A "Character" 35mm LTM Lens
Old 05-14-2019   #1
bayernfan
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A "Character" 35mm LTM Lens

It occurs to me that there are plenty of "character" 50mm LTM lenses, e.g. Summar, Summitar, Jupiter, Sonnar. That is to say, lenses with distinct rendering quality (or fingerprint, or whatever you wanna call it).

What about the 35mm focal length? The Summaron 35/3.5 certainly is not (I own one). The Elmar 35/3.5 is low contrast wide open, but doesn't have a particularly special look (I also own this onel).

Anyone have any suggestions?
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Old 05-14-2019   #2
dourbalistar
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The Head Bartender has a list of LTM lenses you can reference as a starting point.

I think missing from the list is the Canon 35mm f/1.8. Filmosaur has a description here, and a post with a few image samples here.
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Old 05-14-2019   #3
DanskDynamit
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summaron 2.8 for me has it plenty.
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Old 05-15-2019   #4
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I'll second the canon ltm 35mm f/1.8, lovely character and sharp in the centre wide open, sharp over most of the frame stopped down. Only negative is the long throw focus. I'm not selling mine.


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Old 05-15-2019   #5
Erik van Straten
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Try the VC Ultron 35mm f/1.7 LTM. Very nice rendering. I will never sell mine.


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Old 05-15-2019   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik van Straten View Post
Try the VC Ultron 35mm f/1.7
I've sold the camera that came with it, but not the lens.
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A "Character" 35mm LTM Lens
Old 05-15-2019   #7
jonmanjiro
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A "Character" 35mm LTM Lens

Ultron 35/1.7 LTM lovers, how would you describe the special look of this lens? I had one for a while but it seemed quite modern looking to me, though a bit soft wide open.
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Old 05-15-2019   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonmanjiro View Post
Ultron 35/1.7 LTM lovers, how would you describe the special look of this lens? I had one for a while but it seemed quite modern looking to me, though a bit soft wide open.

It has very nice and perfect rendering. Better than Skopar. Character comes with optical defects of old LTM lenses.
My copy was not soft wide open at all.
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Old 05-15-2019   #9
Erik van Straten
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Jon, this one is at full aperture.

Leica M2, LTM Ultron 35mm f/1.7, Tmax400.

sharp, contrasty, wonderful bokeh and no distortion

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Old 05-15-2019   #10
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Canon 35mm f/1.5. The rare LTM 3.5cm f/1.8 Nikkor tops this list IMO.
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Old 05-15-2019   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trix4ever View Post
I'll second the canon ltm 35mm f/1.8, lovely character and sharp in the centre wide open, sharp over most of the frame stopped down. Only negative is the long throw focus. I'm not selling mine.
I'm with trix4ever on this. Nice small lens, tack sharp on center even wide open, sharpens on edges as stopped down, and renders "old school" or "classic", i.e. lower contrast. I like lower contrast lenses, especially for B&W work as it's easy to add contrast, but rather difficult to remove if it's baked into the negative or digital file.


Leica M Monochrom (first version) w/35mm Canon f1.8 LTM lens @f8

Best,
-Tim

PS: I'm also a fan of the Canon 35mm f2 LTM lens, which is a bit sharper edge to edge wide open, yet still has a lower contrast signature compared to the modern Leica 35mm's.
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Old 05-15-2019   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik van Straten View Post
Jon, this one is at full aperture.

Leica M2, LTM Ultron 35mm f/1.7, Tmax400.

sharp, contrasty, wonderful bokeh and no distortion

Erik.
It's a nice photo, Erik. Sharp, contrasty, smooth bokeh and no distortion. Yep.

But I don't see a special look. I don't see anything that would make me say "ah that was taken with an Ultron 35/1.7". Its the exact opposite of a "character" lens, its characterless really.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil_F_NM View Post
Canon 35mm f/1.5. The rare LTM 3.5cm f/1.8 Nikkor tops this list IMO.
Ditto that! The two lenses I would have suggested.
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Old 05-15-2019   #13
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I compared the Nikkor 35/2.5 to the Summaron f/2.8 and found them to have similar rendering. Dare I say ‘classic?’ Also compared the 35/2 Summicron v1 and the 35/1.8 Nikkor a few years ago, both of those being rather pricey. All of these have ‘character’, however that is defined.
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Old 05-15-2019   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil_F_NM View Post
Canon 35mm f/1.5. The rare LTM 3.5cm f/1.8 Nikkor tops this list IMO.
Phil Forrest
I agree with Phil. The rare 35/1.8 Nikkor in LTM has this magical veiling flair wide open. Very dreamy. This lens also is radioactive and nuclear hardening causes my lens to kinda have a half stop yellow filter built in. The contrast produced is ideal/perfect/magical.

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Old 05-15-2019   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonmanjiro View Post
It's a nice photo, Erik. Sharp, contrasty, smooth bokeh and no distortion. Yep.

But I don't see a special look. I don't see anything that would make me say "ah that was taken with an Ultron 35/1.7". Its the exact opposite of a "character" lens, its characterless really.

I think that is a big quality of the lens. It is not the lens, but the photographer who has to make a distinctive photograph.


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Old 05-15-2019   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calzone View Post
I agree with Phil. The rare 35/1.8 Nikkor in LTM has this magical veiling flair wide open. Very dreamy. This lens also is radioactive and nuclear hardening causes my lens to kinda have a half stop yellow filter built in. The contrast produced is ideal/perfect/magical.

Cal

Is this lens different from the "normal" S-version of this lens?


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Old 05-15-2019   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik van Straten View Post
Is this lens different from the "normal" S-version of this lens?


Erik.
Erik,

I don't know personally from experience, but my understanding that there are two versions of the 35/1.8 in S-mount: one is single coated and from my understanding is the same optical formula using radioactive glass; the newer version I don't think has the radioactive glass and is multicoated.

The newer lens was made for a reissue Nikon rangefinder body. Jon M. did a comparision between the two versions. They both are remarkable lenses.

The veiling flare is at F1.8, and is greatly diminished at F2. My LTM version is rather small. I love that the distance scale is only in feet since I'm an American. I don't use a hood.

Also know that this lens works well on my Monochrom. For me I like modern new Leica glass for digital. Know that I shoot retro single coated glass for B&W film in 135 and 120. The only modern multicoated lens I shoot film with is a 47/5.6 Schneider on my Plaubel 69W Proshift.

Comparitively speaking the 35/1.8 Nikkor cost me less than a 35 Cron V1 and is without the soft coating issues. I paid $1.7K for mine.

Cal
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Old 05-15-2019   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik van Straten View Post
I think that is a big quality of the lens. It is not the lens, but the photographer who has to make a distinctive photograph.
I know that's your stance, Erik. And there is nothing wrong with it.

But does it answer the OP's question? He's looking for 35mm "character" lens, a lens with a special look - distinct rendering versus distinctive photos. To quote the OP, a "distinct rendering quality (or fingerprint, or whatever you wanna call it)". As your photo nicely shows, the Ultron has a distinct lack of distinct rendering.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik van Straten View Post
Is this lens different from the "normal" S-version of this lens?
No, same lens in a different barrel.
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Old 05-15-2019   #19
Erik van Straten
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonmanjiro View Post
I As your photo nicely shows, the Ultron has a distinct lack of distinct rendering.

You have disposed of your Ultron 35mm LTM lens because it was not good. Now that you see that mine is good, you come up with a story that my lens has no distinctive character. I find that strange. You are free to do that, but I find that rather childish.


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Old 05-15-2019   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik van Straten View Post
You have disposed of your Ultron 35mm LTM lens because it was not good. Now that you see that mine is good, you come up with a story that my lens has no distinctive character. I find that strange. You are free to do that, but I find that rather childish.


Erik.
Erik, your image is fine. Your lens is fine. Its a defect free and clean modern look, with no swirl or vignetting etc. But I don't see any distinct character, which is what the OP is looking for, that would identify the image as having been taken with the Ultron. That's all I'm saying. If you find that childish, ok. Whatever.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
Character comes with optical defects of old LTM lenses.
Tend to agree about character.

Edit: maybe it would help if the OP could clarify in a bit more detail what he means by "distinct rendering quality (or fingerprint, or whatever you wanna call it)".
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Old 05-15-2019   #21
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What 'character' is the OP looking for? I've never been able to define that, or even duplicate it, although I have several of the 'character' lenses mentioned here and elsewhere. Some have softer contrast, some are less sharp wide open, some have oddly-shaped out of focus highlights. Are these indications of 'character'?
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Old 05-15-2019   #22
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Here is my f3.5 Serenar (Canon). A little low on contrast, but that is easy with digital post. Wide open it shows no fall off, but it does have a tendency to haze (easy to clean off though).

Tmax400 HC-110h by John Carter, on Flickr

Wide open:

Neopan Acros 100 expired by John Carter, on Flickr
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Old 05-15-2019   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonmanjiro View Post
Erik, your image is fine. Your lens is fine. Its a defect free and clean modern look, with no swirl or vignetting etc. But I don't see any distinct character, which is what the OP is looking for, that would identify the image as having been taken with the Ultron. That's all I'm saying. If you find that childish, ok. Whatever.

Tend to agree about character.

Edit: maybe it would help if the OP could clarify in a bit more detail what he means by "distinct rendering quality (or fingerprint, or whatever you wanna call it)".

But Jon, its character is that it hasn't any distinct character. That is a great character - for a lens.



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Old 05-15-2019   #24
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The Canon 35/1.5 and 35/1.8 can flare up, if this is what you mean by “character “.
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Old 05-15-2019   #25
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The responses thus far have been very entertaining. Perhaps some clarification is in order.

The lenses I cited initially (Summar, Summitar, Jupiter, Sonnar) have a distinctive look at wider apertures that could be described as a departure (deviation) from the real scene. Glow and swirl are the best words I can conjure to describe these attributes. As mentioned above, the aberrations of older LTM-era lenses are what give way to this look.

Is there, for example, a 35mm lens that creates images with the "character" of a wide open Sonnar 50/1.5?
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Old 05-15-2019   #26
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LTM 35 Ultron




Up Close
by Helen Hill, on Flickr



url=https://flic.kr/p/8RpHy2][/url]



Between Shadow & Light...God and the Homeless
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Old 05-15-2019   #27
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The Summaron 3.5 has a lovely way of drawing an image. Plus, it looks great on my I and it’s tiny!
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Old 05-15-2019   #28
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Jupiter 12 is a 35mm with character in the flawed sense. A friend has a decent copy which produced decent images.
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Old 05-15-2019   #29
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Miss LTM 35 Canon f2...dubbed the japanese smmicron... Beautifully compact, lovely character




in the early morning rain, waiting on an Eastbound train...
by Helen Hill, on Flickr
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Old 05-15-2019   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by presspass View Post
What 'character' is the OP looking for? I've never been able to define that, or even duplicate it, although I have several of the 'character' lenses mentioned here and elsewhere. Some have softer contrast, some are less sharp wide open, some have oddly-shaped out of focus highlights. Are these indications of 'character'?
PP,

I think a unique signature of sorts.

In my 35/1.8 LTM I would say it is the veiling flair at F1.8.

Many of these old single coated lenses have soft corners.

A 50 Rigid has both remarkable center sharpness, but also soft corners.

A Noct-Nikkor has no light fall off in the corners like a Noctilux, but although the Noctilux has sharper corners, while the Noct-Nikkor has sharpness fall off in the corners.

My definition of character is a unique signature that distiinguishes one lens from another through a recognizable rendering. Of course these "flaws" are most amplified when shot wide open.

Cal
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Old 05-15-2019   #31
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Old 05-15-2019   #32
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I understood the initial inquiry. Character as in Petzval character

I don't know of a 35 with swirly bokeh, but that kind of character is usually related to low correction of one or more optical abberations.

I wonder what MS-Optical has in that focal length? I know I've seen example images from the Apoqualia 35/1.4 but I can't recall if there was any "character". Maybe track down some images from that and see.

The only 35 I own that has a "look" I can distinguish from my other 35's is the Summaron 35/2.8. I truly love the images I can get with that lens. Mine is the RF version with goggles -- great for my M3 (not working), but klunky for all my other M's. Thus, I don't use it near as much as I would if it were non-goggled. I'll probably get the non-goggled version of this lens eventually.

The 35 that I don't own, but like the images I've seen from it: the Nikkor 35/1.8 that has already been mentioned a few times above. I guess I noticed its unique look too. A little spendy for me when I already have so many other 35's. But, if someone has one they need to get rid of......
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Old 05-15-2019   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by helenhill View Post
The more I think about it...there are sooooo MANY GREAT 35s

35 Nokton classic which sooo many people diss, never had a problem
Yes, we definitely have an embarrassment of 35mm riches to choose from, but not all of them are LTM.
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Old 05-15-2019   #34
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Oooops...got carried away
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Old 05-15-2019   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesDAMorgan View Post
Jupiter 12 is a 35mm with character in the flawed sense. A friend has a decent copy which produced decent images.
Colton (Swift1) has a nice review of the Jupiter 12, but I don't think he shoots wide open very often:
https://www.filmshooterscollective.c...ippj2ucud-4-16
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Old 05-15-2019   #36
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only have experience with the Canon LTM 1.8/35 and 2/35, the later giving the more modern look, the f1.8 with stronger, individual character.


a sample on Sony A7

Untitled
by andreas, on Flickr


all photos taken with this lens, incl. with APS-C sensor Sony NEX5n and Ricoh GXR M:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/kuuan/...57644035549111
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Old 05-15-2019   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by helenhill View Post
Miss LTM 35 Canon f2...dubbed the japanese smmicron... Beautifully compact, lovely character




in the early morning rain, waiting on an Eastbound train...
by Helen Hill, on Flickr
Always loved this shot Helen. Just acquired an LTM 35 Canon f2 and having quite a good time with it on an M4.

Best,
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Old 05-15-2019   #38
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I wonder if the original 35 - the Elmar one - is considered to have enough of a look of its own?
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Old 05-15-2019   #39
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I remember seeing character in some shots from my 35mm f2.8 Summaron that seemed special and unique. Character that I don’t see in my 35mm Summicron. Some images from my W Nikkor 3.5cm f2.5 remind me a bit of the Summaron look...
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Old 05-15-2019   #40
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Try some of the early Canons, like the 35/3.2 or 2.8.
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