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Survey: Your opinion about the new LEICA M MONOCHROM


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Poll: What do you think about the LEICA M MONOCHROM? (1488 member(s) have cast votes)

What do you think about the LEICA M MONOCHROM?

  1. Perfect camera for me! Where can I order? (231 votes [14.92%])

    Percentage of vote: 14.92%

  2. Voted I'd like to have one but too expensive... (745 votes [48.13%])

    Percentage of vote: 48.13%

  3. Voted Sounds interesting but nothing for me (296 votes [19.12%])

    Percentage of vote: 19.12%

  4. Not interested (164 votes [10.59%])

    Percentage of vote: 10.59%

  5. What a weird idea by Leica... (112 votes [7.24%])

    Percentage of vote: 7.24%

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#461 jplomley

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 15:01

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Based upon the quality of the B&W conversions on your website, I'm wondering if the MM is going to offer you anything you cannot already achieve with your color sensors. These are some of the very best B&W conversions I have seen. I could not distinguish one camera from another, and I'm sure once you throw the MM images into the mix, that will still remain.
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Jeff

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Jeffry Plomley Photography

#462 dent

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 13:20

Thanks Jeff.

I somehow still like the form factor and simplicity of the M cameras and I found the high-ISO capabilities of the M9 often limiting (in comparison to the 1DX). As I said I like shooting stopped down and prefocused.

I do not care much about resolution. All modern cameras have plenty. Perhaps it´s convenient for heavy cropping but I try to avoid that because it brings inconsistency to a series. If I have to crop heavily, I tend to trash the file because in most cases obviously there was a better position for taking this particular photograph and I just did not make it (speed/timing, shyness, sluggishness, lack of discipline/attitude…)

Most of the pics are no "simple" conversions. I use dodging and burning freely if it does not alter but enhance the visual message of this frame. In my view, it´s one of the great artistic freedoms that come with bw photography and has a long and proven history.

The files of the MM hold up very nicely in global and local adjustments. I´ll work with the camera for the next three month and decide if it stays or not. I bought it used so the re-sell value is OK.

Perhaps in the end You might be right. Perhaps the MM does not add much value for me. I´ll see.

#463 wilfredo

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 01:41

It's the most exciting camera I've ever owned!

Wilfredo

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"Photographs I care for are photographs I can look at for more than two minutes." - Henri Cartier Bresson

"When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs.  When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence." - Ansel Adams


#464 thebarnman

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 06:06

I use dodging and burning freely if it does not alter but enhance the visual message of this frame.


Do you also use contrast and brightness, or simply dodge and burn?


From everything I've seen and read, the files from the MM do not need any sharpening. That's a huge plus!

#465 dent

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 08:39

[quote name='thebarnman']Do you also use contrast and brightness, or simply dodge and burn?

My workflow is:

* import into LR
* adjust global exposure, contrast and tonality (I avoid local adjustments at this point because Silver Efex sometimes amplifies these local adjustments to unpleasant results)
* occasionally very careful noise reduction
* export the file to Silver Efex
* choose a custom preset as a start point (mostly “push 1.5”)
* further adjust tonality (here lies the high risk of this cra**y plastic look, particularly in this “soft contrast”-slider)
* sometimes carefully ad grain (to mask the MM´s sometimes distracting high detail) - I find the Silver Efex grain engine more pleasing than LR5´s
* go back to lightroom or photoshop and begin the “real” creative work: slightly cropping (as a rule I always keep the proportions), guiding the viewers eyes with dodging, burning, locally emphasizing different surface/medium qualities by carefully adding clarity and tonality changes
* I use brushes and only very very occasionaly complex selection tools in PS
* sometimes ad finishing adjustments like edge burning/vignette or such

* leave the file for some days and see it with fresh eyes then. In most cases this means trashing it. Wait for two weeks and trash some more files :-)

If have to spend more than five to ten minutes to archive a satisfying result I usually trash the file. Something is fundamentally wrong then. Usually with the composition, visual message or main subject.
If You have to ad something overly dramatic (Pseudo-HDR, enhancing structure/texture to attract more attention than the main subject....) then the shot is just not good enough. You can never correct a poor overall composition and uninteresting main subject. It´s a waste of time.

I never ad or remove visual elements other than spots. It´s against my photographic ethics.
I usually aim for a filmish look like with pushes TRI-X or such.
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#466 jcarrera

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 22:06

If you do really love black and white, this is the best camera ever
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#467 johnxman

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 18:16

I have owned a monochrom for the past few months. I use it every day. In all that time, i have not once been tempted to use my M9, though i surely would if color were required. I'll leave the technical commentary to others, but i will say that for me, this camera is absolutely thrilling. So often I score a shot on the street and I have that great feeling of "knowing" I caught something just as I wanted it. the super-clean high ISO performance definitely gives me extra flexibility for fast street shooting with pre-focusing. The resulting files are easy to work with, and amazingly resilient in the face of underexposure, even radical underexposure. This camera has really brought me back to thinking in black and white in a way that i'd not done in years. I'm so grateful to Leica for having built this machine. It seems almost impossible that they could have had the vision to do this. What a gift.

Here are a couple images to give some idea of what i like to do with it ...

Honor Guard | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

and...

Hole | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Shell Game | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
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#468 tobey bilek

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 19:08

I am sure it is the very best available for mono.

For you to decide, at the picture size you print can you see a difference.

And if you start with a color camera, you can selectively darken a sky in post or lighten green grass or darken a red barn. If you put a filter over the monochrome, the color of the filter will change all the tones across the photo and it will require hard post to get the same dodge/burn accuracy.

#469 wilfredo

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 19:46

It's the most exciting camera I've ever owned!

And I should add, it's not for everybody, and not one for the masses or even a majority of photographers...

Wilfredo

http://ReligionIsGarbage.com

"Photographs I care for are photographs I can look at for more than two minutes." - Henri Cartier Bresson

"When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs.  When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence." - Ansel Adams


#470 250swb

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 20:27

And I should add, it's not for everybody, and not one for the masses or even a majority of photographers...


But everybody can point it in the direction they want, they can focus it, and it can replace B&W film in more than one format. Now the masses don't use B&W film, nor even the majority of photographers, and even with digital the majority of photographers use B&W as an afterthought., as a cute trick. So I guess what you are saying is that the Monochrom is a camera for people who know what they want with a strong vision of where their photography is going, rather than responding to every new camera release like a dog with a new bone (I'm thinking A7r for instance). As such that should be a recommendation, or at least something to aspire to.

Steve
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#471 david strachan

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 23:45

I still use my principles as in my dark room for thousands of hours...all B&W.
Just as different film has different monochrome effects, so do all digital cameras. I like my M8 images, but they still need processing.

Main processing involves

  • global exposure and contrast
  • local dodge and burn (layers in PS)
  • aim to have a slightly textured white, and slightly textured black
  • specular highlights and "darks" can be no texture...pure white and pure black
  • try to have full tonal range (8-10 zones or stops)
  • sure to have a point of interest, and usual photography skills
Ansell Adams and others know how to get the full tonal range, and that's my aim too. Far too many images are shown with much too much global contrast, without considered local dodging and burning to make the image powerful. Images posted are often muddy looking, with blocked up shadows...far too much global contrast.

I reckon ALL B&W images need work, because the medium does not have distracting colour.

cheers Dave S :)


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