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Summilux-m 50mm 1.4 ASPH frame lines seem misplaced


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Posted (edited)

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The other day, I was comparing the frame lines of this lens, attached to the MP body, with my Fuji digital camera with a 50mm lens, and the Fuji's 50mm was quite wider than on the MP. Then I used an app where you can simulate focal length, and it was closer to the Fuji's 50mm than the Summilux. My Summilux 50 matched 58mm on the app.

I didn't care too much because I was comparing very different things. However, yesterday I went out to shoot with my MP, and I clearly remember one shot where I thought I cut a person in half because the frame lines were placed exactly in the middle of his body. But now, looking at the negative, I can not only see the whole person, but I captured even 30-40cm outside, so it's almost a meter more on each side than what I saw through the viewfinder. This shot was taken about 4-5 meters away from the person, so it wasn't a close focus, so the parallax effect shouldn't be this significant. Now, I suspect that my frame lines are not in the correct position and that the real frame lines match my Fuji and the app with the 50mm focal length, but on the MP they seem misplaced.

Any thoughts on this? I checked the manual again, and I see two frame lines when this lens is attached. One is 75mm and the outer one is 50mm. It's a new lens, purchased from the Leica Store. Not the newest 2023 version, but the version before.

Edited by hirohhhh
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Posted (edited)

I'm shooting at 95% with a 28mm, where I don't even pay attention to the frame lines, as they pretty much fill my whole viewfinder. I'm just messing around with the 50mm these days, and it seems highly inaccurate to me. Missing the 1.5m mark at 4-5m distance is not highly accurate, as stated in the manual, but well, it is what it is.

I know that whenever I tried to shoot something accurately in close focus, say 0.7m, it never turned out as I see it through my viewfinder because of the parallax. So, I thought, it's more accurate at longer distances.

Not that I ever shoot something that needs critical accuracy, I just wanted to understand if this is how it's supposed to work, or it's just my camera.

This is the shot in question. It's still drying, so I snapped a photo while hanging it on a rack and inverted it on my phone. The red frame is what I saw through the viewfinder.

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Edited by hirohhhh
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vor einer Stunde schrieb hirohhhh:

 Then I used an app where you can simulate focal length, and it was closer to the Fuji's 50mm than the Summilux. My Summilux 50 matched 58mm on the app.

"The exact focal length of each lens is engraved as a two-digit code between the "feet" and "m" engravings. Divide this number by ten and add to 50 to get the actual focal length in millimeters.

For instance, "14" means 51.4mm, 13 means 51.3mm, and 16 means 51.6mm."

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I don't see that code on my lens.

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49 minutes ago, hirohhhh said:

I'm shooting at 95% with a 28mm, where I don't even pay attention to the frame lines, as they pretty much fill my whole viewfinder. I'm just messing around with the 50mm these days, and it seems highly inaccurate to me. Missing the 1.5m mark at 4-5m distance is not highly accurate, as stated in the manual, but well, it is what it is.

I know that whenever I tried to shoot something accurately in close focus, say 0.7m, it never turned out as I see it through my viewfinder because of the parallax. So, I thought, it's more accurate at longer distances.

Not that I ever shoot something that needs critical accuracy, I just wanted to understand if this is how it's supposed to work, or it's just my camera.

This is the shot in question. It's still drying, so I snapped a photo while hanging it on a rack and inverted it on my phone. The red frame is what I saw through the viewfinder.

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Both of you @jaapv and @Sebastian S are talking about minimal discrepancies, like one or two frame lines, or 51.4 vs 51.6mm. In my case, this seems more like 50 vs 60mm. I don't know, I'll pay attention to that tomorrow when I'm out shooting again. I also found few more shoots that are way off than what I was composing for.

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Noting minimal there. If you add three frameline thicknesses that is a substantial increase in frame size. The focal length shift is far more than a couple of mm, certainly up to 20%. The lens moves forward  about 10 mm with close focus, making it a 60 mm lens with the corresponding narrow angle of view. . Your observation is completely in line with the laws of optics Experienced rangefinder shooters always frame loosely with this non- minimal effect in mind. There is nothing precise with rangefinder framing, unlike an RVF. 

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More from the leica manuals, this one from then for the M(240)

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, hirohhhh said:

I'm shooting at 95% with a 28mm, where I don't even pay attention to the frame lines, as they pretty much fill my whole viewfinder. I'm just messing around with the 50mm these days, and it seems highly inaccurate to me. Missing the 1.5m mark at 4-5m distance is not highly accurate, as stated in the manual, but well, it is what it is.

I know that whenever I tried to shoot something accurately in close focus, say 0.7m, it never turned out as I see it through my viewfinder because of the parallax. So, I thought, it's more accurate at longer distances.

Not that I ever shoot something that needs critical accuracy, I just wanted to understand if this is how it's supposed to work, or it's just my camera.

This is the shot in question. It's still drying, so I snapped a photo while hanging it on a rack and inverted it on my phone. The red frame is what I saw through the viewfinder.

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

Hello Hiro,

Nice photo.

It is interesting how you focused on the ear of the central person & then framed the photo to include just the ears of the 2 people on the sides.

And then took the photo.

Because to properly focus & frame a photo with an "M" camera: A person has to first frame the photo. Then focus the photo. And then frame the photo again. Which you did.

Before taking the photo.

Because the frames move as a person focuses.

So, if a person frames a photo. Then focuses the photo. And then takes a photo.

The captured image may be outside of where the subject framed was before focusing.

So: Frame. Then Focus. Then Frame again. Then take the photo. Is the way to go. Which you did.

It appears to me that the negative & the area within the frame lines as seen in the range/viewfinder is JUST RIGHT.

Exactly what it is supposed to be.

The viewfinder frames in the range/viewfinder of "M" film cameras are set so that the exposure captures the image wanted PLUS an additional 1/2mm of image captured on film, On all 4 sides. To provide additional image to be buried under a SLIDE MOUNT when that lens is focused at 1 specific distance & slide/transparency film is being used.

That specific distance that each frame is set to varies as a factor of: 

Which model of "M" camera is being used. And which lens is being used.

The reason that the negative has even more in it than 1/2 mm beyond what you saw inside the frame is:

The frame lines are supposed to do what I wrote above at a specific distance. For your camera/lens combination others above have written that that distance is 2 meters.

Your subject was further away than 2 meters

I'll be back.

Best Regards,

Michael

Edited by Michael Geschlecht
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Posted (edited)

Hello Hiro,

I'm back.

Your subject was further away than 2 meters.

A 50mm lens measures 50mm from its second nodal point to the image capture surface (Film or Digital.) ONLY when that lens is focused at Infinity.

When that lens is focused at closer distances than Infinity the distance from that second nodal point to the image capture surface becomes LONGER.

This makes that lens a lens of a LONGER focal length when the lens is focused on a subject closer to the image plane than Infinity.

A 50mm lens focused at 2 meters has a longer focal length than 50mm.

The frames (Given all of this & the above Post.) are designed to cover the angle of view of this new focal length. Which is longer than 50mm.

Longer focal length lenses cover a narrower angle of view.

So, the frame at 2 meter covers & captures on the film, a narrower angle left to right AND top to bottom, than it does as you focus back to Infinity.

So, the image capture surface records a narrower angle of image capture.

At the further distance that you focused at (Where the people were.) as you focused back toward Infinity: The distance from the second nodal point to the image capture surface got shorter.  

Shorter focal length = Wider angle of coverage. 

Which means even MORE extra coverage on the negative.

THIS IS A RELLY GOOD DEAL.

A little extra here & there in case "life happens" while you are taking a photo.

A person focusing at the distance the frame lines are set to & further away in the direction of Infinity: Always gets at least what they see inside the frame lines. As long as they remember to Frame first. Then Focus. Then Frame again.

And THEN take the photo.

Which you did.

Best Regards,

Michael

Edited by Michael Geschlecht
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7 hours ago, jdlaing said:

How far away was the person? 4-5 meters? The frameline is accurate at 2 meters so that explains some of it.

Recent M model frame lines are optimized at 2m. I thought the MP lines were optimized for .7m.  That would account for greater framing discrepancy in the OP’s situation.

Jeff

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5 hours ago, hirohhhh said:

In my case, this seems more like 50 vs 60mm.

Yes indeed. The "50mm" framelines in Leica Ms represent about how a 60mm lens would frame the picture, at most distances. Only at 0.7 meters are they almost correct (but still leave some leeway - see below.)

Enough so that Konica was able (twice - 1959 and 1999) to actually market a 60mm f/1.2 lens for use on Leica Ms - set up to use the 50mm lines. And get away with it.

https://yanidel.net/gear/60mm-hexanon-review/

And Leica itself has produced "50s," over the decades, with focal lengths from 50.1mm to 52.2mm - a 4% variation right there. All of which must use the same framelines - at any lens extension, from 0.48m (dual-range Summicron, with goggles) to infinity.

Thus there is a simple explanation for the "60mm" framing - Leica's philosophy for its M framelines is: "It is better to include more on the film than intended, and crop away the excess if needed, than to include less in the negative than was intended - in which case it is lost forever."

Recall that the image on the film is not the final form of the picture. Few people "show" their negatives.

The film has to be scanned, or projected by a slide projector or enlarger, before it has "useful" meaning. And the film carriers for such devices (slide mounts, and film holders for scanners or enlargers) will crop the image on the film to some extent. At least 1mm all around - another 5%. (Unless one gets out a tool and "files out" the opening to be larger.)

https://www.freestylephoto.com/220135-Omega-LPL-35mm-Full-Frame-Negative-Carrier-for-670-6600-6700-Enlargers

https://www.amazon.com/Pakon-35mm-Slide-Mounts-Bulk/dp/B08NFK6P7B

https://plustek.com/us/products/film-photo-scanners/opticfilm-135i/

If you ever get a 90mm lens for your MP - you will find out that its framelines approximate a 100-105mm view of the world, except approaching 1m - and the 28 lines approximate a "32mm-34mm" view (they are, after all, installed in a 0.72x viewfinder originally designed for nothing wider than 35mm - in the M2/4/5/M4-2). 

If one aspires to be an M film photographer, one has to accept the philosophy of Forrest Gump:

"Life is like a box o' choclates. You never know exactly what you're gonna get."

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vor 11 Stunden schrieb hirohhhh:

What's the point of frame lines then? Just an orientation?

Frame-line finders have never been able to show exactly what will be recorded on film or on the sensor, that is an inevitable result of their construction. When shooting on slide film, they show just a little less than what will be projected onto the screen from the mounted slide, and so are an acceptable compromise. Else, you are correct in that quite a bit more is recorded. You may adapt to this situation by using the outer edges of the frame lines for framing purposes (depending on the lens in question, still more will be recorded). If accurate framing is critical, nothing beats an SLR of EVF (although I noticed that Leica's own Visoflex 2 also shows a little less than is actually recorded).

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Posted (edited)

Some rangefinder cameras (Konica IIIa, Konica Auto S1.6)) have a viewfinder, in which not only the parallax compensation is displayed by the frame lines moving to the right and downwards when focusing to close range, but the frame lines themselves also change in a way, that the reduced image field at close range is displayed. You could say, the frame lines 'breathe'. A direct comparison with the viewfinders of, for example, a Leica M3 and a Konica IIIa (both 1:1 and from infinity to 1 meter) clearly shows, that the image field size changes significantly over the focusing distance, i.e. it 'grows' towards infinity. A frame line fixed in its size like in Leica (and almost all other viewfinder cameras) can only be a rough compromise, and it will be chosen in such a way that nothing is 'lost' at the edges.

Edited by Lmax
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8 hours ago, Jeff S said:

Recent M model frame lines are optimized at 2m. I thought the MP lines were optimized for .7m.  That would account for greater framing discrepancy in the OP’s situation.

Jeff

As per the Leica manuals, the film MP's finder is 'accurate' at the a "shortest setting distance for each focal length." See my post # 4. And the digital M-P's finder is 'accurate' at 2 meters (post # 12).

After a while, you get to know how to use the different frames as you photograph. I used to carry3 M's (M3, 4 and 6), one gets used to focus and frame with those. And, on the M3 the 50 mm frame is rounded to mimic the eventual slide mount . And, all film SLR's and dSLR's show less in the viewer that what goes on film or sensor, usually 3 to 4% less.

 

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