King Penguin: Why are Leica so expensive? Easy........economies of scale in manufacturing. Anyone who has had a business card printed knows this, ie, make/print 100 = cost per card expensive, make/print 100,000 = cost per card cheap.
I bet Nikon/Canon make more profit per unit on their base models than Leica do on the M9.........in the words of a Russian meer cat speaking English (!?!)....simples!
That's why Leica have and need to make additional niche products such as this one and the Hermes version to cover the development costs, ie, 90% of their content is based around the M9.
Maloy, economy of scale comes from quantity produced, not from the size of the company doing the producing. There will never be much economy of scale on Leica products.
TOF guy: In my view this is the wrong way to approach B&W. The right way is to start with a color picture and convert it to B&W. It's so much more flexible that way, and therefore increase the artistic potential of the image.
With a color image one can convert to LAB and extracts the vision-wise sensible luminance channel. But one can do much more than that. Often a subject, say red, will stand out in color against the back ground, say greenery. But they may have similar luminance and therefore the subject will not stand out in B&W. This is clearly visible in many of the posted examples: they lack "separation" between various parts of the image (example sky against sea for the image of the Seattle needdle - fine image though in this case). It's easy to go around this issue when starting with a color image by mixing channels. The artistic possibilities are way beyond what a B&W camera can offer.Or use filters with the B&W camera (no more noise benefit). IMO sorely missing in these images.
TOF guy, There would still be both a noise and resolution benefit. In a Bayer matrix camera, half of the green photons are lost relative to a B&W sensor with a green filter. For red and green channels, the loss is 75%. Similarly, half of the green resolution is lost and 3/4 of the red and blue resolutions are. A good Bayer processor can make up for some of the deficits, but not nearly all.