Joseph S Wisniewski

Joseph S Wisniewski

Lives in United States Detroit, MI, United States
Works as a Speech and sensor scientist
Has a website at http://www.swissarmyfork.com
Joined on Jul 12, 2002
About me:

I've been in love with photography for over 40 years.

My favorite form of photography is macro, and much of my gear is of my own design.

I've done professional photography on and off for over 20 years.
Taught 8 years at Midwest Photography Workshops.
Designed 3 scientific digital cameras and 6 lenses.

Author of mImage and (coming soon to the App Store and Google Play) ColorForEveryone.

Comments

Total: 558, showing: 361 – 380
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In reply to:

UKoenig: The Leica M9 Monochrom is a minimalistic approach and a piece of art for itself. I could only imagine a heightening in leaving off any sort of LCD.

Only takes two inches of gaffer's tape to cover an LCD.

Permacell makes a the best gaffer's tape.

Direct link | Posted on May 15, 2012 at 13:44 UTC
In reply to:

Roland Karlsson: I will say it once again. The only really interesting point is if good photographers gets this unique camera and makes outstanding photographs. Thats it really. If this camera only is bought by rich people that cannot make images, then its no fun at all.

The big drawback of this B&W camera, compared to film, is DR. Some B&W films had unbelieving DR. For color images, huge DR is hard to utilize as the images become strange if you do too much HDR work. But for B&W, there is nothing called too much. Its total freedom when doing manipulation.

Roland, read my replies to Element 42, about five posts above this one. This camera is not "unique". Here's the three words that are the key: "given equal technology".

Given equal technology, a monochrome camera will have twice the resolution of a color one, as well as about 2 stops more low light ability. The technology chasm between Leica's supplier and the D800 means that Nikon has a camera which can do a B&W conversion with resolution to match the Leica and better low light ability.

So, throwing away two undisputed advantages of a monochrome camera given equal technology, you're left with...

Better ability to utilize color filters. There's a look you get from an R29 (or, to a lesser extent, an R25) or Wratten 47 filter you can't get from post processing color. Go ahead and try. ;)

A disadvantage in dynamic range. Most scenes yield about 2 stops more dynamic range in a monochrome converted color image than in one shot with a monochrome sensor.

So, it's sort of a wash...

Direct link | Posted on May 15, 2012 at 13:43 UTC
In reply to:

Element42: I am probably not enlightened yet so excuse my beginner's question:
aside from a Leica being a great quality camera what is the point of a B&W sensor? Would I not be off eqaully well by taking color RAW shots and then use great tools like Silver Efex able to do everything I would ever want on the B&W front?
(I understand why B&W RAW is better than B&W JPG :-))

There is, however, about a 2 stop dynamic range advantage to the color sensor conversions. I've explained why this is, in other threads.

Direct link | Posted on May 15, 2012 at 13:34 UTC
In reply to:

Element42: I am probably not enlightened yet so excuse my beginner's question:
aside from a Leica being a great quality camera what is the point of a B&W sensor? Would I not be off eqaully well by taking color RAW shots and then use great tools like Silver Efex able to do everything I would ever want on the B&W front?
(I understand why B&W RAW is better than B&W JPG :-))

There's two other issues that would have mattered, had Leica released this camera two years ago, but are pretty much eclipsed by the technology gap (chasm, more like) between Leica's sensor supplier Truesense (formerly Kodak) and, well, everybody else (Aptina, Canon, Nikon, Panasonic, Sony, etc).

The resolution issue. You can expect an 18mp monochrome sensor to pretty much match a 36mp color sensor. This would have been quite a selling point, had they released it when the only color sensors that high res were in clunky, awkward medium format backs, but is a lot less relevant in the shadow of the D800.

There's also the issue of sensitivity. The monochrome sensors are a stop or two faster than color ones. Again, not much of an advantage when you're chained to obsolete sensor tech.

Direct link | Posted on May 15, 2012 at 13:33 UTC
In reply to:

Element42: I am probably not enlightened yet so excuse my beginner's question:
aside from a Leica being a great quality camera what is the point of a B&W sensor? Would I not be off eqaully well by taking color RAW shots and then use great tools like Silver Efex able to do everything I would ever want on the B&W front?
(I understand why B&W RAW is better than B&W JPG :-))

The more important issue is control. Doing a B&W conversion of a color image gives you two filter curves, the break between red and green and the break between green and blue. They're pretty shallow curves. With a monochrome sensor, you can use whatever filter you want, there are 2 common steep red breaks (R29 and R25), orange, 2 yellow, 2 green, 2 blue, violet.

So, there's more of that lovely "metallic" sheen in a portrait taken with a Wratten 47 blue-violet filter than you can ever get in a conversion from color. Deeper, darker skies, and more pop to vegetation and clouds when you shoot with the R29 than you get with color conversion.

Direct link | Posted on May 15, 2012 at 13:31 UTC
In reply to:

Kodachrome200: I honestly dont know why anyone defends leica. there two latest inventions are an $8000 dollar camera body that can only take black and white pictures with lacklustre technology and 50mm f/2 prime lens that also cost $8000. You can buy them both for the cost the finest camera in the world and a selection of the finest lenses that would make most pros jealous and most any other photographic tools you could want and you could still probably throw in a reliable used car. Of course then you wouldnt have a camera that only took black and white pictures and 1 50mm prime lens.

the absolutely maddening thing is a bunch of people are gonna respond with how crappy traditional dslrs are and how it is absolutely worth it to forgo that dreamlist of gear in order to have this

"there two latest inventions are..."

Says the man who uses a Kodak product for his name. While some may argue that Kodak sort of wrote the book on invention, they never really finished it. The first ten chapters were great, but they sort of got stuck in chapter 11.

Direct link | Posted on May 14, 2012 at 16:28 UTC
In reply to:

Joseph S Wisniewski: The amazing thing isn't the number of people posting rude and ignorant comments. That happens with any piece of equipment that actually requires a bit of thought to appreciate.

The thing I find the most curious is that so many of these people are unfamiliar to me. It seems that the bulk of the really crude comments come from people who haven't ever posted positive, useful, and noteworthy things to the forums. So, what about this camera draws such people?

Agreed. I'd love to see a little more Volkswagen in Leica.

Unfortunately, it's going to take them a while to recover from that "boutique branding" thing they did, and that's assuming that they even want to recover. I see at least some improvement from the "Hermes days". That's got to be the lowest they can go, so everything must be "up" from there.

I hope.

In any case, I'm not really referring to the people who love Leica, but are disappointed or confused by the current direction. I was talking about the people who posted with raw hatred and bigotry.

Have a look at the Francis Carver post (if it hasn't been deleted by the time you read this) for an example of what I mean.

Direct link | Posted on May 14, 2012 at 05:37 UTC

The amazing thing isn't the number of people posting rude and ignorant comments. That happens with any piece of equipment that actually requires a bit of thought to appreciate.

The thing I find the most curious is that so many of these people are unfamiliar to me. It seems that the bulk of the really crude comments come from people who haven't ever posted positive, useful, and noteworthy things to the forums. So, what about this camera draws such people?

Direct link | Posted on May 14, 2012 at 00:39 UTC as 15th comment | 2 replies
In reply to:

Der Steppenwolf: Ehm Leica, 1935 just called and wants this piece of overpriced junk back...

We're arranging the shipping container to send the "piece of junk back" right now.

How much do you way, and how tall and wide are you?

Direct link | Posted on May 14, 2012 at 00:36 UTC
In reply to:

Biowizard: I have long beein waiting for a decent camera to be produced with a bare, monochrome sensor. For B&W work, especially when using deep filters (eg red to darken blue skies and accentuate clouds, or blue to do the opposite), such a camera will produce images of 4 times the resolution of images produced by a Bayer-filter camera. Plus, when shooting with pale or no filters at all, such a sensor will be between 3-8 times as sensitive to incoming light.

For those who prefer monochrome work, a camera like this is long overdue. Those hereabout who are sneering at the concept, are simply showing complete ignorance about how their "colour" megapixels are actually generated: by blurring, mixing and and interpolating. Not by recording.

Shame I can't affort the asking price ... but maybe Olympus will come out with something similar now that the precedent has been set.

Brian

There is very little in a typical scene that is so spectrally pure that it doesn't stimulate all three channels of the sensor.

Oh, and the filters have shallow slopes because the sensor makers try to emulate the spectral curves of the eye. That is how you make the colors ""true", or as we say in color science, "colorimetric".

Direct link | Posted on May 14, 2012 at 00:35 UTC
In reply to:

mauro paillex: Another toy for stupid people. Serious photographers don't need this kinda product!

"Another toy for stupid people."

So, you already have one on order, right? Looking forward to your review.

Direct link | Posted on May 14, 2012 at 00:31 UTC
In reply to:

Photato: FINALLY !! Now I just want this in an enthusiast $600 DSLR body.
The only thing that concern me though is the Dynamic Range.

But yeah, this is more sensitive, more resolution, no low pass filter, etc

Would be nice also to see it in a P&S where the extra sensitivity is more needed.

@shaocaholica, imagine, if you will, an interesting part of a scene is mostly green. So, on a color camera, the green sensors pick up a lot of light. They can blow easy, but the extra light gives them a lot of extra shadow detail. Now the red sensors are not picking up as much signal, so they lack shadow detail, but they won't suffer from blown highlights. Put that red and green signal together with a modern Bayer demosaic algorithm, and you've preserved the tonal range of the whole scene. The end result is a wider tonal range than you'd get with a pure monochrome sensor.

Direct link | Posted on May 14, 2012 at 00:29 UTC
In reply to:

NikonScavenger: I've seen black and white photos taken with the old monochrome Kodak DSLR and Black and White modified Canon 30D's--both of which look superior to b&w photos taken with a traditional color sensor camera.

What puzzles me is that the Monochrome Leica's photos look like b&w photos taken with a color sensor DSLR...

Excellent observation.

I put it down to the reviewer's inexperience with monochrome "the old fashioned way". I look at all the dpReview sample pictures, and I can see in my mind's eye exactly which filter I'd have used on each of them.

There was enough variety of shooting situations in the preview that I also got a pretty good feel for the camera's spectral response. Too blue-green sensitive, it needs to be tamed with filters.

Direct link | Posted on May 14, 2012 at 00:25 UTC
In reply to:

vadims: I wonder what will come next... True Grain model? Fixel ISO Limited Edition?

OK, OK, just kidding... I still own (through no longer shoot) several film rangefinders. Just couldn't resist, sorry.

It's important to understand what this camera really is. Leicas are Rolexes of the photography world. This particular one is a Rolex with only one hand. So what? Still gives you lots of tactile pleasure...

(Anyone who thinks that he/she can distinguish a color image turned into grayscale using proper RGB luminosity weights from a "narive" grayscale image need to... well, think again)

"need to... well, think again"

And if you believe that you can't, you need to start thinking, for the first time.

Seriously. A color camera has the filter passbands at two fixed wavelengths, and very shallow slopes to the color filters. With a monochrome sensor, you can use filters with steeper slopes, and have a choice of about 30 cutoff wavelengths. There's a radical difference between the look of monochrom with the steep slope and low cutoff of an R25 or R29 filter and the higher cutoff and shallower slope of a color camera's red channel filter.

And that's just one example.

Direct link | Posted on May 14, 2012 at 00:21 UTC
In reply to:

TimR-Niagara: waste of 8 grand... have you seen the samples from this camera? some photos blacken some white people's faces..

http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2012/05/11/my-one-hour-with-the-new-leica-monochrome-by-steve-huff/

It's a fact of black and white photography that "some photos blacken some white people's faces."

This has been known for nearly 200 years. Photographs taken with a blue filter or a blue sensitive film darken faces, photos with an orange or red filter lighten them, and with a green filter, you pretty much preserve the tonal relationships seen by the eye.

Same rules apply to B&W conversions from a color digital camera, too.

It looks like it's time for old rules to be rediscovered by people who either never learned them or forgot about them. ;)

Direct link | Posted on May 14, 2012 at 00:17 UTC
In reply to:

Biowizard: I have long beein waiting for a decent camera to be produced with a bare, monochrome sensor. For B&W work, especially when using deep filters (eg red to darken blue skies and accentuate clouds, or blue to do the opposite), such a camera will produce images of 4 times the resolution of images produced by a Bayer-filter camera. Plus, when shooting with pale or no filters at all, such a sensor will be between 3-8 times as sensitive to incoming light.

For those who prefer monochrome work, a camera like this is long overdue. Those hereabout who are sneering at the concept, are simply showing complete ignorance about how their "colour" megapixels are actually generated: by blurring, mixing and and interpolating. Not by recording.

Shame I can't affort the asking price ... but maybe Olympus will come out with something similar now that the precedent has been set.

Brian

@Biowizard, the Bayer filters are not as sharp as an R25, there's significant overlap in the RGB responses. That's why an R25 on the M9m would produce more of a high contrast sky effect than using the red channel on a Bayer sensor. So, no, they're nowhere near the 3 stop filter factor of an R25.

And, that 3 stops is only right on film, and not on all films, at that (because light meter calibration is based on photopic green). Think of a silicon sensor as a red-sensitive film, like Tech Pan. Silicon sensors are the opposite of film, sensitivity rises in the red, instead of falls.

Judging by the posted examples, there's a blue-green filter in the camera to compensate a bit, to keep faces from looking too "chalky" due to the red sensitivity.

On the other hand, using software to separate colors gives you the advantage that all the pixels on the Bayer pattern are contributing to resolution.

Direct link | Posted on May 11, 2012 at 20:47 UTC
In reply to:

hlritter: Prediction: the announced price of $7195 for the new apo aspheric Summicron 50mm (!) will prove to be erroneous. The price is completely unreasonable--higher than any other M lens except the $10,995 Noctilux, more even than the exotic 21mm f/1.4--and almost twice that of the 50mm f/1.4 Summilux, which would mean no market position at all for it!

And yet B&H just listed it--for, yes, $7195!

Aside from what Petka says...

It's a rangefinder. If you put a strong color filter on the lens, you'll have focusing errors if the lens has chromatic aberrations. Hence, another need for APO lenses.

Direct link | Posted on May 11, 2012 at 13:19 UTC
In reply to:

IcyVeins: You can't fix STUPID!

You stand as living proof.

Direct link | Posted on May 11, 2012 at 13:15 UTC
In reply to:

Zvonimir Tosic: I guess I've missed it somewhere: what's the actual sensor?
What model / type / manufacturer / more info about it?

Technically, it's not Kodak, any more. Kodak sold the sensor division to Platinum Equity, who renamed it "Truesense Imaging, Inc."

Direct link | Posted on May 11, 2012 at 13:14 UTC
In reply to:

scott_mcleod: "World's first"?

How about the Kodak DSC Pro 14n from way back in 2003? 24x36mm, 4,500 x 3,000 pixels, and also available as a monochrome version?

I am sure the M-M will be a very nice camera and it's also a relief to see the price has not blasted off into the stratosphere like the new APO-Summicron. But I would really like to see one of the mainstream mfrs to bring out a dedicated monochrome DSLR. Like Canon, for example, who already have the 60Da... wouldn't it be nice to have a "60Dm" for under $2k?

"wouldn't it be nice to have a "60Dm" for under $2k?"

Nice, but untenable. By the time you set up a sensor run without the Bayer masks, add a different QA procedure, different main board runs, etc. you'll triple the price of the camera. It's an electronic part, so you also have to rerun EMC testing.

The current Da is just a matter of an optical component substitution, no new sensors, no new testing. So, it's cheap.

Direct link | Posted on May 11, 2012 at 13:08 UTC
Total: 558, showing: 361 – 380
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