Fast tabbed M-mount 35 for under $1500
Old 09-04-2016   #1
froyd
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Fast tabbed M-mount 35 for under $1500

Is there any alternative that's offer higher optical IQ than the Nokton and meets the following criteria:

- Has tab focusing
- Focuses to .7m
- Costs less than $1500.
- Opens at least to f2, and if f2 is the starting point it must be sharp and usable
- No ZM lenses: can't get along with 1/3 f stops and the little focusing nub.

From what is read the early Summiluxes might not be a step up in image quality and will be a step back in minimum focusing distance. I'd be willing to give up a couple of stops and look at early Summicrons, but only if performance at f2 is outstanding right off the bat and I don't have to close up a stop or two to achieve performance on par with the Nokton. Distortion is not an issue as much as center sharpness and good BW rendering.
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Old 09-04-2016   #2
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From my experience an early 35mm Summicron (vs3) fits your criteria quite well and is available < US$1000. I have a 35/1.4 Summilux pre-ASPH and personally find it very usable already from f/1.4 but it is very prone to flare and those ghost rings can ruin a photo easily. Additionally, the close focusing distance of the Summilux is 0.9 m only and using filter is a hassle.
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Old 09-04-2016   #3
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The Konica M-Hexanon 35/2 would fit the bill. Native M mount, has the tab, focuses down to 0.7m, modern, sharp wide open, superbly built and cost less than $1,000.
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Old 09-04-2016   #4
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I'll second Gabors assessment of the early 35mm summilux and add that the real plus for me is lack of distortion.
If the Nokton is not sharp enough by f/2, I doubt you'll be happy with a v2/3 summicron. The main drawback of the Nokton for me is the distortion, but if that's not an issue, then it must be top of your list.
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Old 09-04-2016   #5
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There really isn't. The v2/3/4 Summicrons are better in the center than your Nokton at f2 but not by much and far from sharp in the corners until f5.6 or so.

Optically, the 35 VM Ultron would fit, but it has no tab. If you don't mind going to 28, that Ultron is a superstar and has a tab.

Maybe spend a couple of 100 bucks more and get a used asph Summicron ? I'd stay away from m-hexanons unless you feel lucky or don't mind going via dag. The LTM Hexanons are pretty good but you know that.

Roland.
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Old 09-04-2016   #6
Jamie Pillers
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I'll second Roland's idea of the VM Ultron. I've read a lot of really good things about it (but haven't used one yet). You can solve the tab issue by buying an add-on tab, or do as I've done in the past and use Sugru to make your own tab... Looks a bit... um... handmade, but works great.
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Old 09-04-2016   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie Pillers View Post
I'll second Roland's idea of the VM Ultron. I've read a lot of really good things about it (but haven't used one yet). You can solve the tab issue by buying an add-on tab, or do as I've done in the past and use Sugru to make your own tab... Looks a bit... um... handmade, but works great.
Here's a link to an add-on tab idea: http://www.lenstab.com/
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Old 09-04-2016   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by froyd View Post
Is there any alternative that's offer higher optical IQ than the Nokton and meets the following criteria:

- Has tab focusing
- Focuses to .7m
- Costs less than $1500.
- Opens at least to f2, and if f2 is the starting point it must be sharp and usable
- No ZM lenses: can't get along with 1/3 f stops and the little focusing nub.
As other have mentioned, the VM 35/f1.7 Ultron fits the bill for everything but the tab, and from all reports is a stellar lens (buggered if I can figure out Voigtlander's logic with tabs - 28mm Ultron, tabbed, 35mm Ultron, no tab, 35mm Color Skopar, tabbed, 50mm Nokton, no tab...)
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Old 09-04-2016   #9
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at 1500 or even below you should be able to find a nice copy of V4 summicron. bests maitani
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Old 09-05-2016   #10
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You can always throw a TAAB on any lens that takes your fancy. That might widen your options.
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Old 09-05-2016   #11
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A used (user condition) summicron 35 asph seems to be what you are looking for if you like it's rendering in BW (I do but I also own a lux 35 pre-asph for a more "vintage" look)

Giulio
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Old 09-06-2016   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archlich View Post
The Konica M-Hexanon 35/2 would fit the bill. Native M mount, has the tab, focuses down to 0.7m, modern, sharp wide open, superbly built and cost less than $1,000.
This intrigues me. I'll have to research more about the rendering.
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Old 09-06-2016   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie Pillers View Post
Here's a link to an add-on tab idea: http://www.lenstab.com/
Thanks for the TAAB link. I don't think the little device would work on the M-Ultron with its knurled focusing ring. I had the LTM ultron and did not like it for the .9 minimum focus, and poor ergonomics, but the new one solved both those problems.

Incidentally, the Ultron is a strange beast to me: the images I took with it had a very modern, corrected geometry, good sharpness, but a softness of colors and tones that I associate with older lenses -- while this can be considered an ideal set of features, it struck me as neither fish nor fowl.
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Old 09-06-2016   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johannielscom View Post
Pretty specific conditions you set here. Gets me wondering.

Why sharp at 2.0 and not, say 4.0? Is there no latitude of two stops in the subject matter you shoot? Exposing slides maybe?

If your lighting conditions are that specific, you must be in a studio setting? Easy solution: add more light and use 2.8 or 4.0.

If no studio setting and you want a sharp 2.0 as a base line, would cranking up ISO or ASA be an alternative option? Or are you planning to print big and need to lose grain or noise?

Questions, questions...

I normally shoot the Nokton at f2 and up. I don't trust myself at f1.4 because I often use the 35 close to min focusing distances. F2 is an acceptable starting point for me in a 35 lens and it's an f-stop that I use quite a bit for my indoor photos (f2 at 1/30 or 1/60 with iso 400 film). Therefore, it's important that a replacement lens performs well from that aperture.
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Old 09-06-2016   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by froyd View Post
Thanks for the TAAB link. I don't think the little device would work on the M-Ultron with its knurled focusing ring. I had the LTM ultron and did not like it for the .9 minimum focus, and poor ergonomics, but the new one solved both those problems. Incidentally, the Ultron is a strange beast to me: the images I took with it had a very modern, corrected geometry, good sharpness, but a softness of colors and tones that I associate with older lenses -- while this can be considered an ideal set of features, it struck me as neither fish nor fowl.
The VM Ultron is a different beast; different design when compared to LTM version. Higher contrast and one of the most flare proof lens that I've ever used.

Roland.
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Old 09-06-2016   #16
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Hexar AF 35/2 converted to M by MS-Optical

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Old 09-06-2016   #17
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What a Sweeeet tiny Lens 'splitimageview'

Please post a photo from it, would love to see tge way it draws
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Old 09-06-2016   #18
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Hexar test-006 by Chad Wadsworth, on Flickr

Hexar test-001 by Chad Wadsworth, on Flickr
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Old 09-06-2016   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by splitimageview View Post
Hexar AF 35/2 converted to M by MS-Optical
If you don't mind sharing, what does one of the MS Optical conversions cost?
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Old 09-06-2016   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by splitimageview View Post
Hexar AF 35/2 converted to M by MS-Optical
Really? I mean R E A L L Y?
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Old 09-06-2016   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by splitimageview View Post
Hexar AF 35/2 converted to M by MS-Optical

Nice one!

...and for the $1500 caveat?
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Old 09-06-2016   #22
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The 35mm Summicron asph is exactly what you are looking for, just part with the extra $100-$300 and drop the mike, no need to look any further.

( personally I use both a V4 35mm Summicron and a 35mm 1.4 Asph FLE but that is because these are income earning lenses, not hard to justify ).
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Old 09-07-2016   #23
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That Hexar lens on a M-Leica would be nice but I doubt that it would come cheaper than other available lenses if you do not already have a donor. (i have a dead Hexar in the drawer I really wonder how much the conversion would be)
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Old 09-07-2016   #24
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Well I bought a dead Hexar for $100, the conversion was about $500.

There is another conversion that will be on the market soon, by the same supplier that makes a barrel for the Summarit from the Minilux. I don't know if that one will have a tab, but the Summarit conversion does. The price for the Hexar should be similar to the Minilux (~$425 USD)
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Old 09-07-2016   #25
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Quote:
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Well I bought a dead Hexar for $100, the conversion was about $500.
Not bad at all.
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Old 09-07-2016   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by splitimageview View Post
Well I bought a dead Hexar for $100, the conversion was about $500.

There is another conversion that will be on the market soon, by the same supplier that makes a barrel for the Summarit from the Minilux. I don't know if that one will have a tab, but the Summarit conversion does. The price for the Hexar should be similar to the Minilux (~$425 USD)
The Summarit's barrel is available in China now (obviously originated from a Chinese maker). Has a tab and looks much like a CV lens:



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Old 09-07-2016   #27
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Yes, it's a more 'traditional' look and feel, as compared to the MS Optical conversions. It's very well done. I have another dead Hexar just waiting for them to finish up the design!
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Old 09-08-2016   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archlich View Post
The Summarit's barrel is available in China now (obviously originated from a Chinese maker). Has a tab and looks much like a CV lens:



wow .. that looks great! Also cheaper than a MS-Optical conversion.
I might start looking for a dead minilux now.
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Old 09-08-2016   #29
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Veering off-topic but the Summarit in the Minilux is a fantastic lens. Here's a write-up of the conversion.
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Old 09-08-2016   #30
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I loved my Minilux back in the 90s (despite its shortcomings). Cool to see people converting its lens... and with that E02 error, it should be easy to find a non-working one cheap.
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Old 09-09-2016   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archlich View Post
The Summarit's barrel is available in China now (obviously originated from a Chinese maker). Has a tab and looks much like a CV lens:



Nice.
Is it made with good tolerance level?

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Old 09-09-2016   #32
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wow .. that looks great! Also cheaper than a MS-Optical conversion.
I might start looking for a dead minilux now.
$Dead Minilux + $conversion kit > $ good condition Summicron 40mm f2
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Old 09-09-2016   #33
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I love stuff like that Minilux conversion. So cool.
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Old 09-12-2016   #34
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$Dead Minilux + $conversion kit > $ good condition Summicron 40mm f2
already have one
but you are right
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Old 09-12-2016   #35
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I had the conversion done a couple months back and it set me back roughly $600 USD give or take including shipping.

Quote:
Originally Posted by k__43 View Post
That Hexar lens on a M-Leica would be nice but I doubt that it would come cheaper than other available lenses if you do not already have a donor. (i have a dead Hexar in the drawer I really wonder how much the conversion would be)
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