Leica SL Portrait - black and white girl

Leica SL Portraits (Black & White) + YouTube Video Review

Here I share my Leica SL portraits using a Voigtlander M mount lens (not the autofocus Leica SL lenses). The article also includes my YouTube Leica SL review view (comparing the SL to the Leica M240 and Leica CL) + my first impressions!

Leica SL Portrait

Leica SL with M lenses – Portraits

So in this short post I share photos taken with the digital Leica SL camera. (As seen on YouTube! – linked below). My interest was to test the SL with a manual focus M mount lens, in this instance made by Voigtlander, but I use Leica M lenses too. The autofocus Leica SL lenses designed for this camera system are said to be fantastic but I wanted a smaller setup and using M lenses.

Leica SL Portraits

The Leica SL camera “Test”

So I shot the Leica SL against my digital Leica M240 and crop sensor Leica CL to see how it performed. You can see images from all 3 cameras on YouTube but here I concentrate on those taken with the SL only. For this shootout all 3 cameras were set to ISO 200, daylight white balance and shot in RAW mode. All photos with all cameras were taken with the manual focus Voigtlander Nokton 35mm f1.2 ASPH ii lens M lens (Review to that lens also linked below). **You will need a Leica M-L adapter to mount M mount lenses onto the Leica SL camera. The Leica CL also has the same L mount so I used my existing Leica M adapter L.

Leica SL Fashion

Why use a Voigtlander lens not a Leica lens?

Being fortunuate enough to own both Leica lenses and Voigtlander lenses you might find it strange that I chose Voigtlander for this test. If you dig a little deeper you while find that the Voigtlander 35mm f1.2 lens offers something that no Leica M mount lens offers. It focuses at 0.5m close focus. (This is not possible with Leica M rangefinder cameras as the coupled rangefinder only focuses down to 0.7m*). One of the main reason for testing the Leica SL is that it can focus closer than 0.7m. So to make use of this aspect many of the photos are shot at less than 0.7m with the amazing Voigtlander Nokton 35mm 1.2 II.


Leica SL Photos with Voigtlander 35mm f1.2

So to confirm all images in this post were shot with the Voigtlander 35mm f1.2 ASPH ii at f1.2 (**With the exception of some of the close up glasses photo portraits which were taken with a Nikkor 28mm f2.8 AI lens.. yes a topic for another day!)

Leica SL Portraits – Gallery


MrLeica Leica SL Preset for Lightroom

All the images shared in the post were Leica SL RAW files converted to JPEG, reduced size in Lightroom, with my Leica SL B&W Lightroom preset applied. The Leica SL black and white preset is designed to give me images which have that classic Leica look and are influenced by my B&W film photography scans from the Leica M3 and so on. Modern digital sensors cannot replicate film so this is not trying to emulate film but hopefully it gives the images more of the “organic look” that I love.

Leica SL Images – Before and After Preset

To help illustrate the effect of the Leica SL preset here are a series of screenshots from Lightroom showing before and after. On the left is the unedited RAW file, on the right is the final images (*Pre any retouching in Photoshop).


Leica SL LR Preset – Now available to download!

This Leica SL LR preset (B&W) is now available to download from the MrLeica Shop for the usual price of £4.99. I later bought the Leica SL camera (I was that impressed!) so I developed a full Leica SL preset pack as I did for the Leica CL, Leica M8 and Leica M240.

YouTube: Leica SL First Impressions!

To see more about the Leica SL camera and also the images shot with the Leica CL and Leica M240 (with this model – the lovely Hannah), check out the full video on YouTube:

Additional MrLeica Custom Leica Lightroom Presets:

Thanks to Leica UK

A special thanks to Leica UK and the awesome guys at the Leica Mayfair store on Duke Street, London. They kindly loaned me the Leica SL camera to test.


Voigtlander Nokton 35mm f1.2 ASPH ii Review

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4 thoughts on “Leica SL Portraits + YouTube Review”

  1. Love to hear about your thoughts on the SL, I have been eyeing the camera for some time now.

    I love my Leica M but sometimes composing “through-the-lens” is something I’d like, for accuracy. Not to mention adapting all sorts of lenses to extend the coverage. Considering how much M10P/R/eventual M11 is (going to) cost, maybe SL + my current MP240 is the smart partnership?

    1. matthewosbornephotography

      Hi & thanks. Did you see the SL YouTube video? I need you use it again I think before I can do a full write-up. I will try to do in next few months. (If you want to see in advance what i’m testing i’m now on Patreon and share BTS video and previews ahead of stuff going on YouTube. Patreon link on my homepage if interested. Matt

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