16 thoughts on “The Parade.

  1. I have this sneaky feeling if you would of labeled these M9/50 Summilux people would be commenting differently…

    Regardless of camera, I’m just enjoying the images. Wonderful as usual – wonderful colors and extremely expressive.

    1. Thanks Jordan. You’re probably right about most people, but I (and a few others who regularly comment here) do see a difference at the digital file level between my previous M9 vs. my current D810 output. I’ve never said otherwise.

      However, unlike the previous iterations of CMOS I’ve tried, the D810 has a pleasing (but again different from the M9) colour palette. The tonality in D810 files is actually more nuanced than anything I’ve used previously. Quite extraordinary and “mature”, really.

      The M9 CCD output still has the advantage of a more “organic” feel however.

      Having said all of that, I’m not sure that it matters at all at the print level. In my office I have four 8 x 12 images framed on the wall. Two were taken with a 12 MP Nikon D3 (remember that camera?) and the other two with an 18 MP Leica M9. They all could have come out of the same camera if I didn’t know any better. That realization was a pivotal one for me.

      As I grumpily wrote last night, I’ve had to learn to let go of CCD since Leica has unequivocally moved to CMOS anyway. Consequently, I don’t really have the same affinity for the M system anymore, since I can find CMOS sensors anywhere. I still love the rangefinder experience, but it’s not enough to keep me invested in a quickly depreciating digital body, especially one that is dependent on Leica’s overburdened service department for its continued survival.

      I guess this response this morning will invite further CCD vs. CMOS discussion, and so I will have deserved that again. But for anyone tempted to comment, please understand that it (the difference between CCD and CMOS) is something I am fully aware of. I’ve just chosen to move on and focus on my photography.

      The D810 is remarkable though — both because of its sensor and because of its wonderful shutter mechanism.

      Give it a chance, and give me a chance to get to know it.


      1. Hi Peter,

        I hope you are well. I was actually going to comment on the different skin colours, but I am not going to do it now since you have made your positions clear. 🙂 But something that may be relevant is that how we see colour on the internet is affected by many things, so some of these discussions may be driven by such differences. For example some of us have calibrated monitors, some do not. Also on the Chrome browser the skin colour on your blog image is different to the one I see if I click on the image and see the image by itself. So this


        will have an image with more red than this

        The same is not true for Internet explorer, which gives the same rendering on both images.

        Anyway, I tried the 810 yesterday in a shop and I see what you mean about the shutter sound. I was wondering if you find the many megapixels demanding for hand help shots and post processing?

        Your Nikon images have a subtle pallete that I like. The Leica ones, seems to have more of a “contrasty/saturated” look, I am not sure how to describe it, but at the end of the day a pallete is a tool, how you use it as an artist is the important thing.

        I look forward to reading your exploration of your new camera and lenses.

        Best, Kostas

        1. Above I meant to copy the link “https://prosophos.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/the-parade.jpg” not embed the image…

        2. Greetings Kostas and good to hear from you!

          You certainly bring up a good point about representation of colour by the various internet browsers. I can’t say anything beyond what you’ve written because I agree with you.

          As for the whole 36 MP question — it’s interesting.

          I’m actually finding it easier to get sharp images with the 36MP D810 than I did with the 16MP Df at slow shutter speeds (at high shutter speeds it doesn’t matter as much) because of the improved/dampened shutter, which has eliminated a lot of the internal (camera) vibration. This has allowed me to shoot at shutter speeds approaching what I was getting with my M9. 1/60 sec is not out of the question, for example.

          The size of the files are certainly slowing down my workflow, as my computer is over 5 years old. But I’ve processed ∾100 MB Plustek 120 scans (of 6 x 7 film negatives) on the same computer, so I knew 36 MP was doable.

          Having said that, one thing that shooting Leica rangefinders taught me was to pick the right moment to click the shutter.

          If instead I was machine-gunning and had to wade through hundreds of images, I would consider upgrading my computer.

          1. A couple more questions if you do not mind Peter. First the timing. Do you find that the blacking out of the OVF from the mirror is affecting your awareness of whether you got the timing right or not? Also, we discussed in the past that the size of the camera may affect the response from your subjects, i.e. the observer influences the observed. Have you noticed such an effect or do you find that with this camera/lens combo you are in a similar “stealth” kind of mode as with the Leicas?

            1. The rangefinder is the better instrument for discrete shooting. No question about it. With respect to (1) having no mirror “blackout” period and also (2) with being less intimidating to subjects (by the way, I’m less concerned about the “timing” of shots and more concerned about accurate focusing when using a DSLR, because I still find manual rangefinder focusing more accurate than AF).

              Having said that, I gave up on “stealth” shooting a while ago. My photography moved from SLRs to rangefinders, and then to giant medium format film cameras. Along the way, I learned that I’m less interested in “street shooting” which is extremely difficult to do and which is poorly represented on the web (most shots I see are haphazard depictions of people going about their daily lives), and I’m more interested in documenting my family’s life, or recording a lovely and intimate moment to which I have been granted access.

              For that purpose, a DSLR (especially one with a reasonably quiet shutter like the D810) is probably the more useful instrument. In fact, carrying the D810 around with the 58/1.4 prime doesn’t feel materially different from carrying around an M9 and a Noctilux 0.95. In both cases, I’m very aware that I’m carrying a camera system and not an iPhone.

              1. Thank you Peter, I was expecting your Mamiya to appear in your response, because after I wrote the questions I remembered that you still get some great intimate portraits with it. Looking forward to your future posts.

            2. Kostas this is really the main question. One of ergonomics and the shooting experience (unless the sensor is really poor which it and this lenses clearly are not!)

              I do enjoy street/travel photography though not for the sake of it and have found I’ve slowed down a lot purely based on not taking images for the sake of it. As Peter mentions below, it’s become a bit of a theme amongst photographers and due to sheer critical mass of images we see today the quality has been diluted.

              Yet when you do go out, it’s not so much the discreet nature of the camera, but for me more the comfort level of walking and shooting. If that is for a whole day (happens rarely) it’s hard to beat this with the M mount set up. That said I have used my Mamiya 7 and although large for a MF is relatively light. If it’s for a couple of hours with strong intent and you have an idea the venue/place will throw up some strong subject matter opportunities “who really cares?”. You will hopefully walk away with great images regardless.

              On this lense and sensor combo I really like that delicate rendering and it shows up here again IMO.

  2. Beautiful work as usual Peter. I still remain a great fan of your film work, and continue to use primarily a Leica M7 and D800. I was scrolling through your recent work and before I noticed the change to the D810 I would have sworn the images were from your M9. Amazing how close the rendering is with the same delicate tones and dreamy bokeh. Do you attribute this more to the sensor, lens, or post-processing? Thank you for sharing your work and your passion.

    1. Thanks DS.

      As I write above, the D810 sensor is impressive. I can extract a lot out of the files and haven’t even begun to scratch the surface. More importantly, I really don’t have to do much with the files – they are beautiful as they are.

      The delicate tones and dreamy bokeh of recent images are partly secondary to the 58/1.4 lens though. Greg made a very astute observation in a previous post – he actually inferred my rationale for choosing this camera/lens combination:


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