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Author Topic: 18MP Monochrome Leica M rangefinder announced  (Read 12833 times)

dreed

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18MP Monochrome Leica M rangefinder announced
« on: May 10, 2012, 05:01:22 PM »

This will be one interesting camera to see reviewed!

AA Filter? No.
Bayer matrix? No.
Colour filter? No.
ISO? 320 - 10000 (How strange is this?!)
Raw files? 14bit DNG (somebody got the memo!)

But what I have the most trouble understanding is why they kept such a relatively low resolution screen on the back.
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hasselbladfan

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Re: 18MP Monochrome Leica M rangefinder announced
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2012, 05:15:06 PM »

I understand the ISO starts at 160 like the M8.
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dreed

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Re: 18MP Monochrome Leica M rangefinder announced
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2012, 05:18:18 PM »

I understand the ISO starts at 160 like the M8.

It's called "Pull 160". Does that mean that it is actually 320 but that they underexpose or...?
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Ellis Vener

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Re: 18MP Monochrome Leica M rangefinder announced
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2012, 05:30:40 PM »

It means they apply negative gain.

But really what it means is that Leica has once again narrowed it's already narrow niche. I wonder when it will actually ship?
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: 18MP Monochrome Leica M rangefinder announced
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2012, 05:38:48 PM »

... why they kept such a relatively low resolution screen on the back.

To discourage chimping?

BJL

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EI 160 means overexposing one stop, adjusting output levels down
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2012, 05:48:01 PM »

It's called "Pull 160". Does that mean that it is actually 320 but that they underexpose or...?
It means that the base ISO speed (defined in terms of having a bit over three stops of headroom between mid-tone exposure and full wells) is 320, and the 160 setting overexposes by one stop and then lowers the levels to compensate. So it loses one stop of headroom between mid-tones and full wells, but handles shadows one stop better. The "pull down" of levels could be done either by halving the analog gain or by shifting the digital output.

There is no "negative gain" here because base ISO speed has nothing to do with "unity gain", a concept that is meaningless because of the conversions from charge to voltage (and then to digital levels). The analog gain is measured in units of mV per electron, with no posibility of a value of "unity", since it is not a number but has physical dimensions and so the numerical value depends on the units chosen.

To elaborate, the base ISO speed is the exposure index that causes a suitably illuminated 18% subject to give a signal in the photosites of 12.7% of saturation (full wells). See under "saturation based speed" at
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Film_speed


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BJL

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18MP Monochrome Leica M: the sensor squanders much of its potential
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2012, 06:00:10 PM »

I fear that Leica's staying with the obsolescent 18MP Kodak CCD of the M9 (while it is using a Sony CMOS sensor in the X2) is cancelling out all of the advantages of removing the CFA, and that B&W conversions from the D800 will offer as much resolution, more dynamic range, and less shadow noise, along with the wonderful flexibility of effectively experimenting with filter choice afterward. Not to mention losing the possibility of Live View manual focusing. And the $5000 price difference.

I suppose that Leica is now mostly down to catering to those who prefer its excellent lenses.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2012, 06:50:36 PM by BJL »
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hasselbladfan

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Re: 18MP Monochrome Leica M rangefinder announced
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2012, 06:04:03 PM »

So, to put it in "practical" terms.

Is there an advantage to use 160 or do you better keep it at 320?

I guess there is no difference in noise levels between both ISO then.
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michael

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Re: 18MP Monochrome Leica M rangefinder announced
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2012, 06:29:19 PM »

My review is now online.

ISO 320 is now the base ISO. ISO 160 is a pull, which means reduced dynamic range.

Michael
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BJL

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Re: 18MP Monochrome Leica M rangefinder announced
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2012, 06:35:34 PM »

Is there an advantage to use 160 or do you better keep it at 320?

I guess there is no difference in noise levels between both ISO then.
If the highlights do not go too far above the mid-tone placement (no more than about two stops) then there can be an advantage in noise levels to using EI 160 vs EI 320 both "on meter", because then the 160 option is doubling the exposure and so gathering twice as much light at each photosite and improving the signal to noise ratio. Of course you could also overexpose by one stop at 320 (that is, use EI 160 with the camera set at 320) and then lower the tone curve afterwards to get the mid-tones back where you want them, so the "push" is just a convenience.

Many other digital cameras offer a similar feature, under names like "LO".
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Eric Myrvaagnes

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KevinA

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Re: EI 160 means overexposing one stop, adjusting output levels down
« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2012, 12:58:28 AM »

It means that the base ISO speed (defined in terms of having a bit over three stops of headroom between mid-tone exposure and full wells) is 320, and the 160 setting overexposes by one stop and then lowers the levels to compensate. So it loses one stop of headroom between mid-tones and full wells, but handles shadows one stop better. The "pull down" of levels could be done either by halving the analog gain or by shifting the digital output.

There is no "negative gain" here because base ISO speed has nothing to do with "unity gain", a concept that is meaningless because of the conversions from charge to voltage (and then to digital levels). The analog gain is measured in units of mV per electron, with no posibility of a value of "unity", since it is not a number but has physical dimensions and so the numerical value depends on the units chosen.

To elaborate, the base ISO speed is the exposure index that causes a suitably illuminated 18% subject to give a signal in the photosites of 12.7% of saturation (full wells). See under "saturation based speed" at
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Film_speed




Or you could do it properly with a cheap roll of film and expose for the shadows dev for the highlights and loose nothing.
This sounds like reinventing the wheel with corners on.

Kevin.
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Petrus

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Re: 18MP Monochrome Leica M rangefinder announced
« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2012, 01:11:42 AM »

A monocromatic sensor does have better resolving power than a regular color one, but that is the only positive thing about this "new invention". What is lost is the infinite manipulation possibilities what PS, Lightroom etc give us to adjust how the colors are interpreted in the B&W image. This is a huge downside, I mean HUGE. The person buying this camera must fulfill several criteria: wealthy, likes B&W, interested in photography, does no know anything about digital photography and the B&W manipulation possibilities it affords. How many of those are there in the world?
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shadowblade

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Re: 18MP Monochrome Leica M rangefinder announced
« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2012, 01:45:26 AM »

A monocromatic sensor does have better resolving power than a regular color one, but that is the only positive thing about this "new invention". What is lost is the infinite manipulation possibilities what PS, Lightroom etc give us to adjust how the colors are interpreted in the B&W image. This is a huge downside, I mean HUGE. The person buying this camera must fulfill several criteria: wealthy, likes B&W, interested in photography, does no know anything about digital photography and the B&W manipulation possibilities it affords. How many of those are there in the world?

Not if the colour sensor is an 18MP Foveon sensor - then they'll have the same resolution, only that one has colour and the other doesn't.

This is a very, very specialised tool, though, and may not even suit most people who primarily produce monochrome output. With a regular colour sensor, you can apply colour filters in post-processing, including using different filters in different parts of the image. With a monochrome sensor, you need to use colour filters at the time of shooting (there goes your ISO and resolution advantage already), with no option to fine-tune it in post-processing.

But, just like Canon's recent 60D astrophotography camera, I don't think it's meant to be a high-volume product (even by Leica's standards). It's certainly not the replacement for the M9.
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drevil

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Re: 18MP Monochrome Leica M rangefinder announced
« Reply #14 on: May 11, 2012, 02:05:58 AM »

The person buying this camera must fulfill several criteria: wealthy, likes B&W, interested in photography, does no know anything about digital photography and the B&W manipulation possibilities it affords. How many of those are there in the world?

ever been to china?
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Petrus

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Re: 18MP Monochrome Leica M rangefinder announced
« Reply #15 on: May 11, 2012, 02:08:00 AM »

ever been to china?

Not since -85. Why do you ask?

 ;D
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: 18MP Monochrome Leica M rangefinder announced
« Reply #16 on: May 11, 2012, 02:09:35 AM »

I find this monochrome version of the M to be a good idea.

But... did I read the price of the new 50mm f2 APO right?

Cheers,
Bernard
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drevil

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Re: 18MP Monochrome Leica M rangefinder announced
« Reply #17 on: May 11, 2012, 02:48:04 AM »

Not since -85. Why do you ask?

 ;D

1,3billion people, millions so rich that they dont know what to do with the money and since german products are pretty much popular here(i live in beijing) you can count 1 + 1

i guess alot of those MMs will go to china
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opgr

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Re: 18MP Monochrome Leica M rangefinder announced
« Reply #18 on: May 11, 2012, 03:09:18 AM »

1,3billion people, millions so rich that they dont know what to do with the money and since german products are pretty much popular here(i live in beijing) you can count 1 + 1

i guess alot of those MMs will go to china

Chinese don't do monochrome…
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Fine_Art

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Re: 18MP Monochrome Leica M rangefinder announced
« Reply #19 on: May 11, 2012, 03:33:02 AM »

To discourage chimping?

To encourage squints.
;-)
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