39 thoughts on “my new lover .. Leica S2 medium format system just arrived my hotel in Beverly Hills. Thank you Leica for helping us out on our Family Drive across U.S. project.. i will keep Road Trips/Burn Magazine readers informed of this system…”

  1. It’s nice that you’ll be keeping us informed about the Leica S2, although I can’t imagine why; I don’t think anyone here can afford the gizmo.

  2. AKAKY

    i sure cannot afford it….unless it is so damned good i cannot afford not to have it…i am now totally into super sized art prints and it will be great for that i believe….


    well, i have been a loyal Leica user since i was a kid….and i do appreciate this loaner for sure…yet as you know i do shoot a lot with other stuff including the iPhone….it will be interesting to see super big prints with this camera ….i played with it a bit…pretty easy to use, but the focus is really really very critical…you gotta be right on…no margin for error on the focus…it looks and feels like a normal slr, but it’s not….

    hey congrats on Lens Blog…looked terrific…

    cheers, david


    this is exactly what i want to find out….i am not sure…i am having Mike Courvoisier make right now some test prints comparing my Mamiya med format film work up against the Leica S2 digi…i just do not know yet….all along i have figured that my American “family album” would consist of several formats and both b&w and color…why mix? well a family album is mixed…your family album most likely contains a wide variety of “looks” maybe with a few studio portraits perhaps right next to a Polaroid SX70….at least our family album is a mix….in keeping with this scrapbook look ,i don’t want this book to be traditionally consistent…i want this book to look like a scrapbook….at least that is what i have been thinking for awhile now…i could change my mind of course…


    smiling…well yes but i think you know me well enough by now to know that if i only had disposable cameras to use, i would be perfectly happy….matter of fact, i might try those again as well….


    where have you been? missing your voice around here…are you still in Santa Fe? if so we will be passing through town at some point..stay in touch…it would be fun to meet …


    i still have not opened the box…i will in the next couple of days…there are other priorities at the moment…i did shoot some with the S2 in new york and will see the results tomorrow…on this trip i will have the Leica S2, the Nikon D800, the Panasonic GX1, a Mamiya VII and the iPhone5..all great cameras imo…..for sure my emphasis on this particular adventure will be with the S2…as i mentioned earlier, my whole push right now in general is super sized prints for the art market…as in 60×40’s….some of my 60×40’s from the Rio show are with the GF1 and they actually look pretty amazing…yet i am pretty sure the S2 will be the one to beat….stay tuned…


    will our paths cross? i am heading up the coast from Los Angeles, all the way up, before hanging a right and heading east…seems only right that one of us would buy the other a cold beer….there is no plan to our plan of course, yet i do hope we can hang a bit…

    cheers david

  4. I’m sure you’ll love the S2,particularly,in large prints are part of your endgame.
    I’ve been using one throughout the summer and the results are impressive indeed.
    Even though there are a number of medium format options with higher resolution none
    are as comfortable to use as the S2. Viewfinder is amongst the best and ergonomics are
    unmatched in medium format.
    If you do,indeed,fall in love and feel the need beyond a cross-country romp there are a few
    decently priced used kits starting to show up. Leica launched the new ‘S’ at Photokina and this
    will prompt many hobby users to upgrade.

  5. @ DAH: Hermoso regalo para comenzar el viaje hacia el este…

    Which is the difference between this picture and the third one in your BurnWorkshop page?
    A hotel room, a bed, a lamp and a lover laying on the bed in front of you…

    Hopefully in Spanish or Italian, the camera is female (“LA” cámara de fotos), so we (boys) have love stories with “she”… :-)
    Not the same in English (no sex) or in French (male).


  6. Never understood the fascination with huge prints that seem to be the “thing” these days. Few of us have homes or apartments that really accommodate five foot wide prints. I have a printer that can print 22″x17″, but the biggest I actually produce is 19″x13″, and that only for gallery stuff. Personally prefer to see photos in books.

    The S2 can produce beautiful prints, though. No substitute for those big photosites, that’s for sure.

  7. David…

    Has the art market finally fully accepted digital in general, or are traditional BW prints and images shot with film still holding a stronger monetary value?


    it’s funny…in my earliest days at the Va Museum of Fine Arts (when i was also shooting for the Richmond Times_Dispatch), only small prints were “the thing”..HCB and Walker Evans had 8×10’s at MOMA…big prints were considered “billboards” or “posters” or something not cool, not art…now, anything goes…i still love small prints…but i must say the power of the big ones is quite breathtaking…i will have some in the van for you to see when we pass through Texas….

    the market for the super size prints is of course very very limited…who has a wall that big? few…most of the really large prints are often bought by institutions….museums,corporations…my big prints are in editions of 5…and done….so surely not a mass market at all…however art is becoming more and more and more important…the more egalitarian photography becomes and the more homogenized everything is, the more valuable limited edition or one of a kind becomes…only logical…art lasts..the only thing that lasts…

    the mass distribution of my work is online or NatGeo or other print magazines of course…or the upcoming free distribution of (based on a true story) as a newspaper…yes a newspaper Jim :)…99% of my work gets seen for free….anybody can get a good 8×10 off of anything published here for example…

    actually today i will be meeting with a gallery in Los Angeles to see about some smaller prints of the same pictures i am making large…opinions vary on this two sizes bit….but i think i cannot…there are laws on the books regarding editions…

    i do however have open editions in smaller more practical sizes…11×14,16×20, 20×24…in my home i have nothing larger than 16×20 of any photographer ( i don’t hang my own work outside of my working studio wall)…truth is one of my big prints could not possibly be hung in my own house anyway…

    and i could not even afford one of my own prints either!!

    cheers, david

  9. David…

    Aren’t you stunting all future chances of making prints in editions of 5? Personally I think you shouldn’t limit prints to a certain amount. Just imagine if one of those prints becomes an absolutely amazing hit… You will only be able to cash on it five times :(!!


    i would love to talk to you re: S2…can we communicate by email?? david@burnmagazine.org…thanks


    first off, this a relatively new world for me…i am not an expert by any means…

    yet, i have found there is no one “art market”…there are many…some collectors only want vintage silver prints…i have some who only want from me prints made by me out of my darkroom….however these days the collector market seems to be very wide…i will give you a full report after Art Basel/Miami this coming december…i have rented an entire gallery space just to see what will happen….nouveau contemporary collectors don’t seem to care about the origin of the image…they just want a limited edition and archival ..they care about the final OBJECT….

    the main thing if you are the artist is to declare yourself and be consistent…declare an edition of 60-x40 mounted on aluminum with plexi or 5×7’s on rice paper or whatever it is…declare it..stand by it….if that edition is gone, then do another thing…

    again, open editions still are the most popular and practical thing for most photographers and most buyers most of the time…

    cheers, david

  11. I know there is a lot of smoke generated by the argument of editioning, but the reality is that for most people, it really doesn’t matter. Regardless of how limited the edition, few artists sell the edition out. An edition of five in a large size is likely completely realistic.

  12. PAUL

    you are right…but that is the point of an edition, and hence the high prices generated by such…i am showing at Art Basel only 6 pictures…might even drop it to 5…this is the same way of painters, sculptors, and other artists…you can’t have it both ways….again these editions become objects not pictures…the “pictures” can be seen and reproduced many ways….

    i have a postcard of the Mona Lisa…


    that is correct

  13. GORDON

    yes Leica has always been a hobbyist camera…pros use them, but it is the dentists and doctors and collectors who have always been the primary market….Leica knows this of course…..

  14. Newspaper? Yes! :)) Heavy stock hopefully. I saw Soth is using 50lb. (waiting for my copy, first time I spent $18 plus shipping for a single copy newspaper). There’s a direct-to-plate shop that offers a nice bright 45 just down the road (for my own dreaming). Now if you can find a web that knows what it’s doing stochastic screens (not many from what I understand), well … the quality can be surprisingly good.

    This trip begs for a newspaper at the end … well, to me anyway. Would seem to grant a bit more freedom in content, behind the scenes, expanded stories, etc. And besides, things just look better in print!

  15. TOM HYDE,

    Keep me informed as I am as interested in rendezvousing with you as I am with David et al.

    Your mockups for OlyWAmag look terrific… in Western Washington there are a number of ‘giveaway’ newsprint weeklies that survive on advertising… is that a model you are thinking of, or do you want to charge for the thing?


    the Soth Ohio newspaper is cool…and yes, a newspaper for this trip for sure…and (based on a true story) will be printed on super newspaper stock at EBS in Verona, the same offset press we used for the book….wanted to keep the same flush to the edge look, so a normal newspaper press just cannot do it…so the newspapers are free in Rio and we will sell them here at as low a price as we can…66 page newspaper 85 lb. stock …same as book…for sure the newspaper version will be very popular..lower price and super large format will be attractive i think…we going to press soon….


    for sure i want to meet you, so we will stay in touch….looking forward amigo…

    cheers, david

  17. Sidney, will definitely keep you informed. I hope we might finally meet.

    As for that bit of dreaming … well, neither of those options really since they just aren’t viable anymore. There is the always successful fallback plan of dousing a barrel of $20s in gas and throwing in a match, if I had a barrel of $20s, but I’d rather buy an S2. I’ve got other ideas I’m thinking about from the barstool at Moe’s Tavern, but I’ll email you :)) Damnit Soth! Just when I started getting over it … :))

    Back to regular programming …

  18. Hey DAH – Just giving you a hard time – completely joking. It would be cool to play with a camera like that, but I don’t know if I would ever want to OWN one.Get a camera like that, people start to expect things from you.

    Thanks for the shout out for the lens blog. Still riding high for that one. Been a good run. Wedding, then this.

  19. Life’s convergences can be so odd.

    During slow periods out in the whaling boat, my mind often drifts and fantasizes – usually to tropical islands where shapely women stroll upon long, beautiful, beaches. On my last trip out, I got to thinking instead about the portrait series I want to do in conjunction with this latest Arctic project I have undertaken. I began to fantasize about doing the formal side of it with a medium format digital camera and wondered how I could ever come up with one – how ANYONE ever comes up with one.

    Now I am back on land to stay, I come to Burn and the very first thing I see is that David has come up with just such a camera.

    I have not yet decided whether this should give me hope or just make me feel impossibly jealous.


    well you probably know, i really don’t think too much about cameras one way or the other…sure i get caught up in all the tech talk like everyone else, but honestly i really don’t care…the best picture i have taken recently i shot with the GF1 and i WISH i had shot the same picture with the S2 or the Nikon D800…or rather i wish the FILE was from one of those two cameras….on the other hand if i really think about it i could not have made the picture with either…the looseness and freedom i had with the GF1 is literally how i got the shot…and yes, i know what you mean , expectations are somehow high because the camera is so damned good…so a great camera in the test lab may not really be all that great depending on what you are doing…anyway, let’s see…i still have not opened the box…


    oh do not be jealous of the new camera….nothing to be jealous about…you know damned well it does not mean i can do anything special with it….for a big camera i must say it does feel good, i tested it a bit in new york….if you really do want to be jealous about something, be jealous of the trip not the camera…the experience of the adventure is THE thing, no matter the camera….

    cheers, david

  21. a civilian-mass audience

    and who is Leica…?…hihiiiii…

    please,AKAKY IRL don’t even start…hihiiii…

  22. marcin luczkowski


    With your talent even a leica is good camera… :)

    can’t wait for pics from the trip.

  23. Okay, I’ll bite. Dude, what do you think of Leicas?

    AKAKY IRL: Leicas? Isn’t that a fashion accessory for dentists?

    AKAKY: I’ve heard them described that way, yes.

    AKAKY IRL: It’s some sort of expensive scarf, right?

    AKAKY: It goes with the scarf, yeah.

    AKAKY IRL: I thought so. If I remember right it’s the sort of thing you look at and wonder just how many root canals went into getting it.

    AKAKY: A fair number, I would imagine.

    AKAKY IRL: Exactly. So the number of Leicas sold in the world would be a good way of measuring human suffering, like the unemployment rate or crime statistics or the sales figures on Madonna’s last album.

    AKAKY: I think so.

  24. Ltd editions have their place, sure we all know it is a way of increasing value through perception of scarcity. I guess you all know http://www.20×200.com which is clear in it’s size,edition,price formula.

    Certainly the advance in technology (both cameras, scanners and printing) to produce high quality large format prints relatively easily has made an impact – people do it because they can. But when you see a beautifully printed suitable image printed large, it blows you away.

    By their very nature, few people have the space to hang them and are ruinously expensive to produce, they command to be limited edition.

    There is always, as suggested earlier, the possibility of running a parallel unlimited edition in a smaller size on a different medium – does this de-value the larger edition, I don’t know.

    As David said, it seems the collector is interested in the finished final item.

    There is also the question of making it physically big to impress as the content is useless. I went to an so called contemporary art fair, with alot of well known galleries exhibiting. There was alot of interesting stuff there. I was drawn to the photography, there seemed to be alot of “photographers” taking advantage of the fact they could blow things up big and mount onto aluminium, put behind shiny acrylic etc, certainly the engineering of the objects looked impressive, but the photography was lousy and the prints were falling to pieces as the files couldn’t stand up to the enlargement.

    There are places for each, ltd edition for nich markets and unlimited for democratising, taking your work to the masses. At the end of the day it is subject matter/content that counts and that takes hard work to achieve.

  25. David, I would love to be on this journey with you all. It ought to be an amazing experience; fun, challenging. It’s hard to feel jealous, though, given the journeys I’ve been taking, given the journey I’m on.

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