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First (and only) lens for M8 - advice please


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I pick up my shiny new black M8 in just over a week. Now I need to decide on what lens to get first. I anticipate ultimately ending up with 24 or 28, 35 and 75mm lenses.

 

So what to get first? I am new to rangefinders so it's difficult to know where to start first.

 

I also shoot a Nikon D2x and have mostly bought second hand but I'm a little nervous with s/h Leica lenses as I know so much less about them. Also what about '6-bit' and coding of non coded lenses, can I do this myself or is it an expensive and long wait to send to Leica?

 

Or can I manage without coding?

 

Any advice welcome.

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28 or 35. I had 28 as only lens for almost a year until I added 75. It worked great. Depending on your taste, one of the two should work fine. It was great having just one lens as only thing needed to think was taking picture.

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Buying used Leica and M-mount lenses is as safe as buying used pro Nikkors. Just take normal precautions in the way of condition, guarantee and being able to return the lens after a day or two if you don't like the way it behaves.

 

At 35mm - probably the best length for a first lens unless you know you want something wider or narrower than 'standard' - coding is desirable but not essential. I used my 35mm Summicron (the model before the current ASPH one) for a year before getting it coded.

 

I'd suggest going for a Summicron (f/2) rather than Summilux (f/1.4) unless you absolutely need the extra speed. Searching for discussion here of the 35mm Summilux or "'lux" (ugh) will show you why. Also the Summarit 35mm and the Voigtlander 35mm f/2.5 have good reputations.

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Ian,

 

Last week someone asked the same ... gave me some time to think about my initial reaction (35mm summilux). Why not stop and tyhink: buy a CV (Voigtlander) 35 or 50, which will cost you somewhere around 500 quid. Use it, try it, see what it does. Fromthere: buy that Leica lens that you really want. So for instance you buy a CV35/f2.5 and take it fom there.

 

Marco

 

ps: or win the lottery and buy them all, 0.9 Noctilux, 1.4 summi, etc. :D

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Summicron 35 Asph - and you'll never regret - OR, for excess of uncertainess, 28 and 35 CV (both 3,5), then sell one (or both) and buy a Leica: nothing against CV lenses, but having a M8 without at least one Leica lens is a pity.

 

Hi Luigi,

 

The 35 is a 2.5.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

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Ian,

 

what will you be using the camera for? will it be your one and only camera or will you use it in conjunction with your nikon?

 

for all purpose 28mm or 35mm is the right way to go. it's surprising how versatile these lenses are. i got the 35 summicron as my first lens, but the 35 summarit is great, too. don't let yourself fool by it's reputation of being a low-budget lens, the differences to the 'cron are minimal.

 

if you like to work wide angle and don't need a particularly fast lens, the 24mm/3.8 elmar could be great choice. i have it as my third lens and there are times it rarely gets off my camera.

 

enclosed a link to some leica lens reviews, a bit wordy, but still insightful ...

 

Home

 

markus

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Depending on your budget and your approach to accumulating your collection, I'd say the 35mm first Zeiss or Cron.

 

That said I've got the Zeiss, Lux and CV 35f/1.2 (went a bit crazy on that one, started with the Zeiss, then wanted a faster lens, so got the CV and then, wanted a smaller lighter lens and got the Lux).

 

When the Lux is working its, magic, but I do have some difficulty hitting the focus all the time on a consistent basis, perhaps due to focus shift at differing aperture settings.

 

After the 35mm, Leica makes an excellent (reasonably priced :eek:, when compared to the Lux) 24 mm Elmarit at f/2.8, I haven't ventured out to the new Lux. I think you'll like 24 Elmarit better than any of the 28mm choices, in terms of the way it draws. I'm a big fan of this one. You can always crop

 

Best

Rob

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For general use, I find the 35 Summicron to be about the best M8 default lens; it's small, fast enough for most situations, crop to a nice 46mm, great images, well built and I can go on and on. If I can have only one lens on my M8, this would be it.

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My first and only lens (at the moment!) is a 35mm. However I went for the Zeiss ZM35 f2 -the images from this lens are superb, sharp at f2 and incredibly sharp from f4. If you are a bokeh fan the ZM has beautiful smooth and not distracting OOF areas. It also has no focus issues like the lux and is less than half the price of the cron.

My intentions are then to get the CV 15 for when I want something really wide and the leica 50 lux for portraits, night work and shooting everything at f1.4!

 

Ps. Have just noticed you're in the UK so I wanted to point out that there are currently huge price variations amoung dealers both on the Internet and on the high street. It seems that price is dictated by when a batch of lenses was imported and what the pound was against the eruro at that time. This includes official Leica UK lenses which still come to the dealers from Europe and are priced in Euros to them.

Edited by jaay
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Thanks everybody for some helpful advice.

 

With the Nikon gear I have: 17-55mm, 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 60mm macro, 105mm DC (special portrait lens), 70-200VR. I do shoot some weddings when the 17-55 gets an outing though its not my favorite lens by a long way.

 

What gets most use is the 50, 105 DC and 70-200 but I am keen to explore street photography more and the D2x is not exactly inconspicuous!

 

On reflection, I think I may be better with a 24, 35 and 75 for the M8 so it will probably make sense for me to get the 35 initially. I had an M6 a couple of years ago for a short while with 50mm elmar but needed to raise some cash and sold them before really getting into 'the groove'. So it's 35mm Summicron or Summarit I guess. Any significant differences between them?

 

I had seen some variation on pricing in dealers and I guess the fluctuating euro is the issue here so I will shop around. Also, I will look to see what I can find s/h. How much below 'new' price should I expect to pay for a mint 'cron - 25%, 40%?

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Your DSLR lens group looks like you have more of a wide angle approach. Before I bought my M8, I shot the M6/7 with a 21mm Elmarit aspheric, 35mm cron aspheric, and a 90mm cron. With the x1.33 I needed an even wider view so I recently purchased the new CV15 M which I would highly recommend for its size and weight, this and the 21mm/35mm combination makes for a nice group for travel

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Your DSLR lens group looks like you have more of a wide angle approach. Before I bought my M8, I shot the M6/7 with a 21mm Elmarit aspheric, 35mm cron aspheric, and a 90mm cron. With the x1.33 I needed an even wider view so I recently purchased the new CV15 M which I would highly recommend for its size and weight, this and the 21mm/35mm combination makes for a nice group for travel

 

Not really as I rarely use the 17-55. The 28 and 35 only get used for panoramics and I forgot to add the 85 f1.4 which is possibly my best and fav lens along with the 105 DC.

 

I am not a lover of flash so love using the 50 & 85 1.4s.

 

I'm pretty sure I'll go for the 35 initially. I can't stretch to the lux pricewise so it may be an interim purchase of a s/h cron. I'll have to see what's about.

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This is totally personal taste, but I found that if I were to choose between 28 and 35, it was 28 because it perfectly fills the VF (I mean enough coverage of VF). But, again everybody has their comfort zone so looks like yours is 35 from what you aready said. Sounds like a plan to me.

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Ian,

I continue to use a reflex for my photos (R8) , but for the M system, i have 2 M8 with on the first a lux 35mm and on second a lux 50mm. Both give very nice luminous photos (see my posts)

But it is the 35mm (who corresponds to one 50mm on M8) that i use most.

Regards

Henry

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i have the 35 summarit and love it. i can't say that i miss the extra half-stop gained with the summicron, yet i don't know what i'm missing. it is also the economical choice.

 

Any other views on the summarit?

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