Alright let me be serious for a brief moment here and offer some real thoughts up. Jono and I have been friends for awhile and i know we both respect each others opinion a great deal. I usually stay out of these unless directly asked but I am going to break my rule here.
Just looking at Jono as a shooter for a second . First i would not sell , take away or put your M9 on the block PERIOD. Your too good with it and it serves a purpose no Sony or S2 could ever do given your shooting style and subjects. However given that you did get a hall pass that one is hard for me to ignore. If my wife gave me a hall pass i would probably go for it, I'm not asking her because frankly she is really a doll and would say yes even though I joke about that all the time and lately she has been through health hell for the last year so I am not asking. Anyway here is what I see with the Sony since i have one also and I know the S2 well than the Sony could actually be replaced by the S2 . In all seriousness they are about the same weight and bulk wise and shooting one is not that much different than shooting the other. The other thing is noise floor wise they are about the same ISO 640 , 800 to 1200 max. Not really a big difference here except IQ which the S2 will surely smoke the Sony. I have one i can say that since my P40+ smokes the Sony but it has it's place( and i do like my Sony) . Also as far as file the M9 and Sony are pretty close so if you took a jump it would have to be up and the S2 would do that. Personally if it was me in this situation as Jono's and not a working Pro than a S2 /M9 sell everything else off except maybe one P&S than it would be a good combo. You have the file when you need it in the S2 and the agility in the M9. Also your files workflow wise would be pretty dang close since you are using the Kodak sensors. Now having said all that and it does make sense here is where the devil comes in a screws with your head and i can play that part well too. Do you need the file is the question and how MUCH will the S2 buy you over the M9 image wise. That is really the question you should be rolling in your head as far as camera and your abilities you have more than enough experience to get around any mental, physical road block that comes along as i talked about earlier in this same thread. Jono here is the real question for you is How much does this buy me money aside. If you can truthfully answer that to yourself than case closed either way. From a Pro seat I envy the hobbyist choices. I don't get these options.
For me it is different as a Pro I need the SLR since I already have the MF in a different style. Even if i had the S2 i would still need the DSLR Sony as back up and other reasons
I have what could be a game changing thought or two as I explore this camera. It involves more of a question to myself than it does convincing any one else of anything.
When I consider something new, I don't necessarily approach it with the worry that it will change what I do, or how I see things, or anything current. That is because I want it to be part of change, not part of improving the status quo. Less like ... "will I stay the same?", but more like ... "Will this be part of (not the reason for) movement into new explorations?"
This happened to me when I first got a M so many years ago, it happened again when I first got involved with medium format (flim, then again with digital). And as I explore this camera I can see what a part of growth it can be as I expand my desire to be more, to be better. Often this can be done with what one has, and just as often it can be part of a whole new thing ... just like the M was all those years ago.
As I process the initial images from the S2, I am starting to feel a sense of unification from the camera ... it may be all that I need other than a big monster studio camera for my other world. The Sony and all but the most exotic parts of the M kit are now in the cross hairs. The S2 files are that good and easy to make. If proved true, the expense of this kit becomes less of an issue as it replaces others.
More to come, I have to run to a Holiday gathering.
wait did you recently get an S2 or is this from your time testing it out?
I can understand that you envy the hobbyist choices, and of course, the obvious answer is to get an S2, keep the M9 kit and ditch the A900 . . . .but I do weddings, not lots of weddings, but some, and they get paid for . . . .so the dSLR needs to stay, although, the DR and high ISO on the Pentax tempts one to think that could do away with the Sony, and of course the S2 would be wonderful for the times when one used the A900 with the 135 f1.8. . . . and lots is done with the M9 anyway. . . . .
I wasn't really expecting this thread to re-open the can of worms, but perhaps it does.
At any rate, I hope the discussion is helpful for others going through the same kind of thought processes.
Just this guy you know
That is the thing we all go through this process which i think is fabulous people do. Nothing worse than the oh i made a mistake or did not count on this or that. I agree the Sony is handy dandy and reason I have one too , so that throws a wrench in the pile for sure.
Just this guy you know
Doreen gets the post if the week. Just love it
I am so with you on this. As you know I had an S2 last year for a couple months and shot a lot of frames but eventually returned it because of a series of problems with both bodies and glass. With the money I got back I upgraded my P45+ to a 65+ and my Phamy body to the latest version, adding a nice leaf shutter portrait lens. The setup produces images of amazing quality once you've learned how to use it, and never more so when the back is used on a tech camera with decent glass.
However.... I don't use it very much. My work this last year has fallen into a rhythm of selling fine art prints at much higher prices than I used to, and to a much more educated kind of buyer, and not one of them has ever asked me the slightest hint of a technical question further than 'how do you get them to look so painterly?' (answer: it's the way I print 'em!) - but not one question, ever, about cameras, formats, lenses, whatever.
My new home has a nice long corridor that I have put gallery lighting in, and I treated myself to hanging a set of my six favourite (and mostly best selling) shots, beautifully framed. They are printed to a tad larger than 21 x 14 because of nothing other than that that is how they look right. It's not a size that would test most cameras, especially when printed on the paper I use, which is a little dreamy and romantic. But nonetheless, of those six shots, one was from a 5D mk 1, two from a 5d mk2, two from Leica M and one from a Ricoh GRDII. And three were on zoom lenses, which I claim to dislike.
Were I to drill down further into my collection and print my favourite 50 pictures, the ratio would shift radically in favour of the M8 and M9 but I'd be hard pushed to be sure that any MF shots would creep in. Maybe two or three.
I could expand tediously and for many hours on why this is but in short, the shots that are the most beautiful and intriguing are the ones where something amazing happened between the light and the landscape and I happened to have a camera there. One rarely just 'happens to have' a MF camera there and indeed, when I look through all the amazingly high quality MF landscape work out there, most of it technically well beyond my abilities I'm sure, the great bulk of it lacks that one quality that I personally value. I used to want to capture that perfect shot of a slot canyon or an autumnal maple at maximum resolution. Now I don't. Things have changed. Those are other people's shots, and they have been done endlessly and beautifully in ways that demonstrate the virtuosity of other people's vision and other people's gear. But they are not my shots.
I don't sell the MF gear because there is stuff I want to do for which I will probably need it. As you know, everything I sell is for charity so I can please myself what, where and how I shoot and I very rarely do client work. If I did, my drivers would be different. But as it is, you and I shoot in quite similar ways I think, and I am now relaxed enough not only to repeat the bromide that the 'the best camera is the one you have with you' but finally to believe it. Just like you.
I just don't care any more. I want the shot at that moment of happy union of light and landscape and that happens when it happens, not when I have loaded a car or backpack with the best gear.
There are a million better photographers than me who have very specific client needs to meet and they know what gear best meets those needs just like I know what gear meets mine.
Lastly: I think extreme resolution is often used as a clear distinguishing mark of the real pro. Cityscapes of Asian boomtowns that print ten feet wide but would frankly look extremely dull if taken on a smaller sensor and printed 20 x 30. That sort of thing. The fascination is in the size and the detail, not really in the vision itself. At a recent charity auction in which I had a print, some enormous prints by some truly enormous names failed to sell because, IMHO, though they were big they were also a bit barren. The trick hadn't worked on the punters, who had failed to fall for the 'size=degree of professional credibility' equation. They bought what they wanted, which was pictures that were beautiful or funny or inspiring or shocking or memorable and it really didn't matter who had taken them or on what gear. And a lot of these punters were high profile, highly educated collectors.
So like I say, I just don't care any more. Everything else being equal, I would love for every shot I take to be at 80mp and exhibit technical perfection. But whenever I kit myself out in order to achieve that, nothing happens, and I am not prepared to take a Phase system with me when I take the dog for a walk...
Keep the cash.
Best as ever,
I've had a few of these game-changing purchases over the years, and the new explorations were usually in directions I couldn't have predicted without working with the camera for a while. Sometimes the direction grated on my nerves and that equipment was sold within a year or so - a few fortunate times the new direction resonated with my soul and I call that equipment My Precious
Doug Herr http://www.wildlightphoto.com
In the end there will be a million anecdotal experiences shared. Then those will change a year later. Things happen for some, and not for others ... then it all does a flip-flop. Change is inevitable one way or the other.
None of it really matters ... either get it or don't. The world will still keep spinning.
helpful? I dont know interesting-yes, very.
1) I feel the wish to check out an S2 and a 645D and see how much more compact and easy to use they are compared to my Hy6 and other MF solutions
2) There seem to be quite some different opinions regarding IQ of MF vs M9 vs Sony. It is clear to me that MFwins clearly at very large print size. But at medium print size -how big is the difference. One write on LL said he was surprized how good the M9 held up compared to the Phamiya and Pentax 645D. Now quite some people here experienced that MF smokes the A900 and M9.
All I know that I think to see a clear difference often between files from the M9 and Nikon DSLR (and also Pentax K5). I think it has also to do with lenses. The Leica M files have a certain clarity which is hard to beat. Also specially in low light they seem to produce contrast in scenes which justlook mushy. Sometimes the images look better than what I remember to have seen in reality (regarding light).
Looking at MF files the difference is not allways that clear to me. The files from my LV75 do have a certain smoothness and I love the colors. This is not so much about sharpness.
So my optinion of today is that at print size up to 50x70cm the difference might be there but personally I dont feel it that clear. Probably also depends a lot on the subject.
Would be interesting to make a thread posting images from MF and M9 and DSLR without EXIF and then see how many can find out which are MF images.
3) comparing size of the S2 to that of A900 has a lot todo with the choice of lenses. If one is happy with 2 or 3 primes the size difference is maybe not so big. I could imagine to carry a A900 with a standard zoom on a mountain. I am not sure if I wanted to carry a S2 with 3 primes on a mountain.
4) Besides bulk the other question is: how fast are you with gear. Can it catch the moment? Thats why I would like to try a S2 or 64D to see how it really works. With the Hy6 you can catch the moment - if you are lucky
Just soe thoughts.
[QUOTE=jonoslack;273770 ..... I realise that my decision is extremely odd . . . [/QUOTE]
I don't think so, in fact I think it's quite astute. For non professional (read earns vast majority of income from photography) MF is an overkill IMO. As a keen photographer one is entitled to seek out the best optic/sensor combination that their heart desires. But really at the end of the day, it won't matter if the photo was taken on an iPhone, M9, or S2, if the subject matter and composition are interesting enough.
Jono, no matter what camera you seem to have in your hand, you have the natural ability to produce interesting images. The (Desire Need) internal questioning needs to be silenced. Not easy, I know.
A7II, FE 35, 55 C/Y 18, 28, 85, 100, 28-85
It is not wrong to spice up the discussion a bit. Me too feels that this is more a luxury problem than anything else. OTOH, camera desires are somewhat innocent desires, so it is more like chlidren discussing if they can afford a bigger matchbox car yet, or if they should save up for the next model. It is all cute and should be fun.
Just this guy you know
Thanks so much for chipping in - I think the thread has become really quite interesting, plenty of fun, an lots of relevant points as well.
I've had a few interesting and helpful PMs as well.
Of course the 'be a man' posts tend to re-open the question (thank you Marc and Mark Tom and Roger in particular) - with the added attraction of 'growing as a photographer' by adding a new tool - definitely enticing, and almost worthy of making a U turn (almost)
Then there are the 'you don't need anything more' posts (thank you Keith, Eoin). Although they are reinforcing my original post . . . .there is a tendency to think 'Well, maybe I DO need something more' (me? bloody minded?).
The thread was worth starting for the jokes - Doreen has the post of the month (for me) - and Matt too - sorry to let you both down so badly, Bob always cracks me up.
Helpful stuff as always from Jack and Guy and Terry, from Tim and Marc and Doug too.
Anyway - now I really am rabbiting (sorry Godfrey).
Thanks everyone for joining in - and no Dave - I haven't changed my mind yet
Just this guy you know
You and Tim have it all wrong! You don't carry a camera the size of an S2/lens when you walk the dog, you let the dog do it by putting on one of those dog packs strapped onto him/her. That's what I do with mine except all they are willing to carry is extra biscuits and treats in theirs and will give me a dirty look if I try sneaking in any thing else, even CF cards
I truly appreciated both Tim's excellent post with his personal point of view as well as all of your postings too. Even though I often go back and forth with decisions and sometimes agonize over them, life is too short and wonderful to let it becomes anything more than some careful deliberation and then enjoy using what you have now or in the future. Looking at your images, especially those in the last few years with the M9, one can only admire what you have done with it.
Last edited by D&A; 22nd December 2010 at 08:48.
I, like many others, am constantly wondering if MF would allow me to produce better images. Rarely does a discussion get to this point so well.
Simple - you make better pictures, because you are with "S2" ready for it.
I'd love to have an S2 or any other modern digital MF outfit, but back in my film days, it was really only the smaller ones which ever worked for me as everyday outfits, the Fuji 6x4.5 and Mamiya 6 rangefinder systems in particular. I liked the 6x9 format a lot (Fuji GSW690 III), but in the darkroom it was just too obvious when I used the camera handheld! I like to think I can handhold a camera really steady, but it wasnt steady enough for the 6x9: It got to where I was nitpicking the really small stuff. The smaller formats simply seemed more forgiving of my more relaxed Monday-Friday shooting.
Then there's the matter of weight: I used to mostly ignore it until I started carrying this stuff around most days of the week!
1) I had the fear that I would miss my D700 and lenses as this is a really fast and versatile DSLR solution and I do need it for some of my photography
2) I could not achieve a reasonable price for my H3D39
So I finally cancelled the project. Having said that, a few weeks later with my experiences from the K5 and Pentax lenses I feel already more comfortable to sell my Nikon and go for Pentax DSLR. This is a much cheaper solution, much lighter and in my eyes (for my type of photography) even more versatile than the Nikon. Maybe the thought process will now start again.
Would be a good combo - S system, Pentax K5 and a future M10 with all my M lenses.
Maybe it would work out this time
Life is an ever changing journey
This was borderline trollery, but an interesting thread, Jono --
I've been exploring an XPan and two Hasselblads, all at EBay prices, and used for short self-assigned projects. Found them very rewarding, even the hassles of film. Visited Bear Images in Palo Alto a few months ago and walked away with a P45+ for the Hasselblads in a spur of the moment, one-spouse decision. (In fact, the spouse hasn't noticed or asked what the impact was. The kids have noticed.) It fits in certain niches, and the results have been very rewarding.
The M9s aren't getting any less work to do, so this has expanded my repertoire a bit. I felt that only a 2X increase in resolution without sacrificing any pixel size was the only step worth taking after the M9, hence no sleep lost over an S2. Besides, the S2 is clearly a slippery slope since a whole system awaits.
I am thinking about some really large prints, and the P45+ also blows away the M9 for very large screen viewing, which is starting to become a much more frequently shared experience. But drop the M9s? Not for several more years.
Jono, and everyone in this thread, thank you!
It didn't hit until reading this discussion that I have always bought equipment for its own qualities, and not based on how I shoot. Every camera I've used successfully, from little Sigma to Pentax 67, I've used the same way. Cameras not amenable to that style: large format, really, I've totally failed with.
The point is, it's time to acknowledge that I HAVE a shooting style, and I should pick the right tools to match it. Development and new styles may come through work and education.
I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz
I hope you're well. I think that I've failed some sort of a test here - but truth to tell, I'm not really planning really large prints, my best (least bad) pictures seem to be a kind of visual confection, which, whilst sometimes they're good at A2 size, really don't need to be bigger than that . . . and the M9 does a very nice A2, as does the Sony.
I can see the attraction of an old Contax 645+digital back . . . but to be honest the S2 was more attractive for similar reasons.
I have moments of 'perhaps I'm wrong', but rational moments all tell me that I've made the right decision.
all the best
Just this guy you know
Marc would have us believe that buying something outside one's comfort zone helps to make us grow and develop, and of course, he has a very good point (one I find hard to counteract), so I think it is a valid way to Development.
It's just not for me (or, at least, not now).
I shall remain a 'small print person' for the foreseeable future!
all the best
Just this guy you know
Yes, perhaps outside our comfort zone, but not outside one's vision or style. More a matter of questioning whether that vision or style can be expanded upon ... which isn't necessarily gear related ... but can be.
This particular philosophy was derived more from my involvement with fine art painting than it was from photography. Picasso moved from flat, 2 dimensional explorations into three dimensional work with found objects and crafts ... and brought his vision of the world with him. He didn't necessarily change, he changed the art form.
I'm writing my fresh impressions of the S2 and how it relates to my own creative objectives and practical needs .... coming soon to a thread near you Hopefully it'll clarify that notion to some degree.
Again, your decision is yours and I'd be the first to applaud it ... to each his or her own.
just wanted to let you know that I found this thread very interesting because I too am thinking about the S2 and this discussion really helps a lot. Good to hear that you feel you made the right decision.
very much looking forward to that thread! And I suppose many others on this forum will be eagerly awaiting your findings.
40 x 60 cm (that's pretty much A2) is as large as I think I can go with the M9, and it is also as large as I'm willing to spend my own money on having prints made. I don't own a decent printer. But I'm attracted to the look of some meter square prints that I see at the local photolab, usually shot from a rooftop looking down at 50 or more people in a group, all fully resolved. That's tripod and MF country. Some of the construction site shots that I have been doing with a Hasselblad SWC might respond to this treatment, but my enjoyment with seeing the texture of intricately wrapped rebar and concrete crusts on rusty buckets in various corners of the image may not be widely shared. Maybe I can get our 40 Chinese concrete smoothers and 20 Romanian drywall hangers to pose in the middle of the action...
I think the S2 only makes sense if I were to jump in whole-heartedly and replace the M9s with two S2 bodies and all the lenses. And like you, I don't see the need and would certainly miss the handling. Also the combination of awesome Peter Karbe lenses (100% contrast across the field of view) and the slight increase in sensor size probably adds up to about the same impact as my roughly 60 x 45 mm 40MPx sensor coupled with less capable Zeiss lenses from the 1960s. The next big step up, an Alpa frame with a Rodenstock or Schneider 28 or 35, and the digital back that I already own, could be handled almost as easily as my SWC (two shutter presses per shot instead of one), isn't that great a cost step -- about as much as a single S2 lens.
The Hasselblads know their place. They are emeritus cameras, semi-retired but still capable of doing everything that they once led the world at and grateful to be consulted from time to time.
Enuf on cameras that I don't plan to own, or would like to but don't yet... I have pictures to edit, pictures to take, and a day job.
I did have an f1 nocti for a while - I actually shot a whole wedding with it (the official photographer was a little under the weather, and it was the only lens I had with me). I didn't have too much trouble focusing, and the results were pretty okay.
But I really don't find RF focusing an issue - sometimes I'm not quick enough, but generally speaking I can nail it. I don't know if it's practice, luck, or perhaps I'm just not fussy enough!
I understand that it won't get a huge amount of use, but I do fancy one, and history suggests that it shouldn't be too much of a financial mistake as long as I buy carefully!.
Just this guy you know
I think that these price barriers are psychological - a bit like the four minute mile, 200mph limits for cars, $3k for a home computer etc. I remember when $2000 was a BIG deal for film camera bodies, and then it was $5k for DSLR, then $2k - $5k for big glass and now it's $15k+ for a digital back, $7k for a rangefinder, $4k+ for MF lenses and so $10k for a Noctilux doesn't seem so outrageous any more (even though it is really ).
There's a reality distortion field going on around here.