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New on SL: which combo?


Seba66
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Hello, I’m a Leica M shooter and a DSLR Nikon user each time I need AF and zoom lens. My last Df is almost to die and I’m considering to enter in ML arena with Leica to complement my M10. I’m really undecided between two combo options at the roughly, I said roughly, same budget:

1) SL-type 601 with Leica 24-90 f/2.8-4

2) SL2-S with Leica 24-70 f/2.8 

Of the 1) I like the 20mm more of the zoom that push me to consider it as the only one lens that I could need; my feeling, but I could be wrong, that the 24-90 is more premium, more “Leica” than the 24-70; the good deal of the SL-type 601, that today is almost completely depreciated.

Of the 2) I like the BSI sensor; the esthetics, for what is worth, with the logo almost invisible; size and weight of the lens.

The IBIS is not so important for me. The same stands for video that I do rarely.

For what I’m telling the best would be the SL2-S with the 24-90, but it is out of my budget.

I would appreciate thoughts and experience that could help me to take the decision. 

Edited by Seba66
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For the several years that I first had the SL-type 601 & 24-90 I was extremely happy and satisfied with the user expense and images.

I now have the SL2-S and paired with the 24-90 and it is an overall refined product and experience.  Feels better in the hand and like the new menu system. 

Low light capability with the SL2-S is far better the the SL-type 601.  This is enabled even further with the IBIS that comes with the SL2-S.

I miss the built in GPS of the SL-Type 601.

If for budget reasons I had to choose I would get the 24-90 and the SL-Type 601.  You will eventually upgrade the body and the lens will stay with you for long time to come.

 

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3 hours ago, Seba66 said:

2) SL2-S with Leica 24-70 f/2.8 

This. The generation gap between the two bodies is huge, imho.

And if you want to save even more, get the Panasonic 24-70 or the Sigma 24-70, so you can start saving money to buy the 24-90 straight away.

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3 hours ago, Seba66 said:

Hello, I’m a Leica M shooter and a DSLR Nikon user each time I need AF and zoom lens. My last Df is almost to die and I’m considering to enter in ML arena with Leica to complement my M10. I’m really undecided between two combo options at the roughly, I said roughly, same budget:

1) SL-type 601 with Leica 24-90 f/2.8-4

2) SL2-S with Leica 24-70 f/2.8 

Of the 1) I like the 20mm more of the zoom that push me to consider it as the only one lens that I could need; my feeling, but I could be wrong, that the 24-90 is more premium, more “Leica” than the 24-70; the good deal of the SL-type 601, that today is almost completely depreciated.

Of the 2) I like the BSI sensor; the esthetics, for what is worth, with the logo almost invisible; size and weight of the lens.

The IBIS is not so important for me. The same stands for video that I do rarely.

For what I’m telling the best would be the SL2-S with the 24-90, but it is out of my budget.

I would appreciate thoughts and experience that could help me to take the decision. 

get a new sl2s  and a used 24-90.

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Posted (edited)

I agree with SimoneDF. Or even just get the M adapter to use your M lenses. If you must have a zoom, the 24-70mm Leica and Sigma are apparently both made by Sigma, and quite similar in performance, though the Leica seems to be a bit ahead (I think they are slightly different optical designs). I would also make sure you try the 24-90mm first too. In my opinion it is a very large and heavy lens to be "standard". I also did not love the optical performance, but I think I am the only one. (It was super sharp on center and over most of the frame, but I did not love its corner/edge performance, and I do a lot things where that is important).

If I were getting into the SL system and wanted to get the most optical performance and ergonomics, I would get the SL2 (the SL2S is better for a lot of people, but I like the resolution), and add an APO Summicron SL at your main focal length and Sigma lenses at the others (like the 24mm or 65mm), along with the Leica M adapter. The Sigma lenses are now extremely good and often around a 1/5th to 1/10th the price of a Leica lens. The are, in most cases that I have tried, better performers than the M lenses are on the SL (I found the Sigma 24mm 3.5 to be a better edge to edge performer than the 21mm Super Elmar and equal to the Leica Q2 28mm Summilux, and the 35mm f2 Sigma performed similarly or a bit better to the 35mm 1.4 Summilux FLE). I have been talking to a number of my colleagues who are professionals, and we were marveling at what has happened in lens design in the last 5 years or so. Lens companies like Sigma and Leica have truly upped their game, to the extent that the very inexpensive Sigma lenses are often significantly better than slightly older Leica lenses. On the other hand, the Leica APO Summicron SL lenses are so extraordinary as to be jaw dropping. 

edit: now that I read all these, I reread your first post and saw that you are really only interested in zooms. I am sorry, I tend not to like them, as they are always worse than the equivalent primes (if the equivalent primes are available), but if you need them you need them. In that case I would look towards getting the SL2S and the Sigma or Panasonic zoom to save for the 24-90. Or better yet, a used 24-90, which will save you a ton of money, as they have been around for quite awhile and there are more on the market than other SL lenses.

Edited by Stuart Richardson
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I recently went with option 1) and picked up a like new SL and 24-90 at a reasonable price.  I wanted to start shooting events with Leica rather than my Nikons.  Zooms and autofocus are important to me in that role.  Regarding weight - the SL/24-90 combination weighs slightly less than my Nikon D850/24-70 f2.8 combination I normally use.  The SL series is addictive, and I just added a used SL2. I love the SL with my M and Nikon primes - the SL2 will normally serve as the host for the 24-90.  

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1 hour ago, frame-it said:

get a new sl2s  and a used 24-90.

+1. I would say this is the best choice when budgets are constrained. My first SL + 24-90 was pre-owned, in mint condition at a very good price. Go for the SL2-S though.

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It’s really instructive to read from you guys. From these first comments I got it seems that all of you love the 24-90 while the 24-70 has not too much credits…

4 hours ago, LikameLeica said:

If for budget reasons I had to choose I would get the 24-90 and the SL-Type 601.  You will eventually upgrade the body and the lens will stay with you for long time to come.

 

This was my first idea, to invest more on the lens that on the body and eventually switch to SL2-S when it will be depreciated, maybe 3-4 years since now. But I’m also so attracted now by the SL2-S😩.

4 hours ago, LikameLeica said:

I miss the built in GPS of the SL-Type 601.

For my main use, travel reporting, this should be a very important feature. It’a pity it is not anymore present in the new SL releases.

2 hours ago, Stuart Richardson said:

edit: now that I read all these, I reread your first post and saw that you are really only interested in zooms. I am sorry, I tend not to like them, as they are always worse than the equivalent primes (if the equivalent primes are available), but if you need them you need the

Yes, I need because I normally use primes on M10 and zoom with my DSLR, SL in future days.

1 hour ago, msendin said:

And a SL2 with a Panasonic 24-105? 

It may be another option for you.

Yes, I’m considering too. In my actual configuration I use the 24-120 Nikon, so I would like to be longer than 70mm. Unfortunately, as Luke_Miller above said, Leica is addictive and once you start to touch and feel their bodies and lenses it’s hard to accept something that you feel less premium as the 24-105 Lumix…

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19 minutes ago, Seba66 said:

For my main use, travel reporting, this should be a very important feature. It’a pity it is not anymore present in the new SL releases.

Can be fixed for 10€. Buy the Geotag Photos app on iOS/Android, let it run, sync the data file with your photos. With Lightroom it takes less than a minute.

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Posted (edited)

For geotagging, the latest SL2-S firmware (v3.0) and FOTOS app is working ok for geotagging. It was very unreliable before the latest update but so far I’ve found that if you disable the auto-power off function and but enable display auto power off, it can keep a reliable connection with your phone and work well. The problem in the past was that the camera and iPhone had a very hard time reconnecting after the camera turns off. It’s still early days and I haven’t had enough time to test how well the camera works when the camera shuts off either manually with the power switch or automatically with a timer so I can’t speak to that yet.

For lenses, if the Panasonic 24-105 is sufficient in quality, then I don’t see why you will need to go with a 24-90. If the 24-105 is sufficient in quality and you only need 24-70, then the Sigma 24-70 is a really good bang for the buck. The 24-90 is sharper than the Leica 24-70 on the edges and the Leica 24-70 is a bit sharper is a bit better than the Sigma 24-70 but the difference is smaller between the Leica vs Sigma 24-70. The optics between Leica and Sigma 24-70 are nearly but not completely identical in that the optical design is more or less the same but the Leica supposedly have one more special glass element (unless the Leica spec sheet is wrong, which it has been in the past). Panasonic L-mount lenses generally tend to have the lowest resolution compared to Sigma and Leica but are better suited for video as they’re better corrected for focus breathing. So unless you have video specific needs, I wouldn’t consider Panasonic unless there’s something very specific that Panasonic has and neither Sigma or Leica has. For example the Panasonic 20-60mm is a unique focal length so that sets it apart. Also be aware that the Panasonic lenses with a focus clutch don’t allow you to back button focus in MF mode on the Leica bodies. It’s a weird quark but others have been bitten by this in the past.

If budget is tight but you’re patient, I’d look for a used but good condition SL2-S + 24-90 combo. You can also check if there are Leica Stores that sell the SL2-S + 24-90 combo and get a deal instead of buying them separately but I think you’re still better off getting both body and lens used if you can find them. The SL2-S seem to be harder to find and less common on the used market but they do come up from time to time. The 24-90 has been around long enough that it shouldn’t be too hard to find them at a decent price. For me, I found that if I’m willing to wait, my Leica dealer does put demo lenses on sale every once in a while which are almost brand new, come with a full 3 year warranty, but priced at near used prices. This seems to be the best of both worlds but I had to wait a very long time for them to come up.

Edited by beewee
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On 5/9/2022 at 1:18 PM, LocalHero1953 said:

My brain hurts enough when I'm looking at 2-4 faces and so up to 8 eyes, all in movement, so MF is one option I'm happy to avoid. (Stage drama - they don't wait for the photographer to fiddle with his camera).

 

1 hour ago, lx1713 said:

+1. I would say this is the best choice when budgets are constrained. My first SL + 24-90 was pre-owned, in mint condition at a very good price. Go for the SL2-S though.

 

I just picked up a new SL2-s and used 24-90 and it's an absolutely dynamite combination, with my only complaint being the size/weight of the 24-90. It is the best zoom lens I have ever owned, and the first one I think I'm going to keep long term. The size/weight is fine for anytime that photography is at or near the top of my priority list, but too big for any travel/casual stuff. That being said, I don't think the 24-70 is small enough to make a big impact in that regard, at least for me.

I never really seriously considered the SL (601), but did consider the 24-70 and ultimately decided I wanted the extra reach. I'm glad I did, because it really adds some versatility to the lens. The 24-70 (and equivalents) that I've used in the past on Nikon and Fuji systems always felt a little short to me. I didn't think I cared about IBIS until I had it, but really wanted the video capabilities and high ISO performance of the SL2-s. 

Ultimately I was able to get a good deal on a new SL2-S, and found a used 24-90 that was a little cheaper than buying a 24-70 new, so it was an easy decision. I knew if I bought the 24-70 or one of the Sigma/Panasonic equivalents that I would eventually just be buying the 24-90 anyway. If I had to compromise on one of them I'm not sure which I would pick... I would normally say get the lens you want now as the bodies depreciate faster, but the SL2-S is a pretty big jump over the SL (601), at least for me and how it fits into my kit. Good luck!

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, matted said:

I just picked up a new SL2-s and used 24-90 and it's an absolutely dynamite combination, with my only complaint being the size/weight of the 24-90. It is the best zoom lens I have ever owned, and the first one I think I'm going to keep long term. The size/weight is fine for anytime that photography is at or near the top of my priority list, but too big for any travel/casual stuff. That being said, I don't think the 24-70 is small enough to make a big impact in that regard, at least for me.

 

Exactly!

I added the other two zooms and three Summicrons later, but if I'm honest with myself, there is little I couldn't have done (that an objective third party would have noticed) if I had just kept to the 24-90.

Just add a CL or Q2 for travel/casual.

Edited by LocalHero1953
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8 hours ago, LikameLeica said:

 You will eventually upgrade the body and the lens will stay with you for long time to come.

Exactly. Lenses are always the most important thing, bodies come and go. An SL probably won't lose much more value, you can always trade it against an SL2/SL2-s, or future SL3 without losing too much.

The SL2-s is better at high ISO (past 1600), and has faster autofocus, but it's not much different from the SL in most circumstances.

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22 hours ago, Seba66 said:

It’s really instructive to read from you guys. From these first comments I got it seems that all of you love the 24-90 while the 24-70 has not too much credits…

I read a favorable review of the 24-70 (Jonothan Slack) and almost bought my SL with one, but after looking at the focal lengths I use for events realized I needed the additional reach of the 24-90.  Truth be told I also need the 90-280, but that may be a bridge too far.  My typical wedding set up has been a Nikon D850/24-70 f2.8 and Nikon D5/70-200 f2.8.  So the 90-280 would fit right in and mounted to an SL series body actually weigh less than my D5/70-200 combination. 

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I have kept my SL (601) even though I have both the SL2 and SL2-S. Partly sentimental reasons but mostly because in studio situations its perfectly good for headshots. If you enjoy and are comfortable with the interface it should serve well for many years.

The SL2 brothers are superior in every way that is important to me but the original SL is no slouch.

I have to confess that I was one of those who grouched about the 24-90 not being a 24-70f2.8 but I ended up with a second 24-90 even though the 24-70 was available by then. Sometimes we need time to get it out of our system all the negatives that slaps us in the face initially. Its a heavy lens no doubt and the aperture range  might seem like a negative but the IBIS and low shutter speeds may get you the same results at the ISO you want. So I carry less lenses, I learn to say no to some situations, time my shots where movements are minimised for the IBIS and low shutter speed to work effectively. And use flash as well as possible.

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4 minutes ago, Luke_Miller said:

I read a favorable review of the 24-70 (Jonothan Slack) and almost bought my SL with one, but after looking at the focal lengths I use for events realized I needed the additional reach of the 24-90.  Truth be told I also need the 90-280, but that may be a bridge too far.  My typical wedding set up has been a Nikon D850/24-70 f2.8 and Nikon D5/70-200 f2.8.  So the 90-280 would fit right in and mounted to an SL series body actually weigh less than my D5/70-200 combination. 

When I was younger, the holy trinity of lenses was a must. These days I make do without the longer lens. Wides are a must for working close-in to eliminate a mobile phone user from my view. There are just too many of them. Really long shots with the 180mm - 300mm also adds a beautiful perspective to an overall story. The long lens view was like 4-6% of my shots then but it was a very important 4-6% of the story.

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24 minutes ago, Luke_Miller said:

My typical wedding set up has been a Nikon D850/24-70 f2.8 and Nikon D5/70-200 f2.8.  So the 90-280 would fit right in and mounted to an SL series body actually weigh less than my D5/70-200 combination.

Panasonic has two 70-200 lenses: 2.8 and 4.0. Sigma is rumoured to release a 2.8 this year.

I use a 135/2.0 instead of a zoom for weddings. The larger aperture is much more useful than a longer reach. My 135 is manual focus, which I find crucial for composing at large apertures, but Sigma offers a highly-rated AF 1.8. It's slightly smaller and lighter than a 70-200/2.8 (but it isn't small).

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1 hour ago, BernardC said:

Panasonic has two 70-200 lenses: 2.8 and 4.0. Sigma is rumoured to release a 2.8 this year.

I use a 135/2.0 instead of a zoom for weddings. The larger aperture is much more useful than a longer reach. My 135 is manual focus, which I find crucial for composing at large apertures, but Sigma offers a highly-rated AF 1.8. It's slightly smaller and lighter than a 70-200/2.8 (but it isn't small).

I have to say that the Canon 135mm f2 is a great companion when I didn't want my 70-200 f2.8 with me.

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