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View Full Version : Help! Need an [email protected] vs. [email protected] Samples


saxshooter
09-12-2007, 20:55
I've got an RD-1 (love it) and am on the fence with getting a Leica M8.

For owners of both cameras, could someone post test pictures (or links to full res pictures) of the SAME subject/scene shot with the same lens on both bodies -- the M8 at 1250 and the RD-1 at 1600?

I've read that with the latest firmware the M8 is much better at 1250 ASA and am curious.

If this has been done already elsewhere, I apologize for asking and please point me in the right direction.

Thanks.

victoriapio
09-13-2007, 07:14
Saxshooter,

This probably won't help a whole lot as I don't have an M8, but I posted three shots from the R-D1s shot at ISO 1600 on my R-D1s gallery a few days ago. They are not great shots as they were from an early morning walk with my dog and of course they are reduced substantially in resolution for the web site. But you might take a look.

Go to: http://ocgarzaphotography.com and click on the R-D1s gallery and you'll see them identified.

O.C.

furcafe
09-13-2007, 08:40
It is my understanding that the firmware only improved the high ISO look of JPGs, not the raw files.

Unfortunately, I've never carried the R-D1 & M8 together @ the same time, so have no direct comparison shots to show (@ any ISO).


I've read that with the latest firmware the M8 is much better at 1250 ASA and am curious.

saxshooter
09-13-2007, 09:20
Thanks guys. I have an Epson RD-1 (s'ed by firmware). It doesn't have to be a beautiful photograph. Just a quick and dirty test. A bathroom or kitchen or out your window will suffice. I just need the SAME subject/scene/lens/aperture at 1250 on the M8 and 1600 on the RD-1s (or RD-1 with firmware updated).

and JPEGs are fine. Quick and dirty test.

Cheers.

Gid
09-13-2007, 09:56
Here are a couple I've just taken as per request. M8 at 1250 and RD1 at 1600. Both with the Hexanon 35 UC at F4 and both at 1/125th. Converted to jpeg in lightroom. Epson file added 0.61 exposure (tends to underexpose) to bring levels to same as M8.

M8

http://strachan.zenfolio.com/img/v2/p41164868-3.jpg

RD1

http://strachan.zenfolio.com/img/v2/p42970805-3.jpg

Originals can be downloaded from

http://strachan.zenfolio.com/p212286669 (last two images)

Hope this helps.

Edit: Clearly the resized for web tells you nothing. Looking at these in lightroom at 100% shows the M8 to be quite a bit noisier - at least the noise is more blotchy - is that chroma as opposed to luminance? When converted to B&W the difference is less noticeable, but its still there. However, both would be usable in B&W.

jaapv
09-13-2007, 10:13
You get much cleaner files from the M8 if you set the camera to ISO 160 or 320, expose manually for ISO 1250 and correct the resulting underexposure in RAW development. You get close to the 5D then.

saxshooter
09-13-2007, 10:14
Gid, that rocks, thanks. Your originals were very enlightening. I am not familiar with Lightroom, but assume no noise reduction was added post camera, right?

It looks a lot better than an M8 I played with at 1250 which I believe did not have the latest firmware.

Gid
09-13-2007, 12:20
Gid, that rocks, thanks. Your originals were very enlightening. I am not familiar with Lightroom, but assume no noise reduction was added post camera, right?

It looks a lot better than an M8 I played with at 1250 which I believe did not have the latest firmware.

Both had 25% colour noise reduction applied (just the default I have set in lightroom, which I forgot to change :( ), but reducing this to zero has no obvious effect. These were both shot raw and converted to jpegs in lightroom BTW.

I really don't think the last firmware upgrade for the M8 made any difference to noise - there were as many M8 users who thought there was no difference as there were who thought there was - think placebo, mass hysteria etc. The bottom line is that the M8 is noisier than some, but if you nail the exposure you can get usable results at 1250 in colour and 2500 in B&W. Gabrielma is the guy to talk to about handling the M8 noise - I think he shoots jpegs at 1250 and 2500 and gets usable results. You need to campare to 1600 and 3200 ASA film and then take a view.

Gid
09-13-2007, 12:25
You get much cleaner files from the M8 if you set the camera to ISO 160 or 320, expose manually for ISO 1250 and correct the resulting underexposure in RAW development. You get close to the 5D then.

I've always thought that the last thing you should do is underexpose and then bring up in the raw converter.

With respect, I think your assertion that you can get close to 5D results is pushing the bounds of reality and in any case is irrelevant - whats important is whether or not one can get usable results.

furcafe
09-13-2007, 12:38
That may be true of other digital cameras (the "shoot to the right" histogram rule), but I agree w/jaapv & others (like Bruno Stevens) that overall, the M8 seems to be much better @ holding detail in the shadows than it is in the highlights.

I've always thought that the last thing you should do is underexpose and then bring up in the raw converter.

jaapv
09-13-2007, 16:29
I've always thought that the last thing you should do is underexpose and then bring up in the raw converter.

With respect, I think your assertion that you can get close to 5D results is pushing the bounds of reality and in any case is irrelevant - whats important is whether or not one can get usable results.

Well, there are more things between heaven and earth etc... The M8 at ISO 5000 (that is 6400 equivalent)...I would call that rather usable ;) And - I challenge the RD1 for a shot at this ISO.....

http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e32/jaapv/5000.jpg

Joe Mondello
09-13-2007, 18:53
Check out this thread at LUG . . .

http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-forum/leica-m8-forum/33338-iso-2500-vs-160-a.html

The M8's ability to be pushed by up to 4 EV is pretty terrific. I have to say that pushing the R-D1 has also worked well for me.

jaapv
09-14-2007, 00:24
This trick works because of the (unique) algorithm used by Leica for writing the DNG. The data are written as a logarithm, following the sensitivity curve of the eye. That means the M8 reacts differently from any other digital camera.
The vast majority of information is contained in the lefthand side of the histogram.
So if one underexposes vastly, which is what we are doing, the amount of information contained in the shadows is enough to get a good image. In fact one is really showing how good the M8 is in holding shadow detail.
However, the righthand side of the histogram is thrown away when underexposing, losing dynamic range in the highlights, even if the amount of information lost is not that large.
This method thus works best for low- contrast subjects. With high-contrast subjects one soon runs out of dynamic range, resulting in an image that is not correctable.

Gid
09-14-2007, 03:04
Here are a few of 100% crops. First is RD1 @ ISO1600 pushed one stop to 3200, second is RD1 @ 200 pushed 4 stops to 3200, third is M8 @ 2500, fourth is M8 @ 160 pushed four stops to 2500. There might be a small difference between the M8 shots with the pushed shot being marginally better, but its a small difference that I doubt would be visible in print. There appears to be no discernible difference in the RD1 shots. As to the relative merits of both cameras at high ISO, I make no comment.

http://strachan.zenfolio.com/img/v2/p46153486.jpg

http://strachan.zenfolio.com/img/v2/p161997024.jpg

http://strachan.zenfolio.com/img/v2/p251866418.jpg

http://strachan.zenfolio.com/img/v2/p84938471.jpg

gdi
09-14-2007, 03:44
This trick works because of the (unique) algorithm used by Leica for writing the DNG. The data are written as a logarithm, following the sensitivity curve of the eye. That means the M8 reacts differently from any other digital camera.
The vast majority of information is contained in the lefthand side of the histogram.
So if one underexposes vastly, which is what we are doing, the amount of information contained in the shadows is enough to get a good image. In fact one is really showing how good the M8 is in holding shadow detail.
However, the righthand side of the histogram is thrown away when underexposing, losing dynamic range in the highlights, even if the amount of information lost is not that large.
This method thus works best for low- contrast subjects. With high-contrast subjects one soon runs out of dynamic range, resulting in an image that is not correctable.


Rumour has it that the next firmware will tweak the unique algorithm to follow the sensitivity curve of the eye of the Eagle Owl. Finally, the Leica community will get the low light camera of our dreams! If we are lucky the same firmware may upgrade those DNG files to 4bits, reducing storage space and throwing away more of those unnecessary highlight details (fingers crossed!)

Seriously, to the OP - the newest firmware did not reduce the M8 noise. The RD-1 files speak for themselves. As for pushing 4 stops to get the M8 up to par, I wonder how using noise ninja would compare - it would be a lot easier in my mind.

As for me, when I need high ISO with the M8, I usually do B&W and try not to think of my departed RD-1...

Gid
09-14-2007, 03:48
Rumour has it that the next firmware will tweak the unique algorithm to follow the sensitivity curve of the eye of the Eagle Owl. Finally, the Leica community will get the low light camera of our dreams! If we are lucky the same firmware may upgrade those DNG files to 4bits, reducing storage space and throwing away more of those unnecessary highlight details (fingers crossed!)

Seriously, to the OP - the newest firmware did not reduce the M8 noise. The RD-1 files speak for themselves. As for pushing 4 stops to get the M8 up to par, I wonder how using noise ninja would compare - it would be a lot easier in my mind.

As for me, when I need high ISO with the M8, I usually do B&W and try not to think of my departed RD-1...

:eek: An M8 user with a sense of humour and a firm grasp of reality - I thought I was the only one ;)

wintoid
09-14-2007, 04:11
:eek: An M8 user with a sense of humour and a firm grasp of reality - I thought I was the only one ;)

And with an anagram of your name too :D Where are dgi, dig and igd and idg though?

Gid
09-14-2007, 04:39
And with an anagram of your name too :D Where are dgi, dig and igd and idg though?

They are currently doing ISO 512000 tests on the dark side of the moon - early results suggest that the images aren't very atmospheric.:D

saxshooter
09-14-2007, 04:55
Thanks for the posts everyone.

The CV 15 4.5 is a mainstay of my RD-1 kit and I am imagining it a nice fit on the M8 with a 21mm finder. I am often shooting the RD-1 at 1600 because of f4.5 and had reservations about the M8 due to iinitial reports of not so great high ISO performance. I played with a friend's M8 for a couple of hours and shot jpegs at 1250 and it did not look good at all. This is probably a combination of older firmware, underexposure, and shooting jpegs (probably more of the latter two).

I am crunching the numbers to see if I can keep my RD-1 if I buy an M8...

Didier
09-14-2007, 05:04
I have some R-D1s 1600 samples here:

One (http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/showthread.php?p=458970#post458970) two (http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/showthread.php?p=458989#post458989) three (http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=32680&page=2)


Have no M8 so could not compare.

Didier

jaapv
09-14-2007, 17:34
They are currently doing ISO 512000 tests on the dark side of the moon - early results suggest that the images aren't very atmospheric.:D

Very funny - Why do you ask for usable high-ISO images and take a dig at high-ISO photography when you get one? Weird....
Of course the RD1 has less noise at high ISO. The lower the MP count per surface unit, the better the high ISO noise ratio.

saxshooter
09-14-2007, 17:36
Pulled the trigger this afternoon. The gun is still smoking. And so is my Visa card...

Gid
09-14-2007, 20:54
Very funny - Why do you ask for usable high-ISO images and take a dig at high-ISO photography when you get one? Weird....
Of course the RD1 has less noise at high ISO. The lower the MP count per surface unit, the better the high ISO noise ratio.

It was the OP who requested high ISO shots and me who provided them. The 512000 iso quip was a joke in response to another poster. More careful reading perhaps ;) Also don't get me and gdi confused.

Gid
09-14-2007, 20:55
Pulled the trigger this afternoon. The gun is still smoking. And so is my Visa card...

Congratulations. Hope you enjoy it.

saxshooter
09-14-2007, 21:10
Yeah, one of my saxophones had to go to partially fund it... ;)

Gid
09-14-2007, 21:27
Yeah, one of my saxophones had to go to partially fund it... ;)

I know the feeling. A lot of my stuff was funded through sales of my guitar collection :(