Nov 082012

From CL to M6 to M9 to Leica Monochrom by Alexander Getty

Dear Steve,

As you know, I have been an avid follower of your brilliant blog for a couple of years now and I have to say, your “real-world” approach to equipment and techniques resonates better with me than highly technical reviews.

I’m a long time Leica shooter was taught to shoot and develop by my mother who was an amateur and very talented photographer when I was a teenager. Leica’s have always been my favorite cameras and in late 2010 after a 5 year gap, I decided to pursue photography seriously again, I bought myself a Leica CL and a 50mm Zeiss ZM and began rediscovering what I love to do most.

Well, it’s now nearing the end of 2012 and I’m still mostly shooting on film. Your recent three-part review on the Monochrom spurred me to pull the trigger and I am glad to say, I’m so happy I did.

I did own an M9-P for a short period of time but found myself defaulting back to my M6 more as the end result was normally better. I am primarily a black and white photographer and find that there are just too many steps to convert a color image into a decent B+W one. White balance is now a thing of the past! In my mind, metering is far easier as my mind works in B+W (I’m severely colorblind). And finally grain, yes, real native grain, what a relief.

Cutting to the chase, I am a Giants fan and when they won the world series, I had just received my Monochrom, the timing was perfect. San Francisco was having a huge parade for the victory at the Civic Center. For the first time ever, I left my film camera at home and just brought the Monochrom with a 90mm Summicron-APO ASPH and a VC 35mm 1.2 v2 both with medium yellow filters.

The combination worked a treat and the results speak for themselves. You were right, the Monochrom is as good as B+W film and in many ways, even better.


Alexander Getty


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