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Old 08-07-2014   #41
Calzone
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Andy,

Consider I own a Monochrom, but I stll shoot film (B&W 135 and 120).

For me I never thought I'd shoot digital, but Leica made the ideal camera for a B&W shooter like me. Also I found that using a light yellow filter compresses the histogram helping tame clipping of the highlights and shadows and minimizes post processing. I tend to control contrast at image capture rather than in post.

According to Edwin Putz Leica engineers stated that for panochromatic results the Monochrom sensor was designed to be used with a light yellow filter. My histgrams are wide and are not flat like other MM users report.

Cal
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Old 08-07-2014   #42
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That's interesting, Cal. I'd been using a medium yellow filter on MM for landscapes and now that you mention it, I'd seen the same thing without really being aware - they just seemed to need less post-processing, and occasionally even contrast reduction.

Do you keep the Y filter on at all times - for example, indoors?

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Old 08-08-2014   #43
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Originally Posted by thompsonks View Post
That's interesting, Cal. I'd been using a medium yellow filter on MM for landscapes and now that you mention it, I'd seen the same thing without really being aware - they just seemed to need less post-processing, and occasionally even contrast reduction.

Do you keep the Y filter on at all times - for example, indoors?

Kirk
Kirk,

My favorite lenses for use on the MM are a 28 Cron and 35/1.8 Nikkor in LTM. With these two lenses I found that there is a drastic difference between B&W and Heliopan yellow filters. On these two lenses I discovered that they like Heliopan 2X filters which are considered "light" yellow. Understand that the 35/1.8 Nikkor has radioactive glass that has yellowed and kinda has a half stop of yellow filter built in. I feel that B&W medium yellow (3X) is a lot stronger than a Heliopan medium yellow (3X); and Heliopan makes a light yellow (2X) that seems to make the broadest histograms with the most range of contrast (think midrange of medium format) with this glass.

I wish all my glass responded in this manner. It seems that when using my 21/3.4 SEM, 35 Lux ASPH Pre-FLE, or my 50 Lux ASPH that these lenses do not respond in the same way and the contrast to me gets excessive.

I really like the midrange of the 28 Cron and 35 Nikkor with a light Heliopan yellow filter for that optimized sweet spot that makes it easy to get broad histograms with rich/detailed midrange. I can't explain, but A-B'ing either lens with and without a filter either eliminates or dramatically reduces clipping in both the highlights and shadows. IMHO I think I capture more information and detail by optimizing contrast of my image capture to the sensor. I think this is much better than trying to recover or manipulate in post.

Also know that I have used the Heliopan 2X on this glass for shooting at night with no adverse effect. Exposures at nigh with and without the yellow filter seems to have no effect on my exposures.

Cal
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Old 08-08-2014   #44
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Cal, are you going to share some of your MM photos in the 'Monochrom Best Pics' thread? Would love to see what you've done.
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Old 08-08-2014   #45
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Been a long time since a leica model has generated a passion like the MM with so many users.

This thread has new insights into that for me.

I love the m9 and prefer color, so I am not tempted by the camera, but very interesting to hear all the varied takes on the camera.

Here is an mm shot from Kirk I find impressive

http://www.rangefinderforum.com/foru...postcount=3263
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Old 08-08-2014   #46
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Originally Posted by Vince Lupo View Post
Cal, are you going to share some of your MM photos in the 'Monochrom Best Pics' thread? Would love to see what you've done.
Vince,

I'm sorry: I don't post my work.

Trust me that the histograms can cover 9 zones and clipping (both shadow and highlights) is either drastically reuced, minimized or eliminated. As an old analog B&W shooter in art school from the 70's I was taught to make perfect negatives that more or less just got straight printed on number 2 graded fiber paper without use of any contrast filters in the darkroom.

These technics, I learned decades ago, I apply to my digital shooting, and instead of trying to make an easy to print ideal negative, I try to make an ideal histogram. In the end just realize that I'm just a lazy slacker who wants to minimize any digital artifact AMAP by minimizing PP.

I think the way the MM displays it's histogram is a major advantage over any color camera BTW. Also know that I also utilize the clipping indicators set at 1% to indicate the true blacks and true whites.

The histograms don't lie.

Cal
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Old 08-08-2014   #47
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The point is that, since the M-Monochrom has no color filter array (CFA), there is no need for demosaicing, which means that each captured pixel gives one output pixel. Therefore, there are no artifacts resulting from combining of neighboring data that exults from demosaicing, which rsults in substantially better resolution. That also means that capture sharpening is not necessary. You can google "M-Monochrom" and "demosaicing" and find lots of explanations of this.

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It turns out all digital images require reconstruction using mathematical interpolation (modeling). There is no color demosaicing of course. Because non-CFA sensors are so rare, demosaicing and color reconstruction are synonymous. So it was misleading to use the term demosacing. But there must be tonality reconstruction. The MM is a wonderful camera. But it can not overcome the fundamentals of information theory.

The only way one can model continuous spatial phenomenon using discrete spatial information(digital space) is with mathematical interpolation. This is essentially monochrome demosaicing. The model that renders the image and the data are fundamentally incompatible. The light is spatially continuous but the raw data is spatially discrete. The resulting, inevitable modeling errors (artifacts) can be minimized using input sharpening.

As Michael inferred it was also sloppy as well to use the word pixel. The words sensel, sensor site, or other description that indicates there is no gray analog information would be more precise.
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Old 08-08-2014   #48
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Originally Posted by willie_901 View Post
It turns out all digital images require reconstruction using mathematical interpolation (modeling). There is no color demosaicing of course. Because non-CFA sensors are so rare, demosaicing and color reconstruction are synonymous. So it was misleading to use the term demosacing. But there must be tonality reconstruction. The MM is a wonderful camera. But it can not overcome the fundamentals of information theory.

The only way one can model continuous spatial phenomenon using discrete spatial information(digital space) is with mathematical interpolation. This is essentially monochrome demosaicing. The model that renders the image and the data are fundamentally incompatible. The light is spatially continuous but the raw data is spatially discrete. The resulting, inevitable modeling errors (artifacts) can be minimized using input sharpening.

As Michael inferred it was also sloppy as well to use the word pixel. The words sensel, sensor site, or other description that indicates there is no gray analog information would be more precise.
There's quite a bit of difference though in taking multiple physical sensor sites and merge into a single pixel, it's impossible to do without merging information that belong to physically different locations (with the exception of the Sigma sensors) and it will blur the contents.

That doesn't need to happen on a MM, there it's enough with digitizing the analogue current from the sensor site, so no "smudging" of visual content in the same sense.

That is my understanding at least - on a color sensor it takes multiple pixels to represent one pixel on screen, on the MM it takes one sensor pixel to represent one screen pixel.
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Old 08-08-2014   #49
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Vince, you picked an example of what Cal was writing about: That was a 40 Cron with a B+W 2X yellow filter. This perhaps helped keep the highlights from clipping, though the file was still pretty contrasty. While I'm not going to run out and swap my B+W filters for Heliopans, I think this illustrates that Cal is onto something.

We're beginning to talk like LF Zone System devotees of about 35 years ago. That's because you can achieve such a flexible open midrange and so much Zone II-III-IV shadow separation with MM files.

Have you noticed Tony Kuyper's software that lets you locate (approximations of) AA Zones for specific expansion/contraction? And I'm told that Nik Silver Efex Pro software has something like that too. There's so much to explore about BW inkjet printing, now that the files offer more detailed information.

@ Willie: You're now saying very clearly and precisely what I think was meant in the first place. To put it in anthropomorphic terms (for those as simple-minded as I am), the algorithm has to query adjacent BW photosites as to whether they'd like to join or separate, to present a continuous tone or an edge. But it doesn't have to conduct a more complicated four-way conversation among two photo sites designated as green, and their red and blue neighbors, to come up with its guess about the same edge/tone questions in shades of color. The result of fewer and more direct 'conversations' is more good guesses, and so the file comes somewhat closer to the smooth tonal gradations and clearer micro-resolution of larger-format photography.

@ Mitch: So would you use capture sharpening on MM files primarily to compensate for lens resolution problems?

Kirk

Last edited by thompsonks : 08-08-2014 at 11:03. Reason: another question
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Old 08-08-2014   #50
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Originally Posted by thompsonks View Post
Vince, you picked an example of what Cal was writing about: That was a 40 Cron with a B+W 2X yellow filter. This perhaps helped keep the highlights from clipping, though the file was still pretty contrasty. While I'm not going to run out and swap my B+W filters for Heliopans, I think this illustrates that Cal is onto something.

Kirk
Kirk,

You have some great insights. It took about a year of use before I discovered that a 3X Heliopan yellow is actually weaker than a B&W 2X yellow. The Heliopan 2X is weaker even more and I found the Heliopan 2X to be the optimum with these two lenses. It also took a bit of testing and comparing to see that some lenses seem to hit that sweet spot of the sensor, while others don't respond the same with filters.

The 21 SEM I think uses APO glass so it seems that this particular lens works best with just a plain UV filter (BTW the 21 SEM without any yellow filter works really well on my MM). I found a similar response from a Leica 18/3.8.

There seems to be a dramatic difference between the 28 Cron and the 35 Lux ASPH Pre-FLE in that the 28 Cron seems to have magical range of contrast (think wide detailed mids) over the 35 Lux.

Interesting to note that a 35/2.8 Summaron, while sharper than my 35/1.8 Nikkor, did not have the broad range of contrast displayed by the Nikkor. If you can find one of the 1500 35/1.8 Nikkors in LTM, I say buy it because it is a magical lens on the Monochrom. The Nikkor seems to convey the tonality of medium format film readily and repeatedly makes these wide broad histgrams with fat mids.

Also know that even though I shoot only small format and medium format my approach to both is that of a large format shooter, and I tend to shoot to print big (exhibition in mind). In this regard to my large format approach I shoot as if at image capture I'm making a negative for contact printing. I found very flattering that a large format shooter, who I respect, once made a comment about some 6x9 negatives I showed him. "With negatives like these you don't need a 4x5," he said.

For me I seem to have found how to get to the sensor's sweet spot using the 2X Heliopan's with my exposure. Seems to be a big bonus that digital noise and artifact (very important if you want to print big) is minimized with my "slacker" technic.

Cal
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Old 08-08-2014   #51
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But that's pretty much what sharpening is – it just heightens contrast along edges, and the question is whether or not you might do it without generating an artifact-y appearance. If, for example, you shoot a portrait with a middle-aged lens, at 100% you can see pores, wrinkles, and whiskers (mostly on males) taking on more definition.
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Old 08-09-2014   #52
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My previous post seems not to have posted so here goes again.

A2 is not large enough for the MM to show what it can do. You only need about 18-20MP to make an A2 print that cannot be distinguished from an A2 from a 36 MP camera.

Compare A1 prints and the difference will be much easier to see.

Compare A1 prints at ISO 1600 and the difference will leap out at you.

... and this is before you have heavily manipulated local contrast and tones.

The image at the top of this page (http://thephotofundamentalist.com/?p=249) was worked very heavily due to the need for good separation in deep shadow and it makes a cracking A1 print and could go larger. What grain is present is vey pleasing, unlike typical noise from most bayer cameras.

FWIW, there is no need for fixed rules on what files need to be sharpened and by how much. Just use your eyes. I do capture sharpen some of my MM files and not other. It depends on lighting, textures, the lens used and the intent. Its fair to say they don't need much and one can easily go too far. My 21mm Biogon and 24mm Elmar-M f3.8 are quite different though. The former needs sharpening and the latter only a sniff.
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Old 08-09-2014   #53
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I've never shot the Monochrome so I don't know what it can/can't do...but so far, I love the M(240) for both colour and B&W. The camera/lens combination is giving me what I want - and that's something that is as close to film as I can get without having film.



I've been using Nik Silver Efex to produce my digital B&W images and it gets REALLY close to being like film without being film...

I think I'm to the point where my 35mm film days may be coming to an end.

Cheers,
Dave
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Old 08-09-2014   #54
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Following up on Cal's remarks about MM sensor/firmware and filters: This is typical of what you get with a B+W Yellow filter photographing a landscape with greenery. The raw file wast flat and the foreground, with more illumination, was pretty 'hot' and needed darkening with a gradient curve. Not much other post-processing. When I print it, I'll go for more highlight detail. Per Cal, Heliopan Y would yield less contrast.

Kirk

MM 35 Summicron v4, B+W 022 MRC, @ f16. (I had to use f16 bcz the foreground was so close, and so I expected some softness from diffraction at f16; but the file seems nice and sharp @ 100%. )


Codornices Creek, Live Oak Park, Berkeley by thompsonkirk, on Flickr
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Old 08-11-2014   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thompsonks View Post
. Per Cal, Heliopan Y would yield less contrast.

Kirk

MM 35 Summicron v4, B+W 022 MRC, @ f16. (I had to use f16 bcz the foreground was so close, and so I expected some softness from diffraction at f16; but the file seems nice and sharp @ 100%.)
Codornices Creek, Live Oak Park, Berkeley by thompsonkirk, on Flickr
Kirk,

You are correct: Heliopan equals less contrast, but more midrange. This compression of contrast also limits and reduces clipping which to me means you record more information. There's this saying: you can't print what's not there. Clipping is a loss of information.

Thanks for posting this example.

Cal
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Old 08-12-2014   #56
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I've never shot the Monochrome so I don't know what it can/can't do...but so far, I love the M(240) for both colour and B&W. The camera/lens combination is giving me what I want - and that's something that is as close to film as I can get without having film.



I've been using Nik Silver Efex to produce my digital B&W images and it gets REALLY close to being like film without being film...

I think I'm to the point where my 35mm film days may be coming to an end.

Cheers,
Dave
To be honest, despite the real niceness of the shot, I think you have lost too much detail in the right side of her face.
That is one of the advantages of the Monochrom. In the conversion of the 240 file you do lose dynamic range.
With the Monochrom you would have exposed for this important highlight, giving control over the high key effect, and pulled the detail in the shadows up without adverse effects giving a filmlike impression, as film is noted by the gentle rolloff in the highlights.
That is without going into the midtone differentition of the Monochrom.
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Old 08-12-2014   #57
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To be honest, despite the real niceness of the shot, I think you have lost too much detail in the right side of her face.
That is one of the advantages of the Monochrom. In the conversion of the 240 file you do lose dynamic range.
With the Monochrom you would have exposed for this important highlight, giving control over the high key effect, and pulled the detail in the shadows up without adverse effects giving a filmlike impression, as film is noted by the gentle rolloff in the highlights.
That is without going into the midtone differentition of the Monochrom.
Perhaps but I note, while I sit and look at the image on a laptop vs a calibrated monitor, that the falloff seems to be far less so on the calibrated monitor vs the laptop - and that is at the same time, at the same site (Flickr). I would agree that it seems like a lot of detail is lost if all I had was the laptop to view the image but with a proper calibrated monitor it seems "ok" (i.e. falloff not as harsh).

The real proof will be in the print. That said, the beauty of this is, if necessary, it can be converted again since the file is a RAW image and, from what I've noted at least with the latest cameras (including the M(240) ) is the ability to pull back the highlights and retain detail from a RAW file is quite incredible.

Cheers,
Dave
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Old 08-12-2014   #58
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To be honest, despite the real niceness of the shot, I think you have lost too much detail in the right side of her face.
That is one of the advantages of the Monochrom. In the conversion of the 240 file you do lose dynamic range.
With the Monochrom you would have exposed for this important highlight, giving control over the high key effect, and pulled the detail in the shadows up without adverse effects giving a filmlike impression, as film is noted by the gentle rolloff in the highlights.
That is without going into the midtone differentition of the Monochrom.
I agree. I'm curious, is the noise pattern added in the processing, or a product of the camera? I've noticed a beautiful noise pattern with the Monochrom and the Sigma Merrill cameras, but never with a CMOS sensor. Seems disingenuous to add grain in post, but that's just my opinion. Highlight rolloff, however, is not that impressive.

That said, lovely shot.
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Old 08-12-2014   #59
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Quote:
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Changing the M8 to a 16bit camera makes it as good as the M9 in terms of resolution captured. Food for thought.
All I know is my B&W are better form my M8.2 than the other M9 or MM users. don't know if this is some thing to do with the cameras or the photographers they use .
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Old 08-17-2014   #60
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I know soneone will tell me to go google nyself but... I'm asking anyway.
How is the ZM 2.8/25mm biogon on the MM? On The M240?
Anyone able to report ?

Thanks!
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Old 08-17-2014   #61
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I know soneone will tell me to go google nyself but... I'm asking anyway.
How is the ZM 2.8/25mm biogon on the MM? On The M240?
Anyone able to report ?

Thanks!
Others may have different results, but on the M240 I found faint red edges, enough to need CornerFix. Once adjusted, the results are very nice indeed, sharp. Clearly, this won't affect black & white output. And it's magnificent on the M8 even in color, a favorite.

Here's a M240 sample at f/5.6, neutral center...
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Old 08-18-2014   #62
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Regarding the MM's high ISO ability ... I think the 240 is right there with it when you convert to B/W. I shot an image at 6400 recently and was amazed how clean it was when converted to monochrome ... 10000 ISO is really only half a stop above 6400.

This was just a quick selfie I shot while on holiday but it's had no noise removal after the conversion in ACDSee Pro 7.


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Old 08-18-2014   #63
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Cheers,
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Beautiful Dave !
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Old 08-21-2014   #64
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Hi again to Cal,

I borrowed a 28-35-50 MATE to use on MM and followed your advice re: Heliopan light yellow filter. Pleased with first result – very nice rendering of greens into BW.


John Hinkel Park, Berkeley by thompsonkirk, on Flickr

(This is several files stitched.)
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Old 08-24-2014   #65
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I've tried both, and find that I get more malleable files form the M240 when shooting in RAW then using Alien Skin Exposure after. The using the color filters post-shot is a great help in bringing out and dampening details and light.


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Old 08-25-2014   #66
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Hi again to Cal,

I borrowed a 28-35-50 MATE to use on MM and followed your advice re: Heliopan light yellow filter. Pleased with first result – very nice rendering of greens into BW.


John Hinkel Park, Berkeley by thompsonkirk, on Flickr

(This is several files stitched.)
Thanks for the post. I've been away shooting in Montreal. It seems a Heliopan 2X hits the "sweet spot" of the MM sensor with many lenses. My thinking is that very bright high contrast lighting overwelms the sensor and exceeds the tonal range that is able to be captured. Effectively the yellow filter compresses the contrast range that the sensor sees.

Interesting to note that Ansel Adams almost always used a yellow filter on his view camera.

Cal
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