I was a proud owner of a Leica M2 and M6 with 35mm f/2 Summicron M-ASPH and other lenses so I am no stranger to Leica and their products. Leica is renowned for making reliable cameras and lenses known for producing amazing image quality. It has always been a dream for me to shoot with Leica cameras and lenses in my professional work.
Last month, I had an assignment to shoot for a hair stylist for a competition. Since it is an entry for the competition, it is extremely important to produce photos of high image quality with high accuracy in color representation. Leica Singapore (@leicastoresg) was very kind to loan me a Leica SL camera with APO-Summicron-SL 90 f/2 ASPH lens for the shoot.
Leica SL First Impression
The Leica SL is very well built with its all-metal construction. However, the camera body does not feel bulky or heavy but is sleek and slim instead. Something I really like. The grip feels great and the texture on the grip gives me a greater sense of security.
The buttons have a great tactile feel and the dials give good feedback with clicks when turned. The EVF is one of the best I have seen of all the cameras I have used. It is big, bright and beautiful. The diopter is easy to adjust with no play. The rear LCD display is also very beautiful with a touchscreen function that is very intuitive and responsive. The battery life is also great, it lasted me through a 6-hour shoot.
Performance & Image Quality
Let's go to the performance and image quality. Without any doubts, one can almost expect nothing less than spectacular from Leica. The Leica SL is highly responsive and snappy. Autofocus was quick with no hunting during the shoot. Adjusting the AF points using the joystick was really easy. It was a breeze going through the images using the dials and the touchscreen. Accessing menu, controls, and settings can take a while to get used to but it is nothing too difficult.
Image quality is amazing. The images produced have a stunning amount of details and are extremely sharp. It almost feels like they were taken with a medium format camera. My shoot was done using strobes, the images were undoubtedly clean but I also shot some behind-the-scenes at ISO 1600 and the images are pretty good by my books. I am confident that the Leica SL can handle higher ISO without a problem. Below are some behind-the-scenes photos I have shot using Leica SL @ ISO 1600.
APO-Summicron-SL 90 f/2 ASPH lens
Like the SL body, the lens is also very well-made. The lens is relatively compact and light-weight, and it felt well balanced when mounted on the body. The lens is perfect for my shoot as the focal length coupled with the close focusing limit allows tight cropping. The lens focuses very quickly and quietly. Focus on every shot is spot on and the images produced are biting sharp.
Although I did not test for ghosting, flares, and chromatic aberrations, I believe they are well controlled with the lens design using aspherical element and high-quality coating.
How do I feel about the camera and lens?
The camera and lens are well designed and built. The images produced are truly amazing, with beautiful colors and the stunning amount of details. What I really like about the camera is the big, bright EVF and the highly-intuitive touchscreen LCD display. Because of the minimalist design, I fumbled a little at the start when I need to find something on the menu or change some settings on the camera. However, these are easily overcome after familiarising with the camera.
I enjoyed using the camera very much and I hope that I will be able to own one someday. Once again, I like to thank Leica Singapore for giving me the opportunity to experience using Leica SL.
You can scroll further to see the final images from Leica SL.