Leica Announces the X2 Compact and M-Monochrom Rangefinder

Discussion in 'Featured Articles, Reviews & Posts' started by Amin Sabet, May 10, 2012.

  1. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet   Administrator

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    Leica_X2_black_and_silver_versions.jpgToday Leica announced two new cameras. The first, pictured above, is the Leica X2. Readers of this site are familiar with the X1, Leica's fixed-lens APS-C sensor camera featuring a 36mm equivalent (24mm actual focal length) Elmarit (f/2.8) lens. The X1 drew three primary criticism: 1) lack of an integrated eye level viewfinder; 2) average to below average autofocus speed; and 3) below average rear LCD. The X2 promises an improvement to the AF speed and adds an accessory port for use of an optional 1.44m dot EVF. It also features a new 16MP sensor. Unfortunately the rear LCD form the X1 has been retained.

    Leica-X2-Silver-viewfinder-EVF2_3qtr.jpg

    In terms of both looks and specification, the new Leica EVF shown above resembles the Olympus VF2. List price for the X2 has been reported as $1,995.


    Leica-M-Monochrom_3qtr.jpg
    The second and arguably more interesting (less interesting from a budget standpoint!) camera announced today is the M-Monochrom, which is essentially a black-and-white-only version of the Leica M9. By eliminating the color filter array, the new sensor will have improved light gathering and no need for demosaicing; as a result, the M-Monochrom will deliver significantly more per pixel detail and better high ISO performance than the M9.

    At first glance, the image samples from DPReview are impressive. I'd love to see a black-and-white-only Micro Four Thirds camera.

    Various sites are reporting an estimated price of $7,000-$8,000 for the M-Monochrom.

    Update: Our friend Jono Slack had M-Monochrom during a recent trip to China: his writeup and wonderful photos can be found here: http://www.slack.co.uk/slack/Monochrom.html
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  2. Mal

    Mal Lounge Veteran

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    with or without lens..... :rolleyes:
     
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  3. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet   Administrator

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    $15k including the new 50mm lens :eek:.

    There's no reason Olympus can't put out an OM-D Monochrom for $999. Just take out the CFA, substitute some glass with the right refractive index, and voila. No? Maybe someone who knows more can set me straight. Anybody seen Brian around? :smile:
     
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  4. Andrewteee

    Andrewteee Lounge All-Pro Subscribing Member S.C. Charter Member

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    I just read Sean Rei'd review of the Monochrom and the pictures are simply amazing! I sure hope that within a year we see more B&W cameras. Could start with a Ricoh GXR A16-MM (m-mount monochrome)!
     
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  5. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus Subscribing Member S.C. Charter Member

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    I'm not sure what to say - except to say thank you for keeping me up-to-date. Thankfully, all I can do is enjoy reading about all these new cameras.:biggrin:
     
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  6. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back! Subscribing Member

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    WHISKEY - TANGO - FOXTROT!!! $8000 for the new 50 Cron??? That's $5700 - $5800 more than the old version!

    What's going to happen to the 50 Lux currently priced at $4000? It'll have to be $10000.

    Meaning that the M10 will be at least $12000 - 13000! That's even more crazy than things already are ...
     
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  7. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus Subscribing Member S.C. Charter Member

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    Very well said, Armando.:biggrin:
     
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  8. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin Lounge Hall of Famer

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    That has to be an Olympus VF-2, right? It looks absolutely identical!
     
  9. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus Subscribing Member S.C. Charter Member

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    True!
     
  10. Luke

    Luke   Super Moderator

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    they could have at least put a red dot on it (the Oly viewfinder)
     
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  11. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back! Subscribing Member

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    That would have increased the price from $795 to $995. So I'm glad they didn't!
     
  12. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet   Administrator

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    I cannot comprehend a 50mm f/2 lens that is worth $7k more than the Zeiss ZM 50/2 Planar, a lens which is as close to perfection as I have ever used.
     
  13. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back! Subscribing Member

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    No kidding!! I keep thinking it's got to be a typo!!

    And it's more like $7200 more than the Zeiss!!
     
  14. krugorg

    krugorg Lounge All-Pro

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    So, I can buy an E-M5, XPro1, D800, plus all of the interesting lenses for those systems, plus maybe a X100 for compact carry (make that 2, one limited/black, one silver), plus a new computer to process stuff, and then maybe a vacation for two to Antarctica.... or, I can go with a M9M with the new 50/2?
     
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  15. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back! Subscribing Member

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    I knew it!! The $8000 price tag on the new 50 Cron was a mistake after all.






    DPR has the official price -- and it's only $7195! :dash2:
     
  16. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back! Subscribing Member

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    Gotta say this looks really cool though - Hermes edition

    [​IMG]

    Kits ranging from $25,000 - 50,000.
     
  17. Brian

    Brian Lounge Top Veteran S.C. Charter Member

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    It's just like making a bacon and tomato sandwich- leave off the lettuce...

    Easiest way- leave the color dye out of the mosaic filter.

    Last year, I called Kodak's Sensor group and asked them what it would take to do a Monochrome version of the KAF-18500. They had wanted to do a Monochrome Leica from the introduction of the M8. "If any camera maker was going to do a monochrome camera, it should be Leica". Is what the engineer stated. Looks like they got their wish.

    Once upon a time, most CCD's offered by Kodak were available in Monochrome, full-spectrum (visible+Infrared like in mine) and Color. The firmware needed to know which version of the sensor was installed. Separate fabrication runs, ie skipping steps, was required. Test and verification procedures are probably the most time consuming of it.

    I'm happy to see this camera is out. My Monochrome Digital is getting fairly old. 20 years. One of the engineers at Kodak remembered me from 20 years ago calling to have the IR camera made.

    Price- my 1.6MPixel DCS200ir was $12,400 for the body and an extra $2,000 for the external battery and 80MByte Hitchiker external SCSI drive. Then i bought all ED lenses, about $20,000 for the kit. 20 years ago.

    Oh- and for a Monochrome Leica M9- forget about the new aspheric, apo Summicron. Get a 5cm f1.5 Summarit. One of the best lenses for monochrome that you will ever find. All in the Histograms. for Digital- No Clipping.
     
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  18. Brian

    Brian Lounge Top Veteran S.C. Charter Member

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    The Summicron - that's nuts for an f2 lens, but....

    The Pentax Ultra-Achromatic 85/4.5 was $1400 in ~1970.

    "What cost $1400 in 1970 would cost $7771.88 in 2010. "

    Anybody want to trade a new Summicron for my Pentax 85/4.5?

    All Calcium Fluorite optics, no skimping.

    You know, I could remount the glass in a Canon 85/2 and use it on the Leica...

    Until then, i use it on the EP2.

    [​IMG]
     
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  19. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet   Administrator

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    :smile:
     
  20. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet   Administrator

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