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M8 and Lens purchase questions....


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Greetings all,

With the onset of the M9, The M8 has at long last fallen within my realm of financial feasibility. $3000 with a bit of room to spare seems my price point for the body. My main questions are that of the lenses. I would like to keep the lens price under 1000 which I realize rules out anything new. I look to the older 50mm f1.4 or f2. I also see an 1.5 as well.

 

How far back down the Leica lens history do you suggest I go? Will the necessary IR filter that M8's require be mountable on such a lens? any performance loss with the old and new technology mingling together?

 

your suggestions,comments and advice will be greatly appreciated.

 

here are links to various lenses on ebay that have caught my attention. I know of no reason why any of these would be ill advised for an M8. If you can think of any reason why any of these should be avoided please pass on your knowledge.

my thanks.

~Lukas,

 

Leica Summilux M Bayonet Lens 50mm f/1.4,M2,M3,M4,M5,M6 on eBay.ca (item 110413908375 end time 26-Sep-09 12:34:52 EDT)

 

LEICA M BAYONET 50MM 1.5 SUMMARIT. (1955) M8.! on eBay.ca (item 400073104900 end time 20-Sep-09 14:00:47 EDT)

 

LEICA 50mm Summicron - M f2 Black Lens - Pristine Glass on eBay.ca (item 250484983010 end time 17-Sep-09 22:08:31 EDT)

 

LEICA M SUMMICRON 50MM F2 LENS WITH FRONT & REAR CAPS on eBay.ca (item 180406289486 end time 17-Sep-09 12:27:12 EDT)

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Hello. Welcome to the M8 world. Are you sure you want a 50mm lens to start with? Don't forget the 1.3 crop factor on the M8. To get a similar view of a 50 mm on film, you need to get a 35mm lens. A version 4 "king of bokeh" summicron pre ASPH can be had in good condition for $1200 - $1500. You could view it as a savings bond (the price won't go down, unless you drop it.

) Cosina Voigtlander makes great lenses. Especially for the money. The 35 mm 2.5 color skopar is fantastic - especially for $300. The Nokton 35mm 1.2 for $879 is very nice (and fun) too. Popflash has a brand new Leica Summarit 35 2.5 for $1157.

If you do want a 50mm lens, Voigtlander has a 50mm Nokton 1.5 which is very nice, and affordable. A vintage Leica "Rigid" Summicron is very nice too and very popular. CV is re issuing their two heliar 50mm lenses - 3.5 and 2.0 - in special nickel collectors editions. They are both fantastic.

Anyway.....I could go on forever. Enjoy your camera when you get it.

Hope this helps.

Stephen.

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thanks for the reply, I am not set on the 50mm - I realize the crop will be a bit of a hindrance but Iv'e got to do this in stages. The 35 is next on my list in the hopefully not to distant future. If a good 35mm comes along Ill grab it when I can. The 50 just seems the less expensive option at this point - which is a deciding point. Id also like to keep in the Leica family of lenses - call me a snobby purist - and I haven't even got the camera yet....

F2 is as small as I want to go as well - low light shooting is a favourite of mine and F2 my most loved aperture.

 

thanks for the advice!

~L

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1. With the 1.33 crop factor, 50mm is effectively about 67mm - that focal length is neither here nor there... 35mm (effectively about 47mm) would be closer to being "standard" and possibly more "usable", depending on what/how you plan to shoot.

 

2. Unless you are set on getting "Leica" or "Leitz" made lens, Zeiss and Voigtlander offer very attractive alternatives and under the one-grand budget.

 

3. I personally would refrain from buying "old" lenses off eBay, despite what the seller claims the condition they are in... You might be better off trying to source one from the Buy & Sell section here, Getdpi, or the rangefinderforum sales fora.

 

4. Going back to the "make" - if you must get a "Leica" (and on a budget), do take a look at the (entry-level?) Summarits. They are not as fast as the crons or luxes, but they are crazy sharp and present very good value; already coded for use on the M8/9, users will have one less thing to worry about. The 35mm Summarit, IMO, is a superb lens (for the money).

 

5. You will need to use UV/IR cut filters, unless you really like purple or plan to shoot in B&W. Wide-angle lenses, with the filter, should be 6-bit coded in order for the camera's software to adjust for the vignetting; or you can use Cornerfix later during processing... Hopefully, Leica will upgrade the firmware to include manual lens selection in which case lens coding should no longer be necessary.

 

6. If you want a fast "affordable" 50mm, you should take a look at the new CV 50mm/1.1 Nokton as well.

 

Just my 2 cents... I'm sure the more seasoned members here can offer better opinions and recommendations.

 

Good luck with your search

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Hello,

I was in a similar situation when I bought my m8 and could only afford it with affordable glass. I bought several different lenses which I bought and sold used while sorting out what I liked/wanted, all of who which were good, and had a total value (when bought used) of about $1000.

I started with just a german leica pre asph v4 35mm summicron, which I bought used from a dealer for £699. After a month of using it I felt it was not wide enough or fast enough all the time, so I sold it and bought a voigtlander 28mm 1.9 and a 35mm 1.2, the 35mm was too big though and, although a lot of fun and a steller lens, stayed at home. So I sold the 1.2 and bought a voigtlander 35mm 1.7 and a 25mm f4 with the money.

I've been very happy with this combination which for the same price of the 'cron gives me the option of choosing small, fast, wide or a combination of these, and all great performers. Also they only use 2 Ir filters between them.

I would recommend buying from someone reputable, in London we have a great shop called aperture cameras which sell used m lenses for a reasonable price and will let you walk out of the shop and try them. They also make great coffee!

Voigtlander lenses are a great choice on the m8 - a real advantage of a cropped sensor!

Enjoy, it's a great camera

gawain

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thanks!

I have been using a 50mm F1.4 on a DX format Nikon for a number of years and am quite used to the cropping. My eye for the 50mm frame is quite long as the DX crop is 1.5 and iv grown accustomed to it. When I shoot with my old Nikkormat Film body I'm amazed at how wide 50mm actually is so I don't think the 67mm frame will hinder me all that much.

I will look into those other brands as a means of acquiring a decent second lens. A 50 and a 35 will suffice and if I can get one of the two for a few hundred then that could be justified.

thanks both of you.

~L

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Try to get hold of a 2nd hand 35 Summicron ASPH, if you can find one within your budget.

Alternatively I can recommend the Zeiss 28/2.8, and/or 35/2. The recent Summarits are also pretty good lenses at more reasonable cost. For a longer focal length, consider the CV 75/2.5 which Sean Reid give a very favourable thumbs-up to.

 

If you want a 50mm - the Elmar-M 50/2.8 collapsable (beware and never mount/unmount it collapsed) is a wickedly good lens.

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Hallo

I got the M8 with 35mm summarit but for me that focal length is neither wide enough or long enough so 2 lenses are important for me. I find i shoot wider with the M8 than i do with an slr but i still love long lenses. I have the 28 summacron f2 and it is very nice but i wish i had got the 24 elmarit instead, just for the extra bit of width i need sometimes and it looks wonderful. I really like the zeiss 50 f2 planar i have but i covet the summilux asph more than the M9 and wish i could have that lens. Next on my list but i will probably never afford it

is the 75 summicron.

Good luck, it is great to have this camera and very important to choose the lenses with the signature you love. It's not just about amazing sharpness with the lenses for Leica, it's also very much about character and that is such a treat.

Lucy;)

Flickr: 'Lulu''s Photostream

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Hello. Welcome to the M8 world. Are you sure you want a 50mm lens to start with? Don't forget the 1.3 crop factor on the M8.

Stephen.

 

Why does everyone say this. A 50mm lens is still a 50mm lens whether it is used on a FF 35mm camera, a medium format camera or a smaller format camera like the M8.

A 50mm lens still makes a good all around lens to start with.

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Why does everyone say this. A 50mm lens is still a 50mm lens whether it is used on a FF 35mm camera, a medium format camera or a smaller format camera like the M8.

A 50mm lens still makes a good all around lens to start with.

 

Because everyone thinks in terms of 35mm equivalent lenses, and 50mm gives allegedly the eye-equivalent field of view. If we'd all started with medium format we'd be converting this to 80mm medium format equivalents instead.

 

Of course this does not mean that 50mm is the best place to start, it depends on what you want to photograph.

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Just an FYI:

 

When I got my M8 2 years ago, the only lens I had for it for quite a while was the CV25/4.

 

I then picked up a CV15, 35/2.5, 40/1.4sc, 50/2.5 and 90 just as experiments.

 

The CV25 was used about 90% of the time.

 

Then with my wifes' insistence, (honestly) I recently picked up a Summicron 28. I sold the 35 recently on ebay, with coded mount. I think the buyer got a good deal; it is certainly a very nice lens. Same with the 40/1.4sc - it is now sold.

 

Right now, the Summicron 28 is on the camera 90% of the time.

 

I *think* I'm going to end up with:

Zeiss 18; (to replace the cv15?)

Summicron 28; (replaces the cv25?)

Summicron/Summilux 50; (to replace the cv50?)

CV 90.

 

(with the cv15, 25, 50 as question marks. keep or sell? that is a decision for the future)

 

I have found that at times I wished for more speed than the CV 15, 25, 35, and 50 gave me. The 40/1.4sc was an interesting lens, but *I* did not like the results wide open. This is the reason for the faster 28 and 50 in the above list. This is a double-edged sword; the faster lenses are more expensive and larger; there are times (eg, wilderness camping) when maybe the slower/cheaper lenses might be a better choice.

 

But to sum up; I think the CV25/4 is a *fantastic* first lens choice.

 

 

JohnS.

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Because everyone thinks in terms of 35mm equivalent lenses, and 50mm gives allegedly the eye-equivalent field of view. If we'd all started with medium format we'd be converting this to 80mm medium format equivalents instead.

 

Of course this does not mean that 50mm is the best place to start, it depends on what you want to photograph.

 

No that is not correct. A 50mm lens can never give you the FOV of what the eye sees.

It is called a normal lens because what it does capture is close to what the eye sees as far as magnification. If the subject is 4 feet away or 100 feet away when the image was taken looking at the image everything in the image looks the same distance and size wise as what the eye saw.

 

I'm sitting in my office at work looking at my computer monitor. If I was to use a lens on a 35mm camera that captured what I can see on my left and right, Angle of view, I'd need a 12 or 10mm lens, a angle of view around 160º-175º. But then the computer monitor would look like if was 20 or more feet away from me.

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You just have so many options/combos available.

For less than $1000, you should be able to find a nice used 50 summicron and a new CV 35/1.4.

 

The thing is, you'll have to work pretty hard to find a truly bad lens for the camera. And if you are like most users of these forums - you'll be trying out (selling/trading/buying) different lenses before too long.

So just get one or two of them and start shooting.

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No that is not correct. A 50mm lens can never give you the FOV of what the eye sees.

It is called a normal lens because what it does capture is close to what the eye sees as far as magnification. If the subject is 4 feet away or 100 feet away when the image was taken looking at the image everything in the image looks the same distance and size wise as what the eye saw.

 

I'm sitting in my office at work looking at my computer monitor. If I was to use a lens on a 35mm camera that captured what I can see on my left and right, Angle of view, I'd need a 12 or 10mm lens, a angle of view around 160º-175º. But then the computer monitor would look like if was 20 or more feet away from me.

 

Well if we're all going to get pedantic about it, you might want to do a google search on 50mm 'normal' lens and you'll find more references than you can shake a stick at that will explain what 'normal' means - hint: it's not the full FoV that your eyes possess ... there's more to it than that.

 

(and I know that we could argue all day long that a cropped 50mm isn't the same as a 67mm nor is a cropped 35mm the same as 50mm on 24x36mm FF ... hence the desire of the FF cameras)

Edited by gwelland
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No that is not correct. A 50mm lens can never give you the FOV of what the eye sees.

It is called a normal lens because what it does capture is close to what the eye sees as far as magnification. If the subject is 4 feet away or 100 feet away when the image was taken looking at the image everything in the image looks the same distance and size wise as what the eye saw.

 

I'm sitting in my office at work looking at my computer monitor. If I was to use a lens on a 35mm camera that captured what I can see on my left and right, Angle of view, I'd need a 12 or 10mm lens, a angle of view around 160º-175º. But then the computer monitor would look like if was 20 or more feet away from me.

 

Shootist,

 

I presume that you have two eyes. As you rightly point out, what you call your "field of view" is significantly increased by using both of them. Most of what you see to left and right is peripheral vision, however.

 

Close one eye, and estimate what angle of view from the other eye is truly in focus. I think you'd complain like mad if you had a 12mm lens that couldn't focus into the corners, even at distant objects.

 

dpstjp

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Why does everyone say this. A 50mm lens is still a 50mm lens whether it is used on a FF 35mm camera, a medium format camera or a smaller format camera like the M8.

A 50mm lens still makes a good all around lens to start with.

 

What is a a good all around lens is not determined by the focal length but the Field of View.

 

The 50 mm was/is considered a good all around lens for 35mm cameras because of the FoV it gives.

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Greetings all,

With the onset of the M9, The M8 has at long last fallen within my realm of financial feasibility. $3000 with a bit of room to spare seems my price point for the body. My main questions are that of the lenses. I would like to keep the lens price under 1000 which I realize rules out anything new. I look to the older 50mm f1.4 or f2. I also see an 1.5 as well.

 

How far back down the Leica lens history do you suggest I go? Will the necessary IR filter that M8's require be mountable on such a lens? any performance loss with the old and new technology mingling together?

 

your suggestions,comments and advice will be greatly appreciated.

 

here are links to various lenses on ebay that have caught my attention. I know of no reason why any of these would be ill advised for an M8. If you can think of any reason why any of these should be avoided please pass on your knowledge.

my thanks.

~Lukas,

 

Leica Summilux M Bayonet Lens 50mm f/1.4,M2,M3,M4,M5,M6 on eBay.ca (item 110413908375 end time 26-Sep-09 12:34:52 EDT)

 

LEICA M BAYONET 50MM 1.5 SUMMARIT. (1955) M8.! on eBay.ca (item 400073104900 end time 20-Sep-09 14:00:47 EDT)

 

LEICA 50mm Summicron - M f2 Black Lens - Pristine Glass on eBay.ca (item 250484983010 end time 17-Sep-09 22:08:31 EDT)

 

LEICA M SUMMICRON 50MM F2 LENS WITH FRONT & REAR CAPS on eBay.ca (item 180406289486 end time 17-Sep-09 12:27:12 EDT)

 

Of the lenses you quote, you don't go wrong if you find a good Summicron 50. If, for the various reasons above mentioned, you'd prefer a 35 and don't search for top luminosity, a Summaron 35 f 2,8 is an excellent and no costly choice, so as a Summicron-C 40 f2 (but this one poses a little problem of UVIR filter, while the other 2 are std. E39). My idea behind is that to have a Leica without at least a Leica lens is a pity... most for irrational reasons, I admit... CV lenses can indeed be very good.

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