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Thread: S2 Impressions: A year later.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by t_streng View Post
    Marc,
    besides your functional problems, would you mind to comment how you found the files of the S2 to compare to those of the A900?
    Thanks a lot, Tom
    Well Tom, it's hard to say since I only got off a few S2 shots in that light prior to lock-up

    But at full resolution on my 30" screens, the S2 files are beautiful. Lots of subtile detail, superb color separation and amazing clarity. Not unfamiliar traits since I use a MFD for this type of work all the time.

    As many here know, the Sony A900 is a pretty capable camera in terms of IQ, and the files hold their own up to a point. They are a bit more plastic feeling when enlarged, but better than most CMOS cameras IMO. However, this is why I prefer CCD sensor cameras. The Sony has its place because of the ultra fast Zeiss lenses and background Bokeh that produces that 3D feel especially prized in portrait work. The only MFD lenses I've used that do a similar job is the 110/2 FE and HC 100/2.2.

    Unfortunately, I never got the S180 out of the bag to see how that would compare to the Sony 135/1.8 in terms of image rendering. That would have been very interesting given the ideal lighting and ability to place the subjects with very interesting background elements far enough away to evaluate bokeh and 3D qualities.

    Frankly, if the A900 was pretty close, I wouldn't even have considered the S2 ... but it's not close any more than it is close to my H4D/40. However, as stated, it does have its own charms for certain work ... and for IQ is the best 35mm AF DSLR with a range of versatile lenses out there IMO. However, for 35mm work, I prefer the Leica M9 files over the Sony by a good margin ... which incidentally uses a CCD sensor

    -Marc

    Another Sony A900 shot: ISO 320, ZA85/1.4 @ f/1.6 ... again pretty much as out of the camera for proofing review before any retouching. Pissed me off because this is also where I wanted to try the S35 for an alternative dramatic perspective, with the arcade column architecture more in focus.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Actually Marc the Sony 900 held the highlights very nicely here.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Actually Marc the Sony 900 held the highlights very nicely here.
    Yeah Guy, the fairly wide midtone response of the Sony is part of it's magic I think. You can hold the highlights without muddying up the midtones too much.

    At first I had a hard time with B&W conversions being to flat for that reason, but have since worked some plug-ins to mitigate that.

    Marc

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    I have a gig in two weeks in LA the runway stuff again under tungsten and planning on the A850 so it will get a good run to see how it does under stage lighting. Highlights get blown easily so see how it does. Here is where the S2 would have fit in for me but not sure it could handle the load and ISO as well. Plus i have to process on demand 100's of images to go up in hours not days. Pushing big files is not something I am after as well.
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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    I have a gig in two weeks in LA the runway stuff again under tungsten and planning on the A850 so it will get a good run to see how it does under stage lighting. Highlights get blown easily so see how it does.
    Guy, be sure to set manual WB ... the AWB and even Tungsten settings leave a bit to be desired ... then when you CC it, the exposures aren't so on any more.

    If using flash (?), read up on how to assign flash comp to the C button on the back ... very fast for riding the comp.

    -Marc

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Actually no flash and was going to set it for 3400 or 3200 . I will do a quick test and nail it before I run with it. I can always do a select all in C1 after WB in the program and apply to all at once as well. So i have some options but on this gig rather nail it to start since it is a truck load to deal with.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    So a year later and the S2 is still ranked beneath the Sony as a DSLR form-factor camera... I don't think that bodes well for the longevity of the S2.
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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Another Sony A900 shot: ISO 320, ZA85/1.4 @ f/1.6 ... again pretty much as out of the camera for proofing review before any retouching. Pissed me off because this is also where I wanted to try the S35 for an alternative dramatic perspective, with the arcade column architecture more in focus.
    You're not using Capture One's Chromatic Aberration Removal or Skin Tone Consistency as part of your Import Base Style are you :-P.

    I HATE chromatic aberration! Pet peeve of mine along with nearly-level horizons.

    I'm sure the client never notices, but I just can't stand it! Get it all the time with my Canon 85mm/1.2. Thank goodness for C1!

    Great shot by the way!

    My New Years resolution is to get you to switch to C1 for raw processing. Not the whole world - just you :-).

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpetersonci View Post
    You're not using Capture One's Chromatic Aberration Removal or Skin Tone Consistency as part of your Import Base Style are you :-P.

    I HATE chromatic aberration! Pet peeve of mine along with nearly-level horizons.

    I'm sure the client never notices, but I just can't stand it! Get it all the time with my Canon 85mm/1.2. Thank goodness for C1!

    Great shot by the way!

    My New Years resolution is to get you to switch to C1 for raw processing. Not the whole world - just you :-).

    Good luck been trying for awhile now. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    So a year later and the S2 is still ranked beneath the Sony as a DSLR form-factor camera... I don't think that bodes well for the longevity of the S2.
    The Sony form factor is what i really like. The controls are so shooter friendly. Honestly better than any Nikon/Canon I ever had and even better than my beloved DMR. That's saying a lot for me. The S2 I did not like the grip at the bottom was way to wide and put too much pressure on ring and pinky fingers. The S2 was nice but in all honesty I like the Sony ergos much better for this style. But we all have different ergo preferences.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpetersonci View Post
    You're not using Capture One's Chromatic Aberration Removal or Skin Tone Consistency as part of your Import Base Style are you :-P.

    I HATE chromatic aberration! Pet peeve of mine along with nearly-level horizons.

    I'm sure the client never notices, but I just can't stand it! Get it all the time with my Canon 85mm/1.2. Thank goodness for C1!

    Great shot by the way!

    My New Years resolution is to get you to switch to C1 for raw processing. Not the whole world - just you :-).


    No, sorry to say that for proofing I just use Lightroom because of the swift access to tools without moving to PS. At 3:30PM I loaded 150 shots to get to proof level and onto a DVD and pulled three sample prints by 5PM to take to the couple's engagement party ... where I continued shooting.

    But ... you never know what the new year will bring ... I do have C1 Pro on my machine

    Thanks,

    Marc

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    The Sony form factor is what i really like. The controls are so shooter friendly. Honestly better than any Nikon/Canon I ever had and even better than my beloved DMR. That's saying a lot for me. The S2 I did not like the grip at the bottom was way to wide and put too much pressure on ring and pinky fingers. The S2 was nice but in all honesty I like the Sony ergos much better for this style. But we all have different ergo preferences.
    I would have had to change how I handled the S2 ... I kept accidentally pressing the selector buttons on the back. I put a hand strap on the S2 and that part worked great as I tend to walk about with camera hanging at arms length at my side. Without the hand strap that would be pretty tiring since the grip is chunky.

    -Marc

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    No, sorry to say that for proofing I just use Lightroom because of the swift access to tools without moving to PS. At 3:30PM I loaded 150 shots to get to proof level and onto a DVD and pulled three sample prints by 5PM to take to the couple's engagement party ... where I continued shooting.

    But ... you never know what the new year will bring ... I do have C1 Pro on my machine
    Prior to version 6 I would have agreed that was the best way forward since often the ability to, for instance, print without having to process and open in Photoshop is more important than the nuances like chromatic aberration, color, etc.

    Now that version 6 has local adjustments, printing, and many other new features I'd say your as good off or better for speed and the image quality advantages are many especially when it comes to super fast (i.e. zero work once set up), but still very good skin tone consistency even for your slightly purple clients or cold days with purple noses :-). Just Import With our Style called Skin-StrongAntiRudolph and viola.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Thank you Marc!
    I have to admit that I am still attracted by the S2 even though I fully understand your decission.
    The idea of a near MF IQ package in a DSLR form factor and weather proof is appealing.
    Happy New Year to verybody!
    Tom

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Also still very attracted by the S2, but I am curious to not again run into similar issues which come now to my mind from my M8 times ....

    Will have another look in a few months from now, maybe it will be ready then?

    A Happy New Year to all of you!

    Peter

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    The question "besides your functional problems, would you mind to comment how you found the files of the S2 to compare to those of the A90," reminded me of the bad joke, "Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?"

    I wonder whether part of Leica's problems is caused by the many people who seem to continue to look for a reason to ignore them? If the camera doesn't work, its ergonomics are irrelevant.

    And the fact that it sometimes works, or has worked for some people, doesn't seem to mean much to those who have to rely on it for work. When I had to send my M8 to New Jersey to get it repaired, I could still earn a living. If Marc's or Guy's camera fails, that's a different story.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    All the best to 2011..

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by stephengilbert View Post
    If Marc's or Guy's camera fails, that's a different story.
    Indeed... and that's a major difference between amateurs and pros. Pros need backup bodies and access to rental pools which, due to cost and newness, puts Leica at a disadvantage relative to more mature and less expensive systems. I don't put anywhere near the mileage on my systems as a pro but the only camera that has failed me has been the DMR and it took quite a while to get repaired. I suspect I will be without my S2 for some time when I send it in for replacement of the top screen and, while I'm not looking forward to it, it won't be costing me any lost revenue.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Marc, did you try to troubleshoot the S2 problem after your shoot? I understand if you didn't bother to invest any more time in the S2. However, it would be nice to know if you were able to find a cause for the problem you experience (e.g., focus mode, bad card, bad battery, bad camera). I ask to because it would be nice to know what to watch for or avoid with my own S2.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    So a year later and the S2 is still ranked beneath the Sony as a DSLR form-factor camera... I don't think that bodes well for the longevity of the S2.
    Hmmmm .... just a fool biting his tongue.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    So a year later and the S2 is still ranked beneath the Sony as a DSLR form-factor camera... I don't think that bodes well for the longevity of the S2.
    Oh, I wouldn't say that. The S2 is more than any 35mm DSLR ... it just needs to mature and become a steady eddie ... or needs to reach a person far luckier than I

    I hate to send it back ... but trust is the number one necessary attribute of gear for me.

    -Marc

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Gowin View Post
    Marc, did you try to troubleshoot the S2 problem after your shoot? I understand if you didn't bother to invest any more time in the S2. However, it would be nice to know if you were able to find a cause for the problem you experience (e.g., focus mode, bad card, bad battery, bad camera). I ask to because it would be nice to know what to watch for or avoid with my own S2.
    Hi Mark,

    Someone suggested it may be the battery ... and I did note that each time it failed it was in 20 cold. So I put the other battery in the camera knowing the one that was in it was installed when the camera failed ... and then put the camera out in my car to get cold with the other battery installed ... unfortunately the temps here rose to 45.

    It's not the CF card. I used a different reformatted 16 gig San Disk Extreme IV card for the more recent Ann Arbor shoot.

    Not sure what you mean by focus mode. Not sure why it would have anything to do with focus. I was using the shutter button in one smooth press ... just like any camera. Worked that way for a week, and then it didn't.

    When it locked up, I turned the camera off and removed the battery, reinstalled it and turned the camera back on and the shutter button was still locked up.

    One other separate issue I haven't mentioned: ... when I installed a CF and SDHC of the same capacity, and set the camera to "Parallel", it recognized two cards and let me format both, but never recorded to the SD card.

    -Marc

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by David K View Post
    Indeed... and that's a major difference between amateurs and pros. Pros need backup bodies and access to rental pools which, due to cost and newness, puts Leica at a disadvantage relative to more mature and less expensive systems. I don't put anywhere near the mileage on my systems as a pro but the only camera that has failed me has been the DMR and it took quite a while to get repaired. I suspect I will be without my S2 for some time when I send it in for replacement of the top screen and, while I'm not looking forward to it, it won't be costing me any lost revenue.
    With all due respect, the line you draw between pros and amateurs in terms of the need for reliability is very misguided. A pro typically shoots with backup solutions at hand, and in major cities has easy access to rental pools with similar equipment. There are many serious "amateurs" who travel to remote locations at great expense to take photographs, and the failure of their camera equipment can ruin the trip. I know this from multiple, personal experiences. The reliability of all of this mfd equipment is the elephant in the room that too many people ignore at their peril. Reading about the issues with the S2, I would not go near that camera with a 10 foot pole unless I could afford three of them.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by hcubell View Post
    There are many serious "amateurs" who travel to remote locations at great expense to take photographs, and the failure of their camera equipment can ruin the trip. I know this from multiple, personal experiences.
    I couldn't agree more. I NEVER do those types of trip without a backup and twice this year all of the extra weight and inconvenience of a backup has paid for itself. In September I killed my Leaf (my fault) but had a D3x system with me and so could carry on shooting for the next two weeks 1000's of miles from home and then in October I had a D3 & 70-200VR fall off a land rover while in the bush on safari in Africa - it survived - but I had a D3s and other glass so had it been compromised I was still able to keep shooting. Now I'm paranoid about this so now I have my repaired Leaf as a backup to my P40+ plus I have my Phase One DF system to back up the Alpa. Overkill? Possibly but not compared to the gut wrenching feeling of having a great photo opportunity somewhere special and nothing to shoot it with.

    I can totally relate to Marc's feeling when the S2 let him down right at the most crucial moment, not once but 3x. That's normally any sane person's strike point too for any work tool, business relationship or even personal equipment.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    ...Not sure what you mean by focus mode. Not sure why it would have anything to do with focus. I was using the shutter button in one smooth press ... just like any camera. Worked that way for a week, and then it didn't...
    Per the S2 manual page 37 for AFs focus mode - "Before the focus is set, the shutter cannot be released even by pressing the shutter release button all the way down." So if you were using AFs focus mode, then the camera may have been behaving exactly as designed. The shutter will not fire until focus is locked.

    In AFc mode you can release the shutter at any time even if none of the subject is in focus.

    Just for the heck of it, I tested both AFs and AFc modes on my S2 to see how it behaves.

    AFs and shutter button - I manually de-focused the lens and quickly pressed the shutter button all the way down. The shutter did not release immediately. There was considerable delay before the shutter fired. It was like the camera wanted to fire, but realized the image was not in focus, then it focused and fired. I say it like this because there was a delay from pressing the button fully and autofocus starting. In AFs, if you press the shutter button part-way the autofocus locks, then you press the button further to release the shutter. If you bypass the half (third) press, then it seems to take longer to get the shutter to fire.

    AFc and shutter button - I manually de-focused the lens and quickly pressed the shutter button all the way down. The shutter immediately fired and I got an out of focus image. The proper method is similar to AFs except in AFc the focus is continuously adjusted as long as the button is in mid position.

    I use the MF focus mode which lets me assign AFc focus mode to the rear thumb button. I find it much easier to control autofocus using the rear button. In my opinion it is tricky to control the autofocus using the shutter release button because there are three pressure points in the button. More importantly I prefer to have AF lock and AE lock on separate buttons. In my set up, I have AF/AF lock on the rear button and AE/AE lock on the shutter button.

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    ...One other separate issue I haven't mentioned: ... when I installed a CF and SDHC of the same capacity, and set the camera to "Parallel", it recognized two cards and let me format both, but never recorded to the SD card. ...
    This is a major wtf and one I discovered early on. For whatever reason (perhaps file size), the S2 will not simultaneously write DNG files to both CF and SD cards. Currently, the only time the S2 will write files to both cards simultaneously is when DNG+jpeg is selected. The DNGs will write to the CF card and JPEGs will write to the SD card.

    In my opinion this is a major lapse in Leica's S2 firmware design and one that I expected to have been corrected by now. The benefit of having dual card slots is so that back-up files can be written to a separate card. It's not possible in the S2 unless you count a JPEG as a backup. Surely, this will be corrected soon now that compressed DNGs are available.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by stephengilbert View Post
    The question "besides your functional problems, would you mind to comment how you found the files of the S2 to compare to those of the A90," reminded me of the bad joke, "Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?"

    I wonder whether part of Leica's problems is caused by the many people who seem to continue to look for a reason to ignore them? If the camera doesn't work, its ergonomics are irrelevant.

    And the fact that it sometimes works, or has worked for some people, doesn't seem to mean much to those who have to rely on it for work. When I had to send my M8 to New Jersey to get it repaired, I could still earn a living. If Marc's or Guy's camera fails, that's a different story.
    Stephen,
    while some equipment may cause more problems than other statistcly there is NO equipment which is 100% reliable.
    2 years ago I brought a D3x and a 24-70/2.8 on a mountain and the lens got stuck. Does this mean I should not call the D3x and the 24-70 professional equipment any more?
    I have used a M8 for years without problems giving me great IQ while others still call this camera flawed.
    I am not ignoring the problems posted here. But I also do not ignore posts (and also people I talked to in person) who do use a S2 and are happy with it.

    I guess one would eventually need more patience and time to get a good sample of an S2 compared to other cameras. But it could be very well worth it since it would offer some factors which could make me use it more often than I use my Hy6 gear.

    For comparison - my brand new 50asph had to be sent to Leica for calibration. I could have said no way - bad quality control I dont buy that product/give it back. But they fixed it and this lens is just great.

    Regarding the S2 (and other cameras as well) I think one has to find out:
    a) is a problem a design failure and just doesnt work right or
    b) is a a quality control problem which can be sorted out (with some patience)
    c) am I willing to and do I have the time and patience to sort problems out

    regarding c) it also makes a big difference if you are Pro or not and if you live not far away from Leica

    Regarding the S2 (and Leica in general) I think its still a great company, they are innovative. I think anybody who expects the S2 as a totally new product line to not have any issues in the beginning would be a dreamer.
    If thesre are issues which can be sorted out than we should not oversee the potential of the system/idea.

    I can get a defective shutter release (or software) to be repaired (I guess), but I can not make an "unprotected" camera weather proof, or make a big camera small, or make a small display big, or make a not so great damped body better damped.

    I try to read and learn here not only about the problems of gear but also about the chances and positive factors.
    Last edited by Paratom; 1st January 2011 at 03:44.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Wonderful, the S2 has potential. Perhaps. And will it still be a competitive product when its potential is realized?

    If a car was beautiful, and "ergonomic," and handled well, but was unreliable and very expensive, would you buy one to use for daily driving or a long trip?

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by stephengilbert View Post
    Wonderful, the S2 has potential. Perhaps. And will it still be a competitive product when its potential is realized?

    If a car was beautiful, and "ergonomic," and handled well, but was unreliable and very expensive, would you buy one to use for daily driving or a long trip?
    Stephen,
    I have not yet made my own conclusion on the S2. Is it less reliable than other MF cameras? If yes-by how much?
    How representative are things you read in the internet?
    Would you rather buy a car (or camera) which is a little more reliable but doesnt fit your needs?
    Are you willing to accept somewhat more problems in the beginning if something on the other side fits you very well (again: I do not know yet if the S2 would fit me well).
    Do you trust a company that they will support you and fix things if they dont work? (Sent my M9 with 4 lenses in, got it calibrated in 2 weeks and all works very precise now) HEre I think Leica is highly motivated to fix things.

    By the way - if nobody would have driven the first car even though it was not that reliable we still would ride on horses or maybe even walk on four legs ourselfes (more reliable than walking on 2 feet in the beginning)

    I would have decided as Marc but what if someone would testdrive a S2 and it just worked without any problems.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by dfarkas View Post
    Marc,

    I'm very sorry you experienced problems with your S2 adventure.

    The cracked sensor glass was a known issue about 6 months ago and affected M9s as well (actually much more so). The cause was a defective batch of sensor cover glass pieces being produced by Kodak. They would be fine upon installation and testing in Solms, then crack later following shipment or even a few weeks after normal use. Once Leica discovered the problem, they ceased production of both S2 and M9 while they worked through the issue with Kodak. When Kodak fixed the problem and started producing a new batch of sensors, production of cameras commenced. Any new camera shipped within the last several months should not have this problem. Perhaps the camera you first received was an off-demo or was sitting in inventory for a while.

    As far as the lock-up problem, we haven't seen this with cameras we've delivered to customers. As Mark Gowin mentioned previously in this thread, he experienced something similar (but different in behavior). We quickly narrowed it down to a bad battery cell and, once replaced, all has been fine.

    When we were giving a group demo at a college a few months ago, some photo students using their own cards experienced problems. These were the result of using very old and/or very cheap CF cards, all of which were non-UDMA. We put in our UDMA6 Transcend cards and all was good again. On the last shoot we did with Ocean Drive, the camera did become unresponsive after shooting a continuous burst of about 100 shots (over the course of 2 minutes or so). The CF access light was lit, but the shutter was frozen. I pulled the battery and reinserted it. Boot-up time on the S2 is 1/3 of a second. After that the camera was fine for the rest of the day (1200 images were taken). We'll call it a sub-1 second fix. I reported the incident to Germany but it is very tough to repeat those exact conditions.

    So, like Mark, I'd be curious about the battery and for myself, what memory card you were using (and if you tried various CF cards).

    Often, it is small things that are easy to fix that appear to be larger, more catastrophic issues. Certainly, when you are in the moment, you want to have confidence in your chosen camera system and any problem, no matter how easy to fix, seems like a major one.

    I'm happy to help troubleshoot further if you want. Sorry again the S2 didn't work out for you.

    David
    Thank you David, appreciate your input.

    I did change out CF cards prior to the second lock-up incident. Both were 16 gig SanDisk Extreme IV UDMA CFs. Not the latest thing, but not old either.

    I did try "rebooting" the camera by removing the battery with no joy.

    As mentioned in another post later, I was going to try to sort out the battery possibility by isolating the one that was in the camera when it locked up, and then using a new one right out of the box that I have. Unfortunately, I can't replicate the shooting conditions because the weather warmed up to 45. Both incidences of lock-up occurred in 20 temperatures.

    It is supposed to get down to 25 tomorrow, and if it does I'll give it a go, since inquiring minds want to know. I don't have to ship it back until next week.

    -Marc

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by stephengilbert View Post
    If a car was beautiful, and "ergonomic," and handled well, but was unreliable and very expensive, would you buy one to use for daily driving or a long trip?
    The answer is yes, a lot of people do... and they're called Jaguars I think you'd need a lot more information than we have available here to label the S2 as unreliable. Unless it's a systemic problem... and it doesn't appear that it is, I think the most you can fairly say is that the camera Marc has is unreliable.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Gowin View Post
    Per the S2 manual page 37 for AFs focus mode - "Before the focus is set, the shutter cannot be released even by pressing the shutter release button all the way down." So if you were using AFs focus mode, then the camera may have been behaving exactly as designed. The shutter will not fire until focus is locked.

    In AFc mode you can release the shutter at any time even if none of the subject is in focus.

    Just for the heck of it, I tested both AFs and AFc modes on my S2 to see how it behaves.

    AFs and shutter button - I manually de-focused the lens and quickly pressed the shutter button all the way down. The shutter did not release immediately. There was considerable delay before the shutter fired. It was like the camera wanted to fire, but realized the image was not in focus, then it focused and fired. I say it like this because there was a delay from pressing the button fully and autofocus starting. In AFs, if you press the shutter button part-way the autofocus locks, then you press the button further to release the shutter. If you bypass the half (third) press, then it seems to take longer to get the shutter to fire.

    AFc and shutter button - I manually de-focused the lens and quickly pressed the shutter button all the way down. The shutter immediately fired and I got an out of focus image. The proper method is similar to AFs except in AFc the focus is continuously adjusted as long as the button is in mid position.

    I use the MF focus mode which lets me assign AFc focus mode to the rear thumb button. I find it much easier to control autofocus using the rear button. In my opinion it is tricky to control the autofocus using the shutter release button because there are three pressure points in the button. More importantly I prefer to have AF lock and AE lock on separate buttons. In my set up, I have AF/AF lock on the rear button and AE/AE lock on the shutter button.



    This is a major wtf and one I discovered early on. For whatever reason (perhaps file size), the S2 will not simultaneously write DNG files to both CF and SD cards. Currently, the only time the S2 will write files to both cards simultaneously is when DNG+jpeg is selected. The DNGs will write to the CF card and JPEGs will write to the SD card.

    In my opinion this is a major lapse in Leica's S2 firmware design and one that I expected to have been corrected by now. The benefit of having dual card slots is so that back-up files can be written to a separate card. It's not possible in the S2 unless you count a JPEG as a backup. Surely, this will be corrected soon now that compressed DNGs are available.
    Thanks for the tutorial on AF Mark That is no different from any AF camera when set to AFs ... won't shoot until focus is acquired. When I say one smooth push of the shutter button, it means the previous shot was already in focus and the AF has little to do to re-achieve focus again ... trust me, that isn't it. The camera locked up so no AF could be performed at all ... as in no play in the shutter button what-so-ever. It persisted even after the camera was shut off, and the battery removed and reinstalled. Didn't have time to go through a laundry list of other attempts to unlock the camera ... I was shooting.

    If it isn't the battery, then it's a defective camera since it's done it with different lenses.

    I hope you are correct that new firmware will allow dual RAW files be parallel saved as insurance against card failure or user error down-loading ... that is one of the more important features of this camera compared to Phase and Hassey. But, saving jpgs is useless IMO ... although for the time being would be better than nothing I guess.

    -Marc

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    At the beach on Lake Michigan this afternoon for the annual polar bear plunge. Two hours outside in 15 degree fahrenheit weather with 35mph winds. Battery on the S2 still at full charge. Frozen fingers, but not crazy enough to jump in the lake.






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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by KurtKamka View Post
    At the beach on Lake Michigan this afternoon for the annual polar bear plunge. Two hours outside in 15 degree fahrenheit weather with 35mph winds. Battery on the S2 still at full charge. Frozen fingers, but not crazy enough to jump in the lake.





    This is an important post for me because it confirms that it isn't some odd cold weather safeguard or something related to sub-freezing temps that locked up the camera.

    I'm still trying to figure out the issue ... now more out of curiosity than as a purchase consideration.

    Thanks Kurt,

    -Marc

    P.S., what a bunch of nut jobs ... brrrrrrr.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    There beyond nuts. Didn't they ever hear of shrinkage.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    There beyond nuts. Didn't they ever hear of shrinkage. :
    So are the guys on this forum--only they experience shrinkage of a different sort: bank account. I know what I prefer

    Happy New Year to all of you! May things grown not shrink!

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Well, I'm $40K plump as of today

    Last ditch effort to see if the lock-up was the battery. Brand new battery, charged to 100%, 24 outside, took 3 shots and it locked up tight.

    Waited, turned off the camera, removed battery, but this time changed lenses to the 180 ... shot for about 6 shots to lock-up. Shut down camera, waited, turned on camera and it started AF on its own then fired and locked up again.

    Bye, Bye.

    -Marc

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Marc,
    sorry your S2 adventure has to end this way. IMO you did everything that could reasonably be expected from a working photographer with lots of responsibilities to his customers and his own wallet. Many thanks for so openly sharing your experiences of the last two weeks.

    Too bad for the S2 that the story in this case evolved like it did because I think a more positive outcome would very likely have helped the system forward. Last year I've found links to your Photo.net wedding-A900 article on various European photo sites and fora and people speak very highly of your insight. I think that ever since you published this article quite a few people have decided to go for the Sony. I'm sure that if the S2 had worked for you, this could have had a simular positive effect for the Leica.
    Anyway, thanks again for sharing and best wishes for you and all readers for 2011.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Well, I'm $40K plump as of today

    Last ditch effort to see if the lock-up was the battery. Brand new battery, charged to 100%, 24 outside, took 3 shots and it locked up tight.

    Waited, turned off the camera, removed battery, but this time changed lenses to the 180 ... shot for about 6 shots to lock-up. Shut down camera, waited, turned on camera and it started AF on its own then fired and locked up again.

    Bye, Bye.

    -Marc
    Marc
    I see the Bye Bye at the end, but surly there is something very wrong with this body, maybe 3rd time is the charm?
    Rather unbelievable though
    Thank you for sharing your experience with us.
    am

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Well, I'm $40K plump as of today

    Last ditch effort to see if the lock-up was the battery. Brand new battery, charged to 100%, 24 outside, took 3 shots and it locked up tight.

    Waited, turned off the camera, removed battery, but this time changed lenses to the 180 ... shot for about 6 shots to lock-up. Shut down camera, waited, turned on camera and it started AF on its own then fired and locked up again.

    Bye, Bye.

    -Marc
    Sad. Brand new cam too. No further comments needed from me.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by peterv View Post
    I think that ever since you published this article quite a few people have decided to go for the Sony. I'm sure that if the S2 had worked for you, this could have had a simular positive effect for the Leica.
    So true,

    I have been hoping that magic might have found a place for the S2 with new firmware and upgrades to the system....while I am not a professional photographer I am very suspect of poor QC for products that I use in any sphere. Especially when the entry is so high.

    I would love for the S2 to have been a star as its form is compelling...

    As for now I am holding on to my H3D II 39 waiting to see how the H4D 60 performs...Woody Campbell's posts are enticing.

    Marc, the difficulty is that you have unlimited choices...finding the right mix takes an honest assessment of need and desire. Whether Dalsa at 60 or 50 MS seems to be the question. I assume that your 39 MS will provide adequate resolution for the obligate professional shots allowing you freedom to explore personal and artistic venues with the new 60.

    Thanks for allowing us to ride along while you make this decision.

    Regards,

    Bob

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    I need to clarify something.

    This is a TERRIFIC camera ... a one of a kind.

    There are a number of professional shooters that have had no issues like lock up and all that. That is one reason I looked at it again.

    The other reason was that the image qualities I expected from Leica were starting to shine through. That is enticing in its own right.

    However, sometimes luck just doesn't go your way ... as I said earlier ... it happens. One needs to recognize a streak of bad luck and back off, (Heck, maybe I was fortunate that the H4D/60 didn't get delivered last week )

    If you want one of your cameras to fail just send it to me while this cloud is over my head

    And people ask me why I have so many cameras ...

    IMO, anyone that likes this camera, feels it fits their specific needs more than anything else, and has a good dealer should go for it ... I think I sucked up
    all the bad luck for awhile so it should be smooth sailing ...

    -Marc

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    I have been following this S2 thread and don't recall that at any point have you tried different memory cards... not sure that this was mentioned. Different maker, different speed class. Could be two bad cards, counterfeit cards? Camera should display some kind of memory error regardless.
    George T. Griswold, Jr.
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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    [B][SIZE="2"]
    This is a TERRIFIC camera ... a one of a kind.
    I must have missed something?

    Bob

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by docmoore View Post
    I must have missed something?

    Bob
    Read the whole thread Bob ... I was inches from paying for it ... then it locked up on me ... and repeatedly did so.

    It handles like a dream, and the lenses are great. I suggested a few tweaks I like to see.

    I've had bad luck before ... and will again. I just know when to back off.

    Best wishes to those with working S2s ... it's a lot of fun to shoot with.

    Just not for me right now.

    -Marc

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by ggriswold View Post
    I have been following this S2 thread and don't recall that at any point have you tried different memory cards... not sure that this was mentioned. Different maker, different speed class. Could be two bad cards, counterfeit cards? Camera should display some kind of memory error regardless.
    Thanks for the idea, but I did use different cards ... and also did so earlier today. Not different brands ... they were all Sandisk Extreme IV 4, 8 and 16 gig.

    None of them are counterfeit ... all from reputable seller B&H, and all worked fine in the first S2 which unfortunately was old stock and had a cracked sensor glass.

    Let Leica figure it out now, holiday is over and I have to get back to work

    -Marc

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Read the whole thread Bob ... I was inches from paying for it ... then it locked up on me ... and repeatedly did so.

    It handles like a dream, and the lenses are great. I suggested a few tweaks I like to see.

    I've had bad luck before ... and will again. I just know when to back off.

    Best wishes to those with working S2s ... it's a lot of fun to shoot with.

    Just not for me right now.

    -Marc
    Marc,

    I think it is worth mentioning that an S2P carries a Platinum Service Package and that as such, anything that goes wrong with the camera in the first 90 days is taken care of with a new unit hot-swap.

    There is most certainly something very wrong with the camera that you received, no doubt, but it is an anomaly, not the norm. As a dealer that specializes in the S2 and as a user that has used the S2 for a full year, I can say with confidence that your problem is a unique one in my experience. Never have I seen a body just stop working after 3 shots, and repeatedly at that. I have seen cracked sensors, as I explained previously, as this was a known supplier issue that was resolved months ago. Either your first camera was a demo model that no one noticed the sensor crack on (pretty tough to miss it) or it was sitting on a shelf for a few months unopened.

    Just curious, but what is the harm in getting a replacement under warranty and testing a 100% functioning body? Even if the camera is to be returned to a dealer, they will swap it out for a new one anyway.

    I'm not questioning your decision to pass on the camera. That's your personal choice. I just think you might as well test a properly functioning S2 indicative of what owners are actually using in the field before drawing a final conclusion.

    David
    David Farkas
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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    joe btfsplk, eh, marc. that ought to date us.

    http://www.lil-abner.com/other.html

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by dfarkas View Post
    Marc,

    I think it is worth mentioning that an S2P carries a Platinum Service Package and that as such, anything that goes wrong with the camera in the first 90 days is taken care of with a new unit .

    David
    90 days for "Platinum Service"? That's a joke. The Hasselblad and Phase One extended hot swap warranties are three years. If Leica really believes in the S2 and wants to develop a market for it with photographers that aren't going to use it as the equivalent of a Louis Vuitton handbag, they should offer a full three year hot swap at no extra charge.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    I hate to mention this, but all this discussion reminds me so much on what was discussed already 3 years ago when Leica first started talking about a Pro DSLR system. Many rose the issue that a real Pro system has to have a perfect protection and repair plan as well as perfect support and follow up times.

    Man - we all were hammered when mentioning this, especially in LUF.

    Now some 3 years later and the S2 already shipping longer that 1 year we still have similar issues and discussions.

    Can it be really so hard to get things right and sorted out ??????

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by dfarkas View Post
    Marc,

    I think it is worth mentioning that an S2P carries a Platinum Service Package and that as such, anything that goes wrong with the camera in the first 90 days is taken care of with a new unit hot-swap.

    There is most certainly something very wrong with the camera that you received, no doubt, but it is an anomaly, not the norm. As a dealer that specializes in the S2 and as a user that has used the S2 for a full year, I can say with confidence that your problem is a unique one in my experience. Never have I seen a body just stop working after 3 shots, and repeatedly at that. I have seen cracked sensors, as I explained previously, as this was a known supplier issue that was resolved months ago. Either your first camera was a demo model that no one noticed the sensor crack on (pretty tough to miss it) or it was sitting on a shelf for a few months unopened.

    Just curious, but what is the harm in getting a replacement under warranty and testing a 100% functioning body? Even if the camera is to be returned to a dealer, they will swap it out for a new one anyway.

    I'm not questioning your decision to pass on the camera. That's your personal choice. I just think you might as well test a properly functioning S2 indicative of what owners are actually using in the field before drawing a final conclusion.

    David
    I agree David ... I also suspect it is an anomaly and not necessarily the norm, (although I have no empirical data to prove this one way or the other). Thus the repeated reference to bad luck.

    However, I did enough research off-forum, as well as on various other forums, to give it the benefit of doubt ... as in, I seriously doubt it is wide-spread.

    As to "final conclusions," I've already indicated it's a fine camera ... handling is all I thought it would be, and the files are now right up there with my Leica expectations. That, and the changing nature of my work, made revisiting the S2 a worth-while, albeit expensive, venture.

    I was able to shoot enough test images to confirm my expectations ... all, save one ... reliability on the job. The anomaly spoiled that last acid test, and it was the most important one.

    You are a fine ambassador for Leica and seem to have their ear. Perhaps they should tone down references to perfection? They need to truly understand what it is like to be on the line and standing there with a dead camera. It is an experience that stuns you, and can abruptly interrupt your flow and emotional connection to the creative task at hand ... if only momentarily.

    My little "on the job test" was not all that critical ... I'd never risk something really important to new kit. I didn't switch over from Nikon to Sony until the A900 proved itself repeatedly under fire for almost a year. Always the Nikon was slung over my shoulder as I shot with the Sony.

    This is a professional camera. Whether it is in the hands of a professional or not ... that should be the standards realized. Not just mechanically or logically ... nor nostalgically based on history. It is far more emotional than Leica may realize. This is our work, what we do ... some for enjoyment, some for a deeply creative personal expression, and some for making a living ... or all of the above.

    As testimony of this, look at all the people who make financial sacrifices on the altar of photography ... because it is paramount in their lives. I drive a 6 year old car, and forego many other luxuries, and even am willing to risk some retirement funds because THIS IS WHAT I DO. As you readily know, I am not alone in this.

    All makers of high-end photographic equipment should heed this and take it to heart ... perhaps most of all the brand Leica, and all its people.

    -Marc

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