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Thread: Official USA Pricing for Leica S2

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    Re: Official USA Pricing for Leica S2

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    without C1...
    agree here. High ISO and Lightroom ... isn't exactly the best combo (either way which camera).
    But DNG and C1 at high ISO isn't either (C1 works much better with supported RAW files IMHO). The lack of a dedicated software might turn out to be a serious problem. Maybe not, but could be...
    I wonder how well the TS lens will work with the offset microlenses and what they'll offer to correct lens/sensor cast...

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    Re: Official USA Pricing for Leica S2

    Quote Originally Posted by thomas View Post
    agree here. High ISO and Lightroom ... isn't exactly the best combo (either way which camera).
    But DNG and C1 at high ISO isn't either (C1 works much better with supported RAW files IMHO). The lack of a dedicated software might turn out to be a serious problem. Maybe not, but could be...
    I wonder how well the TS lens will work with the offset microlenses and what they offer to correct lens/sensor cast...
    Exactly and they are under estimating tethered operation as well. Hot folders suck in LR but more important almost all MF shooters use tethered when it presents itself. I use it about 30 to 40 percent of the time in overall shooting. That's a pretty big percentage for me and what I shoot. I would not be leaning on LR to make my day with a S2. Of course I am very biased towards C1 but for a darn good reason.


    Let me qualify something right here and now. I am not bashing the S2 but simply stating my feeling of there pricing and the value of YOUR money. I get these questions a lot through PM"s , e-mails and all that . I am not going to hold anything back and i refuse to lie on anything. It is what it is and my brutal honesty get's me in a lot of trouble sometimes BUT I will never not tell folks what I think. I truly believe people respect me and hold a lot of faith in what I have to say. Let's face it I am no rookie on this stuff, if the S2 is what you want please don't let me stop you in anyway. Leica was never known to be cheap and looks like it never will but I am more sad they had a shot at killing the MF market and chose not to. In my mind they blew it here because the S2 is a interesting concept that fills a certain need but the pricing structure is something I totally don't agree with. Anyway carry on and do what is best for yourself.
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    Re: Official USA Pricing for Leica S2

    Let me throw another perspective on this: I think the days of the "journeyman" (or woman) photographer are over-what I have seen is a steady erosion of the middle, and what is left is entry level photogs who will work for experience and those at the high end. In that kind of market the S2 might survive in rental houses-I don't agree with Guy here, I think rental will pick this up at least in the major centers, NY, LA, SF, Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, from what I have seen in the past 10 years it has been a move towards higher and higher production costs riding the same old or eroding fees. Most of the money now in photography goes to the vendors-studios, rental, stylists, setbuilders, etc. So the S2 fits the bill for the high end along with the Briese HMI lighting, Profoto killer packs and Red video rigs. All of this stuff is way out of the reach of the sole proprietor photographer, the leasing, insurance, etc. Still is becoming more like movies, with commensurate budgets.

    I don't like it but there it is.

    And even at that, it may not be sustainable, look at AL, her financial woes, at least in part because of overhead and gear, vendors. In NY we have a lot of rep agencies also doing production-the trend is that they are becoming little mini movie studios themselves, pitching, realising and financing major ad campaigns.

    The last major contraction was after 911-this industry consolidation will tighten it down even further. What is ironic is that we went from the classic 80's big budget individual studio shooter with gross margins, to a lean and mean editorial 90's photographer doing it on their own profitably, to the current bloated rep-agency model where you have a big stable of photographers all bidding at shrunken pie.

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    Re: Official USA Pricing for Leica S2

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    Jono, as far as I can figure out, the actual customers and the outraged people are non-overlapping sets, which I find really weird. (Snip...)
    Carsten,

    This isn't quite accurate. I've been quietly watching the S2 for my shooting. In some ways it would make a lot of sense for me (depending on results, of course). I've not posted to the other S2 threads because I felt it was just too early, and besides, lots was being posted already.

    Anyway, for what I'm shooting lately an S2 might simplify my kit, but the price of a body (or two) and four lenses is such that I will stay with Phase (and Canon) for now. My current kit is made of two systems with 14 or 15 lenses, but my shooting could easily be handled with an S2 type of solution – when the lenses become available. I had considered the technical camera option (a reason to stay with a digital back) and the more I watch that process the less attracted I am to it.

    To be honest, this economy is kicking my @ss, so the decision is made for different reasons, but my business changes rapidly and I'm the kind of person who buys stuff I want if I feel it meets my needs. The whole S2 package (kit availability, IQ, service, etc.) is yet undetermined and expect folks like David Farkas to deliver excellent service. All that being said, I won't even day-dream about the S2 kit at these prices because I feel the numbers don't "feel" right with regard to value. Value is determined individually, and as one who loves Leica quality, I feel that the pricing is a bit "elitist" in nature. Frankly, I'd be a bit embarrassed falling for this kit at this point, when comparing to a full-house Phase or Hassey kit.

    Fun to watch and read about though.

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    Re: Official USA Pricing for Leica S2

    I am surprised there is so much "emotion" over a product that essentially isn't even available yet.

    *IF* the very first version S2 comes out and delivers exactly what was promised without anybody finding "surprises" (like purple blacks), delivers exceptionally clean ISO 800 and 1600 images AND more detail than any other MF digital back of comparable resolution, then yes, it will be a winner. At least for whomever can afford it -- and I dare say, most pros won't in the current market.

    OTOH, if it is fraught with the same anomalies most all new cameras are plagued with, it will likely become a low-volume product pretty quickly. Leica will have to scramble fast to fix the issues -- and we know they will fix them, but it is the speed with which they accomplish that comes into question. If it follows the M8 path, it may be another year or so for the camera to be finally working as promised, and what else will come to market in that year?

    I suspect there are not going to be very many early adopters of the S2 until it proves itself to be close to be "perfect," so Leica is going to have to hit it out of the park the first time at bat IMHO...

    And then even if it is a grand slam, I personally would not be motivated to expend the cost of that particular system change to buy it --- and I suspect I am not alone...
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    Re: Official USA Pricing for Leica S2

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    If this came in slightly below the Hassy and Phase One systems it would have cleaned the clock and most likely would have the highest market share in no time. I'm dead serious if this had a entry level price below the competition it would have stole the market. Leica screwed themselves here in a big way they did not even realize they could.

    Bottom line is they lost the middle class and the biggest percentage of the marketing pie.
    I've read every thread concerning the S2 since last september, here and over at LUF and LL. With this remark Guy you hit the nail right on the head.

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    Re: Official USA Pricing for Leica S2

    Perhaps Leica doesn't care about market share? Not every company does.

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    Re: Official USA Pricing for Leica S2

    I probably should have said the middle class blue collar shooter. But maybe your right Monza maybe they just don' t care about that.
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    Re: Official USA Pricing for Leica S2

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    I probably should have said the middle class blue collar shooter. But maybe your right Monza maybe they just don' t care about that.
    HI Guy
    I think you're exactly right - 'not care' is perhaps not the way I would have put it, but the principle is right.

    They don't have the manufacturing capacity to produce enough cameras for the blue collar shooter.

    They don't have the infrastructure to support the quantities they would have sold if they supported the blue collar shooter.

    European employment and manufacturing costs meant that they CAN'T price it for the blue collar shooter.

    For me there are two questions:

    1. are there enough 'white collar' shooters to buy the cameras they CAN make
    2. Is it good enough.

    Truth be told, I'm sure that Jack has it, if it has problems like the M8, then they really will have problems, but if it comes out of the gates producing what it promises, then I'm sure there ARE enough 'white collar' shooters to make it a success.

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    Re: Official USA Pricing for Leica S2

    I actually think technical it will be fine coming out of the gate. It still has all the backend stuff to solve which as we all agree will take time to get service, parts, acessories and all the back end stuff to come alive. They know no one is going to put up with the m8 stuff. The Dmr was actually better but that was mostly Imacon at the time. But my guess it should be okay, still not crazy about LR though and tethering but here iam bias towards C1 and no secret about that
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    Re: Official USA Pricing for Leica S2

    Quote Originally Posted by monza View Post
    Perhaps Leica doesn't care about market share? Not every company does.
    Supposedly they target to sell 1000 units per year. I think even this will be hard (as my reading is 1000 every year by average... until the "S3" comes out).

    Jack: the emotions in the discussion come from the high expectations and I'm sure as well to a certain degree from the fear that another traditional camera maker (actually the camera maker) might be going into the wrong direction.
    True, there is much negativity about the S2 online. But too, there is much overdrawn positivity...

    IMO the MF market is losing a big part of its former user base to Nikon and Canon and this applies especially the photographers that once went for the faster 1.3 crop backs with 18 + 31MP and microlenses (many in a time when DSLRs offered 10 and 14MP or so and far less features than today and far worse ISO than today). In this particular situation Leica comes with a semi-MF camera with more resolution and maybe a better AF than other MFD systems (but certainly not better than Nikon) but with far less features than DLSRs ... and at a price not in the middle of high end 35mm DLSRs and MFD but on the level on MFD (and above).
    So at this point I just can't imagine that the camera will sell good enough in the long run.

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    Re: Official USA Pricing for Leica S2

    Leica cannot manufacture fast enough to want large market share. There is and always was a lot of craftsmanship in Leica cameras.

    Anyway, it is easy to say that Phase just needs this and that to knock the S2 out, but here are three things needed, two of which Phase has promised and never delivered, and third of which has been claimed to be impossible. Maybe the S2 will give them enough incentive to finally get off their *** and deliver:

    - large, bright, high-res screen
    - grip
    - leaf shutter lenses

    Any one of those is a strong reason to consider the S2. All three together make a strong reason not to buy Phase, if you are in the situation of needing them, like doing portraits on location with lighting, for example.
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    Re: Official USA Pricing for Leica S2

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    It simply is overpriced , not outrage , no sour grapes and if it was 24k with a 70mm already attached to it than it maybe in my hands but Leica slammed the door in the face of anyone that wants to switch and let's not even begin to talk of the loss of selling my used system.
    Well, let's say that your financiers slammed that door in your face, the prices in Europe are quite reasonable for what you get. In a couple of years the economy and the Dollar will have recovered, and you can reconsider it.
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    Re: Official USA Pricing for Leica S2

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    I actually think technical it will be fine coming out of the gate. It still has all the backend stuff to solve which as we all agree will take time to get service, parts, acessories and all the back end stuff to come alive. They know no one is going to put up with the m8 stuff. The Dmr was actually better but that was mostly Imacon at the time. But my guess it should be okay, still not crazy about LR though and tethering but here iam bias towards C1 and no secret about that
    Sounds like it'll work okay with C1 as well - the beauty of DNG.

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    Re: Official USA Pricing for Leica S2

    interesting how much discussion a preannouncement of a price can produce.

    I cant help but for some reason the S2 seems to draw quit some attraction and emotion. thats good imo.

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    Re: Official USA Pricing for Leica S2

    Hi Stephen

    Quote Originally Posted by stephengilbert View Post
    Jono,

    You're starting to look like a badminton player: whatever shots come in at the S2, you hit them right back. I guess all those posts about tripods and heads and mirror slap were just chin wagging. Is there anything at all that disappoints you about the S2?
    erm . . . two things.

    1. I don't want one (really wouldn't suit my style)
    2. I can't afford one

    Quote Originally Posted by stephengilbert View Post
    I agree that if it is easier to use than any camera yet made, and produces better files than have ever been seen, and works without ever failing, etc., that people will buy it, but gee, aren't there a few unknowns right now?

    Steve
    Oh yes - lots of unknowns . . . but it seems to me that 'if it does what it says it does' then it's probably going to sell enough to satisfy Leica.
    I've always said that it had to be good . . . . . having said that, looking at other 'premium' products it appears that in some cases pretty and expensive is enough, and it certainly is pretty and expensive.

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    Re: Official USA Pricing for Leica S2

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Sounds like it'll work okay with C1 as well - the beauty of DNG.
    DNG is a great idea in theory. The problem is that just being compatible at a basic level doesn't mean that the processing is tweaked for best results.

    Nothing can replace the many hundreds of man hours that go into tweaking the processing algorithms, noise profiles, color profiles, and other aspects of raw conversion to each specific camera. There are Image Processing PHDs at Phase One who spend the majority of their time doing just this.

    Practical examples:
    -Between Capture One 3.7 and Capture One 4 there was at least a half stop gain in the relative appearance of noise at various ISOs for Phase backs as well as a half stop gain in dynamic range.
    -Between 4.6 and 4.8.1 the usable long exposure on a P65+ was doubled (software processing changes only). These sorts of normally insignificant boosts in IQ are the very thing which Leica is claiming to be after; it's a strange thing to bring such a camera to market without a dedicated raw processor.

    Will Phase do any camera specific tweaking for the S2? I don't know. It's well known that the companies had a bit of a falling out. I'm sure that even without tweaking the processing will be "good enough" but this is hardly a camera being marketed as having any component which is just "good enough".

    I've also seen camera specific bugs with DNG (e.g. Phase DNGs in early versions of Aperture had pink highlights).

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    Re: Official USA Pricing for Leica S2

    I'd put it this way. We are not now in an economic climate for quality at any price. What is needed is good enough for my application at the right price. Clients don't pay for what they can't use so photographers who want to stay solvent better match equipment purchases to what clients are actually paying for.

    Leica's new owners said that they wanted to put Leica back into the photographic mainstream, as it was back in the day of the M3 but I don't yet see a Leica product that will do that in any pro market, 35 or MF. They do have the DRF market sown up though (no competitors) .

    The S system on paper sounded very attractive but in a rapidly shrinking MF market that already has 2 players with extensive support systems and products that produce very high quality in a range of prices from almost 35mm level pricing up to something less then where Leica's pricing starts I don't see where the S system fits in.

    Hell, I just read they are about to foreclose on Annie Liebowitz's houses. Looks like she's broke. If she can't afford a Leica I sure can't.

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    Re: Official USA Pricing for Leica S2

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpetersonci View Post
    DNG is a great idea in theory. The problem is that just being compatible at a basic level doesn't mean that the processing is tweaked for best results.
    I'm with Doug on this. Hasselblad experimented with in-camera DNG but the quality just wasn't right. Why spend a great deal of money on what will no doubt be a very well engineered camera and then dumb down the results by converting to DNG.

    I'm sorry but I just don't see a bright future for the S2 beyond collectors, it's one thing to make a camera but getting a good file out of it is where it gets really complicated.

    Nick-T

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    Re: Official USA Pricing for Leica S2

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpetersonci View Post
    -Between Capture One 3.7 and Capture One 4 there was at least a half stop gain in the relative appearance of noise at various ISOs for Phase backs as well as a half stop gain in dynamic range.
    Doug, for all backs or just the plus series?

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    Re: Official USA Pricing for Leica S2

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick-T View Post
    it's one thing to make a camera but getting a good file out of it is where it gets really complicated.
    I wonder what the Histogram of the camera will show then? The sRGB or AdobeRGB or ECI-RGB processed JPG Histogram?

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    Re: Official USA Pricing for Leica S2

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpetersonci View Post
    DNG is a great idea in theory. The problem is that just being compatible at a basic level doesn't mean that the processing is tweaked for best results.
    Of course not - but it's better than proprietary files which are ONLY supported for companies which are willing to tweak

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpetersonci View Post
    Nothing can replace the many hundreds of man hours that go into tweaking the processing algorithms, noise profiles, color profiles, and other aspects of raw conversion to each specific camera. There are Image Processing PHDs at Phase One who spend the majority of their time doing just this.
    It seems to me that the thousands of man hours which have gone into the specification of the DNG file are also quite useful, better of course if you fully comply. Added to which, I'm sure there will be plenty of tweaking by Adobe and Apple (and other) companies.

    I'm afraid I'm not convinced by the arguments for proprietary raw files, you can tweak the algorithms, noise profiles, colour profiles and other aspects of raw conversion for original cameras with respect to DNG as well. It seems to me that in almost every case proprietary raw files speak to a company's desire to keep the software profits to themselves rather than an altruistic aim for highest quality

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpetersonci View Post
    Will Phase do any camera specific tweaking for the S2? I don't know. It's well known that the companies had a bit of a falling out.
    Well, I don't know whether they will or not. But it seems to me that co-operation is definitely in both companies best interests, but that scare stories about falling out are in other companies interests.

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpetersonci View Post
    I'm sure that even without tweaking the processing will be "good enough" but this is hardly a camera being marketed as having any component which is just "good enough".

    I've also seen camera specific bugs with DNG (e.g. Phase DNGs in early versions of Aperture had pink highlights).
    Well, I'm sure that Adobe will do some 'tweaking' if Leica are shipping Lightroom with each camera, and it seems possible they might have a Phd or two knocking about as well . Generally speaking I like the way Apple deal with raw files, and I'd assume that they'll also provide support for it within Aperture. As for bugs, I like Capture One (and use it) , but I'm not sure that it's immune.

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    Re: Official USA Pricing for Leica S2

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Of course not - but it's better than proprietary files which are ONLY supported for companies which are willing to tweak
    so you could actually say: it's better than nothing (i.e. better than in camera JPGs). What's the problem to offer a specialised software for high end output of the own manufacturers files and offer in addition DNG suport as the so to say "open format" (as C1 does).
    The knowledge behind the raw converison is part of the capital of the respective companies... why should they throw it away (or offer it for free)?

    Well, I'm sure that Adobe will do some 'tweaking' if Leica are shipping Lightroom with each camera
    of course, they tweak all the time. But without success for any camera by now.
    I am looking forward to the "skin tone" disucussions...

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    Re: Official USA Pricing for Leica S2

    Quote Originally Posted by thomas View Post
    Doug, for all backs or just the plus series?
    Actually better, the improvements extended to the H25 and H20 as well. Though from my limited testing the most improvement was made with the P30+ and P45+.

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    Re: Official USA Pricing for Leica S2

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpetersonci View Post
    Though from my limited testing the most improvement was made with the P30+ and P45+.
    So I'm again one of the misfits :-(
    I'm just kidding - thanks for addressing this.

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    Re: Official USA Pricing for Leica S2

    Quote Originally Posted by thomas View Post
    so you could actually say: it's better than nothing (i.e. better than in camera JPGs).
    No, I'm saying it's better than proprietary.

    Quote Originally Posted by thomas View Post
    What's the problem to offer a specialised software for high end output
    There's nothing at all wrong with specialised software, I use C1 almost every day, splendid software. But please protect me from having to use most camera companies 'specialised' software. My idea of slow torture is to be locked in a room with Capture NX for more than an hour or so.
    Quote Originally Posted by thomas View Post
    The knowledge behind the raw converison is part of the capital of the respective companies... why should they throw it away (or offer it for free)?
    Well, you can be locked in if you like, I'd like my files to be readable after the 'specialised software' company has given up the ghost, added to which, the idea of being locked into something like Olympus Studio software is a nightmare. Capture One is the shining exception to the grubby rule.

    There have been internet wide campaigns WRT your arguments, it's all gone quiet these days, but you won't convince me other than that the best answer is a standard file format with scope for optimisation by those little Phd's. (which DNG certainly DOES allow for)

    I don't personally go for Adobe conversions either, but your remark that they have failed with every camera is pretty breathtaking considering the number of professionals who use Lightroom every day.

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    Re: Official USA Pricing for Leica S2

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    No, I'm saying it's better than proprietary.
    do you really think DNG is less proprietary?
    But: if Phase goes down you still can use DNG... So I enjoy the time span they stay in business, I store a copy of C1 and store an entire computer and just wait what will happen.

    My idea of slow torture is to be locked in a room with Capture NX for more than an hour or so.


    I don't personally go for Adobe conversions either, but your remark that they have failed with every camera is pretty breathtaking considering the number of professionals who use Lightroom every day.
    I find it somehow breathtaking that so many pros work on laptops to judge colour and gradation. That so many pros actually have no idea of colour managment... On the other it's okay that you are not after the very best all the time. But still it's strange that Leica is not up to the very best IQ.

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    Re: Official USA Pricing for Leica S2

    Actually 4.8.2 which says it improved the P40+ and P65+ which seems like they keep tweaking the profile with there new backs since it has been introduced. I will try those test files again when I get home but improving the profiles is something we want to happen. I'm with Doug on this because I see it everyday in the Phase files running in C1 there just dead nuts on the money and they control the noise very well with there backs. This stuff just does not come by accident those little geek heads are working this stuff on a daily basis and it does show in the software conversions. General applications not designed specifically for the camera files are just not going to have that secret sauce built into them. Frankly I am not the biggest fan of LR to begin with, in general it is a nice program but in the end I find C1 better with almost any camera i have run through it.
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    Re: Official USA Pricing for Leica S2

    Guy - I reckon you have gone way over the top with some of your comments about Leica's pricing. It pretty much comes in line with Hasselblad and Phase One entry levels - and as I have said before - look up the costs of good glass again pretty much the same.

    Regarding hack shooters views on following so called professional shooter's choices - well that is up to hack shooters and internet noise makers.The absolute LAST person I care about is the so called self labelled pro shooter's views on camera gear or photography .

    Like any product - you either like it or not. I dont think anyone has enough information to make a decision about Leica S2 or not yet.

    The simple truth is that maginificent images can be made with a $50 camera or a $50,000 dollar camera - everything betwen these two extremes is simply buyer's choice and personal preference.

    People are entitled to their biases - but any individual's decision is interesting ONLY regarding the decision tree they follow regarding their decision - I just dont get all the fixation and angst about price - if something is too expensive - dont buy it, 'too expensive' is a different answer for ifferent people.

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    Re: Official USA Pricing for Leica S2

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    People are entitled to their biases - but any individual's decision is interesting ONLY regarding the decision tree they follow regarding their decision - I just dont get all the fixation and angst about price - if something is too expensive - dont buy it, 'too expensive' is a different answer for ifferent people.
    Precisely Peter (and the rest as well). But I'm afraid that you're pi$$ing in the wind - The outrage will continue I'm sure.

    Of course, the proof of this particular pudding is in the eating, and we only know what it looks like at the moment, and not what it tastes like.

    But the idea that Leica was going to make a 'blue collar' camera seems to me about as likely as the idea that Porsche would produce an affordable family estate.

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    Re: Official USA Pricing for Leica S2

    Pete:

    So are you buying one of the first ones available, and with a complete set of glass?

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    Re: Official USA Pricing for Leica S2

    Sorry for my ignorance, but why suddenly all these worries about DNG? It seems to work fine with the DMR, the M8, the Pentaxes and the Ricohs. Actually, from most photographers, It's mostly been seen as an advantage, or at least that's my impression. Why should it suddenly become a disadvantage?

    Yes, I know; tweaking and tweaking and tweaking and tweaking, but my impression of the S2 is that it's supposed to be an easy-to-use camera with a big sensor and high quality optics in a DSLR body. If I bought it, and felt that my files needed tweaking and tweaking and tweaking and tweaking, I would surely be disappointed
    Last edited by Jorgen Udvang; 3rd August 2009 at 19:47.

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    Re: Official USA Pricing for Leica S2

    This discussion reminds me about the discussion around the launch of the Olympus E-1. It was too little, too late, too expensive and what did we need all that high quality glass for on a camera with just 5MP and three focus points when others make good glass too.... and so on.

    Some of those Zuiko lenses are actually more expensive (longer, yes, but more expensive) than some of the lenses offered for the S2. Still some naive, ignorant photographers bought them, and used them on their dinky E-1s. Did we hear many complaints? From those who didn't buy it, and never planned to, yes, a lot, and some of them still do. But from those who actually bought the far too expensive E-1 with the far too expensive lenses, I can't remember that I heard a single complaint, but then, my memory is rather selective at times

    Did Olympus think they were going to conquer the world with the E-1? Probably not, and they didn't. Will Leica conquer the world with the S2? Absolutely not, but If I went on an expedition to Mars or to Lhasa, I know what camera I would choose, if money was no objection. On Mars as well as in Lhasa, only one thing counts: the gear that I bring with me has to work, and churn out the best image quality possible, come snow, come rain, come flood or revolutions. If the S2 can do that, it's a winner for some people.

    And while I'm at it:
    For years now, and particularly since the launch of the M8, Leica has been blamed for selling yesteryear's technology at inflated prices. Now they have responded, and launched a camera and a system that is current technology and a unique combination of sensor size and packaging. So, they have something that nobody else has. Isn't it then a little bit optimistic to expect that it shouldn't also be priced higher than whatever competition there is?

    Of course very few people can afford it, but that goes for most of the high end gear. If I need the ultimate optical quality and an MF quality sensor and I'm going out in the rain, are there any other choices out there? If the answer is no, and I were in Leica's shoes, I would certainly not sell this stuff cheap.

    I, as anybody else, could well wish that the S2 system was priced lower, particularly the body. But it is what it is, and if it does what it does, and does it well, I see a system that may become indispensable for some.

    Just my thoughts...
    Last edited by Jorgen Udvang; 3rd August 2009 at 19:46.

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    Re: Official USA Pricing for Leica S2

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    Sorry for my ignorance, but why suddenly all these worries about DNG? It seems to work fine with the DMR, the M8, the Pentaxes and the Ricohs. Actually, from most photographers, It's mostly been seen as an advantage, or at least that's my impression. Why should it suddenly become a disadvantage?

    Yes, I know; tweaking and tweaking and tweaking and tweaking, but my impression of the S2, is that it's supposed to be an easy-to-use camera with a big sensor and high quality optics in a DSLR body. If I bought it, and felt that my files needed tweaking and tweaking and tweaking and tweaking, I would surely be disappointed
    Exactly. YOU shouldn't need to tweak and tweak because the software processing it should be specifically tuned to create a nearly perfect image requiring as little work as possible. Leica makes amazing glass, and I'm sure the camera body will be great, but it's still just a Kodak sensor and each generation of Kodak sensors (or any brand/make/model sensors) have quirks and oddities. Addressing these specific sensor characteristics (noise characteristics, long exposure and high ISO characteristics, micro lenses or not, spectral response, tendency to moire, reaction to ambient temperature, propensity to cross-over or drift in shadow color etc) MUST be done in the raw processing software if the goal is absolute max quality. This is all done (or isn't done) in the background without your knowledge so that when you open the file it looks "right" from the get go with natural accurate color and minimal obtrusive noise.

    Phase One put a lot of effort into making M8 files sing, and even OEM'd a version with Leica specific to the M8 along with color profiles meant to help Leica address the IR issue they had with the M8. Put an M8 file through LR (generic support through DNG) and then through C1 (specifically tweaked DNG support) and see the difference I'm talking about.

    Also, DNG support does not generally include the sorts of proprietary datasets used by companies like Phase to pass information from the back to the raw processor to get the most out of the file (especially as regards DR and noise). Two examples from Phase is the ambient temperature and the black-cal capture. This sort of tweaking requires integration of the hardware, firmware, and software to be effective.

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    Re: Official USA Pricing for Leica S2

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Pete:

    So are you buying one of the first ones available, and with a complete set of glass?

    ,
    Hi Jack,

    Long stor short - given my recent 'experiences' with Solms service of my M8 - broke down day one after a two month turnaround - with another case of total system failure - I would have to say NO WAY JOSE

    Give it a year to get fixed and become bug free IF it actually works in the first place and I might consider it -only because I think it will be a better ergonomic camera than anything from current MF camera land.

    The price is not an issue for me - it is wether it works - weird that anyone has to worry about such issues isnt it - but once bitten twice shy ..have had a bad run with M8/Hy6 experinces and not in a hurry to 'trust' any company anymore.

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    Re: Official USA Pricing for Leica S2

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    I just dont get all the fixation and angst about price
    I suspect it's a manifestation of the economic downturn that many of us are feeling. A couple of years back I don't think you'd be hearing this much of an outcry. It's a sign of the times...

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    Re: Official USA Pricing for Leica S2

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpetersonci View Post
    Nothing can replace the many hundreds of man hours that go into tweaking the processing algorithms, noise profiles, color profiles, and other aspects of raw conversion to each specific camera. There are Image Processing PHDs at Phase One who spend the majority of their time doing just this.
    The importance of many PhDs and hundreds of man hours can be overstated. Both RPP and RD have users which believe them to yield superior results to C1, and both are one-man shops. Rainer Viertlböck uses RPP, for example.

    Let's see what Leica can come up with before damning their results, shall we?
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    Re: Official USA Pricing for Leica S2

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick-T View Post
    I'm with Doug on this. Hasselblad experimented with in-camera DNG but the quality just wasn't right. Why spend a great deal of money on what will no doubt be a very well engineered camera and then dumb down the results by converting to DNG.
    I am sure that you are not saying that there is anything inherently wrong with DNG as a format. That would be a very silly statement, since it is simply a container for data, with provision for maker-specific information for whatever you need. In that case, I can only conclude that Hasselblad couldn't pull it off, not for reasons to do with DNG, but for... erm... other reasons.
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    Re: Official USA Pricing for Leica S2

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpetersonci View Post
    DNG support does not generally include the sorts of proprietary datasets used by companies like Phase to pass information from the back to the raw processor to get the most out of the file (especially as regards DR and noise). Two examples from Phase is the ambient temperature and the black-cal capture.
    Have you read the DNG spec? DNG provides for whatever you want. Of course, if someone writes special fields, a generalized processor will not be able to take advantage of it, but this is even more the case with proprietary formats.
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    Re: Official USA Pricing for Leica S2

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpetersonci View Post
    Phase One put a lot of effort into making M8 files sing, and even OEM'd a version with Leica specific to the M8 along with color profiles meant to help Leica address the IR issue they had with the M8. Put an M8 file through LR (generic support through DNG) and then through C1 (specifically tweaked DNG support) and see the difference I'm talking about.
    Why always compare with lightroom? As Carsten points out, there are other converters which are preferred - RPP may be a dog to use, but it certainly gets more detail out of the M8 and other cameras.

    Also - support for the M8 is not 'generic support through DNG' - in both ACR and Aperture and RPP the camera specific information in the DNG container is addressed - very successfully in Aperture (IMHO of course). I use Capture one for many cameras . . . but not for the M8.

    The implication that DNG is inferior is disingenuous, as is the dissing of Kodak sensors, which, together with their quirks seem to me produce the most natural and satisfying results.

    A lot of this stuff is subjective, and a lot of it is a trade-off. There are many arguments against proprietary raw, and very few against DNG, which, as Carsten points out, is a container file and will allow as much camera specific information as required.

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    Re: Official USA Pricing for Leica S2

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    The implication that DNG is inferior is disingenuous
    of course the question is not which data container you use but the extend of support of the data.
    IMO all camera makers could use DNG as raw format but still could add proprietary data in the files to take adavantage of it in the own manufacturers raw software.
    My reading is that this is what the discussion is about - the difference of 1.) generic DNG support, 2.) a tweaked/optimized support of raw data and 3.) the support of dedicated proprietary data in the files.
    ad 3.) this applies to manufacturers software only of course
    ad 2.) this is why e.g. C1 is superior for a lot of cameras (often better as the respective manufacturer softwares). And this is why ACR/LR sucks as they treat all cameras more or less in the same way; a rough tweaking might be there but it's not very successful regarding detail extraction, colours and NR at high ISO.

    why always compare to Lightroom? Because it's the software that will be shipped with the S2.
    RD and RPP indeed might be better occasionally when working on single or few files.
    But I doubt that anyone would use them as tethering software (do they support hot folder?) or to process a high volume of files.

    Maybe Leica will do a lot of pre proccessing in the raw files so that they will be a bit independent of a dedicated raw software. We'll see.

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    Re: Official USA Pricing for Leica S2

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    I am sure that you are not saying that there is anything inherently wrong with DNG as a format.
    +1

    It seems to be a widely misunderstood issue - many people are convinced that the native raw file somehow includes pristine data that is lost when put in another container, and that raw data is completely unaltered from the sensor readout stage. Just two common misconceptions I often see on the forums.

    Quote Originally Posted by thomas View Post
    IMO all camera makers could use DNG as raw format but still could add proprietary data in the files to take adavantage of it in the own manufacturers raw software.
    Agreed - that would be best solution.

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    Re: Official USA Pricing for Leica S2

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpetersonci View Post
    Two examples from Phase is the ambient temperature and the black-cal capture.
    not sure if I understand it right... Phase backs record the ambient temperature (so the temperature of the sensor in the moment of capture) and the processing in C1 refers to these data?
    So the warmer the chip the more some NR (or so) is applied?

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    Re: Official USA Pricing for Leica S2

    This is a really interesting discussion because it seems to be a microcosmic view of the industry with just about every area covered to some degree or another.

    IMO, some of the simpler statements seem to ring the truest.

    Like how the state of the economy affects this launch in general (perhaps not folks like Peter A, who makes decisions based on other considerations : -). 2 years ago, my dealer would have already had my deposit on the S2 (well, maybe not, since 2 years ago I was struggling with the M8 debacle). But that M8 issue aside ... that was then, this is now ... financially speaking.

    I also think Jorgen hit the nail on the head in saying " a system that may become indispensable for some time to come". For quite a few shooters, the megapixel race is over, and feature set is the name of the game. So far, it's hard to fault this S2 camera for feature set. What would worry me a bit is the advent of glaring oversights like multi-point focusing making my S2 a less "real world" functional 23K unit. But that is also true for my current 20K Hasselblad H3D cameras which cannot be separated from their backs. It's the price of an integrated system.

    Software is a sticky subject. Firmware and software is the name of the game here .... and discussions that leave out the firmware upgrades in favor of Lightroom or some other general use RAW software seem only half the story. If manufacturers turned over all of their proprietary innovations and data to a company like Adobe, they would be at the mercy of a 3rd party company when it came to firmware/software co-ordination. That sounds like a big cock-up just waiting to happen.

    I also think we cannot under-estimate the ingenuity of the collective. Users are pretty innovative themselves ... witness the profiles that were written for the M8. I use some Lightroom Plug-ins written for the M8 by some user for example.

    The trump cards that Leica holds are the lenses. In general (and most certainly in my opinion) my M8s hold their own against the very latest, greatest from anyone mostly because of the optics. It's saying something when 8X10 prints from a flawed 10 meg crop frame camera generally and consistently look better than those from a 24 meg FF 35mm DSLR sporting Zeiss optics. If the S2 follows suit, then we'll see if this thing is really "too expensive".

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    Re: Official USA Pricing for Leica S2

    Quote Originally Posted by thomas View Post
    And this is why ACR/LR sucks as they treat all cameras more or less in the same way
    Hi Thomas
    Actually - Adobe supports camera specific information in a lot of DNG files:
    M8, Panasonic G1, Ricoh, Leica digilux are ones I know about. Apple and others also do this for many file types. This consists of colour calibration information but with the G1 it also includes lens specific information.

    I think that you can be pretty sure that if Lightroom is being bundled with the S2 then they will be supporting camera specific information. I'm pretty sure that Capture One and Apple and RPP will also be doing the same.

    My personal feeling about Adobe RAW support is that it's very very good for the common professional cameras (Canon, Nikon especially), but nothing like so good for the lesser cameras (Sony A900, M8 in my experience).

    Clearly, Phase Files in Capture one are going to be as well addressed as Nikon files in NX and Olympus files in Studio, and aren't Phase users lucky in that C1 is such a good piece of software. It is the best piece of software for some cameras - but not for others.

    DNG is something which can be of help to all of us. It cannot be the best solution to be locked into proprietary sofware, however good it is, and for many of us who need to process and catalogue large numbers of files efficiently the DAM software (lightroom and aperture) present solutions which are hard to resist.

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    Re: Official USA Pricing for Leica S2

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    The trump cards that Leica holds are the lenses. In general (and most certainly in my opinion) my M8s hold their own against the very latest, greatest from anyone mostly because of the optics. It's saying something when 8X10 prints from a flawed 10 meg crop frame camera generally and consistently look better than those from a 24 meg FF 35mm DSLR sporting Zeiss optics. If the S2 follows suit, then we'll see if this thing is really "too expensive".
    Absolutely . . . but don't write off the effect of that flawed Kodak sensor - a variant of it occurred in the E1, and whatever other shortcomings the files did (and still do) look lovely - The S2 is going to have another Kodak sensor, and hopefully that will add the little bit of magic found in the M8 files (which, from Douglas and other's writings, I suspect other manufacturers whisk away in a quest for noise free high ISO).

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    Re: Official USA Pricing for Leica S2

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Absolutely . . . but don't write off the effect of that flawed Kodak sensor - a variant of it occurred in the E1, and whatever other shortcomings the files did (and still do) look lovely - The S2 is going to have another Kodak sensor, and hopefully that will add the little bit of magic found in the M8 files (which, from Douglas and other's writings, I suspect other manufacturers whisk away in a quest for noise free high ISO).
    The sensor/in-camera processor performance is indeed another element that's as of yet an unknown. If higher ISOs are achieved without the filter schmeer that other makers employed to get there ... it'll be quite an achievement. Just get it clean to ISO 1250 and I'd be a happy snapper. Wish the M8 had that ability.

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    Re: Official USA Pricing for Leica S2

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    Guy - I reckon you have gone way over the top with some of your comments about Leica's pricing. It pretty much comes in line with Hasselblad and Phase One entry levels - and as I have said before - look up the costs of good glass again pretty much the same.

    Regarding hack shooters views on following so called professional shooter's choices - well that is up to hack shooters and internet noise makers.The absolute LAST person I care about is the so called self labelled pro shooter's views on camera gear or photography .

    Like any product - you either like it or not. I dont think anyone has enough information to make a decision about Leica S2 or not yet.

    The simple truth is that maginificent images can be made with a $50 camera or a $50,000 dollar camera - everything betwen these two extremes is simply buyer's choice and personal preference.

    People are entitled to their biases - but any individual's decision is interesting ONLY regarding the decision tree they follow regarding their decision - I just dont get all the fixation and angst about price - if something is too expensive - dont buy it, 'too expensive' is a different answer for ifferent people.
    First Peter the prices are not even close so where that comes from is beyond me. It's 34k for a S2 with lens and 22k for a Phase or Hassy. Now correct me if I am wrong but that is 12 thousand dollar difference that is not what I would call comparable in the slightest and given no track record than you follow your comments up with this
    Long stor short - given my recent 'experiences' with Solms service of my M8 - broke down day one after a two month turnaround - with another case of total system failure - I would have to say NO WAY JOSE


    I really wonder why your on my *** when you yourself are not buying one. Sorry but I am just pointing out that it is a overpriced item compared value to other systems. Frankly at this point I really don't give a crap about it and why I am all of a sudden the Leica basher. No Peter I'm a realist and know value of the gear and in my view it is overpriced by a long shot but in all fairness I am completely out of this conversation and sick of the backlash from it. People want to waste or spend there money on items that are not making any sense than fine with me . Go for it but don't want to hear the crying when it is no better than systems that cost a lot less and everything else that goes along with Leica . You forget I was the first to get a M8 and DMR and had more issues than Bayer aspirin makes pills but of course no one knows that end of it. Bottom line I need stuff that works on a hourly basis and has something of meat to back it up. To many Hassy , Phase, Sinar and Leaf systems out there in place right now.
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    Re: Official USA Pricing for Leica S2

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    First Peter the prices are not even close so where that comes from is beyond me. It's 34k for a S2 with lens
    I thought it was 27 and a half - am I missing something? (what's 6k amongst friends anyway :-)

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    Re: Official USA Pricing for Leica S2

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Hi Thomas
    Actually - Adobe supports camera specific information in a lot of DNG files:
    M8, Panasonic G1, Ricoh, Leica digilux are ones I know about.
    Jano, I know that camera raw supports specific cameras. They even provide 2 (internal) profiles for both tungsten and daylight for each camera. I am just not convinced by their efforts and results. File management and workflow is certainly very good in LR (this is why it is so popular IMO) but IQ wise ACR/LR is a paper tiger to me. So I'd probably take Aperture, Bibble, RD or RPP rather than Adobe raw conversion. Fortunately I have no reason to do so by now.

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