Leica M (TYP 240) Fast Start

Lesson 10/14 - Set Button Menu Functions


Leica M (TYP 240) Fast Start


Lesson Info

Set Button Menu Functions

So it is time to jump into the menu system so let's make that jump ourselves and take a look at what the menu has to offer in here. So in the menu you're gonna have about five different pages of information we'll have one page for camera stuff one page for image stuff and then three pages for general set up information. Now the set menu is a just different version of the menu and this has some of the more important information for image quality settings and so this is what they call the picture parameters. And so we're gonna be looking both at the regular menu and the full set menu in this section. As far as navigating you can use the control wheel for going up and down you can also use the directional pad for going up and down the different menu items but then you'll go right to enter or you could press the info button, that's good as well, and then you go left to exit out of it and so keep that in mind as we make our way through the rest of the menu system. So we're gonna start with ...

the set menu so you can activate this by pressing the set button and these are the most important critical controls that aren't on the outside of the camera right here. So if you wanna make a quick important adjustment it's probably going to be here in the set menu. First up is the ISO and so this is going to lead us into a sub menu so let's dive into here. In here we can choose our ISO and so we'll be able to go from 200 to and then pushing it all the way up to and pulling it down to 100. We also have an auto option where the camera will choose for us which ISO to bump up to, and in the auto mode, the way it works is it basically looks at what shutter speed you have selected or is being selected by the camera. If that shutter speed gets too low it starts bumping up the ISO for you. Taking a look at the results from using this camera at different ISOs it's very clean, in my opinion, up to 1600, gets a little bit grainy at 32 and gets very grainy at and so keeping it in that two, four, eight region is gonna keep it really clean, but that 16 and 32, may be of use when you really get into low light situations. I like to check the cameras on their dynamic range and so what I'll do in this case, in this case that ISO 200, I will shoot a series of photos from underexposed by five stops to overexposed by five stops and then I try to correct for it in post production and see what happens. And what I've learned from this is if you look at the plus two, and three, and four, and five EV, the corrected images just don't look very good and so what that tells me is that you really have to be very careful about over exposing your images with this camera. You could over expose by a stop and correct for it with a RAW image but don't go more than a stop. If we look at the shadow regions, how much shadow recovery can we do? The camera does quite well it does get a little bit grainy and chunky when you are pulling things back four and five stops of exposure value, and so, be very careful with the meter on this it's not quite as versatile as some of the more modern cameras that have slightly different sensors on them. So in general I would recommend ISO as much as the time that you can have. Getting the best image quality possible and then raising it when and where necessary after that. The next little sub-netting in here is the maximum auto ISO so when the camera is in automatic ISO how high do you want it to go? What is the highest number that you want? And so you wanna set this in here so that your camera doesn't go beyond anything that you don't think is acceptable. You have to have the camera in auto ISO to access this so if you haven't set ISO to auto you won't be able to get to any of these lower settings in here. The maximum exposure time. What this is gonna control... Excuse me. The maximum exposure time is gonna control what the longest shutter speed that you use if you are using auto ISO. And so a good standard is one over the focal length of the lens. As an example let's take a 28 millimeter lens. If you have it set to one over the focal length it's gonna set a shutter speed of a thirtieth of a second. If you want, you can set it to two times or four times the focal length which would give you a 60th or 125th of a second if you know that you maybe are not real steady holding the camera, or perhaps if you're shooting subjects that are moving a little bit quicker. And so one over the focal length is good, and once again, this is setting the shutter speed that when the camera gets to that shutter speed that's when it starts bumping up the ISO so that you don't go below that particular shutter speed. Auto ISO in manual mode, they coulda just put this as on and off but if you wanna turn auto ISO in the manual mode you can use that, if you don't wanna use it, you can turn it off, and it basically maintains the previous ISO that you have set on the camera. So normally we'll set ISO at 200. White balance. This allows you to adjust for different types of light settings and so let's take a look at the Kelvin scale which ranges from orange to blue, there's different natural light settings like daylight, cloudy, and shadow, and then tungsten is the one that is the most different that is the most common. We do have different types of fluorescent lights that have different colors that can be accommodated for and flash, of course, is very neutral in its color. We do have an option of auto white balance which does work quite well on this camera so that's pretty good safe place to leave it most of the time. We do have a greycard option where we can measure the light off of a white card, or anything that is neutral in color, to correct for unusual lights that we might be working under. Then we have the option of color temperature where we can actually input the specific number that we want if we're still not getting what we want with any of the other settings. So automatic is gonna be good for most of the time. But I want to talk about how to use the greycard options so what you'll do is you'll select the greycard and we'll go... I'll walk through a little demo here in just a sec. Then you'll photograph a neutral colored subject. Move the cross hairs to the desired area and then press the info button to correct the color and then press the set button to confirm that that setting is what you want. And so I don't have a greycard with me here but I do have some white paper and that oughta work pretty well. So what I'm gonna do, and so that you can see a little bit more easily what's going on, I'll see if we can use the live view on the back of the camera, I'm gonna put the camera in aperture priority here. And I'm just gonna hold the white down here in the corner of it to see if I can correct for this but what I'm gonna do first is I need to go into the set menu into white balance and I'm gonna go down, down, down, down, and select the greycard option right here, I will hit set, it's gonna ask me to take a photo, I'm gonna make sure that my white piece of paper is kind of out in front of the image here, so there's my photo. I'm gonna move the cross hairs over to the white sheet of paper, get right down in here, and this is where we're going to sample this and so now I'm going to hit info to preview see right up here on the top it says, info to preview. So I'll hit info. And it didn't make much of a change 'cause it was already pretty well corrected in here, and so, info to preview, so that basically preview, I could choose different areas, let me just choose something different there's something green back here let's see if I can preview this. And let's see if I get this on here. Yeah, that changed it definitely. So I'm gonna go back here and correct for that by hitting the info button, correct for that, and then I'm gonna hit set in there now and white balance is set. And so if I go back in here its on the greycard and it's specifically tuned to the lights that we have here in the studio and so if you need to adjust it for a particular environment that's a good system for doing it. All right next up is file format this is where we get to choose between JPEG files and RAW files so let's take a look at the different options in here. First up, for anyone who wants to get the highest quality images out of this camera you probably wanna record it in DNG, it stands for digital negative. This was a format that was developed by Adobe it's an open source platform so anyone can create a product that uses a DNG file format and so it's a very common language when it comes to a RAW format image. So this is going to be a 24 megapixel image it's gonna range in file size between 22 and 48 megabytes depending on another setting that we're going to get to in a moment or so. And so that's where you're gonna get the most color information, the most exposure information, you'll be able to make the most adjustments later on and that's why most people who shoot in this camera are probably gonna wanna shoot with that 'cause it gets you the most information. JPEG images are very convenient because they can be read by most computers they're smaller in file size and they can be transferred very, very easily and quickly so we do have different options on JPEGs. Now one of the little quirks on this camera and I don't know why, but it is, and so I can't answer the why, but I can tell you that it is, if you'll notice the resolution is slightly different between the DNG and the JPEG, those numbers, they're off by a little bit, so that when you shoot JPEG and RAW at the same time they're not exactly the same size files, they're similar but they're not exactly the same. So we have a JPEG fine, a JPEG basic, which either has more or less compression for higher quality, lower quality, smaller file size, larger file size. We have an option of recording a DNG plus a JPEG so if you're the type of person who needs that original really high quality DNG but you also need a quick JPEG to do work with you can do that as well in either a fine or a basic quality JPEG. I prefer not to be shooting in RAW plus JPEG because if I have a RAW I can use a wide variety of software to create my own JPEG. So once again, if you have a DNG, a RAW file, and you have any sort of post production software you're gonna be able to create a JPEG. If you shoot just in JPEG you cannot create a RAW from that. So DNG is gonna be my preferred choice in here. For sure. Next up is JPEG resolution. If you do wanna shoot JPEGs, sometimes we need to shoot JPEGs, that's a fact of life, there are different resolutions that you can shoot on here and so it depends on how large you're going to need that image, and so once again, just be aware that the JPEG and the RAW resolution is slightly different when you are shooting the 24 megapixels. Video recording, so anyone who wants to shoot video on the camera this is gonna be an important setting on this one and so we have different optional settings. The FHD is the full high definition which is 1920 by 1080 in resolution, we have the standard HD and then we have a VGA if you're looking for a really small video that could maybe be transferred a little bit more quickly on the internet. And so usually we're trying to shoot in fairly high quality. A little bit awkward in this case because we don't have 30 frames a second which is what is very common for a lot of video shooting in many countries around the world. 25 is very common in PAL countries a lot of places in Europe have that and 24 frames a second is what a lot of Hollywood movies are shot at and so it's a just different type of system and so you may wanna take a look to see which works best with where you live. Exposure compensation, we talked about this, there is a dial on the back of the camera, by pressing the front button of the camera, the focus button, and turning the dial, you can change your exposure compensation. You can adjust it here as well but you can go in and turn on direct adjustment and so what this will allow you to do is to make a direct adjustment on the back of the camera with the dial and this is the way a lot of people have this camera set up. It's not the way you get it out of the box but it's a good adjustment because if you're in the aperture priority mode it allows you to very quickly and easily make your pictures a little bit brighter or a little bit darker. Exposure metering, we do have the options between spot, center-weighted, and multi-field, and when you are in the range finder mode on this camera you can select all three of these to work with but it does get a little bit funny in the way that it works which I will explain as we go through this. Center-weighted is where the camera is looking predominantly at the center of the frame for judging the light metering of a particular scenario. It's a good general purpose system and it's what Leica's been using for a long time. There is a spot option which uses a small 3.5% area it's about the size of the focusing spot in the viewfinder and this is good for subjects that have a lot of bright or dark areas around it. We do have a multi-field area which has 24 different fields and it measures and contrasts these areas to try to come up with one even exposure. It does a very good job under mixed lighting but there is a little caveat in the way that works and so I tend to wanna stay with center-weighted with the camera, partly for historical reasons, but the reason as to the way it works in here is just a little bit funky as I'll explain as we go through this. So the center-weighted metering is done off of this sensor at the base of the shutter unit. It's pointed back at those light colored shutter blades, it's reading the light off of there, it is ever so slightly weighted a little bit heavier to the bottom of the frame than the top of the frame, that way to disregard a little bit of the information of potentially bright skies. And so I'm gonna recommended that you use center-weighted here. User profile allows you to set up different profiles in the way that you like to have the camera set up. So in this we go into a sub menu and there's a default profile which is the factory default settings in the way the camera is set up for ISO, white balance, and so on, and so forth, and if you wanna go in, and adjust these, and save them as user one, for instance, you can go in and have four different custom settings on your camera. Perhaps you have one for street photography and one for people photography, one for landscape photography, and a fourth one for something else that you do. Program the camera the way you want it, you come in to here, and you save it as a profile, and it asks you, which way you want the camera saved, and then if you wanna go into manage profiles you can get in here, and you can go in, and control some more information. In fact you can rename the files perhaps you name it portrait, or people, or street, landscape, things like that. You can go in here and rename it according to what works for you. If you want, you can import files from a card so that if you have saved images from a different camera or a different user has a profile that you want to use you can send that information forward and back from the camera to the card. And so this could be something that you just have many different profiles saved and you could just have a memory card that saves those for you. Alright, so that is the set button, which are some of the most important settings that you might want to critically get to in any one short period of time.

Class Description

Purchasing a Leica camera is a major investment, and it’s important to know how to maximize the features of your new camera. Join expert photographer John Greengo as he gives you all the information you need to understand the camera's capabilities.

In this class John will cover:

  • The subtle controls which house an abundance of options.
  • How to work with the Leica lenses and their descriptive depth of field scale.
  • User profiles of shooting settings
  • A full explanation of menu items along with a list of recommended settings.

The Leica M (Typ 240) is the first Leica model to offer live view and the option of using an electronic viewfinder. This camera also is the only Leica in the M series to offer video recording. As the camera body is so similar, this course appropriately covers all Leica cameras in the M family. John will explain all of the special highlights of this camera so that you’ll be able to capture the images you love.