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fursan

Which 1 or max 2 lenses?

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Chris, thanks. Unfortunately, I am an avid gadget. That is one of the ( amongst numerous other ) reasons that my camera equipment is much much better than I am at image making. I started late..very late in photography and as stupid as it seems, I thought

equipment would allow me to make better images.

 

Having bought into the Leica system now..I realize how right I was and how wrong

not to have had the best in the first instance!!

 

Regards.

 

On a DSLR I go long, on a rangefinder I go wide. Whilst I only use a 24mm on my M8, I recognise that the 28 is an easier combination for hand held work. So I would start with a 28 from your list, and tend to leave it on the camera and enjoy the rigour of working one angle of view; but unlike many here I am not a fan of lens changing or lens collecting. [Come to mention it - I'm not a camera fan either].

 

I would also consider travelling with a CV 28mm Color Skopar, and if a second lens has to be selected; a CV 35mm Color Skopar to remain unused at the bottom of a bag.

 

..............Chris

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Fursan, there was a classic Leica combo back in the days of the M2: 35 + 90mm. That covered most of the bases, and people travelled all over the world (and occasionally around it) with just these two lenses. In M8 terms, that would translate to 28 + 75mm. I endorse that as the most generally useful of all two-lens combinations.

 

But it can be tweaked according to your own habits, and to what you expect to meet. For street shooting, 28 + 50 is a very valid combo. In full format terms, that is equivalent to 37 + 69mm. (Remember that ever since 1925, Leica '50 mm' lenses have been 52mm.) At the other end of the spectrum, an outdoorsman could well prefer 35 + 90mm, equivalent to 47 + 120mm! This of course is close to the old SLR standby of 50 + 135mm. Just a couple of hours ago I returned from a day excursion with a steamboat, carrying a 35mm Summilux and a 90mm Tele-Elmarit, and that was just what I needed.

 

Now I hear somebody asking "why should you limit yourselves to just two lenses ..." The reason is simply that you get more good shots if you carry just two lenses, because you are not forever changing optics, or worrying about focal lengths. Most lost shots are lost while you stand there with one lens in each hand. Instead you fit your 'eyes' to the lens you have mounted, and grab the occasions as they come. Remember, Henri Cartier-Bresson travelled all over the globe with, in practice, one lens: A 50mm Summicron.

 

It's easier on the back too ... And if I had to travel around the world with just one lens, this one is the Summilux-M 1:1.4/35mm ASPH.

 

The old man from the Age of HCB (well, nearly)

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Most lost shots are lost while you stand there with one lens in each hand.

 

Now Lars, that sounds like a made-up statistic if I ever heard one. Most shots I miss are because the camera is in the bag, off, and the situation develops too quickly. I almost always have the right lens on, or one that is good enough to get the shot.

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28 and 75

 

DITTO

 

I had been of different opinion 2 or 3 weeks ago (28+50)... but now I'm starting to find 50 someway "a stupid focal"... and note I HAVE NOT a 75... like a lot my old 90, but the announcment of the Summitar 75 sounds a strong temptation to me...

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Since you already own the 21, any combo like 28+50+90 or 24(15)+35+75 should be ok.

I personally find too much Wide the 28. I had a 28cron, i have a 28 elmarit, a 50 elmarit a 75 lux and had some 90's....

Now it's just in your mood, I can say that the 15CV+35cronASPH+75lux combo is such a great "deal" to me.I just miss the 24elmarit (or 25zeiss) to complete the set.

In this way You could have a three lens set covering the widest angle of view through one of the "longest" tele you could manage with your M8.

then again You could use the 1,25x magnifier and leave it always on with your 35 and 75 (as Sean said not a long time ago,including the great advantage in focusing too) considering the fact that when you'd need a wider 21 or 15 you'd better use an external VF.

The 28/50 combo is great too... but maybe, considering your 21 you'd find yourself in a three lens set without a real tele (50 is not enough maybe)and with two lenses (21 and 28) really too much near to each other.

I guess you'd soon miss a wider 15/12/wate or a 75/90.

Then again you have to consider what kind of lenses you like... new and clinical or older and soft?

many threads in this forum had divided and considered these lenses...

 

Last but not least there's the weight factor:

 

28elmarit(or cron too)+ any 50 (except for the Nocti)+ any new 90 is a light weight champion of the world

 

while

 

any21+ any new 35ASPH (lux or cron) + 75 lux is much more something like a heavy weight champion of the world...

 

but this is the combo that i love...

 

 

cheers

Maurizio

 

MAURIZIO BEUCCI.com - Official web site

 

in the end:

 

15CV+35cronASPH+75lux is my beloved killer combo! (it's just boring the fact that you can't have a chrome 75lux!

)

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Hi Fahim

 

I think all your lens are great leica lenses, latest lineup.

I also got your question some time ago, frankly I got a rather satisflying lineup now.

But if I really want to limit myself to a 2 lens combo, I will take 21/35 on M8 which is the classic 28/50 on film M, which I much prefer in film days.

 

My selection based on image quality, lenses compactness and fast focusing lens has come down to Contax CZ Biogon 21/4.5 and Summilux 35 pre-asph type 1. They serve 80-90% of my common travel needs on landscape and photojournal type of work. I'm rather happy with this combo as they satisfly me on outdoor landscape and indoor avaliable light work, even some portrait work by the 35 Lux.

 

For the 21 focal length, there are very close candidates offering different advantages. The 21 asph, 21 SA 3.4, and the classic CZ Biogon, in fact, they are a draw, hard to pick just one. I got the 21 asph for some serious wide work, but I found the classic CZ Biogon even more appealing due to its great image quality, color, relatively medium contrast, compactness and the best point is its excellent distortion control. The last point make it a very capable lens on close 'undistorted' subject with wide surrounding environment. I have tried out many 21s, no many of them you can use it like a 28 on film M because of the distortion of central close subject (particularly if it is a human subject, intentional exaggeration is another story).

 

When I look high on the CZ Biogon, things dread me on are, can it work on AE? how about 6-bit code and cyan corners compensation? I'm glad that my techincian here had done an excellent job in adapting it to my M8. He loosen the tiny screw of the rear lens barrel and take off the small rectangular rear lens hood, thus make it work perfectly with AE. He also adapted my CZ Biogon with a Contax to M rangefinder coupled adapter. I give him a milich adapter as a sample reference and he milled the 6-bit pattern on the Contax to M adapter. Now I had nail painted it as with WATE code so I can even choose 16/18/21 for cyan draft compensation when IR filter is used =) I would like to share my little experience here as I saw you got a Biogon 21 as well. Some may thought, why not get an ZM 21/4.5 as it is M mount. My answer is the image quality is not the same and I prefer the classic one =)

 

If a further lens is required for longer tele work, I would well suggest your 75AA or the TE90 =) Compactness is just great for M =)

 

Contax Carl Zeiss Biogon 21, M8

Taken at noon time, lighting is not very good but corner performance is very good

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Lars,

Thanks for your, as usual, lucid suggestions.

Would you, however, travel the world with one lens and no regrets?

 

Regards

An old man trying to learn the old ways using new equipment!!

 

 

Fursan, there was a classic Leica combo back in the days of the M2: 35 + 90mm. That covered most of the bases, and people travelled all over the world (and occasionally around it) with just these two lenses. In M8 terms, that would translate to 28 + 75mm. I endorse that as the most generally useful of all two-lens combinations.

 

But it can be tweaked according to your own habits, and to what you expect to meet. For street shooting, 28 + 50 is a very valid combo. In full format terms, that is equivalent to 37 + 69mm. (Remember that ever since 1925, Leica '50 mm' lenses have been 52mm.) At the other end of the spectrum, an outdoorsman could well prefer 35 + 90mm, equivalent to 47 + 120mm! This of course is close to the old SLR standby of 50 + 135mm. Just a couple of hours ago I returned from a day excursion with a steamboat, carrying a 35mm Summilux and a 90mm Tele-Elmarit, and that was just what I needed.

 

Now I hear somebody asking "why should you limit yourselves to just two lenses ..." The reason is simply that you get more good shots if you carry just two lenses, because you are not forever changing optics, or worrying about focal lengths. Most lost shots are lost while you stand there with one lens in each hand. Instead you fit your 'eyes' to the lens you have mounted, and grab the occasions as they come. Remember, Henri Cartier-Bresson travelled all over the globe with, in practice, one lens: A 50mm Summicron.

 

It's easier on the back too ... And if I had to travel around the world with just one lens, this one is the Summilux-M 1:1.4/35mm ASPH.

 

The old man from the Age of HCB (well, nearly)

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Luigi, I know it is difficult to make these choices.

 

Best.

 

DITTO

 

I had been of different opinion 2 or 3 weeks ago (28+50)... but now I'm starting to find 50 someway "a stupid focal"... and note I HAVE NOT a 75... like a lot my old 90, but the announcment of the Summitar 75 sounds a strong temptation to me...

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Maurizio, I really appreciate the time you have taken to respond to my post with

your considered suggestions.

 

Best wishes.

 

Since you already own the 21, any combo like 28+50+90 or 24(15)+35+75 should be ok.

I personally find too much Wide the 28. I had a 28cron, i have a 28 elmarit, a 50 elmarit a 75 lux and had some 90's....

Now it's just in your mood, I can say that the 15CV+35cronASPH+75lux combo is such a great "deal" to me.I just miss the 24elmarit (or 25zeiss) to complete the set.

In this way You could have a three lens set covering the widest angle of view through one of the "longest" tele you could manage with your M8.

then again You could use the 1,25x magnifier and leave it always on with your 35 and 75 (as Sean said not a long time ago,including the great advantage in focusing too) considering the fact that when you'd need a wider 21 or 15 you'd better use an external VF.

The 28/50 combo is great too... but maybe, considering your 21 you'd find yourself in a three lens set without a real tele (50 is not enough maybe)and with two lenses (21 and 28) really too much near to each other.

I guess you'd soon miss a wider 15/12/wate or a 75/90.

Then again you have to consider what kind of lenses you like... new and clinical or older and soft?

many threads in this forum had divided and considered these lenses...

 

Last but not least there's the weight factor:

 

28elmarit(or cron too)+ any 50 (except for the Nocti)+ any new 90 is a light weight champion of the world

 

while

 

any21+ any new 35ASPH (lux or cron) + 75 lux is much more something like a heavy weight champion of the world...

 

but this is the combo that i love...

 

 

cheers

Maurizio

 

MAURIZIO BEUCCI.com - Official web site

 

in the end:

 

15CV+35cronASPH+75lux is my beloved killer combo! (it's just boring the fact that you can't have a chrome 75lux!

)

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Mathew, beautiful demonstartion of the 21 Biogon. Unfortunately the 21/4.5 is uncoded and

except for b/w, unacceptable as is. I have to read all your responses to assimilate

the information contained therin.

 

Thank you.

 

Hi Fahim

 

I think all your lens are great leica lenses, latest lineup.

I also got your question some time ago, frankly I got a rather satisflying lineup now.

But if I really want to limit myself to a 2 lens combo, I will take 21/35 on M8 which is the classic 28/50 on film M, which I much prefer in film days.

 

My selection based on image quality, lenses compactness and fast focusing lens has come down to Contax CZ Biogon 21/4.5 and Summilux 35 pre-asph type 1. They serve 80-90% of my common travel needs on landscape and photojournal type of work. I'm rather happy with this combo as they satisfly me on outdoor landscape and indoor avaliable light work, even some portrait work by the 35 Lux.

 

For the 21 focal length, there are very close candidates offering different advantages. The 21 asph, 21 SA 3.4, and the classic CZ Biogon, in fact, they are a draw, hard to pick just one. I got the 21 asph for some serious wide work, but I found the classic CZ Biogon even more appealing due to its great image quality, color, relatively medium contrast, compactness and the best point is its excellent distortion control. The last point make it a very capable lens on close 'undistorted' subject with wide surrounding environment. I have tried out many 21s, no many of them you can use it like a 28 on film M because of the distortion of central close subject (particularly if it is a human subject, intentional exaggeration is another story).

 

When I look high on the CZ Biogon, things dread me on are, can it work on AE? how about 6-bit code and cyan corners compensation? I'm glad that my techincian here had done an excellent job in adapting it to my M8. He loosen the tiny screw of the rear lens barrel and take off the small rectangular rear lens hood, thus make it work perfectly with AE. He also adapted my CZ Biogon with a Contax to M rangefinder coupled adapter. I give him a milich adapter as a sample reference and he milled the 6-bit pattern on the Contax to M adapter. Now I had nail painted it as with WATE code so I can even choose 16/18/21 for cyan draft compensation when IR filter is used =) I would like to share my little experience here as I saw you got a Biogon 21 as well. Some may thought, why not get an ZM 21/4.5 as it is M mount. My answer is the image quality is not the same and I prefer the classic one =)

 

If a further lens is required for longer tele work, I would well suggest your 75AA or the TE90 =) Compactness is just great for M =)

 

Contax Carl Zeiss Biogon 21, M8

Taken at noon time, lighting is not very good but corner performance is very good

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It would be difficult not to have a 50 1.4 ASPH in any M8 kit. I have 4 other superb Leica lenses but the 50 Lux is hard to leave at home.

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Now Lars, that sounds like a made-up statistic if I ever heard one. Most shots I miss are because the camera is in the bag, off, and the situation develops too quickly. I almost always have the right lens on, or one that is good enough to get the shot.

 

Oh how true!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

It's precisely why I now have a grip base and wrist strap on my M8 (actually have wrist straps on my 5D's for the same reason): With it, I carry the camera in my shooting hand, on and ready to go at all times

 

Cheers,

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Thanks Jack. I have to see what I can do with my zeiss 21/4.5.

 

Regards

 

Fahim

 

I just got back from a trip to Budapest (also Prague, Vienna and Krakow)

 

I checked my images an d found that the 28 was the most used and following that the CV 15 for the in city tight shots. I believe the 21 would also have coped with those images but although I had it with me went with the 15. I used the 75 or 90 primarily for people shots and only occasionally for cityscapes.

 

Have fun

 

Woody Spedden

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How true!!

 

It would be difficult not to have a 50 1.4 ASPH in any M8 kit. I have 4 other superb Leica lenses but the 50 Lux is hard to leave at home.

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Woody, noted my friend. Hope you had a whale of a time.

 

Regards.

 

Fahim

 

I just got back from a trip to Budapest (also Prague, Vienna and Krakow)

 

I checked my images an d found that the 28 was the most used and following that the CV 15 for the in city tight shots. I believe the 21 would also have coped with those images but although I had it with me went with the 15. I used the 75 or 90 primarily for people shots and only occasionally for cityscapes.

 

Have fun

 

Woody Spedden

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HI Fahim

I take three:

Wide angle tri-elmar

Tri-elmar

75 'cron

 

It covers so many bases, and generally speaking when travelling I'm not doing too much 'low light' work (although the 75 'cron doesn't do badly).

 

Given your lenses, I'd take the 28 and the 75 - you can at least do some cropping, and the 75 will do nicely for portraits and close ups.

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hello Jono,

 

and i remember you syaing to me at dpr get a 35 'cron and you are ready to go!

look at your collection in the other thread. btw would you leave your 50 'lux behind?

 

regards.

 

HI Fahim

I take three:

Wide angle tri-elmar

Tri-elmar

75 'cron

 

It covers so many bases, and generally speaking when travelling I'm not doing too much 'low light' work (although the 75 'cron doesn't do badly).

 

Given your lenses, I'd take the 28 and the 75 - you can at least do some cropping, and the 75 will do nicely for portraits and close ups.

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Only one : I would go for the 28 Cron

Two : I tested the combination of 28 Cron and an old 90/4 elmar collapsible and was happy with it.

Two, second option : 28 cron and 50 lux

 

Travel light...

Pierre-Olivier

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Thanks Pierre. The 50 'lux is dicey right now due to focusing issues.

 

 

Only one : I would go for the 28 Cron

Two : I tested the combination of 28 Cron and an old 90/4 elmar collapsible and was happy with it.

Two, second option : 28 cron and 50 lux

 

Travel light...

Pierre-Olivier

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hello Jono,

 

and i remember you syaing to me at dpr get a 35 'cron and you are ready to go!

look at your collection in the other thread. btw would you leave your 50 'lux behind?

 

regards.

HI Fahim

I wouldn't dream of leaving it behind - but you had some silly 2 lens limit!

If it were me travelling, I'd take them all, and leave some in the hotel bedroom depending what I'm doing.

Normally I carry two bodies (one lens on each) with a third and fourth lens sitting between them - this all fits in a little billingham bag, and causes me no grief to carry.

 

Still - I'd stick with those three (WATE, MATE, 75 'cron) for daylight when travelling because it gives you as much variation as possible.

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