Just a brief comment about yesterday's poll (it's not "pole," as about a dozen people spelled it in their comments, to the perplexity of the Comment Triage Editor): the reason there's no full-frame option in the choices is that a full-frame B&W-only sensor is even more unlikely to become a reality than a smaller one. Larger sensors are more expensive to produce; more expensive cameras have lower sales because the price is a barrier for buyers; and small runs require more of a price premium to recoup R&D and production investment. On the other hand, a B&W-only camera that's too small and "consumer" in its orientation will likely miss its intended market of dedicated B&W artists, devoted camera hobbyists, and advanced amateurs. That's why I think it's most likely that any eventual B&W-only camera will use a sensor in one of the most common sizes.
So why no B&W-only Leica M9 option in the poll? Because Leica already considered a B&W-only sensor version of its traditional rangefinder camera and decided against it.
On the other hand, the potential of a B&W-only Fujifilm X100 is appealing because it could make use of Fuji's unique SR II sensor technology, which uses two sensels per photosite to increase dynamic range, and there's always a possibility that a small company with a photography-enthusiast CEO might pursue such a thing, for instance if Kobayashi-san at Cosina (Voigtländer) was to resuscitate the R-D1 rangefinder for it. Mr. Kobayashi apparently killed the R-D1 to avoid siphoning sales away from the then-new Leica M8, but it's possible a B&W-only version might appeal to him because it's something Leica doesn't make.
The chances remain remote. Then again, the chances for what became "mirrorless" were remote when I called for that in 2005.
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Original contents copyright 2011 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved.
Featured Comment by juze: "For a lovely, light-hearted take on matters such as pole, lense etc., see here."
Mike replies: Thanks for that! Wonderful.