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Archive 2013 · Leica S-System and the future of Medium-Format
  
 
telyt
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p.4 #1 · p.4 #1 · Leica S-System and the future of Medium-Format


Tariq Gibran wrote:
As far as how results "look", they look distinctly different with a larger sensor so the sensor physical size spec does matter to users in this category - just as it mattered when choosing MF vs 4x5 vs 8x10 film.


Lenses matter too, and it's hard to argue with Leica's lens quality. There's also the dual shutter option, even with Hasselblad H lenses.



May 10, 2013 at 09:37 PM
Tariq Gibran
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p.4 #2 · p.4 #2 · Leica S-System and the future of Medium-Format


telyt wrote:
Lenses matter too, and it's hard to argue with Leica's lens quality. There's also the dual shutter option, even with Hasselblad H lenses.


That's very true. There is no denying how great Leica glass is. Same can be said for the Schneider Leaf Shutter lenses in the Phase One system - an entire series of them. I also have to say the Fuji made Hasselblad lenses are pretty damn good - at least the HC 120 Macro I shot is.

http://www.phaseone.com/en/Camera-Systems/Leaf-Shutter-Lenses.aspx



May 10, 2013 at 10:38 PM
ronno
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p.4 #3 · p.4 #3 · Leica S-System and the future of Medium-Format


If I recall correctly, I have seem some ridiculous levels of purple CA/fringing from those Leica MF lenses on highlights when shot wide open. Like what you get when shooting the Canon 50mm 1.4 wide open. It's not pretty.
Don't remember which web site it was on, but sample images had bad CA.

This issue is more important to me than ultimate sharpness/resolution.



May 10, 2013 at 11:42 PM
Mescalamba
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p.4 #4 · p.4 #4 · Leica S-System and the future of Medium-Format


ronno wrote:
If I recall correctly, I have seem some ridiculous levels of purple CA/fringing from those Leica MF lenses on highlights when shot wide open. Like what you get when shooting the Canon 50mm 1.4 wide open. It's not pretty.
Don't remember which web site it was on, but sample images had bad CA.

This issue is more important to me than ultimate sharpness/resolution.


Unlikely, that can happen only if that lens sample was bad (which can happen, just its very rare). But its not by design, Leica S lens are as close to perfect as possible. Ofc lemons happen, no manufacturer is exception, no matter how expensive is that gear.. (lately bit too often, among regular manufacturers).



May 11, 2013 at 12:01 AM
edwardkaraa
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p.4 #5 · p.4 #5 · Leica S-System and the future of Medium-Format


I was considering to get into MF for a while and have looked at literally thousands of online shots. To be honest there is a distinct advantage not to sensor size but to some systems, and clearly due to the lenses. I find the Leica S images to be very very appealing in terms of colors and general rendition. Even very old images taken with now outdated equipment like the Contax 645 or some Rollei gear still look great. I don't think the modern Hasselblad or phase one/Mamiya and especially not Pentax, give a look that can actually compete with the Leica S or even the Contax or Rollei with older MFDB. Note that I'm talking about look not IQ, which of course must be better with more recent sensors. It's all about the lenses.


May 11, 2013 at 03:47 AM
carstenw
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p.4 #6 · p.4 #6 · Leica S-System and the future of Medium-Format


ronno wrote:
If I recall correctly, I have seem some ridiculous levels of purple CA/fringing from those Leica MF lenses on highlights when shot wide open. Like what you get when shooting the Canon 50mm 1.4 wide open. It's not pretty.
Don't remember which web site it was on, but sample images had bad CA.

This issue is more important to me than ultimate sharpness/resolution.


Hmm, it sounds like you really need to find that site again and confirm your memory. If Leica could sell badly PFing medium format lenses for 6k a pop, they wouldn't need to put much design into the whole thing.



May 11, 2013 at 07:05 AM
carstenw
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p.4 #7 · p.4 #7 · Leica S-System and the future of Medium-Format


Here is a Contax 645/120 Makro-Planar + Sinar e54 photo I always liked the rendering of:

http://throughthelensdarkly.com/forums/CW_20090628_Contax645_Se54_14120_S.jpg



May 11, 2013 at 07:13 AM
sirimiri
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p.4 #8 · p.4 #8 · Leica S-System and the future of Medium-Format


carstenw wrote:
Here is a Contax 645/120 Makro-Planar + Sinar e54 photo I always liked the rendering of:


That's because, in part, of the 120 APO's nearly peerless optical quality. I use it on Canon all the time and even then it's a stunner.



May 11, 2013 at 09:18 AM
edwardkaraa
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p.4 #9 · p.4 #9 · Leica S-System and the future of Medium-Format


Very nice one, Carsten. Love the tonal gradations.


May 11, 2013 at 10:10 AM
naturephoto1
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p.4 #10 · p.4 #10 · Leica S-System and the future of Medium-Format


I had considered the Leica S2 system and lenses. Leica USA was trying to suggest that I purchase it. But, it would have cost me in the vicinity of $40,000 for the camera and assortment of lenses. That was more that I thought that my wallet could handle.

Rich



May 11, 2013 at 02:32 PM
 

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carstenw
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p.4 #11 · p.4 #11 · Leica S-System and the future of Medium-Format


Thanks, Edward!


May 11, 2013 at 02:52 PM
Tariq Gibran
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p.4 #12 · p.4 #12 · Leica S-System and the future of Medium-Format


It goes without saying that anyone considering the purchase of any of these cameras should rent one first.

You're probably looking at $500+day! for the Leica S2 with one lens. That's what it goes for here in FL (even more if you have to purchase insurance!).

http://www.dalephotoanddigital.com/_e/page/1014/Leica_S2_Professional_Rental_Dale_Photo_Digital.htm

http://s-newsletter.leica-camera.com/leica-s2-for-rent/

The others (Phase One, Hasselblad) will be easier to come by as far as rental - or perhaps even as a free pre-purchase trial from a dealer - there are more outlets that rent them (that's also a major reason more pro's use them - availability!).

Roger/ LensRentals has some a really great rate on the Petax 645D:
http://www.lensrentals.com/rent/medium-format/pentax/pentax-645-d-kit

I don't know if he rents the Hasselblads and the Phase One's.



May 11, 2013 at 03:05 PM
dennishh
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p.4 #13 · p.4 #13 · Leica S-System and the future of Medium-Format


Rent! I had one of the new S2's in my hands this week, it is amazing!


May 11, 2013 at 03:34 PM
philber
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p.4 #14 · p.4 #14 · Leica S-System and the future of Medium-Format


I would respectfully beg to differ with my friend, the learned Carstenw. That Leica sell "all the lenses and cameras it can make" bears no relation to the R&D being already written off, or not. They might be supply-or-production-limited, and have planned to write R&D off over 5 years, or whatever.
Basically, according to their own blurb, they sell only 1200 S systems a year. A laughably low volume for the semi-conductor industry. That leaves Leica with an unpalatable alternative. Either buy whatever standard components there are, and not change them for better stuff before they exhaust an inventory of quite a few years, or face dramatically,and I mean dramatically higher prices for very-small-volume components. Ferrari face the same dilemna, which is why the proud owner of the Italian thoroughbred also owns very Fiat parts, like column stalks, switches, air vents...
This means that MF, Leica S included, is at a huge disadvantage to 35mm just because of the fact that the smaller format warrants state-of-the-art technology and can pay for it, and MF does not and can not.
A very worrisome case in point is Leica's use of the S2 processor in its M 240. It is a Fuji chip that is already quite old in a world where age is death. And Leica's crippled implementation of Liveview in the Type 240 is apparently due, so say Leica, to their processor. Leica would never have chosen it for the M unless were it not that they had already used it in the S2. Either they had stock on the shelves, and chips do not age gracefully, or it ws the software development which they could re-use. Either way, not the stuff of which state-of-the-art performance is made.

Edited on May 11, 2013 at 04:13 PM · View previous versions



May 11, 2013 at 04:07 PM
Tariq Gibran
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p.4 #15 · p.4 #15 · Leica S-System and the future of Medium-Format


Yeah philber...but they are 10 years ahead. They said so!

They should do what they do best - make lenses!



May 11, 2013 at 04:12 PM
naturephoto1
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p.4 #16 · p.4 #16 · Leica S-System and the future of Medium-Format


Tariq Gibran wrote:
Yeah philber...but they are 10 years ahead. They said so!

They should do what they do best - make lenses!


There is still something to be said about the handling and feel of not only Leica lenses but their cameras as well. I have handled the S2 in Prototype as well as in production form as well as the M240 in Prototype form, and I have used Leica R cameras in various models since 1984 and still own 3 R bodies.

Rich



May 11, 2013 at 04:26 PM
edwardkaraa
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p.4 #17 · p.4 #17 · Leica S-System and the future of Medium-Format


Tariq Gibran wrote:
Yeah philber...but they are 10 years ahead. They said so!

They should do what they do best - make lenses!


The Leica M9 is the best camera I have ever used. I love it more than the A900, 5D, 1Ds and 1Ds2 that I previously owned. On the other hand, I think Zeiss makes better lenses. If Zeiss could command Leica lens prices, they would produce super amazing glass for that money. Leica glass delivers a great distinctive look no doubt, but Zeiss is the real master. What Leica does best is cameras.

PS: I don't expect Tariq to agree with me on this.



May 11, 2013 at 06:08 PM
naturephoto1
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p.4 #18 · p.4 #18 · Leica S-System and the future of Medium-Format


edwardkaraa wrote:
The Leica M9 is the best camera I have ever used. I love it more than the A900, 5D, 1Ds and 1Ds2 that I previously owned. On the other hand, I think Zeiss makes better lenses. If Zeiss could command Leica lens prices, they would produce super amazing glass for that money. Leica glass delivers a great distinctive look no doubt, but Zeiss is the real master. What Leica does best is cameras.

PS: I don't expect Tariq to agree with me on this.


Edward,

I don't think that you have experienced some of the finest Leica R glass such as the 100mm f2.8 Macro Apo, the 180mm Apo lenses, the 280mm f4 Apo Telyt, or the Modular system.

Rich



May 11, 2013 at 06:28 PM
Tariq Gibran
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p.4 #19 · p.4 #19 · Leica S-System and the future of Medium-Format


It was more a tongue-in-cheek remark. Leica makes fine cameras (I still say the best were the all mechanical M's), I just don't "buy" the marketing spin of them being 10 years ahead, even in the MF market.

Yes Edward, in general I prefer the Leica rendering - or, at least what it once was before the last decade or so. I think it's become a little more clouded as far as a "look" with both Zeiss and Leica trading/ sharing some attributes lately.




May 11, 2013 at 06:34 PM
white
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p.4 #20 · p.4 #20 · Leica S-System and the future of Medium-Format


I get a little tired of the rich dentist thing that some must refer to in order to try and justify their perceived short comings. As a retired dentist, I invested in extensive education and worked on a business plan that gave a good income. The job itself is very artful and creative and lends itself to creative people who also excell at other things, such as photography. Do not infer that because one was motivated enough to create a productive career that they just buy expensive gear as bling that they can not use. I use my stuff to the fullest and can stand my own ground with any self proclaimed righteous professional. Often successful people in one career are successful in other areas as they are focused and committed. Those that underperform like to justify their failure by scorning others.

Having said that, the S2 is way too expensive for the incremental increase in quality over the vast flexibility of top end 35. One can afford to stay more current with evolving 35 gear. Things like the S2 also have a greater risk of the system failing to evolve and even be terminated if it can not sustain critical mass.



May 11, 2013 at 07:12 PM
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