Monochrom pt.2 ... ISO 10000

Started Sep 5, 2012 | Discussions
David28 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,104
Monochrom pt.2 ... ISO 10000
1

Continuing my personal journey with the new Monochrom (MM), I thought perhaps we could look beyond clipped highlights (that is done to death I am sure we can all agree - yes the sensor is predisposed to clipping the highlights so we learn to expose differently) and see what other features also deserve our attention.

Again, I prefer to let the images do the talking and you can decide for yourselves.

With spring officially now upon us in the Southern Hemisphere, Melbourne copped a few atypical sunny days and that was good enough an excuse to go traipsing around the war memorial near where I work over one lunch hour. It's called the Shrine of Remembrance. The interior is extremely dark and I thought it was a good time to try out some high ISO images with the MM.

ISO 4000

and cropped for pixel peeping

ISO 10000 .... I thought what the heck, might as well give this a shot

and again cropped for your scrutiny

In both images above, I only lifted the shadows a little and pulled back the highlight slider, all the while remembering the sensor's predisposition with the RHS of the histogram. I was really rather surprised at the digital noise (I did not do any noise reduction on purpose). I get worse with my M9P at ISO 2500. Now we have a Leica M camera that can at least get you a useable image when push comes to shove. The noise is almost film like dare I say. Or have I had too many glasses of the red liquid this evening?

Seriously, I would love to hear from you and especially you film shooter that can half tolerate the digital medium. And please, no comparison of digital with film. I think the differences have been clearly articulated and biases permanently etched in blood.

At this point, I wish to acknowledge Olaf Ulrich who has made valuable contributions to my own appreciation of things photographic. More specifically, he dared to suggest that perhaps the output from the MM (with all its known problems and attributes) is best regarded similar to what film negs were back when ...... and that we now have the capabilities to process this file to yield the outcome we desire. And that we bear in mind the tonal range we wish to express during the exposure phase.

A long winded way of saying - there's no new problems introduced by this new offering, she's sweet as !!!! So a personal thank you Olaf.

I believe I am starting to get a feel for achieving some semblance of a fuller tonal range with real blacks rather than a washed out splash of greys. But you should be the better judge of this as I have been looking at these images for too long these past hours. You know how it gets ... everything starts to look good or bad.

Anyway, allow me to post a few more images taken over the last two to three days

Outside the Shrine entrance

I love shooting into the light - from within the memorial. I just noticed this was shot at ISO 6400 - easy enough to forget to change down. Note the city skyline in the background.

I am also learning to see differently, looking for shapes and patterns, lines and contrast, texture if you will instead of being swayed by the colours in the scene

All the images above were taken with the 50 Summilux

The ones following were with the Voigtlander 35/1.2 V2 .... a sweet lens!

I changed the way I processed the file with these ones, trying to achieve a better black

A magpie on the fence

Do pardon me this lengthy post. I sincerely hope you find it of some use and not only would I appreciate your feedback, I am asking for them.

Cheers from downunder. (I have not checked for typos so apologies in advance for any)

David
Melbourne

Nikon 1 V2
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Banana Chips™
Banana Chips™ Contributing Member • Posts: 629
Re: Monochrom pt.2 ... ISO 10000

banding seems to be present on ISO 4000 and ISO 10000 samples...or is it the JPG compression rearing its ugly head?
--
http://www.subtleimages.com/blog/
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 Banana Chips™'s gear list:Banana Chips™'s gear list
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MrLaki Senior Member • Posts: 1,094
Re: Monochrom pt.2 ... ISO 10000

Hello David,

I find your posts very informative and interesting, thanks for that. I would like to ask you if you feel these b/w photos wouldn't have been the same if you have been shooting them with the m9, at the moment I'm not sure if I should get one.

I like the magpie photo in here most, very nice tones and details.

-- hide signature --

cheers
laki

Homer: If The Flintstones has taught us anything, it's that pelicans can be used to mix cement.

http://www.konstantinou.com

Michael Everett Senior Member • Posts: 1,944
Re: Monochrom pt.2 ... ISO 10000

I don't see the banding in the high ISO images. Am I just not seeing things? I do find that ISO 10000 may be pushing things a bit much, although ISO 4000 looks very good. Overall I am quite impressed with the tonal graduations of the camera. Since my budget or more precisely my wife won't allow spending the thousands for a Leica MM and the requisite lenses, I guess I'll have to try to imitate what you achieve with my NEX 7. At least this gives me models to emulate.

Michael

OP David28 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,104
Banana Chips

I'm not sure the source of this banding that I can also see especially in the ISO 10000 image. Truth be told, I rarely noticed these things. Perhaps ignorance is not all bad - especially in my case.

David

Banana Chips™ wrote:

banding seems to be present on ISO 4000 and ISO 10000 samples...or is it the JPG compression rearing its ugly head?
--
http://www.subtleimages.com/blog/
http://www.istockphoto.com/dalegaspi

OP David28 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,104
Mr Laki

MrLaki wrote:

Hello David,

I find your posts very informative and interesting, thanks for that. I would like to ask you if you feel these b/w photos wouldn't have been the same if you have been shooting them with the m9, at the moment I'm not sure if I should get one.

Thanks for taking the time.

In answer to your question, a black and white image can be arrived at through manipulating the colour channels for sure. Is it the same as the one that comes from the MM? I suspect not (and that in itself is not important) given that the black and white file is a pure (and again that doesn't make it better despite what the Leica folks might tell ya) file that is minus the CFA. Is it visible to the eye? Yes the original OOC DNG file certainly carries a unique attribute with its flattish tone that is ripe for you to work on - my interpretation of course. Again, will that mater to most people? Probably not, I suspect.
Do you need an MM? I suspect no one needs one.

I like the magpie photo in here most, very nice tones and details.

I was pleasantly surprised that it sat there when I was no more than 4-5 feet away

David

OP David28 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,104
Michael

Its on the wall to the left .... a pattern like mesh (that is a poor description) especialy with the ISO10000 image.

Like I said, just cos it's there doesn't mean you need to use it. But when you need to get that image, it could come in handy.

There is nothing to like about the tonal transitions on the DNG straight out of camera. It is a rather bland and flat grey tone for the most parts. What I feel is special is the latitude it provides to stretch that tona range especially the detail that can be found in the shadow. Danger is overdoing it and producing a image devoid of any true black or white. But I also believe with some practice, that can be avoided - that is my experience anyway over the past days. My views and results are certainly changing.

And yes, this is a hard one to get past ANY spouse. What do you mean we are not getting that new lounge suite and fridge, honey? What camera? The NEX7 is no slouch either that is for sure and in many ways, a great deal more convenient without too much compromise on IQ.

Michael Everett wrote:

I don't see the banding in the high ISO images. Am I just not seeing things? I do find that ISO 10000 may be pushing things a bit much, although ISO 4000 looks very good. Overall I am quite impressed with the tonal graduations of the camera. Since my budget or more precisely my wife won't allow spending the thousands for a Leica MM and the requisite lenses, I guess I'll have to try to imitate what you achieve with my NEX 7. At least this gives me models to emulate.

David

my username was already taken Forum Member • Posts: 62
Re: Monochrom pt.2 ... ISO 10000

My 4 year old D700 kills your toy camera at high isos. Probably has better dynamic range too.

 my username was already taken's gear list:my username was already taken's gear list
photomeme Regular Member • Posts: 225
Re: Monochrom pt.2 ... ISO 10000

the pattern in the noise at both 4000 and 10,000 is beyond unacceptable and at variance with everything else i've seen. are you sure it's from the image and not your software's handling of it? did you expose to the left and do some extreme shadow boost? you can't generally get high ISO and wide dynamic range out of a digital image.

photomeme Regular Member • Posts: 225
Re: Monochrom pt.2 ... ISO 10000

ouch, that hurts. i certainly hope it's not true.

my username was already taken wrote:

My 4 year old D700 kills your toy camera at high isos. Probably has better dynamic range too.

Artichoke
Artichoke Forum Pro • Posts: 12,443
fun in the Antipodes

great post, David

very informative offerings from your early outings with this extraordinary camera

few endeavors give me greater pleasure than figuring out how to shoot a new camera or lens
the MM certainly is a unique tool & proving to be most capable in your hands

while there is much detail recoverable in shadows, even at high ISO, banding's intrusion must be carefully controlled when pumping up the shadows

banding seems extremely resistant to post capture fixes & I find much less forgiving when printed than other flaws

Adobe had to custom write the DNG for the MM & learning how best to work these files will take some effort, but that is what passion is all about & where the fun resides

that magpie was meant for BW & is a fine capture, but the way the MM handles light does seem uniquely well suited for interiors with high DR, much like negative BW film, though with a quality all its own
this one taken at base ISO

shows off the MMs advantages well for such work & had me salivating when I first saw it
thanks for this enjoyable series
--
--
pbase & dpreview supporter
DPR forum member since 5/2001
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"Avoid making a commotion, just as you wouldn’t stir up the water before fishing. Don’t use a flash out of respect for the natural lighting, even when there isn’t any. If these rules aren’t followed, the photographer becomes unbearably obtrusive" -- attributed to HCB

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MrLaki Senior Member • Posts: 1,094
Re: Mr Laki

David28 wrote:

MrLaki wrote:

Hello David,

I find your posts very informative and interesting, thanks for that. I would like to ask you if you feel these b/w photos wouldn't have been the same if you have been shooting them with the m9, at the moment I'm not sure if I should get one.

Thanks for taking the time.

In answer to your question, a black and white image can be arrived at through manipulating the colour channels for sure. Is it the same as the one that comes from the MM? I suspect not (and that in itself is not important) given that the black and white file is a pure (and again that doesn't make it better despite what the Leica folks might tell ya) file that is minus the CFA. Is it visible to the eye? Yes the original OOC DNG file certainly carries a unique attribute with its flattish tone that is ripe for you to work on - my interpretation of course. Again, will that mater to most people? Probably not, I suspect.

Thats for sure true, I'm aware of it, doesn't make the decision easier

Do you need an MM? I suspect no one needs one.

True as well, but I guess you know thats not really the point.

Anyway, thank you for taking the time to answer.

I like the magpie photo in here most, very nice tones and details.

I was pleasantly surprised that it sat there when I was no more than 4-5 feet away

yes it's really a nice capture.

David

-- hide signature --

cheers
laki

Homer: If The Flintstones has taught us anything, it's that pelicans can be used to mix cement.

http://www.konstantinou.com

SpiritShooter New Member • Posts: 21
Re: Monochrom pt.2 ... ISO 10000

Love your images.

If you look carefully at the image with the street light, I think I am seeing "blooming" or a dark halo around the light. Is it my monitor or does anyone else see this as well.

Thomas Streng Senior Member • Posts: 2,754
Re: Monochrom pt.2 ... ISO 10000

Thanks for the post.

I really like the last shot.

Regarding the ISO10000 I agree with others here that I do not like the noise. I also do not think it looks like grain.

Some of the first images you post have - for my taste - to many dark grey/near black tones. Thats something I believe to see often in MM posted on the web.

How do you overall like the MM?

I have an M9 and I am interested in the MM.

I am a little concerned the M10 (whatever it will be) with improved ISO performance and resolution might offer the same IQ also for b&W.

Kind Regards, Tom

OP David28 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,104
Re: Monochrom pt.2 ... ISO 10000

I should hope so at high ISO - that is Nikon's strength. As for DR, well that remains a matter of opinion as I have both cameras. You may wish to get yourself an MM before proffering such definitive opinions as if they were factual.

Oops I forgot, it's the Internet and you can do what you want. I take back what I said then.
Knock yourself out champ!

David

my username was already taken wrote:

My 4 year old D700 kills your toy camera at high isos. Probably has better dynamic range too.

OP David28 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,104
Re: Monochrom pt.2 ... ISO 10000

I can see the angst and dilemma of a prospective purchaser through your recent posts. Afraid to tell you, that there is no ways to get your answers without parting with hard earned cash.

If you require a unit that ticks all the boxes just because It is priced in the stratosphere, I think out are going to be disappointed. Even the much mooted M10 won't be abe to do that as technology and other OEMs keep moving forward at the speed of light. Leica is a slow and late adopter of technology. That has been evident for only since forever. Don't expect that to change anytime soon.

Good luck with your decision.

Trust me, you will enjoy it if you pick it up and you will also justify it if you don't. That is what we all do as people, ain't it? And that too is ok.

David

photomeme wrote:

the pattern in the noise at both 4000 and 10,000 is beyond unacceptable and at variance with everything else i've seen. are you sure it's from the image and not your software's handling of it? did you expose to the left and do some extreme shadow boost? you can't generally get high ISO and wide dynamic range out of a digital image.

photomeme Regular Member • Posts: 225
Re: Monochrom pt.2 ... ISO 10000

as to leica being a late adopter, the MM might fairly be called a break from that pattern. whether a path breaker, or just a wanderer off paths to a dead end, who knows?

yes, you have pegged me. angst ridden, for certain. but similarly dubious that the M10 will be the be-all-end-all, or available soon. can't fathom why the MM release if a CMOS imager based M10 style variant similarly monochrome could have been brought to (or near) market on the same timetable.

btw, i have believe that the pattern in the noise above is most likely a resizing algorithm artifact.

David28 wrote:

I can see the angst and dilemma of a prospective purchaser through your recent posts. Afraid to tell you, that there is no ways to get your answers without parting with hard earned cash.

OP David28 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,104
Arthur

Thanks for your balanced input in recent discussions. I guess I have to expect that folks will be polarised around any controversial subject and an overpriced camera that only does b&w, a lousy LCD to boot, ISO capabilities - oh it has none, and let's not forget, it doesn't have AF either (what were they thinking in the design department) IS an in your face controversy.

Ok now that we have got all that out of the way, let me just say that it is a damn delight to shoot with. I don't know if it's better than an M9 or 10 or 11 and truth be told, I haven't the faintest interest. You either got to love RF photography or you don't but I think you already know that.

Come to think of it, it wasn't that long ago when I could not imagine getting off the Nikon d1,2,3,4 upgrade path. Now my super fine high ISO AF 9-11 frames per second speed machine occupies pride of place in the top drawer. Ahhhh, change, I am told is the only constant in life. How glorious!

David

OP David28 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,104
Re: Monochrom pt.2 ... ISO 10000

Thanks for dropping by. I shall take a look at that image later today. Cannot recall noticing it but then again I wasn't exactly looking either.

Appreciate your feedback.

David

SpiritShooter wrote:

Love your images.

If you look carefully at the image with the street light, I think I am seeing "blooming" or a dark halo around the light. Is it my monitor or does anyone else see this as well.

OP David28 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,104
Re: Monochrom pt.2 ... ISO 10000

Thomas Streng wrote:

Thanks for the post.

I really like the last shot.

Regarding the ISO10000 I agree with others here that I do not like the noise. I also do not think it looks like grain.

Some of the first images you post have - for my taste - to many dark grey/near black tones. Thats something I believe to see often in MM posted on the web.

Well, I wanted to put up the images with minimal pp so yes it's warts and all. At least folks know what they are getting - that was my intention when I started the MM thread.

How do you overall like the MM?

I didn't for the first few days. I hated the M8 too when I first bought it - a severe case of buyers regrets. What was I thinking????? But Tom, I am getting enamoured with it as I familiarise myself with its unique attributes and especially the way the file comes OOC. The B&W image occurs very differently to what I usually get from my M9 conversion. I don't think it is "better" per se but it is definitely different. So it provides me a different and new experience with my own photography.

I have an M9 and I am interested in the MM.

I am a little concerned the M10 (whatever it will be) with improved ISO performance and resolution might offer the same IQ also for b&W.

Leave your concerns at the door. I have found little joy in getting caught up in the "next version of technology" game. With camera as it is with laptops and iPhones et cetera .

I am sure the 10 will offer you more as will the 11 and eventually the 12 if you get my drift. Too easy to live life in hope and dreams and miss it in the present moment. But I digress .........

Cheers Tom and good luck. Enjoy your M9 - she's a beautiful and very capable camera. I know that as a fact.

David
Melbourne

Kind Regards, Tom

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