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New G2 in hand


I started a thread last week asking about G2 AF performance, but will start a new thread detailing my impressions as I am now a G2 owner.

Need to qualify my comments first off - I am an enthusiastic amature!! I have a leica M7 and was looking for a faster working camera to capture kids and travel pics but with the leica quality that has spoiled me. I also have a canon SLR system. I have "mild" digital experience. I shoot print film, please no slide is better comments - I use my pics for prints not projection, and yes I do realize to totally get the best out of these wonderful lenses I should shoot slides, but I don't. I love b&w but don't print my own. i work full-time 60+ hrs/week in a non-photo related field plus I have a wonderful family that includes two toddlers. So, the last thing I want to do is spend time in a darkroom or in front of a computer on photoshop. I want to be out with my family and taking pictures. The leica is amazing but I can't focus fast enough to keep up with my kids and the SLR is too bulky. Love the weight and size of RF cameras. I also don't shoot resolution charts, brick walls, etc. So, please take my comments for what they are - an amature trying to share his limited experience with fellow enthusiasts!!

Whew.. anyway on with my impressions...

UPS didn't arrive until late and we had company over and then had a meeting at school, so didn't get to shoot but a couple of indoor shots - very frustrating!

I'll limit my comments today to initial out of the box impressions.

First thing that struck me was WOW! Heavy and first rate fabrication - heavier than the M7. Dials are impressive and very easy to use right off the bat. Didn't really need to consult the manual to figure everything out. Makes my Elan7 feel like a kid's toy.

Viewfinder: Smaller and dimmer than M7. Seen people complain about only showing shutter speed and not the aperture, but don't care and am used to that. It is not as bright as the Leica but what camera is. Miss seeing the scene outside the framelines, too. But, again, not a huge deal since I am comfortable with an SLR view. Plus, I usually keep both eyes open which helps me to see the total scene in front of me. I shoot with my left eye, and the G2 is much more comfortable for this. The viewfinder is still offset to the left but not as severe as the leica. What I really like is that the viewfinder juts out from the body and is more comfortable for my nose and my glasses. Eye relief is good. Only have the 45mm lens but using anything wider will be nice since the view will change with the lens. I have a hard time with lenses wider than the 50mm on the M7 since I am wearing glasses most of the time. Taking my glasses off with the leica doesn't work since there is no dioptre correction. So, i like the fact there is a dioptre correction on the G2!!

Lens: more compact than my leica 50mm 'lux (f/1.4) but it is 2 stops slower - can't compare it to the 'cron since I don't own it. Lens feels solid and nice but not as nice as the leica, but who cares as long as the glass is good! The aperture ring has nice, definite stops to it, but no 1/2 steps. The leica has a smoother feel when turning it. Changing the lens is not as quick or easy as the leica or canon. I am sure i'll get used to it and I'm not a big lens changer on the fly type of shooter anyways. Nice little case but no hood. Leica gives you the hood but their price is more than the whole G2 kit I bought anyways.

Shutter release: Quick! Leica supposedly has this incredible sound (or lack of sound)to its shutter but never bought into it.

Film advance: This sucker is fast!! Faster than my Elan7.

AF: Seems fast. Had no problem focusing in a dimly lit room last night. In fact the Elan7 with the canon 50/1.4 hunts back and forth a lot in the same lighting. And ALOT faster than the M7!!! Haven't tried the continuous focus yet. It is noisy compared to a leica obviously maybe a little louder than the Elan7 with an USM lens. But if you listen to the camera when someone else is using it - it is actually pretty quiet.

Film Loading: Much easier and faster than the leica!!!! Also, like that I can see what film is loaded. Sometimes forget with the leica and no way of telling.

Flash: Got the TLA200 with the kit from B&H. It is cute! Will be great to travel with. The G2 flash system seems more sophistacted than the leica. The M7 has a miserable 1/50 sync while the G2 goes upto 1/200!

Shutter Speeds: Am very excited about the 1/6000. Drives me crazy when I want to shoot my M7 wide or near wide open outdoors and can't b/c the top speed is only 1/1000. The whole point of those fabled leica lenses is to shoot them wide open!! Plus, this is the style I like for outdoor portraits, etc.

Well, overall I am excited and impressed. It is really unfair to compare the M7 and G2 b/c they are really different cameras that happen to be rangefinders. The comparison that jumps to mind is between a classic, manual Porsche or BMW to a new, technologically advanced Lexus. Very different and if lucky there is room for both in your garage.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more updates especially when I start getting my film back.

Happy shooting.


Knowing exactly what to autofocus on takes a bit of experience. I learned how to do it on my G1 (which refuses to focus on something ambiguous). Once you have the knack, it's a breeze.



Well-Known Member
"yes I do realize to totally get the best out of these wonderful lenses I should shoot slides"

This is ABSOLUTELY NOT true. Both slide and negative film, today, have just about the same usable resolution. Not so many years ago, slide film was in fact lower resolution. The issue is tonality. Though slide film has a wider density range ON THE FILM, do NOT confuse this with capturing more tones. Same basic film characteristics, slide film captures LESS tones than negative flim (negative film compresses the tones into a narrower density range, but that doesn't mean they aren't there!), and slide film has a FAR narrower EXPOSURE latitude.

You are not compromising anything by using a good negative film, and you may very well be compromising some tonality be by using slide film.





Thanks, now I don't feel so bad for shooting negative film. Film latitude is one of the main reasons that keeps me from doing more digital. Digital's narrow dynamic range drives me nuts. I won't even get into the color management, storage, etc issues

Looking forward to testing it out when I get home today.



Well-Known Member
Nevin ... great review ..... keep up the good work. I enjoyed reading it.

No need to qualify your report because you class yourself as an amateur .....

if amateur = (straightforward and readable text) + (little sign of bias that can sometimes be a product of experience)

then you have seem to have the equation just right!

I'm looking forward to part II. And .... I'll put good money on the fact that I won't be the only one who enjoyed this. What say you all?

Austin ..... as always ... an interesting reply! Looks like I am being educated out of my ignorance here .... it's a while since I looked at the properties of very modern slide and print film.

Tell me, I'd be interested to know if the apparent advantages of print film extend to the properties of the image by the time it reaches paper? I.e. a comparison of a projected slide vs a viewed paper print? (I hope I've phrased this right ... I'm sure someone will correct me!)

And how much difference would it make to the above comparison if we took an average reversal film processor (lab) vs an average print film processor (lab) and print lab. I'd be interested to know if there is a high dependence on top quality processing/printing to appreciate the differences.

Cheers, Kyocera Kid.


Active Member
I have to agree with Austin as to sharpness. Slides from the G2 are great, but so are prints. Another way of looking at this is that there is more "drama" in the slides, but the print film is designed for making prints. It's tough to get all the tones and drama from the transparency film onto the paper. I also have two small children, twin girls, now two and a half, and the print film is the best choice. For travel pictures slide film is great.


Congratulations on the new camera. Use it in good health.

I'll wade in on the film discussion with this: while you're learning your new camera's metering system, especially in challenging situations (backlit, snow, black cat in a coalmine, etc.) and when you're learning to use autobracketing and exposure compensation, it's very helpful to shoot slides to eliminate the interventions of the print processing equipment and most print film's wide exposure latitude.

I'll give the ex&le of a set of prints I got back Tuesday from a snowshoeing trip. A number of them are out of whack--light/dark, weird color cast, etc. They were processed at Kodak, so I can't blame the minimum-wage guy at the drugstore, but I still don't know which problems were my doing, and which are the processor's. I would have to have been carrying and shooting a Macbeth color checker to know for certain.

Of course you should shoot the film you prefer, but don't discount the benefits of what transparancies can tell you about your technique and the camera's strengths and weaknesses, at least while you're learning.



Well-Known Member
Just because you went to Kodak Qualex for processing doesn't mean you got the best service. Some finishers have a new digital printer where the computer decides the color balance. I recently had them do 100 rolls for me and the color balance was off on all of them. Because the job was so big they refused to do it over. I will include s&les here of what they did vs what I got from the local drug store where humans still look at the image before printing. The first image was done by Kodak. The other two by two drug stores.




Well-Known Member
If you want correct color, slides are the way to go.
If you want to make prints then use print film. Of course, you can always get a nice ilfochrome print made that can emmulate the nuances of a projected slide vis a vis a reflective vinyl based paper that is wonderful for prints. Every magazine I have ever shot for requested slides because color reproduction for printing is easier to match from the original slide (editing is easier too). As far as a projected image is concerned, slides always look better due in part to the fact that the image is luminous. This means we see the image independently giving off or reflecting light (just like how the human vision sees things in the real world), whereas a print is totally dependant on or can only be seen with the proper lighting.
True color can be achieved with a print but most photographers and printers cannot achieve this. Only a scant few master printers are skilled enough in their craft to reproduce color from print film to a print. Not all E-6 or C-41 labs are created equal either. Chemicals play a big part in proper development and color management. Always use a lab that has a "dip and dunk" system as opposed to a roller based processor. Not only is "d&d" safer and gentler, but it is more accurate and will not leave roller marks or creases on your emulsion.
Ask your photo finisher what they use... you may be suprised.
-Lytton }


Well-Known Member
Hi Lytton,

"If you want correct color, slides are the way to go."

That's overplaying the scene ;-) You can get as correct a color as you want (and the fact that you CAN correct it) with negative film. There are a number of ways, and, obviously, the most accurate way is to shoot a Macbeth color chart as the first shot of your roll. Now, I understand not many people need to do that...but the point, again, is you *can* IF you need to.




Well-Known Member
Austin wrote .....

"You are not compromising anything by using a good negative film, and you may very well be compromising some tonality be by using slide film."

But is there any compromise by the time those excellent negs get put on paper (compared with viewing slide film)?

It is quite some time since I had a neg film developed and printed that I may be missing out on modern developments! If so, what will I have lost compared to slide? (I'm not thinking along the lines having nothing to hang on the wall or pass around to friends

Cheers, Kyocera Kid.


Well-Known Member

I appreciated your candid review, your open and honest enthusiasm, always a pleasure to read something pleasant.

Good Luck with your G2. I think you will find it to be very versatile and meet your needs.




Well-Known Member
Hi Bob,

"But is there any compromise by the time those excellent negs get put on paper (compared with viewing slide film)?"

I was strictly speaking about what is on the film...but still, you think you get a better image projected on your living room wall than you would on a decent photographic print? ;-)




Well-Known Member
Hi Austin .... as I said ... I have not had a neg film done for quite a while ..... I really don't know if on a technical level, prints are ahead of, pretty even with, or slightly behind slides!

I was thinking along the lines of tonality and density (as mentioned in your original message).

It came as only a very small surprise that you mentioned that resolution was pretty much equal, it was in the other areas that I raised an inquisitive eyebrow! I can see that you were primarily talking about what was on the neg rather than on paper.

I was enquiring about judgement on a technical level because, I personally find it hard to judge on a subjective level as (to me) the media appear so different. All I can say that I have seen some excellent prints produced and exhibited from 35mm neg film (unfortunately not my neg film
). And I've seen some very impressive slides too!

I guess I was wondering what the experts thought about range and densities on PAPER these days.

Cheers, Kyocera Kid.

p.s. One of the best investments in accessories I think I have ever made (apart from a Monopod) ..... was a decent screen .... no more hacking it on wallpaper for me


Bob's post reminds me that my and amazed me last weekend when she lugged home a projection screen she acquired while out walking our the neighborhood. Seems she passed a yard sale and asked the fellow "How much?"

"Take it, it's yours."

Anyway, I've now got a proper silver screen to aim the Pradovit + Super Colorplan at. Should any of you neg fans care to come visit I'll set you up with a couple trays of slides and some foothill shiraz, and you'll be placing your Velvia and Kodachrome orders first thing Monday.



anyone up to listing some of the print films that
have given you the results that you were either looking for or that impressed you? i'm still finding it better to shoot slide film and pay the price of an ilfochrome if i want to print.

setting up a screen and projector scares the hell out my friends....while a photo book is much less intimidating for the stuff i don't print.


Print films? Fuji, Fuji, and Fuji.

A great overall outdoor film is Fuji Superia 200. If you are going to shoot indoors or in darker situations, 800 Press is great. For 8x10, Fuji 800 Press has grain that is like 100 films of 20 years ago. Stick with Fuji!


They did upload fine the first time. They are a very nice ex&le of the inherent limitation of prints-- they are a second-generation image. Slides are a first generation image.

Of course everything that can go wrong with the processing of negatives can also go wrong with the processing of slides. But the fact is that between your negative and your print there are twice as many opportunities for error/misfortune/screw-up than between your slides and the projected image: processing of film + processing of print.

And, of course, what we see as uploaded pictures are 3rd or more generation images-- who knows how similar or different from "reality" they are...(your picture was probably taken at noon, and so the lower image is the more "truthful", but someone may subjectively prefer the middle one)

Austin, I am sure you are right about the technical characteristics of negative vs. slide. And I think that, at least at the amateur level, it is absolutely a matter of personal taste. Looking at projected slides and looking at prints are very different experiences. For one thing, my friends never want to see my slides (too painful!). And I may want to see them, but I never find the time, so I keep thinking they are better than they really are...

Having reprints come out as different as David's ex&les is what started me on slides (that, and the those days it was definitely cheaper a roll of slides + processing than a roll of negatives + processing + copies).

In any case, Nevin, enjoy yor G. Great machine. And very nice, balanced review.



Regarding print films which have given good results, Fuji Reala in a big way. Good for general outdoor stuff though it's 100 speed so not so good for darker conditions. Probably my favorite film, among both print and slide.

Prints from Reala are not quite as nice as Ilfo prints made from slides by a talented printer, but not too far off in my experience.