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Thread: Talk Me Off the Ledge

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    Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Last May I demo'd an S2 in White Mountain National Forest and Olympic National Park with the intent of replacing my 4x5 Arca Swiss system. I was very impressed with the S2 but have not yet pulled the trigger because 35mm is just not wide enough and I wanted some assurance that Leica would deliver on their promise of a 24mm lens. Was also hoping to see at least one T/S by now.

    Fast forward to present day and I have two projects lined up for 2012 where the S2 would be the perfect tool. One involves yet another trip to Cuba to finalize the content for a book project which has been on-going for the past two years. Up to now, all the Cuba work has been done with M7's and M9's. The S2 would be used mainly for architecture, over all street scenes, and some street photography when the light levels allow. Unfortunately, when I first evaluated the S2, I never really looked at the ISO performance nor its application for street work. Everything was done from a tripod with the lenses stopped down and mirror lock-up engaged. Was hoping someone with the S2 might comment on the ISO performance (I rarely shoot my M9's over ISO 320 and usually have Neopan 400 in the M7's) and what sort of shutter speeds one might obtain handheld with either the 35mm or 70mm. Curious also about the wide open performance of these lenses.

    The other project is in Bulgaria and will involve documentary environmental portraiture in a tiny village, some outdoors, some indoors. For this project, I would hope to add the 120 Macro. The intended output for this work would be an exhibition, and therein would be the main requirement for the S2, to generate ~ 30x40 inch prints.

    But here is the catch.....in order to afford the S2/35/70 kit, I need to sell all of my Leica M kit as well as my Mamiya 7II kit. I have an offer from my local Leica dealer which would cover the S2 and one lens, so I would need to dig a bit deeper to add the additional lens. My fear is, by the time Feb/2012 or Aug/2012 rolls around (project dates), there will be a replacement for the M9 with a larger pixel count, and/or Leica have moved on to the S3, or worse, have either abandoned the system or fail to fulfill their promise of a 24mm. Any advice from others that have abandoned all hope?????

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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Compare it to a Hassy or Phase kit where you can get 40mp at a substantially lower price. The P40+ is now (there is one for sale on the site) priced around $14K. Not sure of the Hassy equiv. Might allow you to keep some other gear.

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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Quote Originally Posted by TEBnewyork View Post
    Compare it to a Hassy or Phase kit where you can get 40mp at a substantially lower price. The P40+ is now (there is one for sale on the site) priced around $14K. Not sure of the Hassy equiv. Might allow you to keep some other gear.
    Yes Terry, but cost of ownership isn't the same as cost of purchase . . . and residual values are quite another matter.

    Otherwise - I'm entirely unable to help - sticking to my M9s!

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Quote Originally Posted by TEBnewyork View Post
    Compare it to a Hassy or Phase kit where you can get 40mp at a substantially lower price................. Might allow you to keep some other gear.
    Why not a 645D, a 120mm, the new 25mm and keep all the other gear?

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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Why not a Pentax 645D? I use it at ISO 1600 and I am very pleased with it.

    But MFD if very different to shooting with a small rangefinder. Are you sure you want to sacrifice that for an S2? You can make 40" prints from your M9 files. I would not stress about the upgrade cycle. At a certain level, it is not really adding much.

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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Yes Terry, but cost of ownership isn't the same as cost of purchase . . . and residual values are quite another matter.

    Otherwise - I'm entirely unable to help - sticking to my M9s!
    Ahh but the suggestions I made are all of the ones that have already taken the biggest depreciation hit. P40+ kit is $14K and IQ140 (back) is $22K.....

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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    First off selling everything off for a body and lens is not a good move by any stretch. Where's the backup, where are the other lenses you may need. Frankly Hassy and Phase 40s are outstanding you will get a couple lenses and still have a backup . Now my rant anyone doing that kind if work without backup needs there head smacked up against a wall. Do not be mislead here those 40 mpx sensors will smoke just about anything. Suggestion do more homework. You can read between the lines here. Your on a budget and as nice as the S2 is a bad choice going into these environments without a backup. The ONLY backup to a S2 is another S2 otherwise its a whole system of Sony, Nikon etc, you simply have no options if you go down. Hassy and Phase you can get cheap body backups that take your back and lenses. I like the S2 also but lets face facts its a 50k buy in with 4 lenses and parts. I'm not even close with a Phase 40 and 5 lenses and parts. Sure if you have the money great but selling everything off to get in tells me you don't have that excessive amount. This is not about the S2 this is about making your funds cover your ***. Here is a play out your in India I believe you said , you go down hard. How long would it take to get another S2 in your hands( now your sporting no backup here) than think for under 800 dollars you could have a backup body in your possession to continue shooting. Lenses rarely go down and you may have 4 of them, backs I never seen one go down yet unless someone dropped it. You could even buy a 22mpx back for 4500 if you felt the need as a backup.
    From one Pro to another please use some logic here. I know the S2 is one sexy bitch( sorry ladies) and i would love to have one but need two. Waiting for Leica to announce more lenses how long since it has been out on the streets now.

    BTW any dealer knowing your doing these two projects to go in with a body and lens should be taken out back and hung out to dry. Don't even tell me who it is. But he is not given advice in your best interest.

    I apologize for being so direct but that is me ( and I truly mean no harm to anyone) when I see a fellow Pro making a illogical move on a BIG scale i will talk you down in a heartbeat. Its okay to make the little ones done it many times myself but your talking life changing moves here. Someone has to say something besides sure go for it. I'm pulling my hair out just to upgrade to a IQ 160 when the better deal is the IQ 180 but i know what i need. Get what you need not what is shiny those are for folks when not on a budget and makes no difference. Good for them . I do not fit in that category at all and not many Pro's do.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Two excellent examples of where MF IQ could be put to use to improve your work . Having looked at your Cuba work , I may share your perspective. My go to system would be my M9s (and I always shoot with two ) and my favorite or primary work is street shooting.

    This winter I bought an S2 system but I also have the M9s and a Nikon system (for long glass and sports). I tested the S2 for both street and sport and found ..that while the IQ alone can set your work apart ...using the best tool for the subject matter consistently yields the best results .

    Specifically for street ..the S2 isn t the solution. MF requires an attention to everything that impacts image quality and is unforgiving to a fault (when used on the street). Inadequate DOF alone kills shooting too many opportunities. ISO performance isn t any better (but you have less magnification).

    I did a full test at the South Florida Fair in January. Late afternoon thru night. Have shot the same venue for three years with the m8/m9 . The S2 IQ was clearly better but the following issues told me its not replacing the M9s .

    . Form is not good for street work .....large 82mm front element and a 3 inch lens hood ..did I need a test to figure this out ?

    . One body ...with the M9 s I use two always with the 28/50 combination most frequently . Changing lenses on the street not something I try to do much . Rather I adjust my lenses to fit the situation (so it might be the 50 and the 135 if I just cant get close or the summiluxes if I need speed) . My back up is on my shoulder where I can use it.

    . Inadequate DOF is the biggest issue ...the IQ is great wide open but shooting inside 10FT requires real care ..pretty much makes available light photography of anything that moves unreal.

    So if you sell your M system you will lose the street shooting that is evidenced in your existing work .

    No question for the two assignments you highlighted the S2 would be a dream solution .

    The portrait project reminds me of Steve McCurry s work and really is perfect for MF and the S2 . Consider though that SM has the lighting nailed and works with 2-3 assistants . Most of his best work was Nikon with kodachrome and I have seen his 30-40 prints . He uses HB now for the environmental portraits . William Palank is using the M9s but he takes along his Broncolor light . 30x40 prints benefit for MF but I have seen great work taken with smaller sensors.

    The Cuba assignment is less clear as you have a body of work taken with M8/M9 and the desired output is a book . I would finish this with the M9 and work on using a tripod and maybe stiching for the few images that really require larger files. (I am not a landscape photographer) .

    So yes you would have a better kit for most of your two planned assignments . But the trade offs look overwhelming ..you need a back up and don t forget the lens. (RENT?) You would benefit more by hiring helpers and using better lighting than by going MF . And once you trade the M equipment you can t reverse the situation.

    You made a great argument for the trade ...but this is a long term decision .

    Leica Futures ...slower than even past experience , much higher prices .

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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    I would stick to the Leica M9 for shooting color and the Mamiya 7 for shooting B&W's.
    It sounds like a perfect combo.
    The only thing lacking is a Macro lens which is the shortcoming of all rangefinders.

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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Quote Originally Posted by JPlomley View Post

    But here is the catch.....in order to afford the S2/35/70 kit, I need to sell all of my Leica M kit as well as my Mamiya 7II kit.
    Get off the ledge, NOW. If you had not added this line, I'd be the guy on the ground yelling, "Go ahead and JUMP!!!"

    If you want to make the jump, you need a safety net -- and right now that is at the least your M9 kit and your two or three favorite lenses. In which case, Terry's suggestion becomes worth investigating, because it may allow you to get into MF digital while keeping a partial M kit.
    Jack
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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    After comparing the IQ of my M9, my P45+, and M7II Ektar and TMX negs scanned on a Flextight 646, the first thing I did was sell my Mamiya 7II kit. If you've got an M9 and are looking to add a 40MP medium-format rig on top of that, I don't see any point in keeping the Mamiya.

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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Get off the ledge, NOW. If you had not added this line, I'd be the guy on the ground yelling, "Go ahead and JUMP!!!"

    If you want to make the jump, you need a safety net -- and right now that is at the least your M9 kit and your two or three favorite lenses. In which case, Terry's suggestion becomes worth investigating, because it may allow you to get into MF digital while keeping a partial M kit.


    Interesting thread in that all of the respondents have cameras other than that you have an interest in acquiring. The key to GETDPI is that the majority of the advice centers on our interests and perspective and rarely deals with your desires....understandable as the majority of us have limited resource and time so we speak from our center of vision and our experience.

    Jack says jump .... I echo his advice...take a risk. How many backups do you really need? Three bodies four lenses? Your description of your work is not that of a hired gun....you are not performing for anyones desires other than your own. Not a wedding photographer who has to deliver....as I see it you have the latitude to risk a bit to get the vision and results that you know and desire.

    I have used M6, MP, M7 M8 and M8.2 and M9....Mamiya 7 and 7 II with 65 and 80, Nikon D100, D70, D3, presently D3s. Traded a H3D II 39 - upgraded from H1 H2 to H3DII over time....Hasselblad 343 scanner with the analog cameras...for a Leica S2-P and a 70 lens. Now I have an adapter for Pentax P67 lenses and the P567 45, 55, 105, 100 macro, 165, 300 older lens and should have a P 67 400 EDIF this week....as no Leica lenses were available recently.

    My take on it is as follows...the Leica lenses are unparalleled for their respective focal lengths and apertures ... no design constraints and perfect wide open on....I use the P67 lenses in spite of their limitations...correct for CA and accept the limits of their imaging as the respective Leica replacements are not yet available. All of the P67 lenses cost me less than one Leica S lens. With time I will replace the most used lenses with their Leica equivalents.

    The system will work for landscape portrait and studio imaging without a problem....it will also supplant your Mamiya 7 II for landscape without problem. So the question centers on what is presently referred to as street photography...

    I assume that the majority of the respondents desire perfectly composed exposed and executed street shots .... sort of like making the street into a studio environ. I imagine that the older shooters were able to engage their subjects and were less likely to surreptitiously capture moments of "reality." If that is your praxis and vision then by all means buy a D3S Nikon and pray for a Leica M10 with AF and 64000 ISO native. However if you have really spent time looking at work from HCB, Atget, Elliott Erwitt, Irving Penn, or perhaps Valenti Claverol you may appreciate something a bit more raw, alive and less "perfect". If so then a Leica S2 on a monopod at ISO 640 will blow you away....images like a 50 summilux with a native 360 DPI at 21 by 14 inches. Gorgeous wide open...no loss of sharpness or contrast.

    I miss my Alpa TC and Schneider lense but must admit that my present percentage of keepers is much higher.

    So .... my recommendation is whatever your heart and mind can accommodate...Leica S2, Phase P40, Hasselblad H4D 40.....does not matter. Vision and light trumps hardware always. Find a system and a process that works for you....we all have our biases but NONE of them will really meet your needs. And when your vision changes ... embrace the change.

    In biology the key to survival is adaptability...I think this is true with respect to our personal growth and vision.

    In short....I think that the S2(-P) and lenses are very appealing ...and if you are willing to work within the constraints of the system...you will be very pleased.


    Bob

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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    I shoot both the M9 and S2 systems and think they're both superb. If I had to sell my M9 and lenses to afford the S2 I would not have done it. Sounds as if you can make do with the M9 in Cuba. Have you considered renting an S2 for the Bulgaria project? If, notwithstanding the advice you're getting, you do decide to JUMP... look into selling your M kit privately as opposed to trading it in. M lenses are rare as hens teeth and commanding very good prices right now (and, I suspect, for the foreseeable future).

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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Years ago, traded in whole systems for an M2 and one lens and loved the deal. Stayed with it for many years. But....

    that was an amateur's decision. To sell off working gear (that works for you) for one system is a big change. To do that for a limited system makes little sense, no matter how attractive it is. That's too high a price, and limits your working methods.

    Either go for a single system with lots of bandwidth .... or go for multiple systems, each in their own niche. In the latter case, the S2 could make some sense. You are right, it is super and very compelling. Its also, from a systems viewpoint, very limited.

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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Jeff didn t mention it but his work has been published on the Leica blog and is featured in LFI . His work in Cuba included both a focus on Cuban boxing and street photography in Havana.

    There is a benefit to picking a primary system and developing a familiarity and rhythm in shooting . Working out the kinks in system though out the entire work flow takes quite a bit of time and effort . Jeff has obviously done this with his M s. .

    The S2 IQ definitely offers an opportunity to step up a notch and create something better(in some instances) but beyond the learning curve ,cost ,system limitations etc ...the tools are different and the S2 is not always better.

    Adding an S2 and a few lenses would extend Jeff s options (as he supports in his OP). But..trading the M system would not appear (based on his existing work and stated objectives) to be in his best interests.

    I think I mentioned that I have and use primarily M9 s for street work but I also have an S2 system which I have used for both street and some sports . So I have both systems and can compare their merits in similar situations.

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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    I am one of the guys who sold his entire M system to get the S2. I don't really regret it because, like Guy, I have forced myself to learn to use the S2, i.e. MF in situations that one would not consider ideal.

    The problems with MF is the lack of long lenses and to a degree lack of a range of macro and T/S lenses. The long lens issue is such that there will never be competition to say Canon or Nikon who have 600mm lenses at great apertures. Leica will bring out a 400mm lens, which translates to 320mm in 35mm equivalents and will be super expensive. Not saying it won't be worth it but very expensive.

    I ended up buying a Pentax K-5 and a number of lenses which gives me superb macro (using a Zeiss ZK 50 macro and a Zeiss ZF 100 with adapter to Pentax. Both the 300 and 200mm teles, having 35mm equivalents of 450 and 300 mm are superb and take care of most long lens shots. Plus if you wish you can get even longer if you feel you need it. Coupled with Pentax in body stabilization, you have a really great kit in a small size.

    So I have what I need and the backup/purpose driven K-5 is at a fraction of an M system cost so all is good there as well. Did I say the IQ of the Pentax is as good as the M? I hope not because that is just not the case. But the K-5 and lenses gets is done well enough that it is hard to argue the value.

    Just some thoughts from my experiences. If I had the money, I would probably still have the M system but that is another subject entirely. I would still be lacking the high ISO performance of the K-5 which is superb but having three systems is ridiculous IMHO.

    Woody

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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    docmoore,
    If you're using the P67 lenses on an S2, you owe it to yourself to find the newer
    M* 300/4 EDIF version. It's far superior to the older 300/4, and you may find that there's no need to replace it. The 45/4 has also been shown to have below par performance on digital (at least in the outer zones). If you have the latest 55/4 you should be set there as all reports I've seen show it performs well on the 645D.
    The longest lens for the S2 that I've seen announced is a 350/3.5 APO, and I bet that's a few years off. The 300/4 EDIF should serve you very well.

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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Quote Originally Posted by surfotog View Post
    docmoore,
    If you're using the P67 lenses on an S2, you owe it to yourself to find the newer
    M* 300/4 EDIF version. It's far superior to the older 300/4, and you may find that there's no need to replace it. The 45/4 has also been shown to have below par performance on digital (at least in the outer zones). If you have the latest 55/4 you should be set there as all reports I've seen show it performs well on the 645D.
    The longest lens for the S2 that I've seen announced is a 350/3.5 APO, and I bet that's a few years off. The 300/4 EDIF should serve you very well.
    Excellent Advice! I had the opportunity to try the P 67 55/4 on the 645D and was surprised at its performance. docmore mentioned he's awaiting the P 67 400 f4 EDIF lens and thats one Pentax lens I've seen and handled but not shot with. I would be interested in knowing his opinion of its performance on the S2.

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 5th June 2011 at 21:59.

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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    First off selling everything off for a body and lens is not a good move by any stretch. Where's the backup, where are the other lenses you may need. Frankly Hassy and Phase 40s are outstanding you will get a couple lenses and still have a backup . Now my rant anyone doing that kind if work without backup needs there head smacked up against a wall. Do not be mislead here those 40 mpx sensors will smoke just about anything. Suggestion do more homework. You can read between the lines here. Your on a budget and as nice as the S2 is a bad choice going into these environments without a backup. The ONLY backup to a S2 is another S2 otherwise its a whole system of Sony, Nikon etc, you simply have no options if you go down. Hassy and Phase you can get cheap body backups that take your back and lenses. I like the S2 also but lets face facts its a 50k buy in with 4 lenses and parts. I'm not even close with a Phase 40 and 5 lenses and parts. Sure if you have the money great but selling everything off to get in tells me you don't have that excessive amount. This is not about the S2 this is about making your funds cover your ***. Here is a play out your in India I believe you said , you go down hard. How long would it take to get another S2 in your hands( now your sporting no backup here) than think for under 800 dollars you could have a backup body in your possession to continue shooting. Lenses rarely go down and you may have 4 of them, backs I never seen one go down yet unless someone dropped it. You could even buy a 22mpx back for 4500 if you felt the need as a backup.
    From one Pro to another please use some logic here. I know the S2 is one sexy bitch( sorry ladies) and i would love to have one but need two. Waiting for Leica to announce more lenses how long since it has been out on the streets now.

    BTW any dealer knowing your doing these two projects to go in with a body and lens should be taken out back and hung out to dry. Don't even tell me who it is. But he is not given advice in your best interest.

    I apologize for being so direct but that is me ( and I truly mean no harm to anyone) when I see a fellow Pro making a illogical move on a BIG scale i will talk you down in a heartbeat. Its okay to make the little ones done it many times myself but your talking life changing moves here. Someone has to say something besides sure go for it. I'm pulling my hair out just to upgrade to a IQ 160 when the better deal is the IQ 180 but i know what i need. Get what you need not what is shiny those are for folks when not on a budget and makes no difference. Good for them . I do not fit in that category at all and not many Pro's do.
    As a pro shooter travelling and shooting all over the world, I have to agree 150% with Guys comments.
    Don't ever apologise for teling it like it is, Guy. Too many people pussyfoot around the important issues using the excuse of being polite to justify their lack of courage. People play here because photographers like you are willing to go out on a limb and say it like it is. Keep it up.
    Siebel
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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Every once in a while I find myself tempted to comment on these threads where MF is the background and Kool Aid for all responders. I can't even begin to compete with the experience and knowledge of everyone here who has already offered and opinion. Nevertheless, I'm doing it!

    When I see these discussions the thought runs through my head: "Are they looking at files or photographs?" I just can't imagine doing street work with a MF camera of any kind, film or digital. Museums are full of magnificently seen and captured "decisive moments" and the last thing curators/viewers care about is the file quality.

    An S2 won't make you a better photographer. Instead, it will radically alter your approach to photography in a way that will be obvious when compared against your previous work. Walk away from the notion that better files will make better photographs. You already have a splendid system.

    Best,
    Tim

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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    This has been an incredibly beneficial learning experience, derived from each and every one of your comments, and is the reason that questions like this are best posed on GetDPI. I truly appreciate the wealth of experience and talent which has so generously been provided. I have much to think about over the coming weeks, and fortunately the M system holds its value so its not as if I need worry about depreciation while I ponder a decision. Overall, my gut is telling me to find alternative sources of funding as opposed to selling my existing systems. At one point I was contemplating taking my Arca Swiss 4x5 system to Cuba for the "Beautiful Decay" project were it not for the shear attention it would draw. I would not expect the S2 to replace the IQ I can achieve from drum scanned tranny or fine grained B&W emulsions such as PanF or Acros-100, but it sure would be more convenient in places such as Cuba and Bulgaria, and as mentioned would deliver a very nice exhibition print size. In proper light, I suspect it could successfully be pressed into duty for street photography where one wishes to include a good portion of the environment.

    Glen, many thanks for mentioning the Cuba work. The digital M is indeed one wild beast to tame, but boy does she deliver the goods when everything is properly optimized (RF and lens calibration) and the image files massaged to taste. Here's hoping the next FW iteration finally nips any existing red edge issues in the bud.

    I've included a few links below illustrating the sort of street work I do. For the discrete approach, clearly the S2 is not the right fit. But there are many instances where the subject is fully aware of my presence, and in these instances it really does not matter what camera one holsters. This will most certainly be the case in Bulgaria where I will be focussing on Hands of Hardship and Hope.

    Cheers,
    Jeff

    http://www.jeffplomleyphoto.com/#portfolio

    http://blog.leica-camera.com/guest-b...-state-part-i/

    http://blog.leica-camera.com/guest-b...avana-part-ii/

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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Forgot to add a request.....

    As it was last year I evaluated the S2 and an ICC profile was unavailable, I was hoping to process some of those files in COP v6, but am not a registered S2 owner. Any chance that anyone with an S2 could shoot me the ICC profile. Email would be fine ([email protected])

    Many thanks,
    Jeff

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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    I have seen your work in LFI, Jeff. What you do with a Leica M in color is inspiring. I would hate to see you give that up, whatever else you do.

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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Many thanks Tim. I truly appreciate your feedback.

  25. #25
    richard.L
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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    perhaps a test of your current system....

    you use it well. you think you need bigger to make bigger.

    make a big print of one of your favorites. live with it a month. let others look at it. lie to some. say it was with an S2. tell others it was with...

    do they care, do they notice, do they believe you...

    how much do you crop your finish image...

    these are some of the first questions I'd ask myself. And always return to what the "print" or whatever looks like, to you.

    I'm with most of the others about not having only one system.

    In the end, if you must have the S and that means selling everything, even your dog, then so be it. (You can always steal a loyal dog back in the dead of the night. wear black, carry bacon.)

    I'm prone to telling people if they have only one choice, they have no choice; but that was a different career.

    richard. too cheap to make easy decisions easily.

  26. #26
    Shelby Lewis
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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    If the M9 didn't punch above it's level (IQ wise) as well, this would be a potentially (slightly,lol) easier decision... but let's face it, the IQ from it has so much more going for it than just megapixels. MF doesn't automatically get you that (although it many cases it definitely does).

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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Quote Originally Posted by JPlomley View Post
    I wanted some assurance that Leica would deliver on their promise of a 24mm lens. Was also hoping to see at least one T/S by now.
    I wouldn't be betting any money on it ...even if they "make" one, how long afterwards can you actually get your hands on it?

    If you are needing this for architecture, lots of other options, including used backs, tech cameras, or hassie/phase systems. Lots of used phase backs hitting the market soon ...
    wayne
    My gallery

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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Richard, Shelby, and Wayne, cheers for your additional comments. I'm now exploring all the possibilities, including hauling the LF gear to Cuba and just drum scanning the results. I would need to revisit working with color neg however for the increased dynamic range over tranny. This I wrestle with as I have just never been a fan of color neg film.

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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Jeff, I sold my M7II and eventually bought one back again when the chance came up, I don't use it that much, but I love that camera more than any other. M9, wow, you might regret selling that too. I couldn't part with mine, although I've been carrying around a Nex5 with a cron ASPH on it for the past few weeks. It's not disappointing I can tell you, so maybe there are possibilities there. Keep your favourite Leica glass. The CV 15 4.5 is incredible for architecture and I've used it for a few jobs very successfully. I also shoot LF, a toyo that can go down to 45mm without changing the bellows. I hope to slowly obtain some digital lenses for it and still awaiting the mamiya adapter for a digital back. If it helps at all I went for a cheap deal on a MF back with the 645DF (DM33). I also obtain a 45N 2.8 lens and this is also great for architecture. I think you should take a look at these kits, take one apart, pull the lens of and take the back off, given the gear (and amazing experience) you have, I think you'll be on a different ledge, but one that you can take your time, something complimentary to what you have that you can take your time over building up, rather than a whole new system. The older Mamiya lenses work great (at least with the meagre 33MP that I have), the older 645N bellows have tilts and shifts, there's an in body shutter and there are also tilt/shift lenses (caveat I have not tried these yet).

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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Quote Originally Posted by D&A View Post
    Excellent Advice! I had the opportunity to try the P 67 55/4 on the 645D and was surprised at its performance. docmore mentioned he's awaiting the P 67 400 f4 EDIF lens and thats one Pentax lens I've seen and handled but not shot with. I would be interested in knowing his opinion of its performance on the S2.

    Dave (D&A)
    Dave,

    I was outbid on this P67 400 EDIF so I am still hunting for a good one...I may decide to buy a 300 EDIF .... one or the other not both.

    Bob

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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Quote Originally Posted by docmoore View Post
    Dave,

    I was outbid on this P67 400 EDIF so I am still hunting for a good one...I may decide to buy a 300 EDIF .... one or the other not both.

    Bob
    Hi Bob,

    Sorry to hear you were outbid on the 400 EDIF. I used to own and shoot with the P67 300 f4 EDIF when I was shooting Penatx 67. It was a fabulous performing lens, all things considered...especially when used a stop down from max. aperture. As you probably know, intended use will mostly determine which of the two lenses to go for. One big consideration is the 400f4 EDIF is approx twice as heavy and much bigger than the 300 f4 EDIF...so if hiking is involved, that would be a determining factor. Good luck and keep us posted.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Dave,

    Based on your and Scott's input I have a 300 EDIF on the way from Japan...


    Thanks,


    Bob

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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Quote Originally Posted by docmoore View Post
    Dave,

    Based on your and Scott's input I have a 300 EDIF on the way from Japan...


    Thanks,


    Bob
    I don't think you'll be disappointed. Dave is spot on; the 300 is very light (for 67) and the 400 is too heavy to go far from the car. The 300 is very good even at f/4 and has very nice OOF areas. Here's an example from a few days ago; 300mm ED, 645D, f/4 or 5.6.

    Tom

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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Quote Originally Posted by tsjanik View Post
    I don't think you'll be disappointed. Dave is spot on; the 300 is very light (for 67) and the 400 is too heavy to go far from the car. The 300 is very good even at f/4 and has very nice OOF areas. Here's an example from a few days ago; 300mm ED, 645D, f/4 or 5.6.

    Tom
    Very nice...no evidence of chromatic abberation.

    Beautiful pic also.

    Thanks,


    Bob

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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    It's been about a year since I demoed the S2 and can't recall if their is a focus confirmation light in the viewfinder when manually adjusting focus?

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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Jeff, there is not a focus confirmation light in the viewfinder when manually adjusting focus. At least there isn't one now. Maybe Leica can find a way to provide focus confirmation when they release their adapters for alternate lenses.

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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Actually, the split prism focusing screen will be plenty good enough for manual focusing when it becomes available (should be soon). I borrowed a Hasselblad 350 CF for a trip to south Florida and was able to manually focus even with the lens stopped down to f8 - f11. Granted that was in bright Florida sun, but still I was impressed that the S2 viewfinder was bright enough to allow manual focus with the lens stopped down. I didn't miss focus point very often.

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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Jeff and Mark,

    I am a bit confused...there is a focus confirmation with Leica S lenses in manual focus. Just not with non-Leica adapted lenses. See P 9 of the PDF instructions on the S2 item 2.9B

    I think that the thread has diverged a long way from your original questions and am not sure if you meant manual focus with Leica or non-Leica lenses.

    We have workmen tearing out a tub and shower - jack hammering the floor with dust and debris everywhere so my S2 is in the safe or I would mount my 70 to confirm this.

    Apologize for hijacking the thread earlier and taking it off track. If you do not have the PDF let me know I will email it to you.

    Bob

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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    I'm confused. The reason you didn't want an S2 was no wide and no t/s. That hasn't changed and neither have your needs. Both Hasselblad and Phase One seem to have a solution (does Pentax have their 28mm and any legacy t/s lenses available?). I'd also echo Guy's comments, not as a medium format shooter but as a pro photographer, if you don't have backup when you go abroad (and you won't if you sell everything else) then you might as well not bother. I can see Murphy laughing already...
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

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  40. #40
    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Ben

    Take a look at the 2nd paragraph which outlines his specific requirements ...finish his book on Cuba (taken with Leica M s) and shoot location portraits in a small village for a future print exhibit. Those assignments fit his possible use of the S2. (as well as other MF alternatives).

    Doubtful that the Cuba book requires a deadline as this is 2nd or 3rd trip and its a personal project . Personally I would finish that project with my M9 s as I favor images that have a similar look and feel . Or I might take the S2 and the M9s and see what works. Seems like a reasonable backup plan for this situation.

    The village portraits looks like more of a one chance opportunity where equipment failure might be more of an issue . This looks ideal for MF of any flavor but its not the core of his typical shooting. (see his work on Cuba). This assignment is as much about location lighting than the camera lens combination. And if you are doing this without help ..you have much bigger issues than redundant equipment. The equipment choices here seem to be very specific and may not be repeated ....so he may have to rent or compromise. He has a better chance of losing all his equipment than having it breakdown. You have to have a strong sense of purpose to take a MF system (with backup) and location lighting into a remote village .


    The core arguments raised are all valid..(1) if its important you need a backup plan (2) buying and selling expensive systems for specific assignments rarely makes sense. (3)stretching to get the most expensive MF system (of any type) without recognizing the inherent requirements of the assignment (lighting etc) and costs may not yield the best results.

    If he decides that MF really has to support what his view camera is used for is quite a bit different from replacing his M s .

    Sounds like two dream assignments .


    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post
    I'm confused. The reason you didn't want an S2 was no wide and no t/s. That hasn't changed and neither have your needs. Both Hasselblad and Phase One seem to have a solution (does Pentax have their 28mm and any legacy t/s lenses available?). I'd also echo Guy's comments, not as a medium format shooter but as a pro photographer, if you don't have backup when you go abroad (and you won't if you sell everything else) then you might as well not bother. I can see Murphy laughing already...

  41. #41
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    where equipment failure might be more of an issue .

    There is no such thing as MIGHT it is more like it WILL happen , never bank on might happen. I have been around the world and it will happen and has happened.

    Everyone here is forgetting this mans budget by 30 grand. A S2 is NOT in his budget. He has according to his first post about 35k selling everything off and that maybe a stretch. That is getting down to a car charger and rebuilding. Honestly if the M9 is his key primary than really his only choice getting in MF is used and cheap , that does not fit into a S2 PERIOD.

    Look at a used P40+/body and 3 lenses about 20 K tops and keep the M9 as they would back each other up. Might have to pair down lenses to 3 or 4 in the M9. But may only need one M9 now as they would back each other up.

    Now if you can find a S2 with 3 lenses for 19k I will eat my underwear. Lets get real folks. LOL

    Sorry as much as the romance is in this thread for Leica it is simply not even close to being a option given this type of budget and more important these types of backup plans that are so DESPERATELY needed.

    I would turn this job down in 5 seconds if I even remotely thought I could not have some sort of backup plan. If you had a Phase or Hassy a extra body alone would make me feel so much better and there dirt cheap. You can't buy a S2 backup dirt cheap.

    Roger I love ya man but the word IF does not exist in a Pro's life it is more WHEN it will fail. I don't care what system you use it WILL fail at some point. Being a Leica shooter you know that better than anyone.

    Also have options with Mamiya and Leaf setups as well. Might even be able to buy new here
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    If you want an affordable 40MP option, then the Pentax 645D and three lenses can come in at 12K–14K. My 35mm f/3.5 manual lens, 55mm f/2.8 AF lens, and 105mm f/2.5 manual lens got me to the 12K mark. The lenses and camera fits in a fairly compact lumbar/shoulder bag. The camera operation and build is much nicer than the Mamiya/Phase and Hasselblad offerings--although the sporty red blad is sexy, but the price is not.

    I have not have Guy's luck with equipment failure in the field, but following his reasoning, the extra body is not really great if the back fails. Whether you by a backup Phase 40mp back or another 645D body, you maybe spending less on the second Pentax body.

    But I am unsure why a M9 would not be considered a backup? I know a lot of photographers who have a complimentary rather than a duplicate system as a backup, especially in the documentary field rather than commercial fields. I always used two different system that would give me choices, but would allow me to continue to work if one went down--I have only had one camera break in the field over the last 30 years.

    BTW, the 645D give focus confirmation with manual lenses in the viewfinder. I have found it is OK, but always used the focusing screen at the same time.

  43. #43
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Well the one issue with the Pentax like the S2 is the integration of the sensor which makes a second one expensive choice. But sure not a bad call either if having a M9 system there to backup each other. Backs going down is extremely rare unless you drop the thing or dunk it in a ocean. Again the second system M9 is a backup. The Hassy and Phase do offer a option outside a M9 backup is a cheap body as well.

    I do agree though you don't always have to have same system as backup and a M9 with anything would be a good choice. Problem here is the OP does not have the budget to squeeze in a S2 and a M9 and that was more my point. Just only so much funds to be had. Or like my wife says your exceeding the check book balance my dear. LOL
    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
    Problem here is the OP does not have the budget to squeeze in a S2 and a M9 and that was more my point. Just only so much funds to be had. Or like my wife says your exceeding the check book balance my dear. LOL
    Completely agree. Especially as the OP is so successful with the M9, I would be very nervous to jump to such different system as an S2. All your eggs being in one basket comes to mind or all your business in sub-prime mortgages. Great if it works out...

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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Now if you can find a S2 with 3 lenses for 19k I will eat my underwear. Lets get real folks. LOL
    hahahaha

    @the OP - It's possible that you could be at the stage in photography where gear purchases should be based more on inspirational/spiritual aspects rather than reason.

    In other words, get the camera that you want regardless of whether or not it makes sense rationally. Then, figure out how to make it "bend" to your needs as they arise. This is often how people develop a personal style because any attempts at trying to cover-all-bases inevitably leads to jack-of-all-trades/master-of-none.

    Also, Guy is right that gear is going to go down. IT's not an "if" it's a "when." A professional that's shooting on another person's dime must be working with a reliable backup system in order to be a responsible business person. But I don't think that mentality is right for everyone and most hobbyists or people self-financing their own projects don't necessarily need to take such precautions. A few "hail-Marys" here and there can work just as well as a back-up even if the photographer isn't Catholic. In other words, get the most expensive and most inspirational camera system possible and don't worry so much. If and when it goes down, then blame it on an act of nature. That's my take on it anyway

  46. #46
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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike M View Post
    hahahaha

    ....gear purchases should be based more on inspirational/spiritual aspects rather than reason.

    In other words, get the camera that you want regardless of whether or not it makes sense rationally. Then, figure out how to make it "bend" to your needs as they arise. ....

    .... In other words, get the most expensive and most inspirational camera system possible and don't worry so much. ....
    Mike, you have suceeded in succinctly capsulizing this fourm's approach to Dante and are most deserving of enabler status.


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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Yea i think I can add that in your signature Mike. Your just dangerous. LOL

    Just joking
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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    Guy, I see you preaching the need for a backup quite a lot. Every time an S2 is mentioned you emphasize that you would need another S2 as a backup and you put that in a negative context due to cost.

    Do you have 2 P40+ backs - a primary and a backup? Last I recall reading about your own back up scenario, you were using a Sony SLR as your backup.

    Please don't misunderstand my point. I agree with you that pros should have a backup. In addition, serious amateurs should have a back up, especially if they are on a special photography trip. So my point isn't about the need for a backup. My point is that an digital MF Owner does not have to have another digital MF as a backup. It would be great, but is not necessary. Let's face, modern digital SLRs are adequate for the majority of commmercial work and digital MF is overkill even for the pros. Most pros choose to use digital MF as a way to set their work apart from other pros, not because it is necessary. If a pro is such a high caliber shooter that another digital MF is truely necessary, then the cost of buying another S2 or IQ180 isn't an issue.

    Let's get real. If you don't practice what you preach, then maybe you shouldn't be preaching it.

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    Re: Talk Me Off the Ledge

    I'll just lend Jeff my ski mask. Would you like that S2 in a red dot or black dot.
    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 Mark Gowin View Post
    Guy, I see you preaching the need for a backup quite a lot. Every time an S2 is mentioned you emphasize that you would need another S2 as a backup and you put that in a negative context due to cost.

    Do you have 2 P40+ backs - a primary and a backup? Last I recall reading about your own back up scenario, you were using a Sony SLR as your backup.

    Please don't misunderstand my point. I agree with you that pros should have a backup. In addition, serious amateurs should have a back up, especially if they are on a special photography trip. So my point isn't about the need for a backup. My point is that an digital MF Owner does not have to have another digital MF as a backup. It would be great, but is not necessary. Let's face, modern digital SLRs are adequate for the majority of commmercial work and digital MF is overkill even for the pros. Most pros choose to use digital MF as a way to set their work apart from other pros, not because it is necessary. If a pro is such a high caliber shooter that another digital MF is truely necessary, then the cost of buying another S2 or IQ180 isn't an issue.

    Let's get real. If you don't practice what you preach, then maybe you shouldn't be preaching it.
    Very simple a S2 backup is 26k backup in any flavor even a back can be as low as 4500. The real problem Mark which none of you get is it is NOT the sensor that will go down it is the body and being integrated just like a Pentax there is no backup when that goes in for repair. A Phase, Hassy , Leaf we can get almost any body to work with our backs and almost any back to work with our bodies. Hassy is a little more limited here but the interchange is there. On integrated systems like Nikon, Canon, S2 , Pentax the body goes down its over the whole system goes in. How often does a back, body go down at the same time almost never. So is it negative your damn right it is and you need to accept that fact but totally overlook it. Davids S2 went down what happened he switched to his Nikon. We MF shooters have several options go to a Nikon , go to backup dedicated body , get a back overnighted or in the storage locker for low cost to keep on hand all at extremely less than 26k . I can buy lenses for less than 1k if a lens goes down. How much are those S2 lenses. Okay you want me to sit here and play nice , screw that . These are facts my friend and that romance don't last long when that client says screw off. This is my life not some playground to push sand around.

    I would never go out of country without at least a extra system like my Sony AND a backup Phase body as well. If my back goes down I have backup , if my body goes down i have backup, if the system goes down completely both back and body( how often would that happen ) i have another system on hand. I have options that far exceed a integrated system. Sorry i am not here to play nice and be politically correct and spare feelings . I am here to tell it like it really is in the REAL WORLD. This gentleman wants to ignore this than its his freaking neck in the sling not mine and i would not take this chance nor would MANY other Pros as well. Especially leaving this country. Like to see you even get AA batteries in Cuba easily

    Mark i am totally covered in backups you have no idea what sits in my closet or what i can have in 20 minutes on my desk or overnighted. Going out of country is a whole different game plan. Let me add in country most Pros can get anything they need by the next morning worst case scenario but out of country we would all have a different game plan and carry those backups and extra systems with us since there are no resources like we have in our country.

    People pay me to give advice and consult with them and i would NEVER sit here and NOT tell them like it is. If that rubs the wrong way than sorry get some thicker skin. Not going to sit here and play politics. It is not in the best interest for them and end of day no matter how it is presented the content is what counts. Some you just have to scream at. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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