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thrid

New Summarits - Puts review part II

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Without superlative technique these are never going to be seen by the users.

 

Agreed, and your point regarding focussing is well made too.

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Over the years I have been in the privileged position of having access to a wide range of lenses and have personally owned about 30 Leica lenses from both the R and M ranges. E. Puts’ comments and observations regarding these lenses correspond more closely with my personal experience of using them than that of any reviewer other than Geoffrey Crawley. When it comes to lenses he knows what he is talking about.

 

I fully agree on this, Peter.

 

 

The Summarit article brings into question once again the capability of the rangefinder on the M8 and I think this is rapidly becoming identified as its principle weaknesses. It just is not good enough for the performance that the best lenses can deliver with the Kodak sensor. Too many pictures have become a matter of chance and I for one am frustrated that so many of the pictures I took over the Christmas / New Year period have a focus point that is not precisely where I wanted it. The exact focus point is so good with lenses like the 50mm and 75mm ASPH and so obvious in the prints that anything else looks slightly out of focus. Fabulous lenses and a barely capable rangefinder are not a happy combination and I wonder if some of the attraction of the older lenses, which is evident from so many posts on the forum, reflects the fact that people find them easier to use because they are not so demanding.

 

It is my experience too. I don't know where is the problem... rangefinder physical base length. rangefinder magnification, calibration and tolerances in the body (mount, sensor), calibration and tolerance in lenses... but I get sharp pictures consistently only stopping-down one or two stops (f/2-f/2.8). When I use my Summiluxes or Noctilux at full aperture the result is random, even considering (and taking account of) backfocus and focus shift problems. It is very difficult to get a portrait with the Summilux-M 75mm or Noctilux at full aperture and get the eyes sharp. It is like a try and error process.

 

The Leica M8 is a great reportage camera when used with wide-angle lenses at moderate apertures.

 

I will buy the 1.25x magnification piece...

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Here we go again.

 

If you want a accurate, technical analysis of a lens that was executed in a scientific manner with the proper equipment that gives you the cold, hard facts, read Puts.

 

If you want an opinion, read else where.

 

Opinions are like a$%h0!5s ... everybody has one. ROFL

 

But seriously, to form my own opinion I buy/try everything (by myself) I could have access to ... you know, there're people buying gears from the big mail order houses and returning them after putting up a review.

 

Any second hand information is NOT good.

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...It is very difficult to get a portrait with the Summilux-M 75mm or Noctilux at full aperture and get the eyes sharp...

Remember our last year's discussions Ruben. Given the low magnification of the M8's rangefinder you are at the limit of its accuracy when you shoot a 75 at f/1.4 with it. Add to this the unforgiveness of digital DoF and you cannot expect a high success rate with that combo at full aperture. The only solution is the magnifier IMHO.

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Sean Reid, Mike Johnston and others are very experienced, professional photographers, who evaluate gear based on their years of shooting experience and a series of informal tests that they conduct under field conditions.

 

Hi Thrid,

 

I can't speak for my friend Mike (who, as he would quickly point out, uses a different approach than my own) but what I try to do is to combine testing under field conditions with comparison testing under controlled studio conditions (the latter so that I can make side by side comparisons with as few confounding variables as possible). I'm trying to blend the advantages of controlled testing with the advantages of field testing. Scott gave a pretty good description, above, of what I try to do. It is true, however, that my results are primarily described in pictures rather than in numbers. Some prefer the former, others prefer the latter.

 

But, of course, every reviewer has his or her own recipe for how they test cameras and lenses and I'm sure each of us tries to approach this work based on our own best senses of what's most important to describe and compare. My approach is different from Mike Johnston's or Michael Reichman's. Phil Askey's approach is different from Erwin Puts', etc. I'm glad that the work Erwin does is useful to a lot of photographers, even though I may not always agree with his methods, assumptions, conclusions, etc. Sometimes, though, he and I make similar observations about certain lenses, etc. Other times...<G>...we don't.

 

It certainly is true that no reviewer is perfect or that any one approach is always the best one.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

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Remember our last year's discussions Ruben. Given the low magnification of the M8's rangefinder you are at the limit of its accuracy when you shoot a 75 at f/1.4 with it. Add to this the unforgiveness of digital DoF and you cannot expect a high success rate with that combo at full aperture. The only solution is the magnifier IMHO.

 

I know it LCT. That is the only solution... but the magnifier is quite expensive. In Spain, the official list price is... 250 euros (taxes included).

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Hi Ruben,

 

There are less expensive 1.25 magnifier available that you might consider. I also find the magnifier to be essential for raising the EBL of the RF with long and fast lenses.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

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I know it LCT. That is the only solution... but the magnifier is quite expensive. In Spain, the official list price is... 250 euros (taxes included).

Ever heard of the Megaperls and HK-Supply magnifiers? They are much cheaper and Spain is non concerned by Leica patents if i'm not wrong. I don't know if they work with the M8 though. Also are you sure your eyesight is 100% accurate? Sometimes a mere VF correction lens can do marvels with rangefinders.

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The so-called "megaperl" magnifiers are actually made by M.S. Optical, the Japanese guy who became famous for converting Contax G lenses into M bayonet ... they have a 1.35x model besides the 1.15x model. The HKSupplies magnifier is 1.25x.

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I will buy the 1.25x magnification piece...

 

Rosuna,

 

I use the 1.25 magnifier all the time with 50mm and longer lenses. It helps but is far from being a solution to the M8's problems with its RF accuracy / precision.

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Remember our last year's discussions Ruben. Given the low magnification of the M8's rangefinder you are at the limit of its accuracy when you shoot a 75 at f/1.4 with it. Add to this the unforgiveness of digital DoF and you cannot expect a high success rate with that combo at full aperture. The only solution is the magnifier IMHO.

This thread does seem to have some problems in sticking to the topic... However full format sensor with 0.85 viewfinder would be a nice solution for portraits / noctilux users. The need to use full aperture to create nice bokeh / DOF with a less then full format sensor is obvious but difficult. Therefore those summarits are a logical choice for a m8, you don't run into focussing problems to easy and you can't be challenged to much by the idea of creating 'optimal bokeh'.

A m9 with full sensor would offer the kind of accurate DOF again that we just left with m6/m7 in the run for digital m's. For those who want to enter a low cost digital m system, an used m8 with summarit would be a very nice start. Nice marketing Leica...

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You are either projecting or are clairvoyant....

Thanks for the compliment!

 

... First off I don't think you are in any position to tell me weather I can express my opinion or not. Second, I think you need to re-read what I wrote....

Touchy, aren't we? And paying no attention to context. Shame on you! I seconded your pov and didn't say a thing about your being allowed to express an opinion. You responded to another person, and I expanded your response. And you get hotsy-totsy, claiming I didn't read you. Calm down, P.G

 

 

(Why no period after the "G," by the way?)

 

--HC

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Howard, I'd suggest the ratio gearing of the focus helli-coils has nothing to do with cost factors. Rather a design decision more in keeping with modern trends. The amount of extra brass required in the threads for finer gearing would hardly be a factor IMO.

Interesting, Eoin. I seem to be moving too quickly and writing unclearly. My thoughts were:

1) Leica wants to build a less expensive lens line.

2) Leica chooses to share mounts in order to reduce costs.

3) Sharing mounts apparently causes the shorter rotation from infinity to close focus; I posed that as a question.

 

So I think you and I are in agreement there. Cost savings comes from sharing parts, not from sparing materials.

 

For sure many people have commented less favorably about longer focus throw lenses which seem to slow down the focus process, I for one prefer the longer throw which seems to make the final rocking back and forth of the focus ring just that bit more precise with the longer focal lengths. YMMV

As you say, YMMV. I took no side on the question of long- vs short-throw focus, but explained what I thought was the source of the shorter throw in this case and asked for correction if I was wrong.

 

By the way, I've got no idea how to pronounce your name; it's a combination of letters we don't often see in Texas. Could you perhaps PM a pronouncer?

 

Thanks.

 

--HC

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... A m9 with full sensor would offer the kind of accurate DOF again that we just left with m6/m7 in the run for digital m's. For those who want to enter a low cost digital m system, an used m8 with summarit would be a very nice start. Nice marketing Leica...

Harald--

Excellent summary in your post!

 

-- M8 with reduced focusing accuracy but more demanding of accurate focus due to its sensor;

-- Summarits with adequate but reduced maximum aperture and reasonable price;

-- Together, a perfect team as we wait for the next M iteration, which should:

 

:-: restore focusing accuracy with restored traditional, longer-EMBL rangefinder; and

:-: grant slightly relaxed focus requirements due to full-frame sensor.

 

(Since the next generation will still have a 2-dimensional digital sensor, we may indeed need an improved rangefinder.)

 

A lot of us are seeing only one aspect of the camera-lens combination, and you've drawn them together.

 

Very well done!

 

--HC

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Rosuna,

 

I use the 1.25 magnifier all the time with 50mm and longer lenses. It helps but is far from being a solution to the M8's problems with its RF accuracy / precision.

 

I suppose some light/contrast is lost using the magnifier anyway, isn't?

 

Thanks Sean and LCT or your suggestions. I am not sure about a possible eyesight problem.

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With the 1.15 Megaperls very little, if anything contrast seems better. The 1.25 and Megaperls 1.35 do lose some contrast, but very little brightness.

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I suppose some light/contrast is lost using the magnifier anyway, isn't?

 

Thanks Sean and LCT or your suggestions. I am not sure about a possible eyesight problem.

 

Hi Ruben,

 

I hadn't noticed any loss but I haven't done any careful comparisons. I can say that the magnifier really can help one's focus accuracy.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

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.... I've got no idea how to pronounce your name; it's a combination of letters we don't often see in Texas ....

 

In the interest of clarity and understanding L:) L my name is Eoin. pronounced Oh-in. It's a traditional Irish name which translates to John in English but specifically as in biblical John (the baptist). Sean, another Irish name also translates to John other than John the Baptist. There are other names which sound alike, in Scotland there is Eoghan, Celtic for Eugene and in Welsh there is Owen.

 

Hope this answers your burning question

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Hi Ruben,

 

I hadn't noticed any loss but I haven't done any careful comparisons. I can say that the magnifier really can help one's focus accuracy.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

 

Thank you very much for the suggestion. I will try it!

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Come on - the guy just does this because he likes to do it. Even his Lens Compendium was a loss - his publisher swindled him out of the royalties. Let's just appreciate that somebody takes the trouble.

 

And does so without regard to "hi-tek" flash and subscription. It's his view/take on the subject which is, as many post here, a "Good Thing".

 

Between "brick walls", charts and vegetables, it's great that we have interested folks, despite the degree they find their "discovories" important... and Jaap, your "foggy pier" pic posted over a year ago is still important... so to the firefighter's cap in one of RR's pics... and Carsten's lens codes, and Guy, well, thanks Guy... anyhoo, Puts does lay it out a bit less like the bait of Mr. Johnston, so too RR and the folk here.

 

It's a hard nut describing what a piece of gear does. Hand a walnut and nut-cracker to several folks and the meat will likely "render" differently among them, but taste the same.

 

I too appreciate the "trouble" some folks take, especially when they offer their perspective openly.

 

rgds,

Dave

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