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View Full Version : Who else likes the Elmarit-M 135/2.8 - and why?


F456
06-20-2009, 14:57
Not sure if I'm supposed to be starting threads on your forum, Roger - please let me know and accept my apologies if not.

I've found myself today buying a near mint condition late (at least post-Leitz) Elmarit-M 135mm f/2.8. This isn't the first time I've had one of these and I'm intrigued to know just what it is that draws me to this lens.

What I mean is: I love its balance, the image quality, and the quite dated 135mm look of the pictures, but with its weight and magnifiers it is clumsy to carry round and nothing like as fast handling as a short focal length (say 35mm or 50mm). It isn't quick to focus and even with the magnifiers it's a bit touch and go to get just right. It just isn't an obvious rangefinder choice. An SLR lens such as the AF_DC 135/2 Nikkor would be much faster and easier to use, not much more expensive even new, and the framing would be clearer too. Not to mention the extra stop and the ability to adjust depth of field in front of or behind the subject at any particular f-stop with the DC ring.

So - apart from Leica quality - why? Even with the magnifiers and the fastest Leica 135mm maximum aperture it's not got killer speed. Yet I'm more excited at the prospect of reacquainting myself with this lens - on film and M8 - than had I got a lighter equivalent SLR lens (say Nikkor 135/2.8 Ai or AiS) or the afore-mentioned AF-DC 135/2.

Who else uses this lens and really likes it? In other words, who finds it special and doesn't just have it to fill an occasional focal length requirement? And how do you find it to handle with moving or fast changing subjects?

Best wishes,
Tom

Pickett Wilson
06-20-2009, 15:12
I'm seen some nice photos with this lens. Really wanted to try one. Bought one, in fact, but it's way out of adjustment for some reason (nothing obvious, just doesn't focus correctly) and I can't find anyone who will work on it (none of the usual repair folks will touch it).

Anyway, I look forward to seeing some photos from yours! Be sure to post some.

35mmdelux
06-20-2009, 15:53
Back in the day, I coveted a 135mm/2.8 Leica because I couldn't afford the 90mm. I prefer the 90mm because of the larger framelines and handling characteristics.

Those that prefer the 135mm are lucky because you can get a excellent copy for $450(US).

F456
06-20-2009, 23:22
I'm seen some nice photos with this lens. Really wanted to try one. Bought one, in fact, but it's way out of adjustment for some reason (nothing obvious, just doesn't focus correctly) and I can't find anyone who will work on it (none of the usual repair folks will touch it).

Anyway, I look forward to seeing some photos from yours! Be sure to post some.

About being out of adjustment: it can easily happen that the magnifiers are knocked out of alignment, say by careless transporting - it doesn't need to be a big impact. Can you get yours to a Leica agency? The Milton Keynes Leica HQ in England fixed my last lens free of charge. Apparently this is a reasonably common reason for focus errors.

About posting photos, I will try to do so once I get my end of term work out of the way. I often promise, usually fail, and this time will try harder.

By the way, do you know of any reason why a lens with magnifiers can't be used with an additional viewfinder magnifier attached on the back of the body? I'm hoping it can.

Best wishes,
Tom

notturtle
06-21-2009, 00:02
I have no idea why anyone would mess about with a 135mm lens on a rangefinder ;) I find 90mm a right pain in the proverbial apart from against landscapes that promise not to run away.

Roger Hicks
06-21-2009, 02:40
Dear Tom,

You're more than welcome to start threads here!

I've had two of these lenses. I sold the first for all the reasons you mentioned, then when I got the M8 I borrowed one and was knocked out by it; happily, I persuaded the owner to sell it to me. Mint, low-mileage, box, case, filter, the lot.

On film, it's great for landscapes in the mountains, but on the M8 I use it for that and for details with differential focus. The very close focus is wonderful and because it brings up the 90mm frame, magnified, composition ain't too bad, though Notturtle has a point.

Tashi delek,

R.

F456
06-21-2009, 08:07
Thanks, everyone, for the replies about the Elmarit-M 135/2.8.

I just tried mine on my 0.85 v/f Leica and, guess what, the focusing mechanism is out on my lens - the cam and for all I know the magnifiers too.

Should be able to get it fixed soon though. By the way, last time I had one of these I liked using it together with a 35mm on a second body. I do like the 135mm effect and for that reason also like using an 85mm on DX-sensor Nikons like the D1X etc.

Best wishes,
Tom