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Yesterday, I took my older Olympus E-M1 out for the first time in quite a while. The reason was that the wildflowers around here are starting to pop and I don't have anything like a macro lens for the T but I do for the E-M1.

 

On the M Leica has a very expensive extension tube that can be used for virtually any lens and they have a dedicated macro lens. This is evidently the old way of doing things and works fine for manual lenses where you set the aperture and focus manually. On the Olympus I have a dedicated 60mm macro lens and I used to have a 45mm macro lens before an ex-girlfriend stole it. :-( This seems to be the standard for CSCs and maybe modern DSLRs. I will say that having AF on a macro lens is really nice because you can use AFc to keep your subject in focus when you have such a tiny DOF. This is so much easier than trying to pull focus on a moving bug or track a wildflower shaking slightly in the wind. So I think that the T is a much better platform for macro photography than the M ever will be.

 

I kind of want to put together a request to Leica to enable Macro photography on the T. My question is, with the T would it be better to have a dedicated macro lens for the system like all the rest of the CSCs seem to have. Or would it be more clever to have something like a smart extension tube for the T. I was thinking that a smart extension tube followed up a macro lens would be a nice addition to the system. Something that passes the electrical signals for setting the aperture and focusing through to the lens and possibly modifies the focus scale and focal distance appropriately before passing it back to the camera.

 

I've never used extension tubes but they seem to have worked for several generations of photographers before dedicated macro lenses became more widely available. What are their downsides and advantages? Why did the CSC vendors go with dedicated lenses rather than making a smart extension tube something like what I proposed above?

 

Should Leica make a dedicated Macro lens or smart extension tube for the T?

Any thoughts from more experienced photographers?

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No.

 

Get a 52mm Marumi macro achromat and stick it on the existing 18-56 zoom.

 

Produces absolutely excellent results.

 

Ditto with the w/a zoom ..... but not with the long tele ...... results are soft and disappointing ..... and a feature noted with marumi macro lenses when used on some other tele-zooms.

 

These are super value and small enough to carry anywhere and just screw on when you need them .....

 

nb. works even better on the XV where the native close up distance is even closer to start with .....

 

look on the XV bit of the forum ....... there was a macro thread with examples some while back

Edited by thighslapper

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Fuji actually makes extension tubes for their X cameras...

 

Olympus, Panasonic and Sony have created dedicated macro lenses. Not sure what Nikon and Canon do.

 

Before Leica spends time on a macro, I'd rather see a couple more large aperture primes or some better M support, such as: let us choose a lens in the menu or retrofit the M camera's aperture guessing algorithm to provide a more complete set of EXIF when M lenses are used.

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I just stack the M Macro extension tube onto the M Adapter for the T - works fine for my purposes, and I can use any M lens with it.

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No.

 

Get a 52mm Marumi macro achromat and stick it on the existing 18-56 zoom.

 

Produces absolutely excellent results.

 

Ditto with the w/a zoom ..... but not with the long tele ...... results are soft and disappointing ..... and a feature noted with marumi macro lenses when used on some other tele-zooms.

 

These are super value and small enough to carry anywhere and just screw on when you need them .....

 

nb. works even better on the XV where the native close up distance is even closer to start with .....

 

look on the XV bit of the forum ....... there was a macro thread with examples some while back

 

It is worth considering.

Do you use the +3 or the +5?

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Before Leica spends time on a macro, I'd rather see a couple more large aperture primes or some better M support, such as: let us choose a lens in the menu or retrofit the M camera's aperture guessing algorithm to provide a more complete set of EXIF when M lenses are used.

 

On m43 the Panasonic-Leica 45mm (90mm equivalent) Macro lens was nice. If Leica made a nice 60mm Noctilux, Nocticron or Summilux and gave it a wide focal length and a narrow aperture like F22 rather than stopping at F16 then we could have a nice combined macro portrait lens. At least for me portrait seems to be mostly static and so carrying around a bigger lens wouldn't be much of a penalty because I wouldn't be walking around with it that much.

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A lot of owners of the T are reaching the phase of wishing to expand the lens-set with new primes. For this, the T is made and bought for. But we (still) have to wait.

Zoomlenses are not my thing, but I can imaging that people bought the T with the 3 zoom lenses available and are quite satisfied. Small, broad range, excellent quality etc.

 

I'm sure (that if Leica takes the T seriously) more good lenses for the T will be forthcoming. I second the wish for a fast mini telephoto-lens. A macro capability would be icing on the cake.

 

Until and if this happens, everybody is looking around for alternatives that don't brake the bank. Otherwise, in my opinion, a move to M-lenses and thus a M would be more sensible.

 

I, for one, bought a good used APO R Macro Elmarit 100/2.8 with the Elpro 1:2/1:1.1 and also the APO-extender 2X. Although not really small, this means I have the range 100-200 mm. (150-300 mm eq.) covered including Macro up to 2X magnification. All Leica APO-glass. This means that when I go hiking the lens range for most nature objects is covered. It's a workaround, but a satisfying one!

A R-Macro Elmarit 60/2.8 would be a smaller alternative. The combination T-M/M-R adaptor works fine, but is a bit cumbersome, so a Leica T-R adaptor would be nice, but bought the Novoflex one.

 

But I wish T-primes are coming in the near future; WA (14-16 mm.) and a 50-60 mm (LUX). Than my set, including the 23 mm., is complete!

Edited by AndrewAM

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But I wish T-primes are coming in the near future; WA (14-16 mm.) and a 50-60 mm (LUX). Than my set, including the 23 mm., is complete!

 

I'm kind of with you on that one. I keep on thinking "perfect travel camera" and think about Mark Wallace and his conversion from a Canon system to a Leica M system with IIRC a 28mm Summicron, a 50mm Summilux, and a 90mm Summicron.

 

For backpacking and travel the T seems to have some real advantages over the M. Smaller, lighter, WiFi for quick sharing, and charges off of USB. USB charging is a real win when backpacking. There are a ton of solutions to charge USB devices but very few which provide 12v. Furthermore, you don't need to also carry the charger cradle.

 

Give me a 50-60mm Summilux with macro capability and a minimum aperature of F22. I say Summilux vs Summicron for the portrait lens becuase you kind of want the narrow DOF for a good portrat lens. F22 because you can put up with some diffraction but sometimes you need that wider DOF to get both eyes of the bug in focus or the stamens and the pedals.

 

For backpacking, my ideal system probably would be:

35mm Summilux but really I can live with the 23mm Summicron.

16mm Summicron - for landscapes and astrophotography.

60mm Summilux Macro.

 

It is one of those tradeoffs that works backpacking small fast primes and foot zoom vs. slower zoom lenses. I can easily take the 23mm, the 18-56, and the 55-135 and have almost everything that I need for every situation when traveling except macro capability. Maybe with the lens that thighslapper pointed out, I'll be fine. I'll probably try it out.

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I really need a good wide angle, prefer 21 eq. over 24 mm. mainly for my architectural work (that's my dayjob). Gives me room in the frame (also for correction). So normal travelkit would be 21,35 and the 75 eq.. (last one is nice for detailling and portraits). first two Crons, last one Lux?!

 

At the moment I have a CV 12 mm. and a ZM C-Sonnar 50mm./1.5.,gives me the same range with excellent quality for an acceptable price. M-mount, compact and manual. Works well for now. The 23 cron is my all day carry along with AF and is very light and compact.

 

For hiking in nature/mountains, as mentioned, I use the APO-100 Macro. I certainly could live with a T-version of this lens (smaller) with an Elpro and a APO extender 2x. Compact with high quality.

 

All wishfull thinking, of course.

Edited by AndrewAM

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These are some quick shots with the Marumi on the 18-56 .... v dull day today and mostly high iso......

 

The advantage of a macro screw on lens is that everything works exactly as with the native lens ........ but as with most macro you either need very good light or a tripod .....

Edited by thighslapper

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with the 55-135 the macro lens works well at the shorter end ...... but gets very soft at the 135 end ..... and dof is miniscule ...

Hallo,

where did jou buy the Macro lens for the 55-135??? In the Netherland i can not find the filter that fits the 55-!35 60mm diameter .

Thank you in advance,

 

Harry van der Meeren

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The nearest is 62mm ...... then use a cheap Kood (or similar) 62-60mm reduction ring (which I keep permanently on the macro lens) .... and suprisingly with the Marumi the Leica lens cap still fits on it when it is attached

Edited by thighslapper

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I was just playing around this morning and this is my current macro machine. https://goo.gl/photos/u72szxgNacjgPNp28 I haven't really used this for anything but testing yet, so don't take it too seriously. 

 

I just got my Elmarit-M 135mm back from repair and I wanted to see how it well it worked with the stacked adapters. I will say trying to hand hold that long of a lens is kind of challenging and I usually have pretty steady hands -- but it was just shortly after I had had 4 expressos and so maybe it will be easier in a few hours. Never the less even without the tripod I did get. https://goo.gl/photos/3kTGwY4W5wQMMCXq8

 

This is sort of foreshadowing when I mount the Vario Elmarit 90-280 f/2.8-4 to my T. That is going to be a fun one for birding if I can hold the damn thing steadily. Since I I didn't go through a SLR phase with large lenses, I'm not used to holding things that big.

Edited by bencoyote

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I use a Marumi +3 close-up lens on both the Vario-Elmar-T 18-56 and the Summicron-T 23. Both combos work very well for me. Additionally, I have a Makro-Elmarit-R 60 + Makro Adapter (got it in excellent conditions and for a good price on eBay) along with the Novoflex LET/LER adapter. This combo provides also very good results. As mentioned already above, AF would be very helpful when objects are moving in the wind. Looking forward to the APO-MACRO-ELMARIT-TL 1:2,8/60 mm ASPH that is announced for Autumn.

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Also consider using Leitz Elpro achromatic  c/u lenses … I saw an Elpro 2 (4.92 diopter)  listed today for just £7. I use them regularly for close up photography - and stack them too for increased magnification. 

 

I saw a 60mm Elmarit R macro lens newly listed today for just £189 which will adapt to a Leica T. Many close-up photography enthusiasts prefer manual focus to AF.  

 

And Olympus did offer a smart extension tube for their 4/3 cameras - which will adapt to M4/3. 

 

dunk

Edited by dkCambridgeshire

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A lot of owners of the T are reaching the phase of wishing to expand the lens-set with new primes. For this, the T is made and bought for. But we (still) have to wait.

Zoomlenses are not my thing, but I can imaging that people bought the T with the 3 zoom lenses available and are quite satisfied. Small, broad range, excellent quality etc.

 

I'm sure (that if Leica takes the T seriously) more good lenses for the T will be forthcoming. I second the wish for a fast mini telephoto-lens. A macro capability would be icing on the cake.

 

Until and if this happens, everybody is looking around for alternatives that don't brake the bank. Otherwise, in my opinion, a move to M-lenses and thus a M would be more sensible.

 

I, for one, bought a good used APO R Macro Elmarit 100/2.8 with the Elpro 1:2/1:1.1 and also the APO-extender 2X. Although not really small, this means I have the range 100-200 mm. (150-300 mm eq.) covered including Macro up to 2X magnification. All Leica APO-glass. This means that when I go hiking the lens range for most nature objects is covered. It's a workaround, but a satisfying one!

A R-Macro Elmarit 60/2.8 would be a smaller alternative. The combination T-M/M-R adaptor works fine, but is a bit cumbersome, so a Leica T-R adaptor would be nice, but bought the Novoflex one.

 

But I wish T-primes are coming in the near future; WA (14-16 mm.) and a 50-60 mm (LUX). Than my set, including the 23 mm., is complete!

 

I am very happy with the 3 zooms. Normally up to now I always preferred fixed lens, this tells me how good these T lenses are. I also have the 23mm. Waiting for the 60mm macro. I need autofocus, having tried a M. I just could not focus it to my satisfaction. The T and SL are fine cameras and both take great photos with excellent bokeh in and out of the studio.

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The nearest is 62mm ...... then use a cheap Kood (or similar) 62-60mm reduction ring (which I keep permanently on the macro lens) .... and suprisingly with the Marumi the Leica lens cap still fits on it when it is attached

 

Thank you for this tip! I am investigating the Marumi 62mm with reduction ring.

 

This shot a low-res copy was taken with the 18-56 with Elpro 2 + 3 attached. Beautiful designer ring.

Edited by SPB2

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A very hurried trial but i have a T with some specifics in mind. I've just tried it out (on a Leica M lens focal length engraving, to give an adea of the scale) and you may find the trial image to be of interest especially with the set-up shown (forgive the 'snap' - its with my wife's Leica lensed Panasonic compact). Some tweaks and lighting is purely available (30s, f/11, 100ISO) but this will change. The Extension tubes are Leica R and fully manual but available at lowish prices these days. I also have an adapted male fitting which allows the set-up to be used on EOS cameras if I want to do so.

 

 

Edited by pgk

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