↑Leica M9 and Leica 35mm Summilux ASPH FLE @ f/1.4.
So many questions! I’ll be concise, but hopefully comprehensive, in my responses.
In a nutshell, given you already have a D700, I would recommend:
(*i.e. one lens. I wouldn’t bother with any other for now. And really, it will free you.)
I should also inform you that I am biased towards CCD sensor-based cameras, even though the new “M” will have many features, the “older” technology wins out for me at base ISO (at least until I’ve seen evidence to the contrary).
Your question about the 35 Summilux vs. 35 Summarit: Both are capable, but the 35 Summilux is the optically “superior” lens (sharpness, micro-contrast, etc), however it tends to “paint” with bold strokes which is desirable for some subject matter but may be too harsh for others. The 35 Summarit, on the other hand, is a little more classic/delicate in its rendering with a smoother bokeh. It’s a lovely little lens. You may view examples from both the 35 Summarit and 35 Summilux on my site:
Ultimately, which you prefer is really a matter of personal taste, but if you opt for an M9 (vs. the new M), you really should purchase a Summilux lens for low light work. Also, the Summilux (50 or 35) lenses are something special and need to be experienced at least once in a lifetime.
As for your question regarding whether the low ISO constraints of the M9 limit creativity, I’ll let my images speak for themselves. I don’t mean this in an arrogant way, but as a practical answer.
Finally, I shoot in DNG (RAW) format and am able to make minor colour adjustments easily during post-processing, so I do not have any issues with “skin tones”.
I hope this helps, and I thank you for your very kind comments regarding my work. Despite my answer above, I really do think the new M will be a terrific camera, so I believe you can’t go wrong either way.
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Yesterday, I posted an image and posed the question: Film or Digital?
To those of you who submitted a guess, thank you. I know it’s difficult to go out on a limb like that, especially when you have the option of safely viewing the proceedings from a distance.
For what it’s worth, the final tally of guesses was:
An almost even split! Moreover, some who chose digital stated that the image looks like film, and vice versa. This confirms what I suspected: this was a difficult image to identify.
So, without further delay, the answer is:
↑Leica M9, ISO 400, and Leica 35mm Summilux FLE @ f/1.4.
The above screen shot is of the original M9 file, opened in Aperture.
To stack the odds towards conveying a film look, I chose a scene in which the subject matter had a retro vibe about it. Then I post-processed the image to B&W. The “grain” seen in the finished image (to the right, in the shadows) is actually digital noise that has emerged from selective lightening, and that has been post-processed to look like film grain. More or less.
Some of you were impressed by it. Some of you commented that it did not “feel” like film grain, and so guessed digital. I believe it’s in fact the quality of film grain, among a few other things, that usually identifies the medium… but I have occasionally been fooled.
Once again, I thought the simulation in this example was pretty good.
As an aside, a few of you remarked that you were viewing yesterday’s post on a phone screen, which means that the process of evaluating for any nuances in image quality would have been difficult, if not impossible.
I guess many of our photos are being viewed on smartphones or tablets these days, so it’s something I should keep in mind when posting such comparative-type evaluations.