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Thread: S2 Impressions: A year later.

  1. #251
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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    (First post!)

    I really appreciate threads like this, because especially at this price level, it really helps me get my head around the risks/benefits of a purchase. So, thanks Marc for letting us all in on the ups and downs over the past week. I went through the M8 and M9 QC fiascos--my M9 arrived with an out-of-whack viewfinder display--and I completely understand Marc's decision to give up on the Leica for now.

    I do think that Marc and Guy's status on these forums can contribute to a sort of groupthink on new products because there just isn't much else out there to base decisions on. In many ways, that's a good thing because it can potentially save us all $$$ and headaches. But in this case, and others I'm sure, people, including me, can tend to feel that because Guy and Marc are unhappy with Leica, we should be too. But, as Marc has pointed out, I don't think we should make Marc's defective bodies into more than they are; statistically, he was just unlucky. Maybe we can make a broader assumption if we add in the earlier sensor cover issue, reports from other reviewers of stuck aperture blades and focus issues. Certainly for pros with a limited budget, I'd think more lenses (just *maybe* a tilt-shift now???) and more evidence of reliability would be desirable.

    Woody Campbell just had an annoying lockup issue with his H4 which apparently has been experienced by others. There's a workaround, and though it would be nearly as frustrating as the S2 lockup, nobody is saying much about Hasselblad in response because of the wealth of evidence that Hassys work for most people most of the time. We don't have the same experience with Leica in MFD, because yes, by comparison the S system is young and few of the 1000 owners publicize their experience.

    I, for one, am still getting an S2. I'm not a pro, and I have other cameras I can use if there is a fixable issue. I have no big trips scheduled. So, I'll let you know how it goes. It's easier to be forgiving of Leica when the problem doesn't happen to you - if I get bit (again) I'll come to a similar decision as Marc…

    Travis

  2. #252
    Senior Member johnnygoesdigital's Avatar
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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Guy, I couldn't disagree with you more on being emotionally tied to your gear. Actually, I'm surprised to hear a "pro" make a statement like that. Perhaps, that's what's wrong or missing in many photographers portfolio's. They not connected to the moment... This is not some philosophical theory, but just merely pushing a shutter without regard to the elements at hand seems... boring and uninteresting. For me, the camera is an extension of my art, like an artists paint brush it transforms an exact point in time using composition, and color temp and lighting to create mood and expression. Photographers like Ansel Adams, Bresson and even today's Brian Kosoff are good examples of being emotionally tied to their gear. It's what makes good...no, great photographs! Great photographers like the great painters before them create expression and mood through emotional attachments...I'm humbled and motivated all at once.

  3. #253
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Look at my web site. You will see no let down in art when I shot 35 or MF or a m8 style Yes they are extensions but not the brains. I run the ship, but I agree that it needs to fit you not you fit it. Comfort and ergos are one thing to decide when buying but anyone with alot of experience can shoot anything you put in there hands. I have been through at least a hundred different cams. None of them stopped my art content or style . You just learn the workarounds to any systems but I been shooting since I was a kid so you learn real fast how to work anything thrown at you. I would never say any artist is about the gear in there hand. It's them. Sure we like certain brands for look and functionality which makes life easier on the artist and good gear helps free you from some of the tech details. But my work would never suffer if I switched systems tomorrow. May take a month to get it under your skin.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  4. #254
    Senior Member johnnygoesdigital's Avatar
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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Marc, The point I was trying to make is that, for me, I had just purchased an H4D, and then the S2 came out. A camera that suits my needs better. After my 3rd "H" I was ready to switch brands, but Hasselblad was amazing at customer service and camera replacement, and I knew that this was just an anomaly. So I trusted them. As I read the reviews of the S2 during this period, I didn't really want to read all the great attributes of this camera system (S2) only because of what I had just invested, literally and emotionally (there it is Guy) I didn't want to like this camera (I know weird, right?)
    because I couldn't just take the hit on the H4D and pay the difference for the S2...I was committed to the "H", so, if Leica got bad reviews, I was okay with that...until I used one. My earlier comment has rubbed a few people as they circled the wagons around you. for the record, I do not disagree with your decision, or your principals. I certainly don't need a lecture from others on being professional. I was merely suggesting that your S2 experience is unusual indeed, and maybe deserved another go, but perhaps not with clients, as there is also a learning curve with new products. Had you used one that was perfect than all these other comments would be rather different and a lot more people would buy S2's.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    You may be confusing comfort and ergos with emotionally tied to a system. They really are very separate things. The S2 has a 35mm DSLR style that as i have said many times before will fit a lot more folks better since they are coming from 35mm style shooting but that really is a comfort and ergo choice not a emotionally one per say. By emotional one is tied to a brand for no other reason than the name on the top plate. To me that is meaningless or maybe better said not very important on my list that i would go by in purchasing a system. There are much more important issues at hand for me that come before a name. That is more what i mean by emotional ties. I certainly did not buy Phase because it was Phase, I bought it after going through a very long list of check marks that are important to me. Same with any system. I owned Leica and I love there glass but that does not mean I like there entire system and i have been through a few and i did love the DMR for sure. But none of these leica system until the S2 had enough horsepower in file so I did what i will always do move up to something else, no emotional ties left behind and absolutely no regrets . Now if you have regrets buying a H system than a S2 than obviously that is something to look at, it's your money to spend for sure. The S2 is very very nice i shot it several times, read my review on it but right now I would not switch system personally. I honestly see no reason too and after comparing the s2 was no better than my P40+. All i would be buying is ergos. That is not enough for me to switch plus the costs versus the gains just does not add up for me. I will see what Phase comes with next and i know something is coming on the horizon and I personally am not hurting in anyway gear wise. Actually I'm pretty damn happy with what i have and for a gear slut not easy to say out loud. LOL

    Okay I lied i have two lenses on my very short list but my wife reads this forum. ROTFLMAO
    I'll put that in code I need two more donuts to get to a dozen.

    Anyway getting a little brain dead here. My age is showing. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    There was another S2 thread where I mentioned commodity fetishism. I'm not a philosopher or a formally educated person, but kept running into weird things going on when dealing with people in photography and the only explanations seemed to be found in cultural theory.

    When I read Guy's post about how he isn't emotionally attached to gear...what I'm really reading between-the-lines is that he is making his observations about gear based on their use-value as tool rather than their value as a commodity. He's basically saying that he isn't a commodity fetishist. All of his comments about the S2 (that I've read) have always been about it's use as a tool, so he's telling the truth as far as I can tell and isn't basing his observations on emotion.

    I know several things that can be done with the S2 that cannot be done with any of the other DMF systems when it comes to certain lighting schemes and producing 3-dimensional depth. That means I have a use-value for it as a tool that might not exist for others. This makes the extra expense and possible quirks of a new system worth it for me as long as I've got the money (which I don't LOL). Many of the criticisms that Guy has about the system might not be deciding factors for me, but that doesn't mean either one of us are basing our observations on emotion rather than reason. We might simply be able to agree-to-disagree when it comes to it's use-value and potential rewards vs drawbacks.

    One of the ways that I weed through photography opinion when it comes to gear is to assess whether the observation is made on use-value or value as a commodity. For example, I might choose to ignore a comment comparing the S2 to an accessory like a "Louis Vuitton bag" because it is a fetishistic statement rather than use-value statement.
    Last edited by Mike M; 4th January 2011 at 20:38. Reason: typo

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    ... but anyone with alot of experience can shoot anything you put in there hands.....You just learn the workarounds to any systems but I been shooting since I was a kid so you learn real fast how to work anything thrown at you. I would never say any artist is about the gear in there hand. It's them. Sure we like certain brands for look and functionality which makes life easier on the artist and good gear helps free you from some of the tech details. But my work would never suffer if I switched systems tomorrow. May take a month to get it under your skin.
    Guy, all I can say is...ain't that the truth! I enjoy using certain gear and it does give me great satisfaction when such gear feels like an extension of my thinking and creative process.....yet when it comes right down to it, if there is a shot that I want or need to get, I'm going to put all my knowledge, abilities and creativity into getting it, no matter what camera I have available in hand at the moment. The gear may be a limiting factor, but personally at that very moment, it's about the shot and how to capture it, in the way I (and possibly others in certain situations such as the art director) envision it.

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 4th January 2011 at 20:40.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    I think John makes some very valid points. Not sure that "emotion" and "ergos" are being confused here. Sometimes the feel of something is enough to inspire, or perhaps just enough to become a turn-off. Industrial designers make a career out of this and I'm sure they would call what they do an art form.

    Why do high-level craftspeople prefer certain tools? Could a great chef cook you an amazing meal with a butter knife and a $10 aluminum fry pan from Wal Mart on a camping stove? Probably, but my guess is that chef would prefer some good Whustof knives and All Clad cookware along with a high-BTU gas range. A golfer like Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson could play with the cheapest set of clubs from Target and still shoot half my score. And yet, they prefer well made, balanced clubs. Ask an artist about brushes and canvases and I'm sure you will hear a similar story. Tools are just tools and won't make someone better, but they can eliminate roadblocks along the way and help a great craftsperson or artist create great work.

    Bringing this back to cameras, for me, the S2 feels like a camera that I want to pick up and use. Even after using it regularly and handling one almost daily for a year now, I never really want to put it down once I'm holding it. It just feels good and right in my hands. I've had other cameras that felt this way too, like my Nikon F4s and, yes, the R9/DMR. Other cameras seemed to lack inspiration for me, like many of the Canon mid-range DSLRs and almost all of the m4/3 and entry-level DSLRs. I just can't personally stand plastic cameras that are too small for my hands. They could take the best quality images.... but I still wouldn't use them.

    I remember about six years ago, everyone loved the Canon 5D. Not me. I hated (and I mean hated ) the sound of the mirror/shutter and the corresponding body vibration. I used it on one trip and that was it. Nothing wrong with the image quality (other than some hit and miss Canon L glass) or with the reliability of the camera, I just didn't like the way it felt to shoot and the way it made me feel while shooting (and I don't mean ergos). At the same time, I found I really enjoyed shooting the Nikon D2x. It sounded better and felt better. The files looked like garbage above ISO 400. But, it was a camera that I enjoyed using and thus, went out and used (at ISO 400 and below, of course ).

    Now, we are at a technological point in camera development whereby all the serious players are within such a tight grouping relative to image quality, that we can look at all the other factors without sacrificing the final result. If I can shoot an S2, which produces the same IQ as an H4D40 or P40+, but enjoy shooting it more and gain some added technological advantages (battery life, weather sealing, daylight-viewable hi-res LCD, DSLR size, etc), why shouldn't I?

    Yes, Marc had some issues with the S2 he tried, but from my own perspective as a long-time S2 shooter (many thousands of frames) and dealing with a large number of S2 owners directly, the vast majority have been enjoying their S2s problem-free. No product is without fault. Apple makes some really nice stuff, yet every time I venture into my local Apple Store, I see a line of people waiting to get stuff fixed at the Genius Bar. In my own experience, my first two 27" iMacs were defective and had to be exchanged. The first had a display that went from yellow to blue from top to bottom. The second had a DOA wi-fi card. The third one worked fine, and still works fine 9 months later. I could have thrown in the towel and gotten a Dell, which I've never had problems with, but I persevered and have a computer that I enjoy using. In fact, it works very well with the S2 files that I feed it.

    David
    David Farkas
    Leica Store Miami

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    "My first two 27" iMacs were defective and had to be exchanged."

    How many months did it take to get your iMac replaced, and how many thousands of dollars did it cost? Did you have to ship it to China?

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Travis,

    Excellent points, I love the word "groupthink", keep us posted on the S2. It's my understanding that new lenses will be available this Spring. Also, it would probably be another two years for the S3 to become available.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Johnny,

    Group think works both ways.

    Steve

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by dfarkas View Post
    ... Sometimes the feel of something is enough to inspire, or perhaps just enough to become a turn-off. Industrial designers make a career out of this and I'm sure they would call what they do an art form.

    Why do high-level craftspeople prefer certain tools? ....

    Bringing this back to cameras, for me, the S2 feels like a camera that I want to pick up and use. .... I just can't personally stand plastic cameras that are too small for my hands. They could take the best quality images.... but I still wouldn't use them.

    Now, we are at a technological point in camera development whereby all the serious players are within such a tight grouping relative to image quality, that we can look at all the other factors without sacrificing the final result. If I can shoot an S2, which produces the same IQ as an H4D40 or P40+, but enjoy shooting it more and gain some added technological advantages (battery life, weather sealing, daylight-viewable hi-res LCD, DSLR size, etc), why shouldn't I?

    David
    Pretty much sums up my thinking David.

    On tools...I guess no forum member has ever commissioned a wood plane to be made for their personal use...I have two @ $3000 each - a jointer and a smooting plane from a craftsman in New Zealand. I use them on Australian Hardwoods - which have a habit of dulling all but the best and thickest blades and making 'normal' planes chatter uncontrollably.

    I doubt very much the veracity of anyone who uses a camera (or any tool for that matter) regularly that doesnt care about his or her 'partnership' with same. I once asked some musician friends of mine if they cared about their instruments or did they just care about the music...they laughed at the idea that one could be seperated from the other - try playing Flaminco guitar on a thin necked Fender etc etc..

    This type of discussion which serves to put down the natural phenomenon of tactile relationship with tools as some kind of fetish is beyond insulting it is pure non sense. A type of inverted snobbery at best but to my way of thinking ignorance dressed up as logic.

    The first lesson ANY craftsman training is buy the best tools you afford son.

    Now as for best - 40 megapixels is pretty much 40 megapixels. Now choose what package you want and work through the associated compromises. The IDEA that ANY ONE camera can do it all - is another stupidity.

    [end]

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

    Guy,
    My emotional attachment to MFD gear is also about the money that's spent in search of the best quality. If I didn't care about my "art" I wouldn't purchase a good camera. Obviously, an artist can create with any medium they choose, or for that matter, any camera, but I can't just go and buy another camera... not right now anyway. So, for now I will stick with "Helen", yes, I named my camera ( I really need to get out more). I am emotionally tied to this camera, but for now it's this symbiotic relationship that is mutually beneficial.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Steve,

    Please explain.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    Pretty much sums up my thinking David.

    On tools...I guess no forum member has ever commissioned a wood plane to be made for their personal use...I have two @ $3000 each - a jointer and a smooting plane from a craftsman in New Zealand. I use them on Australian Hardwoods - which have a habit of dulling all but the best and thickest blades and making 'normal' planes chatter uncontrollably.

    I doubt very much the veracity of anyone who uses a camera (or any tool for that matter) regularly that doesnt care about his or her 'partnership' with same. I once asked some musician friends of mine if they cared about their instruments or did they just care about the music...they laughed at the idea that one could be seperated from the other - try playing Flaminco guitar on a thin necked Fender etc etc..

    This type of discussion which serves to put down the natural phenomenon of tactile relationship with tools as some kind of fetish is beyond insulting it is pure non sense. A type of inverted snobbery at best but to my way of thinking ignorance dressed up as logic.

    The first lesson ANY craftsman training is buy the best tools you afford son.

    Now as for best - 40 megapixels is pretty much 40 megapixels. Now choose what package you want and work through the associated compromises. The IDEA that ANY ONE camera can do it all - is another stupidity.

    [end]
    PeterA,

    Superbly eloquent!

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    This type of discussion which serves to put down the natural phenomenon of tactile relationship with tools as some kind of fetish is beyond insulting it is pure non sense. A type of inverted snobbery at best but to my way of thinking ignorance dressed up as logic.
    [end]
    It's funny that you're insulting my post and then backing it up with your music example.

    The example of the musicians getting enjoyment from their tools based on how they perform is EXACTLY the opposite of commodity fetishism. They enjoy the tools for their value in use rather than their value as a commodity.

    An example might be a collector that pays 50k for 1950s Les Paul because of it's value as a rare object....VS a musician that pays 50k for a 1950s Les Paul because of how the aged wood combined with the authentic vintage pickups will sound on his next recording.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    I think I made this point earlier but I want to repeat it.

    If you cannot rely on your first copy of equipment to work properly the first time then you cannot rely on rental as backup or the purchase of a new body as backup should your equipment die before or during a job.

    That means you need two sets of backup, owned and tested.

    If you need an S2 to do the job then an H4D isn't backup. If you need an S2 to do the job then a A900 isn't backup.

    I think that this is a very crucial point for pros. Either buy into reliability or you have to buy, test and then buy two sets of backup (if all 3 bodies go down on you then you ain't going to beat Murphy anyway so just give up!). It's easy to do with a 5DII, which is why I assume so many studios are using them. With MFD, not unless you have a whole bunch of cash sitting spare...
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

    Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike M View Post
    I know several things that can be done with the S2 that cannot be done with any of the other DMF systems when it comes to certain lighting schemes and producing 3-dimensional depth.
    Care to elaborate?

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    My impression is that it is almost certain that to start a thread that yields a LOT of interest all one needs to do is place "S2" in the title and say something like
    "why is the S2 like a writing desk?"

    -bob

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by yaya View Post
    Care to elaborate?
    Why? Are you looking for a competitive advantage?

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    I find it interesting, how much emotion we can see in this discussion.

    I see it as follows:
    -Each camera can fail, no camera is 100% reliable
    -From the few reviews on the internet about the S2 some indicate AF problems, Marc also had the frozen shutter problem
    -I have no idea how statisticly representative this information is. My local dealer has sold 2 S2 and both guys seem to be happy with it. One of them has used it on several trips in rough conditions. So is the S2 less reliable as other MF systems? We dont know. I would assume that a totally new system might have more problems in the beginning than systems in the 3rd generation.
    Back to the car comparison: Would you buy a new model of a car or would you rather wait some years before buying that model. (Personally I would buy it after 2 years i the product lifetime is 6 years)
    I would assume everybody who buys a totally new product acts a little bit like a beta tester. On the other side he might be one of the first ones who can also enjoy some new features (In case of S2: formfactor/ lenses/ weather proof).
    So we can ask what happens if it fails, we can also ask what happens if it just works?
    In case of the M8 and now M9 I am willing to have to send in even new lenses sometimes and wait for 2-3 weeks because I think once the system works its well worth it and nothing else compares.

    Regarding Marcs comments: I think even though he had some bad experience with the S2 he never said anything bad about the system. He just described what he experienced. He even wrote that he thinks he had bad luck and that the camera could (eventually) serve others well.
    If readers here are not able to develop an own opinion (no matter if its negative or positive ) than its not the fault of Marc or Guy or anybody else IMO.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike M View Post
    Why? Are you looking for a competitive advantage?
    I'd like to know too, and competitive advantage is of no concern to me.
    Cheers,
    Jeff
    www.jeff-grant.com

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by t_streng View Post
    I find it interesting, how much emotion we can see in this discussion.

    I see it as follows:
    -Each camera can fail, no camera is 100% reliable
    -From the few reviews on the internet about the S2 some indicate AF problems, Marc also had the frozen shutter problem
    -I have no idea how statisticly representative this information is. My local dealer has sold 2 S2 and both guys seem to be happy with it. One of them has used it on several trips in rough conditions. So is the S2 less reliable as other MF systems? We dont know. I would assume that a totally new system might have more problems in the beginning than systems in the 3rd generation.
    Back to the car comparison: Would you buy a new model of a car or would you rather wait some years before buying that model. (Personally I would buy it after 2 years i the product lifetime is 6 years)
    I would assume everybody who buys a totally new product acts a little bit like a beta tester. On the other side he might be one of the first ones who can also enjoy some new features (In case of S2: formfactor/ lenses/ weather proof).
    So we can ask what happens if it fails, we can also ask what happens if it just works?
    In case of the M8 and now M9 I am willing to have to send in even new lenses sometimes and wait for 2-3 weeks because I think once the system works its well worth it and nothing else compares.

    Regarding Marcs comments: I think even though he had some bad experience with the S2 he never said anything bad about the system. He just described what he experienced. He even wrote that he thinks he had bad luck and that the camera could (eventually) serve others well.
    If readers here are not able to develop an own opinion (no matter if its negative or positive ) than its not the fault of Marc or Guy or anybody else IMO.


    -Marc.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike M View Post
    Why? Are you looking for a competitive advantage?
    Not really Just curious...I was under the impression that larger chips (or film frames) help in achieving more 3D-ness?

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    I think there is a middle ground here.

    For example, I am with David regarding the 5D ... I just never could take to that camera, in fact I also hated it because of the feel, and especially the sound. But it worked. However, others like my shooting partners Noel and Ed, or our own Ben R. like it for that very "working" reason. It's a workhorse for many wedding photographers.

    Not sure David's Apple example is the best, except to support the notion that bad luck can happen with anything. I've never had to stand in line to see an Apple Genius ... make an appointment, and make sure you aren't early or late. IMO, the kitchen example is a bit off also since the competitive set here is hardly a $10 aluminum frying pan

    I also believe familiarity and past experiences color our evaluations of gear. For example, after shooting a V camera for 30 years, I developed a familiarity, got results, and the subsequent fondness made it difficult to move on well past the time that my eyes told me "You need AF". It is amazing the excuses we make about gear that no longer works for us anymore. The first time I picked up a H camera at Photo-Plus, and it grabbed critical focus in a dim room, I was hooked.

    This "familiarity factor" is a big draw for the S2 ... it is a similar experience to a Pro 35mm DSLR, and borrows from the technologies like weather sealing ...even the frame ratio is the same. Yet after using a H kit for years, I feel I'd never get quite as fast at shooting with the S2 (as it is now) even with customizing the functions, as I can the H. I'm sure many would disagree with that, partially because they simply do not know how to use the H's shooting features ... they are not initially familiar with them, and never get beyond that point.

    Personally, I never take any report of a camera as gospel (mine included ), only as an alert. The S2 AF controversy is denied by some and confirmed by others. Alert! And that alert may simply mean that one has to learn the camera's AF tendencies and incorporate technique that isn't initially "familiar." Or it may mean there is an issue.

    The S2 fits many needs for me. However, it cannot replace my MFD kit. Of the two, I can live without the S2, but not without the H. The modular versatility to meet diverse assignments or creative notions, higher resolution (60), very advanced AF system, and the familiarity I have with the one button shooting functions that are now second nature.

    This takes nothing away from what the S2 is, or represents to other shooters ... or even how it can fit my own desire to upgrade from 35mm CMOS camera in terms of IQ while retaining that familiar form factor.

    -Marc

    BTW, what a great discussion this has been. I learn so much from you folks ... it makes you think ... and grow.
    Last edited by fotografz; 5th January 2011 at 04:12.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post
    I think I made this point earlier but I want to repeat it.

    If you cannot rely on your first copy of equipment to work properly the first time then you cannot rely on rental as backup or the purchase of a new body as backup should your equipment die before or during a job.

    That means you need two sets of backup, owned and tested.

    If you need an S2 to do the job then an H4D isn't backup. If you need an S2 to do the job then a A900 isn't backup.

    I think that this is a very crucial point for pros. Either buy into reliability or you have to buy, test and then buy two sets of backup (if all 3 bodies go down on you then you ain't going to beat Murphy anyway so just give up!). It's easy to do with a 5DII, which is why I assume so many studios are using them. With MFD, not unless you have a whole bunch of cash sitting spare...
    Ben, I think "back-ups" depends on intent.

    If I take a MFD kit to a wedding or environmental portrait session, the intent is to kick up the IQ by a lot for certain images. This is an auxiliary creative desire, not a necessity as you are fully aware. So, I've never taken both my H cameras to anything like that. I take the Sony ... two of them 'cause they're relatively inexpensive

    If I shoot a commercial job in the studio I do have the two MFD solutions ... but they are not the same. However, they can fill-in for one another ... for most applications both meet the need, one is simply less work to get to the final delivered images.

    I cannot think of many applications where a H4D/40 wouldn't fill in for a S2 except needing a $2. bag in the pouring rain. IQ is comparible, speed is comparible enough, etc. I can think of applications where a S2 couldn't fill in for my H4D/40 ... like when I need to use my Rollie Xact2 for full T/S functions with front and rear standards. I also do not intend on buying two H4D/60s either However, this is once again a desire to kick up the IQ beyond a 40 meg cropped frame camera ... and if it failed on me I'd have to use the H4D/40 ... or the S2 if I had one instead ... which would suffice for the need, but not take it where I originally intended.

    In short, desire and need are two different animals. We don't need anything more than fur hides and lean-to to survive, we desire more

    -Marc

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    I think there is a middle ground here.

    For example, I am with David regarding the 5D ... I just never could take to that camera, in fact I also hated it because of the feel, and especially the sound. But it worked. However, others like my shooting partners Noel and Ed, or our own Ben R. like it for that very "working" reason. It's a workhorse for many wedding photographers.

    Not sure David's Apple example is the best, except to support the notion that bad luck can happen with anything. I've never had to stand in line to see an Apple Genius ... make an appointment, and make sure you aren't early or late. IMO, the kitchen example is a bit off also since the competitive set here is hardly a $10 aluminum frying pan

    I also believe familiarity and past experiences color our evaluations of gear. For example, after shooting a V camera for 30 years, I developed a familiarity, got results, and the subsequent fondness made it difficult to move on well past the time that my eyes told me "You need AF". It is amazing the excuses we make about gear that no longer works for us anymore. The first time I picked up a H camera at Photo-Plus, and it grabbed critical focus in a dim room, I was hooked.

    This "familiarity factor" is a big draw for the S2 ... it is a similar experience to a Pro 35mm DSLR, and borrows from the technologies like weather sealing ...even the frame ratio is the same. Yet after using a H kit for years, I feel I'd never get quite as fast at shooting with the S2 (as it is now) even with customizing the functions, as I can the H. I'm sure many would disagree with that, partially because they simply do not know how to use the H's shooting features ... they are not initially familiar with them, and never get beyond that point.

    Personally, I never take any report of a camera as gospel (mine included ), only as an alert. The S2 AF controversy is denied by some and confirmed by others. Alert! And that alert may simply mean that one has to learn the camera's AF tendencies and incorporate technique that isn't initially "familiar." Or it may mean there is an issue.

    The S2 fits many needs for me. However, it cannot replace my MFD kit. Of the two, I can live without the S2, but not without the H. The modular versatility to meet diverse assignments or creative notions, higher resolution (60), very advanced AF system, and the familiarity I have with the one button shooting functions that are now second nature.

    This takes nothing away from what the S2 is, or represents to other shooters ... or even how it can fit my own desire to upgrade from 35mm CMOS camera in terms of IQ while retaining that familiar form factor.

    -Marc

    BTW, what a great discussion this has been. I learn so much from you folks ... it makes you think ... and grow.
    Have to agree.
    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
    There was another S2 thread where I mentioned commodity fetishism. I'm not a philosopher or a formally educated person, but kept running into weird things going on when dealing with people in photography and the only explanations seemed to be found in cultural theory.

    When I read Guy's post about how he isn't emotionally attached to gear...what I'm really reading between-the-lines is that he is making his observations about gear based on their use-value as tool rather than their value as a commodity. He's basically saying that he isn't a commodity fetishist. All of his comments about the S2 (that I've read) have always been about it's use as a tool, so he's telling the truth as far as I can tell and isn't basing his observations on emotion.

    I know several things that can be done with the S2 that cannot be done with any of the other DMF systems when it comes to certain lighting schemes and producing 3-dimensional depth. That means I have a use-value for it as a tool that might not exist for others. This makes the extra expense and possible quirks of a new system worth it for me as long as I've got the money (which I don't LOL). Many of the criticisms that Guy has about the system might not be deciding factors for me, but that doesn't mean either one of us are basing our observations on emotion rather than reason. We might simply be able to agree-to-disagree when it comes to it's use-value and potential rewards vs drawbacks.

    One of the ways that I weed through photography opinion when it comes to gear is to assess whether the observation is made on use-value or value as a commodity. For example, I might choose to ignore a comment comparing the S2 to an accessory like a "Louis Vuitton bag" because it is a fetishistic statement rather than use-value statement.
    Well said Mike. What gets my jets rolling is what i am shooting. These tools I pick because they fit me and i do like them for sure but my buy laundry list is very long and sure fit, feel and being comfortable with me are a big consideration but I have a whole lot more to consider than just that. Look i like Leica too guys and certainly people buy them for lets admit it because it is Leica and they like expensive gear or they follow the Red dot. Okay someone had to say it but we all know that is true and nothing wrong with that and frankly I understand it for hobbyist for sure but most Pro's have a different value on tools. I'm in a different mindset all together that stuff is very unimportant to me even though I do like Leica products( owned several) my buy choices and emotions are based use -value and not a commodity item which many folks buy the brand they like and such as Mike says.

    Sure with cars i buy German a BMW and actually 2 VW are in my stable. Here it is a commodity purchase i love German cars and how they handle and are built. But cameras no, they are working tools that need to perform a function of my vision. I don't put much stock in a name here but how they will work for me on many levels. As i have said I found that in Phase and very happy with that decision and been through several bodies and backs . Which tells me I upgraded as needed without switching system which is a huge check mark for them. Its a product line that is getting the job done for me. But emotionally i would flip it on a dime if i found something that may work better for me. Clue here i have been married twice . I flipped the first one without emotion and the second is awesome.
    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
    It's funny that you're insulting my post and then backing it up with your music example.

    The example of the musicians getting enjoyment from their tools based on how they perform is EXACTLY the opposite of commodity fetishism. They enjoy the tools for their value in use rather than their value as a commodity.

    An example might be a collector that pays 50k for 1950s Les Paul because of it's value as a rare object....VS a musician that pays 50k for a 1950s Les Paul because of how the aged wood combined with the authentic vintage pickups will sound on his next recording.

    Mike in your world only professional drivers would be allowed to own high quality cars - and everyone else would be forced to either be a passenger or walk. What about high quality eye glasses and regular medical check-ups am I allowed these privileges? Please send me and everyone else YOUR list of what WE should be allowed to do with OUR money...

    Sorry mate - we left the feudal ages behind a few centuries ago

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by dfarkas View Post
    If I can shoot an S2, which produces the same IQ as an H4D40 or P40+, but enjoy shooting it more and gain some added technological advantages (battery life, weather sealing, daylight-viewable hi-res LCD, DSLR size, etc), why shouldn't I?
    David
    This pretty much sums it up for me. Every camera system out there has it's strengths and weaknesses. They all involve compromise at some point. The S2 has a more appealing set of compromises for me... it's got more of what I like and less of what I don't. It's a subjective choice based on objective factors which have a different weight for each of us. During the course of the years that I've been shooting MF those weights and balances have shifted for me. At one point the Sinar Hy6 with interchangeable platforms was very appealing. It allowed me to shoot a variety of platforms and use some very special glass. It had it's flaws but it was uniquely suited for someone who valued this versatility. The S2 has different advantages which are more important to me now. Folks told me I was nuts when I bought the Sinar kit then and other folks tell me I'm nuts for buying the S2 now but since I'm writing the check I kind of think I'm entitled to be nuts anyway I want

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    Pretty much sums up my thinking David.

    On tools...I guess no forum member has ever commissioned a wood plane to be made for their personal use...I have two @ $3000 each - a jointer and a smooting plane from a craftsman in New Zealand. I use them on Australian Hardwoods - which have a habit of dulling all but the best and thickest blades and making 'normal' planes chatter uncontrollably.

    I doubt very much the veracity of anyone who uses a camera (or any tool for that matter) regularly that doesnt care about his or her 'partnership' with same. I once asked some musician friends of mine if they cared about their instruments or did they just care about the music...they laughed at the idea that one could be seperated from the other - try playing Flaminco guitar on a thin necked Fender etc etc..

    This type of discussion which serves to put down the natural phenomenon of tactile relationship with tools as some kind of fetish is beyond insulting it is pure non sense. A type of inverted snobbery at best but to my way of thinking ignorance dressed up as logic.

    The first lesson ANY craftsman training is buy the best tools you afford son.

    Now as for best - 40 megapixels is pretty much 40 megapixels. Now choose what package you want and work through the associated compromises. The IDEA that ANY ONE camera can do it all - is another stupidity.

    [end]
    The tactile relationship between the photographer and the camera is important as it can contribute in a positive way to the image making process. The camera should not get in the way of you realizing your vision. The camera should facilitate it. However, to me, the "best" tool has to be a tool that has a very high degree of reliability. Reliability is paramount. An S2 that doesn't work when you need it to work is a very expensive paper weight, not a tool. The S2 may have superb lenses, sublime ergonomics, unique weatherproofing, etc., but if I cannot trust it to perform flawlessly when I need it, I cross it off my list.
    Leica has assiduously cultivated its image in recent years as a "status" brand. A significant percentage of its cameras are sold to people who put them in drawers and the cameras rarely if ever see the light of day. Somehow, I think a company that has seen that as its customer base is unlikely to turn on a dime and be able to make a tool, the S2, for customers with a very different set of expectations and a low tolerance level for a product that is not extremely reliable.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Ben, I think "back-ups" depends on intent.

    If I take a MFD kit to a wedding or environmental portrait session, the intent is to kick up the IQ by a lot for certain images. This is an auxiliary creative desire, not a necessity as you are fully aware. So, I've never taken both my H cameras to anything like that. I take the Sony ... two of them 'cause they're relatively inexpensive

    -Marc
    Sorry Marc, I'm a starving artist, can't possibly conceive of the concept of owning an 'auxiliary creative device' without which I could do the job just as well...
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

    Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by hcubell View Post
    The S2 may have superb lenses, sublime ergonomics, unique weatherproofing, etc., but if I cannot trust it to perform flawlessly when I need it, I cross it off my list.
    Thats all hypothetical you write here. There are a lot of S2 user which are very satiesfied with it.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by hcubell View Post
    The tactile relationship between the photographer and the camera is important as it can contribute in a positive way to the image making process. The camera should not get in the way of you realizing your vision. The camera should facilitate it. However, to me, the "best" tool has to be a tool that has a very high degree of reliability. Reliability is paramount. An S2 that doesn't work when you need it to work is a very expensive paper weight, not a tool. The S2 may have superb lenses, sublime ergonomics, unique weatherproofing, etc., but if I cannot trust it to perform flawlessly when I need it, I cross it off my list.
    Leica has assiduously cultivated its image in recent years as a "status" brand. A significant percentage of its cameras are sold to people who put them in drawers and the cameras rarely if ever see the light of day. Somehow, I think a company that has seen that as its customer base is unlikely to turn on a dime and be able to make a tool, the S2, for customers with a very different set of expectations and a low tolerance level for a product that is not extremely reliable.
    Howard I like your landscape shots - enough to be jealous of the beauty of your environment - which is my ultimate compliment for landscape work (FWIW)

    My 'thing' is mainly street and documentary type work. I occasionally do reportage style fashion for friends in the rag trade (oops fashion industry) I think the technical expression used by 'professionals' is 'lifestyle' or 'editorial'. For this type of shooting I have used Leica M cameras since I discovered them in a second hand shop nearly ten years ago. My M 'collection is M3, M7,MP M8 and M9 with about ten or so lenses. Every one of these cameras works for me - I just wish Leica had made an XPan - so we could have had a few lenses faster than F4..

    I know a lot of Leica shooters in Australia and around the world - I have heard that there are lot of 'collectors' but I don't know any myself. I think Leica made some mistakes with the M8 corrected in the M9 I believe that they really goofed not bringing out an R10 - which only needed to have 16 or so megapixels and autofocus to make my day.

    I got into MF digital in the quest for ultimate quality - probably before anyone on this forum except for Marc. Since this quest I have shot with Leaf, Hasselblad, Phase One and Sinar - on Contax, H, Mamiya and Hy6 platforms and I think I was using an Alpa with a Leaf back before anyone in this forum had even heard about them

    There isn't much anyone can tell me about MFD that I didn't know a few years before these same 'experts' started reading forums like this one - certainly MY experience is that the dedicated amateur who shoots for the love of shooting rather than producing for client needs is a far more interesting and useful source of information in the REAL world than the so called professionals - who by and large give themselves away as in the main ordinary at best - when you look at their sites.

    My experience has been that EVERY ONE of these backs and manufacturers has delivered disappointment to me in BUCKET LOADS for one reason or another - compared to the experience I have had with Leica or CaNikon.

    In the main I can say that everyone of the MFD manufacturers has overcharged and underdelivered - all the time.

    So I am not surprised that the S2 is having 'teething' problems. If they get smart and patch up their differences with C1 - they might do themselves and everyone else a favour by having access to great raw processing.

    Am I surprised that Marc has had two bad body experiences? nope. Will it make me any more cautious before buying than I already was ? Nope. Am I scared off on buying an S2 ? Nope

    My expectations ARENT the unrealistic expectations of a newbie or a working pro who( lets be frank) mainly use CANikons anyway for very good reasons.

    All I want out of an S2 is the ergonomics I already know it delivers. Thats enough for me to sell one or two of my systems and get an S2 with the proceeds.

    If it stops working I will send back to be fixed and grab the M9 out of my pocket - which is the back-up for everything now anyway.

    I dont believe the internet wisdom of Leica as a company which is dedicated to collectors and even if it was - if these collectors financed the company to continue making by far and away the very best optics for SLR and rangefinders - more strength to them!

    I will use the S2 as a walkaround camera as well as a studio camera - hand held - something I have already tested as a superior alternative to what I already own in 40 megapixel land.

    Will I make sure that the camera as delivered works before I get delivery ABSOLUTELY!

    Will it make me a better photographer? nope. Will I enjoy using it more than other stuff I have to compromise my hands and eyes to use today - absolutely!

    Pete

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by hcubell View Post
    The tactile relationship between the photographer and the camera is important as it can contribute in a positive way to the image making process. The camera should not get in the way of you realizing your vision. The camera should facilitate it. However, to me, the "best" tool has to be a tool that has a very high degree of reliability. Reliability is paramount. An S2 that doesn't work when you need it to work is a very expensive paper weight, not a tool. The S2 may have superb lenses, sublime ergonomics, unique weatherproofing, etc., but if I cannot trust it to perform flawlessly when I need it, I cross it off my list.
    Leica has assiduously cultivated its image in recent years as a "status" brand. A significant percentage of its cameras are sold to people who put them in drawers and the cameras rarely if ever see the light of day. Somehow, I think a company that has seen that as its customer base is unlikely to turn on a dime and be able to make a tool, the S2, for customers with a very different set of expectations and a low tolerance level for a product that is not extremely reliable.
    Dismissive blanket statements are silly about any product, user group or user experience ... all one can do is gather information from their own specific user experience and/or look for a wide variety of inputs to draw their own educated conclusions.

    While you might dismiss the S2 as an extremely unreliable piece of equipment because of bits of information gleaned off of camera forums, others are using it in a variety of difficult conditions with great results. In most instances, as it was stated in this and other threads in the medium format section, if you are interested in a particular system ... try it before you buy it ... and most importantly use it before you dismiss it.

    Case in point, I had no reservations or complaints in walking around with my S2 for several hours in 7 degree fahrenheit weather this morning. If anything, my disregard for my personal sanity/comfort should be called into question. I've probably spent more time with my S2 in inclement weather over the past several months than a majority of medium format shooters will spend with their equipment in similar conditions during their lifetime. Some shooters haul their cubes, top of the line gitzo tripods, tech cameras and lenses into a scenic condition for a week and talk smack about inclement weather on internet forums. Bully for them, but in forming an opinion on gear, you can't outrightly dismiss other shooters who spend lots of time pushing the gear to its limits.

    For some shooters like me, form factor and usability in inclement weather is more important than others. In my personal usage, the S2 has passed the test with flying colors. Two years ago, I spent several days with my P45+ back and Phase camera in shoots where the morning temperatures were -17 degrees fahrenheit. The back performed amazingly well, but I hated using the camera in those conditions. The shooting experience was awkward ... try frequently changing two sets of batteries with gloves on. Similarly, when I tried using the H4D platform for an extended trial run this fall, I loved the images I was getting with the system. But, in the end I didn't feel comfortable with a few things like the battery grip and slower lenses in the Hasselblad stable. So I made my choice, but I don't post as often or as loudly as others.

    My long and rambling point is that one has to dig deep and wide to search for a consensus on any gear ... and before perpetuating opinions, one should spend time with the gear he/she wishes to purchase in scenarios in which he/she plan on shooting with it.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Guy,
    This is where we really differ. Without repeating my same points and echoing PeterA's comment. The "comfort and ergonomics " you mention, contribute to efficiency and that translates to freedom to create and express. I don't want to go through 100 camera systems! Can I create more or less the same images with different cameras? Of course, but which one was more pleasingly graceful? Ergonomics and comfort are designed to interact! When I capture a great image, i'll look at my camera and say..."we did that".

    MikeM, I don't follow your logic on this one, both are getting something they want, but the musician has the decidedly better advantage. The results are more dynamic and engaging.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    There are a lot of camera alternatives, a lot of shooting situations, and even more photographers.
    I bet that photographers don't all drive the same car or drink the same brand of scotch.
    The hope I have is that the decisions made by the individual suit them well for their purposes and are not just a purchased because "everyone else" was doing it.
    So I think that Marc did the right thing. A test drive of any gear purchase is just a good idea.
    Decisions are sometimes based on the strangest factors. I once bought a new camera because it was in stock and I needed one immediately.
    It turns out that I used that snap-purchase for years, more than any other one purchase. It was a Nikon F3HP, but at the time, if there were other cameras available in that shop I am not sure that I would have bought it.
    So I don't think it is necessary to justify a purchase or a non-purchase to anyone else other than yourself; just answer the question will it do what I need it to do and do I have confidence in it.
    -bob

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by hcubell View Post
    The tactile relationship between the photographer and the camera is important as it can contribute in a positive way to the image making process. The camera should not get in the way of you realizing your vision. The camera should facilitate it. However, to me, the "best" tool has to be a tool that has a very high degree of reliability. Reliability is paramount. An S2 that doesn't work when you need it to work is a very expensive paper weight, not a tool. The S2 may have superb lenses, sublime ergonomics, unique weatherproofing, etc., but if I cannot trust it to perform flawlessly when I need it, I cross it off my list.
    Leica has assiduously cultivated its image in recent years as a "status" brand. A significant percentage of its cameras are sold to people who put them in drawers and the cameras rarely if ever see the light of day. Somehow, I think a company that has seen that as its customer base is unlikely to turn on a dime and be able to make a tool, the S2, for customers with a very different set of expectations and a low tolerance level for a product that is not extremely reliable.
    Hcubell,

    What are your sources for the S2 not being reliable? Please indicate where there is a pattern for these malfunctions, other than what you've gleaned off these forums. The fact that people are purchasing Leica because they hold value seems to be a bonus. If I purchase a Leica lens for the S2 now, I will get the same return if I sell it a year from now! It's like getting the free use of a lens.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    There isn't much anyone can tell me about MFD that I didn't know a few years before these same 'experts' started reading forums like this one - certainly MY experience is that the dedicated amateur who shoots for the love of shooting rather than producing for client needs is a far more interesting and useful source of information in the REAL world than the so called professionals - who by and large give themselves away as in the main ordinary at best - when you look at their sites.
    This just gets better and better...

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by KeithL View Post
    This just gets better and better...
    It's a shame really but I agree with your sentiment..
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

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  41. #291
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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    Howard I like your landscape shots - enough to be jealous of the beauty of your environment - which is my ultimate compliment for landscape work (FWIW)

    My 'thing' is mainly street and documentary type work. I occasionally do reportage style fashion for friends in the rag trade (oops fashion industry) I think the technical expression used by 'professionals' is 'lifestyle' or 'editorial'. For this type of shooting I have used Leica M cameras since I discovered them in a second hand shop nearly ten years ago. My M 'collection is M3, M7,MP M8 and M9 with about ten or so lenses. Every one of these cameras works for me - I just wish Leica had made an XPan - so we could have had a few lenses faster than F4..

    I know a lot of Leica shooters in Australia and around the world - I have heard that there are lot of 'collectors' but I don't know any myself. I think Leica made some mistakes with the M8 corrected in the M9 I believe that they really goofed not bringing out an R10 - which only needed to have 16 or so megapixels and autofocus to make my day.

    I got into MF digital in the quest for ultimate quality - probably before anyone on this forum except for Marc. Since this quest I have shot with Leaf, Hasselblad, Phase One and Sinar - on Contax, H, Mamiya and Hy6 platforms and I think I was using an Alpa with a Leaf back before anyone in this forum had even heard about them

    There isn't much anyone can tell me about MFD that I didn't know a few years before these same 'experts' started reading forums like this one - certainly MY experience is that the dedicated amateur who shoots for the love of shooting rather than producing for client needs is a far more interesting and useful source of information in the REAL world than the so called professionals - who by and large give themselves away as in the main ordinary at best - when you look at their sites.

    My experience has been that EVERY ONE of these backs and manufacturers has delivered disappointment to me in BUCKET LOADS for one reason or another - compared to the experience I have had with Leica or CaNikon.

    In the main I can say that everyone of the MFD manufacturers has overcharged and underdelivered - all the time.

    So I am not surprised that the S2 is having 'teething' problems. If they get smart and patch up their differences with C1 - they might do themselves and everyone else a favour by having access to great raw processing.

    Am I surprised that Marc has had two bad body experiences? nope. Will it make me any more cautious before buying than I already was ? Nope. Am I scared off on buying an S2 ? Nope

    My expectations ARENT the unrealistic expectations of a newbie or a working pro who( lets be frank) mainly use CANikons anyway for very good reasons.

    All I want out of an S2 is the ergonomics I already know it delivers. Thats enough for me to sell one or two of my systems and get an S2 with the proceeds.

    If it stops working I will send back to be fixed and grab the M9 out of my pocket - which is the back-up for everything now anyway.

    I dont believe the internet wisdom of Leica as a company which is dedicated to collectors and even if it was - if these collectors financed the company to continue making by far and away the very best optics for SLR and rangefinders - more strength to them!

    I will use the S2 as a walkaround camera as well as a studio camera - hand held - something I have already tested as a superior alternative to what I already own in 40 megapixel land.

    Will I make sure that the camera as delivered works before I get delivery ABSOLUTELY!

    Will it make me a better photographer? nope. Will I enjoy using it more than other stuff I have to compromise my hands and eyes to use today - absolutely!

    Pete

    Thank you, Peter. Much appreciated.
    For the type of photography you do, I can easily understand how you would be ok if your S2 failed on location and you had to turn to your M9. The M9 is extremely well suited as a repacement. For the kind of landscape work I do, I don't have an equally acceptable backup. I have learned the hard way about the importance of the reliability of my equipment. I used to use a Hasselblad H3D-39. I was generally quite happy with the camera and the lenses, but suffered a number of complete failures of the camera and had to return it to Hasselblad in Europe. I had no complaints about the customer service from Hasselblad. It was extraordinary. They FEDEX'd a loaner camera to me each time, even before they received my camera. The last straw was when I was in Southern Utah for a week and the camera failed late on the second day, a Friday, so a loaner could not be shipped till Monday and would not arrive till Tuesday. I did have a Canon 5DII as a backup, but for me it was a big step down from the H3D. That's the point at which I decided enough was enough. I switched to a Phase One P65 and bought three lightly used H bodies as backups. I am not sure it's true, but the anecdotal reports were that the Phase backs were much more reliable than the Hassy digital backs. So far, so good with my P65. The H series bodies have been reported to have lots of problems, consistent with my experience, but I now have three of them!
    BTW, I thought about trying/buying an S2 before buying the P65, but David
    Farkas never returned my call.

  42. #292
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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by johnnygoesdigital View Post
    Hcubell,

    What are your sources for the S2 not being reliable? Please indicate where there is a pattern for these malfunctions, other than what you've gleaned off these forums. The fact that people are purchasing Leica because they hold value seems to be a bonus. If I purchase a Leica lens for the S2 now, I will get the same return if I sell it a year from now! It's like getting the free use of a lens.
    My research is limited to the OP receiving two defective/malfunctioning bodies in a row. I am completely unprepared to conclude that Marc is "just" unlucky. The only way to be sure about the real track record of the S2s for reliability is for Leica to open up its warranty records for our inspection, and we know that's not happening.
    As for being able to sell an S2 lens without a loss after a year, that does not mean much to me. I don't buy cameras as investments. I did, however, buy a Leitz Focomat IC enlarger in 1969 and sold it in 1978 for more than I originally paid for it.

  43. #293
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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post
    It's a shame really but I agree with your sentiment..
    You want butter and salt on your popcorn Sir.

    I'm being good and packing for LA. Checking my system twice and being nice. Wait Christmas is over

    Problem is folks many of you are speculating on how many happy users , how many users have not reported issues on forums , how many users are not on forums to hear from them and on the flip side how many users are reporting issues, how many users refuse to participate on forums to discuss them. Saying there are many happy users or how many are unhappy , we need to see real stats on that. So sorry some crazy comments without real hard evidence in all directions. I think the evidence we have before us concludes that it is suspect to issues let's call the kettle black here we seen the some evidence of it. How many there are how many are holding back who the heck knows and really does 15 happy campers make it okay for the poor guy holding a DOA cam in his hands. Lets get real here and secondly lets stop the insults , which one comment really ticked me off as part owner of this site and our rules. Let's keep it friendly and REAL. Last time I looked we all put our pants on the same way.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Yeah well packing for a flight to the UK tomorrow, trying my new shutter in the line of fire at a wedding, tried it already on a paying job (with backup of course) and all ok apart from the filthiest sensor I've ever seen, a pro repair shop should know better than changing a sensor without cleaning the sensor afterwards (groan). Luckily weddings aren't shot stopped down like the work I was doing which showed up the dust...

    Lufthansa, best kosher meals of any airline I've ever flown on, nice planes too and never ever late. Looking forward after a year of flying budget airlines!
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

    Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    "Last time I looked we all put our pants on the same way."

    Except the firemen: they leave their pants tucked into their boots so they can get them on quickly when the bell rings.

  46. #296
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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by stephengilbert View Post
    "Last time I looked we all put our pants on the same way."

    Except the firemen: they leave their pants tucked into their boots so they can get them on quickly when the bell rings.
    You know I was waiting for this. LOL Good one Steve
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  47. #297
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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by KurtKamka View Post
    Dismissive blanket statements are silly about any product, user group or user experience ... all one can do is gather information from their own specific user experience and/or look for a wide variety of inputs to draw their own educated conclusions.

    My long and rambling point is that one has to dig deep and wide to search for a consensus on any gear ... and before perpetuating opinions, one should spend time with the gear he/she wishes to purchase in scenarios in which he/she plan on shooting with it.
    For what it's worth, I agree with your post.

    It seems that we all are looking for what the Germans call Eigerlegendewollmichsau (egg-laying-wool-milk-sau) only that it does not exist. So you have to make compromises and decide for yourself what is more important for you. Some will rightly pay a high premium on (real or perceived) reliability; others want portability; others MP and the best glass there is. It is a very personal choice.

    This forum helps to make that choice, but to be frank, and with all due respect to those who generously share their knowledge (and, in particular Guy), for me this is only one source of information. Also, I have no idea how many MFD users there are, but it must be several thousand. So the 50+ active posters here are only a small fraction of those who use these cameras (again, no offense to anyone or this forum). I therefore also look at other fora and listen to a trusted dealer; of course, a dealer wants to sell but I trust that a good dealer would not persuade a valued customer to buy into a system if he knows or suspects that the customer will likely be unhappy (in a same manner as a pro photographer would not persuade a prospective client do a shoot if he suspects that the client will not like the result).

    Not sure where I will come out (it is now about a year that I first posted a question requesting advice on a MFD system), but I am leaning towards the S2 for pretty much the same reasons that Kurt set out and that I am not going to repeat. I know that with a 80MP Leaf, and Arca Swiss, Schneider Lenses, and a solid tripod I would likely get better image quality (at pretty much the same price) BUT I wont use that system much less than the S2. So may be if I get one, and if it fails on me, you will see me rambling. Just do me a favor and don't tell me then "I told you so!"

    Anyway, I followed this thread almost like a life ticker of a soccer match. Kind of fun to see the different views clashing.

    Georg

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post

    Lufthansa, .... and never ever late.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    This is my first post, and only fitting to jump in on such a contentious thread. I'm already big fans of Guy, Jack, Marc and others from just reading a ton of posts ... you guys are so awesome and provide an amazing service.

    I wanted to chime in on the "emotion" debate -- and I can't speak from the perspective of being a "pro" because I don't and will probably never derive my sole source of income from photography. In fact, I'm rather new to photography but must admit that I have sort of "fallen" for Leica after seeing so many M images, reading the history, the look of their designs, etc. The fact that I'm even considering an S2 as a hobbyist (though I do have things I could shoot to recoup the cost of the package) ... says something about the "emotional" impact that their brand has.

    And while I'm a hobbyist, I wouldn't rule out the notion that many pros get emotionally attached to the brand they use. Just look at all the Canon vs. Nikon debates amongst pros online ... or in another industry, I know so many professional writers, designers, graphic artists, etc who couldn't do their same work on a PC for less money -- yet Apple has done a phenomenal job of creating that culture and warm/fuzzy feeling that people want to be part of.

    Doesn't mean it's right. Probably the healthiest perspective is the one Guy has -- where the gear is just a means to an end, if something better comes along with superior specs/economics -- then you simply switch. Makes sense and perhaps some people can be like that, but I know too many "pros" in both photography and film that have emotional attachments to their gear. (Red camera is another great example -- phenomenal products, very shaky start, and now they have one of the most emotionally enthusiastic, passionate followings -- some of the strongest brand evangelists I've ever seen in any industry.)

    I guess the point of all this that it's okay to be emotionally attached and passionate about the brand that you use ... but as others have noted, it's dangerous to get so attached that you become blinded to issues that could compromise you professionally and financially. (Like if Marc had been so in love with Leica that he didn't bring a backup, it would have hurt him professionally. Not the case, but just as an example.)

    In my case, I admit that even though I came to fascination about MFD through being in love with the M9 ... I have been pretty impressed by images I've seen from Guy, Jack and those with Phase gear ... and also super impressed with many of the Hasselblad "Masters" stuff I've seen. That shook me a little of my worship for Leica, however, I must admit -- and especially after holding the S2 -- that none of the other brands will give me the same excited, proud, warm/fuzzy feeling that Leica does.

    And if those emotions lead one to get out more and shoot, and enjoy shooting more -- can they really be such a bad thing?

    Anthony

    P.S. -- I say all this with the belief that Leica kinda missed the mark on pricing this item. I know they thrive on their small, "hand built" reputation and it looks good from a branding/marketing perspective when your demand always exceeds your supply ... however, had they done this at even $15k for the body, they would have so many more adopters PLUS it would be so much easier to have backups or upgrade later to the S3.

    Then again, I think that if you surveyed everyone they'd agree: A lower price for the body, a full line of lenses and better QC would be have made this camera a huge home run and no brainer for a lot more pro photographers.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by xpixel View Post
    Thats all hypothetical you write here. There are a lot of S2 user which are very satiesfied with it.
    Well, to be fair ... that is hypothetical also.

    First of all there aren't that many S2s out there ... and secondly, how many are in the hands of people who hold that "I need it to work" standard of performance ... I mean, really need it?

    Not knocking anything here, just there isn't enough solid information either way.

    My initial post was simply a S2 report a year later ... the advances ... and unfortunately the hiccups.

    To tell the truth, not many professional photographers, even very successful ones, are very quick to grab the latest greatest. A little bit lesser performance with a very stable platform is pretty highly prized ... and not many are in a hurry to engage in hypothetical anything when it comes to gear. There are enough unknowns and variables in photography already without introducing more.

    -Marc

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