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I happened to discover this online essay today - the author offers some interesting insights into the M246 Monochrom and why it is still a viable choice:

Why I bought a Leica M246 Monochrom

https://mwwphotography.co.uk/blog/leicam246monochrom

Edited by Herr Barnack
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I had the M9M but didn’t use it much because I still shot a lot of film at the time and when the sensor corrosion hit I sold it after it was replaced. Recently I sold all my film Leicas even the Barnacks and all the two dozen classic Wetzler lenses to go full digital with the M10M and a set of current lenses. My observation about rendering is that it is more influenced by the lens you are using, the lighting, whether your exposure is correct and the amount of post processing. The Monochrom sensor is unique regardless of which Leica model and any of those will do. I would buy based on other features. 

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On 6/25/2021 at 11:09 AM, jonnyboy said:

I bought....actually...I upgraded to M246 from my MM1. I found a really good deal as second hand from Leica Store London. Although many told me to stick to the MM1 (rendering...rendering...rendering) I'm actually extremely happy with my M246 and I'm not looking back at all!

 

Rendering is all well and good when discussing merits on internet forum but for day to day use having serviceable camera is plus. 

Having said that I wish as many M9 and M9Ms to remain in working order.   

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7 hours ago, rtai said:

I had the M9M but didn’t use it much because I still shot a lot of film at the time and when the sensor corrosion hit I sold it after it was replaced. Recently I sold all my film Leicas even the Barnacks and all the two dozen classic Wetzler lenses to go full digital with the M10M and a set of current lenses. My observation about rendering is that it is more influenced by the lens you are using, the lighting, whether your exposure is correct and the amount of post processing. The Monochrom sensor is unique regardless of which Leica model and any of those will do. I would buy based on other features. 

+1

Newer models do offer wider ISO range and other refinements but captured image is primarily influenced by Lens and Light plus PP is so flexible these days that almost anything is possible. 

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On 6/25/2021 at 11:09 AM, jonnyboy said:

...Although many told me to stick to the MM1 (rendering...rendering...rendering) I'm actually extremely happy with my M246 and I'm not looking back at all!...

On the subject of rendering...

Yesterday (as it happens) I was printing out a dozen or so A3 monochrome 'fine art' photographs. Each of the images had been snapped on either my M Monochrom or my M-D Typ-262 (which shares the sensor with the regular Typ 246) and these latter ones had been converted to B'n'W when processing-out the files in Photoshop. Once the images were laid out do you think it was possible to tell which pic had been snapped on which body? Not a chance. When shooting I was swapping between a 1959-ish 21mm f4 Super-Angulon and a 28mm f2.8 Elmarit ASPH on both bodies and whilst I could tell which lens was used for any particular image I had to check the original DNG files to confirm on which camera the photograph had been captured.

I am, of course, fully aware that there are 'distinct differences' between the rendering of the CCD and CMOS sensors and the lack of a Bayer Array on the Monochrom bodies makes yet another difference (etc...etc...) and am also fully aware that these differences can be noticed when the files are viewed at 100% on a monitor but, seriously, once the images were printed-out (I favour Canson Infinity Baryta) it was absolutely impossible to see any tell-tale differences whatsoever even when inspected at very close-range.

By the time the prints were framed behind glass and hung on a wall?.......

Philip.

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9 minutes ago, pippy said:

once the images were printed-out (I favour Canson Infinity Baryta) it was absolutely impossible to see any tell-tale differences whatsoever even when inspected at very close-range.

 

Just after the original Monochrom came out we were in Solms on a TLS visit organised by FDS of this Forum. Leica had had some photos taken on the M9 (then current) and new Monochrom and printed as A2's  so you compare side by side. They had prepared a clear acetate overlay to identify the places where the monochrom gave more shadow detail etc. It was very marginal difference, which in truth would not be noticed if you were not comparing them.

I think a key attraction is taking/thinking B&W rather than output.

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3 hours ago, pedaes said:

...I think a key attraction is taking/thinking B&W rather than output...

I agree completely. In fact for the snapping-session mentioned above I had an Orange filter on the 21mm and a Yellow on the 28mm which reinforced this "B&W mind-set" from the very start.

Philip.

Edited by pippy
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Posted (edited)

Apart from personal preference for using dedicated mono camera I see advantage over colour models when shooting in poor light.  Before buying M246 I was doing conversion from M9 and M240 a lot, also recorded Mono JPG trying to maximise mono effect, also B&W film at the same time. 

Eventually became intrigued by better ISO performance offered by M9M.  Tried M9M but sat on the fence due to erratic file writing behaviour of my M9P at the time and when M246 became available chose it as technically more accomplished camera.  

Edited by mmradman
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On 6/30/2021 at 1:38 PM, pedaes said:

I think a key attraction is taking/thinking B&W rather than output.

I fully agree.

I went from M(240) to M10M.

high-iso is amazing with the Monochrom but the M(240) was a good camera as far as output is concerned, but the main reason to get the M10 generation is more about the huge progress in ergonomy / joy to use / reaction time

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Crazy as it sounds, I am sticking with the M240 series (I have an M-P 240) because I love, love the battery capacity. That being said I would love to hear a comparison between a 246 and an M10 Monochrom.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 6/23/2021 at 11:48 AM, Herr Barnack said:

I happened to discover this online essay today - the author offers some interesting insights into the M246 Monochrom and why it is still a viable choice:

Why I bought a Leica M246 Monochrom

https://mwwphotography.co.uk/blog/leicam246monochrom

The article reinforces what I see in these forums: photographers keep their monochrome Ms longer than they do their color Ms. The Monochroms seem to be better suited for skipping one or more generations between purchases because they are all so good in their own ways.

I wish with color Ms they would go straight to the "-P" model, then second and third releases as safari and black paint.

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21 hours ago, hdmesa said:

The article reinforces what I see in these forums: photographers keep their monochrome Ms longer than they do their color Ms. The Monochroms seem to be better suited for skipping one or more generations between purchases because they are all so good in their own ways.

I wish with color Ms they would go straight to the "-P" model, then second and third releases as safari and black paint.

I think it's cause you buy the concept (the idea of shooting purely in B&W), after that it's just tech specs, though on paper the monochroms offer higher iso performance and more acuity than their colour counterparts too.The higher price of entry is for buying into a niche idea, in return, if one is committed to owning a camera that shoots purely in B&W long term, it can last several generations without feeling the urge to "upgrade". If one doesn't gel with B&W shooting, it can be an expensive trial...

I think the M10M offers a very future-proof B&W camera option and I hope to keep mine right through the M12M and beyond. The M9M and M246 would make me very happy too, but with 40mp bayerless sensor + the M10 body size, I couldn't ask for more.

On the red dot base M models, I'm personally ok with them. I actually think the Ms with a black dot rather than red, with clean aesthetic and no script (like the monochroms) can look quite sexy. When the P versions come out, the base model would have matured 1.5 to 2 years, and it's definitely a more polished product.

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