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Zeiss 25 or Leica 24?????

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Different people assigned different values to different things. The very fact that the question arises on Zeiss vs Leica tells me that the OP values only one lens for one focal length. I can safely assume that simple ownership of both lenses would not cause the question to be posted. I know many people who do not bother to subscribe or read much about lenses, simply because they own everything, so there is no need to compare to ascertain what lens provide better value for their preference.

 

For myself, I buy what I like regardless of cost in relation to photographic equipment simply because I assign a higher value to my hobby. I do, however think twice and thrice on other things, things that costs much less.

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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"

 

We've figured that task out now. Details if needed.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

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I know many people who do not bother to subscribe or read much about lenses, simply because they own everything, so there is no need to compare to ascertain what lens provide better value for their preference.

 

Leaving aside the question of reviews (which are always an optional thing) do you mean "they own everything" or do you mean "they already have what they need"? If the latter, I agree that often is the case.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

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After reading Sean's review i choosed the Zeiss even because of its price, but i did like the way it draws first.

I did a shortcut for the framelines and did the same trick that i did a long time ago with my Summicron-C 40 to bring the 35 framelines on M8, i polished by 1mm the flange that brings the framelines lever and then self coded it with a sharpie.

Obviously this workaround will be just till Zeiss send me the new 35 bayonet to send to John for cutting recesses.

 

Best Regards

 

Maurizio

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Leaving aside the question of reviews (which are always an optional thing) do you mean "they own everything" or do you mean "they already have what they need"? If the latter, I agree that often is the case.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

 

You are right, everything they need.

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well I have had the zeiss and liked it. I read it takes up less viewfinder room then the leica, but I found a great deal on the leica 24 and will test it out so by sunday either the leica or the zeiss will be for sale. David

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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!!!!!!!!

Maybe if it was $10 or $15 for a one year subscription I might of taken it.

I think I'll go with the Leica 24mm. This way I can get my 50 f/2 and 90 f/2.8 coded for free with the voucher."

 

Looks like a joke to me. You will pay 15 but not 32. The difference is 17 dollars a year . This subscription saved me hundreds if not thousands of dollars.

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Sean's site could be free if he posted more ads than a NASCAR racer. I, for one, applaud his decision to go the subscription route and support him fully.

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I'm sorry the thread got sidetracked for a while by Leica 'fundamentalism.' I'd like to go back to some practical questions about using Zeiss WA lenses. My 'normal' M8 lens is a coded 28, & I too have been thinking about the 21 & 25mm Biogons.

 

1. Viewfinder: Sean's review mentions that because of the way large-aperture 24/5mm lenses block the viewfinder, he was inclined to use an external finder (specifically the VC 21 that matches 24/5mm FOV & sells for under $200). Doesn't this make the Zeiss 25/28 frameline question less urgent? Yes, you have to focus in one viewfinder & frame in another, but I got used to this with 28mm on M2-3-4. The external finder seats nearer to the center of the lens than the regular viewfinder, & one easily learns to give the camera the appropriate nudge for vertical parallax correction. I am assuming, after peering through my 24mm framelines, that an external finder is a good way to go with this focal length, with either Zeiss or Leica? And maybe the only way, for those of us with glasses?

 

2. Vignetting/coding/CornerFix: I've not yet used an uncoded lens of short focal length. My two old 35mm Summicrons were 'precodable,' but they've caused no difficulty because 35mm lenses produce only a touch of cyan vignetting. But I doubt many color photographers using wider-angle lenses could live with the cyan vignetting that's illustrated in Sean's reviews. So I've assumed that anyone who buys a non-Leica WA M-mount lens would consider CornerFix seriously as an alternative to coding. I see Sandy's posts here about updated versions of CornerFix, but not much discussion by people using or recommending it. Sean reviewed it favorably, but proceeds with hand-coding. Is there some disadvantage to CornerFix, other than an extra loop in one's workflow? For example, some decrease in resolution? If not, then why doesn't this thread assume that anyone using Zeiss WA lenses would almost 'automatically' opt for CornerFix as their way to deal with cyan vignetting?

 

3. Contrast: Sean's reviews - also one by Erwin Puts - praise the optical quality of Zeiss lenses but point to a strength/limitation that could be a deal-breaker for some users (like me): their powerful contrast. As Sean has pointed out, heightened lens contrast 'fights with' digital dynamic range, perhaps lopping off an f/stop or Zone of shadow detail. This is why I like those old 35mm Summicrons with their less contrasty renderings & gentler palette. Sean's selection of the Elmarit as his first 24/5mm choice seems to have turned mainly on the contrast issue. Is Zeiss contrast so overwhelming that it's hard to tame it in Photoshop? From this standpoint, perhaps the best 24/25mm choice would be the oldest Elmarit that's still codable?

 

(PS: All of these issues come up from looking into reviews, especially Sean's & Erwin Puts'. I'd feel a fool if I saved $33 but didn't know what issues come up with an important lens choice!)

 

Thx for any thoughts/opinions/advice,

Kirk

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Kirk, if you are going to use cornerfix you don't need to worry about coding, or what frame lines are brought up by the lens. Zeiss has now posted some options for replacing the lens mounts for their lenses so they pull up the proper frames on the M8. The problem with using 24 or 25 mm lenses on the M8 is that even with the proper lens mount, the actual frames in the finder are not very accurate. I have gotten into the habit of using the ENTIRE finder to visualize the frame for my 28!

 

 

Regarding Cornerfix. I LOVE the newest version that works properly with Capture 1. There is no loss in quality or dynamic range that I can see, and the flexibility of control in both vignetting and cyan drift are great when using lenses like the 21 biogon, the Noctilux, or any other lens that has a dramatic amount of vignetting at full aperture, but little or none stopped down. Indeed, I've been able to use the same generic profile with multiple lenses by adjusting the color and vignetting correction amount to be applied. It's amazing how insensitive the human eye is to both color and luminance drift, particularly in horizontal images, so don't sweat the micro details here.

 

About contrast: The logic seems to go that a lower contrast lens is somehow easier to manage on the digital file. That makes no sense to me when you take that theory to the extreme with lenses like the Summar. The Summar produces images with low contrast that CAN be adjusted in post processing, but you can not completely recover the lost shadow detail that has been obscured by image noise (flare). Low contrast in a lens is due to flare...period. That flare only serves to reduce image detail in shadows, smear hightlights and confuse TTL meters.

 

THAT SAID:

The actual difference between MODERN lenses in total image contrast at working apertures is so little that I doubt you could prove scientifically that lens A gives any meaningfully greater shadow detail than lens B. All the comparisons in image contrast I've seen posted on the web are really anecdotal, with no side by side comparison of how a competing lens would perform in identical situations. True, you can find reviews that show comparisons typically taken indoors under controlled circumstances, but those are not the times when problems can arise. Outdoors, in harsh direct lighting is the true test and I've found that most any modern lens will do as good as the next here as long as flare is not out of control.

 

For example, I own both the Biogon28 and the Ultron28 and despite whatever scientific differences that may be measurable, they both create images with great shadow detail and sharpness. The Biogon, however, does have a somewhat richer color rendition and higher clarity in the center of the image. On average across the image field I'd say it's a wash, with the Ultron 28 being better in outer zones at infinity due to less field curvature.

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Hello Kirk!

...So I've assumed that anyone who buys a non-Leica WA M-mount lens would consider CornerFix seriously as an alternative to coding. I see Sandy's posts here about updated versions of CornerFix, but not much discussion by people using or recommending it.

The actual version of CornerFix is a 'must have' for all non-Leica lens users (especialy ZM).

It is more than dangerous, to self change bajonett mount on (wide angle) ZM lenses. Zeiss will do it for some small money (EUR 60.- ?) and guarantee, that the lens will be optimally adjusted for M8 (exact lens adjustment is done by 'screwing' the bajonett). Biogon 2.8/21 and Distagon 4/18 plus UV/IR filters are partially 'unuseable' whithout CornerFix.

3. Contrast: Sean's reviews - also one by Erwin Puts - praise the optical quality of Zeiss lenses but point to a strength/limitation that could be a deal-breaker for some users (like me): their powerful contrast. As Sean has pointed out, heightened lens contrast 'fights with' digital dynamic range, perhaps lopping off an f/stop or Zone of shadow detail.

Yes, this is correct. So we should own at least both Leica and Zeiss lenses :-)

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Hello Shootist,

The Zeiss 2.8 25mm is an outstanding and versatile lens, I have shot weddings with this lens and and my customers were extremely satisfied.

The Leicas are also outstanding lenses,however, with different character, so, in my opinion it is more a matter of taste and unfortunately one can only determine which one is for you

by working with these lenses.

At on time or another I have owned just about every lens made by Leica with the exception of the Noctilux and the extreme wide angle lenses , they are truly great lenses if not the best, however, one can obtain excellent results with Zeiss or Voigtlander lenses on the M8.

You can find technical discertation of Zeiss lenses here:

 

Zeiss | Photography and image capture: the Leica technique and philosophy by Erwin Puts | Erwin Puts

 

Best Regards

 

Peter

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Hello Shootist,

The Zeiss 2.8 25mm is an outstanding and versatile lens... ...The Leicas are also outstanding lenses,however, with different character, so, in my opinion it is more a matter of taste and unfortunately one can only determine which one is for you

by working with these lenses.

 

 

Peter

 

I second that, and i have a question for Sean Reid:

How does a lens affect the AWB?

Now it's maybe more only my impression, but i found that the % of correct AWB shots is much higher when shooting with ZEISS 25 then all my other lenses (2CV and maybe too many Leica).

Could it be possible?

This weekend i'm gonna take the tripod from the attic and make some shots to make a little statistic, but am I wasting my time?

 

Best Regards

 

Maurizio

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Thank you, Dan, for clear & precise advice. I'm getting a 21mm Biogon, which pairs well with a 28mm Elmarit (28 & 37mm equivalents). It appeals first because I already have a 28mm Leitz finder, & second because I've located a used one w/warranty card. I'm a confirmed equipment simplifier, so I may try the 25 Biogon later & get down to just 1 lens, which is what I preferred (35mm) on film Leicas.

 

I especially appreciate your thumbs-up about CornerFix. I assumed that would be the way to go, & I've downloaded it & printed the instructions for making a profile. I'll try making one profile @ f4.5 (or actually 4.7 on Zeiss aperture ring?), & see if that works well for all images.

 

Re: similarity of 'modern' lenses, I guess you're right, especially about any Leitz/Leica lens new enough to be coded. But I do see a pleasing difference on M8 with 35mm Summicron from the '60s! Maybe less sharpness, but definitely less contrast, gentler highlights, & less slide-like or Velvia-like palette. (I feel better talking about these specifics than about how a lens 'draws' - which has sounded vague to me & would not make much sense to anyone who's tried drawing!)

 

Thx again,

Kirk

 

http://www.dryreading.com/kirkthompson

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Well I really like the ergonomics of the zeiss better and I need a new printer so I am going to sell my leica 24 anyone intrested it is in beautiful shape. David

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Well I really like the ergonomics of the zeiss better and I need a new printer so I am going to sell my leica 24 anyone intrested it is in beautiful shape. David

 

is it silver?

 

best

 

Maurizio

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Sean's site could be free if he posted more ads than a NASCAR racer. I, for one, applaud his decision to go the subscription route and support him fully.

 

Thanks Carlos.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

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I'm sorry the thread got sidetracked for a while by Leica 'fundamentalism.' I'd like to go back to some practical questions about using Zeiss WA lenses. My 'normal' M8 lens is a coded 28, & I too have been thinking about the 21 & 25mm Biogons.

 

1. Viewfinder: Sean's review mentions that because of the way large-aperture 24/5mm lenses block the viewfinder, he was inclined to use an external finder (specifically the VC 21 that matches 24/5mm FOV & sells for under $200). Doesn't this make the Zeiss 25/28 frameline question less urgent? Yes, you have to focus in one viewfinder & frame in another, but I got used to this with 28mm on M2-3-4. The external finder seats nearer to the center of the lens than the regular viewfinder, & one easily learns to give the camera the appropriate nudge for vertical parallax correction. I am assuming, after peering through my 24mm framelines, that an external finder is a good way to go with this focal length, with either Zeiss or Leica? And maybe the only way, for those of us with glasses?

 

2. Vignetting/coding/CornerFix: I've not yet used an uncoded lens of short focal length. My two old 35mm Summicrons were 'precodable,' but they've caused no difficulty because 35mm lenses produce only a touch of cyan vignetting. But I doubt many color photographers using wider-angle lenses could live with the cyan vignetting that's illustrated in Sean's reviews. So I've assumed that anyone who buys a non-Leica WA M-mount lens would consider CornerFix seriously as an alternative to coding. I see Sandy's posts here about updated versions of CornerFix, but not much discussion by people using or recommending it. Sean reviewed it favorably, but proceeds with hand-coding. Is there some disadvantage to CornerFix, other than an extra loop in one's workflow? For example, some decrease in resolution? If not, then why doesn't this thread assume that anyone using Zeiss WA lenses would almost 'automatically' opt for CornerFix as their way to deal with cyan vignetting?

 

3. Contrast: Sean's reviews - also one by Erwin Puts - praise the optical quality of Zeiss lenses but point to a strength/limitation that could be a deal-breaker for some users (like me): their powerful contrast. As Sean has pointed out, heightened lens contrast 'fights with' digital dynamic range, perhaps lopping off an f/stop or Zone of shadow detail. This is why I like those old 35mm Summicrons with their less contrasty renderings & gentler palette. Sean's selection of the Elmarit as his first 24/5mm choice seems to have turned mainly on the contrast issue. Is Zeiss contrast so overwhelming that it's hard to tame it in Photoshop? From this standpoint, perhaps the best 24/25mm choice would be the oldest Elmarit that's still codable?

 

(PS: All of these issues come up from looking into reviews, especially Sean's & Erwin Puts'. I'd feel a fool if I saved $33 but didn't know what issues come up with an important lens choice!)

 

Thx for any thoughts/opinions/advice,

Kirk

 

Hi Kirk,

 

1) You're right that there's no need to change the ZM 25 lens bayonet if one is not hand coding and is using an external finder.

 

2) Cornerfix can sometimes give even better results than coded lenses but the latter is faster and easier to deal with if one is frequently changing lenses. There's no need to remember which lens was used for which picture.

 

3) In many kinds of lighting, the Zeiss contrast may well be an asset. It doesn't necessarily make the ZM lenses hard to live with, it just means that one has to be especially careful with highlight exposure in contrasty light. The same is true for the higher contrast Leica and CV lenses. The ZM coatings are excellent and the lenses really resist flare well. As always, one could reasonably argue for or against high contrast lenses although, technically, they indicate high quality optics and coatings.

 

Although I prefer the Leica 24 to the Zeiss 25, I'd use the latter in a heartbeat if needed.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

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