Exploring the L-Mount Alliance with SIGMA Lenses and Leica SL2 Camera

Imagine having the freedom to choose your camera and lens combinations, not by brand, but by need. Imagine being able to put a brand X lens on brand Y body with no adapter needed, and it works seamlessly. That reality already exists.

By now most of us know what the L-Mount Alliance is, but for those who don’t, I’ll give a cursory explanation. SIGMA, Leica and Panasonic have teamed up to bring you the aforementioned situation. The ability to mix and match bodies and lenses between these three premium brands creates a powerful triumvirate for today’s filmmakers and still photographers.

A Leica SL2 camera paired with the SIGMA 45mm F2.8 DG DN | Contemporary lens.

While some in the media world have taken a detailed look at the L-Mount Alliance, and some have gently poked fun at it, I wanted to take it out of the studio and get it where it belongs… in the field!

The L-Mount combination I’ll be using for this shoot includes the Leica SL2 camera and a few of my favorite SIGMA lenses.

UFO sightings and conspiracy theories, next left.
SIGMA 45mm F2.8 DG DN | Contemporary lens on Leica SL2.

Traveling with the Leica SL2 and SIGMA L-Mount Lenses

Once again I packed up my truck with all my camping essentials and headed to one of my favorite places in Colorado, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. It’s an easygoing 2.5-hour drive from my house to the dunes, but even before you get to the park there are all sorts of visual stimuli to photograph along the way. Thanks to my collection of SIGMA lenses — both native L-mount and lenses adapted with the MC-21 — I always have the right focal length on hand no matter the subject.

Broken dreams in the San Louis Valley.
SIGMA 45mm F2.8 DG DN | Contemporary lens on Leica SL2.
A covered cow knows what up.
SIGMA 70-200mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | Sports lens with MC-21 Mount Converter on Leica SL2.

The dunes themselves are tucked up against the stunning backdrop of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Here, 14,000 peaks brush the sky while two intermittent streams, Medano and Sand Creeks, encircle the dunes helping to keep them in place.

Virga teases the dunes as the sun fades for the day.
SIGMA 100-400mm DG DN OS | Contemporary lens on Leica SL2.

In the field, the L-mount gear works together beautifully. While I generally don’t have an issue using the MC-21 Mount Converter, it’s kind of nice not having to think about it and just be able to put my SIGMA glass right on a Leica camera.

With both native L-mount lenses and a ton of adaptable gear, Leica shooters have plenty of options.
The image quality of this combination is superb.
SIGMA 100-400mm DG DN OS | Contemporary lens on Leica SL2.

The image quality with these L-Mount pairings is stunning. My wife and kids can be pretty jaded about all the images I show them, but when they looked at the screen and saw what I was working on, they were visibly (and audibly) wowed… and that’s really saying something. “Holy cow, those shots are amazing!” I had to agree. The colors and tones were so luscious, the images seemed to drip off the screen.

Where the ponderosas meet the dunes.
SIGMA 100-400mm DG DN OS | Contemporary lens on Leica SL2.
The nuance of a backlit scene is rendered with beautiful clarity and detail.
SIGMA 100-400mm DG DN OS | Contemporary lens on Leica SL2.
Sangre de Cristo Sunrise.
SIGMA 28-70mm F2.8 DG DN | Contemporary lens on Leica SL2.

As an outdoor photographer, I push my gear very hard. I have come to trust my SIGMA lenses while shooting in harsh conditions for demanding clients. I expect the same from my cameras, and the Leica SL2 seems like it would deliver years of heavy shooting. Of course I only had it for a short time, but it was built incredibly well and felt ultra solid in hand.

Tough conditions call for tough gear.
SIGMA 100-400mm DG DN OS | Contemporary lens on Leica SL2.

Shooting the Leica SL2 camera with SIGMA L-Mount lenses or the MC-21 adapter was an absolute joy. The two systems truly worked seamlessly together. The Leica’s 47-megapixel sensor paired with SIGMA glass helped me create some absolutely gorgeous images. I really look forward to getting some big prints done with a few of these shots. Hopefully, I can get one of Panasonic’s cameras into the mix as well to truly experience the power of the L-Mount alliance!

That’s it for now. Happy shooting and hope to see you out there!

Last light on a cloudless night.
SIGMA 100-400mm DG DN OS | Contemporary lens on Leica SL2.

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