multitude of wonderful images on this web site to have to realise how good

the CL image quality normally is. Don Morley.

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And with half a minute of postprocessing - the larger the usable dynamic range, the flatter the images will look straight OOC and the CL beats the M10 at low ISO- you can get as dramatic as you like.

I hardly ever touch the vibrance slider btw. I think it gives a nasty boost to the yellows. +40 is really too much by far. Clarity is also one to be treated with respect, it only works properly depending on the subject matter, and will crush tonal values and create haloes if used to excess. It mainly affects midrange contrast. Much better to do such adjustment in curves.

 

 

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As a newcomer to the CL, I find these little nuggets of wisdom for default gotchas, dos and don'ts in LR really quite helpful. There's so much you can read on using LR but having a few basic device specific fundamentals from people that have used the CL/ Leica a lot gives a great starting point for "try firsts" - I know every image is different and there's no one size fits all but it is useful, for me anyway.

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OK here are links to two files. I understand that these are different houses and they are shot with different lenses, but please look at them at max size (ORIGINAL) on the sights

 

The first is with the CL

http://www.pbase.com/jayaltman/image/167516086

 

This one is now with a Fuji XT-2

http://www.pbase.com/jayaltman/image/167516084

 

While these particular shots are not showing the dull contrast and color that I am usually getting out of the CL, they sure do illustrate the difference in resolution. Please remember to click on "original" under the file name at the bottom.

The CL was shot with the 35 lux. To me, this looks terrible.

Edited by jay968

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I spent a morning this past weekend using the SL, CL, and M10 in a Leica store with my own SD card. Having looked at them on my computer, I couldn't tell a difference in IQ among the unprocessed DNGs of any of them. But maybe I need new glasses.....

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Have you tried resetting the camera to factory settings?

 

Do you regularly recalibrate your graphics monitor?

 

Have you tried alternative memory cards?

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