Contemplating the Leica SL Mirrorless Camera:
The Leica SL is getting more tempting by the minute :). Thanks to Bob at Bergen County Camera, I was able to borrow an SL with the 24-90mm, and M adapter to see if I actually want one as a replacement for my M 240. I know there are a lot of great cameras out these days, and ones that are coming out like the Fuji GFX. I was actually pretty sure that this time around, I was going to get a GFX. It’s within the same price range as a top end Leica, and it’s medium format. Plus, I am also a Fuji fan, and I already love what the existing X Series produces in terms of image quality. But I already have an X-T2, and I review a lot of gear; I can tell you that Leica definitely has a unique look that I totally love. It’s so real and film like. I love the tones, I love the colors. Of course, I’m not saying that nothing else compares because that’s not true at all. Fuji and pretty much every other good brand has their own unique look as well. Judging by how many articles I write about Fuji gear, I’m obviously a fan :).
It’s been a little difficult for me to decide on whether or not I should dive into the Leica SL because I’ve been a rangefinder fan for so many years but at the same time, I feel like my photography is slowly changing, and the SL’s features may be a better fit for me now. I just want to make sure I’m completely comfortable focusing my M lenses on the SL because unfortunately, there just aren’t many SL lenses out yet.
So far, there are two zooms but I’m just not interested in them mainly because I prefer primes. The good news is the 50mm Summilux ASPH is coming out very soon for the SL. The M version is by far my favorite lens from any manufacturer. Leica have made some pretty bold statements about the qualities of the SL version, and if they are true (which I don’t doubt), the Lux is going to be pretty spectacular to say the least. Plus, they are coming out with a 90mm APO Summicron along with a 35mm Summicron at later dates, which would pretty much fill what I need. I would like an ultra wide but that can be filled by my 18mm Super Elmar-M. It’s one of my favorite lenses. The only thing is, until they release the 35mm and 90mm, I would essentially be relying on my M lenses, and the SL version of the 50mm Lux (which still isn’t out yet). That’s not bad at all; who can complain about M lenses, right ;)? But if I’m investing in this system, I want to use one of the benefits, which is the fast autofocus.
The other issue is the size. The Leica SL is larger than the M, especially if you mount SL lenses to it. But to me, I’m actually okay with the size of the body; Leica has emphasized that they are trying to make the best lenses that they can for the SL, and that means they aren’t making any compromises. I’m totally on board with that but that might also mean larger lenses, which is why a larger body makes sense. The whole camera is better balanced. It’s easier to grip. It’s like Fuji: I was an X-E series user but the lenses steadily increased in size. I ended up going with the X-T series bodies because I felt that they were better balanced with some of the larger Fuji lenses.
Now, the SL is also heavy. But once you hold it in your hands, you’ll know why. The Leica SL is
probably the most solid, and dense feeling camera that I’ve had the pleasure of using. Vault-like might be an understatement. This feels better built than my M, and anything else I’ve used. It’s almost hard to believe a camera can be built to this level. It’s also quite comfortable to hold, and I love the simplicity of it. There are four main buttons in the back, and that’s it! The menu is extremely easy to navigate as well. It took me 10 minutes to figure it all out without instructions. All the important controls are essentially at your fingertips too. It’s typical Leica layout, which I love.
Overall, the Leica SL is quite impressive to me. When it first came out, I never really considered getting one because I just didn’t think it fit me but it grew on me, and once I started using one, I realize how amazing the camera really is. I’ll post some pictures up soon. I should’ve posted some images today to accompany my little blog post (I know, it’s kind of boring without any pics 😉 ) but I’ve been busy writing up my XF 50-140mm f2.8 review. So stay tuned, and thanks for stopping by!
If you’re interested in any Leica gear, and you want a fantastic dealer (which my family and I have been going to for 30+ years), you should consider calling Bob at Bergen County Camera. I wasn’t told to say any of this but they really are up there with the best.