View Full Version : 50mm lens for some landscape work
I have a leica m3 with a collapsible summicron and I would like to buy a second 50mm lens for landscape photos. Although everyone has their taste about how they want their details and contrast rendered I would think a lens that would render higher detail with more contrast would be a good complement to the collapsible. From what I have learned from reading the forums I think a canon 50mm 1.8 or a later model summicron would be a good choice.
BTW, I would be shooting slide film for scanning.
Any opinions on my options?
A late 50/2 Summicon or ZM Planar should be fine. I don't think a Cannon will be quite as sharp if you want the ultimate in high contrast.
I know it's a matter of taste, but when I'm shooting high contrast slide film, like Velvia, I find that a more moderate contrast lens works better. I have used a C/V Heliar Classic 50/2 and I like the results very much. I've also used a lower contrast Minolta SLR 50mm and I think it works even better. This is especially true if you're scanning your slides, because the scanner has trouble with high contrast film.
I understand if you want to keep your kit simple and stick with the RF, but an SLR really is a better tool for landscapes. You could pick up an old Minolta manual focus SLR and a very sharp 50mm for $100 and it will allow you to use filters you can't use with your RF. I have a whole seperate landscape kit with several high quality lenses and all added up it cost about the same as my Heliar Classic.
Thanks for your suggestions.
At F4 the Canon 50/1.8 is very sharp and does have higher contrast than the collapsible Summicron. It is not a "high-Contrast" lens, but should work well with slide film. I've found that modern high-contrast lenses tend to lose shadow detail on slide film as it has less latitude than negative film.
But again- these things are personal taste. For outdoor secic shots, a coated 50mm Elmar is also good. The Canon 50/1.8 will cost less than than the alternatives named, should run $100~$150 for a good one.
Any 50 at F/4-8 will do the job!
if 50/2 'cron is on your radar, then consider the 50/2 hexanon as an option.
The CV Nokton 50/1.5 is also worth considering for landscape work.
How about a 40/2 Summicron-C or Rokkor ? Works well on M3 (use full viewfinder), very sharp and contrasty a bit closed down.
I have the Collapsible and the Dual Range Summicrons, and the DR is a lot crisper in its redition of fine detail. I would recommend the Rigid, though. It's the same optical cell as the DR, but without the close-focusing ability. This makes it quite a bit lighter, I'm told, and it also has a focusing tab, which I got very used to with the collapsible.
Thanks again for lens suggestions.
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