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Leica’s remarkably successful Teens

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Leica has had a good decade. Which is probably more than can be said for most camera makers — with the possible exception of Sony, a company that has almost made the mirrorless full-frame camera its own.

During the past decade, the inexorable rise of the smartphone has completely eradicated the cheap point-and-shoot camera and as a result, mainstream manufacturers have struggled to compensate.

Leica alone was not reliant on entry-level cameras (in particular entry-level DSLRs) and has been able to take advantage of the upmarket moves by other manufacturers. Cameras from Wetzlar are still expensive, but no longer excessively so in relation to premium offerings from other manufacturers.

It is difficult to credit just how far-reaching have been the changes in Leica’s fortunes over the past ten years.

The company’s success is largely down to the enthusiasm, dedication and far-sightedness of one man: Dr Andreas Kaufmann. This former south German school teacher inherited a large fortune when he and his brother became heirs to Frantschach, Austria’s largest pulp and paper company.

Close shave

Emulating the legendary Victor “Kermit” Kiam, who liked his Remington shaver so much that he bought the company, Andreas Kaufmann — a keen Leica fan — took over the ailing Leica AG in 2004. He was instrumental in pushing the company into the digital age after years of procrastination.

Leica M8 at Bakers' Tannery. Image Paul Glendell
Leica M8 at Bakers’ Tannery. Even after 13 years, this is still a camera to be reckoned with. Image Paul Glendell

The M8, with its crop-frame APS-H sensor, was the first tangible evidence of resurgence, setting the scene for the subsequent rescue of the rangefinder. Without Kaufmann it is likely that Leica would now be out of business, the rangefinder but a memory.

Paradoxically, however, it is the very success of the digital rangefinder that has enabled the continued production, against all odds, of the current MP and M-A film camera bodies.

Venice with the Leica M9. Image Leica Camera AG
Venice with the Leica M9. Image Leica Camera AG

But it was the launch of the M9, Leica’s first full-frame digital, in September 2009, which set the scene for the coming decade. Since then the M has gone from strength to strength, with the M240 and, latterly, the M10, redefining the digital rangefinder while still maintaining the traditional form of the 70-year-old M.

With the M10, the digital rangefinder at last shrunk to match in dimensions the M7. It is not much bigger than the original M3 and feels just right in the hands.

Soho Cafe with the Leica Monochrom, Mark I. Image Mike Evans
Coffee time in Soho with the original 18MP Leica Monochrom, Mark I. Mark III and 41MP now beckon. Image Mike Evans

Along the way, the rangefinder has diversified and strengthened in ways we could not have envisaged ten years ago. The Monochrom and the niche M-D have both been spawned by the success of the mainstream digital M and both have proved to be unexpectedly successful.

Strong entry

Leica is entering the Twenties with its strongest-ever digital M range. But it has also made impressive progress over the past five years in the mirrorless field. The SL and T arrived in 2015 and both have been successful, the SL especially so.

Clouds and spokes: London’s big wheel enters the Roaring Twenties. It was meant to last only for five years when it was opened for the Millennium, but it continues to entertain visitors into its third decade. It is hard to imagine London’s South Bank without it. Leica SL2 and Sigma f/2.8 45mm Contemporary. Image Mike Evans
Spaceship Spoke-In: Leica’s latest SL2 shows its mettle, even with the poor person’s Contemporary 45mm costing a mere £549. Check the detail in this crop but imagine how much better a £3,750 50mm Leica SL lens would do. You’d be able to see inside the spaceship. Honest.

The SL has defined the full-frame mirrorless camera, despite its class-leading price, and its successor is now a strong competitor in the wider market. As ever, Leica is a premium product, distancing itself from the mainstream, and this is a ploy that has worked in the past and will continue to work. This has benefits in terms of retained value. Canny Leica buyers are aware that whole-life cost is of more importance than initial purchase price.

The germ of the SL concept started as early as 2010. Leica’s engineers understood that the M mount was incapable of taking the company forward into the digital age, other than in the short-term task of developing and maintaining the digital rangefinder.

To be able to create modern, ultra-fast, highest-quality optics with autofocus and, in some cases, stabilisation, Leica needed a bigger mount.

L-Mount

From the outset, a full-frame mirrorless camera was envisaged and it is only chance that saw the new mount appearing first in the T. The L-Mount was engineered from the start for full-frame. In retrospect, for an APS-C camera, it was unnecessarily large. But the arrival of the SL underlined the wisdom of choosing such a large-diameter mount.

The L-Mount Alliance has transformed Leica’s mirrorless future

Sony did it the other way round, first establishing the E-Mount in its range of APS-C cameras before adopting it for the newer full-frame Alphas.

Arguably, this smallest of full-frame mounts (with the exception of the venerable manual-only M) is too small for comfort and, despite Sony’s great success, is undoubtedly a restriction. If Sony had imagined the success of the Alpha range, the E-mount would have been a few millimetres larger in diameter.

Leica has no such worries. The new mount is good for a decade or two. And the L-Mount Alliance has become the icing on the company’s decade of development. For the first time, Leica is part of a technically advanced consortium which offers a wide range of interchangeable cameras and lenses at all price points. Unique in the full-frame world, it offers a system of several cameras and many lenses. Only micro four-thirds can provide a similar breadth of opportunities.

Who would have thought it? The oddball Sigma fp and its matching 45mm f/2.8 is fully compatible with Leica’s SL system

I remain confident that the Alliance will come to be seen as one of the most significant developments in Leica’s history. It is a game-changer, just as was the introduction of the M mount back in 1953.

The LMA provides a solid foundation for Leica’s mirrorless camera development in the new decade. While other manufacturers continue to plough their own furrow with proprietary mounts, Leica, Panasonic and Sigma are cooperating to create what could become the definitive system for mirrorless enthusiasts.

Without a doubt, the versatility of the L-Mount system is an important selling point. For those who don’t want to be tied to one particular marque, the attractions of the L-Mount are all too apparent.

Surprise arrivals

The second big surprise of the Teens has been the success of the Q and Q2. As was the case with the Monochrom, Leica was taken by surprise by the customer reaction to the Q. It was an instant success and was on backorder for over a year following its introduction in 2015.

At the time, although only for a brief time, it was cheaper than its only other competitor, the then Sony RX1. It has been a tremendous success for Leica and I would be surprised if it has not been Leica’s single most successful digital camera. The new Q2 is shaping up to be even more successful.

Leica Q, the ideal reportage camera. Image Mike Evans
Leica Q, the ideal reportage camera for a quick shot of a former POTUS in London’s Piccadilly. Image Mike Evans

At the outset of the Twenties, therefore, Leica is in a much stronger position than it was at the start of the last decade. With the entire industry being forced to move upmarket, away from the bread-and-butter entry-level camera, Leica is in a unique position to cater to an affluent band of new enthusiasts, many of them in the Far East.

Leica, as a small niche manufacturer, is fleet of foot when it comes to adapting to trends and developing relatively specialised and targeted short-run projects such as the M10-D and the many special editions.

This can work in both ways, however, and sometimes capacity is limited. While companies such as Sony can continue to run older models alongside newer iterations (the RX100 family being a good example), Leica often has to make a choice. So, for instance, the Q2 replaced the Q when some enthusiasts felt that both could have sold alongside one another.

Smartphone effect

The rise of the smartphone has ensured that almost everyone now carries a camera. It is no longer an optional purchase, as was the point-and-shoot, and it has become mainstream. Hundreds of millions are now experimenting with photography without feeling the need for separate investment and a degree of dedication.

If only a small proportion of this army of budding photographers turns to a “proper” camera, the newly focused mainstream manufacturers may well have a good future after all. And Leica stands proud from the scrum with its higher prices, legendary red dot and its proliferation of Leica Stores throughout the world.

Andreas Kaufmann, a well-known admirer of Apple and Steve Jobs, would say that Leica’s stores are there to do the same job as Apple Stores — to raise and maintain interest in the brand.

The M10 could just well be the apogee for Leica's digital rangefinder format. It matches the M7 is size and feel and the new control layout and haptics are generally acclaimed to be the best yet. Future developments could be restricted to internals. Faster processors a given and there will be denser sensors. But compatibility with the full range of M lenses puts a ceiling on resolution. Image of Tom Lane's M10 and 50mm Noctilux by Mike Evans, taken with the Leica CL and 18mm f/2.8
The M10 could just well be the apogee for Leica’s digital rangefinder format. It matches the M7 in size and feel and the new control layout and haptics are generally acclaimed to be the best yet. Future developments could be restricted to internals. Faster processors are a given and there will be denser sensors. But compatibility with the full range of M lenses puts a ceiling on resolution. Image of Tom Lane’s M10 and 50mm Noctilux by Mike Evans, taken with the Leica CL and 18mm f/2.8

New products

The next ten years will undoubtedly bring just as many surprises as we have seen over the past decade. In the short term, a new M10-based Monochrom is imminent, probably later this month, and it will feature a 41MP sensor. It would be a pity if this were not followed by a colour version to provide an effective mid-life fillip to the M10.

If this transpired, it would give a nod to my theory that the rangefinder has reached optimum physical dimensions and weight and that the existing control system is worth keeping. The M11 could be further away than we think.

Both the SL2 and Q2 have a lot of life left in them. But there have been persistent rumours of a monochrome Q, something which could be another surprise hit for Leica. It would, however, be based on the current Q2/SL2 47.3MP sensor rather than the new sensor in the M10 Monochrom.

APS-C future?

As mentioned earlier, the only real question in my mind is the future of the Leica’s APS-C range. During the past ten years new ideas have come and gone, from the X1 and X2, though the various X models and the X Vario. Many of us still think the X1 and X2 were pretty good and still acquit themselves well after ten years. Further development of this model (as Fuji has continued to update the X100) could have been a sensible course for Leica. Instead, the company has hopped around and tarried with some pretty unusual designs.

The APS-C range, spearheaded by the radical T but kept alive by the CL, has not been a roaring success. Sales are steady, but the APS-C competition for Leica in the form of Fujis X-series gains strength all the time. Many owners love the CL but it is undoubtedly a Marmite camera — you either love it or hate it. There is, however, one thing that can never be taken away from the CL: Its three-button rear control layout has become standard Leica fare, first on the Q, then on the M10 and now on the SL2.

None the less, more than a few Leica fans have moved over to Fuji from the T and CL because the Japanese manufacturer’s cameras often exhibit more Leica DNA than Leica’s own offerings. In addition, the TL lens range is stuck in a 2015 time-warp and lacks the showroom appeal of the competition.

The decision not to equip the TL zooms with stabilisation was logical. Peter Karbe, the designer, has made it clear that the aim was superb optical performance combined with compact dimensions and low weight. You can’t have everything, and stabilisation was sidelined for that reason. Unfortunately, for better or for worse, stabilisation is now seen as an important box to tick. Perhaps the best route for Leica to follow is to update the CL with IBIS, thus putting new life into the existing lens range.

Sigma could put some new ingredients into the mix but there are no signs of this so far. Leica needs to do something new if it wants to retain APS-C buyers, otherwise the CL and TL will simply wither on the vine.

During the past ten years it is Fuji that has made the running in APS-C mirrorless cameras. The new X-Pro 3 out Leicas Leica in the control department. It's a far cry from the perhaps too clever T and CL. If Leica wants to stay in the market, some development is necessary. Image Mike Evans, Leica Q2
During the past ten years it is Fuji that has made the running in APS-C mirrorless cameras. The new X-Pro 3 out Leicas Leica in the control department. It’s a far cry from the perhaps too clever T and CL. If Leica wants to stay in the market, some development is necessary. Image Mike Evans, Leica Q2

The lenses

Finally, the lenses. Leica is primarily a manufacturer of optics and much effort has been expended by Peter Karbe and his design team over the past decade.

They have continued to develop the range of M lenses, certainly with more focus and attention than has given to the TL range. Throughout the past ten years, we have seen impressive new additions such as the 50mm Apo-Summicron and the 75mm Noctilux.

The SL lenses are rightly seen as being the best in their class, with prices to match, and will still be in demand among those who want the best. They are now facing competition from both Sigma and Panasonic but I suspect this will not worry Leica overmuch. Many Leica fans are purists and they are prepared to spend whatever is necessary to own what they consider to be the best and to maintain brand uniformity. For some, adding a Sigma to an SL2 is nothing short of sacrilege.

As we enter the Twenties, the remarkable thing is that Leica has not only survived the turmoil of the Teens but has become a much stronger company as a result of the increased competition from the smartphone.

Did you like Paul Glendell’s photograph of Bakers’ Tannery. If so, check the full article here.

Read Macfilos reviews of all Leica cameras introduced in the past ten years


36 COMMENTS

  1. Yup, Leica lost its way for a while: creating the ‘hewn-from-a-block-of-aluminium’ T, and then the TL (..in obvious homage to Apple’s hewn-from-aluminium laptops). But to give those T/Ls an iPhone-like touch-screen? ..Really; how many ‘iPhone-to-T’ upgraders would expect less of a ‘camera’ experience, and more of the same phone-like experience ..but for more money? ..And to put all that effort into APS lenses to be used only on the T/L/2 and the CL..?

    It was a very scattershot approach until they settled down with the M and SL line (..but who didn’t want an interchangeable-lens Q?)!

    Steve Jobs said forget about the past – concentrate on the future ..and Leica certainly seems to have forgotten the original small Barnack cameras, after the X/Vario experiment. But I don’t want a massive SL with ginormous lenses! The M, though – like the Harleys in the previous post – have been pretty much the same camera, with tweaks, for the last sixty-six years!

    The M now, however, is just a sideline to the rest of the world’s camera business. No stabilisation, no autofocus, no built-in electronic finder, no optical finder showing exactly what the camera sees – whichever super-wide or telephoto lens is on it.

    So Leica’s now in the “luxury goods” market: cameras, watches, silly ‘limited editions’, daft Polaroid/Instax knock-offs. But what they should do is – like Olympus in the 1950s – realise that way more than three-quarters of their cameras are bought by men, and so create a small, high-quality camera to appeal to women, like Mr Maitani did with the Olympus PEN series.

    Use some of that expertise from their relationship with Huawei, to make a small, ‘glamorous’, internal-zoom (so it doesn’t protrude), thin, low-light, jolly exterior, large capacity, wifi-connected, lightweight, all-purpose, slip-in-your-pocket, retro-viewfinder, modelled by celebs, 500-shot, compact camera for 15-45-year-old women.

    ..And get that Vincent Laine (Leica Q designer) working on it NOW!

  2. Happy new year Mike, a nice summary there.

    If it is any help, as a user of many different Leicas, the one that I am always really attracted to, but never fail to be unhappy with are their iterations of APC-C cameras with interchangeable lenses.

    I reckon that if Leica adopted similar rules to Fuji for their hardware controls, but retained their own soft control side, they might be heading in the right direction.

    I would also like a model that would take either M lenses or accepted a new range of mf lenses (but I realise this is really niche).

    In terms of the actual product, I tried, but I could never remember which wheel or button was doing what and under which circumstances, so much so, that everything else went out of the window…….

    …….. whoooooooooooosh! like.

    • Stephen, I think your experience just about sums it up. I am getting used to the SL and I actually like the way the soft controls work. But the top screen is so much more useful than that on the CL.

  3. Very interesting article Mike. Any thoughts on Leica and smartphone photography, off to a good start with Hauwei but I wonder how they will get on with the US’s restrictions?

    • Don’t really have any views on this, Kevin. As I mentioned in the article, Herr Dr K is an Apple admirer and I am sure that his first thought was a Leica iPhone. But, of course, it was not to be because Apple is very capable of ploughing its own furrow. I suspect, then, that Hauwei was a second choice and this alienates all Leica owners who prefer to stay within the Apple eco-system. I certainly wouldn’t buy an Android phone just because it has a Leica-designed camera. My iPhone (and not even the latest model) performs adequately on the few occasions when I make serious use of it. I just don’t like the haptics of a phone. I realised after my visit to Rye last week that all the shots were taken in portrait mode which is standard on phones. Landscape mode is a fiddle, on the other hand.

      In short, I really don’t know where Leica is going with smartphones and, frankly, I think is has zero impression on their camera sales. They may get good royalties for lending their name to Hauwei but not much more. So, from my point of view, a big yawn.

      • A big yawn, but maybe one of the reasons why Leica is still afloat. Apple is not a company that I would recommend as a partner for Leica in view of its love of having its own proprietary systems. I have both Apple and Huawei smartphones and while the Huawei has a better camera, the Apple is much nicer smartphone to use. What your article does not address, though, is the massive paradigm shift in image making and communications over the past dozen years or so. These have not just affected cameras, which in 2008, were just 35mm models with digital bits stuffed in. Since then we have had social media, video and music streaming, ‘newspapers’ and magazines going almost totally online and many other developments. Post cards home now take all of two seconds to send and so on. And what is the camera industry producing? Still 35mm cameras with digital bits stuffed in. It is difficult to see this being maintained successfully until 2030 without radical changes in camera design and functionality. As for me, I am going back to the joys of film photography, not because it is better or worse, but because it is much more fun.

        William

        • William, I acknowledge the vast change in image making over the past ten years but didn’t want to get bogged down in too much detail. Even with increasing digitalisation of images and opportunities for social networking, I still believe Leica is in the best position to fly the flag for a more traditional approach. The survival of the M is a conundrum and it looks set for at least another ten years whatever is thrown at it in the way of Computational imagery.

          • I believe that I am more traditional than most about here with my latest project involving using a 160 year old lens made in Dublin and another one built about creating a ‘large format Leica’ with a Leitz lens from 1932. I am just observing about the market for digital cameras which is in decline and what might be needed to turn it around. Very few people here would take the direction I am taking. I am not an advocate for computational photography, my interests lie elsewhere, but I feel that the market must inevitably end up there. In fact this has been inevitable since the first digital cameras and associated processing commenced. At the moment we are doing a lot of this in Lightroom, but there is no reason why the functionality cannot be built into cameras which are becoming more and more handheld imaging processors every year.

            William

  4. The CL is one of my favourite Leicas and I’m surprised by its lack of success. It is my go to camera for holidays and street photography, usually paired with M lenses, although the tiny 18/2.8 is a stellar performer.
    I often take it along as a second camera too, tucked away in a coat pocket.
    It’s all matter of budget and taste I realise but the Fujis I’ve used don’t even come close.
    You are probably right though Mike and the opposition will eventually swamp both it and the T range and they will disappear.
    Let’s hope mine keeps going for a good while yet!

    • As I said, the CL is a Marmite camera. I love its size and handling. I don’t like the operation of the top dials and the reliance on that minute screen very much. I hate the fact that there is no simple lock for the four-way pad to make sure the focus area doesn’t skitter around the screen. The lockdown feature, which was introduced to address this concern, is a sledgehammer to crack a nut. I agree with you that a similar camera with more conventional controls would be more appealing to most Leica fans.

        • A full frame Leica CL with hard controls and L lens mount YES PLEASE! but that is the very camera that Leica designers have dodged around and refused to make for decades! They can probably do that dance for years to come but..who knows?
          They might just surprise us with the CL2.

        • Fully agreed on all points re: CL. They should take the CL body and:
          -Remove the minute 1990s screen;
          -Attach a fixed engraved shutter speed dial on the top;
          -Refashion the lenses to have the aperture dial on the front;
          -Lock down the centre focus point (for goodness sake);

          And voila! You have a beautiful barnack that the majority would understand.

          • I agree with that, Mavis. Everything is possible except any redesign of those lenses is now unlikely. I’ve always felt they should have had aperture rings from the beginning (just look at that Sigma 45mm) but I feel sure the investment in a new range of APS-C lenses wouldn’t be sanctioned unless they had a really successful camera body to offer encouragement. And since it’s chicken and egg, who knows what will happen. There is one glimmer of hope and that is that Sigma will enter the market.

      • Yes, I think the aperture ring on the TL lenses would be a bit much to ask for considering how far down the path we have gone. In this case a return to the fixed engraved aperture and shutter speed dials, as on the Leica X series, would be a welcome move.

        Fashioning the CL closer to the X series, and keeping the TL design for the buttonless, label-less controls, might be a way to satisfy the purists and the modern techies…

    • The CL ones go out of stock within a few weeks in Australia but they are only made and stocked in small numbers — maybe 1 per store?

    • I believe most of them sell, probably mainly to collectors for investment and few are actually used. It’s a market I don’t understand but, as several people have pointed out, if they help Leica to be profitable can’t be a bad thing.

  5. I hope the Panny-Leica co-operation will also continue into the future: it produces versatile small Leicas which I can afford to buy, and which also are long-lived in my use and affection. The D-Lux 4 continues to be a gem in my eyes, and the D-Lux 7 is much more intersting than any Fuji X100 (and I had one). Really enjoyed this superb bit of history, Mike: if one can’t buy, one can always ogle!

    • I also hope the Panasonic Leica partnership lasts. The Leica M 240 showed me how terrible Leica is at compact high power electronics and firmware. I missed so many shots with the camera freezing up and requiring me to remove my half case to remove and reinsert battery. Then there was the low res crappy old design EVF ported from Epson at double the price and was not properly integrated into haptics of screen versus LCD. I had the M 240 for 3 years and had a love/hate relationship. I sold it to move to the SL which was and still is an amazing camera and surely had Panasonic contribution as a small company cannot have the resources to do all this such as miniaturization and IBIS. I am a retired high tech electronics/software/firmware development engineer and exec so I think Leica has done a brilliant move of outsourcing things not core to their strengths. It shows in their current product line.

      • “..I think Leica has done a brilliant move of outsourcing things not core to their strengths..” ..which E. Leitz & Sons used to do: Metrawatt made the external – but design-integrated – light meters; Minolta made the (internal) light metering for the M5; Minolta made the entire (original) CL, as Leitz didn’t have the tooling to create that smaller camera; Minolta made several of the SLRs, and Ferranti made the electronics for one or more of the SLRs ..certainly the R4.. at Hollinwood near Oldham.

        The glass is outsourced, the shutter cloth was outsourced ..and they never made their own floggletoggles: they were created for them by Stanley Unwin, of course (British joke).

  6. Hi Mike, a brilliant article! Hopefully, DPreview will not buy you out. You are a shining light in the silly “insights” by most blogs.

    I love my recently purchased new open box M-E (M9). I plan to write an article on it as it is still relevant today and it blows my ex M240 away.

    I am really keen on the 41mp Monochrom and cannot wait for one. If it gets announced soon, I may move my SL2 preorder to it.

    • Great article, thank you!

      I think the CL gets maligned unnecessarily. It’s pretty simple to set up the wheels and buttons and once done works the same way as any other camera in terms of “clicks”. However that top display could be bigger to retain more information as the display does on the SL. While we’re at it either greater energy efficiency or a bigger battery please. It also needs the default on the focus point to be “locked” and only released when you specifically ask for it. Surely not hard to do…Where are you CL2?

      The Q/Q-P/Q2 are real gems and handle beautifully. And yes they feel analog. I keep thinking about adding one to my CL but have the 28mm angle covered already by two lenses on the CL. But when did logic ever apply???

      I’ve never tried an M (readers throw their hands up in horror) but increasingly I feel a bit like the guy who bought a Cayman without trying a 911. Not looking over my shoulder becomes harder to do…

      • Slippery Path Syndrome. I know it well. An interesting analogy with Porsche. The M is definitely the 911 and the CL could be the Boxster. The SL2, well, is it a Cayenne or a Panamera? And where does that leave the Q? Think of it as a Macan, a sporty SUV with tremendous versatility.

  7. Mike,
    Great article. I must say the “Coffee Time in Soho” is a brilliant picture! I love the timing where you captured the expressions of everyone in the picture, especially the women behind the men. Absolutely fabulous. I am stunned that no one else noticed it.

    Moving on the the topic at hand, starting in 1976, I have always been an M user, and probably will always be one, so I cannot offer an opinion on any of Leica’s other offerings, but if the M cameras were to change significantly, or God forbid disappear, I would be lost as I would have to learn how to use a different type of camera. The exception to that rule is the Huawei P10 which I have owned for a couple of years and while it’s not a replacement for an M, it does take remarkably good pictures in the right conditions.

    • Thanks, Richard. That early Soho cafe shot is a favourite of mine and I’m glad you noticed it. My view is that the rangefinder will continue as a relatively niche product. It will survive simply because most users use it simply, with the three exposure parameters being master. These days such a lot of emphasis is placed in autofocus performance — and all the various settings — that there is always something newer and better. I think the M has reached a sort of plateau, especially when we see the higher resolution 41MP sensor. Apart from processor speeds, there is not much else to work on. And compatibility with most M lenses probably rules out much more resolution. So we should be safe.

      • Hi Mike, Richard is spot on about your coffee in SOHO image taken with the 18MP Monochrom. I have returned to look at that image countless times. I forgot to mention it is in my comment as I got thinking of your so erudite article. I love the layers of image content and the transparency in the image, and the individual private moments and expressions. I hope you have this trophy on your wall.
        I have transferred my SL2 preorder (which might be filled in 2 weeks after months) because of this image (and you) to a 41MP monochrom – my camera store has created an early list for me with no deposit so I am number 1.
        I am now thinking of replacing my long sold SL (and recently sold S1 and S1R, gorgeous but not to my standards with m glass) with a mint SL at a lower price as it plays better with m glass than the SL2 and I do not need 47MP. But 41MP mono puts us into true medium format tonality and detail which was my first love in photography- I used to own a Mamiya 6×7 back in the 80s and did the zone system stuff and loved the image emerging in the darkroom. Unfortunately, we had a daughter so I never got to try out 8×10 but I still am glad we had our favourite and only daughter.

        • P.S. Your articles are costing me losses in sales and credibility with my wife who thinks I have lost judgment since my car accident.

        • Thanks for you support, Brian. There is something special about the Monochrom sensor and, particularly, that CCD version. That image, by the way, was processed in Silver Efex Pro, which I no longer have access to. I imagine that the resolution of the new 41MP Monochrom should equate to that of a 60+MP colour sensor. It should be a stunning camera, if very specialised. I hope your confidence is rewarded.

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