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eev776

Telephoto lenses for CL camera Vario-Elmar-TL 55-135mm VS. APO-Telyt-M 135mm f/3.4

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I want to know what you guys think and peoples experience about using long telephoto lenses (above 90mm) with CL camera.

I been using APO-Vario-Elmar-TL 55-135mm f/3.5-4.5 on my Leica CL for nearly half a year, noticed many times that at 135mm focal I do switch a lot now to use manual focus rather than auto.

Thinking of trading in my Vario-Elmar TL 55-135mm to get Leica APO-Telyt-M 135mm f/3.4, money is not a subject. I do landscape, architectural and lots of low light photography.

Share your's experience, is a good idea, is it worth it?

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I recently posted  in the CL forum two pictures comparison , the first one is TL 55-135mm and the second one is 135 Tele-Elmar f/4 which is the former model of the Apo-Telyt-M135mm. Those two picture are at 135mm.  

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6 hours ago, eev776 said:

I want to know what you guys think and peoples experience about using long telephoto lenses (above 90mm) with CL camera.

I been using APO-Vario-Elmar-TL 55-135mm f/3.5-4.5 on my Leica CL for nearly half a year, noticed many times that at 135mm focal I do switch a lot now to use manual focus rather than auto.

Thinking of trading in my Vario-Elmar TL 55-135mm to get Leica APO-Telyt-M 135mm f/3.4, money is not a subject. I do landscape, architectural and lots of low light photography.

Share your's experience, is a good idea, is it worth it?

I like both lens . They are very good , but 135mm M lens is sometimes restricted, I use it only in some special occasions . Normally, I take the 55-135mm  with me.

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6 hours ago, eev776 said:

I want to know what you guys think and peoples experience about using long telephoto lenses (above 90mm) with CL camera.

I been using APO-Vario-Elmar-TL 55-135mm f/3.5-4.5 on my Leica CL for nearly half a year, noticed many times that at 135mm focal I do switch a lot now to use manual focus rather than auto.

Thinking of trading in my Vario-Elmar TL 55-135mm to get Leica APO-Telyt-M 135mm f/3.4, money is not a subject. I do landscape, architectural and lots of low light photography.

Share your's experience, is a good idea, is it worth it?

You would sacrifice a lot of versatility. There is very little difference between the two younger 135mm primes. The Older Elmar is also not far behind.

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28 minutes ago, lawrence_lee said:

I recently posted  in the CL forum two pictures comparison , the first one is TL 55-135mm and the second one is 135 Tele-Elmar f/4 which is the former model of the Apo-Telyt-M135mm. Those two picture are at 135mm.  

Very interesting, both images look very identical. Thanks for sharing.

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15 minutes ago, wda said:

You would sacrifice a lot of versatility. There is very little difference between the two younger 135mm primes. The Older Elmar is also not far behind.

I must agree about versatility.

I'm planning on getting Leica SL2 too, I feel that it's better to invest into full frame, that can be used on CL and SL.

Only think that bothers me about 135mm in generaly, that it's not much of a reach beyond my APO Summicron 90mm.

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1 hour ago, eev776 said:

I must agree about versatility.

I'm planning on getting Leica SL2 too, I feel that it's better to invest into full frame, that can be used on CL and SL.

Only think that bothers me about 135mm in generaly, that it's not much of a reach beyond my APO Summicron 90mm.

In the Leica R lens era, most of the R users skipped the R 135mm and chose the R 180mm for the reason that 135 is not much of a reach beyond the 90mm, and I am one of them.

Also,the 135mm M lens is very hard to focus in the  range finder M body.

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I have both, while there is no doubt the APO is a lovely lens, I wouldn't give up the versatility of the zoom, another factor is the MFD, on the zoom it's 1m on the prime it is 1.5 metres, (which bugs me somewhat)!    Very useable on the SL2, still giving 20mps in APS-C mode, lovely weight, lovely IQ.  I should add f3.4 is not brilliant for low light without bumping up the ISO.  If you really want 135 for low light maybe the L Mount Sigma 1.8 is worth a look, though it's a hefty lump.

 

Edited by Boojay

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1 hour ago, lawrence_lee said:

In the Leica R lens era, most of the R users skipped the R 135mm and chose the R 180mm for the reason that 135 is not much of a reach beyond the 90mm, and I am one of them.

Also,the 135mm M lens is very hard to focus in the  range finder M body.

Disagree on the focusing - but it depends on eyesight and skill.

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18 hours ago, jaapv said:

Disagree on the focusing - but it depends on eyesight and skill.

Plus, many people use now a lot added electronic viewfinder on M bodies.

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20 hours ago, Boojay said:

I have both, while there is no doubt the APO is a lovely lens, I wouldn't give up the versatility of the zoom, another factor is the MFD, on the zoom it's 1m on the prime it is 1.5 metres, (which bugs me somewhat)!    Very useable on the SL2, still giving 20mps in APS-C mode, lovely weight, lovely IQ.  I should add f3.4 is not brilliant for low light without bumping up the ISO.  If you really want 135 for low light maybe the L Mount Sigma 1.8 is worth a look, though it's a hefty lump.

 

I did looked into Sigma, but again they only make 135mm for L mount. I would rather get Leica 135mm M lens, so I can use it on my M camera as well.

Seems like not much choices for Leica M or L telephoto except Leica APO-Vario-Elmarit-SL 90-280mm f/2.8-4 Lens is spectacular lens, but very expensive.

Edited by eev776
Plus size of the Sigma is monstrous, Leica definitely comes first in this aspect.

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20 hours ago, Boojay said:

I have both, while there is no doubt the APO is a lovely lens, I wouldn't give up the versatility of the zoom, another factor is the MFD, on the zoom it's 1m on the prime it is 1.5 metres, (which bugs me somewhat)!    Very useable on the SL2, still giving 20mps in APS-C mode, lovely weight, lovely IQ.  I should add f3.4 is not brilliant for low light without bumping up the ISO.  If you really want 135 for low light maybe the L Mount Sigma 1.8 is worth a look, though it's a hefty lump.

 

Nice photos on your Flickr BTW!

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Buy the APO-Vario 55-135. 
No need for the APO-Telyt 135mm Virtually no difference between f/3.4 and f/4.5 

Losing 55 to 134mm is a big deal 

Losing 1m minimum focusing distance for 1.5m is a huge deal. 
 

If you need a full frame lens. Just buy one the cheaper long APO-R lenses. They are way better. 
Even better they can use the excellent APO-Extender-R 2x  


 

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Agree fully. The size difference is negligible and the 55-135 is lighter (the last from memory).

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28 minutes ago, nicci78 said:

Buy the APO-Vario 55-135. 
No need for the APO-Telyt 135mm Virtually no difference between f/3.4 and f/4.5 

Losing 55 to 134mm is a big deal 

Losing 1m minimum focusing distance for 1.5m is a huge deal. 
 

If you need a full frame lens. Just buy one the cheaper long APO-R lenses. They are way better. 
Even better they can use the excellent APO-Extender-R 2x  


 

OP already has 55-135!  Asking about longer or the 135 APO M, to use on M and CL.

 

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Ok I read it too fast. 
just buy one of the long APO-R lenses. They will be cheaper than APO-M 135mm. 
200mm equivalent is not that long. 

80-200 = 120-300mm f/4 ? 

APO-Telyt-R 180 ? Excellent one. But I cannot resolve myself to buy a lens with 2.5m minimum focusing distance...

 

Personnally I ditched the APO-TL 55-135mm. And use instead APO-Macro-Elmarit-R 100 f/2.8 with or without APO-Extender-R 2x. Results are stunning. And I can use it as a 300mm equivalent macro lens. 😌

It is 900g heavier but the whole kit adapters + extender + AMER 100 still manage to be a bit smaller than APO-TL with its hood on. 😉

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Actually AMER 100 + APO 2x replace at least two lenses for me.

I used to own both APO-Macro-Elmarit-TL 60 and APO-Vario-Elmar-TL 55-135. 
The R 100 lens with extender is still 500g heavier than both TL lenses. But I enjoy it more : manual focusing is way better with mechanical R lenses than with TL focus by wire ones. 

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Since I own no TL series lenses and use only R and M lenses on my CL, I'm not in a position to compare the TL lenses against the M and R lenses. That said, in general the ergonomics of the R lenses is superior to that of the M lenses on the CL body, just as they work better for me on the SL body as well. I almost never used my M mount lenses on the SL body, where I do use them more often on the CL body; the smaller sized lenses do fit better along with the non-centered eyepiece for the EVF making them feel more at home.

I have 90mm and 135mm lenses in both M and R mounts, and I have the R180mm f/4 as well; not the specific ones you're talking about. To me, they all perform well but quite differently. To me, the R135 is delightful because not only can I use it on the CL for a nice-sized 200mm equivalent FoV, but it works beautifully on the Leica Focus Bellows-R as well for long lens macro work in much the way I used to use a MIcro-Nikkor 200mm f/4 ED-IF AIS with my Nikon SLR gear. My Elmar-R 180mm f/4 is only marginally larger (and actually a little lighter) than the Elmarit-R 135mm; it's a better pick for when I need reach of a lens closer to 300mm in FF equivalent FoV terms, and too long for many situations where the 135mm is ideal. 

While I tend to agree with the notion that the lenses designed for the camera are likely the best choice for general use and maximum body functionality, I'm not particularly comfortable with using zooms so I'd buy an R prime lens, or two,  that covers most of what I want over the TL zoom. That's my personal predilection; I'm skeptical about offering it as "advice".. :D

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Lots of interesting advise, thank you very much everybody! 

I'm still thinking what to do with my 55-135mm TL, but I'm still leaning towards selling it and getting APO Telyt-M 135mm.

Here is reasons why I don't like TL 55-135mm after 3 month of using it:

- auto focus at 135 focal is not as great as manual focus, I often have to switch to manual focus which is a pain on this lens

- cropped sensor lens, is no good to use on M cameras, on SL it's ok though

- design of the lens looks to big on CL, not a great ergonomics specially at 135mm focal, but APO Telyt-M 135mm feels right, smaller and slightly lighter, R lenses are too heavy

- have to add hood on TL 55-135mm which is huge one, hood already build in into APO Telyt-M 135mm - big plus!

- quality of the lens fills a bit like a Sony lenses, I'm a heavy user of lenses APO Telyt-M 135mm heavy build like German tank, will last longer

- value of TL 55-135 is going down a lot I got it in October for $1,895 and now they can offer me to buy back for $1,100 in January it was $1,500!!!

I'm not worried about loosing versatility, I rather put my Summilux M 50mm or APO-Summicron M 90mm on CL, I find it easier to think of composition and compose with primes, zoom flexibility sort of kills creativity.

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