Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1999/01/06[Author Prev] [Author Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Author Index] [Topic Index] [Home] [Search]
Hi, I love the SL and use several of them extensively. They are straightforward, reliable cameras, with TTL metering, and the virtue of taking the less expensive, older 2-cam lenses. To my eyes, the focusing screen is one of the brightest and nicest available. They are available relatively inexpensively, about $350 for the camera body in EX+ or better condition and about $150-200 for a 2-cam 50mm Summicron in really nice condition. Unfortiunately, I just sold my extra ouitfit this past weekend. There are a couple of points to be aware of, however. The TTL metering is a spot meter, outlined by the microprism focuing circle in the viewfinder. I find this advantageous, others may wish for an overall metering system, or the ability to choose between the two. The cameras are all more than 25 years old now. One popit to look for when buying one is that the viewfinder is cllean and clear. On many, there appears to be a brownish "dirty water" stain in te viewfinder. This is a sign that the prism is begining to separate and may need to be replaced -- an expensive job. Also, there were "early" and "late" versions, with the late version having a few strengthened parts. The most obvious is the lens lock release button. Early ones had a red plastic one which is prone to breakage. later ones have a silver metal tab. Also, the film take-up spool was a light gray/white plastic on early ones, in which the take-up slots were proe to breakage. The laterones had a darker, medium gall metal spool which was stronger. Another point is the meter cell, located in the bottom of the mirror box. Whne viewed with the mirror up (holding down the shutter release with the speed set on B) early meter cells were smooth. Later ones show ridges. A final note, while the meter in the SL is very accurate, it takes the discontinued mercury batteries. I have found a ready supply of these batteries in Europe in the past. Leica in New Jersey says they can recalibrate the meter to take newer silver-oxide batteries. I have used the silver oxide batteries in two of my camereas without having them recalbrated and the resulkts have been fine.