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60-Megapixel Leica M11 Monochrom Announced — Will it Outresolve the Fujifilm GFX100S?

re: Leica M10 Monochrom
re: monochrome

Leica M11 Monochrom

Leica today announced the 60-megapixel Leica M11 Monochrom.

  • 60MP BSI CMOS monochrome sensor with dual gain design
  • Multi-field (matrix) light metering
  • ISO 125 - 200000
  • Three RAW or JPEG resolution options (60MP, 36MP, 18MP)
  • SD card accessible from battery compartment (no removable base plate)
  • 256Gb of internal memory
  • Exposures up to 1 hour, e-shutter down to 1/16,000 sec
  • Live view stabilization (digital shake correction of preview image)
  • Compatible with Leica Visoflex 2 3.68M-dot tilting accessory EVF
  • Bluetooth, GPS geotagging vs FOTOS app
  • 542 grams with battery.

I’d love to own the M11M, but it’s far out of my price range (over $10K with EVF and spare battery).

Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-M ASPH II

I am nonethless eager to review it, but no idea yet when I can get the loaner from B&H—in progress. The newly-announced Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-M ASPH II would be a nice plus, if both can be had at the same time. (UPDATE: the 50/1.4 is just a rehash with the same 20-year-old optical design which was barely adequate for 18MP, let alone 60MP; there is no point in testing it).

My all time favorite lens for Leica M is the Zeiss ZM 35mm f/1.4 Distagon—I used to say that it is the best lens for the platform even ignoring price but I have not tested the unobtanium Leica 35mm f/2 APO-Summicron-M ASPH. Why bother though—the ZM 35/1.4 will be a stunning performer in monochrome. See my Eureka Dunes on the Winter Solstice examples.

The Leica M11 (color version) shows much improved performance vs previous M cameras, due to (finally) its ultra-thin sensor cover glass which minimizes quality losses from ray angle effects. The M11M should perform at least as well.

For the world’s worst-ever sample images see dpreview or as one reader puts it “Just terrible, garbage photos.  Poor every which way, technically, artistically, or story-telling.  Nothing in any of these images that makes a case for the M11”. I struggled to find anything useful (using the DNGs) given the manure pile, but I concluded that the 50/2 APO sucks, the 28/2 is worse, and the camera might be swung.

CLICK TO VIEW: Leica M system


This is what is exciting to me: particularly with suitable filtration (eg green filter or orange/red filter), the Leica M11M should be able to outresolve the Fujifilm GFX100S using high-grade lenses like the Zeiss ZM 35/1.4.

If you’re buying a Leica M11 Monochrom, please buy through the links on this site when it becomes available at B&H—thanks!

Solo Hiker near summit of Eureka Dunes
f11 @ 1/45 sec, ISO 160; 2020-12-21 13:25:54
Leica M10 Monochrom + Leica 24mm f/3.8 Elmar-M ASPH + filter B+W 091 Dark Red
ENV: Eureka Dunes, altitude 3350 ft / 1021 m, 60°F / 15°C

[low-res image for bot]

Leica Camera Unveils the M11 Monochrom

Wetzlar, 13th April 2023

A commitment to the timeless art of black & white photography, the Leica M11 Monochrom delivers exceptional images in a symphony of light and shadows

Teaneck, NJ April 13th 2023. Leica Camera, a brand that has challenged the status quo in pursuit of chasing light for authentic visual stories, announces the launch of the Leica M11 Monochrom, demonstrating the brand’s commitment to exceptional black & white photography. Featuring a dedicated monochrome multi-resolution full-frame BSI sensor, this camera is a masterstroke in engineering, capturing images solely through the interplay of light and shadow. By focusing on these fundamental elements, Leica empowers visual storytellers to create images that engage the viewer's imagination and creative prowess through a newly designed sensor which sees only variations in luminosity.

Leica M11 Monochrom

Leica's commitment to innovation is further underscored by its previous forays into minimalist design, such as releasing a digital camera without an LCD screen, and introducing the first camera featuring a monochrome sensor in 2012, the Leica M Monochrom. These unconventional decisions exemplify the brand's unyielding dedication to providing photographers with tools that inspire creativity, while eliminating distractions.

The Leica M11 Monochrom is more than just a camera – it is an artistic instrument crafted with unparalleled precision. The all-metal body, high-quality aluminum top plate, sapphire glass display, leatherette covering, and scratch-resistant black finish contribute to the camera's timeless appeal. Details such as the omission of the Leica logo and dark chrome-plated coating of the optical viewfinder accentuate the camera's understated, iconic design.

The technical advancements of the Leica M11 Monochrom deliver raw files in the DNG format or JPEGs with a resolution of either 60, 36 or 18 megapixels. In combination with the expanded ISO range of 125 to 200,000, the camera unlocks creative freedom beyond the rise and fall of the sun. As a result, creators are able to capture images with an unprecedented rendition of even the finest details, an exceptionally natural-looking definition even in difficult light conditions and an extremely low noise even in the high ISO range.

Additionally, the internal memory has been extended to 256 GB. This expansion not only increases the total number of images that can be recorded in combination with the photographer’s own memory cards, but also provides back up opportunities with larger memory card sizes. Via Bluetooth or the USB-C port, pictures can be quickly and easily transferred to the Leica FOTOS app and processed further from there. The Leica M11 Monochrom is a certified Apple “Made for iPhone and iPad” accessory and offers unique options with the included Leica FOTOS cable.

The Leica M11 Monochrom is built on a tradition of excellence, from a legacy of exquisite craftsmanship, innovation, and iconic design to the ethos of the Leica M family: “Made in Germany” with a focus on the essentials: Das Wesentliche.

The Leica M11 Monochrom, is priced at USD $9,195 and is available starting today at all Leica Stores, the Leica Online Store, and authorized dealers worldwide.

Leica M11 Monochrom
Spotlight on Dark Side of Eureka Dunes Summit
f5.6 @ 1/90 sec, ISO 160; 2020-12-21 15:08:59
Leica M10 Monochrom + Zeiss ZM 35mm f/1.4 Distagon + filter B+W 090 Red
ENV: Eureka Dunes, altitude 3550 ft / 1082 m, 60°F / 15°C
RAW: pull 0.3 stops, +50 Shadows, -100 Highlights, +30 Whites, -30 Blacks, +50 Dehaze, USM {8,50,0}

[low-res image for bot]

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