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PPENHABRASIL

2-lens kit choice

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Hello everyone,

I'm new to this forum and still a little unsure on how proceed...

I'm also new to Rangefinder photography (used an SLR and DSLR for many years and have recently decided to "downsize" do the M-System) and wanted to get some opinions on lenses. I know lenses are an extremely personal choice, but I thought I could get some feedback from you kind folks out here about what you would recommend as a 2-lens kit.

I am a big fan of 50s (that's always been my favourite distance), but, with the (D)SLRs, I always had a zoom option (either 24-105 or 24-70).

Currently, I'm using a M-240 with a 50 Summilux, but am considering either adding another lens to the kit (especially for travelling - maybe a 28 Summicron?) or maybe trying my hand at 35 photography (that way I can stay with only one lens?).

I must confess that I really don't like carrying many lenses around, so two would definitely be the most (one ideally). Like I said, I love my 50, but I've never been tied down to a single distance before and I'm wondering how much I'm going to miss something wider (I know I won't miss the zoom). My photography is mostly focused on street and travel and it's especially in the latter where I'm afraid I might miss the versatility of my old zoom lenses.

Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated!

 

 

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The 28 Summicron (or Summilux) would be my choice.  For documentary, travel and street photography I have found that 90% or more of my image making is done with 28mm and 50mm focal lengths.  A 21mm would be a good third lens, but I could easily function with just my 28 and 50.

 

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One day, I mounted on her M to try it out my prefered lens Tri-Elmar-M 28-35-50.

Since then IT became her favorite, so I miss this "universal lens" when lighting is right.

 

Now, I try to compensate with 28/35/50 + 75 ( mainly in Summarit-M/Elmarit-M varieties) in three or two lenses combos :

28/50, 28/75, 35/75, etc.

Neither one combo is as satisfying as Tri-Elmar-M which can be choosen at a flick of ring one of the three focal lengths.

Live is not so simple in Leica M world 😵.

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It really depends on the location as well.

Here for instance, 21/35 turned out to be a good pairing with the M240.

 

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I agree with Herr Barnack. A 28mm works very well with the 50mm as a two lens kit. 28mm is the  widest you can use with the M's rangefinder, any widest and you need an external viewfinder for framing. All the Leica 28mm lenses are excellent. I have the Summicron and the Summilux. I also take more shots with the 28mm than I do with the 50mm.

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Posted (edited)

I like 21, 35, and 90mm --- taking 35mm as a main lens, plus one of the other two depending on the location. External viewfinders such as the Voigtländer 21/25mm for the super-wide lens are very clear and relatively inexpensive. The other option which has been mentioned is 28 and 50, but I find 35 vs 50, or 28 vs 35 to be sufficiently distinct in their looks  -- it is down to personal taste. The 21mm focal length is something special, while the 90mm is nice to have for travel, especially the tiny 90mm Macro Elmar. If I had to own only two lenses it would be 35 and 90mm.

Nick

Edited by Nick_S

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I would also add a 28mm as 2nd lens. IMO it's the most versatile set when you need reduction on travel. I often use only the 50 and 28 Summicrons. But maybe the Elmarit is a good choice, too, because of it's compact size (and it's quite affordable)? But be aware, when you are wearing glasses, the 28mm frame in the viewfinder is hard to see.

just my 2 cents

 

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I also use 28/50. I’ve tried 35mm several times (a some expense...) and never been happy.

I know that 35 is supposed to be the M focal length (as told by 35 users!) but for me I see either “wider” or “narrower” and trying to use 35 as a “Goldilocks” just-right single lens didn’t work.

If you like your 50 lux I’d go 28 cron next - then don’t be surprised to find later you’ve got 5 50s and 3 28s to choose from.....🙄

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Posted (edited)

Wow. Thank you everyone for taking the time to answer!

I guess the 28/50 combination seems to be preferred by many. I’ve just never shot too much with a 28 (other than with my phone). And though I was intrigued by the 35/90 combo, I really can’t see myself ever getting rid of my 50...

What I CAN easily see myself in is the “dilemma” highlighted by NigelG (having 5 50s and 3 28s in the maybe-not-so-distant future)...

I now have to decide between 28s... tough life!

Edited by PPENHABRASIL

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2 hours ago, padam said:

It really depends on the location as well.

Here for instance, 21/35 turned out to be a good pairing with the M240.

 

Very interesting video...

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, PPENHABRASIL said:

Hello everyone,

I'm new to this forum and still a little unsure on how proceed...

I'm also new to Rangefinder photography (used an SLR and DSLR for many years and have recently decided to "downsize" do the M-System) and wanted to get some opinions on lenses. I know lenses are an extremely personal choice, but I thought I could get some feedback from you kind folks out here about what you would recommend as a 2-lens kit.

I am a big fan of 50s (that's always been my favourite distance), but, with the (D)SLRs, I always had a zoom option (either 24-105 or 24-70).

Currently, I'm using a M-240 with a 50 Summilux, but am considering either adding another lens to the kit (especially for travelling - maybe a 28 Summicron?) or maybe trying my hand at 35 photography (that way I can stay with only one lens?).

I must confess that I really don't like carrying many lenses around, so two would definitely be the most (one ideally). Like I said, I love my 50, but I've never been tied down to a single distance before and I'm wondering how much I'm going to miss something wider (I know I won't miss the zoom). My photography is mostly focused on street and travel and it's especially in the latter where I'm afraid I might miss the versatility of my old zoom lenses.

Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated!

 

 

Welcome to the forum! 😊

I started rangefinder photography little more than one year ago, in April 2018, with a nicely-preserved, pre-owned Summilux-M 50mm ASPH. Lovely Fifties!

If carrying more than one lens is seen as bothersome, then, perhaps, compactness may be a desirable goal for the second lens. The smallest Leica-M lenses, in current production, are the 28mm Elmarit-M 28mm f/2.8 ASPH and Summaron-M 28mm f/5.6, the latter being a reproduction of a mid-Nineteenth Century lens, but with modern coatings and production methods. I own neither of these, yet, but their small size is a plus, so they have my attention. Optically, of course, they differ, substantially.

I have been immensely enjoying a nicely compact Zeiss 21mm f/4.5 ZM Biogon C, for black-and-white photography, with a Monochrom Type 246. This lens has virtually no distortion, though one must take care to keep the camera’s pitch quite level, to avoid perspective distortion, as with all ultra-wide-angle lenses. 21mm is a compelling focal length for travel, as seen in the video link posted by padam, above. I should warn that some early 21mm Leica lenses will impart color.shift aberrations at the edges of the frame, with digital sensors, and the same is true of my Zeiss 21mm f/4,5 Biogon C. Newer 21mm M-mount lenses, Leica or Zeiss, would be better for color photography, so this is a case of doing one’s research before buying an older-design ultra-wide-angle lens. The Zeiss 21mm f/4.5 ZM Biogon C is current-production, but is of “Classic” design, with an older optical formula. 

35mm is one of my favorite focal lengths. Whether one wants to carry both a 50mm and a 35mm, however, is very much an individual decision. Some Leica-M 35mm lenses are quite compact. My example of a compact 35mm Leica lens is a Summaron-M 3.5cm f/3.5. Many of these mid-century lenses have internal haze, and external damage. I chose carefully, and experienced a lucky transaction.

Please, do not see this as advice, but rather sharing the beginning of my journey into Leica photography. 😊

 

Edited by RexGig0

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I must confess that I really don't like carrying many lenses around

I am 21/35/50 for M tri-lenses, but my most-common configuration is just like you - an M and 50.
 But I have a Ricoh GR III in my pocket. Cheaper than a lens, doesn't require changing lenses (or dealing with resulting sensor dust), can go solo on its own when bringing a full-blown M isn't ideal, the zone prefocus mode is excellent and M-like, could go on and on. It's a perfect companion or substitute for an M shooter.

 

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Ah the joyous pain of lens choices! Welcome!

Couple of points:

- in your previous 24-70mm zoom life, check from EXIF data which are the 2 most used focal lengths - might be in for surprise?

- people say classic 50mm pairing is a 28mm but the 28 has never worked for me. I'm a 35 guy. Started as 50 but now 35. Meaning your shooting will change and evolve so your initial lens choices is not forever

- 2 lens only - can be due to weight/size as well. Meaning if you can find really small and light lenses, it could be a 3 lens deal e.g. 28/2.8 elmarit and a tiny 35

- WATE/MATE are obvious choices but I just got the Konica Dual M Hexanon 21-35mm (not zoom, 2 focal lengths) 

Thing about M240 is be careful of weird colour casts at the edges for non-Leica lenses. The M10 doesn't seem to have the same problem or at least to that extent.

Oh the pain of lens choices.......

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On 6/5/2019 at 9:56 AM, PPENHABRASIL said:

Hello everyone,

I'm new to this forum and still a little unsure on how proceed...

I'm also new to Rangefinder photography (used an SLR and DSLR for many years and have recently decided to "downsize" do the M-System) and wanted to get some opinions on lenses. I know lenses are an extremely personal choice, but I thought I could get some feedback from you kind folks out here about what you would recommend as a 2-lens kit.

I am a big fan of 50s (that's always been my favourite distance), but, with the (D)SLRs, I always had a zoom option (either 24-105 or 24-70).

Currently, I'm using a M-240 with a 50 Summilux, but am considering either adding another lens to the kit (especially for travelling - maybe a 28 Summicron?) or maybe trying my hand at 35 photography (that way I can stay with only one lens?).

I must confess that I really don't like carrying many lenses around, so two would definitely be the most (one ideally). Like I said, I love my 50, but I've never been tied down to a single distance before and I'm wondering how much I'm going to miss something wider (I know I won't miss the zoom). My photography is mostly focused on street and travel and it's especially in the latter where I'm afraid I might miss the versatility of my old zoom lenses.

Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated!

 

 

28mm is the most appropriate pairing if you want to stay with your 50mm lens. My two lens setup would be the 35mm f2.4 Summarit and 21mm f3.4 Super Elmar.

For most outings, even at home, two lenses are two fewer than I want to have access to, so the 21mm (Super Elmar), 35, 75 (f2.4 Summarits) and 135mm f3.4 APO Telyt is my current outfit of choice with the M262 body and an M9-P if I also carry a second body.

Of course, multiple lens outfits also requires an optimal bag for ease of carry and once you venture beyond 3 lenses, finding the optimal carryall that keeps the weight minimized and makes the swapping of lenses as convenient as possible is key.

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My preference is a 35 &75 , both cron. Amazing image quality,  Lite, both provide great angle of view. I do mostly street and currently focusing on bicycles and hands.... anyway I find this kit easy yo carry whether on foot or bike. If your out in the street I can’t over emphasize the importance of a bag.... I know it seems silly but to me it makes a huge difference. Currently I use either the ONA, the beacon or a sling bag I got at the gap with an insert. 

Im usually out and about all day so weight is critical....the  75 vs 90 was a size weight decision for me. 

Leica is all about lenses .....think long term about your eventual  lens set-up, choose the best lenses for your true needs along the way, buy once, enjoy for years. 

My next lens is the 21 SEM followed by the 135. With the eventual 4 lens 21/37/75/135.... travel, depending where, city,rural,etc would likely be 35/75 and stuff in that 21 if possible.

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My favourite two lens combination, like many others, is 28 Elmarit M ASPH and 50 Summicron.  

My second favourite combination is 35 and 50. 

These are based on both the M viewfinder strengths and limitations, and my experience coming from a 28-105 SLR zoom background, many years ago. 

I no longer have any interest in zooms, or any real interest in focal lengths greater than 50mm for general family, streetscape or landscape photography. 

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