Leica M7, M10 – Monochrome (Analog vs digitally converted?)

I like black and white photography a lot, but at the same time I can’t give up on beautiful color either. So I often take in color and digitally convert it to black and white. Then I began to wonder why Leica made Monochrome digital body as you can have them both in digital world. Would it be worth purchasing it? After many days of pointless debate in my head(don’t get me wrong, I don’t hear voices.), I decided I would go for film camera.

If I put black and white film, then I can turn my Leica film camera Leica M7 into monochrome body. Yeah~ the problem solved.

 

Leica M7, Summicron-M 1:2/35 ASPH | Kodak TMAX 400 Film
Leica M7, Summicron-M 1:2/35 ASPH | Kodak TMAX 400 Film

 

Yeah! Just the way I like it. With fine grain, deep dark black and white contrast, the photo shines by itself.

 

Leica M7, Summilux-M 1:1.4/50 ASPH | Kentmere 400 Black and white Film
Leica M7, Summilux-M 1:1.4/50 ASPH | Kentmere 400 Black and white Film

 

At this point, I wondered if I could get the similar results via digital conversion from a color film.

 

Leica M7, Summicron-M 1:2/35 ASPH | Kodak Portra 400 FIlm
Leica M7, Summicron-M 1:2/35 ASPH | Kodak Portra 400 FIlm

 

I like Kodak Portra Color negative film. So if I can get the same look and feel of monochrome from digital conversion with a color film, I wouldn’t need monochrome film at all!

 

Leica M7, Summicron-M 1:2/35 ASPH | Kodak Portra 400 FIlm - Digitally converted to Black and White
Leica M7, Summicron-M 1:2/35 ASPH | Kodak Portra 400 FIlm – Digitally converted to Black and White

Well, it’s not fair comparison. But it seems like monochrome dedicated film have more clear black and white look and feel but the difference seems so subtle, so maybe I could be happy with color film digitally converted to black and white.

 

Leica M10, Summilux-M 1:1.4/50 ASPH
Leica M10, Summilux-M 1:1.4/50 ASPH

For your comparison, I took the same model in digital version. More clear and sharp. Of course I like them both(film and digital) but monochrome version looks more authentic when it has fine grain.

Leica M7, Summicron-M 1:2/35 ASPH | Kodak Portra 400 FIlm - Digitally converted to Black and White
Leica M7, Summicron-M 1:2/35 ASPH | Kodak Portra 400 FIlm – Digitally converted to Black and White

 

Here are more comparison photos.

Leica M7, Summicron-M 1:2/35 ASPH | Fuji 100F Provia Color Positive Film
Leica M7, Summicron-M 1:2/35 ASPH | Fuji 100F Provia Color Positive Film
Leica M7, Summicron-M 1:2/35 ASPH | Fuji 100F Provia Color Positive Film digitally converted Monochrome
Leica M7, Summicron-M 1:2/35 ASPH | Fuji 100F Provia Color Positive Film digitally converted Monochrome

 

So far, I really can’t tell the different between monochrome film vs digitally black and white converted color film! Maybe I should take more of TMAX 400 or other black and white film in various circumstances to find out the difference.

 

L1006046-2
Leica M10, Summicron-M 1:2/35 ASPH

 

L1006104-2
Leica M10, Summilux-M 1:1.4/50 ASPH

 

Leica M10, Summilux-M 1:1.4/50 ASPH
Leica M10, Summilux-M 1:1.4/50 ASPH

 

I might be curious about the difference between black and white film and digitally B&W converted color film for a while, but I am not curious about Leica Monochrome body anymore, which maybe good thing for me. (financially)