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Hologon 16mm and the M8 - A Question


kdemas
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I have a converted Hologon 16mm (was Contax G) on the way and it should be here tomorrow. Could someone clarify whether the lens should be OK with the M8? In one post it appears that there needs to be some filing done to use the lens on "A".

 

Any info would be great. I am sure looking forward to using this lens! A funny thing.... the Hologon is the only lens I never bothered to buy for my Contax G2 and here I've bought a converted one for the M

 

Kent

 

ps- I responded to an old thread in the customer forum as well but I don't think that is the place to get info on the M8.

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The Hologon is really a unique lens, fixed at f8 with literally close to zero distortion. The CV 12 and 15 lenses are excellent but I really wanted that ultra low distortion control.

 

All are terrific, as is the zeiss zm 18mm and the Leica offerings but I am looking for some specific performance from this little guy

 

Kent

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Kent, I can't help you, but I'm really curious to see some results...any picture in the web?

Did you find some?

I really like the Hologon' size... it could be really something nice, but have you got some more info about its conversion to M bayonet?

What is the lens like? is it a screw type so that you need just an LTM adapter or is ther something more complicated to be done?

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I really like the Hologon' size... it could be really something nice, but have you got some more info about its conversion to M bayonet?

What is the lens like? is it a screw type so that you need just an LTM adapter or is ther something more complicated to be done?

 

Hologon on Contax G2 is mount G. Not screw type. But the only manual focus lens on G. On film body it need center weight filter in front. The lens goes in very deep in camera body. I still wonder whether the light meter work?

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The critical thing will be whether it safely clears the shutter. The M8 uses the same type metal blade shutter as the G cameras, so it SHOULD be safe. But mount it very very carefully the first time. And also listen to see if the shutter hangs up on that first shot.

 

BUT!!! - It is quite possible that the M8 shutter sits closer to the lens mount than the G shutters do (due to the thickness of the sensor and other factors). Proceed with extreme caution (in the absence of any more definitive response from a user)

 

On the original Contax G bodies, the 16 required an external meter eye because it blocked the internal off-the-shutter metering. Likely true on the M8. There is always MANUAL exposure!!

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I've found a nice used one... but I'm wondering, since the seller doesen't do it, how can i modify it for my M8... Do I need a technician, or maybe I could try to do it all by myself?

Is there a sort of step-by-step guide over the web for it?

 

I know that Zoerkendoerfer (in München) did this conversion some time ago, however, it was expensive. I have a 16mm Hologon for the G2 but did not have the conversion done, as I also own a Hologon 15mm (made bei Zeiss) for the Leica M.

The M8 handbook says that the 15mm can not be used for the M8, which is not correct, as I have mounted it on the M8 and taken pictures. The light meter does NOT work, however, and you need a separate meter. I use the 21mm Leitz finder for the Super Angulons.

Since the 15mm works with the M8, I PRESUME that the 16mm does as well.

I recall a thread by a Leica M8 user in Bangkok who posted a series of Hologon 16mm pictures (taken with an M8).

The 15mm Hologon has very low distortion and so does the 16mm. On sensitive subjects you need the grey center filter. On the M8 the need is slightly less due to the smaller area covered.

I would advise against trying self conversion, although I am not technically qualified.

Teddy

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I have a converted Hologon 16mm (was Contax G) on the way and it should be here tomorrow. Could someone clarify whether the lens should be OK with the M8? In one post it appears that there needs to be some filing done to use the lens on "A".

 

Any info would be great. I am sure looking forward to using this lens! A funny thing.... the Hologon is the only lens I never bothered to buy for my Contax G2 and here I've bought a converted one for the M

 

Kent

 

ps- I responded to an old thread in the customer forum as well but I don't think that is the place to get info on the M8.

 

Reply to Kdemas --

 

Earlier this year, someone asked me about my experience with the 16mm Hologon G on the M8. Below is my reply to him. I think it answers all your questions and then some. As you'll see below -- you now have an exceptional lens. Tom Pastorello

 

Copy of earlier email on 16mm Hologon (G to M conversion and with code):

 

My intention is not to recommend nor discourage your buying a Zeiss 16mm Hologon f8.0 G for your Leica M8. I’ll tell you my experiences with it on my M8 and you can decide for yourself.

Over 10 years ago, I bought the Hologon for my M6. The Contax G version had been selling for almost $2,000 dollars at the time. I bought one that had been converted from G- to M-Mount by Don Goldberg of DAG. For the conversion, I paid about a $500 premium. You could probably find a mint used converted one now for about $1600. DAG would charge $130 for M8 coding. I’d Check KEH or Don himself at DAG, who may have coded lenses ready for sale. Don’s coding is very professional looking and, in addition, he also modifies the Hologon to allow full reading of the light meter on the M8 for automatic exposure on the M8 “A” setting.

I had no regrets about my expensive purchase. The Hologon performed superbly on the M6. It comes with a 4x Graduated filter to prevent vignetting. This effectively changes the f8 aperture to almost f16. This is essentially an outdoor lens. Because it is distortion-less, it can be used for architecture photography indoors, but one must obviously use a tripod. (The lens is made in Germany; the filter in Japan.)

A few months ago, I had DAG code my Hologon as a WATE. When the WATE menu comes up, I set the cyan correction for “21mm” – for a better correction than “16mm” gives. I do NOT get a full correction for cyan in the corners, regardless of my WATE setting. I think this is because I am unable to use an IR Cut filter and the 4x Graduated filter at the same time. It is one or the other. Without the 4x Graduated filter, the Hologon vignettes more than the WATE and, therefore, is not fully corrected in the corners by the M8 firmware program. I am able to correct the corners quite successfully in Adobe CS3 post-processing. I mount the 67 IR Cut filter by means of a 62-67 step-up ring. I place sticky-back rubbery strips around the inside of the ring so that I can push the ring with the filter onto the hood. It remains on firmly.

Because I have a CV 15mm f4.5 that corrects very well for cyan corners, I seldom use the Hologon for color. (I use the Milich hood adapter with 39mm IR Cut filter, as well as his coded screw-to-M adapter coded for WATE. I set the WATE menu to 21mm, not 16mm, for best correction. At this setting, the correction is perfect). I’m very pleased with the CV 15mm. It performs beautifully for color on the M8.

I continue to the Hologon 16mm on my M8 for B&W. I use the 4x Graduated filter and, because it is coded, I also set the M8 menu to Lens Detection ON, to further reduce the vignetting. With these 2 methods, there is NO vignetting of the Hologon on the M8. The B&W results are stunningly beautiful. Contrast and tonality are top-notch. Although I do not do color work with the Hologon, I still use my 62-67 step-up ring -- to mount a Dark IR filter for infrared B&W work. The M8 is great for infrared B&W because it has a very weak IR filter over its sensor (hence the need for IR Cut filters). I set the menu for Lens Detection ON, because I am unable to use the 4x Graduated Filter. I get great infrared B&W with no noticeable vignetting, thanks to the coding for lens detection.

Well, that’s my experience in a nutshell. Let me know if you have follow-up questions. Good luck with your M8 wide-angle photography.

Tom Pastorello

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I know that Zoerkendoerfer (in München) did this conversion some time ago, however, it was expensive. I have a 16mm Hologon for the G2 but did not have the conversion done, as I also own a Hologon 15mm (made bei Zeiss) for the Leica M.

The M8 handbook says that the 15mm can not be used for the M8, which is not correct, as I have mounted it on the M8 and taken pictures. The light meter does NOT work, however, and you need a separate meter. I use the 21mm Leitz finder for the Super Angulons.

Since the 15mm works with the M8, I PRESUME that the 16mm does as well.

I recall a thread by a Leica M8 user in Bangkok who posted a series of Hologon 16mm pictures (taken with an M8).

The 15mm Hologon has very low distortion and so does the 16mm. On sensitive subjects you need the grey center filter. On the M8 the need is slightly less due to the smaller area covered.

I would advise against trying self conversion, although I am not technically qualified.

Teddy

 

Wow ! Haven't you some pic to post, taken with M8 and the "true" Hologon ? Would like a lot also to see how it looks mounted on...

. Really, doesn'it interefere with shutter ?
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Reply to Kdemas --

 

Earlier this year, someone asked me about my experience with the 16mm Hologon G on the M8. Below is my reply to him. I think it answers all your questions and then some. As you'll see below -- you now have an exceptional lens. Tom Pastorello

 

Copy of earlier email on 16mm Hologon (G to M conversion and with code):

 

My intention is not to recommend nor discourage your buying a Zeiss 16mm Hologon f8.0 G for your Leica M8. I’ll tell you my experiences with it on my M8 and you can decide for yourself.

Over 10 years ago, I bought the Hologon for my M6. The Contax G version had been selling for almost $2,000 dollars at the time. I bought one that had been converted from G- to M-Mount by Don Goldberg of DAG. For the conversion, I paid about a $500 premium. You could probably find a mint used converted one now for about $1600. DAG would charge $130 for M8 coding. I’d Check KEH or Don himself at DAG, who may have coded lenses ready for sale. Don’s coding is very professional looking and, in addition, he also modifies the Hologon to allow full reading of the light meter on the M8 for automatic exposure on the M8 “A” setting.

I had no regrets about my expensive purchase. The Hologon performed superbly on the M6. It comes with a 4x Graduated filter to prevent vignetting. This effectively changes the f8 aperture to almost f16. This is essentially an outdoor lens. Because it is distortion-less, it can be used for architecture photography indoors, but one must obviously use a tripod. (The lens is made in Germany; the filter in Japan.)

A few months ago, I had DAG code my Hologon as a WATE. When the WATE menu comes up, I set the cyan correction for “21mm” – for a better correction than “16mm” gives. I do NOT get a full correction for cyan in the corners, regardless of my WATE setting. I think this is because I am unable to use an IR Cut filter and the 4x Graduated filter at the same time. It is one or the other. Without the 4x Graduated filter, the Hologon vignettes more than the WATE and, therefore, is not fully corrected in the corners by the M8 firmware program. I am able to correct the corners quite successfully in Adobe CS3 post-processing. I mount the 67 IR Cut filter by means of a 62-67 step-up ring. I place sticky-back rubbery strips around the inside of the ring so that I can push the ring with the filter onto the hood. It remains on firmly.

Because I have a CV 15mm f4.5 that corrects very well for cyan corners, I seldom use the Hologon for color. (I use the Milich hood adapter with 39mm IR Cut filter, as well as his coded screw-to-M adapter coded for WATE. I set the WATE menu to 21mm, not 16mm, for best correction. At this setting, the correction is perfect). I’m very pleased with the CV 15mm. It performs beautifully for color on the M8.

I continue to the Hologon 16mm on my M8 for B&W. I use the 4x Graduated filter and, because it is coded, I also set the M8 menu to Lens Detection ON, to further reduce the vignetting. With these 2 methods, there is NO vignetting of the Hologon on the M8. The B&W results are stunningly beautiful. Contrast and tonality are top-notch. Although I do not do color work with the Hologon, I still use my 62-67 step-up ring -- to mount a Dark IR filter for infrared B&W work. The M8 is great for infrared B&W because it has a very weak IR filter over its sensor (hence the need for IR Cut filters). I set the menu for Lens Detection ON, because I am unable to use the 4x Graduated Filter. I get great infrared B&W with no noticeable vignetting, thanks to the coding for lens detection.

Well, that’s my experience in a nutshell. Let me know if you have follow-up questions. Good luck with your M8 wide-angle photography.

Tom Pastorello

 

Tom,

 

Great information, thanks! I will be curious to see if my versions has the modification needed to meter on "A" on my M8. I will post some pics of my new lens later and maybe someone will be able to identify whether the types of changes you mention have been done.

 

Thanks again for this info and for sharing your thoughts.

 

Kent

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The 16mm Hologon G has two barrel-segment shaped prongs extending in the back. The bottom prong covers part of the M8 light meter. DAG shaves that prong down. If your lens has two equal length prongs, it will not allow the M8 to meter on "A." If the bottom prong is shorter, it has been modified for proper exposure reading. I hope this helps. In any event, you'll know if it "A" meters well on the M8 after your first test shots. Good luck. Tom P.

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Wow, thanks guys... this thread seems to be something really useful.

I have a question:

Is there a picture of the Hologon with UV/IR filter mounted on? And what caps (front/rear) are useable for the lens?...I'm a bit worried about an hypotetic rear cap for the lens when converted to M-bayonet... the rear element seems so protruding that a normal rear M cap doesn't look a doable solution... isn't it? Even if, thinking of it, if it fits the camera why shouldn't it fits the rear cap?!

 

I know, I know... it's late tonight, but I was wondering how to transport the lens during travels, since I rarely use my CV12+Milich filter holder becuse it doesn't have a front cap and I don't want to remove the filter+holder every time.... I don't want the same thing to happen for the hypotetic hologon...

 

@Tom:

 

Thanks a lot for your reply, and really thanks for your PM, I really appreciated it soooo much!

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The rear cap I have is a creatively modified original Contax G cap for the lens. Looks great and provides all the protection the lens needs.

 

Thanks fo the prong info, mine definitely has equal prongs and does not work in "A" (I tried it). It looks like DAG might get a little extra business from me

 

Super info, thanks to everyone for helping out here. Will post shots later.

 

Kent

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Kent -- if you send your Hologon to DAG for "A" exposure work, I'd recommend you also ask him to code the lens (as a WATE). His charge for doing both will be about $130, I think. You'll notice that your Hologon vignettes a little on the M8. If you have your lens coded, you'll be able to turn on M8's lens detection and remove the vignetting. (Remember, the code is not only for IR Cut filter cyan correction, it's also useful for no-filter B&W work.)

 

Maurizio --as for color work, you'll need to figure out how to get an IR Cut filter on the front of the Hologon, which is not treaded. Re-read my post. I use a padded 62 to 67 step-up ring pushed onto the front of the built-in Hologon hood.

 

Good luck to you both. Tom P.

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The Hologon is an outstanding lens which I use for b/w work without filter and no rear filing adjustment. If you can find one either G or M for $1500 as a poster suggests buy two and sell one. The current price in NYC is close to $3000.

 

High contrast shots never read perfectly. So you should bracket. I am no lens tester but you will be amazed at the lack of distortion and the fine detail achieved even up close. Comparing a 15 at infinity to the Hologon does not do it justice. Like certain Leitz lenses it has a particular look that sets it apart.

 

The G and M are exactly the same glass.

 

Steve

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