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Shallow question: short/long silver lens for M240?
Old 10-09-2019   #1
Dante_Stella
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Shallow question: short/long silver lens for M240?

"I have CDO. It's like OCD, but the letters are in the right order."

So for reasons that seem to boil down to color coordination and may only be fully understood by a psychiatrist, I use lenses with my (silver) M240 and (black) MM246 based on what matches the camera. I also have a ton of black lenses I use with very low frequency.

The M246 pretty much lives with a 21/4.5 ZM or an MS Sonnetar 50 on it. Sometimes an 90mm M-Hexanon. Or a 28mm PC Nikkor.

For the M240, I generally use a 35mm Hexanon L (E46) with a 50mm Sonnar-C (E46) or Hexanon L (E40.5). But I feel like this needs a third focal length. If you had to pick a third silver lens for this, based on external aesthetics and some pretext of additional functionality, would you pick:
  • 18mm ZM (which I have in black but would be sweet in silver instead);
  • 21mm ZM Biogon 2.8;
  • 75mm Summarit-M;
  • 73mm Sonnetar;
  • 75mm f/1.5 Nokton;
  • 90mm Elmarit-M; or
  • 105mm f/2.5 Nikkor (which I have but painfully slow to focus)

Something else outside the 35-50mm range? Only catch is that it has to be silver.

Dante
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Old 10-09-2019   #2
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I wish I didnt buy any of my Leica and M mount lenses in chrome/silver.
I think they look great on my silver bodies but not on my black bodies.
Whereas my black lenses look great on both.
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Old 10-09-2019   #3
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I've started to really enjoy chrome lenses on black bodies and am currently using a 35mm Summicron ASPH in silver on my black chrome M262.

In any event, I used to struggle with getting used to this practice, so I understand where you're coming from.

As far as silver lenses to add, I'd highly highly recommend the 90mm Elmarit-M if you can find one in chrome. If not that, the 90mm Summicron Pre-ASPH is beautiful in chrome, but big. I have both lenses, but my Elmarit-M is in black. If I had to choose one, I'd go with the Elmarit-M over the Summicron just from the perspective of size/weight. Sharpness and rendering on the Elmarit is amazing, so in terms of quality, you won't be disappointed. It'll also be very close in ergonomics to your Hexanon 90mm. Maybe that's a good thing, maybe not, but it'll at least be familiar.
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Old 10-09-2019   #4
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Hello Dante,
My feeling has been for many years now that you cannot have and use too many 50mm lenses. The "rest" can be handled with one lens in the other focal lengths.
How about a Zeiss 5cm 1.5 or 2.0 from the 1930's in chrome?
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Old 10-09-2019   #5
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I owned a silver 90mm Elmarit-M and esthetically and optically (IMO) it is a beautiful lens. You should be cautioned that it's one of the chromed brass Leica lenses and as such there is a hefty weight premium over the black version...too much for me in the end.

You could also consider the Zm 85/4 in silver.
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Old 10-09-2019   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raid View Post
Hello Dante,
My feeling has been for many years now that you cannot have and use too many 50mm lenses. The "rest" can be handled with one lens in the other focal lengths.
How about a Zeiss 5cm 1.5 or 2.0 from the 1930's in chrome?
Ha! At one point, I had every variation of the Zeiss: prewar 1.5 and 2, Opton f/2 and f/1.5. And both Nikkors. And the C-Sonnar. And the Sonnetar. Problem is that they all shoot almost identically. I ended up keeping the C-Sonnar because its front end does not rotate and the Sonnetar because it is very fast.

I think my record was having 14 50mm lenses at one point. You probably have that beaten, right?

D
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Old 10-09-2019   #7
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For a longer portrait lens, I'm really enjoying the 73mm Sonnetar. It's much more functional as a general-purpose lens than the 50 Sonnetar (my 73 focuses accurately at all distances and apertures, without having touched the coma ring), but the images still have enough of that signature Miyazaki weirdness that you either love or hate.

If you pick one up, I highly recommend getting a JJC LH-JX70 kit to go along with it. Originally for the Fuji X70, this gives you an adapter for 49mm filters in the correct direction, as well as a functional hood that sits cleanly overtop. Plus the silver chrome version matches it exactly!
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Old 10-09-2019   #8
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In your case, you seem to be thinking of getting a 75mm lens. I have a (black) 75/1.4 Summilux, but you want a silver one. Then I have a Canon 85/1.5 silver (ltm) that you may actually enjoy using with an M240. It is the old look.


I may have more than 14 50mm lenses, Dante, but I am trying to add only lenses that are somehow unique and different from what I already have and use. I added the Hologon 16/8 in M mount. I may add a "Made in China" Summicron v1 35/2 replica (in bronze). Not many are around!
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Old 10-09-2019   #9
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I am tempted to get the new 75mm f1.5 Nokton. https://phillipreeve.net/blog/review...-75mm-f1-5-vm/
It seems to perform very well and in the classic looks department it is a super model. And in chrome - wow, a super, super model! I presently own the 75mm f1.8 and though I like it, especially its "classic" portrait rendering, its physical length is a bit too long on an M camera to be quite comfortable (or look altogether good). I like the shorter more "squat" profile of the new lens - paradoxically, given I just described it as a super model.

PS I too will often find myself choosing lenses that LOOK good and perform well, over those that perform well but look less attractive. Deep down - I'm shallow
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Old 10-09-2019   #10
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Deep down - I'm shallow
Good one, Peter, I can relate.

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Old 10-09-2019   #11
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"The Shallowness Factor in buying Lenses" !
It is a major factor here!
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lonemantis View Post
For a longer portrait lens, I'm really enjoying the 73mm Sonnetar. It's much more functional as a general-purpose lens than the 50 Sonnetar (my 73 focuses accurately at all distances and apertures, without having touched the coma ring), but the images still have enough of that signature Miyazaki weirdness that you either love or hate.

If you pick one up, I highly recommend getting a JJC LH-JX70 kit to go along with it. Originally for the Fuji X70, this gives you an adapter for 49mm filters in the correct direction, as well as a functional hood that sits cleanly overtop. Plus the silver chrome version matches it exactly!
Ok. Will keep that hood unit in mind. Was the issue with the 50/1.1 just that it had to be dialed in? I've had phenomenal luck with mine, but it definitely has some quirks.

D
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #13
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Dear Dante,

I have both silver and black Leica M cameras. One lens I would never be without, and always have it along, is my chrome 35mm f/2.8 summaron. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes silver chrome lenses!
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #14
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #15
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So glad I got rid of the 75mm frame lines in all my M kameras. Makes the view much cleaner, as well as the fact I find 75mm too close to 50 and so much prefer using a 90mm lens.

That CV 75 lens styling is "interesting". Looks like a bunch of different diameter tubes thrown together, almost as if it is meant to be collapsible.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
So glad I got rid of the 75mm frame lines in all my M kameras. Makes the view much cleaner, as well as the fact I find 75mm too close to 50 and so much prefer using a 90mm lens.

That CV 75 lens styling is "interesting". Looks like a bunch of different diameter tubes thrown together, almost as if it is meant to be collapsible.
After experienced shooters use all the Leica M focal lengths, most begin to to realize all focal M lengths have own uses, advantages, and disadvantages.

The 75 frameline was introduced with the 75/1.4 only after Leica M users had long requested a M 75 lens. Leica did not add a 75 frameline just to add another frameline. Any M frameline - if you don't use that focal length, its useless for you. That doesn't make one frameline choice better than another.

Compared to 90 M lenses, M 75's can offer some advantages

1) for the same aperture, a 75 is smaller and lighter
2) a fast 90 1.4 would be much larger and heavier than a 75 1.4
3) A fast 75 is superior to a fast 90 shooting in a crowded room that won't allow the photog to back up for proper 90 framing.

The Voigtlander 75/1.5 in particular is small and lightweight for a 1.5 lens, while also have a very quick throw from close up to infinity. Its a particularly nice handling lens with outstanding performance.

"Good Looking" lenses are like "Good Looking" cars, everyone has different ideas and preferences. Personally I like lenses that don't boringly look like other lenses.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #17
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18mm ZM (which I have in black but would be sweet in silver instead);
- Nah, you don't need another one.

21mm ZM Biogon 2.8;
- You already have a nice 21mm!

75mm Summarit-M;
- I'm not keen on the looks of the black rubber focusing ring, but I'm extremely superficial.

73mm Sonnetar;
- You like weird lenses, so this looks good.

75mm f/1.5 Nokton;
- Same.

90mm Elmarit-M;
- I don't get why the front name ring is silver instead of black. One too many beers at the design studio that day?

105mm f/2.5 Nikkor (which I have but painfully slow to focus)
- True.

Here's my list of suggestions:

50mm f/2.5 Voigtlander Color Skopar
- It has a nice hood, and it looks good.

90mm f/3.5 Voigtlander Apo Lanthar
- It has colorful rings on the nose!

35mm f/1.4 Voigtlander Nokton Classic limited edition for Map Camera
- There are only 250 of them.

28mm f/2.8 Canon LTM
- They should make more of these! The Ricoh 28mm is nice, too.

16mm f/8 Carl Zeiss Hologon, converted
- Too cool.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dante_Stella View Post
"I have CDO. It's like OCD, but the letters are in the right order."

So for reasons that seem to boil down to color coordination and may only be fully understood by a psychiatrist, I use lenses with my (silver) M240 and (black) MM246 based on what matches the camera. I also have a ton of black lenses I use with very low frequency.

The M246 pretty much lives with a 21/4.5 ZM or an MS Sonnetar 50 on it. Sometimes an 90mm M-Hexanon. Or a 28mm PC Nikkor.

For the M240, I generally use a 35mm Hexanon L (E46) with a 50mm Sonnar-C (E46) or Hexanon L (E40.5). But I feel like this needs a third focal length. If you had to pick a third silver lens for this, based on external aesthetics and some pretext of additional functionality, would you pick:
  • 18mm ZM (which I have in black but would be sweet in silver instead);
  • 21mm ZM Biogon 2.8;
  • 75mm Summarit-M;
  • 73mm Sonnetar;
  • 75mm f/1.5 Nokton;
  • 90mm Elmarit-M; or
  • 105mm f/2.5 Nikkor (which I have but painfully slow to focus)
Something else outside the 35-50mm range? Only catch is that it has to be silver.

Dante

I am not sure, and I am glad you recognize the medical aspect of all this. But to be practical, much as I love the silver lenses, and even enjoy the apparent perversity of using them on my one black camera, I do like the lightness of the black lenses. I would not go for the heft of the Elmarit M 90 in silver, but instead the f4 Macro Elmar first version. I have that and it balances nicely on the M9-P - and looks the part.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #19
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Voigtlander 75mm f1.5 Heliar Vintage Line VM lens
Works for me!







All the best,
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob-F View Post
Dear Dante,

I have both silver and black Leica M cameras. One lens I would never be without, and always have it along, is my chrome 35mm f/2.8 summaron. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes silver chrome lenses!
It's pretty. I have a 35/2 Hexanon in silver, which is pretty hard to put down!

Dante
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lonemantis View Post
For a longer portrait lens, I'm really enjoying the 73mm Sonnetar. It's much more functional as a general-purpose lens than the 50 Sonnetar (my 73 focuses accurately at all distances and apertures, without having touched the coma ring), but the images still have enough of that signature Miyazaki weirdness that you either love or hate.

If you pick one up, I highly recommend getting a JJC LH-JX70 kit to go along with it. Originally for the Fuji X70, this gives you an adapter for 49mm filters in the correct direction, as well as a functional hood that sits cleanly overtop. Plus the silver chrome version matches it exactly!
You are right about the JJC, but you can also just mount a 49mm filter backwards. For reasons I just don't get, the JJC outer front thread is 53 or 54mm, not 55. Inner is obviously 49mm.

How are you finding the focusing accuracy near and far? I have been testing a "used" copy (looked pretty new to me...), and from min-1.5m, which is really your normal range for head shots, it is phenomenally sharp at f/1.5 and unbelievable at f/4, but as the distance increases, so does the front-focusing, almost to the point I joke you need to use an f/stop equal to the distance in meters. I got to ultra close focus heaven by nudging the adjuster from 3m a hair or two toward infinity.

It's not theoretically different from the 50/1.1, but I am debating whether to use the adjuster recalibrate the lens for longer distances and make a change to the profile of the RF cam (non-destructively) from min to 1.5m to make it focus correctly everywhere on a single calibration. I thought that the 75/1.4 Leica lens was relatively high-strung, but there is always time to learn!

The mind-blowing thing is how small the Sonnetar is - barely longer than a 50/2 Summicron.

Stephen - I'm sure the CV is next in my 75mm collection!

Dante
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #22
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All way over my head as I only have a scratched up M4-2 and a CV 35 PII. But since long ago days I've never been able to use 'ugly' cameras. The top ugly 35 SLR (that is well known) being the Bulls Eye Contarex. There are a whole slew of 60's & 70's Japanese SLR's that are at lease moderately ugly. Never gave much thought to lenses though, had to like what I was willing to pay, (not much) although that attitude resulted in purchasing a few "coke bottle" lenses.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dante_Stella View Post
"I have CDO. It's like OCD, but the letters are in the right order."

So for reasons that seem to boil down to color coordination and may only be fully understood by a psychiatrist, I use lenses with my (silver) M240 and (black) MM246 based on what matches the camera. I also have a ton of black lenses I use with very low frequency.

The M246 pretty much lives with a 21/4.5 ZM or an MS Sonnetar 50 on it. Sometimes an 90mm M-Hexanon. Or a 28mm PC Nikkor.

For the M240, I generally use a 35mm Hexanon L (E46) with a 50mm Sonnar-C (E46) or Hexanon L (E40.5). But I feel like this needs a third focal length. If you had to pick a third silver lens for this, based on external aesthetics and some pretext of additional functionality, would you pick:
  • 18mm ZM (which I have in black but would be sweet in silver instead);
  • 21mm ZM Biogon 2.8;
  • 75mm Summarit-M;
  • 73mm Sonnetar;
  • 75mm f/1.5 Nokton;
  • 90mm Elmarit-M; or
  • 105mm f/2.5 Nikkor (which I have but painfully slow to focus)

Something else outside the 35-50mm range? Only catch is that it has to be silver.

Dante
21-35-90.

For the silver 90mm lens, well the obvious answer is Silver MEM

MEM on my M3
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #24
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Dante, I have the original chrome 90mm Elmarit. It looks stunning on my chrome M2! It is also very, very sharp. To see it at its best, I have to use it on a tripod. So this is one lens I can recommend from long personal experience: I bought it new when I was 19. For quite a while, I used only it and a 35/2.8 Summaron.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
I wish I didnt buy any of my Leica and M mount lenses in chrome/silver.
I think they look great on my silver bodies but not on my black bodies.
Whereas my black lenses look great on both.
Agreed. Why I have 2 50 mm 2.8 Elmar M lenses.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob-F View Post
Dante, I have the original chrome 90mm Elmarit. It looks stunning on my chrome M2! It is also very, very sharp. To see it at its best, I have to use it on a tripod. So this is one lens I can recommend from long personal experience: I bought it new when I was 19. For quite a while, I used only it and a 35/2.8 Summaron.
This I am impressed by.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #27
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Originally Posted by Dante_Stella View Post
You are right about the JJC, but you can also just mount a 49mm filter backwards. For reasons I just don't get, the JJC outer front thread is 53 or 54mm, not 55. Inner is obviously 49mm.

How are you finding the focusing accuracy near and far? I have been testing a "used" copy (looked pretty new to me...), and from min-1.5m, which is really your normal range for head shots, it is phenomenally sharp at f/1.5 and unbelievable at f/4, but as the distance increases, so does the front-focusing, almost to the point I joke you need to use an f/stop equal to the distance in meters. I got to ultra close focus heaven by nudging the adjuster from 3m a hair or two toward infinity.

It's not theoretically different from the 50/1.1, but I am debating whether to use the adjuster recalibrate the lens for longer distances and make a change to the profile of the RF cam (non-destructively) from min to 1.5m to make it focus correctly everywhere on a single calibration. I thought that the 75/1.4 Leica lens was relatively high-strung, but there is always time to learn!

The mind-blowing thing is how small the Sonnetar is - barely longer than a 50/2 Summicron.

Stephen - I'm sure the CV is next in my 75mm collection!

Dante
You can totally just mount a 49mm filter backwards, and this is likely the easiest way to do it if you change filters often. I'm not a heavy filter user (usually just a UV for protection), so I prefer the cleaner look and separate hood mount with the JJC.

I must have lucked out with my 73 - at least to my eye, it seems to focus perfectly from minimum to infinity at all aperture settings, with no adjustment. It's very sharp wide open, but pleasant at the same time. Maybe the accuracy has something to do with the translated cam movement for a longer focal length, compared to the 50?

My 50 1.1, on the other hand, needed a huge adjustment - about halfway between the 4m and infinity settings to get accurate focus close up and wide open. (you would lose infinity at this setting, of course) I just sold it after getting the new 50 1.0 ISM, which has a very similar image quality and much less fuss.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #28
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Silver Macro Elmar M. Very fine lens up with the best, just 4.0 only
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