Home Cameras/Lenses Leica Ken falls in love with the Leica Q2: It’s immortal, it’s inexpensive

Ken falls in love with the Leica Q2: It’s immortal, it’s inexpensive

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The indefatigable Ken Rockwell has turned his attention to the Leica Q2 and he is smitten. Never knowingly without a strong opinion, especially on the origin of a camera, Ken tells us that the Q2 is “both immortal as well as practical and inexpensive, which is why it’s so wildly popular.” What he means by “inexpensive” is in comparison with other full-frame Leicas such as the M or the SL, both of which cost more and require a very costly lens to compete with the Q or Q2.

I’ve made the same point many times before. If you want to take a stab at equalling the Q’s 28mm f/1.7 Summilux you are looking at either £5,175 for the 28mm Summilux-M or, perhaps, the 28mm Summicron-M at a more reasonable £3,420. The fact that the Q2 combines a camera and a lens that, arguably, performs as well as those M optics, is a remarkable achievement. By that yardstick, the Q2 – costing £4,375 – is something of a bargain. In Leica’s parallel universe, that is.

According to Ken, “the Q2 is worlds ahead of everything from Fuji or Sony because the Q2 handles so much more brilliantly. Its clear, simple menus are way better than Fuji or Sony, and its controls are also way ahead of Sony and even simpler than Fuji. Neither Nikon nor Canon make any fixed-lens full-frame digital cameras.”

He concludes: “I’m impressed; the Q2 handles brilliantly, and autofocuses and tracks focus and just shoots, fast. The Q2 just gets out of my way more than I had ever expected. Bravo!”

While Ken’s use of “immortal” has a slight whiff of hyperbole about it, I can’t fault his general enthusiasm for this most successful of Leica cameras.

It isn’t all good news, though, because Ken points out some of the Q2’s failings. Read the full report here.


Mike’s little gallery of Q2 images

From holiday snaps to product launches and a wide range of interesting events during 2019, the wide-angle lens of the Q2 copes with everything. And with the 47MP sensor of the new model, cropping to 35mm, 50mm or, even, 75mm equivalent is both practical and rewarding.

Click to enlarge and see slideshow

More about the Leica Q and Q2

Read Jono Slack’s full review of the Leica Q2

15 COMMENTS

  1. I don’t normally use 28mm as a go to focal length, but when I do, like Ken, the iPhone works “swell” for me. So for me, it falls at the first hurdle, every picture is a crop.

    It is good as a complete package and cheap by Leica standards, but I prefer to choose either a film or digital M kamera, with my ancient set of screwfit 50mm lenses from Leitz and Nikon and of course the 40mm and 50mm Summicrons.

    But then that is me, I am also the one that has just bought a Sigma DP3 to wrestle with.

    I bought it for one purpose, as a high quality scanning camera for scanning film the new way, with the aid of Hamish’s Pixl-atr, which I don’t have yet.

    However, I have been using the DP3 in the local woodland, and it could not be further from the Q2 in the way that it handles light. It is sublime at 100iso and not bad up to 400iso, but that is it. It makes astonishing filmlike indoor portraits though within its limitations, so I think it will probably be perfect for scanning a flat negative.

    Sorry, I seem to have veered off piste….

    BTW: Michael, is that statue in your slideshow, one that needs to come down? It’s not Jimmy Savile is it?

    • No, it isn’t Jimmy Saville – that is unless he organised a few Fix-its in Malta. This is some no-doubt important historic personage in the heart of Valletta. So far, so safe.

      But I checked on the interweb, so easy these days. It is none other than Pawlu Boffa, Maltese prime-minister from 1947 to 1950, complete with dramatic shadow. So there you are. Unless you can dig some dirt, in which case he can be thrown into the Grand Harbour.

      • This made me really laugh – Liz is looking at me very perplexed. Who knows where Jimmy S served up his fix its, more so if you read the tabloid stuff written about him. Lets be honest going for a Jimmy when I was a kid had an entirely different meaning to what it has now. It used to rhyme with riddle.

  2. The Q, Q-P is gorgeous (pictures do not do it justice- the most beautiful camera I have ever owned including the second place Hasselblad X1D), and Q2 cannot be beat for handling. If one does not like 28mm (a wonderful focal length for candid photos which this camera is ideal for) then it is not for you and move on to what fits your needs. No camera is perfect for everyone but for what the Q series is designed for it is an amazing photographic tool. I would buy the Q2 in an instant but I have the Leica M9 and a pair of 28mm lenses that cover that purpose. If I did not have other m glass the Leica Q2 would be in my system of cameras.
    I agree with Ken on his assessment. The style of his evaluations tends to draw two very polarized groups but I do in general find him accurate and value all the information on Leica on his website. Many people hate him because he generally loves Leica so there are lots of Leica haters around so he gets beat up and even hated on the web. There needs to be a lot more tolerance on other views. I feel that there is an excessive tool loyalty and emphasis in photography. As an artist I only see my camera and glass as tools to achieve my creative outlet. I only care wether the tool is a joy to use and gets out of my way in doing my art.

    As an example, the Leica X cameras are still capable creative tools that satisfy their users inspite of heavy negative media reviews upon release. The owners love their tools and the resulting images that are still great today unless you are printing bus sized enlargements or shooting at high ISO. Use the tool you are delighted with – which implies it delivers the shooting envelope you need.

    Also, I also do not criticize someones images if I do not like them for whatever reason; subject, newbie in skills, b&w versus colour, film versus digital, and so on. Artists need as much encouragement as possible to stay creative. I do not care if people do not like my art as it is me. If I like it That is all that matters. I have taken courses and professional paid critiques of my art. However, I learned and grew from that but I still stood up for some images if the criticism was a style difference. I paid Ming Thein, ( a technicality and artistically brilliant photographer) critique my images and learned a lot very quickly but some images I ignored his feedback as I loved image and it was a style difference. I do not like his very dark contrasty B&W images of the past year but I do not post that on his site as is not of any value to him and it is not nice or necessary as my parents taught me.

    Anyway, may seem a bit off topic but Ken gets a lot of silly hate on the web and I see too much of it in general in photography, for images and equipment, and wanted to comment on it.
    As for me I have been learning new skills through training and hope to get experiencing more creative outings as the virus recedes.

    • I have a feeling I buy my cameras on the basis that others often view them as being pants. So my X and my Df, both of which I love for differing reasons, and would recommend to anyone considering either, are viewed by some reviewers to be not what the doctor ordered, with complaints about both being well documented in some quarters.

      I have previously referred to the legendary Ken for his reviews, and the fact he sticks to image output as his basis and comparisons. Which is what we should all do.

      I love the fact we all have views on our cameras, and the images they produce. But for me the images are the most important part, as they represent a moment in time that the person was present at, and as such it becomes irrelevant what camera brand captured the moment, but that the image is worthy of inclusion and publication, and significantly, it was successfully captured to be reproduced for our enjoyment.

  3. It’s a very tempting camera. If you look at images taken with the Q2 it’s hard not to be impressed, with the same kind of enthusiasm music fans reserve for the sound vinyl and tube/valve amps produce.

    But when you have a CL and use the 11-23 lens almost exclusively you get close enough without having to give up the flexibility of interchangeable lenses.

    But can I find a rationale for adding the Q2 to the CL..?

  4. Are we not overlooking the fact Ken went on to say he hated the Q2’s colour output in Jpg or RAW and concluded just about every other camera system beat it hands down, especially his Canon 90D which incidentally would cost but a fraction of the Q2’s buying price whichever Canon Lens he might have bought to put on it.

  5. I love r e a d i n g about the Q2, and obviously the cropping ability is worth having. But someone (here on Macfilos?) pointed out that the FOV remains 28mm and the DOF ditto without the separation a longer focal length can achieve. And I suddenly realized why, however sharp, many of the images – to my eyes – retain a somewhat cluttered look. So I bow to a beautiful camera which is not part of my GAS.

    • Yes the DOF remains the same as that on a 28mm lens, as you would expect. But I am sometimes surprised by the subject separation that can be achieved despite this. Not quite sure what you mean by cluttered look. If you are referring to my mini gallery, the fault is probably down to my dodgy compositional skills!

  6. Trifles? Appalling colour output in a £4000+ camera. Look at it without the Leica name and all the hipster photographers would suddenly be picking the camera to bits.

    Also good to know Ken remains a joke in the photography community.

    • As with many of our stories, this article was a conversation point and I think there’s been a great discussion. Thanks to all who put in their two penn’orth.

  7. Can’t say that I have any concerns on the colour rendition of the Q2 files. Never liked the DLux Type 109 DNGs until I created my own colour profile with a Colour Checker, after that it was great. But the Q2 has been great out of the box.

    • I’ll echo that, Tom, even though I don’t normally use JPEGs. One man’s red is another man’s pink, so nit picking can sometimes go too far.

      Strangely, I couldn’t help noticing that Ken R, who started all this off, has now decided that the camera in the iPhone 11 Pro Max is superior to the Leica Q2. Wonders never cease…

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