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vikasmg

Default shoot at -2/3 compensation on an M8?

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althought Leica specifies the sensor at 160/320/..iso the actual sensitivity measured in tests found on the web is 200/400...

 

25% higher then specified so to say

 

I wonder if they went with 160 (or 200) minimum by design and if image quality would have been better with 100. If so, it would have been good to have a lower ISO choice for decently lit situations. I remember shooting with what was then ASA64 on my father's IIIg and being quite content with the speed.

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I very rarely use the exp comp in the menu. Generally, I'll just set the shutter speed manually, ....

 

True, when shooting manually I never use exposure compensation as such but I do tend to land up wanting to underexpose a bit - keeping in mind of course what the camera is reading light from of course.

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Maybe I should try and calibrate my printer and monitor - my images look fine on the monitor but a bit dark on a printer. Printer calibration just takes so long though. Photography is not my day job - not good enough for that :-) - so time spent on it is short and precious!

Instead of trying to calibrate your printer so the print brightnesss matches your monitor brightness turn down your monitor brightness until it's the same brightness as the prints.

This is especially true if you're using a LCD monitor. They come with the brightnesss set way to high.

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Just as interesting; that house on your picture; I am interested in Malaysian architecture. From where is it?

 

Interesting you should say that. That struck me as well that it looked vaguely SouthEast Asian - though more Indonesian than Malaysian. That picture however was shot in Kerala in South India. Although I'm originally from India I was not all that familiar with Kerela Architecture till recently while, having worked in SouthEast Asia for years I'm reasonably familiar with styles in this region.

 

The photograph was taken at the Coconut Lagoon Resort on in the Kerala backwaters area south of Cochin. Although it is a resort they have been very careful about keeping it low key and doing a lot of the structures as restorations and replicas of the local vernacular.

 

Far more aesthetically successful than the more commercial attempts at going local like the more famous big name establishments in Kerala such as the Taj Kumarakom which is particularly disappointing.

 

Sorry, I'm an architect so I get worked up about this stuff :-)

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Jamie, Now I am confused (not that I use jpg at all), do you mean that if you shoot DNG+jpg or only jpg the M8 overexposes by about one stop while if you shoot DNG only it overexposes by about 1/3-2/3 stop?

 

I think he meant that the LCD display shows you a JPG image. I wonder though if that's the case if one is shooting only RAW without JPG?

 

- Vikas

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This is especially true if you're using a LCD monitor. They come with the brightnesss set way to high.

 

Actually I have done that and I usually do my photo post processing at home where I keep the lighting is low to moderate.

 

- Vikas

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I think he meant that the LCD display shows you a JPG image. I wonder though if that's the case if one is shooting only RAW without JPG?

 

- Vikas

 

I "?THINK?" there is always a JPG thumbnail image included in the DNG file. You can notice this when reviewing on the camera LCD. When the image first come on the screen it is usually brighter and the colors are off slightly, then about 1-2 second later the screen will jump and the image will look better. That first image is the embedded JPG and then the camera does some processing of the DNG and displays that.

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I "?THINK?" there is always a JPG thumbnail image included in the DNG file.

 

I thik that is right. The Jobo GIGA Vu series of digital storage viewers shows the preview thumbnails of M8 files rather than a full screen view [ :-( ] and it's probably a jpg.

 

- Vikas

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I wonder if some of us talking 'at crossed purposes'. I include myself as having posted a sloppy and ambiguous post regarding the -2/3 exposure compensation I have dialled in on my M8. I would hope of course, that this doesn't mean I aim to be under-exposed by 2/3 of a stop, but rather that for my metering technique combined with M8 metering, my -2/3 compensation setting suits me better for getting good exposure.

 

Jamie was quite right to point out the extra headroom for highlights in the RAW file, however the only internal M8 exposure measuring instrument we can go by is the histogram. Second guessing whether or not a blown histogram still means non-blown highlights or not - is not a technique I wish to adopt. The metering is what we have been given. However, despite many years of using a handheld meter with a 10 degree spot, I still find the M8 metering hard work; I prefer camera built-in metering to be quite a bit less centre-weighted. I hope there is a good reason why that option was not made available to us.

 

.................. Chris

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In RAW, learn to point the meter at the highest significant highlight and push the exposure into the "OE warning" but barely. You are placing the highlight detail in or around the limit of detail, and the rest of the file falls where it will fall. If your subject is still too dark then you can choose to blow highlights more or add light to the shadows (flash or reflector). Speculars or unimportant lights will get blown.. but that's what you should be shooting for anyway.

 

Make sense? The histogram is unrelated to the actual RAW exposure, so it's only a really rought guide.

 

Using this technique I often find the result is the same as ending up with a -2/3 exposure compensation overall. The -2/3 is not perfect but in the UK where we have a lot of overcast skies it generally preserves some detail in the sky.

 

Which I suppose is why I find -2/3 seems to suit most of my shots.

 

I know that the M8 metering is heavily centre weighted and I have got used to it but I think it is quite primitive compared to the options offered by most other cameras.

Jeff

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I know that the M8 metering is heavily centre weighted and I have got used to it but I think it is quite primitive compared to the options offered by most other cameras.

Jeff

 

If it wasn't slightly primitive it would be a Leica M.

You can't tell me any other M camera meters that much differently and certainly none have the option to change the way the meter works, IE the zone/area it meters from.

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I wonder if they went with 160 (or 200) minimum by design and if image quality would have been better with 100. If so, it would have been good to have a lower ISO choice for decently lit situations. I remember shooting with what was then ASA64 on my father's IIIg and being quite content with the speed.

See Leica FAQ 5.2 from June 2008 list.

 

ISO 160 is the native sensitivity of the M8 sensor. Tweaking it downward would have reduced quality, just as tweaking it upward does.

 

If you want to shoot with lower shutter speed or wider aperture, consider a neutral density filter.

 

Ah, those thrilling days of yesteryear, of Kodachrome 64--or Kodachrome 25 or (best yet) Kodachrome ASA 10.

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I know that the M8 metering is heavily centre weighted and I have got used to it but I think it is quite primitive compared to the options offered by most other cameras.

Jeff--

You're right: It puts you back in control of the image. See E.P.'s comments on metering in his article Why use Leica CRF.

 

The main thing to get used to isn't that the M8's meter is center-weighted, but that the meter pattern changes with focal length: With wide-angles it's closer to an averaging meter, with longer lenses it moves more toward a spot pattern.

 

But I consider it an advantage that it doesn't compare the shot in front of me to three thousand others in its memory and determine for me how I should be exposing.

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If it wasn't slightly primitive it would be a Leica M.

You can't tell me any other M camera meters that much differently and certainly none have the option to change the way the meter works, IE the zone/area it meters from.

 

Well presumably we are all hoping that the next digi M will be an improvement, perhaps a better sensor, perhaps FF or near to it. Why not an improved metering system? None of these improvements would stop it being an M rangefinder.

 

I love my M8s but the metering system bugs me. I should not be fighting it. It can slow you down to the extent that shots are missed. Blown out highlights we all know they are gone forever. Shadows can generally be recovered.

 

I would like a metering system that gets it right most of the time. Naturally all modern cameras offer exp comp when required.

 

Jeff

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Jamie Roberts wrote:

In RAW, learn to point the meter at the highest significant highlight and push the exposure into the "OE warning" but barely. You are placing the highlight detail in or around the limit of detail, and the rest of the file falls where it will fall.

 

I would like to follow this advice, but I don't understand how to tell when the exposure is pushed into the "OE warning". Is this:

1.) the dot in the viewfinder + the right arrow, or

2.) just after the dot disappears and there is only the right arrow,

3.) or is it something in the histogram like the first appearance

of clipping?

 

If #3, should I be using the "std" or "rgb" histogram?

 

Also, if #3 how can I approximate achieving this setting using

just the viewfinder without chimping in order to stay in the moment.

 

Thanks

Mike

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Jamie Roberts wrote:

 

 

I would like to follow this advice, but I don't understand how to tell when the exposure is pushed into the "OE warning". Is this:

1.) the dot in the viewfinder + the right arrow, or

2.) just after the dot disappears and there is only the right arrow,

3.) or is it something in the histogram like the first appearance

of clipping?

 

If #3, should I be using the "std" or "rgb" histogram?

 

Also, if #3 how can I approximate achieving this setting using

just the viewfinder without chimping in order to stay in the moment.

 

Thanks

Mike

 

Hey Mike--I'll try to explain this again...

 

First, I have no idea what effect Jaap is describing with blown highlights.

 

To my knowledge, there is no digicam in the world that bases its histogram on anything but a JPEG interpretation of the RAW file. Period: what you see in DNG previews is a JPEG embedded in the DNG; that's what shows up in the LCD display.

 

IOW, despite what Chris says, you should learn to trust your own exposure judgement and only use the histogram for gross errors (like when you're over or, especially, underexposed by 2 or 3 stops

) or as a reminder you just stepped out of a dark church into bright sunlight and need to change the ISO!!

 

Anyway, to Mike's point:

  • Forget the histogram. Use the force
  • Yes, you want to meter on something bright, but NOT the brightest (specular highlight). You want to point the center of the camera on something that you want visible detail in... For a wedding photographer, this is easy, because most brides have a white / light dress and you want not just to expose it properly but you want to hold the detail in the dress for the most part.
  • set the camera so that you are between a half stop and a couple of stops "overexposed." A good starting point is the center dot is lit but so is the right arrow. If you count, the shutter goes up/down in half stops. So the maximum I'd do this is "four clicks" below (remember the shutter is getting slower) the center dot showing.
  • In the RAW converter, the shadows might look light. That's ok, simply move the black point up in the converter.
  • In the RAW converter, your highlights might initially appear blown. Now is the time to pull them back by adjusting the exposure a little downward. In C1, LR, or ACR, your upper midtone highlight detail will "reappear".
  • This affect is greatest at ISO 160, and is nearly gone by ISO 2500--you need to nail it, but this will still give you the best results especially since the shadows will be spread across the midtones, and that's where noise happens at high ISOs.

Hope this helps! Once you've done it a few dozen times, you'll have more confidence and you won't need the histo as much.

 

BTW--the meter on the M8 is not primitive; it just has no auto-fool like, say, a 5d does. The 5d gets it "mediocre" 95% of the time on Auto or P mode, which I guess is ok, unless you want a good exposure

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BTW--the meter on the M8 is not primitive; it just has no auto-fool like, say, a 5d does. The 5d gets it "mediocre" 95% of the time on Auto or P mode, which I guess is ok, unless you want a good exposure

 

Just so as I understand you what precisely do you mean by 'mediocre' in terms of exposure.

 

Jeff

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Jamie, I second that! Thanks for sharing your knowledge of the craft.

 

It never hurts for us (with

) old hands to be reminded of what should be standard practice.

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I know that the M8 metering is heavily centre weighted and I have got used to it but I think it is quite primitive compared to the options offered by most other cameras.

Jeff

More options for metering would probably be a good addition in the next M though I have to say that I find it an advantage that I find it good that the M8 is centre weighted in a way similar to my M6.

 

- Vikas

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