An impromptu photo shoot with M, and a Leica M testing session.
This is an image, of course, but it’s also a test shot. I’m trying to tackle and tame the shortcomings of the CMOS sensor.
My brief experience with the D800E confirmed for me that “CMOS is CMOS” when it comes to trying to pull out shadow detail (or getting micro-contrast, or getting good skin tones)… i.e., as of April 2014, it’s not as good as CCD, whether we’re talking Nikon or Leica.
Surprisingly, the D800E also made me appreciate the M240 more.
However, going forward I’m going to give the technical stuff a rest and start concentrating on photography again.
And as I go along I hopefully will be able to reduce the time it took to get this image to where I wanted it to be.
↑Leica M240 and Voigtländer Nokton 40mm @ f/1.4.
The title is both figurative and literal, because I previously posted an image entitled Grains of Sand.
On the very same roll of Tri-X was this frame, taken moments earlier. I normally choose a favourite image to post, and when I developed the roll, I chose the more dynamic photograph.
Now — almost two years later — I wonder whether I prefer this more contemplative one.
↑Leica M3, Kodak Tri-X 400, and Leica 50mm Summilux ASPH @ f/1.4.
Here’s a second image, taken a little earlier from the first (and cropped).
The lighting is different, and I’ve processed it differently too.
I realize I’m comparing apples to oranges, but I’m curious on your thoughts as I work through these D800E/Otus files.
↑Nikon D800E and Zeiss Otus 55mm @ f/1.4.
This is a test shot using my recently acquired used Mamiya tilt/shift accessory on Fuji instant (“Polaroid”) film.
No alcohol was harmed during the testing process.
↑Mamiya RZ67, Mamiya 180mm @ f/4.5, tilt/shift accessory, and Fuji FB-3000.
Ever since I acquired the Mamiya RZ67, I have been searching for a specific accessory item for it.
The trouble is, it is difficult to find a used example of this piece. And brand new, it sells for more than what I paid for my entire (used) Mamiya kit.
However, last week I found a mint copy of what I was looking for, at an exceptionally low price. I thought it was too good to be true, until it arrived this week.
(the above image was taken with my new digital set-up: the Nikon D800E and Zeiss Otus 55mm @ f/1.4)
I am amazed at how many of you correctly deduced either the lens or camera, based on the two “test images” I posted over the last 24 hours. A few of you even employed a psychological analysis of me to come up with your answer.
The first person to correctly guess both camera and lens, even before the first test shot, was Johannes. Impressive predictive prowess, my friend.
Honourable mention goes to Andrew, who correctly guessed the lens and steadfastly held on to his prediction.
So here I go… on to a new adventure.
Please be patient with the images. The M9 + 50 Summilux ASPH pairing produces a different look, there is no doubt. In many ways I prefer its rendering to my new gear (the M9 has a CCD sensor that is superior — at base ISO — to any of the current CMOS offerings, and Leica lenses are of course legendary).
Yet, I’m back to Nikon, where my digital experience was first forged.
In a sense, I’m home again.
Orchids in the evening.
Considering the camera was handheld at a shutter speed of only 1/125 sec, the sharpness is excellent. The shutter vibration is better than what I expected. I’m pleasantly surprised.
The lighting was mixed (natural twilight and nearby incandescent) and the colour is true to what I saw.
Tonality is really nice too.
Shutter Speed: 1/125 sec
For the first time in five years, I am without a digital Leica M (my Leica M9 is gone, and so are my Leica lenses).
I don’t see myself purchasing another digital Leica M again, unless:
The Leica M3 and Voigtländer Nokton 40mm are still with me.
The Mamiya RZ67 is with me.
My deep connection to rangefinders will remain with my M3, and I will continue to develop my portrait photography with the formidable RZ67. Both of these are, of course, film cameras.
I’ll therefore be exploring another digital system.
In fact, it’s already in my hands.