Thursday, October 22, 2015


The Leica haters are falling all over themselves with their “critiques” of the Leica SL and as usual, their criticism is not based on facts.  As a matter of fact, in many cases it shows a considerable lack of information and knowledge about cameras, lenses and specifically Leica.

One complaint that is quite at the forefront is about the size of the camera.  It is considered much too large, even to the point that it is considered ugly.  Many comparisons are made with the Sony and Fuji cameras which are indeed smaller.  But these criticisms fail to take into consideration that the Leica SL was from the very beginning designed as a thoroughly professional camera. 

Taking that into consideration, the Leica SL should be compared to other professional cameras on the market, like the top models from Nikon and Canon.  I have never seen any criticism about the size of those cameras, and they certainly have not been compared to the mirrorless cameras from Sony or Fuji.

One might ask if the top Sony or Fuji mirrorless cameras are not professional models.  They are not and are not meant to appeal to that segment of the market.  They are certainly some of the best mirrorless cameras available and, as such, appeal to the elevated consumer market, maybe even as an addition or back-up to top professional cameras.  But the only truly professional mirrorless camera currently available is the Leica SL.

Following is a size comparison made by HM eye ( of the Leica SL and the Nikon D4s, Nikon D810 and the Nikon Dƒ with a Nikon 24-70/2.8 VR, a Nikon  70-200/2.8 VRII and a Sigma 50 1.4 ART lens attached.  A similar comparison could be made with the equivalent models of the top Canon models.  The results would be very much the same sine the Canon cameras and lenses are very much the same size.

Nikon D4s – Leica SL – Nikon D810 – Nikon Dƒ

Nikon D4s with Nikon 24-70/2.8 VR – Leica SL with Leica 24-90/2.8-4 – Nikon D810 
with Nikon 24-70/2.8 VR – Nikon Dƒ with Nikon 24-70/2.8 VR

Nikon D4s with Nikon 70-200/2.8 VRII – Leica SL with Leica 90-280/2.8-4 – Nikon D810 
with Nikon 70-200/2.8 VRII VR – Nikon Dƒ with Nikon 70-200/2.8 VRII

Leica SL with Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux – Nikon D810 with Sigma 50mm f/1.4 ART 

 The results speak for themselves.  Of course already there are some that feel it necessary to point out that the two Nikon zoom have a constant f/2.8 aperture while the Leica lenses vary between f/2.8 and f/4.  While that is correct, this criticism totally fails to recognize that the Nikon lenses both have a noticeably shorter zoom range, 24-70 and 70-200 compared to the Leica lenses with a range of 24-90 and 90-280.

Since so many point to the Sony A7RII as being so much smaller, here is another comparison.  Included here also is the Nikon Dƒ with the Zeiss 50/1.4 MILVUS.  The Zeiss 55/1.5 OTUS is even larger than the MILVUS.  The Zeiss lernses are a good example because many see them as the closest thing to the Leica lenses yet.  Once again, the size differences are mostly in favor of the Leica SL and in case of the Sony, the difference is rather minor.

Leica SL with 50/1.4 - Sony  A7RII with 55/1.8ZA – Nikon Dƒ with 50/1.4 MILVUS

Will the Leica SL be successful?  Time will tell.  But one thing should be recognized already now; the camera is a totally professional grade camera in any respect.

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  1. They should have made it like the size 'Leica Q' and with a 'Shutter-dial' on top with numerical numbers...

    Leica has no excuses making a camera like that, and in my opinion I feel that the 'designer 'could have done a lot better....

    1. I do agree with the shutter dial on top. I have always been very much in favor of conventional camera controls like a shutter dial and aperture as well as focus rings on lenses. In general, regardless what Leica could or should have dome with the Leica SL, there would have been plenty of criticism. Leica, probably more so than any other camera/lens manufacturer, will always be under a microscope.