Go Back   Rangefinderforum.com > Cameras / Gear / Photography > Coffee With Mentors > Bill Pierce - Leica M photog and author

Bill Pierce - Leica M photog and author

 

“Our autobiography is written in our contact sheets,  and our opinion of the world in our selects”  

"Never ever confuse sharp with good, or you will end up shaving with an ice cream cone and licking a razor blade."  

 

Bill Pierce is one of the most successful Leica photographers and authors ever. I initially "met" Bill in the wonderful 1973 15th edition Leica Manual (the one with the M5 on the cover). I kept reading and re-reading his four chapters, continually amazed at his knoweldge and ability, thinking "if I only knew a small part of what this guy knows... wow."  I looked foward to his monthly columns in Camera 35 and devoured them like a starving man.  Bill has worked as a photojournalist  for 25 years, keyword: WORK.  Many photogs dream of the professional photographer's  life that Bill has earned and enjoyed.  Probably Bill's most famous pic is Nixon departing the White House for the last time, victory signs still waving. 

 

Bill  has been published in many major magazines, including  Time, Life, Newsweek, U.S. News, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, New York Magazine, Stern, L'Express and Paris Match.  :His published books include  The Leica Manual,  War Torn, Survivors and Victims in the Late 20th Century, Homeless in America,  Human Rights in China,  Children of War.  Add to that numerous exhibitions at major galleries and museums.  Magazine contributions include  Popular Photography,  Camera 35, Leica Manual,  Photo District News, the Encyclopedia of Brittanica, the Digital Journalist, and now RFF.  Major awards include Leica Medal of Excellence, Overseas Press Club's Oliver Rebbot Award for Best Photojournalism from Abroad,  and the World Press Photo's Budapest Award. Perhaps an ever bigger award is Tom Abrahamsson's comment: "If you want to know Rodinal, ask Bill."

 

I met Bill in person through our mutual friend Tom Abrahamsson.  In person his insight and comments are every bit as interesting and engaging as his writing.  He is a great guy who really KNOWS photography.  I am happy to say he has generously agreed to host this forum at RFF  From time to time Bill will bring up topics, but you are also invited to ask questions.  Sit down and enjoy the ride!

 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes

Fuji processing
Old 12-02-2016   #1
Bill Pierce
Registered User
 
Bill Pierce's Avatar
 
Bill Pierce is offline
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 915
Fuji processing

Out of the blue two folks asked me a rather specific question about image processing programs for the Fuji files. They asked which was better, Adobe Lightroom or Iridient Developer. I’m a little reluctant to post something about a specific camera, but Fuji’s bright line viewfinder cameras seem to interest a lot of rangefinder folks, so here goes…

Neither is better. Once upon a time, Lightroom, probably the most popular image processing program around for photographers, wasn’t very good with Fuji files. Actually, it was awful, probably at the bottom of the pile of popular processors when it came to “sharpness.” But that has changed. The current version of Lightroom CC (2015) does an excellent job of processing Fuji files at the same time that it provides access to your files with a personalized filing system, provides a good printing system, accepts a variety of useful add-ons from independent manufacturers and gives access to a book printer. It also has profiles that mimic the jpg film profiles found on the Fuji cameras, an extremely useful feature. In other words, it’s MORE THAN JUST AN IMAGE PROCESSOR.

(There is one change that I make to my basic Lightroom set up that is different from when I am using it to process the more popular Bayer files. I find it best with the Fuji files to change the basic sharpening setting by raising the detail slider to 80 or 100.)

Iridient Developer may be the only popular image processor that is “sharper” with Fuji files than Lightroom. But that increase in sharpness is only going to be seen in large prints of images with fine detail. It is a small difference, but an important difference, to many photographers. I certainly take advantage of it, but it is not the primary reason I use Iridient.

I use three image processors, Lightroom, Iridient and PhotoNinja because their basic conversions from the Fuji raw files look very different, different in the way they interpret the color, different in the way that they interpret the brightness range. After the obvious adjustments in Iridient and PhotoNinja, the tif files are opened in Lightroom and given a few final adjustments. Then I pick the one I like best from Lightroom, Iridient or PhotoNinja. This is certainly not the way an efficient professional is going to deliver a job, but it is the way I make my portfolio prints.

A few added thoughts… A number of imaging programs offer deconvolution sharpening. This is often good with Fuji files. And Phase One has just come out with Capture One 10 listing improved processing for Fuji files as one of its advantages.

Any other Fuji users have some thoughts?
  Reply With Quote

Old 12-02-2016   #2
rybolt
Registered User
 
rybolt's Avatar
 
rybolt is offline
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Yellow Springs, Ohio
Posts: 550
I finally got it that you were talking about RAF files. LR has always been good with Fuji jpegs.
The most recent version of LR does a good job with RAF files but I still find myself using Pete Bridgwood's techniques for sharpening. Here's what he recommends and I've found it to work very well:
X-Trans NORMAL : Amount 15, Radius 1.0, Detail 100, Masking 10.

X-Trans SHARP : Amount 25, Radius 1.0, Detail 100, Masking 10.

X-Trans SHARPER : Amount 35, Radius 1.0, Detail 100, Masking 10.

X-Trans TACK : Amount 45, Radius 1.0, Detail 100, Masking 10.
__________________
Fuji X Pro 1,XT 1and XF1 cameras and lenses.
Sony RX1
Leica M6 with black Wetzlar 50mm
A pair of Barnack Anniversary cameras
Who knows how many others

http://www.ryboltcox.com
  Reply With Quote

Old 12-03-2016   #3
willie_901
Registered User
 
willie_901's Avatar
 
willie_901 is offline
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 4,428
There are many variables affecting perceived sharpness. And newer generations of Adobe's Camera Raw engine are better for XTrans rendering.

In my view the primary disadvantage of Adobe raw rendering of XTrans raw involves inconvenience.

In LR, the rendering workflow I used for Bayer raw does not work well with XTrans raw. So I had to develop a completely different workflow. Some of the Development Module variables affect rendering very differently for Bayer and XTrans raw. And there are minor, but real, differences between XTrans I, II and III raw.

Once I adapted to these differences I've been happy.

At the same time I expect some work can benefit from Iridient, Capture One Apple OS X and other raw platforms.

The last time I experimented with ACR alternative solutions I did not see significant improvements. So my standards are probably lower than others'.
__________________
"Perspective is governed by where you stand – object size and the angle of view included in the picture is determined by focal length." H.S. Newcombe

williamchuttonjr.com
  Reply With Quote

Old 12-03-2016   #4
Scapevision
90% Film
 
Scapevision is offline
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Toronto
Posts: 315
Quote:
Originally Posted by willie_901 View Post
There are many variables affecting perceived sharpness. And newer generations of Adobe's Camera Raw engine are better for XTrans rendering.

In my view the primary disadvantage of Adobe raw rendering of XTrans raw involves inconvenience.

In LR, the rendering workflow I used for Bayer raw does not work well with XTrans raw. So I had to develop a completely different workflow. Some of the Development Module variables affect rendering very differently for Bayer and XTrans raw. And there are minor, but real, differences between XTrans I, II and III raw.

Once I adapted to these differences I've been happy.

At the same time I expect some work can benefit from Iridient, Capture One Apple OS X and other raw platforms.

The last time I experimented with ACR alternative solutions I did not see significant improvements. So my standards are probably lower than others'.
Any details on the differences on processing xtrans and bayer?
__________________
Flickr
scapevision.ca
Instagram
  Reply With Quote

Old 12-03-2016   #5
Dogman
Registered User
 
Dogman is offline
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 595
Since I started using Fuji cameras and Lightroom 6 about the same time (along with a new iMac computer), I had a somewhat steep learning curve to overcome. But I've been happy with LR processing my Fuji Raw files thus far. The suggestion to increase Detail when sharpening works extremely well.

Prior to LR, I used each individual camera maker's Raw processor. That worked okay but it was more than a bit cumbersome. LR simplifies the process. I like simplicity.
  Reply With Quote

Old 12-03-2016   #6
Darthfeeble
Accidental Photographer
 
Darthfeeble's Avatar
 
Darthfeeble is offline
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Logtown, California, USA
Age: 70
Posts: 1,023
My first experience with the Xtrans files was on Aperture and was a big disappointment, the fabled Mush in foliage and such. I really didn't know what the heck was going on as my first Fuji was the X100 non Xtrans sensor and I loved the files from it. Eventually the world and even Apple caught up to Fuji and all is well with either Aperture or Lightroom, (to which I switched when Apple orphaned Aperture).
  Reply With Quote

Old 12-04-2016   #7
willie_901
Registered User
 
willie_901's Avatar
 
willie_901 is offline
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 4,428
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scapevision View Post
Any details on the differences on processing xtrans and bayer?
Sharpening is the most obvious difference. Also, I find I need to pay more attention to differences between images compared to Bayer raw (NEFs).

Sometimes I leave ISO at 200 and just use the appropriate shutter time and aperture. In this case all global brightening is done with the Exposure slider post production. Otherwise, I never set ISO above 1600 for Xtrans II cameras. The Xtrans II data stream is psuedo-ISO invariant so increasing ISO does not improve SNR. Increasing ISO does make in-camera image review practical and review is useful when I use non-TTL, off-camera lighting.

The biggest difference involves selectively pushing shadows. With the default LR renderings shadows regions are usually crunched. The is true even when you do what the light meter tells you to do (increase ISO to permit shorter shutter times and, or smaller apertures). I don't mean pushing shadows regions so they look unnaturally bright. I refer to increasing the detail (removing the crunch effect). Regardless of my ISO selection strategy I typically auto bracket three exposures by 1/3 or 2/3 F-stop steps. I select the image that retains highlights I care about. Then I increase Exposure and minimize Highlights. I make fine adjustments with Whites and Shadows and usually end with a small increase in the Contrast parameter.

The Color Temperature parameters can have a much larger effect on image rendering in general. These effects are beyond the expected hue rendering. Occasionally halos at the edge of high contrast objects appear. These can be eliminated by small changes in Color Temperature. I notice this less in LR 6 CC compared to earlier versions.

Compared to Bayer the Defringe and Dehaze parameters can make a huge difference with some images. I find the Clarity parameter has different effects as well.

Compared to Bayer NEFs (D700), I rarely use Luminance noise filtering and apply Color noise filtering at very low levels.

Rarely pinks will appear gray! Then surprisingly small changes in Color Temperature/Defringing parameters can have a huge effect on pink hue rendering. I have seen this about a dozen times.

The Film Simulation Profiles can definitely affect my workflow. I always start with Camera Pro Neg Std. For my exposure strategy, this seems to minimize shadow crunch. I never, ever use the Adobe Standard Camera Profile.
__________________
"Perspective is governed by where you stand – object size and the angle of view included in the picture is determined by focal length." H.S. Newcombe

williamchuttonjr.com
  Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 13:53.


vBulletin skin developed by: eXtremepixels
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

All content on this site is Copyright Protected and owned by its respective owner. You may link to content on this site but you may not reproduce any of it in whole or part without written consent from its owner.