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Author Topic: Recommendations for used M system lenses?  (Read 1864 times)
mshea
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« on: July 04, 2013, 10:56:54 PM »
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I'm moving away from Canon for my personal work (street photography, hiking, landscape, etc.). I just started working with a Fuji X Pro-1 and the Fuji 14mm, and may buy a couple of other Fuji lenses as an interim system until my name comes up on one of three different waiting lists for the Leica M240. Heaven knows how long that'll take!

I have one Leica lens: a 19mm f/2.8 R that may provide adequate quality on the 240 with the adaptor, but I'm not holding my breath. I doubt I'll have the money to invest in an array of Leica glass, even used. So I'm thinking Zeiss will have to fill the bill. I remember seeing various lists of folks' favorite M lenses, but I can't seem to locate them, now that I'm interested. I'd appreciate any links you might have handy, or your own recommendations. I'm also curious about the Voigtlander lineup. From what little I've read, it's outclassed by Zeiss, but basically I know zilch about it!

I'm mostly interested in primes, 21mm to 135mm, up to...$1500.00 or so per lens.

Thanks for any info you can offer!

Merrill
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AlfSollund
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« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2013, 05:49:22 AM »
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Its hard to not mention a 50mm. The Leica 50/2 is a very good value for money, great optical performance, ok bokeh. Some says it prone to flares, but I cannot understand that (using a hood). This lens also gives great performance on mirrorless cameraes. I also like the macro 90/4. Its really compact, and great optical performance. Also really great on mirrorless. Both these can be found reasonable SH. If you prefer a 50mm more for  "people" photos the Jupiter 3 50/1,5 can be a bargain with its softer rendering. And the similar Zeiss and CV should be great (see newly published reviews of the new CV 50mm).

Im also very impressed by the new 35/1,4 ASPH FLE, but I belive you will be hard pressed to get this for USD 1500?

If you are serious about moving from Fuji to M system I would not purchase Fuji but Leica for 35mm  and upwards since my understanding is that Leica or other legacy lenses with focal lenghts from 35mm and up will give good performance (as opposed to wides).

best of luck!
   
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Gary Mulcahey
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« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2013, 07:40:44 AM »
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I recently purchased a Monochrom. I didn't have any history with Leica so I needed lenses. I have been using Zeiss lenses for years so I purchased a couple of Zeiss primes for the Monochrom to get me going. The 50mm f2 Planar is an amazing lens and at reasonable price. Very sharp and well made. Good all around lens. It will not disappoint.

G
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JeanMichel
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« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2013, 10:54:05 AM »
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Hi,
You may wish to check the Leica users forum at http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-forum/
As with any online forum the information there varies from post to post but you can get a very good sense of what people who actually use particular lenses think or feel about them.
Personally I have been using an early 35 Summicron (with goggles), a 50 'rigid' Summicron -- and yes it can and does flare in some situations, a 21 CV, and a 135 Elmarit which is ok but not great with an M9, I guess that it would work better on the new M. I have used these lenses for decades on film M's and now an an M9.
Before moving to a M do note that you will lose all the advantages of camera automation: AF, stabilisations, etc. If you are happy working with your new Fuji you may get netter value with sticking with that system.
As for prints, and that is all that counts in the end, I can print up to 20 by 30 inches from my M9 files.
Check Michael Reichmann's reviews of the Fuji and M on this site.
Jean-<ichel
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Jim Kasson
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« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2013, 11:36:02 AM »
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I use the 18mm f/3.8 Elmar-M ASPH and the 24mm f/3.8 Elmar-M ASPH more than any others on my M9. They're about $3K new, so maybe a little more expensive than your target when used. You already have a 19, so start with the 24. Both are very sharp, and pretty well corrected, if slow (but slow is what makes them cheap, well, cheap for Leica).

Jim
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Telecaster
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« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2013, 04:18:04 PM »
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IME the modern Zeiss M lenses will more than "fill the bill." I have the 21/2.8, 35/2 & 50/2...all very, very good. The 85/2 is a wonderful lens but discontinued and out of your specified range price-wise even secondhand. (I've used one...wish I owned it.)

With Cosina's Voigtlander lineup...depends on the lens. The 15/4.5 has a fun focal length and is a decent though not great performer. But it is 15mm... The 28/2 is pretty darn good but not a focal length I'm crazy about on 35mm format. I've never used the new-ish 35/1.4 but I understand it's based on the first Leitz 35 Summilux. If so it should be soft wide open with plentiful coma artifacting, but much better from f/2 on down. (I miss my 35 Lux...never shoulda sold it.) The only CV 50 I own is the discontinued f/3.5 Heliar, which is deadly sharp. I remember Michael liked the 12/5.6 back in the film days, and from what I've seen (not firsthand) it's a better performer than the 15 in front of electronic sensors.

I second the 50/1.5 Soviet Jupiter-3 recommendation. Wide open you can get a lovely halation effect around highlights and pleasing detail softening for portraits. Stop it down, though, and it turns into a sharp & crisp performer. I use mine on Olympus OM-D5 and Fuji X-E1 cams, along with a set of 1950s-era Zeiss diopters, for closeup work.

-Dave-
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mshea
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« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2013, 05:26:10 PM »
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Thanks so much for all your input! I'll keep my eye out for a used Leica Summicron 35 f/2 ASPH. From what I've read so far, it seems like one hell of a lens.

Merrill
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wosim
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« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2013, 11:22:47 AM »
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If you like, you can look here and you will find reviews to nearly every M-mount lens:

https://sites.google.com/site/wosimsphotography/links-testberichte-reviews

There are so many, that it won't make your decision easier ... Wink
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shadowblade
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« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2013, 04:06:48 AM »
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I'd also consider the Canon TS-E 17 and TSE-24 - they're super-sharp, give you functionality you won't get with any other lens, and you can attach them using an adapter.
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KLaban
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« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2013, 07:24:21 AM »
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I'd also consider the Canon TS-E 17 and TSE-24 - they're super-sharp, give you functionality you won't get with any other lens, and you can attach them using an adapter.

?

Attach them to what? They have no aperture ring. How do you use them on a Leica M?
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JohnBrew
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« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2013, 07:34:04 AM »
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If you are looking for a used 50 Cron, do your homework as there are many varieties, plus the fact while different sites refer to ver.3 or 4, they are referring to the same lens. However, the version I always liked was the ver. 4 as per Stephen Gandy's site. Another recommendation for the Zeiss 50 Planar as I see nothing but good stuff from this lens on the Leica Users Forum. Many users like the Voigtlander's, but they are cursed with sample variation and decentering so you may have to try several copies to get a good one. Sean Reid has a pay site with evaluations of all these lenses.
Good luck in your search.
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shadowblade
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« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2013, 10:15:59 PM »
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?

Attach them to what? They have no aperture ring. How do you use them on a Leica M?

You can buy adapters with aperture control.
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KLaban
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« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2013, 03:44:47 AM »
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You can buy adapters with aperture control.

I'd be grateful if you could you point me towards a link to EOS to M adapters with aperture control.

The only person I know who is using the Canon TS-E lenses on the M using an adapter has to set the aperture on another camera then removes the lens and attaches it to the M. Not a workflow to be recommended.
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Rob C
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« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2013, 04:34:00 AM »
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I'd be grateful if you could you point me towards a link to EOS to M adapters with aperture control.

The only person I know who is using the Canon TS-E lenses on the M using an adapter has to set the aperture on another camera then removes the lens and attaches it to the M. Not a workflow to be recommended.



Sounds like a lot of expensive work with no flow!

;-)

Rob C
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mcbroomf
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« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2013, 11:33:13 AM »
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I'm partial to the 50mm dual range 'cron.  I started using it on Nex before the Hawks style adapters came out to get closer focusing.  Bear this in mind if you like to get close to your subject as RF lenses generally don't focus so closely.  The Hawks style helicoid adapters are very useful but will add some cost when used on your Fuji.  The 18mm ZM is stunning although slightly outside the range you asked about.  Caveat is that I've only used them on Nex, not an M so I don't know what their edges are like on FF.

For EF lenses there are smart adapters (Metabones and DEO sold by MX), but so far only for Nex, not Fuji.  I can't see how an EF adapter could be made for an M unless it has it's own power source.
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Mike Broomfield
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