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My R-D1s and a Summicron 28/2 ASPH...
Old 03-06-2007   #1
jvr
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My R-D1s and a Summicron 28/2 ASPH...

...bad match, unfortunately.

Alhtough I like my Ultron 28/1.9 very much, I always felt it was a very unpredictable lens, especially in terms of flare (not "ghosting", small images of the diaphragm, but veiling flare, a widespread veil that lowers contrast and taints color). The best photos I get with the Ultron are really good (I mean, _really_ good) but once in a while, I have some of them that infuriate me, just because of that stubborn flare (I have to find a better hood!!)

This is the only reason why the Ultron is not "the" lens I usualy keep on my Epson. This honor belongs 50/50 to the 21/2.8 Biogon and the just incredible, surprisingly good (especially after all I read in contrary) CV Nokton 35/1.2, a really fantastic lens. BTW, did I already said I find the 35/1.2 a great lens? Oh, yes, I just did! Sorry! :-)

But 35mm is a bit too long on the Epson (for me!) and 21 means extra VF. So I always longed for a fast 28 that could replace/complement the Ultron (B&W files from the Ultron, when not flared, are just perfect...). So, I decided to take the plunge and orderd a new Summicron 28/2 ASPH (impossible to get them used). It took more than 5 weeks to receive it (that's how the market is) and I was even moisty-eyed when I opened the package.

Beutiful. I only bought 2 new Leica lenses before (my ex-35/2 'Cron ASPH and my ex- 50/2 'Cron) but I still remembered the feeling of unwrapping the thing. CV lens are great and I love them but we have to admit that packaging is a bit more pedestrian! And the lovely lens pouch! And the Passport... Ok, back to reality!

So, into the Epson it went and I left to take some pictures. I spent the weekend in bliss, because colour is better than the Ultron (the Ultron is a tad warmer than it sould be), no flare, contrast is perfect (not even too much, good for digital), sharpness great. Or so I thought.

I took a lot of low-light (wide-open) shots during the weekend and some of the shots were "softer" than I would like (and expect). In fact, worse than the Ultron. I quickly shot some tests on a tripod when I got home and...

... this particular lens on my particular Epson shows a lot of focus error on close range. More or less 6cm at 80cm. That's a lot... Worse than that, the lens correctly aligns the RF on infinity (like all my other lenses) and that means that even adjusting the RF is no good (unless the RF base is re-calibrated, but I would not mess with that).

The focus error is enough to make the Ultron much better wide-open than the Summicron on normal use, while after careful trial-and-error focusing (digital is great, or what? :-) of both lenses, the Summicron wins. BTW, not by much and the difference is mainly constrast, not detail (I'm impressed with the Ultron!).

I'm not a pixel-peeping-detail freak (I make prints... :-) but this amount of misfocus is even noticeable at f2.8, let alone f2.

So, since I don't want to change the calibration of the RF of my Epson (it works ok with all my lenses), I had to ship back the Summicron and ask for a refund (which I got, nice dealer! BTW, with the shortage these lenses show, maybe I should have kept the lens and sell it at a premium for instant delivery!!! :-).

Just in case someone asks, I'm VERY able to focus in a completely predictable way (especially on a tripod!) my Nokton 50/1.4 and even my Nokton 35/1.2, both wide-open, at the same distance. BTW, the 35/1.2 at 1.4 and close range has a lot to show to either the Ultron and the Summicron, even with "optimized" focus... I can post a few pics when I get home but the difference is noticeable (did I day I really like the 35/1.2? Oh, sorry!).

So, I'm very unhappy at the moment (i'll get over it! :-)).

I'm sure the Leica lens is OK and it's of course a problem of my Epson (I read about similiar problems with a new Elmar 90, for instance...) but it's frustrating nonetheless.

Just to let you know.

From now on, I'll try to buy used lenses for the Epson (so that I don't risk losing a lot of money if they don't work) or I have to test them before I buy... :-(

If the M8 is better in this regard (and I guess it is), I may think to switch to the M8, as much as I love the R-D1s (and I do!). Never had these kind of problems on my M3 (I didn't even tried the lens on the M3, stupid!).

Well, it's back to my 21/2.8 and 35/1.2 (a really great lens... :-).
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Moved from Nikon FF (D700) to m43 (E-M1). My back thanks me and my "real" camera became my "everyday" camera.
Still an RF fan when it comes to "just because" photography (including film).

Using (at the moment):
Leica M8 (B&W) with 28/2 ASPH; CV 12/5.6, Zeiss 21/2.8, CV 35/1.2, CV 50/1.5, CV 75/2.5
Leica M3 with 35/3.5; 50/2, 90/4
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Old 03-06-2007   #2
Joe Mondello
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Yeah I hear you.

My R-D1 is pretty quirky focus wise but I haven't set about a test yet. Maybe tonite.

On mine (a re-furb) infinity does not converge but the results are good at infinity.

For closer work I find my 1963 50/2 Summicron to be sharp and the 28/1.9 Ultron and 40/1.4 Nokton to be off.

Endustry (Aaron) tells me he just got his wife's R-D1 back from DAG and I'll meet up with him soon to compare how both cameras work with my 4 lenses.

Of course I also really want to see what results these 4 lenses give on his M8!
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Old 03-06-2007   #3
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this is the shade i use on the Ultron - made by heliopan (german), metal, excellent build and not too expensive. It makes a _huge_ difference to the flare with this lens.

cheers
Phil
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File Type: jpg Ultron-shade-resize.jpg (28.8 KB, 211 views)
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Old 03-06-2007   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pfogle
this is the shade i use on the Ultron - made by heliopan (german), metal, excellent build and not too expensive. It makes a _huge_ difference to the flare with this lens.

cheers
Phil
Phil, could you share where one might be able to buy this shade?
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Old 03-06-2007   #5
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That looks really deep for a 28mm lens. Do you have any vignetting when using it on the Ultron when it's mounted on a regular film body?

I've yet to experience any serious flare problem w/the Ultron, BTW.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pfogle
this is the shade i use on the Ultron - made by heliopan (german), metal, excellent build and not too expensive. It makes a _huge_ difference to the flare with this lens.

cheers
Phil
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Five a Second. Chicago's Bell & Howell Co. (cameras) announced that it would put on sale this fall the world's most expensive still camera. Its "Foton" will take five 35-mm. pictures a second, sell for $700. Bell & Howell, which has found that "families of both low and high incomes now spend over $550" for movie equipment, hopes to sell 20,000 Fotons a year.

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Old 03-06-2007   #6
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My experience with the Ultron 28 has been fine too. I wish it were a bit smaller but find it to be really nice and have had no issue in terms of flare or focusing on the R D1. It is a bit less contrasty than my 35 f2 ASPH wide- open but I expect that.
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Old 03-07-2007   #7
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furcafe - definitely no vignetting, even wide open. It's a standard lens on the R-D1.

Andy, I'm afraid I only know of a London, UK supplier - Teamwork photo (link) - on their website (they will do mail order, but pricey, I think) it's in the filters section. But I'm sure you can google it. I use them on most of my lenses, they're really nicely machined and a very durable matt black finish.

I have to say that this shade changed my life as far as the 28 Ultron is concerned

FWIW here's an image of the 52mm shade on the 50/1.5 Nokton - again, a big improvement on the original, though perhaps less necessary in this case, as the Nokton is very resistant to flare...
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Old 03-07-2007   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pfogle
furcafe - definitely no vignetting, even wide open. It's a standard lens on the R-D1.

Andy, I'm afraid I only know of a London, UK supplier - Teamwork photo (link) - on their website (they will do mail order, but pricey, I think) it's in the filters section. But I'm sure you can google it. I use them on most of my lenses, they're really nicely machined and a very durable matt black finish.

I have to say that this shade changed my life as far as the 28 Ultron is concerned

FWIW here's an image of the 52mm shade on the 50/1.5 Nokton - again, a big improvement on the original, though perhaps less necessary in this case, as the Nokton is very resistant to flare...
Phil,

Thank you very much for the info on the hood, I'll try to get one. No doubt it will help! Apart from the flare (and it seems unit related, as other people don't have the problem - envy!!), I like my Ultron a lot.
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Moved from Nikon FF (D700) to m43 (E-M1). My back thanks me and my "real" camera became my "everyday" camera.
Still an RF fan when it comes to "just because" photography (including film).

Using (at the moment):
Leica M8 (B&W) with 28/2 ASPH; CV 12/5.6, Zeiss 21/2.8, CV 35/1.2, CV 50/1.5, CV 75/2.5
Leica M3 with 35/3.5; 50/2, 90/4
Mamiya 7 + 43 + 65 + 150
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Old 03-07-2007   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Mondello
Yeah I hear you.

My R-D1 is pretty quirky focus wise but I haven't set about a test yet. Maybe tonite.

On mine (a re-furb) infinity does not converge but the results are good at infinity.

For closer work I find my 1963 50/2 Summicron to be sharp and the 28/1.9 Ultron and 40/1.4 Nokton to be off.

Endustry (Aaron) tells me he just got his wife's R-D1 back from DAG and I'll meet up with him soon to compare how both cameras work with my 4 lenses.

Of course I also really want to see what results these 4 lenses give on his M8!
Thanks, Joe, it's nice to have company when suffering!

Just out of curiosity, would you post something on the test, please? It would add to the collective knowledge...

I _never_ was an obssessive-compulsive tester of anything, let alone lenses: my first camera (6 yrs/old) was an old kodak that took 128 (126? don't remember...) film, had a plastic lens and I even got good pictures with it. I don't remember shooting film to "test" lenses (in a "scientifical" fashion) before having the R-D1s.

All in all, I really love this camera, but I'm getting some nasty habits using it, including blaming the material when something is not ok and waisting a lot of time testing lenses, when I should be shooting (or playing golf, or whatever)!

I'll buy the hood for the Ultron (or try to get a better sample!) and just take pictures, now that I (fortunately) found out a calibration that works for all my lenses (and they are more than enough!).

Thanks everybody for helping!!
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jvr
-----------------
Moved from Nikon FF (D700) to m43 (E-M1). My back thanks me and my "real" camera became my "everyday" camera.
Still an RF fan when it comes to "just because" photography (including film).

Using (at the moment):
Leica M8 (B&W) with 28/2 ASPH; CV 12/5.6, Zeiss 21/2.8, CV 35/1.2, CV 50/1.5, CV 75/2.5
Leica M3 with 35/3.5; 50/2, 90/4
Mamiya 7 + 43 + 65 + 150
And a bunch of m43 lenses on the E-M1
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Old 03-07-2007   #10
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JVR, for your interest, see this mail I had received from Robert White after I reported several lenses would not focus correctly on my new R-D1s:
We have had a large number of emails and calls regarding focus accuracy with the RD-1 and RD-1s. To my knowledge when the camera is set to its closest focus distance and the lens on its maximum aperture Epson's tolerance is 1.5" either side of the point to which you focused on. However this distance is effected by different lenses used. We have had some customers using new and old lenses all with different results. The lens Epson has specified as the test lens is a Voigtlander 35mm f2.5 Colour Skopar M . I used this lens to test your camera and the focus was spot on the mark.

The test I performed involved a 12" ruler set a 45 degrees from the camera. The lens was then opened to f2.5 and the camera placed near to its closest focus distance. With the camera held steady by a tripod, several exposures were taken and each shot was identical. Each time I focused on the 6" mark, 5" and 7" markers were out of focus and appeared identical to me.

For interest, when Epson UK visited us in December this procedure was explained. Robert also tested 6 different lenses in our shop, these lenses were a mixture of new and old and from several manufacturers. We were truly amazed by the different results. A number of well known manufacturers lenses faired poorly with regards to this problem.
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Old 03-07-2007   #11
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Phil, thank you for the info. I also found one that looks v. similar, judging from the pictures, at B&H (link here), for ~$30.
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Old 03-08-2007   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akptc
Phil, thank you for the info. I also found one that looks v. similar, judging from the pictures, at B&H (link here), for ~$30.
this is their 46mm one (link) which looks a little shorter than the Heliopan. Also, it has a slight flare before the cylindrical part, so it will probably block a bit more of the viewfinder - something to think about with the 28mm.

If I can locate a supplier of Heliopan in the states, I'll let you know.

-edit there are people who do the filters in the states, but I haven't yet found the hoods. I just spoke to Teamwork, and they will send one out if you order online.

cheers
Phil
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Old 03-08-2007   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Didier
JVR, for your interest, see this mail I had received from Robert White after I reported several lenses would not focus correctly on my new R-D1s:
We have had a large number of emails and calls regarding focus accuracy with the RD-1 and RD-1s. To my knowledge when the camera is set to its closest focus distance and the lens on its maximum aperture Epson's tolerance is 1.5" either side of the point to which you focused on. However this distance is effected by different lenses used. We have had some customers using new and old lenses all with different results. The lens Epson has specified as the test lens is a Voigtlander 35mm f2.5 Colour Skopar M . I used this lens to test your camera and the focus was spot on the mark.

The test I performed involved a 12" ruler set a 45 degrees from the camera. The lens was then opened to f2.5 and the camera placed near to its closest focus distance. With the camera held steady by a tripod, several exposures were taken and each shot was identical. Each time I focused on the 6" mark, 5" and 7" markers were out of focus and appeared identical to me.

For interest, when Epson UK visited us in December this procedure was explained. Robert also tested 6 different lenses in our shop, these lenses were a mixture of new and old and from several manufacturers. We were truly amazed by the different results. A number of well known manufacturers lenses faired poorly with regards to this problem.
Thanks, Didier! Funny enough, I first used exactly the 35/2.5 PII to adjust focus after the RF misaligned. I just refined it a "little, little bit" afterwards using the 35/1.2 Nokton. The difference if very small but it's enough to make the 35/1.2 focus like a charm, even wide-open. And the 35 PII is easier to focus, of course, more tolerance.

Ok, so it's not only my Epson... :-)
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Moved from Nikon FF (D700) to m43 (E-M1). My back thanks me and my "real" camera became my "everyday" camera.
Still an RF fan when it comes to "just because" photography (including film).

Using (at the moment):
Leica M8 (B&W) with 28/2 ASPH; CV 12/5.6, Zeiss 21/2.8, CV 35/1.2, CV 50/1.5, CV 75/2.5
Leica M3 with 35/3.5; 50/2, 90/4
Mamiya 7 + 43 + 65 + 150
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Hood for 28 Ultron
Old 03-08-2007   #14
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Hood for 28 Ultron

Quote:
Originally Posted by pfogle
this is the shade i use on the Ultron - made by heliopan (german), metal, excellent build and not too expensive. It makes a _huge_ difference to the flare with this lens.

cheers
Phil
Phil,

Is it the "wide" metal hood?

Thanks!
Joao
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jvr
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Moved from Nikon FF (D700) to m43 (E-M1). My back thanks me and my "real" camera became my "everyday" camera.
Still an RF fan when it comes to "just because" photography (including film).

Using (at the moment):
Leica M8 (B&W) with 28/2 ASPH; CV 12/5.6, Zeiss 21/2.8, CV 35/1.2, CV 50/1.5, CV 75/2.5
Leica M3 with 35/3.5; 50/2, 90/4
Mamiya 7 + 43 + 65 + 150
And a bunch of m43 lenses on the E-M1
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Old 03-08-2007   #15
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Sorry if I wasn't clear. I asked about vignetting w/that shade on a film body, not the R-D1.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pfogle
furcafe - definitely no vignetting, even wide open. It's a standard lens on the R-D1.
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Five a Second. Chicago's Bell & Howell Co. (cameras) announced that it would put on sale this fall the world's most expensive still camera. Its "Foton" will take five 35-mm. pictures a second, sell for $700. Bell & Howell, which has found that "families of both low and high incomes now spend over $550" for movie equipment, hopes to sell 20,000 Fotons a year.

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Old 03-08-2007   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvr
Phil,

Is it the "wide" metal hood?

Thanks!
Joao
no - tele I think - AFAIK they only do 2 lengths in each screw size.
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Old 03-08-2007   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by furcafe
Sorry if I wasn't clear. I asked about vignetting w/that shade on a film body, not the R-D1.
can't say - I don't have a film body, but I guess it would vignette. They do a 'wide' model that would probably be OK on a film body.

cheers
Phil
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Old 03-08-2007   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pfogle
no - tele I think - AFAIK they only do 2 lengths in each screw size.
Thanks! That's it, they list Tele and Wide on the site.

On the Leica FAQ they suggest the Heliopan metal Tele version for a 50 'Cron. Since the 28 is almot a 43 on the Epson, it sounds right. I'll give it a try!
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Moved from Nikon FF (D700) to m43 (E-M1). My back thanks me and my "real" camera became my "everyday" camera.
Still an RF fan when it comes to "just because" photography (including film).

Using (at the moment):
Leica M8 (B&W) with 28/2 ASPH; CV 12/5.6, Zeiss 21/2.8, CV 35/1.2, CV 50/1.5, CV 75/2.5
Leica M3 with 35/3.5; 50/2, 90/4
Mamiya 7 + 43 + 65 + 150
And a bunch of m43 lenses on the E-M1
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Old 03-09-2007   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pfogle
no - tele I think - AFAIK they only do 2 lengths in each screw size.
Ok, I ordered the hood. I'll report afterwards. Thank you very much for the info!
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jvr
-----------------
Moved from Nikon FF (D700) to m43 (E-M1). My back thanks me and my "real" camera became my "everyday" camera.
Still an RF fan when it comes to "just because" photography (including film).

Using (at the moment):
Leica M8 (B&W) with 28/2 ASPH; CV 12/5.6, Zeiss 21/2.8, CV 35/1.2, CV 50/1.5, CV 75/2.5
Leica M3 with 35/3.5; 50/2, 90/4
Mamiya 7 + 43 + 65 + 150
And a bunch of m43 lenses on the E-M1
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Old 03-11-2007   #20
Joe Mondello
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvr
Thanks, Joe, it's nice to have company when suffering!

Just out of curiosity, would you post something on the test, please? It would add to the collective knowledge...

I _never_ was an obssessive-compulsive tester of anything, let alone lenses: my first camera (6 yrs/old) was an old kodak that took 128 (126? don't remember...) film, had a plastic lens and I even got good pictures with it. I don't remember shooting film to "test" lenses (in a "scientifical" fashion) before having the R-D1s.

All in all, I really love this camera, but I'm getting some nasty habits using it, including blaming the material when something is not ok and waisting a lot of time testing lenses, when I should be shooting (or playing golf, or whatever)!

I'll buy the hood for the Ultron (or try to get a better sample!) and just take pictures, now that I (fortunately) found out a calibration that works for all my lenses (and they are more than enough!).

Thanks everybody for helping!!
I really hate the idea that I have to test my gear. Maybe it's the modern era, but I don't recall ever getting a bum camera or lens until the new millennium. :-(

I DID actually do a quickie test with the R-D1 with the 28 Ultron, the 40 Nokton and the 50 DR 'Cron. And the results were all over the place. Enough so that I will re-do the test with more control, ie measuring the exact distances and putting the camera on a tripod etc to remove camera shake from the equation.

I will post a link to that when I've done it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jim_buchanan
I've never known a love/hate relationship until I purchased this R-D1!
My relationship with the R-D1 certainly is one of LOVE/HATE.
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Old 04-15-2007   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvr
Ok, I ordered the hood. I'll report afterwards. Thank you very much for the info!
Just to report that I already got the hood. It definitely makes a difference. Contrast is higher, you can even see it on the histogram (wider) and on speed chosen by the camera for the same aperture (less flare, less light, lower speed, brighter whites!).

Thank you very much!

BTW, I notice a lot more flare on the Ultron 28 when used on the R-D1s. On my M3 it does not show so much. Could it be that it's an interaction between the almost flat rear element and the completely flat, shiny sensor? A film is less flat and much less shiny than a CCD.

With an almost flat rear element (and probably a less than perfect coating on a surface that should not receive much light in "normal" conditions), the Ultron 28 is more "vulnerable" to stray light reflected from the sensor (and then reflected again to the sensor by the rear element!) than other lenses...

Could this be part of the explanation for the varying results people get from the ultron?!?
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Moved from Nikon FF (D700) to m43 (E-M1). My back thanks me and my "real" camera became my "everyday" camera.
Still an RF fan when it comes to "just because" photography (including film).

Using (at the moment):
Leica M8 (B&W) with 28/2 ASPH; CV 12/5.6, Zeiss 21/2.8, CV 35/1.2, CV 50/1.5, CV 75/2.5
Leica M3 with 35/3.5; 50/2, 90/4
Mamiya 7 + 43 + 65 + 150
And a bunch of m43 lenses on the E-M1
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Old 04-17-2007   #22
pfogle
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I've never really noticed any problem with flare from the Ultron 28. Mind you, I don't use it very much, but it seems pretty good to me.

If the flare was from a reflection from the rear element, it would show up if there is a bright source in the picture. Why not shoot some night street scene using both bodies (film and dig) and post the results?

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Old 04-19-2007   #23
jvr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pfogle
I've never really noticed any problem with flare from the Ultron 28. Mind you, I don't use it very much, but it seems pretty good to me.

If the flare was from a reflection from the rear element, it would show up if there is a bright source in the picture. Why not shoot some night street scene using both bodies (film and dig) and post the results?

cheers
Phil
That's exactly what I'll do when I get some time.

BTW, problem usually shows (at least with my sample) when source lights are JUST out of the picture. And what I get is not "flare ghosts" (other lenses are much worse in this respect!). It's more of a veliling flare that takes away contrast (nothing that can't be recovered with Levels on Photoshop...). The hood improves it a lot. So much that I'm inclined to buy new hoods for both my Zeiss 21/2.8 Biogon and the 12/5.6 Ultra Wide Heliar. With the cropping factor, both lenses probably don't vignette with a more "agressive" hood.

BTW, it almost sounds like I don't like the Ultron. I certainly do and, like most other CV lenses, it's quality is almost with the best, by a price that almost seems ridiculous by comparison .

It's probaby just curiosity from my side, as it's rendering is different from all the other CVs I own (I already posted a series of pics to show what I mean).
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Moved from Nikon FF (D700) to m43 (E-M1). My back thanks me and my "real" camera became my "everyday" camera.
Still an RF fan when it comes to "just because" photography (including film).

Using (at the moment):
Leica M8 (B&W) with 28/2 ASPH; CV 12/5.6, Zeiss 21/2.8, CV 35/1.2, CV 50/1.5, CV 75/2.5
Leica M3 with 35/3.5; 50/2, 90/4
Mamiya 7 + 43 + 65 + 150
And a bunch of m43 lenses on the E-M1
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Old 04-19-2007   #24
mwooten
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Since this thread has kind of wandered more into the realm of the Ultron, could someone explain the cyan flair I've gotten with some shots with my Ultron.
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Old 04-24-2007   #25
summilux
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did you have any filter on?
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