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Would you buy an SL 135 f 2 apo summicron?


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On 10/22/2022 at 8:19 PM, Stuart Richardson said:

In a certain sense, there already is one. The 120mm APO Macro Summarit S. It is a 2.5 lenses that is extremely sharp wide open. It is as sharp as the APO Summicrons in my experience, at least at anything but 2.5. It operates perfectly and has AF on the SL cameras if you have the S adapter, and both the adapter and lens are weather sealed. Though the lens is not cheap, nor the adapter, they would likely be a lot cheaper than a native 135mm SL.

I have this lens and the adapter as my remaining S system items. I certainly agree that is very sharp of course. Used on SL bodies, the aspects that I like less are the size (including adapter) and weight and the mounting to tripod vis lens foot. Focusing wise I thought that using magnification was slower in comparison to my normal operation with rapid series (single shot). Using AFs with a single field is probably better for me and of course a shooting rhythm suited to portraiture not action and movement. Perhaps I need to shoot it more to get better with it.
The attraction of a Native SL 135 Summicron for me would be if it shared the performance and characteristics of the 35 and 50 Summicron SL lenses perhaps in a more manageable package than the adapted S lens or the 24-90 (and 90-280 I don't have) for that matter. Perhaps that last would be ignoring the physics anyway? We it's a hypothetical and may not make business senses for Leica in any case?

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I do agree with you Geoff. A 135mm native lens would of course be easier to use and probably lighter and smaller as well. I just meant that in the absence of one, there is a Leica lens that is at least optically comparable and of a similar focal length, including weather sealing and autofocus. It is not a completely native lens, however, and you are forced to put up with a lot of extra bulk because the lens is designed to cover a larger sensor format and also designed to focus to 1 to 2, so it has a lot of heavy machined parts for the helical and focusing system. In my experience, however, it works pretty fluidly on the camera in AF mode. If anything, faster and more accurate than on an S body. But clearly nothing like the native L mount lenses. I think I did a test when I got it, but I would have to double check, but my impression is that it is still ahead of the 90-280mm in terms of image quality. If nothing else, I do think that it is less bulky and easier to handle on the camera than the 90-280, which is quite the beast. The 120mm and S adapter is shorter and better balanced, if I recall correctly.  I would guess the weight is slightly less for the 120 plus adapter than for the 90-280 alone. The 90-280mm adds a lot more flexibility, lens stabilization and faster focus, however.

Edited by Stuart Richardson
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