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steppenw0lf

Classic Leica R lenses on SL

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Hello,

 

I am still evaluating if a SL is a good investment for my big collection of old R lenses.

With the objects I photograph I use mainly the Macro and light Tele lenses: 60mm, 100mm, 135mm, 180mm

I have almost not been using my all time favorite lens the 100mm/2.8 Apo Macro since 10 years  (digital age) which I feel is a very big loss.

The SL will be a fine investment if I can finally use this lens again for "daily work".

 

So I am not interested to know how the latest AF equipment works (which I find too expensive and much too bulky for most work or for fun, probably because I prefer fixed length lenses).

I am looking for people with experience (and maybe fun) to use the 90's R lenses (that not so long ago were regarded as top).

I have invested much more into the R system than in M lenses, and I assume there must be many more people with the same problem.

So I am looking for experiences with R-lenses with the SL, mainly for Macro use and for light Tele. If you can share your fotos even better.

 

Imagine that you have a complete R collection, but little money to buy new equipment - so is the Leica SL worth the enormous price to reactivate the R system ?

The 60, 100, 135 and 180 were the bread and butter lenses. Can they be that again with the Leica SL ?

 

By the way, the Leica M 240 is definitely not worth the trouble (to put these R lenses in front of it) even if officially supported.

 

Thanks for any responses.

 

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Just out of interest, have you not tried your R lenses on a Canon DSLR? I think they work very well especially with a focus confirm adaptor.

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For me the price of the camera was worth the ability to use R lenses on a platform that is more designed for their use than the M system.  I think there are lots of folks like you, with a healthy R lens collection.  The other option is to wait for the next M to see if the EVF is improved enough to better use R lenses.  For examples with the SL, check some of the other threads - there are plenty of photos taken with R lenses.

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Just out of interest, have you not tried your R lenses on a Canon DSLR? I think they work very well especially with a focus confirm adaptor.

 

Hi, I use them on a 5Ds, but I am not really happy. I don't like the bulky shape of the AF cameras and I don't like the finder which I find rather small and dark. This is maybe too harsh, but at least it is not big enough for my taste and for relaxed manual focusing (as on a R5).

Macro is no real pleasure with it. I prefer AF lenses with the 5Ds (50 and 100-400). Would the SL be better for manual focus ?

 

Unfortunately I have found mostly wide angle to normal lens tests (mainly M lenses), but I am interested in typical R lens use (Macro, wide-aperture Tele, with little DoF, where R excels) exactly what M is not for.

 

Thanks for your reply.    Stephan

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Hello,

 

I am still evaluating if a SL is a good investment for my big collection of old R lenses.

With the objects I photograph I use mainly the Macro and light Tele lenses: 60mm, 100mm, 135mm, 180mm

I have almost not been using my all time favorite lens the 100mm/2.8 Apo Macro since 10 years  (digital age) which I feel is a very big loss.

The SL will be a fine investment if I can finally use this lens again for "daily work".

 

So I am not interested to know how the latest AF equipment works (which I find too expensive and much too bulky for most work or for fun, probably because I prefer fixed length lenses).

I am looking for people with experience (and maybe fun) to use the 90's R lenses (that not so long ago were regarded as top).

I have invested much more into the R system than in M lenses, and I assume there must be many more people with the same problem.

So I am looking for experiences with R-lenses with the SL, mainly for Macro use and for light Tele. If you can share your fotos even better.

 

Imagine that you have a complete R collection, but little money to buy new equipment - so is the Leica SL worth the enormous price to reactivate the R system ?

The 60, 100, 135 and 180 were the bread and butter lenses. Can they be that again with the Leica SL ?

 

By the way, the Leica M 240 is definitely not worth the trouble (to put these R lenses in front of it) even if officially supported.

 

Thanks for any responses.

 

 

 

There are multiple threads on this topic. I am using all the R lenses you mention above on the SL and they work perfectly. If you have a large assortment of R glass, you will be very pleased with the SL.

 

Regrading your last statement about the 240...I disagree. I used the same lenses on the M240 and they work fine. Not as well as the SL, but I regularly used the 100mm Macro on my M240 and it produced amazing results.

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Hi Stephan,

 

I've only had a brief look at an SL and that was with the AF zoom lens. I think only you can decide if the EVF is going to work for you. Despite being the highest resolution EVF yet, I wasn't blown away by it - it's still very much an EVF in my opinion. 

 

I'd suggest taking your lenses to a dealer (assuming the have the adaptors as well) and having a good play around with it.

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I am still evaluating if a SL is a good investment for my big collection of old R lenses.

With the objects I photograph I use mainly the Macro and light Tele lenses: 60mm, 100mm, 135mm, 180mm

I have almost not been using my all time favorite lens the 100mm/2.8 Apo Macro since 10 years  (digital age) which I feel is a very big loss.

The SL will be a fine investment if I can finally use this lens again for "daily work".

 

So I am not interested to know how the latest AF equipment works (which I find too expensive and much too bulky for most work or for fun, probably because I prefer fixed length lenses).

I am looking for people with experience (and maybe fun) to use the 90's R lenses (that not so long ago were regarded as top).

I have invested much more into the R system than in M lenses, and I assume there must be many more people with the same problem.

So I am looking for experiences with R-lenses with the SL, mainly for Macro use and for light Tele. If you can share your fotos even better.

 

Imagine that you have a complete R collection, but little money to buy new equipment - so is the Leica SL worth the enormous price to reactivate the R system ?

The 60, 100, 135 and 180 were the bread and butter lenses. Can they be that again with the Leica SL ?

 

By the way, the Leica M 240 is definitely not worth the trouble (to put these R lenses in front of it) even if officially supported.

 

In my opinion, yes the Leica SL worth well the price to reactivate the R system.

 

I bought the SL mainly to be used with my R lenses and it works quite well (I don't have the SL 24-90).

 

Now, R lenses can be quite heavy, and there is no IS in the SL body.

Other than when used on a tripod, I use the SL in A mode with auto ISO and with the minimal shutter speed set on 2X the focal to maximise the chance to have sharp pictures.

I switch to M mode to override the minimal shutter speed when there is not enough light.

Unsharp pictures on the SL doesn't come from having to manually focus R-lenses. The SL is very good at that.

 

I have configured the bottom right button to have a direct access to the list of R lenses.

 

I agree with you that the Leica M 240 is not such a good match to R lenses.

 

I have also tried the R lenses on Canon bodies, and I much prefer to use them on the SL. Many Leica R lenses doesn't fit full frame Canon.

Edited by Leicaiste

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I bought the SL to use with wides and telephotos.  I have R lenses in both categories and they are working very well.  Since SL firmware 1.2, focusing with the magnifier has worked well (I haven't bothered with focus peaking).  I have also put the R lens profiles on the lower R button and try hard to remember to use that.  I post pictures in several other threads with this setup.

 

scott

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...

I am still evaluating if a SL is a good investment for my big collection of old R lenses.

With the objects I photograph I use mainly the Macro and light Tele lenses: 60mm, 100mm, 135mm, 180mm

I have almost not been using my all time favorite lens the 100mm/2.8 Apo Macro since 10 years  (digital age) which I feel is a very big loss.

The SL will be a fine investment if I can finally use this lens again for "daily work".

 

So I am not interested to know how the latest AF equipment works (which I find too expensive and much too bulky for most work or for fun, probably because I prefer fixed length lenses).

I am looking for people with experience (and maybe fun) to use the 90's R lenses (that not so long ago were regarded as top).

I have invested much more into the R system than in M lenses, and I assume there must be many more people with the same problem.

So I am looking for experiences with R-lenses with the SL, mainly for Macro use and for light Tele. If you can share your fotos even better.

 

Imagine that you have a complete R collection, but little money to buy new equipment - so is the Leica SL worth the enormous price to reactivate the R system ?

The 60, 100, 135 and 180 were the bread and butter lenses. Can they be that again with the Leica SL ?

 

By the way, the Leica M 240 is definitely not worth the trouble (to put these R lenses in front of it) even if officially supported.

...

 

I was initially going to buy just the SL body for my R lenses, but decided that the 24-90 zoom would be useful enough, at least occasionally, to warrant having it too. I've had the camera since Nov 16 and have taken less than 60 of the 1500 or so exposures I've made with the AF zoom, the rest all being with R lenses (other than about 20 or so M lens tests). 

 

For me, the SL is the right camera to bring my R lenses into the limelight. The SL's viewfinder is far far better than working with anything less than the original Leicaflex SL or R8 viewfinders, and they're only just on par and don't provide as many useful features. 

 

My R lenses are older than the 1990s. Although the later editions of some of these lenses are slightly better performing, technically, I tend to prefer the older lenses' rendering qualities. I have R prime lenses from 15mm to 250mm, and the 2x Extender R, and they all perform quite as well as they do on film with the R8 and Leicaflex SL. I'm pretty sure the same can be said for any of the later versions too, although scott kirkpatrick and a couple of others have noted a couple of lens codes that introduce rendering issues. 

 

The only negative I can say about using the SL with the two-adapter stack (R Adapter M fitted onto M Adapter T) is that the SL's metering in low light situations with this setup runs into metering range limits a bit too easily, which causes underexposure. It's easy enough to figure out when range limits are going to come into play and adjust your metering technique to suit, however. 

 

There was a moment when I was ready to abandon my collection of R lenses and just switch over to the Nikon. The SL changed that completely: the Nikon D750 has sat unused since I got the SL, I've expanded my SL kit such that it is now as complete as I need it to be, and the next step is to sell off the unneeded Nikon gear. Quite the turnabout, but the SL with R lenses suits me and my photography better than any DSLR I've used to date.

 

(I also agree with your comment on the M typ 240 and R lenses: I have an M-P and, while it's a wonderful camera, I really dislike using it with anything but M-mount lenses. I've done a few sessions with one or the other R and Nikkor lens, but in no case did I find it a better performer than the SL with the same lenses, mounted on the same R Adapter M. I use the M-P with 24, 35, 50, and 75 mm M lenses.)

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My R lenses are older than the 1990s. Although the later editions of some of these lenses are slightly better performing, technically, I tend to prefer the older lenses' rendering qualities. I have R prime lenses from 15mm to 250mm, and the 2x Extender R, and they all perform quite as well as they do on film with the R8 and Leicaflex SL. I'm pretty sure the same can be said for any of the later versions too, although scott kirkpatrick and a couple of others have noted a couple of lens codes that introduce rendering issues. 

 

The only negative I can say about using the SL with the two-adapter stack (R Adapter M fitted onto M Adapter T) is that the SL's metering in low light situations with this setup runs into metering range limits a bit too easily, which causes underexposure. It's easy enough to figure out when range limits are going to come into play and adjust your metering technique to suit, however. 

 

 

Hello, thanks for telling me your experiences, that is very useful for me.

 

What I don't understand is how the stack of adapters is limiting in low light situations. How would a single adapter be able to avoid this ? Can you tell me more about it ?

 

I also did not find the mentioned problems with "lens codes" that cause rendering problems. Maybe you can make the hint a little more detailed ?

 

Generally I have the impression you are in a similar position regarding equipment as I am, and the SL was better than anything else to revive the R gear (did I interpret that correctly ?).

 

Again thanks for your info !         Stephan

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In my opinion, yes the Leica SL worth well the price to reactivate the R system.

 

I bought the SL mainly to be used with my R lenses and it works quite well (I don't have the SL 24-90).

 

Now, R lenses can be quite heavy, and there is no IS in the SL body.

Other than when used on a tripod, I use the SL in A mode with auto ISO and with the minimal shutter speed set on 2X the focal to maximise the chance to have sharp pictures.

I switch to M mode to override the minimal shutter speed when there is not enough light.

Unsharp pictures on the SL doesn't come from having to manually focus R-lenses. The SL is very good at that.

 

I have configured the bottom right button to have a direct access to the list of R lenses.

 

I agree with you that the Leica M 240 is not such a good match to R lenses.

 

I have also tried the R lenses on Canon bodies, and I much prefer to use them on the SL. Many Leica R lenses doesn't fit full frame Canon.

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Hello Leicaiste,

 

thank you for writing about your experiences with the SL, this is very helpful.

I interpret your reply that the Leica SL is a good camera for using R lenses (better than the 240) and that it can easily be configured to make it even better.

The SL supports all R lenses, which cannot be said for Sony and Canon FF Cameras (especially wide-angle lenses).

Even without IBIS and without using the AF features you think the camera is "worth the price".

 

Again thanks for your experiences, this is what I was hoping for.

 

Stephan

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My R lenses are older than the 1990s. Although the later editions of some of these lenses are slightly better performing, technically, I tend to prefer the older lenses' rendering qualities. I have R prime lenses from 15mm to 250mm, and the 2x Extender R, and they all perform quite as well as they do on film with the R8 and Leicaflex SL. I'm pretty sure the same can be said for any of the later versions too, although scott kirkpatrick and a couple of others have noted a couple of lens codes that introduce rendering issues. 

 

The only negative I can say about using the SL with the two-adapter stack (R Adapter M fitted onto M Adapter T) is that the SL's metering in low light situations with this setup runs into metering range limits a bit too easily, which causes underexposure. It's easy enough to figure out when range limits are going to come into play and adjust your metering technique to suit, however. 

 

Hello, thanks for telling me your experiences, that is very useful for me.

 

What I don't understand is how the stack of adapters is limiting in low light situations. How would a single adapter be able to avoid this ? Can you tell me more about it ?

 

I also did not find the mentioned problems with "lens codes" that cause rendering problems. Maybe you can make the hint a little more detailed ?

 

Generally I have the impression you are in a similar position regarding equipment as I am, and the SL was better than anything else to revive the R gear (did I interpret that correctly ?).

 

Again thanks for your info !         Stephan

 

 

It's not the stack of adapters that is limiting on metering, it's the notion of using stopped-down metering. It happens with M lenses too. Metering systems in camera bodies have range limits. With dedicated lenses (on the SL or on SLRs in general) the iris is held wide open until the time of exposure, extending the range and metering accuracy in low light. When metering stopped down, there's less light to work with at the sensor and the range limit comes into play. My hope is that the R Adapter SL, when it is released, solves this problem with true auto-aperture stop-down operation and the translation of the lens' mechanical maximum and set aperture indicators to the body electronically. If it doesn't, well, as I said it is an metering effect that is relatively easy to work around. It only affects metering under specific low-light circumstances, and the "exposure simulation mode" reveals the situation properly.

 

scott kirkpatrick (and a couple others) noticed that using the provided lens code with APO-Summicron 90 (and a couple of other lenses) causes some imaging artifacts not seen when you use the non-APO variant of the lens code, or when you use no lens code. Unless you have one of the affected lenses, it doesn't appear. 

 

I bought the SL primarily to take advantage of my R lenses. I'm thoroughly delighted with it.

If placed in the position of having just one camera, I would pick the SL. 

Edited by ramarren

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Hello Leicaiste,

 

thank you for writing about your experiences with the SL, this is very helpful.

I interpret your reply that the Leica SL is a good camera for using R lenses (better than the 240) and that it can easily be configured to make it even better.

The SL supports all R lenses, which cannot be said for Sony and Canon FF Cameras (especially wide-angle lenses).

Even without IBIS and without using the AF features you think the camera is "worth the price".

 

 

The only problems I see for the moment, are coming from the lack of R adapter SL reading the ROM.

 

The first problem is that it really easy to forget to change the lens in the list of R lenses when switching. Which means wrong corrections of the lens and wrong minimal speed in Auto ISO.

 

The second problem is that the Vario's listed only show 0mm as the focal lens which means that the minimum speed set in the ISO settings doesn't work for them.

 

I suppose also that there are less corrections for them.

 

My solution is then to work in M mode with the Vario's.

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Using the R lenses (and perhaps others) the auto ISO setting 1/focal length for slowest shutter speed seems to have some exceptions.   For example, shooting with a 90 mm lens, I sometimes see speeds of 1/80 with ISOs partway to the max value allowed.  And shooting with the 15mm Elmarit, the minimum shutter setting in auto ISO is 1/30, whether I ask for 1/f or 1/2f,  That's also the minimum speed with the 35-70 R zoom.  So 1/30 might be a minimal speed that the program allows.  This could help it handle the lenses for which no value of f is coded in the firmware.

 

scott  

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Hello,

 

thanks again for all your feedback. With all your positive experience I have finally made up my mind and bought the SL. 

Here how it looks with my "new" standard-lens. The size of the camera is just perfect for R lenses. I even like the weight, because with small and light cameras I tend to pan the camera (unwanted pan shot or blur). Though I wonder why it is so heavy.    (He's not heavy, he's my brother ;-)

 

Stephan

 

Sorry about the dust.

 

 

 

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Another size comparison with older stuff:

There are more than 30 years between them - my first and latest Leica. R4 vs SL.

(Which looks better?)

 

Stephan

 

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Limited use before, but today tried out the 80mm f/1.4 Summilux R on my SL, and was very happy with the results. Only a shot in the kitchen is attached, no big deal, but the lens was very balanced on the SL, although the lens certainly is heavy, I believe about 700 gms. The combination of zoom and peak focusing seems to be reasonable for focus. I look forward to using this lens more, and possibly finding more R lenses, maybe a 50 f/2 summicron R in the future, hey, we will see

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