Today Leica has announced the mirrorless Leica SL with full-frame sensor. The SL is exceedingly fast, with a swift autofocus and a processing speed that outperforms any existing mirror reflex system. It also takes the Live View concept to an entirely new level with a fluid, extremely high-resolution display that belies the viewfinder’s electronic nature.
The SL is Leica’s fourth full-frame system after the screw-mount Leicas, the M and the Leica R, and so complements the Leica M in the same way the R system once did. Given that the SL’s lens mount, the L mount, is positioned very near the sensor, adaptors are available for a wide selection of 142 lenses, which will mostly perform to the same level on the SL as they do on the cameras they were originally designed for: T lenses have an identical bayonet mount and electronic connection, so they are a perfect fit, utilising a portion of the SL’s sensor.
There is also an adaptor for S lenses, as the bayonet mount’s electronic elements are based on that of the Leica S. Further adaptors facilitate lenses from the R system, the M system, and also the cine lenses of Leica’s sister company CW Sonderoptic. It is also likely that other companies might develop adaptors for the lens systems of fellow manufacturers.
The first SL lens available for the new camera system is the Vario-Elmar-SL 24–90mm f/2.8–4 Asph standard zoom. The Apo-Vario-Elmar-SL 90–280mm f/2.8–4 tele photo lens is expected for mid 2016. In 2016/17 the SL lens portfolio will be augmented by the first prime lens, the Summilux-SL 50mm f/1.4 Asph – not a variant of an M lens but a new design optimised for AF.