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Thread: Some S2 night/aurora shots

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    Some S2 night/aurora shots

    We had quite a strong aurora here last night, but it was already too late for me to get out of town away from the city lights. It was so strong that it was easily visible in town, which is quite unusual, so I walked down to the harbor area and took some shots.

    I sold a ton of gear this summer and finally got my hands on the S2 a week or two ago. I am incredibly impressed! The lenses are astonishing...most of these shots (other than some of the building ones) were either wide open or stopped down one stop, and they are extremely sharp all the way to the corners. I just have the 35mm and 120mm lenses, and the 35 was used for almost all of these. The noise levels are very low, but the dynamic range and color response are superb. These files have almost nothing done to them outside of some white balance. They came right out of the camera looking like this. Granted, they look rather unnatural in some of the photos, but that is mostly the artificial lighting and the aurora casting weird light on the scenes.
    I made a 1 meter long print from one of the photos, and it is extremely impressive. It cost an arm and a leg and cleaned out my gear closet, but it certainly adds a whole new capability to my photographic arsenal!

    By the way, the crazy blue building is Reykjavík's new concert hall and conference center. It is lit up in pulsating blue LED's at night...it is more subtle than it appears in the photos, but still rather amazing.







    My photos are here: http://www.stuartrichardson.com and more recent work here: http://stuartrichardson.tumblr.com/ Please have a look at my book!
    My lab is here: http://www.customphotolab.is and on facebook

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    Senior Member Graham Mitchell's Avatar
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    Re: Some S2 night/aurora shots

    Glad you're enjoying the S2!

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Some S2 night/aurora shots

    Same here and Congrats.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Senior Member johnnygoesdigital's Avatar
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    Re: Some S2 night/aurora shots

    Very cool...I love that shade of blue, it's so electric! I'm curious if a time lapse would work with this situation. the aurora is similar to water movement. The S2 is amazing, I had rented one and didn't want to give it back to the dealer.

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    Senior Member Thierry's Avatar
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    Re: Some S2 night/aurora shots

    Congratulations Stuart, and waiting for some more pics.

    Thierry
    Thierry Hagenauer
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    Re: Some S2 night/aurora shots

    Yes, very happy about it! Thank you all for the congratulations. It is a camera that suits me very well...I have even had occasion to test the weather sealing already...a nice Icelandic downpour. No problem so far. Still getting used to the four button interface though...this is one thing I wish they had not borrowed from medium format digital! The interface in the M9 is much clearer and easier to use...

    And by the way, I forgot, the rest of the photos are here: http://stuartrichardson.com/lightroo...n-aurora-2011/
    My photos are here: http://www.stuartrichardson.com and more recent work here: http://stuartrichardson.tumblr.com/ Please have a look at my book!
    My lab is here: http://www.customphotolab.is and on facebook

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    Subscriber Member KurtKamka's Avatar
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    Re: Some S2 night/aurora shots

    Thanks for posting these, Stuart. Transitioning to the S2 certainly can clear out a gear closet. In the end, no matter what system you choose, it's most important to feel comfortable with the gear in your hand. At least Leica wisely chose not to use the same battery as the one that's in the M9.

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    Re: Some S2 night/aurora shots

    I understand a lot of thouhgt must have gone into this decision ... congratulations anything that helps you post shots of the magical place you live in - is welcome. yes the lenses are amazing arent they? -

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    Re: Some S2 night/aurora shots

    Congratulations Stuart. I really liked the handling of the S2 when I got to use it on the Salton Sea workshop.

    Enjoy it!

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    Re: Some S2 night/aurora shots

    Stuart, great choice, great pictures. Looking forward to see even more pictures from Iceland made with the S2.

    Cheers,
    Pete

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    Re: Some S2 night/aurora shots

    Stuart, love the pictures. I was in Iceland this July (my 1st visit) but of course saw no aurora. Beautiful images, and good thinking getting a camera with weather sealing!
    Will

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    Re: Some S2 night/aurora shots

    Excellent shots!!

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    Re: Some S2 night/aurora shots

    Good stuff Stuart. I think you will quickly get accustomed to the buttons. It took me a while but I now actually prefer the interface of the S2 to the M9. Congrat's on the new kit.

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    Re: Some S2 night/aurora shots

    Thank you all very much! I look forward to spending a lot of time with the camera...
    Still can't get over the lens performance though. These were taken with the 35mm wide open at 2.5 and have just basic lightroom sharpening.
    Center (not even, really...a little towards the upper right):


    And the lower right corner...may be a bit out of the plane of focus, but still quite sharp.


    Keep in mind that this is wide open with a lens faster than almost any lens in medium format, barring a few normals and telephotos. It is certainly faster than any wide angle in medium format! Most f/2.8 wide angles are 50mm lenses, and most of them are not nearly this sharp (my own 50mm f/2.8 FE for example...a fabulous lens, but certainly not sharp at all in the corners at f/2.8). It is quite an achievement. For night photography it is a huge advantage, as just a stop more light can quarter the time it takes to make a shot (half the time from the aperture, and half the time from the dark frame).
    My photos are here: http://www.stuartrichardson.com and more recent work here: http://stuartrichardson.tumblr.com/ Please have a look at my book!
    My lab is here: http://www.customphotolab.is and on facebook

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