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Leica SL2 on Sports & Wildlife Photography


sillbeers15
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The SL2 uses an older generation of processor and sensor than the latest from other camera makers. If you look at the difference in performance between current smart phones and ones from half a decade ago, there is a big difference in energy consumption and performance.  I’m sure that the next SL iteration will catch up / overtake the est of the pack, before itself being surpassed. In the meantime look at how the likes of Mike Lane on YouTube photographs birds. He has taken some splendid photos on his Olympus, but finds the Sony A1 easier for a lot of situations. 

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Alexander SH

I use the SL2 for sport and wildlife with Leica 90-280 and Sigma 150-600. I think its awesome and I really love the simplicity of the SL2. Switched from the Nikon D4 and D850 wiith no regretion. It tracks the object well, but maybe not as easy as the A7 or R5. Eager to see if its any tracking improvement with the new firmware. But practice makes perfect. And i really like the Leica style in my pictures. So for me the SL is doing just perfect for sport and wildlife.  Hello guest! Please re

Artin

I will miss the colour rendition of the 90-280. But I mainly shoot Raw and post process so will be able to adapt  Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content. Hallo Gast! Du willst die Bilder sehen? Einfach registrieren oder anmelden! Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content. Hallo Gast! Du willst die Bilder sehen? Einfach registrieren oder anmelden! Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content. Hallo Gast! Du willst

Boojay

As someone who spends a fair amount of time admiring and watching videos and photo sites for BIF and generally nature and wildlife, if anyone is in any doubt as to what camp most of the photographer's these days live in, they are kidding themselves.  They are mostly populated by Sony/Canon and I would say to a slightly lesser degree Nikon shooter.   Doesn't make me enjoy my SL2 any less, and I definitely think the last firmware update made steps forward for AFC and tracking, certainly for larger

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On 9/27/2021 at 2:03 PM, Boojay said:

To me a good BIF image needs retention of feather detail as well as a sharpish eye, I'm not seeing much of that, in my images or those of others.  Some beautiful ones of static birds.  I have been trying pretty hard with the SL2 and Sigma lens and even with latest firmware it's a struggle (for me anyway).  I'll post a couple of my better efforts but they are not great.  If I'm going somewhere special to shoot wildlife/birds and it matters it will be the R6, as much as I appreciate my SL2 it's not the tool.  I'm not saying it can't do it, but as the pro in the video, Rick May said, it's iAF is a bit "hit and miss"  I'm not getting consistent results with any settings for BIF yet, still happy to have the Sigma 150-600 and not blaming the lens for my failures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With that setup these shots are quite good.. like you said, it’s still not even close to what the gear meant tor BIF would yield..

and like you said, feather/eye detail or in fact the whole bird should be tack sharp most times.. that is the standard expected today with gears available.. high iso noise is another limitation for the SL2.. whereas even at 6400 the Sony gives you a pretty awesome file straight out of camera.. 

the bottom line here is, even the best BIF photographer wouldn’t choose an SL2 for BIF photography unless he/she/they are trying it out for fun

except for BIF, I would pick the SL2 and 90-280 for everything else.. I also like the rendering and colors that come out of this camera.. 

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8 hours ago, aksclix said:

. I also like the rendering and colors that come out of this camera.. 

So do I but using my SL2S for 12 months now I`m not convinced that its colour palette suits every situation .

It certainly can`t be described as subtle and to my eyes this is where it falls down when it comes to birds for example which exhibit a subtlety of colour which the camera can`t reproduce .Hence the lack of feather detail .

The poor (for fast moving subjects) AF and tracking is another problem .

In a recent live stream from Leica Miami it was described as "pretty" good.

Faint praise , maybe but it`s very far from good enough .

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17 minutes ago, Michael Markey said:

So do I but using my SL2S for 12 months now I`m not convinced that its colour palette suits every situation .

It certainly can`t be described as subtle and to my eyes this is where it falls down when it comes to birds for example which exhibit a subtlety of colour which the camera can`t reproduce .Hence the lack of feather detail .

The poor (for fast moving subjects) AF and tracking is another problem .

In a recent live stream from Leica Miami it was described as "pretty" good.

Faint praise , maybe but it`s very far from good enough .

Do you use adobeRGB or sRGB? On computer screens it might be hard to tell anyway.. 

also, feathers tend to be soft naturally in some areas.. basically, the feather should seem in focus and there shouldn’t be any motion blur..  1/2500s to 1/4000s speeds are needed most times.. sometimes with 1/1600 some good shots can be achieved.. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, aksclix said:

Do you use adobeRGB or sRGB? On computer screens it might be hard to tell anyway.. 

also, feathers tend to be soft naturally in some areas.. basically, the feather should seem in focus and there shouldn’t be any motion blur..  1/2500s to 1/4000s speeds are needed most times.. sometimes with 1/1600 some good shots can be achieved.. 

 

 

I always been a birder but for some reason have little inclination to photograph them .

I did take a few shots when I was shooting Sony but since using an SL2S it was clear to me that it wasn`t really ideal so your question is somewhat mute in that regard .

I`ve never have shot at those high speeds ... 

It`s a fault of mine I`m afraid .

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I do a great amount of wildlife photography with the SL system, I've stayed out of this discussion until now. Each person has their own views about which camera system works best, it's a personal choice and much of it is subjective. 

Personally I find many of the "better-than-Leica" Japanese cameras to be a soulless shooting experience, far too many buttons with superfluous and endless menu options. Much like shooting with a computer.  IMO photography is not all about automation where the camera does everything for you, we need to be constantly challenged, improving our skills and all of that....

 Primarily it's about understanding your subject and how you wish to compose your image.

On my safaris I see far too many wildlife photographers (clients & others) machine-gunning away at xxx frames/sec. and then spending endless hours in front of a computer screen selecting the right freeze frame image. Each to their own.

As for AF, for the record I've had far more success with BIF & MF lenses than AF lenses. The biggest problem I find is the fact that AF lenses hunt all over the place, irrespective of the camera system. Additionally, when trying to use AF lenses manually there's no stop @ infinity, the focus ring keeps turning.

To my point, here's a shot I took yesterday - M10 & 28-35-50mm Tri-Elmar @ 50mm,  80% crop.

(please click on image for better res)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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18 hours ago, michali said:

I do a great amount of wildlife photography with the SL system, I've stayed out of this discussion until now. Each person has their own views about which camera system works best, it's a personal choice and much of it is subjective. 

Personally I find many of the "better-than-Leica" Japanese cameras to be a soulless shooting experience, far too many buttons with superfluous and endless menu options. Much like shooting with a computer.  IMO photography is not all about automation where the camera does everything for you, we need to be constantly challenged, improving our skills and all of that....

 Primarily it's about understanding your subject and how you wish to compose your image.

On my safaris I see far too many wildlife photographers (clients & others) machine-gunning away at xxx frames/sec. and then spending endless hours in front of a computer screen selecting the right freeze frame image. Each to their own.

As for AF, for the record I've had far more success with BIF & MF lenses than AF lenses. The biggest problem I find is the fact that AF lenses hunt all over the place, irrespective of the camera system. Additionally, when trying to use AF lenses manually there's no stop @ infinity, the focus ring keeps turning.

To my point, here's a shot I took yesterday - M10 & 28-35-50mm Tri-Elmar @ 50mm,  80% crop.

(please click on image for better res)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I started this tread to share and encourage those of us using the SL series cameras to improve on techniques and get better pictures through individual experiences.

Consturctive criticism is welcome anytime. Life is so boring if all you click is perfect. I'm into BIF with what I choose to have as gear not that I'm so obsessived with birding but rather I'm driven with challenges. 

I had anticipated those shallow comments about 'best camera gears' and those venting their frustrations over their gear just because their lack of ability to capture sharp images of fast moving subjects.  Talk is cheap. It is not what ones says but the actions that carries value. I do not see any value in comments shared that do not inspire others.

I'll just share another BIF shot that I caught this morning that is sharp in image but simpily boring (focus is on the eye of the first bird).

 
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Autofocus is crucial for capturing moving subjects but it takes effort to master the techniques.

Maunal focus still has its advantages and place in Landscape, Macro & stilllife photography. In some occations manual focusing works better in Portraiture photography as well.

This is why I well prefer to use my M10R with the lovely and compact M lenses for most situations that AF seems to be redundant in a world today almost all other amaturer photographers arroud me uses the Sony Alpha series mirrorless cameras.

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On 10/15/2021 at 1:19 AM, michali said:

Personally I find many of the "better-than-Leica" Japanese cameras to be a soulless shooting experience

they're soulless is just an opinion from just another photographer.. several 100 thousands shooting with it do not quite think that way.. they have a soul that is worthy of great appreciation too.. "IMO" 

On 10/15/2021 at 1:19 AM, michali said:

IMO photography is not all about automation where the camera does everything for you, we need to be constantly challenged, improving our skills and all of that....

of course not.. it DOES take skill to track and shoot BIF.. EVEN with the best gear.. 
 

On 10/15/2021 at 1:19 AM, michali said:

As for AF, for the record I've had far more success with BIF & MF lenses than AF lenses. The biggest problem I find is the fact that AF lenses hunt all over the place, irrespective of the camera system.

sorry, MF lenses for BIF takes a lot of luck even with the best of the best skills.. of course its doable but it is far from "smart" in this day of tech!

AF lenses hunting is not true with what Sony and Canon have done with their latest tech.. 

Lastly, I have great respect for your content I have seen here from time to time.. however, the BIF image sample you have shared will not qualify as a keeper by any stretch coming out of a Sony or Canon counterparts.. they will be discarded... 

On 10/15/2021 at 8:33 PM, sillbeers15 said:

I had anticipated those shallow comments about 'best camera gears' and those venting their frustrations over their gear just because their lack of ability to capture sharp images of fast moving subjects.  Talk is cheap. It is not what ones says but the actions that carries value. I do not see any value in comments shared that do not inspire others.

they are shallow comments because you seem to look down on people who suggest otherwise and you are easily offended! It seems rather tough for you to have a friendly conversation without some sort of belittling others that you try to pull..  your general attitude is what I find cheap.. FWIW, none of the BIF images you have shared would have made the cut into an album of a Sony a9/a1 Canon r5, r6 shooters.. they are still good images but far from what better gear can offer.. being able to appreciate technology is also something!

I and several hundred thousand others are inspired enough by the latest technology and the skills of the photographers and more importantly the artistic perspective of photographers that is on display.. there is literally no inspiration to be had in attempting to be adamant about using sub-par gear in the name of improving skills and techniques.. 

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I would love to know if any image in this whole gallery lacks “soul” or comparable to ANY BIF image that came out of SL2.. perhaps a ratio of 1:10000? We’re in a Leica forum because we like Leica.. doesn’t mean the others are soulless or boring.. loyalty towards fact is more important than a brand.. 

https://www.marksmithgallery.com/Birds

disclaimer: I am in no way connected to Mark Smith.. just a fan he doesn’t know 

 

Edited by aksclix
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4 hours ago, aksclix said:
I and several hundred thousand others are inspired enough by the latest technology and the skills of the photographers and more importantly the artistic perspective of photographers that is on display.. there is literally no inspiration to be had in attempting to be adamant about using sub-par gear in the name of improving skills and techniques.. 

Your comments are friendly indeed.

Another cheap talker you are, unless you are able to share your shots to show your point.

'Several hundred thousands'.....wow, you bullshit well. 

Want to flame, go elsewhere. Here we share information to inspire, not to fight.

 

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7 minutes ago, sillbeers15 said:

Your comments are friendly indeed.

Another cheap talker you are, unless you are able to share your shots to show your point.

'Several hundred thousands'.....wow, you bullshit well. 

Want to flame, go elsewhere. Here we share information to inspire, not to fight.

 

I have no desire to get any sort of certification or approval by sharing my pictures on this forum.. mine are definitely not better than Mark Smith’s.. anyway, how my shots look is irrelevant.. bringing that argument itself shows what big ego you have!! I do not ever indirectly try and tell people they are cheap.. you have tried to make your point (which was baseless) with arrogance and “average” images.. and you call me the talker!! Funny!!

can’t tolerate more of your arrogance or  nonsense.. blocking you out!!

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For those of us who take BIF will know that the real SL2 limitation can be in ISO.

The tolarable ISO limit for me is 6400. Even when the light is good and a bushy background can easily push the ISO close to 6400 when a higher shutterspeed of 1/2000 is selected.

So while the SL2S offers better ISO capability, it lacks in the higher resolution the SL2 offers. I personally favour the higher resolution as I find it more forgiving when cropping is required.

Yes, we all try to fill our frame with the subject to the fullest we can but the challenge is to place the subject within frame while it is constantly moving. So my experience has lead me to select the APSC format. That has been the saving grace a couple of times when the shot I wanted has the subject captured partially out of frame.

So perhaps the day is near for a new sensor that offers 50MPx with high ISO capability in SL3? For now I can only select a shutter speed as low as possible to avoid subject motion blur to maintain a clean image with a managable ISO especially some level of shadow recovery is desired in post processing.

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FWIW, I’ll share a couple of shots I don’t mind sharing here.. these are my rejects from the main album.. humming bird is seriously cropped on the R6 and the pelican was with the a9.. 

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This was shot with Sony a6600 and 70-350.. although not BIF, it was a challenging shot.. thru bushes.. thru fencing, varied backgrounds.. I also had my SL2 and 90-280 which kept hunting forever.. for an APS-C sensor this is a pretty decent result I’d say.. 

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28 minutes ago, aksclix said:

This was shot with Sony a6600 and 70-350.. although not BIF, it was a challenging shot.. thru bushes.. thru fencing, varied backgrounds.. I also had my SL2 and 90-280 which kept hunting forever.. for an APS-C sensor this is a pretty decent result I’d say.. 

I'm glad that you shared your shots even they're taken with other camera. So you should know well that BIF photography is not all about gear. There are a thousand ways to skin a cat so same goes on the usage of the SL series camera on BIF. We all know that Leica does not offer best in class AF but neighter is it sub par gear as you have put it earlier. We have shown BIF shots again and agin that we can acheive good focus so please share on techniques and skills instead as many BIF challenges are common across all cameras used.

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FYI sillbeers15.. I have had an overdose of “inspiration” from you.. so I have, like i said, added you to my “ignored users” list.. the photos I shared were for the few other sane folks here.. couldn’t care less about whatever you had to say.. 

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