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Roger Hicks
09-14-2008, 13:52
We've all been surprised at how good some cheap lenses have been, but how often have you tried a more or less expensive new lens and found that hey, well, maybe there is some reason why it has a cult following after all?

I was more than prepared to be underwhelmed by the Thambar, Noctilux, 75 Summicron and 50/1.5 C-Sonnar; but when I tried them, I could see why some people all but worship them. Likewise my wife fell in love with the 18/4 Distagon and we'd buy a Tri-Elmar 16-18-21 each if we could afford it.

What I'm looking for is the exact opposite of a 'bashing' thread: rather, a celebration of lenses that did, in your experience, turn out to be worthy of their exalted reputations.

Cheers,

R.

Solinar
09-14-2008, 13:57
The first version of the 50/2.8 Elmar collapsible is a sleeper - beautiful bokeh, sharp by f/5.6, flare resistant - excellent by f/8 to f/11. I love the clip on lens hood that goes with it as well.

sepiareverb
09-14-2008, 14:07
The 28/2.0 ASPH. This is on the M8, but the 28/2.0 is my favorite on the MP. This is what I've always wanted in a 28mm lens: crispness right out to the edges, minimal falloff, great contrast. This quickly became my most used lens in the woods.
http://i239.photobucket.com/albums/ff221/sepiareverb/L1000369.jpg

Roger Hicks
09-14-2008, 14:11
Addendum:

Of course, no one lens is going to suit anyone. I can see why some people love 300/2.8 teles -- but having had three (from various makers) for review, they did nothing for me, because that's not the sort of photography I do.

Obviously any praise will be subjective, but a sentence or two on why you liked a particular lens (like Solinar's brief observation) will also give us an idea of what people regard as important in a lens (size, weight, sharpness, flare resistance, focusing movement/range, focal length...) whch could be interesting. So might a note on which lens (if any) it has displaced, whether partially or fully, e.g. I use my 90/2 Summicron a lot less now I have the 75mm.

Cheers,

R.

CK Dexter Haven
09-14-2008, 14:18
50 Lux ASPH
Contax SLR 50/1.4
Canon 35L + 85L
Contax G45

charjohncarter
09-14-2008, 14:23
I don't really own any RF lenses with great reputations; my 50mm Super Takumar F 1.4 has always been called great, but I call it greater.

sepiareverb
09-14-2008, 14:26
The 28/2.0 ASPH replaced the ZM28/2.8 in my kit. I'd long shot a Nikkor 28/2.0 Ai'd lens, and really loved the shallow depth of field 2.0 brings to a 28, and missed it when I moved to M's. When I was able to get a 28/2.0 ASPH I jumped, and ran it side by side with the ZM and a borrowed 28/2.8 ASPH. For me, the 2.0 was the winner. I quite dislike the hood, for it blocks too much of the VF and only rarely use it, no real troubles with flare yet.

http://i239.photobucket.com/albums/ff221/sepiareverb/480235A.jpg

Rob-F
09-14-2008, 14:47
My favorites: 24/2.8 ASPH; 28/2 Summicron; 35mm Summilux ASPH; 75mm Summilux. Reasons are pretty much the same in each case: top quality optics in focal lengths I really resonate with.

thomasw_
09-14-2008, 14:55
I agree with Bob about the 28/2 as a fine lens, but for me it isn't as much of a bread-n-butter lens as the Summilux 35-50 and 75. For me, the 75 lux is such a special lens in terms of its rendering, especially individual people. As great all-round lenses, the lux asph 35 and 50 are fantastic, but if I could only have one, it would be the 50 asph summilux; as 50mm man, it is the lens I can shoot from my heart.

photogdave
09-14-2008, 15:01
The 40mm Summicron-C. This is the one lens I have that seems to really capture the Leica "look" or "glow" or whatever you want to call it.
I also like it for it's size, handling and FOV but the image quality is really special for me.

sepiareverb
09-14-2008, 15:03
...For me, the 75 lux is such a special lens in terms of its rendering...

This is one I'm saving for, in fact I've got a bee in my bonnet for this or the last pre-ASPH 35 Lux as my next lens.

jack palmer
09-14-2008, 15:10
The 90mm f2.8 Tele-Elmarit-M, Super sharp. When I used Nikon , one of my favorite lenses was the 85mm f2. This is much better just really heavy in Chrome.

Bob Michaels
09-14-2008, 15:13
I'd have to say the Zeiss 35mm f2. But my reasoning is a bit different. It is just a great journeyman lens that doesn't add or subtract anything from the photo and allows the subject to be the center of attention. It just sits there in the background delivering very good optical quality, is reasonably fast and adequately compact. Of course it is my favorite focal length.

Or it may well be the Mamiya 7 80mm lens for exactly the same reasons above.

I want someone to view my photos and only think of the subject matter and not the lens, not the film, not whether it was 35mm or MF, not the print quality. Just the subject.

tomasis
09-14-2008, 15:13
I would say all Leitz lenses I have:

Super Angulon 21/3.4
Summilux pre-asph 35/1.4
Summicron 50mm 3rd
Summicron 90mm pre-asph e55
Elmar 50/2.8.

It is funny to say that all become surprises for me when I came from Om1 with various lenses. I was greatly surprised when I purchased M4 with Cron 50mm at first. Then I didn't know what lenses to begin, I simply copied Ned lens setup and indeed I was more surprised how characteristic are SA 21 and Lux 35. I think there are lot of lenses to discover. Some are left (of my desires): Nocti, Lux 75, Summarit f1.5, Summitar f2, Summar, 40mm Cron-C. For modernness sake I would try 50 Lux Asph, 28 Cron & Elmar Asph and see if it really fit me. 90mm cron preasph E55 is closest to current lenses I have and still I feel that the cron still retains old character I have seen of pictures of earlier version Crons.

I need many years to come over the shock :D It is hard to say which lens is most surprising for me. I love them all.

tomasis
09-14-2008, 15:24
I think I know the answer about the most surprising lens. IT is Summicron 50mm because it was my first lens for M mount then later it kept me like a drug and I wanted more and more :) But even I wanted more, I recognized there are anything no more and I came back to Cron and I still think how great lens it is.

Mackinaw
09-14-2008, 15:30
For my Leicas' the 35mm Summicron asph, 75mm Summilux and Canon 50/1.4 LTM.

Jim B.

sepiareverb
09-14-2008, 15:35
Beautiful image endustry. You remind me I don't shoot enough Velvia!!!

I loved the image quality of the 28/2.8 ASPH I had borrowed from Darren, but found it just too small for my hands- I was simply unable to easily handle it. That, coupled with the little bit less DOF sealed my 28/2.0.

The 28/2.0 ASPH handles much like a 50 summilux, it is nearly identical in size.

35mmdelux
09-14-2008, 16:09
28mm/2.8 ASPH -- sharp, contrasty, small form factor. Sleeper pricing.

75mm/2.5 Summarit-M -- more than I expected for this lens. Sleeper pricing.

helenhill
09-14-2008, 16:16
Well now
You boys might consider me Silly
having gone through so many lenses in 6 months
cv35 /2.5
90 Cron
50 3.5 Elmar
50 1.5 Summarit
35 3.5 Summaron
35 /1.8 Canon
Industar 61
35 3.5 Elmar
35/2 Biogon
all on my RD1s

My all Time FAVORITE
which I cannot part from.....The 1938 35 Elmar
its draws sooo Beautiful be it in Crispness & blks sooo blk
I ADORE this lens .... A PURRfect Sunny Day Lens
Its in mint condition / uncoated
and just the feel & turn of it is PURE magic
let alone seeing the final pix

Next week i will get via the Post
an M4
& a 50/1.4 pre asph
so we will see if my head spins & my heart beats faster
though I'm a bit worried ......:bang:
sometimes I think I should have opted for the Zeiss sonnar 50mm

LOVE, LUST & LENSES -A CELEBRATION
Best-H

ferider
09-14-2008, 16:23
The 75/1.4 Summilux.

Found it at a great price and bought it to resell it.

I kept it. My single highest valued piece of camera equipment :o I would have called you crazy if you would have predicted that I am using that lens.

Further, it motivated me to buy its little sister, the 50/1.4 pre-asph (v3). Love that, too.

Roland.

squirrel$$$bandit
09-14-2008, 16:26
charjohncharter is right about the Super Tak, it's killer. Every version of the Pentax 50/1.4 seems to be solid gold.

And unlike sepiareverb, I'm super happy with the ZM28/2.8--definitely worth the high (for me) price tag. I've never tried the ASPH though.

sepiareverb
09-14-2008, 16:58
...Found it at a great price and bought it to resell it.

I kept it...

Don't you love it when that happens?? That initial shock of "Wow this isn;t at all what I expected." Followed by the "Now what am I going to sell??"

That was the 50/1.4 pre ASPH for me. I got a real beater that I fell in love with. Managed to replace it with a gem thanks to Andy.

Benjamin Marks
09-14-2008, 17:00
I'll chime in for the 50 Summilux ASPH and 75/1.4. Absolutely a fantastic lenses. But my 1980's version Summicron will also be with me until my sight dims.

Ben

PMCC
09-14-2008, 17:29
The 75 Lux can give thrilling results. Nothing else like it.

noimmunity
09-14-2008, 17:49
We've all been surprised at how good some cheap lenses have been, but how often have you tried a more or less expensive new lens and found that hey, well, maybe there is some reason why it has a cult following after all?

75 Summicron 50/1.5 C-Sonnar 18/4 Distagon

I follow you Roger, at least up until the Thambar!

I'm totally impressed with the 75 summicron and would have never believed I would ever ever buy a lens like that.

This photo (taken from photo.net) demonstrates one of the reasons why the 'cron is a delight:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3003/2858184522_d59c4ce409_o.jpg

I'd like to a 'cron thread, but there aren't that many here on RFF, and I don't want to get into a consumer-religion battle. Do you think a thread like that is feasible? Maybe W/NW ?

Another lens I find worth every penny is the relatively rare and now expensive Black Nikkor 85/2. I can see why Stephen Gandy says it is one of his all-time favorite lenses.

kevin m
09-14-2008, 17:56
What I'm looking for is the exact opposite of a 'bashing' thread...

Then I have a suggestion: How about starting a thread without using the term "basher" to describe anyone who might dare to disagree with you? :rolleyes:

50 Summilux pre-asph. is my answer. Brilliant combination of IQ and portability and still available at a sane price.

Pablito
09-14-2008, 17:58
35mm Summicron IV

urban_alchemist
09-15-2008, 00:42
50/f1.0 Noctilux - a deeply flawed lense, but once you learn to respect its idiosyncracies, a delight.

http://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj189/urban_alchemist/2774252445_bb6ff88613_o.jpg

50/f1.4 Summilux ASPH - I actually ended up with this by accident (bought the LHSA version together with my MP3) - had no intention as I had the other two already. Bloody happy I did though - probably the best lense on the planet. Worth every penny and then some.

http://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj189/urban_alchemist/2575067462_dde72b03f3_o.jpg

50/f2.0 Summicron - a deeply underrated lense. I know people love it, but its got such a wonderful glow that, were it not for its two bigger brothers, would make it universally worshipped... (it was my first ever Leica glass, so I have just a little soft spot for it :) )

http://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj189/urban_alchemist/2732280954_8561aa4e6e_o.jpg

(And after all you guys, I'm dying for a 75/f1.4!)

Keith
09-15-2008, 01:38
Totally against the flow sorry but a lens is a lens whether it be on a rangefinder or otherwise! The 35mm f2 Zuiko I bought recently for my OM is very impressive for the outlay.

Harry S.
09-15-2008, 02:10
So far im yet to try more than a handful of M lenses. I really love the 35mm Summicron IV though. For me, using it is the quintessential 'Leica experience'.

Id most like to try the 75mm AA summicron.

Roger Hicks
09-15-2008, 04:12
The 75/1.4 Summilux.
I would have called you crazy if you would have predicted that I am using that lens.

Dear Roland,

That's exactly the kind of thing I meant: from 'What sort of idiot would want this?' to 'Ummm.... me.'

Cheers,

R.

D.O'K.
09-15-2008, 04:44
40mm tessar on my Rollei 35.

Sharp enough, but not so as to give harsh lines; plus really lovely gentle tonality with most B&W films.

To my mind, it has many of the "rounded" qualitiies of the Leica glass although it retains its own unique look.

Not especially expensive, though...

Regards,
D.

Jamie Pillers
09-15-2008, 04:47
Perfectly said, Bob. Thanks.

gertf
09-15-2008, 04:52
This is one I'm saving for, in fact I've got a bee in my bonnet for this or the last pre-ASPH 35 Lux as my next lens.

You can have mine. It's in the classifieds; the price is negotiable ;)

sepiareverb
09-15-2008, 04:58
Thanks for the heads up, but I'm not that close yet gertf! I did look and sigh.

Ronald M
09-15-2008, 05:00
1.5 Summarit. Last 50 2.8 Elmar recently discontinued.

The 1.5 retains a certain quality from open to closed that gives a nostalgic rendering. The Elmar is sharp without being harsh.

Nando
09-15-2008, 05:16
My modern Leica lenses, the 24mm Elmarit-ASPH, 35mm Summicron-ASPh and 50 Summilux-ASPH are all astoundingly good, especially the 50 Summilux-ASPH. It is indeed worth every penny.

However, the most surprising lenses for me were the 35mm Summaron, 50 Summitar, 50 J3 (after Brian Sweeney fixed it) and 35mm f/1.2 Nokton-ASPH. All great lenses in their own way.

maddoc
09-15-2008, 05:24
The 35mm Summilux pre-ASPH (at least the copy I have). I am always astonished about the results I get and if not I can always say "user error" ;)

johne
09-15-2008, 05:28
Roger,
My compliments on this new thread. For me, my Summitar was compelling in that I got it as a body cap since it was so fogged. I never liked to use it until Shirley Krauter cleaned it. The change was thrilling! Plus, on my IIIF RD, it just looks right. In brief, even at 80, I learned to receive surprises with grace and enjoy them.
John

Matt(1pt4)
09-15-2008, 05:42
The 28/2.0 ASPH replaced the ZM28/2.8 in my kit. I'd long shot a Nikkor 28/2.0 Ai'd lens, and really loved the shallow depth of field 2.0 brings to a 28, and missed it when I moved to M's. When I was able to get a 28/2.0 ASPH I jumped, and ran it side by side with the ZM and a borrowed 28/2.8 ASPH. For me, the 2.0 was the winner. I quite dislike the hood, for it blocks too much of the VF and only rarely use it, no real troubles with flare yet.

http://i239.photobucket.com/albums/ff221/sepiareverb/480235A.jpg

Sepiareverb, that's a great photo. The 'intrusion' of the in focus branches makes me think of creeping tentacles for some reason. Neat.

Roger Hicks
09-15-2008, 06:05
I'd have to say the Zeiss 35mm f2. But my reasoning is a bit different. It is just a great journeyman lens that doesn't add or subtract anything from the photo and allows the subject to be the center of attention. It just sits there in the background delivering very good optical quality, is reasonably fast and adequately compact. Of course it is my favorite focal length.

Or it may well be the Mamiya 7 80mm lens for exactly the same reasons above.

I want someone to view my photos and only think of the subject matter and not the lens, not the film, not whether it was 35mm or MF, not the print quality. Just the subject.
Dear Bob,

A fascinating line of argument, for which I am sure we all thank you; but another philosophical point is immediately raised.

Can there be any such thing as an objective 'adds nothing, subtracts nothing' lens, or is such a choice merely selecting 'the lens that sees closest to what I, persnally, remember'?

Cheers,

R.

JonasYip
09-15-2008, 06:07
I have several lenses ending in 'lux, but the one that stands out is the 75 lux. Unfortunately my current camera of choice doesn't have 75 framelines and I haven't found a comfortable solution for using that focal length... so I haven't been using it regularly. Perhaps I should revisit that issue.

Other lenses that stand out in my mind... 35 lux ASPH. Contax 645 120 Makro Planar. Whatever the lens is on my Fuji 645....

j

sepiareverb
09-15-2008, 06:12
Sepiareverb, that's a great photo. The 'intrusion' of the in focus branches makes me think of creeping tentacles for some reason. Neat.

Thanks Matt. This lens is really fantastic in the woods.

I have several lenses ending in 'lux, but the one that stands out is the 75 lux. Unfortunately my current camera of choice doesn't have 75 framelines and I haven't found a comfortable solution for using that focal length... so I haven't been using it regularly. Perhaps I should revisit that issue.

I don't know what you're shooting, but I had the 75 framelines put in my M5, it is possible, though the price has gone up with parts.

icebear
09-15-2008, 06:19
I never really liked my 28 Elmarit but since I have got the 25 Biogon I use it a lot. One example at close distance:

http://www.rangefinderforum.com/photopost/data/500/thumbs/brushes4xnegE.jpg (http://www.rangefinderforum.com/photopost/showphoto.php?photo=92661&ppuser=6650)

JonasYip
09-15-2008, 06:21
I don't know what you're shooting, but I had the 75 framelines put in my M5, it is possible, though the price has gone up with parts.

Epson RD1. There have been some suggested mods... I asked Steve of Steve's Camera (the de facto RD1 repair guy) to look into it, but there was no solution he was comfortable performing at the time so I left it at that.

j

Roger Hicks
09-15-2008, 06:23
I never really liked my 28 Elmarit but since I have got the 25 Biogon I use it a lot. One example at close distance:


Another very important point: seemingly trivial differences in focal length can matter a lot. My wife Frances Schultz doesn't really care for 15mm or 21mm -- but loves 18mm...

Cheers,

R.

Turtle
09-15-2008, 06:24
Mamiya 7 lenses - all of them. WOW! does not matter what you have shot before, when you see a neg shot at a decent shutter speed on high res film at f8-11 prepare to fall off your seat. These easily keep pace with my Zeiss ZMs....on a neg twice the size. They quite expensive (though not by Hasselblad/Rollei standards) but you do get what you pay for: Incredible performance, even from wide open.

35mm - I agree with the comment earlier on the 35 biogon. Does what it says on the tin! I have a number of images on my wall/portfolio which were shot with this lens which seems to do everything really very well. At 2.8 it is tack sharp on centre and by f4 edge performance is quite staggering..and it is darned good wide open too! The planar 50 and 28 biogon are wonderful too, but the 35 just seems to be the one that takes most of the shots and has not let me down in any aspect of its performance.

Other formats and non-RF:

5x4 - 203 7.7 Ektar - Tiny, cheap, super sharp, good coverage and beautiful images.

10x8 - Rodenstock geronar 300 f9. Tiny, cheap, good contrast, good coverage for landscapes and very sharp stopped down. People complain about these Geronars, but when you shoot a 10x8 on one at f22/32 there is nothing to complain about at all! far cheaper than a Nikkor 300 f9 or Fuji f8.5 but does the same thing at f22 all with the ubiquitous 58mm thread.
Rolleicord Va 75mm Xenar. shot fairly wide it has beautifully soft corners, good resolution and lovely dreamy bokeh. Should not have sold mine. It was cheap too. Really lovely.

BillBingham2
09-15-2008, 06:47
Nikkor 50/1.4 Millennium, got me to realize that 50 is not a bad focal length. While 50 is still not the first one I pick up, I might some day.

B2 (;->

sepiareverb
09-15-2008, 06:56
Epson RD1...

Ah, out of my area. External finders I guess eh?
:(

mfogiel
09-15-2008, 07:02
In RF, great lenses are more a rule than an exception, especially in the latest Zeiss and Leica offerings - for me, two which stand out are the C Biogon 21/4,5 and C Sonnar 50/1,5 for reasons quite known to everybody on this forum. Beyond this, my favourites are the Hasselblad SWC Biogon, and the Zeiss Makro Planar 100/2.

JohnTF
09-15-2008, 07:14
A friend twisted my arm a bit to buy one of a pair of CV 35mm Noktons, but I was pleasantly surprised to find I did think the images were better. I started using 35mm more.

I tend to think in terms of focal lengths than glass, but then again I tend to stick with Zeiss, Leitz, and CV.

With film or full frame numbers, I like the CV 12, Contax G 28 and 90mm, and in M mount the Leitz 90mm 2.8.

First lens I bought that made a huge difference in sharpness, contrast, and over all image quality, was my Nikkor 50mm 1.4 on my F2 in the 70's.

Another veteran was my Pentax 35mm 2.3 which had to be manually reopened, two or three lenses then were a luxury.

Regards, John

JohnTF
09-15-2008, 07:19
I would ask Roger if there are particular lenses he feels have such a significantly and specifically good character as he might be able to spot their "signature" in most prints?

Perhaps an article on "signature" lenses?

Not an easy question I might suspect, but Roger, you certainly have the background if it is answerable.


Regards, John

rolly
09-15-2008, 08:01
I was shooting all the Contax G lenses, but that whole system became an evolutionary dead end. I thought if I ponied up and got a used M body and sunk some money into used Leica lenses I'd be all set for the M8, which was at the time two years away. A friend lent me an m5 and a cron 50 -- there was something glow-y about that borrowed summicron 50mm... wrong focal length for me, so my friend offered a 35 cron, 2nd ver. I was intrigued by what that family of lenses does with light in BW photography. I ended up buying a summicron 35 4th ver, sticking with film and forgoing completely the M8-- mainly because the cron 35 4th is such a great accomplishment-- the Vermeer of lenses, at least when paired with film.

Roger Hicks
09-15-2008, 08:24
. . . the Vermeer of lenses, at least when paired with film.
Dear Rolly,

Beautifully phrased. That's how I feel about both the Thambar (which I have the good fortune to own) and the Noctilux (which I do not) -- at least with the right subject, and on the M8.

I think it was Heinlein who said, "Never trust a writer. They will take what you said, file off the serial numbers, and claim it as their own. "

If you hear a rasping/grinding noise...

Cheers,

R.

JohnTF
09-15-2008, 09:06
[quote=rolly;894880]I was shooting all the Contax G lenses, but that whole system became an evolutionary dead end.

I loved the fast light weight kit of two G2's and three lenses. I liked the prime glass and the images.

My friend Igor said he could see how this system could have become digital.

He also said he is considering having his 16mm modified to M mount, though I have only heard of this from him, and the conversion price is only worth it for the very unusual lenses.

More questions than answers right now for fine work with digital, at least for me.

Commercial work is something quite else.

As you are back to film, any thoughts of returning to the Contax?

Regards, John

rolly
09-15-2008, 09:59
Roger, re writers::angel:

John, re Contax G-- No I'm not returning to the Contax G system, but I have to say if I were shooting color only, AND doing street-type work, I'd definitely re-acquire the body, the 45 and 90. Those were such nice lenses to use, and the 21 was really tops. But I am going backwards, like Nick in Gatsby (Roger, are you a Gatsby guy?) "boats against the current," towards really involving myself with BW and for that I am sticking to the cron 4th ver. on an MP, shooting agfa apx400.

sepiareverb
09-15-2008, 11:08
I came back to Contax G for the 21, after trying and not liking the ZM21/2.8.

Just back from shooting it alongside an M7 & and MP, simple enough to move between the three.

Roger Hicks
09-15-2008, 11:13
Dear Rolly,

No, I never appreciated Gatsby much: I suspect it may be a bit too culturally specific, and I am too much Old Europe. Yes, I understand that's part of it, but it never gelled for me. Then again, it's been decades, so maybe I should try again.

Nor for that matter was I a great fan of the Contax G: I never liked the way the deep-set viewfinder window misted up, and the focus 'hunted' a bit too often for my taste. The results were superb, when they happened; but there were enough misses that I was never sure of a hit.

Nevertheless, I fully understand your retro leanings. At one point I even hand-cammed a 150/4.5 Apo Lanthar to my MPP to get 'the look'.

The Apo-Lanthar, incidentally, was the first one where I heard the term 'the quality of the out-of-focus image' as a reason to favour a lens, from the late Colin Glanfield over 10 years ago: the term 'bokeh' had not at that time achieved wide currency.

Cheers,

Roger

rolly
09-15-2008, 12:13
re the Contax G-- yes, once compared to Leica VF the Contax is sort of tight and tunnely. The AF was noisy by comparison to the silence of manually focusing a Leica, but the AF was 99% spot on. I never had a problem in 9 years shooting the G2. Re Gatsby-- I like it now as a piece of writing (someone described it once as having come out of Fitzgerald whole like an egg) but the themes seem still up-to-date with the pull of the Old World-New World-- and those could be Europe-America or the codgers and youth, Dems v Reps, film v digital....what is v what could-should-oughtta be...

JohnTF
09-15-2008, 17:33
re the Contax G-- yes, once compared to Leica VF the Contax is sort of tight and tunnely. The AF was noisy by comparison to the silence of manually focusing a Leica, but the AF was 99% spot on. I never had a problem in 9 years shooting the G2. Re Gatsby-- I like it now as a piece of writing (someone described it once as having come out of Fitzgerald whole like an egg) but the themes seem still up-to-date with the pull of the Old World-New World-- and those could be Europe-America or the codgers and youth, Dems v Reps, film v digital....what is v what could-should-oughtta be...


I like Fitzgerald in general, Gatsby in particular, but not so much the movie. Great character development.

The G2 was certainly quicker and more sure on the focus than the G1, and I started to pay much more attention to the focus indication to verify the focus.

The glass does was it is supposed to do, and does it well.

I was very happy with the images and bokeh, though the lenses could have been faster.

I did not use the manual focus much, but did have to search a few times for something with some contrast or lines for focus.

Are you saying that one is better with color, or one is better with B&W?

Coming from AF or an SLR to a RF you also have to remember that focus in the frame is not the same as on the film. ;-)

I do work more slowly with the Leicas.

Regards, John

squirrel$$$bandit
09-15-2008, 17:43
Epson RD1...

Ah, out of my area. External finders I guess eh?
:(

Not necessarily...you get used to composing with longer lenses inside the 50mm framelines. Tough to focus at wide apertures though.

As for writers, one of my favorites, David Foster Wallace, died over the weekend, of a suicide. I'm very sad about it.

Rafael
09-15-2008, 18:19
The best surprise for me has been the 35/1.2 Nokton. The 75mm Summilux is my personal favourite lens. But, to be honest, I am not all that surprised by how much I have come to love it. I looked at a lot of photographs before I bought it and I had pretty high hopes when I actually sent the payment. But the Nokton has been a terrific surprise. I had been intrigued by the lens and bought one when a good deal presented itself. I saw the purchase as an experiment at the time. But I now use the 35/1.2 together with the 75/1.4 more than any other lens pairing.

Doug
09-15-2008, 23:10
Perhaps on a more modest note, but the Voigtlander 2.5/50mm Color Skopar was a pleasant surprise. At the time I got it (used) five years ago it had an unfavorable reputation for being soft/unsharp. Yet it was said to be the best-selling Voigtlander lens in Japan. So I was intrigued... and ultimately surprised at how very nicely it performs, with a more "gentle" sharpness than the 50 Nokton of the same era.

jonmanjiro
09-15-2008, 23:23
Another vote here for the Millennium Nikkor 50/1.4. An amazing all-round performer and IMO the best 50mm lens from Nikon in any mount.

antistatic
09-15-2008, 23:48
A vote here for the Rokkor 40mm f2.0. A quiet achiever and great value for money.

Ade-oh
09-16-2008, 04:00
For me, the three lenses I would miss the most are:

OM Zuiko 50/1.8
Leica Asph 35/2
DC Nikkor 135/2

Keith
09-16-2008, 04:04
One I have to mention is the 15mm Heliar ... almost no vigneting and minimal distortion at a near giveaway price. I've used mine far more than I predicted I would have!

KoNickon
09-16-2008, 05:41
I second Doug's comment about the 50/2.5 Color Skopar. I think it's becoming rather a classic lens and will be more sought after as time passes.

I have the "common" four M-Hexanons (28/2.8, 35/2, 50/2 and 90/2.8) and have to say these are just remarkably good.

cam
09-16-2008, 08:19
This is one I'm saving for, in fact I've got a bee in my bonnet for this or the last pre-ASPH 35 Lux as my next lens.

Danger, Will Robinson!

if the 28 Elmarit was too small for your hands, this 35 pre-asph will make you miserable. it's teeny tiny and you barely notice it's on your camera --but, oh, what images!

(that said, mine was obviously previously owned by someone in your situation and has absurdly ugly focusing aids attached to it... where there's a will, there's a way.)

sepiareverb
09-16-2008, 09:12
Danger, Will Robinson!

if the 28 Elmarit was too small for your hands, this 35 pre-asph will make you miserable. it's teeny tiny and you barely notice it's on your camera --but, oh, what images!

(that said, mine was obviously previously owned by someone in your situation and has absurdly ugly focusing aids attached to it... where there's a will, there's a way.)

Yes, focus aids were a thought. I'm after it for the bokeh and the flatter midtones in particular situations, it surely wouldn't be my main 35 by any stretch- that is the Summicron ASPH.

cam
09-17-2008, 00:46
So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

that's the last line from Gatsby, and one of my absolute favourites. i think it perfectly expresses what i look for in a lens -- an agelessness, a timelessness. something that could have been taken today or fifty years ago.

my pre-asph Luxes (35 and 50) are no surprise. i expected to love them and i do. they sparkle and glow and dance in the light. their signature is evident, especially my older 50. unlike Bob Michaels, i count on that signature to be part of the images i create. i am sometimes disappointed with my 35 as it is a later one (83/84) and hides its magic if i mess up exposure.

my surprise, i have to say, is the 35mm 8 element Summicron. i'd been told to get v.4, the bokeh king, but i was put a bit off by the tiger claw focusing tab on the v.3 i tried and was scared the v.4 was the same. (let me explain that i was only looking for another 35 because of those damned focusing tabs on my Lux -- i was constantly knocking my settings off in the street.) so i did my homework and decided v.1 was for me... i was looking at an auction one day and oops! i hit my lap top and ended up buying the lens.

it is a brilliant street lens and i find the infinity lock a plus. i am much newer to rangefinders than you all and sometimes get dyslexic when focusing on the fly. the lock tells me which way i've gone :p

more importantly, it's as sharp as i could ever ask for and brings out the most amazing colours. it's a dilemma for me, as i shoot in black and white but have the RAW file to ooh and ahh over. it has a magic all its own, but it is not nearly as distinctive as the Lux. so when i want a look that is more uniform, i reach for this. perhaps it's prose rather than poetry, but i love it all the same.

JohnTF
09-17-2008, 09:15
A vote here for the Rokkor 40mm f2.0. A quiet achiever and great value for money.


How do you think it compares with the Leitz cousin?

I had the 28 Rokkor, it was mis placed/ packed, in a box for the 40mm and I celebrated the good fortune and price, until one day I took it out of the pouch and it looked as if it had measles inside. Now I need an M mount 28mm.

I have both of the 40's, but have only used the Leitz as of late and on the M8.

Regards, John

cam
09-21-2008, 02:44
so this thread got me playing with my 35 pre-asph Lux again (how do i love thee? let me count the ways..) i still love the 8-element Cron for it's colours and closer focusing, but the Mandler look is just something that does it for me on the Luxes.

after reading and re-reading through this thread, it seems the 75mm Summilux is THE lens that makes people weak in the knees. it's my birthday at the end of the month, and i'm wondering if this is the lens i should get...

if people could further wax poetic and provide more examples, i'd be mighty obliged. (there's that Thambar out there on the 'bay, too, but i'm sure it will go too high -- i mean, what is a reasonable price?)

Ronald_H
09-22-2008, 12:09
My first real Leica lens, a 45 year old Summicron DR. Absolutely destroys everything I have ever used.

deepwhite
09-22-2008, 14:10
35lux preA.

I'm in the opposite with cam. My Noctilux and Cron IV are no surprise to me, cause I expected them to be great. Yet the 35lux preA really surprised me. In short, it's a very good f2 lens with:

- great color rendition; more "weight" than Cron IV to my eyes
- more versatility, ie same sharpness @ f8 with the Cron IV but softer @ f2
- the extra f1.4 stop with "glow"

I'll start a more detailed thread about my first experience with the 35lux preA, including three photos I shot with f1.4, f2 & f2.8.

I think it's the new "camera cap" for the R-D1s, while the Noctilux for the Hexar RF. (Should be on the M7, but my girlfriend says the M7 is hers....)

monochromejrnl
09-22-2008, 14:29
Canon 35/2.8 LTM = as good as my v3 35'cron for B&W at f2.8-f8... smaller, just as well built and inexpensive...

Roger Hicks
09-29-2008, 14:08
My Noctilux and Cron IV are no surprise to me, cause I expected them to be great. Yet the 35lux preA really surprised me. In short, it's a very good f2 lens with:

- great color rendition; more "weight" than Cron IV to my eyes
- more versatility, ie same sharpness @ f8 with the Cron IV but softer @ f2
- the extra f1.4 stop with "glow"

I'll start a more detailed thread about my first experience with the 35lux preA, including three photos I shot with f1.4, f2 & f2.8.

I think it's the new "camera cap" for the R-D1s, while the Noctilux for the Hexar RF. (Should be on the M7, but my girlfriend says the M7 is hers....)
Good point about 'no surprises' with lenses you expected to be good.

Totally seconded about the Summilux pre-aspheric: I sold my Summicron pre-aspheric (which I had at the same time) for precisely the reasons you state.

And I'm glad someone else has a girlfriend/wife who wants to use real cameras too. Frances's latest acquisitions: ZI Wide + 18/4.

Cheers,

R.

Todd.Hanz
09-29-2008, 14:29
Surprises,
I used to own a collapsible 50 summicron that performed beautifully, I think the fact that it was small when collapsed was a bonus to me.

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/116/362769548_f1d40920a7.jpg

The CV 75/2.5 was a surprise as well, I really like the bokeh it produces

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1219/866699947_1e9148d7ce.jpg

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2054/2541510142_4d5d88ffb7.jpg

Todd