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Leica S Type 007 in 2021?

P. Chong

Well-known member
Hi all, looking for more points of views, and perhaps to be talked out of making a purchase.

I have had the opportunity to work with the Type 007 in 2019 for an extended period and enjoyed the camera very much. And recently came across a possibility to buy one to add to the stable for a pretty decent price, about USD 4,500.

What do you guys think of the 007 in 2021? Overshadowed by the GFX 100S, with all its bells and whistles? I will primarily be using it with my current small collection of HC/HCD lenses (28, 50-110, 80 120) via the H Adapter.

Image for visual interest...Leica S Type 007 with S 70mm lens, taken during the Patek Philippe Grand Art Exhibition in Singapore, 2019.

puppet.jpg
 

tcdeveau

Well-known member
Do you need the bells and whistles of the GFX100S? Obviously spec-wise there are better options available on paper in 2021 depending on yours needs (resolution, IBIS, face-detect AF, etc), but just because the GFX100S exists doesn’t mean the 007 is a bad camera or that it wouldn’t be a wise purchase IMHO.

If you enjoy the 007 and it works for you, I say go for it.

I’ve been toying with the idea of an S007 myself for fun. I’ve seen them used from Leica dealers in the US for as low as $3900. Would never consider an S at new prices, but at 25% of their cost new it’s easier to justify.
 

Greg Haag

Well-known member
Peter,
I have the S007 and also shoot with my HC lenses as well as a few of the Leica lenses. I get tempted occasionally to sell it and change to something like the GFX, but I love shooting with the Leica. Ergonomically, I love the way the camera feels, the OVF is fantastic and files are great. Cameras are such a personal decision, probably for me if I were to change, it would be for something lighter.
Good luck,
Greg
 

budfox

Member
Peter,

I think you have answered your own question in the first line.

If you are already thinking about the GFX 100S before you have purchased, it's very likely you are making the wrong decision. It won't get any better after you purchase the 007.

I am sure the 007 is a great camera for those lucky enough to have one and already enjoyed a couple of years of use out of it, but there is a reason the prices are dropping.

In 2021, the GFX 100S is really miles and mile ahead.
 

MGrayson

Subscriber and Workshop Member
Had an S007. Bought a GFX100. Used the Fuji for a year. Sold it. Use the S again. Much happier. It's a camera. Use what you like - not necessarily what everyone is talking about this quarter. Mind you, if you prefer the Fuji, then go for it. The Fuji system has some special optics as well - the 250/4 stands out. I thought the 100-200 zoom was quite special, but that's not a popular opinion. The 50/3.5 is as sharp as they come. I just like the S lenses more and the handling is - for me - incomparable.
 

P. Chong

Well-known member
Actually this is kind of where I am at, Greg and Matt. The S007 feels quite special for some reason. The way it feels in the hand, though heavy, is rather nice. If I go Leica S, over time, I guess I will build a collection of native lenses.

I tried the 100S for a while, and it is spectacular. But I really don't need and don't want to deal with the 100Mp files. I wait to see what the 50Smk2 will be like, but it is likely only ergonomic and interface changes, other than IBIS, as the sensor will be the same. And I find the GFX 50 sensors to be a bit too crunchy, every so slightly oversharpened.

Image for visual interest again. GFX 100S with GF120 and the GF50. Shot with my Hasselblad H3D-39 and HC 4/120.

fujifilm-gfx100s-120-oblique-left.jpg

And neither Fuji nor Leica offer a 1:1 macro lens, so going with either will mean using it with my HC 4/120Macro, which I use heavily with my aged H3D-39. Still produces spectacular images, but it is old, and I fear it will just die on me mid-shoot. Plus its not a camera to walkaround in, not only is it huge and heavy, but ISO performance and shooting speed is poor.
 
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dj may

Well-known member
Not only is the image quality of the S 007 superb, the user experience is exceptional. I own S3 and S 006, and have used S 007. You will not be disappointed. I have no experience with H lenses, however I know several people that are satisfied with S cameras with H lenses.
 

Paul Spinnler

Well-known member
I got into the S system with the S3 and I love it. The color, lenses and build quality are special. In fact I am so amazed by the quality of the system that I am about to get more S lenses. I think this is a system for connoisseurs and most people who bitch about it never really tried it because they cannot afford it or think there's some better specced alternative for a better price - specs on paper only mean as much and what I can say is that all files coming out of this system are beautiful, from the sharpness and the creamy bokeh to the filmic color science.

What matters is the end result and having a joy with a camera and not gazillion menu options. In that regard the S system is difficult to beat - top this off with endless battery life, weather sealing, substantial build quality, ability to get everything repaired by Leica, etc.

For me the S is the under appreciated gem in MF land.
 
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John_McMaster

Active member
Another happy S(007) user, not convinced by the 50MP Sony sensor but a little more interested in the 100S. Leica remember what a camera is about, shutter speed, aperture, ISO and focussing....

john
 

Hasslebad

Member
I’ve seen photos with the S that stand out. Of course the photographer, lighting and post processing have more to do with the overall image. But I remember taking a look at the EXIF and they were shot on an S.
 

baudolino

Active member
I am a long time S user - started with S2, had the S007 and now have the S3 (and SL2). I also have experience shooting with Phase One. My views:

On the positive side:
  • The S is perfect for shooting outside (long battery life, weather sealing).
  • The lenses are superb and the look is often more "organic" and consistent than from some other cameras.
  • You have leaf shutter lenses if you shoot with strobes outside (I do and this is a big plus for me).
  • Colours are great and the files are robust.
  • There is full support and profiles now in Capture One now (not sure about S007 but there is for S3 and the colours are superb)
On the negative side:
  • AF speed and accuracy (AF spot is of a size that often can get fooled). My most used lens would be the S100 which I own and love but it frustrates me immensely - in some shoots, I can have a very high percentage of images out of focus, especially in low contrast situations. Leica promised a firmware fix a long time ago but never delivered it, afaik.
  • The image format is 3:2 which is perhaps good for landscape and reportage but less useful for what I shoot (art nude, portrait etc.). I end up cropping more with the S than with cameras that use the 4:3 format, like the Fuji or Phase One. (and Instagram is 4x5 if that is of any relevance to you - it is to me)
  • The lenses are very heavy and large, compared to the Fuji and even some of the Phase One lenses. Somewhat limits the flexibility when traveling etc.
  • The AF motor failure issue has been addressed but it is a good idea to have your lenses repaired preventatively (I had six S lenses with AF motor failures - Leica fixed all of them for free even out of the 5-year warranty, but that was because I have a fantastic dealer).
  • The shutter speed dial that has a combined function with image review. This was much better on S2/S006 where one could just set the shutter speed, full stop. Now, I am half the time in image playback mode and the dial is moving between images rather than changing shutter speed when I intend to do so. Leica prides itself on the ergonomics, but this one is anything but. The only solution is to switch off auto image playback completely but that somewhat defies the purpose of shooting with a digital camera.
  • The sensor seems to attracts dust more than the Fuji or Phase (I think Fuji have some system to get rid of dust).
If I were starting anew, I would just buy the SL2 today - it addresses most of the negatives and retains most of the pluses (apart form leaf shutter lenses). But I had a lot of S lenses that lost resale value because of the AF motor fiasco, so I've stuck with the system. Like with every camera, you need to get used to its quirks and work around them. In the end, I can achieve what I want with any camera at this level, but enjoy shooting with the S the most.
 

Thomas73

Member
Not only is the image quality of the S 007 superb, the user experience is exceptional. I own S3 and S 006, and have used S 007. You will not be disappointed. I have no experience with H lenses, however I know several people that are satisfied with S cameras with H lenses.
Hi Jesse,

How do you rate the S3 compared to the S006 and the S007 ?
 

dj may

Well-known member
Firstly, the S006 is a joy to work with. That said, S3 is better in every aspect. I am almost exclusively using the S3 now.
 

Steve Hendrix

Well-known member
More than any other Leica product, the S3 has some polarization effect. Any Leica product is typically more expensive than a typical product in that sensor size segment. In the case of the S3 and the 63mp/45mm x 30mm sensor, it punches in at a minimum of 3x the price of the other 44mm x 33mm options on the marketplace. Not being a mirrorless body, it certainly misses some of the features we take for granted in 2022 - high rez EVF, IBIS, multi-point PDAF, etc. But there is a certain passion that some of my clients feel about their Leica S that flies in the face of what we think of as modern amenities. The optical finder, the lenses, the file quality, the feel of the camera in their hand. Many photographers, many preferences. None are wrong if they fulfill what you're after.

To help make the price pinch a bit less for those who value what the S3 offers, there is a trade up promotion happening right now.

https://www.captureintegration.com/leica-s3-trade-up-program-2022/


Steve Hendrix/CI
 
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