75 Summilux (old or new) + Bessa R2a
Old 12-20-2005   #1
bmicklea
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75 Summilux (old or new) + Bessa R2a

My apologies in advance if this question has been added before (feel free to point me to another thread or just tell me to search more carefully).

I've been saving for some Leica glass and the 75 'lux is quite high on my list. In reading through Gandy's and others' sites it seems that there aren't a lot of 75 'lux around (perhaps 3 versions?) with the newest version being a little smaller. Does anyone have any experience with this lens in any of its versions or, especially, a comparison of several versions?

Also I'm a little concerned about the wide-open focusing with the short baselength of the R2a. I'm thinking of using it almost entirely for people shots inside in medium to low light so I'm expecting a lot of use wide-open and from about 1-4m so focus accuracy could be taxed. Has anyone used this lens with this camera or will I have to buy the lens then convince my girlfriend that to really use it I need a Leica M3?

Thanks
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At least a M4
Old 12-21-2005   #2
FPjohn
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At least a M4

Hello:

The 75mm is a difficult lens to focus on a M series, frame lines on M4 and above, while giving fine images. CV's 75 is almost two stops slower; an indication that the Summilux might be expected to give sharp focused images at f2.8 and above with a Bessa. Look for Bessa owners experience on the CV Bessa forum.

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Old 12-21-2005   #3
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I've owned a Bessa with a 75mm 2.5 I used it wide open with distanaces of about 1 meter.
With a lot of concentration I got very accurated focused pictures ! I sold the voigltander gear however.
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Old 12-21-2005   #4
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Check imx.nl

Erwin has done the calculations to show the min effective baselength you need for each lens.

Basically, R2 + 75/1.4 @ 1.4 is a no-go.

Wai Leong
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmicklea
My apologies in advance if this question has been added before (feel free to point me to another thread or just tell me to search more carefully).

I've been saving for some Leica glass and the 75 'lux is quite high on my list. In reading through Gandy's and others' sites it seems that there aren't a lot of 75 'lux around (perhaps 3 versions?) with the newest version being a little smaller. Does anyone have any experience with this lens in any of its versions or, especially, a comparison of several versions?

Also I'm a little concerned about the wide-open focusing with the short baselength of the R2a. I'm thinking of using it almost entirely for people shots inside in medium to low light so I'm expecting a lot of use wide-open and from about 1-4m so focus accuracy could be taxed. Has anyone used this lens with this camera or will I have to buy the lens then convince my girlfriend that to really use it I need a Leica M3?

Thanks
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Old 12-21-2005   #5
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"The 75mm is a difficult lens to focus on a M series,"

Not true as a general statement. At F1.4 and in the near range, a 75 Summilux can be difficult to focus accurately on a Leica M camera because of the razor thin depth of field, but probably not any more so than my 90 Summicron at maximum aperture in the near range.
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Old 12-22-2005   #6
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Thanks everyone and thanks for the pointer to Erwin's site - I've checked it out before but I find it's sometimes hard to locate a specific article. From his calculations (if I'm reading them right) I should be fine with any of the regular or high-mag Ms.

Sounds like I'll have to hold out for an M and then follow it with the 75 'lux. So it looks like I'll be getting it sometime in 2050.

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You are correct
Old 12-22-2005   #7
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You are correct

Quote:
Originally Posted by vol72
"The 75mm is a difficult lens to focus on a M series,"

Not true as a general statement. At F1.4 and in the near range, a 75 Summilux can be difficult to focus accurately on a Leica M camera because of the razor thin depth of field, but probably not any more so than my 90 Summicron at maximum aperture in the near range.
Hello:

You are correct. In context, I ment that I (others may do better) find it more difficult to focus the Summilux wide open. I also miss more often with a 90mm at f2. These lenses can deliver super images wide open.

yours
Frank
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Old 12-23-2005   #8
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How about using a magnifying eyepiece? I remember reading somewhere that the Nikon ones (1.25) work on Bessas. This would increase your EBL, making focusing easier. Let me know what you find out, as I may be interested in one for my bessa r.
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Old 12-23-2005   #9
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Brad, this is probably not the kind of suggestion you need, and if it's already obvious I apologize, but a user non-metered M camera is not a great deal more money than your R2A would bring on sale.

More OT, I have tried a 90/2 on my R2A and wasn't able to focus it consistently. )Keep in mind I'm fifty and my eyes aren't what they once were.) No experience with the 75/1.4. My CV 75/2.5 focusses perfectly with the R2A, so I believe two stops worth of narrowed DOF makes a difference. There's a reason that Cosina's fast glass is all short focal length and their longer lenses are comparatively slow.
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Old 12-24-2005   #10
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Thanks Mike, makes sense. I figure I've got a couple options:

1. Get the VC 75 and live with it for a few years while I save for the M+75 'lux
2. Break the piggybank and get an older M + 75 'lux

Obviously the 2nd is preferrable because not only could I focus the 'lux properly, but I'd have a 2nd body (and a Leica to boot). I'll have to see where my finances sit post-Christmas.

gbb: For me the pain of a magnifying eyepiece is not worth it - also from what I've heard the extremely thin DOF on the 75 'lux makes it challenging to focus on just about any camera - I think the Bessas start with too low a baselength to make it anything but challenging at best.

Thanks all,
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Old 12-26-2005   #11
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Smile

Have you considered the Bessa T at $ 185. On the Cameraquest website you get his comment on it: "The base of the rangefinder is about 38 mm and the magnification is 1,5 so the baseline is 58mm, more than enough to give you precise focus even with a 75/1,4 wide-open" from Tom Abrahamsson. Caveat: I have used the T and enjoy it a lot, but not in any more demanding circumstances than the Nokton 1.5.

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Old 12-26-2005   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmicklea
Thanks Mike, makes sense. I figure I've got a couple options:

1. Get the VC 75 and live with it for a few years while I save for the M+75 'lux
2. Break the piggybank and get an older M + 75 'lux

Obviously the 2nd is preferrable because not only could I focus the 'lux properly, but I'd have a 2nd body (and a Leica to boot). I'll have to see where my finances sit post-Christmas.

gbb: For me the pain of a magnifying eyepiece is not worth it - also from what I've heard the extremely thin DOF on the 75 'lux makes it challenging to focus on just about any camera - I think the Bessas start with too low a baselength to make it anything but challenging at best.

Thanks all,
Brad,

Are you aware of the add-on meters for use with a non-metered M that you can buy from Camera Quest for reasonable cost?

Huck
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Old 12-28-2005   #13
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I'd considered the T but I think I'd rather wait for an M. If I do get an older all-manual M (which is what I'm leaning toward) then I'd certainly get the VC Meter II - I've played with one a little and really like it.

I'd rather keep the Bessa and get an early M. My thinking is that I'd really like an M3 which should easily focus the 75 'lux, but doesn't really work with the 35mm focal length I favour. But we'll see - if I run out of patience before I save enough for the M then I may sell the R2a.

Thanks all!
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Old 12-28-2005   #14
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Hello Brad.

A few lines to add to your quandary :

1. As you are probably aware, Leica bodies older than the M4P don't have a 75mm frame (no new lens in the 73/75mm range between 1931 and 1980!) - so you'll have to guess using the 50mm lines.

2. Anyhow the 75mm frame, when present, is bordering on the unusable. Even the official Leica website is quite candid about it:
http://www.leica-camera.com/imperia/.../kamera/54.jpg
So you'll be guessing anyhow.

3. The Ms' combined view+range-finder is not only easier and faster to use, it is also in practice more accurate than a separate rangefinder (such as that on the Bessa T, regardless of EBL), when you look for a split line at the edge of the RF window:
http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-...?msg_id=006PJn

4. Same with real TTL metering - faster and more accurate than a separate meter, and smaller and lighter too (incident metering is another story altogether). That, and 28+135mm framelines, was what lead me to add a M6 to my M2. There are lots of M6 around right now...

5. I concur that the Summilux 75 is a demanding, but highly satisfying lens. Mine (1st version with separate hood) focuses very smoothly, contrary to what I expected.

6. My personal hit rate surges when I have either enough time to mount the magnifier on my M6/M2, or enough light to reduce the aperture to f/2 or smaller.

7. You'll probably end up selling the Bessa after you have used a Leica M for a significant amount of time. Bessas are well-designed and well-built cameras but when you have tasted the 'real thing' you develop a taste for luxury. Well, at least *I* did.

By all means keep us posted!
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Last edited by Alec : 12-28-2005 at 16:17.
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