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Anyone using the SL2-S for video — could you share your color grading workflow with L-Log? I'm struggling a bit with it (getting really strong magenta tones and other weird color shifts) and am finding that Leica's LUTs are not even close to acceptable. 

Hoping there's something simple that I'm missing, as I've never struggled this much with Clog or Slog. The only thing that gets me close is FCPx's built in Panasonic V-Log lut, but even that isn't quite right..

 

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Posted (edited)

I am going to summon for you the following SL2s video users (I hope they dont mind too much ;) )

@hansvons @Aaron Daniel @Steven

 

For me, I am happy with the 709 Leica LUTs in FCPX for a basic grading of the SL2 (not S)... with/wo Atomos Ninja.. I even prefer slightly what I got internaly... I don't have (extented) experience grading in HDR/PQ rec 2020.

Surely you know about placing a color wheel (or your prefered method of altering luma/color) on top of the LUT effect help achieve grater control of exposure over the ones you may place beneath, right?

Edited by Slender
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@Slender indeed yes I'm placing the color wheel before the LUT effect.

@BernardC per my post, I've tried the Leica LUTs and gotten some really terrible results. Massively oversaturated and heavy leaning into magenta/pink especially on skin tones. Certainly I can correct this manually with color wheels but it doesn't seem right..

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Appreciate the tag, @Slender ! I'm blushing to see that you've put me listed me among these professional idols of mine as well 

@ahendy good question! I think it starts with setting your expectations for yourself and how much you'd like to put into your grade– because it can take as long as you want or as short as you want. For me, in a nutshell, I'm nowhere near experienced with high-end commercial work. My background is in quite simple wedding films or run-and-gun online content, so I don't have too much experience diving deep into industry standard software like resolve or avid or whatever else is out there that I am naïve to 😅

But it's funny you mention Final Cut Pro. That is my editor of choice for both speed and relative features for editing. My workflow is this:

    1. Shoot in L-log, either internally (highest/decent bitrate for your needs) or externally (to the Atomos Ninja V; ProRes)
    2. Once imported into FCP, I don't actually use the LUT option provided by FCP for each clip. I currently use Color Finale and this plugin has the option to apply your custom LUTs or work in an ACES environment. I use the custom LUT option.
    3. I then apply any correcting curves within the plugin. I trust the plugin to apply these curve adjustments in the right order with use of the LUT

I do also notice how there can be a magenta shift when recording L-Log internally after applying Leica's provided LUTs, but I've always found this a relative easy fix to adjust. I always thought it was just me not setting my white balance properly in camera 😅

It sounds like you have experience with Canon and Sony log files, so I find it safe to assume you know what you're doing while working with flat footage like this haha. Something specific I found was that some LUTs designated for Fuji F-Log works really well with L-log. That might just be me and my subjective look at it, but I'd suggest playing around with some F-log LUTs if you have any (which should be easy to find online somewhere too)

Here is my latest example video of using the above workflow:

I hope this helps!

 

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33 minutes ago, Aaron Daniel said:

Something specific I found was that some LUTs designated for Fuji F-Log works really well with L-log. That might just be me and my subjective look at it, but I'd suggest playing around with some F-log LUTs if you have any (which should be easy to find online somewhere too)

 

https://dl.fujifilm-x.com/support/lut/F-Log_LUT_E_Ver.1.19.zip

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1 hour ago, Slender said:

I am going to summon for you the following SL2s video users (I hope they dont mind too much ;) )

@hansvons @Aaron Daniel @Steven

 

For me, I am happy with the 709 Leica LUTs in FCPX for a basic grading of the SL2 (not S)... with/wo Atomos Ninja.. I even prefer slightly what I got internaly... I don't have (extented) experience grading in HDR/PQ rec 2020.

Surely you know about placing a color wheel (or your prefered method of altering luma/color) on top of the LUT effect help achieve grater control of exposure over the ones you may place beneath, right?

Sorry guys can't be of much help. 

I don't shoot L-log. I shoot in HLG and I am much happier with the colours I get out of this profile. 

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L-log lives in the Rec2020 colour space. Set up your NLE to HDR Rec2020 and all should be fine, assuming that your NLE is colour managing the output correctly. You can also use ACES, input transform is again Rec2020. 
 

Using L-Log in Rec709 colour space will lead to magenta skin tones and other funky colors. Unfortunately, that’s the base colour space of most NLEs, hence your bad experience. But you can take advantage of Leica’s Natural Rec709 LUT in the Rec709 colour space. But you’ll lose dynamic range due to the fact that Rec709 is a smaller colour space than Rec2020.
 

Leica should provide an in-detail cookbook for L-log.

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Holy cow you guys are helpful. Thank you, this is incredibly helpful.

First, @Aaron Daniel thank you for the detail here. This workflow is very helpful and interesting. Now I'm getting excited about trying some F-log LUTs.. 

Second, @hansvons this is exactly what was happening - you were spot on. Once I moved to a Rec2020 color space in FCPx, everything popped back to looking normal. No more over saturation, no more funky magenta shifts.. it all looks great now with the Leica provided LUTs and is an excellent starting place for my grade. Completely agree that Leica needs to provide more documentation on this.. unless I missed it, couldn't find much detail on it anywhere.. 

Thank you all for your help and responses. Much appreciated.

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40 minutes ago, Slender said:

By the way, SL2s users, how high in ISO/ASA are you willing to use your cameras? Just out of curiosity.

I think the "native" ISO with the largest dynamic range is probably roughly ISO 800, as we see with many other modern sensors. But I figure that at ISO 3200 there seems to be another ISO step which delivers still acceptable colour in the shadows and isn't too noisy. Gaining 2 more stops can be quite comforting. Higher ISOs above 3200 will bring out more noise and less saturation in the shadows, which is only acceptable for me when in a pinch, eg something crucial must be filmed for a documentary. 

But it's safe to say that the SL2-S delivers in L-log very likely the most appealing colour in its market. Skin tones are astonishingly good and leave no questions whatsoever, similar to the Alexa. Because colours are so good any degradation through higher ISO is more visible compared to the competition. 

Please note that I exclusively use L-log, which seems to be widely de-noise-free. With gamma-encoded video files chances are high that things are considerably different.

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3 hours ago, hansvons said:

L-log lives in the Rec2020 colour space. Set up your NLE to HDR Rec2020 and all should be fine, assuming that your NLE is colour managing the output correctly. You can also use ACES, input transform is again Rec2020. 
 

Using L-Log in Rec709 colour space will lead to magenta skin tones and other funky colors. Unfortunately, that’s the base colour space of most NLEs, hence your bad experience. But you can take advantage of Leica’s Natural Rec709 LUT in the Rec709 colour space. But you’ll lose dynamic range due to the fact that Rec709 is a smaller colour space than Rec2020.
 

Leica should provide an in-detail cookbook for L-log.

the Rec2020 is the solution in L-Log, the LUT's from Leica work on the SL2 too, maybe a little punchy but a starting point.

 

Another solutions to make you own LUT's in DaVinci Resolve Studio version, you can just shoot a color chart and get the colors to the correct patches. This way you can make proper Monitoring Luts for you atomos monitor.

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Thanks very much for your feedback on ISO, with some dramatic differences in appreciation between @hansvons and @Steven as HLG very high V L-Log moderetly high. Much appreciated! I will experiment more with rec2020 space.

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1 hour ago, Slender said:

with some dramatic differences in appreciation between @hansvons and @Steven as HLG very high V L-Log moderetly high.

Yes, I've read Steven's assessment. But it is somewhat predictable. HLG is a gamma encoded hybrid format that works in Rec709 as well as Rec2020, and that is knowingly friendly to noise in the shadows. Often, camera manufacturers in the prosumer market help high ISOs with some noise reduction added to their gamma encoded video files. I don't know hat Leica is doing under the hood but in L-log they seem to do nothing much visible. On the contrary. In L-log, even at ISO 800, there's some fine noise/texture visible, which I appreciate.

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@hansvonsnice, thanks again! Do you set your sharpness to 0 or -2 with L-Log? Sorry for so many questions :))

If you like texture the SL2 has plenty lol but even in HLG I can't dream to take it as high as SL2s...

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10 hours ago, hansvons said:

-2. The differences are very subtle. The manual provides no sensible answer why there's -2 to 2 and not 0-5. 

Thanks.

Also I wholeheartedly support your want for a L-Log cookbook. Panasonic is much more open on this, but that's understandable Leica is nowhere near such a maverick in video (yet).

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  • 1 month later...
Posted (edited)
On 6/18/2021 at 12:38 AM, hansvons said:

I think the "native" ISO with the largest dynamic range is probably roughly ISO 800, as we see with many other modern sensors. But I figure that at ISO 3200 there seems to be another ISO step which delivers still acceptable colour in the shadows and isn't too noisy. Gaining 2 more stops can be quite comforting. Higher ISOs above 3200 will bring out more noise and less saturation in the shadows, which is only acceptable for me when in a pinch, eg something crucial must be filmed for a documentary. 

Is there a setting to set ISO to increase 1/2 or 1/3 stops on the SL2-S? Currently theres only seems to be full ISO stops. I skimmed through the manual but did not see how to set 1/2 or 1/3 increments. 

Edited by MITDelay
clarification
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