1. “Very heavy with the zoom lens…”
    You mean a 24-90 zoom weighs more than a 30mm prime, I’m shocked!
    Comparing specs the Leica with 24-90 zoom is lighter than the D810 with the new 24-70.

    “Feels unbalanced…”
    I can’t imagine using any camera of this sort one handed or holding the body with two hands and not supporting the lens.

    I have yet to hold one but can’t see myself getting rid of my Nikon kit for one nor my Leica M although if I had the money and was buying into a new system I would probably take a look.

    • Hi Bruce!

      It wasn’t my intention to do a straight comparison, nor to initiate a brand war. I find the glorifying of one camera brand, type or model and rubbishing another camera brand, type or model faintly amusing at best.

      I just wanted to give my first impressions upon handling the camera for just five minutes. The comparison with the 810 and 35 (a combination often described as heavy) has no scientific value; it’s just what I had with me at the time and it “feels” a lot lighter than the appr 400 grs in actual weight difference would indicate.

      The heaviness of the SL and zoom was my first impression upon picking it, something that you should be able to do comfortably with one hand. I think it’s not the absolute weight in numbers, but the uncontoured grip and thumbrest that play a role here (the 810 f.i. has a well contoured grip and thumbrest; despite its heft it’s a comfortable camera to hold in any position, two handed or single handed), and the zoom appears to have a lot of its (considerable) weight up front. Shooting you would do two handed, obviously.

      I would really like to hear the opinion of real life users; this was only a first impression in a shop (a very good shop though; Nivo-Schweitzer is a leading pro store in Amsterdam).

      And no, I’m not giving up my 810 and primes either!

      • Hi Michiel,

        Sorry if my reply came across as confrontational. It was not meant to be but on rereading it I realise it probably came across badly.

        You are right about how ergonomics can affect perception of mass. I am always surprised when people describe (pro) dSLR cameras as heavy and cumbersome. I have an old D3 and the D810 and with primes attached I find both very easy to handle and apparently light in the hand (I guess my hands are quite large). Admittedly adding a large zoom can change this perception quite quickly.
        Conversely I can’t help but smile when the Leica M cameras are described as small, lightweight or unobtrusive. Carrying a couple of M bodies and four lenses around everyday on holiday (didn’t want to leave them in the tent) was like lumping a bag of bricks about.
        As for the SL, I have only seen one in a cabinet and didn’t have time to have a play with it but on first glance I must agree with you that it looks like it will be anything but comfortable in the hand and I expect that coupled with heavy glass it may well feel awkward.
        It will be interesting to see how successful it is and how it ends up being used. As a cheaper studio alternative to the S I imagine it may have some followers but elsewhere I suspect the ergonomics of the dSLR may win out.
        From my perspective it would be nice to see some of the technology appearing in the SL (sensor, improved (switchable) EVF) and the new M (quiet shutter) spilling over into a new top of the line M.

        • Hi Bruce,

          I really think it’s a lot of form over function here. While I really admire the design of the SL, I just think that “contouring” grip and body a bit more would improve things considerably, even if that meant joining the Joneses.

          I would still like to hear about the experience of users with more than my five minutes!

          • Hi Michael

            I have used it for about an hour with the 24-90. It wasn’t too bad (though did put it down a bit between shots). Very nice camera and I think we’ll see it being used more comfortably with M lenses as walk around or travel kit, as Steve has indicated. The zoom just too large imo as a sustained travel lens for days and hours on end. But the lens is very nice in it’s own right. The 50mm prime lux coming would maybe make this a better travel option though it won’t be small like the M 50lux.

            Nice camera, can catch on to the controls fairly quickly and I thought overall quite intuitive. Focusing felt a little unusual on it. With a half shutter press just wasn’t sure I was getting correct focus point. Mostly seemed ok though.

            That viewfinder 4.4mdots is tipped to come out in more cameras soon enough. Noticed new Fuji xPro 2 is going to have a joystick as well so this will be come more common I think we’ll find. Given this comes out in January they must have been onto this concept as well for a while and not copied Leica.

  2. I just handled the SL with that zoom in my local shop.

    Initial impressions:

    * Great design and build quality,
    * Gripping it is not as ergonomic as f.i. the “blob” shaped DSLR’s (a bit of form over function here I think),
    * Very heavy with the zoom lens (that lens weighs 1140 grs; I compared the combo with my D810 and 35/1.4G – 600 grs -; big difference),
    * Feels unbalanced, the tip of the zoom exerting more torque on my hand and wrist than I like, you definitely need your left hand to support it,
    * EVF definitely a class better than A7, Olympus, Fuji,
    * Love that joystick,
    * Very responsive camera,
    * Don’t mind the four blank buttons, that’s something you get used to.

    If I would have the money to spare (I don’t) and the promised primes (24, 35, 50, 90?) would be available, it’s a camera I would definitely take several serious looks at.

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