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Thinking of going back to SL2 from GFX100S


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I currently have the GFX100S with a range of GF lenses, along with a M10R, 21mm SEM, 28 Lux, 50 Lux, 28mm PC, and a 135mm 3.4 on the way.  I used to have a SL2 set up but switched (first to a X1D and then the GFX100S).  My main reasons for going GFX were the combination of large res files with good dynamic range, flip LCD, IBIS, and good AF (compared to the X1D).

After using the GFX100S and then the M10R on a couple of trips, I am now thinking of letting the GFX gear go and going back to the SL2 to have as a companion to the M10R.  The main reasons? 1) GF lenses are generally big and bulky (especially compared to M lenses).  2) I don't often need 100mp, and when I do I can use various resizing software which is getting better and better (I print up to 48" x 72" no problem with upsizing software). 3) The GFX menus are more complicated and the camera is less pleasurable to use than Leica. 4) Adapting both Leica M and Canon lenses (namely the 11-24mm and TS-E lenses) generally work MUCH better on the smaller format SL cameras. 5) Since I use the M10R a lot, switching between 2:3 and 3:4 aspect ratios is a pain, especially for selling prints, and while many people prefer 3:4, I prefer 2:3. 6) The SL lenses are just amazing. 7) While I use the Visoflex with the M10R, it would be nice to be able to sometimes use the EVF of the SL2 with my M lenses.

The cons of going back to the SL2 for me?  1) The SL lenses are crazy expensive compared to the GF lenses (and the SL zooms are also big and heavy). 2) IMHO the SL2 sensor clips highlights more easily and isn't nearly as good at high ISO as the Fuji (although I prefer the colors that come out of the SL2). 3) Less ability to crop and maintain resolution. 4) No flip LCD (this is the one thing I really really wish the SL2 had).

Anyway, I put my GFX and lenses up for possible trade for the SL2 and lenses - hope I don't regret it...

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I bought almost fully into the GFX system as well before COVID with a GFX 50R and all lenses except the 250mm and 23mm.  I put them all up for sale in November and haven’t looked back (if you don’t count gassing over the GFX 100S a bit).  That paid down a bit on my SL2, 50mm and 35mm Summicrons, which if you go by pure specs alone can’t compete with the Fuji system.  However, I found that I really love the rendering of the Leica glass so much more than the Fuji, which was overly harsh and didn’t have any real magic to it.  Is the SL2 great in very low light, where I find myself often?  Nope.  Does it have the best autofocus available?  Not even close.  Do I want to pick it up and make photos with it?  Damn right I do.  At this point I’d much rather shoot film medium format instead of the GFX.

There’s always the question of “what if?” but as long as your gear inspires you to get out and shoot and makes the photos you enjoy, why regret your choices?

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Posted (edited)

I sold my GFX50 R and kept the Mamiya 645 lenses I used  on it and got  a SL and Z6  and was glad  I did. 

I was told that using these lenses on a full  frame 35 mm would change the outlook. So I shot a 110 mm  Mamiya 645 on the Sl to  see. Then I shot with my 100-400  Sigma and lined up the shot to  match. Then checked  to  see what the Sigma was set at "110 mm" see shots below.

# 1 Mamiya 110mm

#2  Sigma 100-400mm  shot at 110 mm

Which proves shooting a medium format lens such st the 110 mm  on a full  frame 35 doesn't change the focal length a 110 mm is still  a 110 mm.

 

Edited by Henry Taylor
added another pic
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3 hours ago, Henry Taylor said:

I sold my GFX50 R and kept the Mamiya 645 lenses I used  on it and got  a SL and Z6  and was glad  I did. 

I was told that using these lenses on a full  frame 35 mm would change the outlook. So I shot a 110 mm  Mamiya 645 on the Sl to  see. Then I shot with my 100-400  Sigma and lined up the shot to  match. Then checked  to  see what the Sigma was set at "110 mm" see shots below.

# 1 Mamiya 110mm

#2  Sigma 100-400mm  shot at 110 mm

Which proves shooting a medium format lens such st the 110 mm  on a full  frame 35 doesn't change the focal length a 110 mm is still  a 110 mm.

 

For differences (and similarities) between Leica S mini-MF and 35 mm lenses, see the first part of the link below. And as you state, a XX mm lens on a MF system remains XX mm on a FF system, but the additional estate on the former gives you a wider view. But there is more to the equation, like aperture and depth of field: https://www.reddotforum.com/content/2020/04/the-definitive-guide-to-leica-s-lenses/

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I prefer the compactness of M, but the video and easy AF and zooms and APOs make SL a keeper.  Likewise I’m thinking of downsizing from all MF (except possibly 907x+45p) for travel.  But SL is bulky with any zooms but the latest Sigma 28-70.  The APOs are heavy…. So always hard to choose what to take on a trip, esp. alongside an M.  But can share M lenses…

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I prefer to travel with the X1D or GFX100S. The files are just more pliable. The small weight difference when carrying a SL system isn't worth the difference in the files and the long exposure capabilities of the larger sensor make the bigger sensor worth the small extra effort. I find the Fuji and Leica colours both pleasing. Neither is as good as the Hasselblad. If I want a small system it's the M10R.

I like my SL2 and use it often. But in all honesty I wouldn't choose it over the GFX or X1D when I travel. Unless that trip needed something like a 400mm... Far more likely to take the GFX100S kit (23, 32-64, 80, 100-200) plus two M's (M10R/M) and a 28/50/90.

The other thing is I know my carry tolerance level, when I travel. It's about 5.5-6kg plus bag and tripod. Seems no matter what I choose I end up about there. So even with a lighter system I end up with more stuff, which isn't always good for my shooting experience. I'm over than if I take all of the above kit but it's usual I'll leave the M's locked in the safe during the day and leave the larger system when wandering at night.

Gordon

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I sold my GFX 50R along with the 110, 65, last year and moved to the Leica SL2. I had the SL and M10 for 3 years before that. At first I was seriously disappointed, I didn’t like the colors coming out of the SL2. What I did wrong was buy into the Sigma lenses. I hate to say this and please treat it as my VERY personal opinion. Sigma lenses are garbage. (There I said it) 

I bought the summicron SL 35 in January and couldn’t be happier since then. Also the voigtlander 40/1.2. I am saving to get the 90 sumi (sell the last sigma 85/1.4 I have) and just bought my second body, the SL2S. 
 

it all comes down to getting the right lenses. 

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I don’t know which Sigma lenses you have found to be garbage — they all used to be garbage back in the day, but they are more than usable now — something like the small, slow lenses series (45 f2.8) is very compact, which can be important. 

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Well, I went ahead and traded the GFX and some lenses for the SL2, 28mm SL and 50mm SL Summilux (I know that lens is a beast but I've always wanted to try it and I have smaller M lenses to use when I want).  I think it comes down mainly to the enjoyment of using the equipment and the lenses, and the GFX for some reason just didn't inspire me to pick it up and go out shooting like the Leicas do....

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35 minutes ago, jrp said:

I don’t know which Sigma lenses you have found to be garbage — they all used to be garbage back in the day, but they are more than usable now — something like the small, slow lenses series (45 f2.8) is very compact, which can be important. 


For me it’s the 85/1.4. Bad contrast (except very ideal conditions), can’t shoot against the sun no matter what as it totally washes out (to the point of unrecoverable). The subject separation is muddy. Compared that to a rental 90 sumi or my earlier gfx 110 and the difference is night and day. the colors off the lens are too muted and I have to go an extra mile to correct those. I had 2 replacements but they are all the same  

For the price it’s good but that doesn’t mean it’s good for a Leica experience. Then there’s the sigma 35 f2. Very convenient to use but AF in the night is a nightmare. We run a wedding photography business and having ideal conditions is not a choice always. In my experience the sigma lenses on l Mount are less than ideal for professional work. I understand I’ll get a lot of hate for this, but having to process thousands of images from a wedding is a tedious process in itself and the sigma adds nothing but pain to that. 

and you’re absolutely right, they are perfectly usable but that’s about it. A great experience they are not and that’s fine. I didn’t have the budget for a Leica lens earlier and these helped me get a start on the system while I slowly move up to better lenses. What I don’t like is the rave reviews youtubers give to these lenses and give false assumptions to photographers. 

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9 minutes ago, Darthaddie said:

We run a wedding photography business and having ideal conditions is not a choice always. In my experience the sigma lenses on l Mount are less than ideal for professional work. I understand I’ll get a lot of hate for this, but having to process thousands of images from a wedding is a tedious process in itself and the sigma adds nothing but pain to that.

Weddings are one situation where you don't want to mix and match lens sets. You can go soft and atmospheric, or you can go clean and saturated, but you can't do both at the same time or your images won't edit. I have, however, used one look for the ceremony and another for the reception, especially if the two locations have very different personalities. Old-style lenses with lots of flare and softness work especially well in venues that look like 1950s modern design. With the suits and dresses, everyone looks like they were in the Rat Pack.

13 minutes ago, Darthaddie said:

What I don’t like is the rave reviews youtubers give to these lenses and give false assumptions to photographers. 

"Click on my affiliate links!" Many youtubers make their money from links, so they have to give positive reviews. One consequence of this is that we don't get as many Leica reviews, because nobody buys expensive Leica gear from Amazon.

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1 hour ago, jrp said:

I don’t know which Sigma lenses you have found to be garbage — they all used to be garbage back in the day, but they are more than usable now — something like the small, slow lenses series (45 f2.8) is very compact, which can be important. 

I found the 45mm sigma “garbage” too ie not on par with Leica glass. Owned it many months ago when it was trendy and sold it very fast. Sure, if your goal is size and build quality, then that lens was small and made of metal.  And that’s about it. For size / build quality / and image quality go with the Leica M lenses. 

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I have not found the difference between the 50 SL Summicron and the Sigma 45mm to be big, particularly if you stop the latter down a bit, and the subject is mid-long distance. Closer up and wide open it draws differently and may suit those who want something with a bit more “character”. 

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3 hours ago, pmendelson said:

 I think it comes down mainly to the enjoyment of using the equipment and the lenses, and the GFX for some reason just didn't inspire me to pick it up and go out shooting like the Leicas do....

Then you’ve undoubtedly made the right choice. 

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4 hours ago, Darthaddie said:

I sold my GFX 50R along with the 110, 65, last year and moved to the Leica SL2. I had the SL and M10 for 3 years before that. At first I was seriously disappointed, I didn’t like the colors coming out of the SL2. What I did wrong was buy into the Sigma lenses. I hate to say this and please treat it as my VERY personal opinion. Sigma lenses are garbage. (There I said it) 

I bought the summicron SL 35 in January and couldn’t be happier since then. Also the voigtlander 40/1.2. I am saving to get the 90 sumi (sell the last sigma 85/1.4 I have) and just bought my second body, the SL2S. 
 

it all comes down to getting the right lenses. 

Hmmm. Looking at the OP, the Sigma shot is considerably better.

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3 hours ago, meerec said:

I found the 45mm sigma “garbage” too ie not on par with Leica glass. Owned it many months ago when it was trendy and sold it very fast. Sure, if your goal is size and build quality, then that lens was small and made of metal.  And that’s about it. For size / build quality / and image quality go with the Leica M lenses. 

Does are strong words, The lens is not interesting to me, I still have it in my closet .

Optically is better then M summilux ASPH and the notcilux 0.94 all at f2.8. The Summiron-SL 50 is so much better in details and resolution.

I am sure it has a place, I find it boring rendering. but it is small and affordable.

 

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I'm concurrently running an SL2, Lumix S1R and GFX100s with a mix of Leica and Lumix L mount lenses and GF's for the Fuji. From a weight point of view there is nothing in it..... not that much in terms of bulk either if you are good at maximising space in a bag/backpack.  My usual landscape set up ends up much the same whichever system I go with. The GFX100s body + lens combo is actually much better balanced and easier to handle than the heavy angular SL2 brick with its heavy zooms. I used the 90-280 yesterday for the first time in ages and soon realised why it has been gathering dust. The more I use the Fuji, the less likely I am to go back to FF unless there are specific reasons to do so ..... the dynamic range has almost completely eliminated the need for bracketing or grad filters and the RAW files are so easy to edit, plus moderate ISO's are pretty noise free and what there is at higher ISO's vanishes with processing and any downsizing from 109mpx. I can't fault any of the lenses, colours are natural and tonal gradation is wonderful. Nice as the SL2 is ... particularly as a general camera with one of the superb primes, it doesn't work as well for me as primarily landscape camera. I'll keep it if only to experience the unique rendering of the 50/1.4 and 75/2, but it's not my go to camera for my normal stuff. I'll never have another M as the rangefinder system and calibration latitude of the lenses drove me nuts.... it just isn't accurate and reliable enough for critical work..... and sticking a low res digital VF on the top rather defeats the whole point of the camera. I've couple of dedicated photo trips coming up so the Fuji can be directly compared in terms of usability and the final results. After that, at least one, and possibly two of my existing systems will have to go as there will be  too much cash tied up in unused camera gear..... :rolleyes:

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4 hours ago, jrp said:

I have not found the difference between the 50 SL Summicron and the Sigma 45mm to be big, particularly if you stop the latter down a bit, and the subject is mid-long distance. Closer up and wide open it draws differently and may suit those who want something with a bit more “character”. 

I own both, as early on with the SL2 there was not much readily available  that could qualify as a reasonable walkaround lens so I picked up the Sigma 45mm.  It is fine for what it is, and I like Sigma in general, but I cannot say it is even in the same ballpark as the Summicron-SL 50mm.  I immediately know which pictures are taken with that lens as they have a flat look to them not characteristic of my Leica lenses.  Again, I would not call it garbage or bad, but it is clearly a budget offering.  I never use it anymore and should sell it.

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