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Monday, 22 August 2022

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Mike, your link to Flickr is not working, I'm afraid. There is 404 error message.

[Sorry about that! I made the pictures public and found the correct link at 4:30 in the morning Eastern Time. Hopefully it will work for everyone now. You might have to refresh your browser page.

Several others told me about this too but I haven't published all the comments to this effect. Thanks to all, though. --Mike]

Hi Mike,
It’s working, relax.
Kirk also loves his Sigma fp…
It will be interesting comparing Leica with Sigma.
For the “perfect camera” i.e. the one that we enjoy the much taking photographs, we also have to adapt to the camera and not only the camera having all the specs that we want. Kind of a happy long lasting marriage.
Cheers, rfeg

I'll add more as I take more, but the Leica Monochrom and Leica 50mm Summilux ASPH arrived yesterday, courtesy of Chris, so the next journey is going to be to make some comparison photographs with the two FF monochrome cameras to see what we can see.

Aren't we (and you) in for a treat with all those cameras!

To answer your question, no, I'm not getting tired of B&W talk.

Link working fine now at 1212h GMT.

Very nice. Thanks for the comment on workflow on the Sigma - that does not sound too onerous at all. I've used the Foveon sensor DP3 Merrill cameras and really liked them, but not the software and workflow (at least when they were new; I don't know current state).

That's part of why I use the Leica Monochrom - the interfaces are what I'm used to, both hardware and software. That might be a bit of a crutch in some ways.

Good to see you on Flickr. It's an interesting place with lots of odd groups. If I find someone I really like, I will go through their follow list for gems. I know many serious photographers are on Instagram for the reach (like David Hurn) but I prefer the size options of Flickr.

My first impression is that I'm seeing a film "grain" look which may be some oversharpening or is it the 24MP? A higher MP may be smoother but in a way this is pleasing as it looks more film-like. I'm not complaining, just curious (from a distance - let's see what happens to you). BTW, seeing that Sigma mess immediately made my fingers twitchy...

You got a nice cloud day! And some rain to boot!!

I notice your strong affinity for beach chickens. ;)

Does the converted sensor respond to filters like b/w film does? Or is it all done post?

[I will post some comparisons at some point if I can. --Mike]

I did not realize Flickr supported photo uploads that large. I cannot do justice to a on screen image @ 800 wide. Too much lost detail. The 4k screen on my iMac needs a larger image. Slightly off topic but I am looking at your Sigma samples (post below) and they do look good. Personally I have decided to devote myself to B&W film. There is just something about the look. I also have my little dark room up and running again printing 6x6 MF images on fiber matte. I also picked up an 8x 10 field camera for not too much money. @ about $7 per shot I have decided to shoot one image a week with this rig and contact print. This aging guy has young enthusiasm for the project.

Unfortunately, flickr wants me to reveal my soul before I can access the photographs. What a shame they must remain unseen.

Am I alone in resenting this constant marketing surveillance by the digital capitalists of this crummy planet? As a result, I instinctively switch away every time their questionnaires surface.

Other capitalists, including myself (in most minor of keys), don’t really have this fixation with sticking the nose into the darkest recesses of the visitor’s person. I resent such digging, deeply (and any pun is accidental).

Love the mallard and heron. Nice capture of them and a good crop too. Thanks!

FWIW…My 2 cents: The photos seem unremarkable. I’m not referring to the creative aspects of the shots, just the B/W visual attributes. I feel converted color files done with a modicum of skill would produce images of at least comparable impact.

I realize you are seeking something other than “better” B/W, i.e., a B/W-only esthetic during shooting. Fair enough, but I don’t see significant output advantages that would lead me to a monochrome-only sensor.

Note: Anyone enchanted by this kit can rent an unmodified stock kit nearly like it from Lensrentals.

A lean, mean cloud machine

I like the clouds in your pictures. But I didn't think the new Sigma toy made them any better. They were perfect to start with.

I'll admit that I only had a quick look but the first thing that struck me was the missing colour! None of the photos were the kind of subjects that suit B&W... sorry, just my two centimes worth :-)

Whatta lotta views! Can you upload them in full 24 MPx glory to Flickr so that we can compare your two mono cameras at their best? The tractor did reveal impressive detail when I clicked twice.

Can I recommend these B&W portraits by Jones Hendershot: https://joneshendershot.com/project/portraits/

I'm not sure how they are done (stitching?) but they have a large format look to them.

[I love those. They do look like digital to me, but very well done. The technique is not "in the way" at all, which is always what's wanted. Thanks! --Mike]

To all, I visited Jones Hendershot on FLICKR, it appears that many of the B&W images were shot using a NIKON Z. They are really nice images and demonstrates a color sensor can produce excellent B&W images.

Is this an emperor’s clothes thing…? Maybe shoot the same scene in b&w with your Fuji for comparison…? Perhaps there’s a nuance I’m missing?

I don't know what is so creative about the b/w images you tout as [only] available on a camera dedicated to b/w. [I did no such thing. I very explicitly have said the opposite of that, numerous times. —Mike] I must regretfully inform you that most of my b/w images are jpgs from the images my Sony makes when I set the camera to capture b/w and raw together and they seem superior to many [most] of the ones I see on various sites. Just my sentiment regarding your consideration of dedicated b/w camera. And I have many samples to reveal if and when....

[We discussed this in great depth and detail in the past week or so.

https://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2022/08/same-old-problems.html

If you don't feel the same way that's perfectly understandable; many people don't. --Mike]

I own an fp. It's Achilles heel is auto-focus. This is pretty well known in Sigma circles. Some reviewers go so far as to say that it is nearly useless. Manually focus or zone focus -- if you must auto-focus don't expect much, even then you may be disappointed as I was. Otherwise, a very cool and capable camera.

Tell the truth -- you epoxied Butter's tail to the deck.

Despite my skepticism about the need for converted cameras, I'll have to say I'm impressed, and furthermore, it's convinced me to start doing some B&W work.(And to take some of that back, I'd say you could do as well with the in-camera B&W setting on a color digital camera, although, of course, that wouldn't fix your mind-set.) I'll be doing my work with the in-camera conversion from color.

[It might well be that that's the better way to go as far as results are concerned. Really what I'm trying to find out here is whether a dedicated B&W-only camera can produce results as good as those from color files converted in software. I did not epoxy anything on Butters. --Mike]

[OT] Xander's picture just showed up in my LinkedIn update feed, via The New Yorker.
https://www.linkedin.com/posts/the-new-yorker_my-son-was-12-or-13-when-he-announced-that-activity-6967252211538006016-jI_q

[Thanks for telling me! --Mike]

Responding to the some of the skepticism and a comment about negative reviews of Sigma cameras, DP Review and many other reviews online plainly have an inherent bias in favour of 'do it all' cameras. Thus, for example, that a Leica M rangefinder does not autofocus is considered to be some sort of flaw, or negative; whereas in reality, of course, that the camera manually focusses only is the whole point. The same is true of many reviews of Sigma cameras. Sigma tends to produce quirky, targeted cameras which are very good at one or two things to the exclusion of almost everything else. Those exclusions are, I presume, deliberate. In any event, presumably purchasers wanted cameras that do anything otherwise than what they want will not buy one. But that is hardly a negative. Why buy a truck if you want it to drive like a sports car? I have 5 Fovean sensor cameras: the original DP1 and DP2, and the originals DP Merrills: 1, 2 and 3. All are teeny-weeny (albeit at the price of poor battery life) and make beautiful images within their limitations (e.g. good light and low ISO). All are - well - pretty crap outside those limitations. But I didn't buy them to use them otherwise than within their limitations. All of which is a roundabout way of saying that a Sigma FP - let alone a monochrome modified version - seems a bit too specialised in areas that do not suit the way I shoot. Not a criticism, or a problem, just not a camera for which I have a use. Horses for courses. Glad you're enjoying yours and taking interesting images ... which I believe to be the only point of the whole exercise.

Basically, all such attempts to show or prove concepts such as the one we have here regarding mono or colour sensors, are meaningless online. Only if you can show a set of comparison prints of the very same subject, shot at the same time, can anything close to a valid judgement be pronounced. Sadly, even that inescapably reduces down to the capability of the person making the prints.

For what it’s worth, I guess one’s better off having a camera that doesn't restrict your choices. Anyway, until Leica came along in its alternative universe spaceship, nobody ever shed a tear over the matter. Indeed, one of the best things about digital was precisely that you got all the choices wrapped up in the equivalent of a single roll of film. Not a lot has happened, really, to change that situation.

["Nobody ever shed a tear over the matter"—very wrong! --Mike, shedder of tears for ye B&W of yore]

Your monochrome samples resemble what I get with film developed in D-23.

I think you should get together with Kirk Tuck and write off-topic posts about the new sport I've just invented: Water Pool.

It's very similar to Water Polo but there are more balls; even the name is nearly the same! : ]

For Kirk: indeed, Leica wasn’t first, but then at the risk of digging a hole deeper than it need be, nobody seems to go online and weep tears of sorrow for those other marques. If anything, they are down in the dusty vault with the Exakta, the Brownie et al. Leica, on the other hand, took the concept and made it their own.

Leica has the benefit of a very sophisticated PR machine, much of it manned freely by its fan club membership. Alternatively, I may simply not frequent those sites where the others are mourned…

To make it clear: I am one of those who resisted digital for as long as it was economically possible so to do; I’d be fibbing if I pretended to be an early fan, and early prices for useful digital cameras made sure it stayed that way. Fortunately, I’d pretty much retired by then and it no longer mattered very much.

For Mike: you’re misreading me: I am not writing about wet photography there - my remark is aimed at the situation regarding the choice of colour or mono sensors. I have no doubt at all that my own wet prints were far better to look at, usually on Kodak’s WSG, well glazed, than anything I ever made digitally. No argument from me on that point at all.

Update
Looks like you have started a trend - Flickrs “Explore” page for 24 Aug is all black & white.

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