Leica M Monochrom typ 246 – digital vs film black and white photography

Leica M Monochrom produces very unique black and white photograph. One might say what’s the difference between taking photos with a color Leica M and have it converted in black and white photograph. This might be a really tough question when you compare a few shots in day light. (Or toward a bright spot) But when you take photos with high contrast of light and shadow, you begin to see distinct differences between the two.

In fact, this is similar to the situation where you use a color negative film and have it converted digitally in black and white vs taking a photo with a black and white film. Check out my other posting concerning this topic.

 

 

In a film world, you are limited to a fixed ISO that you’ve loaded with. But with Leica M Monochrom, you don’t have to worry about ISO. Just like any other digital photography, you could use any ISO however you like. Or keep it auto and let the body take care of it. I usually keep it in the auto mode, because I’d like to shoot fast whenever I want to seize the moment.

 

L1050489-2
ISO 100 for daylight, ISO 400 for general purpose but still not good enough for night low light

Best conditions for Leica M Monochrom (typ 246)

In fact, the more high ISO you use, you get the feeling of so called, film look. (Maybe because of the digital noise from the body makes the similar feeling like the film grain.) So I often use a high ISO on purpose.

The other condition I like to shoot with Leica M Mono is when I see high contrast between light and shadow(dark area). Just like the black and white film, details come alive toward dark area.

 

Leica M Mono
In low light, both dark(shadow) and bright parts are captured nicely with Leica MM

 

I also like to shoot a video with Leica M Mono. I know that there are multiple video editing tool where you can convert color video footage into a black and white video but with the Leica M Mono, you get both smooth and strong feeling at the same time.

With the above reasons, I bought Leica M Monochrom which might sound crazy to someone (some people just can’t understand the idea of how digital device can only take black and white photographs.). Here are some more photos I shot with Leica M246.

 

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Left : Leica M10 vs Right Leica M Monochrom
Leica M Monochrom (typ246), Summilux-M 1:1.4/35 FLE
Leica M Monochrom (typ246), Summilux-M 1:1.4/35 FLE
Leica M Monochrom (typ246), Summilux-M 1:1.4/35 FLE
Leica M Monochrom (typ246), Summilux-M 1:1.4/35 FLE
Leica M Monochrom (typ246), Summilux-M 1:1.4/35 FLE
Leica M Monochrom (typ246), Summilux-M 1:1.4/35 FLE