Somewhere in my files is a list of seventeen camera bodies I’ve tried over the years with the 280mm f/4 APO-Telyt-R. The only two whose IQ could exploit the powers of the lens were the M240 and the SL601. The SL2 is #18.
One of the things I noticed right away about the SL601 was that the EVF was magnificent when a native lens was mounted. But it became mysteriously dimmer when I mounted an R lens, or any other adapted lens.
When the Lumix 70-300mm was in use on the SL2 for a couple of critter chases, its images were crisp and clear even at ISO 6400 in dim light. But with the 280mm, some of my shots start to show fuzzy contrasting edges even at ISO 1600. Any degree of in-camera processing that occurs when an alliance lens is mounted simply doesn’t happen when an R lens is in use.
The 180mm/2X combo first made me wonder about this, but I passed it off as possibly an old coating issue. With the 280mm it is impossible to ignore because the incredible details I’m seeing through the EVF just get fuzzed out in the raw file.
Yeah, I get it. Leica doesn’t make a cent when a thirty-year-old R lens is bought from an independent retailer in 2023. And they surely get a huge windfall every time one of their lead pipe 90-280mm SL lenses exits one of their stores.
No, the SL2 is not going anywhere. There’s much to like about it. But maybe time to source #19 for the 280mm, this time from a company that doesn’t cripple features for customers who use third-party lenses.