Just recently announced. A surprise to many, but not to some, especially those folks who have been shooting with the Leica. As what I have blogged in the recent past >> Black and White, it has become a reality! As the name suggests, the Leica M Monochrom shoots only black and white, here are my random thoughts about this camera:
1. I like to have one, I love to shoot black and white, I love the nostalgia of it and seeing the world in monochrome brings back that retro-feel of the 60s, 70s and 80s… that being said, forcing me to shoot in this environment leads me to concentrate more on the process of creating the photograph.
2. The price tag of the Leica (oh yes for most of us mere mortals!) is a bit way out of range (Sorry Dave, it’s a Leica!)… What I didn’t really like is Leica kept everything almost the same with the Leica M9-P in terms of its specifications. If they had put M10 specifications in it, or just simply upgraded all the nuances of the M9, this might as well justify the added cost.
3. Why not just shoot in full color and convert it in post-processing? Yes this could be a strong argument for most of us. But removing the color filter has enabled all individual pixels to record the true luminance values, and in turn will increase the resolution and sharpness, increase dynamic range and tonality (so they say). And furthermore, this has even given the Leica M Monochrom the ability to shoot at a maximum of ISO 10,000 (compared to the ISO 2,500 on the M9-P). There will also be caveats in doing so, once you blown out the highlights in the Monochrom, it will be difficult (/impossible) to pull back the details for blown-out highlights. In the “normal” sensors that we use, if there are blown-out highlights, we can still salvage and pull back some details because there are other color channels (RGB) to rely on. For technical details and more info, click here to Leica’s official website >> The Leica M Monochrom.
4. I hope the move of Leica entices the other brands like probably Fuji (Nikon/Canon??) to make one as well, that could be interesting. As of now, I will just keep on dreaming that someday I might get hold of something like this.
Photographer’s note: F/2.8, 1/1000, ISO 400, Nikon D70s, Nikkor AFD 85mm 1.4
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