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Thread: S2 Impressions: A year later.

  1. #301
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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    FWIW - a side story: I've been avoiding the S2 debate, having appreciated it so much while holding it briefly. Big $, limited lenses, and while it has the sexiest form factor, my needs were for WLF instead. Just lazy with the DSLR format - don't think as hard. Composing off that glass in a WLF just makes me work harder and take better shots - for each his own.

    One day in Colorado, the Hy6 and I went for a brief mountain stroll - or so it started. 4 hours later we (!) were both on the side of a mountain, too exhausted to go up or down, with about 3 hours work either way. Well, we got out of that jam, but upon getting home, I found that the Leaf back and the camera had decided to quarrel as well - something about the thin air, the cold, and the lack of any rational behaviour that day.

    Needless to say, a family pow-wow was held, and all parties agreed to start over, and not do anything like that again.

    All this to point out that sometimes the best of friends sometimes do silly things they regret later. I would have taken out my anger at the camera and back, except that I was even more stupid than they. Everyone has been on good behaviour since.

    Clearly not a professional expedition. Not even close.

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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.
    To apply your own logic ... how do you know this?

    Sounds like purchase justification to me ... I should know, I've used it myself too many times ...

    There are demo S2Ps WITH the 70mm lens available now for $25K or $26K. New retail they are 28K +$5K = $33K That is a $8,000 drop in a year and those aren't private owners selling. Same scenario for most any MFD kit. Trouble is all this gear cost so much that it is mostly people with the means buying them or companies that can write them off ... so they buy used only if it's a really a good deal.

    In other words, why would I pay you full price a year later, rather than buying from a trusted dealer and get a full new warranty?

    This stuff isn't Leica M. All these ROI scenarios have to be proven out yet.

    The only ROI worth considering is ROU ... Return On Usage.

    -Marc

  3. #303
    Senior Member KeithL's Avatar
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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by AnthonyFlores View Post
    I guess the point of all this that it's okay to be emotionally attached and passionate about the brand that you use ...
    You'd be better served by saving emotion and passion for your images rather than your cameras.

  4. #304
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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Seems that what it all boils down to is a 'professional/amateur' schism (I do so dislike the term 'hobbyist').

    Leica needs lots of enthusiastic amateur photographers (of the well heeled variety) to buy S2's so that all the glitches can be ironed out.

    I guess that this has been a large driving force for the improvement of the M8/M9, and I think it will be for the S2 as well (I'm not joining in, but it's nothing to do with the camera - it's to do with my need for MF).

    When the rich enthusiasts have helped Leica get it sorted, then it's time for the (rightly) cautious pros to start jumping in.

    ooops . . . supposed to be resting

    Happy new year everyone

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    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
    I read somewhere (I think it was the Leica camera forum) that the majority of the buyers for the S2 so far were still non-professionals. Those who don't fall into the "need it to work" category, as you say Marc. Of course, this is FAR from an official stat ...

    ... Nor does it mean that the S2 is not a "pro" camera, it certainly is in terms of price, specs, etc. However, even though the price will always remain a barrier to some ... I sincerely hope Leica gets their lens lineup and overall reliability to the point where more genuine professionals are successfully embracing it.

    "World's best hobby camera" or "world's most expensive hobby camera" are not exactly terms that company wants to be known for -- not even Leica.

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

    Funny I don't like the term amateur seems like they don't know anything yet by definition of course. Hobbyist seems like a much more pleasant word as it does not stick a experience label on it. I know OT but maybe it is a culture thing.

    Here check this out interesting http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amateur

    Look at this which is why I don't like to use the word

    Amateurism can be seen in both a negative and positive light. Since amateurs often do not have formal training, some amateur work may be sub-par. For example, amateur athletes in sports such as basketball baseball or football are regarded as having a lower level of ability than professional athletes.

    Than look at this

    Hobbies are practiced for interest and enjoyment, rather than financial reward. Examples include collecting, creative and artistic pursuits, making, tinkering, sports and adult education. Engaging in a hobby can lead to acquiring substantial skill, knowledge and experience. However, personal fulfillment is the aim.


    I know crazy but very interesting we use different words to mean the same thing.

    BTW Anthony welcome to GetDPI . Nice first post
    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
    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.
    Thanks for the detailed response, Guy It seems we might share a similar wavelength because your post emphasizes exactly the idea that I intended to convey....

    We both agree that deciding factors for us when it comes to gear are connected to their use-value. But that doesn't mean we won't get emotional about them, it just means that the deciding factor is use-value. Emotional responses and tactile feels and stuff might be secondary factors. For example, you stated that you like to buy cars for reasons other than use-value...That's cool! I do the same thing when purchasing non-business related items. People can buy whatever they want for whatever reason...But I don't treat business the same way as personal life because that would be irresponsible.

    If somebody tells a businessman that he's making a business decision (like purchasing gear) on emotional factors rather that use-value factors....then he's insulting the intelligence and choices of the responsible businessman. That's why I felt compelled to defend you with my original post. But since there are more hobbyists than business people in forums the "group mind" or whatever might have difficulty relating and they don't often understand when they are being insulting.

    Just for the record...I sure as hell am not telling hobbyists that they can't buy a piece of gear. They can buy whatever they want for whatever reason! Please buy S2s...buy them by the truckload! Anyone that would suggest I think otherwise is just not understanding the intent of my original post.

    Heck, I don't care why a person buys a high-end camera.... The only thing that matters is that they buy it and the folks at places like Leica, Alpa, Arca, Linhof etc can stay in business and offer lots of gear choices in the market place. Plus, it's no secret that enthusiasts finance the creation of high end professional gear. If they stopped buying, for whatever reason, then the gear would no longer be available for the "pros" either...Thank God for the enthusiasts!

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Funny I don't like the term amateur seems like they don't know anything yet by definition of course. Hobbyist seems like a much more pleasant word as it does not stick a experience label on it. I know OT but maybe it is a culture thing.

    Here check this out interesting http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amateur

    Look at this which is why I don't like to use the word

    Amateurism can be seen in both a negative and positive light. Since amateurs often do not have formal training, some amateur work may be sub-par. For example, amateur athletes in sports such as basketball baseball or football are regarded as having a lower level of ability than professional athletes.

    Than look at this

    Hobbies are practiced for interest and enjoyment, rather than financial reward. Examples include collecting, creative and artistic pursuits, making, tinkering, sports and adult education. Engaging in a hobby can lead to acquiring substantial skill, knowledge and experience. However, personal fulfillment is the aim.


    I know crazy but very interesting we use different words to mean the same thing.

    BTW Anthony welcome to GetDPI . Nice first post
    you're right about that

    I'm trying my best to say "enthusiast" as much as possible to differentiate between the people that do photography for a living and the ones that do it for non-profit.

    The other word I'm trying to get away from is the term "professional." It's too often abused as a seal of approval for high end gear or technique etc. But we probably should be focusing on craftsmanship and striving to be master "craftsman" rather than professionals. Craftsmanship is something that everybody can aspire towards regardless of their status as an enthusiast or a money-making gun-for-hire.

    I honestly hate the term professional. It connects photographic legitimacy with the advertising industry or the consumer portrait/wedding industry. Art and craftsmanship should be divorced from consumers as much as possible. Yes, elements of art might be used in advertising and craftsmanship might be a factor in consumer portrait work etc. But if the purpose is to make money then that is the dominant factor and NOT craftsmanship or artistic merit. IF we want to garner respect for photography and create a close-knit community of like-minded individuals then it's best to focus on high-minded universals like art and craftsmanship over profit.

    In general, I think we should all start trying harder to divorce photographic art and craftsmanship from money as much as possible. That would get rid of a lot of miscommunication, and also allow the enthusiasts or "hobbyists" to stop feeling like they are in competition with business people...which they are not.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    This thread has become so scattered that it's difficult to track the conversation.

    Amateur, Professional, Hobbyist ... often we all are all of the above aren't we?

    At this stage, I think it may be important to separate the wheat from the chaff.

    Emotional attachment to gear can happen i suppose, but it is a separate endeavor I think. If you are admiring your camera while shooting, or take it with you because you admire it, or worse ... someone else will admire it ... then perhaps I'd suggest reordering your priorities more toward what you are shooting, not what you are shooting with

    I'm involved with documenting a remarkable 90 year old woman's life for a book project. For my first meeting at her ... hmmm ... eclectic home yesterday, I sat in conversation while she smoked Pall Malls, sipped her scotch ... and in her raspy voice weaved a tale only someone intensely involved with life could tell. She knows every speck of history related to the Historical Village I live in ... all in incredible detail. She even told me how her husband and her sat listening to FDR's Pearl Harbor speech ... on a 1938 Hallicrafter radio she still has in the living room!

    The only gear thought I had was to match gear ability to need before I left. I took my rangefinder and never gave it a thought after that except to turn it on ... and even that was just muscle memory. My attachment was 100% to her. Gear is nothing when in action ... unless it gets fussy, acts up or fails. Then it is an unwelcome intruder, interrupting the very process it was designed to help you accomplish.

    -Marc

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Leica lens prices have gone up $500.00 or more as of this year. If one purchased a 70mm or 35mm at 2010 prices then it seems after approx. 5000 clicks that I could sell this lens in 2012 for exactly what I originally paid. It's not purchase justification at all, just incentive.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by KeithL View Post
    This just gets better and better...
    Just my experience old chap.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike M View Post
    you're right about that

    I'm trying my best to say "enthusiast" as much as possible to differentiate between the people that do photography for a living and the ones that do it for non-profit.

    The other word I'm trying to get away from is the term "professional." It's too often abused as a seal of approval for high end gear or technique etc. But we probably should be focusing on craftsmanship and striving to be master "craftsman" rather than professionals. Craftsmanship is something that everybody can aspire towards regardless of their status as an enthusiast or a money-making gun-for-hire.

    I honestly hate the term professional. It connects photographic legitimacy with the advertising industry or the consumer portrait/wedding industry. Art and craftsmanship should be divorced from consumers as much as possible. Yes, elements of art might be used in advertising and craftsmanship might be a factor in consumer portrait work etc. But if the purpose is to make money then that is the dominant factor and NOT craftsmanship or artistic merit. IF we want to garner respect for photography and create a close-knit community of like-minded individuals then it's best to focus on high-minded universals like art and craftsmanship over profit.

    In general, I think we should all start trying harder to divorce photographic art and craftsmanship from money as much as possible. That would get rid of a lot of miscommunication, and also allow the enthusiasts or "hobbyists" to stop feeling like they are in competition with business people...which they are not.
    Wow,
    MikeM, I had to read your comment a few times to be sure that's what you wrote. My guess, is the couple looking to document their wedding day is not going to trust these important photos to the hobbyist. Also, there is no competition from pro's because they get paid to do it. The word professional comes from profession. Simply put, the Master craftsman is considered a professional and is paid accordingly.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike M View Post
    you're right about that

    I'm trying my best to say "enthusiast" as much as possible to differentiate between the people that do photography for a living and the ones that do it for non-profit.

    The other word I'm trying to get away from is the term "professional." It's too often abused as a seal of approval for high end gear or technique etc. But we probably should be focusing on craftsmanship and striving to be master "craftsman" rather than professionals. Craftsmanship is something that everybody can aspire towards regardless of their status as an enthusiast or a money-making gun-for-hire.

    I honestly hate the term professional. It connects photographic legitimacy with the advertising industry or the consumer portrait/wedding industry. Art and craftsmanship should be divorced from consumers as much as possible. Yes, elements of art might be used in advertising and craftsmanship might be a factor in consumer portrait work etc. But if the purpose is to make money then that is the dominant factor and NOT craftsmanship or artistic merit. IF we want to garner respect for photography and create a close-knit community of like-minded individuals then it's best to focus on high-minded universals like art and craftsmanship over profit.

    In general, I think we should all start trying harder to divorce photographic art and craftsmanship from money as much as possible. That would get rid of a lot of miscommunication, and also allow the enthusiasts or "hobbyists" to stop feeling like they are in competition with business people...which they are not.
    Totally disagree, except the part where enthusiasts shouldn't feel less than any other photographer ... IF they ply their endeavor with passion and determination.

    Holding up the art world as a paragon of purity and goodness is a fantasy indulged in by wishful thinkers ... or those who where never actually involved with it. Just as much politics and a$$ kissing, and all that, as with commercial work ... IMO, more. Lots of money at stake also, checked out Michael Kenna's and others prices lately?

    My contact with the "commercial" photography world was one of constant challenge and the search for the new ... with money as the prize. Incredible talent, excellent craftsmanship, and almost super-human dedication was the norm ... or the photographer disappeared, or was relegated to technical exercises to make a "scrape by" living. I'm not talking about the hacks anymore than the art world is represented by the local branch of the Ladies Painting and Crafts Club. Survival of the fittest is at play here. If you aren't moving froward you are already dead.

    Without money no Architecture. No movies. No Music. No Fashion. No Nothing. Just the Dark Ages with local folks doing their thing.

    I say increase the value of photography in people's lives ... let the enthusiasts make money, and competitively strive to make more. Purpose is a great motivator. Paid purpose can be even more motivating. It gets the work shown and appreciated and helps others grow. To quote someone from the art world ...

    A painting kept in the closet, might as well be kept in the head. -Picasso

    -Marc

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Hrmm... ya'll just did exactly the same thing as Peter

    you didn't understand what I wrote...then responded with a bunch of stuff that I actually agree with...while thinking that you're arguing with me

    it's funny forums are probably just not a good medium for this kind of discussion

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Dont worry Mike - no one holds any grudges in here - part fo the charm of the place is the great variety of characters and points of view.

    However you do get some polarised discussion whenever you see the following 'trigger words'

    Leica ( anything about them)
    Phase One ( you arent allowed to citicise them )
    Hasselblad they are ok but not as good as Phase One
    Professional
    Hobbyist

    then you have the hard liners ( its about the photo Taliban) who think photography is about the photo versus anyone else who thinks it is about the process and the journey



    Cheers
    Pete

  16. #316
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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    PeterA,

    Do you have a poster of yourself that I can hang in my room? I love your comments!

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike M View Post
    Hrmm... ya'll just did exactly the same thing as Peter

    you didn't understand what I wrote...then responded with a bunch of stuff that I actually agree with...while thinking that you're arguing with me

    it's funny forums are probably just not a good medium for this kind of discussion
    Well, I did take it that you meant art and craftsmanship should be divorced from money since that's what you said. In the real world that is the measure ... no art or craftsmanship, no money ...publish or perish.

    However, I think I do grasp the notion if it is the sole reason someone gets into doing "art". When I painted and showed, I could have made a lot more money painting kids with big eyes ... or sappy scenes and calling myself the "Lord of Light" or something Frankly, I haven't seen many commercial photographers do that ... and if they did, they were gone as fast as a restaurant in NYC that serves crappy food.

    What cannot be dictated is the general level of taste. If freedom of the "money chains" were so effective, where's the soaring levels of work? One thing is certain, there are more serious enthusiasts shooting photographs than there are professionals.

    -Marc

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.


    here ya go Johnny. one of my leica shooting pals trust me much better lookin than me

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by johnnygoesdigital View Post
    PeterA,

    Do you have a poster of yourself that I can hang in my room? I love your comments!
    Peter(A),

    I will be happy with a poster of your tractor!

    Life always looks better on the other side of the globe...until the sleep deprivation abates. Then it is pretty much the same....what you make of it,
    irrespective of manufacturer or lens, it is pretty much a vision thing which you seem to have nailed.

    All good.

    Bob

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    Dont worry Mike - no one holds any grudges in here - part fo the charm of the place is the great variety of characters and points of view.

    However you do get some polarised discussion whenever you see the following 'trigger words'

    Leica ( anything about them)
    Phase One ( you arent allowed to citicise them )
    Hasselblad they are ok but not as good as Phase One
    Professional
    Hobbyist

    then you have the hard liners ( its about the photo Taliban) who think photography is about the photo versus anyone else who thinks it is about the process and the journey



    Cheers
    Pete
    I would add Alpa to this list, maybe even at the top ... a guaranteed fire starter.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by David Klepacki View Post
    I would add Alpa to this list, maybe even at the top ... a guaranteed fire starter.
    Now, now, in all fairness I think that actually should be Arca AND Alpa
    (that just proved your point btw )

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    Dont worry Mike - no one holds any grudges in here - part fo the charm of the place is the great variety of characters and points of view.

    However you do get some polarised discussion whenever you see the following 'trigger words'

    Leica ( anything about them)
    Phase One ( you arent allowed to citicise them )
    Hasselblad they are ok but not as good as Phase One
    Professional
    Hobbyist

    then you have the hard liners ( its about the photo Taliban) who think photography is about the photo versus anyone else who thinks it is about the process and the journey



    Cheers
    Pete
    Here's a related question:

    Why did each of us get into photography?

    Was it the making of photographs, the end result, or was it an excuse to have gear?

    I know one can't happen without the other, but the question is ... what was the reason to do it in the first place?

    Each of us has a different relationship to photography ... no one is actually like minded except in the most general way.

    Some approach it like Golf, and the true game is against themselves. Process and journey is important.

    For others, nothing much matters except the idea and the resulting photo.

    And for others yet, it is a bit of all of the above.

    I'm sort of the "Taliban type." If I could attach a device to my noggin, and what I dream up could appear as an image I'd be just fine with that. The process for me is creating or finding the idea.

    Early on in my advertising career I was working as a designer and illustrator. Then it dawned on me that coming up with the idea was a better way to go. Not many could come up with ideas out of thin air, where a host of people could craft it and execute it once the idea was born. Trouble was the ideas would sometimes dissipate as more and more thumb prints were added.

    I got into photography to make photographs ... to close up the gap between thinking and the end result. Digital was a gift from heaven for me. A couple of steps extracted from all the stuff in-between the two. I don't miss Magic Marker rendering and hand painting headlines for ad layouts either.

    That is what gear evaluations mean to me ... investigating the straightest and shortest line between the two points.

    -Marc

  23. #323
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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    I'm happy to chime in here since I think I can shed some light on the "professional" market aspect of the S2. David and I work with a number of professional photographers who have purchased the S-system, along with those who rent, and professional rental studios all over the USA to facilitate sub-rentals and purchases. We have two rental kits that are perpetually in use, sometimes by those who making a living with photography, and sometimes by those who don't. We do not discriminate, we love photography and are happy to share our passion with anyone who will listen.

    The reality is the large majority of our clients who make their living as full time photographers do not post on forums, simply due to the fact that they are busy individuals...often times we work exclusively with their assistants and studio managers, even when a large purchase is involved.

    There are a lot more Leica S2 cameras out there than people realize, but in the end the number of users is not related in any way to how those users are feeling about their investment in the system. Since David and I work directly with many users, we've seen just about every bug and quirk that the system has had to offer since day 1. Any individual who has worked with us in the past knows that a quick call to one of our cell phones can usually solve any issue they have, whether it is a simple setting adjustment or requires a temporary loaner camera to be overnighted to them so they can continue to shoot until a resolution is reached.

    To make a long story short...I can say with absolute certainty that the S-system has not flopped or fluked or flubbed. Have there been bugs? Definitely! Is it expensive? Depends on who you ask. But is it a precision instrument designed to make amazing images and offer a fantastic user experience? Without a doubt.

    Josh
    Dale Photo & Digital

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Josh, I think you've rewritten one of the most timeless (and tasteless) of quotes... "The three F's... If it flops, flukes or flubs... rent don't buy"

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Good question Marc - and probably deserves its own thread - certainly deserves a fine bottle of Aussie red a fireplace a couple of relaxing chairs and a couple of Cohibas...

    I have to say that I come at photography from a different motivational set. I prefer to capture what is there in front of my face - and the only design or idea thinking I do is adressing a preference for interesting composition and light -my own definitions of interesting btw. My preference set is for documentary work and perhaps some whimsical liking for traditional reportage - purely because I like the genre.

    As for gear if itsnt beautiful and it doesn't feel good in the hand I have absolutely no interest in it - irrepsective any superiority it may provide over my aesthetic preference. This is a hard line design bias which I am happy to fess up to.

    Photography for me is a pure journey with no expectations. I think of it as a pleasant walk with the camera being a favourite pair of shoes - if I get a nice photo I do and if I dont - either way it doesnt matter anything to me.

    I think I understand people who liek to make photos to sell to other people - I think I do - but for me the notion has never been on my agenda. As I have said on other occassions there are far easier ways to make a buck.

    As for art - well there again I am agnostic - I do collect photographs because I liek them or the photographer but I dont 'invest' in photography. I certainly dont consider what I do with a camera to be art - my creativity is in the trades I put on every day for work or the perfect 5 iron draw around the trees landing softly on the green and setting up a nice birdie

    Pete

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    Good question Marc - and probably deserves its own thread - certainly deserves a fine bottle of Aussie red a fireplace a couple of relaxing chairs and a couple of Cohibas...

    I have to say that I come at photography from a different motivational set. I prefer to capture what is there in front of my face - and the only design or idea thinking I do is adressing a preference for interesting composition and light -my own definitions of interesting btw. My preference set is for documentary work and perhaps some whimsical liking for traditional reportage - purely because I like the genre.

    As for gear if itsnt beautiful and it doesn't feel good in the hand I have absolutely no interest in it - irrepsective any superiority it may provide over my aesthetic preference. This is a hard line design bias which I am happy to fess up to.

    Photography for me is a pure journey with no expectations. I think of it as a pleasant walk with the camera being a favourite pair of shoes - if I get a nice photo I do and if I dont - either way it doesnt matter anything to me.

    I think I understand people who liek to make photos to sell to other people - I think I do - but for me the notion has never been on my agenda. As I have said on other occassions there are far easier ways to make a buck.

    As for art - well there again I am agnostic - I do collect photographs because I liek them or the photographer but I dont 'invest' in photography. I certainly dont consider what I do with a camera to be art - my creativity is in the trades I put on every day for work or the perfect 5 iron draw around the trees landing softly on the green and setting up a nice birdie

    Pete
    Pete, GetDpi needs to do a webinar someday so such discussions don't take 10 days to develop.

    I truly think we all are enthusiast at heart here ... even if some do it for pay. It's a matter of emphasis. Actually, if I relied on wedding photography to pay my gear bill I'd still be shooting with a 6 meg crop frame Canon

    Selling photos to other people isn't just about money ... frankly at my stage of life, I don't need the money (but I like it to buy more expressive toys). It is giving someone art ... often art about them. The high minded look down on wedding photography as some sort of hack pursuit, but for me it is a creative challenge to buck that underdog position, with results that become part of a family's history. If I succeed in transcending the expected, then the results ARE recognized and become something precious to those people that they strive to preserve. I've been doing this long enough to have proved this out.

    I also think the "idea" notion is often misunderstood. An idea need not just be a blue-print for a structured photo ... although it can be and often is.
    My Pal Irakly is far less of a spontaneous shooter compared to me. Almost all of his great work by necessity is pre-thought and planned out ... similar to Cindy Sherman's art, or most top advertising shooters.

    An idea to me is frequently more plastic in nature ... an attitude or notion as to the nature of what I'm about to do, and a flexibility when shooting to take advantage of opportunity when it presents itself. While shooting something beautiful is an admirable goal, that in itself lost it's luster for me ages ago. I am far more interested now in the underlying idea, some substance or content that transcends just a well crafted piece. It's a pretty hard challenge, and I wish I had come to this realization sooner.

    -Marc

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Here's a related question:

    Why did each of us get into photography?

    Was it the making of photographs, the end result, or was it an excuse to have gear?
    So I could show others what I see. Initially the gear was a big draw (I'm a mechanical engineer) but as I've gotten crustier over the years the gear has become more of a neccesary evil. The stuff has to be bought, maintained, stored when not in use, and disposed of when it's no longer useful. I have to test and try lots of stuff to decide which hardware is the most intuitive path between what I see and the print. I've tried at least two dozen wildlife-capable lenses while figuring out what works for me and what doesn't.

    I'll now use the least & simplest hardware needed. I could probably do fine with just one lens (280 APO), a 1.4x extender and an extension tube, on a camera with straightforward manual controls. The rest of the stuff gets in my way more often than it helps me.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    My friends used to be bothered by me and my camera always snapping away. After a while they became relaxed around Pete and his camera - I am now officially allowed to be as pokey as I like. Over time these people became fascinated to see how they are depicted and how a photograph via post processing can be made to look what they call interesting. At first most didnt understand my interest in what appeared to be random snaps on the street. Over time they have come to really like looking for what is interesting in these apparently random shots.

    After ten years of doing this documentary type work I have a slideshow which I can run with music I have made which pretty much goes through family, friends, occassions, public events, political events, street events hundreds of individual random shots all of a sudden coming together to show a wider connectedness.

    This slideshow is a great photo album recording the change and evolution of a family and friends circle within a wider social context.

    This is why I make photos to record my 'real' world as I see it.

    So I totally understand wedding and social photography - and why I have always liked the idea of a documentary approach in these events.

    I also understand Doug's photography and his wildlife. To me this is another type of documentary photography and brings a wilder reality to people. I used to go shooting with a few friends - we have serious wild pig issues in Australia and tehy have t be regularly culled in farms - Doug's photography reminds me of aspects of hunting - sans bullets.

    Each of these activites requires a different set of tools with some overlapping and some very different skill set requirements.

    The gear is an enabling tool or not.

    The 'art' side for me is about how does the photo 'engage' an audience - without sacrificing integrity of subject matter. And my subject matter is about documentng and depicting 'ordinary' life - without the glamour.

    So an S2 is like a CaNikon for me except with more megapixels and better glass - same as Hasselblad or Mamiya etc - but in a better ergonomic package. It wont replace an M9 but it would be easier to use than the other MF systems in hand held form.


    Pete

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Peter-
    Do you have an S2 or have you held one? Got mine and I must say after really using it for a bit vs just holding in a store, the ergonomics don't seem worlds apart from Hassy/Phase. Overall the size and weight is very comparable, but of course the Leica has faster glass and feels better built.

    I agree with Guy (I think it was Guy) about the S2 handgrip too - it's big on the bottom and narrower at the top, so you have to clench your fingers more than I'd like to keep it in your hand. With Hassy the grip is great - puts the weight on your wrist - but Hassy is more unbalanced to the side.

    I'm loving the S2 so far, but need to take more time to compare S2 and Hassy lens performance. I also had no show-stopping issues in a few hours of use today.

    Travis

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Hi Travis,

    I have only tested the camera for a few hours all hand held use which is what I want it for. It is very similar to the R8/9's I used to shoot with interms of how my hands 'fit'.

    Interesting what you say about the ergonomics in hand.

    I have an H system which I will keep for its leaf shutter advantages - but hand held I find that the grip is on the small side of comfort - placing (as you say) a lot of weight on the wrist - so making extended hand held use very problematic. I have had a Mamiya body and found the grip much much too small for my hands - effectively holding the camera with tips of fingers.
    The hy6 I have has better balance but is a much heavier beast in hand - especially when you mount some of the larger glass like the 100 - although the inbuilt strap helps. I find the rotating handle to be a nice device but its sharper edges do take their toll after a while..

    I intend to get an S2 with the multifunction bottom which pretty much gives me a larger version of an R9 which was teh 'perfect' fit for my hands.

    Pete

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by GMB View Post
    Yeah, out of my mouth and into Murphy's hands, first flight was 2 hours late and the connection was half an hour late. almost missed the connection. Next time I'm keeping my mouth shut!!!!!!!!!
    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 PeterA View Post
    Hi Travis,
    I intend to get an S2 with the multifunction bottom which pretty much gives me a larger version of an R9 which was teh 'perfect' fit for my hands.
    Pete
    Pete, if you get the grip you can get a hand strap. I tried David F's yesterday and it's sweet. I'm a hand strap guy but not ready to make the camera any larger with the grip. If it's mostly for hand held use you probably don't need the RRS L bracket but if you decide you want one you need to know which configuration (with/without grip) you'll end up with.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Hand straps. Don't leave home with them.

    First thing I did with the S2 was put a Camadapter hand strap with a Arca type QR featuring dual strap lugs so I can also use a shoulder strap.

    It's the set up I use on the H4D cameras and both my Sony's.

    -Marc

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Thanks David and Marc for your suggestions.

    David - David F has just emailed me to start the process so thanks for letting him know. I have also exchanged emails with Son re the other matter we discussed.

    Pete

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Marc-regarding your Camadapter hand strap on your H4D--I am picking up a Hass H4D-60 today,and would be interested in the specific model hand strap you use--Thanks----Charley

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Camdapter straps ate here: http://www.camdapter.com/handstrap/prostrap.html

    You'll have to wait for Marc's input on the plate.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Doesn't look like those hand straps will work with the RRS L plate. Hope someone will tell me I'm wrong.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by David K View Post
    Doesn't look like those hand straps will work with the RRS L plate. Hope someone will tell me I'm wrong.
    The BH1-L has the necessary mount point for a Camdapter strap. I use a similar mount from RRS on my 645DF with the strap - the important thing is the loop next to the bottom plate.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    I am not sure the BH1-L will work on the S2. A while back I called RRS to get the dimension from the mounting screw to lip and it seemed to be just a tad too short to fit the S2. The dimensions were close. I considered it may be possible to modify the mounting hole to make it work, but I didn't bother to give it a try.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Caution re the Camadaptor Arca plate. It is not the same as standard AS plates. A couple of months ago I got the strap and two of the Camadaptor AS adapters. They work fine in a screw-type AS clamp, but the ridge/groove areas seem to be too thick to slide into the flip clamp on my Cube - unless I loosen the clamp adjuster right off. That adjuster thumbwheel is a pain.

    With the Cube flip clamp loosened, the Camadpator plate fits but, of course, my other AS plates are all too loose. Sort of kills the universal mounting plate convenience factor.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    I completely switched to Arca plates on my camera's. Both the Phase and Sony are Arca branded. The RRS plates are bigger on the mount so you really can't mix them up when using the clamp lock style which I like otherwise you have to adjust the throw every time. So I decided on ARCA plates but no slot for hand straps. Thinking of machining oneout
    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 cunim View Post
    Caution re the Camadaptor Arca plate. It is not the same as standard AS plates. A couple of months ago I got the strap and two of the Camadaptor AS adapters. They work fine in a screw-type AS clamp, but the ridge/groove areas seem to be too thick to slide into the flip clamp on my Cube - unless I loosen the clamp adjuster right off. That adjuster thumbwheel is a pain.

    With the Cube flip clamp loosened, the Camadpator plate fits but, of course, my other AS plates are all too loose. Sort of kills the universal mounting plate convenience factor.
    This is correct, and a valuable caution.

    However, I have more use for a dual-lug Camadapter plate for my H4D/40 so I can use the hand strap AND the shoulder strap for mobile work with that camera. So I only use the knob type quick release on my tripod and monopod. The Monopod has the RRS heavy-Duty flip head with knob QR so I don't need a L plate to go back-and-forth from landscape to portrait. In my case, the L plate and monopod is to slow and a bit more dangerous in hectic shooting conditions

    I have one lever type RRS QR and one Arca lever type and you cannot swap back-and-forth between a standard Arca plate and the Camadapter dual strap "Arca type" plate without adjusting the wheel ... which is a huge PITA.

    In the studio, I use the RRS camera rotator platform on a camera stand ... where even an L plate is a PITA to use.

    -Marc

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Back on topic:

    UPDATE:

    Yesterday AM a brand new Leica S2P landed on my doorstep. I had returned the one that was locking up with a detailed explanation of the circumstances and full details, so Leica could learn from it. My dealer wanted me to get the replacement and check it for him even if I send it back ... which I assume he will then use as his demo unit.

    So, I will be giving it a shake-down, including further investigation of the auto focusing performance ... now with a brand new camera, battery/charger, and I bought a new Sandisk 16 gig Extreme Pro CF card to use this time.

    I also received a very nice e-mail from Kelsey Fain, Product Specialist S-System Leica USA opening up a direct dialog for further discussion. As I get into it over the next few days, and this week-end, I will be contacting him directly with observations, and any questions. Specifically, I would like to know more about the AF system, how it works and what area is actually being measured.

    Pretty darned responsive, and in direct conflict with some of my previous less than stellar "service" dealings with Leica in past.

    Kudos to Leica despite the issues I experienced ... and a deep hope that my Luck favors me this time.

    More to come.

    -Marc

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Marc - race you round the block and see who gets one first

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    Marc - race you round the block and see who gets one first


    I win ... I have one already ... it's just whether I decide to keep it.

    Crafty like a fox my dealer is ...

    -Marc

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Back on topic:

    UPDATE:



    Kudos to Leica despite the issues I experienced ... and a deep hope that my Luck favors me this time.

    More to come.

    -Marc
    Glad to hear that Leica is listening to what's happening on the forum and responding. I hope this one works out for you Marc and in any event will look forward to following the sequel.

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by David K View Post
    Glad to hear that Leica is listening to what's happening on the forum and responding. I hope this one works out for you Marc and in any event will look forward to following the sequel.
    Not sure they are specifically listening to the forum or not ... but they did listen to the dealer all the way up to the president of Leica USA.

    -Marc

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Marc - make sure that the camera is loaded with the latest firwre update - which has 'just' been announced - apparently autofocus improvement as well as loss-less compression in DNG introduced amongst a few other tweeks.

    Pete

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    Marc - make sure that the camera is loaded with the latest firwre update - which has 'just' been announced - apparently autofocus improvement as well as loss-less compression in DNG introduced amongst a few other tweeks.

    Pete
    The previous cameras had that firmware, and so does this one. It's the first thing I checked

    Yhanks,

    -Marc

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    Re: S2 Impressions: A year later.

    Hi Marc,
    I am looking forward to your experience with the new one.
    I got a test-S2 today (for few days) and here are my initial thoughts:

    1)Went out and just shot around the 70mm lens wide open and focus and various distances looks very good to me (from initial few images I took). Ot of 20 there were maybe 2 which were not focused well all others look very good.

    2) ISO performance 1250 ISO looks noisy in the shaddows but much better than I had expected. 640 ISO looks very good (to me better than the A900 at 320ISO) First impression that I feel 1250 is really usable.

    3) exp metering and WB - even autowb seems to work quite good. Exposure metering (matrix) does look pretty good to (all just first impressions)

    4) Overall handling experience: very nice, its pretty big but handles very well. For a MF camera it feels very nice to have the ease of use like a DSLR regarding handling/WB/Exposure metering and a great thing to have in camera jpg and a quick review of the image.
    Also well damped and quiet for a MF camera. I took some images handhold at 1/60 Sek which came out pretty sharp.

    5) IQ: Color and tones look very nice to me just how they come out of the camera. Even the jpgs look very good.
    F2.5 with 70mm is a very nice shallow DOF and the bokeh looks very nice to me. I like the focal length (I allways liked 50 on the M8 and also on the M9) and 70 is somewhere in between. Compared to 50mm for DSLRs the 70mm SUmmarit shows a very nice bokeh and seems great even wide open.

    6) what I dont like so far:
    - 180mm lens is pretty big and heavy
    - Price - worst part IMO ;( (I had hoped for horrible AF and locking shutter to make the decision more easy)

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