Currently waiting for some good offers here in Austria and some used glass - maybe Jack's 150D
Currently waiting for some good offers here in Austria and some used glass - maybe Jack's 150D
Well after just using the P40+ again in Oregon I have to say it maybe the best price value back out there at the moment. At 19k new it is pretty hard to ignore, the quality of the back is certainly there is no question about that, it is actually better now than when you shot it with it's color profile in C1 . Not sure on prices but here in the states I think back and new DF body with 80mm might be about 22k or so. If i was buying new i would be only looking at 2 things right now a P40+ with DF or the S2 but for me the S2 is a purchase if I went that direction in about 6 months but today if I was buying the P40+ would be in my bag. For me it eliminates any thought of getting a 35mm DSLR. But I am also willing to work harder and with the limitations of MF over 35mm and many people are not. Obviously this has something to do with the work I do as well, but I don't shoot sports or anything that is a dominate 35mm arena.
Remember you don't have to buy in Austria either. Jacks lens you should be buying. It's that good and a proven lens
The S2 is still in my heart and back of my head
Even if the Mamiya AF is 3times better than the Hy6 AF, and even if the production AF of the S2 will be much better than the AF of the S2 I had in my hands some weeks ago, I personally would think that limiting oneself to a MF system means to be limited to a certain focal-length range, being limited to good light or to use flash or tripod and to be very limited in the area of sports/ movements/action.
Thats why I would carefully wait and see if you really want to sell your DSLR stuff when moving to medium format.
Well I love to break most of those theories with MF. Things we keep being told you can't do because it is big , heavy and slow just prove half of that talk is just that talk. Either that or I am damn good at cheating all of that you need a 35mm DSLR. Sure in some cases it is true but I keep beating those theories up everyday. Now would you recommend shooting a Phase body with a 150mm at 1/60 of a second handheld with no flash at F 3.4. Now most people would say I am looney tunes for even trying. Right now in this situation the S2 might even be a better choice in this situation because of the style but why is it I can still knock them out when we keep being told we can't. I only say this because the rules of photography are about as wishy washy as anything. Now i did use a flash after this shot but if I had my monopod handy at the time i would probably not. Movement is more subject than photographer half the time. BTW this is the one and only shot I took without a flash. It works 150mm 1/60 at 3.4 ISO 800 P30+ back. Now I contend if you buy a back that can handle the higher ISO cleanly than anything is possible.
Now Tom I only say this because we keep hearing about these so called limits, sure they are their no question and given a different situation I maybe a sitting duck trying to pull theses type of things off but really how much REAL difference between MF and 35mm. Lenses can be fast at 2.8 okay no 1.4 lenses out there in MF. Body is heavier and bulkier , depends on maybe the style of body that can make a difference . Here I would say the S2 has the biggest advantage in MF than the Phase and Contax bodies comes next because it resembles a SLR the best out of the MF systems like a Hy6 or RZ body. ISO now here is the difference but if you have a back that can do a clean ISO 800 than half the battle is over. To me ISO 800 clean is the bottom limit of pulling the impossible into reality with MF without it than it would be tough. I would not try this with a back that stops at ISO 400. Than I agree i would be a sitting duck without water underneath me. So yes i agree on some of these limits but knowing your gear and how you can squeeze the most out of it is really the key. A lot of this comes down to the shooter and his abilities to overcome the obstacles. Problem is many shooters don't want to work that hard and push a button. Okay flame suit on but I hear more whining about this than actually doing it and getting it done. Not directed at anyone here for sure but I read this on other forums all the time. Sometimes i feel like slapping someone upside the head and tell them to go to work instead of bitching all day long.
Good point. The difference is that people with backs are USED to paying high prices.
It is just sticker shock. The cars still go out of the showroom!
It may sell like hot cakes but that does not always mean it will be a Pro camera. How important is that title to leica over revenue. My bet more important than the revenue. Leica thrives on pride and without success to the market in their mind it will be a failure. Everything about Leica and I'm being very honest here they want to make the best bar none. But on the same token if it is not in the right hands than they failed at that attempt. They want Pro's shooting this thing.
Anyway price and value are very subjective to ones own needs and wants so from me my last comment on pricing. I'm more interested to see what it can do and figure out the banking later. Custom ski mask being made as we speak. LOL
I agree with you on price point - $24K vs $28K but when has price point really mattered with Leica? A 50 Noct for $10K or 24 Summi for $6K when Canon is selling for 1/3 the price (Nocti excepted) and the demand for those lenses are high. So after all of these years, Leica has grown accustomed to pricing their products with a profit margin built in which results in high purchase prices. What would make them change the strategy now?
The pricing of their lenses is a little higher than Hasselblad but not that out of line. If the R system were still available today, the lens prices for the R would be about what the S2 lenses are priced at. In the end, Leica has always been a premium priced product and the sales numbers for the S2 will most likely be met. I would personally love to see the price at the original target of $18K for the body but it just could not be done I guess.
Let's face it, Leica lunched off of the fact that many of the most famous images in history were done with a Leica Rangefinder by legendary photographers ... not by the Sultan of Brunei.
Now this is a whole other category populated by some pretty heavy hitters with proven track records ... that come with some pretty sophisticated proprietary software to get the most out of the big bucks spent on the hardware.
IMO, the S2 camera, standard lens and basic warranty should have been $22 or $23K tops not $29K ... which would be a typical Leica premium @ 2X+ the highest end DSLR with pro lens ... and just about flush with the heavy hitters of MFD. Then it might be a better contender for the Pro dollar.
Here is another twist on some of the same stuff from above..... Based on Leica's approach, mostly the rich hobbyists and those renting the S2 will be the folks using it. Now how is that going to sit with some folks that pride premium prices and exclusivity? Just think, you will be able to rent an S2 for the weekend on the yacht, or to toss onto the back seat of the Bentley for that "tailgating" party at the polo club down in West Palm, and nobody will know if you own or rent ;-) How impressively chic, no?
The S2 costs about as much as the other two high-end-MF-solutions (P40+/H4D-50). Even MF-lenses from other manufacturers which incorporate similar expensive technologies (like aspherics or FE - the 35-90, Rodenstock HR-WA or 40IF from Zeiss) have similar price tags, although it's difficult to find comparable systems.
Each side of every lens element is machined/polished individually (mass-production machines don't allow the necessary tolerances), the borders are coated with black paint, they're centrated individually, many lenses have high internal rejection rates, every single lens is tested...
Lenses from other manufacturers which incorporate similar production technologies (like the tele-lenses from C/N) are also much closer to Leica-prices - while the other lenses are quite different, even if they have a similar speed and focal length.
"...Leica has grown accustomed to pricing their products with a profit margin built in which results in high purchase prices..."
A few years ago some of the production prices became "official" - they didn't make much money with their lenses at all, the 2.8/35-70 (>3k$) was even sold below production costs (therefore it never hit real serial production but was only delivered to loyal customers).
Assuming that Leica does all those great and costly things to their lenses, why is it that so many have to be returned to Germany to be adjusted?
USA based prices on the S2 which are not comparable to either the Phase P40+ or H/50 from the prices i have seen.
Bodies: (Oct 09)
S2 Camera Body - $22,995
S2-P Body with Sapphire LCD Cover Glass and Platinum Service Package - $27,995
Multi Function Handgrip S - $1,295 (Jan 10)
Battery Charger (spare/extra) - $399
Service Packages for Bodies:
S-Body Premium Service - $1,495
S-Body Platinum Service - $3,795
Summarit-S 70mm f/2.5 ASPH - $4,495 (Oct 09)
Summarit-S 70mm f/2.5 ASPH CS - $5,995 (Nov 09)
APO-Tele-Elmar-S 180mm f/3.5 - $6,495 (Oct 09)
APO-Tele-Elmar-S 180mm f/3.5 CS - $7,495 (Nov 09)
APO-Macro-Summarit-S 120mm f/2.5 - $6,495 (Nov 09)
APO-Macro-Summarit-S 120mm f/2.5 - $7,495 (Nov 09)
Summarit-S 35mm f/2.5 ASPH - $5,295 (Dec 09)
Summarit-S 35mm f/2.5 ASPH CS - $5,995 (Dec 09)
Service Packages for Lenses:
S-Lens Premium Service - $495
S-Lens Platium Service - $995
Here we are again.....it is now November, The S2 will not be out until January 2010 (?), Guy and Jack will not have one to shake down until next month, there are only a few RAW files to look at from a controlled shooting situation by Leica of one model at one ISO and a few stopped down aperture settings, and there is really nothing else to discuss about image quality, noise levels, performance capabilities, lenses, etc., so what is left....chew over prices, which by almost all accounts are still high in comparison to the competition. If Leica wants me to get excited about their S2 at this point, get it out there, get images out there, get lenses out there, and get real on the pricing, meaning get prices more in line with competitors that have excellent gear already in the market and proven. At this point, interest in the S2 just keeps slipping further and further away for some folks, myself included.
I still find a few things amazing. First that Leica really claims everything is ready and they are just delaying it to get production optimized. (I don't think so, I think they have some SERIOUS production issues and are not trying to get a large production capacity, but trying to actually reach the planed production stage.)
Next point is how dump Leica must be ? No real raw files, no demonstrations about image quality... If they have some finished cameras, perhaps they should give it to some reviewers to make actually good reviewers compared to lending the camera to reach people ? Or keeping them save under glass ? (I don't really know what they actually do, I can just see what they don't do)
Last point again, about price. I still don't get it how people can claim, the S2 is really priced like other products. Yes the S2 is similar as the P40 or H3D50, BUT you can't shoot any image with NO LENS. Most people would use at least 3 lenses. Here the cheapest Leica is nearly TWICE the money the best phase lens is, not even talking about their cheaper counter part from Mamyia. There is also NO Rodenstock or other lens coming close to these prices. (In the Leica focal range)
Another question, is there now actually I real date for deliveries ? I'm just asking because some major Leica dealers in Germany have no real clue, they hope something like Feb 2010, but most state more something like March to June ......................................
Okay Leica called test shooting date is Dec. 9th with no restrictions for Jack and I to post raws and images for all to see and play with. Getting models , studio and other essential stuff in order for this. I will also have a X1 on hand as well it looks like. i will check actually deliver dates with Leica when they arrive and hopefully have a lot more details to report on.
Delivery dates for the S2 will be a real issue I guess. Also from the dealers I know I get the message that here might be the first S2s in January, but if I ordered now I would not get anything until mid 2010. And not even to mention the complete lens program.
Think this is the real issue here. It will take another 2 years before the complete S System will be available and then there will be already the need for a S3 - when is this one coming?
By that time we will see 80-100MP backs from Hasselblad and Phase - really FF MF or even larger (maybe square again?) and then Leica will slowly introduce the S3 with maybe 60MP for a price which is higher or equal a 80-100MP back from another vendor ?????
sensors are running out of real estate, and photons. At some point, unless the sensor is actively cooled two things are going hurt; noise and diffraction. 60MP is already 360MB for 16-bits and when I stitch I actually have a few 1.5GB tiffs.
I don't know how others feel, but goinbg to the P65+ didn't feel like a lot of gain (except for sensor plus, and that is going in the opposite direction)
with film technology there was a leveling of fine grains. Technology needs to focus on speed of readout (fps) and ISO before going to higher # pixels.
fully agree, issue is that history has shown us differently and I have the feeling that the Pixel race is still not at the end. It is still more sexy to show the next sensor with lot more MPs than with just better ISO performance and speed.
The next generation of 5.5 and 5.0 micrometers will bring exactly these once more increased MP numbers - if we like this or not.
The P40+ costs 15k€ (19+k€ with 645DF-body), the H4D-50 20k€ and the S2 a little bit less than 16k€.
The more demanding lens-designs (which incorporate similar design elements as the S-lenses) from other manufacturers cost 5-7k$ (HCD35-90, Rodenstock Digaron, Tele-Xenar 180mm, Zeiss 40IF). But most of them don't have any direct competition anyway.
I don't understand why we even argue about these hard facts. Yes, most solutions are cheaper, you can get used MFDBs, you can get the nice CFV-39 or just a 5dMkII, there are many nice 80mm-lenses which produce comparable results near center at f11... But we have to keep basic technological differences in mind and appreciate them, or there won't be any choice left but "good enough for 90% / my wife cannot tell the difference"...
I have no idea why they struggle to deliver the S2 (I think they're busy with the M9) or why they don't show any large samples themselves (the first samples I saw in October 2008 could have been presented in controlled situations, too!) and we all hoped for a cheaper R10-alternative, a Leica-DSLR for "everybody" but we can't blame the for the prices in comparison to their opponents and technical achievements.
They're not 100% flawless but >99% of the lenses deliver the promised performance and the rest can be repaired (and Leica accepts them as underperforming and not within tolerances - there are no "bad but ok samples") in Solms for free (you don't have to order 5 samples from your dealer and take the best). It's the same production technology that is used for other professional purposes (industrial/scientific or cinematography lenses -which are quite often even much more expensive than just 5k$...). The rangefinder-adjustment you're referring to is an issue of early M8s when they hadn't replaced their measuring device, yet.
I think the bigger question is in which direction the market is heading. If Phase and Hassi give us a 80 or 100Mp CCD sensor with ISO 50-400 and all that crappy stuff, than I think the S2 will do quite fine. I think the real danger for the S2 will be the second MFDB get's the point that we don't need more Mp... we need features and options.
I don't care who does it, but if somebody can get me a 40-60Mp back, with LIVEVIEW, a GOOOD 3'' screen and usable ISO 800, I will by that in a second. They can even charge 30-40 grands as long as the thing delivers. If I have to get a CMOS for that, than so be it. I personally think not to many people would upgrade from a P65 to a P85 if the ONLY thing that changes is the MP count. However, I feare that phase will actually do that and even give us the same Display as they did 5 years ago.
Last edited by Christopher; 5th November 2009 at 15:54.
Thx, corrected ^^
Options? How about being able to use the $25 to 30K investment on a tech camera?
My favorite S2 option is the $3,800. service package for just the body!
Well, I don't see live preview as live view, yes if you are working in a studio, perhaps, even though it's still not great with such a low frame rate.... But hiking or on location is a hassle. A laptop is no replacement for live view. I mean how great would it be, to work with a Pxx on a LF camera and have access to live view like in every modern Canon an Nikon. It really would speed things up and be even more fun to work with.
"Options? How about being able to use the $25 to 30K investment on a tech camera" Main reason why the S2 is nothing for me ^^
Live Preview as you call it, isn't what I'm talking about ... it's Live View. It just isn't on the LCD, it's on the computer screen. For many, if not most, commercial applications this is far more useful and valuable ... because with most MFD software you can insert the Art Directors layout and compose to fit ... live, and in real time. To me, that's Live View.
MFD manufactures have made their systems more versatile with the increase in ISO, and improving the AF abilities for more spontaneous applications. So your request for a Live View feature like Canon/Nikon probably isn't out of the question. The only time I use LV on the Nikon D3X is in controlled shooting when using manual focus lenses at 10X mag to check focus accuracy.
However, I wonder if all MFD user opinions were represented, what features and improvements would be more prevalent to guide the MFD company's priorities? These companies aren't giants churning out millions of P&S cameras to supplement their high-end products, so they have to pick and choose carefully.
In "improvement polls" I've seen on forum sites more skewed to working Pros, I don't recall on-camera Live View being a priority. But to your point, it wasn't increased meg count either. If I recall correctly, it was boring stuff like platform stability, transfer speed, and software improvements which both Hasselbald and Phase have been addressing ... as well as obvious practical stuff like multi-point AF ... which Hasselblad has recently addressed by avoiding multipoint altogether and inventing a whole new off center AF solution ... giving someone like me the first real reason to consider upgrading my H3D ... because meg count wasn't reason enough.
This doesn't negate what you want, it's just a question of priorities and ability to respond to all the demands.
To me, the S2 is a "tweaner" ... neither fish nor fowl. Not as fast, not as high ISO, not as good with multipoint AF ability as a high end DSLR ... and not as versatile as a modular systems MFD. That said, I'm sure it will find its following with those that need none of the special attributes of a 35mm DSLR or Modular MFD system.
If any camera should have included on-camera Live View, it is the S2. Hell, maybe it has it and I just missed that feature.
I believe the longer one is using a certain system the more one adapts to the system and might even forget whats possible with other systems.
After some weeks using mainly the M9 I took the d3x at the last weekend and I was surprized how good the continous AF of my D3x works and felt I could catch some moments which I could not have caught with neither the M9 nor MF since I would not be fast enough. I feel pretty fast with the M9 but just not for everything. And I feel the same about MF.
On the other side I admit to use MF sometimes for things where others would wonder why I did not use my dslr. Like for family snaps or during a hike.
Very true Tom the longer and more intimate you get with a system the more you know how to get around things and work towards it's strength's and hopefully overcome it's obstacles as well. What I am doing is NOT normal and having one system be the end all system. I just have a hard time going back to 35mm and CMOS sensors and even though some work it would not matter one bit , it matters to me personally. Honestly I would feel like I am wasting my time and get bored. I like the challenge and actually it keeps me from burning out after 33 years. Personal thing here but burn out is death to your business and your art. I will try anything to avoid it and having challenges keeps blood in your toes. LOL
If I had to choose only one it would be the M9 for me. But this is probably because I have continously allways used rangefinder cameras (M6, RD1 than M8 and now M9) for approx. 25 years now.
In the end I am not strong enough to decide for only one system.
Well, maybe you could decide on two I have M and MF and it works well for me. Sometimes I feel that I could use fast AF or 5 fps, but when I look at what I get with my two systems, there isn't anything missing. There are only CCDs and no AA filters in my collection
One system bores me to tears ... no ... bores me to death ... no ... beyond death.
If I had the money, I'd have Sherpas carrying everything I owned and could rent to every shoot.
It's my gear Harem ... a different one every day. That's the challenge I like ... keeps blood in my ... well, not my toes.
Hell, I carry 3 different make cameras and select lenses for each to every wedding. I'm a lens whore, and select stuff based on lenses ... the stupid boxes are all the same to me.
Nikon with the 2 fab wide to normal zooms, a Sony with the Zeiss 85/1.4 and 135/1.8, a M9 with just about every fast lens they make (7 of them).
I'm a scientific packer and fit it all in Think Tank's smallest roller ... the M kit all fits in a Kata shoulder bag that could hardly hold a D3X with one lens.
My requirement for an assistant is a strong back first, interest in photography second
Gear Slut. LOL
Oh dear, I read "leg" instead of "lens" at first...
The S2 will do ok - Leica fan boys like me will buy it.
The longer I think over it the more this becomes clear for me. And be honest - for those rare cases where I really need a DSLR with fast AF and an exotic lens, I can either rent this or just buy a kind of EOS 7D or D300 or similar with a Sigma or Tamron lens and get happily the results I want in these rare occasions. And they also do a good job at high ISO levels as well.
Little decision I made a long time ago it costs about 450 or more just for a back and body per day. To rent a 5dMKII cost 175 dollars a day. Now since it is harder to charge back the client for my type of work for rental fees it actually makes sense to own the MF and rent the 35mm when I really need it. I can certainly up my rate a little to cover the 35mm rental fee but not at 450 per day. Now for some owning the 35mm and renting a MF per is less costly on the initial purchase and that rental would be maybe less times. Personally i would rather own the big gun and rent the pistol when needed. Which I actually have yet to do but also getting a 35mm I can go two places within 20 minutes driving and get one, MF i would pretty much have to get it out of LA from Samy's.
Now for 35mm I could really survive with a camera of a generation ago, which usually I can get pretty cheap if new and even cheaper if pre owned. To be honest I would need it only if I go on Safari (which I do not as often anymore unfortunately) or photographing wild animals or so - then you need a good and fast tele lens. But again for just using it once every year or every two years it does not pay off to buy one. At least not a Nikon or Canon. Then maybe renting it or going for Sigma or Tamron is the much better solution.
To be honest I made pretty good experiences with Sigma glass on Canon - only thing it might not be as robust as original glass, but again if you use it only very infrequently it is the much cheaper and practical solution.
I think there are two main "sins" Leica have committed here:
1 - Announced the product a year too early
2 - Priced themselves out of the game they want to play
All the rest is so obvious to anyone who's done an elementary high school economics class, and other manufactures can be slapped for doing this too. Eg not having the entire system of glass and accessories ready for people to buy at launch. Not being able to buy your three bread and butter lenses, or at least the "normal zoom" at the same time as the body if adopting early is a real turn off. That's far worse than when Canon couldn't supply spare batteries for their 5DMKII where I live until THREE MONTHS after launch - at least there were lenses to actually use to take THE photo you were PAID to take.
I'd love an S2 because it has 100% of the specs I'd like in a camera, but I honestly wonder why no one at Leica thought to release the normal zoom at the time of launch instead of or as well as the two primes. Then again, by the time the body hits the streets the lenses might be due to their promised release date... Wait a minute...