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Leica M8 IR Madness
Example of grays and blacks showing up as
purple/magenta under infrared-strong lighting.

I just started the Leica M8 Magenta Madness Flickr group.

About Leica M8 Magenta Madness

The Leica M8 has a sensor that is overly sensitive to infrared. This problem causes a magenta hue on certain blacks, particularly fabrics. The color is also visible directly in lights and on anything that is lit by strong infrared light.

There is a promised firmware update and IR/UV filters are just now shipping to early M8 customers with more to follow for the rest of us real soon now.

Until we get our filters, why don't we call this a "feature" and share our Leica M8 Magenta love with each other?


Clever! That's the Lomography theory: take a seriously flawed camera and tout its bizarre photographic artifacts as a lifestyle choice. On the other hand, Lomo cameras are relatively cheap, and Leicas are not. :)

Oh it's definitely a feature. -LOL

OMG it turns everyone into a KINKO'S WORKER!

Sometimes people are actually WEARING magenta and I only realize it after spending a few minutes trying "correct" them to gray or black. The other thing I notice now is that I scan the room for magenta before I shoot so I know what is "real magenta" later in post-processing.

Magenta is the New Black.

BTW, this is what Leica says about it.

Above-average sensitivity for infrared light (synthetic fabrics are rendered with a slight magenta offset)
During the development of the LEICA M8, we made important design choices to insure that the camera delivers the quality in images the Leica M System is known for. Keeping the protective glass cover on the sensor as thin as possible on the one hand has the benefit of allowing the full potential of Leica lenses on the LEICA M8 to be utilized with respect to their sharpness and contrast rendition, but it also absorbs less of the infrared light. In everyday photographical use the resulting above-average sensitivity for infrared light may lead to a faulty color rendition, especially in the case of synthetic fabrics which - depending on the ambient light - cannot be rendered fully black but only with a slight magenta offset.

I love the "Above-average" and the "slight magenta offset".

Do you remember after computer rendering came out, architects started looking for materials that actually looked like the computer renderings? Then whole office parks began to look like something out of a computer game. I think something the same will happen with this. Just watch. The 'in-crowd' will be wearing magenta fleeces this winter.

Leica will just change the standard colour of its camera cases to magenta. In fact I think they will make it their corporate colour. Really, when you think about it, magenta is *better* than black. It's much clearer on-screen, and you can print it without using up your black cartridge. It also allows you to see where those all-important infra red reflections are coming from. There will be a new ISO standard to define magenta as the standard colour for rendering infra-red in colour photography (after all, infra-red is invisible).