Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2015/10/26

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Subject: [Leica] The SL
From: alal at (Akhil Lal)
Date: Mon, 26 Oct 2015 21:07:11 -0400

I had a chance to play with the SL at the Leica booth at PhotoExpo 2015.
Based on a brief encounter, some thoughts below.

1.  Compared to my D800 + 24-70/2.8 G lens the SL was lighter and
(slightly) smaller. Remember Leica is positioning this as an alternative to
the big boy DSLRs, not the A7/ Olympus/Fuji cameras.

Also note that  the 28-90 Leica R  and the Contax- Yashica 28-85 zooms were
not small and light.  At the present state of the art, small size is
incompatible with top quality optics intended for use on digital sensors.
See the new CZ lenses and the latest primes from Nikon. Or note the sizes
of the now discontinued Olympus Pro lenses for the 4/3rds system,

 2. AF was lightening quick with the 24-90 zoom. As good as, if not better,
than my D800E under the same conditions.

3. The 4MP finder was a surprise. Not as contrasty or clear as an optical
finder, but more than merely adequate. I predict that when EVFs reach 8-16
MPs optical finders will be a thing of the past.

4. Manual Focusing was VERY easy on this finder, even without focus peaking
(which was outstanding).  I was able to focus a 35 /2 Summicron M,  mounted
via the T adapter, very quickly, even at a working aperture of f8. Faster
in fact, than I can do it now on an M, given my eyesight. This was without
using  focus peaking!  FWIW, under the same ambient light conditions I had
much more difficulty  manually focussing my D800E with the zoom set to 70

 It was quite interesting to close down the lens from f2 to f8 and see the
changes in DOF on the EVF. The viewing brightness was adjusted

IMHO, the EVF is a non-issue.

5. Did not pay attention to shutter noise or vibration, but it did not

6. The R adapter will be just a tube, no auto-stop down with R lenses. The
attitude was if it focuses with M lenses at f8 it will do the same with R
lenses. On the plus side focus  shift, e.g. Noctilux  f1,will not be an
issue when lenses are focussed at working aperture.

IMO, a purchase decision will come down to how well this camera works with
M lenses. If it is at least as good as an M9 when used with M wide-angles,
with none of the corner smearing or colour casts produced by other full
frame mirror-less bodies, then it might serve as a suitable platform for
both R & M lenses  and would be worth considering.

Leica missed a trick by not using body based anti-shake.


Replies: Reply from jhnichols at (Jim Nichols) ([Leica] The SL)