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M lenses looking for a L mount camera


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I’m looking for an L Mount camera.

For a couple of unrelated reasons I’m looking into L mount , given that I would really like to continue taking advantage of my M lenses- all 6bit coded (21 SEM, summicron 35, 50 & 75). 

I’d really like to better take advantage of low light situations (higher iso), IBIS, lens recognition & correction (especially for 21 & 35).

I presume I would get the leica branded m-l adapter 

My topics and subjects are shifting away from street towards landscaping, family, kids sports. 
 

I’ll keep my M , more for emotional reasons but don’t want to miss any moments as I look for more ‘automation’

thanks for any advice 

rich 

 

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Unless you need more than 24 megapixels, the SL2-S is the camera for you! Great low light performance, works like a charm with the original adapter and has the advantage of the microlenses for better compatibility with M lenses. That's why I would buy a Leica L-mount camera. If you want more pixels, it should probably be the SL3, since the SL2 isn't to great in low light. I have the SL2-S and SL2. The SL3 low light performance is supposed to be on par with the SL2-S, which, if true, would be amazing. You should be able to get some good deals on any of the 2 models used or even new.

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I can't argue with the above, but if you want something more M sized take a look at the Sigma FP-L. The image quality is quite outstanding.

I have the original FP and use all my M lenses with it. You really need the EVF though as screen focussing is impossible in daylight.

 

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5 hours ago, rsolomon said:

I’d really like to better take advantage of low light situations (higher iso), IBIS, lens recognition & correction (especially for 21 & 35).

I presume I would get the leica branded m-l adapter 

M-L adapter only makes sense on a Leica body, because others do not have the M lens profiles, and capability to do something with the electronics in the Leica adapter to recognize the 6-bit codes.
The M lenses make most sense on a Leica sensor as mentioned in other replies. This is most true  for your 21mm and to lesser degree for the others.

IBIS limits your choices in Leica L mount bodies. SL2, SL2-S and SL3 are the only Leica made with IBIS until now. These are also the only L mount bodies that can still be bought brand new from Leica.
Of course other brands offer IBIS, but will not have the lens recognition and micro lens sensor functionality.

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19 hours ago, rsolomon said:

I’d really like to better take advantage of low light situations (higher iso), IBIS, lens recognition & correction (especially for 21 & 35).

I presume I would get the leica branded m-l adapter 

My topics and subjects are shifting away from street towards landscaping, family, kids sports. 

Any of the following should suit your requirements: SL2, SL2-S, SL3.

The SL2-S is the low-light king, at the cost of lower resolution (24 megapixels). However, the SL2 (47MP) and SL3 (60MP) are fine at higher ISOs too, especially within the 800-3200 range which is probably all that you need with your M lenses.

You should have a look at the SL2. It's been recently superseded by the SL3, but the main improvement is autofocus, which doesn't apply to M lenses. You might find some very good deals on new or lightly used bodies.

You really should get the Leica M adapter. You can get away with a third-party adapter, but then you'll need to manually select your lens from a list every time you switch lenses.

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Having owned both the Sigma fp and fp-l, as well as the SL2, would not recommend the Sigma bodies. Adding the viewfinder is a must for outdoor shooting, and feel in hand isn’t very good. 

Sticking with Leica SL’s would be the best option. Currently using a Panasonic S5ii with the Leica L Adapter is workable until the used SL3 prices drop a bit in a year or so. As landscapes are the main subject, having a higher resolution sensor is better. 

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MY FP handles very similarly to an M body. The images are fantastic.

I returned my SL because it felt bulky and unwieldy and I didn't think the image quality was all that.

If I could afford it I would go for the later generations like the SL2s, but they are still big and bulky IMO.

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11 hours ago, o2mpx said:

Having owned both the Sigma fp and fp-l, as well as the SL2, would not recommend the Sigma bodies. Adding the viewfinder is a must for outdoor shooting, and feel in hand isn’t very good. 

Sticking with Leica SL’s would be the best option. Currently using a Panasonic S5ii with the Leica L Adapter is workable until the used SL3 prices drop a bit in a year or so. As landscapes are the main subject, having a higher resolution sensor is better. 

For landscape the S5ii has a particularly good high-res mode that provides a genuine 96 MP file. Fast multishot and pixel shift. Handheld even. 

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19 hours ago, Chris W said:

The Panasonic cameras look very plasticky. A blizzard of buttons and custom functions too. I like the simple design of a Leica (Hasselbald and Sigma).

Solid metal and it feels as robust as my SL. As much plastic-feeling as any Leica.  Harder wearing by a large margin too. I shoot it with near-analog control. Yes, there are more direct controls implemented directly. The custom profiles are on a control wheel on the top, the burst mode etc on another. No more delving into menus like Leica, every essential function is directly accessible without studying the EVF. Everybody prefers what he is used to, but I use everything from Barnacks to SL and I really like the Panasonic implementation. 

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19 hours ago, jaapv said:

Everybody prefers what he is used to, 

No because I have bought many different cameras over the last 20 years and found what I preferred through trial and error. For example I really wanted to love my SL, but didn't.

I had a Fuji XT3 and didn't use half the custom functions, disliked all the knobs and switches on the body. I learned from that experience.

 

 

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I agree with @jaapv with regard to the Pan S52, when I pick up any other camera I miss immediately some of the direct controls and it seems a very sturdy body to me.  Having had the SL2 from new, mine had to go back to Leica as in a very short time the covering on the grip wore through, and actually the bodies chip and scratch like every other brand, just hurts more when it happens.  

I now have three L mounts bodies, all in regular use, CL, S52 and FpL, the Marmite camera - I'm a lover not a hater, though I do hate the EVF and it mostly stays in the cupboard, I seem to manage quite well with the screen, probably because in the UK we rarely get bright light these days.  I do use M mount lenses on both the S52 and FpL but there is no doubt they are happiest on a Leica body, take your pick, 50mm and longer isn't a problem though.  My widest M mount apart from an old 15mm CV, is the 24mm Elmar 3.8, it's a wonderful lens but not so good on the Pan and Sigma Body so I'm not sure how your 21mm SEM would cope.

 

 

 

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Preowned SL2S should drop in price a bit more yet but there are great deals to be had on the Lumix S5 models

I'm very happy with my SL2S but am looking forward to seeing the new S1R or whatever its called as I think the SL3 just not cost effective for me

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On 3/13/2024 at 9:43 AM, Boojay said:

I agree with @jaapv with regard to the Pan S52, when I pick up any other camera I miss immediately some of the direct controls and it seems a very sturdy body to me.  Having had the SL2 from new, mine had to go back to Leica as in a very short time the covering on the grip wore through, and actually the bodies chip and scratch like every other brand, just hurts more when it happens.  

I now have three L mounts bodies, all in regular use, CL, S52 and FpL, the Marmite camera - I'm a lover not a hater, though I do hate the EVF and it mostly stays in the cupboard, I seem to manage quite well with the screen, probably because in the UK we rarely get bright light these days.  I do use M mount lenses on both the S52 and FpL but there is no doubt they are happiest on a Leica body, take your pick, 50mm and longer isn't a problem though.  My widest M mount apart from an old 15mm CV, is the 24mm Elmar 3.8, it's a wonderful lens but not so good on the Pan and Sigma Body so I'm not sure how your 21mm SEM would cope.

 

 

 

I tried the 18 mm SEM on the S5ii and although it is usable with some overexposure and postprocessing it is not a recommended combination in my book. 

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On 3/12/2024 at 6:22 AM, jaapv said:

Solid metal and it feels as robust as my SL. As much plastic-feeling as any Leica.  Harder wearing by a large margin too. I shoot it with near-analog control. Yes, there are more direct controls implemented directly. The custom profiles are on a control wheel on the top, the burst mode etc on another. No more delving into menus like Leica, every essential function is directly accessible without studying the EVF. Everybody prefers what he is used to, but I use everything from Barnacks to SL and I really like the Panasonic implementation. 

I also really like my S5IIx body and use it mostly for M-mount lenses. I don't have any 6 bit lenses so I like the Light Lens Lab L-M adapter as it has a helicoid. That adapter is being re-done by LLL due to the first batch having an index alignment issue (so not readily available right now) I'm guessing you'll want the Leica adapter for the coded lenses.

For me the S5II(x) ergonomics are excellent. It is also a very solid feeling camera. In fact the only camera that feels as good in my hand is my Q3. I have average sized hands. The SL2 has a nice feel too but very large and heavy and I like to travel light. So far the M-mount lenses I have do well on it. I'll be putting up some test results on the forum soon. I only tested one Leica brand lens (28mm f2.8 M) and the rest Voigtlander (21, 40, 75.) The S5II is way better than the Sony A7R III though probably not quite as good as an SL2/3 body. Some lenses require stopping down a bit to be sharp center to edge/corner. On the other hand, if I'm shooting at f1.2-2.8 I'm generally not looking for sharp corners (eg. portraits) If I am doing landscape or something requiring sharpness throughout the frame, then stopping down is generally a requirement anyway. I was surprised how well the VM 21mm f1.8 Ultron performs as it is so wide.

If you don't mind a heavier and larger camera, one can't argue with going SL2/SL3. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 3/13/2024 at 12:22 AM, jaapv said:

Solid metal and it feels as robust as my SL. As much plastic-feeling as any Leica.  Harder wearing by a large margin too. I shoot it with near-analog control. Yes, there are more direct controls implemented directly. The custom profiles are on a control wheel on the top, the burst mode etc on another. No more delving into menus like Leica, every essential function is directly accessible without studying the EVF. Everybody prefers what he is used to, but I use everything from Barnacks to SL and I really like the Panasonic implementation. 

The Panasonic cameras look very plasticky as stated by Chris W, ‘look’ can be deceiving.

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While the Sigma fp/fp-L are great cameras in concept and performance, I would not choose to use them with M lenses without the separate EVF. Manual focusing on a rear screen is not my idea of fun, even if you can zoom in (which won't happen automatically).

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3 hours ago, LocalHero1953 said:

While the Sigma fp/fp-L are great cameras in concept and performance, I would not choose to use them with M lenses without the separate EVF. Manual focusing on a rear screen is not my idea of fun, even if you can zoom in (which won't happen automatically).

There's a button to zoom-in, so it's not too bad. On the other hand, the fp's sensor doesn't deal with M lenses very well in the corners. It's night and day compared to an SL (both 24MP).

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  • 1 month later...
On 3/29/2024 at 4:05 AM, V23 said:

 

The Panasonic cameras look very plasticky as stated by Chris W, ‘look’ can be deceiving.

I must suppose that my Panasonic cameras come from a different production batch. Not much plastic in sight. Just metal, high level composite and rubberoid . After three years of intensive use my S5 still looks nearly unmarked which I cannot say about my SL which looks like it has been through the wars, nor about the SL3 whose flimsy covering gets torn up by fingernails. Perception and brand bias can certainly be deceiving. 

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