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Monday, 17 April 2023


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I really would have expected Ricoh to make a monochrome GRD. If nothing else as a Daido Moriyama special version. Who knows, that might still happen if the Pentax sales turn out really well. I would buy that.

So.....you "literally" bit a bullet?? =)

[No, I said "after literally decades," and that's literally true, it was more than 20 years or two decades, plural. --Mike]

Can you please modify a digital camera to an equivalent of the Contax G series? If you do, maybe we finally see a full frame digital camera with small, excellent autofocus lenses.

I haven't read the specs of the new Pentax so I'm not sure if it has live view on the rear screen, but this is a DLSR so the image in the viewfinder would be color. Of course this is the way it was with film cameras, but I can't help but think the mirrorless B&W view you're getting with the Sigma is a better way to go.

I wonder if some of the other brands (maybe Fuji and OM Systems), already trying to carve out niches for themselves, will give this a whirl. If the Pentax proves to be hit they well might.

I agree you should move on from the Pentax Monochrome discussions. This topic has no more colour left.

"Ricoh Imaging Americas Corp. guards its telephone number more zealously than the U.S. protects state secrets..."

That is, apparently, not a very high bar.

Kodak DCS760M, = available in 2003 -2004. Fully black and white. Used Nikon lenses. Reviewed on LL = https://www.nikonweb.com/dcs760m/

Just curious why that one wasn't considered after making your pledge? It wasn't a Leica, after all...

Mike said, "At one point I rashly promised that I would buy the first B&W-only digital camera that came out no matter who made it. Shortly thereafter, the Trickster Universe caused it to come to pass that Leica would be that company, the original Monochrom being that camera, so I had to eat those words."

I think the Kodak unit pre-dated the first Leica M by over eight years....

According to one post on DPR, from a user, the Pentax website in Japan stated that they have stopped taking orders for the K-3IIIM as all the production run has been accounted for.

In other words all they cameras they have or are in the process of making, have been assigned. Pentax will be "evaluating" further releases.

Pentax marketing did not see this success coming after decades of users asking for a B&W camera. I mean SMH.

I've been hybrid monochrome for some years. That is, I shoot with film, then scan the negatives. After treatment with Photoshop, the images are either put online or printed digitally. That way, I have the best of both worlds.

I think you made out better with the Sigma. Unless I’m wrong, the K3 mono has an optical viewfinder, showing color? Whereas, your screen always shows B&W, even when you have a yellow filter on the front. So you kind of stay “purist” in what you’re attempting to achieve. It would be interesting to know what actual technical steps the conversion of the fp went through in the “stripping” process… and eventually compare them with the K3 ones.

Four things.
1. ...and I mean "literally" literally... was worth the visit today. Gold.
2. Real-time feedback on your currently set exposure from an EVF is worth sacrificing the beauty of an OVF. Critically so with B&W.
3. I want an OVF with real-time highlight warnings superimposed onto it. Fuji have had the tech to do that since the first X100. They've just never enabled it.
4. Pentax. Heavy. Expensive. Always always late to the party. Not Sigma late. But only footstep ahead. Maybe that's why they get so much right? Except their autofocus which was always so pedestrian as to almost be deliberately ponderous.

It's not apparent to me that a photographer who wants monochrome images should be using a monochrome camera. I shoot in color, as do nearly all B&W photographers, and convert to B&W using Silver Effects Pro. It allows me to control the B&W conversion by, among other things, applying colored filters. This is impossible if the RAW file is monochrome. Of course, you could put an actual colored filter in front of the lens, but that's awkward and doesn't allow me to make the decision in post.

I have a plan:

1. You wish for me to win the lottery.
2. You get sick of me not playing.
3. You buy me a lottery ticket.
4. You lose.
5. But I actually buy one the same day and I win.
6. I buy you a black and white Pentax and all the lenses.

We both win.

Kirk Tuck sent me to a video discussion of why you should use a monochrome camera for black and white, rather than converting from color. Since I've never been all that interested in camera technology, it was a relief to have somebody explain why monochrome *can be* better in more-or-less English words. And illustrate the words with some very nice B&W images.


I don't understand all this hype on monochrome. Why not "low megapixel count"? What's the use of pixels with lower noise if there are more of them and I must reduce shutter speed to avoid blur? Pentax, when will you give action photographers an aps-c camera with at most - I underline at most - 12 megapixels but high iso and dynamics in spades?

Just looking at it, I wouldn't buy that Pentax, it's a big ugly beast I'd be ashamed to pick up!

For those interested, Ned Bunnell has a K3 Mono on loan from Pentax & has a flicker album to show his K3 Mono photographs.


He gives his initial impressions in the next link


Chit chat about B & W digital cameras seems pretty much irrelevant when nearly half the front page of today's Guardian, 18th April 2023, shows a B & W, AI generated image which Sony deemed a competition winner.

Apparently unaware that no camera had been harmed in its production.

General comment here.
In the above comments I can not believe the ones about not having a B&W viewfinder.

I mean REALLY? Just what do you think photographers have done since photography started? Even view cameras showed color on the ground glass, TLR's showed color, Rangefinders showed color, and SLR's showed color. That's how the world works. SMH over and over.

Pentax makes cameras with OVF's why would anyone think that through a OVF it is going to show only B&W.

This new generation needs to get a grip.

Just remembered that Contax introduced a six megapixel full frame DSLR camera in 2003 that was also available (very limited number) as a monochrome only model. This would have allowed for use with then current Zeiss lenses made for the Contax N-1 film cameras. A bit pricy but then what high performance digital camera wasn't pricey back then?

Did you ever test that one?

Timing is everything. I bought the Sony 24-70 GMII, anxious to replace the "inferior" GMI and then, pretty soon after, they release the 20-70 f/4, which would have likely been fine for me, at a fraction of the price of the GMII,

Also, I wanted a fast 50, didn't want the Zony, and went for the rather expensive Sony 50 f/1.2. Then, of course along comes the Sony 50 f/1.4 also at a fraction of the price of the f/1.2.

I want to replace my Sony 70-200 f/4. The 70-200 f/2.8 GMII is lovely but large and quite expensive. Fortunately, before I bought it, the rumor site said there'd be a new 70-200 f/4. I may have dodged a bullet depending on whether the rumor is true and how long it will take to come to market.

One of these days, I'll learn to be patient.

Do you remember when Mike last posted about a photo or portfolio of photos or a photographer?

[I take umbrage at your insolence, Sir. I have written more than 10,000 blog posts over 17 and a half years, and at least 20 of them have been about photos, portfolios, or photographers. --Mike]

Honestly, I'm still kind of interested in a converted camera over this. Mainly because I really like the rangefinder style bodies, and having one that has felt great in my hands for almost the last decade, why wouldn't I just get that converted instead of buying a new camera to get used to?

Mike, before you get off the topic of monochrome sensors, maybe your could help educate some of us like myself who are not up to speed.

I'm guessing that since monochrome sensor cameras have no color filter array and record only luminance values, this puts us back to the film days where we used yellow, orange, and red (and other) filters to control contrast. I this true?

I kind of like the way my (color) DLSR works when recording B&W allowing me to select a filter that is applied to the JPEG conversion. But nevertheless, it's interesting to think about using colored filters again.

The genius of Pentax 😂👍

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