Leica Camera has introduced a new version of the M Monochrom black-and-white-only camera. The Type 246 is said to have a newly developed full-frame 24-MP CMOS B&W sensor and the Maestro processor from the Type 240, and has acquired some minor upgrade features from the M-P.
The camera will ship May 7th and the price is $7,450.
The early samples look tonally stunning, which has not always been my impression of the original (depending on who was doing the processing of course). I hope some enterprising website will do a comparison with converted Fuji files.
There's a promo video by the great Icelandic photographer Ragnar Axelsson.
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(To see all the comments, click on the "Comments" link below.)
Featured Comments from:
Jack: "The best review of this new Leica can be found here."
John Krumm: "I have to agree about the early samples. I love the look of the horses in front of the log pile in the snow, shot at ƒ/13 and surprisingly '3D' on my screen, to use an overused description. Here's the link to the samples, in case others want a look."
Mani Sitaraman: "[Ragnar's] are beautiful pictures, but it is hard to judge the tonality of the new Monochrom from them. Specifically, they appear to be shot in winter in a far Northern latitude. As those who have traveled above the 55th parallel or so, the light there has an unusual quality and makes these pictures look almost as if they were taken on infrared film. Yes, they do look spectacular (somehow, they remind me of Paul Strand's pictures from the Outer Hebrides). But I'm unsure how the camera's images from the everyday lighting more typical in middle latitudes closer to the equator will look."
Lou: "As always, a load full of marketing bull (come on! comparing it to a field camera!). No wonder they cost so much with the need for all this marketing crap."
Kent Phelan responds to Lou: "Dear Lou, I believe it could compare to a field camera. I have not used nor seen the Monochrom 246, but I do own an M Monochrom. I've had it for about a year and have shot 5500–6000 images with it. I think my MM gives better results than my old beloved Mamiya 7 using TMX film. In the '90s the Mamiya 7 was my main camera along with a Linhof Technika 2000. I used the Mamiya so much the rubber covering wore off. I have waited 14 years for something like the Leica Monochrom to come along. It has nothing to do with megapixels, the 'Leica Glow' etc. It has everything to do with tonality, tonal transitions, and doing an eerily fine job of imitating medium format T-Max 100 rotary processed in a Jobo processor. It has been a long time since I have seen this, and I for one am in no hurry to look at this new CMOS based Monochrom. The original, to me, is pure magic."
Kent: "Of course the real issue here, the question that will keep Leica fans awake at night is: will Lenny Kravitz buy one?"
Arg: "It's satisfying to see such specialized cameras being released. I'm all in favour of a bit of variety. I can see the market appeal too."