0 Views
Posted 11/06/20
Black-and-white photography and the name Leica have a synergy unlike any other medium and camera company, which is why it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Leica has introduced its fourth camera in eight years to wear the Monochrom nameplate. What is interesting is that with the introduction of the new Leica Q2 Monochrom, Leica has expanded the Monochrom brand beyond its fabled M-series bodies to now include Leica’s popular Q-series cameras. Photographs © Allan Weitz 2020 The Leica Q2 Monochrom is a black-and-white-only camera based on Leica’s extremely popular Q2 color camera, and features nearly identical specs, including a 47.3MP full-frame sensor, Maestro II processor, high-res EVF, and so on. The Q2 Monochrom also features the same fixed Leica Summilux 28mm f/1.7 ASPH. lens, which was specifically designed for the Q-system. Unlike Leica M-mount lenses, which are designed for rangefinder cameras and do not focus close, a flip of a switch on the Q2 lens barrel enables close focusing down to 6.7" from the sensor plane. If you love black-and-white photography, you’ll love the images created by Leica’s new Q2 Monochrom. And this lens is sharp—real sharp, and with a pleasing degree of bokeh when set at wide apertures. Rather than a tulip-style lens shade, the Q2 Monochrom comes with a forward-tapered metal screw-on shade that does a very effective job of blocking stray light, while maintaining the sleek form factor of the camera. The Q2 Monochrom’s Summilux 28mm f/1.7 ASPH. focuses down to 6.7" from the sensor plane. For the times that 28mm is too wide for your tastes, you can go into the menus and digitally set the camera to record the fields-of-view of a 35mm (30MP), 50mm (14.6MP), or 75mm (6.6MP) lens. The files become progressively smaller as you “zoom in,” but with the possible exception of 75mm (6.6MP), the files have plenty of meat on the bones, considering the 47.3MP resolution of the full-frame sensor. Truth is, for online sharing, all of these file sizes are perfectly fine. If 28mm is too wide (top left), you can set the Q2 Monochrom to capture the scene at 35mm (top right), 50mm (lower left), or 75mm equivalent focal lengths (lower right). Even at high ISOs, at night, the Q2 Monochrom captures amazingly detailed image files. Design-wise, the Q2 Monochrom, which is manufactured in Germany, is minimalist and seductively gorgeous. Unlike the Q2, which has a black chrome finish, with white and red paint engravings on the lens barrel and that famous Leica red dot on the side of the lens, the Q2 Monochrom sports a flat black paint and textured black leatherette akin to the M-series Monochrom cameras. The new Leica Q2 Monochrom has the same stealthy matte-black finish and detailing as the Leica M10 Monochrom. Both are examples of exquisite industrial design and as seductive looking as it gets. The Q2 Monochrom also features gray and white painted engravings on the lens barrel instead of red and white paint, and there’s no red dot. The camera is as stealthy as it gets. You even have to look hard to find the nameplate. (It’s engraved in matte black on the accessory shoe.) If you seek attention when wandering about taking pictures, this is not the camera for you. You have to look hard to find the nameplate on this camera, and that’s part of its charm. Like the Q2, the body of the Q2 Monochrom is weather sealed (IP-52), as is the lens. The Q2 Monochrom is also the first Leica Monochrom camera that shoots 4K video—M Monochrom cameras shoot stills only. If 28mm is too wide, you can shoot at 35mm, 50mm, or 75mm crops (above image is at 75mm). For composing and reviewing stills and video, the Q2 Monochrom features a 3.68m-dot electronic viewfinder and a 1.04m-dot, 3.0" fixed touchscreen LCD. Both viewing options are fine, though I personally wish the LCD were a tilt screen for low-angle and above-the-head shooting. This street scene includes the side of a building brightly lit by unfiltered sunlight and street activity in deep shadow. It’s a piece of cake to open the shadows while maintaining fine detail from the Q2 Monochrom’s hefty DNG image files. Internally and function-wise, the Q2 Monochrom is one and the same as the full-color version of the Q2 Monochrom. Being monochrome-only, there are fewer menus to scroll through, but, otherwise, if you’ve shot with a Leica Q or Q2, you’ll have a zero learning curve. And if you’ve never shot with a digital Leica, you’ll find the Leica menus to be among the most user-friendly in the industry. The heart of the Q2 Monochrom is a full-frame 47.3MP CMOS sensor that, while similar to the sensor found in the standard Leica Q2, features a new micro-lens design and does not have a color array or low-pass filter. The new Q2 Monochrom is ideal for street shooting and travel. Unlike conventional color sensors in which individual pixels record specific color channels, which reduces the overall resolving power of the sensor, every pixel in Monochrom sensors is dedicated to recording only grayscale, which greatly increases the resolution and detail of the final image. This also increases the dynamic range of the sensor compared to the dynamic range of the standard Q2 (13 stops vs 11 stops on standard Q2 at ISO 200). Eliminating the color array also expands the sensitivity of the sensor from ISO 100 to 100,000, which is a stop higher than the Q2. The range of tonality combined with incredible detail separates Leica’s line of Monochrom cameras from the black-and-white conversions you get from conventional RGB sensors. Aside from the new monochrome sensor, the Q2 Monochrom shares all of the features and specs of the Q2, including a choice of JPEG, DNG (raw), or a combination of the two; burst rates up to 10 fps; DCI and UHD 4K video, as well as high-speed Full HD at 120 fps recording; optical image stabilization; and a leaf shutter with flash sync at speeds up to 1/500 second for all you fill-flash enthusiasts. And to facilitate sharing your pictures on social media, the Q2 Monochrom is Bluetooth and Wi-Fi enabled. Being a black-and-white-only camera, you won’t find any color settings in the camera’s menus, but you will find Sepia, Blue, and Selenium toning filters for adding a bit of mood and atmosphere to your stills and videos. The tones captured by the Q2 Monochrom are absolutely lifelike. The Q2 Monochrom is compatible with all of its sister ship accessories, along with a few new toys of its own. New for the Q2 Monochrom is a Q2 Monochrom Handgrip (highly recommended if I may say so myself!) and three 49mm black-and-white filters: green, orange, and yellow. So how does the new 47MP Q2 Monochrom stack up against the 40MP M10 Monochrom? Interestingly, according to initial tests (as well as my own test comparisons), the dynamic range of the files is quite close, but the files from the Q2 Monochrom have a slight edge when it comes to resolution. It’s not a major difference, but a difference, nonetheless. Previous Pause Next Leica Q2 Monochrom Sample Images The new Leica Q2 Monochrom should be available at B&H as you read this. Are you a fan of black-and-white photography? Have you had an opportunity to try any of Leica’s Monochrom cameras? If so, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject in the Comments section, below.
596 Views
Posted 08/14/18
In this video, photographer David Flores demonstrates how to digitize film slides with the Nikon ES-2 Digitizing Adapter. He discusses some of the techniques he uses for capturing the best image possible from each slide, including shooting in raw format, using a compact lens, lighting your slides with an LED, enabling autofocus, and more. Check it out! We hope you enjoy the video, and invite you to view the wide selection of other instructional and informative videos at BandH.com.
1 — 2 of 2 items

Close

Close

Close