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Alternative (third party) wide lenses for S2

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Apologies if this has been covered elsewhere. Keen to know experiences/opinions on users' best results from using adapters on S2 for various TP wide prime lenses.

In a nutshell, which is the best value adapter/lens make and model paired with the best image quality?

AF preferred but if 'manual' adapter and great value wide lens then MF perfectly acceptable.

Would be keen to know which of Voigt/Zeiss/Hass/Pentax etc. provides closest IQ to Leica S Lenses.= in members' experience.

(Also, has anyone found an M42 to S2 adapter yet?)

 

 

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IMO S lenses have their own look.  AF is only available with Hasselblad H and Contax 645 lenses, via expensive adapter.  Hasselblad V, Pentax 67 and Mamiya 645 manual focus can all be fitted with cheap/dumb adapter.  Any thing for 35mm (eg Voightlander, M42) will not focus to infinity even if it covers the full sensor, so you will not find an M42 adapter.

john

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My set up is a converted Samyang 24mm T/S (no longer T/S after the conversion) in Mamiya mount. I then use the Leica M645-S adapter. The results are really impressive - especially considering that the converted Samyang costs c.£650 and it's corner sharpness is on par with my Elmarit S 30mm!! It's also much smaller and MUCH lighter than the Elmarit (it's also equivalent to a 19mm lens as opposed to a 24mm lens). This lens has impressed me so much that I bought 2 in case I lost/damaged one!  

https://www.dropbox.com/s/m1xri32njl14ipw/Samyang 24mm non-TS Nikon version.tif?dl=0

 

 

Edited by Sarnian

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M42 to S2 won't work, except for macro work. M42 lenses are designed to sit closer to the film-plane, so they won't reach infinity on an S2.

My experience is that the difference between "old" and "new" medium format glass is most evident with wide angle lenses. You will find a few good or very good normal and telephoto lenses that can be adapted to the S, but good wides are few and far between.

I personally started with a mix of Mamiya and Hasselblad lenses, along with the Summarit-S 70mm. I still use some long adapted lenses (Hasselblad/Zeiss 110 and 150, Mamiya 200), but the wider lenses were quickly replaced. They just couldn't compare, or even be used on the same jobs as the S lenses. The two main issues were flare and lack of sharpness. My advice is to look for good deals on S lenses instead.

Some people have reported decent results with late film-era lenses from Contax/Zeiss or Hasselblad (H system). I'm sure they will speak-up. The problem is that the really good lenses are expensive, and electronic adapters are in the $1,000 range. It's not much of a saving if you don't already own the lenses.

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I've used Hasselblad V lenses to good effect but they are not cheap. You'll pay close to £800 for the 40mm in good condition in C spec and in CFE spec that lens will push youc £1700 or more (the CF and CFE lenses have updated optics with floating elements, the C does not hence the big difference in price). The 30mm is in the 'if you have to ask you can't afford it' bracket and pointless when you can buy a second hand S30mm for less.

You can get Hasselblad H lenses at a reasonable price and the adapters can be had for very little money relative to their original cost. MPB.com have two for about £550 (one of them being my old one!) MPB.com also has two 35mm H lenses for under £600; you might however find that they don't autofocus and they won't be quite as resolving as Leica lenses. On the plus side, they are designed to cover a bigger recording area (60mm by 45mm film) than the Leica sensor so corner sharpness should be good.

 

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I am with Bernard...all the adapted lenses I tried were far below the native lenses that I tried. An example would be the 50mm 2.8 Hasselblad FE lens, which is my widest Hasselblad lens. It is sharp on film, but not so much on the S. It is not terrible, just not particularly useful...and bigger and heavier than the S lenses, believe it or not. When I tried the 110mm Planar FE, which is a gorgeous lens on film, I found that the 120mm S lens was sharper at 2.5 than the 110mm was at f5.6. Sharpness is not everything, but it looked like there was a veil over the whole image, and there was much more color fringing and coma etc. The S sensor is very demanding, and the S lenses are best on it. They are cheaper now than they have ever been, so it is worth saving for them...at least in the focal lengths you use the most.

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Interestingly I tried the 50mm FE Hasselblad lens as well and thought it was pretty wonderful but just too damn heavy. I trued it over a weekend away with my two boys:

 

Of rivers, rafts and rope swings and camp fires and pirates. by Greg Turner, on Flickr

13109 by Greg Turner, on Flickr

13242 by Greg Turner, on Flickr

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All the FE lenses have gorgeous bokeh, but for my landscape use they leave a bit to be desired...it really depends on how you use the system. I am generally looking for super high technical level, as I tend to have compositions that fill the frame with detail. When I used the 50mm FE for my streetlight work, it struggled with a lot of ghost reflections and lower sharpness than the S lenses. But I imagine it can be lovely for portraits. It is a monster of a lens for a 50mm though...this limited my use on the Hasselblad as well...compared to the 80 especially, it is a monster. 

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4 minutes ago, Stuart Richardson said:

All the FE lenses have gorgeous bokeh, but for my landscape use they leave a bit to be desired...it really depends on how you use the system. I am generally looking for super high technical level, as I tend to have compositions that fill the frame with detail. When I used the 50mm FE for my streetlight work, it struggled with a lot of ghost reflections and lower sharpness than the S lenses. But I imagine it can be lovely for portraits. It is a monster of a lens for a 50mm though...this limited my use on the Hasselblad as well...compared to the 80 especially, it is a monster. 

A monster it really was! I couldn't believe how heavy the thing was!

It's true that my scrutiny was probably not in the same league as yours because the focus of my work tends to be just the person in the frame. I am not particularly discriminating in my assessment of lenses it has to be said.

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It is probably worth another shot...I have not used it on the S cameras since initial testing, so perhaps I did not give it a fair shake. When I bought the S I got the 35mm and 120, and figured I would use the 50mm and 80mm Hasselblad lenses in between. After testing and the experience with the 35 and 120, I bought the 70mm, and after that I did at least 85-90% of my work on one of those 3 lenses for the first four of five years of the S system.

P.S. Just looked it up now and it is 1240g with 86mm filters. The 120mm Macro is 1130g and more evenly balanced, so that 50 is definitely chunky.

Edited by Stuart Richardson

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19 hours ago, geetee1972 said:

The 30mm is in the 'if you have to ask you can't afford it' bracket and pointless when you can buy a second hand S30mm for less. 

The Hasselblad V 30mm is a full frame fish-eye on 56x56, so even on a 30x45 sensor there will still be some distortion compared to the S 30mm.

john

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I use Contax 645 lenses with the Leica S adapter C (with AF) and I am really happy with the quality.

The Zeiss Planar 80mm f2 is really fast, light and relatively compact and it has a wonderful bokeh and is very sharp.

I also use the Contax 645 120mm Makro Planar and it is one of the sharpest lens I tried.

Since I only have Contax 645 lenses for my S(006), I cannot compare with Leica S lenses.

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Just as another consideration, I have not used the non-S lenses, but I have used the S lenses in the pouring cold (40 degree) rain with no trouble, including a dripping wet S007.  So, consider weather usage as well...  studio work, I'd go for it!

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I have the S to H adaptor and have the Hasselblad HC 35, HC 50-110, and HC 300. They are not as sharp as S glass, but they have a nice character. I like the look and enjoy using them. They have a nice fall off, make round light circles, come in at lower prices, and fill in some focal lengths that Leica doesn't make. I would buy them again. I list camera info @coasttocoastphotoatl

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On 2/18/2020 at 3:07 PM, geetee1972 said:

Interestingly I tried the 50mm FE Hasselblad lens as well and thought it was pretty wonderful but just too damn heavy. I trued it over a weekend away with my two boys:

 

Of rivers, rafts and rope swings and camp fires and pirates. by Greg Turner, on Flickr

13109 by Greg Turner, on Flickr

13242 by Greg Turner, on Flickr

Hello Greg.. I am late to this post. Images are deleted. 

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I currently never used a S lens. I have the 50 C and 80 C from a Hassleblad 501c. I find the images pleasing. I sold my H3D-39 with 50-100 and 35 due to the workflow. I miss the AF. I have not printed anything from the Leica S2 yet. I hope to be able to make 30x40 prints Max like the one hanging on my wall from the Hasselblad.

 

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You should have bought the Leica lens adapter for HC lenses, if you miss auto focus and got HC lenses already. it works really well.

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Previous to my S2, for many years I used the Pentax67 system with a sizable (yep!) lens collection. So it was natural to get an adapter for these lenses to fit on the S2. This was very helpful in guiding my choices of native lenses for the Leica. I'd use a Pentax lens for a while to see how the focal length was working for me, then use a different one for a while. While the 45 and 55mm Pentax lenses were useful, I thought I should go a bit wider, so purchased the 35mm Summarit, happy with that choice. Likewise experimenting with the 90, 100 Macro, 105mm, and 135mm macro lenses led me to the 100mm Summicron as a matter of convenience at least. When and if I need longer lenses I also can (and have) fit the 165mm f/2.8, 200mm f/4, and 300mm f/4 Pentax67 lenses. This all leads to considerable flexibility at modest cost.

The adapter is a "dumb" one made in Korea so one uses the Auto/Manual stop-down switch on the lens to open for focus and close for exposure, prone to occasional error! 😧 The camera's autofocus confirmation light helps guide the manual focusing.

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