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Do Digilux 2 photos have distinctive look?

Digilux 2

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#1 asabet



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Posted 28 March 2007 - 19:04

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I have a Canon 5D which I use most of the time and a G7 to use as a pocket camera. For times when the 5D plus 24-105 lens is too big and I want more fun than the G7 will give, I was thinking of a D2. In fact, I put a $100 non-refundable down payment on a used (excellent ++) D2 from Tamarkin this morning. I am beginning to think I am crazy to pay almost $900 for a four-year-old 5MP camera with an EVF, long (by today's standards) shutter lag, and reported issues with sensor failure. On the other hand, the camera/lens are calling me, and the photo examples I have seen do seem to have a certain look about them. Does such a look really exist with this camera, or does it just seem this way because most who use this camera happen to be goood photographers? If there is such a look, does it come from the lens or from the in-camera image processing? Do the D2 users here tend to use JPEG most of the time?
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#2 Riley


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Posted 28 March 2007 - 19:20

Welcome to the forum Amin

It really was a special, if terribly flawed camera, I have the Panasonic version of the same. And I use it for work whenever I can, because I enjoy using it so much. You can get a similar look from the Digilux 3, but it seems you need to beat the heck out of the images first, once there with settings and PP, it can be hard to tell the difference.

I think its wonderful IQ (image quality) comes from a combination of the sensor (nothing special) and the Leica Vario-Summicron zoom. The lens itself, while being very special and nicely fast, works very nicely with the 2/3" sensor. It might be a low AA filter as well, because the images have a lovely sharp render to them, and a very nice colour rendition.

All that aside, the real joy of it is in its use, the aperture ring and speed dial hark back to the film days, with non of the hassles that came with it. I doubt we will ever see another digital like it, it is that special.
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Id give my right arm to be ambidextrous

#3 robbegibson


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Posted 28 March 2007 - 19:29

I just had my Digilux 2 sensor replaced. It was warranteed but I would have paid the $600 or so if it wasn't. I don't know of another camera that offers the package of features, image quality and 'feel' for lack of a better term. I should also mention the two position built-in flash. It makes a wonderful bounced light. Yes, I know there are lots of ways to accomplish all the above, but not all in one compact package that I know of. Even the Digilux 3 doesn't get there -it's larger, it's zoom range with the supplied lens is only 10mm (35mm equiv.) longer and the Digilux 2 lens is faster.

Have fun!

Robbe Gibson

#4 wparsonsgisnet


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Posted 28 March 2007 - 19:58

Amin, the D2 is a great camera. I used it exclusively for almost 3 years, until the M8 arrived in December.

I shot raw plus jpeg and also find the images do have the Leica look to them. There is plenty of resolution to them: I have produced 13 x 19 prints from a 1mm x 1mm portion of the sensor and it's a little grainy, but well-saturated and sharp. From 3 feet it looks great.

The problems for me were the 6-second wait for the files to write to the SD card and the evf-lag. What you see is not what you will capture. The solution is a piece of cake. I got a 28mm finder and quickly calibrated me to the sensor lag. No problem.

I would certainly pay 900 for one. I won't be selling mine.
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Bill Parsons (wparsons@gis.net), Boston, Leica user since 1970

#5 spylaw4


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Posted 28 March 2007 - 20:02

Don't hesitate - the D2 does produce very very fine images, despite its well documented "flaws". I don't know if the current forum has any threads dealing with these - maybe they were in the old forum.
Read these reviews:
Luminous Landscape

Photonet courtesy of Andy Piper

I love it! :)
Indecisive Moments - my website, with links to all my books
Reunification - b&w images of the Reunification Palace in Saigon.
Monochrome a book of b&w images
An Indecisive World - colour images of my world travels
"T" at The Summer Palace. The Summer Palace, Beijing using the Leica T (also in a B&W version).
The Barbican Perspective & The Digilux 2 - 2 books in preparation.

#6 wda


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Posted 28 March 2007 - 20:34

Amin, I echo all that has been said. I will never part with mine which continues to perform as I would wish. I have even BlownUp some files to 60mp with remarkable results.

I was hoping Leica would upgrade the camera while retaining that marvellous lens. That looks doubtful and I thing those who love the D2 will live with a true Leica classic.


#7 audidudi


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Posted 28 March 2007 - 20:45

Does such a look really exist with this camera, or does it just seem this way because most who use this camera happen to be goood photographers?

There absolutely is a "D2 look," although I personally use its asian cousin, Panasonic's LC1, because I prefer its all-black cosmetics and more importantly, because I'm cheap-ish and was able to buy it for a very attractive price.

Personally, I wouldn't be without one of these cameras, even though I also own its replacement, the Panasonic L1. The L1 likewise produces very nice images but there's a certain something to the LC1's images that I'm not able to describe very well in words but enjoy very much in viewing. I've thought about buying an M8 but my format of choice is primarily square (or 4:3 if I have shoot rectangles) and it's easier for me to compose accordingly using a few pieces of tape to mark off the appropriate area on the LCD instead of roughly estimating it with a viewfinder. (As you might expect, I'm very much interested in the Ricoh GX100 that was just announced ... a digicam that shoots squares as a native format! Who'd a thunk it?!)

Perhaps you can see it for yourself in some of these images of leaves I shot last month in Kauai: http://www.leica-cam...aves-kauai.html?

#8 asabet



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Posted 28 March 2007 - 21:10

Thank you all for the warm welcome and reassuring feedback. Can't wait to have my D2 in hand and start using it.

#9 mwalker649


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Posted 28 March 2007 - 21:45

I have a D2 and a G7...I gave the G7 to my kids :)

#10 jmr


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Posted 28 March 2007 - 21:46


congratulations - you're getting a great camera. Please post some pictures over in the Photo Forums for us to look at.

#11 asabet



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Posted 28 March 2007 - 23:04

For sure I will do that JR. Thanks!

#12 photogdave



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Posted 29 March 2007 - 01:14

Before I bought my LC-1 I researched the faulty sensor issue and found a webpage that listed all the models and their serial numbers with the problem. I can't recall the website but I'm sure with a little work you can find it. Most brands considered the problem a recall and replaced the sensor.
I love mine to death and have even managed to get over my disdain for the EVF! The only thing I don't like about it is the noise at higher ISOs, so it's pretty much a 100ISO only camera for me.

#13 audidudi


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Posted 29 March 2007 - 01:25

Before I bought my LC-1 I researched the faulty sensor issue and found a webpage that listed all the models and their serial numbers with the problem. I can't recall the website but I'm sure with a little work you can find it.

Perhaps this was it: http://www2.panasoni...viceCenter=true?

For those who don't want to click on the link, it says that Panasonic USA, as with other Panasonic subsidiaries around the world (and of course, Leica), is providing an extended warranty on defective sensors for LC1 models in certain serial number ranges.

#14 dugby


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Posted 29 March 2007 - 01:26

Amin, you said that you have a 5D.

It is very important to consider the D2 as quite a different tool that you're familiar with...5D.

1) the D2 in good light takes superb images with the "Leica glow".
2) it's a silent shooter (turn off all the beeps)
3) it's indoor flash images are also superb.

Do NOT expect great things with low light.

Once you come to terms with these limitations..... it's a fantastic Camera.

I have decided to keep my D2 for the above reasons, even though I now have the D3/L1 which is even better. However these two cameras have different capabilities that allows me to chose the right tool for the different reasons.

You will find the D2 wonderful, for the times where your 5D is not the right tool...owning to size...or quiet stealthy shooting.

Tell us what you discover after 2-3 weeks of D2 use.......

#15 asabet



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Posted 29 March 2007 - 03:00

Thank you for your comments. I won't expect the low light performance or autofocus speed of my 5D. I want something lighter than the 5D with 24-105mm lens attached, and I am really looking forward to havign manual controls for shutter speed and aperture. This "Leica glow" or which you speak is perhaps what intrigues me most. I hope that I can recognize something like this in my D2 photos. I will be sure to report back when I receive it.

#16 comapedrosa


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Posted 29 March 2007 - 03:41

My D2 still feels like new. Has it already been a dog's life?

Note: I switch cameras every 20 years

#17 dcarter


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Posted 29 March 2007 - 04:59

I love the D2. The images do have a special look to them. I shoot mostly Jpeg and have enlarged up to 13x19 straight out and these images are beautiful. I have them on display and other photographers find it hard to beleive that it is a 5MP camera. It is obviously about more than pixels!! I do all of my composing on the LCD screen (never use the EVF) coming from a Hasselblad, it is my preferred way of viewing the scene. I have been photographing a band in low light, using the scale focus on the lens for speed, (estimating the distance to subject and bypassing the autofocus.) Nearly all were in perfect focus.. The in camera flash worked great. I compose on the LCD but watch the performer with my naked eyes (not through the camera) and when I see the moment I take the shot....very close to no shutter lag that way, and I'm watching the band with both eyes.
When you get the camera, take time to learn how it performs in all situations and there is nearly always an answer for getting the shots you need.
It's an awesome camera, I love the lightweight and the lens is magnificent. As always Leica is standing behind the sensor, if yours even fails.
Some people will never understand the difference between the cameras but that's okay, we do :) and we see!!!!

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#18 Guest_Metroman_*

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Posted 29 March 2007 - 06:10

There is no way I would get rid of my D2!

Leica policy statement on the sensor

Enjoy it.

#19 andit


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Posted 29 March 2007 - 08:23

Hi Armin,

Sadly, once I got to hear of the D2 and wanted to place an order for one, it was discontinued and replaced by the D3. Some of the images posted here in the forum are excellent. While it might not be the newest technology, it is a brilliant camera. As a testimony to this camera, just look at the used prices and the ebay bids. One member posted here just the other day that a D2 went for US $ 1200-00. If it was a bad camera in anyway, you would not get this type of demand and price. I have a 5MP Canon Ixus 50 (digital Elph in the US) sitting here, and all I can use it for is a paper weight (I know it is not in the same class as the D2, but still).

Just my 2c worth. Buy it and enjoy it...


#20 elansprint72


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Posted 29 March 2007 - 12:47

Works fine for me in low light.

And I seem to get what I'm shooting at too.;)

Brilliant camera, great lens. My only complaint is about the noise @ 400, used at 100 or 200ISO it's very good.

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