- 2022 Processing High Dynamic Range Photos in PhotoLab 5 - Part One, Fireworks

to crop in circular – never heard of

for square …

During my visit to my brother’s property in December, I took one day to try out my old 16mm Voigtlander lens on my M10. I originally bought the lens so I could capture wider “street scenes” on my M8, but never got to try it.

I went for a walk around his property, but looking through the viewfinder (Visoflex) I never got to see “wide angle” scenes - instead, I just saw a lot more of his property than I usually could see at once. I could never get everything you see in here into one photo before, and walking further back didn’t help. Walking forwards this time was better, until the tripod was almost over the edge of the pond. I wondered about the dynamic range - from bright sunlight to dark shadows. The exposure was set according to my M10’s meter.

It was such a peaceful day - no breeze, no birds, no nothing. I took almost a dozen photos, but this is the only one I liked, for many reasons - the reflections in the water being near the top of the list. There are two trees in the photo that are an orange color - the leaves were just starting to fall off, (and four days later those trees were naked). To me, this photo is almost “eye candy”, as I think of the different parts of his land as I scroll my eye over and through the image.

I didn’t spend a lot of time editing, or at least that’s what I thought. I just made some basic adjustments like what I’m now used to doing in PL5. However, when I click on “Compare”, I’m shocked at the difference! My new hero “Moose” may not like to do edits beyond what he captured in his camera, but all the things I now see were hiding in plain sight - until PL5 unlocked them. Moose says to get it right in the camera, but I wouldn’t know where to even start!

If a photo is supposed to “tell a story”, this one doesn’t. It’s just… there! It would probably make a great desktop photo, but I like to zoom in more to see detail. I don’t think it is as sharp at 100% as my Voigtlander 50mm lens, but maybe that’s not a fair comparison as this lens is 16mm, meaning extreme wide angle.

I can’t achieve this much quality with my M8.2 Leica, but the old sensor in the M8 achieves a different kind of color. For me, no comparison - I prefer the M10 in so many ways…

Anyway, you’re all welcome to have at it, and then tell me all the things I could have done better.

(As always, it was fun and enjoyable to edit. DarkTable feels more “mechanical”, while PL5 is almost done “by feel”. For @Joanna - no, I don’t think I could have gotten a similar result in DarkTable - I don’t know it nearly as well as I know PL.)

L1003823 | 2021-12-09.dng (29.8 MB)
L1003823 | 2021-12-09.dng.dop (14.4 KB)

well, there is not much you can do

VC2 new → L1003823 2021-12-09.dng.dop (212,3 KB) // M=master file, VC1= Mike

Revisiting the pic I realized, I had not taken special care for chromatic abberations
and the lack of sharpness you have been talking about.

  • changed the CA’s intensity
  • reduced the edges’ standard sharpening
  • carefully added some local sharpening at the background
  • minor adjustments

Tried to figure out about that old lens but couldn’t find.
Unfortunaltely, your copy is not good enough for serious pics.

Curious, why would you remove the blue sky, and why would you crop it like this?

I do like it more the way the right part of the image has been cropped, but I’m not so happy with the other changes. I guess they do take away “useless” part of the image, making the rest of the image stand out more. I’ll have to think about that for a while. But I think I prefer blue skies to gray…

Do you remember to check with
activated ?

No, I’ve never touched that, and my setting apparently was “off”.

I was just reading this:

Why would I want to use this? I assume it’s to find a “list” of the corrections currently active in an image I’m editing? I guess it would be good to know what things I am using in a specific image, but how would this help me?

Yes, you see all corrections without going through each menu.

  • Only don’t use this “list”, when you are going to toggle (deactivate / activate) some edits (menus) to see how it looks with or without them.

I guess it would be good to know what things I am using in a specific image, but how would this help me?

Well, you have been asking “… tell me all the things I could have done better.”
→ So, make those proposals visible and get an overlook.

  • otherwise, why to show you something ?

When you are comparing two versions and the pics are ‘jumping around’ from different aspect ratios,
just activate → Local Adjustments.

Small time out - I viewed the image at 100%, and wanted to slide it around to examine things, but the image didn’t move. Instead, my “hand” icon closed up, like this, until I removed my finger from the mouse:

I tried searching, but couldn’t find anything useful. I’m well known for “breaking things”; wondering what I screwed up this time. My gut feeling is to close PL5 and restart, then restart computer if it’s still not working. I figured I’d ask here before I did either.

Easy to answer, quite often one of you suggests doing something with a tool I hadn’t thought to use. It wouldn’t show up on this list, since I hadn’t used it. It does show me all the things that I DID select and use - and I often re-think what I’ve done, and modify those settings.

Or, if you mean, of the tools I DID use, which ones I might have been able to use better, then what you suggest makes perfect sense, and it would save me time compared to what I do now - as in go through all the menus, making sure I didn’t forget something, and re-evaluating if I used the best “amount” of each tool. Everything is up for grabs - I’m wide open for things I might have done better, cropping, making the horizon level, looking at the histogram and re-considering, closing the window and returning to it after some amount of time for a fresh take on what I’m doing… If that’s what you meant, yes, I agree, and it will be more organized than the way I do things now.

Don’t understand, why you argue about what You DID.

The activated “Active corrections” list is a real time saver, allowing an overlook about all modifications of the momentary highlighted / chosen version – not necessarily what You DID.

When someone is playing with your files and delivering an idea you even asked for and you dont’t check the published virtual copy, which contains everything – what do you think will happen?

Nobody expects you following things slave-like, but also you don’t need anybody reciting the litany to enter one ear and leave the other – without effect, because you haven’t tried and tried and … , at your speed and interest.

to compare VC2 with VC1

I won’t try to speak for anyone else, just me, but there is a very simple explanation of how/why/when I do things.

1 - I try to edit an image to make it look the way I would like it to look, and post the raw, the .dop, and a jpg copy of the finished result I got.

2 - Someone else here edits my photo so it looks the way they feel it should look (and if it’s @Joanna , posts the information on how she did it.

3 - I get to view the revised file, and often view both my version and the other version side by side. One of two things will happen - I will prefer their version to my version, or I will prefer my version over what they did.

If I prefer their version, I load it up and struggle to find what thing(s) they did to improve it.
If I prefer my version over theirs, I usually don’t pay that much attention to it, unless it shows some technique that I didn’t know how to do before…

Obviously you didn’t understand – forget it.

All I know is the words I read here - apparently I don’t understand what you meant.

As far as I know, I’ve never done this.

I mostly do something, and explain in words, but the .dop file explains better than I can, and @Joanna usually comes up with a better way to do things than what I did. That’s what I was referring to.

If one of the most important things I should look into when selecting a new camera is the best sensor specs including dynamic range, I just watched the introductory videos on Leica’s new M11 camera, with up to 15 stops of dynamic range.

Here’s a report from DPReview - the camera was just released today, so it’s going to take some time to get user feedback, but this is a start:
Leica M11

I don’t have any immediate plans to buy anything, but the two most likely options if I were to buy a new camera are this new Leica M11 or a Nikon D850 which @Joanna enjoys so much.

Bottom of camera - no more bottom plate, USB-C, 64 megs of internal memory, and a new Visoflex.
Screen Shot 2022-01-13 at 14.36.16

…under very limited conditions. Note: Up to 100% can be anything between 0 and 1… You can get up to 4 D850s for the price of an M11…

It’s quite okay to dream though.

After probably five or six hours of watching videos, and hearing back from testers (who are expected to promote the product) and viewing their photos, I now understand how Leica increases the dynamic range.

From DPReview:
At the heart of the M11 is a full-frame BSI CMOS sensor with Triple Resolution Technology. Raw image files in DNG and JPEG format can be recorded at 60, 36 or 18 megapixels, always using the full sensor area.

The 60-megapixel option delivers unprecedented image quality and detail resolution, utilizing the full optical potential of Leica’s latest APO Lenses for the M-System –

whereas the lower resolutions enable faster camera performance, extended burst lengths, and smaller files.

How this works - When set to the maximum, 60 megapixels, each pixel works by itself, and the result is a very high quality image. But, when set to 36 megapixels, four pixels work together, effectively creating a 36 megapixel image, but with 4 pixels gathering light, the dynamic range is increased. At 18 megapixels, even more pixels work together, creating both better dynamic range, but even better low light performance.

I’m not explaining this as well as the engineers did, with graphs and charts, and then example images. Apparently with combining pixels at these intermediate resolutions, dynamic range is increased.

Until someone does a real test though, these are just “words”, and yeah, saying “up to” can mean a very low number - although I think their intended meaning was as the pixels are combined more and more, the dynamic range keeps increasing, along with the ability to work in lower light levels.

I don’t think this is in my future, unless I sell something and have $10,000 sitting in my piggy bank. Even then, I don’t see an M11 making that big a change in my photography, regardless of the specifications.

…but you are so right - it is very enjoyable to dream, realizing that the waiting list is probably one or two years even if I tried to buy one. :slight_smile:

So, I would have to drop the resolution to 18Mpx to get 15 stops of DR? Good grief, my D850 gives me 14.6 stops at 45Mpx. And for a quarter of the price.

I’m sorry, I can’t see the benefit for such a high price, unless the little red badge really improves your vision for images :wink:

If you really want to know, click here and see what Leica themselves have to say about it. At the top, there is a drop-down menu - including “details”.
New Leica M11 Release

You can’t compare a Leica M to a D850 any more than you can compare a Ferrari to a luxury sedan.

The M series doesn’t work like a DSLR, and vice versa. To someone who wants the rangefinder experience, the D850 is a non-starter, along with a LF camera, or a Nikon Z9. They each have their strengths and their weaknesses.

For me, I grew up with rangefinder cameras, and still love them. They have their strong points, and they have their weak points. I doubt I would enjoy the M11 for bird photography, and I doubt I would enjoy a big DSLR for “street” photography.

If you watch all the videos available at the link I posted up above, it will show what the M11 is best at. It’s not a do-anything camera, and most people in this forum would hate it after an hour of trying to focus, something a DSLR does instantly.

Me? I like and enjoy both. If the D850 was the same size and weight as my D750, I’m sure I would upgrade, and I can even afford to. In reality, my M10 does most of what the M11 does, and the $$ to upgrade is more than I can afford - but who knows, in a year or two, anything is possible.

The M11 includes an electronic shutter. My guess is that the M12 will not have a mechanical shutter, only the electronic one. No noise, and one can shoot photos with an f/1 Noctilux lens in bright sunlight, if one wanted to. The M11 exposure meter is from the sensor, not from light reflected onto a measuring spot, another plus. It has 64 GB memory built into it, so no SD card is even required. It has the USB-C connector, so the camera can be charged just like an iPhone, and the new Leica Fotos app works with iPhones so geotagging can be done as images are transferred. To be honest, if I still had a real job, with paychecks coming in, I would already be on the waiting list.

…but I don’t have a real job, and I’m not rich, and despite having watched all those videos, I don’t see any way I can buy one in the near future, unless I find something I can sell to raise the money, and even if I did have the money sitting in a cookie jar right now, all I can do is get myself onto the end of a very long waiting list.

Even if I did have one, for the types of photos we’re mostly dealing with here in this forum, mostly landscape type photos, that’s not what the M11 was designed for. I’ll gladly keep using my D750 cameras, and if prices from KEH keep coming down, I might get tempted enough to buy one of their D850’s. I did manage to buy my M10 two years ago though, so anything is possible.

What I would like to do tomorrow, is around sunrise, set up my D750 with a long lens, and try to photograph one of the medium size boats anchored outside my building, lit up by the early morning sun. Not much point talking about things I can’t afford to do, better to be “doing” using what I’ve got. …and if I had a M11 here tomorrow morning, I’d still be using my D750 - as I’d be using my 200mm lens, probably wishing for a 300. :slight_smile:

Of course, they are all different types of camera. What I find anachronistic is that, Leica vaunts the M11 as having both 60Mpx and 15 stops DR, in the same breath, and yet you can’t have the two at the same time, having to drop resolution to a paltry 18Mpx to get the full 15 stops.

One thing I did think about is that, in order to benefit from all these new super-whizzy features, it might still be a cute little rangefinder camera, but it also means having to start messing around in menus on the rear screen to profit from them, not forgetting that some features like focus peaking will also require the use of Live View.

Are you sure you are ready for the world of rear-screen photography? If you aren’t, you might as well stick with the otherwise perfect M10 that you already have. Do you really, truly, need to spend that much money for a new version of a perfectly satisfactory street photography rangefinder camera that I doubt you will ever use to its full capabilities and that more than likely will last you for the rest of your life? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

As for me, if I really wanted to do street photography, I would use my beautiful Mamiya 7 II medium format rangefinder, that has lenses every bit as sharp as Leica’s 35mm lenses and can produce MF negs that aren’t far of being as detailed as a lot of 5" x 4" lenses. And it only cost me a couple of grand brand new.

As far as I know, the rear screen on the M10 and on the M11 is pretty much the same. Most of the time I use just ISO, Aperture, Shutter, and Focus. For other settings, they’re all in the menu system meaning I’m looking at the rear screen. If I want to see a histogram for example, I can see it on the rear screen, or on the Visoflex. Leica has re-organized how I would get to many settings, but the system remains the same. And if I want to use Live View (or the Visoflex) I’m looking at either the rear screen, or more likely the Visoflex. Same on both cameras.

Your second point is exactly where I’m at right now. I do not believe I “need” any of this. My “return on investment” would be very small. Since I don’t print, my 24 megapixels is all I “need”. I see lots of things I would like to have, but none of them are what I consider “essential”.

That’s a ten year old camera. A couple of grand back then represents a lot more $$ in today’s world. Even a used camera is expensive:
Screen Shot 2022-01-14 at 08.42.13
From what you wrote, and what I’ve read, it’s a wonderful camera, but it’s far too big for “street photography” where you want to blend in and not stand out. It looks bigger than your D850. Apparently, just like with Leica cameras, it holds its value very well.

Not sure how much of the link I posted you got to read and watch. There’s probably enough there to keep you busy for hours. I did read and watch everything, but while I like it, I’m not prepared to spend so much $$$ to get something that is so similar to what I already have. …now, if someone were to buy my Bolex collection, or my model railroad brass locomotive collection, having that $$ available might push me over the edge…