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Why can't M9 "User Select" IV/IR filtered?


Englander

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Maybe it has been asked before since it is an obvious question, but I didn't catch it: Why can't M9 "User Select" IV/IR filtered?

 

I know there is "acceptible" filtering at the sensor, but if we could choose IV/IR in the lens selection menu and the compensation for color and vignetting were applied similarly to that of the M8 in addition to what is now done in the M9, wouldn't the wide lenses be corrected for any additional cyan drift caused by using the filter? If so, this would allow using the M8 in addition to the M9 with true interchangeability of lenses, without having to designate specific lenses for specific bodies.

 

Joe

Joe Englander Photography

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The problem, of course, is using an M8 as your back-up, and having to carry different-sized filters with you to put on, and take off, the lenses. It has occurred to me that a cheaper and perhaps better option for back-up users is to buy a second, much cheaper M8, since there doesn't seem to be that much difference in image quality.

 

Because that idea must have occurred to a number of people, I'd think Leica would move to make the M9 a better "lead" model in a two-camera system, by providing for the use of cut filters, if that is possible..

.

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Well, the problem is "there" if you want to use an M8 simultaneously with your M9 unless you designate specific lenses for specific bodies as Sean suggested he does. This is less awkward than having to remove filters as you change a lens from one body to the other but it is a work-around, not a solution.

 

The basic analysis and software have already been done by Leica for the the M8 and I doubt it is such a big space consumer to have it as an option in the M9. I would rather think that, in keeping with the "camera for life" attitude that was proposed for the M8, that it should be more integrated in its use with the M9 since we are only talking about software; because, for all practical purposes, a 28 configured for the M8 is NOT usable on an M9 unless it is deconfigured for the M8 by removing the filters (that we all had to buy). A simple user-selection would be much more elegant than having to post process files from the new M9 through an excellent non-Leica product like Corner-Fix (thank you ever so much, Sandy!).

 

Joe

Joe Englander Photography

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I suppose Leica would consider implementing a user-selection if they see that a lot of M8 owners--especially owners of more than one M8--whom they expect to be a large part of their M9 customer base, are reluctant to purchase a M9 because of its incompatibiity with the M8 they already own!

 

Joe

http://www.joeenglander.com

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Realistically, I think Leica expects the population of people using both formats simultaneously to be very small. As jrc says, if the M8 already works for one, why get an M9? If - IF - the M9 offers one something extra that's worth the price, why bother with an M8 afterwards?

 

Backup - OK. I can see keeping a Mate on the shelf, stored with filters - or in the bag, stored with filters. If the M9 goes kablooey, you take out the Mate, put on the filters you need, and go on shooting.

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Yes, but Andy, I think jrc is agreeing that it is awkward to use both a M9 and a M8 simultaneously but his solution is one that Leica would probably not prefer--don't buy anything from Leica, buy a used M8. But, if the camera had the user-selection, then an M8 owner might buy an M9 as a companion to the M8 and Leica would benefit by a small change in firmware.

 

Joe

Joe Englander Photography

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Well, the problem is "there" if you want to use an M8 simultaneously with your M9 unless you designate specific lenses for specific bodies as Sean suggested he does. This is less awkward than having to remove filters as you change a lens from one body to the other but it is a work-around, not a solution.

 

The basic analysis and software have already been done by Leica for the the M8 and I doubt it is such a big space consumer to have it as an option in the M9. I would rather think that, in keeping with the "camera for life" attitude that was proposed for the M8, that it should be more integrated in its use with the M9 since we are only talking about software; because, for all practical purposes, a 28 configured for the M8 is NOT usable on an M9 unless it is deconfigured for the M8 by removing the filters (that we all had to buy). A simple user-selection would be much more elegant than having to post process files from the new M9 through an excellent non-Leica product like Corner-Fix (thank you ever so much, Sandy!).

 

Joe

Joe Englander Photography

 

Hi Joe,

 

The corrections would be completely different from what is used in the M8.

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Realistically, I think Leica expects the population of people using both formats simultaneously to be very small. As jrc says, if the M8 already works for one, why get an M9? If - IF - the M9 offers one something extra that's worth the price, why bother with an M8 afterwards?

 

Backup - OK. I can see keeping a Mate on the shelf, stored with filters - or in the bag, stored with filters. If the M9 goes kablooey, you take out the Mate, put on the filters you need, and go on shooting.

 

And...people shooting both an M7 (for example) and an M9 are now in a better position.

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Of course, if Leica doesn't add it, then those who want two Leica M digitals without the hassle of swapping filters - may just buy two M9s. ;) And add to the pool of entry-level (i.e., used) M8 bodies available. Which actually Leica encourages, if you listen to Stephan Daniel on the video - that is how they want to build their entry-level market.

 

I'm personally glad to get rid of the IR filters forever. They were a necessary evil on an otherwise sweet little camera but for me that era is over. [edit: In fact, strongly considering a film M as my backup, per Sean's reasoning]

 

I guess I just don't understand actively SHOOTING with both M8 and M9 simultaneously. Backup, yes, but one over each shoulder, swapping lenses back and forth? Even with no filter question, it would drive me batty.

 

I also guess it comes down to what Sean said - if there is a large enough market segment to make a firmware rewrite worthwhile, Leica will do it. I'm not a part of that market segment, and don't expect it to be very large.

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I'm personally glad to get rid of the IR filters forever. They were a necessary evil on an otherwise sweet little camera but for me that era is over. [edit: In fact, strongly considering a film M as my backup, per Sean's reasoning]

 

I guess I just don't understand actively SHOOTING with both M8 and M9 simultaneously. Backup, yes, but one over each shoulder, swapping lenses back and forth? Even with no filter question, it would drive me batty.

 

Funny, I've consistently complained about the filters since day one but was always informed by most members of this forum that they are a total non-issue. Nowadays they are seen as a "necessary evil".

 

I agree with your point about using an M8 and an M9 simultaneously. For me, that won't work. Apart from the potential hassle of changing filters, I would find it less than ideal to be dealing after a shoot with images from two different cameras (different resolutions and different colour response). It's one of the main reasons why I'm ambivalent about the M9 at the moment (I can't afford two M9 bodies straightaway). Incidentally, I already have a decent M film body but I'm not sure a film body is a suitable backup for me (and it doesn't address the issue of not being able to work with two bodies simultaneously).

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If you want to use a M8 and a M9 in parallel (combining 1/8000 and 180mm effective max. focal length with better high ISO, slower, more expensive, no silver/chrome and bigger files) then the M9 should have UV/IR selection mode obviously. Surely this is not an unlikely situation?? Use the M8 for backup etc. and why sell it at a loss if it still works just fine?

 

The filters are stuck firmly to my lenses and I have no intention of removing them (even if I had the M9 which I don't).

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The cyan drift will indeed be there if one uses external filters on the M9 (with lenses wider than 75 mm is my current estimate). So the real question is how many people plan to use those filters with this camera. Most probably won't - my guess.

 

My point was that you don't have to use these filters on the M9, so there there is no need for Leica to make firmware corrections for IR filters as part of a problem fix.

 

If Leica was to make this firmware, it would be to make life more convenient for people using both cameras, as oposed to the M8, where they had to make it. Hope my point is clearer this time :)

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My point was that you don't have to use these filters on the M9, so there there is no need for Leica to make firmware corrections for IR filters as part of a problem fix.

 

If Leica was to make this firmware, it would be to make life more convenient for people using both cameras, as oposed to the M8, where they had to make it. Hope my point is clearer this time :)

 

Your first point is much like the one I made above so we're in agreement there.

 

2nd Point: True in theory but we should wait and see how many people really end up doing that. It is not a small task for Leica to add that functionality and it could further slow the camera. I'm thinking Cornerfix might be the ready solution for people who want to do this.

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Sean and everybody-

It seems odd to have to use Cornerfix on a NEW camera to accommodate deficiencies of the older one but I guess that might be the way things are. I accept your explanation that it would mean new and difficult programming even though it doesn't make sense to me; after all, if you know the rate of fall-off of illumination for 2/3 of the frame, it would not seem all that difficult to calculate the remainder: same sensor, same lenses, same filter, just a bigger area, and the filter on the lens dominates the one in the camera, but I am not a software engineer. And Sandy was very quick to come up with his upgrade of Cornerfix all by himself without an engineering department. How it would slow down a camera that already does the same kind of calculations for unfiltered lenses, I don't get either: you either choose IV/IR or Automatic or Manual, not all three--but maybe it would. Again, formating the same cards used in the M8 seems to slow down the M9 according your tests, and "who wadda thunk it?" Deeper formating sounds specious to me. A card is formated or it isn't, it doesn't require security overwriting.

 

I suppose what is hardest for me to accept as an M8 owner is that the M8 is sort of like the M5, an "illegitimate" yet entirely functional camera. When Leica extolls the lineage of the M9, it goes M3-M4-M6-MP and that poor but great M5 err is glossed-over and put behind us just like the IR-error. The M8 was incompatible with film cameras because of the nasty IR filters and it is incompatible with digital cameras because of the nasty IR filters. A sour grape for me to accept.

 

Joe

Joe Englander Photography

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Sean and everybody-

It seems odd to have to use Cornerfix on a NEW camera to accommodate deficiencies of the older one but I guess that might be the way things are. I accept your explanation that it would mean new and difficult programming even though it doesn't make sense to me; after all, if you know the rate of fall-off of illumination for 2/3 of the frame, it would not seem all that difficult to calculate the remainder: same sensor, same lenses, same filter, just a bigger area, and the filter on the lens dominates the one in the camera, but I am not a software engineer. And Sandy was very quick to come up with his upgrade of Cornerfix all by himself without an engineering department. How it would slow down a camera that already does the same kind of calculations for unfiltered lenses, I don't get either: you either choose IV/IR or Automatic or Manual, not all three--but maybe it would. Again, formating the same cards used in the M8 seems to slow down the M9 according your tests, and "who wadda thunk it?" Deeper formating sounds specious to me. A card is formated or it isn't, it doesn't require security overwriting.

 

I suppose what is hardest for me to accept as an M8 owner is that the M8 is sort of like the M5, an "illegitimate" yet entirely functional camera. When Leica extolls the lineage of the M9, it goes M3-M4-M6-MP and that poor but great M5 err is glossed-over and put behind us just like the IR-error. The M8 was incompatible with film cameras because of the nasty IR filters and it is incompatible with digital cameras because of the nasty IR filters. A sour grape for me to accept.

 

Joe

Joe Englander Photography

 

 

Cornerfix would only be needed if one was to use external IR filters on the M9. Most won't bother I suspect. The simple way to use the M9 is to forget the filters.

 

The M8 cyan drift corrections cover both the lens filter and the M8's own internal filter. The M9 uses a different filter. The calculations would need to be done from scratch.

 

Sandy's program allows the photographer to makes his or her own profiles. It doesn't include profiles for the lenses.

 

Do you have a reason you'd need to use IR-cut filters on the M9?

 

Cheers,

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There's also another issue that hasn't been mentioned as regards using an IR filter on an M9, which is that on the deeper vignetting lenses, the corner loss is going to be a lot higher than anything we've seen on the M8. We don't have enough test images to know for sure yet, but 3-4 stops is possible. And the M9 appears to vignette heavily in far corners at the best of times. That has two implications:

 

1. At those levels of attenuation, in my opinion anyway, its going to be quite difficult for Leica to craft a firmware based correction that will work well given manufacturing variations in cameras, filters and lenses. CornerFix has an easier job in that regard because it just has to generate a profile for your particular lens, filter and camera. So I would think that Leica will be less than enthusiastic about building external IR filter correction capability into the M9 even from a technical perspective, let alone considerations of additional complexity, etc.

 

2. Likewise, at those levels of corner attenuation, noise performance in the corners will become a consideration, especially at high ISO. The unfortunate irony here is that its under tungsten lights that you might need an external filter, but its also under tungsten lights that you need high ISO. So its potentially a bit of a double hit.

 

Hopefully we'll get test images coming in over the next few weeks that will give us a better feel for how this plays out in practice.

 

Sandy

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