We’ve added the Leica M11 Monochrom images to our studio scene comparison tool. The images show the added detail level that can be achieved if you don’t have to demosaic the images, as well as the improved noise performance that comes once you remove the color filter array.
A roughly one stop increase in the amount of light reaching the sensor silicon means around a(albeit with a resulting one stop increase in the camera’s base ISO, canceling out some of the benefit when you have enough light to use base ISO).
Interestingly, at higher settings, you may conclude that the improvement is more than a single stop, as the monochromatic rendering of the noise is perhaps more akin to film ‘grain’ in some regards and is arguably less visibly objectionable (though it doesn’t vary in size with ISO as physical grain does).
Retraction of M11 images
As we worked on the M11 Monochrom images, it became apparent just how far from optimal the color M11’s images were. The images looked similarly sharp as they were being shot and, without a reference point for this lens, seemed to be acceptably in-focus when assessed in isolation. Seeing the M11 Monochrom images shows that the lens is capable of much greater sharpness than we’d achieved with the color camera.
We apologize for publishing these potentially misleading images and are working with Leica to borrow the camera again so that we can ensure our test images represent the camera in the most accurate light. These will be shot as soon as the studio scene has been set up and validated in our new studio.