More images from the Leica Q Typ 116

_Q116_L1010250 copy Pipework

Today’s photoessay is a mismash of sorts: additional images from the Leica Q, which I’ve had a chance to shoot a bit more with over the last few days in between assignments and preparing for my exhibition Connection which is now open at the Hong Kong Arts Centre. (The original set of images was made with no more than about 8 hours of shooting time in total, excluding bench testing etc. I’ve not got much to add to my original review other than the initial impressions are continuing to hold: this is one responsive, fluid, transparent camera. The edges are better if you avoid focus and recompose, and mid-distance performance seems to be slightly better than infinity. There can be some odd internal reflections inside the finder if you have light coming in from behind, but that’s only happened twice. I’m still very much enjoying shooting with it, as I’m sure you can tell from this set, and the fact that the shutter has racked up close to 3,000 images in six days…enjoy! MT This set was shot with a Leica Q Typ 116, and processed with Photoshop Workflow II. _Q116_L1010155 copy Bus and a half

_Q116_L1010401 copy Pedestrian flow

_Q116_L1010419 copy Sympathy

_Q116_L1010430 copy Sorry we’re full

_Q116_L1010179 copy We’ve arrived at that bridge we’re supposed to cross when we come to it

_Q116_L1010541 copy A better view than immediate surroundings

_Q116_L1010434 copy Strange attractor

_Q116_L1010448 copy Modern Magritte morning

_Q116_L1010444 copy Channel

_Q116_L1010081 copy Protrusion

_Q116_L1010166 copy Twenty-two floors down

_Q116_L1010604 copy Cascade

_Q116_L1010594 copy Brutalism

_Q116_L1010577 copy Ceiling

_Q116_L1010592 copy Detritus of a hanging

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Comments

  1. Ming, Used to design cameras for Polaroid (SX-70, etc.) and now have been using a M240 with 28mm and 35mm lenses. Love the image quality, but miss being more spontaneous in my shooting with the slow focusing and checking aperture. It’s also quite heavy and thick. I have used a GR for years along with a D-Lux. Will the Q solve the problem of spontaneity and does it feel noticeably lighter and slimmer than the M240? I can read the specs, but there’s nothing like living with each for a few weeks to judge.

  2. Ming, did you end up buying one? My frustration with the Ricoh GR is all that you mentioned in the review. I don’t know that this is my solution but I am quite pleased with the detail and color in your photos. It’s a matter of if I want a fixed lens in a camera this expansive or not. I have to say though, just wow!

  3. Hi Ming, I noticed that you got a thumb-up for the Leica Q, which model did you get (does it fit well?)

    Thanks!

  4. I only shoot JPEGs, and while my M Monochrom JPEGs OOC seem to have much better resolution than the in-camera b&w’s from the Q, the Q’s images seem to give me much more latitude in PP than the Monochrom and other cameras. But maybe that’s just a function of the 24 megapixels?

    • It’s more to do with whatever the camera’s processors are doing before writing the files…one more reason to shoot raw is to of course retain as much latitude as possible for later.

  5. VincentR says:

    At least for your artistic work, it seems to be YOUR camera. Using nothing else would help getting YOUR image signature in the minds of your (future) buyers. Good luck Ming

  6. Hi Ming,

    I’ve been trying to digest DPR’s ISO tests on the Q. They do show significant banding in the shadows of the images that are from -3 to -6 EV (especially as compared to a D750).

    Did you experience any of these image artifacts in your testing? I can remember some severe noise blotching in the shadows of my D200 that were ugly when pixel peeping but that weren’t visible on normal 8×10 or web use. On the D200 this showed up especially in images of stage productions with hot spotlighted subjects and pretty much black/purple everything else. So in that regard, I would expect pretty good printing performance of even the shadows to 13×19 with Q. On my Df, I pretty much don’t worry about anything in the shadows.

    Do you have any comments on the deep shadows handling with the Q?

    Is the banding something addressable in firmware, or is that just a native characteristic of the sensor choice.

  7. Wei Qing says:

    Hi ming, i got my Q today in norway. Pretty fine, but when the camera is off, then I can hear loose sound from lens group if I move up down it. But it disappeared when it is turned on. But I can also hear some noise from it even ois is off. Is that normal?

    • That’s normal for all IS lenses. A lens group has to move to provide IS.

      • Wei Qing says:

        And aperture blades not change the size of opening if adjust the aperture ring, only change the size when shutter button pressed half down. Didn’t as rx1 do.

        • You don’t want the camera to stop down until shooting/ preview otherwise you’ll have a dim live view and no idea of where it’s actually focused. This behaviour is how it should be.

          • Wei Qing says:

            Yes, looks that aperture blades will move a bit from one side to another, if I tilt the camera when it’s off. Make the the little opening of f16 move around and not sit in the middle.

  8. Hi Ming,

    Thanks for the detailed review and report. I travel frequently to the wide-open-spaces of the USA west. Landscape photography is a staple there along with urban photography at my home near Chicago. Given that, this camera really appeals to me.

    Your comment on the distance performance of this lens has me wondering about it’s role as that “on the tripod waiting for the light” landscape camera during my travels. I’ve been trying to avoid any more heavy/bulky gear.

    Your continuing comments on the GR prompted me to get that camera and it is sees significant duty given my other choices. It’s a camera that I know will give me great results in just about any situation. Not having a viewfinder in the very bright light of the USA SW deserts is sometimes a drawback, I do know it’s reliable enough to just point “generally” in the right direction and crop later 🙂 . The lack of an AA filter on the GR and that similarity in the Q with the added pixels is also tempting me as a landscape camera. BTW, I’m a great fan of the artificial horizon display in the GR – I missed if the Q has that feature.

    I’ve had other lenses that are somewhat weak performers at infinity (notably my copy of the 28mm f/2.8 AIS Nikkor) and know that to not have crisply delineated horizons or horizon-detail is a significant detractor is printing large landscapes.

    Thank your again for your insights and contributions to photographic art and education.

    • The Q has the artificial horizon, and the lens is just fine at infinity at f5.6 or smaller. Though if inability to see only the LCD is the problem, I’d say just buy a LCD magnifying hood and save yourself $4,300… 🙂

      • Well f/5.6 is certainly a starting point for distance landscapes. The LCD hood is a great idea. I’ve been overlooking that as a solution since I’ve always had the GR in a pocketability role.

        Early in my photographic “career” I stumbled across a M3 that I could afford even on a graduate student stipend. Over the years I had it rebuilt a few times. It may have been a pay-me-now or pay-it-later passion, and I did the latter. The first time it had shutter problems, I had it modified to SS and X-sync added. The next time the shutter brake failed and I had it rebuilt by a widely known Leica independent crafts(woman). The next time it was still rebuildable, but then no longer. I grew to have a (pocket book) unhealthy attachment to that camera and it’s 60’s era 50 Lux. I put a significant number of 100ft rolls of Tri-X and Plus-X through that camera. I guess the Q is playing on that latent emotional appeal.

        Thanks for your time; wishing you good shooting. I look forward to your next set of images with anything and from anywhere.

      • Can you direct me to an LCD magnifying hood for the Ricoh GR and also Sigma DP Merrills?

  9. Kevin Lloyd says:

    More great pics Ming.
    I noticed on the Ephotozine hands on review some double imaging in the periphery of the one shot (The first one of the Land Rover), and assume this is due to the image stablisation moving during the exposure, and effecting the outside of the image only. Leica have said for best quality turn the stab off, but I was wondering if you have noticed any oddities on the edges of images yourself?
    Can the ois been turned off completely in the menu? Only I feel with such a fast lens/sensor combo, I wouldn’t need it too often anyway… (you may disagree having used the camera extensively).

    • Thanks. Could be odd bokeh if the subject and background are at the wrong absolute and relative distances. I notice the corners need f5.6 to be good, but that looks like a progressive thing related to lens design compromises and optics rather than stabilization. IS can be turned off entirely. I would still want OIS on in general because it both increases acuity as well as enables you to have a larger shooting envelope – fast lens yes, but you may need say 1/5s for a particular effect.

      • Kevin Lloyd says:

        Check out the word “Glass” on the garbage bins on the left of this shot… Note that the foreground IS sharp, when you get time… 🙂

        I agree ios is certainly handy, and I’m glad it can be turned off.

        • The word “Glass” is out of focus rendering and not a double image. Not always out of focus image is perfect blurry object. The quality of blur will change based on the distance from the plane of focus and the position on the image frame (center, edge etc.). It is essentially the lens characteristic. You may like or not like it.

  10. Ming, I have read a lot of your photoessays and respect your point of view. I also like the look of the Leica Q. I am wondering if this could be my ideal camera. I shoot at 28mm, 35mm and 50mm points of view. I am tempted to think the Q has all these bases covered (albeit at different resolutions). Could you please give your frank opinion about its capabilities in 35 and 50 mm equivalent crop mode?

    • You’re basically just cropping, with all of the limitations that includes. Your 50mm shot is going to be not much more than 12MP or so. I personally wouldn’t do it because it’s too much of an image quality compromise, but if you don’t print it probably doesn’t matter.

      • Thanks. I don’t print larger than 8*10. The other options I have considered are getting the wide angle and tele convertors for the FUJIFILM X100T system, that is lower cost, but brings a different set of compromises. Or giving up on compactness and shooting for something like a Nikon D750 with the relevant prime lenses

        • John Nicholson says:

          If like me you were lucky to have the balance tipped in favour by one third off the price of a new X Vario, you can have superb image quality and genuine (not cropped except in so far as it is a crop sensor) 28, 35, 50 and 70mm with a lens-sensor-pixel combination that leaves me at least perfectly happy even in low light. A much underrated camera and better I think than the Fuji X100 series and the converter lenses.

        • Well, if 8×10″ is your limit, I’d even consider M4/3.

          • Thanks for the steer….I am now looking into an Olympus OMD E1 with the 12-40 pro lens as an option for my purposes. I know Ming has used this combination. Would you still rate it well in today’s market?

            • Sorry I just read about the shutter shock issues you had with em1…. I guess it’s not a camera you would recommend in 2015….perhaps em5 or em5ii is a better bet

            • No, because of the whole shutter shock problem and inability to combine EFC with drive modes. I’d look at an EM5-II instead – which so far, at least, appears to resolve these problems.

          • John Nicholson says:

            Well, I’m talking A3 = 11.7 x 16.5. But what really interests me is the way you “see” 28mm, and as I have my get outs with the XV, it’ll take a lot of will-power just to stay with the 28, but your marvellous images are certainly a spur to try! Thanks.

  11. Great job

  12. Ming, great review(s) and images, as always! Thanks for sharing.

    I’d like to know your opinion on how the Q would perform as a walkabout camera for desert and mountain hiking (I generally shoot more landscapes than street). I’m comfortable with the 28mm focal length, and on some longer hikes I’d prefer not to drag my D810 + “big heavy lens of the day” along. One concern might be the loss of dynamic range as noted above. Anything else that you think I might find lacking?

    • Thanks. I’d say it’d do pretty well, but if you’re concerned about weight (I would be) and aren’t printing large, then a GR might still serve you better.

  13. If Leica were able to do an interchangeable lens version of this camera with a 21mm, 35mm, and 90mm (or 135mm) set of lenses, I’d be all over it as a bts camera.

  14. Hi Ming
    Can you run peaking without the magnification?
    Thanks
    Andrew

  15. Hi Ming,

    What great set of photos. I have just completed your Photoshop II class and learned a lot. I notice on my Q that the skin tones are a tad orange. Do you have a recommendation on adjusting the orange channel on the HSL tab in ACR to correct. I know it’s minor. I see it on my photos but not on your after processing.

    Again, thx for teaching me so much. Would love to do one of your live masterclasses some day.

    Ed

    • Thanks Ed. At the moment the default ACR profile isn’t quite right, so you’re just going to have to move the HSL tabs to correct per the color management section of the PSII video.

  16. iamamro says:

    A nice compromise of a small body and excellent IQ.

  17. Great pictures Ming! At least for this set alone, leica should gift you a Q because the more pictures you take with Q, the greater is the positive publicity for it!

  18. Hi, got myself a Q as well. I find the switch from LCD to EVF a tad too slow for fast street photography shooting.
    EVF only helps but prohibits the use of the LCD back screen for reviewing purpose.
    Is manual focusing fly-by-wire ? When the camera is off, it rattles when shaking. Although I think it should be doing it, it kind of leave me with a subjective feeling of less built quality.

    • You can increase the EVF eye sensor response, which I find helps a lot. Agree the EVF or LCD only thing is a problem – I would want to have EVF only for shooting and LCD only for playback.

      Rattles are the IS element moving; this is normal for every lens/camera with a moving element. It has to be loose in order to move at all!

  19. Ming, this set is simply sublime, from beginning to end. The word you used at the beginning of the post that sums the Q up best for me is “transparent.” Quite honestly, I could care less about any particular feature of this camera because the best compliment anyone could give it is an image set like this where I felt pulled into the images as if I was there. The camera feels less like a tool and more like a lens into your mind. Truly inspired set Ming. I especially love “Sorry we’re full” and “Strange attractor.” My deepest thanks to you for sharing!

  20. Ming, this set is simply sublime from beginning to end. The word you used at the beginning of the post that sums the Q up best for me is “transparent.” Quite honestly I could care less about any particular feature of this camera because the best compliment anyone could give it is an image set like this where I felt pulled into the images as if I was there. The camera feels less like a tool and more like a lens into your mind. Truly inspired set Ming. My deepest thanks to you for sharing!

  21. Hi Ming, Thanks for this terrific blog and your hard work.
    How is the Leica at higher ISO’s? What would you say are the limits for various print sizes?

  22. Handled on today at my local L store. I would know how to get used to it! EVF is indeed impressive, though I’d still add an external OVF for old times’ sake… Not at all comparable to Ricoh’s GR in portability, so I would not drop the GR quite yet. But we’re getting closer to the day where RF OVFs will seem quaint and pointless…

  23. Cascade is great! Are those urinals?

  24. I’ve heard that the focus peaking on the Q is one of the most accurate compared to almost all other cameras, do find this to be true also? Thanks a bunch. Great images by the way.

  25. jimtardio says:

    Image quality and workflow issues aside, how would you compare the handling and shooting experience with the Fuji X100T?

  26. Nice images Ming. Do you know if the Leica Q will work with Fuji’s EFX-20 flash?

  27. Thanks again. I have a lot of respect for your own work because of the images that you’ve shared here but also because of the technical quality that your professional work requires and your personal experimentation with ultraprints. Both exceed the requirements for any of the work that most of us need. Needless to say, this raises the question of how well the new Q would fit your own technical requirements. You seem to use the Olympus 4/3 for training and for personal use, the Nikon’s for professional assignments, the GR because it’s always available and works at 28mm for you, and finally the Nikon D810 and Otis for ultraprints. By now you must have considered where the Q might fit into this range of quality and reliability requirements. The Nikon D810 that you’re using for ultraprints features a 36 MP sensor, and high quality Zeiss lens. How close do you think the Q’s 24 MP and new lens come to that threshold? Would you bother trying to make an ultraprint with a Q image? Would you consider using it part of the time for professional shoots along with your Nikon? Price aside, it already sounds like you’d use it for personal use.

    I’ve already ordered one myself simply because it’s the type of camera that fits my own uses. How can I complain about all the things missing on previous Leica cameras (especially the rear screen on the M Monochrom, or lack of a high quality EVF on the Ricoh and Sigma’s) and then not jump on a new Leica that seems to have succeeded on all counts. The GR and Sigma DPM’s have already convinced me that it’s better to have a single, dedicated focal length lens on a camera than elaborate interchangeable lens cameras that weight a ton. These latter cameras weigh less and take up less room than an extra lens would take up. I also cannot see going above 16-24 MP if only because of the huge disk space required for storage and computer processing capacity that is required. Not worth this extra cost for most of us. I digress a bit. Back to “how close does the Q image quality come to ultra print requirements?” Which according to MT, “Ultraprints the *best* prints we know how, in every way – color accuracy, resolution, continuity of tone – all for one reason: to lead to a sense of immersion and transparency. Looking through the print and at a scene, instead of looking at a representation of the scene, in other words.” [Had to reread your dialogue again to get this.] And then: where would the Q fit into your other work if you ever bought one?

    • My pleasure!

      The Q will Ultraprint smaller, but for documentary work – which is what I’d use it for, and have used it for on my last assignment last week – this is not really a consideration. It replaces the GR because it has a larger shooting envelope and better image quality for professional use, and for personal use, it’s really a lot of fun to shoot.

  28. Wow, that plumbing for the urinals is very interesting, inserting art into unexpected places.
    “Brutality” photo is also interesting as it shows vast amounts of naked concrete. I’m not sure if I heard this correctly that concrete needs paint for protection too.

    • Indeed – I think the bathrooms at this place were a sort of art installation into themselves…

      Depends on what sort of concrete, from my understanding.

  29. john Görten says:

    Great images as usual Ming! Did you shoot any with f1.7? On Facebook a new user is reporting problems with a not 100% correct functioning AF, some unsharp images……. Maybe a bad copy
    Many thanks for sharing these Q images with us!
    John Görten

    • Yes, no issues with focusing except if the subject is so bright there is effectively no contrast (but this also is a problem with all CDAF cameras…)

  30. “Modern Magritte morning” is great – nice light!

  31. John Nicholson says:

    I’m just so fascinated with what you do with 28mm – some real learning for me in these images. Thank you.

  32. Given the amazing 1.7f, would I get the same results if I equip my D810 with Nikon’s 24mm 1.4 glass? What do you think?

  33. Hong Kong is such a great city.

  34. I should pick up mine later today, let’s see!
    “Cascade” is my fav of the set: so simple and brilliant 🙂

  35. Ming, like always, nice images from you, but these images can be done with any other good camera too! Right!
    You’re just making advertisements for this new Leica Q! That’s O.K.

    • Thanks – but no, they’re not advertisements, because I’d have to be paid for that…and I’m definitely not, if I have to buy the camera myself…

  36. Great images! It might just be me, but your images from the Leica Q all seem to have that extra something (the 4+ rating we talked about). ‘Bus and a half’ was my favourite in this set!

  37. Your are certainly enjoying the Q Ming. Think it shines through your fantastic images here … there’s some positive going on there.

    Can you elaborate a bit about the focus and recompose thing?

    • Better to use the AF point over the subject; there’s some field curvature.

      • Heh, I’m glad someone else thought to ask this too, because it left me wondering… 😉
        And then the answer is so obvious! I’ve always, but always shot “focus-recompose” so I really need to start thinking more about the more straightforward way of doing it – I guess that’s why we have movable focus points after all /facepalm ;^)
        Just love these pictures, irrespective of the camera, although it does seem rather good indeed. 🙂

  38. Bryan Campbell says:

    Is it accurate that the EVF is so good you can manual focus critically even without zooming in? Also, can IS work while manual focusing?

    Hope to see many more photos from the Q.

  39. Don Moraes says:

    Lovely shots! How is the dynamic range on the Leica Q compared to the Nikon D750??

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