Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A simple comparison between the Canon 1DsIII and a Leica M9

Canon 1DsIII 28-135mm (shot at 135mm)

We've shared images of a barn and shed we found during our day trip to Alpine and Hannagan Meadow off RT 191 in eastern Arizona earlier; those three entries spoke about the processing that was done for the black and white images taken with the Leica M9 as well as the color images with the Canon 1DsIII. Each entry was meant to be a stand alone and not to compare the two cameras.

Leica M9 Summarit-M 90mm

Today we felt that we might want to attempt to compare the two systems in what could only be described as snap shots; meaning very quick capturing of fast moving subjects that really didn't wish their photographs to be taken. So to set the scene here's a short story...

Leica M9 Summarit-M 90mm

We had left the area where we found the barn and shed and were driving south on RT 191 towards Hannagan Meadow when out of the corner of our eyes we spotted what could best be described as a field of heads and shoulders. We had to continue driving in hopes of finding a safe spot to pull over which we did. Walking back to the area Sandy had her Canon 1DsIII with the 28-135 lens while Don had the Leica M9 with the longest lens he has, a 90mm. Just as we reached the area where we found the heads a large logging truck rumbled past us spooking the Elk making them stand up. Don had decided that he would set the lens at infinity, the f/stop at 4.8 (ISO is always set at auto ISO) and hope for the best. Sandy on the other hand set her lens to 135mm and shot with an auto exposure mode.

Canon 1DsIII 28-135mm (shot at 135mm)

The images here are the result of that brief time; all images were opened in CS5 and a very small amount of unsharp mask applied then the original images were cropped to 4x6 while the close-ups were first opened to 100% then cropped.

Canon 1DsIII 28-135mm (shot at 135mm)

Oh and yeah that's Don getting in Sandy's way ...

Sandy and Don

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Printing the Leica M9

I've finally begun to do test prints of various images that I've taken with the Leica M9. The images have all be processed using a combination of Adobe CS5, Capture One Pro, and Nik Software Viveza 2 (I use a calibrated Dell 3008WFP monitor set at its native resolution of 2560x1600) and printed on our Epson 9800 using the media use the most namely, Hahnemühle Glossy Fine Art Baryta (sheet and roll) and Epson Premier Satin Canvas (rolls ranging from 13" to 44" wide). The paper prints are all protected using Premier Art Printshield and the canvas with Glamour II Glossy (diluted 50-50 solution then sprayed). In short I print and protect our test prints just as if they were the final product.

While I've only touched the surface of the images I want to print I am nevertheless see great quality. Quality I am more than willing to put my name and reputation behind.

I've offered this caveat before do so again; I am not a professional reviewer and do not hold myself out as such. When I review a product or finished print I do so using my standards - what works best for me. In this case the prints that have been done so far all meet that criteria. The sharpness of the image, the colors and detail all meet what I look for in a print that I want to offer for sale.

I feel that seeing is believing and the only true way to judge the quality of a camera or software is to not only use it but to see the actual printed image. What I see I like.

What I'd like to have is suggestions on how I can better convey the results. How can I better write the results. If you write me with your suggestions I'll see about I can do in following up on them.

I look forward to hearing from you.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Phase One and Leaf Summer Promotions

I don't believe I've hidden the fact that I've been a long time client of Capture Integration nor the fact that I consider the owner Dave Gallagher a good friend. Likewise I don't believe I've hidden the love affair I have with Phase One digital backs first using the P30+ and now P45+.

Dave has allowed me to test equipment I felt was suitable for my landscape work and for that I'm grateful. Over the past years I've bought my first Mamiya 645 AFDII then the new Phase One AFD III as well as just about all my glass and the P30+ from Dave. In-between I've also brought at least one-Canon G9 (or was that the G10?) and Sandy's Canon 1DsIII (as well as the 1DsIV when she gets around to it). Thanks to Dave I also switched to using the great Cambo WRS 1000 and several Schneider lenses as well as the P45+ I currently enjoy using. Lastly let's not forget the new Leica M9 and lenses. I offer this as an explanation of the deep relationship I have with Capture Integration. Everything mentioned above was brought and paid for by Iron Creek Photography - there were no freebes.

I also can't talk about Dave and Capture Integration without mentioning Doug Peterson, Head of Technical Services (Miami). Doug is the type of person that will answer his phone at all hours of the day or night to provide assistance for those dreaded times when Murphy's Law rears its ugly face.

I've written quite a bit here over the years about the systems I use or have used yet I've never made a direct sales pitch - and I'm not starting now. I do want to be totally up front in that I do not receive any compensation from Dave for the information I pass on here; I've decided that I wanted to pass this information to the many people who read this blog who might be interested in finding an honest dealer to whom to do business with. My reputation means too much to me to just throw it away and Dave feels the very same way; must be why we get along so well as business associates and friends.

Okay what am I leading up to? Just as the title of this post says (some smoking hot) Phase One and Leaf Summer Promotions. Trust me when I say I wouldn't share this if I truly didn't believe in Dave or his company. What I've done here was a near direct cut and paste of a thread from a forum that Dave posted to a short while ago. I went and took the liberty of adding contact information at the end otherwise all the rest comes directly from Dave. Read it then get in touch with Dave if you find yourself interested.

"Finally Phase One and Leaf have come out of hibernation for the winter and announced some pretty spectacular savings on their new systems. Of course, buying a new digital system the summer of a Photokina year should have most people asking more questions. But we, Capture Integration, have been putting price protections in our quotes for the last few months and now the manufacturers have put the following in writing as well:

"Photokina" Insurance from Leaf and Phase One

If a customer purchases a back and we release a new system at Photokina, the customer can upgrade to that new system for just the price between the older digital back and the new digital back.

This is all you could ask for from a manufacturer. You will have the ability to shoot today with the best system on the market and continue to shoot until any new product is shipped. This is important because shipping dates are often 3-4 months behind announcement dates of products (do not use the Hasse 60mp as a announcement/shipping guideline). So add from today, then until kina, and then actual shipping... and we are then looking at 9 months of waiting when you could be shooting and making a living with an improved product. Again, this is the kind of partnership that you want when buying a product of this nature.

Now to the specials: I am going to list them briefly because there are so many ways to configure them.

Leaf Aptus II 5, DF Body-----------------------$9,990
Leaf Aptus II 6, DF Body----------------------$12,990
Leaf Aptus II 7 , V mount---------------------$12,490
Leaf Aptus II 7, RZ Pro II Kit-----------------$15,990
Leaf Aptus II 7, DF body----------------------$17,990
Trade in to Aptus II 7/8/10/10R--------------Call for pricing
Phase One
P25/P30 Upgrade to P40+-----------------$9,990
P25/P30/P45 Upgrade to P65+-----------$19,990

Up to $17,000 of free Camera/Lenses with P65+ purchase

FREE: P1 DF Camera ($5,990 Value)
FREE: P1 80mm/2.8 LS Lens ($2,490 Value)
FREE: P1 55mm/2.8 LS Lens ($3,490 Value)
FREE: P1 110mm/2.8 LS Lens ($3,990 Value)

***Lenses can be swapped for any Lens in the Phase One Product Line

And Finally, the Hasselblad Trade-in is Back!!!

You can trade in your H1/H2 body and lenses towards new DF body and lenses with any new digital back purchase and receive 50% discounts on the new products.

With any of theses specials it is best to call or e-mail us about the specifics. And as always, we are willing to think "outside of the box" to make it work for the customer. These specials are the first of its kind this year for these two manufacturers and they are quite strong, If you are considering one of these lets look at them quickly as I suspect that we will be having an influx of backorders as the national/international orders start to build up.

Thank you for letting us be a part of this forum. We learn as much from the members as the members from us and we appreciate the support from each and everyone of you greatly.

Dave Gallagher"
Owner Capture Integration
email at Dave@Captureintegration.com
National 877-217-9870
Atlanta 404-522-7662
Miami 305-350-9900
Direct 770-846-5223

You can also visit the website by clicking on the link to the right.

As always thanks for letting me share this information.


Monday, July 12, 2010

Canon 1DsIII Post Processing

Barn & Shed 120mm f/14 1/40 ISO 400

We've shared our processing techniques with the Leica M9 so it's only fair to show what we can do with the Canon 1DsIII.  We often travel together to capture landscape with the 1DsIII being Sandys primary camera. While we often shoot together we try not to capture the same images which isn't hard to do as Sandy has more of an eye for small details while Don tends to shoot the "grand" landscape; (he admits his focus has begun to change slightly with the addition of the Leica M9).

Tin Roofs 33mm f/4 1/800 ISO 400

The post processing is done the same as with the Leica M9 in that we use a combination of Adobe Photoshop CS5, Nik Software Viveza 2 and Capture One Pro 5. (All black & white conversions were done in C1.5 as was the Jpeg.)  All post processing was done by Don so don't blame Sandy if you don't like how the images turned out.

Fixer Upper 44mm f/4 1/250 ISO 400

We're fortunate to have two-full frame 35mm cameras at out disposal that allows us to capture stunning images as well as see the difference between the two. Don still has and uses the medium format Cambo WRS1000 and Phase One P45+ digital back however this edition as well as the previous two are centered on 35mm.

30mm f/4 1/1000 ISO 400

The images of the past two blog entries as well as this were all shot the same day; heavy clouds and scattered rain throughout the day made for some interesting shooting conditions.

50mm f/4.5 1/500 ISO 400

All the images on this page were captured by Sandy and her Canon 1DsIII using a Canon EF28-135 lens.

Mossy Corner 47mm f/4 1/500 ISO 400

Thank-you for visiting and please remember we encourage and welcome questions and comments.

Survey 80mm f/5 1/400 ISO 400
Sandy & Don

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Leica M9 Post Processing Part II

I wanted to share the following images which are all part of the same set taken at Hannagan Loop; again these were all taken with the Leica M9 and Summicron 50mm lens.

Shed - f/3.4 1/1000 ISO 160

Corner - f4.8 1/350 ISO 160

Corner - f/4 1/350 ISO 160

Barn - f/9.5 1/500 ISO 320

Barn - f/2.8 1/2000 ISO 160

Like the previous sample from yesterday these images were all processed using a combination of Adobe Photoshop CS5, Nik Software Viveza 2 and Capture One Pro 5. The camera is set to shoot DNG (RAW) uncompressed files giving a file size of 36mb; the ISO at auto with a range of 160 to 640.

Please feel to make any comments you wish or ask questions.

Thanks for allowing me to share and I hope the last two blogs have been of some assistance. Next up will be color images taken with a Canon 1DsIII so stay tuned.


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Leica M9 Post Processing

I wanted to share some post processing techniques that I use using a combination of Adobe Photoshop CS5, Capture One Pro and Nik software Viveza 2.

The image was shot using a Summicron 50mm at f/3.4 1/1500 at ISO 160.

Original as I first opened it.

This image represents what it looks like after opening and processing in C1 Pro using the B&W Yellow Filter and minor tweaks.

Image opened in CS5 and Adobe ARC to add a gradient filter

Image has been cleaned up using CS5 content awareness. I first wanted to just eliminate the power lines then I decided to see just how well this tools works for I also removed the signs and the box.

This is the last image where a crop was made and last minute processing made using Viveza 2.

All in all I think the image turned out rather well.

The barn and shed is located near Hannagan Meadow off Rt 191 in the Apache National Forest.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Monument Valley Navajo Nation

Summarit 90mm F/9.5 1/1000 ISO 200

I've decided to revisit the images we took while on the last trip to Monument Valley and Moab and these are just the first. The images were all taken with the Leica M9. The processing was done in Photoshop CS5 and Nik Viveza 2 (which I'm being to rely on more and more). I normally save my images in TIFF so I can open them in Capture One Pro to then convert them into Jpeg images for the web; the reason for this is that I retain the metadata information.

Summarit 90mm f/9.5 1/750 ISO 160

Summicron 35mm f/11 1/500 ISO 160

There's more images coming so stay tuned.


Your comments are always welcome

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Catching up and more Leica M9 images

Its been almost an entire month since the last posting on the blog. I've been very busy with the main studio computer first loading Windows 7 Ultimate (64 bit), Adobe Photoshop CS5, and Nik software Viveza 2 (64bit).

I also found I was running short on space on a disk drive that I used as my primary working drive and had to order a larger drive (Western Digital 1.5tb Green with 64bit cache). The new drive arrived and I cloned my old working drive to the new drive using Apricorn software. In the process I decided I needed a better way of backing up the image files that Sandy and I shoot as well as all the other files we use thus I decided to add another Drobo. I wanted a faster speed for the large files we generate and decided to add the 5-bay Drobo S; the Drobo S can be connected via e-Sata which is much faster than the Drobo (4-bay) we have connected via USB. I had our original Drobo connected via firewire however since upgrading to Win 7 that connection was causing problems and I decided to connect using USB till I find the proper upgrade. We now use two Drobos with a disk 9-capacity; we're currently are using 6- 2tb Western Digital drives and 3 smaller older drives. We're also using "DroboCopy Setting" to setup a standard backup routine using both Drobos as well as the internal drives; while no computer or backup system is perfect I feel comfortable with what we have now.

All the above took close to 3-weeks to order and install which also keep me away from working on any images. I also wanted to learn the new ins and outs of CS5 before I mucked things up.

That just about catches everyone up however this leaves just one other topic - Infrared Photography.

I have been playing with IR for many years; I started with film in the '70s then gave it up till late last year when I had a Canon 1DsII converted by Precision Camera. I used the camera with great success from September through last month when I decided to retire it. There wasn't any problems with the camera, just me as I found myself converting the images to black & white and very little color. The other item was the new Leica M9; I found that I was picking that camera to use way before the 1DsII IR. As a matter of fact I hadn't used the IR camera since leaving Carmel; it never left the camera bag the entire time I was in Yosemite. So, no more IR images as the camera has been sold to a Dave Gallagher and I'm currently waiting for a Leica 135mm to replace it.

Having finally finished working on all the images from our recent trip to UT and all the computer work I decided to take a drive along Mt Lemmon Road yesterday. The images included here are all taken yesterday during my drive along Mt Lemmon Road and were captured using a combination of the Summarit 90mm and Summicron 35mm lens.

Summarit 90mm f/3.4 1/200 ISO 160

Summarit 90mm f/9.5 1/350 ISO 160
Summarit 90mm f/9.5 1/350 ISO 160 (100% crop)
Summicron 34mm f/2.8 1/4000 ISO 160
Summarit 90mm f/9 1/100 ISO 160
Summarit 90mm f/9 1/750 ISO 160
I hope you enjoy the images.
One day early however - Happy Independence Day. God bless our troops and keep them safe and out of harms way.