The other day we wondered what type of people would buy the pricey, luxurious rebadged Sony cameras from Hasselblad. Naturally, they’re people with the cash and the desire to own one-of-a-kind products. Those are probably the same type who, according to PetaPixel, paid 21,000 Euros (about $28,000) for a limited edition Leica M Monochrom – an 18-megapixel full-frame (35mm) digital camera that only shoots in black and white.
This particular variation of the M Monochrom, which doesn’t have an RGB filter in order to deliver sharper images (albeit in black and white), is signed by art photographer Ralph Gibson, who had been a longtime Leica film shooter, but wasn’t completely sold on digital B&W until he used the digital M Monochrom. Unlike the regular M Monochrom (which sells for nearly $8,000; used ones aren’t that much cheaper), this limited edition camera has silver plating, chrome, black “volcano pattern” leather, and specialty strap, and comes with a Leica Summilux-M 35mm f/1.4 lens. Everything comes in a unique box with a copy of Gibson’s book.
Gibson is an American art photographer whose work is showcased at many of the world’s major museums. He worked as an assistant to renowned photographers Dorothea Lange and Robert Frank at the start of his career, and has published several art photography books.
Most of us can’t afford something like this, let alone a regular Leica. But even if you have the money and you want one, you’re too late: all 35 were reportedly sold out in 5 minutes when it was presented last December. While this Leica may be an excellent camera, we have the feeling most of these will remain behind glass.