Leica M8 IR Madness

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    (hmm upload has inverted the order of this image and the next magenta one)

    Here is an "as shot" image showing the Leica M8 "IR Sensitivity" issue. One of the problems with the M8 is that it is overly sensitive to Infrared light and shows up as magenta. The heater should be a reddish-organge color on the left and the chef's clothes are blackish grey, as is the drape thing by to the back kitchen. The next photo is an attempt at the "work around" from the Leica Forums: www.leica-camera-user.com/digital-forum/9178-magenta-work...

    So definitely get the M8 if you love magenta. :-P

    Update: I just started a Flickr group for all of you crazy people:


    plugimi, manu contreras, jose.iu, and 5 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    1. trafal 86 months ago | reply

      "So definitely get the M8 if you love magenta. :-P " looool

      B&W is however pretty good, and that is something most digitals do not do too well.

    2. Joi 86 months ago | reply

      I'm going to start an M8 Magenta Group. ;-)

    3. Joi 86 months ago | reply

      OK. Done. If you really love magenta clap you hands!


    4. justin 86 months ago | reply

      don't they beta-test cameras?

    5. David Sifry 86 months ago | reply

      Is that Cory? The glasses and haircut give me hints...

    6. Joi 86 months ago | reply

      Haha. No, it's a Japanese chef. ;-)

    7. Jim O'Connell 86 months ago | reply

      Wow. I had no idea the problem was that bad.

    8. Joi 86 months ago | reply

      By the way, this is the Leica "official line" on the "Above average IR sensitivity" issue.


      Above-average sensitivity for infrared light (synthetic fabrics are rendered with a slight magenta offset)

      During the development of the LEICA M8, we made important design choices to insure that the camera delivers the quality in images the Leica M System is known for. Keeping the protective glass cover on the sensor as thin as possible on the one hand has the benefit of allowing the full potential of Leica lenses on the LEICA M8 to be utilized with respect to their sharpness and contrast rendition, but it also absorbs less of the infrared light. In everyday photographical use the resulting above-average sensitivity for infrared light may lead to a faulty color rendition, especially in the case of synthetic fabrics which - depending on the ambient light - cannot be rendered fully black but only with a slight magenta offset.

      Our solution: We will offer special screw-on type UV/IR filters for all Leica M lenses. With respect to the Leica M's compact build the combination of a thin absorption filter on the sensor and a screw-on interference filter on the lens represents the best technical solution. It completely eliminates the color offset caused by infrared light. When using lenses from 16 to 35mm, we suggest opting for the 6-bit coded ones, in order to prevent a color offset towards the edges. No disadvantages must be expected for the images when the LEICA M8 is equipped with the latest firmware (from 1.10; available as of early December 2006).

      Leica Camera AG offers every LEICA M8 customer a basic kit of two UV/IR filters with diameters of her/his choice and free of charge. Delivery will commence as of early February 2007. In order to receive the two free IR/UV filters, please register yourself as of December 6th, 2006, including your name and address as well as the camera's serial number. After your registration you can order two filters of choice which will be delivered to your address. Additional filters will be available from your Leica dealer.

      Continuing improvements through firmware updates

      As is common with digital products, Leica Camera AG is constantly working on improving firmware details such as in the case of the automatic white balance. All improvements will be made available for our customers as downloadable firmware updates.

      We are confident these corrective technical measures will fulfil every expectation of even the most demanding customers.

      March 6, 2007

      Firmware version 1.10 is expected to be available by the middle of April 2007.

      The image sensor in the Leica M8 is highly sensitive to infrared light. This can lead to a magenta-colored offset (e.g. with black fabrics). Leica recommends using exclusively the special Leica UV/IR filters on the lenses in order to prevent the infrared light from reaching the CCD sensor. These screw0in type filters work based on interference. As a result, and depending on the angle of the incident light, they have differing degree of spectral transmission, which in turn can lead to color offsets towards the images’ edges with focal lengths from 16 to 35mm. Together with coded lenses, the firmware version 1.10 corrects these color offsets. (Using other UV/IR filters can result in uncontrollable color offsets that cannot be compensated.)

      The new firmware calls for very extensive programming and testing though, so, regrettably, the introduction of version 1.10 will be delayed until presumably middle of April 2007. Lenses as of a focal length of 50mm can be used without any restrictions with the present firmware.

      The delivery of the free Leica UV/IR filters has commenced.
      The delivery of the first UV/IR filters to customers has commenced. The filters are intended as free basic equipment for the Leica M8. Due to the especially high demand for the Leica M8, it may take a few weeks in some cases until the desired filters can be shipped.

      We hope the described measure will increase your satisfaction with the Leica M8 and wish you continued pleasure discovering the many creative options offered by the M8.”

    9. JHR_CDN 86 months ago | reply

      There are certainly easy ways to correct this minor image flaw. I had to correct every single shot I ever made with (insert "full-frame" pro camera here) for skin tones, which were universally magenta even in properly white balanced RAW shots ;)

      BTW--how did you white balance this? Do you see how magenta the skin is here? I'm curious, since flourescent light doesn't have that much IR in it in my experience.

    10. Joi 86 months ago | reply

      I just auto-WB in C1 Pro.

    11. redmirrorflex 82 months ago | reply

      Doesn't Leica give away free lens filters for this problem for the time being?

    12. Joi 82 months ago | reply

      Yes. It took them a long time to get them sent out though. I think that when I posted this picture, people who had bought their M8s November, still didn't have them.

      I have filters on all of my lenses now so all is fine.

    13. Utahgrapher 81 months ago | reply

      I had the same problem. In C1pro use the Phase One P30 product tungston color profile instead of the generic M8 profile. It should take care of most if to all of the magenta shift...

    14. Marcelo Colmenero 55 months ago | reply

      i'm considering getting myself a M8 and that freaked me out... any idea if the magenta issue is the same with the M8.2?


    15. Joi 55 months ago | reply

      It's the same, but it's fine if you get an IR/UV filter for each lens. They've solved the problem on the M9.

    16. Marcelo Colmenero 55 months ago | reply

      i'm really between a M8 and a RD-1, to be honest. very, very hard to choose... the pros and cons of each are really hard to be put against!

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