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M Telephoto Lens (Macro Elmar vs Apo-Telyt)


dbertin
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Posted (edited)

I own both lenses, 90 Macro Elmar and 135 Apo-Telyt.

The 90 Macro Elmar is super small and light, fast and easy to focus. Optically it is superb.

The 135 Apo-Telyt is bigger, slow (long focus throw) and much harder to focus. You need a 1.4 mag or the EVF. Optically it is outstanding, even better than the 90 Macro Elmar.

Personally, I prefer the 135 Apo-Telyt, simply because whenever I need a longer lens, I prefer 135mm over 90mm.

Edited by anickpick
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I live in Norway and have been in the fjords in the West of Norway.

Since some posters suggest leaving the WATE home and just bring the 28, 50 and 90, I will chime in saying: Going without the WATE will be a big, if not huge, mistake. The fjords are so massive and sometimes relatively narrow, that a super wide angle lens is a must. A 28mm will seem like a short telephoto lens in that situation. If taking only three lenses, then I will suggest WATE, 50 and 90 (or 135mm). I mostly shoot landscape photography here in Northern Norway, and for that I use my 15, 28, 50 and 90mm M mount kit. I also have a 180mm Apo-Lanthar with adapter, but rarely use it. To me, this would indicate going for the 90mm lens as your telephoto. 

I know you are considering the Macro Elmar, but for landscape, the 90mm Apo-Summicron-M is stunning. Can you shoot a landscape at night at f2? Yes you can, if you have the 90 Apo. The reason is not only that the lens is sharp right to the corners, it's so because the plane of focus is totally flat, and this really helps getting the whole scenery in focus. 

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On 4/26/2022 at 10:37 AM, anickpick said:

You need a 1.4 mag or the EVF.

I never felt the need... In fact, the magnifier made matters worse by reducing contrast.

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Posted (edited)

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vor 2 Stunden schrieb jaapv:

I never felt the need... In fact, the magnifier made matters worse by reducing contrast.

up to maybe 10 meters, as well as at or close to infinity, focusing with the rangefinder without magnifier works well.

However, in the range between 10 and 30 meters, I find it extremely hard to focus with the rangefinder without magnifier. With the 135 Apo Telyt (at f 3.4 or f 4.0), it does make a difference whether you focus at 20 or 22 meters, the transition from sharp to unsharp is very sudden. In my experience, the 1.4 magnifier is a huge help. Without magnifier, it is more or less guesswork (to me). The stabilized EVF of the M11 is fantastic. However, one has to zoom in, so it is slower, and only works well for non-moving targets.

Edited by anickpick
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Posted (edited)

For me, a glasses wearer, the biggest difference in focusing the 135mm f3.4 APO is an up-to-date set of glasses for my current eyesight. I would imagine for most, quality of eyesight is way more important and the biggest detriment to focusing longer lenses with the rangefinder than either diopter. I own both powers of the diopter and use neither today.

I wear progressive lenses, recently bought a new set of glasses with updated prescription and it took a little bit of practicing to get my eye angle to the finder in the right position to maximize accuracy.

It also helps I sent my camera (M262) and 135 APO, shortly after buying the 135 APO, to DAG and had him calibrate the lens to the cameras rangefinder. The percentage of keepers, whether at infinity, 6 feet or anywhere in-between, has been excellent since having the lens calibrated to the camera I use. I've since picked up an M246 and the 135 APO works well with it too.

Edited by Gregm61
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12 hours ago, anickpick said:

Unfortunately, psychedelic substances are illegal in Switzerland 😉

Try it: the Komura extender 2x is usable on an M. As are the Kenko  and Benatti ones The trick is that doubling the focal length halves the aperture making the RF precision equal. 

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Thank you all for your contributions and helps!

 

On 4/27/2022 at 1:51 AM, LarsHP said:

I live in Norway and have been in the fjords in the West of Norway.

Since some posters suggest leaving the WATE home and just bring the 28, 50 and 90, I will chime in saying: Going without the WATE will be a big, if not huge, mistake. The fjords are so massive and sometimes relatively narrow, that a super wide angle lens is a must. A 28mm will seem like a short telephoto lens in that situation. If taking only three lenses, then I will suggest WATE, 50 and 90 (or 135mm). I mostly shoot landscape photography here in Northern Norway, and for that I use my 15, 28, 50 and 90mm M mount kit. I also have a 180mm Apo-Lanthar with adapter, but rarely use it. To me, this would indicate going for the 90mm lens as your telephoto. 

I know you are considering the Macro Elmar, but for landscape, the 90mm Apo-Summicron-M is stunning. Can you shoot a landscape at night at f2? Yes you can, if you have the 90 Apo. The reason is not only that the lens is sharp right to the corners, it's so because the plane of focus is totally flat, and this really helps getting the whole scenery in focus. 

The WATE is already in the bag!!!! 😀

 

On 4/25/2022 at 11:35 PM, OR120 said:

Hello Daniele - if you have some lead time before your trip - I would take your 135mm out for a day of shooting - alone - no other lens.  Next day while that's still fresh in your mind just take the 90mm - shoot the entire day - just the 90mm. Look at the results from your two days. How did they feel? What was your comfort level with each lens? Did you gel with one lens more than the other? Would be worth a try providing you have the time. Either way your going to have a fantastic trip> Enjoy!

Yes, I've time but I don't have neither 135mm nor 90mm, I've to buy one of them and now I'm going for the Apo-Telyt following your suggestions and thinking about that i had an Apo-Summicorn 90 that I've changed some years ago for Apo-Summicron 75mm. Maybe 135mm would be better for long-end landscapes.

 

Daniele

 

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I have both and they both have their pros and cons. The 90m Macro (1st version) can't be beat for portability but has always left me a bit underwhelmed optically. The 135 APO I've been using for a long term 'landscape' project, so it's practically my walk around lens these days and is stunning optically. Hard to focus at medium to far lengths (except infinity of course), a bit easier closer if the subject stays still, but a really useful lens for its size, 135 being a nice balance of reach and compression with naturalness.

The newest contender in my bag is a 90mm 2.8 Elmarit (recent though not coded) I picked up from my dealer for a grand, and I'm blown away by it. APO kind of sharpness, and I've had the 90 APO in the past (heavy and slow to use) as well as the basic late 90 Summicron (wish I'd never sold this lens). Easy to focus and nice balance on the camera and can be found cheap by Leica standards. 

 

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The collapsible 90 is old school mechanical design. The goggled macro adapter is a very clever design, too. It doesn't rely on live view. In collapsed mode you can focus to infinity.

With hood it's no longer compact. For Tri X or HP5+ the faster Tele-Elmarit-M 90/2.8 is good enough. For digital a prefer the more "modern" Elmarit-M 90/2.8, with collapsible hood as additional benefit. You can adapt close-up achromats from Leica or from Minolta.

 

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  • 1 month later...

jaapv,

I have posted photos elsewhere, but I got a old Elmarit 135 2.8 for $700 and while it will not be a walking around or travel lens, it is handy on my construction project series. So thanks for getting me to try 135. Next you may try and get me to buy a modern 135?

M11. ISO 800  1/1000. f5.6  cropped to 1/4 of image. I have a EVF which I do use with the 135.

 Hey, if there was a 300mm M I would get it.

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On 4/14/2022 at 3:59 PM, a.noctilux said:

As motorbike travelers, we have limiting choice of things to carry, but I managed to have in our small pannier, long lenses like 400/560mm even if not used often.

Now we are happy with 2.8/135mm but always have with us the very nice and light Macro-Elmar-M 90 mm, my wife's prefered 90mm for many decades.

So why I talked "the two" 90/135 😄.

If you carry that big lenses you must be driving either a BMW or a Goldwing.

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4 hours ago, Gobert said:

If you carry that big lenses you must be driving either a BMW or a Goldwing.

BMW Flat-twin ( many models over time but flat-twin roadsters, not RT ) since 1999.

Those light Telyts can be spliced in two, so can be carried in relative middle tank-bags.

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