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Jono Slack: Leica M10 Monochrom Field Report


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Article by Jono Slack Introduction Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content. Hallo Gast! Du willst die Bilder sehen? Einfach registrieren oder anmelden! I think that for many of us the M10 was the ultimate digital expression of the Leica Rangefinder camera. They had managed to reduce its size to that of an M7, to speed it up, quieten the shutter and streamline the operation. Then came the M10-P with an even quieter shutter. The M10-Monochrom retains t

After 35+ years making b/w prints, darkroom and digital, I can’t think of a final display print that I’ve made that didn’t involve at least some degree of refinement, big or small, for some technical and/or aesthetic reason.  That’s the nature of a fine b/w print, and why there are more talented photographers than printers.  The Monochrom cameras specifically, with their large dynamic range, generally yield flat images out of camera (using DNG) that often require, at a minimum, some contras

HI There These might help a bit - I can give you the RAW files if you like Crop 160 ISO Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content. Hallo Gast! Du willst die Bilder sehen? Einfach registrieren oder anmelden!   Crop 320 ISO   Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content. Hallo Gast! Du willst die Bilder sehen? Einfach registrieren oder anmelden!   Crop 640 ISO Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view

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31 minutes ago, Gobert said:

Appearently Lightroom seems to be the only post processor which can handle the Monochrom DNG files. DxO and Corel are not recognising them (so far).

I just ran a file from the M10M in Capture One 20 with nice results.  It uses a generic profile, but that's a start.

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1 hour ago, SrMi said:

I was always thinking that color filter's main disadvantage is loss of light, e.g., red filter is typically 2-stops. Good that M10M has excellent high ISO results.

Loss of light is advantageous as filters work best in natural daylight. With base ISO of 320 and short 1/4000s exposure it helps both M9M and M246 to photograph with fast lenses at max or close to max aperture.

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 Hi,

Very nice report.

What I found slightly confusing was this statement of an 80Mp comparable resolution, which quite correctly means that the (b&w) resolution is roughly comparable to that of an 80Mp color sensor with a Bayer filter. I think it might be less confusing to state that the M10M sensor has a "real" resolution of 40Mp, while a camera with a color sensor of the same size would have a comparable resolution of 20Mp. After all, I understand the M10M produces files with approx. 40Mpixels?

Either way, the M10M seems like a really nice addition to the M lineup, although not really interesting for me, shooting almost exclusively in color.

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2 hours ago, SrMi said:

I was always thinking that color filter's main disadvantage is loss of light, e.g., red filter is typically 2-stops. Good that M10M has excellent high ISO results.

My experience metering from a white wall and under a constant light source is that yellow has no effect at all, Orange is 0.5 stops and red is 1.5 stops. Either way, you aren’t likey to use a red filter indoors, except maybe under strobes. Outdoors, the M9M starts with a base ISO of 360 so a reduction of 1.5 stops will take you back to ISO 100 or 160  if my math is correct. Outdoors ISO 100 just isn’t an issue. FWIW, I’ve photographed indoors with the orange filter because I love the way it renders skin tones. The effect on ISO has been marginal. 

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vor 9 Stunden schrieb geoffreyg:

Soon the M10M, one can “get” more use out of a single lens, and not have to change so much. 

So you choose the 21mm Super-Elmar, walk up to the top of a church tower,  make an overview shot of the town - and look for your motives in postprocessing by cropping 😉

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I'd like to ask if any of the early reviewers here also used to have the M9M? How would you compare it with the output of the M10M at base / low ISO. I understand the M10M is of course much better at high ISO, at recovering shadows, etc...but if you are shooting during daytime at ISO 160~320 (or even ~640), what are the key differences between the M9M and M10M that you notice?

I always felt that the M9M provided me with files very close to film to a point that I sometimes would forget which was shot on film and which was shot on the M9M (all I had to do was add a bit of grain and play around with the black/white channels on LR). How does the M10M compare in this sense of being close to what you'd get from Ilford HP5 or Tri-X 400, etc. 


When I compare the way the M9 renders vs the M10, even after LR editing, the M10 files always seem a bit 'plasticky' to me, just wondering if that also applies to the monochromatic sensors. Thank you all!

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20 minutes ago, shirubadanieru said:

I'd like to ask if any of the early reviewers here also used to have the M9M? How would you compare it with the output of the M10M at base / low ISO. I understand the M10M is of course much better at high ISO, at recovering shadows, etc...but if you are shooting during daytime at ISO 160~320 (or even ~640), what are the key differences between the M9M and M10M that you notice?

I always felt that the M9M provided me with files very close to film to a point that I sometimes would forget which was shot on film and which was shot on the M9M (all I had to do was add a bit of grain and play around with the black/white channels on LR). How does the M10M compare in this sense of being close to what you'd get from Ilford HP5 or Tri-X 400, etc. 


When I compare the way the M9 renders vs the M10, even after LR editing, the M10 files always seem a bit 'plasticky' to me, just wondering if that also applies to the monochromatic sensors. Thank you all!

Jono Slack has briefly compared M9M with M10M in his review. 

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I don't get this emulate film grain thing.

Digital Monochrom gets very clean - digital if you like, files at low ISO and it has the ability to shoot cleaner than film at high ISO with obvious high ISO noise which looks like a film grain - more or less.

I like film photography as is, only reason i don't use it as i used to is cost and convenience of digital, plus i didn't have M246 all that long in my photographic life.  The M246 needs to pay for itself and shooting and processing rolls of B&W film is not going to do it for me*, home freezer would probably disagree with me.

The new M10M brings some advances over the predecessors but for a second i don't doubt that both M9M and M246 have a lot to go for. 

*Note. After 4 years i shot equivalent of 250 rolls of film, at £20/film, processed and professionally scanned i broke even, I paid £5K for a brand new M246 in January 2016.  Leica would love me if I bought new camera but I am not sure what a 50% more expensive camera can do for me. 

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1 hour ago, mmradman said:

I don't get this emulate film grain thing.

Digital Monochrom gets very clean - digital if you like, files at low ISO and it has the ability to shoot cleaner than film at high ISO with obvious high ISO noise which looks like a film grain - more or less.

I like film photography as is, only reason i don't use it as i used to is cost and convenience of digital, plus i didn't have M246 all that long in my photographic life.  The M246 needs to pay for itself and shooting and processing rolls of B&W film is not going to do it for me*, home freezer would probably disagree with me.

The new M10M brings some advances over the predecessors but for a second i don't doubt that both M9M and M246 have a lot to go for. 

*Note. After 4 years i shot equivalent of 250 rolls of film, at £20/film, processed and professionally scanned i broke even, I paid £5K for a brand new M246 in January 2016.  Leica would love me if I bought new camera but I am not sure what a 50% more expensive camera can do for me. 

Each person has their own tastes, I know a lot prefer high contrast / clean files, but for me the greatest benefit of the MM1 is to be able to make files look as closely as possible to the results I got from Tri-X / Ilford...something that I feel I have never been able to achieve with color digital images, and that’s why I still shoot color on film. Digital does have a lot of benefits (including cost in the long term as film becomes more and more expensive) that film doesn’t, but to me the most important thing in the end is getting an output I’m happy with.

With color, unfortunately no sensor gets close to recreating the film output and colors (M9 came the closest), but for B&W, the MM1 comes so close that I see no point for me in shooting B&W film. I still think film is better if you do your own development / scanning / printing, and enjoy the whole process, something that digital can’t offer...but given that I don’t develop / scan my rolls and send it to a camera shop, I do prefer to shoot B&W on digital if I have the chance given I have more control on the final image, and for me what I try to do with my editing is get close to results I get on film, including adding significant grain :) So I was just wondering if people who used the M10M, also tried the M9M and see any differences in the output at base ISO; from what I understand a lot of people who tried the 2nd iteration of the MM went back to the M9M as they didn’t enjoy the output from the typ246...

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The way I saw preferences expressed here on LUF for M9M over the M246 could be categorised as:--

1. CCD over CMOS

2. More slender body and no Video in M9M compared to M246

Still early days for M10M, so far based on sample pictures shown here i couldn't see anything special provided by the M10M.  My impression is i am looking at colour file being converted into mono.  Perhaps Leica missed the trick and omitted to include into the promotional material work by well known Mono specialist as they did with M9M (Sobol) and M246 (The Icelander, can't think of a name).  Jono can make good pictures any day even on his smart phone.  We would be convinced it was produced with "name the camera" if he said so. 

Going forward, curious to see the M10M versus predecessors debate unfolding.

My position as I stated earlier is that M10M has number of technical improvements over the predecessors, top marks for those.  I repeat, looking at sample pictures my initial impression is colour file could have been converted into mono.  Where is the Mono magic, maybe to many pixels killed it?

 

Edited by mmradman
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8 hours ago, shirubadanieru said:

I'd like to ask if any of the early reviewers here also used to have the M9M? How would you compare it with the output of the M10M at base / low ISO. I understand the M10M is of course much better at high ISO, at recovering shadows, etc...but if you are shooting during daytime at ISO 160~320 (or even ~640), what are the key differences between the M9M and M10M that you notice?

I always felt that the M9M provided me with files very close to film to a point that I sometimes would forget which was shot on film and which was shot on the M9M (all I had to do was add a bit of grain and play around with the black/white channels on LR). How does the M10M compare in this sense of being close to what you'd get from Ilford HP5 or Tri-X 400, etc. 


When I compare the way the M9 renders vs the M10, even after LR editing, the M10 files always seem a bit 'plasticky' to me, just wondering if that also applies to the monochromatic sensors. Thank you all!

HI There

These might help a bit - I can give you the RAW files if you like

Crop 160 ISO

 

Crop 320 ISO

 

 

Crop 640 ISO

Crop 1250 ISO

Crop 2500 ISO

crop 5000 ISO

Crop 10,000 ISO

 

 

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2 hours ago, mmradman said:

Perhaps Leica missed the trick and omitted to include into the promotional material work by well known Mono specialist as they did with M9M (Sobol) and M246 (The Icelander, can't think of a name). 

 

They are featuring Alan Schaller on their website and videos, albeit many of the photos they are showing were made with 246. 

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38 minutes ago, Likaleica said:

They are featuring Alan Schaller on their website and videos, albeit many of the photos they are showing were made with 246. 

I know of Alan Schaller from Flickr, he is regular there.  I think he was using his own M246 since it was launched.

Edit

I would go on the limb here, I think Leica probably considered Thorsten Von Overgaard and Steve Huff, decided for less known web/Leica influencer.

 

Edited by mmradman
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3 minutes ago, mmradman said:

I know of Alan Schaller from Flickr, he is regular there.  I think he was using his own M246 since it was launched.

Yes.  Picked up his first camera (246) just a few years ago and really took to it.  All started with a spontaneous portrait of his grandfather, or so he told me.

Edited by Likaleica
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6 hours ago, mmradman said:

I know of Alan Schaller from Flickr, he is regular there.  I think he was using his own M246 since it was launched.

Edit

I would go on the limb here, I think Leica probably considered Thorsten Von Overgaard and Steve Huff, decided for less known web/Leica influencer.

 

Like Alan's work a lot, he is quite well known in the street photography circles. He has currently an exhibition in Leica Los Angeles (1/20 - 3/2).

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