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Thread: The Leica S2 System and Image Quality

  1. #401
    gdwhalen
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    Re: The Leica S2 System and Image Quality

    I think that market share has always been the black hole of corporate strategy. Profits are what matter, not market share.

    I don't believe Leica is set up for a market share battle from a production standpoint. I think they are designed to make a small quantity of "typically" very good lenses and cameras. Given that situation, they are better off selling high (like Porsche) and simply making money on everything they sell rather than have a loss leader (body) that they sell under cost to introduce their profit center (lenses) into the market when they don't even have the production capabilities to produce 1.1x amount anyway.

    This way they have a manageable production situation and a profitable bottom line. There are plenty of people that will buy into the S2 when it comes out. The real test will be a year down the road. After the camera is out and after the competition has seen the products capabilities. If the competition can't match the quality they will try to lower their prices. If they can match the quality they will introduce better functional capabilities. My issue with Leica has always been the same one. They are too slow to get their products out and by the time they are out (not talking about the M's here as that is a pretty much Leica proprietary market) they are almost obsolete - technically.

  2. #402
    Super Duper
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    Re: The Leica S2 System and Image Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by doug View Post
    Nothing arrogant about it. Different markets.
    Not to mention different creative personalities in general.

  3. #403
    Senior Member GMB's Avatar
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    Re: The Leica S2 System and Image Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    Prints can hide many problems, but that is not a good definition for the quality of a lens. Maybe you don't care, but one lens can still be better than the other in real ways.

    I don't get that. If the final product is the print, and if the print does not show the difference between two lenses, why should one care whether one lens is "better" (in the sense of optical qualities, not handling) than the other? In fact, how do you even want to determine which is "better"?

  4. #404
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    Re: The Leica S2 System and Image Quality

    market share is a loose defintion, the key factor is the definition of market.
    I favor definitions such as
    TAM : total available market
    SAM : served available market (a % of TAM)
    SOM: share of market (a % of SAM)
    If the definition of TAM is digital cameras (excluding industrial and specialty)
    then Leica's SAM might be defined as the sum (with eliminations for overlap) of annual camera purchases by:
    1) Leica brand loyalists with adequate means
    2) That portion of DSLR buyers with adequate means who are dissatisfied with current and anticipated quality of such systems
    3) That portion of MF buyers who are dissatisfied with the handling of their gear
    4) Some portion of those who might be defined as luxury goods buyers
    5) Some portion of those who might be defined as collectors
    6) some segment that I may have omitted.

    It is always a bit dicey to define a new SAM, so it is obvious that the M9 stealth introduction into a known SAM which Leica dominates was a necessary component of the total strategy.

    The S2 is clearly an R&D budget constrained camera, with its choice of sensor. its limited lens line-up, the "commonality" approach to lens design, and its extended development cycle. It is also a "tween" camera, which adds a bit of risk as its space is squeezed by introductions from above and below.

    The gamble Leica is taking is that of its SAM definition, its actual size over time, and whether or not it is capable of achieving adequate SOM of that SAM to reach a revenue level that would make ongoing S2 operations profitable.

    New SAMS are risky and often elusive. I can recall the "mini-super" computer as one example that deluded investors.

    Should Leica have bet that the S2 would sell to the same SAM as say a high end Nikon or Canon, then it might have deluded itself into needing a much larger manufacturing capability and over-invested. The level of automation to reach those quantities, and incidentally its more consistent quality, is probably several times the cost of the actual development cost of the S2 with Leica's manufacturing technology levels. I am familiar with large scale manufacturing technologies and have seen what Nikon can do. It takes a "generational" commitment to achieve. Leica does not have the resources to risk.
    -bob

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    Re: The Leica S2 System and Image Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by tjv View Post
    Something seems amiss. But lets be honest, with MF cameras like this no one ever really used film beyond 800ISO. Well, maybe the occasional doco photographer would, but it seems that's were the current high res 35mm systems deliver now. This is a serious low ISO MF camera built for the studio and location where high detail and precision is the main priority. Not an ISO demon. Still looks like an attractive camera for me but pity I'll never be able to afford it!
    This is where I fall off the choo-choo train.

    The very form of the S2 suggests quickness and more portable functionality. A DSLR on steroids. However, I personally question a "Studio" positioning for the S2.

    The S2 isn't modular ... so practical studio applications are narrowed down quite a bit ... like shooting from ground level with a big, bright waist level finder. Or on a view camera for max DOF and corrections doing table top. Or high up on a shooting stand using live view on the computer screen so assistants can help compose the subject and focus. Unless the layout calls for shooting in the rain, weather proofing isn't a "studio" requirement or commercial location need very often.

    You would have to be a very specialized commercial shooter to make this your go to "studio" system IMO.

    Plus, unlike many on this forum (including me), commercial shooters tend to far more conservative about gear acquisitions then you may think.
    At commercial shoots that I supervised as an ad executive (hundreds of national ads), I almost always had better gear at home then the photographer did.

    Folks like Peter A can get a S2 and use it any way he wants, because he can do it without wiping the bucket of perspiration off his hands at the thought of the price.

    I also think there are some commercial shooters that are prospects for the S2 ... and one of them is Guy. Guy has made no secret of his desire for one high resolution system for his applications.

    I'm a prospect also, not because of ROI for my business ... that would be an immediate NO WAY! NOT IN A MILLION YEARS!

    I'm a prospect because I am at the point in life where I CAN afford to mix business and pleasure. Like the non-sequitur of a $10K M lens for shooting weddings

    -Marc

  6. #406
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: The Leica S2 System and Image Quality

    It really is a camera that fits me well. One reason I want to test it too. But I have a lot of checkmarks to X out before my pocket starts to shake the last bit of dust out of it to get one. It's not so much will it work, i already know it will in a lot of ways. Let's face it a sensor is a sensor is a sensor. Very little difference between them and the lenses will obviously be good. I already know it will most likely be better than my current 31mpx back in SOME ways. I do need a VERY clean ISO 800 and if I can get a clean 1250 and maybe a push to 1600 than it will be equal too or better than my P30+ which is probably the best at high ISO currently. Speed issues are solved it is a faster shooting cam than mine and some of the features are world class in MF land , Like 2 cards to shoot too is more important to me than weather sealing. It rains most likely my shoot is cancelled anyway and same for many Pro shooters, certainly nice to have but not my main purchase decision and let's face it after all these years without weather sealing not much has changed or will it.

    The real question marks and may have nothing whatsoever to do with the hobbyist but everything to do with the Pro. Service , support, long lasting history of this unit. Plus some really important one which gets sidetracked here is the lenses are MADE for this sensor size, what about the future if Leica went bigger am I screwed like the R series and BTW folks that is long dead and gone. Wishing on the stars will never bring that back. IT's OVER

    This is the stuff I need to think about is 2 years down the road what's happening can make this a extremely bad idea and lose my house over it or will the success of it continue and get my money back if I bail on it. As Peter said it is a niche product , I totally agree but question is do Pro's buy niche products or do we stay mainstream with rental houses and market saturation on products like Hassy and Phase which is a totally flooded market with used gear and camera options not to mention lens options. The S2 you immediately paint yourself kneeling in front of the Leica Gods and praying for a different type lens or firmware or accessory that you desperately need and may not come out for a year. Let's be honest Leica is a little slow on product development which is fine they are small and that is okay if you have everything you need but if you need something badly there is no other source. In Hassy and Phase we can cheat around with modular stuff that has been built up over the years to find some solutions. Does Leica intend to make a 1.4 converter, a extension tube, a magnifier eyepiece etc. etc. Now don't get me wrong maybe they will in time. Key word is time and how much sitting on our hands do we wait it out. Admittedly I am waiting for a new Phase body and the new DF is a major welcome to me but does not serve all of my desires either, so some waiting is unfortunate and understandable .

    This is the stuff and I just hit a very small part of it and Marc hit some of them that i have to seriously decide on one way or the other. These are real concerns to working shooters that many folks don't understand. Hell just a replacement tethered cable could be hell to get one. Not saying it can't happen but with a new system like this it is a concern on buying decision. For the hobbyist most of them could give a rats *** about half of this stuff because it will never be a issue. For that I envy them that they can freely walk into a store buy whatever they want with not a care about it. Good for them, bad for guy's like me. As Marc said it is not so much about the ROI i already would lose my shirt on that one with almost any system at least going by a year or two investment, 5 years maybe. LOL

    I think this is part of the battle here some could care less while others their whole existence is based on these type of buying decisions. Than throw the Leica whatever they make has to be great folks in their it all gets so screwed up you can't breath a bad Leica comment. Folks I am a Leica fan boy so I don't even want to hear that denial. But I have to take a much more realistic approach on this more than I did on the DMR and M system. If this is a mistake it is a **** load of money to take a bath on and that is NOT recoverable. The M system will also sell second hand and frankly I did very well their and even the DMR i did okay, what about this 50 K investment is the question mark. Will I recover comfortable in 2 years?

    Obviously i could go on for days on all this but I know for a fact their are guys like me sitting here chewing very heavily on some of these things that some folks have no idea what is going on in our heads from a Pro's seat. Bottom line i can't turn to my other profession and make money, there is none. This is it, end of story roll the casket out the old lady is putting a camera in my box because this is what i do. LOL
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  7. #407
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    Re: The Leica S2 System and Image Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    It really is a camera that fits me well. One reason I want to test it too. But I have a lot of checkmarks to X out before my pocket starts to shake the last bit of dust out of it to get one. It's not so much will it work, i already know it will in a lot of ways. Let's face it a sensor is a sensor is a sensor. Very little difference between them and the lenses will obviously be good. I already know it will most likely be better than my current 31mpx back in SOME ways. I do need a VERY clean ISO 800 and if I can get a clean 1250 and maybe a push to 1600 than it will be equal too or better than my P30+ which is probably the best at high ISO currently. Speed issues are solved it is a faster shooting cam than mine and some of the features are world class in MF land , Like 2 cards to shoot too is more important to me than weather sealing. It rains most likely my shoot is cancelled anyway and same for many Pro shooters, certainly nice to have but not my main purchase decision and let's face it after all these years without weather sealing not much has changed or will it.

    The real question marks and may have nothing whatsoever to do with the hobbyist but everything to do with the Pro. Service , support, long lasting history of this unit. Plus some really important one which gets sidetracked here is the lenses are MADE for this sensor size, what about the future if Leica went bigger am I screwed like the R series and BTW folks that is long dead and gone. Wishing on the stars will never bring that back. IT's OVER

    This is the stuff I need to think about is 2 years down the road what's happening can make this a extremely bad idea and lose my house over it or will the success of it continue and get my money back if I bail on it. As Peter said it is a niche product , I totally agree but question is do Pro's buy niche products or do we stay mainstream with rental houses and market saturation on products like Hassy and Phase which is a totally flooded market with used gear and camera options not to mention lens options. The S2 you immediately paint yourself kneeling in front of the Leica Gods and praying for a different type lens or firmware or accessory that you desperately need and may not come out for a year. Let's be honest Leica is a little slow on product development which is fine they are small and that is okay if you have everything you need but if you need something badly there is no other source. In Hassy and Phase we can cheat around with modular stuff that has been built up over the years to find some solutions. Does Leica intend to make a 1.4 converter, a extension tube, a magnifier eyepiece etc. etc. Now don't get me wrong maybe they will in time. Key word is time and how much sitting on our hands do we wait it out. Admittedly I am waiting for a new Phase body and the new DF is a major welcome to me but does not serve all of my desires either, so some waiting is unfortunate and understandable .

    This is the stuff and I just hit a very small part of it and Marc hit some of them that i have to seriously decide on one way or the other. These are real concerns to working shooters that many folks don't understand. Hell just a replacement tethered cable could be hell to get one. Not saying it can't happen but with a new system like this it is a concern on buying decision. For the hobbyist most of them could give a rats *** about half of this stuff because it will never be a issue. For that I envy them that they can freely walk into a store buy whatever they want with not a care about it. Good for them, bad for guy's like me. As Marc said it is not so much about the ROI i already would lose my shirt on that one with almost any system at least going by a year or two investment, 5 years maybe. LOL

    I think this is part of the battle here some could care less while others their whole existence is based on these type of buying decisions. Than throw the Leica whatever they make has to be great folks in their it all gets so screwed up you can't breath a bad Leica comment. Folks I am a Leica fan boy so I don't even want to hear that denial. But I have to take a much more realistic approach on this more than I did on the DMR and M system. If this is a mistake it is a **** load of money to take a bath on and that is NOT recoverable. The M system will also sell second hand and frankly I did very well their and even the DMR i did okay, what about this 50 K investment is the question mark. Will I recover comfortable in 2 years?

    Obviously i could go on for days on all this but I know for a fact their are guys like me sitting here chewing very heavily on some of these things that some folks have no idea what is going on in our heads from a Pro's seat. Bottom line i can't turn to my other profession and make money, there is none. This is it, end of story roll the casket out the old lady is putting a camera in my box because this is what i do. LOL
    guy,
    i bet you (it is an unfair bet actually....) that you will not get clean 640 iso out of the S2. it will be at least one stop worse than the M9 on a per-pixel noise level.
    I am afraid that this is where MF will remain unless a big player decides to enter and ups the MF sensor technology. until then we shall be stuck with incremental CCD improvements.
    peter

  8. #408
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: The Leica S2 System and Image Quality

    I won't argue that Peter for sure and very aware of CCD technology versus noise. Mainly one reason the P30+ is as good as it is mainly because of C1 and the profiles for the P30+. It is going to be interesting to see how leica attacks this, the M9 looked pretty good when I tested it at just under 1250. How this will translate over to the S2 is something to be seen. Certainly a test Jack and I will do come December 9th between the S2 and the P30+ and P40+.
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  9. #409
    Senior Member vieri's Avatar
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    Re: The Leica S2 System and Image Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    I won't argue that Peter for sure and very aware of CCD technology versus noise. Mainly one reason the P30+ is as good as it is mainly because of C1 and the profiles for the P30+. It is going to be interesting to see how leica attacks this, the M9 looked pretty good when I tested it at just under 1250. How this will translate over to the S2 is something to be seen. Certainly a test Jack and I will do come December 9th between the S2 and the P30+ and P40+.
    Now that (high ISO) is something else already - if MF would be even close to competitive with DSLR on this one, as well as general camera operational speed, I would be as happy as I could be. Would just give up my Nikon gear altogether and stick with DMF only. Thing is, I do lot of low light work (concerts & such) and - though I am still new in the digital MF arena, and haven't tried it yet - I think that I would be in serious troubles trying and using my P1 for that.

    Shot-to-shot speed, while good for people in the studio (barely) and for landscape/product/everything-that-doesn't-move work, is abysmally slow for concert & stage work; shutter lag is even worse... But, if the DF will be good enough there, and the P65+ in high-ISO mode will give me something like good enough ISO 800 and usable ISO 1600 at least, then I would be all set. The jump from the P45+ to the P65+, selling the former and quite a bit of Nikon gear, would be painless enough on the wallet, and I would get the P65+ high resolution mode as well for the studio, for the technical camera, etc.

    Still, my two digital kits (P1 + 28, 80, 150 / D3 + 17-35, 24-70, 70-200) are way more flexible and less expensive together than a S2 kit covering the same focals will be...

    I am with Guy on this one - having to make money with the gear, or to put it better, having to have gear that makes you money, put everything into a very different perspective... wish I was just rich!
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  10. #410
    ddk
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    Re: The Leica S2 System and Image Quality

    Speaking from the hobbyist camp Guy, you'll be surprised how much of what you said is considered in a purchase for me. Currently without a medium wa lens, S2 has only limited appeal for me, I DON'T WANT A ZOOM! The other issue is backup, unlike a modular system that I can easily have more than one body, multiple S2s isn't realistic in my case. 3rd, the lack of dedicated software is a turn off when I see how much I lose with my Leaf, Fuji, Kodak files using ACR, C1, SP or any of the other converters compared to their dedicated software. Of course there's always the issue of what will I get if I want to sell...with 3 Leaf backs, its a harsh reality!

    As far as high ISO goes, I don't see how Leica can do any better than others with the same chip, so I'm not deluding myself there, but the weatherproofing is something that I actually do need.

  11. #411
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: The Leica S2 System and Image Quality

    Thanks David and i may have put the hobbyist in the i don't care or not looking beyond category. Obviously not my intention for sure but more a point of reference. The ISO stuff is going to be interesting and one thing i actually do like is the Sensor Plus stuff but missing on the S2 for now at least. I agree on the raw processing I like C1 and we all know that and my hope is the S2 will work in it, if not that is not going to be easy for me to switch if I decided on the S2.
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    Re: The Leica S2 System and Image Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by vieri View Post

    Still, my two digital kits (P1 + 28, 80, 150 / D3 + 17-35, 24-70, 70-200) are way more flexible and less expensive together than a S2 kit covering the same focals will be...
    I think this is the exact "practical decision point" that most buyers aside from the very affluent will face. Simple fact is that for what a basic three-lens S2 system will cost, one can buy a complete MF system which is more modular than the S2 PLUS a complete DSLR system that is more flexible than the S2 as respects ISO and handling speed.

    OTOH, just like Peter A has been saying, it's about the target market: if you are one of the very affluent, you can own all three (or six, or eight) systems and not care about the costs or even faults, so this is an irrelevant conversation...
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  13. #413
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    Re: The Leica S2 System and Image Quality

    Christopher, it isn't about the red dot, only fools look at that. There are duds in the Leica lineup too. I had the old green-stripe Canon 100mm f/2.8 Macro and it thoroughly failed to impress me. I didn't like the look particularly and there was something about the micro-contrast which I didn't like. Maybe your copy is better. The new could be better, I haven't tested it, but I would be surprised if it is fully, optically as good as the Leica 100mm f/2.8 APO Macro, to be honest. For example, Canons often show CA in certain situations where the Leica just wouldn't.
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    Re: The Leica S2 System and Image Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    I think this is the exact "practical decision point" that most buyers aside from the very affluent will face. Simple fact is that for what a basic three-lens S2 system will cost, one can buy a complete MF system which is more modular than the S2 PLUS a complete DSLR system that is more flexible than the S2 as respects ISO and handling speed.

    OTOH, just like Peter A has been saying, it's about the target market: if you are one of the very affluent, you can own all three (or six, or eight) systems and not care about the costs or even faults, so this is an irrelevant conversation...
    Great point Jack and you know I am fighting this one with a P40+ and spending the 8k or so for that or just go buy a Nikon D700 and a couple lenses for the grunt stuff and higher ISO work. This is a constant head battle for me.

    I know Marc is smiling as he reads this. LOL
    But it is about being smart on your needs but your wants maybe totally different.
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    Re: The Leica S2 System and Image Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by GMB View Post
    I don't get that. If the final product is the print, and if the print does not show the difference between two lenses, why should one care whether one lens is "better" (in the sense of optical qualities, not handling) than the other? In fact, how do you even want to determine which is "better"?
    Well, there are two "ifs" in your statement, so either one of those could swing it. I think it is prudent to 1) know how good your equipment is, even if it goes beyond your current needs, and 2) have a bit in reserve, in case you one day need to do something different, and hit some of the existing problems which previously didn't matter.

    It is like Guy and his P30+. Most of his customers don't need the resolution or DR that an MFDB gives, but he has been bitten in the past, and now he keeps his reserves, just in case.

    My feeling is the same about top equipment. Most people start with equipment with visible limitations, and then gradually move up. At some point, there are no more visible limitations in the current workflow, but the customers might be more demanding in the future. At some point, there is are enough reserves for reasonable scenarios, and that is where I stop. I do not want to have a lens which produces obvious CA, for example, even if I cannot see it in a print. Maybe an order will come through for a print twice as large, and then I need to sit around all night and make that CA go away.
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    Re: The Leica S2 System and Image Quality

    It is like Guy and his P30+. Most of his customers don't need the resolution or DR that an MFDB gives, but he has been bitten in the past, and now he keeps his reserves, just in case.

    Hit the nail on the head Carsten and I have been burned by this. I want the no excuses file. I'm doing it this morning shot a job yesterday that certainly don't need 31 mpx and processing nice decent size jpegs but someday or maybe never get that call, any chance we can put this on the side of a building. No is not a word you want to use with clients. It bugs me to no end to say no.
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    Re: The Leica S2 System and Image Quality

    I have to admit that I have the instincts of a fish in some regards
    I LIKE NEW SHINY THINGS.
    but there are a whole lot of others out there
    There is also the bit about the assimilation time for a new system.
    I might be a slow learner, but it takes me a few months before I really feel comfortable with new gear. What I mean by comfortable is that all settings are set up just right and as shooting conditions change, the necessary changes in camera settings seem to just happen without thought.
    The one system I have owned that required considerably less than "months" was the M8 as far as familiarity, but then "months" changed into "many months" as each lens and camera needed a trip to the repair shop, sometimes more than once before it behaved correctly.
    Part of my reservations about the S2 is linked to this past experience with the M8.
    So in this way (and maybe in one more) I resemble an elephant a bit more than a fish.
    Maybe I am just being unfair, but because of this, I will wait and see how this stuff is in real terms over a few months of real production shipments. My days of being the guinea-pig on Leica gear are over.
    -bob
    Last edited by Bob; 15th November 2009 at 07:56.

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    Re: The Leica S2 System and Image Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by markowich View Post
    guy,
    i bet you (it is an unfair bet actually....) that you will not get clean 640 iso out of the S2. it will be at least one stop worse than the M9 on a per-pixel noise level.
    I am afraid that this is where MF will remain unless a big player decides to enter and ups the MF sensor technology. until then we shall be stuck with incremental CCD improvements.
    peter
    This presupposes that the overriding criteria is some pre-conceived notion of what "clean" is and how important that is to commercial applications.

    My H3D-II/39 does a decent ISO 800, so did the Leaf Aptus 75s ... and what I mean by decent is that print-size to print-size as good as or better than my Canon 1DsMKIII @ 800. For paying work I've used ISO 800 exactly zero times in studio. 90% of the time it's the native ISO 50 used with 4800 w/s of pure, clean repeatable Profoto light. Location work was rarely over that ... maybe ISO 200 or 400 to move up the DOF a bit for some industrial stuff when using my smaller Hensel location lighting kit.

    No question that all these MFD cameras are excellent performers with fat studio strobe lighting and perfect location conditions ... and I'd speculate that 95% of commercial applications are exactly that. It's why there is weather day insurance. I've done some location stuff for a horse back riding rain gear manufacturer, and even they shot during golden hour ... demoing the product by galloping in a river.

    Guy's higher ISO needs aren't all that common because he shoots really diverse stuff ... which is probably why he's still in business unlike a ton of other shooters today ...

    Like Guy, I am interested in what I can do with the S2 out of the studio ... except based on my criteria. It doesn't have to beat a 35mm DSLR on their turf, just be close enough for the way I shoot and my end expectations. In the studio there is no question it'll win compared to my 35mm DSLRs (portraits and group shots etc.) and be just as easy to handle. Which is why I need a "hands on" with it.

    I agree with Guy, the service and follow through is a critical element ... if not THE critical element.

    -Marc

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    Re: The Leica S2 System and Image Quality

    I think that is prudent behaviour in any case, Bob. I would not recommend to anyone that they gamble on the S2. If someone is wealthy and independent enough that it doesn't impact their bottom line or their budget if the S2 is flaky for the first six months, then go for it, but otherwise, wait a little and see how it works out. I do believe that even if there are problems, and I am sure that there will be *something*, in the end Leica will make it right, as they did with the M8. It might take some time though. As it did with the M8.
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    Re: The Leica S2 System and Image Quality

    I guess everyone's high iso needs are different Marc and maybe some of the reasons for preferring certain equipment. While I mostly shoot outside on location and usually have enough lights, depending on the grain pattern of the sensor, I prefer to shoot at higher iso settings, usually at least at 400 and preferably 600, I find camera's base iso results too clean for my tastes most of the time, useable high iso for me simply means pleasant noise pattern with little smearing.

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    Senior Member vieri's Avatar
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    Re: The Leica S2 System and Image Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    I think that is prudent behaviour in any case, Bob. I would not recommend to anyone that they gamble on the S2. If someone is wealthy and independent enough that it doesn't impact their bottom line or their budget if the S2 is flaky for the first six months, then go for it, but otherwise, wait a little and see how it works out. I do believe that even if there are problems, and I am sure that there will be *something*, in the end Leica will make it right, as they did with the M8. It might take some time though. As it did with the M8.
    Very wise position Carsten, agreed 100%.

    As far as the comparison with the M8... good one, hopefully, though, there will not be still unsolved/unsolvable problems after a few years - as it did with the M8
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    Re: The Leica S2 System and Image Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by ddk View Post
    I guess everyone's high iso needs are different Marc and maybe some of the reasons for preferring certain equipment. While I mostly shoot outside on location and usually have enough lights, depending on the grain pattern of the sensor, I prefer to shoot at higher iso settings, usually at least at 400 and preferably 600, I find camera's base iso results too clean for my tastes most of the time, useable high iso for me simply means pleasant noise pattern with little smearing.
    No disagreement there. But with clients multi-tasking every image these days you may be cropping out a 20% of image portion for some applications.

    I want high ISOs as much as the next person ... and I do think a more gritty approach to some stuff is actually desirable.

    The point I was making was that high ISO isn't as in-demand with studio photographers as indicated in some posts here.

    I just don't see this as a very viable "typical" studio machine compared to what's already available. If that were the criteria, I'd go Hassey or Phase.

    I'd like to use the S2 differently ... more a DSLR replacement ... so a bit better ISO performance would be something to check out. NOt anywhere near the DSLRs but better than 200.

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    Re: The Leica S2 System and Image Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    The point I was making was that high ISO isn't as in-demand with studio photographers as indicated in some posts here.

    I just don't see this as a very viable "typical" studio machine compared to what's already available. If that were the criteria, I'd go Hassey or Phase.

    I'd like to use the S2 differently ... more a DSLR replacement ... so a bit better ISO performance would be something to check out. NOt anywhere near the DSLRs but better than 200.
    Agreed, same here...

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    Re: The Leica S2 System and Image Quality

    I think Marc makes a good point and it hits me as well, reason I have the P30+. If the S2 can get a little closer to the Nikon /Canon in regards to ISO it would certainly have more appeal to the 35mm shooter that is more after a quality bump but still maintain some high ISO work. Obviously 1250 maybe the stretch but frankly getting over 800 is pretty damn rare and i shot a lot of the same type of stuff high ISO 35mm shooters do withMF. Obviously some will need higher but a good majority does not and that is a opening for the S2 if it can maintain some high ISO than it is much more appealing to them to move up. The S2 can take over some of that market, obviously many things at play here but this alone will help it. Frankly I think everyone here wants to see it succeed we obviously don't need any more failures in MF but on the same hand the question is to each one of us , How does it fit in with what you do.
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    Re: The Leica S2 System and Image Quality

    all that aside unless one is a devoted red dot fan, the 40k to 50k for an incomplete system is going to be a huge hurdle, even for the very well heeled amateur, specially when there are well proven alternatives...

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    Re: The Leica S2 System and Image Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    I won't argue that Peter for sure and very aware of CCD technology versus noise. Mainly one reason the P30+ is as good as it is mainly because of C1 and the profiles for the P30+. It is going to be interesting to see how leica attacks this, the M9 looked pretty good when I tested it at just under 1250. How this will translate over to the S2 is something to be seen. Certainly a test Jack and I will do come December 9th between the S2 and the P30+ and P40+.
    guy,
    the P30+ has a significantly larger pixel size than the S2.
    this is (mainly) why it does better at higher iso than the other DBs (and the S2), without pixel pinning.
    peter

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    Re: The Leica S2 System and Image Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    No disagreement there. But with clients multi-tasking every image these days you may be cropping out a 20% of image portion for some applications.

    I want high ISOs as much as the next person ... and I do think a more gritty approach to some stuff is actually desirable.

    The point I was making was that high ISO isn't as in-demand with studio photographers as indicated in some posts here.

    I just don't see this as a very viable "typical" studio machine compared to what's already available. If that were the criteria, I'd go Hassey or Phase.

    I'd like to use the S2 differently ... more a DSLR replacement ... so a bit better ISO performance would be something to check out. NOt anywhere near the DSLRs but better than 200.
    you nailed the point: the S2 should have been a DSLR replacement. leave your nikon (canon) at home and take the S2 instead, as a 'one camera do it all'. this would have been its only justification. in the studio there is much better stuff around. but for a DSLR replacement it needs at least good iso 800. and this is precisely where my disappointment comes from, the DNGs that were shown to me in the last days just aren't there at all. and firmware cannot fix it. guy's and jack's tests notwithstanding, the S2 is clinically dead.
    peter

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    Re: The Leica S2 System and Image Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by ddk View Post
    all that aside unless one is a devoted red dot fan, the 40k to 50k for an incomplete system is going to be a huge hurdle, even for the very well heeled amateur, specially when there are well proven alternatives...
    Which alternatives are weather-sealed?

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    Re: The Leica S2 System and Image Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by doug View Post
    Which alternatives are weather-sealed?
    Well, Doug - none, but then again: which S2's back can I use on a technical camera? Or, which S2 offers 50 Mp? 65 Mp? Sensor + technology for high ISO? Auto Focus-&-Recompose as the new Hassy? And so on...

    What I mean is, it doesn't seem fair to me to use as arguments the differences in specifications. No S2 makes espresso either, nor does any of the other DMF... or, to stay in the camera realm: which MF (or S2) shoots faster than a D3? Which reaches longer than Nikon or Canon's tele lenses? And so on, you get my point. All the offers in the MF has their strengths and weaknesses. Saying "well proven alternatives" one means, though I wouldn't put words in someone else's mouth, "alternatives that are on the market for quite some time and are proven to work" versus the S2 which still has to do both (be on the market first, proven to be working second).

    I'd say, let's wait and see...
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    Re: The Leica S2 System and Image Quality

    "Which alternatives are weather-sealed?"

    Well, you could buy a Jeep to shoot from.

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    Re: The Leica S2 System and Image Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by doug View Post
    Which alternatives are weather-sealed?
    Doug, maybe this is another good reason that the S2 camera should be positioned as a leap up from a DSLR. There is an expectation of a pro spec DSLR to be weather sealed because of the way it can, and is, often used.

    As a replacement for a "studio" machine, it's solving problems that rarely exist, while creating ones that don't exist for the existing MFD systems.

    The 35mm DSLR problem that the S2 system does solve is one of a confined sensor space ... where in order to increase resolution, more and more pixels have to be crammed into the same space. A task that the 35mm makers have been doing a decent job with, and are continuing with the strongly rumored impending 34.8 meg sensors ... but it has it's limits.

    BTW, I've unintentionally exposed my Hassey H cameras to a monsoon downpour and driving wet blizzards with no ill effects. Doesn't mean it's weather proof, but it's not sieve either ... the fit of the modular parts feature some pretty tight tolerances.

    -Marc

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    Re: The Leica S2 System and Image Quality

    I don't think too many of future Leica S2 owners will be using they're cameras in bad weather.
    Does it rain much in South of France?

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    Re: The Leica S2 System and Image Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by vieri View Post
    Well, Doug - none, but then again: which S2's back can I use on a technical camera? Or, which S2 offers 50 Mp? 65 Mp? Sensor + technology for high ISO? Auto Focus-&-Recompose as the new Hassy? And so on...
    Sure they each have their strengths and weaknesses. My point is that despite the assertions of some, the Red Dot isn't the S2's only strength. I agree that until people actually start using them it's all hypothetical - but there is no other DMF camera that is weather-sealed, hypothetically or otherwise.

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    Re: The Leica S2 System and Image Quality

    The biggest risk for potential buyers in my mind isnt so much what the S2 can or can't do. These things are trade-offs and can be relatively easilly 'priced' one way or another by each buyer.

    The risk I am finding hard/impossible to price - is Leica - the company itself. I have made up my mind to buy an M9 - when they become abvailable - and even here I am shaking a bit at the company risk or counterparty risk I am buying into.

    The S2 elevates the whole issue of counterparty risk to another dimension.

    So whilst the 'cost' to me isnt any greater than previous escapades and can be offset completely against ridding myself of 80% of what I currently own - what I cant price is Leica's sustainability in the market.

    So for me proving the business model is alive and well is more important than switching costs.

    Hence I wont be an early or even necessarilly mid term adopter.

    For a person earning their living out of this stuff - well in many ways it is a relatively easy decision.Either the gear works in a depreciaiton to nothing timeframe schedule in terms of dollars earned versus costs - or it doesn't.

    Will you make more dollars using the S2 versus using something else - or not? Simple really.

    Unless - you are also a working pro with gear fetishism - well then it is a hard decision -

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    Re: The Leica S2 System and Image Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by vieri View Post
    Well, Doug - none, but then again: which S2's back can I use on a technical camera? Or, which S2 offers 50 Mp? 65 Mp? Sensor + technology for high ISO? Auto Focus-&-Recompose as the new Hassy? And so on...
    Vieri, that wasn't a hypothetical point Doug was trying to make; he is doing wildlife photography in all weather, and weather sealing would allow him to go MF (as long as Leica releases the 350mm on time ).
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    Re: The Leica S2 System and Image Quality

    btw - Bob that was a nice expansion of the significance of a company's key strategic question - namely "what business am I really in - what is my real market and how do I define that market "?.

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    Re: The Leica S2 System and Image Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by markowich View Post
    you nailed the point: the S2 should have been a DSLR replacement. leave your nikon (canon) at home and take the S2 instead, as a 'one camera do it all'. this would have been its only justification. in the studio there is much better stuff around. but for a DSLR replacement it needs at least good iso 800. and this is precisely where my disappointment comes from, the DNGs that were shown to me in the last days just aren't there at all. and firmware cannot fix it. guy's and jack's tests notwithstanding, the S2 is clinically dead.
    peter
    I think you have it wrong, but you won't believe it til you see the files for yourself.. seems you have an axe to grind here and are not being open minded about this camera. maybe when you hear it from jack and guy that this is great camera then you will change your rehashed tune. Maybe you need iso 1600 and above and you base your opinion solely on this, I do not need above 800 so I am free to think this is a killer camera system.

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    Re: The Leica S2 System and Image Quality

    Why is it that people who are critical of the S2 "have an axe to grind," while people who defend it don't? I agree that there isn't enough information available yet to reach an intelligent conclusion about the camera, but I don't see how deciding that it's just great is any more informed that deciding that it's not.

    Obviously, we're all "free to think" whatever we want, but is it really so important what someone else thinks today that each slight needs to be rebutted?

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    Re: The Leica S2 System and Image Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by stephengilbert View Post
    Why is it that people who are critical of the S2 "have an axe to grind," while people who defend it don't? I agree that there isn't enough information available yet to reach an intelligent conclusion about the camera, but I don't see how deciding that it's just great is any more informed that deciding that it's not.

    Obviously, we're all "free to think" whatever we want, but is it really so important what someone else thinks today that each slight needs to be rebutted?
    It just gets tired to hear the same negative comments from the same person, over and over again, without any real basis for the comments. Eg it's already "clinically dead." I'm not well enough informed, eg I haven't shot the camera personally and seen the files I've taken, to be able to give an opinion either way. Enough of that though, it's a dead end discussion.

    Personally, I'm looking forward to seeing real world results from this beast. I don't care about 600+ ISO so much, but I care about using a MF camera in variable conditions as well has hauling it around all day by foot. I'd like a Hassey, but the size and weight are an issue for me, as well as the weather sealing and general handling. I'm probably in the minority here, but, on paper at least, I like what the S2 offers and think it would fit my working style and needs perfectly. (Except I'd prefer a 4x5 ratio chip.)

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    Re: The Leica S2 System and Image Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    btw - Bob that was a nice expansion of the significance of a company's key strategic question - namely "what business am I really in - what is my real market and how do I define that market "?.
    Thanks,
    I think the dead horse we are all beating is the definition of that SAM, whether it is big enough to sustain the S2, whether or not Leica is able to execute, and whether or not the S2 fits and is priced right for that SAM.

    Initial orders are not necessarily a good indication of viability, since to some degree those who will have it at any price and must have it immediately might place a pre-order and the aggregate pre-orders might actually be a whole quarters worth of demand or maybe more. The sustainability part is what happens in the second and third quarters of continuous "on the shelf" availability.
    Some products are of the nature that they have a demand curve that is sharply declining after an initial burst. Space shuttles come to mind as an example. The prudent manufacturer will price his product, if there is fear of it falling in the category, such that break-even or better will be achieved with the initial burst of orders. That leaves the possibility, assuming that manufacturing margins are adequate, that a manufacturer may test market elasticity through future price reductions and promotions. If the initial burst of orders causes the venture to break even, then any margin after that point flows directly to the bottom line.
    -bob

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    Re: The Leica S2 System and Image Quality

    For whatever it's worth, I plan on purchasing an S2 system. God laughs when men make plans, so avoiding WW3, natural disasters or banking crises then my goal is to own an S2 system for it's intended advertising photography purposes. Just wanted to bring this up because the casual surfer might read internet comments and assume that there is no real market for the S2.

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    Re: The Leica S2 System and Image Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike M View Post
    For whatever it's worth, I plan on purchasing an S2 system. God laughs when men make plans, so avoiding WW3, natural disasters or banking crises then my goal is to own an S2 system for it's intended advertising photography purposes. Just wanted to bring this up because the casual surfer might read internet comments and assume that there is no real market for the S2.
    Good for you!
    I am sure there is a market, the question is how large it might be.
    -bob

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    Re: The Leica S2 System and Image Quality

    IMO the S2 is wholly fixable - price it lower. If the S2 and "kit" lens was $16,999, would there be all the hub-bub about Leica entering this segment? Probably not. Another dilemma facing Leica is, what happens in 2-3 years when the S3 is released? Are people who bought the S2 going to be eager to do it again with S3? If the S2 (and hypothetically the S3) was priced more reasonably, then getting on the Leica upgrade train wouldn't be so dreadful.

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    Re: The Leica S2 System and Image Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by paulmoore View Post
    I think you have it wrong, but you won't believe it til you see the files for yourself.. seems you have an axe to grind here and are not being open minded about this camera. maybe when you hear it from jack and guy that this is great camera then you will change your rehashed tune. Maybe you need iso 1600 and above and you base your opinion solely on this, I do not need above 800 so I am free to think this is a killer camera system.
    just to make the point, i was number one on my dealer's S2 list, and got off when i was shown a number of DNGs last week. the only axe i have to grind is that i would have LOVED to buy the S2 system if it had lived up to my expectations.
    one more comment, i own an M9 and 6 M lenses, so i am by no means an enemy of leica. on the contrary.
    peter

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    Re: The Leica S2 System and Image Quality

    If I learned anything during my marketing career, it was that IF a company doesn't clearly position a product the consumer will do it for you ... and you may or may not like what they conclude.

    Much of the back and forth here indicates exactly that. People are trying to place the S2 in their hierarchy of needs.

    Some, like Mike M, are able to do that. I personally think Guy will be able to do that also, but has clear business concerns that need to be addressed. I also think Doug is a prime prospect for this camera if the longer lenses come to fruition ... (if I were a Billionaire, I'd buy the damned thing for Doug as my contribution to the "Arts").

    Others are batting the pros and cons back and forth in an attempt to examine the viability of such a system for their specific needs.

    My perspective is tainted by already owning a system that gets the job done in the studio and on location ... including versatile use on a view camera with lenses that mitigate the S2 lens superiority. Deprecation aside (already done), it is still a daunting prospect to off an existing MFD system with a clear upgrade path for a new one @ these lofty numbers.

    However, when I position the S2 as a long-term replacement for the relentless cycle of 35mm DSLRs with their confined sensor space, it becomes an interesting prospect.

    In an exercise I recently did, I revealed my real shooting habits by studying the exif info from thousands of shots. As opposed to what I think I did, this revealed the truth of how I actually shoot. Overwhelmingly, my ISO were bunched up in the 320 to 800 area ... even with a D700/D3 which is a waste of those camera's best attribute. Add to that many MFD applications at lower ISOs ... I have a clearer picture of my demands from the S2 when I get one to test.

    I really believe that this camera started as an autofocus R needing both a new camera and all new lenses. In studying the 35mm competitive set ... I believe Leica decided to avoid competing there but to leap frog ALL 35mm DSLRs. If you are starting from scratch you have that advantage. Letting people place it in the MFD category helps justify the cost to some degree.

    -Marc

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    Re: The Leica S2 System and Image Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    Good for you!
    I am sure there is a market, the question is how large it might be.
    -bob
    Yes, very true. It's going to take time to see how this all plays out. From my perspective, I see the middle-ground being squeezed out of the professional market. I think that we are going to see lots of serious cost-cutting and bean counting at the low end and lots of excessive luxury at the top. The middle is going to disappear. Where does this leave the S2? Well, if I'm correct, the more relevant question might be to ask where does this leave the S2's competition?

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    Re: The Leica S2 System and Image Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike M View Post
    Yes, very true. It's going to take time to see how this all plays out. From my perspective, I see the middle-ground being squeezed out of the professional market. I think that we are going to see lots of serious cost-cutting and bean counting at the low end and lots of excessive luxury at the top. The middle is going to disappear. Where does this leave the S2? Well, if I'm correct, the more relevant question might be to ask where does this leave the S2's competition?
    I am really unsure about what the S2's competition might be.
    As a dslr kind of thing, will it be high end canikons or as a sort of mf kind of thing, will it be the Phase/Hassy bunch? I suspect that Leica might hope that it will be the high end canikons such that the traditional, and pressured, MF market might just dissapear. I imagine (without data, of course) that the luzury end of the canikon market may be more reachable and larger than the dslr-like mf market. The Leica price point risks creating an umbrella for the Phase/Hassy crew which they are well positioned to exploit.

    There are many cross-over plays here, so although many bets have been made, post time is probably not until 1Q next year.

    I will be sitting in the nose-bleed seats to watch the games LOL.
    -bob

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    Re: The Leica S2 System and Image Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    I am really unsure about what the S2's competition might be.
    As a dslr kind of thing, will it be high end canikons or as a sort of mf kind of thing, will it be the Phase/Hassy bunch? I suspect that Leica might hope that it will be the high end canikons such that the traditional, and pressured, MF market might just dissapear. I imagine (without data, of course) that the luzury end of the canikon market may be more reachable and larger than the dslr-like mf market. The Leica price point risks creating an umbrella for the Phase/Hassy crew which they are well positioned to exploit.

    There are many cross-over plays here, so although many bets have been made, post time is probably not until 1Q next year.

    I will be sitting in the nose-bleed seats to watch the games LOL.
    -bob
    Bet a dollar to a donut that the MFD players will opt out of anything below 40 meg. in the near future.

    There has been no mention at all of a Hasselblad H4D/31 or H4D/39. Just a H4D/50 and H4D/60 ... with the 60 being launched first.

    Rumors of Sony's impending next step touts around 34.8 meg. with 1/12,000th shutter and a true sync speed of 1/1000th. I think the high end of the 35mm DSLR field is about to get ferociously competitive.

    -Marc

  49. #449
    ddk
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    Re: The Leica S2 System and Image Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by doug View Post
    Sure they each have their strengths and weaknesses. My point is that despite the assertions of some, the Red Dot isn't the S2's only strength. I agree that until people actually start using them it's all hypothetical - but there is no other DMF camera that is weather-sealed, hypothetically or otherwise.
    I've used my Leaf backs in hot deserts, in salt flats, on beaches and in a snow storm with a cover. Phase owners even cook theirs in microwaves, its not as if the lack of weather sealing is an insurmountable or constant problem for most.

    The red dot comments aren't derogatory, the Dot has real allure and sex appeal, and at this people have real expectations from it and I'm not sure that they could be met. Let's face it, post DMR, Leica's track record isn't all that clean. M8 was born with genetic issues, and the M9 hasn't hit the ground running either with quality problems and so few cameras...

  50. #450
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    Feb 2009
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    Re: The Leica S2 System and Image Quality

    The S2 is the successor of the S1, not DMR/M8/M9 which are developed & made by Imacon/Jenoptik.

    Phase and Hasselblad will go 40+MP (I don't think we will see anything but P40+/P65+ and H4D-50/60 in the future from them), the trade-off is size and speed.

    @Markowich
    You mentioned you used HC/Fuji-lenses with an P65+ - how did you do that, have you a H1/H2? And yes, I've used these lenses (although with film and a less demanding 39MP-back). They are good >f5.6 but in extreme situations you have to be careful if you really want to achieve significantly more performance than with the <40MP-backs.

    The actual size of the photodiodes of the Kodak/Dalsa-sensors is unknown, theoretically they are about 30% smaller than the previous 6.8m-generation - but most likely the fill-rate has been improved to compensate for that.
    You have an H3DII-50? So you know what to expect, same sensor + 2/3EV-1EV due to microlenses. I never got the chance to handle the 50MP-Hassi for a long time, but 400ASA (640ASA with S2?) looked quite well (and at least as good as 800ASA from DSLRs) from my memory.

    The P65+ is great, I had the chance to use it on an Alpa - but it's entirely different from the S2 and nearly twice as expensive (since everybody complains about the S2-price).
    Last edited by georgl; 16th November 2009 at 07:18.

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