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Meeting your heroes: What lenses have you lusted after only to not get along with?
Old 05-09-2019   #1
NaChase
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Meeting your heroes: What lenses have you lusted after only to not get along with?

This question may have been asked before, but I was thinking about it today. I remember handling a 28 Elmarit ASPH (V1) at B&H in NYC a number of years ago and being blown away by how small, well-made, and,"cool" it seemed. Fast forward half a decade or so and I finally bought one. I eagerly awaited its arrival and went shooting with it the second I got my grubby mitts on it. However, after that first frenetic outing, I never really used it again. Don't get me wrong, it's an awesome lens, it just didn't motivate me to shoot with it, and when I wanted to use a 28mm, I grabbed my Nikon 28Ti instead. Thus, I sold it to fund another lens.

So now I'm wondering what lenses you have lusted for only to realize that they weren't right for you?
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Old 05-09-2019   #2
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50mm f2.0 Summicron in M mount. I have two of them, they are OK but I much prefer an LTM Nikkor 50mm f2.0 . Heresy, I know and in the words of Roger Hicks, "Donning flame proof suit." Joe
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Old 05-09-2019   #3
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Rolleiflex TLRs do it for me. Love the idea but when I've owned them, I've never used them.
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Old 05-09-2019   #4
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Been a couple. For RFs, I've been mostly lucky. The two I don't care for as much as I thought are the thin Tele-Elmarit and 135 Elmarit-M. Got both for very low prices from Japanese sellers. The former I had DAG look at (and took nearly a year) for focus being wildly off; when I got it back, I found it very low-contrast, something it's noted for. But it's what I can afford for that length so I use it, and just bump mid-contrast in post.

The latter was a very, very cheap find. Optically I love it, but those goggles keep going out of whack on me. I seem to just attract focus problems with every used lens Ive bought...

for SLRs: Years and years ago, I pined over a fast super-wide. I was very proud when I saved my money for a Tamron 17-35 f/2.8-4. While I had a lot of fun with it and grew to love super-wide lenses, it was absolute crap in the corners at 17mm, even stopped down, on film/full-frame. Got lots of unusual shots with it, but also a lot of ruined one-of-a-kind shots.
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Old 05-09-2019   #5
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Noctilux 50 .95
One trick pony to impress peeps with the look at the zero DOF.
So big it ruins the point of having a compact M.
Blocks 1/3 of the VF.
A technical achievement but pretty much any other 50 makes more sense for actually taking photos.
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Old 05-09-2019   #6
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Konica LTM 50mm 2.4.

Looks like a collapsible lens but it isnt really and overhangs on an LTM mount, while with an LTM->M adapter it lines up with the M mount perfectly! Go figure!

Too annoying on a Barnack so off it went.
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Old 05-09-2019   #7
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Honestly? Every vintage Leica lens I've tried from before the 70s. People rave about the collapsible and rigid Crons, but they're just not that much better than contemporary lenses from the likes of Canon and Nikon's LTMs. And besides fetching absolutely insane prices now, they also just have too many potential issues - soft coatings, haze, balsam cement, etc.
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Old 05-09-2019   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PRJ View Post
Rolleiflex TLRs do it for me. Love the idea but when I've owned them, I've never used them.
Yep. Me, too. I've had two Rollei T, and a 2.8 something or other with Planar lens. Mantle Queens. I have always preferred my Hasselblad.
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Old 05-09-2019   #9
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Noctilux 50 f/1. Heavy and pointless.
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Old 05-09-2019   #10
David Hughes
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Anything faster than f/2...


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Old 05-09-2019   #11
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Voigtlander Heliar 50 f/3.5 LTM for me. Spend two years lusting for it and when I finally got one (not cheap), I just couldn't get along with its ergonomics. It is a fantastic lens, but just couldn't get along with.

Went back to collapsible Summicron and that made me happy.

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Old 05-09-2019   #12
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Probably my Summar. I don’t use it much but it was cheap so I keep it. For now...
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Old 05-09-2019   #13
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I have that experience quite a bit.

Mainly because I enjoy experimenting with older classic lenses and when I read a glowing review of something new that I have never tried and especially if I have never even heard of that lens before I am inclined to lust after it big time.

And then I buy one and try it and too often find, yes its good enough but no better than this alternative or that alternative. I seldom find I hate a lens or "not got along with" a lens though its more a "Yeh.....OK but...." experience. Or perhaps this would be good as a portrait lens (a lens lacking in sharpness), or a landscape lens (a lens with poor bokeh) or a this lens or a that lens so as to compensate for its shortcomings.

In the mean time though until it arrives its pure love at first lust.

My impression of Roger the Rabbit giving an impression of what lens lust is like.......



My impression of what a few lenses are actually like when you try them (though very few)

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Old 05-09-2019   #14
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I love TLRs and I always aspired to owning a Rolleiflex. My first TLR was a late-model Minolta Autocord (CdS-III), followed by a Mamiya C330f, several Yashicas, other Autocords, a Ricohflex/Diacord, and finally, a couple of Rolleis.


My favorites are the Autocord and the Mamiya, but I haven't given up on the Rolleis yet!


A lens that calls to me is the Minolta 58mm f1.2 MC Rokkor, due to its reputation. I have a 50mm f1.4 late MC and a 58mm f1.4 early MC, but I rarely use these focal lengths, instead typically jumping back and forth between my 85mm f1.7 MD Rokkor (my favorite lens) and a 28mm f2.8 MC Rokkor. So, the lovely 58mm f1.2 would likely live on the shelf and see little use.


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Old 05-09-2019   #15
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It's the Rolleiflex for me as well. I actually love using it. Then I look over the images and realize that "square" and "standard focal length" just aren't for me. It's happened enough times I've found a place on the shelf for it look pretty.

After that, the Voigtlander 28/3.5 color skopar. Amazing size, nice build and ergonomics. At the end of they day, I just didn't like the way it rendered images.
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Old 05-09-2019   #16
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Digital Leica rangefinders. I have owned an M9 and MP. Clunky things. Maybe the M10 is better, but I don’t have any interest. It’s funny. I stopped in Adorama today on 18th st. to check out their used inventory. I picked up a couple of digital bodies, a GR, an x100F. After using Leica film bodies and now a Rolleiflex for some time I had forgotten how flimsy those digital cameras feel in the hand. All GAS for digital was quickly dispelled.
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Old 05-09-2019   #17
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35mm Summilux-M pre-ASPH v2. It is a love/hate thing. I really like the small size and quality of the photos I can achieve with it but the ergonomics (missing filter thread and over-sized lens-hood) almost every time stop me from using it more. Maybe it is time to look for the v1 (steel-rim) where I could use a screw-in filter and be done.
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Old 05-10-2019   #18
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35mm Summilux-M pre-ASPH v2. It is a love/hate thing. I really like the small size and quality of the photos I can achieve with it but the ergonomics (missing filter thread and over-sized lens-hood) almost every time stop me from using it more. Maybe it is time to look for the v1 (steel-rim) where I could use a screw-in filter and be done.
I know, but filter, shmilter! I stick a clear UVa in the hood and forget about it. It's still a nice small lens for the street. At first I was put off by the dismal performance wide open. But who needs to use it wide open? That's what my Summilux ASPH is for. In the daylight, the pre-ASPH is just fine at f/5.6 or 8!

Besides, I like having to worry about whether to use it, or my 2.8 Summaron. I need things to obsess over!
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Old 05-10-2019   #19
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Zeiss ZM Planar 50mm f2.0. Fantastic optic, and I admire the photos I’ve seen with it, but I don’t like the high contrast and the size. So my copy is for sale. See my signature below and add in classifieds...
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Old 05-10-2019   #20
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Summicron 50mm for me too. Focus shift on an f2 lens for £1000 used. Iíd rather keep my Zeiss Planar.
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Old 05-10-2019   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LCSmith View Post
Digital Leica rangefinders. I have owned an M9 and MP. Clunky things. Maybe the M10 is better, but I donít have any interest. Itís funny. I stopped in Adorama today on 18th st. to check out their used inventory. I picked up a couple of digital bodies, a GR, an x100F. After using Leica film bodies and now a Rolleiflex for some time I had forgotten how flimsy those digital cameras feel in the hand. All GAS for digital was quickly dispelled.
I found the M9/E clunky. But that completely disappeared with the M240. And those do not feel at all flimsy.
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Old 05-10-2019   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LCSmith View Post
Digital Leica rangefinders. I have owned an M9 and MP. Clunky things. Maybe the M10 is better, but I donít have any interest. Itís funny. I stopped in Adorama today on 18th st. to check out their used inventory. I picked up a couple of digital bodies, a GR, an x100F. After using Leica film bodies and now a Rolleiflex for some time I had forgotten how flimsy those digital cameras feel in the hand. All GAS for digital was quickly dispelled.
While I'd now disagree (prices notwithstanding!), I completely respect your opinion.

I switched over from Nikon the the M8 a while back and would agree it's a bit of an ergonomic nightmare and not a joy to use compared to a film M. Made a lot of great work with it and got to use my vintage lenses regardless, and while I know a maxim often heard is that it's about the lenses, not the camera, it doesn't help if you don't actually enjoy using it! The camera itself felt like it was milled out of a solid billet of brass (a nice feeling, especially while I use Nikon's lesser bodies), operating the digital controls was like going back to DOS. The shutter sound and complete lack of meaningful information displays (a necessary evil with digital) is what really made it feel cheap to me.

Moved up to the 262 this month and it's an absolute joy to use in comparison, especially that shutter and a menu that makes sense. I can see how the M10 with LV and an ISO dial might be of even more utility, but I don't regret skipping over the M9.

I was reading an article about the old Digital Modul-R of 2003, and was a bit shocked to see that the M9 even hadn't really departed much from it.

Side note, I did think it was a nice touch to use the Leica typeface for the display. For a company that values clean aesthetics, the M8/9 interface was shockingly ugly.
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Old 05-10-2019   #23
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The Nikkor AF 50 1.8 D.

Although it is my main lens for all my Nikon SLRs I find it to have very harsh contrast and distracting bokeh when used wide open. Every other 50mm lens I used is more pleasing. I still go ahead and use it though, maybe I should invest on the 1.4 maybe.
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Old 05-10-2019   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
I found the M9/E clunky. But that completely disappeared with the M240. And those do not feel at all flimsy.
Agreed, the M9 did feel clunky, particularly the buttons and controls. The screen was low-res and awful (even for menu use). The M240 is far more refined and a great deal more enjoyable to use.
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Old 05-10-2019   #25
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The 35mm Summicron ASPH let me down with its bokeh behavior in settings with lots of backlit foliage. No regrets selling it on.
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Old 05-10-2019   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by p.giannakis View Post
The Nikkor AF 50 1.8 D.

Although it is my main lens for all my Nikon SLRs I find it to have very harsh contrast and distracting bokeh when used wide open. Every other 50mm lens I used is more pleasing. I still go ahead and use it though, maybe I should invest on the 1.4 maybe.
Bill Pierce started a thread a little while ago about the utility/value of faster vs slower lenses and that got me thinking about this; I owned the slightly earlier non-D version of the 50/1.8 and still own the pre-AI 50/1.4. Wildly different renderings, and while that could be chalked up to a 30 year gap, I noticed a similar distinction between the AF 85/1.8 and 1.4 versions.

While I don't know if I fully trust the veracity of a website called 'ilovehatephotography,' this article mentions that the 50/1.4 is a Planar formula but the 1.8 a Tessar-type lens.
That explains a lot of the optical difference aside from max aperture (and the build, obviously) between the two.
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Old 05-10-2019   #27
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Another vote for the 50/2 Zeiss Planar.

I'm a big fan for the Zeiss Contax G lenses, so I was looking forward to similar performance from the ZM line. At least for the Planar, the magic dust that Zeiss sprinkled on the G lenses did not make it on the M-mount, and to top it off, the ergonomics did not appeal to me one bit. On paper I thought the 1/3 stops and focus nub would not be a big deal, but in practice i hated them.
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Old 05-10-2019   #28
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Konica Hexar AF. I've tried this camera on and off 6 times (that's 6 cameras). Mostly on account of the rabid following it seems to have both here and on the rest of the internet. Just meh. Nothing special. limited and dated with a mediocre lens compared to whats available. Wish I had kept mine though considering how insane the prices are right now
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Old 05-10-2019   #29
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Agreed, the M9 did feel clunky, particularly the buttons and controls. The screen was low-res and awful (even for menu use). The M240 is far more refined and a great deal more enjoyable to use.
Also the feel of the shutter release button on the M9 is one of the worst Iíve experienced on any camera bar my old Zenit 12sd.
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Old 05-10-2019   #30
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Yep. Me, too. I've had two Rollei T, and a 2.8 something or other with Planar lens. Mantle Queens. I have always preferred my Hasselblad.
I solved my Rollei TLR buy/sell/buy/sell/buy/sell problem by buying a Zeiss Ikoflex with a Tessar lens. It isn't worth enough to worry about it sitting in a drawer, and I have a decent TLR if I ever want to channel my inner Newton/Avedon. I think I've put one roll of film through it in the decade since I got it.
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Old 05-10-2019   #31
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Konica Hexar AF. I've tried this camera on and off 6 times (that's 6 cameras). Mostly on account of the rabid following it seems to have both here and on the rest of the internet. Just meh. Nothing special. limited and dated with a mediocre lens compared to whats available. Wish I had kept mine though considering how insane the prices are right now
Yep, I didnít rate that camera either. I was surprised by how distinctly average it was.
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Old 05-10-2019   #32
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When I got my first Leica, an M6 from Don Chatterton, it came with a 50 Summicron, and, although it was a fine lens, the optical assembly came loose from the focusing helicoid while on a trip (making for surprisingly few out of focus shots, as it settled into place if the camera was level or pointing up, and it failed at Yosemite, where you do a lot of pointing up!).

Leica NJ fixed it for a very reasonable price, but it wasn't really the most solid feeling lens after, so I eventually sold it after getting a CV Nokton 50/1.5 LTM (since replaced by the M version, but just for the closer focus, there was nothing wrong with my first Nokton). I tried an Elmar 5cm/3.5 from the early M days (not an LTM), and it was also fine, but I sold it in favor of a modern 50/2.8 from the late 90's, which I really like.

This may make me sound like a lens swapper, but those are the only Leica or Leica-mount lenses that I've sold, all the others I've kept.
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Old 05-10-2019   #33
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I solved my Rollei TLR buy/sell/buy/sell/buy/sell problem by buying a Zeiss Ikoflex with a Tessar lens.... I think I've put one roll of film through it in the decade since I got it.
So you averaged just over one shot per year with that camera?
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Old 05-10-2019   #34
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The 35mm Summicron ASPH let me down with its bokeh behavior in settings with lots of backlit foliage. No regrets selling it on.
I still have mine but I am very disappointed in how awful it is in controlling lens flare. My Asph 28 2.8 is great, so what gives?
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Old 05-10-2019   #35
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I still have mine but I am very disappointed in how awful it is in controlling lens flare. My Asph 28 2.8 is great, so what gives?
even with the hood in place?
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Old 05-10-2019   #36
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90mm "fat" Tele-Elmarit... Bought new in 1968, carried a lot but little used. Strangely enough I like 75mm, and 85mm is a favorite on SLR but somehow the 90mm gets no love on my RF cams. Don't care for the handling/focus action and the 90mm frames are quite small in the M2. I still have it, not sure why!

Buying a zoom for an SLR almost guarantees disappointment. Heavy, slow, not so great optically. A short-to-medium always seems attractive but fails in use. Longer zooms are just too big. Short zooms like 20-35mm seem more useful. The only really good zoom I have ever had is the wide-to-normal 55-100 f/4.5 for Pentax 67. Weighs a ton!
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Old 05-10-2019   #37
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90mm "fat" Tele-Elmarit... Bought new in 1968, carried a lot but little used. Strangely enough I like 75mm, and 85mm is a favorite on SLR but somehow the 90mm gets no love on my RF cams. Don't care for the handling/focus action and the 90mm frames are quite small in the M2. I still have it, not sure why!

Buying a zoom for an SLR almost guarantees disappointment. Heavy, slow, not so great optically. A short-to-medium always seems attractive but fails in use. Longer zooms are just too big. Short zooms like 20-35mm seem more useful. The only really good zoom I have ever had is the wide-to-normal 55-100 f/4.5 for Pentax 67. Weighs a ton!
My experience precisely, on both the rangefinder and SLR fronts.

Most embarrassing is that I own both a chrome fat 90 T-E and a chrome 90 Elmarit M. Other than mounting them on a body once or twice, neither has ever been used to take a picture. Pathetic, I know, but I am equally loathed to sell them in case I get an urge to use a 90 on a Leica M.

For me, the appeal of Leica M is for 50mm and wider focal lengths. Longer than 50 just doesnít seem to feel right at all ...
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Old 05-10-2019   #38
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even with the hood in place?
Yep, even with the hood in place (speaking for myself, though I'd place money on Huss's experience being the same). My new Ultron 35/2 is more than a worthy replacement for my Summicron 35mm ASPH so I'll offload the latter lens when I get a round tuit.
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Old 05-10-2019   #39
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Yep, even with the hood in place (speaking for myself, though I'd place money on Huss's experience being the same). My new Ultron 35/2 is more than a worthy replacement for my Summicron 35mm ASPH so I'll offload the latter lens when I get a round tuit.
Yep, even with hood in place and no uv/skylight etc filter.

Really really disappointing. It makes me wonder why the lens cost so much. I guess it all went into the nice feeling build and styling.
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