Sunday, March 7, 2010

Processing update on the Leica M9

I thought I’d offer this brief update on what’s been going on since I got home from the trip. I have been processing the images from all three cameras for the past 5-days finishing just a couple hours ago. My normal routine is loading the RAW images into my studio computer on at least 2-separate disks and working off of the primary. The images had been loaded by location, camera, and date; I then used Canon Digital Pro to open and process the IR images before transferring them to Photoshop (CS4), I’ve also used a combination of Capture One 5.1 and CS4 to process the M9 and P45+ images.

I’ve been looking at several areas with the M9 images to include the resolution, color, and dynamic range and offer the following comments.

Resolution: I’m somewhat surprised at the resolution I’ve been seeing particularly how much and how good. I wrote briefly showing sample comparisons between the M9 and P45+. Simply put this camera has the resolution I need.

Color: The color I first saw on my color calibrated laptop is just as good as what I’m seeing on my (color calibrated) studio monitor; very rich colors great tones.

Dynamic Range: While certainly near excellent it nevertheless is less than what I expect from medium format. This said, the dynamic range is very good for what it is and frankly I’ve found no huge surprises here.

Printing: I rushed to print a 20 x30 image the first day I sat down in the studio. In pure technical terms it sucked. Okay now that I have your attention – the image sucked because I rushed it. The color was wrong which rests solely on by rushing to do a test print. However, as bad as the image looked it nevertheless exhibited a great amount of fine detail especially where I wanted it. I plan of doing another print test early next week and have already taken the time to process the image; the only thing left is to have the time to do the print. I’ll say this – for as bad as the image looked, it nevertheless was a success in showing the detail/resolution I need for larger prints; actually based on this one test I see the possibility of larger that 20x30 prints.

That’s it for this update; I hope to have yet another update detailing the print finding within the next couple days.


For the technically challenged readers I offer the following explanation of dynamic: range:

(The) ratio between the maximum and minimum measurable light intensities (white and black, respectively); since there rarely isn’t a pure white or black in the real world this term often refers to shades. In this case how well do the shadows of a particular image hold-up” or in other words how much detail is either kept or lost.

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