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Leica SL experience and also Q
  
 
waterden
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Leica SL experience and also Q


So, enough time passed. And now, the SL has had a 20% (or so) price drop! And I'm getting very tempted. Any users out there? Any thoughts? Adapters (Novoflex vs Leica)? 24-90 vs adapted lenses? Lots of scope for discussion here.

Edited on Aug 02, 2017 at 02:29 PM · View previous versions



Jul 29, 2017 at 07:47 PM
Sam_W
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Leica SL experience and also Q


If only Leica would issue a firmware update to allow the S-Adapter L to stack with the S-Adapter C and S-Adapter H. You'd have a set of bodies (SL: FF, and TL2: APS-C) which could take TL lenses, SL lenses, M lenses, R lenses, S lenses, Hasselblad lenses, and Contax 645 lenses.

If they did that, I would seriously consider it.

Also, via Saint Google, this may be of interest: https://vieribottazzini.com/2016/06/landscape-photographer-in-depth-leica-sl-review.html

Edit: Also https://vieribottazzini.com/2017/03/one-year-of-landscapes-with-the-leica-sl.html



Jul 29, 2017 at 09:18 PM
flash
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Leica SL experience and also Q


SL's are my primary working bodies. What do you want to know?

Without a doubt it's the best 35mm hardware I've ever used. Lenses are stellar. Battery life is decent. Shutter is sublime.

The currently available three lenses are without peer. Best in class. The 50 is an Otus with AF (abet a bit slow AF). The zooms focus really fast and are stunning everywhere. The 90-280 is huge but is a genuine bag of primes. CAF is no where near a DSLR but functional.

The only issues are some weird firmware choices by Leica. Mandatory LENR is a huge pain. No peaking and artificial horizon at the same time. Weird set up for exposure preview. It works fine but I preferred how it was before the last firmware update.

M and S adaptors work great. Noctilux is better on SL than M. S lenses are just amazing, even on the SL. Novoflex adaptors are a bit hit and miss. There is ifo about what works and what doesn't. But generally used with Canon T/S lenses is better than on a Canon. AF lenses are good but on some AF is non functional or wildly inconsistent. Some Sigma Art lenses work really well.

There's no wireless TTL flash and limited options for HSS flash. Wireless triggers do work reliably all the way to the 1/250 sync unlike some others (Sony= 1/160). SIlent shutter al all speeds to 1/16000 but is hardly necessary with the beautiful SL shutter. Button set up and menus are genius. EVF is sensational.

If all my gear was stolen the first thing replaced would be the SL's, without a doubt.

Gordon

p.s. Sam: L adaptor S does not work on the TL or TL2. Only on the SL. And latest Hasselblad firmware seems to break compatibility with S adapter H.



Jul 29, 2017 at 09:46 PM
waterden
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Leica SL experience and also Q


Gordon

Thanks for this very helpful and, as important, very enthusiastic reply.

If I go for the SL I will probably be doing so to use adapted M and R lenses rather than the native ones. I'm not overly fussed about AF and feel that the talents of this camera lie more with its EVF and rendering. For me, the native lenses look unwieldy.

That said, I am very interested in using M and R Leica glass with the SL body. However, although a great fan of Novoflex adapters, I am not clear whether or not the Leica adapters offer advantages by comparison. I am thinking of EXIF data transmission mainly. Certainly, Novoflex adapters are much cheaper in the U.K.



Jul 29, 2017 at 09:56 PM
davewolfs
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Leica SL experience and also Q


They really should release a high resolution version.


Jul 29, 2017 at 11:28 PM
relms
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Leica SL experience and also Q


I parked my SL for a few weeks to shoot with the M10, but that didn't last long. I echo everything that Gordon said about the SL, and while the M10 is by far the best M yet, it cannot compare to the SL in functionality, adaptability and hit rate. The EVF is the best I have seen on any camera - by far.

I have only one native lens for the SL, the 24-90, which is like having five primes in the bag. The adapted M and S lenses all function as well or better on the SL as they do on their native bodies, sans autofocus with the S lenses. The Noctilux-M f/0.95 pairs nicely with the SL, as does the 90mm Summicron-M, both of which were frustrating to use on the Ms I have owned.

My wish list for the second generation SL would include a few more megapixels and an option to turn off LENR. In the meantime I am thoroughly enjoying the one I have now.

Robert



Jul 30, 2017 at 03:06 AM
telyt
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Leica SL experience and also Q


Quite an impressive camera. I don't currently own one, but I've had two month-long loaners, first with adapters for my manual-focus lenses (Leica 280/4 APO and Canon FD 500/4.5 L) and the second time with the 90-280 APO.

I compared it with my Sony a7II and a7rII cameras with the 280/4 and 500/4.5 lenses on the Sony cameras. There are some little functional differences between the SL and Sony bodies that might or might not be important depending on personal preferences but to summarize:

The SL is bigger, heavier and much better built (though the Sony cameras have yet to fail me) and is much more responsive at all shutter speeds where the Sony bodies are adequately responsive only when the electronic first shutter curtain (EFC) is enabled. EFC is a cool feature but with my adapted lenses it causes uneven exposure at faster shutter speeds (a7II: faster than 1/1000, a7rII: faster than about 1/4000). The SL is much easier to operate while wearing gloves. The 90-280 APO is a stellar lens, at 280mm optically very nearly the equal of the 280/4 APO, the AF is quick, silent and if the AF point is on the right target, it's accurate without going through any AFMA bullsh!t.

Things I had problems with on the SL: up until firmware 3.0 the exposure preview function was useless for me because it reverted to automatic viewfinder brightness after each exposure. Continuous exposure preview in manual exposure mode is now possible (fw 3.0) and IMHO is one of the huge benefits of an EVF (another being no AF micro-adjustment ever).

The 90-280 APO's optical stabilization is very effective but it has only two settings: On and Off. Leica claims it automatically detects the difference between panning motion and unintended wobble (their words) but it fails to detect the intentional wobble inevitable when following the random motions of a small animal. The OS makes the viewfinder image lag my changing the camera position and by the time the image settles the animal has moved again. Sony's sensor stabilization handles only the little vibrations, which is all I want the system to do and it works with my old adapted lenses: 280/4 APO with and without extenders, FD 500/4.5 L. The SL offers no stabilization with adapted lenses so there's no stabilization at all beyond 280mm.

The SL's 24MP combined with a superb lens like the 90-280 APO or 280/4 APO can result in color moire and aliasing in fine feather detail; I see this also when using the Sony a7II. The a7rII's 42MP almost completely solves the problem. Leica should release a high resolution version, their APO lenses would do well with more pixels. A lot more pixels.

For the way I use a camera, firmware 3.0 makes the camera very interesting. If the camera had a lot more pixels and sensor stabilization I'd be using it instead of the Sony.



Jul 30, 2017 at 11:10 AM
flash
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Leica SL experience and also Q


waterden wrote:
Gordon

Thanks for this very helpful and, as important, very enthusiastic reply.

If I go for the SL I will probably be doing so to use adapted M and R lenses rather than the native ones. I'm not overly fussed about AF and feel that the talents of this camera lie more with its EVF and rendering. For me, the native lenses look unwieldy.

That said, I am very interested in using M and R Leica glass with the SL body. However, although a great fan of Novoflex adapters, I am not clear whether or not the Leica adapters offer advantages by comparison.
...Show more

Exif transmission AND lens profiles.

yes. The Leica adaptors are stupid expensive. But if you value lens profiles, especially for M wides.

The 90-280 is a massive lens. The other two are big but balance well on the body.

Gordon



Jul 30, 2017 at 11:53 AM
flash
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Leica SL experience and also Q


I absolutely agree on a high res version of the SL. Make me a 40MP+ version with the same body and no LENR and I'll climb over you to be first in line. The lenses are certainly far better than 24MP.

I miss exposure preview on half shutter press. I used it every day and they removed it.

Exposure preview in M mode is disabled when using a TTL flash.

EVF brightness isn't adjustable.

Mandatory LENR. No one thinks it's a good idea.

The RRS grip for the SL is fantastic. I have one glued on each body. I didn't like the MF grip and it sits in a closet, mostly.

Gordon



Jul 30, 2017 at 12:03 PM
rscheffler
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Leica SL experience and also Q


waterden wrote:
Gordon

Thanks for this very helpful and, as important, very enthusiastic reply.

If I go for the SL I will probably be doing so to use adapted M and R lenses rather than the native ones. I'm not overly fussed about AF and feel that the talents of this camera lie more with its EVF and rendering. For me, the native lenses look unwieldy.

That said, I am very interested in using M and R Leica glass with the SL body. However, although a great fan of Novoflex adapters, I am not clear whether or not the Leica adapters offer advantages by comparison.
...Show more

I've only briefly used the SL but here are some of my impressions:

By far the best EVF experience I've had yet, especially in respect to ability to manually focus M lenses without the need for image magnification or peaking, down to moderate wide angle lenses.

The SL 50 Lux is quite impressive and while AF is slow compared to the zooms, if you've ever shot with Canon's 85L, it's somewhat better than that lens's AF speed (at least better than the slower first version I own).

I echo most of what has already been praised about the SL, but there are a few things that temper my enthusiasm for it. Some of the wider M lenses I tested on it resulted in poorer image quality (edge smearing) than an M, but not as bad as a stock Sony body, due to the sensor cover glass factor. From what I recall, the 28 Cron v1 and 21 SEM disappointed me. Unfortunately I didn't have a complete range of M wides to test at the time.

More recently I tried the SL with the 90-280 and specifically to determine CAF capability. I tried cars driving by the store and had very mixed results. Sometimes it couldn't even lock on and would be grossly out of focus. But I don't recall the firmware version of the camera and not sure if anything may have improved with more recent versions, assuming it was an older version.



Jul 31, 2017 at 12:50 AM
 

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adamdewilde
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Leica SL experience and also Q


No comment.


Jul 31, 2017 at 11:22 AM
retrofocus
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Leica SL experience and also Q


I have never used the SL, and I think it is good gear but for a very high price - IMO overpriced what the mirrorless FF competition currently offers for the same or better resolution. I personally lean more towards the M10 though if I look what Leica currently offers.


Jul 31, 2017 at 01:42 PM
flash
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Leica SL experience and also Q


retrofocus wrote:
I have never used the SL, and I think it is good gear but for a very high price - IMO overpriced what the mirrorless FF competition currently offers for the same or better resolution. I personally lean more towards the M10 though if I look what Leica currently offers.


Rent one for a week and then see if you feel the same way......

Except for the A9, I do or have owned all the cameras you're referring to. Once f.w. 2.0 was released for the SL they went into a cupboard and never came out except for the M's. Specifications and brochures don't adequately describe how different in usage the SL is from every other mirrorless camera.

Gordon



Jul 31, 2017 at 09:20 PM
waterden
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Leica SL experience and also Q


These are all interesting and helpful comments. Thank you everyone.

One query for Gordon about the adapters - not entirely clear from your reply but am I right in thinking you mean that EXIF transmission is only possible with the Leica adapter and not with those from Novoflex (excepting the Nikon / Canon AF adapters)? As for lens profiles, the only Leica lens I would be using is the R 21-35/4 ROM. Would this transmit focal length info and be profiled with the Leica R-SL adapter?

Having been a Sony E mount user for some years, latterly the wonderful A7Rii, I would like to get back with Leica because I love the ergonomics and haptics on all their bodies. My all-time favourites were the M6 and MP, both sold when I moved to digital. I never much liked the M8 and these days my eyes aren't best suited for RF, so the M10 is out too. However, my interest has been excited by the advent of EVFs on Leicas, specifically the Q and the SL.

These are, of course, different in concept and, as my prime interest is for use in street photography, the Q would seem to be the obvious choice, particularly for the AF which would not be applicable were I to go for a SL (because I'd be adapting M and R lenses only unless the Canon AF adapter from Novoflex allows fast AF because there are some great EF lenses out there at a fraction of the price of the Leicas)..

But a big concern is the risk of using the Q in the rain. I hear that it is susceptible to environmental damage, sometimes terminally, whereas the SL is weather-sealed.

So any further thoughts would be welcomed and appreciated.

Martin



Aug 02, 2017 at 02:26 PM
robgo2
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Leica SL experience and also Q


I'm interested in the manual focus process with the SL. I have read that, with practice, one can do this without resorting to focusing aids, such as peaking and magnification. As one who has been routinely using adapted MF lenses on an A7ii, I find this hard to believe, but perhaps the very high resolution EVF on the SL actually makes it possible. So I would like to hear from SL users about their own experience with MF.

Rob

Edited on Aug 02, 2017 at 09:42 PM · View previous versions



Aug 02, 2017 at 09:22 PM
rscheffler
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Leica SL experience and also Q


Martin,

I can't really touch on those points so will let others comment.

robgo2 wrote:
I'm interested in the manual focus process with the SL. I have read that, with practice, one can do this without resorting to focusing aids, such as peaking and magnification. As one who has been routinely using adapted MF lenses on an A7ii, I find this improbable, but perhaps the very high resolution EVF on the SL actually makes it possible. So I would like to hear from SL users about their own experience with MF.

Rob


I've had very limited use of the SL, which in some respect would disqualify me from commenting here. However, from the brief time I had trying a range of my M lenses spanning 21-90mm, within minutes of use, I was nailing focus very consistently with the 50 Lux ASPH without any focusing aids (magnification or peaking). Naturally, longer, faster lenses are easier to 'eyeball' focus this way due to better separation of the plane of focus. My feeling is 35mm and longer should be pretty doable. 28mm and wider would benefit from magnification at wider apertures because focus is definitely quite critical but depth of field can be deep enough to mask the actual plane of focus. My 'eyeball' focus success with the SL is all at wider apertures and/or wide open. As you stop down, the inevitable problem is depth of field masks the precise placement of the actual plane of focus. I'm not sure how you can really get around this with an EVF camera and manual aperture lenses without resorting to either focusing more wide open and stopping down, or magnification (peaking is pretty useless here, IME). This is where IMO rangefinder focusing has a real advantage - precise focus placement when stopped down but depth of field is not deep enough to allow hyperfocal techniques, especially with wider lenses where any kind of TTL focusing experience is compromised without the ability to magnify the image, whether OVF or EVF. It's a reason I would pick the M10 over the SL. Already with the M240 I often RF focus and EVF compose with UWA lenses but the M10 EVF experience is a lot better than the 240's and getting quite close to many other EVF cameras, if perhaps still slightly too laggy for my preferences.



Aug 02, 2017 at 09:37 PM
waterden
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Leica SL experience and also Q


Ron

That is a very interesting and thoughtful comment and I shall ponder it further as it applies to all EVF based focusing. While I perform manual focusing at the chosen aperture on my A7R2, this is usually augmented with magnification because the EVF, while good, is not good enough for precise focus without this. I had not considered the DOF implications. The problem with focusing wide-open and then stopping down is focus shift, although this may only affect the fastest lenses.



Aug 02, 2017 at 09:56 PM
Andrew Gough
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Leica SL experience and also Q


I shoot the SL all the time. The first time I used it, I knew it was for me. I have the zooms and the 50mm, they are all stellar, and an order better than any other zooms out there. The best thing about the Leica, is that when they release the SLII, I won't need to upgrade my lenses. The 24-90mm is stunning and a real work horse lens. You can expect prime quality, OSS and AF. The 90-280mm is large, heavy and equally as good. The 50mm is huge, heavy and it has amazing image quality. I expect the next batch of lenses to be much smaller, and lighter. The 16-35mm is the lens that I am waiting for.

The camera is fast, easy to use once you learn the buttons, and robust. They have been super reliable, while enduring the riggers of continuous travel.

AF is reliable and fairly zippy. Firmware updates have improved it substantially over time. Is it a Sony A9 - No, but its quick enough for my uses. Image quality is on a par with the current M, and it has the Leica colour in spades. Flesh tones are rendered very accurately,

Manual lenses are easy to use, and a simple tap of the joystick allows for instant zooming the check focus. The M lenses are all recognized by the adapter, and look the same as if they were shot on an M.

The menu system is straight forward and makes sense. The camera can get heavy if you load it up with RRS bases, straps etc...



Aug 02, 2017 at 10:12 PM
telyt
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Leica SL experience and also Q


waterden wrote:
Ron

That is a very interesting and thoughtful comment and I shall ponder it further as it applies to all EVF based focusing. While I perform manual focusing at the chosen aperture on my A7R2, this is usually augmented with magnification because the EVF, while good, is not good enough for precise focus without this. I had not considered the DOF implications. The problem with focusing wide-open and then stopping down is focus shift, although this may only affect the fastest lenses.


I find that manual focus on the a7rII is much improved by setting Display Quality to High (tools->2) so that much of the time I don't need to use magnification for precise focus. Is there a similar setting for the SL viewfinder?



Aug 02, 2017 at 11:34 PM
flash
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Leica SL experience and also Q


telyt wrote:
I find that manual focus on the a7rII is much improved by setting Display Quality to High (tools->2) so that much of the time I don't need to use magnification for precise focus. Is there a similar setting for the SL viewfinder?


The SL's EVF is always set to high. It's a big step up from the A7R2. Ron has it pretty much nailed. The longer or faster a lens is the easier it is to not use the focus aids. For me a 35mm 1.4 is easy to focus wide open. The addition of magnification using the joystick changed the whole camera. It's actually really easy to magnify and move the focus box. Much easier than the M.

Gordon



Aug 03, 2017 at 01:43 AM
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