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Which one for M-E, Planar 50 2 or Nokton 50 1.5?
Old 10-20-2016   #1
Ko.Fe.
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Which one for M-E, Planar 50 2 or Nokton 50 1.5?

Currently I have Rigid Cron and original J-3. One on M3, another on FED-2.
Both are doing well on bw film and darkroom prints. I quickly tested them on M-E for indoor and don't like it comparing to what Summarit-M 35 2.5 and Elmarit-M 28 2.8 III gives digitally.

I would like to switch from Rigid Cron to newer lens and use it at M-E for family pictures and on M3 for reportage, street and landscape.
Since I have Summarit-M already in 35mm, I would like to have 50mm with different rendering. I don't have money for Canadian Cron, but after selling of Rigid I might be able to afford 50 2 Planar or Nokton 50 1.5 VM.

I'm more after Zeiss because it has saturated colors, focus bump (I need it to be not disoriented) and it was reported to be good on bw film/prints.
But maybe Nokton VM 50 1.5 is real remedy at f1.5 and ISO1600 on M-E for indoors family pictures? For now I'm getting sharp, good colors indoor pictures with bounced flash on ISO200-800 and at f5.6-8.
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Old 10-20-2016   #2
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Kost. I would opt for the Planar. I don't have much experience with the Nokton, but I've used the Planar a bit, and its great on the digital sensor. Of course, if you're interested in low contrast with pastel colors, its not the lens for you. If you want really sharp at all apertures, high contrast, no distortion, high flare resistance and great saturated colors, the Planar is a good choice.
About the only thing "bad" about the Planar is the contrast. Sometimes people think its too much contrast. Also, the focus bump is different than the Leica tab, but I seem to manage with it OK.
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Old 10-20-2016   #3
Erik van Straten
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I have the Nokton-M 50mm f/1.5 (chrome); it is a great lens, both mechanically and optically. Closeups at full aperture are wonderful.

Leica MP, Nokton-M 50mm f/1.5, Tmax400.

Erik.

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Old 10-20-2016   #4
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I think it's a real pity to give up the Rigid Summicron, especially since it appears you often work in BW.

I never used the Nokton, though I really would like to, but I've use the Planar and thought is was pretty good lens. I sold it because I did not like the ergonomics and I preferred the rendering of a Planar for a different mount.

Here are a couple of things to consider about the ZM Planar: it has 1/3 f-stop detents. That works well for cameras with AE, like your M-E, but less so with meterless cameras like the M3 and the Fed, it's a pain. The "nub" is good for getting your bearing, as you say, but it's less pleasant in use than a classic tab. The Nokton looks better on that front. For 50s, the tab for me is less useful because I'm less comfortable zone focusing without looking at the lens (like I can on a 35), but it doesn't seem to be aproblem for you, so the ZM might be better ergonomically than the "guess where I'm focused" design of the Nokton.
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Old 10-20-2016   #5
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I like both of your choices very much optically.
The planar would be my choice however. It's just a great all around lens.
Maybe the "best" f2/50mm ever made for any mount.
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Old 10-20-2016   #6
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You cannot go wrong with either lens... two of my favorites (along with the 50mm 2.5 summarit) when I last used the M9. I'd say the Planar is more modern.
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Old 10-20-2016   #7
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I owned the rigid, have the voigtlander 50/1.5 and tried the Planar F2.

The rigid is a sexy lens. It renders nicely and is crispy sharp from 2.8 onward. At F2 I found results hit and miss. Also it has that classic rendering from most older leica lenses.

The Planar is RAZOR sharp at all apertures. It matches the rigid probably at F4 onward (on film). Rendering in contrast is obviously different and I found that the flatter softer contrast of the rigid gives an edge in scanning and printing with better detail. The Planar however has very high contrast and has an extremely modern look. I actually didn't like the look of the planar as much as I thought I would. It's sharp but seems almost too contrasty. Also the build quality of the planar leaves much to be desired. Coming from the Rigid you will notice the planar feels almost half of the weight.

The sexiest lens of all choices is the Voigtlander. Solid build quality, smooth focus, positive clicks on the aperture and much easier to manipulate on the go compared to either the rigid or planar. Sharp all the way wide open. Shows classic characteristics optically but with modern coatings refreshes the look to the 21st century.

On digital the Voigtlander looks better than the Zeiss with crispy rendering at F1.5. I've seen it first hand on a Sony and it looked very good.

Only faults for the voigtlander is no tab means that you'll have to learn how to focus with the knurling. I didn't like it at first but now I'm a fan.

Leica M4, Nokton-M 50mm f/1.5, Fuji Velvia 50

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Old 10-20-2016   #8
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I have the planar and a v3 summicron and prefer the planar on my m9p (same sensor).
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Old 10-20-2016   #9
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You won't go wrong with the planar.
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Old 10-20-2016   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
But maybe Nokton VM 50 1.5 is real remedy at f1.5 and ISO1600 on M-E for indoors family pictures? For now I'm getting sharp, good colors indoor pictures with bounced flash on ISO200-800 and at f5.6-8.
I really love my rigid Summicron on the 240, surprised you don't like it on the M-E. You do know that it was designed by Mandler who - before becoming Canadian - was visiting ELCAN on and off since 1952, right ?

In any case, if you really want to trade the rigid, I recommend the 50/1.1 Nokton for your purposes. Even better than the 50/1.5 - technically as good as the 50/2 Planar, but faster, see also http://www.rangefinderforum.com/foru...d.php?t=153336.

Whatever you get, make sure you can return it, the difference between Planar, 1.5 Nokton, and 1.1 Nokton is so small that sample variation might well be bigger, meaning try to get a good one.

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Old 10-20-2016   #11
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My 2c but I compared both side by side and the difference between the 2 is very negligible.
Kept the Nokton 1.5 and never looked into the Planar again
Have a summicron collapsible now, if I were to get another digital leica body, it would be another Nokton 1.5 for sure.

I'll see if I still have the sample shots online
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Old 10-20-2016   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ferider View Post
Whatever you get, make sure you can return it, the difference between Planar, 1.5 Nokton, and 1.1 Nokton is so small that sample variation might well be bigger.

Roland.
I have the 50 F1.1 as well. I disagree. Its far too heavy for everyday use.

I believe that the 1.5 is sharper as well.

I haven't done a side by side comparison between the two because I wouldn't bother with the F1.1 as an EDC lens since its too big and heavy. ESPECIALLY on a traditional M body. On the M5 it's more manageable but still too big.

Also ergonomically the F1.1 lacks compared to any other lens. The aperture adjustment is very easy to bump and change aperture. Focussing knob is big and slippery and viewfinder blockage is extreme. Also not mentioning the known focussing issues with the F1.1, these will be enhanced on digital.

I use it specifically for low light and nothing else.
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Old 10-20-2016   #13
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1.1 and 2.2 are from the Planar, 1.2 and 2.1 are Nokton.
These were taken at f/2 on both lenses.


Planar vs Nokton (1.1) by earl.dieta, on Flickr

Planar vs Nokton (1.2) by earl.dieta, on Flickr



Planar vs Nokton (2.1) by earl.dieta, on Flickr

Planar vs Nokton (2.2 by earl.dieta, on Flickr
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Old 10-20-2016   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLKRCAT View Post
I have the 50 F1.1 as well. I disagree. Its far too heavy for everyday use.

I believe that the 1.5 is sharper as well.

I haven't done a side by side comparison between the two because I wouldn't bother with the F1.1 as an EDC lens since its too big and heavy. ESPECIALLY on a traditional M body. On the M5 it's more manageable but still too big.

Also ergonomically the F1.1 lacks compared to any other lens. The aperture adjustment is very easy to bump and change aperture. Focussing knob is big and slippery and viewfinder blockage is extreme. Also not mentioning the known focussing issues with the F1.1, these will be enhanced on digital.

I use it specifically for low light and nothing else.
The 1.1 is (a) sharper and (b) more rectilinear than the 1.5 - the latter being important for wet printing. Also, at min. focus (0.7 vs 1m), the 1.5 is harder to focus on digital. I've had two 1.5 copies and sent one back due to back focus. My first 1.1 sample was a keeper.

Yes, the 1.1 feels about twice as big, and is 100g heavier than my chrome 1.5. And it does intrude more into the frame.

Note that the OP did ask for available light usage. A full additional stop matters, two stops if he decides to keep his Summicron

Roland.
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Old 10-20-2016   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ferider View Post
The 1.1 is (a) sharper and (b) more rectilinear than the 1.5 - the latter being important for wet printing.
Looking out there for side by side comparisons on sharpness. I've got example shots from the F1.1 but it's not fair to compare it without using same film, same process, same scanner. The 1.1 never wowed me like the 1.5 did. I'll stick to that.

As for rectilinear, if this is important then OP should go for Zeiss.
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Old 10-20-2016   #16
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The nice thing about the Voigtländer lenses is that they are affordable, so you simply buy them all and use whenever you like it. At this moment I am in love with my Nikon S2 and the S Skopar 50mm f/2.5 on it. I bought this lens for about $50 in a near mint condition.

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Old 10-20-2016   #17
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Very informative thread which just converted me to the Nokton 1.5. In another life. I'm coping fine with my C Sonnar. I agree it would be sad to let the Rigid Summicron go. I like shooting in my garden and my DR Summicron seems to be the best lens by far for getting the colour of my red roses right.

Meanwhile indoors with the ME the best exposure strategy appears to be to use ISO 640 and choose the shutter speed you have to have and then increase exposure in Lightroom later. I've tried 1600 and above indoors and it's ugly with a few exceptions. You need to be a lot cleverer than me in post to rescue the shots, unless there is lots of light, in which case you didn't need 1600. I've had very clean shots in direct sun at ISO 1600. I now never use the M9 with ISO above 640.
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Old 10-20-2016   #18
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I can't speak in Terms of how they will draw with Color on the M-E
but for Film I have used them Both



The Nokton ltm to my eye has more Atmosphere , almost a touch of lux wide open , rounded and full but that Aspheric glass gives it a more Modern Edge
Funny One always thinks of Zeiss as 'Pop' but to me the nokton pops more than the Planar



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Old 10-20-2016   #19
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The Planar is Beautiful too, but a tad more restrained, less rounded, thinner plane, Edge to Edge even sharpness




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Old 10-20-2016   #20
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A Nokton shot with the M9, both of which are long gone.

I got the Planar for my MM and sort of wish I hadn't. It's too modern for my taste. Though I would not go back to the Nokton, with no tab. I really like the Zeiss tab design and am considering the Sonnar. I suspect I'd prefer the Rigid to the Planar.

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Old 10-20-2016   #21
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Thanks to RFF for overwhelming support and great examples! I might have a chance to look at Nokton and Planar, help offered by local RFF member.

Rigid Cron is OK, at f5.6 is very sharp, but I need just one 50mm for two M and I would like it to focus at 0.7m on digital M.

It is not visible on this size, but it is very, very sharp at f5.6. As as sharp as I want it to be. SOOC from M-E and Rigid. Direct flash and as close as I could get with the Rigid.



From only few pictures I took with ISO 1600-2500, I could see what CCD sensor really needs light. This is ISO 2500 and one lamp directly above, no flash.

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Old 10-20-2016   #22
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I own the Nokton, the Planar and the Summilux pre-asph. I enjoy all three and consider them to be excellent lenses. Any preference one way or the other would be a personal thing and hard to quantify.

Personally I don't use those three as often as I should because my favorite has been the Sonnar 50/1.5.
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Old 10-21-2016   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik van Straten View Post
...Leica MP, Nokton-M 50mm f/1.5, Tmax400.

Erik.


A beautiful print from difficult lighting...well done!
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Old 10-21-2016   #24
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I love using the Rigid Summicron, and I have added more modern lenses such as the CV 50/1.5 and CV 50/1.1. I still prefer the Summicron. I have teamed up with Roland some years ago on creating a comparison of many 50mm lenses, and the Summicron did very well there.
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Old 10-22-2016   #25
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Selling my rigid was one of the biggest regrets I've made with photography. Mine had work done to it with a pristine front element re coated with modern coatings.

I sold it to a guy privately who the next day asked for his money back. When I got the lens back it there had been a clear attempt at opening and disassembling the lens and the guy claimed that the lens didn't move his rangefinder on his m8. It was difficult for me to see the lens in such shape after 24 hours and I had determined that his rangefinder was sticking due to -10*c cold shooting because the lens worked fine on all of my cameras.
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Old 10-22-2016   #26
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The rigid is a very nice all-around lens, above all fitted with the cute little shade of the Elmar-M.

Leica M3, Summicron rigid 50mm f/2, Tmax400.

Erik.

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Old 10-22-2016   #27
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To me Rigid was the lens to try out for curiosity. I have tried and sold almost all Leitz made 50-ties before Rigid.
To be honest the most one I liked was Summarit the Original (from Xenon ). But I prefer more modern lenses for 28, 35 and 50, not into heavy chromed brass from fifties. Over done for metal parts, but glass is soft, prone to fungus and else. All of old Leitz lenses I have tried are like this. Rigid is no exclusion. I received J-12 from fifties as gift two weeks ago, did CLA for focus parts, yet glass is perfectly clean. Rigid glass of same age is far from condition of same age J-12, which was also not a shelf queen. And J-12 is as sharp at f5.6 as Rigid on 5.6.
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Old 10-22-2016   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rfaspen View Post
Kost. I would opt for the Planar. I don't have much experience with the Nokton, but I've used the Planar a bit, and its great on the digital sensor. Of course, if you're interested in low contrast with pastel colors, its not the lens for you. If you want really sharp at all apertures, high contrast, no distortion, high flare resistance and great saturated colors, the Planar is a good choice.
About the only thing "bad" about the Planar is the contrast. Sometimes people think its too much contrast. Also, the focus bump is different than the Leica tab, but I seem to manage with it OK.
Any concern about the Zeiss wobble I have read about for some time?
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Old 10-22-2016   #29
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I have Planar and Rigid, the Planar has more contrast and sharper.
In digital (and BW) I prefer Rigid,easy to do post processing in LR.

But Nokton has more speed (f1.5 compare to f2).

Anyway both are very good lenses

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Old 10-30-2016   #31
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I vote Rigid. I use it on my M9 and damn, it's that good.


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Old 11-02-2016   #32
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How about the lens which is giving pictures like these?

ISO 160, wide open.



Mushy M-E ISO 1600, wide open.

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Old 11-06-2016   #33
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Planar.

i happen to have the worlds finest* Planar for sale in the Classifieds right now.

* - according to some.
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Old 11-06-2016   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLKRCAT View Post
.

Leica M4, Nokton-M 50mm f/1.5, Fuji Velvia 50

Gosh I love this exposure. Colors are wonderful.
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Old 11-06-2016   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edge100 View Post
Planar.

i happen to have the worlds finest* Planar for sale in the Classifieds right now.

* - according to some.
It's funny, you aren't the only local looking to move a planar. It looks like people are holding on to their noktons. Perhaps for a reason

Quote:
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Gosh I love this exposure. Colors are wonderful.
Thank you, velvia 50 for "street" was a one time deal for me. I shot it I can say I tried it but man it's a beast. Exposure has to be exact, and I'm not sure if it's because I don't normally scan chromes but I found velvia 50 to be the most difficult to scan of any chrome I've shot to date!
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Old 11-06-2016   #36
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Quote:
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It's funny, you aren't the only local looking to move a planar. It looks like people are holding on to their noktons. Perhaps for a reason
FWIW, I used to own the Nokton and sold that, too.

I love the Planar; I just don't shoot 50mm enough to justify keeping it in addition to my Canon 1.4.
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Old 11-06-2016   #37
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Here is the VM 50/1.5 on film. Hard to beat for portraits.



BTW, the 50/2.5 Color Skopar might be a perfect match to the OP's Summarit, and hasn't been mentioned yet. Here on the 240:



Overall, for night and landscapes, I do favor the 1.1 though (240 again), even though the OOF is a bit rougher than the two lenses above:



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Old 11-06-2016   #38
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Yummy Good Roland, Wonderful character in all those shots !!
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Old 11-06-2016   #39
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Nokton LTM 50/1.5 @f1.5:


Peacock at Denver Zoo 2-1 by Palenquero Photography, on Flickr

M9+Nokton50mmf1.5a-1 by Palenquero Photography, on Flickr

M9+Nokton50mmf1.5-Mandarina1-1 by Palenquero Photography, on Flickr

Zeiss Planar 50/2 @ f2:

Open by Palenquero Photography, on Flickr

Sweet Pea by Palenquero Photography, on Flickr

Tomatico by Palenquero Photography, on Flickr

Summicron 50/2 Rigid:

M8-Summicron50mmf2Rigid-Gladiolos by Palenquero Photography, on Flickr

M8-Summicron50mmf2Rigid-Granadilla by Palenquero Photography, on Flickr


M8-Summicron50mmf2Rigid-MandarinasAgain by Palenquero Photography, on Flickr

Large Figures by Palenquero Photography, on Flickr

Zeiss Sonar 50/1.5:

000045640036 by Palenquero Photography, on Flickr


Luis in Univision by Palenquero Photography, on Flickr


CZeissSonnar50mmf1.5-M9-ParkGrass2 by Palenquero Photography, on Flickr


CZeissSonnar50mmf1.5-M9-MiMandarina1 by Palenquero Photography, on Flickr

Alegro Maestros by Palenquero Photography, on Flickr
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Old 11-06-2016   #40
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Great new examples!
I photographed my lenses for sale this week and goofing around with J-3 on 35-135mm LTM-M adapter to see how large aperture works. Realized it is not same as on DSLR with AF and focus tracking or MF with focus confirmation. f1.5 is next to impossible to RF with our kids. They are refusing to stay still.

f1.5.


f1.1 is going to be too big and heavy. I don't think I want Skopar 50 2.5. I sold CS 35 2.5, purchased Summitar-M and never looked back.
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