Photographer Tim Swallow Reviews the New Leica SL2 Camera

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Take a behind the scenes look at a photoshoot with Gobe ambassador Tim Swallow as he tests out the new Leica SL2 and shares his honest thoughts about whether he would buy it.

Words and Photography by Tim Swallow

What did you like about this camera?

First of all I would like to say the Leica SL2 is the sexiest camera I have ever held. It’s minimal and stealth-looking and it feels nimble but robust. The metal body is ergonomic, solid and tough. It feels indestructible.

I shot with a 35mm F1.4 Leica prime lens. The results were crystal clear, sharp and fast with beautiful depth of field. I couldn’t be happier with the results.

With a 47-megapixel full frame the information captured is detailed and very digital looking. This doesn’t necessarily suit my style however it was nice to have so much information to play with.

The back touch screen is gorilla glass. It’s super strong and sensitive giving you a modern way of operating the camera, scrolling through images, menus and adjusting focus points at the flick of a finger. I also like that Leica has recently bought back the old control buttons (to the LHS of the screen) as an option for the old school, traditional analog feel.

“Personally I would use the SL2 purely for enjoyment on a day to day basis.”

What did you like about this camera?

Although it has sports mode I didn’t find the camera very responsive. I felt a slight delay. So I actually ended up shooting my skating images one frame at a time. Even this was timed a fraction of a second before the action.

The body/lens combo I had is expensive…. RRP for the Lecia SL2 + 35mm F1.4 = $ 14,000.00 AUD. As much as I loved the camera, it simply wouldn’t be practical for me to make that kind of investment for what I am currently shooting. I need multiple lenses and backup bodies, to build that kind of kit would cost a lot of money. However when I become a famous director (ha ha) and don’t have to shoot as many stills on set, a camera like this won’t leave my side.

What situations is this camera best suited for?

Personally I would use the SL2 purely for enjoyment on a day to day basis, take traveling, shoot moments around the house or special times on set. I don’t think I would ever use this as my work horse, I wouldn’t want it to get whipped.

How is it better/worse than your go-to digital camera?

It felt slightly less responsive then my current digital camera and a little too precious, maybe because it was a loan but I felt I had to be very careful with it. Having to be so cautious sucked because most of my images are captured in the moment or whilst taking risks.

“I felt like I’d been driving the Mercedes Benz of cameras and I thoroughly enjoyed the ride.”

Did you use any filters for this shoot?

For most of the images displayed in the clip I used my Gobe UV filter.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I love this camera the same way I value luxury items. If I had the disposable income or cared about its status symbol more I would get it. It performs well, looks great and was a talking point every time I pulled it out. However right now I need to invest my money elsewhere. Unfortunately the SL2 is more of a want rather than a need. I was sad the day I had to send it back to HQ. I felt like I’d been driving the Mercedes Benz of cameras and I thoroughly enjoyed the ride.

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Tim Swallow

Photographer and Gobe Ambassador Tim Swallow has a portfolio that effortlessly navigates between fashion, portraiture and music. Tim draws on his own natural exuberance in creating highly original images that are both refined and filled with spontaneous energy. He has built a client list consisting of fashion and lifestyle publications such as Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, Monster Children, Russh, Stab and Side Note.

2020-04-24T02:24:29+00:00Categories: Gear|Tags: , , |