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Question: Why do you own a digital M Leica?  (Voting closed: October 30, 2011, 07:03:58 AM)
Because I prefer shooting with a rangefinder. - 9 (45%)
Because I want to use Leica and other M lenses. - 11 (55%)
Total Voters: 20

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Author Topic: M Leica Camera or Lenses?  (Read 69540 times)
wildlightphoto
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« Reply #40 on: November 01, 2011, 12:27:21 PM »
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... Right now I'm waiting for the Nex7 with hopes of super high image quality with M mount glass. At the moment I lug around my Canon 1Ds3 and a set of Leica R lenses, so you can see my motivation for getting the same or even better quality in a much smaller and lighter package.

The NEX 7 has a lot going for it.  A compact responsive body for my Leica-R and Nikon AIS lenses with focus peaking certainly has my attention, but until it's adequately tested and proven otherwise I'm going to assume that a 12-bit AA-filtered sensor's output isn't a match for the output from the 16-bit no-AA-filtered DMR regardless of the number of pixels.  I'd like to see what Leica's compact EVIL camera will be.  I'm hoping for a user interface like the S2 and image quality at least as good as the DMR.
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stevesanacore
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« Reply #41 on: November 01, 2011, 06:41:55 PM »
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FF Canon with R glasses work very well, but M glasses on smaller sensors like the Pana and the Sony aren't giving the excelence they deliver on a M body. There is no significant advantage to use M lenses on a GH2 for ex compared to the top-line m4/3.
This fact have been noticed many times by a lot of trustable experienced photographers.

I wouldn't bet a stellar IQ increment using expensive M glasses on a Nex except at full aperture.

I have heard this from a few people here and wonder why this is the case? Is there a scientific reason? I guess I'll wind up with an M9 after all if turns out to remain the only option for ultimate image quality in a compact system.
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fredjeang
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« Reply #42 on: November 02, 2011, 06:04:41 AM »
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I have heard this from a few people here and wonder why this is the case? Is there a scientific reason? I guess I'll wind up with an M9 after all if turns out to remain the only option for ultimate image quality in a compact system.


I'm not an engineer, but this is indeed the case. Putting M glasses on smaller APS sensors is not a profitable business IMO, because they are costly and the gain is academic. Of course if you already have a Leica lens collec you'll have great results. I'm talking about people who want to buy expensive  M lenses from scratch thinking mounting them on those cheap cameras will be the grail...this is not working as expected. No stellar miracle.

Maybe those sensors are not yet capable to deliver the M glasses performances and we really need to mount them on a FF with little AA or not if they keep the CCD line.

Regarding the GH2, I've noticed that there is no logic at all: some expensive glasses are just ok, and some cheap ones are working very well. I give-up trying to find a rational explaination because that's none of my business and I go pragmatic, testing in real world each unit. When not convinced, I sell.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2011, 06:08:36 AM by fredjeang » Logged
ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #43 on: November 02, 2011, 09:33:01 AM »
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Hi,

The Panasonic sensor has a sensor pitch half of the Leica M9. The Panasonic lenses are designed for that small sensor pitch and the Leica lenses may not be optimized to such a small pixel size. I tried to compare RAW images from DPReview shot on their standard setup with both Leica M9 and Panasonic GH2. The GH2 was actually sharper, but working with "raw" I realised that DPReview shot the Leica M9 at /f16, so the Leica would be handicapped by diffraction.

Best regards
Erik

I'm not an engineer, but this is indeed the case. Putting M glasses on smaller APS sensors is not a profitable business IMO, because they are costly and the gain is academic. Of course if you already have a Leica lens collec you'll have great results. I'm talking about people who want to buy expensive  M lenses from scratch thinking mounting them on those cheap cameras will be the grail...this is not working as expected. No stellar miracle.

Maybe those sensors are not yet capable to deliver the M glasses performances and we really need to mount them on a FF with little AA or not if they keep the CCD line.

Regarding the GH2, I've noticed that there is no logic at all: some expensive glasses are just ok, and some cheap ones are working very well. I give-up trying to find a rational explaination because that's none of my business and I go pragmatic, testing in real world each unit. When not convinced, I sell.
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fredjeang
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« Reply #44 on: November 02, 2011, 04:57:22 PM »
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Hi,

The Panasonic sensor has a sensor pitch half of the Leica M9. The Panasonic lenses are designed for that small sensor pitch and the Leica lenses may not be optimized to such a small pixel size. I tried to compare RAW images from DPReview shot on their standard setup with both Leica M9 and Panasonic GH2. The GH2 was actually sharper, but working with "raw" I realised that DPReview shot the Leica M9 at /f16, so the Leica would be handicapped by diffraction.

Best regards
Erik


I think you're right. It must be something like that.

There are lenses that are incredible on m4/3, and they are top anyway: the Zuiko digitals of the 4/3 time (pro line). For a few thousand bucks you have the creme de la creme. They could compeat with any of the Zeiss, Fujinon or Cooke cine line, and for way way cheaper. IMO, the Zuiko digital of the pro line are as good as the best glasses available today.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #45 on: November 03, 2011, 12:45:30 AM »
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Hi,

I tried to find some valid data for comparing 4/3 lenses with Leica, but it's not easy. Erwin Puts has a lot of MTF data on Leica Lenses but although both Olympus and Panasonic publishes MTF data they are not that easy to find. Also the MTF data published is different.

DPReview has lens tests, and they have tested the Leica X1, and I found the enclosed comparison. In this I would say that the Leica and the 4/3 lens were on par, but if we keep on mind that 4/3 has 33% higher linear magnification than APS-C the 4/3 lens is significantly better. Sensor plays also a role in this kind of comparison.

The DPReview lens tests seem to be very good, in my impression, but there are only few of them.

Best regards
Erik


I think you're right. It must be something like that.

There are lenses that are incredible on m4/3, and they are top anyway: the Zuiko digitals of the 4/3 time (pro line). For a few thousand bucks you have the creme de la creme. They could compeat with any of the Zeiss, Fujinon or Cooke cine line, and for way way cheaper. IMO, the Zuiko digital of the pro line are as good as the best glasses available today.
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AlfSollund
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« Reply #46 on: November 03, 2011, 09:10:32 AM »
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Of course if you already have a Leica lens collec you'll have great results.

Im not so sure about that. I have done my own small comparison of Leica M and Pana glass and GH2, and frankly I was disappointed by the results from Leica glass when comparing with Pana glass.

Please see:
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=55566.0

My understanding and hope is that the NEX5n and 7 will be better optimized for such glass than the "old" m43 bodies.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #47 on: November 03, 2011, 09:29:16 AM »
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Hi,

The sensor on the NEX is larger than 4/3. Also, the existing E-mount lenses seem to be less than impressive regarding sharpness. I don't think it's about optimization. Panasonic lenses are probably very good, and for 4/3 format they are probably better than most lenses made for 135 format.

Best regards
Erik

Im not so sure about that. I have done my own small comparison of Leica M and Pana glass and GH2, and frankly I was disappointed by the results from Leica glass when comparing with Pana glass.

Please see:
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=55566.0

My understanding and hope is that the NEX5n and 7 will be better optimized for such glass than the "old" m43 bodies.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2011, 02:39:10 PM by ErikKaffehr » Logged

dseelig
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« Reply #48 on: November 03, 2011, 11:59:25 PM »
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Hi Michael
forme is it is both the rangefinder and the lenses. The compact size the lack of intimadiing strangers that the leica gives me. For all of my personal projects in my life they have all been leica shot since I ot my first Leica m2 in 1977. I am working on a project on new orleans now and shooting wiht two m9s and 24 35 50 and 75 luxes and the wate. my only problem was extreme low light so I just picked up a sony nex 5n. i do not have it yet but I will try it was thinking of getting a noctilux but will try the sony first. I will get a m10 when they come out but they better do iso 6400 at leat as well as a canon mk iv
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bobtowery
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« Reply #49 on: November 04, 2011, 09:37:32 AM »
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For me it is the size/quality equation. Great size for both travelling and for shooting inconspicuously. Image quality surpasses anything else I have owned. (And thanks for the inspiration with the various M9 stories published here over the past four years.)
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fredjeang
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« Reply #50 on: November 16, 2011, 04:01:12 PM »
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By the way,

Do you know how to read the serial number on M lenses?
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JeanMichel
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« Reply #51 on: November 16, 2011, 05:46:09 PM »
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By the way,

Do you know how to read the serial number on M lenses?

Hi,
See if this link helps: http://www.kenrockwell.com/leica/lens-serial-numbers.htm

Jean-Michel
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fredjeang
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« Reply #52 on: November 17, 2011, 02:54:27 AM »
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Hi,
See if this link helps: http://www.kenrockwell.com/leica/lens-serial-numbers.htm

Jean-Michel
Thanks Jean Michel,

I had this list from another source, but the Rockwell link in the end is more detailed: http://www.imx.nl/photo/downloads/files/leicapocket_pod1.pdf
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JeanMichel
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« Reply #53 on: November 17, 2011, 09:29:56 AM »
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I had this list from another source, but the Rockwell link in the end is more detailed: http://www.imx.nl/photo/downloads/files/leicapocket_pod1.pdf
[/quote]

..and thank you for this link.
I have my 3 lenses at Leica(USA) for adjustments and it looks like that these are all the optics I will ever need a 21 would be nice, but the VC one I have is more than just acceptable). But should I be tempted by another lens, this publication will be useful. So thank you.

Jean-Michel
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adanac
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« Reply #54 on: November 18, 2011, 10:55:06 AM »
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With respect to the poll, I have and will buy M glass (Leica or otherwise) even though I have no current intention to buy a M digital rangefinder and my film rangefinder days are behind me.

I wouldn't bet a stellar IQ increment using expensive M glasses on a Nex except at full aperture.

Stellar? Maybe not, that's a high level to achieve, adjective-wise. Noticeable? Absolutely.

My sample size is very small though... I have but the single E mount kit 18-55mm lens and am not planning on buying any others at this point.

Comparing the one kit lens (do I have a bad copy or are they all similar?) at 25mm, 35mm, 50mm to every M and SLR glass I have, every single manual focus lens new and old outperformed the Sony in terms of resolution and apparent sharpness.  The Sony suffers from less flare than some of my decades old glass - a win there for the E team, barely. Sadly the Sony lens shows smearing at the edges and corners yet even the ZM 25 and 35 perform very well in this regard on the 5N.

Actually the sample size being small isn't really a concern - my observations aren't unique, as I've read similar accounts and seen visual evidence presented by others comparing various E mount lenses to current or legacy manual focus primes and zooms.

Back to the purpose of the thread, there was a time where a rangefinder body for me was a good compromise for a do-most-things camera. I especially liked the nature of the finder and how it supported shooting people in their environment. But for landscape and macro my small Contax with a nice Zeiss up front did things the rangefinder could not do, at the near and far end of focal lengths. A Contax 139 with a short lens is quite transportable in fact.

Yet I like rangefinder lenses; the dimensions (width primarily), the relatively short focus travel distance, better depth of field scales typically than my SLR glass. I really like using this glass on the NEX and have recently discovered the joys of a Hawk helicoid adapter on the NEX which drops the minimum focus distance  of any M glass by a considerable amount allowing for whole new perspectives. For example a ZM 25 with stock MFD of 1.5 feet becomes something of a macro exploration tool with a MFD of just a few inches. One such adapter expands the utility of every M mount lens in one's bag. This sort of utility is impossible on a rangefinder.

The one thing I miss is getting the true field of view and depth of field characteristics my rangefinder glass can deliver on full frame film or digital sensor. Were Sony or Ricoh to introduce a FF version of their M compatible products I'd be one of the many who would be very interested indeed, although in Ricoh's case they need to up the ante in their EVF first, and probably would if a FF version were to be on the drawing board.

That said, even if crop cameras are the only available host for my M glass aside from paying up for a M9, I don't consider it a waste to put M glass on a NEX or Ricoh GXR or any short flange focal distance camera that can be adapted successfully to use M / LTM glass.
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Rob C
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« Reply #55 on: November 19, 2011, 02:38:51 PM »
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If it wasn't for the inherent shortcomings - others see these as advantages - associated with rangefinders I'd be using the M9 now.



Hi Keith

I think I detect a certain amount of tongue-in-cheek?

;-)

Rob C
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #56 on: November 19, 2011, 03:17:10 PM »
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Hi,

Unfortunately it seems that the NEX lenses are not very good. It seems that the 18-200 is pretty good, and so is the new Zeiss 24 mm, at least at center. On the plus side the NEX accepts almost any lens, but on the minus side it has a crop factor of 1.5. Would be nice if Sony would produce a series of decent lenses for the NEX or release  a full frame camera that can utilize existing lenses.

But as Yoda says: "Difficult to predit the future is!"

Best regards
Erik

With respect to the poll, I have and will buy M glass (Leica or otherwise) even though I have no current intention to buy a M digital rangefinder and my film rangefinder days are behind me.

Stellar? Maybe not, that's a high level to achieve, adjective-wise. Noticeable? Absolutely.

My sample size is very small though... I have but the single E mount kit 18-55mm lens and am not planning on buying any others at this point.

Comparing the one kit lens (do I have a bad copy or are they all similar?) at 25mm, 35mm, 50mm to every M and SLR glass I have, every single manual focus lens new and old outperformed the Sony in terms of resolution and apparent sharpness.  The Sony suffers from less flare than some of my decades old glass - a win there for the E team, barely. Sadly the Sony lens shows smearing at the edges and corners yet even the ZM 25 and 35 perform very well in this regard on the 5N.

Actually the sample size being small isn't really a concern - my observations aren't unique, as I've read similar accounts and seen visual evidence presented by others comparing various E mount lenses to current or legacy manual focus primes and zooms.

Back to the purpose of the thread, there was a time where a rangefinder body for me was a good compromise for a do-most-things camera. I especially liked the nature of the finder and how it supported shooting people in their environment. But for landscape and macro my small Contax with a nice Zeiss up front did things the rangefinder could not do, at the near and far end of focal lengths. A Contax 139 with a short lens is quite transportable in fact.

Yet I like rangefinder lenses; the dimensions (width primarily), the relatively short focus travel distance, better depth of field scales typically than my SLR glass. I really like using this glass on the NEX and have recently discovered the joys of a Hawk helicoid adapter on the NEX which drops the minimum focus distance  of any M glass by a considerable amount allowing for whole new perspectives. For example a ZM 25 with stock MFD of 1.5 feet becomes something of a macro exploration tool with a MFD of just a few inches. One such adapter expands the utility of every M mount lens in one's bag. This sort of utility is impossible on a rangefinder.

The one thing I miss is getting the true field of view and depth of field characteristics my rangefinder glass can deliver on full frame film or digital sensor. Were Sony or Ricoh to introduce a FF version of their M compatible products I'd be one of the many who would be very interested indeed, although in Ricoh's case they need to up the ante in their EVF first, and probably would if a FF version were to be on the drawing board.

That said, even if crop cameras are the only available host for my M glass aside from paying up for a M9, I don't consider it a waste to put M glass on a NEX or Ricoh GXR or any short flange focal distance camera that can be adapted successfully to use M / LTM glass.

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DeeJay
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« Reply #57 on: November 20, 2011, 07:44:30 AM »
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After reading such rave reviews about the m9. I really am excited about the prospects of dropping an MF system for the Leica. But for what I need it for, that is fast shooting and shooting tethered, I'm not sure the rangefinder is right for what I need. Pixel count is still a bit low for my needs. Accurate framing is another big thing too. i do like precision here. But I suppose if it was good enough for Bresson....ha. Manual focus on a tiny viewfinder which is "hindered" (for want of a better word) by rangefinder focussing is a turn off too.

But it really is a serious consideration for me but I'm not going to invest on a whim. I'm booked back to back and finding time to test something like this is near impossible these days. I suppose I'm looking for someone who is shooting fashion to say. "It's the best thing ever". I'm not sure I'm going to find that anytime soon though....

I love the look of the Leica files though. They are unique and distinct. That's a valuable characteristic. Would love the m9 in an slr. Manual focus would be ok. Either that or just someone to convince me that it will work well for what I need. Anyone? Please? Smiley

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Rob C
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« Reply #58 on: November 20, 2011, 09:42:14 AM »
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DeeJay

I think Cooter has said more or less what you seek to hear already... go spend the money!

Rob C
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JimGoshorn
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« Reply #59 on: November 20, 2011, 12:16:06 PM »
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If your looking for photographers who use M's for fashion, you can always post the question on the Leica Forum:

http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-forum/customer-forum/

Jim
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