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Hacker
11-07-2007, 17:02
The only Voigtlander that I ever owned was a 125mm Macro SL for my Canon 5D. The pictures were kinda pastel like and was something I could not live with (probably low contrast) but acceptable for portraits (not that I used the lens to take portraits). Absolutely no way better than the Canon 180L or the Leica 100 Macro.

Since owning the M8, I have only always read how good the CV lenses are, but only in the context of price (when compared to the Leica equivalent). My question therefore is, are there any CV lenses that are leaders in its respective focal lengths? For example, the Zeiss 15/25/35 are leaders regardless of price. Same with the Hexanon UC-35 and M-50. Different, but not worse off, and possibly better in some areas.

For example, will a CV15 be better in some areas or equivalent than the ZM15 or even the WATE? Or it is only better in price? I'm asking this as a general question as I have avoided CV since the only value proposition seems to be the dollar value when purchased new, not necessarily better in terms of long-term value (does it hold its value or depreciates like crazy secondhand)?

I'm asking this as I'm looking for example, at the Nokton 40mm (appears to be the leader among 40mm lenses in sharpness), but am told that I cannot change the mount to bring up the 35mm frame line without a technician's skill except by filing.

Thoughts on this will be appreciated.

cme4brain
11-07-2007, 17:28
The only Voigtlander that I ever owned was a 125mm Macro SL for my Canon 5D. The pictures were kinda pastel like and was something I could not live with (probably low contrast) but acceptable for portraits (not that I used the lens to take portraits). Absolutely no way better than the Canon 180L or the Leica 100 Macro.

Since owning the M8, I have only always read how good the CV lenses are, but only in the context of price (when compared to the Leica equivalent). My question therefore is, are there any CV lenses that are leaders in its respective focal lengths? For example, the Zeiss 15/25/35 are leaders regardless of price. Same with the Hexanon UC-35 and M-50. Different, but not worse off, and possibly better in some areas.

For example, will a CV15 be better in some areas or equivalent than the ZM15 or even the WATE? Or it is only better in price? I'm asking this as a general question as I have avoided CV since the only value proposition seems to be the dollar value when purchased new, not necessarily better in terms of long-term value (does it hold its value or depreciates like crazy secondhand)?

I'm asking this as I'm looking for example, at the Nokton 40mm (appears to be the leader among 40mm lenses in sharpness), but am told that I cannot change the mount to bring up the 35mm frame line without a technician's skill except by filing.

Thoughts on this will be appreciated.

I have all Voigtlander lenses for my M8 and couldn't be happier, and I bet a double blind test of which lenses took which identical picture would show that at least 50% of the time no photog could pick out a Leica lens pix from a Voigtlander one. Subscribe to the www.reidreviews.com and you will have all the info you need. The CV lens line has sharpness and resolution close (very close, possibly not noticed in real life shooting) to Leica standards, and in come cases (75mm, 50mm Nokton, 28mm skopar) for some issues, they exceed the Leica Glass. The 75mm for example has better corner resolution than the Leica. The 28mm skopar is razor sharp in corners wide open. Zeiss lenses are great as well, but no where near the bargain of CV at one tenth the price of Leica. As far as the 15mm lenses are concerned, depending on what matters to you, the CV is better than the WATE (it is a prime lens of course) for some resolution with better corner sharpness than the Zeiss. The new Zeiss 18mm is sharper in the center than the Leica WATE, but its corner sharpness is very wanting compared to center sharpness.

As far as resale in concerned, when I have sold my little used CV lenses, I have always gotten near-new prices.

ernesto
11-07-2007, 17:41
I have bought a Voightlander Bessa R3, together with the Heliar 12 mm, because i needed really wide architectural lens. The quality of the optic is GREAT, I must say it is PERFECT, no distortion at all, I couldn´t believe it at the time I saw the first pictures.
The camera is great too, very well done. Of course it is not a Leica, but it is the best for the money. In case of the Heliar 12 it is simplier, it is the best, because there is none other brand 12 mm full frame lens with this performance!!!!!!
In other words I am VERY happy!
Ernesto

Ronald M
11-07-2007, 17:46
CV lenses are competition for Mandler era glass, ie 1970/1980 in optical quality, not mechanical. ZM zeiss is the current competitor for optics.

The only thing CV lenses have in common with current Leica glass is they mount on M bodies, how long the mount will last is anybodies guess. That is why I prefer the CV screw mount lenses. I still have several sets of s/m Leica adapters made by Leitz so I know they were made correctly.

tbarker13
11-07-2007, 17:46
I'm using two CV lenses at the moment that I love.
The CV15 and the CV35 Nokton.
Both great lenses.
(I've also used and loved the 35 PII, 50 Nokton and 75 heliar)

The only CV lens I haven't been happy with on my M8 was the 40 Nokton. It is the only lens (of the 25 or so various lenses of various brands that I've tried) that presented focusing problems when used wide open. And since I buy every lens to use wide open, that made me sad.

cmogi10
11-07-2007, 17:50
is the CV 15 a required lens on the M8? is anyone besides me completely uninterested in this superwide?

cme4brain
11-07-2007, 17:55
CV lenses are competition for Mandler era glass, ie 1970/1980 in optical quality, not mechanical. ZM zeiss is the current competitor for optics.

The only thing CV lenses have in common with current Leica glass is they mount on M bodies, how long the mount will last is anybodies guess. That is why I prefer the CV screw mount lenses. I still have several sets of s/m Leica adapters made by Leitz so I know they were made correctly.


I have to disagree here with your CV lens assessment, as does the objective Sean Reid. CV glass is nearly (99%) equal to usually and in some cases exceeds leica glass! Did you read the above references? The CV 75mm out-resolves in the corners the Leica, for example. Leica glass, while great, is ten times the price but not ten times the glass. I would bet you my car payment you could not tell the difference in a double blind test more than half the time, as noted above. If you think CV glass is only worth lenses of an era gone by, where is your proof? How do you explain the objective findings of various sites that say the otherwise?

cme4brain
11-07-2007, 17:56
is the CV 15 a required lens on the M8? is anyone besides me completely uninterested in this superwide?

Not many! Most M8 owners seem to have this great little lens.

cmedin
11-07-2007, 17:57
is the CV 15 a required lens on the M8? is anyone besides me completely uninterested in this superwide?

Those that are probably don't feel the need to post about it.

Hacker
11-07-2007, 17:58
The CV lens line has sharpness and resolution close (very close, possibly not noticed in real life shooting) to Leica standards, and in come cases (75mm, 50mm Nokton, 28mm skopar) for some issues, they exceed the Leica Glass. The 75mm for example has better corner resolution than the Leica. The 28mm skopar is razor sharp in corners wide open. Zeiss lenses are great as well, but no where near the bargain of CV at one tenth the price of Leica. As far as the 15mm lenses are concerned, depending on what matters to you, the CV is better than the WATE (it is a prime lens of course) for some resolution with better corner sharpness than the Zeiss. The new Zeiss 18mm is sharper in the center than the Leica WATE, but its corner sharpness is very wanting compared to center sharpness.

As far as resale in concerned, when I have sold my little used CV lenses, I have always gotten near-new prices.

Thanks! This is exactly what I'm looking for. However, the MTF charts do not show the CVs being better. Of the 3 lenses you mentioned, the 75mm Heliar has always intrigued me (I already have the 75AA) and the 50 Nokton (have the Lux ASPH and the M-Hexanon 50). But for the 28, I have ordered the Cron, and am deciding between the Hexanon 28 (no way to code permanently) and the Skopar, but reviews are few and far in between of the latter.

Can anyone share more about the 28mm Skopar? Samples and links (This vs That)?

principe azul
11-07-2007, 18:00
Sometimes we forget - me included - that Voigtlander prices are pretty much normal prices for equivalent Nikkor primes, say, and that they're not 99 buck superzooms...

On film, I wouldn't shoot a 15mm enough, even with 2.8 to tempt me, to warrant the Zeiss. So there's only one choice. But it's a fine choice, from what I've seen so far.

Hacker
11-07-2007, 18:02
I'm using two CV lenses at the moment that I love.
The CV15 and the CV35 Nokton.
Both great lenses.
(I've also used and loved the 35 PII, 50 Nokton and 75 heliar)

The only CV lens I haven't been happy with on my M8 was the 40 Nokton. It is the only lens (of the 25 or so various lenses of various brands that I've tried) that presented focusing problems when used wide open. And since I buy every lens to use wide open, that made me sad.

Sigh, and I thought that the Nokton 40mm was something that CV was offering that was up there with the best and I do not have any 40mm (can't find a Rollei yet :)). I know about the "coarse bokeh", but am not bothered by it as there are ways to work around that.

Avotius
11-07-2007, 18:03
I have looked into the 15mm cv lens for a little while and have been attempting not to give into gas. I have another cv lens, the 35 skopar PII, its shocking good and the price is right. Frankly....how can you go wrong? Most people cant properly extract the resolution from lenses anyway so in real life for the most part you cant tell.

MartinL
11-07-2007, 18:03
I have an M8. I can afford some Leica glass, but I'm not reckless, and I'm not about to buy "several" in one jump. I decided that until I was in a groove of how I'd use the camera ----length, speed, size, and image quality priorities----, I'd use CVs while on that learning curve. So I have the CV 21, 28-1.9, 40-1.4, and 75. All (as I recall) for under $1500.

I still feel no compelling reason to select a Leica or Zeiss lens or commit to a length, since my favorite or "most used" continues to shift on a weekly basis. When things settle, I'll make my move. Maybe.

My 2 cts.

Hacker
11-07-2007, 18:10
CV glass is nearly (99%) equal to usually and in some cases exceeds leica glass!

A fellow forummer here has the CV 28 F/1.9 and has known that I have been looking for the 28 Cron for a time. He raves about it and keeps asking me to get it, even willing to loan me on a recent 2 week vacation. When I came back, he had a Cron and the CV 28 f/1.9 was on sale! The only reason he got it was because he tried to contact me to tell me about the availability of the 28 Cron, but I was on a plane at that time. He bought the lens instead. I can tell you that both of us are interested in quality and are not brand loyal (we are photo enthusiasts), and he is quite insensitive to prices!

Back to the Skopar 28, more info from the rest?

etrigan63
11-07-2007, 18:53
My entire kit is CV lenses including the 40 Nokton. I had it's mount adjusted to bring up 35mm framelines and coded and it works like a champ! Nothing wrong with CV glass. I am hoping Mr. Kobayashi will issue a 50mm Nokton f/1.0 in M-mount next year. My flickr gallery is all M8 + CV as is the M8 section fo my Zenfolio gallery. See my sig for links.

Hacker
11-07-2007, 21:01
My entire kit is CV lenses including the 40 Nokton. I had it's mount adjusted to bring up 35mm framelines and coded and it works like a champ! Nothing wrong with CV glass. I am hoping Mr. Kobayashi will issue a 50mm Nokton f/1.0 in M-mount next year. My flickr gallery is all M8 + CV as is the M8 section fo my Zenfolio gallery. See my sig for links.

What do you code your Nokton 40mm as? 35 or 50mm? Or something else?

etrigan63
11-07-2007, 21:05
Coded as a 35mm Summilux. With the modified mount that works best. I don't know why everyone thinks it is the "lens from hell", I find it incredibly versatile and easy to use with these simple modifications.

etrigan63
11-07-2007, 21:09
is the CV 15 a required lens on the M8? is anyone besides me completely uninterested in this superwide?

I'm with you Carl.

What is everyone's fascination with this lens? O_o

rxmd
11-07-2007, 21:31
(does it hold its value or depreciates like crazy secondhand)?
Well, a CV lens costs less than the amount by which a new Leica lens depreciates when you open the box, so depreciation is not an applicable category IMHO.

I'm asking this as I'm looking for example, at the Nokton 40mm (appears to be the leader among 40mm lenses in sharpness), but am told that I cannot change the mount to bring up the 35mm frame line without a technician's skill except by filing.
Well the latter is definitely true, due to the limitations of the M mount, but the operation is relatively simple, and/or you could have someone like John Milich do the filing and code the mount for the M8 for a two-digit dollar amount.

I have two CV lenses, the 21/4 and the 40/1.4. Regarding the Nokton I can't say very much yet because I haven't had it for very long, but it seems like an excellent lens - well made, I like the rendering, and the apparent sharpness is outstanding. People write a lot about its "unpleasant bokeh" and so on and illustrate this with downscaled sample shots, but then again you can find positive or negative examples for the rendering of any lens on Flickr, so this is again a highly subjective non-argument in my eyes. In a similar vein, you can find comments for or against any piece of equipment if you look at internet forums long enough - there is really enough happening in the world to support any opinion if you take anecdotal evidence as representative, and there have been enough quality problems with Leicas reported to make anyone believe Leica is a junk company, as long as this is what he wants to believe, so take reported problems with any lens with a big grain of salt, as they really are little more than anectodal evidence.

The 21/4 is very good image-quality-wise and is a feature leader size-wise, as it is a very small lens; if you can spare the extra f-stop, this alone makes it more interesting than its Zeiss or Leica counterparts in my book, because it results in a very compact kit. Highly recommended in my book for everyone who doesn't absolutely need the extra stop.

Philipp

etrigan63
11-07-2007, 21:53
Here is a portrait shot wide open with the CV 40mm Nokton. Judge for yourself:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2022/1640385593_112e70864e_b.jpg

tbarker13
11-07-2007, 22:06
I really wanted to use the 40 nokton. It is so much smaller than the 35 nokton and almost as fast.
But for whatever reason, the lens sample I bought just wouldn't focus right when used at f/1.4. It front focused by around 4-5 inches. Since my M8 is spot-on with every other lens I've tried (including the 75 lux at 1.4) I figured it just wasn't meant to be for me and the 40 nokton.

etrigan63
11-07-2007, 22:15
I really wanted to use the 40 nokton. It is so much smaller than the 35 nokton and almost as fast.
But for whatever reason, the lens sample I bought just wouldn't focus right when used at f/1.4. It front focused by around 4-5 inches. Since my M8 is spot-on with every other lens I've tried (including the 75 lux at 1.4) I figured it just wasn't meant to be for me and the 40 nokton.

Getting a good copy is always key...

Hacker
11-07-2007, 22:48
Well, a CV lens costs less than the amount by which a new Leica lens depreciates when you open the box, so depreciation is not an applicable category IMHO.


Philipp

I have seen Leica prices appreciating like crazy, but not CV. Noctilux version 1? Current version? WATE? 75 Lux? The prices are really crazy, not to forget the increase in price of the M8, which is digital!

DaveSee
11-07-2007, 22:52
Of course you should consider CV glass! Yet, as others have posted, it's also what you shoot, how you shoot and what of what you shoot that's key.... but you're seeking personal/emotional opinion, so...

...of the CV glass I have used(film and digital), the 15, 21 Skopar, 25 Skopar, 28 Skopar and 40 SC are keepers. The 15 because it's a real kick to use--and kicks back! The 21/4 is just fine, unless toward evening(yet my Contax 21 has more, um, image to ply from, optically). The 25/4 is great for P&S snaps I want to savor, and the 28 when the snap deserves definition, FOV-wise. The 40 SC has a near "jack-of-all-trades" quality, with that same result: "I could make the snap, but if...", that is its strength, to not seem either wide nor tele, but available light is, ah, available.

I just love the Skopars(and all LTM)... but, and with good reason, the "hand"(haptics) of these lenses can be an issue for some: they're small. Yet, once you become accustomed, they are jewels(some cut better than others, btw:read QC). As the tide turns M-mount, this may be less an issue, the size.

rgds,
Dave

EDIT: Hacker, just read your post about prices of Leica, etc. I will say it plainly: the "keepers" I mention are just that. Zeiss and Leica cannot touch these, nor would they. If you'd look for "holding price", then the discussion is not about making images, is it? And, to wit, although not in the thousands, CV glass "holds its value" very well. Because CV glass is relatively as good!

pkreyenhop
11-07-2007, 23:11
Sorry, but I don't understand at all why people would buy an M8 and try to save money on the lens! Cosina lenses are a great compromise of costs versus optical qualities or features like weight, size, etc. - Not more, not less.

rxmd
11-07-2007, 23:16
I have seen Leica prices appreciating like crazy, but not CV. Noctilux version 1? Current version? WATE? 75 Lux? The prices are really crazy, not to forget the increase in price of the M8, which is digital!
Are you suggesting that it's normal that equipment goes up in price and that one should rely on such developments in order to protect the investments of early buyers? I don't exactly hold Leica's recent price increases to their credit, even though they certainly had the nice side-effect that people can reduce their loss on selling used equipment. This is the exception rather than the rule; you happened to hand-pick the most hyped lenses in the Leica inventory, try to do the same comparison for a plain Summicron 50/f2.

Discontinued products have their own demand-driven pricing rules. You can play the same game in the CV world, too. If I remember correctly, Cameraquest used to sell a Bessa R kit with the 35/2.5 CV lens for $300. Then as the camera was selling out, they dropped the lens and sold the kit for $300. Nice increase in value, isn't it? The 40/1.4 Nokton in the single-coated version also used to sell for more than the multi-coated version on the used market, in spite of having the same retail price originally (IIRC); again, hype at work.

Ultimately camera products aren't a monetary investment, but a tool. From a methodical point of view, in general CV products are so much cheaper that it is simply impossible to compare their price developments with Leica products meaningfully. Either you are comparing absolute value drop, then the monetary losses incurred in normally using a lens are catastrophic for the Leica in comparison on non-hyped lenses. Or you are comparing percentages, then you are ignoring the economically quite relevant fact that the same percentage may mean an absolute loss of ten times less on the CV lens. And as far as your examples of Leica lenses are concerned that are now more expensive than some time ago: relying on inflation and hype to take care of protecting one's investment is always a bad idea.

Philipp

rxmd
11-07-2007, 23:19
Sorry, but I don't understand at all why people would buy an M8 and try to save money on the lens!
Easy. Money is usually a limited resource. Assume you have $6500 to buy an M8 plus a couple of lenses, maybe an ultrawideangle and a fast normal. What do you do?

And this not like this is just a price compromise; the lenses you'd get from CV are quite excellent. People are apparently ready to buy used 1970s Leica lenses to go with their M8; at this stage discussing vague quality differences becomes something of a moot point.

Philipp

cmogi10
11-07-2007, 23:57
You didn't skimp on the body, you shouldn't skimp on the glass.
That's my honest opinion and I've learned it through trying a lot of stuff.
You might not agree with me, That's ok, it's not ment to be confrontational.
You could have the entire CV arsenal or a 35mm ASPH Lux,
One lens means you learn to use that lens inside and out.

Blah, tangent, I'm tired young and stupid :)

Hacker
11-08-2007, 00:13
Are you suggesting that it's normal that equipment goes up in price and that one should rely on such developments in order to protect the investments of early buyers?
Philipp

No, I'm merely showing that Leica lenses do, and has appreciated to the poster. This has to be taken in the context of my first post.

Hacker
11-08-2007, 00:19
Cosina lenses are a great compromise of costs versus optical qualities or features like weight, size, etc. - Not more, not less.

So back to my original question: For precisely this reason, CV lenses are a compromise and this compromise (especially towards price) will not see it optically an equal (but different) to say the Zeiss ZM35 or the Cron 35 ASPH?

DaveSee
11-08-2007, 01:11
So back to my original question: For precisely this reason, CV lenses are a compromise and this compromise (especially towards price) will not see it optically an equal (but different) to say the Zeiss ZM35 or the Cron 35 ASPH?

Please read my earlier post: CV glass is not a compromise, per se... not in price, nor quality of rendering... these lenses are very different to other /similar/ FL offered by other vendors.

All lenses render differently, despite similar FL. Leica and Zeiss are not without their QC issues, so too Cosina. The Zeiss 15 has horrendous focus issues, for both film and digital, if one is not accustomed to this "special" lens... the CV 15 Helliar exhibits absolutely NONE is these issues, yet "lacks that certain something", and has a higher degree of "distortion"... 15mm, distortion? Do tell!

And what do you "optically" question, when there is no true "equal" between them? Which lens vendor is /the/ lens standard, today? Difficult now that every RF lens vendor has spread the field... M8 users are currently seeking '70s Mandler designs over ASPHs, and "ReidReviews"(when taking a side at all), tends toward low contrast lenses(because he's using an M8? That's right, NOT film... everything's M8-centric).

The Leica 35/1,4 has digital issues, the 75 'cron is "overdone"(and reportedly "soft" in the corners), the Zeiss kits have occasional "wobble" of the front sections, and CV lenses are "muddy" wide open....(NB: not my views!)

When the OP asks "Should I consider CV glass?", the only true answer is "yes"!
As to /which/ variant of CV glass(and which copy!), /then/ we have sufficient points to discuss. But to reject /all/ CV glass--or any other vendor--is simply small minded and lacking perspective on the great bounty of choice we have, including the great glass of the past.

The ZM 35 is (reportedly) great. But for a third the cost, the Skopar 35 is very, very good... but both are bested by the... wait for it... keep waiting... there will be (yet)another thread about "This is THE BEST 35mm!". Er, or was that "This 40mm on an M5 kills!"

Ooops, rgds,
Dave

pkreyenhop
11-08-2007, 01:27
Easy. Money is usually a limited resource. Assume you have $6500 to buy an M8 plus a couple of lenses, maybe an ultrawideangle and a fast normal. What do you do?

Although 6500$ and "limited resource" sounds quite strange to me, you could break the rules and get an M6 with three legendary lenses and a pile of film or you could get an Epson RD1s and two lens legends or you could buy an M8 and concentrate on one great lens (skipping the fun lens).


Cheers
Peter

pkreyenhop
11-08-2007, 01:45
So back to my original question: For precisely this reason, CV lenses are a compromise and this compromise (especially towards price) will not see it optically an equal (but different) to say the Zeiss ZM35 or the Cron 35 ASPH?

Well, something has to give (unless there is a ground breaking paradigm shift in optical design). Size, speed, weight and price are parameters that can be optimised differently - but one should not expect a tiny and cheap wonder lens (maybe the Summicron-C 40mm... ;-)

Hacker
11-08-2007, 01:53
So my question is, which I'm seeking more input, are there CV lenses that have a general consensus in terms of a certain signature, vis-a-vis, Cron IV is the "Bokeh King", 90AA is tack sharp (as long as you focus further than 10 feet), ZM25 is the great all rounder, distortion free), etc.

So far, I'm hearing that the CV15 seems to be good (only because it is cheaper than the ZM15). Again, I'm not interested in (price-performance ratios). I'm interested to know whether there are any CV lenses that strike a consensus in the RF community that is truly a gem without price considerations.

My question is genuine, as I really want to know.

pkreyenhop
11-08-2007, 01:57
You didn't skimp on the body, you shouldn't skimp on the glass.


Yes, that's the essence. Well put!

Cheers
Peter

alba63
11-08-2007, 03:14
Sorry, but I don't understand at all why people would buy an M8 and try to save money on the lens! Cosina lenses are a great compromise of costs versus optical qualities or features like weight, size, etc. - Not more, not less.
You don't understand? That's easy to answer.
There are people who buy the M8 because they like rangefinders and because a M8 set body with lenses is light to carry, and because the M8 sensor gives great quality results. If there were another RF with 95% of the performance for 20% the price of the M8 (that would just below 1000 bucks) I bet most would buy the cheaper one because everyone knows that any digital camera looses its value quickly, and because the M8 is technically imperfect and has in-built flaws and has not the best reliability (maybe the M9 will be much closer to "perfect"). But, the M8 is "the only game in town" right now, a used RD1 is not close to 95% of the performance of the M8.

For the lenses it is partly different. They hold their value (in the case of Leica) quite well, but a setup body + 3-4 lenses is easily beyond 10k. Ten thousand Euro, that is. If you prefer to choose the faster versions it is more like 15k probably.

Now there are people who simply have a lot of money and simply don't have to loose a second thought, they just buy it because they can.
Then there is a second class to whom that hurts a lot, who are making debts to pay back those thousands and thousands for years to come because they think, as you said, they dont want to make compromises.

However if you read the reidreviews well, and see that a lens for 20%, in some cases even 10% of the Leica price perform almost as well as their Leica counterparts in some cases just "different" (bokeh), in some cases even better (edge sharpness), you litterally have to switch off your brain in order to NOT ask that question. And don't start the built quality debate, the CVs are full metal and look very well made, in comparision to a typical dSLR lens.

And in respect to reidreviews this is not just another "personal 2cents" it is backed up by sample pics and focus bracketing to get the best shot - something that you rarely can do in real life situation - Sean R. constantly points out that even at a much higher price he would recommend those CV lenses for their sheer quality. I am convinced that they are not just a cheap compromise. If you are so sure, you should be able to back it up by experience and - better even - by pics.

And now comes an important bit: If I see what type of photos typical Leica shooters do (here and elsewhere), I see a lot of that "typical Leica street- shooting style" which includes (necessarily) a lot of unsharpness, very slow shutter speeds, slight misfocus (when people move, you have a hard time tracking them with a manual rangefinder camera) and unprecise framing, partly shot from the hip with completely oblique framing etc etc etc. I estimate that 90% (probably more) of all M8 shots are not lens limited, but shooting style limited. Yes I know, you certainly belong to the last 10%, just like everbody else here :-)

And BTW just as you can see on dpreview the type of guys who buy a 1ds II to shoot their kids and their cats, you have M8 + cron/lux/asph/pre-asph-everything guys who's photos are just amateur snaps.

This is of course their right to do so, people also buy car that are 3x more than a Leica setup, but hey - think twice, think 5 times before you spend big money because you want that Leica name on them so badly! Specially if money is limited in your wallet, which may be the case for the most of us (and certainly for me).

Ok that was a bit long, I am still on the edge of buying the M8, CV is the reason why I consider the M8, with only Leica and Zeiss I would not even think of it.

Bernie

retow
11-08-2007, 04:18
So my question is, which I'm seeking more input, are there CV lenses that have a general consensus in terms of a certain signature, vis-a-vis, Cron IV is the "Bokeh King", 90AA is tack sharp (as long as you focus further than 10 feet), ZM25 is the great all rounder, distortion free), etc.

So far, I'm hearing that the CV15 seems to be good (only because it is cheaper than the ZM15). Again, I'm not interested in (price-performance ratios). I'm interested to know whether there are any CV lenses that strike a consensus in the RF community that is truly a gem without price considerations.

My question is genuine, as I really want to know.


I tried several CV's and my keepers are the Nokton 35 and Heliar 75. Both are gems as far as performance is concerned, irrespective of price.

cme4brain
11-08-2007, 04:46
Thanks! This is exactly what I'm looking for. However, the MTF charts do not show the CVs being better. Of the 3 lenses you mentioned, the 75mm Heliar has always intrigued me (I already have the 75AA) and the 50 Nokton (have the Lux ASPH and the M-Hexanon 50). But for the 28, I have ordered the Cron, and am deciding between the Hexanon 28 (no way to code permanently) and the Skopar, but reviews are few and far in between of the latter.

Can anyone share more about the 28mm Skopar? Samples and links (This vs That)?

I appreciate the opinion. MTF graphs do not complete a lens picture. I go by what I can see on digital cropping of lenses, say on the Sean Reid website, and when a CV lens that costs one tenth of a Leica is hard to tell the difference between (and that ona test bench), I think the CV lens is doing well. There is no doubt incremental improvement in a Leica lens, but can you tell it when the camera is not on a tripod and the camera is handheld? THe key statement from Sean Reid said that he had to take many many photographs with his test Leica/CV/Zeiss lenses, even moving the lens barrel so slightly as to not move the rangefinder patch, to ensure sharpest focus, then pick the one of 17 shots made of the highest resolution. Are you in the field going to take 17 different focus attempts to get a pix? I agree with Sean, that handheld photographs, combined with non-perfect eye focusing and rangefinder backlash error (however small on the Leica) will NEGATE most of the time any small improvement in Leica glass over CV or Zeiss. I again say that if I were to present 8" X 10" prints of the same subject taken with different lenses to professional photogs, they could only pick those pictures taken with the Leica glass 50% of the time. Depending completely on MTF graphs for selecting lenses is like depending completely on horsepower rating to buy a car- a Corvette may have more horsepower than a Benz 600, but which car would your family rather have? And would the difference in 0-60mph dragstrip times make a real world difference on the highway?

rxmd
11-08-2007, 04:59
Although 6500$ and "limited resource" sounds quite strange to me,
In this context it only means that if you have $6500, you obviously can't spend $7500. If we only want to talk about down-to-earth amounts of money, we will have trouble discussing the M8 or some new Leica lenses at all ;)

you could break the rules and get an M6 with three legendary lenses and a pile of film or you could get an Epson RD1s and two lens legends or you could buy an M8 and concentrate on one great lens (skipping the fun lens).
Or you could stay on the carpet and buy the tool that does the job. There are excellent tools available without, to put it in an extreme way, succumbing to some reality distortion field and insisting on having to use legendary products to photograph one's dogs. Wanting something isn't the same as needing it. If you need that M8, you will be hard pressed to find an alternative. If you don't need it, you shouldn't buy it in the first place. Then you can do a whole lot of other very useful things with $6500, and most of them won't have anything to do with lenses.

That's incidentally the main problem I have with the original poster's question. A lens, like any equipment, is a means to an end, a device with a job it has to do. Meeting some consensus of a peer group is usually not part of the job description. Whether it does the job itself or not is much more important to me than whether some random group of people on a gear-related internet forum somewhere consider it the king of something. For example, I want small lenses, so the 21/4 CV fits my profile better than any other ultrawideangle, and in that respect it's the best lens in the world for me; the fact that it's also reasonably cheap is a nice add-on; and any debate on Biogons vs. Elmarits is completely irrelevant because those lenses are not meeting my job description. And if I save a premium by buying the tool that does excellently what it's supposed to do, instead of the one where there is a consensus that it is cool in some metaphysical way, I don't see myself "skimping" either. But then again, everybody makes their buying decisions by their own set of rules, and this is just my own two cents.

It would be much easier to advise the OP on whether to consider Voigtländer or not if one had more information on what he wants to do with his lens. If the purpose was having lenses that are considered legends by peer groups, then Voigtländer might indeed not be the best consideration, but I assume that this is not the case :)

Philipp

Hacker
11-08-2007, 05:23
I tried several CV's and my keepers are the Nokton 35 and Heliar 75. Both are gems as far as performance is concerned, irrespective of price.

Seems that the 75 Heliar is cropping up again and again. May I ask what is the "signature" or uniqueness of this lens?

Hacker
11-08-2007, 05:30
THe key statement from Sean Reid said that he had to take many many photographs with his test Leica/CV/Zeiss lenses, even moving the lens barrel so slightly as to not move the rangefinder patch, to ensure sharpest focus, then pick the one of 17 shots made of the highest resolution. Are you in the field going to take 17 different focus attempts to get a pix?

I understand, and it's a little extreme as many of us do not need a focusing zone or DoF down to a mere fraction of a centimeter. Sharpness is just one variable, but there is a whole host of other qualities that are tripod independent, e.g. flare control, OOF, color, tonality, contrast, etc.

My question is very simple, are there any CV lenses that is considered a benchmark for its respective FL? For example, I can say: "I'm getting the Nokton but really wish to have the Noctilux." I'm not contesting about stuff that happens in the field. I'm asking about CV lenses that are considered the benchmarks in its FL.

djonesii
11-08-2007, 05:36
I forget where I read it, but someone said that the CV lens line is like photographic crack....... one hit and you want more. ....... I have the 21/4, and as soon as I find a focal length I like with some FSU lenses, I will be getting the CV equivalent .... for my second hand Bessa-R. From all I have read and seen, the CV glass is in the quality debate with the Leica lenses, and in the debate is all I need for what I shoot. Now, if I did this for my day job, and needed every last drop of quality, then Leica may make some sense.

YMMV

Dave

Uwe_Nds
11-08-2007, 05:51
I'm asking about CV lenses that are considered the benchmarks in its FL.

The 28/1.9 is said to be the fastest RF wide angle lens available, but the 1.9 compared to Leica's 2.0 is probably only marketing.
Also, the 35/1.2 is said to be the fastest M-lens in that focal length.
All CV lens are most probably the benchmark regarding price/performance ratio of RF lenses.

If you are talking about optical benchmarks however, simply speaking: no, they are not.

Best regards,
Uwe

Didier
11-08-2007, 05:56
Sorry, but I don't understand at all why people would buy an M8 and try to save money on the lens! Cosina lenses are a great compromise of costs versus optical qualities or features like weight, size, etc. - Not more, not less.

May I chime in with the remark, that most, if not all, Cosina Voigtlander lenses deliver much more resolution than the M8 sensor can capture. Seen from this point, there's absolutely no "obligation" to use M- or Z-Glass just because the M8 camera body was expensive.

I have CV and M lenses, like them all without exception (on a R-D1s not M8). I see no reason why I shouldn't use them on a M8 if ever i would have one.

Didier

johnalex141r
11-08-2007, 06:14
(edited) You didn't skimp on the body, you shouldn't skimp on the glass.
(That's ok, it's not ment to be confrontational)
You could have the entire CV arsenal or a 35mm ASPH Lux,
One lens means you learn to use that lens inside and out.


Hey, kind of interesting - I came to my M8 from using 99% of the time my Fujica gs645s (fixed lens camera). I purchased the Leica because:

- it was digital, not because it was a Leica, and
- because I like rangefinder cameras. IE, it was a digital version of my Fujica.

My first lens for it was a CV 25mm f2.5. Incredible learning experience, both the body and the lens, and of course the process.

I now have 4 CV lenses; maybe once I find my "groove" with this camera, one Leica lens of a "useful to me" length might be acquired. Then again, maybe not - the CV lenses seem to always give me that "wow" factor.

JohnS

Hacker
11-08-2007, 06:34
If you are talking about optical benchmarks however, simply speaking: no, they are not.

Best regards,
Uwe

Thanks. I'm strictly referring to what you call optical benchmarks. And yes, I'm looking from this angle without consideration to costs--money no object. I've been reading a lot on CV and from my friends' experiences (and my limited experience with the SL 125), CV lenses are often spoken with qualifying statements, example:

"Provides 99% of the performance but at 10% of the costs".

If this is the case, is not the Lecia being compared to still the benchmark, and not the CV lens?

kevin m
11-08-2007, 06:48
CV lenses are competition for Mandler era glass, ie 1970/1980 in optical quality, not mechanical.

Wow, this is just plain wrong. I love the look of Mandler glass (I had the pre-asph 90mm Summicron and the pre-asph 50mm Summilux) and no VC lens I've owned looks like them wide open. The Mandler lenses were chock full of flaws and abberations wide open. Beautiful flaws, flattering to human subjects, even, but still, technically flaws. The VC lenses are much better corrected.

The attached pic was shot with the VC 40mm SC Nokton at f1.7. Judge for yourself.

kevin m
11-08-2007, 07:04
"Provides 99% of the performance but at 10% of the costs".

If this is the case, is not the Lecia being compared to still the benchmark, and not the CV lens?

Yes, Leica is the benchmark. My 35mm Aspherical 'Lux was better wide open than the 40mm SC Nokton. The 28mm Summicron is better wide open than the 28mm Ultron. The 21mm Aspherical Elmarit is better wide open than the CV 21.

But here's the rub. If you're shooting handheld on 400 speed film, you'd be hard pressed to ever see the difference. In fact, I'd dare you to see the difference in most cases. Put money on the line, compare negs and you'd lose your money.

If you can afford the best and don't mind paying for it, then buy Leica. Just be aware that you're getting a diminishing improvement in performance relative to price.

Pic: VC 21 @f4.0

Ben Z
11-08-2007, 09:03
Sorry, but I don't understand at all why people would buy an M8 and try to save money on the lens!

In my case I own 4 Cosina lenses and the cost was a side benefit, although a welcome one. I have a 12mm, and there is nothing that wide in a Leica lens. I have a 15mm and the closest Leica has is 16mm and that comes on the much larger, heavier WATE along with 18 (which I don't want) and 21 (which I have, and which is like a 28mm on the M8, a focal length I rarely used with full-frame film). I have the Cosina 21mm f/4, because my Elmarit is twice its size so unless I really am going to need the extra stop, I don't care to haul it around. And on the M8 I use a 21mm rarely. Finally I have the 28mm f/1.9, because when I shot film I rarely used a 28 and didn't feel the need to tie up cash in a Leica Summicron. My mainstay on the M8 is a 28mm Elmarit, which I got for half its nominal price because there's a tiny, tiny mark on the front coating, but when I go specifically to shoot low-light I'll take the Ultron, along with the 50 Summilux and 90 Summicron. Otherwise I use smaller, lighter lenses.

jdos2
11-08-2007, 09:13
I've the 40mm Nokton, 75mm, and 28mm Ultron, and 21mm from CV.
Only the 21mm focuses correctly.
The 40mm and 28mm both have tape on their rangefinder-connection flanges: thankfully they back focus and it's a "solution," though not a great one.
The 75mm front focuses and is impossible to fix myself.

I'm going to send the lenses off to someone that can fix em ("maybe" is the word, sometimes the locktite used, according to the well known Midwestern Leica repairman, is too much to overcome with tools) as I do like the looks of 'em.

Remember, nobody here can do CV warranty repairs. Everything sold in the USA is effectively grey market, and not all vendors of these lenses make good on their promises, are easy to deal with, refund shipping for multiple returns, &c.

Gabriel M.A.
11-08-2007, 09:49
My question is genuine, as I really want to know.
If you only want to drive from point A to point B, does it really matter whether you have a bicycle, a Yugo or a Lamborghini?

The question you should be making to yourself is: if I don't know personally the differences between the items I want to buy, how much am I willing to spend?

Do you really need that pen that can be used in space, or can you make do with a No. 2 pencil to write that shopping list?

If you were a cartoonist, you could look into drawing pens...

My answer is genuine :)

tbarker13
11-08-2007, 09:52
Just because something costs more than everything else - that doesn't guarantee that is better.
Not everyone is on a quest to build a lens kit full of the very best lenses. Some people actually choose lenses based on the images they create.
I've gone through some 25-30 lenses in the past year, from old canon lenses to the newest leica glass.
In the end, I picked a kit that does what I want it to do. There is not a single leica asph lens in the kit. I sold all of them to go after the 1970s era glass. I like the way they draw, and could care less whether there are technically better lenses out there.
My kit does include a couple CV lenses (the obligatory 15, and the 35 nokton for lowlight)

Speenth
11-08-2007, 10:00
Sorry, but I don't understand at all why people would buy an M8 and try to save money on the lens! Cosina lenses are a great compromise of costs versus optical qualities or features like weight, size, etc. - Not more, not less.

I have another take on this: I think the M8 is wildly over-priced, but I don't care. I like it for the way it looks and feels, because its small and portable and because it takes pretty good pictures in a wide variety of circumstances within the limitations of its format.

I have no false expectations - it is NOT as good as its price. If it wasn't for the lenses the M8 would be nothing but a pretty piece of cottage craftsmanship. In other words, the camera may not be as good as the Cosina lens it wears.

In my view the CV12 and to a lesser extent the CV15 are damn good lenses - there is simply no need to pay an inflated price for the Leica alternative (unless you're a rich geek and you're going to study the MTF charts to work out the difference).

This doesn't apply in every case (which is why my 24mm and 50mm lenses are Leicas), but please, don't damn something just because it costs less.

kevin m
11-08-2007, 10:00
I sold all of them to go after the 1970s era glass. I like the way they draw, and could care less whether there are technically better lenses out there.

Amen to that. The pre-asph 50 Summilux I said was "technically flawed" was still my favorite RF lens ever. It couldn't produce corner to corner, tack sharp images at f1.4, but it had a look that, to my eye, can't be duplicated with a whole bag of PS tricks.

And the CV lenses are 'better' than that lens.

And seriously, if a $250 lens is broken beyond repair, I can eat that and buy another. What I couldn't stand is sending in a $3k lens to have a loose barrel repaired and never having it fixed to my satisfaction. For a $250 35mm lens I have a sense of humor; for $3k, I don't. :D

Gabriel M.A.
11-08-2007, 10:05
Just because something costs more than everything else - that doesn't guarantee that is better.
Yep.

For example, here's this $999.00 sofa from Ikea:
http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/S49840656

And this $199 sofa from Ikea:
http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/20121218

Look the same? Difference is the "bed". If you only want to park your derrierere there, which would you choose? If it's imperative to park more than your derriere there, which would you not choose?

But if it's only for looks, you may just want to shave off another $90 and get this:

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/10118669

It's a personal choice, methinks.

But of course, customer feedback should always be taken into consideration. But when you're asking if a sofa is better if it's cheaper, you'll get lots of qualified ifs and buts.

Gabriel M.A.
11-08-2007, 10:06
Amen to that. The pre-asph 50 Summilux I said was "technically flawed" was still my favorite RF lens ever. It couldn't produce corner to corner, tack sharp images at f1.4, but it had a look that, to my eye, can't be duplicated with a whole bag of PS tricks.

And the CV lenses are 'better' than that lens.
Do you know what an Auto de Fé is? :p

kevin m
11-08-2007, 10:10
Do you know what an Auto de Fé is?

I had to google it to be sure.

Where do I report for my public flogging? :angel:

Gabriel M.A.
11-08-2007, 10:17
Where do I report for my public flogging? :angel:
Repentance is all that's needed: I'll give you a superior, super-sharp CV 50mm f/2.5 in exchange for your inferior 50mm pre-asph Summilux. And I get to keep the change.

jdos2
11-08-2007, 10:48
I have another take on this: I think the M8 is wildly over-priced, but I don't care. I like it for the way it looks and feels, because its small and portable and because it takes pretty good pictures in a wide variety of circumstances within the limitations of its format.

I have no false expectations - it is NOT as good as its price. If it wasn't for the lenses the M8 would be nothing but a pretty piece of cottage craftsmanship. In other words, the camera may not be as good as the Cosina lens it wears.

In my view the CV12 and to a lesser extent the CV15 are damn good lenses - there is simply no need to pay an inflated price for the Leica alternative (unless you're a rich geek and you're going to study the MTF charts to work out the difference).

This doesn't apply in every case (which is why my 24mm and 50mm lenses are Leicas), but please, don't damn something just because it costs less.

Thank you: I think thats very well put (with no apologies to my M8!)

kevin m
11-08-2007, 10:56
I'll give you a superior, super-sharp CV 50mm f/2.5 in exchange for your inferior 50mm pre-asph Summilux. And I get to keep the change.

You'll pay a premium for those abberations, I'm afraid. And you'll have to make your offer to David Chang Sang, who now owns the lens, although I'm pretty sure he'll decline. :D

dannynono
11-08-2007, 12:06
For example, here's this $999.00 sofa from Ikea:
http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/S49840656

And this $199 sofa from Ikea:
http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/20121218

-- snip --

But if it's only for looks, you may just want to shave off another $90 and get this:

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/10118669


Gabriel, I'm not arguing against your points, just your examples above ... the $199 and $90 items are just slipcovers for a couch and a love seat, respectively.

---

If I did have an M8 (one day perhaps) it would definitely be sporting older lenses, both leica and non-leica. Yes, the M8 is expensive and for some represents the pinnacle for rf bodies, so one might be drawn to buying nothing but the "best" lenses for it. But for me the camera body isn't necessarily as important as my eye and the lenses with which I choose to capture images may not represent the "best" on the market - they simply draw the image in a way that I find more pleasing.

I got a good deal on an M6 here back in the spring and if I could afford an M8 right now, I'd own that too - not because I think it's that much better than my M6, but because it allows me to digitally capture with those same lenses.

msendin
11-08-2007, 12:11
Hacker, I own the CV15, CV40 and the CV35 Nokton. I am not going to add much about what has been said of the lenses. Only wanted to tell you that to modify the CV40 to get a 35mm frame is an easy thing to do by yourself (and necessary in my opinion). Please tell us if you need help.

tbarker13
11-08-2007, 12:23
Yes, the modification is so easy to do. All it takes is a few minutes with a metal file. If you don't have one, I'd be happy to loan you one.

rwchisholm
11-08-2007, 13:17
I currently own the CV 15, 28 Ultron, 35 Ultron and 50 Nok. Love, love, love the 50 Nok on the M8. -Rob The 2 cat pictures are with the 50 Nok and the dog is with the 35 Ultron, if I remember correctly. -Rob

Hacker
11-08-2007, 14:41
If you only want to drive from point A to point B, does it really matter whether you have a bicycle, a Yugo or a Lamborghini?



The answers I get is similar to this: From Point A to Point B, you are always driving at 60km/hr, so all cars will get you there, even the tires do not matter. But this is not my question; I merely want to know which car will accelearate the fastest, or which tire will hold well under speeding conidtions. The analogy is bad, but I'm trying my best.

Hacker
11-08-2007, 14:47
Just because something costs more than everything else - that doesn't guarantee that is better.

This is the reason for my question. If cost is used as the yardstick, then there is no need to ask. I will merely refer to the price list. And rare items that cost a bomb will perform better based on cost alone, and depending on the price fluctutaion, the performance will vary :D .

Hacker
11-08-2007, 14:53
Yes, the modification is so easy to do. All it takes is a few minutes with a metal file. If you don't have one, I'd be happy to loan you one.

I take it that the flange is taken out first, separated out from the lens?

Gabriel M.A.
11-08-2007, 20:35
Gabriel, I'm not arguing against your points, just your examples above ... the $199 and $90 items are just slipcovers for a couch and a love seat, respectively.

Damn it! Foiled again by Deception in Advertising! :o

jaapv
11-09-2007, 03:30
I know about the "coarse bokeh", but am not bothered by it as there are ways to work around that.


How would you do that :confused: (apart from stopping down do f22) ?

Hacker
11-09-2007, 04:37
How would you do that :confused: (apart from stopping down do f22) ?

Distance plays a part.

tbarker13
11-09-2007, 06:50
Quote:
Originally Posted by tbarker13
Yes, the modification is so easy to do. All it takes is a few minutes with a metal file. If you don't have one, I'd be happy to loan you one.


I take it that the flange is taken out first, separated out from the lens?


You just have to file the flange that triggers the frame line selector. There are various posts on these forums that detail how to do it (some with photos). But its pretty easy to verify the mechanics yourself.
With the lens off the camera, toggle the framelines selector switch with your fingers whle looking inside the camera body. You'll see the little piece of metal that's triggered by one of the lens flanges.
Once you've identified which lens flange triggers the frame line selector, you just need to file away enough of that flange so that it no longer moves frameline selector. (the default position is 24/35) The first time I did this, I was surprised at the small amount of filing required. We're talking a milimeter or so.

One bit of advice that is probably obvious: Do the filing on the lens well away from the body. And then be sure to clean the mount of any tiny metal shavings before mounting it on the camera again. You wouldn't want any of those metal shavings in the camera body.