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Viewing 15 posts - 136 through 150 (of 150 total)
  • #1292

    Well, I guess I'm not alone in all this.

    David, when you do your sit down, please convey what a bang-up job they have done with the S2 for me/us.

    Frankly, the more they improve the current S2 with firmware (and that includes more in-between ISO choices if possible), the more desirable and usable the camera becomes to more people. I really don't see a need for more megs, just keep improving this one!

    it may be a sore point but my S2 has a CS indicator on the switch, would love to use it : -)


  • #1272

    I'm using a Sandisk 32GB Extreme Pro CF which is rated at 90MB/s.

    I back it up in Parallel with a Sandisk 32GB Extreme Pro SD rated at 45MB/s. I almost never remove this card, and just reformat both cards after all the files from the CF are safely downloaded and redundantly stored.

    I use a 32GB card because I do not like changing cards while shooting a commercial job or an all day long wedding.

    The download speed is where the 90MB/s is apparent. I use 4 Lexar Pro FW800 readers that are daisy-chained … and download the S2, Sony A900 and my assistant's Canon files simultaneously to one master file and sort by time shot.


  • #1168

    I'm not sure I agree with not needing many filters because it can be done in post now with digital.

    When you deepen a sky in post for example, the level of noise and other factors makes it different form the rest of the image. If you are shooting non-moving stuff, you can shoot multiple exposures and merge them in post, but it is two or three different images shot at different times even if only seconds apart.

    For a softening effect, I like the Zeiss Softars which are impossible to duplicate on post.

    For a nice flexible filter system take a look at the LEE range of shades and filtration.


  • #990

    One experiential comment I can add is that I'm not a fan of the Lever type release on the RRS QR clamp … nor are a number of other long time MFD users.

    It can be to easily snagged and opened, and once adjusted for a tight grip on the RSS camera plates, is not always tight with other QR ARCA type plates, so it has to be adjusted. The big knob type is my preference.


  • #939

    David Farkas;654 wrote: A while back, Eric wrote me this by email:
    [INDENT]Regarding the sharpening settings: One of the things that has changed in PV 2010 is the effective Radius setting. Previously it was very difficult to extract the finest details (pixel-level details, like texture in bark, grass blades, fur, hair, etc.) even when the radius was set to its smallest value of 0.5. So with PV 2010 we’ve internally adjusted the Radius scale, so that in the [0.5, 1.0] range, it’s thinner than it was previously. In other words, an edge halo with PV 2010 at Radius = 0.5 is thinner than it was when using the same radius setting and PV 2003. The thinner halo is somewhat less visible, which can give the impression that the image is less sharp. Please try increasing the Radius to a value in the 0.8 to 1.2 range and see if that helps.

    If you have a low-noise image (e.g., ISO 80 or 160, or a well-exposed ISO 320 image) that has a lot of natural image texture (e.g., landscapes), you can also try increasing Detail to very high levels — even 75 or 100! This will extract a lot of texture and small details, but of course can make noise more visible. This is why it’s more effective on low-noise images.
    [/INDENT]And, yes, he is referring to S2 processing specifically. Eric was responsible for working with Leica's digital team in Germany to tweak the processing for the S2.

    I don't ever turn my sharpening amount past 45, but rarely do I ever turn it down, either.

    Here's a 100% crop using my standard sharpening settings (taken from my recent S120 vs P105 article):

    David, this sample I find to have an artificial sharp feel to it … similar to clipping out the subject and dropping it into another background. Especially evident camera right on the pipe bend. It may have to do with the contrast of the lighting and contrasting colors, but the edge sharpening is heightening that as opposed to mitigating it.

    The sense of edge sharpness has always been one reason I could never quite take to many Japanese optics which often produced this type of effect with no help from post at all. I find it to be unnatural, and have felt that way for a long time. The DMR and R optics rarely produced this feel, where my Nikon D3/D3X produced it frequently.

    Leica has always had the reputation of producing a sense of sharpness via “Micro Contrast” … which often worked so well that even slightly mis-focused images still looked sharp printed to normal viewing size.

    Despite howls of protest from die-hards, the newer ASPH M lenses still have the Micro-Contrast thing going for them IMO, and IF you avoid over sharpening can produce natural looking, sharp images. It is there that the M ASPH optics and S lenses seem to be most similar. Thus Rogers request comes naturally IMO.

    As I mentioned, I don't use a sharpening preset because each lighting scenario is so different, and I find adjusting the combination of contrast, clarity and sharpness to be subjectively different with each image. Where I found that to be very evident is when working with Silver Efex and their localized adjustment tool which has those three sliders attached to the brush. The adjustments show exactly how these three effect one another.

    This is very interesting subject to me because, the more “perfection on paper” we strive for, the more likely the results can get overly clinical looking and the natural feel that has always been the Leica look starts looking like something made in Japan. No disrespect meant here, just a different perspective as to look and feel that I freely admit is fully subjective.

    A perfect example of this was the claim some years ago, backed up with charts and such, that Mamiya made about their optical performance compared to Contax 645 lenses … touting Mamiya as being sharper. While the Zeiss lenses for the Contax 645 were made in Japan, they were designed in Germany and over-sight done by the Carl Ziess Institute in Japan. IMO, and the opinion of many others, the Zeiss lenses where far more more desirable for the look they produced … also likely due to Micro-Contrast, and very smooth focus fall-off as opposed to edge sharpness and a more abrupt focus fall-off

    On a separate note: I just watched a Video of studio work using the Freemask transmitter available with Hensel lighting. It fires strobes in a burst that lights the subject on one shot and then only the background on the next shot … effectively creating a perfect mask for stripping. What struck me was how natural the edges were when using this. Unfortunately the S2 nor any MFD camera that I know of fires fast enough to use this.


  • #923

    Hmmmm … I have a full blown Rollei Xact-II with recessed lens boards and bellows bag for wides. I just wonder if someone like the Kapture Group could engineer a mount for the S2.



  • #894

    I also agree with this whole concept. ISO 640 is nothing to fear with the S2 at all.

    I use it quite frequently with all 4 lenses because it keeps the shutter speed up, and allows for spontaneous
    selection of various apertures when working quickly with less worry about going to low for hand-held work.

    I also contend it isn't just good in more brightly lit scenes, but also decently lit ones with a lot of dark areas where noise could be an issue.

    I do hope Leica eventually issues firmware that allows more refined selections of ISOs because I firmly believe ISO 500, 800 and 1,000 will be of high value to the S2 shooter. It would allow just the right level of ISO, and no more than needed for any specific ambient condition.

    My next experiment will be @ ISO 1250 at my next wedding.

    S2P @ ISO 640; S70 @ f/4, 1/1,000 shutter

  • #891

    Interesting thread. I currently do not use any presets on S2 images or M9 shots for that matter.

    I almost always shoot the S2 and M9 together at weddings using the metadata filters to work on each camera group separately, and rely on visual adjustments to maximize the file quality … depending on the ambient conditions.

    While I do use some Clarity with the S2 files … for me, it is a dangerous slider because of what it can do to skin captured at that level of resolution, so I more often than not use localized Clarity over a wholesale adjustment.

    Where the midtone contrast shows itself most is when doing B&W conversions. When shooting both cameras in the same ambient conditions with-in seconds of one another, I actually find the M9 and S2 fairly similar (a bit flatter) compared say to the M8.

    When doing B&W conversions in Nik Silver Efex I often start with the same preset for the B&W look I want … Push Process-1 … then finely adjust from there by hardening the grain and increasing the grain per pixel, often to the max. Again, localized exposure adjustments are used to refine a file depending on the ambient … Brightness, Contrast and Clarity. Or, I scroll through the film types to see which one visually hits the mark for that specific file then make refinements.


  • #649

    IMO, there is no way the 40 FLE matches the S35 out to the edges. The Zeiss 40IF may come closer or match the S35, but that improved edge-to-edge performance came at the price of increased distortion over the 40FLE. The Hasselblad HC 35-90 is almost as good as the 40IF @ the 40mm mark, and it's a zoom.

    So far the S35 is the best MFD wide angle I've used. I skipped waiting for a 30mm because I want something wider like the promised 24mm … 30 to 70mm is to wide a gap in the focal length jump for me, and 30mm is a bit to wide to shoot groups of people. Not interested in a 35-90 zoom …. it'll be too big and for sure it won't be fast. I have the HC 35-90 for my H4D/60, and it is a monster.

    (I've owned and used all the above, plus the Contax 35 for the 645 (which also exhibited distortion).

    But, it is really convenient to now be able to use other lenses for specialized work. The Zeiss 120 macro isn't optically as good as the S120 or the Contax 120, or the HC/120 … but compared to the S120/2.5, it stops down more to gain DOF … and you can use tubes to get a 1:1 ratio.


  • #620

    … but the S180 is sooooo SWEET!


  • #609

    Thanks for the update David.

    Rather have an Elpro than tubes anyway … like the R100/2.8

    The Zeiss CF120 would be okay, but the S120, is a better lens IMO and direct experience, and I never did like the OOF highlights looking like Chrysler logos : -)

    I did a very complete test in studio, and my HC120/4 macro was better than the CF120/4 used on the same HD camera via a CF adapter, and IMO the Leica 120 macro is over-all better than the HC120 … except the HC lens is 1:1 and you can stop it down further for more DOF and there's no shutter vibration … very little notable diffraction until about f/32 … and I've even used f/45 with strobes because the light is so specular it appears sharper than it really is.

    Leica would do well to grasp who is buying these cameras and for what. Even if I did have the money for a really long S lens I'd never buy one … which is why I am begging for a 1.4 APO for the 180. The lens is fast enough to maintain AF with a 1.4X and would help keep the form factor advantage.

    Thank again!


  • #577

    It is Leica … where patience in not only a virtue, it is a documented requirement : -)


  • #571

    While the S2 most certainly promotes hand-held shooting and feels very much like a 35mm DSLR in operation, that is where the similarity pretty much ends. The S2 is very much a Medium Format camera when it comes to care in using shutter speeds … IF the objective is to get all of the capabilities the superb lenses afford us.

    I often find that using ISO 640 and sometimes even 1250 in good light has far fewer penalties than you'd imagine, and gets the shutter speed up for shooting moving subjects, or increasing the shutter speed when hand-holding. Try it, you may be pleasantly surprised.

    For normal applications where the prints will not be all that large (my largest wedding prints with the S2 rarely exceed 20″ wide), then the effect of motion blur is less noticeable because the files are so large to start with …especially with the 35 and 70.

    Obviously, a good tripod is a worthy consideration if you are going to print really large (like beyond the native resolution of the S2 files). As a mobile compromise, I have taken to using a Monopod with a RRS HD Monopod ball head with an Arca type quick release (note, if investigating this option, select the knob release as opposed to the lever type which is a bit more dangerious in use).

    For more spontaneous hand-held work, I found a hand-strap to be an indispensable accessory. I chose the Camadapter strap with their dual lug Arca style QR plate that allows use of their hand-strap AND the shoulder strap … the camera then hangs from one end like the M5 used to.


  • #570

    David K;258 wrote: I wish I had a better idea of what kinds of things can be addressed with firmware (vs hardware). Anybody out there feel like sharing some knowledge. For example, could Leica implement a 1 push 100% zoom feature.

    +1 for this one click zoom feature (unless it's already there and I don't know about it).

    RE: Firmware: I also have a Hasselblad H4D/60, and they just issued a software/firmware update that added a bunch of new features to the camera and digital magazine … one of them is a one click 100% zoom feature … another is a LCD spirit level that also is viewable in the viewfinder under the viewing area when shooting hand-held.

    What is not clear is the H4D's double res LCD improvement with this recent update? My understanding is that the H4D/60 came with LCD hardware to allow this, but Hasselblad has recently stated that the latest improvements will also be implemented in all H4 cameras … the unclear part is whether the improved res will be included.

    To implement these upgrades, they changed the firmware for the back, camera, and viewfinder as well as the Phocus software.

    +1 for the 1/3 stop ISO selection. IMO, this is a very important step to increase the functionality of the S2 … which would allow fine control of sensitivity, especially when jumping from 640 to 1250 where it can really show a marked difference in noise, color and DR in poorer light.

    +1 for the increased ISO capability. However, I rather see a cap of 3200 and effort to make it quite usable at 1600 … with 1600 giving up as little IQ as possible. Most so-called high ISO cameras really start looking pretty poor beyond 1600 in low light, or are low meg, larger pixel cameras like the D700.

    +1 for dual parallel writing of DNGs to both cards. This feature is extremely important for professional usage as a back-up, and could be a key advantage over other current Pro spec MFD cameras … it was a real stress-relief when using either a Canon 1DMKIII/1DsMKIII or Nikon D3/D3X.

    Personally, I wouldn't rule out some form of Pixel-Binning. Consider this: if you could shoot at i8 meg 1/2 res, but increase the ISO, shooting rate, and DR … the need for a 35mm DSLR system would be significantly reduced (unless you are a sports shooter or need 400mm+). If the S2 had such a feature, I would dump my entire 35mm DSLR kit in favor of a 2nd S2 body and reduce the amount of gear needed for many of my jobs. For non-professionals it could also be useful for shooting kids, general work and street photography where 40 meg isn't needed … but higher ISO would be helpful in keeping the shutter speeds higher.


  • #565

    Kurt, you seem to be doing pretty well without any flash on the S2. Tell us what you think you may need flash for. Being specific can help with sharing techniques.

    Basically, the trick with using a speed-light is to use it as little as possible … or with as little help from the flash as possible.

    To really effectively use flash in lower light you should look up the technique of dragging the shutter.

    I use artificial light with the S2 in three basic ways: Studio strobes, both in studio and on location … SF58 in the hot shoe, always with a modifier of some sort unless shooting at a distance … and off-camera mostly using a small Skyport radio in the hot shoe and the SF58 mounted on a Lowel grip handle so there is no cord at all.

    I use these basic configurations with all my cameras not just the S2.

    But first tell us where you think you need flash.


Viewing 15 posts - 136 through 150 (of 150 total)