It is not often read of studio portraits being done with the Leica Q series because of the native fixed Summilux 28mm lens’s focal length and the associated distortion one has to work with the wide focal length.
Portraits are even rarer with the Leica Q2 Monochrom because the limitations go further than a wide 28mm native lens now that one is also working with a pure monochromatic sensor.
However, in the spirit of showing that the potential of a photography tool is not solely determined by camera specifications but also the creativity and ability of the user, I decided to do a studio shoot with only the Leica Q2 Monochrom and 1 additional light (The Godox AD200) and I am here to share the results as an amateur.
*amateur meaning that I am pretty confident there any many professionals out there who will have the capability and creative vision to do even better than me.
For those who are keen, my full reviews of the Leica Q2 and Leica Q2 Monochrom are as linked on their names respectively.
And so here we go,
Equipment used: Leica Q2 Monochrom, Godox AD200 TTL with light shaping tools.
Though it is more common to see photographers doing portraits with focal lengths of 50mm, 75mm and 90mm, this can be an issue when one needs to go beyond the head-shot type of capture indoors.
Here, the 28mm focal length of the Leica Q2 series is useful when one has to shoot in a confined space
And of course, this is also where the high 47.3 megapixels Monochromatic sensor shines in tandem with the excellent 28mm Summilux lens with its superb rendering of details and tones.
With a monochromatic sensor, it is now purely the interplay of light and shadows which paints the image and this is where the Godox AD200 comes in with the shaping of light onto the model. The best part is one can use this as a TTL flash or even a constant lighting source with its 200 Watts power and 1/8000 HSS support.
*the Leica Q2 Monochrom supports up to a 1/2000s sync speed with its leaf shutter.
The close focusing distance of the Q2 Monochrom’s (down to 17cm) helps immensely when one wishes to get close to the model, and of course, a compact camera look definitely helps in getting the model more comfy vs holding a huge system camera.
And yes, a reliable auto-focus system makes all the difference too, especially in how Leica once known for its rangefinder manual focusing system has made big strides in recent years with the performance and reliability of their autofocus system in the SL and Q series.
Thank you for reading.
- Yes, the Leica Q2 series does have an excellent set of in-camera digital crop function that does the work for the user to provide a 35/50/75mm focal length crop but I prefer to do it my way of cropping in post-processing.
- All images were photographed by me using the Leica Q2 Monochrom and the raw files post-processed in Lightroom CC Classic to my liking.
7 Replies to “Studio Portraits with the Leica Q2 Monochrom – a visual review”
Oh my god, this is beautiful Keith. Thank you for an excellent writeup.
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Thank you for dropping by Ian, take care 🙂
I have always thought the Mono series were limited in their usage until I came across your article. Thank you
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Thank you Jan, probably sometimes the idea is since it’s such an expensive camera it be good to maximize the breadth of its usage haha
Good to see the studio use Keith. What did you use to trigger the Godox? Thanks.
Hi Rowan 🙂 most of the shots were done in constant light instead of using a trigger (potential issue is overheating) But from prior experience , the Fujifilm version of the Godox X1T works with the Leica Q so that is a good way to start.