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Leica Monochrom M (Type 246) Rangefinder Announced

Leica has announced the M Monochrom (Type 246) black and white rangefinder camera.

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Monochrom (Typ 246)

Leica has released a new M rangefinder camera, in the form of the Monochrom (Typ 246).

It features a newly developed black and white sensor, and Leica say it by far exceeds the high standards set by its M Monochrom predecessor.

The Monochrom (Typ 246) has a 24 megapixel sensor in full frame format without a low-cut filter. This enables exceptionally sharp pictures at sensitivity settings up to ISO 25000 with exceptional depth, clarity and resolution of details that by far exceed that of colour exposures, say Leica. 

Read our Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246) Review

Leica M Monochrom Typ246 Back

The new components of the Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246) are a high-performance Leica Maestro image processor as installed in the current Leica M and a buffer memory with a capacity expanded to two gigabytes. This combination ensures higher speed and makes the Leica M Monochrom even more versatile. For example, as the processor enables extremely fast processing of the image data captured by the sensor, sequences can now be shot much faster and assessed almost instantaneously in review mode on the camera’s monitor. As a further benefit, the Leica Maestro image processor also takes less than two seconds to deliver high-quality JPEG files in addition to the RAW data files in DNG format. 

The camera will also be able to capture 1080p full-HD black and white video. 

Leica M Monochrom Typ246 Apo Summicron M 50 ASPH Top

The M Monochrom (Type 246) will be available from May 2015 at an RRP of £5750, making it cheaper than the previous M Monochrom's RRP of £6100. 

Leica also announced that from August 2015 a series of specially calculated filters in the colours yellow, green and orange will be available as optional accessories for altering the greyscale conversion of particular colours in the subject when shooting with the Leica M Monochrom. These allow photographers to create unusual moods and effects in their subjects and further expand the creative capabilities of the camera – for instance in landscape or portrait photography.

Leica M Monochrom Typ246 CU 2 2

From Leica: 

Leica Camera AG, Wetzlar, is taking the next step forward in its successful digital black-and-white photography concept for the Leica M rangefinder camera system and presents the new Leica M Monochrom (Type 246). With improved performance and features and a newly developed black-and-white sensor, the camera by far exceeds the high standards set by its predecessor. At the same time, it keeps its core competence sharply in focus: black-and-white pictures with maximum quality in all respects.

Another highlight of the camera is a new 24-megapixel high-resolution black-and-white sensor in full-frame format without a low-cut filter. As the sensor of the Leica M Monochrom does without a colour filter, which means that interpolation is no longer required for the calculation of luminance values, it enables exceptionally sharp pictures at all sensitivity settings up to ISO 25 000 with exceptional depth, clarity and resolution of details that by far exceed that of colour exposures. Pictures captured with the M Monochrom are uniquely characterised by finely grained rendition of details with no disturbing artefacts. Another advantage of the new sensor is that, in addition to the M-Lens portfolio, almost all lenses of the Leica R series can now be used on the Leica M Monochrom to expand the creative capabilities of the Leica rangefinder system, as is also the case with the Leica M.

Leica M Monochrom Typ246 02

The design of the Leica M Monochrom reflects the established philosophy of the Leica rangefinder system and concentrates on particular robustness and discretion. The top deck and baseplate are machined from solid brass blanks and finished in black chrome, whereby the raw materials used are especially homogeneous and sourced only from selected suppliers. The camera body is manufactured from a high-strength magnesium alloy. The extremely scratch-resistant and almost unbreakable sapphire crystal cover glass of the LCD monitor is of equally high quality. It is treated with an anti-reflection protective coating that ensures that photographers can precisely assess and check their images in any lighting situation.

The Live View function of the Leica M Monochrom provides a viable alternative to looking through the viewfinder. The high-resolution 3" monitor with 921,600 pixels ensures that photographers have complete control of composition, exposure, focusing and depth of field. Live View also offers two additional focusing methods: the up to tenfold magnification in Live View Zoom mode provides full control of the sharpness of details in the subject or the closest focusing distance. In Live View Focus Peaking mode, sharply focused edges in the image are automatically highlighted by coloured lines. Depending on the situation or the photographer’s preferences, the Leica M Monochrom provides a choice of several options for capturing exceptionally sharp pictures.

Leica M Monochrom Typ246 Apo Summicron M 50 ASPH Right

Thanks to its 1080p full-HD video capability, the M Monochrom can also capture high-quality video in black and white. Video recording can be quickly and conveniently started and stopped with a separate release button. Video sequences can be recorded in Motion JPEG format – that is, in true, individual full frames – which brings enormous advantages for video editing. Thanks to a dedicated adapter, almost all Leica R-series lenses can now be used with all available functions both for shooting video and capturing still pictures. Optimum sound is ensured by the optional Leica microphone adapter set, comprising an adapter and a stereo microphone.

At the touch of a button, exposures captured by the M Monochrom can be converted from black and white to a series of characteristic toning effects traditionally used in analogue photography – for example, sepia, cold or selenium toning. All users need to do is save the image in JPEG format and select the desired toning effect – simply and conveniently, and with no need for post-processing. Leica M Monochrom customers can download a free copy of Adobe® Photoshop® Lightroom® from the Leica website for professional post-processing.

Read our Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246) Review

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Photographs taken using the Leica Monochrom (Typ 246)

Oxford StreetPrioryGhostly Figure (4)Racial HarmonyMG TFPaddy & ScottsEmmaBlack Haired GirlCustomersWaiter & WaitressGirl On BenchWaitressGhostly Figure (2)Hoody With DrinkToppesfield Bridge

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Comments


Niknut Plus
12 3.4k 82 United Kingdom
30 Apr 2015 3:15PM
5750 ??????.......GrinGrinGrinGrinGrinGrin !!!......which way to the funny-farm ?.Grin
dannyr 13 46 United Kingdom
30 Apr 2015 3:45PM
As a massive fan of B&W I am not too fussed about it.

I would be more interested if they converted one of the the X series into B&W.
The X-Vario would be a good candidate as I would be less worried about cranking up the ISO shooting B&W to compensate for the hideously slow lens.

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