M9 Cool Tones
Old 02-13-2017   #1
Ruffmeister
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M9 Cool Tones

Hi All,

I've been using an M9 now for a couple of months and coming from an M8, there definitely seems to be a slight difference in colour output.
Notably I find the results cooler. Some say that this is down to the updated sensor that they put in the M9 following the corrosion issue.

Anyone else find this? I'm sure the M8 files felt easier to work with. Either that or it's me. It may just be the M9's white balance as I have found on a few occasions this can go a bit iffy.

Be good to hear your thoughts and any tips.

Thanks,

Dan
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Old 02-13-2017   #2
sepiareverb
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I have trouble with getting green just right on occasion with the M9. Had this before and after the new sensors tho. The M8 certainly handled green differently. It was much yellower, where the M9 is much bluer.

Some Red tones are also a bit off sometimes when I've got other colors just right, I'm thinking fire hydrant red. It is always a bit cool as well.

I dive into the individual color sliders in Camera Raw to tweak these. Your question has me wondering if I might try an 81A again...
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Old 02-13-2017   #3
nightfly
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As someone who really likes cooler tones, I see this is a feature rather than a bug but I do think it is a known quality of the M9 sensor. Can probably create your own color profile and apply it when importing to avoid having to deal with it on case by case basis. Someones probably done this for you somewhere on the internet.

Rumor has it that the Kodak sensor in the M9 was created to produce Kodachrome like colors which would jibe with the blue greens although Kodachrome reds were pretty red. No idea if there is truth to this.
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Old 02-13-2017   #4
Ruffmeister
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sepiareverb View Post
I have trouble with getting green just right on occasion with the M9. Had this before and after the new sensors tho. The M8 certainly handled green differently. It was much yellower, where the M9 is much bluer.

Some Red tones are also a bit off sometimes when I've got other colors just right, I'm thinking fire hydrant red. It is always a bit cool as well.

I dive into the individual color sliders in Camera Raw to tweak these. Your question has me wondering if I might try an 81A again...
Yeah it's hard to explain exactly what it is. I definitely get what you are saying about it being bluer rather than the warm feel from the M8. Sometimes the colours just shine, especially if you shoot it with the right kind of light.

I still have the M8 but was going to part ways as the M9 is the most favoured of the two and it's money just sitting there gathering dust.
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Old 02-13-2017   #5
Ruffmeister
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nightfly View Post
As someone who really likes cooler tones, I see this is a feature rather than a bug but I do think it is a known quality of the M9 sensor. Can probably create your own color profile and apply it when importing to avoid having to deal with it on case by case basis. Someones probably done this for you somewhere on the internet.

Rumor has it that the Kodak sensor in the M9 was created to produce Kodachrome like colors which would jibe with the blue greens although Kodachrome reds were pretty red. No idea if there is truth to this.
Yeah don't get me wrong, the cool tones do come as a plus at times. It's good to hear that others have noticed the same thing. I wondered if I was doing something wrong at first as many have said the colour output is comparitive to the M8 (Sensor aside) which I wouldn't agree with fully.

The M9 feels the better camera however. I have used a couple of presets which bring out some great colours.

I've heard that on the sensor too regarding a Kodachrome look. It definitely has a slide film feel at times.
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Old 02-13-2017   #6
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Are you using manual white balance either with a grey card or something like expodisc?
If you are concerned about color accurancy there is no way around MWB.
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Old 02-13-2017   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by icebear View Post
Are you using manual white balance either with a grey card or something like expodisc?
If you are concerned about color accurancy there is no way around MWB.
I'm not. I've just had it set on AWB which from reading recently, can be a bit iffy depending on conditions.

I may give a grey card a go next time and see how it goes. Tweaking in LR does cure it most of the time.
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Old 02-13-2017   #9
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I've noticed my M9 set on "daylight" is cooler toned than I like. I set one step "warmer" when I shoot - cloudy when shooting in normal daylight, or shade when shooting in cloudy environment. Of course this is all relatively moot as I edit everything in RAW. I usually have to wrench around the magenta/green trim to get things right.

All cameras/sensors have different color palettes in the same light (just like film!). It just comes down to what you want and how to get there.
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Old 02-13-2017   #10
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Sensors don't have a color palette. They are all monochrome. The Bayer filter pattern (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayer_filter) passes R, G or B to each pixel, very similar to the three layers on color film. (Foveon does it differently.) Color is produced by software from the raw sensor pixel data. The M8 and M9 use exactly the same sensor technology but have different color profile software. If you don't like the Leica profiles or you don't like another raw converter's profiles, you can easily make your own profile using a Monaco color card.
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Old 02-13-2017   #11
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Yes, I meant the camera, sensor, and software/profile in tandem, obviously.
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Old 02-14-2017   #12
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Before the sensor replacement on my M9, the white balance was always off by an unacceptable margin. It was honestly rubbish in mixed conditions and interiors.
After the sensor replacement, the white balance is most times spot on, and yes, in interior this will lead to a perception of cooler tones, like using a blue filter, but that is much more faithful to what I expect. No more fiddling with the WB in post, the OOTC file is excellent.
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Old 02-14-2017   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corran View Post
Yes, I meant the camera, sensor, and software/profile in tandem, obviously.
And IR cut filters? If so, I guess, IR cut filter needs to be used with M8 and M9 to make it really equal for comparison.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aldobonnard View Post
Before the sensor replacement on my M9, the white balance was always off by an unacceptable margin. It was honestly rubbish in mixed conditions and interiors.
After the sensor replacement, the white balance is most times spot on, and yes, in interior this will lead to a perception of cooler tones, like using a blue filter, but that is much more faithful to what I expect. No more fiddling with the WB in post, the OOTC file is excellent.
Might be just new FW, not the sensor.
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Old 02-14-2017   #14
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I always use MWB when shooting color on my M8 (w/UV/IR)

It's easy with the M8, just find a white/grey sign or wall, take a snap, and let the computer inside adjust the K.
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Old 02-14-2017   #15
sepiareverb
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Just popped an 81A on my lens. Will see what/if anything happens. Not that there is anything green to be seen here in northern Vermont...
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Old 02-14-2017   #16
tom.w.bn
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I found the M8 files incredibly hard to work with. To get from the M8 raw conversion to my desired colours was sometimes really complicated (with IR cut filters). Without IR cut filters it was almost impossible to get the desired colours. With M9 it's easy and with M240 it's also easy, just different processing.
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Old 02-14-2017   #17
Ruffmeister
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Thanks to everyone that's contributed here.

I will have a play with the WB. It's reassuring to here that others have found the same.

As I said earlier, it's nothing against the M9 itself. I'm heading to Dorset and North Wales in the next few weeks so it will get some good use over there.
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Old 02-14-2017   #18
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I used MWB when I had my M-E as the auto was terrible IMO, and the set ones just satisfactory.
Even in my M240 it is not very good. Better by far than my old M-E but my D750 is so much better at getting the AWB right. As is my iphone.. (and it's an ancient 4s!!!)
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Old 02-14-2017   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tom.w.bn View Post
I found the M8 files incredibly hard to work with. To get from the M8 raw conversion to my desired colours was sometimes really complicated (with IR cut filters). Without IR cut filters it was almost impossible to get the desired colours. With M9 it's easy and with M240 it's also easy, just different processing.
Agreed on 8 & 9. I have no 240.

Even with the Adobe program to match colors for one camera to another, they still do not match but are better.
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