3 inch screen btw
3 inch screen btw
The dedicated website seems to indicate it is further along than I thought in terms of design -- they even have pictures of the viewfinders, the menu system, the LCD (460,000 pixels).
Also looks like they had some help with the web site design. Looks like a very nice piece of kit - played right, Phase (the presence of which changes the dynamics significantly) and Leica could have a winner here.
Hmm a closer look at the back... stunning industrial design, but compromises in the ergonomy area. Sure a clean back with just four menu buttons is pretty, but it's the same problem as with any system with visual feedback - you have to look at the display to use the buttons. Nothing beats dedicated buttons for intuitive response.
I feel they really need to move up the development of the R adapter to allow more lens choices.. I would hate to buy into this multifunctional system and have only 4 lenses ready when it hits the streets.. and this is what they are saying will be available for the first delivery...
My guess is that this will not allow the use of R lenses -- the flange to focal distance is 47mm for Leica R, and that's pretty thin compared to most medium format systems. A sensor that large and that short of a film to flange distance might make lens design pretty difficult, particularly for the 24mm and 35mm lenses.
Oh well, I guess it's just a way to say that it's not 60x45 or any other medium format size.
Interesting move by Leica this. As far as I can see, the system addresses more or less all the reasons I've had not to buy an MF camera (portability, ergonomics etc.), film or digital, except one... it's a tiny bit above my budget
I think the Germans call medium format "mittel" format so it is probably just a literal translation. I don't speak German, but my Rollei does! I noticed it in the directions...
I speak German; "middle format" is indeed a one-to-one translation from German "Mittelformat" into English. Oh well, happens all the time to me too...
The other variables in the question of where the S2 will fit into the market, are high-ISO and autofocus performance. Curious about that...
If the S2 would do well, I could consider selling my Canon gear, Hasselbad gear and go with M7/M8 and an S camera.
I am wondering which of the S-system lenses will have leaf-shutter and which not ...? Maybe super-wides and teles w/o leaf-shutter?
Having PhaseOne provide customer support would be a big relief.
Performance of Leica NJ customer support is my biggest concern with my existing M8 and DMR.
I got my DMR back today after 3 weeks in Allendale for a R9-DMR alignment issue; the time estimate to check the two lenses I dropped off as well is 3-4 months!!!
I posted this on LUF and it needs to be repeated here also.
Well the S system does bring leica to a new level for pro's and hobbyist that went to jump up. Been getting bits and pieces all day but so far i like what i am reading. The big part that actually got me out of my seat was the alliance with Phase One. This part was just downright freaking brilliant on all counts. Folks need to know how experienced they truly are in MF digital circles. The are considered one of the absolute best in this area . Between Firmware , software and there MF sensor technology with Kodak is beyond approach. Leica teaming up with them is extremely smart and if they have Phase One dealers handle the distribution of it even better. There service and repair service is amazingly good. I have a Phase body and back today and i am extremely impressed in this area alone. This has been as we know Leica's area of disappointment is service with the M8 and if they hand this off to Phase one than it is again a great idea to team with them. Today i can get a back by next morning at 10 am. if the stuff hits the fan , so this area being very important to Pro's can be very helpfull. The fact it has leaf shutters lenses and focal shutter camera like the Phase One systems makes it again a nice combo for wedding, fashion and commercial shooters. What needs to come out of this for the MF shooter of today like myself is the increase in speed of the camera itself. Right now I am at 1.5 seconds before i can hit the next frame.
The next area of concern today is shutter lag. Classic example shooting golf the other day i had to shoot at the start of the downswing to get the contact shot. This needs improvement. Other area's is ISO speed we need a clean ISO 1600 and I mean clean. Larger 3 inch display is also needed. If this leica S system can go after these area's of MF shooters concerns in this system than they are really doing us a large favor and bringing a real asset to our world. This is not about more MPX , my 22 mpx back will blow almost anything away. That is not the concern but the functionality that we lost going from DSLR to MF, we need to bring that speed into our area back. Also huge plus here is the fact they will have some T/S lenses as well as leaf lenses this also is a area that is lacking in MF. Now this is considered a bridge camera between DSLR and medium format but if the sped and i will repeat this again if the speed of this camera is reasonable close to the DSLR than watch these fly off the shelf.
I do say that with reservation though. leica needs to deliver a sound product , sorry no bullshit this time, your on my dollar and it needs to produce all the time. I say that with love in my heart for Leica but also with a strong you better get it right attitude. This is a lot of money to toss around and no one is going to play with my money if i go this direction. My Phase one back today is a freaking tank , they even run cars over it. If you want folks to jump up than they need to do it right and also price it correctly. This part is going to be very critical to it's success maybe more than any of there products. You have Sinar, Phase , Hassy and leaf out there already knocking prices down to drive business and revenue.
if I sound a little critical than your right this is expensive and the move up in this area is not to be taken lightly by any means. if Leica wants to get into this area. My points are something that should be heard loudly there not just coming from me but the MF market and shooters. If they deliver the speed and the quality of product. Than it should be a success in many ways.
I am still waiting like many for more details but so far i think this is a great thing for Leica be it you need it or not the technology of the S will lead to a trickle down effect to other Leica systems.
Guy, I echo your analysis. Leica has taken what they very good at and applied it to a market that desperately needs their design capabilities. Your Phase One is built like a tank and weighs like one too (I fondled it at the Open House). With Phase doing the support (and keeping it to Phase standards, not Leica's) and Leica doing the designs. All we need to see is if the speed and high ISO is there. Price'em right and they will never make enough of them.
BTW, my wife says you need to update your avatar.
Here is a link to David's (Farkas) blog. He was at the event tonight and will be one of a few that will be able to "play" with an S2
Guy - well said.
It's a smart way for Leica to leverage it's small size and get an instantly improved S&S structure for THE market in which it is so critical - that is assuming Phase handles all aspects of S&S as if the S2 were a Phase P__ and is not just distribution. There are a lot of blanks, technical and otherwise that need to be filled in -- and the sooner the better to keep (and wet) wet appetites among the pro community.
While I'm not certainly not predicting it, I wouldn't be surprised to wake up one day and read that Phase decided to turn one (or both at some juncture) of its alliances into outright acquisitions. Alliances are nice, total control makes the decision making process a LOT easier.
Edit - some contradictory info on the blog re:distribution (Phase and Leica), just how involved Phase was in tech development (not much), etc. Usual confusion between press releases and what people say over cocktails. Looks like some things may need to be cleared up.
Last edited by robmac; 22nd September 2008 at 20:22.
Well aparently this stuff will be ready for 'your' next summer...ahem thats a year away?..so plenty of time for people to save up..I would another 6 months to that date before most can buy - so we are talking 11/2 years away hmmm???
Did you notice how the S site looks like the Phase One one?
I wonder how far their partnership will go?
This is way out of my needs and finances but what sort of price do you think it will go for,who knows,Ive time to win the lottery.
Anyone knows what the camera registry of this S2 is? Thanks.
I'm heading over to the show now and will actually get hands-on with the new camera. I'll give my feedback later.
No aspersions on your 'reporting'. Having come from a world where press releases were something of an art form and thus often didn't, shall we say, 'accurately reflect' what happened behind the scenes, I found what was said to you vs. what was stated and/or implied in the releases as interesting - but it will need clarification by those with the big pay cheques.
Here is some info from LUF
After Mr. Kaufmanns presentation on the Leica VIP event in Cologne yesterday evening I had the opportunity to talk to him very briefly about the S2. this is what he told me about...
- the price: The body will cost something between 10000 and 20000 Euro, Kaufmann said. "We try to make it cost less than 15000 Euro", he told me. "This is not a bargain", he said. the lenses shall be relativly "cheaper" because Leica shares a lot of parts between the different lenses
- the production of the S2 is supposed to start in April 2009 (!). (Some things obviously never change at Leica...)
- R-compability: R lenses won´t fit directly to the S2, but Kaufmann told me: "There will be an adapter". [On the other hand, in his speech he clearly said there will be a digital R10 as well!]
Here is the link it is post
Terry, That (adapter and throwing R lenses together with that) is a bit confusing because this implies that the new S camera registry is less than that of the R (if one wants infinity focus that is)!!
I think the dealers/distributors will get a big cut with this system similar to the Phase system.
Press Release from Leica
Unexpected but inevitable. The brilliant new Leica S2 digital SLR.
LEICA S2 – Remarkable new camera from Germany redefines the professional DSLR class with a custom 37.5-megapixel, 30 x 45 mm sensor built into a 35mm-sized body.
Some companies tweak the features. At Leica, we transform the concept. That’s why the introduction of the flagship Leica S2 is not merely an incremental advance. It is nothing less than a watershed event that sets an entirely new performance standard for professional digital SLRS. With a custom 37.5-megapixel, 30 x 45 mm sensor that is 56% larger than full frame, it establishes parameters of imaging excellence that are well beyond those obtainable by conventional pro-caliber DSLRs. In the Leica tradition, it utilizes the classic 3:2 aspect ratio that corresponds to the human field of vision and is widely acclaimed as the “Leica Format.”
In designing this brilliant new camera, Leica’s engineers took a close look at the best existing DSLR designs and then synergized them into a radical but practical new camera that combines the performance parameters of a medium-format digital camera with the ergonomics, form factor, and handling ease of a 35mm SLR. The result is the new Leica S2, an entirely new, finely crafted, professional tool developed in-house by Leica with hands-on input from some of the most renowned professional photographers in the world. It incorporates an advanced new dual shutter system with in-body focal-plane shutter for fast lenses, and in-lens leaf shutters for high flash sync speeds, an ultra-high-precision autofocusing system, a new series of lenses designed for the highest possible performance with the new sensor, and a Maestro image processing system that provides twice the speed of comparable medium-format backs, reduces power consumption, and provides in-camera JPEG capability. Remarkably, all of this has been incorporated into a camera that is smaller than a full-size professional 35mm SLR, and still has the unmistakable look and feel of a Leica.
Like Leica cameras of the past, we designed the new Leica S2 from the inside out, and its robust styling is a classic example of form following function. We began with a cutting-edge, large-format CCD sensor and literally configured the camera around it rather than adapting existing technologies. In this way we achieved a new level of performance without sacrificing size or convenience. Yes the S2 Leica is our latest masterpiece, an unequivocal statement to the world that showcases our technological prowess. But it is more than just a technological tour de force. It is a statement of Leica’s continuing pre-eminence in the world of imaging that goes back nearly 100 years. Perhaps that is why our top executives in Germany have compared the announcement of the Leica S2 to the debut of the first Leica, the legendary model A in 1925. That seminal camera did nothing less than redefine 35mm photography in the 20th century and we believe that the Leica S2 may well do the same for DSLR photography in the 21st.
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I think I posted this in the wrong thread . here it is again. Too damn early for me. LOL
Nothing like a new product release between partners. Leica says it's all Leica inside, Phase says it's Phase guts *.
Insiders say it's Leica & Phase distribution, other statements are 'exclusive' Phase distribution (and by implication S&S)
(* implying a very close Leica/Phase relationship with vested interests in making the S2 a long-term success).
A lot needs to be ironed out and clarified before I can see many pros buying-in with the first production runs. The deeper and more vested the Phase relationship, the greater the likelihood of a successful adoption by the pro user. One key indicator of how deep the partnership goes will be if Phase allows Phamiya users a trade-in/up program against S2s.
The adapters mentioned could have elements inside, which given the lenses would be APO and/or Asph - hence $$$$$$. Hell, if it's Leica and it's got glass inside, it's gonna cost you. If so, I suspect they would cost as much as the used prices of many of the R lenses they would be bolted onto.
I like the comment of lenses being 'relatively cheaper' - vs Euro 15,000 I would bloody hope so. They do sound like real barn-burners though from the blog descriptions of (MTFs being) 'straight lines' across the frame.
Allusions to an R10 in early-mid 2010 - no statement (as I've seen) if that is available or press conference only followed by release in x months. One thing is for certain, a hell of a lot is going to happen in 18 mos+ in DSLR/MFDB market.
Last edited by robmac; 23rd September 2008 at 04:00.
Honestly the more Phase One is involved in this product the more pro's will become more interested. I hope Leica realizes that point. If this system for me is within my specs that i need than a trade in program is going to make me swing my vote for it. This is very important to existing MF shooters. No one is going to take a bath on selling there gear for it.
On the adapter issue:
Assuming elements would be needed for R glass on the S2 given the registration distance implications, would individual adapters need to be tailored for each R lens in order to minimize any loss of IQ?
I can't see the same Asph/APO adapter working for say a 35-70/2.8 as for a 180/2 - at least not and maintain IQ to the level the owner(s) would expect/hope for.
It/they would also have to be a much different beast mechanically than the existing 1.4x APO given the protruding front element of said converter and how it limits the lenses it can be used with.
I wonder if there is a adapter for the R will this make the S a cropped sensor for those existing R lenses and be more like a 24mpx sensor. This could be interesting to see what happens with this end of it. Like to hear more about this for sure. One other BIG question I have is what mount are those S lenses. Something new or something adopted from other MF camera's. Might be smart if it was a Mamiya mount.
these are huge 64 thousand dollar questions
Looks like it is Leica AND Phase distribution - CameraWest is offering pre-ordering of the S system and while they carry Mamiya, they (as far as I can tell) do NOT carry Phase backs.
Sean at Camera West does not carry Phase Backs at this time. BTW great store and a great guy.
Have dealt with Sean via email - I second your assessment.
Using the Mamiya mount hardware for the S would speak volumes - as much as they state that Leica won't be stepping on any Mamiya lens toes. Then again, they also said Phase only distribution. Anything is open to change in alliances such as these. Keep your fingers crossed. Would make any platform switch/addition that much easier.
Part of any future possible cross-pollination will come down to how Mamiya reacts to the S2 'alliance' (am starting to have doubts as to how deep it does really go) and Phase's future 'growth' aspirations.
Last edited by robmac; 23rd September 2008 at 04:37.
I am looking forward to David Farkus' hands-on impression later today. I doubt Leica will allow any images from the prototype S2 to be published, but hopefully David will be able to give us his opinions.
From Terry some interesting news here
The LEICA S2 camera, powered by the new KODAK KAF-37500 Image Sensor, is the third product from Leica to be based on KODAK CCD Image Sensors – a relationship that began first with the LEICA Digital Module-R and was then extended with the LEICA M8 camera. With an imaging area of 45mm x 30mm, the 37.5 million pixel KAF-37500 represents a new optical format for photography, providing an image capture area over 50% larger than traditional 35mm film. The sensor also includes specific design features that optimize its use in the S2 camera, such as the use of microlenses to increase the overall light sensitivity of the device, enabling improved image quality under low light conditions. In addition, an infra-red absorbing optic was incorporated directly into the sensor’s packaging, enabling the development of a thinner camera design by eliminating the need to include this IR-absorbing function as a separate camera component.
A 1.4x would make a 1.4/50 into a 2.0/70. Leica could likely do this, especially if they only officially support the last batch of ROM R lenses. They would need to produce several adapters to cover their whole range; at least one for the teles and one for the normal/wide lenses. The wide one would be like a Zeiss PC Mutar without the shift capability.
Not having an R system, I would be much more interested in a Mamiya-to-Leica-S adapter. Phase One will have to do a lot of convincing in Solms and Tokyo to get it made.
This is also interesting and a good clue this will do ISO 1600 like the P30 plus.
microlenses to increase the overall light sensitivity of the device
Bernard, In principle yes but these aren't exactly teleconverters. They have relay lenses that would enlarge to image circle while keeping the focal length the same with minimal loss of light.
Very,very expensive as the optics involved are complex.
The simpler 1.4X TC adapter idea was used by Kenko. They made a variety of adapters for cross system (brand) use.
I had about an hour hands-on with the S2 today and got a lot of questions answered. I am currently working on my blog post, but thought I'd pop in and clear something up.
There is absolutely no chance of an R lens adapter for the S2. I spoke to both product managers and it just isn't happening. The R10 will follow the S2 by a few months and they feel this is a much better solution. R lenses for R system, S lenses for S system.
You may also want to also check out David's expanded comments in the Phase One New thread in the MF forum re: Phase involvement in the S2 program. Not so good.
How is it not good that Leica has the competency to create their own product in house (quickly, too) and sell it through their existing dealer network?
In one year's time Leica created an entire camera system (that actually works) and changes the nature of the game. Small, easy to use MFD with amazing lenses aimed at pros.
So, I guess I'm not understanding why this is a bad thing....
No 'smack' against you or any other Leica dealer, it's just that myself and many others had considered the implied/mistaken depth of Phase involvement (at least so far) as:
1. An advantage in helping Leica more easily overcome the shadow of their infamously slow S&S structure - a great concern for any existing pro user looking at switching to the S2 from _____>
Your shop and many others will be more than willing and able to meet or exceed those client expectations, but I know many, many others, used to selling boxes, will not be.
2. An advantage in overcoming the specter of the M8s teething problems when first released within the minds of prospective pro MFDB customers. Partnering at a technology level with a proven MFDB market leader to the depth that was mistakenly implied/understood would have been a real feather in Leica's cap as a new entrant.
In short, the more depth to the Phase involvement in the S2 program, the greater the ease with which the S2 could have made a rapid penetration into it's indicated target market.
In a nutshell, the greater the benefit of the doubt many pros would have given the S2. Now, more than ever it will be a matter of 'show me'.
Also no personal knock but my experience is that no leica dealer ever called me just to check in how my DMR was working or if I needed any help or anything. No leica dealer has ever given me their cell phone number with cart blanc to call anytime of day or night if I needed help like I've gotten from several Phase representatives.
To me Phase represents service in a way that Leica never has.
When I phoned and e-mailed to Leica Service about my R body camera that was in for service the response came sometimes but not every time and usually after some days. It took Leica literally months to repair my R8. My experience with the long wait is echoed by many many posts from other M and R shooters. As a counter example I had a problem with a canon lens, which was repaired and back in my hands in 4 days from the day I shipped it and I shipped it ground so they had to have repaired it the same day. I've also gotten my Rollei camera serviced the same day it arrived and back in my hands fast!
The service from Leica is not on the level where I would consider buying a S2 without the help from some other organization that understands service.
This is an element that all MFDB organizations know and understand, and something Leica simply does not get if you look at the M experience. Some pro's that shoot M's are taking 2 back up bodies with them - okay they feel the need for 2 backups on a $4k body but who is going to do that with a $20k camera? And does anyone think there won't be some troubleshooting with the new system? New camera, new bodies, new software? Leica needs to step up and speak to the service issues of the past and reassure potential buyers.
I put a sock in my mouth.
I already wonder why thy did not build a removable back, like other MF vendors. And do not tell me this would not have been possible in the same size, because it would almost have been possible and increased this still large body only slightly. But give the option to reuse the cam and just exchange the sensor and processor say every 2 years.
Life is an ever changing journey
Honestly a MF back is not that big.
Still working on my blog post..... just poking in...
Digital backs are thicker front to back than the S2 from LCD to lens mount. So, the camrea would have been much larger.
The processing speed was actually very impressive, much quicker than the M8 with files almost four times larger. The Maestro does its thing in near-real-time, and with alpha firmware at that. How much faster can real-time get?
The screen is much, much nicer than is available from any MF back. It uses focal plane and leaf shutter lenses. It handles like a 35mm. Do you need more than 37.5 MP? Perhaps the concept of digital backs will be viewed as yesterday's thinking.
When you look at the idea of keeping the camera, that is the absolute least expensive portion of a MFD system. I think the major expense is the digital and optical portions. Almost forgot, the S2 is completely weather sealed. The connection where the back meets the body is a weak point in MFD systems, especially for water. According to my friends at Leica, you can shoot in the rain with this camera, no problem.
Anyway, that's my 2 cents worth.
Back to the blog (otherwise I'll never get to sleep).
Who said a trade-in isn't possible? Find a dealer who will work with you.
We're offering a trade-in on and M8 towards an M8.2. It isn't a Leica program, it's ours. What's the difference in the end?
Regardless, I do belive that if a company can develop a revolutionary product that shakes up the status quo, offers better IQ and handling, with a resonable price tag, people will buy it regardless. If you want the best product you will get it.
I saw a mass exodus this past year from Canon to Nikon. Did Nikon offer some type of trade-in program on Canon bodies and lenses?