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Leica T with only MF lenses?
Old 06-07-2016   #1
Ken Ford
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Leica T with only MF lenses?

I've always been attracted to the T but am lukewarm about the native lens selection.

I have to wonder how well it works with nothing but MF glass - like a C-V 25/4 to start. I suspect my 35 Cron would be interesting, too.

Does anyone have any experience with the T and only adapted MF lenses?
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Old 06-07-2016   #2
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I'm actually pretty curious as well...

When the T came out, I overlooked it, maybe even snuffed it a little... Until I actually saw one in person... Asked really super nicely and got to hold it and snap off a few photos.

The gentleman had borrowed it from his son for the week (we met at one of those pop up dives downtown Sturgis in the heart of festival) and was really cool about my curiosity and even let me buy him a cold drink in exchange.

I was pleasantly surprised with the feel and handling... The T feels like a solid chunk of metal and frankly looks that way.
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Old 06-07-2016   #3
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I'm unlikely to get one, but that design...
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Old 06-08-2016   #4
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I only had an opportunity to try one in a Leica Store for a few minutes. I confirm the feeling of a solid camera with a good EVF: the native 23 and my 35 cron+ M adapter and it seems to work without problems but I think a few minutes test in a good lighted shop is not representative for the real use...
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Old 06-08-2016   #5
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You would be surprised how handy AF is when you need a quick grab. Landscapes and micro and architecture, manual focus every time.

From what I have seen, the T lenses are very good.
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Old 06-08-2016   #6
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I have a T that I use with M lenses and T (autofocus) lenses. Results with manual focus lenses are outstanding. You will need the (outstanding but expensive) EVF to accurately focus manual glass however so this isn't a cheap setup, but used prices are quite reasonable (for a Leica).

The T was purpose-built to be used with Leica M lenses and it doesn't disappoint. Without an AA filter, and with great firmware and sensor glass that has been designed for Leica lenses, image quality is truly outstanding across the (cropped) frame.

White balance can be a little fiddly indoors, with analog lenses that aren't literally mated to the sensor. That's probably true for any camera using analog lenses however.

This camera is not for rapid action with Leica M lenses however. Write times seem a tad slower when using M glass for some reason. That said however, if you troll the Leica forums, there are many people that have abandoned full frame Sony A7 cameras for the combo of the T with Leica M glass.

The T autofocus lenses are outstanding too, and shouldn't be overlooked I suggest. Autofocus is accurate and convenient. Results are stellar - and the zoom lenses are world class. Don't let the slow aperture scare you off. The T handles high ISO maintaining color fidelity and contrast.

These AF lenses are designed to 60 lp/mm resolution, compensating for the smaller (APS-C) sensor. Startup and autofocus speed have greatly improved with firmware upgrades.

The new 35mm Summilux-TL (50mm FOV), specifically, is outstanding. The lens has classic Leica micro contrast & color rendering, and it's extremely sharp across the frame and at all apertures. The lens focuses fast and delivers with beautiful bokeh and great depth of field control.


I am smitten by the T - using it with both manual lenses and the mated T autofocus lenses. I highly recommend it for either purpose (especially as a pre-owned purchase).
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Old 06-08-2016   #7
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I use a T but would not recommend using exclusively with MF. Its focus assist is zoom only, no focus peaking. Like focusing ground glass on a subminiature view camera + loupe. OK for an occasional picture but not something full time (yes I have the EVF it does not help). In my opinion the T is optimum when used with its native AF lenses, sub-optimum otherwise.

If you want M lenses on a crop sensor get an M8.
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Old 06-08-2016   #8
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Tend to agree with YouAreHere, the decision T/M8 is tricky, but ultimately both work.
I used my T for quite a while with only M glass, and liked it, but it certainly was not a speed option. Got the T 18-55 and things changed, but I never really liked the A/F zoom, despite its convenience, and eventually sold both the camera and the lens.

If they drop a bit more, I might return, simply to use the sensor with my M glass again. The concept of an M8 is nice, but it is old, and you will encounter repair issues, so a new T makes sense, to me.
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Old 06-08-2016   #9
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Funny, the prices of used T's finally dropped to a low enough point that I picked one up last week, with the Visoflex and adapter.

So far, I love the camera with my M lenses-- It isn't a replacement for an M, but it is a different and enjoyable experience.

Quick grab shot with 35mm Summilux ASPH FLE

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Old 07-08-2016   #10
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I've been shooting the T with only M lenses for a couple months now. I gotta say, Ireally love it! There's something about the combo of the M lenses and this sensor that really shine in the highlights. I have a D810, a D500, and a Sigma DP3 Merril, and the T has a look that's very unique from the others. Also, with the EVF, I find manual focusing really easy, though not super quick. You can see the details you want to focus on 'shimmer' into view so to speak. This can be done on the LCD screen as well in favorable light.

I got the T and viewfinder for a great price from Camera West and I couldn't be happier. Soon I'd like to try it out with AF with either the 23mm T lens or maybe one of the T zooms. Frankly, though, pairing it with classic Leica M glass seems like such a deal when compared to even an M8.

Finally, the T feels great in the hand. I have the black body since my M6ttl is silver, and I love the anodized black. Super stealthy and sexy with black Leica & Zeiss lenses.
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Old 07-24-2016   #11
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The Leica T is the most underrated camera of our time. It is a terrific camera. And now they are much cheaper. Get one while you can.
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Old 07-25-2016   #12
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Not many T in the pre-owned market here, almost none! And price for the new is not really dropping...keep looking at....
I think it would be a good digital complement to my M7...
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Old 12-12-2016   #13
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The T and TL are basically the same camera, I'd like to see a nice used T locally too, would like to have a body similar to gxr i had, for manual lenses 1.5 crop.
also firmware 1.6 was released recently for the T, it seems to have become a mature camera by now.
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Old 12-12-2016   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maitani View Post
... firmware 1.6 was released recently for the T, it seems to have become a mature camera by now.
Unfortunately the 1.6 firmware doesn't allow to disable the exposure simulation (which was possible up to version 1.3 I think) making difficult to use the camera with studio flash.

Otherwise I would have already bought one...
But it still is an interesting camera.

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Old 12-13-2016   #15
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Thanks Robert for the remark on FW 1.6.
will get the T for a spin next weekend at the local store.
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Old 12-13-2016   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maitani View Post
Thanks Robert for the remark on FW 1.6.
will get the T for a spin next weekend at the local store.
Please report your impressions, when I tried it EVF seemed me very good but I was very short time in a well lighted Leica Store, not sure how it works in low light. And I'm mainly a film photographer without experience in mirrorless and their EVFs...

robert, still on the fence...
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Old 12-13-2016   #17
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MF is made MUCH easier with a decent EVF. The T has only an expensive and relatively poor one. You might not get the same...hum...object pride...but why not an A7 classic right from Kolari? If you buy from them it's basically the same price as a T kit and you get a FF sensor optimized for M lenses. Baring that, surely a Fuji XE2 or Sony A6xxx would offer better sensors, integrated EVFs and more cash in your wallet...
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Old 12-13-2016   #18
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I have enjoyed mine with ZM and OM lenses, especially with the EVF at 45-90 degrees as I was accustomed to shooting the Ricoh GXR. Here are a few examples, with 28/2 OM and 50/2 ZM.






I suppose I'm in a period of flirtation with the T; not as devoted to it as I have been to Ricoh GXR, Fuji X, Sony/Kolari A7 with adapted lenses + one fast prime. It is wonderfully discreet, though, compared to the scissors-snipping shutter of my Kolari A7. I was able to use the T and RX1 during a wedding ceremony without any distracting shutter FX ;-)
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Old 12-13-2016   #19
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love the rd1, but wouldnt call its shutter 'thwack' discreet! if the a7 is worse, thats a reason to pause on that buy!
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Old 12-13-2016   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhl-oregon View Post

I suppose I'm in a period of flirtation with the T; not as devoted to it as I have been to Ricoh GXR, Fuji X, Sony/Kolari A7 with adapted lenses + one fast prime. It is wonderfully discreet, though, compared to the scissors-snipping shutter of my Kolari A7. I was able to use the T and RX1 during a wedding ceremony without any distracting shutter FX ;-)
What do you think of your Kolari A7? I have a 21/4 Color Skopar and a 35/2 Biogon that would sing on the right sensor. Problem is I tend to like the Biogons a lot and they're not very digital friendly.
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Old 12-13-2016   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaveKodak View Post
What do you think of your Kolari A7? I have a 21/4 Color Skopar and a 35/2 Biogon that would sing on the right sensor. Problem is I tend to like the Biogons a lot and they're not very digital friendly.
Don't trust me on fine technical details concerning corner sharpness etc., but I have those same lenses and the K7 accommodates them well. This was not true of the original A7 for anything wider than 35, but my K7 plays well with ZM 35/2, CV 28/1.9, CV 21/4, OM wides and Contax G 28/2.8. Even the Jupiter 12 fits and looks good. RFFer UhOh7 has written a lot about Kolari A7 here and on Fred Miranda.

And now back to our regularly scheduled T/topic.
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Old 12-15-2016   #22
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Got the loaner from the local store, and I liked it a lot.
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Old 12-15-2016   #23
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Thanks maitani for your interesting impression about this special camera! Nice to read you are positively impressed!

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Old 07-18-2017   #24
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I have to say the new TL2 has gotten my attention - the addition of focus peaking in it should make adapted lens use much more convenient. I just don't see spending $2500ish for a body with EVF anytime soon, though. Maybe when they start showing up used...
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Old 08-27-2017   #25
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Slightly OT:
Having the T and Typ 020 evf already, and using M lenses (no L lenses yet) on it, I can feel myself slipping down the M10 slope. Why? because it will take the evf when I need it; because I have the M lenses; and because I'll be 65 in a few months and maybe it's time to buy my first new Leica.

I do really like the smartphone swipe screen on the T. Talk about seamless transition from iPhone to camera.
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