Leica M6 vs Pentax K-3 III Monochrome Shootout

GAS hit me hard earlier this year and I bought a Pentax K-3 III Monochrome which is a dedicated black and white digital camera. With a fondness of black and white film photography, it intrigued me. I soon got the idea to shoot a roll of black and white film next to it for comparison and the results can be found here.

Shooting the Pentax K-3 III Monochrome is very different from shooting black and white film. It’s essentially the inverse when deciding on exposure. With the digital camera, highlights must be preserved at all costs as it clips hard at around 3.5 stops over “middle gray”. On the other hand, lots of details can be dug out from its RAW files so quite a bit of under exposure can be tolerated to compensate. With negative film, exposure is set based on the shadows and the generous exposure latitude protects the highlights.

I choose a slow speed film to make the comparison even remotely fair. The digital camera is technically superior to 135 format film in all aspects except exposure latitude. One could probably trump it in resolution with very slow speed films, but it’s seldom practical to do so. The film used for the comparison is Fujifilm Acros 100, exposed at EI 64 and developed in D-76 2+3 at 20°C for 11 minutes. Not my favorite film, but it’s fairly fine grained. It was digitized using the light box v2.

Lenses used:

Photo galleries:

Published: 2023-10-28
Revised: 2023-10-29