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Thinking of getting an SL2(s) - Need help


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On 8/16/2022 at 3:56 PM, SrMi said:

Nikon Z 7 cameras are probably the most suited non-Leica cameras for M lenses (thinnest glass stack). However, the excellent Z 100-400 is a bit hard to find.

Many would argue that the Sigma fp and Panasonics are better, but really the SL cameras are excellent, and everything else is just acceptable (and only with certain lenses).

As others have mentioned, this assessment only applies to Leica lenses. Voigtlander or other third-party M lenses are hit-and-miss, and they'll rarely match-up with M-lens profiles.

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1 hour ago, BernardC said:

Many would argue that the Sigma fp and Panasonics are better, but really the SL cameras are excellent, and everything else is just acceptable (and only with certain lenses).

As others have mentioned, this assessment only applies to Leica lenses. Voigtlander or other third-party M lenses are hit-and-miss, and they'll rarely match-up with M-lens profiles.

What is the reason that Sigma fp and Panasonic would be better for M lenses? No doubt, SLs are the best mirrorless cameras (non-rangefinder) for M lenses.

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Posted (edited)

I was  18 months without  my SL2 , I had the M10r.  The M11, Nikon Z7|| , and the Fuji 100s .. nothing felt as good as comfortable and as perfect then the SL2 ,

2 days ago i picked one up and will never look back. It is the perfect Camera for Native lenses , M lenses and R lenses. 

Edited by Artin
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20 hours ago, SrMi said:

What is the reason that Sigma fp and Panasonic would be better for M lenses? No doubt, SLs are the best mirrorless cameras (non-rangefinder) for M lenses.

It's likely that the L-Mount specification uses a thinner sensor cover glass, compared to mounts that are based on legacy SLR lenses. Leica adds some "special sauce" to their own implementation with micro lenses, but the two other partners still benefit. For instance, the fp has a setting that can compensate for slight colour cast, although it still suffers from sharpness drop-off in the corners, compared to the SL.

That being said, does it matter what the second-best solution is? You can find a used SL for a competitive price, so the budgetary argument doesn't apply anymore. It's not as cheap as any previous-generation Sony, but M lenses aren't cheap either.

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3 hours ago, BernardC said:

It's likely that the L-Mount specification uses a thinner sensor cover glass, compared to mounts that are based on legacy SLR lenses. Leica adds some "special sauce" to their own implementation with micro lenses, but the two other partners still benefit. For instance, the fp has a setting that can compensate for slight colour cast, although it still suffers from sharpness drop-off in the corners, compared to the SL.

That being said, does it matter what the second-best solution is? You can find a used SL for a competitive price, so the budgetary argument doesn't apply anymore. It's not as cheap as any previous-generation Sony, but M lenses aren't cheap either.

(discussion is whether L-mount specification alone is better for M lenses)

S1R has a 1.4mm glass thickness, while Z 7 has 1.1 mm.
The sensor glass thickness is not part of the L-mount specification. Support for M lenses is not part of the L mount specification. We are lucky Leica has implemented it so well in the SL/CL series.
P.S.: Mirrorless mounts are not based on legacy SLR lenses.

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On 8/20/2022 at 12:13 PM, SrMi said:

S1R has a 1.4mm glass thickness, while Z 7 has 1.1 mm.
The sensor glass thickness is not part of the L-mount specification.

I guess that means that the cover glass thickness isn't as important a factor as people thought it was. Same with back-illuminated sensors, they were supposed to be great with off-axis rays, but only Leica has been able to make that technology work with M lenses.

Long story short, there are many theoretical reasons why other brands should work better with M lenses, but none pan-out in the real world. The few M lenses that consistently work well on other brands tend to be the ones that were also offered in R mount, like the 90 APO, or some versions of the Summicron 50. Then there are lenses that are "almost as good" on third party cameras, which seems like an odd thing to be satisfied with, given their price.

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On 8/22/2022 at 6:36 AM, BernardC said:

I guess that means that the cover glass thickness isn't as important a factor as people thought it was.

Exactly, it's not. Incorrect adapter length and/or inconsistent flange distance is most significant cause of poor performance of adapted M lenses on non-Leica mirrorless platforms – especially with lenses with floating elements. The Leica "M-Adapter-L" along with the M-mounts and L-mounts of Leica cameras have very tight and consistent manufacturing tolerances, which allow M lenses to hit the hard stop at infinity and not before or after (provided the M lens is manufactured to spec). All third party adapters are intentionally manufactured too short so as to make sure the adapted lens doesn't hit the hard stop before it reaches infinity, which would make the lens useless for far distance.

To illustrate regarding flange distance: I tried my M-Adapter-L on a Sigma fp-L, and the same lenses that were hitting infinity at the hard stop on my SL2-S were hitting infinity before the hard stop on the fp-L. Sigma as a manufacturer is either is either producing L-mount cameras with out of spec flange distances or their manufacturing tolerances are are much more loose compared to Leica's.

To illustrate regarding adapter length: M lenses were next to useless on my R5 for infinity landscape until I started using a macro adapter that let me put the lens to the hard stop then move the macro ring until focus was perfect at infinity. Bingo, lenses like the 28 Lux all of a sudden were useful.

That said, cover glass thickness does affect the performance of M lenses. My 28 Lux on the R5 – with a correct length adapter – was not quite as sharp in the corners as my M cameras, but it was very close to SL2-S performance.

 

On 8/22/2022 at 6:36 AM, BernardC said:

Same with back-illuminated sensors, they were supposed to be great with off-axis rays, but only Leica has been able to make that technology work with M lenses.

BSI can perform better with off-axis light rays (and does with the SL2-S versus the original SL 601), but the question is, "...with what lenses?" Other manufacturers optimize their sensor microlens array angles for their own lenses, not Leica M lenses. Leica has to walk a thin line with the SL cameras to produce sensors that work well with both small M wide angles with very steep ray angles and with larger SL lenses.

I think it would be interesting if Leica offered a variant of the upcoming SL3 camera with the exact same sensor from the M11. It could be marketed toward users that use M lenses first and foremost and only need to use L-mount lenses occasionally. The SL3-M. I would buy that in a heartbeat.

 

 

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from the Leica M-Adapter-L/T Manual:

. Focusing
Only manual focusing is available with Leica M lenses.
Note:
The distances set on the lens are slightly shorter when using the adapter
than when used directly on Leica M cameras. For example, sharp
depiction of a distant subject is achieved immediately before the
mechanical infinity stop on the adjusting dial. This is for technical
reasons and it not a fault.
 
 
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Posted (edited)
47 minutes ago, frame-it said:

from the Leica M-Adapter-L/T Manual:

. Focusing
Only manual focusing is available with Leica M lenses.
Note:
The distances set on the lens are slightly shorter when using the adapter
than when used directly on Leica M cameras. For example, sharp
depiction of a distant subject is achieved immediately before the
mechanical infinity stop on the adjusting dial. This is for technical
reasons and it not a fault.
 
 

CYA. "Immediately before" is different from most 3rd party adapters I've used, even Novoflex. I had one third party adapter that hit infinity on my 28 Summicron Safari at the 5 meter mark!

In any case, with the M-Adapter-L on my SL2-S, infinity was not reached before the hard stop with any of my M lenses, it was exactly at the hard stop even with f/1.4 lenses at f/1.4. Maybe it takes a wider aperture and the higher res SL2 to see it.

Edited by hdmesa
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I don't think the manufacture intended to adapt all lenses on all system.

only Leica is more involved to solve the compatibly of M lenses.

The positive side effect is that all adapted lenses work better on SL2 cameras then latest Sony. I have found it with Cinema glass and the Tilt shift lenses from canon.

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13 hours ago, SrMi said:

I believe no adapter can compensate for the deficiencies caused by the thick glass (smeared corners).

 

 

 

The adapter is not compensating, but it needs to be the correct length for optimal performance, especially for lenses with floating elements.

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I just picked up a Z9 to mess around with (during a return window since it’s impossible to find). An opportunity really. In the same day I played with the SL2/S. If you want to stay in the Leica eco system there really isn’t another choice. It’s never quite right with the other cameras and adapters without a good amount of Mickey Mouse business and even then the firmware isn’t there for the M glass on other systems. The ultimate companion for an M is the SL followed by the Q. The SL3 will easily replace the M11 for those of us who exclusively use the EVF and don’t mind the extra weight (which is noticed walking around all day). Again, the Q compliments the SL very well in that regard. For AF and state of the art it’s not made by Leica, that’s just the truth. The AF is honestly fine for most circumstances, but gold standard or in the conversation. If you want to use Leica glass I don’t see any other solution than staying within the systems though. I shot for a day and got crazy good results with the Z9, but it’s also 1000% more complex and professionally orientated than anything Leica makes. Also, like Jono said- M on M cameras and SL on SL. I think of that when using the Z9 and thinking of it as my AF machine. My M stays as a small companion system. I have 13 days to make up my mind and go to SL or move forward with this current camera. 

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Also, to add to my soapbox. The best setup I had was an SL with the SL 50 lux, M lenses and a film MP. Then you’re covered and not battling sensors for color. Throw in a monochrom or q monochrom and you’re dialed. Add a S 006 with the 100 and you’re winning. 

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In all aspects M lenses are by far best suited on the SL bodies, the sensors are optimized for them by Leica 

also on the flip side the compact nature of M lenses coupled with the relatively sort focus throw makes for a great combo

and as a bonus M lenses were already designed for short flange so you have a very thin adaptor to add in front of the body 

it is a great setup

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On 8/24/2022 at 7:20 PM, frame-it said:

from the Leica M-Adapter-L/T Manual:

. Focusing
Only manual focusing is available with Leica M lenses.
Note:
The distances set on the lens are slightly shorter when using the adapter
than when used directly on Leica M cameras. For example, sharp
depiction of a distant subject is achieved immediately before the
mechanical infinity stop on the adjusting dial. This is for technical
reasons and it not a fault.
 
 

Wanted to come back and set the record straight in this thread, too, with regard to contradicting the above information from my previous experience:

I just received my second SL2-S and second M-Adapter-L – and they are doing exactly what the text above says, which is hititng infinity before the hard stop. It's just a little bit before, but it's enough distance that the hard stop is definitely not hitting true infinity. I have to assume that I just got lucky with my previous SL2-S and M-Adapter-L since that combo had perfect infinity at the hard stop. 

I'll be using the Hawk's Factory macro adapter from here on out since it has an adjustable infinity hard stop position.

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