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Thread: PERFECTION has a name - LEICA S2 Review

  1. #1

    Default PERFECTION has a name - LEICA S2 Review

    LEICA S2
    A preview of Perfection … re-examined.


    I guess in the wake of hi-MP offerings, both from the Medium Format stables as well as the 35mm (Full-Frame/FF) marquees offering more than 30MPs, I thought it might be interesting to review the superlative Leica S2 in today’s context.




    Developed exclusively for digital photography without any compromises. With the size and handling of a 35 mm camera, its performance and quality set new standards for medium-format photography. The complete Leica S-System was developed together with professional photographers – with the goal of offering high quality pictures and effortless operation and handling.

    The entire system is based on a totally new image sensor in Leica S-Format, 30 x 45 mm in size and the classic Leica aspect ratio of 3 to 2. The large area and integrated design afford optimal picture quality. With 37.5 million pixels, cropping is never a problem, even for large-format prints.

    The camera is the perfect instrument; the photographer can now focus on taking pictures rather than on the technology. The LEICA S2 components are the very best quality and finely tuned to one another, producing the perfect picture that is naturally sharp and does not require digital correction.




    The New Reference – Leica S Lenses





    It’s no doubt that Leica has made it a habit to be able to make glass perfect, and no where it is more evident than in the technical specifications (and practical usage!) than in the S-Series lenses.

    The S-lenses combine the legendary Leica quality with state-of-the-art technology. Decades of expertise acquired by developers, the selection of the highest quality glass and precise manufacturing with extremely fine tolerances distinguishes Leica from other professional lenses. For the first time in a camera larger than 35 mm format, aspherical lens surfaces are being employed along the entire range of lenses for the highest possible imaging performance.

    All S-lenses come with an effective large lens hood which is slotted onto the accessories mount during transport, saving space. The most important focal lengths in the S-System are optionally available with or without the new Leica central shutter. The central shutter employs powerful springs as energy accumulators and through its patent-pending, innovative design can attain shutter times of up to 1/500 of a second that are also fully synchronized for flash.

    The Lense series comprise a 30mm, 35mm, 70mm, 120mm macro and a 180mm tele.

    If you would like full specs of the Leica S2, including the brochure, and much more information, please go to: LEICA Camera AG - Downloads


    PLEASE REMEMBER THAT THE S-2 has a crop factor of 0.80 times.




    LEICA ELMARIT-S 30 mm f/2.8 ASPH.




    Its wide angle of view opens up a multitude of new opportunities in creative composition, particularly in the fields of interior, architectural and landscape photography. At the same time, a fast maximum aperture of f/2.8 makes it ideal for available-light photography and the conscious use of selective planes of focus. Thanks to outstanding imaging performance from the closest focus to infinity at all apertures and brilliant colour rendition, the Leica Elmarit-S 30 mm f/2.8 ASPH. guarantees perfect results no matter what the photographic situation. Even wide open, it offers maximum contrast rendition, highest resolution and extremely low distortion throughout its entire focusing range.




    TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

    Lenses/groups 13/9 Optical design 2 aspherical surfaces, position of entrance pupil 33,3mm (from 1st lens element)

    Image angle (diagonal, horizontal, vertical) approx. 84°, 74°, 53°, approx. corresponds to 24mm in 35mm format

    Aperture range 2.8 to 22

    Shortest distance 0.5 m

    Largest image scale 1:11

    Filter mount Internal thread for E82 filter; filter mount does not rotate

    Dimensions (diameter/length) 88 mm/128 mm

    Weight 1060g
    Last edited by Dream Merchant; 9th February 2012 at 10:02 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: PERFECTION has a name - LEICA S2 Review

    LEICA The SUMMARIT-S 35 mm f/2.5 ASPH.





    This fast, wide-angle lens is available with or without a central shutter and operates practically without distortion. It is therefore ideal for use indoors or for architectural photos. The SUMMARIT-S 35 mm f/2.5 ASPH. (CS) uses two aspherical lens surfaces and special glass with anomalous partial dispersion or high refraction as well as rear-group focusing for the highest performance over the entire focusing range.





    TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

    Lenses/groups 11/9 (2 aspherical surfaces)

    Optical design Rear-group focusing Image angle (diagonal, horizontal, vertical) approx. 75°, 65°, 46°, approx. corresponds to 28mm in 35mm format

    Aperture range 2.5 to 22

    Shortest distance 0.55 m

    Largest image scale 1:11

    Filter thread size 82 mm

    Dimensions (diameter/length) 88 mm/122 mm

    Weight 930g (CS: 1080g)
    Last edited by Dream Merchant; 9th February 2012 at 10:02 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: PERFECTION has a name - LEICA S2 Review

    LEICA SUMMARIT-S 70 mm f/2,5 ASPH.





    This standard lens, available with or without a central shutter, gives priority to top imaging performance for all applications. In addition to an aspherical surface, special glass with anomalous partial dispersion or high refractive power is used. Focusing combined with a floating element provides consistent high contrast performance through the entire working range, from close-up to infinity.





    TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

    Lenses/groups 8/6 + 1 filter screen (1 aspherical surface)

    Optical design Total focusing with floating element Image angle (diagonal, horizontal, vertical) approx. 42°, 35.5°, 24°, approx. corresponds to 56mm in 35mm format

    Aperture range 2.5 to 22

    Shortest distance 0.5 m

    Largest image scale 1:4.7

    Filter thread size 82 mm

    Dimensions (diameter/length) 90 mm/93 mm

    Weight 740g (CS: 890g)
    Last edited by Dream Merchant; 9th February 2012 at 10:02 PM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: PERFECTION has a name - LEICA S2 Review

    LEICA APO MACRO SUMMARIT-S 120 mm f/2.5





    Apochromatically correct macro lens for close-ups with a reproduction ratio of 1 to 2 – also available with central shutter. The large aperture and short telephoto focal length make the camera also ideal for portraits and other applications over the entire range. The nine lens elements are manufactured partly from special glass with anomalous partial dispersion and high refractive power; a floating element ensures unmatched performance from infinity to extreme close-ups.





    TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

    Lenses/groups 9/7 Optical design Total focusing with floating element

    Image angle (diagonal, horizontal, vertical) approx. 25°, 21°, 14°, approx. corresponds to 96mm in 35mm format

    Aperture range 2.5 to 22

    Shortest distance 0.57 m

    Largest image scale 1:2

    Filter thread size 72 mm Dimensions (diameter/length) 91 mm/128 mm

    Weight 1135g (CS: 1285g)

  5. #5

    Default Re: PERFECTION has a name - LEICA S2 Review

    LEICA APO ELMAR-S 180 mm f/3.5





    An extremely powerful, apochromatically correct telephoto lens, available with or without central shutter and equally suitable for portraits and long-distance shots. Three of the nine lens elements perform the focusing of the lens, for excellent sharpness down to the close-up limit of 1.5 meters, even at full aperture. Special glass types with low dispersion, anomalous partial dispersion and a high index of refraction ensure the exceptional imaging performance of this lens.





    TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

    Lenses/groups 9/7 Optical design Internal focusing

    Image angle (diagonal, horizontal, vertical) approx. 17°, 14°, 9.5°, approx. corresponds to 144mm in 35mm format

    Aperture range 3.5 to 32

    Shortest distance 1.5 m

    Largest image scale 1:7

    Filter thread size 72 mm

    Dimensions (diameter/length) 88 mm/151 mm

    Weight 1150g (CS: 1300g)
    Last edited by Dream Merchant; 9th February 2012 at 10:01 PM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: PERFECTION has a name - LEICA S2 Review



    The Leica S2 has been around since 2009, and without a doubt, many reviews, including technical reviews, full of tech-talk, bars and charts are out there for technical viewing, analysis and pleasure.

    As in the case of my reviews, I take equipment out in the real world, handling it day-to-day over a reasonable period of a few weeks.
    That being said, after some comments about handling, we’ll dive into real-life photos.

    Please also be aware – this is 37.5 million pixels camera generally placed in the medium-format bracket. When possible, I’ll size up the photos to 1000 pixels instead of the usual 800 for forums. Unfortunately, there might be a little inconvenience as users of smaller monitors will have to scroll left to right for the photos.

    100% crops will also be included for pixel peepers! Let’s face it … at this level of performance, every photo is asking to be looked at with 100% mag!

    Along the way, I might intersperse photos of product highlights, or behind-the-scene photos.




    The Leica S2 system came is a virtually indestructible and water-proof hard case made in Italy.


    Even though I put a CF card in for a sense of scale, I completely forgot to shoot the S2 side by side with a pro-level camera, but thankfully, an incredibly talented and very gifted nature photographer, Juza from Italy graciously allowed me to use his product shots for comparison.

    Thanks to Juza Nature Photography !

    The Leica S2 with the 70mm standard lens along-side the EOS 1Ds MkIII. Side-by-side, the S2 with a 37.5MP Kodak sensor that’s larger by 56% as compared to a FF camera, is certainly more compact!





    Last edited by Dream Merchant; 27th September 2012 at 07:41 PM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: PERFECTION has a name - LEICA S2 Review

    Some words about handling … it’s like a dream, literally! Close your eyes and everything falls into place naturally. The ergonomics of a camera this large, or small if you compare it to a 1D or D3, is quite amazing! Fellow photography friends who used this camera marveled at how nicely it fits the hand, and all of us agreed that for a medium format camera, it was also a very nice walk-about camera.

    If you look at the above last photo, you’ll see two things: the first is that little depression on the back for your thumb, which may be a feature on some cameras, but Leica got it just right. The second is that there are only four buttons, and a multi-dial which allows you full access of the entire camera’s settings. I mentioned in my M9-P review (http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/revie...0-95-asph.html) that Leica has kept things wonderfully simple, and so is the case for the S2.

    Instead of quazillion functions and adjustments, the S2 definitely allows you to customize the camera to your liking, including assigning ‘HOT’ buttons for frequently adjusted settings like, but not limited to ISO, -/+EV or AF/MF.

    Back to handling, from the front of the camera, the S2 also features a perfect-ergonomics grip depression.



    As mentioned at the beginning of this review, lots of other sites discuss technical issues, and after this short introduction, I'll go into posting up
    REAL-WORLD Photos!

    CHEERS!
    Last edited by Dream Merchant; 27th September 2012 at 07:42 PM.

  8. #8
    Moderator ed9119's Avatar
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    Default Re: PERFECTION has a name - LEICA S2 Review

    my heart is not strong enough to take this type of poison DM ......
    shaddap and just shoot .... up close
    Walkeast

  9. #9
    Moderator ed9119's Avatar
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    Default Re: PERFECTION has a name - LEICA S2 Review

    what are the average RAW and JPEG file sizes (not sensor size) like ?
    shaddap and just shoot .... up close
    Walkeast

  10. #10

    Default Re: PERFECTION has a name - LEICA S2 Review

    Hi Ed,

    I don't have the figures for the FULL RAW or JPEG and here's why:

    1) I was thinking of doing a direct comparison with the Hasselblad H3-39, and that camera's RAW files ARE compressed. Thus, I set the S2 settings for RAW Compressed, and simply chose a medium-small sized jpeg just for reference ...

    but here's the kicker!

    The medium-small sized jpegs were so spectacular that I used them for this review. I didn't have a problem with wildly varying lights, and at internet sizing etc, there was virtually NO difference between a converted RAW to 16-bit TIFF, or the medium-small jpeg.

    That, might actually be a testimony of the S2's jpeg capture, even at a smaller setting! I used the jpegs to do (originally) 8" x 12" sizes, but had to down-sized them to 6" x 4" and then further reduce it to 1000 pixels, max for the forum. That's a LOT of pixel bashing, unfortunately.

  11. #11

    Default Re: PERFECTION has a name - LEICA S2 Review

    MARINA BAY AREA

    Known to be a target-rich environment, the Marina Bay area provides ample photographic opportunity.

    While I still remember shooting this area with a Large Format camera with a 4" x 5" negative (that's like a 'sensor' size of 10.6cm x 12.7cm!), I decided to re-visit the area with the S2.

    One point: when I shot a 6cm x 12cm color transparency with an super-ultra-wide angle 65mm Nikkor, the resulting trans which I scanned on a 3-CCD flatbed resulted in an approximate 60-80 MP equivalent tiff file at medium setting. The individual light bulbs on the Helix Bridge could be seen, with some haziness, probably due to the distance I shot from with atmospheric haze (I was at the One Fullerton area, same vantage point when I shot with the S2, and this was a very clear night).

    With the S2, at a MEDIUM-SMALL JPEG setting, have a look at the 100% crops of the MBS. Look very carefully to see how each human figure is defined. Please remember that these are super-wacked jpeg files down-sized for the internet.





    Here's a Behind the scenes shot (BTS).











    Last edited by Dream Merchant; 27th September 2012 at 07:47 PM.

  12. #12

    Default Re: PERFECTION has a name - LEICA S2 Review

    Looking toward the side where the hotels reside, I was again reminded on how stunning the files on the LCD panel looked! I knew I could not wait to get home to upload them!













    PLEASE NOTE that in the LAST two shots, I corrected the perspectives in post work, which means a DEGRADATION of pixels/IQ.

    BTW, in case you're wondering ... the starbursts on the 35mm Leica Summarit is 18-points.



    All the wide angle shots were taken with the LEICA SUMMARIT-S 35 mm f/2.5 ASPH.
    Last edited by Dream Merchant; 27th September 2012 at 07:49 PM.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Kit's Avatar
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    Default Re: PERFECTION has a name - LEICA S2 Review

    If only I knew you have one, I'll tag along since I'm considering an S2 system.....

  14. #14
    Senior Member Kit's Avatar
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    Default Re: PERFECTION has a name - LEICA S2 Review

    BTW, I see the tilt/shift lens is not available yet?

  15. #15
    Member/Tangshooter Redsun's Avatar
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    Default Re: PERFECTION has a name - LEICA S2 Review

    wow....pure lust~

  16. #16
    Senior Member
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    Default Re: PERFECTION has a name - LEICA S2 Review

    have to made a mental note


    Stay away from DM
    Stay away from DM
    Stay away from DM
    Stay away from DM


    Any price listing?
    I get paid more shooting part time ...... damn, I should find more time to shoot part time

  17. #17
    Senior Member
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    Default Re: PERFECTION has a name - LEICA S2 Review

    The 5-digit USD for the body alone is more than enough to kill u, let alone the lenses.
    Canon EOS 5D, 24-70 f/4 L IS, 50 f/1.2 L, 70-300 f/4-5.6 L IS, 600EX-RT. Sigma 12-24 f/4.5-5.6 EX.

  18. #18
    Moderator ed9119's Avatar
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    Default Re: PERFECTION has a name - LEICA S2 Review

    hey DM, any other pics to share ? want to see how this camera resolves and shows texture
    shaddap and just shoot .... up close
    Walkeast

  19. #19

    Default Re: PERFECTION has a name - LEICA S2 Review

    man, this is pure camera p0rn.

  20. #20

    Default Re: PERFECTION has a name - LEICA S2 Review

    The LEICA BBB poison is EXTREMELY POTENT Ed!

    That is why I need to sloowllyyy administer it!



    But just a small peek to stoke the unknown and deep desires ... of acquiring a LEICA ...



    COMING SOON




    A series of shoots lined-up that shows off the S2 perfectly!


    BTW, the watch in the montage photo is worth SDG1.4 million.

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