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Leica M 10 or Leica SL


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I went through the M10 or SL thought process and just bought the SL to use with m and r lens…. especially a Noct, a R80 lux, a R100 marco apo and also a Zeiss 100 ZF left over from my Nikon days. (perhaps the SL50 for AF too, the zooms are too large for me and I’m so use to M focal lengths and sizes now)  That gives me a M9P with a new sensor, mm1 and the SL which I think will give me all I need. I did like my M240P but the evf wasn’t that good and sometimes just annoying to use. The SL gives me everything and more than the 240 did and with an excellent viewfinder. I did like the M10 but in the end it was more about the qualities I saw in the SL and with the price of the M10, a much needed second or even third battery and a hand grip, which i like on my M's, the M10 is just a couple hundred less.  

For someone just using M or smaller R lenses and not having any other M digital camera’s then I’d say take a good look at the M10 but also the SL.  Leica has a dealer program at the moment for a 24 hour loan of a SL/24-90/m to l adapter. If a dealer near you has it, take advantage of it. 

Edited by taosantamonica
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As others have mentioned, they each have their strengths and weaknesses.  Neither is the "obvious" right answer.  I would make my decision based on the type of photography I do.   First, the similarities: * Identical resolution * Both work very well with most (not not quite all) 'M' lenses * Very similar high-ISO performance; based on early reviews, the M does better at avoiding banding, but the SL dissipates heat better and so may have slightly lower noise * Both are well made and inspire

I've tried using the SL as a body for M lenses and really didn't like it.  Too big, too heavy and actually difficult in use with some lenses focusing past infinity and focusing feeling much slower with wide/medium FL lenses. With the M10 + the new firmware I think you have the best of both worlds.  Range finder most of the time and EVF when it's useful. If you can afford both - GET TWO M10s! Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content. Hallo Gast! Du willst die Bilde

Well I think it's quite simple (if you can't afford both).   If you're going to shoot with M lenses - then get the M10 If you want zoom lenses - then get the SL   These are their strengths    As for the Visoflex - I think you'll have to wait a long time for an update - but remember, it's big and bright and not too contrasty, and has the same resolution as cameras like the A7r mark ii. You won't get an SL quality viewfinder on an M because it would be huge.   Ashwin is a great guy - and

Posted Images

I use the SL for everything in color. And the M246 for all b&w images. I do macro, UWA (landscape) and tele (sports) all in color. In b&w I do only portrait, street or mood. (SL for "serious" effort, M246 for more playful moments.)

This does it for me - a perfect combination - so currently no reason to buy a M10. (If I bought one, I would get into trouble, which of the two others to leave at home. And having three cameras with me is also no fun.)

I rather buy new lenses instead, more useful for me.

 

(Never change a winning team.) 

 

 

Probably the M10 would replace the M246 - but I see no advantage in this (actually rather a disadvantage).

Edited by steppenw0lf
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never go wider then 35mm on the M?

 

 

I have the Tri-Elmar-M 16-18-21. I occasionally fit it to the M-D (or M4-2) as well, set to 21mm and using a Voigtländer 21/25 optical finder, but find it much easier to frame and focus with the SL. I mostly use it for my 'square and ultrawide' shooting on the SL, @16mm. 

 

I could see my way to a 28mm for the M too. I have the Color Skopar 28/3.5 ... a wonderful little lens on film, but not at its best on digital. I use it mostly on the M4-2, again with an accessory finder. 

Edited by ramarren
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I have both. The SL is a great technical camera that ensure I get sharp focus and with the SL zoom, quick AF. But it's not inspiring to use. It's big, bulky, and the zoom is huge. Not fun to carry around. The M10 is more fun, small, minds its own business hanging off my shoulder, the RF works well, the visoflex is sufficient to nail focus in difficult situations and extreme focal lengths, and takes equally great photos.

 

I liked the SL with M lenses. Except with zoom focus I would lose the composition while focussing. Not so with the Rangefinder.

 

I put the SL in a case and only use the M10 now. However, the M and lenses MUST be calibrated. Do not buy a pense without first checking that it's properly calibrated. I spent months with my M240 trying to calibrate everything but each lens was off in opposite directions. Sent it all back and now everything is tack

 

 

 

If you're using the visoflex, you don't need to worry about calibrating the lens and camera, right? Only if you use the RF

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... just curious on what you guys think getting the SL versus the M10?

 

You are really asking this question!? The answer, my friend, is ... [yawn] horses for courses.

 

For me, it's Leica M10. The Leica SL is good at whatever a rangefinder is not good at—but for those cases I prefer my Olympus OM-D E-M1 with the wonderful M.Zuiko lenses.

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As others have mentioned, they each have their strengths and weaknesses.  Neither is the "obvious" right answer.  I would make my decision based on the type of photography I do.

 

First, the similarities:

* Identical resolution

* Both work very well with most (not not quite all) 'M' lenses

* Very similar high-ISO performance; based on early reviews, the M does better at avoiding banding, but the SL dissipates heat better and so may have slightly lower noise

* Both are well made and inspire confidence with their "density"

 

Now the advantages to the M10:

* Smaller and lighter and more discreet--I'd much rather carry it around for a day than the SL, but I'd rather carry the 'Q' around than either one if it comes to that

* If you like rangefinder focus and composition, then, obviously, the M10 is the only option

* Some 'M' lenses have better corner performance with the M than with the SL, though differences are slight or non-existent on most lenses, especially those made in the last 15 years

* Can be faster to focus "accurately enough" with certain focal length lenses, especially 28mm to 50mm when shot at moderate aperture

 

Now the advantages to the SL:

* Option for native zooms and for autofocus and for image stabilization

* Faster frame rate (though if you needed that, you probably wouldn't even be debating an M10)

* More accurate focus in critical situations without resorting to liveview (not an option for me without reading glasses) or the Visoflex

* Ability to see depth of field through the viewfinder

* Ability to judge exposure through the viewfinder

* Better weather sealing

* Likely more robust as it doesn't have a (comparatively) sensitive cam and rangefinder focus system and coupling

* Better battery life, even with the EVF

* Built-in GPS with no EVF required

* Ability to judge composition more accurately with TTL view 

* No accessory viewfinder needed for lenses wider than 28mm (or Visoflex accessory)

* Better eye relief for lenses wider than 35mm--only an issue if you photograph with glasses on

 

The SL, obviously, is the more "modern" camera in terms of features and functionality.  But if you want the rangefinder experience, both in terms of composition/focus and in terms of physical camera dimensions, then the M10 is the obvious and only option.  On balance, I prefer the SL, even though I mostly shoot 'M' glass.  I like having the option of the AF zooms for anything involving action.  I like the more accurate composition that I get through the EVF--I'm shooting a fair amount at the moment with my 21mm Lux and with my WATE.  I like the ease of getting precise focus with longer lenses on the SL, especially when used wide open.  

 

Between the two, here is the camera I would choose for each of the following situations:

 

Street/City Life--M10

Environmental Portraiture--M10

Travel--M10

Family Events (excluding small, fast moving children)--M10

Small, fast moving children--SL

Studio Portraiture/Glamor/Modeling--SL and either 'M' or SL lenses depending on level of action

Product Photography/Commercial Photography, Studio--SL

Event Photography, e.g., Weddings--SL and AF lenses

Inclement Weather--SL

Sports/Outdoor Action--SL

Wildlife--SL

Landscape--SL and a tripod with my favorite 'M' lenses

Macro--Probably wouldn't choose either, but the SL is a better choice for occasional work

Astrophotography (specialty of mine)--Neither until Leica allows long exposure noise reduction to be turned off

 

As you can see, I believe the SL is the more flexible camera.  It covers more types of photography better than the M10.  However, if the bulk of your photography happens to fall in the first four categories, I'd certainly recommend an M10 over an SL.  

 

If you really want the compact size of the M10, get the M10.  If you really want the rangefinder experience with all it's pro's and con's, get the M10.  Anything else, I'd say the SL is the more balanced choice.

 

- Jared

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Jared -- this all makes sense except for the landscape -- why would the SL be better for that (other than perhaps inclement weather)? Also, I might add that from what I've seen the colors seem to come straight out of the m10 (dng's) with nice punch yet better maintaining a neutral look, but that's highly subjective.

 

 

The more accurate framing you get with through-the-lens views as well as the ability to more accurately judge depth of field are an advantage for the SL when shooting landscapes.  That's about it.  As far as the colors... I don't own the M10 (at least not yet), so I can't give a valid comparison.  I have heard people say the colors are great, but I heard the same thing about the SL when it came out.  I think it takes a while to really judge.  In the example's on Reid's Reviews, I preferred the SL in terms of out-of-camera results.  On a couple posts here on this site I have preferred the M10.  Just too soon to say conclusively.  Plus, for shooting landscapes, I'm likely to set a custom white balance in any event and spend some time in post figuring out what mood I really want.  

 

- Jared

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Probably inability to use UWA with Rangefinder

 

Yup.  This picture, for example, would have been a bit more work with an M10.  Not impossible by any means, but it would have been harder to get the framing just right.  It was shot about an hour before dawn using the WATE set to 16mm.  With an M camera, I would probably have chosen to frame it a bit more loosely at the bottom to ensure I got what I was expecting, or else resorted to LiveView.  I wouldn't have trusted the Frankenfinder.

 

 

- Jared

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As others have mentioned, they each have their strengths and weaknesses.  Neither is the "obvious" right answer.  I would make my decision based on the type of photography I do.

 

First, the similarities:

* Identical resolution

* Both work very well with most (not not quite all) 'M' lenses

* Very similar high-ISO performance; based on early reviews, the M does better at avoiding banding, but the SL dissipates heat better and so may have slightly lower noise

* Both are well made and inspire confidence with their "density"

 

Now the advantages to the M10:

* Smaller and lighter and more discreet--I'd much rather carry it around for a day than the SL, but I'd rather carry the 'Q' around than either one if it comes to that

* If you like rangefinder focus and composition, then, obviously, the M10 is the only option

* Some 'M' lenses have better corner performance with the M than with the SL, though differences are slight or non-existent on most lenses, especially those made in the last 15 years

* Can be faster to focus "accurately enough" with certain focal length lenses, especially 28mm to 50mm when shot at moderate aperture

 

Now the advantages to the SL:

* Option for native zooms and for autofocus and for image stabilization

* Faster frame rate (though if you needed that, you probably wouldn't even be debating an M10)

* More accurate focus in critical situations without resorting to liveview (not an option for me without reading glasses) or the Visoflex

* Ability to see depth of field through the viewfinder

* Ability to judge exposure through the viewfinder

* Better weather sealing

* Likely more robust as it doesn't have a (comparatively) sensitive cam and rangefinder focus system and coupling

* Better battery life, even with the EVF

* Built-in GPS with no EVF required

* Ability to judge composition more accurately with TTL view 

* No accessory viewfinder needed for lenses wider than 28mm (or Visoflex accessory)

* Better eye relief for lenses wider than 35mm--only an issue if you photograph with glasses on

 

The SL, obviously, is the more "modern" camera in terms of features and functionality.  But if you want the rangefinder experience, both in terms of composition/focus and in terms of physical camera dimensions, then the M10 is the obvious and only option.  On balance, I prefer the SL, even though I mostly shoot 'M' glass.  I like having the option of the AF zooms for anything involving action.  I like the more accurate composition that I get through the EVF--I'm shooting a fair amount at the moment with my 21mm Lux and with my WATE.  I like the ease of getting precise focus with longer lenses on the SL, especially when used wide open.  

 

Between the two, here is the camera I would choose for each of the following situations:

 

Street/City Life--M10

Environmental Portraiture--M10

Travel--M10

Family Events (excluding small, fast moving children)--M10

Small, fast moving children--SL

Studio Portraiture/Glamor/Modeling--SL and either 'M' or SL lenses depending on level of action

Product Photography/Commercial Photography, Studio--SL

Event Photography, e.g., Weddings--SL and AF lenses

Inclement Weather--SL

Sports/Outdoor Action--SL

Wildlife--SL

Landscape--SL and a tripod with my favorite 'M' lenses

Macro--Probably wouldn't choose either, but the SL is a better choice for occasional work

Astrophotography (specialty of mine)--Neither until Leica allows long exposure noise reduction to be turned off

 

As you can see, I believe the SL is the more flexible camera.  It covers more types of photography better than the M10.  However, if the bulk of your photography happens to fall in the first four categories, I'd certainly recommend an M10 over an SL.  

 

If you really want the compact size of the M10, get the M10.  If you really want the rangefinder experience with all it's pro's and con's, get the M10.  Anything else, I'd say the SL is the more balanced choice.

 

- Jared

Hi Jared!

It is useful advice!

Have a nice day!

Thanks!

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SL can also be used more effectively (compared to M) to defend yourself by using it as weapon. It is more rugged and heavy for a reason.

 

By choosing SL native lenses instead of M lenses you can also improve your health by building muscle mass in your arms and neck.

Edited by jmahto
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Jared -- this all makes sense except for the landscape -- why would the SL be better for that (other than perhaps inclement weather)? Also, I might add that from what I've seen the colors seem to come straight out of the m10 (dng's) with nice punch yet better maintaining a neutral look, but that's highly subjective.

 

Well, the M10 still has a 1-2 minute limit on long exposures. The SL can at least, make a 30 minute exposure. Both a re still crippled with mandatory LENR though.

 

Gordon

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  • 3 weeks later...

I got the SL because of the video capability. If I was just shooting stills, the M10 would be a huge consideration. I also have a D-Lux 6 that I sort of use for my point and shoot and I feel like I have two cameras at the end of each spectrum. The M10 is on my list down the road! It's a sexy MOFO!!!

Edited by RockettMan
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