View Full Version : Lens selection??? Recommendations
I'm looking for a 75mm to 90mm range M mount lens. I'll be using it on a R2, R3a, and M6 (or M5 or ?? still open on Leica body). What are some good quality lenses in that range, and which ones should be avoided? I prefer top quality glass, however a 2nd tier lens at a substantial price difference would also peak my interest, while bargain basement lenses with mediocre performance won't get a second glance.
Good links for lens reviews would also be appreciated.
Thanks in advance
both the cv lenses gets great reviews.
i have the 75/2.5, it's a good focal length and so far sharp enough for my photography.
What are you going to use the lens for? Street shooting, landscape, portraits? It can make a difference, some are sharp (too sharp) and some are soft.
The 75mm Summilux is said to be simply incomparable. Rumor has it that Leica is planning a lighter/smaller lens in this focal length, maybe an f/2 Summicron or f/2.8 Elmarit.
Somehow I like the 75mm view better than the 90mm, but you may prefer the opposite. My 90 is a Tele-Elmarit, and the 75 is the Voigtlander Heliar. The Heliar has a good reputation for sharpness and pleasant bokeh.
Other than these, there are the Canons and Nikkors. Jupiter-9 would be the least expensive, but many have had problems where it may focus well at distance but be off at portrait distances, or vice versa. I recall Roger had this experience...
Ditto what Doug said about the 75mm summilux. I have the 90/2 summicron and it's awesome but big/heavy.
I'd be using it for general use. Just about anything from portraits, candids, street, etc. Basically anything a typical short tele would be used for.
I'd like to end up with a 2 lens kit, or 3 lenses max. Most of my 'work' is on film and digital SLR's, and I want the RF kit for personal use, hence the general nature of its usage.
I am leaning toward 28mm or 35mm, with a 75mm for the longer end. The wide angle lens would need to be fast (f1.4 to f2), but the 75mm or 90mm would be fine at f2.8(preferred) or even f3.5 or f4.
I've got the CV 35mm f2.5, and would sell that to get a faster lens in either 35mm or 28mm.
35 & 75 combo are ideal as a 2 lens kit.
the cv 75 is very small and light weight.
at 2.5 the 35 not the fastest but unless you're thinking night/low light with a slower film it works pretty well with 400 and faster film.
Stephen, if you are buying new, here are two options that you may not have considered:
1. Rollei/Zeiss 80/2.8 Planar - at B&H $1395 (chrome) or $1449 (black) - same price as the Leica 90/2.8. I spoke with one user, who is also a Leica owner, & he raved about it, saying that it is better than his Leica. Popular Photography also reviewed it; you can read the review on their website. You may want to contact the distributor, Rollei-USA, in New Jersey to see if you can get a better price by buying direct from them.
2. If you are willing to wait, I have to think that Cosina will come out with a Voigtlander 90 faster than the current f/3.5 sometime within the next year now that they have the R3A with its 1x magnification.
Otherwise your choices are the obvious ones between Leica & Voigtlander, German prices vs Japanese prices. I find the Voigtlander 75/2.5 to be an excellent lens. I believe that the Leica 90/2.8 has been discontinued, so you may not find it everywhere, but it is still available at B&H, Adorama, etc. If I'm wrong, someone will correct me.
Good luck with your decision
Perhpas not what you had in mind but the Jupiter-9 85/2 is a realy nice lens, and cheap as chips. Get a 2'' tube shaped hood for it and you'll be heading for some shots. I was really surprised to see the quality of the images with this lens.
I will add another vote for the CV 75/2.5 Heliar. This is from another happy user of this lens. Very good results at a very good price. I think there is one available on ebay right now if you do that.
Oops, sorry it is a 90, also supposed to be very good.
(Hey, if you are looking for a chrome 75, buy a black one and I will trade you for my chrome one.)
Enough about me.
There was a lot of talk about the bargin priced (@150ish) Leica LTM 90 Elmar. You may want to search for those threads.
Two more in the fast line-up:
1) Leica 90mm F2 Summicron; Look at Todd Hanz's Folder.
2) Nikon 8.5cm F2 Nikkor in Thread Mount, need an adapter
and Cheap, sharp, but you need to find one calibrated for the Leica;
Jupiter-9 85mm f2 in Leica Thread Mount
I currently use a (thin) Tele-Elmarit which is tiny and light in weight - a great travel lens. It is soft at f2.8 though. The best 90mm I have used (and I regret selling it) is the f2.8 Hexanon-M made by Konica. IMHO, the optics in this lens are well up to Leica standards, and the build quality is way beyond Leica.
Unfortunately when Konica merged with Minolta the Hexar and it's lenses were discontinued. You can still find the 90mm on eBay and in the used section at places like B&H Photo in NYC.
Lots of options here. Thanks for all the help. In many ways, it would appear to make sense to just get the 75/2.5 unless I really want something faster. All the feedback on this lens is great, and the Leica alternatives don't seem to merit the price difference based on the difference in image quality.
Good choice, Stephen. It would be hard to justify an extra $1000 for one of the others over this excellent lens. In addition to performance, the thing I really like about this lens is how compact it is for a short tele. Enjoy it!
BTW, Stephen, the hard-to-find Konica Hexanon 90/2.8 is available new in New Jersey for $499. Since it is praised above & much closer in price to the Voigtlander, I thought you might be interested.
Thanks Huck. However, feeling very efficient today, I already ordered the 75/2.5. One of the reason I enjoy the RF's are their compact nature. The 75/2.5 really fits along the same theme.
that was fast!
i'm pretty sure you will like the 75. on my bessa r it's just a nice handfull.
What a prompt action!
Just before I tempting you w/. this photo of my 75!:D
And here's a pic of what you didn't get, that beaut Hexanon-M 90/2.8, $350-400 on eBay.
Peter, you are a mean guy. BTW, i'm running over to e-bay right now to check it out.
Oops. I wrote that too loosely. What I meant was that $350-400 is what a used one goes for on eBay, not that there was one there right now. Sorry! :o
However there is a brand-new 28mm/f2.8 Hexanon-M on sale on the 'Bay right now. Those Hexanons are nice! :)
here's another one (http://www.igorcamera.com/leica_copies.htm)
at the bottom of the page - under misc. i think
At school i've learned that portraitlense's start from 80 mm. And all shorter lenses will show distortion. Especially with close portraits: The person will show an (relative) big nose for example.
Anybody having this problem with the 75 summilux?
To be clear: Me myself, till now i mostly of the time i use my 35mm.
I think the teacher forgot that there was a 75mm focal length, otherwise he would have stated that portrait lenses start at 75mm, not 80mm.
It also depends on "Head and Shoulder" portrait, or if you are backed off a bit more.
If anyone has this problem with their 75mm Summilux, I will be glad to trade them an 85mm F2 Nikkor for it.
Frances Schultz, wife of Roger Hicks, wrote a report for our UK Black & White Photography mag last month of the 75mm f2 Apo-Summicron and was v impressed. So she should be at £1558! But if you can live with the cost, it is something special. 125 line pairs per mil apparently, for the scientific minded. She reckons it is much sharper and contrastier than the Summilux.
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