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Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246) Digital Rangefinder Camera

BH #LEMMCB • MFR #10930
Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246) Digital Rangefinder Camera
Key Features
  • 24MP Full-Frame B&W CMOS Sensor
  • No Color Array or Low Pass Filter
  • Leica Maestro Image Processor
  • Rangefinder with Image Field Selector
Consistent with Leica's passion for classic designs mixed with contemporary functionality, the M Monochrom (Typ 246) Digital Rangefinder Camera is a unique digital camera dedicated to producing black and white imagery. Lacking a color filter array, as well as an optical low pass filter, the M Monochrom's full-frame 24MP CMOS sensor records solely in luminance values, forgoing the need for color interpolation, in order to gain the utmost in sharpness, clarity, and resolution. Complementing the imaging capabilities, the Leica Maestro image processor also affords a sensitivity range from ISO 320-25000 as well as a 3 fps shooting rate with a 2GB buffer for recording up to 30 frames in a sequence. Full HD 1080p video recording is also possible in either 24 or 25 fps frame rates. Unique among digital cameras, the Typ 246 maintains Leica's preference for a rangefinder design and incorporates a 0.68x optical viewfinder with split and superimposed manual focusing, automatic parallax correction, and manual image field selection. Conversely, the camera also features a 3.0" 921.6k-dot LCD with sapphire glass covering to maintain the overall durability of the magnesium alloy and brass body.
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Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246) Overview

  • 1Description
  • 2Monochrom
  • 324 MP CMOS Sensor and Maestro Processor
  • 4Optical Viewfinder and Rangefinder
  • 53.0" LCD Monitor and Sapphire Crystal Cover
  • 6Body Design
  • 7Other Camera Features

Consistent with Leica's passion for classic designs mixed with contemporary functionality, the M Monochrom (Typ 246) Digital Rangefinder Camera is a unique digital camera dedicated to producing black and white imagery. Lacking a color filter array, as well as an optical low pass filter, the M Monochrom's full-frame 24MP CMOS sensor records solely in luminance values, forgoing the need for color interpolation, in order to gain the utmost in sharpness, clarity, and resolution. Complementing the imaging capabilities, the Leica Maestro image processor also affords a sensitivity range from ISO 320-25000 as well as a 3 fps shooting rate with a 2GB buffer for recording up to 30 frames in a sequence. Full HD 1080p video recording is also possible in either 24 or 25 fps frame rates. Unique among digital cameras, the Typ 246 maintains Leica's preference for a rangefinder design and incorporates a 0.68x optical viewfinder with split and superimposed manual focusing, automatic parallax correction, and manual image field selection. Conversely, the camera also features a 3.0" 921.6k-dot LCD with sapphire glass covering to maintain the overall durability of the magnesium alloy and brass body.

As with past M-series cameras, the M Monochrom retains the ability to utilize the vast network of M-mount lenses from 16mm to 135mm. When working in live view, and since focusing operation is entirely manual, focus peaking and 10x live view zoom can be utilized to ensure critical focus. An ergonomic body design places all of the necessary camera controls within reach during shooting, including top shutter speed and drive mode dials, as well as rear menu navigation buttons and selection dial located atop the thumb rest.

The DNG files created by the M Monochrom (Typ 246) are not currently compatible with Apple's Photos and Aperture applications in Mac OS X Yosemite (10.10.3 and 10.10.4) and should not be imported into your Photos or Aperture libraries.

Monochrom

Distinct from most digital camera, the M Monochrom (Typ 246) is a high-resolution camera dedicated solely to recording black and white imagery. By omitting a color filter array, as well as an optical low pass filter, this camera records imagery only in luminance values in order to gain higher sharpness, as well as increased clarity, depth, and resolution. Additionally, this design also contributes to reduce noise values when shooting at higher sensitivities, up to ISO 25000.

24 MP CMOS Sensor and Maestro Processor

Featuring a full-frame 24 MP B&W CMOS sensor and Maestro processor, this camera is also characterized by its improved shooting speed and versatility. A continuous shooting rate of 3 fps is possible and a 2GB buffer permits recording up to 30 DNG and/or JPEG files in a sequence with instant review possible.

The sensor and processor combination also affords full HD 1080p video recording, in either 24 or 25 fps frame rates. An on-board monaural microphone can be used for audio recording, in auto, manual, or "Concert" modulation settings, or an optional external stereo microphone can be used when paired with a microphone adapter set.

Optical Viewfinder and Rangefinder

The optical viewfinder is a large, bright-line 0.68x-magnification rangefinder with automatic parallax compensation and LED-illuminated frame lines, which are set to match the image sensor size at a focusing distance of 6.6'. On the front of the camera, a viewfinder frame selector can also be used to manually change the apparent image field to help visualize the scene with varying focal lengths.

The rangefinder mechanism displays split or superimposed bright field images within the center of the viewfinder to benefit accurate manual focusing control. The effective rangefinder metering basis is 47.1mm (mechanical metering basis 69.25 mm x viewfinder magnification of 0.68x).

3.0" LCD Monitor and Sapphire Crystal Cover

Complementing the optical viewfinder is a 3.0" 921.6k-dot LCD monitor, which is fitted with a scratch-resistant protective cover made from sapphire crystal glass for added durability. In addition to image review and menu navigation, this monitor also permits live view monitoring with the ability to utilize focus peaking and 10x zoom features to better ensure critical sharpness. Focus peaking highlights bright edges of contrast when they are in sharp focus, while the zoom control allows you to home in on fine details within the scene.

Body Design

Reminiscent of classic Leica designs, the M Monochrom features a black chrome-plated metal body design with a magnesium-alloy chassis, brass top and bottom plates, and a synthetic leather wrap. This minimalist and discreet appearance is further maintained by the unobtrusive Leica engraving on the rear of the body, with no front-facing or top plate logos.

Furthermore, the pared-down, ergonomic design allows direct access to necessary camera controls, including top shutter speed and drive mode dials and rear menu navigation controls.

Other Camera Features

  • Designed to accept all M-mount lenses, Leica R-mount lenses are also compatible through the use of an optional R to M adapter.
  • A download version of Adobe Lightroom is made available after purchase, and is ideally suited to processing of the M Monochrom's DNG RAW image files.
  • An electronic level display can be used to ensure consistently level horizons and plumb verticals.
  • After a JPEG is recorded, in-camera toning effects can be applied to imagery to simulate the look of film-based black and white processes.
  • Language support: German, English, French, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, traditional Chinese, simplified Chinese, Russian, and Korean.

Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246) Specs

Imaging
Lens MountLeica M
PixelsEffective: 24 Megapixel
Camera FormatFull-Frame (1x Crop Factor)
Image StabilizationNone
Exposure Control
Shutter SpeedElectronic Front Curtain Shutter
1/4000 to 60 Seconds in Aperture Priority Mode
1/4000 to 8 Seconds in Manual Mode
0 to 60 Seconds in Time Mode
Metering MethodCenter-Weighted Average
Exposure ModesAperture Priority, Manual
Metering Range0 to 20 EV
Continuous ShootingUp to 3 fps at 24 MP for up to 30 Frames (JPEG)
Self-Timer2/12-Second Delay
Aspect Ratio3:2
Image File FormatDNG, JPEG
Recording ModesFull HD (1920 x 1080) at 24.00p/25p
HD (1280 x 720) at 24.00p/25p
Video EncodingNTSC/PAL
Interface
Media/Memory Card SlotSingle Slot: SD/SDHC/SDXC
Resolution921,600 Dot
Display TypeFixed LCD
Viewfinder TypeOptical
Viewfinder MagnificationApprox. 0.68x
Focus
Focus TypeManual Focus Only
Flash
Built-In FlashNo
Flash ModesFirst-Curtain Sync, Second-Curtain Sync
Maximum Sync Speed1/180 Second
Flash Compensation-3 to +1 EV (1/3 EV Steps)
Dedicated Flash SystemTTL
External Flash ConnectionHot Shoe
Environmental
Operating Temperature32 to 104°F / 0 to 40°C
Battery1 x BP-SCL2 Rechargeable Lithium-Ion, 7.4 VDC, 1800 mAh
Dimensions (W x H x D)5.5 x 1.7 x 3.1" / 138.6 x 42 x 80 mm
Weight1.5 lb / 680 g (Body with Battery)
Packaging Info
Package Weight5.695 lb
Box Dimensions (LxWxH)9.05 x 9.05 x 6.8"

Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246) Reviews

Outstanding

By George
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2020-09-26

It is truly up to the high standards of Leica! But more importantly I get results that replicate the experience I had shooting film years ago.

Amazing camera!

By Anonymous
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2016-11-09

Most of my work is black and white, tried several cameras even pentax 645z. This is by far the best result Amazing detail and image tones If you are serious about your shots you will be very pleased Tried it with several lenses and my favorite so far is the 35mm summicron

If you love B&W photography, buy one.

By print maker
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2016-09-27

I needed to count up the number of color images that I converted to B&W, to realize just how often I chose to see B&W. More than 50%; which surprised me. I decided that I would get much use out of a mono only camera. I'm very happy that I bought this camera. What you see as B&W is what you get. Exceptional range of tonal values in details and overall. Better than converting color? Yes! There is a lot more information captured, both in smooth areas and in detailed areas. You'll see it immediately. Take advantage of Leica's latest lenses to get the best and most from this camera's sensor.

Different, and if so inclined: magical.

By Sherberg
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2016-09-17

I am an amateur Leica M6 owner with 8 Leica lenses, including the Noctilux. My workhorse cameras are the Nikon D700 and the iPhone. They pretty much capture what I am interested in. To find a contemporary use for the Leica lenses I own, the choice was between the mirrorless Leica SL (Typ 601) and the Monochrome (Typ 246), same price at the time. I chose the Monochrome because I was ready to explore gray scales, different from the ubiquitous trichromacy offered by the iPhone and heavier and cheaper top-of-the-line SLRs. I grew up with B&W film, and was ready -finally- to regress along phylogenetic lines: cone dominant polychromacy in all likelihood preceded rod dominance in primate evolution. (Rod vision(monochromacy) and foveation(acuity) are among the selective advantages of nocturnal predators). Regarding the latter, there are those who claim that Leica glass is distinctive. On occasion, I had found this to be true when combined with black and white film. Catching the moment in focus and black and white has a rich Leica tradition, Cartier-Bresson being one of many nostalgic protagonists. I am sure that a lot of work and development has gone into this camera, yet for me it has remained somewhat of a niche, luxury item. You do not want to leave it and your favorite lens, the Noctilux - unattended in your hotel room as you go to dinner. If you like luxury, simplicity and perfection and can afford it, the Monochrome allows you to go back in time ontogenetically and phylogenetically - in style. Monochromacy and focus may give the nocturnal mammal predator a subliminal feeling of familiarity and excitement. The Leica Monochrome will provide both. The hunt. The photo shoot in low light. Magical!

EXCEPTIONAL CAMERA

By Michael
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2020-07-09

In trying to re-live my early years in photography, when I could only afford black and white film, I didn't want to go back to film, and didn't like the results when converting a color image. So, the obvious choice was the Leica M 246. I am a bit put off, as B&W lowered their price by $1k...after my purchase. You pays your money, and you takes your chances. However, the 246 is an outstanding machine! The tonality and resolution exceeded my expectations. Not to mention Leica's unmatched quality. I'm in love with her and am sure of a lasting relationship. And, the red dot presents an impressive necklace. Who knows, B&H might even decide to rebate my $1K... :-) ?

Great Tonality and Manual Controls

By Jack
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2019-12-16

I purchased the M monochrome 246 already owning an MP-240 camera for several years. I like the tonality of the 246 on monochrome images compared to converted to monochrome from the 240. The programming and manual control in both are exactly the same. I particularly like the selection switch on the top of the camera that set up the delayed shutter release, it also enables continuous shooting but I had to set up a profile to enable bracketing. I have used m cameras since the M8 . I purchased an m10 and I liked the thinner feel and the ,72 brighter viewfinder and increased speed of the m10 but I did not like the loss of manual control and increase in menus and loss of video. I sold the M10 and considered an M10 p but have not purchased. I have decided to just stay with the MP 240 and MC 246

Very satisfying. Very Leica.

By Mark
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2017-07-06

The camera draws on many photographers' basic attachment to black and white photography. A M-camera loaded with Tri-X remains one of photography's most powerful picture-taking machines...and the digital Monochrom 246 maintains that tradition and improves upon it. True, the luminance-only files limit extensive tonal mapping, but so what? Every image out of the camera is a treat!

Made me fall in love with photography all over again.

By Anonymous
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2017-03-22

This was a big purchase, and one I didn't take lightly. Previous models, from what I read, had a few issues. I can report that whatever those might have been, slow processing, etc., this version is free of any troubles or limitations. This camera is a sublime tool that does its job with accuracy, precision, and ease. The controls are simple and intuitive. They are also fast. There are no branching sub-menus to search while a perfect moment slips away. This camera is ready in an instant, and hits its mark like you'd expect a Leica to do. After shooting for a night or day, I just sit and stare at the results on my computer and Epson printer like I used to stare at a drying print after a long session in a dark room. The images are arresting and sensitive, with a smooth depth I never expected to see in digital photos. This camera makes you see the world anew. I cannot imagine any trip or job I wouldn't reach for this camera first and last.

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YOUR RECENTLY VIEWED ITEMS

I believe I read that you can’t use a red filter ...

I believe I read that you can’t use a red filter on the 246. That the finder won’t align. Is there a trick?
Asked by: Michael
Some lenses are more susceptible to focus shift with a very deep red filter than others. For lighter red or other color filters, there's no problem.
Answered by: Boyd
Date published: 2020-09-25

Can I expect brassing with the black chrome as ...

Can I expect brassing with the black chrome as with the painted cameras?
Asked by: Michael
Yes, the top and bottom plates of the M Monochrom (Typ 246) is made of solid brass so at some point of regular use brassing may occur at the wear points.
Answered by: Richard
Date published: 2020-07-08

Is there a flash transmitter compatible with ...

Is there a flash transmitter compatible with Leica typ 246 to remotely trigger Godox AD200 or AD600 flashes?
Asked by: Mohamed
I would recommend one of the standard hot shoe triggers from Godox (X1T, X2T or XPro) either for Canon, Nikon, Olympus/Panasonic, or Fujifilm to remotely trigger a Godox AD200 or AD600. It would be manual only, and you have to engage center pin firing on the trigger.
Answered by: Kevin
Date published: 2020-06-18

question

When is the next Monochrome coming out?
Asked by: Anonymous
I'm sorry but we don't have a date yet when a new model will come out. I would recommend checking Leica's website for any announcements.
Answered by: Rob
Date published: 2019-08-05

question

which filter sizes are compatible with Leica lenses?
Asked by: Anonymous
E46 UVa II Filter (Black)
Answered by: DAVID D.
Date published: 2018-11-12

question

Has there been any problems with the sensor similar to the CCD sensor ?
Asked by: Anonymous
Hello. So far it has been flawless. No problems at all. I even shot a big nike campaign with it and the result is stunning
Answered by: PABLO F.
Date published: 2018-08-26

question

Are the top plate and bottom plate made of brass? (I like the brass look after some wear.)
Asked by: William Y.
Yes, they are. When they show wear, they look so sexy. I love it. Huge upgrade from the original, daily user.
Answered by: JOSEPH S.
Date published: 2018-08-26

question

What software does it come with for processing B&W images?
Asked by: Anonymous
Adobe Lightroom. They used to include a way to get Silver EFX. That has changed since Google bought the company and is not distributing it for free. Find it...it rocks with the monochroms.
Answered by: Bohdan P.
Date published: 2018-08-26
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