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S2 under pricing pressure


andreas_thomsen
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In any case, Leica must be careful with the S2's pricing...

15.000 euros for the S2 body seems to be an upper limit.

Both Mamiya and Hasseblad are being very agressive regarding prices... and even more since Leica's S2 presentation at Photokina...

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yep yep u are right.

wow - they did an tricky ad.

......inclusive the ”option” to use the new lens. means inclusive to buy the lens!!!

cheers

andreas

 

By a year from now the zoom lens may be included at that price and the camera will have 39 megapixels. I can't see why not.

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yep yep u are right.

wow - they did an tricky ad.

......inclusive the ”option” to use the new lens. means inclusive to buy the lens!!!

cheers

andreas

 

I don't think they meant to trick anyone. I mean, how many people will go into the Hasselblad store and dump €10k only to walk out with a body and back, but no lens, in ignorance? :) Zero. The layout was just a bit too creative.

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By a year from now the zoom lens may be included at that price and the camera will have 39 megapixels. I can't see why not.

 

The Hasselblad zooms cost €5k :) I doubt they will be kit lenses any time soon. They might throw in the HC80 by the time the S2 comes out. Anyway, we ought to compare to the H3DII-39 here, not the 31.

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The Hasselblad zooms cost €5k :)

 

But that is $5,000 retail. I flippantly made the remark and don' t know if they'll specifically bundle that lens. (Being a zoom it might impact sales of several primes.) What do the lens, camera, and back really cost to make? At one point Canon bundled the 24-105 with the 5D and also dropped the price significantly. A lot of people who wanted the body bought both and sold the lens. (Dealers too.)

 

$7,000-$8000 sounds reasonable for a 35mm 21-24 megapixel body until companies start selling them for less than $3,000. The first DSLR I used had 6 megapixels, no LCD and cost $30,000. Now a 15 megapixel body with a zoom lens is under $800.

 

I think the recent downward price trends of MF are just the beginning of the drop - unless manufacturing costs keep them from going any lower. Demand is not likely to pick up without reduced prices, there's a lot of used gear on the market, and Phase One and Hasselblad seem to be competing aggressively. It should cost the same to make a 31 megapixel Hassy as a 39 megapixel one if they can get the higher 39 Mpix sensor a year from now for what the 31 costs today. The first 1 gig CF card I bought cost $279 six years ago.

 

These MF cameras do not have IS nor do they have AF that is as fast or as sophisticated as it is in 35mm bodies. The cameras also shoot slower (even the S2.) So just being MF and higher resolution will not guarantee more detail or better photos all of the time vs. using a full frame DSLR. So there is competition from 35mm equipment also. Today I worked on a lot of interior and exterior images that were shot with the 5DII using various lenses processed in DXO. I studied many of them very closely and couldn't see a single one that I felt needed more detail. Even the very corners of the frame showing tree branches shot with a 24-105 are incredibly detailed. So while at one time I was in the market for MF digital, I'll need to see some serious price declines to interest me.

Edited by AlanG
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Today I worked on a lot of interior and exterior images that were shot with the 5DII using various lenses processed in DXO. I studied many of them very closely and couldn't see a single one that I felt needed more detail. Even the very corners of the frame showing tree branches shot with a 24-105 are incredibly detailed.

 

I was perfectly happy with my Nikons and Nikkors until I saw with my own eyes the difference better equipment made.

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I was perfectly happy with my Nikons and Nikkors until I saw with my own eyes the difference better equipment made.

 

But I'm not you.

 

Remember, I used to do this work on 4x5 which surely rates as "better equipment." I have reasonably high standards and know what to look for. I never tried to get this kind of quality from Nikons or Nikkor lenses on 35mm film cameras. When I shot architecture on film, I only used 35mm when clients needed slides to go along with the larger formats.

 

But the latest 20+ megapixel FF digital cameras are so much better. I simply do not need more detail in these photos. Regardless of whether it is possible. I already can see all of the defects in the edges of the wallpaper that was 20 feet away in a very wide angle interior shot. Plus I'm easily getting a lot of depth of field and find various other advantages to working with a 35mm format system. I'm sure lots of others have come to the same conclusion.

 

If future cameras and lenses are better, that's fine. But I probably won't go out of my way to get them until I feel that my current cameras need replacement. (Assuming it is any good.) If I had assignments that required MF that might be another story.

 

I think the MF price promotions point the way. Technology starts out high and eventually comes down in price. For a lot of photographers, MF digital will only be purchased when it is not much more expensive than 35mm.

Edited by AlanG
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But I'm not you. Remember, I used to do this work on 4x5 which surely rates as "better equipment." I have reasonably high standards and know what to look for. I simply do not need more detail in these photos. Regardless of whether it is possible. I'm sure lots of others have come to the same conclusion. If future cameras and lenses are better, that's fine. But I probably won't go out of my way to get them until I feel that my current cameras need replacement. Whereas the Canon 17mm TS-E is pretty compelling for me. (Assuming it is any good.)

 

As long as your clients don't ever see something better, no worries.

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As long as your clients don't ever see something better, no worries.

 

This is of course a fair point, and there obviously are differences - there has to be when using different types of equipment. However, the reality is that the majority of clients don't have the time or the viewing equipment to see that difference, and in the majority of cases there is little difference in final output - It's amazing how some on these forums here have been getting excited over the quality of S2 files printed in LFI. If the truth be told, it would be difficult to tell the difference between the S2 and the original 5D when compared through the medium of high quality magazine print, which has a print screen of about 180dpi.

 

I don't ordinarily shoot architecture or fashion, but I did shoot a couple buildings for a client recently with a canon 5D2 and a couple good lenses. There was nothing in the pictures that needed more detail - everything that you could wish to see was clearly visible. The client - who traditionally used MF photographers, and has the experience to confidently tell apart MF from 35mm files - felt there was increasingly no real advantage in having the bigger files for her company's purposes - and they print their material big.

 

The S2 will undoubtedly produce wonder files, and for certain types of work, panoramic landscape for example, MF output will be essential. But I don't think there will be much difference in genuine usability between the two systems for 99.9% of the time.

 

I agree with Alan that MF will not catch on in a major way until the prices really drop. But even then, I suspect it will be unnecessary for many.

 

I know a technical shooter who is holding back on updating his aging digital MF equipment. Expense is obviously a factor, but his primary reasons are the quality of the 5Ds2 files, the incredible usefulness of high magnification LiveView, and Canon's announced TS lenses. If those lenses are as good as they ought to be, it's going to make architectural photography so much more fun to shoot - and save an estimated $40,000 in the process. He'll hire the big stuff if required.

Edited by marcusperkins
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As long as your clients don't ever see something better, no worries.

 

When I got a 1Ds, I shot some architecture using it along with 6x9 film. I made 24x36 inch prints from the 1Ds files and showed them to my clients. They all said that they would be happy with that level of quality. I always gave them the option of shooting 4x5. Only one client took me up on that in 5 1/2 years because they needed to blow up huge panoramic views for a sales display. (I'd do that via stitching today.)

 

Now that I have the 5DII and especially the lens correction software, (which was not available for Nikkor lenses used on Nikon film bodies) the images are considerably better. If I get time when I'm back at my office this afternoon, I'll send you a PM with crops from the files.

 

My clients are ad agencies, architects, interior designers, graphic designers, and builders. I've probably worked with more than 100 clients since I started shooting digitally. Not one has ever suggested a desire for more detail. Plus I am not sure if they'd even want to receive 120+meg files from each image.

 

I know two shooters who went to MF and then back to 35mm because MF didn't work for their style of photography. Another local associate of mine who also shoots architecture made the switch from 4x5 to 35mm digital about two years ago.

Edited by AlanG
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The Leica S2 is something in between 35mm and MF. I expect it will capture many potential users of high end 35mm and MF systems. The price is the key variable. Current prices of entry level MF cameras from Hasselblad and Mamiya are not so far from prices of high end "pro" DSLR 35mm bodies... So, there isn't much room for price positioning. I think people will be tempted to buy Leica instead of entry level Hasselblad or Mamiya even if the price is a bit higher, but the price can go much higher.

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Whatrever the price, you can guarantee it will end in 990, 950 or 995...

 

Yes, I bet will be exactly XY.999 :D

 

Problem is, Canon 5DII/Sony A900 are now 2200-2500 Euro, Maybe less after the summer..

AlanG has made a good point on his post: DSLR 35mm.high end vs Digital MF.

I have no doubt that the S2 will be better than "Canikony" but, it's worth the extra cost ?. How many clients will need/demand the extra resolution ?. How many pros will justify investing so much money ?.

The law of diminishing returns is pushed at it's limits here, not only for the S2 but for Hassy and Co. too.

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Now that I have the 5DII and especially the lens correction software, (which was not available for Nikkor lenses used on Nikon film bodies) the images are considerably better. If I get time when I'm back at my office this afternoon, I'll send you a PM with crops from the files.

 

Thank you for the PM and the opportunity to see your work. While the technical quality of the photos are quite good by popular standards the fine detail drops out well before the sensor's limits are reached - whether this is because of the AA filter, the properties of the lens, or DxO's work fixing the lens' weakesses, I don't know, but the fine detail is missing.

 

You know your market better than anyone else but it would be a mistake to assume the equipment and workflow you're using are as good as it gets in small format.

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