So let's be upfront and say that this little post is no more than a 5 minute shoot with a couple of friends during a lunch break. I need to thank DigiDirect Brisbane who set me up with the Leica SL and Vario-Elmarit-SL 24–90 mm f/2.8-4 ASPH. I have had nothing but the best service when grabbing my gear from them and when I have run into a snag, the service has continued. They hosted a great Leica SL Launch the other night- drinks, eats and a couple of special guests all made up for a fantastic evening. I thought it appropriate after their event (held here in Brisbane) to post this quick hands on.
If you're looking for tech specs then I suggest you do another google search or check out the Leica Website itself. But for those who have bothered to read this next sentence... The 24mp cmos sensor is very Leica Q-ish, although with slightly better skin tones straight out of the camera. The EVF sublime 4.4 million pixels are outstanding to use, the camera body is solid and balanced in the hand (no lens). The Vario-Elmarit-SL 24–90 lens is quick and responsive albeit large. I would prefer the Leica Summilux-SL 1:1,4/50 mm ASPH available sometime next year as a 50mm prime is and always has been my go to lens. But for now ....
I took a 15 minute lunch break and ran upstairs to the WECC HQ with Hannah and Nick. We opened up the French doors for a quick snap, not really paying attention to any of the settings. A long exposure with a heavy lens is not a great combo however, the optical image stabilization (OIS) proved a winner.
Next, the far window shooting into direct sunlight. I grabbed the reflector only to provide some fill light as there was still a fair bit of spill light from the window bouncing around the room. I never use live view, so I thought I should give it a go when we shot a quick editorial style head shot. I just can't seem to get used to live view (call me old fashion), it felt very weird and with such a AWESOME EVF why would you bother using the it anyway?
The Leica SL's rear screen was a pleasant surprise. Clear and sharp- even with my crap peepers I was able to manually focus without focus peeking. I just exposed for the front of Hannah's shirt and re-composed which did a good enough job. Certainly not the technically best way to meter. I should add that the rear of the camera is clean and simple with no indication (writing) on any of the four main buttons. I just fudged it and figured it out after a few %^&*. The ON/OFF switch is labelled .....luckily.
Disclaimer I am NO PRO at post production, seriously - as in lame. I just needed to clarify this before you read on and are under the impression you might learn something incredible.
Not much needed to be done post production as the auto white balance was spot on as was the exposure. Small adjustments in Lighroom CC and a bit of a cleanup in Photoshop CC was all I needed to do. I have always found digital files to lack life, just very sterile and although the Leica SL sensor and 'Maestro ii processor' does a great job with color and skin tones (slightly better than the Leica Q), I still prefer to use film presets. Usually VSCO Film is my go-to however, lately and for the below images I have used Alien Skin Exposure 7 and their fantastic Kodak Portra 400 preset.
CLICK ON THE IMAGES ABOVE TO SEE THEM IN FULL
So there you have it- quick and painless. It was a dream to use and the EVF needs to be tried to appreciate how F%^&*NG unbelievable it really is. One suggestion from me would be to purchase the Leica SL multifunctional handgrip (HG-SCL4), it would balance out what I felt was a front-heavy set up with the two zooms on offer. Should be available from DigiDirect Brisbane by the time this post goes live (maybe).
Lastly, I am looking very forward to trying the prime lens; set for release next year. Both the 35mm and 50mm are a must for the type of work I like to shoot and would replace the large and front heavy 24-90 on offer at the moment. Obviously the 24-90 is a no-brainer for most people, just not me.. What's great about the Leica SL is its ability to use a plethora of existing Leica glass in conjunction with the appropriate adapter. Grabbing a 50mm f/2 Summicron R lens from eBay for about $500-$700 - a great idea to start building your lens arsenal while keeping it affordable - I guarantee prices on R lenses will begin to skyrocket very soon. So if you're serious then let the bargain hunting begin!
The Leica SL and 24-90 was a pleasure to shoot with, I am more than impressed with the results. I would not be wrong if I said the Leica SL is one of the finest cameras ever made - if not the finest mirrorless. So if you have the $$$$ then let it rip I say. It's all relative to what it's worth to you. I know if I had the choice and $$$$ then it would be the SL. I look at it this way, the Nikon D4s will set you back just fractionally less .... and it doesn't take Leica glass. Oh and did I say it was a LEICA.......Cheers