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Swap Leica M11 for Hasselblad X2D? SL2-S? Or back to Sony mirrorless?

  
 
ArchnemeSwiss
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Swap Leica M11 for Hasselblad X2D? SL2-S? Or back to Sony mirrorless?


I got a Leica M11 and Voigtlander Ultron 35mm f2 v2 last week. I'm new to rangefinders but not new to photography. It's been decades since I shot with a manual focus camera. I love the size of the M system and the colors coming out of the M11 are just spectacular. My motivation for the purchase was to get a super-compact system with very high image quality in a well-built package that I could take everywhere with me.

That said, I am struggling with my eyeglasses and the 35mm framelines in the viewfinder being hard to see. And of course I'm missing a TON of shots of people as they move and I can't compensate fast enough with the manual focus lenses. I've had the M11 for about a week and am considering jumping ship while I can recoup my money for body, lens, and accessories.

There are four options I'm exploring:


  1. Keep M11, hone rangefinder focusing skills, accept imperfect viewfinder picture and lower hit rate in exchange for small high quality system
  2. Swap for Hasselblad X2D, accept higher size/weight in exchange for image stabilization, MF sensor, autofocus.
  3. Try a Leica SL2-S. Accept a higher size/weight in exchange for good EVF, AF on some lenses, ability to use small M lenses with fewer compromises than on other systems.
  4. Go back to Sony mirrorless with size/weight not that dissimilar to the Hasselblad system. The Sony 35mm f1.4 GM is amazing but not small or light. I had and sold a Sony A7C with a Samyang 35 1.8, Zeiss 55 1.8, and Sigma 85 1.4. The Zeiss and Sigma were great, wasn't over the moon about the Samyang, and didn't love the colors coming out of the A7C. I loved the compact body size and Eye AF was outstanding.


Which route would you take of these four options? The kind of stuff I shoot is I guess "social documentary"-- portraits, lifestyle, travel, "street", light landscape when I'm traveling. I love the 35mm focal length on full frame for some immersive context. I do love the ~50mm range and enjoy using portrait length lenses for more than just portraits.

Edited on Sep 19, 2022 at 01:08 PM · View previous versions



Sep 19, 2022 at 12:29 PM
retrofocus
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Swap Leica M11 for Hasselblad X2D? SL2-S? Or back to Sony mirrorless?


Three very different "tools" for photo applications! Lots of it is also personal preference. Leaving price aside, swapping the M11 for a digital MF camera is IMO the least feasible. The Hasselblad would not go to places where you rely on street or travel photography. More gear to carry around here. For studio and architecture photography on the other hand, the Hasselblad might be the better tool.

Sony and Leica sort of mingle in similar application spaces. But their usage is very different and it is more of a subjective decision here which brand is more suitable. Also consider that just having the M11 as your first rangefinder camera is not enough to get on with such camera. You need to get used to apply more manual zone focusing for people when they move as well as for street photography. Eyeglasses and rangefinder viewfinder can be challenging for sure. But consider the option to purchase diopter based eyepiece attachments for the M11 which compensates for your eyesight. Then you don't need your glasses when focusing with the viewfinder.

If I were you just give it a few more weeks and play around with the M11. Rangefinder based cameras can easily grow on you over time. If you still prefer to have EVF instead of the rangefinder afterwards, you really might want to go back to Sony.



Sep 19, 2022 at 12:48 PM
ocean2059
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Swap Leica M11 for Hasselblad X2D? SL2-S? Or back to Sony mirrorless?


I have used all three systems (not the latest models). For the photograph that you shoot, I would recommend that you stay with Leica M, practice and improve your skill. It takes time to get used to using the rangefinder M system of seeing, anticipating, focusing, and capturing. One week is too short of time to give up on the M system.


Sep 19, 2022 at 12:48 PM
ArchnemeSwiss
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Swap Leica M11 for Hasselblad X2D? SL2-S? Or back to Sony mirrorless?


retrofocus wrote:
The Hasselblad would not go to places where you rely on street or travel photography. More gear to carry around here.


How so? The size of the system is pretty comparable to a Sony FF mirrorless or SL2-S, no? How is it "more gear" if it's just one lens and one body like the Leica M? Isn't the only difference the size/weight in terms of gear? We can see in the images below what the comparisons are with roughly equivalent lenses/etc. The depth of the X2D is actually shallower than the others as you can see. The SL2-S is actually taller than the X2D.



















Sep 19, 2022 at 12:56 PM
retrofocus
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Swap Leica M11 for Hasselblad X2D? SL2-S? Or back to Sony mirrorless?


ArchnemeSwiss wrote:
How so? The size of the system is pretty comparable to a Sony FF mirrorless or SL2-S, no? How is it "more gear" if it's just one lens and one body like the Leica M? Isn't the only difference the size/weight in terms of gear? We can see in the images below what the comparisons are with roughly equivalent lenses/etc. The depth of the X2D is actually shallower than the others as you can see. The SL2-S is actually taller than the X2D.



Bringing the SL2-S in the discussion now - this is often the main culprit for many Leica users that the camera is definitely bulkier than the M camera system. But I don't try to convince you of sticking with the M system - as I said, it is mostly personal preference.



Sep 19, 2022 at 01:02 PM
1joel1
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Swap Leica M11 for Hasselblad X2D? SL2-S? Or back to Sony mirrorless?


Try a correction lens for the M11. It's a shame that they don't incorporate it into the M system. All my rangefinders have a diopter lens (-2 for me) and it makes a huge difference.

FWIW,
Joel



Sep 19, 2022 at 01:06 PM
ArchnemeSwiss
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Swap Leica M11 for Hasselblad X2D? SL2-S? Or back to Sony mirrorless?


1joel1 wrote:
Try a correction lens for the M11. It's a shame that they don't incorporate it into the M system. All my rangefinders have a diopter lens (-2 for me) and it makes a huge difference.

FWIW,
Joel


Interesting-- so the effect is that it makes the framelines easier to see? That would solve one problem but I don't want the focus patch to be harder to see. It's challenging enough to use it at the current magnification!



Sep 19, 2022 at 01:07 PM
retrofocus
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Swap Leica M11 for Hasselblad X2D? SL2-S? Or back to Sony mirrorless?


ArchnemeSwiss wrote:
Interesting-- so the effect is that it makes the framelines easier to see? That would solve one problem but I don't want the focus patch to be harder to see. It's challenging enough to use it at the current magnification!


I am using a diopter lens also on my M cameras as I mentioned in my first reply - it does not affect the field of view but allows your eye to get closer to the viewfinder than with glasses to see the wider frame lines better. You will see the focus patch very clearly, too.



Sep 19, 2022 at 01:11 PM
ArchnemeSwiss
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Swap Leica M11 for Hasselblad X2D? SL2-S? Or back to Sony mirrorless?


retrofocus wrote:
Bringing the SL2-S in the discussion now - this is often the main culprit for many Leica users that the camera is definitely bulkier than the M camera system. But I don't try to convince you of sticking with the M system - as I said, it is mostly personal preference.


The thing that throws me off is that the SL2-S is not that much smaller than the Hasselblad. So it's sort of the least appealing options. And with the PDAF focus pixels on the X2D, plus the new screen, plus the image stabilization, I wonder if I'd actually be able to get more usable shots in different conditions with the X2D.

The question is whether the small size of the M system is less beneficial than I thought when I bought it. If I'm going to get an SL2-S size system, my thinking is that I may as well get the X2D and benefit from the bigger sensor. Going back to Sony mirrorless, I wouldn't want to get the A7C again but would be willing to try the A1. I am loving the Leica color science, just gorgeous output from the new sensor in the M11, and my sense that the X2D would offer great color as well.



Sep 19, 2022 at 01:12 PM
ArchnemeSwiss
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Swap Leica M11 for Hasselblad X2D? SL2-S? Or back to Sony mirrorless?


retrofocus wrote:
I am using a diopter lens also on my M cameras as I mentioned in my first reply - it does not affect the field of view but allows your eye to get closer to the viewfinder than with glasses to see the wider frame lines better. You will see the focus patch very clearly, too.


I also have an astigmatism and need that corrected to see clearly. The Leica diopters don't correct for astigmatism, so my focus accuracy may get even worse without my glasses on, which is not something I want!



Sep 19, 2022 at 01:13 PM
 


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insideline
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Swap Leica M11 for Hasselblad X2D? SL2-S? Or back to Sony mirrorless?


I support this advice and after trying all of the magnifiers out there I found the best and most flexible, along with most useful to be the Thumbs Up "E-Clypse" 1.45X magnification -3 to +3 adjustable diopter. This way you get a 1.45X increase in magnification for easier and quicker focussing especially when using hard to focus lenses like Noctilux's, plus a full range of diopter adjustment, and it has a comfortable round rubber eye cup and last it is the best value as compared to the more expensive and less flexible Leica options. This magnifier has enabled my 64 year old eyes to continue to enjoy the M Rangefinder experience.


Sep 19, 2022 at 01:14 PM
ArchnemeSwiss
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Swap Leica M11 for Hasselblad X2D? SL2-S? Or back to Sony mirrorless?


insideline wrote:
I support this advice and after trying all of the magnifiers out there I found the best and most flexible, along with most useful to be the Thumbs Up "E-Clypse" 1.45X magnification -3 to +3 adjustable diopter. This way you get a 1.45X increase in magnification for easier and quicker focussing especially when using hard to focus lenses like Noctilux's, plus a full range of diopter adjustment, and it has a comfortable round rubber eye cup and last it is the best value as compared to the more expensive and less flexible Leica options. This magnifier has enabled my 64
...Show more

Trouble is I need a de-magnifier to see the 35mm lines, NOT a magnifier. I'd need a 0.8x demagnifier to get a comparable view of the 35mm framelines as we get on a 50mm lens with the 0.72x viewfinders today.



Sep 19, 2022 at 01:22 PM
insideline
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Swap Leica M11 for Hasselblad X2D? SL2-S? Or back to Sony mirrorless?


Like many here I suspect, I have the new Hasselblad X2D on order with the XCD V 2.5 55mm lens to start with, and from what I have observed so far from the few users who have posted images and feedback, the X2D and the 55mm V lens (which is approx. 43mm in 35mm full frame) could well be a phenomenal one camera one lens set up as its marginally larger than my M10M with a Thumbs Up attached and say. 50 1.4 lens. Then add in IBIS, the 1.0 viewfinder magnification which includes a slick electronic adjustable diopter, improved AF, 14-16 stops of dynamic range and 100MP files to enable cropping as needed/desired combine all this with Hasselblad's very accurate color science could make for quite the capable take anywhere camera for a wide and varied range of photography.


Sep 19, 2022 at 01:28 PM
insideline
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Swap Leica M11 for Hasselblad X2D? SL2-S? Or back to Sony mirrorless?


ArchnemeSwiss wrote:
Trouble is I need a de-magnifier to see the 35mm lines, NOT a magnifier. I'd need a 0.8x demagnifier to get a comparable view of the 35mm framelines as we get on a 50mm lens with the 0.72x viewfinders today.


They do make this same item in a 1.25X but I do not know if that helps enough. I too wear glasses but I remove them when I shoot with the diopter set for my eyesight and I can see the 35mm frame lines, then with the added magnification I can focus that much quicker. Our eyes could be very different so this may or may not be of any help to you.



Sep 19, 2022 at 01:34 PM
johnvanr
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Swap Leica M11 for Hasselblad X2D? SL2-S? Or back to Sony mirrorless?


I think the first question is why you need high resolution. To me, the problem with the M11 is that itís a combo of high resolution - which requires precise focusing and stabilization - with a focusing system and lack of IBIS that makes it hard to do that resolution justice.

I think 100mp is overkill for just about anything.

I have a M10, tried 4 different diopter correction lenses and none did the job. Now trying progressive glasses, but not 100% convinced Leica is the best choice going forward. At least the resolution of the M10 isnít as unforgiving compared to higher MP cameras.

To me, unless you want to use M lenses, the SL series falls short against the competition at a higher price point.

Even though I dislike using Sony gear, if you donít, I think Sony will serve you best.

Unless you really like the rangefinder experience, in which case you need to find a way to make it work. For street, use zone focusing. Forget about trying to focus on moving people.



Sep 19, 2022 at 02:12 PM
Steve Spencer
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Swap Leica M11 for Hasselblad X2D? SL2-S? Or back to Sony mirrorless?


Hi,

I have a Leica M10, a Sony A9, and a Fuji GFX 50s, so not exactly the same cameras you are considering but not too far either.

For my everyday kit that I carry around all the time, I much prefer the Leica M10 and with my basic kit (I carry the Leica M 21 SEM, Voigtlander 28 f/2 II, Leica 50 Lux Asph, and Voigtlander 90 f/2.8 APO) I have a very small kit I can carry easily in a smallish shoulder bad with my computer and I can shoot pretty much anything I want that isn't fast action. You may find a similar experience to me, but your may not. I do think a week or two is not enough time for you to figure out if you like a rangefinder or not. It is a really different way of shooting and you really need to stop down more sometimes, prefocus sometimes, and zone focus (which really involves both stopping down and refocussing) sometimes. I don't miss much anymore unless the action is pretty fast. I will attach a couple below of my son doing an obstacle course at summer camp and I really had no difficulty focussing even though he was moving pretty fast. For these I used pre-focus because it was a course and I knew where he would be going.

Now Sony is great when you really need the camera to help with focus. The AF of the A9 is great and my wife has an A1 which is even a little better. These cameras also shoot very high fps (way more than I ever need) which can be useful at times. If you don't like using the Leica M, then the Sony is the next smallest by just a little and will get you the best focussing ability.

That said I think the Hassy X2D with the wonderful 100 MP sensor has a definite pull. It has an objectively better sensor than any of the Sony's and will produce beautiful files. It is very similar size to the Sony as well and I love what I have seen from the lenses as well. Sony it could be a great system and can definitely be used for travel, but won't be nearly as small as you Leica kit because both the camera and lenses are notably bigger. I am also pretty sure that the AF will be nowhere close to the AF for the Sony. One of the drawbacks of the big sensor is it takes a long time to scan and that slow scan speed provides some hard limits for AF. The Sony will scan its sensor about 20 times faster and that huge difference in scan speed will slow the AF for the Hassy. Now that may or may not matter to you. It will if you shoot sports or fast action, but I am not sure it will matter as much if at all for what you shoot. My guess is it won't matter most of the time, but in low light situations the Sony will be noticeably better at AF. The reviews of the Hassy seem to point to that limitation. That said, personally if I didn't have my Leica M kit and I had to replace it, and I had the money, I would definitely pick the Hassy X2D over a Sony A1, but that is just me. YMMV.




  LEICA M10    Summilux-M 1:1.4/50 ASPH. lens    50mm    f/2.0    1/350s    200 ISO    0.0 EV  






  LEICA M10    Summilux-M 1:1.4/50 ASPH. lens    50mm    f/1.7    1/180s    200 ISO    0.0 EV  




Sep 19, 2022 at 02:14 PM
Rob Brand
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Swap Leica M11 for Hasselblad X2D? SL2-S? Or back to Sony mirrorless?


As a long time M user, and one who's suddenly feeling the vision not being what it used to be, I found adding the Visoflex really helped in that regard. Especially in lower light situations.

As for the portability, I judge the portability on the size of the lenses not the camera body. For that reason alone the M is the camera with me on a daily basis. On a recent trip to Banff I had a lot of awkward looks with my tiny M11 atop a rather bulky tripod, but the images were incredible & the weight while hiking couldn't be beat.



Sep 19, 2022 at 02:21 PM
johnvanr
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Swap Leica M11 for Hasselblad X2D? SL2-S? Or back to Sony mirrorless?


Rob Brand wrote:
As a long time M user, and one who's suddenly feeling the vision not being what it used to be, I found adding the Visoflex really helped in that regard. Especially in lower light situations.

As for the portability, I judge the portability on the size of the lenses not the camera body. For that reason alone the M is the camera with me on a daily basis. On a recent trip to Banff I had a lot of awkward looks with my tiny M11 atop a rather bulky tripod, but the images were incredible & the weight while hiking
...Show more

Yup, itís about lens sizes nowadays. Thatís what attracted me to Leica M and itís what has always attracted me to MFT. No use having lenses I donít want to carry.



Sep 19, 2022 at 02:26 PM
pmeheut
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Swap Leica M11 for Hasselblad X2D? SL2-S? Or back to Sony mirrorless?


Option 1 is the only smart one.

Option 0 would be "do not buy something very expensive, known to be hard to master, not for everybody if you are ready to quit after a week".

An analogy would be "do no buy a Ferrari F40 to go on holidays with your family because you think it will be like your Class S Mercedes but faster whilst failing to notice the lack of backseats, trunk and so on".



Sep 19, 2022 at 02:30 PM
goodbokeh
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Swap Leica M11 for Hasselblad X2D? SL2-S? Or back to Sony mirrorless?


ArchnemeSwiss wrote:
I got a Leica M11 and Voigtlander Ultron 35mm f2 v2 last week. I'm new to rangefinders but not new to photography. It's been decades since I shot with a manual focus camera. I love the size of the M system and the colors coming out of the M11 are just spectacular. My motivation for the purchase was to get a super-compact system with very high image quality in a well-built package that I could take everywhere with me.

That said, I am struggling with my eyeglasses and the 35mm framelines in the viewfinder being hard to see. And of
...Show more

I share your situation of eyeglasses and having astigmatism. Your best bet for successfully using a M camera is a 50mm lens but that doesn't sound like the ideal choice for you.

Try this for Option 5: Return the M11 & Voigtlander lens and get a Sony A1 with the Sigma 65mm f/2 DG DN. Then, get the Leica Q2 now or a Q3 (maybe) a year from now for the complimentary 28mm wide angle view.

Of your original options l would go with #2 and the new 55mm lens.




Sep 19, 2022 at 02:49 PM
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