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Author Topic: Leica M Monochrom review  (Read 18839 times)
bobtowery
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« on: May 10, 2012, 05:44:49 PM »
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While I'm having one hell of a time tearing my eyeballs away from the right side of this image, say, isn't that the ghost of HCB there on the left?

Looks like a very interesting image making machine. As Michael intimated, one would have to be quite the dedicated B&W shooter. But to get (even more) superb B&W files from the M9 style would be a treat indeed.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2012, 05:47:52 PM by bobtowery » Logged

Alan Goldhammer
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« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2012, 06:01:24 PM »
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In a world of infinite money, I would buy one of these in a second.  Since that is not the world I live in, I guess I would take the same amount of money and purchase a Nikon 800/e and enough prime lenses to make me very happy.  I like what Leica has done here (as I shoot a lot of B/W) and it will be interesting to see what the unit sales of this are (it may be beyond niche, e.g. very low, but who knows maybe there are those that have the money to buy it).
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bobtowery
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« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2012, 06:06:53 PM »
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Psssst: Michael. If that is a crop, we might want to review the uncropped version in order to take in the complete range of tonalities.
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Michael LS
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« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2012, 07:02:02 PM »
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"Unreal Tush"...

Now THAT'S a photograph even Gary Winogrand
would've appreciated! (ala "Women Are Beautiful")

Or ZZ Top-
"Lord take me downtown, I'm jus' lookin' for some tuhhhsh!"

what camera was that again?
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FranciscoDisilvestro
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« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2012, 07:05:21 PM »
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Finally a camera with RAW histogram. Anyway, the comment about this being not possible in a colour capable sensor is not correct.
If your RAW data is not blown, it doesn't matter what white balance you select later, as long as you know what you're doing in post processing.
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alban
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« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2012, 07:37:45 PM »
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Manequin?  But of course
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dreed
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« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2012, 07:52:24 PM »
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Please put your stories through a spell checker and include a custom dictionary if need be. The last two stories have been good examplws of why this is a good idea.
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JohnBrew
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« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2012, 07:52:51 PM »
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Once again Leica has put a premium price on a body with little advancement for photography. Yeah, I'd like to have it and I can afford it, but I won't buy it because Leica has become a boutique camera and caught up in their own mystique. Disclaimer: I do buy their lenses for use on other camera bodies, however  Smiley.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2012, 07:54:57 PM by JohnBrew » Logged

LKaven
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« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2012, 12:02:12 AM »
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D800 monokuromu desho ka?
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Rajan Parrikar
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« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2012, 12:06:13 AM »
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Make Mine Monochrome.
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Petrus
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« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2012, 12:26:37 AM »
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I am amazed that the review does not mention one big drawback this monochrome Leica has compared to any color digital camera when producing B&W pictures: the inability to adjust the grayscale rendition of colors in post. Lightroom and PS both have a pack of infinitely adjustable color filters, while for the Leica you need glass filters applied at the time of shooting with no possibility of adjusting in post. This inflexibility alone makes the camera worthless for modern B&W photography. If "hate posts" are certain to appear in photo forums, this time there is a good reason.
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michael
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« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2012, 12:29:57 AM »
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Please put your stories through a spell checker and include a custom dictionary if need be. The last two stories have been good examplws of why this is a good idea.

I couldn't agree more.

Michael
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mtomalty
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« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2012, 01:01:56 AM »
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Michael

How are deep,dark areas resolved with this camera/sensor at iso settings of 800 and higher?  What does it look like when dark
shadow areas are boosted?

After four months,I've recently dumped my M9.
The noise found in dark areas ranks among the ugliest I've experienced and led to constant
extremely disappointing resuts in challenging conditions.
Wen te files were 'on' they were a dream, when 'off', an absolute nightmare

Mark

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Chairman Bill
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« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2012, 02:19:16 AM »
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Presumably, because no colour detail is recorded, we'd be back to using coloured filters, rather than applying the effect in post-processing. Personally, I like the options of varying my filtration after the fact, and the Silver Efex 2 that comes bundled with this M9 does that rather well. An option that will be superfluous with this camera, it would seem.
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Ben Rubinstein
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« Reply #14 on: May 11, 2012, 03:21:25 AM »
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I wonder if they will be selling less summilux's now as you can't shoot them wide open outdoors anymore in daylight with that high a base iso. Not only colour filters but ND filters too.

Personally and Michael will have to forgive me, is that really the best Leica can do? It kinda screams 'this is the only way we will get better DR, high ISO noise and resolution in a Leica', a rather desperate engineering solution dolled up as nostalgia, while that screen in 2012....
« Last Edit: May 11, 2012, 03:27:28 AM by Ben Rubinstein » Logged

Aku Ankka
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« Reply #15 on: May 11, 2012, 03:39:45 AM »
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There are yet again mistakes on technical details in the article. Michael, you may be a very good photographer, but you really are not proficient at writing about the digital technology. I enjoy reading bits of your articles, but when you start talking about self-proclaimed experts, you imply that you are an expert. You're not.

You write:
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Among these is that since the luminance information is only being sampled from the green cells, there is actually less resolution available than one might think. About 2/3rds in fact

Luminance information is not sampled only from green cells, but from red and blue as well, unless one really wants to use some very simplistic demosaicing algorith. I don't know where you get the 2/3rds guestimate, as measurements disagree with that and give closer, or over 90% of Nyquist. By using the 2/3rds figure, you say that a Bayer CFA sensor only resolves as if it had 4/9th of the pixel count it has, ie. less than half. Or maybe you don't mean resolution when you talk about resolution, but pixel count?

You write on the monochrome sensor:
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there is no possibility of either colour moire or related artifacting.
Moire is a form of aliasing and aliasing significant on this camera - it is visually more noticeable than in the regular M9 due to no color information fuzzying it to the brain.

You write:
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Engineering a monochrome sensor equipped camera isn't simply a matter of removing the Bayer array. Though based on the M9 sensor, a significant amount of reengineering at the chip level was required.
This is utter nonsense. There is zero engineering required for the sensor to enable removal of the Bayer CFA. I am sure the Leica marketing disagrees, but it really is as simply as not installing it in the first place.

I do enjoy reading some of the articles on this site, but the technical ones tend to be bad. Considering that there are lots of people who treat large profile web sites as authorative, it is, in my opinion, irresponsible to write text which might just as well have been written by a copywriter for Leica merketing. This last paragraph is such a piece.

It is my opinion, that you should restrict yourself into writing subjective entries instead of technology articles. I am sure this article of yours was proof read by people around you, either "experts", or people who don't want to hurt your feelings, but when the result is almost every tie a bunch of factual errors, it's more harmful than helpful for the society as whole.

You're right on something as well:
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niche product within a niche
This is very true.

This is also the reason why it's more expensive that the regular one. Those who really want it don't care how much it costs. Leica M-series digital cameras are quite obsolete when it comes to technology. They're all very, very much overpriced for what it costs to make one. What they are is a fashion item. It can be used as a tool, and in some very limited cases might even still be the best tool (considering the lenses), but the price is because of the brand.
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michael
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« Reply #16 on: May 11, 2012, 04:16:54 AM »
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Aku,

Thank you for your comments. With all due respect, all I can say is that if I have to choose between the technical information I get from the scientists and engineers working at the top digital imaging companies in Europe, Japan, and America, or you, somehow I think you'll end up being the loser.

Michael
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tom b
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« Reply #17 on: May 11, 2012, 04:47:38 AM »
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So Aku Ankka who are you? Surely not Donald Duck.

Cheers,
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sandymc
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« Reply #18 on: May 11, 2012, 06:09:50 AM »
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Whoever Aku may or may not be, he or she is correct about luminance and about aliasing. Luminance is not just green! Something that anyone that ever used a lab color space should know.

On aliasing, any sampled digital system without a filter will alias if pointed at something with the right (or wrong if you prefer) characteristics. You could read "colour moire or related artifacting" to mean "color moire or color artifacting". In which case the article is technically correct, given that it's a monochrome camera, but the point becomes trivial.

Any "experts" saying otherwise - aren't experts.


Sandy
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barryfitzgerald
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« Reply #19 on: May 11, 2012, 06:10:53 AM »
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Makes me want to rush out and buy a Voigtländer and put some more Ilford in the freezer.
If you want the old school look, I think your best best is to do the old school stuff..the real deal the real thing b&w film  Cool
You can get an awful lot of stuff for a lot less than this model.

I know Leica is a niche player, but I think this is a bit too niche even for them
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