Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Guest malland

Some thoughts on the M8.2 after 2-1/2 weeks

Recommended Posts

Obviously my needs from a M-system are different as the image is of prime concern. Not a dramas Mani you choose camera over image, so be it.

 

I'd argue that one's experience of using the camera, and especially of seeing the subject, can be very important to the pictures made. That said, of course, different cameras of course work better for different people. But I think Kertesz (who could make a picture for sure) was right when he said "I see the thing. I feel the thing. I make the thing."

 

Does the R-D1 work for you in this respect?

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest malland
I'm not sure which elements make up the "out of date gestalt". Tell me more...
Sean, by this I was merely referring to the opposition of some people to the introduction of new elements, which would result in an out of date gestalt.

 

—Mitch/Turks & Caicos

Bangkok Noir©: Book Project - a set on Flickr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mitch, I think it a mistake to attempt to "date" things. I drive a 25 year old car because it gives me better driving experience than my wifes 5 year old car. I live in a 103 year old house because it feels better to live in than my neighbours 2 year old house. I use Leca M's, both digital and anolog, because of their relative simplicity compared to the majority of 'current' cameras.

 

In all the above scenario's I suspect I am appreciating simplicity, along with some very definite foibles that I choose to endure/enjoy. I am not without my own foibles either!

Any of the changes you are suggesting for the M8 etc are simply the thin edge of the wedge for rebuilding what already exists very competently already. It will never be perfect. Nothing is. Use it as is and enjoy, as I know you are.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest malland

Erl. I like to use a Leica-M for what it is, rather than it's being a "traditional" type of camera. I don't think that the comparison to living in an old house is apt because it is, after all, a digital camera. To provide alternatives for the sort of things I discussed above only makes it a more versatile instrument.

 

BTW, my wife and I were discussing this evening how we prefer wooden beach houses here to concrete once, but that, again, is not comparable to a digital camera.

 

—Mitch/Turks & Caicos

Bangkok Noir©: Book Project - a set on Flickr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

O.K. Mitch, we'll forget the old car and old house but this 'old fogey' still prefers the simplicity of the Digital M8, despite it's being a digital camera. The fact that is digital (to me) is irrelevant. What counts is its relative simplicity compared to most other choices available. Putting extra clutter into or on it that I don't want or need would spoil it for me. That's my bias. Give it time and I predict you will come around to just what it is. 2.5 weeks ain't much unless you have been punishing it full time. Heck, 2+ years on and I'm still 'getting familiar' with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, my 2 cents is that the first thing I do with any camera I get is turn off the matrix metering (which is generally precisely wrong just when I could use its help the most

) and get as close to a simple spot meter as possible.

 

That way, I can generally pick something white / bright and peg the exposure where I need it for highlights (a stop or two above where the meter thinks grey should be), and then just shoot and shoot without changing exposure. As long as the light doesn't change, the exposure won't change either.

 

Course, with the M3 I'll start with an incident reading and go from there.

 

But pegging the highlights // using open sky // concrete as a highlight reference and just shooting with the built-in meter on the M6 or M8 works equally well, actually. Both of those cameras have meters that are so heavily center weighted I treat them the same as I would a (near) spot meter anyway, which is just fine with me.

 

The point is, even (especially) for street shooting, unless you're in really rapidly changing light (which does happen sometimes), you don't need to rely on a matrix meter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Obviously my needs from a M-system are different as the image is of prime concern. Not a dramas Mani you choose camera over image, so be it.

 

I'd say that the process was a large part of my concern in using an M (or the RD1s, for that matter). If the final image was my only concern I'd definitely choose another camera altogether.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The point is, even (especially) for street shooting, unless you're in really rapidly changing light (which does happen sometimes), you don't need to rely on a matrix meter.

 

That is my experience with the M4-P and that was kind of the point I was trying to make. Let me re-phrase it a bit:

 

Even (especially) for street shooting I usually don't need a built-in meter at all, but in really rapidly changing light (which does happen sometimes) I'd rather rely on a decent matrix meter than on luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest malland
...The point is, even (especially) for street shooting, unless you're in really rapidly changing light (which does happen sometimes), you don't need to rely on a matrix meter...
For me that is the point, precisely because in a place like Bangkok, with very bright light, the light changes drastically and often as you move in and out of shade and all the lighting conditions in between. Charles Peterson has written about this in a thread on photographing in Vietnam. In these conditions, the matrix metering of the D300 works very well, as this camera works has an excellent matrix metering system. However, I've only used the D300 for street photography to try it out. But the somewhat inferior matrix system of the GRD2 works quite well for this purpose, but I sometimes still have to do selective metering and use the half-press shutter technique to hold the shutter speed; but I find that on the M8 I have to do this more often, and hence the thought that I would like the camera to have a matrix metering system as an option.

 

But, as Cam has suggested, and as Erl says, it still early days, and I haven't yet done much street photography with the M8 and will need time to get better at this. although it's not the same as shooting an M6 with Tri-X and exposing for the shadows. I should also say that shooting Tri-X in the light conditions of Bangkok street photography is not a picnic either because one ends up with a lot of lost shots because of the brightness and harshness of the light and constantly changing conditions as you move from sunlight into deep shade. I'm not someone who limits my shooting of the "golden light" of the morning and late afternoon beloved of colour photographers, but also like to shoot in very bad light.

 

—Mitch/Turks & Caicos

Bangkok Noir©: Book Project - a set on Flickr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mitch

Coming back to your original post for a moment, and the B&W images linked to it, I seem to see quite a difference between the way the 15mm CV and the 18mm Zeiss draw images - but that may be partly the way low res web images look on my screen, and the subjects. Subjectively, to me the images taken with the CV seem to be darker, more impressionistic, and have more corner vignetting. I'd be very interested in your comments on how you find these two lenses.

Thanks.

Peter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
For me that is the point, precisely because in a place like Bangkok, with very bright light, the light changes drastically and often as you move in and out of shade and all the lighting conditions in between. Charles Peterson has written about this in a thread on photographing in Vietnam.

 

In this forum? Do you have a link?

 

Thanks,

Edi.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest stnami
I'd argue that one's experience of using the camera, and especially of seeing the subject, can be very important to the pictures made. That said, of course, different cameras of course work better for different people. But I think Kertesz (who could make a picture for sure) was right when he said "I see the thing. I feel the thing. I make the thing."

 

Does the R-D1 work for you in this respect?

I am usually too busy trying to respond to my thoughts, the subject and what use can I make with the image than worry about the camera type or what it is. I can shoot a frame from the Rd-1 and one from the film Ricoh GR1 without really thinking about the cameras. I shot a p&s canon today got some good stuff didn't really think about the other cameras. Whatever is in my hand is ok with me. Then again I could shoot and have a camera with no film,(and not digital) it was a fun day

I got the RD-1 because I had a Voigtlander RF and some lenses, the RD-1 is an ok camera, I like the files at 800iso gives me the images I need.

So I guess my answer is no

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A sophisticated matrix metering system would be very useful, because digital lacks the dynamic range of negative film, which forgives metering errors in the range of 1-2 stops. If you are off by that amount with digital, you will most likely end up with blown highlights or skys. There is a good reason why almost no one uses slide film for street or documentary work.

 

The M8 meter is good, but it is dumb. If you point the M8 meter at something with a lot of dark areas, it will attempt to make these 18% gray, which can result in blow bright areas. The M8 meter relies on the photographer to meter intelligently and quite often compensate that reading, which can sometimes be difficult or impossible to do in fast moving situations. In my experience hand held metering and digital work best in situations, where the light intensity is constant, but digital lacks the extra dynamic range to soak up exposure errors, when the light is changing quickly. If you're off by a stop or more you're in trouble.

 

Now, before everyone jumps on me and accuses me of not wanting to think for myself and instead rely on the electronic crutch of automation, you should know that 95% of the time I shoot with a handheld meter. I also shoot about 400 rolls a year.

 

I really do not understand the resistance to a more advanced metering system. If Leica switched to a sophisticated matrix metering system, it would be seamlessly integrated in to the camera. The only way you would know it's there, is because you would lose less shots, due to exposure error.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Being serious, I can't say I've noticed any more exposure errors with my M8 that I did with my Canon 5D. Perhaps I've been lucky, I've no idea.

 

Interesting observations in this thread. Regarding the matrix metering question--when using other platforms I've had similar experiences with exposure "trouble" in my shots. If the lighting is mixed or difficult in any way I use a hand-held incident light meter (as suggested some time ago to me by people in the forum), and can get what I need from the shots. E.g., different metering systems on other camera platforms haven't really helped my photography--even when using them as designed and intended, to full advantage. Not saying that's the route to take, but I am saying setting the camera for incident light and ignoring the built-in meter readings has done wonderful things for my photography when lighting is a little tough.

That said, I don't think additional metering options for the M8 would be a bad idea--but the most meaningful improvements I could see would be much improved ISO performance for 1250 and 2500 (at least equivalent to 640 performance today, with 640 at 160/320 performance) and a near-silent shutter/recock combo (*together* no louder than the "snick" of the M6's shutter). Those improvements would have me looking at an M8.3--or upgrading, if that were a possibility.

 

Later!

Will

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mitch is an exceptional street photographer. he doesn't need an instructive video. he needs streets.

 

Guess some people are too old to learn something.

Was not trying to put Mitch down, just stumbled on this video with Meyerowitz and his M6 in action. Even with my matrix metered Nikons I often use full manual mode to avoid the meter to react to stray light sources. Especially when there are street lights on.

 

Last year I attended a seminar by Vincent Laforet, he mentioned he always shoots in manual mode with his Canons. Same for Nachtwey, see him at work in the "War Photographer" film.

 

Cheers, Fons.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Last year I attended a seminar by Vincent Laforet, he mentioned he always shoots in manual mode with his Canons. Same for Nachtwey, see him at work in the "War Photographer" film.

 

Cheers, Fons.

 

 

Nachtwey was still shooting Tri-X in 'War Photographer'.

 

In recent footage he's shooting with a 1Ds-something and chimping the histogram...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nachtwey was still shooting Tri-X in 'War Photographer'.

 

In recent footage he's shooting with a 1Ds-something and chimping the histogram...

 

Chimping the histogram does not say anything about what light meter mode he is using, does it? His old EOS-1 had also matrix metering capability, still he even used a hand held meter.

 

-- Fons

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Chimping the histogram does not say anything about what light meter mode he is using, does it?

 

Actually it does say a lot about how he is metering.

 

For starters in the new footage he never used a handheld meter. In some ways the histogram has taken it's place.

 

He would take an initial shot and check the histogram. Then he keep on shooting, until the light changed significantly, at which piont he would take another look at the histogram.

 

He did not 'hunt and reframe' with the camera, like you would in spot meter mode. That's a strong indication that he is using some sort of area metering and there is little reason to believe he was using anything but matrix metering. He could have been in averaging mode, but I doubt it.

 

His old EOS-1 had also matrix metering capability, still he even used a hand held meter.

-- Fons

 

He was also shooting Tri-X in his old EOS, which gives you +5 stops of headroom above 18%, with a nice soft shoulder. Unless you're a novice or an idiot, it's highly unlikey that you can't predict the results. When I had a 1-v I almost never used the matrix meter. Using a handheld meter and relying on the huge dynamic range and soft shoulder of negative film was the better way to work. Sometimes I would use spotmeter mode, if my subject was out of reach or if I wanted to expose the shot in a particular way.

 

Digital works different. You're about 2-4 stops short of negative film, so your exposures have to be a lot more accurate. Also with digital the highlights 'fail' ungracefully, unlike film. Digital is like shooting slidefilm with 1-1.5 stops of headroom.

 

When I got my D700 I shot it with a handheld meter like my film bodies and it simply didn't work. While the D700 sensor is very, very good, it simply did not have the DR to cope with exposure fluctuations or high contrast situations, unless the exposure was constantly adjusted. Needless to say that's not really an option for most street photography.

 

So, I switched to matrix metering and riding the exposure compensation dial. Works like a charm. The 1005 point RGB matrix meter in the D700 is stunningly good and is very rarely fooled by more than a stop. I was truly amazed by how good it was and I have to add that initially I was extremely skeptical, being a diehard proponent of hand metering.

 

So, yes I believe that a sophisticated matrix meter in a future M9 body is a must, especially for professional use.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

So, I switched to matrix metering and riding the exposure compensation dial. Works like a charm. .

 

I do not understand how this shall work. If you change to matrix metering you actually lose your reference point to a range of about plus/minus one stop. As you do not know why and how the exposure has been chosen by the camera you do not know how much to compensate the exposure. Nevertheless, I agree that pure matrix metering can give good results.

 

Regards

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest volkerm
As you do not know why and how the exposure has been chosen by the camera you do not know how much to compensate the exposure.

 

Steve, the matrix metering in the D700 does a great job in detecting significant hightlights in the image, and dial in the right amount of exposure correction to avoid blown highlights. This is what we have done in the past with spot metering for slides. It sounds like black magic, but it really works well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...