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I bought my first Leica recently, a T. I'd always loved the design, the single block of aluminium build, and been intrigued by the touchscreen operating system. It always seemed to be a very modern interpretation of an APS-C camera by a company that's know for its long traditions. And with prices so low I thought it was worth trying one out. I'm a bit of a camera tart, you name it over the last 10 years and I've probably had one. I'm a hobbyist rather than a serious photographer and the feel of a camera and the enjoyment of using it is almost as important to me as the image quality.

I didn't have a lens for it and while I was deciding which ones I should get I ordered the 7artisans 55mm f/1.4 from China. It's a manual lens (I haven't shot manual for years), and quite long (82.5mm equivalent) but very cheap, and it luckily arrived the morning of my holiday to Suffolk so I packed the T as well as my Pana GX9 just in case.

I was quite surprised just how much I enjoyed using a manual focus lens after so long away. I'm desperately short of practice but thanks to the T's ability to let you zoom in to focus (thanks to everyone on here who helped me work out how to do it) I think I did ok. My Visoflex 020 hasn't arrived yet so all my shots were done using the screen to compose and focus, which was a bit tricky.

To say I was pleased would be an understatement. I love the feel of the T, think the image quality with the 7artisans was very nice, and loved the look and feel of the pairing. I've got a 35mm Voigtlander M mount as well, just waiting for the adapter to arrive! I think that will be a more useful day to day lens. But even so I found the 55mm quite useful, and even managed some wildlife pics. 

Most of the images below were taken at F4, with one or two at f1.4 for a bit of variety. Any feedback or advice is more than welcome, I certainly consider myself a Leica beginner, despite my advanced age!

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Hope that isn’t your boat that’s sunk in the 3rd picture. Welcome to Leica. You won’t regret the  move. 

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34 minutes ago, grahamhoey said:

Hope that isn’t your boat that’s sunk in the 3rd picture. Welcome to Leica. You won’t regret the  move. 

No thank goodness. The second boat I’ve seen sunk in that marina in the last few month though. 

I hope not, though my wallet might. I’ve already started to look at M models 😀

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With EVF visoflex 020 it’s easy to focus so much, that I don’t even take the opportunity to zoom in.

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2 hours ago, al_exus said:

With EVF visoflex 020 it’s easy to focus so much, that I don’t even take the opportunity to zoom in.

Great, picking mine up from the post office today

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Congrats on your T, great camera system. Nice first shots, the 7 artisans looks to be a bit soft wide open but for the price it looks ok when stopped down.

I have used many lenses with the T/CL and find that a great budget lens set is available very cheap. Contax Zeiss with a Novoflex adapter. I find the IQ is stunning they render beautifully, they are all manual focus lenses, I have 18 / 28 / 35 / 50 / 80-200 the 18 was the most expensive at £400, the rest were around £150-250.

If you decide to go with M mount lenses then the best budget option IMO would be Voigtlander, they make superb lenses at reasonable prices. or Leica M lenses if you have the funds.

The ultimate would obviously be the native L mount Leica lenses, auto focus and designed to work with the camera. I use the 18-56 / 23 / 35 / 11-23 / 55-135. expensive but very impressive.

This would all be down to what you shoot. judging by your post, you would do well with the 18-56 to start, can be had for around £800 on eBay or even reddot camera have them at that price.

I had my T converted to Infrared when I got the CL, great move.

 

Enjoy.

 

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Posted (edited)

Thanks @Marac, I think for £125 delivered it's pretty good value, I'll probably use it as a portrait lens. And it's good to see a wider selection of L mount lenses.

Thanks for the tips re Contax Zeiss lenses, I'll definitely start investigating them. My only other lens right now is the Voigtlander Color-Skopar 35mm 2.5 which I'm looking forward to trying once the adapter comes. Got my camera, 2 lenses, Visoflex, hood etc, and the slowest thing to arrive is the adapter grrrr.

You certainly seem to have a full set of Leica L lenses! How are you finding the difference between the T and the CL? I surprised just how modern and fast the T feels, for some reason I was expecting it to feel a bit more dated. I think the 18-56 would be a great do it all lens for me, it depends if I decide to stick with manual focusing. Of course now I'm deliberating between staying with L (the new alliance has some potential I feel) or going for a M9 for that rangefinder experience.

I told you all I was a bit of a camera tart, I think I might have found my home now though 🙂

Edited by Bokatom

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I have one I use with a CL, fairly solid lens, images are nice, the magnification and focus assist on the CL help focus. Definitely a keeper, in the US it was $149 at B&H. 55 is a good portrait length on APS-C. With my film M cameras, I would carry 2 one with a 35mm the other with an 85mm, have the 23 Summicron and now the 55 7Artisans, do I now need a second CL? 

My only gripe is no click stops on the aperture ring, and f11 isn't printed on the ring (no real room).

Tom

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On 3/18/2019 at 9:10 AM, tommonego@gmail.com said:

I have one I use with a CL, fairly solid lens, images are nice, the magnification and focus assist on the CL help focus. Definitely a keeper, in the US it was $149 at B&H. 55 is a good portrait length on APS-C. With my film M cameras, I would carry 2 one with a 35mm the other with an 85mm, have the 23 Summicron and now the 55 7Artisans, do I now need a second CL? 

My only gripe is no click stops on the aperture ring, and f11 isn't printed on the ring (no real room).

Tom

'Just to be clear - Are you using the arrows, (up and down/left and right?), on the CL to activate the magnification and focus assist?

By the way, we're up in East Burke.  🙂

. . . David

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Have skied Burke Mountain a few times, though I am a not great at downhill, the cross country trails are more my style. 

The mag is set for the left wheel on my CL generally use that or the up arrow. Interestingly the wheel works on the 55 while nothing works on my old 90 f2.8 Elmarit.

Tom

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Hi Bokatom,

New member here. I just recently bought a used Leica T with more or less the same reason as yours. And like what you did, I was eyeing the 7Artisans 55 f1.4 to start with. This is also my introduction to Manual Focusing and to Leica Mirrorless System though I used to own a Leica Digilux 2. I am curious if your 7 artisans is still doing the job good for you.

 

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On 8/12/2019 at 3:43 PM, shawrob said:

I’ve got the 7artisans ordered, will post my thoughts after some usage if you are interested

Hi Shawrob,

 

Did you already managed to use the 7artisans 55mm?

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