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Black and white with M10 and M10 Monochrome


Mike Hawley

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I currently use an M10 and have used Lightroom to produce RAW B and W pictures which are to my eyes exceptional. My question is would an  M10 mono produce results that are discernibly different. I must confess that looking at the output of both cameras online (usually JPEG) I can see little or no difference. I would appreciate the forums opinions.

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One can use a phone camera for similar online pics.  Better to make prints with both using your own shooting, editing and print workflow. No two people will produce the same results… thankfully. Note, too, that one difference in the workflows will be due to the use of colored lens filters (M10M) vs ability to use color channels in post (M10). 

FWIW, the most significant benefit I realize from using my Monochrom(s) is a mindset derived from the lack of color distractions when looking for pics.  
 

Jeff

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vor 12 Stunden schrieb Jeff S:

most significant benefit I realize from using my Monochrom(s) is a mindset derived from the lack of color distractions

I imagine that this is a very important point. You are in that different mindset and when back in Lightroom you can not compare colour against  B/W as you have no colour.

To simulate that in my M11 I have set a special profile where I see only B/W in the Visoflex 2 EVF (without having JPG on; only DNGs). That is then half a Monochrom I imagine. But still I would love to own a pure Monochrom.

 

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17 minutes ago, M11 for me said:

I imagine that this is a very important point. You are in that different mindset and when back in Lightroom you can not compare colour against  B/W as you have no colour.

To simulate that in my M11 I have set a special profile where I see only B/W in the Visoflex 2 EVF (without having JPG on; only DNGs). That is then half a Monochrom I imagine. But still I would love to own a pure Monochrom.

 

The difference with a Monochrom, for me, is similar to days with my film M’s loaded with b/w film; there is NO color shooting option (Photoshop tricks aside).  I had/have no problem visualizing scenes in b/w tones (“seeing” in b&w); that’s not the issue. With a traditional digital M, however, the option still exists to shoot color, and I can be occasionally distracted by paying attention to potential pics using colors, which as we know have zero effect on black and white tonalities. I could use discipline to ignore this temptation, but it was only after I bought an MM that I found out that having NO color option created a unique mindset and true discipline. Others might have different experiences, but that’s mine.

Jeff

Edited by Jeff S
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2 hours ago, Jeff S said:

The difference with a Monochrom, for me, is similar to days with my film M’s loaded with b/w film; there is NO color shooting option (Photoshop tricks aside).  I had/have no problem visualizing scenes in b/w tones (“seeing” in b&w); that’s not the issue. With a traditional digital M, however, the option still exists to shoot color, and I can be occasionally distracted by paying attention to potential pics using colors, which as we know have zero effect on black and white tonalities. I could use discipline to ignore this temptation, but it was only after I bought an MM that I found out that having NO color option created a unique mindset and true discipline. Others might have different experiences, but that’s mine.

Jeff

I agree. 
 

The only thing I will add is that the lack of a Bayer array in the M10M, allows 1 to 2 stops of greater dynamic range when compared with the M10-r. There is also significantly less noise at high ISO, in my experience, when compared with the 10-r. Those differences can be significant. 

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13 minutes ago, dbeids said:

The only thing I will add is that the lack of a Bayer array in the M10M, allows 1 to 2 stops of greater dynamic range when compared with the M10-r. There is also significantly less noise at high ISO, in my experience, when compared with the 10-r. Those differences can be significant. 

I also own an M10-R, but my typical shooting conditions/style make high ISO/noise differences mostly insignificant for me. I question differences in dynamic range, but another difference is that the effective resolution for the M10M is significantly greater due to lack of color array; however,  I don’t print big enough, or crop to such an extent, to benefit.

Jeff

Edited by Jeff S
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I agree to all that . . .  a Monochrom is in just the shooting @ in every appearance of a picture a unique way of looking at the world. I like the rendering of my M9M  and use it up to 2500A. 

The M10M of course has a great resolution and higher ISO (A that is) but the M9M has a small edge everytime when there is great light - the pixels are great. But I am curious as to the M11M that we will see anytime soon I expect. 

Converting M10 (-R) to BW is possible; I often need to pass through EFEX (--> Plus-X for instance) to get nice results. But somehow, specifically if I just use LR, I struggle towards the result. What should be right?

The BIG DISADVANTAGE of having a Monochrom is obvious here:

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5 hours ago, Alberti said:

 

The BIG DISADVANTAGE of having a Monochrom is obvious here:

(By @satijntje

Not for me.  I never carry a color-based camera along with a Monochrom; defeats the whole b&w mindset. The big disadvantage for me is the lack of color channel flexibility in post, instead relying on much less flexible lens filters.

Jeff

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What I've noticed about the m10 mono is that "if" you nail exposer and focus and do everything right, the mono can give you deep, thick, beautiful images that are unique straight out of the camera. I think it forces me to be a more vigilant shooter. Whereas when shooting my m10R and converting, I can get a similar look using LR and SilverFX....but, almost never a perfect B&W compared to the mono. 

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If you can’t tell the difference from what people post, it’s probably not worth the cost to upgrade/buy a new camera.  I shoot with an M10 and it’s certainly never lacking.  I shoot to the histogram so I don’t blow out my whites, reducing the need for that greater latitude.  


I like the work I’ve done and so far I don’t feel a need to upgrade.

but hey, you only live once.  If you want to buy it go for it.

 

photo taken with M10 /50lux ASPH & flash

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1 hour ago, shanefking said:

If you can’t tell the difference from what people post, it’s probably not worth the cost to upgrade/buy a new camera.

That doesn’t even slightly enter my decision process for purchasing gear.  First, online pics are the great equalizer IMO compared to print results.  Second, there are myriad personal style and workflow variables…from shooting to editing to printing and to display… that determine ultimate output. Making my own pics and prints are essential for my assessment.  And third, given the high IQ from all sorts of gear these days (not just Leica), my decision making typically comes as much from other criteria, including ergonomics, handling, etc.  

 

I find that this evaluation process provides the best resistance to GAS for me; if I can’t produce better pics and prints, or gain more joy using the gear, then nothing else matters.  
 

Jeff

Edited by Jeff S
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On 1/17/2023 at 12:20 PM, Mike Hawley said:

I currently use an M10 and have used Lightroom to produce RAW B and W pictures which are to my eyes exceptional. My question is would an  M10 mono produce results that are discernibly different. 

 I must confess that looking at the output of both cameras online (usually JPEG) I can see little or no difference.

Trying to find worthwhile differences among on-line jpgs is like looking for great literature on Post-It™ notes. ;) 

However....

I have both an M10 (and M10P) - and an M10M. I mostly have the M10M for its ability to shoot where f/1.5, 1/125th sec and ISO 32000 are barely enough.

The color M10s can produce very good B&W conversions, and I still do those, even with the M10M available. Provided the lighting is decent (up to ISO 10000 if needed). The M10M will start to surpass them, however, above ISO 2500 or so. Everything is relative, so we are talking very good vs. very very very good.

The color files are a bit more malleable, at the cost of resolution and noise. Simply because they must access data from the neighboring (differently colored) pixels in the de-mosaicing, which allows for a greater variety of grays - sort of. This is in addition to simply having the color data available to, for example, "lighten reds" in post-processing.

The Monochrom files feel a bit "stiffer" to work with, since each pixel stands alone and uninfluenced by surrounding pixels. But clearly have better edge and texture resolutions, even ignoring the extra 16 Mpixels. And no chance of color moirés. ;) 

Of note, due to the effects in the paragraph above, the M10M files do not like being rotated at the time of .DNG development (at least with Adobe apps). The lack of pixel smoothing from the color de-bayerizing leads to moiré patterns as the original standalone pixels, rotated, are remapped onto a regular row-and-column pixel grid. Which is made even more obvious by extreme tonal manipulations (especially shadows) or sharpening. So either make the pictures straight and level in the camera, or hold off straightening them until they are past the "develop" phase in post-processing.

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4 hours ago, Jeff S said:

That doesn’t even slightly enter my decision process for purchasing gear.  First, online pics are the great equalizer IMO compared to print results.  Second, there are myriad personal style and workflow variables…from shooting to editing to printing and to display… that determine ultimate output. Making my own pics and prints are essential for my assessment.  And third, given the high IQ from all sorts of gear these days (not just Leica), my decision making typically comes as much from other criteria, including ergonomics, handling, etc.  

 

I find that this evaluation process provides the best resistance to GAS for me; if I can’t produce better pics and prints, or gain more joy using the gear, then nothing else matters.  
 

Jeff

Very well said, Jeff

 

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2 hours ago, adan said:

Of note, due to the effects in the paragraph above, the M10M files do not like being rotated at the time of .DNG development (at least with Adobe apps). The lack of pixel smoothing from the color de-bayerizing leads to moiré patterns as the original standalone pixels, rotated, are remapped onto a regular row-and-column pixel grid. Which is made even more obvious by extreme tonal manipulations (especially shadows) or sharpening. So either make the pictures straight and level in the camera, or hold off straightening them until they are past the "develop" phase in post-processing.

Wow, this is the first I’ve heard of this.  Does rotating appear to negatively affect prints?

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On 1/18/2023 at 7:50 PM, dbeids said:

I agree. 
 

The only thing I will add is that the lack of a Bayer array in the M10M, allows 1 to 2 stops of greater dynamic range when compared with the M10-r. There is also significantly less noise at high ISO, in my experience, when compared with the 10-r. Those differences can be significant. 

Correction. The lack of a bayer array will give 1-2 stops better high ISO performance but has no effect on dynamic range. If you think about it it's obvious why.

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  • 2 weeks later...
3 hours ago, Kiwimac said:

Which leads to a third option. Buying a Q2M instead of the other things. 

the thing i enjoy most about shooting my m246 is marrying ridiculously (cheap FSU and chinese) glass with the M body. if you enjoy playing with your lenses, then the M is the way to go. but if you like sticking to one (albeit great) lens then the Q2M might not be a bad idea

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