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Thread: Leica S, Hasselblad H4D-40, Nikon D800E Shootout & Opinion

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    Leica S, Hasselblad H4D-40, Nikon D800E Shootout & Opinion

    Aaaargh - third time I start this review - lost it two times due to session timeout or so.

    Had the Leica S, H-Adapter, 35, 70 & 120 mm for a shooting. Wanted to compare between the three cameras.

    Took a session with a model, here we go:

    1. My H4D, HC 100 mm:


    2. Leica S, 70 mm CS:


    3. Leica S, H-Adapter, HC 100 mm:


    4. Nikon D800, Nikkor 135 mm 2.0 DC:


    Finally: What a D800e & Nikkor 85 mm 1.8 can deliver:
    (full size picture here, handle with care: 6 MB)


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    Re: Leica S, Hasselblad H4D-40, Nikon D800E Shootout & Opinion

    (Part 2)

    My findings with these three fine cameras are very clear:

    From my point of view, there is no reason for a upgrade in terms of my area of work: For Beauty and Portraits, either the Hasselblad or the Nikon can clearly deliver the quality needed.

    In terms of "High-ISO", the Leica S tops the Hasselblad easily. But with a Nikon D800, you can do things that are not possible with a MF - no news here, especially with Available or continous light.

    In comparison with the Leica, the Hasselblad is very chunky and big, also heavy. The lenses are much less wheight on the Leica side, although almost the same size (except for the Macro, which is almost double the size ...)

    The Leica is soooo nice in your hand. AF is faster than the Hassy, but of course nothing against the AF on the Nikon.

    Leica & Hassy: -1 for focus hunt.

    If there are any questions I can answer for you: let me know.

    S.
    stanROX.com
    Last edited by Stan ROX; 8th June 2013 at 15:03.

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    Re: Leica S, Hasselblad H4D-40, Nikon D800E Shootout & Opinion

    What have you done to the white balance of the Leica images?
    - ErlingMM

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    Re: Leica S, Hasselblad H4D-40, Nikon D800E Shootout & Opinion

    Quote Originally Posted by erlingmm View Post
    What have you done to the white balance of the Leica images?
    It was wrong balanced ooc, and I did not corrected it so far. This was intended as a sharpness test.

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    Re: Leica S, Hasselblad H4D-40, Nikon D800E Shootout & Opinion

    And the next model:

    Each with the macro (Leica, HC, Nikkor). Resized, color-corrected, sharpened.

    Shot in exact the same lighting, 1/125 sec, f/8, ISO 100:

    Leica:


    Hasselblad:


    Nikon:

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    Re: Leica S, Hasselblad H4D-40, Nikon D800E Shootout & Opinion

    Try to shoot a distant landscape or city scene. Macro shots and headshots are VERY tough in determining a winner.

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    Re: Leica S, Hasselblad H4D-40, Nikon D800E Shootout & Opinion

    Excuse me, but these comparisons don't really give me any information/value. What are you trying to test/show?
    - ErlingMM

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    Re: Leica S, Hasselblad H4D-40, Nikon D800E Shootout & Opinion

    Stan, try doing a focal plane shot with the H4D, like the 100/2.2 @ 1/2500 ... oh, wait ... sorry.

    Okay, let's try a sync shot @ 1/1000 with the Nikon ... oh, wait ... sorry again, my bad.



    Just screwing with ya ...

    -Marc

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    Re: Leica S, Hasselblad H4D-40, Nikon D800E Shootout & Opinion

    Stan, thank you for the effort, but what exactly was the idea behind the test?

    1. Which camera do you own and which ones did you borrow for what reason initially?
    2. What questions did you want to answer with this test?
    3. How do you rate the D800 in this context with regard to sharpness, DR, color etc? Do you see any reason for MF in the 40MPX region? Is your conclusion that the D800 beats all cameras above IQ wise? Do you see better IQ from the Leica compared to the other systems?

    Your post lacks some info, please explain more what you were trying to do and why and rate the results please! That way your post becomes more valuable!

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    Re: Leica S, Hasselblad H4D-40, Nikon D800E Shootout & Opinion

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Stan, try doing a focal plane shot with the H4D, like the 100/2.2 @ 1/2500 ... oh, wait ... sorry.

    Okay, let's try a sync shot @ 1/1000 with the Nikon ... oh, wait ... sorry again, my bad.



    Just screwing with ya ...

    -Marc
    I know all that.

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    Re: Leica S, Hasselblad H4D-40, Nikon D800E Shootout & Opinion

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Spinnler View Post
    Stan, thank you for the effort, but what exactly was the idea behind the test?

    1. Which camera do you own and which ones did you borrow for what reason initially?
    2. What questions did you want to answer with this test?
    3. How do you rate the D800 in this context with regard to sharpness, DR, color etc? Do you see any reason for MF in the 40MPX region? Is your conclusion that the D800 beats all cameras above IQ wise? Do you see better IQ from the Leica compared to the other systems?

    Your post lacks some info, please explain more what you were trying to do and why and rate the results please! That way your post becomes more valuable!
    Paul,

    I own the H4D-40 and the D800E - both with an extensive lens line up.

    Since there is the H-Adapter, I was thinking about the possibility to upgrade my H4D to a S. For example, when I visited Westlicht in Vienna some weeks ago , they had four used S2 in stock!

    Because I really wanted to check if there is some advantage, I rented the S from my dealer. Main questions:
    - usability,
    - picture quality
    - H-Adapter test

    and all these questions could have been answered for me.

    BUT as I also did the same test with my Nikon D800E, I saw that the real advantage is very small. I don't say there is NO advantage.

    So, because you ask, I try a summary:
    1. Handling
    Clearly - The S is like glued into your hand. The shutter is exaclty where you think it should be, and with good light (I used a Lupolux DayLED as a working light, to give the AF a little bit).
    As I know my Hassy very well, it's hard to say. But after the S, it feels somewhat like the model from last year. Its nothing about quality - it's about sexiness.

    2. Quality
    The Leica and the H4D are very much on par - both AF are working precisely, giving stunning results.
    The H4D's sensor is somewhat less sensitive. In some areas, the light-fallof is faster than with the Leica or the Nikon (e.g. a background: black on the H4D, some details on the Leica, even more details on the Nikon).

    3. Lenses
    ... you know what I'd write here. So I don't need to. It's the money, baby! There's no way, how a 900$ Lens can hold up with one for 5000$.

    4. Finally
    I don't know "finally". Although I found that there is no reason to change, I may do it anyway - just to get additional options like the Focal Plane shutter or the amazing 35 mm lens:

    I just went to a bridge nearby:

    I had all three cameras with me. None of the other pictures can compete with this one (but then, I had no shutter release cord and I also struggled somewhat with the darkness (had no torchlight with me...)


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    Re: Leica S, Hasselblad H4D-40, Nikon D800E Shootout & Opinion

    Compared to DMF gear the D800E is cheap enough to have in your bag anyway for low light or long exposure work or even speed or live view work(video too..)..

    I have used all three of these camera's and the S is the best in terms of ergonomic's and has the best glass,although some of the blad glass is very good.. the 100mmm 2.2 is razor sharp in the centre and the 28mm is a great wide angle,the 120mm macro mk2 and new 50mm are also superb as is the 35-90 zoom...

    One of the downsides to the D800 (ergonomic's and flash-sync aside) is the viewfinder is very small when your used to a blad or leica S (and maybe the Phase or Pentax too?...) another is the glass is not as good,the new G's are great stepped down but a lot lower contrast wide open.. (at least the ones I have used.. 24,35,50 and both 85's)

    Stan,what do you think of skin tones? I always prefered the Blad for skin tones ,the 50mp and 60mp are even a little better imho...

    Rob

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    Re: Leica S, Hasselblad H4D-40, Nikon D800E Shootout & Opinion

    Quote Originally Posted by RVB View Post
    Stan,what do you think of skin tones? I always prefered the Blad for skin tones ,the 50mp and 60mp are even a little better imho...

    Rob
    Rob,

    since I only had one model, I could not compare across different skins. This particular model had very pale skin with little flaws - and it looks like that in the S files so there's nothing to complain.

    Tonality is hard to tell from such a pale skin... no different skin tones. Should have checked for another, more darker model :-)
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    Re: Leica S, Hasselblad H4D-40, Nikon D800E Shootout & Opinion

    Stan, I went through the same comparison a while ago.

    I was working with a H4D/40 and H4D/60, when my Leica dealer offered up a S2 for a week to fool around with.

    Test driving the S2 is a bad idea if you want to stay out of the poor house ... it is very seductive, and once you get the quick buttons down, it is fast as hell to operate.

    You really have to pixel peep to see a difference in sharpness between the S and H/40, with the edge going to the S lenses.

    I found that the S also starts taking over a lot of work that you normally use a 35mm for ... not all of it, but if given the choice I'd rather use the S for the lenses and the viewfinder. I sold the H4D/40, got the S2 and kept the H4D/60.

    A thought for you is just a S2 and the H adapter to start with, so you have a back-up camera that offers something different in handling, and you then can use your HC lenses that sync to 1/750, or with a focal plane shutter to 1/4000 ... then 100/2.2 suddenly is even more interesting to use.

    I recently more fully retired (do we ever really stop working?), and sold all my H gear except the HTS/1.5, extension tubes and the HC 100/2.2 which I use on the S camera. I also have the Leica 35CS, 70CS, 120CS, and 180CS.

    All kidding aside, it really is a revelation to go from focal plane to leaf shutter with a flip of a switch. I love toggling between available light and strobes at will ... Whether it was with the H lenses, or now the Leica CS lenses.

    - Marc
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    Re: Leica S, Hasselblad H4D-40, Nikon D800E Shootout & Opinion

    Hyper sync with PW's and you'll get 1/4000th sync with the D800. The aspect ratio of the S2 is limiting, IMO. I love how the D800 keeps being compared to MF digital!

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    Re: Leica S, Hasselblad H4D-40, Nikon D800E Shootout & Opinion

    Quote Originally Posted by johnnygoesdigital View Post
    Hyper sync with PW's and you'll get 1/4000th sync with the D800. The aspect ratio of the S2 is limiting, IMO. I love how the D800 keeps being compared to MF digital!
    Hypersync with the D800, I'm getting 1/8000, you need to use the beta firmware though. I'm using the Elinchrom Ranger RX AS speed and the Quadra with S heads. I've even managed 1/8000 with the 5D Mark III with no clipping now.

    Okay please continue!
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    Re: Leica S, Hasselblad H4D-40, Nikon D800E Shootout & Opinion

    If you look at the color range in the strawberry image set, the S and H are very close, while the d800 is really different. I see lots more range of color in the S and H. Amazing difference really.
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    Re: Leica S, Hasselblad H4D-40, Nikon D800E Shootout & Opinion

    Quote Originally Posted by EH21 View Post
    If you look at the color range in the strawberry image set, the S and H are very close, while the d800 is really different. I see lots more range of color in the S and H. Amazing difference really.
    That may be true, but I view the D800 image almost a stop brighter, despite the camera settings! So unless I'm the only one seeing this, it's somewhat difficult to judge it fairly based on this!
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    Re: Leica S, Hasselblad H4D-40, Nikon D800E Shootout & Opinion

    Quote Originally Posted by pophoto View Post
    That may be true, but I view the D800 image almost a stop brighter, despite the camera settings! So unless I'm the only one seeing this, it's somewhat difficult to judge it fairly based on this!
    Do you think the red channel is blocked on the d800?

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    Re: Leica S, Hasselblad H4D-40, Nikon D800E Shootout & Opinion

    I'm working for almost two years now with the S2 and the Nikon D3x and D800E.

    So my 2 cents here:

    On the S2 I've tried out the V-Adapter (doesn't work for me) and the H adapter with the 100/2.2 and the 150 N, which both works excelent on the S2.

    I do fashion, portraiture and nude art work, and my conclusions are the following:

    Even if Nikon delivers (with adequate glas) very good results, the focus precision is the weak point for me. At that resolution, you need really to nail the focus (on eyes for example), and the Nikon finder and the focus points are just to small to do that. Also, if you want a similar narrow field of view as with the S2, you have to go for longer lenses with the Nikon (for example 135 DC or 70-200 II), wich makes focussing even more difficult. With the Nikon, I have somewhat 85% the right focus, while on the S2 I get 99

    And I find it difficult to find adequate glas for the sensor of the D800. On the other hand, for my work 30-40 mp are more than sufficient, so that for outdoor works I mostly carry my Nikon gear (don't want to see my S2 and it's expensive glas drop on a rock or fall in the mud on location). Also if I make shootings in movement (with horses, dogs etc) then the Nikon is the first choice.

    Of course the downside of the S2 and probably all MF-cameras is the need of light. Much light. Or a rock-solid tripod. But for me this is not really a problem, I don't make low-light photos and arrange light carefully, and/or use flashes if needed. I like the high ISO-performance of the Nikon, but honestly if you want a crisp and fresh image that don't need excessive post-processing, then you you shouldn't go above 400-640 ISO either with the Nikon.

    Even if the usability of the S2 is excelent, it is still much bigger and heavier than the Nikon (for example with it's excelent 50/1.8 AFS). also, if you like to use strobes, then Leica has nothing to offer compared to the excelent Nikon-system.

    What I see so far ist that we miss lenses and an AF that can really feed the sensor of the D800, and that the lenses of the Leica are ready to handle even better resolving sensors in the future.

    This said, everything depends on the use and the personal workflow. And the budget of course :-)

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