Interested what non TL lenses people are using on Leica CL

Started 7 months ago | Discussions thread
Strangefinder Regular Member • Posts: 406
Re: Interested what non TL lenses people are using on Leica CL

Jon6650 wrote:

I plan mostly to use my MF M lenses but am interested in others' experiences. I'm pretty c;lueless about all these adapters so if anyone has the time to help me understand what other brands' lenses I could use WITH FULL AF with or without the brain-boggling use of focal reducers also I'd be most grateful.
I've got a load of old F-mount Nikon, Leica M and a variety of Canon EF too but apart from the M they're pretty hefty for such a petite body. TL lenses are just too expensive so for when I want AF where should I be looking?
Many thanks

Your first port of call should be the Sigma APS-C Contemporary 16mm/30mm/56mm F/1.4 lenses which are very cheap and well-regarded, and have already been in operation for Sony, microfourthirds, and now Canon-M. They are hardly any more expensive than adaptors, and release 2020Q1 (far cheaper than the already good value FF lens lines).

Leica firmware updates allow 100% compatibility with the L mount lenses from Panasonic, Sigma and Leica (though there may be some special features which are particular to certain bodies or brands; and lens firmware should be updated, too since they're likely to make revisions together fairly often while the protocols are quite new).

The older (pre-SL2) Leica cameras are less powerful and may be using different architecture etc, so their performance may be lacklustre (and maxxed out) compared to the SL2, TL4, CL2, and the Panasonics etc.

Apparently, the L Mount Alliance protocols cover lenses and cameras only, and not adaptors per se, however, NEWER Leica cameras (SL2 onwards) shall possibly work with the MC-21 adaptor given that technically their protocols are the same. However, I understand that Leica could simply block adaptors without breaching the contract since it applies only to lenses and cameras.

Leica already allowed AF adaptors from Novoflex, so they're not necessarily opposed to them; though, it wouldn't surprise me if they chose to protect their Summicron etc sales now that there are so many options. Note that the Novoflex adaptors initially worked for the TL, yet revisions to FW later meant that they were only compatible with the SL, and at this point it's likely that they do not work well, or may not work with anything other than the original SL due to the revamp of the protocols, and ongoing collaboration/propagation of changes among the Allies. However, if you can afford the extremely expensive and rare Nikon F-to-Leica L (previously called "Leica T") AF adaptor from Novoflex, it may be worth trying to see if it has any functionality.

Here is a list of FF lenses and another of APS-C lenses for the L Mount cameras - it's a bit out of date, and includes Sigma SA/EF SLR lenses via the MC-21 which probably won't work on pre-SL2 Leicas, though the primes are now available in L mount, anyway, and some new zooms have arrived since.

Fuji etc lenses have similar or shorter flange distance mounts so they could never be adapted without serious re-construction.

Other native L mount Sigma ART lenses which are not too huge are the 24mmF1.4, 35mmF1.4, 70mmF2.8 Macro, 14-24mmF2.8 DN, 24-70mmF2.8. (Also see the Panasonic 16-35mm which is about 500g, I think, and the Panasonic 70-200mmF4 which is ~1000g - light for that type of lens.)

P.S. If you're coming from the CL, you may also like the similarly styled/scaled SIGMA fp, which does have a kit option with the small 45mmF2.8 lens.

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