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Thread: convince me a gf-1/ep-2/ep-1 can replace my leica M

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    convince me a gf-1/ep-2/ep-1 can replace my leica M

    well, staying on top of film is a big chore on my end and i have been pondering retiring the m for something in the micro 4/3 line.

    (actually my lovely wife bought me my m6 so i will be selling something else and putting the m6 into semi-retirement)

    i don't need much convincing in the image department as i am sure the cameras mentioned are up to my rather low-fi standards. where i am uncertain is in the durability and the hard nocks department. without boring you with the details i often find myself in "dicey" shooting conditions. i mean i am not going to drag it behind the car or nothing but deserts and jungles are a distinct possibility.

    so, how have your m4/3 cameras been holding up? any heavy daily users out there? anyone given one a real hard workout?

    thanks for the input!

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    Re: convince me a gf-1/ep-2/ep-1 can replace my leica M

    gallery7, First off, if you have a newly bought M6, don't worry about m4/3rds
    and make use of the wonderful cam you have.


    I use a few G1s (everyday) but this is mostly for a city use. I just throw them along with a few lenses etc in my back pack. None of the cams have even straps.

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    Re: convince me a gf-1/ep-2/ep-1 can replace my leica M

    i assure you my friend the m6 is well travelled and well used.

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    Re: convince me a gf-1/ep-2/ep-1 can replace my leica M

    Well, you must keep in mind that the cams you list (gf-1/ep-2 you might add epl as well) have "optional" electronic view finders. The ep1 does not have a possibility to add one and you have to use it like a P/S cam.

    Like this:



    (snapped with an Epson R-D1s and a 40/2)

    The G1/GH1/G2 have built in EVFs and a very useful swivel LCD screen.

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    Re: convince me a gf-1/ep-2/ep-1 can replace my leica M

    no evf for me. optical hot shoe finders and i am a happy fella! gf-1/ep-2 or ep-1... they will all end up with an optical finder on top.

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    Re: convince me a gf-1/ep-2/ep-1 can replace my leica M

    In that case, do not rule out the upcoming Sony NEX-5.

    (Pana also might introduce a GF-2 with touch screen and voice commands soon)

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    Re: convince me a gf-1/ep-2/ep-1 can replace my leica M

    hmmm, will keep my eye open. for the interim i need to find a digital, competent compact. keeping on top of the film is becoming a major ordeal!!!

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    Re: convince me a gf-1/ep-2/ep-1 can replace my leica M

    . . . . . one reason may be that you get to use all of your leica lenses that you already own with the addition of an adaptor to your new GF1 (or 4/3rds camera) . . . . .

    Sample . . . . .

    Grass with Bokeh

    GF1 with Ernst Leitz GmbH Wetzlar - Elmar 9cm f/4 -- ISO 100 -- f/4 -- 1/800 -- 9cm



    Additional sample photos taken with older Leitz lens can be viewed at:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/2667261...7624088940569/

    and

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/2667261...7624144406532/


    Life is Grand!

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    Re: convince me a gf-1/ep-2/ep-1 can replace my leica M

    Dan (or any other Leica owner/user), Have you used the Leica Stemar on the G1 or m4/3rds?

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    Re: convince me a gf-1/ep-2/ep-1 can replace my leica M

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Dan (or any other Leica owner/user), Have you used the Leica Stemar on the G1 or m4/3rds?
    No I am not familiar with the camera/lens.

    A quick search did show some literature and pictures it looked like it was a two lens (stereo) system. The camera and lens appear to be a collectors item and expensive when bought on the used marked.

    Are the lens individual items? . . . . . are they a LTM (Screw Mount)?

    Post a picture of them if you don't mind.

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    Dan

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    Re: convince me a gf-1/ep-2/ep-1 can replace my leica M

    Wait till Photokina (September). Leica is supposed to show a new digicam, cheaper than M9, better than X1.

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    Re: convince me a gf-1/ep-2/ep-1 can replace my leica M

    Quote Originally Posted by seakayaker View Post
    No I am not familiar with the camera/lens.

    A quick search did show some literature and pictures it looked like it was a two lens (stereo) system. The camera and lens appear to be a collectors item and expensive when bought on the used marked.

    Are the lens individual items? . . . . . are they a LTM (Screw Mount)?

    Post a picture of them if you don't mind.

    Life is Grand!

    Dan

    What you found on the web (on Stemar- it is a lens not a camera) is the pretty much all the information I can give.

    Are there any inexpensive Leica lenses ?

    I don't own one. I have fondled a few. No pics. Sorry.

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    Re: convince me a gf-1/ep-2/ep-1 can replace my leica M

    Quote Originally Posted by nugat View Post
    Wait till Photokina (September). Leica is supposed to show a new digicam, cheaper than M9, better than X1.
    Would it have live view?

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    Re: convince me a gf-1/ep-2/ep-1 can replace my leica M

    The EP2 is a fun camera, takes most of the classic lenses with inexpensive adapters. Unless you are content with Hyperfocal Distance shooting or really good at scale focus, the EVF is a must. I just cannot get used to using the beautiful LCD for focus, the EVF feels more natural.

    The M8 makes a better supplement to a film Leica, in my opinion. I am enjoying my M8, bought used for just over $2K.

    I've had the EP2 for a month, and the M8 for 5 months. I've been using Leica RF's for 10 years and Nikon RF's for about 15 years. Had the CL out yesterday, and keep the M3 on the ready.

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    Re: convince me a gf-1/ep-2/ep-1 can replace my leica M

    Quote Originally Posted by nugat View Post
    Wait till Photokina (September). Leica is supposed to show a new digicam, cheaper than M9, better than X1.
    They'd be nuts not to rebadge the GF-1 and create news lenses for it. But of course, you can rely on Leica to do something really nuts, like introduce yet another camera when they can barely keep up with the demand for the cameras they introduced last year.

    To respond to the original question much as I do like my GF-1, there is no comparison in quality between, say my GF-1 and 20/1.7 versus my M8 and 28/2.8. However, the 20/1.7 is a fantastic lens in its own right and well worth owning a u4/3rd camera for, and the convenience of the 45/2.8 for macro is making me think of dumping my m 90/2.8. I am also far more likely to tote my GF-1 around with me than my M8, which although not as heavy as prosumer DSLR (say the D700) is still quite a lump.

    Life is full of choices!

    LouisB
    Last edited by biglouis; 7th June 2010 at 21:23.

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    Re: convince me a gf-1/ep-2/ep-1 can replace my leica M

    IT CAN NOT.

    I have owned an M6, own an Epson RD-1, G1, and EP-1.

    There is no way that any DSLR/EVIL system can fully replace the rangefinder experience, it's about the range finder gestalt. Set hyperfocal distance on your lens, and get almost instant response, watch the subject come into frame snap it.

    They can come close in functionality, they are more convenient, the image quality can be better, they are way cheaper, but that is not what the OP asked.

    If you can run a Lieca M without looking, the only way to replace it is with a Leica M. At this time, I would even add, if you shot a lot with wides, the only way to replace it is with an M9.

    Now ask me what I took to the last soccer banquet, it was the EP-1 with the 20mm Panasonic, it's just easier to use auto focus at an event. The RD-1 has been sitting a bit lately, but every time I think of selling it, I think of street shooting in NYC or Paris, and I decide that for the places it works best, the rangefinder paradigm is exceptional.

    Just my 02 cents .... YMMV

    Dave

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    Re: convince me a gf-1/ep-2/ep-1 can replace my leica M

    well gestalt is pretty low on my priority list. i need a decent manual focus interface, and reasonable size.

    i worked on two m8's and my experience with leica USA for service was as terrible as one can imagine. i cannot accept being out my camera for months on end after owning it for 1 week. i also wouldn't dream of sinking the sort of dough an m9 costs into such a niche product with a spotty service record (in my opinion).

    i can work for months on end with 1 focal length and 35mm seems to be the magic for me thus my interest in the new m4/3 crop of cameras. what i am really looking for is folks experience with less than savory conditions and the durability of these cameras? any input would be much appreciated!

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    Re: convince me a gf-1/ep-2/ep-1 can replace my leica M

    Okay- the EP2 is a really fun camera to use with old lenses. The Menu system is "too Much" and can get in the way of taking pictures. Switching between magnified view, Menu mode, Info mode, etc can take a little time. The M8 is "more to the point". Neither camera has given me any trouble.

    Honestly, if you like film- why not stick with it. Pick up an EP2 for fun and using the manual focus lenses on it. As a full-time replacement, you could probably do it but there is a learning/frustration curve to overcome.

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    Re: convince me a gf-1/ep-2/ep-1 can replace my leica M

    I love film but I am a working schmoe and can't afford all the film nor can I keep up with it.

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    Re: convince me a gf-1/ep-2/ep-1 can replace my leica M

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Would it have live view?
    It will be EVIL full frame

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    Re: convince me a gf-1/ep-2/ep-1 can replace my leica M

    Film processing is still cheap here, $4 for a roll of 24 C41, developed to 4x6 and an index print. Color film runs$2.00 ~$1.50 a roll at the discount stores.

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    Re: convince me a gf-1/ep-2/ep-1 can replace my leica M

    i am looking to the m4/3 cameras to get away from film. i shoot a LOT of film and it's becoming a pain. it is also very difficult to file when overseas.

    i like the film. my bathroom is full of rolls drying 6-7 days a week. i don't need to shoot more, i need to shoot less.

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    Re: convince me a gf-1/ep-2/ep-1 can replace my leica M

    Quote Originally Posted by nugat View Post
    It will be EVIL full frame
    Awesome!

    All the reasons for the pricing of M8/M9 (range finder, precision mechanics and such) won't be there with an "EVIL" cam.

    If it would have a G1 style swivel LCD screen (there will be no need for a sapphire screen as well. ), I may bite.

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    Re: convince me a gf-1/ep-2/ep-1 can replace my leica M

    ... well gestalt is pretty low on my priority list. i need a decent manual focus interface, and reasonable size .... (quote thing didn't work the way I wanted)

    The problem is that decent manual focus interface. I have tried three types of MF interfaces, and by a long shot, the least ergonomic is the micro 4/3. It's near on impossible to manual focus while doing anything else like walking, looking around for subjects, etc ..... The next worst choice is a SLR type interface, you just cant see how good your focus is on the current crop of entry level D-SLR, my Nikon F3 is pretty good, but it would be even better with a split screen with micro prisms. Still can't see outside the frame though. ( I really don't count the Speed Graphic because I've never got it adjusted right )

    Now for that gosh darn gestalt .... The coupled range finder the Lieca invented to go with the M series camera is what makes range finder shooting what it is. There are endless discussions about this over at rangefinderforum.com, The SLR won for most cases, but there are those niches where the SLR die hards argue that that there system is just as good. From my experience, when you need the limited set of advantages that a C-RF gives, then it can't be beat.

    On the other hand, if you can't put up with Leica, there is always the RD1, generally quite good, but still has some issues with the RF. If you can't do that, then you can go with cosina-voigtlander or Zeiss in the film domain. Both are rather bullet proof. I have owen a Bessa, and it was what got me hooked on RF style shooting.

    To some extent, this is either you buy into the C-RF, or not. When I decide to put up with the limits, the results are exceptional.



    of course YMMV

    Dave

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    Re: convince me a gf-1/ep-2/ep-1 can replace my leica M

    thanx for the considered input Dave, i appreciate it. i have zero issues with my film M as i have had zero issues.

    let me pose a question. how difficult is it to run hyperfocal on the ep-1?

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    Re: convince me a gf-1/ep-2/ep-1 can replace my leica M

    As near as I can tell, there is no way to actually set hyperfocal distance in a traditional way, with the micro 4/3rds systems.

    The traditional way is to use the markings on the lens to do this. You set the aperture, spin the lens focus rings so that the right markings line up and it's done, point and shoot to your hearts content. If you decide to change the aperture, just change the focus to the right markings.

    With the EP-p1/G1, it goes more like this, on the G1, make sure you have a custom setting that splits the focus off the half press, and moves it to the AE lock button, and puts you in manual mode I use C1. Change into C1, set your aperture/shutter speed, then focus on something at the right distance. The next time something at that distance walks into view, you're good to go. If you have choose a good aperture and shutter, this can work just about like hyper-focal. Note the just about bit ..... I'm not going to bring crop factor and DOF agruments into this part of the discussion, because for all practical purposes, there is a method that can be made to work.

    So, do I use it with the G1, no not really, I prefer to set my G1 into IA, use the 1/2 press to focus, and rotate the screen out so that I can see it when shooting from the hip. I have had the best results using the kit lens set to about 25mm or so, ie normal on this camera. I then got the 20mm for the G1, and thought this would be even better, but, I found that when using this method, I really depended on the image stabilization.

    This is from the kit lens., and I like the ability to zoom.

    This totally alters the method that I use for street shooting, and as such, while the results are similar to what I get with the RD-1, it is not a replacement. I find, I can capture the moment better with the RD-1. If you look up a fellow named Joel Myerwitz, he mentions the notion of sharpness in street shooting, he uses the term with respect to composition, and I find it easier to get "sharp" or well composed images with the RD1 and the C-RF as compared to the shoot from the hip G1. It may be a simple ergonomic issue with the view finder in the center of the camera rather than the edge. ( The edge being superior IMHO )

    On the other hand, the EP-1 with the 20mm solves the IS issue by adding the stabilization to the body. However, the EP-1 does not have built in view finder. So, framing is either by eye, or shoot from the hip. Again, I can make the method work. I have not checked to see if there are any custom setting banks on the E-P1, but I know you can separate out the focus from the shutter release, and this is critical to make the approximate hyperfocal function as there are no markings or distance scale on the lens.

    I have the luxury of having several camera systems. I can pick and choose what to use when. If my purpose is to go try to capture some interesting street images, I will almost always choose the RD-1. If I'm on a walk with the wife, lately, It's been the EP-1, but I'm tending back to the G1 a bit more. If It's the kids swim meet or soccer game, the D300. In the studio, I just got a Mamiya AFD, ( abandon hope and all that ). Horses for courses.

    So, with out resorting to fanboyism ( is that a word? ) I stand by my first statement, NO, a micro 4/3rds can not replace an M, The lack of markings on the lens is part of that reason. Modify your question a bit, and then the answer can become a qualified yes. For example, can I use m4/rds to shoot street? Is it a great every day system?

    Any how, hope that answers your question.

    Dave

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    Re: convince me a gf-1/ep-2/ep-1 can replace my leica M

    Quote Originally Posted by gallery7 View Post
    well, staying on top of film is a big chore on my end and i have been pondering retiring the m for something in the micro 4/3 line.

    (actually my lovely wife bought me my m6 so i will be selling something else and putting the m6 into semi-retirement)

    i don't need much convincing in the image department as i am sure the cameras mentioned are up to my rather low-fi standards. where i am uncertain is in the durability and the hard nocks department. without boring you with the details i often find myself in "dicey" shooting conditions. i mean i am not going to drag it behind the car or nothing but deserts and jungles are a distinct possibility.

    so, how have your m4/3 cameras been holding up? any heavy daily users out there? anyone given one a real hard workout?

    thanks for the input!
    I don't like to try to convince people of anything when it comes to camera equipment. But I'll report my findings:

    I've used the G1 almost daily for the past year and a half, in all kinds of conditions with all kinds of lenses. I take reasonable care to not destroy it, but I don't baby it. I don't keep track of how many photos I make with it specifically, but my 'in progress' LR catalog shows about 18,000 exposures made with it since Dec 2008; I know there are a number of others that are not in that catalog. It shows minor signs of use and wear, but not abuse. It continues to function as if new.

    The experience using it is quite different from the experience of using a rangefinder camera. The photographs it can produce, on the other hand, can be quite comparable depending upon what you're after. A Leica M4-P with 35mm lens produces field of view pretty similar to the G1 fitted with 20mm lens.

    Given the quality of what I can get in photos with the G1, and the type of work I like to do, yes: it has replaced my Leica M film cameras entirely.

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    Re: convince me a gf-1/ep-2/ep-1 can replace my leica M

    Quote Originally Posted by djonesii View Post
    ...I stand by my first statement, NO, a micro 4/3rds can not replace an M, The lack of markings on the lens is part of that reason. Modify your question a bit, and then the answer can become a qualified yes.
    Thanks for this explanation, Dave.

    So to address this issue, is there a legacy 35mm or 50mm equivalent that has distance markings and good image quality (no corner blurring or vignetting) on m4/3? From my readings there's no such M-mount option. But I wonder about SLR wides.

    John

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    Re: convince me a gf-1/ep-2/ep-1 can replace my leica M

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnW View Post
    So to address this issue, is there a legacy 35mm or 50mm equivalent that has distance markings and good image quality (no corner blurring or vignetting) on m4/3? From my readings there's no such M-mount option. But I wonder about SLR wides.
    The lack of barrel markings for focus and aperture with mFT and some FT lenses is occasionally annoying, but I've gotten used to it now and hardly notice. However, if you want to use an adapted manual lens, the Nikkor 20mm f/3.5 AI works beautifully, as do several other SLR lenses in the 20-28mm focal length range. The Olympus Pen F SLR lenses are particularly nice as they are as small as M-bayonet RF lenses. (The Olympus ZD 25mm f/2.8 also works very well, even autofocuses, but does not have barrel markings.)

    I haven't had one to work with yet, but I understand the Pentax-Cosmicar 25mm f/1.4 TV lens (C-mount) also performs well on the FourThirds format. I'm looking forward to trying one of them some time soon.

    I've used Nikkor 20/3.5, 24/2.8, 28/2 all AI series on the G1 with excellent results, as well as the Olympus ZD 25/2.8. I kept the Olympus, replaced the 20/3.5 with the Lumix G 20/1.7 as I found they did what I wanted better. I also have the Summilux-D 25mm f/1.4 ASPH, which has both barrel markings and aperture ring, and it's the best performer of them all but a bit on the bulky side. It also autofocuses on the G1.
    Last edited by Godfrey; 9th June 2010 at 08:51.

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    Re: convince me a gf-1/ep-2/ep-1 can replace my leica M

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    What you found on the web (on Stemar- it is a lens not a camera) is the pretty much all the information I can give.

    Are there any inexpensive Leica lenses ?

    I don't own one. I have fondled a few. No pics. Sorry.
    Vivek, The lens that Dan used above in the lovely Grass with Bokeh photo is one that I have. There are lots of old Leica gems in the $300ish price range. I tend to use my Pen-F lenses in the shorter focal lengths, but the Leica 90 f/4 is great on the Oly and Panny m4/3 cams.

    Quote Originally Posted by gallery7 View Post
    i am looking to the m4/3 cameras to get away from film. i shoot a LOT of film and it's becoming a pain. it is also very difficult to file when overseas.

    i like the film. my bathroom is full of rolls drying 6-7 days a week. i don't need to shoot more, i need to shoot less.
    John, Why don't you pick up a used G1 and see how you like micro 4/3? I don't abuse my gear, but the G1 has been a work horse for me for almost 2 years now. I also have the E-PL1 which is pretty affordable. It has the advantage of IS for the alternative lenses that I prefer. I'm not sure that you are going to like the optical viewfinder on micro 4/3. It isn't a Leica situation, but Streetshooter has been very successful (as well as others) using the m4/3 cams in the more hyper-focal mode.
    That said, would a m4/3 cam replace my Leica M's?....no.
    Last edited by Cindy Flood; 10th June 2010 at 17:52.

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    Re: convince me a gf-1/ep-2/ep-1 can replace my leica M

    Quote Originally Posted by Cindy Flood View Post
    Vivek, The lens that Dan used above in the lovely Grass with Bokeh photo is one that I have. There are lots of old Leica gems in the $300ish price range. I tend to use my Pen-F lenses in the shorter focal lengths, but the Leica 90 f/4 is great on the Oly and Panny m4/3 cams.
    . . . . . another plug for an inexpensive Leica lens that cost less than the 90mm


    Lite Violet Flower


    GF1 with Ernst Leitz Wetzlar - Hector 135mm f/4.5 with Leica Thread Extension Tube -- ISO 100 -- f/4.5 -- 1/100 -- 135mm


    From the serial numbers it appears that the 90mm is from 1954 and the 135 from 1960. Still producing some quality shots.

    I also have an old Leica 50/2 and 35mm screw mounts that I will be picking up pretty soon. Both of them are small and fit the GF1 quite nicely, much more suitable for street shooting . . . . .

    I have also used the Voigtlander 25mm, M-mount, and 50mm, screw mount, as well as the Zeiss 25mm ZM lens when walking around the city. They all work well with the small body of the GF1.

    . . . . . it may never replace a Leica M . . . . . but it appears to work for a lot of people as a primary or secondary camera for a fraction of the cost!

    Life is Grand!

    Dan
    ~




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    Re: convince me a gf-1/ep-2/ep-1 can replace my leica M

    Cindy and Dan,

    One of the first shots I have shown here are from a Hektor and an Elmar. I don't use them anymore.

    There are better, faster and cheaper lenses in c-mount or from the Pen F line-up.

    If anyone has these Elmars, Hektors, Thambars and Stemars, they can be, in principle, be used on m4/3rds.

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