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Thread: Shift lenses for SL2?

  1. #1
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    Shift lenses for SL2?

    Hi all,

    I'm tyre kicking and doing a lot of thinking while my beloved technical camera is away getting serviced. Absence may make the heart grow fonder, but it also forces a kind of reanalysis of priorities and working methods and how one wants to move forward with their work.

    In this sense, while I absolutely love my Linhof Techno and Leaf Credo setup – I especially love shooting film with the Techno, and the results from the Credo within some limitations are I think right up there with anything else on the market save for ultimate resolution – I think it's time I seriously looked into alternative tools as a way of future proofing myself. The reality is I'll never be able to afford to upgrade my Credo to the newest IQ4150, and because I'm missing a much needed RS 40mm HR W lens in my digital view camera setup I've been forced to shoot a lot of work of late with 8x10", 4x5" and 6x7cm film to cover the gap. All things considered, it might be time for me to sell the Credo, keep the Techno for film, and think about a newer mirrorless system to cover more of the digital work needs.

    This has got me thinking about the Leica SL2...

    The great UI, IMHO perfect ergonomic design and amazing SL Summicron lenses have got my attention – I've never seen MTFs that are so amazing, especially for AF lenses – and this suggests a real future proofing for eventual higher resolution bodies. I've also read that it has a thinner cover glass on the sensor for better response with M lenses. This got me thinking it must also be better for shift lenses moved off centre. The L mount seems pretty large, which is a good thing for this stuff? Anyway...

    Is anyone out there shooting with a SL2 or maybe SL with shift lenses? Leica / Schneider, Canon, Nikon, Cambo Actus, etc? Any experience to share?

    My most used FL would be 24/28mm, followed by 45/50mm. I only need those two, really. Tilt is not really needed for what I do, but I do sometimes dial some in when doing landscape. I could live without it.

    My experience with Canon mkii TS-E lenses is not so good. They kept breaking and locking up. I gave up pretty quickly, but maybe my lenses were duds or things have been improved over the last few years?

    What's the older Leica / Schneider 28mm PC Super-Angulon like? I see some on e-bay in R mount?

    No idea about Nikon's offerings, except generally people say the Canon's are better optically.

    Finally, who's using an L mount camera on an Actus? Is this an exercise in frustration and what lenses are you using?

    Any help / advise / knowledge is appreciated! If I do this, it'll be a setup I'll stick with for a long time so am keen to do my homework.

    Thanks,

    Tim
    Last edited by tjv; 1st January 2020 at 23:46.

  2. #2
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    Re: Shift lenses for SL2?

    Ps: I’ll also add that I have no other digital camera currently and I’d like to also free myself from the tripod from time to time. I do work professionally, but on long term personal projects for exhibition and publication, so I’m lucky to be able to follow my own path with regards to choosing tools That both fit a need AND I enjoy using.

    Hand held use would be a welcome freedom at times on new projects I’m working on. Those amazing Summicron lenses with IBIS must really be quite something!

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    Re: Shift lenses for SL2?

    Quote Originally Posted by tjv View Post
    Hi all,

    I'm tyre kicking and doing a lot of thinking while my beloved technical camera is away getting serviced. Absence may make the heart grow fonder, but it also forces a kind of reanalysis of priorities and working methods and how one wants to move forward with their work.

    In this sense, while I absolutely love my Linhof Techno and Leaf Credo setup – I especially love shooting film with the Techno, and the results from the Credo within some limitations are I think right up there with anything else on the market save for ultimate resolution – I think it's time I seriously looked into alternative tools as a way of future proofing myself. The reality is I'll never be able to afford to upgrade my Credo to the newest IQ4150, and because I'm missing a much needed RS 40mm HR W lens in my digital view camera setup I've been forced to shoot a lot of work of late with 8x10", 4x5" and 6x7cm film to cover the gap. All things considered, it might be time for me to sell the Credo, keep the Techno for film, and think about a newer mirrorless system to cover more of the digital work needs.

    This has got me thinking about the Leica SL2...

    The great UI, IMHO perfect ergonomic design and amazing SL Summicron lenses have got my attention – I've never seen MTFs that are so amazing, especially for AF lenses – and this suggests a real future proofing for eventual higher resolution bodies. I've also read that it has a thinner cover glass on the sensor for better response with M lenses. This got me thinking it must also be better for shift lenses moved off centre. The L mount seems pretty large, which is a good thing for this stuff? Anyway...

    Is anyone out there shooting with a SL2 or maybe SL with shift lenses? Leica / Schneider, Canon, Nikon, Cambo Actus, etc? Any experience to share?

    My most used FL would be 24/28mm, followed by 45/50mm. I only need those two, really. Tilt is not really needed for what I do, but I do sometimes dial some in when doing landscape. I could live without it.

    My experience with Canon mkii TS-E lenses is not so good. They kept breaking and locking up. I gave up pretty quickly, but maybe my lenses were duds or things have been improved over the last few years?

    What's the older Leica / Schneider 28mm PC Super-Angulon like? I see some on e-bay in R mount?

    No idea about Nikon's offerings, except generally people say the Canon's are better optically.

    Finally, who's using an L mount camera on an Actus? Is this an exercise in frustration and what lenses are you using?

    Any help / advise / knowledge is appreciated! If I do this, it'll be a setup I'll stick with for a long time so am keen to do my homework.

    Thanks,

    Tim
    Hi Tim,

    No tilt shift option from Leica in L mount - there is an S mount tilt shift which can be used via S to L adaptor.
    Money can't buy technically better lenses tran the Summicrons L mounts released so far by Leica - but there are alternatives that will perform extremely well for less.
    As for wides the M mount WATE is a good manual focus three wides in one whilst the 16-35 is an expensive very good zoom from Leica - some use the Sigma 14-24 zoom and lik it.

    IF your predominant use will be landscapes I don't think you gain over similarly priced alternatives in Hasselblad XI/XIID - albeit slower in operation and no IBIS - still a great walk around camera in my books.

    My uses are far more in shoot in hand so IBIS was too good to refuse shooting 47Megapixels - high ISO is excellent - focal plane shutter makes it (like the SL) a great 'lens horse'.

    Much too many personal variables to consider in any choice like this tbh., and each person has different uses for different systems.

    I'd seriously look at the X11D if you don't need IBIS and your shooting is biased towards tripod type work for more serious stuff and hand held less- possibly flip the other way if hand held is becoming a priority or accounts for more than 40% of your shooting requirements in one system.

    I'm writing as a person who uses FujiGFX100 for my top IQ requirements, SL series for walk around and available light shooting and aps for happy snaps - haven't found one system that can satisfy all my requirements but forced to choose just one- it would probably be the SL2 OR the Panasonic equivalent.

    Good luck
    Pete

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    Re: Shift lenses for SL2?

    Thanks Pete.

    Ordinarily I might consider the Hasselblad, but I'm angry at how they've abandoned customers who only just bought brand new Flextight scanners – of which I am one – by not updating any drivers or software to use on new OS platforms, and quietly discontinuing the product without warning. They could give protocols to Silverfast or Vuescan, but no, it's apparently too commercially sensitive...

    Anyway I think they've designed a beautiful camera and was seriously looking at the Mk II version, but they've broken my trust and I'm not sure they'll ever get it back. The new V series body / back that also takes X lenses looks ok too – especially because I could mount the back on my Techno – but as yet they haven't delivered or released for reviewing / testing and are way late too in getting it out. These aren't good signs for a company known to be struggling, IMO and doesn't inspire me with much confidence.

    Back to the alternatives...

    I have two GFX cameras and two full sets of lenses at work, but I really loathe using them. They're about as fun to use as a sellotape dispenser. I hate the size, ergonomics and menus. Files are of course great though.

    I love my Linhof Techno and Credo, but I do wish I had a system I could hand hold at times. In reality, the best thing to do would be to keep what I have – I'm so far in the can it's not funny, so pretty hard to turn back – and eventually buy a 40mm lens plus a supplementary system for hand held work. Unfortunately that is financially out of the question right now and I can't foresee a time anytime soon when I could make that happen. Hence I'm wondering about how the SL2 performs or can be used with shift lenses, even if they're adapted from other systems. The Credo doesn't have live view (well, not one that is useable in the field,) or realistic capabilities over 50ISO and there are times when I'd really appreciate those features, so as I said: I've got to thinking about selling the back while it still has some value...

    There is also the Sony, Nikon and Panasonic offerings of course. Maybe I'm a snob, but like the GFX I pick those up and just don't enjoy the experience of using them. The SL2 is the best of the bunch IMO. The X1d II might be up there too, but for the above reservations and the sluggish focusing and less than stellar EVF experience. Absolutely love the body though, it's almost a perfect replacement for my all time favourite camera – the Mamiya 7ii.

    Thinking out loud, sorry...

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    Re: Shift lenses for SL2?

    Quote Originally Posted by tjv View Post
    Thanks Pete.

    Ordinarily I might consider the Hasselblad, but I'm angry at how they've abandoned customers who only just bought brand new Flextight scanners – of which I am one – by not updating any drivers or software to use on new OS platforms, and quietly discontinuing the product without warning. They could give protocols to Silverfast or Vuescan, but no, it's apparently too commercially sensitive...

    Anyway I think they've designed a beautiful camera and was seriously looking at the Mk II version, but they've broken my trust and I'm not sure they'll ever get it back. The new V series body / back that also takes X lenses looks ok too – especially because I could mount the back on my Techno – but as yet they haven't delivered or released for reviewing / testing and are way late too in getting it out. These aren't good signs for a company known to be struggling, IMO and doesn't inspire me with much confidence.

    Back to the alternatives...

    I have two GFX cameras and two full sets of lenses at work, but I really loathe using them. They're about as fun to use as a sellotape dispenser. I hate the size, ergonomics and menus. Files are of course great though.

    I love my Linhof Techno and Credo, but I do wish I had a system I could hand hold at times. In reality, the best thing to do would be to keep what I have – I'm so far in the can it's not funny, so pretty hard to turn back – and eventually buy a 40mm lens plus a supplementary system for hand held work. Unfortunately that is financially out of the question right now and I can't foresee a time anytime soon when I could make that happen. Hence I'm wondering about how the SL2 performs or can be used with shift lenses, even if they're adapted from other systems. The Credo doesn't have live view (well, not one that is useable in the field,) or realistic capabilities over 50ISO and there are times when I'd really appreciate those features, so as I said: I've got to thinking about selling the back while it still has some value...

    There is also the Sony, Nikon and Panasonic offerings of course. Maybe I'm a snob, but like the GFX I pick those up and just don't enjoy the experience of using them. The SL2 is the best of the bunch IMO. The X1d II might be up there too, but for the above reservations and the sluggish focusing and less than stellar EVF experience. Absolutely love the body though, it's almost a perfect replacement for my all time favourite camera – the Mamiya 7ii.

    Thinking out loud, sorry...
    Well reading what you wrote above I see a fair amount of overlap in our thinking....since you are familiar with the Fuji stuff ( and can access it if you like) nothing else needs to be said about it.

    I suggested you look at hasselblad so that I didnt come across as a Leica fan boy - as discussed above I think the X11D is an amazing camera with some amazing lenses.

    lets agree to put aside some facts like:

    There is no discernible difference I can see between any camera of similar MP and specs to the SL2 - so the decision for me ( and maybe you) isn't just about IQ..if the primary consideration was value for money on an IQ scale Leica loses badly to a few others including Panasonic and Sony..and Nikon etc...

    However - I don't care about that - not one iota


    Where there is a discernible difference and why people like me who value this difference are prepared to pay a premium over similar cameras - is the 'feel' of the camera in hand and the quality of the lenses both in terms of IQ and 'feel'.
    There is no real competition for Leica as far as 'feel in hand' goes - in simple terms using the SL2 makes me happy - in a way that none of my Fuji gear does - (although I enjoy the brilliant files I get out of the GFX) in a way that none of the other camera makers can deliver either...

    So I suggest that you go and test one for yourself and make sure you put a 35/50 or 75 cron on it - it will blow you away - or not.

    As for tilt shift options - the SL2 is a great lens horse - lots of adaptors and lots of lens choice .

    Let me know how you go Tim.

    Pete
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    Re: Shift lenses for SL2?

    Quote Originally Posted by tjv View Post
    Hi all,

    I'm tyre kicking and doing a lot of thinking while my beloved technical camera is away getting serviced. Absence may make the heart grow fonder, but it also forces a kind of reanalysis of priorities and working methods and how one wants to move forward with their work.

    In this sense, while I absolutely love my Linhof Techno and Leaf Credo setup – I especially love shooting film with the Techno, and the results from the Credo within some limitations are I think right up there with anything else on the market save for ultimate resolution – I think it's time I seriously looked into alternative tools as a way of future proofing myself. The reality is I'll never be able to afford to upgrade my Credo to the newest IQ4150, and because I'm missing a much needed RS 40mm HR W lens in my digital view camera setup I've been forced to shoot a lot of work of late with 8x10", 4x5" and 6x7cm film to cover the gap. All things considered, it might be time for me to sell the Credo, keep the Techno for film, and think about a newer mirrorless system to cover more of the digital work needs.

    This has got me thinking about the Leica SL2...

    The great UI, IMHO perfect ergonomic design and amazing SL Summicron lenses have got my attention – I've never seen MTFs that are so amazing, especially for AF lenses – and this suggests a real future proofing for eventual higher resolution bodies. I've also read that it has a thinner cover glass on the sensor for better response with M lenses. This got me thinking it must also be better for shift lenses moved off centre. The L mount seems pretty large, which is a good thing for this stuff? Anyway...

    Is anyone out there shooting with a SL2 or maybe SL with shift lenses? Leica / Schneider, Canon, Nikon, Cambo Actus, etc? Any experience to share?

    My most used FL would be 24/28mm, followed by 45/50mm. I only need those two, really. Tilt is not really needed for what I do, but I do sometimes dial some in when doing landscape. I could live without it.

    My experience with Canon mkii TS-E lenses is not so good. They kept breaking and locking up. I gave up pretty quickly, but maybe my lenses were duds or things have been improved over the last few years?

    What's the older Leica / Schneider 28mm PC Super-Angulon like? I see some on e-bay in R mount?

    No idea about Nikon's offerings, except generally people say the Canon's are better optically.

    Finally, who's using an L mount camera on an Actus? Is this an exercise in frustration and what lenses are you using?

    Any help / advise / knowledge is appreciated! If I do this, it'll be a setup I'll stick with for a long time so am keen to do my homework.

    Thanks,

    Tim
    I use the 17 and 24 mm Canon TS-E (current version) lenses on the L mount, including the SL2. I haven't yet made any photographs with the 17 on the SL2, other than to verify function, but it was fine on the SL. But the 24 works great on the SL2, even with the flawed Novoflex EF-L adapter.

    Over a decade ago, I owned the Leica 28 mm and used it on a Leica R9/DMR and Canon 1ds2. It's a Schneider lens with the Leica R mount, and is optically identical to Schneider lenses sold for Nikon and Canon at the time. Very sharp and good image circle. It's just a shift lens without tilt function, as I recall. Schneider made a modern 28 mm tilt-shift lens for modern Canon EF and Nikon mounts at one time, but I think it's been discontinued. It was expensive for a non-Leica lens. cheaper than most Leica lenses.

    FWIW, I also have tried the Canon 24 on the Fuji GFX-50s, and it's a better experience on the L mount cameras, with the smaller sensor allowing more complete movements.
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  7. #7
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    Re: Shift lenses for SL2?

    Just to chime in on the Leica Schneider 28 PC lens - its a decent lens but not overwhelming. There is also significant sample variation, so if you go that route, take care where you get it from.

    I tried one on an MM and compared it to the newer 21 SEM lens - cropping the 21 to match a shifted 28. Apart from resolution (less with the cropped image), they were very very close - in fact maybe the edge to the 21.

    Its tempting, but its not likely to meet your standards. Would you ever consider a Cambo with something (say the 43 Schneider) for shift work - and keep your Credo?
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    Re: Shift lenses for SL2?

    It's a shame there aren't any native shift lenses yet, or for Sony or Nikon Z for that matter. I think sensor technology is getting to a point where it'd about be enough for me. I do think if I went this way though then the SL2 would be my favoured option – user experience and simple operation is very important to me. I like Leica's philosophy on that front, not to mention their world beating lenses.

    But you are correct. A Cambo WRS1600 and my Credo back would probably suit me better at this point in time. Or even easier – keep my Techno and get the 40mm HR W I've always needed but could never afford!

    It's an expensive business, isn't it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff View Post
    Just to chime in on the Leica Schneider 28 PC lens - its a decent lens but not overwhelming. There is also significant sample variation, so if you go that route, take care where you get it from.

    I tried one on an MM and compared it to the newer 21 SEM lens - cropping the 21 to match a shifted 28. Apart from resolution (less with the cropped image), they were very very close - in fact maybe the edge to the 21.

    Its tempting, but its not likely to meet your standards. Would you ever consider a Cambo with something (say the 43 Schneider) for shift work - and keep your Credo?

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    Re: Shift lenses for SL2?

    Yes, it’s a bear....keeping shift, quality, and yet holding costs under control. Definitely a challenge. Pretty happy with the 43 Schneider, a fraction of the cost of the 40 Rodie. Maybe find the lens you want/need, build from there. Or could you go super wide with the SL2, and crop as needed?

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    Re: Shift lenses for SL2?

    I’d happily take a punt on a SK 43mm and CF but I’ve never seen one sold used and not mounted in a helical for Alpa / Cambo - I don’t want to pay near the price of a new RS 40mm in Technika mount after taking into account retrofitting it for use on the Techno.

    As for the SL2, it seems to be a really great camera with awesome native lenses but maybe not quite what I need right now if I don’t want to take a heavy hit on resolution (if I crop etc to achieve perspective corrections,) or ultimate flexibility of movements for the kind of work I like to do.

    Thanks Geoff, appreciate your thoughts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff View Post
    Yes, it’s a bear....keeping shift, quality, and yet holding costs under control. Definitely a challenge. Pretty happy with the 43 Schneider, a fraction of the cost of the 40 Rodie. Maybe find the lens you want/need, build from there. Or could you go super wide with the SL2, and crop as needed?

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    Re: Shift lenses for SL2?

    FWIW, I have had nothing but good results from a Canon 24 TS-E mk ii on both a Hassy X1D and a Fuji GFX100. You need f/11 for corner sharpness, and IBIS doesn’t work on the Fuji, but I wouldn’t hesitate to use one on the SL2.

    Matt
    Last edited by MGrayson; 8th January 2020 at 17:23.
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