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Thread: So, where is the Leica S2?

  1. #51
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    Re: So, where is the Leica S2?

    Marc,
    That was kind of the point I was trying to make over Leica creating some sort of "get to market" package that was affordable. If the S2 can do almost everything that a 35mm DSLR can do, within reasonable expectations like NOT doing 6fps or something, AND it can deliver a high quality file like its MF brothers, then one may be able to shed the multiple systems. This all remains to be seen. I think that within the range of things that Leica has targeted the S2 to do, this scenario could be possible. However, if one really is pushing the limits, like needing ISO 25000, or 10fps, or lots of tilt and shift, and stuff like that, then having more than one system seems inevitable. But in the most often used scenarios for weddings (save very dark venues or something), studio work, portraits, macro shots for ads, etc., the S2 seems like it could be a viable single system solution.

    Also agree that clients are wanting more multi-purpose capabilities, and also wanting to pay less to get that, so trying to manage multiple systems to cover the work becomes a very difficult task on the business end. This was why I keep thinking that a system like the S2, if offered at a reasonable entry price for most things needed (body and several lenses), could allow some folks to shed some multiple systems and sink into something that could deliver excellent results for a majority of shooting situations....not every situation, but at least 85% or more that pros need most often. Just my thoughts.

    LJ

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    Re: So, where is the Leica S2?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Oh there are clients that want big meg, high IQ files in MFD territory Ben. The way clients are multi-purposing any given image is why. The squeeze is that you have to deliver that, and fight for every nickle. Clients are busting their budges down to scraps and forcing bidding wars for plum jobs ... so paying for a whole new system, while taking a beating on the old one that's working perfectly well, is just stupid business practices ... a superb way to go out of business even faster
    I realise that Marc but don't understand why anyone would drop their present bigger chipped MFDB systems (to provide for those clients) taking a huge loss in the process when they would still need a canon/nikon system even if they bought an S2. Seems to me that it would be a downgrade for a H3D-39 user for questionable benefits and as you say - very iffy business justification.
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    Re: So, where is the Leica S2?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Supposing it costs $9000 to make and market the S2, if they sell it for $10000, they'll have to sell 5 times as many as if they sell it for $15000. I know it sounds screamingly obvious, but it's worth remembering when speaking of pricing.
    If they sell one body at $15000 they'll sell one set of lenses and accessories. If they sell five bodies at $10000 they'll sell five sets of lenses and accessories.

    Sell the body cheap and make money on the rest.
    Last edited by KeithL; 14th February 2009 at 11:39. Reason: grammar

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    Re: So, where is the Leica S2?

    Quote Originally Posted by LJL View Post
    Marc,
    That was kind of the point I was trying to make over Leica creating some sort of "get to market" package that was affordable. If the S2 can do almost everything that a 35mm DSLR can do, within reasonable expectations like NOT doing 6fps or something, AND it can deliver a high quality file like its MF brothers, then one may be able to shed the multiple systems. This all remains to be seen. I think that within the range of things that Leica has targeted the S2 to do, this scenario could be possible. However, if one really is pushing the limits, like needing ISO 25000, or 10fps, or lots of tilt and shift, and stuff like that, then having more than one system seems inevitable. But in the most often used scenarios for weddings (save very dark venues or something), studio work, portraits, macro shots for ads, etc., the S2 seems like it could be a viable single system solution.

    Also agree that clients are wanting more multi-purpose capabilities, and also wanting to pay less to get that, so trying to manage multiple systems to cover the work becomes a very difficult task on the business end. This was why I keep thinking that a system like the S2, if offered at a reasonable entry price for most things needed (body and several lenses), could allow some folks to shed some multiple systems and sink into something that could deliver excellent results for a majority of shooting situations....not every situation, but at least 85% or more that pros need most often. Just my thoughts.

    LJ
    I do understand the point clearly. However, people already have what's needed. IMO it is hypothetically unrealistic to think one is going to "shed" multiple systems at a heart stopping loss, just to indulge in a new (as yet unproven) system that is highly likely to be breathtakingly expensive. And frankly, to do that you'd have to indulge in two of them, since you'd then have no back-up. I just went through that scenario when I swapped out from Canon ... before the bottom dropped out at every turn ... which is something I would NOT do now.

    What some "insulated" folks do not seem to realize is what perfect financial dung storm it is in the US. Half the thriving commercial studios I did business with as an Art Director are gone. Yesterday I spoke with a "pretty up there" shooter friend of mine in NYC, and his response was "it's challenging." I think we are in for it even worse as the real impact of all this comes home to roost. Challenging indeed. Somehow I just don't picture a Leica S2 in any survival scenario. I wish I could figure a way ... but it involves such a staggering loss as to be unjustifiable ... and I'm the King" of justifying gear purchases

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    Re: So, where is the Leica S2?

    Marc,
    I agree with you that things are going to be rather depressed for some time, and that will force a lot of folks to rethink buying plans. I guess part of the positive news in some of this, is that the S2 will not really be hitting the streets for another 4-6 months or so anyway, plus a few more months for folks to start shaking it down. By that time, we should pretty much know if the economic valley is going to be getting or will be deeper, or if things may start to show some turn-around. (I am really trying to be optimistic in my thinking about the global economics, yet very pragmatic in my personal business plans.)

    All that being said, I also agree with your perspective that a fair number of commercial shooters may be just hanging onto and using whatever gear they have now....at least until there is believable uptick. However, things sort of rapidly expanded on the MFDB front last year, and with price drops on some things and new, staggering sizes and prices on others, I would bet there were some folks waiting to see how things would shake out, and then the economy fell off the cliff, changing a lot of plans. So, guys that are fully outfitted with fairly new/recent gear may ride things for a while, rather than spend on new stuff without the business to support it. Others with aging gear are going to be battling with the encroaching DSLR crowds to some degree, so they may be thinking long and hard about just what to do....stick with their 12-20MP backs and stuff and keep plugging away, go with the 22-25MP DSLR kits and see how that works, pony up bucks for 33+MP backs or a new system to get the added resolution and maybe a bit more edge with clients that may want and recognize the differences. No easy calls in there for a lot of folks. Challenging indeed.

    It is good to speculate on some of these scenarios, glass (or bottle) of spirit in hand to brace for the future or numb the gnashing teeth ;-) The S2, if it does deliver what it is being talked about, could become a nice system for those needing to jump up, and maybe for those able to rethink their own gear needs and directions. Somebody like you, who does have some fairly recent high end kit with your H3DIIs, or others that recently bought into P45+ and up backs may have little need or interest for some time. Those without extensive MF kits, or those wanting to seriously upgrade from things that are being matched by some of the newer DSLRs, may find the S2 system able to fill a lot of needs....but if it is priced too high, it will not get any traction.

    Again, just my thinking on some of this right now, as I am one of those folks that may be having to make some hard choices myself soon enough. The S2 looks very attractive on paper right now, but performance remains to be proven and prices need to be more than competitive against something like the Hasselblad as a more complete system. Not sure that is going to happen, but that is how I am seeing it right now. (No offense to folks shooting Phase, Leaf, Sinar, etc., but none of those systems seem to be getting any cheaper, nor offering anything more streamlined. Better put on the fire suit to battle the flames that may come from that comment, but although versatile, all those others seem much more cumbersome and with too many quirky things. Call me lazy or whatever, but as I said before, I would rather the gear get out of my way, and all of the other systems just seem to not be great at that part for me.)

    Hoping that we hear some good and useful news from PMA or whatever soon, mainly to help budget planning for some of us.

    LJ

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    Re: So, where is the Leica S2?

    Quote Originally Posted by LJL View Post
    Marc,
    I agree with you that things are going to be rather depressed for some time, and that will force a lot of folks to rethink buying plans. I guess part of the positive news in some of this, is that the S2 will not really be hitting the streets for another 4-6 months or so anyway, plus a few more months for folks to start shaking it down. By that time, we should pretty much know if the economic valley is going to be getting or will be deeper, or if things may start to show some turn-around. (I am really trying to be optimistic in my thinking about the global economics, yet very pragmatic in my personal business plans.)

    All that being said, I also agree with your perspective that a fair number of commercial shooters may be just hanging onto and using whatever gear they have now....at least until there is believable uptick. However, things sort of rapidly expanded on the MFDB front last year, and with price drops on some things and new, staggering sizes and prices on others, I would bet there were some folks waiting to see how things would shake out, and then the economy fell off the cliff, changing a lot of plans. So, guys that are fully outfitted with fairly new/recent gear may ride things for a while, rather than spend on new stuff without the business to support it. Others with aging gear are going to be battling with the encroaching DSLR crowds to some degree, so they may be thinking long and hard about just what to do....stick with their 12-20MP backs and stuff and keep plugging away, go with the 22-25MP DSLR kits and see how that works, pony up bucks for 33+MP backs or a new system to get the added resolution and maybe a bit more edge with clients that may want and recognize the differences. No easy calls in there for a lot of folks. Challenging indeed.

    It is good to speculate on some of these scenarios, glass (or bottle) of spirit in hand to brace for the future or numb the gnashing teeth ;-) The S2, if it does deliver what it is being talked about, could become a nice system for those needing to jump up, and maybe for those able to rethink their own gear needs and directions. Somebody like you, who does have some fairly recent high end kit with your H3DIIs, or others that recently bought into P45+ and up backs may have little need or interest for some time. Those without extensive MF kits, or those wanting to seriously upgrade from things that are being matched by some of the newer DSLRs, may find the S2 system able to fill a lot of needs....but if it is priced too high, it will not get any traction.

    Again, just my thinking on some of this right now, as I am one of those folks that may be having to make some hard choices myself soon enough. The S2 looks very attractive on paper right now, but performance remains to be proven and prices need to be more than competitive against something like the Hasselblad as a more complete system. Not sure that is going to happen, but that is how I am seeing it right now. (No offense to folks shooting Phase, Leaf, Sinar, etc., but none of those systems seem to be getting any cheaper, nor offering anything more streamlined. Better put on the fire suit to battle the flames that may come from that comment, but although versatile, all those others seem much more cumbersome and with too many quirky things. Call me lazy or whatever, but as I said before, I would rather the gear get out of my way, and all of the other systems just seem to not be great at that part for me.)

    Hoping that we hear some good and useful news from PMA or whatever soon, mainly to help budget planning for some of us.

    LJ
    Very well thought out and well reasoned response.

    "Get Real" seems to be a sentiment that's sweeping the globe. I just went through that process as my car lease came to an end. I drove 5 different vehicles looking for a replacement, and in the end negotiated a buy-out of my leased 2005 Volvo CX-90 that only has 33,000 miles on it (hardly broke in for a Volvo : -) ... which BTW cost me less than a MFD camera Nothing else was the CX-90's equal, and cost 2X as much.

    I wish I could assist Leica with their marketing (which was/is my real career). I think Leica could still pique interest even if the S2 is relatively expensive by attaching Value Added aspects for the purchaser. If you look at the competitive set, there are vulnerable aspects to their offerings other than just the performance which may be debatable. What's not debatable is that coverage of most MFD cameras is one year, and you have to pay through the nose for more ... which is limited to 3 years Hot Swap. If Leica added a four or 5 year "Pass Port" type "Transferable" warranty, it would make me sit up and take notice immediately. If their product is really good, then actuarially it shouldn't impact them that much. 5 year/100,000 actuations which ever comes first ...

    If I were running Leica, I would immediately commission someone to manufacture super high quality Leica branded adapters for all major brands of adaptable MF lenses and offer one with every S2. This sounds counter intuitive for a lens maker, but for those with a fortune in glass, it would ease the cost of transition and fill out the gaps until more S2 lenses come on line. For example, I was very interested in the H system for a long time, but didn't make the move until Hasselblad offered the CF adapter to use my huge investment in CFE and CFi optics on the H. Once in the H system, I then steadily built up my system of HC lenses. If I could use my Zeiss FE lenses on an S2, I'd be much more likely to consider immediately adding an S2 and one AF lens ... then began building my Leica S2 AF lens system as I could afford it. It's the notion of a total system swap that makes it such a huge financial deterrent.

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    Re: So, where is the Leica S2?

    Judging by the number of responses in this thread - there is a great deal of interest in the S2 and why wouldn't there be? The lenses promise a flat MTF curve type excellence that is breathtaking for those that like this stuff. The body promises 40 megapixels in a D700/D3 size.

    I would bet London to a brick that the majority users will not be so called professionals. Current user base isnt so why would the next big boy version of the Leica be?

    Leica dont 'owe' the professional photographer very much if anything - the scoffed @ dentists, lawyers and investment bankers and collectors seem to be their natural market. I prefer to think their natural market are people prepared to pay a great deal more for a little bit extra - all pretty standard marginal utility and indifference curve economics.

    Dream on about a sub $10K body - thats CaNikon land boyz.

    I will be interested to see exactly how good the viewfinder is and how hand holdable it is compared to other 40 megapixel offerings. Assuming we dont need to use an IR filter in front of that great glass and assuming flash tech has improved for them and assuming that C1 remains their partner - ( of COURSE) this was the 'strategic partnership' - then pretty much all boxes are ticked for hand held and fixed plane of focus use.

    There are lots of uses for a MFD back which the S2 can not deliver. Technical cameras with rise and tilt as well as view cameras are the obvious examples.

    One thing for sure - NOT upgrading to 50 megapixels from Hasselblad or Phase etc - goes a long way towards paying for an S2 body - if not all the way.

    My strategy? Well I wont be buying anything from Leica until the bleeding edge buyer has discovered the flaws and the company has responded with their fixes. This should give the RED camera company enough time to bring out their promised full frame 645 and 617 technologies.

    btw - the real economy should bottom over the next 2 quarters. It will take between 5-10 years to get the average company back up to the taken for granted growth rates we all used to enjoy.

    Cheers
    Pete

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    Re: So, where is the Leica S2?

    Not to state the obvious, but we should look to see where new (totally new) formats have come about in cameras, and where they have worked and why. Surely, Leica has done this as well

    The first lesson is that photographers are a pretty cautious and conservative bunch - note our attachment to 35 mm format, lenses, etc. long after most of us have shot 35 mm film. Same with MF.

    The most significant change was the intro of the point and shoot, and the small sensors - which threw the photog for a loop (what size is that lens now?), but brought reasonable quality, ease, portability, and cost to a whole new range of consumers. Lesson there: if you go downmarket but give quality, people will accept change.

    At the upper end of the market (MFDB, Pro DSLR), change has been slow. The market is thinner, the lenses expensive, the investment sizable. It also is more complex to make product at this end of the market, where the pro photog wants all sorts of things that are slightly out of whack with the small size of the market: they want flexibility, quick and reasonable service, upgrades, lesser cost, etc. That sector of the market hasn't been responding quite as fast as we'de like, but there is some modest change over the past 5 years: the product is better, the cost is less, and the usability is greater. Not dramatic, but steady.

    Consider the other odd solutions: 617, XPan, etc. Most of these are niche markets and if the combo is just right, people will make the switch. Like the 645 - if you meet the new format needs of most of your clientele, smaller and yet with high end quality, people will make the plunge. Miss that window, and its a cold day in the rain. Hassy almost got it right with the Arc View, but even that was a bit too much money, a bit too much, and was shortlived.

    So where is the S2 in this scenario? FIrst, its a new system, which is dangerous ground already. Their concept is to provide MFDB quality, practically 35 mm size, and integrated higher levels of functionality. This is a great concept, and a good starting point. Its sound thinking, and has appeal. Imagine the Contx 645 redone for integrated digital. Or the Phase/Mamiya really done right. Nothing wrong with this idea.

    But the problem is in the execution: there is no problem with Leica's detailed execution (given enough time and money) but its the cost issue. Price point is the killer here. And Leica, and most of its European colleagues, have not been willing to show a lot of flexibility in this issue.

    Look at the others: Hassy has been the most innovative. They start with basics, they understand a package deal, and have done a pretty good job of changing their models and keeping much of their client base.

    Sinar isn't a great model so far. They have begun to show some business awareness, but their M camera (also a flexible platform) hasn't been well situated in the market. Their new Arc-Tec is a wonderful design, but the pricing gets to be seriously...high by the time you add lenses, etc.

    Leica.... well there's just not much evidence they know how to deliver a product of this complexity to a broader market. They do a good job of pricing to their constituents, and meeting their costs (we hope), but recent events (their rising prices, and our shrinking pockets) don't auger well for this situation.

    I just keep looking for the magic answer here. I remember when, in the early 1990's, Rollei priced a 6003 complete with lens for $3k. Irresistable, and set up a whole pathway for some of us. Hard to imagine lots of people jumping ship for $30k.... but maybe they'll prove this to be the case. I sure hope so - its great idea, and great lenses are always good to have.

  9. #59
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    Re: So, where is the Leica S2?

    Peter,

    "The real economy should bottom over the next 2 quarters"?

    Really? I'm sure you know that there are numerous investment opportunitites that would allow you to profit handsomely from that prediction. Certainly enough that you'd be easily able to purchase an S2.

    I hope you're right, but I find it hard to believe. California can't even get it Legislature to pass a budget.

    Steve

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    Senior Member KeithL's Avatar
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    Re: So, where is the Leica S2?

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    Leica dont 'owe' the professional photographer very much if anything - the scoffed @ dentists, lawyers and investment bankers and collectors seem to be their natural market...
    ...which is why they have struggled in the past and have invested so much in the S2. By their own admission the S2 is aimed at the professional market and success will depend on it.

    Do you honestly believe, particularly given the dire state of the economy, that the success of the S2 and indeed Leica will depend on a bunch of bankers and dentists?

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    Re: So, where is the Leica S2?

    I don't know whether the future of Leica depends on bankers and dentists buying their cameras, but I suspect that professional photographers are more likely to make their equipment purchase decisions based on whether they need the equipment enough to justify its cost. In the accounting world, this is called "cost accounting." Dentists (and lawyers, like me) are more likely to buy something because they're gear sluts. While Guy calls himself a gear slut, I suspect his decisions are more rational than those of someone like me, who could never rationally support what he's bought over the years.

    I suspect that the purchase decisions of amateurs (at least as a group) might be less affected by the economy than those of pros who must balance the equipment cost against the likely return on that cost. Of course I may be completely wrong.

    Steve

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    Re: So, where is the Leica S2?

    If we all had been clairvoyant enough to yank our cash out of the stock market last Aug. .... we could all buy a complete S2 system and a Bentley Azure to haul it around in ...

  13. #63
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    Re: So, where is the Leica S2?

    Quote Originally Posted by dfarkas View Post
    ...

    2) Leica doesn't need to or intend to make a profit on the S2 in 2009

    I take this as meaning two things. First, Leica has invested many millions of Euros into making the S2 a market leader and bringing all development in house. Second, Leica is interested in market share first and profitability second. The pricing strategy might be very aggressive.
    What it means is that Leica is banking on new product, specifically the M8.2, Lux 4, and lenses, to generate the revenue it needs to sustain its plan. If those products do not bring in the revenue Leica projected as far back as a year ago, Leica may find itself looking for recapitalization it had not intended.



    3) Leica is in this for the long term (they are looking 5-10 years in the future)

    Kaufmann is building two new factories, one in Portugal and the other in Wetzlar. He intends to grow the company and continue investing in R&D, regardless of the immediate economic climate. This is good for progress. The S-System will serve as the flagship product for at least the next five years. He even mentioned that they have already taken trademarks on S3, S4, and S5. Leica may well be one of the only companies that is hiring new talent and expanding while the rest of the world is focused on scaling back and laying off. In fact, according to their last financial report, they have about 100 more employees now than they did a year ago, adding about 10% to its workforce, mostly in R&D.
    Several things:

    - my understanding (possibly incorrect?) is the two factories are refurbs/expansions of existing Leica factories. Who cares.

    - Leica did indeed hire 100 or so new employees -- just after it reorganized into a new company allowing it to sidestep mandatory contributions to employee pension funding. Fiscally healthy companies don't do that. GM, Ford, Chrysler are all going through that same pension fund blues wiggle right now.

    - there is no indication where those new hires are working. Leica does have new people in key, top management positions. Leica also has indicated it seriously underestimated the necessary R&D resources to meet product introduction deadlines, and that underestimation hurt projected sales, and not by an insignificant amount.

    - Leica is running in the red -- seriously in the red. May not be an issue if they were well capitalized going into the S2 development. It will be an issue in the near future. Leica has planned to be at break even by FY09/10. Problem: Nikon has recently revised sales projections for cameras and lens, lowering sales by 68%-78%. Leica derives the lion's share of its revenue from camera/lens and sports optic sales. Compared to the Japanese camera moguls, Leica is a boutique camera outfilt that cannot sustain a loss of revenue like the big guys can.



    But regardless of rumors of Leica's demise, crisis, etc., they are in fact moving full speed ahead with the S2 and the R10.
    Yeah, but are they in panic mode doing it? Where are they cutting corners? I would be afraid of new product released behind schedule from any company on the edge. The DeLorean sports car comes to mind.

    I don't know anything about Leica's demise but there is nothing available to indicate the company is fiscally healthy. On the contrary, every indication is that it is an extremely vulnerable company right now. That with no regard to how well capitalized Leica may actually be.

    Leica's numbers indicate they can carry product that already has market momentum. Unless they have some serous cash somewhere, I don't see how they can provide for a full launch of a new product line. Given the condition of European banks and the vulnerability of consumer optics sales, me thinks a bailout could be iffy. I would feel a whole lot better about their increase in employee numbers if they/Leica was also able to fund their employee pensions.
    Last edited by Oxide Blu; 15th February 2009 at 13:19.

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    Re: So, where is the Leica S2?

    Stephen - yes there will be a lot of pain to come - systemic meltdown is not costless. From a market perspective there already have been monumentally profitable trades - short banks long resources, short Euro / long US. Short long dated Bonds / long Treasuries - all of these bets have been counter intuative and against prevailing general market wisdom.

    Final word on the markets - and thus is where yoru high school calculus comes in handy - the marginal change in direction is what markets focus on and in particular the rate of marginal change in direction. So whilst economic news will continue to be very gloomy - the absolute rate of decay will very soon begin to decelerate.

    Those who survive teh next 12 months - win.

    Keith - I dont think Leica has ever been anything other than a niche player. I dont see a lot of evidence of the 'typica' pro basing their workflow around Leica products and I dont expect this to change in the near or distant furture.

    The wankers who buy this stuff - are the personality type who are prepared to pay overs for the marginal difference.

    There arent a lot of people prepared to get 'less' in many ways ( automation megapixels servivce etc etc) and pay more.

    Cheers
    Pete

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    Re: So, where is the Leica S2?

    Quote Originally Posted by stephengilbert View Post
    I don't know whether the future of Leica depends on bankers and dentists buying their cameras, but I suspect that professional photographers are more likely to make their equipment purchase decisions based on whether they need the equipment enough to justify its cost. In the accounting world, this is called "cost accounting." Dentists (and lawyers, like me) are more likely to buy something because they're gear sluts. While Guy calls himself a gear slut, I suspect his decisions are more rational than those of someone like me, who could never rationally support what he's bought over the years.

    I suspect that the purchase decisions of amateurs (at least as a group) might be less affected by the economy than those of pros who must balance the equipment cost against the likely return on that cost. Of course I may be completely wrong.

    Steve
    Steve your killing me . Rational, ah man that may hurt. Sick puppy maybe.

    Seriously things do need to make sense and i do go through a lot of decisions both Pro and Con versus a system. Issue is there is nothing perfect and you have to weigh everything to the plus side and eat the negative side.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: So, where is the Leica S2?

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Seriously things do need to make sense and i do go through a lot of decisions both Pro and Con versus a system. Issue is there is nothing perfect and you have to weigh everything to the plus side and eat the negative side.
    Yes Guy, we know that you consider every single purchase with reference to your 5 year business plan, and that you never buy anything on impulse, especially not if it seems to be 'cool'.

    It's up to us amateurs to make the dodgy decisions.

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: So, where is the Leica S2?



    Man gotta love ya. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: So, where is the Leica S2?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Hi Tim - I agree that it isn't directed at that marketplace . . . but then, nor is a great deal of MF kit. I don't think it affects my argument.

    P.S. I assume that means you won't be wanting one?
    Yeah Tim, please don't want one. Leica needs badly for this to come out without quality issues.
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: So, where is the Leica S2?

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    Keith - I dont think Leica has ever been anything other than a niche player. I dont see a lot of evidence of the 'typica' pro basing their workflow around Leica products and I dont expect this to change in the near or distant furture.
    Pete, you may well be right, but I was rather hoping that Leica had at last seen the light and that their commitment to target the professional market could be taken seriously.

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    Re: So, where is the Leica S2?

    Quote Originally Posted by KeithL View Post
    Pete, you may well be right, but I was rather hoping that Leica had at last seen the light and that their commitment to target the professional market could be taken seriously.
    Keith - In a perfect world with lots of bucks to throw at the competition - Leica could slowly develop a niche with pros and then a real market share - over time. The hurdles are great though - read this thread - people are asking for Leica to sell this technology at CaNikon price points ....

    As for so called 'pro support' - unless you live in a major city perhaps in London or NY etc - buy two bodies from B&H and make sure you fill in your warranty card! -

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    Re: So, where is the Leica S2?

    On a brighter note:

    If Leica markets this camera to the right pro markets, and REALLY adds a strong service component and warranty, I think they CAN win some Pro market share.

    It's bad out there, but not for everyone. It may be diminished, but the beat still goes on. Judging from all the catalogs I get from all the high-end retailers SOMEONE is shooting all those products. GM may be staggering, but I'm still shooting 2010 accessories just like I did last year. Still doing work for my Cemetery client because people persist on dying. Wedding bookings are up from last year so far.

    Look, we all know that 37 meg is enough for 99% of the work to be done even in a slightly cropped sized sensor, and if the optics ARE that good, but more importantly that goodness is captured by the sensor, then it's a viable choice for those still working steadily and ready for an upgrade from aging systems, or for moving up from 35mm DSLRs like a 1DsMKIII or D3X.

    IMO, unlike in the more recent past, Leica HAS to capture some of the Pro Market. The S2 has to be taken as a serious Pro spec system if for nothing more than to position the gear with more well healed amateurs. This isn't a catagory of camera that one uses as a status or fashion statement while strolling the streets of Paris. It has NO heritage as a serious camera like the M earned earlier in its history. It has to earn it's own respect by delivering for those who set the pace in the commercial world.

    Leica would do well by providing a few cameras to well known professional shooters ... like Annie Leibovitz, David LaChapelle, David Bailey, Marc Williams and Guy Mancuso

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    Re: So, where is the Leica S2?

    Right on brother. Actually Marc they need to give this to a couple Pro's and yes give this to them so they can get the word out. My name is in the hat and if Mikey likes it you know how that goes. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: So, where is the Leica S2?

    Just to put some things right:

    - Mr. Kaufmann (and his family) are extremely wealthy (several billion $) and he doesn't seem to sell Leica, he even became CEO himself

    - He doesn't want to play with Leica on the stock-market, the money he invests doesn't come from risky speculations or credits.

    - He invested about 100mio € in Leica, alone 30mio € on the S2 R$D

    - The whole Leitz-Park in Wetzlar (about 600 employees) is entirely new.

    - Leica has a bigger staff than all medium-format-companies combined (Hasselblad has only 60 people left in Sweden, Mamiya has 150 employees!)

    - The Leica Camera AG wasn't reorganized into a new company to sidestep employee pensions (it wans't reorganized at all, but it will most likely become a GmbH - not a company on the stock-market). In fact, employee pensions make only a very small amount of pensions (they're mostly private and a pension tax) in Germany, it doesn't bother the companies in Germany like it does in the US. I've asked an employee, he ensured me that they're all employees of Leica Camera AG paid according to the tariff.

    I hope they don't run into any unforseen problems (how long is Kodak going to produce Sensors?) because professionals should finally be able to enjoy Leica-glass and have a choice for a system entirely different to Canon/Nikon.

    Leica will release further information on 20th February.

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    Re: So, where is the Leica S2?

    You've posted this in the wrong thread, it's the Panasonic rumour thread above that you want...
    Last edited by Ben Rubinstein; 17th February 2009 at 00:59.
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    Re: So, where is the Leica S2?

    Quote Originally Posted by georgl View Post
    Just to put some things right:

    - Leica has a bigger staff than all medium-format-companies combined (Hasselblad has only 60 people left in Sweden, Mamiya has 150 employees!)
    Correction...

    We are approx 200 worldwide, probably more.

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    Re: So, where is the Leica S2?

    Quote Originally Posted by David Grover / Hasselblad View Post
    Correction...

    We are approx 200 worldwide, probably more.
    HI David
    surely it's an addendum rather than a correction (unless there are more than 60 people in Sweden, which is what georg said. It would be interesting to know how many people Leica have worldwide.

    Georg
    Thank you for that - interesting statistics.

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: So, where is the Leica S2?

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post


    Man gotta love ya. LOL
    From one gear whore to another eh?

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    Re: So, where is the Leica S2?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    HI David
    surely it's an addendum rather than a correction (unless there are more than 60 people in Sweden, which is what georg said. It would be interesting to know how many people Leica have worldwide.

    Georg
    Thank you for that - interesting statistics.
    Jono,

    Leica has just shy of 1100 employees. I don't think this includes the individual agencies in each country though, just the ones that work directly for Leica Camera AG in Germany and Portugal.

    David
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    Re: So, where is the Leica S2?

    "We are approx 200 worldwide, probably more."

    It was very difficult finding exact numbers, but that's what I've heard:

    400 people in Göteborg before Hasselblad was sold to Shriro (HongKong).

    Most employees were fired, instead of own production they left their new building (they just build a few years before) and now assemble components by suppliers or Fuji

    The last number I had was 60 employees left in Göteborg (that's the only HQ, R&D-department and production site they have - I'm sure there are some more in their distribution network).
    http://www.hasselbladhistorical.eu/HS/HSGot.aspx

    Correct me if I'm wrong.

    In comparison:

    The "Leitz-Park" will have about 600 employees (30 of them are not relevant for Leica Camera, they make optical plastic components) and consists not only of Leica Camera but also Weller, which was once part of Leitz (they make mechanical parts) and were bought back by Mr. Kaufmann. Many small companies (who are still suppliers to Leica Camera) in the region were once part of the Leitz-company.
    Outsourcing, the big economy myth, has finally stopped and I hope that starting with the S2, Leica Camera will gain more competence in R&D and manufacturing - just like they once had!

    Right now, Leica Camera seems to be in a very comfortable position by being owned by Mr. Kaufmann and not by greedy shareholders, something that will cause lots of trouble for many (even much bigger), companies, especially in these times (cutting relevant investments...).

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    Re: So, where is the Leica S2?

    Quote Originally Posted by georgl View Post
    Outsourcing, the big economy myth, has finally stopped and I hope that starting with the S2, Leica Camera will gain more competence in R&D and manufacturing - just like they once had!

    Right now, Leica Camera seems to be in a very comfortable position by being owned by Mr. Kaufmann and not by greedy shareholders, something that will cause lots of trouble for many (even much bigger), companies, especially in these times (cutting relevant investments...).
    I really think that Leica is in a very good position for the future.

    Small, and being able to take long term desitions with a lot of knoledgeble people in their staf.

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    Re: So, where is the Leica S2?

    While all of this number of employees and stuff discussion is very interesting and quite informative, not sure just how relevant it will be if Leica is unable to price their products, and service the professionals they are targeting so that folks actually buy the gear. All the trained techs and assembly folks in Leitz-Park will matter little if the S2 is priced too high to get anybody interested in buying it.

    On the flip side, if Leica takes a much more aggressive approach and prices the S2 to really get it into the market, then all those folks and techs and stuff may be useful to help service things at the level that professionals need. (The best is to just have the gear work properly all the time, and not need to be going back for adjustments/fixes, like the M8 when it came out.)

    I really do not think it is so important as to which company has more employees (Hasselblad or Leica or Phase or whomever). If they put out a great, reliable and affordable product and service the buyers properly, they will be able to gain market share. If they build it well, and it does not break, they do not need lots of service folks. If they have to handhold users through all sorts of quirks and things, then maybe a big service group is important, but that will not sell well into the pro user community that just wants gear to work whenever they need it to. Just my thoughts on some of this.

    LJ

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    Re: So, where is the Leica S2?

    Quote Originally Posted by georgl View Post

    The last number I had was 60 employees left in Göteborg (that's the only HQ, R&D-department and production site they have - I'm sure there are some more in their distribution network).
    http://www.hasselbladhistorical.eu/HS/HSGot.aspx

    Correct me if I'm wrong.
    No problem!

    Sweden is not the only HQ and production site we have. You are missing Copenhagen in Denmark which has R&D for digital capture, scanners and software with production of digital capture units and scanners. Also, management, finance and sales.

    Add to that offices in UK, Germany, France and the USA.

    Its easy to find here...

    http://www.hasselblad.com/about-hass...ontact-us.aspx

    We also don't assemble anything for Fuji - they assemble for us. ;-) As stated many times before Fuji assembles the lenses for us (the shutter is made in Sweden). They have no other involvement in the H camera except for the optics in the viewfinder.

    Best,


    David

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    Re: So, where is the Leica S2?

    LJ said it more eloquently than I could.

    The real challenge facing Leica is whether to market the S2 to the Patek Phillipe crowd (cameras as jewellery) or the Hilti crowd (cameras as tools).
    Last edited by Forrest Black; 17th February 2009 at 08:33.

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    Re: So, where is the Leica S2?

    Forrest,
    Since Leica has more than one camera in its line-up, it may be possible to do both....sell to the jewelry crowd and sell to the pro user crowd. There may be some confusion over who is in which group, but folks can self-select. The R10, and even the M8 may be more of the jewelry crowd. (I said "may", not saying that they are.) The S2, from its inception and initial marketing by Leica, has really been targeted (they say) toward the pro user group. If they stick with that, build, price and service it accordingly, it could become a very good market segment for them. If they get into the fancy skins and stuff that seems so much more prevalent with the M8 line for example, then they will not be as successful as a camera for professionals that really need and use the gear. As I have commented before, I want my gear to work, all the time, and get out my way. I really do not care what brand it is, or how fancy it looks. I want it to work for me. (I was a PJ a long time ago, and "pretty" was anathema to what gear should be. One wanted reliable gear, and many of us even blacked out the names and stuff to make it more generic looking and attract less attention.)

    LJ

  35. #85
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    Re: So, where is the Leica S2?

    Quote Originally Posted by Forrest Black View Post
    LJ said it more eloquently than I could.

    The real challenge facing Leica is whether to market the S2 to the Patek Phillipe crowd (cameras as jewellery) or the Hilti crowd (cameras as tools).
    The only market in which Leica has had any traction in recent years is the Patek Phillipe market. That market is beyond completely dead, with no turnaround in the short or medium term. In past recessions, the market for luxury goods was somewhat immune as the very affluent continued to spend freely. Not now. As a result, I expect the S2 to be DOA, even if it comes out of the gate without any major hardware/software glitches like occured with the M8. (What are the chance of that happening?) The pro medium format digital market consists of people putting down very serious money, by their terms, for tools that they depend upon for their livelihood. I just can't imagine them dropping $50k on a brand new camera system by Leica of all companies.

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    Re: So, where is the Leica S2?

    "Sweden is not the only HQ and production site we have. You are missing Copenhagen in Denmark which has R&D for digital capture, scanners and software with production of digital capture units and scanners. Also, management, finance and sales."

    You mean Imacon, which was bought by Shriro? How many employees do they have? 50? 100?

    The offices don't count, they don't have R&D and manufacturing.

    That's why I care:

    When I started with medium-format, I've tested nearly all systems - one was different: impeccable lenses, manufacturing/material quality, it simply was a class higher than others - that was Hasselblad - the 200series was too expensive, so I took a 501CM.
    Several hundred highly skilled, experienced people manufactured them in Göteborg. And then? The company was sold (I think several times within the last two decades?), they fired most employees and killed nearly their entire system (200 series + Zeiss-lenses) and instead of developing a AF 200 series they came up with the H1...
    What's this camera about? Is it a Mamiya, a Bronica? The handling, the buttons, the plastic, the lenses...

    http://www.stefanheymann.de/foto/h1test/h1pict-0017.jpg

    http://www.stefanheymann.de/501cm/bi...cture-0040.jpg

    This is a very nice site, you can see dozens pictures of the H1 and 501CM in comparison - please don't tell me the H-System wasn't about cutting costs... A very sad thing

    Aren't these components made by suppliers close to Fuji (or Fuji itself) and then assembled in Sweden (the viewfinder and film back even has a "Made in Japan"-sticker)? Maybe just a false impression, but it feels very "Japanese" to me (like Canon and Nikon have certain similarities too) - completely different (and much cheaper) than the controls of the 200 series.

    It's not bad, it was the first well integrated digital-mf-system around. But that's not a Hasselblad anymore. It's not unique anymore and I wished that Hasselblad also had someone who invest's money and saved their staff & know-how. So it's time that a unique company offers a "unique" MF-system for professionals again - hopefully the Leica S is such system.

    But anyway, we're already way too much off-topic. Where's the S2? Hopefully they show some nice samples on 20th February!
    Last edited by georgl; 17th February 2009 at 10:34.

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    Re: So, where is the Leica S2?

    Imacon and Hasselblad are one and the same now and have been for over four years!

    R&D and manufacturing are both in Copenhagen and Goteborg with tight synergy between both. The office in Copenhagen has 80+ employees.

    The H system is neither a Mamiya or Bronica, its a Hasselblad. As for cutting costs, this was not the case with the millions of dollars that was invested in the R&D of the H system.

    As with any modern successful company (read profitable when I say successful) you simply have to outsource some of your component manufacture. To build everything inhouse was killing Hasselblad slowly with costs per camera too high to make a viable business. Simply raising the price would drive people away - more so in this day and age.

    Ill say it once again...

    Lens design is from Goteborg, Sweden.

    Central Lens Shutter design, R&D and manufacture are from Goteborg, Sweden.

    Lens manufacture (but not the shutter!) is by Fujinon, Japan which I am in no way ashamed about. We chose the best partner for the job.

    The only other part Fuji contribute to is the optics in the viewfinder and some parts in the film cassette.

    Correct it is the first well integrated medium format system. If we did not do this then there would be no more Hasselblad. Look at the sales figures of the 200 series and you will see this was not a system the majority of working professionals wanted. There will always be customers for it to some extent, but to make a viable business so we can stay successful? No.

    It still is a unique camera for many reasons and the people at Hasselblad (I count myself as a Hasselblad employee even though I started at Imacon) are as passionate about this system today then as any in the past.

    Best Regards,



    David

    PS Apologies to the OP for somewhat hijacking their thread.

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    Re: So, where is the Leica S2?

    David,

    Instead of apologizing "to the OP for somewhat hijacking their thread," why not start a new one? I'm sure Hasselblads are wonderful and the company has many, many employees, but I don't really care, and people who want to read about Hasselblads won't know that this thread has become a Hasselblad thread.

    Steve

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    Re: So, where is the Leica S2?

    Hi Steve,

    I only feel I have to jump in when information is incorrect, otherwise it tends to run like wildfire.

    As for starting a new thread, I agree with you and think most will find it uninteresting! :-)

    Ill leave it there.

    Thanks,

    David

  40. #90
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    Re: So, where is the Leica S2?

    Quote Originally Posted by David Grover / Hasselblad View Post
    ...

    The H system is neither a Mamiya or Bronica, its a Hasselblad. As for cutting costs, this was not the case with the millions of dollars that was invested in the R&D of the H system.
    I have a very clear memory of when AF was migrating to MF cameras, in the mid-90's, and Hassy saying (at that time) they could NOT produce an AF camera to compete because an AF Hassy body would have to be tagged at close to $15k, and Hassy felt the market would not be willing toss out that much coin for a MF AF body, not even a Hassy.

    So when you say cutting costs was not the case I'm inclined to think different. I suspect every aspect of Hassy AF, the designed, the suppliers chosen, the materials used, all of it is a consideration in how to cut costs to stay competitive. Not doing so would be like voting for a stimulus package without reading it.

    I agree with you regarding Fujinon optics; they can be world-class, second to none.
    Last edited by Oxide Blu; 17th February 2009 at 13:35.

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    Re: So, where is the Leica S2?

    I dont care where something is made as long as that something is made well and it works. I am a fan of Leica - but lets not kid oursleves - the S2 is vapourware until it is released and proven.

    From my point of view Leica has not improved one iota from the company which released the M8 with its quirks and bugs. I look forward to the day that they can produce great gear in scale and volume delivering unit cost reductions which would allow them to compete against other proven product offers at price points that one could take seriously.

    Quality or Value is not an absolute measurement it is a relative measurement. You get this set of features for this price. Given an infinite price point - companies can deliver stupendous quality. However ther eis no infinite price and balancing cost against feature sets and then delivering at a price point which equals value to teh buyer is teh challenge in a competitive world.

    Successful companies understand this basic business principle.

    As for Hasselblad H series - it pioneered a feature set and capability in MF that revoluitonised expectations about a modern MF camera body. The viewfinder alone is a treasure and pleasure to work with - nothing compares to its useability and functionality in MF land.

    Unlike the S2 - every other MF camera can be used with a film back - be it 645 or 6X6. I think that whilst not fatal - the S2 has already got a serious deficiency in its design. Regarding ultimate picture making quality - we will see but there is no doubt that the implementation of the KodaK chip will have much more to say about quality than the posted flat MTF curves.

    I look forward to the S2 being a success but wouldn't bet large on this as a certainty.

  42. #92
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    Re: So, where is the Leica S2?

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    I dont care where something is made as long as that something is made well and it works. ...
    That's kind of the way I look at it, too, except that I also apply the criteria of whether or not the company will be around to back the product. The S2 is speculated as high as $20k on release. I'm hoping the latest digital camera technology is not really going to be a choice between a new dSLR body and a new BMW Mini Cooper.

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    Re: So, where is the Leica S2?

    "I dont care where something is made as long as that something is made well and it works"

    A very common argument but these two factors cannot be isolated. It's the skill of the employees, their education, their motivation, their wages, even the infrastructure or enviromental laws which leads to these products. A very unconvinient fact to many people who want to outsource/off-shore production to workforces which are cheap, not organized, have no enviromental restrictions...

    "As with any modern successful company (read profitable when I say successful) you simply have to outsource some of your component manufacture."

    A very common misconception, brought up by business-people (not engineers!). The most succuseful companies have a very high vertical range of manufacture. It's about taking responsibility - you manufacture it yourself, you have it in you hands - quality, efficiency, costs...
    Outsourcing costs lots of money, because it's really hard to control and when you want quality, you have to pay not only the wages/materials for the supplier but also his margin, management...
    Somebody came up with Patek Philippe...they nearly manufacture everything themselves!
    Leitz also produced had a nearly vertical production and never was more efficient, but now Leica has to pay sometimes ridicously high prices for components, just to asure quality (the suppliers usually don't work for consumer industries anymore, they focussed on aviation, mechanical engineering...) and even then it causes lot's of trouble finding new suppliers for new components and creating a long-lasting relationship.

    But anyway, that's a completely new and very complex topic on it's own - but after working for small and very big companies who made everything themselves or outsourced production I can asure you that the new owners from Hasselblad simply didn't want to pay for these people.

    Rollei and Mamiya came up with AF-Systems before Hasselblad did, and they (were) even smaller companies and they didn't cut costs on materials or outsourced production (ok neither of them had the standard of old Hasselblads).

    So to come to an conclusion, Hasselblad (+Imacons digital-department) have about 140 employees?

    I'm sorry, but I get highly suspicous when an investor buys a company, builds an entirely new building for millions, throws it away, fires about 80% of the employees in R&D and production and comes up with an entirely new system which doesn't share most of the qualities Hasselblad made unique.

    To get back on-topic:
    Having 100 people in R&D, being able to invest this much money and having this experience in camera/lens-design is a real advantage of the S2 over the other systems, I hope they'll take their chance.

    Tomoroww they will propably realease new information, also about their S2-service-concept.

  44. #94
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    Re: So, where is the Leica S2?

    I don't get the argument Georgl.

    The H works. Your "off-shore verses make it yourself" business theory doesn't alter that one way or the other. It works, that's all that users like Peter care about. Besides, ALL of these back makers rely on outsourcing ... none of them make the most important componet: the sensor.

    If a camera works and is relatively cost effective I'd go that way if the alternative was a camera that also works, but was priced like a Patek Philippe watch. That's just common business sense. Much as I'd like it, I can't afford to be a poser, or subscriber to lofty theories that don't translate into cost effective, real world benefits.

    Please link me to the info that shows that Rollei and Mamiya had "production" AF before the Hasselblad H. As far as I know the first AF MF camera in production was the Contax 645. If at purchase time, it wasn't in production then it was useless as far as I'm concerned. I moved from Contax 645 to Hasselblad H simply because the AF was way better.

    What qualities that made Hasselblad unique are you talking about? The ones that put other MF cameras out of business for not keeping up? IMO, if Mamiya hadn't linked up with the market leading Phase One they'd also be in or near the dust bin now, especially after their "make it yourself" digital back debacle or self contained MFD/SLR stumble.

    As far as I'm concerned the H camera is an extension of the V system ... modular, accepts film backs if you select the H1, H2, or now the H2F. Accepts a waist level finder, is backward compatible with all 500 series lenses ever made.

    In short, and IMO, none of these companies can cater to a handful of luddites and stay in business.

    My only concern about the S2 is that it isn't modular. It is what it is. If it meets your needs then fine, go for it. But even if I got one, I'd need another MFD solution to use on my view camera and any tech field camera. Then I'm forced to support two different systems. Been there done that with MFD. NOW that is REALLY expensive.

    And looming on the horizon is the game changing "RED" factor. All modular. Very innovative. Sensors for any need and pocket book.

  45. #95
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    Re: So, where is the Leica S2?

    I was in a hurry - so please kindly overlook all the grammar/spelling mistakes...

    One last thing:

    I had this discussion before on another place, somehow the relationship between Hasselblad and Carl Zeiss was damaged and we will propably never find out why (I suspect the usual stuff: cutting costs, not willing to pay for new developements...) and they switched to Fuji.
    The Fuji-lenses aren't bad at all, most of them seem to reach the quality of their Zeiss-counterparts - but you also have to keep in mind that most of these lenses are 20 years older and have to cover a bigger image circle - a comparison in terms of design/manufacturing skills is therefore very risky.

    After seeing their (Zeiss) production facility (the most sophisticated in the world) in Oberkochen I understood what makes them so special - it's incredible what they're capable of and we tend to forget because we have usually old designs or rebadged Cosinas in mind when thinking of Carl Zeiss as a photographer. Have you seen how advanced their new designs are, what they did to produce the Zeiss TPP or their cine-lenses? THAT's second to none.

    But Leica seems very close and I don't think Hasselblad can come up with lenses of the S-quality without reuniting with Zeiss again.


    Maybe your asking yourself: What does he try to say, what's his point?

    BECAUSE of the technical background, because of the 100 employees in R&D, because their experience and the huge investment their making to develop the S-System we can expect a lot from it, something that cannot be copied or imitated that easy.

    Why I'm so sensitive about this whole production, workforce etc. thing?

    I've seen many bad things happening in the industries I have worked in, which looked quite similar (at least from my perspective) to the things that happened to Hasselblad. Many good friends lost their job, despite being more skilled, more qualified, more effective, more motivated just because some stupid things in the management were decided which killed the whole company years later. We're heading into the wrong direction, that must have been become clear the last months to everyone.
    And therefore we shouldn't underestimate the things Mr Kaufmann is doing with the S2 -I handled it already for a few minutes and to me it seemed more than promising!

    I thought Hasselblad had so much potencial, transferring their uniqueness into the digital world - a 200AF-system with new Zeiss-AF-lenses but instead they came up with something that looks/feels/handles like a "me too"-645-system

    I'll stop here, I'm sorry that I came up with all these things and dragged the whole thread off-topic.

  46. #96
    Senior Member Erik Five's Avatar
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    Re: So, where is the Leica S2?

    You didnt get the memo? Panasonic bought Leica and they went away from the MF and the S2 will now be a 4:3 camera called the L2.

  47. #97
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    Re: So, where is the Leica S2?

    Georgl,

    You are perfectly correct to believe that companies make mistakes and change ownership and rise and fall..these are just facts of life.

    You make some funny comments abotu 'greedy shareholders' and the economics of outsourcing - I wont bore you or anyone else with a simple refutation of each of your points except to say as a general rule:

    ...rest assured if something doesn't work it won't sell and there will be nothing to worry about soon enough.

    Leica are to be congratulated for bringing out a new camera in a new format with a new line of lenses - if they make them well enough and they price them well enough - then they will succeed. If they don't ? well - back to the drawing board -

    Enough with the slander of Hasselblad I like many others here shoot with V systems and H systems in film and digital - strengths and weaknesses are well understood.

    Pete

  48. #98
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    Re: So, where is the Leica S2?

    Quote Originally Posted by georgl View Post
    I was in a hurry - so please kindly overlook all the grammar/spelling mistakes...

    One last thing:

    I had this discussion before on another place, somehow the relationship between Hasselblad and Carl Zeiss was damaged and we will probably never find out why (I suspect the usual stuff: cutting costs, not willing to pay for new developments...) and they switched to Fuji.
    The Fuji-lenses aren't bad at all, most of them seem to reach the quality of their Zeiss-counterparts - but you also have to keep in mind that most of these lenses are 20 years older and have to cover a bigger image circle - a comparison in terms of design/manufacturing skills is therefore very risky.

    After seeing their (Zeiss) production facility (the most sophisticated in the world) in Oberkochen I understood what makes them so special - it's incredible what they're capable of and we tend to forget because we have usually old designs or rebadged Cosinas in mind when thinking of Carl Zeiss as a photographer. Have you seen how advanced their new designs are, what they did to produce the Zeiss TPP or their cine-lenses? THAT's second to none.

    But Leica seems very close and I don't think Hasselblad can come up with lenses of the S-quality without reuniting with Zeiss again.


    Maybe your asking yourself: What does he try to say, what's his point?

    BECAUSE of the technical background, because of the 100 employees in R&D, because their experience and the huge investment their making to develop the S-System we can expect a lot from it, something that cannot be copied or imitated that easy.

    Why I'm so sensitive about this whole production, workforce etc. thing?

    I've seen many bad things happening in the industries I have worked in, which looked quite similar (at least from my perspective) to the things that happened to Hasselblad. Many good friends lost their job, despite being more skilled, more qualified, more effective, more motivated just because some stupid things in the management were decided which killed the whole company years later. We're heading into the wrong direction, that must have been become clear the last months to everyone.
    And therefore we shouldn't underestimate the things Mr Kaufmann is doing with the S2 -I handled it already for a few minutes and to me it seemed more than promising!

    I thought Hasselblad had so much potential, transferring their uniqueness into the digital world - a 200AF-system with new Zeiss-AF-lenses but instead they came up with something that looks/feels/handles like a "me too"-645-system

    I'll stop here, I'm sorry that I came up with all these things and dragged the whole thread off-topic.
    You are correct in one thing sir ... I do ask myself what is he trying to say, what's the point ?

    Nor does it seem that are you sorry for continuing with the luddite ramblings since you continue to do so.

    Nor did you answer the simple question as what uniqueness you may be referencing?

    This whole elitism thing does get pretty sickening after awhile. Many of us are fighting for survival, and using benchmarks such as five figure lenses like the Zeiss TTP is truly out there in outer space. If the S2 is priced near Pluto it'll be admired on forums like this, discussed to death as the elite choice of the well healed that makes all those who don't have one inferior photographers in some way, and then sit on the dealer's shelf waiting for it's inevitable obsolescence.

    Already it's being deified, and we don't even know how it actually functions when the excellent MTF charts shake hands with the sensor, how fast the AF really is in real world applications ... or how much it will all cost in body parts ... which I suspect will be an arm and a leg at minimum.

    All I can say is that it better be the cat's meow for enough Pro shooters to rush to the cliff's edge and dump all their current gear wrapped in bundles of $100 bills.

    Currently, my preference is to wait for them to go bankrupt from impulsively bad business practices ... then buy my S2 at a dime on the dollar.

  49. #99
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: So, where is the Leica S2?

    You guys are forcing me to go to PMA and actually get the S2 demo presentation. LOL

    Keep twisting my arm , BTW I am putting everything on Black this time.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  50. #100
    Senior Member KeithL's Avatar
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    Re: So, where is the Leica S2?

    georgl

    You are doing Leica no favours whatsoever.

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