Jump to content

Recommended Posts

1) Elmarit M 28 ASPH f/2.8

2) Apo Summicron ASPH 90 f/2.0

3) Elmar 50 mm f/3.5 (LTM)

4) Nikkor PC E 24 ED T/S f/3.5*

5) AF-S Nikkor 24-70 G-ED f/2.8*


*: Sorry, gotta be honest...


(Most people in this forum will disagree, but then this kind of list will always be highly subjective and will depend on many idiosyncratic variables)

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Getting this down to 5 is very difficult, as I have a lot of different lenses, so here goes:




1. Summar 5cm f2

2. Elmar 50mm f 3.5

3. Summilux 50mm f1.4 Asph

4. Summicron 50mm DR/Rigid (both versions)

5. Summicron 35mm f2 Asph


Strangely enough, 5 above is my most used lens.


Non Leica


1. Nikkor 85mm f1.4 AFD

2. Micro-Nikkor 60mm f2.8 AFD

3. Zeiss Planar 75mm f3.5 for Rolleiflex

4. Fujifilm X 35mm f2

5. Fujifilm X 16mm f1.4


I would rank the 5 Leica lenses above all of the non Leica lenses. I use a lot of Leica lenses other than those listed, particularly the WATE, 24mm Elmar and the 28mm Summicron, but I feel that the standard lens is where Leica really shines for me. My choices are based on personal taste rather than technical perfection. The Summar would be a prime example of that.



Edited by willeica

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

The question made me realise that I've owned a lot of lenses! My current favourites:


35mm Summilux Aspheric Pre-FLE - solid, reliable workhorse, despite its shortcomings its been my 'goto' lens for a long time.

35mm Summilux pre-Aspheric - First owned one in 1981. Have one now. An absolute classic, eclipsed by the Aspheric but still a capable performer and so small and light and a state-of-the-art design in its day which could not have been bettered.

21mm f/3.4 Super-Elmar-M - simply a stunning lens.

21mm f/3.4 Super-Angulon-M - a classic.



Can't decide on number 5 I'm afraid, many contenders.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Leica 75/1.4 - on SL if photographing a woman (not on an M camera due to narrow DoF at 1.4)
(Leica R90/2 Apo - on SL if photographing a man)

Nikon 58/1.4G - on SL
Leica R 19/2.8 - on SL 
Nikon 50/1.4 SSC - on S2 2000 (this produces the sharpest film photos I have)
Leica 50/1.4 (pre Aspherical) - on M3 

Honorable mentions to:- 
the collabsible 50/2 Leica M39 mount (mine dates to 1933)
Contax/Zeiss Planar RF 50/1.5 (mine dates to 1939)
Voigtländer 15/4.5 in M mount
Voigtländer 50/1.1 M mount 
Leica R 80-200/4 

Zeiss Contax 28-85 

SL 24-90 (but I have hardly used it yet) 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

In no particular order:


28-90/2.8-4.5 R (tremendous versatility in combination with excellent quality)

21-35/3.5-4 R (ditto)

180/2.8 Apo R (say no more)

28/2.8 PC SA R (for architecture, if you want to get it right in camera rather than in PS, there are so many times when only this one will do)

90/2 Apo Asph R (it's just so so sharp)


I've got at least two others that I ought to put on the list, but five is the limit, and I use these less frequently, namely 280/4 R and 100/2.8 macro R

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

A tricky question to answer because to me lenses are like paintbrushes and have particular strengths for certain usages.


Leica 50/1 Noctilux

Leica 80/1.4 Summilux-R

Leica 100/2.8 APO-Macro-Elmarit-R

Leica 280/4 APO-Telyt-R

1947 Carl Zeiss Jena 50/2 Sonnar


Very honourable mentions to:

Leica 50/1.4 Summilux pre-asph

Rollei 40/2.8 Sonnar (LTM)

Kobalux 21/2.8

Leica 50/2 Rigid Summicron

Nikkor Kogaku 50/1.4 Tokyo

Leica 35/2 Summicron IV

Leica 50/1.4 'Retro' Summilux asph

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Summarit-M 35 2.5 as good for all lens. Jupiter-3 as good bw film lens. And I was and still using Industar-26M for decades...

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Canon EF 85 f/1.2 L

Canon EF 200 f/1.8 L

Contax Planar 100 f/2

Sony Zeiss 135 f/1.8 A mount

Leica APO ASPH Summicron 75 f/2

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.

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.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By Herr Barnack
      Here's a question for M camera photographers (film or digital):  If you were to choose to work with just one M lens, which would you choose and why?
      Which focal length?
      Which maximum aperture? 
      Is the one camera, one lens approach a valid approach or is it an unnecessary limitation?
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this!  😉
    • By Lanark
      I just watched this video by Tony Northrup       about full frame vs smaller lenses.
      He makes some good points about the larger lenses collecting more light due to 'basic physics'
      But this also has me wondering about M series lenses which traditionally have very good quality ratings despite their small size - where is the trade off?
      I feel like I am missing something in the way that lens size applies to a rangefinder?

    • By wbabbott3
      Back then, at the end of R camera and lens production, we were promised a "new" R camera to replace that well-loved camera and its lenses.
      The SL can mount R lenses and it can help you focus a MF R lens with Live View and the joy stick enlargement. But mounting an R lens on an SL is only half of providing an equivalent R camera.
      The MF experience is a two-fold hand and eye operation: focusing the lens by hand AND using a split-field viewfinder to focus it. That latter step is not now available for the SL, but could be furnished very simply.
      In AF mode, the SL sensor gets light through the mounted AF lens, detects the degree of un-focus (the error signal), and issues commands to the lens's motor to focus it.
      With a MF lens attached, everything is the same except that the commands have no where to go and are not used.
      To me there is a simple way to use that degree of un-focus (the error signal) with a MF lens.
      Let it drive a computer- generated image of a split-field viewfinder.
      As the MF lens is focused by hand, in lieu of a motor, the state of focus would be displayed as if there was a real, split-field optical viewfinder in use. Thus the eye-hand manual focus of the R camera would be preserved in the SL, or other AF cameras that can mount a MF lens.
      Think about it this way: 
      Simply replace the motor focusing an AF lens with a hand focusing a MF lens, guided by a synthetic computer-generated split-level display in the Electronic View Finder.
      With this bit of digital skullduggery, any AF camera with an EVF which can mount a MF lens can be used exactly like any MF camera with a split-field rangefinder.
      I hope Leica will provide this feature in the near future so that R lens fans can use their MF lenses with an SL body just the way they used them on an R camera body.
    • By didier
      Dear all,
      I maybe the latest GAS syndrom victim
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content. Hallo Gast! Du willst die Bilder sehen? Einfach registrieren oder anmelden!/uploads/emoticons/converted_l%C3%A4cheln1.gif"> I am wondering how you set your SL when using manual lenses (M lenses in my case) ?
      On the CL, I use the wheel to quickly zoom in, nail focus and shoot. I came to like that method.
      But on the SL ? I found the default setting quite cumbersom (thought I've been playing around with the camera for 1/2 hour only...)
      How do you set your SL  to be efficient and fast at focusing using the zoom-in possibility ? Is it possible to set a kind of automatic 10* zoom when you frame ?
      thank you for your answers !
  • Create New...