Color Loss and Gain

Ice Abstract

Ice Abstract

A word of warning first. You loose something when you get a Leica M monochrom. Money, obviously. The appreciation of your fellow man. The pictures are only black and white, after all!

Pondering the Ur-Leica

Pondering the Ur-Leica

Yes, you loose color, but could that be a gain?

A Far View

A Far View

There’s the tradition of photography to fall back upon, to take up in your own black and white work with the M monochrom. Derivative, yes, but at least a good apprentice piece could come out of it.

Functionally, the Leica M monochrom (type 246) is a subtly new beast, though. I collected it five days ago in Wetzlar and here are some first impressions.



My son came with, borrowed a Leica M10 and took this photo of me trying out the M monochrom for the first time. It is a small camera, disappearing behind my proportions. Bit awkward to hold in my big hands (glove size 9), but I’ll fix that with a grip.

Had to shoot back, hadn't I?

Had to shoot back, hadn’t I?

Fluid to use in the rangefinder style of working.

You don't have to chimp. But you can.

You don’t have to chimp. But you can.

Taking photos of a family member is about as far removed from street photography as it gets, but I have to improve my skills in the latter genre and won’t bother you with failed test shots.

I do feel moved to do a new project with the M monochrom:

It is portraits combined with an interview format and I talk about it (in German, sorry) in my latest screencast (above). Contributors / subjects / interviewees are welcome and we can do these in English and perhaps French, too. Contact me on YouTube!

Two windmills

Two windmills

Being a firm proponent of wearing a camera every day, I’ve been taking photos on my morning constitutionals and a longer hike in the Thüringer Wald:

Snow coming over the mountain

Snow coming over the mountain

Creek scene

Creek scene



So, anyway, these I know how to do but they are changed by the fabulous Leica M monochrom. To come back to the question above, I think it is a gain for my photography. And you can up the sensor’s gain from a base ISO of 320 to 12500 without getting significant shadow noise. Good bye, tripod.

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5 Responses to “Color Loss and Gain”

  1. Second Shooter | Mostly Black & White Says:

    […] got the monochrome […]

  2. Shooting a Wedding | Mostly Black & White Says:

    […] and the technicalities of the photographs. So, about the lead image. I shot it with the Leica M Monochrom (Type 246) (let’s call it the Monochrom for the sake of brevity) and the Summicron M asph 35 mm f/2.0. […]

  3. Amateurs imitate, Pros copy | Mostly Black & White Says:

    […] wouldn’t hurt the camera. Sneaky! So I tried that out and it works as well, at least with the M Monochrom. I think it will also work with the first Leica camera that did TTL, the eponymically named M6 TTL. […]

  4. Mirrorlessless | Mostly Black & White Says:

    […] that’s my new go-to color digital camera. I need more space on my hard […]

  5. An Old Photographer and a New Store | Mostly Black & White Says:

    […] of Fame and a new Leica flagship store was opened. Here’s a series of photos I took with the M Monochrom as the proceedings […]

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