Leica DSLR vs. Leica M9P - Modern Dance Recital

ajramirez

Hall of Famer
Jul 9, 2010
Caguas, Puerto Rico
Antonio
Those of you who also participate at LeicaPlace may have already seen this post, so please forgive me.

Last week, I was asked to photograph a modern dance recital by Puerto Rican dancer and choreographer Viveca Vázquez, and her dance troupe Taller de Otra Cosa, at the Puerto Rico Museum of Contemporary Art. I showed up at the dress rehearsal on Thursday with my trusty Canon EOS kit (50D, 17-40 4.0L, 70-200 4.0L IS). The lighting was rather dim, which forced me to crank up the ISO to 6400, which is far beyond my comfort zone with the 50D. Notwithstanding that, I thought the photos turned out well enough after noise reduction and PP. I took about 550 shots that day.

Since I felt I already had the shots I needed, at the actual performance on Friday, I sat with the audience with the intention of just watching the performance, but took my Leica M9P. Of course, I ended up shooting the entire performance, taking about 210 shots.

I was really surprised when I sat down to process the shots on Saturday. First, I mostly nailed the focusing with the Leica, even though I was shooting wide open the entire time (2.8 or 2.5). Also, the Leica shots are, to my eyes, crisper and richer in tone than the 50D files. I know this is not a fair comparison, particularly since the 50D was shot at ISO 6400 and the Leica at 2500, but it was the 2.8 lenses (vs. the 4.0 zooms) that allowed me to shoot the Leica at 2500 at hand holdable speeds.

In any event, I turned in a disk with 86 shots, 55 from the Leica and 31 from the 50D. Considering I took about 200 shots with the Leica and over 500 with the 50D, the keeper rate with the Leica was significantly higher.

Here is a small subset. There's actually more 50D shots than Leica shots in this set, but this is my favorite bunch.


Taller de Otra Cosa by ramirezaponte, on Flickr - Canon 50D


Taller de Otra Cosa by ramirezaponte, on Flickr - Canon 50D


Taller de Otra Cosa by ramirezaponte, on Flickr - Canon 50D


Taller de Otra Cosa by ramirezaponte, on Flickr - Canon 50D


Taller de Otra Cosa by ramirezaponte, on Flickr - Leica M9P


Taller de Otra Cosa by ramirezaponte, on Flickr - Canon 50D


Taller de Otra Cosa by ramirezaponte, on Flickr - Canon 50D


Taller de Otra Cosa by ramirezaponte, on Flickr - Canon 50D


Taller de Otra Cosa by ramirezaponte, on Flickr - Canon 50D


Taller de Otra Cosa by ramirezaponte, on Flickr - Canon 50D


Taller de Otra Cosa by ramirezaponte, on Flickr - Leica M9P


Taller de Otra Cosa by ramirezaponte, on Flickr - Leica M9P


Taller de Otra Cosa by ramirezaponte, on Flickr - Leica M9P


Taller de Otra Cosa by ramirezaponte, on Flickr - Leica M9P


Taller de Otra Cosa by ramirezaponte, on Flickr - Canon 50D


Taller de Otra Cosa by ramirezaponte, on Flickr - Leica M9P


Taller de Otra Cosa by ramirezaponte, on Flickr - Canon 50D


Taller de Otra Cosa by ramirezaponte, on Flickr - Leica M9P


Taller de Otra Cosa by ramirezaponte, on Flickr - Leica M9P


Taller de Otra Cosa by ramirezaponte, on Flickr - Canon 50D


Taller de Otra Cosa by ramirezaponte, on Flickr - Canon 50D


Taller de Otra Cosa by ramirezaponte, on Flickr - Leica M9P


Taller de Otra Cosa by ramirezaponte, on Flickr - Canon 50D


Taller de Otra Cosa by ramirezaponte, on Flickr - Canon 50D

Cheers,

Antonio
 

Armanius

Bring Jack back!
Jan 11, 2011
Houston, Texas
Jack
Well done AJ! Excellent photos. You sure nailed the focus every time with the M9P! How close were you to the stage when you were sitting with the audience and using the M9P? Shooting with the Summarits?
 

ajramirez

Hall of Famer
Jul 9, 2010
Caguas, Puerto Rico
Antonio
Well done AJ! Excellent photos. You sure nailed the focus every time with the M9P! How close were you to the stage when you were sitting with the audience and using the M9P? Shooting with the Summarits?
Thanks, Armando. I was actually sitting fairly close, 20 - 30 feet away at most. We were actually sitting on beanbags on the Museum's courtyard, and the dancing took place on stage at times, but all around us at other times. Most of the M9P shots were done with the 50mm 2.8 Elmar M, and a few with the 90mm 2.5 and 35mm 2.5 Summarits.
 

Penfan2010

All-Pro
Jul 21, 2012
NJ, USA
Ed
AJ - great set, I love the photos. Very diverse set of dancers, it looks like a fun production. I like all the photos, but it is great that you captured the action and focus so well with your M9. Thanks for sharing.
 

Luckypenguin

Hall of Famer
Dec 24, 2010
Brisbane, Australia
Nic
I'm still a big fan of the 50D, but it just isn't practical for me anymore against much smaller and newer cameras. I don't think that I ever shot mine at ISO 6400, though.

Regardless, a wonderful collection of images whichever camera you were using.
 

ajramirez

Hall of Famer
Jul 9, 2010
Caguas, Puerto Rico
Antonio
I'm still a big fan of the 50D, but it just isn't practical for me anymore against much smaller and newer cameras. I don't think that I ever shot mine at ISO 6400, though.

Regardless, a wonderful collection of images whichever camera you were using.
Thanks, Nic. ISO 6400 is marked as H1 in the 50D as it is the first "extended" range speed. It really only should be used in an emergency, as the chroma noise is really significant and banding starts to creep in. But, noisy photos are better than no photos in most cases... :)

I keep thinking that I should replace the 50D with a more modern EOS body, but I really only use it for work for the Museum, and since it is not a paying gig, it's hard to justify the expense.

Cheers,

Antonio
 

Luckypenguin

Hall of Famer
Dec 24, 2010
Brisbane, Australia
Nic
I really should have sold my 50D about a year ago (and more to the point the few EF lenses I still have left), but I do get a bit sentimental about the old Canon and still use it from time to time* :) For that matter I also still have my battered looking 350D from 2005 which works as well as it ever did.
 

entropic remnants

Hall of Famer
Mar 3, 2013
John Griggs
This is an exact illustration of Robert Capa's statement about if your photos aren't interesting, you're not close enough. These really feel intimate and often put you right there almost as much IN the dance was just seeing it. Nicely done.
 

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