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rob_w

23 TL vs 35 TL - best prime to start with?

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I always use the hood.  I don't find it conspicuous and it sometimes helps either shade from oncoming light, or keep me from brushing the front element against other people in the crowd.  That's what it is for.

 

At this point, anyone not using their phones for image capture is branded as a little suspicious, so "conspicuous" is a function of how you behave, not what you carry.

Edited by scott kirkpatrick

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I'd go for 23mm. From what I see people telling on this forums also - it's most people's favourite L-mount lens.

35 is a great portrait lens, but it really is big. It focuses slower. And it's less universal. As an everyday carry lens - 23. As a portrait lens - 35.

My favourite combo on TL would probably be 23 + 35 though. But I'd start with 23 

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I always use the hood.  I don't find it conspicuous and it sometimes helps either shade from oncoming light, or keep me from brushing the front element against other people in the crowd.  That's what it is for.

 

At this point, anyone not using their phones for image capture is branded as a little suspicious, so "conspicuous" is a function of how you behave, not what you carry.

B+W 007 for the odd brush - and scrambled egg hitting the lens.

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B+W 007 for the odd brush - and scrambled egg hitting the lens.

Plese, let's not start the "do you use a UV filter to protect your lens" thread!

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Guest VVJ

35 is a great portrait lens, but it really is big. 

 

Yes, but the 35mm is stunning whereas the 23mm is very good...

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Yes, but the 35mm is stunning whereas the 23mm is very good...

 

Agreed... I have now all 7 TL lenses, and the ones that stand out are the 35mm summilux, the 60mm macro and the 11-23mm zoom. Those 3 are really stunning.

The others are very, very good...

Honestly, I'm really happy with the system.

 

Alain.

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... the ones that stand out are the 35mm summilux, the 60mm macro and the 11-23mm zoom. ...

I have not used a 90 (EFOV) for years, I guess partly as it became more difficult to focus.  Going to a TTL system, the idea of the 60mm is tempting.  I can see me ending up with 3 primes and the standard zoom before I leave the shop! 

 

Jesting aside, I wonder if the different viewing and framing experience will result in using the CL in quite a different way to the M.  If I had to have just one lens on the M it would be the 35 but maybe that's a factor of how the M system 'works' for me ... and maybe I should not be transferring expectations from the M to the CL?

Edited by rob_w

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Agreed... I have now all 7 TL lenses, and the ones that stand out are the 35mm summilux, the 60mm macro and the 11-23mm zoom. Those 3 are really stunning.

The others are very, very good...

Honestly, I'm really happy with the system.

 

Alain.

 

and on the zooms: 11-23 or 18-56 ?

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Agreed... I have now all 7 TL lenses, and the ones that stand out are the 35mm summilux, the 60mm macro and the 11-23mm zoom. Those 3 are really stunning.

The others are very, very good...

Honestly, I'm really happy with the system.

 

Alain.

 

I fully agree, even though I would add the 55-135 to the favorite list.

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Jesting aside, I wonder if the different viewing and framing experience will result in using the CL in quite a different way to the M.  If I had to have just one lens on the M it would be the 35 but maybe that's a factor of how the M system 'works' for me ... and maybe I should not be transferring expectations from the M to the CL?

 

 

That's a very good question. I personally don't have or use a CL but I know that a 35 or 50 seem quite different to me when I'm using an M compared with the same focal length on an SLR.

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and on the zooms: 11-23 or 18-56 ?

The 18-56mm is my most recent acquisition. I like it a lot, but it is more on par with the 23mm and the 55-135mm, at least to my taste. The 11-23mm is one notch above.

 

But seriously, we are splitting hair here. I’m hugely impressed by all 7 lenses, and I’ll pick one or the other mostly because of focal length or aperture, not because of IQ.

 

I’ve owned a bunch of M and S lenses in the past, and I can’t say enough how happy I’m with the CL and TL lenses. I can pack my 2 CL bodies, all 7 lenses, the SF40 and a bunch of filters and batteries plus my laptop in a reasonable size backpack (mindshift trailscape 18L) and travel around the world.

 

Alain

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Jesting aside, I wonder if the different viewing and framing experience will result in using the CL in quite a different way to the M. If I had to have just one lens on the M it would be the 35 but maybe that's a factor of how the M system 'works' for me ... and maybe I should not be transferring expectations from the M to the CL?

Sometimes it is a question of ergonomics more than image quality. The rangefinder on the M certainly lands itself to the 35mm field of view (in full frame terms), and the small 35mm lens balances nicely. Plus, the focusing tab of the 35mm Summicron makes focusing very easy... In my personal experience, I’ve noticed I tend to make better pictures with a camera that feels good in my hand...

 

One lenses I really like as a walk around lens on the CL is the tiny 18mm. It feels very light, is very fast to focus, and very stealth. I shot pictures of people in the street standing just a couple feet away from me and they did not noticed me...

 

There is one piece of equipment I would highly recommend, this is the grip. It makes the bigger lenses balance much better.

 

Alain

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I am considering a CL after reading some excellent reviews on this forum.  Most likely I would get the standard zoom plus one of the primes for low-light/wide-aperture occasions.  But which prime?  I'm okay with both 35 and 50 on my M so FOV is not an issue.  On the TL both primes seem well regarded -- is one or the other emerging as the preferred choice?

I have the 18mm, 23mm and 35mm TL lenses. I love the 18mm and 35mm but I must say the 23mm comes with me everywhere. Really versatile lens with wonderful quality.

 

The 35mm is just a bit too big to take everywhere. It is a bit of a Noctilux for the CL size wize but, as with the Noctilux, the image quality is amazing and worth the extra hassle.

 

Hopefully Leica will introduce a smaller 35mm. Something around an f2.8 aperture. That would be a great carry around all day 50mm equivalent lens.

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I wonder if the different viewing and framing experience will result in using the CL in quite a different way to the M.  If I had to have just one lens on the M it would be the 35 but maybe that's a factor of how the M system 'works' for me ... and maybe I should not be transferring expectations from the M to the CL?

 

 

The reason I'd think about 35mm > 23mm is in context of owning the M. Where CL shines is AF (btw 35mm's AF is much slower than 23mm's), so maybe M+35 and CL+50 equiv would be a good choice. Possibly better than the other way around. But that's if you're going to have 2 cameras with you. 

 

(in any other scenario I'd easily choose 23mm, especially as a first lens. If you have 3 zooms, sure, 23 might be irrelevant and 35 is the way to go because it let's you specialise. But as an only lens? 23mm)

 

How's your decision making?

:) 

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I have the 16-56mm kit. Woukd opt for lens with nicest bokeh: 35mm ?

I bought my 2nd CL last week as a kit with the 18-56mm before traveling to Africa (Ghana). I though the kit lens might be something useful to have, but I was not expecting much... I ended up using that lens almost exclusively there... I have to say It exeeds my expectations by a long shot in outdoor pictures... bokeh is very nice too... all this to say that if I were to start with that kit lens, I would not worry too much about adding another lens for IQ or bokeh, but I would be looking for a fast lens for the times where light is getting low... up to you if 23mm f/2 is fast enough or if you need f/1.4...

Edited by alainD

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Postscript

 

I went to Leica Mayfair on Saturday equipped with all this information (thank you) and two things happened.

  1. The CL body was smaller than I had anticipated and rather difficult to use in my large hands.  Surprise!  I had been considering lens size rather than body size, which from photos looks closer to the M dimensions than it actually is. 
  2. I also handled the SL with the new 75 Summicron attached.  The smaller dimensions of the new lens quite change the handling proposition of the SL.  Now, it handles more like the R cameras I have owned in the past.  I am tempted to wait for the 35 and 50 Summicron-SLs before making a decision.

This rather stopped me in my tracks.  Will need to go back and try the CL again, this time with the right expectations.  And I may wait a few months to see what the 35 and 50 are like for the SL.  I could easily live with, say, a 50 Summicron on an SL.  In fact, I started as an 18 year-old using a Pentax with a 50 f1.8 lens way before I even knew about Leicas.  And that worked for me.

 

Thanks again for the feedback.

Edited by rob_w

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