I got my first Leicaflex SL in 2004, and then it was brand new in the box. It had been sitting in a camera store for 32 years. Since that first one arrived, I have used the camera extensively all over the world, and also got myself a Leicaflex SL mot (version that can be used with motor winder).
specific camera was build in 1973 as the 3.346th last Leicaflex SL to be build. A total of 80.995 Leicaflex SL were made in black and chrome, then the SL2 model was released
This one has been on a shelf in Bremen, Germany since it was build. A Bremen photo shop had it in stock till 2004 when the photo shop was bought by a photo chain. They wanted to clean up the stock and Photografica photo shop in Denmark was offered the camera along with some "new" lenses from back then. I managed to snatch the camera at Photografica for a very decent price.
The reason I couldn't resist this SL was that I already had a Leicaflex SL mot in black which I had sent to Leica in Solms, Germany in 2004 and got a new top plate, front plate and bottom plate.
As well as new buttons on the top. Here you can see the two together:
My Leitz Leicaflex SL in black, here with
Leica 50 mm Summicron-R f/2.0 from Canada
The Leicaflex SL and the Leicaflex SL mot side by side.
The original Leitz Leicaflex, the following Leitz Leicaflex SL and the Leitz Leicaflex SL2 that was later replaced by the Leica R3 all have an extremely nice shutter sound and is build like a
tank. These babies will go to work like my other cameras.
Video review of the Leicaflex SL
By Thorsten von Overgaard
specific camera was build in 1972. I got this camera and some
other Leica cameras/lenses from a private owner in exchange
for my Nikon F3 gear and have no history of the camera besides
that. I had used the camera very little as the lightmeter
was off. But I then decided to get it not just repaired and
cleaned/lubricated/adjusted - but also to get it cosmetic
This was done at Leica Solms in 2004 and the above
photo is the camera that came back. The photo below shows
the camera before it went to Solms.
camera got a new top plate, front plate and bottom plate.
As well as new buttons on the top.
SL has an extremely nice shutter sound and is build like a
tank. This reborn baby will go to work like my other cameras.
Download the manuals as PDF and put it on your phone and computer for quick reference. I usually "study a camera" for buttons, signs and symbols that I can't figure out, then I look them up in the manual. Even it is a simple camera, it has many features long forgotten.
Only 827 black Leicaflex SL mot were made 1968-1974, so I was happy to have one of them. I had mine restored to new condition, then took it around the world and dropped it a few times. Still works, with scars. i
My Leitz Leicaflex SL mot in black (Serial no 1282435), here with
80 mm Summilux-R f/1.4 as it looked when it arrived from a complete refurbisning at Leica in Solms/Wetzlar.
The Leicaflex SL2 mot with the motor attached. Photo by Istvan Penzes.
The SL mot is called so because one can attach a motor. The
motor for this camera is larger than the camera itself so
I doubt I will ever attach one to it.
were made 70.995 SL cameras and 827 SL MOT cameras from 1968-1974.
The figures are not exact, but is the blocks of serial numbers
allocated by Leica for these camera models. After the SL and
SL MOT came SL2 and SL2 MOT – and after that R3.
After I got the camera back I started using it almost daily. Most SLR assignments I do with an SL and an R8 and this SL mot's 'maiden voyage' was a one month reportage trip to South East Asia after the tsunami. It got a great deal of heat, dust and a few bumps but did a terrific job without complining. You can see some of those shots at the "After The Tsunami" site www.afterthetsunami.org
The Leicaflex SL2 mot with the motor attached.Photo by Istvan Penzes.
My Leitz Leicaflex SL mot before it went to
Leica in Solms for CLA and cosmetic upgrade (CLA=Cleaning,
The digital Leica SL and Leica SL2
By Thorsten von Overgaard
Leica SL (2015) and Leica SL2 (2020)
In October 2015 Leica Camera AG revealed the Leica SL type 601 that had been designed under the codename "Max". While it is a full-frame mirrorless camera, it is more a dSLR without the mirror. It is somewhat the Leica R10 that never came, but here it is and it takes all Leica lenses ever made (Leica L, Leica M, Leica R, Leica S, Leitz Zine, etc).
Thorsten von Overgaard is a Danish born multiple award-winning AP photographer, known for his writings about photography and Leica cameras. He travels to more than 25 countries a year, photographing and teaching workshops which cater to Leica enthusiasts. Some photos are available as signed editions via galleries or online. For specific photography needs, contact Thorsten Overgaard via e-mail.