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Author Topic: Leica, Nikon or Canon-system for primes?  (Read 3399 times)
tdom
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« on: June 26, 2013, 04:33:53 PM »
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Hi everyone,
though I read these forums for quite a long time, I registered now with a question. I am lucky to have some money to spend to invest in a FF-camera-system (owned the Canon 5D and some zooms 3 years ago). I want to invest into a FF-body and 2 (maybe 3) prime lenses (28 or 35, 85 and maybe 50). I use the camera on occasions, on-the-go and I love to spend time for landscape-shots, composing, sometimes long exposures. I want to go only with prime lenses for the need to compose the picture without a zoom and the superior image quality.
I'm not a hardcore-fan of any brand and have a very difficult time to decide, in which system I should invest. I hope you could help me: If I want a FF-Camera and prime lenses only, want to use the camera on occasions (family e.g.) and for travels and landscapes, sometimes long-exposures, which would be the best for me: Nikon (D800), Canon (5D3) or Leica (M9/M)?
Thanks a lot in advance,
Thorsten
PS: Please excuse my bad English.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2013, 04:40:39 PM »
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I'd go for a D800, sigma 35mm f1.4, nikkor 85mm f1.4 or 1.8 depending on budget.

The 50mm is in fact more difficult. The Zeiss Makro 50mm f2.0 would be my recommendation if manual focus is ok, it will also give a macro capability to your kit.

Cheers,
Bernard
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eronald
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« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2013, 05:12:44 PM »
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I like the old Nikon 50/1.8, although this will shock many forum enthusisasts - I use it on my D4.

Anyway, owning both systems, I'd say that the Canon 35 1.4 and 85/1.2 are superb; the Nikon 85 1.4 is very sharp but doesn't look so good, the 50s are good, but the zooms are where Nikon really shines.

As I said I use both systems, but I'd say that the Canon "look" is better.

Edmund

I'd go for a D800, sigma 35mm f1.4, nikkor 85mm f1.4 or 1.8 depending on budget.

The 50mm is in fact more difficult. The Zeiss Makro 50mm f2.0 would be my recommendation if manual focus is ok, it will also give a macro capability to your kit.

Cheers,
Bernard

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MichaelEzra
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« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2013, 05:29:17 PM »
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Nikon 60mm AFS 2.8:
You can see a specific comparison I put together:
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=75271.0;attach=75587;image

The forum thread: http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=75271.40
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duane_bolland
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« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2013, 06:01:59 PM »
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I own several primes, but frankly I think a good zoom will meet your needs better.  The Canon 24-70 f/2.8 II is reportedly fabulous and rivals the quality of primes.  Primes are best for portraits and low-light work where a fast aperture is preferred.  For landscapes shot in the f/4 to f/11 range, a zoom is fine.  I think you will quickly tire of changing lenses for every shot and discovering that your sensor gets dirty faster too.  I own two bodies (5DII and 5DIII).  If I need the mid-ranges covered, I would have the 24-70 on one camera and the 85mm or 100mm macro on the other.  Alternatively, the 40mm is an awesome functional lens cap. I second Edmund's comment that the Canon 85mm f/1.2 is superb, but it isn't needed for landscapes.
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Josh-H
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« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2013, 07:03:23 PM »
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Quote
The Zeiss Makro 50mm f2.0 would be my recommendation if manual focus is ok, it will also give a macro capability to your kit.

Bernard and I do not often agree... Roll Eyes But this lens is really superb. So is the 21mm Zeiss. Since you can order them in Canon or Nikon mount you can choose your preferred body.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2013, 07:18:54 PM »
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the Nikon 85 1.4 is very sharp but doesn't look so good,

I almost fell from my chair when I read this puzzling comment... Wink

The looks of the Nikkor 85mm f1.4 AF-S are breathtaking. I shoot with this lens a lot recently for handheld street shooting (probably the lens I use the most in fact) and am always amazed by the colors and bokeh I get from it, besides the sharpness that is indeed superior to anything else in this category. Plus the AF is extremely accurate. Wink

It is also my prime lens for portrait together with the Profoto strobes and it shines here also.

Cheers,
Bernard

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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2013, 07:24:06 PM »
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Bernard and I do not often agree... Roll Eyes But this lens is really superb. So is the 21mm Zeiss. Since you can order them in Canon or Nikon mount you can choose your preferred body.

Hey Josh,

Yep, a real gem of a lens.

I may replace it by the Zeiss 55mm f1.4 in September though, that is if tests confirm its supposed superiority. That should be the only 50~mm lens to own for the next decades.

Cheers,
Bernard
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k bennett
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« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2013, 07:51:21 PM »
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Why full frame? For travel and family photography, the Fuji XE1 or the XPro1 with the 14/2.8, 35/1.4, and the 60/2.4 macro would make an excellent 3-lens travel kit. Add the 56/1.2 when it is released. Get the Milich grip with the built-in Arca-Swiss plate and a thumbs-up device for great handling and easy tripod use. The best part is that the entire kit will cost around $2500US with the current rebates.

Just like back in the film days, I have all kinds of camera formats and shoot them all -- full frame with the Canon primes (excellent quality but large and heavy), the Canon 1D Mark IV bodies -- 1.3x crop with the f/2.8 zooms (excellent quality but even heavier), a tiny Micro 4/3 kit, and now the Fuji system. I expect the Fujis will be my most used camera in the foreseeable future.

Good luck and happy shooting!

Ken
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Paulo Bizarro
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« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2013, 02:38:37 AM »
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I am surprised by the following: no one recommending the Leica, when the OP states that he prefers prime lenses? I thought Leica lenses were the reason to step into the system... that, and the rangefinder ethos. But of course, if you don't like using a rangefinder (or if you don't have deep pockets), then even Leica lenses will be useless to you.

So on to SLRs then. Others have discussed C vs. N; I use the Canon 6D, perfect FF for travelling light, and for landscapes, small (as SLRs go) and good sensor. I use it with a 25mm Zeiss lens, superb.

However, talking prime lenses, you should have a look at the Sony system (just to be able to use Zeiss glass), and the Pentax system. Pentax makes wonderful Limited Edition prime lenses that are second to none.
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Manoli
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« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2013, 03:11:21 AM »
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... the Fuji XE1 or the XPro1 with the 14/2.8, 35/1.4, and the 60/2.4 macro would make an excellent 3-lens travel kit. Add the 56/1.2 when it is released. Get the Milich grip with the built-in Arca-Swiss plate and a thumbs-up device for great handling and easy tripod use. The best part is that the entire kit will cost around $2500US with the current rebates.

Just like back in the film days, I have all kinds of camera formats and shoot them all ... and now the Fuji system. I expect the Fujis will be my most used camera in the foreseeable future.

I agree. I'm really surprised at the quality of files coming out of the X-E1. I use it with the Fuji 35 f1.4, and a variety of Leica M glass. Added to which the new Iridient Developer, released two days ago, seems to raise the bar yet again in regards to the quality of the files this new Fuji sensor produces. If you also consider the new firmware, due in july,  that adds Focus Peaking, you almost want for nothing. You have autofocus with the Fuji lenses, some excellent, others good but not in the same league, and manual focus with adapters for a variety lenses.

I have the Nikon 800, love it but for some reason I keep on reaching for the Fuji. Any thoughts of the new Leica M keep on fading.

Just my 2 cents ...

I may replace it by the Zeiss 55mm f1.4 in September though, that is if tests confirm its supposed superiority. That should be the only 50~mm lens to own for the next decades.

I'd second that. But from what I've seen and heard, though, the new lens is much larger, heavier and the improvements may only be marginal. The PR video from Zeiss was not entirely convincing. Better yes, hugely better ? wait and see.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2013, 03:35:29 AM by Manoli » Logged
Manoli
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« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2013, 03:26:18 AM »
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I am surprised by the following: no one recommending the Leica, when the OP states that he prefers prime lenses? I thought Leica lenses were the reason to step into the system... that, and the rangefinder ethos.

Just to add to my previous post, I use the X-E1 with a 1986 vintage 50mm Summicron. It clearly depends on your subject matter, but even that lens seems to produce excellent results on the x-trans sensor. No doubt one of the reasons is the reduced image circle of the lens on an APS-C sensor, but nevertheless still worth considering and these lenses can bought second hand in good condition. Yes the new ASPH Lux's are sharper but the Cron's shouldn't be disregarded.

If the preference is for wide-angles then of course the rationale changes ..
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tdom
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« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2013, 06:32:26 AM »
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Thank you all for your input so far! It seems it really depends on personal flavor, also if it's all about prime lenses.

One thing which suprises me is that noone stated for the Leica M-System... I know it's a different kind of photography since it's rangefinder (which I like) and MF, but I thought, Leica primes should be great lenses. Is it because RF-photography isn't viable for taking landscapes or travel-photos?
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PeterAit
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« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2013, 09:16:32 AM »
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This is so much a matter of personal preference! The D800 is the pixel-master, at least for now. For a 35mm lens you cannot beat the Sigma, and that works on all bodies. Can you try the various camera bodies, even if just in the store, to get a feel for how they fit your hand? But whichever you end up getting, you will have a really top-end system.
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Rob C
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« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2013, 10:06:32 AM »
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Thank you all for your input so far! It seems it really depends on personal flavor, also if it's all about prime lenses.

One thing which suprises me is that noone stated for the Leica M-System... I know it's a different kind of photography since it's rangefinder (which I like) and MF, but I thought, Leica primes should be great lenses. Is it because RF-photography isn't viable for taking landscapes or travel-photos?



No disrespect intended, but if you are asking questions like that, perhaps you'd be better gettng more photographic experience before you throw thousands at anything.

Rob C
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KLaban
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« Reply #15 on: June 27, 2013, 10:30:41 AM »
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No disrespect intended, but if you are asking questions like that, perhaps you'd be better gettng more photographic experience before you throw thousands at anything.

Wise words.
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NancyP
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« Reply #16 on: June 27, 2013, 11:31:45 AM »
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Which zooms do you have? Do you have "holes" to fill, or very specific uses for specific focal lengths? Reviewing your past photos, do you have a favorite focal length that you tend to use (check your EXIF in your editing program - some plug-ins will compile stats from Lightroom).

I will say that the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 is a great wide standard lens for full frame, a good value ($900.00) compared with its direct CaNikon competitors, and would take care of indoor family events nicely. Another excellent value manual focus lens is the Samyang 14mm f/2.8 - for ~$350.00. Fun! The Samyang does have an unofficial lens profile available for LR/PS (google it) - you will need it for both  the atrocious but inevitable vignetting and for the mustache distortion. Some third party lenses are so-so, some are really good.

Do you LIKE handling rangefinders better than SLRs? Could you deal with poor color high-ISO performance? Consider the Sigma DP Merrills with APS-C Foveon sensors (DP1M, 19mm equiv to 28 mm FF; DP2M, 30mm equiv to 45mm FF; DP3M, 50mm equiv to 75mm FF). These fixed lens cameras give spectacularly sharp images with color subtlety at ISO 100 to 400. The 1 and 2 are $800.00 each, and the 3 is $1,000.00 - if you want a (large) lightweight pocketable high image quality camera, check out the DP Merrill threads in the forum. The DP2M is my around-town camera and my camera for landscapes on day hikes.
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Telecaster
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« Reply #17 on: June 27, 2013, 02:04:46 PM »
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IMO if you don't have previous rangefinder camera experience, you'd be best off logging some time with one (rent or borrow) before making a decision. I love 'em--grew up w/ a Leica M2 and a 35/90mm combo, currently use an M6 TTL--but they're not everyone's cuppa tea.

Between Canon & Nikon SLRs, I'd opt for a Nikon 'cuz I prefer their handling and control layout. Again, you should try 'em both if at all possible and see which you like better. Both systems offer speedy 35/85mm combos, which is what I'd go for in a two-lens set. An alternate Nikon option would be the D7100 with 24 & 60mm lenses.

If Pentax made a 35mm-format D-SLR, I'd probably choose it instead along with the lovely 31 & 77mm LTD. lenses (which I already own). But that's a fantasy.

-Dave-
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Paulo Bizarro
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« Reply #18 on: June 28, 2013, 03:19:50 AM »
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Thank you all for your input so far! It seems it really depends on personal flavor, also if it's all about prime lenses.

One thing which suprises me is that noone stated for the Leica M-System... I know it's a different kind of photography since it's rangefinder (which I like) and MF, but I thought, Leica primes should be great lenses. Is it because RF-photography isn't viable for taking landscapes or travel-photos?

Hu, I did, in my first post...
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