The Leica Monochrome Sample Image Gallery
The beautiful Monochrom. There is quite a bit of curiosity and interest in this $8000 Leica camera that only shoots B&W. Be sure to read all of my thoughts and review by clicking over to the many posts on this camera on my Leica page HERE. Remember, these are mainly review snaps, not meant to be wall hanger works of art 🙂
You can purchase a Monochrom from Ken Hansen (email email@example.com), PopFlash, Leica Store Miami, or B&H Photo.
One thing is certain..this is a camera capable of the best B&W output of any digital camera made. Now we have the new MM 246, the newest version of the Mono and it is SUPERB! The top photos will be from the new MM 246, under those the old MM. Enjoy!
Remember, you can click any image for a larger and better looking size 🙂 Also, EXIF is embedded in all of the photos. I have tried to show various images that will give you an idea of what can be done..low contrast, flat, high contrast, pop, etc. The look of the final image is up to you with the Leica Monochrom. It’s like having all different kinds of B&W film at your disposal.
Lenses used were the Leica 35 Lux FLE, Zeiss 50 Planar, Zeiss 50 Sonnar, Leica 50 Summilux ASPH, Leica 50 Summitar, Leica 50 Noctilux ASPH, Nikkor 35 1.8LTM, Canon 50 1.8 LTM, Voigtlander 21 1.8 and the SLR Magic 50 T 0.95 LM Hyperprime.
1ST FEW WILL BE FROM THE NEW MM 246
…and all images below are from the old MM
If you want to see the detail this camera can capture with a 35 Summilux FLE lens click on the file below to see it full size and enjoy the details from the curtains to the dirt on the house to the clothes hanging to dry. Amazing.
great Samples! My faves are the Guy at the Table, playing with his laptop…the light on the chair portion, his face…perfect…great tonalty, fine composition. As well as the San Francisco Tram, i’d guess….strong contrast, moody….way great !
Great review of the Monochrom. Personally I believe the Mono Mark1 produces more film like tonality for B&W images which can never be achieved by the Mark2. I own a silver Mono Mark1 so I could be biased. Any comments from there please?
Great review of the Monochrom. Personally I believe the Mono Mark1 produces more film like tonality for B&W images which can never be achieved by the Mark2. I owe the Silver Mono Mark1 so I may be biased. Any comments from there please?
Thanks for posting these photos. I’ve been a fan of your reviews for quite some time now. I’ve been wanting to see people shots with the latest Monochrom, and finally I get to see some here. I shoot with the original Monochrom, and I am a fan of the CCD sensor for skin tones and texture, to my eyes there is something more gritty and realistic in the way that the original Monochrom CCD sensor captures human skin. Without a doubt the new Monochrom photos have more “pop” out of the camera, and the human subject shots you present have convinced me that it’s the best CMOS sensor for human skin shots on the market, but I sill lean towards the original Monochrom, which is great because at the moment I don’t have cash to blow!
Wonderful shots Steve great to see a comparison. I have always been impressed with my results with the original Monochrom. Sometime the most simple shot just gives me a smile.
Keep up your great work.
Been looking at your site on and off for a while. I’m a pro wedding photographer in the UK. I have just made the decision to ditch the DSLR for the reportage part of the day in favour of Leica M. My view is that there is a difference (soul) in the look of an image shot using the beautiful Leica lenses compared to the clinical Big 2. I tend to shoot colour and then convert to B&W and when I saw that Leica had produced the Monochrom my thoughts were why? Is this just a toy for the wealthy? Then I saw the images above. I see there has been discussion about the “technical” aspects of some images but every shot I looked at my jaw dropped a little more. I am really pleased that you showed me a range of images from the Monochrom because as a potential buyer they tell me more about the camera than any seller site. Whether they are technically correct or not they have soul and I defy anyone to show a similar image shot using an iPhone or Rebel with the same look and feel.
I have my favourites – the model is astounding. The woman asleep (your wife?) is my favourite.
Thanks Steve for sharing the images
Hi Steve thinking are you sure you are not helping leica with getting rid off old m9 or monochrome bodies before the new one LOL , but these shots are great , and now i have traded my m240 in for mono mark1 , with a 38mm nikkor 1.8 LSM !!!!! to go with wonder where i got these ideas ? chill
Lol, nope. This gallery has been here for a long time 😉 Long before rumors of a new MM body. In any case, congrats! You will love both the camera and the lens. The lens is an oldie but goodie!
Beautiful work! All of it : )
Picture 4 is tragic. Would it have been so hard to dig a polarizer out of that overly expensive (and clearly wasted) camera bag of yours?
Why on earth would I want a polarizer for that image? I WANTED the reflections. I have a long running (but never ever posted..yet) running series on reflections. Going on for 6 years now. The reflections, for me, is what makes the photo. For you, no as you are stuck in a “me too” “same old same old’ world. I’d love to see your bag, which is probably full of nonsense you do not need, which for me is a waste. Must be cold in Canada ‘eh? Mr. Cranky.
Wow, I thought the bicycle pic was shot with a Lux 🙂
Great review, Steve.
Steve, You need an editor, and when you set forth a row of pictures for readers to guess which is MM and which is M you should provide an answer. Appreciate your work, the info and your enthusiasm.
Nope, no need for an editor. I am not out to be a perfectionist, in fact, part of this sites success is due to the human mistakes presented. I hate stuffy articles and stuffy blogs. In any case, there are absolutely NO M 240 shots on this page so there is nothing to list. All are from the MM. In any article where I had comparisons, cameras were listed. But for this site it will always be me, and the readers. No editor, no staff, no BS.
I was wondering if you think that there is a chance to see another camera manufacturer to produce a camera with a black and withe sensor ? Is there a chance to see in the near future a black and white EM1 or a black and white X100s or a black and white A7R or a black and white whatever ?
The Leica monochrome produces gorgeous images but it is a far too expensive camera for me.
This my first time to your site. Very impressive! A friend sent me a link to your review on the Sony RX1R, which then got me interested in seeing more of what your doing with the site. One quick question: The photo of the bike in the Monochrom gallery–which lens did you use for that. It seems so different than all the rest in the gallery. I LOOOVVVE the look and feel of that particular photo. Thanks and keep up the great work!
Thanks, that was with the SLR Magic 50 Hyperprime T 0.95, which in my tests bests the Leica Noct 0.95.
I have a M9P, and convert most my work to B&W through Silver FX. The Monochrome is very expensive, but I believe i do see a difference in the way it reproduce . Off course one has to weigh things up, and come to one’s own conclusions. A D800E can be bought for a lot less, that also would give amazing results, and one then still have the option of Colour as well. Yet, since I started using a Leica rangefinder the thing has grown on me.
I never thought I would consider such an expensive camera as the Monochrom, yet I m now thinking more and more abt it … MAybe I shoul not have read your article 🙂
I like your pictures. I like the one of the woman on the bus. It is a moment in time, yet, ‘her’ demeanor ‘ has had me thinking about her, etc … good work …
Regards Stuart Weber
great pics, great black\white quality
this is why i love mine so9 much
Incredible work!!!!! Love the rich tones…
Thank you Richard!
The butterfly one is stunning. Has the 3D pop effect. The butterfly just stands out.
In the photo of Debby, just above the window shade photo;
she has to have the sweetest face I have ever seen.
You CAPTURED her ~ HEART of GOLD …
Thank you Michael 🙂
Hey Steve! Why did u stop posting any images here? So excited with the rx1 that forgot all about the MM? Or did u sell it and wait for the M?
Great images. Thanks for posting the straight out of camera RAW images; it’s still a trip that they’re SOOC but already black and white haha.
The shot of the Blond is Haunting !
I have NEVER seen anything to compare
to that level of silk rendering in B&W.
As with B&W film, files from the MM have to be “deep fried” in order to obtain the best results. OOC shots look dull.
Interesting to see these pictures and thanks for the reviews, which are a great opportunity to see what’s up.
I did have some questions though; please bear with me since with Leica I still only shoot film and I do not know the Summulux lenses well (yet!)
What I don’t know if I like is a strange dichotomy of the bokeh/out focus areas to the focussed areas.
That is to say, in some pictures, the focussed areas seem to be so super-sharp that they are like cut-out figures placed in front of a background.
For instance in the other (1st) set of pictures you posted with the 4 people crossing the street, one of the figures in the middle looks like a paper cut out, because he is so sharply defined from the background.
It is actually kind of cool, but at the same time it feels very digital, or better said hyper-real.
Is this just the lens, the camera, of am I a little film- crazy??
I really like the tonality I see in the shot where you used an orange filter. Could you post a couple more?
Considering the massive cost of this camera I think at this stage it would be very valuable to see an example of how you take a shot, what the raw unadjusted image looks like, and what steps you take to make it into what you and we would consider “nice B&W.”
Perhaps you could take a shot and show us the various stages of post production needed to get it to look good.
It seems at this stage you are mostly using the Monochrom as an acquisition device.
Then you use alien skin or other programs to make the raw files into something.
I do this same process with the OMD, shoot raw and convert to B&W and do final post production.
There is no shame in this as I know with the OMD the raw image will provide the best foundation to get the highest possible quality.
I am curious how the images look out of camera and how you take them through processing step by step.
A before, during and after.
Also how does the mono’s in camera processed jpegs look?
I just added text above each image to show what was done to each one. Some are direct from camera, some are OOC JPEGS, some have filters..
This is really great Steve. Putting those captions up there really helps to understand what the camera is capable of. I am very impressed with the raw output and just a few contrast tweaks. That is some killer B&W. I wish I had a spare $8000!
I would add that the shots done in Raw with only contrast/level adjustments are clearly the best ones. They really show the amazing sensor on this camera. The shot of the biker’s leg is truly amazing in its contrast and tonal range and detail. In my opinion the processed shots (alien skin) are actually a step down in value and look nothing different than any other camera’s color raw converted to B&W. This is because the greatness of the monochrom sensor is masked by the special effects. I am now understanding how great this sensor is and why a user must do everything in their power to not mess it up. Contrast and level adjustments only are the recommended post production recipe.
Steve, So many terrific shots here – of course, Bike, but I also think Laundry, Busride and the Girl with the Giraffe are really great! One thing, I can’t seem to see, or find the text you mentioned you added that describes pp, etc. By the way, I recently received a MM but have not yet used it, as my wife “suggested” I give it to myself for my birthday which is still a few weeks away! Oh pain! I have had an M8 since the first month of its release, which I love, and have also secured a nice M3 and have been experimenting, getting to know it. Thanks for your great site!
Hi Steve, you say: “I just added text above each image to show what was done to each one. Some are direct from camera, some are OOC JPEGS, some have filters..”
Is it just me, but I cannot see any text with such a description?? Just images – no text at all?? Thanks / Alex
Really great work! It made me want to buy monochrome.
Hello Steve, I love these shots ! It’s the developing I’m curious to know more about since expressions varies between stark contrasty and somewhat grey looking. Maybe it’s just me but I miss the silvery look in all the pictures from this camera I’ve seen so far here and elsewhere. I understand that the files from this camera needs a lot of attention, it would therefore be interesting to know just exactly what is your prefferred developing.
Best regards, and thank you for a very inspiring site !
The files from the MM are very GREY…you will not see super bright whites – more like shades of grey…nothing you do to them will give you that white sparkly contrasty look – the M9 can do it but the MM files take getting used to. They are “richer” and much different than what you get from a typical converted digital file. Not to everyones liking. Some seem to love this new look, others seem to hate it. What you see above is a mix of files that are either straight from camera, using software filters, on lens filters and tweaks here and there. But again, nothing will give you the B&W look we have all become familiar with I guess that is good as it makes it different from your run of the mill B&W conversion. But is it desirable? That is the question.
I think I recognize one of the models from the Sony trip you went on no? How did the Sony guys feel about you sprining out that Mono to use 🙂
Anyways, i’ve given this camera a hard time, but it’s VERY VERY VERY obviously a “tool” you can’t put down. That’s all a camera needs to be!!!
interesting discussion between Jan and Steve!!!
I myself used similar comments as Jan uses (blurred head in the left corner etc) and if I admit that this site is not for photoart but for reviewing cameras (Steve), ok, but I do not see ny special quality in these BW photos, the shades of grey or white seem to be very limited, black is just black without any structure or texture.
Sorry but you don’t need a Digital Rebel to shoot these photos, some clever kids I know shoot iphone and do pp on a Mac, their photos are technically in a different league..
I am not convinced about the quality of the Monochrome, saw a feature in LFI shot with Mono photos and had the same feeling. As I have nearly all issues of LFI since 2003 I am aware of Licei and the quality of their products although I own only 2 Lumix with Leica lenses and a V Lux 3 myself (saving for a M- E).
The V Lux cannot produce the bukhe a “real” Leica can do but the range of “Color” (white to black in this case) is better than on the photos exhibited here, for me only the landscape photo (3rd from bottom) is acceptable although a bit too dark, but the rage is close to a digital Rebel, a bit more brightness in Paint.Net (free!) could save it.
My favorites are the bicycle shot and the woman hugging her man. And of course of the blonde.
Have you ever tried the MM with the Noctilux?
Brilliant photos, Steve.
I am really looking forward to getting my first digital M camera.
the picture of the child with the white wife beater t-shirt is amazing because even though he is just a child, he also looks like the adult man he will one day grow up to be. just something magical about it.
Thank you. I agree, he looks like a little man..his expression is what makes it. I assumed he would give me a smile when i crouched in front of him, he kept the stern look even when I smiled at him.
Honestly? I’d love to see some of them in print!
I love this camera
À joy to watch.
Maybe my standards are unreasonable, but I would humbly suggest a little more self-editing.
The first three shots in this sequence are not interesting. The first one just looks like a ton of blurred bokeh. The second is nothing special, and I don’t know what you were going for with the third, but whatever it was it didn’t work.
But then the bicycle shot is cool. The woman in the bus would be great if that OOF head wasn’t blocking it. The blonde model shot is outright AWESOME. The boy in the bus and the musician in the bus are both very nice indeed.
But then what was the idea with the blurry hunchback? Out of focus, blurred, and, er…what was the point of that? Maybe you don’t believe in cropping, which is fine, but the “SELF PARK” shot has a head at the bottom right which totally distracts from the rest of the picture.
Like I say, there are some great shots here, but I think you should be tougher with the self-editing.
Jan, are you not aware that this is a camera/lens REVIEW site? Are you not aware that these photos are here for others to see the qualities of the camera, sensor, lens? It is NOT to showcase works of art. It is the same as it has been for 3 1/2 years here. I review cameras and show the images that are shot with them 🙂
With just about 500 shots fired with the Monochrom since in my possession I do not expect to have 20 amazing blow my mind images. Maybe you could do that but not me. I’d LOVE To see your gallery with a camera you have been testing for a few weeks. Please share if you can.
I hope you haven’t taken my post as an attack. It’s certainly not meant to be. I’m aware that this site is mainly a review site, and you do a good job with it too. I read it quite often.
My point is that as you have a particular passion for Leica, you clearly want to show people what the Monochrom is capable of. The bicycle shot, the model shot in particular and a couple of the portraits would be a very good way to do this. Those shots seem to show the potential of the camera very nicely. Whereas the others don’t; if you look at a picture and think “Man, I could have taken that with a Digital Rebel” then you haven’t succeeded.
You don’t need “amazing, blow my mind images” (although the model shot is one such), but you don’t want shots with peoples’ blurred heads in the bottom corner or shots of a hunchback which look like they were shot with a cellphone. That’s just amateur and some people might interpret it as “this guy dropped however many thousand dollars on a camera to take THAT?”
Anyway, as long as you have fun with it that’s the bottom line.
Of course it is not an attack, if it were it would have been deleted as that is the rule of this site with comments, no personal attacks. It would not be fair to only show perfect shots with this camera as not everyone who buys one, not even 5% of those who buy one, will be master photographers. What you see is what you get just as it always has been with me. I could care less if a photo here looks like it was shot on a cel phone, I have seen shots that look like they came from a cel phone that were shot with a Leica S2. The fact is we can get most of these results with any camera made today and some good converting to B&W. The Mono is just as much about the user experience as it is about the quality.
Also, The Mono is not only for perfectly lit shots, it can also be used for night time grit or whatever you wish to use it for. Up to the person who owns one. This is a gallery of shots taken during the review period in the same way I have done for well over three years here. Will keep doing what I have always done and “self edit” just as I always have 🙂 Thx for your insights..would still love to see your work if you can share a link.
Steve if no personal attacks are allowed as you state above, could you please remove the “quirky” remark at the address of Ken Rockwell in the comments in the X100-M9 comparison thread?
June 17, 2011 at 1:50 am
Is he the guy that has been posting images of his kids, looking like they have severe jaundice, for the past 10 years.
I think this is an insult to a fellow reviewer who does a good job as well.
I trust you take care of this.
Where is this comment exactly? I will remove it immediately.
Steve, on your crazy comparison leica m9 vs Fuji x100 page
as said the comment was posted on June 17 2011
love these steve – particularly I’m wondering what you used for the worn/vintage effect on the shot of the young man and the musician – I think with the tones and both subjects eyeballing the lens it both added a worn and universal timeless feel, as well as throwing focus to the subject.
I used a preset in Alien Skin Exposure under “Vintage B&W” I believe.
Man.. that looks like some great photo ops.
If you are in Dallas around April/May make sure you check out what is probably one of the biggest Renaissance festivals at Scarborough fair. It’s very photographer friendly.
Wonderful set of photo’s Steve! Good idea to make a rolling post!
I really love the saying goodbye photo?! The emotion in the girls eyes are breath taking!
Thank you for sharing.
The picture with the kid in the white shirt is really amazing. Did you use those red and yellow filters allot for these shots?
My favorite, by far, is the bicycle shot. Would make a great print.
yep, that one made me stop and pause too.
Steve, these are Brilliant!!!
Thank you, more will be uploaded every week or so!
I’m fascinated! The images this camera produces are really extensive and sharp and just beautiful. However it’s your credit that these images are so good. You did an excellent job!:)
Thank you so much 🙂
Great! Phantastic shots. Congratulations Steve and kind regards from Switzerland.
Fantastic shots, particularly the guy in the ST t-shirt.
Thank you Shay!