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differenceS between Leica R and M lenses? is the following set for an M6 any good?
Old 12-08-2005   #1
dailymephisto
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differenceS between Leica R and M lenses? is the following set for an M6 any good?

Dear forumers,
Will try to be quick and to the point.
Thanks in advance for your help.

Here are my 2 questions:

1) is there a real difference, in terms of quality, between Leica M lenses and leica R lenses, given that I can use a mount adapter to fit R lenses on M cameras (obviously considering the same mms)? (General Opinion is: differences in quality of R an M lenses depends on the focal length you chose, differences in price – M’s more expensive than R’s – is mostly due to the market….less rangefinder cameras and lenses than in slr market)

2) If you were to chose, for your Leica M, a good set of lenses considering Quality, Sharpness, Bokeh and Price, would this be a good choice??:

a. Voigtlander 15mm Super-Wide Heliar Aspherical f 4.5
b. Voigtlander 35/1.7 Ultron Aspherical
c. Voigtlander 50/1.5 Asperical Nokton

Now…….

- 15mm ….. Voigtlander should be a good choice (am not aware of any other 15mm excellent lens). What do you think?

- 35mm…. would you go for a Voigtlander or for a Leica? Which one? If Leica, R lens or M lens, given that R lenses can be used with a mount adapter?

- 50mm… here is the major problem, mostly due to the fact that posts are sometime a bit misleading ….. or maybe my research for “the most ….. lens, the best …… lens” has indeed led me to confusion…. Anyway, given that on the market do exist different kind of lenses (Voigtlander 50/1.5 Asperical Nokton, Leica 50/1 Noctilux, Leica 50/1.2 Noctilux, Leica 50/1.4 Summilux, Leica 50/1.5 Summarit, Leica 50/2 Summitar, 50/2 Summar, 50/2 Summicron (rigid, old, blacl, new…)) and given their different price, what would be your choice and why in terms of quality, bokeh and sharpness? Is the 50/2 Summicron really better than old 50/1.4 Summilux? Which would be the best 50 f 2.0? once again, would you choose M or R lenses, given that R lenses can be used with a mount adapter? Are the Leica 50/1 Noctilux and 50/1.2 Noctilux really better than the others in terms of sharpness, quality and bokeh?


In order to save money and get a good set I would probably go for: Voigtlander 15mm f 4.5 + Voigtlander 35/1.7 Ultron Aspherical + Leica summicron 50 f 2.0 (which version??). If I were to need a faster lens I would probably go neither for the Leica 50 f 1.4 nor for the Leica 50 f 1.2, but wait for a Noctilux 1.0.

Thanks for your help.
DM
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Old 12-08-2005   #2
Nick R.
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I believe all but the newest R lenses will mount on m bodied Leicas and will focus to infinity with the apropriate adapters. There won't be any rangefinder coupling, however. You'll have to scale focus.

I think the best bargain in the 50/2 category is the tabbed summicron. Because they were made in Canada, they sell for less, but they're great lenses.
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Old 12-08-2005   #3
kbg32
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Your best bet if you are adapting R lenses on your Leica M, are wide angles. Specifically 35mm or less. Since they are not rangefinder coupled as Nick pointed out. In terms of quality, no difference. Size wise, the M lenses would be more compact, smaller, and a bit lighter.
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Old 12-08-2005   #4
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You probably already know that you are sacrificing the rangefinder-coupling and the small size and light weight of the M-lenses. Pundits do claim that M-lenses are "better "than R-lenses, but imo you'd be hard put to see any difference in the final print in general photography. Having said that, every Leica lens has its own signature and Leica gourmets will, for certain subjects, use specific lenses. I is not necessarily true that newer lenses will be better than older ones. Sharper-yes. Higher contrast-yes. But that does not define the (artistic) quality of a lens.
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Last edited by jaapv : 12-08-2005 at 07:03.
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rangefinder coupling?
Old 12-08-2005   #5
dailymephisto
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rangefinder coupling?

thanks for all your replies.....

mmmmmh ... you mentioned the fact that using an R lens on Ms gives the following problems:

- focus to infinity
- rangefinder coupling
- weight (of course)

I wonder if the Rangefinder Coupled SLR to Leica M Adapter, sold by Cameraquest (www.cameraquest.com/adaptslrRFM.htm), can help me out with the problem.

and, furthermore, if i were to use a different body (as a Bessa T) + Cameraquest adapter, would i have the same problems?

DM
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rangefinder coupling (2)
Old 12-08-2005   #6
dailymephisto
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rangefinder coupling (2)

Have forgotten to note that i indeed mentioned "Bessa T" when talking about rangefinder coupling since on Cameraquest website they write the following on a Bessa T page:


"If you are new to rangefinders, don't be confused with the T mounting screw mount Voigtlander lenses. A standard adapter allows screw mount lenses to be used on the M bayonet mount --- easily and perfectly with full rangefinder coupling."

So i thought that maybe either using a Rangefinder Coupled SLR to Leica M Adapter on a R lens with my Leica M Body or using a Bessa T + normal screw to M adapter can allow me to get rid of rangefinder coupling problem.

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Old 12-08-2005   #7
Nick R.
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R lenses do focus to infinity on M cameras with adapter. There is no problem there.
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Old 12-08-2005   #8
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The CV 15mm is the ONLY 15mm you can buy at reasonable cost.
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Old 12-08-2005   #9
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So many questions!

Rangefinder lenses show less distortion than SLR lenses. I've compared my 35 R-Summicron to my 35-M Summicron-ASPH, 35-M Summilux ASPH, and a Jupiter-12, and although the R lens was as sharp in the center, the two M lenses were easily better toward the edge. All three rangefinder lenses display significantly less distortion on the edges. If you're shooting landscapes or architecture, rangefinder lenses are better in the wide angle ranges.

As far as 50mms go, i haven't owned the 50 Nokton, but i'm convinced of its virtues, and believe it's probably the best value. I have a 50DR and just bought a ZM 50/2. I compared those two lenses with the R-Summicron, and found the new Zeiss to be sharpest. I haven't yet compared bokeh, but since i do like Zeiss (Hasselblad, and Contax) bokeh, i think i'll be happy there.

The 50-M Summicron is supposed to be sharper than the pre-ASPH 50-M Summilux. The new ROM 50-R Summilux is supposed to be equal to or better than the 50-R Summicron, but the pre-ROM Summilux is not....

You don't really want to use SLR lenses on a rangefinder, do you?
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Old 12-08-2005   #10
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The R lenses not only won't rangefinder-couple (the coupled adaptors still make you transfer from their scale to the one on the lens, slow at best) but they're big enough to block more of the finder than the M or Voitlander lenses too. And they're heavier. The 15mm Voitlander is an excellent lens, and the price is unbeatable compared to any other 15mm lens in M or LTM and definitely in comparison to the R 15mms. I had the 15/3.5 Super-Elmar, what an enormous, bulbous lens, the Voitlander could've fit inside it.

The 50 Nokton has a great reputation but I picked up an 80s Summilux for around $600 and the build-quality is definitely more substantial if that matters. The 35 Ultron I'm not sure about, but I've got a 3rd-generation 35 Cron which I am very happy with.
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Old 12-08-2005   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dailymephisto
- 15mm ….. Voigtlander should be a good choice (am not aware of any other 15mm excellent lens). What do you think?
Zeiss makes an excellent 15 mm lens, but as ywenz said, the price is not what most of us would consider "reasonable." Depending on where you live, prices I've seen start at $3300+.

In regard to your general situation, if you're buying new rather than using your R lenses, I'd buy one lens & work with it for a while & then decide what else you want to get to complement it. Pick your favorite focal length. You'll find varying opinions on the Leica lenses vs. the CV lenses you've listed, but you will find that the CV 35 & 50 are bigger but faster than the Leica Summicrons & slower but about the same size as the Summiluxes. You'll also find that rangefinder lenses will not focus as close to the subject as your R lenses, although the Leica lenses will have a closer capability in this regard than the 35 & 50 CV lenses you mentioned. Size &/or distance may or may not matter to your shooting style.

Huck
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Research
Old 12-08-2005   #12
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Research

Let me be equally quick and to the point too.

You need to do your own research instead of just asking. There's tons of material avail all over the place, from Erwin's site to user reports on PN and RFF, etc.

Asking people if X, Y or Z is a good choice tells you what they think or like, but doesn't tell you what you should use. Not that it cannot be helpful, but given the diversity, there's at least one person who will pitch X, Y and Z.

Eg I don't fancy the 50/1.5 Summarit, but put out a feeler on the Summarit, I'm sure you'll get users praising its glow or its signature or both. That does not mean I'm right or they're wrong, or vice versa. Frankly, I believe everybody's right, because everyone's got different tastes, and everyone uses what's right for them.

The problem is that when somebody says X is the best lens in the world or X is so much better than Y, how does it help you decide to buy X over Y? Because you're not them, and they're not you.


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Old 12-08-2005   #13
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i'd vote for 15 heliar, cv 28/3.5, nokton 50/1.5
small, sharp, economical, and compact, excepting of course the nokton
use'm on thread mount bodies and w adapters for m-series.
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Old 12-08-2005   #14
Huck Finn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waileong
Let me be equally quick and to the point too.

You need to do your own research instead of just asking. There's tons of material avail all over the place, from Erwin's site to user reports on PN and RFF, etc.

Asking people if X, Y or Z is a good choice tells you what they think or like, but doesn't tell you what you should use. Not that it cannot be helpful, but given the diversity, there's at least one person who will pitch X, Y and Z.

Eg I don't fancy the 50/1.5 Summarit, but put out a feeler on the Summarit, I'm sure you'll get users praising its glow or its signature or both. That does not mean I'm right or they're wrong, or vice versa. Frankly, I believe everybody's right, because everyone's got different tastes, and everyone uses what's right for them.

The problem is that when somebody says X is the best lens in the world or X is so much better than Y, how does it help you decide to buy X over Y? Because you're not them, and they're not you.


Wai Leong
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What he said!

Very well articulated, Wai Leong.

Huck
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Old 12-08-2005   #15
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What I do not quite understand is, if you are unsure whether to get R or M lenses, what is stopping you from buying R lenses and a R body, a good R5, a highly capable camera' is really not expensive and R3's, which are great camera's too and superbly usable but lack modern styling and features are dirt cheap. It seems to me to be far more rational than trying to use lenses on a camera that wasn't designed for them and thus rather unpractical.
On the other hand, if you have fallen for a Leica M body, I would advise you to either buy a reasonable user-grade second hand 35 Summicron or similar and start with that or go for the CV range, which is great value for money.
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Old 12-08-2005   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaapv
What I do not quite understand is, if you are unsure whether to get R or M lenses, what is stopping you from buying R lenses and a R body, a good R5, a highly capable camera' is really not expensive and R3's, which are great camera's too and superbly usable but lack modern styling and features are dirt cheap. It seems to me to be far more rational than trying to use lenses on a camera that wasn't designed for them and thus rather unpractical.
On the other hand, if you have fallen for a Leica M body, I would advise you to either buy a reasonable user-grade second hand 35 Summicron or similar and start with that or go for the CV range, which is great value for money.
I assumed you already had an R body & R lenses.

If not, the proposition to use R lenses on an M body doesn't make much sense to me & I would agree with jaapv.

Huck
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Old 12-08-2005   #17
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Quote:
chose, differences in price – M’s more expensive than R’s – is mostly due to the market….less rangefinder cameras and lenses than in slr market)



Well, if I misinterpreted the above and he has a R body it might be different, but not much. I ran a R and a M side by side for decades and never felt the inclination to switch lenses between the systems -they are so different...
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Last edited by jaapv : 12-08-2005 at 09:31. Reason: typo
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Old 12-08-2005   #18
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Hi

maybe someone compared bokeh differences between summicron 35/2 in M and R mount? I love 35/2.0 M bokeh look, but... hm, R is just cheaper. sharpness, contrast etc isn't so important for me, but I know nothing about R bokeh...

maybe some links to photos with small DOF from R 35/2.0 summicron?

best regards, rami
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