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75 Summilux and 35 Summilux Asph on the M8

cam

New member
i have questions on both these lenses that have probably been covered elsewhere -- but i can't find them so i'm asking here to see if anybody can shed some light.

75 Lux. i was out shooting with a friend last night and he was the one who commented on something i had already discovered: the 75 Lux does not focus to infinity wide open!

close focus is tricky, obviously, but it seems to be spot on (when i am) and produces stunning images, with the area of true focus as sharp as you could ever ask for. but infinity? soft is an appropriate word. is this normal for the lens? (my friend had to stop it down to f/5.6 on his recently calibrated M8) i mean, if i had my druthers, i really would rather it be perfect at close distances if i had to choose. if it is also supposed to do infinity, though, i then have a problematic lens....

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the 35 Lux Asph. i want one. period. my pre-asph, which was brilliant wide open on the Epson, sucks on the M8 (soft is kind, it just looks like a really bad lens). i tried out my friend's Lux Asph last night and the differences were stunning.

much as i lust after other lenses, i am broke so i need to concentrate on what i use most and really need. that would be a 35 and f/2 won't cut it. i do shoot frequently at f/1.4 so please don't tell me to get the 35 Cron Asph. (i briefly flirted with the idea of the 28 Cron, but i am a Lux lass at heart.)

i know this has to be the most problematic lens on the M8, but perfect specimens are possible. i am asking you all what to look for in a used lens.

is there any truth that the chrome or the titanium were more likely to not have issues? (btw, i would really would prefer a black.) can any lens be picked up and recalibrated by, say, DAG to work perfectly or are there problematic lenses that cause problems and will always cause problems on the M8?

as tempting as the prices on ebay seem, i think this is one lens i may have to go through a reputable dealer on, non?

****************************************************************

TIA,
cam
 

jonoslack

Active member
i have questions on both these lenses that have probably been covered elsewhere -- but i can't find them so i'm asking here to see if anybody can shed some light.

75 Lux. i was out shooting with a friend last night and he was the one who commented on something i had already discovered: the 75 Lux does not focus to infinity wide open!

close focus is tricky, obviously, but it seems to be spot on (when i am) and produces stunning images, with the area of true focus as sharp as you could ever ask for. but infinity? soft is an appropriate word. is this normal for the lens? (my friend had to stop it down to f/5.6 on his recently calibrated M8) i mean, if i had my druthers, i really would rather it be perfect at close distances if i had to choose. if it is also supposed to do infinity, though, i then have a problematic lens....

****************************************************************

the 35 Lux Asph. i want one. period. my pre-asph, which was brilliant wide open on the Epson, sucks on the M8 (soft is kind, it just looks like a really bad lens). i tried out my friend's Lux Asph last night and the differences were stunning.

much as i lust after other lenses, i am broke so i need to concentrate on what i use most and really need. that would be a 35 and f/2 won't cut it. i do shoot frequently at f/1.4 so please don't tell me to get the 35 Cron Asph. (i briefly flirted with the idea of the 28 Cron, but i am a Lux lass at heart.)

i know this has to be the most problematic lens on the M8, but perfect specimens are possible. i am asking you all what to look for in a used lens.

is there any truth that the chrome or the titanium were more likely to not have issues? (btw, i would really would prefer a black.) can any lens be picked up and recalibrated by, say, DAG to work perfectly or are there problematic lenses that cause problems and will always cause problems on the M8?

as tempting as the prices on ebay seem, i think this is one lens i may have to go through a reputable dealer on, non?

****************************************************************

TIA,
cam
Cans of Worms here
I don't know about the 75 'lux and infinity, I know my nocti was problematic, but it'd been back to Solms twice and it was fab up to 20 metres or so.

As for the 35 'lux - there must be a truth out there, but I suspect that there are many truths rather than just one.

If you can get a good deal I'd have thought that was the way to go, with the knowledge that you'll probably need to get it sent to Solms for coding and calibration anyway.

As for the focus shift - it seems that some lenses did it more than others.

I've simply stayed clear, but I can see you have to go there :bugeyes:

Good Luck!
 

Bob

Administrator
Staff member
Cam,
My 35 Lux ASPH gave me terrible difficulties that were not solved by trips to Leica or to DAG until finally I was asked, Would you like it sharp from f/2 on down, and also at f/1.4? Of course I said yes, the price was that at f/1.4, at near distances, all of the DOF lies in front of the focus point. It is just sharp at the focus point, but not a whisker behind. That ends up working pretty well for me since now I at least know where it is and at 1.4, I am probably taking my time composing the shot and can think about it.
-bob
 

cam

New member
Cans of Worms here

I've simply stayed clear, but I can see you have to go there :bugeyes:
:ROTFL:

yes, Jono, i do :p despite advice to the contrary, i am madly in love with the 35 Lux, plain and simple. it is my go-to focal length (though the framelines on the old M8 leave a bit to be desired).

btw, my Nocti is pretty fab at distances and i find it less troublesome than the 75 Lux. it may be that i really learned that lens, or that the earlier coating and draw of the lens make it more pleasing when not quite spot on....

Cam,
My 35 Lux ASPH gave me terrible difficulties that were not solved by trips to Leica or to DAG until finally I was asked, Would you like it sharp from f/2 on down, and also at f/1.4? Of course I said yes, the price was that at f/1.4, at near distances, all of the DOF lies in front of the focus point. It is just sharp at the focus point, but not a whisker behind. That ends up working pretty well for me since now I at least know where it is and at 1.4, I am probably taking my time composing the shot and can think about it.
-bob
thank you, Bob! very good to know.... who asked you -- did this for you?
 

Bob

Administrator
Staff member
DAG, but this is now how Leica is setting them up I hear.
No matter where you send it, make sure that they know you want critical focus at f/2 and that it is ok if the edge of usable dof is just available at f/1.4.
What they were doing was setting the focus for the middle of the f/1.4 range which does not work with that optical formula.
-bob
 

cam

New member
thank you, again Bob. i was planning on calling DAG anyways whilst i was in the States. after i get the new shutter in my Epson, i want to try and calibrate the two bodies (R-D1 and M8), along with my lenses, and i'm not sure if my service center can do all i'm asking.

i suspect my Epson always had some front focus issue that i adapted to, which is making the M8 that much harder (muscle memory and all that) for me to get comfortable with. it's like learning all over again.... i would like to be able to use both cameras and not really have to think about it that much when i swap them as i still very much prefer the Epson for high ISO shots.
 
Hi Cam -- I just tested my 75/1.4 on my M8 for you, and when I just set it at infinity and photographed some things a few hundred meters away, they were very soft. But when I focused very carefully, only a millimeter or two off of infinity, the shots were very sharp. I am not sure if that is what you were doing, but it surprised me. I was sure that things that far away would be for all intents and purposes at infinity. They most certainly were not. I think this is a lens that you need to focus even when the objects are very distant.


As for the 35/1.4 ASPH, as I mentioned in the M8 thread, it is one of my favorite lenses. That said, it has its difficulties on the M8. If you are strapped for cash, I would highly recommend considering the Voigtlander 35/1.2 -- not their 35/1.4, but the 1.2. It is quite large, but by all accounts it is a superb lens and in a similar league to the 35/1.4 ASPH. You would need to get one of the later ones that was modified for the M8, (and code it somehow, though that is less critical), but you would get a much cheaper lens without focus shift. The penalty is size and weight more than optical performance.
 

cam

New member
Hi Cam -- I just tested my 75/1.4 on my M8 for you, and when I just set it at infinity and photographed some things a few hundred meters away, they were very soft. But when I focused very carefully, only a millimeter or two off of infinity, the shots were very sharp. I am not sure if that is what you were doing, but it surprised me. I was sure that things that far away would be for all intents and purposes at infinity. They most certainly were not. I think this is a lens that you need to focus even when the objects are very distant.


As for the 35/1.4 ASPH, as I mentioned in the M8 thread, it is one of my favorite lenses. That said, it has its difficulties on the M8. If you are strapped for cash, I would highly recommend considering the Voigtlander 35/1.2 -- not their 35/1.4, but the 1.2. It is quite large, but by all accounts it is a superb lens and in a similar league to the 35/1.4 ASPH. You would need to get one of the later ones that was modified for the M8, (and code it somehow, though that is less critical), but you would get a much cheaper lens without focus shift. The penalty is size and weight more than optical performance.
thank you, Stuart! i thought that may be the case on the 75 Lux, but wanted verification from somebody more experienced with the M8 than i. i was definitely more happy than my friend with the results (horrid lighting, trying to capture a couple necking on a bench outside a church across a very big and crowded intersection). i feel much better now -- i just need to finesse it rather than imagine it must be at infinity :p

as for the Voightlander lens -- no. i know some people love it to death, but it doesn't do it for me. this friend i was playing with bought that before his 35 Lux Asph. at first he was ecstatic, but soon started to yearn for more. i, on the other hand, tried it on my Epson for one of our sessions and knew immediately it wasn't for me. i am not dissing the optical performance of the CV, simply that i love the way the Luxes draw. when i tried his Lux Asph last night on my M8, i felt i was "home" again (LOL! strains of Lovesong just started going through my head)....

since i'm probably going to take the plunge, can you explain the difficulties a little more so i know what i'm in for?
 

glenerrolrd

Workshop Member
I worked on this problem(s) with the 35/50/75Lux an the 50noctilux. Multiple trips to Solms and finally a few hours on site with the NJ leica technician. Things I learned:

1. Accurate calibration is a subjective issue. What is acceptable to one individual simply will not work for another. Leica s specified tolerances for M8 s and M lenses are not sufficiently tight to insure critical accuracy wide open. Normally the tolerances stay within an acceptable range and frequently offset each other. Learn to test you own lenses and document your results.

2. Get the camera right first. Try to avoid adjusting the camera and the lens to work together..this just results in a never ending calibartion process everytime you change a body or a lens. Always adjust the lens to a calibrated body.

3. On the 75 Lux the relationship between the flange thickness(shims) and the cam placement is critical. Only Solms has the equipment to do this. If its not right you can not achieve infinity focus (assuming the lens is calibrated for close and wide open).

4. The 35Lux is best set for dead on at F2 ...this results in only a very slight front focus wide open and better results as you stop down.

You can find dozens of threads on the leica user forum on "calibration issues". My only caution is that most M users are quite happy with their camera/lenses and are frequently accepting of slight calibration issues. Asking does your 35Lux focus accurately is in the "eye of the beholder". I get "spot on" all the time for cameras and lenses that are off.

The benefit of getting this right is a much higher "hit ratio" of sharp images.

Sorry if this is more than you really were asking .

Roger
 

mwalker

Subscriber Member
I had to send my lens, 35 lux and M8.2 to DAG (he insisted on both for a correct calibration). When I got them back it was perfect and now lives on my M8. I also have the 75 L but haven't had a good opportunity to go out and test it at full f stops but I feel fairly confident because it was Jacks old lens and I was told it was spot on.:thumbup:
Here is the special signature of the 35 L that I love; iso 640.... wonderful lens when calibrated correctly.

View attachment 15841
 

biglouis

Well-known member
Cam

I love my 35-lux-asph on my M8. It is the one lens which keeps me a Leica owner in the face of stiff interest in other systems.

Mine may suffer from back/front or even out of focus but the fact is at f1.4 it remains amazingly sharp, albeit not as sharp as a razor.

To be fair, I don't do portraits or wedding photography but I do do a lot of urban streetwork mainly just before or after dawn. The luminance of the 35-lux is what comes through in each shot and the lovely separation of subject from background. Imho, and bearing in mind my newbie status I still think that the M8 and 35-lux-asph were made for each other.

Here's one of my favourites, even though it is a fairly mundane shot, in dawn's early light, December 2008, iso640 f1.4.

View attachment 15846
 

glenerrolrd

Workshop Member
Cam

I love my 35-lux-asph on my M8. It is the one lens which keeps me a Leica owner in the face of stiff interest in other systems.

Mine may suffer from back/front or even out of focus but the fact is at f1.4 it remains amazingly sharp, albeit not as sharp as a razor.

To be fair, I don't do portraits or wedding photography but I do do a lot of urban streetwork mainly just before or after dawn. The luminance of the 35-lux is what comes through in each shot and the lovely separation of subject from background. Imho, and bearing in mind my newbie status I still think that the M8 and 35-lux-asph were made for each other.

Here's one of my favourites, even though it is a fairly mundane shot, in dawn's early light, December 2008, iso640 f1.4.

View attachment 15846
The 35Lux is a great lens for soft light (as illustrated in your dawn image). The contrast wide open is amazing and makes it a great solution for overcast or rainy day light.
 

cam

New member
thank you for the examples and opinions, Mike and biglouis.

btw, Mike, you know how jealous i am that you got Jack's 75! we will have a shoot out one of these days....


The 35Lux is a great lens for soft light (as illustrated in your dawn image). The contrast wide open is amazing and makes it a great solution for overcast or rainy day light.
Roger, welcome to the conditions i shoot in most of the year :p
 

Riccis

New member
Never had a problem with my 35 lux on the M8... I know most people complain about focus shift but honestly all my images always came out fantastic (I shot wide open a lot)... Those of you that know me know that I don't care about pixel peeping either...

I sold it because it was not wide enough for the digital work. BTW, the majority of the work on my site was shot with a 35 lux wide open (see the Finland, and West Palm Beach wedding galleries)

Cheers,
 

mwalker

Subscriber Member
thank you for the examples and opinions, Mike and biglouis.

btw, Mike, you know how jealous i am that you got Jack's 75! we will have a shoot out one of these days....




Roger, welcome to the conditions i shoot in most of the year :p


But you're in Paris shooting cool stuff and I'm in Kentucky shooting hay bales :D
 

glenerrolrd

Workshop Member
CAM
I will be in Paris june 8-18 for the sole purpose of street shooting..maybe you would like to meet during my trip . I will send you a PM after we arrive and get settled.

Roger
 

cam

New member
Never had a problem with my 35 lux on the M8... I know most people complain about focus shift but honestly all my images always came out fantastic (I shot wide open a lot)... Those of you that know me know that I don't care about pixel peeping either...

I sold it because it was not wide enough for the digital work. BTW, the majority of the work on my site was shot with a 35 lux wide open (see the Finland, and West Palm Beach wedding galleries)
gorgeous, Riccis, but you know already i'm a fan! funny about focal length....

i might feel the same way as you if i was shooting in your situation (for instance, for silent but deadly street shooting i'm a true 28mm gal all the way). because of the noise of the R-D1 and, yes, sigh, the M8 (an improvement with discreet advance but still), i have to stay farther away to get what i want. at heart, honestly, i would love to be Bruce Gilden! alas, i'm a wuss :eek:

and i'm going through an odd isolationist faze that i'm quite enjoying.


But you're in Paris shooting cool stuff and I'm in Kentucky shooting hay bales :D
darlin', if i were you, i would have been at the Derby shooting hats like mad! that, and lady's heels sticking in the mud :ROTFL: not to mention trying, probably unsuccessfully, to catch the beauty of horses in motion....

do you get bales too now? it was such a bummer to find, even deep in the country here, that bales were the rage. i had visions of Van Gogh's haystacks and all i got were these perfect bales -- harrumph! still, i bet you could make magic with that lens :D


CAM
I will be in Paris june 8-18 for the sole purpose of street shooting..maybe you would like to meet during my trip . I will send you a PM after we arrive and get settled.
that would be lovely, Roger, definitely do! i'll be back by then. (pity that you're not coming a day or two earlier -- there's a big photo fair in Paris on the 6th and 7th, which might have some glorious gone but not forgotten lenses.) and, unfortunately, i'm missing Bob's visit (he wouldn't change the timing for me, naughty boy) this month as it's always lovely to meet and shoot with others.
 

woodyspedden

New member
Never had a problem with my 35 lux on the M8... I know most people complain about focus shift but honestly all my images always came out fantastic (I shot wide open a lot)... Those of you that know me know that I don't care about pixel peeping either...

I sold it because it was not wide enough for the digital work. BTW, the majority of the work on my site was shot with a 35 lux wide open (see the Finland, and West Palm Beach wedding galleries)

Cheers,
I share Riccis experiences with the 35 Lux, ie.my silver chrome one never displayed any sign of focus shift. Because I sometimes get a case of the stupids I sold this flawless copy to Peter A along with a bunch of R lenses. He said the 35 lux worked perfectly on his M8 but I believe that somewhere along the way he had an accident and the lens was basically destroyed. Sad!

Woody
 

cam

New member
I share Riccis experiences with the 35 Lux, ie.my silver chrome one never displayed any sign of focus shift. Because I sometimes get a case of the stupids I sold this flawless copy to Peter A along with a bunch of R lenses. He said the 35 lux worked perfectly on his M8 but I believe that somewhere along the way he had an accident and the lens was basically destroyed. Sad!
can i be a spoiled brat here? when you were selling that flawless copy, i wanted to buy it. unfortunately, you were having some sort of family emergency and were unreachable.... i was in the states and had the chance to buy the pre-asph i now have. after trying both lenses, i preferred the Asph for various reasons (close focus and the ability to retain details better wide open). i was completed seduced by this article, knew i wanted a Lux -- but you were away for an unknown period.

i did the proper thing and bought a lens i in arms reach, not knowing if your lens would be sold whilst i couldn't reach you. it was well-used and i plan to continue to do so on my R-D1. but that's how long i've wanted one, Woody. your lens was always a touchstone for me and i've frequently wondered what if. and now you tell me it's no more :cry:
 
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