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Today, Leica Camera has released firmware version 3.1 for the SL (Typ 601) full-frame mirrorless camera. Firmware 3.1’s primary purpose is to improve autofocus performance of the Summilux-SL 50mm f/1.4 ASPH lens (firmware 3.1 also contains new firmware for the lens itself which is installed automatically as long as the lens is attached).

The new firmware can be downloaded here: Leica SL Firmware 3.1 – (It’s a big file, so be sure it is 100% downloaded before you copy it to your SD card!) It is also important to have a FULLY charged battery in your SL when doing the firmware update, as it could take up to 10 minutes to update both camera and lens. Be sure your SD card with firmware is in slot 1 (the top slot).

The official release notes, from Leica:

New firmware for Summilux-SL 50mm f/1.4 ASPH is included

  • Improved accuracy of the auto focus position
  • Improved auto focus speed

Improve image quality for JPG files

  • Over all color balance is improved for JPG files under certain light situations

We will be doing extensive testing over the coming week to determine exactly how much faster the autofocus is, but so far from my brief testing today the improvement is definitely noticeable. Owners of either (or both) SL vario lens know that they focused considerably faster than the 50 f/1.4 SL prime lens; this update brings the performance of the prime much closer to the zooms. It also bodes well for Leica’s newest prime lenses for the SL, the APO-Summicron-SL 75mm f/2 ASPH and APO-Summicron-SL 90mm f/2 ASPH. Keep an eye on Red Dot Forum for further updates.

A video tutorial for updating your SL firmware can be found here: How to Update SL Firmware

One Response

  1. LeicaPhotos

    I updated my Leica SL and the Summilux SL 50 last night. The updated firmware to the lens is much better, in my opinion. The motor drive actually seems more quiet and the focus is definitely faster. It is not as fast as the two zooms, but this should be expected because the Summilux has a larger, heavier set of elements to move for focusing. I tested it in dark hallways with my cats (one white and one black) using ISO 12,800. The photographs were grainy, as expected, but the focusing was very good. In very, very low light, you still need to find a good contrast edge (the focus was fast on my white cat and hunted a little on my black cat – all in a dark hallway). Overall, I am excited that this lens immediately feels more useful for active focusing.

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