Site Sponsors
Results 1 to 29 of 29

Thread: Leica-R lens recommendations

  1. #1
    Senior Member HiredArm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Texas/California/North Carolina
    Posts
    2,341
    Post Thanks / Like

    Leica-R lens recommendations

    With the possibility of using R lenses on the new M I was curious about recommendations on the better R lenses to collect if I see them locally for a great price before the prices jump too much. I didn't really get into the thought of owning Leica until right before the R was discontinued and I was still coming from an autofocus and superzoom out of convenience mindset at that time.

    I pretty much have 24-90 covered already in M lenses (or 35-135 when adapted to the NEX.) A decent zoom or two and a few longer primes would be welcomed though.
    Sony A7 | Sony A7R-FS | 25 Distagon Batis FE | 35 Nokton II | 35 Distagon FE | 55 Sonnar FE | 85 Sonnar Batis FE | 135 Sonnar Alpha | Panasonic G1 | Panasonic 14-45

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    463
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Leica-R lens recommendations

    The APO 180mm/3.4 is both light and sharp.

  3. #3
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    22,121
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1941

    Re: Leica-R lens recommendations

    Don't yell this one to loud the R19 latest version is very good. If you want extremely sharp 90 cron. The 180 apo 2.8 is also very very good.

    Cheap zoom 35-70 F4
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  4. #4
    Senior Member HiredArm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Texas/California/North Carolina
    Posts
    2,341
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Leica-R lens recommendations

    cool... They just happen to have a used 90 cron and 35-70 at the local shop in pretty good condition. I can get both for about $800... Shhhhh...
    Sony A7 | Sony A7R-FS | 25 Distagon Batis FE | 35 Nokton II | 35 Distagon FE | 55 Sonnar FE | 85 Sonnar Batis FE | 135 Sonnar Alpha | Panasonic G1 | Panasonic 14-45

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    306
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    110

    Re: Leica-R lens recommendations

    FYI - THE 90 Cron is the Asph-Apo version and it's usually around $3K used. Consider also the V2 90 Elmarit - excellent performer and a good price used. Possibly better than the pre-Asph/Apo Cron. Also the f4 version of the 35-70 is said to be significantly better than the f3.5 version. Benroy just sold one at a good price here recently.

  6. #6
    Senior Subscriber Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    405
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Leica-R lens recommendations

    Since you're covered with M lens from 24-90, you may want to consider the 100 APO and 180 APO to cover the tele end. The 80-200/4 is also an option to consider.

  7. #7
    Subscriber & Workshop Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    1,178
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    414

    Re: Leica-R lens recommendations

    Here is the list of Leica R lenses that aren't very good:
    Likes 4 Member(s) liked this post

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Uppsala, Sweden
    Posts
    185
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Leica-R lens recommendations

    The 80-200/4 is great if f/4 is ok for your use, especially at 100-180mm. The minimum focusing distance is a closer than most primes, which of course is nice for close ups.
    Magnus Johansson
    M9-P, EM-5, RX100, Rolleiflex MX

  9. #9
    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Jupiter FL/Atlanta GA
    Posts
    2,123
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Leica-R lens recommendations

    The very best R glass are the 90/100/180/2.8 /280/4 APO . They are expensive only the 100/2.8APO is below $3K . (assuming you are desiring to not overlap the M glass below 90). These are the 4 lenses that you should never sell.

    Two that are really good values are 90/2.8 Elmarit (last version) and the 180/2.8 67MM pre apo . The 180/3.4APO is a great lens but its set up for distance and not easy to use for say portraits .

    The three summiluxes that have superb character and are loved by most R users are the 35/50(60mm version) and the 80/1.4. These overlap with the M and if I was using an M I would prefer the M glass.

    Lens in the 100-180 wil be the most sought after by the new M users .

  10. #10
    Super Duper
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    10,741
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2

    Re: Leica-R lens recommendations

    Look for the Tamron adaptall adapter for R mount.

  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    62
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Leica-R lens recommendations

    I am looking to use R lenses on my new D800E.

    Which are the best for wider angles and "normal" focal lengths.
    I have read great debate regarding, for example, the summicron vs
    the summilux 50 mm, and varying reports on the elmarit 28mm
    and the elmarit 35mm.

    I realize that a lot depends on personal "style" and the type of photography. I work in abstract, landscape, "fine art" and NOT portraits/wedding. I
    really appreciate bokeh and the micro-contrast, 3-D, natural color
    rendition.

    I deeply appreciate the opinions of the readers in this blog. THANK YOU

  12. #12
    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Jupiter FL/Atlanta GA
    Posts
    2,123
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Leica-R lens recommendations

    The D800E is a stiff test of any lens . You will notice differences that may not be apparent in sensors with fewer MP (like say the D700 or even the 5D2 ). E Puts has been the authority on the R glass and describes each lens in more detail than most need.

    The summiluxes 35/50/80 are best know for the aesthetic they produce . Sharp in the center with nice micro contrast and smooth bokeh . The 50/1.4 60mm version has the strongest overall IQ but all three are well thought of especially for environmental portraits . There are better alternatives for the subjects you favor.

    The summicrons 35/50/90 have a classic Leica look .. a good all around balance and not many issues if stopped down to f4 -f8 . The 90APO is exceptional ..the pre apo is sought more for character . The 35/50 are both very strong especially stopped down .

    The elmarits are a mixed bag ....almost depends on age . The newest 19/28 are best in class optics ...the 24 is not . Never heard anything great about the 35. The 60/2.8 is well regarded as is the newest 90 . 135 not so much .

    I kept all my APO telephotos but sold off my less than 90mm group except for the 50 and 80 summiluxes . I would really like to have the latest 19 and 28 elmarits for use on the D800E . However Zeiss has great lenses in this range at about half the cost . The one I miss is the 35/2 ZF.2 .

  13. #13
    Senior Member HiredArm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Texas/California/North Carolina
    Posts
    2,341
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Leica-R lens recommendations

    Thanks for all the responses. I wouldn't mind a 80 Summilux if I can find one at a decent price and a 19 Elmarit as well if I could find one. Other than that I was looking for stuff longer than 90mm outside the potential of a walk around zoom like the 28-90.
    Sony A7 | Sony A7R-FS | 25 Distagon Batis FE | 35 Nokton II | 35 Distagon FE | 55 Sonnar FE | 85 Sonnar Batis FE | 135 Sonnar Alpha | Panasonic G1 | Panasonic 14-45

  14. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Kihei, Maui
    Posts
    97
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Leica-R lens recommendations

    I had the same thoughts regarding R lenses for the new M (I put one of order). I did some internet research and read my copy of Put's Leica Compendium and decided, for the price, performance, and focal length range to get a late model 80-200/4 R Vario Elmar. The MTF looks decent especially towards the long end. This new M sure opens up possibilities!

  15. #15
    sheikh
    Guest

    Re: Leica-R lens recommendations

    28 to 90 mm asph.

  16. #16
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    71
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Leica-R lens recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by HiredArm View Post
    With the possibility of using R lenses on the new M I was curious about recommendations on the better R lenses to collect if I see them locally for a great price before the prices jump too much. I didn't really get into the thought of owning Leica until right before the R was discontinued and I was still coming from an autofocus and superzoom out of convenience mindset at that time.

    I pretty much have 24-90 covered already in M lenses (or 35-135 when adapted to the NEX.) A decent zoom or two and a few longer primes would be welcomed though.
    Unfortunately, prices are already very high, overinflated for some R lenses. I do not think M240 would affect prices much, like Nikon, canon and m4/3 adopters did.

    I have used R lenses using both DMR and D800e. In my humble opinion, none of them are superior to what the M lenses offer in the 21-90mm range. As suggested by others, the 100 , 180 Apo may be worth trying, but having said that I cannot imagine many practical situations where you would use them. I am also at a loss to understand the excitement to buy R lenses at their current prices to be able to use on the M. If you really want to take advantage of these long lenses, the Nikon D800/e is a whole lot better option.

  17. #17
    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Jupiter FL/Atlanta GA
    Posts
    2,123
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Leica-R lens recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by sven View Post
    Unfortunately, prices are already very high, overinflated for some R lenses. I do not think M240 would affect prices much, like Nikon, canon and m4/3 adopters did.

    I have used R lenses using both DMR and D800e. In my humble opinion, none of them are superior to what the M lenses offer in the 21-90mm range. As suggested by others, the 100 , 180 Apo may be worth trying, but having said that I cannot imagine many practical situations where you would use them. I am also at a loss to understand the excitement to buy R lenses at their current prices to be able to use on the M. If you really want to take advantage of these long lenses, the Nikon D800/e is a whole lot better option.
    Agree 100% . When comparing the R glass to the M ....the R lenses that stand out start with the 100APO/180/2.8APO/280/4APO . In the 90 and below I would pick the M version everytime . This doesn t mean that there are not great lenses in the R line (previously discussed ) but just that they are not "better " than the M and of course don t couple to the RF (plus they are bigger and will not balance as well ).

    I ve converted the 19/28/50.1/4/80/100 to use on the D800E and could not be happier ..especially for street shooting at night where having a run from 1600 thru 6400 ISO is common .

    I see the use of R glass on the new M as an extension of the M capabilities ...having a 180 for example provides enough reach to just add the lens to my travel kit .

    Of course if you are looking for a zoom or macro capability then the R glass can provide a alternative with a similar aesthetic and IQ to your M lenses .

    Finding good quality R lenses without paying inflated Hong Kong prices is a neat trick . I am still looking for a 35/1.4 R and generally I never have to look more than a few weeks .

  18. #18
    Member Seascape's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    217
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Leica-R lens recommendations

    Agree with what most people are saying about using M lenses below 90mm, I have held onto my 100, and 180 Apo's and I'm really looking forward to using them on the new M.

    However I am still concerned about letting my 80 Summilux go, I just love it's rendering.
    Yes the 75 Lux is pretty much the same lens, but I just think the 80 is a very special lens......I highly recommend it
    Likes 2 Member(s) liked this post

  19. #19
    Member Chris Barrett's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    176
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Leica-R lens recommendations

    The Leica-R's are fetching big dollars as many cinematographers are gobbling them up. I have the Summiluxes 35/50/80 that I found on eBay in like new condition. I love them, especially the 80 for portraits.

  20. #20
    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Jupiter FL/Atlanta GA
    Posts
    2,123
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Leica-R lens recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by Seascape View Post
    Agree with what most people are saying about using M lenses below 90mm, I have held onto my 100, and 180 Apo's and I'm really looking forward to using them on the new M.

    However I am still concerned about letting my 80 Summilux go, I just love it's rendering.
    Yes the 75 Lux is pretty much the same lens, but I just think the 80 is a very special lens......I highly recommend it
    The 80 lux was one of the few R lenses I haven t considered selling . It handles like a dream on the D800E as I am sure it would on the new M . The open question for the new M will be ..if you had an informal portrait shoot ..would you prefer the EVF to a RF . Seems like focus peaking works particularly well when focusing on a leading eye . Then if you had both the 80R and the 75M which would you use (this is more about handling as I believe Puts that they are essentially the same formula ). So I think you could make an argument that the 80R maybe preferred .

  21. #21
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    264
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Leica-R lens recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    ..... I've converted the 19/28/50.1/4/80/100 to use on the D800E and could not be happier ..especially for street shooting at night where having a run from 1600 thru 6400 ISO is common .... .
    Hi Roger:
    I converted my R glass to Sony mount and used them on the A900. However, focusing had always been a challenge especially with the R80 @1.4. Now I am considering getting the A99 for its EVF and focus peaking. I am curious how well manual focusing works on the D800E? Does it have an optional split-image screen? I apologize that I am not familiar with the latest Nikon gear.
    Thanks,
    Alan

  22. #22
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    1,157
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Leica-R lens recommendations

    Not in the top 4 perhaps, but the 80-200/4 is a very versatile lens and still reasonably priced. The 28-90 balances very nice on the M.

    Will be trying the R 15/2.8, 19/2.8 and maybe 28/2.8 PC tomorrow at the Pro Shop WPB on the M.
    Likes 1 Member(s) liked this post

  23. #23
    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Jupiter FL/Atlanta GA
    Posts
    2,123
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Leica-R lens recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by apsheng View Post
    Hi Roger:
    I converted my R glass to Sony mount and used them on the A900. However, focusing had always been a challenge especially with the R80 @1.4. Now I am considering getting the A99 for its EVF and focus peaking. I am curious how well manual focusing works on the D800E? Does it have an optional split-image screen? I apologize that I am not familiar with the latest Nikon gear.
    Thanks,
    Alan
    I ve had good luck in using manual focus on with R lenses on the D800E . I spent a lot of years focusing off a ground glass screen using manual focus . My technique s similar to using an M ..I find a high contrast item that approximates the distance I need . The more I shoot the higher my hit ratio of in focus photographs . Probably the most difficult aspect is understanding that there is no such thing as a hyperfocal distance using a d800 until you get above f5.6 . When you miss you can easily see it . I have very good eyesight and can still focus on a highlight when its plenty dark out . I don t think my experience is conventional wisdom as few photographers like manual focus on a d800E .

    I would love a better focusing screen but I am I understand they are actually darker . So I might focus better but not see the frame as well . No one seems to be tackling the D800 with replacement screens and I have two bodies where the screen seems pretty well calibrated ..so I am not interested in making a change .

  24. #24
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    264
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Leica-R lens recommendations

    Thanks Roger for sharing your experience with manual focusing on the D800E. Unfortunately my eyesight is not what it used to be. I find it difficult even with a matte screen on the A900. My last Nikon was the F3HP and was hoping they still offer a similar split-image screen. Would have loved to try the D800E for my R glass but sounds like it won't be an improvement over the A900.

    Alan

  25. #25
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    463
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Leica-R lens recommendations

    Sony A99 with focus magnification is the way to go. I have no problem focusing wide open with it. It also comes with build in stablization.
    Yat

    www.flickr.com/yatlee
    Likes 1 Member(s) liked this post

  26. #26
    Senior Member johnnygoesdigital's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    1,579
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Leica-R lens recommendations

    Much has been said of the R lenses on the M, but (excuse my naivety) what camera originally worked best with these lenses?

  27. #27
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    1,157
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Leica-R lens recommendations

    I never owned one, but it was the Leica R series cameras which have long been discontinued. The last R camera was the R9 which was discontinued in 2009 by Leica so now that the new M can use R glass via an R to M adapter these lenses can be used on this new Leica camera.

    If you are not into Leica, the reason this is somewhat of a big deal is that the longest M lens has always been the 135mm. The R lenses have some very long telephoto lenses in the series (15 to 800mm) with the 80-200, APO 70-180 and the 105-280 favorite zoom lenses. Fixed lenses in the most popular telephotos are 180, 280 with some very special modular long lenses in 280/400/560 range. Of course most of these lenses can take the Leica APO 2x and some the APO 1.4x extenders which give very long range, high quality images.

    Also R macro lenses are some of the best, specifically the APO 100/2.8, but a non-APO 60/2.8 is also available.
    Likes 1 Member(s) liked this post

  28. #28
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    jonoslack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    East Anglia & Cornwall (UK)
    Posts
    11,524
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1

    Re: Leica-R lens recommendations

    Nice Reply Lou
    I really can't see much point in using wider R lenses on the M - the M lenses are almost always at least as good, much smaller, and of course they're rangefinder coupled too.

    I've used the following:

    21-35 zoom - not bad, but not great (I'm going to sell mine)
    28-90 zoom - fantastic - sharp all over, and it handles nicely
    80-200 f4 zoom - I really like this lens - nice quality and focuses quite close
    60 Macro Elmarit - It works really well
    180 f2.8 APO - Legendary lens - just lovely . . . I'm going to sell mine though, because I like the 80-200 zoom, and I'm not likely to carry both with me!

    Anything except zoom or macro 135mm or below I'd rather use an M lens.

    all the best

    Just this guy you know
    Likes 2 Member(s) liked this post

  29. #29
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    264
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Leica-R lens recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by yatlee View Post
    Sony A99 with focus magnification is the way to go. I have no problem focusing wide open with it. It also comes with build in stablization.
    Yes, in my shopping cart at B&H and about to press the checkout button.

    Alan

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •