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Reader Comment on Guide to Leica

See my Leica wish list.

James A writes:

Just been poking around on your Leica segment of Diglloyd.

I have to say the coverage and sheer amount of data there is mind boggling. It represents an incredible resource and is a testament to your expertise. Well done!

DIGLLOYD: things have gone quiet in Guide to Leica because the Leica M system is quiescent, apparently at the end of the road as far as development—the Leica M10 is a nice incremental camera, but still has some growing pains and is not different from the M240 in any substantive way.

The M system was and is the heart of Leica heritage IMO, and if Leica got their shit together and refocused on pushing the M platform forward, that would make appeal to me—I still have the excellent Zeiss ZM 35mm f/1.4 Distagon and 5 Leica M lenses and an M240. I always liked shooting the M240 and all I wanted to make it stellar for me was a high-res EVF built-in without a rangefinder, 36 megapixels or so, and good ergonomics or at least no worse than the M240.

All the R&D and marketing dollars flushed down the toilet on the Leica S system and the Leica TL toy and now the Leica SL... what a shame. If Leica had focused on its heritage, the M system or some derivative true to its that heritage would be a strong player. As it stands the entire Leica platform and company are a ship without a keel.

So M is it, but the Leica SL system makes no sense to me, I don’t think it has any future—it’s too little too late too heavy too ergonomically frustrating—a Nikon D850 just leaves it in the dust and is not any heavier and with 20X the lens choices.

Saddlebag Lake
f8 @ 1/500 sec, ISO 100; 2017-06-25 16:57:10
LEICA M10 + Leica Super-Elmar-M 3.8/18 ASPH

[low-res image for bot]

Roy P writes:

Re your comment “the Leica SL system makes no sense to me, I don’t think it has any future—it’s too little too late too heavy too ergonomically frustrating“, I would add that the SL system was another marketing blunder that left only accelerated the decline of the ill-fated S system, and further squandered precious resources that could have gone into the M system.

Leica has been pitching the SL as a professional system, which reveals their total ignorance about what a pro system needs to be. Decades of history has shown wedding and event photographers need four lenses more than anything else: a 24-70mm f/2.8, a 70-200mm f/2.8, an 85mm f/1.4 for portraits, and a ~100mm f/2.8 Macro. The big three – Canon, Nikon and Sony, all have excellent lenses in these focal lengths. The Leica SL system has none of them. The 24-90mm f/2.8-4 for $5000, the 90-280mm f/2.8-4 for $6400, and the 50mm f/1.4 for $5300 are all not only the wrong lenses, they’re also grossly overpriced.

OTOH, sports / action / wildlife photographers need a camera with a big fat battery in a rugged body that can be used in bad weather, and can deliver superb autofocusing and high frame rates, and comes with 400/2.8 or 400/4, 500/4 and 600/4 primes, and long zooms (100-400, 200-400). Nikon and Canon own this part of the pro business, but with the A9 and the new 100-400 lens, Sony is coming. Leica’s sole long lens, the 90-280mm f/2.8-4, is woefully short, not meeting any use case, other than maybe a visit to a zoo.

And the typical turnaround on any Leica repairs is three months, not to mention getting an email reply back from Leica (at least in the USA) is like pulling teeth. Leica has no idea how to support pro photographers.

To claim the SL is a pro system is absurdity.

DIGLLOYD: Roy speaks from experience (lots of it) on the repair issue.

Daryl O writes:

Very interesting what you say about the M non-development. I am on the forum boards and there is a split, the no-development nor change proponents and those who believe as you do. The M240 was definitely a move to the latter, eliciting many (from the former) to complain despite buying it. The M monochrome was a turning point, Leica realized there's many that want less and thus began the simplicity movement with the latter winning, and stagnation. Those in the progress camp realizing that Leica is abandoning them want a split M system with further development of the M240 coexisting with the M10.

Like you I did not pay much attention to the SL, dismissing it on specs, the EVF implementation was awful when I first tried. Recently, the sales person at Leica shoved one in my hands and the firmware has improved the camera tremendously. I absolutely love the camera with my M lenses, I can nail focus easily, get horizons perfect and exposure perfect with one button while looking through the viewfinder or rear LCD.

Leica, not unlike many camera companies paused at 6 micron size/density, they have broken that with the TL2 and I understand a new S with 50-60mp is being tested.

Gorgeous picture of Saddlebag lake, the sunstar on my Leica lenses always warp in an odd way and I see yours also.

DIGLLOYD: another viewpoint, but this if anything emphasizes my point: “absolutely love the camera with M lenses”—if Leica modernized the M it would be a winner: high-res EVF, no rangefinder, responsive zoom and playback, 36+ megapixels.

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