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Thread: How Leica reinvented MFD...or not

  1. #51
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    Re: How Leica reinvented MFD...or not

    Quote Originally Posted by doug View Post
    And the S can use Pentax 67, Hasselblad H, Hasselblad V, Mamiya, and longer Leica-R lenses as well as the uniformly spectacular S lenses. I agree the pricing of the 645D is very attractive, but for native lenses the sample variation isn't and I have to wonder as others have what Ricoh/Pentax's commitment to the system is.
    Agree....for those that want to extract the most out of their 645D and FA (AF) lenses, they do have to both carefully test and select each focal length sample of lens they desire as well as carefully dial in Af fine tuning. If one considers the financial cost of putting together such a system, often times it can be worth it considering the relatively reasonable cots vs. other MFD systems. Is it perfect, no, but it definitely holds it's own when used with some of the better lenses and certain applications.

    I've shot both the S2/S and 645D, including head on on a number of occasions (by using closely matched lenses) and there is no disputing the both the elegant design of the S2/S body as well as it's exquisitely performing lenses. It deserve all the accolades it has received and then some!

    With that said there were certain applications where the 645D held it's ground well against the Leica. For close up work in a studio setting and in carefully matching lenses used on each system, such as the Leica and Pentax 120 macro lenses, the resulting files even when examined at 100% were extremely close and hard to tell apart. Same thing could be said for actual close up,macro work at 1:2 (Leica macro only goes to 1:2 whereas the Pentax goes to 1:1)...the resulting files were enar equals of one another.

    These similarly produced files ended when the same lenses were used for longer distance shooting. The Leica most definitely had the edge in both central sharpness of the frame and easily bested the Pentax at the sides and edges. Again without looking at the Leica shots in this instance, the Pentax at actual pixels looked really good, but the when the Leica was brought into the equation, there was no comparison and most definitely was superior. Again this was examining files at 100%. Maybe the Pentax 120 macro by going to 1:1 is more optimized for closer range whereby the Leica 120 macro by only going to 1:2 is optimized for mid-distance.

    I tried comparing a few other similar focal length lenses between the two systems and again, those Leica lenses are far superior without question but depending how the files are eventually going to be used with regards to output, the Pentax acquaints itself nicely and definitely shows it's superiority in my opinion to higher MP 35mm DSLR's. The newer Pentax 645 optics such as their image stabilized 90mm appears to up the ante in terms of the level of performance. As for support of the system, it's hard to know what Pentax has in store, but they are continuing to bring to market those lenses which have been on the drawing board and more are planned. It's though a very reasonable question and concern though.

    The reason I am writing this is there is a lot of varying opinion regarding the 645D and I'm just trying to put it performance vis-a-vis its price range into perspective. If one is willing to do the testing and some leg work as opposed to knowing "out of the box" performance will be perfect (as with the Leica)...a very capable relatively cost effective MFD system can be achieved...and a versatile one at that. The 645D body, although maybe not the most elegant, was well thought out and has some very notable features. Simply it works day in and day out with little muss or fuss.

    All great systems including the Hassy's and IQ's...just depends on budget, use and expectations of performance.

    Dave (D&A)
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    Re: How Leica reinvented MFD...or not

    I have a question for those that know well the Leica S/S2 system. Apparently some have been successful in mounting their R lenses via an adapter to the S bodies with little to no vignetting evident. They do though have to do a bit of shaving in the rear of the lens to avoid it hitting the mirror.

    My question is if these 35mm "R" lenses can fill the image circle of the Leica S, why isn't there an adapter to use Pentax 645 lens on a Leica "S. The image circle of the Pentax 645 lenses must obviously be larger than Leica R lenses. I realize Leica has one for the Pentax 67 lenses but many of the Pentax 645 lenses are higher resolving and there are a multitude of very desirable lenses in the Pentax 645 line-up, including very low cost LS lenses, their 600 f5.6 lens and even their superb 300 f4 at a fraction of the cost of H and other MF lenses in the 300/400mm range. I'm not sure if an aftermarket adapte is made to mount Pentax 645 lenses to a Leica S body?

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: How Leica reinvented MFD...or not

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    But it is a lot more than a Pentax 645D.
    The 645D is certainly a lot of camera for the money,I would like to see CF card support in the next version and a broader range of glass,still i love the ergonomic's of the S and I believe it's almost 300grams lighter.. (although lenses are heavy)

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    Re: How Leica reinvented MFD...or not

    Quote Originally Posted by RVB View Post
    The 645D is certainly a lot of camera for the money,I would like to see CF card support in the next version and a broader range of glass,still i love the ergonomic's of the S and I believe it's almost 300grams lighter.. (although lenses are heavy)
    Quite a few would like to see Pentax broaden it's 645 lens line-up but many of it's recent additons are priced not all that far off from Leica S lenses....so hand picking some of the top performing legacy lenses is an appealing option for many on a budget.

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 11th May 2013 at 23:10.

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    Re: How Leica reinvented MFD...or not

    Current prices from B&H:

    Pentax FA-D 55mm $1,200
    Pentax FA-D 25mm $5,000
    Pentax FA-D Macro 90mm $4,500

    Leica S 70mm $5,000
    Leica S 24mm $9,000
    Leica S Macro 120mm $7,000

    Dave, I am not sure those prices are really close. It would only cost me $10,700 to get three Pentax lenses, but $21,000 for the Leica. The focal lengths can't be duplicated--Leica has an unusual focal length spread. Only Pentax has a normal focal length lens--Leica has a short tele for the "normal." And the macro focal lengths are different. Naturally, I can get a great 120mm Pentax macro for a lot less--I wonder how the S secondhand markets is.

    There is no doubt the S system is expensive. Add the body and you have a Pentax system for $17,700 and an S system for $43,000. I am not really convinced Leica is pricing is close to Pentax.

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    Re: How Leica reinvented MFD...or not

    Don't get me wrong--I have no problem with Leica's pricing. It certainly is out of my reach, but then there are lots of stuff I can't afford. If Leica makes it work, more power to them. It certainly is a beautiful camera.

    What I found amusing in the Forbe's promo piece was the claim by Leica that this was ten-years ahead of the competition. I am not sure they have seen the competition.

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    Re: How Leica reinvented MFD...or not

    Quote Originally Posted by johnnygoesdigital View Post
    Shashin-"I have heard lots of folks "claim" they did not enter MFD because of the D800, but those folks probably would not have gone into the MFD market anyway."

    Not true, I had the H3D, H4D, and an earlier S2 with only one lens available. I choose the Nikon D800 for several reasons. Lenses need to be selected carefully, but the Sigma 35mm 1.4 is the best lens i've used along with the Nikon 85mm 1.4G, and the Sigma maybe on par with Leica's Lux.. The sensor in the Pentax 645D is the same as the H4D (KAF 40000), so no improvement there. The Leica S is the only MFD camera that has lenses to match it perfectly - no adapter or film lens is going to convince me otherwise. I know Hasselblad has the HCD, but the H doesn't have the form factor of the S, and that has to be considered in long shoots or in the field. Now that the S has more selections, I would consider that camera again, but I do prefer 4:3 for portraits.
    But you did enter the MFD market. I was talking about folks that didn't. So I still stand by my claim.

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    Re: How Leica reinvented MFD...or not

    Quote Originally Posted by doug View Post
    And the S can use Pentax 67, Hasselblad H, Hasselblad V, Mamiya, and longer Leica-R lenses as well as the uniformly spectacular S lenses. I agree the pricing of the 645D is very attractive, but for native lenses the sample variation isn't and I have to wonder as others have what Ricoh/Pentax's commitment to the system is.
    Have you used a 645D and did you look for lenses for your system? I have not found any problems with sample variations. But if you are saying that non-Leica lenses are sub-par, having a lens adapter for "inferior" adapted lenses is not much of a draw. BTW, you can mount Leica Visoflex lenses to a 645D.

    But you really need to ask Leica about their commitment to the S series. They released the lens adapter for the lenses for other manufacturers lenses. It seemed because they could not get lenses made for their system and needed something for their customers. A pretty desperate move for Leica. The S is a warmed-up S2. It is a fine camera, but no real jump in specs. More like fixes. Is this just another DMR? Leica seems to be willing to kill a line of products, even one with a long history like the R series.

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    Re: How Leica reinvented MFD...or not

    Quote Originally Posted by RVB View Post
    This is another addition to the S system which expands it's versatility ..Leica S Right Angle Finder
    I have the Pentax right-angle finder. Your are right, it is a great accessory.

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    Re: How Leica reinvented MFD...or not

    Mere conjecture Shashin...

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    Re: How Leica reinvented MFD...or not

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    Current prices from B&H:

    Pentax FA-D 55mm $1,200
    Pentax FA-D 25mm $5,000
    Pentax FA-D Macro 90mm $4,500

    Leica S 70mm $5,000
    Leica S 24mm $9,000
    Leica S Macro 120mm $7,000

    Dave, I am not sure those prices are really close. It would only cost me $10,700 to get three Pentax lenses, but $21,000 for the Leica. The focal lengths can't be duplicated--Leica has an unusual focal length spread. Only Pentax has a normal focal length lens--Leica has a short tele for the "normal." And the macro focal lengths are different. Naturally, I can get a great 120mm Pentax macro for a lot less--I wonder how the S secondhand markets is.

    There is no doubt the S system is expensive. Add the body and you have a Pentax system for $17,700 and an S system for $43,000. I am not really convinced Leica is pricing is close to Pentax.
    When I mentioned that quite a few of the newly released lenses were reaching Leica prices...my point was where legacy lenses, even those that could be found close to new, were priced at a fraction of the price of a Leica S lens...sometime 1/10 the amout or even less. Except for the new 55mm, the other two newly released Pentax lenses were priced much higher than a lot of 645D users expected and many were surprised. This is apparently the new norm for upcoming 645 lenses and no longer is do we find newly released Pentax 645 lenses 1/10 or less the price of a Leica lens. It may not be as high as an S lens, but Pentax has made a giant leap. That was simply my point.

    With regards to legacy lenses sometimes having quite a sizable sample variation...well you know my previously posted comprehensive lens test with multiple samples of Pentax 645 lenses on the 645D...many had quite extensive differences...which could be readily seen if one examines files at 50% or higher (at the pixel level). Obviously Pentax in the film only era didn't need to adjust each sample as precisely as they do now with lenses being used with digital sensors. It's no different than what Leica went through with many of their film era lenses not focusing properly on the digital M bodies without focus adjustments. In any case the Pentax and Leica systems are excellent for what each one was designed to do and in terms of performing at their relative price levels.

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 12th May 2013 at 22:25.

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    Re: How Leica reinvented MFD...or not

    How is 50mm equivalent (in 24x36mm terms) not a normal/standard lens?

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    Re: How Leica reinvented MFD...or not

    Quote Originally Posted by johnnygoesdigital View Post
    Mere conjecture Shashin...
    Is there anyway anyone is going to buy a 645D in lieu of a S? Especially after seeing some shots from either system?
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    Re: How Leica reinvented MFD...or not

    An aside. Here's a thread on L-Camera forum on an R to S adapter. Not really feasible without modification of the lenses. Long H glass probably makes more sense.

    l-camera thread on R to S.

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    Re: How Leica reinvented MFD...or not

    >reads article
    >MFW



    Leica is trying really hard there with the marketing.


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    Re: How Leica reinvented MFD...or not

    Shashin, there's little credence in highly subjective statements considering your obsession with facts.

    The Leica S/S2 hasn't reinvented MFD, but for me it has filled a void between two professional formats. Lenses, weather sealing, write speeds (really important for fashion), ergonomics, and simplicity.
    Last edited by johnnygoesdigital; 12th May 2013 at 07:11.

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    Re: How Leica reinvented MFD...or not

    Quote Originally Posted by johnnygoesdigital View Post
    Mere conjecture Shashin...
    No, really, the right-angle finder is really great...

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    Re: How Leica reinvented MFD...or not

    Quote Originally Posted by thrice View Post
    How is 50mm equivalent (in 24x36mm terms) not a normal/standard lens?
    43mm is normal for 35mm. 53mm would be normal for the S. The 70mm on the S is like a 57mm on 35mm.
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    Re: How Leica reinvented MFD...or not

    Quote Originally Posted by johnnygoesdigital View Post
    Shashin, there's little credence in highly subjective statements considering your obsession with facts.

    The Leica S/S2 hasn't reinvented MFD, but for me it has filled a void between two professional formats. Lenses, weather sealing, write speeds (really important for fashion), ergonomics, and simplicity.
    So, I can't make subjective statements, but you can? And you can interpolate your single experience and opinion as a trend?

    But I have no problem with the S. As far as this camera fitting a business model, it is a rarefied part of the business that can invest $40k+ in one camera. And the Pentax 645D offers a great tool for the professional as well, but for a lot less.

    So, when are you buying the S?

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    Re: How Leica reinvented MFD...or not

    For me the article rings true ... even though it is a pure marketing piece, the information directly lines up with my MFD experiences. I have now moved from a very long time association with Hasselblad to the S system. No need to go over all the attributes of the S system, other's have mentioned them already.

    I do not care whether debatable figures were quoted, as long as Leica is successful with the system in order to continue development ... that's all that matters.

    I currently have four CS lenses acquired via their swap-up program ... so after 3 years of use, all my lenses are brand new leaf shutter versions for a comparatively nominal price. I have the fifth S lens on order: 24mm, and the Elpo for the CS-180. The lens set is simply the best I've experienced especially wide open.

    RE: T/S. For me, the interim assist in making the transition from H to S was Leica's H to S adapter ... which, BTW allows use of the HTS/1.5 and HCD24mm to provide a 36mm T/S solution while one waits for Leica's S T/S version. I have no need for that and would rent if I did, but did keep the HTS/1.5 and HC100/2.2 lens (150mm macro ability) for table top work with flash sync to 1/750 ... or more importantly selective focus portrait work using the S2 focal plane shutter option.

    I wrote about the HTS/1.5 with demo pics here:

    S2 and HTS/1.5

    To date, S service has been the best of any camera company I've used. Most recent was a dead pixel, which with CCDs causes a thin line from the pixel location to the edge. Dealt with Kelsey Fain of Leica USA, sent a DNG black frame, Leica Germany remapped, send me two base firmware files the next day, then reloaded the latest camera firmware. Problem solved in time for my next job.

    I do not miss much from the H system except the True Focus feature which is simply the best AF feature I've used on any camera.

    -Marc
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    Re: How Leica reinvented MFD...or not

    Hi Marc,

    How does the "swap-up program" work? I am very interested in learning more about this.

    Thanks,
    Pramote

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    Re: How Leica reinvented MFD...or not

    Quote Originally Posted by Landscapelover View Post
    Hi Marc,

    How does the "swap-up program" work? I am very interested in learning more about this.

    Thanks,
    Pramote
    Pramote,here is the info.. Red Dot Forum - Leica S CS Lens Upgrade Program Finalized

    Rob

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    Re: How Leica reinvented MFD...or not

    Quote Originally Posted by RVB View Post
    Seems lot's of people are quite PO'ed with the terms.

    But hey, they should know better to expect a good value from a company like Leica.

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    Re: How Leica reinvented MFD...or not

    Thanks Rob...I've got it. I misunderstood Marc's comment.
    I haven't had the Leica S yet but have been very interested in this system lately.

    Thanks
    Pramote

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    Re: How Leica reinvented MFD...or not

    Quote Originally Posted by Landscapelover View Post
    Hi Marc,

    How does the "swap-up program" work? I am very interested in learning more about this.

    Thanks,
    Pramote
    Unfortunately, too late.

    Leica instituted the trade to CS lenses early on because the CS lenses were not ready, and wouldn't be for some time. To avoid stunting sales of the S2 in the interim, they promised to allow early adopters to trade their S (focal plane) lenses for CS (leaf shutter) versions when they became available. The customer need only pay the new price difference between the two to get new CS lenses. There was a cut off date where you had to have purchased the S lenses to qualify for the upgrade.

    The promotion worked in my case, since leaf shutter lenses are important to me, and I would not have bought into the S system nor bought all the lenses had it not been dual shutter, and I could get the CS lenses later. As soon as I got the Leica CS lenses I sold my leaf shutter Hasselblad H.

    -Marc

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    Re: How Leica reinvented MFD...or not

    Now, if only those central shutters could be used instead of the focal plane shutter rather than in combination with it...

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    Re: How Leica reinvented MFD...or not

    Quote Originally Posted by KeithL View Post
    Now, if only those central shutters could be used instead of the focal plane shutter rather than in combination with it...
    Yep, that would be sweet for hand held lower ambient.

    -Marc

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    Re: How Leica reinvented MFD...or not

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Yep, that would be sweet for hand held lower ambient.

    -Marc
    Might happen in the future with firmware...

    Rob

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    Re: How Leica reinvented MFD...or not

    Quote Originally Posted by RVB View Post
    Might happen in the future with firmware...
    Be sure to wake me up if it does

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    Re: How Leica reinvented MFD...or not

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    43mm is normal for 35mm. 53mm would be normal for the S. The 70mm on the S is like a 57mm on 35mm.
    Correct. 70mm would be the normal focal length for a full-frame 645 camera...maybe that's what Daniel was thinking of.

    Ray

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    Re: How Leica reinvented MFD...or not

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Is there anyway anyone is going to buy a 645D in lieu of a S? Especially after seeing some shots from either system?
    Yes, of course there is! Anyone who can't afford the S but can afford the 645D...and that's a lot of people.

    From the comfort of my armchair, I can point out that neither system is really the full package.

    For me, the one thing that the S has going over the 645D is that the S can take M645 lenses...pretty unique stuff like my favourites: the 24/4 ULD fisheye, the 80/1.9, and the 200/2.8 and larger APOs.

    The 645D OTOH does not have Leica's ridiculous patriarchal exposure time limit of 126 seconds. Jesus wept. This is supposed to be a camera for professionals? You know, people with the experience to judge photographic situations well enough to make a living from them?

    Ray

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    Re: How Leica reinvented MFD...or not

    Look, If I were in charge of Leica, I would lower prices to increase the customer base but not too much so as to detract from its luxury item and exclusivity image. There is a fine line here. Too high a price and yes, you make more per item but sell a heck of a lot less. Where does the price/sales curves meet? If I knew that I would be a rich man.

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    Re: How Leica reinvented MFD...or not

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken_R View Post
    Look, If I were in charge of Leica, I would lower prices to increase the customer base but not too much so as to detract from its luxury item and exclusivity image. There is a fine line here. Too high a price and yes, you make more per item but sell a heck of a lot less. Where does the price/sales curves meet? If I knew that I would be a rich man.
    Leica did drop the price when the S was released,and as they recoup their investment they may drop it again in the future or at least hold off on price increase's.It's currently around the same price as an IQ140.

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    Re: How Leica reinvented MFD...or not

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    .............To date, S service has been the best of any camera company I've used. Most recent was a dead pixel, which with CCDs causes a thin line from the pixel location to the edge. Dealt with Kelsey Fain of Leica USA, sent a DNG black frame, Leica Germany remapped, send me two base firmware files the next day, then reloaded the latest camera firmware. Problem solved in time for my next job............


    -Marc

    Hi Marc:

    The 645D can map out dead pixels in camera. I have used it and it works; takes about 10 minutes.
    I mention this not to start a "my camera is better" conversation, but rather that I have the impression many dismiss the 645D without any knowledge of its capabilities (not your comments). In 2 1/2 years I haven't needed any service.

    Tom

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    Re: How Leica reinvented MFD...or not

    Quote Originally Posted by tsjanik View Post
    Hi Marc:

    The 645D can map out dead pixels in camera. I have used it and it works; takes about 10 minutes.
    I mention this not to start a "my camera is better" conversation, but rather that I have the impression many dismiss the 645D without any knowledge of its capabilities (not your comments). In 2 1/2 years I haven't needed any service.

    Tom
    Nice feature. Seen plenty of very nice shots from the 645D, so no dissing from me.

    I need something else ... namely all leaf shutter lenses, which is why I used a H camera for years, and a V camera for many years before that.

    Now with the dual shutter S system I have the best of both world's in an easy to take-with form factor. If I did landscapes, I'd want a modular kit, like a Phase One back on a tech camera, but I don't do that type work.

    All the best,

    -Marc

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    Re: How Leica reinvented MFD...or not

    Marc:

    Let me emphasize that it was nothing you wrote. I simply used your bad pixel post to point out one of the nice features of the 645D.

    No question the 645D is not the system for shutter lenses, OTOH, if you want 4:3 and a 600mm, it works.

    Regards,

    Tom

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    Re: How Leica reinvented MFD...or not

    Quote Originally Posted by tsjanik View Post
    Marc:

    Let me emphasize that it was nothing you wrote. I simply used your bad pixel post to point out one of the nice features of the 645D.

    No question the 645D is not the system for shutter lenses, OTOH, if you want 4:3 and a 600mm, it works.

    Regards,

    Tom
    Quite agree Tom but its nice to know that Pentax has a couple of 645 legacy manula focusl LS lenses that cost a song and dance...not much more than a price of a Leica S accessory like a dedicated cable release. Those Pentax LS lenses are a bit long in the teeth and film era lenses but in a pinch and more, get the job done when needed.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: How Leica reinvented MFD...or not

    So, I can't make subjective statements, but you can? And you can interpolate your single experience and opinion as a trend? Shashin-


    No trend because I try to include the words "in my opinion" or "for me". I would never try to exaggerate my own abilities.

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