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Author Topic: Leica M240 review  (Read 39357 times)
wildlightphoto
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« Reply #60 on: April 24, 2013, 10:21:43 AM »
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Which later model of the DMR do you mean?

Smartass.

There isn't a newer sensor in Canon, Nikon, Pentax or Sony DSLR camera that comes close to the DMR's color quality.  If you want to argue, argue with my pictures.  My next show is May 19 at the California Foundatin for Birds of Prey.
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Ben Rubinstein
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« Reply #61 on: April 24, 2013, 01:10:16 PM »
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What an arrogant reply.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #62 on: April 24, 2013, 01:43:12 PM »
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Hi,

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

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

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

Best regards
Erik


Smartass.

There isn't a newer sensor in Canon, Nikon, Pentax or Sony DSLR camera that comes close to the DMR's color quality.  If you want to argue, argue with my pictures.  My next show is May 19 at the California Foundatin for Birds of Prey.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2013, 11:25:14 PM by ErikKaffehr » Logged

Telecaster
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« Reply #63 on: April 24, 2013, 05:01:01 PM »
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Smartass.

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

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

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

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

-Dave-
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Ray
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« Reply #64 on: April 24, 2013, 08:46:54 PM »
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A few comments about Mark Dubovoy's review that seem relevant to me.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Furthermore, since I think I am correct in assuming that the Leica M240 does not boast image stabilization, one would have to have a very wide-angle lens on the camera in order to use a shutter speed as slow as 1/60th, if resolution was a priority.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #65 on: April 24, 2013, 10:52:00 PM »
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Hi,

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

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

Best regards
Erik

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


-Dave-
« Last Edit: April 24, 2013, 11:27:49 PM by ErikKaffehr » Logged

wildstork
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« Reply #66 on: April 24, 2013, 11:31:34 PM »
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Ray,
I distinctly recall an article in Popular Photography in the 90's that tested shutter speeds from 1/15th sec through 1/1000 and there were noticeable improvements up to and including 1/250... so the advantages of faster shutter speeds with respect to noticeable sharpness improvement far exceeds 1/60th.  Digital places higher demands on image quality (optics) than film ever did so I can only assume that these test results would be even more obvious with the current high pixel density sensors on modern digital cameras.

Lawrence
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Ray
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« Reply #67 on: April 25, 2013, 01:57:29 AM »
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Lawrence,
Pity you can't find the details, such as model of camera, focal length of lens, whether tripod or hand-held, and sturdiness of tripod if tripod was used, and general conditions such as outdoors or indoors etc.

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

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

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

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

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

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

One should bear in mind that the 1/FL rule was for acceptably sharp 8"x10" prints in the days of film. A 100% view of an M240 or D800 image on a computer monitor is closer to an 8ft x 10ft print, depending on the size and resolution of the monitor.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2013, 02:05:31 AM by Ray » Logged
Rob C
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« Reply #68 on: April 25, 2013, 02:52:32 AM »
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In fact, with certain cameras, as I recall, such as the Canon 20D, I was not able to discern any increase in resolution even at 1/60th with MLU enabled, compared with 1/60th without MLU enabled. But this was not the case with the 5D which I tested at the same time in the same circumstances. That camera, using the same lens, and despite its lower pixel density, showed improvement all the way up to and including 1/60th. However, at 1/125th there was no difference whether MLU was enabled or not.


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

Rob C
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David S
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« Reply #69 on: April 25, 2013, 06:50:56 AM »
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Shutter Speed effects on picture.

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

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

Interesting in light of previous comments.


Dave S
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Ray
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« Reply #70 on: April 25, 2013, 08:11:11 AM »
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I presume Ansel Adams is referring to old and obsolete large-format equipment which didn't have a mirror but probably did have a very large mechanical shutter. In other words, a different kettle of fish.
If any of you have doubts about the effects of mirror slap and shutter vibration on the modern DSLR, you owe to yourselves to carry out some tests with your own equipment. Not much point in going to the trouble of using MLU in circumstances where it provides no benefit.

On the other hand, if you can't be bothered doing the tests, then you might as well use MLU with shutter speeds up to 1/250th, just to be safe.
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wildstork
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« Reply #71 on: April 25, 2013, 09:11:01 AM »
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The test in Popular Photography was done handheld with a 50mm lens and a test target was shot.  This made it much easier to judge areas that were vibration impacted. 

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

Consider yourself very fortunate if your results were better.

Lawrence
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David S
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« Reply #72 on: April 25, 2013, 09:18:52 AM »
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Maybe Ansel was talking of large cameras but nothing in the article implied just large cameras.

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

Dave S
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image66
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« Reply #73 on: April 25, 2013, 09:35:11 AM »
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As I was drooling over this new M240, my wife reminded me that I'm not a good enough photographer for a Leica.

She's right.
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Ray
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« Reply #74 on: April 25, 2013, 10:15:36 AM »
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The test in Popular Photography was done handheld with a 50mm lens and a test target was shot.  This made it much easier to judge areas that were vibration impacted. 

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

Consider yourself very fortunate if your results were better.

Lawrence

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

The point I'm raising is that at such shutter speeds mirror slap does not affect image quality. Such shutter speeds are required in order to combat camera movement when shooting hand-held, not mirror slap nor shutter vibration. Mark Dubovoy claimed that hand-held the D800E images were not as sharp as the M240 images as a result of the D800E's noisy mirror. That doesn't seem likely to me.
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Rob C
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« Reply #75 on: April 25, 2013, 11:22:55 AM »
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Mark Dubovoy claimed that hand-held the D800E images were not as sharp as the M240 images as a result of the D800E's noisy mirror. That doesn't seem likely to me.



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

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

Rob C
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John Camp
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« Reply #76 on: April 26, 2013, 12:46:25 PM »
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My main problem with Mark's review is something that he doesn't even discuss -- that's the implication that the qualities he discusses are relevant to the practice of photography, which they aren't. Other than that, I have no problem with his review at all, since the rest of it is simply opinion. But saying that the M240 is sharper than the D800e -- a controversial statement, to say the least -- is like saying my tires are very slightly prettier than yours.

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

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

As for the comments by wildlightphoto, I've looked at his pictures for years, and he is an extremely able photographer, maybe one of the best on this website, for the kind of photography he does. But his insistence on the DMR is (IMHO) a psychological quirk, not a really defensible technical position. The DMR wasn't all that great when it first came out, and it has long been superseded by better cameras. The fact that he can't make better photos with another camera, or that he doesn't believe that any other camera can match the DMR's color, is not much different than Mark's insistence on the greatest of the M240. You have to keep in mind that as good a photographer as wildlightphoto is, there is a very large number of well-known, accomplished wildlife photographers, who, one might venture to say, match his quality, and yet don't use the DMR, and in fact use a variety of Nikons, Canons, Sonys, etc. The most you can say for the DMR is that it works well for him. Well, the other thing you can say is, even in his photos, resolution isn't all that important. Who cares if you can see the pupil of an eye, if you can feel the birdness of the bird?        
« Last Edit: April 26, 2013, 12:48:42 PM by John Camp » Logged
Rob C
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« Reply #77 on: April 26, 2013, 01:55:55 PM »
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John Camp:

I just wish you would post more frequently.

Rob C
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David Sutton
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« Reply #78 on: April 26, 2013, 04:12:31 PM »
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John Camp:

I just wish you would post more frequently.

Rob C

Indeed
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Ray
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« Reply #79 on: April 26, 2013, 08:26:28 PM »
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It sounds like John has been influenced by a rather controversial article that Ken Rockwell wrote a few years ago, titled "Your Camera Doesn't Matter". http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/notcamera.htm

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

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

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

If I see a photograph that looks a bit blurry close up, I think, "Crikey! I didn't realize my eyesight was that bad."  Grin
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