Did you find the Leica Monochrom worth it?

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by ray ., May 17, 2015.

  1. In a review on the Leica Monochrom (first version), a reputable reviewer has stated that some people, on first viewing
    their files from the camera, have been surprised to find them to be flat and lacking contrast. He goes on to say that this is the look of a good medium format negative, and it's ideal for very nuanced prints with subtle tonalities. He states that digital post process is similar to making a print with graded papers in the darkroom. In order to be able to do this properly and take full advantage of the files, one first needs a high end monitor, like the NEC Spectra View or EIZO monitors. iMac screens, while good in his opinion, aren't good enough to get the most out of a Leica Monochrom file.
    What people end up doing with an inadequate monitor is to pump up the contrast to the point where subtle mid tones are lost.

    What have those of you who have the camera found? Are you working with an average monitor and finding the files not
    worth the price you paid, or are you impressed? Have you gone the high end monitor route? Do you
    print? I've found printing is a different ballgame than posting photos on the net. What's the result there? What is
    your feeling on the matter?
     
  2. After some hours I've noticed no one responding. However, your original post inspired a search of imagesmade with the Monochrom, and I also came upon a number of blogs. It made for an inspiring afternoon. I saw nothing dull. Quite to the contrary. Leica is out of my price range, so I enjoyed from afar. I hope someone will respond to your question.
     
  3. I've seen many outstanding street and documentary photos online by folks like Peter Turnley, Mark Brown and others using the Monochrom. Most of them are editing from raw files, not posting straight from camera JPEGs. The clarity is outstanding - comparable to T-Max 100 and Neopan in overall appearance, even at high ISOs.
    The only criticism I'd have is that some Leica Monochrom and M9 shooters tend to overwork their b&w photos, leaning a bit too hard on the Lightroom sliders for clarity and shadow, approaching an almost tone mapped effect. This seems to happen more often with folks who got into photography only the past decade and didn't use film extensively. It's just a different aesthetic, not better or worse, just different from my personal preferences.
    No idea what the SOOC JPEGs look like for people pix, so far nobody I follow posts 'em. Dpreview posts JPEGs but they don't really do people photography, which would be my main interest in such a camera (although the Leicas are far beyond my budget). I'd really like to try one just to see if I can adapt to the rangefinder focusing. I tried various Leica M film cameras years ago and couldn't adapt quickly to rangefinder focusing. So I just bought a few cheap compact rangefinders and stick with stopping down and zone focusing. If I still can't adapt to quickly focusing a rangefinder I'm probably better off with an AF digicam with optical viewfinder like the Fuji X100 or X-Pro 1. I do like the optical viewfinder for the uninterrupted view when taking candids.
    Of my various other digicams - Nikon V1, Fuji X-A1, Ricoh GRD4, Ricoh GX100 - only the GRD4 consistently generates thoroughly satisfactory b&w JPEGs straight from the camera. I often use the Nikon V1 in b&w mode with the digital orange filter - the results often favor candid people pix in dim lighting by lightening darker skin tones. But in full lighting the orange filter is a bit much and tends to excessively lighten skin and loses subtle textures and shadow/light modeling. And much as I like the color photos from the Fuji, the b&w mode is usually a bit flat for my taste.
     
  4. In reverse order of importance:

    1. Stunning capability. It is nothing to shoot on the shady side of the street with ISO 3200 and enjoy the luxury of f8 and
    1/1000s. Doable with other cameras, but no other Leica when it was released.

    2. The resolution allows very useable photographs from a fraction of the original frame.

    3. The noiseless shadow detail can be pulled up from near black.

    4. It only does black and white. You think like you've got Tri-X in the camera (or a mixture of Panatomic X and Tri-X).

    5. The tonal gradation is so subtle. I took a photograph in Paris in late afternoon sun of two men talking at the entrance to
    a bookshop. The recreation of the light of that moment is magical, never more evident than in an Epson 3880 print on
    good Ilford paper.

    Some shots hardly need any post processing at all. The flatness is evident in other shots, leaving you a flexible platform. I add no clarity or sharpening in Lightroom, ever. Mostly I am increasing contrast, moving the Black and Highlight sliders in opposite directions and raising the Shadow slider.

    Did I find the original Monochrom worth it? Utterly.
     
  5. You know you want one Ray, you can't fight it and win... you are pretty good at selling equipment you don't want, so its a big initial investment, but if you don't like it you can sell it off at not too big of a loss. Should I think of a few more justifiers to help nudge you over the edge?
     
  6. Haha. That's a pretty good justifier Barry. Got any more? It won't be a cliff I'd be trying to fly off of anyway........ It's just money.

    Thanks everyone else who has answered so far, I appreciate the input.
     
  7. While it's nice to have a decent monitor, I edited my first two years' worth of Monochrom images on a Lenovo portable workstation (you can call it a laptop, if you have a very substantial lap), and the resulting prints look great (I don't post anything on the Web). I take the finished files to a rental facility I use for printing, and when they come up on the Macs they use there, the images didn't need any tweaking to make good prints.
    I now do most of my editing on a Lenovo ThinkStation desktop with a NEC Multisync monitor, and I still don't see a huge difference in the images that I originally edited on the portable rig. The MM is a great camera, my primary digicam, and the big prints look like medium-format TMax 400 or Delta 100. Even if I shoot at EI 800 or 1600, I don't need to do much in the way of noise reduction. The RAW files out of the camera are flat, so you have to do some post-processing to give them some zap. But after a while, you can develop some Lightroom pre-sets that do much of the initial work.
     
  8. I recently purchased a new Monochrom due to the falling prices as a result of the 246 version being released. I'm finding the B&W medium refreshing. The shot below was a test shot to see how the camera processes clouds (no processing). Not bad, but this shot did prompt me to purchase yellow 16 and red 25 filters for all of my lenses.
    00dIUh-556825784.jpg
     
  9. First test shot out of the camera for detail. ...
    00dIUk-556825884.jpg
     
  10. Ray there are some that will insist you need a Nec, Eizo etc. to get the best out of any raw digital workflow, but I think you can do fine on your iMac for a while. Have you tried the Silver Efx that Ian recommended? I've been using that and I think the results are pretty good. Maybe that would be a good try (assuming you already haven't) before you spend the cash. If you do get the M, can I borrow it :)
     
  11. rowlett

    rowlett Moderator

    I have been using one and I really enjoy it.

    Some notes. Initially, I kept the shutter speed on A and became very frustrated with the shortness of battery life while not knowing why. I have since learned how to shoot the thing and keep it off of the A setting and my battery lasts surprisingly longer.

    I get a lot of remarks from the non-photographers who notice its old-style yet refined looks. "Wow, nice camera! That's an old film model, right?" Not so surprising, really. I am always tickled when I tell them, no, it's a newish digital camera, but it takes lenses dating back to 1954 without adapters, and even before that with adapters!

    The files are beautiful. As Lex points out, though, it's easy to over do them with those sliders. I tend to make adjustments fairly modestly now, and after I think I'm done, I up the exposure a tad, and bring the other sliders like shadow and clarity down to earth from outer space.

    Being a little thicker than the traditional film M camera, a "Thumbs Up" from Match Technical Services ( http://www.matchtechnical.com/Pages/default.aspx ) is an awesome accessory, and it makes the camera feel like a pair of Birkenstocks, i.e. like it is super-glued to my hand. (My Birks sometimes are hard to shake off, they fit so well. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birkenstock )
     
  12. Tony wears Birkies? I'll bet he wears 'em with white socks. While driving a Subaru.
     
  13. I use it like a film camera loaded with Panatomic-X outdoors, and pushed Tri-X indoors.
    95% of my shots are straight exports to Jpeg as I use filters before taking the shot, preferred to sliders afterwards. If these shots are considered "flat" in "modern times", so what. I'm an antique.
    ISO 5000 [​IMG]
    ISO 10,000, some NR- Sharpening turned off
    [​IMG]
    ISO 320.Nikkor 10.5cm F2.5, Y52 filter.
    [​IMG]
     
  14. I bought mine to escape the dilemma of having a "color savvy" reputation to lose and a not calibrated average screen.
    I don't know what would be hard about processing Monochrom files for print according to histogram guesswork after 3 attempts to get an idea of what you are seeing and getting.
    From my understanding a inferior monitor renders 0 - 9 = "pitchblack" + 245 & above = "pure white" (hopefully slightly exagurated) - How is that bugger supposed to eat grey shades in between, by misleading the user? - From my limited dabbling so far I'd rather blame the popular zone system substitute of "Auto everything & fix it in post". Bright skies and other light sourrces can cause dark skin tones and any attempt to lighten those eats lots of half tones indeed and a lack of shadow detail shouts for a lot of black area in the image... - Thats just a rough guess. The really interesting experiment would be to let classes of wannabe media technicians tweak a few well exposed files on ideal and average monitors and to compare their results.
    Worth it? - I think the ISO range is it. - I can't compare the MM to desaturating color files. - I never liked doing the latter without a publishing related need, so it had to be a BW camera for me.
     
  15. A monochrome Leica is a niche item. It does what it does with extreme precision and quality, it just doesn't do very much. Pride of ownership comes at a steep price, so you must ask yourself a few questions, including those related to using any rangefinder camera.
    • Does B&W suit my style of photography?
    • Does the increased ISO range and resolution offset the loss of color?
    • Do I have a market for the results (assuming you aren't a wealthy dilettante)?
    • Will I invest in a monochrome photo printer?
    • Am I comfortable with rangefinder focusing?
    • Can I live with a limited range of very expensive lenses (28, 35, 50, 75, 90 and 135, costing $2200 to $12K)?
    • Do I regularly use lenses longer than 50mm? (focusing a 90mm lens at f/2 with a 0.58x finder is ... challenging)?
    • Can I live without automatic focusing, shutter priority, and zoom lenses?
    • Can I live with limited battery life (300 images or 3 hours, whichever is less)?
    Perhaps the key is how well a rangefinder camera fits your style and needs, and whether your budget will encompass both an expensive body and equally expensive lenses good enough to take advantage of it. Once you have used a digital M with a Leica or Zeiss lens, you will not be satisfied with anything less. It is a road to perdition.
     
  16. "ask yourself a few questions":
    • Does B&W suit my style of photography? Yes;
    • Does the increased ISO range and resolution offset the loss of color? Don't know;
    • Do I have a market for the results (assuming you aren't a wealthy dilettante)? I am a wealthy dilettante;
    • Will I invest in a monochrome photo printer? Not necessary, an Epson P600 with 3 B&W inks is enough;
    • Am I comfortable with rangefinder focusing? So so;
    • Can I live with a limited range of very expensive lenses (28, 35, 50, 75, 90 and 135, costing $2200 to $12K)? Zeiss, yes;
    • Do I regularly use lenses l onger than 50mm? (focusing a 90mm lens at f/2 with a 0.58x finder is ... challenging)? No, rarely;
    • Can I live without automatic focusing, shutter priority, and zoom lenses? Yes;
    • Can I live with limited battery life (300 images or 3 hours, whichever is less)? Yes;
    Edward, please, your diagnostic?
     
  17. Hmm, wasn't aware there was such a thing as a monochrome printer. Who makes them?
     
  18. rowlett

    rowlett Moderator

    Ray, I'm not sure, but maybe Edward meant a monochrome printing process that would suit the quality of the Leica images. Colorbyte's "Imageprint" software is extremely good, but its user interface is a bit quirky in my opinion. (I have not seen version 10, though.) http://colorbytesoftware.com/
     
  19. I should know this but can you add a layer of sepia or whatever tint to the monochrome image in
    photoshop? Or for sure at least at the printer stage I would assume. ??
     
  20. Yes- you can convert the image to 16-bit RGB with "Mode" and then apply the color toning. You can also do this with Silver
    Efex2.
     
  21. The Advanced Black and White with the Epson 3880 is very good, and the 'Warm Tone' output is subtle and pleasing if you like that. The original Monochrom does a Sepia jpeg output that is less subtle.
     
  22. Right, I've got a 3800 and the 'advanced b&w' setting warm tone is nice.
     
  23. With a big part of the advantage of a Monochrom over the M9 being gaining a stop and a half in ISO
    performance-- If you put a yellow filter on the lens you give back a stop anyway, right?
     
  24. I prefer a Deep yellow or Orange filter outdoors. For low-light and High-ISO: do not use them.
     
  25. Thanks Brian. I'm starting to get some nice results now converting to monochrome with the M9, so I think I
    may stick to that, at least for awhile. The ability to use color sliders in post is part of that decision.
     
  26. Ray there's a great thread on RFF of M9 black and white conversions which certainly made me wonder why I had added the Monochrom to my stable. While there are good reasons, the black and white from the M9 can also be stunning.
    http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=139399
     
  27. I did some M9 and M8 monochrome conversions experiments using a Yellow filter with them, and wrote some Fortran code to convert them to monochrome Linear DNG.
    http://www.leicaplace.com/threads/1145/page-2
    The Yellow filter makes the Blue channel respond much closer to Green. So- if you plan on converting an image to monochrome, it gives a better starting point.
    [​IMG]
    100% crop
    [​IMG]
     
  28. The M8 used with 14-bit Raw mode, converted using M8RAW2DNG-
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    My demosaic routines works by merging Blue and Green (not adding) and then adding the interpolated red channel. It cuts down on the amount of interpolation.
    It's different, works better in some cases, still has artifacts- but less moire.
     
  29. Beautiful Barry. That first one has real presence.
     
  30. Thanks to Richard, Ray and Brian for some insight and links on their M9 application to monochrome. While I have been using filters on the M8 to generate IR results, the use of a yellow filter on intended M9 B&W images sounds like something worth trying in order to improve subsequent conversions.
    But I wonder how different that would be (other than losing a diaphragm or two of ISO) from an alternative (?) of dialing in post exposure yellow filter simulation in Photoshop or other image editor? The high cost of the new Monochrom (240P) remains a very hypothetical (unlikely) purchase in my case and for my budget, despite its advantages in ISO performance, superior monitor screen and slightly better resolution.
     
  31. I'm curious as well how a yellow filter alone would affect things. The Fortran code is a foreign language
    to me Brian, but at any rate your top image is especially nice.

    Thanks Richard G for the RFF link.. I'm going through it and saw mention of a DNG+b&w jpg setting on
    the M9, but though I see a DNG + jpg option on my camera, I would assume the jpg would be color, so
    that's a question.

    Arthur, the improvements and changes on the new Leicas are interesting, but considering the cost and
    that technology is constantly changing, I think it's wise for most of us to pick and choose. I got my M9
    used and it's satisfied a lot of what I'd like from a camera.

    If anyone has the inclination to check his site, Sean Reid has some very nice technically nuanced black and white
    outdoor shots from both the Monochrom and the new M246 monochrome camera. I'm not sure if he has
    a free trial on his site, and I'm not affiliated with him in any way, but have found his reviews some of the
    most helpful I've seen. He apparently also makes recommendations to Leica, some of which they follow
    in their design and development.
     
  32. This is how the M8 sensor sees things, full color- no filter. Imported as Photoshop RAW- so the Demosaic process has been bypassed.
    [​IMG]
    This is how the sensor sees things through the Yellow filter. Again: "Truly" Raw data.
    [​IMG] The Raw image is much closer to what you want as a monochrome conversion. The Blue channel becomes much closer to Green, and the Red channel benefits from the 1 F-Stop increase in exposure. Easier to start with this image.
     
  33. So- best to try a yellow filter on the M9? Or yellow-orange (deep yellow)? Or is it a matter of preference?
     
  34. Yellow filter for the M9 is best, the equivalent of a Nikon Y48, medium yellow. This is a 1 Stop filter factor. The "Blue" channel on the M9 has a lot of sensitivity overlap with Green. Using the Y48 seems to bring the channels into closest balance for monochrome.
    Now- for the M8, Orange leaves the Blue channel sensitive to Infrared, Green gets Visible+IR, and Red is mostly Red. Closest to Infrared Ektachrome that I can get with a Digital camera. Yellow for Monochrome, Orange for Infrared
    [​IMG]
    Orange filter on the M8, custom demosaic algorithm. I think this can also be done using Photoshop, I will check.
     
  35. The DNG+JPEG option on the M9 allows you then to choose the settings for the jpeg which do not affect the RAW. You need to set up Lightroom to display both the RAW and jpeg for a given photo. When photographing at some evening function where there is invariably horrible coloured lighting you can have the jpeg set to black and white, even if you don't want that later, just so you don't have something horrible to be reviewing on the LCD. You still have the colour raw image to work on if you want to or need to. The black and white jpegs out of the M9 are very good I reckon.
     
  36. I don't have a Monochrom, though I am contemplating getting one.
    Apart from the motives put forward by others on this thread there are two additional reasons (for me anyway)
    1) If ones camera ONLY takes B&W, then you HAVE to think in B&W. Every scene needs to be evaluated in terms of composition and light/shade. Too easy to click and shoot in colour.
    2) I am also a bit of a stargazer. The extra definition and ISO makes a big difference. Also, a star is a single point of light, so a well focussed lens will have that light hit a single pixel - red, green, or blue. Makes for pretty pictures, but quite unreal. Some astro-photographers defocus slightly so that several pixels, not just one, are exposed.

    On the negative side, if the new Monochrom uses the same IR filter as on the M, then the Hydrogen Alpha line is reduced by 90%.

    I don't think the Monochrom supports electronic triggering (needed to eliminate tripod shake and take multiple pics over several hours) or an external power supply (needed as batteries at low temperatures need frequent recharging)
     
  37. Nikon makes a full-frame monochrome microscope camera that uses the same basic sensor as the D4 and Df. I am
    guessing that you could use it as a telescope camera. I believe it is under $3K or so.

    The CCD in the M Monochrom will be better for long exposures than the CMOS sensor in the M246.

    I tried to convince Kodak to make a monochrome-IR version of the M9 in Jan 2010. I did convince them to make an
    Infrared version of the DCS200. The engineer that I talked to in 2010 remembered me from 1993 and the DCS200ir.
     
  38. Oops, I was wrong about NYC street photographer Mark Brown already having a Monochrom - he just got it yesterday. All his b&w photos I've seen were done with the M9. Looking forward to seeing what he does with the Monochrom, although I suspect he'd get the same results with any camera. But he's among the very few candid people photographers I can think of who's consistently good enough to justify the expense of a specialized camera like the Monochrom. He seems to prefer the 28, stopped down for zone focusing DOF, and has impeccable timing and a fearless yet empathetic approach.
     
  39. @ Alexander: If you can wire a cable release plug to your trigger, it should be able to handle the Monochrom. Or did you mean etriggering a virtual shutter? - I think the camera fires without an installed base plate, so it shouldn't be impossible to feed it the demanded voltage from an external source. But please don't rely on me; email Leica's customer support instead. - Better safe than sorry!
     
  40. @Alexander: you may want to look at the new Pentax K3II body for your astronomy interest. The new pixel shift feature and a couple other enhancements have caught my interest, too. OTOH, having this new Leica Monochrome model in my radar is causing all sorts of budgetary arguments. Which part of a huge hobby do I feed this time?
     
  41. "find them to be flat and lacking contrast"
    With respect looking at the photos posted I would agree with the above. For want of a better word they lack the "bite" you usually associate with a Leica camera and lens. Perhaps its just my monitor, or my personal taste.
    Im using a Mac Pro monitor.
    00dJuM-557000484.JPG
     
  42. Been using the MM for quite some time now. I rarely ever ran color film through my M cameras, so the MM was the digital camera I was waiting for. I currently do not have a color M, I sold it upon getting the MM.
    IMO, it eliminates the distraction of color and further disciplines you toward content. I literally believe you think differently when the medium is B&W.
    RE: Monitor ... I make prints, and using a Mac monitor I've produced the prints I want on a 3880 using various double weight fiber papers ... including one of my favorites Museo Silver Rag. My current monitor is an iMac 5K Retina.
    Processing: I import into Lightroom, make basic adjustments then open the file in Photoshop straight out of LR (PS is a plug-in) then in PS I open the file in Nik Silver Efex Pro plug-in (which came with the MM). Why not straight into Nik Silver Efex? Because in Photoshop it creates a layer for all Nik adjustments and you can adjust the Nik layer opacity if you wish to increase DR or apply less of the adjustment.
    I do not use filters. I've found that Nik Silver Effects has so many processing options, heal-toe responses, and fine tuning that I've never seen the need.
    While the initial RAW files can be subdued and lack POP! it is irrelevant to the end product which is up to the "eye of the beholder" ... the RAW files are very malleable as long as one doesn't blow the highlights.
    - Marc
    00dJwr-557009184.jpg
     
  43. "Allen Herbert , May 31, 2015; 06:18 p.m.
    "find them to be flat and lacking contrast"
    With respect looking at the photos posted I would agree with the above. For want of a better word they lack the 'bite' you usually associate with a Leica camera and lens. Perhaps its just my monitor, or my personal taste.​
    That's at the heart of what I mean, it depends completely on "receivers" of information. ONLY. So, do my film photos scanned and put online. But if I or anyone else has seen one on multiple computer monitors, smart phone screens, the Apple Watch, TV screens, which are the various receivers of digital information, and I want a consistent Mother-Image to remind myself what the actual image actually IS, I can go back to the negative where IT sits and print IT. That's because in film the light from the scene in front of the lens is "stamped" chemically on the film, which, when converted back into a mirror visual image on the negative is almost a mirror of the scene that first stamped the film. When darkroom-light through he negative stamps an image of the scene onto photographic paper we're back to a very close almost-duplicate of the original light/scene in front of the lens.
    It's "almost" because there are fluctuations dependent on the lens, film, chemical mix, and printing variations. But for practical purposes there is an IT there from scene to photo, an image.
    Digital images cease all associations with the scene in front of the lens immediately when the light/scene enters the camera past the lens and hits the sensors. Then there is no more IT. Only digital, electronic information forever dependent on a receiver to create an illusion of the image at THAT point. The receiver is all those different screens the information creates the illusion on. No more IT.
    The final image is produced by a computer in the receiver as the camera-computer created the information in the beginning. As opposed to film where there always is, from scene to photo, a "stamped"-image of the scene in very close approximation to it. That's the IT.
    And that's why to me digital, even using a Leica Monochrome, looks produced. It is. The result:everything is too perfect, needlepoint sharpness all over the place, if color, subtle blends all are now seemingly vibrant primary colors. It's like being hit over the head by the Rockefeller Christmas tree. I feel assaulted, And because EVERYTHING strikes my eye and brain with screams for attention, I lose the whole, the actual scene I saw when shooting. If B&W the same, there is no foreground/background of anything, meaning shading from white to black, focus to non-focus, depth of field etc. In short, there is no Gestalt. And I see Gestalts out there. My eyes and brain see a scene. What I look at in digital is a fragmented multitude of bits and pieces. It's not human, meaning based in human experience of the world.
    All that said I like those images of yours, if they are yours, very much, as computer creations. I mean that as a positive, not as a snide remark. If I look at a digital photo that way, as a computer creation overseen by a person, then I take them as that and stop comparing them to a photo of something, or styleistiaclly based on something.
     
  44. William, both chemical and digital are processes, not "mirrors" of reality.
    "It's like being hit over the head by the Rockefeller Christmas tree. I feel assaulted..."
    The same has always been the case with the chemical process, depending on who's handling it.
    Marc, nice to see you here.
     
  45. For what it's worth here are a couple of my photos from the M9 recently
    00dJyX-557012884.jpg
     
  46. Ray . [​IMG], Jun 01, 2015; 12:00 p.m.
    William, both chemical and digital are processes, not "mirrors" of reality.
    "It's like being hit over the head by the Rockefeller Christmas tree. I feel
    assaulted..." he same has always been the case with the chemical process,
    depending on who's handling it."
    I know the first and mentioned that. I did also mention though not a mirror, a close to a mirrored image exists in film. Or leave at image: there is an image in film. When you open a film camera and treat the the film you get the image that is chemically present, very close to what the eye saw before the shot was taken. You do not have anything in a digital camera period that the eye can see. The two are so far removed from each other that both being the result of processes becomes practically-speaking meaningless.

    The same is true of the last sentence: though both can produce garish photos, it's digital that does it routinely from the same far-different process. In digital no person making errors is responsible for that, it's the camera. In film, the paucity of "in your face" photos is BECAUSE someone or some mass-chemical processor is producing poor work.

    I've heard this "all the same" many times. But though elephants and humans are both similar in that we are mammals, I bet if you saw the cars around you driven by elephants and an elephant shopping for bread and milk at the store the difference would strike you as almost complete. And thus, that digital and film are both about the same is only linguistically true but points to no practical similarity.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ray,
    I like especially the soft fabric and shadows. That to me is a photo. Thanks for posting them.
     
  47. it

    it

    I have shot a bit with one. Incredible camera, the files are amazing.
     
  48. Maybe people should start writing more of their own software for digital.
    http://www.leicaplace.com/threads/1188/
    [​IMG]
    People made their own chemicals to suit their taste, did their own processes in the darkroom. I filed down the negative carrier to match the extra portion of the image caught with a Nikkor 24/2.8 on the F2.
     
  49. To add: I've looked at Digital images as photographs of the Mag tape that they were stored on to determine why the computer was getting read errors -34 years ago- to looking at M Monochrom files in HEX this past weekend to determine why Lightroom was turning part of the image Black rather than preserving the shadow detail. I wrote a FORTRAN program to rewrite the DNG file header.
    Using code that I DID NOT Write myself,
    [​IMG]
    My Code
    [​IMG]
    Evidently, the M Monochrom has more detail "in the Black" than the manufacturer thought it was capable of.
    [​IMG]
    Digital is very real to me.
     
  50. Fortran code to convert M Monochrom to 16-Bit DNG from 14-bit using curve Gamma= 1.0 with offset -1;
    then Silver Efex2 with Tri-X emulation.
    M Monochrom at ISO 10000,
    [​IMG]
     
  51. [​IMG]
    ^ What the Fortran code is generating and using, the Gamma= 1.0 curve selected for this image
    Fortran conversion to 16-bit DNG using the function Gamma 1.0 Intercept -1+Silver Efex 2, Panatomic-X emulation.
    ISO 5000
    [​IMG]
    Straight LR export, 14-bit DNG.
    [​IMG]
    These are with the 1950 Jupiter-3 5cm F1.5, completely rebuilt. It required major surgery.
     
  52. As Shot:
    [​IMG]
    Converted to 16-bits (from 14 Bits) using a Gamma 2 curve, then SEFX2 High Structure
    [​IMG]
    I have absolutely no interest in the M246. It is just 12-bits, and does not even use the full range. 0:3750.
    Having bit-depth means being able to stretch the image until it "pops".
     
  53. Just tried 3 test shots each of the same scenes with a medium yellow filter and without on the M9. Clearly better tonal rendition
    and detail after converting to b&w from shots with the yellow filter on the lens, at least on my monitor.

    Remains to be seen how I'll take to this while shooting, removing and replacing the filter based on whether
    I want the shot to be color or black and white. I suppose I could just pretend there's film in the camera I'm
    limited to, which is in effect what you have with the Monochrom.
     
  54. Brian,

    No pressure-- but I bought my M8 a few months ago in no small part to your and Arvid's extensive discussion and work about being able to
    access the RAW files through service mode. I think it is working pretty well.

    How would you compare your M8+RAW experience to the MM's in terms of other factors besides high ISO, which obviously the MM has
    and the M8 hasn't?

    Thanks
     

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