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tashley

Friday. Time for an outrageous comparison.

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So there's something wrong...

 

But you know Mark, isn't that always the way? I'm a reasonably competent photographer and I was using a camera I know inside out (though not like you do!) under close to perfect conditions and yet, as happens too often with the M8, something feels not quite right.

 

At 1/1000th sec on a tripod, it's not likely to be camera shake. The fact is that in the full sized file there is no point in front of or behind where I focussed that is in better focus. The lens has barely been used since new and in that time it has been to Solms for correction. It has probably shot 100 frames in its life and has lived mostly in a leather case in a safe. It has never been abroad and rarely out of the house!

 

There may well be something wrong but I am fairly certain that at least in this case it was not the man pressing pressing the shutter! And love my remaining M8 as I do, do I trust it?

 

Nah!

 

T

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Tim: I was only slightly joking about the T-E; I know I've only had it a few hours, but so far I've nailed the focus every time, a better rate than I've had with any other lens I can think of. And it's very sharp, too.

 

Yup, it's a good one!

 

:-)

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Is that Birling Gap by the way?

 

It is indeed. Scene of some of my very earliest photographic endeavours, when there was one more house on the clifftop!

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Paul, I assume you've bought Tim's 28-35-50 Tri-Elmar. I'm a big fan of this lens, happily have one of each version and I think it's a great pity it's no longer in production. It's a favourite lens when light's not in short supply.

 

Mark: yes, I have, after selling my previous one and regretting it soon afterwards. I had a very quick and civilised transaction with Tim, and all is well again. After spending the first part of the week trying to master focus on my newly acquired 135 APO-Telyt, the T-E is very relaxing.

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Tim - confused. Below are three versions of the same image (M8 + 75 apo cron hand held f4 @ 1/125th)

 

Original image

100% crop from version up-ressed in ACR to make a 4133x6144 25.4 MP file - so already a doubling in resolution.

100% crop from this image up-ressed by 200%. my maths gives out - but seriously big!

 

It doesn't feel anything nearly as bad as the image you got from the M8... What was you're final image size after the processing? Intrigued...

 

I have the feeling that something funny was going on with the re-sizing...

 

Hi Chris,

 

Final image size was 8623x5800 pixels in order to get to the same size on screen as the scan - obviously the Canon was uprezed differently, to 7800 x 5200, because it had a slight advantage in focal length and that is part of the reason for what we're seeing.

 

The painterly thing happens a lot. Here's a new crop from the same file but this time with all NR turned off and with sharpening at default 25 in LR then upresed to the same size as before in PS: and for your viewing pleasure it's followed by the first version I posted.

 

 

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I'm a reasonably competent photographer and I was using a camera I know inside out...

 

No, Tim, you're not, you're a hugely competent photographer and I think these comparative results are a concern. Don't know what it is, but I would not have expected the M8 to be so visibly far behind the Canon.

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Canon 5D and Leica M8, same type of comparisons. Canon lens was the 50mm f/1.2 and the Leica lens was the 50mm Noctilux. Both shots were done at f/4.0 and both cameras were set to 320 ISO. The one difference here is that I applied the 1.33 crop to the Canon image to even the playing field.

 

In the first set, the Canon image is on the left.

In the second set, the Canon image is on top.

 

Hi Brent,

 

That's my general experience with the M8 and the 5D - the M8 is a tad better up to 320 or even 640, most of the time, especially if fed well with light. Maybe it's the glass, or the AA filter or whatever but it's a touch sharper, better micro contrast and more 3d looking without resorting to silly saturation tricks. That is all referring to a 'good' M8 with a 'good' lens of course!

 

I will certainly continue using my remaining M8 with the glass I trust most (CV 15, 28 cron, 35 Skopar, 50 lux, 75 cron and 90 elmar). Plus the nocti, which I don't trust but do like! But I am quite certain that, as you would expect, the 1DS III will give better results when used with good glass. Of course it will, given the price and size of it! What is a miracle is just how amazing the M8 is when the wind is in the right direction. If someone said to me, 'you can only have one camera for the rest of your life, but it will always work perfectly; I'd take my M8 and the above glass!

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I'm surprised at the M8 image as well, especially the difference in the holes in the basket.

 

Mark, I think we can all agree it's the strong sunlight in the Canon shot that makes the holes visible.

 

Which brings me to this question for Tim:

 

Next is the same scene on a Canon 1DS III with Leica R 50 Cron using an adaptor, at F4 and 1/2500 and ISO 200.

 

Next is an M8 shot with a 35 Cron at F4, 1/1000th, ISO 160.

 

 

This means there's only one stop difference in exposure between harsh sunlight and overcast light???

 

I concur with Chris; there's something funny going on...

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this question for Tim:

 

 

 

 

This means there's only one stop difference in exposure between harsh sunlight and overcast light???

 

I concur with Chris; there's something funny going on...

 

Not sure about that: what funny thing do you have in mind? We know the nominal ISO, F stop and speed of each frame. One stop difference does seem less than you'd expect but I'd say that the M8 frame was taken under very thin cloud that diffused the light without attenuating it greatly. From film days, hazy sunlight to bright sunlight was worth about a stop...

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OK, Tim, I understand. I thought the M8 shot looks like there's a lot less light than the Canon shot. But you were there

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If someone said to me, 'you can only have one camera for the rest of your life, but it will always work perfectly; I'd take my M8 and the above glass!

 

I'd make the same choice, but with my glass, and we would both die happy.

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you have up-res'd the m8 file ?

 

why on earth have you done that, no wonder it looks so terrible

 

Of course I have!

 

The reason I'm experimenting with the 4x5 and the Canon is because I'm going through a phase of printing large and amazingly well though M8 files stretch, they don't stretch as well as I need. Not quite. So I need more resolution. The reason I shot this half-arsed test was to give myself a very rough idea of how much extra resolution I got in real, useable terms. That means, for a 36" wide print.

 

To get that from the M8 or the Canon I'd have to upres. So the point of the test, in so far as there was anything behind it more than idle curiosity, was to see how much better the Wista would be than the Canon and the Canon than the M8 when upresed for printing at that size.

 

Now it's all made a bit more complicated by the fact that the effective FOV differs a bit from camera to camera despite my having chosen lenses that got the match as close as possible.

 

As it is, the test is unscientific so I won't go the extra mile and make large prints from each file and pore over them but I already know what I'll find when I re-do it more scientifically: that for a large print, the quality of the files will be in order of their resolution. The real question is, will it be in proportion to the differences in resolution?

 

Answers on a postcard!

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Hi Chris,

 

Final image size was 8623x5800 pixels in order to get to the same size on screen as the scan - obviously the Canon was uprezed differently, to 7800 x 5200, because it had a slight advantage in focal length and that is part of the reason for what we're seeing.

 

The painterly thing happens a lot. Here's a new crop from the same file but this time with all NR turned off and with sharpening at default 25 in LR then upresed to the same size as before in PS: and for your viewing pleasure it's followed by the first version I posted.

 

[ATTACH]79271[/ATTACH]

 

[ATTACH]79272[/ATTACH]

 

 

 

as i thought

 

looks a million times better with the NR turned off

don't ever use that stuff ! it ruins pictures

 

that's why photoshop is the industry standard, because its algorithms are absolutely top notch and it does not have shoddy filters like that

 

Nikon Capture does the same thing, absolutely ruins all your photographs unless you are knowledgeable enough to turn it off by default

 

having said that, your M8 pictures still look atrocious because they have been reszied up

 

i don't understand how or why anyone would up res a digital file for the purpose of any sort subjective assesment (that fact that is being compared to a higher resolution file is irrelevant)

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As this is a bit of fun:

 

Thats an interesting comparison Tim, did you take the shot from the top of the stairs leading down to the beach?

 

Although the M8 shot looks out of focus I suspect you made every effort to get it spot on. The light is better for the Canon shot. I have seen comparisons between the 1DS3 and the 1D3 uprezzed and the difference in the detail captured was nowhere near what you post here.

 

Jeff

 

Hi Jeff,

 

Looks like you beat me to it!

 

I did take the shot from the platform at the top of the stairs.

 

Some of the apparent difference is accounted for but fake accutance created by more directional light in the Canon shot. Some of it is caused by more pixels. But some is MIA...

 

:0

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Of course I have!

 

The reason I'm experimenting with the 4x5 and the Canon is because I'm going through a phase of printing large and amazingly well though M8 files stretch, they don't stretch as well as I need. Not quite. So I need more resolution. The reason I shot this half-arsed test was to give myself a very rough idea of how much extra resolution I got in real, useable terms. That means, for a 36" wide print.

 

To get that from the M8 or the Canon I'd have to upres. So the point of the test, in so far as there was anything behind it more than idle curiosity, was to see how much better the Wista would be than the Canon and the Canon than the M8 when upresed for printing at that size.

 

Now it's all made a bit more complicated by the fact that the effective FOV differs a bit from camera to camera despite my having chosen lenses that got the match as close as possible.

 

As it is, the test is unscientific so I won't go the extra mile and make large prints from each file and pore over them but I already know what I'll find when I re-do it more scientifically: that for a large print, the quality of the files will be in order of their resolution. The real question is, will it be in proportion to the differences in resolution?

 

Answers on a postcard!

 

but all that means is that when someone opens up this thread, when they look at the third picture .. ALL they are seeing is the ugly artefacts and undesireable peculiarities of bicubic resampling. That image has nothing to do with M8, summicron, summilux. or whatever anymore.

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but all that means is that when someone opens up this thread, when they look at the third picture .. ALL they are seeing is the ugly artefacts and undesireable peculiarities of bicubic resampling. That image has nothing to do with M8, summicron, summilux. or whatever anymore.

 

C'mon Rich, throw me a bone here! I'd hope they'd look at the title of the entire thread!

 

;-)

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Tim,

 

Great thread! Thanks. I'm a big fan of fun comparisons like this, because they always do contribute to the knowledge pool in some way.

 

Interpolating quite a bit, this one also illustrates an interesting journey. You bought that big 'ol printer and, stretching the M8 files to the breaking point with it, began to wonder if big film would give you the extra zing you were looking for. So now you're starting out on a new journey with LF film. (How am I doing so far?). Whatever, it sounds like great fun (and I will probably have my new Tachihara in a week or so

).

 

But scanning ... boy, what a can of slippery random-motion worms that is. So operator dependent. I'd say the thing to do there is buy the best scanner you can afford and spend the time experimenting and learning to get the best out of it. You might not get the super clarity of a well-done wet-mount drum scan, but at least you won't be paying whoever happens to be the assistant scanner operator that day big bucks for inconsistent quality.

 

And to be perfectly honest, although it's all colorful and puts up a good pretense of detail, I really don't like the look of the Canon image at all. It looks not-quite real, somehow. Especially the texture on the wall.

 

Did you print all three of those images out on your big HP and compare?

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