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M8 Lens advice


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I have a lot of Leica lenses, and you will also sometime in the near future.

 

As a first lens, give your 2 choices, I suggest the 50mm.

Any one of the 4 Leica offers will be a good lens but I'm hooked on the 50mm Summilux f/1.4 ASPH. It is probably the best 50mm lens ever made.

But if you are come from a film camera or you aere use to a full frame 35mm digital camera you might look at the 35mm lens as you starter lens.

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Hi Dawn,

 

Welcome to the forum and the wonderful world of Leica. In terms of the lens that you want to use, it very much depends what you want to photograph. With the effective field of view factor of 1.33x on the M8, your 50mm becomes 66.5 and the 75mm becomes 99.75mm. It is for this reason that many people here use the 35mm as their standard lens (becomes 46.55mm)

 

The 50mm is my favorite and I find is a great walk about lens. The 75mm starts becoming very long and more specific in its use - brilliant for close up portraits. So it really does depend what you intend photographing.

 

Andreas

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Hi,

I'm about to buy an M8 , but could do with some advice on lenses....I'm looking at a 5omm or 75mm (probably have a preference for a 75mm to start with)

 

Which lenses do you have? which ones would your recommend?

 

Thanks

 

What shots of shots are you intending on taking?

That will drive the lens choice significantly.

 

I got a 28/f2 Ultron as a lens with my M8...

Since I got the 24, I find that my shots are mostly people and scenes that put the subject in a context as the 28 does include a lot of background.

Given I got the wider 28, that sort of defined the style of shot that I take with it

I keep looking for a reason to get something better to replace the 24 Ultron, but it isn't too bad except that another stop would help for night.

The 28 is a pretty good length - and for one lens it is a no brainer.

I am thinking that a 24 might be better for indoors, and 35 for outdoors, but then maybe I would have to think more... with only one choice I can just the 28.

 

If your shots are mostly portraits or some other style, then that will change your lens choice, rather than having the lens dictate the style.

 

Then I got a 50 F1.5, and more recently a 75/F2.

They get some use as well, but not as much as the wider 28.

But the 75 does get some stunning shots, and has generated some of the better ones I've taken so far.

 

I doubt you could go too far wrong with a 50 or the 75.

For me the more important choice is the aperture.

 

So what shots are you intending on primarily shooting?

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Regarding lenses -- what we have right now, in the RF world, is an "embarrassment of riches". Many choices.

 

You have three common brands of RF lenses to choose from (Leica, Cosina/Voigtlander, and Zeiss), so you can make some intelligent choices regarding lens characteristics, price, and usage.

 

I strongly recommend you get a subscription to the Reid Reviews. A one year subscription will likely save you at least one lens "mistake". Sean is a regular in this forum, and his lens reviews are of the "data-informed subjective" school.

 

One thing...Don't feel that you must use Leica lens on your M8. There a folks here that claim you MUST. I've seen it stated that the reason a person got an M8 was so that he could use Leica lenses. Interesting point. I got my M8 because I could use a variety of lenses. Different strokes for different folks. But if your budget says you can buy two Leica lenses, or one Leica lens and two or three other brands, it doesn't take a hedge fund manager to figure out what course you might take.

 

As mentioned in an earlier posting, consider how you shoot when selecting that first lens. A 35mm would the first pick if you most often shoot a 50mm in full frame 35mm. But if you tend to carry a wider lens, then a 28mm might be better.

 

For a very fast lens (f/1.4) you might consider something in the slightly-longer-than-normal focal length, to have something when you really want to narrow the DOF. I use a 50mm pre-ASPH Summilux for that.

 

Also remember that the widest lens that uses the M8s internal frames is 24mm (or 25mm in Zeiss or C/V).

 

Welcome to our little group. Don't feel compelled to rush right into your lens purchases, other than that first lens that gets you out and shooting.

 

:)

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As far as I have read on these forums, there seems to be two main "trends" in lenses line-up for the M8, being :

21 - 28 - 75 or

24 - 35 - 90

The core of the systems being usually the 28mm or 35mm lens (FF equivalents of 35 and 50mm). After that it all depends on what you shoot as stated above.

 

Personnally I have settled on 24 - 35 - 85mm (after a lot of trial and error :rolleyes:). I use a 85mm screw mount and put a 50 -75mm adapter on so it brings up the 75mm framelines. I found it to be the most accurate framing solution for a long lens on the M8 (without upgrade). Sometimes I add the 50 if I will be doing a lot of portraits but this three lens combo covers almost any "normal" situation for street photography.

 

The brand and type of lens will depend on your budget and preferences, so I won't give any advice but there are good lenses in any of the three leading brands.

Edited by yanidel
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As far as I have read on these forums, there seems to be two main "trends" in lenses line-up for the M8, being :

21 - 28 - 75 or

24 - 35 - 90, so I won't give any advice but there are good lenses in any of the three leading brands.

 

I'm probably an outlier. I tend to shoot wide, so a three lens kit goes 25 - 35 - 50. The next would be 18. Then 75. Then 12 or 15. I regularly tote 6 lenses.

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As far as I have read on these forums, there seems to be two main "trends" in lenses line-up for the M8, being :

21 - 28 - 75 or

24 - 35 - 90

 

I don't get that lens choice either.

21 & 28, 7mm apart, and then to a 75mm which is 47mm apart.

That leaves a big hole in the middle.

 

Or your other selection.

35>90 which leaves a 55mm gap.

 

Maybe a 50mm in-between on both of them.

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I don't get that lens choice either.

21 & 28, 7mm apart, and then to a 75mm which is 47mm apart.

That leaves a big hole in the middle.

 

Or your other selection.

35>90 which leaves a 55mm gap.

 

Maybe a 50mm in-between on both of them.

This was a general observation that, of course, can prove wrong on many individual basis.

I agree that in both cases a 50mm could be added to have a full line-up, yet 4 lenses can be a hassle and won't bring much more than 3 IMO.

Even if there is only 7mm between 21mm and 28mm, it means a huge difference in FOV. Attached is a file that shows how FOV is increasingly big even if distance between focals diminishes on the wide side (taken with R-D1).

Welcome, dear visitor! As registered member you'd see an image here…

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

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I don't get that lens choice either.

21 & 28, 7mm apart, and then to a 75mm which is 47mm apart.

That leaves a big hole in the middle.

 

Or your other selection.

35>90 which leaves a 55mm gap.

 

Maybe a 50mm in-between on both of them.

 

Well yes one can carry a complete arsenal, but that is not really practical. Your feet can bridge the gaps as well. (Yes- I know about perspective ;))

However, I do find 24 a bit narrow beside the 35. My ideal carry-about set is:

 

(15) - 21 - 35 - 75 - (135)

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The 50mm 1.4 ASPH and 75mm 2.0 AA are both fantastic with M8 use. Although some think they are too sharp- especially the 75mm- I disagree. In fact, the facial image rendering is often exquisite in portraits taken with the 75 even when the focusing is soft.

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This question has been asked a hundred times in the last few years and I never tire of reading the replies. It's fun and educational to see who uses what and why and I suspect that it even changes within the individual over time. One of the main reasons I got an M8 was to carry less compared to my dslr equipment. Then when I got 6 lenses and couldn't decide what to take so I took them all, it was heavier and less convenient then the 5DII, 24-105 L IS and a prime lens... And I rely on the 1.25x viewfinder magnifier which really makes focusing easier but limits the wide end without an accessory viewfinder. The real strength and fun for me with this system is the portability, involvement, the Leica 'look" and incredible lenses. Getting it down to a couple or 3 lenses is a challenge and part of the fun. My minimal kit so far is - 28 cron and 50 lux (the little CV 15- so small and inexpensive it hardly counts). I'm trying to decide if I need or would use the 75 cron or 90... such decisions. Have fun!

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As far as I have read on these forums, there seems to be two main "trends" in lenses line-up for the M8, being :

21 - 28 - 75 or

24 - 35 - 90

The core of the systems being usually the 28mm or 35mm lens (FF equivalents of 35 and 50mm). After that it all depends on what you shoot as stated above.

 

Personnally I have settled on 24 - 35 - 85mm (after a lot of trial and error :rolleyes:). I use a 85mm screw mount and put a 50 -75mm adapter on so it brings up the 75mm framelines. I found it to be the most accurate framing solution for a long lens on the M8 (without upgrade). Sometimes I add the 50 if I will be doing a lot of portraits but this three lens combo covers almost any "normal" situation for street photography.

 

The brand and type of lens will depend on your budget and preferences, so I won't give any advice but there are good lenses in any of the three leading brands.

 

Not my reading of the many lens discussions.

21-35-75 is one favored line up, and 28-50-90 the other one, with a 24mm replacing the 21 or 28 respectively as an alternative. In either line up, the CVs 12 or 15 are excellent additions.

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Well yes one can carry a complete arsenal, but that is not really practical. Your feet can bridge the gaps as well. (Yes- I know about perspective ;))

However, I do find 24 a bit narrow beside the 35. My ideal carry-about set is:

 

(15) - 21 - 35 - 75 - (135)

 

Jaap, just for curiosity, which 75 and 21 are you using. Thought you were a big fan of the 90 cron asph.

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I am finding my M8 kit which consists of the 28 Elmarit and 50 Summilux ASPH to be perfect for me. I am adding a Voigtlander 15 Heliar next week, but if you want to start with a longer lens, I would stick with 50 instead of 75 for your 1st lens. 75 will be too long on an M8.

 

The 50 Lux ASPH is considered my many to be the best 50 in the world. I would probably agree on that if you consider sharp the best.

 

I have reviews of the 50 Lux ASPH and 28 Elmarit on my little web site. Check them out if you like. Good luck!

 

Steve

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Always an enjoyable question, hypothetically speaking. When you actually go somewhere to shoot photographs, the reality of the task sets in. If you have to choose only one camera to take--there are actually forum threads like that--then it would have to be the 35mm Lux. It's perfect for going both ways, or in other words, it's now in the middle with the M8 as the 50mm used to be with the film Ms. The weight/convenience criterion also suggests just one lens, along with not having to change lenses. A two-lens journey, would call for some split around 35, or the choice of two lenses, 28mm and 50mm lenses, or perhaps the 24mm and 50mm lens. Two is still highly portable and these give you a nice chance for portraits on one end and people/travel/landscapes on the other. Then there's those who have to go wider for the latter purposes. That means 21mm or less paired with a 35mm. Use the 35mm for portraits.

 

I've tried carrying 3 lenses, but usually end up leaving one at the hotel when the weight starts to become a factor. All pointing to some kind of two lens solution for the Leica M8.

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Dawn,

 

Given your option between the 50 and 75, I would definitely advise the 50. The 75 will be too long as your "only" lens, unless you plan to pick up a wider FL anytime soon. From what I have read from both users and professional reviews, the CV 50 1.5 is a superb lens. It is reportedly as good or better than the 50 lux ASPH--as told by owners of both lenses.

 

I have the 50 pre lux, which I love for its unique signature and pleasing bokeh. So you have three possible lenses here that I would recommend you consider: CV 50 1.5 (around 375-400 with adapter and all), 50 pre lux (around 1500-1800, depending on the condition), and the 50 lux ASPH (about 2500, if you buy from Robert White in the UK, a reputable dealer offering a 15% instant cash back, about 3500? in the States I believe).

 

Unless you have money to spare, I would go for the CV 50 1.5. I have been very impressed with the capabilities of this lens (see also Sean Reid's reviews on it) and it is so cheap (compared to the other two options) that just trying out the lens, you have nothing to really lose since you could sell it for not much less.

 

As for a total kit, like another poster previously listed, I use the 28 cron', 50 pre lux, and the 90 elmarit. I hope that helps. Have fun with your shopping!

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