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Need some help deciding to Buy SL and Leica or Sigma lenses

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All of the SL lenses are superb.  The zooms are all superb, though heavy.  They are expensive.

The SL 50 1.4 renders differently than the other SL lenses (and is my favorite) but it is heavier and bigger than the SL summicrons.  More along the size of the SL 24-90 or 16-35.

At one point in time, I also owned the Panasonic 50 1.4.  I ultimately decided to sell it (and reacquire the SL 50 1.4) but IMO (subjectively to me) it was 95% of the performance of the the SL 50 1.4.  Stunningly sharp and with beautiful bokeh.  Lighter and a fraction of the price of the Leica. 

 The SL 90-280 is fantastic, but many are raving about the new Sigma 150-600, which also happens to cost about 1/4 the price of the SL 90-280.

The Sigma and Panasonic primes/zooms all are well regarded and much less expensive, and the sigmas in particular are much less massive, lighter and smaller. The Sigma 45 2.8 is a superb choice for walk around convenience, and not too much of a hit on price.

The M lenses, R lenses, Voigtlander allow for so many great choicesLots of superb options.

Budget is your main dilemma!

Good luck,


Edited by ropo54
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Most everyone agrees that the SL/SL2 renders magnificently. The glass, as Rob above says, depends to a great extent on your budget, as that's a rabbit hole without bottom.

But I just could not convince myself to buy that camera (I was second in line at my Leica store for the SL2), because it was just too heavy for my purposes, even when I attached M glass to it. Everyone has their own sense of that, so YMMV.

A few years back, I was standing in a museum in Denmark with my Q, next to a guy with an SL and the 24-90 zoom. "Great kit," I remarked to the guy. "Your camera is nice, too," he replied. And then he added wistfully: "and a lot lighter."


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Rollsman4,   As you can read from all the excellent posts by well meaning forum member posts, everyone has their own thoughts about different makes and types of lenses.  You mentioned the intended use of the lens and like all the others, I will offer my advice.  Your choice will all depend on what you either need or want for an imaging tool.  The genre of photography merits consideration of the superb Leica lenses and of course other brands.  The lenses do not all render the same and have their own unique way of drawing.  Size and weight may matter vs image quality and lens speed.  My 40 year journey with Leica dating back to my university days and later in my business, I found the best way to find the right tool(s) that worked for me, was to simply either rent, borrow or head to the local camera store and give the lenses a trial.  Being digital, you can look at the results very quickly too.  During my years of teaching landscape photography workshops, I always told my students any camera and lens can do the job.  It gets down to knowing your tool capabilities (camera and lens), developing a creative vision of what  you are trying to capture either on film or in ones and zeros.  In all cases, I stressed light, composition, texture, perspective and shadow, etc., for making photographs that make a viewer:  Stop, Look, Think and Feel something about that moment in time.   The workshop attendees quickly learned it wasn't so much the make or type of camera used, it was ones creative mind that counts.  The same idea holds true with family and even "walk around" photographs.  Well thought out scenes and subjects, mastering the camera/lens at hand will make the difference between a mere photo and that being a superb photograph.  I am certain, you have the same ideals in mind. Last, asking for other photographers opinions might be a good start point, but ultimately it remains your choice.  I am certain you will make a fine choice too.  r/ Mark

Edited by LeicaR10
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I learnt there is no end to the best. Everything is a compromise $, image quality, size (weight and form factor). The best thing to do is enjoy and use the gear you bought. Heavy, light, zoom, prime. Whatever. Anything can make great images.

But SL (original or 2, 2S) users can attest the system is very usable across all types of photography. The best thing is it also allows one to mount small M-mount lenses. That includes cheaper non-Leica vintage lenses for a different look. I don’t use the expensive adaptor although i had and sold. I now use an inexpensive $20+ Fotasy M-L adaptor. There is a time for a heavier zoom to shoot AF and there is a time to slow down and enjoy a manual focus with a cheap Canon 50mm f1.4 LTM made in the 1950s. 

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