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SL2 with Leica M primes


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Hello. I love the M's but in all my years using M6, M8 and M9 I wasn't a natural rangefinder user, the focusing interrupted the creative process for me. I'm  tempted by the M10 but common sense tells me to get an SL2s to use with M primes. The body with L lenses would be too hefty for me.

I'm looking for reviews, blogs etc re ease of focusing of M primes on the SL and for any experience and advice here please. 

Thank you. 

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Sorry, this must've been covered ad nausea here..Thoughts on difference in look, punch/pop/ IQ between M primes on the SL2s and on M10 gratefully appreciated. 

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Posted (edited)

What lenses do you have? Some lenses work a bit better on M mount cameras, particularly wide angles. But in general, you are not going to see much of an issue on an SL2 or SL2S. The SL2 will have a lot more resolution than the M10, while the SL2S should have a bit more flexibility in low light, as it is a newer sensor than the one in the M10.

As for the body with L lenses, you might keep in mind that some of the Sigma prime lenses are inexpensive, light and perform very well. It is likely that the 24mm lens is both cheaper, lighter and sharper than many Leica lenses. In my own experience it was even sharper than the 21mm Super Elmar M, which is modern and sharp. It is made of metal, but only weights 225g. The 35mm and 45mm weigh more, but are also quite good and light if you want to add an AF, native mount lens in addition to your M lenses.

Edited by Stuart Richardson
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2 hours ago, Stuart Richardson said:

What lenses do you have? Some lenses work a bit better on M mount cameras, particularly wide angles. But in general, you are not going to see much of an issue on an SL2 or SL2S. The SL2 will have a lot more resolution than the M10, while the SL2S should have a bit more flexibility in low light, as it is a newer sensor than the one in the M10.

As for the body with L lenses, you might keep in mind that some of the Sigma prime lenses are inexpensive, light and perform very well. It is likely that the 24mm lens is both cheaper, lighter and sharper than many Leica lenses. In my own experience it was even sharper than the 21mm Super Elmar M, which is modern and sharp. It is made of metal, but only weights 225g. The 35mm and 45mm weigh more, but are also quite good and light if you want to add an AF, native mount lens in addition to your M lenses.

Thank you, this is great info. I've just began looking into the SL and the Sigma L lenses could be just the ticket for me. I don't have any M lenses now, M 50 Lux asph was my most used with the M9 and if I go down that route would most likely get another but AF is very tempting, esp if the lenses aren't too heavy.  

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Posted (edited)

Panasonic is coming out with a series of 1.8 primes that likely will not be too heavy either, so they may be worth a look. The Leica L mount lenses are amazing, but all of them are big and heavy, so that is an unavoidable feature if you stick to Leica L lenses. Sigma and Panasonic are doing a great job these days with lenses, and if your main concern is weight and handling over the absolute best possible image quality, then they are definitely worth looking at. The image quality they can offer is excellent even compared to the very best lenses of a few years ago.

 

P.S. The 50mm Lux asph is one of the few M mount longer lenses that does not quite do as well on the SL cameras as it does on the M. It is still very sharp on center and does fine to the edges at smaller apertures, but wider open the edges are smeared compared to the M9/M10. If you want a 50mm with max quality, a native one or the APO Summicron might be a better choice. The one Leica L mount lens I have is the 50mm APO Summicron SL, and while it is a bit heavy, it is also probably the sharpest lens I have ever used on any system. It is exceptional, even wide open. I had a shoot from a helicopter back in April and I was shocked that it was tack sharp even at 100% all the way to the corners when shot at f2 out the window of the helicopter...the lens quality along with the stabilization and AF go a long way towards making good pictures in difficult conditions.

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

Panasonic is coming out with a series of 1.8 primes that likely will not be too heavy either, so they may be worth a look. The Leica L mount lenses are amazing, but all of them are big and heavy, so that is an unavoidable feature if you stick to Leica L lenses. Sigma and Panasonic are doing a great job these days with lenses, and if your main concern is weight and handling over the absolute best possible image quality, then they are definitely worth looking at. The image quality they can offer is excellent even compared to the very best lenses of a few years ago.

 

P.S. The 50mm Lux asph is one of the few M mount longer lenses that does not quite do as well on the SL cameras as it does on the M. It is still very sharp on center and does fine to the edges at smaller apertures, but wider open the edges are smeared compared to the M9/M10. If you want a 50mm with max quality, a native one or the APO Summicron might be a better choice. The one Leica L mount lens I have is the 50mm APO Summicron SL, and while it is a bit heavy, it is also probably the sharpest lens I have ever used on any system. It is exceptional, even wide open. I had a shoot from a helicopter back in April and I was shocked that it was tack sharp even at 100% all the way to the corners when shot at f2 out the window of the helicopter...the lens quality along with the stabilization and AF go a long way towards making good pictures in difficult conditions.

So much food for thought here, thank you it's so helpful. 

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From 1:18:10…
 

 

Despite the comments by Josh, I stick with M lenses on my M bodies, and SL lenses on my SL2.  But unlike you, I enjoy the RF experience, so I don’t own the Visoflex or the M/L adapter.  Different tools; different shooting experiences.  With the SL2, I meet most needs with the 24-90 and 90-280, with the SL75 added, as I never bonded with 75mm M frame lines. But the beauty of the SL system is that it is immensely flexible to suit diverse user preferences.

Jeff

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27 minutes ago, Chuck Albertson said:

If you're in the US, keep in mind that Leica USA is handing out a free M-adapter with each new SL2/SL2S purchase, until Sept. 30.

TY..I'm in the UK, I think Reddot camera are also including the M-mount adaptor with the SL2s which is very tempting. 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Jeff S said:

From 1:18:10…
 

 

Despite the comments by Josh, I stick with M lenses on my M bodies, and SL lenses on my SL2.  But unlike you, I enjoy the RF experience, so I don’t own the Visoflex or the M/L adapter.  Different tools; different shooting experiences.  With the SL2, I meet most needs with the 24-90 and 90-280, with the SL75 added, as I never bonded with 75mm M frame lines. But the beauty of the SL system is that it is immensely flexible to suit diverse user preferences.

Jeff

Thank you :)

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1 hour ago, Simone_DF said:

Thank you. I'm looking for a weather sealed lens, I love the light changes on rainy days, this is one of the exciting things about the SL, to be able to walk with my camera in all weather. I wonder how splash proof this lens is in reality.

 

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Can I piggy back on this thread......I have a lot of M glass and an MP film and M10 digital....the resolution of the SL2 appeals......my favourite glass is my WATE, my 24mm and my 90mm M lenses (but have 35/50's and a 135 too....I currently use a D5 Nikon body which is a real dumbbell and , of course cannot use my M glass ...I've been looking at the SL2 (and the Nikon z7ii ) as a replacement for the D5...any thoughts???    I have some Nikon glass I like but I'm sure it can be adapted (manual focus) for the SL2....I just think the M lenses are amazing and so much better (?different?) to the way the Nikon glass renders (except the 300 f2.8 which, even 30 yrs old is a pure gem) ......as you can see...dilemmas....I know this is a SL forum but the appeal of carrying an SL and My MP appeals more than I thought

 

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3 hours ago, lucy63 said:

Thank you. I'm looking for a weather sealed lens, 

 

That rules out M lenses (even though robustly built). And one of the reasons I stick to native SL lenses.

Jeff

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4 hours ago, johntobias said:

Can I piggy back on this thread......I have a lot of M glass and an MP film and M10 digital....the resolution of the SL2 appeals......my favourite glass is my WATE, my 24mm and my 90mm M lenses (but have 35/50's and a 135 too....I currently use a D5 Nikon body which is a real dumbbell and , of course cannot use my M glass ...I've been looking at the SL2 (and the Nikon z7ii ) as a replacement for the D5...any thoughts???    I have some Nikon glass I like but I'm sure it can be adapted (manual focus) for the SL2....I just think the M lenses are amazing and so much better (?different?) to the way the Nikon glass renders (except the 300 f2.8 which, even 30 yrs old is a pure gem) ......as you can see...dilemmas....I know this is a SL forum but the appeal of carrying an SL and My MP appeals more than I thought

 

John,
Having both the SL2 and the M10, I tried my M lenses on the SL2.
comparing to other mirrorless, the SL2 is, by far, the best option for older SLR lenses and M lenses. 
The new Elmarit M 28 Asph and the APO Summicron M 50 are great on the SL2, but the focusing experience with wides is not the same as on the M cameras.
While wide lenses are tricky to focus, the 90mm lenses are a pleasure. You easily nail focus on the eyes and image quality is gorgeous. 
Some older wide lenses designed for film cameras show some corner softness, nonetheless the corners are much better than on other brands with thicker IR cut glass.

The weight is not a problem at all. In real use, the SL2 is very comfortable and balanced. 

Conclusion: get an SL2. You will love it, but keep the M10 for older wide lenses.
By the way, did I tell you that the SL prime lenses are incredibly good? Some are gorgeous, the SL 90 is jaw dropping. 

Ciao 

Franco

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Posted (edited)

I have the SL2-S and M10 but my sentiments are similar to others here. 

  • Many M primes, especially older models, or wider focal lengths, do not perform comparably on the SL/SL2/SL2-S as compared to the M10. Although the SL bodies have thinner sensor cover glass than just about every other non-Leica body, they lack the sensor micro lens structure that is present in all digital M bodies to get the most out of M lenses.
  • Although M primes are comparatively small and many are reasonably light weight, once you mount it on an SL family of bodies, you instantly add 500g to the combo as a whole which is a lot. That’s ~300g difference in weight for the body plus another ~200g for the M-adapter L.
  • The APO Summicron SL lenses are superb. They will out perform any M lenses in the entire current portfolio as far as sharpness and smooth bokeh goes but it’s a modern look so it depends on what you’re going for. I don’t think they will be matched in this regard by any other Leica lenses, M or L mount, for at least 15 years, if not more.
  • If I were shooting the SL system, I would consider an M-mount lens for the telephoto end (90mm or 135mm) for compactness but not for the wide end. But this is because I’m not a tele-photo shooter for the most part. I primarily shoot at 24mm, sometimes wider, some times up to 35mm but rarely 50mm or higher.
  • As an owner of an SL system body, I would not purchase M-lenses strictly to use on the SL system except maybe a compact APO 90mm or APO 135mm for its size and weight to use as a landscape lens. I would focus on acquiring APO Summicron SL lenses for the focal lengths I use most often and then get a Leica SL zoom or some excellent Sigma DG DN primes/zooms for less often used focal lengths.
  • As far as weight goes on the Leica SL2-S, a lens in the ball park weight size of the APO Summicron SL is roughly on the upper limit of what I would comfortably want to shoot as a take everywhere type camera for travel and going into the mountains. And this is coming from someone that shoots a 300/2.8 for wildlife.
Edited by beewee
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5 minutes ago, beewee said:

I have the SL2-S and M10 but my sentiments are similar to others here. 

  • Many M primes, especially older models, or wider focal lengths, do not perform comparably on the SL/SL2/SL2-S as compared to the M10. Although the SL bodies have thinner sensor cover glass than just about every other non-Leica body, they lack the sensor micro lens structure that is present in all digital M bodies to get the most out of M lenses.
  • Although M primes are comparatively small and many are reasonably light weight, once you mount it on an SL family of bodies, you instantly add 500g to the combo as a whole which is a lot. That’s ~300g difference in weight for the body plus another ~200g for the M-adapter L.
  • The APO Summicron SL lenses are superb. They will out perform any M lenses in the entire current portfolio as far as sharpness and smooth bokeh goes but it’s a modern look so it depends on what you’re going for. I don’t think they will be matched in this regard by any other Leica lenses, M or L mount, for at least 15 years, if not more.
  • If I were shooting the SL system, I would consider an M-mount lens for the telephoto end (90mm or 135mm) for compactness but not for the wide end. But this is because I’m not a tele-photo shooter for the most part. I primarily shoot at 24mm, sometimes wider, some times up to 35mm but rarely 50mm or higher.
  • As an owner of an SL system body, I would not purchase M-lenses for the SL system except maybe a compact APO 90mm or APO 135mm for its size and weight to use as a landscape lens. I would focus on acquiring APO Summicron SL lenses for the focal lengths I use most often and then get a zoom or some excellent Sigma DG DN primes/zooms for less often used focal lengths.

Thank you. I've been considering the SL 24-70 but I'm leaning towards SL 50 APO now. I love the idea of a simple very good optic and I'm used to the 50 FOV.

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I just ordered an SL2 to use with my M lenses. I have one SL lens, 2/75mm. I’ll be sure to post back with my experiences. I shoot with 35/50 lux and a few CV lenses (have a huge soft spot for Voigtlander). 
 

I ordered the 2/50mm APO CV just to use with the SL2. 
 

I’m also hoping my 0.95/50mm Leica Nocti works well with this body. 

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17 hours ago, 6bit said:

I just ordered an SL2 to use with my M lenses. I have one SL lens, 2/75mm. I’ll be sure to post back with my experiences. I shoot with 35/50 lux and a few CV lenses (have a huge soft spot for Voigtlander). 
 

I ordered the 2/50mm APO CV just to use with the SL2. 
 

I’m also hoping my 0.95/50mm Leica Nocti works well with this body. 

From what I've read/heard on Youtube, I think you will be very happy to MF your Noctilux 0,95 on the SL2.

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