With the upcoming announcement of Leica S3, expect a price drop on the S2

Leica is rumored to announce the S2 replacement at Photokina. The new S3 is expected to also have a 37.5MP sensor but with improved characteristics. In the upcoming weeks/months the price of the S2 is expected to drop. Some rumors point to a $10k price tag (the current S2 price is $22,995.00). Leica may also introduce a new combo price for the S2 with the 70mm S lens.

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  • Sunny Fifteen

    From $22k to $10k? I’ll believe it when I see it.

    • Nobody Special

      Agreed. All that would say for Leica is, ‘it’s a dog, it ain’t as popular as we’d hoped – please buy one.’ But they’d never admit that and they’ve never dropped any product price that I can remember – and certainly not more than a 50% drop. Can you hear the screaming of those that bought one for $22K??!!

      When pigs fly.

      • andy

        Leicas S2 sales for the last 2-3 months must be around zero, hence the drop. This is because it’s obviously at the end of it’s 3 year product cycle, NOT because it hasn’t been popular.

        I can’t see leica dropping the price to $10k either, but then leicarumors were correct about the Monochrom and 50 APO Summarit back in May.

        • Nobody Special

          As to the popularity, that may be true, but whether or not it’s the ‘success’ they hoped for is something only they know for sure.

          LR didn’t project the cost of the May product releases; any chance for Leica to drop prices that much for their ‘premier product’ would certainly be news-making but again, highly unlikely. I think this is all a dreamy idea.

    • J Shin

      I assume the price of the S3 is going down significantly, too. By keeping the MP count the same, they can save a lot on development cost; they can just make minor tweaks, most likely on the amplification and conversion circuitry, and microlens masks do not have to be redone. The body and software are unlikely to change much, so there is no additional development cost there, except for the redesign of the red dot, of course, which will cost them a fortune.

      So, perhaps years of profits is leading to some price cuts? Hmmm? Yeah?

      Perhaps they should call it the S2.2, if the MP count is the same?

  • Fritz

    Isn’t the upgrade called D800E? – Nooo, just kiddin! In real it’ll be called S Bichrom.

  • sloma_p

    In MF market, upgrade policies (where camera makers let you trade-in your old equipment for considerable discount on new gear) are very very important. I don’t belive Leica will drop the price by more than half – it would probably mean the end of their S line…

    Also, 37,5 MP, if true is not enough for an S3 (not that I need any more, or most ppl need any more, but when the competition delivers 80MP with similar noise/DR/color characteristics, not a lot customers will be willing to spend on S3; plus there an D800 now, while pixel quality at low ISO is not as good, and Leica glass i outstandig, I see more and more ppl “switching” to D800…)

    • craig


      If Leica would listen to the consumer, instead of forcing the consumer to follow their lead, they would make two MF cameras.

      The first would be the, say, 69 to 80 Mpix camera you discuss in your post.

      The second would be the existing sensor at 37Mpix with upgraded noise handling firmware and enough processing horsepower and buffer to do say 4 fps. That would be cutting edge bringing something new to the MF market. There are some of is in the wildlife photo biz that want the beauty of the MF files. What I suggest is clearly possible because Nikon is doing exactly what I suggest with virtually the same file size in the D800.

    • Harold Ellis

      it is not marketable even for 10k to real pros. As fashion accessory it is ok.

      and dont worry, there will not be many people hurt by lack of upgrade path, because not many people actually bought the cam.

  • craig

    If that is true, that the price goes to $10K, then I am there! At that price it is a direct competitor with the D645 from Pentax……but (for more cost of course) I get to use Leica glass.

  • craig


    Where so the severe price cut rumor for the S2 come from…..actually I don’t even care about the answer to that question. My real question is how reliable is the rumor? Also, when is the S3 expected?

  • Nobody Special

    I know what’s going to happen!!!!

    The S line will be dropped – thus the new low price!!!! Then at Photokina they’ll FINALLY WAKE UP and release the R10 DSLR AF!!!!!! Which I would bet the farm that it would outsell the S line in 2 two months and keep climbing in sales…..

    Then, I wake up, crap, just another dreamy idea.

    • J Shin

      Oh, sigh… Should that I never wake up…

      Just got a bunch of slides back, and looks like I can live with Fuji Provia 100F as a replacement for the E100G. So, the urgency for the SLR/EVIL replacement for my R8 has suddenly plummeted. Yay.

    • Daryl

      Dreaming of a Leica R10 is like me dreaming of a new Contax 645 body by Kyocera, it just isn’t going to happen. At least you have other bodies to put your lenses, why not adapt your lenses to Nikon and shoot 36mp.

      • J Shin

        Actually, the rumored Sony a88/99 (FF SLT) comes closer to being the ideal substitute R10.

        I asked sigmacumlaude.com, and they are willing to make a body converter for the Nikon or the Sony, turning the body into a Leica mount, if you are willing to supply a guinea pig. That way, one can still use teleconverters, macro adapters, etc., with just one surgery. Can’t use AF or focus confirmation, but you still have focus peaking, which I prefer; you can even take out the half-mirror, and make it mirrorless. 🙂

        Focusing will still be stop-down, which will be hell for wide-angles, but 1) focus peaking will probably still work as well as split-prism, given my eye sight, 2) no more mirror slap and no more aperture slap, and 3) you will be able to use lenses that will hit the mirror on the Nikon or Canon.

        But, who cares! I’m staying with film for now! 🙂

        And, Leica says?

      • Noody Special

        Of course it isn’t – but I’d still bet everything that any R10 DSLR would sell WAY more copies than any S camera ever will.

        I’ve looked at the Sony FF offerings as Minoltas and they made some great glass – either way, I am interested in seeing what the new Sony will be and how it will perform.

        Transparencies are still my all around choice – with digital second.

  • Daryl

    Those S lenses are the finest in all medium format and will resolve much higher megapixels with ease. If Nikkor lenses can resolve 36mp in a 24×36 format the S lenses can resolve 100MP. Leica S3 should be at least 60MP to keep up with medium format competition and gain a leg up on Nikon and their new M10. I would be disappointed if Leica does less, and would not be surprised to see 80MP. Tempting as an S2 camera at $10k is, I would give it a pass, the D800 and M9 deliver exceptionally high quality images, have a smaller form factor and lenses are good/exceptional.

    • Craig


      Not by much. Have you actually used a S2? For those of us who have it is a delightful experience. Bugger than a D800? Sure, but handles much like a D3….soooooo much better than the big boxes made by Pentax, Hassleblad, Mamyia…….

      • Nobody Special

        For most work that I use Hasselblad and even my Pentax 67 for, handling has never been an issue, I don’t use either for studio work and almost always use a tripod, and I’m in no hurry.

        I don’t see an S3 with a much larger mp sensor. I’m not sold that the S lenses are the finest in MF either.

      • Daryl

        Craig – hey I am envious of anyone that shoots the S2. Having shot almost all major medium format I would be more inclined to purchase a body and Phase One IQ180 back and suffer with my array of Hasselblad CF and Mamiya lenses.

        Just as an aside I would think a higher megapixel sensor and less capable lens will out resolve (all others measures ignored) a lower megapixel sensor and higher quality lens.

        NS – Ask Craig about the lenses, but the specs and curves on these lenses put most medium format lenses to shame, including Zeiss in either Hasselblad or Contax 645. There are exceptions, the 100mm f3.5 and 180mm f4 Zeiss CF(x) hold their own against anything. At less than $1k they are outright steals. Overall the S lens line has no equal.

        • Nobody Special

          I’m not convinced that there is enough discernable difference to notice in landscape or subjects with a high amount of differential static details. Too, (as much as we may want to believe otherwise) in MF, there is often little very difference, between the major brands of optics.

          Certain subjects lend themselves to certain optics and vice-versa, and it still comes down (in MF) for me as to what those subjects are and what/how I want the composition to finally appear. So, for me, choosing optics is often more than just brand desire, loyalty, or beliefs.

        • There’s much more to resolution, detail and plain good looks than medium format out there… don’t you get it… it’s “medium” in everything. Sheesh

          • Daryl

            Geno – not sure what you’re saying, large format?
            Could you elaborate?

  • Drew

    Some likely MP counts:
    45x30mm at 6 micron is 37.5MP
    45x30mm at 5.2 micron (what the 80MP ~40x55mm chips get) is about 50MP
    45x30mm at 4.88 micron (the D800) is about 56.7MP

    If they do go for a higher MP chip, I’d guess it would be closer to 5.2 micron and 48-50MP to compete with the 60MP 6×4.5 chips.

  • A price drop from $22k to $10k for the S2???? LOLOLOLOL. Not in a million years. We ARE talking about Leica…the company that never drops prices on anything. More realistic would be an S3 selling for $33k and the S2 will stay at the current price.

    Anyone wanting to buy an S2 for $10k will have to wait another 3 years and buy a used one….

    • Nobody Special


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