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Leica-M-Monochrom


The world’s 1st digital black and white rangefinder ‧ Leica M Monochrom ‧
Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246)


There are some things that will not lose fascination and importance even time passes, like traditional black and white photography. In tradition, people can only take black and white photos. After the invention of colour photography, people seek for the aesthetics of colours. However, many photographers still love traditional black and white, as the rich expression of the layers of light and shadow, and the unique beauty of black and white are not able to be found in colour photography.

Leica, the origin of 135-format mechanical rangefinder cameras, has made a new legend to introduce Leica M Monochrom, the world’s first digital black and white rangefinder camera, integrating traditional black and white with digital technology at May, 2012. Leica then continued to enhance black and white digital technology by introducing Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246) in 2015.

Leica M Monochrom
Leica M Monochrom Typ246


Leica M Monochrom in black finish was issued on 10th May 2012 and the silver chrome version was issued in 2014. It inherits appearance from Leica M series based on Leica M9. It adopts the same 18 Megapixels full-frame Kodak CCD 24mm x 36mm image sensor, but without the Bayer Color array filter, resulting a completely monochrome sensor. The removal of the colour filter array means that the process of demosaicing is avoided and no incoming light is filtered, allowing the sensor to capture 100% completely real and sharp light details, and deliver the purest colours.


After the launch of the first Leica M Monochrom, Leica continued to develop and enhance the black and white digital technology. It launched a new Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246) in April, 2015. It has modified appearance and enhanced technology. The largest difference between Typ 246 and the first version is the image sensor. The image sensor of Typ 246 is changed to brand-new 24 megapixel full-frame CMOS image sensor. It is still without the Bayer Color array filter, creating monochromatic images. It also consists of Leica Maestro image processor but the total pixel count is one-third higher than that of its predecessor, linear resolution enhanced by 15% and image performance increased by 50% to three frames per second.


As the colour array filter is removed, the incoming light is not filtered, allowing the sensor to be more light-sensitive. Therefore, the base ISO of the Monochrom sensor is ISO 320 instead of ISO 160 of Leica M9. Moreover, comparing to the highest ISO 2500 of Leica M9, the highest ISO of the first Monochrom reaches ISO 10,000 and Monochrom (Typ 246) further hits ISO 25,000, which provide very adequate extra light in low-light environment. Besides, the unfiltered black and white image sensor reduces noise of high ISO value. Even when shooting photos with high ISO, the images are still very sharp, or the clarity and resolution are higher than colour images.


Leica M Monochrom

Leica M Monochrom Typ246


The first Monochrom and Monochrom (Typ 246) are made of the same materials. The top deck and baseplate are made from solid brass and the camera body is made from high-strength magnesium alloy. The LCD monitor is made of extremely scratch-resistant and almost unbreakable sapphire glass. The first Monochrom consists of 2.5” LCD display with a resolution of 230,000 pixels, while Monochrom (Typ 246) enlarged the size to 3.0” with 920,000 pixels. They both have 100% field of view and LIVE VIEW function. Monochrom (Typ 246) also provides black and white video recording in 1080p full-HD format.


For the design of camera body, both of them omitted the Leica red dot and the camera model was only engraved on the hot shoe. Besides, Monochrom (Typ 246) does not include the bright line illumination window but added a function rear dial at the back.


Leica M Monochrom

Leica M Monochrom Typ246


When Leica first issued Monochrom in 2012, some people doubted the costly complete black and white digital camera. However, the excellent image performance of Monochrom has gained much appreciation. The lacking of colour filter allows the light to be fully absorbed and delivered, resulting high sharpness and clarity. The performance of pure black and white digital is much better than the conversion to black and white from colour digital. The new Monochrom (Typ 246) is able to further enhance the performance of digital black and white photography.



Leica M Monochrom Photos by Frankie Chu


Leica M Monochrom

Leica M Monochrom

Leica M Monochrom


Leica M Monochrom (Typ246) Photos by Ragnar Axelsson from Leica Camera AG Official Website


Leica M Monochrom Typ246

Leica M Monochrom Typ246

Leica M Monochrom Typ246

Leica M Monochrom Typ246

Leica M Monochrom
  • 2015.09.17
Category Tags: LEICA

Leica M Monochrom

Leica M Monochrom Typ246

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