Leica M11 vs M11M Monochrom Workshop
Thanks to one of my awesome students, I got to try the latest Leica M11 digital camera and see it next to the brand new Leica M11 Monochrom. Here is an overview for both cameras and what we got up to. Leica M11 sample photos from London and Poland.
David, a photographer from Palm Springs California reached out to me ahead of his trip to London to request a 1:1 Leica workshop. He’d recently bought a Leica M11 and wanted to learn how to get the most from it. If you’ve never shot with a rangefinder camera they are very different beasts compared to modern mirrorless cameras. Very minimal and beautifully crafted, these camera are a lot of fun to use.
My private 1:1 workshop days are tailored to the individual student. The plan for the day was, for the morning we covered the theory side of using the Leica M11. We used a coffee shop as our base and I answered the list of questions David had prepared.
First we used an iPad to review David’s existing photos. A portfolio review can be valuable for a student. Receive unbiased objective feedback to help you improve your photography. I offer portfolio reviews via Zoom as remote sessions for those that can’t attend a workshop.
For workshops, a portfolio review also helps me appreciate the strengths and weaknesses of a student and their preferred style of photography. It was clear that David had a good eye for photography and had a preference for black and white images.
Two Leica M11 cameras
David had just bought the new Leica M11M from the Leica Mayfair store so arrived to the workshop armed with two Leica M11 cameras! This was a rare and fantastic opportunity for me to see both cameras side by side. A standard Leica M11 black and the black Leica M11M Monochrom. Let’s go through each in turn to cover some of their main features.
Leica M11 first impressions
The Leica M11 is not new to me. It’s a popular choice for students attending my Leica workshops. This occasion was different as David kindly let me use his camera for the day so I could make a YouTube video. This also allowed me to develop some MrLeica Leica M11 presets for Lightroom that some of you requested.
If you’ve used digital Leica M cameras before each new release only has subtle changing to the famous Leica M design. For this reason it’s hard to be blown away with a new model if you’ve owned previous versions. That said, the Leica M11 does bring a few modern upgrades to the classic Leica M design.
Breaking the mould – Leica M11
Leica cameras are usually well behind popular consumer camera brands when it comes to including the latest modern features. Leica cameras are simple and minimal and I like that. Saying that, sometimes it’s nice to have a few basic mod cons included.
Leica M11 new features
This is not a full specs list but some of the most notable upgrades include –
- 60MP sensor (with the option of 36MP & 18MP)
- High resolution touch screen rear LCD (twice the resolution of the Leica M10 variants
- No bottom plate to remove to access the camera battery and SD card
- Quick release battery design (similar to Leica Q2M/ Leica SL2-S)
- USB-C charging port on base of the camera
- 1/16000 maximum shutter speed (electronic shutter)
- 64GB internal memory
Comparing Leica M10-P, Leica M10-R and M11
The Leica M11 optical viewfinder is the same as that on the Leica M10, Leica M10-P, Leica M10-R (and M10 Monochrom).
All cameras have a similar design and form factor. The new Leica M11 black is aluminium and offers a 110g weight saving over the previous M10-P/ M10-R models. 550g vs 660g respectively.
Unlike the 2012 Leica M240 that I still use, the Leica M10 and Leica M11 variants all share the same 3 button design layout and latest simple menus. All models have roughly the same size rear LCD display and all models can be used with the Leica Visoflex Typ020 (round design) or Visoflex 2 (rectangular) models.
Just don’t drop it
The same as with all previous Leica M rangefinder cameras (and rangefinder cameras in general), these cameras don’t like being knocked or dropped.
Strong vibration or a sudden knock will result in misalignment of the Leica M11 rangefinder. You’ll then need to have the camera recalibrated before you can use it again. A cost of both time away from your camera and the money to fix it. This is one big advantage of non-rangefinder cameras such as the Leica SL series and Leica Q series cameras.
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Black Leica M11 – Taking photos in London
Here are a series of Leica M11 sample images shot during our workshop in London. Phoebe was modelling for us. *Click the Phoebe photos for lens info.
Silver Leica M11 – Test photos in Warsaw
When I was in Poland I visited the Leica Warsaw store to say hello. What followed was an unplanned series of lens tests for my own interest. Two YouTube videos to follow! For many of the photos I was using the Silver Leica M11 both with and without the Visoflex 2 attachment. A huge thanks to the Leica Warsaw staff for being so welcoming. Highly recommend if you are ever in Poland. Here are a few test photos.
Leica M11 + Leica APO-Summicron-M 35mm f2
More test photos from Poland
Watch the latest YouTube video to see more from Poland. I was comparing the Leica APO-Summicron-M 35mm f2 vs Leica Summilux-M 35mm f1.4 FLE II.
Leica M11 or Leica SL2 / SL2-S?
One question I often receive is “what is better – Leica M or Leica SL?” (Leica camera models vary depending on the photographers budget). I love Leica M cameras for street photography, travel photography, environmental portraits and landscapes. For me I enjoy using 28mm and 35mm, some 50mm and a small 90mm. For all lenses, the smaller the better for M cameras. I find the Leica SL series cameras a little too big for walking around cities. (Don’t forget the little Leica CL if you want something even smaller).
I recommend Leica SL cameras for fast lenses and telephoto lenses especially. Brilliant for ultra fast shallow depth of field portraiture. Nail you focus every time with the big bright viewfinder (EVF). Also a great base to adapt exciting lenses to via adapters.
Lightroom presets for Leica M11
All Leica M11 photos in this article were developed with my new Leica M11 Lightroom preset pack. After a few of you had asked me about Leica M11 presets, finally they are available to download.
Need Leica Presets?
Leica M11M (Monochrom)
As mentioned in the YouTube video I didn’t get to test the new Leica M11 Monochrom. I have used the Leica M10M and Leica Q2M before so had a rough idea of what to expect. Seeing both the Leica M11 and Leica M11M cameras side by side I can list some of the subtle design differences.
Differences – Leica M11 vs M11M (Monochrom)
The Leica M11M has the following changes compared to the standard Leica M11 colour model.
- Red dot is replaced with black screwhead (on the front of the camera)
- Red font on the shutter speed dial and aperture control are now grey
- White “Leica M11” font on hotshoe is now black
- Silver shutter release button on M11 is black on M11M
- M11M has “Monochrom” engraving on top plate
- RGB sensor replaced with monochrome sensor (stating the obvious!)
Watch on YouTube: Leica M11 vs Leica M11M (Monochrom)
Watch my first impressions video on the Leica M11 and M11M on YouTube.
Not my first time with a Leica M11
As mentioned this isn’t my first use of a Leica M11. Bjorn kindly let me try his Leica M11 during our workshop back in 2022. He was using the camera for the workshop so I only took a couple of pictures with it. Not enough to make a full review at the time but a great opportunity all the same. Thanks Bjorn!