View Full Version : RD-1 comments and an example using the 12mm lens
Hi to all,
I've posted some comments and two images showing the vignetting correction function using the epson raw converter. I might add that this is probably the most useful raw converter that I've used although it is a bit slow.
Thanks for the assessment! I agree that Leica lenses or not, the R-D1 is unlikely to perform my Canon 20D judging from the images I've seen, so I'm considering my purchase purely on ergonomics and size (lens not body) issues. I've probably seen under less than a half-dozen user experiences (Leica forums, DPR, LUG/CVUG, PN, etc) so hearing additional input from you especially useful. Please continue to let us know how things play out as you spend more time with your R-D1.
Tom, welcome to the forum and thanks for the report. Nice truck! :D
Owning both a Canon 20D and now an R-D1 I can say the 20D's extra pixels come in handy for large-ish prints. Photos from the 20D at ISO 100 have a smoother look than R-D1 photos at ISO 200 as well. (Note that both cameras are more sensitive to light than their ISO ratings suggest.) This all disappears in a 6x9" print, which is my most common size and has been so for many years going back to b&w darkroom days. (I'm not a fan of huge prints.) I can tell the difference between a 6x9" 20D print and a same-size R-D1 print because of the different tonal signatures of the two cameras. Detail-wise, though...forget it. 6x9" isn't large enough unless I've severely cropped the photo. At 8x12" I can see extra detail from the 20D in side-by-side prints if the subject matter contains fine detail. This is as expected, and the R-D1 performs identically to the Canon 10D (mine now belongs to my dad) in this respect.
When it comes to tonality I give the R-D1 the nod. Both the 10D and 20D push upper midrange tones toward the top of the tonal scale while the Epson leaves them in the upper midrange. This is obvious, for example, when taking photos of a medium contrast scene with a dull grey/blue sky in the frame. First of all the Canon's meter wants to blow out the sky. So you have to set negative exposure compensation or use the camera in manual mode to record any sky detail. Then you find the camera has drained most of the color from the sky anyway. It's not blown out, just monochrome. This is in the RAW data. No matter what I did in Photoshop CS's converter or Canon's own DPP I couldn't find any significant color info in there.
The R-D1 OTOH gets the exposure right without adjustment. This is a simple centerweighted meter, remember, not a high-tech evaluative system like Canon uses. (So how come Canon's meter still can't properly handle a scene like this after four generations of consumer-level D-SLRs?) The grey/blue sky is rendered grey/blue, with more blue content than in reality but at least there's color. I've noticed this sort of thing in a number of photos. Sometimes I prefer the Canon rendering...it leads to a higher contrast look by default. But usually I prefer the R-D1's look. Somehow Epson is managing to fit a finer range of tones into the same 12-bit capture space.
The main reason I got the R-D1 had little to do with any of this, though. :D I wanted a reasonably compact, unobtrusive digital camera with full manual control and higher image quality than current consumer digicams offer. The fact that I already had a full range of small & light M & LTM lenses ready to work on such a camera had an influence too! It's cool to be able to use a modern technology camera with lenses designed well before the ENIAC was first powered up. Beyond that it's great to be able to use an RF camera that fits seamlessly into my current photo processing workflow.
I haven't run really detailed tests, but I'm tending to agree with you in all aspects of your post. Shooting with the RD-1 is a pleasure. I do believe that they have gotten the tone reproduction "correct" in this camera. It's not just the exposure metering.
Your 20D has a cmos sensor and the RD-1 has a ccd sensor. If your read Canon's patent literature, you find that the main purpose of the DIGIC chip is to improve the native defects of the CMOS sensor. I've used both families of sensors in my work and each have their good and bad points, but the CCD is a better imaging sensor from the standpoint of dynamic range.
By the way, if you are using Adobe Photoshop CS, and you have multiple digital cameras, you should try Adobe's DNG converters. These allow you to reformat the proprietary raw formats into a single open format. All the meta data and image data is taken into this format with virtually no modification. I'm writing the "Best Use" paper for this technology for the ICC. This format has absolutely not impact on the raw data itself, but it does allow you to archieve the raw data from many different cameras and not have to worry about a particular format going "stale" after the camera disappears... Best of all, you don't have to deal with the software most camera manufacturers provide. Epson has done a very good raw converter, probably the best of the bunch (Olympus & Nikon), but it doesn't make sense to me to store raw epson format.
Take care and keep shooting....
I have read that the MAC software included with the RD-1 is a PS plug in.
Does anyone know if the vignetting correction feature is included with the plug in as compared to the stand alone WIN program???? The very brief Epson blurb is unrevealing.
The Epson supplied plug-in is a file converter plug in for the ADOBE camera raw plug in. There is vignetting correction on the Photoshop CS camera raw plug in. I think that epson rightly assumed that most photographers who used the MAC also used photoshop. I don't think that you are missing anything on the Mac when you use the RD-1. You are just using the common CS camera raw interface, which isn't bad at all.
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