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Pham Minh Son

Overcome M8 Resistance/ x Lens

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Carsten, you and some of the folks like Kurt and others think very highly of the 1.4/35 ASPH. I also believe this lens would be one of the great lens but I am covered in this focal length from my SLR system. However, the next question is how is the signature different between the Leica M 1.4/35 ASPH and the Leica R 1.4/35 ASPH? If the characteristics is unique to the Leica M 1.4/35 then I am in greater trouble than I first thought. If this is the case I will consider this lens but in the second round of acquistion.

 

Can you give me a little more details in comparisons between the 1.4/75 versus the 2.0/75 especially wide open performance at F2.0 and the close distance of focus. This is important since I like the versatility of close tight portrait and I even use these lens like semi macro lens. Do they make the tele-converter for these lens; probably not I am in a whole different whole now?

 

Thanks,

-Son

 

There are no teleconverters for the M, since everything has to be a frame in the camera, or a viewfinder on top, and the only viewfinders longer than 35mm which I have seen are generic jobbies, not Leica items.

 

I am just starting with the 35/1.4A, so what I can offer here is only going to be an introduction. I have never used the 35/1.4-R, so you will have to ask Guy for that, but then, his 35/1.4A was never good stopped down, so he can only give you the wide-open story. Btw, I would be surprised if you decide to carry both DSLR and M8 at the same time. Most people here, except some pros, carry one or the other, on an exclusive per-project basis. In that sense, I am not sure you will continue to feel that the DSLR with 35/1.4-R will cover the same need that the M8 with 35/1.4A would cover.

 

I bought my 35/2A from a member here, and it was my favorite, or at least most used (by far) lens for a while. However, once in a while, I missed the f/1.4 setting, and the Cron is also very sharp always, even wide open. I have not tried any Zeiss lenses, so again, I am not much use there, comparing 35/2A to Zeiss. Do you subscribe to Sean's site? He has a big 35mm lens comparison from a couple of weeks ago, and both lenses are there, as well as a Zeiss and som others. Eventually, because of the f/1.4, because of the slightly softer wide open look which I enjoy for portraits, and simply because of the legendary status of the lens and the great number of people I respect who talked highly of it, I decided to buy it. However, this lens often comes from Leica with a focus shift problem, so I was just waiting and waiting, until finally Eoin, who I know and respect from here, decided that the lens was not for him, and listed it, chrome and without the focus shift problem.

 

The 75 Lux vs. 75 Cron story is ongoing. My favorite lens of all time was the 80 Lux-R on the 5D, and I just couldn't get enough of the soft look wide open with the amazing sharpness stopped down. The 75 Lux is the same basic design, with a slightly shorter focal length due to encringing on the viewfinder of the M. It is, however, slightly sharper overall, and has lost some of the glow on the M8, with the crop factor, so in the end I will also get a Noctilux, which on the M8 is the 80 Lux-R equivalent. The 75 Cron is a razorblade, unsuited for portraits of people without perfect skin, something like the Apo-90/2-R. It is a question of taste, but magic is more my taste than lenses you can cut yourself on, so I chose the 75 Lux, and I do love that lens. I think eventually I will end up with the 75 Cron as well, it is that good, and I have specific uses for it, like taking pictures in my favorite museum, the Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin, of engines, cameras, locomotives, and so on. Note that the 75 Lux focuses to 90cm but the 75 Cron to 70cm, so if you want to use it like that, either get the 75 Cron ASPH or 90 Cron (older, softer look, but still very sharp) or 90 Cron ASPH.

 

Holger Fehsenfeld, also of Berlin and of this forum, has opted for the 75 Cron as his 30% lens, so surely there will be a direct comparison test one of these days, probably within a month or two, as we have recently started a lens-swap routine, and will likely continue with this, as long as we both have interesting, but different, lenses. At the moment I have his Noctilux and he has my CV15, an interesting, if unbalanced trade. Soon I will return his Noctilux, lend him possibly my 28 Cron, and borrow his 35/2 IV to compare with my 35/2A and 35/1.4A, all very fascinating.

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Son, someone else will have to respond about the CZ 15. I have not tried it.

The CV 15 with the John Milich adapter allows the lens to be coded as a WATE. When you turn on the M8, a menu pops-up and you choose 16mm WATE. (LensDetection must be set to On+UV/IR in the M8 Menu.) This causes the M8 to correct the vignette. The John Milich hood/lens holder (with a 39mm Leica brand IR cut filter) cuts out the IR and shades the lens.

Have you subscribed to Sean Reids web site. He has a wealth of information on the M8, M lenses, filters, adapters, etc.

 

Cindy, this is great information and I may end up with the CV15 as my super wide angle lens. Do you hear good thing for the CV12?

 

Thanks,

Son

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Hi Son, good to see you here as well, It's amazing the amount of FM'rs who've found a new home here and without the baggage being a Leica user attracted.

 

As for lens choices, I've just parted with my chrome 35 Lux Asph to Carsten, truly a beautiful lens to use but just that little bit to tight in the FOV. I replaced it with the 28 Summicron Asph which does not have as much contrast or saturation as the 35, but is still IMO a better all round focal length for the M8. It's much nicer in B&W giving smoother transitions. I do regret letting the 35 Lux go, but I know the 28 is just a better fit. Bokeh with the 35 can be both beautiful and harsh, the odd time strong colours in the background can give unexpected or unusual results. But by in large it has to be one of the best 35's out there.

 

You know what "they" say..... go with your heart and not with the head. I made that mistake with the 75 Summicron over the 75 Summilux. This focal length is primarily my portrait choice and the Cron @ f:/2.8-f:/4 does not have the "glow", it has everything else in bucket loads, contrast, colour, sharpness, but it has it at all apertures. I choose it over the Summilux for it's size and "newer optics" but in hindsight I should have gone with the Summilux which seems slightly smoother.

 

Anyway no doubt you'll be a source of excellent information once you get your teeth into the M8 and I'll look forward to reading your findings. Welcome to our corner in cyberspace, you're amongst some of the nicest people I've come across on forums and yes the Mods are rather special too.

 

Thanks for the kind welcome! I am now in the East Coast for a few more days before heading back home in LA. Despite the limited time I have here and the amount of works I managed to study the theory of all the Leica M series lens until 5:00 AM last night and I have made a list of M lens that make the Leica M system to be unique from other systems. In my preliminary data gathering, my conclusion about the 1.4/35 ASPH is very similar to your finding regardings to the bokeh. I will dig further insights into the mechanism later on once I get myself up and runing with the M8 system and back in LA. I look forward to share my study with everyone here. So far my list of lens choice somehow look very similar to Guy, Woody, Cindy, you and others. Here is the list of Leica M lens I considered unique for both resolving power and bokeh according to important:

 

1. Leica Notilux-M 1.0/50 - the bokeh on this lens is incredible at all f stop and the resolving power of this lens is very high even at wide open from F1.0 to 1.4 especially in the center. This lens is extremely unique and there is nothing like it out there.

 

2. Leica Summicron-M ASPH 2.0/28 - The strength of this lens is from F2.0 - F2.8 only. Thus for folks that like to shoot wide open the performance of this lens is simply cannot be beat. However, stopping down to F5.6 the 1.4/35 ASPH is extremely impressive. Thus for folks that shoot stop down at F5.6 and furthermore, the best wide angle lens would be the 1.4/35 ASPH.

 

3. Leica Tri-Elmar-M 4.0/16-18-21 ASPH aka WATE (thank you Guy for the acronymn) - in my limited resources to the super wide end, I am impressed with this lens.

 

My first lens was finally acquired today, the Notilux-M 1.0/50. Now I have to work on the 28 mm F2.0 ASPH. The 2.8/28 ASPH is also a great lens with the crop factor. Thus, on the M8 this lens is the most value lens I have seen thus far to a point where I do not mind having the 2.0/28 and the 2.8/28. I hope to be successful in acquiring both of these lens. In order to met the budget for my Notilux one of my Leica Apo-Summicron-R 2.0/180 ROM was sacrificed.

 

Can you use the 75 mm easily with the M8?

 

Best Regards,

-Son

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snip

 

Can you use the 75 mm easily with the M8?

 

Best Regards,

-Son

works like a charm

the optional viewfinder magnifier makes focusing accurately with it much simpler & will help as well with your 50 mm lens as well ...the 75 'lux produces particularly lovely bokeh

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I agree with Woody the 28 cron is probably my most used lens. Than the WATE, 75,50,90,35,135 and the 12 mm its in there somewhere when I get the corner fix going

 

Guy, I just acquired the Notilux but will also need a wide and super wide angle lens. I am looking for the 28 mm F2.0 and or the 2.8/28. But for the super wide these are my choices but will not know which one yet:

 

1. CV 12 mm - do you know if this lens is any good and how does it compare to the CV 15?

 

2. WATE - very interesting lens and the performance looks great

 

3. 2.8/24 ASPH

 

What do you think? In my study theoretical study thus far the list of lens look very similar to what you own and like to use most.

 

Thanks,

-Son

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It's interesting, though, that the "Alternative Lenses for EOS Movement" came from people's dissatisfactions with many SLR lenses. In the case of the M8, the lenses that are actually designed to fit the camera (M or LTM) are some of the best in the world. Sometimes, they even have some of the best price:performance ratios one can find.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

 

 

Sean this is a blessing for folks to enjoy the M system for sure. I look forward to see these lens performance.

 

Best Regards,

-Son

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Son, I'd only make two points.

 

1. Out of focus areas with the Nocti at f1 can be very odd if they contain highlights. The rendition of out of focus highlights is _very_ distinctive, and not always pleasant. Make sure you are aware of it, and find it aceptable, before spending so much money.

 

2. A 35mm Summilux isn't really an idea wide angle lens on an M8. Mainly because it's angle of view is no longer wide angle. For a single 'real' wideangle lens, a 24mm Elmarit or 28mm Elmarit would be _very_ hard to beat.

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There are no teleconverters for the M, since everything has to be a frame in the camera, or a viewfinder on top, and the only viewfinders longer than 35mm which I have seen are generic jobbies, not Leica items.

 

I am just starting with the 35/1.4A, so what I can offer here is only going to be an introduction. I have never used the 35/1.4-R, so you will have to ask Guy for that, but then, his 35/1.4A was never good stopped down, so he can only give you the wide-open story. Btw, I would be surprised if you decide to carry both DSLR and M8 at the same time. Most people here, except some pros, carry one or the other, on an exclusive per-project basis. In that sense, I am not sure you will continue to feel that the DSLR with 35/1.4-R will cover the same need that the M8 with 35/1.4A would cover.

 

I bought my 35/2A from a member here, and it was my favorite, or at least most used (by far) lens for a while. However, once in a while, I missed the f/1.4 setting, and the Cron is also very sharp always, even wide open. I have not tried any Zeiss lenses, so again, I am not much use there, comparing 35/2A to Zeiss. Do you subscribe to Sean's site? He has a big 35mm lens comparison from a couple of weeks ago, and both lenses are there, as well as a Zeiss and som others. Eventually, because of the f/1.4, because of the slightly softer wide open look which I enjoy for portraits, and simply because of the legendary status of the lens and the great number of people I respect who talked highly of it, I decided to buy it. However, this lens often comes from Leica with a focus shift problem, so I was just waiting and waiting, until finally Eoin, who I know and respect from here, decided that the lens was not for him, and listed it, chrome and without the focus shift problem.

 

The 75 Lux vs. 75 Cron story is ongoing. My favorite lens of all time was the 80 Lux-R on the 5D, and I just couldn't get enough of the soft look wide open with the amazing sharpness stopped down. The 75 Lux is the same basic design, with a slightly shorter focal length due to encringing on the viewfinder of the M. It is, however, slightly sharper overall, and has lost some of the glow on the M8, with the crop factor, so in the end I will also get a Noctilux, which on the M8 is the 80 Lux-R equivalent. The 75 Cron is a razorblade, unsuited for portraits of people without perfect skin, something like the Apo-90/2-R. It is a question of taste, but magic is more my taste than lenses you can cut yourself on, so I chose the 75 Lux, and I do love that lens. I think eventually I will end up with the 75 Cron as well, it is that good, and I have specific uses for it, like taking pictures in my favorite museum, the Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin, of engines, cameras, locomotives, and so on. Note that the 75 Lux focuses to 90cm but the 75 Cron to 70cm, so if you want to use it like that, either get the 75 Cron ASPH or 90 Cron (older, softer look, but still very sharp) or 90 Cron ASPH.

 

Holger Fehsenfeld, also of Berlin and of this forum, has opted for the 75 Cron as his 30% lens, so surely there will be a direct comparison test one of these days, probably within a month or two, as we have recently started a lens-swap routine, and will likely continue with this, as long as we both have interesting, but different, lenses. At the moment I have his Noctilux and he has my CV15, an interesting, if unbalanced trade. Soon I will return his Noctilux, lend him possibly my 28 Cron, and borrow his 35/2 IV to compare with my 35/2A and 35/1.4A, all very fascinating.

 

Thanks for taking your time to write at length, I appreciated! Do you feel perhaps your 35 mm F1.4 is made in Chrome instead of black might be an attributed factor for it not having the shift focus problem? Since I like to talk about optics I prefer not to read on some one else works and speak about it in the open public and impact the business; this is my respect for Sean. If I end up with only one system and if the M8 is the system I certainly will not keep the 35 - R. At this moment I am not sure if I can use the M system sufficiently enough to not having the DMR system. If I do not own the DMR anymore, I will certainly look forward to the 75 Lux or Cron and even perhaps the 135. I know you regards the 80-R Lux very highly and thus I can see why you might ended up with botht he Lux and the Cron here. Do you have any knowledge regarding the 50 Lux and 50 Lux ASPH?

 

Thanks,

-Son

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Son, I'd only make two points.

 

1. Out of focus areas with the Nocti at f1 can be very odd if they contain highlights. The rendition of out of focus highlights is _very_ distinctive, and not always pleasant. Make sure you are aware of it, and find it aceptable, before spending so much money.

 

2. A 35mm Summilux isn't really an idea wide angle lens on an M8. Mainly because it's angle of view is no longer wide angle. For a single 'real' wideangle lens, a 24mm Elmarit or 28mm Elmarit would be _very_ hard to beat.

 

 

Steve, thanks for the updated information regarding the Notilux. This is something I have not heard of yet. The lens is already on its way. I am also struggling with the 24 or the 28 but leaning toward the 28. What is your choice if you were to get one and not the other? Can both of these lens co-exist in one bag?

 

 

thanks,

-Son

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I'm using a 24mm elmarit asph on my M8, it converts to a 32mm fov - but that feels a lot more like a 28 than a 35 to me. It's extremely good for street work, but I'm still looking for a 28 so that I can get a 35'ish fov back

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works like a charm

the optional viewfinder magnifier makes focusing accurately with it much simpler & will help as well with your 50 mm lens as well ...the 75 'lux produces particularly lovely bokeh

 

Thanks for the information. If this works well the DMR might have to go since I also have other SLR system. But I have to wait to see if I can work with the M8 sufficiently.

 

Thanks,

-Son

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I'm using a 24mm elmarit asph on my M8, it converts to a 32mm fov - but that feels a lot more like a 28 than a 35 to me. It's extremely good for street work, but I'm still looking for a 28 so that I can get a 35'ish fov back

 

I may end up with both the 24 and the 28 since I like the 28 more but the 24 give me the small and widest lens without any extra view finder.

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Son, I've tried to find one of my photographs online illustrating the point about the Nocti, but I haven't been able to. I have the Nocti with me, so I'll see if I can take a shot and upload it.

 

24 or 28. Interesting question. I went for the 24 because it's the widest that can be used with the standard viewfinder. My instinctive feeling is that 24 and 28 are too close together to carry in the same bag. My standard way of filling the bag is 15/24/35/75. But I also have Voigtlander 21, 28 and 90mm lenses, so an alternative is 15/21/28/50/90 - this is probably more than I'd normally like to carry (in terms of number of lenses not weight), but then I don't have much use for the 90 so that could be dropped.

 

Personally I'd think in terms of sets of lenses rather than buy everything there is out there. Deciding on the 24 meant that the next lens up would be the 35 Summicron - which I already had

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Son, I've tried to find one of my photographs online illustrating the point about the Nocti, but I haven't been able to. I have the Nocti with me, so I'll see if I can take a shot and upload it.

 

24 or 28. Interesting question. I went for the 24 because it's the widest that can be used with the standard viewfinder. My instinctive feeling is that 24 and 28 are too close together to carry in the same bag. My standard way of filling the bag is 15/24/35/75. But I also have Voigtlander 21, 28 and 90mm lenses, so an alternative is 15/21/28/50/90 - this is probably more than I'd normally like to carry (in terms of number of lenses not weight), but then I don't have much use for the 90 so that could be dropped.

 

Personally I'd think in terms of sets of lenses rather than buy everything there is out there. Deciding on the 24 meant that the next lens up would be the 35 Summicron - which I already had

 

Steve, I would be very appreciative if you can demonstrate the Notilux at F1.0. I hope I can sort out the rest of the lens within these few days left while the fever is still running high.

 

Best Regards,

-Son

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Son,

 

I posted this on another thread but I hope people won't mind if I do it again. It is the ability to get shots like this which mean I am unlikely to ever get rid of my Nocti. I had a terrible start with it as Leica had put it totally wrong when it went for coding. It now seems close to perfect after its second visit to Solms. Those are not light bulbs in those lanterns, they are small candles.

 

Wilson

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Son,

 

I posted this on another thread but I hope people won't mind if I do it again. It is the ability to get shots like this which mean I am unlikely to ever get rid of my Nocti. I had a terrible start with it as Leica had put it totally wrong when it went for coding. It now seems close to perfect after its second visit to Solms. Those are not light bulbs in those lanterns, they are small candles.

 

Wilson

 

hi Wilson,

I like to have the flexibility of using high speed lens in dim light condition. In the case of the RF I can also benefit the slow shutter speed hand held. Thanks for the example of this lens. Since, the lens is also discontinued and becoming more difficult to get I fear that if I don't take my chance now I may have a difficult time of getting one in the future. Also the dealer told me that I do not need the 6 bit code for this lens in which I got from him. Do you think there was any different of putting the 6 bit code on or not?

 

Thanks,

Son

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Son,

I have the Nocti, several other ASPH lenses (21mm to 90mm) and CV15. If you are in SoCal, give me a jingle. We can get together and you can try some of my lenses out first before you commit yourself. Recently, I am spending sometime in Austin, Texas, as well but I am sure we can arrange something.

 

Joshua

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Hi Son, I think that all of these discussions are great. What I think you'll find, however, (with your heightened curiousity of optics) is that you may need to try some of these lens before you can pass judgement on them. For instance, thinking back to the DMR, I used both the 90apo and the 80lux. On paper, the 90 apo is so much more impressive. But, on the camera and in the final image, the 80lux was much more pleasing to me. For others who have different objectives for the use of a particular lens along with a different set of eyes and experience, they'd probably laugh at the thought of someone prefering the 80lux.

 

On the M, there are some lenses that reach out and grab you by the throat and others that are much more subtle. With M lens designs being as good as they are (and then factoring crop factor, ease of use, sharpness, contrast, etc.) a few personal experiments like you are doing is probably the best course of action.

 

Kurt

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Son,

 

I have been using Leica M-lenses since 1970 with great enthusiasm. In that time, I have owned a pre-A 28 Elmarit, pre-A 35 'lux, 'Nocti, 135 with goggles, and still own 90 'lux (early), 50 'cron DR, 50 'lux-A, 35 'lux-A, 24, and CV15 (while I wait for a fast, wide prime from Leica). The lenses for the M cameras are amazing.

 

That said, I am stunned by the quality of the 24mm f2.8-A lens. I bought this lens, used on eBay, in preparation for the M8 I received in December.

 

I used Sean Reid's site to make the decision. I photog a lot of dance in performance and was using my 35mm 'lux-A when I needed to get all the stage in. Therefore, I needed a lens with that fov for the M8.

 

I looked at the 28's on ReidReviews and also at the 24 vs 25 review. The images from the 24 are so remarkable that I see a difference even viewing them on the web (via Sean's review).

 

I've been using this lens since mid-December and I grow to like the images more every day. I just finished printing a portrait series that I did using this lens. Because of the wide fov I cropped the images quite a bit, but the quality from this design is out of this world.

 

You can't go wrong with it. The offer above to let you try lenses is very kind. I suggest you spend the bucks to subscribe to ReidReviews. For me, it substitutes for trying lenses.

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I am stunned by the quality of the 24mm f2.8-A lens...

 

... the quality from this design is out of this world...

 

Couldn't agree more - even if I tend to use the 35mm ASPH Summicron more, the 24mm is something very special.

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