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Investing in new Equipment: M10 vs SL2

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Hi There,

I am thinking of upgrading my current system. 

I am a working photographer doing mainly reportage, editorial, travel photography. 

About 6 years back I switched back to Leica from Canon 5DII when I was finally able to afford an M-240-P. 

Since then I have been able to do most of my work with this camera using mainly a Summicron 35mm. Sometimes also 28mm and 75mm. 

Manual Focus works for most of my work pretty well. Overall I love the simplicity of the Leica M. 

3 Years back I bought an X-Pro2 with and some Lenses, as a backup and for those occasions I need Autofocus (and very rarely some short video but that's been neglect able, so far)

I like the Fuji, but compared to the Leica, I never really loved it as much as I love the M and working with the M. And one thing that bothers me is that I just don't get the look matching, when doing projects where I use both cameras.

But my M240 is very much ran down by now. I invested about 1500 Euro, 1.5 years ago to get it properly serviced but it has some issues again (I don't blame the camera, I didn't go soft on it). So I guess the next service would cost me another 1000+.

Now I am thinking about pros and cons of different options:

- Selling the M240 and buying the M10 (P, probably) (Don't know how much I could get from it as it needs to get serviced...). Keeping the Fuji as backup, for longer shots, autofocus and flash, little video...

- Selling the Fuji and all the fuji lenses, getting the M240 serviced and buying the SL2. Using my M glass with it and buying a Sigma Lens to be ready to use AF when needed. 

In the current situation, I have a limited budget and could not really afford one of the SL Lenses. Probably some time later, either two primes (35 and 90) or the 24-90. But It would take another year or so...

I read a lot about how good M lenses work on the SL(2). But so far I have not really been in love with focus peaking and EVF. So I tend to use it more often on the X-Pro2. But I can't say I love it.

Sorry, I am quite confused at this point. I would appreciate some input.

Thanks and best Regards

Florian

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I suppose part of the appeal of M240 was full frame. 

If you are on the budget and wish to utilise Leica M lenses you have and also wish to acquire capable full frame AF camera i would suggest to look outside Leica and consider Nikon Z6 (24Mp) or Z7 (45Mp).  You could get Z6 brand new for less than second hand M240 or SL601, Z7 is not much more, definitely far less than any new current Leica camera.  

I have part exchanged my SL601 2 years ago for Z7, absolutely no regrets plus it play nicely with M and R lenses. Native Z lenses are also very good.  For instance cheapest full frame prime is S 50mm f1.8 which, fully open, is on par optically with best current M 50mm lenses - i have and compared with APO Summicron M 50mm ASPH and Summilux M 50mm ASPH.

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Posted (edited)

I use M and R lenses on SL and SL2 and it works very well. You could simply rent a SL plus M-adapter and give it a try for a week. Or ask in a Leica shop for a demo SL2 maybe for a day. This would give you a first impression, if you like it better or not. (When I bought the SL in 2016, for the first year I had no SL lenses, only adapted R, M and Contax.)

If you want an AF lens you could start with a Sigma 2.8/45mm. Or maybe a used SL 24-90. Or Panasonic will bring some AF primes, soon (1.8/24, 1.8/50 and 1.8/85). Or a Lumix 24-105, or maybe the new Lumix 20-60mm.

I would not mix two different systems, I find an SL or SL2 plus M lenses a much better combination. (Also regarding matching colors).

I usually do not use focus peaking. The resolution of the EVF is so good it is usually not necessary. And you can also use magnification if you want.

Edited by caissa

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The used prices for M240 and SL bodies are similar, in the range of $2500 plus.  From what you write the Leica is your preferred camera, mine also.  With other systems there  is more tech to be gained, there is perhaps more IQ to be gained but my best pictures are taken with Leica, I spend my time taking pictures and not wrestling with buttons and menus.  Concerning the M10, the price doubles over the M240, new batteries are necessary, if you use two M240 batteries you will need three M10 batteries, it has less features, shadow recovery is better and it could be a more robust body, perhaps.   If I was purchasing an M240 variant at this time, get the M240P, it has a larger buffer and the body feels upgraded, more substantial.  Good luck!  

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If you love the rangefinder get the M10(P) and buy a Nikon Z6 for your AF needs. 

The SL2 works good with rangefinder lenses, but it doesnt give you the M-optical viewfinder experience.

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Posted (edited)

I forgot one thing in the first entry. I prefer to use M lenses with the SL/2 than with a M camera. The focusing is such a pleasure (with preview).  So I think you should simply try it. You will soon see if you have the same impression.

The SL is generally very nice to use manual lenses.

Edited by caissa

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Personally, I would keep the M240, buy an SL2 and M adapter. Ive been shooting on M lenses for many years now professionally and not inclined to get auto focus lenses, they are huge and heavy, and in darker light, hunt for focus lock. Something I have no problem with at all on manual lenses. Manual lenses on the SL is easy, and I have photographed football matches and windsurfers and no more shots out of focus than I would expect with auto (and that is with a 300mm f2.8 manual lens)

The viewfinder on the SL is superb, and if the SL2 is better then is will be a technical marvel.

For me the files from the M240, M10 and SL are sufficiently similar for me not to be able to guess which camera produced which image (unless its a very high ISO)

I still use the m240 regularly and shoot professionally with it, despite it looking pretty beaten up these days.

Maybe look at Zeiss M lenses too, they have a superb reputation too and of course much cheaper than the Leica, especially the 35mm F1.4
 

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If you can, I'd look for a clean M10 - it's such a big step up from the M240, and given the lenses you're working with you'll find it's quicker to focus M lenses with the RF than it is with the SL.  I use my recently acquired SL2 with the more difficult M lenses (WATE / Macro 90 Elmarit / 135 Apo-Telyt) and will use my Canon zooms for the moment (via the Sigma MC-21) for when I need AF. If you're on a tight budget I'd then get a used Canon 5D3 or equivalent and, depending on your needs, a used L series zoom.  If you need a portrait lens the USM 85 1.4 is actually a delight and cheap as chips!  Just my 2 cents.  I can see the logic of an SL2 as a way of having a Leica only system (with the option of the new and excellent Sigma lenses if the SL lenses are too expensive - they are for me!)

Just my 2 cents of course. 🙂

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I own all three cameras, M10, M240 and SL2. If your desire is to have consistency of look across the two bodies, I suspect you'll be somewhat disappointed with the SL2 pairing to an M240. They have very different color profiles, white balance, etc and the acuity of the SL2 vs the 240 will likely remind you of the relationship between the Fuji and M240. If OTOH, you are interested in expending the palette, adding IBIS, etc, with the option of reusing you M glass, you might be far happier. I will say though that I am in the minority on the subject of M glass on non-Ms. I rarely ever mount an M lens on my SL2. The longer lenses are fine, the wider optics I have used are AFAIC noticeably inferior. M is still best on M.

There are several excellent, reasonably priced lenses available for the SL with more coming. There are The Sigma 45mm is a charming lens, for example. I don't own the Sigma 70mm macro, but it too is reportedly extremely good. Assuming you're not averse to zooms, there are several excellent options there are well. I regularly shoot the 45mm and Pano 16-35mm in conjunction with the 35mm and 75mm SL-Summicrons. While not the equal of the L-optics, the results mesh very well, the only generally noticeably difference being a higher propensity of CA.

I'd add, if you are considering an M10, given at this point we are four years in, it would be wise to consider pausing and seeing how the rumored M10R shapes up before committing.

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To me everything that you write says M-10p. The R when it comes may push the price of it lower, just like they did with M240 when the M10 came so wait the 2 weeks.

I am in a similar spot. I have a perfectly working M262 but that limits me sometimes. I just struggle committing to the SL2, even after trying one out for a few hours. 

Did you consider Q or Q2 for your autofocus needs? Q2 with cropping is for some  very good allrounder

Cheers

JK

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I have a couple of XPro2's sitting in the cupboard. I understand how you feel. It's a fine camera and makes great files but it just feels flimsy after you've used an M. I really like the Fuji colours but yes, it is hard to get them to look anything close to the M240. And the XPro2 battery life is woeful.

A few ideas:

1. The M240 does shoot video. It's pretty average but may be suitable. Give that a try before you spend any money. That might help your decision.

2. Keep the 240, sell the Fuji and get a CL as your AF solution. If 24MP is enough then there are no real downsides to the CL. You'll get closer colours to you M, Leica menus and build quality. The lenses are spectacular, on the whole. And it's waaaay cheaper than the SL2. CL's turn up on the 2nd hand market and they don't have the mechanical RF to wear out like the M.

3. If you really want to stay with the M then keep the 240 (for video and backup) and get an M10. Maybe a lightly used pre-loved one. Not all M's get used hard. You'll have different batteries and somewhat different colours but they're easier to match than from the Fuji. You won't have an AF solution though. For less money get another 240. Also get the EVF for video use. Much easier.

4. Sell the 240 AND the Fuji kit. Get an M10 and a D-Lux 7. The little D-Lux is surprisingly capable and it's tiny. It's only a 17MP 4/3 sensor but it gives great files, has video and AF, a fast(ish) zoom lens from 24-70mm and charges directly from a USB cable. The EVF is crap but it's a surprisingly good camera to have around as a backup/video solution.

5. Combine the above. Keep the M240 and sell the Fuji. Add an M10 and a DLux7. Now you have a backup for you M, increased flexibility and a solution for AF and video if you need it.

6. Go all in and get an M10 and CL plus an L to M adaptor. Sell the Fuji and the M240. Kind of the perfect kit for you I think.

I'm not saying don't get a SL2. Do what you want. But the SL2 is NOTHING like an M and it's not like the XPro2 either. It's closer to your old Canon, just better in every way. And it wants its native lenses. That's what makes the SL2 shine. Personally I think you sound like you're at home with the M system. That's what you should stick with.

Gordon

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Thanks to all of you!

Many different scenarios. I Will have to try it out and borrow or rent the SL2 for a few days – let's see how good I am able to handle the SL2 with M lenses. 

In fact I haven't been following what was going on with the M line as well as I didn't research about the CL in the las few years as I was super happy with my M240P and quite ok with the X-Pro2. 

To go back to canon isn't an option for me. I used to work with an 5DII with couple of L lenses and also the USM 85 1.4. Indeed I really liked that lens as a portrait lens. But now, going back to Canon doesn't seem very tempting to me. 

As I mentioned, I was not aware of any new M10R to be coming soon. That could be a good reason to go for the M10P once the price dropped a bit. In that case I might for now just keep the Fuji for one or two more years till I can afford an SL2 for autofocus and video and some occasions where EVF might work better. I have been dreaming of a Noctilux for years and one day I will get one. I don't need it. Anyway, using the Noctilux might be another reason for the SL2 (or 3 or ...)

But I will try the SL2 asap and if I am really overwhelmed (in combination with M glass) I might just go for it and get my 240 serviced to still be able to use a RF camera.

I must say, until now, for most of my work, the Rangefinder and Manual focusing works faster for me than any autofocus I have been using. If I would only do the kind of work I totally am in love with (namely reportages) there would be no question for me and I would just go for the M10P and keep the M240P. But I am in a situation where I also have to take some assignments where just the possibility to switch to an autofocus camera (and having a proper video option) just give me (and my clients) more confidence. And these points draw me towards the SL2. Yes, and the image stabilizer of the SL2 sounds amazing...

I did some research about the CL and it seems to be a great camera as a backup for the M, and to be a great camera for street and travel, but not the best option for video. So probably not the best option for my case. So far I haven't done any research about the DLux7. I will have a look.

While I am writing this, I wonder if it would not be the worst option to buy the M10P & the original SL (plus a sigma lens for AF)...

At the moment I am in India and won't be able to travel to Germany for a while, it seems, due to... So I have to be show patience till I will be able to try and buy.

Again, thanks a lot for your input!

Best, Florian

 

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I live with my SL attached to me at all times that I am outdoors.  Usually with M lenses.  Perfection for my style.

My Q is often with me in its bag, at the ready for street or catch shots.  Fantastic in my hands and the images are similar to the SL.

Lately with a Novoflex, my Canon EF glass has come back to life.  AF is slower that Canon but still pretty accurate.  My 85/1.8 is a lovely portrait lens (although I sometimes prefer the images from my 90mm Tele-Elmartit) and there is no affordable Leica lens to use instead of my Canon EF 20/2.8 for ultra wide.

Tried the Canon R, sold it.  Tried Panasonic S1, sold it, kept the 24-105/4.0 which is a very good, all purpose, zoom on the SL.

The Sigma 45mm 2.8 is a delight and often is used instead of the Q for street work.

I don't feel the need for more than 24 megapixel sensors and SLs are very affordable now.  And the images sell very well.

I would like to try the M10 or Monochrome BUT that budget might be better sent on some SL lens.

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Am 1.7.2020 um 21:51 schrieb wjdrijfhout:

Have you considered a Q(2)? From your use-case it may fit 90% of what you're looking for? And keep the refurbished M240 with a 75mm. It's hard to let go of an M under any circumstance... 

In fact, I haven't considered it ever. For the last few years I was more or less fine with my current system and didn't really follow what was happening with Leica and the camera market in general. I just read some reviews and watched some videos about it. It seems to be a great camera and I could imagine, that it would be a camera to fall in love with, once using it for a while. I will definitely try to test it. And sure, it would cover my need for video and AF. 

On the other hand, it would still be limiting a little bit. I see that the sensor of the Q2 would be big enough to take nice portraits even at 50mm digital zoom. I assume portraits and video at 35mm and 50 would be good enough for me. But still, by it's nature it is limited whereas the SL2 (as well as my not loved but appreciated X-Pro2) are not. 

At the moment, I think I would either go for the SL2 with a Sigma Lens and get my M240P serviced or get an M10P and the original SL. 

I will have to do some calculations and after all it will come down to how good I will be able to focus M-Lenses on the SL2.

Once again, 

Thank you all for sharing your thoughts on this!

Best,

Florian

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I would get the M10 P  if you like using M’s. The sensor is great, also great in low light. I traded mine for an SL 2 and regret it. I can’t advise anyone to buy a SL 2 until they resolve the battery/power issue. The camera has a major know fail. Won’t burst shoot even at 3/4 full battery and won’t record 4K video. Just gives error message. It’s hardly professional, quite erratic and not dependable. 

Edited by Jim B

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1 hour ago, Jim B said:

I would get the M10 P  if you like using M’s. The sensor is great, also great in low light. I traded mine for an SL 2 and regret it. I can’t advise anyone to buy a SL 2 until they resolve the battery/power issue. The camera has a major know fail. Won’t burst shoot even at 3/4 full battery and won’t record 4K video. Just gives error message. It’s hardly professional, quite erratic and not dependable. 

I don’t burst shoot or use video, and enjoy the SL2 as a complement to my M10 and M Monochrom (using M lenses limited to 28/35/50 on the M’s).  The SL2 accommodates zooms and longer lenses, and IBIS expands the shooting envelope. Different tools for me, each used with native lenses only. But I do carry an extra SL battery just in case, which is no more of a burden than carrying a roll of film or two back in the day. 
 

Needs and preferences vary.  The good news is that there are many good options these days, Leica and other brands.

Jeff

Edited by Jeff S

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If you really like the minimalist approach of the M-system, you can wait a few weeks and see what's going first on with the upcoming M10R: features, price, if they meet your needs.

If I were you, I would sell the M240, keep all Fuji stuff (as back up, AF and video when needed) and buy a brand new M10P. You already have the M lenses. When you have more budget, you add more lenses, and they will last forever.

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It sounds like you are more of a photographer than equipment lover (I don't mean any offense to people who are as interested or more to the gear), and given that is the case, I would recommend you stick with the M10P. The experience of using M lenses on an SL2 is very very different, and in my opinion better suited to slower work than any sort of dynamic work. You completely miss the clarity and simplicity of the rangefinder. Rather than looking through a clear window and making a quick and clean accurate merging of two images, you look into a screen which is displaying an image somewhat related to the actual scene you are looking at, interspersed with data, peaking info, a magnified view and often blocked shadows and highlights, depending on the contrast level of the scene. It is possible to fine tune your focus very well, such that it is more accurate for long or very fast lenses, but the simple joy of raising the camera to your eye and quickly and accurately focusing is gone when using manual lenses. With the native lenses the SL2 focuses very quickly and accurately, and is comparatively quick to use.

I know many will not agree with me, but as a user of both the M10 and the SL2, I would recommend using the SL with L mount lenses and the M with M lenses. If you are a dedicated M shooter, the SL2 will be an adjustment as the entire process of making photos is different. It is like driving a convertible versus piloting a submarine.

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