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Thread: The S2

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    The S2

    I would be interested to hear from representatives of MFD systems regarding their view on the Leica S2 type camera. Current users and owners of MFD systems might chip in as well with their thoughts.

    Do they think that thsi camera will take market share away from their system?
    Do they think that the market for 'larger than 35mm' format cameras and systems will steal share from 35mm systems?
    Do they think that CaNikon will respond?
    Do they think they might bring out their own version of the S2?
    and finally...
    What doesnt an S2 type camera do which MFD camera systems do do?

    Pete

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    Re: The S2

    Peter, I think this camera is squarely aimed at "inbetweeners."

    On the professional front I think this is an alternative to those high meg DSLRs, and all the smaller sensor MFD cameras like my H3D-II/31 ... or any MFD camera with sensors using microlenses. Depending on S2 pricing, I suspect that is where some of the sales volume will be sourced from.

    Considering the proposed lens system which includes leaf shutter versions and T/S options, assumed tethered ability with Phase One, there is a lot of commercal work this camera appears very capable of doing. A good example of that is the job I am doing this week ... 20 set-ups in an automotive Tech Center. Others might include location food shoots, fashion, even catalog work ... but probably most importantly higher energy shoots that pros bought or rented a high meg AF Canon for.

    This is a smarter solution compared to trying to cram more resolution into a 35mm frame and the consequences that has had on image quality.

    Based on functionality (setting aside price for now), I would not see the S2 as competiting with my H3D-II/39 (or H3D-II/60 when I get it : -) ... I use that on a full featured view camera more than I do on the H body. I could easily see it replacing my H3D-II/31 and eliminating any consideration of a higher meg DSLR like Canon and the upcoming Sony... or anything big from Nikon that may be coming.

    But price and service will be two key considerations that are yet to be defined. If it's the same old service we all hate, and the price is anywhere near the big MFD backs like a Phase One or Hasselblad 60 meg back ... it'd be a tough call to buy into this S2 system.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: The S2

    Agree completely Marc. Service on this is my KEY factor. I am not kidding here. Been there and done that with 2 systems from leica and i simply can't afford not to have a replacement with 24 hours like almost all of us MF shooters can realize today through Phase, Hassy, Sinar and Leaf dealers. The way Leica is structured they cannot do that through retail stores.
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    Re: The S2

    Well, it IS concievable that Phase One dealers could be included in the mix ... just like you can order a Hasselblad H3D from B&H or Calumet ... or from a Hasselblad dedicated dealer. It's the customer's choice. Obviously anyone in the know would go with the dealer for personalized service.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: The S2

    Exactly what i want. BTW not saying I do not love my dear friends at Dale labs and Camera west, these guy's are the best around but they can't do replacements. That is not my point and will buy if I go this route many things from both of them but will buy the body through Phase. Most MF shooters will do the same thing. Seriously this is my only nit pick . i do like very much what i am seeing and reading and it fits me very well with my work. Again compelling is key here because i am really happy with what I have in a huge way
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: The S2

    hey there Marc and Guy - just logging in as a do some trading in Chicago. I think that markets are seeing their worst now..fear is running rampant and everyone has finally woken up - people are losing their hair...so petey is now going long for the first time this year...love the smell of napalm in the morning!

    so what has this to do with the S2 you ask?

    if Leica get the price value equation correct. if they get quality control correct. If they get distribution and service correct. Then they have done something quite revolutionary in the photographic market.

    If they get execution wrong - all they have done is defined the next market the next battlefield for others to benefit from..and others will come - no way will CaNikon want to see there 'high end' segment disappear in a cloude of German Pnazer division dust - no way..

    I agree the camera is a superior DSLR with ergonomic advantages over the typical MFD camera. I can see CaNikon getting the old white Board out already...hahahha

    oh yeah back to photography..hmm the only 'problem' I see with this system is execution risk. I am concerned about the one year( +???) delay to market. I am not concerned about their ability to make the glass or their ability to get a camera to make a DNG file..over to Capture One or Adobe for processing of raw file thank you very much.

    but will the number of cameras made be enough to create a critical mass before CaNikon respond? Will the service and support levels be good enough for a high end pro? - whatever whoever that is?

    great idea - but execution will now be the key. the system looks fantastic and has me drooling...I dont give a rats about Leaf lenses HAssie has that market well and trully sewn up...but a handholdable 39 megapixels getting fed with fsast Leica glass?..hmm thats just the ants pants I reckon.

    not surprised that with all teh work Thierry etc are doing at photokina we havent heard responses from the existing 'players'..maybe in a few days..when they pick their jaws up off the ground?..

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    Re: The S2

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    Do they think that the market for 'larger than 35mm' format cameras and systems will steal share from 35mm systems?
    This is the only statement I am qualified to answer. I am a part of the 35mm market and unless something drastic is announced I am going with the Canon 5DII. You can see examples of my work in the Lighting Forum. Even though I am passing on pre-Photokina announcements (still waiting to see what is yet to be) it is only a stop-gap measure for me.

    The 5DII will most likely be my last 35mm. Most of us wanting MFD but not 60mp are doing so for ourselves and NOT because of a client. I won't spend $40,000 on a camera for my own pleasure or for a customer who won't notice. This is why MFD prices will have to come down as I suspect others are like me.

    However, because of my annoyances with 35mm quality I still want MFD and will get one. Now the market can sell me a used one or they can sell something like the S2. I think you are going to see Canon and Nikon for sure enter this field. 35mm for speed/weddings and MFD for strategic/planned shots.

    The only mistake I think the S2 has made is the size of the sensor. It is not that much larger than 35mm and if there are any compromises from current MFD then I will pass. I have seen MFD quality and that is what I personally want and since I don't have to have it for a client anyway I will get what I want. In short the S2 is only a success IF the image quality is just like current MFD at 37mp. If I am going to compromise I will just stay with Canon.

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    Re: The S2

    In my opinion this was a brilliant marketing idea from Leica.

    They had nowhere to compete on the playing field, so they drew a new map. If they are as smart as this leads me to believe they are, then this camera will be introduced at a price point symilar to the H3D II 31.

    As is, there is no stopping Canikony and the dslr machinery. And the MFDB companies have all but lost touch with reality with their new true wide really really full format, twisting, turning, anabolic steroid sensors made exclusively for ex-investmentbankers and russian oil executives. So by driving a wedge between them with a camera that will have Phaseone software and the latest sensor tech. and those amazing Leica lenses is a brilliant move.



    As long as they don't shoot themselves in the foot with a huge price tag, it should be a home run.

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    Re: The S2

    Well, as somebody that is shooting higher end DSLR's now, and looking at MF as a preferred direction, I can say that the S2 does look like it could pull me away from the higher end DSLR segment, and also keep me from worrying too much over the rest of the MF segment. We all talk about the image being the critical piece. The sensors we know have the capability, so it starts to come right back around to the glass, and for me, Leica may have a very nice edge over others.

    I have been reading, researching, wending through discussions, playing with different systems on the MF side, and honestly, though there are some incredible capabilities out there and coming. This S2 is quite bit of a game changer in my eyes. It has the size, handling, and much of the very good stuff about DSLRs, with the imaging capability of the MF crowd. Do I want/need 60MP? Not at this point. Would 37MP, 50% larger sensor than 35mm FF meet most needs? For me, absolutely. The real test is going to be the support and service for this new offering. If Leica, through Phase or whomever, get that nailed like other MF players, or Canon and Nikon for their DSLRs, I think they will succeed.

    Will Canon, Nikon and maybe others toss their hats into this "pro format" (Leica's words) ring? Maybe. Will they do it more cheaply? Most likely. Will it be as good? Well, they still have not been able to produce any glass that even comes close to Leica for their present highest end DSLRs, so that contributing factor must change dramatically, which has not been their strength to date. There is good glass, but nothing close to what Leica has been making nearly forever. So, given that scenario, would I be more likely to pick up a cheaper Canon or Nikon that could enter this same "pro format" space with their own offerings? Probably not. I have that level of quality now and am not as impressed.

    What I would wish for is a bit more modest pricing, but the Red Dot folks have not been known for that. IF, and this is a big one, they did offer the S2 and glass at a competitive price, I think they would have a hard time keeping up with demand. I do think a lot of pros would look at the S2 and move into it for the majority of their needs, if the IQ and pro service is there. There will always be needs for bigger, and MF is heading that way now, but that is probably a much smaller overall market segment than what could be handled nicely by this S2, I think.

    Just my thinking on this. I know I will be watching this very closely, and if things are what they say, and service and support are at the level pros need (next day replacement loaner, week or less turnaround on repairs, timely firmware updates as needed, etc.), I will most likely be dumping most of my DSLR gear, and going with this S2 and glass. It looks that good to me....on paper at least. The images will tell the final story, as will price and service, but this could be a camera to pull me away from high end DSLR as well as meet most of my MF "needs" at this stage.

    LJ

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    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
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    Re: The S2

    I tend to be in pcunite's camp, but with at least one caveat. At this early stage it might be impossible to assess how the S2 will fit in the mix, but one very clear advantage it has in my mind over the current line of MF systems is weather sealing. It suggests the portability and ruggedness of a current high end "35".

    Once the images can be compared side by side, it will be interesting to see whether the compromise is on the part of the MF or the S2.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: The S2

    LJ ,I would maybe do the same if all the levels are meet as you describe. i could use the speed but I will not put myself out on a limb if the levels are not there. Really just that simple. I will not risk a 30k investment as a pro small business owner and Leica needs to look extremely careful at this because about 100 percent of us have said relatively the same thing. We need hand holding

    My word of the day on this is COMPELLING
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: The S2

    Guy,
    I agree with you. For me, the "compelling" thing may be different than you, since I am not into a MF system at this point. However, my present choices are leaning toward things like Hasselblad, Sinar, and yes, I am still looking hard at Phase, especially if they get the leaf shutter lenses part moving faster. I do like their backs. Not as thrilled with the body and its performance, and that is why the S2 keeps exciting me at this point. David's blog (excellent perspective) does start to get at some important detail. Is 1.5fps for this kind of camera fast enough? Sure better than 1.5spf.

    I would like to see a few faster lenses, but then the higher ISO capabilities being touted could help there, except for DOF control. Is f2.5 fast enough? Might be for how and what I would be shooting, especially if the f2.5 is usable and sharp to the edges, and not a f2.8 lens that needs to be stopped down to f5.6 or so to get the sharpness.

    The service and support is by far the most concerning. I too have gone through the M8 debacle, and that alone still gives me chills. No way I could ever incorporate it into my pro work with confidence. (Canon has replaced shutters, repaired lenses, etc., inside a week, not 3-4 months or more as Leica.) That is really important for me. I worry about Sinar and Leaf on that front, less so with Phase and Hassy.

    Is 37MP compelling? Well, for most of my shooting and plans at this stage, yes....but only if those images are as tight and clean as say the 30MP or so now available from others. If closer to the 39MP, which it should be, that is icing in my book. I really do not need 50-60MP files sizes, and if I do I can rent, or by that time, Leica may have another iteration of the S2, though that could be a tough trick and pixels would surely be smaller than the 6 microns they have now.

    Bottom line, if Leica can hit the service and support marks, can deliver at or above the present marketing specs, and can do so at a price to get folks like us into their system more easily, I think that would cover the "compelling" part for me. Still need to see images, details of offerings, prices and availability, but so far things are looking magnetic to me.

    LJ

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    Re: The S2

    Word on the street is that Hasselblad has pricing below $15,000 for some models. This is heating up fast!

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    Re: The S2

    Need to find that ski mask quick


    I'm playing with my new mamiya 28mm and my Elinchrom rangers. Now this is fun stuff
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: The S2

    Really? That gives me the chills!

    On the S2, I think the hardest part on acquiring such an expensive camera like this one, is the high rate of relentless technical developments. At present rate, this camera will be a great photo-taking dinosaur in short. It is a tough decision for a photographer to come with $50K to add this system to his/her workflow. If I could charge 10X what I presently charge for pj'ing a wedding, I'd buy into it.
    For the time being, a 5D2 is perfect and it is so cheap I can buy 2 of them and replace them once the 5D3 comes out.
    I'm comparing the S2 to Canon (and Nikon as well) because I thinK is a camera that operationally behaves more like a dslr than medium format, despite its quality will be comparable to the bigger one. The S2 sensor shape and size is closer to 35 than to any 120.
    I wish Leica a total success and the best of luck. They deserve it for having the huevos.
    Eduardo

    PS. Will Leica have an official S type trade-in program? A permanent one, would make a really big difference.

    Quote Originally Posted by pcunite View Post
    Word on the street is that Hasselblad has pricing below $15,000 for some models. This is heating up fast!

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    Re: The S2

    Quote Originally Posted by Uaiomex View Post
    PS. Will Leica have an official S type trade-in program? A permanent one, would make a really big difference.
    I would very much doubt this. However, this does not stop dealers from offering various arrangements, just as some do now. So, I would not count on Leica trying to manage that aspect, but I would look to dealers that have high inventory turns, great customer service, and a desire to help get folks into something like this. There are several members on this forum that come to mind, but it is up to them to decide how they are going to help market the S2 within whatever parameters Leica may set on pricing. I love the concept.

    LJ

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    Administrator Bob's Avatar
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    Re: The S2

    As a fairly recent purchaser of P45+/MAMY/Horseman setup, the nicecest thing I see in this deal is maybe some Leica glass for the AFD.
    The S2 can't so shifts, and tilt/shift lenses are no substitute on the wide end of things IMO.
    The S2 stands a chance with me of replacing the Mamy if it has a very short shutter lag and a multi per sec frame rate. I don't see it replacing the removable back for some applications.
    Now it all depends on the price of a well rounded kit.
    If it approximates Warren Buffet's recent investment in Goldman, then I will have to pass.
    -bob

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    Workshop Member Woody Campbell's Avatar
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    Re: The S2

    I'll stick with my H3D-39 kit for now and get a bit more value out of it before I consider the S2. I'm also happy to let the rest of you work out the teething difficulties. I'll check this space again in a year.

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    Re: The S2

    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Campbell View Post
    I'm also happy to let the rest of you work out the teething difficulties.
    Amen to that! Been there more than once myself and have the tee-shirts -- and don't need any more...
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: The S2

    Same here. I am NOT going to be the guinea pig again with my money. I'm actually quite freaking happy with what I have. Unless leica wants to loan me one to test out which frankly is a another brilliant idea
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: The S2

    Solms must be getting its act together - only took 5 weeks from Australia to germany and back and I haev a fixed MP and a better than new 35 chrome lux - which I thought was a write-off. I thought I would share some positive news -

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    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: The S2

    Hey folks,

    overall the S2 is great news. For Leica of course, for those who want to get into a high quality MF system and for the whole MF market, because it looks like it already started to shake this high expensive market a bit and brought Hasselblöd to reuce their prices

    This is a great new system and from what I hear it works remarkably well and feels much higher quality than most of the other MF Pro systems around. And it has completely been designed and developed by Leica, which makes me confident that they will bring this to a highly stable and reliable system once it is available for sale. Bad news of course for those who already have heavily invested in one of these systems, which I luckily have NOT.

    For me timing is just right of the S System and Leica shows strong signs that they are also on the right path for the R and M system (FF).

    Big Kudos to Leica!

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: The S2

    I just sent a very long note to my friends at Leica and wished them well on this project . I also gave them a list of things that i thought may work and suggestions on the service and support side of this that will be critical entering this market. I think some good positive feedback from the Pro shooters is a welcome addition to a new program. I will certainly be watching what the S systems becomes and how they work out all the details
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: The S2

    I fully back that a perfect lineup for Pro services and support is key to success for this system. Otherwise it will go nowhere!

    I do hope Leica have learned their lessons from the past weaknesses in digital photography support.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: The S2

    Essential exactly what i said Peter. They have to look at this product differently than anything else they sell, the target is Pro level by a large margin and it needs a lot of hand holding.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Unhappy Re: The S2.... big mistake ?

    From what I read here and there, the photographers who could be interested in this camera are already geared with MF and ... Canon.
    All what I read is that the new 5DII is already sold into minds of most, evidence having one isn't even questionable.
    In return, it seems very few will jump on the S2, I am afraid this won't be enough to save Leica, + crisis coming, many will cut off cost and investments.

    Instead if they came out with a simple 3k$ FF.R10, Leica lenses owners would have grabbed it, they wouldn't compare with Can/Nik because they don't expect the same from leica, here then evidence of having one wouldn't be even questionable.

    But when you see the M8 at 6k+.... definitely an R10 at this price won't sell.

    In other words if you guys don't rush for this S2 who will ? Leica missed the bet and I am afraid they bite the bullet.

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    Re: The S2.... big mistake ?

    Quote Originally Posted by sinwen View Post
    From what I read here and there, the photographers who could be interested in this camera are already geared with MF and ... Canon.
    All what I read is that the new 5DII is already sold into minds of most, evidence having one isn't even questionable.
    In return, it seems very few will jump on the S2, I am afraid this won't be enough to save Leica, + crisis coming, many will cut off cost and investments.

    Instead if they came out with a simple 3k$ FF.R10, Leica lenses owners would have grabbed it, they wouldn't compare with Can/Nik because they don't expect the same from leica, here then evidence of having one wouldn't be even questionable.

    But when you see the M8 at 6k+.... definitely an R10 at this price won't sell.

    In other words if you guys don't rush for this S2 who will ? Leica missed the bet and I am afraid they bite the bullet.
    i pretty much agree. if they price it low and go for hasselblad h3d II 31 market share they may survive - if the thing works right.

    if they keep the rolex/gucci/ferrari mentality it has no chance of being anything more than a luxury toy. . .

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    Re: The S2

    Well, if you compare the build quality and materials of Leica and Hassi then clearly Leica S2 wins. This is a totally different beast in the MF arena and hrd to come close to by any other vendor in build quality.

    And I also am sure IQ is a level for itself.

    So if one says this will not be appreciated by Pro's, that means also it is not appreciated by clients. Which I do not belief. Because all these clients always ask for top IQ and I am sure Leica can top IQ of several MF systems on the market, even with a slightly smaller sensor.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: The S2

    My reasons are pretty simple . It could most likely beat my 22mpx back today and also offer something that i do struggle with and that is speed. For me that maybe enough. Let's not forget the speed issue here. MF shooters would kill for 1.5 FPS and less shutter lag and high ISO's. Coming from MF a Canon 5DII or actually anything else in 35mm i would not consider my top performer camera , it would fill a certain need when it comes up but most all MF shooters would lean on there MF camera's until they hit the soup with mostly speed issues than grab the Canon or Nikon. This certainly helps in that crossover between the two systems.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: The S2

    Well, contrary to some perceptions of why I boost the Contax 645, I have decided it is just fine (maybe more than fine :-). I decided against a switch to H3D, or Hy6.

    SO, I oredred the M8.2 and have put myself on the list for the S2 (and glass) and R10. Looks like "R" glass will get some legs after all.

    My reckonning, I should come out ahead, maybe something left for a few good bottles of Burgundy.

    best regards
    Victor

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: The S2

    Well the S system is certainly appealing Victor no question about that. Nice to see you back in the saddle here. Hope all your vacations where fun.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: The S2

    Quote Originally Posted by gogopix View Post
    Well, contrary to some perceptions of why I boost the Contax 645, I have decided it is just fine (maybe more than fine :-). I decided against a switch to H3D, or Hy6.

    SO, I oredred the M8.2 and have put myself on the list for the S2 (and glass) and R10. Looks like "R" glass will get some legs after all.

    My reckonning, I should come out ahead, maybe something left for a few good bottles of Burgundy.

    best regards
    Victor
    victor

    So great to have you back! I would love to share a bottle of Burgundy with you as I know your taste is impeccable! LOL Seriously, there is a lot of stuff here to be absorbed in the MFDB world. I think that you, Son and some others (David K) have got it right. The Contax stuff is and was great and time has not changed that. I hope that all who want to experiment with MFDB work with the Contax system because it is so good and you hardly stand to lose any money if you decide to sell and go with a more modern solution (Just MHO>>>>>>>LOL)

    Woody

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    Re: The S2

    When you see clean Contax kits going for $1200 (two sold on FM in last week), a nice clean Contax kit and (ever-cheaper) moderately-MP'd USED Phase back just keeps looking better and better.

    The MF and the high-end DSLR/'tweener market is going to undergo some very serious turmoil over the next year or so and while some prices may make our eyes go wide, there is always that old 'Street' adage about trying to catch a falling knife...
    Last edited by robmac; 25th September 2008 at 18:15.

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    Re: The S2

    G'day Victor - where ya been?

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    Subscriber Member KurtKamka's Avatar
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    Re: The S2

    Here's another hello to Victor .... hopefully you've been on some deserted island enjoying the fruits of your labors.

    Kurt

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    Re: The S2

    Hi to Victor from me too. Missed you bud... we can't afford to lose any Contax 645 lovers around here.

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    Senior Member PSon's Avatar
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    Re: The S2

    Did someone say Contax 645 lover? Well you cannot be much more of a Contax 645 hardcore than Victor. Glad to see the missing Contax 645 son is back (well in this case more like a father).

    Woody, hope your surgery is all done and on your recovery path. Yes the Contax 645 is a great system. The system is not a fancy name but it will not cut your pocket for having a full line of Zeiss medium format auto focus lens. For example, the 35mm lens can be had under $1700 with lens shade. Seriously, the whole medium format system can really eat up your saving. Thus I prefer to use what I know is still one of the best medium format system and yet for such little money to get. In turn, I would feed the part where it really count, the digital back such as the new PhaseOne P65+.

    BTW don't let these two paragraphs think I stop here. I also have more friends with Sinar and Rollei too. At time I do not know who is a harder core, Victor or them?

    Best Regards,
    -Son

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    Subscriber gogopix's Avatar
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    Re: The S2

    Actually, busy summer-trekking Wales and north england, then a 2000 km trip across France from Biarritz to Alsace, back thru Verdun and out from Paris.

    Swamped with my company (investors, private equity, lots of people looking at us)

    Also need to process about 3000 images. (I am likely 3000 posts behind too!)

    Sounds like the troup has had fun in spite of market (Peter-hedge-time the best? ) I just sat it out. Keep cash. (euros)

    Really, on top of it all, we are enjoying three grandkids; I can almost tolerate "T" ball and "swarm soccer"

    LOL

    Victor

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: The S2

    Quote Originally Posted by gogopix View Post
    ; I can almost tolerate "T" ball and "swarm soccer"
    Now THAT is a good grandfather!
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: The S2

    very interesting read on the s2 for those that weren't able to make it to photokina

    http://dfarkas.blogspot.com/

    (you have to scroll down a bit...)

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    Re: The S2

    Victor,

    I have been able to stay positive for the Calendar year - a lot of work to get not far - but at least I havent lost any money and neither have my clients. I celebrated by buying too much camera gear at teh wrong prices - see Hasselblad thread.

    your trip sounds fantastic post some pics - we need soem cheering up.

    Hedgies are now according to popular press - the evil that has created catastrophe.

    Strange that - my clients are thinking the opposite of me for not losing their money. However Mr Wall St will have a lot to answer for - AAA ratings from the ratings agencies who were being paid to 'rate' stuff by their friends in investment banking who were busy selling horse **** to everyone that trusts a suit and a bit of charm. regulators who werent 'regulating' etc etc..

    They have banned all shorting in Australia - after your clever boys banned it for 800 companies. The next 'rule' will be no one can sell. Well that should fix things right?

    I am 100% cash and worried - look at T bills @ 5 bips?!!! - people are literally paying the Government in the US to hold cash for them.

    i could go on - but it is starting to sound like I am still at work..and it is weekend here now - Tractor time!

    Good luck with the buy-out if you can do it ..you will be lucky. Want me to fly over and kick some butt? LOL

    Pete

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