The best for me: Leica Monochrom! by Francois Roosens

The best for me: Leica Monochrom!

by Francois Roosens

I think it’s the moment to send you some pictures from my Leica MM (Monochrom). Leica came into my life about 2 years ago, I sold my D4, D800e and all reflex kit to buy it.

The Leica MM is for me the best camera I have bought. I now own the MM(The best), M240,  A7r,  A7s (fabulous), and also the Lumix GM1 (it’s a perfect micro camera). I like your job.. Thanks for everything.

I am sending you some picture of « GILLES » from Belgium, it was in March for the « Carnaval » It was an important feast in my country. Early in the morning Gilles come pick  up other gilles and drink and eat at each house. in front of every house, they dance around… and lunch some oranges to give at children or at people for have a lucky year. I hope you like this.  The Leica 24 Summilux and 50 Noctilux 0.95 was used for that and I was up at 4AM.

Thank you!














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  1. I love this series a lot. I also love it that you chose b&w. I don’t understand the criticism (see above) of those who say color would have made these pictures better. Reason: taking the color away allows the viewer to focus on facial expression, composition and point of view. In the case of the vibrantly colored Gilles, the impact of the color would be hugely distracting. Of course, live and let live is my motto. There are plenty of color images of Gilles around that are fabulous too!
    Compliments from a fellow Belgian!

  2. I have M9 and MM. The MM images on screen can be described as if from any camera. It is not till they are printed to A1 that it becomes obvious what a stunning machine this is, especially with some classic glass.

  3. Great job! The B&W tones are a strong choice for such costumes! Enjoyed your set very much. You have shown how the MM can capture moods well!

  4. Beau reportage, François et je ne peux que te féliciter pour le parti pris du noir et blanc et le courage de t’être levé très tôt.

    Je suis aussi passé au Leica il y a quelques années même si je n’ai pas encore eu le courage de liquider mon matériel Nikon. le Sony A7s pourrait m’y aider et est un boîtier qui m’intéresse, en particulier vu sa supposée bonne compatibilité avec les optiques M. Un retour d’expérience sur ce sujet?

  5. Francois,

    The MM is a natural for you. Fantastic work, love your use of selective focus without just defaulting to extreme blur. Light, shadow and tone are what make the MM so special, and clearly you know how to use all three. Bravo.

  6. A great series – wonderful B&W tonality. I have a recently purchased Leica MM also; I hope to achieve results approaching yours. The last one is perfect.

  7. Apparently gear choice is important for Francois, so a few words on that subject. The images are in b&w, and they’re very obviously digital, there’s no way around that. Almost any digital camera would have achieved that look.

    As for the apparently intentional “sombre” look, I don’t really understand why that was deemed nesessary. Weren’t the original files sufficiently interesting?

    • Michel953. Can’t get colour out of an MM!
      I really like some of these, great tones and sharpness…others that are too grainy and sombre or not so well composed not so much. But that’s just me. : )

    • Michael I don’t think he’s saying he loves the MM for the output…yes can get b&w like these. I think he’s saying he loves using the camera…very different obviously.

      • Andy I didn’t read it like that but it must be more pleasant than peering through an EVF ;-).

        I’ll be the first to step forward and state that how a camera handles, and whether you like the experience or don’t, is more important than how it performs in (DxO!!!) numbers.

        Cameras I didn’t like at all (handling wise): Nikon F, Nikkormat, Leica M5. Cameras I like (and own): Nikon F2AS, FM2n, FE2, FM3a, D800. All cameras I’ve grown to use intuitively.

  8. I have many problems with dust in the sensor do you have it, I have to send the camera to Leica USA for cleaning and now I am waiting for the camera

    • My M9 and MM sensors delaminated, looks like dust, but far worse. Both returned to Leica Germany to be replaced.

  9. Lovely photos F.
    I especially liked the first one. Same as you i own the MM and the M9.
    I tried my friends Leica M and a Fujy X100,but no other camera produced B\W photos similar to the Leica MM.
    I love my M9 and i do convert to B\W sometimes. I always thought the conversion results were great until i saw the MM results. so now i only use it for colour.
    Nice job

  10. Francois, Having lived in Belgium the “Carnival of Binche” with the Gilles is a very colourful happy event and I am wondering why you feel it suits a black and white, rather sombre approach.The pictures are interesting but on my screen seem out of focus and grainy. Is this part of the atmosphere you want to convey, or does your camera need calibrating? This is not a criticism, I like most of the pictures but am wondering why they are so sad for what is a colourful celebration. Thanks

    • David, I have to agree with you on this one. I used to live in Belgium and loved the colorful Carnival of Binche. Given the choice between the MM and the M-240 I would have grabbed the M-240. When I was there I had a brand new Rollei SL66 and was doing my own processing so I was stuck with Plus X and Tri X.
      Francois thanks for sharing. Having been there I looked at your B&W images and saw the brightly colored reds and yellows of the costumes.

    • Hello, Sorry for my poor english but I usually speak french. Every picture from Gilles and carnaval was frequently in color… I used B&W for only the feeling. I was Up at 04 AM.. and the pictures was taken between 05 and 08 on the morning, on March the sun and light is not really good…
      I send JPEG at 650 ko… is not really good for see every thing.. all of my lens are on focus. But it was my firsts shoots whit the Noctilux.. it’s not easy… I’am a new Leica User (1,5 year) and Noctilux at this time was really new (3 weeks at this time)…

      • The pictures was take between 800 and 6400 iso and I want give move whit low speed.. 1/60 or 1/90….

  11. Interesting. So, I understand the MM and a full-frame colour body as well. But the M240, A7R and A7S? How do you differentiate between those three? I have an M9 and a7r (and I sometimes struggle to decide which to use, plus I have a 7D which gets no use at all, plus MP and M7 (again, I can justify one of these for film, but it’s a little hard to keep both. Just interested…

    • Hah — I can barely decide what lenses to bring with a single camera – I’d probably be stuck by the door for hours deciding what gear to take out.

      Wonderful photos, Francois.

        • ; )))))) the formula is a big bag and a strong back

          @ francois: wonderful, intimate fotos. i also like staged photogtaphy but i like also to be there at a very special moment and to catch it. and you caught it : )

          greets michael

    • Hello, Leica M and MM are My favorite. and best photographic experience. A7 are only for AF, low light, and spécific use when I don’t want use Leica (Thiefs…) I am like Steve I love use and test…. I keep Leica, I buy and sold everything else..

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