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Well ,  I just woke up ( Its now 7:30 in the morning Icelandic time ).  I have been reading through all the reply´s with great interest. Next thing to do is to look up some of these lenses you recommend and read about them and their features.

 

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ramarren

Could you be so kind to tell me roughly the difference btw R and M lenses ?.  I know I can look it up but there is so MUCH I have to learn now that I´m just starting up, so it would be helpful if you could just inform me with the basics.  What is the pros and cons R vs M ?,,.   I can see that you also recommend the 24 90 and I will probably go that way.  Most of you recommend that lens, then add some mf lenses later.

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Very briefly:

  • M system lenses are the lenses produced for the Leica M series cameras starting in 1951. The most substantive addition to the M system lenses pertaining to use with the digital M bodies was the introduction of the six-bit lens identification code on the lens mounting flange, added in 2006. There have been many many lenses made with M system bayonet. 
  • R system lenses are the lenses produced for the R system SLR cameras from 1963 to 2009. R system lenses, often the same optical formulae, were made through five mount variations over the years as Leicaflex through Leicaflex SL2 and then R3 through R9 bodies came to market with different mechanical—and later, electronic—lens interface features. The most common variants are the "three-cam" lens mounts made from the early 1970s through middle 1990s, until the R8 was released with electronic lens interface. The number of different R system lenses produced is smaller than the number of M lenses, but cover a much wider range of focal lengths from 15mm to 800mm. 

Leica provides the M Adapter L lens mount adapter for M system lenses to use on the Leica SL. This adapter allows nearly all M system lenses, and most Leica Thread Mount lenses with M-bayonet adapter rings installed, to be used on the SL. The M Adapter L recognizes and automatically assigns the correct lens profile when the lens has the six-bit code on the mount, and allows manual assignment (or no assignment) when the lens does not. 

 

Leica provides two ways to fit R system lenses to the SL: The R Adapter M can be used in conjunction with the M Adapter L, or you can use the R Adapter L. With both these adapters, there are lens profiles dedicated to most of the R system lenses that help them image correctly (as per the original intent of the lens design) with the SL sensor. The R Adapter L used with R system ROM lenses provides automatic assignment of the correct lens profile; with non-ROM equipped lenses, or with the two-adapter-stack, lens profile assignment is performed manually. 

 

In general, SLR lenses tend to work a little better on digital sensors than RF lenses because their design had to provide adequate clearance for the swinging mirror behind them and thus provided a bit more distance for the light path to be 'straightened out' compared to a similar focal length M lens. This is most pronounced in the short focal length range until more modern short focal length M lenses were designed with similar fundamental designs to SLR lenses (inverted telephoto or retrofocus design center). Leica has taken great pains with their digital M bodies and the SL body to provide lens profiles that help correct aberrant behavior on the digital sensor so that the original intent of the lens design is expressed; some work a little better than others, regardless, and users debate which works better constantly. 

 

I personally like the look that the R lenses used on the SL produced a little more than what I see with my available M lenses except in specific instances, and I feel that the ergonomics of the R lenses' controls suits the SL a little more than most M lenses ergonomics do because the SL is much closer in design center to a Leica R camera than a Leica M camera. But both types of lenses work very well on the SL, and the big advantage if you buy a couple of M lenses to supplement your SL native lenses is that the M lenses can also be used on a digital M body. The R line of cameras is no longer made and was only ever 'adapted' to digital using a no longer available digital back replacement for the R8 and R9, so in effect if you buy Leica R lenses now you are going to use them on the SL or digital M body with an adapter, or you're also going to buy a film R-mount body. 

 

G

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Very briefly: M system lenses are the lenses produced for the Leica M series cameras starting in 1951. The most substantive addition to the M system lenses pertaining to use with the digital M bodies was the introduction of the six-bit lens identification code on the lens mounting flange, added in 2006. There have been many many lenses made with M system bayonet.  R system lenses are the lenses produced for the R system SLR cameras from 1963 to 2009. R system lenses, often the same optical for

I just returned from Joshua Tree and mostly used my 24 Elmar-M (My 24-90 is in the shop).  I rather enjoyed working with this lens, which is incredibly sharp and very lightweight.  I would seriously consider it in your kit. Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content. Hallo Gast! Du willst die Bilder sehen? Einfach registrieren oder anmelden! Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content. Hallo Gast! Du willst die Bilder sehen? Einfach registrier

I also have a D800, but it doesn't get used as much as it deserves, now that I have the luxury of the SL.   I would go with the zoom(s) for anything other than low light.  I resisted for a while after seeing the size in the cabinet and thinking that it was a joke, but it's no heavier than carrying 2-4 M lenses and performs at least as well as they will, and much better than the Nikon 24-70, in my view.   This means picking Summilux lenses for the complementary capabilities.  The modern lense

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I just returned from Joshua Tree and mostly used my 24 Elmar-M (My 24-90 is in the shop).  I rather enjoyed working with this lens, which is incredibly sharp and very lightweight.  I would seriously consider it in your kit.

 

 

This lens looks very sharp and not so big and not so expensive either.  Looked it up on Ebay.  

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Interesting thread. I just acquired a barely used SL today, but I really wanted to use it with my M lenses. I've got the M to L converter and the M lenses work well on the showing so far. I have some Nikon fitting lenses too and there's one in particular I'd like to be able to use on the SL - a Zeiss ZF 21mm Mark 2. It transfers aperture info back to a Nikon but - unlike Nikon G lenses - is manual for aperture setting. Has anyone used one of these on the SL? It's a manual focus lens. I can't quite get my head around the different adapters and converter - there appear to be several types of Novoflex and maybe Metabones too.

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The mount is ZF.2 . You can use an adapter for Nikon F lenses or also for Nikon G lenses (it will work, but will not offer anything additional). There are many adapters from many different sources, but the Novoflex are probably the most perfect. But they are only mechanical (no data transfer).

Choose the one that is in your price range.

The lens is great - the modern Milvus 2.8/21 is actually the same lens (optically).

Edited by caissa
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I would also recommend the Novoflex LET/NIK mount adapter. This allows adaptation of any Nikon F mount lens with or without an aperture ring to the SL. The Novoflex SL/NIK electronic adapter is only for a relatively small range of electronically actuated Nikon E-series, autofocus lenses. 

 

I've had nothing but problems with Metabones adapters... 

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Hi,

 

I moved from D800 to M9, to MP240, to SL (sold my D800) and I didn't regret it. I love the SL...

I shoot with M lenses on the SL. However, last week I was able to test the SL24-90 and liked it too, espescially in studio for product photography. It was easy to work with (autofocus and tab to focus on the screen) but for outside use it's quite heavy and big...

 

What I still keep seeing is that the older M lenses performing better (more 3D depth) on the M cameras then on the SL (nocti f1 and 75 lux), the difference is small but it's there... (Mostly on 75lux)

With the asph lenses I don't see a difference.

 

Best regards and good luck with your decision

Peter

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Hi,

 

I moved from D800 to M9, to MP240, to SL (sold my D800) and I didn't regret it. I love the SL...

I shoot with M lenses on the SL. However, last week I was able to test the SL24-90 and liked it too, espescially in studio for product photography. It was easy to work with (autofocus and tab to focus on the screen) but for outside use it's quite heavy and big...

 

What I still keep seeing is that the older M lenses performing better (more 3D depth) on the M cameras then on the SL (nocti f1 and 75 lux), the difference is small but it's there... (Mostly on 75lux)

With the asph lenses I don't see a difference.

 

Best regards and good luck with your decision

Peter

 

 

While I use mostly R lenses on my SL, in addition to the SL lenses, I have tested all my Leica M lenses on it too. I don't know about "performing better", but the M lenses do image slightly, very slightly, differently on the SL sensor than on the M-P typ 240 and M-D typ 262 sensors. The SL's default image processing settings for JPEGs are a bit flatter than the default image processing settings on either of the M cameras, but that can be changed in a nonce. The raw files from all three bodies can be rendered identically, but here again the Lightroom camera calibrations for each of the bodies is ever so slightly different. 

 

My M lenses include the WATE, 1972 Summilux 35 v2, current Summicron 50, current Summarit 75, M-Rokkor 90, and Hektor 135. A mix of new and old. I think what you're seeing is that the modern lenses are just better performing overall, in a technical sense, than the older ones with less veiling flare and aberrations, more even light distribution, etc ... which is as it should be ... combined with the slightly different M vs SL contrast and saturation defaults. 

 

For me, they all work great. I tend to prefer using the R lenses because they fit the SL body a bit better, but each of my lenses has its unique rendering signature and qualities—I enjoy taking advantage of each of them for what they do differently from the others. :-)

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I think from my experience, there is one M lens that performs so well on the SL that it is a stand out buy. That is the Noctilux 0.95/50. I find it far easier to focus the Nocti in low light on the SL than I can on any of my various M cameras. It is also better balanced on the SL than it is on an M, where it always feels a bit front heavy. The big aperture allied to the excellent high ISO performance of the SL, enables photography in candle light, the light of open fires and even moonlight. When you stop the Nocti down, it is close to the same performance as the 50 ASPH Summilux.

 

It is rumoured that a Mk.2 Noctilux may be in the offing but I am dubious. I am sure it could be further improved with more anomalous dispersion elements and maybe further aspherical elements for yet more accurate correction but then the price would go from very high to stratospheric. 

 

Other than the two standard zooms and the Noctilux, the only other lens I use with any regularity on the SL is the 18mm Super Elmar M. It works very well on the SL, with moderate vignetting, easily corrected and no Italian flag problems. I am not convinced however that I might not have been better going for the 15mm/f2.8 ZM Distagon, as when I want wide, I really want to go as wide as I can. I decided against it solely on the basis on being not sure what coding might work properly for the Distagon and I have not found my CV 15mm/f4.5 Super Wide Heliar very satisfactory on the SL but it is a Mk.2. The Mk.3 may be better. I am not sure non-retrofocal super wide lenses are suitable for the SL. Both the 18SEM and 15 Distagon are retrofocal. 

 

Wilson

Edited by wlaidlaw
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You are gonna love the SL! It's my fav camera that I have ever had and it shoots 4k video! I also have an M240 and I am borrowing a Q. The SL is just the frickin' bomb!!! The Q is like a mini SL in some ways. The M is of course, M like.

Hello all.  I live in Iceland and I have been using my Nikon D800e since 2013 with mostly manual focus Nikkor lenses.

 

I know almost nothing in detail about Leica lenses.  I have been a hobbyist photographer since I was 16 years old ( now 55 ) and I have always been interested in getting a Leica but its price have always stopped me doing so.  After reading some reviews online about the Leica SL I have gotten really interested in joining the Leica community

 

One of the things that I find attractive about the SL is its viewfinder , it must be a JOY to use with manual focus lenses.   Thinking about selling my D800e and buy a SL.  I might start with just the Body and then buy some used Leica lenses to start with.  I might add the 24 90 later

 

I shoot mostly landscape and most of what I shoot is from 18 to 100mm focal lenght and I often stitch photos for panorama.  

 

Can someone recommend  3 leica lenses for me to use with the SL ?.  I would like to start with somethign like 28, 50 and 100mm or 24  50   90 ,,,.  I would buy them used and they dont need to be the newest ,,,,.  Just deliver good quality photos and be compatible with the SL.  

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  • 4 weeks later...

May I suggest you consider the R 28-90 2.8 if the SL 24-90 is too expensive for you?

 

 

erm.... the 28-90R lens is actually more expensive than the SL24-90 ?

 

I too ditched my M262 for a SL and I did not buy the 24-90.. yet. I plan on making a trip to Africa in December and because of that ( weatherseling / dust.) I will buy the 24-90.

 

Apart from that, M and R lenses are my bread and butter : superb optically, they make the SL kit light ( vs a 24-90 ).

 

Quick bonus and cheap trick : compliment your M and R lenses with... Contax ! Contax lenses can be had for quite lower than R lenses and they are equally if not better in some cases. For example, the 35-70R Leica was made by... Minolta... which made the Contax 35-70 as well. They are identically optically.

 

Do check the prices for Contax 28mm, 21mm ( superb ) , 85mm 1.4 ( superb ) , 100mm F2 ( superb ) 135mm F2 ( superb ) and 50mm 1.4 ( superb ). Great prices, top notch optics.

 

Buy a Contax - Leica adapter and you are all set.

 

Wide Angle I would buy a WATE ( 16-18-21mm ) and that's it : its light, its insanely sharp, works a treat on the SL and thats it. From there I would buy a 50mm 1.4 ( R or Contax, your preference ) and a 100mm ( Contax either F2.0 or Macro 3.5 ) If money is tight, get a Samyang 14mm 2,8 - for less than 300 euros, its at least as good as the voigtlander and works a treat on the SL.

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  • 1 month later...

On EBay this week, the 28-90 Vario-Elmarit R is on offer for $4000 and up without ROM, $4500-5000 and up with ROM.  The last two 24-90 Vario-Elmarit-SL auctions that I watched ended at $3200.  Go figure.

 

 

Before the second SL firmware upgrade, I would recommend 28-90 without a doubt. Now 24-90 SL lens is just as sharp, and the choice is not as obvious as before.

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Before the second SL firmware upgrade, I would recommend 28-90 without a doubt. Now 24-90 SL lens is just as sharp, and the choice is not as obvious as before.

Recommendations should always come with the context and usage requirement: what you want the lens to do. If you want AF, then you'll find the 28-90R has a major bug (no AF

).

Even before the firmware upgrade most people took 99% of their shots with the 24-90SL without encountering an AF problem.

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It was not quite sharp. It turned out to be a software issue preventing the lens from fully focusing. The first firmware upgrade made it sharp and the most recent one made AF noticeably faster.

 

I think the problem was more to do with the lens focus point not coinciding exactly with what was expected from the viewfinder ..... or at least that was the only issue I found to explain one of the internets more vocal 'reviewers' complaints ..... after a lot of detailed testing. However none of us (here on the forum) actually found any 'real world' issues that indicated the 'error' was in fact of any practical significance. Leica never officially indicated there was a problem and it is not clear if it was actually addressed in the firmware update ...... or users just forgot about it and got on with taking photos of real things rather than test cards. 

Edited by thighslapper
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