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Please suggest color adjustments to get the SL2- S color back to M9 and SL color standards


Tom1234

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Could someone suggest the color adjustments necessary to get the SL2- S back to M9 and SL color standards?  I am talking in photoshop or in video editing software. 
 
Emphasizing still photos here mostly, though advice on how to get the M9 color out of video files would obviously be of interest too.  Forum posts on how to get better color don’t tell how to get back to the Euro color, they just focus on what the “best" is the camera can put out.  
 
As ISO rules, color suffers.  The SL2-S color in online posts I've seen is not the worst but it is definitely "thin" like unsaturated, Sony like, not the wonderful M9 Euro colors.  
 
This looks like saturation loss (depth of color or darkness of a color loss) from using lighter color grids on the sensor so as to push up the ISO up a stop or two. ¬†Sony is the classic example of this ‚Äúthin‚ÄĚ color. ¬†
 
At Leica’s prices they have to tell you how to compensate or it is a joke paying a 2 times cost for a SL2-S.  
 
With all cameras doing all things it is the color and ease of functionality that matters as differences between cameras.  With Leica loosing the color differentiation they only have ease-of-use to sell.  Now I realize their color is better than most but not enough to make it separate the camera from others or makeup for the ultra high price point. 
 
What do you guys-&-gals think?  Have any of you figured it out?  Probably is a multi adjustment/step fix in editing, NOT in the camera video/still modes, but I don’t know.   
 
So is there a fix or am I going to have to listen to a personal attacks for noticing it?
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Hello!

I am not familliar yet with SL2s files. I shot nearly 100 000 images on my beloved M9 before switching to the SL2. In lightroom, I actually still use the same "profiles" that micmicates the Fuji 400x Look I learned to love photography with in my dad's Leica R7 and then own R8 and M4 cameras (I was lucky enough to do a bit of K64 as well). Soooo maybe that disqualifies me for "euro" taste... but what is Euro color if even German Leica admitedly tried to emulate K64 (USA!) with a Kodak CCD sensor?

The Leica Classic 709 profile from L-Log does put emphasis on Red channel and turn blue in a more "cyan-ish" timbre. Of course you can tweak this to taste.

I will try to grad some SL2s raw files and import them next to my M9 archives in Lightroom and see what can be done ;)

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1 hour ago, Tom1234 said:
Could someone suggest the color adjustments necessary to get the SL2- S back to M9 and SL color standards?  I am talking in photoshop or in video editing software. 
 
Emphasizing still photos here mostly, though advice on how to get the M9 color out of video files would obviously be of interest too.  Forum posts on how to get better color don’t tell how to get back to the Euro color, they just focus on what the “best" is the camera can put out.  
 
As ISO rules, color suffers.  The SL2-S color in online posts I've seen is not the worst but it is definitely "thin" like unsaturated, Sony like, not the wonderful M9 Euro colors.  
 
This looks like saturation loss (depth of color or darkness of a color loss) from using lighter color grids on the sensor so as to push up the ISO up a stop or two. ¬†Sony is the classic example of this ‚Äúthin‚ÄĚ color. ¬†
 
At Leica’s prices they have to tell you how to compensate or it is a joke paying a 2 times cost for a SL2-S.  
 
With all cameras doing all things it is the color and ease of functionality that matters as differences between cameras.  With Leica loosing the color differentiation they only have ease-of-use to sell.  Now I realize their color is better than most but not enough to make it separate the camera from others or makeup for the ultra high price point. 
 
What do you guys-&-gals think?  Have any of you figured it out?  Probably is a multi adjustment/step fix in editing, NOT in the camera video/still modes, but I don’t know.   
 
So is there a fix or am I going to have to listen to a personal attacks for noticing it?

The simplest way would be to take a well-exposed photograph of a "standard" subject, say an outdoor portrait with plenty of diverse background, under good, but not harsh, light and tweak that one to your idea of what "M9 or SL" colours would be like, using ACR. The newest version has an effective colour grading tool for the purpose. Then save as a default camera-specific profile.

I'm sorry that I cannot be more specific, but colour is such a personal perception that it would be impossible to give a cut and dry answer or preset (assuming that I had an SLS-2, which not)

If you want to be more precise, (*) you could use a Greta-Macbeth colour chart, take a shot with both the M9 and SL2-S, measure each and every  M9 colour patch, tweak the SL2-S image to measure identically and save as a profile. Personally I find life too short for that kind of exercise.

(*) I suppose this would work for one specific type of light only, given metamerism. You would probably need a series of profiles for your most common shooting situations. It is more practical to use my first suggestion and take that as a starting point for further colour adjustments for individual photographs.

 

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56 minutes ago, Slender said:

Hello!

I am not familliar yet with SL2s files. I shot nearly 100 000 images on my beloved M9 before switching to the SL2. In lightroom, I actually still use the same "profiles" that micmicates the Fuji 400x Look I learned to love photography with in my dad's Leica R7 and then own R8 and M4 cameras (I was lucky enough to do a bit of K64 as well). Soooo maybe that disqualifies me for "euro" taste... but what is Euro color if even German Leica admitedly tried to emulate K64 (USA!) with a Kodak CCD sensor?

The Leica Classic 709 profile from L-Log does put emphasis on Red channel and turn blue in a more "cyan-ish" timbre. Of course you can tweak this to taste.

I will try to grad some SL2s raw files and import them next to my M9 archives in Lightroom and see what can be done ;)

That Kodak sensor was great.  I think Pentax used it, and a friend of mine's Pentax of that generation, beat my Epson RD1 by far, even though the Epson and Pentax used that same sensor.  Yes it does matter who implements the sensor in the camera - what this forum is all about nowadays really.

You may be the guy to figure this out given your M9 experience. 

Edited by Tom1234
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13 minutes ago, jaapv said:

The simplest way would be to take a well-exposed photograph of a "standard" subject, say an outdoor portrait with plenty of diverse background, under good, but not harsh, light and tweak that one to your idea of what "M9 or SL" colours would be like, using ACR. The newest version has an effective colour grading tool for the purpose. Then save as a default camera-specific profile.

I'm sorry that I cannot be more specific, but colour is such a personal perception that it would be impossible to give a cut and dry answer or preset (assuming that I had an SLS-2, which not)

If you want to be more precise, (*) you could use a Greta-Macbeth colour chart, take a shot with both the M9 and SL2-S, measure each and every  M9 colour patch, tweak the SL2-S image to measure identically and save as a profile. Personally I find life too short for that kind of exercise.

(*) I suppose this would work for one specific type of light only, given metamerism. You would probably need a series of profiles for your most common shooting situations. It is more practical to use my first suggestion and take that as a starting point for further colour adjustments for individual photographs.

 

Great ideas.  I will consider them.   Like your color chart idea and the different lights.  Stupid me, just sold my M9 (though the sensor was loose after replacement by Leica) so I have no M9 access even in the future.

This is what I think Leica should provide, the M9 CCD color profile… this is the Holy Grail of color science as far as I am concerned, as would be the M9 CCD Mono profile.  

But I understand their timidity in not doing so.  They would think they are giving away their "secret" color information.  But to me it is neccessary information to give the SL2-S Body value in order to purchase it.  

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40 minutes ago, Slender said:

I will try to grad some SL2s raw files and import them next to my M9 archives in Lightroom and see what can be done ;)

Thank you… a great idea that would "change the world" as far as I am concerned, IMHO, etc.. 

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Just now, Tom1234 said:

 

This is what I think Leica should provide, the M9 CCD color profile…

They can't. The Bayer filters are different. They could never duplicate the interpolation process. It is up to the user to create the colour in raw conversion. The only thing Leica could do is provide an in-camera "M9" JPG setting. But I think it rather unlikely that they would.

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I think the big problem is the slope of the color curve so to speak.  CCD's had a shorter color curve (less brightness range) and CMOS has a longer (more) color brightness range.  

Meaning that the M9 CCD had a certain range of colors, probably less range than the new Cmos which have greater color range due to the greater ISO.  So the CCD had a compressed (shorter) range of colors/brightness combinations giving it a higher color-contrast that came over as more "solid & saturated" colors, what I call the Euro color science. 

New CMOS cameras can give a much longer range of color brightnesses, which by definition are less compressed, meaning a longer greater range of colors, thus the thinning out of the colors to be less contrasty, less like solid colors, and more like washed out colors.  To get that long ISO range it might be necessary to have lighter color saturation which might be proven by Sony doing the same. 

So going back to the M9 color, would mean having a narrower color range, and what camera company would do that, build less into a camera?  The M9's great color maybe an example of something great in history that is unlikely to repeat for technical and advertising purposes that emphasize more not less. 

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13 minutes ago, jaapv said:

They can't. The Bayer filters are different. They could never duplicate the interpolation process. It is up to the user to create the colour in raw conversion. The only thing Leica could do is provide an in-camera "M9" JPG setting. But I think it rather unlikely that they would.

I am thinking the same.  Please see my last post above.

Probably the ability to shorten, tilt up, the contrast curve would get the user in the ballpark with compressed colors that looked more solid with less white in them as a painter would say. 

Edited by Tom1234
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5 minutes ago, Tom1234 said:

I think the big problem is the slope of the color curve so to speak.  CCD's had a shorter color curve (less brightness range) and CMOS has a longer (more) color brightness range.  

Meaning that the M9 CCD had a certain range of colors, probably less range than the new Cmos which have greater color range due to the greater ISO.  So the CCD had a compressed (shorter) range of colors/brightness combinations giving it a higher color-contrast that came over as more "solid & saturated" colors, what I call the Euro color science. 

New CMOS cameras can give a much longer range of color brightnesses, which by definition are less compressed, meaning a longer greater range of colors, thus the thinning out of the colors to be less contrasty, less like solid colors, and more like washed out colors.  To get that long ISO range it might be necessary to have lighter color saturation which might be proven by Sony doing the same. 

So going back to the M9 color, would mean having a narrower color range, and what camera company would do that, build less into a camera?  The M9's great color maybe an example of something great in history that is unlikely to repeat for technical and advertising purposes that emphasize more not less. 

I think that you mean colour depth. You cannot put it that way as the colour interpretation of the M8/M9 used a LUT which simulated 12-bit colour depth.

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1 minute ago, jaapv said:

You cannot put it that way as the colour interpretation of the M8/M9 used a LUT which simulated 12-bit colour depth.

Still, I think the LUT for the CCD created a range of colors, that was less than, what CMOS expectorates.  

Maybe If we just consider the final files, we can forget what happens in between, each step has just tilted the color one way or another, so we just consider results not the in-betweens.

About LUT's… I think the HP Laserjet Color Printer had an output option to give vivid colors by some kind of LUT that apparently compressed the colors by lookup.  So yes, a LUT is a wild card… and could be part of the the Leica's secret sauce.  

Could be just a matter of tilting the whole picture to have greater contrast or greater saturation or both.  Experimentation will tell.  

I guess I didn't think when I started this thread, that having "less of something" like less color range, might be the parameter that created the Euro look… but I guess we have to look anywhere and everywhere for a solution.     

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11 minutes ago, jaapv said:

I think that you mean colour depth. You cannot put it that way as the colour interpretation of the M8/M9 used a LUT which simulated 12-bit colour depth.

Yes, this could be a lessor color depth, which gave the impression of greater contrast via a shorter light-to-dark range, producing Euro color as I call it.  

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In that case you mean the colour space. which is set by the postprocessing software. No, I don't think that there is a relevant difference in the output off CCD or CMos. After all, the sensor produces a data set without colour information. The colour is created by software interpolation of the Bayer mosaic. So the only physical object in the digital colour pipeline is the Bayer filter - which is no different between CCD and CMos, but will vary according to the manufacturer's specification. 

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6 minutes ago, Tom1234 said:

Yes, this could be a lessor color depth, which gave the impression of greater contrast via a shorter light-to-dark range, producing Euro color as I call it.  

You conflate dynamic range with colour space. I don't think that you can do that. Certainly not in Photoshop, which is LAB based, which means that the colour data (*A and *B) are separated from the Luminance channel. 

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35 minutes ago, jaapv said:

You conflate dynamic range with colour space. I don't think that you can do that. Certainly not in Photoshop, which is LAB based, which means that the colour data (*A and *B) are separated from the Luminance channel. 

Well, the strange combination of controls, needed to easily create the mystery M9 Color Science, may never exist as a single slider that has behind it the right combination of effects… woe, sad, poop!   You made my day!

Edited by Tom1234
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Come to think of it, there might be simple shortcut.

If you (in Photoshop)  switch to LAB , go to Channels and activate only the A channel, press command-M to bring up curves and slide in on the right and left side in equal amounts, then do the same on the B channel, switch back to RGB, you will have changed the colour to resemble the more intense but differentiated colours you are aiming for,.

Note that I hid the B channel to see the effect better and fixed the centre of the curve to maintain colour balance, but tis is not really needed,

 

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7 minutes ago, jaapv said:

Come to think of it, there might be s imple shortcut.

If you (in Photoshop)  switch to LAB , go to Channels and activate only the A channel, press command-M to bring up curves and slide in on the right and left side in equal amounts, then do the same on the B channel, switch back to RGB, you will have changed the colour to resemble the more intense but differentiated colours you are aiming for, 

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Simply register for free here ‚Äď We are always happy to welcome new members!

THANK YOU!

I am somewhat in between computer systems now (yet on Apple) and wondering what to buy next.  I Learned Photoshop years ago in school but haven't seen it in a while since they kept changing OS and versions and now are to a monthly charge - so I am looking for alternatives.  But the concepts are the same on most of the editing software so I will keep an eye out for the features that you mention. 

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3 hours ago, jaapv said:

I am not aware if any other software offers LAB editing. This trick won’t work in RGB. 

If one can afford an SL2S, surely 10$ a month cannot be an objection ;). 

'$10/month can't be an objection' a good comment… here is my answer:

I have a technical job of studying the stock market and a one communication business, movie making, in particular.  I must have a few thousand facts in my head to consider these two.  

Adding on Adobe's conglomeration, plus Apple's bumbling operating system (Widows is just as bad) is a technical overload.  Photography went from, a slow PITA with analog, to a fast detail excessive mind numbing exercise… something that it never was before. 

It is nearly impossible to do stock market and communication industry study then add on the complexity of operating system and applications software.  I understand it but after doing the other work, I find the software takes up too much time and it is written so poorly that you constantly have to work around problems, etc., etc. etc..  

Basically photography almost ended for me when it went digital, due to the excessive complexity of it as added to my other technical work.  I have a two year technical degree in Business Data Process so I can do any computer work from programming to system operations, but it is still overload to add this to my other activities.  Photography almost can not be a hobby the way it is in the digital world… it becomes an obsession that uses all your spare time or it probably dies as an activity. 

So it is not the $10… if it was free I wouldn't have the "detail time" to play with Adobe software.  I know people that spent a few years as professional photographers, who say the same, and gradually worked their way out of using Adobe's software and all editing, passing it on to others, for the same reason.  And other company's software that makes photo editing simpler seems to create such a fake electronic look that it defeats the purpose of taking pictures that are supposed to be "realistic" when the software effects make all pictures look like science fiction.  Well you get the idea… sorry for the rant.

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I can’t relate to this, probably because I followed the evolution of Photoshop for nearly two decades   It has become second nature. As for Mac OS it does what it has to do for me, and efficient. That is all I ask. And yes, I hate misuse of postprocessing as well. 

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