Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Guest malland

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

Recommended Posts

Advertisement (gone after registration)

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).

 

Have you shot with something like a D700/D3/D3x lately? I admit that the matrix metering in the R8/R9, EOS 1-V, 5D and other older cameras wasn't as accurate as it should have been (yes, I own/owned those cameras) and quite frankly the results were somewhat unpredictable.

 

But the current incarnation of Nikon's meter is truly astonishing and there is no way on earth a human can manually adjust a camera as fast as this system. Being someone who meters manually 95% of the time, when shooting analog, I was extremely skeptical when I got my D700, but I'm sold.

 

What you are describing is how people have shot slide film for decades. Meter for the highlights, because the capture media has limited DR compared to negative. Digital is in the same boat.

 

I agree that your approach works very well in constant light, but there is no way you can make all of the adjustments you describe in a fast moving situation.

 

As an example if you're shooting in a press pack, the president isn't going to stop and wait while you meter for the highligths and dial in your EV compensation. Not going to happen and you will miss the shot. In that case you need a sophisticated metering system that will get it right within a stop, 95% of the time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Where would this matrix metering sensor live in a revised M body, and how would focussed light get to it?

 

I appologise if this has already been answered, but it seems to be a fundamental question to my mind. If you can't get the light to the sensor, them wishing for one is just so much hot air.

 

If the dynamic range of a shot is greater than the sensor/film, what should the matrix metering throw away, highlights or shadow detail?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest volkerm
If the dynamic range of a shot is greater than the sensor/film, what should the matrix metering throw away, highlights or shadow detail?

 

For slides and digital, expose for the lights.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest stnami
As an example if you're shooting in a press pack, the president isn't going to stop and wait while you meter for the highligths and dial in your EV compensation. Not going to happen and you will miss the shot. In that case you need a sophisticated metering system that will get it right within a stop, 95% of the time.

 

The requirements are no different to shooting out in the streets where no one waits. Most here don't really mix it out there ,,,,,,,why fumble whan you can shoot and get on with it

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
For slides and digital, expose for the lights.

 

And if you were interested in the shadows detail? In high contrast situations isn't matrix metering just as much of a compromise (albeit a different one) to the 'fat spot' in the existing Ms?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Could a system as used in the OM2 be used, where sensors in the shutter box read the light from either the patterned shutter, or the film itself?

 

Having said that, the current system seems to work very well for most people (and had done since M6 days). Having a wish list as long as your arm of things that you would like to change on a camera, begs the question in my mind as to whether the camera is right for you in the first place.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Advertisement (gone after registration)

Where would this matrix metering sensor live in a revised M body, and how would focussed light get to it?

 

I appologise if this has already been answered, but it seems to be a fundamental question to my mind. If you can't get the light to the sensor, them wishing for one is just so much hot air.

 

That's the tricky part. Nikon uses a small prism to read off the mirror.

I'm guessing Leica could integrate it in to the RF unit. Take a reading off one of the mirrors or prism blocks. That way the meter in looking at what the photographer is looking at.

 

The other option is a 'lolippop' in front of the shutter, like the M5 and CLE used. But that solution has it's own drawbacks.

 

Not an easy problem to solve, but not impossible.

 

If the dynamic range of a shot is greater than the sensor/film, what should the matrix metering throw away, highlights or shadow detail?

 

You would bias the reference library to expose for the highlights. The matrix meter is taking many, many metering samples (in Nikon's case 1005) and comparing that data to a library of tens of thousands of proper exposure examples it has stored in memory. It them picks the closest match. I beleive one reason why Nikon's system is so accurate is because it 'sees' color, not just luminance. So, it has a better understanding if the camera is pointed at green grass, blue sky etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest malland
...Having a wish list as long as your arm of things that you would like to change on a camera, begs the question in my mind as to whether the camera is right for you in the first place.
Not really, Andy, it's not necessary to throw the baby out with the bathwater: these are things that some of us consider desirable, in my case, if I would want to use the M8 as my only camera; but they are not essential to liking it . Most of these could be incorporated in the future digital-M version in terms of technology, but it's a question of economics and whether Leica can have the R & D funds necessary.

 

—Mitch/Turks & Caicos

Flickr: Mitch Alland's Photostream

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
And if you were interested in the shadows detail? In high contrast situations isn't matrix metering just as much of a compromise (albeit a different one) to the 'fat spot' in the existing Ms?

 

It's a lot easier to extract shadow detail from digital, due to the lack of noise.

Blow highlights are pretty ugly and as we all know will appear as a flat, constant color.

If in the same shot your shadows lose some detail it's not such a big deal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Having said that, the current system seems to work very well for most people (and had done since M6 days). Having a wish list as long as your arm of things that you would like to change on a camera, begs the question in my mind as to whether the camera is right for you in the first place.

 

I think we need to make a destinction between shooting film and digital with the M metering system.

 

With negative film the M meter was more than adequate. Negative film is very forgiving to exposure errors and with a minimal understanding of how to use the meter it is fairly straight forward to get good results.

 

Shooting slidefilm in the M is trickier, because you need more accurate readings. The fat averaging spot of the M series is not ideal for slide film, but with experience it works. Notice how almost no one shoots slide film in uncontrolled situations.

 

In many ways the M8 reacts like slidefilm, but with a solid 1-1.5 stops of headroom. But it is not as forgiving as negative film, which has greater DR and a gentle roll off in the highligths. So, you need a more accurate metering system or more time to meter more carefully. In essence the metering system that was carried over from the film days is no longer up to the task.

 

I'm not asking to add a laundry list of features. I asking for an existing feature to be upgraded and adapted to the demands of the new capture media.

 

I really do not understand the resistance to introducing a more accurate metering system, that is more appropriately geared to a digital system. If Leica made this change it would be transparent in use to the user, except you would get more accurate exposures. Are people seriously demanding that we use an inapproriate or inferior technology for sentimental or stuborn reasons? Are we really going to complain that the metering system is too good and demand the old one back? To people really like poor exposures?

 

Were people this up in arms, when we switched from selenium cells to modern metering cells?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All the sniping in this thread aside, I can see where Mitch is coming from with these suggestions. The M Leica design is iconic, but that should not mean that it is an ossified sacred cow. Prior to the M8 digital was denied, prior to the M7 autoexposure was denied, and so on.

 

I am disenfranchised by the M8 for well-publicised reasons, but that does not mean that I don't believe in and want to see a well thought out and well sorted M-mount digital camera. Why should it not have "modern" features and functions? All such things are welcome, AS LONG AS THEY DO NOT GET IN THE WAY.

 

By that I mean they should either be "transparent" to the user or able to be disabled. I happily use an M7 and an M2 side by side; when using the M2 I use Sunny-16 90% of the time. When using the M7 I don't remember the last time I took it off auto - horses for courses.

 

The camera is a tool; some tools work better than others. Some feel better in the hand, or inspire more confidence than others. The one thing I would not like to see is an M-mount Leica digital that takes choice away from the photographer - if I wanted that I would buy one of those Canon things.

 

Regards,

 

Bill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest malland
A...The one thing I would not like to see is an M-mount Leica digital that takes choice away from the photographer - if I wanted that I would buy one of those Canon things...
Bill, that is important and I agree entirely. On the metering, my street photography is an "extreme" rather than an "average" situation, which makes improved metering particularly desirable because of the speed necessary. For average situations I have no issue; but improvement is still desirable, particularly since it's possible.

 

—Mitch/Turks & Caicos

Bangkok Noir©: Book Project - a set on Flickr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest stnami

Those so called those Canon and Nikon things give lots of choices and damn good ones ............one just has to learn how to use them:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Those so called those Canon and Nikon things give lots of choices and damn good ones ............one just has to learn how to use them:)

 

 

Regards,

 

Bill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
{snipped}As an example if you're shooting in a press pack, the president isn't going to stop and wait while you meter for the highligths and dial in your EV compensation. Not going to happen and you will miss the shot. In that case you need a sophisticated metering system that will get it right within a stop, 95% of the time.

 

Except light doesn't actually change that much from an incident perspective under most--if not all-circumstances.

 

And yes--I own a D3, since you ask, and love it. LOL! And yes, it's matrix metering is better than the 5d or 1ds2. But I did my tests, and once I saw the matrix was going to mess me up (particularly with backlight and high-key subjects, which I like to shoot and get right in the camera) I immediately set it to "SPOT" and also shoot manually with it too.

 

FWIW, the D3 has even more dynamic range to recover place shadows and midtones too.

 

So it's really not quite the same as slide film... with digital you don't need to constantly meter for highlights and yes--you can chimp from time to time. I typically chimp once and then forget the meter till I see the light changing. When you meter, I'm not talking about the careful way you'd normally use a spot either. You simply pick something that is providing a reference (a constant) and meter that--once. Like my hand, for example--I know what it provides in terms of a reference. I meter it--and I'm done. Or a bride's dress--or a president's suit (ok, I haven't ever done political press corps stuff, but the principle is exactly the same).

 

If the light changes from there, I've never been in a spot where I can't adjust quickly enough *except* going from extreme gloom to extreme brightness (in and out of candlelit buildings into direct sun).

 

In that case, I trust auto ISO to keep my selected meter settings intact, which is does rather well, and much better than the addition of a matrix meter, to tell the truth.

 

Having said that, even when I use flash I'm constantly assessing ambient light. But I've never missed a shot because I choose to use the meter differently than on matrix (which is not the same as saying I've never messed up, which I have

)

 

YMMV.

 

Oh--and for the record--all I'm saying is I don't care if Leica adds a matrix meter option or not; as long as I can turn it off

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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

]

 

Mitch, I've looked a while back at your nice steertshots and I know you know what you are talking about, but the discussion was going in such a way that I tought that referencing this clip would be nice for the people who had not seen it yet. Two mistakes in one posting. I forgot that the person who starts a thread owns it and the secomd one that everbody had already seen this stale clip. I was clearly made aware of these mistakes by Cam's response that you did not need the clip but streets (made without wink or smiley) and by your own condencending remarks.

 

Ok, now lets get back to what this thread is really about, observations about our recently acquired M8"s. While I am fully in favour of having matrix metering as option, although I've not yet felt the need for it, the way I work. But what really has bitten me is the time it takes for the cemera, while power is on, to wake up. This delay has already cost me a number of shots and is something I've not experienced in a whle with my Nikons.

Of course the D3 has also raised high iso expectations. Having a D3 sensor and electronics in an Mx would be ideal.

Happy shooting.

 

Fons.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest malland
...I forgot that the person who starts a thread owns it...
No, I don't think that is, or should be, the case: once you launch one of these boats anyone can pick up an oar and row and steer it.

 

—Mitch/Turks & Caicos

Flickr: Mitch Alland's Photostream

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest malland
...I would be taking some pretty spot on images at dawn, midday and dusk of ordinary run of the mill subjects with a variety of compositional elements with the frame set that no post processing will be done. Trying to nail the light and get as much as possible out of the dynamic range of the sensors capabilities.

I did that with a few students with M8s they started getting great results but the lure of top end Canons and Nikons was too much. They also ran out of patience and refused to acknowlede that film had any credability. I think that these days they take pictures of textured surfaces and shapes with their big black bricks, but they are having fun so that's sweet.

PP work can come later when you know where you stand with the camera, then this is only advice and may be disregarded, Enjoy the camera and that's all it is a camera

I agree that what is most important is the photographs that one makes, and I think that Imants' advice above is useful and an effective way to learn to shoot with the M8. Following his advice, for the last two days I've been shooting and converting to B&W without any post-processing and, having also started using manual metering, But the pictures I've been posting to my flickr site are still post-processed.

 

One of the issues that I'm thinking about is the degree to which a particular camera affects ones style. The M8 is capable, at lower ISOs, of a medium-format film look but my own style is more of what I would call the "35mm aesthetic", with higher contrast, rougher tonal gradation and graininess. In another (new) dpreview thread I have posted four pictures, the first in the "M8 exquisite style" and the other three in my style, and if you want to look at that thread you can see what I'm talking about. So, these days I'm fighting the style towards the M8 is somewhat pushing me.

 

I would have preferred to post the above pictures in this thread, and still feel that LUF should change the policy of discouraging pictures in the M8 Forum; but if you have thoughts on this issue please don't post them here, as there is another thread on this subject.

 

—Mitch/Turks & Caicos

Bangkok Noir©: Book Project - a set on Flickr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The M8 is capable, at lower ISOs, of a medium-format film look but my own style is more of what I would call the "35mm aesthetic", with higher contrast, rougher tonal gradation and graininess.

The ultra-grainy, gritty look you're calling the "35mm aesthetic" is roughly comparable to the look of ISO 3200 film in 35mm. ISO 3200 is the extreme for film and certainly a part of the 35mm aesthetic, but 35mm films generally aren't that grainy. I feel that the more common and far less grainy look of lower speed films (ISO 64-800) better exemplifies the 35mm aesthetic (Kodachrome, Plus-X, Tri-X, Fuji NPZ, etc.).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest malland
The ultra-grainy, gritty look you're calling the "35mm aesthetic" is roughly comparable to the look of ISO 3200 film in 35mm. ISO 3200 is the extreme for film and certainly a part of the 35mm aesthetic, but 35mm films generally aren't that grainy. I feel that the more common and far less grainy look of lower speed films (ISO 64-800) better exemplifies the 35mm aesthetic (Kodachrome, Plus-X, Tri-X, Fuji NPZ, etc.).
Actually, I happened to post three pictures that look like ISO 3200 film but I'm not claiming that the 35mm aesthetic has only this look: all I'm doing is contrasting the 35mm aesthetic to that of the medium format film look or the grainless and "linear" digital look, as you can see from the pictures in the series linked below my signature.

 

—Mitch/Turks & Caicos

Bangkok Noir©: Book Project - a set on Flickr

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...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue., Read more about our Privacy Policy