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Best M8 DNG converter?

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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...

 

Yeah, the coolor was pretty bad which is why I didn't use them either. I wouldn't waste your time worrying about it if you don't already know -- it's not worth the effort to fnd out since you aren't going to use them anyway

 

Cheers,

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I can't even use the cornerfix anyway because of the Mac issue ...

 

Guy,

 

I know that you have a Mac Pro tower; I use cornerfix even on my lowly black MacBook with Parallels installed, and cornerfix works just fine for me ... if you want to mess with it...

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I agree with all the above re lens contrast and exposure. The ASPH lenses are sometimes just to contrasty, and I always underexpose by 1/3 to 2/3 stops.

 

But I want to add another issue here, which is infrared light. Though shooting only BW (RAW converted), I am now always, always using IR filters. They dramatically reduce blown highlights as well as the thing you call "blobbing." When a highlight is also an infrared reflector (and/or, I think, an emitter) highlights and surrounding detail become much more problematic--both blocked and smeared. This is very apparent in foliage photographed with this camera. Tree leaves with shiny highlights and specular highlights can turn into a mess, not unlike your paving stones. I did a few tests on this to confirm what I thought I was seeing and the IR filter pulled maximum highlights on certain subjects down by 7-10 RGB points (e.g. 251 to 243) and provided obviously better clarity in these and immediately surrounding areas of the image. This difference is with in-camera metering. I guess the meter does not have the IR sensitivity of the sensor itself. And the meter certainly cannot compensate for IR "bleed" into surrounding areas.

 

Others have disagreed with the observation on IR in the past, but I am now convinced that IR is a problem with this camera well beyond the "purple problem." I am also aware that the IR sensitivity, unfiltered, can somewhat extend the dynamic range into the shadows. But, for me, this is a small benefit compared to what I have gained by using the filters.

 

Walt, I could not agree more. IR is insidious and the M8 is far too sensitive to IR for the issues it creates to be ignored. I have never understood the claims made by people on this site that for B/W one does not need an IR filter – my experience says otherwise.

 

The issues around foliage reproduction caused heated debate in the early days of the M8 with most claiming that IR filters were not a benefit. I clearly remember two pictures taken, I think, in Arizona one with an IR filter and one without. There was much discussion about the minute, but real, change in flesh tones and of course the purple jacket which changed to black – but – the massive change to the colour and definition of the foliage never got a mention. I guess one sees what one wants to see.

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Well, I could not agree less. LOL!! There may be a point where the amount of IR spills over into the red channel and pushes exposure over the point of fine detail. Maybe--maybe not.

 

FWIW, my separate meters correspond pretty much to what I get with the M8 with or without a filter.

 

I'm not saying the filters don't improve all kinds of things; in my experience exposure is not one of them--though I'm open to proof. It "could" be...

 

But to tell stories about the early days of M8 JPEG reproduction is just silly, since the colour matrix of the early JPEGs--filtered or not--was so off it was funny. So were the original C1 profiles.

 

Plenty of people do wonderful M8 BW work without filters. Some people do excellent colour work without them too, though it's admittedly harder. But it all depends.

 

This categorical "you lose headroom due to IR" or the spurious IR explanation for regular chromatic abberation of a specular that's 10 times over the average exposure (as in the water shots) to my mind borders on the silly. All you would have with other cameras is blobs as well--I've never seen anyone prove anything different with identical shots under identical light.

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Yeah, the coolor was pretty bad which is why I didn't use them either. I wouldn't waste your time worrying about it if you don't already know -- it's not worth the effort to fnd out since you aren't going to use them anyway

 

Cheers,

 

True enough, though I'm still going to look at them together to see if I could, um, combine the one with the other, maybe? You think the C1 profile is messing with gamma (I always thought so...)

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True enough, though I'm still going to look at them together to see if I could, um, combine the one with the other, maybe? You think the C1 profile is messing with gamma (I always thought so...)

 

I think so... All you need to do is quarter-tone the top 15% of Magne's profile. Of course it won't deliver linear highlights anymore, but it will give you the extra headroom.

 

Cheers,

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Guest guy_mancuso
Guy,

 

I know that you have a Mac Pro tower; I use cornerfix even on my lowly black MacBook with Parallels installed, and cornerfix works just fine for me ... if you want to mess with it...

 

Thanks David yes i could slap Parallels on it. I had the first version with mega bugs. but i hear it is working good now. i even have a copy of Windows

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Guest Walt
Well, I could not agree less. LOL!! There may be a point where the amount of IR spills over into the red channel and pushes exposure over the point of fine detail. Maybe--maybe not.

 

FWIW, my separate meters correspond pretty much to what I get with the M8 with or without a filter.

 

I'm not saying the filters don't improve all kinds of things; in my experience exposure is not one of them--though I'm open to proof. It "could" be...

 

But to tell stories about the early days of M8 JPEG reproduction is just silly, since the colour matrix of the early JPEGs--filtered or not--was so off it was funny. So were the original C1 profiles.

 

Plenty of people do wonderful M8 BW work without filters. Some people do excellent colour work without them too, though it's admittedly harder. But it all depends.

 

This categorical "you lose headroom due to IR" or the spurious IR explanation for regular chromatic abberation of a specular that's 10 times over the average exposure (as in the water shots) to my mind borders on the silly. All you would have with other cameras is blobs as well--I've never seen anyone prove anything different with identical shots under identical light.

Gosh Jamie, I think you're being awfully broad here. LOL!! I'm certain a lot of fine photography is done without filters; I'm not comparing meters and cameras; nothing I've said is "categorical"; I've not mentioned JPEGs; and I never referred to the water shots. I'm not even sure who or what you're addressing is some of your points.

 

What I am saying is that where a measurable highlight (near the top of the dynamic range for a given exposure) is also an IR reflector or emitter, the sensor can overload. These are very small areas within most images that contain them and most images don't contain any. These are much less likely to occur indoors or with strobes. In other conditions they are idiosyncratic because IR reflection and emission are complex and unpredictable and because these areas must also coincide with highlights near the top of the histogram. Outdoors I've seen enough of such effects from the M8 and seen them controlled with IR filters that I think it is a problem. We know that IR often "lightens" darker tones in an image on the M8 (e.g. Sean's shadows), so I don't know why it is so difficult to imagine that this is also happening in highlights. I would add that I have never seen such effects with other, Nikon and Sony, digital cameras and have used these rather extensively.

 

So, I don't know exactly why I'm observing what I'm observing with and without IR blocking, but I wouldn't broadly dismiss the possibility that sensor sensitivity to non-imaging, unmeterable light might sometimes be a problem.

 

Walt

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Guest Walt
Walt: I never asked and not sure if you mentioned it already, but I am curious as to which converter you're using?

Jack- ACR 4, previously 3. My use of 4 has substantially overlapped my going to IR filters full time.

 

And, on a different issue that I haven't previously mentioned, I have an *impression* that Zeiss lenses are transmitting less IR than Leica lenses, though they are "hotter" in general. This is based on limited experience with a Zeiss 21, which is the only Zeiss I have and I rarely use it.

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Thanks David yes i could slap Parallels on it. I had the first version with mega bugs. but i hear it is working good now. i even have a copy of Windows

Hi Guy

I've had parallels since the beginning - it works, but it's buggy and I'm not convinced - on the other hand VMware Fusion (just released) has worked flawlessly for me, and I run both windows and OSx on the same machine most of the day - in fact, right now I'm running two RDP sessions on an oSX window updating clients whilst I type this message.

 

It's much less intrusive, and much simpler to set up (you'll need some copy of windows or other to go with it!).

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Jack- ACR 4

 

Again, just curious, but what settings are you using under the detail tab (in ACR 4 now a bunch of pyramids or triangles) for sharpening, radius, detail, masking, Luminance NR and Color NR?

 

Jack

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Gosh Jamie, I think you're being awfully broad here. LOL!! I'm certain a lot of fine photography is done without filters; I'm not comparing meters and cameras; nothing I've said is "categorical"; I've not mentioned JPEGs; and I never referred to the water shots. I'm not even sure who or what you're addressing is some of your points.

 

Walt--some miscommunication here. I'm not being broad at all. I'd love to see any files you think proves the M8's blown highlights (in the OP's case) are attributable to IR.

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Guest Walt
Again, just curious, but what settings are you using under the detail tab (in ACR 4 now a bunch of pyramids or triangles) for sharpening, radius, detail, masking, Luminance NR and Color NR?

 

Jack

Jack- For better or for worse, I do no sharpening or noise reduction at all in ACR 4. I use a combinationof Smart Sharpening and USM (wide radius) in PS and, if I want noise reduction, which I rarely do, I use Neat Image. These are mostly work habits rather than a studied preference for this approach. One of advantage of Smart Sharpening in the ability to reduce shadow sharpening independently where there is a lot of luminance noise in the image. I do think that the new sharpening controls in ACR 4 warrant some attention on my part.

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Jack- For better or for worse, I do no sharpening or noise reduction at all in ACR 4.

 

So just to be clear, you've turned all the defaults to "0" under the detail tab in ACR 4?

 

(I use smart sharpen and high-radius USM too

)

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Guest guy_mancuso

I'm calling this one just about near perfect a conversion , done in LR . No sharpening and with a 35 cron who needs it. Jut shot this about 3 hours ago

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Guest guy_mancuso

This one was a bear to convert because i lit it very strangely but the client loved it even the light cast on the wall which was coming through a slit in a soft box . 4 lights here and 28 cron at ISO 320 at F11. Needed to carry DOF pretty far here . Again LR with every trick in the book going:D

 

Love taking a dump and making it look better

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Guest Walt
So just to be clear, you've turned all the defaults to "0" under the detail tab in ACR 4?

 

(I use smart sharpen and high-radius USM too

)

Jack- Yes, they are all at zero, and of course I have a saved profile with those settings.

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Guest Walt
Walt--some miscommunication here. I'm not being broad at all. I'd love to see any files you think proves the M8's blown highlights (in the OP's case) are attributable to IR.

Jamie-

 

I'm sorry for any miscommunication--I think I was experiencing the "silly" idea as dismissive of something that seems at least plausible to me. The "proof" here, if it can be had, is probably not in a single file, but in many matched pairs of files taken with and without filters. I have done that informally over a great number of images (of different, unmatched scenes) and my experience with filters on the M8 is hugely improved. Before using them, I had never used a digital camera that so idiosyncratically blocked highlights, and I don't find that at all now that I routinely use filters. My loose approach is why I responded to Sean's suggestion that he might look into this with the comment that it would be good to have someone with more "credibility and precision" (or something like that) look into it.

 

On the issue of infrared reflection and emission, I do know something because in the 1970s I owned a company that researched, manufactured and marketed materials that controlled infrared heating and radiation in aircraft (mostly to protect electronics from over temp conditions). I've now forgotten most of what I knew, but I do know that the reflection and radiation of infrared by various materials is very difficult to predict without testing--it is not inutuitive (e.g. "shiny, metallic surfaces reflect IR") and is very much dependent on other factors, including the particular wavelength of the energy. In the case at hand, I don't even know what the M8 sensor is sensitive to (wavelength wise) and I certainly can't eyeball a scene and predict the sensitivity of the sensor to the object. Do we even know what materials render purple with this camera? Leica says synthetic, but I saw lots of purple wool and cotton in my RAW files before I used filters. Is this variability in the material, radiated body heat, the nature of shorter wave IR directed at the material or what? So my very rough, if extensive, pragmatic test suggests that it is much better to simply protect the sensor from this energy. This is not very different from protecting film from UV with filters and it often provided a benefit. Ideally we would like an imaging media (film or sensor) to respond to nothing but visible light and the M8 does not do that. The solution is easy.

 

Good wishes,

Walt

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