Leica Leica SL

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dalethorn

Guest
I just realized this thread is now three very full pages, so nobody can say we dismissed the SL out of hand. The interest is definitely there, so now onto the magic. Is this a handheld shooter, or strictly tripod-ready?
 

rbelyell

All-Pro
May 14, 2013
88
NY Mtns
oh i was way more interested in it before it came out! leica constantly disappoints me in its digicam output, with the exception of the Q. but even that is kind of an rx1 ripoff. better feathers, but essentially the same bird. ya' know how the leica motto used to be 'small camera/big pictures'? my motto is 'leica lenses/non leica cams'! i have fully dismissed them from camera-relevency.

no, now my interest turns to aquiring a 28 cron for my rd1...
 
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Duane Pandorf

Top Veteran
Apr 25, 2011
103
Western NC
It's quite obvious Leica did not design this camera for most of us on this forum. There is a place for a DSLR sized body and there are plenty of photographers that need that size. It's not like this is the only camera Leica makes now is it? And none of us are being forced to spend money on this product to make our photographs.

Plus it's not even available to purchase yet.
 

rbelyell

All-Pro
May 14, 2013
88
NY Mtns
dont get your point. its a discussion forum and we're discussing. whats that got to do with someone forced to buy gear, or the merits of other products not under discussion?

as for whom leica designed this, their intended class is wholly not 'obvious' to me. i dont believe any pro who has been invested in CaNikon in both years and gear is going to switch to this. yvmv, but i'm willing to bet you theres no rush going on to trade in 1.4 L prime lenses for a thirty pound 2.8-4 zoom. so if its not us, and its not CaNikon pros, who exactly is their obvious target group?
 
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Jun 7, 2016
3
West Palm Beach, Florida
David H Dennis
I thought you guys might enjoy a totally different viewpoint, from someone who will definitely consider a SL or its successor next time I buy this class of camera.

From the viewpoint of a Nikon D4/5 user, the Leica SL is a small and light camera, with small and light lenses. And yet it has similar frame rates, a really high quality EVF, and lenses that positively reek of quality. It looked like it has comparable performance to the D5 at ISO 51,200, which is the main reason I got the D5. I played with it at the Leica Store Miami and really liked what I saw.

I think maybe Leica is trying to expand its market by producing a no-excuses product that's likely to lure some DSLR users its way. The body isn't that different in price than a D5, but staggeringly expensive lenses kept me away for this purchase cycle. During the next purchase cycle I may be more in need of a smaller and lighter camera so the SL (or its successor) has a real chance against the Nikon D6 a few years from now.

Right now I have an underwater project for which I'm seriously considering an X-U. If I fall in love with Leica using that, I will be a really good candidate for a SL.

By the way, I think some of you miss the point a bit. You all want a new M-series camera. I have every confidence that Leica will introduce one when it's ready. The SL is meant to expand the brand's customers. The new M-series will cause existing customers to buy a new camera. Don't think you are being neglected just because there is a SL. As long as a new M comes up you should be happy – and happy to see the Leica brand gain new fans with the SL, because I never would have considered a M.
 
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dalethorn

Guest
I thought you guys might enjoy a totally different viewpoint, from someone who will definitely consider a SL or its successor next time I buy this class of camera.

From the viewpoint of a Nikon D4/5 user, the Leica SL is a small and light camera, with small and light lenses. And yet it has similar frame rates, a really high quality EVF, and lenses that positively reek of quality. It looked like it has comparable performance to the D5 at ISO 51,200, which is the main reason I got the D5. I played with it at the Leica Store Miami and really liked what I saw.

I think maybe Leica is trying to expand its market by producing a no-excuses product that's likely to lure some DSLR users its way. The body isn't that different in price than a D5, but staggeringly expensive lenses kept me away for this purchase cycle. During the next purchase cycle I may be more in need of a smaller and lighter camera so the SL (or its successor) has a real chance against the Nikon D6 a few years from now.

Right now I have an underwater project for which I'm seriously considering an X-U. If I fall in love with Leica using that, I will be a really good candidate for a SL.

By the way, I think some of you miss the point a bit. You all want a new M-series camera. I have every confidence that Leica will introduce one when it's ready. The SL is meant to expand the brand's customers. The new M-series will cause existing customers to buy a new camera. Don't think you are being neglected just because there is a SL. As long as a new M comes up you should be happy – and happy to see the Leica brand gain new fans with the SL, because I never would have considered a M.
"Small and light"? Here's a photo posted by another user (couldn't get a link):

4.5 lbs if I read it right.
 

rbelyell

All-Pro
May 14, 2013
88
NY Mtns
were i starting from scratch, with no prior slr history, the very first camera i'd consider is the pentax k1. fully pro body, excellent lenses, and doesnt break the back or the bank. dare to be different.
 

Hap

Top Veteran
Jan 9, 2016
28
I can see your point rbelyell. The K1 system is intriguing....although I don't quite understand it. The pixel shift mode is turning out to be extremely good and even the standard modes are considered highly. Lloyd Chambers is praising it, which is hard to achieve other than his love of Zeiss and his workhorse Nikon 810. The Pentax problem is the lack of professional lenses. Of course , not meaningful to me as I am not in the market for cameras of this type.

I am intrigued , however, by your list of FS items.

The SL pictured above looks badass and very heavy. at nearly 5 lbs....that's like hauling around an RB67.
 

rbelyell

All-Pro
May 14, 2013
88
NY Mtns
re pentax pro lens lineup, i think it depends on what kind of pro one is. if one requires a large number of different lenses at the same fl, then yeah, youre right. but if one needs one or two outstanding lenses at the typical fl's, then pentax'll do ya just fine. imho, the fa ltd series rivals any leica or zeiss, and are incredibly compact. and btw, you can get loads of m42 legacy zeiss and pentax glass!

ps, there are a whole bunch of italian sports cars that weigh less than that SL rig! and cost less too! i'll take a fiat spyder any day of the week over that thing! ):
 

Conrad

New Member
Jun 8, 2016
3
"Small and light"? Here's a photo posted by another user (couldn't get a link): 4.5 lbs if I read it right.
Don't let that dpreview picture of the lady with the tiny hands fool you. For what it is, the SL is exactly right. Not big, not small, right. If you start from Davids perspective where you want a speed demon having >10 fps MF, >=7fps C-AF, nice 24-70/2.8 (or equivalent focal range), weather sealing, tough, good screens and (E)VF's, magnesium or better alloy bodies, the selection is actually not that big. Take the following four cameras and compare them on size and weight:


From left to right the Nikon D5 (2475 g), Leica SL (1887 g), Canon 7DII (1665 g), Panasonic GH4 (865 g). In my view the SL gives you full frame at the size and weight of APS with an additional 20 mm reach. If you really want small and light, pick the GH4. If you want maximum IQ, pick the SL. The other two suddenly feel compromised. There may be a ton of reasons to still pick the Nikon or Canon above the other two, but if we are only discussing size and weight, Leica and Panasonic are the ones that get it.

A similar comparison can break down quickly if you are not into speed demons, but still put the SL in there. I was thrilled when I saw the SL specs. Finally a full frame GH4 with the promise of truly exceptional glass and build. If I had the cash now, I would buy it immediately.
 
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dalethorn

Guest
The SL with lens and battery is actually 1987 grams. So the Nikon is 5.5 lbs and the SL is 4.4 lbs. I carried a Leica MM with Noctilux lens for awhile, which was almost exactly 3 lbs, so a 4.4 lb camera is pretty heavy for handholding - too much for most people. A specialized harness like I saw at one of the big photo clubs would probably be needed, unless shooting from a tripod.
 

rbelyell

All-Pro
May 14, 2013
88
NY Mtns
dale, in a world where a picture is not really a picture, reciting facts is a waste of time. you must know by now, leica is always 'just right'. :doh:
 
Jun 7, 2016
3
West Palm Beach, Florida
David H Dennis
If you start from Davids perspective where you want a speed demon having >10 fps MF, >=7fps C-AF, nice 24-70/2.8 (or equivalent focal range), weather sealing, tough, good screens and (E)VF's, magnesium or better alloy bodies, the selection is actually not that big.
Absolutely.

I'm not thrilled with losing f/2.8, but I do like the additional focal length range to 90mm. It's an interesting tradeoff.

I think the comparison from the top actually understates the difference. If my memory serves from seeing the SL a week or so ago at the Leica Store, it is about half the height. So the bulk is considerably less.

The other thing I like is the control layout. It's less dependent on pressing a button and rotating a dial at the same time, which I've always found awkward. The ultramodern feel of it is also enormously appealing, and particularly interesting for what was known as a tradition-bound company. It's like someone blew the dust off of the old ways of designing a camera and added fresh thinking.

Of course the SL's price is the major obstacle for me to adopt it. It's interesting to look at and consider, though. And I love the fact that someone is doing something unique and new.

By the way, for the record I have handheld the D4/D5 series for years now and although it's tough for video I really love the way it balances when used for still shots.
 
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dalethorn

Guest
Absolutely.

I'm not thrilled with losing f/2.8, but I do like the additional focal length range to 90mm. It's an interesting tradeoff.

I think the comparison from the top actually understates the difference. If my memory serves from seeing the SL a week or so ago at the Leica Store, it is about half the height. So the bulk is considerably less.

The other thing I like is the control layout. It's less dependent on pressing a button and rotating a dial at the same time, which I've always found awkward. The ultramodern feel of it is also enormously appealing, and particularly interesting for what was known as a tradition-bound company. It's like someone blew the dust off of the old ways of designing a camera and added fresh thinking.

Of course the SL's price is the major obstacle for me to adopt it. It's interesting to look at and consider, though. And I love the fact that someone is doing something unique and new.

By the way, for the record I have handheld the D4/D5 series for years now and although it's tough for video I really love the way it balances when used for still shots.
I just wanted a clarification - you're saying that the 5.5 lb DSLR is easy to use every day handheld?
 
Jun 7, 2016
3
West Palm Beach, Florida
David H Dennis
I just wanted a clarification - you're saying that the 5.5 lb DSLR is easy to use every day handheld?
Yes, it is.

This should not be too surprising to you, since Nikon has sold thousands of D3/D3S/D4/D4S/D5s for the purpose of high-speed shooting in tough conditions. I would say very few D5 cameras are used with a tripod. If people had difficulty shooting handheld with it, it would have been a complete sales disaster.

For a different perspective, I recently sold one of my Fuji lenses to a very nice older gentleman who I let check out my D5. He said it was not much different in weight from his D750 with battery grip.
 
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dalethorn

Guest
Yes, it is. This should not be too surprising to you, since Nikon has sold thousands of D3/D3S/D4/D4S/D5s for the purpose of high-speed shooting in tough conditions. I would say very few D5 cameras are used with a tripod. If people had difficulty shooting handheld with it, it would have been a complete sales disaster. For a different perspective, I recently sold one of my Fuji lenses to a very nice older gentleman who I let check out my D5. He said it was not much different in weight from his D750 with battery grip.
I find that extremely difficult to believe, based on belonging to the 2nd largest photo club in the U.S. for several years. I could quote many examples. I have never seen anyone shooting a 5.5 lb camera/lens handheld either. I sold my 1.5 lb Noctilux to someone here, who had a comment I expected when he received it and mounted it.

But whatever your reason for believing in the unlikely, I can't tell you what you know since it's your deal, but I will reiterate the long experience I have around hundreds of pro users - it ain't done because it's way too heavy.
 
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Jun 7, 2016
3
West Palm Beach, Florida
David H Dennis
I find that extremely difficult to believe, based on belonging to the 2nd largest photo club in the U.S. for several years. I could quote many examples. I have never seen anyone shooting a 5.5 lb camera/lens handheld either. I sold my 1.5 lb Noctilux to someone here, who had a comment I expected when he received it and mounted it.
I suspect this is simply about different kinds of shooters. I do things differently than what you're used to. And I don't think there's anything wrong with that, it just seems odd for you to firmly deny that photographers like me, who handhold D4/5 class cameras, exist.

I do not doubt your experience in your camera club. I'm sure that photographers in your milieu who shoot with heavy rigs use tripods exclusively. And when I go to Wakodahatchee Wetlands, I do see that essentially everyone with really heavy glass shoots with a tripod. I go around Wakodahatchee without a tripod, normally using the 80-400 f/4.5. The combination of the D5 and that lens has enabled me to take pictures I'm really happy with.

I have taken literally hundreds of thousands of photos hand-held with the D4 and D5. My D4 had 450,000 shutter clicks when I switched to the D5, and my D5 has 45,664 shutter clicks. I would say I use a tripod about 1% of the time. My kind of photography is spontaneous and in the moment, and a tripod would slow me down way too much. You could say that I basically shoot like a photojournalist, the subset of photographers for which the D5 was designed and built.

The last 50 of my Facebook albums were taken with the D5, approximately 99% handheld:

David H Dennis | Facebook

A few minutes on Google shows that I am not alone:

Jared Lloyd Photography - handholding with the D5 and 600mm off a rocking kayak! Kudos to this man!
Nikon D5 - talking about walking around, handholding with the D5 at ultra-high ISOs.
Nikon D5 with Sigma 150-600 sport - a bunch of shots he handheld with his D5 and (also very heavy) Sigma 150-600 lens.

Now, I'm not saying that I don't get weary of handholding it after an hour or so of having the giant millstone around my neck, but I do love photography with it and the pictures I take with it.

Peace.
 

Hap

Top Veteran
Jan 9, 2016
28
I rather assumed that D5 and similar class cameras were used by a very unique group of users, typically specializing in news and sports. Monopods everywhere in that group...and massive glass. Probably lots of very high ISO to allow for the handholding (if necessary) and of course the D5 is not an extremely high res camera. You would go to D810 for that (or maybe now the K1?). The fact that the D5 produces extremely nice "files" is one argument against pixel packing. Can even rev it up more in it's crop mode. Seems that the SL and the D5 are zebras and camels...or whatever cliché you prefer. although the weight comparisons could be similar, the way the cameras work and put to use appear different.
 

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