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Leica's Monochrom goes all polychromy

Posted on by Mike Evans

The new silver-chrome Leica Monochrom with its matching 50mm Summilux lens—all for £9,200, including VAT

The new silver-chrome Leica Monochrom with its matching 50mm Summilux lens—all for £9,200, including VAT

I always thought the stealthy black Monochrom body was a fitting image for a modern black-and-white-only digital camera. It has been a big success for the German company, despite the £2,000 premium over its colour sibling, the M-E (the M9 as was). It is even £1,100 more expensive than the more technically up to date Leica M (Typ 240) with its CMOS sensor, live view and electronic viewfinder capability.

The new 28mm Summilux ASPH will be a match for the silver-chrome Monochrom

The new 28mm Summilux ASPH will be a match for the silver-chrome Monochrom

None of this has prevented the Monochrom from becoming a sales success. And for good reason. The Monochrom is one of Leica's greats and is set tol become a classic (alongside the M9-P which continues to hold its value surprisingly well despite the advent of the M). In my Monochrom test last summer I was completely won over. I know so many fellow Leica fans who swear by this camera. Some, without a doubt, prefer it to the new M, appreciating its smaller dimensions and slightly lower weight as well as the outstanding reproduction possible from the colour-array-free sensor.

Now, while the all-black Monochrom continues to progress into legend, it has a new coat of paint as an alternative choice. The company has announced a silver-chrome Monochrom which will be available from May in limited quantities. It is identical mechanically and optically to its black sibling and will sell for the same price, £6,200 body only. Many Leica fans, I know, will welcome the more traditional appearance and will enjoy using this camera with their chrome Summicrons and Summiluxes. This new camera will surely increase chrome-lens demand, particularly for the Summilux range, from the brand new 28mm through to the all-time-great 50mm.

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