Leica M11 Dynamic Range Test

I’ve just tried out my new Leica M11 for the first time. We had tropical level rain out in Adelaide in January 22nd 2022 and writing this on January 23rd, it is still grey, overcast and intermittent heavy downpours so I haven’t yet been able to try the camera out as much as I’d like.

I don’t want to do a pixel peeping level review of the Leica M11, rather I want to just get out and use it. So I think my review of this new camera will take a while as I try everything that it has to offer.

The dynamic range of the Leica M11 is up to 14 stops if you are shooting DNG at 60 mega pixels and up to 15 if you shoot at 30 or 18 mega pixels. I’ve only used the camera on 60 mega pixels so far, and took the camera out for a walk around Adelaide Central Market for street photography testing, intentionally under and over exposing several shots and picking shots where the highlights could blow out or the shadows crush to see how recoverable they are in Adobe Lightroom.

If you have come here from my YouTube video, as promised, here you can Download the DNG RAW files for yourself to try out.

The scooter: Original heavily over exposed, and the recovered. I thought I’d lost all that detail in the sky, but the Leica M11 has proven that details in blown out highlights can be recovered nicely.

This has really impressed me about the shadow recovery of the Leica M11: First image, I’ve underexposed but as you can see with a few simple tweaks by bringing the exposure up in Adobe Lightroom, lifting the shadows a bit, then recovering the highlights by pushing them down a little I have got a very usable image with minimal noise.

Seriously, Download the DNG RAW files for yourself to try out and see what you can make of these files. You’ll be impressed about how recoverable badly exposed images can be with the Leica M11 or, if you are into creating high dynamic range photos what a great tool this new camera can be.

I took this shot of the retail display, again underexposing intentionally. Brining up the exposure is resulting in a very usable image.

Haighs. A South Australian icon. Well, although not one of the best framed shots out there, it is great to see in an unprocessed image, the shadow detail, the detail in the highlights where the bright display hasn’t blown out and general detail in what was taken at a high ISO in a darkened market.

3 Responses

  1. Hi Adam, thanks so much for the DNG files look forward to seeing these on my actual machine to check things like import speed and adjustments. It has also taken me to your site which I am very keen to explore further also. No digital M at the moment (had a M8.2 and M240 in the past) but still have my M3. Many thanks

    1. Thanks! Stay tuned as I’m working on an ISO test as well, same shot at every ISO the camera can do. I’m hoping to have that finished and the DNGs available this week.

  2. Great infos , thank you for that ! If I can ask , what I would absolutely love is to be able to download a color chart ( xrite passport ) taken with the M11 if you have . for me color science of cameras are more important than dynamic range and the colours of the m11 seem rather good .. thank you

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