Would you buy a Leica that just shoots in black and white?

Leica has released a new camera that just shoots in black and white. It is the Leica M Monochrom, it retails for about $7,450 and it is a beautiful camera. Leaving aside the cost, I’m wondering about the use case for a camera that only shoots black and white? Leica commissioned Ragnar Axelsson to spend some time shooting with this camera and the footage and photos are pretty spectacular. He also explains why it appeals to him so much:

There is no question the camera produces remarkable images (although, as I am learning, great photos often have more to do with the photographer than the camera). Perhaps such a nice camera requires a niche photographer who has a strong black and white focus? Would you buy a Leica that just shoots in black and white?

One of the images Leica commissioned from Ragnar Axelsson

I used to shoot in black and white, alternating with color film when I shot on film back in the day. Then you had to make a choice, especially if you didn’t develop your photos yourself so I’d buy rolls of black and white and shoot whole rolls at a time. Maybe I should spend some time shooting in black and white and see if it grabs me again. I don’t even know if my camera will shoot natively in black and white or if I just switch to monochrome when I edit.

One thing for sure, though, is that I love the idea of owning a Leica and one of my favorite Leica-using photographers is Joi Ito who I often look to for inspiration. His style is simple and his photos really stand out. Here is just one example:

Biz Stone by Joi Ito, licensed CC BY 2.0

Either way, beautiful camera and one for my “Camera Lust List”. Check out The Verge’s review if you are interested in specs.

By Paul

Enthusiast, writer, Happiness Engineer at Automattic. I take photos too. Passionate about my wife, Gina and #proudDad.

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