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Finally made up my mind - bought an M9


orla

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Now! After years of consideration I’ve finally made up my mind... and ordered a new M9 body in black. Actually the strategy was to get hands on a used but mint condition M9 body, when the M was announced. Awaiting substantial price drops that never really occurred. So when one of the big dealers sold the last black M9 with a 1 100 EUR discount I finally got my acts together - next week it will arrive, and I will be a happy M-user.

 

The only crux is - I have no lenses! Photo has been my hobby and part time occupation for the most of my life (nearly 60 now) but never been shooting with a Leica M. So - please give me some advices:

 

What to think of as an M-newbie and some suggestions about lenses. My idea is to buy a fairly cheap, used Leica glass or a Zeiss to start training with. Final goal is to have all Leica glass - say - 35 or maybe 50 mm as a base lense, then 22 or 28 and a 90 mm in the upper end. Happy for any tip and suggestion!

 

And - I know that I can find all the answers digging around in the archives - but it’s kind of a nice feeling to introduce myself to the forum this way…  BR

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What to think of as an M-newbie and some suggestions about lenses. My idea is to buy a fairly cheap, used Leica glass or a Zeiss to start training with. Final goal is to have all Leica glass - say - 35 or maybe 50 mm as a base lense, then 22 or 28 and a 90 mm in the upper end. Happy for any tip and suggestion!

 

And - I know that I can find all the answers digging around in the archives - but it’s kind of a nice feeling to introduce myself to the forum this way…  BR

 

Congrats on the M9!

 

I found one of the particularly enjoyable aspect of getting into the M system was the research I did as far as what lens to get. While I have no idea what you're after, I can tell you my first lens was a CZ 1.5/50 C Sonnar, which I still have after getting the 50 "lux asph, and I still love it. I keep it on the R3M nowadays :).

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Congratulations on your purchase. The M9 is the only digital camera I've liked - as an old film user. I end up using a 35mm lens much more on the M9 than on film cameras, and there are many good ones to try. I have older Leica and new Zeiss and Voigtlander 35 lenses, and all do a good job. The Zeiss 35 f2.0 is very nice and "mid-price" - and for low light use I like the Voigtlander 35 f1.4 - which is a bargain, very small, and a good choice on a budget. The Zeiss is sharp, and doesn't have focus-shift as it stops down, so I use it most of the time. Overall I think it is sharper than my older Summicron 35.

If you are more comfortable with a 50mm any of the used Leica 50s are fine on the M9, and the Zeiss Planar is almost as good. The Voigtlander 50 f1.5 (screw mount - use an adapter for the M9) is remarkable for the price.

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Welcome.

 

IMHO try to buy a Leica lens for your first. A 35 or 50mm is the best for an all rounder.

 

The Elmar 50 as mentioned is a fine choice, as are the Summarit lenses, or an older Summicron.

 

If budget is an issue then you can't go wrong with a Voigtlander Skopar 35.

 

Note, you can use any LTM lens also, with an LTM to M adapter (make sure you get the right adapter to bring up the correct frame lines).

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If you have a look over in the buy & sell section there are some good lenses on offer.

 

You will end up holding onto these lenses - I would suggest a Summilux 50 ASPH. It's a fantastic lens, not badly priced (compared to all the other Summiluxes), and it's all you'll need for a while.

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Welcome, good decision. A 50mm Elmar-M collapsible (1994-2007) whatever else you buy you will probably always keep this lens.

 

I took Brett's advice and bought one, I really like it and use it a lot. The 35mm equivalent for me is my Summaron f2.8. Both superb, cheap, small and a delight to use

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Orla, a very warm welcome to the forum! With such an open question you will possibly get mixed and contradictory advice. I would strongly recommend you buy Leica lenses since they will serve you very well for as long as you are taking photographs and rarely lose value if treated fairly. They will continue giving you good service whatever M body you use.

 

From your past experience you will know, more or less, the focal lengths which serve you best. Try and think in terms of a two-lens or three-lens kit, even if you cannot buy into a set straight away. I have always liked 28-50-90 because that is what I had with my long-lived M3 and M6. So a 50 would definitely be in my set. Get the best you can afford because this could your work-horse lens.

 

A very good 'travel' lens is the MATE (28-35-50) TriElmar. Unfortunately it is only available used and prices have risen because of their limited availability and popularity. Your dealer might let you know if he gets one. In dirty or dusty conditions it is very useful because it obviates constant lens changing.

 

The modern current Summarit range of lenses is excellent and represents very good value for money.

 

I suggest you aim to make one of your theoretical set a Summicron or possibly a Summilux if you can justify the cost. Aim to make your most used focal length a Summicron if possible.

 

Other members will offer different advice, out of which you might find some kind of consensus on choice. Oh, and discuss the choice of lenses with your Leica dealer. It pays dividends in the long run to build a good relationship with a trusted dealer. I wish you much happiness and success.

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Congratulations on your new purchase.

 

The Zeiss and Voigtlander lenses are quite good and there's nothing wrong with them at all. But I think one of the big reasons people enter into the M world is for the optics. Since you've made the entrance into Leica Land you should try to go with the Leica lenses. There's no reason not to buy used and you can pick up an older lens that isn't coded as your first lens. And there's nothing wrong with using just one lens, either.

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HI,

I hope that you get to enjoy your new camera soon. There are so many lenses to choose from, including used ones, You write that you are a long time photographer, that means that you would know which focal length you use most often. You might as well buy a lens of that particular focal length. I am one for sticking with few lenses for a long time (I purchase my first M in 1967). In order of most used to least, I use a 1962 35 Summicron (with goggles); a 1965 50 Summicron; a 2007 21 mm VC; and a 1973 Elmarit. None of these lenses rate as "the best" but they are my best lenses and serve me exceedingly well. You should factor in the cost of a trip to Leica for adjusting a used lens, I had to when I first put them on my M9.

Jean-Michel

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orla: congrats on the M9.

 

now lenses ... oh lenses!

 

two things. first, you have mentioned an interest in eventually having Leica lenses. if so--and if you can afford it--try to get them now. otherwise, you'll need to buy and sell to buy.

 

second, in choosing lenses, it really depends on how you shoot. what do you shoot? do you need fast lenses? do you want smaller or larger lenses? how many lenses do you want? how much can you spend on lenses? and, finally, from your previous experiences with photography, what focal length is your favorite--and what focal lengths do you use most often?

 

if you can answer these questions, then we can give you advice THAT WILL BE GOOD FOR YOU. otherwise, you'll likely get lots of input from well-intended folks who will make suggestions based in how they shoot, what they shoot, whether they want fast lenses or not, what focal lengths they prefer, etc.

 

anyway, congrats again ...

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Thank you all, for your very kind engagement in my “process” of finding the right glass for my new M9! I really feel a warm welcome to this fantastic forum! Some of you asked what kind of a photographer I am, the answer is I’m “half professional” and as such shooting almost everything. But my own interest is in nature, industry/architecture, street photo and people.

 

To my process: as some of you mentioned - an open question, returns a broad range of answers. And you could say I’m still confused but on a higher level” :-) and a beginning feel that my plan for three lenses already is on the way to be overdrawn, occurs… It’s such a delicious “smorgasbord” (as we say in Sweden) of Leica-lenses. But to funnel down I’ve taken some vise advices to my heart and I will come back and tell you about my choices. And, for sure, a lot of stupid questions when I once get my hands on the camera… BR/ Örjan

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Congratulations! You could wait for a newer model or cheaper prices forever...but without a cam photography makes no fun...

 

Well, a M9 without a lens is even harder than no cam :D I'd go for a 35 (Summilux or Summicron) as this is the most flexible lens (for my requirements).

 

Sven

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It's a slippery slope. Suddenly you could turn around to find you have many lenses that you can't bring yourself to sell despite rarely using them. Don't buy any lens as a stop gap. Save and buy the lens you want. This will be cheaper in the long run. The collapsible 50 Elmar is a good choice as there may be times you want the camera to be a pocketable as possible.

I have 35Asph and 50 summicrons which I use for travel. They are very smooth to use and compact with excellent imaging properties. They can be found for a very reasonable price.

I also have the 35 and 50 Summilux lenses. These are quite new to me and, as I shoot only film and live somewhere very dull for much of the time in winter, I find the extra stop wide open useful. I perhaps wouldn't take these latter lenses on trekking trips as they are bulkier and heavier.

The 28 Summicron Asph gets almost universal praise for its rendering.

 

Pete

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I would go for a Summicron 50mm F2.0 Collapsible in decent condition and give it a CLA.

(I 'd rather order the CLA myself than try to find one that has had a CLA recently)

It will probably cost you less than 500 or even 400 Euro if you are lucky.

 

 

It has all the charm and potential of Leica glass, is light and small, almost as small as the Elmarit and it has one stop more.

 

 

Just my opinion of course but for me the fun with Leica lenses really starts with Summicrons and Summiluxes. Even the old ones have 'it'

 

 

Buying a 35mm is an option too, but it will be 3 times more expensive, and for my use to wide for a single lens setup.

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Congratulations Orla!

 

  • For lenses, a 35 or 50 would be an excellent starting point based on your preference.
  • Any of the current crop of Leica lenses would be good - choice really depends on your budget.
  • You could also consider older lenses, many of which you can buy from reputed dealers at a price lower than new. Do take care if you are buying online or without trying the lenses out, as the risks are higher. Warranties would be good here, either dealer warranty or residual Leica warranty.
  • Researching this forum will give you a treasure trove of invaluable information, including the occasional irrelevant banter.
  • Do always note that your first lens will never be your last and that you will continuously add to your collection and occasionally sell one or more as your preferences change.

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