Was there any further comment, or clarification,concerning the
announcement/non-announcement at PhotoKina that Leica was
to be a possible supplier of lenses for the PhaseOne camera?
Was there any further comment, or clarification,concerning the
announcement/non-announcement at PhotoKina that Leica was
to be a possible supplier of lenses for the PhaseOne camera?
we all know that YOU will get one!
No point in hanging on to the Phase/Mam stuff.
However you will need to sell the wife and the house.
If you think the Hy6 with it's lenses was pricey ,well be afraid.
I would get one if the S2 had 3 TS lenses right now,however by the time they will have the first one,I'll be retired.
Mind you,I'm 58 and I told my wife,I would shoot till 64(LOL)
Anyway,I think the S2 looks great,but after coming from MFDB and now using a D3x,
I couldn't be more happy.
It gets the job done,and quickly!
The last part of my post above:
And just to be 100% clear about this, Leica will not be making S-series lenses available in any mount other than for the S2 (and the future R10 with an electronically coupled adapter). No Leica glass for Mamiya. Sorry.
The PhaseOne camera is a rebranded Mamiya 645AFDIII. Leica never actually announced lenses for Mamiya mount at Photokina. The rumor was spread by P1 dealers and wishful users.
And as you probably read in my blog, all sales, marketing, service, and support will be handled exclusively by Leica and Leica dealers. So, no Phase here either.
Phase One, along with Hasselblad, represent the major competition for the S2. To this end, the nature of the Phase-Leica relationship is uncertain. Leica is certainly one of the largest distributors of C1 right now. Every M8, M8.2 and D-Lux 4 come with C1 bundled. I'm assuming that Leica pays Phase a volume license for this software. If we imagine that there are about 30K M8s and about 40K D-Lux 4s currently sold, even at a steep discount, Phase is making a fair amount of cash for work already done with no material cost. Will the software licensing revenue be enough to offset any loss in MFDB business by them supporting the Leica S2? I think this analysis, more than anything, will determine if the S2 will be supported in C1 or not.
Leica Store Miami
"Will the software licensing revenue be enough to offset any loss in MFDB business by them supporting the Leica S2? I think this analysis, more than anything, will determine if the S2 will be supported in C1 or not."
Thanks for the clarification on my original point,David.
Makes sense and is the answer I would have assumed Leica would make.
Whether software licensing revenues are a factor Phase would consider,
it is my opinion that they most probably would not directly support the S2
for much the same reason that Leica wouldn't supply lenses-the S2 and
Phase backs are directly competitive products and wouldn't really be in
Phase's interest to make life easy for Leica
David - thanks for your posts and also clarifying the fact that Leica isn't going to be making Leica lenses for Phase (or anyone else)- Hooray for Leica's thinking here. I think your enthusiasm is wonderful - and as a fellow Leica nut - I really look forward to the S2 and hopefully its success.
Now for some points in response.
1. You did spend some time pointing out that Leica lenses won't need digital software corrections of bad lens design - ala the HC28. WHEN Leica bring out a 28 I look forward to seeing how well it performs.
2. Regarding not corrected wides - I will be comparing Leica to Schneider and Rodenstock in 35 for Schneider and 23 and 28 for Rodenstock to see who actually makes the top of the tree glass. Don't fret I already KNOW the answer BEFORE Leica have even thought about making wides for the S2.
3. Also as far as wide open shooting goes - I am perfectly happy with the the performance of the Zeiss 110/2 in both FE and Rollie mounts and do yourelf a favou and try out teh HC 110/2 it is no slouch either. Again I look forward to Leica making a nicer lens - although I note that Leica - even with brand new lens formulations and a ( lets be frank here) dicky small format chip size ( and cetainly not a 6x6 film square ) - will be delivering a 2.5 spec set of lenses. Pretty ordinary I think.
4. Long glass? When Leica deliver a 350 or a 250 that can compare to the Zeiss formulations ( I am sure you know which lenses I am talking about) I will take notice here as well. Again though they will have designed for a weeny sized chip - and we troglodytes can say ( again) ha!
5. Whilst many might think technical camera capability is a moot point for all except minority of shooters - I do care. Alpa and soon to arive P3 and Artec thank you - please give me a break these ools do stuff that Leica 'magic' doesn't.
6. Finally - I know it doesn't matter to digi only shooters - but I LIKE being able to use film on my camera systems. Leica would do well to consider making a film body version of the S2 for the owners of the S2 lenses who are eccentric enough to like shooting film on occasion - hey WAIT a Minute!! exactly what format film would that be??
So from a prospective owner - WHEN Leica actually deliver something that can compete in the focal lengths of existing makers then I will get interested. Sounds to me that this full portfolio is going to take a few years to happen.
In the meantime I will just have to put up with second class crap from Zeiss Hasselblad Schneider and Rodenstock on a range of systems each designed to deliver the right tool for the right job.
Dead heat?? What about aspect ratio? Some photographers do not like the 3x2 format, and prefer 4x3. Also, the printing industry is still geared towards the 4x5 format, so more pixels would need to be cropped from an S2 than from a P45+.The P45+ at 39MP and the S2 at 37.5MP are pretty much a dead heat. Yes, the P45+ sensor is 36x48mm and the S2 is 30x45mm. So the larger sensor has only a 28% larger area than the S2. Remember that the 6um sensor tech in the S2 is the same latest generation that is now going into the H3DII/50/60 and P65+. The CCD in the P45+, while excellent, is now 4 or 5 year-old technology.
What? If the microlenses were offset specifically to address wide angle lenses, then the sensor performance would suck for normal and telephoto lenses.The S2 uses microlenses which are offset as they get towards the edge of the frame (just like the DMR and M8). This is unique to Leica, AFIK and really helps with the performance of wide angle lenses. It also should help improve high ISO performance, along with the Maestro image processor.
Second to none? Not one of the S2 lenses can be shot at F2, whereas the Hasselblad FE 110mm lens can, so how could Leica not be second in that regard? Also, Leica has not achieved superachromat lens designs, which Zeiss has done for Hasselblad. Again, Leica would appear to be second in this regard as well. And, if these S2 lenses were indeed without any flaw, they would be totally unaffordable to most people. There is no magic here, just engineering and economic trade offs. The S2 lenses are most likely excellent, but without any flaw? Not realistic.The lenses will be second-to-none, performance-wise. These are optics that can be shot wide-open with little-to-no-sacrifice in quality. Such can not be said of most existing MF lenses, which require stopping down to get to where they need to be. There are, of course, exceptions. But, the Leica S lineup is without flaw....
This is not the case. The Sinaron digital lenses from Sinar also take the IR glass into account, and I believe the Rodenstock HR lens lines do as well.Along those same lines, the S2 is the only camera system that I know of that takes the optical characteristics of the CCD IR cover glass into account when designing the lenses. Insane.
I am sure Leica will do a fine job to bring a high quality camera to market, and there will be people who will enjoy using it. However, this whole notion of "beating" another camera/back is silly. As I tried to point out, there are a whole host of shots and situations that the S2 will not even be able to deal with. And, their lenses will deliver the performance commensurate with their cost, otherwise, there would not be enough profit for them to sustain their business. In this economy, I think photographers will be careful in their spending, and will do whatever they can to influence lower prices....and hope they do not push Leica over the edge into insolvency or termination of the camera line, like we have seen for Contax and even the Leica R and S1 cameras.... So, yeah, I think that the S2, despite a slightly smaller sensor than the P45, will, from a system perspective, beat the P45+/H3DII-39 on several counts of IQ: high ISO performance, dynamic range, per-pixel detail, overall sharpness, micro-contrast, bokeh, and "feel." Not to mention lens specific strengths like lack of CA, vignetting, distortion, field curvature, coma, flare, and ghosting, as well as being able to shoot wide-open and still maintain good contrast and corner sharpness. And just to be 100% clear about this, Leica will not be making S-series lenses available in any mount other than for the S2 (and the future R10 with an electronically coupled adapter). No Leica glass for Mamiya. Sorry.
interesting writing! Similar from Guy!
Issue is, the S2 can be compared in best case to 39MP or 45MP backs, but NOT to 50MP and 60MP or even larger MP count backs. But this will be the future for high end MF DSLRs. And I count a H3D2 also as a DSLR, although with a different form factor than 35mm DSLRs of course
My point is - I feel the S System, with all its advantages and expected quality - is just a niche system. Wether this niche will become mainstream is to be doubted, it might happen, but I personally am not so sure. Most Pros are using a kind of MF System like the H System, they have invested in their gear heavily and they have great experience how to deal with that systems day in and out in every situation. And the likes as Hasselblad are going to bring further programs supporting Pros even better I am sure. Where is Leica in that arena? Where will they be in a year from now? How would I rely my business and work tools on a company which has proven this inconsistency over the past years or even decades and huge lack of innovation? You can argue that hey show a lot of innovation right now - true - but will this continue? Leica history tells unfortunately, that this were always some short highlights unfortunately.
Answering those questions clearly shows, that Leica is moving on very thin ice! Maybe they have found the right thing for the "big" mass, but I am not so sure. I rather prefer 35mm FF DSLR and MF like the H system. One which is clearly faster, more feature rich and has much more options than the S system will ever have and the other end being clearly superior in resolution and also final image quality if you take the H system as one example with 50MP back upwards.
just read your lines right now - I COULD NOT AGREE MORE!
There is so much enthusiasm in a lot of postings here for the S System. And all the existing MF systems seem to be bull**** in that light. I only can say I have great experience with from the analog MF times and scanning with a Hasselblad Fleight X5, I know what the even "old" analog designs bring:
Schneider Kreuznach designs for Rollei
Zeiss designs for Hasselblad
But if it comes to the H System, this clearly outperforms even the great analog top designs.
Where will Leica be in that area? And if they are on par with their competitors, where will they be compared to a H3D2 with 50MP or 60MP backs?
I think that people here are starting to mix up enthusiasm and love for Leica (which I share BTW as an old Leica user) with reality in physics, market and business. And this mixture is deadly!
Not quite. f2.5 is faster than everything ever made in MF land except the 110/2, the Contax 80/2 and the Mamiya 80/1.7, AFAIK. Not exactly ordinary. And the f2.5 lenses include a 35mm, a 70mm and a 120mm Macro. The 35 and the 120 will be breaking new ground in that respect. The 24mm lens is f2.8, another first. The Hasselblad and Mamiyas are f/4, and at least the Mamiya needs to be stopped down *significantly* before it becomes sharp, f8 from some accounts.3. Also as far as wide open shooting goes - I am perfectly happy with the the performance of the Zeiss 110/2 in both FE and Rollie mounts and do yourelf a favou and try out teh HC 110/2 it is no slouch either. Again I look forward to Leica making a nicer lens - although I note that Leica - even with brand new lens formulations and a ( lets be frank here) dicky small format chip size ( and cetainly not a 6x6 film square ) - will be delivering a 2.5 spec set of lenses. Pretty ordinary I think.
The only thing missing here is a fast portrait lens. The spec of the 100mm lens is not final, but maybe that will be it. A 100mm f2 would be a nice cherry on top.
Here is a thread I started once discussing the S2 lens lineup:
Last edited by carstenw; 6th March 2009 at 23:08.
The Hasselblad 2.2/100
is obviously faster than 2.5 - or am I wrong ??????
Ah right, forgot that one. I wonder why Hasselblad went from 110/2 to 100/2.2? Does anyone have any insight? Was Fuji unable to do a good f2 lens?
Just a small remark regarding offset microlenses:
The (discontinued) Kodak KAF-18000 sensor (used in the P21 and P21+ backs) had offset microlenses and this was back in 2006...
Thanks for clarifying the lenses for Mamiya issue this is what I've been telling people since the rumours started last September.
I still contend that in general this will be seen as a supplemental system by most professional photographers I know ... at least the ones that are still in business.
So all the pixel peeping and hashing out of minutia seems trivial by comparison.
The S2 may well "outperform" some current 31 and 39 meg "systems" ... but to what degree? To the degree of risking ones very livelyhood? 31 and 39 meg kits are now quite affordable ... relatively speaking ... but more importantly they do the job at the level of excellence that my clients demand.
A Hasselblad H3D-II/50 kit (back, camera, prism and 80 lens) is 28K ... and I already have all the lenses, and a gaggle of Zeiss CFE optics. My overall investment to get this 50 meg solution would run me about 15 or 16K difference. Right now, I won't even do that, let alone swap MFD systems.
IMO, THAT is the same issue that many photographers will be facing. Do you start over for a lot of $$$$$$, or do I upgrade what I have to 50 (Hassey), 54 (Leaf), or 60 meg (Phase & Hassey) all of which feature the latest technological advances. In the Pro MFD Market, THAT is the competition IMHO.
Unless Leica can source customers from other sectors, it seems a difficult task. One I'm sure they are struggling with as we speak. I do hope they succeed, because I'd like them around when my business recovers to the degree that I can re-instate questionable decisions based on the heart rather than survival.
"Ah right, forgot that one. I wonder why Hasselblad went from 110/2 to 100/2.2? Does anyone have any insight? Was Fuji unable to do a good f2 lens?"
Most likely the central shutter diameter is the limiting factor!? But I won't talk about the MTF at f2.2, that's a different story...
I agree Marc and also some other comments here . To me the S2 is a very grown up 35mm DSLR and with that comes the same limitations we always have had. BTW a couple Mamiya lenses shoot very well wide open too not to mention others. What we have not even discussed is the range of lenses available to Hassy,Contax,Hy6 and Mamiya bodies. I can take any V lens and use it on my Mamiya and Hassy owners have more choices than bayer makes aspirin. I have no doubts the S2 will perform wonderfully but I also have some real doubts a 24mm will NOT distort and like the M8 it is starting to sound like some processing is being done to the DNG before it leaves the camera as well. To correct a 24mm for distortion in the manufacturing process takes a special design with regards to corrections and that cost money. Now I am not sure on the in camera processing but any lens that we call perfect has to cost a fortune to make. Sorry that just makes sense. Let's look at one lens here that I know is very good since I have it BUT it does have it's issues. The Mamiya 28mm for example we all know from my writing at least and shooting the corners are a touch soft and it does have slight barrel. Let me remind you of a not so perfectly designed lens cost 5400 retail . What would a perfect designed equivalent cost ? . The Hassy 28 obviously costs somewhere around 4600 and again a not so perfectly designed lens. Hassy obviously fixes it in software and Mamiya has controls also to fix certain things. Okay my point being a perfect lens maybe 9 k to market. How do we balance that when Phocus corrects everything needed and mamiya gets it almost perfect except for the corners which they still are working on in the corrections. This is why i brought up I am really worried about the price when the S2 hits the streets and many MF shooters already have thousands invested in a system that may not be perfect but certainly works. Too me I agree it is a niche product and may really benefit those in 35mm land and want bigger . This camera is aimed right at the fashion guys more than any other industry and not so much other commercial applications that a lot of us here do.
Don't get me wrong I am excited about this product and I think it actually may do very well but if Leica over prices this with the quality of the A900, D3x and 1dsMKII on the markets under 8k for a body than this makes you wonder. Reason i said don't light up my rocket yet. I maybe impulsive but I still have to justify it in my head. Right now with money tight and a system already bought and paid for and the tought of taking a complete bath on it and than add thousands more . Hmmm somebody throw the cold water on me. LOL
Now I do like the s2 alot and it will perform very well but I agree with David K you will have a hard time against a P45 plus with Mamiya and good lenses and a tech camera on any level. We say bigger is better all the time and Leica is pushing that over 35mm than on the other hand it is smaller than the P45 sensor and they say now it will compete with it. Sorry that does not compute. You can't have bigger on one than say smaller on another is equal to it
It'd be interesting to see Phase lob a preemptive strike at Leica just before launch of the S2 by offering up a killer P25+ and P45+ upgrade to P65+ price to prevent any competitive erosion in user base.
Come on Phase, make me an offer I can't refuse.
And just one central shutter lens (80?) please or 110 f/2 even better
Now maybe I do have something worthwhile to contribute here.
I have no MF digital gear - despite a heavy duty campaign by Guy this time last year, I STILL have no digital MF gear.
I think your point about sourcing customers from 'other sectors' is absolutely relevant.
When I read forum messages about problems with MF gear, compromises over lenses, flashes which don't work properly -
it goes on and ON and ON
Add to this a decision as to where to start? Which particular nightmare does one want to get tangled up in!
Along comes the S2 - it's beautiful, comprehensible, fast and, obviously, relatively easy to use.
There must be many many people like me who are experienced photographers, and who have shied off buying MF because it seems to be such a minefield - and such an expensive minefield too.
For us the S2 is a breath of fresh air. I won't be a 'first adopter' but I can tell you that I'll be saving my pennies, and I'm sure that there will be thousands like me doing the same.
Of course - I understand your arguments as you already understand your gear - and have lots of it. But, don't assume that there won't be many new photographers wanting to get MF quality from an elegantly designed system.
Just this guy you know
Jono I agree it will be a very powerful tool and certainly take anyone in 35mm way over the power curve. And for a lot of folks this will do the trick. It has a certain audience and we need to realize this and it keeps getting overlooked. Bottom line and I can't empathize this enough is it is a DSLR with MF quality at a certain level and above anything being made today in 35mm.
I guess the question Jono is that while you're right that thousands of folks will want (me..) and probably buy (not me...) the S2 when launched, will they be:
1) Pros replacing/upgrading from an existing system?
2) Well-heeled pros who can afford a secondary system for niche use or simply a shiny new gadget (we all know that allure).
3) Leica/general enthusiasts (excluding the odd sale) who can afford to and lust to step up their game (ideally with Leica)?
We all know who WILL buy the initial production volume, but we also know who Leica NEEDS TO HAVE BUY the S2 in sustained volume to ensure viability against Hassy, Leaf and Phamiya. You can be damn sure that H and PM will be offering even sweeter upgrade deals for existing customers as a matter of course given the current market.
You can also be sure that if the S2 launches well, H and PM's marketing discussions with customers will stress having to junk your existing glass to go S2, the small sensor, the fixed form factor (and it's value in X years) and Leica's track record in S&S, etc.
Leica is handing it's competitors a lot of ammunition courtesy of their recent history to use against them and they need to counter it readily.
Even having adapters to take H or M glass would have gone a long way - as would having S glass for PM instead of this (excuse my bluntness) idiotic (and typical) "not invented here" attitude when it comes to what can use their glass or bodies. Trying to break into a tightly contested and small market that is awash in H and M glass all all vintages, most of which can be used to one degree or the other between systems with an entirely new and truly closed system is a risky undertaking.
If your glass is that good - it will strike a cord with H and PM users on against their glass on their sensors -even if an adapter is required. If your body is that good, it will strike a cord even with 'lowly' H and M glass used on it, even in stop-down mode. Make the switch path as EASY and as painless as possible. H and PM are going to come after you regardless - given what's at stake, you might as well strike first and strike hard. Flood the installed and influential pro base with loaner bodies, kits, glass and adapters.
On the Max aperture issue F2.5 vs 2 vs 4 - have people forgotten to take into account the different sized sensors these lenses will be used with and the resulting DoF an S2 F2.5 lens will have vs say a Hassy F4 lens on one of their backs?
Now that I think of it. Assuming the S2 succeeds, just how far can Leica grow the sensor before they run out of form factor in the body? One KEY advantage of the Back+Body form factor is that the manufacturer can use the same back shell for any number of sensor sizes -- big $$ savings in design, tooling and integration testing - and time savings to market.
Sooner or later the S2's form is gowing to run out of real estate as they compete against higher-MP larger sensor kits AND a sea of 22-39 used kits at prices that make todays look like 2 years ago as people move upstream. At some point they will need to either slash prices hard and/or undertake a costly re-design of the S2, maybe even move to the traditional Back+Body design -- as they watch N & C coming on hard in their rearview mirrors.
All I can say is, good or bad, genius or lunatic, somebody in Solms has/had (excuse my bluntness) balls.
Last edited by robmac; 7th March 2009 at 04:59.
Thanks for saying this....again! One thing that I noticed is that many of us keep losing sight of just what the S2 system is being designed for, and who the target users really are. For many of those with more extensive MF gear already, the S2 will appear as a "supplement" to their kit. For a what may be an even larger number of DSLR folks that have been looking to MF, but have been scared off by price and other issues, the S2 may be a very attractive "replacement" for most of their 35mm DSLR gear, unless they are still needing very high ISO, fps speed, super-teles, etc.
For the target market, I think the S2 is looking very attractive. The pricing on this stuff is still going to be the deal maker/breaker. If Leica gets its collective head out of the clouds on some things, it could be a successful seller. By that I mean if they approach this as something like....."hey, we are providing 56% larger sensor with 37+MP of stellar resolution, not something any 35mm system can deliver, and some of the best glass to deliver to that, and we are looking between the present 35mm DSLR and MF....so we are pricing this thing at 50-60% above the top end DSLR..." If they come in around that price point and argument, and "sell MF quality, at DSLR pricing equivalent", they may be better able to pull this off. Just my thinking....and some wishing, as I too am one of those folks that wants MF quality (sensor and glass), but does not need ALL of the doodads, tech cameras, etc......yet....but have not jumped in because of the costs and other minefield reasons. I may not be able to work professionally at the higher end commercial jobs now, and am not expecting the S2 to completely change that part, but I do think it will open up a lot more possible opportunities "within its targeted applications" that are being talked about.....weddings, portraits, product shooting, some fine art, and most other areas where 35mm now plays.
Bottom line thoughts.....target buyers are more the top end 35mm DLSR folks pushing their gear to do similar MF stuff, but as a 35mm handling machine.
Everyone keeps pointing out how you have to replace sensor AND body, but the body price is irrelevant here, compared to the sensor. Mamiya, Phase, Hasselblad and so on all throw a body after you when walk out the door after buying a new sensor. Phase even throws lenses at you. I would say that nearly ALL the profit is in the sensor, the way they are all acting.
Although, obviously not amongst the shooters around here!
4) New professionals wishing to get into MF quality without spending years learning about kit.
I also feel that the sensor size is going to produce quite enough real estate to produce images for all but the very best requirements - for as long as it takes. As for N & C coming hard in their rearview - they may, but inexplicably and astonishingly Leica seem (for the first time in 50 years) to actually be AHEAD of the game! Added to which, I really can't see N & C creating lenses to compete. And at this level lenses really do matter.
I also wonder whether the financial crisis may not work to their advantage: As long as they can keep their heads above water, there isn't going to be a huge amount of R&D money with their competitors, and if the system really stands out in the 'middle ground' (as I think it will) they're likely to have a much bigger head start than they could otherwise have hoped for.
Price? of course it's relevant, but much less relevant in a market where you don't have any direct competition.
Just this guy you know
"....unless they are still needing high ISO, speed, fps speed, teles, etc."
Hmmm, if you didn't need that, why would you even have a 35mm DSLR?
Ah, I love these debates (wife either hides the CC or her eyes glaze over when I start a sentence with words like "camera"). Nice thing is here the debates stay mature.
You can do that to a degree - tweak the sensor larger, squeeze more, smaller photocells into the same or that slightly larger sensor, work of pixy dust into the noise management software, stick gapless lenses over the sites, etc etc. However, that si simply delaying the inevitable. Integrating the electronics (e.g. 3 chips become one) will help to a small degree, but it too is a delaying action.
Sooner or later, due to that nasty noise/MP density physics problem and assuming you want to play in the same sandbox as the other kids a form factor like the S2 or any DSLR will literally run out of real estate in the shell for the sensor (plus electronics, etc) you need at X MP to deliver the IQ/ISO you want.
At that point, you'll need to hit the 'reset' button, enlarge the sensor, give the photocells some breathing room, get your ISO/MP comfort zone back and, as required, enlarge the body. That is added cost, time to market, etc etc vs. competitors who have that extra space already having come from the film world where they needed backs that fit existing film bodies. This "future use" real estate having, of course, come at the cost of extra bulk for users. It also came in handy for manufacturers when the electronics surrounding the sensors were far less integrated than today.
It's not far from the dilemma faced by Canon, Nikon and Sony with 24x36 24MP+ sensors - how far can they stretch that sensor's density before they need to reach for the 'reset button', move up the food chain - and start poaching glass gurus from H and M? Big $$, but may be necessary as MFDB kist keep dropping in value and moving downstream.
Look at the Nikon MX rumors. The first one of C or N to do that will compel the other, followed in X years by Sony, to do the same and suddenly the S2 has DIRECT form-factor competition of a very nasty nature.
Last edited by robmac; 7th March 2009 at 05:30.
Jono - good point on #4 in my list.
On the flip-side, I can get a used Hassy 503CWD for $7-8K, about the cost of a D3x and likely less than one S2 lens. Now while 'only' 16MP, they're 16M very fat and from all accounts very sexy photocells, get me into that larger real-estate, comes with a lens and a HUGE installed base of 'cheap' glass. Learning curve? Well the $$$$$ saved buys a LOT of time asking questions and shooting test pics.
In 12 months most that $8K will be closer to $6K. That same DSLR-esque price curve is in place for NEW 503FWD II kits (CFVII back, 40/4 lens ) or DL28, etc kits for $12-14K - or H3d31 kits for $18K.
On the rest of my points, we'll agree to disagree ;>
Last edited by robmac; 7th March 2009 at 05:38.
Most of your post I'll simply agree to differ with
I simply don't believe that sensors are going to get bigger and bigger, and that people will want larger and larger files. There is a point where it really isn't that important and the trade offs are not worth the real estate.
I suppose it all hinges on whether you believe sensor sizes will keep on growing for middle of the road systems. Seems to me that the current evidence suggests not.
Just this guy you know
The only segment of photo gear that has grown lately is the DSLR market, based on some recent studies I have seen. Most of that growth is NOT to professionals, but to moms wanting a better camera than their digicam to capture kids at soccer, kids around the house, kids at parties, etc., etc. This group is not really caring about or using the same things that more advanced amateurs and pros use a 35mm DSLR for, yet they have that capability in hand now. Heck, I would venture that most 35mm shooters do not get above ISO 800 most of the time, and few use high fps unless showing off, or trying to capture something in sports. And you know most 35mm users are NOT carting 400mm f2.8 glass around either. The big market growth in 35mm DLSR has been for better image quality over digicams. I think the same sort of things apply to those 35mm DSLR owners that may be looking toward MF or this S2. In that respect, as Jono responded, the "target buyers" could be way, way bigger from the 35mm DSLR segment than all of the present MF segment. Time will tell on this.
For me personally, the S2 will NOT cover all the stuff I do now. I do need higher ISO, higher fps, super-tele and other high-end DSLR features, but I also want a better quality image for multi-purpose use, and just better quality. While I can get that better image quality from present MF, the MF gear does not help me with much beyond that either, but its costs are considerable in comparison. However, that is me and what I shoot. I do think that there are a lot of 35mm DSLR wedding shooters, portrait shooters, fine art shooters, product shooters, and even some PJ-type folks that would be interested in the S2 and what it has to offer. For them, it could be a "replacement" system. For others like me and maybe most MF shooters, it may be more of the "supplement" system. With that in mind, the new potential target group may be considerably larger than the present MF group, as it looks to tap a lot more 35mm DSLR folks just wanting bigger and better quality, but not wanting MF prices and hassles over gear and stuff. We shall see if this plays out that way. I am not jumping anywhere just yet as the business I do now is changing, 35mm DSLR is topping out, but MF is still needing some better pricing and simplification and speed and.... If I had to jump today, it most likely would be to Hassy, but that is just the point....there is still so much churning in the MF segment that it could all change next month or so. I do think Phase/Mamiya will toss something new into the mix, but will it really be any better? Just do not know, and while that is still somewhat the case for the S2, it looks like it could hit a lot of marks for what I want MF for. Still need the 35mm DSLR for my other stuff, but that too is changing.
There is no perfect camera, nor perfect camera system for everybody, or at least for most folks. The issue becomes how much is one willing to spend, and how much use are they realistically going to get from whatever they buy? I do not shoot, nor need a tech camera today. The present MF backs are very pricey, but pitiful on things that I think important while shooting (LCD, weather seals, ease of use, etc.), but that is just me. I want my gear to get out of my way, not be the focus of why I am shooting.
P.S. Not saying you have and shoot what you do for that reason, but I do think there are a lot of MF shooters that are more caught up with the gear than anything else. That is fine for them, but it does not do much for me nor my interests
Last edited by LJL; 7th March 2009 at 05:53.
Jono - always the gentleman ;>
I agree on the NEED for denser sensors. At say 12-17MP there are more than enough MPs for 90% of DSLRs users to ever need - especially with the ongoing state of uprezzing software. Not to mention the current sad (but improving with N and S) state of affair re: glass for these sensors.
I'll let pro MFDB shooters comment of what is realistically required for the fashion/double-spread, etc industry.
C, N or S would be far better off getting rid of the #$%^&* AA filters to get the per pixel IQ up vs. firing up the sensors fabs every upgrade season. A D4/800, D4x, 1DS4, Sony A990 hist the market with 12-24MP but no AA filter or an AA filter in name only and me, and a lot of other folks will be in hog heaven - and avoiding moving to MF.
Using R, ZF, ZE, CV or MF glass via adapters aside; if the Sony/Zeiss relationship flourishes, Nikon continues it's lens revamp and Canon eventually gets off it's *** glass-wise, that higher per-pixel IQ would translate into vastly better enlargements if needed. In your case. Imagine a A990 with say D3x ISO quality, no AA filter and an expanded range of Zeiss glass....
That said, what makes logical sense isn't, in this case, what people, in both the DSLR and MFDB markets want and will obviously pay very dear for. Some % of shooters could always use more, especially with T&S gear or tech frames, but they aren't the 'norm'.
Last edited by robmac; 7th March 2009 at 06:49.
"Of course, I always forget about that. What is the MTF like compared to the 110/2? What about the lens in general?"
I just compared them, they're equally bad, even their lens design looks quite similiar - but the Planar was introduced 25 years earlier...
I don't know the Fuji very well, but the Planar felt a little bit like the Noctilux with a "dreamy", soft and low-contrast look wide open. I barely know a MF-lens which us fully usable on 39MP-back below f4...
That's the point, most MF-lenses (except for HR/Digitars) are not very innovative designs. Most of them are good not too far in the corners, stopped down - basically the technological point we already reached over 25 years ago...
Leica changed that game: innovative, highly-complex designs which are tremendously difficult to manufacture (they share technologies that were needed for the new ultra-fast M-lenses) and therefore cannot be copied easily...
I don't know exactly how the IQ-results will look like in comparison to the larger 50/60MP-sensors, but when I compare it with the experience of Leica DMR/M8 (smaller, lower resolution sensors + superior lenses) the bigger files will not be necessarily better - not under real world conditions (not test-charts in the image center at optimum aperture in a studio)...
The coming 645-backs (like the P65+) will have a market especially for technical cameras - but that wasn't the market the Leica was designed for anyway.
What will be interesting, as i think Guy mentioned is actual tests. How will a Hassy HC WA with DAC on a 39 compare to say an S2 with an equivalent AoV lens, no DAC?
How much will that difference in IQ deep be, in print, and how much will it cost? Leica and IQ in glass is a no brainer - as are Leica and spendy. You pay prefer the color, contrast or and drawing style of Zeiss or CV, etc- but the resolution, even WO is always there. However, you pay dear for that extra Nth % vs other premium lenses.
As a result, the words "Leica" and anything resembling the phrase "perfect glass", let alone in MFesque size (and with AF) scare the livin' beejesus out of me. The proof will be in print vs print comparisons - will that extra $$$ and, lets face it initial risk, translate into justifiably increased sales/won bids or a sufficient elevation, for you as the artist, in your finished creation?
Last edited by robmac; 7th March 2009 at 07:00.
With 37.5MP the S2 will be enough for almost everyone for quite some time. The S3 or whatever it will be called will come in perhaps 4-5 years, and who knows what it will offer, but it will sweep up nearly all of the rest, as far as covering people's resolution requirements. Some pros need other body features, like large shift and tilt, and for them, the backs will continue to be the way to go, but the S2 is enough for almost everyone who could want more quality than a 35mm camera can give you.
We shouldn't fool ourselves here: for most people MF will never be mainstream, no matter what the price point is. Very few people want to carry something as large as even a 1st gen. 5D, as I found out when I had one of those. "Too big" and "wow, that camera is so huge" were typical comments from mainstreamers.It's not far from the dilemma faced by Canon, Nikon and Sony with 24x36 24MP+ sensors - how far can they stretch that sensor's density before they need to reach for the 'reset button', move up the food chain - and start poaching glass gurus from H and M? Big $$, but may be necessary as MFDB kist keep dropping in value and moving downstream.
And how far do you want to push the 24x36mm sensor area? Keep in mind that Olympus has just called an end to their MP race at 12MP. If they really stay there, and I do expect them to go a little higher, then 35mm DSLRs will max out at around 48MP, if they are willing to throw away all their high ISO and IQ advantages over 4/3, which I am betting that they will not. In other words, the end is in sight for the 35mm DSLR MP race. It took a very long time already to hit 21/24MP, from the last generation. The next step will be even harder, and the point is getting lost, when cameras like the 1Ds3 actually *lost* DR compared to their predecessors. How many pros want to go there? And as was already mentioned, the lenses are not there. Canon can barely make a lens without significant CA and their QA is all over the place. Nikon can barely make a lens with attractive boke, and 2/3 of their lens lineup is out of date. Even their 85/1.4, a crucial high-end portrait lens, is way behind the curve compared to the results of the competition. No, it takes companies like Hasselblad, Zeiss (but not the Cosina-built stuff, which is all over the place, QA- and IQ-wise) and especially Leica to really pull out the detail which the large sensors need.
No, the S2 is positioned perfectly to benefit from the IQ-hungry spill-over customers from the fast-growing, but glass-ceilinged 35mm DSLR race, something which the huge and unwieldy, and frankly unpolished existing MF cannot benefit from. Can you imagine explaining to mr. 1Ds3-graduate that with his new camera he needs to shoot a white shading/LCC file for each shot to get the quality he expects, and that the screen on the back of his new $20.000 camera is far dimmer and lower res than the one on his old $8k camera, that he needs to stop down to f8 to get sharp corners (okay, Canon customers are used to that), and that beyond ISO 400 the results will be worse? Forget it, the existing MF market will always be for the few masochists like us who want just a little more. The S2 doesn't have this problem. Pick up and shoot, that easy. Perfect for the über-doctor who wants to impress his 1Ds3-wielding friends, as well as for pros who want a VGA-res day-time visible screen, fast shooting, easy handling, and total integration, for fashion etc.
"The S2 doesn't have this problem. Pick up and shoot, that easy. Perfect for the über-doctor who wants to impress his 1Ds3-wielding friends....etc."
This, I'm afraid, will end up being the bulk of the S2s sales if Leica doesn't a) do everything PERFECTLY b) have some VERY good luck and c) allow alternate glass on their body (which they will not do).
I speak to quite a lot of pros who are NOT gearheads, they want quality, but aren't willing for the tech knowledge which is certainly required to do MF digital.
Let's face it, whilst the S2 will certainly attract the über-doctor, a quick look around here will show you that current MF attracts the über-techie - and each has as much to do with being a pro-photographer as the other.
Just this guy you know
"Welcome to MF-land, Leica, the door is wide open!"I barely know a MF-lens which us fully usable on 39MP-back below f4...
Interesting. I shall be looking at the S2 raw output very carefully. I am not a career doctor or dentist, and for me this kind of expensive is far from trivial, but I earn a decent wage, and if I really, really wanted an S2 system, it is at least within the realm of possibilities.That's the point, most MF-lenses (except for HR/Digitars) are not very innovative designs. Most of them are good not too far in the corners, stopped down - basically the technological point we already reached over 25 years ago...
However, although I am quite convinced that Leica can and will pull off a proper launch, as well as find a position in the very-high-end amateur market, as well as the fashion pro market, I am not at all sure that I want one. I kinda like the quirkiness and meticulousness and lower speed of digital MF, and I like the unstressed optical designs which dominate. If the S2 becomes too easy to operate and the results are too sharp and have the same kind of tension that 35mm digital lenses have, I might well just stay with the Hasselblad V and Contax 645 systems I have.
However, I think that it is probably already the case that wealthy amateurs dominate the MF market. The S2 will only push that further.
I see no need for Leica to allow alternative glass. They have never done that before, why would they start now? Anyway, people don't buy Leica just to spend lots on the body and then buy cheap glass. The bulk of the lens sales even for the M8 with its out-of-patent mount is still Leica.
Just a reminder there IS a lot of MF 2.8 lenses that are outstanding wide open. We seem to forget the sensor size in all this too that directly relates to being wide open. 2.8/4 on a P45 is actually better than a 2.5 on a smaller sensor with regards to bokeh. As leica mention it is a half stop difference to 35mm FF which is F2 with there sensor a 2.8 is more like a stop difference on a P45 size that is 1.4.
Just a quicky to see what I mean this is a 150 at 2.8 . Folks to me this looks like a Nocti look with bokeh. Bad shot but you get my point.
Please let's stop the MF suck wide open because frankly that is far from the case. This 150mm is a amazing lens and oh it is from Mamiya can you believe that. LOL Seriously there are some great MF format glass out there and let's not underestimate there performance a lot of people stop down for DOF more than open up for lack of it. Even a shot at F11 this close i can barely carry the DOF from nose to ears and I mean barely
First one 2.8 than the second F11 and than the crop and you can see i cannot carry the DOF through the image.
BTW this is a P25 plus 22mpx 9 micron back . Wanna buy it. LOL
Actually, I call it creative quoting - as I agree with the first 1/2 of the comment but not necessarily the 2nd half - hence the ...." at the and of his quote indicating it continued further (and was just above mine and easily referenced). ;>
Does this mean you're going to pull my Pulitzer for Journalism? ;>
FYI - . I was a good boy and went back and edited it to CLEARLY show it was a partial quote. Don't tell the Prize Committee (real prickly bunch).
Last edited by robmac; 7th March 2009 at 08:07.
Guy - Damn if that bottom shot & crop aren't sharp with great clarity (also easier to look at than the braces....too many bad childhood memories).
This is the kind of IQ that makes my wallet sweat -- and Heather sharpen the cutlery (in a rather obvious manner I might add).
Last edited by robmac; 7th March 2009 at 08:09.
Certainly will make your wallet go in flames. I know I really like being over the 35mm world and this is a 22mpx sensor. Canon /Nikon/Sony wanna take a shot at me . I will kill ya. LOL
No i know they are great new systems and they are closer than they where in the past
So who is this "Bigger" 35mm DSLR source of sales I wonder? Not that I don't think they are there, just far fewer of them than folks may think.
I also think that the other brands on the block aren't asleep at the marking wheel. If this S2 camera even begins to make inroads to "mover uppers", they'll sacrifice the lower end units at a price point that'll suffocate S2 sales or snuff them out altogether. How's a $11K or 12K H3D-II/31 sound? Mamiya/Leaf for 10 or 11K? The idea is to get a "switcher upper" to switch to you, and get them into the family for lenses, accessories, and future upgrades. That you can buy used lenses for every one of the competing systems at attractive prices is a huge advantage.
Let's put to bed the notion that all of these MFD camera systems are complex and user unfriendly for high meg 35mm DSLR users. Once upon a time maybe, but not now. My H3D-II/31 and 39 are waaaaaaay less complex to navigate and use than my Canon 1DsMKXXXs were, or than the D/D700 or the Sony A900 I now use. For what I use MFD for, the camera is "never in the way". It's as integrated as any DSLR I've used, and works every time. Speed? well I don't know ... but there are Leaf backs (65S) that shoot at 70+ frames a minute with no buffer limit.
You may well be right that some users are caught up in their gear ... but that's the nature of a forum like this ... the focus is on gear news. That I spent the last 2 weeks shooting 2010 car wheels, luggage racks, and a gaggle of margarine pack shots, with a 39 meg back on a view camera ... or a bunch of poster sized head shots with the H3D-II/31 is hardly a topic anyone would be interested in ... except maybe my accountant.
I tink in the MF arena all lenses are today up to a very high standard. No vendor can afford to produce and sell bad stuff in that price region.
Of course there will be differences, especially to Leica glass. But be honest, will this really matter? I see much more improvement from larger sensor sizes and flexibility due to detachable back and/or camera and back separated, then sucking out the last 5% in lens quality and design. For this we have SW today guys, also if some of us do not want to belief this - like me
So the point is - the S2 design and sensor site are a VERY limiting factor compared to real MF, Leica will be able to overcome this in maybe the next generation S2 and maybe once more with even more sophisticated lens design and/or SW - but then they hit the wall. The folks like Phamayia and Hasselblad will simply hit the wall much later
The only good thing about the S2 in my eyes is, that it wlll force the big gorillas to get more competitive in all areas, quality, innovation and pricing. And this alone makes me love the S System project
What I am pretty sure is, as soon as Leica S2 hits the shelves the H3D2 with 39MP will come down as a kit to around $12k or so and if I would be Hasselblad I would want to kill the S2 by simply giving the kit H32/39MP kit away for even less. So nobody buys a S2 anymore and the are left to the shelves.
How does that sound?
No argument from me on DSLRs vs MFDB.
Forget the benefits of the larger sensor and fatter photocells, just getting that #$%& AA filter out of our 24x36mm way would be a GREAT start. I can always use someone else's manual focus glass for the critical or wide stuff if yours still sucks wind.
On the business side (not the tech which looks brilliant) of the S2, Leica will have to flawlessly execute a LOT of key steps and be VERY lucky for the S2 to be a ongoing commercial success.
On the flip side, it will take very little by way of missteps or competitive initiative to stop or critically slow that ongoing success in it's tracks.
Sony has a similar issue, on a different scale, with the A900 - going in against N and C. The difference is that rather than having a very spendy body, glass and a totally closed system; or a premium body and making the it adaptable to other glass; they priced the A900 for a huge price/performance benefit and (to a degree) premium-priced the lenses (in a pseudo-closed system) while starting with a well known and premium partner, Zeiss, for some of the glass. Razors and razor blades as they say.
Even with their resources, the A900 launch is a big risk, the ultimate success of which is still unknown -- and they weren't trying to redefine an entire new camera category.
Last edited by robmac; 7th March 2009 at 12:27.
I'm trying to confirm, but that damned company is like Fort Knox when it come to info. If it's even close to true, the H3D-39 will become a semi-pro camera priced as an entry level kit.
Holy-moly ... stay tuned.
If you never hear from me again, black opps from Sweden took me out