Jump to content

Is Elmar-R 180/4 a really bad lens?


Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

Advertisement (gone after registration)

Good evening, I'm searching for a light prime tele lens around 180mm with a great bokeh (first of all), low contrast, natural classic Leica color and, if possible, low aberrations and a good flare resistance. I have used Elmarit-R 180/2.8 v1 and v2: I have used them a lot and in a second time I sold v2, because love v1's personality and I don't like v2's yield. V1 is more delicate. However, for some circumstances, I would to use a light prime tele, aroind 180mm, with same personality of 180/2.8 Elmarit-R, delicate and not aggressive for occasional portraits/street, for example.I tried  a friend's APO-Telyt-R 180/3.4, but it has got very high contrast for my taste. I have read many negative comments about Elmar-R 180/4: is it really so bad? Thank you!

Edited by Shepherdphotographer
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Of course it is not a bad lens! It is from 1976, the same year as Leitz adopted the f/3.4 from Elcan. The last one has the disadvantage, that it cannot focus on a close distance; the use of filters is a problem too here. 

In the Internet you can find lens reviews of Erwin Puts in the Leica Compendium.

 

Edited by jankap
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Thank you, jankdap, I know Puts' legendary reviews: also Puts seems to not speak about this lens very well....... He speaks about high distortion, very low contrast, little softness in the edge (but I don't care about it!). I have searched on internet about pictures, samples, of this lens and its bokeh seems to be nervous, also if we think it to be a f/4.........

Edited by Shepherdphotographer
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello,

I own the 4/180 since many years.

It‘s main advantagw is the size and the wight.

Optically it is convincing only on film - by Leica standards, it is not a good lens.

Best,

Jens

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, jankap said:

Of course it is not a bad lens! It is from 1976, the same year as Leitz adopted the f/3.4 from Elcan

So you think "made in the same year" means "equal quality?" Interesting argument.

40 minutes ago, jankap said:

According to Leica Wiki over 11000 were produced over almost 20 years. So the lens was popular.

So "popular" equals "good?" Interesting argument. Especially since there were 17000 f/3.4 APOs made.

The Leitz Elmar-R 180mm f/4.0 was - OK.

My contemporary Nikkor-AI or AIs 200mm f/4.0s were a bit better in clarity - as is the 90mm f/2.0 from 1980 (at 2 stops faster).

I tried the 180 Elmar on a Canon 5D2 camera, and found it almost impossible to focus accurately on a plain ground glass. SImply not enough clarity difference between "in focus" and "slightly out of focus."

An R film body with split-prism screen may work better.

But at the time, given that the other choices were the very expensive (military-grade) APO-Telyt, or the absolutely massive 180mm Elmarit-R v.1 (1325g), or a Minolta-based zoom, it filled a gap, and helped sell the R3 "Safari" kits.

If you like the Elmarit v.1, the Elmar will be "close," especially in color rendition, with 40% of the weight.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I also think that "popular" doesn't ever mean "good": Elmar-R 180/4 was certainly popular for its weight, price and dimensions, against  APO-Telyt-R 180/3.4 and Elmarit-R 180/2.8 and probably there is also a big difference in quality......

Edited by Shepherdphotographer
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Shepherdphotographer said:

I also think that "popular" doesn't ever mean "good": Elmar-R 180/4 was certainly popular for its weight, price and dimensions, against  APO-Telyt-R 180/3.4 and Elmarit-R 180/2.8 and probably there is also a big difference in quality......

Thanks for your help.;)

To shorten the discussion, why don't you simply buy one? The price for an in Ebay good looking item is around 200 Euros.

It is namely for me unclear, what you intend. The MTF curves seem to give you the lens, you describe. I personally have the f/3.4, very happy with it. For me not too heavy; for the filter I have made a construction to use E-filters. But I am more a wide angle type.

Edited by jankap
Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, jankap said:

Thanks for your help.;)

To shorten the discussion, why don't you simply buy one? The price for an in Ebay good looking item is around 200 Euros.

It is namely for me unclear, what you intend. I personally have the f/3.4, very happy with it. For me not too heavy; for the filter I have made a construction to use E-filters. But I am more a wide angle type.

Hi, maybe that's the best way! I tried the 180 / 3.4 from a friend and sincerely and I did not like it, for my tastes and for what I am looking for (I am in love, I repeat, with the 180 / 2.8 v1), that is a light, delicate and low contrast 180mm canvas. : 180 / 3.4, in other words, is too contrasted, not very delicate.

Link to post
Share on other sites

There are offered several at Ebay at the moment. One with fungus (200 Euro)! Another one at the Leica store Nuremberg is by them rated at A- for 225 Euro. More items are offered for around 300+ Euro. 

Everybody wants sharp lenses, you don't. The MTFs of this lenstype do not indicate a design for sharpness. It is not my style, but I seldom take portraits. Of course at f/8 things get better, but one should look at the wide open case.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Hi, I own and use the 180mm Elmar on a SONY A7R2 (which has IS, live view, and can do high ISO, etc.). A few samples, at f 5,6 , cropped:

 

 

 

 

 

 

f 4 :

 

 

I am quite happy with my Elmar ... ---

 

Edited by crony
Typo
Link to post
Share on other sites

...I did some test-shots with the Elmar 180 (Leitaxed) on my D800 this Monday.

Here the overviews and the crops.

I doen't like the results.

Best,

Jens

Link to post
Share on other sites

…I don‘t think so - the lens system is very clean and clear.

This lens is - by far - outresolved by this camera (with 24 MP FF it‘s nearly the same).

Best,

Jens

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I'm no particular fan of the 180 Elmar (see previous post)

But all your samples show is mostly your incompetence in exposure and post-processing.

5 minutes correcting your mistakes provides this (and from a compressed jpeg - with the original NEF I'm sure I could do even better.)

"Only a poor craftsman blames his tools."

 

Edited by adan
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Crony, Adan and jensthoes. There's a big difference between the last ones versions and  the first of the pictures posted by jensthoes (also if, for my taste, the contrast is too high), however I haven't found great pictures of this lens on internet, where you can find very often many examples of strong chromatic aberrations, too...... It could be very useful to watch portraits ad f/4 - f/5.6.......

Link to post
Share on other sites

It is such a common complaint with older lenses... The will have a fine layer of dust - near-invisible on inspection- covering all glass surfaces, impacting performance significantly. Have them cleaned (Will van Manen calls it "window washing") and they will display their full quality again. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...