15 months with the Leica Monochrom 246

Panos Voudouris
6 min readApr 21, 2023

In January 2022 I bought a Leica Monochrom Typ 246 (M246). I wrote last November about my experiences with it up to that point. For me, as someone that has pretty much shot film for the last 10 years, it has been quite a bit of a learning curve.

So let’s see where I’m at now, 15 months and a few thousand photos later.

Still looking good!

Practical issues

On the camera itself, it has been a joy to use. I bought the camera used and it looked to be in pretty mint condition. It is not looking like that any more but that’s just down to some light scuffs it picked up, plus a bit of rubbing around the strap lugs. I do not baby it, so happy to say the paint is quite durable. I calibrated the rangefinder myself when I bought it (the vertical was a tiny bit off) and has been spot-on since.

The operation of the camera has been faultless and battery life is excellent. Note that I hardly use the LCD beyond a quick exposure confirmation. I generally do not review or delete images on the go.

For lenses, I have now settled on the Voigtlander 35/1.4 SC II, which is a brilliant and compact lens. I just love the rendering it produces, especially up close and at wider apertures. I also bought an ancient 9cm Elmar, which I use for some longer shots but that gets very little use overall.

Just a few scuffs around the strap lugs and that VM 35/1.4 is permanently on.

I find the camera great to use and my configuration is very simple: I have a profile where the lens coding is manually set to the 35/1.4 Summilux (just to get the EXIF), ISO is auto in the full range and that’s that.

If I was to complain about something, it would be the meter that is easily fooled by spot light sources. This happens a fair bit in the night, which is when I mainly use the camera, as such I generally resort to using Auto-Exposure lock or Exposure Compensation. I have the camera setup to allow EC setting via the thumb wheel.

I guess one of the improvements in the new M11 is that it finally meters off the sensor (vs the shutter blades) and you get a meter that works like it is 1990 vs something from the 1950s!

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