DSLR vs. Leica M9P - Modern Dance Recital

Discussion in 'Leica M Forum' started by ajramirez, Apr 24, 2013.

  1. ajramirez

    ajramirez SC All-Pro

    Jul 9, 2010
    Caguas, Puerto Rico
    Antonio
    Those of you who also participate at LeicaPlace may have already seen this post, so please forgive me.

    Last week, I was asked to photograph a modern dance recital by Puerto Rican dancer and choreographer Viveca Vázquez, and her dance troupe Taller de Otra Cosa, at the Puerto Rico Museum of Contemporary Art. I showed up at the dress rehearsal on Thursday with my trusty Canon EOS kit (50D, 17-40 4.0L, 70-200 4.0L IS). The lighting was rather dim, which forced me to crank up the ISO to 6400, which is far beyond my comfort zone with the 50D. Notwithstanding that, I thought the photos turned out well enough after noise reduction and PP. I took about 550 shots that day.

    Since I felt I already had the shots I needed, at the actual performance on Friday, I sat with the audience with the intention of just watching the performance, but took my Leica M9P. Of course, I ended up shooting the entire performance, taking about 210 shots.

    I was really surprised when I sat down to process the shots on Saturday. First, I mostly nailed the focusing with the Leica, even though I was shooting wide open the entire time (2.8 or 2.5). Also, the Leica shots are, to my eyes, crisper and richer in tone than the 50D files. I know this is not a fair comparison, particularly since the 50D was shot at ISO 6400 and the Leica at 2500, but it was the 2.8 lenses (vs. the 4.0 zooms) that allowed me to shoot the Leica at 2500 at hand holdable speeds.

    In any event, I turned in a disk with 86 shots, 55 from the Leica and 31 from the 50D. Considering I took about 200 shots with the Leica and over 500 with the 50D, the keeper rate with the Leica was significantly higher.

    Here is a small subset. There's actually more 50D shots than Leica shots in this set, but this is my favorite bunch.

    8666513263_dd4e456b30_b.
    Taller de Otra Cosa by ramirezaponte, on Flickr - Canon 50D

    8675291264_e43edb0fbf_b.
    Taller de Otra Cosa by ramirezaponte, on Flickr - Canon 50D

    [​IMG]
    Taller de Otra Cosa by ramirezaponte, on Flickr - Canon 50D

    8667615300_332cbf847b_b.
    Taller de Otra Cosa by ramirezaponte, on Flickr - Canon 50D

    8674187357_38ecf08299_b.
    Taller de Otra Cosa by ramirezaponte, on Flickr - Leica M9P

    8669752873_e0947ce974_b.
    Taller de Otra Cosa by ramirezaponte, on Flickr - Canon 50D

    8662470160_c00cf1af70_b.
    Taller de Otra Cosa by ramirezaponte, on Flickr - Canon 50D

    8669752827_730b7b72fe_b.
    Taller de Otra Cosa by ramirezaponte, on Flickr - Canon 50D

    8670854602_b9c4c79c69_b.
    Taller de Otra Cosa by ramirezaponte, on Flickr - Canon 50D

    8662470158_21cea1b6cf_b.
    Taller de Otra Cosa by ramirezaponte, on Flickr - Canon 50D

    8670854564_03ce0e6bc2_b.
    Taller de Otra Cosa by ramirezaponte, on Flickr - Leica M9P

    8674187335_e4ce445a1f_b.
    Taller de Otra Cosa by ramirezaponte, on Flickr - Leica M9P

    8675291230_0fc051eb76_b.
    Taller de Otra Cosa by ramirezaponte, on Flickr - Leica M9P

    8666513205_d2cc59d97b_b.
    Taller de Otra Cosa by ramirezaponte, on Flickr - Leica M9P

    8666513241_a4d2f4ab54_b.
    Taller de Otra Cosa by ramirezaponte, on Flickr - Canon 50D

    [​IMG]
    Taller de Otra Cosa by ramirezaponte, on Flickr - Leica M9P

    8670854538_7439d45562_b.
    Taller de Otra Cosa by ramirezaponte, on Flickr - Canon 50D

    8674187305_b0031b2bd3_b.
    Taller de Otra Cosa by ramirezaponte, on Flickr - Leica M9P

    8675291224_b7068d3725_b.
    Taller de Otra Cosa by ramirezaponte, on Flickr - Leica M9P

    8666513225_d0b5157da6_b.
    Taller de Otra Cosa by ramirezaponte, on Flickr - Canon 50D

    8669752731_3c6f2d0bf0_b.
    Taller de Otra Cosa by ramirezaponte, on Flickr - Canon 50D

    8675291180_02235499b2_b.
    Taller de Otra Cosa by ramirezaponte, on Flickr - Leica M9P

    8674187255_3173e511b1_b.
    Taller de Otra Cosa by ramirezaponte, on Flickr - Canon 50D

    8670854476_11e4121e2b_b.
    Taller de Otra Cosa by ramirezaponte, on Flickr - Canon 50D

    Cheers,

    Antonio
     
  2. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    When I grow up, I want to shoot like you do, Antonio. You make it seem effortless to just churn out beautiful photos.
     
  3. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Jack
    Well done AJ! Excellent photos. You sure nailed the focus every time with the M9P! How close were you to the stage when you were sitting with the audience and using the M9P? Shooting with the Summarits?
     
  4. 1- Your making the rest of us look bad. Great shots.

    2- In competant hands, Compacts sure are holding their own against full sized DSLR's.
     
  5. ajramirez

    ajramirez SC All-Pro

    Jul 9, 2010
    Caguas, Puerto Rico
    Antonio
    Thanks, Armando. I was actually sitting fairly close, 20 - 30 feet away at most. We were actually sitting on beanbags on the Museum's courtyard, and the dancing took place on stage at times, but all around us at other times. Most of the M9P shots were done with the 50mm 2.8 Elmar M, and a few with the 90mm 2.5 and 35mm 2.5 Summarits.
     
  6. xdayv

    xdayv SC Veteran

    257
    Mar 22, 2013
    Tacloban City, Philippines
    Dave
    Love the set, whether it was from the Canon or Leica. The photogapher made the difference!
     
  7. Penfan2010

    Penfan2010 SC Top Veteran

    747
    Jul 21, 2012
    NJ, USA
    Ed
    AJ - great set, I love the photos. Very diverse set of dancers, it looks like a fun production. I like all the photos, but it is great that you captured the action and focus so well with your M9. Thanks for sharing.
     
  8. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    I'm still a big fan of the 50D, but it just isn't practical for me anymore against much smaller and newer cameras. I don't think that I ever shot mine at ISO 6400, though.

    Regardless, a wonderful collection of images whichever camera you were using.
     
  9. ajramirez

    ajramirez SC All-Pro

    Jul 9, 2010
    Caguas, Puerto Rico
    Antonio
    Thanks, Nic. ISO 6400 is marked as H1 in the 50D as it is the first "extended" range speed. It really only should be used in an emergency, as the chroma noise is really significant and banding starts to creep in. But, noisy photos are better than no photos in most cases... :smile:

    I keep thinking that I should replace the 50D with a more modern EOS body, but I really only use it for work for the Museum, and since it is not a paying gig, it's hard to justify the expense.

    Cheers,

    Antonio
     
  10. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    I really should have sold my 50D about a year ago (and more to the point the few EF lenses I still have left), but I do get a bit sentimental about the old Canon and still use it from time to time* :smile: For that matter I also still have my battered looking 350D from 2005 which works as well as it ever did.
     
  11. entropic remnants

    entropic remnants SC All-Pro

    Mar 3, 2013
    John Griggs
    This is an exact illustration of Robert Capa's statement about if your photos aren't interesting, you're not close enough. These really feel intimate and often put you right there almost as much IN the dance was just seeing it. Nicely done.