Leica Sensors - CCD vs CMOS

I posted this in an old CD vs CMOS thread and I am not sure it was seen. If it was and was boring, skip this. If it was not, read on. I plan to do more tests.

I have been interested in this discussion and am, honestly, personally fond of CCD over CMOS. But, laboring under the weight of education in these forums I decided to test the differences. I live in an area pretty much starved of sunshine, especially this year. However we did get a break with some sunshine in the last few days, now gone.

I shot a series of three images for each lens, f/2.8, f/5.6 and f/11. The lenses were Canon 28mm LTM f/2.8, Canon 35mm LTM F/2.0, Canon 50mm LTM f/1.8 and Jupiter 85mm LTM f/2.0. The cameras were M9 (CCD) and M240 (CMOS). The images are uncompressed DNG files without in-camera lens correction and at ISO 200, aperture priority. I was honestly surprised at the outcome of the raw DNG images.

The house in the photos is in the Alderbrook section of Astoria, Oregon. It is an interesting community, off by itself with some artists in it. This house was once a worker's shotgun home for mill workers. There is a string of them along this road. This particular one caught my eye for its colors and the quality of the rehab. Twenty years ago this house was borderline derelict. It is raised off the ground over what is called here a "summer basement." The house is on poles and beneath the house is packed earth or concrete. The vertical boards enclose the empty space which has no use other than to keep the home off the damp ground. The water table is very high and there are small drainage canals along here. The Columbia river is a few hundred yards behind the home.

These are the links:

Proton #1 Sensor Test - Google Drive


drive_2020q4_32dp.png
drive.google.com

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1OserqhHlhaySfAAWBU-SGpPNCmBQJbvj?usp=sharing
 
I looked at the results of the 28mm lens- and my belief is that the CMOS sensor showed more vignetting. The CCD sensors used in the M9 are Back-Side-Illuminated, and have almost 100% fill-factor with offset microlens arrays to collect light off angle. The CMOS sensor used in the M240 is front-side-illuminated. The difference- collecting light coming in at steep angles. This is also a problem for Fast lenses. Longer focal length lenses, stopping down the aperture, and retro-focus wide-angles alleviate this problem as the light falls on the sensor almost directly. This is why cameras want to have the lens type "dialed in" to run non-uniformity-correction on the image.
 

William Lewis

Top Veteran
Location
Hayward WI
Name
William Lewis
Hmm. That explains some of the unexpected vignetting that I get with my M240.

It does leave me wondering which of my pile is retro-focus and which is not, which will benefit most from stopping down, etc.

When you say "dialed in" is that the lens detection? Or is it something else I can do on my M240?

Thanks!
 
Dialed in- lens detection, either sensed or manually entered.
This raised a problem for me. I bought the LTM to M adapters with the grooves for 6-bit encoding and coded to what I thought was the most appropriate Leica lens codes. But I got dark, murky and sometimes dramatic results, more results than I had hoped for. Because of this I have stopped encoding lens profiles. Perhaps I can manually encode each lens to see what is the best choice for encoding and then paint the 6-bit grooves to reflect that. Something to consider short of buying a lot of Leica lenses.

One thing to point out is that the lens profile affects both JPG and DNG. On the one hand that makes good sense as both files are affected by the lens vignetting. On the other hand I thought that raw, in this case DNG, meant pristine and unmodified. I was wrong. The devil is in the details.
 

saladin

Regular
Name
Jason
The saturation, contrast and vibrancy is really cranked up on the M240 compared to the M9. Especially in the yellows on the railings. . I'm comparing image 317 to 146 in DXO PL.

I've long preferred CCD to the Cmos sensors for their more "organic" or "textured" look , whether that's real or imagined on my part doesn't really matter, it's just how I feel. But i do think later cmos sensors are reverting to more of a ccd look in some cases. I plan to one day buy an M8 , pair it with a Voigt 28mm Ultron "vintage" lens and be happy shooting CCD when the mood takes me.
 

rayvonn

Hall of Famer
Location
London
i do think later cmos sensors are reverting to more of a ccd look in some cases.
Really? What cameras are we talking about here? I always thought the early cmos sensors in the Nikon cameras from, say, D700 up to D800 had more of that look, certainly nicer to my subjective eye than later and more ‘capable’ cmos cameras generally.
 

albertk

Veteran
My M10-R with the CMOS sensor derived from a medium format leica sensor has a great color separation, fine details, superb shadow depiction. It is a big step beyond my previous CMOS-M240. But I always looked with awe at the organic, plastic quality of my first M8 CCD pictures.

The M10-R might compete picturally with the M9. But LRc has to do a lot of work, and uses its M10-R profile. But I am afraid the M9 with its CCD is still having the edge - images are more brilliant.

A problem I see is that these modern sensors - though measured as having low noise - still exhibit so much noise that the plasticity of objects is reduced, i.e. they become flat again.
 
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I don't know. Truly, you could pour all I know of camera technology into a thimble and still be able to jump in for a swim. I was surprised to see the better saturation of the M240 over the M9 in those two images. I use 308 from the M9 and 137 from the M240, both f/11 on the Canon 28mm f/2.8. The colors look more saturated and more as I remember them in the M240 photos. But the mind is a tricky organ. Maybe they look more like I want them to look. Were I to want a print I would go with 137 just for the color saturation.
 

albertk

Veteran
I looked at the results of the 28mm lens- and my belief is that the CMOS sensor showed more vignetting. The CCD sensors used in the M9 are Back-Side-Illuminated, and have almost 100% fill-factor with offset microlens arrays to collect light off angle. The CMOS sensor used in the M240 is front-side-illuminated. The difference- collecting light coming in at steep angles. This is also a problem for Fast lenses. Longer focal length lenses, stopping down the aperture, and retro-focus wide-angles alleviate this problem as the light falls on the sensor almost directly. This is why cameras want to have the lens type "dialed in" to run non-uniformity-correction on the image.
Interesting.
As I moved to the M10-R I noticed that the vignetting is less too. I even have the impression lenses are sharper (not only due to the higher resolution) but the way they depict is nicer (the main bokeh circle for some lenses). maybe I should sit down and show some images.
The Lumix S5 with its BSI is really a marvel in use, such as for the Jupiter-9. It looks "totally" different now.
 

albertk

Veteran
Not a fair comparison?

First a good standard old-fashioned CMOS shot:
LR013577.jpg
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Shadows increased a bit, to be honest. And some other things in the M10-R profile of LR.

Then a modern BSI-sensor
PS5_1207.jpg
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The same picture with the first camera showed it was muddier, but of course, the setting sun changes every minute.
Again and again, I see a BSI sensor does SHINE. More by itself, without processing. Is my experience. (Don't look at sharpness; with my profile settings here that is gone after uploading.)
And it does look more like a CCD.
 
The hard point here is the difference between "more like" and "just like." I favor the M9 sensor a lot. I just posted a string of five shots I took with an M9 and an Amotal, an unbeatable combo for me. But it may just be me. For those times when I want the best color I will go with the M9. When I want to be sure I get a pic I have an auto everything Sony with good color, but not quite as good as the M9, that I can use.
 
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