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Author Topic: Leica S users  (Read 2616 times)
sanzari
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« on: November 05, 2012, 12:58:26 AM »
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With recent announcements at Photokina Leica are clearly taking this MF serious and trying to make in roads into the studios with more shutter leaf lenses.

I'm not a studio guy, rather outdoors with Elephants. My question to those who have tried and tested the S beast, is there an autofocus advantage ?

Does the lens sensor combo knock images out the park, perhaps get near an iQ180 ?

The reason I ask is I might be getting a loaner on the old series S and whilst its always polite to accept a gift, I do not want to park my D800 for an extra bit of resolution that is not use to me.

Also the professional support is no where near Phase and getting one of these beasts insured with lenses is proving to be fun.

Thanks S testers and users.
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Matchete
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« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2012, 08:07:40 AM »
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I don't own any of these cameras, but I found this comparison interesting:

http://blog.mingthein.com/2012/05/05/an-unfair-fight-nikon-d800e-vs-leica-s2-p/

Hope that helps

Mat
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FredBGG
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« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2012, 09:47:19 AM »
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I do not want to park my D800 for an extra bit of resolution that is not use to me.

The difference in resolution and sharpness is not that much and requires pixel peeping at 100% to see the difference.

Autofocus in the S2 is OK, but about as good as $ 400 DSLR. Much slower than most  35mm DSLR cameras.

The D800 is a far better choice for wildlife photography.
Way faster and more accurate autofocus
Better dynamic range
3 times the frame rate (or more in crop mode with a grip)
Zoom lenses. This alone will give you better compositions unless you can ask your Elephants to hold still  Wink

The S2 is not the most reliable of cameras. Somewhat understandable being the first MF made by Leica.

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kers
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« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2012, 11:54:49 AM »
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Interesting comparison by Ming Thein; 
I would very much like a better prisma in my d800e; then a better live view- better in low light and viewing 100% enlarged.
better lenses are coming for sure.. the question is how fast?


« Last Edit: November 05, 2012, 01:03:40 PM by kers » Logged

Pieter Kers
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« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2012, 12:59:09 PM »
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I applaud Leica's commitment to MFD and to pushing the limits of lens excellence. That said, they had some big action-shot prints up at Photokina which, while good, were nothing the D800E couldn't have done. 

The S2 produces beautiful files. But the difference between it, a P40+, an HD-40, a 645D and an 800E is minimal. Whether that degree of difference is worthwhile to any given user is personal.  It is nowhere near proportional to what the price difference is. 

The AF is ok.  But it's not better than Canonikon.

- N.
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Nick Devlin   @onelittlecamera
sanzari
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« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2012, 05:05:55 PM »
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Thanks Nick, et al

I am coming to a conclusion which will involve Nikon and Zeiss. The S lenses are fabulous but of course getting a second body back etc will be tough in my current world.

That said I am obsessing over size at present. Thanks for tips and tricks on this. I am guessing by implication around 40 mega pixels little difference. Beyond that say how to 80 million of you beauties
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craigrudlin
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« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2012, 06:28:22 PM »
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I must at least partially disagree with some of the comments above.  I own BOTH the S2 and the D800E.
(1) With Leica lenses, the S2 images are superior in resolution, MICRO contrast, tonal range than the D800E.
The images have a three dimensionality that I cannot achieve WITH NIKON LENSES on the D800E.

(2) On the other hand, fitting Leica R lenses to the D800E achieves close to if not the same effect.  So, a lot of
what I see is the glass.

Note that I do my comparison in PRINTS (minimum size 12x18, typical size 20x30 and often 40x60) as well as the screen.

That said, the points regarding autofocus and frame rate are important and favor the D800E (if you do not have
the left focus issue).

I often find myself "tweaking" the auto focus of the S2.  However, the viewfinder on the S2 is so bright, so large
that it is as if I am not looking through a camera!  The D800E does not begin to approach this experience.  Couple that
with the microprism focus screen on the S2 and manual focus is as fast and more accurate (don't need to move a small
box around the view).

But, I believe the most important factor in this decision is how you photograph or what you are trying to photograph
or achieve. Clearly, if it is animals in motion (or sports) then D800E is definitely a more appropriate camera.

If, on the other hand, you prefer either animal "portraits", or especially "environmental" nature photography, then
the S2 is probably more appropriate.

Also remember, that if you want to use very long telephotos (400mm, 600mm etc) then you must go with the Nikon.

What I find is that the type of images I take are different with the S2 than with the Nikon.  My approach to the subject
varies. 

This can obviously be an advantage or disadvantage;  I often find that it makes my images different and forces me to
be more creative.  That part is good.

Incidentally, if you want to see some "wildlife" images from a S2 and the 120mm lens, please visit my website
www.rudlinfineart.com  and go to the butterflies under the galleries->portfolios  menu.

Which ever system you get, you will not be disappointed.  They are just different.

But, if you go with the Nikon, do take a few Zeiss or adapted Leica-R lenses.  Even though they will be manual focus
you will see the difference in the images, especially if printed reasonably large. 

Good Luck!
craig
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sanzari
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« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2012, 03:12:17 AM »
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Craig.

Wonderful insight. My elephant fine art is shot on 45 and 100mm Pentax 67 lenses. I love the softer more real look they give and on a D800 resolve nicely. But I manually focus and shift to use 2 images for a 3:1 ratio. Often with dust things are not sharp to the eyes and I love to capture the feel of being there.

The reason I am looking at the S is because my next trip I may only get one chance and no opportunity to shift.

I currently do not have the luxury of both systems, and the S is interesting for size but I have been considering Zeiss had not thought about R lenses. Hmmm

I certainly do not believe that Nikon resolves to the edges as well as other lenses like Zeiss.

A new angle and another example of how awesome this forum is and people willing to share.

My images are about access and focused campaigns. All day with a herd to get them close. I shoot manual and loose loads of chances. I set up shots and 8 times they worked. 28 times they did not.

www.antonyb.com/gallery_amboseli.html

Thanks again for those who look, it's a growing set of images to reflect the region, the colours the context of the environment these amazing animals love in. I believe in right tool for the job but my approach and access is different hence no interest in 300mm plus lenses.



Tony
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TMARK
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« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2012, 10:16:42 AM »
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I would use an S over a D800e, but for the price.  The main reason is the viewfinder.  Not that the D800's viewfinder is bad, just that the S viewfinder is just fantastic.  The build quality of the S is in a different league than the D800, again, not that the D800 is bad atr all, it sjust that the S is a real piece of German machinery.  At the end of the day, I think with Zeiss, Leica R and certain Nikon lenses, the difference is IQ is not great enough for justify the expense.  Then again, I shoot people for the most part so I'm not digging into the corners.
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ndevlin
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« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2012, 10:56:19 AM »
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+1. Exactly.  If money were no object, I'd own an S. 

Tony, for your work and S would be suited just fine. It's a money issue.

- N.
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Nick Devlin   @onelittlecamera
sanzari
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« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2012, 11:56:08 AM »
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I am thinking the same guys. Sadly need to sell more elephants for a while.

Good update. Thanks.
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craigrudlin
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« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2012, 12:56:30 PM »
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Incidentally, one possibility is to rent a Leica S2 with lenses for the trip.
Dale Photo, for example, will rent both the body and lenses.  This may
be more economical.

One nice aspect of the Leica S2 is the size and "format"--  it feels like a properly
balanced Nikon DSLR (e.g. D800 ). 
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sanzari
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« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2012, 01:15:54 PM »
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Just for info as you raised it.

Tried to rent last year and apart from the 3k for the week which was not an issue relative to buying the insurance company want to impose a 4k excess on the policy before I even left UK.

I can understand but that was too high risk for the project.

Perhaps Leica should asses they policy on the real value of equipment not he sales value and make it more affordable.

Just a thought.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2012, 01:54:55 PM »
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Hi,

I just would add that live view manual focus is the most exact method of focus, followed by contrast sensing AF.

I hope we will see MF with both of these functions.

Best regards
Erik


I applaud Leica's commitment to MFD and to pushing the limits of lens excellence. That said, they had some big action-shot prints up at Photokina which, while good, were nothing the D800E couldn't have done. 

The S2 produces beautiful files. But the difference between it, a P40+, an HD-40, a 645D and an 800E is minimal. Whether that degree of difference is worthwhile to any given user is personal.  It is nowhere near proportional to what the price difference is. 

The AF is ok.  But it's not better than Canonikon.

- N.
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freeride
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« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2012, 10:19:12 AM »
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Hello there, I just thought I pass my opinion in the forum. I think also if cash is the obstacle , I would choose a Nikon D800E with a 50 mm Lense , Zeiss 50 mm summicron, NIkon 60 mm macro, nikon 50 mm 1:1.8 and for your 100 mm Pentax lense, why not use a Zeiss 100 mm, or NIkon 105 AF macro, Tokina 100 mm . THen you are set. With an easy set up. I know the leica Set up would be perfect in my opinion. But 20 000 more perfect? I 'm a great Leica Fan also and wish one day I have my own one, but I shot an art work which is actually shown in munich with a Nikon D800E and a NIkon Af-S 50 mm 1.4 , 100 Iso, 4.5 aperture , 1/160 with studio strobe, blown 120cmx160 cm and its dead sharp.
So with careful retouching you could achieve a good quality , okay its not 16 bit like MF Files, I saw the result and anybody can have for sure his own opinion. My eyes showed a really cool file of the Nikon D800E, but it looked different from an artist taste, not better or worse than a 40 Megapixelfile of MF just different. THe best is make your own pictures and compare. I would go with a Nikon D800E and some good prime lenses. And not forget the future special Zeiss Primes.
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