Leica S2 verdict and samples from a 1Ds3 photographer

Started Sep 23, 2010 | Discussions thread
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stefanforster Junior Member • Posts: 42
Leica S2 verdict and samples from a 1Ds3 photographer


Two weeks ago I postet, that Leica sent me to Scotland to test the landscape-skills of new Mediumformat - Leica S2 - and I was there for 8 days. Actually I would now stand at photokina and present my work from Scotland - In the middle of the last week Leica decidet to work with me together at the Photokina 2012 - with a new Wideangel-Lens. This short-term rejection irritated me a little but the fate wanted it like this; From my 8 days in Scotland it was raining 5 days long. And not only common rain. The rain, coupled with strong wind was coming from everywhere and after 10 seconds I was even wetter then a seal So I had only three days left to make outstanding images for Leica - little time.

Medium Format or EOS 1Ds 3 / 5D MkII

The first impression of the Leica was very good - the building quality is amazing. This camera is a tank. Things that are superio to the full frame Canon / Nikon;

  • Dynamic Range of the RAW Files

  • Resolution / Clarity / Sharpness of the images

  • AND ABOVE ALL - the quality of the LEICA Lenses "OUTSTANDING"

Disadvantages of the Leica S2

  • The maindisplay shows only a fraction of the color display of a Canon EOS.

  • The head screen which shows the aperture and shutter speed is unreadable when you're outdoor.

  • The DNG-Format is very big and strangely the amount of informations especially in the light areas is MUCH smaller than that of the CR2 / NEF. So the people who use the graduated filter in Lightroom / Photoshop will be disappointed.

  • The ISO noise is not the best for the size of the sensor


Here you can download 2 DNG Files from the S2. I only added black and matched the color temperature to what the nature showed me. The samples are at the bottom of the page.


Short verdict - Medium Format or Canon 1Ds3

It's funny - the first day's I didn't like the Leica because of the DNG issue. For very hard light situations (there are enough of it in Scotland) I always had to use the Canon. In fact, I'm a wide angle fan. But after accurate View of the Leica Files on my MBPro I startet to love the Image Quality of the 37.5 Mpx Sensor. At the Moment 35mm (28mm on Canon EOS) is far too little wide angle for me, BUT when they come with an 24mm it will be interesting. I would love to develop a Medium Format Canon Camera with the ergonomic and hardware of Canon and the mount of Leica S-System. I really loved the Leica lenses I've never seen a sharpness up to the edge like this. But 48'000 USD for the S2 with 3 lenses is much money. But at lest the lenses are all worth the money. The S2 is a great camera but compared with the newest generation of Canon and Nikon some things are out of date. For a portrait photographer there is nothing better than this on the market. The entire SCOTLAND-Gallery you can find on the following link. http://www.stefanforster.com/photogallery_e.html

Here are some samples of the Leica S2 with the 35mm / 70mm and 180mm

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