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SL2 as the sole system - or keep an M?


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I never thought I'd be asking this question, but when I look back at the use I've been getting out of my kit over the last 6 months, it feels like one I need to address.

I now have SL2 + 24-90 / 90-280 + Sigma 45 + Voigtlander 15 v3.  This feels like a remarkably competent system for the kind of work that I can do during the pandemic.  No theatre, no concerts, no international documentart commissions ☹️

I also have to M10 bodies + Summicron 28 asph / 35 asph / Summilux 50 / Summarit 70 / Macro-Elmar 90 and Apo-Telyt 135.  

If you'd asked me a year ago, I'd have said that if I only had one system, it would be the M.  A bit of me still feels that way.  I love the images, the size and weight, the discreetness.  But when I consider what I'm using, I find that the SL2 + 24-90 is the one that comes out in the wind and rain.  I love the range of focal lengths it offers, I love the IQ.  OK - I'm not happy with battery life, and I'd be happier with a couple of interface changes (especially Exposure Lock assignable to a button rather than only to the joystick), but these aren't deal breakers.

Is a life without an M camera in it imaginable?  For the better part of 30 years, it wouldn't have been.  Now, I'm not so sure...

Anyone else with these thoughts?  Has anyone converted completely? How does it feel?

 

 

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Gosh, that’s the first time I’ve been trolled on this forum!  I won’t feed it further.  Thanks for other’s thoughtful and supportive responses. Reflecting on the tools we use and how changing circumstances can lead to moments of reappraisal is part of professional practice on my planet. Being able to chat about it on this forum continues to be a valued resource.   

Ah, but then I went out this morning on one of my favourite walks with just the M10 and a 28 summicron asph... https://www.flickr.com/photos/ctribble/shares/170b7B Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content. Hallo Gast! Du willst die Bilder sehen? Einfach registrieren oder anmelden! It reminded me of why I'll never get rid of an M and at the very least this lens.  🙂

Each to his/her own. I spent some time not showing any love to my M10. A fine camera and the best M yet but I was flirting with the other systems, including the SL2. I seriously contemplated getting out of the M altogether. Why have all this stuff if it's just sitting on a shelf? This was weird. I really enjoy shooting with an M. I don't mind missing shots and I like the way it concentrates my *focus*, pardon the pun. I'd shot nothing but M's both professionally and personally for seve

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I’m being careful to not let pandemic doldrums, which have significantly curtailed my photography and changed my subject matter, influence my longer term gear decisions.  I’ve used M cameras since the 80’s (along with many other film camera systems and formats), and then relied on M bodies exclusively after transitioning to digital in 2009.  
 

Just prior to the pandemic I bought the SL2 with the two longer SL zooms and SL75 to complement M (M10 + MM) use, which for me is limited to 28/35/50 focal lengths, RF only.  M lenses remain on my M bodies. While I might not currently be making full use of these complementary systems, I’m confident that I made the right choice and will eventually put everything to good use.  Especially once travel and city life returns to normal (I hope), the M bodies should see a lot more action.  I still love the M/RF experience.  Print IQ remains sufficient when using either of these fine systems.  For me these are not just different tools for different circumstances, but they provide very different photographic experiences.  In fact, I bought the M Monochrom despite being very happy with M10 b/w conversions, because of the unique b/w workflow experience that it provides.

Jeff

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I bought a SL 2 years ago and my M(240) stayed in the bag. I was happy when using it with the Noct 50, 'lux 75, and even the M 50 APO

The M(240) got even less use when I added the 50 'lux SL. I sold the M(240) in the End.

BUT... form factor, size, weight, being able to go out for anything and take the camera with me without it being the purpose or a big constraint got me back to the M.
I added the M10M.
For the past months, I'd say a shot 1/3 SL and 2/3 M10M... and epsilon with the CL...

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If your vision is still able to use the RF and if you enjoy shooting your m, I'd keep it. You have some nice m glass, using the RF for me was more for fun for size and for the experience of using a RF. But my eyes just don't work like they used to so for size I use a CL right now...I still look at M bodies all the time and wish I could just try one again, but I know I'll end up selling.

Either way, enjoy that nice glass

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Chris,

2 months ago I got an SL2 and at the same time I shipped my M10 for repair to Leica.  So I’m without an M for 2 months now and really do enjoy the SL.  I added a superb Sigma 35 1.2 to my vast M and R lens collection.  The SL2 is a serious and mature photography machine.  I’m discovering the extraordinary quality for example of the 28-90 and 100 macro R lenses which never worked well on the M system.  Or they were maybe not as rewarding to use with the visoflex.  Thumbs up for the SL2 EVF and IBIS, here.

Now the question is : do I miss the M?  And - although I consider the SL2 the better camera - the answer is yes I miss the M10.  For my use, the SL2 is my camera of choice when I want to MAKE pictures.  But I miss the M10 with (preferably a vintage M lens) when I’m out and want to TAKE pictures.   Occasionally, without a plan... that is what for me the difference of an M10 and the SL2 is.

 

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I love my Sl2,  but I will never part with my M Mono9. In combination with he 50 APO provides outstanding images that I cannot match with any colour conversion...I´m actually running some documentary projects that involves living and taking care of the subjects I´m taking pictures of and I have to wear the camera all the time. For this purpose the Mono+50APO is a perfect combo (weight and size)...

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Don't do it. 🙂    I have and always return to the M.  The SL has many advantage, the M is challenging with multiple subjects and situations, however the M has intangibles that I miss when using other cameras/systems.  After using an evf, the return to a bright clear rangefinder window makes my eyes happy.  Good luck with whatever you decide.  

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Thanks so much for all your reflections (and, in fact, support!)

I’ll continue to mull - but rest assured I know very well how good the M10 is with the right lenses (especially, for me, the 28 or 35 summicron asphs), how portable and discreet the camera is, and how good the images it makes can be...

no rushed decisions for now 🙂

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I’ve recently gotten into a SL2 and have been taking it out for street lately.  The M10 Monochrom and 35 FLE are my usual load out and currently my M10 needs a sensor remap so it’s on the shelf until Leica gets a firmware file to me.  With fall and the rain during the past couple of weeks, the SL2 has scratched my itch for color and especially over the past couple of days has really delivered some great shots.  I’ve only got the 50 Summicron and Sigma 35 f/1.2 lenses for it, but next week Leica Moscow is getting a 35 Cron SL in for me.  During the winter I dare not risk ruining my Ms so the SL2 will definitely get used. 
 

All that being said, I wouldn’t give up my Ms, especially the Monochrom.  Shooting with a rangefinder is an incredibly satisfying experience, even if I don’t nail the shots!  I’d say unless you need to recoup some funds, hang on to yours - eventually life will return to something near normal and hopefully you’ll get out and shoot with them!

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40 minutes ago, chris_tribble said:

Thanks so much for all your reflections (and, in fact, support!)

I’ll continue to mull - but rest assured I know very well how good the M10 is with the right lenses (especially, for me, the 28 or 35 summicron asphs), how portable and discreet the camera is, and how good the images it makes can be...

no rushed decisions for now 🙂

I have two SL2s. I also have an M10R and an M10 Monochrom. I love the SL2. But if you sell off your Ms, you'll find yourself buying them again. 

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I just did this major switch, I would have kept an M system in parrarel if possible at the time, but it felt righ to go all out on the SL2. I would go as far as saying the SL2 and VE 24-90 is a system all in itself for my needs. Only a "want" more than a "need" would compel me to add a sigma 14-24 and a 90/280 on top of this, but 95% of my jobs can be done with the VE 24-90, even product photography. The one lens I really want to have besides this one would be the SL 50 1.4.

With unlimited means it would certainly be like:

SL2 + VE 24-90 / SL 50 1.4   ---- source wider/longer lenses externaly for ponctual use. If I really lucky add add summicron SL28 and 90 :)

M10P + 28f2 / 50f1.4

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Hi Chris I loved reading your very frank post - personally I would not want to be without an M, M and SL serve different purposes.

However you may want to consider selling one of your two M10s (I believe that there is a typo in your original post, but if I remember correctly you used two M10 bodies)

You could also shed some lenses (I would probably only keep the 28 cron, 50 Lux and 90 macro) and get a second L body as a back up

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At times over the past few months, I've had similar thoughts running through my head; do I need the M system after having bonded so well with the SL2?

Having said that, I've been shooting with M cameras since the mid-1970s and can't imagine my photography without them, and particularly the MM and M10.  My M cameras  have always given me a great sense of satisfaction, especially  when I want to slow things down a little.  

As Jeff says, I think a lot of this has to do with the pandemic and lockdown. Life will eventually return to a semblance of normality and things should find some form of balance again. I'm holding onto to my M cameras.

 

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6 hours ago, steve 1959 said:

The desperate anguish of first world issues..the suffering is almost unbearable.

Gosh, that’s the first time I’ve been trolled on this forum! 
I won’t feed it further. 
Thanks for other’s thoughtful and supportive responses. Reflecting on the tools we use and how changing circumstances can lead to moments of reappraisal is part of professional practice on my planet. Being able to chat about it on this forum continues to be a valued resource. 
 

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1 minute ago, chris_tribble said:

 

Gosh, that’s the first time I’ve been trolled on this forum! 
I won’t feed it further. 
Thanks for other’s thoughtful and supportive responses. Reflecting on the tools we use and how changing circumstances can lead to moments of reappraisal is part of professional practice on my planet. Being able to chat about it on this forum continues to be a valued resource. 
 

Couldn’t agree more with you

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So, ignoring the distraction, I have an SL2 system but cannot see myself ever getting rid of my M system.

The SL-2 comes out for what it does best for me: high-res landscape, long-exposure night photography, hostile environmental conditions, or when I just want auto-everything and/or zoom.  I do like using some of the larger M lenses on the SL2 which balance very well (21 Summilux, 1.0/50 Noctilux and 75 Summilux). I agree that the SL2 and 24-90, even without an SL prime) is an extremely competent and versatile camera.

But otherwise it's the M system: IQ, those fabulous lenses, compact, discrete, simple, versatile, film & digital compatibility.

 

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