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Thread: The S2 - when/how do you use it?

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    The S2 - when/how do you use it?

    Now after we have used our S2 for some time I just wondered how often and for what aoccasions you guys use your S2?
    I wonder how often the S2 does the job for you and how often (for what occasions) you feel the need to carry a different camera.
    I would also be interested if you use different camera which combination makes sense for you.

    Personally I have used maybe 50% the S2 for my family and weekend shooting, maybe 30% the K5 in cases I wanted something smaller or maybe less obstrusive and 20% my x1 when I wanted the freedom of a lightweight, small, very easy to use camera.

    My plan is to use the S2 even more often, no matter if its overkill or not.
    Together with the 70mm its not that bigger than a 35mm DSLR.

    Looking forward to hear how often you guys use the S2, is it the main camera or just for special things, which othercams you use...
    Tom
    Last edited by Paratom; 8th June 2011 at 04:08.

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    Re: The S2 - when/how do you use it?

    After years of experimentation, etc. I'm down to only three systems The S2, M9 and Nikon D3S with a pretty full complement of lenses for each. The S2 is the camera I want to use all the time but it's not always the practical choice. Obviously, long lenses, low light, instantaneous AF and fast shooting call for the D3S. I also do a lot of shooting on the beach and on the water and am not always anxious to expose the S2 to those conditions. For travel and street shooting the M9 is the obvious choice. Pretty much what you'd expect. Obviously, this ties up quite a bit of funding in camera gear... but I feel like my glass is either holding it's value (or appreciating) and I'm only suffering depreciation on the bodies. Since I don't shoot (or want) a tech camera I feel I've got all the bases covered with these systems. I do find myself trying to find excuses to shoot the S2 where one of the other systems probably makes more sense. I like it that much...

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    Re: The S2 - when/how do you use it?

    I've been rather busy lately taking pre-emptive hedging action all over the place as Mr financial market looks like it wants to go into meltdown mode round three again..I am just trying to preserve capital....so I am pretty much doing 18 hour days in the office and running night team as well..

    that combined with the fact we are into our shortest days now..means not much chance to shoot..except on weekends which are gray and drizzly ..hahahahha!

    The S2 has surpassed my expectations as a camera body it has made using 40 megapixels easy for someone who dislikes tripods ..in fact so easy to use even my M9 is pretty much redundant now...

    I really enjoy the S2..and look forward to slowly acquiring a range of lenses to go with it - apart from my R9 kit I used to use - no camera has been as much fun and easy to use and delivers unbelievable out of the box quality...

    I think I will end up with an Alpa/M9/S2 system and (finally) be happy with that.

    anyone want to buy a bunch of as new Nikon gear? how about a full set of Mamiya RZ lenses and Pro11D body ( remember that one David?)mostly like new..? etc etc..oh yeah add a 205TCC, brand new 503CW body and some like new Hasselblad glass in CFE and F FE guise..oh and there is the brand new Hy6 body and a few Schneiders available not to mention the planar 110 in Rollie mount!

    I guess I am just an old fashioned Leica nut -it is good not to have to bother with anything else - life is much simpler.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: The S2 - when/how do you use it?

    My logic is the same as David s and we have the same three systems.

    1. M9 for street and travel . This is my go to system about 60% of my images . For me nothing beats walking the streets of a Paris,New York etc . Neither the Nikon or the S2 work as well . I even tried a D700 with Zeiss primes on the street. The Fugi X100 is pretty good but not comparable to working with 2 M9s .

    2. D3S/D3X for sport and flash . I can shoot some sports with the M9 or the S2 just not as well . There is a reason the pro s use the big glass 400/2.8 600/4 . There is a place for the S2 and the M9 ..in fact if the S2 ever has a 2X extender ...I will use it a lot more . When I shoot a wedding its the Nikon for the flash . (Here I don t feel the need for better quality ..its about getting the photography ).

    3. The S2 for as much as I can find to shoot. The IQ blows away the M and Nikon systems ..but can you really exploit it. The big factor for me is how it affects the human interface ....if you have control of the shooting environment and photography is expected ..no reason not to use it . If you don t ...pointing a lens with an 82mm filter and 4 inch at someone you don t takes some interpersonal skills . Clearly anything that involves significant landscape ,sky etc ..the S2 works .

    The most unusual success I ve had with the S2 has been shooting KiteBoarding . The Kites are typically about 40Ft about the boarder and are about 12Ft in length. They are moving at about 25-35MPH . Doesn t sound like an S2 environment but what makes the images is the sky . Surprisingly the 70 and the 180 work the best . Near shore you need a 70 to get the kite and the boarder in the image . On the beach you need the 35 . To shoot this you need to stand in the ocean or right next to it. I have a pretty much unedited group on my website under Kite Boarding Collection...way too many but I wanted to make them available to the boarders .

    The biggest challenge for me is staying sharp with three systems and focusing on a few areas. (street,sport etc). Its very hard to move back and forth between the Nikon s AF to the M s RF and then to the S2 .

    This may be relevant to your family photographs . When my daughters were under 5 I shot almost every chance I got with Leica M and R equipment and K25/k64 .. I have 10K slides . I also had a Hasselblad 500C which I used occasionally ....even shot K64 with it . Probably 1000-1500 images . The HB images are the ones that got printed and still have a magic thats hard to believe . Most were taken with the 80mm .

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    Re: The S2 - when/how do you use it?

    Thanks guys for the feedback.

    Indeed the Nikon with its AF and high ISO capability seems like the logical additional DSLR for the S2 - if I didnt struggle with the color. May I ask which converter/profile you use for the Nikon?
    The K5/Pentax has an additional advantage in size put its a payoff because of worse AF and worse viewfinder.

    The M9.... yes, great regarding size and unobstrusive shooting. I need to get my lenses calibrated though before I can use it again more often.

    I realized also that on different cameras I prefer different focal length.
    On the M9 I like the 24-50mm range alot and do not that much use 75 or 90mm (that has a lot to do with the viewfinder as well. Maybe also because I dont feel the need for a compfort distance when shooting the M??), but on the S2 I also use 120 and 180 all the time, and not so ften wide angle.

    I am still sometimes a little afraid to draw too much attention with the S2, specially with people I know and I dont really want them to know how much money I spend for my photographic gear.

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    Re: The S2 - when/how do you use it?

    I am now down to two systems; The S2 with all four lenses and the K-5 with a variety of lenses.

    I try to use the S2 whenever possible because the IQ is so phenomenal, even if unneeded at times. The kit with the 70mm lens is actually lighter than was my D3X and balanced so well it is a real pleasure to use.

    The K-5 takes care of macro at various focal lengths; long telephoto; high ISO and of course travel. The IQ is definitely not in the class of the M9 but its versatility by comparison is off the charts better.

    I think I am set but I have said that before! LOL

    Woody

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    Re: The S2 - when/how do you use it?

    The Nikon really catches some gas about its color. I use LR with the standard adobe profile . No question it takes some effort and I frequently build a profile for an individual shoot . From working with some of the LR guru s I found that you need to push the clarity way up to separate the mid tones and that the files require and take sharpening numbers up around 50-70 . I use a stronger S curve +20lights and -20 darks . On the M9 its +and _10. For me a fair comparison is the best you can get out of the file ...not this is what I see at the defaults ...but thats just my perspective.

    The D3S has improved color over the D3/D700 (its a new sensor ) and I never had much issue with the D3X. The newer Nikon glass ..the 35/85G and the 70-200VR2 all have a look closer to zeiss (not the same but the color is similar). The older glass had more of a yellow cast .

    I can see the issue if you are shooting landscapes with a lot of greens .

    But you can really get a lot out of the Nikon files especially the D3X if you work the raw conversions to your specific needs. And the D7000 is pretty fantastic especially with the Zeiss glass.

    I think it comes down to shooting sports ...a D3S will track a Polo horse at full speed coming directly at you with a 600/4 lens and almost never miss focus. If your telephoto needs are wildlife/landscape its totally different and here color is the highest priority.



    Quote Originally Posted by t_streng View Post
    Thanks guys for the feedback.

    Indeed the Nikon with its AF and high ISO capability seems like the logical additional DSLR for the S2 - if I didnt struggle with the color. May I ask which converter/profile you use for the Nikon?
    The K5/Pentax has an additional advantage in size put its a payoff because of worse AF and worse viewfinder.

    The M9.... yes, great regarding size and unobstrusive shooting. I need to get my lenses calibrated though before I can use it again more often.

    I realized also that on different cameras I prefer different focal length.
    On the M9 I like the 24-50mm range alot and do not that much use 75 or 90mm (that has a lot to do with the viewfinder as well. Maybe also because I dont feel the need for a compfort distance when shooting the M??), but on the S2 I also use 120 and 180 all the time, and not so ften wide angle.

    I am still sometimes a little afraid to draw too much attention with the S2, specially with people I know and I dont really want them to know how much money I spend for my photographic gear.

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    Re: The S2 - when/how do you use it?

    Great thread and very informative.

    I have 2 systems: S2 with all 4 lenses and M9 with a bunch of lenses from 15 CV to 135 (in fact, too many, but who cares as on average they are a better investment than stock). Still have an M8 but hardly use it.

    Since I got the S2 in February, I made a conscious effort to shoot with it as much as possible. Took it on vacation to Sicily, to the beach in Holland, on a long weekend to Alsace, on weekend walks with the dog, and on an evening stroll to the Brussels Jazz Festival or a street party. I sometimes found the camera was an overkill (but fun ) but I never found it inappropriate. In fact, in crowded places you can even do street with it, in particular if you use a longer lens. However, I admit that on some occasions the M9 may have been the “better” choice, and my shoulder would certainly have sometimes appreciated an M9 with a couple of lenses instead of the S2. The only event where I took the M9 was the end-of-school reception for my oldest daughter where I thought the S2 would have been out of place. But I will try to use the M9 again more often because it takes exercise to focus the rangefinder.

    I am currently thinking to complement my systems with a DSLR. In fact, today I bought the Nikon 7000 with a 18-200 zoom for my daughter and I hope to try that camera out a bit and decide whether I want to get one for myself. With the S2 and the M9 I do not see the need for a full frame DSLR with heavy glass (not much a wildlife/sports shooter) but something light, with fast autofocus, high ISO could be fun.

    Anyway, my biggest challenge is that I do not have enough time to really get the most of the systems. (I play golf and always say my handicap is 5: my wife, 3 daughters, and my job No, I won’t reveal my real handicap).

    But I must say the S2 has exceeded my expectations and I did not regret the purchase one second.

    Georg

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    Re: The S2 - when/how do you use it?

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    I've been rather busy lately taking pre-emptive hedging action all over the place as Mr financial market looks like it wants to go into meltdown mode round three again..I am just trying to preserve capital....so I am pretty much doing 18 hour days in the office and running night team as well..

    that combined with the fact we are into our shortest days now..means not much chance to shoot..except on weekends which are gray and drizzly ..hahahahha!

    The S2 has surpassed my expectations as a camera body it has made using 40 megapixels easy for someone who dislikes tripods ..in fact so easy to use even my M9 is pretty much redundant now...

    I really enjoy the S2..and look forward to slowly acquiring a range of lenses to go with it - apart from my R9 kit I used to use - no camera has been as much fun and easy to use and delivers unbelievable out of the box quality...

    I think I will end up with an Alpa/M9/S2 system and (finally) be happy with that.

    anyone want to buy a bunch of as new Nikon gear? how about a full set of Mamiya RZ lenses and Pro11D body ( remember that one David?)mostly like new..? etc etc..oh yeah add a 205TCC, brand new 503CW body and some like new Hasselblad glass in CFE and F FE guise..oh and there is the brand new Hy6 body and a few Schneiders available not to mention the planar 110 in Rollie mount!

    I guess I am just an old fashioned Leica nut -it is good not to have to bother with anything else - life is much simpler.
    Peter, PM me on the Mamiya Pro-IID body. I let my Pro-II body go in trade for the H4D/60 and now have a full RZ system with no camera

    -Marc

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    Re: The S2 - when/how do you use it?

    I simply have to much gear for the amount of shooting I have to do these days. But so what? It's all paid for.

    The core of my personal gear box is the M9s, now followed by the S2.

    I have a complete Sony A900 system including 2 cameras, but only use them for wedding photography. I need two of everything at a wedding in case something fails. But my wedding business has fallen off a cliff, so I may just keep one A900 body and a 24-70 and 70-200 zooms to back-up the S2 at weddings.

    The H4D/60 is my commercial camera and the only camera I use for that sort of work.

    I have a NEX5 with adapters to use M lenses or ZA lenses ... but it's just a fun toy that I bring when I don't want to carry a second M or A900 body.

    The S2 will be getting more of a work-out in July and August this year.

    -Marc

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    Re: The S2 - when/how do you use it?

    Marc

    Really sorry to hear about your wedding business.

    I am sure that, with the economy being what it is, people are choosing to have a friend or two shoot their weddings and simply accept the amateurish results. A predictable decision but one they may be very sorry about when years from now they realize the poor quality of the results.

    I hope things pick up for you this summer

    Woody

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    Re: The S2 - when/how do you use it?

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    The Nikon really catches some gas about its color. I use LR with the standard adobe profile . No question it takes some effort and I frequently build a profile for an individual shoot . From working with some of the LR guru s I found that you need to push the clarity way up to separate the mid tones and that the files require and take sharpening numbers up around 50-70 . I use a stronger S curve +20lights and -20 darks . On the M9 its +and _10. For me a fair comparison is the best you can get out of the file ...not this is what I see at the defaults ...but thats just my perspective.

    The D3S has improved color over the D3/D700 (its a new sensor ) and I never had much issue with the D3X. The newer Nikon glass ..the 35/85G and the 70-200VR2 all have a look closer to zeiss (not the same but the color is similar). The older glass had more of a yellow cast .

    I can see the issue if you are shooting landscapes with a lot of greens .

    But you can really get a lot out of the Nikon files especially the D3X if you work the raw conversions to your specific needs. And the D7000 is pretty fantastic especially with the Zeiss glass.

    I think it comes down to shooting sports ...a D3S will track a Polo horse at full speed coming directly at you with a 600/4 lens and almost never miss focus. If your telephoto needs are wildlife/landscape its totally different and here color is the highest priority.
    I agree for sports and action the Nikons are hard to beat.
    Same experience with the 70-200VRII which is much beter IMO than the previous version. Your comment makes me want to try out the new Vers. of the 85/1.4....I had the D3x before I went back to the D700 and also feel the D3x was more neutral in color, the D700 seems more saturated.
    Still the Pentax and Sony deliever such nice color without any tweaking.
    I wonder how a Nikon D4 sensor will be??
    I guess I dont want to use manual Fokus lenses when I use the Nikon/DSLR.
    If I use manual I use my M9 ot the S2 - the Nikon is used when I want speed and AF.
    Thank you for your post processing tips. Do you have any comment how the D7000 will look like color wise compared to the D700?

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    wish lens

    Just thought that I really would like to have a compact standard focal length fot the S2, somethin like a 50mm/f3.5.
    Or even better a pancake (no idea if this would be possible).

    The S2 just satisfies my expectations most of all cameras I own and sometimes I would like to have it even more compact. (but then -yes-there is still the M9 for that)

    Other than that idea I get more and more interested in the announced zoom.

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