Moving on from Olympus to… (Leica?)

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    Topic: Moving on from Olympus to… (Leica?) Read 10540 Times
  • Peter Gallagher
    Peter Gallagher
    Participant
    Posts: 29
    Cameras, Lenses and Shooting Gear
    on: October 16, 2020 at 2:13 am

    May I ask for your advice?

    I’ve just sold my OLY camera (and am still trying to sell my extensive range of OLY glass) because… well, that’s for some other time.

    I’m returning to FF, but rather hesitantly. I would really like to limit my next choices to a camera with at most one or two lenses. Perhaps a high-quality zoom and a wide-angle prime. And I have to be able to travel comfortably with it. I’m an active & fit 70-yr old. But I really enjoyed the weight advantage of the µ4/3.

    I don’t wish to be inflammatory, but I’m really not interested in going back to Nikon or Canon, even mirrorless. I formerly owned both: they make fine equipment. But after decades of their incrementalism I’m uninspired by the brands and their follow-ship. Fuji? It’s a bit off-centre for me (sorry Kevin). I’m not a fan of the ‘retro’ camera designs and I can’t see the benefit of X-Trans. Sony? It’s my fault: I find many of their cameras awkward to hold/use and their control-menus confusing. Also I don’t understand where they’re going with their four-or-five-or-six camera releases a year. I find that unconvincing and even troubling from an investment perspective.

    Which brings me to the question on which I’d really like your help.  The ILC that I like most,  on screen, at least,  is the Leica SL2 with the 24-90 Elmarit lens. It’s a big investment and (thanks to COVID lockdown restrictions in Melbourne AU) I can’t really get one to test or spend some time with one in a store.

    Do you own one? Have you carried one for a while on your travels? I can see the image quality by downloading sample raws from some review sites. I’m not concerned about that: the raws look really nice. But I am concerned about the 2kg combined weight. And maybe there are other things I should be thinking of (no USB port? The ridiculous FOTOS app? The potential for an SL3 in the next six months?)

    I’d be grateful for your thoughts because it’s difficult to think of another community that is likely to be as well-informed and (on average) unbiased 🙂

    Peter

    Daniel Koretz
    Daniel Koretz
    Participant
    Posts: 87
    Re: Moving on from Olympus to… (Leica?)
    Reply #1 on: October 18, 2020 at 10:14 am

    Peter,

    I have no experience with this equipment, so I probably shouldn’t respond. However, I was a bit puzzled by your post. On the one hand, you stated that you are concerned about weight and will miss the weight savings of MFT. I’m 71 and have a bad back, so I certainly sympathize with that. But then you say that you are leaning toward equipment that weighs almost 40% more than the competition. (The equipment you list comes to 1975g. The Canon R5 with an RF-24-105, to use one example with which I happen to be familiar, weighs 1438g.) And it also costs 2.3x as much, at least here in the US.

    My main camera now is a Canon 5d Mark IV, and my most common lenses are the EF 24-105 and EF 70-200 f/4 IS. That comes to about 1600g with either lens. Just speaking personally, I find even that weight increasingly annoying each year. I wouldn’t consider increasing it by 40%. If switching to Canon mirrorless would save me substantial weight, I might splurge and do it, but in fact, the weight savings are small.

    Good luck sorting this out.

    Dan

    Bud James
    Bud James
    Participant
    Posts: 69
    Re: Moving on from Olympus to… (Leica?)
    Reply #2 on: October 18, 2020 at 12:34 pm

    Peter,

    I own the Leica M10-R and SL2. At age 65, I can manage the M rangefinder focusing after some practice. The Leica Visoflex attaches to the M hotshoe and provides focus peaking and GPS info, but it is slow.

    If focusing with a rangefinder is challenging for you, you might consider the Leica SL2 with native SL lenses or the M-adapter to use M lenses. I do both and I find that the SL2 focus peaking is the best that I have ever used. IQ is awesome with SL and adapted M lenses.

    For travel, I prefer my M10 with the APO Summicron 50mm and Summicron 35mm. Both of these lenses are small and light compared to SL primes. The whole kit fits easily into a small bag.

    Regards,
    Bud James

    Please check out my fine art and travel photography at http://www.budjames.photography or on Instagram at http://www.instagram.com/budjamesphoto.

    Peter Gallagher
    Peter Gallagher
    Participant
    Posts: 29
    Re: Moving on from Olympus to… (Leica?)
    Reply #3 on: October 18, 2020 at 8:10 pm

    Daniel and Bud, thank you both.

    Good advice. After a few tests (Tolstoy’s “War and Peace” in about the right dimensions but only 1.25kg) I’ve come to the conclusion that much as I love the RAW samples I’ve seen from the SL2+24-90 Elmarit, I’m not going to love carrying the combo all day and putting it to my face 300 times to compose an image. Beautiful but… if there’s one thing my OLY cameras taught me it’s that carrying a camera in your hand is the way to see. So the big Leica won’t work out.

    I’ve been looking very closely at the Leica M and the Summicron primes  you mention Bud. You’ve made some gorgeous images with them, by the way. I’m comfortable with manual focus and aperture, especially when the viewfinder is made to support it. I’m a bit wary of parallax; but again, it seems the combination of the rangefinder and viewfinder correction makes this less likely.

    The price of the M10-R with one or two Summicron primes is at least as breath-taking as the SL2 Combo so I’m not going to take the plunge until after the camera is available for testing in Australia (at least another month or so I believe).

    Best, Peter

    Rand Scott Adams
    Rand Scott Adams
    Silver Member
    Posts: 247
    Re: Moving on from Olympus to… (Leica?)
    Reply #4 on: October 19, 2020 at 11:00 am

    If you were happy with the image quality from the 4/3 sensor, why limit your exploration to full frame?  I’d take a look at Fuji’s offerings, some of which are very small indeed, e.g. the X-E3, and the lenses superb.  Or, if an optical viewfinder is of interest, the X-Pro series of bodies is superb.

    Rand

    Rand Scott Adams Rand47

    Peter Gallagher
    Peter Gallagher
    Participant
    Posts: 29
    Re: Moving on from Olympus to… (Leica?)
    Reply #5 on: October 19, 2020 at 5:18 pm

    Yes, that’s a good point, Rand. I looked at a lot of RAW samples from Fuji cameras, especially the X100 V and the XT-4. I tried to look at a variety of Fuji lenses, too, searching mainly on Flickr. I have to admit that I’m not a great fan of the Fuji ‘look’. Not the OTC JPEGs but in the raw files (processed to JPEGs on Flickr). It’s something about their choices in their lenses, I guess. It’s an idiosyncratic reaction and I certainly have no objective criticism to make. I know they have a great reputation.  I didn’t look at the X-E3, however. With your recommendation I’ll do so. Thank you, Peter

    Heiko Hamann
    Heiko Hamann
    Participant
    Posts: 23
    Re: Moving on from Olympus to… (Leica?)
    Reply #6 on: October 21, 2020 at 7:03 am

    Hi Peter,

    maybe you should have a look at the Leica Q2. It’s a fixed lens design, but with 47MP full frame you are very flexible. It is a very good compromise between Leica quality, weight and price.

    Regards,

    Heiko

    Peter Gallagher
    Peter Gallagher
    Participant
    Posts: 29
    Re: Moving on from Olympus to… (Leica?)
    Reply #7 on: October 21, 2020 at 8:31 pm

    have a look at the Leica Q2. It’s a fixed lens design, but with 47MP full frame

    Thank you Heiko. I’m doing just that, for the reasons you mention. Best, Peter

    Peter Gallagher
    Peter Gallagher
    Participant
    Posts: 29
    Re: Moving on from Olympus to… (Leica?)
    Reply #8 on: October 27, 2020 at 12:57 am

    I’d like to thank all contributors for their suggestions.

    I settled on the purchase of a Leica Q2 for a variety of reasons (& making a few compromises, of course). It has many nice qualities, some real limits and some potential deficits. The later include, possibly, the contrast compromises that flow from the pin-cushion correction needed by the super-sharp Summicron f1.7 fixed 28mm lens.

    Then, it imposes a 28mm “discipline” on everything (‘digital’ cropping is just marketing, in my view). I hope I’m up to that.

    But it’s light, compact, produces beautiful and very flexible (b/c large) images from it’s lens/sensor combination; has a broad dynamic range if somewhat tilted to the lower-end of the luminance scale, and; is only what it is. It neither needs nor accepts much of anything in the way of accessories or extensions. It’s the ($A8000!) camera you have to ‘make do’ with.

    I’ll try.

    Kevin Raber
    Kevin Raber
    Silver Member
    Posts: 1037
    Re: Moving on from Olympus to… (Leica?)
    Reply #9 on: October 27, 2020 at 9:12 pm

    I think you made a good investment.  Please share some images after you have had a chance to give it a run for the money.

    Kevin Raber
    CEO & Publisher of PhotoPXL.com and Rockhopperworkshops.com

    Heiko Hamann
    Heiko Hamann
    Participant
    Posts: 23
    Re: Moving on from Olympus to… (Leica?)
    Reply #10 on: October 28, 2020 at 2:46 am

    Nice to hear! Enjoy your Q2 and show us some images 😉

    Peter Gallagher
    Peter Gallagher
    Participant
    Posts: 29
    Re: Moving on from Olympus to… (Leica?)
    Reply #11 on: October 28, 2020 at 3:15 am

    Thank you Kevin and Heiko. After a day or so I’m still trying to reconfigure my use of menus & buttons (not many) so I can accomodate my shot routine and habits like exposure bracketing. New cameras can be confusing at the margin.

    I used to complain now and then about the depth/complexity of Olympus menus. Still, from a technical standpoint those cameras can do almost anything any ILC can do (and then some). I’m finding the Q2 isn’t quite as flexible in some places. So there may have to be some changes on my part. I sort of hope not because that means reworking the least-flexible, least-responsive, most forgetful and slowest part of the set-up. But assuming I sort this out in the coming weeks I’ll submit some images for review here.

    Thanks again for the advice (and encouragement).

    Peter

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