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Author Topic: Leica lens conundrum  (Read 6329 times)

PeterAit

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Leica lens conundrum
« on: January 24, 2018, 10:09:47 AM »

I just got a Leica Monochrom with the 75mm f/2 Summicron. I was running some casual tests to compare the Leica’s images with B&W conversions from Sony RX10 images. I was comparing tonality and overall image “feel,” not sharpness. I just took it for granted that a $3800 prime Leica lens would be sharper than the Sony’s 24-600 zoom (which is a damn good lens, but still!). I was quite shocked to find the 2 lenses almost identical in sharpness, with if anything a slight edge to the Sony. I took the test pix at 1/1500 of a sec to avoid camera shake issues, f/4, ISO 400. See for yourself below: Leica on top, then Sony, then the full frame with the enlarged area indicated. Any ideas? Is the Sony that good? Did I get a lemon from Leica? Thanks
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Peter
"Photographic technique should always be a means to an end and never the end itself."

degrub

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Re: Leica lens conundrum
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2018, 10:21:31 AM »

My eyes were not able to find the focus point in either image.
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PeterAit

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Re: Leica lens conundrum
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2018, 10:56:59 AM »

My eyes were not able to find the focus point in either image.

I don't understand what you mean.
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Peter
"Photographic technique should always be a means to an end and never the end itself."

degrub

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Re: Leica lens conundrum
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2018, 11:22:37 AM »

My eyes were not able to see a plane of focus in the snips of the fence boards. Maybe as a result of compression ?
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Paulo Bizarro

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Re: Leica lens conundrum
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2018, 11:45:27 AM »

When I click on the top 2 images, I get pixelated views, impossible to assess.

Rob C

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Re: Leica lens conundrum
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2018, 02:28:57 PM »

Peter,

I don't know how different the processing must have been, but looking at the two thumbnails, the lower one instantly gives me a sense of greater contrast.

Perhaps you did, perhaps not, but unless tested on a really solid tripod, not much point in comparing, as shutter speed isn't always enough to iron out possible errors.

Also, you may be suffering from an understandably hyped expectation.

From my thin experience of printing Leica negs from an M3, it was partly the "tonal look" of the lens (in b/white printing) that gave the impression of something special; some deny it existed, but I am certain that I could see it, and it had little to do with crispness... There was a similar belief about Leica lenses when used with transparencies, but my work at the time never gave me that experience with Leica cameras/lenses, so can't add a worthwhile view to that...

Rob

KLaban

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Re: Leica lens conundrum
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2018, 03:12:48 PM »

I don't understand what you mean.

Have you tried opening your top two images?
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Telecaster

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Re: Leica lens conundrum
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2018, 05:05:29 PM »

I bought a Panasonic FZ50 in 2006 (IMO still the best overall "bridge" camera they've ever made, though its tiny sensor does it no favors nowadays) and soon afterward put it up against my Canon 5D and 100/2 lens. Way underrated lens IMO. Anyway, in my initial shootout the FZ50 seemingly trounced the 5D/100mm. But with more use at various focal lengths I realized I was being fooled by the Panasonic's greater depth of field compared to the Canon at similar coverages and apertures.

Put the Monochrom and 75mm to actual use for awhile in a variety of situations. Make sure the mechanics of both camera and lens are up to snuff. Same with your focusing technique. Then decide if it delivers good value.

Your first two sample crops are hosed, BTW.

-Dave-
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PeterAit

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Re: Leica lens conundrum
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2018, 09:06:09 AM »


Your first two sample crops are hosed, BTW.

-Dave-

Thanks for the replies. Maybe I am going about this wrong. Here's what I did:

1) Took the 2 photos, raw of course, zooming the Sony to the same field of view as the Leica.
2) Imported to LR.
3) Used LR to zoom to the level where I could see really fine detail. And individual pixels were visible too, as some have noted.
4) Used a screen shot program to clip out the two samples I first posted.

So, the pixels are, I believe, original camera sensor pixels and not some processing artifact. I do not see why that makes the enlarged images unsuited for comparison.
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Peter
"Photographic technique should always be a means to an end and never the end itself."

KLaban

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Re: Leica lens conundrum
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2018, 09:26:59 AM »

Thanks for the replies. Maybe I am going about this wrong. Here's what I did:

1) Took the 2 photos, raw of course, zooming the Sony to the same field of view as the Leica.
2) Imported to LR.
3) Used LR to zoom to the level where I could see really fine detail. And individual pixels were visible too, as some have noted.
4) Used a screen shot program to clip out the two samples I first posted.

So, the pixels are, I believe, original camera sensor pixels and not some processing artifact. I do not see why that makes the enlarged images unsuited for comparison.

Surely it would be better to make any comparisons at real-world levels, in other words viewing the files or cropped files at 100% in PS or LR. I don't see why you would want to complicate matters and it  would certainly be easier to come to meaningful and real-world conclusions.

But hey, each to their own.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2018, 09:58:25 AM by KLaban »
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