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Sunday, 09 October 2022


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Mike wrote: “I'll keep you posted!”


The in-line versions of the images really don't do them justice, Mike. Full-screen on a 24" 4k monitor is a different story....

[I agree. They're better on Flickr, which is why I linked there. As prints, I would think most of them would be best on 17x22", with reasonable borders. --Mike]

An X-Pro can be modified to b&w. For $1500 USD. I can’t say the cost is too high for the work/skill involved, but sadly it’s not in my budget.

I do not know who makes the sensor in the Monochrom Leica, but if it is available for others... well, then the sensor hurdle is overcome, right? Other brands could use it.

Bravo! Keep it up! Love the results as well as the effort!
Maybe hold onto the loaner until you get yours back to compare the conversions?

Sony makes both color filter array sensors and monochrome versions of many of their sensors. So not hard for a manufacturer whom uses Sony sensors, as in most camera manufacturers, to order a whole bunch and test the market. Nothing really special needed. Many of the monochrome versions appear in Astrophotography cameras or manufacturing cameras. The Sony Imx571 sensor in the current 26Mpixel Fujifilm cameras is available from Sony as monochrome, you can get it in the Zwo ASI 2600 camera as eith color (MC) or monochrome as (MM) versions.

Hopefully some manufacturer will just release two versions of the exact same camera, one with CFA the other monochrome. Like Nikon did with the D800 and D800e.

Really enjoying your recent b&w work as they remind me of some palladium prints I did back in the 90’s.

The bench with the ‘under lighting’ made the whole image pop on the screen! Keep working those curves!

As a side note: I read your site on an iPad Pro and use Reader Mode which gives a grey background so the B&Ws look great. Unfortunately, with Reader Mode the comments are left out! Do you have any control over that?

[No, sorry. --Mike]

Hmm, I wonder if a Foveon sensor would be good for B&W. Basically, rather than combining all three signals from the pixel to get RGB, choose a particular color from the well and just get the intensity of that color.

This will let you choose which color the sensor responds to.


That storage building in "Rain Across the Valley" brings to mind those bright crosses in that Adams photograph. :>)

You probably have heard this before, I just read this quote today:

“The more constraints one imposes, the more one frees one’s self. And the arbitrariness of the constraint serves only to obtain precision of execution.” --Igor Stravinsky (Composer)

I'd buy an X-Pro Monochrom. But I don't know anyone else who would. My guess is the decision-makers at Fujifilm likely ran the numbers and decided years ago it would be too small a niche to make it worth producing.

Good to see you taking pictures! Beyond simple snapshots.

have you in your monochrome quest also come across this camera, albeit only at a distance, and if so, what are your thoughts about it?



Your B&W pictures have that period and mood look resembling the early part of the last century. The clouds are captured nicely with your new toy.

Dan K.

More on the Fuji monochrome thing, I'd probably be more likely to go for it in the X-E[n] level, lower price, simpler camera, similar ergonomics and handling, and the same lens choices. It'd be a specialty camera for me, with limited use, so the lower priced X-E[n] would be an easier purchasing decision.

[I agree with you. Although in my opinion the best candidate for a mono version would be the old X-T1, with video removed. We're really just whistling dixie here, though, as no one is going to make a mono camera now. --Mike]

Love Barn Roof. Question: When you replced the sensor of the Sony, did that eliminate all autofocus capabilities? What other tech features were lost with the original sensor gone?

[I prefer to use manual focus on this camera because it's so nice--when you touch the focus ring, the view zooms way in and red peaking shows peak focus. However the camera still autofocuses with the converted sensor. I've read that the AF is not quite as good as it is with an unmolested camera. --Mike]

Mike I am looking forward to your fp monochrom as I have a A7s and the fp and can't make up my mind on which one to do it to. I use the same Leica mount lenses on both cameras

As its already been stated Sony manufacturers monochrome sensors, they have a 102 MP 44x33 sensor to the small 20MP one in my Huawei phone.

I wouldn't say all hope of a cheaper than Leica monochrome camera has been lost.


KeithB wondered about the Sigma foveon sensor as a B&W option. I have to experience myself but Gregory Simpson who has used a Leica Monochrom and wrote a series of blog articles on it has tried using a Sigma Merrill DP3 for black and white photography and wrote a series of 3 articles about it on his blog. The following link will take you to a search results page from which you may access his 3 blog articles:


I really love the corn shot. It tells me you'll really do well with a monochrome camera of your own.


In my opinion the Foveon cameras make very good B/W cameras--you have a 'best of both worlds' with regards to acuity at the pixel level. Foveon sensors aren't nearly as good in low light situations as the current CFA sensors, but the noise pattern (which can be ugly in color) is actually quite 'grainy' in B/W. I've loved doing B/W with them over the years...

Now that you have ordered a conversion, Fuji will announce a monochrome model within the next month :)

“ It wouldn't require genius-level engineering for one of the cameramakers to design and make a sensor specifically designed for B&W, which at this point could certainly include tweaking the spectral response. I imagine they could solve the digital highlight problem by making it so that different photosites had different sensitivities.”

Yes, exactly this. A sensor designed to cope with extreme highlights. An X-Pro 2 or something close, with such a sensor (though the Leica Monochrom 246 is not bad). Please.

I, too, love the "rain..." photo, and particularly the highlights in the grasses!


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