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Thread: Leica 2/90 R or C/Y 85 f1.4 ?

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    lukafoto
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    Leica 2/90 R or C/Y 85 f1.4 ?

    For use on Canon EOS 5D2 for stills and video work. Any idea which is the better of the two for image quality, handling etc?

    Do quite a bit of air to air photography in confined cockpit spaces!

    Kind regards

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    Re: Leica 2/90 R or C/Y 85 f1.4 ?

    Never used these lens for video shooting but for photos purpose only I prefer the 90/2 R. Perfect lens!!!

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    Re: Leica 2/90 R or C/Y 85 f1.4 ?

    Not sure. I've never used the Contax lens. There are two versions of the Leica lens, APO and the older version. The older version is very soft with a fair bit of spherical aberration at f2 and is "sharp enough" by f5.6 giving the lens several different looks. The APO version is sharp from f2. I have never used either for video, but I imagine they would be fine particularly up close where you have a lot of focus throw. The focus throw tightens significantly from about 40' to infinity and focusing in that range is a little touchier. The 90/2 is very compact and light, about the size and weight of a Canon 85/1.8, but with typical Leica build quality.

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    Subscriber Member Jonathon Delacour's Avatar
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    Re: Leica 2/90 R or C/Y 85 f1.4 ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill_Green View Post
    Not sure. I've never used the Contax lens. There are two versions of the Leica lens, APO and the older version. The older version is very soft with a fair bit of spherical aberration at f2 and is "sharp enough" by f5.6 giving the lens several different looks. The APO version is sharp from f2. I have never used either for video, but I imagine they would be fine particularly up close where you have a lot of focus throw. The focus throw tightens significantly from about 40' to infinity and focusing in that range is a little touchier. The 90/2 is very compact and light, about the size and weight of a Canon 85/1.8, but with typical Leica build quality.
    Actually, it's the Elmarit-R 90/2.8 lens that is very compact and light and about the size and weight of the Canon 85/1.8, whereas the Summicron-R lenses are about 25% heavier.

    I have (and use) the Elmarit-R 90/2.8, the Summilux-R 80/1.4, and the Contax C/Y 85/1.4. The APO-Summicron-R 90/2.0 is evidently a stellar lens but usually sells for well over USD3000.

    Two other lenses you might like to consider are the Summilux-R 80/1.4 and the Contax C/Y 100/2.0. Although expensive the 80/1.4 is like having two lenses in one: the dreamy Mandler look wide open yet very sharp stopped down. If I had to choose between the 80-90mm lenses I own, as much as I like the Zeiss 85/1.4, I'd keep the Summilux-R 80/1.4. It's heavy though. The 100/2 has a great reputation and can probably be had for about half the price of the 80/1.4.

    Summilux-R 80/1.4: 700 g / 24.7 oz
    Contax C/Y Planar 85/1.4: 595 g / 21 oz
    Summicron-R 90/2.0: 560 g / 19.7 oz
    APO-Summicron-R 90/2.0: 520 g / 18.3 oz
    Elmarit-R 90/2.8: 450 g / 15.8 oz
    Canon EF 85/1.8: 425 g / 14.5 oz
    Contax C/Y Planar 100/2: 670 g / 23.6 oz


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    Re: Leica 2/90 R or C/Y 85 f1.4 ?

    Another vote in favour of the Summilux-R 80/1.4 for the same reason that Jonathon Delacour mentions. This lens is amazing, but I still use the 85L quite a lot because of the AF.

    I had the Leica Elmarit-R 90 and just didn't like it enough to put it in the bag. It's a great lens but just not for me.



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    Re: Leica 2/90 R or C/Y 85 f1.4 ?

    The 85/1.4 C/Y is 'dreamy' on film wide open - unfortunately this looks a bit 'fuzzy' on digital. Sharpens up by f2, really crisp at f4

    90/2 Summicron




    (old tests on a 5d)

    The 90/2 APO is really sharp. Corners adequate at f2, sharp a stop in. Great color/contrast. Front bokeh can be a little harsh, but rear bokeh is fine. One thing I like about it is no longitudinal chromatic aberration, which is really obvious on the 85L/1.2. Nice compact lens, compared to the 85L and 85c/y.
    Summicron:






    Zeiss: Softer OOF transitions




    In terms of handling, the EOS/Leica adapters seem much more secure, solid and stable than EOS/CY adapters (might have improved over the last few years, but I've got lots of 'wobbly' adapters, and the 85c/y is fairly heavy, and my adapters seem a little 'sloppy' compared to R).
    Last edited by kevin2i; 10th August 2011 at 18:27. Reason: add;

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    Re: Leica 2/90 R or C/Y 85 f1.4 ?

    I chose the 90 Summicron-R (non-APO) much because of its ability to focus as close as 0.7m. Only Leicas 90mm lenses do this, all others are at 0.85-0.9m (85-90mm lenses). The MFD is really useable in some situations. The 90 cron is indeed a bit soft at wider apertures, which is really nice in some situations, depending on the look that you want.

    If you are going to use the lens a lot it might make sense to swap mounts (see leitax.com) instead of testing adapters.

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    Re: Leica 2/90 R or C/Y 85 f1.4 ?

    Quote Originally Posted by pgmj View Post
    I chose the 90 Summicron-R (non-APO) much because of its ability to focus as close as 0.7m. Only Leicas 90mm lenses do this, all others are at 0.85-0.9m (85-90mm lenses). The MFD is really useable in some situations. The 90 cron is indeed a bit soft at wider apertures, which is really nice in some situations, depending on the look that you want.

    If you are going to use the lens a lot it might make sense to swap mounts (see leitax.com) instead of testing adapters.
    Leitax is the mount that I chose as well, as for the Leica R lenses they are all wonderful! You just can't go wrong!

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    Re: Leica 2/90 R or C/Y 85 f1.4 ?

    You should also consider the Contax 2.8/85 Sonnar. That lens has it all, sharpness, bokeh, light weight. It may be a little slower than the other lenses you've considered, but it's incredibly sharp edge-to-edge, even wide open.

    The MTF curves for this lens aren't curves at all, they're essentially straight horizontal lines. You can still download them from here.

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