I like to create presets in Lightroom for every camera I have. Nothing that might give me the photo finished but as a way to approach the RAW file to a look I like and then fine tune it from there.
When i purchased the Leica M Typ 262 (used on eBay for a good price after the M10 came out), I was excited; DNG files! Awesome! Not one of those proprietary type of RAW files that can be a pain in the ass to process. Oh boy, was I wrong!
I don’t want to get too much in depth into it, that could be material for a later blog entry. But let me explain that I found that the files were not all that “tame”, specially when it comes to reds. I was kind of disappointed. Fuck! I’ll say that I was pissed off with myself (that is more accurate), for spending all that money and getting those files. I was coming from Nikon where the RAW files are pretty easy to work with; and Fuji that I shoot in JPEG since the colors are great and don’t need much process done.
Things are changing. I think there were two major mistakes on my side. One; I shoot with Zeiss glass, so there is not 6 bit coding on those lenses, so if you don’t choose the right “equivalent lens” from Leica the camera does some weird things to the color interpretation. And two; I was not understanding that i could not process this files like I usually do, they needed a different approach.
After some work I think I’m understanding better the camera and the dang sensor, and I’m really pleased to see that now my files are coming out with a tonal range I like much better than what I was getting in the beginning. Skin tones still a bit of a pain in the ass as you’ll be able to see in later entries. But overall I’m happier than when I first tested the camera. It seems that getting images that resonate with an analog look (please take this with a pinch of salt) is not that complicated once you understand Leica’s understanding of color.