Jump to content

Is an APO 35/50mm on an old digital M better money spent than getting a new M11?


dgc
 Share

Recommended Posts

Advertisement (gone after registration)

I started to write this thread on the M11 forum, however, as I started to write it, it became obvious I was asking about the lens rather than the new M11.

I bought into the Leica M system for the lenses and leaving aside the obvious, that most modern cameras and lenses can take great pictures, is it better to spend money on an APO lens (and buy/ keep an older digital M) rather than getting the latest 60 MP digital M and using a ''lesser'' lens ? All very subjective, but I would be interested to hear the views of APO users.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just in case, I don't know any "lesser" lens in my old kit of Leitz/Leica lenses.

Those lenses would give their best on any sensor not depending on resolution.

For me (just me of course), the more resolution would be best used with best lenses, but not always true depending on the need/taste of user.

 

So to give you an idea, just buy the apo/asph. lenses of your desire then use on your M camera, you would see if the lenses can do what you want.

Otherwise, buy you the nice M11 to use your apo and all lenses.

 

No other user can give you right answer as one ( buy M11) or the other (apo lenses to be used on lesser resolution M ).

Link to post
Share on other sites

Given the choice (and the availability to buy a 35mm APO), I’d go for the glass over the M11. 
 

It will still perform beautifully on an older M9 or 240 and while you’re waiting four years for the M12 to come out (so M11 prices drop), you can be out enjoying yourself and shooting with it. 

Edited by Masukami
Link to post
Share on other sites

Advertisement (gone after registration)

2 hours ago, dgc said:

All very subjective, but I would be interested to hear the views of APO users.

I'm NOT an APO user. My 35mm pre-FLE Summilux is very, very good and I see no reason to chenge it for another 35mm M lens. This won't answer your question though.

Link to post
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, dgc said:

...is it better to spend money on an APO lens rather than getting the latest 60 MP digital M and using a ''lesser'' lens?...

If I were you I'd be asking myself "Is there anything I need which the M11 would give me that my current M doesn't? What do I need from my camera?...".

You mention the 60Mp sensor of the M11. My most-frquently used M 'only' has a 24Mp sensor and I can easily make exhibition-quality prints at A2 size. I could probably happily go to A1 if there was demand.

How big do you need your prints to be?...

Philip.

Link to post
Share on other sites

19 minutes ago, pippy said:

If I were you I'd be asking myself "Is there anything I need which the M11 would give me that my current M doesn't? What do I need from my camera?...".

You mention the 60Mp sensor of the M11. My most-frquently used M 'only' has a 24Mp sensor and I can easily make exhibition-quality prints at A2 size. I could probably happily go to A1 if there was demand.

How big do you need your prints to be?...

Philip.

Exactly.  I think that’s exactly the right question to be asking. Until the targeted output size is answered, it’s easy to go round in circles with megapixels.

24mp is perfect for A2 size, given the sensor is essentially native resolution at that print size if outputted at 300dpi (eg, matching the need for Giclees on my local lab’s massive Epsons).

I also think the subject matter can give direction as to whether an APO is the best choice ….I owned both the M 50 APO, and M Summicron v5, and on my M240 I’ve pretty much consistently preferred the rendering of the v5 (less contrast, less acuity) for Portraits.

Whereas for Landscapes, i preferred the flat field, no curvature, and high edge sharpness of the APO.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Spend money on a good printer, printing software, great papers and display materials/lighting. Otherwise you’ll be foregoing the best that any camera/lens combination can offer via screen views.  Biggest bang for the buck…and a ton of money left for the rest of the gear, for which there are many quality choices these days.

Jeff

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you all for your comments.

I should have been clearer that I recognise ALL Leica lenses are good, the term "lesser" was more to note that the difference in price between the ranges (Summilux, Summicron, etc) suggesting some hierarchy.

My thread was to question whether the latest camera/ sensor can improve on a combination of best lens/ older sensor, that is, is there a sensor size where some (Leica) lenses will not be able to perform at such high MP/ resolution ?

As I mentioned this is all very subjective hence wanting to hear other's opinions. As much as I would like an M11 I do not require such MP. The APO does appeal to me given the design, engineering and images I have seen to date. But, as has been mentioned the only way to determine the true quality/ render of a lens is by investing in a good screen and/ or printer. Like most things in life, it all comes down to personal taste,.

Thanks again.

Link to post
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, dgc said:

My thread was to question whether the latest camera/ sensor can improve on a combination of best lens/ older sensor, that is, is there a sensor size where some (Leica) lenses will not be able to perform at such high MP/ resolution ?

Quite simply, the problem is that it isn't that simple. The overall 'system' performance is the sum of its parts, so even a 'lesser' lens will be improved by a 'better' sensor. The concept of 'ultimate' quality is equally flawed because very importantly it depends on subject and lighting too. So to answer your question; it depends. If you are shooting under precisely controlled conditions and printing very large then an M11/APO lens will probably give results which are 'best' for doing so. If you are not then the difference between this combination and an earlier system is potentially far less noticeable even by the cognoscenti. Once we got to 20~30MPixels small apertures (f/11-16 and smaller) diffraction limits the resolution so increasing MPixels is not always a valid solution if you intend to shoot at small apertures. So it all depends and only you can determine the parameters which will affect your images and hence the viability of specific combinations of lens/camera.

Link to post
Share on other sites

25 minutes ago, dgc said:

Thank you all for your comments.

I should have been clearer that I recognise ALL Leica lenses are good, the term "lesser" was more to note that the difference in price between the ranges (Summilux, Summicron, etc) suggesting some hierarchy.

My thread was to question whether the latest camera/ sensor can improve on a combination of best lens/ older sensor, that is, is there a sensor size where some (Leica) lenses will not be able to perform at such high MP/ resolution ?

As I mentioned this is all very subjective hence wanting to hear other's opinions. As much as I would like an M11 I do not require such MP. The APO does appeal to me given the design, engineering and images I have seen to date. But, as has been mentioned the only way to determine the true quality/ render of a lens is by investing in a good screen and/ or printer. Like most things in life, it all comes down to personal taste,.

Thanks again.

You should read the Roger Cicala article linked by Jono at the end of his M11 review (Appendix.. Why Perceptual Megapixels are Stupid)…


Jeff

Link to post
Share on other sites

53 minutes ago, pgk said:

Quite simply, the problem is that it isn't that simple. The overall 'system' performance is the sum of its parts, so even a 'lesser' lens will be improved by a 'better' sensor. The concept of 'ultimate' quality is equally flawed because very importantly it depends on subject and lighting too. So to answer your question; it depends. If you are shooting under precisely controlled conditions and printing very large then an M11/APO lens will probably give results which are 'best' for doing so. If you are not then the difference between this combination and an earlier system is potentially far less noticeable even by the cognoscenti. Once we got to 20~30MPixels small apertures (f/11-16 and smaller) diffraction limits the resolution so increasing MPixels is not always a valid solution if you intend to shoot at small apertures. So it all depends and only you can determine the parameters which will affect your images and hence the viability of specific combinations of lens/camera.

This sums up the question perfectly.

37 minutes ago, Jeff S said:

You should read the Roger Cicala article linked by Jono at the end of his M11 review (Appendix.. Why Perceptual Megapixels are Stupid)…


Jeff

I will make a point of reading this review.

It is Jono Slack's images and reviews of the M11 and APO lens that started my thinking. Maybe I shouldn't read anymore of his reviews!  

Edited by dgc
Link to post
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, SrMi said:

If you are not using live view frequently, I would go with the lens.

Can you expand on this please? Is this because the M11 live view is so much better than older models?

Link to post
Share on other sites

12 minutes ago, dgc said:

Can you expand on this please? Is this because the M11 live view is so much better than older models?

Yes, significant improvement in usability of LV:

- quick switching between RF and LV mode

- higher resolution EVF and LCD

- live view stabilization

LV now seems well integrated, while before it felt like an afterthought.

Link to post
Share on other sites

This may be the answer (cited by Jono Slack in his M11 report):

Appendix: Why Perceptual Megapixels are Stupid

I get asked several times a week if this lens or that is ‘capable of resolving’ this number of megapixels. Some people seem to think a lens should be ‘certified’ for a certain number of pixels or something. That’s not how it works. That’s not how any of it works. Lots of people think that will be ‘whichever is less of the camera and lens.’ For example, my camera can resolve 61 megapixels, but my lens can only resolve 30 megapixels, so all I can see is 30 megapixels. That’s not how it works. How it does work is very simple math: System MTF = Camera MTF x Lens MTF. MTF maxes at 1.0 because 1.0 is perfect. So let’s say my camera MTF is 0.7, and my lens MTF is 0.7, then my system MTF is 0.49 (Lens MTF x Camera MTF). This is actually a pretty reasonable system. Now, let’s say I get a much better camera with much higher resolution; the camera MTF is 0.9. The system MTF with the same lens also increases: 0.7 X 0.9 = 0.63. On the other hand, I could do the same thing if I bought a much better lens and kept it on the same camera. The camera basically never ‘out resolves the lens.’ If you have a reasonably good lens and/or a reasonably good camera, upgrading either one upgrades your images. If you ask something like ‘is my camera going to out resolve this lens’ you sound silly.

Roger’s rule: If you have either a crappy lens or crappy camera, improve the crappy part first; you get more bang for your $. I just saw a thread for someone wanting to upgrade to the newest 60-megapixel camera, and all of his lenses were average zooms. I got nauseous.

 

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...