Rumor: the next Leica M camera will have a black and white sensor

I received this tip several weeks ago, but did not publish it online because I really couldn't believe it until today when Leica sent out invitations for their next announcement. The new Leica M camera is rumored to have a black and white only sensor and  no LCD display. The sensor will not be produced by Kodak. Apparently the staff in Solms is already trained on the new camera and the production line is ready. The camera was initially set for a Photokina release.

I am not convinced that this rumored Leica M with a black and white sensor will be the "official" M9 replacement - it could just be a limited edition offering. Don't hurry to sell your M9 just yet.

As far as I know PhaseOne is currently the only manufacturer who offers black and white only sensor digital back which makes this rumor even more plausible because Leica likes to do things differently.

This entry was posted in Leica M Monochrom, Leica X and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.
  • You’ve all been duped/need to read more. All digital camera sensors see in monochrome and extrapolate the incoming data into colors based on the frequency of the light striking the different parts of the surface. All digital cameras have by default, a “black and white” sensor.
    It’s very much like the Maple Syrup industry claiming that their product is “Organically grown”. Which is like saying that fish swim, since there’s no other way to grow it.
    And though I see lots of ‘aficionado’s’ flouting the ‘distinct character of each individual black and white film emulsion’ I remain a film user and am unimpressed by the comparison to an image file that will die with you.
    Silver never fades and doesn’t need to be saved, backed-up, de-fragged or run through a program to remove ‘noise’.
    Go to people. Get real.

    • Nobody Special

      Yes indeed. Well said, when I worked in the Photo Production department at my college, it was not unusual to test each film batch if needed. Then if needed you could count on consistency, again, if needed. For those who know nothing of film, they were called test strips.

      But it was hardly ever a major issue…..Film is still the ‘prize’ in my way of thinking. It’s amazing to me how much $$$$ is spent on what amounts to planned obsolescence in a very short time. Everything has it’s place, but film’s place is for a lot, lot, longer.

    • Vivek

      Check out the Achromatic+ site linked in one of the posts here. You may not be correct even though you sound very certain.

    • Emily

      What you say is true, but the colour grid method that is used in common cameras, decreases the effective number of pixels and photons(!) that can be used for image generation. Since you have to use data from different pixels to determine colours in the picture, the contrasts blur and because of the colour filter in front of each pixel you lose a high amount of light intensity.
      A “real” black and white sensor would therefore have much higher sensitivity and provide better contrasts.

    • Sam

      I’m a Ph.D. student in Electrical Engineering, and I have studied photosensors.

      You are incorrect. The sensor sites have colored filters over them, called the Color filter array. They do not sense the wavelength of the incoming light, but rather are only exposed to one wavelength.

      This monochrome sensor would just omit the filters, making it an actual B&W sensor. It would also be significantly more sensitive, because the filters block 2/3 of the light from hitting every location, and you need four smaller pixels for every one on the monochrome image. It’s a great idea.

    • Stephen

      Yes, all sensors see only luminance but because of the RGB layer over the sensor the photo sites read the wavelength values for red, green or blue. Those values are then interpolated (using adjacent photo sites) to create a image color image (unless a Foveon sensor is used. In this case no interpolation is needed because the sensor reads all three wavelengths at the same photo site).

      A BW image on a Bayer sensor undergoes the same procedure only the luminance values are assigned grey scale values.

      The advantage of a true luminance (BW) sensor is greater resolution because no interpretation and grey scale assignment is required. Kodak made a camera with a dedicated BW sensor years ago but dropped it when it quit making DSLR’s.

      If Leica is making a dedicated BW camera it will be a boon to those love BW. Hopefully the technology will be used by other camera makers.

  • Sasa

    Excellent !!!! I would like this is true and have enough money to buy one.

    • Harold Ellis

      this might be first leica i would lust for

  • The single biggest reason to not going digital is the sheer variety and unique look that film black and white commands. Why would anyone pick up a monochrome-only body?

    • spam

      A monchrome body would give better resolution, better high Iso sensitivity and leass artefacts. I can believe that Leica would make a monochrome body, but without a display? That seem extremely unlikely.

      • Anand

        I get the advantages over color digital, but a monochrome digital back/camera remains a one trick pony superior resolution notwithstanding. It is like being asked to shoot 4×5 Tri X for the rest of my life.

        • D B

          >> It is like being asked to shoot 4×5 Tri X for the rest of my life.

          Sounds good to me.

    • Now that is the riddle of the sands. Here is a medium that measures colour intensities given full ride in black and white. When I shoot black and white in digital, I feel like I’m cheating.

  • A B&W only camera sounds like a ‘special edition’ thing to me. Granted ,from looking around the net, I think Leica shooters have stronger inclination towards B&W than any other brand. But then a May 10 announcement for the M10 would rock. I’ve been hoarding my dough for a Leica!

  • CHD

    Laughable….only Leica could take ‘niche market’ to an entirely new level. I have to laugh at all the ‘purists’ here who go on and on about how ‘less is more’. Tell you what, just switch to a pinhole camera and be done with it already. If Leica released one , people would flock to it….

    • hexx

      what is it with you and your comments about vagina? haven’t had one for a long time? go get laid and come back and stop posting as other people

      • CHD

        Hexx…what the hell are you talking about?? While I love vagina I never made a comment about it. Wrong forum???

        • hexx

          nope, somebody replied to your comment under your name ‘CHD’ talking about sand in vagina, similar comment was on 1st comment page as a reply to Mark by ‘Mark’ – looks like Admin has deleted offending comments so you can ignore mine.

          sorry for the confusion

          • yes, I deleted those comments

    • OCDavo

      Chad hit the nail on the head. This is the silliest “news” I have read about photography in a long time.

    • ABC_Voyeur


  • NoName Johnson

    I’m not a Leica shooter; however this would make me one if the price was reasonable (<$8k). If you can give me the tonal qualities of 220 B&W *film* (or better) and the iso flexibility of the newest DSLR (D700/D4, etc.) in the traditional leica form-factor, I would be an immediate convert.

    However, I would appreciate a LCD (or at least easy tethering (wireless!) to a laptop).

    This would be a really cool move by Leica. I'm not sure if it's viable from a business perspective, but I hope they can pull it off.

    • CHD

      ‘I would appreciate a LCD (or at least easy tethering (wireless!) to a laptop)’

      Yeah….nothing says discreet street shooting like being tethered to a laptop:) Just put the damn LCD on the camera and give the M10 the ability to shoot colour…you can always make it B&W after the fact, why purposely handcuff yourself?? $8,000 for an all B&W, no LCD Leica = Ridiculous.

      • NoName Johnson

        Ridiculous for you perhaps. Not having a color isn’t “handcuffing” myself in any way whatsoever, and I certainly don’t care about “discrete street shooting.”

        However, thanks for giving me insight on what you consider important. I’ll use that information during my next camera purchase. :/

        • CHD

          NoNaneJohnson——So you know, I could give two hoots about ‘discrete street shooting’ either….but leaving an LCD off so you can ‘tether’ the camera is ridiculous. Also, while you or I do not care about discrete….most of the Leicaphiles do…’s the whole premise behind the M series. If you don’t care about that there are FAR better cameras available for FAR less money.

          If all you want is B&W go buy a n M6….you can then tether a scanner to your dip and dunk tank:)

  • Al

    Could someone be jumping the gun on April Fool’s day?

    • Many said the same thing when I reported back in October, 2011 that the D800 will come with a 36MP sensor.

      • Al

        I’m a born skeptic.

  • John

    Who in their right mind would buy such a one trick pony as a B/W only camera?

    What date is the first of next month?

    : )

    • Steve

      I’d buy a dedicated BW camera because the resolution would be astounding. No interpolation is necessary therefore a 20mp camera would deliver a full 20mp.

  • NYC

    No LCD… tsk tsk tsk. Such gimmicky nonsense.

    • CHD

      Leica, way to cater to the minimalist, cool-aid sipping crowd.

  • ohv

    I could see this being good from a scientific standpoint. B/W is not for everyone but for some (which is right at home with Leica).

    My guess based on a general knowledge of how these things work:

    The photo-sites could be three times as large at a given density. Color digital (all except foveon tech) use a monochrome sensor and RGB filters/microlenses, this (I presume) would do away with the filters/micro-lens and just use each monochrome photo-site natively. More, larger photosites = more dynamic range and low-light capabilities. Less photosites crammed onto a chip = less heat and noise. more room for other circuitry.

    • ohv

      Forgot to say: the no LCD is a mistake though. At least include a tiny one like a Canon 20D size to verify exposure. Its a check on everything, and it sucks to get home and find you have lost a whole day (akin to shooting film, but still).

      it is also technically pretty easy to take an M-3 body and work in a revised chip as a low-run specialty, which this should be.

  • It’s not the M10 but a new mirrorless with AF…

  • Why anyone would use back display to check exposure when one can check it live while shooting from hybrid viewfinder?

  • All of my documentary portfolio was shot without looking at an LCD, and I never really missed it.

    It’s called a Leica M6…

    tyler vance

    • Tyler…seriously awesome portfolio my man. REALLY nice work.

    • Gavin

      I bought a Leica M9 8 months ago for an extended trip through various parts of Asia. About a month into the trip all my shots were over exposing. Every time I turned on the camera it took about 20 seconds for the meter to read accurately otherwise it would over expose by around 3 stops!! Now if I didn’t have an LCD I would never have picked this up.

      I don’t understand why anyone would want to compromise their photography for the sake of appearance!!

      • Gavin

        This wasn’t a direct response to your thread Tyler. Just finger troubles.

        Thought might add though I also had an M6 on this trip. I made the stupid mistake of getting 20 rolls of film developed passing though Thailand because it was cheap. They stuffed up the whole lot. Huge marks and smudges through all but a handful of frames….lesson learnt!!!

        As for the M9. I decided to head home for a month late November to get it repaired and spend Christmas at home. Still not fixed, it has now been in repair for longer than I have had it in my hands!!

  • Camperpamper

    Is it worth pointing out that people come to Leica because the usual Nikons and Canons have bored them to tears? Because Leica’s LENSES are extraordinary, always have a guiding philosophy, and are often unique? And that is where Leicaphiles sink their real money – into glass. Bodies, shmodies; I think I have 7 Leica and Leica-compatible bodies, and God knows how many lenses.

    If you’ve ever shot with a monochrome sensor you know how special they are (I remember first using the Leaf Digital Studio back in what was it, 1993?), and that you can shoot color with monochrome cameras if you want, three-shot RGB, just like Thomas Sutton did to produce the first 3-color photograph back in 1861 (on James Clark Maxwell’s suggestion).

  • I am excited to read about the rumors I have experience with Leica M6 but then had more sense by the Contax G2, who became a companion for years we have been photographing together beautiful things I think leica understand how a photographer with his camera can steal a nice moment of the world. To put zen in a camera with a black and white ship is an understandable step towards perfect simplicity. Now in the rain of pancakes and 0.95 lenses and new bodys every month with the name X a body with black and white sensor with only one lens does require me to use it in a Japanese garden by morning light. Go leica make that camera.

  • Andrew

    Resolution does not increase with the pixel count. It increases with the square root of the pixel count. For example to double the resolution of an 8 Mp camera you would need a 64 Mp camera. The difference between 18 and 30 and even 40 MP is much less than the numbers seem to suggest. Download the RAW or JPG images from DP review and judge for yourself. I suggest the Pentax 645D compared to the new Panasonic GX1. It is very hard to tell the difference between these two cameras at print sizes up to 13×19″ and most of those difference are smaller than seen with lens variation. There are, of course, good reasons to choose a particular sensor size, but MP is usually not one of them.

    With higher MP diffraction becomes an issue. To see 40 MP would need a perfect shot with a good lens at about f4.0. OK for landscapes on a tripod but for handheld photography very unlikely all those pixels will be sharp or in-focus. At f8.0 the diffraction limit is around 30 MP for a perfect lens. That said, Leica is one of the few lens manufacturers who might make the higher MP worth it assuming they put in liveview so one can be sure the image is critically focused when on a tripod.

    Noise at higher ISO should decrease since BW would let in all the light because there are no RGB filters. For white light this is about 3 times as much light, for other colours it will be less. Since a stop is the doubling of the amount of light one might expect a bit more than a one stop improvement in high ISO signal to noise with a BW sensor at best.

    Since the M9 is not a stellar performer at high ISO then I would not expect the M10 to match the Nikon or Canon products which regularly have good (colour) photographs at ISO 6400 and even ISO 12,600. BW pushes those usuable ISO even higher. The M9 is not good at it’s top end of ISO 2500 so maybe ISO 6400 for a BW only Leica?

    Canon, Nikon and Sony sensors are already approaching the theoretical limit of light gathering ability. That is, there is little room for improvement in high ISO possible. So even if Leica puts in the best sensor ever made then it will not have more than about 1 stop of improvement in high ISO response compared to sensors currently available. Most improvement in the last 3 years has actually been in signal processing and not sensor signal to noise. RAW files from the Canon 5D Mark II compare very well to the new Nikon D4 right up to ISO 12,600 and also don’t look too bad at ISO25,200 using the latest vesion of Lightroom. In camera JPGs are a different story since the processing was fixed at manufacturing time and represent old software. For those who like JPG they can spend several thousands of dollars for a new camera rather than shoot RAW and buy Lightroom.

    I can see a group of people who would appreciate a BW only camera and a simpler camera. I suggest they switch to BW JPG, super-glue their buttons and put tape on the LCD screen. It isn’t against the law not to use the features a camera has. I use my LCD about one a day after the first shot so I can be sure I didn’t leave it at something silly the day (or night) before. Quite handy that.

    Since I am not a BW type of photographer I will not be buying a BW only camera. It would be my technical recommendation for others to buy a colour camera and shoot in BW if they have that preference. The differences in noise and resolution between a BW only and BW from a colour version of the same sensor would only be visible in a limited number of circumstances, but it would be much easier to sell a colour camera than a BW only one.

    I will not be replacing my M9 unless there is some serious upgrading of either the sensor or the usablilty, like live view or an electronic view finder. I am tired of the hit or miss focus with the 90mm where someone’s ears are in focus but not their eyes.

    I am hoping the rumor is not true, because if it is then Leica seems to be determined to stay in the past and sell over-priced luxury goods of limited utility. The result will be that I will use my Leica less and less and my DSLR more and more and I really would like to use my Leica more.

    • Nobody Special

      Well written.

      As to the last couple paragraphs, having used M models for years, and contrary to the lore of Leica rangefinders being accurate focusers’, they really are not. At least in the sense that are fast to focus. I’ve found them to be easiest to use quickly with wide lenses mainly because of the increased depth of field.

      They are not a ‘fast camera’ to focus with the longer lenses in the range due to less depth of field. M bodies are excellent cameras – but old in concept and design and quite frankly, useability. Over time I have had my share of out of focus zones by a very small, but important margins, and I have always kept the bodies up to spec’. Eventually, I realized that even though the SLR/DSLR’s are bigger and heavier are more capable tools.

      There are some exaggerations about the optics as well. Some actually believe that M glass and the resultant images are better than medium and large format – which is just not the case. Like every tool, use is specific to it’s design and with the M, it’s a limited imaging tool with really good glass.

    • Andrew says: “Resolution does not increase with the pixel count. It increases with the square root of the pixel count. For example to double the resolution of an 8 Mp camera you would need a 64 Mp camera. The difference between 18 and 30 and even 40 MP is much less than the numbers seem to suggest. ”

      You’ve sort of grabbed the wrong end of the stick. The first sentence is almost correct. The second one is wrong. The third sentence is arguable.

      If you double the resoloution you need four times the number of pixels (doubling resolution both vertically and horizontally). A doubled resolution 8Mpx sensor has 32Mpx (8Mpx x 4). You will see that difference.

      The relative change in the resolution goes as the square of the relative change in number of pixels. Doubling the resolution require quadrupling the number of pixels. Tripling the resolution requires 9 times more pixels.

      Not squaring the absolute number of pixels (which would be squaring 8 million pixels that’s 64 thousand billion pixels).

      Quiz: what size sensor has double the resolution of a 12Mpx sensor? A 48Mpx sensor.

      • Andrew

        I stand corrected.

        Resolution goes with powers of 2. E.g:

        2, 4, 8, 16, 32 64.

        My apologies for adding to the confusion. Things are not as dire as my original post implies.

      • Zephyr

        The second sentence was correct, he was right in that the resolution increases with the square root of the pixel count. If the resolution is proportional to the square root of the pixel, it can be quantified with an arbitrary resolution unit (r.u.) applying a certain conversion (K) factor multiplied by the square root of the pixel count. That is, Resolution (r.u.) = K·√P.C. (Mp)
        For instance, for 8 Mp, the square root is 2·√2 Mp^0.5 and the resolution 2·K·√2 r.u., and for 32 Mp, the square root is 4·√2 Mp^0.5, and the resolution, 4·K.√2 r.u., which is two-fold 2·K·√2 r.u. So we’ve doubled the resolution by going from 8 Mp to 32 Mp. A 4-fold increase in pixel count has given a 2-fold increase in resolution, that is, the increase in resolution has been the square root of the increase in pixel count.

  • Yeah, and that black and white sensor is called film. This is hilarious.

    • Steve

      …and that black and white film is called photographic plates (glass). Time marches on.

  • Why would anyone want a monochrome sensor? All you have to do is convert your color image to B&W if that is what you want. A monochrome sensor would be the same as Leica calibrating all their lenses for B&W photography and scrapping color—why would they do that? Why would they eliminate the majority of their market? Hogwash!

    • Mikael Siirilä

      A monochrome sensor is interesting to photographers specializing in b&w. I am sure thats a big group of existing Leica users. Instead of getting a 18Mpix sensor you could get a, say, 50+Mpix b&w sensor with still more range and sensitivity.

    • John

      David, you are missing one important fact. What falls on the 1st of next month?

      This is one of the best wind-ups for years. There is no point in announcing a story like this on 1st April as nobody would fall for it. But to announce it a few weeks in advance – A great one this! Well done at Leica Rumors, I fell for it as well by the way.


  • It usully helps to do some research, before posting opinions.
    Leica is a mayor supplier of laboratory optics, and produced the MD-2 in the 80ies for technical photography without a viewfinder already: It might simply be a special M9 edition serving as a replacement for the MD-2.

    • Nobody Special

      Leica has sold ‘finder-less’ bodies for years – including screw-mount bodies. Leica Camera is it’s own and seperate entity and are no longer associated with the Microscope division – and I’m pretty sure any ‘Medical business’.

      Some weeks ago – maybe months ago – Owner Kaufmann said, ‘they would introduce something no one has asked for.’ Or talked about yet. Of course, much of that is supposed to pull people in for the Leica PR machine.

      The last time they introduced product that no one asked for it was the S2. Those sell too, but what people were asking for and were led to believe was coming was the DSLR R body – which of course he didn’t deliver, but a huge portion of the loyal Leica user-base wanted.

      IF it is a B&W M body – obviously it wouldn’t be beyond what Kaufmann has done before which is try and ‘out-smart’ his user base by giving them something they don’t ask for – which can be translated into don’t need or want.
      It’s easy to cut Leica some slack because they do produce good lenses and because they have been around so long – and the whole PR show Leica cooks up is amusing whether it’s real or not.

  • Looks to me like Leica is simply trying to recapture the experience of classic black & white film photography via a digital camera. I like the idea. I actually keep my LCD off on my little Oly digital pen. Do my shoot and “develop it” later when I download it to my computer.

    With Leica quality and forcing the experience, it could be a cool and honest way to recapture the days of Ansel Adams, Newton, etc.

  • Henry

    Could be a good idea : a Leica for B&W, or even better : an interchangeable sensor, like changing film…!! Click in a sensor adapted for your needs.
    And please NO LCD screen behind, it gives you always the feeling you should check all your pics. We couldn’t do this with an M6, why now everyone should always want to check their pics on the field? Because they are not shure about their own capabilities ?? Doing this it will only get worse and worse.
    I don’t want an lcd screen any more, just a kind of basic digital M6 : shutter ,diafragma and better optical viewfinder, like the Zeiss Ikon Zm has…

    • regular

      I was thinking something similar : maybe the sensor can be swapped between different configurations (black & white, color, low-, high-megapixel count, etc).

      The additional space requirements would be the reason for the removal of the LCD.

  • Hans

    I’d love it, just as much as I would love a square format (no crop, but a real one) sensor.
    But since April fool’s day is less than two weeks away, I’m not getting my hopes up.

    • Zephyr

      And why not disc shaped? After all, the light passes through the objective with no predominant orientation. You could then crop each photo as you see fit. Likewise I why not hexagonal pixel sensors rather than squared ones? Fujifilm has already developed octogonal pixel sensors (Super CCD),
      “This allows a higher horizontal and vertical resolution (at the expense of diagonal resolution) to be achieved than a traditional sensor of an equivalent pixel count.”

  • MB

    How strange it may seam it makes some sense, no AA filter, no color moire, much higher sensitivity (up to 3 times more photons due to CFA absence).
    Maybe this already mentioned sensor in monochrome variant:

  • Eddie

    Without the LCD the body thickness could revert to that of the film M’s…

  • bob2

    To all the neophytes, who talk a lot of BS but don’t know squat….

    BW only camera is not new. Be careful what you write, it shows your ignorance.

    • MB

      Actually first “usable” digital camera was BW and everybody knows it:
      This sight is about rumors of NEW products, and these days BW is not that usual … be careful what You write, is shows you are lost in space and time …

    • everyone allready knows that, thats why no one mentioned it.

      just like alexander thompson, that writes three paragraphes about the bayer pattern ^^

      guy seriously, everyone thats interested in a bw leica knows what a bayer pattern is, knows what it does, did shoot film and knows the achromat+

      its boring writing the same stuff over and over again

  • Carl

    Really hope this comes in at a low price

  • D

    Sounds interesting but coming from leica it is sure to be so far out of my budget that it doesn’t really matter. I’m putting my hopes on the rumored Ricoh B&W compact. That one I might be able to afford.

  • Nec

    >B&W only
    >No LCD

    Back to the roots.

    LCDs are convenient, yes, but they can also be distracting, power consuming, fragile, etc.
    And M users are probably those who need LCDs the least.
    It all makes sense.

  • Carl

    no LCD is great! it means
    1: all functions feature dedicated on camera controls (no menu)
    2: nobody can ask to look at the picture you just took of them!!!!

    these two things will speed you up way more than AF or zoom lenses ever would IMO

    • Gavin

      “2: nobody can ask to look at the picture you just took of them!!!!”

      Wrong they will still ask. But now you have to explain each time why you can’t show them. It’s actually more time consuming!!

  • Jeremiah

    I guess I don’t really see the point.

    If you want a b/w camera with no LCD, why not save $5000, buy an M6 and only use b/w film? Even at $5 a roll for film and $5 for processing that’s still five hundred rolls of film be before you reach the price of an M9. This doesn’t even take into account the likely increase in price that will come with a new body. Furthermore, you’d have a durable, mechanical body that won’t fall prey to the planned obsolescence of modern digital bodies.

    • Why not just go film? Hmm… I’m going to go with the same reason we digital in the first place, maybe? You know, so we don’t have to buy film and develop it.

      A simple alternative would be to flip your camera to B&W mode and cover your LCD. Which I may experiment with (cuz, lard knows I can’t afford no Leica).

      Speaking of planned obsolescence. I wonder how many years we got left in film production?

      • Jeremiah

        Leica has stated that they have a three year life cycle on the digital M products and the M9 announced in 2009 appears to be about to be replaced three years later in 2012. The M9 may not be obsolete per se, but it is the most expensive “pro” 35mm full-frame equivalent and offers the poorest high ISO performance and a worst in class LCD.

        As for film, my guess is that after 150 years, it will still be in the discussion in three years when people are debating the merits of the M11 and the M6 will have survived the obsolescence of three digital Ms (8,9,10).

        • Certainly possible, but when I think about Polaroids being gone, I think Kodachrome is about over too, right? Film will be a tiny niche market like the Impossible Project before long.

          Beside, just because a company calls their camera “obsolete” certainly doesn’t make it so. Hell, I still have my old 2mp C-2020 Olympus digital camera from what…. 10 years ago? Still works, still shoots, and since it’s extremely sensitive to IR, takes great infrared photos!

          Double hell, I have my old 1mp fuji point-n-shoot! Painted the camera, left it out for a party, and let people do whatever they hell they wanted with it… with great & fun results.

          It’s one thing for a company to not support something they made anymore, but it’s a completely different can of crap when something you need to operate your camera isn’t even made anymore.

          My Polaroid Spectra & 600 can attest to it. I miss my real Polaroids. The low quality, way too delicate, albeit super artsy, Impossible Project film just don’t compare and are waaaay too expensive for barely functioning film.

  • Kevin

    hmmmm the M9 already targets a niche market, introducing a B/W camera with no LCD will make this even niche-er, if there is such a thing

    not that i’ll ever buy a leica (because of it’s high price), i’m still curious as to how they will price this thing

  • Don McMahan

    I was just thinking recently what a great idea it would be if SOMEONE would make a great street camera with a B&W sensor……I was hoping it would be someone that makes cameras in my price range.

  • Myron Gochnauer

    One of the IR conversion companies has converted a few cameras to B&W, although it does not seem to be a readily available service. They remove the RGB colour filters from the sensors.

    If this were generally available at a reasonable price, I’m pretty sure that a number of us B&W photographers would have our previous-generation Canon or Nikon converted. (I keep thinking about converting my Canon 5D to IR. I would not hesitate to convert it to B&W. And yes, I have film cameras from 35mm to 8×10, and a functioning darkroom.)


    • Myron Gochnauer

      I just found pricing and availability for the B&W conversion:

      Ouch! However, if you look at the description of what needs to be done, you can see how it would be a difficult process to “deconstruct” a sensor. At the same time, though, it seems that it would be a *very* simple thing to manufacture the sensors without the colour filers. At worst it would require manufacturing a “filter array” that was colourless. At best, assembly would simply skip the “add filter array” step. Given the incredible automation of chip and sensor construction, it is a little surprising that some of the big sensor manufacturers haven’t added a small “colourless filter array” run at the end of a regular sensor production run. But then, business is not my day job…

  • DLC

    While the battle rages,photography suffers,cease all the nonsense of who
    likes what and take some photographs.

  • @DLC 🙂

  • what if they bring out an m10 thats basically an upgraded m7 with internal contacts to connect to a digital back, that can be ordered either bw or color, either with lcd or not, or the lcd is a seperate part too
    just make a special back door on the film m10 so that it clears enough space for the lcd and buttons etc

  • Back to top