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My Take on the new Leica SL2

Godfrey

Well-known member
I'm out of this ball game for the present, as I said before, but I find this constant "well I can get the same thing for less" business rather noisome. Do all of you buy the cheapest possible economy car rather than the nicer model Chevy, Volvo, Mercedes, Porsche, or whatever because "well, it can get me to the grocery store just was well and it costs less!" ??

I've seen the Panasonic S1R and looking through Jono's review, the SL2 is quite a lot different in many ways, in analogous fashion to buying a nice upper-range car is to that low priced economy special. Is buying something ALWAYS going to be metered for good and bad based entirely on its price? They both get mostly the same functions/job done, they both should last a good long while if you don't automatically queue up for another round of GAS on The Hamster Wheel of Progress, etc etc.

One perhaps minor difference between them is that I've always gotten much better customer service out of Leica then I have out of Panasonic service (or Sony service for that matter). I find this to be true despite the continual bellyaching I hear about Leica service.

Eh? I'm out of this particular game at present, but I'm not giving up my collection of Leica lenses both M and R, film bodies both M and R, or my CL. In the future, who knows? I might well want another M or SLx model. At present I'm very content with what I have, having tried many of the alternative brands, and wouldn't switch back regardless of the cost difference. New lenses might be better, but who cares if you're already happy with what you have?

And whether Panasonic manufactures the SL2 or Leica manufactures it ... as long as the products are substantively different in feel and use, it is whatever brand it carries on the name plate to me.

The point is whether what you have makes the photographs you want to make, after all.
I'll go back to shooting with my Minox EC submini now... my current caprice and affliction. :D

G
 

Joe Colson

Well-known member
I suspected that Panasonic is making these new cameras for Leica.
Your suspicions are incorrect. Leica and Panasonic share components and intellectual property, but the SL2 is made in Germany by Leica employees at a Leica factory. In today's world, that doesn't make a huge difference. Apple, a Cupertino, CA company, makes the iPhone in China and sources components from other companies around the globe. Sharing IP and components is necessary in a global economy. Automobile manufacturers learned that lesson years ago. The "L-mount Alliance" shares more than the mount specifications.

I found this interesting:

https://leicarumors.com/2019/11/08/the-making-of-the-leica-sl2-camera-in-pictures.aspx/

Joe
 

iiiNelson

Active member
I'm out of this ball game for the present, as I said before, but I find this constant "well I can get the same thing for less" business rather noisome. Do all of you buy the cheapest possible economy car rather than the nicer model Chevy, Volvo, Mercedes, Porsche, or whatever because "well, it can get me to the grocery store just was well and it costs less!" ??

I've seen the Panasonic S1R and looking through Jono's review, the SL2 is quite a lot different in many ways, in analogous fashion to buying a nice upper-range car is to that low priced economy special. Is buying something ALWAYS going to be metered for good and bad based entirely on its price? They both get mostly the same functions/job done, they both should last a good long while if you don't automatically queue up for another round of GAS on The Hamster Wheel of Progress, etc etc.

One perhaps minor difference between them is that I've always gotten much better customer service out of Leica then I have out of Panasonic service (or Sony service for that matter). I find this to be true despite the continual bellyaching I hear about Leica service.

Eh? I'm out of this particular game at present, but I'm not giving up my collection of Leica lenses both M and R, film bodies both M and R, or my CL. In the future, who knows? I might well want another M or SLx model. At present I'm very content with what I have, having tried many of the alternative brands, and wouldn't switch back regardless of the cost difference. New lenses might be better, but who cares if you're already happy with what you have?

And whether Panasonic manufactures the SL2 or Leica manufactures it ... as long as the products are substantively different in feel and use, it is whatever brand it carries on the name plate to me.

The point is whether what you have makes the photographs you want to make, after all.
I'll go back to shooting with my Minox EC submini now... my current caprice and affliction. :D

G
To answer your question - yes, most people make assessments and purchasing choices based on perceived value and individual budget. It’s a fact of life for MOST people in the world. I’d hardly call a nearly $4,000 camera (Panasonic S1R) cheap or a value model. It’s actually towards the higher end in its class so I’m reality it’s like comparing something like a luxury Asian car to a luxury German car in this case... and I’m sure there are those people that cross shop Lexus/Acura/Infiniti/Genesis to the Audi/BMW/Mercedes/Porsche in this particular example.

I agree that it doesn’t fully “matter” who makes what ultimately to everyone but SOME informed customers MAY want to know. Yes there are those that prefer dealing with one company over another (and I can understand that) but depending on where you live warranty can be very different. I don’t know that anyone suggested a product’s quality based upon price alone here. I just didn’t read anything that way myself.

As stated in the past, I think most people feel it’s wonderful that you received satisfactory service from Leica... I have too... but I have from Sony as well. I don’t invalidate those that haven’t received the same level of support and people have shared their personal trials in detail... I personally feel for those people. It’s a bigger insult to injury if you have 10’s of thousands of dollars into your photography kit IMO... and that’s where price (logically) does make people feel a certain way. It’s one thing if your Digital Rebel or entry level Mirrorless camera breaks after a few years of use... it’s another when your $6k+ camera does and they ask for $3k to repair it after not receiving any updates on the status of the repair for months.

In the end, we don’t all have to agree with one another. We all have reasoning to choose what we do. The SL2 is the second Leica product that I’ve generally have had any semblance of interest in since I divested myself from their products... with the M10 family being the only other product that has interested me from them. I’m happy that they’re being a bit more aggressive and I have an extremely positive outlook of the L-Mount alliance though I am somewhat concerned about how well they may or may not be doing commercially as cost is a factor for many in a shrinking market. I’m seriously considering the 35 APO-Cron to pair with a S1R (because I don’t own any M lenses except the CV 35/1.2 v2) and I prefer the Panasonic body over the Leica one in many ways due to the tilting screen and direct discrete controls. The lack of a tilting screen is a bit of a missed opportunity for me personally with the SL2 but I still think it’s a great offering for those that care about a “simplified” Leica menu/layout.
 

JeRuFo

Member
Not sure whose post you are responding to, but if it was mine, I wonder how in the world you had conjured the word, or even the sentiment of "gullible." That was not the intent of the post, and that word, nor its sentiment appeared anywhere within its content.

And by SL color are you referring to the jpg's? Because, as a prior SL owner/user I found nothing special, color wise, about the raw images, other the fact that they could be properly adjusted in post.

In summary, I suspect that you'd overlooked the intent of the post, which was to imply that the SL2 likely received a significant portion of its DNA from Panasonic, and that the "L" Alliance allowed for that scenario to take place.
Sorry, yes, I read your post in the same way Matt seems to have done and share both your sentiment. I think the mistake was a combination of you explaining why you use SL lenses but not the cameras and the aforementioned explaining that people seem to expect when you use certain brands (no doubt helped by the fact that the average Leica owner is about as shy about their choices as the average vegan.)

I like the SL raws because they have a tendency to keep shadow information without brightening the shadows too much, which can make images look odd when there is as much saturation as there is in the SL files. I like it when that part comes easy. The only thing to look out for is to not make the image too moody or contrasty.
I found the colors to be easy to adjust too, with only the greens needing special attention, they can get a little much.
 

Speedgraphic

New member
Your suspicions are incorrect. Leica and Panasonic share components and intellectual property, but the SL2 is made in Germany by Leica employees at a Leica factory. In today's world, that doesn't make a huge difference. Apple, a Cupertino, CA company, makes the iPhone in China and sources components from other companies around the globe. Sharing IP and components is necessary in a global economy. Automobile manufacturers learned that lesson years ago. The "L-mount Alliance" shares more than the mount specifications.

I found this interesting:

https://leicarumors.com/2019/11/08/the-making-of-the-leica-sl2-camera-in-pictures.aspx/

Joe
I see pictures of employees putting the Leica skin on what I'm sure is a mostly finished camera from Panasonic. I don't care where they make them, it's just up to the user in the end if that skin in worth $4000 bucks or more.
 

jonoslack

New member
I personally have ZERO interest in a £5000 camera body :rolleyes: .....

..... but I always very much enjoy looking at your photographs shot in the course of producing your camera 'test' articles :).

Thanks for the images Jono - if not the words ;).
Hi Ian
Thank You! It’s the snaps that matter for me as well!

All the best
Jono
 

jonoslack

New member
In regards to "M" lenses what you say may be true, but we are, in essence, no longer talking about Leica technology. Sadly, the costs of R&D are high, and I presume that part, if not all of the logic behind the creation of the L alliance—from Leica's standpoint— was geared toward this end. As a result, and as I have postulated in my earlier post, the SL2 is in many ways a clone of the S1R, as Leica has undoubtedly licensed Panasonic's technology. IMO, the SL2, with the possible exception of its more effective acceptance of "M" lenses, is no greater than its cousin, the Panasonic S1R and time will tell whether or not it is its equal.

And while we're on the topic of M lenses, why expend all that capital for the purpose of employing manual lenses, when the camera is geared toward its automated features? If an old collection of M lenses were my primary concern, I would buy a used M camera and be done with it. Or, given the retained value of the older lenses, I would trade them—as I had done—for new SL glass and move on.
Hi There Ron
I was amused recently when the guy who came to put the Tracker in our Defender said how much he enjoyed pointing out the Ford parts in Ferraris to their owners.

But the inter-relationship between companies is complex - remember that the SL (4 years ago) has much in common with the modern camera - I’m sure that it’s a cross-fertilisation between Leica and Panasonic - but it might be more realistic to say that the S1 is a ‘clone’ of the SL - but of course, neither is the case. The SL2 has a different processor, different sensor cover, different de-mosaicing algorithms, file structure, menu system (blah blah blah).

And whilst we’re on the topic of M lenses - lots of people (including me) love them as they are small and really good. The ambient light sensor on the front of the SL2 (and SL and M10 and M240) means that the camera can estimate (rather well) the aperture used on the purely mechanical M lenses and apply vignetting and colour cast correction (which is not possible otherwise) - and focusing them on an SL is a thing of joy and wonder (especially if you’re an old fool with bad eyesight!).

All the best
Jono
 

jonoslack

New member
It's probably pointless to mention, as I believe others have, that you can buy this camera new or used now, under the name S1R. I suspected that Panasonic is making these new cameras for Leica. It makes sense considering their previous attempts at AF digitals were a parade of horribles. I wonder if we'll get a Lumix branded Q?

Leica people will 'have' to buy Leica. I'm happy to rock the Panasonic. I continue to be impressed with this camera, it's a real pleasure to use. I scanned about 10 8x10 negatives with it today in pixel shift mode. The results are pretty stunning.
Well
Nothing wrong with the S1R (great camera), and I’m pretty sure that quite a lot of the SL2 (and probably the SL as well) comes from Panasonic (remember that Nikon mostly use Sony sensors!). I’d guess that the IBIS, sensor and AF come principally from Panasonic (but certainly with variations). The body / processor / demosaic / firmware etc. all seems to be from Leica, and the video is pretty much up with the S1H and far ahead of the S1R. But I also imagine that quite a lot of you S1R comes from Leica - they’ve clearly been working together on this project since the original ideas on the SL (which was before the Sony A7 came out, 7 or 8 years ago).

All the best
Jono
 

Robert Campbell

Active member
Hi There Ron
I was amused recently when the guy who came to put the Tracker in our Defender said how much he enjoyed pointing out the Ford parts in Ferraris to their owners.

But the inter-relationship between companies is complex - remember that the SL (4 years ago) has much in common with the modern camera - I’m sure that it’s a cross-fertilisation between Leica and Panasonic - but it might be more realistic to say that the S1 is a ‘clone’ of the SL - but of course, neither is the case. The SL2 has a different processor, different sensor cover, different de-mosaicing algorithms, file structure, menu system (blah blah blah).

...

All the best
Jono
IIRC, Ford own Ferrari, so that's not too surprising.

If you want a "pure" car you'd need to go back to the early/mid 1930s. Then, Rolls-Royce made practically all the components for their cars, though they only sold the chassis; the bodyword was 'outsourced'. And "practically all" means the dynamos, starters, carburetors, wiring, switches...they didn't make the sparking plugs though.

I'm not so certain about cameras, but I'd guess that Leica made pretty much everything up to the 1950s and 60s. The original Leicaflex was pure Leica, the R3 etc were Minolta.

So there's nothing really new about collaboration, cross-fertilisation or whatever. It seems sensible for a company to work to its strengths, and to cooperate with others in areas where they are weak.

For the SL2, I might hazard a guess that the IBIS comes from Panasonic; indeed, it may have been an "afterthought", for the original SL zooms have OIS, a Leica strength, while the primes don't. (And IBIS has the advantage that you only have to pay for it once.)

So, I'm not really upset about Leica using technology from other companies; why should Leica re-invent the wheel? The design, the essence remains Leica.

While the "final assembly" of the SL2 and its lenses happens in Germany, so they have the "Made in Germany" label indicating, IIRC, that more than 55% is German, they are happy to outsource the manufacture of CL lenses to Japan.
 

ron787

Member
IIRC, Ford own Ferrari, so that's not too surprising.

If you want a "pure" car you'd need to go back to the early/mid 1930s. Then, Rolls-Royce made practically all the components for their cars, though they only sold the chassis; the bodyword was 'outsourced'. And "practically all" means the dynamos, starters, carburetors, wiring, switches...they didn't make the sparking plugs though.

I'm not so certain about cameras, but I'd guess that Leica made pretty much everything up to the 1950s and 60s. The original Leicaflex was pure Leica, the R3 etc were Minolta.

So there's nothing really new about collaboration, cross-fertilisation or whatever. It seems sensible for a company to work to its strengths, and to cooperate with others in areas where they are weak.

For the SL2, I might hazard a guess that the IBIS comes from Panasonic; indeed, it may have been an "afterthought", for the original SL zooms have OIS, a Leica strength, while the primes don't. (And IBIS has the advantage that you only have to pay for it once.)

So, I'm not really upset about Leica using technology from other companies; why should Leica re-invent the wheel? The design, the essence remains Leica.

While the "final assembly" of the SL2 and its lenses happens in Germany, so they have the "Made in Germany" label indicating, IIRC, that more than 55% is German, they are happy to outsource the manufacture of CL lenses to Japan.
The “L Alliance” is and was about collaboration, and you can bet that it is and was not limited to lenses. Therefore, it would be unthinkable to assume that the involved companies would not be sharing technology. The extent to which such sharing occurs can, however, be debated. That Leica has injected its own philosophical approach into the functional design of the SL2 is obvious, as demonstrated by the button array, or lack thereof, and its UI and perhaps more.
The video centric offerings accompanying the SL2 likely could have been matched by Panasonic in their S1r, but it doesn’t take a great deal of business acumen to understand the economic benefit of having two, vs one salable product, as in the S1r/S1H.

In any event, I find this, mine is bigger, better, smaller, lighter, less noisy, higher IQ, etc, repartee quite tiresome, and I am signing off of this topic. And while I’ve moved on to MF, I will continue to use and enjoy my S1R.
Best regards to all.
Ron
 

Elderly

Member
IIRC, Ford own Ferrari, so that's not too surprising.
Do they ??????

Ferrari is a public company - with Exor, the holding company of the Agnelli family being the largest shareholder.

There were definitely Ford parts used in the Aston Martin DB7, and maybe Fiat parts used in Ferraris of a certain era.

:OT: I went to a preview of Le Mans 66; the Ford v. Ferrari saga starting with Ford attempting to buy Ferrari.
My OPINION ....... don't bother to spend 150 minutes of your life watching it :thumbdown:.
 

ron787

Member
Do they ??????

Ferrari is a public company - with Exor, the holding company of the Agnelli family being the largest shareholder.

There were definitely Ford parts used in the Aston Martin DB7, and maybe Fiat parts used in Ferraris of a certain era.

:OT: I went to a preview of Le Mans 66; the Ford v. Ferrari saga starting with Ford attempting to buy Ferrari.
My OPINION ....... don't bother to spend 150 minutes of your life watching it :thumbdown:.
And today's Rolls Royce is largely BMW. The Ghost, I've been informed, is built on the frame of a BMW 7, and its infotainment center is, at the very least, identical to that of the BMW 7. How do I know? Until recently, I'd owned both of them and they'd sat side by side in my garage. Bentley, on the other hand, and particularly the Flying Spur, until its most recent iteration, has maintained its antiquated electronics. I own a 2017 Flying Spur, its infotainment center is awful, not even as good as the least costly BMW.

I've gone a tad sideways in re the topic at hand, but you're correct in your assertion regarding the sharing of parts, technology, etc., in many industries, either currently or in the future.
 

Godfrey

Well-known member
I don't know the suggested Ford ownership of Ferrari has to do with the relationship between Leica and Panasonic, but ...

FIAT bought 50 percent interest in Ferrari in 1969. When Enzo Ferrari died in 1988, FIAT acquired 80 or 90 percent. In 2016 Ferrari S.p.A. was formed as a common stock corporation and split from FIAT-Chrysler, now under the parent firm EXOR although large blocks of the stock are held by various former FIAT-Chrysler stockholders. I think Piero Ferrari holds a 10% block.

Ford never had any ownership of Ferrari to the best of my knowledge. That doesn't say that Ferrari might have used some Ford components at some point or another, since Ford is an producer of way more than just automobiles and trucks. I worked with a team that had a lot of dealings with Ford Aerospace division, for instance, when I worked at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

G
 

retow

Member
There ain't no manufacturers of complex products fully backwards integrated anymore. Maybe it's time for some relaxant? But bear in mind, the API (active pharmaceutical ingredient) of US/EU or whatever branded pharmaceutical might very well be made in India or China.:ROTFL:
 
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Robert Campbell

Active member
And today's Rolls Royce is largely BMW. The Ghost, I've been informed, is built on the frame of a BMW 7, and its infotainment center is, at the very least, identical to that of the BMW 7. How do I know? Until recently, I'd owned both of them and they'd sat side by side in my garage. Bentley, on the other hand, and particularly the Flying Spur, until its most recent iteration, has maintained its antiquated electronics. I own a 2017 Flying Spur, its infotainment center is awful, not even as good as the least costly BMW.

I've gone a tad sideways in re the topic at hand, but you're correct in your assertion regarding the sharing of parts, technology, etc., in many industries, either currently or in the future.
Today's R-R is a BMW with added bling.

Most of today's Bentleys are VW/Audis with added bling, though there is still a V8 model available.

Neither has much residue, apart from the names, from former models.
 

ron787

Member
Today's R-R is a BMW with added bling.

Most of today's Bentleys are VW/Audis with added bling, though there is still a V8 model available.

Neither has much residue, apart from the names, from former models.
I agree and, with that in mind, I've had enough of RR/Bentley's Kool Aid and will be selling my Flying Spur at year's end ... the new Bentley Flying Spur is, IMO, ugly.
 

Paratom

Active member
would be cool if they all took the l-mount allience more serious. Like making the 35 SL lens focus on Panasonic camera without making strange noise, or make the S-SL-lens adapter work with AF on the Panasonic body, I also hear some Sigma lenses to be very loud in C-AF on the Pana.
 

iiiNelson

Active member
would be cool if they all took the l-mount allience more serious. Like making the 35 SL lens focus on Panasonic camera without making strange noise, or make the S-SL-lens adapter work with AF on the Panasonic body, I also hear some Sigma lenses to be very loud in C-AF on the Pana.
In regards to the Sigma issues I’ve read that’s mostly an issue with the L-Mount lenses that are based on DSLR designs. I assume that the other stuff could be fixed through firmware or perhaps Panasonic is using a different drive motor in the camerawhich causes the SL lenses to make noise... or perhaps the issue is with Leica’s mechanical design. I have no idea though.
 

PeterA

Active member
Nice review Jono - thanks.

A lot of people are 'guilty' of missing the whole point of using a Leica anything- it isn't about better photos - (although the tech specs of any SL lens made are above anyone else's offerings so at least they aren't an excuse for poor work) it is about the pure joy of holding stuff in hand that just feels really good.

I'll buy stuff that is the best 'tool' for a job - despite not particularly 'liking' using it if the actual output is what I need/want...eg GFX100 - but I get a real joy out of shooting with my Leica gear that is a unique attribute and part of the whole making photograph experience.

This view is easily criticized of course - because my pleasure or shooting experience can't be quantified - it is a personal preference, and many of the Leica shooters I know share it.

This SL2 will no doubt find its way into my bag soon enough - I wont be making any videos with it, i wont be trying to shoot sports or wildlife and have never in my whole photographic life ever made a 10 frame per second or 20 frame per second burst on any camera or consciously used ISO greater than 3200 - and even that once in a blue moon - so I think a lot of the technical capabilities presented are lost on me - except i will be able to use IBIS and the amenity of 47 megapixels - mated to some lovely Leica glass - at least I'll look the part of someone who has half a clue!
 
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