Leicaflex SL Lens Mount

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I have had and used an SL as the original owner with a 50mm s'cron. (I cringe, but must admit that I always carried a Canon EOS 620 with a short zoom in My Flight Bag). Now retired, I'd like to pick up a couple of lenses for the SL. Sartorius classes most cameras as having a "Leica R bayonet interchangeable". My Question, when did the camera line,"R", change from the Two Cam set up, to a Three? Can the SL be changed to a Three Cam Mount or should I look for a newer Model and which Model R is preferred? Please forgive My Question, but Leica isn't well known in the Ocala FL area. Pete

-- Pete Harvey (nnn0lmt@worldnet.att.net), July 14, 2001


This may help..


Leicaflex SL's take either two or a three cam lens. Current lenses have only the third cam which is required by all Leica SLR's beginning with the R3. Current lenses will not work on the SL unless modified into three cam lenses.

Some of the new lenses can be converted to three cam lenses and some cannot.

-- Bud (budcook@attglobal.net), July 14, 2001.

I should have said that current lenses will not meter correctly unless manually stopped down.

-- Bud (budcook@attglobal.net), July 14, 2001.

Any lenses you see advertised as either 2-cam or 3-cam will function fully on the SL. Any camera dealer who sells R lenses regularly can tell you if the lens you're enquiring about is 2 or 3 cam. If you look into the rear mount and just inside the bayonet flange you can see 2 sloping, shiny-chrome rims 180-degrees across from each other, it'll work on the SL. Any lens advertised as "3rd-cam" or "3rd-cam only" or "ROM" would need to have the SL cams fitted by a repair shop. Those lenses you can recognize because there are no shiny sloping rims inside the bayonet flange, and in the case of the ROM lenses, there is a row of gold-colored electrical contacts set in a plastic fixture.

-- Jay (infinitydt@aol.com), July 14, 2001.

>>> Any lenses you see advertised as either 2-cam or 3-cam will function fully on the SL. <<<

Not quite. Some have insufficient clearance between the rear element and the mirror and can only be used on the SL2 or R bodies. These include the 15mm, 16mm fisheye, late model 19mm, 24mm and the first 80-200 f/4.5 zoom. I'm not sure but the 35mm Summilux-R may also be one of these.

-- Doug Herr (telyt@earthlink.net), July 14, 2001.

Yes, the Summilux R will not work on a SL. (source: Leica Handbook 2000).

If you are going to stick with your SL and have no plans for an R (3 and up) series camera, then look around for used two cam lenses as they tend to be significantly less expensive than the three cam lenses.


-- John Collier (jbcollier@powersurfr.com), July 14, 2001.

Yes, Doug is correct, I forgot there was a redesign in the mirror box of the SL2 to allow mounting the above-mentioned lens exceptions on it. On the SL the mirror would hit the rear element mount of these lenses.

-- Jay (infinitydt@aol.com), July 14, 2001.

John Collier's idea of just buying the 2 cam lenses is a very good idea as he is most certainly correct about pricing, granted of course you stay with the SL- which is not a bad idea as this model by all accounts is a study design. Doug Herr has some excellent info here.

-- Dave Doyle (ddoyleis@home.com), July 15, 2001.

Another thing is that the current ROM lenses do not fit on Leicaflexes - well they do but the ROM needs to be removed and replaced by the second cam. I find this rather irritating actually, not that I need ROM really...

-- Robin Smith (smith_robin@hotmail.com), July 23, 2001.

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