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Thread: Three top Leica R lens picks for use on Canon FF

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    Deceased, but remembered fondly here... johnastovall's Avatar
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    Three top Leica R lens picks for use on Canon FF

    I keep seeing R lenses appearing to be cheaper and cheaper. If one were looking at picking up a couple what would be the suggested 3 best for images.

    "The market wants a Leica to be a Leica: the inheritor of tradition, the subject of lore, and indisputably a mark of status to own."
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    Re: Three top Leica R lens picks for use on Canon FF

    What need are you trying to fill? Wide, normal or tele?
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    Re: Three top Leica R lens picks for use on Canon FF

    Quote Originally Posted by johnastovall View Post
    I keep seeing R lenses appearing to be cheaper and cheaper. If one were looking at picking up a couple what would be the suggested 3 best for images.
    John I think you need to be a little more specific regarding your requirements and budget. Lets take the short telephoto category...in modern designs you would have the 100/2.8apo,90/2apo,80/1.4 and the under appreciated 90/2.8 elmarit. The 100A,90A and 80lux are normally around $2K for mint ROM versions and go down in cost for lack of ROM and condition. The 90/2.8 is less than $1k . Any of the above maybe available for 75% of FMV and lower if condition isn t an issue. For pure highest IQ the 100APO is generally regarded as best but of course its a 2.8.

    Since I still follow a buy and hold strategy on my Leica glass(maybe for not much longer?) I have the 4 lenses mentioned above. I tended to use the 90/2.8 on my 5D and found the results exceptional. I use the other 3 on my DMR.

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    Re: Three top Leica R lens picks for use on Canon FF

    John:

    Any lens with APO or ASPH in the title would be the best in their focal lengths.

    Robert

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    Re: Three top Leica R lens picks for use on Canon FF

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Richardson View Post
    What need are you trying to fill? Wide, normal or tele?
    Not filling in (have full house of Canon L's from 14-200) but rather looking for lenses which draw different from the Canon's in that range.

    "The market wants a Leica to be a Leica: the inheritor of tradition, the subject of lore, and indisputably a mark of status to own."
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    Re: Three top Leica R lens picks for use on Canon FF

    85 lux John is one lens you should look at for look and also the 35 lux. Nothing in Canon will give there look. I like to call them the dreamy lenses. The 85 1.4 is soft wide open but at F2 still has that nice dreamy draw to it.
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    Re: Three top Leica R lens picks for use on Canon FF

    Well in this case, I think the 35/1.4 summilux and the 80mm f/1.4 (other than at 1.4 anyway) draw fairly similarly to the 35/1.4L and 85/1.2L, at least not differently enough to warrant the outlay of cash and the loss of AF, auto-aperture and so on.

    My 3 would be the 19mm f/2.8, just because it does not have distortion and soft corners like most of the canon wides -- it is really leaps and bounds better. The next would be the 100mm f/2.8 APO, because it is so much better than the Canon 100mm macro. It is extremely sharp, but still has nice bokeh, focuses to 1:2 and is apochromatic....not much more you can hope for in a lens. I don't know the canon system well enough to pick a third lens.
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    Re: Three top Leica R lens picks for use on Canon FF

    Don't forget that most of the better Leica wides will not work on a 5D, including the 19mm and the 35mm Summilux.

    Robert

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    Re: Three top Leica R lens picks for use on Canon FF

    My favorites are the 28mm (latest ), 100mm Apo macro,

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    Re: Three top Leica R lens picks for use on Canon FF

    No question in my mind, but my choices tend toward the "classic Leica look" --- that said, 35 Lux, 80 Lux and 180 APO.
    Jack
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    Re: Three top Leica R lens picks for use on Canon FF

    The 80 lux is a special lens and I tested it side by side with the canon 85mm f/1.2 (mark I). I found the Leica bokeh to be even smoother and more dreamy but also that it was sharper at every aperture. The canon 85mm is really slow to focus so you are not giving up a ton going to manual focus, but the stop down aperture is a bit of extra work.

    Pretty much most of the Leica lenses draw differently than their Canon counterparts, though. The 100mm apo is a great lens on the Canon bodies as is the 80 lux. 50 lux is also good. I often shoot with my 35mm curtagon on the canon too when I need shift.

    So for me I use these leica lenses in order of frequency

    100apo macro
    80 lux
    35-70 elmarit ( you have to either cut the mirror or remove the protective shroud)
    80-200mm f/4
    35mm curtagon

    But when I use alternative lenses on the Canon I would say my Oly zuiko 55mm gets on there more than half of the total time. I also use the oly 28mm - about 1/20 the cost of the latest leica 28mm ROM and very good.

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    Re: Three top Leica R lens picks for use on Canon FF

    I had thought the leica 80 lux was not as sharp as the canon 85 1.2 but had a more creamy bokeh, and that was why it was better liked by many

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    fWord
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    Re: Three top Leica R lens picks for use on Canon FF

    Hmm...this thread probably died some time ago but no harm reviving it. I haven't tried many of the Leica R lenses at all, but the Summicron 90/2 (cheap, pre APO) and 35/2 seem to give pleasant (and different from mainstream lenses) results at wide open. Stop down and you get typical crisp and sharp images.

    The 35-70/4 I recently acquired is an incredible standard zoom producing the most crisp images I've ever seen from any lens at f/4 (including a number in Canon's stable), save for perhaps the 135L. As to whether it 'draws' differently from a Canon lens, I'd be hard-pressed to say.

    The only other R lens in my bag is the 180/4. Light enough to carry around all day and underrated IMO. It's a lens with good coarse detail contrast which gives an impression of sharp images, even if not as crisp as the aforementioned 'Crons or the 35-70, so while it's a good lens I wouldn't be recommending it as something 'special'.

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    diglloyd
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    Re: Three top Leica R lens picks for use on Canon FF

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    No question in my mind, but my choices tend toward the "classic Leica look" --- that said, 35 Lux, 80 Lux and 180 APO.
    I have the 90/2 APO: Follow-up on Leica 90/2 APO Summicron-R ASPH and 1D Mark III mated to APO-Summicron-R 90/2 ASPH

    And the 180/2.8 APO: 1D Mark III Mated to APO-Elmarit-R 180/2.8

    And the 280/4 APO.

    The issue I've found is that except for the 90/2, adapter flex is a problem with large bodies like the EOS 1D[s] Mark II/III. I've tried CameraQuest (good) and Novoflex (a bit better). One must pay very close attention to not stress the adapter. The optics are fantastic, but just can't be slung over the shoulder without risk of subtly bending the adapter. For that matter the weight of the 1Ds Mark III + 280/4 or the 180/2.8 + 1Dsm3 (mounted appropriately) can flex the adapter.

    Only a lens conversion is going to eliminate the problem.

    In my view now, the Leica 280/4 APO offers some advantage over the Canon EF 300/2.8L, but they're very hard to distinguish. It's not detail in question, it's contrast and color saturation. Perhaps with 30-40MP cameras we'll see more of a difference emerge, but the tiniest focus error renders the difference moot.

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    Re: Three top Leica R lens picks for use on Canon FF

    My three are the 28mm (square hood), 100mm macro, well i do not have a third favorite at this point.

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    Re: Three top Leica R lens picks for use on Canon FF

    Quote Originally Posted by diglloyd View Post
    The issue I've found is that except for the 90/2, adapter flex is a problem with large bodies like the EOS 1D[s] Mark II/III. .
    Lloyd:

    Have you tried one of the original R-EOS adapters that was just a single machined piece of brass? I have had one for about ten years now and it is pretty solid.

    Robert

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    Re: Three top Leica R lens picks for use on Canon FF

    Quote Originally Posted by robsteve View Post
    Don't forget that most of the better Leica wides will not work on a 5D, including the 19mm and the 35mm Summilux.

    Robert
    Robert

    My feeling is that if you really want to use a 5D and Leica glass you should go ahead and have the mirror shaved to accept all the lenses. Then you can use the super lenses e.g. 19 2.0. If later you want to sell the 5D with a pristine mirror Canon will supply a new one for $300! No sweat

    Woody

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    Re: Three top Leica R lens picks for use on Canon FF

    Quote Originally Posted by robsteve View Post
    Don't forget that most of the better Leica wides will not work on a 5D, including the 19mm and the 35mm Summilux.

    Robert
    Robert

    My feeling is that if you really want to use a 5D and Leica glass you should go ahead and have the mirror shaved to accept all the lenses. Then you can use the super lenses e.g. 19 2.0. If later you want to sell the 5D with a pristine mirror Canon will supply a new one for $300! installed. No sweat

    Woody

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    Re: Three top Leica R lens picks for use on Canon FF

    Is the mirror situation the same in the 5D Mark II?
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    Re: Three top Leica R lens picks for use on Canon FF

    Woody:

    My DMR is still producing excellent results for me. Rather than spend a few grand on a 5D II, I am saving for a R10. I may have a few years to save though before there is a R10

    Robert

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    Re: Three top Leica R lens picks for use on Canon FF

    Quote Originally Posted by robsteve View Post
    Woody:

    My DMR is still producing excellent results for me. Rather than spend a few grand on a 5D II, I am saving for a R10. I may have a few years to save though before there is a R10

    Robert
    Same here and I am rather glad that I have some time to save!

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    Re: Three top Leica R lens picks for use on Canon FF

    Robert

    I didn't mean you should switch to a 5DII. Only that if you did decide to go this route you should shave the mirror. It was in response to your comment that a number of R lenses "don't work" with the 5D.

    Woody

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    Re: Three top Leica R lens picks for use on Canon FF

    Folks,

    just a simple question:

    Which adapter is the best in your mind?

    Thanks in advance ....

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    Re: Three top Leica R lens picks for use on Canon FF

    Kindai/cameraquest units $175 ish are considered the gold standard (in ensuring infinity focus) but do not carry focus confirm chips. Have a CZ unit and while nice, I still have hard time wrapping my head around the price. Novoflex units are also very spendy - and source their Leica R mount parts (ring, springs) from the same folks to sell them to Leica.

    I and many folks use custom-encoded focus confirm adapters from Rudolph at happypagehk (ebay) out of HK. $70-85. Top quality, easy returns if needed (never have), fast cheap shipping.

    He'll custom encode (or recode if you send it to him) the eprom to the FL and aperture you specify (e.g. "90mm F2.0") when you order. Not only does this help in EXIF for shot tracking/lens testing but also helps with more accurate auto exposure and more accurate focus confirm (lot of debate about this, but my experience is it does help).

    Have tried Haoda and FotoDiox Pro as well. The FD Pro MF mamiya and Hassy adapters are great, the 35mm ones not so much (IMHO). Haoda was a complete waste. The best units are ones that use metal slot 'springs' that can be tweaked with a small flat screwdriver to ensure a nice tight fit to allow for manufacturing tolerances between the adapter and lens as well as minute wear on older lens mounts.

    Some adapters use spring metal tabs which I tend to find never grip the lens well enough and are not adjustable. If you get a lens with a stiffer focus mechanism with such and adapter you can get minute but annoying as hell movement on focusing (usually on the initial start when max torque is applied) between the lens and adapter - say 2-3 degrees of rotation.

    If in no rush, try a WTB ad on the Alternate Forum on FM - can usually get any used adapters for 1/2 +/- retail.
    Last edited by robmac; 5th December 2008 at 05:42.

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    Re: Three top Leica R lens picks for use on Canon FF

    At the end which one is the best to your opinion regardless of price ?

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    Re: Three top Leica R lens picks for use on Canon FF

    Best with no chip - Kindai/Cameraquest $175
    Best with chip - Happypagehk $80

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