Topic: Leica M Monochrom

The interwebs are a-buzzing again with more rich man's toys ... would be so nice if somebody could do this at a sensible price (e.g. a dedicated b/w low end EOS DSLR, Canon make an astro version of the 60D and I'd imagine a pure b/w one, no Bayer filter and hence much greater perceived sharpness for a relatively low pixel count and colossal ISO capability, would have a larger market than an astro model?)

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/revie … hrom.shtml
http://www.dpreview.com/news/2012/05/10 … on-preview

http://1.s.img-dpreview.com/files/news/7361553203/520/Leica-M-Monochrom_3qtr.jpg?v=1499

As it is, I'll stick with my Trip 35, Yashica D, old SLRs, FP4 and newly acquired Paterson tank for now :-) Looking forward to going back in time and doing some real b/w on the cheap!

Last edited by SteveFE (2012-05-11 07:33:45)

Canon EOS30D, Sony NEX-3
Favourite M/F lenses: Nikkor 50/1.4 pre-AI, Zuiko 50/1.4, Flek 35/2.4, SP 35-80/2.8-3.8, Macro-Tak 50/4 preset *NEW* Jupiter-8 and more rangefinder lenses to come!
Favourite (and only) AF lens: Sigma 12-24

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Re: Leica M Monochrom

It's not surprising that it's Leica doing this camera, it fits really well into their market segment (including how willing is their market segment to buy anything that Leica produces).

What I think they missed with this camera is the opportunity to create a pseudo-Bayer array but using varying degrees of ND filters instead of color filters. For example, substitute the green filters with clear filters, blue with +3 stops NDs and red with +6 stops NDs. That would smash any other camera at DR, anytime, and make a formidable camera with results not easily achievable with other systems.

I have to go back to shooting film again...

Re: Leica M Monochrom

TBH Al, I'm reasonably sure with my fairly limited knowledge of camera physics and tech, if a sensor manufacturer was to decide to make say a 10-12 Mpx fullframe mono sensor from scratch now, with big big photosites, gapless lenses, no Bayer matrix and no AA filter, it could have massive genuine dynamic range that would destroy most conventional colour sensors on the market, even the best ones, as well as film. Just that no mainstream manufacturers would perceive there being a market for it, even though Leica obviously believe there is, and a couple of other companies (e.g. Lytro) have managed to bet the farm on something different. I do think Lytro's a bit of a dead end technologically, smart idea but not well enough implemented for the current state of the market, although it may well come of age if their sales are sufficient to encourage ongoing investment.

Canon EOS30D, Sony NEX-3
Favourite M/F lenses: Nikkor 50/1.4 pre-AI, Zuiko 50/1.4, Flek 35/2.4, SP 35-80/2.8-3.8, Macro-Tak 50/4 preset *NEW* Jupiter-8 and more rangefinder lenses to come!
Favourite (and only) AF lens: Sigma 12-24

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Re: Leica M Monochrom

Several points in your answer:

- Lytro: I agree with you, it's not going to take off and I think it's due to two things, the lack of a true purpose from the consumer's perspective and a cumbersome way of dealing with the final output. The only application that I can think would be immediately good would be sports photographers snapping action pictures and then correcting the focus precisely in pp (but for that the technology needs to be on another league in both quality and tooliing).

- Leica supercamera:
   * Photosite size vs DR: I am not very knowledgeable in this regard, but I remember from memory some opinions saying that higher photosite density paired with technological advances would give higher resolution sensors an advantage in DR. The reasoning was that the photosites are reduced in area, and thus they get a smaller full charge, but the reduction in area also causes less photons hitting a given photosite and the net result would be a higher DR. This is all from memory, don't remember where I read it or how credible the opinion was (I am at work, cannot do the research again).
   * Even if your camera had an incredible dynamic range, adding a ND-Bayer pattern would improve it even more. I think I could use 18 stops sometimes big_smile
   * Do you really think 10-12 Mpx would be sellable in the current or future market? Even Olympus (that said that the mpx race was over and 12 were enough) has been introducing higher count models.

Re: Leica M Monochrom

Well I've printed 24x36" off an 8Mpx sensor. It's maybe not jawdroppingly sharp viewed closeup but it's certainly enough res to make a pleasing print viewed from a few feet off if everything else is done right. Whether it's sellable to a stupid marketplace is one thing, but it's certainly usable for people who know what's what.

Canon EOS30D, Sony NEX-3
Favourite M/F lenses: Nikkor 50/1.4 pre-AI, Zuiko 50/1.4, Flek 35/2.4, SP 35-80/2.8-3.8, Macro-Tak 50/4 preset *NEW* Jupiter-8 and more rangefinder lenses to come!
Favourite (and only) AF lens: Sigma 12-24

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Re: Leica M Monochrom

I agree! I actually was concerned when I got my 350D (8 mpx) because when I printed at normal sizes I did could not see the details I could see in my files, when magnified 100% on the screen. Too many pixels!

But then there's the market (stupid or not!) reality, that it's what I was referring to.

Re: Leica M Monochrom

A true BW sensor does exist. Here is a test and more details on the subject. IMO it becomes fairly clear that the problems involved and the very small market such a camera would appeal too would never make a mass produced consumer version worthwhile for the manufacturer or user.
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/revie … atic.shtml

Re: Leica M Monochrom

Thanks for this link Rob , I wasn't able to understand this thread without this test .

I am a Pentacon and kiev( MF and35 mm) user,and also :contaxII,III,IIa  ,contaflex , contarex bullseye ,voigtlander ....

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Re: Leica M Monochrom

Ah, yes, thank you for sharing that link Rob. I remember I was fairly unimpressed by the resolution gains of the b&w sensor the first time I read it.

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Re: Leica M Monochrom

For the say, the Phase One Achromatic+ is a lot more and in absolute term far more rational approach.

It will always be a debate whether there should be made a more major market B&W body. The reality is there indeed is a market for such, but yet there is a risk of coming put with something and needing to re-model it as in cycles akin to today's major models. Which is really not the case, but hardly so for the Mfr.

The grip with all these is not whether there is market for such, which there is, its how much shelf life such a camera can have, and let's say this is customer's own undoing also as any new camera, and if the Mfr let it stand for something in length , their customer keep crying fault ( Canon had been bombarded for real before the 5D-III for keeping the 5D-II for that 3 years without an upgrade )