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Author Topic: The M9 for landscape  (Read 17962 times)
achrisproduction
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« Reply #80 on: January 14, 2011, 03:43:53 PM »
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I'm selling my M9 for a 550d and non-L glass.  You convinced me, I'm just not sure of what!  Maybe understanding the great photographic philosopher Ken Rockwell will provide the insight.  Maybe people see what they want to see regardless of the price of the gear.
goodluck.  Roll Eyes
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PierreVandevenne
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« Reply #81 on: January 14, 2011, 06:50:06 PM »
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Testing a Leica 'by eye' is hopeless.... like road testing a Ferrari.... "I took it commuting at 60km/h and I was stunned, I was shocked.... I could feel the latent power coursing through my veins... worth every penny to have that feeling". Which is fine... just subjective impressions... not generated by the car, rather triggered by its presence.... Then they make the mistake: "this car is amazing!".....

Obviously, you haven't driven a Ferrari. But have you at least tested a Leica?

Testing by eye hopeless? Hmmm, what is photography about? Have you found a way to test pictures without images? I am as rational as anyone when it comes to things that are measurable - at some point we have to agree that "photographc DR" doesn't exceed "engineering DR" or, if it does, the issue is that we are talking about something else than DR. But liking or not liking a picture is by definition highly subjective, and there are two essential unescapable requirements: the eye (at leat one) and the brain.

I think the main mistake people who spend a bunch on esoteric cameras make is that they try to justify/validate the purchase by claiming their property possesses some dubious technical advantage (impossibly higher DR, amazing lenses, etc). They shouldn't bother. Firstly because it is rationally doomed - the sensors, regardless of their sizes, are produced be similar processes. Then because the most important factor is how they use their thing.


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PierreVandevenne
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« Reply #82 on: January 14, 2011, 07:45:24 PM »
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In other words, I know that Harleys are inferior to much cheaper Japanese bikes on many objective metrics, but choose to ride one because it is the only true bike there is for me (although Indian and Triumph are close as well). Many Leica owners, on the other hand, seem to claim superiority on objective metrics where they aren't.

Yup, that really leaves me puzzeld. A few years ago, we had DSLRs, and Leicas, and large format cameras, and so on... and we had film too. At that time,nobody argued that the 50 ASA Ilford (or whatever) film they used somehow acquired magical qualities in one body or the other. The differenciating factor was the format, and its consequences on weight, lenses, workflow and final resolution because of film size. There was a price difference too. That hasn't changed. The price difference today for bodies is still a bit bigger than it used to be (because silicon economics came into play and it is basically as hard to build a larger sensor than it is to build a processor with a larger numbers of transistors at a given scale, with the additional constraint that reducing sensels size isn't as beneficial as reducing transistor size) but we are trending towards the old film based camera pricing structure (Pentax 645d and Nikon 3DX for example - whole systems are likely to be close in price).

Here's my theory.

- the old reasons to use non DSLR formats are still there. There are as valid as ever.
- the price difference between different formats or niche vs mass market products was (and still is to some point) bigger than it used to be.
- manufacturers had to find additional reasons to justify the exponential (actually squared plus a niche market premium) price differential.
- photographers were, in general, uneducated about CCDs
---> marketing saw the weakness and hammered it....
suddenly CCDs, a straightforward signal measuring device if there ever was one, acquired semi-magical properties.

PS: wouldn't BMWs be a good compromise between Harleys and Ninjas? ;-)
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Wayne Fox
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« Reply #83 on: January 15, 2011, 10:03:10 PM »
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Yup, that really leaves me puzzeld. A few years ago, we had DSLRs, and Leicas, and large format cameras, and so on... and we had film too. At that time,nobody argued that the 50 ASA Ilford (or whatever) film they used somehow acquired magical qualities in one body or the other. The differenciating factor was the format, and its consequences on weight, lenses, workflow and final resolution because of film size.
The idea "Leica glass" is special has been around a very long time ... it wasn't about format or film.

It is true the glass Leica uses to make their lenses is created in a very proprietary manner, in fact the equipment used by Corning to manufacturer the glass is owned and controlled by Leica. (this according to my Leica rep) If you've ever seen a piece of the raw glass is it is obviously different ... I've never seen anything quite like it.  It is claimed the process creates a purer glass and is part of the secret to the look of Leica images.  Only very small batches can be made, and the raw glass is heavier, which is purportedly why the Leica lenses seem "heavy" for their size and more expensive.

I really have never formed an opinion one way or the other, even though I'm currently carrying a small M9 setup as backup for my medium format gear.  But it is a debate that has existed for probably half a century and indeed the "glass" used to make the lenses is different.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #84 on: January 15, 2011, 11:06:08 PM »
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Hi,

Erwin Puts is an expert on Leica optics and has a small article putting the optical glass issue in perspective: http://www.imx.nl/photo/optics/page146/page146.html

Modern optical glass comes in many variation. Some glass doesn't even contain silica. Glass can also have very different physical properties, can be soft, brittle, hard to polish. Optic makers use a lot of different glasses. Probably all makers, including Leica, use a lot of glass from glass vendor's catalogues, but may add some glass developed in house having special properties.

Erwin's articles are worth reading...

Best regards
Erik

The idea "Leica glass" is special has been around a very long time ... it wasn't about format or film.

It is true the glass Leica uses to make their lenses is created in a very proprietary manner, in fact the equipment used by Corning to manufacturer the glass is owned and controlled by Leica. (this according to my Leica rep) If you've ever seen a piece of the raw glass is it is obviously different ... I've never seen anything quite like it.  It is claimed the process creates a purer glass and is part of the secret to the look of Leica images.  Only very small batches can be made, and the raw glass is heavier, which is purportedly why the Leica lenses seem "heavy" for their size and more expensive.

I really have never formed an opinion one way or the other, even though I'm currently carrying a small M9 setup as backup for my medium format gear.  But it is a debate that has existed for probably half a century and indeed the "glass" used to make the lenses is different.

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dturina
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« Reply #85 on: January 16, 2011, 02:04:45 PM »
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The concept of a tiny, high resolution camera with excellent small lenses for landscape photography is very appealing. However, here are some of my thoughts on this.

First, landscape photography means tripod. This already weighs you down to the point where a tiny difference between a 5d MkII and M9 becomes irrelevant. If you shout out of hand (as most Leica shooters seem to), that's all fine, but then forget perfectionism of resolution, forget blue hour and forget blurred water, which all in all means forget most of landscape photography.

Second, with Leica you use primes, which is all great but my experience is that in landscape photography you sometimes don't have much choice in your position, and a short tele-zoom is what it takes to get that perfect shot of mist in the canyon. Zooming with your legs is a nice sound bite, but in reality it results in lost opportunities.

Third, shooting with a polarizer with a rangefinder is a huge pain. Shooting with a polarizer and ND grad cokin plates even more so.

Fourth, not all the things you see in nature are landscape. Sometimes you need a closeup shot of that hummingbird and with M9 you can kiss it goodbye.

Fifth, sharpness. You don't usually shoot landscapes at f/1.4. In fact, my usual stop is f/13, which gives me DoF without losing much to difraction. All my Canon lenses are perfectly sharp at landscape stops. If there's a problem I don't have with 5d, it's lack of sharpness.

Sixth, Leica users talk much about a huge SLR and a huge bag of lenses as their demon sheep competition. Sorry folks, but I usually have one lens on the camera, another one in the pocket along with a spare battery, my wife carries the tripod and off we go. It's not like I'm carrying an elephant. OK, if I'm riding a bike for 40 km, half of it uphill, then I feel all the weight, but that's where I wouldn't carry my tripod, either, and if I wanted a camera for that, it would be something along the lines of micro 4/3, because an M9 wouldn't really fit into my jacket because let's face it, it's really not all that small.

So Leica, to me, just isn't practical as a landscape camera.
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Danijel
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« Reply #86 on: January 16, 2011, 03:42:11 PM »
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First, landscape photography means tripod. This already weighs you down to the point where a tiny difference between a 5d MkII and M9 becomes irrelevant. If you shout out of hand (as most Leica shooters seem to), that's all fine, but then forget perfectionism of resolution, forget blue hour and forget blurred water, which all in all means forget most of landscape photography.



You have a very narrow view of landscape photography!

I am perfectly happy to accept that the Leica wouldn't fit for you, but to suggest that it's not suitable for anyone is a bit of a stretch.  I have an M9, which works perfectly well alongside my Zeiss Ikons, for what I want. I also have other cameras that I would use when I was going to take a tripod along. To be fair, I don't identify as a lanscape photographer.

Mike
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dturina
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« Reply #87 on: January 16, 2011, 03:49:28 PM »
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You have a very narrow view of landscape photography!

I am perfectly happy to accept that the Leica wouldn't fit for you, but to suggest that it's not suitable for anyone is a bit of a stretch. 


Where did you manage to read that?
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Danijel
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« Reply #88 on: January 16, 2011, 04:28:08 PM »
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Where did you manage to read that?

Really no offence intended - it came out in a  bit of a rush, but I suspect that somewhere there is someone who enjoys his or her landscapes at slow shutter speeds and handheld, for whom the camera shake is a part of the aesthetic. They'll be on flickr somewhere, or try the figital revolution.

You're right, I don't see 35mm rfs, whether digital or film as tripod cameras. I don't have a QR plate for them, so if I want to put them on a tripod it will be the old one, which won't hold them still anyway.

Cheers

MIke
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dturina
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« Reply #89 on: January 16, 2011, 04:36:41 PM »
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Really no offence intended - it came out in a  bit of a rush,

But just so there won't be any confusion, I'm speaking for myself only, and even that is limited to what I currently do, which is very prone to change. I'm perfectly aware that there are dozens of landscape styles (in a technical sense) out there and they seem to work just fine for those who use them. Me, I combine closeup and landscape motives in a way that wouldn't really work with a camera that doesn't do everything through the lens. Someone else might do something I haven't even thought of.
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Danijel
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« Reply #90 on: January 16, 2011, 07:16:05 PM »
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Did I miss something?

Michael has a M9 and yet all I see are GH2 images.

Is there something I should know?

Cheers,
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dchew
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« Reply #91 on: January 16, 2011, 08:13:13 PM »
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See his post here.

Dave

Did I miss something?

Michael has a M9 and yet all I see are GH2 images.

Is there something I should know?

Cheers,
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eleanorbrown
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« Reply #92 on: June 24, 2011, 08:49:02 AM »
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Regarding the use of the M9 for landscape...I was determined to travel light on my Arctic expedition so took my m9 and 4 Leica lenses...I was pleased with the results and have started to put a few M9 images at this link for anyone interested.  The M9 lenses render water beautifully....highly recommended for landscape especially if one wants to travel very light.
Eleanor

http://web.mac.com/eleanorbrown/ELEANOR_BROWN_PHOTOGRAPHY/Arctic_2011.html
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Rob C
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« Reply #93 on: June 24, 2011, 10:13:46 AM »
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Regarding the use of the M9 for landscape...I was determined to travel light on my Arctic expedition so took my m9 and 4 Leica lenses...I was pleased with the results and have started to put a few M9 images at this link for anyone interested.  The M9 lenses render water beautifully....highly recommended for landscape especially if one wants to travel very light.
Eleanor

http://web.mac.com/eleanorbrown/ELEANOR_BROWN_PHOTOGRAPHY/Arctic_2011.html



 
Okay, a small question. I'm not the hottest PSer in the world, never will be even close; having laid out my stall I dare ask the question: accepted that the water pix are attractive enough in their own right, do I see burned out highlights that digital seems to find almost impossible to do as well/acceptably as over-exposed film, and was this a conscious choice to allow to happen, or just digi falling into old habits, or a specific Leica failing? For me, it ruins good photographs. I also realise I have asked more than one question. ;-)

Rob C
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eleanorbrown
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« Reply #94 on: June 24, 2011, 11:22:06 AM »
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Hi Rob...good question.  I don't think the highlights were burned out in RAW...I was in a hurry to get some up on my site (just returned from the trip pretty exhausted and leave for Colorado tomorrow).  I was probably rushing in processing and also this may be the jpg conversion to some extent.  With the M9 one really needs to expose for the highlights for sure, cause once lost (as with any digital device) there is no retrieving them! Eleanor
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Rob C
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« Reply #95 on: June 24, 2011, 01:54:04 PM »
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Hi Rob...good question.  I don't think the highlights were burned out in RAW...I was in a hurry to get some up on my site (just returned from the trip pretty exhausted and leave for Colorado tomorrow).  I was probably rushing in processing and also this may be the jpg conversion to some extent.  With the M9 one really needs to expose for the highlights for sure, cause once lost (as with any digital device) there is no retrieving them! Eleanor


Thanks, Eleanor, I'll look forward to seeing what you can do with the files when you have settled from your travels. Enjoy the Colorado trip!

Rob C
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