Leica Q2 Monochrom Presets, Portraits & Review + YouTube
Comparing the Leica Q2 Monochrom vs the Original Leica Q Typ 116 including model portraits and Leica Q2M presets.
Black and white photographer
As perhaps a 95% black and white photographer you make think that a B&W only camera is my perfect camera!? Aperture, London kindly let me test their Leica Q2 Monochrome again my original Leica Q Typ 116 camera.
Comparing the Leica Q2M vs Leica Q
As a model photographer I arranged a model to use as my test subject in London. I shot both the Leica Q2M and Leica Q between ISO 100-400 as it was a bright day. All photos were shot wide open at the maximum aperture of f1.7. Available light only and no reflectors or light mods.
Leica Q2M portraits
If we first look at Leica Q2 Monochrom portraits. All photos shot in RAW with no colour filter and daylight white balance. I then applied one of my new MrLeica Leica Q2M Lightroom presets and exported as a small JPEG.
Editing Leica Q2 Monchrom images
When you come to edit you Leica Q2M RAW files in post you have the limitation of a B&W file. This means no colour slider adjustments like you might use if converting a standard colour RAW file to B&W. This meant I needed to make new Lightroom presets for the Leica Q2M.
Developing my Leica Q2M presets for Lightroom
I struggled to make one Lightroom preset to suit all my model images. I needed a wider variety of photos so my presets could be used by others too.
Leica Q2M test photos for making presets
These photos are nothing too exciting. I tried to capture reds, blues, yellows, greens to give me the basis for multi-purpose LR presets.
Viewers to the rescue!
I reached out to my followers and explained I was developing new LR presets. I asked willing Leica Q2 Monochrom users to sending me a selection of their Leica Q2M RAW files to use for my preset testing.
My request was – Selection of subjects, colours, textures and captured without additional colour filters. In no particular order here is my favourite image from each photographer. (See more in the gallery shared below). Look them up on Instagram to see more of their awesome work!
Sam Atkins – @samatkinspics
Wei Zhang – @_weizhangphoto
Konstantin Zuzik – n/a
Matt Mendoza-Cicciarelli – @2034photography
More Leica Q2M photos from viewers
As above, all RAW files received were edited with my Leica Q2M preset pack. See below to view what preset was applied to each image and who captured each photo.
MrLeica Leica Q2M preset pack for Lightroom
My MrLeica Leica Q2M preset pack bundle consists of 5 B&W presets. You can download all 5 as one bundle here.
- MrLeica Leica Q2M LC1 Preset (Low Contrast 1) (Key:Yellow)
- MrLeica Leica Q2M LC2 Preset (Low Contrast 2) (Key:**)
- MrLeica Leica Q2M MC Preset (Medium Contrast) (Key: Red)
- MrLeica Leica Q2M HC1 Preset (High Contrast 1) (Key: Green)
- MrLeica Leica Q2M HC2 Preset (High Contrast 2) (Key: Blue)
Which Preset did I use the most?
To help you see what preset I used the most I colour coded them in Lightroom. I used Red, Yellow, Blue, Green and then ** as my 5th option. (In hindsight I could have used Purple!) See the colour coding below and the colour code key in the list above. (Ignore the ** on the guy on the bike photo – I just liked it so that was a reminded to edit full size!)
Leica Q2 Monochrom preset comparison
Here I applied my 5 different Leica Q2M presets to the same image to see the slight variations. *All Leica Q2 Monochrom image shared in this post were edited with these presets.
Film inspired Lightroom presets
As a hybrid shooter I enjoy both film photography and digital photography. These presets are definitely film inspired. As you might know each black and white film stock gives a signature look. Some films offer higher contrast with blacker blacks. Others give a flatter look with various shades of grey. Hopefully my new MrLeica Leica Q2M preset pack will have something for everyone and to suit all conditions.
Leica Q vs Leica Q2 Monochrom
So those are the Leica Q2 Monochrom files. Can I get a similar result with the original Leica Q camera? Next we look at a series of similar model portrait photos shot with the Leica Q.
Leica Q portraits
All photos were shot in RAW then my MrLeica Leica Q presets applied. (Available soon – still working on them. Follow the blog to be notified once they are released).
Compare – Can you see a difference?
If you compare the Leica Q photos to the similar Leica Q2M photos can you see a difference? I was more than happy with the Q images so in my case no.
Turn your Leica Q in to a Leica Q2M
If you shoot at ISO 100-6400 you probably don’t need to buy a Leica Q2M. For a similar experience to shooting a Monochrom camera just set your camera to B&W JPEG mode (“Monochrom”) so you will see in B&W. If you capture in RAW format import the files to Lightroom. Apply a MrLeica B&W preset to all images and done. All photos are B&W, there is no risk of wasting hours trying to decide if you should edit in colour or black and white.
That’s how I edit and it works great when I have little free time. I can normally process 300+ model photos within an hour or so excluding computer import/export time.
Benefit of colour
If as in this example the model asks for some photos in colour that just isn’t an option with a Leica Q2M. Luckily as I had the Leica Q with me I could oblige. Here are a few colour samples. (RAW + Leica Q test presets applied).
Verdict – Leica Q2 Monochrom
The Leica Q2M has a loyal fan base so I’m not trying to upset anyone with this article. If you shoot 90%+ B&W and more so if you often need ISO 6400-50,000 then yes the Q2M would be the camera for you. Perhaps event photographers shooting gigs with minimal available light for example.
For those of you like me that love black and white but need to shoot colour for clients, then the Leica Q or Q2 (in this scenario) will be a more sensible option.
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