Leica Showcase M8 Monochrome Conversion comparison RAW vs DNG, M8RAW2DNG V1.2

Version 1.2 of M8RAW2DNG is available,


is improved over the prior versions, and a good explanation of the difference is up.

For anyone using the M8 for monochrome conversions, this technique is worth looking at.

Converted using LR4.4 presets for Blue and Yellow filters, no exposure/contrast adjustments made. The 16-bit files had room to pull details from the shadows before exporting to 8-bit JPEG.

16-bit, simulated Blue filter.


DNG-16 Raw Test by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr


DNG-16 Raw Test by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

8-Bit DNG, simulated Blue filter.


DNG8 Raw Test by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr


DNG8 Raw Test by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

The full-resolution images are loaded on FLICKR.
16-Bit Raw, Simulated Yellow filter.


DNG16-test by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr


DNG16-test by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

8-bit DNG, Simulated Yellow.


DNG8 Raw Test by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr


DNG8 Raw Test by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

The differences are more subtle, the 8-bit image looks like it has more contrast. That is due to the clipped shadows, that are retained in the 16-bit image.

This software is worth having for those times when you want maximum tonal range, especially if you plan on converting to monochrome or pulling out shadow detail. It gives the same advantage as uncompressed DNG does over compressed DNG on the M9. Note that the M Monochrom does not offer compressed DNG, preserving highlights and shadow detail is more critical for a monochrome image.

All pictures with the 1963 ZOMZ J-3, at F4 and F5.6. M8 was tripod mounted, shots taken as close together as possible cycling through the Menu setup.
I pulled the shadow detail from the darkest section of the log pile, pushed the lower 1/4 of the histogram to pull this out.

This is the 16-bit RAW converted to DNG-16.


  • shadow_detail_dng16.jpg
    125.4 KB · Views: 335
This is the DNG-8, same portion of the Histogram.

The camera is tripod mounted, lens at F4, high shutter speed.

There is more detail in the shadows of the 16-bit image, and it looks to have more resolution. On the DNG-8, two pixels with close intensity values get thrown into the same "bin". The 16-bit Raw file has 64 times the number of bins to work with.


  • shadow_detail_dng8.jpg
    147.3 KB · Views: 328

Latest posts

Latest threads

Top Bottom