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Field Shooting the Leica M Monocrom

Back from my trip, I have a boatload of images from many cameras.

I shot extensively with the Leica M Monochrom, and I’ll be capturing everything I learned in my Guide to Leica.

The MM grew on me, though I won’t be buying one due to the excessive cost. Also, I want one with twice the pixels and the EVF and Live View features of the M240. But if you like monochrome and are willing to master a difficult camera, get the Leica M Monochrom ASAP.

My coverage of the 18-megapixel Leica M Monochrom in Guide to Leica will be extensive, as the MM is intended to be more than just Leica MM coverage; it’s about the future potential of digital imaging and thus should be of interest even to those who have no interest in Leica or monochrome per se.

Sharpness

Sharpness of the Leica M Monochrome is almost unbelievable on a per-pixel basis, it’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before— stunning and without any of the ugly artifacts with a color sensor (the scene below would have been awful with the color Bayer-matrix Leica M9P, with horrible color aliasing and similar nasties, in fact the M9P produced some very disturbing results in the field in this regard, to be shown soon).

Makes me wish for a 36 megapixel monochrome version which would be mind blowing in the recording of detail (and in the challenge of optimal focus!).

Clearly the Leica M lenses could easily service a 40-50 megapixel sensor, though with depth of field and diffraction twin beasts to deal with. In monochrome, a 36-megapixel Leica MM details would easily exceed what Ansel Adams did with his 8 X 10 view camera, based on my personal assessment of very large Adams prints. Cross your fingers for a 36+ megapixel Leica M Monochrom with Live View and EVF.

Oh, and this image/crop below from a camera JPEG.

Lee Vining Canyon bridge
Leica M Monochrom + Leica 35mm f/1.4 Summilux-M ASPH
Actual pixels
Leica M Monochrom + Leica 35mm f/1.4 Summilux-M ASPH

Don’t lean over a bridge if you have fear of heights.

Lee Vining Canyon bridge
Leica M Monochrom + Leica 21mm f/3.4 Super-Elmar-M ASPH

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