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chris_tribble

Learning to love 1250

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Don't want to rain on your parade, but I'm trying to work out what the advantage is from your shot. Great, it's 6400, but the focus seems off (did you want the end of the moggie's nose to be the only sharp feature?) and noise in this JPEG rendering of the OOF areas doesn't look that wonderful - and why would you need 6400 for this particular shot?

{snipped}

 

...and I've seen a number of posts now in other places on shadow banding on the 5d2 when used in AI Servo (probably an RFI thing)... the original 5d was susceptible to this too. So the jury's out on that sensor combo (though I'm sure Canon will fix whatever needs fixing).

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Don't want to rain on your parade, but I'm trying to work out what the advantage is from your shot. Great, it's 6400, but the focus seems off (did you want the end of the moggie's nose to be the only sharp feature?) and noise in this JPEG rendering of the OOF areas doesn't look that wonderful - and why would you need 6400 for this particular shot?

 

I took the picture of my cat while I was reading the manual and checking out the settings on my camera. The picture says nothing about photography skills. Its just one of the first shots I took with this camera. It is lit by the TV and a lamp with a dark amber shade. It is just like you said above "Great, its 6400". The lens is 50mm f/1.4 only her nose is in focus.

 

I am amazed by the performance of this camera. I can shoot in darker places than I could with my M6.

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PVB - there was no wish to disparage your skill as a photographer. I apologise if this came across. My concern is that comparisons between tigers and elephants can be a bit fruitless. Sure, they're both mammals, but then, so what?

 

With lenses longer than 50mm I can get better shots with my old 5D (or a 20D for that matter) and a good fast prime lens than I can with my M8. But with my M8 and any lens I can get better low light images than I could with a film M camera. This is is not a surprise - it's just physics.

 

I'm really pleased you're happy with the 5D/2 - I'll almost certainly get one for some of the work I do - but I know I won't carry it around with me all day like I do the M8 - and this means that I'd always be missing low light shots like the one below (Warsaw at the weekend - the beautifully re-developed Krakowskie Przedmiescie, just down the road from Teatr Polski - M82u / 35 Summicron mk IV)) - and hey - this was at 340 ISO - the joy of shooting in A mode sometimes...

Makes you think how fast a sensor do we REALLY need.

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chris_tribble- No problem I'm just excited about my first digital camera. I haven't had time to explore it other than my living room. I will do so this weekend. It does feel more obtrusive than my M6 or my Mamiya 7. I agree that that high ISOs are not always needed but, I would not think twice to use 6400 for a wedding with the 5D2.

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A follow up on this thread - and a reply to someone who had said that the M8 wasn't good for colour... The sun shone in London today for once, and I was sorting out some SD cards prior to a shoot and took this image at home with the 135 apo telyt. Fully upon with Auto ISO. Now from where I stand, a) the colour's great, and

I know this would print beautifully - noise wouldn't be an issue.

Further confirmation for me of the value of Auto ISO too...

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Not a great shot, but I was testing out the 1,2/35 Nokton the other night. Naturally, the cat(s) are easy victims...

 

Shot at 1250, wide open at f/1.2. Processed via Photoshop and ACR, using the "Adobe Standard" preset, vignette slider on -75. In Photoshop I tweaked the contrast slightly, hit it with Noise Ninja using an M8 profile matching the lighting and ISO and finally resized and applied very mild USM. Click for larger/info:

 

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Another good example of how if you give the M8 its head and engage high ISO much earlier than you might have thought you needed to, you can get good clean images (also interesting to see how sharp the Nokton can be... (nice moggie too...)

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Just took these with the M8 at 1250. Whilst I have a D700, which would have given cleaner files, the Leica was the right camera for the occasion, discrete and not likely to scare the faeries away....!

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I have a hard time getting decent pictures at 1250...real noisy..

 

Could someone ( Jaap ! ) please explain to me what you mean by exposing for the shadows in this context. What zone do you place your shadows? What about the highlights?

 

In a street scene e.g. say the opposite pavement is in shadows and your side has

street lamps..how would you expose for this at 1250 to achieve the excellent results

you folks are getting.

 

simple language please;)

 

Thank you for helping me out.

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Another good example of how if you give the M8 its head and engage high ISO much earlier than you might have thought you needed to, you can get good clean images (also interesting to see how sharp the Nokton can be... (nice moggie too...)

 

Thanks, Chris. Indeed, the 1,2/35 does appear to be pretty sharp, even wide open. I wouldn't say it's Zeiss sharp, but certainly sharp enough. I'd have to go with the general thinking that at f/1.2, a slightly softer image with less contrast is desirable. I just got the lens, so I haven't really been able to let it run free yet.

 

ISO 1250 really is usable. If you need to tweak the exposure of your shot in post, yes - noise will likely come out which is why it's important to get the exposure right in the camera as much as possible.

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I have a hard time getting decent pictures at 1250...real noisy..

 

Could someone ( Jaap ! ) please explain to me what you mean by exposing for the shadows in this context. What zone do you place your shadows? What about the highlights?

 

In a street scene e.g. say the opposite pavement is in shadows and your side has

street lamps..how would you expose for this at 1250 to achieve the excellent results

you folks are getting.

 

simple language please;)

 

Thank you for helping me out.

 

Make sure you don't under-expose. If you push the histogram to the right you can recover from the highlight area. If you under-expose, you'll get noise. You have to revers the "shoot for shadows" rule you learned with B&W negative ... Learn to expose for highlights and mid tones - it's like working with slide film. There's a good essay at Luminous Landscape (Expose Right) + some examples below ...

#1 - underexposed - this is going to be a problem

#2 - over-exposed a tad - but, as in #3, recoverable - able to give you a better, lower noise result.

 

How do you get here? In difficult light, DON'T use A mode - learn how to shoot manually.

 

Hope this helps.

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Chris,

 

Thank you so much for the trouble you have taken to explain. I shall try this. Just a question...where did you take your meter readings from in pics #1,2,3 and how did you

determine how much/where the exposure should be adjusted?

 

Thanks a bunch for helping me out.

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Two weekends ago I took a 5DII out of the store and shot it at 100,4001600,3200 and was not impressed at all by the quality of the pictures when I got home and looked at them.

 

I had my M8 with me and only shot with 160, the same shot. The M8 was much quieter at 160 than the Cannon. the Summilux-M asph 1.4 was much sharper with both cameras set at 5.6 (the cannon had the 24-70).

 

The disclaimer is that the M8 was exposed well to the right and the Cannon chose to expose to the left.

 

The cannon also had problems with focus... the auto focus picked the wrong part of the picture to focus on. The shot was of pointing the cameras down the street to a hill half a mile away. The Cannon focused on the street, 20-feet in front of me. Sure, the focus issue for the Cannon can be worked around with settings and more experience. It just reminded me that manual focus is always a good choice (either camera) if you don't need AF.

 

I'm going back this weekend to try and be a little more consistent with exposure and focus.

 

I have the 5DII on order to be installed on an instrument at work as a camera back, so I'll end up with it anyway, good or bad. I picked it so I could use it for general photography when it wasn't being used at work..

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^ Two things I'd point out:

 

- The Canon AF, by default, uses all focus points and automatically selects the closest object, generally. This would explain the "odd behavior" you noticed. I never use this mode except when tracking wildlife that's erratic in movement, and even then, with a reduced set of focus points - because *I* prefer to tell the camera where to focus; not the other way around. 95% (or more) of the time I use only the single, center point.

 

- You can't compare a Canon RAW to an M8 DNG without understanding... That you can't. Not directly, anyway. The reason is the M8 lacks an anti-aliasing filter and has a very weak IR filter in front of the sensor. This will give sharper images "out of the box" from the M8 every single day. On a full-sized Canon RAW, try a pass of USM at 330/0.3/0 which is Canon's own recommendation, to level the playing field a little. But nevertheless, the M8 IMO still gives a sharper image because you're not sharpening what's already softened.

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Double Negative... that USM setting is really great. The files look much better. Not as soft , a little artificial, but overall it is a huge improvement. I like it, thanks.

 

I did want to comment that I did not understand that when I have read reviews and seen tests done on these higher end cameras like the 5DII, I thought that their files were going to be incredible at higher ISO. Not true, they are still noisy. Better, but not what I would want to use if I had a choice.

 

Using faster glass and lower ISO on the M8 is actually very nice. They others don't really have fast ISO mastered like they want you to believe. Until, I get a chance to go back this weekend, I have to say I liked the M8 file at low ISO better.

 

Can't wait to re-shoot and balance the exposure out because as everyone here knows... shoot to left and bring up the exposure in PP and it can ruin the file.

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Chris, I really like the Faeries in Gallery shots, and Chris the Warsaw shot is very rich.

david

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Interesting comments on the 5D2...

 

Just a question...where did you take your meter readings from in pics #1,2,3 and how did you

determine how much/where the exposure should be adjusted?

 

Fursan - although after a time it becomes an art rather than a science, but certainly in stage lighting, where the tonal range can be huge, I find the easiest is to use manual settings. Set an aperture which is going to give your the depth of field that you want, take a couple of shots at a range of speeds either using experience (especially with very dark scenes with pools of intense light) or using the centre dot + over/under indicators and check the histogram to get an idea of the optimal exposure. If the light for a scene is then relatively stable, I tend to stick with that setting and make final adjustments in post.

 

As an example, some recent shots taken on the Thames give an idea of how you can get good results by simply starting with a guessed 1/15th ... Waterloo, Greenwich, Waterloo.

 

Low light? M8 - no problem IMHO...

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Although normally I keep my M8 on ISO160 I thought I'd play over Christmas with 1250, taking the advice to watch the exposure, after being inspired on this thread. These two shots were taken in tungsten lighting with a f1.4 50mm ASPH Summilux. Net-net I was impressed at the quality of the files that came out of the M8.

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Nice dog! Glad you're discovering the joy of 1250! Interesting comment from Reichman on LR when comparing noise on Canon, Sony, Nikon: Sony A900 and Canon 5D MKII. His basic position is that up to 800 they're all remarkably good and that after 1600 the Canon and Nikon do better - and importantly the very high ISOs that can be deployed with the camera are pretty useless - mainly me-too marketing.

 

In my own practice I'm VERY happy with 1250 on the Leica - when it doesn't work it's largely down to my technique, not an inherent flaw in the sensor design...

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I like the 1250 also does give it a nice film look.

nice job with that market shot.

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