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Monday, 13 May 2013


I'll start saving, then!

That's great news, and I'm very much looking forward to reading your thoughts. I hope you are able to spend longer with it than for some of your recent tests, and have better luck with the weather. Will it go toe to toe with the Dragoon?

Given this new direction for Mike, some suggested reviews for TOP in 2013:

Lotus 20x24 vs. Canham 20x24: which has a better groundglass?

Black Nikon SP with 21mm Nikkor: can you take better dog pictures with the motordrive?

Coastal Optics 60mm: new King of Bokeh in 90mm-e?

[Just looking for things to complain about today, softie? --Mike]

You lucky dog!

Oops, I mean ouch, hope you don't fall in love too badly.

I'm sure the review will give my salivary glands a workout.

Have fun Mike....yawn, always handy when I win the sweepstakes, damned no money to by a raffle.

Greets, Ed.

Great news! I really do want to read about this from TOP in particular. How this happened will undoubtedly be an interesting part of the review.

Will this one also end with camera purchase?


In Russia, Leica S reviews you.....

... and my chequebook trembles. So now I guess we do get to find out how the best camera in the world passes the TOP test?

It ain't easy bein' green...


I have zero interest in ever using, much less purchasing a Leica S2, yet I look forward to your review with great anticipation Mike. When I ask myself why that is, I get the answer: (a) To read about a carefully considered and extremely well-executed design is interesting and enjoyable to the engineer/photographer. (b) Even more enjoyable is to read anything that you write as you do it so well.

I can assure you: The camera feels good in ones hands. Try it out extensively? I still have to. The fortune is that due to work reasons, I can easily borrow one. I did not feel the urge to. Up to now.

Anyway, best regards!

Don't forget to try and get one of the short teles as well as the standard lens!

I will have to confess that I have reservations about this. Such reviews (not by you, but by others) have usually led to overblown statements about image quality that most people can't even see, and that devolves into a "you just don't have a sensitive eye" kind of commentary. And yet, that kind of commentary, that suggests the camera can actually improve your photography in some magical way, leads your local naive dentist to buy the camera, when he might otherwise have spent the money on something useful, like, say, an upgrade to a Porsche Turbo, instead of the slow-footed, naturally aspirated version. Really, I don't think people should be encouraged to buy this thing, because I think it sells bling rather than substance. Yet, I understand the urge of a lens geek like yourself to get your hands on those lenses for a long look. But you know what? The photographs won't be better. They won't even be much different. Got $100 that says so, and you can be the judge.

You said..".I can 100% guarantee it won't be. Unless I give up paying the mortgage and insurance."

Or you could sell all of those inferior cameras and lenses you own and decide to go for the best. And then, just think, back to your one Leica for a year program.

No, no Lance.....not green of envy, just that I do not care about a test that I know the outcome of. The Leica S system is a great camera that has excellent (even outstanding) image quality....it's slightly better then a Hasselblad 40 but not when compared to a Schneider/Arca Swiss/Phase One IQ180 combo. It handles a bit like a R9 (or a larger DSLR like a D4) and feels a bit like it two. Nice interface but not so the display (but who cares). Great for everything but best when used in a studio on a stirdy tripod. Problems are:

1) Limited set of lenses...(only a 30 to 90 zoom and that would be great to test Mike), and 180 (about 130 in DSLR terms) is the longest glass), now that is okay for some (even for me) but not for others. So shooting sparrows up close with a S system is out of the question.

2) Weight of the system, so no real carry around camera.

3) Some ergonomics are great (it will hug your hand mike with a 70 attached to it it will dangle on the grip on your finger tips, at least the S2 did), but some are a bit Leiconian and that takes getting used to.

4) Low light performance will be dismal compared to the D800.

5) Don't expect it to be speed monster using a "motor drive".

6) As with any medium format system you'll be strugling with DOF when doing landscape.

7) No ultra wide agle lenses (24 mm tops the bill and that compares to a 19).

8) They have a great PC lens though, but no 24 mm PC lens like Nikon has but something around 75 in FF terms, which seems a bit longish to me (BUT OLYMPUS AND PANASONIC PAY ATTENTION AND FOLLOW SUIT).

9) As with any MF system no ultra fast lenses since well who needs ultra shallow DOF. 2.5 tops the bill (which does however does not help low light performance).

So all in all. A great camera if you need it (as is any medium format camera be it digital or analog). But most people will have trouble living with the limitations. The best camera ever. No not by a long shot. But a great camera non the less.

As I said, I would buy it if I had the money and the need. And personally at this point in my photographic life I have neither. Therefor a nice suggestion to you Mike:

Why not do a Huff's style crazy comparison when you have the chance and compare this to 3 Sigma's, the DP1 Meryll, the DP2 Meryll, and the DP3 Meryll (all in all 2700 euro spend versus) a Leica S.

Greets, Ed.

It will be an interesting read, but I'm getting a bit worried about the financial health of TOP given your track record of resisting temptation to buy the cameras you review...

Nearly all the colour photos I've seen with this camera in LFI magazine (a very worthwhile publication even, if like myself, you don't own a Leica), have plasticity look about them. So I will be very interested in your review.....

That's great, Mike. You like the S2, if I remember it correctly. Which lenses are you testing? We look forward to your comments.

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