Hmmm. Leica, Panasonic and Sigma merge to make FULL FRAME L mount?

Hmmm. Leica, Panasonic and Sigma merge?

I try not to follow rumors too much as 50% of the time they are wrong, but I just read about one that made massive sense to me on leicarumors.com.  

So, I will talk as if this is true, even if it is not because if it is, then this rumor makes so much sense, it would be a perfect collaboration effort.

First of all, The Leica SL is my Favorite Digital Camera EVER.

I have been expecting a Leica SL replacement this year. But it seems it may not be coming, at least in the form I was thinking it may. At least not from Leica, at this time. Seeing the SL is indeed my favorite digital camera of all time (but I use it only as an EVF Leica M, with M mount lenses) I am in no hurry for a replacement, quite the contrary. I love it as is. It is truly one of the first digital cameras that I feel is worthy of a 10 year run ; )

Even so… there is a rumor of Leica working with Panasonic and even Sigma to make one bad ass new “SL” type of camera with an L mount, and to me this is quite interesting. Meaning Panasonic’s new full frame rumored mirrorless may indeed have the Leica L mount and be a collaborative of sorts with Leica and maybe even Sigma. This could be amazing for Leica is true, for a few reasons.

Let’s be honest. The Leica SL did not sell in any kind of huge numbers for Leica. In fact, most just saw those big huge expensive native lenses and were turned off. (I have over 200 emails over the years to prove this). Personally I feel it is one of Leica’s most mis-understood cameras as it is beautiful in design, build, has an awesome user interface and still to this day has a sensor that can do anything, almost, that I need.

The big beautiful EVF is still top dog of ANY other camera made to date (as of Sep 23rd 2018). Using it with Leica M mount lenses, any make, is an amazing experience that for me, has yet to be topped by any other camera. Some get close, but I always gravitate back to the SL. Using a Sony with M lenses is nice but not close to what the SL brings to the table.

But not everyone felt or feels the same as me, and many discounted it as heavy and large when in reality it is not that much larger in size than a Sony A9!

I was getting the feeling that Leica, or more specifically, the SL was not doing well in all out sales numbers because it’s rare to talk with or see someone using an SL, heck, it is rarely spoken of online even.

Leica may be trying to change this though as just recently Leica has sent the camera out to a slew of YouTubers who talk cameras, and some with big subscriber numbers. First time I have seen them do this (which is what they should have been doing long ago if you ask me). They are pushing the SL, which makes sense if they have something up their sleeve…like a new L mount body..made in collaboration with Panasonic ; )

If this is the case and Panasonic is releasing a new full frame mirrorless using the L mount it is genius. This means Panasonic may make L lenses and also means they do not have to work up a new mount. This is a win win for all. We would get a more affordable L mount full frame camera body (though I feel it would be more Panasonic than Leica in that regard), and most likely great movie features as well. We would also get some options in the L mount lens department if Panasonic started making lenses for this mount. Smaller possibly, less expensive possibly. While Leica’s SL lenses are all AMAZING they went for the best quality as Leica does, therefore we get big and expensive.

Options would be nice.

This would also drum up excitement for Leica I feel, and maybe even bring some to take a look at the SL itself, which is still one hell of a camera today and will be for years to come. I LOVE the SL and after buying and selling it a couple of times (I bought from Ken Hansen and PopFlash) I have really always had one since launch as when I sold it, I missed it terribly. To me, it is the perfect M mount camera, even more so than the M itself eve though you do use an adapter. Heck it can also shoot Canon and Nikon lenses as well (with adapters).

So if this rumor is to be believed I think it will be the BIGGEST news of Photokina this year. A new full frame from Panasonic as a collaborative effort with Leica? I have read Sigma may be involved as well, and if so my guess is they would be building the lenses..ART lenses for the L mount. If you think about it, that would be AMAZING and bring forth a whole new slew of users to the Leica L mount.

I am excited, and hope there is some truth to this rumor.We shall see within a few days!!

Steve

 

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42 Comments

  1. I’m sure most ave seen already, but the Panasonic S cameras have been officially announced. Seems very impressive. We have about 6 months before retail launch, so still early days. I wonder what the 24mp model will cost. I’m sure the 48mp model will be too expensive for a hobbyist like myself.

  2. I read some time ago a rumour that Leica were considering a full frame camera with an EVF and M mount named a CM, but later dropped the idea. The close relationship between Leica and Panasonic led me to wonder if the anticipated full frame from the latter could possibly be available become available from each company in the same vein as the LX100. The latest rumour implies that I may be correct, at least in part, substitute M mount for L.

    • No, not that I have ever encountered but then again, I have not really used many wide angles on the SL or Sony’s. Just the Voigtlander 15 and that was perfect on the SL. No issues at all.

  3. Can’t agree more on the SL. Sure the 24-90mm is heavy when walking around but it’s an amazing lens. And when you use M lenses this camera becomes almost a new camera. It’s such a joy to use M lenses this way. And with a M lens it’s not that much larger than a M camera. It deserves to much better than it has done. Whatever Panasonic is going to release I’m definitely not going to replace my SL. Now Sigma ART lenses might be interesting……

  4. I just purchased my second Leica SL and paired it with my Leica m 75 summilux it’s the perfect m10 for me I agree Steve I’ve got the Sony a7r3 Leica M9 mono and m9 hardly touched them lately just reach for the sl feels great to hold
    And the evf is unmatched simple menus can’t be beat I don’t tend to like Panasonic’s algorithms for handling photos but it would be great if they brought something to market with Leica

  5. Hi.
    A question: in your opinion will it be the h.265 codec? (this lacks in Nikon Z6 e z7
    And: why not 4K 120 fps? I mean: why 60p? why don’t ho a step forward and win?

  6. Steve you wrote “Heck it can also shoot Canon and Nikon lenses as well (with adapters).” I can only assume you are talking about this adapter. “Novoflex Canon EF Lens to Leica L-Mount Camera Electronic Adapter”. Can this adapter be used on a Leica CL using Canon EF lenses? Its and expensive adapter and would hate to purchase but find that its doesn’t work. Can you confirm is this adapter works on the Leica digital CL?

    Thanks

  7. Steve, have you tried the likes of CZ Biogon 25/2.8 on Leica SL?

    I’ve recently tried both this lens and 7Artisans 50/1.1 on Sony A7.3 and I was underwhelmed by the results. Biogon came up extremely soft in image corners even stopped down to f/6.3 and focusing 50/1.1 accurately was quite a challenge for my eyes, even with focus assist that by the way, sometimes just did not kick in – the running ants wouldn’t show up.

    If Panasonic introduces an affordable (think Sony A7.3 price range) FF camera that works well with Leica M-mount lenses such as my beloved Biogon 25/2.8, I’ll be very tempted.

    • The 7 Artisans 50 1.1 is a softer lens, but for the price we can not expect a Leica Voigtlander or Zeiss quality lens. The Zeiss 25 2.8 has always been a problem lens on digital starting with the M8, then M9, etc. I gave up on it after the M9 as it had magenta edges. Softness was never a problem though as I found it to be sharp. Never tried it on the SL.

  8. Sounds good to me. However, I believe that sensors should be as small as they can get, but no smaller. A lot of people agree with that. Look at how amazing the iPhone XS camera is compared to last year’s X. Those sensors are very small.

    But in any case, there is nothing wrong about having more quality than you need. I really would like this system to succeed, as I just like the idea of it.

    • Bodies may be, but I like that m43 lenses are much smaller. I still take that over full frame. With m43, I can pack 2 camera bodies, covering from fish-eye to 800 mm equivalent full frame, and a couple of primes in a relatively small bag.

    • Whilst the bodies are of similar size the lenses are not and that is where m43 (for me anyway) wins, beside what use is a body without a lens? Just compare the Oly 40-150 f2.8 pro lens against the Canon/Sony equivalent. I really hope that Oly continues to innovate in the m43 space as this was the whole reason for me moving to mirrorless, so i could minimise the weight and bulk of my gear and still get great quality images.

  9. I wish someone makes a M-mount minimalist manual focus mirroless body. That will be true Leica heritage and perfect for hobbyist. Leica will not do it since it will hurt their M sell. Voigtlaender?

      • Application by Leitz of the M Mount was filed January 18, 1951. Patent granted June 30, 1953. Patent number 2643581. The patent expired world wide at the end of 2001.
        I own a Ricoh GXR with the M Mount module. It is a fantastic camera. The sensor in APS-C format is equipped with microlenses especially for Leica M Mount lenses. Unlike most other digital cameras, there is no low pass filter. According to Reid Reviews, photographs of this camera are sharper than a Leica T with 16 MP.

      • What about the Zeiss Ikon ZM, the CV M mount bodies and Ricoh. While they are or were all film, they were specifically made to accept all M mount lenses. Did they have a License under Leica?

  10. I love the speed of the SL, the EVF and the solid body, battery life (I moved from Sony). I use it with M lenses exactly for the same reasons, huge lenses and expensive. If this happens it is certainly a win win. Hope this is true as I do not see myself letting go of the SL for a long time.

  11. I am not a Leica user yet. From remote, it seems to me that other than M series, Leica can not get things right without Panasonic’s help. That being said, from time to time, I look for something which will give me amazing Leica experience without spending 10K. Right now, I am waiting for Leica version of LX100II. I know it’s not sexy. But, I heard the lens is amazing. And the lens-sensor specs seems comparable to APS-C paired with 24-75mm(eq.) F2.8-F4.0 lens (Fuji with kit lens for example). And D-Lux is way smaller and lighter.
    Hope this rumor has leg, and Leica with help of Panasonic can produce something which is not only for collection, but works amazing.

    • The SL is better than an M, and that was done without Panasonics help. To me, it is the finest 35mm digital camera I have ever touched. It’s very right. The Leica Q, also done without Panasonic is amazing, and bests the Sony RX1RII. So they make amazing cameras. I would say the only ones I dislike are the ones they worked with Panasonic on ; )

      • Agree Q is amazing. I wish it was 35mm instead of 28mm. The lenses for SL are huge. I know for purist, anything Panasonic touched is not a Leica, and lost its prestigious.

      • I think they do indeed need Panasonic if they want to produce a camera at a more reasonable price for most of us. Panasonic has far more expertise in making something good and efficient to produce. The perfect answer would to have Leica develop the specs and Panasonic makes it. An SL at something closer to a Sony price…….that might make me think about an SL

        • Mark, great seeing you here! I bought a SL half a year ago mainly because of video. I don’t like using two cameras and I still had my M lenses. I have not really used my M10 since. The SL is great, it has some things that bug me, but overall it is an amazing camera. I am as well looking for a SL2, with higher frame rate at 4k video. The still images are wonderful and it works really well with M glass. I get better, more precisely focused images. The only big downside to me is the startup time, which reminds me of my first M240. D!RK

  12. I’m a long time Sony shooter and I find this rumor *very* interesting. Ideally I’d love to see something like a GX9 or Leica CL but SL (full-frame). Even if that’s not in the cards, Leica, Panasonic, and Sigma could really complement each other. Each company has weakness but each is also doing some REALLY interesting things. My biggest concern is the PDAF of the Sony’s has spoiled me. I’m sure the DFD AF is as fast or faster to acquire but from what I’ve seen it falls behind in tracking. Eye-af tracking has really changed how I shoot people.

    • Yep, Sony has changed the game for AF, especially in the A9. Sony and Canon rule the Auto Focus and Panasonic has always lagged. I hope if this is true that it is state of the art for AF, EVF, Sensor and even Video. If so, it will be amazing.

  13. I had the T and now have a TL2, in addition to my M240. When I bought the T, I also bought the 18-56 zoom and was frankly blown away by the IQ, which only got better when I traded the T for the TL2. I now also have the 23mm Summicron and the 55-135 and the results never made me regret it. I also use my M mount manual lenses on occasion, but frankly the results on the TL2 are not as good as the T mount native AF lenses. I recommend that if you cannot afford to buy the T mount lenses new, that you shop for used ones and not wait for Panasonic lenses which are bound to be not quite up to the existing Leica branded T mount lenses.

  14. Looks like it will be two Panasonic full frame cameras.
    More info at https://www.l-rumors.com/

    Panasonic high End Full Frame camera
    – Close to 50 Megapixels
    – L-mount
    – Panasonic designed and manufactured sensor
    – 4k60p
    – IBIS
    – 150 Megapixel stills in Pixel Shift mode
    – Dual card slot (one card should be SD)
    – Price below the Sony A9 (close to $4,000)

    Panasonic entry level Full Frame camera
    – 20+ megapixels
    – L-mount
    – Panasonic designed and manufactured sensor
    – 4k60p
    – IBIS
    – Dual card slot (one card should be SD)

    Panasonic FF lenses
    – 24-70mm
    – 70-200mm
    – 50mm

    Sigma will make L-mount lenses, and EF to L-mount autofocus adapter and they are also developing an L-mount camera.

  15. I am hoping this is true – largely because it could give me cheaper autofocus options for my Leica T! Right now I only use it with manual focus adapted glass because I baulk at the price of the (excellent) native lenses and absolutely nothing ever comes up second hand where I live. Point is that we would quickly have a decent system as there are 35mm and APSC bodies already and some less pricey bodies/lenses would allow us to quickly fill out our kits.

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