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New to Leica! Purchasing an M10M but need help with lens decisions.


Jbraun66
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I have lusted after the M10M for the past year or so and am ready to bite the bullet.  I can't seem to get taking B&W photos out of my head andI just can't seem to wrap my head around the lenses.  I tend to think starting out with a 28mm for wider shots and a 50mm for the rest should get me started.  Question is do I dip my toe in with Leica glass or try Zeiss or Voigtlander?  I am considering the 28 f2.8 Elmarit to cover the wider side but I really don't know what 50 to look at.  With the ISO capability of the M10M I won't need the fastest glass out there but There are so many 50's out there I am left scratching my head.   Or.....am I going about this the wrong way?  Shelling out this kind of money I would like to get it right.  Thanks for your help.

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My take.

Get Voigtlander 28 and 35 Ultron II, plus the 50/1.5 II ... Three incredible lenses for the price of one Leica lens. You use all of them, hard, and see what you feel about each focal lengths. Then, you can buy your first Leica of your choice.

Most of all RF magic happens in these 23mm (28mm to 50mm)

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So the APO isn't a requirement? 😆  I am used to higher megapixel cams and I like detail in my images.  I have the Sony a7rII and Sony a1and a wide range of lenses.  I live on the wider side and the 200 + long side with those cams 70 -80% of the time.  I want this for a different experience.  I really want to explore this angle of photography and I agree that this is a lifetime investment.  I don't part with my gear typically.

Edited by Jbraun66
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@Jbraun66

I'd like to humbly share my Flickr album for your reference. There's 450+ photo across 20+ different lenses from vintage, antique to modern lenses since day one I owned it.

All the photos with proper tags indicated which lens was mounted on the M10 Monochrom, FYI.

I sincerely hope that you'll find your own taste and mount the right lens on your M10 Monochrom with pleasure soon.

450+ sam[ples across 20 more lenses -- M10 Monochrom

 

Edited by Erato
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6 hours ago, Jbraun66 said:

So the APO isn't a requirement? 😆  I am used to higher megapixel cams and I like detail in my images.  I have the Sony a7rII and Sony a1and a wide range of lenses.  I live on the wider side and the 200 + long side with those cams 70 -80% of the time.  I want this for a different experience.  I really want to explore this angle of photography and I agree that this is a lifetime investment.  I don't part with my gear typically.

If you come from Sony and like the detail, get the Leica or Voigtlander APOs (35 or 50) to boot. You really can't go wrong here. The Voigtlander Ultron 28mm/2 II is also excellent.
But do RENT the Monochrome first to see if it ticks all the boxes.

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15 hours ago, Jbraun66 said:

So the APO isn't a requirement? 😆  I am used to higher megapixel cams and I like detail in my images.  I have the Sony a7rII and Sony a1and a wide range of lenses.  I live on the wider side and the 200 + long side with those cams 70 -80% of the time.  I want this for a different experience.  I really want to explore this angle of photography and I agree that this is a lifetime investment.  I don't part with my gear typically.

The lens-sensor resolution is not a weakest link situation A better (higher resolving) lens on the same sensor will give a better result, a higher resolving sensor on the same lens will give a better result. As a matter of fact, a high-res sensor will emphasize the character of (older) lenses, which can be preferable to the clinical rendering of present-day near-flawless lenses like the Leica APO lenses. A matter of taste.

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2 hours ago, davidbaddley said:

The Summilux 50mm 1.4 ASPH is my favorite lens with the M10M. Very sharp, nice character. I've used this lens a lot on other bodies (M10, M9M, M9, M6, etc), but there's something about this combo that really sings. This lens lives on my M10M now.

 

I have noticed in my research that it does have character and that is a good thing.

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My lens of choice is the 35 Lux FLE. Love that lens. I tend to see at the focal length so it is a great fit. For 50s I have a Voigt 50 1.2 Nokton that is a real gem. I don't use a 50 F/L that often but for some reason the last few weeks i have been. 

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On 1/15/2022 at 2:54 AM, Erato said:

@Jbraun66

I'd like to humbly share my Flickr album for your reference. There's 450+ photo across 20+ different lenses from vintage, antique to modern lenses since day one I owned it.

All the photos with proper tags indicated which lens was mounted on the M10 Monochrom, FYI.

I sincerely hope that you'll find your own taste and mount the right lens on your M10 Monochrom with pleasure soon.

450+ sam[ples across 20 more lenses -- M10 Monochrom

 

I checked out the images for which you provided a link - very impressive work.

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If money is not an object, the 50mm APO Summicron is hard to beat on the M10M, except perhaps by the 35mm APO Summicron. A very strong second choice, regardless of cost, is the Voigtlander 35mm Ultron II, which is black paint on brass. It's tiny, solid, gorgeous and one of the highest performers I've ever put on my M10M. I'd probably start with that lens. You may not ever want to take it off.

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On 1/15/2022 at 2:54 AM, Erato said:

@Jbraun66

I'd like to humbly share my Flickr album for your reference. There's 450+ photo across 20+ different lenses from vintage, antique to modern lenses since day one I owned it.

All the photos with proper tags indicated which lens was mounted on the M10 Monochrom, FYI.

I sincerely hope that you'll find your own taste and mount the right lens on your M10 Monochrom with pleasure soon.

450+ sam[ples across 20 more lenses -- M10 Monochrom

 

Thanks!  You do very nice work!

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19 hours ago, fotografr said:

If money is not an object, the 50mm APO Summicron is hard to beat on the M10M, except perhaps by the 35mm APO Summicron. A very strong second choice, regardless of cost, is the Voigtlander 35mm Ultron II, which is black paint on brass. It's tiny, solid, gorgeous and one of the highest performers I've ever put on my M10M. I'd probably start with that lens. You may not ever want to take it off.

I'll check that out!

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On 1/14/2022 at 9:51 PM, Jbraun66 said:

So the APO isn't a requirement? 😆  I am used to higher megapixel cams and I like detail in my images.  I have the Sony a7rII and Sony a1and a wide range of lenses.  I live on the wider side and the 200 + long side with those cams 70 -80% of the time.  I want this for a different experience.  I really want to explore this angle of photography and I agree that this is a lifetime investment.  I don't part with my gear typically.

The 35 and 50 APO lenses would be nice to have, but are not mandatory for cameras like the M10M, M10R and M11 with high megapixel count senors. 

The "regular" non-APO Summicrons are truly outstanding, but are sometimes overlooked by buyers who are smitten by the "glamor" lenses - the APOs and Summiluxes.

As for detail in your images, the 28mm f/2.8 Elmarit is an extremely sharp, conrasty lens that will give you outstanding image quality.  The Portugal made version is priced at $2395 USD and is the deal of the century in new M lenses.  The Wetzlar made 28/2.8 goes for $300 more.  The Portugal made M lenses are equal to the German made lenses; they achieve lower prices by sidestepping tariffs that are levied on the German made M lenses.

As for a one lens start in the M lens world, I would look at the 35/2 Summcron or the 28/2.8 Elmarit.  For a two lens kit, add a (non-APO) 50mm Summicron to the 35 Summicron or the 28 Elmarit.  

If money is no object, the 35mm Summicron APO and the 50mm Summicron APO would be the dream team IMO.  These lenses are godawfully costly, but they will only go up in price as time goes by.

Edited by Herr Barnack
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I advise that you take a look at photos and see how the different lenses render the out of focus areas and transitions from infocus to out of focus.  A lot of lenses that people say are magical seem to swirl the out of focus areas.  Not something I like myself.  These tend to be the older lenses.  I linked the black and white image thread below.  Look for photos that have the qualities you like and note the lenses used.  You also noted that you would get two lenses.  I would suggest one summilux and one apo.  That way you can shoot both photos with razor thin depth of field and photos that are sharp corner to corner.  If you are not set on 28 as your wide lens I would go 35 apo and then get a 50 summilux or put your name down for the rumored new 50mm lens Leica is working on.  Rumor is it will have .3 minimum focus and possibly be an apo as well.  That would make it a great portrait lens.  Or you can get the 28 summilux (many people say it's an awesome lens) and a 50 apo.  One other route is to get a monochrome q as your 28 and a 10m with a 50 lens.  That gives you the option to have a backup camera and autofocus if you need it.  

Some Voitlander lenses are very good and rival/better their Leica counterparts (depending on the look you want).  They are slightly larger and look different than Leica lenses.  They are much, much cheaper though.  Again, you will see photos taken with these lenses in the black and white photos thread.

 

 

 

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On 1/17/2022 at 10:05 PM, fotografr said:

If money is not an object, the 50mm APO Summicron is hard to beat on the M10M, except perhaps by the 35mm APO Summicron. A very strong second choice, regardless of cost, is the Voigtlander 35mm Ultron II, which is black paint on brass. It's tiny, solid, gorgeous and one of the highest performers I've ever put on my M10M. I'd probably start with that lens. You may not ever want to take it off.

Brent, a few questions regarding the 35 Ultron II.  Do you use a hood (if so, which....if not, flaring?).  And is 6 bit coding available (and if not, how do you accommodate lens on M10M?).  I've always stuck to Leica lenses, so I'm not familiar with M recognition.  I've read good reviews on this lens and had been considering a 'cheap' addition for a compact 35.  I have the 35 Summaron f2.8, but I'm not a big fan of the focus lock. Any idea how the Ultron compares in rendering?  Oh, and I have the smallish Summicron ASPH v.1.

Thanks,

Jeff

Edited by Jeff S
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On 1/14/2022 at 6:18 PM, Jbraun66 said:

I have lusted after the M10M for the past year or so and am ready to bite the bullet.  I can't seem to get taking B&W photos out of my head andI just can't seem to wrap my head around the lenses.  I tend to think starting out with a 28mm for wider shots and a 50mm for the rest should get me started.  Question is do I dip my toe in with Leica glass or try Zeiss or Voigtlander?  I am considering the 28 f2.8 Elmarit to cover the wider side but I really don't know what 50 to look at.  With the ISO capability of the M10M I won't need the fastest glass out there but There are so many 50's out there I am left scratching my head.   Or.....am I going about this the wrong way?  Shelling out this kind of money I would like to get it right.  Thanks for your help.

The first step is to look at the focal length that you use most with other cameras. Keep your kit small to begin with.

When I bought my first Leica the M9M which was my first ever rangefinder I picked up the Lux 50 as 50mm was my favourite focal length.

Traditionally my lens kit was one of doubling focal length. 24/50/100/200/400.

Once comfortable with the  Lux 50 I later added the Zeiss 25 and 35. The Zeiss's were excellent lenses but I was experimenting with Infra red photography and they had a small IR light leak. I returned the Zeiss 25 and got the 24 Elmar. I added the Leica 90 APO as that was the closest to 100mm. Later the Voigtlander 15 ver 2 for an ultrawide option but it failed and I didn't use it enough to replace. The last lens added was the 135 APO so I could have additional reach. The Zeiss 35 I kept for a few years but was using it less and less so I sold it.

My Leica kit settled on 24 Elmar, 50 Lux, 90 APO and 135 APO which suits my shooting interests and work terrific on the M9M, M246 and M10M which I still use.

The Lux 50 remains my favourite and most used lens and is very sharp. 

My attraction to the M9M was I shot a lot of IR photography and I wanted a true B&W option for historical photography. I also shoot scenics with the Monochrom. 

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