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Slimming down the lens choices...


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Wise people would say "if you don't use the device, just give it (or sell it) to someone who will use it".

Other wise(r) people would say (but not peactice it ?) " keep the device, one day you will need to use it again".

Me think, there is no universal truth, each case is a particular case.

If you bought 6x 50mm lenses, explanation(s) can be done easily.

If you need the money, just sell them, if not keep them untill the next use.

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M cameras are only perfectly suited for 35mm or 50mm. 
Easier to focus Elmarit & Summicron than Summilux or Noctilux. 
So slimming down is very easy. 
Fast lenses may not be needed. Longer or wider lens may require work around (accessories) for being usable (kinda) 

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On 7/13/2022 at 10:46 AM, a.noctilux said:

😉you answered it.

 

to be more positive,

I don't need to sell the lenses I have and use now.

I'm happy to have choices in "house ready", to choose from.

M is "cruel" system (too many choices) having the lenses is not meaning to use them all.

So for many years now, I carry and use (most of the time) only one lens, knowing that I can use other lense if I want to, letting them

at home or hotel room.

Indeed I would keep them all, no need to reduce the collection. Just go out with a max of three whether travelling or not. Make 'do' with each lens that one has available in the 'field'.

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On 7/12/2022 at 11:29 PM, Mech-Dragon said:

....

But lately I've been feeling like I have too much. There's so much to choose from, and don't get me started on picking things for trips. I just took a trip to Vancouver BC for a few days and I think I grabbed 6 lenses (yikes). I used 3 lenses, and one of the 3 I used for maybe 15 shots. I'm sure I could have left that at home. I probably could have done with just one lens! 

......

Probably, but are you sure you would use the same again next time? I don't believe so.

Unless you need money, keep them 🙂

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I have 1 lens for the Leica M system, 1 lens for Nikon F, and 1 lens for Fuji. Both Leica and Fuji are 28mm equivalent focal lengths with equivalent depth of field. When I travelled to Europe in March, I left the Fuji at home, and just brought the MP with the 28 Elmarit and the Nikon FM3A with the Micro-Nikkor 55mm f3.5 Ai (yes, a very slow lens some might say). I did not feel limited at all. In fact, if I could have, I probably would have only brought the M, but with a single additional focal length (a 50), and called it a day, but I was happy to bring the FM3A for the Aperture Priority mode when shooting portraits. Ultimately, I don’t think optimizing for every scenario would have helped, and I learned this back when I owned like 6 lenses for Fuji. I always just shot the 18mm f2 (the Fuji lens everyone hates). So I sold all other Fuji lenses, downgraded my Fuji camera from an X-Pro3 to an X-E4, and used the money to buy an MP with the 28mm Elmarit ASPH II. In the future, I’d like to buy a 50mm Summilux or the C-Sonnar, but I’ve got everything I actually need in two cameras already. I don’t like having a lot of choices, because then I lose out on feeling in the moment.

Maybe an unpopular opinion, but I say choose the lenses you’ll use 85% of the time, and the iPhone for the rest.

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On 7/14/2022 at 4:00 PM, a.noctilux said:

Wise people would say "if you don't use the device, just give it (or sell it) to someone who will use it".

Other wise(r) people would say (but not peactice it ?) " keep the device, one day you will need to use it again".

Me think, there is no universal truth, each case is a particular case.

If you bought 6x 50mm lenses, explanation(s) can be done easily.

If you need the money, just sell them, if not keep them untill the next use.

very wise indeed

sell when u need, use when u need it too

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Having many lenses to choose from is a good thing. Just cut down the number you carry.

On any trip I pick not more than 2-3 to go. And on that trip, on a walkabout, I only carry the one mounted on my camera. 

All lenses will take great photos. You just need to think about how the take the scene with your choice. For me, that’s the challenge and the joy. 

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57 minutes ago, Vinncent said:

He has multiple copies of the same lens.  Etc etc. it’s crazy. But if that’s your thing then have at it.

I feel reassured :D

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For the last month, I've only taken photos with the 21. For me, this is the ideal focal length. I can always crop when I need to. Love that little lens :)

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I just recently purchased a 28-35-50 MATE; for travel purposes (I have an upcoming trip to Alaska), it’ll be that and my 21/2.8 Elmarit-M, that’s it for my M240. On previous travels, frequent lens changes drove me crazy and the sensor was constantly in need of cleaning.

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5 hours ago, cobbu2 said:

I just recently purchased a 28-35-50 MATE; for travel purposes (I have an upcoming trip to Alaska), it’ll be that and my 21/2.8 Elmarit-M, that’s it for my M240. On previous travels, frequent lens changes drove me crazy and the sensor was constantly in need of cleaning.

The MATE is an excellent travel lens and solves a real problem with full-frame. 

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I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with owning several lenses or lots of camera equipment in general so long as it doesn’t impede your photography. For me, I find that if I have too much, it becomes more about the gear itself and not about the images (this is not a universal issue, just one that I am aware I struggle with). Additionally with the cost of Leica equipment I’m not yet in a position to be able to afford more. 

So I have just one lens to work with, the 35 FLE. 

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If one can afford it, there is nothing wrong with the concept of "a camera store in the closet." Nothing I find more boring than buying and selling camera gear, at this point in my career. Although technically my "closet" is another bag, for the overflow gear storage.

I now have a stable of eight M-mount lenses, from which I mix and match a maximum of four for any given excursion (three in the bag, one on the camera). But for some assignments, just two or three.

The stable: 135 TE, 90 ASMA (APO-Summicron-M ASPH), 90 TE2, 75 ASMA, 75 Voigtlander Nokton f/1.5, 35 Summilux (pre-ASPH), 28mm Elmarit-M v.3, 21 Elmarit-M.

I'm not really big on "character" - I make the choice based on practical things like reach/range of focal lengths, focus reliability, close-focus ability/IQ, aperture speed for dim light, and weight/size*. Some or all of those result in the "doubles" for 90mm and 75mm.

I do want to have at least one lens along with an aperture of f/2 or faster* - "Real photographers do it in the dark!" ;).

A side note - five of my lenses are Mandler/Canada. I love their generally greener, cooler color rendering. Fortunately the 90 ASMA and the C/V 75 are good matches to those older lenses, and the 75 ASMA only slightly pinker - a touch of green tint on the WB sliders brings it into line.

My default carry is 21/35/75/135, occasionally substituting the 28 for the 35. But I'll choose any of the following mixes for a specific shoot:

21/35/90/135

21/35/135 - what Leica marketed as "the long bridge across focal lengths" around 1980.

21/35/90 - the classic M2-and-later Leica photojournalists' trio.

21/75/135

28/75/135 - my modification to the old 1960s-70s "SLR enthusiasts combo" of 28/50/135

28/75

_________________

*Back in the 1970s, TIME photographer, Leica M user and Pop Photo columnist Bill Pierce wrote a column on his lens set-up. Where he said something to the effect of "if I know for certain I won't need a fast lens, I carry the lighter Elmarits. Otherwise I haul along the Summicrons!"

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Posted (edited)

At most I had six Leica lenses, both modern and classic ones. Then I had to cut back on the number, mostly for financial reasons. Only a 35 and 50 mm Summilux pre-ASPH are left. These are the two most indispensable ones. Sometimes I miss the other lenses, but mostly not. And I think it's really nice to be able to fit all my photography equipment in a small Billingham bag.

Edited by evikne
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On 7/13/2022 at 1:25 AM, wda said:

Please do not sell any lenses for the time being. Rotate your use of your lenses and be stimulated by the possibilities each one offers. You will find your favourites, quite quickly.  If you sell any of your lenses, which you say you don't dislike, you will regret it. Moods and opportunities change, as several members have written about, often poignantly. Experience shows which lenses you need for specific roles.

So true. 
I often use an old Domke F5XA bag which only lets me take a M and at most 2 extra lenses. Right now it carries my M10 with a 35 and a 75. Perfect for a morning walk. Sometimes it is a 28 and a 50. Sometimes it is a 35 and a 135. It all depends on what I expect to see and shoot.  
While 90% of the time a 35 and 75 cover everything, I’d never sell the other lenses because they have their uses.

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On 7/12/2022 at 5:29 PM, Mech-Dragon said:

Hi all. I've been using Leica for a few years now, and have been picking up lenses here and there. Trying out classic vs modern, ergonomics, focal lengths, the like.  I've now amassed quite a few lenses and enjoy things about each one. 

But lately I've been feeling like I have too much. There's so much to choose from, and don't get me started on picking things for trips. I just took a trip to Vancouver BC for a few days and I think I grabbed 6 lenses (yikes). I used 3 lenses, and one of the 3 I used for maybe 15 shots. I'm sure I could have left that at home. I probably could have done with just one lens! 

I'll just need to bite the bullet and sell some on. I don't think I own a lens that I truly don't like. There's always a characteristic I like, be it size or optical character. In the long run, having much less choice should be a lot better. Too much time mulling over which classic 50 I want to take out for example.

Anybody cut down their collection to a few pieces? Maybe you were glad, maybe you weren't. 

I should also get rid of one or two film M bodies, but this is the lens forum and a different discussion.  😁

I had 3 film M at some point with two digital M. Quickly realized it was nothing but hording. 

One digital, one film M for now. 

Lenses, I'm not sure if where is any characteristics on digital. It is good lens or just so called retro rendering. BW film is much more complicated. But where are some which are adequately good at both. Summarit-M 35 and 50. Elmarit-M 21 2.8 and 28 2.8 III by Mandler.  

I'm not lens switcheroo person. Initially learned how to take pictures I'm interested in with one lens.

So, three, four lenses are plenty. With one or two on the trip. Usually one. City - 35 and wider, Vermont (USA) - 50 :) . 

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I do love hearing all the methodologies and responses, thank you!

I will say I am slightly jealous of those who know exactly what they like and what they don't, and can narrow their options to 1-3 lenses and a single camera. The simplicity is what appeals to me, but I suppose I make up my own simple kit every time I head out. I think I just got a little too excited for the big trip, and didn't put a lot of thought into what I'll actually use. Turns out, a 35mm is pretty good in 80% of situations lol....

I do have my moments from switching between classic and modern too, which doesn't help narrow anything down. I've been using my 35 FLE on both film and digital a lot, but last weekend I changed it up last minute. Went to the car show with my car and packed up my Light Lights Lens 8-element copy and my 8.5cm Summarex, in which I was actually pretty content with the 35/85mm combo. Two lenses seem to be my limit for walkabouts, otherwise it feels cumbersome. Heating up the chemicals now to develop the Pan F+ I shot, very excited. 

Going to Vegas for the sisters' birthdays and to see family in a few weeks. I'll be sure to not bring 6 lenses again!!

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👍 @Mech-Dragon

Summarex 8.5cm at about 800g , I used once on my M, since then I admire every Summarex users 💪,

for me the big 8.5cm is kind of punishment I can compare it's use to Summilux-M 1.5/90mm (a bit more than 1kg)

Looking  good though ...from here

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  • 2 weeks later...

Many years ago, I had an Olympus OM system and thoroughly enjoyed using two bodies (one for colour and the other for b&w) together with 21/35/50/85/135 lenses.  However, as time went on, I realised that most of my pictures were made with the 35, 50 and 85mm lenses.  

Some 25 years ago, I decided to change to the Leica M system.  I decided to take advantage of the considerable weight reduction opportunity and only have 3 lenses, the 35, 50 and 90 Canadian Summicrons, all bought second hand.  As it happened, I picked up a book by the late Roger Hicks who said that this was a classic combination of lens spread which could handle most situations.

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