DMR (Update) and M7, 50/1.4 ASPH ... Go to Hollywood.

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by fotografz, Jan 31, 2006.

  1. Had to go to LA for 2 weeks to supervise a TV Commercial shoot. Saw a chance to further use the DMR/R9 before the next wedding season started. Also took a M7 & new 50/1.4 ASPH. to shoot some B&W on set. In the months since getting the DMR, had a chance to become more familiar with the characteristics of the sensor, especially processing the DNG RAW files ... plus, added a few R lenses to the bag. DMR Update: IMO, LEICA MADE A MISTAKE limiting the ISO to 800. At first I would NOT have said this. But after refining new RAW defaults in ARC that were defined for this camera's characteristics, instead of using the Canon DSLR defaults, I'm convinced that 1600 would've been a no brainer. ISO 800 shots now look like the ISO 400 shots I processed when I first started. Exploring the DNG files has provided further evidence that the 16 bit sensor is indeed a different animal, and has to be learned to get the most from the increased latitude it provides. The slight cropped frame isn't the same as shooting with other cropped frame cameras like a Canon 20D. The viewfinder is big and bright (the same as in a regular R9), just the shooting frame is defined by the DMR replacement screen etched lines. Those used to shooting with a M will be no stranger to this, and the ability to see outside of what you're shooting. I was worried that my bad eye sight was the cause of to many missed manual focus shots. That has improved to the point that I miss few now. I just had to relearn the art of manual focus after too many years of AF. Plus, I added a +1 diopter in addition to the built-in one and was able to refine the focus even better ... must have been right on the outer limit of + adjustment. As I practice with this camera, I am loving the images from many old favorite lenses: 35/1.4, 80/1.4 and 180/2.8. The images continue to delight, and look more film like than the Canon's produce, as well as render skin more lifelike. Here's a shot on set as the film director was thinking about the next scene we had to shoot ... more to come in an hour or so.
  2. Pic of the Director of Photography on the TV shoot shot @ ISO 800 + 1/2 stop ...
  3. Pic of the talent on set with extra in background. Shot during rehearsal @ ISO 400.
  4. Grip Truck @ location shot with 21-35/3.5 ... pretty good distortion control, tiny bit of CA at far outer left edge, but none in the right side at all.
  5. Production company's Line Producer working on location, shot with the new 50/1.4 ASPH. An improvement in subject sharpness over the previous 50/1.4 that I sold, with a bit harsher Bokeh ... but not as bad as I thought it would be. Not worth the huge amount of difference in price IMO ... but worth it if it is the only lens with you at the time...
  6. Nice to know. The warmer tones are certainly visible in your samples.
  7. Marc,

    Nice samples. How do you compare the DMR/80 1.4 characteristics with those you might get
    with your Canon and the CZ 85 1.4? Or against the dearly departed N Digital and N 85/1.4?

    Good to see your posts, I hope all is well.

  8. Your posts are always welcome, Marc. Hope to see more of them.
  9. I'm relatively new here Marc but evidently you're someone whom some people on the forum revere, so with all due reverence, perhaps in the hand your prints do indeed prove the things you contend about the DM-R and 50 ASPH. On a monitor, sized for the web, all that they prove is that good photographs are a result of how a photographer uses his equipment, not the equipment he uses.
  10. Great update Marc. I love to see your posts on this subject
  11. Well being a a 2 fisted now DMR guy , I echo Marc's comments to the letter. i have had a comlete Canon system and it is all gone now. I love this leica system for the quality of images that it produces , it really is just that simply. I have been shooting digital for 10 years at least and in my mind there is nothing better when the bottom line counts and that is image. Marc I am not a high ISO guy but would love to learn more of the 800 plus . I get to about 400 and chicken out . LOL
  12. Kent, I've found the C/Y lenses a bit cooler in color rendition to the Leica R counterparts. While this is easily adjusted in PS, the differences in the sensor characteristics are harder to correct. See answer to Peter A below. Fair enough Terence. We all have to take one another's word for it concerning performance characteristics when demonstrating them using tiny Jpgs. As to the other comment, it only can be said that when shooting on a live set with 30 people in a small room swarming around you, you take what you can get. You cannot interrupt anything, move anything, go where you want or stand where you want. It's a jumble, and that's what I was taking pics of so I can teach young Art Directors about location filming. Here's one of the Director, the 2nd Director (set boss), and the Director of Photography discussing the next scene action...
  13. Peter, I can speak to your inquiry here in brief terms so others interested can consider the info, and we can follow up in more detail via e-mail if you wish. Since I am shooting with a lot of different digital cameras (Canon 1DsMKII/5D, Leica DMR, and Hasselblad H2D) ... plus have used the Epson RD-1, Nikon D1-X and Contax ND in the past, I've found each can be optimized by creating specific RAW defaults in PSCS2 ARC for them. Once these are created, they can be saved and recalled when processing RAW files from those cameras. For example, the DNG files from both the H2D and Leica DMR are similar. Makes sense, since Imacon assisted Leica with the DMR. Both are 16 bit, CCD sensors without Anti- Ailasing filters. The Canon, as you well know, is a 12 bit CMOS with a filter. Throw in the different characteristics of the R verses Canon glass and there's enough difference to warrant different defaults as a starting point in ARC. So, the DMR files require a different Contrast setting, Saturation setting, Shadow depth and Brightness setting. Under the "Advanced" tab in ARC, I've also set the noise suppression slider a bit higher for the DMR because the CCD unfiltered files have more of it than the filtered CMOS files. There are a lot more subtile adjustments you eventually feed into each default setting until you are getting what you want easier when processing in ARC. This is essential for my wedding work because I'm processing hundreds of files at a crack, and in many cases from all 3 above mentioned cameras. I've mentioned that I'm becoming more impressed with the "apparent" increased dynamic range of the DMR. While I cannot quantify this scientifically, I can only speak based on practical experience in difficult lighting scenarios. Here's an example where in similar lighting I've had a bit more difficulty holding the back lit shadow areas with the 1DsMKII without blowing the hard brights. The shapely subject is a producer leaving the Santa Monica hotel where I was staying. She was walking over to see the sunset, and I grabbed a shot from my balcony 'cause the light was interesting ...
  14. while 800 is plenty for me I can see the desire to have that extra stop.. a good solution I
    found with the 16bit back is that I set the iso to 800 with the camera in A (apeture prefer.)
    mode, then by
    under exposing with the exposure adj. set to -1.0, I get the equialvent to 1600 iso... I
    usually underexpose by at least half a stop with the dmr, it is better to push up the
    shadows then have blown out highlights - works for me.
    marc, have you tried converting dmr files to bw? I have been very happy with the range
    and flexibiliy of the requires some workflowtime, but having the option of
    color or bw for shots is nice.
  15. Marc, I believe you have had a 5D since they came out. Your comments Re: the DMR are usually in comparison to the 1DS II. Most of the people I know using Canon DSLR's, are using the 5D as their baseline for digital performance. How does the DMR compare to the 5D?
  16. geat thread... most educational!
  17. Is that Jason Lee from the My Name is Earl show?
  18. Marc, I appreciate your insights as I've done for years now, however, it is hard at the same time when all we can reveiw small jpegs on computer screens. as far as they are concerned, apart from the neutral colors displayed, there isn't anything in those images that couldn't be done with consumer DSLR from Nikon, Canon and others.

    I think it is great that Leica is offering the DMR, and eventually they will get it right, however, I don't see it pursuading new users to come to Leica (attracting current R users that already have an investment in R glass is another matter), which I believe is absolutely critical to the company.

    I'd like to get a bit more feedback on that 50/1.4 ASPH, if you don't mind.
  19. Patrick, Guy Mancuso who has posted in this thread switched from a Canon digital system to Leica-R because of the DMR.
  20. not trying to knock, trying to understand.
  21. I am suprised at the doubts people have about the leica dmr, it is a professional level
    and I as a professional switched from a nikon system to the leica dmr with no previous r or
    m equipment.. "they will eventually get it right" - well I think it fits the needs of a small
    format digital camera, I think they got it right. will it get better? sure, It's for those who
    what great optics, great mechanics, dynamic 16bit dng files, I think the dmr will prove
    itself to those
    who care and know about such things.
    I don't know the sales figures of leica dmr and how well it is selling. I don't have much
    faith in the
    journalist-photographers in the press/internet and armchair shooters who only read
    It's the folks who use it and know the digital workflow that "get-it".
  22. I'm surprised to hear that you are not seeing much of a difference between the pre-asph LUX and the current ASPH model. Are you mostly shooting it stopped down? The Lux ASPH is supposed to offer Summicron performance in a f1.4 design.
  23. well, I - on the other hand - am surprised by the oh-I'm-a-professional-photographer-and-you'll-never-get-what-I'm-talking-about-attitude one can find on many places.

    I think there is a fair group of users around here that have used Leica Ms and/or Rs over a number of years - for various reasons - and even though I personally have no intention of getting a Leica R/DMR system - I'm curious as to how/why it is perceived to be a "better" tool. It is a fair question to ask.

    Frankly, between Guy and yourself, you are the only persons that I've heard so far that have completely dumped their Canon/Nikon/whatever D/SLR systems and gone DMR from scratch, not that I've been actively looking for those type of stories/proofs though.

    So pray tell, why not help me, a lowly weekend shooter, some insight on why the DMR images are that special? Is it still in the Leica glass? Is it in the 16bit DNG? Have Leica managed to develop better alogrithms than Canon/Nikon? ...
  24. "Guy Mancuso who has posted in this thread switched from a Canon digital system to Leica-R because of the DMR." "I as a professional switched from a nikon system to the leica dmr"

    For myself, a professional as well, spending lavishly on equipment that returns an improvement in image quality that I can see but my clients cannot, might give me mounds of self-satisfaction in photography but somewhere else in my family's life there would need to be a complementary sacrifice so I must limit the extent to which I indulge my artistic ego. And everyone of my professional colleagues feels similarly. I believe in the world you will find the number of professionals who have "dumped" as it were their Canon or Nikon equipment for Leica R infintessimally small in number though large in elitist posturing. This in no way detracts from what the DMR does well, whatever that might be.

    "I'm surprised to hear that you are not seeing much of a difference between the pre-asph LUX and the current ASPH model. Are you mostly shooting it stopped down? The Lux ASPH is supposed to offer Summicron performance in a f1.4 design."

    He didn't say he didn't see much of a difference, he said the difference isn't commensurate with the cost differential. That's the mindset of a professional which I was alluding to.
  25. Terence,
    If you click on their names, Guy Mancuso, Paul Moore and Marc Williams all have links to their professional websites where we can see what kind of photography they do. Can you show us what sort of photography you do? I don't see a link to your website.
  26. For the technically interested, "16 bit" sensor/ADC (ADC = analog-to-digital converter)
    quantization is mostly marketing spin. Unless you cool your sensor down to below 0C
    (noise halves for every 7C reduction in temperature), or, average multiple static frames
    (SNR increases 3 dB (one half bit) for every doubling of frames averaged (ideally). And
    then that assumes the ADC is perfect, which none are. It means sampled pixel data may
    well be more precise, before all of the processing is performed in your computer. In the
    end, processed data gets rounded to 8 bits before going to your printer as R, G, and B
    values. I'm sure the DMR module is a fine digital imaging capture system, but no doubt
    for reasons other than 16 bit capture at nominal room temperatures.
  27. Patrick, all fair and good questions. I didn't dump my Canon gear for this camera, nor would I. I dumped an entire Contax N system including 2 NDs and Zeiss glass to fund the DMR. Kyocera not only didn't develop the Contax system further, it bailed on photography completely. Before I bought into the DMR, I had already had used Imacon. So, I already had developed a liking for the look of 16 bit CCD sensors. Some people don't see it, but I do. The real point is the glass, not the freaking camera. The camera just has to be good enough to use the lenses you want. IMO, this one is. If you don't see the difference in different lenses, buy cheap and be happy ; -) That there is a optional "look" you can get is nice IMO ... for when you're making PRINTS. Of course, it's hard to see it on the "Great Equalizer" ... the web. Based on a web compressed image, guess which camera was used to shoot this: (5D, 24-90/4; Leica DMR, 21-35/3.5, or a Leica M, 50/1.4 stopped down using 160NC neg) ...
  28. patrick, first off, I had no intention of coming off as I know better because I'm
    I simply wanted to put out where I am coming from, I learn from non professionals every
    but why I mention it is because the use of professioanl pictures, for reproduction in
    everything from 72dpi screens to billboards, requires additional considerations,
    knowledge of the final medium. I have no doubt that a canon or nikon can produce
    wonderful shots, and I would not say the leica is "better".
    but there is this misconception out there that only amateurs use the leicas and that
    somehow makes them not as good as the japanese dslrs.
    I used nikon as my 35mm for the past 30 years, I was not that thrilled by the d1( the
    mechanics of the f5 style auto focus) and went into medium format digital when I switched
    to all digital work. So when it came time to get a smaller camera I felt the leica fit my
    needs.. manual camera with digital back, it was the same chip maker as my imacon med
    format.., I was selling off, not dumping, my sinars, so I was use to a certain level of
    mechanical function which I find with the leica equipment.
    The field of photography is huge and I know a small part of it, I prefer to work with
    equipment that I relate to and enjoy. I use to use velvia, it was pointless really for most of
    my jobs, separaters, printers, presses could never give my clients the saturation or
    dynamic range that my transparencies had, but it made me feel good to deliver the shot I
    liked, that made the process enjoyable for me..I could have shot on my old burke and
    james, but I loved the feel of that p2 sinar.
    It is the subltle differnences in this process which make a difference to me.. 2880 on the
    epson vs 1440, 16bit manipulation of the raw image, the focus ring of my 90mm.
    Anyone who buys a leica is indulging themselves, sure I admit to that, guess I don't have
    a problem with it, or a problem if someone wants to shoot with an alpa or a holga.
  29. >>"I'm surprised to hear that you are not seeing much of a difference >>between the pre-asph LUX and the current ASPH model.

    >He didn't say he didn't see much of a difference, he said the >difference isn't commensurate with the cost differential. That's the >mindset of a professional which I was alluding to. -Terrence

    Well, Terrence, myself being a professional in the movie busines, I am sometimes willing to pay a premium for a that extra edge in performance.

    So, far the reports on the Lux ASPH indicate, that it delivers a noticeable improvement over the previous model, especially wide open and close up.

    You may also want to take note of the fact, that both versions of the Lux, were priced similarly.


  30. the debate rages... we will know how well the DMR is doing in about 10 months when Leica releases it's FY 2006 sales and TRENDS. This will hopefully enlighten us as to how many DMRs were sold and what the split was percentage-wise between NEW and old Leica users. The numbers should be pretty accurate as by that time, Leica will have hopefully eliminated the backlogue of pre-ordered DMRs. Given the positive reviews, I hope to see some NEW Leica users. Can't wait for the R10D!!!!
  31. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    "cool your sensor down to below 0C (noise halves for every 7C reduction in temperature)"

    Think I'll get Huw to pipe in some 1/16 copper tube from the outside. One end wrapping around the sensor, the other externally screwed to some small heat sink finned aluminum and I can give it a quick blast of up side down canned air every time I go over 400 iso
  32. Tangent Q:

    Any rumors on R 28mm or wider summicrons/summiluxes?
  33. Just to be clear about the 50/1.4 ASPH. I said it was better. The question is what do you want from the lens? The pre-asph 50 Lux was no slouch, and had very nice OOF performance. I got the new ASPH one because I also have the 75/1.4 which is a champion at OOF areas. So better close-up performance with the floating element and the wicked sharpness of asph design made sense for me... like I get with the 35/1.4 ASPH (which is my most used lens). I like to carry 2 to 3 M lenses with me, not all of them. so it's the 35 & 75, or the 28/50/90. Yep, that bit of edge mentioned can be important at times. Here's one with the M7 and new 50/1.4 ASPH. In the full resolution 5400 ppi scan you can read the serial number in the little box on the top back of the light. The lens is probably capable of more than my scanner can reproduce. BTW, the 16 bit CCD heat issue is true, (although less of an issue in smaller sensors). That's why Imacon/Leica used certain "heat dissipating" or heat wicking metals in the design of the DMR.
  34. A very reasonable cooling system can be based on a thermo-electric cooler element, also
    called a Peltier device. Push a DC current in one direction, and the device adds heat.
    Switch the polarity and it removes heat. I'm guessing a simple system could cool to more
    than 20 degrees below ambient. A multi-stage system can probably do more, maybe > 40
    degrees below ambient.

    But why stop there? The manly solution is cryogenic and would use a dewar of liquid
    helium to get that sucker close to absolute zero - around -270C ... :=)
  35. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    or stuff in one of those liquid nitrogen coolers that the gamers use when they over-clock their motherboards? little pumps and wires and...I'm such a geek.
  36. thanks to all of those who contributed to help me understand the diff. it used to be that glass made all the difference, it is no longer so. the quality of the sensor and the processing algorithms are now equally, or perhaps more, important. my curiosity is around how well the Leica engineers have managed to master the latter parts.

    if any photographer, pro or amateur, gets the desired results, even an competitive differentiator, from using the DMR, I'm all for it. I just hope it attract enough NEW users to the R system to make the company viable. Canon/Nikon sure needs some competition! :)
  37. "I wonder what your opinion re operating temps Canon vs DMR might be?"

    That's kind of a separate, though related issue, Pete. There are two factors - reliability,
    and self-heating of the sensor which can raise the temperature and sensor noise level. All
    semiconductors have a maximum junction temperature spec. Might be 110C to 125C,
    depending on the company, reliability department, etc, etc. You really don't want to
    operate close to that point because reliability is severely compromised.

    All products are specified to operate over some temperature range. For commercial, it
    might be 0C to +70C. For industrial apps it's usually -40 to +85 C. Usually you just worry
    about the high end, So, for example, if you want to operate at +70C, and the maximum
    junction temperature is +110, you can only tolerate a temperature rise of 40C at the
    junction. What causes that temperture rise? The device itself - it's dissipating power in a
    tiny tiny enclosed space, and that causes a huge temperature rise.

    A good design, for the above parameters, would employ thermal management techniques
    to keep the temperature rise less than 40C. The semiconductor's power dissipation and
    package type along with other techniques play important roles in removing heat. Also,
    one needs to determine how close to maximum junction temperature you want to operate.
    Semiconductor reliability (how long the device will last) is a huge function of temperature.
    Something like doubling for every 10C reduction in junction temp, but I probably have that
    wrong - I'm working from memory.

    So as in all designs, different techniques are used to "get the heat out." That's a
    paramount element of good design. I suspect leica's method is no bettor or worse that
    what canon uses, though I wouldn't be surprised if canon was a bit ahead because they've
    been doing electronics for decades. But really, all of that is pretty common engineering,
    differentiated only be cleverness to reduce internal costs.

    But, imaging systems employing CCD or CMOS sensors have other issues to contend with.
    And that's thermal noise impacting sensor dynamic range. The lower the temperature, the
    better. Noise halves for every 7C (or so) in temperature. Unless one camera has a fan
    and/or a huge heat sink on the back, I suspect it they will be about equal on intrinsic
    sensor noise. Signal/image processing can reduce noise with no doubt some trades in the
    process. CCD and CMOS sensors cannot take advantage of 16 bit analog to digital
    conversion unless the sensor is actively cooled, or maybe if your shooting in Siberia.

    Astronomy cameras will employ active cooling techniques to reduce the temperature of
    the sensor to levels where a 16 bit, or greater ADC will actually provide some benefit with
    sensitivity. Thermo-electric coolers (Peltier device) with radiator and fan can reduce
    sensor temperature to maybe 50C below ambient (25C - 50C= -25C). To reduce the dark
    noise even more, liquid nitrogen or helium can be used - that involves plumbing and
    pumps and a huge amount of maintenance hassle, cost, etc.

    If Huw was interested, he could probably design a Peltier system and get at least an extra
    couple stops of dynamic range, to where the 14 bit ADCs he's selected would be a
    commensurate match (integration can still provide benefits). But that kind of thermal
    engineering is a pain - need to design a special board, cold block, massive heatsink on the
    back, and a fan to remove heat from the sink. And a power supply for the fan. OTOH, it's a
    pretty neat opportunity for a supercam. Something leica could never do just because of
    the size...
  38. If i may jump back to this comment here by Terence.

    For myself, a professional as well, spending lavishly on equipment that returns an improvement in image quality that I can see but my clients cannot,

    This is simply not the case , I have some very large corporate clients and they picked up on the difference immediately that something was different in my files for the better i might ad. Actually i was quite surprised they did, but i do have well educated clients that also know photography quite well.

    What is enternaining to me when I read these post is the money end of it. yes this stuff is expensive so is Canons but if you sit there and think about the ROI on this stuff it really comes down to maybe 10-20 percent of doing business in a year. Now i am not a rocket scientist but there are many many business out there that spend a lot more on capital gear to be competitive in the market place. Also you buy a leica r lens today used which all of mine are it will last until you go in the box. These are built for a lifetime of service, do you honestly think you can do that with a canon lens, come on guys . we know how well built these are. The DMR itself may only be on the shelf for 2 years divide that buy 6 k and the number becomes pretty small on usage over the cost of 2 years. Folks you need to get over the money angle. You have to buy gear to work why not buy gear that lasts does the job extremely well and get the quality that you can't get anywhere else . is it for everyone , no way but it does do a better job in overall image than anyone else. if i need the speed of a 1dMKII than i would use that.

    Interesting i was on the golf course today shooting the FDR open Pro AM with my slow DMR with a 180 F2 than there was another pro there with his 1dMKII. Now at a couple points in time we were close enough to hear shutters going . My lonely 2 FPS against the mighty 8 fps per second. So i hear this hail mary coming from his camera just lay on the shutter and pray you get something, sorry guys you can shoot sports with a DMR and just wait for the decisive moment just like the old farts i grew up with that did it everyday like this. There is no magic in laying on the shutter and saying a Hail Mary, Magic comes from the one frame when you nail it. Moral of the story you can shoot anything if you know your gear and know how to shoot.Buying a 1dMKII or a DMR is worthless if you don't take advantage of the gear and your brain
  39. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    "There is no magic in laying on the shutter and saying a Hail Mary, Magic comes from the one frame when you nail it."

    There's no magic showing the editor 4 images to chose from either when they'd rather chose from 16.
  40. "The trouble with crank theories is that they are not even wrong."

    - Wolfgang Pauli, the famous Physicist, when asked what he thought of all the bizarre theories about nature that people often asked him to pursue in greater detail.
  41. Thanks for the extra information, regarding the Lux ASPH.
  42. eric, I'm sorry for you if you are at the mercy of photoeditors who look at quanity first.
    I have been lucky to have avoided such clients, although I have jumped and dodged hoops
    for clients and shot things not "my way" enough times. there are ways around such folks,
    I worked with very wiley creative director on an epson scanner product shoot and after
    numerous polaroids and with the shot worked out to our satisfaction, he then asked me
    to take a polaroid with a major component in a weird position, I do so and he went with it
    over to the where the epson marketing client was working on her laptop. She looked and
    then as if on que said, " I think that item looks a little off" the cd, not missing a beat said "
    oh, right, paul can you fix that", she was happy to feel she contributed and we got what we
    wanted. Point is that very few pros shoot what and how they want to shoot all the time.
    I think for editors looking for quanity I would find a way to fire off some filler.
  43. "There is no magic in laying on the shutter and saying a Hail Mary, Magic comes from the one frame when you nail it." There's no magic showing the editor 4 images to chose from either when they'd rather chose from 16. Come on guys, there's no right answer here. Let's face it, a Canon 1DMKIIn or Nikon equivalent is the usual weapon of choice for sports or action photography. It's why they exist in the first place ... and are absolute over-kill for most other people who buy them. This doesn't eliminate those who use different shooting techniques requiring different skill sets. But personally I sure would hate to shoot some of my f/1.4 stuff in dark reception halls without AF. And if I had to cover a basketball game using a DMR/R9 and a 180/2 @ f/2, it would be me saying the "Hail Mary" : -) The idea of the DMR competing with Canon or Nikon is a strange notion IMO. Leica has rarely done been that (at least not in my shooting lifetime). It's always been an alternative or supplementary system in my mind. Not everyone wants or needs all the functionality available in modern gear. Face it, if not for the lenses, Leica wouldn't still exist today. I see the DMR in that light. Not as Patrick seems to. The body/sensor is a necessary evil required to get to the lenses. All it needs to do is be good enough and easy enough to use the lenses. If one could attach Leica glass to a Canon 1DsMKII or Nikon D2X and have fully coupled stopped down aperture functionality there may have been less reason for the DMR to exist ... at least in my gear closet. For folks with R systems, it's a different matter. When they developed the DMR it used alternative technology from Imacon, which is fine by me, because after all the tech explanations offered here implying it's all marketing hype, actual shooting experience with the camera says differently ... the files look different TO ME, and that's all that matters... no matter how they got there technically. BTW, it is Imacon who should be the one that "electronics" comparisons to Canon should be made ... not less experience Leica. Imacon is not inexperienced, nor a "Johnny-come- lately" when it comes to digital electronics.
  44. Addendum, as I scan more stuff from the 50/1.4 ASPH, I've noticed excellent sharpness out to the corners. I'm starting to like this lens.
  45. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    I'm looking forward to using these. That 85/1.4 on a D2x...
  46. Yeah Eric, sweet.

    That's got me thinkin' 'cause it all about the glass no matter who's name is on the camera.
    Here's hoping they release the 28/2 and 21/2.8 Distagons in F mount.

    How's that D2x at ISO 800? I got the Want's 'n Gimmes for that Nikon 200/2 VR ... I can
    make some money with that sucker.
  47. Positively filthy Peter.

    Speaking of forbidden sin, have you investigated high-end scanners?
  48. From Marc

    Come on guys, there's no right answer here. Let's face it, a Canon 1DMKIIn or Nikon equivalent is the usual weapon of choice for sports or action photography. It's why they exist in the first place ... and are absolute over-kill for most other people who buy them.

    This was more my point was just because you have a 1dMKII is not going to make you any better , it still is up to you, If my main job was shooting sports i certainly would use this than the DMR but my point is that to many rely on the gear and not there brain. yes you can get by with a DMR but that is not what it is intended to do. I agree here the best tool for the job, but the comment about a editor wanting 16 instead of 4 is totally a wrong approch to shooting anything also a editor that is a idiot in my mind. Sports is and always will be about catching the moment, no matter what gear. Honestly guys the DMR is a slow boat to China the buffer is slow it takes long to write when getting near the end of the card it's 2fps but i think it is worth it because TO ME the images are worth it. It is about the glass but the sensor is a MF design and it does make the images better when i compared it head to head with the 1dsMKII with the same glass , that is were the difference was evident to me to actually completely switch . Did I leave something behind getting away from canon , sure i did. No system is perfect but find me a wide angle lens that is actually good below the 35mm in Canon, there is none. Now i bought everyone and tested everyone and they simply do not cut it. That is what has started this alternative lens issue to begin with for many shooters. One day i realized i had 9 leica lenses in my bag and a 1dsMKII and 1dMKII, now something was very wrong there. This was more out of need than choice to switch over , now for me it was the best mov,e for some not worth it. trust me i don't work for leica and could care less what anyone buys or not. Just giving you a different prespective here and really it is so petty to hear well it sucks and way to much money when people don't even try it , how the heck do you know if you don't try something is beyond me.

    Here is another comment Marc made were the rubber hits the road. Sorry Marc for stealing your comments.

    As I practice with this camera, I am loving the images from many old favorite lenses: 35/1.4, 80/1.4 and 180/2.8. The images continue to delight, and look more film like than the Canon's produce, as well as render skin more lifelike.

    That is more the bottom line to all of this Leica glass and DMR camera. The images just look better and i may add more like Kodachrome than anything else i have seen
  49. Thanks Peter just making a small point , hope I did not sound coming on too strong . Need my Starbucks . LOL

    It's that I have done a ton of testing in the last 6 months that really made me see some interesting develpments. Like spec sheets and mpx count are all worthless to some degree. Part of my issue is i am not a engineer that understand the hard tech side of things , like early mentioning the cooling of the CCD sensor and such. i find that somewhat fasinating to a point , than at some point you need to just go shoot the damn thing. LOL

    Sometimes it is hard to justify why spend a ton of money on the gear end when some things already work pretty well, I guess it is like anything else you always want to improve and be in the lead of yourself and i guess good gear is part of that internal desire to be the best you can. Not sure , i think it is time for some Starbucks . Sorry if i sounded grumpy but honestly I am not , in a good mood this morning even though it is 6 am.

    OT a little Chuck Jones a very good shooter out of Mexico have bothed switched over to the leica system and Chuck is 56 and i am 49 and what we seem to chat about is the feel of going back to shooting those mechnical bodies that are simply to use and built to take the hit from us. i look at the menu in the canon and honestly for a year owning the thing , i would actually have to think HARD how to change something in the menu. That is not photography that i grew up with, you put a lens on a camera meter and shoot and controlled that whole thinking process. maybe i am crazy but with the Canons i seemed to get lazy , oh let the camera do it for me and for some folks that is great but when i manually focus and work the camera I actually think so much better when my eye is in the eyecup. Okay i am babling off for some coffee. LOL
  50. This had been a seriously informative thread. And great banter.

    Always appreciate you thoughts over the dig. scene Marc. And brad for sharing your insight to the technical side of things.

    Cheers C.
  51. "Douglas Herr Prolific Poster, feb 01, 2006; 05:19 p.m.

    If you click on their names, Guy Mancuso, Paul Moore and Marc Williams all have links to their professional websites where we can see what kind of photography they do. Can you show us what sort of photography you do? I don't see a link to your website."

    I have a very successful photography business and studio with all the referrals I need from past clients, and have no business need to operate a website. I'm what you might call "old school" and at this late point in my career I've no need or desire to modernise. I also shoot film, not digital.

    Guy, Paul, Marc and I and others are having a thoughtful discourse. That you want to bring it down to the level of hooligans laying their meat to measure on a table in the back room of a pub is truly of no consequence to me, I shall not stoop.
  52. Marc, I couldn't agree more with you regarding "...if not for the lenses, Leica wouldn't still exist today.". I just curioius is that will hold true for the future as well.

    Like it or not, Leica DMR will be compared and competed vis-a-vis Canon/Nikon. Even if a majority could be educated to understand that they are complimentary systems, I suspect most people don't want to bother and/or cannot afford multiple systems.

    Lastly - "The body/sensor is a necessary evil required to get to the lenses" - I wish it was this easy. It used to be this easy. Without rising to the level of Brad's technical discussion (kudos for that, btw) the technology involved to accurately capture light onto a sensor and convert it into a faithful image of that reality (or your interpretation of that reality) is, needless to say, far more complex. And I don't see it getting any less complex as MP goes up on a given size sensor.

    Regardless, I'm glad that pros are seeing the benefits of the DMR, both artistically and financially. Then we stand a chance of getting that elusive digital M. Personally I'm happy banging away on my little D200 on weekends and trips and I'm not 100% I could see the diffs between in the output between a D200 & 85/1.4D and the DMR & leica R 85/1.4.
  53. Patrick you WILL see a Digital M coming in the fall , no question about it . You will also see a Digi 3 anounced at PMA a 4/3 the size of a CL and has 3 interchangeable lenses. The Digital M will have the same DMR sensor and crop but will have different electronics not Imacon this time but a german company , also the DM will be 1mm thicker than the current M7 and also a new lense will be introduced most likely a 15mm for the DM. Leica is on the move and after the release of the M than back to the R , i ws told 2years and the new R will be out. There has been a spark under leica's tail and that is all good news for ALL leica shooters and a huge plus for the industry. The DMR has been a success for leica there finiancials are looking better. i was told this small fact there will be 12 times the number of DM users than the DMR, that is a huge number for leica
  54. Regarding Canon and shooting sports, I suppose it's true that if you want to shoot sports like everyone else, Canon is "a more appropriate tool". But I've been watching David Burnett since the campaign, and what he does with his Graflex is just outstanding, and it gives him a real competitive advantage that his work doesn't look like everyone else's. His portrait of Abramoff on the cover of Time was instantly recognizable as his work, and it was just head & shoulders above any other photography that week.

    From this viewpoint, it might be a good idea to take the DMR to a basketball game, set it at a low ISO in single-shot mode, and see what you can do with it.
  55. Terence Mahoney wrote: "That you want to bring it down to the level of hooligans laying their meat to measure on a table in the back room of a pub is truly of no consequence to me, I shall not stoop."
    Terence... time for a reality check... it was just a question. I'm curious to see what kind of photography you're involved with where clients don't notice or aren't concerned about a difference in image quality.
  56. Part of my issue is i am not a engineer that understand the hard tech side of things , like early mentioning the cooling of the CCD sensor and such. i find that somewhat fasinating to a point , than at some point you need to just go shoot the damn thing.
    Absolutely true. But on the other hand, it's probably good to try and learn/understand a little bit, so you are not at the mercy of the marketeers and parrot their marketing hype (16 bit CCD, special heat-wicking metals, etc). This is not unique to digital cameras, BTW.
    Would be like me proclaiming that I get much better milage in my car, because the gasoline I buy, from Standard Oil, contains, ta da... Techroline. Or that Wonderbread build bodies 12 different ways...
    Imacon is not inexperienced, nor a "Johnny-come- lately" when it comes to digital electronics.
    Well, yes they kind of are, in a relative way, though that isn't a black eye. Imacon (founded in 1995) was purchased by Glunz & Jensen (also Danish, a film processing mfgr) in around 2000 for $18.8M. At the time Imacon had 45 people between their operations in the US and Denmark.
    The point that I was making is that a huge company like canon who has more than 26 thousand patents, probably has more clever and cost-effective methods available for managing thermals in electronic equipment. I'm know Imacon's image collection/ processing expertise is outstanding, but as I said earlier, they probably do not have the same level of expertise in cost-effective thermal management techniques on the manufacturing side, which has been evolving over decades at canon. Translation: Yes, they get good imaging performance, but it no doubt costs more.
  57. Brad that is just too much damn work to know all that . LOL ,Just kidding. Hey i like engineers nice to learn that stuff from you guy's and valuable info to boot , so no i am not knocking that knowledge at all, it is good stuff to have in your head for sure. The more you know yada yada yada, whatever that commercial says
  58. "I'm curious to see what kind of photography you're involved with where clients don't notice or aren't concerned about a difference in image quality."

    I doubt seriously that anyone else took from what I said that my clients don't notice or aren't concerned with any difference in image quality. In fact most of my work for clients is done on 10x8 or 5x4 cut-film or 10-on rollfilm, so I daresay they're used to image quality of an indubitably high order. My point was simply that the purchase of any equipment which does not result in an improvement my clientele would notice and appreciate, would be for my own ego.

    If there's nothing more you can add to this discussion aside from caustic insinuations against myself and my clients in an attempt to goad me into a catfight, you're wasting everyone's time.
  59. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    One of the bussiest commercial shooters in my city doesn't have a site either. Never has business cards on him. A secratary, two assitants, two rep's with a handful of repeat agents...seems wierd, shooting for years but he doesn't need or want one.

    Marc, D2x would disapoint you after the MKII. Comes on strong above 640.
  60. Terence - no insinuations intended, I don't see where you're finding them.
  61. Terence I have to admit a statement like this is off the top .Because clearly you do not know what the DMR does good , bad or indifferent and to call folks elitist for switching systems is a little over the top don't you think. Personally I find that comment a little insulting. Just a reminder of what you said that others read into. Not trying to cause a holy war here but you have to admit the comment is a little off center IMHO

    here is your comment as quoted

    I believe in the world you will find the number of professionals who have "dumped" as it were their Canon or Nikon equipment for Leica R infintessimally small in number though large in elitist posturing. This in no way detracts from what the DMR does well, whatever that might be.
  62. Brad, Do you know for sure that Canon/Nikon/Leica dSLRs use or do not Peltier devices for active cooling of the sensors in their high end cameras?

    Just because Canon is a large company and has over 20,000 patents does not automatically mean that they have done it.

    Also, I would like to point out that the cost of liquid Helium to keep anything at 4 deg K is very substantial.
  63. Calm down lads. We're just exchanging info and opinions.

    Point taken Brad. However, it would be wise to apply the same skepticism to the
    theoretical hype you are bringing to the discussion concerning Canon. Read their
    advertising BS concerning their flash systems & wide angle lenses for example ... none of
    which is born out in actual application. Then there are all the pros that bought into the
    hype about the 1Ds (including me), only to discover shadow noise even at ISO 200... at a
    mere $7,500. for the body! Or the hordes of folks that bought 10Ds with its' back-
    focussing issue. Etc., etc.

    So, IMO, Canon can pull a zillion patents, but I'm only interested in the ones that actually
    work when the thing is in your hand.

    When I got the DMR, I did a toe-to-toe test using the same R lenses on the Leica and the
    1DsMKII. It wasn't a matter of whether one was better than the other, (Canon versatility
    wins) ... but would the DMR photos look different, and offer a different aesthetic in a print
    (not on the internet, Patrick) ... plus could it provide even the slightest edge in dynamic
    range over the Canon approach?

    Doesn't matter how they got there, or whether the engineering solutions were hype or not
    ... If the DMR didn't offer something different in real world applications, it'd go back the
    next day.

    I still have it.
  64. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    "Calm down lads."

    Im doing pretty good with my New Years Resolution, eh? Can hardly contain myself, but I am holding it in. "Good work Eric, good work..."
  65. Same here if it did not offer something different in real applications than i would never had made that change from the Canon because i did give up some things the Canon can do the DMR can't like 8fps and such. Besides try switching systems I have done it 2 times in the last 4 years it is not as fun as it sounds
  66. Some nice photos folks, i tried to read the writing, but it seemed like some exam paper.
  67. Hey, how cool is this little....
  68. You guys don't get out enough......
  69. The last one is very nice Albert good compostion
  70. Say cheese...and, an extra big smile for Allen from you all! yes ,if you all try really hard you can all do it.
  71. Blue...from Fuji DSLR Pro...
  72. Hey! Keep the W/NW threads to themselves. This techie thread has been really educational. Please do these often, or keep this one running. Please! There's no way I can play this game now, but I really like learning the details and hearing your real world experiences with the gear. Hopefully, when the DM comes out, I'll understand some of these details enough to participate then... THANKS, Guys!!!
  73. This is hilarious.

    The thread begins with the subject of DMR, containing a thesis that smacks of buyer justification by primarily extolling the virtues of 16-bit capture over mere 12-bit. When someone points out the realities in an analytical manner, Canon's flash systems and wide angles are thrown into the conversation for good measure.

    Why is it that instead of feeling content with what they have purchased and using it to focus on producing good images and sharing them, some owners of Leica equipment must attempt to trash other manufacturers (and it's usually Canon) to feel better about their purchase and themselves?
  74. Nels, You see Leica owners coming and extolling the virtues of the red dot on the EOS forum? Such trolls, man! They should be going over there to make W/NW threads, I would say.
  75. Hey! Keep the W/NW threads to themselves.

    Keep the hype to itself show me the pixs. Judgement is in the quality of the images, even on a monitor,not in the techy hype stupidity.

    You dudes should be looking at the quality of images not the hype.But of course most of you are gear and hype stools.Sorry to have to point that out.

    Go and buy a brochure and be happy.
  76. I'm the best my brochure is the best. Don't want to see any pixs.

    Brochure wannabes.
  77. Not as hilarious as your non sequitur post there Nels. All I did was make some user

    If I were to be justifying a purchase or choice, it would be the $12,000. in Canon bodies,
    and a fortune in Canon L glass I've got. I've used both cameras. Have you? Has Brad? Or is
    it all based on ... dare I say it ... written hype from the manufacturers?

    The only prejudice I see here is when someone actually dares to LIKE their Leica product
    and the pics it produces ... like the respondents are somehow threatened by someone
    elses' purely subjective preference, and has to be buried in words to discredit that
  78. it would be wise to apply the same skepticism to the theoretical hype you are bringing to the discussion concerning Canon. Read their advertising BS concerning their flash systems & wide angle lenses for example
    Huh??? We were discussing the merits of 16 bit capture. How would it be "wise" bringing skepticism with respect to marketing hype on flash systems and wide angle lenses add to the discussion?
    Weird, someone brings some hard knowledge about imagers, analog-to-digital conversion, thermal management, and manufacturing to the discussion (triggered by Pete's question), and then, another with zero experience on these subjects doesn't like the answer and tries his best to obfuscate the discussion by bringing in flash systems and wide angle lenses. Nice tactic, but hardly transparent.
    Calm down and have a sip of some of that good tasting bottled water - Now Cholesterol Free!
  79. Show me the pixs not the technical mumbo jumbo.So far the dude with the Fuji is ahead.

    Yeah, a monitor,so what.
  80. I knew the question would come up asking me whether I have used the DMR. Would it have made any difference if I had and discarded it in favor of 5D?

    No, I haven't tried the DMR. And neither have I tried poison. I take the experts' opinions on some issues.

    Eschew obfuscation! And when you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.
  81. Vivek: Brad, Do you know for sure that Canon/Nikon/Leica dSLRs use or do not Peltier devices for active cooling of the sensors in their high end cameras? Just because Canon is a large company and has over 20,000 patents does not automatically mean that they have done it.
    No, they don't and I never claimed they did. And I never claimed that canon produces better results than the lecia. Reread my post. I was merely substantiating why 16 bit ADC conversion adds no value to imagers working at room temperature. My comment with respect to canon was about their manufacturing and thermal management in general - they have tons more experience which helps to reduce costs on the manufacturing side. Please try and absorb what was stated - rather than trying so hard to find a hole in the argument.
    For Vivek's benefit:
    So as in all designs, different techniques are used to "get the heat out." That's a paramount element of good design. I suspect leica's method is no bettor or worse that what canon uses, though I wouldn't be surprised if canon was a bit ahead because they've been doing electronics for decades. But really, all of that is pretty common engineering, differentiated only be cleverness to reduce internal costs.
    Peltier devices do not make heat in a closed box "disappear." They remove heat from one side of the device to the other. That heat is then transferred to a massive radiator and dissipates into the environment, usually aided with a fan. Here's a pretty picture.
  82. Does anyone have any knowledge of thermal management in a Canon or any other commercial dSLRs (the types used by photographers)?

    I have seen those liquid helium colled sensors which are sealed from everything from the atmosphere condensing onto the sensor. They are expensive, bulky and are not mobile at all.

    The Dewars that hold the liquid helium weigh half a ton. Liquid helium needs to be replenished every so many hours and the sensor equilibrated before it can see any action.

    The supplier of the sensors to Leitz hold several thousend patents on digital imaging as well.
  83. Man that brought a lot to the party.
  84. The DMR is a nice camera. I like it and the images it produces. In some ways better than my

    Unlike you Nels, I don't need an expert to tell me what I like, or don't like. Is that clear
    enough for you?
  85. Thanks for the clarification, Brad. Just because you ended your post there with Canon's aptents and research capabilities, it kind of gives a different impression.

    Yes, I am quite aware of what a Peltier device is and how it works.

    Wouldn't it be lovely if active cooling is incorporated in dSLRs?
  86. So Brad we would have basically cooling vents installed in the body , is this how they try too keep it cool. So would it matter how and where these vents let's call them are installed would provide more or less cooling.
  87. Peltier devices do not make heat in a closed box "disappear." They remove heat from one side of the device to the other. That heat is then transferred to a massive radiator and dissipates into the environment, usually aided with a fan. Here's a pretty picture.

    Dude you are so so funny. Out there just beyond your door is a whole wide world. Grab hold of that long dusty nose and drag it out of that big boring stuffy book.

    Now go and take some pixs. Repeat after me, it does not matter if my camera has a massive radiator, it does not matter.

    Help is on the way dude.
  88. "So as in all designs, different techniques are used to "get the heat out." That's a paramount element of good design. I suspect leica's method is no bettor or worse that what canon uses, though I wouldn't be surprised if canon was a bit ahead because they've been doing electronics for decades. But really, all of that is pretty common engineering, differentiated only be cleverness to reduce internal costs."

    I don't know who typed this. It was not me.
  89. Liquid helium is only used in cameras and special detectors for use in the astronomy and
    defense fields (my background). It's hugely expensive. But it will take you very close to
    absolute zero - around -273C.

    There are no dSLRs that use active cooling. Jenoptik, a manufacturer of very expensive MF
    digial backs, does use two stage active cooling. Their 16 bits of ADC conversion is

    Here's another clue. Kodak, who has been making CCD sensors (both line and 2
    dimension varieties) for ages used to make a MF back. It used 12 bit analog-to-digital
    conversion. Which is good match for sensors operating at room temperture. BTW, Kodak
    makes the sensor used in the Imacon package for the DMR.
  90. Guy: no, a large heatsink radiator on the outside.
  91. It is a bit of a special domain but liquid helium will not (on its own) get you to absolute zero. 4 deg K region is very special and peculiar. Every micro degree chenge there is so weird.
  92. Thanks. I've been worried all day about my digital radiator.At last i can have a peaceful nights rest.
  93. If a blow on it hard or wave a fan at it do you think it will be alright?
  94. Allright so let me ask this than since it is outside. living in a hot climate like Arizona am i at some disadvantage when using the DMR outside in the heat or is it going to act normal like indoors. reason I ask is do i want to keep it cool as I can when in the weather or will this not matter , sounds like a stupid question but nice to know these things
  95. I doubt you will be able to notice any difference in AZ. Since it is quite dry out there (most of the year) it should be good for your digital. Moisture will do more harm than the few degrees of temperature difference in the normal temperature domain.
  96. Liquid Helium is not very useful for cooling any active elctronic device as all of them will lose their characteristics around 4 deg K (this how super conductivity was originally discovered and some other interesting electronic applications came much later).

    Brad, You liquid Helium should have been liquid Nitrogen.

    There is a very big difference. To all the 'non-geeks' it won't matter much one way or other, though.
  97. Brad, You liquid Helium should have been liquid Nitrogen.
    No, liquid helium is a common detector coolant in both terestrial and space telescopes. But this is getting way off-topic.
  98. See what happens when self appointed experts find themselves in a hole, believing it to be a 16-bit hole and continuing to dig in the hope that it will become a 32-bit hole....
  99. It was certainly way out of topic. There are special requirements for everything involved in that temperature regime which can not be translated to 'regular' imaging devices.
  100. ... or 48 bit color, like the Imacon scanners provide.

    Those interested in further info on 16 bit digital performance and it's effect on the quality of
    color data you have to work with, need merely to Google it.
  101. And there's a huge difference between scanners that can benefit from image integration over
    many seconds or minutes to yield meaningful 16 bit results. And a camera that needs to
    capture an image in say, 1/125th of a second.
  102. Marc, let me know if you'd like an explanation on how scanners exploit integration
    (averaging) over a period of time to yield results commensurate with measurements to 16 bit
  103. man, there is nothing like an occational visit to this forum to have your opinions beaten up/question/misinterpreted...

    Marc, needless to say, the print is the only place that matters (even though I occationally enjoy viewing my images on a well calibrated monitor as well) and I'm happy that you can tell a real difference in the output from your DMR.

    Imagine, it would be a sad world if there was no visual difference between files from a DMR, Nikon or Canon...
  104. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Imagine, it would be a sad world if there was no visual difference between files from a DMR, Nikon or Canon...
    Wouldn't it be a lot sadder if all photographs had the same content? If they all had similar looks, some of the people here might spend more time looking at what was in the photos, rather than thinking about what equipment made them.
  105. Thanks Brad, I understand the difference, and was just responding to the "32 bit hole "

    Thanks Patrick, all I wanted to do is share some experiences with folks that may be
    interested in this camera. It is the Leica forum after all.

    I posted some shots and gave my impressions. As I said, I see a bit better control of
    highlight/shadow areas, perhaps inaccurately attributing it to 16 bit color depth, and took
    Imacon/Leica's word on the heat dissipation technique that they went to great lengths to
    explain. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. All I know is what I see ... apparent better tonal range
    resulting in controlled highlights without blocked shadows when faced with high contrast
    lighting situations.
  106. see the 1 shot wonder. Dmr 180 F2 handheld at f4 ISO 200. Billy mayfair in case anyone was wondering . Some may think I missed the shot , i didn't
  107. Try this again
  108. Well I guess i did something wrong here . Never posted a photo here
  109. Well I guess i did something wrong here . Never posted a photo here. i kept it at 500 pixels wide. Hmmm
  110. Guy - you must give a caption to your pic for it to show in-line.
  111. Guy you need to fill in the caption dialogue box. Then the pic will appear in line.
  112. Brad, thanks for your technical explanation of 16-bit vs. 12-bit. Although I still trust Marc's eyeball judgment as to the appearance of images from the DMR vs. the 1dsII, I accept that the difference must be explained by other factors.

    But I have two questions: 1. In your opinion, for the types of photography for which these cameras are intended, is there any technical benefit at all from having 16-bit over 12-bit? 2. If there is no benefit, and it really is just a matter of markeing hype, how much of a factor is 16-bit over 12-bit in the cost of producing the DMR?

    I'm curious. Thanks.
  113. Thans Guys for the upload info. What I have found before Brad answers the 12 vs 16 bit from a technical point of view is the DMR has much better Dynamic range than the 1dsMKII , now according to the techincasl end of this that 16 bits should have better range than the 12 bit. At least that is what has been said since digital hit the streets. From my testing of the 2 it turns out the DMR does have much better range now i don't really care how it is done , I just know it is there but will let others speak of it in technical terms
  114. Okay one more time
  115. Just to be clear, I'm not taking anything away from or questioning what Marc reports - I
    trust his judgement on the output quality of the DMR. But, being the curious type, I
    wonder where the extra performance comes from in the image capture through processing

    CCD sensors have been around for a long time and I suspect Kodak must a have a few
    thousand patents that cover technological advances that have occurred in that area over
    the last 30 years. That said, CCD technology is very mature. I haven't read about any
    recent breakthroughs where all of a sudden the dynamic range is significantly better, with
    respect to devices used at room temperature - whether from Kodak or Dalsa. Dalsa
    acquired Phillip's portfolio of devices a few years ago. Sensor dynamic range is usually
    listed in spec sheets in units of dB, or, by specing the full-well saturation along with total
    noise, measured in electrons. Knowing that information, you can then go about speccing
    an ADC (analog-to-digital converter).

    Many sensors have a dynamic range in the 65 dB neighborhood. One of Kodak's best
    imagers, a 22 MP device, lists a dynamic range of 73 dB, which is pretty good. The
    dynamic range of an ADC is: 6.02 * n + 1.76 , where n is the number of bits in the ADC.

    So, a *perfect* 12 bit ADC would support 74 dB of dynamic range - a pretty good match
    for the 73 dB sensor. BUT, ADCs are not perfect, and you'd want a bit of headroom, so it
    would best to use a 14 bit ADC. By the way, that's what Huw is going with in his digital M
    project. If you went with a 12 bit ADC (which because it is not perfect, gives you 11 bits of
    accuracy), you would lose one stop of dynamic range. I think the ADC Huw is using is
    around $20 in small quantities, and that's a dual. He uses two of those to read the sensor
    out faster.

    You could go with a 16 bit device, which would be quite a bit more costly. In fact, I can
    think of only one device, by Analog Devices, that would be fast enough to read out the
    sensor in a timely manner. You can also gang two smaller ADCs to try and get 16 bit
    resolution, but you would end up getting much less than 16 bit performance. But this is all
    academic as the 16 bit device will provide no extra performance benefits over a 14 bit
    device - at room temperature. Cool that sensor down to 0C and the noise will be 1/4 of
    what it was at 25C. THEN, a 16 bit ADC makes sense.
  116. Well I got it . Okay to show somne DR on the subject . here is a shot in San Miguel mexico about 6300 ft up the sun is very strong here and stronger than were i am in the Southwest. look inside the door and you can see detail inside, most camera would not even come close to handling this range from pure white with detail to these heavy shadows
  117. Okay one more image here , just walking the street her in full sun. Look at the whole image than look at the crop following it , the web stinks here but the detail in the darkest shadow is easily seen
  118. Now the crop
  119. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    "most camera would not even come close to handling this range from pure white with detail to these heavy shadows"

    we need to measure the light difference. that interior door looks very close to the exterior, maybe two stops diff at the most?
  120. On my screen the real image i can see detail all the way to the very top were the birds are. i was shooting a location job the other day with colored lights and grid spots to really control the darkness in the room and under a table was the wiring , i actually had to burn that part of the image in to get rid of the detail
  121. Eric i am talking even further inside the door than the painting , there is detail . The web really is a bad place to show you this stuff. It is blocking up pretty bad.
  122. Maybe this will post better
  123. Marc, some observations and a few questions...

    Although rationally speaking, I would agree with the poster who stated that it is impossible to judge lens quality from these tiny, few hundred pixel square jpegs, I also observe, empirically, that in fact one is able to do so (i.e.judge "lens quality") on fairly often and unmistakably.

    Again, irrational though it is, several of these pictures are unmistakably from Leica glass. Don't ask me to explain what qualities unique to the marque are apparent - I cannot do so. But after 30 years of (decidedly amateur) shooting with Leica and Nikon, and some Zeiss experience, these pictures have that "look".

    Question 1: Is there anything you deliberately do in Photoshop to either give your jpegs a "Leica look" (in terms of color, sharpening etc), or accentuate a "Leica look" that is already apparent in the jpegs?

    Question 2: If you do, could you share some details?

    Question 3: If you do in fact apply a "Leica look" in PS, in your experience are you able to add some or all of this Leicaish quality to pictures taken with non-Leica lenses ?

    Many thanks in advance :)
  124. I will be so glad to see the digital m come out and hopefully alot of the traditional m users
    will have some hands-on experience with the it. Of course the few die-hards will squeal
    louder but I sometimes feel like a morman missionary in italy with the dmr. One, it is
    digital, but two, it is the R. From my experiece with photography I am very happy with the
    camera, the lenses and files..I am only on this site to share those experiences and photos
    attained with it. I have no interest on going to the other forums of say canon and
    questioning their thinking.. some folks I guess like the banter. This is not directed at any
    one person so please don't get bothered, just my observation of the past couple of months
    Marc and Guy have some equally pleasing experiences with the dmr - I'd like to hear and
    see others here but feel there are some who won't bother with posting, and I understand.
    I have never been into the nitty gritty science of photography - while I can teach the zone
    system, I would be hard pressed to describe how silver gains density on the film..umm, I
    know it does but don't really care how. I chose the dmr not based on pure specs.. as I said
    I'm not into the nitty gritty, but I know dynamic range/color when I see it and the quailty
    of the lens is, while hard to describe, palpable. I have never bought equipment based on
    marketing materials..I have been in the ad business for many years. Seeing is believing.
  125. Thanks Ray, I have to agree that CCDs are somewhat mature. I wonder if the preference for the look I and others have mentioned is technically due (at least in part) more to the Sensor being an unfiltered CCD verses a filtered CMOS? The two characteristics I've noted in CCD sensor cameras is more lifelike rendition of skin (also noted sometimes as being more film like), and apparent better dynamic range. The downside, is that the CCD sensor cameras have limited higher ISO performance. An example of this was the Contax ND which had a 6 meg, full frame Philips 12 bit CCD sensor. This camera exhibited a similar look and feel to the DMR but had poor noise noise performance characteristics above ISO 400. It also looked more film like and had better ability to fender shadow detail while holding the highlights. I also noted this about the Epson RD-1 which I also believe was a CCD, likewise the first Canon 1D was a CCD. All of the MF backs I've used to date are CCDs, including the older 12 bit Kodak backs and now the 16 bit Imacon 22/39 meg H2D. They have an amazing dynamic range (also due in part to the large pixel size I'd surmise?), and also look more film like in rendition ... but top out at ISO 400 (800 for some backs). Whatever is going on, the characteristics are there, and offer an alternative look to the Canon look (which there is nothing wrong with BTW). Here's an example of a shot I know my Canon would have a little more difficulty with based on experience shooting Canon digital for years now. No award winner, just a snapshot that was requested by the Line Producer and the Prop Master on my TV shoot... The available light was extremely directional and harsh yet the DMR held the highlight detail decently while not blocking up the shadowed faces ...
  126. Mani, I'll try to answer as best I can.

    1) I also have been shooting many different lenses for a dump truck full of years. When
    processing using high res images I also see a decided difference in the base RAW files
    from different lens makers. In general, Zeiss feels cooler, Leica warmer, Canon a bit more

    All of those aspects can be easily altered in PS to make them similar. I try not to make
    them so, and preserve the native characteristic ... perhaps a throw back to using film and
    knowing what it should look like. I also feel the more you screw with images in PS, the
    more you can effect some other characteristic.

    I think other characteristics, like sharpness, may have more to do with the sensor type.
    The DMR doesn't have a anti- aliasing filter and the 5D&1DsMKII do. In my experience, the
    Canon images require more unsharp mask work than the DMR images. Strictly as a
    subjective observation I've noted that Leica images blown way up and compared to Canon
    L lenses look less sharp ... but at viewing size the Leica images look better and just as
    sharp if not sharper. I've had this explained to me as the difference between the use of
    micro-contrast verses edge sharpness. I've no idea if that is true. I just go with what I see.

    Other than that, the look you see in film from any given lens is there with digital. If you
    detect (rational or not) a difference between lenses, it'll be there in digital also.

    2) Apart from setting the Adobe RAW Converter (ARC) defaults differently for each camera,
    there are no details. If I try to use the default settings I have for my Canon cameras, the
    DMR files are to red, and are a bit to contrasy.

    3) Some people believe you can do anything in PS. (which is pretty much true if you're a
    highly skilled retoucher). My experience is that the more you fuss, the more you effect
    other characteristics with the possible repercussion of degrading the image. I saw a
    presentation on preparing files for printing by the Piezographic guys at a show in NYC,
    and their mantra was to do the least possible work in PS possible ... which they
    demonstrated with techniques so simple it amazed me. I'd like to take a seminar on those
    techniques someday.

    I'm not a highly technical oriented person, so what I've just written is simply based on
    observations while making thousands of wedding images and printing them myself. I'm
    sure there are a million other factors to consider. But I don't have time for all that when
    producing so much work every year. I have to find the path of least resistance to get to the
    quality needed. Get it closer in the camera, and don't try to make it something it isn't in
    PS, cuts the processing time for 500 wedding images considerably.
  127. Wasn't there a massive discussion on about the DMR and how
    everyone was shocked by how good it's image quality was (high ISO noise performance

    By the way Marc, I really miss eating lunch at that French bistro, in Venice.

    PS:You guys should also know that Douglas Herr is a very talented wildlife photographer.
    He mostly shoots with and SL.
  128. Yes Feli, delicious food there. I think we were the only non French speaking people in the
    place when we went. A good sign when it comes to the cooking ; -)

    Thanks, I'll check out the Fred Miranda discussion.
  129. The Fred Miranda discussion is the one I started about 4 months ago maybe longer . It is still going , I believe there are over 500 pages and over 5000 posts. In the begining i compared the 1dsMKII to the DMR than it has turned completely into a DMR thread with many pro's and hobbyist alike. Also there are many many images that frankly show up better for some reason than this site, don't know why that is but there are some incrediable images posted from the DMR . The earlier images have disappeared do to a timing issue on the site but certainly there is still plenty to see and read
  130. "Guy Mancuso , feb 02, 2006; 02:15 p.m.
    Terence I have to admit a statement like this is off the top .Because clearly you do not know what the DMR does good , bad or indifferent and to call folks elitist for switching systems is a little over the top don't you think. Personally I find that comment a little insulting. Just a reminder of what you said that others read into. Not trying to cause a holy war here but you have to admit the comment is a little off center IMHO

    here is your comment as quoted

    I believe in the world you will find the number of professionals who have "dumped" as it were their Canon or Nikon equipment for Leica R infintessimally small in number though large in elitist posturing. This in no way detracts from what the DMR does well, whatever that might be."

    I'm quite surprised you took it as a personal insult. I would not have expected a professional photographer to have an emotional involvement with his tools. Prove my statement wrong and I will gladly retract it.
  131. If you don't think that holding cameras in your hand for 30 years that it is not part of your body and personal involvement than you got to be crazy Terrence. Come on your a Pro this things are a extension of your eyes and hands of course they are part of you. Honestly would you buy a camera that was uncomfortable to even hold and use , no you would sell it right away and get soemthing that makes you work more flawlessly . The comment that is upsetting is the Elitist part that is pure bunk , sorry . I would dumb these in a heartbeat if brand X came out with something better both in body and lenses. From what you said it is the money and that is the part i don't understand coming from a pro that generates just a number here 150k a year than what is it to spend 10 k a year on gear x 5 years to get a great system . Frankly that is peanuts compared to the income generated from the gear. That is the part you only hear about is what it costs, i am so sick of hearing it , it's stupid . People forget what it brings in to the bank account , not that the gear does that alone but what your tools can help you accomplish in your work. Coming from a pro like yourself that baffles me more and why i don't get your comment. Hope you understand were I am coming from , you have to pay something to play in this ballpark. My clients demand files almost the same day i shoot them , i could not survive as a film shooter anymore. It is expected now, trust me your lucky to get away with shooting film, I can't.
  132. Anyway let's move on we dumped enough on Marc's thread and i feel bad. I have no ill feelings on anything you said just wondering what your thinking that's all. Hopefully I did not offend you either
  133. I like the DMR image renditions that I see. Wish I could afford one.

    Does any of the experts know if there is a custom curve out there that will replicate the DMR results? I wouldn't even mind buying a OES dSLR, if I can do that cheaply.
  134. Let me just show a couple of examples from the DMR while on a trip in Mexico just to give you a idea of color and the dynamic range this camera can produce. All of these are processed in C1 with there generic default that converted to my favorite workspace
  135. watch the DR on this one
  136. Look at the hard showdows under the kids hat
  137. Look at the color here
  138. Now the last one there was a little saturation added. One thing i have noticed working with these files is they are very robust to work with , you can make some sweeping changes to the files without degrading it. They can take a lot or very little sharpening and still look razor sharp and i don't care what anyone says , leica glass is razor sharp with tons of micro detail in almost all of there line, yes there are some okay ones but overall some of the best glass i have used. i want a 135 F2 APO . Okay that was a dream
  139. I have hundreds of these kinds of images from this trip but just to give some example what the camera can do . This shot had major nbacklighting and the meter just nailed it anyway
  140. Well I found one that illustrates a point on the DR . The two ladies sitting down are in open shade the 2 in the back are in full sun. I shot this at 1/90 at f4 and i think it was with a 35 1.4
  141. I have to say that I like the shots from the DMR but I don't see anything different in it than from Canon DSLR (namely 5D) that I also own. If we were talking Canon D30 that would be a different story. I used to own one also but IMHO the 5D's output is similar to a point that I would say it's all a matter of right light at the right time to produce a top image from either DSLR.
  142. I also think there is a mental aspect to this. Power of suggestion does wonders to judgement. Using sports analogy I know in hockey some players are 100% convinced the puck went across the goal line until video proves them wrong. I believe if you really believe that your [insert brand name here] SLR produces better shots and shoot it side by side with another SLR then your mind will do a great job at tricking you into believing yours is better.

    Aside from this, I think it's awesome that DMR is out there. There has got to be more competition against Canon. It's only healthy, so I'm pulling for any competitor even though I also use Canon's products.
  143. Power of suggestion (aka Marketing hype?)?

    Yes, that must be the reason why those over priced Leitz wide angles and Zeiss Distagons should be sought after by EOS folks.
  144. Rene,

    You interrupted just when I was enjoying the thread. In fact I was going to suggest to Guy that he should consider writing a book on DMR, but I first wanted him to finish uploading all his wonderful images showing dynamic range.
  145. Vivek,

    Relax. I love Leica glass just as the next guy but I'm not going to soil my pants over them. The Canon 35L and up are up to par with Leica. The Canon 24 L has some issues at 1.4 but NOBODY ELSE makes it in 1.4 and at 2.8 it totally rocks. I would agree that the Canon 20mm pretty bad (at least it was for me) The only noticeable advantage is in the M mount where the lenses are much more portable than Canon's.

    But let's not sway from the topic. What I'm saying is that both systems are great. The rest is really nitpicking which is easily overcame by "believing" and delivering.
  146. I somewhat agree with Rene on this.

    Also, with respect to what people are reacting to on Marc's photos, I suspect it's 99% Marc
    and not the camera/lens. Marc obviously knows how to shoot and everything he posts is
    always bathed in exquisite light, especially the first three photos. And, as a result, people
    come to expect that look. It's the light...
  147. I am biting my lip hard
  148. Guy and Marc, thanks for posting the pics, they speak much louder than specs and marketing words.
  149. Canon should rope in Marc for the suggestive power.

    Oh, yes! Excellent demonstration Marc and Guy.
  150. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    breather Guy, breathe, 1, 2, 3...
  151. Thanks guy's just trying to show some of the images from the DMR obviously not my real work but some snapshots to show some highlights of the system. Please if you like your 5d than do use that as best you can, but until you test the systems and run side by side images the difference are much more apparent than on the web, unfortunetly that I can't show you that part of it. The web is taking about 2 stops off the DR
  152. What I really don't understand, is that some will say you can't make any judgments from
    limited web-based photos, and then subsequently post web photos to illustrate an attribute
    or claim with respect to the camera/lens from which the photo was made. Does that make
    any sense?
  153. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    I don't see anything wrong with using the web. It's srgb and when converting an rgb to srgb correctly, it's a fine place to evaluate. Why not? It sure beats a srgb machine print.

    Losing two stops of DR becasue it's on the web is an incorrect statement, Guy
  154. Guy,

    I hope I did not rub it wrong way. :) My post was not to discredit what you were saying. I fully agree and support what you said. I'm actually all for the excitement about your gear. After all you should be happy and confident in the tools you are using.

    I think in the case of those who know what they are doing like Marc and you and others who get their results and preffer the look they are getting with DMR - that's all good.
  155. Here's an old photo from my sony digicam. I'm losing two stops on the web. It's really TONS BETTER at home.
    [​IMG] Shocked that a quarter only gets you 10 minutes
  156. I can imagine some DMR users are convincing themselves that it delivers better results than is actually true.<br />
    Here nevertheless I think some people like to convince themselves that the DMR (which they don't own) doesn't deliver better results - because if it would, they would feel some envy.
  157. That would be a correct logic.
  158. Lovely catch, Brad. Dare I say I even see the glow?
  159. The bird in the top photo is certainly better on screen the top of that nesting spot is like open shade so maybe it is that one shot but I do see it degrade bad , maybe I am doing something wrong on my end here , I am using save for web and dropping it down to 500 pixels , honestly for some reason they show up better on Fred's site, not sure why that is. Also I convert to srgb.
  160. quote I can imagine some DMR users are convincing themselves that it delivers better results than is actually true

    You have to be joking , I been doing this for 30 years there is no dillision here on my end. If it sucks it does not go in the bag , pretty simply logic
  161. Okay I opened this up quite a bit to see if it holds on the web , let's see.
  162. Still a little dark but much better. The orginal could have been a little dark to begin with
  163. Gut. He said some. That is not all inclusive. It doesn't have include you. If you are confident in your choices then take it as a compliment.
  164. I just wish the Canon users will make the ESO forum photo friendly enough to see the Canyon glow there. Even the LOMO folks have a better format.

    And yes, I agree that a P&S digicam is more than enough for It is all about the 3rd eye and the sixth finger.
  165. Guy,
    I suppose it is my lack of subtlety in English, that you misunderstood me.
    What I meant is this: people hear DMR-owners talk about how great their DMR is. Some of the people who hear this, think "it is just because they paid so much money, that they say the like the camera so much".<br />
    I myself think (reading this thread and the one on Fred Miranda) that the DMR really does very well (thinking about getting one myself...)
    What I then said that even if it were true that some DMR-owners are exaggerating their DMR's virtue, that it is even more true that there are other people (non DMR-owners) who just cannot accept that the DMR is such a fine piece of equipment.
    I hope I made myself clear now, but I doubt it :)
  166. Rene I know but i have yet to see one DMR owner sell there camera for not liking the images at all, it is kind of wierd people that have bought them have bought more leica gear because they like the files better. That thread of 5000 posts there is not one complaint about the images. More operational issues than anything , try that with any body and people are whining all the time, i can't explain it but no one has whined about there images. To me that is something else and it can't be dilusional. It's like people actually think the 5d is better than the 1dsMKII and has better DR than the 1dsMKII. Now that is dilliusional. The 1dsMKII is the best Canon makes period. Today , i actually liked the files from the 1ds better but that is another thread . the 5d is a nice camera but it is only about 75 percent of the 1dsMKII as far as image
  167. Actually that helped alot , my apologizes than. Don't feel bad my english sucks and that is my native tongue. LOL LOL LOL
  168. 5D is 75% of 1Ds?! The third eye was not working properly, I think.
  169. FWIW Marc the first shot reminds me of Provia 400 - my favorite 400ISO color film.

    I find that with today's RAW tools one can achieve lots of 'film like' looks in post processing. At the same time I don't really understand the quest for Lfilm look'. I suppose as long as not a crappy overptocessed digital look we should strive for a 'great look'. Somehow, though, 'great look' doesn't sound glamorous enough...

    I've shot plenty crappy looking Provia 400 intersected by some beauties.
  170. Dudes the technical quality of all the pixs posted are on a level.

    Bradley wins on what matters dudes the pix.
  171. Guy I believe you. I believe that given a good photograph the DMR is great, the 1Ds is great, the 5D is great, the ....
  172. Still, in the end, it's the light that separates wow pix from the average.

    If Marc *only* posted his 4th pic as sole testament to the virtues of the DMR, would
    everybody be reacting the same?
  173. Guy posted a lot a stuff before as well. The images from him looked impressive to me. So did the ones from a couple of others (Peter Werner, Jorge, ..).

    No it is not only the Hollywood shots that give the impression.
  174. Brad, I was thinking the same thing when the first post appeared. Perhaps Marc wanted to show the details of the shadow under the awning.

    800 ISO limit sounds like a bit of a bummer though. I have never registered this limitation when Iread about the DMR in the past. Seems that when I was shooting the 5D I went 99% 1600 iso. The 100ISO shots I took could be less than 10. Maybe it will change when summer rolls into Maine.
  175. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    Well, the forth pic of Marc's is probably the best here for tech aspects. Lots of detail in the grip truck and in the sky and in the shade. Need to shoot with three others cams at the same time though to see how much crunching and blocking goes on when compared.
  176. Here's ISO 1000 from 5D at 1/15 sec. hand-held, no noise reduction applied.

  177. You are right, Eric. My half an eye was not working properly. The 4th is a very nice demo shot.
  178. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    nice shot Nels
  179. Thanks, Eric. If it was shot with a DMR (I doubt how, but work with me here), I would have raved about its dynamic range and other qualities. But since it's a shot from a humble camera that is only 75% of 1DsII, I'll be content calling it a snapshot.
  180. Well, I guess I'll jump in on this one...
    For those that don't know me, I USED to be a regular poster here in the Leica forum -- for those that do remember me, hello again!
    FWIW, I happened to be in Mexico with Guy when he took some of the above images. I have a few similar I took with my Canon 1D2 and I'll try and insert a few of them for comparison at the end of this post.
    But before I do, let me just say there is something unique about the files the DMR produces. I think a lot of it has to do with the glass, but that isn't all of it, since I use both CZ and Leica glass on my Canons and I don't get the same look. I think Marc summed the subtleties up perfectly so I won't repeat them here.
    I am not sure the DMR has any extra DR over the Canon 1's, but it certainly handles the DR it has better in the shadows -- I saw this first hand in Mexico when Guy and I were processing our raw files. Yes, I am facile with my raw converter and Photoshop and can get excellent results with my Canons, but the DMR still takes first prize IMO -- and I am NOT a Leica shooter any more... (Guy says Yet ;) )
    Here are a few of my Canon shots from Mexico. More can be found here: Jack's Mexico Gallery
    Fountain Flowers:
    Folks Waiting:
    And one last one for high-contrast AM light, Dog-walk:
  181. Okay how did you get them so big. geez feel like mouse photos i am posting. LOL
  182. Good post Jack. What lenses did you have in your bag?
  183. Just so you all know the tricks in raw processing and PS come a lot from Jack. He is a master here. When i need something figured out his phone rings
  184. Is the framed photos > 1000 pixels an EOS thing? Lovely frames though.

    Hey Nels, Nice Rolleiflex shot! The square format works ver well for this inspite of the frame. Fill in all the scanner details, please.
  185. Guy, jack has them on his website in the size he wants and links them here as opposed to you uploading them here. All you need is to link them from your web site (or is to write
    <img src="">

    ...and don't forget to select The above text is HTML
  186. Vivek - It's the new Leica APO Macro Elmar ASPH Grain Buster scanner.
  187. Thanks Rene . I will have to load some things there and link them
  188. APO Macro Elmar ASPH grain buster?! Nice grab (the picture), Nels.
  189. Here's an ISO 50 scan.

  190. >> Good post Jack. What lenses did you have in your bag? Hi Rene! I took three lenses to mexico, all zooms; 17-40, 24-105 IS and 75-300 IS (old style). Most of the images I took were captured with the 24-105.
  191. >> Is the framed photos > 1000 pixels an EOS thing? Lovely frames though. Not really an EOS thing, more like an old man with bad eyes thing LOL! I like to be able to see some detail in the images I post ;) -- sorry if it offended to have them this big.
  192. Jack, Thanks for your post. I agree with what Renee said about it.
  193. That should have been Rene (sorry guy, one of these days I will get it right).

    Jack, Lovely captures. Never mind my dig at the size.
  194. Wow, what a thread this is turning out to be ;=) I've sat here reading with great interest, deciding not to post anything myself until cooler heads seemed to prevail. I should start with a small bit of background. I now own two of these Leica DMR things, one on an R8 that I have had for many years, and the other on a newly purchased R9. I shoot little film these days, save for the occasional M outing, having shot digital for about ten years now, at least in part. I also own and shoot two MF digital backs. I had ordered my DMR over two years before it actually shipped, and kept my R around waiting for it. I also owned every Canon digital camera that has come down the pike, with the exception of the 5D. Like you Marc, I had a fortune tied up in "L" glass and Canon bodies. Today, I have even more tied up in Leica R gear, and have practically sold off all of my Canon. And here is why: First, let me comment on your Original question. The DMR will shoot at ISO 1600. You just need to enable it on the menu first, so it shows up in the selections. I tried it once, and promptly dialed back to ISO 800 with -1 exposure comp instead. But it will do it if you want. I have always been one that loved the look from Leica lenses. And completely agree that they are warmer with far better micro contrast than my Canon glass. Or my Zeiss MF glass that has a cooler look. I love my M lenses for the look they produce. I love my R glass for the same reasons. I also love the look from my 40 year old Angenieux zoom, which is a far different look than any of my other glass. It's the glass that delivers the mojo for me, not the body. Shooting film, you just needed something to hold the film nice and tight, even with the focus plane. With digital, it's a brave new world. The DMR was a joint development of three companies. Leica, who paid the bills, acted as the project manager, and developed the mechanical parts; Imacon prior to their merger who developed the software; and Kodak, that great yellow father who provided the sensor and related electronics to meet the Leica design specifications. It is worth noting that combined, these three have far more experience in their respective fields of contribution than any other single company or combination of companies I can think of. Each is a recognized expert in their respective fields. This was a difficult development to meet the stringent specifications too, as evidenced by the actual end product being delayed by over a year getting into the marketplace. Applaud them, or curse them, Leica is a company with very rigid ideas when it comes to the ultimate photographic camera, and their own philosophy on just how a camera should operate. A philosophy that suits my own preferences perfectly, I mite add, though others do feel differently about this. There are three things I find my Leica give me that my Canon do not. First is the image "look." This is no doubt very much a factor of the glass, so I won't beat that dead horse further. Second is the way the camera itself functions. It is a manual camera, where I am required to do almost everything. I like that. My bodies practically live in "M" mode. Once in awhile in Aperture Priority. But never in any type of program mode. I like manual focus, as it allows me to decide where the focal plane falls, not some set of electronics that relies on finding a contrast difference in the frame. And frequently misses. I shoot mostly documentary, environmental portraits, and lifestyle with my 35mm gear. I hate looking at images on my computer where I nailed thee moment, only to realize that my autofocus decided the ears were more important than the eyes. Or the nose. I also can't stand having to carry around a stinking manual or a cheat sheet just to remember how to do mirror lockup. Or finding it almost mandatory to grow a third hand to reset the ISO on the fly. I hate buttons, but love analog dials that spin around to the settings you need. I hate needing to lower the camera from my eye to change any settings that relate to my process of capturing an image. Just as I hate even having to think about what the correct combination of button presses, wheel selection, wheel spins, etc. are required to set my camera where I want it. Bottom line, I hate the demands on my concentration of the digital cameras made by most Japanese companies. I want the camera to stay out of my way, so I can concentrate on shooting the moments. Huge advantage, Leica/DMR. The third reason is the dynamic range and color the DMR delivers. For the record, the Kodak CCD sensor has got a S/N ratio of 74. And they do use a 16 bit A/D converter. And yes, the sensor is mounted in a very well designed metal case, that does wick the heat from the electronics away from the sensor and outside the body through that metal case. They also use some firmware tricks to give the final image a much lower noise profile than just a strait math formula would suggest should be possible. A full two stop advantage over even my 1Ds2, from my studio tests. Very close to the dynamic range I get from my MF digital backs. One of which, my Jenoptik, is even actively cooled. But all the "techie" pixel peeping stuff aside, the real world images are what count. With the DMR, I can shoot an outdoor scene in bright sunlight, with elements of the scene in shadow, and not worry about holding the blue in the sky. I hate white sky except on overcast days. I can shoot a portrait subject on his horse, wearing a huge Mexican Sombrero, and not worry about having detail in the shadow across his face. Fantastic. Something that always made me use fill flash with my Canons I now shoot with the confidence I have all the shadow detail I could ever want. For night shooting, the DMR is a dream come true, provided you pre-focus or set up hyperfocal distance first. I shot a street fireworks series just a couple months ago that honestly I could not believe the images I was getting. Color in the fireworks, and still plenty of detail in everything else. I was amazed. If I can figure out how to post an image here, I will upload one for you to see. In the end, the Leica R/DMR is clearly not a camera for everyone. For myself, and for several other working photographers, both professional and serious amatures, it is a God send. A creative tool that allows me to execute my vision, my way, while providing me with very usable extensions no other camera on the market today can offer. Just my own opinion, your own may vary.
  195. I can only hope this thread ends with a group hug.
  196. Oh, and nobody says the word "microcontrast" during group hug, please.
  197. Wow! Chuck's post addresses all the 'expert' opinions above it.

    Microcontrast, yes, a real thing, Nels.
  198. Here's an interesting quote from the director of photography at my TV shoot ... " Is that
    the Leica digital? Hmmm, you go right to the top of the food chain huh?" (He was
    shooting some of his set-ups with a Nikon digital). I showed him some of the shots and he
    was greatly impressed, and stated that the lenses were still the best out there.

    This is not an attack on Nikon or Canon digital cameras, at least not from me. However, I
    am quite comfortable attacking Canon for their wide angle offerings including the 24/1.4
    and 35/1.4, if for no other reason than barrel distortion.

    I shoot with a 5D and a 1DsMKII. These are my most used, workhorse wedding cameras.
    Nels' nice pic demonstrates why ... AF and high ISO performance for a start.

    However, that specific pic doesn't present the dynamic range challenge I'm referring to.
    That happens at a wedding at dead noon, and 2 people are walking toward you in open
    sun ... dressed in all white and all black. Conditions where the Canons struggle with the
    range even using fill flash.

    After shooting thousands of wedding images where you HAVE to get the shots, and don't
    get a second chance, I HAVE to have deep confidence in the gear. Canon has earned that.

    So, despite the speculation, I'm not delusional about the DMR. It will never be more than a
    supplemental choice for weddings for reasons other than image quality. That's why I took
    it on this trip, to get better at it, before counting on it as an occasional alternative to the

    What I intended here was an assurance that those Leica R users with a substantial
    investment in R glass, who like their R system, DO have a highly capable camera in the
    DMR. One that's a joy to use, and provides excellent images that can hold their own with
    some of the best out there.

    Frankly, I don't like shooting with Canon cameras. They really are just a tool. I like the
    Leica because it's more fun for me, more tactile, simpler, more manual ... and the pics do
    look different in a way I like.

    I have shot thousands of pics with the 5D. Take my word for it, as nice as that camera is,
    when it comes to ISO 100 to 400 image quality ... it's no Leica DMR.

    The DMR is expensive? Duh, what Leica anything isn't?
  199. Hey Chuck!

    I'm glad you posted here... Do me a favor and post the shot of Guy lighting up I took with your DMR and 15mm lens... I think it was hand-held, wide open at f2.8, 1/8th sec? Anyway, I want to re-inforce TWO points Marc made: 1) Manual focus is not all that tough with a bright viewfinder like the R8/9's, and 2) being able to see AROUND the outside of the frame is a huge benefit!

    The image I hope Chuck posts is one of my first ever with the DMR...
  200. I asked the boys to come and give you some thoughts on the subject . Thanks Chuck and Jack for jumping in and giving some input. You guys just say it better than me. LOL

    Again let me say it is not for everyone but what it is good for is R lens owners that have a large investment in there glass without having to sell them off to go Canon or Nikon. The DMR is the first step for Leica and they delivered a great product right out of the gate. That is only good news for them with the upcoming M and other products i won't mention but will be here soon. Also there are folks like me that had Nikon and Canon and there needs were not meet , wide angles suck on Canon and I told them to there face a thousand times so no love on that end but it did bring me to Zeiss glass than eventually to Leica's. Canon and Nikon have made great strides in the digital arena and they need to continue those strides as leica needs to continue , this only brings better product to you guessed it US
  201. Thanks for calming down, guys.

    I am all for competition. The trouble is, by no stretch of the imagination can one consider the DMR to be a competition to Nikon or Canon offerings because of its positioning and other features or lack thereof. I really wish it were.

    Leica has always produced a differentiated product, and that is a trait to be admired. I can only hope, for their own sake, that they come out with better future iterations of their digital offerings that appeal to a slightly broader and new audience who don't have to be Hermes shoppers to buy into Leica.
  202. The third reason is the dynamic range and color the DMR delivers. For the record, the Kodak CCD sensor has got a S/N ratio of 74. And they do use a 16 bit A/D converter.
    Heh, well, there you go. I speculated on a dynamic range of 73 dB for the Kodak sensor and indeed I estimated pretty close. Still doesn't explain the use of a 16 ADC, which offers no benefits - especially since without active cooling the sensor cannot be at a temperature lower than ambient; nominally +25C, even with "special metals," box, etc. It is good press and supports my first post at 5:21 PM.
    As I mentioned in the other thread, so far, only the active-cooled Jenoptik MF back can make a case for touting 16 bit ADCs.
  203. integrate the noise-profile over the duration of the shutter interval. exactly as Canon (and others) implement .. the A/D is not the limiting contributor. Peltier-effect devices are very inefficient and not a solution (at least, not in a portable/battery limited-power camera implementation).

    personally, four-bits works fine for me.
  204. Nels, Don't you think $8,000. for a Canon digital body to also be "Hermes" territory?

    Besides, what does Hermes have to do with Leica R? They don't offer supple calf skin
    covered R9s with a scarf like matching straps.

    And since the days of the Nikon F, Leica SLRs have always been a niche system based
    solely on the lens performance. Why do you insist that they become something else where
    they'll most certainly get killed by Canon? It seems to me that only by offering some
    alternative option to those who want it (or more importantly, can see it) will they survive.

    Which is exactly what those who actually use the DMR say it delivers.
  205. I think it's great that DMR delivers good picture quality. At the beginning the naysayers were saying that 'the picture quality isn't very good' or the picture quality is similar to Digital Rebel. I think that it's fair to asume that they were wrong. DMR seems to provide equal or better picture quality at 100-400 iso than any leading DSLR out there. Great.
  206. Nels... I'm a Canon shooter and I have to say you simply aren't making any sense with your claim. Leica has not missed any target here, but rather done what it always has: Made a camera for a very specific clientelle.

    The fact you don't agree with the cost/benefit/features of what they've produced is certainly your prerogative, but the fact remains there are many who relish what it offers. And I include myslef in that mix even though I don't own one.
  207. Marc,

    Being better diversified, Canon does not limit itself to its (agreeably) Hermes territory offering to make a profit. Looking at Leica's financial situation, I doubt if their strategy is the right one, but time will tell. I merely expressed a "hope" that they offer something else to get more "new" customers.
  208. Jack,

    Buy yourself a DMR and sleep better.
  209. I sleep just fine, thank you.

    But at least now I understand your thinking completely...
  210. [group hug][aaah]
  211. I don't understand half of what was said, but I still learned a lot. This is one of the best threads that I have ever seen on PN.

    I remain a bit sceptical about the advantages of Leica glass, but then, I used to think that all of the talk about "bokeh" was nonsense, too. (I learned my lesson there pretty quickly.)

    I do think that I can see something even on the web about the special quality of the Leica optics (and in Marc's pictures in particular). I can't prove it, and it is subtle and intangible, but I do believe that it is real, and I think that it is mostly about DR. How much of that is the equipment and how much is Marc's expertise is hard to say.

    Unfortunately, I'll never be able to afford the DMR (or any Leica product), but I am glad that someone who can see the difference can afford one--and make the most of it. If you can see the difference, and if it matters to you, then it really doesn't matter if anyone else sees it or not when making the decision to buy.

    The Canon Mexico shots were impressive, too. I'm shooting mostly Nikon glass these days, when I am not fiddling with my old Mamiya TLRs or my low end Toyoview 4x5. There is expense there too: it's called "time." Is it worth it? It is to me. If I can see the difference, I don't give a hang whether someone else thinks that "Eight megapixels is enough" (a article yesterday) or "No one will ever need more than 640K" (attributed to Bill Gates). It is those who want something just a little bit better who keep this whole photographic enterprise really interesting.

    It's finally about glass. Even with my Kodak 14n, I come up against the limits of the optics all the time.

  212. Hip-hip-hooray!! A nice old fashioned thread on the Leica's been a long, long time.

    (...and welcome back, Jack Flesher!)
  213. "But at least now I understand your thinking completely..."

    Jack, have you been speaking with any of my ex-girlfriends? That line sounds eerily familiar.
  214. I look at the DMR as a compact MF camera than a DSLR . Here is why i say this the back itself and the guts contained in it the CCd Sensor the 16 bit lower ISO and no AA filter you are essentail talking a smaller sensor MF back , really there is no difference there but than you take the versitile 35mm and all those lenses and you marry the two together. So really at the end of the day you are shooting a MF back with a SLR camera. So it is differnt than the Canons and the Nikons and leica built this for there R users that still like to shoot film once in awhile, It really takes about 2 minutes to switch the back out to film, really kind of cool. Never done it but it is there. For the guys that shot Hassy 's and Film camera's of mechnical nature and did everything manual it really is a dream camera. I love to focus and like many points Chuck made all that electronic stuff going on with the Canons you lose sight of you controlling the camera and not the other way around . Now for the young guns that never used a manual camera or even film for that matter this is old stuff and very foreign to them. But us old farts that grew up with 4x5 and Hassy and Nikon F2, F3 and such this is like a old friend in your hand, I really love getting back to this space that I grew up with but still have that modern technology in digital.

    One of the first things I was noticing when i bought this and it really was not a intentionally planned purchase, I just got lucky to get one in 2 days when everyone was on a waiting list, i jumped on it to try , anyway what i saw was the images looked very Kodachrome like to me. Which i loved Kodachrome. Also the files looked 3 dimensional , now this is really hard to even describe let alone see in 3d but there is just something about the look of these files that i have not found elsewhere except maybe the 1ds. I was coming back to this statement from earlier. I still to this day contend the 1ds files look better than the 1dsMKII as far as having more a film look , it had other issues like noise in the shadows but a good exposed image looked more film like than what I see out of the 1dsMKII, to me the 1dsMKII has more detail but has a more plastic look to it than the 1ds files do. I think this is part of the reason why i liked the DMR better than the 1dsMKII it is more or actually better than the look of the 1ds files. one must remember I have been using leica glass on all of these, so the lense have been the same. Now maybe i am crazy on this but it is just what i see and i have to go by that because testing between them there is no scientific fact but what you see to your eyes.

    Let's touch on another area because it really is so important and to anyone wanting to learn about shooting digital , you better learn very fast how to do Raw processing,sharpening, color management, profiles and working in PS and all that goes on in post processing. it does make a differnce . reason i said something about Jacks ability to work files , look at those canon shots the are gorgoeus because he knows what he is doing not just behind the camera but in processing. We are the lab now and to be really good at making your files look good you really need to pay attention here. I still am a diehart when it comes to shooting everything in camera and no PS tricks after the fact. if you want to be a good shooter you need to learn to do it in camera , forget PS is out there. Think in your head your shooting slide and it better be in the file, not a trick in the computer. Yes you can do many things after the fact and enhance what you have done but it is much easier to have the best in camera and go from there than try and cheatting ( bad word ) it after you hit the shutter.
  215. Lannie you may not be able to afford the DMR but there is something coming that you may be able to buy. PMA there will be a announcement. No I am not talking. Big s..t eating grin
  216. That is way too high for the antiquated software of, Daniel.

    2 is more than enuf.

    Let us just view text and line drawings to make things better.
  217. This was shot with the 35-70 2.8 zoom for a annual report
  218. One more with the 180 F2 summricon at f4
  219. Last of this series
  220. Even catwalk stuff at ISO 400 still looks very clean Shot with the 80 summilux at f4
  221. Showing you some range with the DMR . One from Yosemite with a 15mm 2.8 lens
  222. Here is one that is hard to see here with the detail , that is just amazing shot ( as far as detail)with a 180 F2 with a 2x apo extender at a effective aperture of 6.8. This is one of those image that really sold me on the sharpness and micro detail of the leica lenses
  223. Here is one where even the highlights in the wood just hang in there with the rest of the image. i really don't get any blown highlights very often at all. 15mm 2.8 again
  224. Chuck Jones said:
    > An understandable approach, but it carries considerable risk: One might have to wait years between posts. Chuck registered at in 2003, and it seems this may well have been his first post. I rest my case :) Just rattling your cage, Chuck. I do hope you post more frequently, and the photos are what make the Forum in my opinion. [Incidentally, you may legitimately avoid the width limitation of 511 pixels by linking photos from your site, a gallery, or another hosting site by typing the following: [​IMG] Then you select "HTML" from the drop-down menu before hitting the 'Submit' button. You'll then be able to 'preview' your photo before hitting the 'Confirm' button. Even though you can post wider than 511, you should still keep to reasonable dimensions (perhaps 750 - 800 wide and not terribly long) to avoid requiring us to scroll to see your photo. And overall file size should be watched as well -- the suggested size is 100k.]
  225. I don't have these on the net but need to put them up to link too but anyway we were talking a little on the DR stuff, just ran across this image i shot on a clear day in Atlantic city just before Christmas for a client . The sun is coming over the boat from the right side but the shadow side even in the way back there is plenty of detail.
  226. One more from the same shoot. This is tough for any camera complete white wall with pur sun hitting it and yet look at the shadow side. okay that's it just wanted to show a couple conditions that the DMR can work in
  227. DR with no blown highlights. Hmmmm. . . .

    Guy, I might just might to hit that Brinks truck after all. Teachers have a right to live, too, and anything worth doing or having is going to entail some risks.

    Catch me if you can, coppers. Oh, Lord, won't you buy me a Leica DMR. If not, I'll find a way.

    You're right. It IS a like an MF back. Thanks for the photos.

  228. Hmmm ...
    Leica APO, Canon lens, Nikon ED lens or Zeiss Superachromat?
    <img src="">
  229. Arthur ... the answer is ...

    web upload.
  230. Let�s us go for a dose of reality.

    I very much doubt if any of you could tell the difference between any of these cameras after a bit of work and effort in photo shop on a 10 by 8 print or larger and I would include a Nikon D50 at a fraction of the price.

    Camera hype nothing else dudes. The truth is out there you just need the eyes to see it.

    Spitting hairs when you should be creating a photographic vision
  231. I would like to add that Marcus Williams posts some technically excellent pixs, with creative vision, unsurpassed in technical skills on this site.

    They are a joy to behold but not with the DMR.
  232. Quote from the Bob Atkins DMR PREview:

    "Field reports so far suggest performance is good, though overall image quality doesn't seem to be significantly better then a $800 8MP Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT using the same lens. It may be a little better, but performance probably lies somewhere between the $800 Digital Rebel XT and the $3300 full frame EOS 5. I'm sure some will debate that and since I haven't personally shot with a DMR, I'll defer to their better judgement...

    So overall I think the DMR gets a "B" grade."

    Maybe Bob should have tried the DMR......people who have, seem to like it :)
  233. B+

    Happy now? :)
  234. So overall I think the DMR gets a "B" grade."

    Let us move it to A for those who have the need to spend a lot of dollars.

    1. Built like the proverbial sh..t house.

    2. Leica lenses got to have some impact.

    3. Do you really need anything better? Upgrade dudes with little talent will always chase the pixies like some chase the old man upstairs as an insurance policy. Forget the Word I went to church every week for 10 years dudes.

    Coughed up the tax free charity money dues ,which hurt ,now open the gates!
  235. Truly it is easier for a Camel to get through the eye of a needle............

    Let you all fill the rest in.
  236. Truly it is easier for a Camel to get through the eye of a needle............

    than it is for some people to hide their financial inferiority complex? : -)

    Don't worry Michael, I give lots of money to the poor, the Church, the Fireman's
    Association, Clean Water Act, Save the Whales, Sierra Club, Vets, and that poor old Uncle
    Sammy ... and have plenty left over to pop for a DMR just for the fun of it. But I don't think
    for a minute that the charity efforts will get me an engraved invitation to heaven signed by
    Jesus ... well, maybe buying the Leica might earn me Brownie Points ... since it's rumored
    that his Dad shoots with one ... LOL.
  237. There have been lots of reviews, positive and negative, on every camera made. Reviews are great, but they don't make images. I do. I had Nikon's system, until Canon brought out the 1Ds. I switched for the higher quality. I had five pro Canon bodies through the 1Ds2. I switched again when the DMR came out, again for the higher quality and much better "use ability" for my needs. When Canon or Nikon, or Maymia, or whatchamaycallit brings out a professional system that beats what the DMR does for my kind of work, I will likely buy one of those and give it a try. If it's that much better, I'll buy a second one, and switch again. I could honestly care less what "brand" is on the front of my cameras. I care about how they fit my shooting style, and what the images look like. I don't even care how many megapixels they are, or what the cost is as long as I can afford to buy it. My tools pay for themselves over the time I own them. And honestly? I really don't care one whit if what I posted doesn't mean anything to you. You didn't pay me to write any of this, and neither does Leica. My clients pay me to do a quality job for them. I posted it as information to share for those who do care to know what other photographers working with the Leica system think of it. I respect your views, and your rite to have them. I would suggest though that if you want others to continue to share theirs, some of you may want to consider how your words come across before you post insulting, degrading remarks. Or some of us may decide to just keep silent, and our experience to ourselves. The truth is always appearant to those who have eyes to see it. Jack asked for me to post this image he shot with my DMR. So here it is.
  238. Michael, I have a few Canon and Nikon lenses (among others), and I have been shooting digital seriously for four years. (I shoot film, too, up to medium and large format.)

    If you think that you can get comparable results with a D50 to what is being shown here, then you are the one who needs a dose of reality. Heck, even three megapixels can look impressive on the screen.

    Sure, you can PS all you want and get good uploads on the screen and fool lots of people. Try it with prints. Anybody who is fooled by Digital Fractals enlargements doesn't know what to look for.

    I don't care what Atkins says, and not merely because he has never used the DMR. I'm not saying that he is on Canon's payroll, just that he has tunnel vision where digital v. film is concerned, and where megapixels are concerned as well if one is shooting digital. He thinks that we have arrived because digital is now matching 35mm film. (Doesn't he realize that some persons liked MF and LF versus 35mm before digital was ever an issue?)

    I can tell the difference when things are printed, but I can't prove that here, and don't care to try. If you want to believe that the D50 will match anything out there, then you are entitled to your fantasy, but don't expect to be taken seriously by anyone who has tried something better--and put it through the wringer of print, not PS or Digital Fractals or some such. (I use that kind of software, too. It has its uses, but it doesn't give resolution that isn't there.)

    As for the DMR, I haven't tried it. I haven't tried the D50, either, but I have shot digital with up to 14 megapixels, and don't let anyone tell you that all of this is just money talking. Yes, it takes money to shoot the best, and I don't have the best, but I have good and better, and I can sure see the difference.

    Canon makes incredibly good digital cameras. I just hate it when I hear people say that we have gotten as good as we are going to get, or need to get. This digital thing is barely off the ground. Maybe Atkins is right that most people will never want more than what is already available, but I am not interested in what "most people" like or have to say about anything. I'm sorry if that sounds elitist. I don't have the money to be elitist, but I am not yet quite blind.

    I can remember when I came home in 1977 with a second-hand ($100)Miranda with a 50 f/1.4, snapped a few, showed them to my ex-wife, and compared them to what we had been getting of the kids with an Instamatic. She said that she couldn't tell the difference.

    I believe her. She couldn't tell the difference.

  239. What kills me here is you have several top pros here that are sharing information on the vitues of the DMR that is positive than we get accused of camera hyping. Really we don't get paid for this, nothing was given to us from Leica, we probably paid full retail price our bank accounts are in the hurting phase of out putting tons of money for it but we are hyping it for what reason is what i want to know. Why would we do this if it simply did not provide us something better for our work. Than get accused of chasing pixels , excuse me I went from 16 to 10 there is no chasing there, you have the math wrong. What is it do you have some complex that someone may have better gear than you or your a wannabe pro that can't shoot to save your life so lets just discredit anyone that actually knows something. Or are you so bored with your life this just gives you pleasure and makes you feel special. Really why are you questioning folks that have been shooting for years and live this business everyday and come in here and try to help folks. Marc hangs out her more than Chuck or myself and honestly not sure why he does put up with the crap. What you detractors do not even come close to undersatnding at ALL is pros like to give something back to our art and help others . I know that is my motivation and Chucks as well and frankly i am just going to say that is probably Marc's as well , we get nothing in return for helping except that we have helped some folks out and we get some personal satisfaction for that , that's all folks. to me that is enough but getting blantant crap for giving our professional viewpoints is uncalled for. Do you do this to Doctors and Lawyers and others that are professionals in there field. Than why do it to folks that want to share and why in the world would you even think we would lie or hype something is beyond me. We get nothing for this
  240. I'm just happy that you guys demonstrated what I already thought - that Leica DMR is on par with the best DSLR's out there. It wasn't fun to read the posts that basically incinuated in various ways that the DMR customers are fools and how dare they to think to challenge Canon.

    I'm not quite in agreement on your comparison shots made with Canon Zooms to your R lenses (even though the flower shot looked better with the Canon but that's only better shooting technique and light) and I don't quite agree with Marc's assesment of the Canon 35L or the 24L.

    Speaking from personal experience I have shot the best Hexanons out there, the best Canon L's out there and latest M Summicrons in 35, 50 and 90. I try to catalog my images in a database and record what I shot with. Every single brand query has a few outstanding (for my level) photos. If you choose your lens carefully and then it is more about light , framing and subject matter.

    But I understand your opinion and in a way I agree. You guys shot a lot of hardware and settled on DMR. Thanks for the demo's and reviews. Please stay here and post more in W/NW threads too.
  241. rj


    This is a great thread with a bunch of actual users of the equipment giving honest opinions, thanks for it. I hope this is an indication of what the Digital M might be like, my digital money will go to a camera that doesn't have a flapping mirror.
  242. I agree with RJ. The best news out of this is what it means for digital M.
  243. Thanks Renee what some folks don't undertsand is we do like Nikon and Canon , I made a lot of money from using those systems. I really think Canon is is one of the best OEM's out there in the digital field they constantly come out with new product that in most cases is a improvement the Series 1 camera are very good for what they do and speed is one of them, the DMR can be very slow in some shooting spots , no question and is my biggest issue with it. i hit the buffer at times and I am dead in the water , one reason i bought 2 of them is i can switch to the other when i hit the buffer. But every system has limitations , there is NOT a perfect camera and most pro's live with limitations in there gear. No question about this even going back to 4x5 days what a pain it was to use them, but they delivered what no camera could do swings and tilts. Right now i would kill for the Canon 90 TSE lens , the Zeiss 35 mm PC lens to fit my leica. I even thought about having them custom fitted somehow. Honestly we would never dream of dumping this kind of money into something that was not as good or better than what we already had. Hell i have 2 kids a wife a mortgage and 2 expensive cars just like everyone else. The money tree i keep telling my kids is dead in the backyard. What i think we are saying to the largest degree we found something that at the end of the day counts and that is the image quality from the DMR , it is different in many ways. There is some magic there that just does not come across in words of even on the web,but it is there and only our expreienced eyes can see it. I have a very long thread on Fred's site there that many folks have actually gone out and bought the DMR and honestly they keep selling off there canons they like the images coming from it and to them it is worth the money to switch. hey it is expensive as hell to switch , I did it twice in 4 years and it hurts . Went from Nikon, Kodak system to a full Canon system and from a full Canon to full Leica sytem. I must be nuts from a money point of view but i believe i found a better imaging box. Now we all said the same thing it is not for everyone or every budget and some don't want to give up what they have in there system. believe me I am not asking anyone to switch systems at all and go buy leica. What we are saying is we did for a reason , here is the info take a look at it and understand what it can do. take the info for what it is and use it to your advantage and learn from it. What I don't understand is why tear people apart when there trying to share. that thread i mentioned at Freds there is no fighting, no battle lines just sharing info with nice folks that want to learn something and this has been going on for 6 months. Why people go after each other on the net is beyond me , looks at dpreview it is a constant my gear is better than your gear scene , frankly i could give a rats you know what. LOL

    Anyway if you read between some of the posts this was a informative thread, so thanks to Marc for starting it.
  244. Just wait till the M comes it is the same sensor as the DMR but with different electronics but you M folks will be going nuts over it. The news i hear is nothing but good stuff
  245. Mission accomplished if the DMR Camera at least gets a once over by possible future users. Back to the M 50/1.4 ASPH. As I scan my first rolls, I'm changing my assessment. I'm starting to take note that the characteristics of this lens reminds me more of the 35/1.4 ASPH than he older 50 Lux. The older lens is still a viable choice IMO due to it's own set of characteristic. Here's a shot of workers spiffing up downtown Detroit in anticipation of hosting the Super Bowl today ... then I'll post a severe crop ...
  246. Here's the crop ... that you can read the "Caution" sticker on the crane, and see the eye glass stem on the far right walker is pretty impressive resolving power IMO.
  247. Man that is a pretty sweet lens.
  248. Marc from what i was told the new R 50mm 1.4 is the same design as this M version , do you know if that is correct. I am finding it to be a stellar performer
  249. Thanks, Marc, Guy, et al. You have indeed alerted us as to what to look for, and a lot of us do appreciate it.

    I understand now why you guys don't post pics in the critique forums, but I'm glad you hang around the discussion forums.

  250. A very informative thread, thanks Marc for sharing.....many of us really do appreciate your observations and experiences.
  251. Guy -- the M version is a "better" lens than the R version. At least it is a newer design. I have
    both and the M version is definitely sharper and more contrasty, particularly wide open, but
    the R version is better than the previous pre-ASPH m version. They are both superb, but the
    M version more snap and is not quite as smooth. They are both absolutely superb lenses.
    And Marc is correct, the 50/1.4 ASPH is very close in character to the 35/1.4 ASPH.
  252. I spent an hour reading this thread and have decided that my FM3a, loaded with the film of your choice, is probably as good as it's going to get for 35mm photography.
    All this talk of "film-like" qualities, etc...We already have this available to us at bargin prices.
    Do you sometimes get the feeling that digital is being forced on you? I enjoy my digital cameras, but I'm an old fart, too, who came from film. Digital is great and all...fantastic really (a godsend to pjs)...but the sheer joy of loading up a camera with film, setting the shutter speed and aperture, taking the shot, waiting to see the results...that's missing from when you use a digital.
    I know you can manually do all these things with a digital body, but it's just not the same.
    Does anybody else feel this way?
  253. I mean it seems we're exerting all this time, energy, effort & EXPENSE to replicate the very thing we're leaving behind.
  254. .I guess this thread ran out of gas, but here's a late 2 cents worth - I'd separate comments on the DMR between those that have read about the back, and those that have used it. This slightly obvious filter becomes more important if/when you have used one. Like Guy, Chuck and others, I came from another place: used an M2 for about 20 years, moved to MF (Rollei) for quality and definition in the bigger piece of film. Looking to get into a better digital camera, I tried the 20D, and found it nice, fine, but not magic. The AF was great, the speed fantastic, the menus were (for some time, and even still) a bit overwhelming. I'm always in the dark somehow with the camera. So alongs comes the DMR, and Guy's enthusiastic description of dynamic range, less post processing and the chance to use Leica glass again (anyone going from Rollei and Schneider glass to Canon glass is none to happy!). Tried one at the dealer and found it big, heavy a bit clunky, but kind of interesting, and easy to use. I cam eto the conclusion it was a better investment than a MF digital back, had all the experience of great companies behind it, and while more than 35MM digital, probably gave more too. So the closet was raided, a bunch of sitting stuff sold off, and for a couple of grand, a new system came into the house. Since I don't change often, it was a big deal. So what's the result: 1) the DMR is the real thing. There is no doubt about it. The image quality is superb, and essentially a step above (2 or more) anything else digital I have seen or shot. Its not the same as scanned MF film but it has a warmth and a character that takes what was great about 35mm and pushes it to the next generation. 2) the character of the DMR is very very hard to describe, but it is palpable, and easily found in use. I am able to knock out credible nice 13x17" color prints that are sharp, have great range and make you stop and pause with very little post-processing. Yes, you can get good prints elsewhere, but there is a character in these that is different. A friend came and looked at one and said it was not a photograph but was painterly. The tones in muted grey skies are there, and very subtly so. Guy and Chuck have tried to show this, but the web, screen shots etc. don't do justice. 3) my own work has grown significantly with this camera. At 50 years old, I'm struggling a bit with manual focus and wide angle lenses, but this will get better. Yes, I miss the Rollei format, the ease of operation, and don't like the weight, but I'm getting used to it. What I love is the fact that each shot has the chnace (again) to be magic - not a shot, but the quality of the gear allows the shot to become something more in the print. And that is worth having. 4) the Canon is still around, and is great for snaps and documenting work on job sites, teaching events, etc. It is fast, simple, and gets the job done. It is a good tool, a nice camera, but not for me one I use for making art. It lives here with respect for a job well done, but it isn't the same as the DMR. Hope this helps pass some of this understanding along. A good photographer works with the tools they are given. In some, the tools don't change, and the work grows. For others, the tools change and the work responds. The DMR has a bit of both - the qualities of Leica that we admire are transformed in this tool. Light, nimble...well, only in comparison to the MF backs and the 1DS which are its real competitors. But the virtues of color rendition, simple use, DR, and simple sheer quality are still there, and very worthwhile as well. Geoff
  255. another try, another image:

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