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What new lens will we see?...


sfokevin

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Given the M9s FF and new frameline configuration one could assume there are a few new lenses on the horizon... An updated 35mm, 135mm or WATE?...

 

The 135 APO-Telyt is one of Leica's best performing M lenses.... no need to update or replace. The WATE does really nicely on the M9... lots of fun. The 35 Cron ASPH is truly stellar on the M9... can't see getting any better. Perhaps the 35 Lux ASPH could get an overhaul to correct for focus shift.

 

I'd like to see the MATE make a comeback. A 28 Lux might be iteresting as would an up-to-date 75 Lux, or even a 24 Cron. What about a TTE (Telephoto Tri-Elmar) 50/75/90 or 75/90/135? That would be really nice for travel where you want some extra reach but don't want to carry a lot more lenses.

 

Looking forward to seeing what lenses come along in the future. Stefan Daniel did say there might be some on the way.

 

David

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[ ... ] What about a TTE (Telephoto Tri-Elmar) 50/75/90 or 75/90/135? That would be really nice for travel where you want some extra reach but don't want to carry a lot more lenses. [ ... ]

The problem with a 50-75-90 would be that the switch from 50 to 75 (or the other way) would not be signalled by a shift in finder frames. The goof potential would be immense. But 75-90-125 would be possible, though I presume the resulting lens would be pretty large and unwieldy.

 

The old man from the Age of Prime Lenses

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Has anyone been keeping count? Leica stated sometime around the start of the year, or perhaps last fall, that there was X lenses on the way. I forget the exact number, but it was something like 24.

 

Carsten,

 

I posted this number previously after I heard Dr. Kaufmann give a keynote address to the LHSA at the 2007 Annual Meeting in Rochester, NY. At that time he indicated 20-24 new lenses in the next two to three years. So far, we've had 9 new M lenses (starting with the 4 Summarits). There are 4 S lenses (with 5 more on the way), So, we're at around 18, which leaves a few to come. He could have also been including the AF R lenses at that time, which were still on the roadmap back then.

 

David

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Interesting, thanks. I hope you are not right about the AF R lenses :)

 

As far as weak lenses in the M lineup, there are really only the 35 Lux ASPH, which needs a redesign to get focus-shift tolerances under control, and the AWOL 75 Lux. Everything else is pretty much already stellar. Another possible exception is the 21 Elmarit ASPH, which is meant to be a touch soft wide open. For an Elmarit lens, it ought to be possible to improve on this a tad, given the kinds of hurdles Leica has been able to overcome in recent years. Oh, the 50 Cron is also due, but it is a timeless classic, and I believe that a Leica feasibility study once showed it to be likely to be too expensive in the end to make a noticeable improvement. One final maybe would be the 90 Macro. I had one, and it was a good lens with nice boke, but not very spectacular, and it might be possible to make it an Elmarit, and maybe to get closer than the 2.5:1 of the current lens with adapter.

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Looking at the present line-up of M-lenses, I am really wondering where you still could spot a hole:

 

Just for the extrema of 16mm and 135mm there is only one option, and i think both lenses will do. For 18, 28, 75, and 90mm you get two; for 21, 24, 35mm three and for 50 mm four options. M-compatible Lenses by Zeiss and Cosina/Voigtländer not counted.

 

Being realist one could only exspect that the oldest lenses (i.e. 50mm Summicron and 35mm Summilux) will perhaps see a new version: asph. for the 50-Cron and no focus-shift for the 35-lux. The 28/35/50 Tri-Elmar might have a new version, but i think that the experiences they had with selling the former one was not too inspiring.

 

Anything else would just cannibalise the present lenses. This might prove a big problem for Leica's future in the long run, as they seem to have met the limits of lens design for the M-System.

 

Edit: I always forget the 90mm Macro-Elmar; so this makes three options for 90mm as well.

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It's funny - I've just never run across focus shift with the 35 f/1.4 ASPH, certainly not using it as a 35 as originally designed.

 

I don't see a lot of holes to fill in the M line (and Stephan Daniel was quoted as saying the line "was complete") - but if the 75 'lux really does turn out to be a sell-out on the used market, an ASPH version might appear.

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My chrome copy of the 35 Lux ASPH has no focus shift that I can see, but I went to my local Leica store to test a brand-new black copy, and it had focus-shift in spades! I was able to provoke it right away, just focusing on something at about 1,5m, shooting it wide open, and then at f/2.8 and f/4. Both the latter images were actually soft where I had focused. This was on a tripod at decent shutter speeds in the daytime, aperture carefully changed between shots.

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Carsten,

 

I posted this number previously after I heard Dr. Kaufmann give a keynote address to the LHSA at the 2007 Annual Meeting in Rochester, NY. At that time he indicated 20-24 new lenses in the next two to three years. So far, we've had 9 new M lenses (starting with the 4 Summarits). There are 4 S lenses (with 5 more on the way), So, we're at around 18, which leaves a few to come. He could have also been including the AF R lenses at that time, which were still on the roadmap back then.

 

David

 

I’m looking forward to new lenses as well although I take most anything the good Dr. Kaufmann says with a grain of salt. I'm much more receptive to comments from Stephan Daniel who doesn’t spin the marketing hype. I sold my M8 kit and a few of Leica primes and I'm practically starting over again. BTW: I really enjoyed your M9 review.

Regards,

Edited by Daniel Ortego
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My chrome copy of the 35 Lux ASPH has no focus shift that I can see, but I went to my local Leica store to test a brand-new black copy, and it had focus-shift in spades! I was able to provoke it right away, just focusing on something at about 1,5m, shooting it wide open, and then at f/2.8 and f/4. Both the latter images were actually soft where I had focused. This was on a tripod at decent shutter speeds in the daytime, aperture carefully changed between shots.

 

I don't know if it is the same on the M9, but I find the Summilux 35mm very irritating on the M8. Backfocus wide-open, focus-shift between f/2 and f/4... it is a nightmare.

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Idealy, I'd like to see a faster 28-35-50 MATE - either f/2.8 or even f/2 would be fabulous assuming that it didn't end up being the length of the 135 APO-Telyt and girth of the Noctilux or 21/24 Summiluxes.

 

Heck, I'd like to see even a reformulated MATE at f/4 ...

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I personally would not mind a 21-35 combo similar to the limited (800 reportedly made) Hexanon. It is a great travel lens and should sing on the M9.

 

That lens would be great. The current WATE is 16-18-21, and the MATE was 28-35-50, so this "in the middle" multifocal lens would fit well: 21-24-28.

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Seems to me the gap is the 28/1.4 ASPH. I've not had any focus shift problems with my 35/1.4 Aspherical. The opportunity is there for Leica to make another First: a 35/1.0

 

Also, 75/1.4 ASPH and possibly a new 50/2.0

 

The other exciting type of lenses I'd like to see Leica bringing to market are pancake lenses, similar to the 40/2.0, in various FLs

 

That about rounds out the lens line-up in the hi-speed, light-weight, low light category :D

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Another possible exception is the 21 Elmarit ASPH, which is meant to be a touch soft wide open.

 

That has not been my experience at all with this lens on either my M7 or M8s. It may not be as crisp as my 24 Asph wide open, but I certainly would not classify it as soft.

 

My chrome copy of the 35 Lux ASPH has no focus shift that I can see, but I went to my local Leica store to test a brand-new black copy, and it had focus-shift in spades! I was able to provoke it right away, just focusing on something at about 1,5m, shooting it wide open, and then at f/2.8 and f/4. Both the latter images were actually soft where I had focused. This was on a tripod at decent shutter speeds in the daytime, aperture carefully changed between shots.

 

This has been my experience as well with three copies of the 35 Cron Asph; good at 2 and 2.8, and then focus-shift at f/4 and f/5.6. Rather disappointing actually.

Edited by jplomley
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