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Thread: Talk Me Off the Ledge

  1. #51
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    The bottom line here he simply can't afford both the S2 and M9 not sure what the struggle is here. The money is just not there . If he wants to keep his M9 as i think a good idea than he would have to look for a alternate to the S2 because of budget. Reason i even brought up a used Hassy or Phase as he could get in the door maybe in his budget for less than 20k for a system in total. That should hold his M9 in his hands plus another system in MF. I see suggestions of both and all this weird stuff, that simply does not add up to his money. Not sure where the logic is here.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    .... you have no idea what sits in my closet or what i can have in 20 minutes on my desk or overnighted. .....
    The real question is, does your wife know what you have accumulated in that closet...



    ken

    p.s. Today's the big day---no backing off from the ledge!

  3. #53
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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Quote Originally Posted by kdphotography View Post
    The real question is, does your wife know what you have accumulated in that closet...



    ken

    p.s. Today's the big day---no backing off from the ledge!
    No and don't tell her.

    Are you sitting outside waiting for a delivery truck.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Are you sitting outside waiting for a delivery truck.
    Just came back in the house---IQ180 in hand!

    Too busy this week---won't be able to play until Sunday at earliest.

  5. #55
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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Congrats . Me too have hot deadline till next Thursday no time to shoot even if my back did come. Bummer
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Since it s pretty obvious that most posts are only skimmed and I was essentially called out as not appreciating the need for a professionals redundancy .....may I respond in kind .

    I just don t get this argument about backups . It seems that I am being lectured about stuff I don t know and accused of being blinded by the Leica bling. I have almost 100,000 images shot all over the world in all variety of situations and never once have I been shut out on any assignment either personal or professional. I am very well prepared for any trip or assignment . I understand the need for backup and where to apply it ...I sure don t need a lecture about what a pro needs . ( I have had camera ,lens ,battery,flash and card failures but never to an extent that kept me from shooting as planned).

    I believe in having as close to 100% redundancy as I can stand and normally the issue is that I can t carry that much around or watch over it while I am shooting. I also believe in having redundancy within a single system and much prefer two of the same verse a mixed batch of equipment. Just back from 8 days in Paris where I carried my M system with 10 batteries,2 chargers ,2 M9 s and x100 and duplicate electric wiring for everything. I also checked all the equipment and tested every body and lens before going . I carry a back up disk with a complete back up of my MacBook and enough cards to shoot around 5000 images without erasing ..all tested cards . Carolyn has her MacBook so I even have an alternative laptop.

    I don t believe the original posters primary issue is redundancy but as Guy mentioned having adequate funding to pursue a relevant strategy. These are of course related .

    With that said .lets look at this in the context of the original poster and focus on REDUNDANCY. He is finishing a book that has required several visits to Cuba. He would like the advantages of MF to help with architecture ,landscape and street scenes . The images will be blended with his existing work ..all Leica M . I don t think he needs MF ..if the M stuff is good enough for the book ..why would he need MF to finish it. (easier to argue if he was starting from scratch and said this subject would sing with MF). Adding an S2 or any MF solution to his existing M kit ..is a reasonable solution. (if he can afford it and can carry the gear). The back up would be his M9 kit . You could of course substitute any of the major MF solutions ....but here the redundancy would be in his M system . His work in Cuba (see his website or LFI ) is vey similar to the street shooting I do in Hollywood,Miami,Key West and San Juan . I even planned this trip last year with a Pro PJ but had to scrap it . My observations are based on the OP style ,stated objectives and some knowledge of the major photographic work thats been done on Cuba over the past 10 years ....harvey,webb,bazan,turnley to name a few. Bazan was just published on NYT Lens .

    The 2nd assignment is much more difficult . I am invisioning something like Steve Mccurry s work in Afganistan. A long time Nikon Kodachrome shooter..he carries HB for portrait work . The question I had for him when I spoke to him at a lecture last year...logistics ..how do you have the correct equipment etc with you in such difficult circumstances. He has one man assigned to just manage and protect the equipment , another to act as his fixer and keep him out of danger and sometimes a 3rd as a body guard. This is more extreme than working in a small village ..but nevertheless you still have to have your equipment with you always.

    I would never recommend that he go with a single system ....S2 or anything else ...for such an assignment . But since this does t seem to be an assignment he would routinely have renting (something) might be a decent solution.

    There are clearly major inconsistencies in the OP (like I need a wide angle and t/s) and then will be using the camera on the street and I have to sell the farm to get just a body and a lens . Any consideration of an S2 requires compromises and a lot more money .

    So for the record..I never recommended that the original poster consider any alternative that did not have appropriate redundancy for his specific situation. Nor did I endorse his selling the farm ,his horse and his M system to buy a single S2 .

    And yes Guy you rubbed me the wrong way by painting my advice as Leica biased and not having a professional perspective. You can make the same points with out labeling others viewpoints as rubbish.

  7. #57
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Roger one question do you have a client on the line in all that 100k in images. No and if you don't come home with one image it does not matter but wasting your time.

    Have I stood next to you as you handed over almost your whole kit to Leica in Germany for repair. Yes and continue to read how inadequate the service and repair is from you yourself.


    For the rest of your comments have a great day. I did my job and make you all THINK
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    So you again question the validity of my experience ? and don t read my posts to see that while we agree on redundancy ..I believe it should fit the situation.

    Yes I turned in my equipment in Germany for calibration which I could have caught well before ...and yes Leica service is still slow and painful . My point is that I understand the need for careful planning redundancy and checking my equipment ...I adopted those practices after the fiasco with the M8 and I haven t had a single failure IN THE FIELD except for my Nikon flashes and I had a backup on me.

    The OP situation is almost exactly as mine and not much at all like yours . He has no client over his shoulder , no deadline ,no absolute requirement to produce anything specific. Its doubtful that he even has any real requirements to capture a specific moment . An average wedding photographer is under more pressure . He can t go back but he has time to adjust and if he loses a shot it generally no big deal. His backup situation should fit his needs not yours .

    The S2 (if he can afford it and thats doubtful) is a good fit for the two assignments . Impossible to tell if it makes any sense for him long term . Plenty of good questions as any MF investment would limit his future equipment decisions. No question he has alternatives that could be better. But if he can afford it and in the context of these two assignments ...he can address the redundancy requirements (and include an S2 in his kit).

    My issue is this crap of discounting a POV based on the “PRO” requirements and perspective which don t even match the situation. I made very specific recommendations to the original poster on how I would approach the opportunities ..if you disagree fine thats a discussion .


    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Roger one question do you have a client on the line in all that 100k in images. No and if you don't come home with one image it does not matter but wasting your time.

    Have I stood next to you as you handed over almost your whole kit to Leica in Germany for repair. Yes and continue to read how inadequate the service and repair is from you yourself.


    For the rest of your comments have a great day. I did my job and make you all THINK

  9. #59
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Yes I disagree. Sorry but that is what makes the world go round
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Senior Member stephengilbert's Avatar
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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Think we've gone a bit far afield yet? The original request was "Talk Me Off the Ledge." Some did that; some suggested jumping. ("Cost be damned, buy an S2.") Based on the really nice published work by the OP, it seems likely the best course would be to keep his Ms, film and digital.

    It might well be preferable for him to have an S2 as well, or some other MF camera, but that wasn't in the offing. Maybe one of the Leica fans should lend him an S2.

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    Senior Member atanabe's Avatar
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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    RENT - best use of capital and as a business, a write off. I am surprised that with FedEx and the internet that more pros do not take advantage of this option. I know that if I lived in NYC for example, I would not own a MFD system but rent it when the jobs come up. A friend of mine in NYC has been doing just that for the last 15 years and never been happier, no overhead, he can use the latest technology and profits are higher.

    If you are an amateur, then the equation changes or does it? You can treat a vacation like a "job" and rent specifically for that. Yes, you will need a big limit on the AmEx but if you could even dream of owning one then you must have the correct limit on the card anyway.

    Just my $.05 (used to be $.02 but inflation set in)
    Al Tanabe my website https://www.altanabe.com

  12. #62
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    renting is a wonderful option sometimes for sure especially if you can bill it back. i know many Pros in NY that do just that. Little scary as some rent everything but usually they are in town and can get straightened out quickly. Out of country is tough not many rental houses will go there with having gear taken out of country. I used to rent the Nikon 600 F4 lens almost on a regular basis from Samy's when I needed it. The real problem here is out of country. Heck i can get any flavor of back and body by 10 am the next morning with just a 1 minute phone call. You just lose your resources like that when you travel. I came so close to blowing a job in Finland as the sync from the strobes worked on one F3 with Polaroid but on the one that I had film with it synced after the shutter. Luckily i did shoot some frames on the F3 with the Polariod. Rental gear on the lights. I got lucky but anything can happen. That was only a 9 thousand dollar flight as i left the 3 days after it was set up to a paper mill in Northern Finland. Santa's North pole. LOL

    Honestly my message here is don't take risks and if you can't afford something look for another alternate. I could seriously go buy a S2 right now , take the money i have for my upgrade and just do it. I just lose a lot of options( for me too risky) and that is what you really want going out of country is some options. Given the money he can only do a S2 than that is a poor option and not so much because it is a S2 but the only unit he has. It's either keep the M9 get a cheaper alternate for MF and maybe have some change left over in his pocket. He would have two very nice systems on hand. That to me makes the most sense as he can also do two types of shooting. Thats my thoughts at least and everyone can disagree and that is fine as well. Its not my gig so I will stay out of it. But renting MF cams is also not cheap 500 to 700 per day depending on unit and unless you can bill that back or have a very fat wallet that will hurt the purse.

    Roger if you think I was being rude than sorry it was certainly not my intention and maybe read some of my threads wrong. So no harm no foul and sorry if your offended , certainly not my intention. I have a hard time agreeing with some things thats all.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Quote Originally Posted by stephengilbert View Post
    Maybe one of the Leica fans should lend him an S2.
    Or just go with him... sounds like it would be a great shooting opportunity.

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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Cost is what I think makes the Pentax 645D so compelling (for those that don't rent). A backup Phase demo 40MP back is more expensive than a Pentax body. A 30MP demo Phase back is only $1000 less than a Pentax body. For the price of an IQ140, I can get two Pentax bodies and have some cash left over. Same with an S2.

    I hope Pentax will inject a little spice the MFD market. I was just starting to look for a Phase system, as I had used Phase before, when I stumbled over the Pentax. I just could not justify the cost of the Phase and it seemed to give me less. This was a personal purchase. I am really enjoying this camera--makes the Phase back in the studio look a little long in the tooth.

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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Just an update folks concerning the financials, with the trade-in of two M9's, two M7's, five Leica lenses, and the Mamiya 7II/43/65 kit, along with the scanner, I would only need to kick in $10K to get an S2 with 35, 70, and 120 Macro. About what it was going to cost me for the Nocti Asph, which I was thinking of adding for another project I had in mind, but that could wait for another trip, at that time likely coupled to an M10. After speaking with some local colleagues about my plan, I was surprised that I would have no problem borrowing an M9 and a couple lenses to throw into the bag along with the S2 outfit.

    As I previously evaluated the S2 for three weeks in Olympic National Park last year, I would also envision adding this to my landscape kit as it is not always feasible to hike the distances I require with large format, and oftentimes, inclement weather and large format just do not blend well. The S2 would fit the bill for both these situations. I will be discussing the application of the S2 for landscape photography in an upcoming Leica blog (end of June/beginning of July).

    So when I look at the S2 overall, it will satisfy so many of the genres I pursue. It will augment my landscape capabilities, and add additional capability for street and cultural documentary reportages. Roger points out that thus far all of my Cuba work has been shot on the M, so why not finish it with the M? The reason is that I hope to exhibit the Beautiful Decay portion of the project, and therein the S2 will allow for the exquisite prints I envision. Many of the "Decay" locations and images were pre-scouted and shot with the M9 last year using the 21/2.8 Elmarit Asph and 28 Cron Asph. Hence the reason I really need Leica to get the 24mm S-lens out the door before next February, otherwise I have no 21mm equivalent.

    Hope this helps clarify the situation. The discussion thus far has been extremely enlightening. There is no doubt, GetDPI photographers are passionate, and that is a good thing.

    Cheers,
    Jeff

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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Jeff,

    Does your dealer actually have all those lenses in stock? Aside from the 70mm, they are in notoriously short supply and it's pretty much impossible to get any idea of when they will be available. If you get any info on when the 24mm S lens will be available please share it with us.

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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Jump!

    If you can live with the limitations of the system (and maybe without a 24mm), I see nothing wrong with making the switch. Personally, when I travel in the wilderness or abroad, a backup system is a moot point--I never carry what I "might" need. I don't have the luxury for that. Every ounce is important and I strip down my system to the bare essentials. I have had only one failure in the field in my life, it that was because the camera broke my fall rather than breaking itself.

    It also appears your "friends" want to see an S2 system and they are willing for you to take the risk. Besides, you can always rent an M9.

  18. #68
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Quote Originally Posted by JPlomley View Post
    Just an update folks concerning the financials, with the trade-in of two M9's, two M7's, five Leica lenses, and the Mamiya 7II/43/65 kit, along with the scanner, I would only need to kick in $10K to get an S2 with 35, 70, and 120 Macro. About what it was going to cost me for the Nocti Asph, which I was thinking of adding for another project I had in mind, but that could wait for another trip, at that time likely coupled to an M10. After speaking with some local colleagues about my plan, I was surprised that I would have no problem borrowing an M9 and a couple lenses to throw into the bag along with the S2 outfit.

    As I previously evaluated the S2 for three weeks in Olympic National Park last year, I would also envision adding this to my landscape kit as it is not always feasible to hike the distances I require with large format, and oftentimes, inclement weather and large format just do not blend well. The S2 would fit the bill for both these situations. I will be discussing the application of the S2 for landscape photography in an upcoming Leica blog (end of June/beginning of July).

    So when I look at the S2 overall, it will satisfy so many of the genres I pursue. It will augment my landscape capabilities, and add additional capability for street and cultural documentary reportages. Roger points out that thus far all of my Cuba work has been shot on the M, so why not finish it with the M? The reason is that I hope to exhibit the Beautiful Decay portion of the project, and therein the S2 will allow for the exquisite prints I envision. Many of the "Decay" locations and images were pre-scouted and shot with the M9 last year using the 21/2.8 Elmarit Asph and 28 Cron Asph. Hence the reason I really need Leica to get the 24mm S-lens out the door before next February, otherwise I have no 21mm equivalent.

    Hope this helps clarify the situation. The discussion thus far has been extremely enlightening. There is no doubt, GetDPI photographers are passionate, and that is a good thing.

    Cheers,
    Jeff
    Not sure i would trade in your M9 and Leica lenses myself. Maybe much better selling them outright here on the forum since you will most likely garner more money than trade for sure. But you have to look at those trade numbers as well. I would sell those popular items than trade the Mamiya in plus the cash you raised. I know selling is a hassle but if you can get more money may help your cause.

    Nothing wrong with a loaner M9 to take as backup. Me personally I would not risk someones else's gear going out of country. Heck i don't borrow anyones gear in country except from 3 very close friends and even than I don't like to. But that is me.

    Unfortunately nothing will take your S2 lenses in another body so maybe a Prosumer type cam might be a decent backup for complete failure. The bad part as i mentioned is once crossing our boarders you lose those oh **** overnight replacements like some of us can do. Maybe a Canon 5DII and 24-70 for the just in case would not be a bad idea. Your call but thats what i might be thinking about.

    You obviously have your heart on a S2 and thats great it is a good cam no question just a wee bit more limiting in all the backup scenario. Personally I would just have a canon,Nikon or Sony backing myself up. **** happens

    Good luck

    Oh the 24mm not a lot of answers here but you could stitch the 35mm lens with a Pano rig and for now maybe your best solution
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Quote Originally Posted by JPlomley View Post

    So when I look at the S2 overall, it will satisfy so many of the genres I pursue.
    Jeff,

    My .02 only, but it appears you have answered your own dilemma with the single sentence above and convinced yourself of the direction you want to take. I say go for it. If it dies or breaks and it's your only camera, so what? You'll just deal with it at that time. All that said however, I would NOT bet on any manufacturer (including Leica) releasing any new lens until it actually hits the street.
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    I believe this was offered once before - buy a Phase back.

    While the S2 may be able to offer incredible image files it is nevertheless what I call a closed system. By that I mean it is much like a 35mm DSLR where it's all in one; the digital back can't be removed. Then there's the sensor format - larger than 35mm yet smaller than medium format, an in-betweener.

    I've had a chance to hold and shoot a S2 twice when they first came out and while it felt good in my hands the 2 thoughts expressed above plus the humongous price turned me off.

    My reasoning for a Phase back is simple; it's moveable from system to system. A Phase back will give you just as stunning an image file as a S2 at a much lower buy-in. Couple the Phase back to a Phase body and you have a great camera that can be used in the street - switch the back to a technical camera and you're back to shooting a tech camera. While I haven't been keeping up with the advances Phase has made with their lenses at least they offer much more than Leica does for their S2 and can be of similar quality.

    Lastly, I believe the Phase system is less expensive buy-in than the S2, you get more for your money and you should be able to keep your M9.

    Then on the other hand you can always follow Jack's advice as it does appear you've answered your own dilemma.

    Best of luck

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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Libby View Post
    Then there's the sensor format - larger than 35mm yet smaller than medium format, an in-betweener.
    ???

    How much difference is a Phase One 40+ or IQ140 medium-format back to an S2? And medium-format digital is simply chips larger then 35mm--always has been.

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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    The sensor size of an S2 is 30x45 @37.5 megapixels

    The P30+ is 44.2x33.1 @31.6 megapixels with a pixel size of 6.8x6.8 micron
    The P40+ is 43.9x32.9 @40 megapixels (10 megapixels w/sensor+) and 6.0x6.0 microns
    The P45+ is 49.1x36.8 @39 megapixels w/a pixel size of 6.8x6.8 micron
    The P65+ is 53.9x40.4 @60.5 megapixels (15 w/sensor+) and 6x6 micron pixel size
    The IQ140 sizes are the same as the P40+
    The IQ160 sizes are the same as the P65+
    The IQ180 is 53.7x40.4 @80 megapixels (20 w/sensor+) and a pixel size of 5.2x5.2

    I found this by visiting both Leica and Phase's website and looking at the tech specs. I didn't find where Leica stated the pixel size so couldn't include it here.


    While the S2's sensor size is close to what's being offered by Phase it is nevertheless at least to me an odd size and not to my liking. Then again it's a matter of horses of course...

    Don


    While the three sizes compared here are the same for the P40+/IQ140 and P65+/IQ160 there are other differences/improvements that make an IQ back (in my opinion) superior.
    Last edited by Don Libby; 12th June 2011 at 09:20. Reason: fat thumbs...
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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Aspect ratio.

    Almost all backs are 4:3
    S2 is 3:2
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Aspect ratio.

    Almost all backs are 4:3
    S2 is 3:2
    Thanks - I went the long way around to say that...
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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Yes I disagree. Sorry but that is what makes the world go round
    Fair enough, but the manner in which certain views are sometimes dismissed in this forum kills a good discussion atmosphere.

    Sorry to say that because I am sure that that's the last thing you want but it's happening. When I inquired about the S2 and expressed my intention to go for it, I got PMs from quite active members of this forum "encouraging" me to go for it and expressing their views what makes that system attractive--and saying that they would not post in the thread because they were tired of the reactions that that would cause.

    BTW, I granted myself a 24 cool off period and re-read what has been written here before posting this.

    As to the question posed by the OP, it's a really tough call. I like the S2 a lot and deliberately did not go for a Phase or Hassi as I did not like the form factor of these cameras but wanted to have a camera that I can take almost everywhere and that's easy to use. For me that was the right decision BUT (and that's a big BUT), I did not have to give up my other cameras to finance it. Would I have gone the S2 route if that meant to throw in my Ms and lenses--I very much doubt that would have done it because at times I prefer the M simply because it is smaller etc.

    Having a back-up, the demands for someone who has to deliver the clients and someone who does not are completely different. And it depends very much on what you are shooting. If you shoot a wedding, well things have to work on that day and it does not help at all if you can get a new back delivered within 24 h because the bride and groom will not wait that long. Same for a corporate event of the Armani fashion show, So if you really want to cover your ***, you need two systems or at leas a system with the key components doubled up. And yes, while the backs are unlikely to fail, they can and do fail and they can and do drop etc. And if I understand correctly, you do not have two backs.

    As a hobbyist, you can more easily take your chances. And to be perfectly honest, I'd rather buy a system that I like to work with and take the risk that my system may fail and I may on 1% of my shoots be without something than have all the time a system I do not like.

    I probably should have stayed out of this debate and watched it with amusement but here we are.

    Georg

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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Georg I have a backup body and another system as well. The S2 does not provide a backup body. Given what the OP would have to do to get into a S2 is illogical and maintain not only a very limited setup with 2 lenses but no backup heading out of the country. That was his first post. Sorry but regardless of any system that is just plan bad planning. You want me to sit here as i give out advice daily and actually some pay for that advice. But sit here and listen to totally irrational logic. Can't do that. Also he is a Pro and has no hobbyist excuse to take risks. The advice was and still is buy a used MF system and keep his M9's since he simply stated himself he was on a very limited budget. In that case there is no S2 used for a system below 20k. It just does not exist.

    Honestly this is not really a discussion this is irrational thinking on a limited budget, he has no options and still wants a S2 . His risk factor and he will either survive it or fail. As a working commercial Pro there is no such thing as risk or failure in my life PERIOD. I do not know what a hobbyist thinking is as I have never been one. My neck has been on the line for 35 years and that is all I know is a working Pro environment. I can certainly go along with some thoughts here on this thread and totally get them no question. But come on do you honestly think this is not a stretch. I can't imagine anyone not seeing through the veil here on that.
    So when I here a working pro get into something that does not make sense than i will shout from the rooftop and try and save his neck. Exactly what I did here. I can only lead the horse to water and he jumps to the other pond that will make him sick than it's out of my hands.

    So Georg if its a buzz kill sorry I am not a Leica apologist in any fashion nor any gear for that matter if something won't work I will certainly tell ya that. You don't have to listen and you can certainly disagree but I work for checks and sold out years ago to make a living at this. I pull no punches for anyone or anything and i certainly do NOT try to bullshit around the mulberry bush. Thats me and I ain't changing now. LOL

    If it pissed you off and made you think just a little extra . There is nothing wrong with that and it is actually a good thing you do hear the downside of things. But bad thinking I will dismiss just like anyone else. Something has to make sense to work a single system with 2 lenses which makes no sense at all going out of this country. He has since changed his mind some and that is good. So all the fanfare and all the heartache did what made him think more and now it has some sense to it. But from the initial post was get off the ledge dude there is no bottom.

    Frankly I did my job. I truly admit I am maybe one of the most passionate guys around when it comes to this industry and nothing will make me less of a advocate for this industry and yes maybe sometimes that comes at a cost to me personally. But this is what I do and will die doing it. I have no other job to go to this is it and I will protect this industry as well. I can't even read a wedding forum without steam pouring out my ears. Hopefully that gives you a clue. Thanks Guy
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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    So Georg if its a buzz kill sorry I am not a Leica apologist in any fashion nor any gear for that matter if something won't work I will certainly tell ya that. You don't have to listen and you can certainly disagree but I work for checks and sold out years ago to make a living at this. I pull no punches for anyone or anything and i certainly do NOT try to bullshit around the mulberry bush. Thats me and I ain't changing now. LOL

    If it pissed you off and made you think just a little extra .

    Frankly I did my job.
    Guy, You did not piss me off, because frankly no one on this forum can piss me off as I have reached a certain age and stage of thinking where few people an piss me off.

    But you don't seem to read what people write, that's the problem (I did not say that you do not have a back-up body but a back-up back), and this is not about Leica or Hassi, or Phase. It's one thing telling someone "Beware what you are doing and realize that you will be left without a backup and may not get it one in time when you are in god-knows-where" or pretending that anyone who does not follow your advice is plain nuts. As I said, I do NOT think you mean bad, quite to the contrary, but the manner in which some of these discussions develop stop others from expressing their views openly on this forum.

    And to be clear, if I were in the position of the OP I would think hard before jumping on the S2 but I would might do it. I was fortunate enough that I did not have to make that choice. The fact that Jeff wants to exhibit larger prints is a perfectly good reason. Yes, you may get caught with your pants down, if the S2 fails in Romania, but the risk is most likely small (at least if you have tested the camera before), and you may be willing to take that risk.

    Georg

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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Sorry if it was confusing. I have a immediate backup on hand that would cover me but yes it is not a back which is extremely rare to go down. I have a backup system for that day but by next morning i could have any flavor of Phase back in my hands but yes i have a Sony worst case scenario that day. Most do not have 2 backs. The problem with integrated systems be it Nikon , Canon , S2 and Pentex 645 is it really is not the sensor that will go down but the body which is more the issue and being tied together you just can't garb a extra body out of your bag and stick your back on it, this has happened to me. I think everyone actually missed that part. Is having a MF setup like Phase and Hassy is you get that extra option in there which really is the one option the body that really is the problem area if anything every happened. Now we all have the second system option no question be it Sony, Nikon, Canon,M9 but he was talking NONE.

    Everyone has ignored this and maybe the best option of all is that cheap 800 dollar body buried in your car to keep you in backup under the same system. So who's being ignored here . ME. LOL


    And yes admittedly I do scan too much. LOL Okay caught red handed and i am under the gun to get a project done and I'm goofing off.

    I honestly do not mean bad ever. Frankly I am a really nice guy to be honest. I'm just so passionate about this stuff and i am tough about things no question.
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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Back when I was shooting landscape with Mamiya then Phase 645 bodies I kept a backup. I went to Alaska with 1-digital back, set of lenses and 2 camera bodies figuring if anything mechanical was going to break or let me down it was going to be the body. And this is the biggest problem I have with the S2.

    Yes the S2 is a nice system with great Leica lenses however it is a system that could very easily let me down. I no longer like the idea of incorporating the digital back to the body of my main piece of gear. The lens might not give me a problem, the digital function of the S2 might not give me a problem however the idea of being thousands of miles away from home and in some cases hundreds of miles from a cell phone with only one camera body that "could" have a mechanical problem causes me nightmares. And that is why if I were still shooting landscape with a 645 body and not a tech camera I would still to this day have a backup. Even if it were just an AFDII I'd still be able to go on.

    There's no moving parts to a digital back, likewise there's no moving parts to the tech body. The only real moving part to a tech camera is the shutter release; the rest, f/stop and shutter speed while mechanical in their own way are less prone to failure.

    When I pack my WRS I always pack a second lens just in case (it isn't the same focal length however with stitching I could at least capture the image). The last thing you want to happen is to loose a shot that cost several hundreds if not thousands to set up because of mechanical failure.

    This I believe is where Guy is coming from and frankly I agree with him. I come from a background where we trained and planed for the worse thing that could happen hoping it never would and brought that mindset to what I do today.

    Don


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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Guy, I don't think people are questioning your method. It is a good way of doing things, but not the only and not always the practical way. And I am having a hard time following you as well. You say if your back goes down, you can get another the next day. I am sure you can do that for the body. So it does not look like it is actually a big deal that you have a backup, apparently I can get a whole new camera sent to me--BTW, with all the problems you have with Phase/Mamiya bodies, I am glad I did not go that route.

    But you also do a form of commercial photography that cannot be applied across the board. I have known a lot of LF landscape photographers that never carried a second body in the field. The weight and size just does not make it practical and a smaller backup system does not solve the weight problem nor address the quality issue. Commercial photographers have the luxury of packing heavy. You also have clients on the set/location looking at watches so time is really important. Not every form of photography has those constraints nor budgets.

    Also in this discussion we are forgetting equipment cost. I could get two Pentax bodies and a lens or two for a Phase IQ140 back. We can argue which is better to use, but if a backup is really important, I could have my cake and eat it too. The S2 changes that equation. There are all sorts of ways to add up to a solution.

    It is possible for me to agree and disagree with you at the same time. I am just not sure there is a black and white answer to this problem. The OP is going to have to figure out a solution for him.

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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Libby View Post
    Back when I was shooting landscape with Mamiya then Phase 645 bodies I kept a backup. I went to Alaska with 1-digital back, set of lenses and 2 camera bodies figuring if anything mechanical was going to break or let me down it was going to be the body. And this is the biggest problem I have with the S2.
    Did your (camera) body break in Alaska?

  32. #82
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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    Did your (camera) body break in Alaska?
    No and I slept like a baby...
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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    Guy, I don't think people are questioning your method. It is a good way of doing things, but not the only and not always the practical way. And I am having a hard time following you as well. You say if your back goes down, you can get another the next day. I am sure you can do that for the body. So it does not look like it is actually a big deal that you have a backup, apparently I can get a whole new camera sent to me--BTW, with all the problems you have with Phase/Mamiya bodies, I am glad I did not go that route.

    But you also do a form of commercial photography that cannot be applied across the board. I have known a lot of LF landscape photographers that never carried a second body in the field. The weight and size just does not make it practical and a smaller backup system does not solve the weight problem nor address the quality issue. Commercial photographers have the luxury of packing heavy. You also have clients on the set/location looking at watches so time is really important. Not every form of photography has those constraints nor budgets.

    Also in this discussion we are forgetting equipment cost. I could get two Pentax bodies and a lens or two for a Phase IQ140 back. We can argue which is better to use, but if a backup is really important, I could have my cake and eat it too. The S2 changes that equation. There are all sorts of ways to add up to a solution.

    It is possible for me to agree and disagree with you at the same time. I am just not sure there is a black and white answer to this problem. The OP is going to have to figure out a solution for him.
    Maybe you missed the part where you can with a MF system like a Phase or Hassy that you can have a backup body ONLY on hand at a very low cost as low as maybe 600 dollars. So if your body goes down it is not tied into the back. These are separate items Pentax like yours you would need too have another Pentax at 10k for a body backup. Just happens you have a sensor tied to it.

    Separate item if my back goes down which is so rare i never heard of it unless someone dropped it . There are no moving part here so very very rare they go belly up but if they did than just like anyone else i would be screwed and would have to resort to a completely different system like a Sony or so which I have.

    With a S2, Pentax you just don't have that body option and be able to stay with your system of glass. Either you buy a second one or again turn to a completely different system.

    Nice thing about that body option small , cheap and you could stash it in your car or bag. If your a landscape shooter and things go south on your body than just walk to your car and get the backup body. Your still in business.

    Now on the back and being domestic here in the states I could get a back by 10 am the next morning which is great for inside the US but lets remember this gentleman is traveling so he can't get anything shipped to Cuba at all. So whatever he takes down there has to get him through on his own. In this case for me I would rent a back and have a extra body too and maybe forget the second system as your covered for both back and body. If all fails just stick a rope around your neck and let it swing. LOL

    The point here was he could keep his M9's which he really likes and instead of coming up with 35 k for a S2 and two lenses he could get a Phase which frankly is just as good if not better ( I did the review remember) for use at 20k with body,back, 3 or 4 lenses. The ability to save 15k keeps his M9 kit in tact. Thats what Don and I have been saying.

    Okay he still wants the S2 okay than put your money up and sell everything and buy it. So he gets a S2 and two lenses, now what. Does he not still need a backup solution for leaving the country. Of course he does, so borrowing a M9 kit is at least a solution or at the very worst go buy a Prosumer Canon with a 24-70. At least he is taking some risk without a total failure this way.

    My only problem I ever had with a Phase body is it went down on a older AFDII and had a backup body on hand at home which i got to save the day( forgot to pack it). Never had a issue with my backs going down and I'm on my 4th one going on 5. Can't believe I went through this many backs . I'm a slut. Can't do that with a S2 or Pentax is upgrade. LOL Okay had to tease there
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Now honestly after all that does that not just sound logical money and gear wise. I know he wants a S2 get one but think about that backup. Okay back to work

    The one thing maybe not clear is many folks have backup bodies like Canon and Nikon. The part here is they are cheap to buy so having 2 canon 5dMKii is really no big deal and everyone does that. When you jump to the Pentax at 10k or the S2 at 26k for a body most mortals cannot afford that luxury. So the whole game plan takes a change in thinking.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Nice thing about that body option small , cheap and you could stash it in your car or bag. If your a landscape shooter and things go south on your body than just walk to your car and get the backup body. Your still in business.
    The last time I was in the mountains, it was a two-day journey in and a two-day journey out. That would be fours days round trip. And no, you do not have room for the luxury of a second body you "may" use to save a walk back to the car.

    We just have two ways at looking at this. I have no problem with how you frame it, I am not sure you are getting my points. I think I am reaching the dead horse limit...


  36. #86
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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    praxis:
    If the backup is good enough to serve as the primary, it can be the primary.

    -::-If the backup is an M9, then the M9 can be the primary...


    // aside. skip because the above is all the advice-comment I have.
    this from someone who did that commercial thing. in two different incarnations. In greene street, I had plunked down BIG dollars... Sold my house, moved to cot in studio to buy 1 camera (8x10 Sinar) with 3 lenses, and the kicker, a monster strobe from England. The Z shaped tubes in the big bank looked like fluorescent tubes from a sci-fi. It all popped, would sometimes smoke, BUT ADs and VPMarketing types loved the "scene"....
    Made the money back... without ANY backup of anything that cost more than $100.
    But please, I do grant that there are many people who prefer or need galoshes over their boots along with an umbrella, just not me

    // end

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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Interesting thread, so I'll add my 2 cents: I'm not a professional, still I would not embark on a major trip without a back-up. I have 645D. My back-up: a 645N, total cost about $400, no additional lens purchase required and it's better for long exposures.
    Last edited by tsjanik; 13th June 2011 at 03:31.

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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Anyone happen to catch the Peter Lik episode (US Weather Channel) where while in the Death Valley he missed getting an assume if not gallery shot due to a cracked lens? He fussed and fumed then pack it in and hiked back out. Without the shot. Why didn't he think it necessary to carry another lens? Any focal length would have been better than none.

    Redundancy. I'm a belt braces type of guy and that's why I will carry the M9 as a backup to my gear. While it might not be as good it sure beats nothing.

    All in all an interesting thread. Not sure if it's helping all that much only JPlomley can say.
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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    bear in mind that this topic is about using the most expensive, least tested, limited availability, newest release, DSLR ever made. A lot of amazing photography has happened without the benefit of the S2. this product didn't even exist 18 months ago

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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    I think the whole point here is folks work differently. Like Guy and Don, I have back-up, ALWAYS, even if it's just a simple Panny GH2 and one lens. However, I also appreciate/understand the minimalist's philosophy.

    Guy's point is if the OP can only afford a single S2 and a few lenses, he might be better off considering a different system where he can also include an extra body of some sort -- any sort. Don's point is similar.

    A few of the other's PoV is that go for the S2 if that's what you want because the form factor suits you and it is cool. That's a relevant comment too -- but only *IF* the OP understands and is willing to accept the consequences of a malfunction. If he is willing to accept that to get the form factor he wants, then by all means I say GO FOR IT! Just be sure to post the images here!!!

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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Libby View Post
    Anyone happen to catch the Peter Lik episode (US Weather Channel) where while in the Death Valley he missed getting an assume if not gallery shot due to a cracked lens? He fussed and fumed then pack it in and hiked back out. Without the shot. Why didn't he think it necessary to carry another lens? Any focal length would have been better than none.
    Well to be fair he only had to hike it back to the truck The double irony of course was that you know that he's not carrying all his gear anyway as there's a team of at least two or three with him, as witnessed by the mysteriously appearing and disappearing tripods as he travels.

    However, your point is well made. ALWAYS have a back up even if it's a quality P&S.

    Those who know me probably consider me the poster child for backup gear because I've broken a MFDB in the Tetons, had a Gitzo lose a leg in Yosemite, dropped a DF & lens in Sedona, plus other minor lens & body incidents over the years. In every case though I've had a backup and the inconvenience of having a breakdown has only ever been temporary. In fact the worst failure I've ever had was a Nikon battery charger that failed on me on a trip - that was the hardest one to handle because all my gear used the same sized pro batteries from that charger!
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    This is a discussion in which almost everyone has a relevant point. But I cannot imagine someone wanting to ditch that much M equipment for a MFDB system. If I had an M9 and lenses, I do not think I'd be so anxious to get rid of it for any MF system. Having owned MF gear since the 70's that's a pretty radical statement coming from me. But after lugging my Hassy digital equipment around Hawaii, I was longing for an M9. Having shared the load, I am sure my wife would agree. And for the life of me, I cannot imagine anyone wanting any system with such a limited lens lineup. However, everyone has different needs and tastes. Only the OP can make the final decision, but he may have answered his own question in his title for the post.

    Greg

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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Regarding the backup, I'm with Shashin on this one based on his, "Last time I was in the mountains" comment. His reality is more like mine and less like Guy's, Graham's or even Peter Lik's.

    There is no way I am taking a backup on a 100 mile canoe trip, week-long backpacking excursion or mountaineering. If my tent fails, I improvise or go home. If I lose my ice axe, I tun around. If my camera breaks I stop taking pictures or borrow my partner's. That's just how it is with some types of adventures. I know for sure that is not the reality Guy is thinking of. His is a photography first, other things second view. Mine is get home first, adventure second and photography third. Depends on what you are doing and how you make a living.

    Only the OP can place a value on the back-up question.

    Dave

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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    It's interesting that this has turned into a discussion about back-ups. Camera gear always goes down and it's not an "if" but a "when."

    Maybe backups are a matter of percentages and what's smart in one situation isn't necessarily smart in another. One of the things to think about is that if a camera goes down for a hobbyist or self-financed photographer then he loses the shoot. But if a camera goes down for a professional then he loses the shoot and the client! One lost shoot for a professional might really be 100 lost shoots depending on what it does to his reputation! That kind of a loss is not a risk worth taking and no professional should ever book a shoot without having access to a backup that is equivalent to the main system. By equivalent, I mean that if the main system is an S2 then the back-up should be an S2 or something in a similar vein (hasselblad or phase) If the client is expecting a DMF file then he'd better get a DMF file, not a Nikon file.

    A hobbyist only has to worry about losing one shoot, or one outing, with the loss of a camera. This means that he has a lot more freedom to weigh the risks of not having a back-up with other factors. If he has to make a choice between owning a lower-cost and un-inspirational system with back-up or a high-cost inspirational system without a back-up, then he has the freedom to pick between the two systems based solely on inspiration. Is it really worth working with an un-inspiring system 100% of the time in order to alleviate the fear of a potential gear breakdown that might only happen 1% of the time?

    Gear is not usually what kills a shoot anyway. The most common causes for shoot failure are usually due to bad weather, transportation issues or health. Some of the bigger photographers are fortunate enough to book multiple days for a single shoot in order to back them up if/when something goes wrong. For example, as an assistant I remember an auto photographer booking 3 days for a shoot at Lake Mead, NV. The weather was perfect and he was able to get the shots on the first day so the entire crew got to spend the remaining 2 days running around Las Vegas
    Last edited by Mike M; 13th June 2011 at 01:45.

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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike M View Post
    It's interesting that this has turned into a discussion about back-ups.
    That happened in post no. 7 and sadly it's drawn attention away from the OP's original questions which I think are yet to be answered. They were about high ISO performance and model replacement.

    Back-ups can be completely unnecessary. What's needed is a Clear Path To Recovery. It's not a wedding, or a fashion shoot, he's embarking on, it's a personal project. In the event of a calamity, maybe a day or two out of action would be disappointing and inconvenient, maybe an old Rolleiflex would suffice (not a recommendation here). He has to decide his way out of any problem possible, including lost baggage on his outbound trip.

    In his opening, the OP describes the S2 as 'the perfect tool" (for him). That's what he should go with and make sure that his adventure trips won't be ruined. The S2 could be far more rewarding than the M9, so why should he compromise if his bases are covered ?
    Last edited by Rolo; 13th June 2011 at 02:21.

  46. #96
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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    You people are funny. No it isn't a wedding but if you set aside a month from work, travel to another country for an important personal project and find you can't do it then suddenly backups become very important again because you can't do your project, you've wasted a fortune in travel and accomodation and it may take a year or years until you can do it again.

    I wouldn't go to do a project like those with no wide angle, apparently neither would the OP. I can't understand why anyone would recommend a camera which is unsuited for the job due to the limited lens choice, especially as it means selling every other camera he owns and all he needs is one theft or one breakage and it's the most unsuitible camera for the job possible.
    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

  47. #97
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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    It's pretty clear to me that the OP has made up his mind about what equipment he'd like to have. With all this talk about the importance of backups I've been wondering why nobody has mentioned Leica's Platinum Service package. If I were the OP I'd get in touch with Leica and find out if they offer it in Cuba.

    "The customer is entitled to loan a similar replacement unit for the duration of repairs. Leica has set up and manages a pool of replacement cameras available for loan. These are spread geographically across the regions. After having verified that the customer is entitled to loan equipment, the dispatch is organised by Leica Solms or individual local agencies in Europe and Africa and by Leica USA in America and by the individual local agencies in Asia and Australia. The Leica S-System dealers manage the loan. The loan process does not take place directly between Leica and the customer.
    The replacement unit is generally available on the following working day. Leica strives to offer a “next day” service together with its logistics service provider, subject to the loan request being submitted by 4 p.m.. This service depends on the country-specific import and customs regulations and can therefore not be guaranteed worldwide. This Platinum service feature can not be offered in Central and South American countries and India. Leica strives to make the replacement unit available as quickly as possible."

  48. #98
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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Quote Originally Posted by David K View Post
    Its pretty clear to me that the OP has made up his mind about what equipment he'd like to have. With all this talk about the importance of backups I've been wondering why nobody has mentioned Leica's Platinum Service package. If I were the OP I'd get in touch with Leica and find out if they offer it in Cuba.

    "The customer is entitled to loan a similar replacement unit for the duration of repairs. Leica has set up and manages a pool of replacement cameras available for loan. These are spread geographically across the regions. After having verified that the customer is entitled to loan equipment, the dispatch is organised by Leica Solms or individual local agencies in Europe and Africa and by Leica USA in America and by the individual local agencies in Asia and Australia. The Leica S-System dealers manage the loan. The loan process does not take place directly between Leica and the customer.
    The replacement unit is generally available on the following working day. Leica strives to offer a “next day” service together with its logistics service provider, subject to the loan request being submitted by 4 p.m.. This service depends on the country-specific import and customs regulations and can therefore not be guaranteed worldwide. This Platinum service feature can not be offered in Central and South American countries and India. Leica strives to make the replacement unit available as quickly as possible."
    Stop confusing the issue with facts

    I had a S2 replacement in 24 hours. However it was here in the USA, so the OPs destinations would have to be checked for availability ... or the dealer would have to make arrangements in advance for a possible back-up if the need arises.

    (Not endorsing anything here, just stating my experience).

    -Marc

  49. #99
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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Just a thought...mild heresy but here goes.

    Let's assume that Jeff buys an S2(-P) and needs a backup.

    Pentax P67 Body
    P67 55
    P67 105 or 100 Macro
    Adapter

    All for half the price of a second lens.....they are giving these things away right now. Not fast aperatures but pretty bulletproof stuff....might work in a pinch.


    Bob

  50. #100
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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    I would say that the S2 is no more suitable for street photography than your typical MF camera. Lets be honest here - it is a bazooka compared to an M9. Its lenses are just as confronting to people as the bazooka lenses on other MF cameras and CaNikons - all these cameras are big boys with big glass hanging off them.

    I would also say that the M9 is a far better travel weapon of choice than any of these bazookas - but the M9 is not the easiest camera to get the most out of itself - you are using a rangefinder and 18 megapixels with no AF or focus confirmation - typically with fast glass wide open you exaggerate the difficulties. I get more keepers out of my old M8 than my M9 because of this fact - but no one talks about real world and everyone is a hero when it comes to megapixel wars.

    All that being said - everyone knows that the best camera you have is the one in your hand - an the camera one should have in their hand is the camera that one enjoys using the most. This fun factor typically works wonders for the photographer.

    So my 2cents is buy and use what turns you on. Hey my favourite walk around camera is an Alpa and it doesn't have auto anything - except what I bring to the party between my ears.

    Good luck with your decision making and photo adventures - have fun and in good health.

    Pete

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