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Which lens for my new M10-P


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Getting my first M10-P,  now trying to decide between the Summicron 28mm f/2.0 or the 35mm f/2.0. Will probably not be getting a second lens for some time after this purchase so want to make sure I get the right one. Looking for the best all around lens if there is such a thing. Will be taking mostly family photos and use for travel. Have been told to get the 35mm but am not sure why. Thanks in advance for the help.

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Posted (edited)

I am waiting for this 35mm like a child waits for a new PlayStation... The APO lenses are significantly better than the non-APO lenses (sorry, this is completely off topic).

My goto lens has always been 35mm. I think it's the sweet-spot focal-length. It is wide-enough for most use-cases but still works reasonably well for portraits (and still gives you some nice bokeh). 28mm imho is too wide for bokeh so you have to crop in post (which is fine -- but keep in mind that cropping also increases the f-number so you will effectively get less background blur). I also find 35mm much easier to shoot than 28.

But this is really a question of taste. If you mostly want to shoot some street scenes, 28mm might be better. If you want to shoot your family, 35mm might give you better results (this is not a rule at all, just my personal taste and reasonable people might disagree).

Edited by Mpi
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28 vs 35 (vs 50) is a personal decision. No right or wrong answer, and your own answer can change or multiply over the years.

Assuming that you want to stay around the budget of those lenses and also stay smaller and lighter, I'd suggest starting with a Leica Elmarit 28/2.8. From there you can wait until later this month to select from a bunch of Voigtlander 35s: the 35/1.2 III (fast), the imminent 35/2 Ultron Type II (compact), or the imminent 35/2 APO-LANTHAR (ultimate).

That would get you going immediately, give you a compact all-Leica 28 experience, and introduce you to Voigtlander and 35s. BOTH options for LESS than a Summicron!

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I've been using a 35/2 but every now and then, especially for family shots, wished that I have a 28mm especially for indoor, gathering, dining moments. And it's more intimate feeling if you get closer.

I've been a 35mm shooter for close to a decade, I find its harder to compose on RF windows than through the lens, the closer parallax difference seems to demand for a thoughtful framing (but absolutely easy to shoot with liveview). I have a feeling that 28mm might be more forgiving on this. If this is your first RF, rent both lens to shoot.

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If you learn to master portraiture and travel with 28, you have an ace up your sleeve. And if it is too wide you can still sell it and get the 35. Best advice: try and rent each and see which one is for you. For many the ultimate M lens within your focal length range is the 35 FLE...
 

Edited by Al Brown
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9 hours ago, Snipe10 said:

Getting my first M10-P,  now trying to decide between the Summicron 28mm f/2.0 or the 35mm f/2.0. Will probably not be getting a second lens for some time after this purchase so want to make sure I get the right one. Looking for the best all around lens if there is such a thing. Will be taking mostly family photos and use for travel. Have been told to get the 35mm but am not sure why. Thanks in advance for the help.

Each one can give you opportunity for great result.

I use the two for a while and I can't choose for me , so you are the only one to choose the first one without denying the second 😇.

Let's see things differently :

- the 28mm would "hide" a good part of the OVF, are you comfortable with that "lost part in OVF" or you can use the Visoflex 020

- the 35mm would be less "..." but easier to use, that would be my first choice as only one lens waiting for the next one ( of course ! )

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I think the 28 Summicron is the better lens, but harder to use well and can be a challenge on a rangefinder for some (glasses?). 35mm is the most natural and effortless focal length to use on a Leica M! (for me), although 50 is my preferred focal length.

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Suggest you check out Ken Rockwell's Leica M lens recommendations.  He's sarcastic and the article is a bit dated but he does give some good advice on how to think about buying one, two or three M lenses.  

I went with 50mm for the first lens myself, then got a 35, then a 90, then a 21, then a 28, then another 35, and recently another 50.  It's addictive.  

I have both models you referenced.  I'd go with the 35 myself for a first lens if I could only choose between the two.  The 28 SUMMICRON is significantly larger.  That 35 is really lightweight and so, so sharp.  

Good luck.

https://www.kenrockwell.com/leica/recommended-lenses.htm

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On 3/2/2021 at 2:55 AM, Snipe10 said:

Getting my first M10-P,  now trying to decide between the Summicron 28mm f/2.0 or the 35mm f/2.0. Will probably not be getting a second lens for some time after this purchase so want to make sure I get the right one. Looking for the best all around lens if there is such a thing. Will be taking mostly family photos and use for travel. Have been told to get the 35mm but am not sure why. Thanks in advance for the help.

First ask yourself what type of photographer you are That will go a long way to answering the questions of focal length and lens speed. Then, if you are going for an universal set of lenses for the future, consider the type of photographer you are. Do you like to keep a bit of distance, then you might opt for a set of 21 (24)-35-50-90. Or, if you like to move in,, 18(21)-28-50(75) might be more useful. As for lens speed, if you are someone who likes a bit of depth of sharpness, a slower lens will save you some money and often be sharper. If you like narrow-DOF, at least one of your lenses should be a Summilux, preferably at the longer end.

Once you are clear on these issues, you can decide which lens will be your most used and you can get that one first.

Both 28 and 35 are good choices to start with, as is a 50 mm lens, but a 35 mm lens feels a bit more "natural" in its perspective, using a 28 takes more skill for general photography to get the perspective right and may lead to more cropping. OTOH, its wide angle allows you to "tell a story within a story" easier than a 35 or 50. For me, personally, 50 mm is my most comfortable focal length.

However you are the only one who can answer this, recommendations  from total strangers who are not you, will never be of any value.

BTW, even if I would advise to get a Leica lens as a first, consider buying second hand and using the remaining funds for a Voigtländer or Zeiss companion lens. For instance, a used Summicron 50 (plentiful and not too expensive) or Summarit 50, combined with a Zeiss ZM Biogon 28 will make a powerful set.

 

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Most eventually try out all of the most common focal lengths and fine tune based on personal preference in shooting style. So the best bet is to try out all and identify what focal lengths are from which types of photographs one likes. Sorry to be non specific but its really personal preference based on (not exclusively to) shooting style, subject and their shooting distance.

Then after comes lens character/rendering..

All the best

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I suggest going no longer than a 35mm. 50mm might prove difficult indoors for family pictures if that's what you are after as well.

28mm will provide you that ability and also get sufficiently wider views when you travel. I suggest going with a 28 Elmarit as a very small, lightweight, forgiving in terms of focus accuracy lebs. I attach an indoors picture for you.

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Not sure if you purchased your lens in a store, but in most stores, you can try out different lenses and take same photos of the same scene using different focal lengths. 

If you use a camera phone, the default is usually 28 without activating any zoom feature, and it will give you a good idea if you prefer it or lean towards a wider/ longer lens.

A 28, 35 or 50 will all make great first choices.  If unsure, get a cheap lens and use it for some time.

Since there aren't any zoom lenses for a M, you will eventually get a range of lenses at different focal lengths eg. 25, 35, 75 or 21, 28, 50.

Don't forget also that you can use your feet to get closer or further away from the subject.

Edited by rramesh
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What for?  Very few are able to bring intresting content close enough with 28. I'm not talking about some gross food shots with 28 eq of mobile phones. But  RF photography. 

35 is just plain Jane, forgiving and universal. Gives some space around frame lines and regular f2 lens won't protrude to VF.

Best RF expirince is with 35 lens, IMO. 

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There's sadly no substitute for personal experience, nor understanding of one's own, likes, dislikes, current,  future circumstances, etc.  First, there is the question of buying new or used.  For the price of the current 28mm cron,  you could probably manage to own the previous version and a pre-owned copy of the 35mm 'cron as well.  If pre-owned is too scary... it shouldn't be, there are many reputable dealers world wide...  a new  28mm Elmarit could be bought along  side of a new 50mm 'cron for a shade over the price of the 28mm.  For a two lens system, the pairing a 28 and 50mm makes more sense.  Assuming a budget of $5K (the current cost of the 28 cron), you likely could pick a trio of the recently discontinued  Summarits (35/50/75/90mm). On a good day, you might be able to manage all four.  Personally, I'd probably opt for a new Elmarit 2.8 APSH and find a 50mm 'lux used. YMMV.

 

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