Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Sunday Afternoon Jam Session - Leica M9 and Summilux 35mm Lens

As you may have seen, I've been exploring the use of high iso film in my Leica M4-2, specifically for shooting live music. I've also worked on emulating the look of that film in Lightroom, during post-processing of files shot on my digital Leica M9. Today's post shares more of those digital emulations.
(Click Here) to learn more about Jammin' Java.
Jammin' Java, a local music venue in Falls Church, Virginia, periodically has afternoon jam sessions. For this one, I only had an hour to spare, so had to leave early. Lighting was about as challenging as it gets, with bright open sunlight outside, black curtains in the windows and very low light inside. However, I think that made the light quite interesting. Shooting my Leica M9 and Summilux 35mm f1.4 v.3 lens wide open at iso 1600, here are some of the images I captured in the short time I was there.
Jammin' Java, by Reed A. George
That fourth image shows a strange internal reflection I was getting in the Summilux, even though I was using a lens hood. It was repeatable, but I've never had it happen before with this lens. The light coming in around the black curtains was very bright and very directional. I doubt I'll ever see that artifact again.
All shot wide open at f1.4, these images show the characteristics of the older Summilux lenses - quite a lot of flare and coma wide open, while remaining mostly sharp. This is one example of what people call the "Leica glow."
I don't mind these imperfections, and in fact added to them with my settings in Lightroom designed to emulate Ilford Delta 3200 film. Big increases in contrast and grain are what gets them there.
I'm having lots of fun with this new approach to music photography. I feel that I can get the same style now out of either real Delta 3200 film or my M9, shooting at iso 1600. Very nice.

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