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Author Topic: Updated Leica Monochrom  (Read 2277 times)
JB Rasor
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« on: November 20, 2013, 02:48:41 PM »
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I was curious if anyone had an educated guess on when, if ever, Leica would release a newer Monochrom model? I'm asking because I'm almost certain I'm going to pull the plug and get the Monochrom. But, if a new version is months away I'd perhaps wait. It's a lot of cash so I thought I'd get some Lula feedback first. Thank!

JB
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wildlightphoto
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« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2013, 03:59:44 PM »
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A very reliable sign that a newer model is coming is the appeareance of 'bling' versions of the existing model.
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Rob C
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« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2013, 04:04:32 PM »
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A very reliable sign that a newer model is coming is the appeareance of 'bling' versions of the existing model.


Do you mean that there's another kind?

;-)

Rob C
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Jim Kasson
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« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2013, 04:37:00 PM »
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...I'm almost certain I'm going to pull the plug and get the Monochrom. But, if a new version is months away I'd perhaps wait.

The advantages that the Monochrom has over the M9 are better sensitivity (but not improved dynamic range) due to the lack of light absorption by the (missing) color filter array, and freedom from demosaicing artifacts, errors, and bad guesses. My research on converting raw deep-infrared images (see that here) indicates that, for the tested B&W images, the demosaicing problems are minor.

If you made B&W images with the M240, you'd get the greater sensitivity, and you'd also get greater dynamic range. The increased resolution might compensate for any demosaicing errors. And you'd be able to focus long lenses accurately, make color images, and have a few bucks in your pocket.

You might want to get some raw files from both cameras and do some experimenting.

Jim
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JB Rasor
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« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2013, 03:09:34 AM »
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It's an interesting comparison between the two. I've always heard that MM images need a lot of work in post to get them just right, i.e. they come out of the camera a little flat. While that may be true, I find processing the MM files to be a breeze. Perhaps because there are fewer options. But that said, I'd hate to spend $8k and Leica release an updated MM next month, though there appears to be no sign of that happening. I just wanted to get a take from the gang at Lula.
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Petrus
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« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2013, 03:28:33 AM »
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I have never understood why some people prefer "fixed" B&W images from the camera, when so much B&W adjustment range and tweaking possibilities are available when shooting in RAW color. All possible color filter effects can be done in post with conversion software and plugins like Silver Efex. Pure B&W sensor does have certain advantages, but for me they are minimal compared to the convenience and limitless post processing possibilities offered by a RAW color file.
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Rob C
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« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2013, 09:46:10 AM »
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I have never understood why some people prefer "fixed" B&W images from the camera, when so much B&W adjustment range and tweaking possibilities are available when shooting in RAW color. All possible color filter effects can be done in post with conversion software and plugins like Silver Efex. Pure B&W sensor does have certain advantages, but for me they are minimal compared to the convenience and limitless post processing possibilities offered by a RAW color file.


Absolutely; why would you throw away half of your possibilities? Without making parallel exposures of any scene it's a nonsense for anyone to state that a given system from an excellent camera maker is superior to another from the same source using the same optics, when all that the person really has going for him is opinion based on flexible memory and hope that can colour itself, chameleon-like, to suit the conclusion desired?

In the end, it's taking the train back to carrying two sets of film and/or bodies, just to cover your ass if you suddenly see something that screams for colour. If it screams for b/white, you can make it happen regardless. One-way options of that sort are hardly brilliant options unless you are absolutely colour blind or simply never use colour out of fetish-driven personality.

But hey, it's not my money!

;-)

Rob C


P.S. All that said, if anyone wanted to give me any current Leica M-type as a gift, I'd very grateful!

« Last Edit: November 21, 2013, 12:20:41 PM by Rob C » Logged

TMARK
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« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2013, 01:22:44 PM »
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I used to think this as well, but after using one for a week and processing the files, I can say that the MM looks more like silver than anything I can get out of my M9, the M240 I tried, my old and sold Phase One P30+, the 5d2, or the D800e.  Seriously, the blacks and grays are chalky and have a nice texture to them.  The only think I don't like is how the highlights blow, they are abrupt and empty.

That being said, I didn't buy one.  I almost did, but in reality if I want to seriously shoot black and white the M9 and D800 are really good.  In fact the D800 is very close to the MM.  If I bought an MM I'd have to sell my m9s and D800, and STILL cough up a grand or two.

I have never understood why some people prefer "fixed" B&W images from the camera, when so much B&W adjustment range and tweaking possibilities are available when shooting in RAW color. All possible color filter effects can be done in post with conversion software and plugins like Silver Efex. Pure B&W sensor does have certain advantages, but for me they are minimal compared to the convenience and limitless post processing possibilities offered by a RAW color file.
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Petrus
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« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2013, 01:49:59 PM »
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  In fact the D800 is very close to the MM. 

It would be interesting to see a comparison between D800(e) and MM, both with "straight" B&W conversions from Nikon and tweaked "artistic" conversions from the same, against the Leica MM output. Resolution AND the "interpretation" compared.
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TMARK
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« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2013, 02:30:01 PM »
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I use Silver FX.  I'm not concerned with resolution, just tones.  The D800e has really nice blacks and deep grays.  Aside from the different look of the lenses, after some post MM and D800 images look very close.

To be frank, when I'm shooting black and white I'll use an M6 before an MM/M240/M9/M8, an F4 before a D800, and a 501cm before using a digital back.

It would be interesting to see a comparison between D800(e) and MM, both with "straight" B&W conversions from Nikon and tweaked "artistic" conversions from the same, against the Leica MM output. Resolution AND the "interpretation" compared.
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Telecaster
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« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2013, 03:07:28 PM »
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To be frank, when I'm shooting black and white I'll use an M6 before an MM/M240/M9/M8, an F4 before a D800, and a 501cm before using a digital back.

Yep. After a break of nearly a decade I've started developing b&w film again. 35mm and 120. I'd forgotten how much I enjoy it!

-Dave-
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TMARK
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« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2013, 03:17:03 PM »
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This is why I passed.   

Yep. After a break of nearly a decade I've started developing b&w film again. 35mm and 120. I'd forgotten how much I enjoy it!

-Dave-
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JB Rasor
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« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2013, 04:39:15 PM »
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Well lol. I can't say I disagree with the thoughts and analysis of the members. But for me, it's a little akin to shooting film. The fact that your only option is monochrome, it's a range finder and the sensor has incredible resolution. I always carry a color M 240 with me as well, so the MM would be an addition to my kit.

To be clear, I have no desire to shoot film, nor do I have a desire to lug a DSlr around anymore. Hence my conversion to rangefinder cameras. I really enjoy shooting with a rangefinder more than anything else. So for me it is opening possibilities to add an MM. And the files are really something special. I'll see how they stack up against the A7R, but my suspicion is the MM out resolves it. We shall  see.
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wolfnowl
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« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2013, 01:44:29 AM »
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I'm definitely not as technically literate as some, but it seems to me the only difference is that you take a black and white sensor, add a bayer matrix (or equivalent) and some software to bundle the RGB outcomes and you have a 'normal' digital camera.  You take a black and white sensor, skip the bayer matrix and you have a monochrome camera, so it never seemed like a big deal to me.

Mike.
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Rob C
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« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2013, 02:56:13 AM »
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I used to think this as well, but after using one for a week and processing the files, I can say that the MM looks more like silver than anything I can get out of my M9, the M240 I tried, my old and sold Phase One P30+, the 5d2, or the D800e.  Seriously, the blacks and grays are chalky and have a nice texture to them.  The only think I don't like is how the highlights blow, they are abrupt and empty.

That being said, I didn't buy one.  I almost did, but in reality if I want to seriously shoot black and white the M9 and D800 are really good.  In fact the D800 is very close to the MM.  If I bought an MM I'd have to sell my m9s and D800, and STILL cough up a grand or two.




And that, T, for black/white is a kiss that's deadly. I found it a problem with Velvia 50 insofar as colour was concerned, and was one reason that I preferred Kodachrome, even for non-humans subjects.

Kodachrome - the 64 ASA, at least - let me shoot white clothing and still retain good detail; I tried the slower stuff, which I think was 25 or thereabouts, and couldn't use it. It was where b/white film did really well as long as one didn't overexpose or overdevelop. But film was also strange: I used TXP 120 but hated its 135 version, where Ilford's HP3 and HP4 were more suited to my work. I have no idea why - it just didn't seem to match the lens characteristics I suppose.

Rob C
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Petrus
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« Reply #15 on: November 22, 2013, 03:29:41 AM »
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I'm definitely not as technically literate as some, but it seems to me the only difference is that you take a black and white sensor, add a bayer matrix (or equivalent) and some software to bundle the RGB outcomes and you have a 'normal' digital camera.  You take a black and white sensor, skip the bayer matrix and you have a monochrome camera, so it never seemed like a big deal to me.

Mike.

B&W sensor translates the colors of light into shades of gray in a certain way. If the photographer wants some other translation/interpretation he has to use colored filters in front of the lens when taking the picture (to darken the blue sky with yellow filter, for example). When converting a digital color image into B&W, there are endless possibilities of adjusting the color to grayscale mapping for each color = unlimited number of adjustable color filters which can be used and experimented with after taking the photograph. That is the advantage of using color RAW file to make the final B&W picture.
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KevinA
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« Reply #16 on: November 22, 2013, 03:32:19 AM »
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I think they have a cheaper one with extended DR already, it's called the M7.
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Kevin.
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« Reply #17 on: November 22, 2013, 02:01:03 PM »
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To the OP: if you like the way the MM renders tones (I do, though I don't own one) by all means go for it. I wouldn't expect a replacement any time soon...I suspect Leica has enough on its plate for awhile with the M240.

-Dave-
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JB Rasor
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« Reply #18 on: November 23, 2013, 12:50:46 AM »
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I think you're right Telecaster. Thanks for all of the feedback everyone!
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JeanMichel
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« Reply #19 on: November 23, 2013, 09:43:22 AM »
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B&W sensor translates the colors of light into shades of gray in a certain way. If the photographer wants some other translation/interpretation he has to use colored filters in front of the lens when taking the picture (to darken the blue sky with yellow filter, for example). When converting a digital color image into B&W, there are endless possibilities of adjusting the color to grayscale mapping for each color = unlimited number of adjustable color filters which can be used and experimented with after taking the photograph. That is the advantage of using color RAW file to make the final B&W picture.

Hi,
I resisted participating in this forum as I do not own an MM, nor have seen any prints made with it. I do own an M9 (and film M's on the shelf). Prior to 'going digital', my personal work was almost exclusively in b&w. I usually carried two M's - one with 100 and one with 400 b&w film, and occasionally a third one with colour film. The thing is, I visualized my images as b&w -- not as maybe colour, maybe b&w. Now, the 'maybe this maybe that' is both a boon and a liability. Oddly enough I find myself thinking almost exclusively in colour when working my my 5d2, with the m9 it is a bit of 'I'll decide later'. If I was independently wealthy I would consider an MM and maybe carry two bodies again, since I'm not I'll make do with the M9!

In addition to the MM thread kept alive by Allen Bourgeois, you may want to read and look at the images by Jean Bardaji at http://www.camtecphoto.com/en/rangefinder/parallax

Jean-Michel
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