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M10-R Lens Pairings & Real vs Perceived Benefits


pk851667
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I've been a long-time lurker but I've decided to contribute something to the wider community. Having used film M's for many years I moved on to digital with a badly delaminated M9 earlier this year which I used through my summer only to take advantage of the trade-in program for an M10-R.

I've been using the M10-R for the last few months and I've widely been very pleased. Making the jump from static ISO on film to a camera that quite comfortably goes up to ISO 10000 whenever you need it was like unshackling yourself of an anchor. Indeed, while the added resolution may be in the name - the USP is most definitely its dynamic range, and in close second, the colors OoC.

Which brings me to some concerns. 40MP is a considerable step up to what most of us are used to. I have a range of older and modern lenses and used many on the M10-R over the last few months. Some have performed well. Others, not so great. I think that's to be expected - particularly because it would really test the limits of optical performance on kit that was never designed to be used on such a sensor/medium.

To explain what kind of a range we're talking about - I have found some lenses like the 50 Cron ASPH, 90 Cron v2, and even some very cheap third-party lenses like the TTA 50 1.4 to be outstanding on the camera. But those are quite tight focal lengths, and if you want to maximize the use of the sensor you would want to go wider so you have room to crop. Well, the 28 and 24 Elmarit ASPH have both been pretty bland on the camera. Indeed, when cropping you are bordering on unusable. 

So then, as an open discussion the question is - what is the ideal lens pairing for the M10-R? There is very little information out there on the M10-R in general. The reviews online give a lot of specs and facts, but not a load of practical knowledge of the camera, capabilities and compatibilities to lenses. I think users of this camera would agree with me that it is a different beast entirely from other Ms - why aren't we treating it as such?

Even staff at Leica aren't really being helpful on this. Four different stores told me, "oh go for the 50 APO, or 35 FLE for best performance". But the answer can't just involve clinical optical performance on pixels. I think there is a lot more than that - especially when I have found some older and (many orders of magnitude) cheaper lenses to perform exceptionally well on the camera (which bewildered them greatly and greeted with a shrug). 

With this in mind, I think there should be more information than simply recommending the absolute most premium lenses in the modern line-up. (ALOT of) Money aside, if Leica genuinely believes that their previous versions of lenses wouldn't be able to keep up with the resolution of the M10-R, should it not just be outright said?

In fact, perhaps not even recommend the camera unless you are willing to shell out for something like the 50 APO or 35 FLE. Even that aside, if there was more marketing material and resources on best practices - the experience would be infinitely better. But now, I just feel like M10-R users are sort of muddling in the dark. 

Any thoughts?

Edited by pk851667
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Welcome.

You are posing the impossible question. There is no right answer. Because everyone sees the issue differently. What represents a great lens for some is considered average for others. And vice versa. Some prefer the likes of Karbe (clinical, super corrected), some the likes of Mandler (with glow, flaws and character).
You will soon find that if you want to produce the ideal pairing with M10-R (ideal for you that is), you will have to go down that test rabbit hole yourself.

Also, many people think Cosina Voigtlanders are the price/performance kings of Leica lenses.

(BTW: Your thread title also does not match your question, it is a bit confusing).

Edited by Al Brown
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  • pk851667 changed the title to M10-R Lens Pairings & Real vs Perceived Benefits
3 minutes ago, Al Brown said:

Welcome.

You are posing the impossible question. There is no right answer. Because everyone sees the issue differently. What represents a great lens for some is considered average for others. And vice versa. Some prefer the likes of Karbe (clinical, super corrected), some the likes of Mandler (with glow, flaws and character).
You will soon find that if you want to produce the ideal pairing with M10-R (ideal for you that is), you will have to go down that test rabbit hole yourself.

Also, many people think Cosina Voigtlanders are the price/performance kings of Leica lenses.

(BTW: Your thread title also does not match your question, it is a bit confusing).

Point taken re: Topic. I have amended it.

With regards to the lens question, I agree 100%. The other point I was driving at is there hasn't been and still isn't a lot of information on the camera and guidance. Other than a few threads on here that gentle tease that problem out with some user preferences, the answer is almost unilaterally "get the APO". I think you would agree is not exactly a satisfying answer, if only that it takes no user preference into consideration.

Whether I'm a snob when it comes to glass, or I just don't like super clinical looks - or even if is the other way around entirely - I wish there was more info, reviews, and guidance out there that could thoughtfully recommend a lens on a camera that is undoubtedly quite different to its previous iterations.

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@pk851667,

welcome,

My only answer would be there is no ideal lens pairing for any camera.

In the past, my own experience told that trying out some lenses, sold some, keep some after trying.

Not one lens can DO IT ALL  (for everybody, or situation).

Our tastes and needs are different, so the best way is trying out oneself.

Not that older lenses are not good, but as you wrote, the latest "apo-asph. lenses" can give deceptions, but not always.

 

Take one 35 (or other) lens of your choice, use it then decide if it suits, if not time for another lens.

( I would begin with xx Summilux asph. at first to see ...)

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Well for me, I use 3 summiluxes and one odd 40/2 summicron and just do the jobs I do with them from day to day.
My M10-R BP is shooting every day and I do not look back, although I constantly seem to be on the prowl for odd and rare lenses as well. I sometimes put my black paint Biotar 58/2 M42 on my Leica, sometimes an ISCO Gottingen projection lens, even the odd Zeiss one... I like the occasional mood swings in render.
There are, however, at least two lenses that are never going to be liked by me - the 50/1.2 Noctilux and 35 steel rim, both wide open. Just... no.
 

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A couple of recommendations:

1. Reid reviews 

2. Jonas review 

3. view the many pages of M10R photos. Many mention lens. Then see if said user links to their site, Instagram, etc 

4. Mechanically identical operation to M10P. 
 

5. Lens section - tons of talk of CVT lenses and Zeiss, including with M10R but have to search a bit. 
 

6. DP review video reviews has a nice long review of M10R  

I don’t recall any in depth review talking about budget lenses though. Surely a gap. 

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12 minutes ago, dkmoore said:

A couple of recommendations:

1. Reid reviews 

2. Jonas review 

3. view the many pages of M10R photos. Many mention lens. Then see if said user links to their site, Instagram, etc 

4. Mechanically identical operation to M10P. 
 

5. Lens section - tons of talk of CVT lenses and Zeiss, including with M10R but have to search a bit. 
 

6. DP review video reviews has a nice long review of M10R  

I don’t recall any in depth review talking about budget lenses though. Surely a gap. 

appreciated!

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3 hours ago, pk851667 said:

(ALOT of) Money aside, if Leica genuinely believes that their previous versions of lenses wouldn't be able to keep up with the resolution of the M10-R, should it not just be outright said?

 


I trust Roger Cicala as a lens reviewer. I think you might benefit from reading the Appendix (Why Perceptual Megapixels are Stupid) at the end of Roger’s article…

https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2019/10/more-ultra-high-resolution-mtf-experiments/

In addition, besides differences in individual preferences, tastes, standards, techniques and viewing output (screen? print? magnification/print size?),  lenses also typically exhibit sample variations in performance. Only you can judge.  Even Roger, who bench tests lenses professionally, makes his own subjective judgments…

https://m.dpreview.com/opinion/4042117089/roger-cicala-why-i-dont-use-an-mtf-bench-to-test-my-own-lenses

Jeff

 

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1 hour ago, dkmoore said:

A couple of recommendations:

1. Reid reviews 

2. Jonas review 

3. view the many pages of M10R photos. Many mention lens. Then see if said user links to their site, Instagram, etc 

4. Mechanically identical operation to M10P. 
 

5. Lens section - tons of talk of CVT lenses and Zeiss, including with M10R but have to search a bit. 
 

6. DP review video reviews has a nice long review of M10R  

I don’t recall any in depth review talking about budget lenses though. Surely a gap. 

I will second that Reid Reviews recommendation.  It is a paid site and well worth it given the quality and consideration given to each review.  I have learned a lot there and it had helped refine my lens choices.

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For me personally, I feel the 28mm lux and the R is a good match that fit my style. But honestly, it depends on what you will shoot. I like my 50 APO for some work, and the 35mm APO is probably the best lens I have tried technically speaking. But 70% at the time, my 28mm lux is on. 

Again I think its based on style more then what's "perfect" or best match. 

 

Enjoy 🤗

 

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vor 22 Minuten schrieb fbonde:

For me personally, I feel the 28mm lux and the R is a good match that fit my style. But honestly, it depends on what you will shoot. I like my 50 APO for some work, and the 35mm APO is probably the best lens I have tried technically speaking. But 70% at the time, my 28mm lux is on. 

Again I think its based on style more then what's "perfect" or best match. 

 

Enjoy 🤗

 

+1

I mainly use the SLX 28mm and the Apo50 with my M10-R and M10-M. Would have liked to try the APO35, but it's too close to my favorite 28mm focal length.

Edited by strohscw
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10 hours ago, strohscw said:

+1

I mainly use the SLX 28mm and the Apo50 with my M10-R and M10-M. Would have liked to try the APO35, but it's too close to my favorite 28mm focal length.

I thought the same, but the APO 35mm is really something else. It just perform on all levels. Im getting the M10 Mono on Monday (thanks to @Steven  can't wait to try it on there. 

My R with the APO 35

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On 11/25/2021 at 6:30 AM, pk851667 said:

I've been a long-time lurker but I've decided to contribute something to the wider community. Having used film M's for many years I moved on to digital with a badly delaminated M9 earlier this year which I used through my summer only to take advantage of the trade-in program for an M10-R.

I've been using the M10-R for the last few months and I've widely been very pleased. Making the jump from static ISO on film to a camera that quite comfortably goes up to ISO 10000 whenever you need it was like unshackling yourself of an anchor. Indeed, while the added resolution may be in the name - the USP is most definitely its dynamic range, and in close second, the colors OoC.

Which brings me to some concerns. 40MP is a considerable step up to what most of us are used to. I have a range of older and modern lenses and used many on the M10-R over the last few months. Some have performed well. Others, not so great. I think that's to be expected - particularly because it would really test the limits of optical performance on kit that was never designed to be used on such a sensor/medium.

To explain what kind of a range we're talking about - I have found some lenses like the 50 Cron ASPH, 90 Cron v2, and even some very cheap third-party lenses like the TTA 50 1.4 to be outstanding on the camera. But those are quite tight focal lengths, and if you want to maximize the use of the sensor you would want to go wider so you have room to crop. Well, the 28 and 24 Elmarit ASPH have both been pretty bland on the camera. Indeed, when cropping you are bordering on unusable. 

So then, as an open discussion the question is - what is the ideal lens pairing for the M10-R? There is very little information out there on the M10-R in general. The reviews online give a lot of specs and facts, but not a load of practical knowledge of the camera, capabilities and compatibilities to lenses. I think users of this camera would agree with me that it is a different beast entirely from other Ms - why aren't we treating it as such?

Even staff at Leica aren't really being helpful on this. Four different stores told me, "oh go for the 50 APO, or 35 FLE for best performance". But the answer can't just involve clinical optical performance on pixels. I think there is a lot more than that - especially when I have found some older and (many orders of magnitude) cheaper lenses to perform exceptionally well on the camera (which bewildered them greatly and greeted with a shrug). 

With this in mind, I think there should be more information than simply recommending the absolute most premium lenses in the modern line-up. (ALOT of) Money aside, if Leica genuinely believes that their previous versions of lenses wouldn't be able to keep up with the resolution of the M10-R, should it not just be outright said?

In fact, perhaps not even recommend the camera unless you are willing to shell out for something like the 50 APO or 35 FLE. Even that aside, if there was more marketing material and resources on best practices - the experience would be infinitely better. But now, I just feel like M10-R users are sort of muddling in the dark. 

Any thoughts?

It really depends on the type of photography that you prefer and your desired focal length. I love the 35 as a 'street lens' so I started with the 35mm F2 Summicron ASPH.

I then bought a 21mm F/3.8 Super Elmar for landscape photography and then an Elmarit 28mm F/2.8 followed by a 90mm F/2.8 Elmarit. My next two lenses were the Voigtlander 35mm and 50mm F2 APOs. Some opt for a three lens kit of a a 28, 50 and 90. I didn't 'need' another 35, but the APO Lanthars are an excellent choice for the money, and render differently than the Summicrons.

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18 minutes ago, bherman01545 said:

It really depends on the type of photography that you prefer and your desired focal length. I love the 35 as a 'street lens' so I started with the 35mm F2 Summicron ASPH.

I then bought a 21mm F/3.8 Super Elmar for landscape photography and then an Elmarit 28mm F/2.8 followed by a 90mm F/2.8 Elmarit. My next two lenses were the Voigtlander 35mm and 50mm F2 APOs. Some opt for a three lens kit of a a 28, 50 and 90. I didn't 'need' another 35, but the APO Lanthars are an excellent choice for the money, and render differently than the Summicrons.

Thanks again to all, some of the resource material recommended certainly helps.

More generally, I now realize that my original post missed my core point. The question with regards to lenses on the M10-R is not so much one of style but general compatibility and performance on the sensor - which is why I wanted to get more recommendations with pictures etc.

Not directed to everyone, by my criticism more generally of the answers is covered in my original post in the thread, that not every answer can err solely on “get the APO”. To me, it feels like an answer like that means the camera isn’t field tested across all manner of lenses as it should. It feels like a cop out.

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In general, the "higher-performing" lenses will perform better on a high resolution sensor. Most all Leica and Voigtlander lenses are compatible with the M10-R sensor. Even the lenses that are not 6-bit coded will work. With that said, many of the new Leica lenses are older designs which were designed during the film era and perform great on the M10-R

-Brad

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6 minutes ago, pk851667 said:

Thanks again to all, some of the resource material recommended certainly helps.

More generally, I now realize that my original post missed my core point. The question with regards to lenses on the M10-R is not so much one of style but general compatibility and performance on the sensor - which is why I wanted to get more recommendations with pictures etc.

Not directed to everyone, by my criticism more generally of the answers is covered in my original post in the thread, that not every answer can err solely on “get the APO”. To me, it feels like an answer like that means the camera isn’t field tested across all manner of lenses as it should. It feels like a cop out.

The improved and higher resolving sensor will reveal more of any lens’ inherent characteristics (again, see post #11, Appendix in first link). Whether those characteristics appeal to you or others is completely subjective depending on intent and preferences.  Not everyone wants or needs highest resolution, contrast, etc. Nothing to do with cop-out. 

Jeff

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