• #2937
    Pete Walentin

  • #2938
    Pete Walentin

    Looks for me like an S2.1.

  • #2941
    PebblePlace

    I'll reserve judgement until hearing price. But as an evolution goes –

    1) Reworked ISO, 100-1600; this is big if the camera uses a true ISO 100.
    2) Thumb stick controller – will help with navigating images
    3) Built-in GPS
    4) Faster AF
    5) 920,000 dot LCD
    6) Larger buffer (not sure, what was it before?)
    7) Sounds like menus might be re-worked, need to see pix to be sure
    8) Gorilla Glass
    9) 150 grams lighter? If true, that's nice.

    For new S owners, I think they should be very happy with this Version 2. For existing owners, I think we'll need an attractive trade-in / trade-up program.

  • #2942
    PebblePlace

    David – Has Leica released the US price and if there will be a trade up program?

  • #2944
    Al Tanabe

    Interesting tact – got rid of the S2P, put Gorilla Glass instead of sapphire and put a 3 year warranty on the camera. Much easier for the dealers to stock, and they can always add on the service package.

    I don't know if it is enough for me to switch, ISO is marginally improved and I don't need GPS and don't use the LCD for championship chimping so my wallet is still secure.

  • #2945
    Josh Lehrer

    The price of the new Leica S will be $21,950. This looks AMAZING and I am extremely excited. A few highlights that I am excited about:

    -Instant 100% zoom with a longer press of the thumb wheel
    -High resolution LCD screen
    -Built in GPS
    -Regular ISO stops finally!
    -Bigger buffer
    -Level in viewfinder
    -Gorilla glass LCD
    -New lenses, 30-90mm, 24mm, and 120mm tilt/shift

  • #2946
    PebblePlace

    Having owned several Phase One backs, most recently the P65+, the S2 does not match Phase One's performance at base ISO. Now that the S' base ISO is running at 100, which presumably is much closer to the sensor's native ISO, ISO 100 could look much cleaner, smoother than the outgoing S2. We'll have to see real-world results, but we could finally have true medium format quality in a dSLR sized package.

    The other items are evolutionary, but I see value in them because they are features I would use every time the camera is turned on. I think with the S3 (or whatever they are calling it), I could sell my Canon 1Ds Mark III and not miss it. On the other hand, for what it probably will cost to upgrade from the S2 to S3, I could buy a new M and a nice ASPH lens.

    For current S2 owners, whether this new S is good or not will come down to price and how much out-of-pocket cash is needed to get into one. If the S came with a new sensor delivering either CMOS or more pixels, the upgrade would be more compelling. But I'm happy with 37.5 MP, so an improved camera works for me. The $21,950 price is nice to see, but the used S2 market is soft. I'm hoping Leica offers a trade-in program.

  • #2947
    PebblePlace

    Josh – any word on the price of the 30-90mm zoom?

  • #2948
    Josh Lehrer

    The Leica Vario-Elmar-S 30-90mm f3.5-5.6 ASPH will be priced at $9,950 and the Leica Super-Elmar-S 24mm f3.5 ASPH is $7,450.

  • #2949
    Bob Moore

    PebblePlace;3105 wrote: If the S came with a new sensor delivering either CMOS or more pixels, the upgrade would be more compelling. But I'm happy with 37.5 MP, so an improved camera works for me. The $21,950 price is nice to see, but the used S2 market is soft. I'm hoping Leica offers a trade-in program.

    Think the used market just firmed up a bit…no compelling reason to drop the existing
    camera. 100 percent zoom should be a FW update, as could the ISO stops.

    JMHO

    Bob

  • #2952
    PebblePlace

    I hope you're right Bob. There have been some really great kits on Ebay lately with no takers. I'll be happy once that supply of dealer S2 and S2-P's is gone.

  • #2954
    PebblePlace

    $9950 for the zoom…?… eek! Surely you meant to type $6950…?…

  • #2955
    Al Tanabe

    Josh Lehrer;3104 wrote: The price of the new Leica S will be $21,950. This looks AMAZING and I am extremely excited. A few highlights that I am excited about:
    . . .

    What is more amazing is the price is $1K less that the S2 with two extra years warranty. I think this is a first for Leica, lowering the price of a new, more featured camera!

  • #2956
    Bob Moore

    One might assume that the S2 production and research cost have been amortized and really other that a couple of $25 ASICs and Gorilla Glass…which has been used on a couple billiion Cell Phones….nothing new but a bit of FW massaging.

    So their net profit per camera is up?

    Sounds good to me….

    Doubt that any of this is a reason to upgrade your present S2…..

    Bob

  • #2958
    Roger

    One might assume that the S2 production and research cost have been amortized and really other that a couple of $25 ASICs and Gorilla Glass…which has been used on a couple billiion Cell Phones….nothing new but a bit of FW massaging.

    So their net profit per camera is up?

    Sounds good to me….

    Doubt that any of this is a reason to upgrade your present S2…..

    Bob

  • #2959
    Bob Moore

    Of course you are right Roger…great warranty pricing.

    Discount your present S2 and factor in the upgrade cost…you may end up paying quite a bit for the new S2.005 warranty. Probably a better deal for a new buyer.

    The camera has been fairly problem free for me…hard to see where I will spend the upgrade costs for repair.

    Wishful thinking? Hope not….

    Bob

  • #2960
    Roger

    Bob Moore;3125 wrote: Of course you are right Roger…great warranty pricing.

    Discount your present S2 and factor in the upgrade cost…you may end up paying quite a bit for the new S2.005 warranty. Probably a better deal for a new buyer.

    The camera has been fairly problem free for me…hard to see where I will spend the upgrade costs for repair.

    Wishful thinking? Hope not….

    Bob

    The simple math was $21K verse FMV of my S2 $10K+$5K warranty . So an upgrade cost is about $6K when you factor in the warranty . I was expecting a difference of well over $10K . This looks like a winner by my economics . or the option is self insure and keep the S2 .

  • #2962
    David Farkas

    I saw the new S camera today at the event and talked to a few folks at Leica about some of the behind the scenes goodies. While I think the upgrades are indeed evolutionary, they are some of the most often requested ones. The new screen (same used on new M, btw) is really, really nice. There is a new menu system, but it was in German and I didn't have it in my own hands to check it out in detail.

    Looks like Leica did a nice job of bringing out a new S body (for less than its predecessor) with updated specs and without undercutting market for used S2s.

    I should get hands on tomorrow.

  • #2963
    PebblePlace

    Hi David – If you could tomorrow, maybe a couple snapshots with a cellphone of the new menu “look”. Just curious 🙂 Some more serious questions/requests –

    1) Want to see a picture of this 5-way mini joystick controller
    2) Is the new S2 actually lighter? The specs see to indicate it is.
    3) Is ISO visible in the viewfinder?
    4) Have they expanded on the auto-ISO parameters?
    5) initial impressions of the AF performance
    6) And slap somebody on the back of the head for that $10k price tag on the 30-90…

  • #2966
    Pete Walentin

    I made it to Photokina today and had the chance to take a closer look at the new S and some of the new lenses.

    The Leica booth is pretty nice and spacious. It wasn't that crowded, so there was a good chance to get hands-on every camera you like.

    The Leica gallery behind is definitely worth a visit. Some amazing prints.

    They have a special S-Lounge with a small studio where today Darren Centofanti shooted.

    So all quite nice, but coming back to topic. The new S. The first thing I recognized was the new coating. It defenitely feels like it sticks better in your hands, but I personally prefer the old one. I never had any issue with the coating or ever came close to the situation where the camera slips out of my hands.

    The Mini-Joystick controller is very useable when scrolling in pictures, which is really a great help. The old scrolling is quite strange. I'm used to it by now but obviously it is much easier with a stick. I guess the button will have more features attached to it, but I didn't checked this.

    The display looks great but it was hard to justify as I wasn't able to see real world pictures in real world light. But definitely an improvement. But here as well, I never had big issues with the old one.

    The GPS adds another “button” on the camera, which you can see top-left of the viewfinder. Whoever needs this feature, with this camera he is good to go. 😉

    The AF is the same as before. At least what I recognized and that is what the Leica guys told me. But here as well I never had any issues with the AF. It is not the fastest of course, but very accurate.

    The menu is in general the same but less colorful and it has a new font.

    The camera feels slightly lighter but as this is changing with every lens it is hard to tell if it really makes a difference.

    My conclusion is, that it offers some nice new features and it will attract more and more people into the system. Which is in the meantime a really broad one.

    Would I upgrade my S2? If money doesn't matter, of course. But in real-life, at least for me, it makes more sense to wait two more years and continue enjoying one of the best cameras in the world.

    I also played a little with a 70CS and made some shots with 1/1000s and a nice Briese 77m. Pretty nice. They told me the lenses will finally be available in October this year. We will see… 😉

    The 24mm feels great. Quite a compact lens. More like the 70 than the 35 but heavier than the 70. It is really, really wide. Of course I can't say anything about the performance but I could imagine that it is as great as with any other S glass.

    The new 120 TS is amazingly light. When I saw the first pictures it looked heavy but it is the total opposite. The build quality feels superb. Of course here as well I cannot say anything about the performance.

    I saw the 30-90mm, but as I am not interested in zooms I didn't touched it. 🙂

    So in general this all feels quite right. The system is expanding and Leica is really taking care of us S-guys. They also told me, that they will continue to develop the firmware for the S2.

    Hope that gives some infos.

    Cheers,
    Pete

  • #2967
    Jack MacD

    Excellent work Pete,
    David, you should hire Pete for your blogs.

  • #2968
    David Farkas

    Jack MacD;3144 wrote: Excellent work Pete,
    David, you should hire Pete for your blogs.

    I think I might just start to outsource. Good job, Pete! Too bad we missed each other today. I was spending some quality time with the new M. S is tomorrow for me.

  • #2972
    rudlinfineart

    Some of the “improvements/upgrades” are clearly firmware that could be
    added to our S2s.

    David– will you ask Leica if they plan on offering these firmware upgrades
    preferably free, or perhaps at a small cost?

    In fact, they could even offer to replace our LCD with the new one for a
    reasonable cost and I would venture to say, many of us would gladly pay
    for that upgrade.

    Also, a few years ago, Nikon upgraded their buffer on the D3. They offered
    all existing owners the chance to send in their D3 or for (I believed it was around
    $800) they would upgrade their cameras to the new larger buffer.

    Perhaps Leica would offer that to us.

    It is hard to swallow that the value of my camera has effectively been reduced
    by at least 50% in less than one year (11 months) and since Leica does not
    engage in trade in (as does Hasselblaud or Phase One) they are not willing —
    for a reasonable price — to make certain upgrades to my existing camera.

    It is at least worth mentioning it to Leica. Perhaps they would at least consider
    doing some of these.

    THANKS
    craig

  • #2975
    ciracrowell

    Thanks SO much for your report Pete. Very helpful for this S-Girl!

  • #2976
    ciracrowell

    Thanks SO much for your detailed report Pete. Very helpful for this S-Girl!

  • #2977
    Al Tanabe

    Pete,
    Thanks for the report, great job!

  • #2980
    Pete Walentin

    Thanks for the feedback. I hope David will come back with much more infos later today.

  • #2981
    David K

    I've been following these reports with great interest and can say that I'm very impressed with the direction that Leica is taking…both on the S and M lines. As a Leica shooter it's gratifying to see that Leica has listened and responded to the needs/wishes of its existing user base. I can't think of a single change they have made that leaves me wondering “why would they do that”. Also glad that my concerns about stratospheric pricing for the new stuff were unfounded…except maybe for the 30-90 zoom 🙂 For those of us who have a substantial investment in Leica (is there any other kind ?) its comforting to feel that they will be around for a long while and that we have chosen wisely. All that remains is for them to ramp up production and deliver the promised goods!

  • #2982
    GMB

    Pete & David,

    Thanks for the respective posts. I hope to make it Cologne on Sunday. Anyway, I registered for the S booth. Really curious how many of the goodies can be implemented in the new S2 by firmware update.

    BTW, I was at a local Leica dealer today who still has an S2 and an S2-P in stock. He was not really amused by the S prices, and the fact that it included 3 years of platinium services. In fact, the new S is now cheaper than the S2P. No idea what margins a dealer has on these cameras, but this must hurt.

  • #2987
    PebblePlace

    David – Has Leica expanded upon what the Leica S2 firmware update will be?

  • #2990
    Mark Gowin

    The new S has a lot of hardware changes (e.g., new sensor board, new AF module) as well as changes in control (joystick) and menus so I don't know how much firmware love us S2 guys will be seeing. I believe still room to improve the S2 via a firmware update. Maybe the guys at Leica will have some time for S2 firmware now that the new S has been introduced.

  • #2991
    David Farkas

    Mark Gowin;3186 wrote: The new S has a lot of hardware changes (e.g., new sensor board, new AF module) as well as changes in control (joystick) and menus so I don't know how much firmware love us S2 guys will be seeing. I believe still room to improve the S2 via a firmware update. Maybe the guys at Leica will have some time for S2 firmware now that the new S has been introduced.

    This is pretty much the case. The two cameras look very similar on the outside and share the same sensor, but they are dramatically different on the inside with completely new electronics, a new LCD and the joystick control. I am doubtful that Leica will be able to bring many of the changes to the S2.

  • #2993
    PebblePlace

    Well, the S2 still has some known bugs (which have been noted on these boards), and that was really what I was getting at. And then there some easy adds, such as –

    * Allowing us to control which direction the wheel turns for inc / dec
    * Setting auto ISO to 1/2x focal length rather than just 1/focal length
    * Enter lens focal length for manual lenses

    Historically Leica has been very good about supporting firmware on out of production models (ie – M8 and M8.2). Leica has stated on a couple occasions that a firmware update is coming, so since you (David) are in Germany meeting with Leica, it seems like an opportune time to ask, “when?”

  • #2995
    Roger

    Pete

    Very nice report . Looks like you are enjoying yourself ..I am jealous !

    David

    So the sensor is the same (formerly Kodak ) CCD ? This is good and bad …the IQ should match the near perfect S2 (no problem in interchanging bodies on a shoot) but it also limits the possible improvement in high ISO to what can be accomplished with NR either in the camera or in post .

    Did I also understand that they established the base ISO at a lower point ? This is what the landscape guys complain about as the S2 base appears to have some amplification and they want to get to the pure sensor potential .

    I understand that the sensor board and firmware affect ISO performance but they don t appear to alter the base level performance of the sensor .

  • #2997
    David Farkas

    Roger;3200 wrote: Pete

    Very nice report . Looks like you are enjoying yourself ..I am jealous !

    David

    So the sensor is the same (formerly Kodak ) CCD ? This is good and bad …the IQ should match the near perfect S2 (no problem in interchanging bodies on a shoot) but it also limits the possible improvement in high ISO to what can be accomplished with NR either in the camera or in post .

    Did I also understand that they established the base ISO at a lower point ? This is what the landscape guys complain about as the S2 base appears to have some amplification and they want to get to the pure sensor potential .

    I understand that the sensor board and firmware affect ISO performance but they don t appear to alter the base level performance of the sensor .

    Roger,

    I just posted Part 1 of my Leica S report.

    Yes, the sensor is still the same excellent 37.5MP Truesense sensor, but the electronics have been totally reworked and there does seem to be real improvement in ISO performance from the not-to-be-published-for-fear-of-death sample images we shot in the back area. I'm hesitant to go on the record with how much improvement there is until I get a camera with final firmware in my hands and on my calibrated screen with my LR presets, etc.

  • #2998
    PebblePlace

    Lots of good info there – Thank you. I'm looking forward to seeing some specifics on the sensor performance. Do you know if LR will have an update for new S?

  • #2999
    Pete Walentin

    Hey… pretty cool report. Thanks.

    It is much more what I discovered during my hands-on and I have to admit while reading the details I thought that I would love to have this camera. But as another new toy arrived in my hands today I have to wait… 😉

  • #3000
    David Farkas

    Guys, I updated the article with a few corrections, feature additions and more images. Check out the article (again) for more accurate info.

  • #3001
    Pete Walentin

    I must add here, after reading Davids report, that Leica has really listened to what we discussed here and asked for. Thanks Leica.

  • #3002
    David Farkas

    Pete Walentin;3213 wrote: I must add here, after reading Davids report, that Leica has really listened to what we discussed here and asked for. Thanks Leica.

    Pete,

    I feel the same way. Very few companies pay such close attention to the requests and issues of its users. The M9 was created, in large part, from an Internet poll of features M8 users wanted in their next camera. 17 of these suggestions were implemented and the camera did amazing in the marketplace. It's not rocket science to listen to your customers and give them what they actually want.

    With the S System, the user base is smaller, which means that every voice is even more of a vote. I encourage all the S users on Red Dot Forum (And there are quite a lot actually), especially the ones that don't post often, to start doing so. Leica monitors this site to see what users are saying. It's important that we make our wishes known.

  • #3003
    Mark Gowin

    Good point David. Reading your report of the S improvements reminded me of some conversations and requests I have made to the Leica staff.

    Question, is focus bracketing an option in the new S? If not, then forewarn Stephan that I will be asking him about it again at PhotoPlus. 🙂

  • #3005
    David Farkas

    Mark Gowin;3219 wrote: Good point David. Reading your report of the S improvements reminded me of some conversations and requests I have made to the Leica staff.

    Question, is focus bracketing an option in the new S? If not, then forewarn Stephan that I will be asking him about it again at PhotoPlus. 🙂

    C'mon, Mark! If the new S had focus bracketing, you think I would omit it from my report? 😉

    I'm doing an interview with Stephan tomorrow, and will be sure to ask him.

  • #3006
    Andrew

    As we are at the question time, here are my questions:
    – is technical feasible an upgrade of the S2 to some improvements introduced to the new S, and if so, which ones?
    – when we'll be able to know how good is the new ISO 1600? Could be a new firmware capable of making the S2 reach the 1600 ISO?

    Thanks.
    Andrew

  • #3010
    PebblePlace

    It is very unlikely we would see the ISO steps change on the S2 because that is linked to the hardware and the amount of amplification performed by the hardware. Generally ISO starts with a base level hardware amplification and then some or all the subsequent ISO increments are extrapolated by the camera's software.

    Leica had previously they could change how the data was read off the sensor, using 2 channels instead of 4. This would lead to slower shot-to-shot performance but would reduce noise by 1 to 2 stops. Whether or not we will see this in a new firmware for the S2 is speculation. I tend to think not. But, Leica could do the easy things, like adding the custom function which sets control wheel direction, adding more parameters to Auto ISO, re-doing the overview screen layout.

  • #3011
    aboudd

    Josh Lehrer;3109 wrote: The Leica Vario-Elmar-S 30-90mm f3.5-5.6 ASPH will be priced at $9,950 and the Leica Super-Elmar-S 24mm f3.5 ASPH is $7,450.

    Put me on the list for the 24 and let me know the freight for the 120 T/S

  • #3012
    PebblePlace

    For the 120mm TS, you may want to consider the Mamiya / Phase One mount ($4643 at B&H) and the S / Mamiya adapter ($875 at retail). That combo is $1500 less. Both lenses are fully manual with no automatic aperture.

  • #3013
    David Farkas

    PebblePlace;3293 wrote: For the 120mm TS, you may want to consider the Mamiya / Phase One mount ($4643 at B&H) and the S / Mamiya adapter ($875 at retail). That combo is $1500 less. Both lenses are fully manual with no automatic aperture.

    FYI, the 120mm Schneider in Mamiya mount is also available at Dale Photo & Digital. The Leica version has the advantage of a built-in S mount, rather than an adapter, as well as coming with a 1 year Leica warranty, which can be extended to 3 years with 24hr loaner service with the purchase of a lens protection for $595. The Schneider comes with a standard 1 year limited warranty. Just something to consider.

  • #3014
    David Farkas

    PebblePlace;3287 wrote: It is very unlikely we would see the ISO steps change on the S2 because that is linked to the hardware and the amount of amplification performed by the hardware. Generally ISO starts with a base level hardware amplification and then some or all the subsequent ISO increments are extrapolated by the camera's software.

    This is mostly correct. The ISO remapping and optimization is a direct function of the new sensor board. It will not be possible to remap the S2's ISO sensitivity. I say “mostly” because Leica doesn't use simple extrapolation for higher ISO levels. They are each individually set and calibrated per camera in the factory. This is actually one of the main reasons why they don't offer half-stop increments – it would double the time needed to calibrate the sensor during production.

    Leica had previously they could change how the data was read off the sensor, using 2 channels instead of 4. This would lead to slower shot-to-shot performance but would reduce noise by 1 to 2 stops. Whether or not we will see this in a new firmware for the S2 is speculation. I tend to think not. But, Leica could do the easy things, like adding the custom function which sets control wheel direction, adding more parameters to Auto ISO, re-doing the overview screen layout.

    Sadly, after three years of me asking repeatedly for the variable readout mode for improved noise, I am almost 100% sure this will not be done. It comes back to sensor calibration. Changing the number of readout channels and/or changing the readout speed impact noise (obviously, which is why we want it done), but that means that an entire new calibration is required at every ISO again, for every camera made. It also means that existing cameras would have to be returned to Leica for recalibration – not as simple as just a firmware update. Given the potential logistical nightmare, I can see why this isn't practical.

    As to the control wheel direction, more parameters, and other non-hardware dependent features, yes, Leica has committed to offering these to S2 users.

    The screen layout cannot be changed though. The new info screen is directly related to the higher resolution of the new LCD.

  • #3015
    PebblePlace

    If Leica adds the control wheel option, remedies the bugs already noted, then I think that is a good finish to the S2. I do not foresee them offering the ISO now (even if they could) because that makes the new S alittle less enticing. I would like to see 1/2x, 1/3x and 1/4x added to the Auto-ISO parameters. One-over-the-focal length is too limited if anything is moving (and you want to freeze the movement). Too bad that the code isn't open source 🙂

  • #3226
    hoppyman

    Hi, my nearest S dealer is many hundreds of miles away and there is no local exposure /knowledge on S at all (only 4 million people in my state and I think just 2 or 3 actual dealers in a country of 22 million people). It's hard enough with the M system which I am now using.
    Can anyone provide or point me to detail on the changes to the AF functions? I recently attended a promotional evening by the local Hasselblad folks (since a photographer I know was demonstrating studio techniques). The head of their Danish digital division spoke on their new models and referenced their system for correction of focus distance due to using centre AF focus, lock and recomposing.

  • #3232
    Josh Lehrer

    The new Leica S has an entirely new auto focus sensor which is not only faster, but more accurate, especially in lower light and low contrast situations. The focus is still center-point only for maximum accuracy, which would require you to focus and recompose on an off-center subject. Hasselblad has a feature called “True Focus” which is what you are referring to, which theoretically compensates for any focus errors while recomposing. I can only speak from personal experience but I have yet to have any issues using the S2's auto focus system. I find it to be quick and accurate in any normal situation, and if there is an extreme case where precise focus is needed, I will use the microprism focusing screen and adjust manually.

  • #3233
    hoppyman

    Thank you very much for that Josh. Yes I was aware of the detail of the Hasselblad system. Their division head described a further update to True Focus II in their new H5D range.
    I only had an opportunity to shoot a (casual) 40 frames or so with the S2 over a lunch with a national Leica rep and saw no errors when I shot everything wide open. So as a practical matter your experience tells me that the system works fine and there are significant improvements in that area of the newer model as well. I would be working no differently then with my M9 regarding focus/recompose.

    Your suggestion on the alternate focus screen is very helpful too.

  • #3320
    fotografz

    Lets be fair here Josh … the True Focus on the Hasselblad H4 camera isn't “theoretical”, it is a working fact, and it works very well.

    As I understand it, Hasselblad has further refined it in the H5 camera to account for any lens field curvature.

    The TF feature promotes creative off-center composition with confidence even with fast lenses such as the 100/2.2 wide open and up-close … or in low angle full length portrait mode using a wider lens at maximum fast aperture placing the head/eyes at the top 1/3 of the frame. The more severe toward the edge of frame, the more apparent the TF advantage is. Manual focus pales in comparison.

    Like any feature it requires some practice and skill using the correct procedures … like assigning the TF function to the rear thumb button to lock TF independent of the shutter button … just like most of us do with the S2.

    The S2 is fine for most standard work with smaller off-center adjustments, or slightly stopping down … or using manual focus. However, 35mm DSLRs with a decent spread of off-center focus points, or the TF on the medium format Hasselblads are better solutions than found on the S camera … or the M cameras for that matter.

    I hope Leica will continue to improve the AF on the S series of cameras, and eventually innovate their own solution for off-center compositions.

    -Marc

  • #3322
    PebblePlace

    I'd love to have a True Focus type mode on the S or any dSLR. It's one of those ideas that is so simple, that you wonder why it was Hasselblad to do it first.

  • #3323
    fotografz

    Because they had to, and were better poised to do so.

    The traditional moveable multi-point solution found in 35mm SLR/DSLRs is more manageable due to the smaller AF area needing coverage … but even then, it is grouped toward the center. The advantage is you can set a specific outer AF point and leave it for multiple shots … yet even with cross type sensors, the outer AF points on most DSLRs are iffy at best, and the center one is still more sensitive … plus, for subjects outside the AF grouping you still have to lock focus and re-compose. Okay for most shots, but not all.

    I think TF/APL was a side benefit of Hasselblad's push to more tightly integrate all the modular parts starting in ernest when they closed the system with the H3D-II … a decision they were heavily criticized for. Using the fully integrated data retrieval and calibrating each camera and back together at the factory then led to refining specific software corrections for each lens, which was also criticized, then adopted by almost every other company … including Leica. It also led to another less known AF innovation where minor focus shift when stopping down is corrected.

    Again, we have to keep in mind that the S system is very young. Leica has built a system that has tremendous potential for further development … and as of late they seem to be a clever bunch. It would not surprise me if Leica didn't integrate some form of off-center AF into a future S camera.

    – Marc

  • #3324
    PebblePlace

    I think the challenge with the off-center auto-focus points is that the light gets diverted with a sub-mirror and that mirror is quite small, so light can be dispersed only so much, thus the “outer” focus points get very little light and do not perform as well. Assuming that AF point spread of something like the Canon 1Ds3 is about as wide as it can go (it has a fairly wide spread); put that spread on a 54mm x 40mm sensor and it will look bunched up in the center. So, I think Hasselblad's approach is really the only effective solution.

    I still don't understand why it took Hasselblad to do this because people have been focusing and recomposing for decades. I'm sure all the auto-focus engineers at Canon, Nikon, etc., have smart phones. None of them put 2 and 2 together and thought about putting an orientation sensor in their cameras…?… I not an H-series owner and it's not a system I want to buy, so Hass fanboy bias here. Hasselblad deserves some kudos. With Leica's emphasis on simplicity, it's a feature that would fit very well on the S system.

    Since Hasselblad probably has patents on the technology, it may be a long while before the concept is more wide spread. There is some very impressive technology in Leica's Disto meters, so you'd think they could leverage that in the S system. Couple that with a CMOS, Live View and a Touch Screen and Leica could develop a very advanced touch screen system. Oh crap, should I patent that idea? 🙂

  • #3328
    constable

    I have a big black box with the letter S on it sitting beside me! And a battery charging ……

    More later

    Ed

  • #3329
    Rolophoto

    constable;3955 wrote: I have a big black box with the letter S on it sitting beside me! And a battery charging …… More later Ed

    You're not alone in that. 🙂

  • #3330
    Mark Gowin

    Congratulations Constable and Rolophoto. I am still very happy with my S2, but I would love to get the new S. Leica did a great job with the improvements from the S2 to new S.

  • #3331
    constable

    There are some very cool cables in the box. No more custom cables for Pocket Wizards and wireless remote. Hassy adaptor seems a bit more reliable too.

    The new menu system seems reasonably clean.

    ISO 1600 seems useable …. Maybe D800-like noise?

    Old peeve STILL here … I want to choose the priority CF/SD but cannot.

    Will hopefully get out to shoot tomorrow

    Ed

  • #3332
    Arif

    constable;3959 wrote: There are some very cool cables in the box. No more custom cables for Pocket Wizards and wireless remote. Hassy adaptor seems a bit more reliable too.

    The new menu system seems reasonably clean.

    ISO 1600 seems useable …. Maybe D800-like noise?

    Old peeve STILL here … I want to choose the priority CF/SD but cannot.

    Will hopefully get out to shoot tomorrow

    Ed

    Ed, Would love to see the higher ISO shots to be able to see if that will move me over. What is your thought on the AF?
    Thank you!

  • #3336
    Rolophoto

    Rolophoto;3956 wrote: You're not alone in that. 🙂

    Sorry, mine's a new, old one. An S2.

    Don't deserve to be posting on this ‘S' thread. The thread Title threw me.

    Story of my life. 🙁

  • #3337
    constable

    Arif;3960 wrote: Ed, Would love to see the higher ISO shots to be able to see if that will move me over. What is your thought on the AF?
    Thank you!

    Hi Arif

    I'll post some that are “fair” to the camera. Most of what I have to date at ISO 1600 is with the Hassy 120 and I was a little too quick in stating that the adaptor worked better with the S. There is still an issue of recognising the lens.

    Attached are some comparisons with the 30 mm S. Not world shattering composition, just sitting at my desk. Handheld so no criticisms here please!

    The low res is the whole image and then I have taken 100% crops on the black NAS drive. With a bit of noise suppression the images are OK … about the same as D800 certainly not D4!

    The AF is good if you have a lot of light, hunts a little in low light, nothing new there.

    Cheers

    Ed

    Attached files

  • #3338
    constable

    … and the GPS is the most accurate I have ever used. A great big plus to Solms here. Not sure about battery life yet

    Ed

  • #3339
    Arif

    constable;3965 wrote: Hi Arif

    I'll post some that are “fair” to the camera. Most of what I have to date at ISO 1600 is with the Hassy 120 and I was a little too quick in stating that the adaptor worked better with the S. There is still an issue of recognising the lens.

    Attached are some comparisons with the 30 mm S. Not world shattering composition, just sitting at my desk. Handheld so no criticisms here please!

    The low res is the whole image and then I have taken 100% crops on the black NAS drive. With a bit of noise suppression the images are OK … about the same as D800 certainly not D4!

    The AF is good if you have a lot of light, hunts a little in low light, nothing new there.

    Cheers

    Ed

    Hi Ed, Thank you very much for taking the time to post the shots. I will continue to monitor but does seem to be better than the current S2 so good to see. If you take some more at high ISO at a future date, then please post some more.

    Thank you and have a very safe and fun holiday season. I am told that my 30-90 will be in on the 29th here in Japan so am looking forward to using it.
    Arif

  • #3340
    Josh Lehrer

    We have had our demo Leica S here for just a day or so and I have begun testing out every aspect of the camera. A full review will be posted in a few weeks! A few initial thoughts:

    • The screen is GORGEOUS. So much clearer than the S2 screen. The menu system has had a minor cosmetic redesign but it's very similar, so I don't have to learn a whole new system.
    • The rear joystick is just what I wanted. Not only is it really easy to navigate a zoomed-in image, but I can finally move through the menus more logically, and go back and forth in sub-menus without getting booted out to the main menu.
    • Focusing is faster, and more solid. More on this in our review.
    • ISO in the viewfinder! Yes!
    • The buffer is HUGE. I had no trouble shooting 25 frames without the camera slowing down and I am confident it will do more.
    • I can finally use my UDMA7 1000x CF cards. Write speed testing will be coming soon also.
    • Five ISO options instead of four. ISO100 is even cleaner than ISO160 on the S2.

    There is of course much more. I am definitely interested in hearing what our users think about the new S, especially those coming from the S2. If there are any particular requests for our comprehensive S review, let me know and we will work them in.

  • #3341
    constable

    Josh

    Thanks for the heads-up on the UDMA7 1000x CF cards.

    Ed

  • #3342
    PebblePlace

    Hi Josh –

    My review wish list:

    1) S dynamic range at ISO 100 vs the S2 at ISO 160
    – How the highlights roll off
    – Noise pitch in the shadows
    – Noise pitch comparison in blue skies at base ISO

    2) Color response
    – Any changes in the Lightroom profile for the S2 vs the S
    – Auto white balance performance

    3) The DNGs available for download so we can edit and compare

    Thanks, John

  • #3347
    constable

    Josh

    I am not sure if I am being exceptionally stupid here, but it seems to me that Leica have completely changed the LEMO connection so that the old remote release for the S2 (and the custom cables I have for wireless) simply do not fit. The change is from the old red dot five pin to a new six pin layout. Can you confirm this and also if you are aware of a new style remote cable?

    I cannot get my pocket wizards to fire it over the X-sync (fair enough) … so what can one do?

    Ed

  • #3348
    Josh Lehrer

    Ed:

    Leica changed the connector for the remote release port. It now pulls duty as both the remote release port and the flash sync port. The connector is new, it is still a LEMO-style connection but as you correctly noticed, has a different pin configuration. Leica makes a new remote release for the S: Leica Cable Release S

    If you have any Pocket Wizard trigger cables, they will need to be remade for the new port. Slightly frustrating, I agree, but Leica made this decision to offer its users a more reliable way to fire strobes when using a sync cord. We also had a few reliability problems with the old remote release, which are now fixed with the new product.

  • #3349
    constable

    Thanks Josh

    Any idea about the pin mapping yet?

    Ed

  • #3350
    PebblePlace

    Hi Josh – did Leica add a custom function in the Leica S firmware to change the direction of control wheel for changing aperture values?

  • #3351
    Josh Lehrer

    Ed, I haven't had too much time to inspect the pins yet but I will post a comparison photo here tomorrow.

    Yes, you can adjust the direction of the control wheel. It is in the “click wheel” setting. David has a few photos of that adjustment screen in his Photokina coverage article here:

    Photokina 2012: Day 2 – The Leica S (Part 1)

  • #3352
    PebblePlace

    A flock of pigs just buzzed our house! LOL Thank you for the info.

  • #3359
    Rewi

    Josh Lehrer;3970 wrote: If there are any particular requests for our comprehensive S review, let me know and we will work them in.

    Would love to hear a review of the new Leica image shuttle software and if there are any tethered improvements?

    I'm currently looking at a Desktop with maximum tethered speed & image processing in mind….hopefully this will help alleviate any bottleneck issues with LR 4.3 in this regard

    Core i7 3930K@4.5Ghz – water cooled CPU
    32GB RAM
    240GB SSD – Boot
    240GB SSD – Cache
    NVidia GeForce GTX670 GPU

    I'm keenly waiting on your review, I feel my resistance slowly slipping away, there may be the possibility of a new ‘S' in my life very soon

  • #3360
    RVB

    I'm keenly waiting on your review, I feel my resistance slowly slipping away, there may be the possibility of a new ‘S' in my life very soon

    Its a short life,treat yourself…. 😉

  • #3362
    Pete Walentin

    Josh,

    Please have a look how reliable the rear button is for focusing. The S2 the button has just one direction. So it works perfectly. How does this turns out now with a button having much more directions to use?

    Thanks,
    Pete

  • #3365
    Josh Lehrer

    Rewi, the new Image Shuttle isn't out yet, but I am very curious myself about the improvements. When the software is available I'll do a few quick tests and post results here.

    Pete, the button has a very nice feel to it. For focusing, I haven't had any problems. What I have noticed is I have to remember not to press it in while I am navigating a zoomed-in image, because that changes the playback mode.

  • #3367
    Josh Lehrer

    As promised, here is a photo showing the changed remote release port on the S versus the S2. The S, on the left, has 7 pin connectors and the S2 on the right has only 5. Leica changed the associated connector color to blue (from red on the S2) so that there would be no confusion over the old and new accessories. The USB port (green) remains unchanged.

  • #3387
    Pete Walentin

    Josh Lehrer;3996 wrote:
    Pete, the button has a very nice feel to it. For focusing, I haven't had any problems. What I have noticed is I have to remember not to press it in while I am navigating a zoomed-in image, because that changes the playback mode.

    Thanks Josh.

  • #3388
    Alex AR

    Enclosed are two more pictures that may help illustrate the “high” ISO performance of the new S. No changes done to the file except cropping the JPGs a bit.

    70 CS f2.5 ISO 100 @1/3s, ISO 1600 @1/30s

    Not intended to do a “nice” shot, just to show the camera performance. Also to get you some DNGs to play with – for those who like doing that.

    Here is the ISO 1600 DNG: https://www.dropbox.com/s/6oqk0ech6mqjtxe/Leica%20S%2030-90%20Test-1000097.DNG

    and the ISO 100 DNG:https://www.dropbox.com/s/6vi5jbhq6ae73qu/Leica%20S%2030-90%20Test-1000098.DNG

    Attached files

  • #3396
    Rewi

    Josh Lehrer;3996 wrote: Rewi, the new Image Shuttle isn't out yet, but I am very curious myself about the improvements. When the software is available I'll do a few quick tests and post results here.

    Thanks Josh, Looking forward to the new Image shuttle review 😀

    If at all possible would love to see a beauty shot with studio flash at 100 ISO or if that is to logistically impractical a standard clean ambient portrait w/120mm or 180mm to help judge skin tones would be very much appreciated!

    I'm extrapolating that at the original base level amplification of ISO 100 not only will we see cleaner noise/grit free images but this should contribute to a higher-res 3D ‘pop' to beauty work 😉

    Along with the refined ergonomics, faster focusing, GC WB function (I use this feature religiously), clearer LCD screen, larger buffer=improved processing/write speeds, UDMA7 1000x compatibility, easy to navigate joystick menu/image navigation combined with 3rd party lens options, except for the tethered speed issue, this ticks 9 out of 10 boxes for me.

    I'll be watching Leica S user reviews over the next few weeks very closely, I think I'm just about at the tipping point…..a slight breeze may be all that it takes to have me toppling over the edge into Leica land exaltation :p

  • #3398
    RVB

    Just wondering if the GPS could be used to track the camera if it was stolen??

  • #3399
    Josh Lehrer

    That would be very cool, but in the case of the S it would not work. The camera only has a GPS receiver, not a transmitter, so there would be no way to track it.

  • #3403
    RVB

    Josh Lehrer;4032 wrote: That would be very cool, but in the case of the S it would not work. The camera only has a GPS receiver, not a transmitter, so there would be no way to track it.

    I hope Leica will consider it for the future Josh,I just had my 1DX stolen,it's a nasty feeling..
    I am collecting my new S in a few days.. I am really looking forward to getting my hands on it..the 70mm CS arrived with it.. 120MM CS is on that way too..

  • #3404
    Josh Lehrer

    That is exciting news! I am looking forward to seeing some of your first images from the new S once your camera arrives.

  • #3405
    RVB

    Josh Lehrer;4037 wrote: That is exciting news! I am looking forward to seeing some of your first images from the new S once your camera arrives.

    Here is a few from the S2… I did'nt get a chance yo use it that much due to health problems.. (Motorcycle crash.. )

    Attached files

  • #3406
    RVB

    Happy new year everybody… 🙂

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