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So now they believe that Pros will now flock to this system? I can see it as a backup to an S especially where a photographer has many S lenses.
Agree that the T lens line is tapped out for now, but that could be revived with the introduction of an ILC AF Q system.
EDIT: IMO, it's not the additional sales that this body will do... It's more that S-sales will (at least) double (getting sales from competition) because this body exists...
Last edited by T.Dascalos; 22nd October 2015 at 13:07. Reason: EDIT
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Fascinating read so far. Here's another perspective.
I'm a long time Leica M (film) user, as well as Hassy - 503CX and SWC/M. I recently made a decision to shift to digital (never one to do things fast) and chose an Alpa with a Leaf Aptus II 7 back.
My wife is a completely non-technical photographer with a great eye. She's used all the cameras I have as well as a variety of P&S.
Last weekend I was sent on a scouting expedition to generate options for a new camera for her. Selection criteria were good image quality, interchangeable lenses and above all NOTHING that distanced her from the actual photograph. If I wasn't clear on that it meant simple like a Leica M. The goal was also a smaller camera than the Alpa that we can both share.
Off I went. I tried a whole variety of cameras including the A7IIR or whatever it's called, the OM-D M1 and M5 or whatever they are called and lots of others between in the APS-C world.
I came away completely bluffed. Most of them were too small for my (admittedly very large) hands and NONE of them met the fundamental criteria - of not distancing the operator from the picture. Many were so complex and so arcane in terms of UI that both I and multiple sales people just gave up.
I didn't have money burning a hole in my pocket but it was a genuine quest for which the discussions have been going on for some time. After my abortive expedition we had another discussion about the possibilities of the digital M, but the reality is ageing eyes and spectacles don't make great friends with an M.
If Leica does deliver a simpler, more direct camera with the SL, if it can effectively use my legacy M glass - including things like the 21 Elmarit Asph - then this might be a winner. I don't like the price, but I'm sure as hell not going to drop cash on anything I laid my hands on last weekend before this was announced. For us photography is about the process and that means that to some extent it is about the tools.
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I did use the A7rII but at that point I was so jaded by the fact that Sony doesn't give a damn about it's UI that it wasn't a pleasant experience for me. The EVF is much improved, as is the overall feel (both in terms of responsiveness and handling). That and I am not a fan of any of the Sony-Zeiss lenses. The Batis lenses did intrigue me, but I feel Zeiss seems to be catering to the Steve Huff crowd these days. More so then to the CY-ZE/ZF crowd. I'm not the only one who feels that way. Again not to say I haven't seen AMAZING things with this combo. But I just don't feel the size and weight is a compelling enough reason for me to use a system that A) I don't like the colors [and yes that is subjective] and B) I don't like the UI and ergonomics [button placement and function].
Leica is down right ridiculous about their SL lens timetable. From a marketing standpoint I get it.. I can explain it, but I feel it's a bit sly (I would say underhanded, but I believe Leica believes the zoom is good, thus they're doing us a favour). AND it might not be Leica's intention, they might just have slow manufacturing, but it's a smart move none the less.
1) SL comes out, early adapters will buy it.
2) variable aperture zoom is less compelling due to it not being seen as a class leading industry standard.
3) early adapters won't care because they have no other choice for an AF lens.
4) Leica probably built a KILLER zoom. So they're banking on early adapters showing the community how good it is.
5) Leica knows that the 50SL will outsell the zoom probably 5 to 1 if it is released at the same time as the SL+zoom.
6) Not many people will rave about the zoom, most internet chatter will be about the 50SL vs Otus etc etc..
7) Leica wants people to buy the zoom, because they believe it's worth buying.
You kinda get where I'm going with this right?
I mean that or they're not up to the task of manufacturing lenses quickly enough to meet the expected demand of the SL, and feel a zoom is more diverse. But by that logic, reading the forums.. All they really have to do is give me and maybe 2-3 other photographers the camera and they've supplied their market. So not that hard to build/manufacter 5 or 6 sets of SL
That is funny in the literal sense.. But realistically I get where they're coming from. I wouldn't really even call it a "compromise" between size and weight. I'd use the term synergy. Since you have to understand that when CaNikon were making their 2.8 zooms they had **** high ISO. F/2.8 - F/4 is the second scariest sounding jump after F/1.4 - F/2.0... But if you think about it. It's only 1-stop. And sometimes it makes all the difference. But ponder this.. Canon's 50L actually lets in less light then their 50/1.8 or 50/1.4 or any other manufactures 50/1.4 lens. They just "push" the ISO a bit without letting the user know to TRICK the user into believing they're getting better light transmission. So who knows what's going on with your lenses and their actual light efficiency.
Now I don't know the T-value of the zoom. Assuming it's pretty low with all those elements, and the distance the light has to travel. BUT in synergistic fashion the sensor should compensate for it not being a 2.8 zoom (by allowing the user to go up in ISO without sacrificing to much quality). The lens is wieldable at this size/weight and it's probably going to out perform most primes. Time will tell.. And since it's the only AF lens available at the moment of launch. I'm sure a lot of people will be using it. And we'll know quick.
Also for a moment ponder this about the A7s and any other camera that can do massively high ISO... It looks like ****. It really does. Shooting people with candle light just because you can doesn't make it good. It's like those guys who get a girl naked stick her in the corner of a room next to a dim lit lamp with all these unflattering shadows then call it ARTISTIC. I shoot a LOT of ballroom weddings/events. I can comfortably use my D750 on 6400 ISO. I don't, because at that point all the hard lights are dominating the face. So what I do is try to strike a balance between the ambient light, and my flash bounced off an appropriate surface which will allow me to evenly and softly illuminate the face. 90% of the time, I'm on 1600 ISO. So you take my 1.4 prime which I end up using on f/2 because ALL DSLR/Mirrorless systems suck at focusing in low light and I need the DOF security and you now make it a 2.8 (the zoom does that on the wide end) I only really have to bump the iso up to 3200 at most. And the SL does good 3200 and has two new flashes which should work as the specs suggest.
Now on the tele end it's an F/4 but generally speaking the lights in the background are now blurred out because I'm shooting someone across the room. So there's more lightness to the background. I can tilt my flash forward facing and I get more power and control over the light. I can shoot and rely on the flash power a bit more in this situation.. More then a stop, but I only need the stop because its f/4. And if the background isn't great, I can bring up the shadows in post (batched) with one click. The contrast on the lens seems good, so it won't look bad like when I shoot other zooms and even some primes. 5D3 Canon is horrid when you bring up the shadows.. Yet it's the wedding camera of choice.
That and technically on the wide end, I tend to shoot groups of 3 or more. And having the added DOF f/4 is a bonus.
And lastly, I have a noctilux. And from the photos I've seen, it balances quite well on the SL. And if the EVF on the Q is anything to go by.. The Noctilux will be quite a companion for the SL. Simple to focus.. Admittedly I have no problems focusing it on my M240 and had little to no problems with it on the A7 series cameras in good light. But the A7 series cameras tend to fall apart in bad light, not ideal for the precision needed for a Noctilux while subjects are moving about.
I don't like the lens. It's not a bad lens. I just don't like it. WTF is wrong with that? Want me to show you a lens that gets universal praise among the Cine community? I bet you would think it's crazy to spend $15k on it, because your 55FE is better.. But that's BETTER FOR YOU. And for your needs, wants, desires. It's not better for the Cine guy.
Maybe I'm to fussy for my own good. Maybe things like color banding erk me more then they do you. Maybe what I shoot/process shows the bad aspects of the lens. Whilst the way you shoot/process doesn't. Do I have to change the way I shoot because a lens isn't designed for it?
Adam, what is the this "color banding" that you talk about? please show a sample or two to illustrate it. I have not heard of any lens being a source of banding in a digital file. Never heard of "color banding".
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I'm very very familiar with Leica DMR, M8 and M9 than I was out onto MF. After I left I honestly lost interest in Leica and mainly it was late product and such and the products just did not fit me anymore as well or they where late on the tech. Money obviously was a big issue. I can't do what I was able to do over 5 years ago my life and family dynamics which is health issues keeps me out of the luxury items. I have to think within budget and folks you know as well as I , Leica is not within a typical budget. I just can't be that much of a gear slut as I was. I don't feel though I am suffering in anyway real way either. It's a lot of money for that extra 1 or 2 percent. Anyway I see the allure but I do see where Leica blew it and that was the adapters they should be out immediately with release. They would give all the other system users a chance to swap immediately which would lead to more sales out of the gate.
See some of these things are what bugged me about Leica, it's a snails pace attitude that made it hard for a working Pro to just buy everything at once. Same issue with Sony too but Sonys A7 was a whole new concept which I understood.
Here are the sizes compared:
If size and weight are the main criteria, Sony wins comfortably. It's much smaller and at around 1 kilogram weighs half of what the Leica and Nikon alternatives do. However, since I've already chosen the Nikon over the Sony, I apparently don't care to much about that. Important also is that the Leica lens has more reach than the Zony and is a stop faster at the wide end.
I remember an interview with a lens designer a few months ago, can't remember who, who said that by making a lens constant aperture, they always give away around one stop at the wide end. Zoom lenses are naturally faster at wide angles, but they limit that to make them constant.
The debate about this lens reminds me a bit of the debate around the PanaLeica 14-50mm f/2.8-3.5 for 4/3, a lens that I have and love dearly. It's a monster compared to the tiny 4/3 format, although only half the weight of this lens. It is however the best zoom lens I've ever used, always sharp corner to corner, regardless of aperture and focal length. And it's a great range, usable for interiors and great for portraits too. In reality, the only lens I need 90% of the time.
If I were to buy into this system, which would require financial luck of epic proportions, the three lenses currently in the program might be the only lenses that I need. One for general use, one for air shows and sports (if the viewfinder and AF can live up to that kind of use) and one for wide apertures. Most of the time, I would only carry two of them, and possibly an adapted telephoto prime. The Zeiss 21mm can obviously also be adapted.
I understand the argument about weight. Many of us are past 60, and I'm getting closer myself. Still, I don't have a problem with heavy stuff, and use the good, old 80-200 AF-S hand held regularly. Maybe Leica didn't target old folks with this camera, but see it as what they think the new generation of professionals need. It has the "modern look" to complement modern designer gadgets, and although many complain about the grip, it can't be worse than the first generation A7, which basically didn't have one.
I don't care what gear I have.
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Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.
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Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.
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People are constantly begging for an interchangeable Q. If they keep it up one will come, from Leica or someone else.
Half the disappointment is that the SL is not this camera, but of course, it was never intended to be. It's the new R, that also loves M glass.
I'm really happy with my own M9/A7.mod combo right now, except both could be smaller and lighter for somebody who is often in the backcountry and likes to have the good stuff always handy.
A digital Barnack. That's all.
I'm basing this on user reports and specs. I WILL BE THE FIRST TO BASH THE SL IF IT DOESN'T PERFORM AS INTENDED. Trust me, I have no love for a company that takes my money then screws me with **** product.
But to me the camera is pretty F*ing special.
1) Colors typical of Leica without having to spend HOURS getting the colors the way I want. (Yes my brain is tuned to Leica colors, my fault)
2) Best AF in the industry, even in low light. I always shoot single shot. I predict the moment, I don't let my camera machine gun around. I have NEVER once used anything but single shot in my life and I've owned every DSLR out there. IF this camera performs as good as the Q, I can confidently say that it bests even a 1DX in tricky light, as I've used the 1Dx and the Q in tandem. As I've used the D750 and it's worse then the Q by far.
3) Best EVF in the industry. I don't really care about EVF or OVF or WYSIWYG (I shot manual and I pay attention to the room I'm in). Though I do love RF for the frame and focusing. I care about making it simple to get the shot. And this EVF is going to make it simple to get the shot IF I decide to shoot manual focus because A) the AF isn't working as it should [happens a lot with DSLRS even my 1Dx did this]. B) I'm using a lens that's MF and I do this on occasion because I love the look of some MF lenses. Say a bride getting ready. I'd probably grab the Noctilux or 50Lux.. Yes when the 50SL comes out, if it's as beautiful as the 50Lux-M I'll buy it and won't need manual focus. But until it does, this camera is my best option (aside from RF cameras) to get an image with a manual lens.
4) Dual card slots - I've used my M for weddings, but being paranoid I have 20+ 16GB and 32GB 95mbps extreme pro cards in both and I switch them every 50-100 shots (or when time permits) just because IF something goes wrong with one of my cards (I use two cameras at all times).. I don't loose the wedding images for the couple. With the A7 I always have a database error that really f*cks with my SD card management system and day.
5) Indisputably the best UI and ergonomics of anything digital ever. Again maybe subjective, but I shoot in very fast paced situations so I'm willing to fight anyone on this point. The camera just NEVER gets in the way.. If the UI is like the S-system then it's brilliant to say the least.
6) You're basing the best points from the A7rII and the A7sII. They're TWO DIFFERENT CAMERAS. If you bought both of them. And you were willing to switch off, then fine. I'm not. I'd rather one camera. It's much less of a headache in post.
SL = 847g w/battery
A7rII = 625g w/battery + 2 spare batteries (2x42g) (if the SL is anything like the Q w/power management it'll take 3 sony batteries to = 1 Q/SL) for a total of = 709g and the annoyance of having batteries in your pockets.
That's not a lot of difference. AND yes the zoom is heavy/large/etc. but if the quality is good, and Sony had an SL adapter, how many people would buy it? Tons of people right now reach for R-zooms for their Sony. I even see adapters for medium format lenses.
BTW, I need to workout more anyway. I'm getting skinny.
I shoot with all my M lenses all the time on my RF and I nail focus consistently while the bride groom are walking, dancing laughing etc. I also do it while I'm walking, crouching, leaning, falling into ditches and drains because I'm not watching where I'm going, etc.
Actually to be fair, I really mostly shoot with the 35FLE and 75APO. But I do and have used all three of my 50mm lenses (noct,lux,apo).
Actually it was a bit disappointing buying the Q28 seeing how amazing it was, and how fun to use it was. Then not being able to buy a Q75 or Q90 or etc.. For me it was to limiting. And for those who are still waiting for a Q, I can see the frustration as well.
Come on.. You have to admit this looks like a very well balanced match:
Not saying the Noctilux isn't gigantic. But the Batis 85 isn't a small lens.
not to forget.
The A7r was a stepping stone for Sony to get to the A7r2 fairly quickly, the SL could function likewise for Leica, no?
With best regards, K-H.
I don't care what gear I have.
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Even as is I prefer it to similar products from Fuji and Sony...
Obviously it can also use the SL lenses although I probably wouldn't recommend putting that huge zoom on the T body
I went through the Leica Q pre-order process ordering on the first day of pre-order and waited for 2.5 months for the camera.
Leica does not provide any meaningful information to their dealers and therefore also the dealers cannot provide anything meaningful to you... Extremely, extremely frustrating...
Even though I might end up buying the SL I will with 100% certainty not pre-order it, I will buy it when it is regularly available in the stores, I am not going through that process again...
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GREAT POST!!! The reason I quoted also the comparison image again! One cannot often enough see this comparison.
If you look at the SL in the middle, it is even small compared to the Nikon with the 2.8/24-74, which I shot for many years - maybe on a different Nikon body, but then it was a D3 and this is even larger than the Nikon camera in this comparison!
So actually this new SL is pretty comfortable in size, even with such a zoom like the 24-90! And I am very confident this lens is top overall! Also I still own a huge number of M lenses, including the beautiful and excellent 1.0/50, which would be great on the SL. I never could get friends with a digital M, because of the focussing issues with such fast lenses if used wide open in combination with AF. So using my WATE, the 1/50, 1.4/75 and 2/90 on the SL would immediately make a pretty complete system of the best glass available, although MF. But heck, I would not care, if the EVF is really as good as described! And for lazy times I still could use the 28-90 AF and for wildlife the 90-280.
This becomes more and more a system I always have dreamed of
Thanks again for bringing all these information!
Just bear in mind the photo shows the new Nikon 24-70 f2.8 VR, which is about an inch longer than the venerable regular 24-70 f2.8 G. Were that lens used, the D750 combo would be about the same length as the Leica, but about 250g lighter in the lens. This is my concern: the Leica is an 1150g lens hanging off a skinny body with sharp edges and no grip contouring.... a body with the same sort of front to back depth as an A7. To put this in context, my Sony 70-200 f4 G weighs over 250g less than the Leica 24-90 and is used on a commensurately lighter A7. I would consider the leverage excessive on this small body. While the SL is heavier than a Sony A7, it's no thicker really and that leverage will be there. Unfortunately, the grip does not look adequate to make that comfortable, though I will stand corrected if users reach different conclusions.
For those manual focusing M lens fans, I recall Ming Thein mentioning that there is no 'auto zoom' option in the EVF when manual focusing. If so, that would mean buttons and/or menus to come in and out of magnified view....
Just an aside: I am not sure where you heard the bit quoted below, but I do not think it is correct. DxO measures the T stop of the Canon 50mm f1.2 L as T1.4. The 50mm f1.4 USM is T1.6, as is the Nikon 50mm f1.4G.
The Canon 50mm f1.2L does indeed let in more light than any of the other 50mm lenses and the sort of additional amount you would expect given the half stop faster F stop. There is no cheating going on that I can see.
The Leica lenses can be tested and their T stops ascertained. Assuming a T stop measurement is available, user can know exactly what they are getting.
I'd find that hard to believe (auto zoom). Seeing how the Q does it.
Also, don't you hold your camera with two hands. I always stabilise my lens with one, and shoot with the other. And especially so when I'm hanging onto a zoom ring. I even do it when I was shooting with the A7 series cameras and the little 35FE. Habit from my M I guess?
- - - Updated - - -
Also as far as I know, Leica doesn't post T-stops. And I do not currently have the means of measuring it accurately. But can do so very easily when I'm back in Singapore.
You do hold with two hands when up 'in the aim' so to speak, but a lot of photogs hold cameras 'rested' with the right hand down by the hip. This becomes incrementally more difficult with big lenses, for sure, but its easy and comfortable with a 5D III and 24-70 L II, for example. I am not sure it will feel very nice with the SL and 24-90 tho. The 645Z has such an awesome grip I can comfortable do this is the 3kg 645z + 28-45mm combo. Holding cameras rested is no issue if you have just plucked it from your bag to shoot something. It becomes quite habitual and energy saving when you're on location for hours and hours, at least for me.
I never use straps or slings on my cameras and love the S grip for holding by finger tips down by my side, even with the 180mm, I have an advantage though having lost the top section of my middle finger right hand in an accident, means I can get all my fingers further in to a grip. The SL grip looks like a big slab, I can see it being very comfortable for down by your side, maybe less comfortable up in the firing position but as with you guys, I never shoot one handed anyway and my left hand is holding the weight, my right hand is controlling things.
Proof will be holding it for sure, I haven't made a decision yet, need a week with it to know if it's for me.
Well, having done full day events with the camera carried mostly in one hand, and toted it around mountains in Crete for 3 weeks I'd say that the camera actually handles extremely well - I liked the grip, and I'd contend that whilst indented grips are great as long as they match your hands - they can be negative if they don't. The apparent sharp corners never caused me any grief.
all the best
Just this guy you know
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Difficult without full LR support for the SL yet but any views on ISO performance compared with the S? I find the 007 produces superb files at ISO800, what's your view on the SL at 1600 and on?
Some (read = me) will NEVER forget nor forgive. It has been an education (albeit expensive).
I say NO to any new Sony purchases however astounding the claims may be.
The facts are after a few months the same stuff is there nearly at ~50% suggested debut retail price.
(that makes a Leica purchase even more difficult, mind you!)
A stepping stone? I refuse to be one.
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Just for carrying this could be different, but I have to handle it myself (hopefully next week in Leica Store Vienna) and then I can tell better.
Anyway, who care about the zooms here ?? I just ask because most of Leica users I know use prime lenses. The zooms have been released for the mass, for the newcomer in the brand (or the guy who really NEED it). The actual Leica users KNOW that they will use primes on it so the bulkiness isn't a problem anymore.
But there are the situations like wildlife, where at least I prefer a zoom lens. Think about sitting in a safari vehicle and not able to walk around in the bush, then a zoom becomes necessary at least for my photography style. You never know how an animal moves and when they come closer, it is great if you just can zoom out without having to change lenses or camera/lens combinations and vice versa if the move away.
While the upcoming 90-280 is not my wildlife dream lens (that would be something like 80-400 or 200-500), it is at least a good staring point and maybe a lens I could nicely live with. And maybe they will bring a TC1.4 in some time (although I fear that might be rather years then months).
What I am thinking more and more is to use the SL as my one FF camera where I can mount all my M glass and achieve great results and also of course native SL lenses once they become available. And there might also be some R lenses available second hand over time, which I could see to rebut again, like the excellent 2.8/180 APO.