Leica Summilux-SL 50mm f/1.4 ASPH arrives together with firmware update
The first autofocus prime for the Leica SL is now arriving on dealers' shelves after a fairly extended gestation period. More than a year after the launch of the SL, the system is still lacking lenses — the 24-90 and 90-200 zooms representing the only AF options.
Fortunately SL owners have been able to play with their collections of M lenses and, indeed, many SLs have been sold solely for use with manual primes. I know some very happy SL snappers who don't own a single SL lens. Nevertheless, this first prime, the Leica Summilux-SL 50mm f/1.4 ASPH, is a welcome addition to the armoury and will meet a pent-up demand.
The newomer is neither light nor cheap, however, tipping the scales at 1,065g and the cash register at £4,080. That's £1,000 more than the equivalent 50mm Summilux-M, a lens that is likely to produce very similar results from a much smaller and lighter package. The Summilux-SL is not weather proofed, unlike the two zooms, another factor to take into account. It's all a matter of whether or not you value autofocus in a fast prime of this nature. I believe there will be welcomed among dedicated SL users and I think there will be heavy demand, especially since it is the first opportunity to try an autofocus prime on the camera.
Alongside the new Summilux is an SL firmware update to improve support for the Mac versions of Leica Image Shuttle 3.5 and Tethered Plug-in 1.1.0., as well as supporting the new Microsoft Windows version of Leica Image Shuttle 3.5. There is also support for direct tethering to Adobe Lightroom CC.
Full Leica press release
Firmware update 2.2 for Leica SL with improved support for Leica Image Shuttle software and Leica Summilux-SL 50mm f/1.4 ASPH. lens – available today
Leica Camera has released Firmware Update 2.2 for the Leica SL mirrorless system camera, improving support for the Mac versions of Leica Image Shuttle 3.5 and Tethered Plug-in 1.1.0., as well as supporting the new Microsoft Windows version of Leica Image Shuttle 3.5.
Registered Leica SL owners can download the new software and firmware updates from the Leica Owners’ Area or take their camera to their local Leica Store or Leica Customer Care in the UK for a complimentary installation.
Leica Image Shuttle 3.5 improves workflow efficiency for tethered shooting with the Leica SL and allows the camera to be controlled from a computer via a USB 3.0 cable connection. All relevant exposure parameters such as shutter speed, aperture, ISO value and autofocus can be set and controlled from the computer, and exposures can be displayed directly on a large monitor screen for assessment.
The Leica Tethered Plug-in 1.1.0 (for Mac) – also available as a download from the Leica Owners’ Area – establishes a direct connection between the Leica SL and Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 6 / CC for Mac via USB cable. The camera’s shutter release can be activated from the plug-in and the images captured can be displayed directly in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 6 / CC (for Mac), making the workflow even faster and more reliable. The corresponding firmware update is required for the use of Leica Image Shuttle and the Leica Tethered Plug-in.
Firmware update 2.2 also removes the shutter speed limitation when shooting with 6-bit coded Leica M-Lenses, while further optimising the performance of the Leica SL system.
Available from today, the Leica Summilux-SL 50mm f/1.4 ASPH. is the first prime lens for the Leica SL-System and sets a new standard in its class. Its large maximum aperture makes this high-performance lens ideal for photography in challenging lighting conditions, and enables the use of shallow depth of focus as a creative tool. Furthermore, the fast, precise and reliable autofocusing ensures that photographers can concentrate fully on composition and creativity. The lens’ combination of resolving power and soft bokeh in unsharp areas clearly isolates subjects from their background, particularly when shooting at maximum aperture.
For additional product specifications, please visit: Leica Summilux-SL 50mm f/1.4 ASPH.