Leica SL2 and Pentax Lenses

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It is fun exploring ‘vintage’ lenses with modern digital cameras. In fact, one of the selling points of the Leica SL / SL2 has always been (for me at least) its ability to handle all kinds of glass – starting of course with Leica’s own M lenses, and including Nikon and Canon. This weekend I purchased an Urth adaptor for Pentax K lenses, which is an absolute steal at £26. It is really well made, and although wide open infinity focus is occasionally a challenge, it performs really well across the range.

The Pentax KX was my first ‘real’ pro-level SLR, dating from 1976, and it was my workhorse until I shifted to Nikon in 1986 with the introduction of the F501 AF camera. The Pentax SMC 55mm F/1.8 was my lens of choice – and in many ways it is still one of my all-time favourite lenses. It gets fantastic reviews (see the Pentax Forums) for its build quality, sharpness and bokeh. Amazingly you can get these lenses almost ‘for free’ on eBay.

Here is an example image, taken at close focus – another strength of the 55mm as it focuses to 45 cm. There is minimal processing.

Click on the image to see a larger version.

Mick Yates. Istanbul Chess Set. Leica SL2, Pentax 55mm F/1.8

I have set the SL2’s joystick to zoom into the focus point when pressed. So, without taking my eye from the viewfinder, I can move the focus point around in the frame using the joystick, and then press to zoom in and use the focus assist. Nifty way to get things sharp.

Another terrific Pentax lens is the Pentax-M 135mm F/3.5. Compact, superbly built and really sharp. Lovely colour rendition and bokeh, too. The M series are arguably amongst Pentax’s finest lenses. See the Pentax Forums review.

Mick Yates. Flowers. Leica SL2, Pentax-M 135mm, F/3.5

And this:

Mick Yates. Raindrops. Leica SL2, Pentax-M 135mm, F/3.5

And two more ‘action shots’ with the 55mm. Handheld.

Mick Yates. The Bees. Leica SL2, Pentax 55mm F/1.8

Mick Yates. The Bees. Leica SL2, Pentax 55mm F/1.8

What is not to like? The SL2 is breathing new life into some of my favourite kit. 🙂

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