Archive for Leica M9

Capture Integration in Carmel – 2nd Annual PIAB Part II and Other Misc. Ramblings

Posted in Events, General, Landscapes, Nature & Wildlife with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 3, 2010 by kendoophotography

Last week marked the end of the Capture Integration in Carmel workshop, otherwise known as the 2nd Annual Pigs in a Blanket.  As promised in part two of this series, I’ve included some of the images created over the course of several days shooting at Alcatraz, Muir Woods, the Sutro Baths, Carmel Mission, and south towards Big Sur. Many more images are available for viewing at my boutique photography studio in Carmel, and I will also post additional images on my landscape photography website.   As I write this, Don Libby of Iron Creek Photography in Tucson, AZ is just getting home from his extended travels with his new Leica M9, having photographed Yosemite, Lone Pine, Death Valley, Mono Lake, among others following the workshop.  All I can say is that Don is really really pleased with the addition of the Leica M9 to his Cambo RS and Phase One P45+ medium format digital back!

Alcatraz at Night. Phase 645AF, P65+, Mamiya 35mm, ISO 400, f/4.5 at 1/4oth

The CI in Carmel workshop really is a great opportunity to meet other like-minded photographers, socialize, learn, and try some of the latest digital photography gear.

The new Leica M9: the perfect MFDB complement

Phase 645AF with Phase P65+ and the new Leica S2 with 70mm lens

I did get to try out the new Leica S2.  This new offering from Leica is more similar to a DSLR, but with a much larger 37.5 megapixel sensor, placing it much closer in medium format digital territory.  The S2 is self-contained like a DSLR, and the body does not have a removeable digital back like its Phase counterpart.  For those new to the world of medium format digital, the S2 offers yet another platform to consider.  But for those that already have a medium format digital camera platform, the S2 is much less attractive.  And for me, quite bluntly, the S2 just didn’t feel right in my hands, and struck me as being cold and sterile.  Others in the workshop either loved the feel of the camera or disliked it.  Those smaller in stature enjoyed the S2, finding that the camera body was easier to hold than the heavier and thicker Phase One camera platform with a digital back.  And I can see how the S2 fills a niche.  I wasn’t a fan of the S2 menu layout, but then again, I’ve been using Phase One MFDBs for years now.  Compared to the Canon 1Ds Mark III or Nikon D3x, I’m sure that the comparatively spartan rear of the S2 would not be difficult to master.

Big Sur Coastline. Leica S2 with 70mm; ISO 160, f/2.4 at 1/4000th

But what do the images taken with the S2 look like?  That’s what is most important right?  I found that when used in abundant light, the S2 produced absolutely stunning images.  Just simply wow.  Leica is known for its quality lenses, and the big 70mm Leica lens does not disappoint.

Muir Woods with Dave Gallagher. Leica S2 with 70mm; ISO 160, f/2.4 at 1/60th

Cropped section of above image. Leica S2. Amazing clarity and detail with the Leica 70mm lens.

Now the bad news.  Unfortunately, the Leica S2 doesn’t perform as well in low light situations.  And the once stellar performance gets ugly when the light gets dim.  Real ugly.  Maybe I should qualify my comments.  In an age of relatively inexpensive DSLRs such as the Canon 5D Mark II, which are capable of quite respectable images at 1600 and 3200 ISO, it’s rather easy to demand more.  And there certainly haven’t been any exceptions, not even for medium format digital.  And true to form, newly released medium format digital backs such as the Phase One P40+ and P65+ are capable of producing good quality images at higher ISOs.

Leica S2 and 70mm; f/2.4 at 1/90th; ISO 640 equals yuck!

At ISO 640, images produced by the Leica S2 looked mushy. I took a quick photo of fellow photographer Rafael Hernandez  and the lack of detail and mush became even more apparent.  I processed the Leica images in Capture One Pro 5.1.  Alternatively, I also tried processing the images in Adobe Photoshop CS4 ACR, but the images from ACR were noticeably noisier and C1 Pro is simply the better raw processor.  We also noticed weird discolorations or anomaly on the back of the S2 LCD viewing screen.  Rafael later determined that this was caused by a bad JPEG viewing algorithm, but with no apparent effect on the final digital image files generated.  A firmware update should cure this anomaly on the LCD, and maybe Leica can improve high ISO image performance by firmware as well.  A clean 800 ISO image file is not asking for much considering the current high ISO performance of recent  MFDBs offerings from both Phase One (P40+ and P65+) and Hasselblad (H4D)—which are also available for sale at a lower price of entry than the S2.

Leica S2 at ISO 640 mushy!

Crop of above image; Leica S2 at ISO 640 mushy and loss of detail

I don’t doubt that Leica will sell many S2 cameras, for what it does well, it does exceedingly well.  But $28,000+ for the Leica S2 (body and 70mm lens) is quite a bit to invest, and certainly will give pause to many particularly considering that other medium format platforms, such as the Phase one P40+ and H4D40, are actually less expensive, albeit a bit bulkier, and minus that shiny red logo.  If I had money to burn, I might be inclined to buy a Leica S2 myself—just because.  But professionally, the S2 is not suitable for me.  Doctors and dentists are lining up now…..  ; )      [Note:  My comments here are not meant as a pixel-peeping review; rather they are my limited observations with the S2 during the workshop.  Hell, it could be fraught with user-error, so go out and grab an S2 and try it yourself…]  Okay, enough rambling….

Garrapata Beach; Phase P65+, ISO 50, f/32 at 3 secs.

Pfeiffer Beach; Phase P65+, ISO 50, f/32 at .8 secs

Carmel Mission Window; Phase One P65+, ISO 100, f/4 at 1/320, Mamiya 120mm D

Carmel Calla Lilly; Phase P65+, ISO 100, f/4 at 1/180, Mamiya 120mm D

Don and I really enjoyed hosting Capture Integration in Carmel, and working with Dave Gallagher.  It seems quick, but we’re already discussing plans to formalize future medium format digital workshops—keep an eye out!  For more landscape images visit my landscape website,  www.houseoflandscapes.com .  For more information, including future Pigs in  a Blanket endeavors, contact Ken Doo at (831) 626-1844; www.kendoophotography.com

Capture Integration in Carmel – 2d Annual Pigs in a Blanket Workshop Brings the Latest Medium Format Digital Equipment to the Central Coast

Posted in General, Landscapes, Nature & Wildlife with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 25, 2010 by kendoophotography

Last week, Don Libby of Iron Creek Photography in Tucson, AZ and Ken Doo Photography of Carmel, CA co-hosted the 2nd Annual Capture Integration in Carmel medium format digital workshop.  Capture Integration in Atlanta, GA and Miami, FL is a Phase One Dealer of the Year, and is widely known for its customer service and knowledgeable staff.  Stemming from its previous year’s activities, the informal and light-hearted workshop is also known as the 2nd Annual Pigs in a Blanket, where unbeknownst to most participants, last year Don Libby ordered everyone Pigs in a Blanket for breakfast at the Wagon Wheel Restaurant in Carmel Valley.  And a monster was born.

Sutro Baths, San Francisco.

The workshop is primarily for those interested in medium format digital photography.  Participants are able to use the latest technology, such as the Leica S2, Leica M9, Cambo RS, Phase One P65+, P40+ and P45+ digital backs, and a host of the latest lenses from Rodenstock and Schneider, all of which were graciously provided by Dave Gallagher of Capture Integration (CI).   Although the focus of CI in Carmel is on landscape photography, many of those attending are also photographers that work in other fields, such as weddings, portraiture, commercial, and fine art—those that demand the finest in image quality for their clients.

Dave Gallagher of Capture Integration sets up a Cambo RS with Rodenstock 40mm Digiron and Phase One medium format digital back

John Muir Redwoods: Rafa, Dave, Don, Mariah, Phil, Christine, Kristen and Ken (just missed Gary and Chester!)

Dave Gallagher reviews images taken with the new Leica S2 and 70mm lens with Mariah, while Rafa and Phil look on.

 The itinerary this year started at the historic Sutro Baths in San Francisco.  Not entirely planned (but consistent with how we roll), we then headed across the Golden Gate Bridge to the Muir Woods National Monument.  By the way, all of the images on this blog post were taken with a Panasonic GF1 camera (more on this great little camera later).  I’ll post of a few of my landscape images taken with the Phase 645AF and Phase One P65+ medium format digital back in part two of this series.  We ended the first day’s activities with a tour of Alcatraz at Night.

Alcatraz at Night

Me & Don. That's Don with the new Leica M9.

The workshop then headed down the coast back to locations in Carmel, Monterey, and Big Sur.   On Saturday, Dave Gallagher taught an incredible two hour class on the new Capture One Pro 5 raw processing software.  Don and I both noted that it is this type of customer service and support that makes Capture Integration such a formidable photography dealer.  I know that my boutique studio in Carmel can depend on Capture Integration for all my Canon DSLR and Phase One medium format digital needs.

Photographing Garrapata

Don and Dave work with Gary on the Cambo RS

Kristen works the Carmel Mission. http://www.kristenphoto.com

Gary and Rafa at the Mission

Chester Ng tries his hand at with the new Leica S2 and 70mm lens

Dave Gallagher teaches a C1 Pro 5 class; Dave really enjoyed using my Dell PC workstation...

A ten foot projection screen in studio made it easy to follow Dave's Capture one Pro 5 class.

Happier than Pigs in a Blanket---Breakfast at The Wagon Wheel in Carmel Valley. How many orders of Pigs in a Blanket? That's no typo...

Don and I were really happy with the outcome and we learned alot.  We’re already talking about future Pigs in a Blanket workshops… Stay tuned!  ; )  I hope to post a few landscape images taken with my Phase 645AF and Phase One P65+ digital back in the next blog installation.  And a big thank you to Dave and Christine Gallagher from Capture Integration!  Without Christine, we would never have known how sharp that Leica 70mm lens really is….   ; )

For more information (including future Pigs in a Blanket excursions) contact me at my boutique studio in Carmel at (831) 626-1844.  Ken Doo Photography.  www.kendoophotography.com

My landscape work can be seen at:  www.houseoflandscapes.com

Capture Integration Returns to Carmel – Pigs in a Blanket is Back!

Posted in General, Landscapes, Nature & Wildlife with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 12, 2010 by kendoophotography

Pigs in a Blanket at the Wagon Wheel for breakfast mark this light-hearted weekend for serious medium format digital photographers

It’s back!  Phase One Dealer of the Year, Capture Integration from Atlanta and Miami is returning to Carmel February 18-21, 2010.  Owner Dave Gallagher is heading the entourage, co-sponsored by my good friend, Don Libby of Iron Creek Photography from Tucson, Arizona and Ken Doo Photography in Carmel, California.  Similar to last year’s event, CI in Carmel is not a typical photography workshop.  It is geared more towards landscape photography and having fun–without adult supervision!  The focus is on the best of the best in digital photography and primarily medium format digital camera equipment.  This year, CI in Carmel will feature the new Leica S2, Leica M9, Phase One P65+, P45+, P40+, Schneider 80mm leaf shutter, Rodenstock Digiron 40mm t/s for Cambo RS, among others.

A few photographers from last year's CI in Carmel at Pfeiffer Beach. Yes, Don Libby is that tall...

Having the right medium format dealer is extremely important to a professional photographer.  Over the years, Capture Integration has always provided me with the best continuing support.  I know that I can always depend on Dave Gallagher and the rest of the CI family for all of my professional equipment needs and questions.  Medium format digital has helped me to offer my portrait and commercial clients the very best available in image quality.  Those seriously interested in medium format digital photography and getting some Pigs in a Blanket can call me at my boutique studio in Carmel at (831) 626-1844.  kmd.

www.houseoflandscapes.com

%d bloggers like this: