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View Full Version : My First Day shooting with the R-D1


Larry Kellogg
03-12-2005, 20:43
Ok, I finally found a M bayonet adapter ring in order to mount my Ultron 35mm. Calumet did not have one so I had to trek down to a place in Soho to get it. Of course, B&H and Adorama are closed on Saturday. When I complained about paying $49.95 for a little metal ring, the salesguy blurted out, "Well, you want it to fit your $3000 camera, don't you!" This was in front of my wife. After I said, "Thanks for yelling out the price", he said, "She doesn't know the price?" and I said, "Not until 3 seconds ago!" After that I had to give a little five minute lecture to some dude who had a Fuiji Finepix DSLR slung over his shoulder with a bungie cord as a strap. He was really interested in the camera, especially when I told him it was manual focus, old school style camera.

Only in New York...

Note to self: Don't take my wife camera shopping and find more discreet salespeople.

So, I've had a little time to shoot the camera. Here are some of my impressions. I love the speed of the thing. Now I understand how Bresson and those guys got the kind of pictures they did. It is refreshing to not hear that mirror slap and all of the noise associated with shooting the 20D. To the person who said the shutter noise was a lot shorter than the 20D, he was right. It is pretty painless.

I'm still trying to get the hang of getting my eye in the right place to focus with the patch. The viewfinder seems dimmer if I try to keep both eyes open, depending on the light. I know real rangefinder shooters just focus by feel before they ever bring the camera to their eye so I'll work on that skill.

Adjusting the ISO is a little bit more difficult than on the 20D because you have to pry up the little knob and turn it. I'll have to learn to live with it.

I guess my shots were ok for my first time ever shooting a range finder camera. The results are not as smooth as the Canon and there does seem to be quite a bit of noise while shooting 1600 indoors. Where are some links to workflows? Are there some good noise reduction programs? I haven't tried shooting in RAW yet. I also haven't tried shooting in black and white.

I have a few (7?) hot pixels at long exposures (1 second) (F/16) that I took with the lens cap on. Should I be upset? What have other people done about this issue.

Here are a few pics. I've just started to get a handle on how to shoot this camera. It is going to take a while.

Regards,

Larry

driggett
03-12-2005, 20:48
Larry,
Congrats on your purchase. I have the Nikon D2H and it took sometime to get use to the old style of shooting. Did you check the framelines to see if they are straight and level? ENjoy the camera. I particularly like it for it lightness. Now I can carry it to work everyday in my laptop shoulder bag. I took out the DOmke inserts for the little shorter bag and they fit nicely in my Lowepro Madison 1200.
Cheers,
Chris

jlw
03-12-2005, 21:19
I loved the story about the salesman blurting out the price. Embarassing for you, but at least you provided some entertainment for the rest of us!

As for noise reduction, Sean likes a plug-in called NeatImage, and I just bought a different one called Noise Ninja, from PictureCode. (http://www.picturecode.com) It's more expensive, but I went with it because you can get it as either a Photoshop plug-in or as a standalone program that can do batch processing (NeatImage is a plug-in only.) The standalone seemed like it would be worth the extra money to me because I shoot a lot at high ISOs and will need to be able to batch them. If you mostly work on your images one at a time in Photoshop, though, NeatImage is more cost-effective and you might like it better. Either one is available as a free demo version, so you can try them both and see which you prefer.

As for the hot pixels, did you turn on long-exposure noise reduction in the "Film" menu? If I understood the manual correctly, it's off by default, and only enabled if you create a film type with the noise reduction set to maximum level. I don't know how this interacts when you're shooting in raw mode, though.

Good luck and have fun...

Sean Reid
03-13-2005, 05:03
Actually, Neat Image also works as a standalone program and both NI and Noise Ninja can do a good job. I use both. That said, I primarily shoot the R-D1 in B&W (often at ISO 1600) and don't do any noise reduction at all. In my experience, there's always some loss of detail with NR programs (even the best) and I'd often rather have the detail and a little grainy-looking noise than the smoother and softer look of NR.

Cheers,

Sean

Larry Kellogg
03-13-2005, 05:13
I loved the story about the salesman blurting out the price. Embarassing for you, but at least you provided some entertainment for the rest of us!


Yeah, it was funny. I'm sure the price was going to come out eventually but not one day after I bought it. In Paris, there are restaurants where you can take someone to dinner and the person who is the guest gets a menu without any prices on it. That way, they can enjoy the food without thinking about the cost. I was hoping to get my wife excited about shooting with the camera before going into the cost of it. Too late now...



As for noise reduction, Sean likes a plug-in called NeatImage, and I just bought a different one called Noise Ninja, from PictureCode. (http://www.picturecode.com) It's more expensive, but I went with it because you can get it as either a Photoshop plug-in or as a standalone program that can do batch processing (NeatImage is a plug-in only.) The standalone seemed like it would be worth the extra money to me because I shoot a lot at high ISOs and will need to be able to batch them. If you mostly work on your images one at a time in Photoshop, though, NeatImage is more cost-effective and you might like it better. Either one is available as a free demo version, so you can try them both and see which you prefer.


Thanks for this information. I'll check it out....


As for the hot pixels, did you turn on long-exposure noise reduction in the "Film" menu? If I understood the manual correctly, it's off by default, and only enabled if you create a film type with the noise reduction set to maximum level. I don't know how this interacts when you're shooting in raw mode, though.

Good luck and have fun...

No, I didn't turn on long exposure noise reduction. Thanks for mentioning it. I haven't gotten into all of those film menus yet. It confuses me a little because it is labelled "film" and I thought, "Oh, they must have forgotten to take that off this digital camera.". I love the fact that you can imitate a film shooter in the street. You have to make most people think that you're an old film person who hasn't made the leap to the digital future. ;-)

Cheers,

Larry

Jim Watts
03-13-2005, 10:06
I find a good way to get rid of the noise without losing detail (or paying for a plugin) if you are working in B & W is to convert to Lab mode in Photoshop and then discard the colour channels, A & B, where most of the noise resides.Its mainly the Blue Channel when in RGB so you can use a similar procedure with Channel Mixer, reducing or eliminating the channel(s) you don't want.

David Kieltyka
03-13-2005, 14:34
A noise reduction technique I occasionally use with color photos is to run Noise Ninja or Neat Image only on the noisiest channel. This is usually the blue channel, particularly under tungsten/incandescent light. I find this reduces fine detail less than using NR on all channels and is nearly as effective too. But as a rule I avoid NR...I don't mind a little texture in my photos. I probably add noise via Photoshop, particularly in b&w images, more often than I reduce it. At ISO 1600 the R-D1's files have a film-like noise profile in b&w anyway. I like this.

I think the R-D1's dark frame subtraction only kicks in with exposures greater than 1 or 2 seconds. You have to enable this in the Film settings menu by choosing High NR. It's not something you can apply later in the RAW converter. I use Film1 for this. One thing to note is this will default the noise reduction setting in the RAW converter to 4. Changing this back to zero, as I always do, has no effect on the dark frame NR.

I typically see two or three hot pixels in lower light conditions at ISO 1600. I just clone 'em out...no big deal.

-Dave-