New Leica Monochrom M

The Leica Monochrom M as the name suggest only shoots black & white images but cost £6,200. With kind of price tag is it even worth it? After all the advantage of the digital era is that you have the flexibility to change coloured into monochrom images. Once an image has been converted to monochrom it is easy to alter the contrast or to add filter effect, so why would you want to restrict yourself to monochrome only?
I myself prefer to have both options. However, they are some photographers for whom Black & White is the only option.


Leica Monochrom M

Essentially, the Monochrom is virtually identical to the Leica M9 except for the obvious modifications. The sensor in question is the same KAF-18500 model originally produced by Kodak and the lack of colour filter array means that more available light will hit the sensor. As a result the base ISO sensitivity is increased from ISO 160 to ISO 320 and the maximum sensitivity also increasing from ISO 2500 to ISO 10,000. The reason for the increase at the high-sensitivity end is that colour image noise is non-existent. This allows recovery of more details from shadow areas and the luminance noise should look far more speckled and similar to film grain.

Picture courtesy of Jack Au Sobol

The Leica Monochrom M is completely manual focus with manual shutter and aperture priority. It also has a 2.5inch, 230,000-pixel screen which means small screen and of low resolution which is NO LCD  SCREEN.

They are a few other things to consider such as highlights blowing out more easily than cameras with colour filterarray over the sensor. This means that images needs to be underexposed for best results. On the other the only way to describe the quality of the images is STUNNING.

PS: The Leica Monochrom M is 35mm film camera

One Comment Add yours

  1. Leica cashing in on their history…….
    Buy a film version (they also hold their price, which cannot be said for the digital version) and a good scanner.


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