Jump to content

Focusing a 75mm Summilux f/1.4


andba
 Share

Recommended Posts

Advertisement (gone after registration)

This is an addendum to another thread I have going regarding lens combinations, but this is a more specific inquiry.

Looking specifically for past or present shooters of the 75mm 1.4 (not Summicron or Summarit) on an M body (I'd be pairing with an M10-P).

How difficult is it to focus this lens wide open on an M camera without a Visoflex or other EVF? I'm interested in picking one of these up, but not at all interested in an external finder.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm a past/present 75mm M Lux shooter. I used it on an ME typ240. Very difficult so got the EVF - not a good experience. With the EVF it worked but was a very..........slow.........process........... So I moved onto the SL2-S. What a wonderful, bright and very spot on joy to use with my 75mm Lux. I also use it with my 80mm R Lux. Throwing the EVF onto the 240 body seemed to take away the smallness of the M system. It became a bulky machine (again talking about use with M bodies) I can't tell you how the SL2-S changed my Leica World. I am using so many old lenses, new lenses, other brands - on my SL2-S. Might not be the answer/discussion you were looking for as you asked about M10-P - but this is the road I took and I'm not looking back. Just want to add - Summilux lenses have always been dear to me. And we are going back many, many years. Good luck with your Summilux quest!

Edited by OR120
sp
Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m a past APO Summicron-M 75 owner; and current 75 Summilux-M, 50 Noctilux 0.95 (and 50 APO Summicron-M & 50 Summilux-M ASPH) owner.  The reason for listing the other lenses is to compare the focusing of them all.

I sold the 75 APO Summicron-M as I couldn’t reliably focus with it.  I found the focus throw too short, making small focus adjustments difficult.  It may have been my lens, but it was disappointing it did not live up to its reputation.  For the 50s, I have found no problem focusing with the OVF - the depth of field is wider with the 0.95 Noct than for the 75 Summilux, but it is fine.  The other two 50s also focus reliably.

The focus throw with the Noct and with the 75 Summilux is longer than the others, making fine adjustment easier.  I use a 1.4x magnifier with my 50s and with the 75 Summilux.  Great lens on both M cameras and the SL.

Link to post
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, andba said:

How difficult is it to focus this lens wide open on an M camera without a Visoflex or other EVF? I'm interested in picking one of these up, but not at all interested in an external finder.

Depends if good enough focusing is enough for you or if you prefer nailing focus. If good enough is enough, no problem since the lens is rather soft at wide aperture so dreamy results are not difficult to get this way. Otherwise an optical magnifier or preferably (to me) an EVF is necessary but my ageing sight is not the best.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't have a 75mm Summilux, but I do have a Voigtländer 75mm f/1.5, which I think is close enough as far as depth of field is concerned. Here are some samples with it wide open, at close range.
Leica M-A, handheld, focused with the rangefinder. No problem at all.

Edited by Vlad Soare
Link to post
Share on other sites

Advertisement (gone after registration)

I started using my 75 Lux with an M9 - difficult to focus wide open with low hit rate. Next came M240 with evf- better but waiting for the shutter to close/open meant I lost the “moment “ more often than not. Next M10P with evf2. Without the evf my hit rate remained low, even with a magnifier. The evf really helps but kind of spoils the concept of the M experience. Finally I caved and got an SL2S - and the world changed for me!!  Now M,R and SL lenses focus beautifully with no lag and IBIS to boot. Maybe not the answer to your question but perhaps useful information.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I use a 75mm Summilux on both M and SL cameras. Focus on Ms depends on your visual acuity and ability to determine precise rangefinder subject alignment and of course subject matter - some simply will not focus. I find that the hit rate is high wide open but not 100%. On the SL focus is a slower, operation because you need to 'zoom in' but precise focus is easier and accurate.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It was super tough to nail focus witn the finder on my ex-M240, the planets had to really allign to be perfect wide open. Both were perfectly calibrated.

On the M10-R it is much, much easier, with just occasional miss, 1 or 2 out of 10 wide open and even that is due to error of moving and/or misjudging.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Summilux 75mm is a very nice lens that I use since decades.

sometimes with magnifier x1.25/1.4 😉.

It's not easy to focus close distance, at full open.

From a couple of meters, wide open is usable if the subjects don't move a lot, but in this case close down a bit can help

a lot to nail focus.

Link to post
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, Al Brown said:

It was super tough to nail focus witn the finder on my ex-M240, the planets had to really allign to be perfect wide open. Both were perfectly calibrated.

On the M10-R it is much, much easier, with just occasional miss, 1 or 2 out of 10 wide open and even that is due to error of moving and/or misjudging.

Why is it easier to focus on the M10-R? Doesn't it use the same rangefinder mechanism?

And thanks to everybody else. I hadn't considered the 1.4x magnifier route — seems like that may be a very good solution.

Link to post
Share on other sites

17 minutes ago, andba said:

Why is it easier to focus on the M10-R? Doesn't it use the same rangefinder mechanism?

And thanks to everybody else. I hadn't considered the 1.4x magnifier route — seems like that may be a very good solution.

Subtle though it is, I seem to recall the viewfinder magnification on the m10 (including the r) is greater than the m9 and m240. So would support the comments about easier focussing. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

28 minutes ago, Tp2000 said:

Subtle though it is, I seem to recall the viewfinder magnification on the m10 (including the r) is greater than the m9 and m240. So would support the comments about easier focussing. 

Longer mechanical base length (69.31 vs 69.25mmmm) and higher magnification (0.73x vs 0.68x) make for a somewhat longer effective base length (50.60 vs 47.09mm) of M10 vs M240 rangefinders. This way difficult lenses like 90/1.5 and 75/1.25 can be focused accurately (or less inaccurately) on the M10 depending on enlargements. As for 75/1.4 lenses, they can be focused accurately (or less inaccurately) on both M240 and M10 bodies but hit rates should be higher on the later normally. I have no experience with the M10 though.

Link to post
Share on other sites

54 minutes ago, andba said:

Apologies,  I read the original post by @Al Brownas the M10-R being easier than an M10, my mistake. All makes sense.

Do you mean ...easier than M240, then ?

With M10, it's almost the same magnification as previous film M (x0.72 film M, x0.73 M10).

In my use, the M10 has no better 'hit rate' than film M,

maybe on M10-R with more pixels, 'sharpness' must be worse, if we look at pictures in details.

 

Anyway, I think that looking for 'sharpness' in pictures from Summilux 75mm would be deceptive when used wide open.

This lens can 'give' far more than 'sharpness', if we accept the thing.

 

Edited by a.noctilux
Link to post
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, a.noctilux said:

Anyway, I think that looking for 'sharpness' in pictures from Summilux 75mm would be deceptive when used wide open.

This lens can 'give' far more than 'sharpness', if we accept the thing.

I agree with this as a general principle, but things aren't always so clear-cut.
First, even though when I use a 75mm wide open I'm obviously interested in a soft and creamy background, I still want the thing I focus on to be sharp.
Second, while a softness that's intrinsic to the lens design might be pleasing with certain subjects, a softness that's caused by poor focusing is always ugly and ruins the picture.

This is what I expect when I use a 75mm lens wide open:

Soft in the background, but tack-sharp in the focusing plane (I focused on the crocodile's right eye):

And this is what happened when I got the focusing wrong:

One may still like this photo due to its subject matter, but there's no doubt that technically it's a flop (especially when you notice that her arms are in focus).

It's almost always obvious when the lack of sharpness is caused by a mistake rather than by design. 

Edited by Vlad Soare
Link to post
Share on other sites

I had the 75/1.4 Summilux for a number of years (pre-liveview/EVF) and found that its hit-rate wide-open was quite acceptable and not visibly worse than my 50/1.4 Summilux asph.  My 90/2 APO-Summicron-M asph had a slightly thinner depth of field wide-open owing to its longer focal length and its hit-rate wide-open was similar (except nearing MFD, which is a known problem for that lens) focussing with the rangefinder also.

I'm fortunate to now shoot with a 75/1.25 Noctilux asph and a 50/1 Noctilux and I've found over the years that I can get out of practice focussing ultra-fast lenses with a rangefinder so it's important (for me) to 'get my eye back in' if I haven't used one for a few weeks.  I'll normally find that shots for the first hour or two can be a little off but after that I'm back in the groove.  

I use ultra-fast M lenses with a SL2-S as well and while it's easier to nail focus with the 10x magnifier and (in some instances) focus peaking decisive moments can get lost in the time it takes for the camera - and me - to react so I prefer to use them on the M10 where it's just that bit quicker and more instinctive once I have my eye in.

Pete.

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...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...