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Favorite lens with your CL?

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Aside from Nikon legacy glass, which I no longer seem to use with the CL, I have 7 M, R, and TL mount lenses.

It struck me today that the one I actually enjoy the most is the one that cost me the least: M135 f/4 v. 1. It's very small, has a cool inverted and attached shade, and a Mandler design. Mine was so cheap on ebay that, even though it likely needs a CLA, it would actually cost less just to replace it. A great, portable 200mm equivalent. I have the R 135 f2.8 v. 2 as well (also Mandler) that can pair with a 2x APO extender, but it's nearly 1/2 pound heavier, if a stop faster. I like both these lenses so much that I may sell the 55-135 TL to help fund 2 more primes (an M and an R).

What are other folks' favs?

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I only have the TL 23 and TL 18-56. Both are great lenses, but it’s the 23 I enjoy using the most, because it makes me think more about the shots I can take and more importantly frame the shot I want to take. It’s also light, portable and non-intrusive. 

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I have the 3 zooms but haven’t had a chance to use them much.  I just picked up a used Voigtlander 50mm f/1.2. I’m really going to enjoy this lens.  

Amy

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I have the TL35, TL60, TL11-23 and 40mm f2 from the original CL.  Usage is 60% TL35 for shallow DOF, speed, image quality.  

Then 20% for the 40mm f2 due to discreet size and fun going back to basics.  I’m just discovering what the TL60 can do so use may increase.  Mat

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Posted (edited)

That's a hard question to answer.  I have to think of the reason I bought the CL in the first place, and that was mainly because of the ability to use my M lenses. 

Purchased with the 18-56  I was  delighted with IQ from the zoom and it still is in my view a great travel option.  I went on to purchase the 23/35/ and 55-135 TL.  I still have them all but feel I could live without the 23 (easily),  and the 35 because of my M lens options.  

The 55-135 is another story though.   I have had the M135 you talk of in the past, and actually wish I hadn't sold it, may get another copy sometime but I cannot think of when I would mount that in preference to the 55-135 zoom.   I make that judgement comparing IQ between the two, added to the flexibility that the zoom gives and not forgetting AF.  

Favourites on the CL for me other than the TL zooms are CV 40mm 1.2 /Sum 50 1.4 and 180R and that's just because it's the longest comfortable to use lens I have on the CL.

 

 

 

Edited by Boojay

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Posted (edited)

I have the TL23 and TL35 as well as a range of M lenses. 

My favourite is the TL23 because it makes such a compact and light package and I always enjoy the 35 EFOV viewpoint.

That said, the TL35 constantly delights with its excellent results.

I have tried all the M lenses now and don't think I will continue using any of them.  Mostly this is because I need AF (which is why I bought the CL) and also they don't feel 'right' to me with the CL compared to with the original M.   I know many here report otherwise and quite understand why -- the results are great. But for me the 'feel' is not properly balanced or integrated, or something.

Now the question is, which TL lens to add to the kit?  I was contemplating the TL60 for portraits, but then the TL55-135 gets such glowing reports and would add flexibility.  Nice problem to have!

Edited by rob_w

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1 hour ago, Boojay said:

That's a hard question to answer.  I have to think of the reason I bought the CL in the first place, and that was mainly because of the ability to use my M lenses. 

Purchased with the 18-56  I was  delighted with IQ from the zoom and it still is in my view a great travel option.  I went on to purchase the 23/35/ and 55-135 TL.  I still have them all but feel I could live without the 23 (easily),  and the 35 because of my M lens options.  

The 55-135 is another story though.   I have had the M135 you talk of in the past, and actually wish I hadn't sold it, may get another copy sometime but I cannot think of when I would mount that in preference to the 55-135 zoom.   I make that judgement comparing IQ between the two, added to the flexibility that the zoom gives and not forgetting AF.  

Favourites on the CL for me other than the TL zooms are CV 40mm 1.2 /Sum 50 1.4 and 180R and that's just because it's the longest comfortable to use lens I have on the CL.

 

 

 

Thanks so much, Jayne. I appreciate your observations about the 55-135. I'm probably move ambivalent about that lens than any I've ever owned. It does take fantastic photos, and I've learned how to adjust the autofocusing based on conditions. Maybe my ambivalence is in the cost compared to what's available in the used world of Leica mid-teles. I'd also love to have the 11-23 (if it's ever again available), but then I'd worry that I'd have no reason at all to keep my Q!

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I carry with me with the CL, 23 Summicron, almost always on the camera, an adapted 11-16 Tokina f2.8, 55 7 Artisan f1.4, and a 90 f2.8 Elmarit. I gravitate to the 2 Leica lenses. The Tokina is a wonderful lens, just the focus assist goes crazy when it is at f5.6 and above, cause everything is in focus. I also like an adapted 40 f2.8 Makro Kilar, but would like a 100mm or so macro for better working distance. What is my favorite lens depends on what I am doing. As I said earlier for general photography the 23 is almost always on the camera.

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I too chose the CL to accompany an M (M-D).  I do have the TL 55-135, which is great, but almost never use the TL 23.  Most used so far is a Voigtländer 35/1.4, Leica 35/2.5 Summarir and Pentax 43mm Ltd.  But a 7Artisans 55/1.4 has just arrived and has a very different feel.....

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Most of my M lenses work fine on the CL but the one i use the most is a tiny Tessar 35/3.5 adapted by MS Optical. Matches very well another favorite of mine the Elmar-M 50/2.8.

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55-135mm was my favorite. Then I tried 105-280 R lens and I also like that very much. I might have a bias towards long lenses on CL. :)

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I bought the CL to replace the SL as my digital body to use my kit of Leica R lenses (and macro equipment) with. I also use my M lenses occasionally with it. I don't have much in way of favorite lenses, I use what I need for what I want to shoot. I like all my lenses a lot. I normally carry a two lens kit, most commonly R28 and R50 lenses. 

One lens I bought specifically for the CL: The Pentax-L 43mm f/1.9 Special. When I'm looking to minimize my kit's size and weight, I carry that and the Color-Skopar 28mm f/3.5. 

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37 minutes ago, ramarren said:

I bought the CL to replace the SL as my digital body to use my kit of Leica R lenses (and macro equipment) with. I also use my M lenses occasionally with it. I don't have much in way of favorite lenses, I use what I need for what I want to shoot. I like all my lenses a lot. I normally carry a two lens kit, most commonly R28 and R50 lenses. 

One lens I bought specifically for the CL: The Pentax-L 43mm f/1.9 Special. When I'm looking to minimize my kit's size and weight, I carry that and the Color-Skopar 28mm f/3.5. 

The classic Pentax 3 Amigos of 31, 43 and 77 Limiteds all work well with a double adapter set up - and not as large as might be feared. K to M, M to TL.

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6 hours ago, kentishrev said:

The classic Pentax 3 Amigos of 31, 43 and 77 Limiteds all work well with a double adapter set up - and not as large as might be feared. K to M, M to TL.

Of the three, the 43 and 77 mm Limited were my favorites when I was shooting with Pentax gear. The 31 never clicked for me. (The later Pentax-DA 21mm f/3.8 Limited did, however, on their APS-C DSLR bodies.) The FA43, in particular, motivated me to keep a Pentax body around for several years JUST to use that lens with. :)

The issue I found with all the screwdriver-drive Pentax SLR AF lenses with respect to adaptation is that the focusing mount is very fast and very light to the touch, which for me makes them a bit imprecise to use with manual focus. The big advantage of the Pentax-L 43 is that it's a real Leica thread mount and has a lovely feel (as well as rangefinder coupling for use on the M) when focusing with just the right amount of resistance and speed. The only downside is that the close focus limit is RF centric at .7m, but this isn't such a huge problem given that I keep an ELPRO closeup lens in the bag. 

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15 minutes ago, ramarren said:

Of the three, the 43 and 77 mm Limited were my favorites when I was shooting with Pentax gear. The 31 never clicked for me. (The later Pentax-DA 21mm f/3.8 Limited did, however, on their APS-C DSLR bodies.) The FA43, in particular, motivated me to keep a Pentax body around for several years JUST to use that lens with. :)

The issue I found with all the screwdriver-drive Pentax SLR AF lenses with respect to adaptation is that the focusing mount is very fast and very light to the touch, which for me makes them a bit imprecise to use with manual focus. The big advantage of the Pentax-L 43 is that it's a real Leica thread mount and has a lovely feel (as well as rangefinder coupling for use on the M) when focusing with just the right amount of resistance and speed. The only downside is that the close focus limit is RF centric at .7m, but this isn't such a huge problem given that I keep an ELPRO closeup lens in the bag. 

In Pentax forums, the 43 has the least love of the three, but I, perhaps like you, found it the most versatile (and smallest by a mile).  Would love the RF version, but they rarely come up for sale.

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While travelling I'm a 2-lens + CL person: and the 11-23 zoom is used most of the time. The secondary lens is usually the 18-56, but next time I think I'll take the 60TL instead, because I usually grab the 18-56 for its long end, and because the the 60TL is not only faster but focuses close, which is good for details of interest.

I keep being tempted by the 35TL, but I'd be more likely to choose the versatility/practicality of the 11-23 over the fast prime on the CL. I might get it for the TL2, which I use just with the LCD in social scenarios, where a prime lens simplifies framing; at the moment I mostly use the 18TL with the TL2.

I suspect I'm more likely to get the 35SL - I don't have a wide option for the SL (which I use mainly for portraits & events). But then the 24-90 does all I want on the SL in that range so.......

I don't do much nature photography and rarely use long lenses, except the 90-280 on the SL for indoor events/performances, so I'm not tempted by the 55-135.

I have explained all this just to show how much lens choice is influenced by ones own style of photography and subject matter.

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1 hour ago, kentishrev said:

In Pentax forums, the 43 has the least love of the three, but I, perhaps like you, found it the most versatile (and smallest by a mile).  Would love the RF version, but they rarely come up for sale.

I know, it is roundly dissed by a lot of the Pentaxians. But IMO it's the best of the three, the 77 close behind: lovely bokeh, a very "Leica-like" set of rendering qualities. Comparing 11x17" prints from it against my Summilux 35 v2 (ca 1972) and current Summicron-M 50, it would be easy to imagine the three lenses were all from the same brand. 

Pentax made about 2000 of the LTM Specials over the course of about three years (1990-2001, IIRC), about a 50-50 split between silver and black finish, and originally they were sold only in Japan. Prices for the 'as new' boxed set with the clip on viewfinder have tended to run in the $1300-1500 price range for the past 15 years. I found this one on Ebay in exc shape, without the box or finder but with the original caps, a year ago for under $700 ... nabbed it immediately. It was a Japanese seller, and he shipped it to me so fast it felt like it arrived the very next day. They show up like that from time to time if you want one. 

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As an aside, I have a particular yearning for the FoV (and qualities) of a Hasselblad SWC in an all digital system. On FF format with the SL, the Super-Elmar-R 15mm f/3.5 did a lovely job of this with square crop, but the 15mm is too long on the APS-C format of the CL. I was originally interested in the 11-23, 11mm would do it nicely, but I honestly do not like to use zoom lenses very much at all. So I'm trying an alternative: I ordered the Voigtländer 10mm f/5.6.

If it performs to my taste, I'll finally have the last lens I needed to complete everything I want to do. If it doesn't, I'll return it and consider other possibilities.

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Well, to be honest not the original TL lenses, they are so huge. I have the fantastic 11-23 lens, but it has the size of a soft drink can. The pictures are great, but... it is not this "under-your-jacket-travel-mate", in fact I enjoy all M-lenses, the older the better, sometimes little voigtlaenders and recently R-lenses.

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