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Author Topic: final judgment on Lieca Monochrom  (Read 17615 times)

alifatemi

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final judgment on Lieca Monochrom
« on: May 23, 2015, 10:21:06 am »

I like to ask all friends here who have had first hand experience with Lieca monochrome, those who really have it and leave with it for long time, what is your idea in long run of this camera if we forget about deferences between viewfinder and SLR and just focusing on B&W picture differences. I am considering buying monochrome but don't know if even after post production manipulations, we can reach any meaningful verdict between the two? even without considering monochrome such a high price tag. I mean lets forget about viewfinder pros/cons compare to SLR, and lets forget about price we gonna pay for monochrome, can't we really reach the same file quality of monochrome with really good SLR with best chosen lenses available and also after in post production turning the files to B&W and tuning them accourdingly? Regards.
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jrp

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Re: final judgment on Lieca Monochrom
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2015, 12:55:20 pm »

The answer to your question is, obviously, "yes", as you can generate an infinite variety of b&w renditions of your colour image, but the only thing that you can vary with the b&w one is the local and global contrast and exposure; you cannot lighten or darken specific colour ranges only luminosity ranges.

That said, the b&w Leicas will produce slightly cleaner / less noisy pictures than their colour counterparts (particularly with older lenses, which were not corrected in the blue spectrum, because film was not sensitive to it).

How much any of this matters depends on what you are shooting, in what volume, and what you intend to do with it and how good your post-processing skills and aptitude are.

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Iluvmycam

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Re: final judgment on Lieca Monochrom
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2015, 11:26:44 pm »

MM?

It is OK. It tends to burn out the highlights unless you underexpose. Here is a shot done with the MM.

https://danielteolijr.files.wordpress.com/2015/05/whimsical-composition-copyright-2015-daniel-d-teoli-jr-mr-v42.jpg

Here is the rundown on the M240. Same thing applies to the MM if you wish to read my review. M240 does have the color sliders that can be used in PP as was noted previously.

https://danielteolijr.wordpress.com/2015/05/11/my-review-of-the-leica-m240-that-dp-refused-to-publish/
« Last Edit: May 24, 2015, 05:03:07 pm by Iluvmycam »
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Allen Bourgeois

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Re: final judgment on Lieca Monochrom
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2015, 03:01:26 pm »

If you are a B&W street photographer there truly is not a better digital tool for that. The files from my MM are much cleaner and void of artifacts that are sometime associated and some of hte problems I had when converting color to B&W. I tend to see in B&W and I shoot a lot of street so for me it was a no brainer. And apparently the original was a good enough seller for Leica because they just released an ungraded CMOSIS version. I don't have any plans of upgrading but the files I have seen on line from it are pretty amazing.
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Petrus

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Re: final judgment on Lieca Monochrom
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2015, 03:34:16 pm »

An important part of my B&W workflow is to find an artistically pleasing B&W interpretation of the scene in post. That is only possible by shooting color RAW. That alone takes Leica Monochrom from my list of possible cameras, not to mention the cost. I might loose a bit in resolution (unless using Nikon D800 series), but gain much much more in other possibilities in forming the final B&W rendition.
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Telecaster

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Re: final judgment on Lieca Monochrom
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2015, 05:06:22 pm »

An important part of my B&W workflow is to find an artistically pleasing B&W interpretation of the scene in post. That is only possible by shooting color RAW. That alone takes Leica Monochrom from my list of possible cameras, not to mention the cost. I might loose a bit in resolution (unless using Nikon D800 series), but gain much much more in other possibilities in forming the final B&W rendition.

This is certainly a valid approach, and one I tried (to like) during the mid & latter 2000s. But the approach that works best for me is the opposite: dial in a pleasing monochrome palette in-camera, then stick with it. Or use b&w film. This means using JPEGs with CFA'd-sensor cameras, which is fine 'cuz I then expose as though I'm using a b&w transparency film like Agfa Scala. Little post work wanted or needed. Options deliberately limited. An advantage with EVF cameras is that I can see what I'm getting in the finder as I do it. With film, or with the Monochrom in my limited experience with it, a few filters are enough to tilt the overall tonality a bit as desired.

-Dave-
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Allen Bourgeois

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Re: final judgment on Lieca Monochrom
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2015, 08:16:46 pm »

I only shoot raw and I can tell you the files from the MM are just spectacular. The original 18mp has been compared sharpness wise to the Nikon d800e because there is no color. The noise also looks more like at high ISO (6400 and 10,000) like tri x processed in a acutance developer like Rodinal. I can see a difference in large prints when I convert from color and the prints from the MM. Plus the idea of B&W not being an after thought like if you had B&W film in your camera. You are looking for things appropriate for B&W prints not, oh this shot might look cool in B&W. It is a much different approach.

Here's a little something comparing the original MM and the d800e
http://blog.mingthein.com/2012/05/27/leica-m-monochrom-vs-d800e/
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alifatemi

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Re: final judgment on Lieca Monochrom
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2015, 12:23:07 pm »

I only shoot raw and I can tell you the files from the MM are just spectacular. The original 18mp has been compared sharpness wise to the Nikon d800e because there is no color. The noise also looks more like at high ISO (6400 and 10,000) like tri x processed in a acutance developer like Rodinal. I can see a difference in large prints when I convert from color and the prints from the MM. Plus the idea of B&W not being an after thought like if you had B&W film in your camera. You are looking for things appropriate for B&W prints not, oh this shot might look cool in B&W. It is a much different approach.

Here's a little something comparing the original MM and the d800e
http://blog.mingthein.com/2012/05/27/leica-m-monochrom-vs-d800e/

But using B&W film, we could use color filter to enhance or reduce certain tonality either in front of camera or later on in lab; can we still use color filter also with mm?
« Last Edit: May 25, 2015, 12:44:46 pm by alifatemi »
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Internaut

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Re: final judgment on Lieca Monochrom
« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2015, 12:37:49 pm »

But using B&W film, we could use color filter to enhance or reduce certain tonality wither in front of camera or later on in lab; can we still use color filter also with mm?

Not so much a case of could; rather I think it is recommended?
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Petrus

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Re: final judgment on Lieca Monochrom
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2015, 12:53:24 pm »

But using B&W film, we could use color filter to enhance or reduce certain tonality either in front of camera or later on in lab; can we still use color filter also with mm?

Yes in front of the camera (lens), not later in the lab.

The same applies to Leica Monochrom. You can use classic B&W color filters during the shoot. Then you are more or less stuck with the tonality you captured.

By shooting color and converting to B&W in post you can try, test and experiment with all possible and impossible color filters, with the same frame.

If that is worth more than some "artistic constraints" and slight advantage in resolution Leica Monochrom provides is up to you.
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jjj

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Re: final judgment on Lieca Monochrom
« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2015, 02:01:23 pm »

An important part of my B&W workflow is to find an artistically pleasing B&W interpretation of the scene in post. That is only possible by shooting color RAW. That alone takes Leica Monochrom from my list of possible cameras, not to mention the cost. I might loose a bit in resolution (unless using Nikon D800 series), but gain much much more in other possibilities in forming the final B&W rendition.
Same here, such a very useful modern workflow. To go back to the limited [pre-raw shooting in a way] more film style workflow is a retrograde step as far as I am concerned.
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Allen Bourgeois

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Re: final judgment on Lieca Monochrom
« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2015, 03:40:09 pm »

Proper tool for the job not one size fits all.

I have color digital cameras for when I do color work (pro work). All of my personal work and some annual report and some bill board work has been B&W for well over 2 1/2 years now so the MM was a no brainer for me. Plus there is not a better digital tool for B&W street work than an MM. The freedom to go from 320 ISO to 6400 ISO one frame ot the next and have 6400 look like tri-x medium format is just terrific for me.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2015, 03:45:34 pm by Allen Bourgeois »
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Allen Bourgeois

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Re: final judgment on Lieca Monochrom
« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2015, 03:44:46 pm »

The files have so much in them you have so much room for contrast and tonal control. Much more than you get with a color sensor and no artifacts. I own both. While I was in college I took two semesters of zone system (8X10 & 4X5 view cameras) and yes I did all the tests. I also shot with 500 C/Ms for a couple of decades and did custom B&W and color printing as well as shooting professional for many years and the files from the MM are the only B&W digital files that have truly impressed me.

My workflow is in CS6 (I never warmed up to either LR or SE and both came with the MM) and is a lot like I would work in the darkroom.

I had a one man exhibit of my street work here in Chicago back in March and two of my college professors attended (both film guys) were really impressed with the print quality.

And yes I use color filters with the MM the same as I would with B&W film.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2015, 07:20:46 am by Allen Bourgeois »
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Telecaster

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Re: final judgment on Lieca Monochrom
« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2015, 05:42:36 pm »

By shooting color and converting to B&W in post you can try, test and experiment with all possible and impossible color filters, with the same frame.

If that is worth more than some "artistic constraints" and slight advantage in resolution Leica Monochrom provides is up to you.

There's no need for pejorative descriptions of what's actually just a different way of doing things. What works best for you doesn't work best for me. To not accept this suggests arrogance. To accept it suggests tolerance of individual differences.

-Dave-
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jjj

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Re: final judgment on Lieca Monochrom
« Reply #14 on: May 25, 2015, 05:47:44 pm »

There's no need for pejorative descriptions of what's actually just a different way of doing things. What works best for you doesn't work best for me. To not accept this suggests arrogance. To accept it suggests tolerance of individual differences.
People do like to take offence at absolutely nothing.  ::)
I simply saw someone offering an alternative take on why this Leica camera has drawbacks compared to say using a colour raw file and then said it was your choice which you preferred.
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Allen Bourgeois

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Re: final judgment on Lieca Monochrom
« Reply #15 on: May 25, 2015, 07:27:58 pm »

The thing I like about the MM is it is a REAL alternative to every other camera out there. Choices are a good thing. So with the sales of the old MM being so strong Leica decided to make an upgraded version is all good so to the OP the final judgement is it is an amazing camera and the perfect tool if you are a digital B&W street photographer.

Also wanted to say that I have never found the MM limiting. Using the right tool for the job is liberating in my opinion. The MM and a 35mm lens is a very good match for the way I see. Finding the equipment that matches your vision is never limiting but freeing.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2015, 10:26:44 am by Allen Bourgeois »
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Petrus

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Re: final judgment on Lieca Monochrom
« Reply #16 on: May 26, 2015, 02:06:10 am »

There's no need for pejorative descriptions of what's actually just a different way of doing things. What works best for you doesn't work best for me. To not accept this suggests arrogance. To accept it suggests tolerance of individual differences.

-Dave-

I quite frankly do not understand your response, there was nothing pejorative intended. I have photographed professionally for almost 40 years, and often used gear which is not ideally suited* for the assignment, just to make it a challenge. Quite often it has resulted in surprising and "artistic" results. So I see nothing pejorative in my "artistic constraints" formulation. Maybe it is no the ideal way of putting it, but English is not my native tongue.

*) like shooting the presidential independence gala with closeup lens equipped Widelux F7 panoramic camera only, or handheld interview portraits with Mamiya RZ67.
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Telecaster

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Re: final judgment on Lieca Monochrom
« Reply #17 on: May 26, 2015, 03:47:53 pm »

Sorry. The use of "retrograde" tripped my annoyance wire.

I do wish there were monochrome sensor alternatives to the Leicas. Samsung was rumored to be coming out with one awhile back, but nothing so farů

-Dave-
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Jim Kasson

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Re: final judgment on Lieca Monochrom
« Reply #18 on: May 26, 2015, 04:11:54 pm »


I do wish there were monochrome sensor alternatives to the Leicas.

Your prayers are answered:

http://www.achromaticplus.com/Achromatic_Plus/Achromatic+.html

Jim

Bart_van_der_Wolf

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Re: final judgment on Lieca Monochrom
« Reply #19 on: May 26, 2015, 06:29:24 pm »

The files have so much in them you have so much room for contrast and tonal control. Much more than you get with a color sensor and no artifacts.

Interesting, but I do not see how that would be technically possible?

Room for contrast and tonal control in monochrome images is defined by Dynamic Range, and tonal control is hampered by the inability to control color contrast in monochrome, after the fact. What artifacts do you see in a Bayer CFA sensor that you don't see in a monochrome version? Any examples?

Quote
And yes I use color filters with the MM the same as I would with color film.

I don't follow. I've been a (certified) professional photographer for almost 37 years myself, and I've never used the same filters for B/W as I did for color, except maybe a UV filter. Maybe you intended to say something different, which got lost due to translation?

Cheers,
Bart
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