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Hello all.  I live in Iceland and I have been using my Nikon D800e since 2013 with mostly manual focus Nikkor lenses.

 

I know almost nothing in detail about Leica lenses.  I have been a hobbyist photographer since I was 16 years old ( now 55 ) and I have always been interested in getting a Leica but its price have always stopped me doing so.  After reading some reviews online about the Leica SL I have gotten really interested in joining the Leica community.

 

One of the things that I find attractive about the SL is its viewfinder , it must be a JOY to use with manual focus lenses.   Thinking about selling my D800e and buy a SL.  I might start with just the Body and then buy some used Leica lenses to start with.  I might add the 24 90 later

 

I shoot mostly landscape and most of what I shoot is from 18 to 100mm focal lenght and I often stitch photos for panorama.  

 

Can someone recommend  3 leica lenses for me to use with the SL ?.  I would like to start with somethign like 28, 50 and 100mm or 24  50   90 ,,,.  I would buy them used and they dont need to be the newest ,,,,.  Just deliver good quality photos and be compatible with the SL.  

 

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Very briefly: M system lenses are the lenses produced for the Leica M series cameras starting in 1951. The most substantive addition to the M system lenses pertaining to use with the digital M bodies was the introduction of the six-bit lens identification code on the lens mounting flange, added in 2006. There have been many many lenses made with M system bayonet.  R system lenses are the lenses produced for the R system SLR cameras from 1963 to 2009. R system lenses, often the same optical for

I just returned from Joshua Tree and mostly used my 24 Elmar-M (My 24-90 is in the shop).  I rather enjoyed working with this lens, which is incredibly sharp and very lightweight.  I would seriously consider it in your kit. Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content. Hallo Gast! Du willst die Bilder sehen? Einfach registrieren oder anmelden! Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content. Hallo Gast! Du willst die Bilder sehen? Einfach registrier

I also have a D800, but it doesn't get used as much as it deserves, now that I have the luxury of the SL.   I would go with the zoom(s) for anything other than low light.  I resisted for a while after seeing the size in the cabinet and thinking that it was a joke, but it's no heavier than carrying 2-4 M lenses and performs at least as well as they will, and much better than the Nikon 24-70, in my view.   This means picking Summilux lenses for the complementary capabilities.  The modern lense

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I switched to the SL from Canon in part due to the poor manual focus experience with current Canon viewfinders. The other part being I was already an M user.

 

Buy the M series lenses, as virtually all of the R series lenses in that focal length range are pretty dated in terms of contemporary performance, and the ones that aren't are exhorbitantly expensive. For landscape you can get great (or better) results without the expense of the Summiluxes.  The current 21/3.4 SuperElmar, 24/3.8 ASPH, 28/2.8 Elmarit-ASPH, 35/2 ASPH, 50/2 non-APO, 75/APO can all be had for fairly affordable prices used and are great for landscape.  The 75/2.4 Summarit-M performs solidly for half the price of the 75/APO. If you do a lot of macro, the 100/2.8 Macro-Elmarit-R would be my exception to recommending R lenses. They are fairly plentiful on the used market and will retain value.

 

The native 24-90 is not bad for landscape, but I get slightly better performance from the prime M lenses. Convenience and better close focusing are the real advantages on the zoom (other than electronic aperture control and AF). My pattern is now something like 40% of my shots are with the 24-90, another 10% are with the 90-280, another 10% are with the Apo-Macro-Summarit-S, and the remainder with either my 21, 35, or 50 M primes.

 

You can always start with a Nikon adapter and see how you like it. The D800/810 are great performers and you may not find that the switch to the SL isn't a win/win for you.

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I also have a D800, but it doesn't get used as much as it deserves, now that I have the luxury of the SL.

 

I would go with the zoom(s) for anything other than low light.  I resisted for a while after seeing the size in the cabinet and thinking that it was a joke, but it's no heavier than carrying 2-4 M lenses and performs at least as well as they will, and much better than the Nikon 24-70, in my view.

 

This means picking Summilux lenses for the complementary capabilities.  The modern lenses are (a) more expensive; (

can have more "character".   Price is a more or less reliable guide to the quality / desirability of the older lenses, apart from those destined only for collectors.

 

Set your budget.  Add 25-50% (buy the thing that will satisfy you the first time around, and avoid the loss on trading up) and go with your focal length preferences for the D800e, or to complement it.

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If you are contemplating 3 lenses then why not just get the 24-90 zoom right from the start ...... it is perfect for landscapes and by the time you have bought 3 prime manual M lenses plus the adapter you will probably have spent the same anyway. Plus you get optical stabilisation and AF.

 

Despite what Jeff says I don't think you will notice 'real world' better performance from prime lenses ...... the 24-90 is easily as good as the majority of the Leica M lenses. Why carry around 3 lenses when 1 will do just as well ?

 

I have a full complement of M lenses .... plus T's.....  and apart from the WATE none have found their way onto my SL in 16 months of use. 

 

If you had an M240 or M10 or other M series camera I could see the point in buying M series manual lenses, otherwise there is no logical reason ...... and if you are really trying to save money go for Zeiss, Voigtlander or others with an adapter. 

Edited by thighslapper
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And the zoom will provide weather sealing, possibly important for some landscape use.

 

I'm considering the SL particularly because of the zooms. The IS alone can offset potentially better spec-ed primes, especially longer FLs handheld. Technique is often overlooked in the quest for optical perfection.

 

Jeff

Edited by Jeff S
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The EVF is good for manual focusing but I'm faster with an M rangefinder when using 28, 35, and 50mm lenses.

 

When I go out I usually pack my 24-90 and one M lens: a 35 or a 50.  What I use really depends on my intent and the environment I'm in.  

Edited by Joshua Lowe
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My advice would be a little different from most of those above. I own the 24-90 and for situations where you need AF or weather sealing or a flexible zoom it is indespensible, but for situations where I DON'T need any of those features, I much prefer to use my 'M' lenses. Landscape photography definitely falls in that latter category. I actually prefer to shoot my 'M' lenses on the SL as opposed to my 'M'--to the extent that I sold my M(240). Particularly for focal lengths at and above 50mm and focal lengths below 28mm.

 

The WATE is excellent on the SL, but that's wider than you were proposing and very expensive.. The 28mm Elmarit is excellent and a real bargain. There are lots of people who swear by the 35mm Summicron. I never liked mine, but suspect I had a bad copy. The 35mm Summarit is also excellent. The 50mm Summicron is fantastic. The 75mm Summarit is also a great bargain. I also like the 90mm Macro Elmar on the SL.

 

There are other, more expensive Leica lenses that I like even more than many of those I listed, but it sounds like you are trying to be a bit more budget cautious. Any of those above work well on the SL.

 

- Jared

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I am an amatuer photographer; last December I got the SL w 24-90 keeping my three M-lenses (28/2.8, 50/2 and 90/2.8) without coding i.e. made for analogical bodies (M6) and kept when I switched to M240 a couple of years ago.

 

I am very happy with SL and its zoom (especially for EVF and AFs and MF focusing ) but I rarely go out shooting with one of older lenses never so far with the three of them.

 

Somebody here has already told you that recent lenses are quite expensive even on second hand market: then three of them migth very likely sum up to the 24-90.

 

My suggestion, if possible, is to have a try at a Leica store (so I did); they will obviously provide you recent M-lenses but the advantage of operating with 24-90 ought to explain why I decided to have it.

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In your question you already hinted at a possible solution: First buy only the SL body and use your existing Nikkor lenses adapted. This works very well.

Unfortunately I do not know what are your topics. But hearing "Iceland" I think of nature.

So I would start with a Apo macro R 100 lens  (or a Zeiss Milvus 100 macro).

Then a R 60 macro (or Nikkor 60mm macro) could be helpful and a wideangle lens.

Regarding quality I find the new Sigma 2/24-35 excellent (highest resolution!) and would rather add this than an older R lens. (They are also more expensive). An alternative and another great lens is the Zeiss Milvus 2.8/21 . A very impressive (highly resolving!) wideange lens.

With this as a starting point you have a lot of time to gain experience with the SL and think about any more native lenses you need.

 

You see I did not recommend any M lenses - simply because they cannot be used close-up. But they are smaller if this is important for you.

Edited by caissa
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For M primes from 28-90mm, I prefer an M camera, using the RF. I might feel differently about a Noctilux, but that's of no intetest. Unless my eyes fail, an M will always be the preferred tool for such M primes. An SL would serve a complementary role, including perhaps primes wider/ longer than 28-90.... but two zooms would be my priority, including the 90-280.

 

Jeff

Edited by Jeff S
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I personally would not buy any M lenses for the SL.  If you already had them it would be different.   

 

Start with the 24-90 zoom, then figure out whether you need anything else.

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Without being concerned for a budget, the fast M lenses will be lightweight alternative and can render some special bokeh and/or low light capability, if that is your thing. Personally, I have a Leica 35 f1.4 FLE which I enjoy very much.  As someone above mentioned, the Noctilux @ 0.95 is very special and works exceptionally well with the SL's viewfinder.  

 

The Zeiss lenses for Leica are bargains in terms of pricing. The Zeiss 50mm f2 planar is terrific, and can be found pre-owned in the range of $600-700.

 

Voigtlander makes several great alternatives, as well.

 

I'd look at non-SL lenses for those situations where you want lightweight alternatives and are willing to use MF.

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I've had my SL since it was released and have spent a load of time using R lenses on it. I prefer them to using my M lenses with the SL, they just fit this camera better and feel better in use. There are very few Leica lenses that aren't at least extremely good quality,

 

However, over time I've come to use the SL24-90 more than anything else besides my Super-Elmar-R 15mm. The zoom outperforms or works on par with most of my R and M lenses, gives you access to all the SL features, etc. So I would recommend starting with that if you're going to spend for three lenses (and an adapter) anyway. Buy other lenses as you learn more about the Leica system and know what to look for that migh prove an advantage to your photography.

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If you decided on the 24-90 I have two copies and would be happy to part with one now I'm based in England if your ever passing by. I think everyone before me has mentioned it's qualities. I still have my 800e which I never use and should get rid of. The other day I thought I would never sell my 200 nikkor macro lens but when I compared it with the 90-280 there was no longer any tugging on the heartstrings both the zooms are amazing bits of glass and so comfortable in use I was quite amazed how the Leica 90-280 felt in the hand compared to the 200 nikkor and not to forget the wonderful colours I achieved from the Leica compared to the cold nikkor. And that's where it really matters! I've also got a 18mm Zeiss zm lens but I never use it again I bought the Leica wate and there's no comparison I found the zm colder in its colours to the Leica. Buy the 24-90 from where ever but you'll be happy with it. Then wait for the 90SL later this year and don't look back your life will be better for it!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Well ,  I just woke up ( Its now 7:30 in the morning Icelandic time ).  I have been reading through all the reply´s with great interest. Next thing to do is to look up some of these lenses you recommend and read about them and their features.

 

JeffWright

Yes I´m gonna keep my Nikkor lenses and try them out on the Leica.   I also have the Zeiss F2 macro planar for Nikon and I´m curious how that lens will turn out with the SL.

 

JRP

How do you like the operate the SL compared to your nikon ?.  Battery Life ,  ease of manual focusing ,,, ?

 

thighslapper

I didnt realize the 24 90 has a IS.  Thats very good and can be of great help sometimes and now you got me reading about the WATE ( had no idea what that shorthand was for ) and it looks super interesting lens.   Would be a great combo to have the WATE + 24 90 and then later add some longer tele ,,.

 

LocalHero1953

Yes you might be right ,  maybe I should just start with the 24 90 and see how I like it in the long run ,,,, add some MF lenses later.

 

Jeff S

Good point on having the 24 90 weather sealed .   In Iceland you never know if you will have rain of shine the next minute ,,, :-).  And it looks as if its almost RainProof the SL and the 24 90.

 

Joshua Lowe

If I buy the 24 90 I would also plan on that lens along with some light WA along with some Light small tele or a 24 90 one lowlight lens.

 

Jared

I also love using manual focus lenses for my landscape because of its size and yes ,  I just love operating them,  small, smooth focus ring and hard stop for infinity focus ( mine are adjusted to be sharp at its hard stop (infinity)  ).  I´m looking up the lenses you recommended on ebay and their price is not so bad at all.  

 

Maqroll

I see that most of you recommend the 24 90 , then add some one or mf lenses ,   I will definitely think hard and long about it before I give it a go.

 

Caissa

When using the Sigma ,  do you get the Exif info from the lens to the SL camera ?  I already have the Zeiss 50 MP for my Nikon and would use it with adapter , then I have the Nikkor 105 F2.5 macro to but not sure how that lens would work on the Leica,  its not so sharp on my nikon ,,.

 

The Zeiss milvus looks interesting.

 

ropo54.

I have the Nikkor 35 F1.4 and the Nikkor 50 F1.2  these 2 are my favorite for landscape because they are very sharp if you stop them down a little and also give me the opertunity to open up for some smoothness.  And ys I have the 50 macro planar to and love that lens.  I once bought a Voigtlander 12mm and used it with adapter on a Fuji body I then had.  It was a interesting lens but it also gave me a lot of strange colors in the cornes ,, If I remember correctly I always had to us a program named CornerFix to fix every photo I took with that lens.

 

Do you know if the SL has already the correction needed for the Voigtlander lenses ?

 

ramarren

Could you be so kind to tell me roughly the difference btw R and M lenses ?.  I know I can look it up but there is so MUCH I have to learn now that I´m just starting up, so it would be helpful if you could just inform me with the basics.  What is the pros and cons R vs M ?,,.   I can see that you also recommend the 24 90 and I will probably go that way.  Most of you recommend that lens, then add some mf lenses later.

 

YellowBelly

Im interested in what price you have in mind for your 24 90 ( i´m sure you will sell me your BETTER COPY LOL ).

I might start with the 24 90, then add the WATE ( looks VERY intersting option for the Wide part ).  I´m very exited to see how I like the Leica colors.  That might be a good reason to start with the 24 90 before anything else.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Manual focusing is much easier on the SL than with the D800 as the live view quality is much better and live view is more precise than with a DSLR; you don't have to tune the lenses.

 

D800 has longer battery life (although the SL battery usually lasts me all day), quicker startup time and 36mpx (although only a few lenses, mainly Zeiss can exploit it fully). The D800 has slightly better dynamic range, although recent firmware has improved the SL's capabilities. The D800 produces much better jpegs than the SL's which are, imho, worthless, with peculiar colour artefacts in the lighter tones.

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Manual focusing is much easier on the SL than with the D800 as the live view quality is much better and live view is more precise than with a DSLR; you don't have to tune the lenses.

 

D800 has longer battery life (although the SL battery usually lasts me all day), quicker startup time and 36mpx (although only a few lenses, mainly Zeiss can exploit it fully). The D800 has slightly better dynamic range, although recent firmware has improved the SL's capabilities. The D800 produces much better jpegs than the SL's which are, imho, worthless, with peculiar colour artefacts in the lighter tones.

 

 

Do you know if Adobe Photoshop 6 ( the none cloud based ) can open the raw files from the SL ?.   

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