April 10, 2024

The Leica Q2 Monochrom journal.

Chapter 1: Screw the legend.

Henri Cartier-Bresson…blah, blah. First 35mm…blah, blah. Remember this: Legends are what used to be.

I’ve never bought a Leica before, so I just want to judge my new Leica Q2 Monochrom for what it is today. When you shoot with it, you quickly get why someone who spends an outrageous sum on a Leica will do it again. While people see Leica for the legend, I see it as 100 years of getting better and better at building cameras.

But $6000? With a fixed 28mm lens? That only shoots black-and-white? And will probably be replaced by a newer model within a year? This journal is not to justify the cost of a Leica. That’s not possible. Instead it examines this unique camera for what it is, what it can do and why it may be a perfect camera for some. (Including those shooting street photography, artsy photojournalism, environmental portraits or a few black-and-white prints for their wall.)

I don’t want to sound like a J. Peterman catalog description, but when you put the Q2M in your hand it feels natural, like an extension of you. It’s balanced, so you can actually shoot with one hand. The controls are all just where they need to be. That is—if you want control: You can set it up so ƒ︎-stop, shutter, ISO and focus are completely automatic. Or entirely manual.

And the photos? These are probably the best full-frame, black-and-white images you can get from a digital camera today. That stems from the fact that there’s no color involved in the process, so there’s minimal noise and no loss from filtering or interpolation associated with color sensors. And the fact that there’s never been a more perfect marriage like this lens and this sensor. (They literally were made for each other.) When it comes to his camera, there’s no need to cite history. The Leica Q2M is a camera as a camera should be.

More to come.

Read the next chapter: Why Black-and-White?

Read the whole series

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Photography Leica Q2 Monochrom

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Chapter 2: Why black and White? There’s a problem with color images: They’ve becoming a form of noise. Literally half the world has a phone with a color camera in it. And
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