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mugget

Which lenses for 35mm equivalent on M8? {MERGED}

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Hi folks,

 

I have been thinking about buying another lens for my M8, something a bit wider to give me the 'classic' 35mm field of view. Here's the back story - I used to have a Canon 1DMkII and used a 50mm lens as my 'walkabout' lens, so when I sold it and went to the M8 I went for a 50mm Summilux mainly because that is a focal length that I was used to, especially since both cameras have a 1.3x crop sensor.

 

So the question is - what are my options when it comes to achieving a 35mm equivalent on the M8? By my calculations I should aim for a 27mm to get the closest possible, but seems like I will need to compromise. Oh, one other thing - I would like to buy used and not spend too much.

 

I'll list below the options that I've found, along with approximate used prices. (Mainly AUD, but that's not far from USD at the moment anyway...)

  • Voigtlander 25mm f/4 - $420 (This actually looks like a new price?)
  • Voigtlander 28mm f3.5 - just had a quick search online but not much success finding any of these??
  • Carl Zeiss 25mm f/2.8 - $1,000
  • Leica 28mm Elmarit (f/2.8) - $1,000
  • MS Optical Perar 28mm f/4 - $700 (The very far left-field oddball option... price is for new.)
  • Canon 28mm f2.8 - $500 (Screw mount and would require adapter.)

 

What is the opinion on much older lenses, say a 1970's 38mm Elmarit? Honestly I don't care about some paint wear or scratches on the body. Actually I suppose I shouldn't be too concerned, my Summilux is a 1970's model anyway and I am floored by the image quality (or maybe I'm just not very picky). I am seriously considering this old Elmarit, but my only concern is that it has neither front or rear lens caps, so I hope they're sturdy as it must have been stored like this as well... also 'cleaning marks' on the front glass. But this is by far the cheapest option... maybe a good cheap introduction to using 35mm? I figure I can always sell easily without much loss if I don't like it anyway.

 

From what I have seen & read about the Canon 28/2.8 it seems like a great performer as well...?

 

I don't necessarily expect the same performance as my Summilux, I suppose I am happy to experiment a bit because I have only used a single lens on my M8 so far.

 

Interested to hear some other opinions. Are there any other screw mount lenses that I should consider?

 

Cheers

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Hello,

I have a couple of thoughts to share. The first is that while your list is strictly by definition all 35mm-ish equivalent lenses on the M8, they are a complete scattershot grouping of lens designs, ergonomic experiences, and max apertures. There are pancakes, normals, classics, pricey, inexpensives, and even a couple 25's tossed into the salad for good measure. The only thing missing are f2 fast 28mm's and (of course) the very expensive lenses from Leica itself :-D.

To choose which lens to get I'd suggest giving a good think to my second thought. Choosing a Lens is like choosing which horse is going to win a particular race. One horse does best at tracks which are short, hard packed, and fast, while another does better at a long track with sloppy slow surfaces. ie: you need to match the horse to the course. So, pick what you intend to photograph with a lens or how you prefer to ergonomically use a lens then see which of those on offer match up to your requirements or preferences because, while each of these lenses offer different strengths, they also have different pecularities and/or weaknesses which only you get to decide are important or not.

 

I'd venture to say that most of the lenses on your list are fairly nice options optically and to make a careful judgement on which lens will seem to be easiest for you to both be focusing and aperture selecting upon -and- be carrying around with you and yer camera. (coming from a 1D my second point in that sentence is mostly irrelevant for you!) Now, if you ARE a pixel peeper or a legitimate big print shooter/maker then add in some harsh comparison of mtf tables and the like to the equation.

 

Third thought is : Pay Sean Reid For A Membership To His Website. Period.

I'd say 99% of the lenses on your list have gotten a thorough evaluation on his site and a few hours spent there can probably give You the answers to the questions You find important to make Your lens choice(s). :-D

 

Bonus thought. You didn't put any f2 or faster lenses on your list. That 'says' something about you and your photography intents right there. Add to it the presence of two $1K Zeiss' and it says something more because you didn't include a fast Voigtlander 28mm or two in your list which wouldn't cost even that much. So, I'd be fairly confident you intend to be shooting your new Twenty Eight in a lot of light for either Street Photography or Landscape Images. The latter tends to call for reliably great optics and I'd say a good Zeiss would be in your future while the former tends to appeal greatly to non-pixel peepers and I'd suggest going into the Voigtlanders and maybe get 2 if you can afford it. :-) Some of the VC glass IS pixel peeping heaven, but not all. But! Sharpness isn't the #1 determinant of any images greatness anyway! Different Horses for Different Courses!

 

Sincerely

Richard Ward

 

p.s. have you perused the wide ranging lens lists and info at Stephen Gandy's CameraQuest Website? He carries a lot of the Voigtlander Glass. He is biased to really like the VC stuff, but doesn't mean ya can't learn a lot giving things a long read.

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Cheers Richard for taking the time for that reply. Great info! I definitely need all the help I can get since I have no clue about any of those lenses. Good call for the Sean Reid membership, I've seen that site mentioned a few times now - I think I will do just that.

 

I'm not a pixel peeper and don't plan on any big prints, and you're right I am thinking about a lens for outdoors. But I think Reid Reviews will help set me straight.

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I dont shoot with an M8 yet, although I probably will in the near future. But I shoot with the Voigtländer 28mm/f2 on my M7 and I love this little thing! So I would definately put it into your thoughts.

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Anything 28mm-ish should be fine. Do not underestimate the old and decrepit looking 2nd hand lenses, they are pretty incredible by any, also modern, standards. Do make sure the elements are haze free/clean - if not getting a CLA is well worth the effort. It does make a large difference.

 

The main problem however is that however much money you save initially, you are basically doomed from this point onward to sometime get one of these apo asph gadgets & actually feel happy.

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Cheers overtoom. I am not ruling out anything quite yet...

 

I have been spending quite a bit of time on Reid Reviews though. Great resource there for anyone who is using an M8 and looking to get the 35mm equivalent FOV. There's actually an entire article that deals with just that subject. Also very refreshing to read a review that does not make such grand proclamations such as "this lens is great" or "this lens is just bad". Obviously there are differences, but the reviews just point out those differences and leave the reader to decide what they want to achieve with their lens and what look they want. Perfect! The other stand out thing is that he does not shoot colour charts. Instead he uses a wide variety of different colour fruits and vegetables (at least on one review I read), reason being that everyone knows how those look in real life, so it's much easier to get an understanding of the colour reproduction. Makes sense to me!

 

I am leaning towards a smaller lens, mainly because I imagine that any blockage in the framelines would be quite annoying. But then again I can be a very tolerant kind of guy...

 

I've got to say that if I ever spot a Canon 28/2.8 I would like to snap it up. Sounds like a very interesting lens. Maybe not 'up to par' by modern standards, but then again you won't find a modern lens that gives quite the same look.

 

Good advice SJP - I was actually thinking decrepit 2nd hand lens just to save money. Haha.

Actually my Summilux is a little battered (has a damaged filter thread), so that kind of thing does not bother me at all. My list in the first post tended towards the slower lenses mainly because of price as well... I would love to have a fast lens, just to be able to cover most situations. But I will keep my eyes open...

 

Ah yes, those APO ASPH gizmos - it never hurts to dream. Maybe when I buy an M10, or M11...

 

In the meantime I'm going to get back to reading some reviews...

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Just bought myself a used M8 and a new Elmarit 28/2.8 and so far happy, small, lightweight and flawless quality of the lens, recommended ( this without testing the other on the obove mentioned list).

 

Intention later on to add a 50mm Summicron or Summilux(if I can ever justify the price tag) when I have the funds.

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I think the Voigtlander Ultron 28mm F2 is the best bang for the buck in this category - buy new with a warranty. Some of the older lenses had backfocus issues. The one I purchased new last year has been perfect, though.

 

If you want to spend a little more, the Zeiss 28mm f2.8 is great as well - used is probably ok as I've never heard of any backfocus issues with the Zeiss lenses.

 

I think both of those lenses are sharper than the older 1970s Elmarits that fall into the $1k price range.

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I have the voightlander 25mm F4, M fitting, it retails for around £350 in england, and for the

money it punches well above it's weight.The small aperture is not the problem it used to be with film, now we can crank up the ISO. On my M8 it compares very favourably with my

1970s & 1980s leica lenses.

rergards john cope.

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Maily depending from two factors: your budget and if you're more towards wide or tight.

 

When it was my turn to do that choice I initially recycled my CV 25/4 first version, the RF uncoupled one. It gave - gives - great results but when I could afford it I got myself a 24/2.8 Elmarit.

28 mm never did for me and I stress *me*. Too close to 35mm and not wide enough to make the difference.

If this can be of any help and however bearing in mind that image scaling doesn't help here are two images I shot with the two of them:

 

These were taken with the CV:

http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-forum/members/52186-albums4577-picture5743.html

http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-forum/members/52186-albums4697-picture6038.html

http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-forum/members/52186-albums4668-picture5906.html

 

and these with the Elmarit:

http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-forum/members/52186-albums4668-picture5995.html

http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-forum/members/52186-albums4697-picture7656.html

 

There's not such a great difference between the two. The Leitz is obviously better built and has better distortion and more even performance in the corners but the CV is greater bang for the buck.

If I were in your shoes I'd restrict my choice to CV, Zeiss and Elmarit 28 but pls remember that CV & Zeiss are sweet to buy but hard to resell.

 

Hope this helps

Bruno

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Mugget, welcome to the forum!

 

I can't speak about the non-Leica lenses, but I would commend a 28 to twin with your 50 on the M8.

 

I had a Series 2 28mm Elmarit, bought from new, which served me well with my M3 and M6. When I bought my M8 I decided to upgrade that lens to the current Elmarit ASPH version which is an extremely good lens for all M-bodies. Many speak of its excellence for travel etc.

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Thanks everyone, good info.

 

Nomad, those shots are helpful. I am thinking of leaning towards a 28mm lens now. Probably just sticking to a small budget then I'll see how I like the field of view and can always upgrade later.

 

If 28mm does turn out to suit me I think I'll eventually go for a 28mm Elmarit ASPH.

 

I think I have it all fairly sorted now... but there's no telling if I'll be back to this thread.

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When I was shooting with an M8 I found that the three lenses I used the most were the Zeiss 25mm f/2.8, a Summicron 35mm, and a pre-ASPH Summilux 50. After that trio came the Zeiss 18mm.

 

But of all of them, the Zeiss 25 was my favorite. Something about it just clicked with me (pun intended). And, looking at Reid Reviews, it comes out very well in tests. Highly detailed subjects such as the Eiffel Tower look lovely in a 13 x 19 print with very little PP. But more important then just a specific lens, this speaks to the subjective, personal nature of these lens decisions. With the M8 you land on either side (a little wider or a little longer) of the 35mm full frame FOV -- so there is an element of discovery here.

 

I'm still sorting out how I want to load my bag after switching to the M9. That same 25 shows a more pronounced difference from Leica 24mm lenses in full frame. The Zeiss 21mm that I used a lot with the M6s didn't get much use on the M8, but is saying "Take me, take me" when I set out with the M9. Decisions.

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Good advice SJP - I was actually thinking decrepit 2nd hand lens just to save money.

 

Just to respond to this: I picked up a "user grade" 1953 35mm summaron and . . . was disappointed! It performed *too well*. Seriously. I wanted awful, "vintage look," performance. The images just weren't degraded to my satisfaction--perfectly fine, with a bit of "glow."

Wasn't a fluke. The 50mm from 1953 performs more than fine, too. From a "cool to use old glass" perspective, both are winners.

 

I would say, though, go with a Leica lens, whether it's modern or used.

 

Cheers!

Will

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I myself have a Voightlander 28mm Ultron F/2 they are cheap and okay... I do like leica glass better... but hey, leica glass comes with a price tag!

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You already own a Summilux 50 pre-asph that you like, so you need a 28 which matches best the latter. If you can find an Elmarit 28 pre-asph for your budget, go for it. It will be easy to resale if need be.

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But more important then just a specific lens, this speaks to the subjective, personal nature of these lens decisions. With the M8 you land on either side (a little wider or a little longer) of the 35mm full frame FOV -- so there is an element of discovery here.

 

...

 

Decisions.

 

Yep, decisions.

 

Good info everyone. Hopefully I'll be able to find the right Elmarit when my bank account matches.

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A 28mm pre aspherical Elmarit was almost permanently on the M8 I used to own. Classic rendering little champion (and won't bust the budget).

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If you can afford it and want a keeper the 28 Summicron is stunning on the M8 and M9.
Interestingly this lens seems to be accumulated (or disappearing in a black hole) - as people buy them but never seem to sell them. The result of this is that in a few thousand years time we will be knee deep in 28/2 ASPHs. What will that do to the price one wonders.

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