Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Leica Monochrome...And Other B&W Thoughts

Through the PetaPixel blog, I viewed the video of Chris Niccolls from the Canadian camera shop The Camera Store who was able to test a pre-release Leica Monochrome M, and which shares his thoughts on the camera. He also reveals a new feature in the Leica MM which delays the shutter sound camera for stealthier street photography.

For further technical specifications, there's also DPReview's webpage.

This gives me the opportunity to share brief thoughts on the monochrome capabilities of the Fuji X Pro-1, and compare these to the Leica M9's color photographs converted to black and white. As the Leica M is rumored to be released at the end of this month, I don't know how the monochrome photographs generated by the Leica MM will compare to those altered by the traditional post processing, nor to those made in-camera by the Fuji X Pro-1...but I thought I'd post two monochrome photographs made during my recent trip to Chiang Mai.

One of these photographs (the top one) was made with my Leica M9, and post processed in monochrome in Photoshop, while the bottom one was made using the Fuji X Pro-1, and using its B&W film simulation setting, then sharpened (with some added contrast) in Photoshop. Click on the photographs to enlarge.

Photo © Tewfic El-Sawy-All Rights Reserved

Photo © Tewfic El-Sawy-All Rights Reserved

I pass no judgement at this stage on the merits of the Leica Monochrome, and whether its $8000 price tag is justified or not. For a few photographers, it will be...for the majority of us, it certainly isn't.

However what I can say is that I'm extremely pleased with the Fuji X Pro-1's film simulation settings, as I am pleased with the Leica M9's images when converted to monochrome. I found shooting monochrome with the X Pro-1 to be a cinch, and enjoyed every moment I used that setting. I didn't think I would before doing so in Chiang Mai's streets. But seeing the monochrome images on the X Pro-1's screen helped my visualization process, and reassured me that my camera settings were correct.

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