My new Leica X1 and our budding relationship

JanCdeRidder

Rookie
Aug 3, 2010
Fuerther more I would love to go out and take pictures with my X1, every gene in my body tells me to do so, but I simply don't have the time yet ... I'm a university prof. and have 3 students wishing to complete their doctorates over the summer season in which, being their tutor I am heavily involved. But I will certainly catch up and start taking and posting images in due course ....
 
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BBW

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 7, 2010
betwixt and between
BB
Thank you Jan, and I understand that it's often a difficult choice as to whether or not one posts photographs of one's children in today's world. It's unfortunate, but as they say "it is what it is".

As for taking photos with your X1, perhaps you can carry it with you on your way to and from the university, while you're walking? No matter when you take them, I'll be looking forward to seeing them - that I promise!
 

BBW

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Jul 7, 2010
betwixt and between
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This is all quite interesting. Today I had the experience for the first time where I really did feel the JPEG was superior to the RAW for a particular photograph. I spent a lot of time trying to "improve" the RAW version to be close to what I liked in the JPEG version. I'm not usually the "testing" type and I'm certainly not an authority on Aperture 3, but it has been interesting.

I keep coming back to the fact that what I want, personally, is the image that I think is good. I don't really care if it looks just exactly like life, though sometimes I do want it to. I want it to covey what I saw in my mind's eye. I think that sometimes I become so obsessed with zeroing in on how the image looks when I use the "loupe" - the magnifying glass" that is one of Aperture's tools, that I find myself worrying about whether or not it's too grainy or not...and I forget about the photograph as the image.

I don't know if anyone else can relate to this or not. What's interesting about this particular camera is how one can still get a worthy photo even at very high ISO speeds. I've tended to use Auto ISO and I can see that for some inside shots, that is not the wisest choice. So my X1 and I have a long way to go as I get to know her better. Yes, I do think of this camera as a her. I don't know why, but I do.

Here is a photo of my dog. I'm not suggesting that this is a work of art, but it's an example of the X1's jpeg taken f/2.8 @ 1/500th ISO 320 with an EV of -0.3, for interest's sake.

 

kathyh

Veteran
Jul 13, 2010
Ottawa, Canada
Kathy
What a handsome fellow. I find that using auto ISO has the advantage of giving you access to intermediate ISO settings. I note in this picture the ISO is 320 for instance. If you set the ISO yourself, you only have a choice of 200 or 400.
 

BBW

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 7, 2010
betwixt and between
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Thanks, Kathy - he is a handsome fellow and a good one, too.

The incremental ISO is unusual isn't it? The one thing that I've found about Auto ISO is that it is not so great for inside photos. Honestly, I didn't even think about changing it. I'm going to post a couple of photos I took at 1600.









They're all on my Flickr page, so if anyone wants to they can click on them to view them larger. The two middle photos of my daughter on the couch are from the same original RAW file, but I changed them to b & w in Aperture 3. One of these days, soon, I'm going to try Silver Efex and see what that is like. When I look at the cropped in one of my husband sitting at his computer, there's a great deal of "grain". I don't know if this is "bad" or not. I am sure that if I'd set the ISO to a lower speed on that one in particular that it would have come out better. The same is true for that last one of my daughter, but even with its less than stellar clarity, I still like this photograph of her.

How have you found the higher ISO shots? I know I've taken some even higher, but these are the most recent.
 

bbodine9

Regular
Jul 11, 2010
I personally think those photos speak very well of the Leica X1. Gosh I remember shooting film and never being able to go over ISO400 with the color film I used from Kodak and now we all (myself included) worry about how clean a photo will be at ISO 3200. Your photos demonstrate to me that it should no longer be a concern and perhaps we are all a little spoiled in this digital age. I think the grain/noise in the photo of your husband is totally acceptable as I would prefer not to have the flash look but rather natural light as you have shown. Keep posting, I am enjoying your adventure with the new camera.

Regards,

Bruce
 
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BBW

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Jul 7, 2010
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Thank you, Bruce, you comments are very thoughtful and helpful. I'm new to digital and to this kind of thing but my hope was and is that someone else might be wondering about the same things and that I'd gain a better understanding about photography as I am attempting it these days be hearing from people like you and others who have the time and interest to respond. So I really do appreciate your post very much.:flowers_2:
 

kathyh

Veteran
Jul 13, 2010
Ottawa, Canada
Kathy
The last photo of your daughter is stunning as it is. To have any flash would take away its special quality. I don't use high ISO much as I've been using the X1 outdoors in good light mostly. I'll try and find some higher ISO ones and post them.

My G1 has intermediate ISO settings so I find the fact that the X1 doesn't a little surprising particularly since you can get them using auto ISO.
 
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BBW

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Jul 7, 2010
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Thanks, Kathy. I'm lucky that both my husband and daughter don't mind my taking their photographs. I hope that eventually I'll be a bit faster on the draw, so to speak.

The intermediate ISO settings only by Auto is another little fascinating tidbit.
 

Boyzo

Veteran
Jul 14, 2010
Congrats BB you did it :)

Nice anecdotal background story to your eventual decision to push the buy button.

With just one fixed lens you don't have the distraction of so many lenses like I have ;-) so you can concentrate on using the lenses field of view to compose and capture images as you go about.

Probably a camera to use a lot and to learn how to "see" with it and of course capture rich dynamic images when occasion's arise

Enjoy...

John
 
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BBW

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Jul 7, 2010
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Thanks nippa. I just did a search and found this from CNET's Crave blog Leica: Nikon to announce APS-C-sized sensor compact? - Digital Cameras - Crave - CNET Asia from September 15, 2009
At Leica's launch event for the M9 and X1 held in Singapore yesterday, Sunil Kaul, regional director of Asia Pacific for Leica Camera AG, mentioned that the X1 uses an APS-C-sized imaging sensor. According to Kaul, this sensor is manufactured by Sony, and is apparently going to be used in one of Nikon's upcoming cameras which he cannot disclose...
 

BBW

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Jul 7, 2010
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Three images from last nights party that worked out completely different than I intended...

All cropped, all X1
Jan thanks for these three - their coloration and quality of light have a real throwback feeling, which I like. And, of course, your zeroing in on that guitar was just right!:cool:
 

BBW

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Jul 7, 2010
betwixt and between
BB
X1 in camera B&W JPEG vs RAW "shoot off"

Here's another bit of experimenting that I tried out the other day, but only just got around looking at.

The same photograph. One version is the in camera black and white JPEG, while the other is the camera's RAW color version. It was a very contrasty scene. I may very well not have exposed it as well as I should have but I'm glad I have the photos anyway. I like the black and white one better, personally. It's kind of fun to try out both out. As I may have mentioned already, at present I only use Aperture 3 but I keep meaning to try out Silver Efex and just need to bite the bullet, even though I think it has to run in 32 bit mode...but I digress.

Here we go. This is my husband, enjoying the watering...of, um, that Shell globe?:wink:

View attachment 29223

Both, obviously, taken at f/8 1/100th ISO 100 -1.3ev

 

BBW

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Jul 7, 2010
betwixt and between
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Still here, enjoying my blossoming "affair" with the Lady X - and I continue to be impressed by what depth she has! I think most of us would agree that the X1 is a very nice looking camera, very simple, yet tasteful in its design. Some might decry it as a point and shoot, however I suppose these are the same people that would look askance at just about any other compact camera with a "fixed lens".

While trying out the X1's different modes of operation, what I remain amazed by is the camera's talents at bringing out incredible details. I'm talking about scenes in which there are some real extremes in lighting. Kathy posted an example of how she plumbed similar depths and saved a shot that she'd taken off the cuff, without realizing her settings were way off. Pretty impressive stuff that mirrors my own experiences using this camera in settings where I've exposed for the highlights by either using a very negative EV compensation, or manually exposing in a similar way... Later on I'll post a couple of examples of before and after, and a night flash photo, etc., if I can. Unfortunately, I've been having some problems since the recent RAW update for Aperture 3... Won't bore you with it here, but it's setting my learning curve back a bit.

Meanwhile, I really need to get some sort of case or pouch for this camera...and an LCD protector.:wink:
 

BBW

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Jul 7, 2010
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An example the X1's RAW depth in our backyard garden

Even with my Aperture weirdness since the RAW update (that should not have touched the X1's files since it was already supported), I have an example of what I mean about the X1's depth. That may not be the proper terminology, but here you go. Same photo taken at f/9 @ 1/500th ISO 400.

First the original RAW file, of course we know it is showing up as a jpeg...


and then with a few improvements via Aperture 3



I am sure if everything was running right, I could improve upon this one. I could have brought up the shadows much, much more, but am letting it stay as such until my software gets back to normal.

P.S. Here is again - I figured I'd try bringing out the shadow areas more. There's still plenty of "room" for me to do more with this image.

 

BBW

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Jul 7, 2010
betwixt and between
BB
A night time flash photo converted to B&W via Aperture 3

View attachment 29240
f/2.8 @ 1/30th ISO 3200 with flash

I really had no idea what I was doing, just popped the flash up and took the shot. Now if I hadn't had the camera on ISO Auto, things might well have been better. Slowly but surely I fumble forward...but have fun doing it.

P.S. I've posted some other photos taken with the camera in the Image Threads forums, as well and hope other people will too - with their cameras, be they an X1 or any other serious compact.:2thumbs:
 

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