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Leica SL, 24-90 f2.8-4, 90-200mm f2.8-4, 50mm f1.4 Announcements

New Leica SL and Lens Trio Rumors; Official Announcement Today

By Lauchlan Toal on October 20th 2015

Love them or hate them, Leica remains one of the photography industry’s most iconic brands. With a slew of new camera systems having diversified their camera line-up over the last couple years, Leica’s been covering everything from APS-C to medium format. Now they’re set to release yet another new product, this time a full frame mirrorless ILC – the Leica SL.


Leica SL, 24-90 f2.8-4, 90-200mm f2.8-4, 50mm f1.4

Details are still coming in, with the big announcement planned for 7:30 Berlin time today (2:30 EST). So far, we know that it will have a full frame 24-megapixel sensor without an AA filter, a 4 megapixel EVF, a touch screen rear LCD, 49 AF points, and a bayonet T mount. They’re also releasing 3 lenses, a 24-90mm f/2.8-4, 90-200mm f/2.8-4, and 50mm f/1.4. It sounds like the lenses feature image stabilization, though I’ve not seen any switches for that in the photos yet.

As always, Leica’s product design is on point here. Above all else, this camera reminds me of the PhaseOne XF body. In terms of form, it approximates the A7 series of Sony cameras, but it’s the minimalist and deliberate approach to the camera which brings to mind the PhaseOne instead. The side grip is a welcome ergonomic feature to accompany the larger DSLR style lenses, while also differentiating this camera from the Leica M series.

Leica SL and 24-90 f2.8-f4Specs-wise, Leica should have a solid performer here. I’d guess that the sensor is the same as the one used in the Leica Q, which is being lauded for excellent image quality. With the flexibility of interchangeable lenses, this camera could be a real winner. The big question is, what other lenses will be available in the future? With the T, S, M, and now SL series of cameras to support, lens production will be a major hurdle for Leica.

[REWIND: Is the Leica Q Up to Snuff?]

The Leica SL will come in at € 6,900, or € 10,000 with the 24-90mm “kit” lens. Is it worth the Leica premium, or is it just another highly priced toy? We will find out soon enough. You can pre-order yours here.

**UPDATE** One of our writers, Jay Cassario, had a chance to test out the new Leica SL and has posted his first impressions on his blog here. Check it out.

[Via: MirrorlessRumors]

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Lauchlan Toal is a food photographer in Halifax, Nova Scotia. When not playing with his dinner, he can be found chasing bugs, shooting sports, or otherwise having fun with photography. You can follow his work online, or hunt him down on the blogs and forums that he frequents.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Branko Sreckovic

    Too much money for lil red discus with few white letters on it.
    Leicas never were beauties and this one is not exemption.
    The ‘original’ M3 is sold for around 1k$ today in good working condition and it is still capable camera if you like film.
    Will this one last next 50 years the same way?
    P.S. Doctors won’t buy this thing trust me. LOL

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  2. Dave Haynie

    Someone’s gotta make the most expensive, most luxury-oriented thing, no matter what that thing is. I don’t see the value in it, but it certainly makes more sense to me than a wood-accented Sony with a Hasselblad sticker on it.

    But it’s a little confusing, even for those who want to drop $7500 for a gigantic mirrorless camera. First of all, the use of the Leica T-Mount rather than the M-Mount… what’s with that? M already supports full frame mirrorless cameras. Sure, they’re styled like rangefinders, but that doesn’t really make any different in the digital world. Is there something the T-Mount offers that M can’t? Secondly, T made more sense when it was the compact mount for APS cameras…. but all of a sudden, it’s full frame. And you’re supposed to call it the L-mount now, though APS lenses on the T-Mount, er, L-Mount, are now to be called TL lenses, while full frame are SL lenses. They allow M, S, and R lenses to be mounted via adapters…. that’s lots of different mounts for a company with such a small market.

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  3. damian thompson

    Give me a 70D and 24-70 f2.8 and ill be happy as a pig in mud.

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  4. Bob McCormac

    Ouch! $7450 just for the body and the 24-90mm lens another $4950. I’ll have to take out a bank loan before I can buy this rig. But the sample shots are pretty impressive along with camera specs.

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  5. adam sanford

    I know we throttle Leica for pricing all the time, but that kit zoom has variable max aperture for $5k and the hood costs $255 extra. C’mon.

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  6. damian thompson

    All the other fantastic equipment you could get for the price of this and one lens. seriously, who buy this stuff.

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    • Mark Romine

      Doctors, attorneys, Hollywood Stars and other people who have no idea how to use a camera.

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    • adam sanford

      Not always so. Some *photographers* actually use these things. Here’s a very detailed preview, walkthrough, critique and samples from one:

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    • adam sanford

      Tidbits from that review, if curious:

      * Everything is weather sealed — body and lenses
      * 11 fps in JPG
      * ISO 50 is native
      * 4.4 MP EVF — that is ridiculous
      * 700+ shots per battery charge

      Overpriced? Of course — but other than the pixel count, that spec list is impressive.

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    • Mark Romine

      Yeah, even if I could afford one it would be way down my list of gear that I would want.

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    • J. Cassario

      I am a full time photographer and earn a living from my photography, I wouldn’t shoot a Leica M if it wasn’t worth the money. The funny thing is Mark, most photographers who have never shot with a Leica M, and criticize Leica products for the price and rip them, having no idea why they are worth that price tag. Both myself and my business partner shoot Nikon, Canon, and Leica. You know what we would choose to keep if we got rid of two systems? The Lieca M and Leica glass. The quality is 2nd to none in their lenses and shooting with a rangefinder system is a completely different shooting experience than a DSLR or Mirrorless system. I suggest trying something before criticizing it, I have yet to meet someone that has tried it and didn’t change their mind. The new SL may be more expensive then the Sony systems out there, which are the only mirrorless cameras with a fullframe sensor, and while it does look ugly (different), it does pretty much everything better than all 3 Sony A7 series together. The price is high, I dont deny that, but the glass that will go with it will be doubt be better or just as good as the very popular Zeiss Otus line but with AF. The comment about the only people that use a Leica are those who dont know how to use a camera is funny because its 100% all manual and you HAVE to know how to shoot a camera to use a rangefinder. Sure, you can get a DSRL cheaper, there is a lot you get cheaper, but it wont give you the same level of quality, specs, and the best glass in the business all in one package. You can read about why I shoot a Leica on my site as well as all the professional work I use it for, including my wedding work where a big DSLR isnt always the best choice.

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    • Mark Romine


      There is no doubt that Leica produces an excellent quality product and I’m not here to argue that point, but it can certainly be argued whether or not it is worth it to the bottom line of any studio. I mean that is a lot of money that can be put towards a vacation or retirement. In my mind, there are the series of questions that every photographer should be asking themselves when it comes to buying into or switching systems. Can a system such as this, that is 2x, 3x or in some cases 4x the cost of other systems immediately improve the photographer’s ability or creativity by 2, 3 or 4 fold? Will this new gear actually create new opportunities to land new clients? Will this new gear allow to you to double, triple or quadruple your rates so that you can recoup your costs? Granted the resale value of Leica is much better than Nikon, Canon, Sony or any of the others. But as far as charging significantly more, probably not going to happen.

      Let’s talk a little about the quality of the images that the Leica can produce. Will our clients and I noticed that you said that you shoot weddings. Can wedding and portrait clients actually see the difference in the quality obtained by shooting their event or their portrait with Leica gear? I doubt it, in fact, most of us photographers could not tell the difference unless the same exact scene was shot with two systems and then placed side by side. Additionally will wedding or portrait clients pay you more if you tell them that you are gong to photograph their wedding with Leica gear? Say you normally charge $5k for a wedding can you now get $10k or maybe even $7.5k by using Leica? Probably not. Do wedding and portrait clients even care if the photo is sharper? Or do they care more about the content? So what is the point is spending all this extra cash that could remain in your pocket and get just as good of photos with a less expensive camera? Is it just so that we can tell our photographer friends that we shoot Leica? I think those are fair questions to be asked by any studio owner.

      let us look at the commercial side of things. Commercial photo buyers are typically more astute at buying quality photography than those buyers on the retail side of things. But how many of them can actually see the difference between a Leica digital file than say a Nikon or Canon unless you put them all side by side? Some of them can but not the vast majority. More importantly how many of them would be willing to pay more to have their assignment shot on Leica gear? In my days of shooting commercial work, there were very few clients who were willing to pay for 8×10 film vs 4×5 even though the 8×10 was four times better and they knew it. I’d ask, do you want me to quote that job on 8×10, “oh no, 4×5 is fine”.

      I shoot weddings with 4-D750 (there are two fo us) and there is no way that I gong to buy four Leica systems and the lenses and hope to stay in business. And I’m not going to shot a wedding with a hybrid system just so I can say that I shoot Leicas. Too much pain carrying two different systems to a gig and too much post pain with two different color pallets.

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  7. Mark Romine

    That’s one ugly looking camera.

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    • Paul Empson

      :-D indeed..

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    • Paul Empson

      reading on my mobile the lens spec appeared as a drool inducing: 24-90 f/2.8 then I saw -4 on the next line.. which furrowed my brow a little.. I much prefer a constant aperture.. though 24-70 just a little short..

      I’m guessing it reduces size and weight..

      maybe after a lotto win..

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    • Mark Romine

      I’m surprised that this got past the German design police and made it out of the country. Butt ugly.

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