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Thread: Leica S2 Review by Guy Mancuso and Jack Flesher/ GetDPI.com

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    Re: Leica S2 Review by Guy Mancuso and Jack Flesher/ GetDPI.com

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    I wonder what the image circle is on those S2 lenses?
    The mount looks like there might be room hmmmm
    -bob
    Down boy... Electronic apertures.
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    Re: Leica S2 Review by Guy Mancuso and Jack Flesher/ GetDPI.com

    Be cool to stick them on a tech body. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Leica S2 Review by Guy Mancuso and Jack Flesher/ GetDPI.com

    Congratulations you guys
    Great work I'd say. If I was thinking of going MF (which I'm not), or of shelling out lots of money on a new high res dSLR system (which I'm not) then I'd definitely be giving it serious consideration (which I'm not!).

    I was lucky enough to play with one of these for an hour or so in Solms last week, however, not being an MF shooter I guess my observations are pretty irrelevant. . . . apart from the fact that I thought it was a beautiful and sexy thing.

    Incidentally, Aperture seems to do a pretty nice job with the files straight from the camera.

    One thing which did come to my notice was that the mirror slap really doesn't seem bad at all - I got a couple of sharp(ish) shots with the 180 at 1/30th hand held (mind you, I was very short of coffee then) )




    all the very best

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Leica S2 Review by Guy Mancuso and Jack Flesher/ GetDPI.com

    Jono mirror slap is well controlled and it is fairly quiet for a MF system. I was able to hand hold the 180 pretty well. 1/180 at 6.7 for this . Of course I have a few lead weights for legs. LOL

    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Leica S2 Review by Guy Mancuso and Jack Flesher/ GetDPI.com

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Down boy... Electronic apertures.
    Just need the connector and the protocol.
    A cs lens with electronic aperture and dial-a-focus might be interesting in front of a P65+

    Doug want to play?

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    Re: Leica S2 Review by Guy Mancuso and Jack Flesher/ GetDPI.com

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post

    Doug want to play?
    My tripod is off limits this time

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    Re: Leica S2 Review by Guy Mancuso and Jack Flesher/ GetDPI.com

    OK,
    At what point does a model get to say YIKES when 40 and 60 mp file headshots get analyzed....LOL. I know this was a lot of work. The good news for my wallet is all the systems weigh too much for me to even want to think about lugging around.

    I know this was a ton of work...but there had to be a steak dinner and some drinks involved.

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    Re: Leica S2 Review by Guy Mancuso and Jack Flesher/ GetDPI.com

    Your damn right there was. Jack, Nancy and I went to Maestro's. It was amazing.

    BTW the models where hand picked for there complexion . I knew you pixel peepers would be right on the eye lashes. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Senior Member KeithL's Avatar
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    Re: Leica S2 Review by Guy Mancuso and Jack Flesher/ GetDPI.com

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpetersonci View Post
    On a related note Leica's rep told me they are considering implementing a Hyperfocal mode (accessed in a way similar to M. Up right now) which would automatically place focus at the right hyperfocal location for the selected aperture. That could be a REALLY killer feature (assuming they do it, and assuming it works reliably) as Hyperfocal Focusing a high-end system, even with a DOF scale is error-prone and time consuming* (at least compared to pushing one button).

    If you are new to hyperfocal (many dSLR users are) see wikipedia.
    I'll start by saying that a DOF scale is fundamental to my workflow - but don't worry, this isn't a deal breaker with the S2, the deal was broken, at least for this photographer, some time ago.

    I can't remember the last time I focused on a single element of a given image, it's simply not the way in which I work. Likewise I've never relied purely on Hyperfocal Focusing. I also find DOF tables a right royal PITA.

    As a matter of course I'll always determine the near and far points within any given image that need to be essentially in sharp focus - note, this is not the same thing as the nearest and furthest points within that image - and then glance at the DOF scale to make a judgement and decision on how I would like to place focus. Yes, I'll admit that DOF scales need to be interpreted by the user, but the fact is I'm not promiscuous and have an ongoing relationship with my lenses. One glance at the DOF scales on my V and H series lenses allows me to make that judgement and decision.

    Perhaps I'm alone and at odds with the rest of the world, but almost the first thing I look at when considering a new lens is the DOF scale. In fact, one of the features I've admired most about Leica lenses in the past has been the comprehensive scales!

    I do hope that this isn't a trend that will be followed by other MFD manufacturers.

    Keith

    http://www.keithlaban.co.uk

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    Re: Leica S2 Review by Guy Mancuso and Jack Flesher/ GetDPI.com

    Quote Originally Posted by TEBnewyork View Post
    OK,
    At what point does a model get to say YIKES when 40 and 60 mp file headshots get analyzed....
    -snip-
    Actually, they don't.
    By the time they get postable or print-res versions the files are MUCH smaller.
    -bob

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    Re: Leica S2 Review by Guy Mancuso and Jack Flesher/ GetDPI.com

    Quote Originally Posted by KeithL View Post
    Perhaps I'm alone and at odds with the rest of the world, but almost the first thing I look at when considering a new lens is the DOF scale. In fact, one of the features I've admired most about Leica lenses in the past has been the comprehensive scales!

    I do hope that this isn't a trend that will be followed by other MFD manufacturers.
    Hi Keith,

    You're not alone, I work the exact same way. I rarely use the DOF scale just
    for the hyperfocal focusing.

    But then, when you look at the scale of the Leica Lens, they seem to have a
    very short distance from closeup to infinity, maybe that was a compromise
    to make AF faster with such heavy glass ? A DOF scale would probably be
    very tight and not very valuable in that case.

    Personally, i prefer the scale of the V lenses for accurate manual focusing
    and DOF control but consider the H-lenses a good compromise between
    AF speed and manual control.


    Regards,
    Ralf

  12. #112
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    Re: Leica S2 Review by Guy Mancuso and Jack Flesher/ GetDPI.com

    Great review guys - thank you.

    I do hope that Leica gets its act together on tethered shooting. I find it disappointing that the M9 does not support tethered at all and that Leica have never bothered to update the software for Mac from Tiger to allow tethered on the M8. Obviously someone at Solms does not really get tethered. Apart from anything else, I would like to be able to do time lapse, just like I could on the Digilux 2.

    Wilson

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    Re: Leica S2 Review by Guy Mancuso and Jack Flesher/ GetDPI.com

    So I went back to the S2 files to look around a little this morning and not sure we posted these but obviously we shot other shots of the models since we are trying to give them a couple samples for there books. BTW the young blonde here Tori maybe her first time in a real shooting session. She did a nice job for sure but thought I would post a few more up here of the S2 on it's own. I processed them in C1 and played around a little, to my taste. But this image in her eye you can actually see the color artifacts that we talked about with C1 at the moment but still a decent shot. Hell it has to be if I laid down on the ground to shoot it right. LOL

    This was shot at F4 with the 70mm


    This one wide open at 2.5 we did have a fill card here but the light was not my favorite.


    This shot of the two models was at F11. Also you can see Tori highlights on her face are blocking up. THis is not the S2 but part of a non profile in C1



    These maybe good examples of one stressing the S2 out in bright bright sunlight which Arizona is known to be one hell of a nasty place for shooting outdoors of people . Reason why we did. Also it shows some of the issues that cropped up with the S2 and raw programs out there as of today. Hopefully soon we will see better in this area with C1 and Lightroom coming out of beta and supporting this cam better.

    Couple more thoughts on what I did like on the S2. Obviously the 3 Inch LCD was a nice change and very nice to have but like any LCD never truly wonderful in bright sunlight. Why God gave us a left hand to photographers to shade the LCD screens, use it. Again a first in MF is dual memory cards both CF and SD which I am sure every wedding shooter on the planet is certainly looking at and frankly same with commercial shooters like me. This needs to be a industry standard going forward on camera design. Kudo's to Leica on this one.

    Battery we never actually counted but we also never ran out either. Pretty much shot straight for 5 hours and not sure the level even went down. So can't confirm anything but it seemed to do well here.

    Build quality is Leica, very solid feeling and nice build although the lenses are stiff to focus because of the weather sealing. That's the trade off here is everything is weather sealed so changing lenses focusing and open area's like this you are dealing with rubber gaskets and such.

    Lens are big sorry and compared to my Phase glass they are heavier and bulkier. I have no lenses with a 82 mm filter size if that is any measurement. It is what it is and most likely not going to change and these are without the CS which will add a little weight we will have to see. The S2 itself is lighter and more svelte compared to my body . Again the difference between integrated body and modular . I see no getting around that for Phase , Hassy body's.

    The top OLED i think it is was also tough to see in sunlight and we did find the setting to make it brighter and it helped but still need to find that left shade hand. This makes matters worse there is no ISO in the finder. I hope that will change. Jack and I made some requests on some firmware changes and Leica has always been good about listening to those idea's and implementing them.

    Fit , Feel and function. I liked working this cam and after figuring out the AF I started to like it more. Obviously this is a area that is very personal to oneself. I may like it someone else may hate it just a fact of life but it felt good in the hands and eye to hand area. Things just fell into place when shooting and that is very important . Again I can't say it enough don't write that check until you hold it and get some type of demo with it.

    I will come back to this more when more thoughts come up. Also need that second espresso maybe my spelling will improve. NOT
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Leica S2 Review by Guy Mancuso and Jack Flesher/ GetDPI.com

    BTW just for the record went into the skin tone tool in color editor and selected Tori's red in her face and desaturated slightly. It looks to have helped. I also used Jacks quick color profile he built for C1
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Leica S2 Review by Guy Mancuso and Jack Flesher/ GetDPI.com

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Woody my personal believe as good as the Rodenstocks and Schnieders are rated I am not so sure they are worlds away from the Hassy, Rollie, Phase and leica lenses but that is certainly worth testing for sure. Sure there are some dogs we may leave on the porch but most of the modern glass we are all using is just damn good. Who among us besides the Phase shooters thought they where this good. Come on admit it folks , better than the reputation of the Mamiya name and that has been it's issue. The D glass is good maybe not up to the build standards of some but they produce. Okay maybe i am a little bias there but I'm not leaving any on the porch either. LOL

    Bottom line they are all good systems we just need to find the ones that work for you.
    guy,
    i can only compare (some of) the Schneider/Rodenstock digital lenses to (most of) the HC(D) lenses. without going into great detail -it would deserve a new thread- let me say that the S/Rs still beat the HC(D)s, mainly in wide angle corner resolution and micro contrast, but only slightly so. also, the the R/S digital lenses are slow lenses, being optimized for f5.6-f8.
    all in all, i do find it very difficult to distinguish H3D II 50 prints from ALPA with R/S lenses prints at a print size of 1.5 meters by 1 meter. and i have seen many of those. actually the distinction is somewhat easier on my big eizos at 100-300% (R/S generally beats H in the above stated domains), but then who cares?
    peter

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    Re: Leica S2 Review by Guy Mancuso and Jack Flesher/ GetDPI.com

    That is the area Peter i would think the R/S glass would really be better and corners is the wide stuff. My 28mm is very good but for Jack and his P65 he has to think 31mm as optimum for that lens any wider we get corner sharpness issue. It is good on the P40+ crop for sure but with the bigger sensors the R/S take over. Personally I would buy maybe a Alpa TC AGAIN and the new 23mm and call it a day just to get super wide. What we need to see obviously is Leica's wide's as well. Hopefully we will get a chance to test them when they are out.

    But your right we should do a nice thread in the MF section making some comparisons like that. Hmmm
    Be very interesting to see the gain
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Leica S2 Review by Guy Mancuso and Jack Flesher/ GetDPI.com

    Quote Originally Posted by rmueller View Post
    But then, when you look at the scale of the Leica Lens, they seem to have a
    very short distance from closeup to infinity, maybe that was a compromise
    to make AF faster with such heavy glass ? A DOF scale would probably be
    very tight and not very valuable in that case.

    Personally, i prefer the scale of the V lenses for accurate manual focusing
    and DOF control but consider the H-lenses a good compromise between
    AF speed and manual control.
    Hi Ralf

    Yes, that was my first thought, Leica has designed these lenses with such a short throw that they can't physically fit a DOF scale on them!

    I agree that the scales on the H series aren't quite as comprehensive as on the V series, but as you have said, it's a damn good compromise.

    Keith

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    Re: Leica S2 Review by Guy Mancuso and Jack Flesher/ GetDPI.com

    Guy and Jack have performed a terrific service to the community. The MF issue for me is fairly subtle. I shoot primarily landscape. I can get 35-40 meg files from my M9 by stitching three frames - the results are difficult to distinguish from MF. Three frames (and thus 39 or so megs) is the limit - four and six frame stitches are harder to execute reliably and yield decreasing returns because of the need to overlap in two directions. I use an M9; a 5D or D700 could be used to similar effect.

    So the issue for me is are there situations where I need more than 39 megs (which I can do anyway with my existing H3D 39 by . . . stitching), or do I want to do something besides add pixels with multiple exposures (such as extending dynamic range or focus bracketing). I don't have much reason to go beyond 39 megs in my current printing environment. And there are usually alternate solutions to dynamic range and depth of field problems - problems that come up 5% or 10% of the time anyway.

    So the only way that the S2 would improve on my status quo would be if it presented a compelling case in terms of image quality vs. stitched M9 or H3D 39. Based on a review of the files I would say that it doesn't. In terms of form factor and ergonomics, the S2 is competing with the M9 in my case and I'm happy where I am. The answer might be different if I were starting from scratch.

    So the bottom line for me is I'm standing pat. Thanks again to Guy and Jack for putting the raw files on the record to help us through these difficult issues.
    Last edited by Woody Campbell; 16th December 2009 at 06:25. Reason: typo

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    Re: Leica S2 Review by Guy Mancuso and Jack Flesher/ GetDPI.com

    Guy, Jack, please let me add my congratulations and thanks for this extraordinarily useful exercise - it really covers the real-world issues in such a useful way that a lot of people will now be able to make judgements they otherwise could not reasonably have made.

    I have one question for you both:

    If you, at this moment, owned the NEW Phase body, a standard and a short tele/portrait lens, a P45+ and all the attendant bits, straps, shades etc but NO technical camera gear, and someone offered you a straight swap, for no cash in or out, into an S2 with 70mm and 180mm lenses (choice of the leaf versions if you want)...

    and you had fifteen seconds to say yes or no.....

    what would you say?

    ;-)

    Tim

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    Re: Leica S2 Review by Guy Mancuso and Jack Flesher/ GetDPI.com

    No and I will tell you why. LOL

    First here is MY issue I have no other system hanging around to cover me while I wait for Leica's 35mm and 24mm lenses. I need at least 4 lenses to even think about it. Secondly I don't want to be the first again like I was with the DMR , M8 as well. Personally I would rather wait for the glass, the newest firmware and more important Adobe and/or Phase to have there programs ready as well. Also I need backup and I need loaner service and i need , and I need and I need. I need EVERYTHING BUT BUT BUT this is coming from a working Pro that has to depend on his gear to put food on the table. I like this system very much and don't get me wrong but for me it is not ready for you it very well maybe ready and image quality is not the issue or going out and getting nice shots done is not the issue. Pro's have to think in a much different capacity especially when everything is relying one system to get it done. Now maybe if i had a Canon system to back me up it would be a easier decision. As it is today a AFD body is 500 dollars and if my back goes down ( Very Rare indeed) and I could buy a cheap P21 back for like 4k , this option is not available for the S2. OR I have two choices maybe three get a loaner overnight , not a issue with my dealer for either system actually. Go rent Phase backs at the moment are in LA waiting for a call. Leica not out yet, who knows what company will have rentals. So on and so on. Leica S2 at this very moment is a risk for a working Pro without the proper backup or other system available. For the hobbyist and if I was one than it is certainly a maybe.



    Other issue is cost of lenses to add on to system. Mamiya lenses and well as Hassy are readily available almost anywhere and reasonable priced.

    It's a tough call for me and i am talking about ME and my situation . 6 months from now I will have to look at it again. BTW you are not the first to ask me this question and won't be the last either. I like leica gear but I do have to be extremely careful in my decisions now , for free flowing money that faucet has been shut down to a certain degree. Yea Yea Yea i know I just upgraded to a P40+ but that is a business and tax decision. Leica is not ready in 09 for me. 2010 is a different story

    So Tim are you or aren't you. Right back at ya. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Leica S2 Review by Guy Mancuso and Jack Flesher/ GetDPI.com

    It looks like it took you 7 minutes to respond...that's not fair!
    My photos are here: http://www.stuartrichardson.com and more recent work here: http://stuartrichardson.tumblr.com/ Please have a look at my book!
    My lab is here: http://www.customphotolab.is and on facebook

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    Re: Leica S2 Review by Guy Mancuso and Jack Flesher/ GetDPI.com

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    I have one question for you both:

    If you, at this moment, owned the NEW Phase body, a standard and a short tele/portrait lens, a P45+ and all the attendant bits, straps, shades etc but NO technical camera gear, and someone offered you a straight swap, for no cash in or out, into an S2 with 70mm and 180mm lenses (choice of the leaf versions if you want)...

    and you had fifteen seconds to say yes or no.....

    what would you say?

    ;-)

    Tim
    Man, you ask the pointed questions, don't you? () Actually, we had this same discussion over lunch the day Don Libby joined us, kind of the rubber meets the road, acid test question. While I like the S2, my answer hasn't changed and it's still a "no." But that is only as of today and tomorrow may get a different answer
    Jack
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    Re: Leica S2 Review by Guy Mancuso and Jack Flesher/ GetDPI.com

    I've just compared some of the RAW files.
    I've looked at the P40-files in C1 (5.0.1) and at the S2-files in Lightroom 3 Beta.
    In both applications sharpening and lum. NR set to zero. Other than that everything set to defaults.
    I was not looking for "look" or colors (that's an easy game for the P40+ by now).

    First I looked at these files:
    P40+_0275 and S2_0211
    P40+_0303 and S2_0240
    P40+_0326 and S2_0273

    P40+_0275 and S2_0211:
    Center of the S2 image seem to have a bit more detail whereas corner sharpness of the P40+ seems to be a bit better.
    The P40+ maybe shows some motion blur (am not quite sure but it looks like).

    P40+_0303 and S2_0240
    The p40+ is significantly better, i.e. shows more details.
    The S2 quite obvious suffers from motion blur.

    P40+_0326 and S2_0273
    The P40+ is significantly better, i.e. shows more details.

    As there was actually not so much to conclude I downloaded some of the portraits.
    I did not compare the same image details but the areas of the images that are in the focal plane of the respective captures and tried to "translate" it.

    Now that may sound I am finding the images are not appropriate for a comparison.
    No, no… I think that is how it is "real world" and therefore it's great to see those samples (thank you very much Jack and Guy!).
    However I am missing samples from tripod under the best possible conditions (indoor) with the subject head-on to compare corner sharpness.
    I am still very curious about the "superiority" of the S2 lenses.
    If I would conclude anything from this comparisons than the result would be: the S2 with its lenses is about as good as the P40+ with the Phase lenses.
    But I can't find a single example where I would say the S2 is maybe better. Actually my impression is the P40+ has an edge.
    Now if I imagine the P40+ with digital large format lenses (yes, Guy, I'd say they are noticeably better than the MF lenses…) there is not much left for the S2 other than the LCD.
    The DSLR-like handling is still highly questionable for me as I have yet to see an handheld shot at 1/60 in continuous lights (so without flash) that does not show motion blur.
    Maybe I've overlooked those images but I don't remember one. I suspect the S2 is a "tripod-camera" as well as all the other MF cameras. And the higher ISO is apparently not that clean so that you could compensate for shorter exposure.

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Leica S2 Review by Guy Mancuso and Jack Flesher/ GetDPI.com

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    That is the area Peter i would think the R/S glass would really be better and corners is the wide stuff. My 28mm is very good but for Jack and his P65 he has to think 31mm as optimum for that lens any wider we get corner sharpness issue.
    FWIW I just posted a mini Phase 28 review (on the P65+) here: http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showth...619#post165619
    Jack
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    Re: Leica S2 Review by Guy Mancuso and Jack Flesher/ GetDPI.com

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    And I will tell you why. LOL
    Hi Guy (and Tim)
    Great explanation - quite understandable. I'm sure that I'd feel the same way.

    Mind you, it seems to me that it's a considerable tribute to Leica that, at this stage, it isn't a bitch about image quality that's putting you off, or about the camera generally, but more about practicalities.

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Leica S2 Review by Guy Mancuso and Jack Flesher/ GetDPI.com

    Quote Originally Posted by thomas View Post
    I suspect the S2 is a "tripod-camera" as well as all the other MF cameras.
    Can't agree with you on this... I'd say it's very hand-holdable both in studio with lighting as well as outdoor ambient (as long as there's a decent amount of light). I think Mark Gowin posted some test shots that demonstrate this.

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    Re: Leica S2 Review by Guy Mancuso and Jack Flesher/ GetDPI.com

    Some of my additional thoughts, very opportune right now with these exchanges.
    I loved the S2 handling. When I held and shot with it, my first thought was “this is how a great camera feels.” It was the same feeling I had when I got my Contax 645 for the first time over ten years ago.

    However, the notion of switching systems? No way! Cannot possibly be justified by any rational person.

    I am a nature/landscape shooter primarily, so, for those like me, just consider the following with regard to the Leica:

    No wide angle lens selection except for a 28mm equivalent, (not even out yet, promised for January) and no more coming for maybe a year, maybe two. No 1/1 lifesize macro. Leica has a good wide selection planned (a 20.5 mm equivalent, 24mm equiv. t/s, a 24-72 equiv wide zoom), but no promises or even hints at when these will come and nothing extraordinary that other systems do not already offer.

    Right now, today, I have a ten-lens Contax system (including the teleconverter) that cover 35mm equivalent focal lengths of 22mm to 300mm including a wide zoom (28-56 equiv) that covers by far the most used landscape ranges. I have a 1/1 lifesize maco. I have image circles that cover 65 mp backs and 40 mp backs that do one hour exposures. There is no way, ever, that the Leica system will equal let alone exceed what this system is capable of in terms of image quality and creativity. Why would I switch?

    If I sold everything, today, I would have to take the proceeds (assuming I got $10 K) and add an additional $25K just to have a body and two lenses. Or, right now, today, I can get a p45+ for $15-17K and keep my ten lenses with equal image quality and long exposures to boot. With the Leica forget star trail shots or long foggy cloud or water exposures. If I am a real money fool I can put $35K into a p65+ with my ten lenses and get resolution the Leica will never match. In either case, I have a full lens line-up to produce tens of thousands of varied images over the next couple of years before the Leica even catches up. Is there any rational reason to do otherwise?

    By the way, the cost of these forthcoming lens wonders? The mind boggles. The system will pretty easily top $70K (yes, $70K) when it is all done. How many world tours, safaris, expeditions, workshops, etc can you do to inspire your creativity, expand your portfolio, and enhance your artistic growth for that much money? Gear can never replace experience and inspiration.

    No technical camera support for precise stitching, the S/R ultra wides, etc (and now, with the Hartblei, even the Canon 24 t/s giving a 16mm equivalent with shifts and tilts!!).

    Also, no real gains in weight or compactness. What the body gives the lenses take away—they are very heavy and bulky. The 180 needed a tripod collar and did not have one. Backpackers get no break, here. Most backpackers carry 35mm like I do. You can tough it out with your existing MF system, the Leica will be no better.

    Lens quality distinctly superior to existing systems? Doesn’t seem so. The Phamiya lenses stood up very well. The Contax/Hassy Zeiss lenses maybe even more so. Just add backs to those systems and off you go.

    I must disagree with Jack’s comment that the Leica is really in the “DSLR” camp. It is not. Its size, weight, slow shooting, primitive one-point AF, low ISO, lack of live view, comparative lack of lens variety, less than state of the art LCD display and awkward menu and image review place it squarely in the “Medium format” camp. It will never be a 35mm replacement. Leica has some sort of partnership with Panasonic, so why not a joystick control with a press to access a quick menu? Also to scroll around the image on playback, which is crucial due to no live view. The button-pushing set-up for scrolling around the image is awkward in the extreme. Yes, this is a big deal. These would not have been complicated things to fix.

    Although I did love the handling, I cannot honestly say it was better than my Contax, with its crisp shutter dial, intuitive aperture ring, and one-button instant mirror lock. The Leica will not even show you exposure compensation in the finder. That is RIDICULOUS! No one will be a better photographer or create better images because of the Leica's handling. Like all MF, this camera requires either a tripod or high-speed studio flash to get the maximum quality. In fact, that is one more disadvantage for nature shooters. No waist level finder, or right angle finder, for low-level macro or landscape work.

    I must join the ranks of those who think Leica hit one out of the park, but it is a foul ball.

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    Re: Leica S2 Review by Guy Mancuso and Jack Flesher/ GetDPI.com

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Hi Guy (and Tim)
    Great explanation - quite understandable. I'm sure that I'd feel the same way.

    Mind you, it seems to me that it's a considerable tribute to Leica that, at this stage, it isn't a bitch about image quality that's putting you off, or about the camera generally, but more about practicalities.
    EXACTLY Jono it is more about being ready and practicalities for me. Plus I may lose my shirt switching and not enough cash to throw in the pot. I think I fit a few folks out there with current systems already. But really noting to do with quality of the S2, I think they hit a good check mark on that . Firmware and lenses will all come in time , that is not a concern. Just have to wait for it all.
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    Re: Leica S2 Review by Guy Mancuso and Jack Flesher/ GetDPI.com

    Quote Originally Posted by thomas View Post
    The DSLR-like handling is still highly questionable for me as I have yet to see an handheld shot at 1/60 in continuous lights (so without flash) that does not show motion blur.
    To clarify my point about DSLR-like handling, I meant simply based on form-factor and ergos and had nothing to do with improved hand-hold-ability...

    Maybe I've overlooked those images but I don't remember one. I suspect the S2 is a "tripod-camera" as well as all the other MF cameras. And the higher ISO is apparently not that clean so that you could compensate for shorter exposure.
    I'd agree. I've actually discussed this on other threads where I've declared the old "1 over the lens focal length" rule as good for about 16MP of hand-held capture resolution tops if you have perfect shooting form. To get more than 16MP into a frame, I think you need to go higher on the shutter speeds. For these 30+ MP cameras, I'll go out on a tiny limb and say you need to get to around 1/500th to get reliable results with any lens.

    Here's a handheld shot I did with the S2 and 180, exposure was 1/750th at f5.7:



    I think that was sufficient to get the resolution to the frame, even though critical focus is in front of the eyes:



    For comparison, here is a shot with the S2 and 70 at 1//360 f8. I've got pretty good shooting technique and I took 5 of these and this was the best -- which is far from perfect (rear eyeball is best focus):





    Shot right after the last set, still S2 and 70 but I dropped the aperture to f4 to get the shutter speed up to 1/2000th, and now I'm back in the money:





    So the moral, at least for me, is when shooting the big boys hand-held try and keep the shutters over 1/500th...
    Jack
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    Re: Leica S2 Review by Guy Mancuso and Jack Flesher/ GetDPI.com

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    No and I will tell you why. LOL

    First here is MY issue I have no other system hanging around to cover me while I wait for Leica's 35mm and 24mm lenses. I need at least 4 lenses to even think about it. Secondly I don't want to be the first again like I was with the DMR , M8 as well. Personally I would rather wait for the glass, the newest firmware and more important Adobe and/or Phase to have there programs ready as well. Also I need backup and I need loaner service and i need , and I need and I need. I need EVERYTHING BUT BUT BUT this is coming from a working Pro that has to depend on his gear to put food on the table. I like this system very much and don't get me wrong but for me it is not ready for you it very well maybe ready and image quality is not the issue or going out and getting nice shots done is not the issue. Pro's have to think in a much different capacity especially when everything is relying one system to get it done. Now maybe if i had a Canon system to back me up it would be a easier decision. As it is today a AFD body is 500 dollars and if my back goes down ( Very Rare indeed) and I could buy a cheap P21 back for like 4k , this option is not available for the S2. OR I have two choices maybe three get a loaner overnight , not a issue with my dealer for either system actually. Go rent Phase backs at the moment are in LA waiting for a call. Leica not out yet, who knows what company will have rentals. So on and so on. Leica S2 at this very moment is a risk for a working Pro without the proper backup or other system available. For the hobbyist and if I was one than it is certainly a maybe.



    Other issue is cost of lenses to add on to system. Mamiya lenses and well as Hassy are readily available almost anywhere and reasonable priced.

    It's a tough call for me and i am talking about ME and my situation . 6 months from now I will have to look at it again. BTW you are not the first to ask me this question and won't be the last either. I like leica gear but I do have to be extremely careful in my decisions now , for free flowing money that faucet has been shut down to a certain degree. Yea Yea Yea i know I just upgraded to a P40+ but that is a business and tax decision. Leica is not ready in 09 for me. 2010 is a different story

    So Tim are you or aren't you. Right back at ya. LOL
    Thanks Guy! Those are all really useful points. I am radically undecided and quite tempted actually to get the S2 and run it in parallel for a few weeks and then decide which system to keep. The features of the Phase system that I theoretically really like and the S2 can't do are the ability to upgrade to a larger sensor and the ability to use a tech cam. In truth though I have and like a Cambo setup, I use it less for its stitching abilities than for its greater stability at lower shutter speeds. I actively dislike having to use LCC voodoo.

    With the S2 (compared to P45+) I'd gain better high ISO, far better (to me) ergonomics, weather sealing and a system with far fewer 'bits' to keep track of. I would lose sensor upgradeability and tech cam use BUT the better stability of the S2 I suspect will partly make up for that. SO for my use, the only loss on the tech cam side would be the stitching, which I rarely use, and the possible addition of tilts via the new cambo plates - and I have only rare use for either of these.

    Look on the bright side everyone: I might soon be selling an immaculate P45+ with a spanking new AFD body, some really nice glass including a 28D and a rare, good Hartblei super rotator, a Cambo RS1000 with Schneider 35XL and bits and pieces, a large, cheap and aggressive Metz 45 with all the adaptors, etc etc etc!

    This is really no easy choice. Really...

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    Re: Leica S2 Review by Guy Mancuso and Jack Flesher/ GetDPI.com

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Man, you ask the pointed questions, don't you? () Actually, we had this same discussion over lunch the day Don Libby joined us, kind of the rubber meets the road, acid test question. While I like the S2, my answer hasn't changed and it's still a "no." But that is only as of today and tomorrow may get a different answer
    Thanks Jack. What you and Guy don't know between you ain't worth knowing so I really appreciate the POV. I think we're all agreed that it's a really really tough call...

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    Re: Leica S2 Review by Guy Mancuso and Jack Flesher/ GetDPI.com

    Certainly is and if anything this review proved that it is a working tool and you can and will get really nice Image Quality. I think providing all you folks with a crap load of raws files will proof that it has the meat. Now we wait for the side dishes. Nothing untypical about a new camera release just takes time especially one that has no historical system like the S2. Hassy, Phase, Canon and Nikon have existing systems and parts already in place. So it does make it tough no question about it but if you have nothing on the line than it certainly is easier to make a call and hopefully this review as it was intended was and is to inform people of it's worth in the market and in people's hands. It sure is sexy in the hands . LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Leica S2 Review by Guy Mancuso and Jack Flesher/ GetDPI.com

    Looking around file S2 0294 is wide open and handheld but this is a quickie and not sure I am totally square if anything maybe me off on the right side. I jumped out of the car. LOL

    Looking for handheld slower than 1/90 which there are some of those. Looking, no nothing under 1/90 handheld on the S2 sorry
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Leica S2 Review by Guy Mancuso and Jack Flesher/ GetDPI.com

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post

    Look on the bright side everyone: I might soon be selling an immaculate P45+ with a spanking new AFD body, some really nice glass including a 28D and a rare, good Hartblei super rotator, a Cambo RS1000 with Schneider 35XL and bits and pieces, a large, cheap and aggressive Metz 45 with all the adaptors, etc etc etc!
    I call first dibs on the Super Rotator and maybe the Cambo!
    Jack
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    Re: Leica S2 Review by Guy Mancuso and Jack Flesher/ GetDPI.com

    Quote Originally Posted by David K View Post
    Can't agree with you on this... I'd say it's very hand-holdable both in studio with lighting as well as outdoor ambient (as long as there's a decent amount of light). I think Mark Gowin posted some test shots that demonstrate this.
    the "Mythos" bear at 1/30''? Okay... maybe... at least one example. Other than that there are a lot of captures around that show a kind of motion blur even at shorter speeds.

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    Re: Leica S2 Review by Guy Mancuso and Jack Flesher/ GetDPI.com

    Quote Originally Posted by guyharrisonphoto View Post
    ...
    +1

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    Re: Leica S2 Review by Guy Mancuso and Jack Flesher/ GetDPI.com

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    To clarify my point about DSLR-like handling, I meant simply based on form-factor and ergos and had nothing to do with improved hand-hold-ability...
    I wasn't referring particularily to your comment but the whole marketing hype about the "DSLR with MF quality". That's really nonsense. Way too few features and way to slow compared to any mediocre DSLR and on the other hand not better (presumably) than a P40+ with Phase/Mamiya glass (which is not bad, not at all... but the P40+ is actually there and you can attach it to a lot of cameras that are working and with a complete lens lineup; not to mention tech cameras).

    For these 30+ MP cameras, I'll go out on a tiny limb and say you need to get to around 1/500th to get reliable results with any lens.
    thanks for the samples - they show very well the entire problem. And that's what I am thinking as well: I have one - one! - hand held shot with the P45 at 1/125'' that is sharp. At least sharp enough for my taste. Yes, even 1/60'' is "usable" however mirror shake is visible. That is absolutely okay if the subject does not ask for crisp sharpness... but a really crisp sharp capture is only possible from tripod with fairly good gear or at very short shutter speeds. And if the S2 may safe 1 stop - if anything - than that's nowhere near a DSLR... especially not if you take image stabilization into account (either way chip or lens stabilization).

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    Re: Leica S2 Review by Guy Mancuso and Jack Flesher/ GetDPI.com

    Quote Originally Posted by thomas View Post
    I've just compared some of the RAW files.
    I've looked at the P40-files in C1 (5.0.1) and at the S2-files in Lightroom 3 Beta.
    In both applications sharpening and lum. NR set to zero. Other than that everything set to defaults.
    I was not looking for "look" or colors (that's an easy game for the P40+ by now).

    First I looked at these files:
    P40+_0275 and S2_0211
    P40+_0303 and S2_0240
    P40+_0326 and S2_0273

    P40+_0275 and S2_0211:
    Center of the S2 image seem to have a bit more detail whereas corner sharpness of the P40+ seems to be a bit better.
    The P40+ maybe shows some motion blur (am not quite sure but it looks like).

    P40+_0303 and S2_0240
    The p40+ is significantly better, i.e. shows more details.
    The S2 quite obvious suffers from motion blur.

    P40+_0326 and S2_0273
    The P40+ is significantly better, i.e. shows more details.

    As there was actually not so much to conclude I downloaded some of the portraits.
    I did not compare the same image details but the areas of the images that are in the focal plane of the respective captures and tried to "translate" it.

    Now that may sound I am finding the images are not appropriate for a comparison.
    No, no… I think that is how it is "real world" and therefore it's great to see those samples (thank you very much Jack and Guy!).
    However I am missing samples from tripod under the best possible conditions (indoor) with the subject head-on to compare corner sharpness.
    I am still very curious about the "superiority" of the S2 lenses.
    If I would conclude anything from this comparisons than the result would be: the S2 with its lenses is about as good as the P40+ with the Phase lenses.
    But I can't find a single example where I would say the S2 is maybe better. Actually my impression is the P40+ has an edge.
    Now if I imagine the P40+ with digital large format lenses (yes, Guy, I'd say they are noticeably better than the MF lenses…) there is not much left for the S2 other than the LCD.
    The DSLR-like handling is still highly questionable for me as I have yet to see an handheld shot at 1/60 in continuous lights (so without flash) that does not show motion blur.
    Maybe I've overlooked those images but I don't remember one. I suspect the S2 is a "tripod-camera" as well as all the other MF cameras. And the higher ISO is apparently not that clean so that you could compensate for shorter exposure.
    i came to the same conclusions. precisely. what i see in these files is what was shown to me a while ago (one month or so), when the forums were still full of leica fanboy stuff and sales pitch (forgive me David F, i do think you belong more to the former category than the latter). at the moment there is no reason to buy into the S system unless you feel a strong urge to support leica's first steps into digital reflex systems. they still have to go a long long way.
    in general a DMF system in DSLR 35mm form factor would be wonderful, but the two existing attempts failed: mamiya's and leica's. if you do it then please please with 2010 technology. there maybe some sense to retrostyling a rangefinder system (i'd still live view)...but there is no sense whatsover in not including today's DSLR 35mm features into an S type system. if leica produces a 35mm DSLR replacement then they must beat canikon not only in IQ but they must match their features, too. if the S2 is supposed to be an MF competitor then i want to see the IQ and feature benefit from it. 3 ounces less weight does not cut it.
    clearly leica did not do their homework well in terms of product placement.
    my dealer's (kudos to him for supply my m9+lenses with high priority) s2 waiting list is empty. this might tell something.
    peter

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    Re: Leica S2 Review by Guy Mancuso and Jack Flesher/ GetDPI.com

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    I call first dibs on the Super Rotator and maybe the Cambo!
    you should safe some money... when someone at Phase reads your review and they see that the Phase/Mamiya glass is as good or even better than the superior Leica glass... then the they will triple the prices for their lenses :-)

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    Re: Leica S2 Review by Guy Mancuso and Jack Flesher/ GetDPI.com

    Quote Originally Posted by thomas View Post
    you should safe some money... when someone at Phase reads your review and they see that the Phase/Mamiya glass is as good or even better than the superior Leica glass... then the they will triple the prices for their lenses :-)
    but leica glass is 'handmade' in germany and phmamiya glass in japan....---))))
    peter

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    Re: Leica S2 Review by Guy Mancuso and Jack Flesher/ GetDPI.com

    Quote Originally Posted by markowich View Post
    but leica glass is 'handmade' in germany and phmamiya glass in japan....---))))
    okay, 10% discount then ...

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    Re: Leica S2 Review by Guy Mancuso and Jack Flesher/ GetDPI.com

    Quote Originally Posted by thomas View Post
    you should safe some money... when someone at Phase reads your review and they see that the Phase/Mamiya glass is as good or even better than the superior Leica glass... then the they will triple the prices for their lenses :-)
    I hear you Thomas... Been playing around with some of my P65+ files from this shoot as it was the first real time I've had with it in the field. Still getting the hang of processing them as they are different than the P45+ files to work with, but definitely liking the results, even with the "inferior" Mamiya glass (). Here's a hand-held shot of the Bisbee slurry tanks I just worked up, taken with the P65+ and 80 at 1/250th f11, ISO 100. Seriously, I have to ask myself why I just paid for the Phase 80 LS lens...:



    100% crop:

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    Re: Leica S2 Review by Guy Mancuso and Jack Flesher/ GetDPI.com

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    I call first dibs on the Super Rotator and maybe the Cambo!
    You just sold a Super Rotator!
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: Leica S2 Review by Guy Mancuso and Jack Flesher/ GetDPI.com

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Seriously, I have to ask myself why I just paid for the Phase 80 LS lens...
    maybe because of the German company's sticker? :-)

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    Re: Leica S2 Review by Guy Mancuso and Jack Flesher/ GetDPI.com

    Quote Originally Posted by thomas View Post
    the "Mythos" bear at 1/30''? Okay... maybe... at least one example. Other than that there are a lot of captures around that show a kind of motion blur even at shorter speeds.
    I think I might have quoted you out of context Thomas and if I did I apologize for that. I took exception to the statement that the S2 was a tripod only camera but glossed over the previous sentence of your post where you mentioned a shutter speed of 1/60th. When David Farkas, Roger and I were testing the S2 in South Beach David got some exceptionally sharp handheld shots of some girls playing volleyball (they are on his blog). I honestly don't think I could have done the same with my Hy6/e75LV kit. I doubt that many shooters would reach for an MF kit to shoot volleyball but the fact that S2 did so well at it impressed me.

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    Re: Leica S2 Review by Guy Mancuso and Jack Flesher/ GetDPI.com

    I get more of the same feedback that while M9 waiting lists are still long and increasing, the S2 waiting lists are pretty small or empty. Although Leica does not really deliver the system right now.

    While Leica had a very nice try with the S System as launching a new MF like system with highest IQ - and I really am sure this was their major design goal as it is a Leica - they have failed to deliver. This system does NOT deliver superior IQ compared to Phase and I am pretty sure we could run any of these tests against Hasselblad and come to the same conclusions.

    End of the day this will give Leica a pretty bumpy start and also the fact that the S2 sensor and processing design is meanwhile 2 years old at least does not help. Actually instead of starting to roll out the S2 now they should already announce the S3 with additional features, faster AF, and most importantly really higher IQ as todays 50 and 60 MP backs. Well everybody can conclude easily this is not going to happen - not soon at least - and this is another NO GO for the S System.

    Finally not to forget the exorbitant pricing - which realistically needed to be at least 1/3 below current MF 39MP offerings - same for the lenses as they need to satisfy only a smaller image circle. Pricing does not fit the market, the competition and is far away from the IQ which is really delivered.

    Good try, but not delivered - sorry Leica.

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    Re: Leica S2 Review by Guy Mancuso and Jack Flesher/ GetDPI.com

    While I had hoped that the system as a whole would match Phase, and the lenses would exceed the Mamiya lenses, it looks like they only match, roughly. And the missing info in the viewfinder and the slow tethering are jokers I was not expecting.

    On the other hand, most normal and mid teles are quite good, so perhaps it is just a question of waiting for the wides to see some of the supposed Leica design talent? I hope so.

    If Leica releases some wides which are stronger wide open and in the corners than the competition, and if they can add at least exposure compensation to the viewfinder and bring the tethering speed up to snuff, then they still have a compelling system on their hands. These are just open questions right now.
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: Leica S2 Review by Guy Mancuso and Jack Flesher/ GetDPI.com

    I wanted to go back to the handholding part, I think it depends a little. If I only have one shot, faster speeds are required to make sure that shot is sharp. For me that is 1/160 for the 45D, 1/250 for the 80D and around 1/500 for the 150D. Now if I can shoot a few frames I have some very sharp images at 1/80 for the 45D, 1/125 for the 80D and around 1/250 for the 150D. (I mean around 7 out of 10 images would be very sharp) When one gets to even slower shutter speeds on the P65 it is a lot trial and error.

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    Re: Leica S2 Review by Guy Mancuso and Jack Flesher/ GetDPI.com

    I think Guy is right in that the system is new, so give it a break. Nothing I've ever experienced as a new system was 100% there right out of the gate. Which is why after-sales support and firmware updates are such a critical component of this offering from Leica ... who's track record doesn't inspire confidence ... and the high price of extended warranties is a choke point. IMO, Leica would have been wise to include better base coverage.

    So, I would not dismiss the S2 IQ so quickly. As I work on the files I shot some weeks ago, I am discovering they are better than my first impressions. As Guy and Jack said, post is such a critical part of the mix ... it is as much an unknown as some of the other gear related teething pains. As I work out different approaches to post, that "unknown" is resolving itself. I'm processing images shot in the same place as M9 shots, so I used the M9 files as a guide which helped a lot in determining some settings in LR3. In essence I've managed to get them to look pretty similar ... except the resolution of the S2 is obviously higher.

    Frankly, harping on meg count compared to recent advancements in MFD, is all relative. These are huge files with loads of detail and a fair amount of elasticity in post. For some it is more than enough, and more is overkill. Depends on applications.

    I still see this camera as an add-on, not a replacement for a modular use MFD. If I were a landscape shooter with a ALPA or other tech camera, I doubt I'd be interested. But it does have its appeal for other types of work.

    -Marc

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    Re: Leica S2 Review by Guy Mancuso and Jack Flesher/ GetDPI.com

    Well the S2 can become some new sort of camera and actually it is - between 35mm and MF.

    The main issue I see is that 35mm is coming already pretty close and will even be closer with the next generation sensors and cameras to be expected over the next 12 months - from all the key players as Nikon, Canon, Sony, .....

    Real MF is moving away on the top as Phase shows impressively since a year now with the P65+ and as Hasselblad is about to demonstrate with their H4D60 pretty soon - so no question, the S2 is NOT in this league which was clear for me and most of us I think, but Leica repeated that they will be able to play in this areas with the S2. This proves to be simply nonsense!

    I am actually kind of redefining my needs and preferences for the next years. As a passionate landscaper I am VERY happy with the H system (a real MF system) and will continue building this one. Maybe add a tech camera to this if I really need, maybe I can just survive with the HTS for my working needs - time will tell.

    Now for normal photography - 35mm - I am no longer so sure if I really need this as I am not the sports and events shooter who needs fastest AF and all these tons of features with a system finally weighing more than my H system. I simply do no longer want to carry as much weight if I do not go for serious landscapes (or some other stuff as architecture or portraits and even some sport which I can even do with the H system although it needs a bit of imagination from the photographer).

    What I see more and more becoming a real alternative for most "normal" photographic situations is Micro FT. Small, light, fast, intuitive, great IQ and cheap. I am even thinking about reducing my extensive M system, especially after lot of not so perfect feedback about the M9 I got so far. I actually cancelled my M9 order some weeks ago and I am not really considering to buy one soon, as MFT seems to deliver better for those needs I would have used a digital M system.

    And finally just stay with MF (Hasselblad) and Micro FT Panasonic and/or Olympus EP-2).

    Times are changing, needs are changing, preferences are changing and requirements are changing

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