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Help with a Close Focusing 35mm for Leica M240

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hey guys -- I just bought an older (v2 i think) 35mm summilux. I love look of the lens ( I tend to like older looking glass) and the size...BUT I can't stand the close focus limit (3 feet). What else would you guys recommend that's ideally 1.4 fast, small, and has good character. Note, I really don't want to buy the new summilux. too pricey and perfect for my tastes. I'm open to 3rd party stuff too. Does the voigtlanders have good close focus ?

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No Leica M body focuses closer than 0.7 or 1.0 meter. If you want to go closer, you need the Macro-Elmar-M 90 with goggles or Dual-range Summicron 50, (which, in general, can only be used on film M cameras) or one of the more elaborate macro set-ups.

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No Leica M body focuses closer than 0.7 or 1.0 meter. If you want to go closer, you need the Macro-Elmar-M 90 with goggles or Dual-range Summicron 50, (which, in general, can only be used on film M cameras) or one of the more elaborate macro set-ups.

who really ? I had no idea. that's so odd. Well even .7 meters would be fantastic. My 50mm summilux does that and its just enough. The 1 meter is just not working for me with the 35

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The 75mm f2 Summicron. Assuming your rangefinder is well adjusted, it's fantastic up close. Just spent the morning shooting with it on my new-sensor and adjusted this past May M9-P that has me convinced my M262 needs to go in for a warranty cleaning and rangefinder adjustment too.

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The Voigtlander 35 f1.4 Nokton Classic is patterned after the first Summilux 35, similar size and controls, but focuses to 0.7m. There are reports of significant sample variation in image quality, but my sample has given good results, as sharp at 1.4 as my v2 Summicron is at 2.0. It certainly has character, with about 3% barrel distortion, and the focus plane does shift as it is stopped down. Mine is fine at 1.4 & 2.0, so I use it mainly for low light, and use a Summarit 2.5 otherwise. The Nokton Classic is also a bargain - under $700 last I checked.
I enjoy mine, but not all do.

Here's a strong crop taken at the Grand Canyon stopped down to about f8. A grab shot, so I may not have hit focus anyway, but notice how the background pebbles are very sharp instead of the critter.

Edited by TomB_tx

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No Leica M body focuses closer than 0.7 or 1.0 meter. If you want to go closer, you need the Macro-Elmar-M 90 with goggles or Dual-range Summicron 50, (which, in general, can only be used on film M cameras) or one of the more elaborate macro set-ups.

True for most bodies, but the OP specifically mentioned the M240, which along with the MP240 has Live View and optional EVF.  With those bodies it is possible to fit a screw-in closeup lens (assuming the 35 Summilux is not the one that doesn't have threads) with the proper step-down rings.  Single-element ones are of questionable optical quality, but Leica (ELPRO, for R series), Nikon's and Canon's 2-element are very good and do not cost stops of light.  Another option is the OUFRO M-mount extension tube (or a clone thereof) which does not put any additional glass in the optical path.   Also the M240 sensor can handle some significant cropping, which is a cost-free option if you don't mind losing a few pixels, and this option works with those 240-based bodies lacking LV.

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Exchange your Summilux with a Summicron 35 (non asph, if you like Summilux) : the 1st version (8 elements) is probably the nearest to Summilux in rendering, and focuses to 0,7 (they even declared 0,65 for the goggled one...

)

Edited by luigi bertolotti

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I also enjoy the Voigtlander 35mm Nokton.  Under $600 now actually.  I have a Summicron, which is better all around, but there are times when f1.4 with a 35mm field of view is just the ticket and it does focus slightly closer.  When I do use it, I find that I leave the lens on out of laziness rather than swap it out for the Summicron, and am generally pleased with it.  I'll admit though that I don't tend to bump in to the close-focus limit though one way or the other.  Perspective at that distance for the subjects that I typically shoot are too wonky for my tastes.

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I also enjoy the Voigtlander 35mm Nokton.  Under $600 now actually.  I have a Summicron, which is better all around, but there are times when f1.4 with a 35mm field of view is just the ticket and it does focus slightly closer.  When I do use it, I find that I leave the lens on out of laziness rather than swap it out for the Summicron, and am generally pleased with it.  I'll admit though that I don't tend to bump in to the close-focus limit though one way or the other.  Perspective at that distance for the subjects that I typically shoot are too wonky for my tastes.

Nice.  Yea the nokton or the summicron if I can handle the slower speed sounds like the call. On another note if anybody wants to buy my old summilux its up for sale :!

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Have you considered close-up attachment lenses?

I have but the old summilux's are impossible to attach them as far as I can tell. They also mess with the focusing so I have to use live vew

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OUFRO is the way to go. I usually keep one in my pocket and then just add it to my 24,35,50 or whatever lens is on the camera. Then just use live view to focus (by moving the camera and using focus peaking), works like a charm. Only problem is that I quite often forget to manually chose the lens I have on. Actually a modern OUFRO that passes on the 6bit code would be nice:). I mostly shot flowers this way but it works very well.

 

Otherwise you need a summilux-R, or cron-R. They will focus closer but you will have to focus using LW or the EVF.

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....

Otherwise you need a summilux-R, or cron-R. They will focus closer but you will have to focus using LW or the EVF.

Yes, the Summicron R 35 does focus to 30 cm... and there were 35mm SLR lenses (adaptable to M240) that go even closer...

 

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I got a set of screw-mount extension tubes. Any of them can use an adapter to the M-mount.

That's an economical approach.

An expensive option is Leica part # 14652 for m-mount macro work.

Edited by pico

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Some of the voigtlander 35s focus closer than 0.7, but without coupling.

 

On a side note, you bought an M240 and didn't know that RF focusing was limited to 0.7m?!

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I think the Leica part # 14652 for m-mount macro work should terminate this investigation.

You'd think, but the OP doesn't want to use live view it seems... 0.7m is the limit, I wonder what the OP went for if their summilux is already up for sale?

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@Joshs,

Investigate item called OUFRO (16469Y), borrow and try if it works.

I believe Zeiss ZM focus closer.

Edited by Lord Lucan

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Guest )-(

It doesn't help with 35mm, but there's quite a few different older 21mm lenses from Leica and others (Voigtlander for one) that focus closer than 0.7m without rangefinder coupling. The increased DOF possible with 21mm makes it easy to guess the focus.

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Yes, the Summicron R 35 does focus to 30 cm... and there were 35mm SLR lenses (adaptable to M240) that go even closer...

 

@Luigi: is there an adapter for Contarex to M? Would be a funny item!

 

 

There were good reasons to limitate focus of the classical Summilux 35: Optical performance becomes worse if focussed closer. Mention that in early sixties there was no other 1.4/35 availiable, this lens was the very only one! It's a special item for availiable light conditions, nothing for every photographic situation. At this time M3 camera also only went to 1.0m, 0.7m was implemented into M2 and later M-series.

Funny, even Overgaard tells the wrong 0.7m for vers.1:

 

http://www.overgaard.dk/leica-35mm-Summilux-M-ASPH-f-14.html

 

So any other 35mm will focus to 0.7m, but not Summilux ver.1.

 

Closer only with live view. I'd recommend a Noflexar:

http://www.macrolenses.de/bilder/Noflexar_Makro_en_02.pdf

No 35 will go nearer!

 

Thomas

Edited by duckrider

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