5 frames with...

5 Frames With a Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246) – By Nick Holt

October 3, 2017

I took delivery of the Leica Monochrom two days before I was due to go on a road-trip around France. The plan was to spend a couple of weeks driving south before picking up my family from the train station for a relaxing week in a gite. I had stops booked at the Arles Photography Festival and Vienne Jazz Festival on the way down but other than that I was free to explore and snap to my heart’s content. I had wanted to try a Leica for a while but it was still something of an impulse purchase. I had just sold some camera gear when I spotted a used Monochrom 246 for sale that had a small knock on the side, thus reducing the price by some margin. I picked up a Carl Zeiss 28mm f/2.8  Biogon lens from the same shop and and hit the road.

I had never used a Leica before so it was an adventure in many ways.  I had read about the ‘Leica learning curve’ being steep but I loved using this camera right from the start. It was intuitive and simple to use and it felt purposeful to be wandering around knowing I was exclusively seeking black and white images. I liked how the image I had taken would appear only momentarily on the screen before disappearing, leaving me free to concentrate on the next shot. As my familiarity with the camera grew I began to shoot more instinctively, only looking at my photographs at the end of the day… almost like film.


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  • Reply
    Dan James
    October 3, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    Nick, the photographs looked a bit washed out and like many shades of grey rather than strong black and white – is this an aesthetic choice on your part when processing, or just how the Monochrom delivers images out of camera?

    • Reply
      October 3, 2017 at 8:32 pm

      Hi Dan, Good heavens no! That will be the VSCO Tri-400 filter i’m trying out in Lightroom. Obviously once you have the RAW’s you can do anything with output from the Monochrom.

  • Reply
    Barnaby Nutt
    October 4, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    I have a (ehem) ‘milestone’ birthday coming up and am still wondering if I should go halves with my family on one of these…

    • Reply
      October 10, 2018 at 4:38 pm

      Sorry for the late reply! If youre heavily invested in B/W then a resounding yes! In the end I couldnt justify having two digital Leicas so i ended up going for the Q!

  • Reply
    Steve Wales
    October 8, 2017 at 9:10 am

    I would have thought the 246 should be treated somewhat like B&W film, I say somewhat because it’s not film and highlights will blow, and like film, filters at the time of capture can be beneficial. Someone on RFF posted an image taken with the 246 in a film thread, and no one could tell the difference, that is until viewed at 200%, and until the poster owned up.

  • Reply
    October 9, 2017 at 12:29 am

    Where did you pick up the lens from?

    • Reply
      October 9, 2017 at 8:57 am


  • Reply
    Karl Valentin
    May 11, 2018 at 7:08 am

    First I read something about the Monochrome my thoughts were
    “Just another nice toy for some dentists or gearheads”
    Or even worse just another trick from Leicas marketing department
    to empty our wallets because the Lenny Kravitz Edition is sold out ?

    Looking only at the things that make sense – the pictures as a result
    there is a little difference you can spot at once.
    A little more a little better than a RGB converted to Black & White !

    But the Monochrome isnt a digital camera who tries to mimic film
    it is superior to anything you get out with any film before…….

    Worth the money ?
    Well its Leica you have decide on your own !

  • Reply
    Bruce Parker
    August 16, 2018 at 6:50 pm

    I really like the last shot. Too bad you couldn’t get rid of the boy in the middle (apologies if he is a family member).

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