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Thread: A New MFD Strategy: Your Thoughts Appreciated.

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    A New MFD Strategy: Your Thoughts Appreciated.

    As some of you may have noticed, I listed my entire Hasselblad H4D/60 system in the F/S section. As of now, GetDpi is the only place I've listed it.

    The main driver for this sale is retirement from more of the paying work, especially commercial assignments, some of which I derive from on-going advertising clients whom I write and design for ... activities I am also winding down.

    This is a double-edged sword in that not only does this full H system tie up considerable funds, the income derived from it will now be diminished. In essence, I am moving closer to a fixed income requiring dipping into reserves if this constant upgrade/expansion isn't curtailed.

    Since then, I have had some interesting replies via PMs suggesting alternative strategies ... and a few from trusted sources either in-person, or by phone.

    Bear with me as I explain:

    It is no secret that I am a die-in-the-wool MFD believer, and a Hasselblad one at that. I've used the H system for about a decade, and as a tool can "play" my current H4D/60 like a "first seat violinist".

    Since getting the Leica S2, the Hasselblad has been mostly used in-studio tethered to a computer ... table-top and controlled portraits being the primary subjects ... plus some higher-end environmental location portrait work using assistants. My studio is relatively smallish, but is armed to the teeth with modern Profoto lighting solutions, and some Hensel specialty gear.

    Now, it has been suggested that rather than viewing the H system in total as I've always tended to do, that I tailor it tighter to the purpose at hand.

    Keep a H camera (more on that later), and only the most essential lenses and accessories. Namely, the 50-II, 100/2.2 and 150N, plus the HTS/1.5, extension tubes and electronic release. Lenses BTW, that I can (and have) also use on the Leica S2.

    I immediately sparked to this notion and have already sold my HCD-28/4 ... and will now release the HC/120/4 Macro, HC-210/4 and 1.7X extender for sale independent of selling the H4D/60 with 80/2.8 kit.

    As far as the camera is concerned, I will leave that up for sale as listed, but open it up to trades for a 50 Multi-Shot ... which IMO still reigns supreme for still-life against any single shot ... while still providing 50 meg single shot for studio portraits. I consulted with a very successful product photographer with national and international clients who throughly tested their current 50MS solutions against all comers with reps present to run the challenger ... in this case, it was no contest.

    So, what do you say? Sell it all, or continue to pursue the "partial" plan?

    -Marc
    Last edited by fotografz; 5th March 2013 at 00:26.

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    Senior Member danlindberg's Avatar
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    Re: A New MFD Strategy: Your Thoughts Appreciated.

    Marc, I know what I would have done if I was in your exact shoes. With all your highend gear, each piece have had a valid place for your work. Being able to produce whatever your clients ask for within your field.

    This has now changed with retirement. Completely. Nothing in the past counts and your choice of camera equipment is purely for your own enjoyment, nothing else.

    You 'could' rid everything. 100%. And get a Fuji x100s. But ofcourse that would be drastic and not probable.

    I looked long and hard at the S2 after owning an M9 and knowing what Leica glas is all about. But in my case I am much more helped by a tech cam and I am endlessly thankful that I made the correct choice. But I understand that you are very fond of your S2, the formfactor is the best in MFD and the glas amazing.

    But it would not be my choice in your position. I would go completely minimalistic and keep the H4/60 with the 50-II + 100/2.2......and stop there, sell the rest. All of it.

    In retirement I could do everything I would want to do with that two lens setup. I could happily go around the world with a smallish/light bag and not give ultrawide or anything else a second thought. I would be thinking - I've got it covered!

    I featherlight Gitzo to complement a perfect outfit and call it a day.

    But this is me.....we all think differently
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    Re: A New MFD Strategy: Your Thoughts Appreciated.

    You can start with a "partial" plan, and then, after the plan is completed, evaluate your situation once again.

    Evgeny

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    Re: A New MFD Strategy: Your Thoughts Appreciated.

    Two people I very much respect on this forum giving me thoughts on a depressing day we may all face one day!

    I don't know why you both cannot use any setup and satisfy the remaining clients given your talents and gear, except personal preferences, I guess I am still wanting/waiting to 'get there' first!
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    Re: A New MFD Strategy: Your Thoughts Appreciated.

    Quote Originally Posted by pophoto View Post
    Two people I very much respect on this forum giving me thoughts on a depressing day we may all face one day!

    I don't know why you both cannot use any setup and satisfy the remaining clients given your talents and gear, except personal preferences, I guess I am still wanting/waiting to 'get there' first!
    Look on the bright side ... if we are lucky, it'll happen to everyone eventually. It is the alternative that is depressing.

    As the employee in the movie Office Space quipped when asked by a efficiency expert about his missing work, "Frankly Bob, I can't say I'm missing it all that much". Like wise, I don't miss busting a hump for money. As much as I love doing them, weddings have become a rat race with ever diminishing returns and less and less appreciation for going beyond the ordinary. Commercial work can be creatively exciting and challenging, yet is ferociously competitive now days, and in far too many cases "Good Enough" has become the new standard of excellence ... financially beleaguered clients willing to accept good enough at even less than good enough prices ... with a herd of photographers willing to accommodate them.

    In short, my timing couldn't be better. However, as has been suggested, "retirement changes everything ... completely". The trick is figuring out those changes.

    One clear choice for me was moving back to more Leica M work ... which is where this "photographic thing" all started for me. It was incredibly fortuitous that just as my age started catching up with me ... I got my eyes fixed and Leica launched the M Monocromatic. B&W Rangefinder work is my once and future love, and there is no substitute ... it is either Rangefinder or it isn't.

    If I offed "everything", it would be in favor of just a M solution.

    Yet, after working all these years to get where I'm at, I'd like to keep the options open. I just do not think I can keep them all open anymore.

    -Marc
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    Re: A New MFD Strategy: Your Thoughts Appreciated.

    Thank you for the reply! I am sure you know where you are going with this... much more so than I, and I can only hope I can step on some wisdom along the way, even half as much as you know when I reach there!

    I hope the 50MS solution works out
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    Re: A New MFD Strategy: Your Thoughts Appreciated.

    Marc I wish I could retire my gear in the fashion you are doing. I was forced into getting rid of mine and after the last medical event with my wife in January I see no way in hell of ever recovering to a point to buy back in to it. I'm happy right now to be shooting anything at all. Our health insurance system sucks big time is all I'm going to say. 4 years straight and 3 major medical events I'm surprised I can still eat a steak. Life is what it is retire with grace and just let that stuff go. Hold on to you M stuff and transition out with your S.

    Will talk later sometime on the phone.
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    Re: A New MFD Strategy: Your Thoughts Appreciated.

    I hope if i have a long life then after say 10 years by now i have a good experience in MFD and photography world, i bought my MFD just for hobby and i can't keep on track with latest gear, so i really don't know what i am looking for in this MF world anyway, but then i was thinking if i buy my photography gear all whether 35 DSLRs or MF for hobby and enjoy then why not keep that way, i really wish i can buy another digital back to go alongside with my H4D, and the only one i look for is P1 IQ, but i will have a budget for it maybe after 1 year or 2, by that time who knows what new backs will be out in the market and also i will miss the flow of people getting current DBs as IQ1 and LEAF already.
    Tareq

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    Re: A New MFD Strategy: Your Thoughts Appreciated.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Marc I wish I could retire my gear in the fashion you are doing. I was forced into getting rid of mine and after the last medical event with my wife in January I see no way in hell of ever recovering to a point to buy back in to it. I'm happy right now to be shooting anything at all. Our health insurance system sucks big time is all I'm going to say. 4 years straight and 3 major medical events I'm surprised I can still eat a steak. Life is what it is retire with grace and just let that stuff go. Hold on to you M stuff and transition out with your S.

    Will talk later sometime on the phone.
    I'd appreciate that.

    -Marc

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    Re: A New MFD Strategy: Your Thoughts Appreciated.

    Hi Marc,

    As I followed your posts concerning retirement positioning, I thought it was a good plan....this thread really looks like you are not stepping back but plan to stay fairly engaged. It seems like the 50MS is not a downward move but rather an upward lateral.

    You divest a few lenses which should ameliorate the pain of the Leica S CS upgrades and the Noctilux but the major investments of S2 and H back remain. I know that you can keep many of your previous clients as your desire for work remains...hopefully at your desired pace. Would keeping the glass, accessories and renting a back and expensing it to the job add a bit of flexibility to your plans?

    Stepping back from the day to day push might be a great time to explore new avenues of artistic and intellectual expression, and a time to reacquaint oneself with previous passions....I assumed that an easel, canvas and a boatload of acrylics might strike a chord and be your preferred media for personal work at this point.

    I know we will all benefit from your experience and insight as you work through all of this...and I mean long term not just this decision.

    Regards,

    Bob

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    Re: A New MFD Strategy: Your Thoughts Appreciated.

    Marc,

    It seems inconceivable to me that you would abandon Hasselblad after ten years of use. Given that you can use Hassy lenses on the S2 now, it seems even even harder to understand. Your posts in the past show that you have an interest in the Hasselblad H5D200. That would lead me to believe you would be happier with the H50 multi-shot, especially since you use the Hassy almost exclusively for studio work.

    I retired two years ago, and I can highly recommend it. My former boss said, upon his retirement, "The only bad thing about retirement is that you have to be old to do it." So, now is the time to really enjoy your family and the things that make you happy. That should be the determining factor in the choices you make in photography.

    Good luck.

    Greg

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    Re: A New MFD Strategy: Your Thoughts Appreciated.

    What does you H system cost to keep? If nothing, then you don't need to make a move now.

    I don't understand your conflicting message--you want to get rid of the H system, but get a multi-shot H system?

    Thinking of how your photography is used, is there any real difference in the H and S cameras? Are they redundant?

    Personally, I am a two camera guy. I really don't use more than two cameras even if I have more. Each system brings something unique to the table and both cover what I do. So, I guess I would have to decide if I gravitate toward S&M or H&M and then reduce my stuff from there.

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    Re: A New MFD Strategy: Your Thoughts Appreciated.

    Marc, my limited .02...

    The 50MS makes a ton of sense --- *IF* you really think you'll use it frequently enough to generate revenue OR use it frequently enough to generate studio art that sparks you. However, knowing you for over 15 years and knowing not only what but HOW you like to shoot your personal work, I think the S is your ideal MF cam. And as much as you "desire" the 50MS, it will sit mostly unused in your cabinet.

    Keeping the H glass makes sense, especially since you can use it on your S2. Then I'd suggest you could rent an H body and 50MS back if/when the need or bug strikes. This will free up significant cash and allow you to easily grab a second S body -- and again, your style would prefer two similar bodies to two totally different ones.

    Probably not what you wanted to hear...
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    Re: A New MFD Strategy: Your Thoughts Appreciated.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    What does you H system cost to keep? If nothing, then you don't need to make a move now.

    I don't understand your conflicting message--you want to get rid of the H system, but get a multi-shot H system?

    Thinking of how your photography is used, is there any real difference in the H and S cameras? Are they redundant?

    Personally, I am a two camera guy. I really don't use more than two cameras even if I have more. Each system brings something unique to the table and both cover what I do. So, I guess I would have to decide if I gravitate toward S&M or H&M and then reduce my stuff from there.
    If I wasn't conflicted I wouldn't have asked the question ...

    The notion was to reduce the H system, and tailor it even more toward studio work (Multi-Shot/T/S/) ... not particularly worrying whether it gets used a lot ... just leave it set up, then plug and play whenever I want. Money saved would be in selling off 4 H lenses and the 1.7X extender which generates approx $12,000 profit by attrition.

    While there is no comparing the S2 and H4D/60 in studio, the redundancy between the S and H would be even less with a Multishot ... viable only if the trade was an even swap or less.

    I'm still leaving it all up for sale until I sort this out ... but if someone buys in the next few weeks, then it'll all go bye-bye except maybe 2 HC lenses (50 and 100mm) to use on the S2.

    -Marc

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    Re: A New MFD Strategy: Your Thoughts Appreciated.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Our health insurance system sucks big time is all I'm going to say.
    Unfortunately, I am the poster boy for all that is bad in this country and elsewhere in recent times and we (Me and my wife) were reflecting over this. This is the second time I have been laid-off because of a company closing. I work in the VFX and feature animation field and my wife works in the medical field.

    VFX houses have been closing down, filing for chapter 11 in recent months left, right and center. My wife was frustrated when reading articles in her field about refusal to emergency care because insurance provider was not considered good enough for service until enough personal cash (ridiculous amounts) was provided for care. I could go on and on...
    I am now seriously considering about going into business myself!

    If there is any saving grace in photography please let me know!

    Marc, would it be less of a problem if the S system had a 50MP camera available?
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    Re: A New MFD Strategy: Your Thoughts Appreciated.

    Marc

    I’m in a similar position.

    I’ve used Hasselblad cameras for more years than I care to remember. Still love using them, but don’t love ‘em. If at anytime in the future I need that latest MFD capability then there’s the largest UK rental outlet twenty miles up the road. Doesn’t make economic sense or any other kind of sense for me to get caught up in that never ending upgrade path.

    We have an expression in the UK housing market, ‘the forever home’, meaning home purchase with the long term in mind rather than the buy, sell, buy, sell, mentality. I’m now looking to buy into my ‘forever system’ based on my perceived long time needs. I’m not there yet but it’s not that far off. Whatever, I’m enjoying the process and relishing the prospect.

    I’ve always shot what interests me and worried about making money from it later. Not a business model I’d recommend, but really, it’s been great fun. I now look forward to shooting what interests me and hang the rest. Can’t wait!

    I wish you well.

    Keith

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    Re: A New MFD Strategy: Your Thoughts Appreciated.

    I am not a pro and photography is passion for me - which BTW can get very expensive .... so here my 5c from a passionate photographer:

    I sold now all my Hasselblad gear to fund a Leica M. As I have invested in lot of M glass I just want to use the M as my main photographic tool alongside the Nikon D800E for wildlife work where I appreciate the great AF of the Nikon system and some really good telephoto zoom solutions.

    But as the Hasselblad started to stay home almost all time over the past 2 years I made that decision to finally sell before even losing more money.

    Retirement is still some few years out, but even more I want to consolidate all my gear till then. And maybe if I am lucky enough I also could find then a used S2 or S with 1 or 2 lenses for a reasonable low amount of money, but not even sure I might need/use it really.

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    Re: A New MFD Strategy: Your Thoughts Appreciated.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    Marc, my limited .02...

    The 50MS makes a ton of sense --- *IF* you really think you'll use it frequently enough to generate revenue OR use it frequently enough to generate studio art that sparks you. However, knowing you for over 15 years and knowing not only what but HOW you like to shoot your personal work, I think the S is your ideal MF cam. And as much as you "desire" the 50MS, it will sit mostly unused in your cabinet.

    Keeping the H glass makes sense, especially since you can use it on your S2. Then I'd suggest you could rent an H body and 50MS back if/when the need or bug strikes. This will free up significant cash and allow you to easily grab a second S body -- and again, your style would prefer two similar bodies to two totally different ones.

    Probably not what you wanted to hear...
    Actually, that was the original plan ... and still may be Jack.

    I still lean toward Leica M and S ... and cut the 35mm DSLR kit to one camera and 3 zoom lenses for those type needs (the occasional wedding that I do take, and other kick around stuff). Not a lot invested with the Sony stuff, if I cut it back and sell the Zeiss Primes.

    Thanks,

    -Marc.

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    Re: A New MFD Strategy: Your Thoughts Appreciated.

    As you know Marc I recently retired from my wedding/event business due to medical reasons. I had a few cases worth of gear that just was not relevant any more. Over the years I've pared down my equipment to the base minimum in any case not revelling in owning expensive equipment unless it was essential and it made my life much easier to be honest having just what I needed (backup is of course a need) at a gig.

    So there I was 'retiring' from the need for my equipment and I needed to make a serious decision. What do I need for my personal requirements. Anything else is by definition no longer going to pay for itself and can go. I sold a whole bunch of equipment. Enough to buy myself my retirement camera and lens combo, a Canon 5D3 and 50L. That camera and lens together with a couple of other lenses are pretty much all I could ever need for personal use.

    Originally I had thought of still being able to take on part time event work but now that is no longer realistic and I looked yesterday at my 4 flash guns with their expensive TTL triggers and made up my mind, if they aren't paying for themselves they have to go. The money raised will buy me an additional studio light and an octobox with that amount again in change. That will give me an additional tool for the personal project studio work which I am interested in doing.

    So what do I have left? Two bodies, one as backup, 4 lenses (one of which is not worth selling) and a few lights with triggers. All of which is for personal use only.

    Marc, do you need the MF digital for personal work? If you need it for occasional work then just rent and bill it in the costs. I'd agree with Dan, just sell it all and enjoy your Leicas for yourself. If you don't need 60 megapixels for personal work (and how many do) then that money could be working elsewhere. If you don't need the S then ditto. Yes it's so nice but if it isn't paying for itself then it's a toy and you have to ask yourself whether it's a toy you want for your personal work.

    I just think that MFD is too expensive to hold for occasional work when you can rent instead. If you can afford it as a toy then that's different but then logic has already gone out of the window (toys are not logical, they're fun instead ) so others opinions are irrelevant.
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    Re: A New MFD Strategy: Your Thoughts Appreciated.

    I'd say an S and an M system, alongside one another, would be perfect for where you're heading. Both are hand-holdable, high res, and offer that distinctive Leica look that (IMO) suits your aesthetic sensibilities. Take the S for the pixels, the M for the portability.

    Maybe keep the Hassy 100 to use on the S.

    Sell the H stuff and do some more traveling and wine-drinking.

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    Re: A New MFD Strategy: Your Thoughts Appreciated.

    Exactly my thinking . The S can do high enough res for any commercial project. Good enough in my book. I would happily retire with a M and a S. heck I could actively work with them now. Lol
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: A New MFD Strategy: Your Thoughts Appreciated.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Exactly my thinking . The S can do high enough res for any commercial project. Good enough in my book. I would happily retire with a M and a S. heck I could actively work with them now. Lol
    Indeed, as a location only photographer, that's where I'm headed now. Moving from Hasselblad to S & M (!) as my two systems, using H glass because of the HTS, but will add some S lenses in time. Really no need for more Mpx for what I do, but would be happy to see an S with 50mp some day.

    Richard

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    Re: A New MFD Strategy: Your Thoughts Appreciated.

    The ability to work tethered (in a professional workflow manner) while in a studio is definitely a benefit not to be casually tossed aside. And therein the benefit of the 50MS will come into play as well. The real question is how much of that will Marc really do, meaning a "want to do" versus actually "need to do?" My gut says it's a lot more of the former, and why I reco'd the rental route for when it does present as a need ;-)
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    Re: A New MFD Strategy: Your Thoughts Appreciated.

    A few additional thought on all this.

    Yes, it is quite difficult creatively to let go even in the rational face of diminishing needs ... not to mention means.

    While none of us (except perhaps a few big print sellers) rationally needs more than many cameras can provide today in terms of capturing interesting subject matter or to make a creative statement ... (i.e., it is the photographer, not the gear), I have to say that one grows accustomed to a certain level of quality or qualities in presenting that subject matter or creative statement ... especially if you have been doing it for along time and recognize the differences that MFD provides at any final size.

    It is the depth, roundness, fullness, richness ... or whatever term you want to use, that dignifies and defines images from MFD tools. Of course, this is an endless topic of discussion and debate even amongst MFD users, but is NOT a debate to me. This is precisely what I am contemplating giving up ... and to be perfectly clear, the Leica S is not a substitute. As good as it is, as wonderful as the lenses are, it ain't no H4D/60 (not that it hurts all that much to "settle" for a Leica S).

    So, while it is highly likely that I will give it up ... I do so sadly, and with the full knowledge that something IS being lost. My hat is off to those who also see the difference, and have the purpose and means to continue on.

    -Marc

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    Re: A New MFD Strategy: Your Thoughts Appreciated.

    Hi Marc,

    How is the performance of the Hasselblad lenses on the S2?

    Would there be a lot of difference between the 100mm/f2.2 on a H4D-40 and the same lens on the S2 plus adapter?

    Thanks, Joris.

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    Re: A New MFD Strategy: Your Thoughts Appreciated.

    Quote Originally Posted by JorisV View Post
    Hi Marc,

    How is the performance of the Hasselblad lenses on the S2?

    Would there be a lot of difference between the 100mm/f2.2 on a H4D-40 and the same lens on the S2 plus adapter?

    Thanks, Joris.
    Compared to a H4D/40 there is little difference, I tested it, along with a HCD35-90. On a H4D/60 you can see a difference in the characteristics I mentioned above (depth, roundness, etc.).

    The 100/2.2 shows some CA and a touch of fringing when shot wide-open in certain conditions. The 50-II is also very good and hard to tell from the S lenses in terms of acuity and lack of CA or fringing even at max aperture.

    The S lenses do have a consistent character that is different, albeit subtile at times.

    -Marc

  27. #27
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    Re: A New MFD Strategy: Your Thoughts Appreciated.

    Hi Marc,

    if the S is no subsitute for MF in your mind (In my mind the S is a MF camera) -then why mess with the S2?
    Then why not sell the S2 and keep the Hassy set for MF work and a Leica M for more spontanious work or if you need a smaller camera.

    My recommendation would be to decide for either the S or the Hassy.

    For what would you want to use a multishot back???
    For my private photography I even find the "S" 36MP to be a luxury overkill, I really cant see for which personal application one needs/wants more than that.

    Kind regards, Tom

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    Re: A New MFD Strategy: Your Thoughts Appreciated.

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    My hat is off to those who also see the difference, and have the purpose and means to continue on.
    Full disclosure -- I had to let go of my IQ180 and DF kit last Fall because of TWO college tuition payments simultaneously this year. I kept my Arca tech cam and rent a back as needed. It's not an ideal situation for me as I don't have the MF kit at hand for every single occasion I want it, but it is a workable one for the occasions I need it . The rest of the time I make do with my Nikon kit, but it is NOT a replacement for MF precisely because of the image characteristics you mention. So a bit of a sour pill to swallow I'm afraid. Know that you are not alone in this...
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

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

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    Re: A New MFD Strategy: Your Thoughts Appreciated.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paratom View Post
    Hi Marc,

    if the S is no subsitute for MF in your mind (In my mind the S is a MF camera) -then why mess with the S2?
    Then why not sell the S2 and keep the Hassy set for MF work and a Leica M for more spontanious work or if you need a smaller camera.

    My recommendation would be to decide for either the S or the Hassy.

    For what would you want to use a multishot back???
    For my private photography I even find the "S" 36MP to be a luxury overkill, I really cant see for which personal application one needs/wants more than that.

    Kind regards, Tom
    I agree, the Leica S is MFD ... in a 35mm DSLR form ... which is its attraction. I've used the S quite a bit now for pre-planed conceptual portrait work using diagramed lighting and all that (some of which I've posted in the "Lighting" section here ... but it doesn't pay well enough to consider it Pro level activity (break-even at best, with little to no profit). I will continue that as more of the personal creative endeavor it really is. The S should be, and has been, enough for that sort of work especially now that the CS lenses are becoming available. However, it is NOT Leica M type stuff IMHO.

    On the other hand, I also have an in-home studio armed to the teeth with an array of lighting tools for doing table-top stuff while tethered to the computer. I did a lot of commercial work of this type, but I also like doing personal table top. The reduced H system notion was to "maybe" preserve that ... and trust me, full 645 ratio 60 meg MFD shot at base ISO 50 with studio lighting trumps a smaller sensor 37 meg @ base ISO 160 no matter how good the S lenses are ... and Muti-Shot trumps the 60 meg back.

    All that said, if something totally goes, it will NOT be the S2 ... so the H must go and I'll adjust to it.

    -Marc

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