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Thinking of Investing In the Leica S system

S006 S007 S reliability Hasselblad X1D 50C

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#1 Coppereye1960

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 20:36

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OK - I’m heavily into the M system with an M240, M Monochrom, M3 and the delightful Q. I also have a range of lenses including 3 50mms.

I do some macro and fashion work which I use Medium Format - a Pentax 645D.

The images from the Pentax are great but I call it the hedgehog as it has lots of buttons and dials and it takes me a good 30mins to work out the buttons. So I have decided to change for something which follows the Leica simplicity.

There seem to be a couple of options with the S system the 006 and 007. I prefer the CCD sensor ( ISO range isn’t a problem as I work with lights ). I like the idea of staying with Leica but I have seen a couple of posts which say the S both the 006 and 007 are unreliable and it has been suggested that the Hasselblad X1D -50C might be a better bet.

I’d be keen to hear members views on reliability of the S and if anyone has played with the X1D

#2 mgrayson3

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 23:30

I have the S(006), S(007), and the X1D. The only problem I ever had with the (006) was when it was dropped 6 feet to a concrete floor. I haven't had the X1D long enough for it to show problems. As far as "look" goes, I prefer the 006 to the 007 to the X1D. These are small preferences - not huge, and almost entirely adjustable in post. As far as convenience goes, the order is reversed. The advantage of the 007 over the 006 for me is more the live view manual focusing than the high ISO. The X1D is half the weight and focuses at infinity more reliably.

 

An 006 and a few lenses are very inexpensive. The S120 macro is a fabulous lens.

 

Best,

 

Matt


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#3 Deliberate1

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 00:31

I came to the S 006 from the M9, which seduced me with the elegant look of the CCD sensor.  After a few years, I bought into the S system which has spoiled me thoroughly. You get the look of M9 CCD files with a density of color, tonal range and depth that is seductive in a larger format.  I made the move because, as a shooter of film MF and LF printed large, I was looking for a digital equivalent, which the S provides in spades. I have the 70mm which stay on my camera most of the time. It best reflects the way I see the world. Also the 35mm (a 28mm FF equivalent).Both are brilliant. Leica did its parsimonious customers a favor with its smart adapters for Contax and Hasselblad lenses. I bought the Zeiss 35mm, 120mm and 240mm with Mutar 1.4x , all for about $2500, The Contax 35mm is a splendid piece of glass and the equal to the Leica  - not the same but an equivalent, though a stop slower. The 120mm macro ($800+/-) is just brilliant. I have no need to spend 4-5x more for the Leica version. The 240mm is OK but not up to its siblings. Still at about $250....

If not for the low light limitations, I would regard the 006 form factor as ideal. It feels just right in the hand - perfect in fact. The most form fitting body I have ever held - camera, that is. I like a big camera that does not feel like a big camera. That would be the S. Feels more natural than the M9 or Q even with the attached grip. Be advised that the S lenses have dodgy motor parts which can disable the AF. My 35mm crapped out and was repaired, gratis, in Germany and returned to me in the US within two weeks. My 70mm now needs the same attention. Problem is finding the right time to dispossess myself from it. And I have the split level screen which makes manual focusing a breeze, even for us glasses wearers.

I could not be more enthusiastic about this camera, and most important, the images it makes. I just don't get it, frankly. The S 006 is simply the best deal on the used market that I have ever seen. Good luck with your choice - it is an embarrassment of riches.

David


Edited by jaapv, 12 July 2018 - 10:54.
sales reference not in Buy and Sell deleted

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#4 Coppereye1960

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 13:51

Thanks for the quick and very informative replies. In my head it had come down to the “Look” I’ve been trawling Flikr and the like looking at images produced from all 3 and also the original S2.

I have an M240 with the CMOS sensor and a Monochrom with the CCD sensor.

I know that the CMOS allows live view, higher ISO etc but the images I have seen on my own M and others “Look Clean” it has been described as “Like Slide-film” Like you deliberate1 I love the look of the CCD sensor. The iso range isn’t an issue as I tend to use it with lighting.

Right that’s sorted it a 006 with 120mm and an adapter to use other lens manufacturers

I really appreciate the responses

#5 ropo54

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 14:10


There seem to be a couple of options with the S system the 006 and 007. I prefer the CCD sensor ( ISO range isn’t a problem as I work with lights ). I like the idea of staying with Leica but I have seen a couple of posts which say the S both the 006 and 007 are unreliable and it has been suggested that the Hasselblad X1D -50C might be a better bet.

I’d be keen to hear members views on reliability of the S and if anyone has played with the X1D

 

 

Send me a note if you are interested in acquiring a S006. I'm going to sell or trade mine.

Rob


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#6 hhn360

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 15:27

OK - I’m heavily into the M system with an M240, M Monochrom, M3 and the delightful Q. I also have a range of lenses including 3 50mms.

I do some macro and fashion work which I use Medium Format - a Pentax 645D.

The images from the Pentax are great but I call it the hedgehog as it has lots of buttons and dials and it takes me a good 30mins to work out the buttons. So I have decided to change for something which follows the Leica simplicity.

There seem to be a couple of options with the S system the 006 and 007. I prefer the CCD sensor ( ISO range isn’t a problem as I work with lights ). I like the idea of staying with Leica but I have seen a couple of posts which say the S both the 006 and 007 are unreliable and it has been suggested that the Hasselblad X1D -50C might be a better bet.

I’d be keen to hear members views on reliability of the S and if anyone has played with the X1D

 

 

I shoot fashion as well, using strobes, both in the studio and outdoors on location.  Regarding the X1D, I have 2 of them and would advise against going that route.  The image quality is absolutely outstanding (unless you want really shallow DOF using native XCD lenses) but the camera is an exercise in frustration to use with good flow, especially when shooting fashion, where you want to have good flow.  Outdoors in bright light, the EVF is so frustrating for someone with eyeglasses like me to use.  As is moving the focusing point.  I got the X1D system because of the leaf shutter and being able to sync at up to 1/2000 but I find after every shoot, I just want to toss away the cameras. I'm much more happy shooting my D850 system.  For stationary objects or slow considerate work, by all means the X1D shines.  I'm in the process of swapping out my X1D system.

 

As an aside, I also shoot fashion with the Phase One XF100 and Leica SL.  For my needs, I find that there is no solution which is perfect.  Because I shoot with strobes 100% of the time, often needing high sync speeds, I really prefer leaf shutter lenses or HSS.  The SL would be ideal (I love the "organic" feel and color from the files, the handling of this camera, along with the 75 & 90 mm native lenses), but the drawbacks are the relatively low resolution (24 mp just marginally clears the hurdle for what I need) and why is there still no cooperation with Profoto for HSS??


Edited by hhn360, 12 July 2018 - 16:08.

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#7 geetee1972

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 21:35

I have borrowed the S (006) that's been in my local store for several months now and have spent some time this afternoon shooting it. The light was good, bright but fairly overcast so quite flat and nicely saturated and certainly no need to worry about ISO. I set the S to ISO400. The results are quite different to the SL with 50SL I am used to; they have a natural luminosity that makes it look and feel a lot more like analogue than I thought it would. The files are not finely resolved in terms of detail, i.e. if you zoom in 300% you don't see as much detail as you do on the SL but that hardly matters because the detail is more than enough and at regular viewing distance, the files do look utterly gorgeous.

 

I'm in a quandry as I've not long had the 50SL (though I've had the SL for two years now) and would feel it hard to hang on to the 50SL if I kept this S.

 

It is however, 'only' $6300 for body and 70 Summarit. Both are in excellent condition though crucially, the lens has not had the motors replaced and the body has not had the sensor replaced. The body though is now four years old.

 

43369572561_07ed92200d_k.jpgSaffron - Transitions Volume Two by Greg Turner, on Flickr28500166397_73eb4baffa_k.jpgMorgan - Transitions by Greg Turner, on Flickr

42465235435_9d1f80211b_k.jpgKeona - Transitions by Greg Turner, on Flickr


Edited by geetee1972, 12 July 2018 - 21:36.

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#8 Agent M10

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 12:45

I have borrowed the S (006) that's been in my local store for several months now and have spent some time this afternoon shooting it. The light was good, bright but fairly overcast so quite flat and nicely saturated and certainly no need to worry about ISO. I set the S to ISO400. The results are quite different to the SL with 50SL I am used to; they have a natural luminosity that makes it look and feel a lot more like analogue than I thought it would. The files are not finely resolved in terms of detail, i.e. if you zoom in 300% you don't see as much detail as you do on the SL but that hardly matters because the detail is more than enough and at regular viewing distance, the files do look utterly gorgeous.

 

 

This is the first time I've heard that—the SL, Q, or M out resolving the S. I'd like to know if anyone else has seen or experienced the same thing. 



#9 djmay

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 13:14

This is the first time I've heard that—the SL, Q, or M out resolving the S. I'd like to know if anyone else has seen or experienced the same thing.

Not I. Just the opposite. I interpreted “sharpness “, which could mean many things; camera movement, sharpening settings in software, not precise focus, etc.
Jesse

Edited by djmay, 13 July 2018 - 13:17.


#10 ropo54

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 13:19

As a thought Greg - try the S lenses on the Sl and see how the images compare , as well. Borrow the leica adapter.
Rob

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#11 helged

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 13:55

This is the first time I've heard that—the SL, Q, or M out resolving the S. I'd like to know if anyone else has seen or experienced the same thing.


M: No (but 50APO-M is fantastic and high-resolving, 75Noct-M as well, but I have only experience with the former).

SL with primes: Optically high-resolving from wide open, technically close to perfect. Brilliant lenses. The zooms are almost at the level of the SL primes, and on par with/better than most primes in general. The output from the SL is very, very fine, but...

S:... cannot match the S-system. At least not based on my extended use of the SL and admittedly less, but quite some experience with the S (with the 24, 35, 70 and 120 primes).

It could be that the SL primes match/top the S-lenses regarding micro-contrast. For sure, the S-system is more prone to camera movement so shorter shutter speeds are needed for hand held shooting. But the end product - the images - are different, with the S-files at another level, combining sharpness, oof rendering, tonality and colours in a very pleasant package.
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#12 Agent M10

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 13:57

Not I. Just the opposite. I interpreted “sharpness “, which could mean many things; camera movement, sharpening settings in software, not precise focus, etc.
Jesse

 

 

Well, sure. I could see that if you're water skiing with them in manual mode. But the implication was that, all things being equal, the SL out resolves the S. I haven't photographed with the SL, but the threads that I've read said that the S still stands well above it. 



#13 geetee1972

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 14:31

I think I probably incorrectly identified the situation; I've only taken two dozen frames with the S so don't have enough experience to really have an informed view so forgive my error. I think it's more likely that what I am seeing is the consequence of focus accuracy. I notice that with the S you have to focus and recompose (if you use the AF) as the cross hair is only in the centre, or have I missed something there as well?



#14 helged

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 15:11

I think I probably incorrectly identified the situation; I've only taken two dozen frames with the S so don't have enough experience to really have an informed view so forgive my error. I think it's more likely that what I am seeing is the consequence of focus accuracy. I notice that with the S you have to focus and recompose (if you use the AF) as the cross hair is only in the centre, or have I missed something there as well?


Correct, the S006 has a fixed, centered af point, only. Can be problematic for critical focus, wide open. Not only because of recomposition and movements, but also because curved focus plane (or surface, since a plane is flat...).

#15 Jeff S

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 15:27

I think I probably incorrectly identified the situation; I've only taken two dozen frames with the S so don't have enough experience to really have an informed view so forgive my error. I think it's more likely that what I am seeing is the consequence of focus accuracy. I notice that with the S you have to focus and recompose (if you use the AF) as the cross hair is only in the centre, or have I missed something there as well?

An issue could also be vibration/shake at moderate to lower shutter speeds. The S006 shutter release and mirror dampening is not as refined as the S007 (exacerbated by its lower ISO capability), and the high res files will reveal faults.

The S007, with live view, also provides for AF focus at different sensor points.

While some prefer the S006 (CCD) colors, the S007 is a more refined camera, especially for use in less than ideal lighting.

Jeff

Edited by Jeff S, 13 July 2018 - 15:28.

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#16 ZHNL

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 23:21

For portrait, S is the best system to me. Mainly the lens rendering at wider aperture and skin tone (CCD?) and tonality (14 bit raw file?)

 

However, If the decision for S was made for landscape, I'd be careful to enter the system. You have to really make commitment for the size, weight, low light capability limitation of the system. I still enjoy S file the most but you will be hard to see any advantage of it over high end 35mm system from technical point of view, I blame this to Leica's poor decision on S upgrade cycle a few years ago. For landscape, I mainly shoot f11~16 (more than 80%) and f4~f5.6 (20%) if my whole frame subject is at infinity. With good lens on D850, I don't see much difference in term of detail. And color difference and rendering is a lot less important for me at least for landscape.  However, sensor dust, long exposure IQ/limitation and poor Dynamic range are indeed very real problems for me with S system compare to D850. For long exposure, you not only have mandertory noise reduction, IQ itself also leave something to be desired compare to D850. 

 

Having said that, the more I use S system, the more I like about shooting it. I always first edit S file whenever come back from a trip with multiple system, usually, for the same location, if condition is right, S images are always made to my final keepers. The reason is not they excel from technical POV and is still unclear to me. It could because S always give me the best shooting experience at location which affect my shooting decision? I feel I have more connection with the scene with S camera (it is the best OVF camera to me) and don't need deal with technical point of the system during shooting. IF the image I took is a feeling, a experience, then S gave me that so image stand out a little bit more I guess. 


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#17 hoppyman

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Posted 14 July 2018 - 00:02

For fashion as a style you mentioned, I can add my personal experience.
Almost all of my photography now is fashion and beauty in studio environment
I shot I guess a few thousand frames with the M (Typ 240) there before I got a used S2. Now I have the S (Typ 007) in the middle I suppose a few thousand exposures with a loan (Typ 006) and I have the SL too, so that is a spectrum of the systems mentioned in this thread.
In that environment the S system has many advantages without question. I never saw a large difference in the default rendering between the S2 and the S. For rapid series with a moving model the S is better (buffer and like the move from M9 to the M, the controls are better and the menus (where the SL has the best of all in that regard) the 24-90 is excellent but in dynamic range and practical resolution the S is better.
The S can get out of adjustment. And the AF motor defect is pretty well documented in threads here of course. Lenses with the new components seem to have resolved that.
I found I had not even used my M for more than a year once moving to the S.
My recommendation would be to get the Typ 007 if you find one priced acceptably. Get the 70CS and the Apo Macro 120 with AF motor upgrades or allow in price to get that done preemptively
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#18 albertknappmd

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Posted 14 July 2018 - 02:36

I have the M and S systems...

 

The major difference between the 006 and 007 besides the sensor (CCD vs CMOS) is the maximum usable ISO. Given that you  are doing studio and MACRO where lighting is no issue, the 006 will be perfect. The S system IMHO os the best MF out there in  both quality of lenses and simplicity.

You will not be disappointed!!

Albert  ;)  ;)  ;)  


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#19 NW67

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Posted 14 July 2018 - 04:06

I have the M and S systems...

The major difference between the 006 and 007 besides the sensor (CCD vs CMOS) is the maximum usable ISO. Given that you are doing studio and MACRO where lighting is no issue, the 006 will be perfect. The S system IMHO os the best MF out there in both quality of lenses and simplicity.
You will not be disappointed!!
Albert ;) ;) ;)

having both the S and Hassablad digital systems I would agree that the S is good but definitely not the best..

#20 NW67

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Posted 14 July 2018 - 04:08

having both the S and Hassablad digital systems I would agree that the S is good but definitely not the best..

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