Camera Corner – Repost

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I shot an M7 with tons of drug store film for two years, scanned the negatives with a Plustek scanner. I think that impacts or influences my choices in post processing. Images like this look a lot like some of my film scans in similar light. Colors are maybe a little punchier. They don’t, at all, look like or remotely even remind me of the color results I got from my M9.

You’d have to ask the manufacturer of the camera as to why that might be. πŸ˜‰

There seems to be so much mystery surrounding this subject in terms of clear and exact information from Leica. But that’s okay. I don’t care. Β For the most part, I remain very happy with the color results I get from my M-E. Every once in a while I seem to run up against a dead end where I can’t seem to shake the weird color casts, but that’s actually rather a rare occurrence. Happy times!

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6 comments

  1. I’m reading a lot and shooting a little. I continue to find your work the most inspirational on the Web. Since an M-E is my first serious digital camera I can’t comment on how it might compare to early M9s, but I get consistently accurate color in virtually any light. I use Camera Raw in PS CS6 (can’t figure out LR) and except for adding some contrast, I often make NO changes pre-Photoshop, which I mostly use to crop.

    I did add a new 75mm Summicron recently for some specific shots I wanted that are just too far away for the 35mm Lux. I love both lenses, but I see significant differences in the images beyond the focal length. The Cron seems to be slightly more contrasty and I think it may produce very slightly higher color saturation. This is very subtle, but I find it interesting, as I used 3 different zoom lenses on a Nikon film camera and never noticed any difference in color or image quality. I think the CCD chip in the M-E is wonderfully subtle piece of technology (and Leica glass is pretty special, too).

    1. Hello! Missed your presence around here, David. Thank you so much for the amazing compliment. I so appreciate it. I want you to know that your support for this site was also so appreciated… and that when the renewal fees for the custom blog, domain, etc. came up it was your generosity that paid those bills! Thank you so much.

      I have to say this, as I’ve said it many times here on my blog named for the 50mm Summilux ASPH… I really think it’s a Summicron world. πŸ˜‰ If you want to ‘make’ a shot, using all the exotic elements provided by the 1.4 aperture and GREAT capability wide open in terms of color and contrast and bokeh… the ‘Luxes are your ticket. If things are happening fast all around you, journalism, event, press situation, street photography, etc. and you need to ‘take’ a picture, meaning get the job done and get it right, you just can’t beat either the 50 or 35 Summicrons.

      And, I would even add that I enjoy using the Zeiss 50mm 1.5 Sonnar more than my 50 ‘Lux. Don’t tell anyone I said that. πŸ˜‰

      Glad to see you back around, David.

      Thank you again,

      db

  2. I am glad I was able to help continue your excellent site!! I’m assuming that the upper image above was shot with the Leica 90mm and the lower one with the Zeiss 50mm. On my MacBook Pro screen the bokeh on the 1st image is a bit harsh and “posturized.” The 2nd image has a much softer look overall, and zoomed in, the focus on the girl’s eyes is just so slightly off. But it is by far my favorite of the 2 images.

    So far I prefer the 35mm Lux to the 75mm Cron. Clouds are “fluffier” and, of course, it is easier to focus a relatively wide angle lens. But I am coming to appreciate the Cron’s own special “look.” For me the 2 complement each other well–portrait vs. landscape in simplified terms.

    I wonder if you can put in words what you see with the Zeiss that is different from the 50 Lux? I compared some of your earlier images and both lenses look equally stunning to me.

    David

    1. Actually the top picture is the Sonnar and the bottom one is the 90 Elmarit. There is nothing smoother than the bokeh on that Elmarit, David. It’s just sublime. That is probably, since you asked, the biggest difference between the 50mm Summilux ASPH and the Zeiss 50mm Sonnar. Different color look as well, but both equally wonderful in terms of color and contrast and that’s even so wide open.

      But as good and capable and as unique as the Sonnar is there’s no question the 50 ‘Lux is better glass. It’s clinical and as far as I can tell just perfect. The out of focus areas are always butter smooth. It’s terrifically sharp wide open with seemingly just as much color and contrast punch as it has stopped down.

      That all said, it’s just not nearly as easy to use as the Sonnar. The Sonnar is a lighter lens, it feels so much more nimble and quick and easy to focus. You just lift the camera to your eye and can focus like lightening and pow, you’ve got your shot. And I’m used to all that fleet-footedness because I shot it on my M7 for almost a solid two years.

      The 50 ‘Lux, on the other hand, I just have to admit that I’ve never really and truly bonded with it. Using it feels like work instead of play. But, you know, if I were required to do actual work with any of this kit… I absolutely would want the 50 ‘Lux on my camera because it does deliver I think that last 10 or 15% of quality and performance that the Zeiss can not.

      But for having fun? I’ll take the Zeiss.

      As far as your focusing the 75 vs. the 35 ‘Lux. Wow. I hear you on that score. The 90 Elmarit, which doesn’t have a focus tab, which is also to say flying blind or naked or whatever after having focus tabs on pretty much all my ‘M’ lenses… is a high risk – high reward proposition. My eyesight is not that great which I’m sure compounds the issue. But when I nail focus with that lens (and even sometimes when I don’t) the images are like a real life painting of a scene. That is a lens that I could not live without honestly. If someone were to say we’re going to take away all your lenses but one, and that lens is going to be your singular voice in photography, there is NO doubt in my mind I would choose the 90 Elmarit.

      Anyway, thanks for the great discussion! Hope all is well and thank you for stopping by.

      db

  3. It seems that I prefer the Leica glass to the Zeiss, and that a 90mm is even a bit harder to focus on the fly than a 75mm (but WOW, does it produce beautiful images). I’m guessing that the 35mm Lux is a bit lighter than the 50. I like the focusing tab and am pretty confident I can nail the focus in most situations.

    OTOH, the first time I picked up the M-E with the 75mm Cron on it, my hand just fell naturally to the focusing ring. I think years of using manual focus broadcast camcorders (admittedly scaled up a lot from Leicas) made this a comfortable transition.

    Having read stories of M9s that arrived with the range finder out of adjustment, and also stories of new lenses not working correctly with a camera that had been in alignment, I tested both lenses by putting the camera on a tripod and using a measuring tape and an eye chart. Both lenses are spot on from 2′ to 9′ (the distances I could conveniently measure) at any aperture from open to f16. The rangefinder also agrees with the distance markings on the barrel. So all I need to do to get perfect focus from the 75mm is PRACTICE!

    It’s interesting that you call the 50 Lux “clinical.” I read 19 reviews of the 35 Lux before shelling out the bucks, and 18 called it the “best 35mm lens currently made,” while one called it “a bit clinical.” It is incredibly sharp, but to my eyes it has a more “dreamy” quality than the Cron. I think this is all very subjective.

    I wear tri-focals, and the viewfinder on the M-E is so large and bright that it is much easier to use with glasses than the Nikon SLR ever was. Your eyesight may not be great, but your eyes and lenses see the world in a striking way. Keep up the great work!

    David

    1. Thank you so much, David. I think eyesight is the x-factor, if you know what I mean. At this point in life we’re all at the mercy. πŸ˜‰

      I think you’re going to appreciate some of the coming material I’ll be posting. I’ve hit sort of a wall and want to get back to the kind of LA street photography I was doing long before I made the move to Leica.

      As always, I thank you my friend, for your support and encouragement.

      db

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