The conditions for Leica’s first SL, in the second half of 2015, were anything but optimal: the professional market was still dominated by digital, mirror reflex models, and the time did not seem ripe – many photographers were not yet ready – for a professional mirrorless system; and the range of lenses was not very high. At the same time, the mirrorless system was – from today’s perspective – quite superior to the “old reflexes”. The SL2 came out in 2019, making a clear statement for the coexistence of photography and video. In LFI 01/2020, camerawoman and director of feature and documentary films Jytte Hill, underlined the universality and professional quality of the SL2, in addition to its simple handling: “The operation of digital cameras is often very complex, but I managed to figure out the SL2 straight away.”
Around two years later, complementing the 47megapixel, high resolution SL2, Leica added a 24megapixel variation, the SL2-S, which, among other things, allowed for faster series and lower-noise image results in the very high ISO range. Both models appeared in a decent black, which had been typical for SL cameras up until that time; the only obvious distinguishing feature on the outside was the Leica lettering on the viewfinder hump, the engraving of which is not white on the SL2-S, but retains the colour of the housing. The first colour variation – also making it the first special edition of a Leica SL2 – entered the fray during the second half of 2022: the green SL2-S Reporter. The camera also stood out for its robust and characteristic Kevlar fibre “armour”. Now, in the middle of 2023, comes the SL2 Silver, which not only looks chic but, at the same time, strengthens the importance of the L-mount for Leica. Why?
With the SL2 Silver, Leica manifests the importance of the L-mount for die-hard Leica fans. The technical data for the silver anodised SL2 corresponds to that of the black model, while the visual closeness to the classic look of early R and M models is unmistakeable. Anyone today who thinks about great Leica photo reportages, will often connect them to the M. By now visually placing the SL2 within its history, Leica unmistakably underlines the significance of the SL system as part of its product portfolio. It fits so naturally and self-confidently within the image of Leica cameras, that it is easy to imagine that it has always been around. In fact, the SL2 Silver is the latest offspring of a mature and – not least thanks to the many L-Mount Alliance partners – extremely versatile system, with a performance range that leaves nothing to be desired.