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miles green

135mm f/2.8 Leica R II opinions?

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Hello Leicaphiles, this is my first post here. I am currently using Pentax gear, mostly "limited" primes, and including some very nice older lens. However, i feel i have a weak link in my lens lineup at 135mm. I am currently using a Pentacon 135mm f/2.8 lens, in M42 mount. This lens has 18 aperture blades and is nicknamed "the bokeh monster". Indeed, it produces excellent bokeh even stopped down, and is very sharp by f/5.6, especially at longer distances. It is of east German construction, all metal, with precise (huge throw) but rather stiff focusing. But i am considering the Leica elmarit-R II 135mm f/2.8 as a replacement for it, mainly for its performance wide open at tight portrait distance, where i find the Pentacon lacks a little pop. I would adapt it to Pentax K mount using a Leitax converter (probably blasphemy on this forum, please forgime me!).

I have seen some impressive pictures with this lens on various online sites, but would apreciate your opinion of it before committing.

Thank you,

Miles

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Hello Miles

 

Welcome to the forum.

 

Edit: I have moved your thread to the international part of the forum.

Edited by pop

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Agreed, a very good lens. I found my well used sample (clean lenses) to be not that contrasty or sharp at f2.8 even in the centre (lacking "pop" on the Oly E-3). It sharpens up quickly though and has (to me) pleasant bokeh. I find the lens surprisingly heavy, lots of glass, but well balanced. Focus throw is 180 degrees from min. to 5m, plus 30 degrees or so to infinity.

However, in the end it stays mostly at home. When I want 135mm on SLR, I take the Tele-Elmar 135mm f/4 (a Leica M lens) head, mounted on a series of adapters, also for versatile use with an M. This is slower and a bit more expensive, but easily gets into the macro range (with extensions) and could also be leitaxed to the Pentax.

Still, give the Elmarit a trial, it's great value and a simpler setup. Btw, if close-ups are of interest to you, the Makro-Adapter-R (for the Makro-Elmarit 60mm) works with this lens, too. Hum - not. 'coz you'll leitax it.

 

Alexander

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Thank you for your replies lct and xalo. The little review you linked to shows that it's a very capable lens. The balcony image has a lot of detail even though it's shot wide open. It's also a very contrasty image, so a little PF which is visible wide open is barely a surprise. I'd like to see some portraits shot with this lens... It's very tempting i must say!

Miles

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I don't know your Petacon, but Elmarit II 135/2.8 is a little heavy and cumbersome. If you safely survive with this limitations, the 135 is a very good lens. It is very detaily and contrasty, except at full aperture.

The contra are:

- at f/2.8 it is a little soft,

- it also flares.

Fernando.

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Hello Leicaphiles, this is my first post here. I am currently using Pentax gear, mostly "limited" primes, and including some very nice older lens. However, i feel i have a weak link in my lens lineup at 135mm. I am currently using a Pentacon 135mm f/2.8 lens, in M42 mount. This lens has 18 aperture blades and is nicknamed "the bokeh monster". Indeed, it produces excellent bokeh even stopped down, and is very sharp by f/5.6, especially at longer distances. It is of east German construction, all metal, with precise (huge throw) but rather stiff focusing. But i am considering the Leica elmarit-R II 135mm f/2.8 as a replacement for it, mainly for its performance wide open at tight portrait distance, where i find the Pentacon lacks a little pop. I would adapt it to Pentax K mount using a Leitax converter (probably blasphemy on this forum, please forgime me!).

I have seen some impressive pictures with this lens on various online sites, but would apreciate your opinion of it before committing.

Thank you,

Miles

It is a great lens, but quite heavy. you need to be strong.

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