Leica SL/SL2, any lens


Cameras Guitars Wonders
Local time
9:10 AM
Jul 11, 2011
I found no RFF thread for aggregating SL/SL2 images, so *presto shazam* here it is. Previously published RFF/SL images are welcome.

Please mention the lens, and any other info technical, circumstantial, anecdotal, you’d like us to know.






SL 601 / ZM Biogon 35 2.0 / BW jpgs -> LR 10

I acquired this SL after 6 years of using Sony A7 and A7II with Kolarified sensors to mount M lenses. Since 2017 I have also been transitioning from M film cameras to M digital. So far I’m very much enjoying these tools in the SL toolkit: *critical magnification for manual focus;
*brilliant simplicity of the spot exposure (touch/joystick);
*2 card slots separate DNG from BW jpgs.
Getting their greens at Ronnie’s Country Store
SL2, Sigma DG 24 3.5, Winston-Salem, NC
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The butler’s kitchen, Reynolda House, Winston-Salem
SL2, Sigma DG 24mm 3.5
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Buddha with conch shells, Buttonwood pond

Guitar divan, Buttonwood bedroom
Both with Summilux 50mm1.4 preaspherical
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Good thread. How do you find the SL with M lenses compared with Kolari-modded A7 series cameras? I'm happy with some M lenses on my Panasonic S5, but not some others. The smaller ones like the Elmarit 28 asph, the Nokton 35 f1.4 have extra smeary corners and strange bokeh behaviour.
I’ve used A7 and A7K since 2015–and still have an A7IIK.

On the first (non-K) A7, the widest M lens I could use for acceptable sharpness was a Zeiss 35 2.8 C-Biogon. And I used it extensively for a project on roadside memorials, as well as a ZM 50 Planar and Leica 90 4.0.

With the Kolarified A7, I used a Sony FE 55 1.8 more than any other lens—but could use M and adapted LTM lenses in 28, 21, 15mm focal lengths, as well as fast 35 M lenses (Zeiss f2, Voigtlander f1.4).

My wife Linn inherited the A7K, primarily to mount an FE zoom, when I bought an A7IIK from a colleague here. The A7IIK can mount a Tech Art adapter to autofocus M lenses at most focal lengths, and I’ve enjoyed that versatility.

I began shifting to digital M in 2017. The M10 M is now my main vehicle for M lenses. I’ve also been using a Leica T since 2018; its Typ 020 EVF fits the M10M as well, and my aging eyes benefit from this.

Fast forward to late adoption of the SL, which I rationalize in the following ways:

1/the eyepiece/EVF is big and fabulously clear, with a generous diopter for my preferred no-glasses focusing.

2/the WYSWYG metering is more intuitively and dramatically immediate than my A7 models. I don’t use the term ‘breathtaking’ lightly, but for an available light shooter like me, that’s what SL metering is. Exposure is more decisive abd assured than ever.
3/L-mount lenses—in my case, Sigma—means I can have AF for the Leica SL (DG 24 3.5) and T (DC 30 1.4) when I want. I’m a longtime Foveon/Quattro user; Sigma optics are a natural choice.

4/SL focus magnification (for manually focusing M lenses) is faster than an A7. A Tech Art adapter can make this distinction meaningless as long as one has an A7II Kolari at a minimum.

I can’t speak about Panasonic S, sorry. If you think an A7IIK and Tech Art M adapter are worth trying out, let me know; that kit is doing shelf queen time for the time being.
Barbecue pickup, rainy day
SL2, Sigma 24mm 3.5, Lexington, North Carolina
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I was considering getting an SL or SL2, but in the end I went for a M10. It seems that focusing is very easy with these two cameras, and images are of high quality.
IQ is Leica—to keep it simple, like Yoda. ;-)

Re M / SL: During the lockdown of spring 2020, I looked over my gear hoard, which had been gradually reproducing in redundant directions. Camera West helped me consolidate much of that redundancy into an M10 Monochrome.

M10M is still my sine qua non. It reduces aesthetic and technical decisions, or should I say values, to their essence. It arrived the same month I had cataract surgery, which makes RF shooting a pleasure once more.

My late adoption of the SL really goes back to 2015, when obligations and finances tied to work and family meant that a used Sony A7 would have to serve as FF vehicle for my small stash of Zeiss/Voigtlander M/LTM lenses (and only for the 35-50-90 focal lengths).

Life changes—in my case, the death of my first wife, rationally chosen retirement, and the fortunate late discovery of a soulmate whose values and desires mirror mine, without compromise—mean that I can have the SL I wanted then, for less than a used A7RIII. The current array of L lenses means I can have AF when I wish (as well as raw color) without having to double or triple the carry weight with Leica’s SL glass.

The SL metering, though, is the true marvel. Had I experienced it sooner, I might have traded away even more gear redundancies for its sake.
I have 8 to 10 thousand photos in my "personal" library made with the SL, and about three times that in my "for clients" library, many of which are marked for posting but "I haven't gotten to them yet..." as the old excuse goes. :D The Leica SL is a superb camera!

It's a lovely camera, but I found that when I stopped doing assignment work, it was simply more than I wanted to carry. After I sold it and the two SL zoom lenses, I bought a CL body so I'd have one TTL 24Mpixel body for doing close up work, tabletop, and long lens work... And I've found that to be so versatile and appealing, it pretty much replaced my digital M cameras as well. I use the CL with the same M-mount and R-mount lenses I had for the Ms and the SL. They all work beautifully together, and the basic kit of camera and three focal lengths is much smaller and lighter for carrying about and traveling.

My non-navigator 1-1 ZM 35-1230308.jpg
Mimi in the ZoomZoom (SL / ZM 35 2.0)

The T was my first digital Leica; I used it mostly with a Voigtlander 35 1.4. I added the 23/2 Summicron later, at which point the T/23 was arm-wrestling with a Sony RX1 and an X100.

This crystallizes the gear-redundancy I mention above—and that particular T, its two lenses, the X100 and a number of other delightful but less-used tools were consolidated into the M10M.

I’ve been tempted by the CL, but I no longer live where a bike, e-bike or my Aprilia 500c makes sense for a gear-ride, as I take from your life and visual anecdotes. I’m glad the CL works for you in just those ways.

In a sense your years of fulfillment with the SL have migrated forward to me, and perhaps other late adopters. (As my trading with Camera West put some good gear and karma into your Bay Area.)

As for hauling the SL, a Peak Design sling works wonderfully. And my Mazda Miata fastback is plenty strong for hauling Leicas, but not much else—either Linn can come along with her Fuji X, or Mimi the terrier, but not both.

If the SL stops being a magic box for me, I’ll pass it along—I need the magic more than I need technical specifications, though as far as the latter are concerned I’ve grown to prefer Leica’s.
Madonna looking for shelter among shuttered homes
SL2, Sigma 24mm 3.5, Old Salem
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I own a SL and a SL2. The SL is still a great camera.

I will say though the Leica APO glass is really great on the new L-mounts. They kinda have this extra contrast in the in-focus area that provides a perceived enhanced sharpness, and then this great transition to OOF. Pretty much a signature.

My old SL gets used with a 28 M-Cron version 1, a Noct-Nikkor, and a 50 Lux "E60" R-lens. EZ-PZ to focus manually.

The SL2 I kinda dumbed down to where I stripped it down to a very basic camera so it is very much like a film camera. The user interface on the SL2 I love.

Hope to meet again in our travels. This pandemic is still going on...


Post Script: I just bought a used Santa Cruz Model "F" that is all mahogany (including the top) as a retirement present. In a was it is a Model F built to 1929 spec, but I also custom ordered a Santa Cruz Model F that is being built to 1934 specs with all old-growth wood (Mahogany back and sides, Adirondack Spruce top, and hot hide glue Adi braces).

Been woodshedding...