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M9 color flat?

By Glen Charles

Is it just me, or do M9 color images look a little anemic to you as well. The pictures are often great - just "flat."

Steve has some colorful M9 shots, (bluebells, Pris d'larc etc. ) but I think he has pp'd them and saturated the colors more for effect - which is great, but I wonder why an M9 straight shot is flat?

I read an article by Rockwell some time ago that the only way he could make the M9 colors sing was by using Aperture 3. But I have heard that Aperture today is not as good as Lightroom.

Anyone?

Replies

Reply from Dimitris V. Georgopoulos on 06-8-13 5:56 AM
I do not find the M9's RAW files anaemic. I find them correctly balanced for further post-processing. I usually hear people that they want their photo ready made out of the box. I do not agree that for an M9 photographer that must be the case. I do not agree that a ready made preset can do the job and I am not taking Rockwell's and Huff's opinion for granted.
So let's go all the way from the beginning. Shoot in RAW open the file in the RAW converter.
First Point: Although Lightroom (LR) is given by Leica as a dedicated software along with the camera it is not the best for the job. The Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) engine used by LR cannot convert the colour details correctly. Therefore before you get yourself disappointed Correct the WB, adjust the exposure without handling the contrast and try the clarity slider in 10 units steps to the right. Usually a clarity setting of about 15-30+ will be sufficient. Clarity Tool intensifies the microcontrast, therefore the details in both blacks and mid-tones will come out.
After the clarity was set correct manually the Highlights and Whites and then the Blacks and the Shadows. You can always check the histogram on the top right on your screen.
Point Two; After all these were performed check the colours and go to the Saturation tools.
You can adjust the saturation, the hue and the lightness of all the colours in there. Pick a colour by placing the colour picker on the photo. Sometimes it helps to enlarge 2:1 to detect the right one.
Point Three: After you have adjusted the colours, then you might needed to unversally adjust the vibrance and saturation. The brush and Graduated filter can always be of use at any stage of your workflow.
Point Four: Adjust the NR and then the Sharpening.
I believe that a careful implementation of those principles will give you a nicely balances colour picture.
Point Five: If you intend to used an external editor for further editing or b&w conversion then you should adjust the file accordingly. For this reason it is best to produce a Virtual Copy for LR editing and another one for LR and external editor editing.
I have to point out that the best RAW converter for the job is the Capture One Pro of Phase ONE. It is atop regarding its colour editing capabilities it offers while its cameras' profiles used are very accurate. Though it is a "heavy" software requiring an optimum amount of 16GB of RAM (something that cannot be achieved in Microsoft PC) and does not have the simplicity of interaction with PS and other external editors that might work as plug-ins to the program.
If finally you are not satisfied with the LR or Aperture ( I have no experience of the latter) then you might have a trial with the Capture One or the DxO which is also more sophisticated than the LR but it is still a cumbersome software as well.
I believe I was of some help.
Dimitris V. Georgopoulos, Athens, Greece.
Reply from Glen Charles on 04-18-13 6:29 PM
Carlos:
Were you referring to blue and green?
Reply from Glen Charles on 04-18-13 6:16 PM
Demolicious:

Yes I have seen similar banding in the skies using Graphic Converter for the grayscale conversion. I think it uses the Apple colorsync built in routines, and I suppose Aperture does as well. I don't have that problem with Snapseed. I will try a conversion with Silkypix STudio 4, and with NX2.

thanks for helping to identify this.
Reply from Carlos Goncalves on 04-14-13 2:51 AM
I just posted an image to show the lifelike M9P colours, not anemic at all, just unexagerated like I see in other makes. Anyway, truth is in the eyes of the beholder...
Reply from Glen Charles on 04-3-13 9:32 AM
Steve Huff said about the M240
"The color…oh the color. Color can be MUCH MUCH richer and more beautiful than it was with the M9."
"it just may take a while to get used to the new look (of rich color and extended DR) if your brain has been used to seeing those M9 files, which to me now look a bit off after shooting the new M for a while."
The color is much much different than the M9. The color signature is not like the D800 or 5D II or II either. It is what I call “The new Leica color” and it is much richer, deeper (than the M9) and the sensor handles reds much better as well where the M9 had a tendency to blow them."
Reply from Huss Hardan on 03-30-13 8:25 PM
I think the colours are flat coming straight out as RAW images.
I use Aperture 3 with Rockwell's Auto2 Leica M9 preset, and it works great for landscapes etc.
It is too saturated for portraits, but it is really easy to tone it down.
But.. I also use LR 4 that came w/ my M-E (M9) and have found it very easy to achieve great results. In ways I think the M9 is like the Monochrom. It gives you a baseline that needs to be built on, but if you put a tiny bit of effort into it it is really easy to create spectacular images, as you intend, not already manipulated by the camera's programmers.

I find that LR4 has seems to have more adjustments available, but the workflow is easier in Aperture. LR4 definitely is much better at creating B&W images than Aperture. Many in Aperture have weird noise in cloud areas, while in LR4 this does not appear.
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