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Leica M10P_Monocrome Mode?

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I’m new to photography, I’m trying to decide between the M10P and the Monochrom M246. I’ve read all the forums about the pros and cons of each choice. I shoit primarily in b&w but I like at least having the option of shooting color. With the M10P, I’ve heard about “Monochrom Mode” when shooting in this mode will the images show up as a black & white preview on the LCD Screen?

is it really that big of a difference/ time consuming effort to convert each and every M10P color photo to blk & white? As opposed to little PP Time with the Monochrom M246?



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Converting to B&W is a bit of an art in postprocessing, but so is getting the best out of the files of a Monochrom. You will have to embark on a learning curve in postprocessing in either case. Don't expect the best results straight out of camera.

I would say that there is little difference in the time and effort needed to convert a colour image to a proper result and optimizing a monochrome file. However, with an RGB file you can play with the colour channels to get colour filter effects, with the Monochrom you will have to actually use yellow, orange, green, etc. filters on the lens.

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A great way to shoot the M10 is with a monochrome jpeg in raw+jpg mode.  Your jpegs will be monochrome, but you'll have a full color raw file from each shot as well.  I love the monochrome jpegs right out of the camera, but if you would rather convert from the raw file, you can apply "virtual" color filters, etc.  It's very versatile.  Having said that, the pure monochrome camera will have more information in the files since there is no bayer filter array,  but you would have to use actual filters to get filter effects.  They are both great options.

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I agree entirely with what Jaap says about the post-processing effort required for both cameras. Having had the M-Monochrom, I've always felt that it's great camera, but I prefer having the flexibility  of the color channels of the M10 for getting the tones I want in post-processing. Daido Moriyama says the one of the things he likes about digital is that he can chose later whether to use B&W or color: sometimes he publishes both, in different contexts. I agree with that. So, these days, I prefer to have the M10.

You don't say what what type of photography you're interested in, but below are two sets. The first set, is similar in that the two pictures results from chance, "lucky accidents". Before taking the MM image in the Paris restaurant, I was turned around looking through the window behind the man in the picture  into bright, noontime light — that's why the shutter speed was 1/2000 sec; then, as I was swinging around to face my table, the woman made that gesture and I pressed the shutter without having brought the camera up to my face, but had managed to bring the focu back to less than 1.5m without looking at the camera: actually, her hand been up to her face before she turned to me. The image was underexposed by over 4 stops, but lifting the shadows in Lightroom worked well.

In the second picture, taken with the M10, everything I like in it was an accident. I was trying out the Nikon Z7 at a camera store in Chiang Mai. While I was looking at the Nikon, the two salesmen asked to try out my Leica M10. When I got it back, this little Valentine's Day procession was walkin by — never mind the Christmas sign in the background. I didn't know that they had changed the settings on my camera, so that, when I used the meter to set the shutter speed, I didn't realize that the aperture had been changed to f/11 and that I was the shutter as slow as 1/45 sec. It was lucky that the aperture was at f/11, or nothing would have been in focus.

M-Monochrom | Summilux 50 pre-ASPH | f/4.0 | 1/2000 sec


M10 | Summicron 35v4 | ISO 3200 | f/11 | 1/45

Chiang Mai 


The set set are less similar. The first one of the death of Buddha statue, could have been just as well taken with the M10. The second would not have been as good  with the MM even if I had used a yellow filter, because in processing the M10 image, I adjusted the color sliders in Lightroom extensively to bring out the early morning fog.

MM | Summicron 28 | ISO 8000 | f/2 | 1/90

Dambulla Cave, Sri Lanka 

M10 | DR Summicron-50 | ISO 200 | f/5.6 | 1/350 sec

Wiang Pa Pao 

Incidentally, all four images are in my forthcoming photo book, Frog Leaping, which will be presented at Offprint Paris, held at the Ècole des Beaux-Arts concurrently with Paris Photo 7-10 November 2019 — and there will be a book signing at the Polka Galerie on 9 November. You can see the the book's website is here.

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On 10/30/2019 at 11:23 PM, HarleyTusk said:


is it really that big of a difference/ time consuming effort to convert each and every M10P color photo to blk & white? As opposed to little PP Time with the Monochrom M246?

You don't need to convert each and every image into B&W, only the good ones, it saves tons of time.

As for which camera then the only full control you have in making B&W images is to start with colour. You have full control over applying the colour and strength of filters/channels to do things like darken sky or lighten grass, something that only has a partial and inconsistent effect when using filters over a Monochrom/M246 lens. I sold my Monochrom and M246 for this reason, not enough executive control when post processing the image. Additionally the M10 sensor is much better than previous M cameras and matches the M246 after the image is converted to B&W.

It's also worth remembering that until very recently in the history of photography photographers could look at the world of colour and imagine what their image would look like when shot on B&W film. So don't become focused on the perceived importance of seeing a B&W image on the LCD, that is not where the magic happens.

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I would love to have an M Monochrom, but I also love the possibilities I have with the B&W profiles in LR (using color files). There are 12 pre-made profiles that mixes color channels in different ways, plus 5 color filter simulations and the standard Adobe Monochrome and M10 B&W profile. Regardless of subject and light, there is always a profile that suits my picture.

With a Monochrom camera you have to know what filter to put on before you take the picture. (Maybe because I'm not that experienced) I like the possibility to experiment with this afterwards. 

Edited by evikne

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I’ve played around with using monochrome mode on m10-p. I’ve not found it to be a significant thing because I generally don’t chimp and I don’t have image review turned on.

As far a B&W conversions, I use C1.  The conversion is quick and easy.  I almost never convert all of my shots to B&W so it’s even less a burden.  You’ll want to mess around to figure what you like for a B&W conversion look, then setup your software to support that.  It’ll take a little time, but not forever. :)




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Yes, the LCD image is monochrome and you can save both a color DNG and a BW JPEG, so you don't have to convert them all to BW in Post.  On the other hand, if you have an image that you'd like to process using color channels you have that option as well.  Best of both worlds.

I'll add this.  Recently I made an exact exposure of several subjects with the MM1 and the M10-P, which I then converted to B&W by simple desaturation, then set white and black points and did minimal but identical post-processing.  Then I printed both of each subject (and labeled the back so I would know which was which).  Then I showed them to a variety of people who were not photographers and asked them to tell me which they liked the most, if they could tell a difference.  They had to really study the prints but 100% of the time they chose the prints from the MM1.

On the other hand, the difference was minimal and the M10-P gives all the advantages of a color file. 

Life is full of first world problems tough decisions😉

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