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Thread: S2 Impressions: A year later.

  1. #201
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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by hcubell View Post
    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.
    That is misleading as I understand it. Hot-Swap doesn't replace the camera with a new one. It gets an equivalent camera/back into your hands while your camera is being repaired.

    The Leica Platinum Service replaces the camera with a new one during the first 3 months of ownership, and offers hot swap coverage for the remainder of 2 years. My only issue with Leica's plan was that it should have been three years, and while premium priced, should have been a little closer in cost to the other makers rather than two or three times as much for only 2 years ... especially initially.

    -Marc

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    I am sorry hear that ( at this stage) you have decided the S2 isnt quite ready judging by your experiences Mac.

    I have to say that I am not surprised though - the S2 seems to be in late beta testing phase trials at the moment..

    It took two iterations of the same design and a few firmware upgrades to get the Hy6 running to spec - about three years worth of less than perfect working and a lot of angst in between ( given ownership/production and parts issues)

    Leica in developing the S2 are on a a bit of an Odyssey with the beta testing early adopters strapped hard on to the ship's mast ( via high price commitment ) whilst enjoying the siren song of promise and going through the associated agonies and ecstasies that accompany such journeys.

    Homer underlined the virtue of patience continuously through out his epic poem - a long moral play.

    When the system is bug free - it will be an interesting option for many. May the time come sooner rather than later - life is to short for too much angst.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by jlm View Post
    joe btfsplk, eh, marc. that ought to date us.

    http://www.lil-abner.com/other.html
    Yep, that was exactly the reference.

    -Marc

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    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.
    -Marc
    And yet a large number of folks come away from this thread with the conclusion that the S2 is not ready for prime time.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    When the system is bug free - it will be an interesting option for many.
    Is there a digital MF cam which is bugfree...

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    That is misleading as I understand it. Hot-Swap doesn't replace the camera with a new one. It gets an equivalent camera/back into your hands while your camera is being repaired.

    The Leica Platinum Service replaces the camera with a new one during the first 3 months of ownership, and offers hot swap coverage for the remainder of 2 years. My only issue with Leica's plan was that it should have been three years, and while premium priced, should have been a little closer in cost to the other makers rather than two or three times as much for only 2 years ... especially initially.

    -Marc
    Thanks for the clarification.

    For most people, the Premium Service Package on a "regular" S2 is a better deal. It gives the same exact coverage for 2 years that the Platinum does, but without a shutter replacement. So, you'd still get the 90-day new unit hot-swap replacement and the loaner service during any repair period after that. The cost is $1595 for two years. This is the same price as Hasselblad's 1 year extension plan. I'm not sure what the exact cost of a Phase One Value Added Warranty is.

    So, unless you are a rental house, or a 24/7/365 shooter, the Platinum might be overkill. The shutter replacement allows the owner to send the camera in for a brand new FP shutter after 100,000 actuations. This effectively extends the life of the camera and doesn't require the shutter to be broken. Similarly, a Platinum Package on CS lenses ($995) allows for a leaf shutter replacement. This could be quite valuable for busy rental operations to extend the longevity of rental gear. For the same coverage minus shutter replacement on lenses, the Premium costs $495.

    Also, on the S2P, you are paying a premium for the sapphire glass LCD, so factor that in to the additional cost over an S2.

    David
    David Farkas
    Leica Store Miami

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by David K View Post
    And yet a large number of folks come away from this thread with the conclusion that the S2 is not ready for prime time.
    Well David, one would hope others can think for themselves.

    For me, there was enough evidence to warrant giving it another whirl a year after my first encounter with the S2.

    Doing this sort of run through isn't my idea of fun, nor does it make me one more penny. Life is too short.

    Not my fault that the camera(s) didn't work out. Just bad luck maybe. Who knows?

    The question is ... if it works do you sing its praises, and if it doesn't do you tape your mouth closed?

    Personally, I hate it when anyone reports unwarranted issues ... 90% of the time they are user errors "emotionally" attributed to the camera company ... then solved ... but by then the horses are out of the barn.

    This is NOT the case here. I did a LOT of due diligence over the past few weeks, and found satisfactory answers to many of my concerns or mis-understandings. That's the value of these forums, especially this one. However, you have to publish the issues to find the answers. If people choose to read only the issues and skip the solutions, then it seems they are looking for a reason to not commit ... and it's just as well that they don't ... or they are detractors looking for any excuse to discount what they don't have ... what's new about that?

    I'm confident there are no answers to the issues with this specific camera other than replacing it. I've done everything I can, know how to do, or was suggested here.

    Such is life.

    -Marc

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    Senior Member GMB's Avatar
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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    I am sorry hear that ( at this stage) you have decided the S2 isnt quite ready judging by your experiences Mac.

    I have to say that I am not surprised though - the S2 seems to be in late beta testing phase trials at the moment..

    Leica in developing the S2 are on a a bit of an Odyssey with the beta testing early adopters strapped hard on to the ship's mast ( via high price commitment ) whilst enjoying the siren song of promise and going through the associated agonies and ecstasies that accompany such journeys.

    Homer underlined the virtue of patience continuously through out his epic poem - a long moral play.

    When the system is bug free - it will be an interesting option for many. May the time come sooner rather than later - life is to short for too much angst.
    Let me add my 2c from the point of view of a MFDB newbie and (serious?) amateur who is considering the S2.

    I had a demo from a dealer for a whole weekend in June. I took about 250 shots (it would have been more with better weather and light and without my mother in law and my father visiting during that very same weekend). Camera worked without any problems; no bugs no nothing.

    Camera was easy to use--the dealer did not have a manual and I downloaded one from the internet but only looked up one thing.

    I had a surprisingly high amount of keepers, despite the difficult light.

    Today I printed one shot of my daughter on a large printer (85x85cm). The shot was taken in fading evening light (1/60 sec at f 2.8 at ISO 160) handheld. Focus was spot on. I did very little PP other than tranforming to B&W and the print looks really great (I am sure one could do much more with the file). It's a different ball game than the M9, at least for large prints. Also, this was about shot No 30 I took with the camera, and I am sure that I could get more out of that beast with some exercise--and it was a head and shoulder shot with the 70mm and not the new 120mm.

    So I think the IQ is there--may be not superior than the Hassie of Phase competition, but clearly in the same league. And I did not hear anyone complain about the lenses. I also understood that Marc was happy with the IQ--and the overall handling of the camera.

    The only IQ issue I experienced was collar fringing, with a couple of motor cycle shots. I was able to address them with C4.

    It may be that the system--being fairly young--still has more bugs than Hassi or Phase. However, for someone like me who is not invested in any MF system so far, the question would be whether to invest in one of these more mature systems, to go for the S2, or simply wait. If one (1) in principle prefers the form factor and ergonomics of the S2, (2) has confidence that Leica will sort things out, sooner or later, and (3) does not need a MFD system right away, going for Phase or Hassi now makes little sens. As others have pointed out, the investment is in the glass (I recall that ptomsu mentioned in this or another thread that he may chance to the S2 if only he could get a decent price for his Hassi). The choice is then between wait or buy now.

    I have no idea where I will be coming out, but I found this thread actually encouraging to go for the S2. Clearly, the failure of Marc's camera was annoying--to say the least--but it seems that he was really unlucky. **** happens with every system, and if individual horror stories would determine by purchase decisions, I would be sitting naked in a cave (I also would not be married and not have kids.). What would concern me would be widespread reports about camera failures etc., but I have not heard about them

    Anyway, thanks to all who contributed to this debate.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Lurking....
    I am just waiting for all the bad luck to get shaken out before I pounce on one of these
    -bob

    oh, yeah, and maybe the new improved version too.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by GMB View Post
    ...
    I had a demo from a dealer for a whole weekend in June. I took about 250 shots (it would have been more with better weather and light and without my mother in law and my father visiting during that very same weekend). Camera worked without any problems; no bugs no nothing....
    It seems that Marc had problems in low temperatures. You tested the camera in June. So, unless you live in a tropical area, you definitely need to test your gear in the same environments you will be using it.

    And the problem was repeatable, not some odd occurrence.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    FWIW - the issues with this camera seem a lot less than what some of us M8 users went through. Of course, this is now about 5 years later, and 4-5 x the price, so it should be better. Having held one of these for about 15 minutes, the best I could do was run away before it became too hard to let loose.

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    Senior Member GMB's Avatar
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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by Valentin View Post
    It seems that Marc had problems in low temperatures. You tested the camera in June. So, unless you live in a tropical area, you definitely need to test your gear in the same environments you will be using it.

    And the problem was repeatable, not some odd occurrence.
    And Kurt was shooting his S2 for 2 hours at 15 degrees... And Marc was saying himself that the problem was apparently not related to the cold.

    All I am saying is that I had no problem. I am not denying that there are issues, but I think one needs to put matters into perspective...and I am the first to admit that the perspective will be different for each of us.

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    Senior Member doug's Avatar
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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff View Post
    ... Having held one of these for about 15 minutes, the best I could do was run away before it became too hard to let loose.
    I don't dare look through the viewfinder

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    I evaluated the S2 in the spring for three weeks in Olympic National Park. Rain almost every day and chilling tempertures. I shot about 2800 frames and did not have a single problem. I took no precautions with the camera as part of my evaluation was to determine just how well it could stand up to these sorts of conditions. I had the 35/70/180mm lenses and all performed beyond my expectations. The only reason I have not purchased is that I am waiting for something wider than a 35mm, and am hoping for at least one tilt/shift lens and a zoom. Until that happens, I will continue shooting 4x5 with my Arca Swiss and drum scanning. But I suspect a year from now the S2 will be ready for prime time...or would that be an S3?

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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?
    I can't afford a Ferrari! LOL

    Woody

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    In reading David Farkas' response to Marc, I'm surprised that he would not at least try a new S2 model to determine if this is, in fact, a manufacturing or part defect or just rough shipping in transit. It's surprising how many of us are following this like a soap opera, as if this one particular camera issue will decide our future purchase decisions for the S2. Are you kidding? Many, many, more people are reporting how good this cameras is in adverse weather conditions, studio, location, etc. With all due respect to Marc, there's photographers on safari's riding horseback for hours with no issues with the S2 at all. Why aren't there 5 page threads about that? I had the chance to demo an S2 and I loved it! I did experience back focus with the AF, but if you override with manual focus, problem solved! I think the back focus issue is either a calibration or AF sensor area-sensitivity problem, whereas, it seems the AF point finds something else in the crosshairs when ambient light is low. The well lit portraits were always right on! Yes, I want more selective ISO settings, and I found fringing only when I went pixel peeping. I do think all this will be addressed in firmware updates as all this information is dissected by Leica. Side by side comparisons of my H4D and S2 files with no manipulation, are hard to tell apart other than the aspect ratio being slightly different. In fact, a slight edge goes to Leica glass. Regarding trust in MFD, I'm on my 3rd "H" model in a year, but I still think Hasselblad is a fantastic product, I'm only considering the S2 because it does more to match my style than an H4.
    Try this camera for yourself and make an informed decision's based on personal experience. I'm sure other MFD companies are already designing similar models to compete with Leica. Hat's off to an outstanding product!

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by johnnygoesdigital View Post
    I'm surprised that he would not at least try a new S2 model to determine if this is, in fact, a manufacturing or part defect or just rough shipping in transit.

    With all respect to those present...

    Seems like a few of us are unaware of our relative positions in the hierarchy of photo user/ photographers/ professionals who post in this forum.

    To wit...

    Marc has a very deep history and knowledge which few of us can match...from the Contax N1 Digital through all sorts of newer analog to digital scanning and MF Digital backs he has chronicled a long trail of information and history. None of it lacks dimension nor depth. When Marc posts his findings they are without question definitive for the majority of us who have traveled similar paths.

    I would suggest that S2P's are not routinely used as demos...no one in their right mind would use one other than as a high end product for sale. He had TWO defective samples...suggestive that Leica still needs to get their corporate act together in my opinion. And I have been using Leica M's for 30 plus years...had three M8(.2)s and while I had few issues they were but a shadow of the analog cameras with respect to integrity and build quality.

    I suspect that a certain fatigue is involved in the decisions made concerning the continued saga of Looking for Mr Right (S2P!). It may be a great camera for those whose luck favors a good sample...however at this level I posit that Six Sigma quality is required!

    Just a few thoughts...no need to rebut.

    Bob

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by johnnygoesdigital View Post
    ...With all due respect to Marc, there's photographers on safari's riding horseback for hours with no issues with the S2 at all. Why aren't there 5 page threads about that?...
    John(I'm assuming that's your name),

    Respect is earned. I have no idea who those photographers are. Heck, many times I don't even know who the people that post in here are (most of you don't have a web site in your profile). You could be just a casual user that stopped by or an experienced photographer and even more experienced using MFDB. Without credentials, why would someone write 5 pages about some unknown photographer experience?

    Marc has a tracking record and you can look him up and look at his work and make a decision if to put weight on his words or not.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by johnnygoesdigital View Post
    In reading David Farkas' response to Marc, I'm surprised that he would not at least try a new S2 model to determine if this is, in fact, a manufacturing or part defect or just rough shipping in transit. It's surprising how many of us are following this like a soap opera, as if this one particular camera issue will decide our future purchase decisions for the S2. Are you kidding? Many, many, more people are reporting how good this cameras is in adverse weather conditions, studio, location, etc. With all due respect to Marc, there's photographers on safari's riding horseback for hours with no issues with the S2 at all. Why aren't there 5 page threads about that? I had the chance to demo an S2 and I loved it! I did experience back focus with the AF, but if you override with manual focus, problem solved! I think the back focus issue is either a calibration or AF sensor area-sensitivity problem, whereas, it seems the AF point finds something else in the crosshairs when ambient light is low. The well lit portraits were always right on! Yes, I want more selective ISO settings, and I found fringing only when I went pixel peeping. I do think all this will be addressed in firmware updates as all this information is dissected by Leica. Side by side comparisons of my H4D and S2 files with no manipulation, are hard to tell apart other than the aspect ratio being slightly different. In fact, a slight edge goes to Leica glass. Regarding trust in MFD, I'm on my 3rd "H" model in a year, but I still think Hasselblad is a fantastic product, I'm only considering the S2 because it does more to match my style than an H4.
    Try this camera for yourself and make an informed decision's based on personal experience. I'm sure other MFD companies are already designing similar models to compete with Leica. Hat's off to an outstanding product!
    All due respect indeed.

    I do agree that a couple of experiences doesn't make for a pattern ... just a caution.

    Back focusing is being reported by enough people (including you) to warrant a caution. Frankly, if I wanted a manual focus camera I'd buy one. As Lloyd chambers mentioned, it reduces the effectiveness of the superb optics. Also reports like this ...

    http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-...ng-issues.html

    If people are going on Safari and riding horseback with a S2, and want to post 5 pages on their experiences they are free to do so.

    I directly tested the S2 with LR3 against my H4D/40 using Phocus & DAC ... and also found the IQ results were comparable ... when the S2 was in critical focus they had an ever so slight edge ... but the color from Phocus beats LR by a mile. However, these two cameras are in different price brackets: Currently $19K with a 35-90, verses $27K with a 70mm. For $27K I can get a H4D/50 with an even larger sensor, so the relative enlargement ratio would be even greater when comparing. So IQ isn't the differentiator, the form factor and weather proofing is ... and that is the draw of the S2.

    All I can say about the lenses is check the ones you get. My buddy Irakly just tested a S120/4 macro which exhibited unexpected amounts of CA ... his Contax 120/4 and Phase One back was better corrected. Again, one man's experience merely offers a caution, not a condemnation.

    Look before you leap, and if it all checks out ... go for it.

    -Marc
    Last edited by fotografz; 3rd January 2011 at 18:40.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Lets get this reminder back out here on a Pro definition. There are no excuses , no reason to continue with any product good , bad or indifferent when you are a working Pro with literally your neck on the line regardless of what name tag is on anything. You simply do NOT EVER take any risk on any product that is suspect or is not functioning correctly at any given point. Regardless of how many love stories are reported it is the Pro's reputation and possibly a 100 k or more a year client on the line. It's like playing with rat poison around you dinner table , no one in there right mind is going to risk that as a working Pro. This goes with any system and worse when there is a system without a true backup ala another S2 on hand. Let me please remind this whole forum that leica has a track record of issues with every high end digital cam it has come out with DMR,M8,M9 and now the S2. How many Canons / Nikon/ Sony/Phase/Hassy/Sinar and others can anyone say has this consistency of products released back to back that have had some kind of issue. i will tell you , none. Sure some models have had bad issues but not back to back as leica and there best was the DMR made by Imacon. Are they getting better yes but we still see these issues. I don't care how much you love them or hate them the facts are staring at you and stop dismissing them. All your doing is letting this go on as acceptable. Sorry this is not acceptable. Now if you want to take the risk that is entirely up to the individual but at least go in eyes wide open. Sure it is a nice cam , love to have one myself. But i will not risk my career over it or even one image as a working Pro or any system for that matter. **** will happen no doubt but as a Pro one lowers those risk factors.

    In Marcs defense he did exactly what i would expect and i would have immediately done exactly the same thing. Walk away. Neither one of us cares about any name brand we just want as bullet proof as we can get. I said this since day one the S2 needs to mature as a system, problem is it's been awhile since release and these bugs and issues should NOT be there. We can't sit here and make excuses that does not get things fixed and back on balance.

    Please don't take offense to this post but as a working Pro there are no acceptable excuses that I will accept from anyone when it comes to my career being in the balance with regards to working gear. It has to work at least you have to have that mindset when buying in this category of photography and i am sure many serious hobbyist think the same way when they spend all this money go on a huge trip the gear has to work. Just apply that cracked sensor to a aircraft as a engine failing. That is how you should be looking at this from a Pros seat. It is mission critical and you have no idea how many other shooters are crawling up our butts to replace us in the industry with our big clients. There is no risk reward factor here. We are already getting outstanding image quality in other MF systems. I will never say there is no break downs and work arounds but product out of the gate that is suspect not many Pros will risk it. The S2 sorry folks just this thread alone makes it suspect. Ignore it if you want that is totally your decision but to question others that will not ignore it is flat out wrong. Marc did what any smart Pro would do walk. The stories it worked perfectly fine for me are truly meaningless when your sitting there with a handful of DOA in your hands.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Now if you want to take the risk that is entirely up to the individual but at least go in eyes wide open. Sure it is a nice cam , love to have one myself. But i will not risk my career over it or even one image as a working Pro or any system for that matter. **** will happen no doubt but as a Pro one lowers those risk factors.
    I don't want to push this thread farther away from the discussion about the S2, but I don't think Guy's post can be emphasized strongly enough. We all want the best quality. We are all gear obsessed. We all want a camera that will give our vision an edge that is beyond expectations. However, at the end of the day, all we really need is to get the shot and deliver it to our client. Every working pro has had the horrific, sinking feeling of a camera going down when it mattered most and no one wants to experience that again.

    The people reading this thread hanging on Marc's every word are not people considering a Leica S2 and wondering what a pro thinks -- they have all tried one and decided for themselves. The people reading this thread with the magnifying glass are those bitten by Leica -- addicted to the feel and image quality, scared by the reliability. The Cadillac commercial asks "When you turn on your car, does it return the favor," but the question here is when you turn on your camera, does it turn on? As a working pro, the most expensive camera in the world is the one that costs you a client. As Marc so wisely said, three strikes and you are out of business.

  22. #222
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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Bob,
    If you consider some photographers to be ranked above others according to status or authority, then you just proved my point. If, as you say, this hierarchy does exist, then many will make decisions based on their placement in this, so called chain of command.



    Valentin, I could not find your website either. I'm not questioning Marc's record, I admittedly scan over most other comments to get to his because of this "respect" that we all apparently share. It was because of this thread that I almost postponed an S2 purchase even though the camera did what I needed it to do. Marc wasn't throwing out reams of empirical evidence, he didn't have to, the camera didn't work. I have never questioned the issues experienced by his S2, but this anomaly has a decidedly more emotional interpretation for some of us following here. I have never owned a Leica, so I can be objective in my choice of gear and not a fanatical Leicabot. But I have had 3 Hasselblad "H" models in less than a year. Everything from erratic messages, camera freezes, mirror locked up, secondary shutter getting stuck, viewfinder replacement, pieces of solder actually rolling around in the camera! A few months after my purchase the same "H" model as equipped, was thousands less! I did not switch camera companies because of a lack of trust. The gear was fixed and replacements sent... I love my H4D! I just thought the S2 deserved another shoot because like it or not, this camera fills a void that most MFD cannot touch (sorry Guy).

    Marc, thanks for being the sane one. I do not doubt the apprehension you feel, we are all professionals well, some of us anyway, and perhaps i'm guilty too...because I REALLY WANT YOU TO LIKE THIS CAMERA, so I can buy one too.

  23. #223
    Senior Member KeithL's Avatar
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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by johnnygoesdigital View Post
    Bob,
    I do not doubt the apprehension you feel, we are all professionals well, some of us anyway, and perhaps i'm guilty too...because I REALLY WANT YOU TO LIKE THIS CAMERA, so I can buy one too.
    Now, that has to be the most bizarre response I've ever seen.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by johnnygoesdigital View Post
    Bob,
    If you consider some photographers to be ranked above others according to status or authority, then you just proved my point. If, as you say, this hierarchy does exist, then many will make decisions based on their placement in this, so called chain of command.



    Valentin, I could not find your website either. I'm not questioning Marc's record, I admittedly scan over most other comments to get to his because of this "respect" that we all apparently share. It was because of this thread that I almost postponed an S2 purchase even though the camera did what I needed it to do. Marc wasn't throwing out reams of empirical evidence, he didn't have to, the camera didn't work. I have never questioned the issues experienced by his S2, but this anomaly has a decidedly more emotional interpretation for some of us following here. I have never owned a Leica, so I can be objective in my choice of gear and not a fanatical Leicabot. But I have had 3 Hasselblad "H" models in less than a year. Everything from erratic messages, camera freezes, mirror locked up, secondary shutter getting stuck, viewfinder replacement, pieces of solder actually rolling around in the camera! A few months after my purchase the same "H" model as equipped, was thousands less! I did not switch camera companies because of a lack of trust. The gear was fixed and replacements sent... I love my H4D! I just thought the S2 deserved another shoot because like it or not, this camera fills a void that most MFD cannot touch (sorry Guy).

    Marc, thanks for being the sane one. I do not doubt the apprehension you feel, we are all professionals well, some of us anyway, and perhaps i'm guilty too...because I REALLY WANT YOU TO LIKE THIS CAMERA, so I can buy one too.
    Heck, I wanted the S2 to work for me more than anyone here. I DO like the camera a LOT. No question about it.

    BTW, I honestly do not think there is a ranking of folks here on GetDpi, nor a cliquishness ... way too many independent thinkers for that to ever happen

    There ARE a lot of photographers with a ton of experience to share ... and perhaps no where is that more important than with the lesser wide-spread arena of MFD as more people consider kicking it up a notch. Frankly, I follow many of their posts as intently as others follow mine. Ya learn something every day here

    Personally, this is not "my first trip to the rodeo"... I've owned 16 different configurations of MFD, including 7 iterations of the HD system ... 8 when the H4D/60 arrives. And as much as I obviously like the H kit, I'm not sure I would have been as patient as you regarding 3 "shoot stopping" defects in less than a year from a relatively mature system. All of these companies need their feet held to the fire regarding quality and reliability.

    However, Phase One, Leaf, and Hasselblad have pretty long track records of delivering on the firing line. Not a perfect record, but enough to build the trust required to put your A$$ on the line with one. In addition, for many years as an Art Director, my career was linked to Phase One and Hassey equipment by one degree of separation ... it wasn't lost on me that these were the choices the photographer selected when huge production budgets were at risk.

    As Guy and others have pointed out, Leica's move into digital has been a fitful one. Frankly, I wouldn't trust my livelihood to my M9s which is why I have two of them and the Sony A900 in the car just in case. Like others, I love the images so much I'm willing to shell out for two cameras ... (some people have 3 to be sure they have 2). Not a pleasant purchase scenario for a $23K+ camera.

    In the end, we all have to keep this in perspective regarding MFD ... we are talking about cameras that cost 10 times as much as a Canon 5D-II or Sony A900. 10 times!

    Our expectations should be high and uncompromising ... only in that way will the makers of the gear toe the line.

    BTW, to their credit, Leica IS replacing the camera regardless of the fact that I will be sending it back.

    -Marc

    What this comes down to is ... do not buy a "pig in a poke". No matter what anyone says or who says it, good or bad ... try before you buy, and make sure it can be returned if it's a dud. If it is your only MFD kit, then pony up for the Premium warranty ... which should be included with all of these MFD cameras IMHO.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Yesterday was my first opportunity to do a real shoot (about 400 images) with the S2. Aside from a few operator errors the camera performed without a glitch. Focusing, both manual and AF were spot on with the 70mm lens... even shooting into the sun for some flare shots where I couldn't see the model's face to focus were handled by the AF with no problem. The other big plus for me, coming from the Sinar, is that I was actually able to see whether I nailed focus on the LCD. A quick press of the play button and wheel and I was zoomed in right where I wanted to be. Nice not to have to relegate the LCD to a histo only role. Taking a series of shots only to find out that they were all OOF when you get back to the computer is a thing of the past for me.

    One series of shots involved a model walking around a paddock with a horse. This would normally have been Nikon territory for me... no way I would have grabbed my Sinar/Hy6 for this kind of thing... but the S2 worked just fine for it.

    I have no doubt that better shooters than I could have done the same with other MF kits. But this added versatility is what attracted me to the S2 in the first place. It won't take the place of my Nikon for shooting fast moving subjects that require instantaneous AF but the S2 does expand my opportunity to shoot MF.

    One final comment which has been made by others on numerous occasions. There is no substitute for having a good dealer who knows the kit inside and out. On the one occasion when it seemed that the aperture was stuck a quick call to David F's cell phone had me up and running in seconds. The Leica S2 is expensive... good dealer support is priceless.

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    Senior Member doug's Avatar
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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by David K View Post
    ... The Leica S2 is expensive... good dealer support is priceless.
    +1 If I ever creep into MF territory I'll call David.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    another perspective:
    marc could have continued replacing camera bodies until he got one that worked,and you might say, problem solved. However, his experience points to the fact that, even if you do get a good one, there is a likelihood any needed replacement will be problematic and I think there lies the larger problem

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    From Marc:
    Our expectations should be high and uncompromising ... only in that way will the makers of the gear toe the line.

    This is the real bottom line and one reason forums such as these are important it gets the message out. Not many people speak up enough in this area and this is about ALL systems and how important this thread is as well as it not only showed Marcs issues it showed X- Pixels as well. I worked with Leica for a long time on the DMR , M8 and some M9 stuff and this stuff needs to brought up so they and others in the making of these cams realize what is going on in the field . Sitting back and accepting issues without letting everyone know is not helping anyone and it is not helping Leica in this case. I review a lot of this stuff and the messages are loud and clear on what improvements can be made and what maybe wrong. In this case I know Leica wants to know as well as if Hassy or Phase was running into this they would also. It is there reputation and sales on the line. They will correct the immediate issue as they should but will look into the back end to see what it is causing it as well so when the next guy pony's up to the bar these issues can be remedied. Obviously for some people waiting for repair or replacements may not be a big deal and can accept issues. For others not a chance but even if you don't have that immediate need you need to care about the industry and the industry professionals that rely on this to make a living. I am very very passionate about this industry at large and I have a voice and will use it to the best advantage to correct the state of affairs to make product better and more bullet proof. I encourage everyone to use there voice and be heard because if they don't know things will just go along with being acceptable. Its like releasing software with bugs in it, no different here folks. Be a positive influence on making this industry we love better not a negative one and just whining about it. Threads like this are a positive even if it did not work out for Marc in this case it gives the OEM a chance to look at something that may have been missed in the production, quality assurance area's and other area's as well so this does not come up again. This is actually a positive for Leica they know they have to hear the issues at hand in the field to improve. I always liked Leica product but for me to move back in or anyone else they know they have to get more bullet proof. Sure this can be a very rare case but it makes the product suspect and that is not what they or us the end user want. Have a great morning everyone and please look at this as a positive for all concerned even though it did not work out it may later down the road.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    If somebody is making a living with cameras and can't afford a backup then he probably isn't making enough money to justify an expensive system. I've always had 2 or three of everything since starting my own business and it's just something to consider before buying each piece of gear. As an assistant, I worked for photographers that didn't have good backups so they would usually rent for the bigger jobs. Leica isn't particularly bad at quality control or customer service and are actually really good when compared to some of the other higher end companies (especially lighting etc.) A business owner has to imagine that everything is going to go wrong. This is as true for photography as any other business. The weather is going to suck. The luggage is going to get lost. THe power is going to go out. The model is going to get sick. The makeup is going to be late. etc....So if a person is concerned that his business is going to go down if an S2 has a problem then that's the wrong system to be in and he should get 2 of something cheaper. Any camera is gonna go down sooner or later...just plan on it... Even if the camera works flawlessly it's still going to get smashed by an assistant or stolen or something.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Funny you mention that Mike . I have a gig in LA and besides my backups i have mapped out my drive to Samy's camera already just in case the mud hits the fan. You are so correct sooner or later you will be standing in a pile of hurt and better be prepared to react quickly to it. Take the least path of resistance.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    what if the photographer gets sick? just kidding

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    No excuses. 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 Mike M View Post
    If somebody is making a living with cameras and can't afford a backup then he probably isn't making enough money to justify an expensive system. I've always had 2 or three of everything since starting my own business and it's just something to consider before buying each piece of gear. As an assistant, I worked for photographers that didn't have good backups so they would usually rent for the bigger jobs. Leica isn't particularly bad at quality control or customer service and are actually really good when compared to some of the other higher end companies (especially lighting etc.) A business owner has to imagine that everything is going to go wrong. This is as true for photography as any other business. The weather is going to suck. The luggage is going to get lost. THe power is going to go out. The model is going to get sick. The makeup is going to be late. etc....So if a person is concerned that his business is going to go down if an S2 has a problem then that's the wrong system to be in and he should get 2 of something cheaper. Any camera is gonna go down sooner or later...just plan on it... Even if the camera works flawlessly it's still going to get smashed by an assistant or stolen or something.
    I have more than two of everything Mike. However, I don't need two S2s ... I can use something else in its place ... like a H4D/60.

    However, that's okay for studio work where the environment is somewhat repeatable ... the form factor of the S2 suggest a different form of shooting where spontaneous happenings don't repeat themselves. My back-up for that is a 35mm FF DSLR ... just like a lot of shooters doing that kind of work with a MFD kit.

    I do agree that if it can go wrong, if often does ... and luck favors the prepared.

    -Marc

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    People have put a lot of expectations on MFD, and rightfully so. Forums are a good place to sort out this info, but as I was reading further into this thread, it seemed a company as a whole was being trounced. It's almost like some people wanted them to fail, and that's the emotional connection to MFD. I mean, if you bought and shoot with a certain MFD, then your emotionally connected no matter what. Then comes this amazing camera that fills a void that a lot of us could use, so I think it's human nature to jump on the bandwagon with torches and pitchforks because we don't want to feel like we missed out on something really cool. I am sure that Leica via David Farkas is heeding these forums, we are the focus groups and demographic they rely on. I think as a compromise, Leica should offer immediate replace of gear if needed and not charge extra for that. Get the faulty gear off the market and look for patterns in QC, or suppliers that ship faulty components. Be professional.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by johnnygoesdigital View Post
    ....

    Valentin, I could not find your website either.

    .....but this anomaly has a decidedly more emotional interpretation for some of us following here. I have never owned a Leica, so I can be objective in my choice of gear and not a fanatical Leicabot....

    If you click on my name (left) you can see "visit Valentin's homepage".

    It's true that some people are more "passionate" about everything and will have a more emotionally charged response/reaction, but that will not change the fact that there are plenty of problems with a $30K system. We are not talking chop change here. When you spend that kind of money, it better perform.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    This is a comment that agrees with Guy's comments about professional photographers. Years ago, I took a photo workshop with John Sexton. He explained to the group that he was an amateur photographer. He only took photos that he wanted to take. That comment got me thinking. I believe that amateurs can create images that are just as good as professional photographers. The main difference is that professional photographers can make great images on command of their clients. A professional gets the job done, no matter the circumstances. A professional photographer has no excuses not to get the job done. Period. No excuse for a bad day and no excuse for faulty equipment.

    Scott

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Tansey View Post
    This is a comment that agrees with Guy's comments about professional photographers. Years ago, I took a photo workshop with John Sexton. He explained to the group that he was an amateur photographer. He only took photos that he wanted to take. That comment got me thinking. I believe that amateurs can create images that are just as good as professional photographers. The main difference is that professional photographers can make great images on command of their clients. A professional gets the job done, no matter the circumstances. A professional photographer has no excuses not to get the job done. Period. No excuse for a bad day and no excuse for faulty equipment.

    Scott

    Well said and I would probably used the word demand. LOL
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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    i prefer the word "Palladin: have camera, will travel", to distinguish the Guy from the Don Libby, Jim Collumn, who also make money from their work

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Tansey View Post
    This is a comment that agrees with Guy's comments about professional photographers. Years ago, I took a photo workshop with John Sexton. He explained to the group that he was an amateur photographer. He only took photos that he wanted to take. That comment got me thinking. I believe that amateurs can create images that are just as good as professional photographers. The main difference is that professional photographers can make great images on command of their clients. A professional gets the job done, no matter the circumstances. A professional photographer has no excuses not to get the job done. Period. No excuse for a bad day and no excuse for faulty equipment.

    Scott
    You have to do your job right or you in most cases will not have a second (or a third) chance. So actually I do not understand what is so different about the way a professional photographer gets his job done or any other professional gets his (her) job done well.

    End of the day these are all nice words, what really matters here is that the S system seems currently not up to the level which professional photographers require in general - right? All other are just excuses for a not so mature system. Whoever is willing to pay as much money for that is welcome to do so - good for Leica.

    For me this is not what I would be willing to spend in this case. I would not do it for other products either - think of buying a car for 40.000.- and this suddenly stops on the highway and cannot be moved again - this thing would be gone in the twinkle of an eye for me! Same for the S System.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by johnnygoesdigital View Post
    People have put a lot of expectations on MFD, and rightfully so. Forums are a good place to sort out this info, but as I was reading further into this thread, it seemed a company as a whole was being trounced. It's almost like some people wanted them to fail, and that's the emotional connection to MFD. I mean, if you bought and shoot with a certain MFD, then your emotionally connected no matter what. Then comes this amazing camera that fills a void that a lot of us could use, so I think it's human nature to jump on the bandwagon with torches and pitchforks because we don't want to feel like we missed out on something really cool. I am sure that Leica via David Farkas is heeding these forums, we are the focus groups and demographic they rely on. I think as a compromise, Leica should offer immediate replace of gear if needed and not charge extra for that. Get the faulty gear off the market and look for patterns in QC, or suppliers that ship faulty components. Be professional.
    Honestly from my seat your reading it wrong , no one wants leica to fail. If anything we want them to exceed but they need to get over these issues with each new cam they come out with. I would love the S2 or S3 but how long does a person like me as a Pro have to wait to feel comfortable with them. I tested this a year ago and said lets look at it next year. Next year is here and I am still on pause mode. They simply need to up the game on these type of issues and they need to get lenses out. I can't even begin to think about this until a 24 hits the streets.

    Now the part about being emotional tied into your purchase i have to disagree mostly. Sure there are some that certainly are no question but myself i wish mine did not even have a name on it and i have flipped systems on a dime for something I have thought may work better and a lot of us are like that. Trust me on my end there no emotion whatsoever , I do like my system and it does a great job for me and no real plans to switch it out and yes i do think it is a very good system or i would never have bought it but emotionally sorry I leave that part for my wife and kids. These are just tools to me to make money to feed my family. Sure I love certain things about the systems I buy and especially how the lenses give me the look I want but in all truth if it was not Phase i would be shooting Hassy and i still look at them all the time to see what they are up too as well as the S2. Most Pros buy completely different than the hobbyist and we have certain needs and wants as well. We think more about service, repair, dealer support and accessories plus backups where the hobbyists does not put much stock in that. So yes that is some of the differences between pro's and Hobbyists we buy for different needs even though they could be the same system.

    Having leica in the MF world believe it or not is actually quite a good thing to push the technology further , be competitive and hopefully lower costs. I never want to see any of these companies do bad. It is not in the best interest to the industry what is the best interest is that they flourish and keep giving us new and better tools.
    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
    Now the part about being emotional tied into your purchase i have to disagree mostly. Sure there are some that certainly are no question but myself i wish mine did not even have a name on it and i have flipped systems on a dime for something I have thought may work better and a lot of us are like that. Trust me on my end there no emotion whatsoever , I do like my system and it does a great job for me and no real plans to switch it out and yes i do think it is a very good system or i would never have bought it but emotionally sorry I leave that part for my wife and kids. These are just tools to me to make money to feed my family. Sure I love certain things about the systems I buy and especially how the lenses give me the look I want but in all truth if it was not Phase i would be shooting Hassy and i still look at them all the time to see what they are up too as well as the S2. Most Pros buy completely different than the hobbyist and we have certain needs and wants as well. We think more about service, repair, dealer support and accessories plus backups where the hobbyists does not put much stock in that. So yes that is some of the differences between pro's and Hobbyists we buy for different needs even though they could be the same system.
    I could not agree more! Even not living form photography (so I cannot call myself a Pro ) does not mean I am getting emotional about systems. The only thing I am getting emotional is when I feel I am treated not right or somehow in the wrong way by a vendor and its products and support. As this was the case with Leica (but also some other vendors). Now do I feel bad about them - no! Just simply got more careful. And trust more the one's which did not let me down as often. But emotions? No there are no personal emotions.

    I would say as a semi pro (yes I do make some money with photography, but do not need it for a living) I meanwhile am even more picky about a system and its qualities, simply because of one reason - I can just swap without thinking too long, especially because it does not matter if I swap, as I do not need it for a living. But I want to be satisfied with my choice. So finally this is even more aggressive as the way a pro would approach this. Because if I am not satisfied - bang, I simply swap. I do no longer waste my time with too much testing, upgrading, waiting etc. Just shoot, try to get out of a system whatever I expect and if it does not deliver it is gone!

    Of course I do agree that his becomes harder as systems get more expensive - so there also comes long year experience into play with certain vendors and dealers. And then one can evaluate capabilities of a system and it's support pretty fast.

    Good system stays, bad system goes - that's all - as simple! And nice words just mean nothing!!!!!!!!

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by johnnygoesdigital View Post
    People have put a lot of expectations on MFD, and rightfully so. Forums are a good place to sort out this info, but as I was reading further into this thread, it seemed a company as a whole was being trounced. It's almost like some people wanted them to fail, and that's the emotional connection to MFD. I mean, if you bought and shoot with a certain MFD, then your emotionally connected no matter what. Then comes this amazing camera that fills a void that a lot of us could use, so I think it's human nature to jump on the bandwagon with torches and pitchforks because we don't want to feel like we missed out on something really cool. I am sure that Leica via David Farkas is heeding these forums, we are the focus groups and demographic they rely on. I think as a compromise, Leica should offer immediate replace of gear if needed and not charge extra for that. Get the faulty gear off the market and look for patterns in QC, or suppliers that ship faulty components. Be professional.
    Not sure what you mean here. Perhaps there is a bit of a misinterpretation. Personally, my emotional connection is to the results, not what delivers them. Pretty simple transference actually ... if something helps me get the results I want, than I LOVE the thing, if it gets in the way or doesn't capture a look I want, then I HATE it ... and I do not care what name is plastered on it. I replaced a Nikon D3X with a Sony A900 @ 1/3 the price for that reason.

    I sure the hell don't want Leica to fail ... I want a M10 with 30 meg someday

    I wasn't jumping on any bandwagon ... for or against ... I have the camera and was about to buy it ... then not (see above)

    -Marc

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Guy's always had a soft-spot for Leica. If I remember right, he even had a dog named Leica a few years ago. That being said, if the dog won't hunt, it's time to find a new dog.

    I'm having a blast with the S2 and am very happy with my choice, but if I would've had the same issues that Marc had, I probably would have instead pulled the trigger on a H4D-50 that I had gotten to second base with.

    Like Guy mentioned, any innovations (true focus), form factor advancements, price (pentax), etc. have to be welcomed by anyone interested in large sensor photography.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Thanks Kurt. I do have a soft spot for leica always have and this stuff kills me that I have to get hard on them. But worse is folks taking my comments in a negative way far from it. I am just a very vocal person and want them to get it under control right off the bat. I deeply care about this industry and any influence I have in it, I will continue to push all the OEMs to give us better product. I wish more would work in a positive way to accomish this. But you have to be tough and not roll over and accept excuses. No room for it in this high end market.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    iPhone can't spell. Sorry
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Marc / Guy - One interesting thread thanks

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Thanks Tim these kinds of threads can get downright nasty sometimes and as part owner of this place we took a thread that certainly could have went in the wrong direction but I believe gave us all a little more wisdom about choices that we make and how to steer yourself in the right directions and also understand how different people think on these very delicate buy decisions. First i give all the folks on this thread a lot of credit and a special credit to Marc for getting involved in the first place, I know he is disappointed as i have had PM's with him for sure but we all learned and hopefully Leica took a clue here as well as other OEMs that we will not accept issues. At least minimize them as much as humanely possible. If they realize WE as end users will not accept it than they will have to address it. It's just forcing there hand and too much competition between themselves not to do there very best and that is for all these systems.
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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    ... i give all the folks on this thread a lot of credit and a special credit to Marc for getting involved in the first place, I know he is disappointed as i have had PM's with him for sure but we all learned and hopefully Leica took a clue here as well as other OEMs that we will not accept issues. At least minimize them as much as humanely possible. If they realize WE as end users will not accept it than they will have to address it. It's just forcing there hand and too much competition between themselves not to do there very best and that is for all these systems.
    As an admitted S2 fan and maybe someday purchaser I appreciate the depth and tone of the entire discussion, and I fully respect Marc's position and decision to return the camera. As an enthusiatic amateur I'd have the luxury of wasting time going back-and-forth with the dealer to try sorting out the problems but if I were in Marc's position having to satisfy clients and pay bills not having 100% confidence in the equipment is a deal-killer. Thanks Marc, Guy and everyone else who has contributed to this thread.

    Is there a 12-step program for me?

  49. #249
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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    It's important for all of us putting equipment though it's paces, especially if it's on the line for a paying job, to be straight forward with our findings.....not to either sugar coat problems nor lambast the manufacturer when we know it's their intent is to honestly represent the capabilities of their product. I think this positively serves potential purchasers as well as the manufacturer in the long run. I know like others first hand when a important piece of equipment fails without notice and there is no chance for a "do over". Happened to me at the beginning of a pre-concert ceremony for a branch of the armed forces, that a newly released pro body locked up. A battery pull momentarily solved the issue only to happen again repeatedly. Cause of issue never resolved. Sure, I had a back-up body, but barely time to repeatedly switch to the required lens between the two bodies. That was enough for me to shortly thereafter address this with the manufacturer and send the body back. No chance I would attempt to use that model again for another year. I also heard later on I wasn't the only one who had experienced repeated lock ups with that particular body. It's a sinking feeling when it happens and your reputation is on the line...quite different when shooting casually or for personal use.

    I can fully appreciate and respect the varying opinions on how each of us would handle the issues Marc encountered and it's usually dictated not only by expectations and our tolerance for such issues developing in expensive equipment, but most of all the level of comfort and confidence that each one of us has when our name and reputation and the job at hand may be on the line.

    I echo Guy's opinion that for the most part, this has been a very civil and informative discussion, even where everyone may not see eye to eye on each issue and I know what I have gleamed from reading the posts, certainly has greatly helped in my perspectives of the S2 system. Thanks.

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 4th January 2011 at 15:50.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by doug View Post
    Is there a 12-step program for me?
    Sorry Doug but there are no steps on a slippery slope The best you can do is not to take the first step.

    It's a shame that Marc's camera had issues. It sounded like a good functioning S2 would have fit the bill for some of his needs.

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