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01-18-2020, 02:50 PM   #1
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New Leica M10 Monochrom, B+W only, will U buy ?

I enjoyed reading this article in Popular Photography regarding the new Leica M10 Monochrom, which only produces images in B+W.

It's an expensive camera, no surprise being a Leica Rangefinder, however the price might seem odd to some, given it only shoots in B+W. But I've always felt there is something about B+W images and that goes back many years ago (50 +/-) when at my then work, my now vintage Pentax S1a was invariably loaded with Tri-X 400 ASA... ready to go out on assignment.

Probably because of that experience I enjoy the look of B+W images even to this day, where I often convert my K1, K5,GR ll etc....images to B+W. Would I buy a new Leica Monochrom M10 rangefinder ?

No.

Even if I had a bin of money like Scrooge McDuck.... I couldn't and probably .wouldn't... justify the expense. But it is a beautiful machine for those who want it and buy it.

Full disclosure...I have a Leica Rangefinder with a Leitz Elmar collapsible 50 lens. But it is ancient and I bought it for about $ 300 CAD, over 35 years ago...when it was already 30 years old. But it does give me that Leica 'feel' and I tell you, there's nothing quite like a Leica rangefinder.



Hands on with Leica?s M10 Monochrom, plus sample images | Popular Photography

Will you buy ?


Last edited by lesmore49; 01-18-2020 at 04:00 PM.
01-18-2020, 04:11 PM - 1 Like   #2
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Well, after the H1a I used in 1966, I got a Leica M4 in 1968, and (except for a brief try with a Canon FT) have used Pentax and Leica ever since. I still use the M4! I never bonded with a digital camera until the Leica M9. Although the K5 gave some nice images, I never got along with the tiny VF, and hate autofocus. I blew my retirement funds to get the M9, and after 7 years of great service, Leica replaced the sensor for free, even though long out of warranty. Eventually I saved enough to add an M10, and still use my 1970s Leica lenses on both, although have added a few modern lenses too.
But I won’t get an M10 mono. I still prefer film for B&W.
01-18-2020, 06:07 PM   #3
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No.

1) The K-1 with pixel shift has almost the same resolution as the M10 and much more flexibility for managing the RGB->B&W conversion. (Admittedly with the stiff restriction of static subject matter)

2) I don't like the labelled dialed UI of the Leica. The e-dial design of the K-1 is better for working with the full range of exposure settings and for resetting the dials to an auto value as needed (M+green button rules!).

3) I prefer the K-1 body. The Leica body feels like a hold-over from the film era rather than something designed for the human hand.

4) The cost!!!!!!
01-18-2020, 08:18 PM   #4
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01-18-2020, 09:36 PM - 2 Likes   #5
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Buy a used P6x7 or 67 or 67II and shoot b&w film for the next 25 years, still will be cheaper and the 6x7/67/67II will never be obsolete.

Phil.
01-18-2020, 10:36 PM   #6
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Some day when I have ’that much’ money, I ’d like to try Leica to know what ’they’ are talking about. But might not even in that fortunate moment buy something like this. Sounds great still thou. When I did shoot film, I did shoot exclusivly B&W just because I could develope it my self. And did not really like shooting with colour film.
01-19-2020, 12:42 AM   #7
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My thought on first reading about the new M10 Monochrome was: imagine a K-1 version, fitted with that sensor, and what Pixel Shift could do for it.

If I didn’t have so many current other uses for the money, I’d think about buying one, though. I doubt Ricoh would have the stomach for a punt like that.
01-19-2020, 04:21 AM   #8
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Pixel shift as Pentax use it won't help a monochrome sensor (it only sees illuminance values for each pixel so shifting the sensor a pixel would give the same result).

01-19-2020, 05:17 AM   #9
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Monochrome sensor makes more sense on a medium format camera, due to exposure being more often contrained by aperture and shutter speed. Removing the CFA array , leads to better sensor sensitivity (hence shorter exposure time, at constant lens aperture) but doesn't improve dynamic range, and the limited dynamic range is what prevents to exposure more in order to lower noise.

---------- Post added 19-01-20 at 13:27 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by RobA_Oz Quote
My thought on first reading about the new M10 Monochrome was: imagine a K-1 version, fitted with that sensor, and what Pixel Shift could do for it.
Pixel shift not needed with monochrome sensor. Stacking multiple monochrome exposures in place would reduce noise. Personally I don't find that noise in digital cameras to be limiting image quality, they is quite a few stops of ISO leway before noise become an issue. The most effective way to improve potential image quality in digital cameras is the increase of sensor size, everything else leads to tiny improvements in image prints.

Last edited by biz-engineer; 01-19-2020 at 05:27 AM.
01-19-2020, 07:26 AM   #10
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It’s catering for a very small niche in our photography niche. You don’t ask if the results are high quality and if the camera and its lenses are well made (they are, and how!) but you especially don’t ask how much: if Sir has to ask, Sir can not afford. I did have a try at an earlier digital M once and didn’t like the UX. Some love it, I didn’t.

For the same moulah, I could kit myself out with the last ILC outfit I’d ever need. Seriously. Probably get a dashed good printer to top it off too!

Last edited by StiffLegged; 01-19-2020 at 08:56 AM.
01-27-2020, 01:11 PM   #11
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I shoot a GSW690III, a Texas Leica, which I enjoy and gives me that 'real' BW look and feel. But as time wears on, I'm sure shooting my medium/large format gear may become too much. And in which case I would get a specialized BW digital camera. Because it would be that time in life where I'd buck up because you can't take the money with you after you're gone.
01-27-2020, 11:22 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by TomB_tx Quote
Well, after the H1a I used in 1966, I got a Leica M4 in 1968, and (except for a brief try with a Canon FT) have used Pentax and Leica ever since. I still use the M4! I never bonded with a digital camera until the Leica M9. Although the K5 gave some nice images, I never got along with the tiny VF, and hate autofocus. I blew my retirement funds to get the M9, and after 7 years of great service, Leica replaced the sensor for free, even though long out of warranty. Eventually I saved enough to add an M10, and still use my 1970s Leica lenses on both, although have added a few modern lenses too.
But I wonít get an M10 mono. I still prefer film for B&W.
My K1 has a filter where I can change my pix taken in colour to B+W...in camera...or just set up the K1 to take B+W if I wish. I'm assuming you can do that on your M10, although I don't know for sure. On my Ricoh GR ll, I have 3 settings for different types of B+W and I really like this feature on a small camera.

In the end If I were to get a new Leica rangefinder...I would want the option of being able to set the camera for B+W or colour, depending on whatever I wanted at the time. I couldn't see myself buying a camera that would only take B+W, such as the Monochrom.

But I do know the enjoyment in using a Leica Rangefinder. I still love taking my near 70 year old llf out for the occasional spin.
01-28-2020, 12:01 AM   #13
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Maybe stupid question: if you put your color dslr camera on B&W mode, would you have more pixels at your disposal, because you donít need red-blue-green? iow would that result that in a 3-fold higher resolution b&w pic vs the color version?
01-28-2020, 09:15 AM   #14
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One thing about converting digital color to BW is you effectively get lots of "colored filter" options. With BW film, and I assume a BW only sensor, you have to put on a colored filter ( at the expense of absorbing light) to darken the sky or change the rendered tones that different colors produce. A red filter can cost you up to 3 stops of ISO speed. You want to use colored filters with BW often. For example, red and green can reproduce to a similar tone of grey. To separate those tones more you would want to put on a red or green filter. Converting color to BW you get way more than the typical yellow, yellow-green, green and red filters.
01-28-2020, 09:32 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marcel K Quote
Maybe stupid question: if you put your color dslr camera on B&W mode, would you have more pixels at your disposal, because you donít need red-blue-green? iow would that result that in a 3-fold higher resolution b&w pic vs the color version?
No...the in-camera conversion is done from a fully-processed color JPEG.


Steve
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