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DandA

CL vs SL with M lenses..comparions?

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Posted (edited)

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Hi All,

 

I know this is somewhat of an arbitrary question and I am certainly well versed using both aps vs. full frame extensively using the same exact full frame lenses on both formats of cameras over many years.  With M rangefinder lenses, it becomes a different story due to the necessity and advantage of thin filter stacks and micro lenses , esp towards the periphery of the sensor.

With that said and for "Only" those who have used BOTH the CL and SL with the same complement of M lenses on both cameras, how much of a difference do you feel performance wise, that there is between the two cameras.  Only consider RAW files from both and I am primarily concerned using both cameras at lower ISO's.  Therefore it's a comparison of the output comparing both using the same lens on both  I am also especially interested when the resulting files of both cameras are examined at 100% actual pixel (at the pixel level) since I do print big. Some had suggested the SL comes close to the M10 with many of their M lenses but have rarely heard the same of the Cl vs. M10 with M lenses and with the different formats, is understandable. Wondering again how close the CL does compared to the M10 using the criteria I mentioned vs. the SL in comparison to the M10.  Again appreciate the feedback.

 

Dave (D&A) 

Edited by DandA

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Personally, having had the SL for a few years and tested all my M and R lenses on it and now done the same for the CL, I see very little difference in the imaging qualities of the lenses on the two different sensors except for two things: 

  • There are some lenses that simply don't image as well on the full frame as they do on an APS-C crop, like the Color Skopar 28mm f/3.5. 
  • The sensor performance of the SL is slightly better at the highest ISO settings, about ISO 3200. 

I'm not overly concerned with the small loss in sensitivity because I only rarely set higher than about ISO 3200, and even that's a stretch. It's nice to be able to use the Color-Skopar 28mm with more confidence that I'll get excellent results because it's a lovely, small, light lens ... But my Elmarit-R 28mm f/2.8 V1 is actually a better performer on either camera.

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vor 7 Minuten schrieb ramarren:

It's nice to be able to use the Color-Skopar 28mm with more confidence that I'll get excellent results because it's a lovely, small, light lens ...

Well, yes, but on your CL the Color-Skopar 28mm, while technically still being a 28mm lens, will give you an angle of view similar to a 35mm lens on full frame, so isn't that comparing apples and oranges?

Cheers, Andy

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I am SOOO happy using my M-lenses on the SL for handling and look that I don't even care if there are minor quality differences. In fact I am even considering selling my M10 because I can see it collecting dust. So far I have only used the M-lenses a little bit on the CL where the benefit is smaller, for me, because of the crop-factor. But unless you are hyper-sensitive I would not worry about it and simply use the lens you like on the camera you like.

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Posted (edited)

I very much appreciate all the feedback so far, extremely useful and informative.  From the initial responses, there doesn't seem to be a exceptional amt of differences using a given M lens on a SL as opposed to being used on a CL, except of course in certain cases and also taking into account  the effect and attribute of the APS CL sensor.

It's not so much for fun use, but also the concern for the performance of the M lenses I use in a professional setting.  It's to use them with one or the two cameras mentioned that have a built in EVF, which give an advantage in composing/seeing in extremely low light.

I also should have emphasized in my original inquiry, is if your observations of using the same lens on either or both a SL and/or CL, and whether it differs greatly (performance wise at low ISO's) when the same lens is used on your M240 or M10? 

I realize there will be exceptions to certain M lenses...but wanted to inquire how much is lost image quality wise ( usual optical properties of a given M lens), by using said M lens on a SL and/or especially a CL vs. it being used on a native M lens digital M body such as a M240 or M10?

Again I appreciate everyone's input and observations.

Dave (D&A)

Edited by DandA

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2 hours ago, wizard said:

Well, yes, but on your CL the Color-Skopar 28mm, while technically still being a 28mm lens, will give you an angle of view similar to a 35mm lens on full frame, so isn't that comparing apples and oranges?

Cheers, Andy

Comparing apples and oranges? Not at all: I'm comparing how the lenses render on the sensor in the two different cameras. OBVIOUSLY, the FoV is different because of the two different formats, but I can crop the SL image down to the CL image for a clear comparison. 

If you want to compare renderings between two different lenses in order to obtain equivalent FoV comparison, that's a completely different thing. I thought DandA was asking the sensible question of how the sensors perform with the same lenses as opposed to how the total image looked between equivalent FoVs. The latter will be bound to have more differences between the two cameras since the specific lenses, ultimately, are the biggest factor in imaging performance. 

(A 28mm lens on the CL approximates a 42mm lens FoV on the SL, a very useful focal length in the APS-C format for my photography. On the CL, the 35mm is a normal and equates to about a 50mm's FoV on the SL. Also a very useful focal length.)

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Posted (edited)

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1 hour ago, DandA said:

I very much appreciate all the feedback so far, extremely useful and informative.  From the initial responses, there doesn't seem to be a exceptional amt of differences using a given M lens on a SL as opposed to being used on a CL, except of course in certain cases and also taking into account  the effect and attribute of the APS CL sensor.

It's not so much for fun use, but also the concern for the performance of the M lenses I use in a professional setting.  It's to use them with one or the two cameras mentioned that have a built in EVF, which give an advantage in composing/seeing in extremely low light.

I also should have emphasized in my original inquiry, is if your observations of using the same lens on either or both a SL and/or CL, and whether it differs greatly (performance wise at low ISO's) when the same lens is used on your M240 or M10? 

I realize there will be exceptions to certain M lenses...but wanted to inquire how much is lost image quality wise ( usual optical properties of a given M lens), by using said M lens on a SL and/or especially a CL vs. it being used on a native M lens digital M body such as a M240 or M10?

Again I appreciate everyone's input and observations.

Dave (D&A)

With respect to the same lenses performance on the M-P 240 or M-D 262, I don't see much difference there either. The SL is again a bit lower noise at the highest ISO settings, but as said before, I don't use the highest ISO settings very often and I expect such a difference. The rendering qualities of my outliers, like the aforementioned Color Skopar 28, have similar problems on all the FF cameras. 

(I don't have an M10 but the testing I did with one at the Leica Store in SF didn't suggest to me that the sensor rendered much differently, other than that it has about the same sensitivity/noise levels as the SL.)

I don't see any useful metric by which to gauge how much image quality is lost. All of these cameras are premium quality, all of these lenses are premium quality. Differences in lens rendering between their use on the different bodies exist, for sure, but they mostly present all upside that you, the photographer, can exploit as best suits your intended photography. How do I know whether that's a gain or a loss? For instance, I can say the Color Skopar 28 exhibits too much color shifting, in some circumstances, for good color work on the FF cameras ... but then I have CornerFix which completely eliminates that problem if I care to use it. And I might want the corner darkening and subtle color shift in other circumstances because it improves the photograph's "image quality."  See, it doesn't make sense: Image quality is a fuzzily defined concept without a useful metric. 

I've made good quality photographs that satisfy me and the people who've viewed and/or bought them with all of these lenses on all of these cameras. I'm picky about which lens I use to do what with, but rating them as one is better than the other at the level of quality that all of them exhibit is just too broad a brush stroke for me. 

BTW: I use only M and R lenses on the CL. I had the 24-90 and 90-280 lenses for the SL but I sold them when I sold the SL. They outperformed all of my M and R lenses, technically. That said, I have seen no purpose to buying the dedicated TL series lenses thus far because I already have all the bases I want to cover handled with my M and R lenses, I like their rendering qualities, and I have no particular desire for AF capability. IMO, if you really want the best performing lenses, technically, for the SL and CL, there is really nothing to do but buy the SL lenses and use them on both  bodies. There are several outstanding and similarly best in breed lenses in the TL series too, but they're not usable for the M-D at all, or SL in FF mode so they don't make much sense if you want to be able to move lenses between all the bodies fluidly. 

Edited by ramarren

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I realize the SL and often times the CL lenses will perform best on their native bodies (or on each other's body) compared to M lenses but I don't plan to go that route if I decide to use either the SL or CL...hence my initial inquiry.  I should also clear up my use of the term render.  Not quite what I  meant in the conventional sense of the word.  Obviously when using M lenses on a Sony, due to the filter stack and need for microlenses, M lenses, especially most of the 35mm and wider, perform more poorly than the same lenses used on a native M digital body (or on a SL or CL for that matter).

The nature of my inquiry was whether use of a particular M lens on a SL or CL, looses performance such as general central sharpness/resolution and also especially away from the central portion of the frame when compared to the same lens used on a M digital body. This has often been the case with M lenses used on non Leica full frame and APS bodies (more so on full frame).  This often can be readily seen in the crops.  Due to the subject matter and needing to print big (needing relatively near the same performance of a given M lens of mine when used on a M digital, to perform relatively close when used on a SL or CL, is what I am trying to get a handle on.  At the moment, I am not concerned if a given M lens with a defined optical signature (like a Zeiss sonar), retains that signature on a non M mt body.

All the feedback so far in this thread has been very useful and does point to relatively similar performance of a given M lenses when used M digital body vs. a SL or CL in terms of relatively little loss of central and edge/corner sharpness, especially when crops were examined (unlike use of wider focal length M lenses used with the Sony and some other mirrorless cameras like the Fuji APS). 

Thanks.

Dave (D&A)

 

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1 hour ago, DandA said:

I very much appreciate all the feedback so far, extremely useful and informative.  From the initial responses, there doesn't seem to be a exceptional amt of differences using a given M lens on a SL as opposed to being used on a CL, except of course in certain cases and also taking into account  the effect and attribute of the APS CL sensor.

It's not so much for fun use, but also the concern for the performance of the M lenses I use in a professional setting.  It's to use them with one or the two cameras mentioned that have a built in EVF, which give an advantage in composing/seeing in extremely low light.

I also should have emphasized in my original inquiry, is if your observations of using the same lens on either or both a SL and/or CL, and whether it differs greatly (performance wise at low ISO's) when the same lens is used on your M240 or M10? 

I realize there will be exceptions to certain M lenses...but wanted to inquire how much is lost image quality wise ( usual optical properties of a given M lens), by using said M lens on a SL and/or especially a CL vs. it being used on a native M lens digital M body such as a M240 or M10?

Again I appreciate everyone's input and observations.

Dave (D&A)

It is a bit of an old-fashioned question. All modern sensors by Leica are of a level that super-geeky quality differences on 100% crops, if any, are utterly irrelevant for photographic results.

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Posted (edited)

Jaap, this is one of the rare times I would have to disagree with you unless you mis-understood the nature of my questions in all my previous posts. I have no question about the performance of Leica sensors in any of their cameras (although I personally favor some over others).  My question was to the relative performance of M lenses on these Leica TL mount cameras and whether anything performance wise is lost as opposed to using the M lens on a native M mt. camera. Many certainly do when used on non Leica cameras.

My requirements do require pixel peeping since these images (as past ones) will be printed at large commercial sizes and the detail on sides and edges can be paramount. Just ask the art director. We are not talking about street or certain other types of photography where often it don't warrant such considerations.  I think your use of the term super-geeky was not appropriate in these circumstances.  A given M lens may perform whats required for the task when used on a M mt. camera (and it does in my case) but may not when mounted to a non M mount camera ie: the Sony's. I wanted to see if such degraded performance issues might exit when using such M lenses (yes I know its on a case by case basis) when used on a SL or especially the CL. There is also a specific reason why a SL or Cl will be employed as opposed to a M mt. body in this case.

Dave (D&A)

Edited by DandA

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In that case I can put your mind at rest; Leica always takes care to make their cameras as retro-compatible as possible  with their legacy lenses.

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Jaap, I understand and agree, but the SL and CL were first and foremost designed with their respective system lenses in mind. Then extracting max performance with M lenses came 2nd. Therefore the reason for my inquiry and simply what of anything is lost by using M lenses on a platform they originally weren't designed for. A reasonable inquiry when edge to edge performance is of primary importance.

Dave (D&A)

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Actually Leica made quite a big marketing thing about their "parabolic" microlenses that were primarily designed to make it M-lens compatible. We are talking about legacy wideangles here; other M lenses have incidence angles that pose no problem on any sensor.

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Yes, I understand and I knew they of course addressed with M lens use in mind. Still some feel there was in certain cases a decrease in performance with certain M lenses on a SL and CL and was just trying to get a accurate handle on all this. Obviously I wasn't expecting the situation to be as problematic as use of M lenses on the Sony. Even those that tried M lenses on Fuji APS with the Fuji adapter, felt a decrease in performance with M lensesm

Once again I appreciate everyone's thoughts and input and have a better handle on these lens, body combinations. If I go this route, a decision would have to be made regarding SL vs. CL. I am aware of the different capabilites of both bodies, so it primarily would come down to their use and performance with M lenses.

Dave (D&A)

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Well, I can compare the Summilux 24 on the CL and M240. I prefer the lens on the CL, mainly because the edges are cropped off, whilst the center part is rendered in 24 MP which does the quality of the lens justice.

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That's one possible dvantage of the CL vs. the SL, namely certain lenses that may have weaker edges/corners, might have somewhat better edge to edge performance on the APS CL.  Thanks for that info Jaap.

 

Dave (D&A)

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The same applies to the old Summicron 35 C which was known for its weak corners. It is significantly improved on the CL. 

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Thanks Jaap, that's also useful info. For those that felt certain M lenses of theirs didn't perform quite as strong on their SL body in comparison with their M digital body, I'd love to hear of the particular weakness they observed.

 

Dave (D&A)

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As I said, I see very very little difference between M-D, M-P, SL, and CL performance of any of my lenses, except as noted above. The biggest difference between using a particular lens on the different bodies, to me, are the handling of the lens on that body: R lenses handle better than M lenses on the TTL SL and CL bodies for me. 

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On 5/13/2019 at 5:29 AM, ramarren said:

As I said, I see very very little difference between M-D, M-P, SL, and CL performance of any of my lenses, except as noted above. The biggest difference between using a particular lens on the different bodies, to me, are the handling of the lens on that body: R lenses handle better than M lenses on the TTL SL and CL bodies for me. 

I agree that the R-lenses handle beautifully on the SL. What I did not like so much was the additional length of the R-adapter so in the end I took the M-line. But Ramarren has more R-lenses than I did - your starting point is important 😊

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