M8.2 + lenses: Your advice needed
Old 07-17-2011   #1
CDColt
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M8.2 + lenses: Your advice needed

I am a long time reader of this forum (first learn, then ask... :-), but I got to a point when I would like to ask your suggestions and recommendations to my particular question as well.

I have an M8.2 for 2 years now with one lens, Leica Elmarit 28mm f2.8 (~35mm on 8.2). I love it, I have been shooting thousands of pictures with it. I do print my pictures on Epson 3880, so I am aware of the effect of sharpness/bokeh/grain on paper. But after 2 years I tend to miss some other ranges as well. I would like to keep only a few lenses possible, so I was seriously thinking getting a Summarit 75mm, but I learned from you guys, that the frame lines are not the best set up. So the other option is getting a 50mm and a 90mm.

On 90mm I think I will get a new Summarit 90. I tried it in a shop, and seems a quality lens. So I think I am OK with the plan here.

Regarding the 50mm I am a bit lost. I learned from the last 20 years of shooting that you need to invest in lenses rather than bodies, so I am ready to invest... Even in a new Summilux ASPH 50mm 1.4 - the waiting list is about 5 months, but I am still OK with it. On the other hand I hear that the Zeiss Planar 50mm f2 is also an excellent lens for 1/3 price... Though I can afford to buy the Summilux I wouldn't want to spend a fortune if the differences are neglectable. As I had no option to try any of these lenses I am quite lost what to do. (I ruled out the Summicron for the flare issues and the Summarit for not being the best in the league - again, I am looking for long time investment in lenses, my options are very limited in Europe to return or sell lenses)

So with all that background, my questions:
1. Ignore the 50/90 lenses and get only a 75 Summarit?
- if not a 75 Summarit then:
2. Do you recommend the newest 90 Summarit?
3. 50mm Summilux ASPH or 50mm Zeiss Planar?

Looking forward to your expert opinions!
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Old 07-17-2011   #2
Fraser
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I've just got the the pre asph 50 which I find really great, I changed from M8 to M9 only a couple of months ago and I've got to say I'd rather have an M9 and one lens than an M8 with a few lenses. I don't think with digital cameras it all about the lenses, just my opinion.
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Old 07-17-2011   #3
CDColt
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Fraser: very wise comment, indeed.

Obviously in the future (...) I will get an M9 for sure, therefore I thought that a 28/50 (and potentially a 90) would be wiser decision then a 28/75.

The fewer lenses I have, the more free I feel myself - despite the constraints. But there is a point when I do feel a bit restraint to have only one 28mm lens. That's why a 50mm would be very much needed. Especially the Summilux ASPH 1.4 would give me low light capability, and on M8.2 a great portrait lens with excellent sharpness.

And if I get a M9 in the distant future the combo would be excellent (M8.2/M9 + 50/28).

Many thanks again for your kind advice, Fraser.
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Old 07-17-2011   #4
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/Just a side note, which sound ridiculous, but one of the preferences going for Summilux instead of the Planar is the availability of the focus tab.
I really, really like on my 28 Elmarit that by the position of the focus tab I know if the lens focused at close or far distances. I don't even need to look at the engraved markings to know where I am focusing (far left 0.7m, mid point 1.5m, far right infinity). Absolutely great!/
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Old 07-17-2011   #5
CDColt
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Any additional advice from anyone else?
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Old 07-18-2011   #6
magicianhisoka
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i got a m8 myself with a couple of lenses (28mm ultron f2 and 35mm nokton 1.2) and i think...i would be happy with a 50mm summilux alone. a 35mm would be good to have as well. a CV 35mm 2.5 can be had for a song~
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Old 07-18-2011   #7
CDColt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magicianhisoka View Post
i got a m8 myself with a couple of lenses (28mm ultron f2 and 35mm nokton 1.2) and i think...i would be happy with a 50mm summilux alone. a 35mm would be good to have as well. a CV 35mm 2.5 can be had for a song~
I think I go for the 50 Lux Asph... I know that I would regret getting anything else.
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Old 07-18-2011   #8
jarski
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for OP. if you're ready to consider Planar, why not Summicron 50, but only Lux ?

edit: now noticed "flare issue" of Cron in first post. first time I ever heard of that, with modern Cron.

I'd get expensive 50 only if full frame is planned, but thats just me.
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Old 07-18-2011   #9
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I think since OP seems to have the funds to get the 50 ASPH, and is planning on keeping this lens for the m9, then splurge. In the meantime, get another 50 to try. A good 50 (not just leica) holds its value if you end up wanting to sell later.
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Old 07-18-2011   #10
Roger Hicks
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The 75 on the M8 is delightful, and if you're used to an M4-P, then by comparision, the framelines on the M8 are pretty good too.

Then again, the 75 Summicron is even nicer. I'd think I'd buy that before a 50+90, but I can't really tell, because I've been using Leicas since 1969 or so and have lots of focal lengths.

And I share your enthusiasm for focus tabs/nubs, which is one reason I prefer my 1,5/50 C-Sonnar over the 50/1.5 Nokton.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 07-18-2011   #11
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Pre asph 50 V2 or V3 and a VC 15 4.0 M mount
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Old 07-18-2011   #12
ka7197
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CDColt View Post
I have an M8.2 [...] with one lens, Leica Elmarit-M 28 mm 1:2.8 (~35 mm-e on 8.2). [...] I tend to miss some other ranges as well. I would like to keep only a few lenses possible, so I was seriously thinking getting a Summarit 75 mm ...
Good idea.


Quote:
Originally Posted by CDColt View Post
... but I learned from you guys that the frame lines are not the best set up. So the other option is getting a 50 mm and a 90 mm.
Huh!? That's just plain nonsense. It's a bad idea to avoid the lens you want just because some moron told you that he doesn't like the framelines. It's another bad idea to get two lenses instead of one when you want as few lenses as possible (which is a good thing generally).

That said, a 28 + 50 + 90 setup definietely is nice to have and very versatile—on an M8 and on an M9. But so is 28 + 75, and it's two lenses versus three.


Quote:
Originally Posted by CDColt View Post
Regarding the 50 mm [...] I ruled out [...] the Summarit for not being the best in the league ...
Huh!? That's just plain nonsense again. If you can live with the limited lens speed of 1:2.5 and the minimum focusing distance of 0.8 m then the Summarit-M 50 mm, in terms of sharpness, is just as good as any other 50 mm Leica M or Zeiss ZM lens.


Quote:
Originally Posted by CDColt View Post
So with all that background, my questions:
1. Ignore the 50/90 lenses and get only a Summarit-M 75 mm?
That's my recommendation. The Summarit-M 75 mm is an excellent lens (in some aspects even better than the Apo-Summicron-M 75 mm Asph) and will make a perfect two-lens setup when paired with a 35 mm or 28 mm lens.


Quote:
Originally Posted by CDColt View Post
If not a Summarit-M 75 mm then:
2. Do you recommend the newest Summarit-M 90 mm?
Yes, definitely—if a 90 mm really is what you want.


Quote:
Originally Posted by CDColt View Post
3. Summilux-M 50 mm Asph or Zeiss Planar 50 mm ZM?
I'd go for the Summilux ... but that's a question of personal preference more than anything else. You cannot really go wrong with either lens.
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Old 07-18-2011   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jarski View Post
for OP. if you're ready to consider Planar, why not Summicron 50, but only Lux ?

edit: now noticed "flare issue" of Cron in first post. first time I ever heard of that, with modern Cron.

I'd get expensive 50 only if full frame is planned, but thats just me.
Hi Jarno,

I am sure that sooner or later I will acquire an M9 (maybe in 2 years...) so I am planning to build my lenses with that idea in mind...
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Old 07-18-2011   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huntjump View Post
I think since OP seems to have the funds to get the 50 ASPH, and is planning on keeping this lens for the m9, then splurge. In the meantime, get another 50 to try. A good 50 (not just leica) holds its value if you end up wanting to sell later.
Yep, I agree...
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Old 07-18-2011   #15
CDColt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
And I share your enthusiasm for focus tabs/nubs, which is one reason I prefer my 1,5/50 C-Sonnar over the 50/1.5 Nokton.

Cheers,

R.
Roger,
I am very much aligned with you - sometimes it's not just about the optics, it's also about usability or subjective "habits". If we were totally objective, maybe none of us would have a Leica :-)
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Old 07-18-2011   #16
CDColt
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I am very grateful to your comments!
I am especially glad that you are recommending the Summarits. I had a chance in a shop to hold in my hands a 90mm, and take 3 shots with it. It felt like a quality lens for sure! Regarding the Lux... I kind of know that at some point I will get it because of the bokeh...
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Old 07-18-2011   #17
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Not to muddy up the waters here, but from my limited experience with my M8.2 and a Summarit 75mm, I wasn't sold on it. And sent the lens back to B&H.

With my M8.2 I've got a pre-asph 50 Summilux and an asph 35 Summicron. The 35 is on the camera 90% of the time. Eventually want to get the lens you have, the 28 Elmarit because I don't find the 35 wide enough. Both my Leica lenses are from my M6 TTL and the 35 cron on the M6 was my favorite set up.

Just didn't like the image I got from the 75 Summarit on the M8.2, or the feel of the lens on the camera. But I agree this is strictly personal taste.

Best,
-Tim
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Old 07-18-2011   #18
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Unless I absolutely needed a lens to shoot at 1.4, there is no way I'd spend that kind of money on the 50 Lux Asph.
There are some fantastic 50/2 lenses (including the planar, my own favorite) that will do just as well for the vast majority of shooting.

The fact that you are using the 28 elmarit, rather than the 28 summicron, suggests you wouldn't be all that bothered by having one of the lesser 50s.

As for your 75 concerns, I don't share them. I ended up picking 75 over 90 when I bought a telephoto. (Personally, I chose the CV 75/1.8 for its rendering and wide-open look) I feel more comfortable with the 75mm framelines.
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Old 07-18-2011   #19
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The 28 Elmarit is a beautiful lens. I bought it because I thought (and I still believe) that is a perfect lens to start with. I will keep it forever, I really really like it. f2.8 is not that bad at all, I know by heart that at f2.8 1/30 ISO160 I can take a picture at a candlelight with no issue (the shot will be maybe 1 stop underexposed, but still ISO160!). And it is really sharp. So it's a no brainer I think - I really recommend the lens.
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Old 07-18-2011   #20
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24/35/75

24/50/90

I personally find the 90mm a bit long on the M8. Small frame lines, harder to focus correctly.
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Old 07-18-2011   #21
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Tim,
Many thanks for your comments.
You bring the sanity to my thoughts :-)
I think I have two basic options:
1. Be sane and realistic, get the 75 Summarit and use it as a tool.
2. "Carpe diem" and get the 50 Lux and 90 Elmarit/Summarit and enjoy the feeling of owning the dream I was thinking about.
But I know that after a few days, weeks, months, the glamour of owning the best tools disappears and the "rainy working days" come back. So it's ultimately going out and using the tools we own.
That's why I bought the 28 Elmarit, and I am very happy with it... I shot thousands of pictures, I love seeing being used as a photographic tool and not being overprotected. I can't wait that my M8.2 will show more brass and more peeling black paint. I love the "patina" of the used crafts.
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Old 07-18-2011   #22
jsrockit
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I think a 50mm is the right move. It is a 66.5mm lens on the M8. A 75mm lens is a 99.75mm lens on the M8.
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Old 07-18-2011   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsrockit View Post
I think a 50mm is the right move. It is a 66.5mm lens on the M8. A 75mm lens is a 99.75mm lens on the M8.
Dear jsrockit,
I see at your signature that you own both the 50 Summmicron and the Planar? What's your view on them? Why do you keep both?
many thanks!
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Old 07-18-2011   #24
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28mm and 50mm combo will be good on the M8 and superb on the M9. 75mm will work as a portrait lens on the M9 but might be too long on the M8
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Old 07-18-2011   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CDColt View Post
Dear jsrockit,
I see at your signature that you own both the 50 Summmicron and the Planar? What's your view on them? Why do you keep both?
many thanks!
Well, I had the planar first and it is a great modern lens. Then a 50mm summicron (V3) came up recently at a price I could not pass up... $600. I was thinking I would get rid of the Planar, but the reason I kept both is this... I like the Summicron better, but the Planar has a very short focus throw...so when I need to work fast, it is the better 50. I only like to use 35mm-50mm lenses, so I have a few of each just to satisfy my moods. Just bought the CV 50mm f/3.5 Heliar as well...
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Old 07-18-2011   #26
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Originally Posted by nex100 View Post
28mm and 50mm combo will be good on the M8 and superb on the M9. 75mm will work as a portrait lens on the M9 but might be too long on the M8
Thanks for the reassurance on the 50!
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Old 07-18-2011   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsrockit View Post
Well, I had the planar first and it is a great modern lens. Then a 50mm summicron (V3) came up recently at a price I could not pass up... $600. I was thinking I would get rid of the Planar, but the reason I kept both is this... I like the Summicron better, but the Planar has a very short focus throw...so when I need to work fast, it is the better 50. I only like to use 35mm-50mm lenses, so I have a few of each just to satisfy my moods. Just bought the CV 50mm f/3.5 Heliar as well...
I am happy that I am not alone with the gear-bug :-)
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Old 07-18-2011   #28
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Just a quick question regarding the 50Lux and ND filters. What is the most versatile ND filter for shooting in daylight? Is there a variable filter where by turning it you can increase-decrease the stop levels (e.g. like a polarizer)?
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Old 07-18-2011   #29
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Probably the wisest is to buy the 50 ASPH, shoot for another 2 years (as I did with the 28 Elmarit) and then see if I need anything additional lens or not. The 28/50 combo will be perfect for me I guess. Two lens setup (1 on camera, 1 in my pocket) it's easier to carry, interchange than 3 lenses. And also, if in the meantime by some miracle I can buy an M9 next to my M8.2 the tow body, two lens will be an amazing combination. So I thing it's a done deal.

Will get in line for a black 50 ASPH.

Last edited by CDColt : 07-18-2011 at 12:30.
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