Seems an unusual step for this company. I wouldn't think it bodes well for more lens offerings. Discuss and speculate.
Seems an unusual step for this company. I wouldn't think it bodes well for more lens offerings. Discuss and speculate.
Misguided. What makes the S2 special, if anything, is the glass not the sensor. And now with the 645D being weatherproof, having better high iso results and selling at less than half the price (with a lot more available lenses)... what's the point unless you're looking to make the fashion statement that a red dot somehow sets you apart?
Or it could make the S2 actually viable for a pro that needs more than two lenses!!! (Okay, maybe four now, but still the point remains.) It's a smart move for a company that has limited lens offerings.
"Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."
I'm with Terry. The red dot fashion statement argument is frankly silly. I guess the Pentax will naturally be the best because it is the cheapest? Having recently tried the Phase, Hasselblad and S2 cameras, with a goal of getting back into medium format, there are things that I really like about all three offerings. My point of view is that anything that is an obvious step forward by any of the manufacturers gets a thumbs up in my book as it moves the category forward.
Man, why are there so many S2 bashers?
I tried the camera for a few days and it was a beautiful piece of kit. It's a new system and Leica are a small company.
How about we all start bashing Alpa, Sinar, Arca-Swiss, Linhof et al because they are more expensive than Fotoman? The whole "Leica must be crap / in trouble because they dare sell an adaptor for other peoples lenses" argument is stupid.
"Man, why are there so many S2 bashers?" I suspect there are many reasons, but not least of them is the attitude of the company and of some of its fans.
This is great news for people that want to upgrade to the Leica but don't have the funds switch over their entire system at once. Lens adapters afford them the opportunity to use their current lenses on the S2 body while waiting to get the funds together to upgrade to Leica lenses at a later date.
The S2 is marketed as a camera made for professionals. Many of the features that a lower or mid-level shooter might consider to be professional might not be the same as what a higher-end shooter might consider professional quality and this leads to huge misunderstandings. A photographer's status or his ambition to achieve a certain status will often color his definition of a word and his opinion of camera features. That might be elitist, but it's also the reality and truth of the photo industry.
For example, a low-end shooter might consider high ISO a professional feature since he's forced to work with available light. But a photographer working with large budgets might consider high ISO a low quality feature since he has the capacity to light every scene with a crew. In this example, the low-end shooter might think that the S2 (in it's current form) isn't up to his definition of professional standards since the high ISO isn't useful for his work. Meanwhile, the higher-end photographer considers high ISO to be a feature that only lower-end photographers worry about. In fact, the high end shooter might actually consider reliance on high ISO to be a sign of low quality work that doesn't match his professional standard. I'm just using ISO as an example because it's one of the common criticisms encountered online in discussions about the S2. But the point of the example isn't really about ISO as much as it is about how the definition of what is a professional standard can be vastly different depending on context and status of the photographer (or his aspiration to status) within the industry.
is there any adapters that let you use Leica Lenses with the H4D or Phase bodies? you think they would make more Lens sales if there was!
"Man, why are there so many S2 bashers?"
I don't know about you but for me this camera still failes in to many aspects. I tried one and it felt ok, but it is right there between a real MF-camera with a removable back and a DSLR.
I don't have any need for such a camera, especially not for that price point. I would love to have more res, for a lot of stuff than a 5DII or d3x, however not for that premium price. For me the Pentax would be the smarter choice. Even a S3 wouldn't be of interest, I only hope Leica does well enough to produce a CMOS M10 and so on.
I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz
Oh Boy, another S2 thread
The key word here is usefulness.
As one of the grandfathers of bolting 3rd party lenses ( Leica/Zeiss) on Canons along with Son, Kurt, Jan and a few others here none of us are doing this today. Interesting
Now I have not even read the article yet but it does bring some interesting ideas here but the one main issue if these adapters are manual stop down it yes does bring something to the party but only to certain types of shooters. Landscape folks this maybe useful but anyone shooting people using stop down is almost impossible. Lets look at this also if any Hassy/Phase / Leaf shooter switched to a S2 what are they really getting out of the deal. Think about this, the S2 in terms of sensor is no better than any 40MPX Hassy, Phase or Leaf back. Sure you are getting a different form factor in the S2 but you your not buying any better quality by bringing over you Hassy 28 to it or any other lens.
You already have a useful system and this does not make it more useful really to the existing MF owner.
Now for the new buyer of the s2 sure it may increase the S2 usefulness but this is not a easy way to work also. So you take what the S2 is supposed to be a a more DSLR type style and slow it down. Have to wonder if that makes actually sense. But it does buy you time until Leica gets more lenses out which asks the other big question. Why in all this time is there no more lenses than 3. This is NOT a technical /Production issue in my book but a financial/sales issue. To me simple logic is not enough sales to keep throwing money at new lenses. Its a balance for leica. Personally I'm not after balance I'm after a system. If you have to work in stop down sure it buys some time but it also buys limitations. Now to make this effective the adapters to really help will have to be all auto coupled so you don't have to work in stop down mode than this could make some sense as the S2 owner or buyer can fill the gaps of the current three lenses out today. Now if that sounds negative it really is not. I look at things when it comes to a system from a POV that I shoot a lot of different gigs or styles of Photography so as much versatility is very important. Now if your just a landscape shooter hell this maybe great news but a lot of landscape folks shoot with a Tech cam so a S2 type cam is not going to work.
As a current MF owner, S2 owner or S2 consideration to buy you have to think how this will all work for what you shoot. Yes i think it is a nice idea but it also needs to be useful and if it is stop down , let me repeat my first comment many grandfathers of this have moved on. But back than nothing was auto coupled and hopefully this is what they will do if they go down this path and another question is why would Hassy/Phase/Mamiya give up there mount patent. Okay maybe I will go read the article. LOL
Thanks for the correction
It is all about utility.
Even the lowly bracket adds utility to a system and adapters do too.
I just don't see the point for much alarm or emotion or pronouncement of doom.
Either do I Bob, my point was I do hope they try and make these auto coupled. That would be very beneficial to the system if they can pull that off. The stop down road I have been through and it is tough. When I had my Canons I had a lot of Leica lenses and it just made more sense to buy a DMR for them and be coupled.
Okay back to football. LOL
There are a few legacy optics that would be cool to use ... like the Zeiss 110/2FE for some character ... and 40IF for resolving power. Don't know what the S2 lens factor would be ... 1.5X or what?
Been there, done that years ago ... it was a novelty, but grew old fast.
However, I could see a 503Cw or 203FE user getting a S2 body and using their existing lenses on a different form factor body ... I did that with my V gear ... used a Nikon D3X then Sony A900 as back up to my 203FE and digital back. But as I mentioned, it got old fast.
Marc been sitting here thinking actually what lens with a aperture ring would be most useful here for a S2 owner in very wide and i can't think of any wider than 28mm. Hassy and Phase have nice 28mm but they are with no aperture ring. I can see the 110mm and maybe a couple shift lenses out there that would certainly help them. But I think this is somewhat limited and given the 6 micron sensor which is a little harder on the quality of glass in front of it. I know Phase does have a adapter for Hassy V lenses but not sure even how useful that is for Phase owners. Hassy has the same I believe for older V lenses . I guess one way to look at this regardless of what system if you are a V owner you can get into a S2 with some of your existing lenses and build from there. Which is good. Just be nice for a S2 owner to nab a Phase 28mm and use that until there 24mm came out but the 28mm has no aperture ring. Either way it could help some folks so I'm all for it just wish it could be auto coupled. If i was a S2 owner today some of the MF shift lenses could be a great option to get.
The Leica S2 is expensive. Simply it is. It used to be very bad at tethering etc. But it has weather sealing, is compact, has high performance beautiful lenses, it works directly with adobe, etc.
Finally, someone who has the balls to say it like it is, thank you Mike.
The problems arise when people start taking marketing material at face value. Leica's marketing guys really had no choice but to position the S2 as a "serious professional camera". What were the alternatives - "frivoulous professional camera", "serious amateur camera", "specialist niche camera"??
You see the problem....
So, having gone out there with that positioning, they have some credibility issues when you look at the package and what it can actually deliver in terms of functionality, versatility, durability, availability, image quality, user friendliness, software maturity and a dozen other selection criteria that one might apply to a purchasing decision for a system in this price range. We are talking about a sum that will buy you a luxury car!
I am fortunate enough to fall into that category referred to as a "high-end professional". I have the client base and income stream to both justify and afford any camera system I choose. Over the course of my 25+ years as an international ad shooter, I have owned and relied on Rollei, Hasselblad, Sinar, Horseman, Canon, Nikon, Mamiya/Phase One, Fuji and Linhof products to make the images my clients pay for. Notice the absence of the Leica brand?
Despite the phenomenal quality of Leica products, the company has for decades been out of step with the needs of the majority of photographers. This aloofness has allowed them the luxury of being able to market "exclusive" niche product, and good luck to them. The problem arises when you release some exotic piece of glass, but it is so specialized that you expect to sell perhaps 50 units a year, you have to charge extraordinary amounts to recoup the development/manufacturing costs. This problem is magnified exponentially when you are talking about the R&D costs of developing MF product, especially if your elitist culture leads you down the road of developing your own sensor, a new "game changing" platform and a new range of lenses.
So, what do we have? A very cool camera with what by todays MF standards is a "middle of the road" sensor, a VERY limited range of lenses (and therefore system versatility), a dealer network who can't get their hands on stock to sell, a software system that can only be described as immature ("but it will improve with time" is not what I want to hear when I buy a camera system to gamble my livelihood on) and a strong reliance on the brand recognition to persuade me that all will be okay. Yeah, right!
What I'm saying is that despite the PR spin, this is a nice camera but NOT a serious pro contender. Before all the Leica fans start wailing, let me say that there are a few examples of pro use of this camera but is it a serious contender for the title of pro camera system, sorry, no. Can it ever be? Sure, if Leica can invest enough to round out the system, create a way to upgrade the sensor without having to buy a new camera each time, add heaps of useful lenses, etc. Barring evidence to the contrary, I doubt it.
One last thing - how many pros want to be tagged with the unspoken death-label that often goes through photographer's (and clients) minds when someone shows up with a Leica - (rich) Guy With Camera. EWWWWW!!!
So endeth the rant.
Bryan, I think you missed the point of Mike's post.
"Bryan, I think you missed the point of Mike's post." And so?
While I shoot for money now, my actual long time career was as a Creative Director ... the ad agency art direction side was my way up that ladder. I've shot with oodles of professional photographers, some of the best there are ... virtually none of them used cutting edge MFD gear. Usually a generation or two behind the current so called "latest/greatest". Half the time I had better gear than they did
It's true, Leica branded stuff was a rarity ... but not totally unheard of, at least for some smaller format stuff. Alan Kaplan out of NYC shot an editorial type spread Ad campaign for me on behalf of Unilever world-wide with a Leica R.
Of course Leica Ms aren't suited for most big commercial jobs, and there wouldn't be many Medium Format Leica shoots ... the camera didn't exist. It's new.
I attended a zillion still and motion shoots with my Leica M camera ... and not one director, cameraman, still photographer, tech person, lighting grip or PA said ... EWWWWW. On the contrary, often, the camera people told me stories of their own Leica experiences, and wanted to handle my digital Ms ... lots of respect ... oh, and BTW, not one client even knew what a Leica was. This is experience from hundreds of shoots all over the world. So, methinks you exaggerate.
Mark, I was expecting a bite, but not one so polite nor well credentialled. Kudos to you!
I agree that top shooters are rarely equipped with bleeding edge gear. They are running businesses and ROI is one of the factors they keep an eye on. Generally, the update cycle on MF digital backs is 3-4 years, so one is only up to date that often. This can be exacerbated by the fact that photographers are generally a conservative lot and tend to stick to the tools they are comfortable with. C'est la vie. If anything, this tendency is going to make it even harder for Leica to legitimately make the case that the S2 is a full blooded pro outfit.
On the "EWWWWW" thing - Yes, perhaps I exaggerate, but remember, people are polite.....
"In the end, it's all about the pictures"
Its not reasonable for a camera with only a few lenses, expensive, and limited distribution to be seen as a "pro camera". That brings up images of 500C Hassy's available everywhere, a rentable stable in every town,and film backs all around. Those days are long gone, but the image of the rentable stable and some commonality in the pro-realm, not to mention their need for flexibility, durability and rentals, leave the S2 a bit off the scene. Maybe it could get there in Germany, or maybe in a town of two... but not too likely in the US.
OTOH, Leica isn't going to market this as a camera for rich amateurs. First, that's not a good sales pitch. So too, this camera is more than a trophy camera - its a really good piece of equipment. That its not on the cutting edge of the MP race isn't a really big deal: find another camera with its optical qualities, lightness, AF, and form factor. THere just aren't. And I'm not even a big fan of the camera, but these things stick out.
So Leica's got a bit of a connundrum: developed for pros, but selling to amateurs. Not enough lenses for the pro realm. The gear is good enough, but there just isn't enough market penetration (or reasonable costs) to make this more pro-likely.
The conundrum isn't just Leica's. in the car world - Lamborghini is a good model in a similar situation: based on racing state of the art, but never used for racing.... So it is possible to position yourself in one way for another market. But tricky.
Mike's post put the point into sharp focus: the issue of for whom and for what purpose was Leica aiming? That's a good point to be sure.
A lot of these guys (still or motion) are less enamored of the cameras alone, but are elitist fanatics about the glass hanging off the camera ... that is where their respect for Leica was focused. Arri's with Zeiss made optics was common ... or Zeiss, Rodenstock, Schneider for table-top stills.
I specifically used a M on set to document my shoots and to grab stills for my client to use in presentations without being intrusive to the shooting process. I also used a M for many Pro shoots documenting a corporation's working environment ... clients like American Axel for example where I used a MFD kit and a Leica M.
If Leica gains any foothold in the Professional market it'll be due to the residual respect for their optics ... which will be slow going for Leica because most (not all) Pros are slow to adopt or change. If Leica didn't figure that into their long term plan, then they are in for a shock. However, I don't think Professional specifications are necessarily aimed at just professionals ... it's marketing 101
You know, and I know, that 40 meg MFD capture is more than enough for a vast majority of commercial work ... unless a Pro specializes, or is doing something special (in which case they usually rent).
I'd also agree with the poster above that pointed out the differences in terms of expectations between what an amateur thinks is Pro specifications are and what a pro thinks. 4800 w/s+ of high quality Profoto or Bron light and $10,000. worth of Parabolic light modifiers makes a big difference in ISO considerations. A herd of grips on set doesn't hurt either
I can easily see the S2 in the hands of fashion shooters, editorial type shooters, and high-end environmental portrait shooters ... who are often more apt to be more open to new gear with price being no object if it enhances their specific shooting style. Time will tell.
Last edited by Graham Mitchell; 18th December 2010 at 03:06.
http://www.graham-mitchell.com Graham Mitchell
The vast majority of professional photographers use Canon & Nikon. This has little to do with image quality and everything to do with the comprehensive nature of the systems, availability, warranty, service, rental...
As things stand the Leica S2 is anything but a professional system; only time will tell if it has a future as such.
I should add that the same applies to the Pentax 645D.
On my personal list of evaluation criteria for any camera system I choose to use, the question of whether it's a 'professional' system is at the bottom of the list. The camera has to be able to do all I want to do with it and offer me an opportunity to also provide some sort of differentiation from everything else that everyone else is shooting.
About the "EWWWW" thing.... that was my attitude until I used a (borrowed) Leica for a few months. I humored the old coot who offered it to me and within a week my Nikons were gathering dust.
I rarely mention the camera I use because of the widespread attitude that it's a rich wanna-be photographer's bauble, but when I show prints to gallery owners their eyes bug out, their jaw drops to the floor and for a few minutes they're speechless. Once they can speak again the first few things they say are remarks about the detail and color quality, then inevitably "What camera are you using?" I'd rather put up with the "EWWWW" attitude than give up the print quality I've been getting.
Please forgive the tangential (if not downright off-topic) nature of the question. Although I have sold some prints, I am not what anyone would call a professional photographer. I have a Leica M2 and an Epson RD1, both aimed at making use of the justly famous glass. but have hesitated on the M8/9 front because...
...I wear glasses and can't see through the danged viewfinders!
I've tried contact lenses on three separate occasions.
I've tried diopter adjustments, but then I have to juggle glasses and camera.
It's hard to frame a shot when you can't see the entire frame from any one vantage point.
Of all I've heard about the Pentax 645D, the best thing is that the viewfinder is easy to use with glasses.
Are any of you glasses wearers? How do you cope?
I suspect that a part (or most) of the reason that people are talking about whether the Leica is a "professional camera" is that Leica and many of its fans brag that it is.
And, or course, there's the too common implication by Leica fans that part of the specialness of Leica includes the fact that whatever you're using isn't as good.
There is an interesting question coming up .
So , what is a professional camera ? ? ?
I am curious to hear some definitions .
Regards . Jürgen .
My answer would be on the lines of a system behind it. Personally I don't buy camera's I buy into a system. I think more Pro's buy in those terms than a individual camera. Say Canon for instance main would be a 1DSIII but a 5d2 as backup or even something of less value but 30 lenses or more plus many accessories behind that system that you can tap into be it purchase or rentals. Lets not forget repairs and turn time in this. In my terms a complete package that is easily replaceable on any given failure via purchase or renting.
Than you could get into build quality of main unit and such as well but I find that part secondary.