Whether Leica would enter the world of mirrorless was a billion-dollar question and a trillion-dollar debate among Leica fans. A purist like Leica introducing an interchangeable lens Mirrorless camera with autofocus would be blasphemy, well almost.
Leica’s M series rangefinders are legendary and define the whole essence of 35mm photography. So, a huge contingent of fans looked down upon a modern mirrorless camera from Leica. A Leica Man/Woman doesn’t care about features, custom buttons, electronic viewfinders etc.
But then, the Leica Q released and it won a lot of fans. Even M fans were impressed with the fixed 28mm lens, 10fps, touch focus and click and a very good EVF. The sensor was outstanding. I have written about it here http://www.mirrorlessness.com/blogs/hemingway-3/
And then came the big one. A complete pro grade, fast, top of the line mirrorless camera, competing with the Sony’s of the world…the Leica SL.
A lot has been said about the SL and a lot written so I will stick to my personal view of the SL and why I went ahead and added it to my arsenal.
- I wanted to stick with one brand. Over the years, I have tried almost all brands and systems and love the minimalism of Leica so I decided to consolidate with them. I sold off all my Sony equipment and bought the SL
- I absolutely adore my M (Typ 240) and M10 but I needed a camera that was fast to respond. There are times during a wedding I need the 10 fps.
- For ultra-wide lenses and like of the Noctilux, which has a wafer thin DOF, the EVF in the SL is a boon to frame well and get perfect focus.
- I heard of the SF 60 and SF C1 Flash and trigger combination offering TTL and HSS for off camera flash control and hoping it would be an amazing addition to the SL for couple shoots.
The Leica SL – Hands-On
My first trial with the SL was at Agra. The Taj Mahal in all its glory, early in the morning was a perfect subject. I wanted to try the Voigtlander 15mm f4.5 III on the SL and get some documentary style shots rather than the usual symmetrical, glamor shots of the Taj.
The combination was a breeze with the EVF and focus peaking working beautifully well. The SL has an amazing latitude and the colors are just WOW. I think with the Q, SL and M10 Leica got their AWB perfect and I find it very satisfactory to leave White Balance in Auto in all these cameras and they churn out perfect color balance in pretty much any scene.
The Menu system is easy to navigate and in any case I use the menu very minimally. All I care about is aperture priority, exposure compensation and Aperture setting. I leave the camera on Auto ISO and AWB
Check out the Taj pictures. Share, comment, like…let me know what you think.