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Sean Reid
02-22-2005, 05:43
For those who are interested, I just got the green light from my editor to do an article on fast lenses for the R-D1. I've requested the following:
From Leica: 35/1.4, 50/1.4, 50/1.0 Noct, 50/2.0, 75/1.4
From CV: 40/1.4, 35/1.2, 50/1.5

Did I miss any? The Leica 28/2 and 35/2 have already been tested as have the CV 28/1.9 and 35/1.7.

I have a feeling I'll want to buy some of these lenses after the review is done and that may, at the moment, require winning the lottery. If you read the article and like it, please feel free to send me a lottery ticket. <G>

Cheers,

Sean

Huck Finn
02-22-2005, 05:54
Sean, if you're going to include the 50 Summicron, wouldn't it also make sense to include the Zeiss 50/2 Planar? My understanding is that Hasselblad has had it for a few weeks now.
Their most recent plan was also for the distributor to have the 25/2.8, 28/2.8, & 35/2 by the end of February as well. So, why not include the 35 Biogon if they can have a sample of that in your hands as well by the time you do the review. We're in the last week of February as we speak.

I hope you can work something out. I'm looking forward to the article & am going out now to buy the lottery ticket. ;)

peter_n
02-22-2005, 06:02
Huck makes a good point. The rumor on the larger diameter of the Zeiss lenses is that they are really designed for a digital ZI camera. It would be very interesting to see them tested against the best of the currently available crop. :)

Sean Reid
02-22-2005, 07:15
I'll contact them and see if they'll send the lenses. Thanks for the suggestions.

Sean

Sean Reid
02-22-2005, 09:10
Zeiss is on the ball. In less than two hours my Zeiss contact called back from PMA in Florida and I should have the 25, 28, 35 and 50 to test soon.

Cheers,

Sean

DaShiv
02-22-2005, 09:40
Wow, that's quite a scoop! Too bad that all the film people will need to test the Zeiss lenses for themselves. :D

Looking forward to seeing if this "designed for digital" thing is just marketing or if it's real.

Huck Finn
02-22-2005, 09:41
Wow! Way to go, Sean! :eek: I'm excited that you'll be getting these lenses - not only because thye will be included in your review, but because this means that it souldn't be long that they are also available to us! :D

BTW, is Hasselblad-USA your Zeiss contact ot were you speaking with someone from Carl Zeiss itself?

Best of luck with the new project, Sean. :)

Sean Reid
02-22-2005, 13:50
Designed for digital, per se, is legit (if it's done properly). A good lens for a digital RF needs to present the light to the sensor almost straight on. See my last lens review article for details if curious. Without new RF lens designs a FF RF would be impossible save for a major technological breakthrough - vignetting would be too strong with existing (known) sensors and microlens assemblies.

So, how well did Zeiss do? We'll find out. The real test would be to put the lenses on a FF digital RF but that isn't possible. yet

Sean

Huck,

Thanks, the 50s are already in the USA and most of the others are expected in about two weeks. I don't know when they'll be for sale. I'm speaking with Hassy.

Sean

driggett
02-22-2005, 15:35
Sean,
How about some telephoto lenses. I am interested in the Leica 135 f/3.4.
Thanks,
Chris

Sean Reid
02-22-2005, 17:14
Hi Chris,

That test might have to come from someone else I'm afraid. 75mm is about the longest lens I'd consider using on the R-D1. Someone else up for a long lens test? I use SLRs for macro and telephoto work (I rarely do much of either) because those distances aren't an RF's forte, even when a long BL allows for focusing.

Cheers,

Sean

nf3996
02-23-2005, 02:04
How about including the Konica M-Hexanon 35mm f/2 and 50mm f/2 lenses? In fact, I'd be interested in learning how any of the M-Hexanon lenses perform on an R-D1.

Sean Reid
02-23-2005, 02:57
Perhaps....this is starting to look like a huge test. I'll think about the Konica idea, thanks.

Cheers,

Sean

peter_n
02-23-2005, 05:40
Zeiss is on the ball. In less than two hours my Zeiss contact called back from PMA in Florida and I should have the 25, 28, 35 and 50 to test soon.To me that means they are very confident about a comparison test... Interesting! :cool:

jlw
02-23-2005, 06:19
That test might have to come from someone else I'm afraid. 75mm is about the longest lens I'd consider using on the R-D1. Someone else up for a long lens test?

It's not really a 'test,' but during dress rehearsals last week for a ballet production of Romeo and Juliet I tried out using my old 85mm f/1.5 Canon on the R-D1.

I haven't got any pictures ready to post yet, but a few observations:


Just as you'd expect, RF focusing accuracy is fine even at full aperture as long as you're not shooting close-ups. I was shooting in the 30-to-50-foot range and had no focus errors.
I was surprised how well this oldie performed on the R-D1! Detail was very good.
Auxiliary viewfinders are a pain in the butt for action shooting.
Biggest problem: As discussed previously, when using an aux viewfinder, my nose wants to go RIGHT into the finder eyepiece! I got in the habit of keeping a clean handkerchief handy to wipe off the nose grease.


This experience -- mostly because of the auxiliary finder issues -- makes me think that using lenses longer than 50 on the R-D 1 is not so much an everyday practical thing as something you might want to try occasionally just for the heck of it. I certainly wouldn't want to buy an expensive long lens just to use on the R-D 1... too much of a PIA!

So, I don't think the utility of Sean's review will be compromised if he limits it to 75 and shorter. Whaddaya gonna use for a viewfinder for that 75mm lens, Sean?

Also, how about including one or two oldie LTM fast lenses for comparison, since so many of us have 'em? It would be interesting to see how much visible difference there is, for example, between the new Zeiss 50/2 and, say, a Canon 50/1.8...

vincenzo
02-23-2005, 09:37
Look forward to the results Sean!! Its nice to find this forum and share the so far "unique" RD-1 experience! I've had my unit for 4 months now and I have zero regrets about buying it. I sold my M7 and Noctilux to get it so it was a risky step. Anyway I tried a few different lenses so far: Hexanon 50/2 - VERY GOOD. VC 28/1.9 - FANTASTIC. JUPITER 50/1.5 -SUPRISINGLY GOOD VC 15/4.5 - GOOD BUT VIGNETTING IS UNACCEPTABLE UNLESS SHOOTING RAW AND USING SOFTWARE. V interested in VC 40/1.4 but may plump for the new zeiss 21/2.8 when it comes out instead as I'm getting funky results with the Jupiter believe it or not!! I tried a cheapo Jupiter 135/4 but its a waste really and I certainly won't go over 85mm again... Roll on the zeiss shipment!!

DaShiv
02-23-2005, 09:56
I'm wondering how well the CV 35/1.2 will perform on the R-D1 compared to the other 35's. My 35/1.4 ASPH has been simply stunning wide open (and I say this after having used some of Canon's best L's), but if the CV 35/1.2 is comparable to it on the R-D1, then more speed is always good. :D

The 35/1.4 ASPH clobbers the CV in the film comparisons I've seen, but digital is a different game entirely so you never know. For instance, the CV 28/1.9 and 28/3.5 both appeared to perform similarly well in the film shootouts but the 28/1.9 pulled ahead considerably in Sean's review. Digital is full of surprises!

Sean Reid
02-23-2005, 13:58
It is interesting, isn't it? The 28/1.9 is indeed a much better lens than the 28/3.5 on the R-D1. I've got the CV lenses all lined up and the Zeiss lenses should be here in two weeks. Will get dates from Leica when they're back from PMA.

Sean

fotografz
02-24-2005, 02:45
I've used my 90AA on the RD-1 and it focused pretty well. Had to guess at the framing.

Hmm, you'd need a 200mm shoe finder to use the 135/3.4 on this camera. Was any ever made?

The Zeiss lens I'm waiting for (and saving up for) is the 15/2.8. I already got the V/C special edition finder that translates it to a 24mm field of view on the RD-1. Anyone want to purchase my first born so I can afford the 15mm? Or I could sell my house and live in my car ; -)

Ed Schwartzreic
02-24-2005, 04:07
The 90 AA is one of my favorite lenses on the R-D1. I will usually take along a kit which contains the Tri-Elmar, the 90AA, the Noctilux, and a wide fast lens. Right now I am awaiting release of the CV 21 Biogon for this purpose. The Leitz 135mm bright-line finder is ideal for the AA, and focusing has not been a problem.

Ed

Huck Finn
02-24-2005, 04:13
Right now I am awaiting release of the CV 21 Biogon.

Ed

:confused: ZEISS 21 Biogon?

Ed Schwartzreic
02-24-2005, 04:26
Yeah, Zeiss, of course. I hope it's up the their QC.

Years ago I had a not-so-bright roomate who asked me whether I had seen his "grey plastic dish."

"What grey plastic dish, Dick?" I replied.

"You know. The one I cook in and eat out of."

He searched our kitchen and a few minutes later came out with a small disposable aluminum pie pan. "This is what I was talking about."

"But that's aluminum, Dick, not grey plastic."

"Aluminum, plastic, what's the difference," was the reply.

Sean Reid
02-24-2005, 06:13
I've thought about including some old Canon RF lenses as well (since I like them so much). I'd want to get my hands on a 35/1.5 (preferably) or 35/1.8 and one of the fast Canon 50s. Maybe KevinCameras would do a loan.

Cheers,

Sean

Jim Watts
03-01-2005, 09:09
I have just got back from the "Focus on Imaging" exhibition near Birmingham in the U.K. where one of the things I wanted to do was check out some of the Zeiss Ikon M mount lenses that Sean now hopes to include in his review of fast lenses for use on the R-D1. Despite having a large and well logoed part of the Hasselblad stand it turned out to be a fairly futile experience.

I think they had pretty much the whole of the present proposed M lens range from 15mm to 85mm but they were all in a glass display cabinet and when I asked to try some of them on my R-D1 the demonstrater wouldn not let me, claiming they were not "finalised" lenses. He was even reluctant to let me handle them at first but finally agreed to let me hold the 21mm f/2.8 and the 25mm f/2.8 the lenses that I am most interested in, but I was not allowed to fit them to my camera. Construction of these "not finalised" examples looked and felt pretty good with good positive aperture rings and a fairly good finish, especially the chrome. Smoothness of the focusing ring (while not attached to a camera) seem better than the VC lenses but not quite as good as my Leica cron's.

Despite the U.K. Price list saying that the 25mm & 35mm lenses were in the U.K from last November I was told that it would be at least a month now before any of range would be available in the U.K.

U.K. list prices are high and Hasselblad stuff doesn't usually see a significantly lower "street price" here.

21mm £875, 25mm £775, 35mm £699, 50mm £552, 85mm £1575 and the 15mm a mind blowing :eek: (at least to me) £2543 (Hologon priceing). Wow! the 15mm VC at £264 including viewfinder even at an f stop less seems an even bigger bargain now. :D

These prices do not include the viewfinders which are £282 each and lens hoods at £56 each. Multiply all these prices by about 1.85x to get them in U.S. dollars but I expect as usual U.S. prices will be lower even with the weak dollar. At these U.K. prices a mint secondhand Leica 21mm or 25mm Asph including viewfinder (for 35mm not R-D1 use) will be a little cheaper so I look forward even more keenly to Sean's comparative review. Hope you at least get the finalised versions soon Sean!

peter_n
03-01-2005, 09:35
Thanks for the very interesting report on the Zeiss lenses Jim. :)

DaShiv
03-01-2005, 09:56
U.K. list prices are high and Hasselblad stuff doesn't usually see a significantly lower "street price" here.

21mm £875, 25mm £775, 35mm £699, 50mm £552, 85mm £1575 and the 15mm a mind blowing :eek: (at least to me) £2543 (Hologon priceing).

Classic Connection (http://www.classicconnection.com/Cameras,Zeiss-Ikon%20,Products.asp) shows the following US prices: 21mm $1307, 25mm $1152, 35mm $1042, 50mm $824, 85mm $2759, and 15mm $3796. All of these (except the 85mm) are between 75%-80% of their UK prices. Considering that, for example, Canon L lenses often go for £ = $ on pricing, Zeiss's pricing is actually not as bad as it could be in the UK. :D

Still, once you add in the prices for the hoods (!) and the ready availability of second-hand Leica lenses, the Zeiss prices definitely seem awfully close. It'll be interesting to see how Sean's tests shake out!

Huck Finn
03-01-2005, 10:50
At these U.K. prices a mint secondhand Leica 21mm or 25mm Asph including viewfinder (for 35mm not R-D1 use) will be a little cheaper so I look forward even more keenly to Sean's comparative review. Hope you at least get the finalised versions soon Sean!

Jim, thanks for the report. I think that many of us are looking forward to Sean's report. :)

At the USA prices quoted by DaShiv, the Zeiss lenses, new & warranteed, will still be considerably cheaper than prices that the aspherical versions of the Leica 21 & 24 have been commanding in recent ebay sales - with the caveat that few of these show up on ebay, so recent sales may not rule out still being able to get a good buy occasionally. Recent sales of the older, non-aspheric 21 have been similar to the Zeiss price.

None of this can be good news for Leica - in the midst of its recent financial woes. Whether the consumer opts for a new Zeiss or a used Leica, that's a "no sale" for Leica, Inc. :(

The wacky world of camera equipment pricing continues unabated. USA prices are cheaper than UK prices, while Japanese prices are cheaper than USA prices. :confused: Jim are the UK prices before or after VAT?

Jim Watts
03-02-2005, 01:15
Peter,
The prices I quoted include U.K. VAT at 17.5%.
I have seen a dealer advertised 21mm Asph ex. Demo here for £1,100 and a mint S/H 24mm Asph at £950. New prices here are £1,700 and £1,400 but you are right that you don't see many on the second hand market.

Certainly the 'politics' of international camera pricing seem very strange even allowing for different taxation levels. It seems to be what the market will bear and the U.K. comes out pretty badly. We must be too willing to part with our money :cool: ? I have just heard that a friend has purchased an R-D1 in Hong Kong for £900 :) him :mad: me. I could have had a shooting trip there, picked one up and still seen change from £2K.

DaShiv
03-02-2005, 01:19
I have just heard that a friend has purchased an R-D1 in Hong Kong for £900

:eek: :eek: :eek: :bang:

RML
03-02-2005, 01:36
I have just heard that a friend has purchased an R-D1 in Hong Kong for £900 :) him :mad: me. I could have had a shooting trip there, picked one up and still seen change from £2K.

Is your friend willing to tell exactly where he bought the RD1 in Hongkong?
900 GBP is less than 1335 euros, and that makes the HongKong price only 45% of the price here in Holland.
I'm mightily tempted to book a flight to HongKong for a few hundred euros and buy the damn thing! :eek:

Jim Watts
03-02-2005, 01:46
Is your friend willing to tell exactly where he bought the RD1 in Hongkong?

I have only heard this via another mutual friend and perhaps he is trying to wind-me-up ;) but as soon as I can contact my friend direct I'll report back.

RML
03-02-2005, 02:07
I have only heard this via another mutual friend and perhaps he is trying to wind-me-up ;) but as soon as I can contact my friend direct I'll report back.


Please do, Jim.
I seem to be able to get a 6-day trip (including 3* hotel) for 770 euros. With taxes, single-room surcharge, and some other cr*p that'll still be less than 1000 euros, making the RD1 still cheaper to buy in HongKong than here in the shop.

2350 euros and a 6 day trip to HongKong, or 3000 euros and a bus ride to the shop.... Hmmm... decisions, decisions. :p

Jim Watts
03-02-2005, 02:21
RML,

I have e-mailed my friend asking if the price quoted was correct and asking if he would mind telling me where in Hong Kong he got his R-D1. I have also pointed him to this forum, so we may gain another member? I will pass on any info as soon as I get a reply.

Jim Watts
03-02-2005, 02:36
2350 euros and a 6 day trip to HongKong, or 3000 euros and a bus ride to the shop.... Hmmm... decisions, decisions. :p

3000 euros in Holland? Thats £2058 at todays exchange rate. £59 more than in London. You might (just) be able to get a cheap flight here for that if you want a day out. ;)

RML
03-02-2005, 02:53
Hmmm. More decisions....

What'll I choose?
2350 euros and a 6 day trip to HongKong, or
3000 euros and a bus ride to the shop, or
2058 pounds and a daytrip to London?

HongKong still sounds rather tempting! :p

Sean Reid
03-09-2005, 03:30
Leica lenses arrived yesterday. V-C lenses due today, Zeiss lenses due late this week.

The journey begins...

DaShiv
03-09-2005, 03:50
All that wonderful glass. How reviewers don't get driven mad by G.A.S., I'll never know. :D

vincenzo
03-09-2005, 03:56
Wow you're in lens heaven! How long do you usualy take to conduct your tests? From what I can gather you have a very large selection!

Jeroen
03-09-2005, 04:06
Please do, Jim.
I seem to be able to get a 6-day trip (including 3* hotel) for 770 euros.

Please *do* inform where you found this amazing offer!

RML
03-09-2005, 06:11
Please *do* inform where you found this amazing offer!

Jeroen, here is a Dutch-Chinese organisation, the Vereniging Nederland-China. They have a website: www.vnc.nl . They have a 6-day trip to HongKong for 770 euro (exclusing taxes and such, of course).

Are you planning to go? If so, would you be willing to bring me an R-D1? Please, please, pretty please? (I'm assuming here you live in Holland, considering your name :) )

Sean Reid
03-09-2005, 09:18
Wow you're in lens heaven! How long do you usualy take to conduct your tests? From what I can gather you have a very large selection!

I am indeed entering lens heaven. All these CV lenses just arrived as well. And now for the new Zeiss lenses <huge grin>. As far as time, it takes weeks to do the tests because A) There's a lot of work to do B) I have to juggle around other professional responsibilities that pay better and put food on the table.

Cheers,

Sean

Sean Reid
03-09-2005, 15:38
Well, here's the first piece of interesting news: the R-D1 can indeed focus the Noctilux accurately. I think the reason for this, in part, is that the lens has such a slow focus ring ratio (lots of ring turning for a little focus change)that it encourages precision. Needless to say, at F/1 there ain't a lot of margin for focus error with any camera but I've just done about 20 pictures in regular household light at night (handheld) and they were focused where they were supposed to be. So far, I'd say that one can indeed use this lens on the R-D1. So much for theory vs. practice. Score one for practice.

Sean

ccie8407
03-09-2005, 16:55
Hi Sean,

I was wondering if Leica send you the 24 Elmarit ASPH? I would like see how it compares to Zeiss 25 Distagon.

Howard

Sean Reid
03-09-2005, 17:33
Hi Howard,

They didn't for this test because the cutoff for this group was F/2. I would like to test that lens sometime.

Cheers,

Sean

J. Borger
03-09-2005, 23:35
Hi Sean,

If you have a comparable (to the Noctilux) quick conclusion about the 75 1.4 summilux, please let me know.
I'm interested in accuray of focussing and workability without an additional finder for that lens on a r-d1.
That lens is high on my list ...... probably as a replacement for the 85 1.2L on the 1Ds.

Han

David Kieltyka
03-10-2005, 10:34
I received my copy of the new Zeiss 50mm last night. Since I got home kinda late I only had time to take some quick snaps around the house. But so far it looks good. Build quality is very good, the focus & aperture rings are smooth & positive. Focusing is accurate on my R-D1.

I've posted a few of the snaps at photo.net. Nothing exciting, just evidence that the lens works. :-)

Oh, forgot to post the link. Here 'tis:

http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=00BRQ8

-Dave-

Sean Reid
03-10-2005, 12:33
Thanks David. The samples look great: sharp, tonality is nice...

Cheers,

Sean

Huck Finn
03-11-2005, 03:40
Sean, I know that you are testing lenses on the RD-1 specifically for their performance on a digital platorm & especially for issues like vignetting that have special relevance there. To what extent would you say that your conclusions can be generalized to performance of these same lenses on film cameras?

Thanks,
Huck

Sean Reid
03-11-2005, 05:26
Han,

I'll try the 75 soon and get back to you.

Huck,

I couldn't say, unfortunately. Sorry,

Sean

Jim Watts
03-11-2005, 08:24
Dave,
Samples do look very good from the 50. Looking forward to Sean's results from the wider lenses.

mfs
03-13-2005, 03:21
Any results yet with the 75 mm f 1.4???

What finder will (or did you use)????

Martin

Ed Schwartzreic
03-13-2005, 05:38
The Nikkor 105 bright line finder works adequately with the 75/1.4, especially the inner parallax-correcting lines.

Ed

Ed Schwartzreic
03-13-2005, 10:52
Speaking of the 75/1.4, I couldn't resist this. How often do you get to take R-D1 pictures while actually sitting at your computer? Well, a few minutes ago a spider started to drop down the screen, so I grabbed the aforesaid 75 with the 105 BL finder, backed up, and shot, @ f/2.8. Then I saw the wording on the screen.

A bit cropped, white-balanced and sharpened.

Ed

Sean Reid
03-14-2005, 08:00
Let's have a round of applause and buy a virtual beer for jlw who just sent me not one but three fast Canon LTM lens to be tested along with the others for this article? (He's a man after my own heart with his careful packing too...) They include the Canon 50/1.8 (later version), 50/1.4 and 50/1.2. They are in beautiful shape with perfect glass. I must admit that I have a real fondness for Canon LTM lenses (esp. on the R-D1). I own the 28/2.8 and 35/2.8 and will likely buy more. That doesn't affect my objectivity but I hope they do well in the tests. They're almost always so compact, so beautiful and so nicely made.

Does anyone have one of the fast Canon LTM 35mm lenses (F/2 or faster) that they would be willing to lend me for testing (about 3 - 4 weeks)? F/2 is the cutoff for this particular test. If so, please e-mail me at [email protected]

jlw...you did say, "just keep em' afterwards" right. <G>

Cheers,

Sean

Sean Reid
03-14-2005, 09:37
Thanks to Ed Schwartzreich, I'll soon have a Canon 35/2 to test as well. Does anyone have the faster 35mm lenses?

Cheers,

Sean

David Kieltyka
03-14-2005, 13:43
Sean, I have the Canon 35mm f/1.5. E-mail me your address and I'll send it off to you.

-Dave-

Sean Reid
03-14-2005, 14:36
Done...thanks Dave!!

Cheers,

Sean

photolady
03-16-2005, 07:36
Where can I find the results of your tests on the 28mmF2?? I am trying to figure out which wide angle to buy to supplement my 50.F2. Thanks Edie

Huck Finn
03-16-2005, 07:51
www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/lenses/rd-1-lens.shtml

jlw
03-16-2005, 08:27
Hmm, you'd need a 200mm shoe finder to use the 135/3.4 on this camera. Was any ever made?

The Tewe zoom finder I own goes up to 200mm.

However, if you want to use a 135 and retain Epson's 85% frameline coverage (which I've found to be a very good idea, to provide a safety margin for minor misalignments and close-focus field size change) then you'd need a 243mm finder! Now that's going to be a difficult bird to find!

(Unless you want to carry a Kodak Ektra just to use as a viewfinder... its built-in varifocal finder went up to 254mm! Finally, a good use for your Ektra with an inoperable shutter...)

Sean Reid
03-17-2005, 12:03
Thanks to Ed I now have a copy of the Canon 35/2 to test. Thank you kindly, Ed. I haven't made samples yet but what a beautiful little lens this is. Compact, solid, silky smooth focusing (recent CLA?). I may have to get one of these.

Cheers,

Sean

Sean Reid
03-19-2005, 13:31
Any results yet with the 75 mm f 1.4???

What finder will (or did you use)????

Martin

Hi Martin,

The 75/1.4 *can* be focused accurately by the R-D1. I don't know what it's batting average will be yet but the combination can hit the focus mark. I'm not using any special finder with it right now - just guestimating inside the 50mm frame lines.

Sean

Sean Reid
03-19-2005, 13:53
I've done some more focus tests with the 75/1.4 and basically my conclusion is that if the photographer can focus the rangefinder image exactly, the lens will focus properly. Does the R-D1 base length allow this? Yes...one just has to be very careful and be sure that one's eye is centered exactly over the RF patch. So...if you can do it, it can do it.

The OOF areas with this lens are quite beautiful.


Cheers,

Sean

Sean Reid
03-19-2005, 16:32
Both the Leica 35/1.4 and 50/1.4 are razor sharp wide open. They're my favorite lenses in the test so far.

Sean

Huck Finn
03-20-2005, 14:14
Thanks for the previews, Sean. :)

aizan
03-20-2005, 14:59
hmm, no nikkors. want to include my 50/1.4?

Sean Reid
03-20-2005, 15:08
Huck,

You're very welcome.

Aizan,

Thanks very much but I'm swimming in lenses now so I better stop where I am.

Cheers,

Sean

DaShiv
03-20-2005, 16:17
Sean, are you testing the Leica 50/1.4 pre-ASPH or the ASPH? The ASPH is running quite rare these days since Leica seems behind on their production...

Sean Reid
03-20-2005, 16:37
I am testing the 50/1.4 ASPH and based on what I'm seeing, it's no wonder they're in demand.

Sean

DaShiv
03-20-2005, 16:46
Thanks. I had heard that the pre-ASPH was a little weak wide-open, but I'm glad to hear that the ASPH has remedied that -- and then some, from the sound of it. :D

skimmel
03-21-2005, 05:10
Sean:

I really enjoyed your LL reviews. When do you think your fast lens review will be available and where will it be published? (Sorry if you mentioned this somewhere earlier and I just missed it.)

Thanks.

Sean Reid
03-21-2005, 06:28
Welcome to RFF. This is definitely the "R-D1 Central" forum. Thanks for your comments on the articles. The new one will be published on LL and I hope to have it ready by mid-April.

Cheers,

Sean

J. Borger
03-21-2005, 07:28
Hi Martin,

The 75/1.4 *can* be focused accurately by the R-D1. I don't know what it's batting average will be yet but the combination can hit the focus mark.
Sean

I have the same experience ... after initial difficulties the lens is growing fast on me. The nr of hits (wide open -- close-up) is growing with use. I went from 1 out of five the 1st day to about 3 out of 5 at the moment. That' s quite acceptable i think for somebody who never used a rangefinder before and wears glasses.
You have to focus it realy carefull .......very little room for driving error!

Han

Sean Reid
03-21-2005, 08:02
Hi Han,

You do indeed to be careful. I don't wear glasses and have been using rangefinders for 20 years. I can still miss with the 75/1.4 from time to time, largely because of the R-D1's short baselength. It's easy to be a little ahead or behind of the intended focus distance even when the rangefinder patch looks good. Mostly...however, they've been in focus.

Cheers,

Sean

David Kieltyka
03-21-2005, 09:46
I've had much the same experience with my 85mm Sonnar. My success rate at f/2 was initially mediocre, but then I adapted to the R-D1's RF behavior and things improved dramatically. I've been using the lens far more than I'd expected to and have become pretty good at accurately framing inside the 50mm framelines.

-Dave-

skimmel
03-21-2005, 09:59
Welcome to RFF. This is definitely the "R-D1 Central" forum. Thanks for your comments on the articles. The new one will be published on LL and I hope to have it ready by mid-April.

Cheers,

Sean

Thanks Sean.

I am a long-time photography enthusiast (about 30 years, starting with a TLR) and recent digital (Canon SLR) and film RF (contax G2) enthusiast -- to me, using both film and digital is really fun and provides a totally different experience.

Am thinking about going the M-mount route, either with a Leica or Zeiss-Ikon (waiting to see what it's like) film body but would like to also have the digital option down the road. Another option is the R-D1 only without a film M-mount body, but I *really* like the M7!

You're reviews will greatly help me with my decision.

Have you written on film RFs?

Huck Finn
03-21-2005, 10:16
Thanks very much but I'm swimming in lenses now so I better stop where I am.

Cheers,

Sean

Sean, unless you're getting paid by the hour, save some for the next article! ;)

Huck

Ed Schwartzreic
03-21-2005, 10:27
There is something about a properly adjusted R-D1 rangefinder which I have never noticed with a Leica (SM or M) or with other RF cameras. Despite the short RF base, when the RF is on target the fused images "clarify" in a notiiceable way. This is unlike the "snapping ito focus" which an M will do, and it's hard to find the words to describe it. It's actually like the effect with an autofocus SLR when focus is attained. I think it is due to the adjustable field lens array in the RF path which "sharpens" the RF patch when the images are correctly placed / fused.

In any case, has someone else noticed this effect? I didn't recognize it initially, and tried to use the rangefinder as with an M--with only fair results on fast lenses wide open. My vision is not that good, I'm very nearsighted and in addition my left eye (which I prefer) had surgery a few years ago, so I rely on my right eye. Nonetheless I can trust my remaining vision to focus the 75/1.4 or the 50/1 really easily.

Ed

jlw
03-21-2005, 10:48
I've noticed that effect when trying to focus on ruler markings for the close-distance-focusing-accuracy "ruler test."

I had assumed that it was simply a side effect of the short RF base length: with a longer base length, you'd be able to perceive a displacement in the RF patch with a slight misfocus, but with the R-D 1 the displacement is below the eye's threshold of sensitivity -- the RF image simply looks blurry, instead of displaced. Once you get it right, though, the blurriness disappears very abruptly, just as you describe.

Not sure which explanation makes more sense, as I'm not positive I understand the effect of the adjustable field lens. I'm hoping the Japanese R-D 1 book of which I just ordered a copy from Mike has a nice diagram of the RF mechanism that will help make things clear (no pun intended!)

David Kieltyka
03-21-2005, 11:49
Ed, what you've described is what I see too. There's a zone within which the two finder images appear to coincide, but within that there's a distinct point where the combined image pops. Once I realized this my success rate with longer lenses, and even shorter lenses at close range, went way up.

-Dave-

Jim Watts
03-22-2005, 00:44
I agree about this effect as well, which seems more pronounced if you make use of the 1:1 viewfinder and keep both eyes open. I find that using the "clarifying" effect is the best way to achieve accurate focus using the camera in this way.

Sean Reid
03-30-2005, 10:03
The Zeiss 35 just arrived from Hasselblad *at last*. The 50/2 is delayed by another week or more so I'm going to start with the side by side lens tests now and if the Zeiss 50 makes it in time, great. Thanks again to the members who've lent me their older Canon RF lenses to test, they add a nice flavor to the mixture.

Cheers,

Sean

Paul T.
03-30-2005, 11:03
Bizarre that Zeiss couldn't get you the 50, when they've been on sale for several weeks. But I'll be fascinated to hear your verdict on the Biogon 35/2 - the old Summicron 35/2 is getting so expensive, that if the Biogon is any good - and particularly if its performance re vignetting is good, as Zeiss claim - it will be quite competitive, even versus the used Leitz lens.

Sean Reid
03-30-2005, 12:08
As I understand it, my contact at Hasselblad had one set aside for me (waiting for the arrival of the 35) and it was accidentally sold. It is weird but oh well...

Cheers,

Sean

Huck Finn
03-30-2005, 15:00
What Paul said . . . If you can only test one, the 35/2 is the one I'm most interested in. It's the most useful focal length & I'd really like to know how the Biogon design stacks up. We pretty much know what a Planar can do & there are lots of good choices at 50 - most not very different from the Planar in design. But 35 is a more challenging focal length to design & the Biogon is unique. They didn't even make one in the 35 mm focal length for Contax G.

HenningW
04-06-2005, 15:28
I only had a borrowed RD-1 last fall, and had some problems with fast lenses. The 90AA wouldn't couple correctly at shorter distances (complete disconnect of camera and the 'cam follower' tab on the 90AA), the 75/1.4 got less and less accurate the closer I tried to focus, and the 50 Noctilux had 'anomalous' focussing issues; ie, it didn't focus accurately at any shorter distances, and the amount and direction of error weren't linear. These problems were all repeatable.

I'm glad to hear that these things weren't typical, and that it is indeed possible to focus accurately with fast lenses with a properly adjusted camera. I look forward to your tests, Sean, and am also particularly interested in your results with the Zeiss lenses. I had a chance to shoot a little at Photokina with them, but that was hardly significant.

I still really like the idea of the RD-1, and if it can do well with the 25/2.8 and fast 50's I'm much more interested again.

Sean Reid
04-07-2005, 02:51
Hi Henning,

I'm still working on the article but some quick comments on focus:

1. My R-D1 body (which focuses most lenses properly) will not focus the 75/1.4 consistently at closer distances. I would not ever want to rely on that combination professionally. I think the RF BL is just too short.

2. The Noctilux can be focused correctly by the R-D1 but it's tricky. A friend of mine testing another R-D1 right now found the same during an assignment last weekend.

All of the other lenses in the test focused properly and consistently on the R-D1. The two best lenses overall were the Leica 35/1.4 Asph and Leica 50/1.4 Asph. The new Biogon 35/2 is an excellent lens - not as sharp as the Leica 35/1.4 on center but noticeably sharper in the corners - clearly they were going for an overall, across-the-frame kind of resolution.

Cheers,

Sean

Huck Finn
04-07-2005, 03:56
Thanks for the sneak preview, Sean. :)

The good news about the Biogon seems to be: first, that Zeiss delivered what they promised, which is encouraging for this new product line, and second, that the Biogon has its own "look" so we don't have to talk about which lens is "better" when comparing it to other 35/2's. I do wish that this lens had been built to specifications as compact as the 35 Summicron.

Huck

Sean Reid
04-07-2005, 04:51
Hi Huck,

That's exactly right. A good comparison to do would be the Leica 35/2 ASPH vs. the Biogon 35 but even then what I think we'll find is that they're both excellent but draw differently. The salient quality of the 35 Biogon is it's evenness of resolution across the frame. The salient quality of the 1.4 ASPH lenses is their biting sharpness on center (esp. the 50).

Cheers,

Sean

Rocamadour
04-07-2005, 15:07
Mmm, that part about swimming in lenses gave me some nice dreams...

This is how I imagine Seans´ kitchen table: ;)

aizan
04-07-2005, 15:41
dayum!

that's a lotta lenses.

Sean Reid
04-07-2005, 16:13
Mmm, that part about swimming in lenses gave me some nice dreams...

This is how I imagine Seans´ kitchen table: ;)

Not quite... Is that your lens collection?

Cheers,

Sean

rover
04-07-2005, 16:19
No 1950s vintage LTM 50/1.5 Voigtlander Nokton Rocamadour? What's up with that? :D

Trius
04-07-2005, 16:26
What is the delivery status of the new Zeiss Ikon body? I check into their website occasionaly, and the storyline has been updated recently, but I can't find anything anywhere on shipping dates. Not that I have the scratch to itch my scratch...

Trius

Huck Finn
04-07-2005, 16:52
Hasselblad-USA e-mailed me this week to say that they now anticipate delivery in early June. The word is the same from Dr. Yao in Hong Kong.

Sean Reid
04-21-2005, 14:01
I'm now most of the way finished with the rough draft of my fast lens review. If anyone here would like to read it and e-mail me feedback, that would be good. For more info., please e-mail me at [email protected]

If you decide to be a reader for this, please note the following.

1) I'm not looking for grammatical, etc. editing comments yet. What I'm most interested in is a response to the ideas and observations in the review.

2) Almost all of the lenses have been sent back out so I can't do any new tests.

3) I'm still finishing a few sections so if you note gaps in the content, that's likely the reason.

I've got to wrap this puppy soon because it's taken far more time than I originally planned for (ain't that always the way). I'll finish and tweak it next week and then send it in to Michael. I won't be able to make major changes to the review in the time I've allowed myself to get it done.

Lastly, if you become a reader for this, please keep the URL for the draft confidential.

Cheers,

Sean

Rocamadour
04-26-2005, 01:54
Maybe I´ve missed it, but I wonder if anyone have experience from the 8-element Summicron 35/2 mm on the R-D1?
(knowing that the regular Summicron 35/2 mm is a disappointment)

Sean Reid
05-07-2005, 16:50
Which regular Summicron 35/2 mm is a disappointment?


BTW, I've finished the review of fast lenses and sent it on to LL for publication. Should be on line next week sometime.

Sean

LCT
05-08-2005, 01:40
Hi Sean,
I've got front focus issues with the 4th version of the pre-asph Summicron 35/2 (serial # on the back side of the aperture ring, see pic).
Also with the Rokkor-M 40/2 BTW.
No problem with the Summicron-C 40/2 though.
Best,
LCT

Sean Reid
05-08-2005, 08:15
Thanks LCT,

Best,

Sean

Jim Watts
05-09-2005, 02:03
Most 3rd & 4th versions of the Summicron 35mm f/2 seem to front focus close-up, but they still works well if used with care. The asph versions seem to be O.K.

Sean Reid
05-09-2005, 03:39
Most of the asph Leica lenses I've tested have focused correctly with my R-D1. That includes: 21/2.8, 28/2.0, 35/1.4, 35/2.0, 50/1.4. The Noctilux can be focused by the R-D1 but it's tricky. The 75/1.4 cannot be reliably focused by my copy.

Sean

Sean Reid
05-11-2005, 14:17
The article is now on-line: http://www.luminous-landscape.com/new/index.shtml

Please ignore a couple formatting problems that will be fixed tomorrow. I'd love to hear feedback on the ideas put forward in this massive article - my White Whale for two months.

Cheers,

Sean

MIKIRO
05-22-2005, 18:19
Sean and listers,
It is noteworthy that modern fast lenses perform as well as or even better than slower ones at the same apertures. I am just curious because I have a different impression on film. For instance, Color Skopar 28, 35, 50mm have image quality which is hard to fault on film but somewhat dull on R-D1. Cosina say that fast lenses tend to give good results on R-D1, which may not be compatible with those on film. I wonder if faster lenses are more telecentric. But this is not an issue only in the outer zones. Any ideas why?

Cheers,

MIKIRO
Japan

Sean Reid
05-22-2005, 18:46
Hi Mikiro,

It's an interesting question but I'm afraid that I don't have any answers to it. For me, finding the answers would have to begin with tests of the same lenses on both the R-D1 and a film body. Perhaps someone else has made that comparison.

Cheers,

Sean

LCT
05-22-2005, 22:47
Harsh bokeh is more visible in absence of grain.
Best,
LCT

MIKIRO
05-23-2005, 21:09
Hi, Sean.
Thanks for your response. Hopefully some experts on the list will be interested in this issue and do some digital/film tests.

Hi, LCT.
Thanks for your suggestion. I agree that grains are one of the key factors here.

Cheers,

MIKIRO
Japan