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Short Hands On: Leica S2 With Flash And 35mm F1.4 On The M9

by Chris Gampat on 06/10/2010

Recently, myself and Geek.com editor Sal Cangeloso were invited to the Leica Boutique opening at Willoughbee’s in NYC. There I got to have hands-on time with the S2, but this time with a flash and a 75mm lens attached to it. Additionally, the new 35mm F1.4 lens was fondled on the M9.

S2 with 70mm lens and Flash

I’ve done a brief hands-on with the camera at the Leica Roadshow before. You can see that here.

The Leica S2 with the 70mm F2.5 Summarit lens and a flash attached feels like any normal higher-end DSLR camera that I’d use to shoot an event. Here’s the catch though: when using it, I wasn’t allowed to change any of the settings. The camera was in Program mode the entire time. As a photographer used to shooting in manual mode, this was a bit different. It was literally a point and shoot experience.

I didn’t have a spare card on me so I wasn’t able to put one in the camera either. Still, it was a beauty to shoot an event with a medium format DSLR for a little while. The image quality and colors were great. The colors seemed to be on par with cameras like the D3x.

The autofocusing seemed to be spot on, simple and accurate. The camera has one focusing point in the middle. This will make for boring composition when shooting an event but the large amount of megapixels in the camera will be able to solve that in post-production.

I didn’t get to spend an insanely long amount of time with the camera as there was much networking to be done but shooting an event with a medium format camera is becoming more and more interesting to me.

Leica M9 with 35mm F1.4 Summilux

This is a brand new lens that was just announced by Leica and it was in use by one of the PR reps there with his M9. The lens isn’t as small as the 35mm F2.5 Summarit that I reviewed (and reduxed), but it isn’t giant either. The lens hood makes it seem a bit more intimidating than the lens really is. Because of the faster aperture, it allowed the photographer to shoot at ISO 800 wide open the entire time.

As was evident before, I was able to shoot without my glasses. The image quality, as is expected from a Leica lens, was top-notch once again.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to get my hands on a review unit or get more shooting time with one.

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Edit: the flash was the SF-58

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