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Leica Lenses: SL vs M


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The native lens for both M and SL are for the most part extremely high quality. That is what you are paying for. I have both systems. I prefer native lenses for both. You can of course use the M lens on the SL and a lot of folks do just that. I bought my SL to replace my Nikon so I wanted the ability to have a zoom lens and I have both the 24-90 and 90-280. You will find many examples of what they are capable of in various image threads.

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Given that most if not all Leica lenses will produce an image quality that is far beyond the needs of the average photographer, it is a bit of an academic question.

However, as the design of the SL lenses is less constrained by size than the M lenses - M lenses need to obstruct the viewfinder as little as possible-, it is to be expected that the SL lenses, in general, will outperform their M counterparts.

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The M lenses are much smaller, but the SL lenses are more versatile for the following reasons.

1) Autofocus

2) Weather-proofing

3) Closer MFD

4) Available zoom lenses

 

As for performance, as jaap has mentioned the design of the SL lenses are not constrained by size, and are generally newer in design, so they (at least the primes) provide superior technical IQ.

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The native lens for both M and SL are for the most part extremely high quality. That is what you are paying for. I have both systems. I prefer native lenses for both. You can of course use the M lens on the SL and a lot of folks do just that. I bought my SL to replace my Nikon so I wanted the ability to have a zoom lens and I have both the 24-90 and 90-280. You will find many examples of what they are capable of in various image threads.

 

 

Look at them, their specs, the focal lengths. They obviously are not similar. Images are available from both as well.

 

There are a lot of threads here discussing the SL lenses and M lenses used on the SL.

 

 

Given that most if not all Leica lenses will produce an image quality that is far beyond the needs of the average photographer, it is a bit of an academic question.

However, as the design of the SL lenses is less constrained by size than the M lenses - M lenses need to obstruct the viewfinder as little as possible-, it is to be expected that the SL lenses, in general, will outperform their M counterparts.

 

 

The M lenses are much smaller, but the SL lenses are more versatile for the following reasons.

1) Autofocus

2) Weather-proofing

3) Closer MFD

4) Available zoom lenses

 

As for performance, as jaap has mentioned the design of the SL lenses are not constrained by size, and are generally newer in design, so they (at least the primes) provide superior technical IQ.

 

What is about sharpness and contrast: M is equal to SL? Or SL is better?

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The M lenses are much smaller, but the SL lenses are more versatile for the following reasons.

1) Autofocus

2) Weather-proofing

3) Closer MFD

4) Available zoom lenses

 

As for performance, as jaap has mentioned the design of the SL lenses are not constrained by size, and are generally newer in design, so they (at least the primes) provide superior technical IQ.

 

Is it a good idea using SL prime lenses on M10? Are their any issues?

Thanks

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What is about sharpness and contrast: M is equal to SL? Or SL is better?

"Sharpness" is not a quantifiable technical parameter, so that part of you question cannot be answered.

 

What do you mean by contrast? The resolution is the same on both sensors. The dynamic range is similar. There may be an insignificant difference in the response curve of the sensor at the lower and higher end roll-off, but it will not make a visible difference.

The contrast in your photograph is determined by your post-processing.

 

 

Again, a meaningless question to base a camera choice on.

 

If you want an optical viewfinder, manual focusing and are willing to learn to use a rangefinder and proper exposure with a centre-weighed meter and think that you will enjoy the vintage style of photography that is offered by an M camera, the M10 is your choice without alternative.

 

If you want to use Autofocus, elaborate exposure controls, zoom lenses, video, and other present-day features, a  screen to compose your photograph, the SL is your choice. Or the CL.

 

To all extent and purpose, there is no difference in technical image quality at all. 

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Dear all,

 

I am planing to buy either SL or M10. What are the differences between those two lenses model? Is it quality? or only Auto focus?

 

Thanks

 SIZE and WEIGHT. 

 

There are no bad Leica lenses ..... just very good ones and superb ones. 

 

Forget the specifications as they are meaningless with current pro level cameras as every single one will exceed your requirements. 

 

Concentrate on ergonomics and what you want in terms of size, flexibility and what you will use it for. 

 

Don't discount the CL .... which does almost everything the SL does in a smaller M sized package. 

 

If you want the flexibility of AF, a superb EVF and the ability to use almost any Leica lens, past present or future, go L.

 

If you want a slower paced manual setting camera with a more limited feature set, go M.

 

Half an hour playing around with each will tell you which one suits your needs ...... go with your gut feeling and ignore the reviews, charts and numbers .... 

 

ps.

 

I have liquidated all my old Leica gear and now just have a CL and SL, keeping some of the better M and R lenses. The CL gives me a small compact body that complements the SL and has replaced M, Q, TL and X-Vario as a quality alternative to the SL when I want to carry less. 

Edited by thighslapper
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I use the following M lenses on my SL:

 

- 135/4 Elmar

- 50/0.95 Noctilux

- 28/1.4 Summilux

- 21/1.4 Summilux

 

I primarily use the SL with the 24-90 and 90-280 zooms, and the 50 Summilux-SL for their weather proofing and AF. I consider the SL to be Leica’s universal platform, and I’m happy to also use my 75 Summilux-M, 50 Summitar, 50 Summilux-M and 28 Summaron-M on it, but rarely see the need.

 

I don’t have a colour M digital camera (Monochrom & M-A). To my mind, the SL is Leica’s best all round colour digital platform (though the M cameras are something very special, if you get the idea behind them).

 

Cheers

John

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Lately I use the M 50's, both the late Summilux and the APO Summicron on my SL and CL for the greater ease of focus magnification.  I like an M50 as a medium telephoto on the CL.  But I also use the CL's lens set, primarily 11-23, 23, 35, and 60 for convenience with no loss of quality.  And my M10 now most often carries a 21, 24 or 28 where the rangefinder focusing gives an extra measure of control.

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