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First Real Competition for V system

Hi guys. After owning a V system since 1972, I've finally seen another camera that could possibly steal my heart away - the newly unveiled Leica S2. (Perhaps Leica skipped the name "S1", and named the initial body "S2" since it has dual shutters.)
It's scary to think that I could actually be suaded by this camera, but man, my heart is beating pretty heavy right now. I can't find any availability date or prices here in the US yet. Any of you from Europe know more than we do here in the States?

Truthfully, I expect the S2 system to rival the H system in pricing. I hope it does, but only from the sense that it means I can't afford it, and in which case I might quit drooling.

Anyone thinking along the lines that perhaps this 30x45mm sensor, 37 mpix Leica might be one reason for the significant drop in H prices?

Be still my heart!!
 

macmx

Member
I think the S2 is indeed a wonderful looking camera. The dual shutters makes it almost a new type of camera. The viewfinder - did you see how HUGE it is? Looks to be quite bright. I think the S2 is a VERY smart move from Leica.

But I think the price is going to be ridiculously high (just guessing here). It's going to hurt when you have to sell that S2 body to get the new S3. Ouch! It will rival the H-system no doubt.

Lets hope the ISO performance is better than the M8!
 

pascal

New Member
Hi there, thought it could be interesting for you to copy-paste what I wrote on the S2 in the Leica Users Forum:

"Yesterday I attended the Photokina in Köln and was allowed 10 minutes in the presence of a prototype S2 camera, which I could handle at will (inside the room). The Leica rep explained the system and considered it an MF system (which it actually kind of is, though CEO Kaufmann would not agree). The camera (prototype) behaved very well, taking into account that this is not even the final product. It appeared lighter than I thought it would be, and handled very well, almost like an SLR. Compared to MF systems like a Hasselblad H, it felt smaller/lighter though the actual figures may not be so far out of each other. The autofocus worked snappy enough for me. The viewfinder offered an excellent view though, it must be said, maybe not as bright as comparable viewfinders of my Rolleiflex 6008 AF and Hasselblad H1. It may be my impression, so further testing would be needed. Eye relief for eyeglass wearers is ok but less impressive than with my Rolleiflex. Built quality of the whole system is very German, meaning sturdy and well-made. I asked about pricing. The answer was that it had not yet been set and it would take into account market prices of comparable (MF) systems at the time when it would become available. In the corridors I heard anything between 15000 and 20000 euro. The Leica rep added that the system was in any case intended for professionals. He also told there was no compatibility with R lenses. The system is designed and manufactured in-house, and in Germany.

When pressed about a digital R prospect, he said they were working on it but could not indicate a time line. I asked if the digital R would have a full-format sensor, and he replied affirmatively.

All in all, I am really impressed with the S2 system though I don't think I would buy it, having already invested heavily in other systems (M, R, Rollei, Hassy). Actually, that is my main worry: why would current MF users who invested already in an expensive system dump their systems and switch to the S2? New users, of course, have an extra choice. But I wonder if that market is actually big enough for the S systems to be sustainable at a decent price. I wish Leica luck with this one. The future of the company may be depending on it, if one thinks about the investments made."

Pascal
 

pascal

New Member
BTW, the S2 is not called S1 because the latter was Leica's first high-end digital camera (in fact, a scanner camera on which several different lens mounts could be used).
 

polypal

New Member
Anyone thinking along the lines that perhaps this 30x45mm sensor, 37 mpix Leica might be one reason for the significant drop in H prices?


Michael, the price drop is pure coincidence whatever made you think athing like that :eek:

I was lucky to have the chance to get the feel of the S2.
It has typical Leica built quality and let me repeat the words from Dirk:
"An exceptional camera with AF lenses that have the best feel I ever experienced when used as manual focus lens.
Nothing comes even close to that"
He used the German expression for that: "butterweich" or "as soft as butter" in English.
 
Michael, the price drop is pure coincidence whatever made you think athing like that :eek:

Well, I'll tell you what made me think a thing like that - Leica was about to unveil a high-end system that would go head to head with the H3D. What does Hasselblad do? Drop their prices significantly.
Who am I to know why. If it's just a pure coincidence, so be it. But if it quacks like a duck, and looks like a duck...
 

pascal

New Member
I doubt this "coincidence". The Leica S2 will not become available until Summer time next year!
 

pascal

New Member
Not sure where you got these S1 figures...
There were 3 variants of the S1 scanner camera:
- S1 Alpha: 2570x2570 pixels
- S1 Pro: 5140x5140 pixels
- S1 High Speed: 4000x4000 pixels
The S1 took the following lenses: Leica M, Leica R, Zeiss/Hasselblad, Nikon, Canon FD, Minolta MD, Pentax, Olympus M42, Mamiya 645 Pro, Sinar P.
 

ulrik

Member
I think that the Leica S2 is very serious competition for the H-system. The H-system was designed as a 6x4,5 film camera that very fast adopted digital backs and now the H3 is digital only with "fixed backs". But what remained the same is the camera shape. The shape of a camera with interchangeable backs but where backs cannot be exchanged. We are used to this design and in the case of the H-camera with 90 degree viewfinder it can be used horizontal and vertical. But with the Leica handling will be easier. The Leica has the shape of a traditional SLR, let's say comparable to a Praktisix. The camera will feel more compact, will be easier to hold, easier to turn etc., I expect egonomics to be much better. And the Leica lenses will for sure be good.

Ulrik

Nachtrag: with this proposed death of the H-system, is it time to invest in the V-system again? :crazy:
 

pascal

New Member
Hello Ulrik,
I do agree with your comparison of the S2 to the H3DII. Since Hasselblad dropped the film back compatibility on the H3DII (an insane step in my view) and locked the body into proprietary backs, the whole system has to be seen as a closed one. In this respect very much like the S2 or, for that matter, any DSLR camera. The H3DII no longer has the usual advantages of medium format cameras in terms of interchangeable backs.
Pascal
 

fotografz

Active Member
Hello Ulrik,
I do agree with your comparison of the S2 to the H3DII. Since Hasselblad dropped the film back compatibility on the H3DII (an insane step in my view) and locked the body into proprietary backs, the whole system has to be seen as a closed one. In this respect very much like the S2 or, for that matter, any DSLR camera. The H3DII no longer has the usual advantages of medium format cameras in terms of interchangeable backs.
Pascal

I think this is a misnomer. The Hasselblad H system is comprised of the H3 cameras (31/39/50, and Multishot 39) ... plus the H2F and CF39 and CF39 Multishot digital backs. The CF backs will fit any MF camera. As soon as companies like Phase One crack the firmware on the H2F (they are working on it), you will be able to use a Phase One back on it ... Phase even makes their H mount backs in Hasselblad grey : -) The H2F also accepts film backs. So, integrated or not, the choice is there.

H3 cameras are sold as a bundle, and when compared to competitive systems the camera/finder and lens are pretty close to free. Other back makers are now beginning to adopt the same integrated concept (see the Sinar65). If you want to use a H camera with a digital back that will fit other MF cameras, you select a CF back and H2F. A CF-II/39 is now $19,995.

As far as being a "closed sytem that is the same as any DSLR" ... this is also incorrect. I use the digital back from my H3D-II/39 on a Rollei Xact-II view camera more than I do on the H3 camera. In that respect it is nothing like an S2 or any other DSLR.

As a professional with many $K invested in an H system that is delivering the goods day-in and day-out, swapping to a S2 would lock me out of view camera or technical camera work .. which is unacceptable ... not to mention that such a swap promises to be horribly expensive with no gain what-so-ever ... and the loss of Schneider and Rodenstock APO digital optics.

Personally, I think the S2 is an excellent replacement for high end DSLRs and low end MFD cameras that are used like DSLRs.

I have an S2 on order, and will now skip adding any mega-meg 35mm DSLR in favor of the S2 to work in tandum with my more versatile Hasselblad H system. But Leica MUST correct their service situation in a big way.
 

polypal

New Member
Hello Marc,

Leica is paying attention to the quality of the services from their service department.
This is not a typical case I think but a camera hand delivered in Solms was completely serviced including a new lens for the viewer, damaged by glasses, in less than a week. No fuzz all claimed as warranty.
The chances any camera send in for service will get a luxury stay at the Spa are getting smaller by the day.


Paul
 

fotografz

Active Member
Hello Marc,

Leica is paying attention to the quality of the services from their service department.
This is not a typical case I think but a camera hand delivered in Solms was completely serviced including a new lens for the viewer, damaged by glasses, in less than a week. No fuzz all claimed as warranty.
The chances any camera send in for service will get a luxury stay at the Spa are getting smaller by the day.


Paul

From your lips to God's ears Paul ... since I take delivery of my new M8.2 today :proud:

Hand delivering a camera to Solms is not an option unless Leica wants to include first class tickets there and back :lol:

My previous M8 service experience was abysmal ... and that is being kind. It was partying in Germany more than working in my hands ... if it was an employee, I would have fired it.

IMO, as it is being positioned as a "Pro" system, unless the S2 is initially treated with express service and handled separately with "Pro Priority" it will be relegated to a burst of sales to the Leica faithful and then drop off abruptly. Leica needs to do an "Over Kill" on this aspect.

The proof will be in tasting the pudding not talking about tasting the pudding. And in this case we have some time before the thing is even available ... plus, no one even knows how much it will cost.

It's projected to be a year off ... it will be interesting to see where things are in a year's time.
 

pascal

New Member
Hi Marc,

what I meant to say is this: the H3DII does not take film backs any longer (a sad loss compared to the H3D), so it is impossible to take the system with a film back as backup. I do not want to schlep around yet another body just in case I want to use a film back. And yes, one could use the H2F but that is not the point, isn't it? The "top of the line" in terms of digital integration seems to be the H3D series, according to Hasselblad. Therefore, that's the camera I would be looking at first. But this would imply that one has to take another body for use with a film back, which is -at least in my case- highly undesirable.
However, in terms of the Leica S2, the most likely audience for such a camera system is indeed most likely what you have identified.
Cheers.
 

fotografz

Active Member
Hi Marc,

what I meant to say is this: the H3DII does not take film backs any longer (a sad loss compared to the H3D), so it is impossible to take the system with a film back as backup. I do not want to schlep around yet another body just in case I want to use a film back. And yes, one could use the H2F but that is not the point, isn't it? The "top of the line" in terms of digital integration seems to be the H3D series, according to Hasselblad. Therefore, that's the camera I would be looking at first. But this would imply that one has to take another body for use with a film back, which is -at least in my case- highly undesirable.
However, in terms of the Leica S2, the most likely audience for such a camera system is indeed most likely what you have identified.
Cheers.

I understand your specific requirements. I also think that a decision was made to abandon dual back use in favor of further full integration with the H3D-II.

However, dismissing the H2F as somehow inferior seems odd to me since it meets your specific requirements. While the H2F does over 95% of what the H3D-II can do digitally, it does more than the H3D could when used with film, and everything a H3 could do digitally, plus does a lot more than the H2 could do digitally ... and alternatively if fitted with a CF-II/39 back is more versatile than a Phase One back with it's fixed mount.

Personally, needing a second body to shoot film if also using an H3D-II for the ultimate in digital integration isn't much of an inconvenience since it's just the body which is quite small when stripped of all other components ... it acts as a true back up to the H3D-II (camera and back) and avoids removing the digital back from the H3D-II when in the field.

But agreed, nothing out there is perfect for all the different requirements of all the different people.

The S2 cannot shoot film either ... and there isn't even the option of a second modular "film" body. One would need to carry an entire second system to shoot film or have a second S2 if back-up were required.
 
As a member of the leica fellowship, I can only say; if you have a lucrative advertising contract, then go ahead, and buy the S2. I think you will find, that like the M8.2, pricing will be beyond most enthusiasts pockets- i did hear a price for the s2 as being very nearly £25,000, without the lenses !
Have fun.
 

fotografz

Active Member
I'd have to agree with that. As a member of the Leica fellowship, I'd also like nothing better than to get a M8.2 ... and a S2 when available ... but even with commercial work helping defray the costs, the revenue cut backs and increasing cost of most everything photographic, it's a hard pill to swallow financially.

It's very apparent that my current M8, and current MF Digital solutions more than deliver the required images ... and a M8.2 or S2 would not suddenly make me more money, or help me produce better images than my clients are already more than satisified with.

If I were just an enthusiast, I'd simply return to 100% film and sell off all this digital gear except something for family snap-shots.
 

polypal

New Member
.... i did hear a price for the s2 as being very nearly £25,000, without the lenses !
Have fun.


Maybe a new marketing trick: Spread a rumor of 25.000 GBP and than mention that the body only costs 12.000 GBP.
That is the figure I got from Leica at the Photokina in Köln
Time will tell in a market where other manufacturers have already dropped their prices.
 
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