Home / Chris Williams / A Wedding Photographer Reviews the Leica Monochrom

A Wedding Photographer Reviews the Leica Monochrom

“Be quick, but don’t hurry.” – John Wooden, former UCLA basketball coach

I love this quote and I think it fits perfectly with photography.

I started out with Rangefinders in wedding photography. Partly because those are the tools I had but also because I loved the intimacy I could achieve with a Leica due to it’s small size.

I’ll probably get some flack for this from film lovers (hey, I’m one too) but with their new Monochrom  – black and white 18mp digital Rangefinder, Leica has put the “Tri-X” back into digital photography. Perhaps they’ve even put the tried-and-true love of black-and-white back into wedding photography.

I think there’s a different thought process with black-and-white photography versus color photography. With the Monochrom, I don’t have the mindset, “I’ll just convert to black-and-white during post processing,” which can sometimes be lazy. I find myself taking time to think about the image before creating it, just as if I only had 36 exposures before having to rewind and reload.

The Monochrom – what is it?

*18 megapixel digital Leica black-and-white Rangefinder camera

*No color filter allows for increased sensitivity

*ISO range from 320 to 10,000

*Accepts almost all Leica M-mount lenses plus third-party M mount lenses (Zeiss, Voigtlander, Konica, Minolta) and screwmount lenses with M mount adapter allowing the Monochrom to capture images with over a hundred lenses from 12mm to 135mm.

I recently had the opportunity to photograph a wedding with a Monochrom while working alongside Will Jacks in New Orleans on New Year’s Eve. I’ve used a Monochrom before, but this was the first time I’ve used one at a wedding. These images were captured between ISO 3200 and 5000, something current digital Leica users will love if they’re used to an M8 or M9. There is a “film grain” look like no other digital camera I’ve tried.

I’m hooked, I want one.


About the Author

Chris is a professional documentary photographer who lives in Washington DC and New Orleans, Louisiana. While a majority of his work focuses on wedding and portrait photography, he takes every chance he can get to explore personal work. In 2009 he had the opportunity to photograph His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama and in 2010 he had a selection of his iHolga (iPhone) images displayed in Berlin and NYC. Last year his wedding work took him to Hawaii and Cabo. Recently his work was on display in New Orleans and Los Angeles and he was the featured photographer at the Leica Las Vegas Workshop in February 2012. Chris is also 1/4 part of Rebirth Workshops. “I always have a camera on me, even if it’s a trip down the street for pizza, who knows what may happen, you may miss that decisive moment.” Headshot photo credit : Jessica Del Vecchio 

The NEW ShootQ is Complimentary while in Beta mode for the next few months.  Enjoy!
The NEW ShootQ is Complimentary while in Beta mode for the next few months.  Enjoy!