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01-08-2017, 09:12 PM   #1
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Played with a Leica SL today

Visited the Leica Store in the Forum Shops at Caesar's Palace in Vegas this afternoon. Asked if I might handle an SL, and the clerk delivered one into my hands with the 24-90/2.8-4 zoom attached.

What a piece of kit! The SL is designed, according to the Leica marketing machine, with professional shooters in mind. It's full (35mm) frame, mirrorless, 24Mp sensor, and built like a tank (or like a Leica). Takes a broad variety of lenses, with adapters, including Leica M and R and Canon EF L lenses.

The spec sheet says the body weighs 847g with battery, making it just slightly heavier than my K-5IIs (760g), but it felt much heavier, probably because the 24-90 weighs 1,140g all by itself. So you're talking four and a half pounds of gear to pick up for each photo.

Quick reaction to spending five minutes shooting random photos inside the store: Silky smooth, wonderful feel, extremely good ergonomic design. (The buttons and dials on the body aren't marked, at all, since they can all be customized, the clerk said. Nevertheless I had no problem taking photos and making adjustments.)

Autofocus was fast and accurate, though I naturally didn't get a chance to test tracking. Image quality at ISO 12,800 seemed very good. Quiet shutter, as you might expect. And the clerk absolutely swore the weather sealing is good enough to stand in the pouring rain and take pictures for an hour without any concern.

Would I buy one, if I had $12,500 ($7,500 for the body, $5,000 for the lens) burning a hole in my pocket? Probably not. Too big and too heavy, and even if I won the lottery I might be averse to treating such an expensive camera as just a tool, the way I treat Pentax.

Fun bit of window shopping, though.

01-09-2017, 12:30 AM   #2
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I think that it is an amazing camera. Files are jaw dropping at times, prints are even more astounding. I would love to have one.
01-09-2017, 06:48 AM   #3
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I have no interest in their big autofocus lenses (although they are excellent), but could be tempted as a digital body for my collection of lenses from the Leicaflex / R systems, especially because it also works very well with the Leica M lenses, even the ultrawides. I now use my Leica reflex lenses on an A7. I bought a Leicaflex SL in 1969 after quality issues with both Canon and Pentax, and that SL was built like a tank and is still a joy to use. The new SL sounds like a worthy successor. However, looking at my budget as a retiree...
01-09-2017, 07:11 AM - 3 Likes   #4
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There comes a point when you're talking about a piece of gear defining social status, more than something to take pictures with.

Last edited by normhead; 01-09-2017 at 07:40 AM.
01-09-2017, 07:24 AM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
There comes a point when you're talking about a piece of gear dining social status, more than something to take pictures with.
01-09-2017, 07:45 AM   #6
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It's jewelry and only incidentally a photo tool.

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