Bit of a walk about this afternoon....
Fence in Green
Bit of a walk about this afternoon....
Fence in Green
A few more....
Black and White
Guess I am asking a lot of questions and I am gratefull for everybody bearing with me and sharing their experience. Switching camera system is a tough decision and changing format to MFD even more so.
From being basically a f 9 shooter I too have experimented with f stops and found that I frequently like the version shot at f 2,8 with my Nikons. I was considering adding the line of new Nikon primes to my kit. However, since i also need to upgrade to the D4x for more pixels, I realized I would nearly be buying a new kit! I thus started thinking that perhaps using this towards a MFD is a better way to go. Apart from the ISO 640 limit, the S2 really seems to fit the bill for me. Hmmmm.....
Chris, buying into the Leica S2 and some lenses will make a Nikon kit look cheap (unless you include the super-tele lenses which Leica does not have). For what I shoot I find the S2 and Nikon D3S (and a couple of zooms) to be the best of both worlds. As good as the S2 may be it will not give you the near instant AF and 9 fps of the Nikon. Look carefully before you leap...
I had the morning free so went looking for Texas Flora and Fauna....
A Bit Shy
A few more fauna...
A Diffident Pose
A few different shots...
Palms on Stone
Bob and Georg, thanks for the comments.
Tom, kind of hard not to just take the S2 with you anywhere for any type of images. Wonderful blue eyes.
Bob, no long horn steers? Aren't you in Texas? Those cow images demonstrate exactly what I like about the S2. They look like Leica images, but they have a detailed, sharp, clear dimensionality that is quite distinctive.
Mat, I would have had fun shooting those recent images no matter what I was shooting with at the time. But I'm not certain that I would have achieved the same exact results ... as I explained in the paragraph above, there is an S2 'look' that I really like and am having a lot of fun exploring.
As an aside, I've been using a friend's 120mm lens for the past couple of weeks ... as a few of the folks who post in this thread (like David K) can attest, I've tried and used just about every Leica lens there is to try including the latest Noct, the M luxes, 35-70/2.8R, 280/4R, 180/2R, the R Telyt modular system and others. So you know that this isn't a BS statement ... the 120mm might be the best of them all. It's a killer lens.
Seems like every other herd has different breed...so many choices and here where the temperatures range from low teens in winter to 100+ F it is a bit tough. The owner of this herd said they thrive in these conditions.
Kurt--Sorry for asking again but would you mind revealing the secret of your focussing technique with the birds. In my expericence, the autofocus of the S2 is not fast enough to follow them and continuous shooting is also to slow. Am I therefore correct that you manually prefocused?
Hi Georg, sorry about forgetting your question. The weather conditions probably helped out quite a bit as the gulls worked to hover in the wind currents above the waves waiting for a meal to be stirred up by the waves. I tried continuous focus, single focus and manual focus on the areas with the greatest amount of gulls knowing that I'd be able to capture a few of the gulls within the group. I ended up with the most amount of keepers by manually pre-focusing as you surmised. Here's one more:
I have been shooting almost exclusively with the Pentax K-5 and the X100 as I have been trying those systems for the areas of S2 weakness (macro high ISO, and telephoto).
I need to get back to shooting with the S2. I really miss it. My 120mm will be back to me on Thursday (after a trip to Solms to fix the stuck aperture blades!) I will get back out as soon as I can as I have some additional clean up surgery on my back on Friday.
So look for some new posts within a week from Friday
Best to all
Woody, I wish you the best in your "clean up" (as you call it) surgery on Friday.
You guys are killing me with all this talk about the 120mm. It has been all I can do to add the 35mm and 180mm to my kit. I have been telling myself I don't need the 120mm and y'all are ruining my internal debate.
Woody, get quick soon... we need you shooting that S2 and posting some stuff.
Mark, this is a merciless crowd when it comes to lenses but you really can do without the 120mm focal length. Truth be told I bought mine simply because I found one available and I know how hard they are to get. And don't forget about the 110/2 Hassy with adapter option. No slouch IQ wise just a bit more trouble to work with. Still a viable option that I had intended to pursue.
Kurt, I did some lens test shots with the 120 maco. Need to do more before I give it an evaluation. But there's little to no doubt where that is headed based on just a few preliminary shots. Took some pics of a cyclone fence ringed with barbed wire. It is sharp, sharp, sharp...
Come on guys - you all know that sooner or later you will own pretty much every lens Leica makes for this puppy!
I am looking at selling pretty complete kits in Hasselblad V system, Mamiya RZ and ( maybe) Sinar/HY6 as well as Nikon and maybe even my M9 kit - before I buy anything else. Over the years I have accumulated so much nice gear that it is now a total and embarassing joke on me...
The ergonomics of the S2 make it far more useable in hand held use than I thought possible. The only camera system I will never sell is my Alpa and I will probably buy an IQ series back to put on it.
I have to say that the little more reach of the 180 comes in handy for many things and I use it more often than I thought. Optically I have the feeling it might even "Pop" a little more than the 120 while the 120 (even if its very sharp and has good contrast) might render slightly smoother. But I could be totally wrong, just not enough images taken.
The question I asked my self-after getting the 120, do I really need the 70?
While I like 50mm fov quite a bit on the M9, I have to say I now use much more often 120 and 180mm.
But then if you want to cary just one lens and keep it "small" the 70 is a nice to have.
I was actually surprised but I like the 70 best of the 4 lenses available. The IQ of all 4 lenses is as good as I will ever need and not a deciding factor . The 70 shot wide open has just the right DOF to isolate a person and create a nice smooth bokeh . Reminds me of the 50 lux on the M9 but with better character ...plenty of resolution ,color etc without over powering contrast.
Comparing the 4 available lenses..they really got theses right as a set ...they all have similar character and top drawer IQ. This makes picking lenses based on the desired FOV practical.
Postprocessed a few captures from the herd a bit differently...
Resting in the shade
The best way to get rid of all your (wonderful) stuff is to pretend you are as poor as the rest of us! LOL
When I decided to go for the S2 (absolutely the right decision) I sold off my Nikon gear (D3X, D3 and a host of wonderful lenses), my M9 and again a host of wonderful lenses, Mamiya 7II, Hassy 501CM etc etc. The reason? I couldn't afford the S2 without doing so and I promised my wife I wouldn't add more money to get it (almost succeeded but not quite). So if you pretend you need the money, particularly if you are going to spring for the IQ 180, you won't agonize over selling the rest of the kit.
By the way, the only sale I regret in retrospect, is the M9 and the lenses I had. I sold it for the money but also because at my age and with my eyes I wasn't getting a good percentage of in-focus shots. However, I wish i still had it as the files were very MF like and nothing else I have seen comes close. So BE WARNED!
All the best my friend
Test shot I took yesterday with the 120mm... wide open. Punched up the contrast and clarity a bit to accentuate the shallow dof which is very, very shallow at around 5' distance. Nothing scientific here...just checking the AF accuracy on the lens.
I planned to buy into the S system soon after handling the prototype S2 at PhotoPlus in fall 2008. Early on, I planned on a two lens kit consisting of the 30-90mm zoom and 180mm. Unfortunately, the 30-90mm zoom is still a just a dream so I had to get the 70mm when the S2 was launched.
The 70mm was my only lens for one year and I have been very happy with it. It is a very versatile lens and the image quality is excellent in my opinion. Finally I have been able to add the 35mm and 180mm to my kit. I would love to have the 120mm as well, but I keep telling myself it would be too close in focal length to zoom which I hope comes out before too much longer.
Mark, not sure if I'd call the 120mm a must have lens irrespective of how good it may be. I'm going to test it against the Hassy 110/2 with adapter (a much less expensive and more readily available alternative) to see how they compare.
So I think about the 70 /2.5 on the S2 as having my 50 summilux on the M9 ..which is pretty neat .
I admire your work with the S2, especially the rugby series. I am fortunate to have the 120 Macro lens, and it is a beauty. I have been working on two projects with the lens: 1) a series of images from an overlook in Los Angeles and 2) taking close-ups with roses. All I can say is that lens is unbelievable at both ends of its focusing range. If there are problems with the images, it is with the photographer--not the equipment.
I also have the 70 and 35 lenses. I used the 35 primarily on a cruise to Scandinavia and the Baltics. I must say that the S2 has been the finest camera I have ever used.
Some folks shoot brick walls or newspapers when testing their lenses...too one dimensional for my taste. I prefer a more well rounded approach
Focus was on the edge of the bathing suit which is sharp but I think this lens tends to front focus a bit.
David, I like your test subjects. In this particular case the DOF is probably only 1"-2" so the least bit of photographer body sway could move the point of focus enough to look like a bias toward front focus. Perhaps you have more examples which are leading you to think lens is front focusing slightly versus body sway.
The thin DOF of MF has caused me to be much more aware of body sway. It was never much of a problem before except when using the Noctilux or Summilux wide open.
Mark, body sway is quite possibly the culprit, especially handheld on a boat. Probably ought to plant the camera on a tripod and test the lens properly. It's clear to me that the lens is tack sharp when properly focused. As you point out the DOF is incredibly shallow at fairly close distance. Here's one at f/11 from a distance and the entire house is sharp. A bit humbling to live in this area where some people's boat houses and stables are nicer than your home...
Lloyd, I'd post more if I had more but I was in Ninja stealth mode for that shot
David - I am thinking of moving down to your part of the US - the scenery looks outstanding!
I am guessing that the 120 @ 2.5 is rendering like a 75 lux or 85 1.2L ..
For sure the 70 Summarit IMHO is an outstanding universal lens I am thinking that the 180 is my next purchase and am wondering what people have to say abotu hand holding at this focal length?
happy shooting everyone.
| Leica M9 | 35mm Summilux ASPH | 50mm Summilux ASPH | 50mm Noctilux ASPH | 75mm Summicron ASPH |
| Leica S2-P | Grip | 35mm Summarit ASPH | 70mm Summarit ASPH | 120mm Summarit ASPH|
Very nice shots David... I especially like the mood you captured in the first one and the incongruity of what appears to be a paper coffee cup.
S2-P P67 100 Macro ISO 640
Last edited by docmoore; 21st May 2011 at 17:12.
Last edited by docmoore; 21st May 2011 at 17:12.
Thanks Kurt for your answer.
Woody, all the best.
Peter, I think the 180 is pretty good for handholding although if one goes to less than 125th I would use a monopod.
Here is another dog shot. It's a golden Flat Coated Retriever. Their only "official" colors are black and brown but there exist some golden ones as well. Shot with 180.
I know that the S2 was not the best camera to use for the next series of shots ... but I wanted to see what I could grab indoors in a poorly lit interior gym that was holding a women's roller derby tournament over the weekend. When they're advertising a women's roller derby tournament just down the road, you have to peek in to see what all the fuss is about. (It was a cool experience as there were teams from Canada and most of the states of the upper Midwest.)
All of these are with the 120mm at f2.5 and 1250 ISO. Knowing that I wasn't going to get a lot of stop action shots like I could get with something like a Nikon D3, I thought that I'd try to use slower speeds and high ISO to add a little grittiness to the photos.
Thanks for indulging me ...
Neat photos Kurt. I like the last one a lot. It strikes me because I probably would not have thought to take that shot with the skaters out of the plane of focus.
I too find myself using the S2 in situations where it is not the best tool. I do it simply because I want to challenge myself to see what I can get. I have the correct tool, but use the S2 anyway. It;s fun.
Always good to experiment Kurt... keeps one from getting stale. I think these shots have merit, especially the one's from the floor level perspective. My favorite is the one with the referee extending his arms. Can't help but wonder who would win a battle of the sexes... the rugby players or these gals
Thanks Mark, I probably should have brought my monopod ... I need to spend some time with it to feel more comfortable using it in situations with low light.
Thanks David, kind of the opposite side of the spectrum from your bikini clad beach shots. Some of these gals probably would have felt right at home on the rugby field ... they were fun to watch as they were athletic, tough and tattooed.
Sunset shot from last night... 120mm macro, base iso, f/11@1/30th.