Forum Replies Created

Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 150 total)
  • #4162

    Well, Jack opened it up for a “philosophical discussion”, so we got one. Finally.

    While Ornello may be overtly passionate in his opinion, and most certainly wildly personal in his delivery … I say … so what? Why get angry? Why not? Why not slice and dice where photography has been, where it is, and where it is heading? If not us, then who?

    I just posted a response on Get Dpi regarding a similar topic … yet another forum dominated by Landscape shooters who are absolutely sure the world of MFD photography revolves around post-card art. It isn't that I don't get why people do that sort of work … there is a place for the R&R and solitude it affords many people … or just to prove that “Kilroy was Here” … or whatever may ring your bell doing that type work.

    However, there is a whole other world that languishes in neglect. So much so that it seems in danger of fading … yet still has a powerful relevance.

    Fortunately there are some alternative places one can turn to for humanistic inspiration … like Burn magazine that another S2 and Leica M user turned me on to.

    Unfortunately, I cannot view Ansel Adam's prints to closely for fear of staining them with tears of boredom. However, I did like his books on processing and printing which has nothing to do with subject matter, just a good lesson in craft.

    Personally, I subscribe the philosophy summed up in the humanistic French photographer Robert Doisneau's book “Three Seconds of Eternity”. (The title is a reference to a sum total of a life's work adding up to 3 seconds @ 1/1000 or 1/200 of a second each).

    I have signed prints from these type “great souls” of photography including Doisneau's “Picasso and the loaves.” a whimsical image which is actually a wonderful tribute to the artist who was known for his hands on, tactile approach to art and sculpture. Look up the image and you'll get it right away.

    I also search out unknowns languishing in the shadows and buy their work. Some are freaking masterpieces of observation, and the capture of light. The only thing missing is a longer term consistency of such images, a body of work … but without exposure, without appreciation, without recognition they have a rough row to hoe.

    So, it is quite understandable when someone finally has had enough of images that look as if all of humanity has been exterminated by a Neutron Bomb … an endlessly repetitive array of images that hog the limelight.

    Photographs have to be experienced, have to be seen and felt. It is sustenance to those making the images. As Picasso once quipped … “A painting kept in the closet, may as well be kept in the head”.

    It is getting really close to the fact that the general public is outdoing the so called dedicated enthusiasts when it comes to spontaneous and involving “of the moment” photography … unfortunately the good ones are buried in a monumental pile of clutter.

    I have an S2 and CS lenses because, in addition to spontaneous hand-held of the moment work, I also use lighting. However, the way I use lighting is born from shooting with a Leica M. I go for the moment, and use a mobile lighting assistant off away from the things that people are deeply involved in doing, and that I'm interested in. Damned fine camera for both endeavors.

    Your thoughts?

    – Marc

    Oh, BTW, schools may differ in how they teach and who does the teaching, yet in general there's no direct connection to that and great creativity, including photography. I was the Advertising portfolio prep professor at one “Up There” art school … where no one could graduate unless I said they could. I was “invited” by the school because their own bloated academia had lowered the output of viable talents flowing into the advertising industry. They used working professionals also … which doesn't mean squat when it comes to extracting individualistic talents … I was also a working professional, but my professional job was doing exactly that … as Executive Creative Director of one of the largest Ad agencies in the world.

  • #4059

    Nicely done!

    I'd use the S2 near sand and water with little trepidation Can't treat these tools as being too precious … but changing lenses needs to be done with great care as the S sensor attracts dust like an over zealous magnet.

    Jack, great idea to put the strobe generator in a cooler when near water! My main portable strobe is a Hensel Porty 1200 Lithium which is sealed … but I don't fly with that one.

    We'll be in Florida early-mid November … I have most all of the CS lenses 35, 70, 120, 180 and the H to S adapter for the Hasselblad HTS/1.5 plus HC 100/2.2 … hint, hint … LOL!

    – Marc

  • #3893

    Love the triptych Jack!

    Would look great printed very large on a deserving wall.


  • #3889

    Very nice start.

    You used 1/160 shutter, but could've used any shutter down to 1/1000 with the CS lens. How fast would depend on the brightness of the background and creatively how you would want the sky to look.

    For example, 1/500 shutter would make the background go a bit darker, more saturated. Then you would adjust the key strobe light on the subject to taste.

    Also, where was the key light? It should be placed to produce directional light … then the on-camera SF58 is just used to fill the deeper shadows the directional light produces.

    Very nice as is … play with different CS shutter speeds and key light levels to expand your knowledge of what is possible.


  • #3830


    Thanks to Kelsey Fains of Leica USA, and the fast acting technical wizards in Germany.

    Let the jobs begin!


  • #3827

    Thanks Mark!

    Yeah, it seems Germany can fix this and asked for a second IDSO 160 DNG shot of a uniform grey unfocused surface which I sent yesterday.

    Kelsey confirmed that once you load this calibration to eliminate the dead pixel that's causing the red line, it is permanent solution and you just reload the most current firmware or any subsequent firmware updates.

    Hope it all works out. We'll see.


  • #3822

    Thanks everyone!

    Fortunately, the affected files were few, and not all that critical. I easily did a pixel row selection and used Content Aware Fill in PS6 to correct them.

    If I had a lot of files like this, I suppose I could write an action and batch it to all files.

    I have been in contact with Kelsey Fain, S2 Product Specialist, Leica USA … and have sent her a DNG file shot @ ISO 160, f.5.6, 1/30 shutter with the lens cap on. This will be sent to Germany to determine if a firmware fix is possible (I suspect so).

    Hopefully, I will not have to send in the camera to go to Germany.


  • #3765

    Thanks for doing this Jack. Very helpful.


  • #3755

    rootbeer;4416 wrote: Marc, Excellent explanation that even I understood. Question: If I get the Nikon receivers can I mount a Canon 580 set to A? Can the on camera SF58 remain TTL?
    Thanks a bunch!

    Yes Jim, you can use any speed-light that is set to A because only the center universal contact point on the speed-light's hot shoe connection is used to just trigger the flash, and nothing more. The ‘A” Auto eye of the flash then controls the light based on what is reflected back including any cumulative light provided by a secondary flash(s).

    The only way a SF58 can provide TTL exposure is when it is set to TTL-HSS and mounted directly in the S2/S hot shoe. If you place a Stratos-II in the hot shoe with the SF58 mounted to it, the speed-light has to be set to A. There are no pass through TTL radio senders for Leica's S2 TTL-HSS protocol … and I suspect that there probably never will be.

    Basically, when using speed-lights set to A, all you need is a dumb radio trigger. The advantage of ones like the Phottix Stratos-II is that they have a hot shoe built into the top of a radio transmitter that mounts in the hot shoe of the camera so you can mount the speed-light on top of it … this eliminates finding a place to put the radio sender and connecting it to the camera with a sync cord. The disadvantage is that you lose TTL-HSS exposure control for fill with the SF58.

    The alternative is to use any radio system transmitter with a PC outlet (most have them) and matching receiver set, then mount the transmitter to a grip type camera bracket and connect it to the camera's PC port on the left side of the S2/S. Then the SF58 goes into the camera's hot shoe set to TTL-HSS … thus preserving almost perfect fill to the key off-camera light. This is the configuration I use the most … whether working with off-camera studio strobes or a speed-light. A secondary advantage of using a grip is more stability when using AF … both hands are now firmly gripping the camera when shooting.

    This is the grip I currently use because it has a ARCA type Quick Release camera mount which I use on all of my cameras. The radio transmitter mounts to the top of the handle and is wired to the camera with a short PC cord that usually comes with the radio transmitter.

    You will also need one of these to hold the radio sender if it doesn't have a 1/4″ receptacle in the hot shoe base.

    Hope this helps,


  • #3674

    Can confirm CS 1/1000th sync with Profoto AIR … no vignetting, clean corners.

    Most other radio transmitters top out at 1/500th sync with leaf-shutter lenses. The extra stop with an AIR radio does help in overcoming the sun or white skies, and 1/1000th shutter even helps when shooting a longer hand-held lens with fill flash at wider aperture … (which I know from shooting a HC-210mm and HC-300mm @ 1/800 on my H4D/60).

    In addition to Profoto AIR lighting, many Hensel Monos, generators and battery units also have Profoto AIR receivers built in … the latest Hensel Porty 1200 lithium battery unit is one that I frequently mixed in with Profoto AIR lights.

    David K … have you thought about using the AIR transmitter, and an AIR receiver unit plugged in to your Broncolor pack? While it won't allow adjustment of levels like with a Profoto AIR pack, it'll trigger it from great distances without the hard-wire limitations.

    You wouldn't need the more expensive AIR radio units with level controls, just the base units … one set to transmit, and the other to receive.

    I do that with an older Hensel pack that doesn't have AIR built in.


  • #3346

    antonybphoto;3914 wrote: Thanks to RVB I just manipulated the NEF and DNG files in adobe RAW very quickly.

    I don't understand how the D800 has more dynamic range ?

    There is about 20% more detail on the S file, which when blowing big is great. But the highlights in the sky are all but gone in about 50% of the sky on the S. the Nikon recovers back ?

    Given they were shot within seconds of each other, there may be variation, but the MF communi goes on about 16bit files etc etc and 12 stop dynamic range that 35 mm cannot achieve ?

    Tell me I have missed something. A little disappointed given my work is always typically a brighter sky than I want. And yes I do use LEE filters but I want to start with a strong base.

    Yes, you missed something.

    Don't look at the image, look at the base RAW histogram for each image.

    The S2 file is more severely packed to the right and clipped than the D800 shot. Can't recover what isn't there.

    Every camera is different in how it renders tonal separations, and the S2 is no different. In my experience this is particularly true of CCD based sensors compared to CMOS. A little trial and error leads to understanding the S2's CCD response and how to best expose in various light. At lower ISOs most CCD based Medium Format digital cameras have enough latitude for opening up the shadow areas. So, expose for the highlights just to the point of clipping any specular highlights, and minor adjustments to the shadow areas usually does the job. The most frequent complaint I've read about the D800 is the amount of post work required to optimize the image. This was the same complaint I had with the Nikon D3X … an issue I do not have with the S2.

    Personally, I'd be more concerned with the flair exhibited in the D800 shot. That is one of Nikon's best lenses shot at f/5 … perhaps due to changing angle of light?

    As to lenses … over-all nothing touches the S optics … trust me on this, I pixel peep tested them against the best I could get my hands on before buying into the system. Of course, other lenses can be used for their aesthetic pictorial contributions … some like the Zeiss 110/2 for the way it renders for example.

    For over a full week I also extensively tested the S2 and lenses against my H4D/40 and the S2 edged it out, mostly due to the lenses I believe. Leica claimed that the S2 was competitive with the H4D/50 which has more meg AND a larger sensor and I'd be inclined to agree with them, at least partially depending on subject matter, print size/crop, and degree of enlargement. I got the S2, sold the H4D/40 and now also use a Hasselblad H4D/60 which is almost twice the S2 meg count, and the sensor is even larger than the H4D/50.

    Because I have a H system, I got the Leica H to S adapter which is the only adapter that preserves full auto functions including AF … in particular the HC50-II.3.5, 100/2.2, and 150N/3.2 are stellar on the S2 and fill in focal lengths unavailable in the S lens line-up.

    RE: Auto Focus: I've found the S2 AF is fast enough, and extremely accurate. In the words of Wyatt Earp, “Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything.” If I were photographing Elephants, I'd want accurate AF, and good running shoes … LOL!

    RE: Shutter Speed: Get a hand strap. Also, like David, I found that after some practice, you can use lower shutter speeds. However, I am an advocate of using a Mono-Pod with S lenses over 70mm … one with quick release leg and a good Mono-Pod head like the HD Mono-Pod head from Really Right Stuff … all of which help realize all the benefits of the 37 meg, larger sensor. BTW, this is no different from the D800 … flawless technique is also required to realize its benefits.

  • #3323

    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

  • #3321

    I also use the Giottos bulb … but only after pumping it a couple of times to get rid of any dust it may have ingested. I turn the camera sensor down so any dust gets dislodged and falls away from the sensor.

    However, the best tool to date, the one I use on all my cameras, including MFD sensors, is the Arctic Butterfly brush. You run the brush at high speed to build up a slight static charge, turn it off, then lightly swish it over the sensor. The static in the brush attracts dust like a magnet and leaves none of it in the opening to just be re-attracted to the sensor again.

    Once I have finished, I run the Butterfly again while blowing it out with compressed air , then immediately put it away in its case. This assures a perfectly clean brush for the next time.


  • #3320

    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.


  • #3298

    David Farkas;3897 wrote: Have you tried Quickview in Image Shuttle? The 2MP preview JPG is pushed over the wire before the DNG and displays in about 1-1.5 seconds.

    This function works great to check composition, expression, lighting, etc.

    Thanks David, that preview speed is not all that bad. The question is then how long before the full res file is there to check 100% focus? … keeping in mind that immediately checking focus is less critical when shooting bursts of live subjects compared to shooting a still life subject.

    I only use a FW800 to 400 tether with my H4D/60 because of computer issues with my front FW800 port on my aging 8 core Mac Pro2,1 … so the transfer isn't as swift as it could be. Even then, the preview is there in 1 second, with the larger file resolving in 3 more seconds … if I then click the 100% zoom, that takes 3 seconds to resolve. This includes applying any adjustments I made to the initial shot … and at 60 meg 645, this is a much larger file.

    I think what most tethered shooters are hoping for is swifter LR tethered S2 operations in future. The S system lends itself to spontaneous shooting even in the studio … and I love using it that way. The LR workflow in total is why it would be preferable … all the immediate adjustments that are possible, even while you are in the middle of shooting, is a really nice way of working.

    I wonder how much of a role the graphics card plays in all this? I know it is a critical aspect of the Phocus performance. When I moved to the 60 meg back, my tired graphics card really showed its age … when I replaced it with a ATI Radeon HD 5770 the tethered speed increased.


Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 150 total)