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Lens for 28/35mm field of view on M8
Old 01-10-2013   #1
jenxi
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Lens for 28/35mm field of view on M8

Hi,

I'm currently using a CV 35/1.4 on the M8. However, I'm looking for something wider to force myself to go closer when I shoot street. What affordable lenses would you recommend for the 28/35mm field of view? I don't need a fast lens for the type of shots I'm going for.

My concern is that it should bring up the right frame lines. The CV 21mm was the first lens I thought of but then I realised that the 21mm viewfinder would be useless.
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Old 01-10-2013   #2
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What's your budget?
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Old 01-10-2013   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenxi View Post
My concern is that it should bring up the right frame lines. The CV 21mm was the first lens I thought of but then I realised that the 21mm viewfinder would be useless.
But you can use it with a 28mm viewfinder.

For the 35mm equivalent angle, you are either looking at the 24/25mm lenses (a bit wider than 35mm) or a 28 (a bit narrower than 35mm). These lenses come at various speeds, sizes, and prices.
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Old 01-10-2013   #4
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Voigtlander 28mm 3.5 Color Skopar or 28mm Avenon 3.5 are both in the $500 range and have good ergonomics.
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Old 01-10-2013   #5
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i just bought a later model E60 21mm Elmarit pre-ASPH and it is faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaantastic.

I felt no need to buy a viewfinder. the complete viewfinder on the M8 around the outer edges is perfect to see 21mm.

it's my new favourite lens....
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Old 01-10-2013   #6
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I can wholeheartedly recommend the Zeiss Biogon 28/2.8. Super sharp, contrasty, great colours. Loved it on my M8. It's "only" 2.8, so if you want to go faster, you'll need to resort to the Voigtländer Ultron (2.0 or 1.9). Also from Voigtländer is the 25/4, which is small but slow, and brand new the 21/1.8 (yes, f/1.8!), which is fast but huge.

Coincidentally, my Biogon is up for sale here in the classifieds ;-)

EDIT: Just noticed JSU beat me to the Ultron.
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Old 01-10-2013   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSU View Post

24/25mm equates to about a 33mm FoV and with the M8.2 is the widest set of marks in the camera's viewfinder.
with my 21mm Elmarit, i can see the 28mm view on the edges of the viewfinder...perfectly! There are no lines, but there IS a line (the edge!)
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Old 01-10-2013   #8
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Having gone through this when I got my M8, I found (to my surprise) that I preferred 21mm (=28mm, even though I don't like 28mm on full-frame) to 28mm (=37mm, which I found disquietingly longer than 35mm, despite the trivial difference) but I was gritting my teeth to by a 24 Summilux (=32mm) when the M9 appeared, thereby saving me money. Well, for a given value of 'saving'. I found the 21/2.8 Kobalux/Pasinon/etc. excellent. For several pics taken with this lens on an M8, see http://www.rogerandfrances.com/subscription/m8.html

Cheers,

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CV 28 3.5 or 21 Elmarit
Old 01-10-2013   #9
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CV 28 3.5 or 21 Elmarit

I agree the CV 28 3.5 is a wonderful lens and it handles really well. The 21 Elmarit (pre-asph) is one of the real sleepers on the Leica lens market. I always enjoyed having mine on my M8. It's a great lens, bigger than some but handles very nicely on the M body; invaluable focal length in the city and will encourage you to get closer in.

My two cents.
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Old 01-10-2013   #10
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Thanks for all the recommendation! I'll have to see if I can get my hands on these lenses to give the a try.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lss View Post
But you can use it with a 28mm viewfinder.

For the 35mm equivalent angle, you are either looking at the 24/25mm lenses (a bit wider than 35mm) or a 28 (a bit narrower than 35mm). These lenses come at various speeds, sizes, and prices.
Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jsrockit View Post
Voigtlander 28mm 3.5 Color Skopar or 28mm Avenon 3.5 are both in the $500 range and have good ergonomics.
That's a good price range

Quote:
Originally Posted by IEDEI View Post
i just bought a later model E60 21mm Elmarit pre-ASPH and it is faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaantastic.

I felt no need to buy a viewfinder. the complete viewfinder on the M8 around the outer edges is perfect to see 21mm.

it's my new favourite lens....
So the 21mm on it frames it just nice? Would it be tricky to anticipate people moving into the frame?

Quote:
Originally Posted by efix View Post
I can wholeheartedly recommend the Zeiss Biogon 28/2.8. Super sharp, contrasty, great colours. Loved it on my M8. It's "only" 2.8, so if you want to go faster, you'll need to resort to the Voigtländer Ultron (2.0 or 1.9). Also from Voigtländer is the 25/4, which is small but slow, and brand new the 21/1.8 (yes, f/1.8!), which is fast but huge.

Coincidentally, my Biogon is up for sale here in the classifieds ;-)

EDIT: Just noticed JSU beat me to the Ultron.
I don't need fast. I'm happy to shoot at f/4 or smaller. Thanks for the recommendation!

Quote:
Originally Posted by IEDEI View Post
with my 21mm Elmarit, i can see the 28mm view on the edges of the viewfinder...perfectly! There are no lines, but there IS a line (the edge!)
That's great! I would prefer to have some space before the line so I can see people walking into the frame but I guess I'll have to compromise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
Having gone through this when I got my M8, I found (to my surprise) that I preferred 21mm (=28mm, even though I don't like 28mm on full-frame) to 28mm (=37mm, which I found disquietingly longer than 35mm, despite the trivial difference) but I was gritting my teeth to by a 24 Summilux (=32mm) when the M9 appeared, thereby saving me money. Well, for a given value of 'saving'. I found the 21/2.8 Kobalux/Pasinon/etc. excellent. For several pics taken with this lens on an M8, see http://www.rogerandfrances.com/subscription/m8.html

Cheers,

R.
I would love to be able to move to the M9, since I already have a 35mm. But I'm not able to right now. Hmmm... so the 28mm would be a bit troublesome to use on the M8 since there's no exact frame lines for it. Am I right to say that?
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Old 01-10-2013   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenxi View Post
Hmmm... so the 28mm would be a bit troublesome to use on the M8 since there's no exact frame lines for it. Am I right to say that?
No, on the M8, there are framelines for everything down to 24mm. Unless you mean framelines for a 28mm equivilent (i.e. 21mm full frame lens).
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Old 01-10-2013   #12
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You already have a 35mm. I wouldn't buy lens too close to that. 35mm is already less than 50mm. So the 28mm and even the 24mm are too close to it, imo. Go with a 21mm with a 28mm viewfinder.

Besides, when you eventually go full frame the 21mm is nice focal length next to a 35mm. Imo.
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Old 01-10-2013   #13
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I also shot the M8 with a 21mm, a CV, and it works just great by using the whole viewfinder (the lens actually covers a bit more than the viewfinder shows). I recommend putting some black tape on the frame illumination window, so that the viewfinder appears totally free of unused framelines.
And I also recommend the CV 21mm: it is a great little lens! And very cheap too. The DOF is fantastic when shooting in the streets.
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Old 01-10-2013   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsrockit View Post
No, on the M8, there are framelines for everything down to 24mm. Unless you mean framelines for a 28mm equivilent (i.e. 21mm full frame lens).
I meant framelines for a 28mm lens. That would be around 37mm so I'll have to guesstimate a bit with the 35mm framelines... though now I wonder if it would bring up that particular set of framelines.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pieter View Post
You already have a 35mm. I wouldn't buy lens too close to that. 35mm is already less than 50mm. So the 28mm and even the 24mm are too close to it, imo. Go with a 21mm with a 28mm viewfinder.

Besides, when you eventually go full frame the 21mm is nice focal length next to a 35mm. Imo.
Hmmm... that's a very good point. Thanks a lot!

Quote:
Originally Posted by emiguevara View Post
I also shot the M8 with a 21mm, a CV, and it works just great by using the whole viewfinder (the lens actually covers a bit more than the viewfinder shows). I recommend putting some black tape on the frame illumination window, so that the viewfinder appears totally free of unused framelines.
And I also recommend the CV 21mm: it is a great little lens! And very cheap too. The DOF is fantastic when shooting in the streets.
Wow. I really need to give this lens a go to get a feel of it.
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Old 01-10-2013   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenxi View Post
I meant framelines for a 28mm lens. That would be around 37mm so I'll have to guesstimate a bit with the 35mm framelines... though now I wonder if it would bring up that particular set of framelines.
The '35mm' framelines on the M8 are activated when you use a 35mm lens, and they correspond to a 47mm-equivalent field-of-view. A 28mm lens on the M8 activates the 28mm framelines, which correspond to a 37mm-equivalent f-o-v. A propos 'guesstimating': the framelines are inaccurate anyway.
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Old 01-10-2013   #16
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This is what you want- a CV 21 and a CV 28 VF:


Leica M8 with LTM Voigtländer 21mm color skopar f/4.0 by Maggie Osterberg, on Flickr

I made most of these photos with that rig:

21mm Voigtländer Color Skopar f/4
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Old 01-10-2013   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by efix View Post
The '35mm' framelines on the M8 are activated when you use a 35mm lens, and they correspond to a 47mm-equivalent field-of-view. A 28mm lens on the M8 activates the 28mm framelines, which correspond to a 37mm-equivalent f-o-v. A propos 'guesstimating': the framelines are inaccurate anyway.
Oh! Now it makes sense. =)

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Originally Posted by maggieo View Post
This is what you want- a CV 21 and a CV 28 VF:
Leica M8 with LTM Voigtländer 21mm color skopar f/4.0 by Maggie Osterberg, on Flickr

I made most of these photos with that rig:

21mm Voigtländer Color Skopar f/4
As I scrolled down and saw the photo, a little voice in my head sounded... ahhhhh*

That's a very beautiful setup!
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Old 01-10-2013   #18
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I use the 28mm Skopar on an M8.2. Not only is it very sharp and has character, it makes the form factor of body+lens feel small and easy to carry.
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Old 01-10-2013   #19
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I used a 21mm Biogon on my M8 and loved the results. Unfortunately it gave me a serious red edge on my M9 so I sold this lens. Now, with the new firmware in place, I'm thinking or reacquiring both the 21 and another M8 as both a backup for my M9 and as a B&W/IR shooter. Yes, the CV 21 is smaller and half the price but the 21 Biogon is outstanding.

Perhaps someone who owned both could give their opinion.
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Old 01-10-2013   #20
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Mmmmmm, like all of you, I've tried a variety wides on a variety of m bodies.
Having been a longtime fan of the 28 fov, I was reluctant to go to the 21, on film, but I tried it when the 21 Kobaluxes were readily available and ridiculously affordable. It's the same old song, why did I sell that one?
Then a certain Tom we all know and love introduced us to the 25 Skopar Snapshot as it was called early on. Not trusting my judgement with a non-coupled lens, I sold it, missed it, purchased another...sold it, again missed what it could do, and finally bought the current m-mount coupled version, even living in the light challenged pacnw, I've decided never to sell this one.
After missing the 21Kobalux and not being able to find another, I decided to try the CV 21, which was nice, but just didn't quite sing for me, especially after seeing what others were doing w the pre-asph 21 Elmarit. Eventually I found one and love what it does on the m8.
Someday I'll have the pleasure to try some Zeiss glass, but in the meantime I'm happy, and agree with comments by DwF, and IEDEI.
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Old 01-10-2013   #21
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I second that - It's my favourite street lens on the M8. It's easy to use, it has fantastic warm colours - its simply superb - and it's smaller than the more famous 25mm Biogon. It has very nice Bokeh.

Highly recommend.

Quote:
Originally Posted by efix View Post
I can wholeheartedly recommend the Zeiss Biogon 28/2.8. Super sharp, contrasty, great colours. Loved it on my M8. It's "only" 2.8, so if you want to go faster, you'll need to resort to the Voigtländer Ultron (2.0 or 1.9). Also from Voigtländer is the 25/4, which is small but slow, and brand new the 21/1.8 (yes, f/1.8!), which is fast but huge.

Coincidentally, my Biogon is up for sale here in the classifieds ;-)

EDIT: Just noticed JSU beat me to the Ultron.
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Old 01-10-2013   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Niblick View Post
I used a 21mm Biogon on my M8 and loved the results. Unfortunately it gave me a serious red edge on my M9 so I sold this lens. Now, with the new firmware in place, I'm thinking or reacquiring both the 21 and another M8 as both a backup for my M9 and as a B&W/IR shooter. Yes, the CV 21 is smaller and half the price but the 21 Biogon is outstanding.

Perhaps someone who owned both could give their opinion.
Yours would have been the Biogon 21mm f/4.5? the Biogon 21mm f/2.8 is free of the red edges, from what I've heard. The f/4.5 lens is very nice on the M8 (impossible on M9), and I use an external viewfinder intended for 28mm, giving me a nice view of the surroundings. A good viewfinder is worth the money...

I like the 25mm Biogon a lot on both M8 and M9, extremely fine lens, and on the M8 it's handy to have internal framelines for it. I'd say 25 would be a good companion for a 35...
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Old 01-10-2013   #23
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The latest firmware update makes the CV 21/4 perfectly usable on the M9, Doug. I've had nary a problem with it.

Example:


NSOC Fall Fling, November 11, 2012 by Maggie Osterberg, on Flickr


NSOC Fall Fling, November 11, 2012 by Maggie Osterberg, on Flickr
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Old 01-10-2013   #24
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Thank you Maggie, good to hear, but that's a different lens...
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Old 01-10-2013   #25
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DOH! Sorry, long day and brain is fried! Utterly crispy.
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Old 01-10-2013   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maggieo View Post
This is what you want- a CV 21 and a CV 28 VF:


Leica M8 with LTM Voigtländer 21mm color skopar f/4.0 by Maggie Osterberg, on Flickr

I made most of these photos with that rig:

21mm Voigtländer Color Skopar f/4
Yes, the combination of a 21mm lens with 28mm finder, whether CV or otherwise, is one of my favorite setups on my M8.2. A 24mm or 25mm results in a 33mm equivalent f.l., which would seem to fill your need (28/35 suggest that somewhere in between those limits is wanted). If so, and if you can see the 24mm framelines (I can't), then that's good. But I need to use the accessory finder with a 24mm; a 35mm finder will do, but I prefer the 21mm with the 28mm finder. It's a pretty accurate setup at most shooting distances.
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Old 01-11-2013   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob-F View Post
Yes, the combination of a 21mm lens with 28mm finder, whether CV or otherwise, is one of my favorite setups on my M8.2. A 24mm or 25mm results in a 33mm equivalent f.l., which would seem to fill your need (28/35 suggest that somewhere in between those limits is wanted). If so, and if you can see the 24mm framelines (I can't), then that's good. But I need to use the accessory finder with a 24mm; a 35mm finder will do, but I prefer the 21mm with the 28mm finder. It's a pretty accurate setup at most shooting distances.
I would prefer to have either 28 or 35 and get used to the particular focal length. I'm not too sure how big of a change it would be should I ever need to readjust from a 33mm to a 35mm.

Going for 21 on the M8 would mean I really need to be more confident and go real close to my subjects.
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Old 01-11-2013   #28
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from lenses i tested on the m8, the following in this focal lenght are my favourites in order of budget: performance on all is about the same. the leica being the best by a small margin wide-open. the ricoh is tiny about half the size of the other 2 in length, superbly built, heavy chrome and dense too. the hexanon is the king of smooth aperture-clicks, beautiful.

M-elmarit 28 2.8 pre-asph v4 (approx. 1400.-)
ricoh 28mm 2.8 ltm to M (approx 1200.-)
konica m-hexanon 28 (approx 750.-)

all are very sharp, all with superb results
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Old 01-11-2013   #29
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Quote:
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I would prefer to have either 28 or 35 and get used to the particular focal length. I'm not too sure how big of a change it would be should I ever need to readjust from a 33mm to a 35mm.

Going for 21 on the M8 would mean I really need to be more confident and go real close to my subjects.
OK now I see what you mean. I use the 28mm Summicron most of the time, as the 28mm M8 framelines are easy to see, and the field of view is very useful. And I also have the 28/3.5 CV lens, which I use on the M8 with an adapter. That makes for a much more compact outfit, which is why I use it from time to time. I can't recall how I coded it last time I used it. You know, I think there is a coded CV adapter ring for it. I'll put that on my list of things to research!
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Old 01-11-2013   #30
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Yours would have been the Biogon 21mm f/4.5? the Biogon 21mm f/2.8 is free of the red edges, from what I've heard. The f/4.5 lens is very nice on the M8 (impossible on M9), and I use an external viewfinder intended for 28mm, giving me a nice view of the surroundings. A good viewfinder is worth the money...

I like the 25mm Biogon a lot on both M8 and M9, extremely fine lens, and on the M8 it's handy to have internal framelines for it. I'd say 25 would be a good companion for a 35...
No, it was the 2.8. But my experience was when the M9 was just out and with an early firmware. Sometimes my shots were perfect and other times they were unusable due to the red edges. I fussed with cornerfix but was not completely happy with the results. The latest firmware is supposed to have fixed this problem.

Yes, I'm also considering the 25 Biogon. The internal 24/25 frame lines on the M8 sound tempting but, as a glasses wearer, I never could see them comfortably. And I kept my 28 mm CV finder. So 21 vs 25 mm... I'll be kicking this one around for the next month or two as my M8 fund builds.
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Old 01-11-2013   #31
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I've always been a fan of the 28 hexanon. Fairly compact. Very smooth. They can be found in the $500 range.
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Old 01-11-2013   #32
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Huh, I guess I'm going to be the Biogon 21mm f4.5 guinea pig then as I ordered one by mistake instead of the 2.8 version. Reviews for the f4.5 one are very sparse and I hope I won't have a red cast with the M8. 'DigiLloyd' says it's a great lens but we'll see. Slow, though.
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Old 01-11-2013   #33
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Huh, I guess I'm going to be the Biogon 21mm f4.5 guinea pig then as I ordered one by mistake instead of the 2.8 version. Reviews for the f4.5 one are very sparse and I hope I won't have a red cast with the M8. 'DigiLloyd' says it's a great lens but we'll see. Slow, though.
Ooops! But I think you'll come to admire the C-Biogon; it's a classic. I also have the 21 Elmarit ASPH but (at least on the m8), I prefer the 4.5/21mm for its compact size and outstanding optics. I often just leave it wide open...
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Old 01-12-2013   #34
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I feel better already, thanks! Now I have to figure out how to hold the M8 steady at 1/4 sec / ISO 640 / f4.5 for those London back-streets at night.
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Question 25 vs 28
Old 01-23-2013   #35
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Question 25 vs 28

I own the M8 and I'm considering a 35mm FOV lens and I'm choosing between 24/25 and a 28mm lenses. I'd like to ask, since there's no exact equivalent to a 35mm FOV, if the M8 framelines are better suited for one option over the other.

I know that the M8 framelines are a little quirky. That said, which of the lens options match better with the reality of the M8 framelines? Meaning, if I compose based on the framelines, which of these options would render closer / more accurately to what I saw in the viewfinder? 24/25 or the 28?

Thanks so much. I hope I explained that clearly enough
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Old 01-23-2013   #36
LCT
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M8 framelines are generally inaccurate when you don't shoot closeups. Less so with M8.2 and M8u bodies though. As for the equivalent to 35mm FoV it is a matter of tastes more so than calculation. To me, 28 is closer than 24 which DoF is too wide compared to full frame 35. YMMV.
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Old 01-23-2013   #37
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I don't quite understand what you mean by quirky. There are framelines for 24 and 28, so framing is in principle the least accurate for a 25. But in reality, this will depend on the exact focal length of the lens you use. A 28 is probably not exactly a 28, it's just marketed as one. In my opinion, there is no point in worrying about the accuracy of certain framelines. This is something you can and must learn. Rather consider which framelines are comfortable for you to see in the viewfinder and correspond to your framing preference/need.
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Old 01-23-2013   #38
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Thanks for the help guys. Admittedly I think I'm a little confused. But yes I guess the best way is to commit to a lens and learn in on the M8 until you get the photo exactly as you saw it in the VF.
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