Industry News: Leica announces the M10 Monochrom

Viggo

EOS 5D SR
Dec 13, 2010
4,353
966
My brother has had everything Leica, including several 0.95’s and a couple of Mono’s and they are spectacular. I wish I could afford one in addition to an AF body. The files from the Mono are crazy sharp and detailed. Focusing is super easy, except for everything that moves. But focusing the 0.95 isn’t any harder and it’s very fast.
 

tmroper

EOS 80D
Sep 22, 2016
149
52
Most people today use smartphones or automatic cameras for taking photos. It is somewhat similar to a Kodak Instamatic. I remember well, my father purchased an Instamatic 100 in the mid 1960ies and made a lot of Kodakchromes with it. This was a "point and click"-Camera, very popular and used in a similar way compared to contemporary automatic cameras - you can take photos and dont care about focus and metering. Very easy.

Now Rangefinder Cameras, like the Kodak Retina, which was produced until 1969 became increasingly unpopular in this time. The reason was simply, that it was more difficult to use, you have to set focus, aperture and shutter speed. This has not changed much until today. Rangefinders are somewhat inconvenient. And with the advent of small SLR's, the first being the Kine Exakta and later on the immensly popular Canon SLR's (the FX) and also the nice Minolta SRT cameras, people wanted the TTL (through the lens) concept.

But there are advantages of a Rangefinder: they are small, silent and there is no blackout in the optical viewfinder. So if this is important for you, a Leica M is an option. And if you do not want to spend a lot of money, there are many inexpensive used analog Rangefinders.
Leicas aren't silent. Some, like the M9, are actually pretty loud.
 

FramerMCB

Canon 40D & 7D
Sep 9, 2014
425
104
52
Rangefinder focusing cameras like the Leica M cameras have a bright patch in the center of the view finder - there is a double image when out of focus and as you turn the focusing ring on the lens barrel in the correct direction the two images will come together. When they have been joined completely together to form a single image - you are in focus (assuming the rangefinder is properly aligned, of course!).
Matt Granger just did a short video about this new M Monochrome (has actually has the older version that he bought second-hand - and loves it). You nailed it about these focus. Apparently you can also buy an external EVF that fits in the hot shoe like what Canon has for many of their "M" line of cameras.
 

FramerMCB

Canon 40D & 7D
Sep 9, 2014
425
104
52
At least it leaves us with some cash left over for lenses.
It depends how much cash one has on hand... One could have a great compact kit with their 75mm Noctilux f1.2 ASPH, the 50mm Noctilux f0.95 ASPH, and the 35mm Summilux f1.4 for $14.5K, $12.5K, and $6.1K respectively and it would only set you back around $41,000USD (using current B&H prices).
 
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slclick

135L
Dec 17, 2013
3,730
1,443
It depends how much cash one has on hand... One could have a great compact kit with their 75mm Noctilux f1.2 ASPH, the 50mm Noctilux f0.95 ASPH, and the 35mm Summilux f1.4 for $14.5K, $12.5K, and $6.1K respectively and it would only set you back around $41,000USD (using current B&H prices).
Might have to split it over 2 credit cards. Love how B&H allows this
 
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danski0224

EOS 6D MK II
Apr 24, 2011
1,099
8
It depends how much cash one has on hand... One could have a great compact kit with their 75mm Noctilux f1.2 ASPH, the 50mm Noctilux f0.95 ASPH, and the 35mm Summilux f1.4 for $14.5K, $12.5K, and $6.1K respectively and it would only set you back around $41,000USD (using current B&H prices).
That's a deal at twice the price.

I'll have to get one kit for each of my residences.

:)
 
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beachcolonist

EOS M50
Nov 22, 2017
26
6
N.E.
If you become educated in digital imaging you learn that there is no one proper conversion process for color to b&w and for many images the best look is different conversion of the color channels in different areas of the image. Therefore if you want to be completely creative and get the best possible results in B&W, you shoot color simply to capture all the light on the scene, you then convert to B&W in Photoshop on a per image basis. This allows for instance the creation of Ansel Adams style deep dark skies, while retaining the most appealing skin tones in the same image, the two being diametrically opposed conversions. In short to be able to create great B&W you must start with full color. So while this camera is non doubt a fine thing and wonderful to own, it's not the path to the best possible B&W.
 

SwissFrank

EOS RP
Dec 9, 2018
328
136
Thx GCL.

I'll take exception to this part:

"However, not all advantages will be realizable, depending on intended use. For example, those familiar with traditional black and white photography may want to use lens-mounted color filters to control scene contrast. This might include using a red filter with landscapes, since these normalize the otherwise stark contrast between blue skies and green foliage, while also enhancing local contrast within each region. On the other hand, color filters also reduce available light by up to two thirds, thereby offsetting any sensitivity gain from monochrome."

He's right that a red pixel throwing away say 2/3 the photons and the remaining landing on a monocrome pixel will get it no more energy than just using the red layer of an RGB sensor where the red pixel's filter is throwing away 2/3 the photons.

However, he's overlooking the fact that with the red mounted filter on the monochrome sensor, EVERY pixel is a red sensor. In contrast on the RGB sensor, only 1 in 4 is. So, the Mono will clearly scale up to higher resolution at a given noise level. Or if you keep the output resolution the same, a scene that's rendering 1/4 the light a pixel would need to see to get a minimum readout on the RGB will get a readout on the Mono.
 
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SwissFrank

EOS RP
Dec 9, 2018
328
136
how does one go about getting good, sharp focus on these types of rangefinder cameras, where you aren't looking through the lens to see what focus is like throughout the picture?
The textbook answer is hyperfocal focusing. I don't have a chart in front of me but just to make up some numbers that are vaguely real-worldish, on a sunny day with 100 ISO film (or camera sensor) I can use the "sunny 16" rule and set f/16. At f/16, if I set the lens to 2m, then everything about 1m to infinity is in focus (on say a 28mm or 35mm). I literally don't touch the focus any more until sundown. If there's something in front of me, I'll get a sharp photo just by tripping the shutter. With a cable release this is good for street photography as you can be close to a subject and take a photo with the camera hanging around your neck and hands in your pockets.

More generally, the lenses will have marks showing what the range of focus is. 35mm and below you'd just use hyperfocus (setting the extreme end of the focus range at infinity). At 50mm or in darker conditions, you can't get the entire focus range perhaps, but you can look down at the top of the lens and focus it for a subject anyway.

Some lenses like my 35/1.4 have a finger-thing that lets you focus with the left index finger knuckle, and with that you can kind of memorize where your knuckle needs to be for close, medium-close, medium, etc.

This is all why Leicas, in brighter scenes, have 100% focus hits. They're never focused on the wrong thing or hunting. The Canon R AF is fantastic but it still could focus on the wrong thing and it's a hassle to manually override.

I could see getting the M10 Mono. I have to admit I really prefer the Leica size even to the MILFF, and I like the small primes. I probably made a mistake getting into RF instead of Fuji X.
 
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briangus

EOS T7i
Apr 6, 2017
52
79
Bangkok
I have an M246 called MimI, a wonderful little camera though she can be a be a little bit difficult at times.
75mm F2, 50mm F1.4, 35mm F2.8 and a 21mm SEM only neatly tucked up in a small bag.
The size does belie the weight as camera and lenses are heavy.

Not so sure about colour filter usage as an earlier test I done showed no difference.
Was also advised against using a red filter - orange being the new red.
Maybe will revisit testing again.
 

Tremotino

EOS M50
Jan 23, 2018
49
26
Munich
I would love it if Canon would develop a b/w sensor camera based on the eos R. It shouldn't be that difficult to just leave out the color filters and leave the rest the same.

A question to the more tech experts: if you take the bayer sensor and leave the color filters, do you have mor b&w pixels since you need 3 bayer photodiodes to generate the information for one pixel or are pixels in a bayer sensor sharing the diodes with their neighbours?
 
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StoicalEtcher

EOS RP
Jan 3, 2018
240
146
Yorkshire
I would love it if Canon would develop a b/w sensor camera based on the eos R. It shouldn't be that difficult to just leave out the color filters and leave the rest the same.
Well,

If they are willing to make an 'astro' special, with what that entails, perhaps a B&W special is entirely possible. I expect the biggest reasons not to though are:
  1. Deemed limited market (though does;t stop the Ra nor Lieca obviously - though they may be making larger profit on theirs....); and
  2. The argument that you can get B&W output already given post-processing, so why not have both (colour & B&W) in one camera (though, again, Leica seem fine to do so...) (And there are the quality benefits raised in this thread).

Would still be interesting...... I'd be tempted.

Stoical.
 

cayenne

EOR R
Mar 28, 2012
2,078
200
Well,

If they are willing to make an 'astro' special, with what that entails, perhaps a B&W special is entirely possible. I expect the biggest reasons not to though are:
  1. Deemed limited market (though does;t stop the Ra nor Lieca obviously - though they may be making larger profit on theirs....); and
  2. The argument that you can get B&W output already given post-processing, so why not have both (colour & B&W) in one camera (though, again, Leica seem fine to do so...) (And there are the quality benefits raised in this thread).

Would still be interesting...... I'd be tempted.

Stoical.
From what I read on the Leica new camera, they developed a new B&W only sensor from the ground up for this release.

I don't know the tech, but it seems they are claiming that being designed ONLY as B&W, gives some advantages for the resultant images since they don't have to bother with the color pixels....

C
 
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stevelee

FT-QL
Jul 6, 2017
1,323
325
Davidson, NC
I made some of the best photos I have ever made with a Yasicha rangefinder camera. I don’t recall ever having any problems with focus. The fixed lens was 45mm, so that helped. By using one focal length all the time, my brain became accustomed to the coverage, so I could frame the shot in my mind before I looked into the camera. I haven’t used a rangefinder camera since I sold it 50 years ago.

I couldn’t afford a Nikon F in those days, but I recall they had interchangeable focusing screens. At least one choice had a rangefinder-like center section for accurate focusing.
 

Del Paso

M3 Singlestroke
Aug 9, 2018
684
708
If you become educated in digital imaging you learn that there is no one proper conversion process for color to b&w and for many images the best look is different conversion of the color channels in different areas of the image. Therefore if you want to be completely creative and get the best possible results in B&W, you shoot color simply to capture all the light on the scene, you then convert to B&W in Photoshop on a per image basis. This allows for instance the creation of Ansel Adams style deep dark skies, while retaining the most appealing skin tones in the same image, the two being diametrically opposed conversions. In short to be able to create great B&W you must start with full color. So while this camera is non doubt a fine thing and wonderful to own, it's not the path to the best possible B&W.
Results obtained with the Monochrome prove you're absolutely wrong!
Go and test the Leica Monochrome and you'll see...
 
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cayenne

EOR R
Mar 28, 2012
2,078
200
Results obtained with the Monochrome prove you're absolutely wrong!
Go and test the Leica Monochrome and you'll see...

SO far, from what I've seen on the images put out by testers, it does look like some amazing shots are coming out of those things.....

C
 

ValleyofCarbon

I'm New Here
Jan 28, 2020
11
7
The textbook answer is hyperfocal focusing. I don't have a chart in front of me but just to make up some numbers that are vaguely real-worldish, on a sunny day with 100 ISO film (or camera sensor) I can use the "sunny 16" rule and set f/16. At f/16, if I set the lens to 2m, then everything about 1m to infinity is in focus (on say a 28mm or 35mm). I literally don't touch the focus any more until sundown. If there's something in front of me, I'll get a sharp photo just by tripping the shutter. With a cable release this is good for street photography as you can be close to a subject and take a photo with the camera hanging around your neck and hands in your pockets.

More generally, the lenses will have marks showing what the range of focus is. 35mm and below you'd just use hyperfocus (setting the extreme end of the focus range at infinity). At 50mm or in darker conditions, you can't get the entire focus range perhaps, but you can look down at the top of the lens and focus it for a subject anyway.

Some lenses like my 35/1.4 have a finger-thing that lets you focus with the left index finger knuckle, and with that you can kind of memorize where your knuckle needs to be for close, medium-close, medium, etc.

This is all why Leicas, in brighter scenes, have 100% focus hits. They're never focused on the wrong thing or hunting. The Canon R AF is fantastic but it still could focus on the wrong thing and it's a hassle to manually override.

I could see getting the M10 Mono. I have to admit I really prefer the Leica size even to the MILFF, and I like the small primes. I probably made a mistake getting into RF instead of Fuji X.
This is only true in limited circumstances... for a dedicated RF shooter focusing is not really an issue. I can get very sharp images by focusing with the TAB (that finger thingy)very quickly. I tend to shoot street a little more often at hyper-focal about 25% of the time but often lighting and film dictate how you're going to focus with analog Leicas. With the M10 you have a bit more leeway in the decision with ISO change.
 

Bennymiata

EOS 6D MK II
Personally, I don't like B&W.
In the old days, I shot lots of monochrome pictures on film, but I often wanted to take colour photos but I couldn't develop them myself.
I wouldn't buy a monochrome camera today and indeed of my many tens of thousands of shots, maybe I've converted less than a dozen of them into B&W images.
 
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