Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2001/03/29

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Used SL or SL2
From: Nathan Wajsman <>
Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2001 22:10:30 +0200
References: <>

Hi Tom,

> But, after doing a little research and reading a few posts I am now
> interested in possibly purchasing an excellent condition SL or SL2. Several
> people have told me that these cameras in their opinion were the last great
> reflex cameras being fully mechanical that Leica produced. I was also told
> that the quality was first rate.
> Would anyone care to comment of this opinion and give me their two cents?

I have an R8 and an SL. The SL is a truly wonderful camera. I will not say
whether it is better or worse than the R8, it is just different. But the build
quality and the brightness of the viewfinder are second to none.

> Also can you recommend one over the other and if so, what production year or
> serial numbers should I look for. Last but not least, what should I expect
> to pay for anything up to mint in a box. I don't mind paying top dollar if
> it is justified by the condition.

The main difference between SL and SL2 is that the latter has a more sensitive
light meter and is more expensive. I used to have an SL2Mot (a model designed to
take a motor drive) but sold it and later bought my SL for the grand sum of $400
including a 50mm Summicron. The SL is one of the best values in the Leica

> Last, can I safely use my new R rom lenses with this camera, or would I need
> an adapter of some sort. Would this camera damage my new lenses. I have a
> 28-70mm Vario Elmar, a 80-200mm Vario Elmar, and a 100mm APO macro with the
> Elpro macro close up adapter.

This is the biggest problem. You cannot use ROM lenses on an SL or SL2. The only
solution would be to have them converted to 3-cam, but that is not cheap and not
always possible. In fact, according to my Handbook of the Leica System (German
edition, 1999), this conversion is only possible for the 80-200mm of the three
lenses you mention. I am afraid that rules out the SL/SL2 for you unless you are
prepared to buy lenses specifically for it.

> I know this is asking a lot, but if you also could recommend a reliable
> source for used equipment that would be appreciated. I am new to the used
> market and wouldn't know where to start.

Since you are in the US, check out Don Chatterton, B&H Photo and last but not
least the Friday FS ads here on the LUG. You could also venture to some of the
European mail order outfits which often have better prices. For example:

The first and third are in Germany, the second in Austria. I have done business
with all 3, while living in Belgium and now in Switzerland, and been happy every

- --
Nathan Wajsman
Herrliberg (ZH), Switzerland


General photo site:
Belgium photo site:
Motorcycle site:

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