75mm: Yes or No
Old 01-23-2018   #1
ktmrider
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75mm: Yes or No

I am thinking of modifying my travel kit which is usually a 35/90 replacing the 90 with a 75. I think Leica lenses are way overpriced these days but talk to me about the 75f1.8 from Cosina and the 75f2.5(?) Summarit.

I may just be putting this out there as neither of my two film Leica's (M2 and M5) have a 75 frame line. And I always figured the 75 was too close to either the 50 or 90 both of which I own.

And I just purchased a Leica MP240 primarily for travel which does have 75mm frame lines.

As an aside, I am giving serious consideration to a 25f2.8 Zeiss. I own a 21 and a couple 35's but nothing in between and everything I read says the 25 Zeiss may be the finest 25 made.
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Old 01-23-2018   #2
Michiel Fokkema
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I like the 75mm vof, but I also think it is too close to 50.
I've used the two voigtlander 75mm's but since a few months I'm back to 90mm.
If you want you can buy my 75/1.8.
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Old 01-23-2018   #3
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For what little it's worth, I have a 75 Summilux and I enjoy the focal length. I tried the 90 Elmarit for a while, but felt more constrained by it than I did with the 75.
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Old 01-23-2018   #4
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I had the 75mm frame lines removed from my M5, M7 and MA. That's how much I value that focal length.


It's way too close to 50. 90 is just right.
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Old 01-23-2018   #5
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I have no idea what for 75 is. And for travel? I can't even force myself to take 50. 35 or 28. One does it all. Including portraits.

+1 to get rid of this useless 75 frame in VF! And 90 and 135.
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Old 01-23-2018   #6
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would stick with your current 35/90 kit. If anything, would add a 50. 75 (IMHO) is an odd ball. Too close to a 50 and too narrow for a tele.


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Old 01-23-2018   #7
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Something to keep in mind - the Summarit 2.4 focuses down to .7m where the 2.5 is only .9m
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Old 01-23-2018   #8
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I have had the excellent little M-Rokkor 90mm f/4 (same as the Elmar-C 90mm f/4) for a very long time and have always enjoyed its performance, but I often felt it was just a hair longer than I wanted and a 75mm would do better. So I bought the latest Summarit-M 75mm f/2.4 in mid-2016.

I chose the f/2.4 over the f/2.5 because the close focusing distance on the f/2.4 is shorter, mostly. I chose the Summarit over the Summicron which I tested because I didn't feel I used this focal length enough to warrant almost double the price, and the f/2.4 lens felt nicer in my hands due to its smaller size and lighter weight; I had no reservations about its imaging performance although does image differently compared to the Summicron. I bought Leica vs any other brand because my M camera is now the M-D and I want the camera to automatically recognize and embed the right EXIF data and apply the correct lens profile, and the M-D has no manual profile assignment capability; AND because I just prefer the look, feel, and build quality of Leica lenses over any others.

$1900 was a bit to spend compared to the other brand alternatives, but in retrospect it's been a bargain for me. I've worked with the Voigtländer 75/2.5 and 75/1.8 in the past, on loan, and they simply do not perform as well as the Summarit-M 75. The Summarit-M 75mm f/4 performs beautifully, the supplied metal lens hood unscrews and reverses to make it more compact in the bag if you need that, it includes caps for both use with and without the hood too. It's a premium lens, although in Leica lens terms it's their cost-conscious price leader. It works beautifully on the Leica M-P typ 240 as well:


Leica M-P + Summarit-M 75mm f/2.4
ISO 200 @ f/2.8 @ 1/125

I've gotten so used to the 75's FoV that I fit it to my M4-2 (35/50/90/135 framelines) and just go shooting with it, works perfectly. It's just a matter of visualizing the framelines inside the 50mm. I have also used it fitted with M Adapter L to my Leica SL and it performs brilliantly on that camera too, with automatic identification via the lens code just like the M-D and M-P.

On the wide end of the spectrum, I had the Color Skopar 21/4, the Heliar 15/4.5 v1, and the Elmar-M 24/3.8 ASPH. The Color Skopar was one of my favorite lenses on film and on the Ricoh GXR-M, but doesn't work well on the M's FF sensors (color shifting, etc). The Heliar 15 v1 ... same. The Elmar-M 24 works brilliantly, but I felt a bit constrained by the 24mm focal length and traded it for a second-hand Tri-Elmar-M 16-18-21mm f/4 ASPH (the WATE). This is an outstanding performer at all three focal lengths. It's a true zoom so you can use it as such on the SL, on the M you generally want to use it at the discrete focal length settings. Of course, you need a finder for it ... the big Leica multifinder is expensive and bulky, so I use Voigtländer 21mm and 16mm finders for, just estimating the 18mm setting (all the finders are pretty approximate so I don't sweat it). On the SL, of course, you don't need any accessory finder at all and you get absolutely accurate framing and superb imaging performance at all settings. This is the only lens in this focal length class I'll ever need, so that ameliorates it's rather lofty price tag. Unlike many others at the short end of this range, you can fit standard screw-in filters too using the optional Leica filter mount accessory ring (it comes with hood and hood cap, the filter mount replaced the hood and includes a lens cap).

I've heard varied reports about the Zeiss 25/2.8 on the digital Leicas which were mostly good, but the focal length and negative reports turned me off from trying one. I don't really need this focal length anyway, and found the 24 a bit confining.

My most used lenses with the M are the Summicron-M 50mm, Summilux 35mm v2 (a 1972 version that I had coded), the Summarit-M 75mm, and the WATE. Most of my shooting is with the 50mm or the 35mm, by far; the 75 and WATE spend about the same amount of "other time" on the camera, and my 90, 135, and 28 I use only very occasionally. For travel, the WATE with either the 35/75 pairing or 50/75 pairing is just about a perfect complete kit for me, or just one of the two pairings without the WATE alone if I don't feel I'll use the ultrawide FoV.

Hope that helps a bit.

G
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Old 01-23-2018   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ktmrider View Post
I am thinking of modifying my travel kit which is usually a 35/90 replacing the 90 with a 75. I think Leica lenses are way overpriced these days but talk to me about the 75f1.8 from Cosina and the 75f2.5(?) Summarit.

I may just be putting this out there as neither of my two film Leica's (M2 and M5) have a 75 frame line. And I always figured the 75 was too close to either the 50 or 90 both of which I own.

And I just purchased a Leica MP240 primarily for travel which does have 75mm frame lines.
The main weakness of the 75mm focal length has been the viewfinder "framelines" which are not really framelines but just little corners inset into the 50mm framelines. I find it hard to see clearly where the edges of my shot fall, using only those little corners. And at times I have mistakenly used the 50mm frameline instead: big surprise when I get the film back! It's much easier to frame a shot with the 90mm framelines. So I wouldn't let the lack of 75mm framelines in your M2 and M5 deter you, I would just get a 75mm Voigtlander external finder if you want to shoot 75mm.

And to see if you like 75mm, you could just grab a 75/2.5 CV off of eBay or RFF classified and try it out. You can always upgrade if you decide you like the focal length.

I sold my 90AA ASPH to get the 75. I like the small size and there are times when the focal length is just right. I still have my original chrome 90 Elmarit, which while not the latest version, is still killer sharp!
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Old 01-23-2018   #10
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Second Godfrey's comment on the 75mm f2.4 Summarit.

I own THREE 75's, the f2.4 Summarit, the Cosina Voigtlander 75mm f1.8 and the 75mm f2 Summicron. If I had to sell two of them, the Summarit is the one I would keep.

By far the easiest to focus and most convenient on a digital body in terms of being able to automatically show the focal length in the EXIF data is the f2.4 Summarit. It's smaller, lighter and sharper than the Voigtlander lens.

A while back I sent my 75mm f2 Summicron (bought used) to DAG as I never have been able to consistently focus the thing accurately at the wider aperture settings. He sent it back as being well within spec and my M262 has had it's rangefinder adjusted but I still at times have issues with it and so bought a new f2.4 Summarit based on so many positive articles and posts by others and have been really impressed with it.
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Old 01-23-2018   #11
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I'm probably going to be the odd-one-out here because I think, from what you said in the OP, that the 75 will be perfect for you.

Yes, 75 is quite close to 50 but as you expect to be pairing it with a 35 and not a 50 this is completely immaterial.
The 90, whilst a very good focal length, can be a bit too tight for all-round comfort. The 75 will allow for some breathing space and if cropping is required then that can be accommodated. Similarly a 35 can replace a 50 (that said; a 50 is always my go-to lens) for the same reason. Obviously you can always crop IN; you can never crop OUT.

A 35 / 75 travel pairing IMO is a great team to have.

I don't know why but I've never found the lack of totally accurate focal length frame lines in the viewfinder to pose the slightest hindrance to my photography - especially in the digital age...
Thinking about it I mostly use the frame lines as a simplistic guide to getting my horizons etc. level............

As far as which manufacturer?
Your bank account will be the boss here. The Summarit must be a favourite but I've always loved the rendering of Voigt. lenses wide open and a 75 f1.8 has been on my own 'To Do' list for a couple of years now...

Good luck with whatever you decide!

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Old 01-23-2018   #12
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I'm nowhere near as knowledgeable as many here, so my opinion is only for a little user experience...
I own the 75mm f2.5 Summarit. It is probably the most affordable modern Leica glass you can get. You can sometimes find it in the mid 700's to 800's.
I don't use mine much because of the constraint of the small viewfinder lines. Its much more comfortable to frame 50mm images and 35mm images.
But one thing i will say about the 75mm Summarit...
It is the best performing lens i own. The images it produces are RAZOR SHARP!!! Great contrast and great color. When shot in digital like the M9 i used to own and now the 240, the images hardly ever need any editing. Everyone has their own style and look they like, but for my taste, the digital images it produces are superb.
Now i need to use it more for film as well lol.
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Old 01-23-2018   #13
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I second the excellent CV 75/2.5...
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Old 01-23-2018   #14
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Hi, i bought a 75mm f2.5 Voigtlander it´s really great! quite inexpensive and delivers more sharpness than i need.

I´ve found that 75 suits me better than 50mm i use also the superb VC 28mm f1.9.

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Old 01-23-2018   #15
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I have had a 75 Summilux for over 20 years and find it pairs well with a 35 Summilux. Add a 21 and a 135 and you have a four lens kit that can handle most situations. The 75 is an acquired taste, but if you can adjust to it, you'll love it.
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Old 01-23-2018   #16
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I started off favoring a 50/28 kit for travel, but I'm coming around to the 35/75 kit (or 40/75). I bought the CV 75/2.5 years ago, didn't take to it then, and sold it. But a couple of years ago I decided to give the focal length another try, and bought another copy of the CV 75/2.5. I'm glad I did. I also got a Bessa R2A, which has 75 as well as 35 framelines. The CV 75/2.5 is more than sharp enough and it's actually fairly compact compared to other 75s out there. I think of 75 as a tight 50, good for portraits and landscapes. I agree with other comments that, if you're taking a 75, there's not much point in taking a 50 too, unless the 50 is very fast or has some other special quality.
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Old 01-23-2018   #17
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without knowing what kind of photos you're trying to take, you should ask two questions:

1) is the 90mm's angle of view too narrow for the amount of room that's usually available to back up from your subjects?

2) is the 90mm's perspective too compressed for your tastes, with backgrounds that don't have quite enough of the scene in the frame?
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Old 01-23-2018   #18
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To start from the end ... yes the ZM 25/2.8 is an excellent performer.

And YES for the 75mm focal length.
You can obviously get through your photographic life without it but in case you can't change your position, getting closer with a 50 or further away with a 90, then a 75 comes in handy as the perfect lens to fill the frame. Cropping a 50 shot might work for certain subjects, if you get too close with a 50 for portraits and the shape of the face and the proportions are looking odd w/o being as obviously distorted as with even shorter focal length, then a 75 would have been the better choice. I have been in a situation where I had my 75 in the bag and it proved to be the perfect lens for the job. It kind of is stuck now on my MM. I have to admit the corner frame indicators are pain but the IQ of my 2/75 asph is stunning. I bought it used shortly after it's release when someone didn't like it. I could sell for the same amount today.

2/75 asph


2/75 asph


2.8/25ZM
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Old 01-23-2018   #19
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I used to carry the 35/75 combo, but due to its size and weight I have migrated to a 40/90 Elmar-C (the Leica CL combo). I also find the 75 to be a tight 50 when using my M4-2, but with the dedicated 75 FL in the Bessa R3a it is much nicer to use; although the R3a EFL doesn't bode well for anything less than F4 with the 75mm.

Forgot to mention that the 75mm took some time for me to get used to. It doesn't reach as far as a 90 and was too close to the 50, so I stopped carrying the 50 for a while. I rarely go into the 135 territory and prefer to go to the wider end (28 to 75 vs. 35 to 90).
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Old 01-23-2018   #20
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The CV 75/1.8 is an outstanding lens. If you have any mechanical savvy at all, it is easily modified to close focus a few inches closer than the stock setup.

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Old 01-23-2018   #21
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The 75/1.4 Lux is not light and not cheap either. I would not take it along on trips.
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Old 01-23-2018   #22
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Think I will just use the 35f2.8 C-Biogon, 50 Summicron and 90 TeleElmar M. All three are small compact lenses for travel. The C-Biogon may be the sharpest 35 made; 50 Summicron is chrome and the latest version, and TeleElmar is no larger then the 50.

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Old 01-23-2018   #23
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ktmrider- I can understand what you've arrived at here. For me the fascination to try a 75mm came recently. So I now have the CV 75mm f Heliar1.8 which as Phil F stated here, is an outstanding lens. And it is built solidly like my 90mm "Fat" Tele. I knew that it wouldn't replace my 50 going out or traveling.

I decided then that personally I'd prefer a fast lens to the Summarit or CV Color Heliar and worry less about size. The CV 75 f 1.8 has a really nice quality and rendering wide-open. For portraits, I'm more likely to use it now than my 90 but I really like having the 90 for landscapes and even the occasional soccer game or event.
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Old 01-23-2018   #24
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The 2.8/35mm C-Biogon is a great little lens on film, but on an M9 it gave reddish band esp on the right side, so I sold it... might be better on the M240. No such problem on my other 35s (v1 Summicron, 1.4 Nokton, f/2 Biogon, Summilux ASPH)

I had a new Voigtlander 2.5/75mm, very nice compact size, well-built, but despite praise from others I found it just somewhat "dull" in rendition. Maybe I had a poor sample, but I sold it. I must have a good sample of the f/1.8 Heliar because it's noticeably crisper, more brilliant. Sean Reid has a nice review of it, and I agree with his finding that it has a slight soft glowiness until about f/2.8, then as sharp as can be from f/4. Code as a Summilux....

I do like the 75mm framing, very comfortable to use, and on an RF I'm not fond of 90mm even though I've had a Tele-Elmarit for 50 years. Odd because I do like 85mm with an SLR, maybe it's the RF framelines.
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Old 01-23-2018   #25
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I have the 75mm Summilux for portraits but never got on with that focal length for general use due to the lack of proper framelines on M bodies. Live view might change that for me if I ever get in to digital.
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Old 01-23-2018   #26
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I've always subconsciously hated 75mm because the framelines clutter up the finder for my most-used lens (50).

I just had my M6's 75/135mm lines removed
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Old 01-24-2018   #27
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Beauty must be in the eye of the beholder. I used the 35 C Biogon for years on an M9 and was always dazzled by the results. I honestly never had a problem with color shifts at the edges.
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Old 01-24-2018   #28
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I’m a big fan of the 35/75 and 21/35/75 combinations. I have three 75s for RF - the CV, a Leica 2.5 and the Cron. I need to sell off the first two, but the Cron is an integral part of my style and is staying.
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Old 01-25-2018   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by happy View Post
I've always subconsciously hated 75mm because the framelines clutter up the finder for my most-used lens (50).
If it's subconscious, then how do you know you hate 75mm?
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Old 02-20-2018   #30
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FWIW I have the Summarit 75mm f2.5 and really like it. It is sharp and awesome for portraits, although I use it for mild closeups of material objects as well. There are times I dream of the Summicron 75, but in reality I do not truly NEED it. I do admit that the framelines within the 50mm are weird, but I deal with it OK.

I also have the Summarit 35 f2.5 and it's a killer lens as well. Erwin Puts recommended them both and I have found that they are indeed excellent. As I mostly shoot HP5+ with my M gear I find that I do not really need the extra f2.0 aperture of a 'Cron, at least outside.

I also like my ZM 25mm f2.8 as it's crazy sharp.

I do have a Version 3 50mm Summicron for my M2 because, well, they are so cute together. Not very logical, but there you go. =)

Last edited by creenus : 02-20-2018 at 07:34. Reason: To err is human, to edit divine
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Old 02-21-2018   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ktmrider View Post
I am thinking of modifying my travel kit which is usually a 35/90 replacing the 90 with a 75.
For portrait, reportage, and travel images, I have used 70mm to 90mm on my full-frame cameras.

I find 70mm too short for my taste in portraits.

I find 85mm and 90mm great for portrait, reportage, and travel.

For portrait and reportage, my favorite prime lens in the 70 to 90mm focal length range is the 85mm f/1.4 Nikkor that I use on my full-frame Nikon SLRs.

For reportage and travel, I use the 90mm f/2 with a 35mm f/1.4 on my Leica M6 and M10 rangefinders.

For my Leica rangefinders, I would consider the 75mm f/1.25 Noctilux as a replacement for my 90mm f/2 only because I could use the extra light gathering. I would not, however, like the shorter focal length or the higher price. I also would not like it in my travel kit.

My favorite travel kit was a 90mm f/2.8 that I used with a 45mm f/2 and a 28mm f/2.8 on a Contax 35mm rangefinder.
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Old 02-21-2018   #32
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Well, it has been awhile since I started this thread and my desire to try a 75 is definitely gone. I just don't see enough difference acquiring a 75 when I already have the 50 and 90. I can always take a couple steps closer or a couple steps back depend on which lens is on the camera.

I am presently debating selling my 21 and picking up a Zeiss 25f2.8. I don't use the 21 much and loved the 24 on my Nikon. And the Zeiss 25f2.8 is supposed to be one of the sharpest lenses made.

I am starting to think that one reason to own a camera with interchangeable lenses is it allows us to occupy our time searching for the correct lens mix to have in the camera bag.
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Old 02-21-2018   #33
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Quote:
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...
I am starting to think that one reason to own a camera with interchangeable lenses is it allows us to occupy our time searching for the correct lens mix to have in the camera bag.
LOL!
Stick a 50 on it and leave everything else home.
If you can't get the photo you want with that, work harder.

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Old 02-21-2018   #34
filmtwit
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I like the 75mm focal range for 2 reasons.
I'll work events from time to time and want to photograph over someone's shoulder and 75mm is great for this.
I like it for close up portrait work.

Down side is that many of the 75mm for Leica m will only close focus any closer then 0.9 meters. So your selection can be rather limited or expensive.
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Old 02-21-2018   #35
Daryl J.
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What is your photographic environment going to be?

My two favorite focal lengths (50mm and 90mm) are proving to be utterly useless to me. I didn't change, my shooting environment did. Ideally now I use a 35mm and 75mm.

I use a banged up M4-2 rebuilt by Youxin Ye, a 35mm Summicron ASPH and FP4/HP5 for the bulk of my work and trim the kit out with the 2.5/75 Summarit M. In Portland, there are enough times where one cannot take the steps forwards or backwards to make 50mm and 90mm practical in actual use. And visualizing what the 75 will capture in the viewfinder is a sinch. It is super easy. If one needs the frame lines, grab a good M4-P instead.

Outside the city in a more open environment I would argue for a 24mm Elmar, 50 Cron V.4, and 90mm Elmarit if you are using M Mount and want sharp, contrasty, glare and flare-free images. I personally want flaws for the sake of character but that's a different matter unrelated to the O/P.

Some have noted there is an amazing similarity in quality of images produced by the 75 Summarit and a 50 Summilux ASPH on film. Let's just say I am pleasantly surprised and mine is not for sale.
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Old 02-21-2018   #36
kyte
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I have the CV 75/1.8 and usually pair it with CV 35/1.4. The only issue is that the 75 is heavy... but I put up with it because of the speed (saved me many times when you can't get close enough to use the 35.
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