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Thread: Eyeing Leica Glass, PL 45mm 2.8, Question

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    Eyeing Leica Glass, PL 45mm 2.8, Question

    Hello everyone,

    I have been following the threads regarding the Panasonic/Leica 45mm 2.8 macro and the great images this lens seems to produce(or is it the photographer?)

    I really like, as probably many here , Leica glass, I have used both Leica R and M , however, I am not into manual focus anymore, so the the 45 macro
    would seem to suit me.

    My question is this, if one doesn't shoot macro a lot, would one purchase this(expensive) lens and would this lens be considerably better than for example the Panasonic 14-45.

    I have read the review in DPreview (3x) , I have also looked many times at Jono Slack's images, I think they are great.

    Are there others here that are contemplating purchasing this lens primarily for other than macro purposes ?

    Any suggestions and opinions are greatly appreciated.

    Best Regards

    Peter

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    Senior Member JBurnett's Avatar
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    Re: Eyeing Leica Glass, PL 45mm 2.8, Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Leyenaar View Post
    I really like, as probably many here , Leica glass, I have used both Leica R and M , however, I am not into manual focus anymore, so the the 45 macro would seem to suit me.

    My question is this, if one doesn't shoot macro a lot, would one purchase this(expensive) lens and would this lens be considerably better than for example the Panasonic 14-45.
    If you want an AUTO-focus lens in this focal-length (portrait), the 45mm macro is the only "prime" option right now.

    Aside from macro capability (which you say you don't do often), the chief benefit of the prime lens seems to be the slightly wider maximum aperture than either of the kit lenses at 45mm (2.8 vs 5.6 on the 14-45 and 4.0 on the 45-200). The narrower depth of field available with the wider aperture gives you more creative options. With a subject distance of 8ft, the depth of field will be 0.8ft at f/2.8 and 1.62ft at f/5.6. And the wider aperture can useful in lower-light situations.

    The first test results suggest that there won't be a SIGNIFICANT difference in sharpness between the 45mm prime and the 14-45mm. Others with first-hand experience may wish to comment or disagree.

    As for "value", that's a personal thing. I currently use two lenses in this same range -- a slower macro (f/3.5) and a faster portrait/general lens (f/2.0). BOTH are manual-focus only. The two together cost much less than the Leica macro, and I'm pleased with the images they provide. However, had the macro existed when I made those purchases, I'm not sure how my money would have been spent.
    Best regards,
    John.
    http://jburnett.ca

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    Re: Eyeing Leica Glass, PL 45mm 2.8, Question

    Hello John,

    Thanks for your reply and insight,
    You're quite right, the keyword is "a SIGNIFICANT" improvement over the kit lenses to
    justify spending a large amount of money on one lens.

    I don't mind manual focus (and have done so for many years), however, I frequently take shots of my 5 fast moving Labradors which makes manual focus nearly impossible.

    I have been pleasantly surprised with the auto-focus speed of the kit lenses, I have the 20 1.7, 14-50, 14-140, and the 45-200, these lenses perform well and have given me nice shots.

    For the moment, I'll shoot with the lenses that I have and see what others have to say.

    Thanks and Best Regards

    Peter

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    Re: Eyeing Leica Glass, PL 45mm 2.8, Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Leyenaar View Post
    You're quite right, the keyword is "a SIGNIFICANT" improvement over the kit lenses to justify spending a large amount of money on one lens.
    Let me see if I can get this link right. It should show the DPR review of the 45mm and 14-45mm (at 45mm) side-by-side. You can play around with the f-stops. I don't see a lot of difference in sharpness at f/5.6, even though the 14-45 is essentially wide open at that f-stop. The zoom actually looks a little sharper across the whole frame, while the macro has the best centre sharpness. Of course, MTF chart performance is not the only reason to consider or reject a lens.

    http://www.dpreview.com/lensreviews/...ration.xml%3F4
    Best regards,
    John.
    http://jburnett.ca

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    Re: Eyeing Leica Glass, PL 45mm 2.8, Question

    IMHO the bokeh difference signifcantly favors the macro lens over the kit lens. That is a difference that I will pay something for.

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    Re: Eyeing Leica Glass, PL 45mm 2.8, Question

    Quote Originally Posted by TEBnewyork View Post
    IMHO the bokeh difference signifcantly favors the macro lens over the kit lens. That is a difference that I will pay something for.
    Wider aperture and nicer bokeh -- yes, these are features I value pretty highly as well.
    Best regards,
    John.
    http://jburnett.ca

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    Re: Eyeing Leica Glass, PL 45mm 2.8, Question

    Quote Originally Posted by TEBnewyork View Post
    IMHO the bokeh difference signifcantly favors the macro lens over the kit lens. That is a difference that I will pay something for.
    Just as I have rationalized the 45 out of my budget, you have to make
    a (very appropriate) statement like this, this is going to cost me :-).

    Best Regards

    Peter

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    Re: Eyeing Leica Glass, PL 45mm 2.8, Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Leyenaar View Post
    Just as I have rationalized the 45 out of my budget, you have to make
    a (very appropriate) statement like this, this is going to cost me :-).

    Best Regards

    Peter
    I specifically worded my answer to be vague as to whether it was worth the entire difference in price between the two.

    That being said mine arrives in a day or two

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    Re: Eyeing Leica Glass, PL 45mm 2.8, Question

    Where did you get one? Have not seen them available in USA? i will use my canon and/or MF setup for macro and portrait work.

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    Re: Eyeing Leica Glass, PL 45mm 2.8, Question

    Quote Originally Posted by mark1958 View Post
    Where did you get one? Have not seen them available in USA? i will use my canon and/or MF setup for macro and portrait work.
    Japan. With the very generous help of a sherpa.

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