Leica Monochrom (M9M) in Budapest by Dan Bar

Leica Monochrom (M9M) in Budapest

by Dan Bar

Hi Steve,

Got back from Budapest yesterday, This time only with my M9M (I sold my M10) and my new 50 Lux and the 35 Cron.

I had a problem with my 50 I only learn about when I got home as the M9M screen is so bad one can not tell what the results look like, anyways the 50 needed calibration and I lost a lot of photos who turned out unfocused.

Budapest is a beautiful city ( like Paris) but much cheaper and only 3 hrs flight from Israel, same time zone, No jet lag 🙂

With my B\W camera I only shoot JPEG , i did not use filters and many times forgot to pull out the hood, I did use a Leica UV filter.

As always I shoot dark photos intentionally and not by accident ( although I get criticized by many

I feel this kind of photos have more atmosphere)

Anyway I shot more than 500 photos in 5 days and lost more than half, I never shoot continuous but always SINGLE shots.

I do hope you will like them too!

Take care and thank you



  1. Hi! Your shots are really a style of your own. May I know if some of your pictures were enhanced by using photo editors like Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom? Of course we all agreed that using photo editors on pictures does not meant one cannot achieved through natural lighting from the sun. It’s a personal choice. When I studied your shots, I thought it might be difficult to get those tones by natural lighting. Comments? Thanks.

  2. Nice images and I do like the tones. I think you’ve lightened up a little, Dan.
    My only comment is that there’s nothing to distinguish these Budapest street scenes from any other place in the Western world.

  3. Hi Dan. Love your photos. They are always inspirational to my creativity. May I ask why you sold your favourite M10? You always carry both M9M and M10 to your trips.

  4. Like you say, the darkness is intentional – a matter of taste. But this vision of daytime reminds me a solar eclipse I once experienced. For sure, it’s a unique atmosphere, but I wouldn’t want an eclipse to last indefinitely. But then, this is your expression, you don’t need to please folks like me! :^)

  5. Something special in Leica cameras that makes you want to shoot this kind photography – classically beautiful. You almost undoubtedly can say that this was made with Leica.

  6. I like your photos, you have an identifiable style that is unique and interesting.

    But why do you feel the need to identify the city? Most of your photos could have been taken in any major European center. Coffee shops, concrete stairwells, and gritty apartment lobbies are quite similar throughout the EU.

    • Mr. Shadel,
      Why is it an issue for you that Mr. Bar identified the city in which the photographs were made? I think that noting the location is useful information.

      On a much more important matter: Great photos, Dan!
      Paul Sanders

      • Because the pictures all look the same as the other cities. When you see a title “Leica M9 in Budapest” and the photos all look like the last group from another city, what’s the point?

        I didn’t get a sense of what Budapest feels like, what makes it special, which I expected from the title.

        The pictures are very good though.

  7. Although I like some of the shots I have to agree with some comments about the darkness. For example, the 3rd shot. That beautiful woman holding her coffee. I would of lifted at least some shadow to highlight her gorgeous eyes and smile.

  8. Dan,
    I had the M9 and I had the MM 1, both had the sensor corrosion 🙁
    Now I upgraded to the MM 246 with the electronic finder – and I love it.
    My first Leica with perfect focus with all my lenses on f/1.4 or even f/0.95!

  9. Dear Dan
    Using the M9M is always a winner ! This camera in the hands of great photographer like you produce gems , the photos from Budapest trip are great , regard darkness , I don’t see it too dark , the exposure is on spot with both vintage and mysterious characteristics !

  10. Dan, I think it probably takes some learning, acclimatization, whatever, to appreciate your “dark” photos, and then they can be seen as an art form in their own right. I don’t suppose I will ever have the chance to own an M9M, but I do sometimes experiment with my X-Vario in monochrome setting. People say to me, “But you can do that with processing”, and I think that is missing the point. One has to learn to see in B&W. I wonder if you agree?

    • Hi John
      Thank you. I certainly do, I owned the M9 , 240, M10 and always thought Shooting B\W should be done by a monochrome camera, just like B\W film camera. When I walk with my Mono I see things differently. I do hope you will be able to buy the Leica M one day, there is no other similar digital camera

    • Thank you my friend
      I hope you will get one some day
      Yes shooting b/w is diferent just like shooting b/w film,
      I hope it will be seen as i already wrote a few answers

  11. You know I am the one of whom always love your dark photographs. These are not exceptions. Beautiful. Congratulations!

  12. The stunning results are magnificent! Yes, dark as i often think, the Former Eastern Empire of the Soviets is and was..After working with a Hungarian boss, i only learned one word in Hungarian! A difficult place and people..Picked up Italian in my photo work, Spanish living and working in Newport Beach-Laguna, So-Cal.
    The M9 with Kodak sensor the perfect choice. I purchased an “old” Nikon DSLR for similar/same sensor.
    Congrats Dan..

    • Dan – I get your photos. I love your work. Time will show that you had the courage to have your own voice against all the comments suggesting the photos were too dark. I noticed that you expose for the highlights – making sure they are not blown out – and then you let the shadows be what they have to be. And by doing that, it makes me focus on the brightest parts of the photo. Your most liked photos are when the brightest part of the photo is where the eye wants to go anyway. I feel like people express frustration with your style when they’d like to focus on something that is in the shadows but they are too dark to see any detail. But that’s what makes it art. Making people uncomfortable. So carry on. Don’t change a thing. Thanks for making the camera help us see the ordinary in an extraordinary way. Isn’t that what we are all after?

  13. Budapest is almost invisible in your photos, a beat too dark?. I know that city, there is a lot to see there. … Thats your point of vew and is perfectly ok.

  14. Hi Dan

    I looked at your images and before I clicked I was asking myself, “I wonder if he always shoots dark or if he just always shares dark images”. You answer that

    I particularly enjoyed seeing 3, 7 and 13

    Thanks as always!

  15. Your best shots by quite a margin. Hard sun and shadows suit your style best IMO. Budapest seems to be a great place for that kind of photography.
    I don’t get what needed calibration, the MM or the 50,1.4? And why?

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