REALLY backtrackin’ . . .

A handful of fellow photographers who’ve known me for some time will no doubt remember my first go ’round with the TL2. I got one from the local Leica store on launch day in summer of 2017. I had it for three days before Leica issued a recall due to some problem with the Visoflex. Mine came with firmware v. 0.99 installed and had no issues, but I dutifully returned it anyway.

Once they were restocked, I waited a few weeks before re-acquiring, just in case there was another issue. When I got one, it went straight to work shooting landscapes on South Island. It made some spectacular shots, including the one of Mt. Cook that graces the cover of my last book.

Shortly after that, at six weeks old the EVF started working intermittently. The ensuing trouble I had with getting the local Leica “subsidiary partner” to repair it under warranty led to me completely ditching the brand shortly thereafter. Having also been a launch-day buyer of the original T, I was a fan of the line and always wished the outcome had been different.

Today, a new copy arrived. The first thing I noticed (thank you, Leica Wetzlar) was that the original acrylic strap with the built-in lug pins had been replaced by a leather one and a set of boxed lug pins, meaning I could use the strap of my choice.

Now with firmware v. 1.5, there were a few noticeable changes, along with one or two that didn’t readily make sense. For instance, of what benefit is EVF Extended when one must remove the Visoflex in order to access the menu? I can’t see any difference between that and setting EVF only. Nor can I find any information about this in the instructions or online.

That tells me that there’s really not much interest in this camera. Once the CL came out, it was the fair-haired child of Leica’s APS-C line and the TL2 became a black sheep of sorts. Mea culpa on that one. But now, as a camera that’s clearly an anachronism in terms of controls and form factor, its image quality is still as good as any other APS-C offering, better than most.

How much use it’ll get is yet to be seen. But, somehow, its presence strikes an agreeable chord in my little world.

TL2/35mm Summilux-TL