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Thread: How much of a buyer's remorse would you get if you bought a Monochrom?

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    Senior Member jstaben's Avatar
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    How much of a buyer's remorse would you get if you bought a Monochrom?

    Well I thought I would post this thread since there was a seller's remorse thread recently here in the forums!

    I have an M9 but mainly find myself converting to B&W with it and I enjoy looking at and appreciating B&W photography more than color, especially in print. I had a large amount of "gift credit" on Amazon (yes, quite a bit) and was looking for ways to spend it. I happened to find a Monochrom there last night and pulled the trigger. I enjoy low light photography and the high ISO of the MM looks spectacular. Whether I *need* it or not isn't the question, but:

    Anyone else buy one and regret it?

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    Re: How much of a buyer's remorse would you get if you bought a Monochrom?

    I'd be happy with any price equal or less then a used MP. But I'm sure i would't be using it as much as my MPs, still.

    That's just me.

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    Re: How much of a buyer's remorse would you get if you bought a Monochrom?

    Quote Originally Posted by jstaben View Post
    Well I thought I would post this thread since there was a seller's remorse thread recently here in the forums!

    I have an M9 but mainly find myself converting to B&W with it and I enjoy looking at and appreciating B&W photography more than color, especially in print. I had a large amount of "gift credit" on Amazon (yes, quite a bit) and was looking for ways to spend it. I happened to find a Monochrom there last night and pulled the trigger. I enjoy low light photography and the high ISO of the MM looks spectacular. Whether I *need* it or not isn't the question, but:

    Anyone else buy one and regret it?
    Congrats!

    As for me, I would regret it deeply if i had accumulated any Amazon credit!

    (don't take it the wrong way. My spending habits are different that is all)

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    Senior Member jstaben's Avatar
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    Re: How much of a buyer's remorse would you get if you bought a Monochrom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Congrats!

    As for me, I would regret it deeply if i had accumulated any Amazon credit!

    (don't take it the wrong way. My spending habits are different that is all)
    Well the amazon credit was kind of a small detail I just happened to see a Monochrom on there and there has not been one on the site before. I'm going to give it a spin and if it's not for me sell it to someone for a small savings off a new model. Kind of a rental with an opportunity to "buy" so to speak, but already paid for!

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    Re: How much of a buyer's remorse would you get if you bought a Monochrom?

    Not to add to your expenses...

    To see the full potential of the outputs, you really need a good monitor-EIZO or Quato.

    Any other run of the mill monitors would not make any sense.

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    Re: How much of a buyer's remorse would you get if you bought a Monochrom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Not to add to your expenses...

    To see the full potential of the outputs, you really need a good monitor-EIZO or Quato.

    Any other run of the mill monitors would not make any sense.
    One can surely see the difference between the M9 and MM on a run of the mill monitor. Either way, prints will surely be different, and the OP mentioned that he prints.
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    Senior Member jstaben's Avatar
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    Re: How much of a buyer's remorse would you get if you bought a Monochrom?

    I do print (Epson 3880) and have a 15" Macbook with Retina display. So far the wife has not allowed a big monitor for photo editing so I have been making do with what I can...

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    Re: How much of a buyer's remorse would you get if you bought a Monochrom?

    Quote Originally Posted by douglasf13 View Post
    One can surely see the difference between the M9 and MM on a run of the mill monitor. Either way, prints will surely be different, and the OP mentioned that he prints.
    I mentioned that because quite a few who post inthe monochrome thread appear to have images optimized for an iPad. A lot of deep grays and blacks are completely gone. But they do look OK on an iPad though.

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    Re: How much of a buyer's remorse would you get if you bought a Monochrom?

    Depends. Are you going to look at it - or shoot it? In case of the latter, I suspect you'll be grinning from ear to ear...
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    Senior Member jstaben's Avatar
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    Re: How much of a buyer's remorse would you get if you bought a Monochrom?

    I definitely shoot my cameras not look at them. I don't worry too much about minor scuffs and the like although I do take care of my equipment. I very much think gear is meant to be used not looked at.

    Digital bodies IMHO make no sense to baby they will depreciate regardless and why not use them rather than let the next guy enjoy a pristine camera! I've never understood covering things just to make them look pretty underneath and never using them as intended...

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    Re: How much of a buyer's remorse would you get if you bought a Monochrom?

    The only things to regret after buying a monochrome are:
    1. Having only modern lenses and realising it's wonderful with older lenses
    2. Dropping it
    3. Scratching it
    4. Being parted from it unexpectedly
    5. Losing everything and having to choose between selling it or feeding your children

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    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: How much of a buyer's remorse would you get if you bought a Monochrom?

    For those who like to shoot mainly b/w the Monochrom is a no brainer in my opinion. I shoot mainly in color, so I didn't really consider it.
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2
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    Re: How much of a buyer's remorse would you get if you bought a Monochrom?

    Jstaben, I was only making a point - and I agree with you completely. Cameras are for shooting, not gawking at.

    Quote Originally Posted by edwardkaraa View Post
    For those who like to shoot mainly b/w the Monochrom is a no brainer in my opinion. I shoot mainly in color, so I didn't really consider it.
    Unfortunately, this is the position I'm in. I loooove B&W, but shoot mostly in color. The B&W I do shoot, I still do with film (or convert digital). So I couldn't really justify it... As much as I want to!

    If they stop making B&W film - then all bets are off!

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    Re: How much of a buyer's remorse would you get if you bought a Monochrom?

    Quote Originally Posted by douglasf13 View Post
    One can surely see the difference between the M9 and MM on a run of the mill monitor. Either way, prints will surely be different, and the OP mentioned that he prints.
    I print to and on the high ISO images which is most of my street work I see a big difference in the print.

    I bought the MM for my personal work and after my experiences with it I plan to completely switch over to Leica over the next few years from Canon. I really hate the direction the big two have been moving in. Applaud Leica for their moves with both the MM and the M-E which is the one I will really be interested in if they make one with the CMOS sensor. I had a friends M9 for a couple weeks right after my 35 lux came in and fell in love with both the lens and the M9. If it were only better in low light but I might get one or a current M-E and if the come out with a new M-E so I will then have 2 color cameras for my professional work and my MM for my personal work and some of my commercial work that requires B&W.

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    Re: How much of a buyer's remorse would you get if you bought a Monochrom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Double Negative View Post
    Jstaben, I was only making a point - and I agree with you completely. Cameras are for shooting, not gawking at.



    Unfortunately, this is the position I'm in. I loooove B&W, but shoot mostly in color. The B&W I do shoot, I still do with film (or convert digital). So I couldn't really justify it... As much as I want to!

    If they stop making B&W film - then all bets are off!
    If I still had a darkroom I would still be shooting B&W film. I downsized some years back and had to get rid of the darkroom and the 3 500 C/Ms I had

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    Re: How much of a buyer's remorse would you get if you bought a Monochrom?

    Quote Originally Posted by airfrogusmc View Post
    If I still had a darkroom I would still be shooting B&W film. I downsized some years back and had to get rid of the darkroom and the 3 500 C/Ms I had
    Yeah, no doubt. The darkroom is at least half the fun. Sadly after I tore mine down it's been replaced with digital - scanning negatives and printing. Though I still develop the film at least. That doesn't take much room nor time.

    Ironic, I picked up a 503CW a couple of years ago precisely because everyone was dumping them - and I was getting back INTO film.

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    Re: How much of a buyer's remorse would you get if you bought a Monochrom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Double Negative View Post
    Yeah, no doubt. The darkroom is at least half the fun. Sadly after I tore mine down it's been replaced with digital - scanning negatives and printing. Though I still develop the film at least. That doesn't take much room nor time.

    Ironic, I picked up a 503CW a couple of years ago precisely because everyone was dumping them - and I was getting back INTO film.
    Maybe the future holds an 8X10 Deardorff or maybe an SWC but those don't come cheap. I almost picked up a Rolleiflex a couple of years back. Might still.

    But in the mean time i am so love'n the MM and I'm definitely moving to Leica M over the next few years and the new M was the clincher. Maybe one of those or maybe if it happens a new M-E with a CMOS and a present day M-E or M9 for back up but the MM is my choice when shooting digital B&W.
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    Senior Member jstaben's Avatar
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    Re: How much of a buyer's remorse would you get if you bought a Monochrom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Congrats!

    As for me, I would regret it deeply if i had accumulated any Amazon credit!

    (don't take it the wrong way. My spending habits are different that is all)
    Are you sure you would regret it Vivek?

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    Re: How much of a buyer's remorse would you get if you bought a Monochrom?

    Let me put it this way- after only 2 days of using it, say it gets destroyed somehow tomorrow and I can't claim a penny for it, I will look for another body.

    Even otherwise, i would look for another body.
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    Senior Member jstaben's Avatar
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    Re: How much of a buyer's remorse would you get if you bought a Monochrom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Let me put it this way- after only 2 days of using it, say it gets destroyed somehow tomorrow and I can't claim a penny for it, I will look for another body.

    Even otherwise, i would look for another body.
    It's kind of like having a baby...you don't know how much you will love it until you hold it yourself!

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    Re: How much of a buyer's remorse would you get if you bought a Monochrom?

    The only remorse I feel is that of having to wade through a couple of M8s and a couple of M9s to get the M camera that represents a true digital migration from my M film cameras ... which gagged and puked if I tried to load color film in them.

    If I get a new M 240, it'll be to escape from the big-assed 35mm DSLRs ... so all the new M need do is equal those cameras in color IQ with just some of the versatility that LV offers ... that it is an optical rangefinder is just a Zeppelin sized cherry on top.

    I'm not all that big on carrying two of anything on my person, even a rangefinder ... defeats the purpose IMO. MM, couple of lenses, and go.

    YMMV.

    -Marc

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    Re: How much of a buyer's remorse would you get if you bought a Monochrom?

    I'm not one to amass too many cameras at one time, but really like this camera, and hopefully will own one soon. I loved the images from my m9 to a point, but hated the sound of the shutter. The MM's integration into my style of photography will be welcomed, but will also have to wait, as a new MP fits my style better in terms of less electronics.
    Leica products are indeed special tools. The beautiful images i've seen from the MM, as a measure of luminance will offset any remorse.

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    Re: How much of a buyer's remorse would you get if you bought a Monochrom?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    I'm not all that big on carrying two of anything on my person, even a rangefinder ... defeats the purpose IMO. MM, couple of lenses, and go.
    This is the dilemma for folks like me who shoot primarily b/w, but who still want the color option on any given occasion. I shot b/w film exclusively in my Ms for decades, but digital changed my well established routines...for the better, for me.

    Unlike you, I occasionally like to carry two M8.2s, with a different lens on each to avoid changes when circumstances dictate. I just don't want to be 'forced' to carry two cameras (one b/w, one color), and that's one of the major issues I have to take into account if I consider purchasing the MM.

    I'll likely rent both an MM and M to test by making my own prints, and only then decide. The MM will have to be more than just a bit better than the M for my b/w needs and preferences. And it will have to be enough of a difference to overcome the other reported benefits of the M, e.g., better build, longer battery life and quicker processing, 2m frame lines, quieter shutter, weather sealing, and the ability to better focus with long lenses (and to test lens focus with LV). Some of these 'features' (like quiet shutter) will go a long way toward making the experience closer to the film M experience I enjoyed; it doesn't just have to be about a singular b/w workflow for me.

    I'm keeping an open mind, but hoping the M is close enough so that I don't need to buy and carry two new cameras.

    Different strokes.

    Jeff

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    Re: How much of a buyer's remorse would you get if you bought a Monochrom?

    Jeff, I think the M will be close enough, for me. From what I've seen with M B&W output anyway.

    I had the Monochrom on order, but after 4 months wait and Leica saying it would be at least another 2 months canceled the order. If I lived in Asia or had order before October, maybe I'd have gotten one. But that let the M samples come through and improve so the M it will be.

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    Senior Member jstaben's Avatar
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    Re: How much of a buyer's remorse would you get if you bought a Monochrom?

    Jeff judging from your posts I would definitely get the new M and not the MM and this is from someone who did the opposite. The M is going to be good enough for you and you won't have two cameras. Personally I like having the clarity of focus but that's why choices are nice!

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    Re: How much of a buyer's remorse would you get if you bought a Monochrom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff S View Post
    This is the dilemma for folks like me who shoot primarily b/w, but who still want the color option on any given occasion. I shot b/w film exclusively in my Ms for decades, but digital changed my well established routines...for the better, for me.

    Unlike you, I occasionally like to carry two M8.2s, with a different lens on each to avoid changes when circumstances dictate. I just don't want to be 'forced' to carry two cameras (one b/w, one color), and that's one of the major issues I have to take into account if I consider purchasing the MM.

    I'll likely rent both an MM and M to test by making my own prints, and only then decide. The MM will have to be more than just a bit better than the M for my b/w needs and preferences. And it will have to be enough of a difference to overcome the other reported benefits of the M, e.g., better build, longer battery life and quicker processing, 2m frame lines, quieter shutter, weather sealing, and the ability to better focus with long lenses (and to test lens focus with LV). Some of these 'features' (like quiet shutter) will go a long way toward making the experience closer to the film M experience I enjoyed; it doesn't just have to be about a singular b/w workflow for me.

    I'm keeping an open mind, but hoping the M is close enough so that I don't need to buy and carry two new cameras.

    Different strokes.

    Jeff
    Understood. Each of us has our own way of getting at it, our own vision, or own aesthetic.

    Mine is stripping away anything I can from a focus on content. I liked having only B&W in my film Ms ... it forced the decision to think in B&W with no discussion about the matter

    I'm sure the new M will measure up for you.

    -Marc

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    Re: How much of a buyer's remorse would you get if you bought a Monochrom?

    Thanks. I'm not so sure the M will suffice, as IQ is still paramount, and I only decide such matters by making prints with my own pics. If it works out, fine. If not, I have no trouble even using the M8.2s I have now.

    It's always been about the pics (and prints) for me, not the gear per se. I have no trouble, despite years 'thinking' in b/w, allowing my brain and not the camera dictate seeing in color or b/w. I wouldn't have predicted that, but that's the way it worked out for me. Maybe it's those years working exclusively in b/w that allow me to get back into that mode almost instantaneously if desired. But I certainly understand the rationale for those who want a more simplified and pure experience. That remains an option for me, too.

    I'm glad Leica has provided us with some great choices. It wasn't long ago that I wondered about the company's mere survival.

    Jeff

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    Re: How much of a buyer's remorse would you get if you bought a Monochrom?

    No regrets.

    I might have regretted not waiting if the IQ on the new Leica M came close to the MM's for B&W. it doesn't, so I don't

    the MM rivals or bests B&W on the Nikon D800e, and I don't think anyone is suggesting the new Leica M is capable of anything like the D800e output.

    aside from the gadgetry (which i get -- better -- from my Nikons), the Leica M a pretty minor upgrade. only a 1.3 stop improvement over the M9, small dynamic range boost, as yet questionable color (proper profile not yet released), and in-camera (destructive of resolution) and non-optional median filtering applied to raw images at ISO 1600 and higher.

    a camera without bayer interpolation is a real treat. incredible resolution, naturally sharp, and much less apparent pattern in any noise. usable ISO 10,000, incredible dynamic range, given the ability to bring up very deep shadows. the grain even from extreme shadow 'push' is acceptable for most applications. a real game changer.

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    Re: How much of a buyer's remorse would you get if you bought a Monochrom?

    Quote Originally Posted by jstaben View Post

    Anyone else buy one and regret it?
    I've been saving for over a year, finally my ship's in. I had the option to pass and opt for an M in a few months. Decided to take the Monochrom. We'll see about any regret real soon. Kinda doubt I'll experience remorse. I'm excited and feel nothing but positive. If I'm wrong and it doesn't work out for me, it's not a problem. At least I'd then know from experience.

    Not trying one would likely cause regret, I think.
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    Re: How much of a buyer's remorse would you get if you bought a Monochrom?

    Quote Originally Posted by jstaben View Post
    Jeff judging from your posts I would definitely get the new M and not the MM and this is from someone who did the opposite. The M is going to be good enough for you and you won't have two cameras. Personally I like having the clarity of focus but that's why choices are nice!
    Well, thanks for your advice, but you really have no idea what will work for me. No offense intended, but how could you without getting to know my work, my needs and preferences (other than a few casual remarks here), or anything about my printing size and style?

    As for 'clarity of focus," I haven't the slightest idea what you mean. My work is either in focus or not.

    As I said, I won't know if either or both cameras work for me until I make the necessary tests. And that will take a fair amount of time, with a variety of subjects, lighting conditions, print variations, etc, etc. But I'm glad you already have the answer for me.

    Jeff

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    Re: How much of a buyer's remorse would you get if you bought a Monochrom?

    be careful about tests... it is likely that both will be good for you and you end up wanting/buying both
    David Young
    My journey into Leica: LeicaLux.com

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    Re: How much of a buyer's remorse would you get if you bought a Monochrom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hosermage View Post
    be careful about tests... it is likely that both will be good for you and you end up wanting/buying both
    Anything is possible. But if the M passes the color test and comes close to the MM for b/w (I don't need super high ISO), then the decision to get the M will be easy. The harder decision at that point will be whether to keep one of my M8.2s for supplement and back-up, or buy a second M.

    I tested the M9 against my M8.2 some time ago, fully prepared to buy two M9s, but decided based on the results to buy a second M8.2 instead, with cost not the driving factor. So, I've been through similar experimentation.

    Actually, I hope both cameras are superb; that will say a lot for Leica and will present options I'm happy to contemplate. In the meantime, my current gear is doing fine; this isn't exactly a critical issue in the scheme of things for me.

    Jeff

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    Senior Member jstaben's Avatar
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    Re: How much of a buyer's remorse would you get if you bought a Monochrom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff S View Post
    Well, thanks for your advice, but you really have no idea what will work for me. No offense intended, but how could you without getting to know my work, my needs and preferences (other than a few casual remarks here), or anything about my printing size and style?

    As for 'clarity of focus," I haven't the slightest idea what you mean. My work is either in focus or not.

    As I said, I won't know if either or both cameras work for me until I make the necessary tests. And that will take a fair amount of time, with a variety of subjects, lighting conditions, print variations, etc, etc. But I'm glad you already have the answer for me.

    Jeff
    Hi Jeff just trying to be helpful sorry if it seemed presumptuous. I just think the differences are small enough and also from your comments you seemed like you would have no problem shooting in a B&W mindset. For me with my M9P I am always "thinking" in color and I always know I have that as a backup but that's just me. That's all I meant by "clarity" it's my own limitation. Sounds like you plan on a very in depth decision process and that's great
    I wish I had your kind of skill to do that! Best of luck!
    http://500px.com/jstaben
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    Re: How much of a buyer's remorse would you get if you bought a Monochrom?

    No problem, thanks for the clarification; I took it differently than intended. I truly have no idea what the outcome will be, and will keep an open mind, including doing nothing and continuing to use my M8.2s.

    My focus and joy comes from making pics, and ultimately prints. I view the gear as tools toward that end. It wasn't always so; starting decades ago with various film formats and camera systems, and working in my own darkrooms, ultimately led to great clarification and simplification.

    I transitioned to digital only 4 years ago, and realized that while the processing end of things remained as critical as in the darkroom, the opportunities for tweaks and improvements were far greater and were happening far more quickly . Every significant Lightroom upgrade, for instance, allowed for improvements in my work that added as much or more to the final output as getting a new camera or lens might have in the past. Couple that with lots of time and effort getting up the learning curve on software options, printers and print settings, inks, papers, profiles, etc, and all that became more relevant to me than a relatively small change going, say, from an M8.2 to an M9 (I tested it to see.)

    I'm not, however, totally immune to opportunities for better camera experiences, particularly if changes create more photo opportunities. The M appealed in this way since it offered improvements in areas I was seeking, e.g., weather sealing, faster processing and longer battery life, a quieter shutter (yes, I missed my film M experience), etc. But, the primary concern will be IQ, and that's where I'll take my time to consider.

    The MM wasn't on my list to consider. It was only after some discussion here with Kurt that I entertained the thought of putting that into the mix. I'll see where that goes, and see if it could significantly benefit my work beyond my current gear or the M. Any way it goes is not stopping me from having fun doing what I'm doing now. No rush.

    Jeff

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    Re: How much of a buyer's remorse would you get if you bought a Monochrom?

    Despite, like you, shooting mostly B&W - I was intensely disappointed last May when instead of the new 'M10' (nee M-240), Leica announced the Monochrom. With the M9, and M8 before it, I had gotten long-used to the flexibility/laziness of having both color and B&W as a choice after the shoot.

    I wanted a better M9. Alas. I had little interest in the Monochrom.

    A few months later, when the Monochrom finally began shipping and I had the unexpected option of picking up one in that first delivery, I decided to give it a try.

    The Monochrom has been the most seductive camera I have ever used. I swear Leica sprinkles crack in that fancy box it comes in!

    If you truly like B&W as an art form, the Monochrom is to die for.
    Jeff

    www.jeffhughesphoto.com
    Likes 1 Member(s) liked this post

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