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Leica M8 / M8.2 / Ricoh GXR Smaller than full frame digital Leica M mount cameras. The Ricoh is included as a less expensive and viable digital Leica M lens platform.

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Old 10-29-2012   #81
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there is no doubt in my mind that the M8 produces superior black and white images to the M9... but saying it's better than the Monocrom? from my own limited experience, no. especially at high ISO, there is absolutely no comparison.

the tonalities of the two cameras are very different, however, and i can see how the M8 can be more pleasing to some -- especially at the base ISO. plus, with the M8 you have more control over those tones if you like to tinker with your post-processing.

for me, the main reason to get a Monochrom is how astonishing it looks at high ISO. i like to shoot in dark bars at night and f/1 2500 isn't enough if i want to avoid shutter-shake or motion blur. i have tried under-exposing on both the M8 and M9 in these instances and the results aren't that pretty when trying to bring it back up -- very ugly noise, loss of detail and tone.

moreover, as much as i adore my old Noctilux, i sometimes would like to have a wider viewpoint but even f/1.4 isn't fast enough. and/or, when it's so dark that precise focussing is difficult, i'd like to be able to stop down a bit. again, it's impossible with the M8/M9 without suffering noise and loss of detail/tone.

after shooting on the M8 most of the summer (my M9 went haywire), i fell madly in love with it again. it really is a huge leap above the M9 for b/w work, especially without the IR filters... but i was even more limited at night -- which is when i love to shoot.

if i had my druthers, i would keep the M8 and buy a Monochrom
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Old 10-29-2012   #83
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it's comical to read people throw so much negativity at the original poster-----when the raw truth is that the M8 is a VERY good B&W camera....without a doubt better than the M9, and i wouldn't be surprised if it handles as good as the MM.

the M8 is a flawed camera, that's for sure. However due to its IR sensitivity it makes for very beautiful B&W photos. It is not delusional to suggest this.....i think it's a fair point and that would indeed make the M8 a very low cost alternative to the MM which is a very expensive camera.

i take primarily B&W, and one of the reasons i bought my M8 was for its very unique abilities as a B&W shooter. I have not been disappointed.
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Old 10-29-2012   #84
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Originally Posted by IEDEI View Post
it's comical to read people throw so much negativity at the original poster-----when the raw truth is that the M8 is a VERY good B&W camera....without a doubt better than the M9, and i wouldn't be surprised if it handles as good as the MM.

the M8 is a flawed camera, that's for sure. However due to its IR sensitivity it makes for very beautiful B&W photos. It is not delusional to suggest this.....i think it's a fair point and that would indeed make the M8 a very low cost alternative to the MM which is a very expensive camera.

i take primarily B&W, and one of the reasons i bought my M8 was for its very unique abilities as a B&W shooter. I have not been disappointed.
After 57 posts, this is the first rational explanation given to support the OP.
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Old 10-29-2012   #85
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As I mentioned in a previous post I shoot primarily with M8.2 w/35mm summilux, but I always leave my UV-IR filter on, just in case I want to use the image in color. If I'm going for optimum B&W quality with the M8.2, does it really make a difference, filter on or off?
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Old 10-29-2012   #86
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Now there'll be a rush on used M8s in the classifieds. M8 prices will go up!

Seriously, though I had never heard that the M8 had advantages over the M9 when it came to b&w, (me, I'm still living in the film age).


One advantage of the M8 over the MM; when all the b&w hype blows over, you'll still be able to shoot color.
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Old 10-29-2012   #87
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The M8 - The King of B&W

There, I coined it...

Now people can add it to their classified adds.
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Old 10-29-2012   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twopointeight View Post
As I mentioned in a previous post I shoot primarily with M8.2 w/35mm summilux, but I always leave my UV-IR filter on, just in case I want to use the image in color. If I'm going for optimum B&W quality with the M8.2, does it really make a difference, filter on or off?
the M8 can still make stunning b/w even with the IR filter on.

however, there is a slight edge to using it without -- something i didn't really notice until i started shooting it after my M9 broke and i had my boyfriend bring the M8 to me for back-up. i forgot to tell him to bring the filters too, duh!

i honestly prefer it sans filters, but that is just because i like as much tonal sensitivity as i can get, especially for details in black. but the difference is probably minute and i'm just being anal.

if you use C1 to process your images, btw, Jamie Roberts made some beautiful profiles to deal with the whole IR issue so it is possible to shoot sans-filter and still get good colour.
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Old 10-29-2012   #89
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I'd believe that at first try the tools one is used to might produce better results than something new and very different which likely requires different skills in processing.

Shooting something like Adox CMS for the first time when one is used to using Tri-X comes to mind.
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Old 10-29-2012   #90
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Without controlled testing scenarios and examples posted, I find all of opinions about the M8 vs M9 vs MM rather dubious.
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Old 10-29-2012   #91
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sepiareverb View Post
I'd believe that at first try the tools one is used to might produce better results than something new and very different which likely requires different skills in processing.

Shooting something like Adox CMS for the first time when one is used to using Tri-X comes to mind.
definitely!

(add to that the possibly having to use different programs -- i really dislike Lightroom)

the interesting thing about the Monochrom is truly how little processing it needs in most cases. even as high ISO, especially when you nail exposure. there is something about the way it records that reminds me of low contrast film (but that could be because i shot it with older pre-asph lenses). in fact, the Monochrom has given new breath into a lot of my older lenses. i haven't seen such beautiful tones out of them since i shot on my R-D1 or M2.
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Old 10-29-2012   #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by douglasf13 View Post
Without controlled testing scenarios and examples posted, I find all of opinions about the M8 vs M9 vs MM rather dubious.
i could care less about brick walls.

i'm much more interested in the opinion of people that have shot all three cameras in similar situations and, yes, that also have an affinity for black and white (rather than it being a novelty).

even then, it's all subjective.

but i find the opinion of people that go through the boredom of pouring over controlled testing subjective as well.
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Old 10-29-2012   #93
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Thanks Cam for an experienced insight. I'll run a couple of tests today. I like LR because it's easy. I wonder why you don't like it? Where is that Jamie Roberts profile? Good work on Flickr. Do you go above 640 iso with the M8 in B&W?

Also, earlier in this thread, someone asked how I make 17X22 prints from M8 files. Here a very non-technical answer. I process RAW file in LR4 until it looks good. Export a large enough jpeg at 300 dpi. Import that jpeg back into LR and print. It works for me, although I am open to better workflow suggestions.
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Old 10-29-2012   #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twopointeight View Post
Thanks Cam for an experienced insight. I'll run a couple of tests today. I like LR because it's easy. I wonder why you don't like it? Where is that Jamie Roberts profile? Good work on Flickr. Do you go above 640 iso with the M8 in B&W?
i took forever to get my head around C1 and, as convoluted as it is, it's my RAW processor of choice (i then take it into CS3 to tweak).... i just don't feel i have the same control in Lightroom... familiarity and all that!

Jamie's profiles were made only for C1, so it won't do you any good... back then, that's what came with and was recommended for the M's.

almost everything i do *is* b/w -- that's just the way i shoot... i look for light and lines and all that... if you do colour a lot, keep the filter on and don't be fussed!

i used to limit the M8 to 1250... i've gotten over that now, and will happily go up to 2500 when necessary. i've found exposing high ISO properly was more important than the actual number. i've also learned to embrace the noise and, when necessary, do a lot more dodging and burning rather than use noise reduction when it really gets up there.

btw, i even shot at 2500 on the M8 with the Noctilux this summer and (gasp!) kept it in colour. the lighting of the event and lack of IR filter made it almost look like it was shot in a strip bar -- just gorgeous skin tones

play around but, truly, don't get too fussed about it. more importantly, just go out and shoot and enjoy. the M8 is a wonderful camera!
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Old 10-29-2012   #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PatrickCheung View Post
all words no photos... I own an M8, would love to own an MM some day, but probably won't in the near future. I'm a little colour blind so I convert most of my files to B&W unless my girlfriend helps me correct colour. I'm happy with what the M8 gives me. I usually only print as gifts to friends, so print size doesn't matter much for me. The M8 has a certain quality to the images it produces that can't be replaced by the newer digital M's (which I find produce files that are a little too plastic-y).

I don't know if it's better than the MM, but here's what I do with my M8, and I'm happy. I don't think the OP is delusional or absurd.




Hi Patrick,
thanks for posting these M8 B&W examples. I haven't jumped the wagon on a M8 when it came out but I was the first posting M8 shots here (color) on RFF. This camera is able to capture great images and if any owner is happy with the results this is great.


Hi folks,
I also think that the few examples of MM files (low quality max 200kb jpgs) will give anyone the idea that the MM is clearly ahead in IQ. That just give the MM owner the potential to produce a great image - if a dog or cat shot falls into this category is another matter. There have been B&W samples shown here that have been shot on different cameras than M8 or MM and these are truely great shots, no matter what equipment.

Whatever camera you use, enjoy it, get out there and shoot and show some results. Don't get all hung up if anyone has a different toy that scored a few % more in a set up lab test shooting test charts or brick walls .

An unprocessed file from the MM :
2/50 Planar, just resized for posting, no sharpening, no adjustments whatsoever.

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Old 10-29-2012   #96
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I don't understand the point of this thread, as these are two totally different cameras that really can't be compared (1.3x crop versus full 35mm sensor).

I don't have anything against the M8, it's great for what it is if you can live with a crop sensor without lenses that are adapted to a crop sensor (like the Fuji X series or MFT's are for example).

The biggest reason for me to get the MM was to be able to go out during pitch black evenings, and do hand-held shooting at high ISO without any problem what-so-ever. The MM is very usable at 10000 ISO, and it is a blast to shoot hand-held with during the darkest period of the evening and night with only available light.

For my style of shooting the M9 wasn't good enough either. I do (and enjoy) low-light shooting a whole lot, and the MM is the first Leica that is usable for my style of shooting. And hopefully not the last.

I'll see your 640 (?) ISO with a 10000 ISO OOC JPEG @ f/1.4 that is properly exposed (high contrast and sharpness in camera, no NR) - totally uninteresting shot, I know, it IS a test-shot:

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Old 10-29-2012   #97
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Ive owned an m8 and an m9...itīs true the m8 delivers punching files, but the m9 does it as well...
Besides high iso performance and crop faxctor i reaaly donīt see much difference between both cameras...

This shot was taken with my late m8 "upgrade" using the zeiss biogon 35/2 lens...at f4...
The lens has focus shift and this sample was optimized at f2.



I think the best way to use either camera is to match lighting conditions in order to get the best possible dynamic range and avoid higher contrast spots by decreasing in camera contrast or using less contrasty lenses...

Bye!
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Old 10-29-2012   #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CameraQuest View Post
So eleskin has compared Monochrome results to M8 results and gets criticized for sharing his results by people who have not done the same comparison?

By people who don't own either camera?
Really? Seriously?

There has to be other RFF members who own both cameras willing to share their results on this interesting comparison.

Stephen

Comparison made by someone who owns M8 but doesn't own the Monochrome has been questioned by some who also own the M8 but don't own the Monochrome.

I own the M8 and not the Monochrome. I too have tested the Monochrome.

Eleskin has not shared results, only an opinion on what he saw in his results. We have also shared an opinion on what we have seen.


So: really. Seriously.
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Old 10-29-2012   #99
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A comparsion of infrared pictures would probably show the M8 to be a clear winner, but alas, I have only tried this on my M8. Has someone else tried infrared on the M9 or MM?
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Old 10-29-2012   #100
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Quote:
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Surely the M8 has been used in many an exhibition. Also lesser digital cameras have been too.

I have made prints of both color and B&W M8 photos enlarged to 40x60cm that I contributed to a little exhibition w/others, one shot in ISO 640, and the other at ISO 1280 (guess which one was in B&W). The M8 is an incredibly capable camera that simply needs a bit more attention in post-processing. People didn't believe the B&W shot was an ISO 1280 from the M8. People who trash the M8 as "unusable at 640 and above" have no clue and will not be convinced because their postprocessing workflow is itself unusable for M8 files.

Anyway, people get trapped in the dichotomy "if it's not better then it's bad".

I think the Monochrome delivers awesome B&W files that when also post-processed properly have a very visible edge over the M8 at B&W.

When comparing a Big Mac to a Mac Cheeseburger, if you add lots of ketchup to both, true, there won't be much difference, and you may think the Cheeseburger is better...if you don't like the crunchiness of the lettuce.

Yes yes, bad comparison because the M8 is not a cheeseburger...
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Old 10-29-2012   #101
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how would more IR-sensitive sensor (vs. newer) improve normal B&W conversions?
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Old 10-29-2012   #102
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabriel M.A. View Post
I think the Monochrome delivers awesome B&W files that when also post-processed properly have a very visible edge over the M8 at B&W.
curious about this, as most of my own Monochrom shots were at night in very low light (read: high ISO)... i found those images a breeze in PP.

but i do agree that lower ISO images on the Monochrom can look almost Medium format to my eyes... do you find that those need more finessing to achieve that look?
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Old 10-29-2012   #103
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cam View Post
i could care less about brick walls.

i'm much more interested in the opinion of people that have shot all three cameras in similar situations and, yes, that also have an affinity for black and white (rather than it being a novelty).

even then, it's all subjective.

but i find the opinion of people that go through the boredom of pouring over controlled testing subjective as well.
No one said anything about brick wall shooting. I'm just talking about shooting the same scene with each camera, no matter what the scene is.

I see this happen in lens comparisons all of the time. Someone will claim that one lens is way more "3D" than another lens, and then post a pic from each lens in entirely different lighting scenarios. One will have a natural rim light, making the subject pop, and the other will be in a flat lit situation, making the subject seem flat. With creative lighting, one can make any lens seem more "3D" than another.

I want to see someone with the M8, M9 and MM go out and shoot the same scenes with all three cameras, and then provide the raws for comparison. Then we may be able to start getting somewhere in comparing the three. Until then, it's all a dubious at best.
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Old 10-29-2012   #104
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Old 10-29-2012   #105
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Quote:
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curious about this, as most of my own Monochrom shots were at night in very low light (read: high ISO)... i found those images a breeze in PP.

but i do agree that lower ISO images on the Monochrom can look almost Medium format to my eyes... do you find that those need more finessing to achieve that look?

I only have a handful that I played with, most at anything over 1250.

Yeah, given a properly post-processed M8 file, if I give a file from the Monochrom the same attention, the Monochrom definitely wins. I wouldn't be surprised that when given it a "quick" processing, the same shot with same high ISO settings on both cameras, the Monochrom would win hands down in any read-over-lunch online review.

Anyway, that's why after I got these shots that I was even more dismayed that Leica decided to use some awfully-processed photos to introduce the camera. I really think that the same thought and care they put into engineering, that they could put into their editing and marketing department. Those photos they showed when they announced the camera are a technical fail. They may be nice to look at and surely they'd fetch thousands of dollars. But are not representative of what the Monochrom can do. Those photos could have been shot with my smartphone and made to look that way in post-processing.

But then again, reading intertoobes forum postings show that when extrapolation and speculation reign over actually knowing and showing what you're talking about --yes, the irony doesn't escape me when I'm not posting any photos; since I have not uploaded those shots because they're really crappy, I'm not going to go out of my way to post it here (posting photos directly to RFF is a major pain in the b.)
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Old 10-29-2012   #106
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Quote:
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After 57 posts, this is the first rational explanation given to support the OP.
What the hell? I mentioned the weak IR filter as the reason on the first page of the thread (post 18).
If you ARE actually interested in the topic (I'm beginning to suspect trolling) then get the back number of LFI I mentioned above: November 2010. The front cover headline: "M8 revisited - infrared sensitivity meets black & white: a good combination". There's 8 pages of explanation (with images) as to why the M8 is so great for b&w.
Naturally I don't expect anyone to actually go and buy this back number. Why bother getting real information when knee-jerk opinions and ignorance work just as well when discussing stuff on the net?
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Old 10-29-2012   #107
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Quote:
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What the hell? I mentioned the weak IR filter as the reason on the first page of the thread (post 18).
If you ARE actually interested in the topic (I'm beginning to suspect trolling) then get the back number of LFI I mentioned above: November 2010. The front cover headline: "M8 revisited - infrared sensitivity meets black & white: a good combination". There's 8 pages of explanation (with images) as to why the M8 is so great for b&w.
Naturally I don't expect anyone to actually go and buy this back number. Why bother getting real information when knee-jerk opinions and ignorance work just as well when discussing stuff on the net?
No need to get all hot and bothered. This is simply a discussion forum. My opinion based only on logic and reason (see post #2 - no horse in this race) is that the M8 does not produce Tecnically better results than the M mono. You have a different opinion. Fine. I'd like to see some proof one way or the other. Did the article you refer to do this comparison? No?
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Old 10-29-2012   #108
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No need to get all hot and bothered. This is simply a discussion forum. My opinion based only on logic and reason (see post #2 - no horse in this race) is that the M8 does not produce Tecnically better results than the M mono. You have a different opinion. Fine. I'd like to see some proof one way or the other. Did the article you refer to do this comparison? No?
Hey man - you're getting it all wrong AGAIN. You just don't bother actually listening to what's being said. NOWHERE do I say the M8 is technically better than the Monochrom. I'd expect the reverse. What I said is that it would be a more interesting comparison than the MM vs the M9.
Helluva hang-up you've got about this issue, bud.
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Old 10-29-2012   #109
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Originally Posted by mani View Post
Hey man - you're getting it all wrong AGAIN. You just don't bother actually listening to what's being said. NOWHERE do I say the M8 is technically better than the Monochrom. I'd expect the reverse. What I said is that it would be a more interesting comparison than the MM vs the M9.
Helluva hang-up you've got about this issue, bud.
What was the topic of this thread? I'm thinking that I've stayed on topic and you've gone and changed it. You're doing a great job being argumentative when you actually agree with me.
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Old 10-29-2012   #110
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I am waiting with interest when the "M" discussion about the video capabilities are starting.
In Photokina THAT was the biggest thrill to watch a video where a M shooter was following a model, talking and giving ideas for images and suddenly CLICK , you could hear the shutter and see the frozen image, in full clarity on the huge screen. Nothing like those fuzzy, bad YouTube flicks you usually see about a shoot...
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Old 10-29-2012   #111
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabriel M.A. View Post
I only have a handful that I played with, most at anything over 1250.

Yeah, given a properly post-processed M8 file, if I give a file from the Monochrom the same attention, the Monochrom definitely wins. I wouldn't be surprised that when given it a "quick" processing, the same shot with same high ISO settings on both cameras, the Monochrom would win hands down in any read-over-lunch online review.

Anyway, that's why after I got these shots that I was even more dismayed that Leica decided to use some awfully-processed photos to introduce the camera. I really think that the same thought and care they put into engineering, that they could put into their editing and marketing department. Those photos they showed when they announced the camera are a technical fail. They may be nice to look at and surely they'd fetch thousands of dollars. But are not representative of what the Monochrom can do. Those photos could have been shot with my smartphone and made to look that way in post-processing.

But then again, reading intertoobes forum postings show that when extrapolation and speculation reign over actually knowing and showing what you're talking about --yes, the irony doesn't escape me when I'm not posting any photos; since I have not uploaded those shots because they're really crappy, I'm not going to go out of my way to post it here (posting photos directly to RFF is a major pain in the b.)
thank you, Gabriel.

i agree with you about the way Leica launched and marketed the Monochrom. it is a far far better camera than what was shown. i really think the new team were already looking ahead and concentrating on the M and the M just got lost in translation.

even being given the chance to process someone else's images didn't properly give me the scope of the camera's capabilities. not did my first go at it, severely jet-lagged and in an unfamiliar place... my second go was in familiar places, ones that i had shot with the M8 and the M9 and it gave me a much better handle of how exquisite it really was.

not sure i got anything all that great either (and you're right, it's a pita to post) but it was enough to convince me i want one.

i, personally, am not fussed in the least that it doesn't do colour.

jealous of you, though, as i'd rather be back in Paris to shoot with it
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Old 10-29-2012   #112
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Still a waste of bandwidth, this thread
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Old 10-29-2012   #113
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Still a waste of bandwidth, this thread
i haven't been around here much, obviously, but i was interested in what Gabriel had to say. and i would have been interested with your thoughts as well, but i guess i missed that.

and i'd like to think maybe i helped somebody?

sorry i/we bored you.

but now i remember why i've been staying away from the forums.
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Old 10-29-2012   #114
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i haven't been around here much, obviously, but i was interested in what Gabriel had to say. and i would have been interested with your thoughts as well, but i guess i missed that.

and i'd like to think maybe i helped somebody?

sorry i/we bored you.

but now i remember why i've been staying away from the forums.
I wasn't referring to you Cam. I just think that when people become too heated and emotional, such topics dissipate into useless junk.

I don't have anything to say because I don't have comparisons and making assumptions always leads to problems. The OP made a good point to bring it up, but unfortunately not many MM owners will own an M8, let alone be bothered to take any meaningful comparisons....cause hopefully they care more about going and shooting meaningful work.

...so leave the reviewing and comparions to the professional reviewers....oh wait! Why would people even care considering how much they've all been ridiculed by this forum for giving the M Monochrom raving reviews - they must be all lying and can't be trusted then (sarcasm).
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Old 10-29-2012   #115
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M8 is a VERY good B&W camera....without a doubt better than the M9, and i wouldn't be surprised if it handles as good as the MM.
The really funny thing is that there would be plenty of doubt in your assertion...

I actually owned the M9 and M8 for years and never found that the M8 consistently produced"better" B&W images - other than IR images. Yes, they could sometimes have a nice look due particular the circumstances (low contrast scenes shot with low contrast images, in particular), but I found the higher resolution and many other adavantages of the M9 much preferable to the M8 capabilities.

You can't really rely on second hand web info in most cases; you have to see for yourself. Those who have been around will recall that when the M8 was introduced one of the biggest complaints was that it failed to match the R-D1 for B&W - that "conventional wisdom" has shifted since - perhaps due to more R-D1 owners being financially able to upgrade to the M8.

As for the M8 matching the Monochrom, I can't say for sure and likely will not be in a position to for a long time. If I shoot serious B&W, I simply prefer the advantages of film. But as others have said it is counter-intuitive that the M8 approaches the Monochrom. While I cannot cast doubt on the OP's Monochrom tests, since I have none of my own, I do know he is wholly wrong in stating that the M8 matches 6X9. I did detailed comparisons of actual prints of the M8 vs Mamiya 7 (a pitiful 6x7) and the M8 was soundly thrashed.
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Old 10-29-2012   #116
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Hey man - you're getting it all wrong AGAIN. You just don't bother actually listening to what's being said. NOWHERE do I say the M8 is technically better than the Monochrom. I'd expect the reverse. What I said is that it would be a more interesting comparison than the MM vs the M9.
Helluva hang-up you've got about this issue, bud.
I have compared the MM against both the M9 and M8 as I own all three of them .For black and white I would rate them MM-gap-M8-M9.
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Old 10-29-2012   #117
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fair enough, Kristen. and, apologies, i really didn't mean to attack you (if it sounded that way)

i think the Monochrom is the bees knees and would have it in my hands if i had the money. it is the digital camera that has my name on it.

however, i gained a new appreciation (even though i always realised it) in b/w work for the M8 after getting quite a few prints professionally done from both the M8 and the M9. the one that really stood out (could have been subject matter as well, a portrait of my aunt on the canal in Amsterdam with beautiful fall light) was one from the M8 at base ISO.

i don't doubt that that the Monochrom can better it, but the tonality is definitely different. i accept that people have different likes/dislikes and may prefer one over the other. (though at higher ISO -- absolutely NO comparison!)

silly me.
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Old 10-29-2012   #118
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I have compared the MM against both the M9 and M8 as I own all three of them .For black and white I would rate them MM-gap-M8-M9.
Thank you. This puts the issue to rest for me. I know where you are coming from and can now forget the matter.
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Old 10-29-2012   #119
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Let alone be bothered to take any meaningful comparisons....cause hopefully they care more about going and shooting meaningful work.
True that.
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Old 10-29-2012   #120
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No worries at all Cam. All good....I just wish people would not forget that if we were all in a room together we'd all be concentrating on enjoying each other's company, instead of trying to be correct over the next person.


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fair enough, Kristen. and, apologies, i really didn't mean to attack you (if it sounded that way)

i think the Monochrom is the bees knees and would have it in my hands if i had the money. it is the digital camera that has my name on it.

however, i gained a new appreciation (even though i always realised it) in b/w work for the M8 after getting quite a few prints professionally done from both the M8 and the M9. the one that really stood out (could have been subject matter as well, a portrait of my aunt on the canal in Amsterdam with beautiful fall light) was one from the M8 at base ISO.

i don't doubt that that the Monochrom can better it, but the tonality is definitely different. i accept that people have different likes/dislikes and may prefer one over the other. (though at higher ISO -- absolutely NO comparison!)

silly me.
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