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Leica M10 Monochrom

Leica M10 Monochrome Dynamic Range, Auto vs Manual Exposure

To make full use of the excellent dynamic range of the Leica M10 Monochrom requires using manual exposure informed by the blinking highlights (the histogram was designed by morons)—suggestions below.

Making ideal exposures also means minimizing digital noise. The base ISO 160 is not all that noise-free compared (for example) to ISO 64 on the Nikon D850 Monochrome. Math alone suggests the D850m is 1.6X better, and my eyes confirm that assessment.

In my field shooting, I found that Leica M10m auto exposure consistently gets it wrong, underexposing and thus damaging dynamic range, or overexposing and blowing out highlights.

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Diglloyd Guide to LEICA contains in-depth coverage of Leica M system cameras and lenses, with additional coverage of Leica M Monochrom, Leica Q.

Special emphasis is placed on Leica M lenses and certain Zeiss ZM lenses.

  • Make better images by learning how to get the best results right away.
  • Save money by choosing the right lens for your needs the first time, particularly the Summilux/Summicron/Elmarit choice and/or Zeiss ZM.
  • Make better images, a sort of “cheat sheet” saving yourself months or years of ad-hoc learning. Processing parameters are discussed and shown.
  • Jaw-dropping image quality found nowhere else utilizing Retina-grade images up to full camera resolution, plus large crops [past 2 years or so].
  • Real world examples with insights found nowhere else. Make sharper images just by understanding lens behavior you won’t read about elsewhere.
  • Aperture series from wide open through stopped down, showing the full range of lens performance and bokeh.
  • Optical quality analysis of field curvature, focus shift, sharpness, flare, distortion, and performance in the field.

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f8 @ 1/45 sec, ISO 160; 2020-12-21 15:09:06
Leica M10 Monochrom + Zeiss ZM 35mm f/1.4 Distagon + filter B+W 090 Red
ENV: Eureka Dunes, altitude 3550 ft / 1082 m, 60°F / 15°C
RAW: pull 0.3 stops, +50 Shadows, -100 Highlights, +30 Whites, -30 Blacks, +50 Dehaze, USM {8,50,0}

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