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Elmarit-R 180 f2.8 (non-APO) in-camera lens correction on SL?


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I've got a 2nd version Elmarit-R 180 f2.8 (not the APO-Elmarit) made in 1995. The lens has a ROM chip, so it must have been upgraded by a previous owner. The funny thing is, my SL (in combination with the Leica R-Adapter-L) identifies the lens as a 1st version Elmarit-R 180 f2.8 (non-APO). Now I am a little bit confused as to what this means for any potential in-camera lens correction (vignetting, CA, etc) the SL might apply to RAW files. There are several scenarios I can think of

a) there is no in-camera lens correction for both Elmarit versions, then the 'wrong' ROM chip doesn't matter,

b) there is in-camera lens-correction which intentionally or by pure luck works just fine for the 2nd version even though the camera thinks it's a 1st version Elmarit,

c) there is in-camera lens-correction but because both versions differ significantly in terms of optical design, due to the 'wrong' ROM chip the correction deteriorates rather than improves the image

I assume I could make a series of tests to figure this out. But I'd be happy about any advice. 

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I only use the apo-telyt and the 80-200 so no experience with the 180/2,8 . Are you sure there is a need for corrections? Late film-era optics from Leitz had very few  grave faults of the sort that need correcting in later less well corected and cheaper-to-produce lenses.

 

p.

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vor 24 Minuten schrieb ph.:

Are you sure there is a need for corrections?

There may be no need for any correction, but the OP is concerned that his camera might apply unsuitable corrections, due the lens being identified by the camera as a version 1 rather than a version 2.

Isn't it possible to manually set the lens in the SL? If so, it would be easy to find out whether there is any difference between what is automatically chosen by the camera and the manually set (correct) lens.

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My v. 2 is non-ROM (11923).  When I set the profile manually, I see two options for non-APO-Elmarit lenses:  one for 11909/11919; and one for 11923/11356.  Whichever one of those your R-Adapter-L is reading from the lens determines the corrections, if any, that are applied.  

My guess would be a) because the other day when I shot a different lens (ROM), I couldn't see that any correction had been applied to the .dng files, not even for slight barrel distortion.  It's nice to have EXIF, though . . . 🙃

Edited by tritentrue
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I believe there are some serious misunderstandings or "fairy tales" about lens corrections in the camera with Leica products.

Which I don't believe exists except in very limited cases:

1) M lenses on M digital cameras - in-camera corrections for "color edge effects" or vignetting, due to the specific nature of lenses designed to sit only 2-3 cm from the image plane, and often designed in the pre-digital era. This was something Leica had to do, to have successful digital rangefinder products. Those corrections do not apply to optical distortion, however.

2) correction for the native (and intentional) fisheye distortion of the fixed 28mm Summilux ASPH on the Q/Q2, a unique situation designed in from the beginning as a closed system, to permit a more compact lens.

3 - possibly) - corrections for native L-mount lenses (Leica or otherwise).

Any correction for distortion otherwise does not occur in Leica cameras.

However, recording the lens type in EXIF permits automatic or manual corrections outside the camera (i.e. in post-processing software). Depending on the software (C1, Adobe products, etc.). IF that software includes its own profiles for specific lenses' distortion/vignetting patterns.

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Thank you all for very helpful replies! 

3 hours ago, ph. said:

I only use the apo-telyt and the 80-200 so no experience with the 180/2,8 . Are you sure there is a need for corrections? Late film-era optics from Leitz had very few  grave faults of the sort that need correcting in later less well corected and cheaper-to-produce lenses.

@ph. As @wizard pointed out, the worst case scenario would be in-camera correction designed for the 1st version Elmarit applied to my 2nd version Elmarit dng raw files. That kind of correction would probably be much worse than no correction at all. I think the 1st version was introduced in 1978, so I would not be surprised to see some noticeable difference in vignetting and CA between the two versions.

2 hours ago, wizard said:

Isn't it possible to manually set the lens in the SL? If so, it would be easy to find out whether there is any difference between what is automatically chosen by the camera and the manually set (correct) lens.

@wizard Totally agree, that's probably the easiest way to find out if there is or isn't any in-camera correction. I just got the lens and I am still struggling to remove some really stubborn grease/residue on the front element. Once that is done I'll give it a try and make the comparison shots you suggested.

Yes, it is possible to manually set the lens. I will see how it turns out for me. In the worst case I might end up having no other choice but to do just that each and every time I mount the lens (not considering the expensive option to send the lens to Leica to reprogram the ROM-chip). That would not be the end of the world, but not very "Leica-The essential" either 😁

2 hours ago, tritentrue said:

My guess would be a) because the other day when I shot a different lens (ROM), I couldn't see that any correction had been applied to the .dng files, not even for slight barrel distortion.  It's nice to have EXIF, though . . . 🙃

@tritentrue Glad to hear about your observations 🙂. Indeed, no in-camera correction would be the best scenario for me. Much better than having to manually set the lens.

 

12 minutes ago, adan said:

I believe there are some serious misunderstandings or "fairy tales" about lens corrections in the camera with Leica products.

Which I don't believe exists except in very limited cases:

1) M lenses on M digital cameras - in-camera corrections for "color edge effects" or vignetting, due to the specific nature of lenses designed to sit only 2-3 cm from the image plane, and often designed in the pre-digital era. This was something Leica had to do, to have successful digital rangefinder products. Those corrections do not apply to optical distortion, however.

2) correction for the native (and intentional) fisheye distortion of the fixed 28mm Summilux ASPH on the Q/Q2, a unique situation designed in from the beginning as a closed system, to permit a more compact lens.

3 - possibly) - corrections for native L-mount lenses (Leica or otherwise).

Any correction for distortion otherwise does not occur in Leica cameras.

However, recording the lens type in EXIF permits automatic or manual corrections outside the camera (i.e. in post-processing software). Depending on the software (C1, Adobe products, etc.). IF that software includes its own profiles for specific lenses' distortion/vignetting patterns.

@adan I hope you are correct 🙂. It makes much sense to me what you are saying.

Not sure though why there is so little information (if I haven't missed anything) from Leica about this in-camera correction business in the context of using R-lenses on digital Leica cameras, because missing information from Leica about this topic might be one reason why there are misunderstandings/fairy tales in the first place. However, I am just playing the devils advocate here. Personally I do not mind if Leica has better things to do than putting out statements about this particular issue.  

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Isn't it the case that the raw files would be likely left alone, and any lens related tweaking applied to .jpg files? Also, I've got a recollection that, even in the old DMR days, ROM lenses had a bit of tweaking applied, and that this was demonstrated by a Forum member (I think his name was Robert Stevens). I've also got a recollection that tweaking of .jpg files took place with R lenses even on the M240, once the R lens  was specified.

 

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An R-ROM lens does not have any lens corrections, other than possibly in LR... The ROM system was designed well before that phenomenon was invented.

To elaborate:I dislike the use of electronic profiles on vintage lenses. I think it destroys the character, which is the reason I use them in the first place. 

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10 hours ago, jaapv said:

An R-ROM lens does not have any lens corrections, other than possibly in LR... The ROM system was designed well before that phenomenon was invented.

To elaborate:I dislike the use of electronic profiles on vintage lenses. I think it destroys the character, which is the reason I use them in the first place. 

But the fact that R ROM lenses may pre-date digital cameras does not preclude lens-specific corrections being applied by the camera 's firmware, provided only that the lens can be identified (either via the ROM chip, or via selection from an in camera  lens listing. For example, if such a lens exhibited vignetting with a digital sensor because of inadequate telecentricity in an older design, it would be a simple matter to correct it.

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9 hours ago, jaapv said:

Being long-register SLR lenses, you will not find these problems with R lenses. 

Jaap, I agree that this particular problem would occur to a lesser degree with R lenses compared with lenses from other manufacturers, but that was just an example to illustrate my point that there would be nothing in principle to prevent Leica making R lens corrections retrospectively.

 

 

 

 

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It has nothing to do with the manufacturer, but with geometry. A wideangle lens (and incidence angle vignetting only occurs on wideangle lenses) for an SLR camera has to clear the mirror, so the rear element cannot come close to to the film/sensor, Thus the light rays at the edges will not strike the film/sensor at extreme angles.

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30 minutes ago, jaapv said:

It has nothing to do with the manufacturer, but with geometry. A wideangle lens (and incidence angle vignetting only occurs on wideangle lenses) for an SLR camera has to clear the mirror, so the rear element cannot come close to to the film/sensor, Thus the light rays at the edges will not strike the film/sensor at extreme angles.

Jaap, yes of course - my mistake over telecentricity - apologies, it was a bad example. SLR lenses must be inherently more telecentric than, say, M lenses need to be. But my point of principle still stands - that there is nothing in principle preventing Leica making R lens corrections retrospectively.

 

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1 hour ago, jaapv said:

I agree with your principle - but will they? I think not - they don't even repair them any more :(...

Don't know why you are talking about the future. The question of this thread is whether or not Leica already has implemented this in firmware for some R lenses. You stated earlier that they have not, but without explaining how you know this.

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Well, I will amend this to extremely unlikely, as Leica wholly abandoned the R system in 2009, nearly a decade before the advent of a Leica L-R adapter and even sold off the whole stock of R spare parts, clearly losing  all interest in  the system. 

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@jaapv If I recall correctly, when the SL 601 was launched Leica made quite a big deal about the ability to adapt M, R and S lenses to their L-mount camera. Of course they did not admit publicly that this marketing effort was not coming out of any love for the R lenses (or R lens owners) but was mainly driven by the fact that there were so embarrassingly few native L-mount lenses available at launch date (and quite a while after that). And by doing so they apparently didn't mind that their words might have created the impression in some peoples mind that R lenses are still a somewhat valuable asset to own and use in the age of digital Leica cameras. And so why wouldn't they at least entertain the idea of rewarding the loyalty of remaining R lens users by adding some minor tweaks to SL firmware? Apparently we (including you) just don't know the answer to that. If they actually decided they didn't need or want to add any firmware features for R lenses, so be it. But apparently we don't know that either. So we just have to rely on our own tests, like @tritentrue did. 

Edited by toyfel
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