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Leica S3 vs M10 Monchrom for BW


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37 minutes ago, Jeff S said:

First, I would never tell anyone what they feel, or should feel.  None of my business or concern.

Second, I don’t make any judgments based on online viewing.  I make my own prints, and collect vintage silver prints from many highly regarded photographers/printers. As noted, I’ve seen wonderful and mediocre examples, both film and digital. Digital prints needn’t be hyper clean, nor plasticky. But they can be. There are myriad shooting and rendering styles and techniques. The user is the key factor, but as I’ve written, there does seem to be a technological barrier...particularly in subtle highlight transitions...in much digital compared to film.  But at the end of the day, I don’t spend time comparing film vs digital prints; they can be different but impressive in their own regard, and only when the picture compels in the first place.

More back on topic, I think either an S3 or an M10 Monochrom is quite capable of yielding fine prints in the hands of capable users.  But I wouldn’t be surprised if the S3 provided some advantages, in large prints, that come from the larger sensor in combination with those superb S lenses. But it’s not plug and play.

Jeff

Thanks.  Yeah I've seen great and poor prints from both as well.  One stunning print I recently saw was a platinum contact print made from a digitally printed negative from a digital camera.  And Allan Schaller's printed work always looks great. 

 

It's like going back to painting - the artist's vision and skill is always first and foremost, but an oil painting will feel different than a pastel painting, even if it is of the same subject.

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My experience with the other S models versus their monochrome M cousins with smaller sensors is that the bigger sensor is more important than the lack of bayer matrix. The exception would be with regards to noise, where the lack of the bayer filter really improves the performance at higher ISOs. But in comparing the S2 or S006 to the M Monochrome 18mp, the S was quite a bit ahead in detail and tonality. I would imagine a similar effect will apply. But going back to my original response, at that point, the huge difference in the camera systems themselves is probably more significant than the image quality difference.

Edited by Stuart Richardson
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FWIW, I can't spend about half my time in BW conversions adjusting the color response. I'll grant that faces look better from a monochrome camera than anything I can get from a color conversion, but otherwise, I need to adjust color response. The result may not look realistic - frequently almost IR, but it gets the mood I want.

Untitled by Matthew Grayson, on Flickr

 

Edited by mgrayson3
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An S Monochrom would probably be special, for the reasons Stuart mentions: size matters. But I’d be surprised if Leica sees any business sense in that. I won’t be surprised, though, if we see an SL2 Monochrom, given the Q2-M with similar sensor; and having IBIS with all that resolution would be another advantage.

Jeff

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6 hours ago, mgrayson3 said:

FWIW, I can't spend about half my time in BW conversions adjusting the color response. I'll grant that faces look better from a monochrome camera than anything I can get from a color conversion, but otherwise, I need to adjust color response. The result may not look realistic - frequently almost IR, but it gets the mood I want.

Untitled by Matthew Grayson, on Flickr

 

I don't know how the word "can't" good into that first sentence. I *do* spend about half the time editing color response.

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Matt, are your adjustments pretty subtle? My experience editing the color channels to change BW tonality have been pretty negative. I have found that whenever you deviate substantially from the palette that the camera wants to display, the tones get crushed and all sorts of noise and tone clipping problems occur. I do not have this issue when changing the WB or tint in gray images, only when using the channel mixing tools in lightroom, for example. Part of this is surely from primarily shooting film, but my experience with digital black and white conversions has been pretty negative, other than with TrueGrain (with certain caveats...only a few films work well, and you need to tone down the grain a lot...the curves and spectrum tools are not always useful, but the grain pattern and initial conversions are great). So with that said, if I did want to shoot black and white only and on a digital camera, I think the M monochrome is a superb way to do it.

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1 hour ago, Stuart Richardson said:

Matt, are your adjustments pretty subtle? My experience editing the color channels to change BW tonality have been pretty negative. I have found that whenever you deviate substantially from the palette that the camera wants to display, the tones get crushed and all sorts of noise and tone clipping problems occur. I do not have this issue when changing the WB or tint in gray images, only when using the channel mixing tools in lightroom, for example. Part of this is surely from primarily shooting film, but my experience with digital black and white conversions has been pretty negative, other than with TrueGrain (with certain caveats...only a few films work well, and you need to tone down the grain a lot...the curves and spectrum tools are not always useful, but the grain pattern and initial conversions are great). So with that said, if I did want to shoot black and white only and on a digital camera, I think the M monochrome is a superb way to do it.

My adjustments are brutal. I am not going after a BW film look. This is a different medium - I can shoot BW film if I want to, and enjoy it quite a lot until it comes time for dust removal from the scans 😇. I have a peculiar fondness for turning foliage white, so boosting greens in spring/summer and yellows and oranges in the fall. Fall colors obscure the trees themselves. By brightening the foliage, the bark stands out. It's a style, and probably affected, but it's what I like. With architecture, I go for the Ansel Adams black sky - turning the blue channel way down. But I feel the need to adjust that amount carefully, so that clouds and reflected light have the right tones and contrast.

I've never shot with a digital Monochrome. Mostly, I'm afraid I'll love the results, and then I'll have to carry an extensive filter set and shoot multiple exposures to get what I want. It's hard enough just to carry an S(007), 24, 70, and 120 (my standard kit). Maybe a Q2 monochrome?

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Ok, sounds good. To be clear though, my problem was not with pushing the asthetics, but that literally the files fell apart...getting grainy and having aliasing/tonal issues (literally gaps or peaks in the histogram). Contemporary cameras probably hold up much better to this treatment than most of the ones I used to try doing it with.

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1 hour ago, Stuart Richardson said:

Ok, sounds good. To be clear though, my problem was not with pushing the asthetics, but that literally the files fell apart...getting grainy and having aliasing/tonal issues (literally gaps or peaks in the histogram). Contemporary cameras probably hold up much better to this treatment than most of the ones I used to try doing it with.

I use an M Monochrom (original) and make b/w conversions with an M10 and SL2.  I do occasionally make color channel adjustments with the latter two, careful to not overdo it.  The key is moderation and subtlety.  I use LR Classic (current version) in conjunction with ImagePrint, which also provides various controls for refinement.  My print sizes are modest, so maybe that helps to maintain file integrity.

Jeff

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4 hours ago, Jeff S said:

I use an M Monochrom (original) and make b/w conversions with an M10 and SL2.  I do occasionally make color channel adjustments with the latter two, careful to not overdo it.  The key is moderation and subtlety.  I use LR Classic (current version) in conjunction with ImagePrint, which also provides various controls for refinement.  My print sizes are modest, so maybe that helps to maintain file integrity.

Jeff

I need to run a test of color filters on color sensor conversions.  When you use the color filter simulations, you are really stressing the recorded color channels.  I've seen different channels fall apart when pushed.  I think I'll take my M240 and take the same image with a (gasp!) orange and red filter on it and then compare it to a clean image with the color filter simulation.  It might be fun to torture the camera and ask for auto white balance with one of the filters on, haha

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I suspect the S3 with conversions exceeds the M10M, but the ISO performance of the M10M is so outstanding and useful for me, that I am not attracted to another camera body upgrade unless I can get higher ISO too. I print 40x60 from my s 007 and my M10M so I am not needing the extra resolution yet.

Regarding filtration for B&W in post or filters, I tested myself for six months before purchasing the M10M to see how often I would use filtration other than an orange or yellow filter in post conversion. And yes, a few times I would do a blend of orange in one area and blue in another area, but it was never needed on a great shot. I learned that I needed yellow for portraits, and orange for a landscape. I decided that I would slap on a yellow for my 50 and 90 and keep an orange on my 21. I do not at all feel my kind of shooting needs a green, blue, or red filter for each M lens. But your needs may differ. If you play a lot with post filtration, then go for the S3. But other factors should go in play, such as do you need AF, do you need weather sealing, do you need tethering? Do you need a small sized camera with tiny lenses?

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Am 16.12.2020 um 06:47 schrieb LeicaS2:

I suspect the S3 with conversions exceeds the M10M, but the ISO performance of the M10M is so outstanding and useful for me, that I am not attracted to another camera body upgrade unless I can get higher ISO too. I print 40x60 from my s 007 and my M10M so I am not needing the extra resolution yet.

Regarding filtration for B&W in post or filters, I tested myself for six months before purchasing the M10M to see how often I would use filtration other than an orange or yellow filter in post conversion. And yes, a few times I would do a blend of orange in one area and blue in another area, but it was never needed on a great shot. I learned that I needed yellow for portraits, and orange for a landscape. I decided that I would slap on a yellow for my 50 and 90 and keep an orange on my 21. I do not at all feel my kind of shooting needs a green, blue, or red filter for each M lens. But your needs may differ. If you play a lot with post filtration, then go for the S3. But other factors should go in play, such as do you need AF, do you need weather sealing, do you need tethering? Do you need a small sized camera with tiny lenses?

When I had the MM and later the M246 that was what I did, have a yellow filter on my lens all the time.

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  • 1 month later...

Having shot all the monochrom’ s, I really like the results from black and white.  I also love using the colored filters depending on what I shoot.  However, for a variety of landscape work I like using the 4” filter systems, which are not as easy to use on the M system.

So, for me, I default to the M10M for black and white work, but I never mind trying to convert an S007 shot to black and white if warranted.  But I don’t go out to shoot the S007 for black and white intentionally.  Just my opinion...

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