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Site & Board Matters => About This Site => Topic started by: BernardLanguillier on April 13, 2013, 05:38:29 PM

Title: Leica M240 review
Post by: BernardLanguillier on April 13, 2013, 05:38:29 PM
Hi Mark,

Thanks for the Leica write up.

There is just one thing I was very surprised about, perhaps you can clarify the claim. You wrote that the Leica print was superior "Less noise (particularly in the shadows)".

I am just puzzled by this, since I have made countless prints from D800 of scenes much more challenging that your outdoor shots, scenes in which I did lift shadows very significantly, and I am yet to see a print where shadow noise is visible at all. I am not saying noise is invisible on screen, it can be if significant lifting is done, but I have never seen it in print.

Would you mind adding scans of the 2 prints to the article to clarify these findings?

One more thing regarding detail, you write the 2 following sentences a few paragraphs away:
- The Leica prints and the Nikon prints were tied in terms of resolution
- The Leica  outperforms the D800E by a good margin


Which is it?

Thanks.

Regards,
Bernard
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: Osprey on April 13, 2013, 05:49:00 PM
I would love to see this exercise repeated with you blinded to which image came from which camera.   As in someone else goes and takes some pictures of the same thing and hands you renamed DNGs to work on and compare.
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: MHMG on April 13, 2013, 08:59:28 PM
Oh, please don't get me started. As a Nikon D800E owner for about a year now, I've been on a demonic chase for good glass for this camera. Why?  Because the sensor in the D800/D800E is so demanding of good glass that many lenses fall short. So, when someone comes along and says a 24 MP sensor with perhaps very good glass can outperform a 36MP sensor with perhaps OK glass, I couldn't agree more. But to be glowing and effusive in a way that implies the Leica M240 bests the D800E image quality at every turn requires far more analysis than is evident in this article. Maybe it does, but don't strongly suggest it's true based on comparing two camera sensors paired up with only one lens per camera!!!

That said, the fact that the author is impressed with the new Leica M240 is a good start in a good direction.

cheers,
Mark
http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: DaveCurtis on April 13, 2013, 09:22:29 PM
I will keep out of the M 240 vs D800e debate as I own neither, however the important aspect here is Leica have done very well and without using a Sony sensor. The DXO numbers look very good as well.

The camera has moved from the extremes of rangefinder only system  to rangefinder + evf + lcd live view and focus peeking.

The system has become more versatile and appealing to me. Probably still priced slightly above my budget when you start to through in a couple of luxes and  I would still have a requirement for an AF DSLR system.

I was street shooting in Europe last year with a 5D3 and 4 Zeiss primes and was thinking to myself a Leica M 240 plus three or so Leica lenses would be the ticket! however I'm not brave enough to bring the subject up with "er indoors"  ;)



Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: thompsonkirk on April 13, 2013, 11:55:50 PM
I have no serious concern regarding either Nikon 800 or M240 resolution, but I'm concerned about another 240 issue that wasn't a focus of the review.  IMO resolution and high ISO aren't the overwhelming criteria; tonal rendering is just as important in considering lens/sensor/firmware interaction.  So if we can have another installment, please, Mark, focus on color rendition?  It's in this respect that the 240 might be a step back from the M9. 

I've been trying to decide whether or not I want a 240 in addition to my M9, and I've sought out 240 images on the Internet.  Of course one doesn't know how much they were post-processed; but my overall impression has been that the primary colors, especially R, are unpleasantly over-saturated.  A friend who received an early 240 claims he can generate a gentler palette in LR/PS, but I have yet to see this in posted images. 

Beyond this over-saturaton, however, I'm afraid some of the subtle tonal transitions of the M9 have been lost. When I changed from Canon DSLRs to M8, I felt one of my main gains was the delicate movement from one hue and one degree of saturation to another.  Moving from M8 to M9 seemed to produce another increment of gain in this respect. 

I understand that a firmware upgrade might correct the hyper-color, and that the new Adobe profile is better than the embedded one.  Nevertheless the most recent images done in LR4.4 aren't looking as good as – let alone better than – M9 to me. 

So now that the M240 is a permanent possession, perhaps color issues can be reviewed in the same depth as were resolution and noise?

Kirk

Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: dubomac on April 14, 2013, 12:12:22 AM
Hi everyone.

Let me try to respond in the hope that we can clarify a few things.  First of all, as I said many times in the article, this is not a scientific study or a rigorous technical comparison, so to all reading this forum I want to emphasize again that any debate about scientific minutiae or specific technical measurements that to my knowledge no one has performed is not a productive discussion.

Please lighten up and take this article as a short history of why I purchased the camera and why it is so good. Nothing more, nothing less. 

If someone wants to spend the next 3 years figuring out all the scientific issues, please go for it and have fun. And please, share the results with us once you are done. In the meantime, I would much rather spend my time making good images with the great machines I am lucky enough to own and by the time the scientific study is completed, I will probably be buying the next generation camera. 

Just so everyone knows, my current camera arsenal consists of 3 systems:

1. An ALPA FPS system with a bunch of Rodenstock HR lenses and a PhaseOne IQ 180 back. This system beats everything I have ever tried in terms of image quality and is fantastic in terms of versatility and usability in the field.

2. A Nikon D800E system with two bodies and a bunch of lenses. I have praised this camera very highly in all my articles.  It is one heck of a fine machine when it comes to image quality. 

3. And most recently The new Leica M with the lenses mentioned below.

Please note that these systems work for me and for my type of photography.  If I was doing something very different, I might opt for different equipment.

Regarding the comments about the D800E sensor, just because DxO rates a sensor higher than another does not mean that the camera using the higher rated sensor will deliver a better image versus a camera that uses a sensor with a lower rating. Even DxO will confirm this to you. I suggest that those of you interested in really going deep on this subject contact them in order to discuss their measurement criteria further and how they correlate (and sometimes do not correlate) with actual image quality in the field. Also, please note again that there are TWO filters in front of the Nikon sensor and none in the Leica. Intellectually and intuitively, this has to make a difference in resolution although we do not know how much.

It was because of these kinds of issues that I quoted one of the top Chief Technical Officers in the industry when he told me that the sensor is 10 % of the equation and the rest of the system is the other 90%, particularly the electronics in the camera and the algorithms to recover the image, This is even before the lens, shutters, etc. are taken into consideration. As I think I expressed very strongly in the article, one needs to evaluate THE WHOLE SYSTEM: Not just the sensor, but also the rest of the electronics in the camera, the optical path, the image recovery algorithms, the processor, the mechanical components and their tolerances, the software,, the shutter, the lenses, etc. This is a very complicated problem!

I have shot the Leica with the 16-18-21, the 24 Summilux, the 35 Summicron, the 50 Noctilux and the 90.  I have used the equivalent closest focal length prime lenses in the Nikon as well as a few zooms.  All I say in the article is true for any of the above combinations of lenses. I believe one person made a comment that a few shots with one lens were not enough.  Correct indeed.  The fact that I showed only a few shots was not to bore the readers to death and miss the important thread of the article.

Regarding Bernard's questions (Hi Bernard.  How are things in Tokyo?  Good to hear from you!  :)), I see noise in every image from every camera I use.  Noise is pervasive.  We can get used to it and even immune to it, but it is always there.  I used to think that the PhaseOne P65+ was noiseless, until I saw an IQ 180 file. Every now and then I get a bit of a wake up call like this. The D800E is very low in noise, but the Leica is lower. At all ISO settings from ISO 200 (native on the Leica) to 3200. If you look at the shadows in the screen shot in the article, you can clearly see more noise in the Nikon.  I rest my case.  I am very glad to hear you get extremely low noise in your images.  Fantastic, be happy and continue to do what you do; you are a great photographer and if it works, do not mess with it!  In terms of my two statements you ask about, they are both correct: ON THE TRIPOD I see basically the same resolution and pretty much identical dynamic range.  BUT, HANDHELD the Leica out-resolves the Nikon.  Also, notice I said throughout that the color accuracy, saturation, local contrast, accutance etc., etc., etc. meaning everything else is better with the Leica SYSTEM.  This is why I stated that the Leica wins. Visually, the Leica images simply stand out and look better. It is not super subtle either, it is quite noticeable.

Regarding how I view my prints, I always view them in a calibrated GTI viewing station, and I always shuffle the prints and have someone else place them on the viewing station.  Perhaps this does not completely qualify as a double blind test, but I think it is a good habit to get into in order to avoid biases. By the way, just this morning my good friend and photography aficionado Geoff Baehr came to the house.  I told him I bought the Leica and he rolled his eyes upwards and laughed saying "you are incorrigible".  Yes, I am, I said.  Then I told him I would show him some prints.  I put a 24x30 Nikon print (shot at ISO 100) and a 24x30 Leica print  (shot at ISO 200) of the same image I published in the article next to each other. Geoff knew nothing about the prints.  He did not even know that they came from two different cameras.

He immediately remarked that they were both very good, but then he walked towards the Nikon image and said that he could see some chromatic aberration or other similar anomaly in the fine branches and he thought the sky looked "blotchy" (his word) and magenta contaminated. He said the sky did not look real. He then walked over to the Leica print and said that they sky looked fantastic and totally realistic. He also said he could see no chromatic aberration and more detail in the trunk of the trees (Geoff thought the Leica print out-resolved the Nikon print in the bark on the tree trunks and was about equal in other areas of the image). More importantly he remarked that he could see "tons more color information" in the Leica image.  Not knowing which print was which, in fact not even knowing that the prints came from different cameras, he concluded very quickly that the Leica image was "quite a bit better".

I hope this addresses the questions and comments brought up in this discussion.

May the Photons be with all of you!

Mark Dubovoy
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: dubomac on April 14, 2013, 12:31:12 AM
Hi Kirk.

So now you want to put me to work again?

No promises, but the color of the M 240 is something I will try to look into in more detail in the future. First blush, after a couple of weeks of playing with it, the color using my my M 240 is outstanding. I have not seen the hypercolor issue you mention. I wonder if the published stuff comes from early pre-production samples or older firmware than the one shipping with the cameras at this point?

Mark
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: hjulenissen on April 14, 2013, 03:09:10 AM
If someone wants to spend the next 3 years figuring out all the scientific issues, please go for it and have fun. And please, share the results with us once you are done. In the meantime, I would much rather spend my time making good images with the great machines I am lucky enough to own and by the time the scientific study is completed, I will probably be buying the next generation camera.  
I believe that someone with the inclination and know-how can figure out important measurable characteristics in far less than 3 years.
Quote
Also, please note again that there are TWO filters in front of the Nikon sensor and none in the Leica. Intellectually and intuitively, this has to make a difference in resolution although we do not know how much.
Not sure how good our intuition is for such questions. The proof of the pudding...
Quote
It was because of these kinds of issues that I quoted one of the top Chief Technical Officers in the industry when he told me that the sensor is 10 % of the equation and the rest of the system is the other 90%, particularly the electronics in the camera and the algorithms to recover the image, This is even before the lens, shutters, etc. are taken into consideration. As I think I expressed very strongly in the article, one needs to evaluate THE WHOLE SYSTEM: Not just the sensor, but also the rest of the electronics in the camera, the optical path, the image recovery algorithms, the processor, the mechanical components and their tolerances, the software,, the shutter, the lenses, etc. This is a very complicated problem!
Did he mean that in-camera image processing was relevant when shooting raw (as most of us do)?

-h
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: ErikKaffehr on April 14, 2013, 03:50:50 AM
Hi,

Just a few observations:

I presume that we are discussing raw images. So camera firmware would play a lesser role. The data sent to the raw files would ideally be unprocessed digital signals from the sensor, tagged with CGA characteristics and color balance information. The raw processing is done in the raw processor.

A major influence on color rendition is the white balance. Which white balance was used?

Comparing resolution between different size sensors is a bit tricky. Making large prints and compare is a good way, but a very good tonal match is needed, as our perception of image quality is sensitive to both contrast and color. Including a color checker and match white and black patch can work as a great equilizer.

Doing actual pixel comparisons is tricky. My view is that downscaling is basically incorrect as it removes any resolution advantages the higher resolving systems has. Downscaling also introduces artifacts, proper downscaling needs a pre blur followed by downscale and sharpening to compensate for the pre blur.

Tim Ashley published two real world reviews of the Leica M, here:
http://tashley1.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/4/the-m-typ-240---leicas-very-grown-up-new-baby-reviewed
http://tashley1.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/4/leica-m-240-with-35mm-f1-4-fle---some-observations

Tim also owns a Nikon D800E and also owned an IQ180 and previous generation of digital Leicas. I am much surprised at some of his findings on the Sumilux, but I expect more writing to come on other lenses.

Best regards
Erik
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: BernardLanguillier on April 14, 2013, 06:36:13 AM
Regarding Bernard's questions (Hi Bernard.  How are things in Tokyo?  Good to hear from you!  :)), I see noise in every image from every camera I use.  Noise is pervasive.  We can get used to it and even immune to it, but it is always there.  I used to think that the PhaseOne P65+ was noiseless, until I saw an IQ 180 file. Every now and then I get a bit of a wake up call like this. The D800E is very low in noise, but the Leica is lower. At all ISO settings from ISO 200 (native on the Leica) to 3200. If you look at the shadows in the screen shot in the article, you can clearly see more noise in the Nikon.  I rest my case.  I am very glad to hear you get extremely low noise in your images.  Fantastic, be happy and continue to do what you do; you are a great photographer and if it works, do not mess with it!  In terms of my two statements you ask about, they are both correct: ON THE TRIPOD I see basically the same resolution and pretty much identical dynamic range.  BUT, HANDHELD the Leica out-resolves the Nikon.  Also, notice I said throughout that the color accuracy, saturation, local contrast, accutance etc., etc., etc. meaning everything else is better with the Leica SYSTEM.  This is why I stated that the Leica wins. Visually, the Leica images simply stand out and look better. It is not super subtle either, it is quite noticeable.

Hello Mark,

Thanks for the clarification. Doing good, thanks.  ;)

I hope that everything is fine with you as well.

Just one comment, I do see some noise in lifted deep shadows on screen, but not in print.

Sorry if I missed that piece of info, but what lens did you shoot the Nikon samples with?

Thanks.

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: Quentin on April 14, 2013, 07:02:33 AM
Mark's conclusions regarding noise are radically different from Tim Ashley's, whose overall conclusions in his very thorough comparison were less complimentary about the M240's noise performance, conclusions that seemed to be supported by the examples he posted.  

I believe the biggest issue with the D800/E is finding lenses that do its sensor justice, and when you have found them ( and there are a few) avoiding mirror slap induced vibration affecting sharpness.  That means high shutter speeds or tripod mounting to get the best from the Nikon.  I have seen mirror/shutter vibration on D800E shots with short focal lengths at shutter speeds at high a 1/160 sec.  I therefore aim for a shutter speed of around 1/200 sec or faster with the D800E

This is clearly an area where the rangefinder design of the Leica is going to give it an advantage in many situations, just as a camera like the Sigma DP2M also has.  

Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: ErikKaffehr on April 14, 2013, 07:44:57 AM
Hi,

Yes, I have seen Tim's articles and I noted that he draws different conclusions from Mark. I would also add that I have some confidence in Tim's testing, although I am in part puzzled by his findings about the Sumilux.

Best regards
Erik


Mark's conclusions regarding noise are radically different from Tim Ashley's, whose overall conclusions in his very thorough comparison were less complimentary about the M240's noise performance, conclusions that seemed to be supported by the examples he posted.  

I believe the biggest issue with the D800/E is finding lenses that do its sensor justice, and when you have found them ( and there are a few) avoiding mirror slap induced vibration affecting sharpness.  That means high shutter speeds or tripod mounting to get the best from the Nikon.  I have seen mirror/shutter vibration on D800E shots with short focal lengths at shutter speeds at high a 1/160 sec.  I therefore aim for a shutter speed of around 1/200 sec or faster with the D800E

This is clearly an area where the rangefinder design of the Leica is going to give it an advantage in many situations, just as a camera like the Sigma DP2M also has.  


Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: theguywitha645d on April 14, 2013, 11:26:29 AM
Well, the noise comparison given in the review clearly shows the D800 as having better resolution and sharpness. The noise is close, but given the higher pixel density, the D800 should simply pull away. Nothing can really be said of color. As the reviewer states, this is not a scientific review. Pleasing color is not accurate color. The same can be said for DR--there simply is no test here beyond what the reviewer "feels."
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: Aravind on April 15, 2013, 02:18:54 AM
I found Mark's comments on the usability to be rather interesting as well.  I have a new M and though I think IQ wise it is an improvement over the M9, in terms of usability I think it has regressed in a couple of areas.  One Mark mentioned is the M button.  The other is the ridiculously tiny, hard to press button to set EC.  Lastly, the thing that drives me crazy is something that so far only Tim Ashley has mentioned and its how Leica has broken Auto ISO when shutter speed is not set to auto.  This worked beautiful on the M9 and was great for low light work and no longer does.  Now if you set a shutter speed and ISO is set to Auto, it just picks 200. 
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: ysengrain on April 15, 2013, 03:02:27 AM
Hi everybody,

I just want to express a few "untechnical" considerations.
Looking for the best tool to make something is honourable.
This search could have no limit until reaching indecency.

Leica, as PhaseOne and so on, are very big tools with very high quality.
But buying a M240 and a valuable fitting lens exceeds indecency in my own limits.
I'm very admirative of these tools, but very cautious concerning this indecency
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: BernardLanguillier on April 15, 2013, 05:28:43 AM
Hi everybody,

I just want to express a few "untechnical" considerations.
Looking for the best tool to make something is honourable.
This search could have no limit until reaching indecency.

Leica, as PhaseOne and so on, are very big tools with very high quality.
But buying a M240 and a valuable fitting lens exceeds indecency in my own limits.
I'm very admirative of these tools, but very cautious concerning this indecency

There is enough debate out there and very diverging opinions about the respective performance of the Leica M240+lenses vs D800e+lenses to be at least sure that the Leica cannot be superior by much (if it is at all, Mark seems pretty alone in his view).

It may still be a superior tool for street photography for those who like viewfinder and the Leica for sure went from "inexplicably expensive for its level of performance" to "a good alternative if you can afford it".

I am personally more chocked by the price of the Leica 50mm APO than I am by the price of the Leica M. The Zeiss 55mm f1.4 is likely to be at the same level of performance at 40% of the cost and is still considered as insanely expensive for a 50mm lens and in absolute figures also...

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: G* on April 15, 2013, 05:31:43 AM
+1 about what theguywitha645d said about colors:

Mr Dubovoy is pleased with the colors that Lightroom4 produces from M240 files and likes them better than those that the same software produces from D800E files. Which IMO says a lot more about the Adobe-Leica cooperation than about the qualities of the Leica sensor.

I am seeing a red tint all over my D800E files when I develop them in CaptureOne 7. That is quite compareable to what the example of Mr Dubovoy is showing. NX2 on the other hand produces more pleasing (I am tempted to say "realistic") colors from my D800E files. And RPP is - again: IMO - also more accurate, at least at low ISOs.

Why this is, I cannot explain. My thinking would be that every software company should produce a really good profile for each camera before shipping their updates, so that the color accuracy should be indistinguishable between softwares. But it seems that the software companies that work in closer cooperation with certain camera producers always have an edge in color rendition.

Which is a pity, since CaptureOne surely has an edge over NX2 in terms of rendering details from D800E files …
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: JohnBrew on April 15, 2013, 07:22:16 AM
There are PLENTY of photographers producing good work with "bad and mediocre" M8's and M9's. Mark just sounds like another gearhead with a new camera. It's in their DNA to rhapsodize over the new and diss the old.
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: JFR on April 15, 2013, 07:27:54 AM
Making the M-button on top programmable is a nice idea, like on the BMW M-cars in which there is a button on the steering wheel under which you can store your favourite engine and suspension settings. The problem is that a Leica M shouldn't need a button like that. There shouldn't be enough settings on the camera that a button like that is warranted. The M should be like the S, a camera with about four settings. Just put in your aperture and maybe your shutter speed and go.
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: Roger Jupiter on April 15, 2013, 07:45:18 AM
All evaluations have a bias toward the photographers requirements .  What is his benchmark for performance ?  Good color for example ..compared to what standard ?   

My work is primarily street and travel (non professional) and my standard is the aesthetic produced by the M9 and s2 in Lr4.4 .  I also use the D800E with Leica R lenses primarily when I expect to need higher ISO .   I have a new M and was able to shoot with it briefly but returned it due to a RF that was off.  I view my work either on a NEC 27 calibrated screen or a retina MacBook Pro 15 . 

Because I am seeking a common aesthetic ..it is my practice to build camera specific profiles ,to WB to a grey card and then to develop a shoot specific preset based on "what looks right "  .   I started this process by shooting a color checker outside with the M,M9 and D800E all using a matching 50 .14 Asph on the M and the 50 1.4 R on the D800E . 

Color on the new M is different from the M9 and the D800E .  AWB on the new M creates a warm rendering probably 500K-1000K warmer than the M9 or the D800E .  Saturation on the new M is noticeably higher ..given neutralization of exposure to a grey card .  The tone curves are different..the new M has greater DR and the highlights are brighter and the lights are spread across more tones .  The M9 tends to bunch the lights into the highlights.

Color calibration of the cameras to the color checker ,adjustment to equalize exposure results in excellent consistency between the M and the M9 .  The D800E files are different but all three can work together in an essay without clashing . 

The issue for an established M8,M9,DMR,S2 shooter is that the M files color and tone mapping is dramatically different from the CCD family .  It is warmer ,more saturated and has less compression in the lighter tones .  The aesthetic is also affected by the smoother rendering of higher MPs and better noise suppression ...so there is less "bite " .  This by no means makes the new M inferior and we should expect that the color will become better neutralized as firmware and raw conversion profiles get better .   

I think users will also find that at ISO s above 1600 the D800E has a noticeable advantage over the new M . Based on files taken at ISO3200 (received as DNG s from others ) the D800E has a full EV advantage .  Keep in mind my perspective is using the photographs in collections ...so its quite possible that the images before and after may have been taken at base ISO .  When do the high ISO files start to look bad compared to base ISO ? 

A perspective thats limited by both time and rigor ...but I have worked for 6 months to build and refine a D800E and Leica R glass system to work in harmony with my M9/S2.
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: thompsonkirk on April 15, 2013, 07:03:00 PM
Thank you very much, Roger, for this info.

Kirk

PS, when you built new profiles for M9 (& other cameras), did you use the Adobe camera profiler software, or a spectrophotometer?  (I have the former, not the latter.)
K
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: hjulenissen on April 16, 2013, 03:53:37 AM
+1 about what theguywitha645d said about colors:

Mr Dubovoy is pleased with the colors that Lightroom4 produces from M240 files and likes them better than those that the same software produces from D800E files. Which IMO says a lot more about the Adobe-Leica cooperation than about the qualities of the Leica sensor.

I am seeing a red tint all over my D800E files when I develop them in CaptureOne 7. That is quite compareable to what the example of Mr Dubovoy is showing. NX2 on the other hand produces more pleasing (I am tempted to say "realistic") colors from my D800E files. And RPP is - again: IMO - also more accurate, at least at low ISOs.

Why this is, I cannot explain. My thinking would be that every software company should produce a really good profile for each camera before shipping their updates, so that the color accuracy should be indistinguishable between softwares. But it seems that the software companies that work in closer cooperation with certain camera producers always have an edge in color rendition.

Which is a pity, since CaptureOne surely has an edge over NX2 in terms of rendering details from D800E files …
I use Colorchecker passport profiles for my Canon DSLR/Adobe Lightroom. I feel that reds are now reproduced a lot more neutral than before. I stress "feel". In prior discussions it seems that Adobe has "one guy in Boston" doing all of the color profiles, often working on only one (commonly pre-production) camera from the manufacturer. While one might assume that this guy has the equipment and know-how to do a "better" profile than I will ever be able to do, if his camera deviates substantially from mine, I will have a head-start in creating profiles for my camera...

It would be interesting to see e.g. D800 vs Leica raw files developed in ACR/Lightroom using Colorchecker profiles of each. My gut-feeling is that visible color differences would be a lot smaller. There would probably still be some visible differences, especially for challenging lighting/surfaces.

-h
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: ErikKaffehr on April 16, 2013, 04:51:52 AM
Hi,

I got the impression that Adobe uses a monochromator to measure sensor data. I don't know what kind of variation there is on CGAs and I also don't know how camera profiles are used. Are adobe profiles used on top of camera profiles or instead of camera profiles.

Color rendition is subject to taste. Accurate color rendition is seldom the objective.

Best regards
Erik

I use Colorchecker passport profiles for my Canon DSLR/Adobe Lightroom. I feel that reds are now reproduced a lot more neutral than before. I stress "feel". In prior discussions it seems that Adobe has "one guy in Boston" doing all of the color profiles, often working on only one (commonly pre-production) camera from the manufacturer. While one might assume that this guy has the equipment and know-how to do a "better" profile than I will ever be able to do, if his camera deviates substantially from mine, I will have a head-start in creating profiles for my camera...

It would be interesting to see e.g. D800 vs Leica raw files developed in ACR/Lightroom using Colorchecker profiles of each. My gut-feeling is that visible color differences would be a lot smaller. There would probably still be some visible differences, especially for challenging lighting/surfaces.

-h
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: Rob C on April 16, 2013, 05:53:19 AM
Erwin Put's take on the review.

http://www.imx.nl/photo/blog-2/the-value-of-camera-reports.html (http://www.imx.nl/photo/blog-2/the-value-of-camera-reports.html)


The funniest thing! Made my morning, to be quite honest.

I've know a few millionaires in my time, cruised the Med with them etc. and realised long ago that they are not like other folks. There is a mixture of innocence with huge helpings of enthusiasm and the inability to see what others (me!) can clearly see as obvious pitfalls. That's why they are millionaires and I not: they just do the impossible and don't understand that it can't be done... isn't life perverse?

Rob C
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: HSway on April 16, 2013, 06:58:58 AM
As long as the article says nothing bad about the splendid Nikon D600's sensor and the camera I quite agree with it  ;)

It’s scientifically proved that articles written by humans are likely to get reactions written by humans. Something even feels right about it. And yes, photography reduced to a science would be pfff. Good to defend it time to time.

Hynek
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: hjulenissen on April 16, 2013, 07:55:22 AM
I got the impression that Adobe uses a monochromator to measure sensor data. I don't know what kind of variation there is on CGAs and I also don't know how camera profiles are used. Are adobe profiles used on top of camera profiles or instead of camera profiles.
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=74039.msg591968#msg591968

Adobe profiles are used instead of camera manufacturer profiles, but the list of profiles includes what appears to be approximations to the manufacturer profile:
(http://www.image-space.com/Lightroom_Tips_Tricks/Develop_Module_Tips/adobe_camera_profiles/files/presets.jpg)

Quote
Color rendition is subject to taste. Accurate color rendition is seldom the objective.
Agreed. But if the color appearance of Camera A using out-of-camera JPEG or some color profile is more appealing to me than the appearance of Camera B using out-of-camera JPEG or some color profile, then it is very relevant to me to know if (or to what degree) this difference can be removed by using a profile. Especially since the time and money I have invested in my own profiles is minimal.

Further, it seems to my untrained eyes that the (often significant) differences in color profiles/WB/tonecurve that may be seen between two different raw development paths can make it difficult to spot the more elusive differences (that may be more inherent to the camera and harder to "remove" in processing).

Note that I am not saying that "all cameras really look the same" here. I am saying that some visible differences can be removed or diminished with little effort, while other differences cannot.

I believe that for broad-band ("smooth") spectral input, the color appearance of most cameras can be brought very close to that of other cameras. Once you throw in spikey lighting, man-made objects that have very saturated colors, and cameras with nasty spectral sensitivity (Foveons, Bayer CFAs that "cheat" to get better luminance sensitivity etc), it gets harder. This may be where generating color profiles cross over from science into art, and where obtaining "similar colors" means having substantial more noise-amplification in one camera - warranting tests where all aspects of image quality is visually inspected simultaneously for scenes and settings that are deemed "relevant".

-h
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: marcmccalmont on April 17, 2013, 07:43:24 AM
I would like to compare images with the aperture optimized for the pixel pitch of each sensor not just f8.0 which limits the D800's resolution.
I have several Leica R's with Leica to Nikon Leitax mounts fitted, it would be interesting to shoot the same scene with the same lens at optimized apertures!
Seems that Leica engineers can extract a lot out of a sensor, there implementation is certainly world class.
Marc
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: mouse on April 17, 2013, 03:30:53 PM
In the section entitled "How about high ISO?"

Is it possible that the side by side images from Photoshop are mislabeled?

It states that the left image is from the Leica, and the right from Nikon.  However the file names (upper left corner) show that the left image is a .NEF (Nikon) and the right image is a .DNG (Leica)?

As for the conclusions drawn from a comparison of these images, I leave that to others with sharper eyes.
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: PierreVandevenne on April 17, 2013, 05:31:02 PM
I've know a few millionaires in my time, cruised the Med with them etc. and realised long ago that they are not like other folks. There

Millionaire is really nothing these days. Won't go into details about my life and my social circles, but I can tell you that there's the same variety among them than there is among photographers, teachers, doctors, etc... Most of them happened to be at the right place at the right time (a reasonably frequent occurence) , recognized it (slightly less frequent) and avoided big mistakes (again a subset of the previous set). That's all it takes. When, later in life, they are free of monetary worries, they often adopt strange hobbies such as driving a Morgan, trying to create a new kind of rose, hunting trophy wives and mistresses (OK, not that strange ;-)), etc... Most of them do it for their aura. They want the world around them to think that they are slightly different from the commoner and that this is that difference that explains their success rather than dumb luck and decent work.

It really gets funny when they start to believe the fairy tale themselves, or when they show off their new Lambo to a guy who could buy a different versions of Veyron for each day in the week...
Title: Money & its impact on a person
Post by: Telecaster on April 18, 2013, 02:47:04 PM
I guess we're straying well off-topic here. But here's a short description of the typical American millionaire, as provided by The Economist magazine a couple years back: owns her/his own business, lives in an average-sized home and drives a Ford. The Economist article also made the distinction between folks with a total net worth exceeding $1,000,000 and folks with invested or investable assets (cash, that is) exceeding $1,000,000. The latter are a small-ish subset of the former.

In my experience the posturing, Ferrari-driving types are in the minority. Here's the more typical modus operandi: hiding in plain sight, flying under the radar. These are people whose sense of self and of self-worth is derived internally.

-Dave-
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: ErikKaffehr on April 18, 2013, 03:08:50 PM
Hi,

Mark's review is interesting and has it merits. As pointed out by Mark himself, it is not a scientific review.

Best regards
Erik


Hi Mark,

Thanks for the Leica write up.

There is just one thing I was very surprised about, perhaps you can clarify the claim. You wrote that the Leica print was superior "Less noise (particularly in the shadows)".

I am just puzzled by this, since I have made countless prints from D800 of scenes much more challenging that your outdoor shots, scenes in which I did lift shadows very significantly, and I am yet to see a print where shadow noise is visible at all. I am not saying noise is invisible on screen, it can be if significant lifting is done, but I have never seen it in print.

Would you mind adding scans of the 2 prints to the article to clarify these findings?

One more thing regarding detail, you write the 2 following sentences a few paragraphs away:
- The Leica prints and the Nikon prints were tied in terms of resolution
- The Leica  outperforms the D800E by a good margin


Which is it?

Thanks.

Regards,
Bernard

Title: Re: Money & its impact on a person
Post by: BJL on April 18, 2013, 04:05:50 PM
I guess we're straying well off-topic here. But here's a short description of the typical American millionaire, as provided by The Economist magazine a couple years back: owns her/his own business, lives in an average-sized home and drives a Ford. The Economist article also made the distinction between folks with a total net worth exceeding $1,000,000 and folks with invested or investable assets (cash, that is) exceeding $1,000,000. The latter are a small-ish subset of the former.
Getting even further off-topic, but The Economist is playing word-games there, to greatly expand its pool of "millionaires". The most commonly accepted definition of "millionaire" is closer to the second one, excluding things like the primary home from the count. Otherwise, real estate booms and bubbles can make "millionaires" out of middle income families, and even of retired people with quite modest incomes and savings, who simply do not want to move from the home they have been in for decades.
Title: Re: Money & its impact on a person
Post by: Telecaster on April 18, 2013, 04:47:39 PM
Well, the Economist article was about small business owners rather than real estate but, yes, lots of folks have much of their equity tied up in their homes. The "fly under the radar" folks I was referring to are millionaires by anyone's definition.

I think I'll call it quits on this tangent before Michael & Co. tell us to can it.   :D

-Dave-
Title: Re: Money & its impact on a person
Post by: Rob C on April 18, 2013, 05:38:53 PM
Well, the Economist article was about small business owners rather than real estate but, yes, lots of folks have much of their equity tied up in their homes. The "fly under the radar" folks I was referring to are millionaires by anyone's definition.

I think I'll call it quits on this tangent before Michael & Co. tell us to can it.   :D

-Dave-



Why would they? People are more interesting than pixels.

The difference that's the most marked - AFAICS - is that those with the first million are full of it, whilst those with many millions are almost normal, in as far as the rest of us allow them to be. Hiding in plain sight was a great way of putting it; the only difference is with the boats - you can't hide them, but neither can you get onto them just like that. In Porto Cervo I saw security guards sitting on chairs with small burp guns. You wouldn't try to go up the passerelle uninvited; in St-Tropez, several large black men straight from the A-Team serving the same purpose. It's a serious business, being rich.

In that marina at Porto Cervo, I remember being trailed by a Mercedes as I did no more than walk along the quayside with my camera case slung over my shoulder, a tripod in my hand. Rocket launcher? Who'd live like that?

Rob C

P.S. Worth noting is that several have made and lost and remade their fortunes. That takes something extraordinary.
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: Rocco Penny on April 18, 2013, 07:15:55 PM
this post officially attains big mouth status for me, so here it goes;
I've had very wealthy clients through the years,
it's the ones that generally don't really have cash flow worries beyond doing what's best
FOR THE REST OF US
that scare me.
So income dependent money is very different from the guys that do start ups and those type things,
here there are many more progressive thinkers than bottom line thinkers,
so
a guy that has 500,000,000 and asks me how I am today scares me more than the sharks that are trying to maximize some corporate return,
besides who'll care in the end?
Your ungrateful kid?
Guys that rich just are scary,
they are!
What they do is start crazy foundations dedicated to giving real artists a break, and junk like that
and enjoy eating peaches out of a tin while leaning on their tractors and charging 7 bucks a bale
Losing money is the sport,
not making it
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: thompsonkirk on April 19, 2013, 12:31:45 PM
I'm sorry this thread got lost – it could have remained interesting.

Kirk
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: Rocco Penny on April 19, 2013, 01:42:46 PM
I'm sorry this thread got lost – it could have remained interesting.

Kirk
especially if you had something interesting to add
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: PierreVandevenne on April 19, 2013, 08:36:53 PM
I'm sorry this thread got lost – it could have remained interesting.

Hasn't Erwin Put essentially closed the threat anyway? :-)
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: llamallama on April 20, 2013, 07:50:19 PM
Amazing... and disappointing.

I have no Ph.D, have never been involved in leading edge research, and I'm not a professional photographer.

In my unqualified opinion, MarkD appears to be a quack. This is just my feeling, I don't have 3 years to prove this. You can if you want to, and share with us afterwards.

Erwin Puts' take on the review.

http://www.imx.nl/photo/blog-2/the-value-of-camera-reports.html (http://www.imx.nl/photo/blog-2/the-value-of-camera-reports.html)
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: nutcracker on April 22, 2013, 05:53:41 PM
He is a very very enthusiastic enthusiast. My reading of his article is that he declares himself thus, and does not seek to pretend otherwise.
He has not persuaded me to invest in the Leicas, any of them that have appealed to him at times, but he has persuaded me in another enthusiastic article to buy Alpa FPS. I have no regrets.

It is in the nature of enthusiasm that opinions alter with experience beyond initial pleasure.
Phrases that might be interpreted as implying intentional or reckless misinformation are misplaced on this generally very lively and informative site (bravo Michael and team) seem to me to be regrettable.
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: hjulenissen on April 23, 2013, 01:44:14 AM
Phrases that might be interpreted as implying intentional or reckless misinformation are misplaced on this generally very lively and informative site (bravo Michael and team) seem to me to be regrettable.
English is not my native tongue. Can you rephrase that so that I may comprehend it?

-h
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: nutcracker on April 23, 2013, 04:06:35 AM
The term "quack" means that a person is a fraud, dishonest.
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: hjulenissen on April 23, 2013, 07:20:00 AM
The term "quack" means that a person is a fraud, dishonest.
So, basically you disliked that llamallama said that Mark appeared to be a quack?

Another option is to be honest, but wrong. I am sure that most homeopaths are honestly trying to improve peoples lives. I am also convinced that they don't know what they are doing.

-h
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: Dave (Isle of Skye) on April 23, 2013, 07:59:44 AM
Let me get this straight, the ‘off-topic’ aspect of this thread, appears to me to be saying, that because financially affluent ‘enthusiast photographers’, can and often will buy the newest and most expensive top-end camera kit, on what can appear to be a whim to the rest of us, that their ownership of it, can bear no relationship to their abilities or skills at being able to fully and correctly evaluate it. Because having made their money elsewhere and not through hard work as a pro photographer, they are nothing more than rich boys playing with expensive toys, or in other words, all the gear, but no idea...?

I don’t know if this assumption is driven by sour grapes from those that cannot afford such top-end kit, or if this is an entirely valid point of view in some instances, but either way, right or wrong, all I can say is this, how else are we going to receive (for free), such reviews of top-end kit as soon if not before it is released and that most of us can only ever dream of owning, that are completely unbiased by the need to retain advertising revenues, or that give a hoot what the manufactures think?

Mark has given us his ‘gut instinct’ review of the new Leica and I thank him for that and in time I am sure other reviewers will widen out the debate, but you simply cannot dismiss what Mark is saying, purely on the assumption that just because he can easily afford the new Leica and all the lenses to go with it, that his review is automatically flawed as a result.

Photography is an art and art comes from the heart, not through a comparison of the minutiae contained within data sheets, and I think Mark has given us just that in his review and once again I thank him for that.

Dave
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: Rob C on April 23, 2013, 09:25:02 AM
new Leica and all the lenses to go with it, that his review is automatically flawed as a result.

Photography is an art and art comes from the heart, not through a comparison of the minutiae contained within data sheets, and I think Mark has given us just that in his review and once again I thank him for that.

Dave



That's the trouble, Dave; we aren't speaking here about art, we're speaking about photographic exotica which has precious little bearing on photographic art but heaps to do with ability to buy such exotica.

Would I if I could? Now, frankly, no. I never did buy M cameras when they were easily deductible, they never served the purpose of accuracy, and tripod work with such bodies smacks of contradiction. Live view isn't what such cameras are basically about.

Regarding the value of the writer's opinion: no less and no more than anyone else's opinion. That's what drives the market: opinion and ability to buy into it (the market) at whichever level one can. Why expect more? Camera manufacture is about shifting units, not creating art. That's for photographers to worry about.

Rob C
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: JohnBrew on April 23, 2013, 12:41:41 PM
Well stated, Rob.
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: ErikKaffehr on April 24, 2013, 03:01:27 AM
Hi,

On the other hand, it is up to anyone to use the tools they choose in the way that suits their way of working best. Leica is said to make some of the best lenses, and to really make use of a fine lens takes meticulous work, including tripod and live view at actual pixels for exact focusing.

Best regards
Erik



That's the trouble, Dave; we aren't speaking here about art, we're speaking about photographic exotica which has precious little bearing on photographic art but heaps to do with ability to buy such exotica.

Would I if I could? Now, frankly, no. I never did buy M cameras when they were easily deductible, they never served the purpose of accuracy, and tripod work with such bodies smacks of contradiction. Live view isn't what such cameras are basically about.

Regarding the value of the writer's opinion: no less and no more than anyone else's opinion. That's what drives the market: opinion and ability to buy into it (the market) at whichever level one can. Why expect more? Camera manufacture is about shifting units, not creating art. That's for photographers to worry about.

Rob C
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: Rob C on April 24, 2013, 04:12:17 AM
I couldn't agree with you more, Erik.

But there's a huge fly in that ointment: you make photographs of life as it happens or you arrange it, and life doesn't hang about waiting. You have to be ready to grab it as it happens, and all the theoretical fantasy about depth of field, optimum stop for a specific lens, perfect focus, ETTR etc, etc. goes well into second place compared with actually catching the image if/as it presents itself to you. The reality is that you are forced to use the stop that gives the depth you need, quite regardless of any list of tables provided by whichever grading department or purveyor of comparative values! This site is full of people writing endlessly about the number of pixels their camera simply must have before they can even think of using it; a lens without built-in stabilisation in beyond contempt and if their lens isn't equipped with the letter G then it just can't produce a worthwhile image; what a load of utter bullshit, a screen to mask the reality that these writers never produce a single, worthwhile image all their days... possibly they produce no kind of image, ever.

If you have time to consider all of the niceties, check and triple-check everythng, then I humbly suggest that you should be using a monorail for whatever incredibly demanding work you have embarked upon. (I don't mean 'you' as in you, personally, by the way!)

Perfect theoretical technique is just that: theoretical. I knew most of the technical rules as well as anyone else when I was working; what I actually did was forget most of them and just produce images that earned my keep. And that's the problem I always have with these writers of how-to: its all theory and miles away from practical life as most snappers find and live it. I sometimes find myself wondering how those photographic pioneers and masters of yesteryear ever managed to expose a single sheet or roll of anything, never mind make the images that have shaped our history, sell for thousands of bucks; how perverse and inconvenient of them.

Rob C
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: OldRoy on April 24, 2013, 04:44:11 AM
Rob C wrote:
"you make photographs of life as it happens or you arrange it, and life doesn't hang about waiting. You have to be ready to grab it as it happens, and all the theoretical fantasy about depth of field, optimum stop for a specific lens, perfect focus, ETTR etc, etc. goes well into second place compared with actually catching the image if/as it presents itself to you"
This is nicely put. At very least it describes the position I've arrived at in relation to my own modest efforts.
 
As to the original article in question, Erwin Puts' comments on Mark Dubovoy's successive reviews of these two Leica products (neither of which I've had more than the briefest urge to acquire, and can't realistically afford anyway) highlight absurd contradictions which amount to something worse than diminishing enthusiasm: precisely what, I'm not sure. As someone else has already observed, trumpeting one's qualifications by way of emphasis is a counter-productive strategy in this case and only serves to amplify the contradictions.

Roy
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: Riccardo on April 24, 2013, 05:35:09 AM
Well said, Rob!
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: ErikKaffehr on April 24, 2013, 05:39:25 AM
Hi,

Yes, I can agree with that. But we have different way of shooting. I do also some street shooting, but it mostly turns out crap, because that is not what I am good at. Now, the stuff I am good at may still turn out crap, anyway.

For me it is just that it beats my senses why anyone would invest 10-20 kUSD in camera and lenses and throw away most of the quality.

Best regards
Erik


I couldn't agree with you more, Erik.

But there's a huge fly in that ointment: you make photographs of life as it happens or you arrange it, and life doesn't hang about waiting. You have to be ready to grab it as it happens, and all the theoretical fantasy about depth of field, optimum stop for a specific lens, perfect focus, ETTR etc, etc. goes well into second place compared with actually catching the image if/as it presents itself to you. The reality is that you are forced to use the stop that gives the depth you need, quite regardless of any list of tables provided by whichever grading department or purveyor of comparative values! This site is full of people writing endlessly about the number of pixels their camera simply must have before they can even think of using it; a lens without built-in stabilisation in beyond contempt and if their lens isn't equipped with the letter G then it just can't produce a worthwhile image; what a load of utter bullshit, a screen to mask the reality that these writers never produce a single, worthwhile image all their days... possibly they produce no kind of image, ever.

If you have time to consider all of the niceties, check and triple-check everythng, then I humbly suggest that you should be using a monorail for whatever incredibly demanding work you have embarked upon. (I don't mean 'you' as in you, personally, by the way!)

Perfect theoretical technique is just that: theoretical. I knew most of the technical rules as well as anyone else when I was working; what I actually did was forget most of them and just produce images that earned my keep. And that's the problem I always have with these writers of how-to: its all theory and miles away from practical life as most snappers find and live it. I sometimes find myself wondering how those photographic pioneers and masters of yesteryear ever managed to expose a single sheet or roll of anything, never mind make the images that have shaped our history, sell for thousands of bucks; how perverse and inconvenient of them.

Rob C
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: ErikKaffehr on April 24, 2013, 05:48:28 AM
Hi,

I reread Mark Dubovoys article a few times and I don't really understand the reactions. Mark likes it, that's OK. He makes some statements that may be disputed. I have found quite a few errors in Erwin Puts articles, too.

One of the issues I have with these tests are that that they are enthusiast's tests.

Some more balanced tests:

Tim Ashley writes a lot of good stuff and puts his experience in perspective and even has actual images at actual size to download.

Lloyd Chambers has some good stuff on the Leica but his site is a pay site.

Best regards
Erik


Rob C wrote:
"you make photographs of life as it happens or you arrange it, and life doesn't hang about waiting. You have to be ready to grab it as it happens, and all the theoretical fantasy about depth of field, optimum stop for a specific lens, perfect focus, ETTR etc, etc. goes well into second place compared with actually catching the image if/as it presents itself to you"
This is nicely put. At very least it describes the position I've arrived at in relation to my own modest efforts.
 
As to the original article in question, Erwin Puts' comments on Mark Dubovoy's successive reviews of these two Leica products (neither of which I've had more than the briefest urge to acquire, and can't realistically afford anyway) highlight absurd contradictions which amount to something worse than diminishing enthusiasm: precisely what, I'm not sure. As someone else has already observed, trumpeting one's qualifications by way of emphasis is a counter-productive strategy in this case and only serves to amplify the contradictions.

Roy
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: hjulenissen on April 24, 2013, 07:51:00 AM
I think that enthusiasm is what drives many of the positive human activities. Love, art, ... Without enthusiasm we would all possibly be aimless zombies (or worse, easily controlled drones).

With that said, the initial enthusiasm that we all have felt over a relationship, a new idea or a gizmo can, and often do change over time as we get to see things from many angles. I am amazed at those who are capable of falling in love with a new person several times a year, as enthusiastic every time.

This is my main gripe with "enthusiasm-based" reviews. Not that the people writing them are bad people or that they should stop writing them. But that their enthusiasm seems to tell me even less about the inherent "qualities" of a product or their own long-term satisfaction with the product than incomprehensible DXO-scores. Except possibly feeling well after reading an enthusiastic review, what purpose does it have?

-h
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: telyt on April 24, 2013, 10:05:48 AM
... it is up to anyone to use the tools they choose in the way that suits their way of working best. Leica is said to make some of the best lenses, and to really make use of a fine lens takes meticulous work, including tripod and live view at actual pixels for exact focusing.

One need not extract every last detail from the finest lenses 100% of the time.  I like using good lenses because there are occasions where I want to record the most detail I can in an image.  There are also occasions where the detail, gradation, DR, bokeh etc. truly don't matter.  If I could predict with perfect accuracy when I will or will not want technical perfection I can use old crap lenses when I don't need the technical quality, leaving the good stuff safely locked up in their climate-controlled display cases (ha!) and conversely leave the bulk and weight of the old lenses in the truck when maximum image quality is required.

Being of limited means and even more limited storage space I'd rather purchase, carry, maintain and store a single set of lenses; having found that it's much easier to eliminate unwanted detail than to add it where the lens couldn't record it, I'll favor the better lenses even if it means I suffer the occasional extreme overkill of using an apo asherical summicron to photograph my cat.

This site is full of people writing endlessly about the number of pixels their camera simply must have before they can even think of using it; a lens without built-in stabilisation in beyond contempt and if their lens isn't equipped with the letter G then it just can't produce a worthwhile image; what a load of utter bullshit, a screen to mask the reality that these writers never produce a single, worthwhile image all their days... possibly they produce no kind of image, ever.

It's the psycology that Rob C describes here combined with the barely-disguised remnants of my adolescent rebellion that drive me to use the oldest, most feature-unladen equipment I can.  I'm using an 8-year-old digital SLR, manual-focus lenses, manual EVERYTHING.
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: Rob C on April 24, 2013, 10:14:27 AM
It's the psycology that Rob C describes here combined with the barely-disguised remnants of my adolescent rebellion that drive me to use the oldest, most feature-unladen equipment I can.  I'm using an 8-year-old digital SLR, manual-focus lenses, manual EVERYTHING.



My standard way of setting up a digital camera, too, but don't forget one important factor: sensors and associated in-camera processing seem to have improved quite a lot. I'm convinced that my D700 gives me more pleasing straight colour than does my older D200, using the same optics - the only ones I have.

Rob C
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: telyt on April 24, 2013, 10:58:15 AM
...  don't forget one important factor: sensors and associated in-camera processing seem to have improved quite a lot. I'm convinced that my D700 gives me more pleasing straight colour than does my older D200, using the same optics - the only ones I have.

Start with the best and the improvements in the later models are small.  Newer cameras haven't approached the DMR's colors so there's no need to 'upgrade' every few years.
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: ErikKaffehr on April 24, 2013, 11:03:17 AM
Hi,

Which later model of the DMR do you mean?

Best regards
Erik

Start with the best and the improvements in the later models are small.  Newer cameras haven't approached the DMR's colors so there's no need to 'upgrade' every few years.
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: telyt on April 24, 2013, 11:21:43 AM
Which later model of the DMR do you mean?

Smartass.

There isn't a newer sensor in Canon, Nikon, Pentax or Sony DSLR camera that comes close to the DMR's color quality.  If you want to argue, argue with my pictures.  My next show is May 19 at the California Foundatin for Birds of Prey.
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: Ben Rubinstein on April 24, 2013, 02:10:16 PM
What an arrogant reply.
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: ErikKaffehr on April 24, 2013, 02:43:12 PM
Hi,

My guess is that the industry cannot survive on customers making a purchase of a camera body and a few lenses for a lifetime. They need to have customers coming back and upgrade. Customer satisfied for life pretty much means system going to grave.

By the way, would you post a link to your images or show a website we could perhaps see some pictures? You don't happen to be the "Birdman of Sacramento", if so, you have a lot of great images!

I am actually using my real name and my pictures are here: http://echophoto.smugmug.com

Best regards
Erik


Smartass.

There isn't a newer sensor in Canon, Nikon, Pentax or Sony DSLR camera that comes close to the DMR's color quality.  If you want to argue, argue with my pictures.  My next show is May 19 at the California Foundatin for Birds of Prey.
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: Telecaster on April 24, 2013, 06:01:01 PM
Smartass.

There isn't a newer sensor in Canon, Nikon, Pentax or Sony DSLR camera that comes close to the DMR's color quality.  If you want to argue, argue with my pictures.  My next show is May 19 at the California Foundatin for Birds of Prey.

Geez. I assume "DMR" means Digital M Rangefinder, but if not...excuuuuse me, I guess I don't belong to the freakin' club. Not sure I want to in any case.

Personally, I'm not much of a resolution guy. I care a lot more about compositional geometry and tonality. A friend of mine paints with acrylics on gesso board...most of her paintings contain more detail than most of my photos.   :D  I have an M240 on order because I like the convenience & flexibility of electronic photography and want to combine that stuff with RF handling, framing & focusing. That the camera has 24mp instead of 16 or 18 doesn't matter much to me. I never print larger than 12x18", except for the occasional stitched pano at 10x30" or so. One thing I am interested in, though, is processing the camera's RAW data into 6mp true RGB images...each four-photosite matrix corresponding to one output pixel. That should yield interesting results.

I'm a live & let live kinda guy. If ultimate spatial resolution is your thing, have at it. If "cameras as jewelry" is your thing...whatever. If "cameras as jewelry" folks drive you around the bend...take a deep breath and relax; those people help keep Leica in business. If you're a geometry/tonality person like me...great, welcome to our little club!

-Dave-
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: Ray on April 24, 2013, 09:46:54 PM
A few comments about Mark Dubovoy's review that seem relevant to me.

First, it's quite common for a particular model of camera to initially produce a different color balance and contrast which may be either more pleasing or less pleasing than that produced by another model of camera when using the same 'As Shot' white balance and the same default adjustments in the RAW converter.

For those who are pressed for time and need to process images quickly for whatever reason, this aspect of camera performance can be seen as an advantage, just as a camera that can produce surprisingly good jpegs can be considered to have an advantage. I'm reminded here of the recent battles between the Canon 5D3 and the Nikon D800. The 5D3 jpegs seem to have better in-camera processing than the D800 jpegs.

However, for those of us who who have the luxury of time on our side and can afford to experiment with the options available in ACR and Photoshop to get the most pleasing result, such an initial advantage with the default processing may not be such a big deal.

Secondly, even different lenses used on the same camera body can produce a slightly different color balance and contrast, using the same default setting in ACR. Again, clarity, sharpening and white balance usually have to be adjusted to taste. If one particular lens and camera combination produces better results from the start, then that might be seen as a time-saving advantage.

Thirdly, the point about the D800E being flawed in the sense that it has two unnecessary filters in the path of the light, is a valid one. Nothing is perfect. That those two 'do' and 'undo' AA filters will degrade the image to some degree is a very reasonable deduction. What is debatable is whether or not such degradation would be noticeable in practice. I always felt that the increase in resolution of the D800E, compared with the D800, was less than expected.

Fourthly, I am surprised at the following comment from Mark Dubovoy.
Quote
Handheld shooting.  Shooting without a tripod the Leica out-resolves the Nikon (D800E).  This is not surprising given the mirror slap and rougher shutter in the Nikon.

My understanding of the effects of mirror slap and shutter noise is that they have a noticeable effect on image quality only within a particular range of slow shutter speeds, typically between 2 seconds and 1/60th, and that applies when the camera is used on a tripod. When the camera is hand-held, there must be a degree of cushioning that takes place, so it would be reasonable to deduce that any very slight effect from mirror slap that might be apparent at 1/60th with camera on tripod, would not be apparent when the camera is hand-held at 1/60th.

Furthermore, since I think I am correct in assuming that the Leica M240 does not boast image stabilization, one would have to have a very wide-angle lens on the camera in order to use a shutter speed as slow as 1/60th, if resolution was a priority.
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: ErikKaffehr on April 24, 2013, 11:52:00 PM
Hi,

The DMR was a Digital Module for the Leica R series of SLRs, it was made between 2005 and 2007 I think.

http://www.outbackphoto.com/reviews/equipment/leica_dmr/leica_dmr.html

Best regards
Erik

Geez. I assume "DMR" means Digital M Rangefinder, but if not...excuuuuse me, I guess I don't belong to the freakin' club. Not sure I want to in any case.


-Dave-
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: wildstork on April 25, 2013, 12:31:34 AM
Ray,
I distinctly recall an article in Popular Photography in the 90's that tested shutter speeds from 1/15th sec through 1/1000 and there were noticeable improvements up to and including 1/250... so the advantages of faster shutter speeds with respect to noticeable sharpness improvement far exceeds 1/60th.  Digital places higher demands on image quality (optics) than film ever did so I can only assume that these test results would be even more obvious with the current high pixel density sensors on modern digital cameras.

Lawrence
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: Ray on April 25, 2013, 02:57:29 AM
Lawrence,
Pity you can't find the details, such as model of camera, focal length of lens, whether tripod or hand-held, and sturdiness of tripod if tripod was used, and general conditions such as outdoors or indoors etc.

I have of course conducted my own tests years ago with various camera bodies, using lenses up to 400mm. As I recall, I was not able to detect any increase in resolution at shutter speeds faster than 1/60th, shooting a static target and using a sturdy tripod which was not subject to any movement from wind or breeze.

In fact, with certain cameras, as I recall, such as the Canon 20D, I was not able to discern any increase in resolution even at 1/60th with MLU enabled, compared with 1/60th without MLU enabled. But this was not the case with the 5D which I tested at the same time in the same circumstances. That camera, using the same lens, and despite its lower pixel density, showed improvement all the way up to and including 1/60th. However, at 1/125th there was no difference whether MLU was enabled or not.

I accept the fact that the upper limit of 1/60th  for the benefits of MLU on a tripod, is not a hard and fast rule. The size and weight of the mirror and the degree of dampening will affect the result, as it did comparing my 20D with the 5D, but my point is that Mark D is referring to hand-held shots where additional dampening is in place simply by holding the camera. Also, without image stabilization, far faster shutter speeds than 1/60th will usually be required if one is attempting to extract the maximum resolution for comparison purposes.

Therefore, if the Leica M240 appears to produce sharper results than the D800E, when both cameras are hand-held, using the same focal length of lens, then it does not seem likely that the noisy or heavy mirror or shutter in the D800E is the cause, but rather that the Leica camera is easier to hold steady, or the Leica lens is simply sharper than the Nikkor lens used on the D800E.

Another possibility, apart from possible misfocussing, is the natural variation in the degree of hand-held movement which is always apparent when the shutter speed is maybe a bit too close to being inadequate. Take a number of hand-held shots of any static subject, using a shutter speed that is not super-fast, and you should find that certain shots will be sharper than others, despite the fact that the same camera, lens and shutter speed was used for all shots.

Recent hand-held tests that I've done using the Nikkor 85/1.8G with the D800E indicate that, for me, I need to use a shutter speed of at least 1/320th to be confident of getting a sharp image. I might be lucky with a 1/250th, but would prefer to use a 320th, 400th or even a 640th.

One should bear in mind that the 1/FL rule was for acceptably sharp 8"x10" prints in the days of film. A 100% view of an M240 or D800 image on a computer monitor is closer to an 8ft x 10ft print, depending on the size and resolution of the monitor.
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: Rob C on April 25, 2013, 03:52:32 AM
In fact, with certain cameras, as I recall, such as the Canon 20D, I was not able to discern any increase in resolution even at 1/60th with MLU enabled, compared with 1/60th without MLU enabled. But this was not the case with the 5D which I tested at the same time in the same circumstances. That camera, using the same lens, and despite its lower pixel density, showed improvement all the way up to and including 1/60th. However, at 1/125th there was no difference whether MLU was enabled or not.


I must agree with Ray on this. I used to do tests with each new bodies I bought in the top Nikon range, and my conclusions were the same: I couldn't tell the difference, even down in the supposed danger zone of 1/15th. As a result, I used MU (and delayed action) when shooting something still but never when simply using a slow shutter speed because I had to in order to allow suitable DOF. For anything that has its own motion, MU is a waste of time, anyway. You will inevitably hear the shutter begin just as that breeze moves the subject you'd so carefully framed. Shoot, be damned, but at least get the shape you intended.

Rob C
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: David S on April 25, 2013, 07:50:56 AM
Shutter Speed effects on picture.

See Pg 116 (Shutter Speed) in "The Camera" by Ansel Adams. (2003 publication)

"I found that even with firm body support image sharpness was noticeably degraded at 1/125 second..."

Interesting in light of previous comments.


Dave S
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: Ray on April 25, 2013, 09:11:11 AM
I presume Ansel Adams is referring to old and obsolete large-format equipment which didn't have a mirror but probably did have a very large mechanical shutter. In other words, a different kettle of fish.
If any of you have doubts about the effects of mirror slap and shutter vibration on the modern DSLR, you owe to yourselves to carry out some tests with your own equipment. Not much point in going to the trouble of using MLU in circumstances where it provides no benefit.

On the other hand, if you can't be bothered doing the tests, then you might as well use MLU with shutter speeds up to 1/250th, just to be safe.
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: wildstork on April 25, 2013, 10:11:01 AM
The test in Popular Photography was done handheld with a 50mm lens and a test target was shot.  This made it much easier to judge areas that were vibration impacted. 

I'd have to agree with the test as my experience bore this out in 40 years of shooting.

Consider yourself very fortunate if your results were better.

Lawrence
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: David S on April 25, 2013, 10:18:52 AM
Maybe Ansel was talking of large cameras but nothing in the article implied just large cameras.

MLU may or may not help at higher speeds but I know from my own tests that while I can do 1/(35mm length) as shutter speed, I get better sharper results at even higher speeds. But that is just shaky old me and may not apply to others. I have also noted that time of day, how rested I am or how much coffee I have had also make differences. Again just my observations.

Dave S
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: image66 on April 25, 2013, 10:35:11 AM
As I was drooling over this new M240, my wife reminded me that I'm not a good enough photographer for a Leica.

She's right.
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: Ray on April 25, 2013, 11:15:36 AM
The test in Popular Photography was done handheld with a 50mm lens and a test target was shot.  This made it much easier to judge areas that were vibration impacted. 

I'd have to agree with the test as my experience bore this out in 40 years of shooting.

Consider yourself very fortunate if your results were better.

Lawrence

We seem to be talking at cross-purposes. I've already mentioned that I would use at least a 1/320th of a second exposure with an 85mm lens on the D800E (without VR), so a 250th with a 50mm lens (without VR) when the camera is hand-held, seems about right for maximum resolution viewed at 100% on the monitor.

The point I'm raising is that at such shutter speeds mirror slap does not affect image quality. Such shutter speeds are required in order to combat camera movement when shooting hand-held, not mirror slap nor shutter vibration. Mark Dubovoy claimed that hand-held the D800E images were not as sharp as the M240 images as a result of the D800E's noisy mirror. That doesn't seem likely to me.
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: Rob C on April 25, 2013, 12:22:55 PM
Mark Dubovoy claimed that hand-held the D800E images were not as sharp as the M240 images as a result of the D800E's noisy mirror. That doesn't seem likely to me.



Ray, have you considered Nikon's new policy regarding Final Quality Control?

Not that I'm a frequent buyer anymore, but this is the first period in my life that the last three lenses I bought were used, manual AIS Nikkors (barring the 500mm Cat, of course) and I feel safer going there than into new.

Rob C
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: John Camp on April 26, 2013, 01:46:25 PM
My main problem with Mark's review is something that he doesn't even discuss -- that's the implication that the qualities he discusses are relevant to the practice of photography, which they aren't. Other than that, I have no problem with his review at all, since the rest of it is simply opinion. But saying that the M240 is sharper than the D800e -- a controversial statement, to say the least -- is like saying my tires are very slightly prettier than yours.

Since there is hardly any other way to discuss the subject, look, for example, at the universe of "famous" photographs. None of them depend on resolution; in fact, quite a few of them depend on a deliberate lack of resolution. If anyone is aware of an exception to this rule, please let me know. And don't say "Ansel Adams" -- as much as he may have struggled to get the sharpest possible photos, with the best placement of the exposure and subsequent processing in a chosen zone...he was working with equipment greatly inferior to the equipment we have now...lenses, film, everything. He had to struggle and to place an emphasis on sharpness, or he otherwise wouldn't have gotten any kind of acceptable quality. "Moonrise" is not what we'd call a sharp photo, and I have an extremely good example of it hanging on my living room wall, and I look at it daily, and I know; I have birthday party photos that are sharper. If Adams had had access to our equipment, I think he would have stopped worrying about sharpness altogether, and would have been perfectly happy working hand-held with a D700. The critical aspect with Adams wasn't resolution, it was talent.

To me, the original post and the subsequent comments have been like reading a discussion of which mechanical watch is best -- the Rolex, the Philippe Patek, etc. -- while ignoring the fact that a Timex keeps better time than either one. In other words, it's an obsession with operation and technique, rather than final performance. The final performance in photography, the print, may be anything a photographer chooses, but whatever he chooses, the critical element in its quality will not be resolution.

As for the comments by wildlightphoto, I've looked at his pictures for years, and he is an extremely able photographer, maybe one of the best on this website, for the kind of photography he does. But his insistence on the DMR is (IMHO) a psychological quirk, not a really defensible technical position. The DMR wasn't all that great when it first came out, and it has long been superseded by better cameras. The fact that he can't make better photos with another camera, or that he doesn't believe that any other camera can match the DMR's color, is not much different than Mark's insistence on the greatest of the M240. You have to keep in mind that as good a photographer as wildlightphoto is, there is a very large number of well-known, accomplished wildlife photographers, who, one might venture to say, match his quality, and yet don't use the DMR, and in fact use a variety of Nikons, Canons, Sonys, etc. The most you can say for the DMR is that it works well for him. Well, the other thing you can say is, even in his photos, resolution isn't all that important. Who cares if you can see the pupil of an eye, if you can feel the birdness of the bird?        
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: Rob C on April 26, 2013, 02:55:55 PM
John Camp:

I just wish you would post more frequently.

Rob C
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: David Sutton on April 26, 2013, 05:12:31 PM
John Camp:

I just wish you would post more frequently.

Rob C

Indeed
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: Ray on April 26, 2013, 09:26:28 PM
It sounds like John has been influenced by a rather controversial article that Ken Rockwell wrote a few years ago, titled "Your Camera Doesn't Matter". http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/notcamera.htm

That article provoked a lengthy discussion on LL at the time, with quite a few posters interpreting the statement of the title literally, and deriding Rockwell for his foolishness.

Of course such statements should not be taken literally. They are intended merely to convey the message that an excessive concern or obsession with the technical minutiae of camera performance may have little bearing on the impact of the final result.

Nevertheless, it should not be difficult to appreciate why there is such an interest in resolution. I for one take great pleasure in being able to see things clearly, as I think most people do. It's why I wear spectacles. I could get by without glasses in most situations, except when reading a book, because I'm long-sighted rather than short-sighted.

If I see a photograph that looks a bit blurry close up, I think, "Crikey! I didn't realize my eyesight was that bad."  ;D
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: wildstork on April 26, 2013, 10:21:46 PM
"But saying that the M240 is sharper than the D800e -- a controversial statement, to say the least -- is like saying my tires are very slightly prettier than yours."  

John,  That has to be some of the faultiest logic I've encountered on this forum. Seriously!  Sharpness can be qualitatively measured and agreed upon by all who have reasonably good vision and view two similar images.  Prettiness has nothing to do with it and shouldn't even enter into this argument as prettiness is a subjective value that cannot be quantified.  The only controversy here is your statement... with all due respect.  A very weak argument...

Your argument is now changing a qualitative review into an emotional statement about which is prettier or which image is worthy of being considered "famous".  Mark's review had absolutely nothing to do with what you're proposing here and I don't see how anyone can agree with your comments.  Obviously some do.  Mark spoke of sharpness and of one camera providing sharper results (and better color) than another.  He neither implied nor suggested that the M240 could produce images that could be judged more famous so why even bring this into the discussion?  

And finally with respect to Doug Herr's comments: I'm curious, first of all, to know whether you've ever owned or shot with a DMR for any significant amount of time?  If you ever had occasion to read the DMR Bible thread over on the Miranda Forum back in 2005 and 2006 you would have seen countless samples of images taken with the Leica DMR and Canon 1DS2 and 1DS3 that compared images side by side.  Don't get hung up on the title of the thread as it was just a title... and the thread was the most comprehensive analysis of any sensor and lens system I've ever seen on any forum to date.  It's no secret that the DMR punched well beyond it's weight and still does.  Mark Williams, who owned the DMR and later the M9 and S2 has stated this more than once and Mark has a very critical eye with respect to image quality... as does Guy Mancuso and many others who contributed to that thread.

I've been working with the DMR since 2006 and would be using something else if there were anything that had the per pixel sharpness at low iso that the DMR has... as well as the lack of diffraction at very small apertures thanks to it's low pixel density (something no current 35mm camera can better).  I shoot orchids at small apertures and no current camera in 35mm format can touch the DMR even today, with respect to low iso detail at f16 and 22.  To insist that "the DMR wasn't all that great when it first came out and it has long been superseded by better cameras" is a patently false comment that you can't possibly defend.

You presume (with that comment) to know what suits every photographer best... irrespective of the fact that Doug and I (and others who still use the DMR) have different needs than most.  Not everyone needs noiseless 1600 iso or 6-10 frames per second, a waterproof body, an EVF, two CF or SD cards.  The bottom line is that the DMR works supremely well for our needs and nothing currently available can provide noticeably better image quality, at least in the 100-200 iso range I restrict it's use to.  Doug's needs are different.  I haven't personally seen any current camera that has better image quality at base iso that the DMR.  For the work I do (primarily Hummingbirds, Waves and Flowers) it still reigns supreme or I'd gladly move over to Canon (I have no intentions of putting a Leitax adapter on each of my 20 Leica R lenses so I can shoot with the D800E... but that's just me.  I have nothing against Nikon).

You make a lot of specious claims in your statement and few, if any are defensible.  They're just your opinion... while Mark can undoubtedly show the same image printed from a D800E and M240 file and the difference in favor of the Leica will be noticeable.  I have no reason to doubt Mark as I've followed his work for many years and I've never known him to be a Leica "fanboy."  He is the consummate perfectionist and apart from his over the top enthusiasm I respect and value his opinions because they are based on rigorous tests and not on opinion devoid of any testing... such as your opinion on this matter.

I saw several files on the DMR Bible thread, crops at 100% magnification and shot with the same Leica 100 APO Macro lens on both the 10 megapixel DMR and the 16 megapixel Canon 1DS2 where the Leica image was clearly superior to the Canon image (in terms of sharpness and color)... so it doesn't surprise me in the least that the new cmos sensor on the M240 with no AA filter will provide better image quality than the Nikon.  

To you this is bogus.  To others it has value.  And it is for those that Mark's review will prove useful.  

Where's the surprise?  The M240 is nearly 2.5X the cost of the Nikon.  It should do something better if it's to be regarded as something more than jewelry or purchased simply for bragging rights.

Lawrence
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: ErikKaffehr on April 27, 2013, 01:47:04 AM
Hi,

Thanks for posting this. It is important. It is quite true that famous photography is more about the subject and it's presentation than about technical excellent quality. Some serious photographers state that 12 MPixels are enough for large prints, as viewing distance increases with print size. So I guess that we may put a bit to much focus on the technical excellence.

On the other hand, now that we can peek at details and print large, technical quality may be more important than before.

Regarding Mark's review, he says that it is not a scientific test, and that is quite true. The M (240) would probably get decent marks in a scientific test, too. But, there are several aspects. Technical quality is one aspect, usability is another, add to that flexibility and weight. Another aspect is that you can enjoy fine gear.

Sites like DPReview and Imaging Resource do serious testing. That has the advantage that they have developed testing methods and conditions that are consistent between tests. They also have experience of a wide range of cameras. To some extent they also offer downloadable raw images. It is safe to assume that those test shots are more consistent than what you can achieve on your backyard.

A scientific test would include a colour checker. Just equalising exposure and perhaps black level and using the white balance tool  on a light grey field to yield correct WB would make a comparison more valid. Than we could make a colour profile (using Xrite CCPassport software or the Adobe DNG Profile Editor) that would be correct for the actual sensor of the camera. That would make that comparison much more valid. It can of course be said that a camera that gives better colours out of the box is preferable. But it can be also said that using a 70$ CC card to make the best use of a 5000$ equipment or even a 50000$ equipment makes a perfect sense.

Interestingly, Jeff Schewe made a test with five different cameras from iPhone to P65+ and published in his book on image sharpening. There are some differences in colour but surprisingly little in those smallish prints.

The discussion about the DMR raises a few interesting observations. The DMR was a digital back for the Leica R-series cameras, built between 2005 and 2007, I believe. The Leica R series cameras were phased out. I have never owned a Leica R (or M) but those were probably some good cameras. It seems that "wildlifephoto" makes excellent use of those cameras. A problem is that we essentially have a saturated market, with few new customers, so the industry is depending on the existing customer base making upgrades. We have seen it with the Leica M8, M9 and now M (240).

Another observation about the DMR is that it is a camera that obviously produces a lot of fake detail. You cannot put a very good lens on a camera with large non OLP filtered pixels without producing a lot of artefacts. It seems that photographers object to colour moiré but largely ignore or even enjoy other aliasing artefacts. Aliasing will produce fake detail, that is a fact.

Best regards
Erik


My main problem with Mark's review is something that he doesn't even discuss -- that's the implication that the qualities he discusses are relevant to the practice of photography, which they aren't. Other than that, I have no problem with his review at all, since the rest of it is simply opinion. But saying that the M240 is sharper than the D800e -- a controversial statement, to say the least -- is like saying my tires are very slightly prettier than yours.

Since there is hardly any other way to discuss the subject, look, for example, at the universe of "famous" photographs. None of them depend on resolution; in fact, quite a few of them depend on a deliberate lack of resolution. If anyone is aware of an exception to this rule, please let me know. And don't say "Ansel Adams" -- as much as he may have struggled to get the sharpest possible photos, with the best placement of the exposure and subsequent processing in a chosen zone...he was working with equipment greatly inferior to the equipment we have now...lenses, film, everything. He had to struggle and to place an emphasis on sharpness, or he otherwise wouldn't have gotten any kind of acceptable quality. "Moonrise" is not what we'd call a sharp photo, and I have an extremely good example of it hanging on my living room wall, and I look at it daily, and I know; I have birthday party photos that are sharper. If Adams had had access to our equipment, I think he would have stopped worrying about sharpness altogether, and would have been perfectly happy working hand-held with a D700. The critical aspect with Adams wasn't resolution, it was talent.

To me, the original post and the subsequent comments have been like reading a discussion of which mechanical watch is best -- the Rolex, the Philippe Patek, etc. -- while ignoring the fact that a Timex keeps better time than either one. In other words, it's an obsession with operation and technique, rather than final performance. The final performance in photography, the print, may be anything a photographer chooses, but whatever he chooses, the critical element in its quality will not be resolution.

As for the comments by wildlightphoto, I've looked at his pictures for years, and he is an extremely able photographer, maybe one of the best on this website, for the kind of photography he does. But his insistence on the DMR is (IMHO) a psychological quirk, not a really defensible technical position. The DMR wasn't all that great when it first came out, and it has long been superseded by better cameras. The fact that he can't make better photos with another camera, or that he doesn't believe that any other camera can match the DMR's color, is not much different than Mark's insistence on the greatest of the M240. You have to keep in mind that as good a photographer as wildlightphoto is, there is a very large number of well-known, accomplished wildlife photographers, who, one might venture to say, match his quality, and yet don't use the DMR, and in fact use a variety of Nikons, Canons, Sonys, etc. The most you can say for the DMR is that it works well for him. Well, the other thing you can say is, even in his photos, resolution isn't all that important. Who cares if you can see the pupil of an eye, if you can feel the birdness of the bird?        
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: wildstork on April 27, 2013, 02:40:35 AM
You have a vivid imagination, Eric.

Lawrence
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: ErikKaffehr on April 27, 2013, 03:33:29 AM
Hi,

You happen to deny image processing science. Once you pass about 10% MTF at Nyquist aliasing will occur. This is well known. It is actually a possibility that incredible feather separation you see in 20x30" prints is fake detail. If you post a raw image or an actual pixel crop it would be possible to see if you or   I am right.

Here are some sure signs of aliasing effects:


Here is an article about it. Schneider has a better one but I have not found it.
http://www.dvxuser.com/articles/article.php/20


I enclose a test shot by Imaging Resource from a Leica M9-P. It is converted by ACR. I show it in monochrome to avoid distracting color artifacts.
The image is here: http://216.18.212.226/PRODS/M9/FULLRES/M9hRES5216F.DNG

What this image shows is fake detail left of the red line. Note that it is not easy to count the lines, the shade of the lines differ.

The other crop also shows some fake detail.

If you want to demonstrate these effects on you DMR you could just take a sharp picture at f/8 or larger aperture of Norman Koren's test target: http://www.normankoren.com/Tutorials/Lenstarg_50_5906p_15g_25is.png

Photograph it at 2.5 m with a 50mm lens.

You will see an area where the lines turn into either a grey mass, or an irregular pattern, right of that area you will se an emerging line pattern that is an alias of higher frequency detail.

http://www.normankoren.com/Tutorials/MTF5.html

Making the pixels larger will increase aliasing. Stopping down to say f/11 or f/16 will reduce aliasing, as diffraction will act as a nice kind of OLP filter.

Note: the views below are at 200% (twice actual pixels).

I also added a screen dump comparing Leica M9 with Nikon D800 (not the E-version). The third image shows identical fields in two test images from Imaging resource. In this case the sensor of the Leica doe not properly resolve the line pattern and produces low frequency aliasing artefacts the Nikon D800 resolves the line pattern cleanly and produces no artefacts. The reason the Nikon does not show artefacts is because the sensor resolves higher.

I guess that the M9 has a similar pixel size to the DMR and I presume that the Leica M lenses are of similar quality, so I would presume that the DMR would perform pretty like the M9. The M9 has microlenses, at that may reduce aliasing to some extent. I don't know about microlenses on the DMR.

Best regards
Erik




Talk is cheap, Eric, especially when you've never shot with a DMR.  Show me a single file with this fake detail you insist exists.  That's hogwash and you write about this as if you have the definitive answer.  Let's see it!  

I wouldn't be able to make 20x30" prints of Hummingbirds showing incredible feather separation if there was fake detail.  This is yet another load of bollocks by someone who has never shot with the DMR.

Lawrence
Title: Schneider optics paper describing aliasing (fake features)
Post by: ErikKaffehr on April 27, 2013, 04:09:31 AM
Hi,

The document from Schneider Optics here: http://www.schneideroptics.com/pdfs/whitepapers/optics_for_digital_photography.pdf describes aliasing pretty well. The relevant information is on pages 8-9.

Best regards
Erik

Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: wildstork on April 27, 2013, 11:24:21 AM
"Another observation about the DMR is that it is a camera that obviously produces a lot of fake detail. You cannot put a very good lens on a camera with large non OLP filtered pixels without producing a lot of artefacts. It seems that photographers object to colour moiré but largely ignore or even enjoy other aliasing artefacts. Aliasing will produce fake detail, that is a fact."

"I guess that the M9 has a similar pixel size to the DMR and I presume that the Leica M lenses are of similar quality, so I would presume that the DMR would perform pretty like the M9. The M9 has microlenses, at that may reduce aliasing to some extent. I don't know about microlenses on the DMR."

Your first comment was with respect to the DMR, Eric.  You then go on to post a sample of a test chart taken with an M9P.  Different sensor, different microlenses, different software... yet this doesn't matter to you as you use it as evidence to support your claim. 

You then go on to state that you presume that "the M9 would perform pretty like the M9." 

You're very presumptuous.  Making assumptions like this with no evidence is of no use to anyone on any forum since you can't substantiate your claims with evidence from a different sensor, software etc.  Yet still you assume.

I've never known anyone who bought a DMR to shoot test charts.  Most of us use the camera so shoot everything but test charts and I've never seen the effects you attribute to the DMR.  In your infinite wisdom, you've proven all of the imaging engineers at Kodak, Imacon, Leica, Sigma, Sinar, Phase, and everyone else who uses CCD and CMOS chips devoid of OLP filters to be wrong, with your statement "You cannot put a very good lens on a camera with large non OLP filtered pixels without producing a lot of artefacts."  So not only are these companies selling faulty sensors on their cameras but they're peddling us mediocre lenses as excellent lenses given your assertion above. 

It's truly unfortunate that all of the medium format sensor makers and all of the camera makers that use CCD and CMOS sensors devoid of OLP filters didn't consult with you before dumping untold resources into image making devices that create so much fake detail.  I suggest that you present your credentials to them as it would save them a lot of money spent on technology that produces "a lot of fake detail." 

You've taken sophistry to a new level.  This is one of the unfortunate aspects of the internet, as some will read your post and make assumptions, just as you have, repeating your nonsense on other forums until it becomes commonplace.  And all the while those of us shooting with Leica DMR's, M8's, M9's, M240's, S2's Sigma Merrill's and all medium format digital backs will be producing beautiful images with our cameras using sensors that produce so much "fake detail."

You're digging a wonderful hole for yourself in full view of the entire internet world to see.  And no doubt, I've provided you with a new shovel to continue your task.  Have at it.

Viva los detalles falsos!!!
Lawrence 
 
Title: How can one compare color accuracy of sensors ignoring raw conversion options?
Post by: BJL on April 27, 2013, 11:27:20 AM
Newer cameras haven't approached the DMR's colors so there's no need to 'upgrade' every few years.
Since output colors depend greatly on the details of conversion from raw sensor data to the final RGB file (JPEG pr whatever), how on earth do you make this judgement of unrivalled DMR color superiority? Comparing default raw conversions or out-of-the-camera JPEG's at default settings? Comparing the colors that you get with a work-flow you have developed based on considerable experience with that camera to what you can get when trying another camera that you are less familiar with?

The latter is what I will call "familiarity bias", which leads some Mac OS and Windows users to confidently declare the OS they know best to be easier to work with in some absolute sense, when all they really mean is "for me". it is also, I suspect, what leads some long-time rangefinder users like Mark D., Ph. D. to declare that rangefinder focusing is more accurate than focusing with magnified live view.
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: wildstork on April 27, 2013, 12:10:46 PM
I won't presume to speak for Doug, BJL, but in answer to your question I'll mention that I corresponded at length with any number of photographers who moved from the DMR to the Sony A900.  The DMR was a hybrid stop-gap effort by Leica to fill a void in their digital SLR line while they worked on an all-digital R.  Unfortunately the entire R line was shelved in favor of the S2.  The A900, technologically speaking, was light years ahead of the DMR in terms of features.  But I've yet to hear from a single A900 user who moved over from a DMR who didn't say the DMR produced better color. 

I bought a Sony A77 because I need the cropped sensor focal length magnifier for bird photography as well as other subjects I shoot.  The DMR was off to Somls for as long as 5 months and I needed a substitute.  I was told by some that the A77 was the next best thing to the DMR though it was a technological tour de force by comparison.  While the bells and whistles were a most welcome improvement... the color, in short, sucked compared to that of the DMR.  And if I have to spend a significant amount of time to tweak the color to approach that of the DMR. only to suffer the significant amount of color noise this Sony high pixel density sensor produces... I'm not interested.

I used to work with a 4x5 camera as well as medium format cameras.  I ran my own film on a Jobo processor and did high contrast masking for Ciba prints that were exhibited at Photography West in Carmel in the late 80's and early 90's.  It took a lot of time to get from film exposure to a final print.  Today, even with the kludge that is the DMR, I can get from A to Z in a fraction of the time and with better results.  I'll never go back to photochemical printing and it hurts to lose a venue like Photography West simply because I refuse to dump toxic chemicals into the toilet.  P West won't even look at digital output. 

What matters to some of us who used to shoot and print our film is the color and sharpness Leica optics provide.  These qualities may not be important for those who post jpgs on the internet, or print to a maximum size of 11x14", but it matters when your market is for extreme enlargements.  The sharpness difference Mark Dubovoy points out in his review is of the utmost importance when it comes to extreme enlargements, for just as you can't make a silk purse from a sow's ear... you can't make a sharp print (speaking of extreme sizes here) from a soft file. 

Sharpness matters... and anyone who comments: "My main problem with Mark's review is something that he doesn't even discuss -- that's the implication that the qualities he discusses are relevant to the practice of photography, which they aren't" is is simply pigeonholing every photographer into their "famous" photographer great image but out-of-focus category.  Statements like this show a complete disregard for the specific needs of different artists.

To begin an argument with the aforementioned quote and end with "Who cares if you can see the pupil of an eye, if you can feel the birdness of the bird?" only illuminates the reader as to the lack of understanding the poster has about wildlife photography as as well printing images large.  The eye is critical in wildlife photography.  It is the eye that connects us with the subject...  and failure to properly focus upon the eye results in an image that's far less compelling.

Lawrence 
Title: What it all comes down to...
Post by: Telecaster on April 27, 2013, 02:33:06 PM
...is pretty simple. Some people are incapable of accepting (or unwilling to accept) the notion that points-of-view other than their own are valid. Thus all the proselytizing and emotionalism.

-Dave-
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: John Camp on April 27, 2013, 03:24:55 PM
"But saying that the M240 is sharper than the D800e -- a controversial statement, to say the least -- is like saying my tires are very slightly prettier than yours."  

John,  That has to be some of the faultiest logic I've encountered on this forum. Seriously!  Sharpness can be qualitatively measured and agreed upon by all who have reasonably good vision and view two similar images.  Prettiness has nothing to do with it and shouldn't even enter into this argument as prettiness is a subjective value that cannot be quantified.  The only controversy here is your statement... with all due respect.  A very weak argument...

Your argument is now changing a qualitative review into an emotional statement about which is prettier or which image is worthy of being considered "famous".  Mark's review had absolutely nothing to do with what you're proposing here and I don't see how anyone can agree with your comments.  Obviously some do.  Mark spoke of sharpness and of one camera providing sharper results (and better color) than another.  He neither implied nor suggested that the M240 could produce images that could be judged more famous so why even bring this into the discussion?

And with all due respect, I've never had a post I've made here misinterpreted as thoroughly as you've done. I wasn't talking about prettiness, except to suggest the slight differences in prettiness would be irrelevant to tires...If you're buying tires, you really want something that's going to carry your car, and most of us don't worry much about small differences in attractiveness. This is called an analogy. It's an analogy to Mark's emphasis on sharpness, in which one camera is judged to be better than another if you can take out a microscope and detect a difference in sharpness. Well, no. By the time all the other aspects are taken into account, that kind of difference in sharpness is meaningless.

Also, I was using "famous" photos as examples from which we can all make comparisons and conduct a reasonable discussion, because we all know them. I asked if anyone could think of a famous photo in which sharpness was critical, because I couldn't. (Although I did think of one -- exactly one -- last night, although it's a news/feature photo, not an art photo, and that's the shot of the Afghan woman by the National Geographic photographer. In that shot, as much sharpness as he had was critical, but he didn't need any more.)

As for your focus on a bird's eye, I would suggest that's your craft. Not an art form, but a very specific kind of craft that's not much relevant to anything but your craft. And you're welcome to the craft; I have no problem with that at all. I would suggest, however, that you've probably never taken a photo as good as

http://www.soulcatcherstudio.com/exhibitions/trees/caponigro.html

Would an eye make the photo more compelling?

 

Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: ErikKaffehr on April 27, 2013, 04:02:12 PM
Hi,

I have not invented aliasing, Nyquist limit or signal processing.

It is quite basic, if you put a high resolution lens in front of a low resolution sensor the sampling will introduce low frequency aliases. Cameras without OLP filtering produce aliasing, unless resolution is reduced by some means. Here is a good example of aliasing artifacts for Pentax 645D:

(http://echophoto.dnsalias.net/ekr/images/Pentax645D/Moire_small.jpg)

The example is for Pentax. I am pretty sure that similar issues would be seen on the DRM but raw files from DRM are not that abundant on the net. It would also be problematic to discuss about a feathers of a bird, you can show the cameras interpretation of the bird but it says little if you don't have a sample of the same bird.

There are two ways to reduce aliasing, one is to reduce MTF using an optical low pass filter or stopping down to small apertures, the other one is to increase resolution.

Regarding aliasing, the combination of a good lens and sensor with large pixels and no OLP is a bad combination. Microlenses can help, as they increase the fill factor. A system with higher fill factor will produce less aliases.

On everyday subjects it would be hard to tell fake and real details apart, on test charts it is more obvious, because you can count the line pairs, if you see the same number of line pairs in the image as in the subject the detail is probably real, but if you fewer line pairs than in the subject the details are obviously fake.

For real world subjects it may matter little, but once you are aware of the matter it will be much more obvious.

Sorry for my words, I am an engineer by profession. If I see something I can't understand I try to collect information, design tests and try to find out.

Just to mention, my normal print size is A2. I essentially print A2 if I print, that is 15.5"x23.4".  I would like to print larger but it is not practical. A2 prints make a nice picture when framed at 50x70cm with a passepartout. If I print larger I would send the file for printing, don't do that so often. Also, I always shoot raw.

Best regards
Erik


"Another observation about the DMR is that it is a camera that obviously produces a lot of fake detail. You cannot put a very good lens on a camera with large non OLP filtered pixels without producing a lot of artefacts. It seems that photographers object to colour moiré but largely ignore or even enjoy other aliasing artefacts. Aliasing will produce fake detail, that is a fact."

"I guess that the M9 has a similar pixel size to the DMR and I presume that the Leica M lenses are of similar quality, so I would presume that the DMR would perform pretty like the M9. The M9 has microlenses, at that may reduce aliasing to some extent. I don't know about microlenses on the DMR."

Your first comment was with respect to the DMR, Eric.  You then go on to post a sample of a test chart taken with an M9P.  Different sensor, different microlenses, different software... yet this doesn't matter to you as you use it as evidence to support your claim.  

You then go on to state that you presume that "the M9 would perform pretty like the M9."  

You're very presumptuous.  Making assumptions like this with no evidence is of no use to anyone on any forum since you can't substantiate your claims with evidence from a different sensor, software etc.  Yet still you assume.

I've never known anyone who bought a DMR to shoot test charts.  Most of us use the camera so shoot everything but test charts and I've never seen the effects you attribute to the DMR.  In your infinite wisdom, you've proven all of the imaging engineers at Kodak, Imacon, Leica, Sigma, Sinar, Phase, and everyone else who uses CCD and CMOS chips devoid of OLP filters to be wrong, with your statement "You cannot put a very good lens on a camera with large non OLP filtered pixels without producing a lot of artefacts."  So not only are these companies selling faulty sensors on their cameras but they're peddling us mediocre lenses as excellent lenses given your assertion above.  

It's truly unfortunate that all of the medium format sensor makers and all of the camera makers that use CCD and CMOS sensors devoid of OLP filters didn't consult with you before dumping untold resources into image making devices that create so much fake detail.  I suggest that you present your credentials to them as it would save them a lot of money spent on technology that produces "a lot of fake detail."  

You've taken sophistry to a new level.  This is one of the unfortunate aspects of the internet, as some will read your post and make assumptions, just as you have, repeating your nonsense on other forums until it becomes commonplace.  And all the while those of us shooting with Leica DMR's, M8's, M9's, M240's, S2's Sigma Merrill's and all medium format digital backs will be producing beautiful images with our cameras using sensors that produce so much "fake detail."

You're digging a wonderful hole for yourself in full view of the entire internet world to see.  And no doubt, I've provided you with a new shovel to continue your task.  Have at it.

Viva los detalles falsos!!!
Lawrence  
 

Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: hjulenissen on April 27, 2013, 04:20:51 PM
Is it inconcievable that some cameras, while appealing to some photographers, and producing appealing images in the right hands, have technical limitations that other cameras may not have (to the same degree)?

If you have a successful career or a rewarding hobby as a photographer not caring about measurements and test-charts, why should you care if someone comments on the measurements and test-chart abilities of your chosen tools?

-h
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: Rob C on April 28, 2013, 08:35:20 AM
Is it inconcievable that some cameras, while appealing to some photographers, and producing appealing images in the right hands, have technical limitations that other cameras may not have (to the same degree)?

If you have a successful career or a rewarding hobby as a photographer not caring about measurements and test-charts, why should you care if someone comments on the measurements and test-chart abilities of your chosen tools?-h




Take great care: sounds as if you are turning into me!

;-)

Rob C
Title: Leica M240 review: it seems that you _are_ comparing default JPEGs
Post by: BJL on April 29, 2013, 10:04:55 AM
... I've yet to hear from a single A900 user who moved over from a DMR who didn't say the DMR produced better color. ... even with the kludge that is the DMR, I can get from A to Z in a fraction of the time and with better results. ... What matters to some of us who used to shoot and print our film is the color and sharpness Leica optics provide.  These qualities may not be important for those who post jpgs on the internet, or print to a maximum size of 11x14", but it matters when your market is for extreme enlargements.
You did not directly give any answers to any of my questions about what raw conversions are used in these color and sharpness comparisons, but you silence on that point and a few of your comments quoted above make it sounds like you are indeed comparing default (in-camera?) JPEG conversions, for both color and sharpness.  If so, then it puzzles me that with all your emphasis on sharpness and color accuracy and "extreme enlargements", you ignore even the basic post-processing that most digital photographers would apply in preparing such prints --- especially since this effort is so much less effort than was required with making large, fine prints from film. For example, it seems that many DSLR's deliberately do not apply "print-ready" levels of sharpening to their default output, and err if anything on the side of low contrast, and so produce default output that is under-sharpened and slightly flat if viewed large: this is deliberate, on the expectation that sharpening and such will be part of the preparation for large prints, and such sharpening is better applied later in the process, with the intended print size taken into account. And if you really want out-of-camera files that are ready to print large, then the cameras settings should be adjusted before you judge a camera by its default output.
Title: Re: Leica M240 review: it seems that you _are_ comparing default JPEGs
Post by: telyt on April 29, 2013, 04:59:27 PM
You did not directly give any answers to any of my questions about what raw conversions are used in these color and sharpness comparisons, but you silence on that point and a few of your comments quoted above make it sounds like you are indeed comparing default (in-camera?) JPEG conversions, for both color and sharpness.  If so, then it puzzles me that with all your emphasis on sharpness and color accuracy and "extreme enlargements", you ignore even the basic post-processing that most digital photographers would apply in preparing such prints --- especially since this effort is so much less effort than was required with making large, fine prints from film. For example, it seems that many DSLR's deliberately do not apply "print-ready" levels of sharpening to their default output, and err if anything on the side of low contrast, and so produce default output that is under-sharpened and slightly flat if viewed large: this is deliberate, on the expectation that sharpening and such will be part of the preparation for large prints, and such sharpening is better applied later in the process, with the intended print size taken into account. And if you really want out-of-camera files that are ready to print large, then the cameras settings should be adjusted before you judge a camera by its default output.

You are making numerous unfounded assumptions.  Lawrence is not comparing in-camera jpg files.
Title: Re: Leica M240 review: it seems that you _are_ comparing default JPEGs
Post by: Ray on April 29, 2013, 07:37:49 PM
You are making numerous unfounded assumptions.  Lawrence is not comparing in-camera jpg files.

They don't seem like assumptions to me but more like questions. For those of us who are used to adjusting to taste, the color, white balance, contrast, sharpness and vibrancy etc. of each image in Lightroom or ACR as we process it, any claims that one particular model of camera produces more pleasing color and contrast than another should immediately raise the suspicion that the images being compared are either jpegs straight out of the cameras, or 'default' RAW conversions without further adjustments having been made.

Whenever I compare the images of identical scenes from different cameras and/or different lenses, I always try to get the adjustable broad variables the same, such as color and contrast, so that I can more clearly see the advantages that one camera or lens may have over the other, such as lower noise with equal sharpening, or higher resolution.
Title: Re: Leica M240 review: it seems that you _are_ comparing default JPEGs
Post by: ErikKaffehr on April 29, 2013, 11:46:35 PM
Hi,

This is one of the questions I have. How much different is color rendition between different sensors, and how much of that is coming from the sensor, the color conversion matrix in the camera and from the color conversion pipeline in the raw processor.

Regarding the sensor, what matters is the CGA (Color Grid Array) which are known to be different between cameras and sensors.

Some examples and thoughts are listed here: http://echophoto.dnsalias.net/ekr/index.php/photoarticles/71-mf-digital-myths-or-facts?start=9

What is correct color is pretty much up to taste. How green is the grass? Some liked Velvia in film times and some liked Ektachrome, those films were very different.

To an extent, the accuracy of color reproduction can be measured. DxO presents something called Sensitivity Metamerism Index, which is based on reproduction of color checker values. We see millions of colors and the Color Checker has just eighteen colors, so SMI obviously doesn't say it all, but if a sensor cannot reproduce the 18 CC colors correctly it is probable that it cannot reproduce the other millions of colors either.

For me, there are far more questions about color reproduction than there are answers.

Best regards
Erik

They don't seem like assumptions to me but more like questions. For those of us who are used to adjusting to taste, the color, white balance, contrast, sharpness and vibrancy etc. of each image in Lightroom or ACR as we process it, any claims that one particular model of camera produces more pleasing color and contrast than another should immediately raise the suspicion that the images being compared are either jpegs straight out of the cameras, or 'default' RAW conversions without further adjustments having been made.

Whenever I compare the images of identical scenes from different cameras and/or different lenses, I always try to get the adjustable broad variables the same, such as color and contrast, so that I can more clearly see the advantages that one camera or lens may have over the other, such as lower noise with equal sharpening, or higher resolution.
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: OldRoy on April 30, 2013, 04:11:06 AM
Whilst I tend to fall asleep when reading some of the - undoubtedly highly informed - discussion in this thread, which is in any case of no more than casual interest to me, I keep coming back to the observation made in Erwin Puts' piece. In it he compares Mark Dubovoy's assessment of the M8 series with the current camera.

"The big question: the Leica M8 gets the identical comments (stunning, superb) that the Leica M is receiving, but the M8 is now “a bust, it was not a good camera”, but then it offered “exceptional shooting experience and extraordinary image quality”.
What will Mark Dubovoy say about the Leica M when a new Leica M (2014) will be announced.
"

Call me mean-spirited, but such glaring contradiction completely undermines any value in the review. Did I miss something whilst asleep or has anyone found a way to explain away this 180 degree swerve?
Roy

Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: Rob C on April 30, 2013, 04:47:09 AM
Whilst I tend to fall asleep when reading some of the - undoubtedly highly informed - discussion in this thread, which is in any case of no more than casual interest to me, I keep coming back to the observation made in Erwin Puts' piece. In it he compares Mark Dubovoy's assessment of the M8 series with the current camera.

"The big question: the Leica M8 gets the identical comments (stunning, superb) that the Leica M is receiving, but the M8 is now “a bust, it was not a good camera”, but then it offered “exceptional shooting experience and extraordinary image quality”.
What will Mark Dubovoy say about the Leica M when a new Leica M (2014) will be announced.
"

Call me mean-spirited, but such glaring contradiction completely undermines any value in the review. Did I miss something whilst asleep or has anyone found a way to explain away this 180 degree swerve?Roy




Stunning footwork? Pelmanism?

Rob C
Title: Re: Leica M240 review: it seems that you _are_ comparing default JPEGs
Post by: Ray on April 30, 2013, 05:08:27 AM
To an extent, the accuracy of color reproduction can be measured. DxO presents something called Sensitivity Metamerism Index, which is based on reproduction of color checker values. We see millions of colors and the Color Checker has just eighteen colors, so SMI obviously doesn't say it all, but if a sensor cannot reproduce the 18 CC colors correctly it is probable that it cannot reproduce the other millions of colors either.

Good point, Erik. It's clear from the DXOMark tests that the Leica pixel in the M240 has no advantage compared with the smaller Nikon pixel in the D800E. However, at the lower base ISO of ISO 73 for the D800E, as opposed to ISO 134 for the Leica, as measured by DXO, the smaller D800E pixel seems to have equal or better performance across all parameters measured, including SNR, DR, Tonal Range and Color Sensitivity.

If we compare equal size prints, which is usually the sensible thing to do, the difference in the technical performance between these two cameras is magnified. The DR of the D800E is over one full stop better than the M240 at base ISO, and 1.46 EV better at ISO 3200.

That's a very significant difference, yet Mark Dubovoy writes in his review:
Quote
I set the two cameras at ISO 3200 to shoot the following high contrast scene: ...At ISO 3200 the Leica image is cleaner, with less noise.

Now what the heck is going on here? That's a huge discrepancy. Are you feeling quite all right, Mark?  ;)

I can only assume that the indoor kitchen scene that Mark shot for this comparison at ISO 3200 did not have any deep shadows. It was a contrasty scene only in relation to the bright light at the window, which is blown in both shots. The SNR at 18%, for the D800E, is only marginally better than the Leica, at ISO 3200, according to DXO, and marginally better to a degree than one probably wouldn't notice.

I think what is happening here, in this article, is that Mark is rationalizing after the event, a purchasing decision he made which was not at all rational. Hence the title, "I will not buy that camera. I promise.."  ;D

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Cameras/Compare-Camera-Sensors/Compare-cameras-side-by-side/(appareil1)/844%7C0/(brand)/Leica/(appareil2)/814%7C0/(brand2)/Nikon
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: hjulenissen on April 30, 2013, 05:09:04 AM
Whilst I tend to fall asleep when reading some of the - undoubtedly highly informed - discussion in this thread, which is in any case of no more than casual interest to me, I keep coming back to the observation made in Erwin Puts' piece. In it he compares Mark Dubovoy's assessment of the M8 series with the current camera.

"The big question: the Leica M8 gets the identical comments (stunning, superb) that the Leica M is receiving, but the M8 is now “a bust, it was not a good camera”, but then it offered “exceptional shooting experience and extraordinary image quality”.
What will Mark Dubovoy say about the Leica M when a new Leica M (2014) will be announced.
"

Call me mean-spirited, but such glaring contradiction completely undermines any value in the review. Did I miss something whilst asleep or has anyone found a way to explain away this 180 degree swerve?
Roy
Enthusiasm fuels many positive human endeavours, but tends to wear off over time.

-h
Title: Re: Leica M240 review: it seems that you _are_ comparing default JPEGs
Post by: hjulenissen on April 30, 2013, 05:12:58 AM
Now what the heck is going on here? That's a huge discrepancy. Are you feeling quite all right, Mark?  ;)
A measurement of SNR and DR does not have to correlate perfectly with perceived "SNR" and "DR". Throw in somewhat different color correction matrixes etc.
Quote
I think what is happening here, in this article, is that Mark is rationalizing after the event, a purchasing decision he made which was not at all rational. Hence the title, "I will not buy that camera. I promise.."  ;D
Don't we all try to rationalize our (predominantly) intuitive, gut-feeling-dominated, subjective way of being?

-h
Title: Re: Leica M240 review: it seems that you _are_ comparing default JPEGs
Post by: Ray on April 30, 2013, 09:00:17 AM
.Don't we all try to rationalize our (predominantly) intuitive, gut-feeling-dominated, subjective way of being?

-h

I wonder if this piece was written for April 1st but published a bit late.  ;D
Title: Re: Leica M240 review: it seems that you _are_ comparing default JPEGs
Post by: ErikKaffehr on April 30, 2013, 10:23:17 AM
Hi,

The samples Mark has shown seem a bit cleaner in the shadows  on the Leica, indeed. To judge DR you need to have the whole picture, that is check how highlights are exposed. I usually check images with Rawdigger before drawing any conclusion.

Best regards
Erik



If we compare equal size prints, which is usually the sensible thing to do, the difference in the technical performance between these two cameras is magnified. The DR of the D800E is over one full stop better than the M240 at base ISO, and 1.46 EV better at ISO 3200.

That's a very significant difference, yet Mark Dubovoy writes in his review:
Now what the heck is going on here? That's a huge discrepancy. Are you feeling quite all right, Mark?  ;)

I can only assume that the indoor kitchen scene that Mark shot for this comparison at ISO 3200 did not have any deep shadows. It was a contrasty scene only in relation to the bright light at the window, which is blown in both shots. The SNR at 18%, for the D800E, is only marginally better than the Leica, at ISO 3200, according to DXO, and marginally better to a degree than one probably wouldn't notice.

I think what is happening here, in this article, is that Mark is rationalizing after the event, a purchasing decision he made which was not at all rational. Hence the title, "I will not buy that camera. I promise.."  ;D

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Cameras/Compare-Camera-Sensors/Compare-cameras-side-by-side/(appareil1)/844%7C0/(brand)/Leica/(appareil2)/814%7C0/(brand2)/Nikon

Title: Re: Leica M240 review: it seems that you _are_ comparing default JPEGs
Post by: Ray on April 30, 2013, 10:01:55 PM

The samples Mark has shown seem a bit cleaner in the shadows  on the Leica, indeed. To judge DR you need to have the whole picture, that is check how highlights are exposed. I usually check images with Rawdigger before drawing any conclusion.


Not to any degree that's worth mentioning. The differences in SNR between these two cameras at ISO 3200, according to DXO, is of the order of 1.4dB in favour of Nikon, and such differences will vary according to the accuracy of the testing procedures and the variability of the quality control during the manufacture of the cameras.

Mark has presented two images as though they are shots of a high-dynamic-range scene capable of revealing differences in shadow detail. However, by overexposing the highlights (the kitchen window) he's actually presented a normal scene that's not particularly contrasty and demonstrated that the cameras are about equal regards noise in the mid-tones and lower mid-tones, at high ISO. At base ISO the results would clearly favour the Nikon.

If anyone wishes to compare shadow noise, particularly deep shadow noise, then I would advise him to compare images that have been properly exposed for the highlights such as a bright scene out of a window.

C'mon guys! Wake up! This is an April Fools' joke posted a bit late.  ;D ;D ;D
Title: Changed my mind
Post by: Telecaster on May 12, 2013, 04:29:38 PM
I had an M 240 on order for awhile. Then a local acquaintance received hers, and I had a chance to give it a good go with a few of my own M lenses. The upshot? The actual results were fine technically, but the camera & I just didn't bond. I read Michael's comments re. his group shoot w/ the 240 and found myself agreeing with him pretty much down the line. So I canceled the order and bought myself a used M6 TTL instead. (I also have the M2 I inherited many years ago from my dad.) Now I guess I'll start digging into the freezer full of old Tri-X and HP5+ I've been ignoring for the past decade. Bring on the Rodinal!  ;D

-Dave-
Title: Re: Changed my mind
Post by: ErikKaffehr on May 12, 2013, 04:32:24 PM
Is Rodinal still around? As far as I recall it worked just fine with T-MAX 100.

Best regards
Erik

I had an M 240 on order for awhile. Then a local acquaintance received hers, and I had a chance to give it a good go with a few of my own M lenses. The upshot? The actual results were fine technically, but the camera & I just didn't bond. I read Michael's comments re. his group shoot w/ the 240 and found myself agreeing with him pretty much down the line. So I canceled the order and bought myself a used M6 TTL instead. (I also have the M2 I inherited many years ago from my dad.) Now I guess I'll start digging into the freezer full of old Tri-X and HP5+ I've been ignoring for the past decade. Bring on the Rodinal!  ;D

-Dave-
Title: Re: Changed my mind
Post by: Telecaster on May 12, 2013, 04:38:03 PM
Is Rodinal still around? As far as I recall it worked just fine with T-MAX 100.

The formula is known...but I was jesting actually. I don't actually know what I'll use for developing...gotta look into it. Shoot first, ask questions later.   :D

-Dave-
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: Faintandfuzzy on May 19, 2013, 11:08:49 AM
Well, after seeing Erwin's quotes from Mark's M8 article, I think I'll just ignore the new review of the M240.  When I see comments about the M8 having better shadow detail than any other DSLR on the market ( when in fact it was one of the worst EVER), I think the tint on the rose coloured glasses is a bit too deep.
Title: Re: Leica M240 review
Post by: ErikKaffehr on May 19, 2013, 02:27:36 PM
Hi,

My understanding is that the new CMOS sensor in the M (240) is pretty good in DR better than Canon but not as good as the best Sony based designs.

Color? Who knows...

How much is myth and how much reality? I don't know.

Erik



Well, after seeing Erwin's quotes from Mark's M8 article, I think I'll just ignore the new review of the M240.  When I see comments about the M8 having better shadow detail than any other DSLR on the market ( when in fact it was one of the worst EVER), I think the tint on the rose coloured glasses is a bit too deep.