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35f1.2 vs 35f2.8 Only Lens on MP240
Old 03-07-2019   #1
ktmrider
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35f1.2 vs 35f2.8 Only Lens on MP240

I posted a few days ago about an upcoming round the world trip and I was looking for advice on a backup camera for my MP240. Now, I am looking for advice on the 35f1.2 vs the 35f2.8 as the 35mm of choice.

I normally travel with the 35f2.8 C Biogon and 90 Tele Elmarit M as two focal lengths give lots of flexibility and both are super small lenses. I am thinking of traveling with only one lens on the MP240 and the focal length of choice is 35mm. A few years ago I was in Central America and carried the first version of the Fuji X100 and did not feel it's fixed lens was a limitation.

Now I own both the 35f1.2 Nokton (first version) and the 35f2.8 C Biogon. Both are great lenses and I like each. The 35f2.8 may be the sharpest 35 made while the 35f1.2 is of course the fastest. I normally prefer traveling with the smaller lens but if I am not taking other lenses then the size of the Nokton becomes a non issue.

So, any issues with the Nokton vs the Biogon I am not aware of? Which would you take? Thanks!
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Old 03-07-2019   #2
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I'm one of those people that prefers my lenses as small as possible that meet my requirements. I'm not sure if you think you'll be needing that f1.2 very often, but for me, I know I could get away with just the 35mm f2.8. I'd be prioritizing the small size and sharpness over the larger Voigtlander 35mm f1.2. It's not an easy task to pick, and I'm often mulling these issues over before traveling. Over the years though, I realize that I almost ALWAYS over pack gear and have recently gotten better with carrying 1 body and 2 lenses on my travels instead of every lens I "might" need in every condition. Traveling light with camera gear can really be a blessing. I hope that helps, but it's most likely gonna be your own needs being expressed in which lens you end up taking.
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Old 03-07-2019   #3
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Like slantface, I'd go with the 2.8. It's the standard lens on my old M4. (if i'm really concerned, i bring a couple of rolls of Delta 3200)....but i've never been stopped cold & i love the character of my Summaron.
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Old 03-07-2019   #4
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In a moment of weakness, I would be very tempted to throw the 90 Tele Elmarit M into the bag if I end up taking the C Biogon. Or, I could leave the Leica at home and purchase a X100F. God, I am such an equipment whore!
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Old 03-07-2019   #5
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I'm pretty sure most of us here on RFF have the problems you're having KTM. Not to worry...
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Old 03-07-2019   #6
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I have always enjoyed the 35f2.8 C Biogon. Reid Reviews has stated it may be the sharpest 35 lens he has tested. However, I have never had any complaints on the 35f1.2 Nokton and have recently read somewhere an article claiming it is as good as the Biogon.

Does anyone have any experience with the Nokton not being as good? If I am only going to carry one lens, I think I would like the faster of the two even though it is larger.
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Old 03-07-2019   #7
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Take the 1.2. It will give u a larger creative envelope as well as the extra speed if needed.
Who cares if it is bigger if u are only carrying one camera and one lens?
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Old 03-07-2019   #8
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I'd bring as fast as possible..as when you run out of speed in dark areas..its all...over..
I carry the extra weight of the Noctilux..and 1.4 35mm..and always come out with the shot..
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Old 03-07-2019   #9
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Do you usually shoot at dusk/dawn/night/indoors? Do you like thin DOF? There are your answers. Unless you're hiking and the weight is usually critical for you, that isn't a major concern if it's just the one lens, or even two.

Overthinking what to take is a big part of the fun in traveling, I know! But once I'm underway, I've never stressed about whatever I had decided on taking. Constraints are good, so I applaud your idea of only one lens.
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Old 03-07-2019   #10
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To take only one lens with you is the best you can do. When traveling, it is very annoying always have to choose. This works on your nerves so you'll miss good shots.

The 50mm is a great "stand alone" lens, better than a 35mm. A 35mm is too wide, there will be too much unimportant things on your shots.
Do not forget that watching a lot of photos taken with a 35mm lens in a row is boring. That is less the case if the photos are taken with a 50mm.

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Old 03-07-2019   #11
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I tend to agree with Erik regarding the 50. I actually came to this conclusion after shooting a friends wedding with a 35. I found myself cropping almost every shot to about the FOV of the 50. So, I now typically shoot with a 50mm.

That being said, if I was choosing solely between 35mm, I would likely take the biogon because Of the size. The M240 will push to 3200 if needed, so 2.8 should be sufficient in most situations.
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Old 03-07-2019   #12
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Erik & Coppola, you bring up a very interesting point. I also use a 35mm lens as a standard lens in 35mm cameras. I believe you get accustomed to where you physically see images from. My synapses fire from the 35mm distance. I find when using a 50mm I constantly have to keep backing away in order to frame.
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Old 03-07-2019   #13
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I like fast lenses and 35 is my favourite focal length , but like Erik says only 35 is boring . I once stayed for 4 months in Taiwan and only used a 35 and the photos looked all the same , sort of . My set-up would be a digital M and a film M and 2 lenses .
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Old 03-07-2019   #14
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Just to play the devil's advocate...How come one can take 'non-boring' with fixed lens cameras like the Rolleiflex, or point & shoots...?
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Old 03-07-2019   #15
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I adore the 35mm f2.8 Biogon, exquisite sharpness and colour rendering.

I normally use 35mm lenses but with the arrival of the Leica III I have been using 50mm a lot more, and originally found I needed a different viewpoint or to be further back to use it. Having just bought a 35mm Elmar, I now find it less instinctive to use than I recall.

I would normally take a 50mm and a 35mm with me but your mileage may vary. Given I do a lot of close up work that a 35mm lens (not a rangefinder) on an SLR my most used lens.
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Old 03-07-2019   #16
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I would take the Biogon 35/2.8 for a cool and lighter set. Enjoy the traveling and don't get burdened by large and heavy lenses. When needed, crank up the ISO on your M240. It is easy to do.
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Old 03-07-2019   #17
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Quote:
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I would take the Biogon 35/2.8 for a cool and lighter set. Enjoy the traveling and don't get burdened by large and heavy lenses. When needed, crank up the ISO on your M240. It is easy to do.
Cranking up the iso does not give u the option of shallow dof.
It’s not just about lens speed but also the ability to have subject isolation when desired.
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Old 03-07-2019   #18
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I guess the question is "which lens 'speaks to you'"?

I have both those lenses, and others too, including a 35 Summicron Asph. I always drift back to the 35/1.2 v.1. If you are used to, or prefer the rendering of, the 2.8, then take it and enjoy!

If you recall being stymied for speed or DOF on your last trip (or on any trip), take the 1.2.

I generally lose the argument with my wiser self, and wind up over-packing. The only upside is that I get to play with my toys. The downside? Oh, my aching back.

On my last trip I took a 15, 24, 28, 35, 50 for one camera, and a 24-70, 30, and 77 for the other. Whew. Lens I used the most? A 24/2.8 Asph. I really could have left the rest (and the second camera) at home.
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Old 03-08-2019   #19
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My problem is neither is really a "bad" lens. I like and usually use both equally with perhaps the 35f2.8 getting just a bit more use when I don't need the speed of the Nokton.

And on the 35 vs 50 debate, I go back and forth. It should be noted that the 35 and 50 focal lengths are the only ones in which I have more then one lens for the Leica. On a trip a few years ago motorcycling in Laos, I carried the M9 and 50 Summicron. Two years ago, I carried a Fuji X70 while hiking across England. It has a fixed 28 equivalent. And a few years before that, I carried a X100 through Nepal and Peru. I do not recall feeling limited by the gear I carried on any of these trips.

Maybe I will let a flip of the coin decide!
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Old 03-08-2019   #20
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Rather than using a digital Leica M with only a 35 mm lens, you might also consider the new Leica Q2. This one has a built-in 28 mm lens which is not too far away from a 35 mm lens. And given the 47 MP image size, you can always crop the pictures to a 35-mm-equivalent field-of-view which would still have 30 MP.
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Old 03-08-2019   #21
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Quote:
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Cranking up the iso does not give u the option of shallow dof.
It’s not just about lens speed but also the ability to have subject isolation when desired.
I know this basic fact, Huss. I said what I said about options for a travel lens.
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Old 03-08-2019   #22
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As I posted above, I like both 35's. Honestly, it depends on which way the wind is blowing as to which lens I want to take. Don't have to decide for about six months.

And I really have enough money in my photography equipment for how much I don't use everything so a Leica Q (or any new Leica) is not in the picture. I much prefer a 35 FOV over a 28 FOV if given a choice. Don't presently own a 28 for any of my cameras.
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Old 03-09-2019   #23
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I used to go silly what to bring?
With a multitude of systems(i was a pro),
Leica, Nikon and Pentax plus a Medium Format..
Age, weakness, plus heart condition resulted in maximum change!
Film Camera, Leica M3 (or M6TTL) the 50mm.
I love the 50mm, my M3 viewfinder perfect.
I love the "boxy" look of images..no useless edge areas. (28mm and 35mm).
Digital covered by small "toy" point and shoot as MAIN camera.
AA cells and charger. BW film for M3, HP5+.
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Old 03-09-2019   #24
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Take the 2.8. Less is more. Phone for backup.
Shallow depth of field is boring (2.8 on the 240 is the equivalent depth of field of the X100), and once it gets dark it’s time to put down the camera and pick up a drink anyway.
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Old 03-09-2019   #25
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For travel I would choose the Biogon.

Based on performance comparisons to other cameras, I doubt the MP240 with a f 2.8 lens will be a handicap in low light. In very low light you can always rely on monochrome raw rendering when the IQ (i.e. low S/N) just doesn't support color rendering .

Unless your work requires narrow DOF compositions, on a long trip limiting size and weight are more important than thin DOF. .
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Old 03-11-2019   #26
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The jury is still out on which of the two 35's I will be taking around the world. My initial mix was 25, 35 and 90. I am almost convinced to just travel with the 35 and leave the 25 and 90 behind.

However, I just preordered a Ricoh GR3 so even if I only travel with one lens for the MP240 I will have a small backup camera with a 28mm focal length. I have been wanting to find a replacement for my Fuji X70 which was ruined last fall while hiking around Loch Ness and the XF10 does not do it even though it is similar.

The goal is to get EVERYTHING into a 36 liter backpack which fits into carryon for a 4-6 month trip around the world. I may have to buy some cold weather clothing enroute as I start in late Sept or early October near the equator before traveling to the Middle East and Europe about December. I think the photography equipment will be in a small Billingham.
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Old 03-11-2019   #27
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I would travel with the M240 (only) since it is a reliable camera, but I don't have such a camera anymore. I don't trust my M9 as my only travel camera, so I also carry with me my M8.
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Old 03-11-2019   #28
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Quote:
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.. I don't trust my M9 as my only travel camera, so I also carry with me my M8.
that's like saying I don't trust my Fiat, so in case it breaks down I tow my Alfa Romeo along.
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Old 03-11-2019   #29
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Quote:
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that's like saying I don't trust my Fiat, so in case it breaks down I tow my Alfa Romeo along.

Huss, mate my only comment is that in my experience, if its a Fiat and an Alfa Romeo involved you had better take a Honda as well, just in case. Which I guess is your point. Though seriously I would trust an M8 or M9 over a Fiat or an Alfa anyday.
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Old 03-11-2019   #30
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I must be the only person on earth to have had to call out roadside assistance three times more often than my Fiat 127 and Alfa V6 combined.

But then I've also had a Range Rover that never broke down either...
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Old 03-11-2019   #31
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that's like saying I don't trust my Fiat, so in case it breaks down I tow my Alfa Romeo along.
I get your thoughts, but the probability that both cameras fail simultaneously is very small. Fiat and Alfa Romeo will most likely not both fail at the same time.
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Old 03-11-2019   #32
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Huss, mate my only comment is that in my experience, if its a Fiat and an Alfa Romeo involved you had better take a Honda as well, just in case. Which I guess is your point. Though seriously I would trust an M8 or M9 over a Fiat or an Alfa anyday.
Peter: My "Honda" here is my iPhone.
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Old 03-11-2019   #33
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Quote:
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I would travel with the M240 (only) since it is a reliable camera, but I don't have such a camera anymore. I don't trust my M9 as my only travel camera, so I also carry with me my M8.

indeed a sad statement about Leica....
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Old 03-11-2019   #34
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It seems that the M8 and M9 were "prototypes" of digital Leica cameras, and you cannot trust them to last. The iPhone must be there as a back-up.
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Old 03-11-2019   #35
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I got spooked by interweb chat about the unreliability of the M9, so much so that I bought a second one for backup a year after my first. On one trip I brought both of them along, plus four lenses and I can tell you the weight was overbearing. I haven't done it again.
My first-bought M9 has never broken down on me, in 9 years of use, apart from Rusty Sensor Syndrome, which wasn't a breakdown as such. My other M9 I hardly ever use so I can't comment on its reliability or otherwise. It did need a sensor change for corrosion though, even though I kept/keep it in a dry cabinet.
My feeling is that KTM's M240 is not going to fail him on his trip. They are known to be as reliable as anything else out there. Taking it and the GR III will mean two sets of chargers and batteries and possibly two sets of SD cards.
I wouldn't worry about a backup camera as such, but these two cameras do complement each other, especially if KTM takes a 50 for his M240 rather than a 35.
It is also the case that the GR III on its own may well be the right choice - in 35mm crop mode its resolution is pretty much the same as the GR II resolution at 28mm.
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Old 03-11-2019   #36
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I had once half of each image black in my M9. This happened in Berlin, Germany. I had twice the sensor replaced. The M8 did not break down. It had hot spots on the sensor. Such problems can mess up photography during a trip.
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Old 03-11-2019   #37
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Quote:
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It seems that the M8 and M9 were "prototypes" of digital Leica cameras, and you cannot trust them to last. The iPhone must be there as a back-up.
Raid, The year was 2000....this was a "prototype"....
IMG_8071 (1) by , on Flickr

That's why I travel with my '67 M4
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Old 03-11-2019   #38
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Very cool looking camera!
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Old 03-16-2019   #39
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Michael's thread shows why it is so good to travel with a fast 35mm lens.
His occasional use of subject isolation is most excellent.

https://www.rangefinderforum.com/for...&postcount=324

The 1.2 will give you the ability and flexibility to do that. The 2.8 will not.
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Old 03-16-2019   #40
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How come GW and HCB managed it without subject isolation...
Subject isolation could be done at f5.6 anyway...

35 as only lens on camera which can't handle dust on the sensor is good idea.

Huge lens as 1.2... RF window blockage and weight.
2.8 of particular brand... Clicking 1/3 all way from 2.8 to 16 every day...
And how long will it take to develop wobble after daily use...
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