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One lens or two lens set-up for M8

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Hello,

 

I am struggling with a decision about my lens kit: I have an M8 and a VC 28mm 1.9 (which I love), as well as some older glass from my M3 (Summaron 35 with goggles and an old and unfortunately quite badly scarred Summicron 5cm collapsible). I am debating whether to now buy myself a newer Summicron 50 or to sell the VC 28 and go for a one-lens set-up Summilux 35 pre-asph. I most do portraits and street shooting and will probably eventually (whenever prices drop after the M10 being released) upgrade to an M9.

 

Any thoughts would be most appreciated. I hope I didn't double-post, but couldn't find a similar post via the search.

 

Thanks in advance,

George

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I would discourage you from getting a 50mm as your second lens on an M8. I started as you did with a 28mm on my M8. I added a 50 Cron, which I then replaced with a 50 Lux. I have rarely used either of these 50s because IMO a 67mm focal length (as the 50 becomes via the M8's 1.33 crop) is not very useful. Subsequently, I added an 80mm Rollei Planar. I almost exclusively use the 28mm and 80mm on my M8. (In fact, I normally leave my 50 at home.) I have only kept the Lux 50, thinking that I'll upgrade from M8 to FF in 2012 (perhaps, an M10 in the fall?). Thus, instead of a 50, I'd recommend adding a 75mm if you're intent on using your M8 for years to come.

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I use the 24,35 and 50 on the M9 and keep the 75 Cron permanently attached to the M8. The M8 thus is my portrait camera. I believe that is the perfect focal length for that purpose. That is not to say that you can't make different types of portraits with other focal lengths of course.

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35mm will give you a 50mm FoV on the M8. Do you feel comfortable with such a FoV? Only you can know. If you love your 28, my feeling is you could well "see" in 35mm FoV. If so i would keep my 28 (aka 35 on the M8) and look for a 50 or a 75.

I speed is important for you, 75/1.4 & 75/2 lenses are quite expensive so perhaps a late pre-asph Summilux 50/1.4 would make you happy. Otherwise you cannot go wrong with a Summicron.

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Thank you very much for all the replies! I actually just sold a VC 75 1.8, which made a really great portrait lens, but I did find the finder image a little bit too small for my liking. I was considering the Summilux 50, but unfortunately can't really finance having both the VC 28 and a Summilux 50 at the moment, which is why I had thought of selling the 28 and using the money towards the Summilux 35 as an all-around lens.

 

One possibility I considered was trying the Zeiss Sonnar 50 1.5, since it is less pricey than Summiluxes, but I was a bit reluctant given the reports of focus shift and it being more of a specialised lens rather than all-rounder. Am I being to worried about its characteristics?

 

Best,

George

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@ ICT: I am not entirely sure about my using the 35mm focal length - I've only used my old Summaron from time to time and am not sure I am getting the "real" impression due to the goggles which magnify the finder image to the 50mm frame-line. Unfortunately stores in Belgium seem less than happy to have me try the lens for 20 minutes without buying it / offer no returns...

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I have a Summaron 35/2.8 with goggles as well. Sure the feeling is not the same when shooting but it is a matter of getting used to it. Why not playing a bit more with your Summaron and see if you like the pics you take with it? Otherwise you could perhaps buy a cheap (but good) 35 like the Jupiter-12 on e**y and resell it afterwards if need be...

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If you have a lens which you really like already (the VC 28mm f/1.9) then if I wre you (which I am not - so take any suggestions accordingly;)) I would keep it! If you are happy with this VC lens then you could look at the VC 40mm 1.4 which might turn out to be a reasonable compromise and which would not be a million miles away from the M8's 35mm viewfinder lines, whilst being substantially cheaper than a 35/1.4 pre-asph (which I have owned twice and wonder about owning again sometimes, but am not convinced that it is worth the silly prices now being sought).

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i started with a CV 28mm ultron then added the leica 35mm.

46mm seems to be a fun focal length on m8.

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Go for the summilux pre-asph. You'll end up using one lens more often than the other anyway, and the lens is still a winner if you use it on film or upgrade to an m9 later on..

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Hello,

 

I am struggling with a decision about my lens kit

 

Hi George,

 

like you I loved the Ultron 28mm 1.9 very much. I used it exclusively for one year on my M8. The year before I only used the Nokton 40mm 1.4.

 

Now I have 28mm Elmarit and the Nokton 50mm 1.5 as two lens kit.

Or the 40mm 1.4 as one lens kit. (The Ultron didn't survived a Ethiopia trip)

 

And like you, sometimes I think about selling this gear and switching to a 35mm Summilux-one-lens-kit.

But: in action I prefer the wider 28mm, for portrait I like the 50mm on the M8. And: being out or on a travel, with only one lens it's risk if the lens gets damaged. Leica my 28mm in Africa.

 

75mm are too long on a M8 for my taste.

 

I know the 50mm Lux only from 10 shots, when I borrowed it from a friend , but the 50mm is Nokton an outstanding lens, without any compromise. As cheap alternative I can recommend you this lens. Or one of the Zeiss 50mms.

 

 

I would prefer a one lens system too. But 28mm and 50mm on the M8 are very nice and compact equipment. Moreover, with a fast 35/40mm 1.4/1.2 lens this extended kit gets also ready for the dark side of life.

 

So my personal advice: Don't sell this beautiful Ultron, I love the Elmarit, but the Ultron has very very unique look. I miss it... I would prefer a two lens kit...

 

 

regards

chris

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George, a wealth of conflicting replies for you!

 

Frankly, I think a modern 50mm Summicron would be an excellent long-term investment. On the M8 it can be used quite successfully for portraiture or close-up work. It might be an old design, but it is still a very fine lens. I have a 1966 version and a modern one. Each gives a different rendering. Keep your old one for softer portraiture and dreamy landscapes. The current lens holds its own against all competitors at normal operational apertures.

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Send the scarred Summicron to John van Stelton at Focalpoint, have him polish and recoat the front element. I sent in an almost opaque Thorium Summicron- came back looking new. well worth the money, which is a fraction of the cost of a new lens.

 

when collapsible Summicrons were in the $150 range a few years ago, was not cost effective. With current prices, worth having restored.

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Send the scarred Summicron to John van Stelton at Focalpoint, have him polish and recoat the front element. I sent in an almost opaque Thorium Summicron- came back looking new. well worth the money, which is a fraction of the cost of a new lens.

 

when collapsible Summicrons were in the $150 range a few years ago, was not cost effective. With current prices, worth having restored.

 

I agree - John does a masterful job of repairing lenses which have damaged front-element coatings. He's done three lens polishing/recoating jobs for me so far (2 old Summicron 50s and one old Summarit 1.5), and all of them look like new.

 

Regards, Jim

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Wow, thank you very much for all the replies and options you pointed out - this is a really incredible forum!

 

@ICT: I'll give my Summaron a bit more of a try again, for me it's a lot about the viewfinder image as well, which is why I had been somewhat reluctant to make the comparison. I had avoided the Jupiters as I don't know any good places close to where I just moved (Brussels, Belgium) to have the lens adjusted yet.

 

@pgk (and@cfx): I have a hard time giving up the VC 28 because I just love the way it renders for me, but I thought that if I kept it, I should probably go for a bigger focal length difference, like a Summicron 50 for portraits etc. or try the Zeiss 50 1.5, although it seems a bit too specialised for my minimal kit...

 

@cfx: Refreshing to hear that I am not the only one facing this dilemma (maybe it's our shared nationality?

) I had considered the Nokton 50 1.5, but they seem to be somewhat scarce and I was also unsure how I would have them adjusted to the M8 in case they were not perfectly aligned (or is that more of an issue of the body and not of the lens?). Sad to hear about the fate of your Ultron - I guess that's a very good argument for a two-lens kit!

 

@wda, brianv and jamesk8752: Thank you for pointing out this possibility - I never knew it could even be done. Although mine also has a fair amount of scratches, so I fear it might go deeper than just coating marks - could their polishing even take out some proper scratches? And what range of prices does a recoating job normally go for? If it's not too expensive I could soon add a modern 50 which would then really give me a lovely kit!

 

Thanks again!

Best,

George

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George,

 

Indeed, it is a great forum. For lens preference, we all see and shoot differently. So you sort of need to read through the different perspectives to see which ones fit you and your individual style.

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I would discourage you from getting a 50mm as your second lens on an M8. I started as you did with a 28mm on my M8. I added a 50 Cron, which I then replaced with a 50 Lux. I have rarely used either of these 50s because IMO a 67mm focal length (as the 50 becomes via the M8's 1.33 crop) is not very useful. Subsequently, I added an 80mm Rollei Planar. I almost exclusively use the 28mm and 80mm on my M8. (In fact, I normally leave my 50 at home.) I have only kept the Lux 50, thinking that I'll upgrade from M8 to FF in 2012 (perhaps, an M10 in the fall?). Thus, instead of a 50, I'd recommend adding a 75mm if you're intent on using your M8 for years to come.

 

That's how different people are ;-)

 

On the M8, my favorite lens always has been a fast 50mm.

Right next after came a fast 35mm.

 

The 28mm, I had and loved before on the even tighter cropped EPSON R-D1, I sold after not using it for a long time.

 

I now use two cameras mostly - a film body or the M9 and a 35mm and the M8 with a 50 mm or sometimes longer lens, when reach or compression is, what I am after.

 

Actually, recently, the 5cm Collapsible Summicron has become a much loved lens for me (especially on the M8).

It has something special, the newer, more modern Summicron 50mm do not share - a soft and dreamy rendering @ f2 - f2.8, which works fantastic for portraits.

 

I am not sure, if you will be very happy with the 35 Summilux pre ASPH.

These lenses go for big money these days, but do have optical flaws, some like (me as well) and others do not like.

For the same money, one can buy a latest version 35 Summicron ASPH (one of the nicest modern 35mm lenses, one can get), or for half the money, a 35/1.2 Voigtlander (big and heavy).

 

One could also stay at some of the vintage lenses, really nice samples are out there, like the Nikkor 35 f1.8 LTM or the Canon 35 f2 LTM.

 

I always found, that the M8 works fantastic with a fast 35mm for shooting candid photographs in the wild, the 50mm focal length has for me the perfect balance between normal lens and short tele on the M8 - I love this combination.

 

Here are some photos on my flickr stream with my long time favorite combo of 50mm and M8:

Flickr: Search teknopunk.com's photostream

 

Here are some with M8 and 35mm:

Flickr: Search teknopunk.com's photostream

 

Both are nice combos, while I would think about getting a different 35mm more than getting another 50 Summicron.

If the character of your 5cm Summicron doesn't suit you (not sharp enough, wide open, not so handy, to focus, too low contrast, etc), than upgrading the Collapsible Summicron makes sense.

If you like the older character of this lens though, a newer version 50mm Summicron will not help you much further.

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My 28 is a Leica model... Reviewer Sean Reid likes the CV 28/1.9 with that camera. I think this focal length is about ideal for a one-lens walkaround kit. And while 50 is usually a nice spread from 28, I was surprised at how well this long-normal/short-tele works on the M8. Really very useful. 75mm is definitely too long for me on this camera but of course YMMV...

 

So 28 + 50 is what I carried on a recent vacation to Las Vegas, a happy combination. On a previous project I'd carried 25 + 50 with the M8 and that worked well too. Now I'm a bit disappointed there's no 67mm lens for the M9!

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On a budget,

 

CV 35/2.5 and CV 75/2.5 for under a grand is tough to beat.

 

Mid range,

 

ZM C_Biogon 35mm, 75/2.5 Summarit-M

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One more voice in favor of the 50mm Summicron in the M8. I've my outfit (35 and 50 Summicrons, 75 Summarit) for a couple of months and find myself gravitating most often to the 50 for going walkabout. If you really like the Ultron, selling it would be a major mistake. In fact, you're slightly influencing me to order one, since I need something wider than the 35. But I think I'm holding out for the Zeiss 25mm.

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