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Good Buy - Leica Digilux 2?

Discussion in 'Panasonic/Leica Forum' started by stillshunter, Sep 9, 2011.

  1. stillshunter

    stillshunter Super Moderator Emeritus

    Nov 5, 2010
    Down Under
    Mark
    The X10 has got me thinking seriously about my X100 complement - aka dSLR replacement. As mentioned in another thread, I have the opportunity, from a friend at work, to buy a great condition late model (so no sensor issues ??) Leica Digilux 2. I'm looking at it Monday and must decide then, as otherwise he has a US buyer lined up. So I'd be very appreciative of advice from folks who have/had the camera. Again it will be complement to the X100, to be used as an all-rounder - for me the UI is just perfect ...being fairly manual and akin to what I love about the X100. I hear wonderful things about how it renders images and colours at ISO100 and awful things about anything above.

    Please help....as I'd hate to be caught in the moment and regret the purchase based on something that I'd not though of and a little experience makes quite obvious.
     
  2. Don't know about the Digilux 2 but Mainline Photo have a Digilux 3 with the fab 14-50mm f/2.8-4 zoom for $1395 which seems good value for money. I think the lens alone is worth that.

    Leica Digilux 3 with 14-50mm Vario Elmar lens. Rated 9/10

    How does your friend's compare on price.
     
  3. stillshunter

    stillshunter Super Moderator Emeritus

    Nov 5, 2010
    Down Under
    Mark
    Yep the D2 is a 2004 vintage. The one on offer is a late #301**** serial model. The price is $650. I saw the D3, interesting but that's quite a cost. At that price point I might consider a later model m4/3 or earlier Leica M film body. Of course, the main consideration is that the D2 is a 2/3" 5MP sensor, but I hear that it renders very uniquely.
     
  4. serhan

    serhan SC All-Pro

    May 7, 2011
    NYC
    I had the digilux 2 for a week or so and returned it. It is a classic camera with excellent Leica lens, more like a collectors item. I think X10 is the updated current version of that camera. They both have 2/3" sensor. X10 has the half weight and smaller size with only half a stop slower at the zoom end. The bokeh was nice at the long end with digilux 2 so you might not get that with Fuji. However, Fuji has optical stabilization and viewfinder vs dated electronic viewfinder and no stabilization on digilux 2. I also expect the new Fuji sensor might be better than the digilux's old sensor, eg in dynamic range and higher iso's. Digilux 2 has limited to ISO 400 and no IS means it is harder to use at low light. As you say it has lovely colors. I think raw photos help for higher iso's, but raw write speeds were slow as I remember and digilux 2 will not use the latest sd cards. I don't know how much he is asking but refurbished ones used to sell around $500-600 which is close to x10 pricing.

    Here is some of my digilux 2 fall photos from 2007 (day time shots):
    Fall Colors and Pumpkins Photo Gallery by Serhan at pbase.com
     
  5. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    Have you had a chance to use it? I well remember how horribly slow and unresponsive the compact digital cameras of that vintage were.
     
  6. stillshunter

    stillshunter Super Moderator Emeritus

    Nov 5, 2010
    Down Under
    Mark
    I can play with the D2 on Monday, but I fear being hypnotised when that little red dot hits the light :blush:. It's a serious consideration that buying this used comes at a similar cost as the X10 new. Hmmm....I suppose I could let this one go, wait for the X10 and then go back to the D2 if the Fuji's reviews aren't great. Either way, the Fuji would never render colour like the Leica. Be nice if someone wrote firmware to emulate (optionally...alongside Astia, Provia, etc.) the Leica colour profile. I've tried via LR3 without luck! Does anyone know whether the X10's OVF will have information projected onto the screen? - I don't believe there's framelines as I think it's a 100% view....unfortunately not the 0.5x of the X100....or 0.71 or 0.86 :hmm:
     
  7. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    I honestly thought that I had seen these sell for around $AU4-500 about a year ago, but maybe I'm remembering incorrectly since the latest sales on eBay are all for around $AU750-850 :eek: I wonder what a Panasonic LC-1 is worth? Same camera, no dot...

    BTW Mark, didn't you recently sell a camera that rendered colours beautifully, lol?
     
  8. stillshunter

    stillshunter Super Moderator Emeritus

    Nov 5, 2010
    Down Under
    Mark
    Yeah it really all seems to depend on the condition. This one is pretty nice, and the seller looks after his gear really well. Still has the original box and documentation (I believe). They go for anywhere between $500-900! Amazing how they hold their value. The LC-1 has the same internals but I hear that the colour rendering and form factor are slightly different. If I went down this road it would be the Leica for sure!

    :blush: Let's never speak of the DP2s again! :blush:
    To be honest since getting the X100, I've not given the little Sigma a second thought. Yes, they are unique but the user experience with the lil' Fuji is a completely different experience. That's one thing I must say, I've cycled through A LOT of gear but never looked back and regretted a sale. Except possibly the old monster Olympus E-1....but that was all down to nostalgia.

    By the way I am taking nothing away from the Fuji's colour....I'm happy to be quoted on the fact that the X100 is never going anywhere. It would have to be stolen (though I'd just buy another one!) or I would have to give photography away all together for it to leave my side....or if I'm pushed to sell everything to buy an M9P....though that would be in about 18 years once their value levels out to my budget, so I might be more receptive to such a proposal then :blush:
     
  9. pictor

    pictor SC All-Pro

    Jul 14, 2010
    The Leica Digilux 2 is one of the most iconic digital cameras and therefore I would be highly interested, if I were you. Its lens is said to be great. However, I would be carefully, that it does not have the sensor issue.
     
  10. stillshunter

    stillshunter Super Moderator Emeritus

    Nov 5, 2010
    Down Under
    Mark
    Oh great thanks Pictor....I'd almost convinced myself to forget about it for now :drama: That's why I'm keen on this one, due to the seller and the fact that it's a late series....also Leica is, apparently, still replacing the sensors free of charge. Oh jeez, another sleepless night....
    P.S., just re-read this reply and have to say that the sarcasm was even lost on me :blush: I am looking very forward to hearing any affirmatives and/or especially from folks who shoot, or have shot for a decent length of time, with the D2 and have come to a solid opinion on the UI and IQ.
     
  11. P.H

    P.H SC Regular

    131
    Apr 4, 2011
    Derby, UK
    Get it, you'll only regret it if you don't. They're holding value well, if you don't like it after a few months you're just as likely to make on it as lose.
    But for usability, you have to realise how far things have moved on, it's old technology and I'd be shocked if it could match today's cheaper equivalents.
     
  12. sh0wtime

    sh0wtime SC Rookie

    14
    Aug 20, 2011
    hi there, i'm a bit of a noob here but i might be able to help you with some advice

    i used an LC1 on 3 trips abroad in 2008 & found myself always going back & looking at the pics & thinking how good they all looked. since then i've been shooting an LX3 a Nikon D200 & a D2Xs yet i still had a yearning for an LC1 or Digilux2.
    well 2 weeks ago i spotted a very nice, little used, boxed with all accessories etc example on ebay & stuck a bid in. i paid £510 which seems to be the going rate these days. since then i've not had a lot of opprtunity to get out & about with it but the few pics i've taken look pretty good. the B&W mode is excellent & like has been said before the lens is amazing :wink:

    there are plenty of sample images on flickr- Flickr: The Leica Digilux 2 Pool

    plus there are some very good user sites also - leica.overgaard.dk - Thorsten Overgaard's Leica Sites - Leica Digilux 2 sample photos and tests (as well as Panasonic DMC-LC1) - Page 1 of 3

    plus John Thawley has written many interesting articles about using one in his journal

    The Leica Digilux 2 - Journal - Motorsports Photography by Motorsports Photographer, John Thawley :: American Le Mans, Grand Am,

    plus more links to digilux related items here

    Search - Motorsports Photography by Motorsports Photographer, John Thawley :: American Le Mans, Grand Am,

    also a massive thread discussing the "look" of the Digilux2 images on the L-camera forum. some nice ones on this page plus more as you scroll back through the topic
    Do Digilux 2 photos have distinctive look? - Seite 63 - Leica User Forum

    tbh i think you should have a good read up on its strengths & weaknesses buy it & try it (you wont ever loose money on it. at worse you'll break even) see how you get along with it. they have an almost iconic/cult status & i'm certainly not disappointed that i bought into it. yes the lower resolution might be a problem if you're doing very large prints but all full screen size preview on my 23inch cinema display they look great :wink:

    as for the operational speed yeah for sure they're not as fast as a pro bodied DSLR but is any "serious compact"?
    you just need to remember that these cameras are from an era where photography was about capturing light. nowadays everyone seems to want to be able to take pics of a moving subject, in the dark, with no flash!

    go for it. you'll love it :biggrin:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. sh0wtime

    sh0wtime SC Rookie

    14
    Aug 20, 2011
  14. sh0wtime

    sh0wtime SC Rookie

    14
    Aug 20, 2011
    B&W from an overcast toy car race a couple of weeks ago. digilux 2 on autopilot, jpeg straight out of camera (can be viewd full size on my flickr)

    6096687095_55d1e796b9_b.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. serhan

    serhan SC All-Pro

    May 7, 2011
    NYC
    Don't expect digilux 2 will be faster then a DP2 and also the focus accuracy isn't the best like dp2! So that way they are comparable...

     
  16. Ghosthunter

    Ghosthunter boo!

    Sep 8, 2010
    London UK
    Andy
    I was considering a Digilux 2 a while back and when looking at images i was pretty much blown away buy the superb IQ. So sharp and the colours were awesome. A real classic!
     
  17. stillshunter

    stillshunter Super Moderator Emeritus

    Nov 5, 2010
    Down Under
    Mark
    Thanks so much for taking the time to compile this considered and comprehensive reply. I looked at many of these links yesterday....which have made the decision an even harder one! I am certainly sold on the image quality - and it even has me thinking about shhoting straight jpegs :blush:. What does it for me is the controls. Precisely what I love about the X100 all there in a camera 7 years its senior!.....jeez, what happened?...we should have moved forward from there and not backwards! My primary issue is that like the DP2s (though they are chalk and cheese from an UI perspective) is that it would have to remain loaded with 100 ASA film....no option to 'throw' in some Tri-X :wink: I have seriously ask whether I'd be happy with a camera that has the set-up and controls I want but is only suitable to base ISO? :hmm: Yes I have seen ISO400 samples and they are starkly different to the ISO100's......
     
  18. stillshunter

    stillshunter Super Moderator Emeritus

    Nov 5, 2010
    Down Under
    Mark
    Ummmm WOW!:eek: Looks so much like film....and this is straight off the card? ISO100? Loevely tones and contrast for a tiny little (and old) sensor.
     
  19. stillshunter

    stillshunter Super Moderator Emeritus

    Nov 5, 2010
    Down Under
    Mark
    Thanks Andy, yet I note you remain without one. Was/Is this a conscious decision or merely down to availability? As I said the D2 would have to stand-alone with the X100. That'd be it. No dSLR or m4/3 to fall back on?......