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Leica M Monochrom “Stealth Edition”

Set with Leica Summicron-M 35 mm f/2 ASPH.

The Leica M Monochrom special “Stealth Edition” was designed by Marcus Wainwright, founder and owner of the acclaimed fashion label “rag & bone.” Wainwright is also a dedicated Leica photographer who shoots with various Leica cameras, often in black and white using his M6.

The Monochrom is a wonderful concept. Nobody – no other company – could have had the courage to do it.
Marcus Wainwright

As the renowned fashion designer explains: “For me, Leica embodies the pursuit of perfection in an object with the lifelong mission of fulfilling its function. That’s why I love Leica.”

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Mission: Discretion

Marcus Wainwright’s design concept is the individual perfection of existing icons. In the case of the M Monochrom “Stealth Edition,” this means taking the discreet unobtrusiveness of the camera to the extreme. A special scratch-resistant, matte paint is used to make the surface finish as black as possible. Accompanying it in matching jet-black, the leather trim of the camera is made from an extremely smooth full-grain cowhide that also offers excellent grip.

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As a striking visual counterpoint, the most important engravings on the camera and lens are intentionally highlighted with a special fluorescent paint that glows in the dark. This enables faster setting of the aperture or focusing of the lens in low-light situations. The set includes a comfortable black fabric carrying strap, a metal front cap for the lens, and a certificate of authenticity. The edition is strictly limited to only 125 camera sets for the worldwide market, each of which bears a special serial number.

The word “Stealth” describes the extremely discreet appearance of the camera, which is essentially characterized by its matte black paint finish, black leather trim, and the omission of color for all “unnecessary” details.

Marcus Wainwright and Leica – a perfect match.

M Monochrom
See more in black and white

The Leica M Monochrom is the modern tool for photographers who wield the power and presence of black-and-white photography to express their creativity. As the refined successor to the world’s first digital black-and-white full-frame camera, it offers the latest technologies for the greatest possible quality and user experience in the black-and-white photographic world.

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The sensor of the Leica M Monochrom captures light with unparalleled sharpness and integrity. The sensor of the Leica M Monochrom features no color filter array, allowing it to capture only luminance levels and yielding an image that is sharper than what is possible from a conventional CMOS and devoid of color noise for a more film-like grain.

Moreover, with its low susceptibility to image noise, bright viewfinder/rangefinder, ultra-quiet shutter release, and fast lenses, the Leica M Monochrom broadens horizons for available-light photography and the creation of dynamic atmospheric images.

Leica Summicron-M 35 mm f/2 ASPH.
Small, dark and handsome

The lens included in the set has the classic street photographer’s focal length of 35 mm and is finished with the same special paint as the camera body – a striking-yet-subtle matte black. The lens impresses with high imaging performance and uniquely pleasing bokeh.

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Despite its high speed and exceptional image quality, its dimensions are astoundingly compact. Paired with this lens, the Leica M cameras become extremely compact, versatile and elegant photographic tools. The Summicron-M features a rectangular, full-metal lens hood with a screw mount. A screw-on protector ring is provided to protect the filter threads of the lens when the hood is not in use.

The romance of black-and-white Photography

Although color film had become widely available since the 1930s, the icons of photography made history predominantly with black-and-white photographs. Ted Grant, considered to be the father of Canadian photojournalism, once said, “When you photograph people in color, you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in black-and-white, you photograph their souls”

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Why is it that images in black-and-white are sometimes felt to be more significant and authentic than color photographs?

Many theories have been put forward in the attempt to explain the fascination of black-and-white – the reduction to gray tones eliminates the distractions of colors, black and white emphasize the contrasts, and the inherent abstraction calls on the viewer to get more deeply involved with the picture and its content. These theories may explain how our brains process the viewing of black and white images, but ultimately it comes down to our emotional connection to the esthetic, on a personal level.

The void of color

In the world of physics, black is quite simply defined as the complete absence of visible light. However, if we take a look at the meaning of black for our perception of things, it becomes a little more complex. For instance, black is also the complete absence of visual stimulation.

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Especially for human beings, this state represents an extreme situation, and is therefore of particular interest in photography: what can be seen, and what remains unseen? And how do viewers interpret the things they do not see? However, we can say with certainty that when painting with light – photography – the absence of light fulfills a rather special function. And that the M Monochrom “Stealth Edition” is the perfect tool for exploring the available dark.

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