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M11 Dynamic Range Specification


MikeMyers
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Jono, you're recapitulating Kahneman's Type 1 and Type 2 thinking distinction.  Type 1 is fast, learned over the past 80,000 years of Homo sapiens successfully avoiding sabre-toothed tigers and politicians/charlatans in the town square.  But biased and sometimes a bit predictable.  Type 2 is slower and more thoughtful, the only way to avoid bias, and sometimes more original.  I think that is behind the common observation that when you work on a shot, either the first try or the last try comes out best.

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jonoslack

HI There Mike I thought I would chip in here because I think you're making your life very complicated! As Srdjan said, blown highlights is not directly related to dynamic range - it's to do with overexposure. Your idea of metering off the brightest part of the frame and then increasing the exposure by 1.7 stops would probably work with the M10-R, but I would have thought it was really fraught with the M10 - which is not so good at highlights - have you seen this article: https://www.sl

jonoslack

Hi there @charlesphoto99 @Jeff S Such good comments - I'll just add something which was the result of a great deal of consideration, because I don't think that conscious intent is a very good way to do photography . . . or post processing come to that. @MikeMyers I suspect that you are overthinking (and making yourself unhappy about it!)   Serendipity - Photography and Luck   This is something I’ve thought long and hard about. Craig Semetko does a great talk called

SrMi

Blown highlights are not related to the dynamic range but exposure. Once one of the channels is blown, your image is 'compromised,' though you may not notice. Some cameras generate DNG files that allow better recovery of highlights in the post, i.e., the post-processor is better able to reconstruct the missing data. D850 has better DR than M10-R when using ISOs below 120. However, I think M10-R has plenty of DR, and you should focus on optimal exposure to get the most out of your sensor.

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21 minutes ago, scott kirkpatrick said:

Jono, you're recapitulating Kahneman's Type 1 and Type 2 thinking distinction.  Type 1 is fast, learned over the past 80,000 years of Homo sapiens successfully avoiding sabre-toothed tigers and politicians/charlatans in the town square.  But biased and sometimes a bit predictable.  Type 2 is slower and more thoughtful, the only way to avoid bias, and sometimes more original.  I think that is behind the common observation that when you work on a shot, either the first try or the last try comes out best.

Hi Scott

I think that the Type 1 in terms of photography is only learned over our own years of taking / looking / thinking about photography (they didn't have M cameras 80,000 years ago did they?) 

It's about the brain correlating big data without reference to our conscious.

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Many people don't look carefully about them, or respond to the organization of a scene or to its range of colors, so their learning is limited to stepping on the gas when the light turns green.  Not much learning to compress into Type 1 results.  Things that have been successfully crammed into Type 1 responses are going to  vary enormously from one person to the next.  Fortunately sabre-toothed tigers are less common these days.

Stated more carefully, Type 1 is a mode of perception and response available to all of us, but we each train it up differently.  Type 2 is also available to all, but how many use it?  There is a whole generation of work in psychology (just starting to go out of fashion) built on these two modes.

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On 1/15/2022 at 10:07 PM, SrMi said:

Shadows do not clip, they just get noisier and noisier. Highlights clip 

Oh heck, remind me why I left this forum awhile back - pedantry over practicality. Somehow there's no addressing the crux of my statement and why it is relevant to OP. 

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On 1/15/2022 at 9:28 PM, pgh said:

In practical terms, they are related to DR when you're looking at a scene trying to decide if you want clipped shadows or highlights (sunrises/sunsets as OP is discussing would qualify). So this is relevant data. And something I'm also interested in........To be honest, I could care less why that is or what tech brings that about - I just want better shadow and highlight recovery when dealing with a tricky scene. ......I still use the m10 as my main but the sensor was upon release and continues to be the main shortcoming of that camera - at least for how I work. 

Well, this OP likes what you wrote, from a point of view of a photographer walking around with an M10.  Another part of me wants to understand all the behind-the-scenes stuff, but I worry about that when I'm sitting at home, not while I'm taking photos.  

I've also got my Nikons, my Fuji, and my M8.2, but I have no complaints about my M10 sensor - I just accept it for what it is.  

The words I put in boldface are for me to think about at home, not when I'm holding up the camera.  

With the camera in hand, 99.9% of my attention is on composing the shot, then capturing what I envisioned, and every so often going through all the individual settings, to be sure I've got them all right, along with the words you used that I changed to "italic" font.....    which for me means one word, EXPOSURE.

 

To put it into different words, all the complications, formulas, theories, and so on are for when I'm at home.  I leave them at home.  When the camera is in my hands, all I'm thinking about is the upcoming photo, and if I re-assure myself that I've got it right, it's picking the right moment for the shutter to be released.

Thank you for simplifying things.  I guess we all have our different ways to do this.

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Today was bright and sunny, and I was feeling pretty good.  I spent most of an hour going through my M10 settings to make sure they were what I want, and because of the information above, I set the ISO to 200.  I also set the Voigtlander 50 f/2 to close to wide open, thinking it might be fun to try selective focus.  Then I spent 20 minutes or so, just focusing on things, to refresh my rangefinder reflexes - which way to turn, and how far.  Then it was out for a walk.  I stumbled on the following two opportunities, set up, and shot when my brain figured the timing was right.  Maybe the timing was luck, or maybe my reflexes aren't all washed away somewhere.  The motorcycle was a surprise, but it was so RED that I stopped in my tracks, and tried to find a good angle to shoot from.  Lying on the ground would have been best, but I wan't up for that.

After using a Nikon D750 for the past couple of weeks, the M10 was like a breath of fresh air.  No thoughts about any of the stuff we've been talking about, just timing for the bicycle, and composition for the motorcycle.   And most importantly, enjoying myself.

I don't want to spend my time with the camera thinking of technicalities - I want to do that stuff automatically, no thinking required, and put all my conscious thought into the image I'm creating.

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7 minutes ago, hdmesa said:

Per this back and forth, I think the correct term is "blocked shadows". Shadows block, highlights clip. 

... better to burn out, than to fade away ... (Neil Young)

It may be true in Rock and Roll, but it is not in photography. Highlights burn out, and shadows fade away :).

It is clear at what moment the highlights clip. At what point can shadows be considered blocked? Because of noise, there is never a 100% dark pixel.

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6 minutes ago, SrMi said:

... better to burn out, than to fade away ... (Neil Young)

It may be true in Rock and Roll, but it is not in photography. Highlights burn out, and shadows fade away :).

It is clear at what moment the highlights clip. At what point can shadows be considered blocked? Because of noise, there is never a 100% dark pixel.

LOL 🎸 🤣 I know of that line from the lead in to Rock of Ages by Def Leppard, but I should be better versed on my Neil Young! 

Blocked shadows would be the point at which shadow noise overwhelms detail, which although somewhat subjective has to be quantified in order to calculate DR.

Blocked shadows = noise has overwhelmed detail beyond acceptable limits. Blocking up the shadows = the act of reducing exposure and seeing that detail is being lost to noise but is not yet lost completely.

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4 hours ago, MikeMyers said:

That leaves me still wanting to see some images captured by the M11, with no editing.  You are showing us how the images could be created in the hands of someone as skilled as you are.

With all due respect, it is called a DNG for a reason. It is a 'negative'.  Working on the image out of camera for a result is an inherent part of the process. Unprocessed files, a number of which have been published here, are useful only to see how things can be shaped.  It might be counter intuitive, but the more sophisticated the camera, the more work is likely in post.  There is no easy here.  When you look at shots of others that you find compelling, you are learning what the camera and photographer are capable of. It might require work and more understanding, but it means that if you're up to it, you can do it as well. Getting the most out of any camera requires building a personal relationship with how it draws and how you can reshape it to your will. Spending 20Gs on a camera and lens or two is a total waste of money otherwise. 

 

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27 minutes ago, Tailwagger said:

Getting the most out of any camera requires building a personal relationship with how it draws and how you can reshape it to your will.

You hit the nail on the head.  That's exactly why I'd like to get the dng file, so I can try it myself.  I totally agree with every word you wrote, but I'd like to do it on my own, not starting with what someone else has already done.  I'm hoping DxO PhotoLab 5 now accepts a Leica M11 file, but that's another question I need to resolve - if they haven't released the M11 information in PhotoLab, I'm left with using DarkTable.

 

31 minutes ago, Tailwagger said:

Working on the image out of camera for a result is an inherent part of the process

Yes, that is what I want to do, starting with the original out of camera DNG file.

 

34 minutes ago, Tailwagger said:

When you look at shots of others that you find compelling, you are learning what the camera and photographer are capable of.

This is what I've been doing, but mostly what the photographers have done with the files, good, or bad.

 

33 minutes ago, Tailwagger said:

Unprocessed files, a number of which have been published here, are useful only to see how things can be shaped. 

Bingo, but I want to do the shaping, as best I can, with my own abilities or lack of.

 

37 minutes ago, Tailwagger said:

It might require work and more understanding, but it means that if you're up to it, you can do it as well.

Maybe this is true, but it's like painting by numbers, red goes here, blue goes there......   The last thing I want to do is copy someone else.

 

I think I know what you mean, and I'm not going to say you are wrong, but I want to do things my way - or go out on a limb, just buy the M11, and start doing things mostly the way I do now, and maybe I'll be able to do better because the images (might be) better.....

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1 hour ago, MikeMyers said:

I think I know what you mean, and I'm not going to say you are wrong, but I want to do things my way - or go out on a limb, just buy the M11, and start doing things mostly the way I do now, and maybe I'll be able to do better because the images (might be) better.....

Completely understandable set of desires, but some things just cant be lived vicariously.  Perhaps you can get a few hours with a demo or rent, likely a some point a little further down the road as demand eases.  

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19 minutes ago, Tailwagger said:

Completely understandable set of desires, but some things just cant be lived vicariously.  Perhaps you can get a few hours with a demo or rent, likely a some point a little further down the road as demand eases.  

Leica Store Miami was closed today.  I hope to go there soon, borrow their M11, and take several photos just outside the store, with my memory card and lens, then later take the same photos with my M10.  If I take a dozen photos, I think that's enough to find out what I want to know.

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On 1/16/2022 at 2:56 PM, MikeMyers said:

Life was much more "fun" before I started worrying about all these details, but I got tired of people informing me of my mistakes.

There are no mistakes in photography not if the images work for you. 
 

Hmathias

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On 1/15/2022 at 5:37 PM, SrMi said:

Blown highlights are not related to the dynamic range but exposure. Once one of the channels is blown, your image is 'compromised,' though you may not notice. Some cameras generate DNG files that allow better recovery of highlights in the post, i.e., the post-processor is better able to reconstruct the missing data.

D850 has better DR than M10-R when using ISOs below 120. However, I think M10-R has plenty of DR, and you should focus on optimal exposure to get the most out of your sensor.

based on David review in Red Dot Forum, he overexposed an image by two stops and was able to recover it...

 

https://www.reddotforum.com/content/2022/01/leica-m11-review-the-ultimate-digital-m/

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10 hours ago, MikeMyers said:

Well, this OP likes what you wrote, from a point of view of a photographer walking around with an M10.  Another part of me wants to understand all the behind-the-scenes stuff, but I worry about that when I'm sitting at home, not while I'm taking photos.  

I've also got my Nikons, my Fuji, and my M8.2, but I have no complaints about my M10 sensor - I just accept it for what it is.  

The words I put in boldface are for me to think about at home, not when I'm holding up the camera.  

With the camera in hand, 99.9% of my attention is on composing the shot, then capturing what I envisioned, and every so often going through all the individual settings, to be sure I've got them all right, along with the words you used that I changed to "italic" font.....    which for me means one word, EXPOSURE.

 

To put it into different words, all the complications, formulas, theories, and so on are for when I'm at home.  I leave them at home.  When the camera is in my hands, all I'm thinking about is the upcoming photo, and if I re-assure myself that I've got it right, it's picking the right moment for the shutter to be released.

Thank you for simplifying things.  I guess we all have our different ways to do this.

I shoot a lot of fuji's (with Leia glasss of course! 😄) and they have a special extedned dynamic range mode called DR400. .  The dr400 mode, in short, distributes the exposure more evenly thru the exposure of the images, removing the necessity of underexposing for highlights.   It does this by requiring you to shoot at iso 640 or higher.  This allows the camera to underexpose the hi lights of an image while boosting the mid tones and shadows…. basically what you eventually do in post if you underexposed your images.  It does all of these calculations prior to the analog to digital conversion, so it works in RAW!

To find out about this technique, check out Pal2tech video on this mode in detail:

https://youtu.be/RjjCa73XxsY

Whats great about this mode is that you no longer are required to underexpose your images to retain hi lights… something that generates, often, underexposed jpgs.  It uses the computer in your camera as it should be used.  As a photographer, you’re not supposed to alter your photography because digital sensor tech is crap at retaining highlights.  You ALTER the tech to conform how you shoot for the scenes. Fuji dr400 mode does this.

For additional street photography tips, I make sure to get it right in camera. This allows for immediate use as jpgs (I shoot raw + jpg). I uses a -4 on sharpness and and -2 on the highlight and shadow tone curves.  This LOWERS the contrast on the jpg, allowing me to add contrast in an iOS photo app. I use MaxCurves to do that as it allows for sophisticated curves to be used discreetly as highlight, midrange and shadow tone curves to tweak the image.

I really wish leica's had a mode like this.  Its not that fuji have a better sensor, it that fuji uses software to get around the hardware limitations of digital sensors.. i.e. clipping of highlight.   Crap, for some photographers, overexposing an image is whee the fun starts!!! 😄

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vor 16 Stunden schrieb jonoslack:

. . .

4. I always use auto ISO - normally set up with the 1/2fl shutter speed limit and a top ISO of 10000

. . .

I hope this is helpful

best

Jono

 

 

Thank you Jono for all your valuable information that I read with great interest.

Just coming back to your point 4 of your recent post: I presume that fl means focal length. But then I would assume that I should rather use 2 times fl as shutter speed than ½fl. As an example to be fully clear: With 50mm lens I would use 2 x fl equals 1/100 second rather than ½ fl equals 1/25 second.

What is your view exactly?

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1 minute ago, M10 for me said:

Thank you Jono for all your valuable information that I read with great interest.

Just coming back to your point 4 of your recent post: I presume that fl means focal length. But then I would assume that I should rather use 2 times fl as shutter speed than ½fl. As an example to be fully clear: With 50mm lens I would use 2 x fl equals 1/100 second rather than ½ fl equals 1/25 second.

What is your view exactly?

HI there

I meant two times the focal length - the actual expression in the menu is 1/(2f)s sorry for the confusion! I think it's an incredibly useful option!

All the best

 

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Is the following reasonable?

One wants too use the aperture setting that's appropriate for the scene being photographed, and...

One wants to use an adequate shutter speed to avoid undesired blur, from camera movement or subject movement.

That leaves ISO, and we then need to select an ISO so the image is exposed properly, which would imply auto-ISO allows us to select the more important settings for the scene being photographed, and to let the camera then give us an acceptable ISO.

 

I think I learned this from various things @jaapvwrote about two yers ago, and thtat's what I did until the people in the DxO PhotoLab forum convinced me that I need to be in control of ISO such that the most important things in the image are exposed properly.  After re-considering here, I  now agree with @jonoslackthat it's probably a good thing for me to use auto-iso for a default setting, but to pay attention to what the camera is doing.

  • Aperture to get proper depth of field
  • Shutter to stop motion or prevent camera blur from movement, and
  • ISO to select an appropriate/adequate exposure

......and for me to be aware of all three settings, in case I need to over-ride what the camera is doing.  Shutter speed can be faster, without causing any undesirable side effects.  ISO on the M8.2 that I was using back then should not exceed 640, leaving aperture as the most critical.

My M10 made life easier for me than my M8.2, as it had a wider range to select from, and the M11 seems to have done that again, giving me even more range than the M10 for "acceptable settings".  ......and while I've got all the time in the world sometimes to select or review settings, I think I need the auto-ISO so if I suddenly need to take a photo, with no time to evaluate, the camera will assist me in getting a reasonable exposure, even if it isn't the optimum exposure.

 

Sorry for rambling, I'm just thinking out loud, reviewing all the advice I've been given, and what worked best, and accepting that I don't always change my camera settings manually, as I ought to, as I'm walking around with the camera, to "be ready for a surprise shot".

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