leicaflex SL and SL2 lens combo

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I am going to purchase either a Leicaflex SL or SL2. I wanted some opinions on lens combinations (wide-angle(28-35mm) and telephoto(75-135mm). I want 2 lenses for this body. I'm not familiar with CAM lenses and don't know which are compatible with each of these bodies. I am interested in the lenses that fit these bodies THAT I DON'T HAVE TO STOP DOWN OR COMPENSATE EXPOSURE FOR LENS INCOMPATIBILITY. Any recommendations? thanks!

-- jimmy marsden (jpm@sbcglobal.net), May 04, 2002


Have a look at Doug Herr's excellent site on the SLR Leicas:

http:// www.wildlightphoto.com/leica/

-- John Collier (jbcollier@shaw.ca), May 04, 2002.

Both will shoot with the 2 cam lenses, however you should probably get three cam lenses as they will work with both the sl/sl2, and the R series. the sl2 is an excellent camera, but it is very overpriced compared with the sl. I have both an SL and a R6.2 and I love them both.

-- greg mason (gmason1661@aol.com), May 04, 2002.

The SL's meter is not very sensitive in low light, if that makes a difference.

-- Jay (infinitydt@aol.com), May 04, 2002.

i suggest the 28/2.8 & 60/2.8....

-- mark kaminsky (mrry33@aol.com), May 04, 2002.

The SL and SL-2 are essentially the same except that the SL-2 is less rounded and (perhaps important to you) the SL-2 meter will read somewhat dimmer light. I believe both require either an PX-13 mercury cell or the Wein-Cell equivalent.

You need _two-cam_ or _three-cam_ lenses. Cam #1 operates the meter in the original Leicaflex, cam #2 operates the meter in the SL and SL-2, while cam #3 operates the meter in the later cameras. So you need two-cam or later _except_ the most recent batch of lenses has I believe only the third cam and won't operate the SL/SL-2 meter.

It's been a while since I've used Leicaflexes. Frankly, today, I'd find a nice clean R6 if I wanted a mechanical R body rather than such oldsters unless a screaming deal became available.

-- John Hicks (jhicks31@bellsouth.net), May 04, 2002.

Hello Jimmy.My SL2 is a tough,precise instrument with a sensitive meter which uses a now defunct mercury battery.I believe close substitute batteries are available.As a two lense medium aperture combo I would consider the Elmarit 35mm and 90mm.If you could stretch it to three lenses I would consider 35mm Summicron,60mm Elmarit and 180mm Apo Telyt.

-- Sheridan Zantis (albada60@hotmail.com), May 04, 2002.

"The SL and SL-2 are essentially the same..."

One other critical difference: the following lenses will mount on the SL2 but NOT on the SL (due to differences in the mirror swing):

24 f/2.8, 16 f/2.8 fisheye, 80-200 f/4.5 (the original Minolta/Leitz lens: all the later versions - 75-200, 75-210, 80-200 f/4 - work on either body). The 'small' 19mm f/2.8 may also not work on the SL - I'm not sure.

Beyond that restriction: as already mentioned, you want 2- or 3-cam lenses. Single-cam lenses are for the original Leicaflex (no TTL), and 3rd-cam-only lenses are for R3-8 cameras only. ROM lenses also will not mount on the SL/SL2. 8^(

-- Andy Piper (apidens@denver.infi.net), May 04, 2002.

all the later versions - 75-200, 75-210, 80-200 f/4 - work on either body

Ah, if only this were entirely true. The 80-200 f/4.0 is a ROM-only lens, and Leica's official line is that it cannot be converted to 3-cam. As Andy mentioned, ROM lenses are no-go on the Leicaflexes. A real shame 'cuz the 80-200 f/4.0 is a darned fine lens.

-- Douglas Herr (telyt@earthlink.net), May 04, 2002.

"I wanted some opinions on lens combinations (wide-angle(28-35mm) and telephoto(75-135mm). I want 2 lenses for this body."

Though I have the 28mm Elmarit-R, I personally do not find lens of that focal length that useful so I would recommend 35mm Elmarit-R and 90mm Elmarit-R to start.

Your SL needs 2-cam or 3-cam Leica-R lenses. When shopping for Leica-R lenses, bear in mind that the 2-cam Leica R lens should cost less than that of the equivalent 3-cam lens. The 3-cam lenses will support the full metering functions of the later Leica R[4-8] series cameras.

Unless you need fast 35mm lens, the 35mm Elmarit-R is the lighest and most compact 35mm Leica R lens. The image performance of that lens when shot at its optimal aperture (f5.6) is excellent. As that of 35mm Leica lenses, all leica 90mm primes (Summicron + 2 versions of Elmarit) are excellent. The second version of E-55 90 Elmarit is the most compact among the three and has excellent close-up performace when used with extension tubes. Both my 35mm and 90mm Elmarit-R use the same E55 filter.

Enjoy your SL or SL2, they are the true classic among the classic!

-- Gerald (hsus@netzero.net), May 05, 2002.

When the 80-200/4 first came out it was not ROM and I remember seeing them differentiated in dealer ads when the ROM version hit the shelves. I can't recall lately seeing any non-ROM's but there must be some out there?

-- Jay (infinitydt@aol.com), May 05, 2002.

I would also recommend the lens combination of Summicron 35 and Elmarit 90. I recently brought a used Summicron 35mm (2nd version) with the help of many people contributed on this subject. The Summicron 35-R is an excellent lens. I highly recommended it. I am currently using a three-lens combination, Summicron 35, Elmarit 60- Macro, and APO- Telyt 180 with two SLs. If I can find the zoom lens 80-200/4 in non-ROM version, I will buy one to replace the APO-Telyt 180.

-- CIng-Dao Kan (cdkan@yahoo.com), May 05, 2002.


Any 2 or three cam 35mm will be a nice fit, as would any non-ROMed 28mm. Most of the current 28mm are ROMed, so the earlier 28mm would be better perhaps (although the later one is a better performer). I would suggest a 35mm Summicron (early version is big and heavy, current version is lighter and more expensive) and a 90mm Summicron - both very nice lenses and fast too. The "budget" choice would be the 35mm Elmarit and the earlier 90mm Elmarit. If you want the later 90mm four element 90mm Elmarit then that tends to a higher price, but it is "better" than the Summicron and the earlier Elmarit. All of these lenses are great and have the Leica look (whatever that is).

-- Robin Smith (smith_robin@hotmail.com), May 06, 2002.

Jimmy I 've got the SL and my two must have lenses are the 28 and the 90. They work for probably 85% of my shots

-- Andy Wagner (awagner@midwest-express.com), May 07, 2002.

I would suggest 35 Summicron and 90 Elmarit. I am using this combination for over 20 years with my SL2. Only added the SL as wear appeared in the SL2 mount due to frequent lens changes.

-- King Cheng (king1996@netvigator.com), May 08, 2002.

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