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Going, going, almost gone: NEC PA243W Wide Gamut Pro Display with Eye-Friendly Ultra-Low Pixel Density

re: NEC PA302W

Displays with eye-friendly pixel density for evaluating images are going, going, almost gone.

To understand the utility of a display that is not 4K or 5K, see:

Plan ahead and make your life easier before you cannot find them any more. Even large 4K displays like the 31-inch PA311D-BK-SV are pushing 149 ppi. That’s pushing the limits of pixel density for image evaluation, though it is viable, just.

Displays like the iMac 5K are 220 ppi, making it difficult to evaluate image sharpness subtleties, evaluate how much sharpening, etc.

NEC PA243W discontinued and discounted

Full specs on NEC PA243W

At an eye-friendly 93 ppi (pixels per inch) the NEC PA243W is an ideal display for evaluating image sharpness. Yes, I prefer the much larger 31-inch NEC PA302W (110 ppi), but that one is long discontinued. Ditto for the NEC PA272W.

The excellent gamut and professional color calibration of the NEC PA243W seal the deal. Grab one before these discontinued PA243W disappear.

IMPORTANT: unless you already have the NEC color calibration stuff, get the "SV" model, which includes the SpectraView color calibration hardware and software.

Now $300 off at B&H Photo: NEC PA243W-SV 16:10 Wide Gamut IPS Monitor
See also: NEC MultiSync Screen LCD Monitor 24" (PA243W-SV) @AMAZON.

OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock
Ideal for any Mac with Thunderbolt 3


Dual Thunderbolt 3 ports
USB 3 • USB-C
Gigabit Ethernet
5K and 4K display support plus Mini Display Port
Analog sound in/out and Optical sound out

Works on any Mac with Thunderbolt 3

Adobe Photoshop: Vertical Line Artifacts after Smart Sharpen on Apple MacBook Pro M1 Max

re: Apple MacBook Pro M1 Max

The 2021 MacBook Pro M1 Max is rip-roaring fast, crushing Intel-based Macs.

There is one big problem however, and that is a bug that causes Smart Sharpen to create unusable artifacts, which to work around requires OpenCL to be turned off, which makes it run on a single CPU core about 3.5X more slowly.

As the single most important Photoshop filter (to me at least), that makes the MBP M1 Max a dog for my Photoshop work until this bug is fixed.

Of course the bug will be fixed and even better Adobe has yet to optimize Photoshop for the M1 Max chip—you might get a speed upgrade in a few months.

Adobe Support: Weird Vertical Lines when using Smart Sharpen and "Use Graphic Processor" Turned on Monterey

We're investigating this issue. It's a Monterey specific GPU driver issue. As a workaround, Go to Preferences > Performance... then choose "Advanced Settings" and uncheck "Use OpenCL" then restart Photoshop.

Example

I have reproduced the bug on macOS Monterey 12.2 with Photoshop 23.1.1.

As shown below in an actual-pixels crop, the lines are 1024 pixels apart, which would correspond to the tile size. Looks like some kind of off-by-one error.

Vertical lines after Smart Sharpen in Adobe Photoshop on macOS Monterey on 2021 MacBook Pro M1 Max

 

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TESTED: Apple 2021 MacBook Pro M1 Max — a Stunning Performer That Crushes Intel-Based Macs

re: Why a Desktop Computer is Often Better than a Laptop
re: Apple MacBook Pro M1

2021 MacBook Pro M1 Max

Extensive comparative testing is now finished, and the results are stunning in favor of the 2021 MacBook Pro M1 Max.

The few exceptions are when all 28 cores of high-end 2019 Mac Pro can be brought to bear. More standard Mac Pros (8/10/12/14 cores) would lose to the M1 Max, which is a stinkin' laptop consuming 1/10 the power—OMG. Just wait until we have a 20-core M1 Max!

Big thanks to B&H Photo for loaning the 16" MacBook Pro 10-core 64GB/4TB/32GPU (APMBP16SG26).

The OWC USB-C TRAVEL DOCK E was sure handy, allowing me to connect gigabit ethernet and a mouse.

Use the B&H Payboo card to save the sales tax. Thanks for buying through this site at OWC/MacSales.com and B&H Photo.

CLICK TO VIEW: Apple MacBook Pro 16" with M1 Max chip

CLICK TO VIEW: Add-on Storage from Large to Huge

CLICK TO VIEW: External SSD for backup or more space

CLICK TO VIEW: OWC Thunderbolt Hub, Dock, cables or Apple Macs

TESTED: Apple 2021 MacBook Pro M1 Max

Consult with Lloyd for any kind of computer purchase, RAID setup, backup strategy, Photoshop optimization, etc.

Big thanks to B&H Photo for loaning the 16" MacBook Pro 10-core 64GB/4TB/32GPU (APMBP16SG26). Extensive comparative testing is now finished, and the results are stunning.

Extensive comparative testing covering 19 pages details the amazing results.

Review pages for 2021 MacBook Pro M1 Max

The results are unbelievably fast. Intel has a lot of catching-up to do.

Take focus stacking as just one example: at best, the 28-core Mac Pro* ekes out about a 19% time reduction over the 2021 MacBook Pro M1 Max on the larger job (only 10% for the smaller one).The 2021 MacBook Pro M1 Max is stunning! But most Mac Pros will have 8/10/12/16 cores and that means the MacBook Pro would easily BEAT them.

* A 28-core CPU is a $7000 (seven thousand) dollar upgrade from the 8-core CPU! Even the 12-core CPU is a $2000 upgrade! But the MacBook Pro M1 Max would crush the 8/12/16 core models here!

Apple MacBook Pro 16.2" M1 Max 64GB/4TB
IN STOCK

Most Powerful MacBook Pro ever!.

Consult with Lloyd on what to buy!


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Adobe: “OpenCL and OpenGL are dead on macOS”

This is relevant to tests I’m about to post regarding the Apple 2021 MacBook Pro M1 Max, because OpenCL gave me fits in testing.

Everything written in OpenCL is being rewritten for Metal on macOS this year. OpenCL and OpenGL are dead.

I believe SmartSharpen is at the top of the list to move to Metal off of OpenCL.

OpenCL is a mixed bag. It’s actuallly slower than using CPUs for some Photoshop filters, but for Smart Sharpen it is a major win.


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Did I See a Pacific Fisher (Pekania Pennanti)?

UPDATE: as per some comments and most web search, it seems I was hallucinating, since neither a Pacific Fisher (Pekania Pennanti aka polecat) or Humboldt Marten is supposed to range into my area. If so, my hallucination was vivid and detailed and an excellent match for a Pacific Fisher.

I was hoping to report the sighting to an appropriate wildlife biologist, but I’ve not been able to find any contact.

At this point, I am now 90% certain that what I saw was a Pacific Fisher.

Similar in size to a domestic cat, fishers weigh between 2 and 5.5 kilograms (4 to 12 pounds) and are members of the mustelid family along with otter, mink, marten, wolverine, and badger. The fur of a fisher is very thick, soft, and shiny, has a distinct musky smell, and ranges in color from light blond to a rich, dark brown.

And per Wikipedia:

Recent studies, as well as anecdotal evidence, show that fishers have begun making inroads into suburban backyards, farmland, and periurban areas in several US states and eastern Canada...

Original post and comments below...

Riding my bike yesterday, I am pretty sure what I saw was the endangered Humbolt Marten.

A creature that in 30 years I have never before seen in my neighborhood.

Low-slung and the size of a house cat, it was not a bobcat, not a housecat, not a fox, not a coyote, not a mink, not an otter—that much was obvious. Its large/long fluffy tail was streamed out behind it and the tail seemed nearly as long as its body, and of fairly large diameter. Coloration orange/brown or similar. A very handsome animal and clearly a fast predator.

I was doing 20 mph downhill on my bike and being tailgated by a car, plus the animal was running at full tilt at 90° to me across the road. So I only got a second or two for a visual impression, but it was right in the middle of the lane for excellent size context, about 30 feet ahead of me.

The length seems right and the color description matches, but the animal I would have guessed at several kilos, so that seems off. OTOH, it looked relatively fluffy so it could have been much lighter than it looked and it was lightning fast. And if not a match, what would it have been?

Of the two subspecies that occur in California, the Humboldt marten is darker with richer golden tone overall and with less orange and yellow in the throat patch... It also has a smaller skull, and smaller and less crowded premolars and molars than the Sierra subspecies (Ibid.). One male Humboldt marten captured in mid-fall that had molted into winter pelage had brighter overall reddish brown coloration, dense fur on its underside, and dense fur around the pads of the feet...

Adult American martens weigh from 500-1400 grams and are 500-680 mm long (Buskirk and McDonald 1989). Sexual dimorphism is pronounced, with males being 20-40 percent larger than females.

And yet, it seems a stretch, since there are no known populations in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Don C writes:

If it’s bigger than a marten, it’s probably a fisher. And of course, individuals vary / are juvenile.

A fisher does not seem any more likely than a marten, as per nps.gov:

...only two native populations survive in California, one near the California-Oregon border and one in the southern Sierra Nevada

...but the size and color are a good match. I saw what I saw, even if I am not supposed to see it here. I am now certain it was a Pacific Fisher—everything matches.

Zoe at wildtrack.org writes:

I have passed your observation on to a friend of ours who works on Fisher and Marten in California. She might be able to help. If she can't, we know a tracker community in CA who might. Next time if you can find a footprint, even after the animal has gone, we can run some diagnostics! Here's the protocol for taking footprint images: https://wildtrack.org/example-footprints/

DIGLLOYD: the above was a response to an email inquiry. There are no tracks to be found on a paved road. The animal was within 100 yards of a heavily wooded creek area. It is also a residential area but with large (1 acre) lots with lots of trees along the creek section and with good tree cover.


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Leica 28mm f/2 Summicron-M ASPH Dual Aperture Series: Bare Branches Riparian Tree (Leica M11)

This aperture series from f/2 through f/11 looks at overall behavior of the Leica 28mm f/2 Summicron-M ASPH on the 60-megapixel MP Leica M11.

Focus shift is examined in detail, including the use of two full aperture series to show how biasing focus position works out versus focusing stopped down. The two different series and apertures give us good insight into peak performance. It is also a tutorial of sorts on how to mitigate focus shift.

Leica 28mm f/2 Summicron-M ASPH Aperture Series: Bare Branches Riparian Tree

Includes images at up to full camera resolution from f/2 to f/11 for two focus positions (two full series), plus size match for Leica M10-R, plus crops.

View:Leica M wishlist andVoigtlander for Leica M andZeiss for Leica M

f4 @ 1/8 sec electronic shutter, ISO 64; 2022-01-15 14:52:13
LEICA M11 + Leica 28mm f/2 Summicron-M ASPH
ENV: Alpine Creek, altitude 510 ft / 155 m, 58°F / 14°C
RAW: LACA corrected, +20 Whites, +15 Clarity
focused at f/4

[low-res image for bot]

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Leica 28mm f/1.4 Summilux-M ASPH Aperture Series: Big Laurel At Alpine Creek (Leica M11)

Can a 28/1.4 lens with all its compromises for that one extra stop of (useless?) speed deliver solid results on the Leica M11? And at what apertures?

This aperture series from f/1.4 through f/11 looks at near-far and across-the-frame sharpness for the Leica 28mm f/1.4 Summilux-M ASPH on the 60-megapixel MP Leica M11.

Leica 28mm f/1.4 Summilux-M ASPH Aperture Series: Big Laurel At Alpine Creek

Includes images at up to full camera resolution from f/1.4 to f/11, plus size match for Leica M10-R.

View:Leica M wishlist andVoigtlander for Leica M andZeiss for Leica M

f2.8 @ 1/13 sec electronic shutter, ISO 64; 2022-01-15 15:39:36
LEICA M11 + Leica 28mm f/1.4 Summilux-M ASPH
ENV: Alpine Creek, altitude 500 ft / 152 m, 58°F / 14°C
RAW: LACA corrected, vignetting corrected, +20 Whites, +10 Clarity

[low-res image for bot]

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Leica 24mm f/3.8 Elmar-M ASPH Aperture Series: Big Laurel At Alpine Creek (Leica M11)

Can a ultra compact 24mm lens deliver solid results on the Leica M11? And at what aperture?

This aperture series from f/3.8 through f/11 looks at near-far and across-the-frame sharpness for the Leica 24mm f/3.8 Elmar-M ASPH on the 60-megapixel MP Leica M11.

Leica 24mm f/3.8 Elmar-M ASPH Aperture Series: Big Laurel At Alpine Creek

Includes images at up to full camera resolution from f/3.8 to f/11, plus size match for Leica M10-R.

Leica has discontinued the 24/3.8 and its 24/1.4 sibling. The only high-grade equivalent I am aware of is the Zeiss ZM 25mm f/2.8 Biogon.

View:Leica M wishlist andVoigtlander for Leica M andZeiss for Leica M

f8 @ 0.7 sec electronic shutter, ISO 64; 2022-01-15 16:04:14
LEICA M11 + Leica 24mm f/3.8 Elmar-M ASPH
ENV: Alpine Creek, altitude 500 ft / 152 m, 58°F / 14°C
RAW: LACA corrected, vignetting corrected, +20 Whites, +10 Clarity, diffraction mitigating sharpening

[low-res image for bot]

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Leica 18mm f/3.8 Super-Elmar-M ASPH Aperture Series: Big Laurel At Alpine Creek (Leica M11)

Can a ultra compact 18mm lens deliver solid results on the Leica M11? And at what aperture?

This aperture series from f/3.8 through f/11 looks at near-far and across-the-frame sharpness for the Leica 18mm f/3.8 Super-Elmar-M ASPH on the 60-megapixel MP Leica M11.

Leica 18mm f/3.8 Super-Elmar-M ASPH Aperture Series: Big Laurel At Alpine Creek

Includes images at up to full camera resolution from f/3.8 to f/11, plus size match for Leica M10-R.

Leica has discontinued the 18/3.8 SEM, and I’m glad I kept mine. The nearest things are the Leica 16-18-21mm f/4 Tri-Elmar-M ASPH, Leica 21mm f/3.4 Super-Elmar-M ASPH, Voigtlander M 21mm f/1.4 Aspheric, Zeiss ZM 15mm f/2.8 Distagon, Zeiss ZM 18mm f/2.8 Distagon (discontinued), Zeiss ZM 21mm f/2.8 Distagon.

View:Leica M wishlist andVoigtlander for Leica M andZeiss for Leica M

f8 @ 1.0 sec electronic shutter, ISO 64; 2022-01-15 16:09:40
LEICA M11 + Leica 18mm f/3.8 Super-Elmar-M ASPH
ENV: Alpine Creek, altitude 500 ft / 152 m, 58°F / 14°C
RAW: LACA corrected, vignetting corrected, pull 0.17 stops, +20 Whites, +10 Clarity, diffraction mitigating sharpening

[low-res image for bot]

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Leica M11 ISO Series: ISO 64 to ISO 50000, Comparing 60MP L-DNG to 36MP M-DNG

This page looks at noise from ISO 64 to ISO 50000 at Leica M11 60MP full resolution (L-DNG).

ISOS 64, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12500, 25000, 50000 are shown, both with and without chroma noise reduction.

Leica M11 ISO Series from 64 to 50000, L-DNG vs M-DNG

Additionally, the separate red/green/blue color channels are also shown, again with and without chroma noise reduction. It’s important to see how good the individual channels are looking, especially for those looking to do high-ISO monochrome conversions.

Up next is comparing 60MP L-DNG and 36MP M-DNG to 18MP S-DNG.

Comparing ISO 64 to ISO 50K in color and monochrome for 60MP and 36MP captures

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Beware of Claims for Apple MacBook Pro M1 Max Speed Gains Over Intel! OpenCL on/off can be win/lose

UPDATE: regarding the original post below: well, I goofed—Open CL was turned off for all the machines, causing the GPU to not be used for Smart Sharpen. I had turned it off because of stability issues some time ago. Still, what follows below is still correct for the MacBook Pro in terms of CPU usage, should you turn off OpenCL. And it’s strange that an emulated Photoshop (Intel version via Rosetta) is just about as fast as the GPU.

But in the course of comparing OpenCL on vs off on the MBP, I found that for some filters OpenCL is actually slower when enabled than disabled! Sometimes a little, and sometimes a shit-ton: my Noise filters (Dust And Scratches and related) are running 4.4X slower with OpenCL enabled! Also, with OpenCL enabled, I am seeing erratic (varying and slowing) times across iterations of a test. What a mess!

I also see both poor CPU and poor GPU usage on the MBP M1 Max in some tests, suggesting that even better results should be possible. This cake looks not quite baked.

... Original post...

The Smart Sharpen filter is the #1 most important filter I use in Photoshop. Nothing else comes close, and it is the thing that most often makes me wait.

So along come claims (including Adobe) saying that the Apple MacBook Pro M1 Max is 1.5X faster than Intel-based Macs for Photoshop. That might be true for some Consumer Reports-style weighting of filters I never use and most people are likely to never use (Distort or Pixellate, anyone?). Dropping context of what matters.

My tests show that the M1 Max wins handily for Lens Corrections, Distort, Blur, Pixellate, Noise and various others, by a little or a lot. But I don’t use any of those filters! So their weighting/relevance is a zero as far as what photographers are likely to care about.

But Photoshop Smart Sharpen on Apple Silicon is a big loser*. And this is Apple’s fastest model. Ditto for hashing speed, which is slower than a 7-year-old 4-core Intel laptop.

This is not a hardware fault; in this case it looks like Adobe has goofed (a bug).

So while the Apple M1 Max chip can be very fast (amazingly so) for most everything and perhaps the biggest leap in computing performance I have witnessed in 30 years, it also underperforms for a few things. Nearly all of the time it is incredibly fast. But what if your most common Photoshop Filter is 3.5X slower?

Why is Photoshop Smart Sharpen single threaded on Apple Silicon?

On my 2019 iMac 5K, all the CPU cores get used for Smart Sharpen, see image further below.

But Smart Sharpen with openCL disabled is single-threaded on Apple Silicon in Photoshop (only one CPU core is used). Looks like a BUG. The good news is that maybe Adobe will fix it. And maybe not—maybe it is assumed that the GPU with OpenCL does the trick.

Ironically, running PS in emulation mode (Rosetta emulation) is 3.2X faster, with a time of 11.0 seconds with 6.5 CPU cores used! Looks like a bug in the threading code in Photoshop. And it’s not the only area—fast as it is, Enhance Details makes poor use of CPU cores also.

If it were fixed to use all 8 high performance CPU cores *and* it scales efficiently, it ought to be about 7X faster, plummeting the 35.4 second figure shown below to about 5.1 seconds, which would be about twice as fast as even the 28-core 2019 Mac Pro. If it were to scale perfectly and to use the 2 efficiency cores also, it would plummet to about 4 seconds.

Below, the MacBook Pro M1 Max single-threaded Smart Sharpen makes it 3.5X to 2.5X slower than other Intel Macs.

Photoshop Smart Sharpen: 3 Intel Macs vs Apple MacBook Pro M1 Max

Below, the CPU utilization for Photoshop Smart Sharpen* is a single CPU core, at best. Graph shows all system activity of all cores while a large Smart Sharpen is happening.

* Battery => Energy Usage = High Power, Photoshop CC 2022 v23.1.1

Photoshop Smart Sharpen: CPU utilization on Apple MacBook Pro M1 Max

Reader Adam S wondered if Smart Sharpen might be faster with Photoshop running as Intel code on the M1 Max (Rosetta emulation). Indeed, doing so causes PS to use all the CPU cores somewhat (about 6.5 CPU cores in total). And it drops the time to 11.0 seconds from 35.4 seconds, or 3.2X faster—emulated! But everything else feels sluggish.

Photoshop Smart Sharpen: CPU utilization on Apple MacBook Pro M1 Max

Below, Photoshop uses all the CPU cores for Smart Sharpen. More than all the 8 real CPU cores are used.

Photoshop Smart Sharpen: CPU utilization on Apple 2019 iMac 5K

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macOS Monterey Displaying some DNG Files with massive Color Smearing / Desaturation

More Apple Core Rot? Or Leica issue?

Reader Stefan Dietrich writes:

Just as an FYI, please feel free to use images attached for your blog if you think it’s worthwhile.

I just want people to know that DNG files don’t show correct when using Apple Preview or Apple Photo in Monterey. It least it’s the case for my Leica M-P Typ 240 camera’s DNG files. It’s something really weird with the color Chanels.

Please see attached the original DNG file and the DNG file after it ran through Adobe DNG converter (both converted for email compression only). If you zoom into the airplane, you see it blurred in the original, but the converted one is sharp and the colors are back

It happens with Apple Preview, but it also happens when you import the image into Apple’s photo app. The original is blurry, the converted one is correct. Not sure if you see the same with DNGs from other Leica, e.g. the new M11.

I have reported this to Apple months ago, but haven’t received a response. In my opinion, it’s probably a bug in Monterey, but somehow doesn’t get attention.

...Just realized, my old MacBook Air runs still High Sierra. No issue there, seems to be a Monterey issue.

[followup] I downloaded some sample DNG files from the web that I could find, and it looks like it’s really only happening with the DNGs from M (Typ 240). It’s definitely not an issue with the firmware of the M240. I have the latest, and the DNGs on the web were done with older versions, all show the same problem on Monterey. But I did not see it happening with Leica DNG files from the Q, Q2, SL or M10 that I found. Highly mysterious.

DIGLLOYD: I have verified the issue on my 2019 Mac Pro running macOS Monterey. It applies to Preview or Finder preview or most anything, it seems.

Also confirmed that if the original DNG is run through Adobe DNG Converter, then the converted DNG (DNG to DNG!) is previewed properly. A godawful solution, because it destroys both creation and modification dates.

I am not seeing the issue with Leica M11 DNG. I haven’t gone and checked any older/other M-camera files.

There is smearing, removal of most colors, and wide haloes around things—out of control noise reduction and massively heavy-handed image processing? Yes, it seems. The one below looks like a monochrome image with a blue overlay, as if one of the “artistic” modes effects were being applied. The 2nd image with bright oranges shows similar effects with a wide smearing of color, . Accordingly, I don’t think it is a color channel thing leaving out colors.

Toggle to compare.

f8 @ 1/1000 sec, ISO 200; 2021-10-09 13:18:35
LEICA M (Typ 240) + Leica 90mm f/4 Macro-Elmar-M

[low-res image for bot]
f10 @ 1/500 sec, ISO 200; 2022-01-20 13:54:19
LEICA M240 + Leica 35mm f/2 Summicron-M ASPH

[low-res image for bot]
Save Big $$$$ on Memory for 2019 Mac Pro

Up to 65% better pricing than Apple

Lloyd recommends 32GB RDIMM modules for most users (more expensive LRDIMMS are for 512GB or more).


Leica M11 ISO Series: ISO 64 to ISO 50000, With/Without Chroma Noise Reduction, RGB and R/G/B Color Channels

It took me longer than expected, because I had to code-up some javascript to efficiently generate the large number of variants; in Photoshop there is no all-at-once way to extract or save an individual color channel as monochrome for 24 layers X 5 variants each (120 variants!).

This page looks at noise from ISO 64 to ISO 50000 at Leica M11 60MP full resolution (L-DNG).

ISOS 64, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12500, 25000, 50000 are shown with two crops each, both with and without chroma noise reduction.

Leica M11 ISO Series from 64 to 50000

Additionally, the separate red/green/blue color channels are also shown, again with and without chroma noise reduction. It’s important to see how good the individual channels are looking, especially for those looking to do high-ISO monochrome conversions.

Up next is comparing 60MP L-DNG to 36MP M-DNG to 18MP S-DNG.

Comparing ISO 64 to ISO 50K in color and monochrome
In stock as of 9 AM Jan 13

Leica M11 Electronic Shutter: what is the Sensor Readout Transit Time?

re: Blur and Image Deformation with Fully Electronic Shutter
re: Fujifilm GFX100: Sensor Readout Transit Time for 16-bit vs 14-bit Capture

John F writes:

Leica M11

Do you have any thoughts about the M11 sensor? Is it a stacked sensor? What is the scan rate of digital data? The Sony A1 is 1/260 per second, hence eliminating rolling shutter distortions. I’ve read the M11 electronic shutter should be used mainly on stationary subjects. What is the likelihood of rolling shutter distortions?

[later] Since then Jonathan Slack answered my question. The scan rate is 1/10th of a second, like the Sony 7R4. The Sony A1 scans at 1/260th of a second. The M11, I’d say, has the Sony A7R4 sensor. Slack said the electronic shutter is good for shootingstationary or slow moving subjects and shooting in bright sunlight wide open without needing a ND filter. 

DIGLLOYD: a scan rate of 1/10 second = 100 milliseconds is unattractive. It means you cannot shoot handheld with ES without getting at least subtle image deformation, even at 1/16000 shutter speed. And it means that even tripod-based images are subject to it (wind, movement, etc). Still, it was not so terrible on the Sony A7R IV and generally went unnoticed for me.

There are also bokeh effects of a slow ES with fast lenses (f/1.4, a tiny bit for f/2); see Effect of Shutter Type on Bokeh vs Shutter Speed and Aperture.

Post as written before learning the scan rate...

I don’t know that Leica has released few specifics about the sensor, only that it is BSI (backside illuminated). I’m guessing it is a derivative of the Sony A7R IV sensor, but without PDAF pixels. Beacuse the resolution and pixel pitch (3.76 microns) are identical.

Regrettably I forgot to check the sensor transit time for the Leica M11. I’ve asked the reader who loaned it to me to shoot a frame for me under LED lighting with a subject that will show how many bands appear at 120 Hz lighting.

The sensor transit time is how long it takes the camera to read-out the sensor. The shutter speed is irrelevant; you might have 1/8000 second in use but it will still take 1/30 second to read-out the sensor if that is the sensor transit time. Images free from the smearing/distortion “jello effect must avoid movement within the readout time window.

Leica offers a “hybrid shutter” option, perhaps to address the concern. But not necessarily so.

I’m guessing something on the order of 1/30 second for the Leica M11, but if the 1/180 second flash sync is electronic (not specified), then it would obviously be at least 1/180 second... but I’d bet that it is mechanical sync. The 4.5fps max shooting speed is likely a limitation of general processing speed, and likely not indicative of a 222ms (1/5 second) readout.

The sensor transit time is crucial for avoiding the “jello” effect with video (M11 does no video), but it also matters for still images. Camera like the Fujifilm GFX100 have an excessively slow sensor transit time which also varies by bit depth. Images can be visibly warped if things are moving.

The Sony A1 has such a fast sensor transit time (1/260 second or so), that I shoot it with electronic shutter exclusively.

Horizontal imaging artifacts under 120Hz LED lighting, Fujifilm GFX100

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Leica M11 Appears to Be Doing Lossless Compressed DNG, for Solid Savings

I am pleased to see that the Leica M11 appears to be delivering lossless-compressed DNG.

That’s slick, since the Leica SL2 produces only uncompressed DNG as far as I can tell, its file sizes varying only a few percent, depending on the embedded JPEG.

The evidence is irrefutable: for the exact-same capture varying only by ISO, the file sizes steadily increase with ISO. The explanation is that because of the increasing noise (increasing randomness, greater entropy), which makes it harder and harder for data compression to compress the files.

File size is also a crude but inescapable metric for total captured detail.

Compressed file size at ISO 64 is around 78MB, for an approximate savings of at around 25%, relative to the total file size (which includes EXIF, embedded JPEG, etc ).

If the were uncompressed the minimum file size for its 14-bit files would be 105MB (14/8*60) or more likely, 120MB. Plus the additional stuff and an embedded JPEG.

And of course one could just read the technical specifications!
DNG (raw data, loss-free compression), DNG + JPG, JPG (DCF, EXIF 2.30)

       
Leica M11

Reader Comment: Leica M11 “compelling samples not helping my resolution to stay strong and not buy any new gear in 2022”

Eeraj Q writes:

Leica M11

Your compelling samples on the M11 with my two favorite M lenses, the Voigtlander VM 50mm f/2 APO-Lanthar, and Zeiss ZM 35mm f/1.4 Distagon, are not helping my resolution to stay strong and not buy any new gear in 2022!

I bought both of these lenses based on your recommendation and am beyond impressed. I would say that the ZM 35 while (perhaps) falling a bit short wide open on the 60 MP as you demonstrate, has the best "feel" to the images. Hard to quantify but visible to my eyes. The subject matter is great too - the mysterious forest with greens makes for painting like imagery.

Always like how you find interesting subjects. Much better than charts or brick walls.

ny chance of M11 + Elmar 24 samples?

DIGLLOYD: I too am lusting over an M11, especially since its monochrome potential looks to be possibly the best ever in any 35mm-format camera—but I need more subject matter variety to confirm it. Cost puts it out of reach for me but maybe I can borrow it again.

View:Leica M wishlist andVoigtlander for Leica M andZeiss for Leica M

The Zeiss ZM 35mm f/1.4 Distagon is good at f/1.4 and f/2, better than what Leica offers at f/1.4 (Leica 35/1.4 Summilux-M ASPH), but yeah it shows limits that f/2.8 cleans up nicely—but beautiful rendering. Stopped down it’s outstanding, fully capable on the 60MP sensor. And once you see the wider lenses, you’ll understand just how impressive it is—wide angles are a weak point for Leica M, and have been since the M240.

Regrettably the limited time with the M11 (48 hours) meant no time ad-hoc shots to cover all these lenses below, but I have some aperture series to show which are definitive as to their capabilities. Coming soon:


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Voigtlander M 50mm f/2 APO-Lanthar Aperture Series: Big Laurel At Alpine Creek (Leica M11)

This aperture series from f/2 through f/11 evaluates the Voigtlander VM 50mm f/2 APO-Lanthar Aspherical on the 60-megapixel Leica M11 for sharpness, depth of field, focus shift and overall rendering quality.

Voigtlander M 50mm f/2 APO-Lanthar Aperture Series: Big Laurel At Alpine Creek

Includes images up to full resolution from f/1.4 to f/11, plus a 3-frame focus stack at f/8, plus crops.

Leica M11 image quality at ISO 64 is spectacularly good. If you’re an M shooter, you must have this camera!

View:Leica M wishlist andVoigtlander for Leica M andZeiss for Leica M

f8 @ 0.5 sec electronic shutter, ISO 64; 2022-01-15 15:48:35
LEICA M11 + Voigtlander M APO-Lanthar 50mm f/2 Aspherical
ENV: Alpine Creek, altitude 550 ft / 168 m, 58°F / 14°C
RAW: vignetting corrected, pull 0.66 stops, +20 Shadows, +10 Clarity, USM {5,50,0}, diffraction mitigating sharpening

[low-res image for bot]

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Reader Comment: Leica M11 vs Sony A7RIV Sensors, Monochrome Potential

re: Reader Comment, Sony A1: Horizontal Stripes in Blue Channel on Some Colors such as Sunflowers (PDAF banding?)
re: Why Has Fujifilm Made No Effort Whatsoever to Deal with the Fujifilm GFX100S Horizontal White Stripes Problem?
re: Black Dots in White Spots 'Pimples': is Leica 'Cooking' the Raw Data with Acutance-Enhancing Imaging Pipeline? (CONFIRMED by a reader, also REPLICATED with Leica M10-R)

Glenn K writes:

Any thoughts on comparison of these two 60+ MP sensors? Leica M11 vs Sony A7 RIV

DIGLLOYD: my main thought is that the M11 captures look fantastic, and that the Leica M11 sensor has no PDAF pixels. Whereas most mirrorless cameras including the Sony A7R IV do.

Which implies that the Leica M11 sensor might be (as RGB sensors go) far superior to mirrorless cameras in avoiding stripes/banding when making monochrome conversions.

That doesn’t rule out sensor bifurcation troubles, which are evident in some cameras, particularly the Leica M10 Monochrome.

As a potential bonus, Leica could deliver us a Leica M11 Monochrom, which would have the potential of unprecedented detail capture on the 35mm format. And perhaps while avoiding the black dots problems of prior Leica monochrome-sensor cameras?

View:Leica M wishlist andVoigtlander for Leica M andZeiss for Leica M

Example

From what I see and taking pains to force-out problems with aggressive settings, the Leica M11 delivers files of outstanding quality for monochrome conversions. See one example below at ISO 2500 (not aggressive settings, but I tried some).

Any of the aforementioned issues could rear its head with other color subject matter, lighting, etc, but my off-the-cuff impression is of exceptionally high file quality superior to Sony color sensors.

Below, toggle to compare monochrome to color.

f2 @ 1/200 sec handheld electronic shutter, ISO 2500; 2022-01-15 16:57:57
LEICA M11 + Zeiss ZM 35mm f/1.4 Distagon
ENV: Alpine Creek, altitude 550 ft / 168 m, 58°F / 14°C
RAW: LACA corrected, vignetting corrected, pull 0.33 stops, +20 Whites, +10 Clarity

[low-res image for bot]

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Zeiss ZM 35mm f/1.4 Distagon Aperture Series: Big Laurel At Alpine Creek (Leica M11)

This aperture series from f/1.4 through f/16 looks at total image quality and especially sharpness on a 3D landscape scene.

The Zeiss ZM 35mm f/1.4 Distagon is one of the finest rangefinder lenses available for the Leica M cameras (best or nearly so)*. But can it deliver the goods for the demanding resolution of the 60-megapixel Leica M11?

Zeiss ZM 35mm f/1.4 Distagon Aperture Series: Big Laurel At Alpine Creek

Includes images up to full resolution from f/1.4 to f/16, plus a 2-frame focus stack at f/9, plus crops.

Leica M11 image quality at ISO 64 is spectacularly good. If you’re an M shooter, you must have this camera! I’d love to own one, but it’s too far out of range for me.

* Until the appearance of the Leica 35mm f/2 APO-Summicron-M ASPH and Voigtlander offerings, I would have called the ZM35/1.4 king-of-the-heap. But probably the Leica 35/2 APO-Summicron-M ASPH is superior—not yet tested as I write this.

View:Leica M wishlist andVoigtlander for Leica M andZeiss for Leica M

f9 @ 1.5 sec electronic shutter focus stack 2 frames, ISO 64; 2022-01-15 15:27:16
LEICA M11 + Voigtlander M APO-Lanthar 50mm f/2 Aspherical
ENV: Alpine Creek, altitude 550 ft / 168 m, 58°F / 14°C
RAW: LACA corrected, vignetting corrected, pull 0.17 stops, +20 Whites, +10 Clarity, USM {4,50,0}, diffraction mitigating sharpening, SmartSharpen{40,0.8,20,0}

[low-res image for bot]

Leica M11 + Zeiss ZM 35mm f/1.4 Distagon Examples: Alpine Creek Ad-Hoc Handheld, High ISO

UPDATE: just for fun I added a 2-frame focus stack at f/1.4, to better show off the potential of the Zeiss ZM 35mm f/1.4 Distagon.

This page shows ad-hoc handheld examples with the Zeiss ZM 35mm f/1.4 Distagon on the 60MP Leica M11 at Alpine Creek, shot at dusk after I had finished some more careful studies with various lenses. Comments on both the camera performance and the lens.

Varying ISO (auto ISO), all handheld unless noted, focused at 100% magnified Live View using the Leica Visoflex 2 EVF.

Leica M11 + Zeiss ZM 35mm f/1.4 Distagon Examples: Alpine Creek Ad-Hoc Handheld, High ISO

Includes images up to full camera resolution. Some images have 7860-pixel-wide variants, same as the Leica M10-R (41 megapixels). Some images have noise correction comparisons.

CLICK TO VIEW: Leica M11 and Best Lenses

f1.4 @ 1/30 sec electronic shutter focus stack 2 frames, ISO 64; 2022-01-15 15:22:29
LEICA M11 + Zeiss ZM 35mm f/1.4 Distagon
ENV: Alpine Creek, altitude 550 ft / 168 m, 58°F / 14°C
RAW: LACA corrected, vignetting corrected, +20 Whites, +10 Clarity

[low-res image for bot]

Below, toggle to compare monochrome to color.

f2 @ 1/200 sec handheld electronic shutter, ISO 2500; 2022-01-15 16:57:57
LEICA M11 + Zeiss ZM 35mm f/1.4 Distagon
ENV: Alpine Creek, altitude 550 ft / 168 m, 58°F / 14°C
RAW: LACA corrected, vignetting corrected, pull 0.33 stops, +20 Whites, +10 Clarity

[low-res image for bot]
f1.4 @ 1/250 sec handheld electronic shutter, ISO 800; 2022-01-15 16:31:43
LEICA M11 + Zeiss ZM 35mm f/1.4 Distagon
ENV: Alpine Creek, altitude 500 ft / 152 m, 58°F / 14°C
RAW: vignetting corrected

[low-res image for bot]

 


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Adobe Camera Raw, PhaseOne C1Pro: Broken Distortion Correction of Leica M11 DNG

Adobe Camera Raw Optics panel:
distortion correction has no effect

Photoshop 23.1.0, Adobe Camera Raw 14.1.0.993.

Just another example in the decade-long history of sloppy firmware development at Leica and poor quality asssurance. As if the lens coding problems in the M11 were not bad enough.

Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) is non-functional for distortion correction with Leica M11 DNG files. Whether set to 0% or 100% there is no distortion correction. That is, for any coded lens for which ACR selects a matching lens profile, selecting *any* Leica-M lens profile makes distortion correction have no effect no matter the percentage setting.

And yet ACR is fully functional for a DNG file from the exact same lens shot two months ago on the Leica SL2.

Curiously, manually choosing a different (incorrect) lens profile causes the distortion correction to operate, but only if it is a non-Leica lens profile. And of course the correction is the wrong one. For example, setting the Leica 18/3.8 to any other Leica lens invokes no change. But setting the lens profile to a Zeiss ZM or Voigtlander VM lens causes distortion correction to start working.

Not just Adobe Camera Raw

I cross-checked with Iridient Developer. It can correct distortion for M11 DNG files, once the matching lens profile is manually chosen*. Something about the M11 DNG causes Iridient Developer to fail to find the matching lens profile.

Roy P confirms the same problem in PhaseOne CaptureOne Pro:

Mystery partly solved:  for whatever reason, the M11 images are coming into C1 with the lens properly identified in the Information tab (which also shows the EXIF), but shown as “Generic” in the Profile section under the Lens tab.  So of course I could apply any distortion correction I wanted – C1 is just morphing the image!  Oh, so this is a generic?  OK, let me balloon up or down the middle when you slide the bar left or right!!! But when I set the lens to the proper profile (e.g., “Leica Summilux-M 50mm f/1.4”), then sliding the Distortion bar has zero effect

If the DNG files are improperly coded, they are hosed forever. But maybe Adobe and other raw converters can put in a fix to work around the problem.

Hypothesis: Leica is improperly coding the Leica M11 DNG files, causing raw converters to fail in various ways. For example, DNG files might be flagged with the correct lens profile, but as having zero distortion, which would cause raw converters to do nothing?

Bernd R writes:

Your nuanced discussion of the Leica M11 is a pleasure to read and very informative. I have a comment related to distortion correction for coded lenses: I downloaded a few raw files, and while I can reproduce that distortion correction has no effect in ACR, in the latest release of CO1 (15.0.1.8  released a few days ago, has support for the M11 added) distortion correction does seem to work for a coded lens, even when choosing the appropriate profile. 

DIGLLOYD: I’ve asked Roy P to cross-confirm. No word from Adobe yet.

Summarizing:

  • Iridient Developer cannot find the matching profile automatically.
  • ACR won’t correct distortion when the lens profile matches the lens correctly.
  • CaptureOne Pro won’t correct distortion when the lens profile matches the lens correctly.
  • Choosing a non-Leica lens profile can correct distortion in ACR (but incorrectly, since it’s the wrong lens).
  • DNG files for the same lenses shot on the Leica SL2 do not show this issue.

* For example, "Leica.Leica Camera AG (Leica SUPER-ELMAR-M 18 mm f3.8 ASPH.) - RAW.lcp" in /Library/Application Support/Adobe/CameraRaw/LensProfiles/1.0/

Adobe Camera Raw file open dialog within Photoshop CC 2022
Adobe Camera Raw file open dialog within Photoshop CC 2022



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