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R lenses on 240


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Hi,

At the moment I have quite a hybrid kit.... Some nice Leica M lenses, an MM and an M9, an Olympus OM-D EM-5 with a 12mm and 75mm lens (2x for FF eq). I also have a collection of lovely old Zuiko OM lenses like the 18mm f3.5 and the 55mm f1.2. I tend not to part with lenses :cool:

Having been playing with my M lenses on the OMD+a Novoflex adaptor, and been very impressed (shame about the crop though), I started thinking of the potential for the OM lenses on the Leica M. it would be just like the OMD focussing via the EVF, but full frame. 18mm.... f1.2... Mmmmmm

Does anyone with a new M have any experience of using it with OM Zuikos (esp super wides)??

It could be an another reason to upgrade the M9, unlocking that wonderful legacy OM system.:D

Maybe I should get an adaptor and head down to the Leica store to try it out....

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Does anyone with a new M have any experience of using it with OM Zuikos (esp super-wides)?

Not with OM Zuiko lenses specifically ... but with retrofocus super-wides originally meant to be focused via the SLR finder, yes—all these are working just fine. In my case, the most extreme I tried yet was the Minolta MD W.Rokkor 17 mm 1:4 which is similar, in principle, to your OM Zuiko 18 mm 1:3.5. No issues whatsoever :)

 

Full-frame 16 mm and circular-image 7.5 mm fish-eye lenses (8 mm in the OM system) are working perfectly fine on the M, too.

 

 

It could be an another reason to upgrade [from] the M9, unlocking that wonderful legacy OM system.

It most definitely is :cool:

 

 

Maybe I should get an adaptor and head down to the Leica store to try it out ...

Don't do that unless you have the funds to actually purchase the new M ... or you'll get into trouble :D

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I agree with Olaf. The retro-focal super wides are working better at the moment on the M240 than rangefinder lenses are. I have a CV 15mm Super Heliar RF lens, which is pretty horrible on the M240, unless I use Corner Fix on every shot. My Zenitar M42 16mm fish-eye is just fine with no red edges at all.

 

I want to get an 18mm and was thinking of a Contax Distagon 18/4 instead of the Zeiss ZM 18mm. The only thing that puts me off is that the 18mm/f4 Contax lens is a very old design (originally for the Contarex I believe) and was one of the very few in the Contax SLR range, which never received an update during its lifetime. The Olympus 17mm might be a better bet but that means yet another adapter. :(

 

Wilson

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  • 1 year later...

In contemplating the move to the M, I am looking at Canon FD - LM adapters such as found on ebay: 6bit FD-LM.

 

Looks nice, but the vendor cannot say what the frame lines are that it brings up (over the counter guys).

There are several such adapters in uncoded version available. None state what frame lines are presented, none have three versions available.

The same goes for my search of a Nikon-LM adapter.

 

  • What is your experience with these adapters?

 

Bringing up 50/75 at least makes it versatile because it also can be made to 35/90 mm easily (like I treated my 40 mm). But just 35 is a horror scenario. Specifically as the coding is linked to the frame line selector.

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What do you need frame lines for?

If the adapter is coded as adapter (or non-coded, which is not really needed) the frame lines are irrelevant, as you wouldn't use an SLR lens with the optical viewfinder anyway.

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What do you need frame lines for?

If the adapter is coded as adapter (or non-coded, which is not really needed) the frame lines are irrelevant, as you wouldn't use an SLR lens with the optical viewfinder anyway.

 

Jaap,

Of course you are right. Using the electronic viewfinder would have to be the way to go.

 

I had thought that coding
is important as this would provide me "correct" information in the EXIF.

But looking on the list in the Leica code blog I see no problems yet. There are 36 codes reported in the list and as far as I see no double usages yet based on the frame lines.

I will try to reuse probably at least a 50 mm macro and a 100 mm macro. And I love to see a corresponding clue in the exif. I might indeed use the same code as for my macro adapter: 101010.

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Normally, a digital Leica M will accept any 6-bit lens code only when the frame lines activated by the lens match the code. For example, if the code says, "I'm a 50 mm lens", and at the same time the lens is activating the 35/135 frame line pair, the camera detects a mismatch and refuses to accept the code.

 

For the R adapter, the frame lines have no meaning—and yet, it must activate some frame line pair because by design, it is mechanically impossible to activate no pair. Originally, the frame lines defined as 'right' for the R adapter was the 28/90 pair. The camera wouldn't accept the R adapter's 6-bit code (which is 55, or 110111) if it doesn't come with the activation of the 28/90 frame lines. Later, the frame-line requirement got relaxed so the camera would also accept the 50/75 frame lines as a match for the R adapter's 6-bit code.

 

I have no idea if the M (Typ 240) will also accept the 35/135 frame line pair with a 6-bit-coded third-party R adapter. I positively know that it does accept both the 28/90 and 50/75 pairs. The original Leica R Adapter M activates the 28/90 pair; the various Novoflex adapters for Leica M camera activate the 50/75 pair. Both work well and give access to the R lens menu in the camera.

Edited by 01af
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I agree with Olaf. The retro-focal super wides are working better at the moment on the M240 than rangefinder lenses are. I have a CV 15mm Super Heliar RF lens, which is pretty horrible on the M240, unless I use Corner Fix on every shot. My Zenitar M42 16mm fish-eye is just fine with no red edges at all.

 

I want to get an 18mm and was thinking of a Contax Distagon 18/4 instead of the Zeiss ZM 18mm. The only thing that puts me off is that the 18mm/f4 Contax lens is a very old design (originally for the Contarex I believe) and was one of the very few in the Contax SLR range, which never received an update during its lifetime. The Olympus 17mm might be a better bet but that means yet another adapter. :(

 

Wilson

 

Wilson - I have been using the ZM18 a lot this summer for landscapes (with M240) and it is an incredible performer. Coded as the 21mm Elmarit (non-asph) the color cast is almost non-existant. I highly recommend this lens...

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Wilson - I have been using the ZM18 a lot this summer for landscapes (with M240) and it is an incredible performer. Coded as the 21mm Elmarit (non-asph) the color cast is almost non-existant. I highly recommend this lens...

 

Gary,

 

I was talking about the older Contax SLR 18mm lens, not the modern ZM, which I agree is excellent. I was going to buy one but a Leica dealer offered me such a huge discount on an 18 SEM, that i just could not say no. No better I suspect than the 18 ZM but it avoided the hassle of having to send the lens off to Malcolm Taylor to have it coded.

 

Wilson

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Wilson - I have been using the ZM18 a lot this summer for landscapes (with M240) and it is an incredible performer. Coded as the 21mm Elmarit (non-asph) the color cast is almost non-existant. I highly recommend this lens...

 

Thanks Gary, isn't this 000001 also a better code for the 15 mm Heliar on the M than what most use (the tri-elmar)? I would gladly recode if that helps me keep that high performer.

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Normally, a digital Leica M will accept any 6-bit lens code only when the frame lines activated by the lens match the code. For example, if the code says, "I'm a 50 mm lens", and at the same time the lens is activating the 35/135 frame line pair, the camera detects a mismatch and refuses to accept the code.

 

For the R adapter, the frame lines have no meaning—and yet, it must activate some frame line pair because by design, it is mechanically impossible to activate no pair. Originally, the frame lines defined as 'right' for the R adapter was the 28/90 pair. The camera wouldn't accept the R adapter's 6-bit code (which is 55, or 110111) if it doesn't come with the activation of the 28/90 frame lines. Later, the frame-line requirement got relaxed so the camera would also accept the 50/75 frame lines as a match for the R adapter's 6-bit code.

 

I have no idea if the M (Typ 240) will also accept the 35/135 frame line pair with a 6-bit-coded third-party R adapter. I positively know that it does accept both the 28/90 and 50/75 pairs. The original Leica R Adapter M activates the 28/90 pair; the various Novoflex adapters for Leica M camera activate the 50/75 pair. Both work well and give access to the R lens menu in the camera.

 

 

The 35/135 works.

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Thanks Gary, isn't this 000001 also a better code for the 15 mm Heliar on the M than what most use (the tri-elmar)? I would gladly recode if that helps me keep that high performer.

 

Exactly. I used to own the CV15 and couldn't really find a good lens code. All of them had some sort of color shift (and image blurring). The 21 Elmarit did work ok but the WATE was quite bad. Good luck!

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Exactly. I used to own the CV15 and couldn't really find a good lens code. All of them had some sort of color shift (and image blurring). The 21 Elmarit did work ok but the WATE was quite bad. Good luck!

 

Thanks. The main concern when making the code list seems to have been administrative (meant ironic): there should be a fit between the recorded lens focal length.

 

However the concern should have been imho: the distance to the virtual origin of the cone of light rays, and that determine the angle of incidence. A few mm more outward (often implying a more retro-like lens design) would imply a lesser degree of correction.

Then the coding would fit the underlying correction mechanism.

Apologies for my bad wording of concepts.

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Yes it would have been monumentally charitable of Leica to organize the coding in such a way as to make finding the best facsimile for 3rd-party lenses a no-brainer but I think one can hardly fault them for not doing so. As it is, the inclusion of a manual lens menu starting with the M9 made the task much quicker, and fortuitously the 21 pre-ASPH code happens to do quite well with the 15mm as well as 21/4 CV lenses, the latter being one of my favorite travel lenses being about the size of the ancient 21/4 S/A but with modern-day performance. And of course a huge debt of gratitude is owed Sandy for his landmark Cornerfix software. The Leica is by all estimation a thinking-photographer's tool, and there is certainly no dearth of auto-everything cameras out there for those who prefer.

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Yes it would have been monumentally charitable of Leica to organize the coding in such a way as to make finding the best facsimile for 3rd-party lenses a no-brainer

 

This era is called the Era of Free: Fremium services lead to domination on a market, after which capitalization does the rest. (See Kelvin Kelly - New Rules for the New Economy)

It is a nice thought experiment (they are not just valid in physics): if Leica would adopt the opposite strategy, and create distinct third party codes:

  • a code with corresponding menu for Zeiss/Voigtländer lenses,
  • a code with corresponding lenses from SLR lenses from Nikon, one for Canon, one for Contax to name just a few favorites

There are 64 codes available, compounded with the capability to detect the frame line cam, this gives at least 100 codes.

 

It would take no more than a little adaptation of the existing software, and a few months time of an optics engineer to create the corresponding software handling of the lenses that are selected in the extraneous menus for fixing the corners of IR residues.

 

Make it an open effort to create the list: I am sure many will lend their insights. And Sandy 'Cornerfix' has the most of that.

 

- then the benefit is a bigger popularity of the platform. And the spin-off is a resulting boost of primes of the own brand.

 

For example, yes I do have the Heliar, I like the lens on the M8 more than I liked the SA 21 that I once had on my M2, and my next buy might well be the new Elmar 21.

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Brendan - the one caveat I would have is that the experience of shooting with the EVF can be a bit disconcerting, and I find that I miss the immediacy of the RF whenever I use it. This ISN'T to say that the M-240 doesn't have advantages over the M9. IMHO the 240 is a much better camera all round. HOWEVER, it hasn't been the answer to all my prayers either. At the moment I use the EVF for occasional work with the R 80-200 f4 (and sometimes with the M 135 A-T and 90 A Cron when focus is critical). I also use it with the Zeiss 18 and Leica 21 rather than using the Frankenfinder (though I've not sold the Frankenfinder yet and am conflicted as to whether to hold on or not...), as well as very occasionally with the R 28 PC lens (which is rather fun!). Each time I put the EVF on the camera I feel that I lose some of the benefits that I have with the M system and wonder whether or not I should have brought along a DSLR. Case in point is that I've got a job coming up in Sri Lanka soon and the big question will be whether or not to hump the 5D2 and 70-200 f2.8 or stick with the Ms + the R 80-200.

Maybe this is just a long way of saying there are tradeoffs. BEFORE the M came out I wasted a lot of time and some money getting long and wide Canon MF and Nikon glass + adapters. These have now gone back on Ebay as they didn't give me the quality I wanted (especially the adapters which were mostly very shoddy - Novoflex is probably your best bet here...).

 

Hope this helps (and also hope to catch you at London Central LIP when next in town :)).

 

Best

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Brendan - the one caveat I would have is that the experience of shooting with the EVF can be a bit disconcerting, and I find that I miss the immediacy of the RF whenever I use it. This ISN'T to say that the M-240 doesn't have advantages over the M9. IMHO the 240 is a much better camera all round. HOWEVER, it hasn't been the answer to all my prayers either. At the moment I use the EVF for occasional work with the R 80-200 f4 (and sometimes with the M 135 A-T and 90 A Cron when focus is critical). I also use it with the Zeiss 18 and Leica 21 rather than using the Frankenfinder (though I've not sold the Frankenfinder yet and am conflicted as to whether to hold on or not...), as well as very occasionally with the R 28 PC lens (which is rather fun!). Each time I put the EVF on the camera I feel that I lose some of the benefits that I have with the M system and wonder whether or not I should have brought along a DSLR. Case in point is that I've got a job coming up in Sri Lanka soon and the big question will be whether or not to hump the 5D2 and 70-200 f2.8 or stick with the Ms + the R 80-200.

Maybe this is just a long way of saying there are tradeoffs. BEFORE the M came out I wasted a lot of time and some money getting long and wide Canon MF and Nikon glass + adapters. These have now gone back on Ebay as they didn't give me the quality I wanted (especially the adapters which were mostly very shoddy - Novoflex is probably your best bet here...).

 

Hope this helps (and also hope to catch you at London Central LIP when next in town :)).

 

Best

This is pretty much my experience as well. I did part with my Frankenfinder because the EVF is more accurate with wides (for framing, not focus). But I went through the same process with adapters and Nikon glass that I already had, and have not used any Nikon lens at all on the M. My only R lens is a 35-70 f/4 macro, which actually works fairly well, but I find that I rarely put it on, preferring a prime 25 or 50 or 90.

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