Ralph Gibson Limited Edition Leica Monochrom announced

Ralph Gibson Limited Edition Leica Monochrom

Only 35 pieces to be made available.


Leica has done it again it seems with a VERY limited edition Leica Monochrome kit which includes a specially designed Monochrom (different cosmetics) as well as a special 35mm Summilux ASPH included as well.

Limited to only 35 pieces I expect this Ralph Gibson limited run to be EXPENSIVE. I could not find any details on cost yet so if anyone knows, feel free to comment. It looks quite special, I must admit!

You can check out Ralph Gibson’s website HERE. The last time Leica did a special run with him was for his limited edition MP which I have never seen for sale used.


Ralph and his limited run MP from back in the day..these are just about impossible to find due to the scarcity of them



  1. An expensive limited edition run of an already expensive camera. This embodies why many people roll their eyes at Leica.

    I kinda understand the limited editions of 35mm Leicas, but digital camera sensors have limited lifespans. This will make a very cool looking paper weight 20 years down the road.

  2. Leica cameras were meant to last a near a life time. Digital sensors have a three to five year life in the world of new sensor technology. Leica are expensive, they last a long time. If you buy buy Leica, it is never a deal. These special camera runs are for a few who have money to burn. These are the facts. That is why I still think of Leica as a flim camera, for we who are not able to come with $7K very three years.
    The Leica Monochrom is a vey good idea. Now Leica make one for under $5K, with a new sensor or improved. With a good LCD. And there you go. I would think of buying one. But old sensor and $7K. I will use my M7 and Tri-X, thank you…pay $20k no way.

  3. I understand what Leica is doing and I like Gibson’s photos of Guitars. But… for the rest of us, it’s difficult.

    Leica and Ricoh are two of the companies that make really interesting cameras. Heck, I own cameras from both: I like both. The monochrom, for me, is a lust for camera. But I could by the Sony A7, or for far less, the A12 M module for a Ricoh GXR and get the shot with that — and spend the saved money on lenses.

    Or use a film camera, develop the stuff, and scan it. Myself — a good canon scanner is about $600, film is fairly cheap and if I cannot source rodinal I can homebrew some caffeinol. I will lose probably 5% of the image. And I print at A3 at most… generally using someone like Adorama to do it.

    But these collector camera? They are works of art, to be kept in a box,. If it increases Leica’s profit, well and good.

    But that is not what I have gear for. I use it. I have a camera in the backpack — the main use for the Voightlander and the Nikon V1 — they can handle that kind of treatment.

    The Ricoh… less so (the viewfinder comes off). And, even though my m6 can be abused, I won’t take it where it will be dunked in water, or could be stolen.

  4. Leica=Apple -if they float your boat, great it’s free world but you always know you are paying through the nose for technology that is far from cutting edge. It’s all about the user experience and if either or both do it for you then great, if not just have a wry smile and use whatever does 🙂

  5. Current Leica management seems to be more interested in the brand business than photography. I would rather hear about Leica doing research on lets say digital sensors and other photography related technology, but we hardly hear of that.

    They seem to be satisfied with a very small niche and their brand. For all Leica lovers far from exclusivity this is reason for concern about the sustainability of the camera they use,

    It’s not surprising when it comes to technology its being left behind, and it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a brand with collector value, with no real connection to modern photography.

  6. Hello Steve. To comment on your question. The limited edition LEICA M Monochrom ‘Ralph Gibson’ is a joint effort off Leica Store Lisse (the Netherlands) owner Duncan Meeder and Transcontinenta, Leica distributor for the Netherlands. With the support of Leica AG this unique box has seen daylight on 11-12-13. Indeed only 35 pieces have been made. The limited edition combines among others both an exclusive never made before colour combination of the Monochrom camera body and 35mm lens, special leather cameraback, limied edition version of Ralph Gibson new book ‘MONO’ and a signed photograph of Ralph made with the Monochrom. The pricepoint of this limited edition is actually € 18.000,- (incl. 21% VAT). Hope this helps. Beste regards.

  7. There is a reason why Leica wants to be associated with Ralph Gibson – he takes some extraordinary pictures – but he would do that without Leica.

  8. I’m sorry, don’t understand this, why would you buy this except for bragging about it?? I find Ralph Gibson’s work not that interesting, I know, question of taste, but I have seen a LOT of better work from different photographers. I’m under the impression that this is pretentious Leica arty-farty stuff.

  9. Everyone who buys this camera will be an enthusiastic fan of Ralph’s work and already own at least several of his original prints. If special edition cameras help keep Leica solvent, then more power to them.

  10. I am saving my money for the Steve Huff edition! Leica should have one for you for inspiring a good number of people to buy their stuff.

  11. The Ralph Gibson MP is quite special. It has the canted rewind crank, separate framelines for 35, 50 and 90mm only, and no frameline selection lever. I’m not sure what magnification the viewfinder has, although it wouldn’t surprise me if it’s the .85.

    As such, it’s even more minimal than the regular MP. Cosmetically it has burgundy leather and RG’s signature on the top plate. This Monochrom has a similar signature, but it certainly doesn’t have the custom specialization of the MP.

  12. How I want this SE. 30k? No problem. I’m so sure it’ll get me those special (Ralph Gibson) images my current cameras won’t let me capture.

  13. The picture of the MP on Ralph Gibson’s website looks like a bastardized MP or M7. It has the canted rewind knob but the rest of it looks like an MP. You could put one of these together on the Leica a la Carte configurator (but without his signature). I’ve never really understood the notion of these special edition cameras. What is the user (or more likely “collector”) going to do with it? Look at it?

  14. Whoa, how’s about a NSFW warning on posts like this…? I check your site daily on downtime at work and would really not like to click on links to stories that might not be appropriate… Just a thought

    • I am sure it is but that is what leica does with special editions. Cosmetics, limited run, special lens. Normal cost of this pairing would be $13,000. I can guess that this one will be at least $20k-$30k

      • Only leica can take a four year old sensor, slightly alter the casing and cosmetics, and then commit to a small run to fetch astronomical prices. Ralph who? The only people who will likely buy these have probably never heard of Ralph Gibson. Nothing wrong with that though…;-)

        • I just checked out his website. People may want to click on his resume to see ‘who?’

          His work is really really good.

          As for limited edition cameras? Well, not for me as I’m a user not collector.

          Best regards

          • Yeah but being a good photographer doesn’t really mean much to those people who want to get their mitts on one of 35 (35!) cameras. I highly doubt those who purchase it give a hoot who is behind the limited edition. They just want it and Leica is going to give to them at a price that they know they can charge.

            Leica make great cameras. My M4 and M5 (which I sold) were fantastic. But the limited edition is a pure money-play and has nothing to do with Leica’s “The Culture of the Picture.” or “Consummate Visual Expression” as per their culture statement: http://us.leica-camera.com/culture/

          • Kinda shocked that people don’t know who Ralph Gibson is. I always thought it is important that if you are involved with something that has such a rich history as photography or any other art, you should know the history. No one works in a vacuum.

          • Well, hey if you’re on his website check out his link to “Performance” where he plays sad/melodramatic tone clusters on his guitar and random chords and affectations while his slideshow goes on. Reminds me of some of the weird jazz from the 60s that ESP Disk’ in New York sells. Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out, Man!

        • And exactly what camera had this sensor four-years-ago? The Monochrom was released in 2012 and remains the only camera of its kind in the marketplace today.

          While I wouldn’t pay an $8000 or even $1000 premium for silver one, the standard Monochrom is an outstanding tool, and my prized possession.

          • Andrew, the sensor was not new when it was put into the MM… Kodak and FillFactory had it sitting around for quite a while. It was just a matter of finding someone to purchase it for the “consumer” market. It’s certainly not a new sensor.

            Don’t get all insulted just because I happen to reveal that what you have isn’t the absolute highest tech… That’s not the reason to own a camera like a Leica anyway.

          • Frank.
            The reason to own a Monocrom is because it is a great photographic tool. Probably the best there is for street photography, and specifically for the type of photography that Gibson has done for decades to great acclaim.
            I also thought you were attempting a tart and irrelevant putdown of the camera.

          • Frank,

            I don’t own it for its tech, but please show how it is four-years-old. The M9 sensor is 4-years-old and the MM is definitely based on the M9, but no, it hasn’t just been “laying around”.

          • I don’t think Frank is doing anything except trying to stir up trouble. He clearly has never shot the MM and is not aware that Gibson has taken up the MM, stating that it is the first digital to equal or exceed film, or something to that effect. In any event, I think Gibson’s endorsement is more meaningful than Frank’s random thoughts.

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