1. ## Leica S2 question

Hello All,

This is my first post on GetDPI, albeit I have been lurking for quite some time.

I am a landscape photographer and currently shoot a D800E. I would greatly appreciate if you could help me understand the difference between the S2 and D800E as it relates to depth of field. In order to help me, please consider the following example. For simplicity, please consider the resolution of the D800E and S2 identical:

The S2 has a larger sensor than the D800E and therefore a longer focal length is required to achieve the same field of view. All else being equal, depth of field will be less for the former than the latter because of this.

However, given that the larger sensor in the S2 has an identical number of pixels as the D800E, pixel size is greater for the former than the latter. Therefore, some, if not all of the reduction in depth of field can be reclaimed by stopping down the S2 without the same penalty from diffraction. My first question to you is: can the reduction in depth of field be reclaimed fully, and if not, by how much can it be reclaimed until the effect of diffraction is equal?

Continuing on the (possibly false) assumption that depth of field can be reclaimed fully, the same image printed to the same size from the S2 requires less enlargement than that from the D800E because its sensor is larger. My understanding is that the greater the enlargement, the greater the reduction in perceived depth of field when viewed from the same distance. Hence, I am left concluding that an identical image from the S2 has greater depth of field than that from a D800E. I am fairly confident that I am mistaken on this, but do not know where the error is. Hence, my second question to you is: please can someone explain?

Cheers,

2. ## Re: Leica S2 question

On the second point, assuming that you shoot the same image with the S2 & D800, they will both be 36/37mp in size regardless of the physical sensor size and so should render the same to a final output.

As regards DoF ... Print or 100% on-screen rendering? There are different answers depending upon which method you use to measure.

3. ## Re: Leica S2 question

At any given field of view with the same aperture, the S2 will have slight less DoF given the same print size and viewing distance. Pixels have nothing to do with DoF. But the S2 does have a larger format and so can be stopped down more with the same effect on diffraction on the image--or to put it another, the minimum acceptable aperture is smaller with the S2.

But the difference between formats are not that great to worry about it.

4. ## Re: Leica S2 question

think of chip size as 'film size' - the larger the film size the smaller the DOF - all other things being equal.

e.g. In film days - 35mm shooters worried about too much DOF (hence the popularity of more expensive fast glass) whilst MF & LF shooters worried that they couldn't get enough DOF - and all the angst one had concerning any particular lens's optimal aperture at infinity versus diffraction issues..

5. ## Re: Leica S2 question

Graham,

Originally Posted by GrahamWelland
...assuming that you shoot the same image with the S2 & D800, they will both be 36/37mp in size regardless of the physical sensor size and so should render the same to a final output.
Understood, thank you.

Originally Posted by GrahamWelland
As regards DoF ... Print or 100% on-screen rendering? There are different answers depending upon which method you use to measure.
Print.

6. ## Re: Leica S2 question

Shashin,

Originally Posted by Shashin
At any given field of view with the same aperture, the S2 will have slight less DoF given the same print size and viewing distance. Pixels have nothing to do with DoF. But the S2 does have a larger format and so can be stopped down more with the same effect on diffraction on the image--or to put it another, the minimum acceptable aperture is smaller with the S2.
Understood, thank you.

Originally Posted by Shashin
But the difference between formats are not that great to worry about it.
This is exactly the information I was after. I had expected it to be the case. After all, the 617 format provides an enormous size of negative and those that shoot it for landscape appear to obtain adequate depth of field. Nevertheless, I am glad to have my suspicion confirmed. Thank you.

7. ## Re: Leica S2 question

Peter,

Originally Posted by PeterA
think of chip size as 'film size' - the larger the film size the smaller the DOF - all other things being equal.
Understood, thank you.

Originally Posted by PeterA
e.g. In film days - 35mm shooters worried about too much DOF (hence the popularity of more expensive fast glass) whilst MF & LF shooters worried that they couldn't get enough DOF - and all the angst one had concerning any particular lens's optimal aperture at infinity versus diffraction issues..
I'm not sure I would agree with "worry too much". Depth of field and diffraction are real and valid concerns to be taken into account. The fact that many photographers today deliberately shoot tech cameras to control these, and other, issues speaks for itself.

8. ## Re: Leica S2 question

I had a D800E, albeit for a few days only and from F8/F11, depending on the lens, diffraction was clearly visible.

not so with the S2, the diffraction limit is much higher - but then again, my S2 is today in Leica Portugal for a checkup and cleaning sensor, so no real testing I can do here to show you.

D800E is a great all around camera, but the sensor size pushed the lenses too much, thats what I keep reading. I suspect that is why Canon said that would halt the mp race - they would have to redesign lots of lenses. Heck, their 16-35 is still crappy after a two redesigns

Anyway, Nikon has a much newer lens lineup, but if you have a D800E you know this : to show the D800E true potential, lens lineup much be choose very very carefully. Not many lens are up to par with the sensor and humongus stress it puts on the lenses.

Leica on the other hand its different. S lenses were designed from the ground up to outresolve the sensor by a stretch. As far S lenses go, you dont have many, but all of them are absolutly world class. There is not a single lens that is bad. Or "so/so". Even the damn kit lens. They are spetacular, all single one of them.

And that makes a world of difference vs the D800E, apart from other things.

Dont get me wrong, D800E excells in areas where the S2 can only dream of > AF speed, High ISO, etc. But image quality at lower isos, insane byblical monstrous viewfinder, sharpness and clarity of the files, the S2 rules.

9. ## Re: Leica S2 question

Originally Posted by proenca

I had a D800E, albeit for a few days only and from F8/F11, depending on the lens, diffraction was clearly visible.

not so with the S2, the diffraction limit is much higher - but then again, my S2 is today in Leica Portugal for a checkup and cleaning sensor, so no real testing I can do here to show you.

D800E is a great all around camera, but the sensor size pushed the lenses too much, thats what I keep reading. I suspect that is why Canon said that would halt the mp race - they would have to redesign lots of lenses. Heck, their 16-35 is still crappy after a two redesigns

Anyway, Nikon has a much newer lens lineup, but if you have a D800E you know this : to show the D800E true potential, lens lineup much be choose very very carefully. Not many lens are up to par with the sensor and humongus stress it puts on the lenses.

Leica on the other hand its different. S lenses were designed from the ground up to outresolve the sensor by a stretch. As far S lenses go, you dont have many, but all of them are absolutly world class. There is not a single lens that is bad. Or "so/so". Even the damn kit lens. They are spetacular, all single one of them.

And that makes a world of difference vs the D800E, apart from other things.

Dont get me wrong, D800E excells in areas where the S2 can only dream of > AF speed, High ISO, etc. But image quality at lower isos, insane byblical monstrous viewfinder, sharpness and clarity of the files, the S2 rules.

The above is a link to files I shot comparing the S2 with 30mm to the D800E with 24mm 1.4G.. the S lenses is a little better but the Nikkor is surprisingly good..they're raw's so you can process them yourself..

10. ## Re: Leica S2 question

My feeling is that DOF difference is between roughly 1-1.5 f-stops.
I mean the 70mm at f2.8 would lead to the same DOF like a 50mm on the Nikon at f2.0

If you shoot a lot stopped down I would assume handheldshooting with the S2 gets difficult.
I shoot mostly handheld but a lot in the f2.5-f8 range - so I cant help with experience about diffraction.

Other differences I see is that the Leica lenses are allready exceptional even wide open, with very small vignetting. And you get (slow) but precise AF compared to Zeiss lenses on the Nikon. But then you dont have life view in the S2. But you get a nicer viewfinder. And a lighter wallet

11. ## Re: Leica S2 question

thanks for providing the files. first because the S 30mm for me its only a mirage for the months to come, since I nearly bought the S2 and new lens aquisitions have a big no/no from the wife

now, I always say > the D800E, paired with good lenses, is formidable megapixel quality for money.

Close to a S2 and other MFD ? indeed. is the S2 4 or 5 times better ? no, or at least I dont think so. but its better. how much you value that, its up to the buyer.

for example in your two files, I can clearly see differences in terms of CA, file "elasticity" and clarity, specially when you start processing them to taste. highlights recover better in the S2 file, shadows contain so much more information, and so on.

again, is the D800E a formidable camera for the money ? indeed. but the S2 for me its better in the areas that I like.

everyone milleage vary

12. ## Re: Leica S2 question

Originally Posted by Paratom
I mean the 70mm at f2.8 would lead to the same DOF like a 50mm on the Nikon at f2.0

If you shoot a lot stopped down I would assume handheldshooting with the S2 gets difficult.
I shoot mostly handheld but a lot in the f2.5-f8 range - so I cant help with experience about diffraction.

Other differences I see is that the Leica lenses are allready exceptional even wide open, with very small vignetting. And you get (slow) but precise AF compared to Zeiss lenses on the Nikon. But then you dont have life view in the S2. But you get a nicer viewfinder. And a lighter wallet
few things, but S2 experienced owners please correct me :

70mm is 2,5 not, 2,8

comparing *not scientific tested in anyway* this to 35mm, I would say its a 50/55mm with 1.2 or 1.4 aperture

handheld shooting with the S2 is perfectly possible - altough heavier than the D800 and pro slrs, its weight is more balanced. the weight of the S2 actually helps getting the camera stable, rather than a photographer trying to fight it. for example, the 24/70 AFS on a D800 is front heavy and seems like a pendulum. Here doesnt - camera + lens are extremely well balanced: also the shutter is quite well dampned when it comes to MF

no live view indeed

wallet lightness is visibile from a mile off

13. ## Re: Leica S2 question

Originally Posted by proenca
...insane byblical monstrous viewfinder...
I wonder if Marc sees this post if he could comment on the comparison between the H series finders and the Leica S2 finder?

14. ## Re: Leica S2 question

Originally Posted by KeithL
I wonder if Marc sees this post if he could comment on the comparison between the H series finders and the Leica S2 finder?
As far as I remember, S2 is bigger and brighter than the H3D I had for a week.

I didnt had the H3D when I bought the S2, so Marc is the person to answer this since I believe he has H4D currently AND a S2

15. ## Re: Leica S2 question

I've tried to look through everything (at least everything at B&H, and that has been quite a lot over the past 30 years). Aside from the waist level finders on some MF cameras, there have been only two viewfinders that I could see through without vignetting while wearing glasses. They were the Nikon High Eye-point and the Leica S2.

Everything else looks like a dim tunnel. All current Canon, Nikon, Sony, Hasselblad, and Phase - awful by comparison with the Leica. Now I either use no viewfinder at all (tech cam) or live view (Oly OM-D). But I'd be quite happy with the view through the S2.

Biblical, indeed!

Matt

16. ## Re: Leica S2 question

Originally Posted by proenca

I had a D800E, albeit for a few days only and from F8/F11, depending on the lens, diffraction was clearly visible.
Agreed. I generally shoot at f/8 and dislike stopping down to f/11 but will if the composition demands it. I never stop down further than f/11 because what I gain in depth of field I lose through diffraction.

Originally Posted by proenca
not so with the S2, the diffraction limit is much higher
True, but for the same aperture on the S2 you have less depth of field than the D800E. Hence the purpose of my original question: can one stop down the S2 to obtain a depth of field equivalent to the D800E yet exhibit diffraction no greater than the D800E?

Originally Posted by proenca
D800E is a great all around camera, but the sensor size pushed the lenses too much, thats what I keep reading.
That is my own experience and the reason I am considering moving to the S2.

Folks, perhaps I should give you a bit of background information so that you can see where I am coming from, so to speak.

I came late to photography. My first DSLR was the Nikon D300. Being a landscape shooter who intends to print 3:1 panormas not less than 36" along the long edge a high MP camera is of great interest to me. Hence, eventually I moved to a D3x and now shoot a D800E.

You will note that I wrote 3:1 panoramas. I crop this aspect from the frame. I am excellent at stitching and stitch 360° spherical panoramas manually. However, I dislike stitching 'normal' images, even though I am well aware of the resolution I am potentially throwing away. Why do I not stitch 'normal' images? Because I would rather capture one image of an instant than stitch together a series of images from several instants. Been there, done that, didn't like it.

I have considered film MF and even LF cameras over the last year or two but, while I have never tried them, I know within myself that I would prefer to work in digital in the format that I adopt. I am aware of the digital equivalent of a 617 MF film camera but am horrified at what to me looks less like capturing an image with a camera, and more like with a computer, even though I myself handle a camera only to secure it to a tripod.

The 3:2 (Small) Format lends itself to my cropping to a 3:1 aspect more so than a 4:3 (Medium) Format does, because it provides a greater number of pixels along the long edge for the same MP chip. Hence, one attraction of the Leica S2, which also adopts a 3:2 aspect.

Tech/View cameras have been considered. However, while movements would allow me to achieve front to back DOF while avoiding the deleterious effect of diffraction, it is true to say that there are compositions for which tilt cannot be made to 'fit'. Besides, part of me feels that OOF regions of an image provides the image with a degree of character and therefore should not simply be discarded in order to obtain front to back sharpness in cases where the composition lends itself to the use of camera movements.

Originally Posted by proenca
Leica on the other hand its different. S lenses were designed from the ground up to outresolve the sensor by a stretch.
This I know. I have spent an enormous amount of time researching the S2 and a significant appeal of the S-System is that by buying into it I will future proof myself, in so far as one can with technology. Bodies tend to come and go whereas lenses endure. Sensor resolution is only going to increase with time yet many 35mm DSLR lenses that once returned commendable results now are showing the strain of the current MP chip. I have no interest in upgrading lenses again and again. Hence, I figure that by buying into the S-System the lenses will be more than adequate for my future needs regardless of the MP that future S-bodies provide.

My plan of attack, should I go ahead and purchase an S2 and lens(es), is to purchase a second hand or ex-demo S2 but new lens(es). I have investgiated the focal length range I tend to shoot at and, being a landscape shooter, it will come as no surprise to you all that I shoot from 14mm to approximately 60-70mm.

I am aware that the 24mm S-lens is 19mm equivalent, and for that reason I would probably keep the D800E for ultrawide shots. The 24, 30, 35 and 70mm are all attractive to me, though I'd probably look at obtaining the 24, 35 and 70mm initially and pad out at a later date.

Originally Posted by proenca
Dont get me wrong, D800E excells in areas where the S2 can only dream of > AF speed, High ISO, etc. But image quality at lower isos, insane byblical monstrous viewfinder, sharpness and clarity of the files, the S2 rules.
The lack of all the bells and whistles on the S2 that come as standard with a 35mm DSLR does not deter me in the least. I shoot in 14 bit RAW at base ISO or ISO Lo 1 whenever the dynamic range of the scene is within the reduced DR of the camera at this setting so as to reduce noise still further. It clearly makes a small, but to me significant, visible difference.

Originally Posted by Paratom
My feeling is that DOF difference is between roughly 1-1.5 f-stops.
I am a subscriber to Lloyd Chambers website and in his review of the S2 he mentions one stop, if I remember correctly.

If you shoot a lot stopped down I would assume handheldshooting with the S2 gets difficult.
I do shoot stopped down. However the camera is 100% on a tripod (Gitzo 3-series with an Arca cube head) so camera motion is irrelevant.

Originally Posted by Paratom
Other differences I see is that the Leica lenses are allready exceptional even wide open, with very small vignetting. And you get (slow) but precise AF compared to Zeiss lenses on the Nikon. But then you dont have live view in the S2. But you get a nicer viewfinder.
I use Live View 100% of the time and the lack of it on the S2, or indeed any CCD chip camera, was a deal breaker for me. However, while not ideal, I figure that I can work around it by having a split screen installed, and reviewing images at 100% magnification on the LCD after capture. I use a Zacuto Z-finder loupe, so glare of the LCD on the rear of the camera is irrelevant.

Originally Posted by proenca
...for example in your two files, I can clearly see differences in terms of CA...
I have yet to download the files and play with them (thank you RVB!). However, I am not sure why CA is mentioned above. Most if not all modern software removes it automatically without any degredation to the original image data, does it not?

All,

I have held an S2 in my hands when I visited the Leica store in Mayfair at the time of the London Olympics. Unfortunately my flight had been delayed and I literally had to run to the store in order to catch it just before it shut for the day (visiting the following day was not possible). Consequently, I have not had a chance to really play with an S2. Clearly I would do so before sinking such a significant sum of money into a new camera system. As noted above, I have investigated the S2 as best I can, though now that I am close to the point at which I actually could purchase one, I am doing a lot of soul searching. Time will tell how the situation pans out.

As always, any comments or advice you have for me would be most welcome.

17. ## Re: Leica S2 question

Originally Posted by AreBee
(...)

As always, any comments or advice you have for me would be most welcome.
Few things to point out :

- Leica S2 has one of the best (if not the best) viewfinder in the MF world. Its BIG, its biblycal, its huge. Throw in a split screen and manual focusing is a breeze. To be honest, with the 70mm I have, if the camera is resting on a tripod and there isnt any rush, I can manual focus with ease (and I dont have the split screen, just standard one)

- Remember the rule of "dont go into a system because of its promises but go into a system because of its streghts". Thats my rule and I want copyright eheheh nonetheless, follow it. Go to the S2 if the system, as of today , pleases you. Works for you. Works with you. Dont drop few dozens of thousands whatver currency its in your bank because of the "it will come one day". S24mm is the widest you have today. One of the widest in the MF world. Dont drop 20k on the S2 expecting that one day a 14 or 15 35mm equivallent will come out. May never will.

- Pick one S2 and play with it. Its vital. I bought mine without holding one before but :I spent hundreds of hours (not kidding here ) reading every article and absorbing every forum online about the S2. I made a deal with the seller that if I didnt like it, I woulnd pay for it - but unfortunatly I would keep it as well eheehhe. But Im a die hard Leica fan and user years ago and I was confident of the S. And it took me 15 minutes with the camera to drop everything and start wiring the money, holding the camera like Gollum saying "its my precioussssss".

Its really a great camera. Built like a rock. Weather sealed. Great sensor. Superb lenses. nice AF (not ultra fast) but SUPER precise. Huge viewfinder.

Im going to Paris and then Geneva for Holidays in December, if you are anywere near, drop me an email and we'll have a coffee and you'll play with mine.

ps :ffordes have a good camera at a good price, perhaps its close to you ?

18. ## Re: Leica S2 question

Originally Posted by proenca
Dont drop few dozens of thousands whatver currency its in your bank because of the "it will come one day". S24mm is the widest you have today. One of the widest in the MF world. Dont drop 20k on the S2 expecting that one day a 14 or 15 35mm equivallent will come out. May never will.
Just a correction: the Leica 24mm with it's 1.3 crop sensor is not as wide as the 28mm and 24mm lenses offered by Phase, Mamiya, and Hassy. It's also nowhere near as wide as the 23mm or 17mm offered (on full frame sensors) by a tech camera or Hartblei/AlpaFPS systems.

So I don't think it's fair to say it's one of the widest.

That said, it's a very sharp, very good lens, and if it's wide enough for what you want/need then it will be a great lens.

Your advice about buying based on what is available today is sage! Every brand has been guilty of making promised features, hardware, software, only to have them arrive late, very late, or not at all.

19. ## Re: Leica S2 question

Originally Posted by AreBee
The short answer on DoF is that sensor size does not matter, only resolution does. It's a zero-sum game. Larger sensor -> longer focal length for equivalent FOV -> smaller aperture for equivalent DOF -> more diffraction, but you get equivalent overall resolution. What you do lose with a larger sensor is that you get longer shutter speeds due to the smaller aperture.

If you have a 80 megapixel sensor and want the same pixel peep sharpness as on a 20 megapixel sensor you need larger relative aperture to reduce diffraction and then you lose DoF.

The S2 and the D800 has virtually the same form factor and the same resolution of the sensor, so in terms of DoF they are theoretically equivalent.

However, different systems are optimized for different shooting apertures, I don't know at which apertures the S2 performs best in terms of landscape. I'm quite sure though that the differences will be negligible.

When I had an APS-C camera I used to shoot at f/8. My 33 megapixel 48x36 Aptus I shoot at f/11 which is where the lenses performs best. There I experience a difference in DoF as if I would use the corresponding on my Aptus it would be something like f/18.

Depending on what apertures the S2 can set I'd guess you'd notice a 1/3 stop difference max in deep DoF experience, and that is negligible in any practical use.

20. ## Re: Leica S2 question

Originally Posted by proenca
Leica S2 has one of the best (if not the best) viewfinder in the MF world. Its BIG...
Yes, everyone appears to agree on that.

Originally Posted by proenca
Go to the S2 if the system, as of today , pleases you. Works for you. Works with you. Dont drop few dozens of thousands whatver currency its in your bank because of the "it will come one day".
I have no concern in that regard. I too have scoured the internet for literature on the S2 and am aware of how limited the S-System was when first released...and of the delay for CS lenses to become available. I am happy with the lenses that are available at present, though it'd be nice to have something between the 35mm and 70mm. I certainly do not consider it a dealbreaker though.

Originally Posted by proenca
Im going to Paris and then Geneva for Holidays in December, if you are anywere near, drop me an email and we'll have a coffee and you'll play with mine.
That is incredibly generous of you. Thank you very much. However, I unfortunately must decline, as I will not be in the vicinity.

Originally Posted by proenca
ps :ffordes have a good camera at a good price, perhaps its close to you?
That's funny: I happened to be looking online at Fforbes today and noticed what they had available. Fforbes is, in fact, nearby to me: probably less than 25 miles. However, I have never found them to be particularly competitive on price, despite being an excellent camera store with knowledgable staff.

Originally Posted by dougpeterson
Your advice about buying based on what is available today is sage! Every brand has been guilty of making promised features, hardware, software, only to have them arrive late, very late, or not at all.
Understood, thank you.

All,

So as to not post multiple threads on the S2 I will ask any questions I have in this thread. With that in mind, I would like to ask your opinion on an issue that I have not myself resolved:

The S2 (and S, of course) allows the use of a leaf shutter if a CS lens is mounted to the body. I have zero interest in flash photography. However, the CS lenses are of interest to me because they will reduce camera shake in comparison to the focal plane shutter. Unfortunately, the focal plane shutter must open the curtain prior to firing the leaf shutter. Hence, any reduction in camera shake achieved through the use of a CS lens is, at present, negated by opening of the focal plane shutter curtain.

Now, I am well aware that the S2 (and S) has a well damped shutter mechanism. However, it is a fact that the mechanism generates camera shake, no matter how small it may be. There would be a way to realise the advantage of CS lenses, as it relates to camera shake, which would be to delay firing the leaf shutter until the curtain of the focal plane shutter had settled. Alternatively, an Electronic First Curtain Shutter (EFCS) could be adopted. Canon DSLRs apparently enjoy the latter and you can read here. The difference it makes is, for me, very significant. Bear in mind that I am thinking to the future, with ever higher MP chips in bodies/backs, where the utmost care must be taken to realise the resolution potential on offer.

In full understanding that we none of us can know with certainty what Leica may or may not do in the future, would you purchase CS lenses instead of non-CS lenses in order to cover yourself for the future, were it to transpire, of course. If not, please can you provide your reasoning?

For what it is worth, my own line of thought is that it would perhaps be best to purchase non-CS lenses and if, one day, Leica do release an S-body with a delay to the curtain of the focal plane shutter before firing the leaf shutter of a CS lens, or an EFCS system, then I would then upgrade to CS lenses (which by then would at least would be readily available ).

Cheers,

21. ## Re: Leica S2 question

Originally Posted by torger
The short answer on DoF is that...It's a zero-sum game.
That is what I thought, but wasn't quite sure if the sum was zero, or simply something close to it. Thank you.

Originally Posted by torger
Depending on what apertures the S2 can set...
You have just reminded me of another question I have for S2 owners, and this applies to aperture control as well as shutter speed control: am I correct in saying that even though the shutter speed dial on the body has increments of full stops, that (presumably through the menu) one can set the camera increments to half stops? I assume that 1/3rd stop increments are not possible?

22. ## Re: Leica S2 question

Originally Posted by KeithL
I wonder if Marc sees this post if he could comment on the comparison between the H series finders and the Leica S2 finder?
The H4 finder is brighter and more neutral, and the size is larger by virtue of the format ratio.

I just compared the H4D with a HC-80/2.8 verses the S2P with a S70/2.5 ... the Hasselblad finder is slightly brighter even through a max aperture of f/2.8. When the HC100/2.2 lens is mounted the H4D finder is obviously even brighter. In comparison, the S2P finder is a wee touch warm ... something I never noticed until doing a side-by-side.

Both are quite bright and very nice to work with. Since max aperture is what we are looking through ... the S lenses fair very well because most of them are quite fast for MF ... so a S-120/2.5 will be brighter viewing than the HC-120/4.

-Marc

23. ## Re: Leica S2 question

Originally Posted by fotografz
The H4 finder is brighter and more neutral, and the size is larger by virtue of the format ratio.

I just compared the H4D with a HC-80/2.8 verses the S2P with a S70/2.5 ... the Hasselblad finder is slightly brighter even through a max aperture of f/2.8. When the HC100/2.2 lens is mounted the H4D finder is obviously even brighter. In comparison, the S2P finder is a wee touch warm ... something I never noticed until doing a side-by-side.

Both are quite bright and very nice to work with. Since max aperture is what we are looking through ... the S lenses fair very well because most of them are quite fast for MF ... so a S-120/2.5 will be brighter viewing than the HC-120/4.

-Marc
I have also used both the S2 and h4D and completely agree...

24. ## Re: Leica S2 question

One thing to consider is that there are some pretty good deals on the S2 now that the new S has been announced. Granted "deals" is a relative term, but I have seen new S2s for \$15,995 and demos for \$13,995. Plus, I believe you can do even better if you want to go the used route. In my mind, the S2 looks a lot better at these prices and I bought one for full price when it was first available.

25. ## Re: Leica S2 question

Originally Posted by Mark Gowin
One thing to consider is that there are some pretty good deals on the S2 now that the new S has been announced.
I have seen an ex-demo body for £8000 (~\$12900), which I consider to be a bargain...relatively speaking.

Originally Posted by Mark Gowin
In my mind, the S2 looks a lot better at these prices and I bought one for full price when it was first available.
I agree. While the body obviously plays its part in image quality, I consider it only as the doorway through which to gain access to the S-lenses. By far the greatest appeal of the S-System to me is the lenses. I like the look and feel etc of the body, but remember that it would be sited on a tripod when being used. Aesthetic features are nice to have but not real considerations for me.

What is the consensus on negotiating price when it comes to new MF gear, like the S-lenses I am considering? Does the fact that the name is Leica, that the short focal length S-lenses have only relatively recently become available, and that we are at the premium end of the photography market mean that Dealers won't move on the price they list? Or is it quite common to negotiate a price less than that on the ticket?

26. ## Re: Leica S2 question

My experience may be different that others, but I have found it difficult to get deals on new stock, current Leica products of any kind. It is possible to find deals on used or demo lenses though - some have been on the buy/sell forum here. I believe it will be even easier to find good prices on S lenses once the CS and the 30-90mm zoom lenses become available. I have considered selling my 35mm to help fund the purchase of the 30-90mm and I bet I am not alone in those thoughts.

27. ## Re: Leica S2 question

This pixel peeping problem comes around again and again. The pixel resolution has no impact on DoF which is based on standard viewing distances. Judging DoF at 100% monitor view is not really useful. Just like DoF never change with film resolutions, the pixel resolution does not impact it either. When pixel peeping, you are no longer at a viewing distance that is meaningful. And the more pixels, the less meaningful it becomes.

28. ## Re: Leica S2 question

Originally Posted by fotografz
The H4 finder is brighter and more neutral, and the size is larger by virtue of the format ratio.

I just compared the H4D with a HC-80/2.8 verses the S2P with a S70/2.5 ... the Hasselblad finder is slightly brighter even through a max aperture of f/2.8. When the HC100/2.2 lens is mounted the H4D finder is obviously even brighter. In comparison, the S2P finder is a wee touch warm ... something I never noticed until doing a side-by-side.

Both are quite bright and very nice to work with. Since max aperture is what we are looking through ... the S lenses fair very well because most of them are quite fast for MF ... so a S-120/2.5 will be brighter viewing than the HC-120/4.

-Marc
Marc, many thanks.

Pretty much as I would have expected but nice to have confirmation.

Keith

29. ## Re: Leica S2 question

Originally Posted by proenca
few things, but S2 experienced owners please correct me :

70mm is 2,5 not, 2,8

comparing *not scientific tested in anyway* this to 35mm, I would say its a 50/55mm with 1.2 or 1.4 aperture

handheld shooting with the S2 is perfectly possible - altough heavier than the D800 and pro slrs, its weight is more balanced. the weight of the S2 actually helps getting the camera stable, rather than a photographer trying to fight it. for example, the 24/70 AFS on a D800 is front heavy and seems like a pendulum. Here doesnt - camera + lens are extremely well balanced: also the shutter is quite well dampned when it comes to MF

no live view indeed

wallet lightness is visibile from a mile off
Yes, it is f2.5. You could compare it to an f1.4/50 (or little longer actually) lens, however I dont know any 50mm for ff which is wide open as good as the Leica 70mm wide open.

Of course the S2 is good for handholding and I do it all the time. What I meant is you want to keep ISO down (160 or 320 if possible, 640 is ok, 1250 really if there is no other choice). So if someone likes shooting at f16 or f22 he/she will run in to problems handholding the camera.

30. ## Re: Leica S2 question

Originally Posted by Shashin
This pixel peeping problem comes around again and again. The pixel resolution has no impact on DoF which is based on standard viewing distances. Judging DoF at 100% monitor view is not really useful. Just like DoF never change with film resolutions, the pixel resolution does not impact it either. When pixel peeping, you are no longer at a viewing distance that is meaningful. And the more pixels, the less meaningful it becomes.
I agree that DOF is not related to film/sensor resolution. I never claimed otherwise.

Diffraction is not related to resolution either, but that doesn't stop the effect of it from being increasingly evident as resolution increases, for the same aperture setting. I do understand the reason why.

If stopping down the S2 to an aperture that returned the same DOF as the D800E exhibited the effect of diffraction to a greater extent then, for me, I would be losing something by moving to the S2. Apparently the fact that resolution of the two camera sensors is as near as damnit equal means that the pro's and con's effectively negate each other.

31. ## Re: Leica S2 question

Just a question - with the S2 using the Hasselblad leaf shutter lenses - does the S2 use the leaf shutter in the Hassey lens?

If the answer is yes, does the S2 still activate the focal plane shutter like the Phase One camera does, or have they sorted out a better solution for avoiding unnecessary vibration?

Mal

32. ## Re: Leica S2 question

Originally Posted by malmac
Just a question - with the S2 using the Hasselblad leaf shutter lenses - does the S2 use the leaf shutter in the Hassey lens?

If the answer is yes, does the S2 still activate the focal plane shutter like the Phase One camera does, or have they sorted out a better solution for avoiding unnecessary vibration?

Mal
Yes, and yes.

-Marc

33. ## Re: Leica S2 question

Just some quick notes here on depth of field. I am not going to ponder the technical aspects, just more or less how it appears to my eye. I think the easiest and most effective way to treat it, is as if the lenses were available to you on 35mm. I don't think you will have much difficulty getting wide depth of field out of the wide lenses -- 35mm and wider. These lenses are already considered wide angles on 35mm, and provided you stop them down a bit and don't focus on things that are extremely near the camera, they will provide you with very generous depth of field. I find that at f/11, the 35mm S lens provides extremely high resolution over the entire image, near to far, and it also produces beautiful ray-like starbursts in the specular highlights.
Like this:

or this:

I suspect that you will find more of an issue regarding depth of field with the longer lenses. There is significantly less depth of field in the 70mm lens than there would be in a 50mm on 35mm cameras. The 120mm macro is of course even shallower. But assuming you have enough distance, they still show good DOF. This image, for example, is printed at 1mX1.5m and looks just great. You can see the snow in the foreground is not completely sharp, but the streetlights are good all the way through. The fence at the end is not sharp per se at close inspection of the huge print, but from a normal viewing distance everything looks very sharp. It was taken at f/11 with the 120mm lens.

I find that f/11 to f/12.5 seems to be where diffraction starts to come into play. F/16 is still sharp, but noticeably less sharp (or maybe it's just less microcontrast?) than f/5.6 or f/4 where a lot of S lenses hit their peak contrast. f/22 is noticeably softer, and I don't think there is much reason to use it other than in incredibly bright situations where you want a slower shutter speed and don't have an ND filter...i.e. not often!

Overall, though, I get this nagging feeling that your technical requirements would be met just as well (or maybe better) by the D800E, and that your interest in the S2 is just that very typical "grass is always greener" equipment anxiety. The S2 will not make your work better, at least not in a way that will make people stand up and take notice. But if you are happier working with it, and you feel it improves your work, let's you make what you want to make more easily and enjoyably, then it is money well spent! It did that for me, and I think for Kurt, Marc and a lot of other S2 users. It is a hell of a camera, but don't think for an instant that if any of us had "just" a D800E, that it would be holding us back technically! It's not that these differences aren't there, it's that they are subtle.

I do think you are absolutely on the right track to chase the S2 lenses though. They are the biggest strength of the system. I think Leica basically sat down and tried to make the best lenses they possible could, designed for a larger, high MP sensor, and then made the body fit the lenses. The only point I would echo would be the one regarding not waiting for lenses that are not already out. If you truly "need" a 14mm equivalent, the S2 is not for you. They will never make it. Or at least, I can't imagine why they would. I would not be surprised if the 24mm was the widest they make. In fact, I would hope they would stop mucking around with super wides and start making something normal! How about a 40-45mm for heaven's sake?
Enough ranting...

34. ## Re: Leica S2 question

Originally Posted by Stuart Richardson
Just some quick notes here on depth of field. I am not going to ponder the technical aspects, just more or less how it appears to my eye. I think the easiest and most effective way to treat it, is as if the lenses were available to you on 35mm. I don't think you will have much difficulty getting wide depth of field out of the wide lenses -- 35mm and wider. These lenses are already considered wide angles on 35mm, and provided you stop them down a bit and don't focus on things that are extremely near the camera, they will provide you with very generous depth of field. I find that at f/11, the 35mm S lens provides extremely high resolution over the entire image, near to far, and it also produces beautiful ray-like starbursts in the specular highlights.
Like this:

or this:

I suspect that you will find more of an issue regarding depth of field with the longer lenses. There is significantly less depth of field in the 70mm lens than there would be in a 50mm on 35mm cameras. The 120mm macro is of course even shallower. But assuming you have enough distance, they still show good DOF. This image, for example, is printed at 1mX1.5m and looks just great. You can see the snow in the foreground is not completely sharp, but the streetlights are good all the way through. The fence at the end is not sharp per se at close inspection of the huge print, but from a normal viewing distance everything looks very sharp. It was taken at f/11 with the 120mm lens.

I find that f/11 to f/12.5 seems to be where diffraction starts to come into play. F/16 is still sharp, but noticeably less sharp (or maybe it's just less microcontrast?) than f/5.6 or f/4 where a lot of S lenses hit their peak contrast. f/22 is noticeably softer, and I don't think there is much reason to use it other than in incredibly bright situations where you want a slower shutter speed and don't have an ND filter...i.e. not often!

Overall, though, I get this nagging feeling that your technical requirements would be met just as well (or maybe better) by the D800E, and that your interest in the S2 is just that very typical "grass is always greener" equipment anxiety. The S2 will not make your work better, at least not in a way that will make people stand up and take notice. But if you are happier working with it, and you feel it improves your work, let's you make what you want to make more easily and enjoyably, then it is money well spent! It did that for me, and I think for Kurt, Marc and a lot of other S2 users. It is a hell of a camera, but don't think for an instant that if any of us had "just" a D800E, that it would be holding us back technically! It's not that these differences aren't there, it's that they are subtle.

I do think you are absolutely on the right track to chase the S2 lenses though. They are the biggest strength of the system. I think Leica basically sat down and tried to make the best lenses they possible could, designed for a larger, high MP sensor, and then made the body fit the lenses. The only point I would echo would be the one regarding not waiting for lenses that are not already out. If you truly "need" a 14mm equivalent, the S2 is not for you. They will never make it. Or at least, I can't imagine why they would. I would not be surprised if the 24mm was the widest they make. In fact, I would hope they would stop mucking around with super wides and start making something normal! How about a 40-45mm for heaven's sake?
Enough ranting...
Well said Stuart ... in every respect.

The S is dual shutter camera ... making this camera a solution for problems no 35mm DSLR focal plane camera can cope with even if it was 100 meg. I'm currently using the H system leaf shutter lenses on the S2 as we all wait for the S versions to finally get here. In some cases I will continue using the H lenses because they fill in some favorite focal length gaps. Notably the excellent 50-II and 100/2.2 ... used either in focal plane mode up to 1/4000 shutter, or leaf shutter to 1/750 sync speed.

Here are a few shots where the ambient was overpowering, and the solution was high sync speed with lighting. The dock shot was using 600W/s of light on the back-lit distant subjects, and the Bride and Flower-girls candid was just on-camera SF-58 fill at full power ... both using 1/500 or 1/750 shutter to knock down the backgrounds. My assistant's 35mm DSLR back-up shots with on-camera flash were virtually unusable with blown backgrounds and silhouetted subjects.

The dock shot was the HC-50-II at f/8 (I added a crop to show the star type specular highlights on the water), the Bride/Flower Girls was the HC-100/2.2 The Leica sensor and processor works well with these lenses.

-Marc

35. ## Re: Leica S2 question

Good point Marc, I never use flash so that advantage seldom enters my mind! I should say that in regards to vibration, the S2 is indeed very well damped, and the mirror pre-release is very easily dealt with. I find the most convenient to be the 2s self timer, which pops the mirror and then fires after 2s. It is also possible to do it the normal way too. Making a timed long exposure is also very easy...just press the click wheel in B mode, and it brings up a menu where you can choose your length of exposure (max 125 seconds at iso 160), and the camera will then count down on the display.
I have noticed, however, that exposures in the 1/2 to 1/30th range (not sure exactly which...I have not tested) are not always as sharp as either shorter or longer exposures, even on the tripod with mirror lockup. This is usually an extremely subtle difference, but for best quality I would say either keep your exposure times longer or shorter! This is quite typical of all focal plane cameras though. Having a lens shutter only release would be great, but for some reason it seems to be technically impossible. I remember Leica addressed this when the camera came out.

36. ## Re: Leica S2 question

All,

I apologise for what must appear to you to be significant delay in my response to your posts. As a new member of Get DPI my initial posts are moderated. Consequently, you may have missed my response in post number 20 and 21.

Stuart,

Originally Posted by Stuart Richardson
I don't think you will have much difficulty getting wide depth of field out of the wide lenses -- 35mm and wider. These lenses are already considered wide angles on 35mm, and provided you stop them down a bit and don't focus on things that are extremely near the camera, they will provide you with very generous depth of field...

I suspect that you will find more of an issue regarding depth of field with the longer lenses. There is significantly less depth of field in the 70mm lens than there would be in a 50mm on 35mm cameras.
If stopping down one stop returns the same DOF from an S2 compared to a D800E for equivalent wide angle lenses, why would stopping down one stop at the normal or tele end with equivalent lenses be different?

Originally Posted by Stuart Richardson
...I get this nagging feeling that your technical requirements would be met just as well (or maybe better) by the D800E, and that your interest in the S2 is just that very typical "grass is always greener" equipment anxiety.
I take your point, and thank you for your honesty, but I am not sure I agree. I have now had the chance to compare the S2 and D800E files that RVB made available for download and it is obvious to me that the grass is greener, at least for the things important to me.

Having said that, the D800E file has in-camera sharpening applied, whereas I am not sure if the S2 has. Hence I am not sure how valid the comparison is. One thing is certain: with no sharpening applied to the S2 file by me, I have to sharpen the D800E file approximately three times as much as I normally would a NEF in order to obtain parity in a large central region of the image - and with this much sharpening the D800E file unquestionably is over-sharpened.

There are additional differences between the two files.

Originally Posted by Stuart Richardson
The S2 will not make your work better, at least not in a way that will make people stand up and take notice. But if you are happier working with it...
And that (besides cost) is the crux: I do not shoot for other people. I shoot for me.

I am satisfied that I would love the quality of the files coming out of the S2. I consider myself to be someone for whom small differences are perceived to be very significant. However, even I am balking somewhat at the cost of entry for the S2 and lenses. As stated previously, now that I actually am in a position to purchase, I am thinking harder than ever to ensure that the correct decision is made.

Originally Posted by Stuart Richardson
It is a hell of a camera, but don't think for an instant that if any of us had "just" a D800E, that it would be holding us back technically!
I don't, and I hope that those reading my posts do not consider that my interest in the S-System derives from some form of snobbery. I can assure you that that is not the case. I am under no illusion about of the performance on offer from the D800E. Neither am I guilty of putting it on a pedestal.

Originally Posted by Stuart Richardson
The only point I would echo would be the one regarding not waiting for lenses that are not already out. If you truly "need" a 14mm equivalent, the S2 is not for you. They will never make it. Or at least, I can't imagine why they would. I would not be surprised if the 24mm was the widest they make.
I agree with all of the above.

Originally Posted by Stuart Richardson
How about a 40-45mm for heaven's sake?
And again.

Originally Posted by RVB
The above is a link to files I shot comparing the S2 with 30mm to the D800E with 24mm 1.4G.. the S lenses is a little better but the Nikkor is surprisingly good..they're raw's so you can process them yourself..
Please can you confirm if in-camera sharpening was applied to the S2's DNG file?