Wow. Sometimes I forget how lucky we are on GetDPI to have more-often-than-not civilized conversations with differences-in-tastes taken into consideration and appreciation for when someone puts information out into the community.
Reading through the immature, unappreciative, dismissive banter on Range Finder Forum nearly made me sick to my stomach.
GetDPI may have ties to "Dante's Inferno". But RFF is truly a descent into hell.
what doug said - the air is so much clearer here than at RFF or FM.
Thanks Jono for the heads up, I didn't know the video existed and just watched it.
Just some personal thoughts.. which is very likely completely wrong, so I'll disclaim it first Peter Karbe strikes me as someone who's only interests is in the tech/optics side of the business and wouldn't care much as to how the lens is marketed or priced. To him, he simply want to build a better lens than what's already out there.
After a few days of digestion, I think I now have a different view of the MM and the APO Summicron. If we think of the levels of equipments as a ladder, then naturally each person should climb and pick the equipment best fit for their own level. IMO, Leica is simply extending the ladder here. If you use M9P, shoot BW only, and find it to be limiting sometimes, here is hopefully a better tool to extend the limitations, at a similar price. If you feel the "need" for an APO 50mm that can act like an Summilux given the increase in ISO sensitivity, here you go.
People who don't feel limited by their equipments simply has no need for these gears so no point in complaining about the price or functions. Increments of technology at the high level will likely be small and expensive, so people who wants it will probably find a way to justify it. It's just not realistic to think that Leica should build it and price it so everyone should and could buy one. Since I'm already over-reaching my ladder by getting a M9, I simply applaud them for expanding the range of what's possible, should I need it in the future.
My journey into Leica: LeicaLux.com1 Member(s) liked this post
Well, I don't think the lens was built for this particular camera/sensor only. I've read so much that I don't remember where all the information comes from anymore... but someone did said that this lens is paired with this camera because of the new resolution the sensor is capable and it'll really show off in the image. If it's inception was really from 16 years ago, I would guess that APO was an added bonus of the design, and perhaps useful when M10 is released in later months.
edit: doh, it was from the video... "This lens will of course only reach peak performance in conjunction with the M9 Monochrome because it has the resolution, and the entire imaging chain is so lossless, that it's only then that the performance of the lens comes across."
For my part - I have doubts that there can be enough IQ advantage in the new 50 asph Summicron over existing 50mm lenses to convince ME to spend this amount of money, even I have no doubt that it will be the best 50mm lens. I have the feeling that for "absolute" IQ I would rather use MF (in my case S2), and that for using the M9 I am pretty happy with the IQ I can get from a 50 Summilux or Summarit. And for that amount of money I rather like to have the "special effects" of the Noctilux.
But ....maybe I will change my mind after having seen the first images with this lens. And I have to say I do like that Leica is brave enough to present a lens like this.
In that sense it's a very good thing but in another, I think he's missing part of a Leica user segment that likes and looks for character in their lenses. Whether this "character" or "look" is caused by intentional lens design or by happenstance, due to aberrations, isn't the point of my comments. The technical perfect optics are ideal for most S2 users, as the majority of them aren't using it for street photography, although for portrait work, I can see some character injected into a particuclar S2 lens, could be a desirable feature.
With regards to the M system, character (or the way a lens "draws") is a big plus for some. A higher resolution M10 may indeed require lenses like the new 50mm APO to take advantage of its new sensor, yet many cannot get away from the fact that the M body is simply used as a vehicle to choose their canvas brush (the lens) to paint their picture. Many have felt recent Leica lens releases have been "near" technically perfect but that perfection has come with a price...namely loss of character. I've heard it from many. Even the amazing 35mm Lux asph FLE has its distractors, due to the sometimes less than pleasing bokeh thats can be provoked in some situations when shooting with that lens.
I think Leica is missing a wonderful opportunity by not designing a line of M lenses that focus on the way a lens draws, or maybe a line of lenses with specific designed character in mind, and advertises these as such. Doesn't mean they can't have their technically perfect lenses, but if that's the only direction they will take, I feel sooner then later, the resulting images their cameras produce are all going to look similar. It's not unlike what Nikon has done with many of their recent f1.4 glass or Zeiss 35mm SLR lenses. The look of each respective line of lenses look very similar except for focal length...but thats OK, since they often are used for styles of photography different than M systems users. As soome have hinted about....with lenses like the new 50mm AA and a higher resolution M10...we'll have essentually a mini S2 (or S3) and except for file sizes, images from both will all look the same? I think some M users would like that but an equal number wouldn't.
What does this all have to do with the M9M camera we're discussing in this thread? It has to do with the lens choices used with the M9M. I believe those into 35mm B&W photography (film or digital) are more than most, concerned with the "look" of many of their images they capture, as much as ultimate edge to edge sharpness and resolving power. Although many legacy lenses are available, I think a line of new lenses designed to perform well on a digital rangefinder in terms of low CA etc., but concentrating on their design to have an identifiable signature, so that the way it "draws" and the ultimate character of the image it takes...may be very desirable lenses to extend the already noted advantages of shooting B&W with the M9M.
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So I guess I had it backward... it's not the lens that show off the sensor, it's more like the sensor is showing off the lens' resolution. Yay... no need to buy this with an M9! Kind of scary... does this mean when the M10 arrives with undoubtedly higher resolution, we can expect a rework of all the lenses at $5000 above their current price?
Look at 50 mm: The Summarit with a more classical drawing, the Summilux with a very warm, smooth, "alive" drawing, the Noctilux with a special drawing wide open. And now the new Summicron with (my guess) a ore neutral high resoltion drawing. What else can one wish?
Plus you have the option to usee alll kinds of old glass, Zeiss glass, CV glass etc etc.
I also can not see how the S-lenses would not have any character, just because they offer high resolution.
I agree, the Leica lenses you mentioned still have character, even though they are of modern design....but I also see a trend with many recent Leica M lens releases....and that is technical perfection above all else. The 75mm cron, the new 50mm Cron APO (although we still have to see what images from it are like), the new 21mm f3.4 and most notably the new 35mm Lux asph FLE are just a few examples. The current 50mm Lux asph although having maybe less character than the pre asph, does have a signature than many identfy with. It's just a recent trend in my opinion and I've heard it said by others. Again its all very subjective...no right or wrong and it depends on one's intended use.
I think it's actually possible to achieve a number of these goals in a single design...one that is of high resolution, superb sharpness across the frame, yet is specifically designed to have a readily identfiable character, one that many will find attractive for certain types of imagery...whether it be B&W, street or reportage photgraphy or some others. If it wasn't for the last generation 35mm Lux asph (pre FLE) exhibiting focus shift along with maybe a bit too much field curvature (yielding to slightly soft edges)...some might say a lens like this had many of those desirable traits...or maybe the current 50mm Lux asph, which may lean on the side of technical perfection but neverless some feel still draws a lovely image. I'd put the currrent 28mm Crom in much the same catagory as the current 50mm Lux asph.
It may not be a surprise that some have traded in their 35mm Lux asph FLE for the current VC 35mm f1.2...simply to get back some of the character and nice bokeh along with its indentifiable fingerprint, that some felt was lost with the technically superior and near perfect 35mm Lux asph FLE.
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Reminds me of the Stieglitz school of photography departing from the portrait school back in, what, 1902?
I can't tell you how much I disagree. The Mandler lenses are lovely, but there are a lot of truths around which need to be examined. I give you two examples
1. The 35 cron IV is the bokeh king
Just like the new FLE it sometimes gets it badly wrong
2. The 75 'cron APO is too clinical
Spend an hour with one and you'll appreciate it's organic and delicate character.
I've spent a lot of time and a lot of money trying differente eras of lenses, and I've come to the conclusion that the modern lenses have a consistency and character that cannot be matched. Of course this is my opinion, and I fully appreciate that some may prefer the older lenses. But there's no need to qualify this preference by accusing the modern lenses of lacking character.
I've spent an hour with the new summicron, and I've seen a bunch of images (by better photographers than me ) printed to 6ft. it's gorgeous. Not because it's sharp, but because it's gorgeous! I've been kidnapping grannies all over Norfolk to sell so that I can buy one!
The new lenses are probably more technically perfect. But this doesn't necessarily imply a loss of character.
(or you could assume that, having spent so much on modern lenses "he would say that wouldn't he"
Just this guy you know
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You're so right. It's lovely here, and I so much appreciate the responses I've had. It definitely feels like home. (thank you again everbody)
Of course, if you put yourself out there you have to be prepared for a slappin'. I've been there before, and I understand the deal. Doesn't make it more comfortable though. Of course, I realise my own limitations, but it's nicer to keep it to oneself.
I console myself with private critiques of the detracter's images which I share with the boss one example was:
"cliched,shallow and sexist images of women which don't even have the courage to be raunchy"
So another big thank you to everyone here for being fantastic and civilised!
Just this guy you know
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Say Jono... so when you take a vacation this summer... can I tag along?
My journey into Leica: LeicaLux.com2 Member(s) liked this post
I also think the type and quality of light plays a huge role in what is often subscribed as "lens character" ... not to mention the hugh variance in opinions regarding what constitutes good "bokeh."
At least there is something out there for most everyone's tastes.
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The 90 f2.8 is the only non ASPH lense I have. I love it. The fan painter shots on the website were all taken with it.
As for Bokeh. Stir lighting, personal preference, subject matter and focal length into the mix, and it's hard to get to any real truth.
All the best
Just this guy you know
I understand the argument is apples to oranges and I'm sure they will develop a future lens shortage with this lens as well. I'd like to have one possibly but it would have to wait until after other pending purchases.
Priolite Ambassador | Sony Visible Light & IR Photographer
Just looked at three Summicrons: The Infrared Focus Index for the original Summicron is within the F2 Depth of Field marks. The Collapsible Summicron-M and original Rigid Summicron do not have an IR Index, I assume it might be even better than the 1952 (below SN 1M) lens that has it.
so Summicrons did not have very far to go to be APO.
The original Summicron might be the perfect match for an M9M. Slightly Yellowed. Looks great on B&W film. Mine has been to Focalpoint.
isn't the idea of the apo to bring a full(er) spectrum of wavelengths into focus at the same focus setting? and therefore it doesn't matter if the sensor is color blind
In any case I agree with you Marc...the 50mm Lux asph is a modern lens that has both character and near flawless optical characteristics. Additionally like yourself and jono, I too love the 90mm f2.8 Elmarit-M...it produces some incredably lovely images.
It was with certain lenses that were released most recently that I (and some others) felt were becoming too technically perfect compared to having a readily identifying signature. I partially agree with this in some cases and not in others. I'm on the fence regarding the 75mm Cron..but maybe thats after using the 75mm Lux and realizing that the latter has an overabundence amount of character yet when shot even a stop down from max. aperture, can hold it begins to hold its own with some of the best out there. It's this dual character than some miss with lenses that are near perfect from the get-go.
Again subjectivitiy plays a prominant role.
Last edited by D&A; 15th May 2012 at 04:11.
The lower-contrast lenses that are highly corrected, such as the Summar, Summitar, Summarit, and early Summicrons should be interesting on this camera. Highly color-corrected for fine detail, low-contrast to compress the intensity range of the scene being recorded.
On a humorous note: I have a lens that was $40,000 to fabricate- 30 years ago. It was corrected so that all of the bundles of light that entered the lens would stike the image plane in phase, all traveled through the lens in the same amount of time. It was used in an optical computer.
Not wanting to interfere with this excellent discussion I am reluctant to ask the following question about a very minor aspect of the MM: will it have the sapphire screen of the M9-P?
Leica (and hasselblad) distinguish a few of their lenses, but not all, as apochromats. The 75mm cron and the 250 apo (blad) come to mind. all their lenses are corrected for chromatic aberration as well. anyone comment on the difference?
Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish lens designations.
For example, some Zeiss 35mm manual focus lenses for the Contax 35mm cameras had floating elements to correct near focus, but never advertised the fact, nor used it as a marking on the lens like FLE on other Zeiss lenses.
My Sony 70-200/2.8G is designated as an APO optic:
Sony SAL-70200G Zoom AF 70-200mm f/2.8 APO G(D) SSM SAL70200G
No designation on the lens to confirm that.
I also have some special UV lenses made by Zeiss. One of them, an UV-Planar 62/2 is corrected from 220nm to 1000nm which make it a bit more APO than the 250mm Hassy Sonnar.
In comparison, makers like Sigma, Rodenstock and Schneider use APO designations as they wish and they are in a league of their own as well.
Leica's first APO (that I know) lens, the 180/3.4 Telyt is the first to use the low dispersion fluorite (again that I know of) and such. A true APO lens.
Achromat, Apochromat, Superachromat - What is the Difference?
long story short:
achromat: basic chromatic aberration is controlled by lens element design and brings most wavelenghts into focus (primary spectrum)
apochromat: the next level, done by special fluorites, (glass composition), etc. gets rid of the secondary spectrum (what did not get precisely focused by the above). the Leica 75 apo-cron
superachrormat: even more, specifically important for longer focal lengths, like the blad 250 and 350 superachromats
Last edited by jlm; 15th May 2012 at 06:03.
A very knowledgeable and literate dicussion by photographers whose talents and experience far exceeds mine. I mean this very sincerely.
However, I am just a simple snap shooter, who is lucky to possess some of the lenses being discussed here.
My take is a very simple one. I just use a lens. I like it or not.
" When I heard the learn'd astronomer,
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,
When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them,
When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectures with much applause in the lecture room,
How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,
Till rising and gliding out I wander'd off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look'd up in perfect silence at the stars."
Whitman; By the roadside.
Between Friends3 Member(s) liked this post
Still working on that 24 exposure roll. I'd forgotten just how heavy a Nikon F was. Swapped to the 85mm f/1.8 for a bit. It is a lovely old beast but damn heavy. So one driver for me in obtaining a Leica MM would be that it weighs in at a bit less than my B&W film camera ... ;-)
Actually, I saw a report yesterday that if the MM is successful, Leica is considering a Monochrom version of the X2. Now that would be just right ... an X2M with optical viewfinder or EVF would be almost irresistible.
Godfrey - GDGPhoto Flickr Stream
Just a note on lens character and preference:
When the 50mm f/1.4 ASPH was introduced, the internet screamed and yelled that it was harsh and had rough bokeh. It was "clinical" and overpriced (at 2500 or so). Now people are saying it has character and nice bokeh and it is sharp without being harsh etc. I have had the lens the whole time, and I don't think it has changed with age!
On the matter of the 35/1.4 ASPH versus the 35mm f/1.4 FLE, I think apart from their shifting patterns, pretty much anyone would be hard pressed to tell them apart without rigorous testing. You might THINK you can tell them apart, but I have a feeling double blind testing that accounted for sample variation would rule that out pretty fast. Again, I could be wrong, but I don't have a big stake in the game...I sold the ASPH for the FLE, and they look identical to me. I don't feel cheated, as I sold it to fix the focus shift, and it does that brilliantly.
Finally, on the matter of the 75/2 and 75/1.4, I also have both...got the 75/2 when it came out with the intention of comparing and selling the one I liked better, but I did not want to part with either. Above f/4, I don't think you will be able to tell them apart...at least not in most situations. The 75/1.4 obviously has a crazy look wide open and until about f/2.5, while the 75/2 handles much better and has visibly better optical performance at f/2 to f/4.
Overall, I think the main thing is to choose what you like! I don't think Leica is going to make any lenses for "character" alone, since what it means varies so greatly to different people. I think Leica has mostly made the lenses as optically perfect as they can for their history. This involves some aesthetic choices in balancing aberrations, but as technology has advanced, more aberrations can be corrected and the lenses keep getting optically better and better. If you LIKE aberrations (they can be nice!), then the thing to do is use any of the older lenses that work on an M...around 80 years worth of choice now. Pick the period you like. Personally, I don't think a technically perfect lens can be regarded as harsh...at least not unless the reality it is transmitting is harsh. If you use a perfect lens on a delicate scene, you are going to get a delicate picture. The lens is just the window to the scene you are trying to show...if you want that scene to be softer, then you need some curtains! Old lenses, vaseline, softars...there are lots of options.
And what is character? Do old lenses have more character because they look more like the great photos of the past? Did the photographers of the sixties and seventies lament the lack of character in their lenses, so unlike the ones in the 30s and 40s? I mostly use the modern Leica designs as they have what I would consider a pleasing character...they perform very well and do not do anything unduly distracting from the photo.
Sometimes I will use other lenses if I feel like it will serve a purpose. For example, here's a softy taken with a 1960s Canon 35/1.8 on the M9:
But on another day, on wanted a more neutral representation of the scene, so I chose a modern Leica lens:
I shoot a lot of cage fighting and sports images with it. It's really my one Leica lens that I feel I can't replicate with anything else.
The new Noct is fascinating but, to me, ultimately uninvolving.
The current 50 'lux looks lovely but I can't see replacing my Noct with it so I think I will be forever unfulfilled.
My least favorite is my 75 'cron APO.
I have spent a lot more than one hour with it.
I find it uninteresting and dull. My Nikon 85 f/1.4 on my D3x is far better, in my opinion of course.
I may get a 75 'lux just so I have at least one lens longer than 50 mm for my M9 that I like.
I always respect your opinion but I do feel there is more than a kernel of truth to the old saw about Mandler lenses having more character.
As an aside, I have been shooting Leica RF's since I was 9 years old. I still use the same IIIa that I shot with then. But the new 50'cron has me thinking I may be reaching the end of the line with Leica glass.
In my last exhibition I had one image that was printed over 100 inches long. I shot it handheld in the studio with my D3x and Nikon 24mm f/1.4. I had plenty of resolution and people could get quite close. If I need more I can get a D800E.
It is going to be hard to see where $7,000 standard lenses and, probably, $15,000 exotic lenses fit into my workflow. For the studio, I prefer my Nikon. For action, I don't need that kind of resolution, not to mention my focus is never EXACTLY perfect with rapidly moving subjects. Therefore, much of the benefit of the new super lenses would probably be lost.
My Leica action photos would benefit far more from a camera with a decent buffer, better high ISO and a modern LCD.
If the M10 does all that I will get one.
But, Leica glass may be reaching the point where it doesn't help me.
Also of note, my Olympus EM5 has recently replaced my M9 as my light weight but high quality travel camera.
Anyway, just musing.
All the best,
Fashion meets Fighting
April 2012 – Bill Fulcher |
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The last lens that I used on the M9 was an uncoated 5cm f2 Sonnar from 1935. Last night I modified it to focus to 0.75m, RF coupled. I really want to see what these lenses do on an M9M.
The M9-M on steroids.....
This Amazing Camera Can Capture Both the Sun and the Stars In Broad Daylight
I enjoyed reading much of what you wrote and of course it's all very subjective. The one statement I personally and respectfully would disagree with is your feelings, about the differences (or lack thereof) of the image charateristics of the 35mm Lux asph (pre FLE) vs current FLE version. For myself, I felt image wise these lenses were worlds apart until approx f4.5-5.6 . In fact I and a couple of aquantences actually did very carefully controlled double blind tests and all of us could pick which images went with each lens. We had three pre FLE lenses to test against a FLE lens. This is aside from focus shift of the pre FLE which indeed as you mentioned, was brilliantly fixed with it's successor.
Ask 100 Leica users about lenses and I suspect one will get close to 100 different opinions...much like ones favorite flavor of ice cream. All good indeed!
Last edited by D&A; 18th May 2012 at 04:17.
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Thanks Dave. Of course, if you see a difference, I believe you. But is it really "world's apart"? The lenses have essentially the same optical formula...if we are talking ice cream here, it's less like a different ice cream flavor rather than one being in a cone and one being in a cup! Anyway, I agree with you in principal that you ask 100 people and you get 100 answers. I just think sometime's people's passions override their logic in their comparisons of lenses...you build up a lot of fondness for lenses through working with them over the years, and there is the tendency to overstate some of the differences at times, especially since these differences are often hard to measure, difficult to accurately compare across two lenses, and largely governed by personal preference anyway...
The M9M is a true monochrome camera. The information coming off of the CCD and stored in the files is monochrome. JPEG allows for grey-scale images, as does BMP and others. When looking at the created images on an RGB screen, on your computer it is necessary to take the single pixel value from the grey-scale image and replicate it in the RGB planes of the Video card for display. This is of course true for all grey-scale images that you view on a color screen.
Would yo buy a B&W only 16 BIT M9 ? - Rangefinderforum.com
Near the end, I called Kodak about making a monochrome CCD to replace the one in the M9, they said they could. Roger asked at Photokina about making a Monochrome M9.
Would yo buy a B&W only 16 BIT M9 ? - Page 7 - Rangefinderforum.com
What amazes me- Look at the Poll results of the 2+ year old RFF survery and the one on the Leica forum, taken after the camera was introduced.
Survey: Your opinion about the new LEICA M MONOCHROM - Leica User Forum