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Leitz SL mot
 
 
   
 
   

Leica SL mot film camera

By: Thorsten Overgaard. March 2004. Updated October 4, 2020

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32 years in a box

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).

This 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:

 

Leitz Leicaflex SL black
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 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  
       

 

This 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 renovated.

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.

The camera got a new top plate, front plate and bottom plate. As well as new buttons on the top.

The SL has an extremely nice shutter sound and is build like a tank. This reborn baby will go to work like my other cameras.

 

Leica SL mot with Leica 80mm Summilux-R f/1.4 and Tie Her Up leather Rock'n'Roll strap. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.
Leica SL mot with Leica 80mm Summilux-R f/1.4 and Tie Her Up leather Rock'n'Roll strap. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

       
 

Leicaflex SL
Manuals and user guides

   
  By Thorsten von Overgaard  
       

 

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.

Leica SL2 manual [PDF]

       
 

Leicaflex SL mot

   
  By Thorsten von Overgaard  
       


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

Leitz Leicaflex SL MOT black
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.

Motor

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.

There 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 Thorsten Overgaard Photography Extension Course 2010


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, Lubricating, Adjustment):
My Leitz Leicaflex SL mot before it went to Leica in Solms for CLA and cosmetic upgrade (CLA=Cleaning, Lubricating, Adjustment):

 

       
 

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).

Leica SL type 601 "Max"
Leica SL type 601 "Max"

       
 

Video: The history of the Leica SL (2020)
and the Leicaflex SL (1964)

   
  By Thorsten von Overgaard  
       



       
 

Leica SL special editions

   
  By Thorsten von Overgaard  
       

The 50 year anniversary (of Leica cameras) edition of the Leicaflex SL2. Photo from the article "The Leicaflex SL2 Could be the Best Leica SLR Ever Made" by James Tocchio.
The 50 year anniversary (of Leica cameras) edition of the Leicaflex SL2. Photo from the article "The Leicaflex SL2 Could be the Best Leica SLR Ever Made" by James Tocchio.


To celebrate the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Leica issued 1000 Leicaflex SL cameras with engravings (black and silver). Read more about it at LHSA
To celebrate the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Leica issued 1000 Leicaflex SL cameras with engravings (black and silver). Read more about it at LHSA.

Black version of the Leicaflex limited edition 1972 Olympic Games in Munich.
Black version of the Leicaflex limited edition 1972 Olympic Games in Munich.

 

   
   

 

   


Thorsten von Overgaard
Thorsten Overgaard's Leica Article Index
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Leica 21mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4   Leica Digilux 1
Leica 21mm Leica Super-Elmar-M ASPH f/3.4   Leica Digilux
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Leica 28mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4   Leica R film cameras:
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Leica 35mm Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leica R4
Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95 FLE   Leica R3 electronic
Leica 50mm Noctilux-M f/1.0   Leicaflex SL / SLmot
Leica 50mm Noctilux-M f/1.2    
7artisans 50mm f/1.1   Leica compact film cameras:
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Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 "rigid" Series II   Leica CM 35mm film camera
Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0    
Leica 50mm Elmar-M f/2.8 collapsible   Leica R lenses:
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7artisans 75mm f/1.25   Leica 35mm Elmarit-R f/2.8
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Leica 90mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leica 80mm Summilux-R f/1.4
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A Buddhist Sunday School, Sri Lanka, January 2005
Leicaflex SL motor with Leica 80mm Summilux-R f1.4, 100 ISO Astia, scanned with the Imacon/Hasselblad Flextight Photo scanner
 

Leica logo

LEItz CAmera = LEICA
Founded 1849 in Wetzlar, Germany. First as "Optical Institute" (1849), then "Ernst Leitz Optical Industry" (1869), Leica GmbH (1986), Leica Camera AG (1998).

 

 


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Thorsten Overgaard
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.

You can follow him at his television channel magicoflight.tv and his on-line classroom at overgaard.com

Feel free to e-mail to thorsten@overgaard.dk for
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