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A question that keeps coming up again and again is whether people should be shooting with M lenses or the 24-90 zoom on the Leica SL (Typ 601). A lot of Leica photographers have shied away from the zoom due to the feeling that it is too big, too heavy, or lacks the magic of the M glass. So, we took to the streets of Wynwood, Miami's art district, to put both options to the test in a full day of shooting. And…. we made a video about it, filmed in 4K entirely on the Leica SL. David shot and edited the video – he'll have more on the technical details in a future article.

In order to make this a fair test, we chose some of our favorite M lenses to cover the same focal length as the 24-90 zoom. Seriously, these M lenses are no joke. The fact that the zoom can hold more than hold its own against some of Leica's finest fixed focal lengths says a lot about the 24-90mm Vario-Elmarit-SL.

Basically, the M lenses, with their small size and fast aperture offered great options for shooting inside where lighting and space was limited. The 24-90 excelled on the street, as it gave the maximum flexibility in a single package. Autofocus, near macro ability and not having to change lenses all proved to be huge advantages for the zoom. Check out the video for my thoughts while out shooting, lots of sample images and to get a taste of Miami!

We're going to be making more videos like this. Be sure to check out our YouTube channel, throw us a like and subscribe by clicking the big button right here.

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3 Responses

  1. Jeff

    Luis, thanks for the video on the SL 24-90 versus M lenses. I noticed that when you used the zoom, unlike when you used the M lenses, you did not use the hood. Was this to downplay the already massive size comparison, because it would be unwieldy otherwise, or because you genuinely feel the zoom hood is not necessary for shielding light and for optimal performance?


    • Avatar photo
      Luis Mora

      I personally don’t like to use the hood on the 24-90 because not only does it add length to the lens, its actually not that necessary (in my opinion at least). The M lenses have such small hoods that they don’t really detract from my shooting experience so I don’t bother removing them.

  2. Jaeger

    Go back the to bakery and use the 24-90 for A & B comparison! It can’t be any better than F1.4 and F2 M lenses.


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