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Want to take my Leica S-007 to Svalbard but....................


Guest NEIL-D-WILLIAMS

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Guest NEIL-D-WILLIAMS

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I have signed up for this trip to Svalbard year and was planning on taking my new Leica S gear but the tour leader who has been there many times before says I would be crazy to take  a camera like the Leica S into such extreme conditions and highly recommends that I take my Nikon gear instead. He said that due to the luggage weight restrictions, it would be impossible for me to take both my Leica Gear and Nikon gear and that after spending a bunch of money to go on a once in a lifetime trip it would be a real shame to arrive and find that my Leica gear craps out in the cold weather................what do you think?????

Has anyone else tried using there gear in -10 to 15 deg

Edited by Neil D
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The 180 lens is superb, comparable to the 120 in terms of image quality. Here's a picture I took with it couple of months ago (hope I am not transgressing any nipple rules here).   Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content. Hallo Gast! Du willst die Bilder sehen? Einfach registrieren oder anmelden!   

Sounds like your guide is a fool! I live in the North of Sweden, not quite as far North as Svalbard but last winter I ran aurora and landscape photography workshops in Abisko, an amazing place. I used the S006 every day in temperatures down to -40, driving snow, howling wind and didn't have one issue, I wouldn't hesitate to take it and use it. It's just turning colder here, around -7 at the moment, wouldn't have a problem with photographing in any temp, my 007 will be used every day this winter.

Neil, this shot was taken at -35, wind blowing 30mph and the snow was mad, difficult to stand up! The lake in the foreground is frozen solid, 1m thick ice. I gave up long before the camera!   Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content. Hallo Gast! Du willst die Bilder sehen? Einfach registrieren oder anmelden!

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Sounds like your guide is a fool! I live in the North of Sweden, not quite as far North as Svalbard but last winter I ran aurora and landscape photography workshops in Abisko, an amazing place. I used the S006 every day in temperatures down to -40, driving snow, howling wind and didn't have one issue, I wouldn't hesitate to take it and use it. It's just turning colder here, around -7 at the moment, wouldn't have a problem with photographing in any temp, my 007 will be used every day this winter. It's a tool, just use it! 

 

By the way, in 2005 I went to the Antarctic for 2.5 years and took my first digital camera rather than film, a then new Canon 20d, used it every day in temps down to -50 and didn't have one issue ever, the S is a far more robust camera!

 

Mat

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Neil, this shot was taken at -35, wind blowing 30mph and the snow was mad, difficult to stand up! The lake in the foreground is frozen solid, 1m thick ice. I gave up long before the camera!

 

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Guest NEIL-D-WILLIAMS

Neil, this shot was taken at -35, wind blowing 30mph and the snow was mad, difficult to stand up! The lake in the foreground is frozen solid, 1m thick ice. I gave up long before the camera!

 

cant see your picture mate but thanks for your advice
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Take your Leica, it will stand up to whatever you throw at it. Keep spare batteries warm (in your pocket) and a few gentle/soft fibre cloths to dry etc..fully charge your batteries as often as possible and maybe even take more than one spare..

Keep a P&S handy for very iffy situations.. Safe Travels & Enjoy...

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Long lens options:

Native: 180mm

With C adapter: Zeiss Tele Apo Tessar 300/f4 - automatic aperture plus AF preserved; lens is very heavy (3.8kg)

With H adapter: Hasselblad HC 300/f4.5 - auto aperture plus AF; I recall reading comments that it was not a very strong performer on the S but haven't used it myself

With M adapter: Mamiya 300 2.8 Apo - manual aperture and focus only; about 3kg, I think user "Menos" has it and has commented on it positively here in previous posts; there's one available on German eBay now for about 3200 Euro

With V adapter: Zeiss Tele Super Achromat 350 f5.6 - manual aperture and focus, rare, insane prices on eBay

With Lei-ko adapter (plus factory adjustment of focus to achieve infinity): Apo Telyt 280 f4 - manual aperture and focus, about 1.8kg, very high reputation, only about 2000 produced, insane prices on eBay....

and, ultimately and for the longest reach:

if you have about 12000 Euro to spend, then the Apo Telyt 400/560/800 with the 1.4x focus module - the module can apparently be mechanically adapted for use on the S camera (search the red dot forum), don't know the cost of the conversion. This will get you to 560mm or about 400 mm equivalent on FF.

 

I've been going through the search process myself in the past days (as probably evident from my reply). Presently have an offer outstanding on an Apo-Telyt 280/4.

 

As for taking your S to Svalbard, I would not hesitate for a second. You can read reports by other members here who have taken there S cameras to the Antarctic (e.g. Albert Knapp). As for the long lens, for maximum reach; I'd however suggest you take an APS C DSR, with a 300 mm lens with you (along with your S). In this way, you'll get a much lighter and more handholdable combo for your wildlife shots that will be much easier to handle in a rubber boat, for instance, than any long lens solution for the S. A 300mm lens on an APS C DSLR will be the equivalent on of a 450mm lens on FF or roughly of the longest imaginable/available focal length on the S, as per my above list. As an example, a Pentax K3 with their D*300mm/f4 lens would cost you about Eur1700-1800 and would offer 24MP of resolution, with on sensor image stabilisation. This is what I did for a safari last year and did not regret.

 

In summary, my packing list for Svalbard would include my S007 with 45 and 120 mm lenses, plus a Pentax K3 with a 300 mm lens (plus a 40/2.8 Pentax pancake just in case something happened to my S). I think I'd be well within the weight limits with this equipment and have all focal lengths needed to cover both landscapes and polar bears. If I had some space left, I'd add one of the 24 and 180 mm lenses for the S.

 

Have a great trip!

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I have the Mamiya 300/2.8, Leica 280/4, both APO Telyt modular heads and the 1.4x and 2x focus units. The Mamiya is excellent but is best stopped down to f5.6, can take 2x converter without much quality loss. The 280/4 needs the 1.4x APO converter to work natively with the S, not looking to convert mine as the Mamiya is good enough. I have had the Leica Modular 1.4x adapted to S at Solms, I found the 280/4 plus 1.4x was better quality than the 400/4 as well as being much smaller/lighter/cheaper(!). The 560/4 gave far better results but is heavy. Not yet had the 2x focus unit converted, that will give me 500/5.6 and 800/5.6 options.....

 

john

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John, the 1.4x APO extender that you use with the 280/4 - is that part number 11249? When you say that the lens needs this extender to work "natively" with the S, do you mean that it needs it to achieve focus at infinity (without any work necessary on the lens itself)? Do you then use it on your S via the Leiko adapter or is there a mount conversion available from Solms? Thanks, Martin

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The 1.4x APO is needed to natively focus to infinity with the 280/4, I cannot give you the part number as currently half a world away! The converter is then fitted to the Leiko adapter, Solms/Wetzlar have not adapted many R lenses for the S AFAIK. I will send my 2x focus unit next year, when I got the 1.4x focus back there were disclaimers about not hitting the focus stop hard, edge of adjustment, could not be repaired again etc.....

 

john

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Maybe he things of the M... (which can also withstand quite a bit actually) 

It absolute can. I have had zero problems with the M8 in winter use over the years. Never at -40 C like discussed above, but a lot of time at -20 C and sometimes at colder than -30 C.

 

With M series, it's a good idea to have extra batteries and put them close to your body (in other words, keep them warm). Unless actual experience states this is totally unnecessary with the S series, it's important to follow the same suggestion with it to avoid battery issues.

Edited by -Lss-
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Batteries is an interesting subject with the S, they last so long it's amazing with the 006 but less so with the 007. I would shoot a full day in winter with the 006 and maybe need a second battery when it's very cold but with the 007 I will keep 2 spare with me.

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The 007 batteries have a higher charge than the S2/006 batteries, but they are backwards compaitble with the S006/S2... meaning we can now get BETTER batteries for our 006/S2 even prolonging the battery life!

 

The S2/006 batteries however are NOT compatible in the new 007 body, but the 007 battery (with more capacity) is compatible with the S2/006

 

#tip#

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Guest NEIL-D-WILLIAMS

Thanks guys for all your replies. I have already made my mind up what equipment I will take with me to Svalbard next year and have included that list below;

 

Leica S-007

Leica S 30mm

Leica S 50mm

Leica S 120mm

 

Nikon D4s

Nikon 600mm f4

Nikon 70/200mm f2.8

Nikon 14/24 f2.8

 

Hopefully that will be me covered. I will have the Leica gear for all the landscape and Northern Lights stuff, I will have the Nikon gear for wildlife and also as a backup if need be for the landscape stuff. There will be times when I will be shooting off the boat so depending on the light conditions I may need the Nikon with the hi ISO capabilities.

My wife is taking her Nikon D800 and a few lenses so we will be able to share when needed.

 

Thanks again for your feedback

 

 

 

Neil

 

 

 

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Guest NEIL-D-WILLIAMS

Batteries is an interesting subject with the S, they last so long it's amazing with the 006 but less so with the 007. I would shoot a full day in winter with the 006 and maybe need a second battery when it's very cold but with the 007 I will keep 2 spare with me.

Are you using the newer batteries that were designed for the 007 ?

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Guest NEIL-D-WILLIAMS

 

 

The S2/006 batteries however are NOT compatible in the new 007 body, but the 007 battery (with more capacity) is compatible with the S2/006

 

#tip#

Are you sure about the 006 batteries wont work in the 007??

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I have been to Svalbard with quark expeditions, 2 Leica S (typ 006), the 24, 30-90, 120 and 180 lenses without any problems... ENJOY yourself and take great shots. Several Canon and Nikon cameras had issue but Paul Tornaquidici who also brought two Leica bodies and a lot of lenses and I had no problems at all. Bring extra batteries and keep them warm.

Albert

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