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Smaller, lighter lens recommendations for the SL2?


billh
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My new SL2 arrived yesterday, and I opened it and held the camera, and the weight and feel of the body seemed OK.  My Q2M uses the same battery so I inserted it and a card, and attached a rental APO 75 Summicron - wow! I left Nikon for Sony to get a lighter weight camera system, and this combination is really heavy. The other lens I rented to try is a Sigma 35mm f1.4. Its better, but still pretty heavy, and I’d rather have an f2.0 or even f2.8 because of the small size and lower weight. I ordered the M adapter to see what using the smaller M lenses is like. One reviewer told me he liked the SL APO Summicrons and the Sigma 45/2.8, 35/2.0 and 24/3.5, and I’m fairly sure that is because of the size and weight of these slower Sigma lenses. Do any of you have recommendations for smaller, lighter carry-around lenses which yield excellent image quality on the SL2. Prime lenses should be sharper (and lighter), and an aperture of f2.8 or even higher is OK because I rarely shoot wide open. 28mm to 70mm or 90mm is the focal range I’m interested in - probably a 28 or 35 and a 70-90mm range. Thank you.

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the small sigma lenses do well in sharpens. I have the 45mm lens and to me it has a boring look to it. Nothing special. I never use it.

The Summicron-SL 50 is double the size, but I nicer rending wide open.
But if you like to stop down a bit anyway then Sigma can be what you are looking for. the Leica SL lenses are all heavy, once you have a few in the bag you can feel the difference . But Leica has that extra 5% that is magic.

 

PS: the 45mm Sigma is a slower focusing lens.

Edited by Photoworks
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The Sigma 24mm is excellent and light. I think you would be happy with their 35mm or 65mm DG DN lenses. If you think the 75mm is heavy, then I imagine you will think the rest are as well as I think they are all pretty similar on that front. The SL system is not a light system by any means, but I think the SL summicrons balance very well on the body and give the best balance of image quality to size in the system, at least as far as Leica is concerned. The zooms are bigger and heavier and optically inferior (still very good, just not as good as the summicrons). I have found the rendering of the Sigma lenses to be very nice, but I also preferred the 50mm APO to the 45mm 2.8, primarily because the 45mm is still a bit soft at 2.8, especially up close. It is better stopped down. It seems to me that the most attractive Sigma primes are the 24, 35 and 65 DG DN Contemporary line...they have moderately fast speed, very good build quality and perform well on the system. I have found the 24mm to be quite sharp wide open across the frame, and very sharp stopped down. It is better than any M lens in this focal range that I have tried...it seems the lenses made in the last few years are on another optical level to most made even 5 to 10 years ago...

Edited by Stuart Richardson
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2 hours ago, billh said:

My new SL2 arrived yesterday, and I opened it and held the camera, and the weight and feel of the body seemed OK.  My Q2M uses the same battery so I inserted it and a card, and attached a rental APO 75 Summicron - wow! I left Nikon for Sony to get a lighter weight camera system, and this combination is really heavy. The other lens I rented to try is a Sigma 35mm f1.4. Its better, but still pretty heavy, and I’d rather have an f2.0 or even f2.8 because of the small size and lower weight. I ordered the M adapter to see what using the smaller M lenses is like. One reviewer told me he liked the SL APO Summicrons and the Sigma 45/2.8, 35/2.0 and 24/3.5, and I’m fairly sure that is because of the size and weight of these slower Sigma lenses. Do any of you have recommendations for smaller, lighter carry-around lenses which yield excellent image quality on the SL2. Prime lenses should be sharper (and lighter), and an aperture of f2.8 or even higher is OK because I rarely shoot wide open. 28mm to 70mm or 90mm is the focal range I’m interested in - probably a 28 or 35 and a 70-90mm range. Thank you.

If you left Nikon looking for lighter weight, Leica wasn’t the place to go unless you’re going to shoot M lenses. 

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1 hour ago, LD_50 said:

If you left Nikon looking for lighter weight, Leica wasn’t the place to go unless you’re going to shoot M lenses. 

I do agree 100%.

I went the SL2 route for the outstanding results from the combo of camera and the amazing lenses. I am not here to preach to others about mating the SL line with non-Leica lenses but I continue to be wowed by the SL2 with Leica lenses. Everyday I shoot with my SL2 I just can't believe how much I love the experience as well as what I see in post. 

However, to the OP point, having a lighter system has some merit. I was literally about to press the button on the 35 mm SL APO lens (obviously not a lightweight)  when Leica announced the 35 mm M APO, which gave me some food for thought and I left the orphaned 35 SL APO in the cart until I could do some soul searching. 

Yeah I want an amazing APO prime to compliment my 24-90 Leica all around lens and that I have decided is "a" 35mm APO. However, would it be nice to have a lighter SL2/35mm APO combo that "may" equal the amazing SL APO 35mm for those days of wanting a lighter camera? Of course BUT the price difference is 3K+ with adapter and losing autofocus. One day will I go back to an M series and have the best of both worlds, maybe, but not soon.

For full disclosure I do have a Q2 which I purchased a year ago for a "lightweight" wide alternative but have to admit that I am so enamored by the SL2 that I hardly reach for the Q2 and am willing to sacrifice the weight. While I like 28 I don't love shooting at 28.

So I too am left with a decision. I do love shooting between 21-24, would like a light weight option for those days I just want a light weight option and love the SL2 as my main camera. So I was thinking of waiting for the M 35 APO as my "light weight" alternative to the Q2 (yes I get the difference in focal length) or get the readily available and stunning 35 SL APO and an M SEM 21 3.4 until Leica releases some SL wide alternatives while selling my Q2?

Sorry for the stream of consciousness BUT Leica threw me for a loop with their release of the stunning 35 mm M APO and potential for a smaller footprint SL2 combo. 

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5 hours ago, Photoworks said:

the small sigma lenses do well in sharpens. I have the 45mm lens and to me it has a boring look to it. Nothing special. I never use it.

The Summicron-SL 50 is double the size, but I nicer rending wide open.
But if you like to stop down a bit anyway then Sigma can be what you are looking for. the Leica SL lenses are all heavy, once you have a few in the bag you can feel the difference . But Leica has that extra 5% that is magic.

 

PS: the 45mm Sigma is a slower focusing lens.

Thanks for this info.

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5 hours ago, Stuart Richardson said:

The Sigma 24mm is excellent and light. I think you would be happy with their 35mm or 65mm DG DN lenses. If you think the 75mm is heavy, then I imagine you will think the rest are as well as I think they are all pretty similar on that front. The SL system is not a light system by any means, but I think the SL summicrons balance very well on the body and give the best balance of image quality to size in the system, at least as far as Leica is concerned. The zooms are bigger and heavier and optically inferior (still very good, just not as good as the summicrons). I have found the rendering of the Sigma lenses to be very nice, but I also preferred the 50mm APO to the 45mm 2.8, primarily because the 45mm is still a bit soft at 2.8, especially up close. It is better stopped down. It seems to me that the most attractive Sigma primes are the 24, 35 and 65 DG DN Contemporary line...they have moderately fast speed, very good build quality and perform well on the system. I have found the 24mm to be quite sharp wide open across the frame, and very sharp stopped down. It is better than any M lens in this focal range that I have tried...it seems the lenses made in the last few years are on another optical level to most made even 5 to 10 years ago...

Thanks Stuart.

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7 hours ago, Stuart Richardson said:

The Sigma 24mm is excellent and light. I think you would be happy with their 35mm or 65mm DG DN lenses. If you think the 75mm is heavy, then I imagine you will think the rest are as well as I think they are all pretty similar on that front. The SL system is not a light system by any means, but I think the SL summicrons balance very well on the body and give the best balance of image quality to size in the system, at least as far as Leica is concerned. The zooms are bigger and heavier and optically inferior (still very good, just not as good as the summicrons). I have found the rendering of the Sigma lenses to be very nice, but I also preferred the 50mm APO to the 45mm 2.8, primarily because the 45mm is still a bit soft at 2.8, especially up close. It is better stopped down. It seems to me that the most attractive Sigma primes are the 24, 35 and 65 DG DN Contemporary line...they have moderately fast speed, very good build quality and perform well on the system. I have found the 24mm to be quite sharp wide open across the frame, and very sharp stopped down. It is better than any M lens in this focal range that I have tried...it seems the lenses made in the last few years are on another optical level to most made even 5 to 10 years ago...

Don't know how I missed your post. The 24 mm would be my preference. You state it better than any M you have tried. Which ones have you tried? This may make choice simple. 

Thanks

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4 hours ago, Priaptor said:

I do agree 100%.

I went the SL2 route for the outstanding results from the combo of camera and the amazing lenses. I am not here to preach to others about mating the SL line with non-Leica lenses but I continue to be wowed by the SL2 with Leica lenses. Everyday I shoot with my SL2 I just can't believe how much I love the experience as well as what I see in post. 

However, to the OP point, having a lighter system has some merit. I was literally about to press the button on the 35 mm SL APO lens (obviously not a lightweight)  when Leica announced the 35 mm M APO, which gave me some food for thought and I left the orphaned 35 SL APO in the cart until I could do some soul searching. 

Yeah I want an amazing APO prime to compliment my 24-90 Leica all around lens and that I have decided is "a" 35mm APO. However, would it be nice to have a lighter SL2/35mm APO combo that "may" equal the amazing SL APO 35mm for those days of wanting a lighter camera? Of course BUT the price difference is 3K+ with adapter and losing autofocus. One day will I go back to an M series and have the best of both worlds, maybe, but not soon.

For full disclosure I do have a Q2 which I purchased a year ago for a "lightweight" wide alternative but have to admit that I am so enamored by the SL2 that I hardly reach for the Q2 and am willing to sacrifice the weight. While I like 28 I don't love shooting at 28.

So I too am left with a decision. I do love shooting between 21-24, would like a light weight option for those days I just want a light weight option and love the SL2 as my main camera. So I was thinking of waiting for the M 35 APO as my "light weight" alternative to the Q2 (yes I get the difference in focal length) or get the readily available and stunning 35 SL APO and an M SEM 21 3.4 until Leica releases some SL wide alternatives while selling my Q2?

Sorry for the stream of consciousness BUT Leica threw me for a loop with their release of the stunning 35 mm M APO and potential for a smaller footprint SL2 combo. 

I would choose the SL APO over the M lens myself and maybe add another 35 M lens if you need the small size at times. . But I do own an M 35 ASPH FLE already, as well as the 16-35 and 24-90 zooms. 

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12 minutes ago, LD_50 said:

I would choose the SL APO over the M lens myself and maybe add another 35 M lens if you need the small size at times. . But I do own an M 35 ASPH FLE already, as well as the 16-35 and 24-90 zooms. 

I am leaning that way since as of now my only "system" is an SL2 and I doubt I will be going back to the M series anytime soon. 

Thanks and I do appreciate your input as well as all others. 

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6 hours ago, Priaptor said:

Don't know how I missed your post. The 24 mm would be my preference. You state it better than any M you have tried. Which ones have you tried? This may make choice simple. 

Thanks

I have the 25mm Biogon ZM, the 18mm Distagon ZM, and used to have the 21mm Biogon. More recently, I borrowed the 21mm Super Elmar M (I compared it directly...the Sigma is sharper across the frame, though with slightly less contrast on center, but it still has high contrast. For me, this means the Sigma is better, as evenly sharp performance is better than a very sharp center that gets softer at the edges). This was on the SL2...the 21mm Super Elmar may be better on the M. The copy I tried was also somewhat decentered, so a good factory copy may be better. I also have the 28mm Elmarit V3 and used to have the 28mm Summicron ASPH v1. I am a huge Leica fan....but it is hard to argue with your own eyes. The 24mm is just a very very good lens. Rather sharp from edge to edge at 3.5 at 47mp, made from metal, weather sealed, autofocus, focuses almost to the macro range, light, small and good looking...I am not sure what else one can ask for for a 550 dollars...a level of performance that would have been unheard of in most lenses more than 10 years old.

Edited by Stuart Richardson
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10 minutes ago, Stuart Richardson said:

I have the 25mm Biogon ZM, the 18mm Distagon ZM, and used to have the 21mm Biogon. More recently, I borrowed the 21mm Super Elmar M (I compared it directly...the Sigma is sharper across the frame, though with slightly less contrast on center, but it still has high contrast. For me, this means the Sigma is better, as evenly sharp performance is better than a very sharp center that gets softer at the edges). This was on the SL2...the 21mm Super Elmar may be better on the M. The copy I tried was also somewhat decentered, so a good factory copy may be better. I also have the 28mm Elmarit V3 and used to have the 28mm Summicron ASPH v1. I am a huge Leica fan....but it is hard to argue with your own eyes. The 24mm is just a very very good lens. Rather sharp from edge to edge at 3.5 at 47mp, made from metal, weather sealed, autofocus, focuses almost to the macro range, light, small and good looking...I am not sure what else one can ask for for a 550 dollars...a level of performance that would have been unheard of in most lenses more than 10 years old.

Again, thank you. I am leaning towards the SL 35 APO with your recommendation for the Sigma at 24mm. As you say, given the price of the Sigma it is tough to make a bad choice given your results. 

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Earlier this week I purchased the Sigma 24mm f3.5. So far I'm very pleased with it, as with my other Sigma lenses build quality is good, excellent handling, nice size & great IQ.

The aperture ring is a big plus for me. Maybe I'm old school, but I love these lenses with aperture rings, less fiddling about with buttons & dials on the camera. I also recently acquired the Sigma 65mm f2, another excellent lens from Sigma. You also don't need to sell a kidney to be able to afford these lenses & they deliver excellent results. 

 

 

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