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Thinking about getting a Leica m10-r next week.


AllenB

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I just turned 65 and have wanted a Leica since I was a young guy in the Navy and was the base photographer. I finally feel I've slowed enough in life to appreciate the art of photography at a different pace from my normal run-n'-gun a7rv days, though I still have some of that in me.  I also travel the world a lot and carrying all that Sony gear has become a nightmare, especially getting through TSA.  And I know some may suggest an a7c but that camera doesn't speak to me at this point in my life.

So, I have my eye on a used m10r in Like New condition and want to get everyone's feel for what I may expect and what to look for in moving from Sony to this camera, and I know it's a rabbit hole.  I also have a deposit on a Q3 but my heart tugs for the Leica m-mount so I may cancel the Q3 order and get the m10r. 

I just returned from Canada, Japan, Korea, Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic, England, and Germany and I went into just about every Leica Store I could find to calm my desire for a Leica while traveling.  I even considered getting an M11 while traveling but was amazed to find that prices were so much higher abroad, the freezing of the m11 also made me reluctant to purchase one.  

When I do pull the trigger on the m10r which may be next week, I'm looking to purchase one or two lenses to get me started, a 28mm and a 50mm (which will travel well with my x100VI) and was wondering which non-Leica 28mm and 50mm folks would consider.  I've been researching some Voigtlander and Zeiss lenses and many seem to match up well with the Leica lenses from what I've read.

Well, I know this is a lot to digest, and you can probably see that this has been on my mind for a long time, so I'd appreciate any suggestions to guide me into this next rabbit hole in my camera journey of life.  I also posted this on the Fred Miranda group but wanted to get feedback from a Leica-dedicated group so thanks in advance for your help.

Edited by AllenB
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Congratulations on your decision to finally allow yourself a Leica. You should have done that far sooner, but at least you got there.  Be aware that the Leica dream, particularly in M form, is not for everybody.  If it’s for you, you should know it almost instantly, if not in a day or so after getting the M10-R in your hands.  

As for your questions, everyone will have their own suggestions, so I’ll just direct you to some of the answers from earlier threads … 

Best of luck and enjoy the journey. 

 

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7 minutes ago, TomB_tx said:

The Voigtlander lenses have gotten so good I wouldn't buy a new Leica lens anymore. The Zeiss Planar ZM 50mm f2 is also an excellent choice. I don't use a 28 much, so can't endorse any.

This is good advice. Voigtlander and Zeiss lenses are very good.

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2 hours ago, AllenB said:

When I do pull the trigger on the m10r which may be next week, I'm looking to purchase one or two lenses to get me started, a 28mm and a 50mm (which will travel well with my x100VI) and was wondering which non-Leica 28mm and 50mm folks would consider.  I've been researching some Voigtlander and Zeiss lenses and many seem to match up well with the Leica lenses from what I've read.

I'm not sure I'd want to juggle two rather different cameras like this when travelling just to get different focal lengths, and the X100VI has only just come out so you can't have had it long. I suspect you'd end up using one or the other most of the time. I know it's sacrilege on a Leica forum, but it might be worth seeing how you get on with the Fuji for a few months before jumping straight to Leica, especially as you already have Sony gear if you need to supplement the versatile '35mm equivalent' on the X1000VI with other focal lengths.

But if you've already decided, there are some excellent lenses from Voigtländer, Zeiss and others worth considering. If you don't mind a slightly bigger lens and you want the best imaging quality, it's hard to argue against the Voigtlander 50mm f/2 APO-Lanthar, which is competitive with Leica's own APO at a fraction of the price. But take a look at Leica's back catalogue, too - there are some relatively affordable earlier generation 50mm Summicrons, and some good value 28mm Elmarits on the secondhand market that needn't cost that much more than a new third party lens.

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Welcome to the forum Alan, and congratulations with the decision. It seems you have held a Leica M11 and M10R in the store and it already has 'spoken' to you, so I think you will enjoy the experience of shooting with the M.
I do not completely agree with @Mute-on. Maybe you will know immediately that you want to own and use one, but it may take some time to get really comfortable with it. Give it some time, start shooting static objects first, with a 28mm or 35mm lens at F2.8 or slower (F4 or slower with 50mm) and then practice with more difficult FL and apertures.

Rather than buying a third party lens new, I would start with a vintage used Leica for the same money. A 50mm will be the cheapest vintage option, so I am glad you mentioned it in your OP. Any Leica M owner should have owned a Summicron IMO, so why not start with a 50mm Summicron? All types are good, but if you can fit it in your budget, I would recommend the v4 or v5 option. Both of these can really show what your M10R is capable of.
See Ken Rockwell 50mm guide

If you cannot fit one of these lenses in your budget, then maybe you should reconsider the balance body/lens a bit. IMO spending at least 30% of the value of the M10R for a used lens makes total sense. 
Once you know what this combo delivers, you can experiment with other brands and other focal lengths. 
You have an other camera already, so why not start with one M lens and build from there after a few months?

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3 hours ago, Anbaric said:

I'm not sure I'd want to juggle two rather different cameras like this when travelling just to get different focal lengths, and the X100VI has only just come out so you can't have had it long. I suspect you'd end up using one or the other most of the time. I know it's sacrilege on a Leica forum, but it might be worth seeing how you get on with the Fuji for a few months before jumping straight to Leica, especially as you already have Sony gear if you need to supplement the versatile '35mm equivalent' on the X1000VI with other focal lengths.

But if you've already decided, there are some excellent lenses from Voigtländer, Zeiss and others worth considering. If you don't mind a slightly bigger lens and you want the best imaging quality, it's hard to argue against the Voigtlander 50mm f/2 APO-Lanthar, which is competitive with Leica's own APO at a fraction of the price. But take a look at Leica's back catalogue, too - there are some relatively affordable earlier generation 50mm Summicrons, and some good value 28mm Elmarits on the secondhand market that needn't cost that much more than a new third party lens.

Thanks for the advice.  I now have the x100VI but had the X100V before that which accompanied me on trips around the world along with my Sony gear and it wasn't an issue.  When I'm in densely populated areas like Hanoi in Vietnam, Fez in Morocco, or areas in South America I'd grab the x100 for street photography, but when I have more time and space I grab the Sony, but it's a beast to carry and is intimidating to people on the streets.  Being able to travel with a few lenses for the Leica would give me more options and would be much easier to pack and carry around, and I'm guessing easier to get through TSA since they don't seem to trust all my large heavy Sony gear.

 

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Welcome aboard!

I own an M10-R and prefer Zeiss glass. My first Leica was a pre-owned ME (M9 without frame lever). It came with a Zeiss Planar 50mm f/2. I was quite pleased because I was already shooting Contax/Zeiss lenses on my SLR film cameras. The old CCD sensor on the ME and the Zeiss Planar were a wonderful pairing.

However, because I was still new to Leica, I gave in to the "only Leica lenses on Leica bodies" fanboy mantra, and bought a used 50mm Summicron from B&H. I made a bunch of photographs with that lens everyday for a little over a week. I thought it was a perfectly fine lens, but I returned it and bought a Zeiss 35mm Distagon. I simply prefer Zeiss.

I currently own: Sonnar 50mm f/1.5, Planar 50 f/2, Distagon 35mm f/1.4, Biogon 35mm f/2 (because the Distagon is a fat boy sometimes), and the Biogon 28mm f/2.8.

I wish you well on this journey!

 

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Posted (edited)

From my experience (which only consists of my own M10-R and no other M-camera at all), this is a camera that works very well for me. No issues, no performace-aspects of a distracting concern, no ergonomic-related flaws of importance.
One of the biggest "problems" (but not big in absolute terms in my view) is the issue of getting the composition "exactly" as I want it when I "shoot" at closer distances.
The focus-coupled automatic adjustment of the position of the frame-lines is maybe the solution for many motifs, but I tend to make images where there is a certain relationship between objects of different distances. Then the frame-line-adjustment only assists regarding approximately what will fit the frame. Not at all a solution when I want say a little gap between something in the foreground and something further away. 
I must "learn" to switch to the screen in those cases of course, which solves this completely.
But depending on what kind of images you want to create, this issue may be problematic or it may be of no concern at all.
Aspects based on comparisons between different M-cameras or between M and other cameras is way out of my mindset to deliver. (I am not the comparison-type of person. 🙂)

Edited by Strmbrg
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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Strmbrg said:

From my experience (which only consists of my own M10-R and no other M-camera at all), this is a camera that works very well for me. No issues, no performace-aspects of a distracting concern, no ergonomic-related flaws of importance.
One of the biggest "problems" (but not big in absolute terms in my view) is the issue of getting the composition "exactly" as I want it when I "shoot" at closer distances.
The focus-coupled automatic adjustment of the position of the frame-lines is maybe the solution for many motifs, but I tend to make images where there is a certain relationship between objects of different distances. Then the frame-line-adjustment only assists regarding approximately what will fit the frame. Not at all a solution when I want say a little gap between something in the foreground and something further away. 
I must "learn" to switch to the screen in those cases of course, which solves this completely.
But depending on what kind of images you want to create, this issue may be problematic or it may be of no concern at all.
Aspects based on comparisons between different M-cameras or between M and other cameras is way out of my mindset to deliver. (I am not the comparison-type of person. 🙂)

My main concern is getting the right moment and of course not blowing the highlights. I always shoot raw and almost always in A mode. In general I do not even bother with exposure compensation, sometimes I focus first, then find the middle gray in my scene to get the best exposure, lock exposure and then reframe for the shot. Even the old M9 has very flexible RAW files, so no big deal if you get it slightly wrong. The later Ms got even better at this.

Regarding framing I make sure  that everything I need is in the frame, in particular with high buildings and in portrait mode that can be an issue. Depending on how wide your lens is, the difference between what the VF sees and the actual lens perspective is bigger. My M9 does not have live view, so I need to visualize it in my mind and at best check it on the backscreen afterwards. With a 35 - 50 mm, I do not even have to do that.... Having to think about the POV sometimes even helps with the creative process compared to using a zoom with a DSLR (or mirrorless)
IMO there is nothing wrong with cropping in PP to get the composition exactly as you want it, so it is the least of my worries.

 

Edited by dpitt
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For 28mm, all of the current Voigtländer options (2.8, 2.0, and 1.5) are no-brainers. I decided for the 1.5/28mm Nokton asph. which is still relatively light and compact and perfectly matches with the M body. It replaced the old 2.0 Ultron (v1), which was pretty decent stopped down and rendered nicely wide open (but I never was a fan of that vintage design).

For 50mm, I found the very decent performing 1.2/50 Nokton asph. too beefy, otherwise it could have been my favorite 50mm Non-Leica lens. I do own the Zeiss 2/50mm Planar, which is a very good performer, but - to be honest - my favorite 50mm lenses are from Leica - the 1.4/50mm Summilux asph. (which might exceed your budget currently) and the tiny 2.8/50mm Elmar-M, which you can get used in like-new condition for the cost of the afore mentioned Planar. I never expected it - but I fell in love with that lens when I recently bought it to company my M4 (but it is very nice on the M11 as well).

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Welcome to the M10 club :) I switched from Sony to Leica a while back. While I still use a SL2s for the work stuff, the M10 is my everyday and travel camera. I tried some lenses, trying to find “my thing”. Tried a couple of Voigtländers, which are all quite good. But in the end, I always return to an original Leica lens for the M body.

So, for your 28/50 combo:
28: The Voigtländer Ultron 28/2 is an amazing lens. Since the Q was my entry into the Leica world, I got a 28 for my M10 as well. The Voigtländer was my first choice, due to the price. It is really great in all regards. Then I tested an Elmarit 28/2.8 ASPH. And the Voigtländer was forgotten. This thing is so tiny and has such great image quality.

50: Tried Voigtländer Ultron, Zeiss and Summicron V5. All pretty close. Then I found a vintage Summilux V2 which has wonderful character. Can't see myself letting go of it.

After noticing that I crop most of my 28mm images, I'm looking for a 35. I really like what I see from the Steel Rim reissue, but that is a different price league from anything I bought before. Right now, I'm testing the 35 Summicron V4 (King of Bokeh) and really like it, it really is an interesting companion to the 50 Summilux in the way it renders the images.

So long story short: For me, since I have the SL2s for more “perfect” images, I prefer to have character lenses on my M10. If you're the same, look at the old Leica stuff. If you want similar results to your A7RIV, you want modern lenses. In that case, the current Voigtländer lenses, especially Ultron (or APO, if you don't mind the size) are highly recommended. If you feel the need for a Leica lens on a Leica body, I found that the Ultron 28 and the Summicron 50 V5 are a very good team, both with a very clean and sharp rendition.

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Congratulations in advance on your M10-R! I use one as my main camera (having previously used an M10, film Ms, a Q2, Fuji X-mount, including the X100 series, etc.), and love it. It’s a fantastic camera. And the difficulty of working with an M is overblown, in my experience; all it takes is practice, even for moving subjects.

You’ll get a near-infinitude of advice about lens choice, all valid, because it’s such a personal thing. I used to be a 35mm shooter—the X100 series in particular was at the core of my kit—but on the M10-R, with the ability to crop, I’m now a 28/50 shooter . After trying way too many lenses I’ve settled on the 28mm Summicron and 50mm Summilux as my everyday lenses. But the beauty and curse of the M system is the huge variety of lenses, all of which differ in subtle ways, not just in terms of rendering but also in size and handling. It’s very very hard not to go down the rabbit hole!

If I were starting from scratch, I’d begin by thinking about the size of the lenses. Is having the absolutely smallest 28mm lens a priority, for example? Are you looking to move around with one lens on the camera and the other in your pocket? Or are you okay with slightly bigger lenses? I’d also ask yourself what kind of rendering you prefer: super-sharp and modern or somewhat more filmic? And then finally there’s the question of budget, of course. The main thing is that all the lenses are excellent. So after a period of research, the best thing is just to take a chance and jump in. My own, personal picks would be a CV 28 Ultron II and 50 Nokton 1.5, or, if I had a bit more money, a 28 Elmarit ASPH and 50 Summicron v5.

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4 hours ago, Almizilero said:

Welcome to the M10 club :) I switched from Sony to Leica a while back. While I still use a SL2s for the work stuff, the M10 is my everyday and travel camera. I tried some lenses, trying to find “my thing”. Tried a couple of Voigtländers, which are all quite good. But in the end, I always return to an original Leica lens for the M body.

So, for your 28/50 combo:
28: The Voigtländer Ultron 28/2 is an amazing lens. Since the Q was my entry into the Leica world, I got a 28 for my M10 as well. The Voigtländer was my first choice, due to the price. It is really great in all regards. Then I tested an Elmarit 28/2.8 ASPH. And the Voigtländer was forgotten. This thing is so tiny and has such great image quality.

50: Tried Voigtländer Ultron, Zeiss and Summicron V5. All pretty close. Then I found a vintage Summilux V2 which has wonderful character. Can't see myself letting go of it.

After noticing that I crop most of my 28mm images, I'm looking for a 35. I really like what I see from the Steel Rim reissue, but that is a different price league from anything I bought before. Right now, I'm testing the 35 Summicron V4 (King of Bokeh) and really like it, it really is an interesting companion to the 50 Summilux in the way it renders the images.

So long story short: For me, since I have the SL2s for more “perfect” images, I prefer to have character lenses on my M10. If you're the same, look at the old Leica stuff. If you want similar results to your A7RIV, you want modern lenses. In that case, the current Voigtländer lenses, especially Ultron (or APO, if you don't mind the size) are highly recommended. If you feel the need for a Leica lens on a Leica body, I found that the Ultron 28 and the Summicron 50 V5 are a very good team, both with a very clean and sharp rendition.

This is such great advice, thanks so much.  I've already started to search KEH and B&H for a few of these you've recommended.  

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I hope you enjoy the M10-r. I use mine almost all the time with a 50 - I have the V4 cron (with tab) and the lux asph. I'm now only using the cron on my M3, leaving the lux on the M10r. When the cron was my only M lens, it had to go into the Wetzlar black hole for some tlc. At the time, my local Leica store had a late German 35 cron V4 available. Out of impatience and curiosity more than a preference for 35mm, I bought it and found it quite engaging. Despite its "king of bokeh" hype, its charms are at f/4-f/8 rather than f/2-f/2.8. The price of this thing has gone crazy since then, so I can't recommend it. I also really like 28mm and mine is the summilux on the Q. I love the Q and its images so much that I'll use it until it breaks. For me, the M is probably not right for 28 anyway.

Voigtlander and Zeiss have great stuff. Although I've enjoyed Voigtlander lenses on the Bessa and Sony A7 and several Zeiss ZFs when I used Nikon, I don't have any for my M10-r. This is not because of the Leica-only fanboyism somebody mentioned. If I was interested in an APO lens, I'd go for Voigtlander, or if I wanted a 35/1.4, I'd want the distagon over the FLE. If I wanted a 40mm, I'd get the Voigtlander 40/1.2 (had it on Sony A7 and loved it).

To get started with the M, I'd choose an afforable lens with the focal length and f stop you would like and go it that for a while. 

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On 5/8/2024 at 2:21 PM, AllenB said:

So, I have my eye on a used m10r in Like New condition and want to get everyone's feel for what I may expect and what to look for in moving from Sony to this camera, and I know it's a rabbit hole.  I also have a deposit on a Q3 but my heart tugs for the Leica m-mount so I may cancel the Q3 order and get the m10r. 

You can expect more natural colors than with the Sony line. You will have a grownup camera compared to a Q with this fool yourself cropping trick sold as a sort of zoom lens. Admitted, the cropping possibility  is also a very handy feature of the M10-R given its high resolution but you will start with the best lens line available in Leica and it can be seen on this forum that the Q optics do not reach that level.

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On 5/9/2024 at 3:29 PM, otto.f said:

You can expect more natural colors than with the Sony line. You will have a grownup camera compared to a Q with this fool yourself cropping trick sold as a sort of zoom lens. Admitted, the cropping possibility  is also a very handy feature of the M10-R given its high resolution but you will start with the best lens line available in Leica and it can be seen on this forum that the Q optics do not reach that level.

Are you saying you think the IQ of the m10r or even the m11 with a similar Leica lens is significantly better than the IQ of the Q3?  I’ve not heard that in any of the research I’ve read to date. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, AllenB said:

Are you saying you think the IQ of the m10r or even the m11 with a similar Leica lens is significantly better than the IQ of the Q3?  I’ve not heard that in any of the research I’ve read to date. 

I find the colors of the M11 oversaturated compared to the M10-R and there’s more magenta cast in it, as tested by myself and somewhere shown on this forum. IQ of the Q’s is for me only convincingly close to the best M lenses in the Q Monochromes. If I could get an M10-R for around the same price as a new Q3, which I infer from the OP, I would never go for the Q. 

Edited by otto.f
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