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What's your favorite 35mm lens on the M11? Any surprises compared to prior M bodies?


eyeheartny
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Another vote for Zeiss 35mm/1.4 Distagon ZM. Big and heavy by M standards, yes. Accurate focus with all of my rangefinders from M240 to M11, check. Beautiful overall rendering, check. 

35 FLE would be my 2nd choice if size, weight was a concern, but I feel Zeiss still has the edge, esp wide open.

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55 minutes ago, ravinj said:

Another vote for Zeiss 35mm/1.4 Distagon ZM. Big and heavy by M standards, yes. Accurate focus with all of my rangefinders from M240 to M11, check. Beautiful overall rendering, check. 

35 FLE would be my 2nd choice if size, weight was a concern, but I feel Zeiss still has the edge, esp wide open.

Ugh. That’s tough. The primary, overriding desire for the M system for me is small size. I’m coming from a Sony system that was just unwieldy, even though some of the lenses were excellent and the sensor solid.

Anything big and heavy is a big no for me at this point in my Leica journey. I just got a 39mm filter in the mail today before the CV 35 Ultron arrives and I cannot believe how small it is. Compared to some of my 77mm filters from my now-sold Sony/Sigma lenses, it’s just mind blowing. I even have some 95mm filters from a Canon RF lens that’s now sold as well. So right now I’m all in on small sizes, so the ZM 35 just isn’t on the table. 

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On 9/3/2022 at 2:56 AM, eyeheartny said:

’m not sure how long the waiting lists are in Europe.

My colleague photographer who suddenly urged a 35mm APO waited 6 days for his in Austria - from the phone order (not in stock at the store) until actual pick-up.

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3 hours ago, Al Brown said:

As written many, many times before - higher resolution sensors will only enhance any 35mm lens' already existing flaws. So M11 with, say, 35mm FLE is just like M10-R with 35mm FLE, only with more lens flaws visible.

That’s what I’m curious about—whether those flaws are enjoyable (e.g., “character”) or problematic/undesirable. I know a lot of this is subjective but I am curious what people’s subjective observations are. For example, I’m wondering if people here were lukewarm on certain lenses on the M10 series but now are enjoying them more on the 11. 

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3 hours ago, Al Brown said:

My colleague photographer who suddenly urged a 35mm APO waited 6 days for his in Austria - from the phone order (not in stock at the store) until actual pick-up.

Would you be kind enough to ask him what store it was and send the name to me via DM (or post it here)? 

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Funnily, I also just picked up the M11 (black lighter version )as a first M body to use along side my Sony A9 system.

I first added a 28mm Elmarit (latest version) as I was coming from a Q-P and I love 28mm for landscapes.

I then wanted to add a faster lens that I could play and be more creative with but also has a little more reach for everyday use. To that end I went with the 35mm Summilux ASPH FLE. Since it arrived, it hasn't come off the camera... it feels great on the camera and the way it renders is truly incredible. It just feels so balanced on the camera as is very compact for a f/1.4. I certainly recommend trying/renting it. 

Also, while the 35 FLE renders great, I did test the lens (as I do all new lenses to better understand it) and boy, it's not just a pretty render, it's plenty sharp as well from wide open and just gets better and better up to f/8 - f/11 before diffraction starts to kick in... but, even at f/16 was still very impressive! For my needs, I'll not be looking any further (35mm lens wise).

Edited by IzelPhotography
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18 minutes ago, IzelPhotography said:

Funnily, I also just picked up the M11 (black lighter version )as a first M body to use along side my Sony A9 system.

I first added a 28mm Elmarit (latest version) as I was coming from a Q-P and I love 28mm for landscapes.

I then wanted to add a faster lens that I could play and be more creative with but also has a little more reach for everyday use. To that end I went with the 35mm Summilux ASPH FLE. Since it arrived, it hasn't come off the camera... it feels great on the camera and the way it renders is truly incredible. It just feels so balanced on the camera as is very compact for a f/1.4. I certainly recommend trying/renting it. 

Also, while the 35 FLE renders great, I did test the lens (as I do all new lenses to better understand it) and boy, it's not just a pretty render, it's plenty sharp as well from wide open and just gets better and better up to f/8 - f/11 before diffraction starts to kick in... but, even at f/16 was still very impressive! For my needs, I'll not be looking any further (35mm lens wise).


great feedback! Maybe you’ll save me from the 35 APO! 😂 What other lenses are you looking at/purchased? Anything in the 50mm end of things? How are you adjusting to the M11 so far? I can’t wait for mine to get here on Thursday. 

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25 minutes ago, eyeheartny said:


great feedback! Maybe you’ll save me from the 35 APO! 😂 What other lenses are you looking at/purchased? Anything in the 50mm end of things? How are you adjusting to the M11 so far? I can’t wait for mine to get here on Thursday. 

Nothing yet in the 50mm. I'm waiting on a Minolta MD adapter to play with a 50mm f/1.7 lens. I'll use this to decide how I feel about the 50mm FoV as it's been some time. I did have the Sony FE 55mm that I enjoyed so we'll see. I use a Zeiss Batis 40mm with the Sony A9 which I really like for its ability to close focus. If I get on well with the Minolta, I may add a 50mm Summicron if it fills the "Interesting Render" category.

But, I'm not in a hurry for a 50mm as I know the M11 will allow me a lot of cropping so the 35mm Summilux will provide cover for that and still leave me with 7000px on the long edge. It was also another reason for the 35mm Summilux rather than the Summicron for DoF and cropping in. If I find I don't need the 50mm much, then a 75mm would provide a 75-135 reach (1.8 crop).

Also for landscape and creative play, I've added a voigtlander 15mm super wide heliar iii. This is another one of those focal lengths that is great fund to use in and around urban and landscape scenes. I've picked up a Visoflex 2 for the 15mm.

Edited by IzelPhotography
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Just now, IzelPhotography said:

Nothing yet in the 50mm. I'm waiting on a Minolta MD adapter to play with a 50mm f/1.7 lens. I'll use this to decide how I feel about the 50mm FoV as it's been some time. I did have the Sony FE 55mm that I enjoyed so we'll see. I use a Zeiss Batis 40mm with the Sony A9 which I really like for its ability to close focus. If I get on well with the Minolta, I may add a 50mm Summicron if it fills the "Interesting Render" category.

But, I'm not in a hurry for a 50mm as I know the M11 will allow me a lot of cropping so the 35mm Summilux will provide cover for that and still leave me with 7000px on the long edge. It was also another reason for the 35mm Summilux rather than the Summicron for DoF and cropping in. If I find I don't need the 50mm much, then a 75mm would provide a 75-135 reach (1.8 crop).

Also for landscape and creative play, I've added a voigtlander 15mm super wide heliar iii. This is another one of those focal lengths that is great fund to use in and around urban and landscape scenes.  

Yes the ultra wide is really fun. I was just in San Francisco and had a blast with the ultra wide on my iPhone at some museums and sculpture gardens. Made me want to get a decent ultra wide for the M11! 
 

I have to do a full write up of the approach, but I have been playing with trying to assess my optimal focal length in an easy way. I used an app called Viewfinder on my iPhone. It allows you to add frame lines for different lens focal lengths (essentially showing the crop factor so you can see framing easily). I often look at a scene before I grab my phone to really try to visualize what I see naturally in my field of view. Then I’ll pull out of the phone and open the app and see which frame lines match my eyes and play with “composing” at 28, 35, and 50mm. 80% of the time I prefer the 35mm field of view and framing. I’m including an example below of the app output. It’s a “free” way to experiment with a given scene and different focal lengths of that scene when you’re on the go and may not be shooting with your serious camera. Here’s a link to the app in the iOS store.
 

Welcome, dear visitor! As registered member you'd see an image here…

Simply register for free here – We are always happy to welcome new members!

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23 hours ago, eyeheartny said:

Yes, thanks—I’ve seen Jack’s reviews and know he’s a huge fan of the FLE. I think I’ll rent it along with the 35 Cron once my M11 and 35 Ultron arrive. Will be good to do some basic comparisons. 

Good idea.  Only your handling, pictures and workflow matter. And then, your tastes and preferences will differ. Discussion here is fun, but no great pics or prints ever resulted from a survey.

FWIW, my 35 Summicron ASPH v.1 and 35 Summilux ASPH (FLE) both integrate well into my shooting and print workflow, with various M bodies, now including an M10 Monochrom, M10-R and M(9) Monochrom. Many here dislike one or both of these lenses. I couldn’t care less.

Jeff

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27 minutes ago, Jeff S said:

And then, your tastes and preferences will differ.

Was more interested in whether there are surprise hits-- any random vintage lenses, or some of the weird niche stuff like the MS Optics lenses, or some of the Meyer Optik ones that are weirdly good. I'm aware that the M11 will show more of the character of a given lens so was mostly curious about any sleeper hits and stuff that folks have discovered outside of the very standard 35 Cron/Lux options and the relevant Voigtlander options. 

Edited by eyeheartny
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18 minutes ago, eyeheartny said:

Was more interested in whether there are surprise hits-- any random vintage lenses, or some of the weird niche stuff like the MS Optics lenses, or some of the Meyer Optik ones that are weirdly good. I'm aware that the M11 will show more of the character of a given lens so was mostly curious about any sleeper hits and stuff that folks have discovered outside of the very standard 35 Cron/Lux options and the relevant Voigtlander options. 

I was merely responding to your post about renting the 35 Summicron and Summilux lenses, and your tastes and preferences regarding them and resulting output. 

Personally, I don’t rely on lenses for unique looks.  There are already myriad rendering possibilities using either of the two cited lenses, depending mostly on me and my shooting, editing, printing and display decisions. Last thing I need is some “weird niche” lens to distinguish my work.  YMMV.

Jeff

 

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14 hours ago, Al Brown said:

As written many, many times before - higher resolution sensors will only enhance any 35mm lens' already existing flaws. So M11 with, say, 35mm FLE is just like M10-R with 35mm FLE, only with more lens flaws visible.

Yes and no. If you're viewing pixels on a monitor at 100%, or printing images at a fixed DPI, so that an M11 image is printed larger than an M10-R image, then a the higher resolution equates to higher magnification of the lens output to the sensor. That will magnify aberrations and focus issues like field curvature or misplaced focus. But if you have a typical print size that you stick with, moving to a higher resolution sensor will only improve image quality (especially if the higher res sensor has similar or improved signal to noise ratio). with constant print size, the higher res sensor will improve smoothness of gradients of color or shading, and reduce moire and color errors, improve rendering of fine detail,etc., all other things being roughly equal. My M11 is a huge improvement over my M9 and M-P Typ 240, but I imagine it's less of a jump in quality over the M10-R. I never went for an M10 or M10-R to have a basis for comparison. 

Edited by sdk
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I updated the firmware on my camera which was not the latest, surprisingly, given that I just got it and it can't have been at the seller very long. Hopefully that will eliminate the weird behavior switching between coded and uncoded lenses. I may try sharpie coding the ZM 35/1.4 after experimenting with manual codes, but it's not a priority. LensTagger is fine for the metadata correction, though it is a wee bit tedious. 

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3 hours ago, sdk said:

If you're viewing pixels on a monitor at 100%, or printing images at a fixed DPI, so that an M11 image is printed larger than an M10-R image, then a the higher resolution equates to higher magnification of the lens output to the sensor. That will magnify aberrations and focus issues like field curvature or misplaced focus. But if you have a typical print size that you stick with, moving to a higher resolution sensor will only improve image quality (especially if the higher res sensor has similar or improved signal to noise ratio). with constant print size, the higher res sensor will improve smoothness of gradients of color or shading, and reduce moire and color errors, improve rendering of fine detail,etc., all other things being roughly equal. My M11 is a huge improvement over my M9 and M-P Typ 240, but I imagine it's less of a jump in quality over the M10-R. I never went for an M10 or M10-R to have a basis for comparison. 

You are of course right for the small print theory, but I always check at 100% and print large at 300dpi so this is crucial. I agree that most users will be happy when their smaller prints will visually "improve" in quality, but it is just trompe l'oeil IRL.

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3 hours ago, sdk said:

I updated the firmware on my camera which was not the latest, surprisingly, given that I just got it and it can't have been at the seller very long. Hopefully that will eliminate the weird behavior switching between coded and uncoded lenses.

It did not for me. Better hand code your CV or ZM lenses if you can as the M11 seems to choose the most used lens profile or a random one when an uncoded lens is mounted.

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@eyeheartny Just thinking on about 35 Lux vs 35 APO. You also need to factor in whether you like shooting close up or not. The APO has a minimum 30cm distance compared to the 70cm. I do miss this a little when I compare it to the shooting experience with the Q-P. I dare say I'll try out the APO but only once it becomes readily available so I can pop in store to try it. But, at this point I don't know whether that would be enough for me to give up the Lux.... it is a terrific lens.

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From my experience, the M11 shows some more pruple fringing with some lenses (for example 28/1.4). I dont know if it is the case with any 35mm lenses.

Personally I have used the 35 Summicron, the 35 FLE and the 35 APO ony my M11 and they work fine.

The FLE is sharper than the Summicron, and the APO seems even slightly better, and it focuses close. The APO is my favorite.

With the new APO I allways have the feeling to make no compromise, to be safe for the future etc. It also pairs well with the 50 APO M.

The FLE has the advantage of f1.4 and holds up pretty well.

While the standard Summicron 35 is a little weaker in direct comparisons, I never had an image where I though "not sharp enough, I should have used a different lens"

I once had a 35/2.5 Summarit which was also an excellent lens, nice bokeh, very flare resistant. But I have never tried one on the M11.

 

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I have the latest 35/1.4 ASPH FLE in silver since early this year and I enjoy it, although I do wish it was a little bit more compact sometimes. Browsing the forum for a while now I've learned about the 35/1.4 pre-ASPH and as of today I have one in my possession. It's tiny! While I haven't really used it much besides some quick testing around the house first impressions are good, IQ of the FLE is definitely better but I knew that going into this. I'm excited! (and feel like I overpaid but hey that's life)

But I also admit that I still have some interest in the 35mm APO, but mostly because sometimes I feel like close range could be a "nice to have" as an option especially around my pets at home. But I don't think that price is worth it for me for just that, I can just use my phone.

Now I'll have to play with the pre-ASPH a lot and then need to decide whether or not to keep my FLE. I can't really imagine using both that and the pre-ASPH for my hobbyist usage, then again they do say you shouldn't sell your glass. I already have two 28mm's of which I haven't really used one since I got the other. 

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