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Thread: Leica S2 Pricing

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    Leica S2 Pricing

    SO...
    If your interested in the S2 I'm wondering what's the most your willing to pay for it.
    The recent event at Fotocare in NYC had me thinking, one of my friends who attended the event said basically the most asked question was "how much?"
    I'm a working commercial photographer, rent DB's a lot, but my work horse is a Canon 1Ds3.
    So here we go, the most I'm willing to pay is $15,000.00 USD ($12k would be a sale) and yes it's probably way too low, but I'm being honest; anything more and as nice as it maybe, My wallet is not interested.
    So what's your line in the sand?
    remember this is all personal opinion, so nobody is wrong.
    (PS this is one of the friendliest forums, so I'm looking forward to a good conversation.)
    Thank you for your thoughts in advance.
    am

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    Re: Leica S2 Pricing

    Hi am
    Wouldn't it all depend on how good it is?

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Leica S2 Pricing

    Hi Jono how are you?
    yes your right, so this is assuming that it's as fab as Leica makes it sound.
    I for one think it will produce images on par with current new MF DB.
    Think of this more as a "feeler" for what people would want to spend on the new system.
    so what's your price? if it was all to your liking???
    am

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    Re: Leica S2 Pricing

    Regardless of whether we are willing to pay it, Stefan Daniel, product manager for Leica cameras, has leaked that the likely price will be around 20,000 Euros. If you look at past history the price in Euros (which I believe includes VAT) for the European market has led to equivalent pricing in dollars for the U S Market. In other words expect the body to weigh in at about $20,000. Just my humble opinion based on reading the tea leaves.........no data here

    Woody

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    Re: Leica S2 Pricing

    Herr Doktor Kaufmann said they were hoping for a price less than €15k. Where did Stefan Daniel say €20k?
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: Leica S2 Pricing

    Woody
    but this wasn't about how much are we guessing leica is going to price it at..
    this is about at what price are you going to be saying "I'm going down to buy me a S2 today"
    ?
    am
    PS your probably right about the numbers!

  7. #7
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    Re: Leica S2 Pricing

    I went to Fotocare too yesterday and there still was no working camera and only two out of the 4 lenses were real, of course those two aren't the ones that I'm interested in. There's another issue here that the S2 has no dedicated raw processor at this point and adobe is the only one around, by default, that might support it. Yes, S2 produces DNG files but we all know the difference between files from a dedicated processor and generic PS files. I'm pretty sure that the Leica lenses are going to be first class but then again so is my Contax and Hassy glass; the Leicas have to be substantially better in really obvious and important ways to tempt me to switch. My only reservation is the feel of manual focusing with them, they're just as imprecise as the current run of af dslr lenses.

    There are parameters that are important to me, like shooting speed and higher iso performance, neither of which seems to be setting any new standards as of now.I have/had? more than a passing interest in the S2, actually I am/was? quite keen on the camera but as Jono said, it all depends on how good it is!

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    Re: Leica S2 Pricing

    I don't know why they still show early prototypes, as far as I know, 50 preproduction-models exist since months!?

    "There are parameters that are important to me, like shooting speed and higher iso performance, neither of which seems to be setting any new standards as of now"

    It's nearly twice as fast as DSP-based MF-systems (I hate the slow processing of my DSP-based M8) and it's the only system with the newest CCD-generation AND microlenses (and the lenses are faster, too).

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    Re: Leica S2 Pricing

    Quote Originally Posted by georgl View Post
    I don't know why they still show early prototypes, as far as I know, 50 preproduction-models exist since months!?

    "There are parameters that are important to me, like shooting speed and higher iso performance, neither of which seems to be setting any new standards as of now"

    It's nearly twice as fast as DSP-based MF-systems (I hate the slow processing of my DSP-based M8) and it's the only system with the newest CCD-generation AND microlenses (and the lenses are faster, too).
    I was told that shooting speed is 1 per 1.5 seconds, both the Leaf and new P40+ have that beat. The lenses are a bit faster but I rarely use my lenses wide open right now.

    I was also surprised that they didn't have a working prototype yesterday, specially this late in the game...

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    Re: Leica S2 Pricing

    David, have you seen the article here:

    http://www.pdngearguide.com/gearguid...d4ff2bceb?pn=1

    I think you missed something while there. There were 2 bodies, one of which was an early PMA prototype, but the other one was a working, recent pre-production model.
    Carsten - Website

  11. #11
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    Re: Leica S2 Pricing

    There were two bodies, one was a non-working mockup like the 35mm and 120mm lenses. The other one AF'd and you could see images on the LCD but didn't record to card, or so I was told by the Leica person.

    They had a semi-functional camera like this one at PhotoPlus last October, I remember that AF worked and you could fire off shots but I don't recall if you could see any images on the LCD or not.

    This statement in the review is distinctly different to the information that I was given:

    "The S2 on display at fotocare was one of three S2 pre-production models sent out from Leica's headquarters in Germany for product demos."

    I was told that the working S2 is only a barely functional unit and Leica was adamant to release any preproduction units until all firmware and hardware were finalized.

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    Re: Leica S2 Pricing

    Back to the question by the OP.....assuming everything hits the marks on performance and function with the S2, what is the trigger point that one would buy? Well, personally, I would be ready to jump in for about $12-14K.....including the body and the 70mm f2.5 lens. The only other thing might hold me back would be stratospheric lens prices beyond the 70mm. If every other piece of glass might cost $4K or more, that would certainly dampen my enthusiasm for buying into the system, even if it delivered as it is being marketed. I could not live with only one "normal" lens for my interests, so those costs must be fit into the equation for buying.

    LJ

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    Re: Leica S2 Pricing

    I'm doubt that they can come in that low, what you're mentioning was what they thought the R10 might come in at. I'm with you on lens pricing...

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    Re: Leica S2 Pricing

    LJ, if you have looked at the cost of other Leica lenses, I think it is pretty clear that this system isn't for you.
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: Leica S2 Pricing

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    Herr Doktor Kaufmann said they were hoping for a price less than 15k. Where did Stefan Daniel say 20k?
    Carsten

    I will try to find the link. It was a speech given by Stefan at an event in Germany within the past several weeks.

    LJL In my opinion $12-14K including lens is very unrealistic. This would be below current prices for most equivalent Phase or Hasselblad offerings and for sure Leica won't be the price leader in the MF market. My personal hope is that the body comes in under $18K and the 70mm lens under $5K. At those prices I would jump because I believe firmly in Leica optics and the state of the current M8.2 shows what they can do with firmware (and I might add without help from their "partners" like Imacon!)

    Leica had some really hard times and made some bad decisions at the outset with their digital products. It appears to me that they now have very solid bodies in the M8 and the S2 if it works as advertised. No one except the more special purpose lenses from Schneider and Rodenstock will outdo the Leica optics. And of course the tech camera lenses from these two optical giants are in the same price league as the Leica ones.

    So I hope I have answered directly the question posed by the O.P.

    woody

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    Re: Leica S2 Pricing

    One other thing.

    I would also love to have a tech camera which would be non-obsolescent regarding backs i.e. you can upgrade backs from current entry level ones such as the P25+ to the now state-of-the-art P65+ from Phase. The body and all other elements stay in place so being at the state of the art is just a matter of trading UP.

    The Leica system of course is like all of its DSLR counterparts which is to say the sensor is integral to the body. (Unless Leica has some means to do sensor upgrades within the S platform! Now wouldn't that be sweet LOL!)

    Woody

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    Re: Leica S2 Pricing

    Quote Originally Posted by woodyspedden View Post
    If you look at past history the price in Euros (which I believe includes VAT) for the European market has led to equivalent pricing in dollars for the U S Market. In other words expect the body to weigh in at about $20,000. Just my humble opinion based on reading the tea leaves.........no data here

    Woody

    Maybe change the tea...

    20.000 euro is a little over 28.000 USD.
    Better count on that for the American market.
    The only advantage may be deduction of sales tax that could be included in the announced price.
    That still leaves around 24.000 USD exclusive American sales tax of course.

    No manufacturer will allow for large price differences between Continental or American markets.
    That would cause too much uncontrolled exports to the market with higher rrp.

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    Re: Leica S2 Pricing

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    LJ, if you have looked at the cost of other Leica lenses, I think it is pretty clear that this system isn't for you.
    Thanks, Carsten, but I already own Leica glass, and have seen the prices, etc. The one piece of this that Leica kept stressing early on in its hyping of the S2 when first announced, was that with their entirely new lens design, and commonality of parts, they would be able to make great lenses at more affordable costs. Seems like a lot of folks, maybe even Leica, have forgotten about that bit of pitch. Most of the lenses share the same barrel and fitting sizes. Sure, there is a lot going into the glass elements and such, but one of the points of the entirely new lens design was to get toward a more streamlined build and ultimate cost.

    Now, if you are happy paying $5-10K for glass just because Leica has always been so-o-o-o expensive.....be my guest. I have, maybe somewhat naively, been taking Leica at some of its words....their building a camera system for professional photographers, not just collectors or gear fanciers. If they want pros to buy, they have to price it rights, because most of us will need more than one body and one lens.

    LJ

    P.S. Carsten, I am sure you did not mean your words to come across in such a snobby way. Fact is, Leica has talked about the S-system as being exactly for the kind of photography I do (except my long lens sports shooting), so in that respect, the S2 IS for somebody like me, but cost DOES matter for anybody in business, Leica and photographer.
    Last edited by LJL; 15th July 2009 at 19:09.

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    Re: Leica S2 Pricing

    Quote Originally Posted by woodyspedden View Post

    LJL In my opinion $12-14K including lens is very unrealistic. This would be below current prices for most equivalent Phase or Hasselblad offerings and for sure Leica won't be the price leader in the MF market. My personal hope is that the body comes in under $18K and the 70mm lens under $5K. At those prices I would jump because I believe firmly in Leica optics and the state of the current M8.2 shows what they can do with firmware (and I might add without help from their "partners" like Imacon!)

    woody
    Woody,
    It may seem unrealistic a price point from your perspective, but not so much from mine. The now non-existent R10 would have been less than this in order to compete. The Hasselblad and Phase offerings are not a whole lot different for what they are offering. In my thinking, if Leica really wants to get into this game, the one they keep talking about for the "professionals", they need to do things differently with this S-system. They need it to sell. They need to have folks buying and using it, not collecting and coddling it like many of their other offerings at staggering prices. I used to shoot M4s. They were not cheap at the time, but still affordable compared to other stuff, and Leica did very, very well with them. I think Leica will have to hit the market with a performing and affordable S2 if they have any hopes that pros will buy into the new system, and more importantly, maybe liquidate their other systems to get more Leica kit.

    No harm, no foul. If Leica wants my business, they are going to have to be far more competitive on price, service and performance. Simple enough. If they would rather keep prices out of reach for many working photogs, that is their business. Hope they do well.

    LJ

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    Re: Leica S2 Pricing

    Quote Originally Posted by LJL View Post
    Woody,


    No harm, no foul. If Leica wants my business, they are going to have to be far more competitive on price, service and performance. Simple enough. If they would rather keep prices out of reach for many working photogs, that is their business. Hope they do well.

    LJ
    This is partly my point, at anything above $15k it's going to become a rental product only.
    which translates to one less sale for the company to a working photographer.
    am

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    Re: Leica S2 Pricing

    Personally, I am suspicious about a system that was supposed to be on the market in January 2009 already. "Only final firmware changes".... was the word and then it was supposed to be May.... now it is supposed to be September>

    Clearly there are problems, of what nature we do not know. What implications the "divorce" from phase one has had on the whole story, we don't know either.

    I understand the hype amongst Leicaphiles, and I think it is very clever marketing to have created such hype upfront.

    Then again, in a stormy sea, I would not jump blindfold on a boat that no one really knows how good it is. In the digital world, Leica has a lot to proove I think. Hassy has lowered prices significantly, and they are a proven solution with all the pros and cons, same counts for phase one. Concering Sinar, I would consider them to be on hold for the moment, and there are questionmarks about their future.

    Economical reality is the other factor that will be a hurdle for them to take before they achieve desired sales targets. Let's face it, reality is that many Pro Photographers are dealing with a substantial loss of income, this at least is what I am getting from talking to people on both sides of the pond.

    Phase has now a 60MP back, and it is selling, so what does that mean for Leica? In my opinion they are very late to the game, and the cirumstances are not getting any better.

    I would put a big questionmark behind their Market analysis concerning their sales targets which they expect to hit. Let aside the few Leicaphiles that can afford it, already bought into it, and can not wait to part with their cash, the rest of the market has taken a severe hit.

    I think that the installed user base from phase and hassy is less likely to ditch their investment and move to Leica.

    Taking such things into account, I would think that a kit incl. the 70mm needs to be in the Euro 15 K region ex VAT.

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    Re: Leica S2 Pricing

    Quote Originally Posted by LJL View Post
    Thanks, Carsten, but I already own Leica glass, and have seen the prices, etc. The one piece of this that Leica kept stressing early on in its hyping of the S2 when first announced, was that with their entirely new lens design, and commonality of parts, they would be able to make great lenses at more affordable costs. Seems like a lot of folks, maybe even Leica, have forgotten about that bit of pitch. Most of the lenses share the same barrel and fitting sizes. Sure, there is a lot going into the glass elements and such, but one of the points of the entirely new lens design was to get toward a more streamlined build and ultimate cost.
    That's right, I do recall that now, but this is offset by the sheer size of the glass. These lens elements are much larger than most of what they have made before, except some of the very largest, and very most expensive, R lenses. I don't expect the new lenses to come in much below $4000-5000 a pop. I think that the 70mm may be cheaper, and maybe one or two others, but most I would expect to be in that $4-5k range.

    Now, if you are happy paying $5-10K for glass just because Leica has always been so-o-o-o expensive.....be my guest. I have, maybe somewhat naively, been taking Leica at some of its words....their building a camera system for professional photographers, not just collectors or gear fanciers. If they want pros to buy, they have to price it rights, because most of us will need more than one body and one lens.
    Maybe what I wrote came across differently than I thought. I am not going to buy this system unless my life changes in huge ways. I looked at the expected pricing, and even factoring in a minor miracle, the financial load it too high for my situation. Not being a pro, I can't even write it off. But I don't think that it will too expensive for everyone, not even too expensive to be a success. There is a great number of people out there who have this kind of money, even photographers. The camera is aimed at fashion, and this may also be where the first purchases come from. David Farkas pointed out that he has all sorts of people on waiting lists. Look at the sale of P65+ backs too: booked for months. Clearly there are people out there still spending big bucks on photography.

    I think we forget that this forum is not the norm. Landscape photography may be the last market which makes sense for the Leica S2. There aren't many fashion photographers here. Graham is one of the few, and he has chosen to operate primarily in a small market. Are you shooting fashion in a major market?
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: Leica S2 Pricing

    Quote Originally Posted by Georg Baumann View Post
    Personally, I am suspicious about a system that was supposed to be on the market in January 2009 already. "Only final firmware changes".... was the word and then it was supposed to be May.... now it is supposed to be September.
    Are you talking about the S2? From every interview I recall the date was end of summer 2009, i.e. beginning of September. This has never changed. Where did you see anything else?
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: Leica S2 Pricing

    It was always "Summer 2009" - the preproduction-models seem to work well, they verified "September" recently.

    Guy Mancuso has made great noise-comparison of backs:
    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showth...?t=8090&page=2

    P40+ and P30+ are about one stop behind todays 20+MP-DSLRs (always remember: CMOS-RAWs are filtered!), the P40+ has no microlenses, the P30+ uses a 4 years old sensor - the S2 has microlenses and a new sensor.

    ISO800 will be perfectly usable and I don't even want to start about the differences in lenses, f2.5 on a modern Leica-lens is not f2.5 on a L-lens, not if you really want to use the additional MPs you've paid so much for in the recent upgrades!

    DoF is simple: The S2 has a 56% larger sensor than 35mm, so f2.5 equals about f2.0/f1.9 on 35mm (100% are one stop, 56% a little bit more than half a stop) - I've seen open-aperture close-ups with the 70mm and they have a really narrow DoF.

    The S2 is not for people who use technical movements regulary. The non-interchangeable back itself is not so much of a problem, regarding the price difference between bodies and backs!
    The >39MP-backs only make sense regarding IQ under certain conditions, mostly using technical lenses which are capable of delivering the necessary resolution with low aberrations and high contrast.
    It's absolutely senseless to invest tenthousands of dollars into more MP without willing to invest equally high sums into lenses. High-quality lenses are expensive and I fear the S-lenses will cost about 5k$ each - but they are longtime-investments!
    Prices are difficult, it will be more expensive in -land to compensate for the low $ - maybe even 1:1! Ok, I make a guess, let's see if I made an idiot out of myself when the prices are released in a few weeks:

    S2-body: 13k/16k$
    S2 w/ 70mm: 16k/20k$ (20k$ feels like the "magic barrier")
    35/120/180: 4k/5k$


    "I was told that shooting speed is 1 per 1.5 seconds, both the Leaf and new P40+ have that beat."

    It's 1.5/1.6 frames per second! And while that is only about 60% faster than modern backs, it doesn't seem to slow down while shooting fast series. What really makes the difference for me is the faster handling, my M8 is always busy with writing files, zooming in... the S2 works instantaneously.

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    Re: Leica S2 Pricing

    Taking Leica management's recent (out-of-the-blue) idiotic and utterly BS comments about the S2's sensor + their glass = competitors' 50MP offerings as blatant softening–up for some sticker shock: I'll call just under 20K Euros, body only. Lens and accessory prices that will make your eyes water, minimal lenses avail at day of intro.

    Also, my spidey-sense is telling me very good chance of a delay in availability. Without getting into an endless debate about the minutiae behind it, call it intuition/reading tea leaves, sunspots, whatever - and hope it's wrong.

    I love Leica glass and film cameras, love the innovation the S2 represents, but as I said in another thread, as much as it's IQ would be great, baring a radical change in behavior from Solms (and some luck) this thing is looking more and more DOA (outside the clan of the die-hard Leica faithful) with every passing week.

    It was a great idea, even at expected prices -- had it been released during what was the PRIOR incarnation of the MF market. Timing is everything. As for the depth and breadth of the impact any POSSIBLE still-birth of the S2 would be...
    Last edited by robmac; 16th July 2009 at 07:47.

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    Re: Leica S2 Pricing

    Perhaps I'm too optimistic, but I'll say my piece

    It seems to me that the assumption is that the target market for the S2 is pros who are already using MF, as a replacement for that. Talking to a dealer in the UK today, it seems that their MF sales are vanishing fast - the price drops from Hasselblad and others seem to have scared people away rather than the reverse.

    However, I would have thought that the real target market is pros who are currently using the D3x / 1DsMk III, and who would like more, but don't want to embark on what is a scary and unpredictable MF trip (and believe me, if you're sitting on the edge watching it looks SCARY I am, and I know).

    This is a much bigger marketplace, and looking at the history of Leica prices, although the investment might be bigger, it's likely to hold it's value better (especially now the rest of the MF market is rushing out new models and dropping prices on old ones).

    Of course, there is one thing that really is important . . . It's got to work, and it's got to be really good. However, assuming that is the case, I don't think it'll be DOA. But I do agree that it's not going to sell much to existing MF users.

    Just this guy you know

  27. #27
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    Re: Leica S2 Pricing

    Its just possible that in a few years software will be sufficiently sophisticated to upres and reliably interpolate say a good 15 megapixel image up to any thing you want.Or maybe not.If leica is investing so much in this I supose its impossible for any software to do the same.

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    Re: Leica S2 Pricing

    Jono - I can see your point and am also on the DSLR/MF cusp looking in, but how does taking the huge leap in $$$ and uncertainty from say a D3x/1ds3 to an S2 differ from doing same to a Hassy/Phamiya?

    The latter two may drop in price faster, but the $$ outlay will (in all but a certainty) worse for the Leica (on a MP basis), the 'orphan' product risk higher, the well-cooked PP software risk (at least as of now) higher, the product tech risk higher, the re-sale market much smaller if you have a change of heart/circumstance, a smaller lens line-up (at least for some time), etc., etc.

    Maybe I'm thick, but I don't see many high-end DSLR users, outside the Leica faithful, forking-over the very large $$$ required for the S2 vs.

    a) less $$$ and much lower risk for a Hassy/Phamiya. SLR-like form factor, LCD and Leaf+FP shutter lenses are only worth so much in terms of $$$ and risk - and only an advantage for a VERY finite period of time.

    or

    b) The latest and greatest D_X or 1DS_ for FAR less $$ and FAR less risk - and no learning curve.

    Leica glass will be an advantage on a case-by-case basis, but how much is that worth to an impartial shopper?

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    Re: Leica S2 Pricing

    Quote Originally Posted by Louvre View Post
    Maybe change the tea...

    20.000 euro is a little over 28.000 USD.
    Better count on that for the American market.
    The only advantage may be deduction of sales tax that could be included in the announced price.
    That still leaves around 24.000 USD exclusive American sales tax of course.

    No manufacturer will allow for large price differences between Continental or American markets.
    That would cause too much uncontrolled exports to the market with higher rrp.
    Disagree with your conclusions here.

    Leica M prices show that the price in Euros, including VAT, is X say about 6000 Euros for a 21 Summilux. The price for the USA is then pegged at about $6000 for the US market. The difference in value between the Euro and the $ doesn't seem to be an issue.

    Thus if the S2 comes into being at 18000 Euros for the European market it will likely be priced at about $18,000 for the American market. I don't know how to explain Leica pricing but history shows what has happened in each market.

    Woody

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    Re: Leica S2 Pricing

    Quote Originally Posted by LJL View Post
    Woody,
    It may seem unrealistic a price point from your perspective, but not so much from mine. The now non-existent R10 would have been less than this in order to compete. The Hasselblad and Phase offerings are not a whole lot different for what they are offering. In my thinking, if Leica really wants to get into this game, the one they keep talking about for the "professionals", they need to do things differently with this S-system. They need it to sell. They need to have folks buying and using it, not collecting and coddling it like many of their other offerings at staggering prices. I used to shoot M4s. They were not cheap at the time, but still affordable compared to other stuff, and Leica did very, very well with them. I think Leica will have to hit the market with a performing and affordable S2 if they have any hopes that pros will buy into the new system, and more importantly, maybe liquidate their other systems to get more Leica kit.

    No harm, no foul. If Leica wants my business, they are going to have to be far more competitive on price, service and performance. Simple enough. If they would rather keep prices out of reach for many working photogs, that is their business. Hope they do well.

    LJ
    L.J.

    I wouldn't argue your points here but my point is simply that Leica is not likely to enter the MF market as the price leader. Coming in below Phase and Hasselblad just doesn't seem likely to me, regardless of what may be accomplished (in terms of build up of market and ultimate market share). This would require an entirely new culture for the corporation and I just don't see it happening.

    I will say though that if they came in with the S2 and the 70 lens in the $12K to $14K range you wouldn't be able to get one for about two years LOL! They would need entirely new factories just to keep up with demand.

    Just my humble thoughts on the matter

    Woody

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    Re: Leica S2 Pricing

    Woody,
    Therein lies the conundrum of sorts. The S2 is not like the other MF stuff that has a multitude of backs, bodies, lenses options, plus all the other finders, cables and other doodads that may be needed to make things work. It is also coming to the game with a smaller sensor. On the flip side, the S2 is also, in some respects, more than what the 35mm DSLR camps are offering, at least with respect to sensor size and optics. So, it really does not quite fit with either camp, though it is being billed as more MF than anything else. I still see Leica's biggest market audience being guys like me that are pushing the higher end 35mm DSLR stuff, like the way that gear works, and am not wanting nor needing to get over the cliff on the present MF train. (Jono's points about just how scary some of that can be are spot on.) It is not that I am afraid of tackling the MF mess, as I like to think about it right now, but rather would just like more of the IQ of MF, but with more of the handling and ease of the DLSR side of things. The S2 is looking to hit that spot. The issue still remains, at what cost, especially since there are no third party lenses, or any used market to turn to for it. Leica may think it is worth 20-30K euros or dollars when comparing themselves to the higher end MF stuff from Hassy and Phase, but they are really closer to the DSLR camp in many respects on sensor size, pixels, single body handling, etc., so that $8K or so top end for Nikon or Canon is more what that user group is used to.

    It is NOT a simple matter at all. Leica seems to be betting the ranch on the S2 to a large degree (no R10 or DSLR coming, M8 and M8.2 at end of improvement life, M9 a ways off, and the rest is Panny stuff), so it would seem (to me at least) in their best interest to sell as many of the S2 as they can possibly make, even if the margins are not terribly high. They must create the market niche, since there are not many other real options for them. Price it at a great entry point and sell the daylights out of them to succeed.

    Just more thoughts on this, and why I think it important for them to keep the price lower, rather than higher, despite their perceived lack of need to be a "price leader" here. They are going to be a price leader, like it or not, since they are in a market segment with really nothing else like what they are offering.

    LJ

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    Re: Leica S2 Pricing

    Quote Originally Posted by LJL View Post
    Leica may think it is worth 20-30K euros or dollars when comparing themselves to the higher end MF stuff from Hassy and Phase, but they are really closer to the DSLR camp in many respects on sensor size, pixels, single body handling, etc., so that $8K or so top end for Nikon or Canon is more what that user group is used to.

    LJ
    LJ,

    The sensor in the S2 is only 2.5MP shy of the P40+ (37.5 vs. 40). The pixel pitch is the same (6um), and there is only an areal difference of 7%. Compared to FF Canon, there is almost double the amount of pixels (37.5 vs. 21) in a sensor that is 56% larger. I'd argue that the S2 is more of a direct competitor to the P40+ than a 1DsIII. Also, the S2 has no resolution-robbing AA filter.

    I think we need to seperate body handling/size and speed from sensor and IQ. It is closer to 35mm when looking at the former aspects and MF when looking at the latter. From the beginning, this has been Leica's concept.

    David
    David Farkas
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    Re: Leica S2 Pricing

    Hi Rob
    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    Jono - I can see your point and am also on the DSLR/MF cusp looking in, but how does taking the huge leap in $$$ and uncertainty from say a D3x/1ds3 to an S2 differ from doing same to a Hassy/Phamiya?
    Because:
    1 Hassy - they keep bringing out new 'bigger' backs which zero out the value of the existing ones - one is locked in (as with Leica of course), and it certainly isn't a dSLR experience
    2. Phamiya - terror - all the stories of incompatabilities and hassles and companies going bust and prices plummeting and lenses soft and . . . . it goes on and on, I take pictures, I really don't want to be hassling with the tech. Actually, I'm not going to be hassling with the tech - simple as that!

    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    The latter two may drop in price faster, but the $$ outlay will (in all but a certainty) worse for the Leica (on a MP basis), the 'orphan' product risk higher, the well-cooked PP software risk (at least as of now) higher, the product tech risk higher, the re-sale market much smaller if you have a change of heart/circumstance, a smaller lens line-up (at least for some time), etc., etc.
    Well I agree the Leica is going to cost more - I don't think the PP software is an issue - the S2 uses dng and everything from Capture to Aperture will deal with those as they stand (Aperture does a grand job with 'non specific' DNG files). I simply don't agree that the re-sale market is smaller - back to my original point, David has said it - IQ wise it may compete in the MF marketplace, but user wise I think it'll compete in the high range dSLR market, and that's a BIG market.

    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    Maybe I'm thick, but I don't see many high-end DSLR users, outside the Leica faithful, forking-over the very large $$$ required for the S2 vs.
    No, probably not even 1/10th of them - but that's still HUGELY bigger than the MF marketplace
    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    a) less $$$ and much lower risk for a Hassy/Phamiya. SLR-like form factor, LCD and Leaf+FP shutter lenses are only worth so much in terms of $$$ and risk - and only an advantage for a VERY finite period of time.

    or

    b) The latest and greatest D_X or 1DS_ for FAR less $$ and FAR less risk - and no learning curve.
    Well, I don't think it's less risk - either financially or technically, and as far as learning curve is concerned, that seems to me to be the big attraction of the S2 - it works like a dslr, and you can use Lightroom or Aperture to convert the files
    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    Leica glass will be an advantage on a case-by-case basis, but how much is that worth to an impartial shopper?
    Well, to this impartial shopper, it's worth a very great deal.

    Back to the original point - if the marketplace for this camera is existing MF users, then it's doomed. If it's not good, then it's doomed as well.

    Personally - I don't want a big camera. period, but if I were deciding between an S2 and a Hassy or Phamiya . . . having read the grief people have on these forums . .. I know that I'd be gritting my teeth and shelling out for the S2 . . . as long as it's good.

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Leica S2 Pricing

    "[H]aving read the grief people have on these forums?" What grief?

    If you're going to make purchaes decisions based on internet fora, I assume you've avoided the Leica M8. Mine seems to work okay, but I read that the design and its implemenation were fatally flawed.

    I don't see how people can say they're going to buy something without knowing whether it is a successful design, and without knowing what it will cost. Perhaps after they can show how it performs and suggest what they'll charge for it this thread will make more sense.

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    Re: Leica S2 Pricing

    Quote Originally Posted by stephengilbert View Post
    "[H]aving read the grief people have on these forums?" What grief?
    Come Stephen - the MF forums here are full of anguish about some thing not working . . .or another, from the outside it looks both frightening and VERY time consumeng.
    Quote Originally Posted by stephengilbert View Post
    If you're going to make purchaes decisions based on internet fora, I assume you've avoided the Leica M8. Mine seems to work okay, but I read that the design and its implemenation were fatally flawed.
    touche - I love mine as well, but there's a difference between people whinging because you have to take the base plate off to change the batteries . . . and complaining that a whole shoot in Kuala Lumpur was a disaster because of mirror slap using a 2000 tripod!
    Quote Originally Posted by stephengilbert View Post
    I don't see how people can say they're going to buy something without knowing whether it is a successful design, and without knowing what it will cost. Perhaps after they can show how it performs and suggest what they'll charge for it this thread will make more sense.
    erm... I think I said 'if it's good' at least three times.
    If it's as good as one might expect a camera with that size sensor and leica glass . . . then I"m not sure that the price is all that relevant. If it isn't that good . . . then I'm not sure that the price is all that relevant either

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Leica S2 Pricing

    Getting back to the original question....what would I be willing to pay for it (assuming I was in the market for one)?

    Answer: About $12,000 for the S2 body. This is the price of a new Hasselblad 503CWD-II with the 40mm CFE IF lens and a couple thousand less than new CFV-39 back. I figure I'd have to spend several thousand more for new S2 lenses and have to pay full price, since they won't be available on the used market for awhile. To my mind, a 50% premium over a Nikon D3X is about right.

    But, since I no longer have that kind of play money budgeted for new photo gear....it's a moot point. Besides, I'm sure it's going to cost alot more than $12,000.

    Gary
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    Re: Leica S2 Pricing

    I'll wait
    then I'll see...
    -bob

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    Re: Leica S2 Pricing

    Jono - how goes it? Won't do a point/counterpoint. Lets just say we come at this sucker from two different mindsets ;>
    Last edited by robmac; 16th July 2009 at 16:06.

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    Re: Leica S2 Pricing

    Quote Originally Posted by dfarkas View Post
    LJ,

    The sensor in the S2 is only 2.5MP shy of the P40+ (37.5 vs. 40). The pixel pitch is the same (6um), and there is only an areal difference of 7%. Compared to FF Canon, there is almost double the amount of pixels (37.5 vs. 21) in a sensor that is 56% larger. I'd argue that the S2 is more of a direct competitor to the P40+ than a 1DsIII. Also, the S2 has no resolution-robbing AA filter.

    I think we need to seperate body handling/size and speed from sensor and IQ. It is closer to 35mm when looking at the former aspects and MF when looking at the latter. From the beginning, this has been Leica's concept.

    David
    David,
    This is what I was trying to say.....the S2 is in its own new niche. Yes, it has the bigger (more MF-like sensor), but its build is more like a DSLR with that sensor fixed in a weather sealed body. It seems a bit odd to think that sensor size or pixel numbers creates the demarcation between MF and DSLR, as the earlier MF backs (and some today) had smaller sensors, both in size and number of pixels. Further, what is to say that Canon or Nikon or Sony will not pop a new DSLR into the market that may have 30+MP or maybe even have a sensor that is a bit larger than 24x36mm? Would that make it a MF camera? Anyway, I think the points are being understood by most....the S2 is an "almost MF" in the eyes of many MF folks, and a "uber-DSLR" in the eyes of some DSLR folks. I see no issue with that.

    As for where it competes in the foodchain......as I commented, it is probably going to be gobbling a lot from the DSLR ranks, and hoping to peel some folks from the MF ranks. Hence my thoughts about where it seems to fit in the pricing schemes of things, etc. This is just my opinion, and based on what was asked, where I would be more comfortable buying into the system when released and assuming everything works as marketed. If I wanted the greater flexibility and utility of a full blown MF system like Hasselblad or Phase, I would buy into that, and deal with the higher costs and all the other things mentioned earlier.

    LJ

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    Re: Leica S2 Pricing

    It's a DSLR. It has an SLR form factor, it's weather sealed, it's anything a DSLR is, except it has a larger sensor and uses Leica glass with autofocus. Add to that dng file format, SD and CF cards and what seems to be good ergonomics in a fully integrated system, and I think it looks like better value than a traditional MF camera, even if it costs more than a Hasselblad.

    I agree that this is a system that will mostly attract high-end DSLR users, photographers who want the ultimate quality in a portable system. As nice as the MF cameras are, they are not what you throw in your bag for a quick walk downtown.

    The body and a couple of lenses of the S2 would probably fit easily in the bottom of my Kata weekend bag. No MF camera even comes close to that, partly due to the form factor and partly due to the size. Since I travel a lot, and travel light, this is a camera I could live with. A Hasselblad isn't. How much would I pay? Since I don't have the monies anyway, my estimate doesn't carry much weight here, but if I had them: around $20,000 for a body with two lenses. 35 plus 120mm would be ideal, but probably not realistic for that price.

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    Re: Leica S2 Pricing

    Actually, although no one uses the terms this way, technically the Contax, Hasselblad, Mamiya et al are also DSLRs. One might argue about the D, since it is optional, but that is just part of the flexibility of these cameras, I suppose. Perhaps it would be better to call the 35mm DSLRs and the Leica S2 integrated DSLRs.
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: Leica S2 Pricing

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    It's a DSLR. It has an SLR form factor, it's weather sealed, it's anything a DSLR is, except it has a larger sensor and uses Leica glass with autofocus. Add to that dng file format, SD and CF cards and what seems to be good ergonomics in a fully integrated system, and I think it looks like better value than a traditional MF camera, even if it costs more than a Hasselblad.

    I agree that this is a system that will mostly attract high-end DSLR users, photographers who want the ultimate quality in a portable system. As nice as the MF cameras are, they are not what you throw in your bag for a quick walk downtown.

    The body and a couple of lenses of the S2 would probably fit easily in the bottom of my Kata weekend bag. No MF camera even comes close to that, partly due to the form factor and partly due to the size. Since I travel a lot, and travel light, this is a camera I could live with. A Hasselblad isn't. How much would I pay? Since I don't have the monies anyway, my estimate doesn't carry much weight here, but if I had them: around $20,000 for a body with two lenses. 35 plus 120mm would be ideal, but probably not realistic for that price.
    Not sure about the travel part of your therory. I used to travel extensively with a Contax 645 and three lenses, and it took less space than a regular 35mm Pro DSLR and three similar lenses. Being modular, the 645 MF camera can be broken down and configured to fit much smaller carry-on bags. Could take a film back also for B&W.

    IMHO, a "quick walk downtown" is Sony A900 or Canon 5D-MKII territory ... or in my case a Leica M8. But a H3D-II/39 with a 80mm isn't all bad for a walk-about. Actually, pretty compact. Done it many times.

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    Re: Leica S2 Pricing

    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    Jono - how goes it? Won't do a point/counterpoint. Lets just say we come at this sucker from two different mindsets ;>
    I'm Well thank you - I quite understand that my opinion is not the 'right' one - but I'm sure it's a point of view that lots of other people who "just like taking pictures" will feel. Let's face it, there's a lot more than two ways of looking at it!

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    Re: Leica S2 Pricing

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Not sure about the travel part of your therory. I used to travel extensively with a Contax 645 and three lenses, and it took less space than a regular 35mm Pro DSLR and three similar lenses. Being modular, the 645 MF camera can be broken down and configured to fit much smaller carry-on bags. Could take a film back also for B&W.

    IMHO, a "quick walk downtown" is Sony A900 or Canon 5D-MKII territory ... or in my case a Leica M8. But a H3D-II/39 with a 80mm isn't all bad for a walk-about. Actually, pretty compact. Done it many times.
    The modular thing is one of the areas where preferences are different. I don't want modules, but a system that consists of as few components as possible. It saves me time and logistics (yes, I do forget to bring vital components sometimes). If I see a motive that I like, I want to be able to pull the camera out of the bag, being ready to shoot in an instant. Obviously, I usually wouldn't need the resolution and quality of an S2 for that kind of shots, but sometimes, the motives that appear out of nowhere are valuable enough for me to want them in the highest possible quality.

    As for the walk downtown; the S2 isn't much bigger than the A900 or the 5DII, and if money wasn't an objection, I'm sure I would choose the S2 for that as well (or an M8, but I don't have that one either).

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    Re: Leica S2 Pricing

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    The modular thing is one of the areas where preferences are different. I don't want modules, but a system that consists of as few components as possible. It saves me time and logistics (yes, I do forget to bring vital components sometimes). If I see a motive that I like, I want to be able to pull the camera out of the bag, being ready to shoot in an instant. Obviously, I usually wouldn't need the resolution and quality of an S2 for that kind of shots, but sometimes, the motives that appear out of nowhere are valuable enough for me to want them in the highest possible quality.

    As for the walk downtown; the S2 isn't much bigger than the A900 or the 5DII, and if money wasn't an objection, I'm sure I would choose the S2 for that as well (or an M8, but I don't have that one either).
    Hi Jorgen
    I'm right with you here - whether it's possible to use MF as a travel setup or not isn't really the point, it's about perception and ease of use, and modular systems aren't that.

    My angle on all of this is of someone who hasn't ever used MF - and I still think that's going to be the biggest part of the S2's market. I think it's tough for those who HAVE used MF to conceive of the apparent barrier to use (whether it's real or not is a different matter).

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    Re: Leica S2 Pricing

    Indeed.

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    .........Let's face it, there's a lot more than two ways of looking at it!

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    Re: Leica S2 Pricing

    I am agreeing with Jorgen and Jono on the modular v. contained design for ease of use, and that is something that most DSLRs have as a perceived advantage. Being able to reach into a smallish bag and pull out a camera that handles more like a 5DMkII or A900, but more weather sealed and with even better glass, and delivers more like a H3DII-39 or Phase w/40+ back is very attractive. We shall have to wait to see if that is real, but having used MF (Hassy film) and 35mm DSLRs, the size and handling of the latter is much preferred, especially if it can deliver the IQ of the former....or better ;-)

    LJ

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    Re: Leica S2 Pricing

    From my point of view (TM Leica) the right price is the price that maximizes profits for the company. I am not sure how elastic the S2 market might be, so it will probably be forced into "Leica scale" regions of manufacturing volume such that many of the possible economies of scale will not be available to the company. Given that, and the necessary amortization of R&D expense over the units sold plus waranty reserve, which seems pretty large in Leica's case, means that the price will be on the high side.

    The other option for Leica, and it is a very big risk, is to assume that the market is quite elastic, so it will assume a lower price point at a larger manufacturing volume.
    That assumption will very significantly drive up the cost of manufacturing facilities, unless that manufacturing out-sourced to the usual flexible manufacturing suspects. In any case, manufacturing tooling costs would be much higher essentially driving R&D expense much higher.
    This would be a potentially fatal assumption, which I do not think they will take since my landsmen are a fairly conservative bunch.
    So, the only question in my mind is will the camera deliver in its complete package, value that enough folks think is worth the coin. Looking at the low volume high cost alternatives out there, I would reach the conclusion that pricing at a premium to Phase/Phamiya or Hassy at similar resolutions would be the most likely result.
    I wonder if thi is the reason for Phase to buy a controlling interest in Mamiya? hmmmm, yup that must be it along with the disappearance of other platforms that Phase might sell backs for.
    So my $0.25 bet is that there is a good chance that Phamiya comes out with a more integrated solution. BTW, it is still possible to make such a camera sensor upgradable with only a minor penalty in ergonomics if the processing circuitry, power, and memory were to be integrated into the body. If I were running that show, that is what I would pursue, and quickly.
    -bob

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    Re: Leica S2 Pricing

    So my $0.25 bet is that there is a good chance that Phamiya comes out with a more integrated solution.

    Actually I've thought about this...
    The ZD is there, all it would take is for Phase to "stick" the P40+ sensor/electronics in there update the body and they have a S2 competitor....
    we'll see
    am

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    Re: Leica S2 Pricing

    Quote Originally Posted by arashm View Post
    So my $0.25 bet is that there is a good chance that Phamiya comes out with a more integrated solution.

    Actually I've thought about this...
    The ZD is there, all it would take is for Phase to "stick" the P40+ sensor/electronics in there update the body and they have a S2 competitor....
    we'll see
    am
    Me thinks Phase would have to put quite a bit of effort into improving the body they have for the ZD, like maybe a complete redesign and build to get the quality up several notches. Then the only other thing some folks would continue to wait for are those long ago promised leaf shutter lenses that are still not available....or just live with the focal plane shutter as now and not have very high sync speeds.

    Nah, I think the Leica S2 solution is so much more elegant and practical. I may start thinking about upping my threshhold just a bit to maybe $16K for the starter kit, but the added lens costs are still going to be an issue.

    LJ

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