Reader Roy P owns an extensive Leica S system, and knows in detail how things have gone with it (badly).
I find his perspective always worth a chuckle and with insight based on experience with Leica that dovetails with much of my thinking on Leica.
The delusion at Leica continues at full throttle, as they keep piling up the chips on the SL and rolling the dice, believing the SL will be a very successful pro system.
I wonder how many people will shell out $4,750 and $5,150 for these 75mm and 90mm f/2 lenses, when you could get a Sony 85mm FE f/1.8 for $600, which works with face recognition and Eye AF, and delivers 42MP at 10 fps on an A7R III that costs just about 50% of the 24MP Leica SL.
And if the AF mechanism in the SL lenses is based on the AF design in the Leica S lenses, these SL lenses should be coming unglued in 3-4 years.
Leica also just announced a 50mm APO Summicron for the SL. Now, that’s four M-like primes, and two zooms that are not particularly useful. Some 35-40 years of SLR/DLSR use has shown the most useful zooms are 24-70 f/2.8 and 70-200 f/2.8, a staple of every wedding and event photographer. The SL zooms are really not very useful.
The four M-like primes are quite revealing, I think. They betray Leica’s real DNA, which is the M system. But as they say, if you have a hammer as your one tool, you see every problem as a nail. Leica is essentially trying to impose its M fingerprint onto a mirrorless / DSLR paradigm, and I don’t think it’s going to win. Not with $5000+ lenses, far beyond the reach of most pro photographers.
Even for a big company like Sony, it’s a PITA to maintain two mounts. Leica, a company with a 0.5% market share in photography, has FOUR systems, not counting the dead R system. Crazy.
DIGLLOYD: Roy speaks from sad experience with his SL system and “unglued” is to be taken literally, along with extreme waits for service and repeat service visits.
I know that many people love their Leica gear including the SL, and I still like the M240 (and M10), but I want to see the M series move forward in a dramatic way. The SL is a huge expensive brick entirely unlike the M system, and its technology is far behind what is happening with Sony and Nikon, both of which are delivering outstanding cameras (well, Sony is less camera like by far than I’d like but it has some huge plusses nonetheless).