Leica M9 monochrome discussion (+ one sample image)

Started Aug 22, 2012 | Discussions thread
JacquesBalthazar
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Re: M Monochrom a bold move by Leica
In reply to Carbon111, Aug 26, 2012

Been looking closely at this example, and one element scares me: the completely blown out patch of sky. It is a very small patch in the otherwise perfectly exposed picture, but it kinda blinds you when you notice it. Needs to be cropped out.

Blown highlights have always been a curse of course, but the best sensors out there do allow you to pull back at least some texture, except in the most extreme cases. Now, from what I understand, it seems that the PP software needs the RGB information to work it's magic. In other words, it cannot provide the same level of correction on the output coming from the Monochrom sensor as it does from the M9 sensor (or from the D800's sensor, which is amazing in that respect)

Easy to say that you need to expose carefully to the right, and maybe underexpose a notch or two in highly contrasted scenes with M9M.

Maybe so, but we also all know that the dreaded blown out highlights often appear in minor parts of a scene: small patch of sky like in the referenced picture, reflections on skin or other gray areas, etc.

Again, with the best RGB sensors out there, a little PP goes a long way to fix those...

The risk with M9M seems aggravated by the high base ISO. At ISO 320, even with 1/4000s shutter, one will often have to close down the lens aperture much further than one would prefer. A bit like in the old days, facing bright scenes with a M6 and ISO 400 stock.

In low light scenes, highlight spots and reflections often abound as well of course, and, if completely burned out, could easily spoil the mood...

I love the idea behind the M9M, but this likely weakness in highlight tolerance, if verified in normal usage, would be enough to keep me away....

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