Leica Monochrom – A Niche Camera?

So many times I read reviews of the Monochrom in which the reviewer says that the Monochrom is a niche camera.  They are correct, the Monochrom is a niche camera, even in the world of Leica.  However, the reasons I see for reviews placing the Monochrom in a niche are suppositions of the ignorant.  Simply put, the Monochrom is developed by a premier group of photography physicists (my term) to emulate black and white film photography using the best of the digital world.  This means, those that practice and enjoy black and white photography will be those that understand how to use the Monochrom.  More importantly, those of the younger generation have the opportunity to learn black and white photography with current technology and instant review.  Black and white chemistry is complex and technical – the reason photography has traditionally been a physics course in most major universities.  Today, digital photography has moved to instruction by those in art and journalism.   The science has fallen back to a much smaller crowd.

Yes, the Monochrom is a niche camera.  It will remain a niche camera as long as the true art and science of black and white photography exists.  For those looking for the ability to expose haphazardly without understanding color, light, and contrast to produce an image, color digital is probably better suited.  For those willing to take the plunge and learn about filters, contrast curves and exposure, the Monochrom will be an adventure.  A niche adventure.





Leave a Comment