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Leica M9 and Leica vs. Zeiss 18mm


carstenw

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So, the question on my mind is how these two lenses compare on the M9. On the M8, the Zeiss had a reputation of being as good as the Leica, but full frame might change somehting in that relationship. Has anyone been able to test them yet?

 

I've tried the Leica 18 and liked it so much that I am probably going to sell my CV15 (magenta/cyan shift issues on the M9) and get the Leica. It's small, sharp across the frame, and feels nicer than the CV, apart from it's elephant foreskin lenshood, whereas the CV's hood has been, err... you get the picture...

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I've tried the Leica 18 and liked it so much that I am probably going to sell my CV15 (magenta/cyan shift issues on the M9) and get the Leica. It's small, sharp across the frame, and feels nicer than the CV, apart from it's elephant foreskin lenshood, whereas the CV's hood has been, err... you get the picture...

 

:)

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To judge from published MTF graphs, the Zeiss lens should be marginally less sharp in the corners than the Leica number. None of them will be used as copy lenses, imaging perfectly flat surfaces exactly perpendicular to the optical axis. They will be used on three-dimensional subjects, and both lenses have ample d.o.f. even wide open. So the question may be moot how much difference this makes in practice. When I have used the Distagon on film, results have been very good indeed.

 

Leica and Zeiss MTF graphs are available on both companies' web sites.

 

The old man from the Age of the Hologon

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To judge from published MTF graphs, the Zeiss lens should be marginally less sharp in the corners than the Leica number. None of them will be used as copy lenses, imaging perfectly flat surfaces exactly perpendicular to the optical axis. They will be used on three-dimensional subjects, and both lenses have ample d.o.f. even wide open. So the question may be moot how much difference this makes in practice. When I have used the Distagon on film, results have been very good indeed.

 

Leica and Zeiss MTF graphs are available on both companies' web sites.

 

The old man from the Age of the Hologon

 

do you know whether the zeiss 18mm gives colorshifts on the image edges? btw, over in the m8 forum there is a thread on the leica 18mm, showing horrible red shifts...maybe a (non) filter issue.

peter

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do you know whether the zeiss 18mm gives colorshifts on the image edges? btw, over in the m8 forum there is a thread on the leica 18mm, showing horrible red shifts...maybe a (non) filter issue.

peter

I haven't had a chance to try it on a M9 yet. It works like a charm on a M8 (with a B+W 486 filter, coded as a WATE, set to 18).

 

The old man from the Age of the Hologon

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The red shift in the edges will result of underexposing those parts of the picture. If you care for this, it will not give you - much- problems. Though I still think that the present settings for the 3.8/18-Super Elmars could be reduced a little bit to avoid overcompensation of cyan- to red drift.

 

Two examples (with the M8):

 

 

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do you know whether the zeiss 18mm gives colorshifts on the image edges? btw, over in the m8 forum there is a thread on the leica 18mm, showing horrible red shifts...maybe a (non) filter issue.

peter

 

Those shots refer to the Leica 18mm used without filter on an M8 but with the menu selection set to WITH filter. Someone notes in that same thread that the problem is all gone with the M9...

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Hi There

Don't forget the WATE . . . . in my experience it changed from a fiddly, and not quite wide enough, lens on the M8 to a real joy on the M9. The LFI report on wide angles showed what a good performer it is. My experience is that the corners are good, even at 16mm. It focuses very close.

The other thing is that having removed the filter adapter it's a small neat and relatively light lens.

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Those shots refer to the Leica 18mm used without filter on an M8 but with the menu selection set to WITH filter. Someone notes in that same thread that the problem is all gone with the M9...

 

If you mean this thread: http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-forum/leica-m8-forum/98846-red-shift-3-8-18-super.html with examples given here http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-forum/forum-zur-leica-m8/98843-problem-mit-dem-super-elmar-18mm.html , the red shift issue, is not only there when you don't use filters but the setting for UV/IR "ON". It will be very strong, if you make this fault, but it is still visible under certain conditions if you use filters and the correct setting.

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Hi There

Don't forget the WATE . . . . in my experience it changed from a fiddly, and not quite wide enough, lens on the M8 to a real joy on the M9. The LFI report on wide angles showed what a good performer it is. My experience is that the corners are good, even at 16mm. It focuses very close.

The other thing is that having removed the filter adapter it's a small neat and relatively light lens.

 

Jono,

 

Can you use the little standard screw on hood on the WATE (after removing the Milich filter holder if fitted), without vignetting on the M9. I would not want to use the alternative Frankenhood, which doubles up as the 67mm filter holder. I am aware that the Milich 49mm filter adapter does cause vignetting on full frame.

 

Wilson

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Hi There

Don't forget the WATE . . . . in my experience it changed from a fiddly, and not quite wide enough, lens on the M8 to a real joy on the M9. The LFI report on wide angles showed what a good performer it is. My experience is that the corners are good, even at 16mm. It focuses very close.

The other thing is that having removed the filter adapter it's a small neat and relatively light lens.

 

you are referring to using the WATE on the M9 i suppose?

peter

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Jono,

 

Can you use the little standard screw on hood on the WATE (after removing the Milich filter holder if fitted), without vignetting on the M9. I would not want to use the alternative Frankenhood, which doubles up as the 67mm filter holder. I am aware that the Milich 49mm filter adapter does cause vignetting on full frame.

 

Wilson

 

HI Wilson - yes, that's what I'm using - needs care with the front element I guess, but works for me.

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The red shift in the edges will result of underexposing those parts of the picture. If you care for this, it will not give you - much- problems. Though I still think that the present settings for the 3.8/18-Super Elmars could be reduced a little bit to avoid overcompensation of cyan- to red drift.

 

That's true for some other wide lenses even on the M8 - the cyan drift compensation is a bit too strong.

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jono,

how do the corners hold up?and distortion? thanks, peter

 

Hi Peter

Excellently - the corners are not quite as pristine as with the M8, but it's a very close run thing. There is a little distortion, but again, although I'd use it more for landscape than architecture, it's really good.

There is an LFI article on wide angle lenses in one of the recent issues, and you can see how well it does on film there.

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