A few more Leica Monochrom image samples from the past week…with some full size from RAW images
Many of you have e-mailed me asking me for more sample images from the Monochrom. I have included a few in part 1 and 2 of my ongoing review and plan on posting more including some full size out of camera images and comparisons but for now I decided to throw up a few more than I have taken with the camera over the past week. EXIF is embedded and every image was shot with the Leica 35 Summilux ASPH FLE lens. Some images have had filters run through them and others have not. Some have had contrast tweaks and adjustments and a couple are just about right out of the camera.
I am a fan of contrast and deep blacks myself but I know others prefer a more neutral rendering. That is the beauty of this camera and digital in general. You can get whatever look you want. One thing is for sure, with a camera like this it is a HUGE commitment to B&W photography. I feel it should come out when the time is right so after my review is completed the Mono will not be an everyday camera but a camera that comes out when I am going for B&W only. With B&W the way you look at everything is different from the light to the shadows. I have not yet perfected it and I have shot B&W for many years on and off. It’s an art form that I may never master but I am having fun trying 🙂
Part 3 of the review will be up in 7-12 days 🙂
Shot at ISO 320 at night with some contrast tweaks and dodging – click image for larger
Applied a Tri-X 400 filter in Alien Skin Exposure 4
Some black level adjust during RAW conversion
Out of camera candid
If you click this image to see the larger version you will see that I focused on the man inside the bus. Shot at 1.4 with the 35 when I should have stopped down to 2.8
Slight level adjust – took 5 seconds
Some dodge, some burn and some sharpening
Almost OOC but with some level tweaks
Some level adjust
and now a few full size from RAW
CLICK THESE TO GET THE FULL SIZE IMAGES
Steve, can see that you are becoming one with the camera. It is nice to see some good contrast in the photos. Some of the early shots that I have seen with this camera are all very gray. I suspect that is part of the instinct to not blow the highlights. But back from my film/darkroom days I never really worried about this so much. I wanted black — > white (blown highlights) and everything in between. Really nice. Keep up the great work (reviews and photos). Thanks. Greg.
whether one masters the tools they have isn’t really quite so important as it may seem; I’ve been using photoshop for 15+ years and I can honestly say, I have not mastered it (for design and photo). I can make it do what I need and want; maybe not in the most efficient way, but the end result is all that matters.
And clearly, your results show, whether you have mastery over this particular tool, is rather inconsequential. The results speak for themselves and they are wonderful – that’s all that ever really matters.
some dodge, some burn, etc…..
This picture is awesome Steve, i love the circular lawn in the foreground and the 2 people with the sky see meeting the horizon and ground.
Your pics are improving at speed with the Mono. Fabulous.
I have become addicted to your site, bad thing for the wallet. Desperately waiting for your rx1 review. If camera is as good as you and many sad, good by the rest of my equipment. Will be staying only with the d800 plus 85mm 1.4 and the Sony. What else can I ask for…. 🙂
Maaaan if you seen Kungfu Hustle
you know not to mess with Chinese musicians 🙂
This Ehru violin player looks straight from Kung Fu Hustle.
Steve, great pics and thanks for being so generous with us, both with your time and your artistry!
I have to say that the MM seems to promise a great deal. One thing I notice though that I’d love your take on:
In the clouds in some of the pics, to me some of the highlight clipping is seem rather un-film-like. In a dark room, you can burn away to make sure there are no white points caused by light clouds on the edge of your negative. Even if they appear white after 15 seconds of exposure, say, you can get them to fill in, with a decent amount of detail, if you leave the enlarger light on for 45 seconds, as an example. With the MM, however, you appear to get the occasional white spots in the clouds that you just can’t do anything about with standard burning techniques in digital. I’m referring to the whites in the skies in pics 7,10,11,12. Does this mean that when using the MM, we should always underexpose, supposing that you can always lighten right? Can you recommend another work-around?
“Can you recommend another work-around?”
Exposing for highlights in one shot
Midtiones in another
Shadows in another
Combining all three in software.
Not ideal to have to do multiple exposures. Gradation filter would not do it. Clouds/sky are fine except for where they are white…
I am quite curious to know whether underexposing works though, as this only requires a single shot, and with such low noise, it would seem that you could push the images without losing quality.
5# image, man in bus is just goergous.
I’m really curious about one thing.
Aproximately, when someone should order mm now, when is he getting it?
In a year? or two? or am I exaggerating?
If not Aren’t these beautiful reviews much ike torture?
Even if we’ve got money for this there is no way of getting it today or tomorow or day after tomorow..
I love the idea of the Monochrom but I’m just not seeing anything in the samples that would lead me to buy the MM instead of waiting to see the B&W quality from the new M.
No one is telling you to buy the MM. Like I said, it’s not for everyone.
it will be great to have that as a part of your review. I have heard from my friend that Monochrom is best used with modern lenses. Images taken with Vintage lenses won’t look good with the Mono. I am wondering if that is true, THanks Steve
Steve…I am wondering how the Monochrom would perform with vintage glasses
OK, enough about the MM, how about reviews on CSC cameras from other brands? LOL
Is that a Joke? In the past 5 days I have written extensively about the Sony RX1, NEX-6, A99 and Monochrom. Everyone wanted a rolling review of the MM so that is what I am gving. There will be three more installments to the MM review and as always I will review other cameras that are exciting and worth reviewing. In the past month I have reviewed quite a few things here and being one guy can only so so much. There is plenty on the way..Olympus 75 1.8 on OM-D, Nikon D600 review from a reader, Fuji X-E1, etc.
Don’t feed the troll…
And I’m not a troll…HARDMAN. Sheeesh. Feed yourself, you sound like a wet party pooping rag.
I was just hungry for reviews on other things I thought you might do from Photokina, such as the new Pens and the J2 for example. I was making a joke but it’s not pulling your leg, Steve, I know you can only review so much and the MM is not my cup of tea , that’s all. It will be cool though when the Nikon V2 comes out and you do a review on it as I liked you V1 review a lot. Cheers
No worries, the J2 is not worthy of a review as it is barely any different than a J1. Same camera really. The V2, when it is announced will be reviewed. I aksed Olympus to send me the new PENs and the 75 but all they sent was the 75. 🙂
I think you’ll love the 75, looking forward to that review. Already committed to it and no regrets. The shot of the bridge on the Big Sur brings back recent memories of driving through there on my way to LAX and eventually home to Tasmania, thanks!
Thanks so much for agreeing to do a rolling review and for all the great info to-date – much appreciated.
The MM files really are incredible in terms of the detail and I, for one, am extremely glad to finally see a high ISO M. I shoot both film and digital but my personal preference is BW, so the MM certainly fits my desires. And unlike others, I find film developing to be boring as hell so I for one would love one of these babies.
Looking forward to reading more from you on this camera.
Since i saw the photo from this http://media.blog.leica-camera.com/images/L9997841-1.jpg
I think MM will deliver stunning photo from something monochromatic like stainless steel or everything that have ‘no color’ and reflective, even better than color photo.
I try to find any reflective object from your images that you took with MM to strengthen my opinion. And now i found one in your last sample image here (the one with the washing machines).
Thanks for that, I had somehow managed to miss that wonderful image…..incredible given the amount of time I seem to be sat at this desk…..:-) Cheers
Steve great shots. Also enjoyed reading part 2 of your review. I’ve definitely noticed my post-processing improving with the MM.
“I may never master it…”. The results prove other wise. Some excellent work here Steve.
Wow, very nice Steve, I think I need one now… :/
Steve, these pictures are amazing, especially #5 and #7. Your love for the camera (and photography) can be easily seen through them. Thanks for sharing!