Last week, you will be interested to know, Macfilos was on autopilot. The entire editorial staff was away in Malta for a pre-Christmas bash. More on that later when the snaps have been developed. As a teaser, though, I can say that we wished we had discovered Malta sooner. One can even drive on the left of the road as the gods ordained.
Thanks to sterling efforts of contributors, including Tom Lane and William Fagan, and a bit of advance planning, I was able to leave the site untended and no one noticed. Perhaps I should try it more often.
Back in London this morning, I was summoned to Red Dot Cameras to collect a very early copy of the Leica SL2, the long-anticipated successor to the SL. I believe this is one of just a few SL2s to have made it across the Channel. For the moment, SL2s have sold out, thanks to Macfilos.
Our contributor John Shingleton in Australia (who prefers to see photos rather than read news of cameras) has threatened to commit seppuku if I so much as mention the SL2 again. However, I have to disappoint, and please, John, don’t do anything hasty. We need you.
Some perverse readers, against all advice from the antipodes, seem to show an in interest in new cameras. Me, I can’t resist them. So bear with me.
A brand-new SL2 with the Sigma 45mm f/2.8 Contemporary lens attached is now sitting on my desk in Macfilos Towers, looking purposeful and ready for action.
I have quite a few lenses to try with the SL2, including manual M-mount optics, Panasonic’s unpretentious 24-105mm “kit” lens and the really rather wonderful Sigma. This one little lens complements the SL2 perfectly, just as it does the CL. Sadly I don’t have access to some of Leica’s great SL lenses. But who knows, I might be able to put some pressure on Ivor at Red Dot.
TL lens outings
In addition, I’m looking forward to trying the SL2 with the full range of TL lenses.
These are all excellent optics and will work well on the SL2, especially with the additional benefit of in-body stabilisation which the TL/CL APS-C cameras lack.
For anyone worried about the migration to that 47.3MP sensor, using TL lenses is the ideal way to avoid large files.
On the SL2 these crop-frame lenses produce 20.2MB files, not much smaller than those from the old SL or the M10. The lenses have the benefit of small size and low weight. Even the 55-135mm TL zoom is a real featherweight when compared with equivalent full-frame auto-focus lenses.
All this highlights the fun to be had by mixing and matching the now extensive range of L-Mount lenses. It’s the reason I’ve decided to concentrate on L-Mount for the future. It seems to be an obvious choice for anyone bred on Leica.
I had a brief spell (about 2 minutes) with the SL2 at the recent press launch in London, but it’s only today I’ve been able to check out the theory that it feels lighter than the SL.
Despite rumours to the contrary, the SL2 is actually heavier than the SL. Someone issued misleading news comparing the SL2 without battery with a fully batteried SL. This has been published throughout the internet, leading to misapprehension. Nevertheless, the subjective feeling of lightness is there.
As a matter of interest, the Panasonic S1 or S1R with the same Sigma lens weighs 100g more than the SL2 outfit.
The SL2, whether because of its more rounded contours or that well-designed new grip, does actually feel more comfortable and less brick-like in the hands. With the Sigma 45mm upfront, the rig tips the scales at 1120g but it certainly feels lighter. The balance is perfect with such a small lens, but the contours and grip bode well for handling with heavier native SL lenses.