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Thread: A landscape photographer's Leica SL review

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    Senior Member vieri's Avatar
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    A landscape photographer's Leica SL review

    While I love Leica M cameras and have been shooting with them for years, I never used one for my landscape work - they simply aren't designed for that. Normally not a brand associated with Landscape Photography, when the Leica SL came out this time Leica's offer looked very interesting for my work and I decided to give it a try. Read to see how I liked it:

    https://vieribottazzini.com/2016/06/...sl-review.html

    Thank you for your interest, best

    Vieri
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    Senior Member Swissblad's Avatar
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    Re: A landscape photographer's Leica SL review

    Nice review Vieri - looks like a great little system - keep on clicking

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    Re: A landscape photographer's Leica SL review

    A good review, thanks for posting it.

    One bit however:

    ... pairing the camera and the device is a bit tedious (probably due to Apple iOS security protocols). First you have to install the camera’s profile on your device – an operation that, for some obscure reasons, you have to redo every time the two devices for whatever reasons uncouple (devices going to sleep, turn camera off, move out of range, etc.). ..
    Using the Q code and camera profile gizmo is purely for convenience and security of getting the password typed in, and totally unnecessary. I've never used it.

    To set up an iOS device with the Leica SL and pair it to a camera, just start WLAN to "Create a Host" mode and enabled it for "Remote control by app" when you turn WLAN on. On your iOS device, tap Settings > WiFi, and pick the "Leica SL-XXXXXX" host from the list. Type in the password (the twelve-digit numeric string on the camera's LCD), and you're done. When you start the Leica SL app, it will recognize the SL and let you connect to it. When you tell the SL to disconnect, it will shut down the network, and the iOS device will switch back to any other network it was connected to.

    The iOS device will remember that host and security password automatically. In an area with known networks already operating, it will reconnect automatically if you start up the WLAN on the camera then go to Settings > WiFi first, connect, and start the Leica SL app. If you're in the field and there's no other WiFi networks around, just start it up and the iPad will connect immediately.

    The Q code and certificates installation seems a bit fragile and, since it's only a convenience, it's best ignored. All that it's doing is installing a secure password certificate which should allow it to connect without having to type in the password.

    G

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    Senior Member vieri's Avatar
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    Re: A landscape photographer's Leica SL review

    Quote Originally Posted by Swissblad View Post
    Nice review Vieri - looks like a great little system - keep on clicking
    Thank you, glad you enjoyed it! It is indeed a very good system, and though still in its infancy thanks to the possibility of using M and R lenses is already very usable...

    Best,

    Vieri
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    Senior Member vieri's Avatar
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    Re: A landscape photographer's Leica SL review

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    A good review, thanks for posting it.

    One bit however:



    Using the Q code and camera profile gizmo is purely for convenience and security of getting the password typed in, and totally unnecessary. I've never used it.

    To set up an iOS device with the Leica SL and pair it to a camera, just start WLAN to "Create a Host" mode and enabled it for "Remote control by app" when you turn WLAN on. On your iOS device, tap Settings > WiFi, and pick the "Leica SL-XXXXXX" host from the list. Type in the password (the twelve-digit numeric string on the camera's LCD), and you're done. When you start the Leica SL app, it will recognize the SL and let you connect to it. When you tell the SL to disconnect, it will shut down the network, and the iOS device will switch back to any other network it was connected to.

    The iOS device will remember that host and security password automatically. In an area with known networks already operating, it will reconnect automatically if you start up the WLAN on the camera then go to Settings > WiFi first, connect, and start the Leica SL app. If you're in the field and there's no other WiFi networks around, just start it up and the iPad will connect immediately.

    The Q code and certificates installation seems a bit fragile and, since it's only a convenience, it's best ignored. All that it's doing is installing a secure password certificate which should allow it to connect without having to type in the password.

    G
    Hello Godfrey,

    thank you for your message. You are right of course, I haven't tried that and I should have. Will amend the review when I have a minute - thanks again! Best,

    Vieri
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    Re: A landscape photographer's Leica SL review

    Quote Originally Posted by vieri View Post
    Hello Godfrey,

    thank you for your message. You are right of course, I haven't tried that and I should have. Will amend the review when I have a minute - thanks again! Best,

    Vieri
    Glad to help.

    There's another bit that I think I can help you with. In your statement of "cons", you say:

    - Having to set up the whole camera again every time I do a firmware update: it’d be great if the SL could save and reload our settings automatically
    If you save your settings into a User Profile and use the Export Profiles command, it will write them to the SD card. If you've done this, the firmware updater for fw2.0 should ask if you would like to export your user profiles before doing the update, and reloads them as it finishes the update. If it doesn't reload them, use the Import Profiles command manually.

    Each user profile contains all the settings you've made that are not the defaults. I have two profiles designed for use with R and M lenses, and two profiles designed for use with the SL24-90. The efficient way to create them is to make all changes that you want for ALL lenses, save that to each of the four slots. Then select each slot in turn individually, customize it further for the intended purpose, and resave
    it. Once you've finished, Export Profiles saves all of them to the card for safety. (You can also back up the profiles file to your computer, etc).

    You can reset the camera to its factory defaults and just Import Profiles to restore it to exactly the way you wanted it in a few seconds. Very handy indeed—I wish my Olympus E-M1 allowed me to do that!

    G

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    Senior Member vieri's Avatar
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    Re: A landscape photographer's Leica SL review

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    Glad to help.

    There's another bit that I think I can help you with. In your statement of "cons", you say:



    If you save your settings into a User Profile and use the Export Profiles command, it will write them to the SD card. If you've done this, the firmware updater for fw2.0 should ask if you would like to export your user profiles before doing the update, and reloads them as it finishes the update. If it doesn't reload them, use the Import Profiles command manually.

    Each user profile contains all the settings you've made that are not the defaults. I have two profiles designed for use with R and M lenses, and two profiles designed for use with the SL24-90. The efficient way to create them is to make all changes that you want for ALL lenses, save that to each of the four slots. Then select each slot in turn individually, customize it further for the intended purpose, and resave
    it. Once you've finished, Export Profiles saves all of them to the card for safety. (You can also back up the profiles file to your computer, etc).

    You can reset the camera to its factory defaults and just Import Profiles to restore it to exactly the way you wanted it in a few seconds. Very handy indeed—I wish my Olympus E-M1 allowed me to do that!

    G
    Godfrey,

    well on this one I have to disagree - I knew this, and probably I wasn't clear in my CONS list (trying to be short there) but what I meant is to have this done AUTOMATICALLY without having to go through all the process you mention. What I mean is, it would be great if, once I set my camera a certain way, I didn't have to save my settings as a user profile, export it etc etc in order for the camera to remember my settings. Will clarify it better in my CONS list, thanks for pointing that out.

    Best,

    Vieri
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    Re: A landscape photographer's Leica SL review

    Quote Originally Posted by vieri View Post
    Godfrey,

    well on this one I have to disagree - I knew this, and probably I wasn't clear in my CONS list (trying to be short there) but what I meant is to have this done AUTOMATICALLY without having to go through all the process you mention. What I mean is, it would be great if, once I set my camera a certain way, I didn't have to save my settings as a user profile, export it etc etc in order for the camera to remember my settings. Will clarify it better in my CONS list, thanks for pointing that out.

    Best,

    Vieri
    Well, while it would be nice, I don't know of ANY camera that automatically reinstalls user settings when a firmware update is performed. Some don't wipe them out because they don't actually reset the entire stored data area in the camera's firmware, but that's not the same as saving and reinstalling.

    There's not much process required: you don't need to set up all four user settings, you just need to capture your setup to one setting. Then the fw updater will ask if you want to export user settings prior to doing the update, and will reinstall it for you. (Usually ... I found it was a little flakey so I always manually export and manually import after the update is done).

    It's a small matter and not really much to debate over. It's so easy to create user profiles and export them, and they do such a good job of capturing the SL's state, that I really can't see it as being much of a bother. It's certainly much less bother than reconfiguring the whole camera from the defaults.

    G

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    Senior Member vieri's Avatar
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    Re: A landscape photographer's Leica SL review

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    Well, while it would be nice, I don't know of ANY camera that automatically reinstalls user settings when a firmware update is performed. Some don't wipe them out because they don't actually reset the entire stored data area in the camera's firmware, but that's not the same as saving and reinstalling.

    There's not much process required: you don't need to set up all four user settings, you just need to capture your setup to one setting. Then the fw updater will ask if you want to export user settings prior to doing the update, and will reinstall it for you. (Usually ... I found it was a little flakey so I always manually export and manually import after the update is done).

    It's a small matter and not really much to debate over. It's so easy to create user profiles and export them, and they do such a good job of capturing the SL's state, that I really can't see it as being much of a bother. It's certainly much less bother than reconfiguring the whole camera from the defaults.

    G
    Godfrey,

    indeed it is not something worth debating. My Nikon Dx cameras (D2x, D3) and D800E never seemed to wipe out my settings, however they did it, nor did my Pentax 645z, this is why I was expecting the SL to behave in the same way. I think it's a pretty easy thing to do, programming-wise: just have the FW update program dump the camera settings' state table and read and reinstate them after FW update is done. Of course, this wouldn't work for new functions or settings which options have changed.

    About the WLAN issue, I amended the article including the password method to join. This, however, doesn't change at all my gripes: you still have to go through various menu clicks to re-start WIFI every time it shuts down for whatever reason. Adding something like "WLAN - Remote Control by App" to the assignable menu functions would make this a one-click operation, much more in line with the ethos of the camera.

    Best,

    Vieri
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    Re: A landscape photographer's Leica SL review

    Quote Originally Posted by vieri View Post
    While I love Leica M cameras and have been shooting with them for years, I never used one for my landscape work - they simply aren't designed for that. Normally not a brand associated with Landscape Photography
    IMO great landscape photography comes largely from the head and can be done with virtually any camera.

  11. #11
    Senior Member vieri's Avatar
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    Re: A landscape photographer's Leica SL review

    Quote Originally Posted by wattsy View Post
    IMO great landscape photography comes largely from the head and can be done with virtually any camera.
    IMO the head is fundamental of course, but so is equipment. A few (absurd) examples: if your head tells you to shoot under the rain and your camera explodes when wet you are in trouble; if your head tells you that you need 10 minutes exposures for a particular effect and your camera is limited to 10 seconds you are in trouble; if your head tells you that you want to shoot really wide and your camera is a fixed 50mm lens you are in trouble; and so on.

    Now not so absurd: the M is limited to 60 seconds, and I routinely shoot longer than that. More, rangefinder is not really the best framing device for landscape: if you need precise positioning of objects in the corners, with rangefinder is hit and miss; even with the M240, the external EVF is not really great (and definitely the SL's is in another league), and you'd be forced to use live view. If you need precise positioning of Grad ND filters, with any M before the M240 you simply can't, and even with the M240 you'll have the framing problem above; the M240 is weather resistant, but M lenses are not...

    It's true that photographers make images, not equipment. I am sure you'll agree that is also true that some cameras are designed for certain kinds of photography rather than others. This doesn't mean you CAN'T use them, just that they aren't the best tool for the job.

    Best,

    Vieri
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    Re: A landscape photographer's Leica SL review

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    Well, while it would be nice, I don't know of ANY camera that automatically reinstalls user settings when a firmware update is performed. Some don't wipe them out because they don't actually reset the entire stored data area in the camera's firmware, but that's not the same as saving and reinstalling.

    There's not much process required: you don't need to set up all four user settings, you just need to capture your setup to one setting. Then the fw updater will ask if you want to export user settings prior to doing the update, and will reinstall it for you. (Usually ... I found it was a little flakey so I always manually export and manually import after the update is done).

    It's a small matter and not really much to debate over. It's so easy to create user profiles and export them, and they do such a good job of capturing the SL's state, that I really can't see it as being much of a bother. It's certainly much less bother than reconfiguring the whole camera from the defaults.

    G
    This is also the correct way to do it, for the reason that Vieri suggests. Extract the settings, upgrade the firmware with bugs fixed (new bugs added) and new functions. Then reapply the settings. The settings that don't work in the new firmware can be rejected or not recognized at this point without corrupting the installation.

    scott
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    Re: A landscape photographer's Leica SL review

    Quote Originally Posted by vieri View Post
    ...If you need precise positioning of Grad ND filters, with any M before the M240 you simply can't, and even with the M240 you'll have the framing problem above; the M240 is weather resistant, but M lenses are not...

    It's true that photographers make images, not equipment. I am sure you'll agree that is also true that some cameras are designed for certain kinds of photography rather than others. This doesn't mean you CAN'T use them, just that they aren't the best tool for the job.
    Yes but what I mean by "comes from the head" is that IMO the best landscape photography is more of an intellectual exercise than it is an aesthetic one. Accepting (or embracing) the practical limitations of bits of kit is another (secondary) matter.

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