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Impression of CL + 60mm Macro?

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Posted (edited)

Happy New Year!

Now the CL is about a year into the market, I wonder how many could share your experience of your CL with the TL 60mm/f2.8 Macro lens?   Is a good combo?  Is this lens worthy at this high price?    I now only have a 23mm/f2.0 as a "native lens" with a CL, and not really used this system yet, very unfamiliar with it.

 

Edited by yst

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Posted (edited)

Yau-Sun Tong:

The TL 60 2.8 is a superb lens.  If you like the 90 mm perspective, or want macro, you will be quite content. I think it as fine a lens as the TL 35 1.4, which most consider to be the top lens in the TL line.

You cannot go wrong with any of the T lenses. It is more a matter of the focal length that you prefer to be taking photos.

Some examples below with the Leica T and SL with the TL 60 2.8.  The lens used to hunt much more with the TL line of cameras, but that is mostly no longer the case with the CL.

Rob

Edited by ropo54

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Thank you.    I used to be very well with the Leica R 100/f2.8 Marco, and the 60/2.8 Macro...  Both were great macro lenses of just simply great lenses.   Do not know how this TL 60 macro compared to them... 

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I find it an excellent lens: high IQ, and versatile, with its close focus and macro abilities. Bokeh is very smooth.

You have to remember that it is equivalent to a 90mm on full frame; that is a focal length that I will happily use for portraits, but not as a typical travel/street/social lens. It's a lens I use when I have a task or photographic shoot that needs it: I won't carry it around 'just in case'

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Posted (edited)

Unless you have a sustained interest in macro or close-up, a standard zoom lens on your CL would give you better service. The  long end of the zoom range  is a useful focal length for portrature. Keep your 23mm for low light and indoors and shallow depth of field.. I considered the 60mm lens until I realised how little I used a 90mm on full-frame or needed a specific macro lens. 

Edited by wda

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I find the f/5.6 aperture at the long end of the 18-56 zoom less than ideal for portraiture, and prefer the 60TL at f/2.8. 

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However, the aperture wanted for a portrait is a very personal choice. Personally I prefer deep DOF against a uniform background to a fuzzy nosetip-and-ears style.

Disclosure: 90 mm is probably my least-used focal length. ;)

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8 minutes ago, jaapv said:

However, the aperture wanted for a portrait is a very personal choice. Personally I prefer deep DOF against a uniform background to a fuzzy nosetip-and-ears style.

Disclosure: 90 mm is probably my least-used focal length. ;)

I agree entirely. 

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I did lust after the 60mm macro (for portraiture) I'm not really a 'macro' kind of photographer but I have used Macro lenses for portraits for years, one of my all time favourite macro/portrait lens was the 120mm Macro 645 Contax and the Schneider / Mamiya. 

On the CL however, I find myself more drawn towards an old Contax Zeiss 50mm f1.4, set to f2.8 it delivers great quality, sharp, portraits with a smooth background and around £250 is a complete steal.

My Wife shoots with an old Sony a7 mkI and her entire lens arsenal is Contax Zeiss 18/28/35/50/180 

The other legendary Contax zeiss lens is the 85mm f1.4, desirable on FF but on a crop it's a tad longer than I like to shoot portraits.

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If you are interested in portrait mainly, Zeiss lenses might be an alternative. I personally made my "best" portraits with my old famous Zeiss 2/50 with M-mount. Of course you need the not really cheap adapter M for CL, but it works very good with magnification plus focus peaking. Results with CL are simply superb! As mentioned by others before the 18-56 zoom might serve as alternative, perhaps with the ELPRO for some macro, that combo gives you flexibility and results I have seen in the forum (the zoom as well as the ELPRO) are really fine. I am strongly considering to buy that combo (if available...) and will discuss that on our family kitchen table soon. 🙂

best

Philipp

 

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The 60 handles a bit like the R 100 on a full frame camera, but it is lighter, has AF, and goes down to 1:1.  As others have said it is easy and pleasant to use as a normal 90 mm-eff lens for portraits and other things.  For a product shot like this one, where I had to use my free hand to hold a light, it is perfect:

C1090947 by scott kirkpatrick, on Flickr

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On 1/4/2019 at 8:47 PM, yst said:

Thank you.    I used to be very well with the Leica R 100/f2.8 Marco, and the 60/2.8 Macro...  Both were great macro lenses of just simply great lenses.   Do not know how this TL 60 macro compared to them... 

When I was first looking at the CL as a potential replacement for my SL, I compared the native TL 60mm lens against my Macro-Elmarit-R 60mm f/2.8 at the dealership, because doing close-up, macro, and tabletop work is one of the PRIMARY things I wanted the CL for. I made fifteen paired exposures with the two lenses at different focus distances, aperture settings, etc, both tripod mounted. Despite the two lenses being utterly different lens designs with about a quarter of a century between them, the look and feel of the native lens' rendering is nigh on to identical under almost all situations on the CL body. 

I was considering whether I ought to keep using the R lens or whether to buy the TL lens. In use, I found I preferred the R lens because of its superb manual focusing feel and nice graduations on the focusing ring for magnification, and I almost never want auto focus ... particularly with a macro lens. They're about the same bulk and weight, minus the fact that to reach 1:1 with the R lens I have to pop the Macro-Adapter-R extension tube into place. Not a big deal since I normally need about 1:3 to 1:2 magnification anyway. 

But if I didn't already have the Macro-Elmarit-R 60, I would have no hesitation buying the TL60 lens at all. It's a very fine lens! 

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Lack of AF limiter and lack of manual focus graduation are the two drawbacks of APO macro TL 60mm. Otherwise IQ is superb  

That’s why I gave up MF with this lens for macro and only rely on pinpoint AF mode. 

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6 hours ago, nicci78 said:

Lack of AF limiter and lack of manual focus graduation are the two drawbacks of APO macro TL 60mm. Otherwise IQ is superb  

That’s why I gave up MF with this lens for macro and only rely on pinpoint AF mode. 

What is "AF limiter and lack of manual focus graduation"?    Isn't that on CL you could still "manually" focus a lens? 

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Of course you can. Just be prepare to turn the ring for a long time  

TL 60 macro AF is weird. Because the lens has two stages, acting as an non documented focus limiter :

- infinity to something like 1:2

- 1:2 to 1:1 

AF only works within one of the two stages. You have to manually focus from one to another. It is workable though.

Even weirder the CL has a menu call focus limit, that does absolutely nothing at all  ! 

 

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, nicci78 said:

Lack of AF limiter and lack of manual focus graduation are the two drawbacks of APO macro TL 60mm. Otherwise IQ is superb  

That’s why I gave up MF with this lens for macro and only rely on pinpoint AF mode. 

There is an AF limiter, set in the CL menu - it's just greyed out when the 60TL is not mounted. If you set the limit to ON, AF is limited to the range in which the lens currently is: very close (for macro) or further away (for normal use). In practice, you get the lens into the distance range you want manually (half press the shutter button and turn the focus ring), then let AF work within that range. It makes AF quicker.

I can't remember what the focus distance is that separates the two ranges - it may be in the camera or lens manual

Manual focusing on this lens takes a bit of getting used to, Turning the ring slowly changes the focus very little. Turning it fast by the same amount changes it a lot. If you are being cautious it can take a hell of a lot of turns to bring it into the macro range, but you get used to turning the ring fast.

I'm not sure that distance gradations are much help when tiny changes in focus are what's needed in the macro range. I find focusing in a narrow range by a slow turn is more precise than focusing by little nudges on a direct-action focus ring.

Edited by LocalHero1953

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2 hours ago, nicci78 said:

Of course you can. Just be prepare to turn the ring for a long time  ....

I suspect you've never used a Hasselblad with the Makro-Planar 120mm f/4 fitted. It's designed for precision, not speed, with what feels like a 720 degree focusing ring rotation...! :D

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1 hour ago, LocalHero1953 said:

There is an AF limiter, set in the CL menu - it's just greyed out when the 60TL is not mounted. If you set the limit to ON, AF is limited to the range in which the lens currently is: very close (for macro) or further away (for normal use). In practice, you get the lens into the distance range you want manually (half press the shutter button and turn the focus ring), then let AF work within that range. It makes AF quicker.

I can't remember what the focus distance is that separates the two ranges - it may be in the camera or lens manual

Manual focusing on this lens takes a bit of getting used to, Turning the ring slowly changes the focus very little. Turning it fast by the same amount changes it a lot. If you are being cautious it can take a hell of a lot of turns to bring it into the macro range, but you get used to turning the ring fast.

I'm not sure that distance gradations are much help when tiny changes in focus are what's needed in the macro range. I find focusing in a narrow range by a slow turn is more precise than focusing by little nudges on a direct-action focus ring.

Interesting AF behavior. I didn't know that about the two stage limiting. 

The adaptive speed focusing servo I felt immediately when manual focusing with it. It works well. 

Regards the distance scale, I use the markings to get in the ballpark or to set a magnification. Fine focusing adjustment I do with a focusing rail, not the focusing mount. I guess that shows the kind of macro work I do ... I don't photograph bugs or tiny plants in the field very much. :)

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Some measurements :

APO-Macro-TL 60 stays a f/2.8 until 30cm.

Then goes to f/3,5 between 29 and 16cm its minimum.


Smallest object at f/2,8 at 30cm is 5,6cm
Smallest object at  f/3,5 at 25cm is 4,1cm
Smallest object at f/3,5 at 16cm is 1,6cm


Two AF zones, which requires manual focus to go from one zone to another
point of change between the two zones is exactly at 30 cm from sensor plane or 20 cm from the lens filter.

Under 30cm we are on macro AF zone. Above 30cm in infinity normal zone. 

 We feel the change physically when the optical group shifts position. You cannot miss it at 30cm


In macro zone : AF will be available between 16cm and 39cm 
In infinity zone : TL60 will provide AF between 25 cm and infinity  

Only range between 25 to 39cm in f/2,8 will be covered by the 2 AF zones.

 

these are my measurements, no documentation whatsoever provided by Leica. What a shame !

anyway TL macro 60 is one of my favourite lens. 

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Sounds excellent, typically functional and subtle behavior. Typically “understated” documentation by Leica! :D

ya never know, I might buy one someday. :)

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