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tashley

It's the glass, stupid....

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I respect your opinions very much but can't figure out why you feel the current R glass will have limited utility on an R10 (or whatever). I believe the R10 will marry current R manual focus glass very well and add to that a new series of AF glass to be introduced.

 

Woody ... it's all about the rumors on this forum combined with my own educated guesses.

 

If they work together flawlessly, then it's good. If not, then I'm going to convert (not adapt) all my R lenses into EOS mount properly.

 

I'm not sure if I'll be among the first ones to join the R10 gold rush, I'm expecting the beta testers to sort out its glitches and probably wait till the firmware release 1.3 at least. It's interesting ... when the Japanese companies are busy at their next generation flagships, Leica is swamped in all these non sense.

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Much as it pains me to say it, Canon has Nikon beat when it comes to fast primes. The jewell in Nikon's crown is, or was, the 28mm f1.4, until someone decided to stop making it.

 

actually Nikon has lots of jewels in the fast glass department,

(in addition to the already mentioned 28/1.4):

 

35/1.4, 58/1.2 Noct., 85/1.4, 105/1.8, 105/2DC, 200/2 VR

 

 

of course the good thing about using a Canon EOS body, such as

the 5D, is that one can use jewels from either/both camps.

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Mark Thats what I did ..went to a D3 and the new 2.8 zooms. I didn t give up on the M8 as I still really like rangefinders. The Nikons don t quite match the Leica M8 or DMR but the system is so much more versatile. To my eye they are a notch up on the 5D and L glass and the new sensor is fantastic allowing use of much higher ISO to improve image quality. And I had to give up on a lot of zeiss and leica glass to do this. I will still be on the list for the R10 but the D3 is quite a camera.

 

Roger, It sounds like you are happy with the Nikon D3 and fast zooms. I have seriously considered the same set-up, but I'm holding off because I can't justify switching my Canon gear at this point (the Nikon 500mm VR is considerably more pricey than my Canon). Plus, I am still very happy with my M8 kit and it gets most of my time.

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Tim, here's my practical take, mostly centered on portraiture, not architecture or other special use.

 

I'm talking personal and practictal advice for full-frame, here, from my 5d and 1ds2...

 

I love the new 50 1.2L. It's not a Nocti (not nearly as good at flare resistance) and yes, it vignettes, and (horrors) there is also focus shifts around f2, but nothing you'd tear your hair at. It's a lot easier to get one that is tolerable, though, evidently, than a 35M Lux!

 

The 50 1.2L is also quite soft in the corners, and soft overall at 1.2. But it's got one of the best fingerprints of any of the Canons, IMO. It's just wonderful from f1.6 through f4 ish; the vignette is a plus for portrais, and contrast characteristics are wonderful; contrast is quite low wide open but snaps up around f2.8.

 

In "emotional feel," it's very close to the previous version all-vignetting-all-the-time Summilux 50 Rs, to tell you the truth. It's nowhere near as sharp or as contrasty or as vignette free as the Summicron Ms, let alone the 50 Lux ASPH.

 

The 85 1.2L is justly famous; sharper and more contrasty than the 50 1.2L and is in some ways more like the newer Leica lenses.

 

However, neither the original nor the new version is immune to green and purple fringing in high contrast situations (especially backlight) on Canon's digital bodies. Still a truly great lens, though, and only bested, IMO, by the even greater 80 R Lux (and people who prefer sharpness over colour and contrast characteristics almost universally prefer the Canon. For my money though, the 80R lux is still the one to beat.).

 

The 135 f2.0 is also truly great, and a great bargain (and actually reminds me a bit of a shorter version of the newest 180 R Elmarit ASPH, which is saying something. It's also faster!)

 

Now the rub--Canon wides.

 

If you get a good 24, then it is a great lens, but I've heard of lots of sample variance. I don't shoot anything on the Canon under 35 that's actually made by Canon, but the 24 has a good reputation.

 

My 35 1.4L is a nice lens; not particularly well corrected though and if you're spoiled by film Ms (or used to the M8 crop) the distortion does sort of wallop you right away with people near the 1/3 region of the lens. Certainly both the 35 Lux ASPH M and 35 Lux R are much more fully corrected. So, to me, (if you can get a 35 M lux that focuses, anyway)--the Leicas really do walk all over the 35 1.4L IMO.

 

Of course, the 35 1.4L has the advantage over the M in focusing very, very closely; something like 8 or 10 inches, which is pretty interesting in a general-purpose wide. I like it, but I use the 35 Luxes a lot more.

 

For fast wide on the Canon I use an Oly 21mm f2.0 mounted with an adapter, but it's easy to zone focus that lens.

 

Anyway, I hope this helps. I don't think it's too controversial; just consider it another data point

 

For the others out there, YMMV, of course.

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Thank you to everyone!

 

The responses to my question in this thread just show what a fantastically friendly and useful place this can be - I am deeply grateful for all the advice and opinions that people have taken such care and effort to share in such detail. It also will, I am sure, point me in exactly the right direction.

 

I will certainly keep one M8 body along with my CV 15 and 35, my 28 cron, 50 lux and nocti and 90mm elmarit. To go are one body, WATE and Frankenfinder, 28-35-50 tri, 35 cron and 75 cron. Also to go is my 5D body. Doing all that will cut out the stuff I rarely use and pay for something else.

 

The key thing is, what is the something else? I prefer the sound of the D3 but I'd like the extra resolution of a 1DsIII since I am working on a project that needs 24 x 36 prints and since I already have some Canon glass. SO I'm going to Focus on Imaging today to play with some gear and my main target has to be the 1DsIII so I'll take the M8 and see if I can shoot the same scene on both with similar glass. But I'll also be taking a look at some Hassy/Leaf style gear and some 5X4 field cameras.

 

I'd love an R10 with Leica glass if it ever happens and I will certainly continue to use my M gear for certain stuff but, like they say in dating circles, we are no longer exclusive...

 

I have a feeling that I will find the 1DS so monstrous to handle that I'll end up with MF or larger for those kinds of work, just on the basis that if I'm going to carry a brick, it might as well give the finest results going!

 

Thanks again to everyone.

 

Tim

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Tim, Since you own a 5D, have you tried some R lenses on it? Something I have been contemplating to do for a while, to get my R lenses to digital. Some of this glass is phenomenal (e.g. 80/1.4, Apo-180/2) and it is cheap by Leica standards at the moment.

 

I understand there is adapters which trigger focus confirmation in Canon bodies, for example.

 

Perhaps some people here can share their experience.

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If they work together flawlessly, then it's good. If not, then I'm going to convert (not adapt) all my R lenses into EOS mount properly.

 

That sound really interesting. Could you tell us how converting R lenses to EOS mount properly is done?

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That sound really interesting. Could you tell us how converting R lenses to EOS mount properly is done?

 

You need to buy an R to EOS adaptor. If you search ebay with "Leica Canon adaptor" you should find quite a few for sale, some with focus confirmation.

 

I used R glass on digital Canons for a few years prior to getting an M8.

 

The major drawbacks are stop down metering and the fact that there are some lenses that won't work with the 5D. These tend to be the wide angle ones. I used 28/35/50/180/250 without any problems.

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Hi Tim,

 

If lens quality is your first priority then I would consider going with Nikon, esp. the D3, because that will give you access to Zeiss ZF lenses (with full compatibility). As you may have already experienced, using adapters on lenses that can't give auto-aperture stop-down can be a real pain for anything other than slow-paced work.

 

In general, Canon's best primes don't give the same look as the current Leica M lenses but there are some worth looking at, in particular, based on my direct experience.

 

Canon 35/1.4 - see my DMR review to see how this compares to the Leica ® 35

Canon 50/2.5 macro

Canon 50/1.8 (Mark 1) - can be bought for a song if you can find one

Canon 85/1.8 (the faster 85 also has a great reputation as well but I haven't tested it)

 

Again, this would be a good time for you to read, or reread, the lens comparisons in that DMR review.

 

If I were starting fresh with a DSLR system right now, I'd likely go with a D3 and Zeiss lenses. In fact, I may switch at some point, esp. if Nikon comes up with a real competitor to the 5D. The M8 is still my primary camera, though, and I don't really like SLRs for much of my work.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

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I don't have any experience of Canon lenses - absolutely zero - but I certainly agree the ability to use Zeiss ZF lenses is an attractive option for a Nikon D3. I almost did a double take when I checked prices just now, years of Leica certainly conditions your expectations... 28/2, 50/1.4, 85/1.4.

 

The $64k question is whether Nikon are coming out with a higher resolution version in due course to compete with the Canon whch seems to be positioned as a junior MF back equivalent.

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I can't understand why anyone would buy into the sophisticated electronics of Canon or Nikon and then limit themselves with MF lenses. If MF is your bag then the tests reveal that Leica glass is superior - therefore accept the limitations (if they are real) of the M8 or move on.

 

I covet the idea of owning a D300 with something like the Nikkor 300VR 2.8. I'm never going to be a Doug Herr but I could have a lot of fun with that combination - especially not having to think too hard about focus with a AF lens.

 

However, there is no way I'd swap my lux35 for a Canon or Nikon equivalent and I'm therefore happy to be stuck with M8.

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Tim, sounds like what you want is the new Nikon which will be coming around the end of the year - D3x, with 22 mp. I'd wait for it if I were you.

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Hi Tim,

 

If lens quality is your first priority then I would consider going with Nikon, esp. the D3, because that will give you access to Zeiss ZF lenses (with full compatibility). As you may have already experienced, using adapters on lenses that can't give auto-aperture stop-down can be a real pain for anything other than slow-paced work.

 

In general, Canon's best primes don't give the same look as the current Leica M lenses but there are some worth looking at, in particular, based on my direct experience.

 

Canon 35/1.4 - see my DMR review to see how this compares to the Leica ® 35

Canon 50/2.5 macro

Canon 50/1.8 (Mark 1) - can be bought for a song if you can find one

Canon 85/1.8 (the faster 85 also has a great reputation as well but I haven't tested it)

 

Again, this would be a good time for you to read, or reread, the lens comparisons in that DMR review.

 

If I were starting fresh with a DSLR system right now, I'd likely go with a D3 and Zeiss lenses. In fact, I may switch at some point, esp. if Nikon comes up with a real competitor to the 5D. The M8 is still my primary camera, though, and I don't really like SLRs for much of my work.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

 

Hey Sean

 

I think that Nikon has a bit of a marketing dilemma when it comes to a 5D competitor. I am sure they will come out with a high resolution sensor based body soon. The news from Sony would show that such a sensor is probably already in the works. That would position the current D3 as a super high frame rate FF body for the sports shooter and the low light shooters (I would suspect the new high MPx body would not be able to achieve the noise performance of the D3). If they were to introduce a FF body at half the price of the D3 the D3 would likely be orphaned. Even the D300 can shoot at rather high frame rates so it would be hard to imagine why people might buy a D3 given those circumstances.

 

Alll in all, a real marketing dilemma

 

Woody

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...... keep one M8 body along with my CV 15 and 35, my 28 cron, 50 lux and nocti and 90mm elmarit.......

 

Tim, I'm sorry for you that it has come to this; your Venice work in particular demonstrated how well suited you are to rangefinder working. Given Leica's web-site link to your work, and the ridiculous problems you had trying to get a fully functioning Leica 35 mm Lux, I hope someone with seniority at Solms reads this thread and blushes with embarrassment over your need to abandon working exclusively with the M8.

 

I'm trying to understand what you are keeping. For me, the M8 is a mid-range-lens camera, and I can understand why you would keep the CV 15 [light, inexpensive, it works, you have it], and use 28, 35 and 50 lenses as M8 workhorses. But as you are contemplating augmenting the M8 with possibly a D3 [a 14-24, 24-70, plus one longer prime should cover all your SLR needs]; why not dump the 90 too and work the longer range more comfortably with a DSLR? Unless you really are hooked on 'bokeh', there's also a case for dumping your Noctilux, and cranking up the D3's ISO low light advantage.

 

From all the reading I have done I am confident that for the print sizes you have in mind the flagship Nikon cameras will satisfy your needs, investing in the best 'F-mount' lenses should turn out to be a true investment as the next Nikon flagship camera could exceed your current requirements.

 

If you are not already familiar with these very useful web-sites of two very different and excellent Nikon photographers, Dave Black's recent 'Workshop at the Ranch' articles are very informative:

 

Dave Black Photography - Sports Photography Worldwide

 

As is Bjorn Rorslett's D3 review:

 

NRFOTO Bjrn Rrslett

 

[Check out his excellent Nikon lens appraisals]. Bjorn also contributes to Nikongear, a useful resource:

 

Nikon Camera Gear and Photographer Community

 

I hope you sort out a more comfortable and dependable relationship with your equipment and get back to making pictures without niggling doubts about system inconsistencies. Like you I sincerely want Leica to improve, and like you I am concerned by the gulf between Leica-quality mythology, and Leica-quality reality.

 

................. Chris

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That sound really interesting. Could you tell us how converting R lenses to EOS mount properly is done?

 

This is a secret ... and it'll involve more work than just to fit an adapter on it.

 

In short, you needs to replace the R mount with a properly "rebuilt" EOS mount with the correct focal length and open aperture encoded. Easy for primers but difficult for zoomers ... because you can't find a readily available Canon mount with the same zoom range matched to the open aperture on both ends, such as the 28-90/2.8-4.5.

 

Once this is done, you'll need to calibrate it (as an EOS lens) to Canon's spec, there are many ways to do this, scientific or unscientific ... takes time and money, the aperture won't be automatically stopped down, and I'm sure it'll be hard to find someone to do it ... but it's worth the hassle (especially when I already have the stuff to boot).

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I can't understand why anyone would buy into the sophisticated electronics of Canon or Nikon and then limit themselves with MF lenses.

 

Let me help you understand if I may.

 

Nikon's system is now back to where it once was, a full system of lenses and cameras that are truly cross platform. For example, I shoot a lot of film and like to do that in fully mechanical bodies like the FM3A. I also require precision manual focus in my SLR work, not just my rangefinder work. AF lenses when used in that manner simply do not offer this level of precision. For Canon, unless one uses an adapter, except for the 24 T/S, there is nothing out there in M/F, zip.

 

Also, in photography, some of us are also doing films or full motion work. Canon again is not a good choice for this, the film industry simply does not use AF when working with a gaffer or any other film crew. Fast manual primes are the stable of the industry due to being able to easily pull and push the focus points around to the tape marks as pre-detirmened by the DP.

 

Nikon knows exactly what they are doing here guys. Not only will they come out with a higher res version of the D3 ( Sorry Mark Norton, it is not about competing with Canon, they don't need to even do that, that is internet hype-talk ) I am willing to bet that in 5 years time or less, we will see a brilliant new step from Nikon that could help revolutionize the film industry.

 

Even now the new Red-1 eagerly accepts precise F-mount M/F primes and makes Nikon the logical choice when doing both motion and still feature or documentary film work. This is only going to evolve further.

 

But back to the point. The fact that the D3 accepts so many M/F lenses is indeed a blessing to many of us. Out of some 13 lenses for my Nikon system, 6 are manual focus. This was a very conscious decision.

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Oh now lets not turn this place into dpreview, OK?

 

Anyone who sits here and tries to guess the marketing tactics of any camera company is

clearly wasting their time. And this competitor garbage has to go, it is not a race, the cameras don't come out of the corner swinging. The company takes a look at what it wants to do with it's system as a whole and takes the logical path, it has nothing to do with competing with models of other brands head to head, that is amateur talk.

 

Nikon has to come up with a D300 sized full frame camera at some point. It is most likely done just like any other product is but it has a release time frame, plain and simple.

 

Trust me, these guys are way ahead of you and there is no marketing dilemma, no competing models or any of that internet hype / gear wars stuff. These companies are right on target and are way, waaay ahead of the people who make speculation a hobby.

 

Hey Sean

 

I think that Nikon has a bit of a marketing dilemma when it comes to a 5D competitor. I am sure they will come out with a high resolution sensor based body soon. The news from Sony would show that such a sensor is probably already in the works. That would position the current D3 as a super high frame rate FF body for the sports shooter and the low light shooters (I would suspect the new high MPx body would not be able to achieve the noise performance of the D3). If they were to introduce a FF body at half the price of the D3 the D3 would likely be orphaned. Even the D300 can shoot at rather high frame rates so it would be hard to imagine why people might buy a D3 given those circumstances.

 

Alll in all, a real marketing dilemma

 

Woody

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in 5 years time or less, we will see a brilliant new step from Nikon that could help revolutionize the film industry.

 

Even now the new Red-1 eagerly accepts precise F-mount M/F primes and makes Nikon the logical choice when doing both motion and still feature or documentary film work. This is only going to evolve further.

 

Nikon to revolutionize the film industry? ... won't happen ... and film is dead, Holloywood is going digital with Zeiss primers mounted on the Sony Cinealtas.

 

Nikon is NOT interested in manual focusing ... you see those AI-S mount in store because they can't move the new old stock.

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I got a D3 to complement the M8, and have always been a Nikon shooter because the cameras fit my hand. So Saturday I was in a camera store and picked up a D300 for a few moments, and it seemed to me to be a possible solution to MY Leica questions. It is quite compact, has good ISO response, doesn't seem to be noticably louder than an M8, and in general seems likely to be an excellent companion to the D3. I even like the difference in sensor size, because you can use one lens but get 2 different FOV's with high pixel density in each. In some ways, I think, the D300 and its successors may be the answer to the 5D -- you'd have more flexibility with a D300 and D3 than with a 5D and a 1DmIII, *because* of the sensor-size difference (and Nikon FF and 1.5 crop can use the same FX lens set.) The Zeiss ZF primes are also a consideration, and they are cheap compared to Leicas.

 

I'm still hanging on to the M8, but I've been thinking about it. The money I have tied up in the M system would literally buy a new car, and the way things are going...but I'll probably wait and see what happens.

 

JC

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Let me help you understand if I may.

( Sorry Mark Norton, it is not about competing with Canon, they don't need to even do that, that is internet hype-talk )

 

And this is what kind of talk?

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