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I've come across a family of bugs in the M10 and M10-P's registration of 6-bit codes, and hence with the in-camera corrections and metadata coded into the DNG file. It’s a serious issue, because inappropriate in-camera corrections distort the photo, and make the post-processing workflow needlessly complicated.

 1. The R-adapter-M has a unique 6-bit code: 110111. When the camera’s “Lens Detection” is set to “Auto,” the camera should always register “R-Adapter-M,” or the last R-lens manually entered under the Lens Detection menu.

Instead, when an R-adapter-M with an R lens is mounted, it switches out of “Lens Detection Auto,” and registers the last lens that was manually entered. If that was an R lens, it switches to “Lens Detection Manual R,” which is OK. But if the userI had previously entered an M lens under “Lens Detection Manual M,” the camera switches to “Lens Detection Manual M,” and falsely registers that M lens.

This makes no sense. Since the R-Adapter-M has its own 6-bit code, when the camera when set in “Lens Detection Auto,” it should always register an R lens.

2. The Macro-Adapter-M also has a unique 6-bit code, 101000. So when the camera’s “Lens Detection” is set to “Auto,” it should register “Macro-Adapter-M.”

Instead, it registers “4/90.” This also makes no sense, for two reasons. First, even though it’s common for the photographer to combine the Macro-Adapter-M with the Macro-Elmar-M 90 f/4, this bug means the photographer has no way of distinguishing a shot taken using the with and without the Macro-Adapter-M. Since the Macro-Adapter-M has its own 6-bit code, this confusion is preventable and unnecessary. Second, since the Macro-Adapter-M can be used with many Leica lenses other than the 4/90, it means that often the wrong lens is corrected for and coded in the DNG metadata.

3. When the camera is set to “Lens Detection Auto,” and an uncoded lens is mounted, the camera registers the last lens that was manually coded, whether it was under “Lens Detection Manual M” or “Lens Detection Manual R.” It’s hard to understand the logic behind this. For one thing, an uncoded lens will always be an M lens, never an R, because an R-lens would always be mounted with the R-Adapter-M, which has its own 6-bit code, which the camera should automatically register. (The only exception is if the photographer uses some 3rd party uncoded R-to-M adapter such as ones by Kipon or Novoflex. But I assume that Leica did not decide to support that possibility.)  

Worse, if the photographer has several uncoded M or R lenses, then every time he changes among these lenses, the wrong corrections and metadata will be applied to that shot. Of course the photographer always has the option of switching the Lens Detection setting with each lens change to “Lens Detection Manual M” or “R” to register the appropriate lens. But he should not be forced to do that when “Lens Detection” is set to “Auto” and the camera should be smart enough to know automatic lens detection is impossible.

I hope that Leica fix this bug and make “Lens Detection Auto” behave in the following ways:

-When the Macro-Adapter-M is mounted, the camera should always register “Macro-Adapter-M.”

-When the R-Adapter-M is mounted, the camera should always register “R-Adapter-M” (and perhaps the last R lens manually entered.)

-When an uncoded lens is mounted, the camera should always register “Uncoded lens.”

Simple and logical, no?

Edited by verbivore
correct a typo

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When you sent this message to Leica, what was their reply?

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When I originally called it to the attention of Mark Brady at Leica Camera USA in November 2017, he first sent me a reply that tried to be helpful but appeared to miss the point, and when I clarified the problem, he sent me the following polite reply:

"I do agree that theres a lot of room for improvement and I forwarded your comments to Germany for their review.  Hopefully a firmware change will clarify things in the future."

I repeated the bug report earlier today, and got an auto-reply, but it's too soon to expect an answer. 

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That would be the answer I would expect having dealt with this before on other cameras.

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14 hours ago, verbivore said:

 

Instead, it registers “4/90.” This also makes no sense, for two reasons. First, even though it’s common for the photographer to combine the Macro-Adapter-M with the Macro-Elmar-M 90 f/4, this bug means the photographer has no way of distinguishing a shot taken using the with and without the Macro-Adapter-M.

If the photographer really is a photographer he would know by looking at the photograph. I know that with all the information the camera bombards the user with nowadays the temptation is to believe it's all important information. The actual important thing is not to treat it like an accountant doing his double entry book keeping, they are photographs you are creating, not a tax return.

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11 minutes ago, 250swb said:

If the photographer really is a photographer he would know by looking at the photograph. I know that with all the information the camera bombards the user with nowadays the temptation is to believe it's all important information. The actual important thing is not to treat it like an accountant doing his double entry book keeping, they are photographs you are creating, not a tax return.

You are not suggesting that we should take pictures with our M10s are you? 😆

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Posted (edited)

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22 minutes ago, 250swb said:

If the photographer really is a photographer he would know by looking at the photograph. I know that with all the information the camera bombards the user with nowadays the temptation is to believe it's all important information. The actual important thing is not to treat it like an accountant doing his double entry book keeping, they are photographs you are creating, not a tax return.

If the photographer really is a photographer, he would not be relying on a computer based application to determine how his photos should look. 

This is the reality of digital image capture. In my view, there should be no automatic software corrections. Then we would have real photography. Instead, we have CGI. 

In any case, it is what it is. The new normal. 

Edited by Mute-on

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17 hours ago, verbivore said:

 

I hope that Leica fix this bug and make “Lens Detection Auto” behave in the following ways:

-When the Macro-Adapter-M is mounted, the camera should always register “Macro-Adapter-M.”

-When the R-Adapter-M is mounted, the camera should always register “R-Adapter-M” (and perhaps the last R lens manually entered.)

-When an uncoded lens is mounted, the camera should always register “Uncoded lens.”

Simple and logical, no?

Actually, I'd take it one step further. Since on the new Macro-Adapter-M you can mount any lens, all Leica M and R lenses should be able to be selected, much like the R-Adapter-M lists almost all R lenses. If of course this is the older Macro-Adapter-M (different 6-bit code) then only the 90/4 Macro lens should be listed.

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I agree, and was thinking of suggesting that feature as well. But since Leica apparently has trouble implementing a 5-minute fix of a blatant firmware bug in an $8000 camera that they've known about for 18 months, I figured that this was too much too ask, and I'd settle for them just fixing the flaw. 

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On 8/24/2019 at 5:59 PM, verbivore said:

[...] I hope that Leica fix this bug and make “Lens Detection Auto” behave in the following ways:
-When the Macro-Adapter-M is mounted, the camera should always register “Macro-Adapter-M.”
-When the R-Adapter-M is mounted, the camera should always register “R-Adapter-M” (and perhaps the last R lens manually entered.)
-When an uncoded lens is mounted, the camera should always register “Uncoded lens.”
Simple and logical, no?

Not for me sorry :cool:. I prefer keeping the last lens profile by far. This way i don't have to chimp when i keep the same lens on the adapter. I have no M10 though but my digital CL works the same good (to me) way so i doubt that Leica will change anything but i may be wrong.

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I don't think you're appreciating the problem. You may want the camera to remember the last uncoded lens you manually set, when an uncoded lens is attached, or the last R-lens you manually set, when it's registering an R lens, or the last lens you manually set with the Macro-Adapter, when it has a Macro-adapter attached. That would be a nice feature, I agree. But  you don't want it to register an M lens when the R-adapter with an R lens is attached, or an R lens when an uncoded M lens or the the Macro-Adapter-M is attached. That's the bug I'm referring to, and it's really a bug, not something that any user would ever want. 

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1 hour ago, verbivore said:

I don't think you're appreciating the problem. You may want the camera to remember the last uncoded lens you manually set, when an uncoded lens is attached, or the last R-lens you manually set, when it's registering an R lens, or the last lens you manually set with the Macro-Adapter, when it has a Macro-adapter attached. That would be a nice feature, I agree. But  you don't want it to register an M lens when the R-adapter with an R lens is attached, or an R lens when an uncoded M lens or the the Macro-Adapter-M is attached. That's the bug I'm referring to, and it's really a bug, not something that any user would ever want. 

That is a nice feature actually. How do you manage to keep it with your suggestions? My guess is you cannot but please don't hesitate to prove me wrong.

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3 hours ago, verbivore said:

 But  you don't want it to register an M lens when the R-adapter with an R lens is attached, or an R lens when an uncoded M lens or the the Macro-Adapter-M is attached. That's the bug I'm referring to, and it's really a bug, not something that any user would ever want. 

What does it matter if it was a 35mm R lens or a 35mm M lens, unless of course you carry both around with you? 

At a guess it's your second sentence in your opening post that is the crux of the 'issue', and the perceived complications of post-processing a vast amount of photographs taken with a vast amount of lenses. I think in practical terms not many photographers are using R lenses on M bodies unless they don't have the equivalent M lens, in which case the photographer knows it's not say an M 28mm lens because he hasn't got one.

And then there is what could be a massive problem in post processing all those photographs made with all those varied lenses. Well the words of Michael Caine in the 'Italian Job' could be paraphrased to reduce the effort needed by your software and yourself, they are 'you were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off'. This becomes 'you are only supposed to post process the good ones'. The never changing average hit rate for a good photographer valid from the dawn of the 'miniature camera' to today's digital wonders is around three or four photographs per one hundred exposures. This supposes the photographer can self edit his work, who knows what he was after, knows if he achieved it, and add in an element for the happy accidents. So just as the serious film photographer never printed all 36 exposures from a roll (unless sent to a lab) so a serious digital photographer only needs to post process a few good ones from a day out, hardly a chore. And if the photographer can't recognise a 35mm shot from a 50mm shot after having been there and pressed the shutter then there is no hope for them.

I suppose you could also say at a pinch that the adapter and how it records lens data would be useful when a photographer has given themselves the chore of testing all their lenses, for whatever comparison they can think of due to being bored and it's raining outside, etc. Except no it isn't, on an M camera the camera guesses the aperture but this guess can vary not only based on the lens and it's design and irrespective of the adapter registering the lens identification correctly. So in post processing there is always an embedded lie possible by using any lens or any adapter on an M camera, the aperture is more often that not 'approximate'. This not only affects the perceived chore of post processing all the photographers photos, (unless you only process the good ones) but when it comes to lens comparison testing it makes a mockery of the results. However on the up side should total accuracy be required at all times there is one invention to combat this misinformation that predates Ligthroom and the lies an M camera tells, it's called a 'notebook and pencil', available on eBay.

 

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44 minutes ago, 250swb said:

 However on the up side should total accuracy be required at all times there is one invention to combat this misinformation that predates Ligthroom and the lies an M camera tells, it's called a 'notebook and pencil', available on eBay.

 

I carry one at all times, whether it is with my M10-D, my IIIg or a simple pocket digital. I believe there are some on this forum who will not be happy until their camera makes the tea for them (or coffee).

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On 8/24/2019 at 9:59 AM, verbivore said:

3. When the camera is set to “Lens Detection Auto,” and an uncoded lens is mounted, the camera registers the last lens that was manually coded, whether it was under “Lens Detection Manual M” or “Lens Detection Manual R.” It’s hard to understand the logic behind this. For one thing, an uncoded lens will always be an M lens, never an R, because an R-lens would always be mounted with the R-Adapter-M, which has its own 6-bit code, which the camera should automatically register. (The only exception is if the photographer uses some 3rd party uncoded R-to-M adapter such as ones by Kipon or Novoflex. But I assume that Leica did not decide to support that possibility.)  

Worse, if the photographer has several uncoded M or R lenses, then every time he changes among these lenses, the wrong corrections and metadata will be applied to that shot. Of course the photographer always has the option of switching the Lens Detection setting with each lens change to “Lens Detection Manual M” or “R” to register the appropriate lens. But he should not be forced to do that when “Lens Detection” is set to “Auto” and the camera should be smart enough to know automatic lens detection is impossible.

Leica's logic here is thus (and I like it, in part): Set the camera to LDA, and then mount an uncoded lens, and the camera will revert to the last manually-entered lens.

For those of us with ONE uncoded M lens, that is like getting free coding of a lens (worth $300). Especially valuable if the one uncoded lens is not among the lenses supported for coding anyway.

E.G. I have coded 21, 35, and 90 lenses. And an uncoded (and uncodable - unsupported) 135 Tele-Elmar-M. When I use my lenses, I leave "135 Tele-Elmar-M" as the selected lens in the menu, and the camera automatically, transparently and seamlessly switches from auto to manual as I swap my lenses: 21 gets ID'd as 21mm, 35 as 35mm, etc., and when I mount the 135, it gets ID'd correctly also. With no need to dig into the menus to make the auto/manual swap.

That - BTW - is an improvement over previous M digitals I've used. In which the 135 never registered as anything except "focal length 00mm, f/1.0"

I do agree that the camera's firmware logic should lock-out/gray-out the M lens menu if it detects the R adapter, allowing only the R-lens menu to be operational.

______________

If I were to be curmudgeonly, cynical and paranoid, I might also parse the following out of the lens-detection logic.....

That Leica believes...:

1) we should be buying the current, new, factory-coded M lenses anyway - $$$$ ;)

2) if not, then we should be getting our legacy lenses coded - the service has been available for 13 years now; Get with the program, campers! - $$*

3) ...but they will allow us one freebie, for old time's sake, or for a lens that cannot have coding added.

4) in the era of the SL camera, that is the appropriate system for using R lenses extensively. Better viewfinder, better balance, and so on. Don't expect an M to support them as easily.

     4a) better yet, buy native SL lenses. $$$$ ;)

5) in the era of the SL camera, that is the appropriate system for doing Macro work. Except with the dedicated 90 Macro and adapter as a unit.**

6) anyone not choosing 1 through 5 probably has time on their hands to go to the menus every time. They aren't serious photographers.

________________

* When Nikon changed their mount to accomodate the newer AI lens indexing, they provided factory conversions for non-AI lenses - for a while. Not forever. The program was discontinued after 15 years.

** Simply putting an extension tube behind a lens does not turn it into a macro lens. A dedicated Macro lens like the 90 f/4 is tuned optically (math based on non-parallel light rays) for better close-up performance. Slapping a 90 Elmarit or Summicron or 50mm onto the macro adapter will produce poorer results than using the one M lens actually designed for macro distances. Slapping a floating-element lens onto an extension tube will really screw up the image quality.

 

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4 hours ago, 250swb said:

[...] And if the photographer can't recognize a 35mm shot from a 50mm shot after having been there and pressed the shutter then there is no hope for them. [...]

Makes me feel hopeless that :eek:. 35mm, 50mm or (fill in blank) mm below? Too bad i forgot my pencil ;).

 

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To LCT: this would be straightforward. The photographer would manually enter an M lens in the Lens Detection  > Manual M menu item, and whenever the camera detects that an uncoded lens is mounted, it would use that metadata. The photographer would manually enter an R lens in the Lens Detection > Manual R menu item, and whenever the camera detects that the R-Adapter is mounted (through its unique 6-bit code), it would use that metadata. Since the photographer would never have a reason to manually enter an M or R lens when a coded M lens is mounted, this would handle all the cases but one: the tiny number of photographers who use a Novoflex or Kipon R-to-M converter, which is uncoded. Leica could be forgiven for not supporting those items. 

With the Macro-Adapter-M, the firmware change would have to be a smidgen more complicated, but it's still pretty simple. When the Macro-Adapter is mounted (detectable through its unique 6-bit-code), the photographer could enter a second M lens, which would be applied to the image when, and only when, the Adapter is mounted. Granted, this would require that the camera remember TWO M lenses (one for uncoded lenses, one for the Macro-Adapter). This would require that a high-school-level programmer spend 15  minutes, rather 5 minutes, patching the firmware code. 

To the others: I'm not sure why a bug report should prompt moralizing about how a "real" photographer should ignore lens metadata, or rely on memory or a notepad. After all, you can always set Lens Detection to "Off." But for decades, well before the digital revolution, photo magazines published lens information with their photos, and photographers themselves sometimes recorded this information (whether in a notebook, or, for film cameras with a databack like the Nikon N90), to help in the never-ending process of learning to be a better photographer. Digital makes that easier, which is why 100% of digital cameras, and more than 99% of all cameras, automatically enter lens metadata in image files, and all photo editing software displays it. As I mentioned, you can always ignore it if you want. But what is the argument that a camera -- an $8000 camera, at that -- should enter the WRONG lens metadata, and in doing so apply INAPPROPRIATE corrections, to an image? 

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I agree that what you describe is a bug/sloppy programming, although I haven't encountered this myself because I don't use any coded adapters for the moment. But I have uncoded Leica M and screw mount lenses.

In fact, Leica could implement a much nicer way to use uncoded lenses than the current one, e.g. by providing a customisable "favourite lens menu" from where to choose your uncoded lens. They could even make it possible for you to create your own lens definitions (lens name, focal length and maximum aperture) for this menu. After all, many interesting third-party lenses exist for the M and screw mounts and even more can be adapted, so why couldn't we get correct EXIF information for these as well? I don't think people would buy fewer coded Leica lenses because of this.

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I agree, Mujk. This would be even more useful if there was a manufacturer who sold L39-to-M adapters with 6-bit coding pits (the currently available ones are either shoddily made, and don't provide proper infinity focus, or lack precisely milled pits), and/or replacement rear flanges with the pits, which could be swapped onto the third-party lenses. Sharpies could then be used to enter 6-bit codes, ideally one that was not already allocated to a Leica lens but was user-settable. But for now I'd be happy enough if Leica simply fixed the bug. 

The entire 6-bit coding system is a charming but anachronistic kluge. (Even providing a 7th bit would have doubled the number of codable lenses from an inadequate 64 to a reasonable 128.) If that is Leica's concession to the 21st century, they should at least implement it in a way that's useful to their loyal and patient customers. 

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20 minutes ago, verbivore said:

I agree, Mujk. This would be even more useful if there was a manufacturer who sold L39-to-M adapters with 6-bit coding pits (the currently available ones are either shoddily made, and don't provide proper infinity focus, or lack precisely milled pits),

Have you considered the Rayqual Type III adapters from Cameraquest.com?

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