Thanks for the review, Paul, and also for posting pictures of the lens on the Bessa - they make a great pair together. And like Jamie, I'm a fan of your B+W landscapes ....
Originally Posted by Mablo
The image quality is awesome. Makes me think of 50/1.4 Summilux quality. Great review, thank you Paul and Roland.
Thanks, Mablo. And I agree with you - I've shot my pre-asph v2 next to the Pentax lens and the images look very similar. Not surprising, since the optical designs are closely related. Even better, the Pentax lens distorts a little less, and has a minimum focus of 0.7m; on the other hand, the Summilux is more compact which is why I'm keeping it.
Originally Posted by Jamie Pillers
Roland... VERY cool modification - thanks for trying it! Just to be clear: the modification is essentially adding the focusing 'cam' to the slr lens so that it pushes the rangefinder wheel in the camera... correct? And can I assume that its not a minor exercise to calculate the dimensions of the cam.. correct? And regarding focus distance: the pentax lens normally has a close-focusing distance of something less than a half a meter. Can the Leica M rangefinder mechanism accomodate this shorter distance, or is the modification limited to 0.7m?
Hi Jamie: the cam is made from a brass pipe by hand, with saw and file. Only in the end is accuracy needed, when I grind it with a stone to match infinity on my reference camera, an M3.
The Pentax SMC lens is a "lucky coincidence", since it's focal length matches the Leica RF standard of 51.6mm. This, I measured before I modified my first copy (a donation from a friend). It guarantees that focus is right at both close focus and infinity. When the lens focuses closer than the camera's minimum focus (0.7m), the RF cam simply decouples.
Enjoy your lens Paul. BTW, it also has a tag in the flickr Leica M forum