Jump to content
dkCambridgeshire

Leica T … tool camera

Recommended Posts

Advertisement (gone after registration)

Just read some more nonsense about the Leica T / TL2 being a fashion camera 

   

 

I wonder exactly where the Leica TL APO Macro Elmarit TL 60/2.8 ASPH,  Leica TL 35/1.4 ASPH, Leica TL 23/2 ASPH,  Leica TL 18-56 f3.5/5.6 ASPH, Leica TL  55-135/ 3.5-4.5 … and the superb Leica TL Super Vario Elmar 11-23/3.5-4.5 ultra wide zoom fit into such a statement ?? There are some very serious lenses in this line-up and they're appreciated by professional photographers who've documented within this forum their delight in the lenses' superb image results . Maybe the writer has not read e.g. Don Morley's appraisal of the TL 11-23mm?  Maybe he's not heard of Don Morley http://macfilos.com/home/2014/2/17/don-morley-photographer-extraordinary  (note the Novoflex follow focus tele lens in his right hand)  … who's used just about every professional camera and lens available from the 1960s onwards. (DM also uses an X Vario and appreciates its superlative OOC jpegs … but that's another story) 

 

Then again, maybe there are lots of fashion conscious lads and lasses marching up and down the Kings Road and Bond Street with several of the above Leica TL lenses loading down their handbags and man bags??  

 

Personally I cannot afford many of the AF TL lenses but luckily for us Leica TL enthusiasts there are alternatives … especially as regards long focus optics. 

 

Here is my Leica T 'tool camera' with some legacy Novoflex 'tool lenses'. 

 

 

The selection of Novolflex lens heads include 640mm, 600mm - both 2 element achromats - and the  3 element 'T' Noflexar 400mm. The 'T' Noflexar's lens elements were allegedly designed and manufactured by Leitz … presumably to a Novoflex/Leitz design specification.   Novoflex contracted Agfa to manufacture the 'T' Noflexar 400mm lens mount and to assemble the lens.  

 

The 'T' Noflexar 400mm was purchased on Ebay earlier this week for the grand sum of £28 

   … maybe the seller did not realise the significance of the letter 'T' just showing in one of his photos … and nether did potential buyers because there were only 3 bidders.   Maybe I've purchased the cheapest Leica 400mm tele lens ever … ever ??   This is the second 'T' Noflexar I've purchased … the first was a little more and cost €59.  The 400mm f5.6, 3 element 'T' Noflexar is acknowledged to be superior to the 2 element Novoflex 400/5.6 tele lens.

 

Unfortunately I only have one lens hood and plan to use two Novoflex combinations in a hide (one with the original Leica T and the other with a Leica TL2)  … so needed to make an additional efficient hood. 

 

 

A Marks & Spencer chocolate fudge carton looked an ideal candidate for recycling into a lens hood. After cutting a hole in the carton base the same diameter as the Novoflex lens heads (they're all the same diameter), the interior and exterior of the plastic carton were covered in Wilkinsons self-adhesive matt black velour (as used by astro observers to improve telescope light baffling).  Additional velour layers around the hole enabled a snug friction fit over any of the lens heads. The resultant hood is longer than the Novoflex OEM hood and will be more efficient.

 

 

DIY lens hood interior.

 

 

 

Lens module and hood

 

 

 

 

The 600mm Novoflex plus the DIY hood fitted to the Leica T … it looks quite cumbersome but is surprisingly light and can be adequately supported by :

 

1) the photographer operating the pistol grip

 

and

 

2) any suitable support (fork mount or bean bag or foam cushion) at the front of the lens mount.

 

Lens / camera shake is not the problem it was in the film era - because digital cameras' usable high ISO settings enable faster shutter speeds … and some cameras include IBIS. 

 

 

 

 

The rear of the Novoflex follow focus i.e. behind the pistol grip/squeeze trigger focuser is fitted with a Novoflex VISLEI-P adapter - for coupling to a Leitz Visoflex for Leica M rangefinder use.  

 

With the introduction of the Leicaflex SLR system in 1964, Leica made available the *14127 Visoflex to Leicaflex adapter … which is fitted to the VISLEI-P.  To couple up to the Leica T, a Novoflex LET/LER adapter is added to the *14127. adapter.  The Novoflex LET/LER adapter (Leica R to Leica SL/TL adapter) enables use of any Leica R lens on a T/TL or SL body.

 

I plan to use the Novoflex lenses next week in the comfort of a local permanent hide when will also experiment adding  Leica / Leitz 1.4x and 2x APO-Extenders to the 'T' Noflexar combinations ... hence the need for another 'T' Noflexar purchased this week … thus enabling use of 400mm, and either 560mm or 800mm (with extenders) on the second Leica T camera. 

 

Novoflex follow focus lenses were very popular with wildlife and sports photographers in the 1960s/70s (see above Don Morley link and photo) and are still capable of good quality images ... especially for photographers on a budget . The lens heads are of similar design to the Leitz Telyt R 400mm and 560mm telescope lenses for which Novoflex also provided 'follow focus' / 'rapid focus' grips. 

 

All my Novoflex lenses have cost less than £50 each; they're worth seeking on Ebay … especially the 3 element 'T' Noflexar 400mm model. 

 

The Leica T/TL/TL2 cameras are very adaptable tool cameras and many Leica enthusiasts including Leica Forum members regularly use them with legacy lenses.

 

Now that the TL2 has arrived expect to witness increased Leica T series camera use … including use of legacy optics in addition to Leica R and M lenses … and look forward to viewing some interesting Leica TL2 24 megapixel images posted on the forum. 

 

Best wishes

 

dunk 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Dunk, 

 

Your post is very inspiring and reminds me there is great equipment that is all but forgotten, Leica is great at making adaptation of equipment possible.  Re: the negative remarks about Leica, it's the thing to do on the internet, somewhat of a knee-jerk reaction, humorous at times in it's predictability:

 

https://leicarumors.com/2017/07/12/the-first-leica-m10-limited-edition-is-already-released-in-collaboration-with-brooks-brothers.aspx/

 

Please post pictures from your setup.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Incredible looking kit!

 

 

Novoflex lenses of this type are very simple lenses. They look impressive by virtue of their length but the length is nearly all 'tube' … which in a long focus lens (as distinct from a telephoto lens) is the same length as the lens' focal length. Thus e.g. a 600mm focal length lens needs a 600mm (ish) tube behind the lens element module.  

 

dunk 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You don't have to use the TL as a fashion camera but that's how Leica sell it. Photos of solid blocks of Aluminium next to a finished chassis hand polished with 840 individually choreographed strokes from a Portugese virgin. And airports with 4 meter posters of some half unshaven late 20 something metrosexual of indeterminate origin stroking a Leica T.

 

They don't advertise how good the lenses are or the operational interface. They advertise it as part of your social stair climbing wardrobe. It's marketed as camera porn. So why should we be surprised when others review it that way. Even with the new TL2 the system is now all about how the shutter sounds? Well it sounds the same as the first one.

 

Dunk. Your set up is very cool. And I'm sure the results speak for themselves. But the T lenses seem to be Leica's dirty little secret. With the TL2 and the wonderful TL lenses we might just have the best IQ of any APSC camera using APSC lenses. But don't tell any one because apparently Leica don't want any one to know......

 

Gordon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You don't have to use the TL as a fashion camera but that's how Leica sell it. Photos of solid blocks of Aluminium next to a finished chassis hand polished with 840 individually choreographed strokes from a Portugese virgin. And airports with 4 meter posters of some half unshaven late 20 something metrosexual of indeterminate origin stroking a Leica T.

 

They don't advertise how good the lenses are or the operational interface. They advertise it as part of your social stair climbing wardrobe. It's marketed as camera porn. So why should we be surprised when others review it that way. Even with the new TL2 the system is now all about how the shutter sounds? Well it sounds the same as the first one.

 

Dunk. Your set up is very cool. And I'm sure the results speak for themselves. But the T lenses seem to be Leica's dirty little secret. With the TL2 and the wonderful TL lenses we might just have the best IQ of any APSC camera using APSC lenses. But don't tell any one because apparently Leica don't want any one to know......

 

Gordon

 

 

Agreed Gordon.

 

Camera advertising and marketing has not been one of Leica's strengths. The latest 'Unparalleled beauty -The Leica TL2' video is unlikely to convince anyone of the TL2's strengths - it's enough to put anyone off buying a camera. But someone, somewhere, has decided it conveys what the TL2 is all about. 

 

Would be far better to ask a genuine Leica enthusiast celebrity to say a few meaningful words about the camera … preferably someone who has a good track record of producing excellent photos.

 

Leica is selling cameras … not boudoir accessories. 

 

dunk 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Advertisement (gone after registration)

Reading your latest post Dunk, I couldn't help but think of a not so clever marketing strategy by Leica, the introduction of the X-Vario. Look how that instantly changed the perception and ultimately the sales of this wonderful camera.

Luckily a few know better.

Gary

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Reading your latest post Dunk, I couldn't help but think of a not so clever marketing strategy by Leica, the introduction of the X-Vario. Look how that instantly changed the perception and ultimately the sales of this wonderful camera.

Luckily a few know better.

Gary

Hasselblad also, not so Stellar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Reading your latest post Dunk, I couldn't help but think of a not so clever marketing strategy by Leica, the introduction of the X-Vario. Look how that instantly changed the perception and ultimately the sales of this wonderful camera.

Luckily a few know better.

Gary

 

 

So true Gary … The XV was never a 'mini m'. The XV's slow sales were also the result of potential customers' ignorance of zoom lens specs. as regards what can comfortably and feasibly be squeezed into an APS-C body. 

 

dunk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the primary rules of marketing is that you advertise your weaknesses, not your strengths. That's why the most flimsily-constructed car will tell you of it's high quality and extended warranty; it's why adverts for fizzy sweet drinks show young healthy people engaging in physical activity.

 

It makes perfect sense for the TL2 to be advertised based on its design and "hipness." That's the main thing people can't get past.

People aren't worried that the lenses aren't sharp, or that images will be lacking. They are insecure about the fact that it doesn't look macho enough. There aren't enough knobs on it, it looks too simple to be a "serious" camera (as if operating a complex camera was a pre-requisite to creating great images).

 

Showing the camera being used by confident, fashionable, creative people relieves that anxiety. It shows that the apparent simplicity of the camera is the result of extensive design, rather than the lack of features.

Everyone usually mentions Apple at this point, but it fits within a longer tradition. Certainly, the Ulm School of Design is a more appropriate reference within German Industrial Design.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the primary rules of marketing is that you advertise your weaknesses, not your strengths. That's why the most flimsily-constructed car will tell you of it's high quality and extended warranty; it's why adverts for fizzy sweet drinks show young healthy people engaging in physical activity.

 

It makes perfect sense for the TL2 to be advertised based on its design and "hipness." That's the main thing people can't get past.

People aren't worried that the lenses aren't sharp, or that images will be lacking. They are insecure about the fact that it doesn't look macho enough. There aren't enough knobs on it, it looks too simple to be a "serious" camera (as if operating a complex camera was a pre-requisite to creating great images).

 

Showing the camera being used by confident, fashionable, creative people relieves that anxiety. It shows that the apparent simplicity of the camera is the result of extensive design, rather than the lack of features.

Everyone usually mentions Apple at this point, but it fits within a longer tradition. Certainly, the Ulm School of Design is a more appropriate reference within German Industrial Design.

 

That may be the case. But if it is the advertising people failed, completely. Why are the cool, rich, famous people still carrying M's? For a short while I thought the dude on the airport posters was exactly the same guy who'd advertised the Olympus EM-5 in exactly the same way. But that was 4 years earlier.

 

I had no interest in the TL and had no idea about those lenses until people started mentioning them on the SL forum. I thought it was more like an overpriced Leica pen holder than a camera with real capability. When I saw the ads I thought, "well if that's all they have to advertise about the system, it must be sh*t". And I didn't even consider it. Instead I got and XPro1 and the an XPro2. An I'm a Leica fan??

 

"Sell the sizzle, not the sausage" is an advertising thing. Leica and their advertisers did neither. Otherwise the camera would not have been dumped at 1/3 of it's original price for the last 8 months of its run.

 

Gordon

Edited by FlashGordonPhotography

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just read some more nonsense about the Leica T / TL2 being a fashion camera 

   

 

I wonder exactly where the Leica TL APO Macro Elmarit TL 60/2.8 ASPH,  Leica TL 35/1.4 ASPH, Leica TL 23/2 ASPH,  Leica TL 18-56 f3.5/5.6 ASPH, Leica TL  55-135/ 3.5-4.5 … and the superb Leica TL Super Vario Elmar 11-23/3.5-4.5 ultra wide zoom fit into such a statement ?? There are some very serious lenses in this line-up and they're appreciated by professional photographers who've documented within this forum their delight in the lenses' superb image results . Maybe the writer has not read e.g. Don Morley's appraisal of the TL 11-23mm?  Maybe he's not heard of Don Morley http://macfilos.com/home/2014/2/17/don-morley-photographer-extraordinary  (note the Novoflex follow focus tele lens in his right hand)  … who's used just about every professional camera and lens available from the 1960s onwards. (DM also uses an X Vario and appreciates its superlative OOC jpegs … but that's another story) 

 

Then again, maybe there are lots of fashion conscious lads and lasses marching up and down the Kings Road and Bond Street with several of the above Leica TL lenses loading down their handbags and man bags??  

 

Personally I cannot afford many of the AF TL lenses but luckily for us Leica TL enthusiasts there are alternatives … especially as regards long focus optics. 

 

Here is my Leica T 'tool camera' with some legacy Novoflex 'tool lenses'. 

 

Novoflex-whole-kit-.jpg

 

The selection of Novolflex lens heads include 640mm, 600mm - both 2 element achromats - and the  3 element 'T' Noflexar 400mm. The 'T' Noflexar's lens elements were allegedly designed and manufactured by Leitz … presumably to a Novoflex/Leitz design specification.   Novoflex contracted Agfa to manufacture the 'T' Noflexar 400mm lens mount and to assemble the lens.  

 

The 'T' Noflexar 400mm was purchased on Ebay earlier this week for the grand sum of £28 

   … maybe the seller did not realise the significance of the letter 'T' just showing in one of his photos … and nether did potential buyers because there were only 3 bidders.   Maybe I've purchased the cheapest Leica 400mm tele lens ever … ever ??   This is the second 'T' Noflexar I've purchased … the first was a little more and cost €59.  The 400mm f5.6, 3 element 'T' Noflexar is acknowledged to be superior to the 2 element Novoflex 400/5.6 tele lens.

 

Unfortunately I only have one lens hood and plan to use two Novoflex combinations in a hide (one with the original Leica T and the other with a Leica TL2)  … so needed to make an additional efficient hood. 

 

MS-Hood.jpg

 

A Marks & Spencer chocolate fudge carton looked an ideal candidate for recycling into a lens hood. After cutting a hole in the carton base the same diameter as the Novoflex lens heads (they're all the same diameter), the interior and exterior of the plastic carton were covered in Wilkinsons self-adhesive matt black velour (as used by astro observers to improve telescope light baffling).  Additional velour layers around the hole enabled a snug friction fit over any of the lens heads. The resultant hood is longer than the Novoflex OEM hood and will be more efficient.

 

Hood-interior-rslf.jpg

 

DIY lens hood interior.

 

 

Hood-and-lens-rslf-.jpg

 

Lens module and hood

 

 

 

600mm-Novo-rslf.jpg

 

The 600mm Novoflex plus the DIY hood fitted to the Leica T … it looks quite cumbersome but is surprisingly light and can be adequately supported by :

 

1) the photographer operating the pistol grip

 

and

 

2) any suitable support (fork mount or bean bag or foam cushion) at the front of the lens mount.

 

Lens / camera shake is not the problem it was in the film era - because digital cameras' usable high ISO settings enable faster shutter speeds … and some cameras include IBIS. 

 

 

 

Novo-adapters-rslf.jpg

 

The rear of the Novoflex follow focus i.e. behind the pistol grip/squeeze trigger focuser is fitted with a Novoflex VISLEI-P adapter - for coupling to a Leitz Visoflex for Leica M rangefinder use.  

 

With the introduction of the Leicaflex SLR system in 1964, Leica made available the *14127 Visoflex to Leicaflex adapter … which is fitted to the VISLEI-P.  To couple up to the Leica T, a Novoflex LET/LER adapter is added to the *14127. adapter.  The Novoflex LET/LER adapter (Leica R to Leica SL/TL adapter) enables use of any Leica R lens on a T/TL or SL body.

 

I plan to use the Novoflex lenses next week in the comfort of a local permanent hide when will also experiment adding  Leica / Leitz 1.4x and 2x APO-Extenders to the 'T' Noflexar combinations ... hence the need for another 'T' Noflexar purchased this week … thus enabling use of 400mm, and either 560mm or 800mm (with extenders) on the second Leica T camera. 

 

Novoflex follow focus lenses were very popular with wildlife and sports photographers in the 1960s/70s (see above Don Morley link and photo) and are still capable of good quality images ... especially for photographers on a budget . The lens heads are of similar design to the Leitz Telyt R 400mm and 560mm telescope lenses for which Novoflex also provided 'follow focus' / 'rapid focus' grips. 

 

All my Novoflex lenses have cost less than £50 each; they're worth seeking on Ebay … especially the 3 element 'T' Noflexar 400mm model. 

 

The Leica T/TL/TL2 cameras are very adaptable tool cameras and many Leica enthusiasts including Leica Forum members regularly use them with legacy lenses.

 

Now that the TL2 has arrived expect to witness increased Leica T series camera use … including use of legacy optics in addition to Leica R and M lenses … and look forward to viewing some interesting Leica TL2 24 megapixel images posted on the forum. 

 

Best wishes

 

dunk 

Likewise I still use my Novoflex's including on the T and love them, but my memory of things is it was Leica who had to go cap in hand eventually to Novoflex for the optics and fast focus grip idea for the final rapid Telyts, partly because of patent rights and also as a final admission that Novoflex's designs were better. Beyond that - Thanks for the mention Dunc and with my best wishes, Don (Morley)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Leica owners have to have a thick skin when viewing internet comments about Leica's in general and the T family specifically. There are Leica's hating trolls out there who have never owned a Leica and never will do so. Perhaps it is the relatively absurd prices of the cameras when compared to the camera market in general that creates a reverse snobbery in some people. The T family is especially a target of these trolls because of the iconoclastic ( some say weird ) design of the camera. I own a T and I love it. I seldom go near my M9-P or Olympus Pen F anymore. So my advice is to grow a thicker skin, ignore these trolls and enjoy your camera. I do, and as soon as they iron out the problem with the new TL2, I will order one. BTW, my T has a Nikon 180mm f/2.8 with a Novoflex adapter and the images, one I get the focus right, are spectacular. The attached image is a 'quicky' I shot out of my window with my T and Nikon tele the other day. Bear in mind it is hand held and looking through double pane window glass. The Hummingbird was drying off after a turn in the water fountain. The lens is FF, so equiv. focal length is 270mm.

Edited by jevidon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Novoflex lenses of this type are very simple lenses. They look impressive by virtue of their length but the length is nearly all 'tube' … which in a long focus lens (as distinct from a telephoto lens) is the same length as the lens' focal length. Thus e.g. a 600mm focal length lens needs a 600mm (ish) tube behind the lens element module.  

 

dunk 

 

Leraning something new every day. Being a 'tube' it might not be as heavy as it looked at first sight when viewing the tools.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Leica owners have to have a thick skin when viewing internet comments about Leica's in general and the T family specifically. There are Leica's hating trolls out there who have never owned a Leica and never will do so. 

 

 

Why so? Surely such comments should just be ignored - it's only a bloody camera system andnot even worth getting into an argument over such a first-world problem.

 

It's not like one may feel obliged to offended by  racist or medical or personal misinformation on the net.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While I have been embarrassed when people have observed that my SL and lens costs more than an average sized family car (second hand) - don't ask why, I'd rather people admired a nice camera than comment on the absurdity of its cost - the opinions of people who prefer other camera systems is of interest to me.  Passing interest.  I quite like talking camera gear to other photographers who are interested.

 

But then, it's not always interest.  Ultimately, my pleasure in using my cameras is mine; it's not dependent on the approval or opprobrium, of others.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

People interested in photography and in Leica do not need advertising, they know the company and what the lenses can do. 

Advertising is more aiming to get to Leica new clients, new users and this is why T/TL/TL2 advertising are not trying to convince about the quality of the camera (system) but are insisting on more epidermic aspects. Of course this is just my thinking which could be wrong...

 

It's nice to see Leica working on this system after some doubtful time in the beginning and working on this innovative interface.

 

I went on a different route (m10) and photo budget is now limited 

 therefore no TL2 for me now but I'll keep an eye on it, maybe in future...

robert

Edited by robert blu

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

People interested in photography and in Leica do not need advertising, they know the company and what the lenses can do. 

 

 

I don't think so. I've seen a lot of "X camera is just as good at half the price" comments on forums, especially when compared to Fujifilm.

 

Well, I have the closet lenses to the TL ones in Fuji (10-24, 18-55, 35 1.4 and 55-200 (not an exact focal length match)) and they just aren't. Photographers seem to understand that Zeiss or M lenses cost more because or their optical qualities but TL lenses don't get the same consideration.

 

Gordon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest VVJ

Gordon,

 

I have a slightly different view on this...

 

I had the Fuji 14mm, 23mm, 35mm and 56mm Fuji lenses and I very honestly thought they were all excellent.  I had no complaints whatsoever.

 

It is probably hard to compare as for the T I have 3 zooms and the 23mm and although the 23mm is excellent (I use it 90% of the time) I simply cannot say that the 23mm blows away the Fuji 23mm.  The difference (if there is one) is pretty small.

 

The real difference for me is in the body.  The T has a unique design, is very minimalist and simply very addictive, you want to use it and like it.

 

But its form factor is at the same time also its main drawback: no integrated viewfinder, no joystick, no ability to use EVF and flash at the same time, no tilted screen, etc.

 

Although the T is a delight to use, it by no means can act as a backup for the SL whereas the Fuji can...  and at a cheaper price point...

 

As far as marketing goes, is the TL marketing really targeted at iPhone users?  Or does it simply try to give the TL a hipper image with the intent of selling an additional body to M-users?  

 

I more and more get the impression it is the latter...  And IMO it truly is the perfect additional body to shoot M-glass or other legacy glass.

 

To take full advantage of the excellent native TL lenses however Leica needs to come up with a more functional body IMHO...

 

That does not take away however that the TL remains a fun and highly addictive walkaround and grab-and-go camera...

 

Just my 2 cents, Joris.

Edited by JorisV

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...