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Guest malland

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

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... 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.......

 

Jamie - Yep, I tried a related line earlier in the thread but it seemed to fall on deaf eyes. I recall another thread where I reluctantly [but ever so gratefully] learnt from you the efficiency of highlight metering with the M8 for optimum histograms [a reminder, my metering is set to +1 2/3 stops]. It seems self evident to me now that if we don't want blown highlights then we are in effect metering with those highlights in mind no matter what we point the camera at; so why not set the metering compensation appropriately and aim the camera at the brightest subject to get our reading? OK, we are forcing a mid-grey-centric metering system to work as highlight-centric, but there's no way I'm going back to metering off mid-greys with the M8.

 

On the other hand; if we don't mind blown highlights - just about any technique will do to get good midtone exposure.

 

Jamie, I thanked you before in another thread for sharing the highlight metering tip, if you didn't see it then, you probably have now. But I suspect that you and I alone are convinced about highlight metering.

 

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

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Guest volkerm
so why not set the metering compensation appropriately and aim the camera at the brightest subject to get our reading?

 

That works fine with spot metering. With the center weighted M8, you would need a really large highlight area.

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I can't believe what I read here .....

 

M8 metering might be perfectly adequate in some situations but definitely not in all situations. I meter form a Spot-f whenever I shot with the m8, this goes well, I would welcome matrix metering. Even my LX-3 gets it's metering more secure than my M8, and all this sh*t about going back to "whenever" times, and don't need flickering lights blablabla... fine with me but matrix metering would improve my M8 snapshot mode for me anyway.

 

Btw. where is Jaap, I miss his additions in the last couple of postings .....

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Guest malland
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

Peter, I'll try to review the RAW files without post-processing later today and post something here, as, so far, I have been concentrating on the final results only without reflection on the differences in the lenses. Sean should be able to speak more cogently to this.

 

—Mitch/Turks & Caicos

Bangkok Noir©: Book Project - a set on Flickr

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Guest malland
...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...
I would also like better 1250, and more importantly, 2500 ISO performance, but I don't mind if there is grain-like noise at these speed. In fact, I don't have that much problem with 1250, but would like 2500 to be somewhat better, particularly be eliminating the streaking.

 

The other thing that I would add to my list of desiderata for the M8 or M9 is a sensor cleaning facility like in the D300. Since I came down to Turks & Caicos and started shooting some landscapes, I see that I have four small dust spots on the sensor, that I can easily spot out in the pictures. I've ordered an Arctic Butterfly and shall clean the sensor when I get back to the States next week.

 

—Mitch/Turks & Caicos

Bangkok Noir©: Book Project - a set on Flickr

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{snipped}

Jamie, I thanked you before in another thread for sharing the highlight metering tip, if you didn't see it then, you probably have now. But I suspect that you and I alone are convinced about highlight metering.

 

Hey Chris--you're very welcome; I'm happy to help.

 

Again, I trust this simple metering technique much more completely than any matrix meter I've ever seen, even in rapidly changing light (gotta admit in vastly changing light, auto ISO helps me the most, even though I shoot in manual mode all the time. That's not curmedgeonly-ness on my part, I just hate missing shots and the auto-meters get common interesting light situations wrong almost every time).

 

It's also worth mentioning that at ISO 160-640 the M8 has a lot of latitude--12 stops or so when shooting RAW. So if you nail the highlights where you need them, you can always pull the shadows up in post.

 

BTW--I think this is good practice for any digital camera, but on the M8 (and DMR) it works particularly well.

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Oh yeah - cleaning.. Leica, make it simple and license Olympus cleaning system.... I change lenses on the E3 all the time and never ever have seen a dust speck.... ever... and that is using it in California desert and on studio sets... truely dusty and dirty places... the M8 on the other hand seems to be a magnet for dust... guess the good news is that I have learned a new skill cleaning...

 

.

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Chris C and Jamie, glad to see I'm not alone in using whites for metering, I think it's called "using 100% of your grey matter".

 

There are lots of mod cons that could be added to the M8, but at the end of the day, regardless of all the enhancements either one relies on the automation to get acceptable results or one uses their photography skills to get the result they want. My skills or lack there of, is what makes photography such an enjoyable and challenging pastime.

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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.

 

I would love to see this new footage. I fully believe your observations, I am just interested to see him at work.

 

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.

 

This still does not say anything about him being in A/S/P or M mode. A number of reporters I talked to claim to always use M, using matrix and chimp for their initial reading. Anyway, when using chimping to check the light metering, it does not matter so much if the initial reading is matrix or center.

 

Anyway, in tricky light situations like this:

 

Fons : photos : Erice, November 2008.- powered by SmugMug

 

manual is the only mode to give me consistent results.

 

Cheers, Fons.

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Guest malland
...gotta admit in vastly changing light, auto ISO helps me the most, even though I shoot in manual mode all the time...
Jamie, is there any difference in how Auto-ISO works in manual mode and aperture priority mode?

 

—Mitch/Turks & Caicos

Bangkok Noir©: Book Project - a set on Flickr

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I would love to see this new footage. I fully believe your observations, I am just interested to see him at work.

 

Let me see if I can find the clip. It was a few months ago and I can't remember if it was on YouTube or somewhere else.

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Guest malland
... glad to see I'm not alone in using whites for metering, I think it's called "using 100% of your grey matter"...
Eoin, do you use highlight metering the same way as ChrisC does? — That is, using an EV of +1-2/3rds?

 

—Mitch/Turks & Caicos

Bangkok Noir©: Book Project - a set on Flickr

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Mitch, it depends on the situation and surroundings, in difficult surroundings with highlights and shadows I tend to meter off the highlights and add 1 1/2 to 2 stops, the camera would then be left on manual and I'd check the histogram. For colour work I try keep to ISO 320 or lower so I don't have too much noise in the shadows if I need to bring them up in post. Unlike most other digital cameras the M8 has IMO the least recoverable highlight detail but this is balanced by loads of recoverable shadow detail providing the ISO is reasonable.

 

In auto, I use the metering almost like a spot meter, exposure lock and then recompose. The sensitivity of the meter is highly sensitive to the middle 3rd of the frame and really very heavy center weighted in the middle of that middle 3rd. Do you understand what I mean. I think there is a diagram in the manual showing the pattern and even then I'd suggest the diagram is very generous in showing the proportion of the sensitivity area.

I tend to look for 18% grey, paving slabs, cement, grass, what ever is around and meter from that and exposure lock.

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Guest malland
...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...
Peter:

 

I've now looked at my unprocessed files and I think that the darker, more impressionistic aspect that you're seeing in my pictures with the CV15 stems mainly from my post-processing, which involves fairly large general increases in contrast and burning and dodging. My feeling is that the Zeiss 18mm has somewhat higher contrast than the CV15mm. On the other hand, the CV15mm has somewhat more vignetting, which I would expect from a wider-angle lens. (I'm currently shooting both uncoded).

 

—Mitch/Turks & Caicos

Bangkok Noir©: Book Project - a set on Flickr

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Peter:

 

My feeling is that the Zeiss 18mm has somewhat higher contrast than the CV15mm. On the other hand, the CV15mm has somewhat more vignetting, which I would expect from a wider-angle lens. (I'm currently shooting both uncoded).

 

—Mitch/Turks & Caicos

Bangkok Noir©: Book Project - a set on Flickr

 

Yes, both of those comments are correct.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

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I would also like better 1250, and more importantly, 2500 ISO performance, but I don't mind if there is grain-like noise at these speed. In fact, I don't have that much problem with 1250, but would like 2500 to be somewhat better, particularly be eliminating the streaking.

 

dfine from nik has a horz/vertical banding noise reduction that works on this kind of noise. I have tried it on M8 ISO 2500 files and it does the trick.

 

make the grain very evenly grainy, which is the problem with 2500, the blotchiness.

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Mitch,

 

Nice review of your experiences with the new M8.2. I use a 21 Elmarit M Asph with my M8 and I find no problem getting level photos using the frame lines as a guide. This may not work with wider lenses, but it seems to be fine with the 21. I also use the full viewfinder for framing the 21 which seems very close to what is recorded. As for the meter, I have had the same experience as you, which is different from all my other center weighted camera meters. My guess is this is because the meter patch/strip on the shutter curtains is not the ideal shape and seems to favor the top of the frame. I also have found that when metering manually this effect is less and closer to what you would expect, but still not right. But you learn what to expect and make the compensation required. As for street shooting, it is just fine, and no different from other M cameras. Enjoy the new M.

 

Gene

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Guest malland
Mitch,

 

Nice review of your experiences with the new M8.2. I use a 21 Elmarit M Asph with my M8 and I find no problem getting level photos using the frame lines as a guide. This may not work with wider lenses, but it seems to be fine with the 21. I also use the full viewfinder for framing the 21 which seems very close to what is recorded...

Gene:

 

I think that's right, using the Summicron-28 and the frame lines for it in the M8 viewfinder I don't have much of a leveling problem either.

 

A couple of weeks ago in Paris I used a friend's 21mm lens but found that the full M8 viewfinder was not accurate enough for my taste, as I consider establishing the edges of the picture to be one of the most important elements of the composition, even in the "loose" style that I like for street photography — and therefore I much prefer using a 28mm external viewfinder for this purpose. Sean has written extensively on the issue on the compositional the edges of a photograph, as has his friend Ben Lifson — and there are some discussions on this in several threads in the LUF, although I don't have the URLs.

 

 

As for the meter, I have had the same experience as you, which is different from all my other center weighted camera meters. My guess is this is because the meter patch/strip on the shutter curtains is not the ideal shape and seems to favor the top of the frame. I also have found that when metering manually this effect is less and closer to what you would expect, but still not right. But you learn what to expect and make the compensation required. As for street shooting, it is just fine, and no different from other M cameras
No doubt that one can adjust to this, and I'll be trying street photography using manual metering as I had done some years ago with the M6; but the reason I raised this issue was that, while it's obvious that I have to adapt my shooting to the nature of this camera, I didn't want to go back to the way I shot street photography with the M6 because, as I've said several times above, using small sensor cameras like the GRD2 facilitated loosening up my style, which greatly improved it for this type of photography. I should also say that one of the reasons that I got the M8 was that I wanted to start using a camera that would encourage me to do some more photography that went in another direction, using a more deliberate approach, for I felt I had come to the end of "walkby shootings"; so there are two different approaches that I want to use with my M8.

 

—Mitch/Turks & Caicos

Flickr: Mitch Alland's Photostream

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Guest malland
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...
Cute, Fons; but putting in a wink is sort of inane and doesn't make your comment sound any less snide. The point underlying what Cam wrote was not really that there is nothing to learn — there always is and that is what this thread is all about with regard to the M8 — but that the discussion was about the issues of using the M8 for the type of street photography that I do — some of which you can see in the URL below my signature, if you watch the slide show — and that I was trying NOT to go back to the way I had shot street photography with the M6, for the reasons I explained in several posts above. In this context, your linking of the Meyerowitz video, in which he's shooting with an M6, was somewhat irrelevant and came across, at least to me, like you had just discovered sliced bread.

 

—Mitch/Turks & Caicos

Bangkok Noir©: Book Project - a set on Flickr

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