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Monochrom vs. M10 shot in B&W


MikeMyers
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1 minute ago, MikeMyers said:

Thanks; I think I understand much better, and you did answer my question.  As I understand this now, a monochrom would be better suited to B&W photography, but I can get to a very similar end result using my M10, saving $$ and allowing me to walk around with one camera, not two.  I also strongly believe that it is a photographer's "eye" that makes a great photo, not the gear.  And finally, that I need to learn more about how to edit B&W images.

Definitely. The M10M is a nice tool to have, definitely not essential for black and white.  

I don’t have any tricks with editing I’m afraid, I don’t use any presets or tools other than the sliders in Lightroom. Everything I know I learned from youtube videos, probably the best resource around. 
 

The best skills to learn are all to do with what happens before the shutter is pressed. Very, very little will need to be done in editing if you photographed correctly. Usually if I’m spending more than two or three minutes editing, it means it’s not a keeper. It means the image fails to stand on its own and I’m trying to bring life to it after the fact. 

It’s crazy because I spent decades learning to edit, learning photoshop inside and out. Looking back I wish I had spent 1/1000th of that time learning about photography itself. Composition, lighting, eliminating distracting elements, waiting for a compelling gesture or expression. I spend hardly any time editing these days because I focus on getting the shot when the shutter is pressed. I came at it all backwards 😅
 

 

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On 10/29/2022 at 9:45 PM, MikeMyers said:

Thanks; I think I understand much better, and you did answer my question.  As I understand this now, a monochrom would be better suited to B&W photography, but I can get to a very similar end result using my M10, saving $$ and allowing me to walk around with one camera, not two.  I also strongly believe that it is a photographer's "eye" that makes a great photo, not the gear.  And finally, that I need to learn more about how to edit B&W images.

If you'd like some Monochrom raw files to have a play with let me know, I can organise a drop box link.

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17 hours ago, stefanusj said:

the magic of monochrom sensor is when the lighting is flat.

…it’s an interesting view, and one I completely agree with. In direct sun, I’m not such a fan of the Monochrom rendering (or color digital either, given I would prefer the gentler highlight roll-off of film), but in flat light I’ve found the tonality and detail off my M10 Monochrom is consistently leaving me in awe. I recently did some images that included foliage like ivy leaves just after it had stopped raining, and there was so much texture and realism in the final prints. I prefer the M10M’s rendering more than any digital I’ve tried and (for the first time) feel that I couldn’t make a more beautiful print if I’d used large format film with hand prints on fibre paper. The prints I’m getting off the M10M in flat light just seem to glow, without a shred of the “digital” aesthetic I see nearly always see - however slight - off color sensors due to the interpolative workings of the color filter array.  

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5 hours ago, Jon Warwick said:

…it’s an interesting view, and one I completely agree with. In direct sun, I’m not such a fan of the Monochrom rendering (or color digital either, given I would prefer the gentler highlight roll-off of film), but in flat light I’ve found the tonality and detail off my M10 Monochrom is consistently leaving me in awe. I recently did some images that included foliage like ivy leaves just after it had stopped raining, and there was so much texture and realism in the final prints. I prefer the M10M’s rendering more than any digital I’ve tried and (for the first time) feel that I couldn’t make a more beautiful print if I’d used large format film with hand prints on fibre paper. The prints I’m getting off the M10M in flat light just seem to glow, without a shred of the “digital” aesthetic I see nearly always see - however slight - off color sensors due to the interpolative workings of the color filter array.  

100% correct, sir. in good light or harsh lighting, the result is similar with "color" sensor. in analogue/film world, i also a great fans of Delta 400, because it shines in a flat light.

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11 hours ago, stefanusj said:

100% correct, sir. in good light or harsh lighting, the result is similar with "color" sensor. in analogue/film world, i also a great fans of Delta 400, because it shines in a flat light.

Thanks for your comment. With little tweaking, I'm finding the prints from my M10 Monochrom remind me a lot of Delta (in my case, Delta 100 - which I used for many years across 35mm, 120 and 4x5). Very similar luminosity and contrast response between the two, to my eyes at least, and a real joy given the convenience of digital.  I also used the "original" Acros a lot too, but that felt different (flatter contrast natively, albeit with finer grain) to what I see with the M10M and Delta.

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On 11/1/2022 at 10:56 PM, Stevejack said:

If you'd like some Monochrom raw files to have a play with let me know, I can organise a drop box link.

DP Review has a lot of free M10M, M11, and many other Leica raw files on their site (free downloads). Just pointing this out because playing with the files was super helpful and really helped convince me to go with the M10M. 

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you can actually get pretty excellent results with an M8 set to B&W jpeg. Obviously a dedicated monochrom camera is better still but few people really need the difference. I want a monochrome only camera- but I cannot afford or justify one. I have justified not selling my M8 and thinking of it as my very own monochrom...

 

Welcome, dear visitor! As registered member you'd see an image here…

Simply register for free here – We are always happy to welcome new members!

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1 hour ago, jaques said:

you can actually get pretty excellent results with an M8 set to B&W jpeg.....

I need to send my M8.2 off to Leica Tech Support because of two dead pixels, but I love that camera.  Should you ever want to shoot by infrared light, all you need is the appropriate filter - the results are stunning!  You suggest using B&W jpeg - why not just shoot in raw, and convert to B&W during processing?  All the reviews of the M8 cameras suggested avoiding jpg.

1 hour ago, jaques said:

Obviously a dedicated monochrom camera is better

That makes sense, but of the B&W photos posted here on the forum, it's difficult to tell which camera was used - for most people, posting on line, the standard Leica seems to do just as well as the Monochrom.  

 

As a test, I've changed my M10 to display in B&W.  I'm getting used to "seeing" the world that way.  Of course the raw images are still in color, but I can easily convert them to look like almost any B&W film by selecting that film in DxO PhotoLab during processing.

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On 11/13/2022 at 2:47 AM, MikeMyers said:

That makes sense, but of the B&W photos posted here on the forum, it's difficult to tell which camera was used - for most people, posting on line, the standard Leica seems to do just as well as the Monochrom.  

 

That is hardly surprising - not only is a reduced Internet JPG plus a wide variety at monitor settings not conductive to a meaningful comparison, you are also dealing with a wide spread of postprocessing skill between the posters.

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+1   A camera phone generally suffices for online posting.  In fact better in many cases than pics originating from a flat, high dynamic range, Leica M DNG file processed by those who apparently lack PP skills. 
 

As for DXO… or any other software… emulating different film stocks; mostly nonsense IMO.  The only way to realize that is to shoot film and make prints. Digital PP is far more flexible and convenient than darkroom workflow, both for global and local adjustments, but an inkjet print is not a silver print, no matter the user skill level, even though each can be superb in their own right. But for viewing on screen? …might as well start with a phone.

Jeff

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https://www.reddotforum.com/content/2021/02/bw-iso-showdown-2021-leica-q2-monochrom-vs-m10-monochrom-vs-q2-vs-m10-r/

Take it what you will. The conclusive evidence is there for pixel peepers.

Thankfully the xiaomi and Leica partnship thought about online sharing and has given its users the Xiaomi ultra 12s thus making digital m cameras redundant when one needs only to post online. Yey we dont need to worry about overkill when comes to image quality of our online posts. Lol

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Too late for me - it would mean carrying around two phones, one of which will be an iPhone.  If I plan to take photos, I'll also have my camera.

13 hours ago, jaapv said:

That is hardly surprising - not only is a reduced Internet JPG plus a wide variety at monitor settings not conductive to a meaningful comparison, you are also dealing with a wide spread of postprocessing skill between the posters.

I agree, but I wonder what percentage of Leica users are also experts at post processing?  I wonder what all of our posted images might look like, if they had to be SOOC, no processing.  I guess I agree with you, and my comparison of images from regular cameras and regular cameras isn't valid, as I might really be judging post processing skills.  But even so, that implies how important it is to get good at post processing.

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On 11/12/2022 at 7:23 PM, jaques said:

you can actually get pretty excellent results with an M8 set to B&W jpeg. Obviously a dedicated monochrom camera is better still but few people really need the difference. I want a monochrome only camera- but I cannot afford or justify one. I have justified not selling my M8 and thinking of it as my very own monochrom...

 

To me, it's very surprising that an M8 was able to do that, and in jpg mode?  Lovely example of what an M8 is capable of even in today's world - and why I have no desire to sell my M8.2 even though I now use an M10.  I wish I knew how much post processing @jaquesused on this image, but that's just curiosity.  Very nice, and shows what an M8 is still capable of.

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I owned two M8.2s… great cameras, even though the M10 Monochrom is significantly better in many respects, which might or might not translate to better pics/prints, depending on the user (post #7). 

I have re-printed pics that I made years ago with the M8.2 (and that pleased me at the time), because of significant improvements in editing software/processing engines since then, and have made subtle changes and demonstrably better prints as a result.  This was only possible by shooting DNG and retaining all available file data; JPEGs would not have provided the same flexibility. Why waste data, rely on someone else’s aesthetic decisions, and then lock in those decisions by shooting JPEGs, if one’s intent is to make prints?  
 

My comments about a camera phone being sufficient for online posting was not meant as recommendation to use phone cameras; rather that it was a waste of money to buy an exceptional camera like the M10-M, only to waste its capabilities shooting JPEGs or just for online posts.  I always have my phone with me, but never use the camera except for simple documentary recording purposes; my prints deserve a better chance for success.  Prints (of worthy pics, of course) require the same user judgment, decision making and processing skills as in darkroom days; only the tools have changed (and they keep evolving).

Jeff

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51 minutes ago, Jeff S said:

My comments about a camera phone being sufficient for online posting was not meant as recommendation to use phone cameras; rather that it was a waste of money to buy an exceptional camera like the M10-M, only to waste its capabilities shooting JPEGs or just for online posts.  I always have my phone with me, but never use the camera except for simple documentary recording purposes; my prints deserve a better chance for success.  Prints (of worthy pics, of course) require the same user judgment, decision making and processing skills as in darkroom days; only the tools have changed (and they keep evolving).

Jeff

Important points you make. The camera doesn't make the photograph - the photographer does. No matter how many megapixels the sensor has, or how many asph or APO surfaces the lens does, they won't make a boring scene into a dynamic one. In fact, modern phone cameras and the software behind them are so good now, it has fooled us into a sense of finality with the taken image, whereas in the past it would only be the beginning (though Leica M files sooc are about perfect a large percentage of the time in comparison to other brands). It's a bit like buying a $100k hifi in order to listen to Celine Dion records. The veneer of sound will be bigger and better, but will do nothing for the actual content of the music being played (my apologies to Celine fans). I recall one time decades ago when at a party I asked to borrow the host's p&s (film days) and take some snaps with it. I made a couple of minor menu changes and then shot away. The next week they asked what I'd done as they'd never gotten such good, interesting photos from the camera. I'm generally humble, but I did have to tell them it was all me, and nothing to do with the camera. 

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7 minutes ago, charlesphoto99 said:

 In fact, modern phone cameras and the software behind them are so good now, it has fooled us into a sense of finality with the taken image, whereas in the past it would only be the beginning (though Leica M files sooc are about perfect a large percentage of the time in comparison to other brands). 

But I don’t think OOC results, without user adjustments/ interpretations, are nearly sufficient… whether with phone or with the highest end camera, even Leica…for making prints that ‘sing.’  Some principles never change, regardless the camera gear or settings.

Jeff

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Then too, beautiful photos taken with an iPhone don't look as good when copied to a computer.  Apple has lots of "AI" effects built into their new phones that enhance the images when viewed on their phones.  

Of course, if ones better camera is left at home, and all they have is an iPhone,  that's the only way they can take a photo.

Even then:

1 hour ago, charlesphoto99 said:

The next week they asked what I'd done as they'd never gotten such good, interesting photos from the camera. I'm generally humble, but I did have to tell them it was all me, and nothing to do with the camera. 

This applies to a phone camera too.

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