MM vs M240 in prints
Old 12-12-2017   #1
drec
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MM vs M240 in prints

What has been established more or less is that the MM has greater shadow detail, lower contrast out of camera, and better detail out of camera than the M240. What has also been said is that these initial differences become less evident with good PP.

I have a Canon Pro 1 and I’ve pulled gorgeous prints with my MM, yet finances encourage me to sell it to go back to a colour camera and the M240, or maybe even an A7ii with Kolari ultra thin filter mod, appeal to me.

When we’re talking about monochrome prints, how would the MM and M240 stack up? Am I correct in assuming that if the differences are hard enough to see with good PP on a monitor, they will be near-irrelevant in prints?

Thanks, have a safe and great holiday season!
André
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Last edited by drec : 12-12-2017 at 09:06. Reason: Clarification of post
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Old 12-12-2017   #2
jaapv
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It all depends on your post-processing skills. If worked expertly, the MM files will produce a more subtle tonal range with better microcontrast. And a higher resolution, which will show up on large prints. The Bayer algorithms of a colour sensor will result in a considerable resolution loss, as does the filter in front of the sensor itself. The jury is still out, but most users will agree that the 18 MP files out of the MM1 are equivalent to colour sensors in the 30-40 MP range. The MM2 correspondingly more.
But they take careful handling in post-processing to bring out the full potential.

On top of that many users blast the MM images with Efex, which will degrade them.
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Old 12-12-2017   #3
Vince Lupo
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Many seem to wax philosophical about the CCD 'look' of the MM1 versus the CMOS 'look' of the MM246. I've owned both, have made prints from both (11"x16"), have exhibited both side-by-side, and am hard-pressed to see much difference. I think if anything, the 246 prints at base ISO (320) might look a bit 'cleaner', but prints from both cameras look good to me. Additionally, prints I've made from my M-D look good too -- for some real pixel-peepers, it might just be splitting hairs or maybe the difference is in fact significant (I'm sure the M-D sensor is pretty much the same as the 240 sensor). But here again, I'm not going any larger than about 11"x16", so the differences might be more evident at 30"x40". Or maybe my eye is not as discerning as others.
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Old 12-12-2017   #4
Calzone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drec View Post
What has been established more or less is that the MM has greater shadow detail, lower contrast out of camera, and better detail out of camera than the M240. What has also been said is that these initial differences become less evident with good PP.

I have a Canon Pro 1 and I’ve pulled gorgeous prints with my MM, yet finances encourage me to sell it to go back to a colour camera and the M240, or maybe even an A7ii with Kolari ultra thin filter mod, appeal to me.

When we’re talking about monochrome prints, how would the MM and M240 stack up? Am I correct in assuming that if the differences are hard enough to see with good PP on a monitor, they will be near-irrelevant in prints?

Thanks, have a safe and great holiday season!
André
Andre,

First off lets just compare a MM and a M246 because the rendering is different due to one being CCD and the other CMOS. Understand in my comparision that I'm outlining it is 18MP CCD sensor without a Bayer Filter Array against a 24 MP CMOS sensor without a BFA. Also a notable difference in bit depth because the MM enjoys and utilizes 14 bit and the M-246 only 12 bit processing.

The difference in bit-depth math (MP times Bit Depth) translates into the M-246 not creating as big a file as you once thought, thus in a way not as much more info recorded into a raw file. My SL is like the M-10 with 14 bit depth.

A M-240 with a BFA is not as clean and not as high a resolution as the M-246. Understand that the BFA degrades the image somewhat.

So I also own a Leica SL which is 24 MP and 14-Bit so the files it creates is a lot bigger than either a M-240 or M-246 which are both 12-bit.

So when I print B&W from my SL I kinda get very similar IQ to my Monochrom, but the the image from the SL involves more processing. I first process the image as if for color, then I convert to B&W and process for B&W.

The look is similar, but different in prints. Perhaps more different in large 20x30's on 24x36. IMHO the CCD has a unique rendering that is more rich in the mids. Right out of the camera the histogram shows this.

Meanwhile a CMOS sensor has rendering that has a smoother roll off in the highlights and perhaps better shadow detail, but the tonal range is kinda scooped in the mids. The CMOS sensor also has mucho better high ISO performance and the files created in image capture are very clean, but because of more post processing and boosting of levels in post this is where noise gets added.

For me since I print big (20x30 image size on 24x36) my old MM with minimized processing I think makes the print that is more open and smoother, but realize for IQ that I rarely shoot higher than 800 ISO.

So the M-246 is a better camera in so many ways: bigger files; better high ISO, faster shooting; Live View; better display; faster processor; video...

But the MM is so primitive and that is its charm. The MM is so much like a basic film camera, I fell in love with the rendering, and I like how open and smooth the prints look due to my minimized processing.

Truth be told if you only print 13x19's you might not see much of a difference between a MM, M-240, and M-246 unless you print big like me. The M-246 I think would win s far as resolution, but for tonality and smoothness the MM I think wins. My MM is over 5 years old, has a new sensor, and has been serviced by Leica when the sensor was replaced for free. The MM is still a great camera, but if you would enjoy a M-240 or M-246 it becomes a hard choice.

Understand that big prints don't lie, and in bigger prints both the level of detail and tonality really open up. It is a very different experience looking at a poster sized print on a wall and holding a smaller print in your hands. In larger prints it is less about contrast and more about mids, so for me printing large the MM is the better camera.

Cal
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Old 12-13-2017   #5
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Subjective perceptions are interesting to discuss. They can be inconclusive and contradictory. As jaapv mentioned, post-production rendering introduces a huge number of variables. Differences in printer firmware, hardware, and inks add more variables. Then there's differences between papers.

Objectively, statistical analyses of unrendered raw files clear show MM raw files have a higher S/N. This advantage will be most obvious in shadow regions' renderings where the S/N differences are easier to perceive by visual inspection.
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Old 12-13-2017   #6
drec
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Thanks for the comments all. I have little cause to go past 13x19; with the comments agglomerated, it looks like it’s a toss-up at that size and it also depends at which ISO you’re shooting at. I shoot a lot of everything... maybe I will hold on to the Monochrom and keep my Ricoh gxr a while longer for colour stuff...

Andre
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Old 12-13-2017   #7
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IMO, grEGORy Simpson did the very best comparison of the M-Monochrom, M-Monochrom typ 246, and M typ 240 way back when the MM246 first appeared on the scene. Here's a link to the first page (there are two, there's a link at the end of the first page to the second): http://www.ultrasomething.com/2015/0...d-sensibility/

In summary: sensor wise, monochrom rendering from the M typ 240 competes on equal footing with the other two up to ISO 800-1600, then the MM cameras have an advantage and are about par for another stop, but then the MM246 shows its strength and exhibits FAR more native quality up to its ISO limit.

Regards the "subtlety and nuance" of the CCD sensor vs the CMOS sensor: far as I'm concerned, it's almost entirely a lot of hot air. I've never seen it; I've had both (still have a CCD sensor in my ancient E-1 actually) and while the E-1 does produce superb results with its native JPEG engine up to ISO 400, I almost never have my camera set to produce in-camera JPEGs. I had the M9 too and found its native JPEG engine an atrocity of crappy color palette and noise—after testing, I turned JPEGs off for the entire time I used the camera.

What EGOR's tests couldn't cover are the monochrom rendering results from the M typ 262 camera, since it wasn't available at the time, and obviously not the M10. After spending a year and some shooting with the M-P typ 240, I acquired the M-D typ 262 and have to say that whatever the subtle changes Leica did to the typ 262 sensor were, it produces that small increment better data for doing monochrom with over the typ 240. Not up to the excellence of the typ 246 at elevated ISO settings, but quite good enough for me and my printing needs.


Leica M-D + Nokton 50mm f/1.5 (LTM)
ISO 200 @ f/3.4 @ 1/4000

So which body to pick depends on your needs and printing target. I'd buy an MM246 if I wanted the best monochrom quality at high ISO, but for my usual range of ISO settings (200 to 1600, where I'm at ISO 400 about 90% of the time), the M/M-D typ 262 does an excellent job of it. I have no experience with the M10 sensor but I understand it has another stop or so on the typ 262 sensor with respect to overall noise and dynamic range retention.

G
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Old 12-14-2017   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
In summary: sensor wise, monochrom rendering from the M typ 240 competes on equal footing with the other two up to ISO 800-1600, then the MM cameras have an advantage and are about par for another stop, but then the MM246 shows its strength and exhibits FAR more native quality up to its ISO limit.
Close.

The MM's noise levels in the absence of signal indicate a distinct advantage over the M240 starting at ISO 800. (data). At ISO 1000 to it's maximum ISO, the MM is essentially ISO invariant.

As far as signal goes, we know the MM has a real advantage since there is no CFA to attenuate the light. So, even though the M10 has lower read noise levels, the MM has a higher S/N and superior low light performance (data).[1]

In the 24 X 36 MM sensor market, A monochrome M10's performance would be unbeatable.

[1] Unfortunately the column for 24 X 36 mm sensor cameras in this data has to be zoomed tightly to identify the cameras.
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