Continuing with my renewed interest in zoom lenses, we recently purchased Leica’s APO Vario-Elmar 90-280 f2.8-4 telephoto zoom lens. We took it out in the field a few days ago to start to familiarise ourselves with it. Below are some of the images taken during its first use. We will post a wider review of our experiences when we have used it for a few months.
A few years ago I wrote about how Leica’s 55-135 and 11-23 zoom lenses for the APSC TL/CL cameras had changed my opinion of zoom lenses for the better. I moved away from zooms four decades ago due to being very unimpressed with the output from them. The only exception to this was a 11-22mm Zuiko zoom for my Olympus E-1 in 2005. This was a good lens but suffered from severe purple fringing in high contrast areas. So when I got into Leica’s APSC system I decided to give zooms another try and could not believe how good they were. Over the decades I had become very used to fast aperture primes and realised that by going the zoom route, I was going to have to compromise speed for something more sedentary. With this in mind I held onto the couple of primes I was already using with my TL2 so that I would have access to fast aperture glass. The combination of zooms and primes worked very well and is one I still use when travelling.
We have very recently taken delivery of Leica’s 16-35mm f3.5-4.5 ASPH Super-Vario Elmar Lens. November in the UK has been typically very dreary with grey overcast skies on many days. A short break in the weather allowed us to get out and try the lens for the first time. Below are the pictures taken from this session. The lens was used on a Leica SL2/S body and we will post a deeper review when we have used it more.
Like some other photographers, as time has progressed and digital technology matured, I have become jaded of the megapixel race. I actually grew weary of it by the time 24 megapixel was considered normal. I never print images and, apart from those that are shared on PhotoArk, view them on high resolution monitors or TV’s up to 60 inch. So when 24mp was surpassed I found myself in a situation where new camera models didn’t interest me or fulfil my requirements. I had long planned to buy into Leica’s 35mm format L system but watched the original 24mp SL Typ 601 suceeded by the fantastic 47mp SL2. As good as it was, I could not bring myself to justify the enormous increase in resolution. I would simply be using up valuable resources storing huge RAW files with no purpose to hand.
Along with the recent purchase of my SL2-S, I decided to split my L system off from the rest of my gear as the lenses and body had been acquired with specific purposes in mind. To me it made sense to have the robust, heavy and waterproof kit in one bag and my lighter, smaller CL/TL system in another, even though they share the same lens mount.
A few weeks ago we took delivery of our first 35mm sensor size camera, a Leica SL2-S. Like all new cameras there is a learning curve and we have not yet spent enough time understanding the menu items and customisation of its controls. Over the coming months we will familiarise ourselves and produce a commentary of our thoughts. Here are the first pictures taken through the SL 75mm f2 lens, the locations being Matlock and Matlock Bath.
I took delivery of a Leica SL2-S a couple of weeks ago and felt that it’s austere design would benefit from some kind of case, to protect it from daily knocks and scuffs. The camera is solidly built so this was more of an aesthetic choice to protect the paintwork from damage. Leica do not offer a case for the SL camera line, so I had to look at the third party market to get an idea of what was available. There is a surprising amount, ranging from very cost effective solutions to more luxurious designs.