Q2 Monochrome conversion

Started Aug 21, 2019 | Discussions thread
OP Khun_K Senior Member • Posts: 1,501
Re: Q2 Monochrome conversion

Jared Willson wrote:

I Khun_K wrote:

Anastasia Maslova, Bangkok, Thailand. August 17, 2019 - Leica Q2

Leica Q2 is almost of a fault-free camera, focus acquisition instantly and accurately, image stabilization works marvelously down to 1/4-1/2s (based on my own experience) and shoot silent if needed.

The new 47MP sensor in Q2 is capable of producing superior image quality to all digital M cameras, IMHO, except of course the M Monochrom models. However, the higher resolution sensor in Q2 is less prone to aliasing than the older 24MP sensor; therefore, as a result, the DNG file from Q2 can convert to monochrome files of higher clarity than previous cameras with Bayer filter sensor and with advantage of applying color filters in post for tonal contrast control that gets really close to Monochrom Typ 246 which requires no demosaicing but would require color filter for tonal manipulation. The philosophy and purity in shooting monochrome image may not be replaced but Q2 gets closer or equal to MM246 than any FF Leica at the moment in most situations. True MM246 monochrom file is of course still different and under careful watch, still superior in tonal transitions but Q2 get very very close. Besides, files from Q2 is always 99.99% spot-on focus - any discussion of a quality file starts from optimized focus unless "blur" is the intended artistic expression.

Base on this, I do not see Leica will attempt to make an M10-Based Monochrom model because it may not offer enough meaningful improvement over MM246, instead, should focus its resources on re-align the fundaments of M camera concept in the adaption of next higher resolution sensor.

But Leica is Leica, no one can tell it what to do. But into 2020 with Q2 and SLII already in the market the M cameras will be the one with inferior image quality to Q2 and SLII, the bottom of all FF Leica, it is not M positioned to be.

I agree that Leica will have some interesting decisions to make with the successor to the M 10. I assume they will try to standardize on the sensor in the Q2 for all their full frame cameras. But can a rangefinder be precise enough in use for photographers to realize any resolution gains over the current M10? Specifically, shooting fast lenses wide open (which seems to be a particular pleasure for M photographers)? I’m not at all sure. I know I couldn’t do it with my 50 year old eyes. I couldn’t consistently nail focus with even the M10 at 24 megapixels when shooting fast lenses wide open. I was pretty good with a 35mm or even a 50mm if I was careful, but getting it right with a 75mm or 90mm, let alone the insanity that is the 135mm, really required focus peeking. Will the M eventually come with an EVF? Or an AF adapter pre-installed? I don’t think the baseline of a mechanical rangefinder is long enough for consistent results at 47 megapixels and beyond. Tough decisions for sure. Heck, I even wonder about the future of the S platform. Is the image quality improvement in the S lenses with a new sixty some megapixel chip enough that people will actually spend 30,000 USD? Not sure. I own a medium format camera and love it, but I’m not sure I’d pay the monetary and weight penalty of the S3 for the kind of improvements that are likely vs. an SL 2. Of course, that’s just conjecture since neither the SL 2 or the S3 are out yet.

Mechanical rangefinder invented out of the necessity of its time and it shows its age.  The mechanical rangefinder has limited focusing range of 70cm and application and needs calibration after a certain time that the high-resolution files inspected at high magnification will expose its misses - not the fault of the photographer, it is just a limitation of mechanism, regardless how well it is made.  This is like a precision Swiss watch cannot match the accuracy of a relative cheap Apple Watch although there are valid arguments of the value of the classic mechanism, the fun of it, and it is not possible to measure the fun over practicability.  But a print can be measured and judged easier, saved particular artistic renderings.

Leica as a company, IMHO, needs to see what the future will be if they wanted to continue to thrive.  I do believe Leica is a company, which many people love, with the capability to make a new generation of the camera better than the last, for example, Q2 over the original Q.  If Leica cannot make better camera over older ones then they are in trouble.  There are people prefer the original Q over Q2 for whatever reason, they have their reason.  But Leica will eventually stop selling the older cameras because they cannot make a profit and difficult to manage inventory and service, just like all business.

But all these do not make older cameras useless, or even obsolete. I have seen wonderful shots from M8, or all kinds of device capable of making a picture, including smartphones.

 Khun_K's gear list:Khun_K's gear list
Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246) Sony RX1R II Leica Q2 Sony DSC-RX0 II Leica T +144 more
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