Leica Monochrome vs. Fuji X-Pro2
Old 01-28-2017   #1
narsuitus
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Leica Monochrome vs. Fuji X-Pro2

If the same Leica lens is used on both, how would the image quality of the 24-megapixel Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246) compare to the black&white image quality of the 24-megapixel Fuji X-Pro2?
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Old 01-28-2017   #2
johnwolf
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Is this a hypothetical, or are you considering purchasing one or the other? In either case I'll be interested in hearing responses.

I can't answer because I have an MM1 and X-Pro1. Both produce wonderful B&W.

John
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Old 01-28-2017   #3
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I currently own a Leica M6 and a Fuji X-Pro1. I am considering a purchase.


Leica M6 & Fuji X-Pro1 by Narsuitus, on Flickr
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Old 01-28-2017   #4
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I see. I sometimes consider selling my MM and going with an X-Pro2, mainly for the flexibility. I occasionally shoot color and sometimes value AF and live view. And I definitely prefer the X-Pro's ergonomics.

From what I've read, X-Pro2 image quality is about the same as it's predecessor. Presumably, B&W conversions would be about the same. Looking forward to hearing any real experiences with both.

John
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Old 01-28-2017   #5
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The original mono (18mps) has been compared sharpness wise to a 36 MP camera (because there is no color) so I would imagine the newer MM would be comparable to a 48 MP camera for the same reason.

Heres a comparison done some time ago with the old MM and a Nikon D800E
https://blog.mingthein.com/2012/05/2...hrom-vs-d800e/

And here is a decent, simple explanation.
http://www.red.com/learn/red-101/col...camera-sensors

I can tell you the my original 18MP produces sharper images than my 24mp M 262 and I have processed files from Nikon D800e's and I prefer the files from the original MM for B&W because there is just more in them and they are as sharp and you can see this especially in prints. I can only imagine the quality in the new MM.

With the new M 10 can there be a new MM in the works fro the future? Maybe 18-24 months down the road? I could only imagine the low light capabilities of that MM.

If you are seriously thinking bout an MM you need to be honest about how much you shoot B&W. If you are a B&W shooter then there is not a better digital tool for that. Plus the MM is full frame which can be important to some. I know it is to me.
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Old 01-28-2017   #6
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Allen, your post raises a question that perhaps the OP should answer for us: what constitutes image quality in his mind. Personally, when it comes to B&W, sharpness would not be a top criterion for me.

I expect we all value somewhat different things in a B&W image. For me it's more a question of tonal richness, in particular in the middle and upper tonal ranges. I think my MM1 does that better than the X-Pro1, but the Fuji is among the most pleasing to my eye among the many cameras I've owned. And, like I said, in a more flexible package.

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Old 01-28-2017   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnwolf View Post

From what I've read, X-Pro2 image quality is about the same as it's predecessor. Presumably, B&W conversions would be about the same. Looking forward to hearing any real experiences with both.

John
If you are using in camera JPEGs I prefer the XP2 to the XP1 due to the addition of the Fuji ACROS film simulation. The tones are a bit different and it protects highlights more. The way it handles higher ISO noise with grain substitution instead of NR works well and lets you change the look of the files.

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Old 01-28-2017   #8
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Hi John,

Yes I agree that we need to know what his objectives are. For me it is always the print. I also have been seeing the past few years in B&W (for my personal work) and at a 35mm FoV so for me an MM and a 35 Lux FLE are the perfect combo. As you know there is just so much in those MM files.

I found that the shadows have so much in them. In fact it kind of reminds me of the toe portion of a pro tri-x 320 processed in what Adams called dilution C of HC 100. The toe looks more like a straight line than a traditional toe portion of a film curve which means a lot of tonal separation.

I find with the original MM just like with many transparency films like Kodachrome that the shoulder when the highlights are to far up that there is just nothing there. So like with some trans films like Kodachrome if its not there, there is nothing to pull back from the raw file. AHHH but those shadows and so rich in tone.

I shot some with the Xpro1 and an M-9 before I bought the MM 4 1/2 years ago and bought the MM for many reasons and one is its a true rangefinder fits the way I see and work. It's also the only digital B&W I have warmed up to.
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Old 01-28-2017   #9
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JPGs that resemble film? Why not just shoot film and get the real thing?
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Old 01-28-2017   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airfrogusmc View Post
....For me it is always the print....
Same here. However, I think the print is the great equalizer. I've got fifteen black and white prints hanging in my living room. Although they are from at least seven different cameras, none jumps out as superior.

If the OP had framed his question in terms of modest sized prints, then I'd say IQ is not a factor.

John
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Old 01-28-2017   #11
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John I see a difference in my prints from the MM. Like I said it is the only digital B&W I have warmed up to. One of my professors from college (like me and old darkroom rat) was very impressed at the quality of my prints in my last two exhibits here in Chicago. The files are easier to get really great results from (for me anyway) than any digital color files converted plus there are none of the artifacts you can get sometimes when converting from color to B&W like lines around objects that happen sometimes in conversions. But more than all of that is the way the MM works, when shooting, with the way I see.
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Old 01-28-2017   #12
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Originally Posted by airfrogusmc View Post
JPGs that resemble film? Why not just shoot film and get the real thing?
I do, occasionally. But only occasionally so that I enjoy the process. If I was shooting it all the time I'd be back to hating the process. I use the ACROS in my XP2 often while shooting sports. I have zero interest in going back and doing that again with film. It wouldn't be able to....

Besides, there is no one 'real thing' for film. Film, just like digital, has many different looks depending upon how it is processed. Even more true after film is scanned and made digital.

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Old 01-28-2017   #13
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I don't shoot jpg at all. I like my work to look like my work and I can control all of that from the start (shooting) to getting the right info on the file so when I process it has the look I want to get in my prints. Nice to have so many choices.
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Old 01-28-2017   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnwolf View Post
If the OP had framed his question in terms of modest sized prints, then I'd say IQ is not a factor.
Image Quality Background Information:

B&W image size: 16x20 inch or larger

Black & white subject matter includes event photography, architecture, landscape, street, closeup/macro, and travel photography; often in dimly lit conditions with no flash.

High contrast, high resolution, and wide dynamic range are image qualities I cherish.

I am currently happy with the black & white image quality I am able to obtain from my 6x6cm, 6x7cm, 6x9cm, and 4x5 inch film cameras.

I use Zeiss, Nikon, Pentax, Fuji, and Leica lenses. All produce high quality images, however, I tend to prefer the film and digital b&w images I am able to obtain from Zeiss glass.
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Old 01-28-2017   #15
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Let's hope some folks who have used both cameras will speak to those interests. I'll stay tuned.

John
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Old 01-28-2017   #16
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I can't answer your questions, but maybe a good question is why do you want to upgrade to the X-Pro2? It's my favorite camera, but it could be nice to have the MM, the M6, and the X-Pro1 (if the X-Pro1 is good enough for your needs).
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Old 01-28-2017   #17
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Originally Posted by jsrockit View Post
... maybe a good question is why do you want to upgrade to the X-Pro2?
I do not want to upgrade to the X-Pro2. I am merely exploring the possibility of using the X-Pro2 or the Typ 246 to create high quality black & white digital images with a camera that uses lenses that I already own.
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Old 01-28-2017   #18
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From what you are saying the MM would be a great choice. I have shot 8X10 and had 500 C/Ms more than a decade and studied the zone system in college (yeah I did all the tests).

Here are a few fairly large things I shot with the MM for one of my hospital clients and you can get right up to them and they look very good indeed. From the original MM


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Old 01-28-2017   #19
Richard G
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I only have the MM1 and agree with everything in airfrogusmc's first post. I think that if you are happy putting non-native lenses including Leica on your Fuji then there is already less of an argument for getting any Monochrom. For instance, as well as that Nikon comparison referred to there is a thread here on M9 black and white. Some of the shots are stunning. Sometimes I come across a black and white of mine I'm sure must have been the Monochrom, but it's the M9. See John Wolf's point about his prints on the wall.

There are three reasons only really for getting the Monochrom. The first is it's only black and white: this makes an enormous difference to the experience of using the camera, the freedom of restriction. Second, as others have stated, it's a camera you bond with, a camera you really like to use. Somehow in use my MM1 feels much nicer than my M9-P, shutter smoother, including the shutter release. Third is the increased resolution. Is that necessary? Rarely, but cropping an image taken in haste by over 50% and still having a pretty rich file is probably an advantage for street and event photographers. The wonderful depth of shadow detail might be got by other means.
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Old 01-28-2017   #20
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Quote:
If the same Leica lens is used on both, how would the image quality...
Do you cut steak sides before cooking or grill it all?

I was intrigued by X-Pro2 weather sealed body and new Fuji weather sealed lens which is 35mm on crop. Downloaded full manual and could find how framelines looks. Just gobble of menus I have no need for.
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Old 01-28-2017   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by narsuitus View Post
I do not want to upgrade to the X-Pro2. I am merely exploring the possibility of using the X-Pro2 or the Typ 246 to create high quality black & white digital images with a camera that uses lenses that I already own.
I think with M lenses, it's best to go with a M.
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Old 01-28-2017   #22
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Originally Posted by jsrockit View Post
I think with M lenses, it's best to go with a M.
+1 regarding Fuji and M lenses. I used to use my M lenses when I first got my X E2 but find the native lenses just work better with the Fuji cameras.

This is an interesting discussion for me because I am using the MM and considering upgrading from my X E2 to X Pro 2.

I had an opportunity today to play with an X Pro2 and liked it a lot. I was struck after reading so much fuss about the design of the ISO dial -I found it easy to use.

Relating to the OP, at least in comparing these very different cameras but from a user aspect, I having been shooting with my MM for a while now, and came away thinking I'd need to focus on just shooting with and learning my way around the X Pro2 to get it to feel second nature. I have made some really nice enlargements from my X E2 too but I always come back to Leica for the images it produces but also the simplicity of design and operation.

As an aside, at the store today were two others who shoot M9 and handling the M10, we all found it to be considerably heavier than the M9 ...sigh of relief I won't be lusting for that camera anytime soon.
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Old 01-28-2017   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by narsuitus View Post
I do not want to upgrade to the X-Pro2. I am merely exploring the possibility of using the X-Pro2 or the Typ 246 to create high quality black & white digital images with a camera that uses lenses that I already own.
Your M lenses will no longer have the same field of view when used on the Fuji. Do not underestimate how important this is. In addition, all of your wide lenses will perform markedly worse as you move to the edge of the field on the Fuji than they will on the Leica (this is true even though the Fuji uses a smaller part of the image circle produced by the lens).

If what you're looking to do is save money the Fuji may still be a solid choice -- I can't know how much of an issue money is for you. From any other perspective, though, given your desire to continue using your M lenses it's hard to see how the Fuji would not ultimately be unsatisfying for you.

Which is not to say it isn't a wonderful camera. It's just that it's hard to see how it's the camera for you.
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Old 01-29-2017   #24
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Originally Posted by narsuitus View Post
If the same Leica lens is used on both, how would the image quality of the 24-megapixel Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246) compare to the black&white image quality of the 24-megapixel Fuji X-Pro2?
The image quality from the Leica will be noticeably better. The biggest difference regarding the result however is that the framing will be very different for the same perspective as the Fuji has a smaller sensor.

Using a Fuji lens will actually improve the image quality of the Fuji in most cases. Despite the crop, it does not perform particularly well with wide/widish M lenses.
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Old 01-29-2017   #26
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That's a cool grip. May I ask where do they sell?
If I remember correctly, I purchased it from a Chinese seller on eBay.
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Old 01-29-2017   #27
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If I remember correctly, I purchased it from a Chinese seller on eBay.
Thanks, but I did a search and not found specifically one like that. Really liked the shape.
If you have a chance, can you look up the name? No rush.
Thanks.
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Old 01-29-2017   #28
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Your M lenses will no longer have the same field of view when used on the Fuji.
If you use a glassless adapter. There is an adapter coming out which will keep the FOV almost the same.

http://www.kipon.com/en/articledetail.asp?id=100

Can't say how they work though as I have never tried that one. I do use a Lens Turbo II Nikon to Fuji adapter though.

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Old 01-29-2017   #29
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Thanks, but I did a search and not found specifically one like that. Really liked the shape.
If you have a chance, can you look up the name? No rush.
Thanks.
Looks like this one..

http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEEWER-CSC-c...oAAOSw1S9WcMQk

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Old 01-29-2017   #31
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Not sure why buy my link is being redirected. Search e bay for LB-XPRO1 and you will find the grip for about $17 delivered.

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Old 01-29-2017   #32
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I have the Xpro2 and the 1 gen monochrome, think both of them are great cameras, each on it own terms.
Bought the monochrome because I started to look in my albums (paper not screen) and after a while I realized that I missed the style a rangefinder got me (had a Fuji X-E2 at the time) but also the signature of those lenses (50mm elmar-M 2gen and 35mm nokton 1.2)
So to make it simple, same glass as "the good old times" but a Monochrome instead of a M6 with Kodak BW400CN or Delta 100.
For me the signature of the lenses, less buttons an nobs, and that it acts as black and white filme is the key. And full frame, almost forgot that.

Fuji has nice lenses, great colors, easy to use, fast and weather sealed, a bargain compared to anything leica.
But its not a leica, not a rangefinder, thou it is convenient, does have arcos simulation and wifi for easy sharing of images
(birthdays, holidays and so on) Also the Fuji did work right of of the box, to afford the monochrome I bought it second hand,
took me a year and 3 visit to weslar to bring it back to shipshape. Now its better than new, a new monochrome would not have these challenges (no ccd corroding or shutter problems)

Get both if you can afford it, or at least a monochrome and a Fuji X100T/F
Xpro-1 was a great camera but did not get "in touch" with the fujis before the X100T (perhaps this time i used it all manual?)

Anyway thats my two cents (or should I say two Norwegian Kroner?)

Also great to be back again after years of playing with landrovers instead of Leica. .
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Old 01-29-2017   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by narsuitus View Post
If the same Leica lens is used on both, how would the image quality of the 24-megapixel Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246) compare to the black&white image quality of the 24-megapixel Fuji X-Pro2?
Less wide view from the APS-C sensor would put me off from the start, let alone anything from an image quality stand-point. I think selling the MM for any Fuji would be a foolish thing to do.
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Old 01-29-2017   #34
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From what I've read, X-Pro2 image quality is about the same as it's predecessor. Presumably, B&W conversions would be about the same. Looking forward to hearing any real experiences with both.

John
The X-Pro 2 has a higher signal-to-noise ratio (especially above ISO 800 (link). The X-Pro 2 has two ISO invariant ranges 200 - 636 and above 800. This means the The X-Pro 2's shadow region IQ should be significantly improved compared to the X-Pro 1.

The higher pixel density should have a positive effect as well.

Anyway, when I directly compare results from my X-Pro 1, X-T1 and X100T the latter two cameras clearly have superior IQ. The differences increase as ISO increases. So when the meter predicts ISO 200 images will have optimum exposure, the IQs are more similar.
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Old 01-29-2017   #35
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The Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246) will have superior B&W rendering for one fundamental reason.

The Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246)'s model for image creation is more direct than any other camera's (except those few others that don't use color-filter arrays). There is only one modeling step and that model is less complicated..

Cameras with color-filter arrays create monochrome images with an indirect model. That is RGB information is not what a monochrome photographer needs or wants. In general when the model for the data more closely maps onto the data (no RGB information in for the MM) the model parameter estimates' uncertainties decrease. In our case the parameter estimates of interest are a spatial array of the digital numbers (the raw file).

Secondary reasons could be differences in micro-lens optics and other non-electonic characteristics of the sensor assembly.

While post-production rendering and signal-to-noise ratio will play a large role in perceived IQ, the MM starts off with a significant advantage.
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Old 01-30-2017   #36
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FWIW Dept.: As an ex-XPRO2 user, XPRO-2 is a good camera capable of excellent shots. Lots of people love Fuji colors and JPEG's (Acros sim). Fuji fans scream about Fuji's firmware upgrades, but frankly neither of these are as unique as the buzz. There are many who find Fuji colors not to their liking, too, or difficult to manage. And as Leica fans will note, the hybrid viewfinder is definitely NOT a rangefinder, and even most X-PRO users will rely on the EVF most of the time according to polls on the Fuji forum. Fuji seems to be of several minds on how to use these cameras, and there is something in this that results in a mix of handling matters that either fit you requirements, and meld with what and how you want to use it or not. I'm a fan of rent-to-buy as a trial, and lensrentals.com has a decent program for purchasing keepers as well. I can attest that if you do buy and you buy with the service contract they offer, the service is both first rate and speedy: one-week door-to-door in my case.

That said, I'd argue that if you like the rangefinder style, the Leica's whole style is designed on this basis, and the handling issues likely more consistent with the approach for which it is optimized. Fuji will open the box and allow you to use your camera for a wider variety of things... more readily, but again, at a cost in terms of fitting the dedicated form and shooting style. It's close, but not going to be the same. And if you're considering a Monochrom M, you're pretty far down the path to favoring a definite shooting style that I would think the Leica will fit more readily. Note that I don't have a Leica.

FWIW, I believe shooting begins with lenses - the sharpest and best handling you care to buy, and then looking for an optimized body to shoot them on. Shooting on the native body is best, but you can usually run them more widely - but there is a cost. And you can adapt your shooting within a range of workflow, but it takes some time to get comfortable. If you want full frame, and if you're printing, and I think full frame adds more than an academic difference in this, the Fuji's APS-C may not fill the bill. It's good, but there are other options; and without IBIS, it's not as good at adapted lenses as some alternatives (e.g. Sony A7 series).

All in, there's a difference between a B&W raw image and a B&W jpeg, and it is NOT academic. Leica is also one of the few I believe that runs the histogram on the RAW image rather than JPEG. Ditto - not academic. If you want to really find your shooting channeled into an optimized fashion for B&W, you're going to drive down toward the M Monochrom... even the 18MP version. Fuji will not do this for you. I'm thinking of this hard myself, but also like the M10. It's a question of $'s, and I have to ebay some old model trains first to justify the re-allocation of time, space and $.

End of the day, I think the question is more one of whether you see this as a keeper camera or whether it would be a "phase" or "stepping stone". Any one of these can justify the decision in my view. By today's standard, it's merely tuition and cheap at the price if you'll commit to it and use it. In some measure, ANY camera can be constrained to teach you certain things you want to learn, but if you want to be restricted so that you HAVE to do it, then by all means a Monochrom (or maybe even a B&W film M) seems an excellent bet. Worth every penny, and from my perspective, the lenses are waaaaaay better than Fuji by design... as their form follows their function. With Fuji... form is whatever they want it to be... and focus by wire is a toss-up decision rather than true-to-purpose given.
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Old 01-30-2017   #37
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I previously have had both the X-Pro1 and 2, but now I have a M240. Regarding monochrome capabilities of the Ms and MMs, I found this test very useful.

http://www.reddotforum.com/content/2...-vs-m-typ-240/
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Old 01-30-2017   #38
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RF-OG's review is of interest. One real question is the extent to which B&W matters to you. I think someone else noted that earlier. If it is a primary expression, I think it won't just be about the camera, but about printing... as many B&W folks seem to be using the Cone custom ink sets for the "right" tones and details. Paul Roark has written that most digital sensors tend to be blue sensitive and less red sensitive, and he's had a Kolarivision Astrophotography modified non-Leica for that purpose. I asked about the Monochrom, and he shifted away from Leica for different reasons, but presumably, the dedicated sensor of the Monochrom rebalances the spectrum sensitivity toward Kodak Tech Pan. Yet everyone has their own "good enough for me" standard. FWIW, I find it hard to resolve the balance between a lower cost M Monochrom (18MP) vs. a more balanced but more expensive M10 at present, and admit I'd be drawn to the latter.
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Old 02-03-2017   #39
borge
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I've owned X-Pro1, X-Pro2, MMv1 (twice, once when it was launched in 2012, and I bought a brand new old-stock recently), M240, and also own an MP that I use with B&W film.

I love the MMv1. I sold the X-Pro2 and all my Fuji glass to re-purchase it. There's just something about those files. I also wrote many reviews on the MMv1 some years ago that is on my website.

The X-Pro2's files doesn't come close in my opinion.

I use the MMv1 with Zeiss ZM glass now (which I also use on the MP with film). Previously I've basically tried about every lens in the Leica catalog with my Leica bodies, but these Zeiss lenses are actually some of my absolute favorites, especially on the MMv1. The Biogon 35/2 on the MMv1 is much more appealing than the Summicron 35 ASPH for example. The same goes with the 35/1.4 Lux FLE. Non-aspherical lenses looks great on film and the MMv1. I can't speak of the MM246 as I generally never had interested in it. I had an M240 that I liked, but never was a big fan of, but I mostly only used it for color, and shot B&W film on my MP instead of using the digital files for B&W.

Finding a "brand new" MMv1 with full warranty and everything a couple of months ago was great! I simply love the results from this B&W CCD sensor.
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Old 02-03-2017   #40
airfrogusmc
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I agree about the MM but I prefer the look of the files I get from the 35 Lux FLE over Zeiss glass.
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