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Thread: Few questions on Leica S gear

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    Few questions on Leica S gear

    Hello guys, a new member here on getdpi I'm a Canon and Sony user but more and more look to add MF system to my setup. Since I'm still at school doing my dental residency, I'm planning to pickup a used Leica S (alternatively, I also consider Pentax 645z). I also see many brand new lenses being sold in Asia for attractive prices. So, a couple of things I'm interested to know, and I hope you guys will make it more clear to me.
    1. What's the Leica's warranty policy on new gear purchased from abroad (gray market)? I know Nikon refuse repairing gray market gear even at a fee.
    2. Is there some kind of a trade-in program in Leica? I'll be done with my school next year, and will be able to afford a new body. So, if I buy a used one now for a year or so, will I be able to trade it for a new one?
    3. My hobby is portrait photography, especially outdoor portraits. I could find very few reviews on some Leica portrait lenses, such as 100mm f2 Summicron. Can anyone comment on the quality of images/bokeh/sharpness wide open?

    Thanks in advance!

    Karren

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    Re: Few questions on Leica S gear

    Quote Originally Posted by kparseg View Post
    Hello guys, a new member here on getdpi I'm a Canon and Sony user but more and more look to add MF system to my setup. Since I'm still at school doing my dental residency, I'm planning to pickup a used Leica S (alternatively, I also consider Pentax 645z). I also see many brand new lenses being sold in Asia for attractive prices. So, a couple of things I'm interested to know, and I hope you guys will make it more clear to me.
    1. What's the Leica's warranty policy on new gear purchased from abroad (gray market)? I know Nikon refuse repairing gray market gear even at a fee.
    2. Is there some kind of a trade-in program in Leica? I'll be done with my school next year, and will be able to afford a new body. So, if I buy a used one now for a year or so, will I be able to trade it for a new one?
    3. My hobby is portrait photography, especially outdoor portraits. I could find very few reviews on some Leica portrait lenses, such as 100mm f2 Summicron. Can anyone comment on the quality of images/bokeh/sharpness wide open?

    Thanks in advance!

    Karren
    Hi Karren,

    Congratulations on nearing completion of your residency in dentisty ... I am sure that your photography will be a needed release and outlet as you go forward.

    I would caution you from doing much with the Asia websites ... you can come very close to their prices with a few US dealers and developing a relationship with
    a good dealer is critical as you go forward ... CameraWest has been for me a very good source ... for the past 15 years.

    No trade-in with Leica but I routinely trade in older stuff at CW ... best trade values I have found. But IF you buy into the S system ... no need to upgrade until
    you perceive a reason to upgrade. Some of us prefer the CCD in the S2 S2-P and S 006 ... others like the CMOS in the S 007. At these prices any change is costly.


    My S 100 F2 will arrive tomorrow ... with a bit of luck.

    The Hasselblad 100 F 2.2 with adapter is an option as it offers a faster sync with external lighting ... which may be worth it if outdoor balanced lighting is your thing.

    I doubt if you can do better than any of the S lenses ... I have opted for Hasselblad V 120 makro and 160 Tessar but the S series is above reproach.


    If you have the reserves ... the Leica S is wonderful ... but it requires discipline dedication and perseverance to weather the vagaries of the system.

    Regards,

    Bob

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    Re: Few questions on Leica S gear

    Quote Originally Posted by docmoore View Post
    Hi Karren,

    Congratulations on nearing completion of your residency in dentisty ... I am sure that your photography will be a needed release and outlet as you go forward.

    I would caution you from doing much with the Asia websites ... you can come very close to their prices with a few US dealers and developing a relationship with
    a good dealer is critical as you go forward ... CameraWest has been for me a very good source ... for the past 15 years.

    No trade-in with Leica but I routinely trade in older stuff at CW ... best trade values I have found. But IF you buy into the S system ... no need to upgrade until
    you perceive a reason to upgrade. Some of us prefer the CCD in the S2 S2-P and S 006 ... others like the CMOS in the S 007. At these prices any change is costly.


    My S 100 F2 will arrive tomorrow ... with a bit of luck.

    The Hasselblad 100 F 2.2 with adapter is an option as it offers a faster sync with external lighting ... which may be worth it if outdoor balanced lighting is your thing.

    I doubt if you can do better than any of the S lenses ... I have opted for Hasselblad V 120 makro and 160 Tessar but the S series is above reproach.


    If you have the reserves ... the Leica S is wonderful ... but it requires discipline dedication and perseverance to weather the vagaries of the system.

    Regards,

    Bob
    Hi Bob, thanks for your response and thoughtful suggestions. Are there any Leica dealers you'd recommend? In addition, I understand that it's personal, but what in your opinion are essential accessories for Leica S? Thanks!

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    Re: Few questions on Leica S gear

    Quote Originally Posted by kparseg View Post
    Since I'm still at school doing my dental residency, I'm planning to pickup a used Leica S
    Welp...you are exactly the Leica target market.

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    Re: Few questions on Leica S gear

    Speed ....


    Sorry that we do not have a unlike button ...


    I imagine that anyone who has sacrificed to achieve anything other than compiling a street photography web site might
    be a bit suspect in your view.

    And yes Leica prices themselves towards the top of the market ... but used prices are in free-fall and not that far off of
    Canikon ranges.

    Still Leica S is a bit cheaper than a Country Club membership ... or buying an airplane and drilling a hole in the ground.

    Really a bit out of the GETDPI spirit of collegiality and welcome ...

    Just saying


    Bob
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    Re: Few questions on Leica S gear

    Quote Originally Posted by kparseg View Post
    Hi Bob, thanks for your response and thoughtful suggestions. Are there any Leica dealers you'd recommend? In addition, I understand that it's personal, but what in your opinion are essential accessories for Leica S? Thanks!
    Again .... Camera West ....

    Depending upon the neighborhood a German Shepherd or decent 1911....


    Bob

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    Re: Few questions on Leica S gear

    1. Leica's warranty is worldwide from what I can tell. They won't refuse to service an item because it was bought elsewhere. Just make sure you get it from someone reputable, also look at used, lots of great deals there.

    2. Not Leica itself, but you can work things out with a dealer. For example Camera Store Miami has a used S section and they do offer reasonable amounts for trading in older gear. You'll still do better selling it yourself but going with a dealer can save some hassle.

    3. The 100 f/2 is awesome for portraits, my favorite. Bokeh is very pleasing and for portrait use its very sharp wide open. The biggest challenge is getting the plane of focus exactly where you want it (but you get better with time). I've used both the 70 and the 120 Macro for portraits and both are good in their own ways. The 120 is slower to focus though.

    I've owned a 645Z as well, and for hand held use (and especially portraiture) I prefer the S mainly for the well damped shutter and the quality of the 100 f/2. On the 645Z I really liked the 150 f/2.8 for portraits.

    I'm about to list my backup S006 and possibly a couple of lenses in the forum here (been meaning to for a couple of weeks, just haven't had time), if you're interested ping me.
    Aravind
    www.akimagery.com
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    Re: Few questions on Leica S gear

    Quote Originally Posted by thedigitalbean View Post
    1. Leica's warranty is worldwide from what I can tell. They won't refuse to service an item because it was bought elsewhere. Just make sure you get it from someone reputable, also look at used, lots of great deals there.

    2. Not Leica itself, but you can work things out with a dealer. For example Camera Store Miami has a used S section and they do offer reasonable amounts for trading in older gear. You'll still do better selling it yourself but going with a dealer can save some hassle.

    3. The 100 f/2 is awesome for portraits, my favorite. Bokeh is very pleasing and for portrait use its very sharp wide open. The biggest challenge is getting the plane of focus exactly where you want it (but you get better with time). I've used both the 70 and the 120 Macro for portraits and both are good in their own ways. The 120 is slower to focus though.

    I've owned a 645Z as well, and for hand held use (and especially portraiture) I prefer the S mainly for the well damped shutter and the quality of the 100 f/2. On the 645Z I really liked the 150 f/2.8 for portraits.

    I'm about to list my backup S006 and possibly a couple of lenses in the forum here (been meaning to for a couple of weeks, just haven't had time), if you're interested ping me.
    Awesome, thanks for your response! Sure, PM me when with more details about your Leica gear. If you don't mind, could you please clarify the following to me.
    1. Some shooters say Pentax 645 lenses do not have very pleasing bokeh. What do you think about your 150mm f2.8?
    2. Low and high ISO comparison for Leica S 006 vs. 645z?

    Thanks again!

    Karen

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    Re: Few questions on Leica S gear

    Quote Originally Posted by docmoore View Post
    Speed ....


    Sorry that we do not have a unlike button ...


    I imagine that anyone who has sacrificed to achieve anything other than compiling a street photography web site might
    be a bit suspect in your view.

    And yes Leica prices themselves towards the top of the market ... but used prices are in free-fall and not that far off of
    Canikon ranges.

    Still Leica S is a bit cheaper than a Country Club membership ... or buying an airplane and drilling a hole in the ground.

    Really a bit out of the GETDPI spirit of collegiality and welcome ...

    Just saying


    Bob

    I don't shoot street photography. I have built a successful photography business though, though I guess dentistry is superior to imaging making in your view. I won't be rewarding myself with a Leica S though, I have no use for the Birkin of photography. Anyway I have no real issue with the S itself or dentistry itself (have a cleaning coming up!), but you must be aware that one of the longest running jokes in photography is that "Leica's are dentist cameras". And here we have a dentist, about to buy the most expensive Leica....if you can't find humor in that idk what to tell you.

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    Re: Few questions on Leica S gear

    Quote Originally Posted by Speedgraphic View Post
    I don't shoot street photography. I have built a successful photography business though, though I guess dentistry is superior to imaging making in your view. I won't be rewarding myself with a Leica S though, I have no use for the Birkin of photography. Anyway I have no real issue with the S itself or dentistry itself (have a cleaning coming up!), but you must be aware that one of the longest running jokes in photography is that "Leica's are dentist cameras". And here we have a dentist, about to buy the most expensive Leica....if you can't find humor in that idk what to tell you.
    I acknowledge your point and heard the joke when I bought my first Leica ... M6 in 1984.

    Probably not the best introduction to the spirit of the GETDPI forums ... was my only concern.

    Dentists as a profession have one of the highest suicide rates and if anything allows them to de-stress then I am all for it.

    My concern with the S is its problematic AF system with multiple failures. However the image from the camera is very nice which is why I returned to it. Did the Alpa and MFDB thing but hate LCC.

    My path was either pre-med or photography but I balked when told that Brooks Institute had a dress code and that would require cutting my hair ... 1972.

    So no I have always held image making in most high regard especially since I cannot draw.

    No offense intended ... just trying to keep the welcome mat somewhat visible.

    Bob

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    Re: Few questions on Leica S gear

    Quote Originally Posted by docmoore View Post
    I acknowledge your point and heard the joke when I bought my first Leica ... M6 in 1984.

    Probably not the best introduction to the spirit of the GETDPI forums ... was my only concern.

    Dentists as a profession have one of the highest suicide rates and if anything allows them to de-stress then I am all for it.

    My concern with the S is its problematic AF system with multiple failures. However the image from the camera is very nice which is why I returned to it. Did the Alpa and MFDB thing but hate LCC.

    My path was either pre-med or photography but I balked when told that Brooks Institute had a dress code and that would require cutting my hair ... 1972.

    So no I have always held image making in most high regard especially since I cannot draw.

    No offense intended ... just trying to keep the welcome mat somewhat visible.

    Bob
    Oh guys, you make me laugh. I was not aware of the dentists being a target population of Leica. The reasons I am considering Leica are the more ergonomic DSLR-like body and very fast portrait lenses. Another reason is that there is a lot of Leica (as well as Zeiss) equipment we use in clinical practice and research (loupes, microscopes, etc), so we are more familiar with these brands. I don't care about the status, and as I've said in my first post I equally consider Pentax 645z. Anyway, thank you for your input. I learn more with you.

    P.S. It's true regarding the high suicide rate among dental and medical students and professionals. Sleep deprivation and a lot of stress contribute to that. There are of course a lot of snobs among us, but most professionals I know are quite modest.
    Last edited by kparseg; 3rd March 2016 at 14:45.

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    Re: Few questions on Leica S gear

    Quote Originally Posted by kparseg View Post
    Oh guys, you make me laugh. I was not aware of the dentists being a target population of Leica. The reasons I am considering Leica are the more ergonomic DSLR-like body and very fast portrait lenses. Another reason is that there is a lot of Leica (as well as Zeiss) equipment we use in clinical practice and research (loupes, microscopes, etc), so we are more familiar with these brands. I don't care about the status, and as I've said in my first post I equally consider Pentax 645z. Anyway, thank you for your input. I learn more with you.
    I can't speak for ergonomics as that's a personal choice but I can say I think the Z is the best thing to happen to digital photography since the D700. The quality is out of this world, and the price is so accessible. However, a 100/2 it does not have, and is not likely to have any time soon. For me, I'm planning on getting a Z for my business. It makes more sense than a D5 as I do not shoot sports, but comes at a similar professional price point. But S vs Z, and not considering money... it's a tough call. I'm not into CCDs so I'm only talking about the new S here. For my part, the ability to shoot at ISO 800 with next to no degridation of the image, that's huge. Cannot be understated just to open up new handheld situations. And for 3200/6400, you get some degradation but overall it's a gift that I'll gladly accept over a partiality toward a low ISO color preference (CCDs).
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    Re: Few questions on Leica S gear

    Quote Originally Posted by Speedgraphic View Post
    I can't speak for ergonomics as that's a personal choice but I can say I think the Z is the best thing to happen to digital photography since the D700. The quality is out of this world, and the price is so accessible. However, a 100/2 it does not have, and is not likely to have any time soon. For me, I'm planning on getting a Z for my business. It makes more sense than a D5 as I do not shoot sports, but comes at a similar professional price point. But S vs Z, and not considering money... it's a tough call. I'm not into CCDs so I'm only talking about the new S here. For my part, the ability to shoot at ISO 800 with next to no degridation of the image, that's huge. Cannot be understated just to open up new handheld situations. And for 3200/6400, you get some degradation but overall it's a gift that I'll gladly accept over a partiality toward a low ISO color preference (CCDs).
    Poor high ISO performance on CCD sensors is my concern too, otherwise 645D seems to be a great and very inexpensive way to get into "crop" MF system. I'd love to have 645z but the lack of fast AF lenses is of my concern. It looks like the fastest lens we have are f2.8 (or Hasselblad 110 f2 but that's a manual focus lens). That's why Leica attracted my attention with 70 f2.5 Summarit, 120 f2.5 Summarit and especially 100 f2 Summicron.

    Can anyone share portrait shots using 100 f2 Summicron? I had hard time seeing good examples online. Thanks guys!

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    Re: Few questions on Leica S gear

    Karen,

    If this does not convince you nothing will ....


    Leica S Typ-007 (S-007) | JupiterSnake


    Not the 007 vs 006 but the lens 100s

    Marc Williams has three 100s portraits in this album ...


    https://fotografz.smugmug.com/Photography/Leica-S-Work/



    Bob
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    Re: Few questions on Leica S gear

    Quote Originally Posted by docmoore View Post
    Karen,

    If this does not convince you nothing will ....


    Leica S Typ-007 (S-007) | JupiterSnake


    Not the 007 vs 006 but the lens 100s

    Marc Williams has three 100s portraits in this album ...


    https://fotografz.smugmug.com/Photography/Leica-S-Work/



    Bob
    Amazing, exactly what I was looking for! Thanks, Bob!
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    Re: Few questions on Leica S gear

    I don't own the 645Z any longer, I ended up selling the entire system to simplify my gear.

    The 645Z sensor is IMO quantifiably superior to the S 007 in every regard. Better dynamic range at base ISO (006 you can push 2.5 stops, 007 4-5 stops and 645Z 6 stops), lower shot noise at high ISO (the 006 caps out at ISO 800 IMO, the 007 at ISO 3200 and the 645Z ISO 6400), ability to shoot long exposure with very little noise with no dark frame (both the 006 and 007 force you to do dark frames). That said the 007 is quite competent and I prefer it as a total imaging system (i.e. in Lightroom when using the embedded profile in the DNG, my colors are spot on requiring little post work, the 645Z always required more work). Ditto for the 006 in < ISO 800 work, but once I started working with the 007 the 006 went purely to backup duty only.

    I took the 645Z + 150 f/2.8 combo to Uganda & Rwanda for Chimps and Gorillas (didn't have the 007 then and even if I did a LOT of photography was at high ISO so the 645Z would have been the better choice). Some images with that combo:

    http://akimagery.com/p182697981/h5c0b5539#h6f403296
    http://akimagery.com/p182697981/h5c0b5539#h5e17169f
    http://akimagery.com/p182697981/h5c0b5539#h5d507da5
    http://akimagery.com/p182697981/h5c0b5539#h5de87b19

    The Pentax 150 has pretty bad Lateral and longitudinal CA wide open. The LoCA you can see in the out of focus areas and so for color photography can be an issue. I have a few 645Z + 150 images and some S006 + 100 images of my daughter on my site:

    http://akimagery.com/p958993011#h6920324c

    You can download the full resolution versions of all the images, take a look at the out of focus areas. The S 100 is a well sorted lens (all the S lenses, its what makes the S system so appealing to me) IMO (wide open its sharp enough for portraits, well controlled lateral CA and LoCA and pleasing background blur, stopped down its then stunning for landscapes).
    Aravind
    www.akimagery.com
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    Re: Few questions on Leica S gear

    Quote Originally Posted by thedigitalbean View Post
    I don't own the 645Z any longer, I ended up selling the entire system to simplify my gear.

    The 645Z sensor is IMO quantifiably superior to the S 007 in every regard. Better dynamic range at base ISO (006 you can push 2.5 stops, 007 4-5 stops and 645Z 6 stops), lower shot noise at high ISO (the 006 caps out at ISO 800 IMO, the 007 at ISO 3200 and the 645Z ISO 6400), ability to shoot long exposure with very little noise with no dark frame (both the 006 and 007 force you to do dark frames). That said the 007 is quite competent and I prefer it as a total imaging system (i.e. in Lightroom when using the embedded profile in the DNG, my colors are spot on requiring little post work, the 645Z always required more work). Ditto for the 006 in < ISO 800 work, but once I started working with the 007 the 006 went purely to backup duty only.

    I took the 645Z + 150 f/2.8 combo to Uganda & Rwanda for Chimps and Gorillas (didn't have the 007 then and even if I did a LOT of photography was at high ISO so the 645Z would have been the better choice). Some images with that combo:

    http://akimagery.com/p182697981/h5c0b5539#h6f403296
    http://akimagery.com/p182697981/h5c0b5539#h5e17169f
    http://akimagery.com/p182697981/h5c0b5539#h5d507da5
    http://akimagery.com/p182697981/h5c0b5539#h5de87b19

    The Pentax 150 has pretty bad Lateral and longitudinal CA wide open. The LoCA you can see in the out of focus areas and so for color photography can be an issue. I have a few 645Z + 150 images and some S006 + 100 images of my daughter on my site:

    http://akimagery.com/p958993011#h6920324c

    You can download the full resolution versions of all the images, take a look at the out of focus areas. The S 100 is a well sorted lens (all the S lenses, its what makes the S system so appealing to me) IMO (wide open its sharp enough for portraits, well controlled lateral CA and LoCA and pleasing background blur, stopped down its then stunning for landscapes).
    Thank you very much for your time and comments! Beautiful images from both Leica S and Pentax 645z in skillful hands.

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