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Author Topic: "Diglloyd" is testing the Leica S2  (Read 15594 times)
ErikKaffehr
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« on: July 14, 2010, 02:32:31 PM »
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Hi,

Lloyd Chambers tests the Leica S2.

http://www.diglloyd.com/prem/prot/DAP/LeicaS2/index.html

This is a pay site, but I think it's worth each penny although I don't use the things that Lloyd writes about. Right now he is reviewing the Leica S2, which he compares to the Nikon D3X.

My understanding is that he found the Leica to have very high potential, optically. Unfortunately he finds that critical focus is hard to achieve. AF is decent but not selective enough to lock on the right point.

Very good review, but less positive than Mark Dubovoy's. I guess that Lloyd and mark have somewhat different focus.

If you are interested in achieving the maximum with Nikon D3X, Canon 5DII, Leica M9 or Leica S2 I would suggest that Lloyd's two websites are worth the investment:

http://www.diglloyd.com/dap/index.html

http://www.diglloyd.com/zf/index.html (Zeiss lenses for Canon and Nikon)

Best regards
Erik
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2010, 08:22:19 PM »
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Quote from: ErikKaffehr
Hi,

Lloyd Chambers tests the Leica S2.

http://www.diglloyd.com/prem/prot/DAP/LeicaS2/index.html

This is a pay site, but I think it's worth each penny although I don't use the things that Lloyd writes about. Right now he is reviewing the Leica S2, which he compares to the Nikon D3X.

My understanding is that he found the Leica to have very high potential, optically. Unfortunately he finds that critical focus is hard to achieve. AF is decent but not selective enough to lock on the right point.

Very good review, but less positive than Mark Dubovoy's. I guess that Lloyd and mark have somewhat different focus.

Excellent review indeed.

His comment on DR are interesting also.

Cheers,
Bernard
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2010, 11:30:33 PM »
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Bernard,

I'm not a DR freak just because I started a thread trying to discuss DR related to Mark Dubovoy's statements. That thread had a good discussion, I think.

Lloyd made two DNGs downloadable, under quite restrictive terms. I started comparing them. It's not easy to compare two images making both justice. The S2 image has a lot of issues with moiré and aliasing.

The way I compare is that

Capture sharpen in LR 3
Open in Photoshop CS5
Match colors
I upscale both images to 50x75 cm at 360 PPI
Compare at actual pixels

Preliminary findings:

Surprisingly small differences
Leica little bit more detail contrast but lot's of artifacts
Leica has significantly more details
Smooth surfaces cleaner in the S2 image (due to intensive sharpening on D3X)

Did not print any image yet, I don't expect to see any difference in A2 size prints except possibly moiré. Capture sharpening is crucial and highly subjective.


Best regards
Erik


Quote from: BernardLanguillier
Excellent review indeed.

His comment on DR are interesting also.

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: July 14, 2010, 11:57:31 PM by ErikKaffehr » Logged

DaveCurtis
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« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2010, 05:30:03 AM »
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I must say his latest update comparison  with the mosaic manually focused really shows off the Leica 70mm. Im really impressed! This glass is brilliant.

I just wish that Canon and Nikon can come out wit a 30mp system without an AA filter.
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fredjeang
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« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2010, 07:13:47 AM »
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On earth today, there are some gear that you can't go wrong with.
The D3x is one, the S2 is also on the list.
All will be a question of handling, style, economy and needs.

At this level, what matters is what do you want to acheive and how.

To me, the Leica is in a very hard position between a D3x and the best MFs,
without being as good as any of those in their strengh.

Can't really figure for who is this S2.  

Leica might knows.

Also, I find a little bit (diplomatically speaking) "ridiculous" comparing the S2 to the D3x, and sorry but this S2 should be compared to the same priced equipement from Phase and Hasselblad.
That is a good think indeed that Lu-La and the GetDPI did understand that from the very beginning.
See that Guy's pic I found on google? those are cameras in the same league-price-target. Not the D3x, despite being a top camera.
[attachment=23177:s2_getdp...merastud.jpg]

If I was a potential Leica buyer, I would not be interested at all to see how it compares to the Nikon or any 35mm. IMO, Lloyd missed the shot on that. (Lloyd is highly recommended anyway).

Take the Lu-La S2 testing, mixed with the GetDPI review, shake the all (in Bond's style) and you got a pretty extented and trustable information.

Conclusion (personal), why paying when you have good infos for free?
« Last Edit: July 15, 2010, 09:18:23 AM by fredjeang » Logged
BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2010, 10:11:47 AM »
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Quote from: ErikKaffehr
I'm not a DR freak just because I started a thread trying to discuss DR related to Mark Dubovoy's statements. That thread had a good discussion, I think.

Erik,

Never thought you were, but his findings are worth adding to the DR X files, aren't they?  

Cheers,
Bernard
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Guy Mancuso
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« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2010, 03:08:29 PM »
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Quote from: fredjeang
On earth today, there are some gear that you can't go wrong with.
The D3x is one, the S2 is also on the list.
All will be a question of handling, style, economy and needs.

At this level, what matters is what do you want to acheive and how.

To me, the Leica is in a very hard position between a D3x and the best MFs,
without being as good as any of those in their strengh.

Can't really figure for who is this S2.  

Leica might knows.

Also, I find a little bit (diplomatically speaking) "ridiculous" comparing the S2 to the D3x, and sorry but this S2 should be compared to the same priced equipement from Phase and Hasselblad.
That is a good think indeed that Lu-La and the GetDPI did understand that from the very beginning.
See that Guy's pic I found on google? those are cameras in the same league-price-target. Not the D3x, despite being a top camera.
[attachment=23177:s2_getdp...merastud.jpg]

If I was a potential Leica buyer, I would not be interested at all to see how it compares to the Nikon or any 35mm. IMO, Lloyd missed the shot on that. (Lloyd is highly recommended anyway).

Take the Lu-La S2 testing, mixed with the GetDPI review, shake the all (in Bond's style) and you got a pretty extented and trustable information.

Conclusion (personal), why paying when you have good infos for free?


Man looking pretty ragged there but that is also the curse of the P65+ in all it's detail. LOL

Thanks for the compliment Fred and I agree these things need to be compared to comparable gear and reason why the P40+ was used. Bottom line end of the day no IQ difference and actually given C1 and dedicated software a major plus for the Phase, I was not impressed by the s2 70mm lens the 180mm though I was. It's the ergo's and features that really are the difference. Just a FYI i bought that P40+ back right in the middle of the review. Not sure what that says but the value for me was the Phase. I know this is a back that does not get a lot of play on the forums as the P65+ does but please take my word on this back it is everything you pretty much need and expect. I am getting awesome images from it and it is fast and reliable. My only bitch is I wish the DF there was a setting to magnify the viewfinder to the P40 Crop as Full frame inside the finder. Maybe better said a switch for each back's different crop factors to bring it to almost or full frame viewing. When one of the OEM's comes up with that it will make no difference about crop factor backs.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2010, 03:32:15 PM »
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Hi,

I'm not really sure about that. Lloyd made "raws" available for download on very restrictive term (Mosaic f/5.6 images). I did some preliminary comparisons, upscaled for 50x75 cm at 360 PPI for both with in my view optimal sharpening. In this case the S2 has more detail but aliasing artifacts all over the place. Nikon is as sharp but much smoother. The results depend highly on sharpening for sure. The glass on Leica is definitively brilliant.

Best regards
Erik


Quote from: DaveDn
I must say his latest update comparison  with the mosaic manually focused really shows off the Leica 70mm. Im really impressed! This glass is brilliant.

I just wish that Canon and Nikon can come out wit a 30mp system without an AA filter.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2010, 03:43:17 PM »
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Bernard,

Yes I might say so. On the other hand it is very little info on DR and I have some problems with Diglloyd being a pay site. In my view his writing is worth every penny, but I don't want to link to article that costs 20 box to read.

By the way, sometimes I thought you were a D3X freak, but the work I have done recently on DR and also the stuff at "diglloyd" made me realize that the D3X is not just best of breed but leads with a considerable margin.

Best regards
Erik


Quote from: BernardLanguillier
Erik,

Never thought you were, but his findings are worth adding to the DR X files, aren't they?  

Cheers,
Bernard
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JeffKohn
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« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2010, 05:00:27 PM »
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Quote from: ErikKaffehr
Hi,

I'm not really sure about that. Lloyd made "raws" available for download on very restrictive term (Mosaic f/5.6 images). I did some preliminary comparisons, upscaled for 50x75 cm at 360 PPI for both with in my view optimal sharpening. In this case the S2 has more detail but aliasing artifacts all over the place. Nikon is as sharp but much smoother. The results depend highly on sharpening for sure. The glass on Leica is definitively brilliant.
Ironically the sharper the lens the more aliasing artifacts you're going to see, so with MF it can be a case of too much of a good thing when it comes to glass, for those who are sensitive to such artifacts (some people apparently either don't mind them or don't see them).
« Last Edit: July 15, 2010, 05:01:08 PM by JeffKohn » Logged

BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2010, 05:10:38 PM »
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Quote from: ErikKaffehr
By the way, sometimes I thought you were a D3X freak, but the work I have done recently on DR and also the stuff at "diglloyd" made me realize that the D3X is not just best of breed but leads with a considerable margin.

Erik,

It is fascinating to see how little reward Nikon got for their amazing work on DR. The last time we had a similar breakthrough was probably with the Canon 1Ds, yet Nikon probably got at most 10 times less praises.

This lack of reward is the thing that makes me say we are collectively showing our camera manufacturers that DR - although we keep saying it is the most important metric of our camera - does in fact not really matter because nobody is able to measure DR. The only possible result is that camera manufacturers will focus less on DR after the D3x. Why should they spend big money on costly fundamental sensor research to improve DR? Nobody seems to notice to acknowledge their effort and those who do end up being considered as brand fan boys...

Nikon developed the D3x for digital photography pros supposed to understand ETTR, those same guys who were supposed to be able to expose slide films correctly. The D3x is not a forgiving camera in that it doesn't hide anything up its sleeves as far as highlight information goes. It the histogram in camera clips, you get clipped files.

Now, the irony of all this is that most photographers actually never liked the way slides worked. We liked the results, but didn't like the exposure risk.

What Nikon should have done was to make use of the great DR of the D3x to tweak the camera for systematic under-exposure. Make sure that to dial in a -1 stop under exposure, in other words artificially increase the ISO value. Now they couldn't do that as a major player, people would have jumped at them right away had they artificially over-sold the ISO values of their cameras.  

Why do you think Phaseone decided to show ISO 45 as being ISO 100 on the P65+? Yet, I have not read a single report focusing on this characteristic of backs.  

http://dxomark.com/index.php/en/Camera-Sen...se-One/P65-Plus

Look no futher, 99% of the impression about the DR superiority of the backs come from this artificial under-exposure aimed at given the impression of highlight recovery.  

Cheers,
Bernard
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Guy Mancuso
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« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2010, 05:54:18 PM »
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Quote from: JeffKohn
Ironically the sharper the lens the more aliasing artifacts you're going to see, so with MF it can be a case of too much of a good thing when it comes to glass, for those who are sensitive to such artifacts (some people apparently either don't mind them or don't see them).


Here is where you need to be really careful the S2 in both C1 and LR the sharpness levels are very high and need to brought down to a more neutral level. Yes the lens is sharp and that is not the issue it really is the issue in the raw programs on how they are seeing these files. Lots of artifacts , moire and more and C1 does not see the S2 very good at all since it is a generic DNG files so it is not sure what to do with it. So some real skill is needed in working with the S2 files or the look will be to digital( halo's , clumpy and such). Neither program is dead awesome with the s2 so it will take some work to get some type of neutral look from it or maybe better said to look more like Hassy and Phase files with dedicated software and good sharpness algorithms at default. I still believe  the best option for the S2 is dedicated software and not going to get into all that whole ordeal. But the bottom line is one needs to careful on the processing or you can take a nice file and go straight over the top with it. Obviously some personal taste involved here but that was our conclusion.  

As far as DR in the field the S2 clipped both highlights and shadows more than the P40+ by at least 1/2 of a stop or more. Take that for what it is worth but the Dalsa sensors at least these new ones are better than our older Kodak P45+, P30+ backs. The S2 is of the Kodak brand but a newer sensor. The Hassy 50 would be a better comparison to the S2 in DR since they share basically the same sensor. I have not tested that though
« Last Edit: July 15, 2010, 05:56:13 PM by Guy Mancuso » Logged

Guy Mancuso
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« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2010, 06:11:49 PM »
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Quote from: BernardLanguillier
Erik,

It is fascinating to see how little reward Nikon got for their amazing work on DR. The last time we had a similar breakthrough was probably with the Canon 1Ds, yet Nikon probably got at most 10 times less praises.

This lack of reward is the thing that makes me say we are collectively showing our camera manufacturers that DR - although we keep saying it is the most important metric of our camera - does in fact not really matter because nobody is able to measure DR. The only possible result is that camera manufacturers will focus less on DR after the D3x. Why should they spend big money on costly fundamental sensor research to improve DR? Nobody seems to notice to acknowledge their effort and those who do end up being considered as brand fan boys...

Nikon developed the D3x for digital photography pros supposed to understand ETTR, those same guys who were supposed to be able to expose slide films correctly. The D3x is not a forgiving camera in that it doesn't hide anything up its sleeves as far as highlight information goes. It the histogram in camera clips, you get clipped files.

Now, the irony of all this is that most photographers actually never liked the way slides worked. We liked the results, but didn't like the exposure risk.

What Nikon should have done was to make use of the great DR of the D3x to tweak the camera for systematic under-exposure. Make sure that to dial in a -1 stop under exposure, in other words artificially increase the ISO value. Now they couldn't do that as a major player, people would have jumped at them right away had they artificially over-sold the ISO values of their cameras.  

Why do you think Phaseone decided to show ISO 45 as being ISO 100 on the P65+? Yet, I have not read a single report focusing on this characteristic of backs.  

http://dxomark.com/index.php/en/Camera-Sen...se-One/P65-Plus

Look no futher, 99% of the impression about the DR superiority of the backs come from this artificial under-exposure aimed at given the impression of highlight recovery.  

Cheers,
Bernard


Bernard we have been going round and round on DXO but the bottom line on it it simply does not account for raw processing software dedicated to the backs in question. No question C1 does a lot of stuff to the Phase files as soon as you bring them in. So how can we effectively understand the DXO marks when this is done in the raw converters and bottom line we use the raw converters to process so you can't ignore it as the working tool and end of day that is really what counts is what is going on with the output from the raw converter, I could careless what happens before it is brought in and that is there measurement. No matter how we slice the cheese that is the file going to print, to client or to press. I'm not here to argue DXO frankly I could care less about it and need to get back to Hospice with my mother in law but I think DXO is good and a nice measurement but I also believe whole heartedly people are forgetting the power of dedicated back to it's dedicated software which no question about it Phase and Hassy, Sinar and Leaf that is the life bread of there backs is the software. There is a lot of baseline tweaking going on at the sensor level with these backs. Anyway gotta run and obviously that was OT concerning the S2. I just don't put as much faith in those numbers, I look at it as a guide some think it is the bible. Whatever makes one happy
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« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2010, 06:54:36 PM »
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Quote from: ErikKaffehr
Bernard,

Yes I might say so. On the other hand it is very little info on DR and I have some problems with Diglloyd being a pay site. In my view his writing is worth every penny, but I don't want to link to article that costs 20 box to read.

By the way, sometimes I thought you were a D3X freak, but the work I have done recently on DR and also the stuff at "diglloyd" made me realize that the D3X is not just best of breed but leads with a considerable margin.

Best regards
Erik
This is something that I think most of us did not realize about the D3x until we got one.  Early on, I distrusted Nikon's marketing material, which ultimately turned out to be honest.  There is a clearly some kind of unique technological achievement in this camera that brings the noise floor down to bedrock, and I'd like to know what it is.  

The reason why I think most people have a predisposition to the camera is because it looks at first like a simple sensor changeout in a body known to go for under $5000 in original form.  So people tend to think, "no better than D3, just more pixels and no high ISO, but a lot more expensive".  But really, while it wears D3 stripes, it is a completely different animal.  It's an awesome, use-anywhere, studio camera that produces the deepest blacks I've ever seen and competes favorably with medium format offerings.  The noiseless shadows make your images look like someone applied 5 coats of wax and buffed to a deep gloss.
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Nick Rains
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« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2010, 07:09:59 PM »
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Interesting, I'll have to cough up for the DigiLoyd site. I am doing the same comparison next week, a D3X arrived yesterday and I have been shooting with the S2 for a short while now.

I think the D3X / S2 comparisor is valid because folks are interested to know what they get for the extra dough. Here the D3X is about $11K whilst the S2 is $28K so more than double the price. if I was wondering whether to up the ante I'd be interested to know what I got for the extra $17K and whether the sacrifices were worth it.

BTW, the D3X arrived with the latest 24-70 zoom. I know it's a good lens but is it going to be good enough to show up the sensor vs the S2/35/70mm lenses. it's a new lens for me, not used it before but I hear good things about it.
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« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2010, 07:29:09 PM »
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Quote from: Nick Rains
BTW, the D3X arrived with the latest 24-70 zoom. I know it's a good lens but is it going to be good enough to show up the sensor vs the S2/35/70mm lenses. it's a new lens for me, not used it before but I hear good things about it.
In the 30-60mm range the 24-70 is truly excellent, rivaling primes from Zeiss. That's not to say it's bad outside that range, just not quite as stellar. The 24-28mm range is problematic due to field curvature, depending on what you're shooting.
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« Reply #16 on: July 15, 2010, 07:30:51 PM »
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Quote from: Nick Rains
Interesting, I'll have to cough up for the DigiLoyd site. I am doing the same comparison next week, a D3X arrived yesterday and I have been shooting with the S2 for a short while now.

I think the D3X / S2 comparisor is valid because folks are interested to know what they get for the extra dough. Here the D3X is about $11K whilst the S2 is $28K so more than double the price. if I was wondering whether to up the ante I'd be interested to know what I got for the extra $17K and whether the sacrifices were worth it.

BTW, the D3X arrived with the latest 24-70 zoom. I know it's a good lens but is it going to be good enough to show up the sensor vs the S2/35/70mm lenses. it's a new lens for me, not used it before but I hear good things about it.



No one here took Bernard and me seriously when we said the D3x was pretty good, even compared to a Phase back. Now it's almost obseolere, but it's still pretty good compared to a Leica

Edmund
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #17 on: July 15, 2010, 10:31:13 PM »
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Hi Guy,

We had a lengthy discussion on the forum on both DR and it's interpretation with quite a few members chiming in who had impressive knowledge in image processing and all essentially say that the DxO figures are correct. Lloyd Chambers also found that DxO numbers are correct. There were some theories trying to explain why experienced photographers see a DR advantage.

Please remember that DxO-mark is about raw data that has not been processed. It's data prior to conversion.


Best regards
Erik



Quote from: Guy Mancuso
Bernard we have been going round and round on DXO but the bottom line on it it simply does not account for raw processing software dedicated to the backs in question. No question C1 does a lot of stuff to the Phase files as soon as you bring them in. So how can we effectively understand the DXO marks when this is done in the raw converters and bottom line we use the raw converters to process so you can't ignore it as the working tool and end of day that is really what counts is what is going on with the output from the raw converter, I could careless what happens before it is brought in and that is there measurement. No matter how we slice the cheese that is the file going to print, to client or to press. I'm not here to argue DXO frankly I could care less about it and need to get back to Hospice with my mother in law but I think DXO is good and a nice measurement but I also believe whole heartedly people are forgetting the power of dedicated back to it's dedicated software which no question about it Phase and Hassy, Sinar and Leaf that is the life bread of there backs is the software. There is a lot of baseline tweaking going on at the sensor level with these backs. Anyway gotta run and obviously that was OT concerning the S2. I just don't put as much faith in those numbers, I look at it as a guide some think it is the bible. Whatever makes one happy
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #18 on: July 15, 2010, 10:43:22 PM »
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Hi Guy,

I downloaded the DNG:s from Lloyd Chambers site and did a quite quick comparison with my "standard method".

- Capture sharpen optimally (this is crucial and I did not spent enough effort)
- Blow up to 75x50 at 360 PPI
- Compare at actual pixels

What I saw was that the Leica image had clearly better resolution bit also aliasing all over the place. Sharpness was about the same. I guess that Lloyd's favorite test target happens to cause a lot of aliasing artifacts.

I'm going to repeat with less sharpening.

I don't think that I could make any difference between the two in an A2 print.

Best regards
Erik


Quote from: Guy Mancuso
Here is where you need to be really careful the S2 in both C1 and LR the sharpness levels are very high and need to brought down to a more neutral level. Yes the lens is sharp and that is not the issue it really is the issue in the raw programs on how they are seeing these files. Lots of artifacts , moire and more and C1 does not see the S2 very good at all since it is a generic DNG files so it is not sure what to do with it. So some real skill is needed in working with the S2 files or the look will be to digital( halo's , clumpy and such). Neither program is dead awesome with the s2 so it will take some work to get some type of neutral look from it or maybe better said to look more like Hassy and Phase files with dedicated software and good sharpness algorithms at default. I still believe  the best option for the S2 is dedicated software and not going to get into all that whole ordeal. But the bottom line is one needs to careful on the processing or you can take a nice file and go straight over the top with it. Obviously some personal taste involved here but that was our conclusion.  

As far as DR in the field the S2 clipped both highlights and shadows more than the P40+ by at least 1/2 of a stop or more. Take that for what it is worth but the Dalsa sensors at least these new ones are better than our older Kodak P45+, P30+ backs. The S2 is of the Kodak brand but a newer sensor. The Hassy 50 would be a better comparison to the S2 in DR since they share basically the same sensor. I have not tested that though
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #19 on: July 15, 2010, 11:26:11 PM »
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Hi,

Lloyd used the Nikon 60 macro for comparison. I presume that stacking Leica primes against Nikon zoom glass is perhaps not an even ground for comparison. On the other hand, I'd expect the Nikon glass be very good at the center stopped down.

Lloyd is quite extreme, he tests all his lenses and find faults with about two out of three. He also mount Leica lenses on Nikons, uses Zeiss primes and hast also some very high class lenses from Coastal Optics.


Best regards
Erik

Quote from: Nick Rains
Interesting, I'll have to cough up for the DigiLoyd site. I am doing the same comparison next week, a D3X arrived yesterday and I have been shooting with the S2 for a short while now.

I think the D3X / S2 comparisor is valid because folks are interested to know what they get for the extra dough. Here the D3X is about $11K whilst the S2 is $28K so more than double the price. if I was wondering whether to up the ante I'd be interested to know what I got for the extra $17K and whether the sacrifices were worth it.

BTW, the D3X arrived with the latest 24-70 zoom. I know it's a good lens but is it going to be good enough to show up the sensor vs the S2/35/70mm lenses. it's a new lens for me, not used it before but I hear good things about it.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2010, 11:46:03 PM by ErikKaffehr » Logged

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