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Thread: What the S? and why I still like it.

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    What the S? and why I still like it.

    This post is about my long term relationship with my S2. Like any relationship, it has had it's ups and downs, with many compromises. I have had my S2 since 2010 as a replacement for two systems, Nikon D700 and Hasselblad CFV. I felt that several factors weighed in the favor of the S as it was weather sealed and had the "medium format" sized sensor that set the Hasselblad apart from the FF. My reasoning was that the size of the Nikon lenses and weight of the Hasselblad equaled out with the Leica S in terms of form factor and carriability - is that a word? My choices at the time would be a move to the Hasselblad H4D40 of a Phase system which were both large and not weather sealed. Weather sealing is important to me as I lived in Seattle at the time.

    Lenses were few and far between and I waited patiently for the release of the 180 and 30 to add to my 70. As I patiently waited I got to really appreciate the image quality, my main criteria, was by far the best that I have experienced from a digital camera. I preface that because I still feel there is no substitute for big 8x10 chromes! But during my wait for the added lenses, I experienced a cracked sensor back to Solms (at the time) for a new sensor. The camera came back within two weeks and I was back to shooting again. Not long after my camera came back, a new 180 arrived but not without drama, the camera was exposing 1.5 stops over which had nothing to do with the at the time, sticky aperture blades issue, as this happened wide open, in manual exposure mode. This time I had to send both camera and lens back to Solms but not before a loaner S and 180 arrived from NJ - thank you. You would think by this time that I should have just bailed and got back to Nikon/Hasselblad but the image quality was so good and the options too costly or the lenses not of the same caliber (this was before Zeiss Otus). Once you start shooting a larger format, it is harder to go back to even a FF 35, which is true in both film and digital.

    As an early adopter, I was hopeful of the CS lenses that were promised as I like to use fill flash a lot. I was told that I could upgrade my standard lenses for the CS lenses for the difference in price which at the time was ~$1000. With registration certificates in hand (from the Leica web site) I was hopeful to get my standard lenses upgraded to CS. Balloon burst when Leica said that the date of purchase must fall within this time period and my 30 did not qualify for the upgrade, certificates were not valid. A big cold slap in the face and I thought of dumping the system and moving to a FF high res solution. Then I looked at the images and reversed my decision, the images, it is all about the images. Recently with the abundance of used S lenses I was able to secure CS lenses for about the same or less than the original program offer.

    AF motor failures, breath on the lens and the motor fails, started around the time of the 007 introduction and faster AF. It affected all of my lenses at one time or another, never kept me from shooting as the focus ring was always free and I prefer to manually focus anyway. But the big change in all the years of repairs was the level of service. I can accept that things fail, but it is how you address the failure and this is where things have gotten bad. My 180 failed and went back for a new motor only to come back with a loose front element. It went back for six months with no word on when it will be back. Far different than getting a replacement to use in it's absence.

    A new year, new MF offerings are on the horizon do I switch or do I stay? Well both new platforms are weatherproof and are compact, more so the X1D. Both are unproven territory and I do not want to be a beta tester. What I have seen and handled from the X1D is a short battery life, every time that I have gone into my dealer to shoot with the camera, the battery was dead or nearly dead. My S can go weeks without a charge I average about 2000 shots before the battery needs a charge. The GFX is still to be announced and while Fuji has great lenses and great track record it is still a new platform. The silence from Wetzlar on what lies ahead for the S and the lack of availability of the S-SL adapter could be signs that the S maybe going through a transition. The value of the S has depreciated rapidly but the images are still magical. The S is fully paid for and I know the limitations and strengths after all these years.

    Like a relationship, you take the good with the bad and hopefully the equation is on the side of good. I put up with the service from Leica because I value the images I get from the system. Do I wish that the system never fail? Yes. The reality is that it has failed but more important is the support system has failed and I believe that a fix is on the way. Am I just a Leica Fanboy oblivious to all the bad things? Yes and no, I am seduced by the image quality and at the same time a realist who looks at the depreciated value of the kit. To cut my losses at this point to replace it with another digital system that will too go through the depreciation cycle is not what I would like to do at this point in time. Just like getting a divorce from a wife of 40 years for a younger model, it will cost you dearly and you don't know what you will end up with.
    Al Tanabe
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    Re: What the S? and why I still like it.

    Portability.
    Sale Items (http://www.getdpi.com/forum/gear-fs-...8806-sale.html)
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    Re: What the S? and why I still like it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Portability.
    Vivek, I agree the word portability is correct term, I just wanted to insert and maybe author a new word. Portability is the ability to carry which could mean many things to different people, sherpas are capable of carrying much greater weight than I. So a Hasselblad H6D with five lenses to them would be "portable" but a Leica M9 with five lenses to me is "carriable" :-)
    Al Tanabe
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    Re: What the S? and why I still like it.

    Got it, Al.

    Thanks for your thoughts and sharing your experience!

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    Re: What the S? and why I still like it.

    I recently wrote this on another thread:

    Let's go back to what one might assume were some of the hypotheses by Leica when they created the S system:
    - DSLR format is compact and functional. The Hblad and P1 "digital backs" are reminiscent of the film days, and are not functional in a digital world
    - Let's take MF out of the studio, through DSLR form factor and weather sealing
    - MF gives a new dimension to photography, but 30*45mm will suffice for most
    - Let's make the best OVF ever
    - Chip design is more important than megapixels, 37,5 is a good compromise (50 is more, and the chosen format of the new Sony sensors, but can someone document the advantage, please?) - not excluding that S will be 50-60 mpix in its next version
    - Optics is the real differentiator, let's make the best lenses for 30*45mm available
    - Let's make lenses in the true Leica tradition: Top performance at open apertures, every S lens will be a "Noctilux" at full aperture
    - Let's offer leaf shutter as a option built in to the lenses
    - Let's open up towards other systems' and create bridges through adapters to other lenses
    - <possibly more >

    In my book, they were right on all assumptions. If you want to do 100 mpix and carry a P1, feel free, but swallow and justify the cost, and carry the load.

    On execution, however, I agree, it could have been better, a lot better actually, where the AF issue is the elephant in the room, hopefully to be resolved soon.

    Even Ming Thein, who I know and highly respect, says after working with a 50 MP (basically same sensor size as the S) Hasselblad for almost a year: " ....frankly, I’m not even sure I want the 100MP option because it’s going to make a mess of my existing focal length selections (44x33mm vs 54x40mm makes a significant difference in angle of view for a given lens). And I’ve not had the need for more either from the client side, the print side, or even personally being able to repeatedly squeeze everything out of the 50MP sensors under all conditions – I think it may not be humanly possible to consistently handhold for critical sharpness below 1/2x. "

    I think Leica has been spot on with the S all the way, they just have to fix the AF problem, and possibly up the sensor to 50 MP on the S008, mainly for marketing purposes...
    - ErlingMM
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    Re: What the S? and why I still like it.

    The camera does make a difference. I love using a camera I love using. While there are other cameras, they are not the same--unless you are switching from a Canon to Nikon DSLR.

    But once I cannot trust my gear, the love affair does tarnish. How much of a compromise do I make to tolerate the uncertainty of the system? That is a tough question. But I have had unreliable camera systems and once I simply stop using it, I know it is time to change.

    For me, the downside of both the Hasselblad and Fuji systems is the EVF. I just don't like using them. I have a Pentax 645D that I love. It makes great images and I simply like the handling of the camera. But it is big and I missed my previous love affairs--my Mamiya 6 and Horseman SW612. I decide to take a chance and move sideway and went for a Fuji X Pro2--it shoots 1:1 and 16:9. I was a bit skeptical. But I figured if I can get excellent 40" prints from it, then what more do I need? And you know what, it make really nice 40" prints. I am keeping my 645D--it is my "large-format" tripod camera. It does really nice closeup work too. But my X Pro2 has put a bit more freedom back in my hands since my Mamiya 6.

    One more point I would like to add, and I know there are folks where this is not such a problem, but I get tired of systems that require so much money. I have always bought the best I could afford simply because I found you use those cameras more and longer than something less--a stop-gap camera, something to get you over the hump, but not really what you want. Fuji has packed such a great tool into a small and relatively affordable package. (Interestingly though, the X Pro2 body cost me the same as the Mamiya 6 with the 75mm standard lens.) If the camera fails, it does not seem to be a burden and certainly not an investment to repair. (But then I will probably get better service.) Push comes to shove, I can just order one from B&H.

    Now I am not trying to sell you an X pro2. That is just the example of my taste in bodies . I guess if I was simply leaving my significant other home because she was unreliable and giving my no joy, I might start looking somewhere else. (Just to be clear, I am still talking about cameras.) Finding the new partner is never easy. I am still learning with my new flame--or unlearning what my 645D files are compared to the X Pro2 files.

    Good luck with your search. But I really understand the disappointment when something that really works for you continues to let you down.
    Will

    http://www.hakusancreation.com
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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: What the S? and why I still like it.

    Two issues have hurt the Leica S owners ...especially in the USA . First the AF failures which got much worse after the 007 firmware increased the auto focus speed . Second Leica NA simply lost control of their service operation .

    After discussing this with my dealer we (1) tested all my Leica S lenses on a new S 007 ....2 out of 9 failed immediately (2) sent the two failed lenses to germany for repair . They came back in about 4 weeks and that included Christmas . its my understanding (no public announcement ) that Leica now has a permanent fix for the AF . Not ideal ..but something I can work with .

    The IQ I get from the S is the best in my experience and unless I decide to step up to 100MP (a really really bad idea for me ) ...it will be my MF system . And I do really like the new stuff from HB and Fuji but the S is a better fit .
    Roger Dunham
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    Re: What the S? and why I still like it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    Good luck with your search. But I really understand the disappointment when something that really works for you continues to let you down.
    Will, I am really not in a search for a new solution, for a while I thought I was then I came to my senses. First, if the AF fails, it is not the end of the world for me mid shoot. The camera has been reliable for me after the first teething pains. I really love the OVF and can focus quite accurately without getting retina burn from an EVF at low light levels.

    I have a Q which is my walk around camera, it replaced the X1 and X2 and I get great results from that camera. You make good points that a lower priced, competent camera can be considered disposable - a sad state the world has become. Gone are the days of buying a camera, caring for it and having it last your entire career.
    Al Tanabe

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    Re: What the S? and why I still like it.

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    Two issues have hurt the Leica S owners ...especially in the USA . First the AF failures which got much worse after the 007 firmware increased the auto focus speed . Second Leica NA simply lost control of their service operation .

    After discussing this with my dealer we (1) tested all my Leica S lenses on a new S 007 ....2 out of 9 failed immediately (2) sent the two failed lenses to germany for repair . They came back in about 4 weeks and that included Christmas . its my understanding (no public announcement ) that Leica now has a permanent fix for the AF . Not ideal ..but something I can work with .

    The IQ I get from the S is the best in my experience and unless I decide to step up to 100MP (a really really bad idea for me ) ...it will be my MF system . And I do really like the new stuff from HB and Fuji but the S is a better fit .
    Roger, I hope you are right about the AF motor fix! Don't know what happened to customer service in the US. Leica used to have S product specialists that would offer assistance in getting requests expedited, where did they go?
    Al Tanabe

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    Re: What the S? and why I still like it.

    There really is no right or wrong answer as each MF system mentioned has pros & cons, advantages & disadvantages. Even the most beloved item one might own, which brings them endless joy when functioning properly, becomes tiresome when issues repeatedly crop up and its made even worse when down time due to necessary repairs results in lengthy trips to a repair center for extended periods of time. For most when encountering such situations, they eventually leave the "relationship"(speaking of camera equipment of course), regardless of how unique to them their beloved system is. It applies to the love of many other consumer related products.

    The one exception may be when someone also owns other systems they enjoy using while their favorite is in the shop, so they can buy their time until their #1 camera/lens returns. If its a primarily system that one much prefers most of the time (for whatever reason), the hassle of it all is grating and frustrating and most move on from what I've seen.

    The funny thing is, what many complain about the current crop of "cropped MFD cameras, whether it be the exorbitant price of one brand, the lack of performance or certain features, reliability issues, repair turn around times, etc., I have to say, the system that I find that gets less complaints about these issues than most of the others systems we are discussing is the Pentax 645 D and especially the Z. This comes from people who have actually shot with it. On paper it may not seam that way but once in use, it surprises most. Yes, it may not be the best in any one given area but it's like they say, a jack of all trades and does most everything well and gets quite close to most of the other 37-50mp MFD systems but without the headaches.

    What I think stops a lot is it doesn't win any beauty contest when compared to others, and although not the heaviest of the group, is certainly hefty and boxy. It's not sexy and this alone discourages some from choosing it. The name too is not synonymous with medium format exclusively although it has a heritage. Some I've known even have stuck up their noses without even trying it. Once they do though, they are generally quite surprised. It simply works without a fuss and better and better lenses have been made available although very good legacy lenses at average 35mm lens prices abound. I would venture a guess that issues and downtime is probably near the bottom of the competition and if there is a weak point, its that their service here in the States is relegated to an independent repair facility although for more serious problems (which is rare), it can and does go bak to Japan.

    In fact some time ago I compared in a controlled studio setting (and also took a few long distance shots) of the Leica S120 macro on a S006 body against the 645D and it's 120 f4 macro (wide open and stopped down), which at the time was a fraction of the Leica lens cost. In the studio, the Pentax files were almost every bit as good as the Lecia. At distance (and yes, each respective macro could be optimized at different distances, the Leica S120 was clearly better away from the center of the frame. The Pentax was very good but the Leica was superb and yes, those Leica S lenses is the primary reason to shoot the S system although Pentax's newest lenses for the 645 system can give Leica a run for its money.

    I thing if anything, because of Fuji's excellent reliability and price point and feature set and a company that generally takes care of their customers, the new Fuji GFX may be the system that gives Pentax MFD the most competition. Just some food for thought and I'll end by saying one for ones own particular needs can make a valid argument for any of the 40-50mp cropped sensor medium format cameras.

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 7th January 2017 at 02:47.

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    Re: What the S? and why I still like it.

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    The IQ I get from the S is the best in my experience and unless I decide to step up to 100MP (a really really bad idea for me ) ...it will be my MF system . And I do really like the new stuff from HB and Fuji but the S is a better fit .
    Why "a really really bad idea for me"? You know you want one in an Alpha configuration probably.
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    Re: What the S? and why I still like it.

    Quote Originally Posted by atanabe View Post
    Roger, I hope you are right about the AF motor fix! Don't know what happened to customer service in the US. Leica used to have S product specialists that would offer assistance in getting requests expedited, where did they go?
    Both Roger and myself outlined some of the reasons for the relatively recent decline in Leica USA repair facility in N.J. and some of the steps being taken to rectify it. Speaking for myself, it was in confidential conversations I had. It can be found in one of the other Leica threads in the forums, but at the moment, I don't recall which one in order to post a link. Maybe Roger recalls which thread.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: What the S? and why I still like it.

    Quote Originally Posted by D&A View Post
    Both Roger and myself outlined some of the reasons for the relatively recent decline in Leica USA repair facility in N.J. and some of the steps being taken to rectify it. Speaking for myself, it was in confidential conversations I had. It can be found in one of the other Leica threads in the forums, but at the moment, I don't recall which one in order to post a link. Maybe Roger recalls which thread.

    Dave (D&A)
    Dave, yes I read about the switch over to the SAP software and the resulting loss of data and whereabouts of equipment in repair. Still a hard pill to swallow and more so why no letter of apology for the delay in service? A little note, something, anything, "Sorry for the delay in service, we switched over to a new software system and had a horrible time. Rest assured that we are on the way to a much improved customer service experience . . ."

    Basically acknowledge that a problem exists, own up to it and get on with it. Ignoring that there was any problem in the first place weakens the customer experience.
    Al Tanabe

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    Re: What the S? and why I still like it.

    Quote Originally Posted by D&A View Post
    I thing if anything, because of Fuji's excellent reliability and price point and feature set and a company that generally takes care of their customers, the new Fuji GFX may be the system that gives Pentax MFD the most competition. Just some food for thought and I'll end by saying one for ones own particular needs can make a valid argument for any of the 40-50mp cropped sensor medium format cameras.

    Dave (D&A)
    Dave, at the price point, I think a lot of Nikon and Canon shooters will start to take notice.
    Al Tanabe

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    Re: What the S? and why I still like it.

    Quote Originally Posted by atanabe View Post
    Dave, yes I read about the switch over to the SAP software and the resulting loss of data and whereabouts of equipment in repair. Still a hard pill to swallow and more so why no letter of apology for the delay in service? A little note, something, anything, "Sorry for the delay in service, we switched over to a new software system and had a horrible time. Rest assured that we are on the way to a much improved customer service experience . . ."

    Basically acknowledge that a problem exists, own up to it and get on with it. Ignoring that there was any problem in the first place weakens the customer experience.
    Why no note from Leica? You know....."love means never having to say you're sorry" ..LOL! I couldn't resist!

    Actually if you go back to that thread, the issues were far more involved and complicated that just the implementation of SAP software, training and a new system. There were many other interrelated issues which compounded the situation and it went on for a protracted period of time. We'll have to see how it all works out.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: What the S? and why I still like it.

    Quote Originally Posted by atanabe View Post
    Dave, at the price point, I think a lot of Nikon and Canon shooters will start to take notice.
    Maybe, maybe not. Remember, the prices may be something many 35mm full frame users may find doable, but there are many applications where full frame 35mm is much more applicable. My statement was that the one company that will feel the competition for the Fuji GFX is Pentax's 645D/Z users for the reasons I mentioned previously (reliability, prices point etc.)

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    Re: What the S? and why I still like it.

    Quote Originally Posted by D&A View Post
    Maybe, maybe not. Remember, the prices may be something many 35mm full frame users may find doable, but there are many applications where full frame 35mm is much more applicable. My statement was that the one company that will feel the competition for the Fuji GFX is Pentax's 645D/Z users for the reasons I mentioned previously (reliability, prices point etc.)
    As far as MF goes, I agree, Pentax has a target on it's back. But so does Hasselblad, the Fuji is aggressively priced. Fuji is taking advantage of the slow roll out of the X1D to take pre sales away from them. They also have the ability to produce lenses in house for faster turn around times. The world is getting very interesting
    Al Tanabe

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    Re: What the S? and why I still like it.

    Quote Originally Posted by D&A View Post
    Why no note from Leica? You know....."love means never having to say you're sorry" ..LOL! I couldn't resist!

    Actually if you go back to that thread, the issues were far more involved and complicated that just the implementation of SAP software, training and a new system. There were many other interrelated issues which compounded the situation and it went on for a protracted period of time. We'll have to see how it all works out.

    Dave (D&A)
    Love only goes so far

    Maybe they need to go through a 12 step program, "hi my name is Leica and I am a poor communicator"
    Al Tanabe
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    Re: What the S? and why I still like it.

    Quote Originally Posted by atanabe View Post
    Love only goes so far

    Maybe they need to go through a 12 step program, "hi my name is Leica and I am a poor communicator"
    " Leica, my name is Hasselblad, nice to meet you. I've been told I have great dynamic range, how about you? Want to go out after tonights 12 stop...um I mean 12 step program is completed? We can do shots...oh I meant go out and shoot. I think we have a lot in common. I've been told by some recently that I too am a poor communicator.

    Maybe we can support and help each other become more responsive to our loyal base, especially in the area of communication, which is so important. I know we have a lot to go over but we do have a long history of having a fine reputation and many are pulling for us. What do you say,"?

    *** P.S.. I hope people interpret my "tongue in cheek" posting above as simply saying that these two prominent camera companies with a lengthy history in the industry have a lot of potential with their current and near future planned lineup of camera and lenses. It starts with good communication when things go awry with their customer base when one or more products or servicing of their products develops problems.

    People (customers and users) appreciate hearing of their concerns, especially knowing the issues are/will be addressed. I believe it goes a long way in keeping their current users happy and prevents future purchasers from being dissuades to look elsewhere. Good communication is a relatively cheap commodity in the scheme of things and yet has tremendous value for a company.

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 7th January 2017 at 02:29.
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    Re: What the S? and why I still like it.

    Good for you, Al. I hope you and your S continue to have pleasant times. I really liked my S006. Although I was initially put off by the weight I soon put that behind me and got on with the shooting process. Other than the occasional lockup (fixed by popping the battery) I never had any problems with my S setup, however I got the feeling I could have some down the road which would leave without the use of the camera for an extended period of time.
    The pluses of the system were strong: form factor, OVF, fantastic lenses, battery life and simply awesome files.
    The minuses could be scary. I won't go any further on that because it has been beat to death.
    And I was disappointed with the long exposure being limited to two minutes. I looked into an S007 but found it's long exposure had been limited to one minute!
    I enjoyed the camera and if Leica can figure out their problems I might even consider it again.
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    Re: What the S? and why I still like it.

    Quote Originally Posted by D&A View Post
    " Leica, my name is Hasselblad, nice to meet you. I've been told I have great dynamic range, how about you? Want to go out after tonights 12 stop...um I mean 12 step program is completed? We can do shots...oh I meant go out and shoot. I think we have a lot in common. I've been told by some recently that I too am a poor communicator.

    Maybe we can support and help each other become more responsive to our loyal base, especially in the area of communication, which is so important. I know we have a lot to go over but we do have a long history of having a fine reputation and many are pulling for us. What do you say,"?

    *** P.S.. I hope people interpret my "tongue in cheek" posting above as simply saying that these two prominent camera companies with a lengthy history in the industry have a lot of potential with their current and near future planned lineup of camera and lenses. It starts with good communication when things go awry with their customer base when one or more products or servicing of their products develops problems.

    People (customers and users) appreciate hearing of their concerns, especially knowing the issues are/will be addressed. I believe it goes a long way in keeping their current users happy and prevents future purchasers from being dissuades to look elsewhere. Good communication is a relatively cheap commodity in the scheme of things and yet has tremendous value for a company.

    Dave (D&A)
    Dave, communication is key, even the bearer of bad news is better than no news. With the internet, one viral thread true or not can destroy decades of well deserved reputation. When I owned digital Hasselblad products that needed repairs, turn around was within three weeks with communications at every stage of the repair. A little goes a long way.
    Al Tanabe

  22. #22
    Senior Member vieri's Avatar
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    Re: What the S? and why I still like it.

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnBrew View Post
    ...
    And I was disappointed with the long exposure being limited to two minutes. I looked into an S007 but found it's long exposure had been limited to one minute!
    I enjoyed the camera and if Leica can figure out their problems I might even consider it again.
    Second that.

    Leica seriously needs to add long exposures to the S 007 if they want the landscape crowd to even consider it. I do use it for my work, but I have to bring an SL along both for backup and for long exposures; while that is ok as a temporary fix, I definitely would love to be able to use the S great lenses and sensor for my long exposure work.

    Best,

    Vieri
    Vieri Bottazzini
    Leica Ambassador | Formatt-Hitech Ambassador | ABIPP EP
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    Re: What the S? and why I still like it.

    Like the OP, I went through the "teething pains" with the S system years ago. Now I am suppose to endure having all it's teeth pulled one-by-one.

    Communications is not the only issue here.

    Leica altered the firmware to speed-up the AF and in the process caused a Tsunami of AF failures. One has to ask the obvious question ... did they throughly test the new firmware before releasing it?

    When they discovered this issue why in the hell didn't they issue a bulletin warning owners to NOT upgrade their firmware and if they had, offer new firmware to slow it down or lessen the torque until they could find a solution to the AF issue? Instead, they let it destroy lens after lens after lens (along with their reputation, and the the value of the S kit). Did they think the issue was going to magically disappear?

    I have $46,000 retail in CS lenses, one of which is in my possession but currently out of commission, and the another lost by Leica Service.

    Every S lens I have has failed and has been to service, but they were corrected before the rumored "permanent fix". I use the word rumored because there is no public word from Leica on the subject ... more importantly, no word privately ... no road map on how to get the permanent fix. If true, I now will need to have all of them redone, with all the time and effort that will require.

    As usual in today's crappy service environment, someone else's problem has been made my problem.

    Not exactly a high-end experience.

    I do not want another system. I simply want this one to work.

    - Marc
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    Re: What the S? and why I still like it.

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Like the OP, I went through the "teething pains" with the S system years ago. Now I am suppose to endure having all it's teeth pulled one-by-one.

    Communications is not the only issue here.

    Leica altered the firmware to speed-up the AF and in the process caused a Tsunami of AF failures. One has to ask the obvious question ... did they throughly test the new firmware before releasing it?

    When they discovered this issue why in the hell didn't they issue a bulletin warning owners to NOT upgrade their firmware and if they had, offer new firmware to slow it down or lessen the torque until they could find a solution to the AF issue? Instead, they let it destroy lens after lens after lens (along with their reputation, and the the value of the S kit). Did they think the issue was going to magically disappear?

    I have $46,000 retail in CS lenses, one of which is in my possession but currently out of commission, and the another lost by Leica Service.

    Every S lens I have has failed and has been to service, but they were corrected before the rumored "permanent fix". I use the word rumored because there is no public word from Leica on the subject ... more importantly, no word privately ... no road map on how to get the permanent fix. If true, I now will need to have all of them redone, with all the time and effort that will require.

    As usual in today's crappy service environment, someone else's problem has been made my problem.

    Not exactly a high-end experience.

    I do not want another system. I simply want this one to work.

    - Marc
    Sorry to all those affected by S issues. Leica has shot itself in the foot.

    However, IMHO Leica has been weak in the electronics end of things with all their products that I have owned or friends own (thank gosh I passed on the S) prior to the Q which I have no problems with up to now.

    It just seems like one hand has no idea of what the other hand is doing at Leica. Someone has a new gear wheel, which fails on original S lenses, now made in China and he is happy with the results. Do the FW teams operate in a vacuum? Do the service people think forgotten product and long repair times endear customers who pay probably too much for Leica gear. Who cares if they repair items ad infinitum for no upcharge, if those products are unuseable for months on end and often come back with less than optimal repairs.

    Everyone has been justifying their high dollar Leica purchases by saying the lenses are superior. Have those same people tried Fuji XT2 lenses, or Pentax new 645Z lenses or Phase S-K Blue Ring lenses? Even the old Hasseldlad SWC 38mm Zeiss lens holds up. Are these same people saying this because they strain their eyes looking at 200 to 400% images on their uber screens? I did not buy my Leica gear to do that with. I print my images and I can tell you MANY other manufacturers make superior lenses too. That arguement is just old hat nowadays. I could care less about MTF charts. I care about results and how my images print.

    I can understand not wanting to sell S gear into a negative leaning market. However, with aging camera that the S is, it still takes great shots. Oh, I forgot it's the photographer that takes great shots while using whatever tool he or she has in the hand.

    I bit the bullet and sold my Leica gear and I am so happy I did. Yes, it took lots of soul searching and a pocketbook with less in it than when I bought, but I wrote the loss off to the enjoyment I received while using the gear, but mostly due to the images I captured while using it.

    Does one need an S for internet and screen views? No. Does one need an S for 13x19 prints? No. Heck I now use my XT2 for that type of work and its images probably support 24x36 prints. Is Fuji considered the high end answer to what one might do with images for the internet or small prints? No. My question is what is high end anymore. Leica is no longer the mark it once was. Does high end now mean throwing tons of money at an uber system? Not any more, if you are results oriented. Owning a Leica has been considered owning the best to outsiders who have no idea of all the problems Leica has created for itself with shoddy electrical engineering, horrible US service and lousy FW updates. IMHO, Leica is just not the best any longer.
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    Re: What the S? and why I still like it.

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Leica altered the firmware to speed-up the AF and in the process caused a Tsunami of AF failures.
    Marc, I can see the logic in this, but the firmware and AF issues aren't necessarily related. It could just be a coincidence.

    People have reported AF issues on lenses that were only used on the S2.

    My theory is that it's age-related. The AF motor assemblies that are failing probably come from the same batch. That would explain why we see the same issue with new lenses and old lenses. They probably all use the same motors from a batch of 10,000 (for instance).

    I wonder if other issues are at play. Could it be that environmental factors like ozone are significant? Ozone is known to accelerate the deterioration of plastics, and this could explain why some owners have suffered multiple failures while others have not had any.

    Only Leica knows for sure, and only Leica knows the actual failure rate. We are all just speculating.

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    Re: What the S? and why I still like it.

    Quote Originally Posted by algrove View Post
    Have those same people tried Fuji XT2 lenses, or Pentax new 645Z lenses or Phase S-K Blue Ring lenses?
    Yes, I have personally tried many of those competing products, during the same shoot. The difference between the S lenses and the competition is not subtle. It jumps-out and slaps you in the face. On screen and in print.

    The S lenses dig-out contrast and sharpness where other lenses give up. I find this to be especially striking in high-contrast and backlit situations. I've shot groups on overcast days where you can see individual hairs against the white sky. Other lenses will give you a purple/blue blob at best in those conditions. I've deliberately flared shots with the Sun in the frame while maintaining natural contrast in the foreground. You don't get that type of performance from most lenses. The difference may not be apparent when the Sun is over your shoulder and you are stopped-down a couple of stops, but it becomes very clear when you start to push the boundaries of your lens's performance.
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    Re: What the S? and why I still like it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernard View Post
    Yes, I have personally tried many of those competing products, during the same shoot. The difference between the S lenses and the competition is not subtle. It jumps-out and slaps you in the face. On screen and in print.

    You don't get that type of performance from most lenses. The difference may not be apparent when the Sun is over your shoulder and you are stopped-down a couple of stops, but it becomes very clear when you start to push the boundaries of your lens's performance.
    I hear you, but have you tried the latest S-K Blue ring lenses? If you had, your comments just might be different.

    Regarding your comments about S lens failures. It is the torque that the new FW puts on the AF gear wheel istelf from what I understand. This has been explained over and over again. Sounds like you do not want to admit there is in fact a problem.
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    Re: What the S? and why I still like it.

    Sorry, some of these explanations do not make sense, although anything is possible.

    It would be a massive coincidence in the case of the firmware designed to "improve" AF speed and sudden AF failure ... often immediately upon start up even with a new lens mounted to a new camera.

    Which brings up yet another obvious question ... if Leica knew about this issue, how are these flawed lenses getting out of the factory in the first place?

    If the dealers had any foresight they'd test every S lens before they sell it ... since Leica evidently isn't. Send flawed new lenses back in mass quantities and maybe Leica will get the message.

    Regarding other systems ... not interested. I prefer this one because all the lenses, not just a few, are consistent looking and have the look and feel I want. They feature fast apertures and perform well wide open ... plus all of my lenses except the S100/2 are central shutter.

    All I want is for the kit to be reasonably reliable ... which it is not.

    In the end all the attributes designed into this system, all the work of the optical designers, all the good intentions of the dealers are for nothing if the thing doesn't work and cannot be counted on.

    - Marc

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    Re: What the S? and why I still like it.

    Algrove,

    Please re-read my comments. I did not deny that there is a problem. As far as I know, the exact cause has not been fully explained by the people who would know. There's been lots of speculation (including from me), but nothing definitive. Don't hold back if you know otherwise.

    I stand by what I wrote regarding the capabilities of the S lenses. I ran a Mamiya/Phase system before the S.

    By the way, is this what you do? Look for people who have different opinions from yours and try to wear them down? Hardly seems constructive. I wrote from experience, if your experience is different then perhaps you can expound on that.

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    Re: What the S? and why I still like it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernard View Post
    Algrove,

    Please re-read my comments. I did not deny that there is a problem. As far as I know, the exact cause has not been fully explained by the people who would know. There's been lots of speculation (including from me), but nothing definitive. Don't hold back if you know otherwise.

    I stand by what I wrote regarding the capabilities of the S lenses. I ran a Mamiya/Phase system before the S.

    By the way, is this what you do? Look for people who have different opinions from yours and try to wear them down? Hardly seems constructive. I wrote from experience, if your experience is different then perhaps you can expound on that.
    Look at Roger's posts. He has first hand knowledge of the problem and potential solution.

    A Mamiya/Phase utilized the older lenses and not the new and latest ones. Also which Phase DB did you use before you got your S. Have you tried a modern MF camera other than the S of late?

    I do not try to wear anyone down. I have been burned by Leica and Leica Service including trips directly to Germany where they denied obvious problems to my face which later and after a plethora of complaints from other owners, Leica finally admitted the problem existed which they first denied to me. But they only admitted it upon me calling them and continually complaining instead of being proactive and letting customers know of the problem up front once discovered at their end. That was the beginning of the end for me. I have many other Leica stories which I will not expound on here.

    This AF issue sounds the same where the new torque put on the AF wheel by the "improved" AF FW causes failure (this is known by active S selling US dealers), but where one gets either denial from the fatherland or business as usual where the customer suffers use loss either once if lucky or multiple times if unlucky. Even if they fix lenses multiple times for no charge (and they should due to an engineering snafu) the down time for all these owners is inexcuseable. Where's the QC at Leica? They seem to let their dealers take all the abuse from owners instead of stepping up and admitting to all S owners there is an issue and send in your lenses.

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    Re: What the S? and why I still like it.

    The only people getting "worn down" are the owners of these flawed lenses. Time after time after time. That Leica supposedly now has a solution is testimony that there is a problem that has been ongoing ... my first AF failure was well over a year ago maybe over 2 years ago, and has continued unchecked from lens to lens and now the same lens again.

    If we stay silent, say nothing regardless of what someone else says or how indignantly they protest, then nothing gets done.

    While I am sure there are lens systems that fit other's visual criteria, I like this one. So, I want it to work commensurate with what I paid for.

    - Marc
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    Re: What the S? and why I still like it.

    Why I still like it ....

    I do ... admit that I love the S lenses ... and the compact brick house body .... and am so disappointed that the
    corporate ethic at Leica allows this cluster to continue. I have been in and out of the system 3 times ... and
    am now using a M-D and a A7Rii with some MF lenses.

    If the S .... all versions ... was not so flawed I would be over the moon ... and still lugging the box around.

    Just want it to work and work and work ....

    Truly with all the new products at Leica ... one imagines that they could recall all the lenses ... revise the faulty
    part ... take a tax write off for the loss and have the best system and lenses imaginable. Up the MP count in a future
    model and capture a huge market.

    As it stands ... silence and small bandaids on a major flaw will not solve the underlying discontent and distrust that they have
    engendered.

    And if they did the above I would rebuy an S in a heartbeat. Less than this at this point I have sought a compromise, which works
    to a certain extent but is not ideal. But I do not have the continual angst of living with a potentially unfaithful camera ... one which
    belies the aura and promise that allowed me to buy in not once, twice but three times.

    Imagine if Leica said .... enough ... we have a permanent fix and while you will be without lenses for a time ... when they return they
    will be worth the R.. Dot.

    To do this it will take courage and sacrifice ... about time Leica takes the hit rather than expecting their customers to do so.

    Enough said ... a great product ... some unimaginably wonderful pictures that I could not have captured any other way ...


    Bob
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    Senior Member stngoldberg's Avatar
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    Re: What the S? and why I still like it.

    Quote Originally Posted by atanabe View Post
    This post is about my long term relationship with my S2. Like any relationship, it has had it's ups and downs, with many compromises. I have had my S2 since 2010 as a replacement for two systems, Nikon D700 and Hasselblad CFV. I felt that several factors weighed in the favor of the S as it was weather sealed and had the "medium format" sized sensor that set the Hasselblad apart from the FF. My reasoning was that the size of the Nikon lenses and weight of the Hasselblad equaled out with the Leica S in terms of form factor and carriability - is that a word? My choices at the time would be a move to the Hasselblad H4D40 of a Phase system which were both large and not weather sealed. Weather sealing is important to me as I lived in Seattle at the time.

    Lenses were few and far between and I waited patiently for the release of the 180 and 30 to add to my 70. As I patiently waited I got to really appreciate the image quality, my main criteria, was by far the best that I have experienced from a digital camera. I preface that because I still feel there is no substitute for big 8x10 chromes! But during my wait for the added lenses, I experienced a cracked sensor back to Solms (at the time) for a new sensor. The camera came back within two weeks and I was back to shooting again. Not long after my camera came back, a new 180 arrived but not without drama, the camera was exposing 1.5 stops over which had nothing to do with the at the time, sticky aperture blades issue, as this happened wide open, in manual exposure mode. This time I had to send both camera and lens back to Solms but not before a loaner S and 180 arrived from NJ - thank you. You would think by this time that I should have just bailed and got back to Nikon/Hasselblad but the image quality was so good and the options too costly or the lenses not of the same caliber (this was before Zeiss Otus). Once you start shooting a larger format, it is harder to go back to even a FF 35, which is true in both film and digital.

    As an early adopter, I was hopeful of the CS lenses that were promised as I like to use fill flash a lot. I was told that I could upgrade my standard lenses for the CS lenses for the difference in price which at the time was ~$1000. With registration certificates in hand (from the Leica web site) I was hopeful to get my standard lenses upgraded to CS. Balloon burst when Leica said that the date of purchase must fall within this time period and my 30 did not qualify for the upgrade, certificates were not valid. A big cold slap in the face and I thought of dumping the system and moving to a FF high res solution. Then I looked at the images and reversed my decision, the images, it is all about the images. Recently with the abundance of used S lenses I was able to secure CS lenses for about the same or less than the original program offer.

    AF motor failures, breath on the lens and the motor fails, started around the time of the 007 introduction and faster AF. It affected all of my lenses at one time or another, never kept me from shooting as the focus ring was always free and I prefer to manually focus anyway. But the big change in all the years of repairs was the level of service. I can accept that things fail, but it is how you address the failure and this is where things have gotten bad. My 180 failed and went back for a new motor only to come back with a loose front element. It went back for six months with no word on when it will be back. Far different than getting a replacement to use in it's absence.

    A new year, new MF offerings are on the horizon do I switch or do I stay? Well both new platforms are weatherproof and are compact, more so the X1D. Both are unproven territory and I do not want to be a beta tester. What I have seen and handled from the X1D is a short battery life, every time that I have gone into my dealer to shoot with the camera, the battery was dead or nearly dead. My S can go weeks without a charge I average about 2000 shots before the battery needs a charge. The GFX is still to be announced and while Fuji has great lenses and great track record it is still a new platform. The silence from Wetzlar on what lies ahead for the S and the lack of availability of the S-SL adapter could be signs that the S maybe going through a transition. The value of the S has depreciated rapidly but the images are still magical. The S is fully paid for and I know the limitations and strengths after all these years.

    Like a relationship, you take the good with the bad and hopefully the equation is on the side of good. I put up with the service from Leica because I value the images I get from the system. Do I wish that the system never fail? Yes. The reality is that it has failed but more important is the support system has failed and I believe that a fix is on the way. Am I just a Leica Fanboy oblivious to all the bad things? Yes and no, I am seduced by the image quality and at the same time a realist who looks at the depreciated value of the kit. To cut my losses at this point to replace it with another digital system that will too go through the depreciation cycle is not what I would like to do at this point in time. Just like getting a divorce from a wife of 40 years for a younger model, it will cost you dearly and you don't know what you will end up with.
    A great love story!
    BUT I am 77 and time is too valuable to wait for someone to decide when they will repair my camera/lens.
    I paid up and bought a proven back (IQ 100...P1) which I use with my proven H lenses (Hasselblad) by virtue of the proven H5X body.
    My relationship is short term so far but it has been a passionate love affair non the less with full approval of my wife of 53 years
    Stanley
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    Re: What the S? and why I still like it.

    Congratulations Stanley on your excellent choices!
    I wish you many more years of bliss.
    With best regards, K-H.
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    Re: What the S? and why I still like it.

    I am new here, but have been following the threads and storm over Leica and the S for sometime. Thank you to everyone for sharing their experiences and my commiserations for your ongoing ordeals. I understand why people want to continue pursuing the system, when it works it is marvellous. However, I have had enough with Leica and I am looking to rid myself of my constant woes with their systems. Corroded sensors, abandoned systems, broken lens motors, tea stained LCD's, welcome to the painfully expensive time bomb that is Leica. I have accepted the fact that the cost of moving on is far greater than I would have expected or preferred but I think it's better to cut losses before it gets even worse, or perhaps before the ship sinks altogether. These problems have been plaguing us for over a year now and still, no resolve, and all along, the value of a very expensive kit has been decimated. There is no permanent fix and one of my colleagues needed to send his lens back for a second time only months after it was returned. Leica's continued silence on the matter is inexcusable, all my faith in this brand has been shot and nicely rendering lenses are not enough and are in no way making up for the unreliability and financial loss that this has become.

    It seems Phase One will receive my business from now on.
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    Re: What the S? and why I still like it.

    Quote Originally Posted by stngoldberg View Post
    A great love story!
    BUT I am 77 and time is too valuable to wait for someone to decide when they will repair my camera/lens.
    I paid up and bought a proven back (IQ 100...P1) which I use with my proven H lenses (Hasselblad) by virtue of the proven H5X body.
    My relationship is short term so far but it has been a passionate love affair non the less with full approval of my wife of 53 years
    Stanley
    Sounds like a good choice based on a excellent assessment of requirements and priorities .( As evidenced by staying married for 53 years ...and obtaining approval to spend $50K on your gear .)
    Roger Dunham
    http://rogerdunham.com/
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    Re: What the S? and why I still like it.

    Who needs approval for spending money on a great hobby since we earned the funds in the first place?
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    Re: What the S? and why I still like it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    One more point I would like to add, and I know there are folks where this is not such a problem, but I get tired of systems that require so much money.
    This point resonates with me more and more. I own the S007 plus a bunch of lenses but the cost makes me think twice about leaving it in hotel safes etc. or even taking it with me when traveling. I've just returned from 10 days in the Caribbean with my XPro2 /XT2, each with one lens, and the experience was liberating - the lower weight and the relative lack of worry when using the cameras on the beaches, leaving them in the hotel room etc. Sometimes just not needing to worry about the equipment getting stolen or damaged outweighs the IQ advantage.
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    Re: What the S? and why I still like it.

    Quote Originally Posted by baudolino View Post
    This point resonates with me more and more. I own the S007 plus a bunch of lenses but the cost makes me think twice about leaving it in hotel safes etc. or even taking it with me when traveling. I've just returned from 10 days in the Caribbean with my XPro2 /XT2, each with one lens, and the experience was liberating - the lower weight and the relative lack of worry when using the cameras on the beaches, leaving them in the hotel room etc. Sometimes just not needing to worry about the equipment getting stolen or damaged outweighs the IQ advantage.
    We are so fortunate in this wonderful country of ours to have highly rated insurance companies who are willing to insure our gear for a small fraction of the original cost. The cost is low because most of us value our equipment so much that we are careful as you have been and most of the insurees are honest and don't file false claims.
    The weight of medium format is a trade off one has to consider; but when you view that 100 megapixel image on your monitor, you continue to pay your dues at your local gymnasium
    Stanley

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    Re: What the S? and why I still like it.

    Quote Originally Posted by baudolino View Post
    This point resonates with me more and more. I own the S007 plus a bunch of lenses but the cost makes me think twice about leaving it in hotel safes etc. or even taking it with me when traveling. I've just returned from 10 days in the Caribbean with my XPro2 /XT2, each with one lens, and the experience was liberating - the lower weight and the relative lack of worry when using the cameras on the beaches, leaving them in the hotel room etc. Sometimes just not needing to worry about the equipment getting stolen or damaged outweighs the IQ advantage.
    get an insurance (I did) and it makes you feel better to use your expensive equipment.
    I see no sense in buying expensive things and lieving them at home because one is afraid of damage or thiefs, so insurance helps. (No, I dont sell insurance)

  41. #41
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    Re: What the S? and why I still like it.

    If I was a studio shooter wanting the best glass and the best ergonomics in a 40 megapixel camera- the choice is S - a much better fashion/editorial type camera as far as ergonomics go than teh typical brick format factor from competitors. Teh S could do with maybe more megapixels for the landscape shooters who use it seriously for their work - but I'd argue that there were far better options out there for landscape work. If the S was bought for happy snaps - like I did - i found that the excellent form factor ( better than the other box choices I'd previously been shooting with) was still too large and too heavy for happy snaps and the ISO was limiting compared to pretty much any 35mm type camera out there...

    Unfortunately there have been problems with autofocus in the S lens range - particularly the more expensive leaf shuttered versions - which pretty much destroys the crdiblity of the S system as a 'pro qulaity offer' in exactly the segment of the market this 'pro' camera was designed to make happy.

    The S came out before the Sony A7r11 or the Nikon 810 - or the Canon similars - the megapixel count is against the S and the lens quality is beiong trashed by its poor performance and breakdown issues - whilst repairs take way too long and dont work.

    It is a frustrating situation for all concerned. I reckon Leica will fix the issue and make good - it will just take too long for too many.

    For the new to him or her buyer - the cost of mint S system bodies and lenses in the second hand market is decreasing markedly - a medium term thinker interested in the many positives of the S system (sans issues with autofocus) - would be wise to buy one of these super cheap biodies and maybe a couple of lenses in the second hand market.

    If you are into the S system - I wouldn't sell now and if you are looking for outstanding image quality mated to a couple (or more) magnificent lenses as far as optics go - the S represents great value.

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    Re: What the S? and why I still like it.

    Well I felt that way for a while, ie. Hold on, it will soon be fixed. But one year later and nothing has changed except for hot air and lip service and non action. Personally, I am done with Leica and my action plan is already laid out. Sell it and get out before it's too late and go with a brand that makes decent cameras to begin with and stands behind them with service and support that matches the price and treats their customers who've invested a fortune into their tools appropriately. I have being speaking with a lot of Hasselblad and Phase One users lately, and generally everyone is very happy with long term performance and support. Leica has no real interest in their customer and no system or network is set in place to help them when their dodgy products go wrong except for repairs with an inexcusable waiting list. It is my opinion that people need to stop making excuses for Leica, and until they stop, and start voting with their wallets nothing will ever change. I really don't want to seem overly negative but I've just had it up to my neck with them and I can not bare this expensive frustration any longer. It's got to the stage where everything I liked about it I don't even care about now anyway, there are far better systems out there. I'm out.
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    Re: What the S? and why I still like it.

    Unless Leica shows some kind of immediate care in the fixing of if its issues, and some kind of proof of life for the system beyond lip service, I think it's best just to not go there with the S or cut losses and get out before it's abandoned entirely.

    https://diglloyd.com/blog/2017/20170...lad-Leica.html

    "...I also heard that the Leica S is a basket case. The S line has not done well for Leica (OMG, really??!), and Leica has now tossed it in the lap of Sinar, and told them to use the guts of the S to make a digital back out of it. I have now heard this from three different, independent sources. The previous R&D resources related to the S line has been put on the SL, which is having moderate success. Although not flying off the shelves, itís showing a pulse. So officially, the S system is not dead, but for all practical purposes, it is..."

  44. #44
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    Re: What the S? and why I still like it.

    That statement shows how the internet is a giant echo chamber. Somebody says something, it gets repeated a few other places, and spun a few times, and then it comes back around as confirmation!

    Sinar and the S systems are under the same management now. That was officially announced at Photokina. No need for whispers, there was a press release, interviews, and so on. The product that he "heard from multiple sources" that Sinar was told to develop is called the Sinarback S 35|40. It's on the front page at Sinar.ch, and was also introduced at Photokina.

    So, not exactly a secret. Quite the opposite, as a matter of fact. Leica made a big deal about it.
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    Re: What the S? and why I still like it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernard View Post
    That statement shows how the internet is a giant echo chamber. Somebody says something, it gets repeated a few other places, and spun a few times, and then it comes back around as confirmation!

    Sinar and the S systems are under the same management now. That was officially announced at Photokina. No need for whispers, there was a press release, interviews, and so on. The product that he "heard from multiple sources" that Sinar was told to develop is called the Sinarback S 35|40. It's on the front page at Sinar.ch, and was also introduced at Photokina.

    So, not exactly a secret. Quite the opposite, as a matter of fact. Leica made a big deal about it.
    No, what you say means nothing, you need to read between the lines. Sure, it's common known fact and has been for some time that Leica owns Sinar and Sinar have developed an S based back to work with their systems but it is not common knowledge that Leica have suspended S R+D and it is something many have of us have feared and suspected for some time. Until Leica proves otherwise and deals with this mess I'm assuming this is further evidence of the demise of this system and take it as further warning of it's imminent end, sharing the same fate as the R system which was a very costly exercise for R owners.

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    Re: What the S? and why I still like it.

    DB5,

    It's hard for me to put a lot of faith in "secret insider information" that consists mostly of stuff that was announced at Photokina. The rest is speculation.

    I guess Leica could comment on this, but they would need to double their staffing levels if they were to comment on every Leica rumour on the internet. They did comment on S development at Photokina, and I'm sure the question will be raised again at the M event tomorrow.

    As you know, Leica usually prefers to stay quiet until they have a product to show.

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    Re: What the S? and why I still like it.

    Over the years, I have worked both with Hasselblad and Leica S. The 006 is a great camera. I love the files, the long battery and the action oriented shooting.

    I cannot accept AF issues or bad service. We are in 2017 !

    Therefore, I use only Hasselblad HC lenses (28-50 II-100-210) on my 006 and they work brilliantly. Every day. So, till Leica COMMUNICATES that they have a LT solution for the AF issue, this is my set-up. Worry-free.

  48. #48
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    Re: What the S? and why I still like it.

    Quote Originally Posted by DB5 View Post
    Unless Leica shows some kind of immediate care in the fixing of if its issues, and some kind of proof of life for the system beyond lip service, I think it's best just to not go there with the S or cut losses and get out before it's abandoned entirely.

    https://diglloyd.com/blog/2017/20170...lad-Leica.html

    "...I also heard that the Leica S is a basket case. The S line has not done well for Leica (OMG, really??!), and Leica has now tossed it in the lap of Sinar, and told them to use the guts of the S to make a digital back out of it. I have now heard this from three different, independent sources. The previous R&D resources related to the S line has been put on the SL, which is having moderate success. Although not flying off the shelves, itís showing a pulse. So officially, the S system is not dead, but for all practical purposes, it is..."
    He has never liked the S from the beginning. He claimed AF issues which were not really issues in real world shooting. He ignored to change his mind when Firmware changed it. He is not really using the system himself other than occasional testing. I am not sure he would be the source of information I would want to rely on in regards of the S system.
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  49. #49
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    Re: What the S? and why I still like it.

    Well, I've loved the Leica S from afar ever since I put my eye up to the OVF of a S2 at Imaging USA many years ago.
    Unfortunately (or fortunately) it has just been from afar, but I am getting closer to affording and investing in a medium format system.
    But right now, I really would like to know if Leica has abandoned it much like their R series. If not, what are they doing about a permanent fix for the AF issues? Are they considering working with ProFoto, Elinchrome, and others about TTL compatibility? What, if anything, are they doing about their service woes in North America? Telephoto lenses longer than 180mm? Wide angle tilt-shift options?
    Many questions.
    I really want Leica to succeed. And I'm certain that they understand that professionals (who the camera was designed for), especially on location (also what the camera was designed for), need reliability 100% of the time. No exceptions. Yes, we carry back-ups, but at a wedding or similar event, failure can destroy a hard earned reputation quickly. Especially in this socially connected world. Am I asking for too much? Are my expectations unrealistic?

    -Rick

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    Re: What the S? and why I still like it.

    Quote Originally Posted by rickgrainger View Post
    Well, I've loved the Leica S from afar ever since I put my eye up to the OVF of a S2 at Imaging USA many years ago.
    Unfortunately (or fortunately) it has just been from afar, but I am getting closer to affording and investing in a medium format system.
    But right now, I really would like to know if Leica has abandoned it much like their R series. If not, what are they doing about a permanent fix for the AF issues? Are they considering working with ProFoto, Elinchrome, and others about TTL compatibility? What, if anything, are they doing about their service woes in North America? Telephoto lenses longer than 180mm? Wide angle tilt-shift options?
    Many questions.
    I really want Leica to succeed. And I'm certain that they understand that professionals (who the camera was designed for), especially on location (also what the camera was designed for), need reliability 100% of the time. No exceptions. Yes, we carry back-ups, but at a wedding or similar event, failure can destroy a hard earned reputation quickly. Especially in this socially connected world. Am I asking for too much? Are my expectations unrealistic?

    -Rick
    Hi Rick, being a long time supporter and detractor of the Leica S system, I can share my opinions and information as I know it to be as of now.

    First off, the Leica USA service issues are not exclusive to the S system. They may be more pointed because S repairs like the AF issue have to be sent to Germany which magnifies the slow and increasingly unreliable service here in the US. I do not know if certain services needs for other cameras like the SL or M(240) also have to sent to Germany. Leica instituted a new service system in NJ, and it is a mess right now. Hopefully they will correct it quickly.

    Current information I've been told regarding the S system AF fix is that they are working on it and have solved it for some lenses, with others to come. Other S photographers I know have said they have info that Leica has the solution for all lenses. Regardless of who is correct, it suggests that they are working on it rather than ignoring or abandoning it. If I were getting into the S system now, I'd wait to flesh out a lens system until the permanent solution is confirmed by Leica, and new or used S or CS lenses with the new AF parts are available and confirmed as such.

    There have been unsubstantiated rumors that Leica is considering relegating the S to Sinar ... whatever that means? Sounds unlikely to me, but who knows what the heck is going on at Leica ... the only consistent and clear communication from them is marketing propaganda selling more and more new stuff.

    IMO, it is doubtful (but not impossible) that Leica will work as TTL with strobes. I think it is more up to the strobe companies to implement those protocols, and they tend to stay with the more high-volume manufacturers such as Canon, Nikon, and now Sony. I'm not sure that any MFD offers TTL with strobes, except maybe the new Hasselblad Mirrorless which uses a Nikon TTL protocol hot-shoe. Personally, I've found no need or desire for TTL with strobes but that is a personal bias. The CS lenses for use with Profoto strobes is one reason I got into the S system in the first place.

    Similarily, I would not hold my breath regarding a Leica W/A T/S lens. However, I believe there are T/S solutions via the various adapters available for the S camera. I also wouldn't predict a longer lens anytime soon ... and should one materialize I'd guess it would be so expensive as to cause a major medical event Again, there are solutions via the Leica adapters ... Contax 350APO, 350s in V mount, or Hasselblad HC-300 for example ... BTW, any Hasselblad HC & HCD lens works in focal plane or leaf shutter mode on all the S cameras (which they do not even do on the Hasselblad cameras)

    The Pro level reliability you demand and expect is not unreasonable. As a new system the S was hard pressed on delivering that as it experienced teething pains ... as it matured it now has the AF issue and the pesky CCD sensor corrosion issues plaguing it.

    Despite all that, I've soldiered on with the S because it is my favorite digital kit to date, and I can't afford to just abandon it at a huge loss only to buy something that is more expensive. I had a Contax 645 with a digital back that featured a very frustrating AF system then was abandoned by Kyocera, then a Mamiya645 with a Leaf Aptus back which was very problematic, and a series of Hasselblad H cameras from a H2D/22 to a H4D/60 and most of the lens, which "in general" delivered on the reliability aspect but didn't quite match the image qualitiesI loved from my Leica 35mm cameras ... then came the S and it was all there ... except this on-going horse crap with the AF lenses. Hopefully that'll be resolved and I can get on with it.

    - Marc
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