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Thread: Leica S2 - Where to buy internationally? Can I get direct service from Solms?

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    HCHeyerdahl
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    Leica S2 - Where to buy internationally? Can I get direct service from Solms?

    I am considering entering into the leica S-system (although I have currently decided to wait for the S3 since I would really value better performance at higher ISO.)

    I live in Norway, and here we actually have an importer and dealer (Bresson and Interfoto) but I am begining to get serious doubts about entering into a relationship with them. So I am starting to look for possible alternatives where I can get the service and follow up I demand.

    I have been reading posts here on the S2 and see that several current S2 users appear to deal directly with Leica in Solms and with very good service. I would appreciate if any with such experience could comment on how you got the contacts and if this is an option open for all customers?

    Has anyone here purchased internationally from a Leica dealer? If so I would really appreciate if you could share where from and your experience with them.

    Christopher

    PS

    My personal experience is that the local dealer did not cater very well to me as an advanced amature when I was looking for a printer so I ended up buying my large format printer elsewhere. An aquaintance experienced them as very dismissive on a warrenty issue. And currently there is a thread on the largest Norwegian foto site where a potential MF customer was offerd to borrow and try out a Leica S2. Unfortunately the camera was stolen and now they are demanding full compensation for the lost demo camera since they do not have insurance coverage (the customer claims no mention of this prior to the loan)! I am sure there are two sides to each case, however my confidence in them is meager at best.

    DS

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    Re: Leica S2 - Where to buy internationally? Can I get direct service from Solms?

    One of the largest and most knowledgable Leica dealers in the US is Dale photo and Digital. You may want to contact David Farkas or Josh Lehrer at Dale and ask whether they sell internationally. I don't know if the can or do. However, I highly recommend them.

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    Re: Leica S2 - Where to buy internationally? Can I get direct service from Solms?

    If we're going to recommend our friends, you might contact Capture Integration as well. They're a sponsor here, and can be contacted by clicking the link at the top of the page.

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    HCHeyerdahl
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    Re: Leica S2 - Where to buy internationally? Can I get direct service from Solms?

    Thanks for the the pointers! I have them on my list. Still, I am curious to know of any experience with cross border purchases. Is dealing directly with Leica at Solms regarding any warrenty/service/repairs issues an option or would I have to send it first to the abroad dealer and then have they sending it to Solms and ditto return.

    if I understand some posts from among others, Stuart Richardson and Marc (fotografz), they appear to me to be dealing directly with Leica Solms - so I hope they chime in and can advise me on this. Maybe it is only an option for "working pros" or "by invitation only"?

    Christopher

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    Re: Leica S2 - Where to buy internationally? Can I get direct service from Solms?

    Let's not forget another great Leica dealer in Camera West also a sponser of this site. Great folks
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    smei_ch
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    Re: Leica S2 - Where to buy internationally? Can I get direct service from Solms?

    Instead of guessing why not directly contact Leica in Solms?

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    Re: Leica S2 - Where to buy internationally? Can I get direct service from Solms?

    Quote Originally Posted by HCHeyerdahl View Post
    Thanks for the the pointers! I have them on my list. Still, I am curious to know of any experience with cross border purchases. Is dealing directly with Leica at Solms regarding any warrenty/service/repairs issues an option or would I have to send it first to the abroad dealer and then have they sending it to Solms and ditto return.

    if I understand some posts from among others, Stuart Richardson and Marc (fotografz), they appear to me to be dealing directly with Leica Solms - so I hope they chime in and can advise me on this. Maybe it is only an option for "working pros" or "by invitation only"?

    Christopher
    Christopher, Leica seems dead serious about service with the S2, and all of my dealings regarding service have been nothing short of perfect. I do not think it matters much if you are a pro or enthusiast.

    Personally, I initially do everything through my dealer Sam at the Classic Connection here in NJ, USA, who has been my Leica dealer for over 20 years. He also does a lot of business internationally in Europe and particularly Asia often servicing customers of Leica collectables.

    However, in my case for service, Sam just makes sure the path is clear and everyone at Leica in on their game, and I usually send the camera to Leica USA directly, and they send it on to Germany if needed, then send it directly back to me. Therefore, other dealers are probably just as effective although I can only speak for Sam not having bought from others. But many are quite good, and David Farkas of Dale photo in Florida is super knowledgable regarding the S2 and I believe has strong company ties.

    I think the key for you is to find out who the Leica company representative is for your area of the world. Most USA S2 owners know the name of the S2 liaison person in the US office here, and speak to them directly. IMO, that is what you would need if by-passing the local dealer.

    One other alternative to explore would be buying the S2 from the official Leica store in Germany (there may be others in other countries). Contact Leica directly for the exact locations.

    One last thing to consider ... while pretty expensive, I highly recommend either the S2P or the less costly premium 2 year warranty for the S2 IF you depend on having the camera at the ready. I have an S2P, and when I needed service, a duplicate loaner was on my doorstep the very next morning ... so if the item had to go to Germany, it didn't matter to me at all ... they could keep my item for 6 months for all I cared ... although, in every case my serviced item was back to me very quickly.

    Hope this helps a little.

    -Marc

    P.S., I wouldn't hold my breathe regarding a S3 they haven't even maximized the S2 potential yet ... since its introduction, Leica has been VERY good at improving the S2 with firmware upgrades that have proven to be functionally invaluable. I'm sure the ISO performance will also be addressed ... but truthfully, it already has as many of us have refined our processing techniques to great effect, and the LR software continues to improve.

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    Re: Leica S2 - Where to buy internationally? Can I get direct service from Solms?

    Goecker in Denmark has the S2 body for sale here for 146,000 danish kroner (US$27,000) including tax - maybe get two?

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    Re: Leica S2 - Where to buy internationally? Can I get direct service from Solms?

    I live in Iceland. I bought my S2 through Tony Rose at Popflash Photo, who I have used for years. Service direct with Leica is not an issue at all. My first body had a problem, and had to be replaced. I handled it directly with Andrea Frankl at Leica, with Tony's help. The service was fast and easy. The camera itself is a dream -- I have never used better lenses for any system. They are staggering. I think you might wait awhile if you are going to wait for the S3...
    As it is, ISO 1250 is already quite good, so I would not worry so much about that. If super high ISO is a real concern, then you are still best by getting something like a D3s.
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  10. #10
    jlehrer
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    Re: Leica S2 - Where to buy internationally? Can I get direct service from Solms?

    Christopher:

    We frequently ship overseas and it is not a problem for us to send Leica equipment worldwide. Leica does not sell directly through Solms, they do require that the purchase be made through an authorized Leica dealer for a new S2 body. The Leica S warranty is valid anywhere in the world, regardless of where the camera is purchased from.

    Our experience with Leica S service in Germany has been excellent. Turnaround time is usually about 2 weeks total. For service, you can certainly send the camera directly to Solms yourself, however a Leica S Professional dealer will be able to facilitate any service-related matters in order to simplify the process for you. Leica S Professional dealers exist to provide you with support, and can often solve issues before involving Leica Camera Service.

    Hope that helps.

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    Re: Leica S2 - Where to buy internationally? Can I get direct service from Solms?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post

    I have an S2P, and when I needed service, a duplicate loaner was on my doorstep the very next morning ...
    Is this true for the Leica CS lenses as well?

    In general, are the Leica S2 CS lenses now readily available for purchase with immediate delivery?

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    Re: Leica S2 - Where to buy internationally? Can I get direct service from Solms?

    Quote Originally Posted by David Klepacki View Post
    Is this true for the Leica CS lenses as well?

    In general, are the Leica S2 CS lenses now readily available for purchase with immediate delivery?
    No. They are supposedly being beta tested by some now, so should be available soon .... as in Leica's "soon"

    It'll be interesting how they will handle all the demand from those who bought the regular lenses with the promise of upgrades available for the difference in price. Lots bought into the S2 based on this promise, including me.

    -Marc

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    HCHeyerdahl
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    Re: Leica S2 - Where to buy internationally? Can I get direct service from Solms?

    Thanks everyone, this was very reassuring.

    Going MF is a big step technically and a substantial investment. For this to work out, it "has to be right" in several ways. I am currently in "research mode", and probably will be for quite som time. Current status is that it is the right thing to do and that the S-system is the right system.

    The dealer question has been lurking in the background, and this last incident made it very real. We really only have this one MF dealer in Norway, so prehaps I had to give up on my plans? Now that you have helped me sort out the options, I feel I have good alternatives and can easily bypass the Norwegian dealer when the time comes to make the move.

    Yes, waiting for the S3 may take more than a while. However, I have given this a lot of thought. For this to work out technically, the ability to be usable in much the same way I use my high end Nikons is very important. Where I live we have low light large parts of the year. Even more so since I have a day time job, and frequently go out taking images in available light in the evening. Better high ISO abilities would make the camera sooo much more versatile and easier to use. I believe it just has to be very good at say ISO 1600 ish to be the right tool for me.

    Thanks again everyone. Now I will just have to sit back an wait - like our cats wait for their pray - I usually pays out!

    Christopher

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    Re: Leica S2 - Where to buy internationally? Can I get direct service from Solms?

    Quote Originally Posted by HCHeyerdahl View Post
    Thanks everyone, this was very reassuring.

    Yes, waiting for the S3 may take more than a while. However, I have given this a lot of thought. For this to work out technically, the ability to be usable in much the same way I use my high end Nikons is very important. Where I live we have low light large parts of the year. Even more so since I have a day time job, and frequently go out taking images in available light in the evening. Better high ISO abilities would make the camera sooo much more versatile and easier to use. I believe it just has to be very good at say ISO 1600 ish to be the right tool for me.

    Christopher
    Well, only you can weigh the price of waiting until spec's match your needs ... which may or may not happen anytime soon.

    However, there has been some discussion with Leica technical managers as to innovative ways of increasing the ISO performance of the existing S2 .... which remain just discussions as of now.

    It should be noted that both Phase One and Hasselblad have already solved this issue, at least partially. Phase One uses a pixel binning approach to higher ISO performance to great result, and Hasselblad offers the H4D/40 which produces a very effective full resolution ISO 1600. In either case, (and including the S2 @ ISO 1250), the size of the file down scaled to that of a Nikon or Canon visually reduces effective noise ... it is only a problem to some when viewing a MFD file at 100% on screen ... however 100% is almost twice the size of a 135 DSLR file @ 100%.

    The other issue with medium format digital low light work is AF performance, which pales in comparison to Nikon, Canon, Sony AF. I seriously doubt that will change any time soon either ... if ever.

    Marc

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    HCHeyerdahl
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    Re: Leica S2 - Where to buy internationally? Can I get direct service from Solms?

    Hi Marc, and thanks for your reply.

    I am aware of the Phase and Hassey approach and I guess that is part of what gives me hopes for something better from Leica, and that I read an interview where they fairly clearly stated that they would not chase for more pixels but rather improve on ISO and other things.

    From what I have been able to read, the S2 is almost excelent up to ISO 640. However, at 1250 my understanding has been that the files are somewhat less than excelent. But, perhaps this has changed? Should I understand you so that [email protected] ISO 1250 is "excelent to very good"?

    I am not sure I understand the downscale argument. Anyway, my end product is always a print, usually 24 inches on the long (A1) or short side (A2). If I compare my wifes [email protected] with my D3, even in prints the difference is clearly there.

    I did not know that the AF of MF in low light is an issue. Does it hunt more, or does it just not work? Are we talking almost dark or even on a day with heavy gray overcast?

    Christopher

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    Re: Leica S2 - Where to buy internationally? Can I get direct service from Solms?

    Quote Originally Posted by HCHeyerdahl View Post

    From what I have been able to read, the S2 is almost excellent up to ISO 640. However, at 1250 my understanding has been that the files are somewhat less than excellent. But, perhaps this has changed? Should I understand you so that [email protected] ISO 1250 is "excellent to very good"?

    Christopher
    Christopher,

    A little while back, we ran a test to show how the S2 performs at each ISO level and a few pointers on getting the most quality at ISO 1250:

    Maximizing High ISO Performance on the Leica S2

    The DNG files and LR presets we used for the test are available for download at the end of the article.

    David
    David Farkas
    Leica Store Miami

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    Re: Leica S2 - Where to buy internationally? Can I get direct service from Solms?

    Has Leica made any comments about the sale of the Kodak sensor business to Platinum Equity? If Platinum will be taking this sensor business into other directions, the supply chain for Leica gets cut off at some point, which would stress their ability for repair and replacement. Where will Leica continue to get their sensors for the M9 and S2?

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    Re: Leica S2 - Where to buy internationally? Can I get direct service from Solms?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    The other issue with medium format digital low light work is AF performance, which pales in comparison to Nikon, Canon, Sony AF. I seriously doubt that will change any time soon either ... if ever.

    Marc
    The Pentax 645D has ISOs up to 1600 without binning and the AF performance is as good as any DSLR in low light. There really is no reason a MFD camera cannot have good ISO or AF.

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    Re: Leica S2 - Where to buy internationally? Can I get direct service from Solms?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    The Pentax 645D has ISOs up to 1600 without binning and the AF performance is as good as any DSLR in low light. There really is no reason a MFD camera cannot have good ISO or AF.
    Really?

    A Pentax 645D is as fast as a Canon 1DMKIII or Nikon D3s? You're the first to say that ... including Pentax.

    -Marc

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    Re: Leica S2 - Where to buy internationally? Can I get direct service from Solms?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Really?

    A Pentax 645D is as fast as a Canon 1DMKIII or Nikon D3s? You're the first to say that ... including Pentax.

    -Marc
    I was speaking in general terms, not claiming top-of-the-line performance. I find it quick and accurate. Very similar to many DSLRs I have used.

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