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View Poll Results: Ok with lens corrections on Leica Q?
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Are you OK with lens corrections on Leica Q?
Old 06-10-2015   #1
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Are you OK with lens corrections on Leica Q?

The following is just my opinion, which is bound to conflict with most of yours.

If I was spending $4250 on a Leica Q I would not tolerate after the fact distortion corrections. Even though initial reports show the lens to be pretty good, many still say there are some issues in the corners from digital corrections.

Now maybe I am being too much of a purist but if I were going to spend big money on a Leica, and with Leica's legendary reputation for optics, I would not go for something that a "half designed" lens, especially if that is the only lens you get to use with that high of a price tag.

Now I know some will say that this is the way things are now and many companies are doing it, but to me it just reeks of under-designing lenses to save money and still selling them for a lot.
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Old 06-10-2015   #2
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Which 28mm 1.7 FF lens has 0 distortion and how much does it cost? Are there any? I honestly don't know...
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Old 06-10-2015   #3
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Which 28mm 1.7 FF lens has 0 distortion and how much does it cost? Are there any? I honestly don't know...
Which any mm photographic lens has 0 distortion? None, at least that we mere mortals can afford. But that's not the argument I make is it?
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Old 06-10-2015   #4
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Which any mm photographic lens has 0 distortion? None, at least that we mere mortals can afford. But that's not the argument I make is it?
The 16mm Hologon is by design without any distortion whatsoever. But it's also going to destroy the shutter of any M body you care to put it on, unless you saw off the rear baffles...

I don't mind distortion. Modern software is good and resolutions high enough.
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Old 06-11-2015   #5
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Which any mm photographic lens has 0 distortion? None, at least that we mere mortals can afford. But that's not the argument I make is it?
It might not be the argument, but my question still remains. If there aren't any, then why does it matter?
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Old 06-17-2015   #6
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Which any mm photographic lens has 0 distortion? None, at least that we mere mortals can afford. But that's not the argument I make is it?
Mamiya 43/4.5 is pretty close...
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Old 06-11-2015   #7
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Which 28mm 1.7 FF lens has 0 distortion and how much does it cost? Are there any? I honestly don't know...
My Nikon 24mm f/2.8 has NEAR "0" distortion
No distortion correction in Lr or CC

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Old 06-11-2015   #8
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My Nikon 24mm f/2.8 has NEAR "0" distortion
No distortion correction in Lr or CC
Oh I believe it... but I guess I was thinking the speed of the Q's lens, being 1.7, puts it in rare company. Thanks for the examples.
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Old 06-10-2015   #9
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My Summicron 28mm has 1% distortion and it costs 3800 USD new by itself. So, for 300 USD more you are getting 1/3rd stop more speed,no distortion and a camera body, but it is a fudge, so - what do you prefer?
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Old 06-16-2015   #10
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My Summicron 28mm has 1% distortion and it costs 3800 USD new by itself. So, for 300 USD more you are getting 1/3rd stop more speed,no distortion and a camera body, but it is a fudge, so - what do you prefer?
This is the point. When I first saw the Q and read some early breathless reviews, I mistakenly came to the conclusion the lens was in the League of the 28 Cron, which is fast, fairly small, and has 1% distortion.

Now after seeing lots of samples it's obvious there is no comparison. We are not taking about slight distortion, without correction it's pretty huge. Corners and edges are effected by correction.

If you like very clean landscapes or architecture, the Q is not in the same league as the M9 and 28cron, though of course it can do high ISO much better, and on the street it may be hard to see a downside.

So it's a very cool camera, but I would prefer a superior optical design.

BTW a 28 cron is pretty easy to find these days for 2600 or even less.
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Old 06-10-2015   #11
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I'm not sure it really matters – it's not as if you can take the lens off and stick it on another camera. Best to view the lens and camera as an integrated unit and what comes out of the combination is what is important.
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Old 06-10-2015   #12
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Yes I'm happy with a solution that provides distortion free output by any means as long as it's undetectable.
One of the great reasons for fixed lens digital cameras .
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Old 06-10-2015   #13
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I'm not OK with it yet. Not until they have it on a 50mm version.
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Old 06-10-2015   #14
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I'm not OK with it yet. Not until they have it on a 50mm version.

Jah Mon !

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Old 06-10-2015   #15
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It is 2015. What a great day for having such advances!
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Old 06-10-2015   #16
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Best to anguish over the content, I think. More there in the long run.
Everybody I've met who anguishes over gear or some aspect thereof never seems to be happy, but the guys and girls I know who shoot, edit, and hang their work on walls or in books seem much happier.

Hardly a cohort... but...
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Old 06-10-2015   #17
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Hasselblad has been doing it for a long time as well as Nikon and Canon. Many of the Hasselblad lenses exceed the price of the Q. It works perfectly from my experience. Hasselblads explanation was that it enabled them (Fuji) to design lenses that would be impossible or near impossible without the post processing correction capability.

I found it to work exceptionally well but thats Hasselblad and Nikon not Leica. It really depends on how much effort they want to put into it.
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Old 06-10-2015   #18
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Maybe there's another way of looking at this. Everything in the image pipeline, including the lens, affects image quality. There have always been design choices and compromises in every component. Rather than saying "after the fact", why not think "before the image"?

Software/firmware in-camera lens corrections are a relatively new development that adds another tool to help designers create good image-making devices. Once they had only optics to bend the light. New developments in optics led to better ways to bend the light. Now they have another way to bend the light using computation.

So rather than seeing it as a "half-designed lens", I see it as a further development in designers capabilities to create new lenses that synthesise optics and computation. This allows them to design lenses (and therefore cameras) that are, for example, smaller; or perhaps with larger apertures for the same physical size.

The previous optics-only solutions often used a larger lens than was necessary to cover the film area, to throw a larger image circle so that only the more central, less distorted part of the image circle created the image - I understand this was mostly used for wide-aperture lenses prone to distortion at the edges. The only alternative was to design lenses with smaller maximum apertures.

Leica started the 35mm ball rolling with compact cameras that could be carried everywhere and be fast and unobtrusive compared to the larger format cameras that preceded it. The new computational imaging tools now available mean that this tradition can continue. People like a small form factor.

Sure there are compromises with some edge degradation due to the pixel-shifting computations to correct distortions, that's part of the price to pay. I just don't see it as a half-designed lens; I see it as a design choice to achieve a specific end result. From early reports Leica seem to have done this very well with this camera.

I have an LX3, which has a Leica-designed lens and uses similar computational corrections. This helped Panasonic to design a very small camera with a relatively fast f2 lens.
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Old 06-10-2015   #19
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The purest will presumably have to wait for the Sony RX2.
Then we'll all see whether corrections via software or curving the sensor 'wins', wins from a technical standpoint. These solutions are/will be available to the avg (lol) electronics consumer at your local camera store.
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Old 06-10-2015   #20
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Does the presence of electronic corrections automatically mean that the lens is inferior to other Leica lenses?

Assuming that it doesn't, I hope the photographer has the choice of applying the corrections or not.

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Old 06-10-2015   #21
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I bet that some who is more experienced with post processing software could come up with a series of scripts that would allow a $400 digital P&S look pretty dang close to as good.

Sorry I know lost of folks do it but I'm a nope.

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Old 06-10-2015   #22
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It bothers me not one whit. The application of software correction to optics is what has enabled the Hubble Space Telescope to show us the heavens at the limits of Time itself. Having a little piece of that in my earth bound camera is a joy and a wonder to me.

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Old 06-10-2015   #23
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Quote:
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It bothers me not one whit. The application of software correction to optics is what has enabled the Hubble Space Telescope to show us the heavens at the limits of Time itself. Having a little piece of that in my earth bound camera is a joy and a wonder to me.

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Old 06-10-2015   #24
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Many say? There are like 3 reviews out...
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Old 06-10-2015   #25
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I would prefer having the option to turn the corrections off (which according to dpreview is not possible), as it is sometimes beneficial. Otherwise, it's all about the performance.
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Old 06-10-2015   #26
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I don't know... I get all the arguments for software in-camera correction, but somehow, on some level, it all seems wrong.
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Old 06-10-2015   #27
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Speaking as someone that'll never be able to afford, nor be able to justify, paying multi-thousands of dollars for a lens, I'm perfectly happy accepting whatever software solutions Fuji wants to throw at their X-body/lens combinations. Hey... they produce stunning results! Who cares how they do it. :-)
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Old 06-11-2015   #28
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Speaking as someone that'll never be able to afford, nor be able to justify, paying multi-thousands of dollars for a lens, I'm perfectly happy accepting whatever software solutions Fuji wants to throw at their X-body/lens combinations. Hey... they produce stunning results! Who cares how they do it. :-)
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Old 06-11-2015   #29
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Sure, why not. If it's an interchangeable lens camera, then maybe it becomes a bit different, but as fixed lens compact, no, wouldn't mind a bit.
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Old 06-11-2015   #30
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The RX1 has similar corrective software in camera and works very well. What does it really matter. I mean really?
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Old 06-16-2015   #31
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Interesting question I suppose. But not more than an exercise in futility.

Purist? Get rid of Photoshop, Lightroom, etc and see how you like the photo.
Jeez, the bloody camera is a computer doing what it does. The image is manipulated and corrected no matter what...Then the photographer manipulates the image anyway. I doubt that anyone really frets about THAT! So the "corrections" are built in with software. Can you tell which final photo does or does not have software corrections?

The image is an illusion anyway.

IMO, life is too short. I would rather enjoy taking pictures with whatever camera I enjoy.
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Old 06-16-2015   #32
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The RX1 has similar corrective software in camera and works very well. What does it really matter. I mean really?
em? no it doesn't ... anyway, many seem to confuse distortion with the normal planar projection as it is ... and I've not had much luck explaining the difference to them
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Old 06-16-2015   #33
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em? no it doesn't ...
Doesn't have lens distortion compensation, Stewart?
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Old 06-17-2015   #34
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Doesn't have lens distortion compensation, Stewart?
... no, it doesn't matter there's a bit of distortion.

... there was a chap on the forum a few years back that took it upon themselves to point out the unacceptable distortion of every CV lens ever made, after a while it started to become aggravating ...

... when I eventually when I started questioning him it quickly became clear that what he was calling barrel or pincushion-distortion on the lens in question was not the aberration he was claiming but in fact simply the converging verticals of the classic Planar projections

I have taken care ever since to ascertain just what people are calling distortion and it seems converging verticals are seen as distortion far more often than perspective is, despite the fact that they are exactly the same thing
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Old 06-16-2015   #35
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em? no it doesn't ... anyway, many seem to confuse distortion with the normal planar projection as it is ... and I've not had much luck explaining the difference to them
Sony RX1 does apply distortion correction. The barrel distortion is very noticeable without the correction. You can choose to not apply it, which can be useful with certain subjects.

I was hoping the Leica Q would also allow not applying the correction. From some of the images I have seen since, it seems the correction is truly an integral part of the system as the images otherwise show black corners. Even the image circle is thus optimized with the software correction in mind. Given this, I have no problem this option is not meant to be available to the user. (On the Sony camera, you do not get black corners.)

I have never bothered to compare the corners of the uncorrected and corrected RX1R image in the same file, although I have meant to do it. The corners of the corrected image have certainly been good enough for me.
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Old 06-11-2015   #36
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Can't afford one, but otherwise it would depend..

Used as a practical imaging device, then yes please, throw in those lens corrections to get the best out of the whole package..

On the other hand, if it comes to bragging rights, then no; imagine forking out 4250 and then constantly running into people who point out that it's not got Leica's most proper glass in front as it requires the software hoopla to function
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Old 06-11-2015   #37
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Welcome to the twenty first century! The

There inherent problems with software based optical corrections can be trivial or serious.

o the image is cropped to some degree
o frame edge resolution degrades
o in some cases, higher-order distortions are not corrected

Better optics require less correction, which minimizes these disadvantages/issues. Sophisticated distortion modeling (high-order corrections) is important.

Well-impimented distortion correction is an asset and would make the cameras price-point even more attractive to me.
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Old 06-11-2015   #38
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I have bought a few prints in my lifetime, I really do not know which camera or lens the photographer used when making the image. It was the final result that mattered.

...... also if you do not like something then do not buy it or participate in the activity.

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Old 06-11-2015   #39
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Wow!

The hardware directs light to the sensor, after that the software takes over.

Digital photography is all about software manipulation.

It is the output that counts.

There is still film, which is all about chemical manipulation.
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Old 06-12-2015   #40
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Wow!

The hardware directs light to the sensor, after that the software takes over.

Digital photography is all about software manipulation.

It is the output that counts.

There is still film, which is all about chemical manipulation.
You left two modeling steps out.

The sensor assembly models the light spatial light amplitudes... a state of nature. The result is analog data (DC voltages from all the sensor sites). The modeling step requires no software at all (except to to turn the sensor on and off). As the difference between the model and the data decreases, the image quality (fidelity) increases. Minimizing this difference requires both design and manufacturing excellence.

The analog-digital converter models the analog signals from the from the sensor. The is a hybrid event, so software (on-chip firmware) can have a significant impact. But even the most excellent ADC is fundamentally flawed. Representing a continuous state of nature as a non-continuous phenomenon is inherently flawed. Fortunately the flaws are well understood so their effects can be minimized and software is the tool of choice.

Software lens corrections are similar since the quality of the final rendering also depends a great deal on quality of the modeling.
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