M-Monochrom - severe highlight clipping?

Started Sep 1, 2012 | Discussions thread
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philosomatographer Contributing Member • Posts: 539
M-Monochrom - severe highlight clipping?

Has anybody noticed how extremely poor the M-Monochrom deals with highlights in any scene with strong contrast? I am, frankly, quite appalled at how bad it is. I am a monochrome (film) shooter, with some Olympus digital on the side. I was very interested in the M-Monochrom, but after having seen numerous examples, I am totally put off by it's bland (overly-compressed middle tones) tonality and limited-to-scenes-with-6.5-stops dynamic range (as measured by Leica "expert" Erwin Puts).

I was hoping that something like the M-M could finally offer digital competition to fine-grained monochrome film, but every image I see appears to prove the contrary (wildly so). Does anoby have some samples in contrasty lighting that is not as appallingly flat and clipped as these? (from two different, unconnected sources BTW)

There is no question that the tendency to clip highlights is subtantially worse even than an Olympus E-5 (quarter-area sensor) which I have had a couple of months experience with. Perhaps removing the colour filter array wasn't such a good idea. This is a comparative example of extreme high contrast at night with the Olympus E-5 (which, as you know, is by no means the world standard in dynamic range):

My M3 is certainly in no danger of being replaced by the M-M. I can't be the only one that feels the same way? I've not seen a single M-M image where over-exposed highlights are gently rendered (as in, for example, this Leica M3 film image):

I think that charging $8000 for a camera that produces P&S-quality monochrome tonality is outrageous, and I would love to be proven wrong: not by fanboy comments (I greatly enjoy and use Leica cameras also, so don't label me as anti-Leica) but by real images .

Anybody have some to share (remember, looking for high-contrast scenes specifically)?

 philosomatographer's gear list:philosomatographer's gear list
Nikon Df Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200mm f/2G ED-IF VR Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 14-35mm 1:2.0 SWD Carl Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 2/100 +3 more
Olympus E-5
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