Oh man I just reread my original post and it sounds so pretentious. Sorry about that...
Just wanted to mention that there should be no shame at all if Leica built a camera that will mostly only sell to enthusiasts. My cousin owns a small recording studio, and I'm acquainted with a custom guitar and power amp builder based in Los Angeles. He's similar in age to me and we share a lot of the same interests in music. Anyhow, I was impressed when first talking to him and finding out that he builds custom amps for several musicians that I like.... But he kind of sighed and said something like, "Well, those guys are great for knocking the gear around and using it in ways that we'd never dream about, and they have great ideas for features, but our real bread and butter is selling to the hobbyists that have disposable income and only play on the weekends. The famous musicians don't want to spend money or they just don't have any to spend." SO ever since that conversation, I've kinda understood how the business around high end gear works. The pros knock it around and give it legitimacy but the enthusiasts are the ones that finance it's creation with their disposable income.
Thank GOD for the enthusiasts!
However, in MF land, we already have Hasselblad and PhaseOne producing camera/back/lens ranges with phenomenal standards. If the Hy6 does a phoenix act and rises from the ashes, the game gets even tougher. If you wanna play in this league it's "go hard, or go home", so a sub-40 MP sensor with three lenses is a bit of a whimper.
I'd hazard a guess that the guy who takes a print from an S2 to a gallery that
has been receiving prints from someone shooting on a P65+ or HD-60 or soon on the AptusII 12, is not going to get the same response as you did.
Only time will tell...
Life was simpler when:
-real photogs did 4x5. Super real did 8x10.
- those of us who wannabe did 6x6 (I'm in that crowd).
- and everyone else did 35 mm - and hopefully got the good moment - with mostly Leica, sometimes the new kids (Nikon).
Take this as just a bit of levity in the hunt for simplicity.
Before I photographed Mamyia AFD III/Leaf 65s with lens Hasselblad Zeiss Distagon 4/40 CFE IF (last model) It's my best lens for landscape photography.
I do not see a reason that I have not used this lens on the S2
Aaaaaah . . . .
Here is my professional camera please show yours .
I am sure , there are many others around .
Regards . Jürgen .
And it's on a Cube no less, it has to be good than. LOL
Funny I get that all the time with my Phase gear because most folks never see this type of gear. First comment always is it must take great pictures looking like that. You can guess my reply. LOL
Actually I am very nice about it but you know what I am thinking.
Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.
The arguments are the same, but as a H4D shooter, reliability should be considered more important. What difference does it make if the camera doesn't capture the essence of that moment? The sensor used in the S2 was released in 2008 by Kodak and both older H3D/50, and M8 use more or less the same 6.0 micron full frame CCD. I'm sure there will be many galleries full of S2 prints soon because they look great! Keith, your a snob who for whatever reason has decided against the S2, no matter what. People have said the high ISO is not great, but I say the faster lenses should help with that. Firmware updates will probably address more issues as the camera's strong and weak points are brought to light. It's the MFD shooters who want to just play indoors with their tethered cameras and not really add to the debate. I say the photographers who go out on safari's and repel off of a cliff or ride class 5 rapids or riding horseback through hours of mud... those are the ones who really know about cameras, then they hose off the S2's and give it to the wedding guys!
Even as a Phase DF & AFD II owner myself I don't think I'd rate the camera bodies as anything much better than merely ok - a long way behind my Nikon DSLRs in build, functionality and handling IMHO (Canons & Sony no doubt also). Hasselblad I'd certainly give more of a nod towards modernity and advanced functionality but not the Mamiya/Phase One bodies. AF abilities? Downright prehistoric ...
If the S2 can give Phase One/Mamiya a boot up the rear to raise their camera game then I'm all in favor of it!
But a camera being used by a professional what?
Here's a thoughtful essay relevant to the discussion:
Doug, there can't be many if any other nature photographers trying to make real money with an S2. I wish you the best of luck.
Just this guy you know
I'm not using the S2 (among other reasons there are no native lenses long enough yet). If/when the time and $$$ comes when I can consider replacing the DMR I'll give the S2 a very thorough test and compare it with other candidate tools before spending the money.
My tests will include not only the equipment but also my technique and my typical subjects' response to the equipment. There's no point considering a larger-format camera if my technique can't take advantage of its performance or if my subjects are freaked out by the larger lenses. The S2 is on my (hypothetical) short list because the body hits a bullseye for everything on my checklist:
outstanding viewfinder for manual focus
excellent no-frills ergonomic design
and as Mark Dubovoy mentioned, the bokeh of the Leica S2 lenses is drop dead gorgeous - that's a very big deal for my photos. I'm also watching the user reviews of the Pentax 654D as they become available.
I'm not understanding your argument against the S2 other than price differentials. Don't misunderstand me, saving money is important, but people are shooting landscapes and nature with H4D/60's, and there somewhat pricer than an S2. I shoot an H4D, and have loathed the dismal battery performance and lack of weather resistance and constant need to clean and re-set. I would never take this camera, (H4D), on a remote back country landscape shoot. The H4D and S2, pretty much share the same sensor, so it comes down to the resolving power of a lens. Which by the way, the S2 has much faster lenses! Personally, I like to find locations that are remote and rugged. Some of the best nature photographs are in adverse conditions. If i'm shooting behind a waterfall and I've hiked to get there, I'll factor that into the price. And if the camera gets covered in spray or droplets, I won't be concerned because it's an S2. I can't do that with an H4D. People tend to pay more for images that have that "wow!" factor. Something to consider is that the S2 is warranted against certain water damage.
Doug, I asumed from the above that you were already using the S2; my mistake.
My problem with the S2 as a system for nature photography would be how much money I'd have to make just to break even.
Last edited by doug; 20th December 2010 at 13:18.
I agree the prices are high for MFD. Right after my H4D purchase, Hasselblad dropped the price and then paired them with a lens choice, including the 35 - 90mm! Since shooting MFD, I seem to compose more artistically, perhaps because of the battery performance. A photographer named Elizabeth Carmel shoots amazing landscapes with a MFD and has quite a business as a result.