You have to hand it to Leica for having the audacity to devote the resources into developing a niche version of its already niche M (Typ 240) ($4,999.99 at Amazon) (Opens in a new window). You have to give them credit for doing so. Following in the footsteps of the groundbreaking M Monochrom ($4,999.99 at Amazon)(Opens in a new window), which was initially introduced in 2012, the M Monochrom (Typ 246) is the second edition of the black-and-white digital rangefinder. A more detailed rear LCD, video recording capabilities, and live view have been added to the traditionally styled camera that is the new Typ 246, which retails for $7,450 for the body alone. This upgrade brings the camera’s technology up to date so that it can better keep pace with the current world. It is a beautiful option for photographers who perceive the world in black and white since it gives some actual advantages over shooting with a color camera. For this reason, it is a nice alternative. The far more accessible Sony Alpha 7 II ($4,999.99 at Amazon)(Opens in a new window) is the camera that earned our Editors’ Choice award in the category of full-frame mirrorless cameras; nonetheless, it is not a suitable replacement for rangefinder fans.
Since Leica has not made any significant modifications to the fundamental layout of M cameras in the past 60 years, it should come as no surprise that the Monochrom is almost indistinguishable from the most expensive color M rangefinder, the M-P (Typ 240), which can be purchased from Amazon for $4,999.99.
Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246) Price in USA
(This link will open a new window) It weighs 1.5 pounds but has dimensions of 3.2 by 5.5 by 1.7 inches (HWD), making it rather weighty for its size. The body of the M is made of magnesium alloy, while the top and bottom plates are made of brass; this contributes to the M’s somewhat hefty weight. The Monochrom is exclusively available with a black body from Leica; in contrast to the M and M-P, the Monochrom has a black chrome finish rather than a black paint one. Because it is more durable, black chrome will not wear away over time, exposing the brass that lies underlying. In contrast to the glossy black paint used by Leica in the production of its color Typ 240 cameras, the chrome has an appearance that is more subdued and matte.
The Monochrom M is distinguished from other mirrorless cameras by virtue of its viewfinder as well as its linked rangefinder focus technology. The finder is stationary, giving it a wide-angle, 0.68x magnification, and it captures the world around it. Frame lines are projected onto the screen in order to show you the field of vision that the attached lens will record. These lines change depending on the lens you attach. The Monochrom comes with three different lines that come in pairs: 28mm and 90mm, 35mm and 135mm, and 50mm and 75mm. A preview lever is located on the front plate, and the most natural way to use it is with your left hand. This lever gives you the ability to override the lines that are automatically projected. You may get a concept of how a different lens might capture a subject without really having to switch lenses, which is the main goal of this technique.
In older digital (and all film) M bodies, frame lines are illuminated by the surrounding ambient light. Instead of traditional lights, the Monochrom (Type 246) makes use of LEDs. That approach has both positive and negative aspects to it. The fact that the frame lines are discernible even in extremely dim settings is a positive, and so is the fact that you have a choice between white and red lines. The fact that the Monochrom mode must be activated in order to see the frame lines is a drawback. The older version of the camera had frame lines that were optimized for fairly close focus (about 3 feet), which means that they weren’t that accurate when focusing on more distant objects. This is a significant improvement over the original Monochrom, which had frame lines that were optimized for fairly close focus (about 3 feet). The new Typ 246 includes frame lines that are precise to within roughly 6 feet, providing you with a superior setup for the majority of your photographic endeavors. If you are focusing very closely, you will notice that your frame is narrower than what the lines indicate; however, you can always switch to Live View to get a truly accurate preview of what your shot will look like. Leica lenses generally have a focusing distance limitation of approximately 2.3 feet.
When working in Live View, you have the option to use focus peaking, which fills up regions of your image that are in focus with a red color. When working in this mode, you have the choice of using the back LCD to do your job or purchasing the optional Visoflex EVF2 electronic viewfinder for $568. If you are able to locate an Olympus VF-2, which is not a product that is currently being manufactured, you can use it instead. The view of the frame may also be magnified by pressing the silver control button on the face plate of the camera. This button is readily accessed with your right index finger while you are holding the camera, and pushing it will magnify the image by either 5x or 10x. The magnification factor can be toggled using the control wheel on the back of the camera, however you can only magnify the precise center of the picture; you cannot modify the area as you can with the majority of other mirrorless cameras.
When operating outside of Live View, the front control button and the rear wheel are combined for use in adjusting the exposure compensation setting on the camera. It may be adjusted anywhere from -3 EV to +3 EV in third-stop increments. If you would rather have direct control than EV, you may edit a setting (in the menu) so that you can use the back wheel to make direct adjustments instead of having to hold the front button while turning it. This is possible if you decide to go with the direct control option. The other button that is silver and located on the front of the body releases the lens. The lens mount, like like the rest of the digital M cameras, features an optical scanner that scans a 6-bit code on current Leica lenses to identify the lens, saves that information in the EXIF data, and makes optical adjustments that enhance image quality at the frame’s boundaries. If you’re using a lens that isn’t coded, the camera will allow you to manually choose it from a list of lenses that it has saved. If you routinely photograph with an older lens, or if you are utilizing a Leica R or similar manual focus SLR lens via a mechanical adapter, this is helpful information to have.
Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246) Specifications
|Body type||Rangefinder-style mirrorless|
|Max resolution||5952 x 3968|
|Other resolutions||4256 x 2832, 2976 x 1798, 1600 x 1072|
|Image ratio w:h||3:2|
|Effective pixels||24 megapixels|
|Sensor size||Full frame (35.8 x 23.9 mm)|
|Lens mount||Leica M|
|Focal length multiplier||1×|
|Screen type||TFT LCD|
|Viewfinder type||Optical (rangefinder)|
|Minimum shutter speed||60 sec|
|Maximum shutter speed||1/4000 sec|
|Manual exposure mode||Yes|
|Subject / scene modes||No|
|External flash||Yes (via hot shoe or flash sync port)|
|Resolutions||1920 x 1080 (25p, 24p), 1280 x 720 (25p, 24p)|
|USB||USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)|
|Battery description||BP-SCL2 lithium-ion battery & charger|
|Weight (inc. batteries)||680 g (1.50 lb / 23.99 oz)|
|Dimensions||139 x 42 x 80 mm (5.47 x 1.65 x 3.15″)|
|GPS notes||via multifunctional handgrip|
Putting aside the practical considerations, switching to a camera that can only record in black and white requires a shift in one’s mental approach to photography. Even if you configure your digital single-lens reflex camera (DSLR) or point-and-shoot camera (point-and-shoot) to take black-and-white pictures, you’ll probably end up shooting in color nonetheless if you shoot in Raw format. Similar to putting a roll of Tri-X onto an M3 (Opens in a new window), using a Monochrom is quite straightforward. despite the fact that after the first 36 shots you won’t be able to switch to color mode.
When I use the Typ 246, as well as when I used the original Monochrom in the past, I am reminded of how much appreciation I have for the unadulterated nature of black and white photography. Of course, there are some topics in which the color option is more appropriate. But after having the Monochrom in my hands for a few weeks, I started to notice more photos in black and white, even while I was carrying a camera that took color photographs. Because I frequently take photos with the purpose of utilizing them as works of art to run in my reviews, and because a conversion to black and white does not indicate the appearance that will be produced by a certain camera or lens, my viewpoint is a little bit unusual. However, if I were only going to be taking photos for myself, I wouldn’t rule out using the Monochrom as my primary camera. Paul Simon was incorrect; not all things do seem worse when seen in black and white.
- Image sensor that only supports black and white.
- Live View that has a focus peaking feature.
- Sharp LCD found on the back, covered with sapphire glass.
- A luminous optical viewfinder that also includes a rangefinder patch.
- Dust and moisture proofing properties.
- ISO 25000 support.
- Components of brass and magnesium make up the structure.
- Included in the purchase is a license for Adobe Lightroom.
- A sluggish beginning to say the least.
- There is room for improvement in the video features.
- When working in strong light, a high base ISO might be problematic.