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Thread: Adapers and R or M lenses for use with the SL mount. Experiences?

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    Adapers and R or M lenses for use with the SL mount. Experiences?

    We will soon have more body choices to the Leica SL... the Panasonic body is supposed to be available soon. More of the Leica user base will be looking for these ( and other) bodies for their existing R or M optics. What would be helpful is to have those that have used the system for a while give the rest an idea of what works and what does not.
    Several members have SL bodies, and may have adapted their M lenses or R lenses to the SL. It would be very informative if members could post their experiences with the various combinations, especially if they have tried both M and R versions on their SL.
    Some ideas......What adapter do you use that does the job? There are 3 possible (China adapters not included) solutions: R-SL adapter. R-M plus M to SL 2 pieces adaptation. Novoflex R-SL adapter. Did you experiment with one or another solutions and found them unsatisfactoy? Why?
    Yes, they all work with almost all the R lenses or M lenses, this is taken for granted. Did R lenses work “better” or “worse” than the equivalent M solution? What did you identify as the reason one was “better” than the other?
    Some long Telephoto R lenses will vignette with the use of the R to M adapter followed by the M to SL adapter. ( Caused by the smaller throat of the M adapter compared to the R-SL direct adapter). Use one of the 1 stage adapter to avoid this. They work.
    What anomalies have you found? What is “weird” when you use your older lenses? What did NOT work?
    How do you focus? Open up lenses to max aperture and focus, then shut down lens to working aperture? Do you magnify the view when focusing? Use the Focus confirmation indicator? Focus Peaking?
    Based on your personal experiences, what would be your “wish list” adapter look like? Features wanted? R to SL or M to SL?
    For those about to write how nice the SL native lenses work and the quality of images made,..... We all know native lenses are more ergonomic to use, and probably produce “better” (optically) images. It is the $4-5-6K per lens that is the underlying point of using adapted R or M lenses, which cost a small fraction ( in most cases) of their newer brothers. Not everyone is rich enough to afford a set of 4-5-6 times $5K lenses. Certainly not myself.

    From what I have read to date:The “best” adapter is the one piece R to L adapter. It transfers fstop ( estimated NOT direct aperture reaad out) and focal length of the ROM lens to the body for writing into the EXIF file. Optical lens corrrections can be automatically applied.
    The “best” M adapter is the M to SL adapter as it transfers the 6 bit code of the lens to the body. Optical lens corrections can be automatically applied.

    Is there some Chinese/other country adapter that you found was a dud? In what way did it not live up to your expectations? Did you find a model that was good? Equal to the Novoflex? Better in some way?

    The Novoflex adapters are all basic tubes. No info from the lens is transmitted to the body...none. You may manually enter this info into the body by selection from a menu of lenses. ( same is true for any dumb Chinese adapters) or non-ROM lenses on Leica made adapters.
    No existant adapter has any mechanical connection to the lens mechanics. None of the aperture connections will work with R lenses.
    Frank

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    Re: Adapers and R or M lenses for use with the SL mount. Experiences?

    I've been adapting lenses since 2006, first from SLRs to FourThirds SLRs, then from SLRs and Leica M to microFourThirds cameras, then from SLRs and Leica M to Sony A7, and finally from Leica M and R to Leica L mount (in my case, the Leica CL and SL models, although the same goes for T, TL, and TL2).

    I've used a huge number of different mount adapters over the years for this fun. Most are shite ... mount registration is too far off, they lens and mounting flanges are slightly out of parallel, the fit of the mounting or lens bayonet is too loose or too tight, etc etc.

    For adapting Leica M and R lenses to the SL and CL, IMO there's only one sensible choice: the Leica adapters (M Adapter L, R Adapter M, and R Adapter L). These are expensive but worth it: the fit and finishing are just right, the mount registration is within 0.05mm of the original mount, and the MtoL and RtoL models include the appropriate electronics for reading six-bit codes (M lenses) and ROMs (R lenses), which enables easy access to Leica's provided lens profiles for the majority of their lenses. More notes on that in a moment. The R Adapter M and R Adapter L also include sturdy and detachable tripod mounting feet, which hold either the CL or SL at a much better balance point without straining the body's structure.

    With the SL, for either very long lenses or for high magnification macro extension you want to use the R Adapter L to reduce vignetting. The culprit here is the rather small diameter of the Leica M mounting flange, which produces some corner shading. The Leica R flange has a much larger diameter and does not produce this effect.

    For all other lens and body combinations, I see virtually no difference using the R Adapter M stacked onto the M Adapter L, and there's no shading at high magnification or with very long lenses. This is due to the smaller format being well inside the limit where shading can be.

    Good experiences for adapting other lenses to all these mounts: Novoflex are the most consistent quality and have a good tripod mounting foot that can be used on several adapters interchangeably. Raynox adapters are very good quality and include models in the range that have a tripod foot. Fotodiox makes good adapters but their quality control is a little inconsistent.

    Bad experiences: I can't remember the name of the popular mount adapter that everyone ballyhoos for its macro extension built in, but all four of the ones I tried were just junk with a range of different failure modes. Most of the very inexpensive ones from EBay I tried and tossed out as junk ... off angle, poor machining, didn't fit right, didn't allow infinity focus, allowed focus too far beyond infinity, etc etc.

    When looking at just R and M adaptation to other bodies, Leica does the best job of it due to their lens profiles. Their lenses used on their adapters have matched profiles that do the best job of allowing the lenses' original imaging/rendering intent to be consistent across all the Leica bodies' sensors. No other manufacturer has done such a fine job of ensuring the imaging character of their "legacy" lens lines works on their digital bodies as well. I have observed very fine behavior of M and R lenses on both the SL and CL; compared to the Sony A7, I found that only really worked well with the R lenses and even then there were lots of issues with 35mm and shorter focal lengths.

    For Panasonic L-mount bodies, the notion of the lens profiles that Leica offers as part of their adaptation package is unavailable but the Leica adapters are still probably amongst the best made and most precise adapters to use. If I were never going to use a Leica body, I'd buy Novoflex adapters instead for R and M lenses.

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    Re: Adapers and R or M lenses for use with the SL mount. Experiences?

    The Leica adapter is part number 18771; I have a couple of them.

    Confusingly, one is labelled "M-Adapter T", the other, newer, one "M-Adapter L". apart from the inscription they are identical, and both work equally well.
    Sláinte

    Robert.

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    Re: Adapers and R or M lenses for use with the SL mount. Experiences?

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Campbell View Post
    The Leica adapter is part number 18771; I have a couple of them.

    Confusingly, one is labelled "M-Adapter T", the other, newer, one "M-Adapter L". apart from the inscription they are identical, and both work equally well.
    The M Adapter T was released concurrent to when the Leica T was the only L-mount camera. Leica changed the name of the mount when the SL came out, to avoid confusion with the ancient, legacy T-mount system (which is still around), so it became the M Adapter L. And yes, it is otherwise identical to the original released adapter. I still have the original, purchased even before my SL was delivered in 2015.

    G

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    Re: Adapers and R or M lenses for use with the SL mount. Experiences?

    Hi, here is some information I have compiled for my own collection of lenses, which includes R, M, and Canon FD(n), Olympus Zuiko OM, and Nikon manual focus.

    I really like small form factor lenses and light ones on the Leica SL. The kit lens 24-90 is really nice but large and heavy. I had a ton of legacy lenses as you can see from the last 40 plus years. These are my own impressions, and sometimes I had bad copies, so I dumped them and bought new old ones if I really liked them.

    The abbreviations are my own short hand, but they should make sense.

    For me, I really enjoy the old glass, and take the SL and 1 - 2 small primes or short zooms and enjoy the day out shooting.

    The Leica are nice, but so are some Canon FD, Nikon and Olympus.

    all the best,

    Dave





    LEICA SL and lenses that work well (for me with my copies):

    Nikon 28mm F2.8 AI-s - Excellent F2.8 onward, best 5.6 (> OLY 28mm)
    - Vignette gone F5.6, corners best 5.6 up
    - Very Usable wide open, best contrast 5.6+

    Leica R 28mm F2.8 - Excellent, same as Nikon, Vignette gone F5.6
    - Extreme Corners softer till F5.6 then great 4-8 Best
    - Very usable wide open

    Leica M 28mm F2.8 ASPH II - Excellent, same as Nikon, F5.6 + Best

    Leica M 28mm F2.0 ASPH - Sides softer till 3.4, F4.8+ EXC, Extreme corner F8+
    - Center Exc F2 +, F4 great, F5.6 - F8 Best
    - F2 best for center subject till 1/4, or low light
    - Vignette F2, less F2.8, tiny tiny F4, F5.6 none

    Leica M 24mm F2.8 ASPH - F2.8 very good till edge and corners
    - F4.0 Excellent except extreme corner
    - F4.8+ perfect

    Nikon E 100mm F2.8 - Good F2.8 to edges, Exc F4.0, great 5.6, F8.0+++

    Nikon E 50mm F1.8 - Good center F18 slight glow soft sides, F28 better
    - F4.0 great side to side, F5.6 / 8 best

    Canon FDn 200mm F4.0 - Great F4.0, F4.8+ onward, F8 best sharp all over
    S#45093 - Soft LH 1/3 till F8 at Infinity, vignette strong at F4

    Canon FDn 200mm F4.0 (2017) - VG F4 edge to edge, F5.6 EXC, F8 EXC+++
    S# 30344 - F4 Vignette, gone F5.6, all sides/corners sharp!
    - F4 all good no issues, with Sharping = F8 almost
    - use F5.6 all day long = EXCELLENT

    Canon FDn 70-150mm F4.5 - Great 70 better than 150 slightly, F8 best
    - F5.6 better, center always > edges
    - Left ¼ is soft at 150mm - F11 best
    - Focus at 150 with RH Focus point best all over

    Canon FDn 85mm F1.8 - Good F1.8, Excellent 2.8 on, best 5.6

    Canon FDn 50mm F1.8 - Good F1.8, Excellent 2.8, best 5.6 (FDn 1.4 better)

    Canon FD 15mm F2.8 Fisheye - Center always Exc, side small glow F2.8
    - F4 better sides, F5.6 Vig gone, F8 – F11 edge+
    - usable F2.8 on, better F4+

    Canon FDn 50mm F1.4 - Good F1.4, + F2, ++F2.8, Excellent 4.0, best 5.6
    - Better at F2 than F1.8 lens wide open

    Canon FDn 50mm F3.5 Macro - Exc 3.5, Excel F4.8, + 5.6, best F8, + 11 corner 2 corner
    - Vignette 3.5 ; gone F4.8, Field Curve front sides
    - Infinity on FD-L is infinity. Close is very good F3.5
    - Can use at F4.8/5.6 all day long, F3.5 Exc but vignette

    Leica R 60mm F2.8 Macro - Very good 2.8, but glow > 12 mm, F4 ++
    - Vignette gone F4, F5.6 Excellent, 8, 11 Exc too
    - F4 plus all great, 5.6 – 8 super best

    Canon FD 55mm F1.2 ASPHERICAL - good, increases better till F5.6 side to side

    Canon FDn 20-35mm F3.5L - 20mm Center good, sides better 5.6, best 8-11
    (Set lens type: Leica 18mm) - 22mm step up from 20mm, F5.6 quite good
    - 24mm Center good, sides good 5.6, best 8-11
    - 28mm Good F3.5, better 5.6, best 8-11
    - 35mm all good bit soft F3.5, better 5.6 – 11
    - Vignette 2 strong stops 20 24, 1stop 28, 0 35mm
    - Best all round incl corners 8 – 11 (really good!)
    - From 22mm to 35, F5.6 is mostly good enough
    - 28mm seems to be best Focal length - F3.5 up

    Canon FDn 28-85mm F4.0 - 28mm great center, 5.6 best, F11 for extre corner
    - 35mm great everywhere, stop down for vignette
    - 50mm amazing F4-5.6, softer 8/11, RH softer
    - 70mm good F4, best F5.6, also good F8 / 11
    - 85mm good F4 best F5.6, edges best F8 / 11
    - vignette ends at 50, stop down 1 at 35/28mm
    - Best 35 – 50mm, rest good, RH side FF-soft 50+
    - Best 5.6 or 6.8 or 8 all the time = great 28-85mm

    Canon FDn 35-105mm F3.5-4.5 - 35mm sharp to 1/8 edge @F3.5
    - 50mm center to 1/8 excellent F3.5 up, edges F8+
    - 70mm center to 1/8 excellent, edges F8+
    - 105mm sharp F4.5 till 1/8 edge, RH never great
    - Vignettes always, till F11, F8 pretty good
    - 35mm left edge softer shifts to RH softer at 70mm
    - MACRO low contrast wide but nice till F11 +++
    - Center always Excellent, 1/8 edges F8/11 best

    Canon FDn 20mm F2.8 - f2.8 sharp slight glow high vignette, F4 glow gone
    - F5.6 – 8 best. Slight better LH. RH best 11-16
    - F4 – F8 very good, slightly less F11-16 more even
    - F5.6 vignette gone, Usable F2.8, Very useable F4

    Nikon F 20mm F4 - Softer, high vignette till 5.6, better 8, best 11
    - Canon FDn beats every F by 1 or 2 stops
    - Good all round F8 – 11 lens


    Canon FD 28mm SC F2.8 - F2.8 sharp center, mild glow, vignette gone F5.6
    - F4 better, F5.6 +, sides best F8-16, F8/11 best

    Canon FD 300mm F5.6 - Great edge to edge F5.6, F8+, F11-, light vignette
    - F8 more contrast best setting
    - Better than 100-300L at 300

    Canon FDn 100-300 L F5.6 - VG56, F8 better, 300mm F11 best, RH edge softer
    - Vignette 56 & 8. Sharp edge to edge, no batwings

    Canon FDn 100 F2.8 - Great all over, F4 +, F5.6 best. Vignette gone F4

    Leica R 400mm F6.8 - Black vignette corners, center 16mm circle great
    - Rest always fuzzy, hardly improves F8 -11, best 8

    Leica R 35-70mm F4 - 35mm great F4, better F4.8, best F5.6 – F8
    - 50mm Same
    - 70mm Same – Great !
    - F5.6 all day long all zoom
    - Better noticeably than OLY F3.6, esp wide open

    Leica R 80-200mm F4 - 80mm F4 great, F5.6 better – 80 better than 200
    - 200mm F4 good, F5.6 better
    - Vignette at F4, F5.6 even

    Leica R 50mm F2 Summicron - Mild Vignette, gone 4.0, VG F2.0 Best F4-5.6
    - Bite Sharp F4 & 5.6, corners 5.6+, F11 less

    Leica R 90mm F2.8 - Center always VG vs Exc, very mild Vignette F2.8
    - Sharpens up F4, about same to F8 all good
    - Very nice lens, never excellent ie: bite sharp


    Leica M 135mm APO F3.4 - F4 and up best, slightly softer left ¼

    Leica M 90mm APO F2 - F2 VG edge – edge, Super mild Vignette
    - F2.8 better, not vignette, F4 jumps to Bite sharp
    - Always VG, but not as sharp as APO expected?

    Leica M 75mm APO F2

    Leica M 50mm ASPH F1.4 - F1.4 center great, edges catch up F4, F5.6 best
    - No ‘glow’ ever, just softer edges improve till F5.6
    - (F2 Ver V better sharpness at F2.0 F2.8 edge to edge)
    - has dip in sharpness @ ¼ & then sharper at edges till F4


    Leica M 50mm APO F2.0 - F2 Great - slightly better each stop till F5.6 / 8.0
    - Vignette 2, less 2.8, gone 4. Sharpness better at F2 than version V.
    About 1.5 to 2 Stop advantage mostly @ sides


    Leica M 50mm F2 Version V - F2 VG, ¼ sides better till F5.6 / 11 (tiny glow sides F2)
    - Vignette mostly gone F2.8
    - (Better at F2 and F2.8 for sharpness than F1.4 ASPH)

    Leica M 35mm F2 V4 Black - F2 center good low contrast, ¼ sides glowy soft
    - Vignettes gone 5.6, but OK at F4, F2-2.8 noticeable
    - F2.8 higher contrast, glowy gone, but ¼ bit soft still
    - F4 much better, F5.6 corners better, F8 best
    - RH ¼ bit softer than LH, F4 good to go, 5.6 or 8 Best
    - Field Curves towards sides front
    - F2 w/Photoshop contrast/clarity/sharpness = pretty good

    Leica M 35mm F2 V4 Silver - Very similar to V4 Black, but better – sharpness even side to side
    - Basically same as Summarit, but field curve helps front
    - A really nice F2 lens

    Leica M 35mm F2.5 Summarit - F2.5 center good, good contrast, F2.8 slightly better
    - Vignette gone F4, less Field Curve than V4
    - F4 better, F5.6 really good, F8 Exceptional
    - Better than 35mm V4 Black, except corners come up
    slightly later. Doesn’t glow at F2.5

    Leica M 35mm F2.0 ASPH II - F2 center good, good contrast, no glow, but ¼ soft
    - Vignette gone F4, F2.8 better less soft ¼
    - F4 POPS out sharp, except corners softer
    - F5.6 pops bit more, F8 Exceptional
    - F4 great to use, F5.6 +, F8 for corners bite sharp
    - Very similar to F2.5 Summarit overall maybe better

    Leica M 35mm F1.4 ASPH FLE - F1.4 good, no glow, ¼ softer, like F2 on Summicron ASPH
    - F2 better than all others, like F2.8 on them
    - F2.8 Vignette basically gone, really good overall
    - F4 Excellent, F5.6 – 8 Exceptional
    - 1 -2 Stops better than all others, F2.8 or F4 great

    Leica M 40mm F2 Summicron - F2 centre Vgood till ¼, high vignette, F2.8 ++
    - F4 better, 5.6 ++, F8 very corner ++, F11 best corner
    - Vignette VG F4 gone F5.6, best F8-11

    Leica M 90mm F2.8 circa 1959 - F2.8 sharp across, low contrast, mild vignette to 5.6
    - F4 better sides, F5.6 – F8 best all over, F11 good
    - F4 not bad at all, F2.8 till ¼ good w/small glow

    Leica M 50mm F2.5 Summarit - F2.5 good, F4-5.6+ best, left side softer F2.5

    OLY 50mm F2 MACRO - F2 good center edges excellent, F2.8 amazing, F5.6 best
    - Great all round – no glow ever
    - Vignette till F4, none F5.6
    - Same as both Leica M 50 F2’s !! or better

    Leica M 21mm F3.4 ASPH - Great F3.4 center & RH, LH side catches up F5.6

    Leica M TRI-E F4.0 ASPH - Great. F5.6 Better, F8/11 Best, 50>35>28
    - 50 good F4, 35 F4/5.6, 28 F8 for best

    Zeiss M 18mm F4.0 - Great F4 center, edges better till F8/11 best
    - Use Leica 21mm non-Asph setting - best edges

    OLY OM 18mm F3.5 - Good center, Vignettes reduces till F11
    - Sides corners dark F3.5, 5.6 better, F8/11 best
    - Softer sides, corners, better 5.6, 8 - F11 Best, 16 less
    - Overall, F5.6 pretty good, F8 – 11 all great
    - Even F3.5 good if sides don’t matter, ie night?

    CAN EF 24-105mm F4.0L - good, edges soft, 24 blue fringe, 70/105 softer

    OLY 100mm F2 ED - Good F2, 2.8, less F4, 56, Best F8, 11

    OLY 100mm F2.8 - Great F2.8, Exc F56 - F11, corners best F56+
    - Very close to Nikon E100mm, OLY slight edge

    OLY 24mm F2.8 - Good center always, edges never good, best 8/11

    OLY 28mm F2.8 - Great F2.8 to edges, excellent edges to 5.6 – 11
    - Vignette improves gone F8, F4 – 5.6 very nice

    OLY 35mm F2.8 MC new - F2.8 sharp center till ¼, F4 till 1/8, F5.6 & 8 Great
    - Vignette strong F2.8, less F4, good F5.6+
    - Appears to focus shift F4, 5.6, 8 - Should focus stopped down
    - Best F5.6 & 8, F2.8 good center, F4 more center
    - Canon FDn 35mm F2.8 better I think at 2.8 & 4

    OLY 180mm F2.8 - Good F2.8 to edges, better F4, best F5.6, 11 good
    - Better than FDn 200mm

    OLY 180mm F2.8 + 1.4X extender - OK F2.8, Best F4 (=5.6) F5.6 / 11 good also
    - = Excellent 250mm F5.6, decent 250mm F4

    OLY 135mm F3.5 - Good F3.5 to edges, best F5.6 or F8

    OLY 35-70mm F3.6 - 35mm VG, F56 better, corners clear F8
    - 50mm Same
    - 70mm almost better, corners clear F8
    - Corners appear to FF on stopping down

    OLY 50mm F1.4 - Nice F1.4 all, V nice 2.0, 2.8 contrast increase
    - Excellent F4 +, use any F, but F2.8 plus best

    Nikon 105mm F2.8 AI-s Micro - F2.8 even side to side, lower contrast
    - F4 better, F5.6 – 8 best, Vignette gone 5.6
    - Very nice F2.8 on, F8 Best, F11 = 5.6

    Nikon 35mm F2.8 AI - Good F2.8, side bit softer, bit Vignette – gone 5.6
    - F4 better, F5.6 better, F8-11 best, corners tiny smear
    - Sharpens up well, looks great at 50% reduction
    - Nice all round but never bite sharp without sharpening
    - Canon FDn way better and lighter

    Canon FDn 35mm F2.8 - Exc center area 2.8, F4 sides+, F5.6-8 perfect, F11 less
    - Vignette lots 2.8, F4 good, F5.6 gone
    - Infinity setting perfect adjustment
    - 1.5 feet center excellent, edges improve to F8
    - Use anytime, anywhere F4, 5.6 ,8. F2.8 nice but Vignette



    LEICA CL: Lenses that work well in BOLD:


    Canon LTM 50mm F1.4 - Soft glow F1.4, Edges smeary
    - F2.0 Sharper, higher contrast center, edges soft
    - F2.8 Very sharp center, high contrast, edges bit soft
    - Very nice soft wide open, very sharp stopped down

    Canon FD 200mm F4 - F4 nice, bit low contrast, bit softer
    - F5.6 very sharp and nice (low iso, sharpened in PS)

    Leica 35mm F2 ver IV blk on CL - Small glow F2 sharp middle lower contrast, small Vig
    - F2.8 Vignette gone, V Sharp mid, contrast +, edges bit –
    - F4 Exc everywhere, F5.6 & F8.0 Best
    - Use all day long F2.8 plus, F2 very good center regions

    Nikon AIS 55mm F2.8 Micro - Excellent, slightly better corner & Vignette F4+
    - Use any setting all day long

    Leica CL/TL lenses – any lens - Exceptional any setting all day long
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    Senior Member Robert Campbell's Avatar
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    Re: Adapers and R or M lenses for use with the SL mount. Experiences?

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    The M Adapter T was released concurrent to when the Leica T was the only L-mount camera. Leica changed the name of the mount when the SL came out, to avoid confusion with the ancient, legacy T-mount system (which is still around), so it became the M Adapter L. And yes, it is otherwise identical to the original released adapter. I still have the original, purchased even before my SL was delivered in 2015.

    G
    Leica seem to have had a fit of the head staggers a few years ago. They introduced the T mount for the T cameras, then had second thoughts and called it the L mount.

    After the M9 came the M Typ240 (and siblings), after which they reverted to simpler nomenclature with the M10.

    Leica fans in future can be forgiven for being confused.
    Sláinte

    Robert.
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    Re: Adapers and R or M lenses for use with the SL mount. Experiences?

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Campbell View Post
    Leica seem to have had a fit of the head staggers a few years ago. They introduced the T mount for the T cameras, then had second thoughts and called it the L mount.

    After the M9 came the M Typ240 (and siblings), after which they reverted to simpler nomenclature with the M10.

    Leica fans in future can be forgiven for being confused.
    I call the naming silliness "Jitters of the marketing goofballs."

    In the end, I couldn't care less what the marketing goofballs say or think. What they call the equipment is irrelevant to my use of it, in reality; it's the engineering folks who have done the work of ensuring that it does what I want.

    I really wish people would stop using the terms "fans" and "fanboys". They're disparaging and condescending in the context of the current milieu.

    G

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