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Shootist

Zeiss 25 or Leica 24?????

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I have nothing against Sean Reid but I am cheap and the other day when I was at his site and did the subscription rout I almost feel opff my desk chair, $32.95 for a one year subsrciption!!!!!!!!

 

Let's hope Internet doesn't evolve further in that direction.

Having to pay $32.95 a year for every interesting site is not my dearest desire.

 

Lode

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OK. . . .

 

(No, I'm not going to mess with hand coding the lens. I'd only mess up the new mount. I love this lens!)

 

. . . ..

 

When you mess up the Sharpie coding (which I've done several times) a q-tip moistened with some Eclipse fluid (basically straight alcohol - I forget which type) cleans it off without a trace.

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Lode and Shootist,

Not trying to pick a fight here... Your objections to paying a small amount for access to some really good and useful information is your choice. However, nobody that I know of puts the time and energy into objectively reviewing lenses from a professional users perspective as does Sean. He has his own professional business to run, yet he has taken the time to gather the gear from his various contacts, as well as his own and colleagues, done rather repeatable and useful testing, then provide a farily comprehensive report to a Web site that he has to support and maintain. There are no sponsors or other elements of commercialism. It is a part of his overall business, and taking the time to do the reveiw work does preclude doing other assignment work.

 

Personally, I consider his contacts with Leica and others, invaluable to provide a lot of timely and accurate information, much of which he does openly and freely share on this site and others. He has followed up on things when others have not or could not. Expecting him to just do a data dump for all is rather presumptuous. I do not know of too many folks that give away their efforts and expertise on any regular basis.

 

Sorry if this sounds like I am defending Sean and his operation. I really am not, and he surely does not need me to say so. I am merely offering the perspective of one (there are a lot more, I am sure), that has seen the tremendous value and information he brings to this field, and think his asking for a very reasonable contribution to help support those efforts is worthy of my support, and others.

 

Signing on for his Reid Reviews is your option, but expecting everything for free on the Internet does seem a bit presumptuous.

 

LJ

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... The cost of the Leica 24mm is prohibitive.

 

I bot mine used, on eBay. Are you considering that alternative?

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Lode and Shootist,

 

Sorry if this sounds like I am defending Sean and his operation. I really am not, and he surely does not need me to say so. I am merely offering the perspective of one (there are a lot more, I am sure), that has seen the tremendous value and information he brings to this field, and think his asking for a very reasonable contribution to help support those efforts is worthy of my support, and others.

 

Signing on for his Reid Reviews is your option, but expecting everything for free on the Internet does seem a bit presumptuous.

 

LJ

 

No need to defend him or to even think like you are trying to. He more then likey has a wealth of info on his site. I was not in anyway attacking him for what he is doing.

Nowhere in my original post about his site did I say I wanted it for free. I even expressed that I would of probably singed up if it was $10 or $15.

Nor did I say that for someone else, for whatever reason, that they should not subscribe to his site.

Thom Hogan has a site that is mainly for Nikon equipment and all the data on his site is free. He also writes E-Books about the different model Nikon cameras. I have a D200 so I bought his book on that camera. I think it cost me either 24 or 29 buck + shipping for a total of around 32-34. Do I get to read it for just one year, NO. I get to keep it forever.

I totally understand people need to make some money on their effort, so do I ( I do not do my day job for nothing and I do not do the work I do in my day job for nothing even for friends and family). I do do other things that I consider a hobby or pastime for anyone that need and or wants my help. If maintaining that site is his job then he is entitled to whatever he can get for it.

 

OK enough of this. The simple fact is I think his site is overpriced. It doesn't matter whether I spend $50 or $5000 on a camera, lenses or anything else. If I think something is overpriced I don't buy it. So I won't be subscribing to his site.

Now on to do some tests with a M8 and my uncoded lenses.

Thanks for the reply.

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...expecting everything for free on the Internet does seem a bit presumptuous...

We are not expecting everything, we simply like to discuss for free on the internet.

Problem is we can't do this about reviews that not anybody have access to and that nobody wants to quote or sum up either.

When i read something interesting in Chasseur d'Images or other photo magazines i'm pleased to sum up it here so that we can discuss about it.

But when Sean's clients read something interesting on Sean's site not only they keep it secret for some commercial reason i guess but they blame us for not willing to pay as they do.

Doesn't make much sense on open forums like this IMHO.

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I bot mine used, on eBay. Are you considering that alternative?

 

Of course. However, for my style of work and given the amount of time I shoot this focal length -- I hate to say it -- the Biogon represents a better overall value.

 

Would someone please offer a professional service to 6-bit code non-Leica lenses?

 

OR ... if Leica is going to open up their firmware on the M8 and allow a mere mortal to make the camera think its wearing another lens, let's get to it, boys & girls!

 

-g

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LCT,

Fair enough, but a fair amount of the salient points from Sean's and other's works do get expressed, summarized, and placed on this site and others, and are a significant part of many discussions. Finding all of it just may take one a bit of time, plus piecing things together. I have never seen anybody being secretive about what they have learned, but instead, are respectful of efforts that are published to earn income.

 

Shootist,

I hear and understand your perspective, and as I said, you will make your own choices. The books Thom Hogan sells are his way of generating income for his expertise. Do not know if said books cover such a broad and encompassing series of topics, or are updated with current information and findings when they become available, but that is the nature of that particular model. Personally, I think that I easily recovered the cost of my subscription in the first use, as it saved me a huge amount of time spent searching for answers, wondering how equitable comparisons might or might not be, etc. Probably for all of us, time is worth something.....$10?...$15?....$33? As consultants will say..."It depends."

 

Let's continue sharing what we know and can, and others of us will continue to support those taking the time to present things objectively and concisely to help in decisons and other discussions.

 

LJ

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With respect to Sean's site, and the value it represents, I think it's important not to be myopic. The original poster seems to saying (and thinking) that it's not worth $32 to him to get Sean's insights into the question relating to specific lenses. But of course Sean's site includes far more potentially valuable information than that, and furthermore, the cost covers a full year's access.

 

What sets Sean apart, in my view, is how active he is in both testing new products, and, perhaps most importantly, lobbying Leica on behalf of it's customers so that the company might make the best possible support and future design decisions.

 

Finally, Sean's site breaks down to less than three dollars a month! That certainly strikes me as good value, especially when contrasted to the amounts that any Leica user spends on equipment.

 

Regards,

 

Tony C.

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Lode and Shootist,

Sorry if this sounds like I am defending Sean and his operation.

LJ

 

There's no need for defending Sean.

I admire him for his work, his knowledge, the way he communicates in this great forum and his sence of humor. (Actually, I enjoy the American humor in this forum, it's a revalation to me).

Please, read what I wrote. I stay to my post, but I know it was a little OT, sorry.

 

Cheers,

Lode

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Thanks for the comments on the site, guys!

 

If one is looking purely at optical quality and the way a lens draws an image on a sensor, however, Leica is not the only company making first-rate lenses for the M8. When one chooses to use lenses (other than Leica) on the M8 that decision may have little to do with cost and much to do with preference.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

 

What I find interesting is just how good the older , symettrical lens design, do on the M8. The VC15,21,25 28 and 35mm perform way past expectation on the M8. And the are so cute and compact !

 

I wish that VC would come out with a "pancake" 25mm with coupled focus to replace the discontinued model.

 

Rex

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...a fair amount of the salient points from Sean's and other's works do get expressed, summarized, and placed on this site and others, and are a significant part of many discussions...

Would you mind to point me to such posts where one share what Sean's thinking about vignetting, distorsion and CA of Zeiss 25 and Leica 24 lenses?

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Nonsense - have you used this lens?

 

I know these Zeiss lenses very well - as I happen to know almost all Zeiss lenses, not only the M Mount ones. They are lovely lenses, but not to be compared to Leica glass - this is my repeated experience over the past 30years.

 

They may be better in some areas, but if you look into the complete outcome then Leica is almost always leading the pack!

 

Further I DO NOT UNDERSTAND why I should use Zeiss galss (or any other) if I am willing to pay the prime money for a Leica M and then fool around with the different look, handling etc of a Zeiss lens. Combining different systems (philosophies) may work on paper, but it will never ever allow you to leverage all the potential you can get out of a carefully tuned solution, like everything from Leica.

 

So - if you are a serious photographer then use either one or the other but do not combine. Just my small advise, you of course can keep it as you ike and waste your time.

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I have both the Zeiss 25 and the 28 Elmarit and, irrespective of the frameline and cyan issues, prefer using the Elmarit on the M, in the first place because it's easier to see the framelines and because the lens does not block the viewfinder (whereas the difference in the angle of view is not that significant). Therefore, if one has the choice (buying a new lens), I would always go for the Elmarit and, if one wants to have a wider lens, the 21/2.8 with a separate finder, rather than a 25 or 24.

 

On the other hand, the Zeiss is a great lens and would be a nice alternative from time to time, that's why I decided to keep it (also for use on my MP - and maybe a future full frame Leica M9). Has anyone some experience how durable hand-coding with a permanent marker actually is? I think removing the codes (with nail polish remover/acetone) should not be a problem at all.

 

Wolfgang

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This is a most ridiculous post quoted below in my opinion. I would advise anyone who has limited experience to ignore it in its entirety. There is no secret that those who mix brands or use Zeiss/Hexanon/CV glass on Leica bodies are missing.....the PRINTS speak for themselves if you can take a blinking picture:

 

  • One can use only Zeiss on a Leica M - handling therefore remains the same.....
  • One can have a finite budget and prefer to invest more in some lenses than others. To suggest that anyone who can afford a Leica M can also afford loads of Leica glass is plan daft
  • A person may prefer the Zeiss look than that of certain Leica lenses even if the Leica is better in certain aspects.
  • You could drop and completely destroy a LOT of ZM lenses and still come out quids in over Leica lenses. Besides, many people insure.
  • I have both Zeiss and Leica lenses and have absolutely no trouble switching between them. I think the Zeiss ZMs draw beautifully and are wonderful lenses.
  • To suggest that the Leica lenses are inherently better 'overall' flies in the face of numerous tests and user opinion. It is interesting to hear the views of creative, talented pros...they tend not to leap to defend Leica lenses.....

 

PS, nobody is telling you that you should use Zeiss glass on your Leica, but using leica glass because you 'know' it is so much 'better' to do so suggests you might have missed something rather important....

 

 

I know these Zeiss lenses very well - as I happen to know almost all Zeiss lenses, not only the M Mount ones. They are lovely lenses, but not to be compared to Leica glass - this is my repeated experience over the past 30years.

 

They may be better in some areas, but if you look into the complete outcome then Leica is almost always leading the pack!

 

Further I DO NOT UNDERSTAND why I should use Zeiss galss (or any other) if I am willing to pay the prime money for a Leica M and then fool around with the different look, handling etc of a Zeiss lens. Combining different systems (philosophies) may work on paper, but it will never ever allow you to leverage all the potential you can get out of a carefully tuned solution, like everything from Leica.

 

So - if you are a serious photographer then use either one or the other but do not combine. Just my small advise, you of course can keep it as you ike and waste your time.

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They are lovely lenses, but not to be compared to Leica glass - this is my repeated experience over the past 30years.

 

This is LOL funny, and a good illustration as to why Leica fanatics, as opposed to Leica photographers, are compelled to retreat to ever more remote corners of the internet.

 

They can, indeed, be compared; the shared M mount guarantees that. Contrary to silliness like this, and Erwin Put's equally silly claim that putting a non-Leica lens on a Leica body is akin to stuffing a BMW engine into your Mercedes, it's very much possible to compare lenses. Leica M users are uniquely fortunate in that we have 80-odd years worth of lenses that we can mount on our cameras. In that regard, we are much like the motion picture industry, where a common mount (PL) means lenses from Cooke, Angenieux, Zeiss, Canon, Nikon, etc., can all be used on the same camera body. It's left to the end user to decide which lens best meets his or her needs.

 

Personally, I felt the performance of the 24 Elmart didn't warrant its cost for my uses, so I sold it. The finder, BTW, was rubbish, despite the brand name.

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Personally, I felt the performance of the 24 Elmart didn't warrant its cost for my uses, so I sold it.

 

Personally I've found the performance of the 24mm Elmarit to be outstanding. Probably the most spectacular piece of glass (Leica or otherwise) that I've ever used.

 

Guess it's horses for courses.

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Personally I've found the performance of the 24mm Elmarit to be outstanding. Probably the most spectacular piece of glass (Leica or otherwise) that I've ever used.

 

Guess it's horses for courses.

 

Absolutely! I am not inherently and intransigently pro or anti anything hence the mix of brands. I certainly don't feel I am wasting my time as the earlier quoted post suggests I am! Neither are you of course. I did decide to spend extra money on the Summilux asph 50mm because for what I wanted it for it was IMO worth the outlay for its exceptional wide open performance. Equally the 28 Biogon was a great buy because this is not going to see much action wide open (where it is still very good). The 50 planar is half the weigh of the summilux asph 50 (mines brass) and tack sharp, with beautiful bokeh. It is half the price of a summicron. My choices are fine by me as yours are by you. I don't feel that comments stating that those who use a mixture of brands (or ANY non-leica lens on a Leica body) have missed some magical 'truth' very helpful for anyone! My next lens purchases? Very likely CV 28 3.5 and possibly 35 pancake 2 because they are tiny and perform very well indeed a stop or so down from open! This will make me a real lens mongrel!

 

Did Cartier-Bresson not use a Zeiss lens on his leica for quite some time??? Gosh, how foolish of him

IMO hte best lens for anyone IMO is:

 

The one they can afford!

The one they like the look of the images from most of all (irrespective of technical measurements)

The one they feel most intuitive to use (balanced against above)

Brand is irrelevant

 

Some Leica lense have the aperture and focus rings relatively moved about do they not so stikcing to leica is hardly a guarantee of handling continuity either. I bought my Leica Elmarit-M 90 2.8 because I got a mint one cheap.....

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I suppose this kind of argument (only Leica lenses are best, etc.) will go on forever. The "one best" sort of argument is always simple and generalized whereas the reality of how these various lenses compare is more complex and specific.

 

For those who've just come across this thread, and who maintain an open mind on this subject, let me just add my usual point that different lenses have different strengths and photographers have, quite rightly, different priorities and different tastes in how lenses draw. There is no one best lens at any focal length. I say this based on several years of looking very closely at the performance of many, many rangefinder lenses tested side by side.

 

Choose a specific priority at a given focal length and any of the three current RF lens makers may come out on top. Zeiss tends to have the best flare control (hence highest contrast) of the three (CV, Leica, Zeiss) but not everyone will want that contrast. CV tends to make several of the most compact lenses and the resolution of those lenses (28/3.5 for example) can be outstanding. Leica probably does have the highest overall lens build quality of the three but I'm not always happy with the light action on some Leica lens aperture rings. Leica lenses also tend to perform very well wide open (though they're not alone in that respect) and often have a blend of resolution, contrast, OOF rendering, etc. that really appeals to my eye. But that doesn't make them optically best in any objective way.

 

As for the current Leica 24 M...it's my favorite lens of this focal length (leaving aside size and weight) but it doesn't outperform the Zeiss 25 (technically) in many respects. If one is making strictly technical comparisons, a given Zeiss or CV lens may outperform a given Leica lens in a specific respect or the converse may be true.

 

But, in the end, I really think its the way a lens draws overall (all aspects considered) that many of us really care most about. And those of us who do very little post-processing may prefer different lenses than those of us who, for example, set final contrast in post-processing, etc. Photographers who mostly work with JPEGs may prefer different lenses than those who mostly work in RAW...and so on.

 

A photographer could present a compelling portfolio of pictures all made with Zeiss lenses...or all with CV lenses...or all with Leica lenses...and the truth is that most often we might not know which lens made a given picture (despite decades of marketing that have tried to convince us that XYZ brand makes one's pictures better - virtually all photographic equipment manufacturers try to convince us of this). And, hopefully, we often won't care what lens was used because our interest in the pictures outweighs our interest in guessing what lenses made them. There are very prominent Leica M photographers who are, right now, doing strong work with lenses from various makers (including old Leica, Zeiss and Canon lenses).

 

The overall looks of pictures made with lenses like the current Leica 24, the current Leica 35 Lux, etc. just plain make me smile again and again. But I could also say the same for pictures made with the Zeiss 18, the CV 28/3.5, both the current Leica 50 Lux *and* the CV 50 Nokton, etc. It's just a very rich world of lenses we M photographers have access to. Canon EOS photographers (and I'm also one myself), for example, should be so lucky in this respect. And while some may want to over-simplify how these rangefinder lenses compare, I hope most of us resist that temptation.

 

Best and Happy New Year,

 

Sean

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Also, I believe Sean Reid tried to swap a 35 mount ring in order to bring up the 24 framelines, but he was unable to remove the mounting screws.LJ

 

Use strength! I have no trouble taking the screws off the 25 and the 35 (my friends have no issue either). Buy a few extra screws when the extra flange is ordered for replacements if necessary. I noticed that there is Loklite applied and though Acetone (nail polish remover) can be used to dissolve the Loklite, I did not bother, just borrow an additional pair of hands.

 

My ZM25 is coded and flange changed to bring up the 24mm lines. The Elmarit 24mm is backordered for more than 7 months where I live and the ZM is an interim solution for me. Sadly, I cannot say I like the handling of the lens nor do I like the output. Granted I have only used it once to test focus calibration by taking it out on one shoot, it was enough for me not to use it again.

 

In the meantime, it is the Elmarit 21 ASPH and the 28 Cron ASPH/Elmarit ASPH which I use for wide angles.

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