Haven't heard a peep about this camera and lens system.
I wonder if it's related to the down turn in MFD prices, exchange rate, and generally horrible economy? What bad luck for a company that could use some.
Anyone know anything?
Haven't heard a peep about this camera and lens system.
I wonder if it's related to the down turn in MFD prices, exchange rate, and generally horrible economy? What bad luck for a company that could use some.
Anyone know anything?
At the time the camera was announced, it was vaguely mentioned that delivery would be summer or so of 2009. So they could very well be on track. I hope so, as the also vague (very vague) mention of Leica lens production for Phase One camera has me anxious to see what the reality of that turns out to be.
I don't know anything but around the time of all the hoopla at photokina Leica was saying it would be summer (June or July) before the S2 would come out and the R10 would follow some time after that.
The S2 is on target for this summer. The first four lenses, the 35, 70, 120 Macro, and 180 will launch along with the camera. These CS lenses all have leaf shutters. The following five lenses will not have any leaf shutters and will become available in the months following release.
I'm hoping to learn more at PMA in Las Vegas the first week in March. I already have an appointment with the product manager for the S2 to discuss the details and will be updating my blog with any info I get.
Does anyone know if CS lenses can be operated with the focal plane shutter a la Hasselblad CF lens?
There has been the report in LFI some time ago, where a S2 has been used for all images.
Back in the end of last year, there were "allready" prototypes which would take images (I had one in my hand on a show in Francfort).
I have no doubt they are heavily working on it, but I wouldnt want to bet if they become available in June or in September. The summer is long in Germany.
Well, we'll just have to wait and see. A birdie told me there was much consternation over the pricing since things have changed so drastically on all fronts.
Because of my changing business model, this camera/system is now on my radar ... but it still will come down to pricing against alternative options. Speculation as to IQ differences ranks a bit lower since all of the options are so good and it becomes subjective quibbling over minutia IMHO. Factors other than IQ are what interest me, but at what price do they outweigh the alternatives ... especially alternatives that are already paid for and are devaluating at a ferocious rate ... making their value one of use, not resale? (i.e., love the one you're with.)
Seeing a 30K+ Sinar Hy6/75LV sell for $14,500. and some of the other deals that have transpired recently, or the Mamiya/Phase free lens deal, or the availability of factory warranted refurb Hassey 39 meg Multishot CF backs under 20K, etc., etc. gives one serious pause.
No offense to anyone's opinion, but it really is "just business" more than at any other time in my long photographic career ... currently, indulgence is a word ripped out of my personal dictionary.
Marc, you might want to change the title to: so, where is Leica?
It is indeed unfortunate that Leica are about to launch the S2 onto a market ravaged by a severe downturn, really, the last thing they needed, but this is the reality they have to face. The S2 looks very interesting, I can certainly see the appeal for someone like Marc. Competition and pricing in MFD is cut-throat, it will be interesting to see how Leica fare in today's marketplace.
*As a Cockney, the one good thing that I've witnessed to come out of this recession is the Cockney Rhyming Slang term "Merchant Banker" being shortened to just "Banker" and now being in widespread use
Rangefinder: that's what I can't get elsewhere. Frankly, MFD is covered and the truth be told, a S2 would be an indulgence no matter how I slice it, or how droolingly delicious it may be.
Keith - what do you think is a reasonable price for an S2 - from your point of view?
You didn't ask me but I'd weigh in anyway: a shade under $9000.00.
At that price it would be on my hit list
David , I was asked if i wanted a VIP presentation of the S2 at PMA. Trying to decide if I should drive up . My wife is out of town and trying to work that out. I'm sure you will be there and i would really like to get my hands on one.
@ $9000 they are head to head with 23 megapixeled CaNikon bodies and I guess they could win a decent market share over time. I wonder what this <$10K price point implies for their pricing of the R10 and then (hopefully - the ff M9?)
The threat to Leicas product range if they pitch too low is that they kill the margins in their other to be announced follow up products - certainly the development costs of the S2 will take longer to recoup today than a year ago..
I would be very surprised to see a sub $15K price for the body alone.
If they want to sell a $15-25K body - they have to convince people that their offer is better than a P45+ or a H3d11-39. Maybe this could happen - but the switching costs are pretty high so I guess this woudl take even longer to gain a decent market share of a crowded and small market.
I agree with people's general views that price will be the key determinant of take up potential.
This hedge fund manager - are we the lowest of the low according to Cockney wit and intelligence? - isn't going to cough up for one - until the early adopters have found all the bugs ...and they have been fixed..
btw can we shoot film with these magnificent flat line MTF curve lenses?
I think that the most likely buyer will be the Leica nut - not the typical working pro with his/her 5D11..and A4 magazine product shot.
This is going to be very interesting..
Last edited by PeterA; 13th February 2009 at 04:14.
"I think that the most likely buyer will be the Leica nut - not the typical working pro with his/her 5D11..and A4 magazine product shot. (my edit: or his/her Phamiya/Hassy 39)".
Unfortunately, I agree entirely. As for a $9000 S2 body - Nice, but Leica has shown NO recognition of the need (or of having the ability to) as yet to price products at anything resembling a correlation to the dynamics and price/performance curves of the DSLR (and now MFGD) market. As for their S&S structure.....
I am surprized that on one side people say the S2 is aimed to pros, but on the other side say the price is determing factor.
I am not a pro, but I do run a business. Isnt it much more important how good the tool (camera system) can do a job vs if the price is 2-3k more or less? Is the money for photographic equipment such an deciding factor for a professional photographer?
Lets say he could do one more job per year because the S2 is waterproof, or because the system is faster to use (or he might not need another DSLR because of that fact), wouldnt that be much more important?
I read here, that some photographer own 2 MF systems just because they need focalplane shutter AND sometimes fast flash sync as well.
$9k is IMO totally, completely unrealistic, and a bit unfair too. It would be nice, awesome even, but it will never happen. Canikon is marketing high-end, (relatively) high-volume 35mm FF bodies in this range. The Leica S2 was lovingly carved from a solid block of unobtanium by gnomes in the depths of the fairy-tale Harz mountains in deep Germany (well, almost), and plays in an entirely different league, with much larger pixels and a significant resolution advantage.
If the body hits $15k, I will be impressed. I am expecting 15k Euro, and if that is with the kit 70mm, I will raise one eyebrow, questioningly.
Last edited by carstenw; 13th February 2009 at 06:34.
Carsten - Website
9K? What are you smokin' because I want some : -)
I'll bet they were hoping for 25K and this downturn has pricked that balloon.
I would LOVE this camera ... but the speculation as to it's superior performance is in the lofty realm of pixel peeping of the highest magnitude ... the kind that transends reality. The competition here isn't sleeping, nor are they slouches when it comes to IQ. Incremental stuff falls by the wayside when this much cash is involved, and the people buying the final images never even heard of Leica.
Cripes, with the way things are going, by the time they launch this sucker, a 39 meg modular back that can also be used on a tech camera
will have dropped below 9K.
This is the constant discussion.....how much will the S2 cost when it is finally released.... Personally, I tend to agree with Carsten that $9K is mostly wishful thinking. While the DSLRs may be around that mark, they are not doing it with a 37MP sensor that is larger than the 24x26mm size of 35mm FF. So, while hoping for a sub-$10K body is probably on the mind of many, including myself, it does sound like a bit of fantasy wishing, despite the economy. Fact is, Leica probably has a lot invested in this new camera, and they will need to start selling them to recover some costs. Tough spot to be in, especially with the economic downturn and the recent drops in MFD prices in several lines.
Leica is up against a couple tough things....new body/system that nobody has really used, aside from a very few testers at best. They also are fielding a new line of lenses that most folks are speculating will be great. There is NO used market for either at this point, so buyers are going to be at the mercy of the pricing. If Leica comes in high, as they have tended to do, it will not create a great incentive for present MF pros to switch or add, considering how much gear they would need to start filling up an S2 kit, nor would it draw all that many DSLR folks who are looking to move up, since the total packages needed (body and glass) is going to be a lot more expensive without a used market yet. So, for a few years, Leica is going to be fighting an uphill battle, regardless of how good the system may be.
That being said, I do think that they are too far into the S2 and maybe the R10 to back out at this point. My thoughts are that they should put them into the market and at very competitive prices compared to what they are competing against, if they hope to gain enough sales to get things rolling along. With that thought in mind, seeing a $12-15K price for the S2 with the 70mm lens might get a lot more folks to start thinking about the S2. Then having lenses at a somewhat reasonable pricing to help fill out the system would also be needed. The $5K per lens that folks have tossed about will be a show stopper for a lot of pros that would either have to liquidate present gear at losses, or double up systems for a while. Not attractive a price point at all. Maybe $2-3K would fly a lot better, yet still net them some return.
From my own perspective, I love the idea and concept of the S2. It seems to hit enough marks for my needs and wants to get the job done if it truly performs as folks have talked about based on the prototypes and such. I think it will be able to penetrate a tough market segment IF it is priced for pros to realistically add/switch, and it delivers what it promises. If Leica gets "greedy" and overprices it, there will not be a rush for anybody to buy into it for some time (at least until the economies recover a lot more, and that may be 1-2 years). If they price it very attractively, and possibly even take a bit of loss on the body and lowered margins on the lenses for the next year or so, it could become a runaway great seller for them. I think that is what a lot of us would like to see, but we are not making/selling the things, so we are not faced with the economics Leica has to wrestle with. If the S2 hit the market at $12K with a lens, and the other lenses were $2-3K, I think there would be a lot of folks buying one or seriously figuring out how to get one quickly. I know I will be in that line. If it comes out at $15+K and lenses are $4-5K, I will not bother with it until things turn around a lot, and there is a developing used market for the system....about 2 years and more.
Just my thoughts. Like Marc has commented, the IQ is probably going to be there, but it is the business cost that will carry the day. If the S2 does what it has been advertised to do, and also comes out at a realistic price, I think it will burn up the market. If it fails on either one of those, it will be DOA, in my opinion.
I predict the system will tank. If it comes in at a higher price point than Hasselblad, it will not sell.
Yeah, I tend to doubt a $9K price tag. No, I don't know what the price will be, but I am hoping there will be some indication at PMA.
Leica wants to be "competitive with other MFD cameras in the marketplace." So, we should be looking at prices for the P30+/P45+ and H3DII-31/39 as these are the closest competitors. The H3DII-39 is now $22K and the H3DII-31 is $18K. The P45+ is $32K, but now comes with a generous free lens offer. I'd definitely like to see the S2 come in below the $20K mark, but I really haven't gotten any indication of pricing from Leica. The last time I heard Dr. Kaufmann speak in Louisville at the LHSA meeting (Oct 08), he said a couple of interesting things:
1) Summer comes early in Germany
This one came with a big smile and a dramatic pause. So maybe early summer might be a possibility.
2) Leica doesn't need to or intend to make a profit on the S2 in 2009
I take this as meaning two things. First, Leica has invested many millions of Euros into making the S2 a market leader and bringing all development in house. Second, Leica is interested in market share first and profitability second. The pricing strategy might be very aggressive.
3) Leica is in this for the long term (they are looking 5-10 years in the future)
Kaufmann is building two new factories, one in Portugal and the other in Wetzlar. He intends to grow the company and continue investing in R&D, regardless of the immediate economic climate. This is good for progress. The S-System will serve as the flagship product for at least the next five years. He even mentioned that they have already taken trademarks on S3, S4, and S5. Leica may well be one of the only companies that is hiring new talent and expanding while the rest of the world is focused on scaling back and laying off. In fact, according to their last financial report, they have about 100 more employees now than they did a year ago, adding about 10% to its workforce, mostly in R&D.
As we get closer to the summer, I'm sure more specifics will come to light. But regardless of rumors of Leica's demise, crisis, etc., they are in fact moving full speed ahead with the S2 and the R10.
The other interesting factor here is the compatibility with the R10. The R10 will be somewhere in the neighborhood of 18-21MP (depending on 6um or 6.8um pixel size) on a FF 35mm CCD with no AA filter and 16-bit capture. Basically, a baby S2, with Maestro and all. We already know it will take existing ROM R lenses with no adapter, but Leica has also made mention of an adapter to mount S lenses on the R10. If these lenses will be fully functional (AF and aperture control), why wouldn't the leaf shutter work as well? The R10 might possibly be the first 35mm DSLR to have the high sync speed of a MFD leaf shutter camera, with a 1/8000th of a sec focal plane shutter. So, if you need a backup for the S2, the R10 might be just the ticket.
If the S2 comes in at $9,000 I'll take two.
Maybe sell a few guns...whatever! (he says as he fondly recalls the good old days when commissions were bountiful and frequent. )
Leica M6, M8.2 & assorted Leica glass
Here's an idea I would love to see:
Leica S2 "Pro on the Go" package. S2 body, extra battery, charger, 35mm f2.8 CS, 70mm f2.8 CS, 120mm f2.8 Macro CS, 180 f3.5 CS lenses all in a fitted hardside case with appropriately tasteful "black dot" marking, etc., etc., for $30K. Sold as a complete starter system kit ready to go. That would get my attention and probably order immediately. I know this sounds terribly wishful in concept, but I would bet Leica would sell a ton of them right out of the gate. Then they could slowly start to raise prices on things as the demand built and when they introduced the FPS lenses, or the "FPS Pro on the Go Kit", done with the FPS lenses in the same fashion. Concept is to get rid of all the extra packaging and crap, put together a full working system kit and have it ready to rock. Just a big wish for me right now ;-)
P.S. The concept is to get a lot of kits into the market. These could also be sold to rental houses, etc., as a way to develop market penetration and get folks what they mostly need and would use in a complete package ready to rock.
Last edited by LJL; 13th February 2009 at 08:45.
Not sure why you would say that, Keith. Fact is there are NO lenses out there that fit the S2 aside from the Leica S2 lenses. Any working pro is going to need a "range" of lenses to shoot most things. The 35, 70, 120, 180 range will cover most shooting needs, at least until the next wave of lenses is introduced with T/S, FPS, etc. There could still be the "option" to pick and choose, but if one planned to get into the S2 system, there are no alternatives for glass to cover the most common shooting situations (groups, weddings, studio, macro, portrait, etc.).
For argument sake, say one just wanted the S2 and the 70mm f2.5 CS. Great, they can buy just that. But a working pro is thinking about what he has to "cover" to get the shots, and initial lens package Leica will be offering does a pretty decent job for most needs. Additional lenses will be added as needed and available, but if you needed to start shooting, most pros would be looking at these four lenses anyway, so why no put them into a complete system "kit" at an attractive price to get things into the market?
Hey, maybe they could still do the beginner set also.....S2 and 70mm lens only for something around $14K or whatever. Why not create some useful options and eliminate a lot of the packaging and crap that just increases costs all the way around anyway?
P.S. For the record, I am NOT a dentist, nor a banker, but a pro shooter that uses and needs more than one lens to cover the work I do, so jumping to the S2 is going to mean getting more glass, unless I want to try to keep up with several other systems to get the job done.
The fact is this pro shooter would only need one of the lenses in the initial offering and would add others when and if they became available. Actually no, this pro shooter wouldn't buy into the system until it was thoroughly tested and the lenses he wants and needs were available.
The only "package" I would want or need would be my own "package".
I do like the starter idea actually but my idea would be Body , 70 lens 2 extra batteries for X amount of dollars than an incentive for a two or three lens package. So for 2 lenses it would be 2k less than buying separate and a 3k incentive less than buying 3 lenses separate in price. Something like this would jump start the system. They need a jump start somehow to get it going in my view. Reason is it is new and it is the only lenses you can use , nothing used and we all know it will be expensive so to get the gears going i think some real lubrication is needed.
Understood. My idea was that if Leica really wanted to get some serious market penetration and such, they are going to need to create some very attractive offerings for the S2. If a pro was only going to test out the system, as you suggest, then just a body and one or two lenses as needed would cover that. However, if one was going to plan to use the system as the primary tool, then one will need the extra glass, or continue to use and support multiple systems of gear to get the job done.
I agree with you about the testing and being sure the stuff performed as needed, but let's assume Leica has learned a few things since the M8, and does get this S2 intro done correctly, as they are targeting the "pros" from what they keep saying, so no excuses. In order to get folks on board, they are going to need to have ways of penetrating the market quickly and affordably, otherwise it will be a long slow climb for them. I would rather start using something that I could use all the time, rather than use the S2 and 70mm for some things, a Hassy or Phase for something else, and maybe a DSLR for yet something else. Maybe other shooters prefer to use that sort of variety of things to get the jobs done, and there are time when that is important, but for the most part, I would rather the gear get out of my way, and that is what the S2 looks and promises to some extent.
Anyway, it was just a thought that I would find appealing for what I am looking to do. Others may not, and they will be able to buy pieces as they need. I would rather start with one useful system and work with that, so getting the most goodies for the least is always more attractive ;-)
That was the concept that I started with, and think it is still "doable" for Leica. As you and Keith point out, some folks may only want one lens, so that entry position is important, but then creating some real attraction to build out the system at an attractively reduced cost would really be nice. I just tossed everything into one case and slapped a number on it, as much for making it a more complete kit that rental houses could stock also. My other point was to eliminate all that extra packaging and waste in an offering, and give folks a good price break if they are willing to bundle the goodies.
I agree maybe a 3 kit kind of package idea. I like it very much and i agree. No one new just buy's a back , right. Phase and Hassy , Leaf and i think Sinar maybe not but they usually include the body and 80mm in the package. And especially since this is a integrated sensor even more so makes packing it up a great way to go
I also want to go if you can help to arrange the visit with the S2. If the price was at all within reason I would jump all over this. This may be the most exciting development in years as Leica seems to have put all its R&D resources into solving the system problems associated with this venue.
There is no question as to the quality of the S2 body and the work that has gone into the development of the lens system for the S2 system. I love it and can't wait for the end result to be known.
Wish I had the money to put say $30K as a down payment to assure i was high on the list of those who will get early systems.
Love it and I mean that. Leica will either hit the home run or be part of the last line of "Casey at the Bat" with this one. Let's hope hard for the home run
I should add if Leica want this photographers custom they have until PMA to announce prices, service details and release dates etc.
Frankly I've had enough of promotion and promises and now need to see facts.
Well, Frankly I'm not so convinced by all this talk of cost-sensitivity. I think there are various points, but here are a couple
Supposing it costs $9000 to make and market the S2, if they sell it for $10000, they'll have to sell 5 times as many as if they sell it for $15000. I know it sounds screamingly obvious, but it's worth remembering when speaking of pricing.
If you're a truck driver, you need a truck, I don't know how much a truck costs, but I'd have said that an S2 system pales into insignificance in comparison.
Seems to me that for many working professionals (who have both MF and dSLR kits), assuming that it does live up to it's promise, it's going to allow them to ditch their MF gear and their dSLR gear for 1 combined system - expensive changeover, but cheaper afterwards.
Added to which the whole kit is beautiful and cool. Which will probably put off many of the PJ photographers, but for fashion and advertising and fine art work it'll be fairly irresistible.
What this says to me is that if the S2 delivers it's promise (i.e. MF image quality with dSLR convenience and performance). Then it will sell easily at Hassleblad kind of prices. If it doesn't, then it's dead at ANY price.
Just this guy you know
Hmmm, not sure Jono: however good the IQ, you'll not be able to get any movements other than via a TS lens on the front so for a lot of fine art and architectural types it'll never cut the mustard...
First of all I don't have the money to ever consider a S2 system so this was all about wishful thinking. But when you think about a four lens system (at initial release) plus the body, $30K is not unreasonable. Think about how many folks have ponied up >$30K for a Hasselblad H3DII-50.
Of course the proof of the pudding will be in the eating. If these lenses perform as advertised they will be clearly at the top of the MF heap. One look at the MTF curves show that. And apparently the lenses are close to being ready to go so let's hope.
Just my thoughts on the matter
I'm not sure that unless the focus is particularly good and fast and there is an incredible high iso that people will be able to ditch their 35mm systems. Given the current economic realities and from what I read, client apathy to the need for more, I can see far more people sticking with one system only, a top end 35mm system than trying to run two, especially one that probably won't have that great an advantage as a money maker over a 5D mkII or whatever. Simple economics, unless the client sees enough of a difference to pay the extra then it isn't economically viable in a situation where you would still need two systems and the current owned high end system has larger chips and would take a nasty loss on sale..
I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz
Guy, Woody, and Bradley,
If y'all are the least bit interested in the Leica S2, then it would be well worth your while to make the trip to PMA. David's blog from Photokina sparked my interest in the S2 so I made a special trip to NYC for PhotoPlus just to get a hands-on impression. Believe me it was worth every bit of cost and effort to make the trip.
BTW - Everyone, myself included, asked the Leica reps about cost of the S2 (probably thousands of times). Leica's standard answer was "it will be competitively priced." I sure hope I can afford it because I already I know I want it.
I hope Leica takes a drug dealer approach to marketing the S2. Set very aggressive pricing at launch to get a good base of users hooked on their product which, in-turn, helps drive up demand for the system.