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Thread: Leica M vs/and Leica S ...

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    Super Duper
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    Leica M vs/and Leica S ...

    Since I know there are some people here using both Leica M and S (and I do the same), I am interested how much you use which one, for which occasion and which reason.

    Here is my take:
    S2 for:
    +when max. IQ is required
    +when I use Tele
    +has the advantage of exact framing with the nice viewfinder
    +precise AF
    -limited for good light or flash
    -big (lenses)

    M for:
    +more casual shooting
    +lenses are maybe "less perfect" but than more different charactera (like for example Noctilux, or 85 Sonnar,...
    +draws less attraction

    The "problem": even the S2 IQ is even better the IQ from the M9/MM is allready so good that I sometimes question if the M would not be all I need.
    (I dont need 36MP and I dont need lens shutter since I dont do much flash).

    But then if I take the S2 I allways seems to be rewarded.

    So how do you guys share the "work" for those 2 systems?

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    Re: Leica M vs/and Leica S ...

    Hi Tom,

    Can't help wondering if your M is for "casual" shooting what do the EM5, XPro1 and such used for?
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    Re: Leica M vs/and Leica S ...

    I'm doing more and more environmental portraits using a strobe with my M9, so I am very envious of the S flash sync speed of 1/500 sec with CS lenses. That's a really nice advantage.

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    Re: Leica M vs/and Leica S ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Hi Tom,

    Can't help wondering if your M is for "casual" shooting what do the EM5, XPro1 and such used for?
    Ha-good question!
    to be honest:
    1) I own more cameras than I ever will need
    2) The EM5 I use when I want tele and I use it when riding the bike with kids etc, when I want a robust, small, flexible camera.
    The xPro1 ...handles alot like the Leica M but with AF and better high ISO. Probably doesnt make that much sense when owing the M9, because at lower ISO I prefer the images I get from the M. But I have to say that if the IQ was the same as the M and if there were the same lenses available I would sell the M and keep the x-pro1. Since this will not happen I will probably need to sell the x-pro1
    3) you forgot my Nikon D700 which I have not used for the last 12 months.
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    Re: Leica M vs/and Leica S ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Hi Tom,

    Can't help wondering if your M is for "casual" shooting what do the EM5, XPro1 and such used for?
    Somebody said this on another forum (I think LUF) or here:

    1) You can never own to many cameras.
    2) There is never a bad moment to by a new camera.
    3) If in doubt, refer to 1).

    I think Tom masters these rules
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    Re: Leica M vs/and Leica S ...

    I apologize if I was out of line. I appreciate Tom's kind response.
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    Re: Leica M vs/and Leica S ...

    I personally tend to get bogged down with choice, and it affects me creatively. I say keep it simple. Most of the contemporary art photographers that I've been interested in in my life tend to keep it simple, too.

    I just bought an M9, and I've purchased 8 lenses for it. I'm going to pick the couple/few lenses that I like, and sell off the rest (I'll be using a 50mm 95% of the time.) In fact, I'm going to sell off much of the rest of my digital photo gear, as well.

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    Re: Leica M vs/and Leica S ...

    Quote Originally Posted by douglasf13 View Post
    I personally tend to get bogged down with choice, and it affects me creatively. I say keep it simple. Most of the contemporary art photographers that I've been interested in in my life tend to keep it simple, too.

    I just bought an M9, and I've purchased 8 lenses for it. I'm going to pick the couple/few lenses that I like, and sell off the rest (I'll be using a 50mm 95% of the time.) In fact, I'm going to sell off much of the rest of my digital photo gear, as well.
    Yes and tomorrow I will start a diet and stop drinking wine
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    Senior Member GMB's Avatar
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    Re: Leica M vs/and Leica S ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Paratom View Post
    Yes and tomorrow I will start a diet and stop drinking wine
    Me too

    Seriously, I have also thought a few times to make things simpler and sell stuff that I rarely use. Just can't do it. So what I do instead to go out with one or two lenses for a shoot. Achieves sort of the same idea but is less radical.
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    Re: Leica M vs/and Leica S ...

    Yeah, I guess it depends on one's nature. I'm a binge and purge type of collector. I buy a lot, pick what I like, and then get rid of the rest. I'm not sure if you guys are familiar with the show Hoarders over in Europe, but all that I have to do is watch a couple of episodes of that show, and I immediately clean the house and throw everything onto ebay! LOL

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    Re: Leica M vs/and Leica S ...

    Quote Originally Posted by douglasf13 View Post
    Yeah, I guess it depends on one's nature. I'm a binge and purge type of collector. I buy a lot, pick what I like, and then get rid of the rest. I'm not sure if you guys are familiar with the show Hoarders over in Europe, but all that I have to do is watch a couple of episodes of that show, and I immediately clean the house and throw everything onto ebay! LOL
    I need to watch this tv-show

    In general I agree that too much gear can "block" the mind.
    In my case I would say I have some "main" gear which I have used for many years (Leica M), and then I sometimes add some "extra" gear, which I either keep and use here and then or sell if I dont like it.

    In case of all my M lenses I have sold 2 or 3 where I was totally sure I dont need them (WATE for example and the 75/1.4 (no matter if this THE lens for some I prefer the 75/2.0), but with the others I rather put them in the shelve for some months as long as I am not totally sure to need them.
    When I go out I usually bring 3 max. 4 lenses, never more, sometimes just 2.

    So even though I know to own more gear than I need I am not "lost" in gear.

    But I am very interested how other use their equipment and thats why I started this thread.

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    Re: Leica M vs/and Leica S ...

    My motto is to keep it as simple as possible. I switched to Leica some time ago, because I wanted to reduce my equipment. Focus on some essentials. All the gear whom ever is telling you is needed, all the lenses... I believe you will get better results when you concentrate on only a few lenses.

    I use the S for professional work, for landscapes and if color is needed. Still running around with 30, 70 and 120. That is what I need. If there is ever coming a super tele lens in the 300mm range I will add this, as this is the lens I'm missing for wildlife.

    The Monochrom is only running around with 50mm. Period. The only choice I have is which 50mm I'll take.

    I hope I could keep it that way.

    And even with the limited choices I have, I could end up carrying around some pounds.

    Pete

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    Re: Leica M vs/and Leica S ...

    Been working on this subject for a very long time . I have three primary systems ...Leica M ,Leica S and Nikon FX. The M is used for street and travel . The S is used for landscape,seascape and situations where I can take the full kit and tripod. The nikons are used for sports,action and anything that requires flash . I dont do studio work of any kind.

    I appreciate the overlap of the systems and the ability to create something different . So i have done street and sports with the S2. I shot the US Open tennis alternating between the S2 and the M9. Clearly my D4 was the right equipment but it was a good test and I got better and faster with both the S2 and the M9 .

    In the winter I shoot in FLorida so every shoot starts from a car ...I can take whatever I want and change out stuff if necessary . By when I travel I tend to defer to the M9s as they are just great when you are walking mlles each day . I can shoot faster and have a more discrete profile with the M9 s .

    I will admit that a great photograph taken with an S2 really stands out as does any MF . Its just much harder work and that affects my abilities.

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    Re: Leica M vs/and Leica S ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Petster View Post
    If there is ever coming a super tele lens in the 300mm range I will add this, as this is the lens I'm missing for wildlife.


    Pete
    Leica S to Hasselblad Adapter and HC 300....people are throwing them away.


    Bob

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    Re: Leica M vs/and Leica S ...

    Quote Originally Posted by StephenPatterson View Post
    I'm doing more and more environmental portraits using a strobe with my M9, so I am very envious of the S flash sync speed of 1/500 sec with CS lenses. That's a really nice advantage.
    FYI: It is 1/1000th with CS lenses and 1/750 with Hasselblad HC/HCD lenses ... not 1/500th.

    -Marc

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    Re: Leica M vs/and Leica S ...

    Quote Originally Posted by douglasf13 View Post

    I just bought an M9, and I've purchased 8 lenses for it. I'm going to pick the couple/few lenses that I like, and sell off the rest (I'll be using a 50mm 95% of the time.) In fact, I'm going to sell off much of the rest of my digital photo gear, as well.
    Sheesh Douglas - what has become of you! (and there's me considering an A99 )

    Mind you, I'm sure you've done the right thing.

    I'm not sure I'm qualified in this post as I've not got an S2 (or any kind of MF camera). Basically, for me, if I'm 'serious' then I always use an M . . . If I'm walking / cycling / horse riding and photography is a 'side' issue, then I usually use an M, but sometimes I use something else . . . my current squeeze is an Olympus OMD - but it's the latest in a long line of 'not M' cameras . . .
    Nikon D2x
    Nikon D700
    Sony A900
    Pentax K5
    Sony A77
    NEX7
    OMD
    . . . . and that's only since I discovered the M8
    . . . . but that's forgetting all the compact cameras that I've bought, scratched and then sold on ebay (often with less than 1000 shots on their counters).

    The only consistent camera has been the M - sometimes it's been put away for a while, but never for long, and it's always with real relief that I get back to it again.

    There's a kind of theme to this thread that one does best by concentrating on one camera and sticking to it . . . but actually I'm not sure - I think that using something else for a while can be re-vitalising and teach you new ideas.
    Certainly, coming back to the M after using the OMD as a primary camera seems to me to have changed things, and probably for the better.

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Leica M vs/and Leica S ...

    My main, most used tools are a M system (currently a M9P, and now a MM) ... and the S2.

    I have 4 different systems with very little over-lap in function and creative applications.

    The M is ... well ... a rangefinder, and promotes a specific method of working and approach to the subject which in my case is mostly people. I use it at every wedding, on most trips and vacations, to shoot client work requiring a more candid documentary approach, and for street photography.

    The S2 functions more as a replacement for a good deal of 35mm DSLR work, and is now my main camera for portrait work including more candid work with families, and any of the more formal types of portrait work at a wedding as well as candids ... or for corporate portraits or gatherings. The chief attributes are a large sized, high resolution file that is both more malleable for retouching and more easily cropped for multiple image applications. The lenses are the best DSLR type optics I have ever used ... but an important attribute is that I use CS mode for high speed sync to 1/750th with Hasselblad lenses, and hope to get a few of the S CS versions soon for 1/1000th sync in conjunction with strobes.

    Since I also do studio table top work, including some view camera images with a Rollie Xact-2 with H mount, I also have a H4D/60 and HC/HCD lenses. Most of this work is tethered and lit with strobes.

    The 35mm DSLR kit is all Sony A900s and Zeiss ZA lenses. I use these only for portions of wedding photography. I rarely use it for anything else. 35mm DSLRs are my least favorite format.

    -Marc

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    Re: Leica M vs/and Leica S ...

    Quote Originally Posted by docmoore View Post
    Leica S to Hasselblad Adapter and HC 300....people are throwing them away.

    Bob
    But 4.5... I'm hoping at least for a 3.5, my dream would be a 2.8 but I guess that is a dream and I'm not sure if I'am able to carry that beast.

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    Re: Leica M vs/and Leica S ...

    Can't afford an S, but use my P45+ with SWC, 38mm, and/or 503CW with 100, 150, 250 or 350 for static wide or tele landscapes when I want large file sizes (39MP)and low ISO (50). SWC and 100mm shots are most often my favorite.

    Love my M9 and MM which I use in tandem using mostly 18,28,35,50,75 or 90 lenses. M9 mostly for early morning and late afternoon and then the MM during full sun and late in the day after the sun has well set and for pure night time and street shooting. Have other lenses, but carry 3 of any of these mostly for the same reasons others have said, where long slogs are necessary. Although I must say now I find the Think Tank Speed Freak V2.0 quite useful for 2 Hassy bodies with a shortish lens on the 503 and the digital back mounted on the SWC. Since the bag is at waist level, I can even use the Speed Freak with interior flaps closed as a platform of sorts for quick lens changes.

    If the new M works out then I can see replacing the entire MF setup with the M and start using mostly long R lenses combined with current M lenses. MF has such a beautiful dynamic range it will take something special to replace it.

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    Re: Leica M vs/and Leica S ...

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    ... but an important attribute is that I use CS mode for high speed sync to 1/750th with Hasselblad lenses, and hope to get a few of the S CS versions soon for 1/1000th sync in conjunction with strobes.

    -Marc
    Wow, I didn't realize that you could sync the S at 1/1000th with CS lenses. The ability to switch between FPS and CS is an amazing feature of the S2 and S.

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    Re: Leica M vs/and Leica S ...

    Quote Originally Posted by StephenPatterson View Post
    Wow, I didn't realize that you could sync the S at 1/1000th with CS lenses. The ability to switch between FPS and CS is an amazing feature of the S2 and S.
    Do I hear someone talking himself into this new S addition? At least you might not stain your shirts due to M straps.
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    Re: Leica M vs/and Leica S ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Petster View Post
    But 4.5... I'm hoping at least for a 3.5, my dream would be a 2.8 but I guess that is a dream and I'm not sure if I'am able to carry that beast.
    In truth a 4.5 300 on the S2 will be all the equivalent of a 2.8 on 35...DOF will be so small you will want to shoot at 5.6 to 8 and then wish for more DOF.

    I find that the problem is limited DOF more than too much with MF tele's.

    But I would never use the 300 for portraits....


    Bob

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    Re: Leica M vs/and Leica S ...

    Quote Originally Posted by StephenPatterson View Post
    Wow, I didn't realize that you could sync the S at 1/1000th with CS lenses. The ability to switch between FPS and CS is an amazing feature of the S2 and S.
    Yes, it is quite a valuable feature.

    Just worked with both shutter modes yesterday at a really cool wedding.

    Did outdoor portraits at a lake shooting into the sun with a specular lake behind the subjects ... use a Hasselblad HC50-II on the S2 in Central shutter mode [email protected] 1/750th, and lit them with a Profoto Acute 600B AIR and Elinchrom 39" Rotolux Deep Octa ... then went to a 1950s style burger joint and shot candids of them in available light with the S2 and 35mm in focal plane mode.

    The real revelation was first real use of the Leica MM ... jaw dropping results ... including shooting a skimpily lit cocktail party using ISO 2500 to 5000 ... unbelievably clean with beautiful tonality.

    -Marc
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    Re: Leica M vs/and Leica S ...

    Quote Originally Posted by docmoore View Post
    In truth a 4.5 300 on the S2 will be all the equivalent of a 2.8 on 35...DOF will be so small you will want to shoot at 5.6 to 8 and then wish for more DOF.

    I find that the problem is limited DOF more than too much with MF tele's.

    But I would never use the 300 for portraits....


    Bob
    True, but depends on the distance of the subject. In terms of light it is still 4.5. If you need a fast lens for tele work, not talking about portraits, and you do not have it you could only raise ISO and there is a limiting factor in choice and quality on the S2.

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    Re: Leica M vs/and Leica S ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Petster View Post
    True, but depends on the distance of the subject. In terms of light it is still 4.5. If you need a fast lens for tele work, not talking about portraits, and you do not have it you could only raise ISO and there is a limiting factor in choice and quality on the S2.
    Which is why I made the compromise of a Canon 1DX for long....long lenses. Now will autofocus at F8. Nice file by the way if a bit small by S2 standards.

    Bob

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    Re: Leica M vs/and Leica S ...

    Quote Originally Posted by docmoore View Post
    Which is why I made the compromise of a Canon 1DX for long....long lenses. Now will autofocus at F8. Nice file by the way if a bit small by S2 standards.

    Bob
    Another system is not a solution for me, but I totally see the point. Thats why I'am dreaming.

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