Discussion Forum Leica M System M Monochrom ISO test between M Monochrom and M9
  • #2457
    David Farkas

    A quick ISO test between the two cameras here:

    ISO Test: Leica M Monochrom vs. Leica M9

  • #2652

    anyone tested the MM against the D800E in b&w?

    I ordered a MM but got my D800E today and I'm very impressed about the high ISO – Qualities of the camera.

    I suspekt the MM to be a bit better at 3200 ISO, but would really apreciate if someone made the test allready and can give me some advise.

  • #2660
    Bobby Lee

    Hi all,

    I think it is very difficult to compare the image quality of the two cameras. One use CCD and the other CMOS, one use the Bayer Filters technique and not the other.

    I understand photographers always want to find out which camera is better or the best but we all know there is not such thing as the best camera for all photographers. About the image quality, the grain / pixel structure of the M M and D800E should be different, so it is up to the kind of usage that makes a certain camera a better one. Otherwise Nikon do not need to produce the D4!

    After using the M M for a little bit over 24 hours. I have to say that this is a completely new experience for any digital camera users. Please do not forget this camera not just give you high ISO performance (this is just a ‘by product' from the new ‘Clear' pixel design) but also produce ultra fine details images.

    I do hope our Leica fellow users not to label the M M as a Bresson camera (he may use an iPhone to capture his images if he is still living today). It is equally good for any fine art photographers who, as Oskar Barnack, like smaller setup for their work!


    Attached files

  • #2661

    I will most likely order a D800e for work, to replace my D1x. It's about 1/2 the price that the D1x was 10 years ago.

    I will be in line for the M9 monochrome- and should be able to do a comparison.

  • #2663


    can't wait to read your experiences

    @Bobby Lee

    You are right, the only point is that where I live it is rather difficult to compare two cameras without buying them. The stores that sell Leica and Nikon at the same time AND have also such items as an MM AND a D800E in stock and are willing to let you make a comparison are rare (I fact I wouldn't know any in a radius of 1000 km, but I may be wrong).

    From what I have seen so far, I expect that the D800E is as good in resolution as an MM will be. The main difference will be in the high ISO range, where it will be interesting to see how the monochrome-CCD will hold up against a D800. When I process high ISO-file from the D800 to black and white, I get some film-like grain (maybe a bit harscher, though). This is not much a problem for contrasty pictures, but for eamble gets real soft when this grain adds to some lens-weaknesses.

    I intend to use the MM in low-light situation only (art-nudes).

  • #2664
    Bobby Lee

    Hi Stephan,

    One thing for sure the D800E can make larger output (prints) because of its resolution.


  • #2666

    I've seen a number of people wanting to compare the D800e with the Monochrome M9.

    For work in the Lab- I bought one of each of Nikon's Micro-Nikkors with the D1x and Nikon E3. Great for close-up, technical documentation work. I'll use the same lenses with the D800e.

    For the M9 Monochrome- especially for a fine-art application in low-light- I would be going for Vintage fast-glass. My M9 usually has a lens from the 1930s on it. The M9 Monochrome- I'll be using lenses designed for black and white. A 1934 uncoated Sonnar 5cm F1.5, should do wonders on it.

    The big difference between digital and film is in the handing of shadow detail and highlights. Modern lenses, multi-coated tend to be higher contrast and have tamed internal reflections. Low-contrast lenses tend to compress the intensity range to one that is ore easily recorded on a digital sensor, and veiling flare tends to fill in shadows.

    In any event, if you go with the Nikon D800e get a 5.8cm F1.4 Nikkor-S and have it converted to AI coupling. Lower-contrast, slightly longer FL.

    If you get the M9m, you have a lot of vintage glass to choose from.

  • #2720
    Bobby Lee

    Hi all,

    One more M Monochrom image.

    Looking forward the M Monochrom brochure from Leica AG.


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