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Thread: Leica S2 side-by-side with D3x and 645AFD

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    Leica S2 side-by-side with D3x and 645AFD

    I just updated my blog with photos and measurements from yesterday when I had an S2 mockup in our store.

    David Farkas Photography Blog

    I have side-by-side photos of the S2 and Nikon D3x, S2 and Mamiya 645 AFD, as well as some comparisons of S lenses to Hasselblad HC lenses.

    I hope this settles some of the confusion on the size of the S2.

    David
    David Farkas
    Leica Store Miami

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    Re: Leica S2 side-by-side with D3x and 645AFD

    Your also not using the latest D lenses made by Mamiya which are much different than the old 80mm for example.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Leica S2 side-by-side with D3x and 645AFD

    What's really striking to me is the side by side of the back of the D3X and the S2. The D3X has TWENTY visible controls, the S2 has SIX. Go Leica!

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    Re: Leica S2 side-by-side with D3x and 645AFD

    Quote Originally Posted by dfarkas View Post
    I just updated my blog with photos and measurements from yesterday when I had an S2 mockup in our store.

    David Farkas Photography Blog

    I have side-by-side photos of the S2 and Nikon D3x, S2 and Mamiya 645 AFD, as well as some comparisons of S lenses to Hasselblad HC lenses.

    I hope this settles some of the confusion on the size of the S2.

    David
    David

    thanks for going to the trouble to help us all understand more about the size of the S2 and some of its lenses, particularly compared to what most of us have been using (i.e. Hassy HC and Mamiya/Phase).

    I was very taken by how much smaller the S2 is compared to the D2X. Not that it is a comparable market one being MFDB and the other a conventional 24x36mm size, but it is useful to see the difference since many if not most of us are familiar with Nikon D3 series bodies.

    So again, thanks for taking the time and effort to educate us. It is appreciated. Now please find a source of unlimited funding so I can actually get one LOL

    Woody

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    Re: Leica S2 side-by-side with D3x and 645AFD

    Quote Originally Posted by bradhusick View Post
    What's really striking to me is the side by side of the back of the D3X and the S2. The D3X has TWENTY visible controls, the S2 has SIX. Go Leica!
    In all fairness Brad, Leica will be adding an AF-ON/AF-Lock button on the back. So, seven total.

    David
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    Re: Leica S2 side-by-side with D3x and 645AFD

    ....and, there is still the aux battery to tack onto the bottom, which will make the body a bit taller. BTW, has anybody seen one of those yet?

    LJ

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    Re: Leica S2 side-by-side with D3x and 645AFD

    Thanks David for an interesting side by side comparison. I have (potentially) much more interest in the S2 system - than any further expansion of the megapixel warfare route by MFD manufacturers. In fact I will probably sell a higher megapoixel back and buy a used Sinar 54H multishot.

    looking forward to the relaease an dreal world testing by others before deciding.

    pete

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    Re: Leica S2 side-by-side with D3x and 645AFD

    Any update on delivery or pricing yet?

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    Re: Leica S2 side-by-side with D3x and 645AFD

    Have a heart, David. We haven't yet completed my deal for the M8.2 and now you post this on the heels of our phone conversation.

    Yes, I could write the check for the S2 and a lens or two at the tentative price you mentioned, but only if you will take me in as a house guest. My wife would definitely give birth to a pig as that is all she would think that I could sire.
    Roger
    Leica M6, M8.2 & assorted Leica glass

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    Re: Leica S2 side-by-side with D3x and 645AFD

    Great and very useful comparison David!

    I am very much interested in the S System by its technical background, which looks really useful and just the right mix for high end MF photography. What I am still scared is the future of Leica's support and follow up - in general and also and most importantly for the professional S System.

    The clean outline of the body and its controls is really appealing, although the D3X is the worst example of controls on a DLR body, e.g. the Canon 1DsMK3 is much better in this respect in my opinion, but also not as clean as the S2!

    I could see a S2 plus 3 or 4 lenses as exactly what I need for my landscape work. And if this system holds up to my expectations and they also bring some nice tele zoom in the future, it could become my only DSLR system - just dreaming

    We will know more in autumn 2009.

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    Re: Leica S2 side-by-side with D3x and 645AFD

    but Autumn of 2009 is so so far away
    J/K
    David thank you for posting these.
    The HC 120 Mac as good as it is... is a bit of a beast.
    am

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    Re: Leica S2 side-by-side with D3x and 645AFD

    Interesting, I have to say that I really prefer having manual switches and buttons with direct access instead having to browse through menus.
    I find the user interface of the D3(x)easiy to understand and very quick.
    Maybe it is not as pretty.

    I have allways liked a button for iso, and one for metering, I like the AF-activation button separated from the shutter-release all the time, I like quick acces to choose where the camera focuses, etc. etc.

    I think we must not forget than the M8 - which simplicity I also like a lot - doesnt have AF and doesnt have various metering systems, and does have manuel aparture control, and doesnt need any functions like mirror up etc etc.
    So in this case I think it works ok without many buttons.
    The simplicity is cause more by not having that many functions IMO, not that much depending on the number of buttons.

    But the S2 will have many of those functions. Even if there is quick acces through menue buttons you have to remember which button will do what-or go through the display.

    I find the S2 a great concept, I like simplicity, but I hope they will not "overdo" this aspect.
    The other thing is I am just still afraid that the S2 doesnt make sense for Leica in a financial way. I just dont see the market big enough plus the price battle going on plus Leica has to develop all from scratch.
    I just hope for them it turns out to work anyways.

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    Re: Leica S2 side-by-side with D3x and 645AFD

    I'd agree with t_streng re buttons. Leica seems to prioritize form over function in this design.

    As a parallel, it's no coincidence an F1 race car steering wheel doesn't have a touch screen. The interface has been honed over time to be what a pro tool needs to be. You learn and then it becomes second nature, you never have to look at the controls. The same can be said for D3 (or 1D) controls.

    Another thought: Leica seems to have worked hard to make the body small (seems almost exactly like a D700). However with huge and heavy lenses the compact slick body is a bit of a wasted effort. You can almost tell that the camera designers and lens designers received different instructions - the body has to feel like a DSLR (which in itself is a design compromise), whereas the lens designs must have no compromises, leading to large and heavy glass.
    Last edited by Lars; 18th May 2009 at 00:24.
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    Re: Leica S2 side-by-side with D3x and 645AFD

    Sorry to put too fine a point on it, but it's sort of like the Apple mouse. Simplicity is great, but specific "go to" tools are needed as well. (I love Macs, am a APPL stockholder, but HATE the Apple mouse – including all recent iterations.) For me, the D3(x) offers a bit too much WRT surface-level controls, but the S-2 may end up being a bit too simple if one has to scroll through menus too often.

    I'm at a loss as to why the manufacturers don't include more than one or two user-definable buttons. Some love buttons, some love menus... well, user-definable buttons is nothing more than a menu controlled button. It's a a firmware directive, not rocket science. The "ancient" Mamiya AFD II has like a billion custom functions that the user sets. I would think that Nikon, Canon and Leica could learn a bit and give us (the user) a bit of control.

    Yeah, like our views matter. ( ) Note the MLU button on my Canons. (Sorry. It's late and I needed a Canon MLU button rant and this is the closest I could find.)

    Thanks, David, for this post.

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    Re: Leica S2 side-by-side with D3x and 645AFD

    The S2 has at least 4 user-programmable buttons, the 4 button around the screen. If you hold them instead of just clicking them, you get the custom function. The AF-hold button may also be programmable for other functions, I don't know yet.
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: Leica S2 side-by-side with D3x and 645AFD

    Well, whether it's any good or not is one thing, but I think it looks wonderful, and like an ergonomic dream. Of course, the way things 'look' and the way they 'are' is not the same thing at all.

    In comparison the D3x looks like it was designed by a group of committees each with different axes to grind.

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    Senior Member Graham Mitchell's Avatar
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    Re: Leica S2 side-by-side with D3x and 645AFD

    It looked great right from the first announcement. I don't think anyone has anything bad to say about this new platform yet, except for the price

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    Re: Leica S2 side-by-side with D3x and 645AFD

    I wonder if you asked a D3 user if he could get buttons "deleted" from his body which ones and how many he would choose.
    The S2 looks prettier - no question here.
    HOwever most important for me is feel and the product to be intuitive. (I am not saying the S2 wont be intuitive)
    Sometimes you come into a kitchen and you know where to find things without having been there. And the you come to other kitches and you are just searching and searching.
    I am not such a big fan of too many programmable buttons because I can hardly remember which button would be for which function. So I rather have deducated buttons and only 1 or 2 programmable ones.
    But maybe I can join the "pimp up my S2" program

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    Re: Leica S2 side-by-side with D3x and 645AFD

    We must not forget that we are getting used to things, even to disadvantages or design-curiosities - both, Leica and Nikon-users.

    When I finally decided to invest into photography again 13 years ago and buy a "proper" camera (instead of my Pentax) I considered Canon, Nikon (F5), Contax AX and Leica R8.
    It was the first time I handled another SLR for decades, I wasn't used to any of the systems and I was shocked by the buttons, complexity of the japanese brands while the R8 felt organic, designed from the ground up (instead of adding additional buttons with every generation). Maybe it's just me (I'm German, so I share the design-mentality of a German-design-approach) but just look at the switch for the exposure method. In the R8 it was perfectly integrated underneath the time wheel - where is it on the F5 (or D3x)? At the side of the prism, who came up with this idea? Just because there was space left?

    I would love to hear how a Japanese feels about that, maybe it's the opposite?

    The S2 is menu-based, the buttons are "case-sensitive" or programmable. YOU choose which buttons you always need and program them - the primary controls are clean and intuitive - the camera feels "organic".

    One question, because I didn't had the time on Photokina:
    How do you move a zoomed image on the display when you don't have buttons for up/down/left/right? Diagonally with the four buttons surrounding the display?

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    Re: Leica S2 side-by-side with D3x and 645AFD

    I agree in how we get used to things and also in personal preferences.
    In case of the R9 I really didnt like the exp-comp lever. I also didnt like that much the position of the time wheel. (I prefered the way it was placed in the R6-body-generation with the larger wheel around he shutter release button)Again, I am not trying to say one is better than the other, I just can speek for myself and I personally was surprized how many here complain about the Nikon user interface while I really like it.
    There are other cameras with many buttons where I get confused (for example the G1 of my wife) but not in the case of Nikon.
    And I allways thought that I liked the R9-DMR more because of the lenses and not so much because of the user interface.
    But I guess that has not much to do with the S2. I had the S2 in my hand only once and it felt pretty good.

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    Re: Leica S2 side-by-side with D3x and 645AFD

    Quote Originally Posted by georgl View Post
    ...just look at the switch for the exposure method. In the R8 it was perfectly integrated underneath the time wheel - where is it on the F5 (or D3x)? At the side of the prism, who came up with this idea? Just because there was space left?
    ...
    The F5 (and earlier F series) had replaceable finders. The matrix metering technology was inside the finder, so from that standpoint it made sense from an engineering design perspective. Other F5 finders have other kinds of metering and lack this button.

    This design stuck because people liked it. the switch is highly tactile - you can feel with your finger what metering you have set, no need to use eyes. The location of the metering mode switch makes it easy to reach, while at the same time being out of the way. In fact it's a great example of good industrial design where form follows function.
    Last edited by Lars; 18th May 2009 at 04:54.
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    Re: Leica S2 side-by-side with D3x and 645AFD

    Quote Originally Posted by georgl View Post
    The S2 is menu-based, the buttons are "case-sensitive" or programmable. YOU choose which buttons you always need and program them - the primary controls are clean and intuitive - the camera feels "organic".
    While that sounds great, an interface that is based on a display for determining the function of a button does require a two-way communication - the user needs to look at the device to control it. This works for some kinds of devices but it's not a good idea for a camera where the photographer needs to look through the viewfinder, or a car where the driver needs to keep eyes on the road.
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    Re: Leica S2 side-by-side with D3x and 645AFD

    Quote Originally Posted by Lars Vinberg View Post
    While that sounds great, an interface that is based on a display for determining the function of a button does require a two-way communication - the user needs to look at the device to control it. This works for some kinds of devices but it's not a good idea for a camera where the photographer needs to look through the viewfinder, or a car where the driver needs to keep eyes on the road.
    Not as long as you remember how you've programmed it!
    The buttons on the D3x have labels too - you don't have to look at them if you know where they are!

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    Re: Leica S2 side-by-side with D3x and 645AFD

    Tend to agree with Jono on this. I instinctively know which buttons I need to press on my 1-series cameras while still looking through the viewfinder....even the odd multihand ISO changes. Once you know where things are and what directions to move things, it gets pretty easy.....but it will be a retraining process. The simplicity of the S2 controls appears nice, and I imagine, with careful programming of buttons, one will be able to make changes on the fly without looking away from the finder, but that remains to be seen.

    LJ

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    Re: Leica S2 side-by-side with D3x and 645AFD

    When I played with the S2 it was confusing how the buttons where set up but that also was me being used to the Phase backs being different. Also not final firmware either. Be nice and not sure that you can program the 4 buttons they way you like.
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    Re: Leica S2 side-by-side with D3x and 645AFD

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Not as long as you remember how you've programmed it!
    The buttons on the D3x have labels too - you don't have to look at them if you know where they are!
    Sure. But with only four buttons and a need for controlling a dozen or so parameters you'll need a menu system anyway. I'd say it would be OK on a MF camera but AF adds complexity.
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    Re: Leica S2 side-by-side with D3x and 645AFD

    One question i have about the S2 is related to size and hand holding.

    I wonder just how 'easy' it will be to get hand held seriously sharp in focus shots?

    you have 40 megapixels AND heavy ( relatively slow by fast 35mm standards ) lenses hanging off an slr body..

    thats a lot of resolving power with no anti-shake or image stabilisation technology either..

    I cant shoot a 1dsmk11 hand held at low shutter speeds with only 16 megapixels and get seriously sharp pics ...

    then I am thinking - hmm but leica make beautiful wide angle lenses - then I say to myself - what better than my Schneiders? Easier to hand hold at really low shutter speeds than on an Alpa? - no way...

    nope.

    then I ask myself what about tele? and I look at lens range and see hmm no tele and good luck if you think you can hold 40 megapixels in anything except really really FAT light - bye bye landscape work and anyway high end landscape stuff is now teh Phase One p65+ a LOT more resolution again

    so if it s a tripod camera..hmm what do I get exactly?

    if it is a studio camera - what does it give me that any existing MFD back doesn't..

    So many difficult to answer questions..

    Maybe there is a niche there for an SLR body and Leica lenses with 40 megapixels. It isnt wide angle shooting and it isnt tele shooting and it wont be hand held ex studio lights shooting either...

    Still - I want one - just because...

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    Re: Leica S2 side-by-side with D3x and 645AFD

    Still - I want one - just because...

    Gear slut comes to mind
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    Re: Leica S2 side-by-side with D3x and 645AFD

    Hi,

    I wonder why people are not complaining about the position (and functions) of the exposure wheel located at the very top of the camera. I somehow prefer two small wheels for aperture and exposure, one located close to the right thumb and the other close to the shutter.
    I see that might not be an issue with Aperture Priority but then how would I do
    exposure compensation (in say 1/3 or 1/2 meter steps) ?
    Somehow I'm not sure this device is for me, it looks slick but seems to lack some of
    the usability features modern AF cameras have today, hope I'm proven wrong here and
    the Leica designers made their homework.

    Just my 2 cents,
    Ralf

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    Re: Leica S2 side-by-side with D3x and 645AFD

    Peter,
    I wrestle with some of the same sorts of questions. In my thinking, the S2 is not a direct replacement for a fast DSLR, and I am not sure I would really want to use it that way. With 38MP sized files, fast action does not seem to be its calling, just as it is not with any MFDB today. Leica originally, and still targets the S2 to studio, portrait, fashion, wedding and a few other shooters, from what they have said. Does not mean it cannot work as a landscape camera, but for most of that, folks would be using a tripod anyway, so no change. The lens line-up underscores its "niche" of sorts, but it does look like it will cover the needs of that target group of shooters for the most part.

    The slightly smaller than MF sensor means a smaller mirror box also, so mirror slap should be less than other MF systems, thus reducing some vibration issues. The lenses may look heavy, but are they really that heavy for their design? Not hearing much feedback from folks that have handled them on whether they really are heavy glass or just look heavy in the images.

    I agree that it will probably not be the speedy shooter that some DSLRs are today, but I really do not think sharp images will be too much a problem with it hand held either. I really have no way of knowing for sure yet....just my thoughts. I really do not see the S2 as a "tripod" camera. I see it as a more nimble DSLR-like rig that may produce superb MF images....but that is partly my hope for it also ;-)

    LJ

  31. #31
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    Re: Leica S2 side-by-side with D3x and 645AFD

    Boy what a tough crowd!

    Here's a chance at getting a brand new and MODERN MF system designed from ground up and by Leica no less, yet there are already complaints about lack of buttons before its even out. I don't know what you guys do with your cameras for a shoot outside of WB, ISO, and sometimes Quality/Size or a useless Profile selection with MFDBs that you need more than 4 buttons? On playback surely 4 buttons can easily take care of zooming and histo views.

    Leica be warned, you wont be able to get anything past this crowd here!

  32. #32
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    Re: Leica S2 side-by-side with D3x and 645AFD

    The S2 is not a light camera. If we can handhold our Mamiyas and Hy6 and AFI and Hassy etc why should it not be possible with the S2 system?
    Compared to the Alpa you would gain the ability to compose in the viewfinder and to precisly focus.
    I think the S2 is not a "breaking news" system in one area but more like small improvements in various ways:
    -a little bit smaller
    -a little bit better lenses
    -leaf shutter and focal plane shutter
    -a little bit more compfortable in hand (?)
    -a little bit faster
    -weather proof
    - a little bit more expensive

    So maybe its the combination of all the slight (eventual) advantages which makes it interesting

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    One question i have about the S2 is related to size and hand holding.

    I wonder just how 'easy' it will be to get hand held seriously sharp in focus shots?

    you have 40 megapixels AND heavy ( relatively slow by fast 35mm standards ) lenses hanging off an slr body..

    thats a lot of resolving power with no anti-shake or image stabilisation technology either..

    I cant shoot a 1dsmk11 hand held at low shutter speeds with only 16 megapixels and get seriously sharp pics ...

    then I am thinking - hmm but leica make beautiful wide angle lenses - then I say to myself - what better than my Schneiders? Easier to hand hold at really low shutter speeds than on an Alpa? - no way...

    nope.

    then I ask myself what about tele? and I look at lens range and see hmm no tele and good luck if you think you can hold 40 megapixels in anything except really really FAT light - bye bye landscape work and anyway high end landscape stuff is now teh Phase One p65+ a LOT more resolution again

    so if it s a tripod camera..hmm what do I get exactly?

    if it is a studio camera - what does it give me that any existing MFD back doesn't..

    So many difficult to answer questions..

    Maybe there is a niche there for an SLR body and Leica lenses with 40 megapixels. It isnt wide angle shooting and it isnt tele shooting and it wont be hand held ex studio lights shooting either...

    Still - I want one - just because...

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    Re: Leica S2 side-by-side with D3x and 645AFD

    Folks,

    all these discussions about IS, too many MP or too less MP, too heavy or not ....

    I am shooting since almost 40 years now, since the beginning with all different types of DSLRs (Nikon, Canon, Leica, Olympus) with stabilized and non-stabilized lenses, and I almost never had problems of getting unsharp pictures without IS.

    IS helps, weight helps, less vibrations from mirror and shutter help, but as I said I actually do not know these problems. Once I run into such a problem it is usually my own fault and I did the mistake in too long exposure time for the lens or not using a tripod in the right way etc....

    Have used Hasselblad V system, Contax 645 and Rollei 6006 and also never had these issues even when handheld. I even used Hasselblad SWC wide angle camera for shooting out of a heavy motorized helicopter and did not have issues with sharpness etc.

    I think we are overhyping here. I know I can make sharp handheld pictures with a Phase camera and a P45+ or a P65+ back, I was using this equipment first time and did NOT need a tripod. Of course I would take a tripod if I did landscapes etc, but all in the respective area of use.

    So I think - and knowing Leica - I am almost sure that they have done their homework and built a beautifully quiet and vibration free camera, which can be nicely held to achieve sharp results under a large number of conditions. I would not go as far as using this camera predominantly for available light work of course, but in most situations, where you can do good work as an average good photographer you should be able to do even better with the S2.

    As I said, I fear this system will have other issues - like support and quality of the product from the beginning, but I do not doubt even a little bit about the great technical concept. Realization of this concept is the big question mark.

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    Re: Leica S2 side-by-side with D3x and 645AFD

    You program one or two of the buttons of the S2 to control ISO, then you have direct access to every important function.

    Only half of the buttons of the Nikon are reacheable with the eye on the viewfinder, various positions/shapes of buttons spread all around the body. Why is there a switch with three different positions (C/S/M) on the front, you have to turn the camera around to see the switch! Ok, so the metering switch was positioned on the prism because of technical restrictions but they don't use changeable viewfinders anymore, but the switch stayed on it's position - because people got used to it.
    That's what I like about the S2: it started on a blank paper, I'm sure people who got used to the quite different concepts of Nikon/Canon will need some time with the S2, but in the end it's better to leave traditionalism behind.

    You have basic functions you'll always need but some functions are rarely needed and I don't think you can justify an extra button/switch for every of those functions, because they're just too many in the end and have to be positioned somewhere, even in unergonomic locations. The S2 puts those rarely used functions in the menus - I'm fine with that.

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    Re: Leica S2 side-by-side with D3x and 645AFD

    I don't plan to replace my Canon / long IS lenses with the S2.

    That's what I am waiting for the R10 system to do. And no, I don't know anything more about it than the rest of you do.

    Brad

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    Re: Leica S2 side-by-side with D3x and 645AFD

    Quote Originally Posted by Lars Vinberg View Post
    Sure. But with only four buttons and a need for controlling a dozen or so parameters you'll need a menu system anyway. I'd say it would be OK on a MF camera but AF adds complexity.
    Do you really modify a "dozen or so parameters" during a shoot? There is no need to move everything to a button, just those things you want to change while pressed for time, i.e. while shooting. The camera can be comfortably set up with most of the parameters before the shooting gets going.

    Or do you somehow use your camera differently?

    IMO, one of the things Canon and Nikon get wrong is to move so much onto buttons, whether it is relevant for a shoot or just for general setup. The interfaces are incredibly cluttered. Who switches between spot and matrix metering during a shoot? Similarly with locking photos (one dedicated button on the D3x!), recording an audio message for a photo, changing JPG quality, deleting images, and so on. There are many functions on cameras like the 1Ds3 and D3x which would be very well handled by soft-buttons with programmable or context-sensitive buttons.

    The S2 is very minimal, true, but it remains to be seen if that really impacts real-world workflow. One would need to use it in anger before really knowing.
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    Re: Leica S2 side-by-side with D3x and 645AFD

    WRT buttons and individual controls:

    I would love a few buttons which can be individually programmed, which is in case of the Phase backs as well as the S2 how it seems to work.

    I HATE all the knobs and buttons on the D3 series from Nikon - one of the reasons why I am finally selling this system. They did not learn, they are just repeating and making the whole Pro concept pretty ugly every time they come with a new body

    I like much more what Canon does (did) with their 1DsMkxyz series and they also align this nicely over their complete DSLR range.

    I think that Leica is doing pretty right in this direction. There might also be some more changes in the future, there might be a S2v2 which could get additional controls, or they might just change the functionality via firmware.

    So I think such a concept is something slowly evolving over the years and hopefully improving. BUT the right starting point needs to be there from the beginning, which seems to be the case with the S2.

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    Re: Leica S2 side-by-side with D3x and 645AFD

    Carsten,
    I think for the more casual shooter or the pros that do mostly one thing, your comments about setting things up beforehand works very well. However, if you ever have to do a lot of photojournalist style shooting (even weddings now), you are moving from good to marginal to horrid lighting very quickly, so things can change dramatically. And PJs and sports shooters themselves have very differing demands. Sometimes they need to get a small JPEG out right NOW for broadcast. (I watched the Preakness this weekend, and at the news break just after the race, there were a couple of shots of the philly winning being displayed. That takes immediate download via WiFi and similarly near instant upload to the wire services. No time for processing, or even resizing. Sending a small JPEG to one service while planning a larger JPEG of the next shot to another service and still collecting the RAW shots for later magazine publications is pretty normal nowadays.)

    Besides, the Nikons and Canons are selling to a much, much larger base of users, so familiarity and demand is probably much broader than what is normally seen is MF, with respect to controls and operation. Not saying one is better or worse than the other, but the user bases for the gear may be dramatically different. Buttons are good for folks that may not have a lot of familiarity with menus and programable stuff. Less buttons is sleek, but it does require a bit more investment in learning the camera system, and as we all know, lots of folks never read the manual ;-)

    Personally, I know I can get used to whatever I need to use. I might complain and curse a few times early on, but it all becomes second nature rather quickly. The more you use it, the more familiar and easy it becomes, regardless of the set-up.

    LJ

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    Re: Leica S2 side-by-side with D3x and 645AFD

    Well, seems there are really different approaches and different taste.
    I still believe that I am faster with direct access to important functions. But I guess the S2 is also not planned to be a sportsshooter or reporter kind of camera.
    As long as we dont have to go into the menue to release the shutter I am fine

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    Re: Leica S2 side-by-side with D3x and 645AFD

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    Do you really modify a "dozen or so parameters" during a shoot? There is no need to move everything to a button, just those things you want to change while pressed for time, i.e. while shooting. The camera can be comfortably set up with most of the parameters before the shooting gets going.

    Or do you somehow use your camera differently?

    IMO, one of the things Canon and Nikon get wrong is to move so much onto buttons, whether it is relevant for a shoot or just for general setup. The interfaces are incredibly cluttered. Who switches between spot and matrix metering during a shoot? Similarly with locking photos (one dedicated button on the D3x!), recording an audio message for a photo, changing JPG quality, deleting images, and so on. There are many functions on cameras like the 1Ds3 and D3x which would be very well handled by soft-buttons with programmable or context-sensitive buttons.

    The S2 is very minimal, true, but it remains to be seen if that really impacts real-world workflow. One would need to use it in anger before really knowing.
    Let's see...
    AF servo S/C/M
    Eposure mode (A and M)
    Flash compensation
    Compensation
    Metering type
    Exposure lock
    Bracketing on/off
    ISO setting
    Output Quality/Size/Type
    DOF preview
    AF on

    Review
    Lock image
    Delete image
    zoom & pan image

    That'a about 15-18 buttons right there depending on how you count.

    Changing metering between spot and matrix is crucial to understanding the dynamic range of a scene, To see where the highlights are WRT exposure. I use it all the time.

    The lock button is a must, I almost couldn't live without it. The way I use it is as soon as I review images I lock the good ones, then every now and then do a delete all, which keeps the locked ones. This means I can tag keepers with one button press as soon as I take the viewfinder from my eye. If I had to use two buttons to lock an image then that would break the flow, making it cumbersome. If I had to assign one out of four soft buttons to "Lock Image" then what function would I lose as a tradeoff?

    There are several buttons on the Nikons that are programmable or context-sensitive.

    We all have our ways. If you judge the world around you by using yourself as reference then everyone else is an idiot. A discussion around product design cannot be based on your own needs and preferences only.

    In the end, the reason Nikon and Canon designs are good is that they are proven over time, with tens of thousands of working pros. You might not like them, but you'd be in a minority. Leica S2 is at this point as far as we know between design study and production, but not even version one of a shpping product.
    Monochrome: http://mochro.com

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    Re: Leica S2 side-by-side with D3x and 645AFD

    Quote Originally Posted by t_streng View Post
    Well, seems there are really different approaches and different taste.
    I still believe that I am faster with direct access to important functions. But I guess the S2 is also not planned to be a sportsshooter or reporter kind of camera.
    As long as we dont have to go into the menue to release the shutter I am fine
    Re direct access, here's an extreme example of "Form follows function": It's not pretty but nonetheless a design masterpiece.

    Monochrome: http://mochro.com

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    Re: Leica S2 side-by-side with D3x and 645AFD

    "...Changing metering between spot and matrix is crucial..."

    Ok, so please show us a picture of sombody just watching through the viewfinder, holding the camera and changing metering... I just want to see the ergonomic gymnastics necessary to reach the switch on the prism ;-)

    A digital camera operates in at least two very different modes: "record" and "play" - my M8 has already six buttons surrounding the display which are useless during "record"-mode (just like N/C) - "soft"-buttons like those on the S2 make much more sense to me because they can be used with a different context in "record"-mode.

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    Re: Leica S2 side-by-side with D3x and 645AFD

    Quote Originally Posted by georgl View Post
    "...Changing metering between spot and matrix is crucial..."

    Ok, so please show us a picture of sombody just watching through the viewfinder, holding the camera and changing metering... I just want to see the ergonomic gymnastics necessary to reach the switch on the prism ;-)

    A digital camera operates in at least two very different modes: "record" and "play" - my M8 has already six buttons surrounding the display which are useless during "record"-mode (just like N/C) - "soft"-buttons like those on the S2 make much more sense to me because they can be used with a different context in "record"-mode.
    This is getting ridiculous... On the D700, place your thumb on the metering mode wheel and turn. On D3, use your index finger. Duh.
    Monochrome: http://mochro.com

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    Re: Leica S2 side-by-side with D3x and 645AFD

    Isn't the switch on the prism the only way to change metering modes or are we talking about two different things?

    I handled it on Photokina and was unable to reach this switch while holding the camera for shooting - that's what I instantly noticed in comparison to my R8.
    Last edited by georgl; 18th May 2009 at 11:58.

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    Re: Leica S2 side-by-side with D3x and 645AFD

    If you really use 15-18 buttons during the average shoot, I would guess that you are rather unusual. Some of the buttons you listed are every-day buttons, others are surely once-a-month buttons. I don't want to go point-by-point with you, although I disagree with the need for some of those, because needs and preferences are different.

    Suffice it to say that your statement that "Nikon and Canon designs are good" is also a personal statement. I, and at least some others here, don't agree with that. I much prefer a minimal camera, much like the DMR was, and find the typical Nikon/Canon/Sony incredibly cluttered, to the point where it interferes with my vision. I keep a clearer head, I know what I am changing much more on a DMR or my Contax 645 than on something like my 5D (which I sold; didn't like it).

    Horses for courses. The S2 is not meant to be a photo-journalist tool, nor a sports-shooter's tool. Removing those two from the list of requirements changes the needs a lot. The popularity of the Contax 645 among studio pros tell me that the S2 will do just fine.
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: Leica S2 side-by-side with D3x and 645AFD

    Quote Originally Posted by Lars Vinberg View Post
    Re direct access, here's an extreme example of "Form follows function": It's not pretty but nonetheless a design masterpiece.

    And here is my preferred steering wheel:



    There is a trend here I think the first wheel goes for ultra-high-tech, squeezing out every last little bit of performance with few other concerns. The second one has much more to do with the enjoyment of the process, and the quality of the experience, possibly at the cost of some ultimate performance.
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: Leica S2 side-by-side with D3x and 645AFD

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    There is a trend here I think the first wheel goes for ultra-high-tech, squeezing out every last little bit of performance with few other concerns. The second one has much more to do with the enjoyment of the process, and the quality of the experience, possibly at the cost of some ultimate performance.
    Excellent Carsten
    I think the issue might be that Lars uses his kit a lot more than I do.
    I'm sure the Renault steering wheel is great - and, like the D3, having got it all figured it's really quick to do things. My problem is that if I don't need something for 3 weeks I've forgotten how to do it (of course, that could just be my problem).

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Leica S2 side-by-side with D3x and 645AFD

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    One question i have about the S2 is related to size and hand holding.

    I wonder just how 'easy' it will be to get hand held seriously sharp in focus shots?

    you have 40 megapixels AND heavy ( relatively slow by fast 35mm standards ) lenses hanging off an slr body..

    thats a lot of resolving power with no anti-shake or image stabilisation technology either..

    I cant shoot a 1dsmk11 hand held at low shutter speeds with only 16 megapixels and get seriously sharp pics ...

    then I am thinking - hmm but leica make beautiful wide angle lenses - then I say to myself - what better than my Schneiders? Easier to hand hold at really low shutter speeds than on an Alpa? - no way...

    nope.

    then I ask myself what about tele? and I look at lens range and see hmm no tele and good luck if you think you can hold 40 megapixels in anything except really really FAT light - bye bye landscape work and anyway high end landscape stuff is now teh Phase One p65+ a LOT more resolution again

    so if it s a tripod camera..hmm what do I get exactly?

    if it is a studio camera - what does it give me that any existing MFD back doesn't..

    So many difficult to answer questions..

    Maybe there is a niche there for an SLR body and Leica lenses with 40 megapixels. It isnt wide angle shooting and it isnt tele shooting and it wont be hand held ex studio lights shooting either...

    Still - I want one - just because...
    Hey Peter

    You say no Tele but what about the 200 2.0 and the 400 2.8 or the 200-400 4.0 or the 500 4.0. Super expensive but surely these lenses are no slouches and reports compare the 200 2.0 to the wonderful Leica 180 2.0 which I owned and loved. I can't afford any of these beasties but I don't think they are at all anything but A class lenses. JMHO

    Woody

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    Re: Leica S2 side-by-side with D3x and 645AFD

    I think the S2 can not be compared with either the M or R series.
    The upper 2 have manual focus and just a lot less functions. Therefore it works better to get along with few buttons and still have easy menus.
    I find it much easier to remember and immendiatly understand 90% of the buttons, but I have more problems remembering custom funtions etc. in the menue.

  50. #50
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    Re: Leica S2 side-by-side with D3x and 645AFD

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    And here is my preferred steering wheel:



    There is a trend here I think the first wheel goes for ultra-high-tech, squeezing out every last little bit of performance with few other concerns. The second one has much more to do with the enjoyment of the process, and the quality of the experience, possibly at the cost of some ultimate performance.
    And the third wheel is the interface between girl and horse:
    Last edited by tetsrfun; 1st August 2010 at 18:31.

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