Leica T (Typ 701) and Leica SL (Typ 601) Firmware updates

Fuji aren't the only company who offer firmware updates for non current cameras. Leica do it as well. They recently announced the upgrade to the T, the TL which is a marginal change designed it seems to bring the T into the TL line with the SL, with compatibility across the lens range. There is also an AF speed boost with the TL. With the latest firmware update for the now discontinued original T offering that same  improved AF, owners of the original, such as myself who has two, can benefit from that improvement. I tried that out yesterday and yes, the AF on the T is now actually pretty fast, which is useful. 

I guess there has been more BS written about the T than any other camera. And part of that was how it was such a failure that it would be bound to be dumped by Leica. Well, in this era of 'post truth' the fact that it hasn't been means little to those that like to rubbish Leica (i.e.mostly people who work for their competitors). 

The upgrade to the SL is a minor one, mainly concentrating on the apps. available for the camera on a phone or tablet. It's also for the overpriced 50mm f/1.4 lens. 

My thoughts about these two cameras are still the same. The SL is my camera of the year, though I have some reservations about the FF TL lenses, which I believe are way too expensive, particularly in the light of the fact that they apparently aren't as optically magnificent as that price would indicate. Anyway, I've bought myself a Novoflex M mount to TL adapter and a S/H Voigtlander 50mm f/1.1 lens which took pictures 2 & 4 above. Very nice lens, very fast and at a reasonable price. Pictures 1 & 3 were shot with my 35mm f/1.4 APS-C lens for the T system, which is also not cheap, particularly with the recent fall in the value of sterling after Brexit, but somewhat more reasonable than the 50mm. 

And I still regard the T as my favourite non-professional mirrorless camera. The APS-C T system is light, small and after a few updates to the AF system, pretty quick to use. It is also still the most modern and innovative mirrorless camera out there with it's wonderful view screen and minimalist touchscreen operation. Leica are obviously impressed with it too with the TL upgrade and pretty obviously it sells well, or else the TL wouldn't have been released. What people don't realise is that people who buy Leicas aren't really those who make their decisions based on photographic internet reviews. To many, in all parts of the world, Leica is a luxury brand and one associated with excellence in all aspects of design, build and image quality and trying to compare the appeal of the T as opposed to something like the Sony a6000 series isn't that appropriate since for the most part, it's a different market.

Finally I do actually wonder whether Leica would actually like to drop the M series with the rangefinder focusing, but feel compelled to continue it with the rumoured upcoming M10 because people still seem to want to buy them. I have not a shred of evidence for this, but I get the feeling that the T / TL and SL are really the way that they want to go. Innovative and high quality mirrorless. The SL, with it's wonderful viewfinder is now surely the best camera to use those superb m-mount lenses on and it's just so quick and precise with the Voigtlander I mentioned above. And yet Leica do still support the M concept, even bringing out some retro styled cameras for it. And the rumour is that the M10 won't even have the option to shoot video. So obviously aimed at those who want seriously old school. Personally these days I'd rather have an M film camera like the M7 than an M digital. If you're going to go old school, then you might as well do it properly!!!