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not impressed,,

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Hi,

Here are a couple of low light pics i took with my new (2weeks old) M8 and 50mm noctolux, both handheld. Both pics are straight out of the camera on standard settings.

Might not take loads to impress me as i hav never had a rangefinder camera before and and returning to photography after a 10year 'break', but i like them anyway

 

Ali

 

Well, these images both look very good to me especially for someone not too familiar with a rangefinder. In fact, these images probably have eased my hesitation on getting an M8 considerably. The debate of low light capture quality of the Kodak vs Canon sensors will not be solved here, but for someone such as myself, who seldom ventures beyond 400 ISO territory, I think the M8 will do just fine. While I do have a 5D as well, I'll reserve that camera for the times when it is appropriate to shoot DSLR based on those factors where an SLR have the advantage, and not based it on its low light capabilities.

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This photo was taken with the M8 + 50/1.2 Noctilux, 1/8 @ f/1.2 (handheld) ISO 640, DNG converted to B&W in Lightroom, no noise reduction applied. I have no trouble with the M8 in VERY low light; I'm almost never tempted to go above ISO 640 in these conditions. If you want to check out "actual pixels", just click the picture & look at the larger versions on flickr.

 

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I happen to like the M8 through a (true) ISO 1600 and sometimes, in BW, even at IS0 3200. Nonetheless, to keep us honest here, I want to clear up a pervasive misconception. Some of the noise reduction in the Canon files comes from smoothing *but* the files themselves also tend to be quite clean to begin with. Clean as in high S/N ratio clean not "scrubbed with NR" clean. One can see this starting at low ISO levels. I say this having done a lot of careful and extensive side-by-side camera testing: M8, DMR, D200, 1Ds, 5D, 1DsMkII, etc.

 

 

OK. This is a conclusion based on comparative testing.

 

Looking at small jpegs posted here isn't very useful to me for the kinds of distinctions people are attributing to various cameras and techniques. I have lots of images shot at 400 ISO at 1/4 sec in low light using an early 2 megapixel p&s. And those images look comparable at these small sizes. Especially when you consider that one often shoots in low light for mood and not for "quality." I posted two of them here.

 

So it seems to me that one needs to at least post 100% crops with minimal jpeg compression. Ideally, both cameras need to be shot side-by-side and the images need to be adjusted to match as closely as possible regarding, color, exposure, highlight and shadow detail, etc. At that point one could look for differences in noise, smearing, detail, and other attributes that people attribute to one camera or the other.

 

Having an attractive or interesting subject is generally more important than having a good camera. The "best" camera is always the one I have with me when I need to take a pricture.

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The original poster's M8 photos look seriously noisy, but that's where Silkypix comes in! You can download a limited-time trial for free, and I think it's noise-reduction will do wonders for your high ISO DNG files. Also works with ORF, NEF and Canon raw.

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FWIW, you can accomplish pretty much the same thing without switching to LAB...

 

For color noise, make a copy layer, blur it with whatever blur tool you prefer -- experiment with them, but Gaussian is a good starting point. Now change the blend mode of the blurred layer to "color". Presto, only the color data is blurred and the detail remains in-tact

 

For sharpening as above, do the same, only change the sharpened copy layer to the "luminosity" blend mode -- and I usually dial opacity down to around 85% for a more organic look -- and this way you only affect the detail and not the color

 

This method saves the two iterations of LAB <-> RGB.

 

Cheers,

 

Hey Jack--yep--that works too, of course.

 

There are some rare times, though, when you're pushing around colour with blurs and such, that nice things happen on the way out of LAB, notably the separation of contrasting colours, and also when the LAB to RGB conversion substitutes something better than the RGB definition. You just can't do that as easily in RGB and a blend mode. I don't think the opposite is true until you being playing with too much saturation (and PS's LAB->RGB conversions are pretty darned good).

 

But for 99.99 percent of all shots you can't tell the difference, it's true.

 

I learned to think in LAB for that stuff, and that's the way I still do it... Heck, I even go to CMYK sometimes to do stuff

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alan. what those pics supposed to say????????????????????? they are great portraits ???????????

 

still no appologies for your lies in previous thread.........

 

 

"best camera........"........... oh ya.... bla bla slogans..........

somebody came to me some time ago and told me that he loves greek classic philosophy...... i told him grait and asked..... "so how do you see yourself - as aristotleian or platonic?"............ he said that he belives in "platonic love"........ slogans...... i asked him "what the hell it has to do with my question?"......... he said that he was reading that platonic love it non-bodily ideal love........... slogan................. he was reading "books of staements from great greeks"

)

do u have some more slogans............. ?? like best camera is the camera that fastly pays for itself or something similar..............

)

 

ah listen listen........... here some great new slogan just came to my mind.........

listen........ i am the photography and the photography is me.... as for the best camera is the camera that i have.......... reminds u somthing

)

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vic - take it easy man. I love reading your posts - but I really don't think anyone likes the personal abuse stuff. Just my opinion - keep holding a mirror up to the pretentious, but you don't need the aggression...

 

Anyways, does anyone else feel it's inappropriate to post images on this forum that have a copyright notice printed directly (and destructively) across them?

I mean, no-one is forcing participants to post images, and therefore the 'implied' intention that others are going to steal them i personally find a little offensive. Furthermore, these low-res jpegs strike me as not so significant in terms of 'artistic' theft.

 

I personally would rather see a more subtle copyright notice - possibly at the bottom corner of the image - if the poster really feels it's necessary.

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Agree with the sentiment, difference of opinion makes the forum go round - but posts resembling personal attacks I can do without.

I have no problem with copyright notices, but these are indeed a bit intrusive, making it hard to look at the picture itself. Maybe more tranparant? Or post in such low-res that they are useless for anythng but web-display?

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In the early 1990s I did an extensive project in the subways of New York City and Budapest all with TMZ at ISO 1600 and 3200. Thousands of pictures all made at those ISO levels.

 

Some people use high ISO and some don't. There's no reason for the first group to make assumptions about the second, and vice versa. In fact, I wish people (speaking generically) would stop generalizing their experiences into universal truths.

 

Sean

 

Hi Sean, it's really far from my intentions to generalize my experiences into universal truths! what i wanted to say is that my experience didn't take me to shot usually at higher iso ( i.e. 1600 or above), even with film, and that's why I use and love my M8. I had Canon previously (just a little 350D a 20D and dreamed of 5D) and I'm sure, as most of you does, about sayin' that they are less noisy than M8 at higher ISO.

I'm sure that when I'll need to shot in such darker situation I will get probably a 5D or something like that (if i were looking for absolute sharpness), it's not a debate on the "best camera" on the market, they are really different as we know.

I like the grain (even in lighty situations) and that's why i love my M8. I like B/W and I prefer the M8 output for this.

As i know from many of your test (always useful!) there's a different gear for different situations, i'm not a professional photographer, and i rarely had to get involved in low light situations, so i did only mean that maybe this debate is something far from my needs (and, generalizing, maybe to other novices' too), I did not only agree with the "not impressed" affirmation...

If someone's looking for Leica to do Canon's works better (and viceversa) maybe it's waste of time, I took the camera for what it had to offer.

Hope this is intended to be my only point of view!

Suddenly i post what i mean for nice "grainy" (BW picture), and sharp (color one).

The first is summicron35 + M8, the color one is summicron28 + M8

 

 

P.S.

What camera/s did you use for that work?

and what film?

and could you post a pair of shots to take a look?

 

Cheers

 

Maurizio

MAURIZIO BEUCCI.com - Official web site

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Hi Sean, it's really far from my intentions to generalize my experiences into universal truths! what i wanted to say is that my experience didn't take me to shot usually at higher iso ( i.e. 1600 or above), even with film, and that's why I use and love my M8.

If someone's looking for Leica to do Canon's works better (and viceversa) maybe it's waste of time, I took the camera for what it had to offer.

Hope this is intended to be my only point of view!

 

P.S.

What camera/s did you use for that work?

and what film?

and could you post a pair of shots to take a look?

 

Cheers

 

Maurizio

MAURIZIO BEUCCI.com - Official web site

 

 

Hi Maurizio,

 

The reason I was careful to say "speaking generically" was because I was not attributing that perspective to you or any other specific person on the thread. But many do tend to generalize their own experiences into the universal.

 

The subway pictures can be seen in the "other projects" section at http://www.still-photo.net

 

I used a set of Canon GIII Canonet Rangefinders. I was sometimes working in somewhat dangerous conditions and, if mugged, I wanted to be able to hand over the camera with no argument. So I bought at least of five of them (they were quite inexpensive) so as to have replacements. Those cameras actually have a quite good little 40/1.7 lens and had quite an "underground" reputation in the 70s and 80s.

 

The film was TMZ, Kodak T-Max 3200. It was sometimes rated at ISO 1600 and sometimes at 3200, depending on the light. I needed all the shutter speed I could get.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

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For sharpening ..... change the sharpened copy layer to the "luminosity" blend mode -- and I usually dial opacity down to around 85% for a more organic look -- and this way you only affect the detail and not the color ......

 

Jack - Thank you for sharing the Colour noise trick, I'm sure I will use it [with the history brush]. Perhaps I'm being particularly thick today, or hopefully I've tried your second technique with an inappropriate file, but I could not see the advantage of the sharpening layer being set to Luminosity rather than Normal. No doubt I'm missing something, can you describe what the 'Luminosity' advantage is?

 

.................Chris

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Well, these images both look very good to me especially for someone not too familiar with a rangefinder. In fact, these images probably have eased my hesitation on getting an M8 considerably. The debate of low light capture quality of the Kodak vs Canon sensors will not be solved here, but for someone such as myself, who seldom ventures beyond 400 ISO territory, I think the M8 will do just fine. While I do have a 5D as well, I'll reserve that camera for the times when it is appropriate to shoot DSLR based on those factors where an SLR have the advantage, and not based it on its low light capabilities.

 

Thanks for your comments. I've had a week of using the M8 on holiday and really enjoyed it. I am finding the rangefinder focusing to be a bit of challenge moving objects and peoples faces, but i am sure that some more practice will make for better pics. Overall, having now printed out some of my pics at A4, i am really pleased with the overall experience of using the M8. One of the main things i hav found is that people dont tend to look and stare at you when your taking pics as they might otherwise do if your pointing a shoebox size digital SLR at them.

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Jack - Thank you for sharing the Colour noise trick, I'm sure I will use it [with the history brush]. Perhaps I'm being particularly thick today, or hopefully I've tried your second technique with an inappropriate file, but I could not see the advantage of the sharpening layer being set to Luminosity rather than Normal. No doubt I'm missing something, can you describe what the 'Luminosity' advantage is?

 

.................Chris

 

The clear advantage of sharpening in Luminosity mode (or sharpening only the L of LAB, or only the K of CMYK) is that you're not affecting colour (noise) or artifacts. You're just sharpening luminance data.

 

At least, in theory, that's what Luminosity layer does--it mimics the L channel of LAB. The two are different, though, in that the actual L has a somewhat different gamma distribution from RGB channels (and there are some other weird things with LAB that are both good and bad, IIRC).

 

Anyway, separating contrast/ luminosity from colour is a very good method of correction, and this helps you do that without making things worse

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I have no problem with copyright notices, but these are indeed a bit intrusive, making it hard to look at the picture itself. Maybe more tranparant? Or post in such low-res that they are useless for anythng but web-display?

 

At first I made the post without the copyright notices and then after thinking for a minute, I deleted it and reposted with the notices.

 

The copyright notices are also to protect the models not just me. I recently had an infringement dispute with three web sites that illegally downloaded one of my images and removed a copyright notice that was just as prominently placed. You have to realize that images placed on a third party web site can easily become disassociated from the copyright holder. (As is illustrated here just by re-posting my image in another reply.)

 

The pictures are presented simply as an illustration that even a 2 megapixel camera can make an image that looks pretty good at such as small size - even if shot at 400 ISO at 1/4 second. (That's why I chose an image with so much movement.) The content was not that significant and wasn't an intended source of discussion. Otherwise I might have made the notices a bit less obvious.

 

My real point is to ask people to post 100% crops of some of the images that they are talking about so we can understand the fine distinctions at play.

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.......[sharpening] in Luminosity mode ..... you're not affecting colour (noise) or artifacts. You're just sharpening luminance data......

 

Jamie - Many thanks. The penny has dropped; I will amend my sharp practices from now on.

 

...............Chris

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Jamie - Many thanks. The penny has dropped; I will amend my sharp practices from now on.

 

...............Chris

 

Just an FYI if you missed it in discussions of ACR 4.whatever and LR 1.1 - their new sharpening modules are high-pass sharpening on the luminance channel only. One simple option.

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Yada, yada, yada, in my experience shooting thousands of wedding images in all kinds of light the M8 is no match for the 5D at 1250 and above, and I don't see smearing in the 5D files... nor any smearing in those from some of the top wedding shooters in the US using the 5D.

 

What I do feel is the 5D is an awful camera to use, and it feels and sounds like a toy. I sold mine and kept the M8s ... where ISO 640 does the job a great majority of the time.

 

So far (3 weddings done), the 1DMKIIi is even better than the 5D ... and, no, I do not have any of the MKIII fucusing issues reported.

 

Let's hope future M8 development in software and firmware applications get it to a better ISO 1250 without a bunch of computer gymnastics, and I'll be a super happy guy.

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wow wow wow............ leica shooter will not use higher iso films (or digi settings)........ ??????

 

the legend of leica was its fexibility in any condition........ any..... to make images that are as truthful to the atmospher and documentary or stylistic value as possible..........

 

but again.......... we confuse here real photographers with leica that made it a legend in the art culture , with the equipemnt-oriented photographers...........

 

sending and posting tests on the interent ?????????????? wow wow......... u use leica with such a proud and then evaluate its qualities on iterent files ????????????????

 

hahahha guy ..... smeared

) as though disolved with water - the digital plastic

 

but again.......... be brave enough to try the film - the provia 400x (since we talk about high iso colour here i assume)......... push it to 800 and even 1600.... process it properly with real e-6 chemicals (or give it to serious lab)........ put it on light table....... make creo/imacon archival scan or even far better - amke a real darkroom ilfochrome print from it .............. it will cut into pieces cannons and even a more pleasing m8 ...... leave it in dust behind

)))))))))))

wanna know how b/w darkoom high iso film print looks like with 800/1600/3200 settings ?? it simply dances in the eyes ...... magnetic dance .........

) try it.......... just get out of this digital "box of thoughts" ...... be brave and try .........

 

Good grief, man. Do you think we all came here straight from the cradle? Most of the people on this forum have had long careers using film. "Be brave. Try it?" We grew up with it, for chrissake. You act like you're the only one around here who ever developed a roll.

 

As far as comparing via the internet, what alternative do you have in mind? Shall we start mailing prints back and forth to each other?

 

Here's the choice for pros today: Shoot digital or starve. Simple as that. Yes, there are a few exceptions, but I currently have zero clients who will accept film. ALL want digital.

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w be brave enough to try the film - the provia 400x (since we talk about high iso colour here i assume)......... push it to 800 and even 1600.... process it properly with real e-6 chemicals (or give it to serious lab)........ put it on light table....... make creo/imacon archival scan or even far better - amke a real darkroom ilfochrome print from it .............. it will cut into pieces cannons and even a more pleasing m8 ...... leave it in dust behind )))))))))))

 

I've got plenty of medium format and 35mm E6 slides in the file cabinet and still own a Scitex /Creo scanner. At low ISO's Ektachrome E100G, Astia or Velvia 50 are beautiful but high speed E6 (200+) is crap. It's not like silver based B+W film with it's high accutance grain. Those mushy dye clouds don't hold up well to higher speeds and tonality goes out the window when it's pushed and Provia is nice if you like a nasty cyan-green color cast. Which is why when it comes to color an M8 can replace my medium format film cameras for color work with no compromise in quality.

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