Leica SL - a Hands On Experience in London

The Leica SL is now shipping in the UK and Park Cameras have received their first allocation.

With a Leica in-store event today in London, I took the opportunity to give the SL a quick test drive.

Taking the camera with just it's launch-date partner the Vario-Elmarit-SL 24-90mm f/2.8-4 ASPH, I was immediately struck by the feeling of quality and precision in this new model.

Looking through the (huge and incredibly detailed) viewfinder is really quite an experience - more like looking through a medium format camera. The first electronic viewfinder to breach the 4-million dot mark has not disappointed.

The large handgrip gives a very secure hold and the superbly engineered 24-90 lens with its impressively styled lens hood makes a very fast handling package.

Heading out on a murky November day framing and selecting images was a real pleasure. The built in image stabilisation on the lens was extremely effective providing a rock-steady viewfinder image and sharp results at all the shutter speeds I used.

I took a selection of shots both inside and out taking some in the low-light conditions of the national gallery and emerging to a brief period of sunshine in Trafalgar square.

Visit us in store - either in London or Burgess Hill - for our free expert advice. Or if you're already well versed in the world of Leica, place an order here today to get hold of the next batch of stock due in very soon!

A selection of images from my stroll with the SL can be seen below.
24-90 lens at 90mm f/4

Nice close-up capability

Another close-up

The camera handles mixed light sources very well


precise framing easy with the huge viewfinder

Lovely bokeh on the 24-90

Superb colour rendition


Peter said...

I came to Park today just to have a look at this camera. I was very impressed - it certainly gives Nikon and Canon something to aim at! I was less impressed with the dedicated lens - a big brute of a thing. For me, a 35mm or 100mm M series lens fitted the body much better. Manual focus was surprisingly easy with the camera. The EVF was pretty good. If Leica bring out a Nikon F conversion mount for the camera then I might be tempted!

David Kyle said...

Peter, great to hear that you were impressed - there are more lenses to come from Leica for this camera next year, and in the interim we'd be surprised if somebody somewhere didn't start producing lens converters for the SL mount.

Adrian said...

About adaptors.....! Fascinating to read your wish list for the new Leica and Nikon F. I use Exakta lenses on a Pentax DSLR with an adaptor custom I had made when East German Zeiss and Meyer bayonet mount lenses were practically being given away. I hadn't realised how good those lenses were and even Pre-War uncoated lenses are not without surprises! I daresay if I tried these new offerings from Leitz, they'd be relegated to the jumble box!

John Robert Young said...

Consider the Fuji Pro X at a fraction of the cost of a Leica. Superb optics. Just think of what a F1.2 Leica lens would cost - at a guess £7000 +. The Fuji 56mm F1.2 can be purchased for around £700 - quite a difference.

Adrian said...

Talking of Leica......An interesting comment from Mr Young about the cost of the Fuji F/1.2 lens compared with a Leica equivalent - if it exists? I suppose it is "Pride-of-ownership" (think of Rolls Royce, for example,) and whether the cheaper product will hold its value or, in decades to come, be a coveted collector's prize. Please may I add that when I recently visited Park Cameras with a only a very limited amount to spend on a new Pentax body, I was treated just as courteously as if I'd been considering this eye-watering-price Leica: In other words, splendid service. It's good to be rid of the snobbery I experienced 54 years ago, when Wallace Heaton were selling-off the Leica 1g body for £30 (very cheap for a Leica, even then,)and nearly lost their Leitz agency! Do any customers recall the sense of inferiority if one was in the "Advanced" section of the Camera Club and confessed to owning, say, a Reid III, with an F/2 50mm Taylor-Hobson lens, (Government Surplus, at that) when others had Leica M2 and M3 bodies, with the new wide aperture Leitz lenses with their unpronounceable catalogue names? "Those WERE the days"!

Post a comment