Why I Purchased a Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246)

I used to view digital Leica cameras as a basic instance of favor over substance. Certainly it is a good instance of an organization creating a luxurious model on the again of their, admittedly fantastic, historical past and heritage.

In a world of ever-increasing sensors, quickly improved autofocus, and seemingly limitless technical improvements to help the photographer, to my thoughts Leica appeared to have fallen behind the likes of Canon, Nikon, and Sony.

That being mentioned, I’ve lengthy admired the historical past of the corporate and the satisfaction it takes to supply superbly crafted cameras, upholding the long-held perception that design and glorious craftsmanship are of paramount significance regardless of the influence this may have on value.

As a lover of mechanical watches, I totally perceive why many can see no sense in spending hundreds on such a watch when a mass-produced quartz watch will carry out the identical perform, normally be extra correct, and normally have many extra options. For me, that misses the purpose.

I’m drawn to, and purchase into, the historical past, precision engineering, design, and eventually the data that my watches will nonetheless look and carry out in addition to they do in the present day in a long time to return. It’s this facet of my character that stored me concerned about Leica and, regardless of my reservations, why I might by no means dismiss them fully.

Having made the transition from Nikon to Fujifilm and constructed up a set of prime lenses I began to search for a hard and fast lens “seize and go” digital camera for these days once I wished to have a digital camera on me however wasn’t really going out to take pictures. The apparent alternative on the time was the Fujifilm X100F however Leica was nonetheless an itch that wanted scratching and the Leica Q was proving arduous to disregard.

Ultimately, I adopted my coronary heart and made the funding within the Leica Q-P. It actually was an funding, provided that it value greater than 3 Fujifilm X100F cameras!

FujifilmX-Pro3 + XF 90mm f/2

Inside minutes of unboxing and taking a couple of take a look at pictures, any doubts I had had been forged apart and so started my Leica journey. Once I maintain a Leica the standard and a focus to element are instantly obvious and there’s no doubt in any respect that it is a premium product. That is even earlier than appreciating the pictures these cameras can produce.

I’ve been utilizing my Leica Q-P alongside my Fujifilm gear for two years and through this time, as with all Leica fanboys, it has resulted in an ongoing fascination with all issues Leica.

Leica Q-P

The Leica M vary has lengthy been a little bit of an anomaly on this planet of recent digital cameras. A guide focus rangefinder with restricted technical specs and considerably costlier than most of the choices from the opposite main manufacturers. Then there may be the price of Leica lenses so as to add to the equation. Given the success of those cameras, I used to be to know why individuals fortunately spend hundreds on a Leica M when you will get a better decision, feature-packed digital camera for much less cash from some other producer.

I used to be lucky sufficient to borrow an M240 and subsequently an M10. Aside from my observations above concerning the texture of a Leica, what I instantly purchased into was the change in consumer expertise. When utilizing a guide focus rangefinder I’m pressured to decelerate, suppose extra in regards to the composition and what I need to seize. I settle for that is as a lot to do with my growing old eyes as my unfamiliarity with the rangefinder!

With my Fuji X-Pro3, I can stroll the streets capturing all day and know that just about the entire photographs will probably be in focus and completely uncovered. Later, in Lightroom I can manipulate these information to my coronary heart’s content material, altering the colour grading or changing to my favourite aesthetic of black and white. This data inevitably results in me overshooting with the end result that I take hundreds of pictures which can be technically sound however the finish result’s a small proportion of “keepers”.

What I discover when utilizing the Leica M is my method to capturing moments is extra thought of. Additionally, there may be the sensation that I’m extra related to the digital camera, and fairly than taking pictures I’m making them. The tip result’s as a lot all the way down to my enter and skills because the technical wizardry of the little field I’m utilizing. Primarily, it presents a distinct problem for me as a photographer and subsequently I benefit from the course of much more and get better satisfaction from the ultimate picture. I additionally take considerably fewer pictures however the proportion of “keepers” will increase considerably.

Leica M246 Monochrom + 50mm Summarit f/2.4

Clearly, this isn’t one thing that can enchantment to everybody. In case you are solely within the closing picture and also you prioritize a digital camera that can do plenty of “heavy lifting” for you over the consumer expertise and course of, I’d counsel {that a} Leica M will not be for you.

Having loved utilizing each the M240 and the M10 it was inevitable that I began considering {that a} Leica M could be a welcome addition to the digital camera bag. Moreover, provided that black and white pictures is a ardour of mine, the distinctive Monochrom got here into consideration. This in itself raised the following query, does it actually make sense to spend all that cash on a digital camera that may solely shoot black and white photographs?

My luck continued once I was capable of borrow an M10 Monochrom for a couple of days. Having learn numerous articles and watched limitless evaluations on the advantages of a black and white sensor, I used to be curious to see if the pictures had been considerably totally different and/or higher than the pictures taken on the X-Professional 3, Leica Q-P, the Leica M240, and Leica M10 and transformed into black and white in Lightroom.

From my perspective, the quick reply isn’t any. However that proved to be the flawed query for me.

I’m able to create the look I need in Lightroom regardless of the digital camera used. While I agree there’s a “Leica look” I’d virtually actually be deluding myself that given a number of photographs, I might say with 100% accuracy which of them have been taken on a Leica Monochrom. What I’ve discovered with the Leica Monochrome is that the pictures taken require little or no post-processing and subsequently I can spend extra time behind the digital camera fairly than in entrance of the pc.

Leica M246 Monochrom + 50mm Summarit f/2.4

I’ve already talked about the totally different consumer expertise with a Leica M. So as to add to that, when utilizing the Monochrom I discover that figuring out I can solely seize black and white photographs has a major influence when I’m on the road. As an alternative of being distracted by shade, my eye is drawn to topics in the precise mild in addition to in contrast and texture. This in the end leads to capturing extra of the kind of black and white photographs I take pleasure in.

The questions I spotted I ought to have requested are; is the act of taking the pictures extra pleasant; is it simpler to realize the specified look and doubtless most significantly, does it change the themes I search for or discover, figuring out I can solely shoot in black and white? The reply to all of those is an emphatic sure.

Having returned the M10 Monochrom the choice was made so as to add to the digital camera bag, once more! Budgetary constraints dictated that I opted for a used M246 Monochrom. Fortunately I sourced a “like new” copy and for the previous couple of months, this digital camera and the 50mm Summarit f/2.4 have been glued to my hand.

Leica M246 Monochrom + 50mm Summarit f/2.4

The aim of this text is to not persuade the Leica skeptics that they need to swap manufacturers and critically diminish their financial institution stability by buying what are unquestionably very costly cameras and lenses. It’s merely to clarify why as each a photographer and somebody who has a weak spot for superbly designed and manufactured merchandise I’ve purchased into the Leica world and fortunately fallen for the charms of the distinctive Leica Monochrom.

Leica M246 Monochrom + 50mm Summarit f/2.4
Leica M246 Monochrom + 50mm Summarit f/2.4

Thanks for studying and carry on having fun with your pictures regardless of what you shoot with.


Concerning the creator: Maurice W Webster is a documentary and journey photographer primarily based in Sussex, England. The opinions expressed on this article are solely these of the creator. Yow will discover extra of Webster’s work on his website and Instagram. This text was additionally revealed here.

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