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Best M8 DNG converter?

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Guest Walt

From Jack: "The bottom line is it shouldn't matter to the histogram if the IR cut filter is on or not. The histogram responds to any energy that makes it to the sensor, and if it is not blown the exposure is fine."

 

Jack- Yes, I think this is precisely the point. The IR sensitivity is not detected by a meter, but does make it to the sensor and is thus shown in the histogram. So a highlight (as measured by the meter) that is also reflecting (or emitting) IR is going to put more energy on the sensor and some of that energy is not contributing to the (visible) image. If a black sweater is reflecting IR, it's not going to make a difference; if a white object is reflecting IR it can be the difference between a detailed highlight and a blocked one because the IR contributes to the overload of the sensor. When IR reflectance or emission is from a highlight, the dynamic range of the sensor is effectively reduced by non-image forming light. This is a problem.

 

Additionally, I am imagining that IR radiates (or spreads) differently than reflected visible light, certainly in the longer wavelengths, and that this degrades the image. I have recently spent some time is an airplane with a Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) display and spent time taxiing around an airport looking at the displayed image. How this unit compares with the spectral sensitivty of the M8 sensor I don't know--I suspect that the M8 is less sensitive to the longer wave (emitted) IR than the FLIR. But the FLIR image is instructive because it looks surprisingly like the paving stones in the original post--smeared and bloated. Light gray rabbits (running in the grass along side the runway) pop out on the FLIR as blown highlights.

 

I believe that I have observed these problems clearly after months of not using IR filters, thinking I did not need them for BW. I need them. Blown highlights are very dramatically reduced and clarity in some high key areas is improved. The FLIR has also been instructive in revealing the complexity of what reflects or emits infrared light. It has little to do with the visible brightness or reflectivity of the surface, though visibly bright surfaces do often reflect or emit infrared.

 

Walt

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Hi Walt: We agree -- The IR can certainly affect the image without affecting the meter, but the histo is going to show that. My point was that if the histo is good, so will be the image.

 

Cheers,

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Guest guy_mancuso

Walt I am tending to go along with your theory with the IR filters and blown highlights smearing stuff and all that. The problem is i always have the IR filters on so i never really tested this out but the good news is i never see any of these issues described here.

 

BTW word from Leica is use leica filters from 35mm down and not use the B+W because of color shift , which is exactly what I have been saying all along there is a slight color shift between them and the B+W from what i have seen gives a very slight green color shift. Actually all my lenses have leica filters just so i don't bounce around on this

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Guest Walt
Hi Walt: We agree -- The IR can certainly affect the image without affecting the meter, but the histo is going to show that. My point was that if the histo is good, so will be the image.

 

Cheers,

Jack-

 

I think we agree that the IR can be seen on the histogram, but I'm not sure we're on the same page regarding the significance of IR for image making. So, the following three observations:

 

1. I rarely do the kind of photography that allows a test shot, an examination of the histogram and an exposure adjustment for the final shot. IR is producing hot spots in the image that are unexpected on visual examination of the scene itself. IR reflecting surfaces are brighter (in terms of sensor sensitivity) than they appear precisely because IR is not visible to the eye.

 

2. Where IR blows a highlight on the sensor, you can certainly reduce exposure and shift the histogram left. But by doing that you are reducing range at the bottom (shadow end). Thus the IR at the top (highlight end) is forcing us to reduce the dynamic range for visible, image-making light to accomodate invisible, non-image forming light at the top.

 

3. IR reflectance and emission, at least in my experience with the FLIR unit, halos and bleeds, expecially in the longer wave lengths, to a greater extent than most visible light. So this is the kind of effect we get on film where a very bright object reflects enough visible light to produce haloing and "veiling flare" around the bright object.

 

And Guy, yes, I'm no longer aware of these effects now that I'm always using the filters. The images seem much cleaner and highlights are very rarely blown. I think the filters are necessary for everything with this camera.

 

Walt

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hi jamie...

 

i think the raw converters and processing softwares are something like film developers... each one has its "look" , advantages etc...... and every working photographer has his/her preferances.....

 

about silverfast....... u cannot develop RAW in SF Ai ........ u will need either the HDR48 or the DCR camera version (or whatever it is called).... demo is possible for dwonload and u can even print from demo i think......

 

i love the snap and the punch it gives to the files ,and i dont mean enhenced contrast ...

files from various cameras look very good in it, and ya, in other words - less plastic, more film like......

canon mark2 files are very good in it, m8 is great and i think the closest to film richness among the small cameras (if/when u get the colours rite), fuji pro is super when processed in SF, and so is the tinny d-lux-2 and the leaf aptus (but only after basic conversion in leaf capture since the SF doesnt open the leaf mosaic file correctly)

 

it might not be the most shiny software like lightroom and aperture but it gives great results

 

in short..... in my taste - the final outcomes possibilities - printed of course.......

 

softwares:

silverfast is my fave

then photoshop (with its adobe converter)

then lightroom and capture one (for m8 at least)

aperture is the worst usually - THE look of digital (only photoshop can do more "digital look" with endless filtrations:)))....

 

also........

with silverfast, since u use only screen-preview during adjusting then all the files are equally eassy to handle...... fast proof scans, full quality 4x5 scans, little camera raw, medium camera 16bit tiff.......

but then, u dont see the exact file, and there are little differances in impression between the screen-preview appearnace and the original processed file look..... so, a generation of original file is needed if u want to be super accurate......

again, pros and cons..... but deffenetly worth a try

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Jack-

 

I think we agree that the IR can be seen on the histogram, but I'm not sure we're on the same page regarding the significance of IR for image making. So, the following three observations:

 

You may be right Walt... I have only had the camera for three weeks and only run about 1500 images total through it. However, almost all of those 1500 images have been without the IR cut filter (and lens recognition OFF). I personally have yet to see any smearing in any of my properly exposed images. I have however seen it in my over-exposed images.

 

Cheers,

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I have only had the camera for three weeks and only run about 1500 images total through it. However, almost all of those 1500 images have been without the IR cut filter (and lens recognition OFF). I personally have yet to see any smearing in any of my properly exposed images. I have however seen it in my over-exposed images.

 

I have had my M8 for 13 days, have shot over 3,000 images w/o the cut filters. I was hoping to get the filters by today, but since I have not, I have to leave the M8 at home for a two week commercial shoot and bring all 5D's instead.

 

I have seen some smearing on properly exposed images, maybe I am just sensitive to it..

 

I just did a shoot of a guy who had grey trim on his jacket, it comes out lavender in ACR-4, fine in C1 w/ Foulds profiles....but now, for the life of me, I can not seem to apply global adjustments to 41 files to be exported...

 

I want to bring the M8, but between the iView fiasco, C1 limited user friendly-ness and the smearing, this camera is just not ready for the big time for me yet..

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... BTW word from Leica is use leica filters from 35mm down and not use the B+W because of color shift ...

 

Guy--

How do you recommend handling the CV12? I'm thinking of getting one but I'm bothered by the filter business.

 

1) JLM's hood+adapter takes 55mm filters, but aren't Leica's 60mm and 67mm filters differently formulated, specifically for their widest-angle lenses? (I suppose one could get both a 60-to-55 step-down ring and a 55-to-60 step-up ring to insert a 60mm filter, but mightn't that vignette?)

 

2) And even with the better-corrected filter, the camera's firmware isn't tuned for a lens that wide.

 

Any suggestions?

 

Thanks!

 

--HC

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Steve do you like the Photokit sharper? What do you think of it compared to other sharpening plugins. Do you run it on CS3?

I've been thinking of buying it.

 

Ed, sorry for not replying earlier.

 

Yes I like the Photokit product a lot. I only tend to use the output sharpener and occasionally the 'creative' sharpener to provide localised sharpening, but overall I think it does a good job, and I wouldn't want to loose it.

 

Oh, and yes I use it on CS3.

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Guest guy_mancuso
Guy--

How do you recommend handling the CV12? I'm thinking of getting one but I'm bothered by the filter business.

 

1) JLM's hood+adapter takes 55mm filters, but aren't Leica's 60mm and 67mm filters differently formulated, specifically for their widest-angle lenses? (I suppose one could get both a 60-to-55 step-down ring and a 55-to-60 step-up ring to insert a 60mm filter, but mightn't that vignette?)

 

2) And even with the better-corrected filter, the camera's firmware isn't tuned for a lens that wide.

 

Any suggestions?

 

Thanks!

 

--HC

 

I think from what Leica mentioned was that the 60 and 67mm just had another coating on it compared to the rest but it is tuned the same. For the CV 12 i would use the leica 55mm and Johns holder. Unfortunely for me i can't i glued on the orginal hood and can't get the bloody thing off

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Sean-

 

Yes, it would be helpful for someone more credible to say something more systematic on this. After a few months of fiddling with the problem, I can now look at many BW images and tell when there was no IR filter--bad highlights and "blobs" and peculiar "artifacts.". I am very relieved to find this because images are better and are easier to print and I am virtually never dealing with blocked highlights. I don't mind at all using the filters--I always used UV filters anyway, just for lens protection--but Leica needs to say something. I think they must feel that the "just purple shirts" problem is easier to swallow than the idea that the issue is much broader.

 

Walt

 

 

Will do when life slows down this fall.

 

Cheers,

 

S

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LOLOLOL! Good Jamie -- you had me worried and I feel better now that's cleared up! () And yes I agree, in a hard over-exposure they'll *all* band.

 

Also, like you I only have about a stop of headroom in my 5D files, but that is after my ACR calibration which S's the top. With the standard ACR top curve, I might have another 1/2 stop. I am sure Magne also linearized the top end of his C1 profiles too... Soooo, if Sean is using ACR or Lightroom, it might explain why he's seeing some extra headroom.

 

Re the earlier comment on blobbing without IR filters. I meant to reply to it and your comment reminded me -- I haven't seen it either. The bottom line is it shouldn't matter to the histogram if the IR cut filter is on or not. The histogram responds to any energy that makes it to the sensor, and if it is not blown the exposure is fine.

 

Cheers,

 

Hi Jack,

 

I'm using C1 Pro with standard profiles.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

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Hmmm.....now this is interesting, I don't yet have my IR filters, shoot with regular B&W UV Pro.

 

I will be curious to see how things change with the filters...

 

At the darker end of the scale, IR will lift some of the shadow values - opening them up. Tests, examples etc. are in one of my later M8 reviews. I want to test to look at Walt is suggesting.

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Guy--

How do you recommend handling the CV12? I'm thinking of getting one but I'm bothered by the filter business.

 

1) JLM's hood+adapter takes 55mm filters, but aren't Leica's 60mm and 67mm filters differently formulated, specifically for their widest-angle lenses? (I suppose one could get both a 60-to-55 step-down ring and a 55-to-60 step-up ring to insert a 60mm filter, but mightn't that vignette?)

 

2) And even with the better-corrected filter, the camera's firmware isn't tuned for a lens that wide.

 

Any suggestions?

 

Thanks!

 

--HC

 

 

I'm not Guy but I've done a lot of testing related to the 12, see the article testing John's adapters, etc.

 

1) None of the M8 in-camera corrections work well for color work with the 12 - Cornerfix is the way to go.

 

2) It doesn't matter whether you use a 486 or a Leica UV/IR 55mm filter with the 12, either way you'll be profiling out the cyan drift and vignetting with Cornerfix.

 

Coding the 12 as a WATE and setting to 16 mm does not work - too big a difference in EFOV. I recommend not coding the 12 at all.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

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Hi Jack,

 

I'm using C1 Pro with standard profiles.

 

 

I've never bothered with them, so cannot comment. Maybe Jamie knows if they follow the DPP conversion protocol (in which case it would make sense they give you more headroom than we're seeing with more linear profiles).

 

Cheers,

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Guest guy_mancuso
I'm not Guy but I've done a lot of testing related to the 12, see the article testing John's adapters, etc.

 

1) None of the M8 in-camera corrections work well for color work with the 12 - Cornerfix is the way to go.

 

2) It doesn't matter whether you use a 486 or a Leica UV/IR 55mm filter with the 12, either way you'll be profiling out the cyan drift and vignetting with Cornerfix.

 

Coding the 12 as a WATE and setting to 16 mm does not work - too big a difference in EFOV. I recommend not coding the 12 at all.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

 

 

Thanks Sean for stepping in there . i tend to agree.I can't even use the cornerfix anyway because of the Mac issue so going naked seems to be the best avenue all around unless you have to use a IR on this lens than you just have to still use the cornerfix. Not sure i am even going to keep mine since the hood can't come off and i have some weird coating issue with it. Been sitting around lately and it bugs me to look at it. But selling a damaged lens is not something i will do so it will sit

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{Snipped}I just did a shoot of a guy who had grey trim on his jacket, it comes out lavender in ACR-4, fine in C1 w/ Foulds profiles....but now, for the life of me, I can not seem to apply global adjustments to 41 files to be exported...

 

I want to bring the M8, but between the iView fiasco, C1 limited user friendly-ness and the smearing, this camera is just not ready for the big time for me yet..

 

I think you mean my--Roberts--profile for getting rid of the magentas in neutrals

There is no "Foulds" profile, though my ex-business partner would probably be amused by that!

 

Anyway, nothing could be easier to apply that profile to any number of C1 shots. Just select it, then add the shots to the process queue for processing.

 

That's it

Profile applied.

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I've never bothered with them, so cannot comment. Maybe Jamie knows if they follow the DPP conversion protocol (in which case it would make sense they give you more headroom than we're seeing with more linear profiles).

 

Cheers,

 

Jack--I also don't use the standard C1 profiles for the 5d (there were colour interpretations there I don't like compared with Magne's profiles). Now I'll need to dig into this and see if the generic ones are better for headroom than Magne's...

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I'm not Guy but I've done a lot of testing related to the 12, see the article testing John's adapters, etc.

 

1) None of the M8 in-camera corrections work well for color work with the 12 - Cornerfix is the way to go.

 

2) It doesn't matter whether you use a 486 or a Leica UV/IR 55mm filter with the 12, either way you'll be profiling out the cyan drift and vignetting with Cornerfix.

 

Coding the 12 as a WATE and setting to 16 mm does not work - too big a difference in EFOV. I recommend not coding the 12 at all.

 

Thanks Sean for stepping in there . i tend to agree.I can't even use the cornerfix anyway because of the Mac issue so going naked seems to be the best avenue all around unless you have to use a IR on this lens than you just have to still use the cornerfix.

 

Thanks to both of you. I was thinking filterless and uncoded might be best, judging from the images in Sean's superwides review (ugly color vignetting when filtered) and those from Guy's Solms trip (splendid when not filtered, at least when IR isn't a problem).

 

As with Guy, Cornerfix is out for me at the moment because I'm on an older, non-Windows-capable Mac.

 

The CV 12 is intriguing. A lens that short used on the M8 gives the same field of view as the Leica 16 used on film.

 

Again, thanks very much for the pointers!

 

--HC

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Guest guy_mancuso

Thanks Howard the real issue is switching the UV/IF filter off when you use it and everything I own is filtered so it can be a little bit of a pain to go back and forth and forget too but it is a very nice lens, have not tested the 12 and 15 together but I like the 12mm better. Of course i have the WATE so i do have a 16mm there also in the bag. But the 12mm for 600 hundred is a nice lens to have and also has focus indents on it which is very handy. I use the 12mm like a P&S without external finder and it is fun shooting like that.

 

I should add the hood that comes with the 12mm is kind of not fitting so well on the lens and maybe better served getting John's hood with it instead

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