Feeds
90%
Leica S2

Leica S2 professional medium format DSLR

The 37.5Mp game-changer tested with its new 120mm lens

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Review Historically, commercial photographers have always relied on medium-format systems for their photo shoots and happily traded off manoeuvrability for image quality. Yet, when the Leica S2 became available to buy towards the end of 2009, things changed. The S2 pushes the boundaries of all flagship DSLRs, giving Nikon, Canon and the like, something to think about.

Leica S2

Form and function: Leica's S2

To all intents and purposes, the Leica S2 is a medium-format camera in a DSLR body, exploiting the best of both worlds. It uses a 37.5Mp CCD sensor with the same pixel size of the Nikon D3x on a surface 56 per cent larger than 35mm full-frame and only 7 per cent smaller than shooting film on a conventional medium-format camera.

While the S2 design was a technical achievement in itself, Leica had to deliver a lens series to match that the company claims are “devoid of all optical and chromatic aberrations and require no software correction”. Now that’s a tough statement to live up to and only recently has the optics count increased to four, with the addition of the APO-Macro-Summarit-S 120mm/f2.5 lens, which will set you back about £5k.

I was lucky enough to have a first taste of of this new lens – a short telephoto with a large aperture that’s ideal for portraits – at Leica’s Mayfair showroom for a brief studio session. With only one of this model available in the country it was no surprise that Leica wouldn’t lend it out for reviews in the field.

With the 120mm lens mounted on it, the S2 looks and feels just like a top of the range DSLR, with comparable weight, size and comfortable, ergonomic handling. The viewfinder is bright and big, and the large focus ring on the lens is a pleasure to use. Like most Leicas, the layout is simple and the body is as uncluttered as it can be.

Leica S2

Looks like a DSLR and feels like one too

On the top plate there is only the shutter speed dial, the shutter release – which sits at an angle on the front of the body – and a small colour status display. The shutter speed dial is a good size but does not lock into place, making inadvertent setting changes too easy, especially if shooting on location. The other obvious omission is the mode dial, which is replaced by a thumb wheel on the back. It’s a less than intuitive choice for most DSLR users and again a likely casualty of accidental changes.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Next page: Eye candy

More from The Register

next story
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Samsung Gear S: Quick, LAUNCH IT – before Apple straps on iWatch
Full specs for wrist-mounted device here ... but who'll buy it?
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables
Right in the middle of Burning Mains Man week
Reg man looks through a Glass, darkly: Google's toy ploy or killer tech specs?
Tip: Put the shades on and you'll look less of a spanner
HUGE iPAD? Maybe. HUGE ADVERTS? That's for SURE
Noo! Hand not big enough! Don't look at meee!
AMD unveils 'single purpose' graphics card for PC gamers and NO ONE else
Chip maker claims the Radeon R9 285 is 'best in its class'
Tim Cook in Applerexia fears: New MacBook THINNER THAN EVER
'Supply chain sources' give up the goss on new iLappy
Just in case? Unverified 'supersize me' iPhone 6 pics in sneak leak peek
Is bigger necessarily better for the fruity firm's flagship phone?
prev story

Whitepapers

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup
Learn why inSync received the highest overall rating from Druva and is the top choice for the mobile workforce.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.