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Thread: Leica WATE for 2200 / 2500 / 3500usd ? Good deal ?

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    Leica WATE for 2200 / 2500 / 3500usd ? Good deal ?

    Hi there,

    Been contemplating buying a WATE for a while : one of my most often used lens on my M8 is the CV15mm which well, suffered a bit of an accident and has no front cap plus the M adaptor was stuck already two times in my M8...

    So my favorite dealer and I got to a point that he has a demo WATE, boxed, with the frankenfinder, for well 2200 / 2500 / 3500 usd...

    Is that a good buy these days ? Seems so, specially because it includes DHL shipping to Portugal with that price.

    What you guys think ? Should I bit the bullet and say the wife that my credit card has been lost at a Leica store again ?

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    Re: Leica WATE for 2200 / 2500 / 3500usd ? Good deal ?

    Given that a new one is now approaching 6000 usd, and the frankenfinder is almost 900$, That looks like a very good deal.

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    Re: Leica WATE for 2200 / 2500 / 3500usd ? Good deal ?

    Jump on it, that's a great price if it is in mint condition - especially from a dealer since it will have a warranty on it. Private party prices on the WATE are equal or higher. Lose the card!

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    Senior Subscriber Member Mike Hatam's Avatar
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    Re: Leica WATE for 2200 / 2500 / 3500usd ? Good deal ?

    That's a sweet deal for a demo model, especially if you can get it with warranty. You should jump on it.

    They are selling for around $3,400 - $3,600 used.
    Mike Hatam
    Sony A99, RX1, RX100

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    Re: Leica WATE for 2200 / 2500 / 3500usd ? Good deal ?

    Any idea - how it compares to Zeiss Distagon T* 15mm 2.8?

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    Senior Subscriber Member Mike Hatam's Avatar
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    Re: Leica WATE for 2200 / 2500 / 3500usd ? Good deal ?

    Zeiss 15 2.8 is not RF coupled (although DOF is pretty large at 15mm). Also, you're likely to have cyan shift (reddish corners), and would have to experiment with manually setting the lens-detection on the camera to different Leica lenses to find a profile that eliminates the red corners.

    The Zeiss is also huge, compared to the WATE.

    In terms of image quality, I haven't seen any side-by-side comparison, but I used a Zeiss 15 on an M8, and the WATE on my M9. Both were very good. Good enough that neither stood out to me as head-and-shoulders better than the other.

    The WATE is a very versatile lens, convenient to use, and a stellar performer on the M9. The only disadvantage is that it's slow (f4).
    Mike Hatam
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    Re: Leica WATE for 2200 / 2500 / 3500usd ? Good deal ?

    Thanks! About color shift in corners - I found that it doesn't matter if lens is Leica or Zeiss or Voigtlander. All can give color shift with wide angles - that can be romoved by CORNERFIX software (free).

    The only difference is, that with Leica lens - body corrects it automatically - when lens is recognized.

    Correct me if am wrong.

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    Senior Subscriber Member Mike Hatam's Avatar
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    Re: Leica WATE for 2200 / 2500 / 3500usd ? Good deal ?

    You are correct. If you don't mind using an external utility to correct your images, then CORNERFIX will work on any wide angle lens, with the appropriate settings.

    However, it's a hassle in the workflow, especially if you're a Lightroom user. It causes you to create and export a TIFF file, and then reload that into LR. No big deal if you're going to CS for other editing anyway, but it's a pain if you would do all other editing in LR.

    EDIT: It seems I was incorrect in the above paragraph. Cornerfix can be applied directly to DNG files.
    Last edited by Mike Hatam; 15th January 2010 at 05:57.
    Mike Hatam
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    Re: Leica WATE for 2200 / 2500 / 3500usd ? Good deal ?

    Mike, so CornerFix reads DNG and creates TIFF?
    1) Can't it create, export - DNG too?
    2) Can CornerFix read TIFF too?

    For me answer to above questions is very important. When you or other person answer - I will let you know why :-)

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    Senior Subscriber Member Mike Hatam's Avatar
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    Re: Leica WATE for 2200 / 2500 / 3500usd ? Good deal ?

    Jerry - I think I was incorrect. I just looked at the instructions for cornerfix, and it appears that it can edit the DNGs directly, which would mean that you don't have to export a TIF from LR before you run it.

    I haven't used cornerfix, but if that's how it works, that's actually very nice from a workflow perspective.

    Perhaps someone who's used it can comment here.

    Mike
    Mike Hatam
    Sony A99, RX1, RX100

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    Re: Leica WATE for 2200 / 2500 / 3500usd ? Good deal ?

    I can do much more with RAW file in LR that with TIF. I mean changing WB, exposure and others. So if I would be forced to export only TIF from CornerFix - this wouldn't allow me to use full potential of RAW shooting.

    A workaround would be to load RAWs to LR first, develop them - and send to CornerFix. Not nice! Because any further change in LR - means repeating it. Plus more files to store or play with.

    So if CornerFix could export to DNG - that would be best. Just batch going via CornerFix once! and afterwards importing corrected DNGs to LR. That would be perfect.

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    Re: Leica WATE for 2200 / 2500 / 3500usd ? Good deal ?

    Cornerfix reads the DNG file, and saves an updated DNG file with corrections to the image brightness/colour composition based on a corrective profile that you create from a neutral shot. The app analyzes the colour and brightness shift moving away from the centre of the image and comes up with a correction curve that will be used later to make everything neutral. The application reads in the RAW matrix and then corrects that in memory version using the curve (essentially nullifying the colour/brightness fall off). It then writes out a new DNG file with the corrected image. There's a bunch of extra image processing sauce in there that Sandy has added over time and tweaks to make sure that corrections are smooth and work better.

    I've worked with the source of the application for the Mac port (I have my own flavour of the app - it's open source). Sandy built it using the Adobe DNG toolkit and he wrote all of the image profiling and correction logic that works on the internal representation of the RAW file.

    That was probably more than you wanted to know wasn't it?

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    Re: Leica WATE for 2200 / 2500 / 3500usd ? Good deal ?

    Thx! That is good news!

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    Re: Leica WATE for 2200 / 2500 / 3500usd ? Good deal ?

    Well thanks for all that chimed in and even the ones that highjacked the thread ( eheheh ) .

    By the way, my card is officially "lost" in the Leica store.

    Asked around and it seems a pretty sweet deal, including 6 months warranty / return no questions asked and they let me loose the card two times without interest

    That and plus UPS prime shipping and tracked to Portugal, delivered to my door.

    First "ups I dropped the card" its done, the other half will be done in the end of January, hope to have it by the first week of February.

    In the meanwhile, I bought a WATE filter by John Millich here in the forum ( getdpi ) from a member, should arrive on the same time, more or less.

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    Re: Leica WATE for 2200 / 2500 / 3500usd ? Good deal ?

    Any update?

    I also have possibility to buy used WATE for reasonable price. What stops me - is fact, that with frankenfinder - I can not use flash...

    So alternatives are CV 12mm M version (to be released in 1-2 months) or CV 15mm.

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    Re: Leica WATE for 2200 / 2500 / 3500usd ? Good deal ?

    Hi Jerry,

    Well few updates :

    - got the WATE
    - wife didnt bought the "oh I lost the credit card near the Leica store" excuse
    - she didnt divorced

    Pictures wise, dont have anything yet.

    I received the lens last Thursday and went on a weekend with Mrs Proenca and some friends. I took the M8 + MP and as smart man as I am, I forgot the charger and had the M8 with dead batteries. So I took the WATE on the MP and took some pictures. Waiting for them to come out of the lab, will post them here if you like.

    So far few impressions : lens is small and light ( bear in mind that I use a Noctilux as a regular basis, so everything is small and light... The Frankenfinder was a surprise to be honest :

    - its smaller and lighter than it seems
    - yeah its a big block but after a while its natural
    - its as silly as only a german engeneering can be but at the same time beautifull build and precise
    - its invaluable to work both well on full frame ( M9 and film ) bodies as well in the M8/M8.2 ( got selectors for 16-18--21-24-28mm ).
    - integrated spirit level - nice.

    So all in all, seems a nice lens. Can't comment on the picture quality - yet. Will post the scans in the next couple of days.

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    Re: Leica WATE for 2200 / 2500 / 3500usd ? Good deal ?

    Thx, waiting ;-)

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    Re: Leica WATE for 2200 / 2500 / 3500usd ? Good deal ?

    Im quite curious as well. I dont want to spoil the surprise, since it was the first time in a long time that I happy chew a few rolls on my MP. I could easily put it on my M8 but to be honest, I don't have the time to go out shooting - got to wait a bit mroe Jerry, sorry The negatives / scans are ready tomorrow morning, so I'll post something afterwards.

    Im the meantime, a shot of my M8 with the WATE :


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    Re: Leica WATE for 2200 / 2500 / 3500usd ? Good deal ?

    Jerry, an update : picked up the photos but they are close to unusable.

    I'll explain : I do not have a scanner so I asked the lab to scan it. When I arrived to pick it up,they didnt had scan it yet. So the owner asked for apologies and yelled at the clerk to do it asap.. She gave me the CD for free as well the scanning...

    And she should. The scanning is absolutly marvelous.. as garbage.

    Honestly, the photos came scanned black and white. Literally. No grey s.

    Barely any transition at all.

    I was like "WT"#$# ? " I pulled up the negatives and they are decently exposed, should be a LOT more information there, which isnt.

    But I didnt had the courage to go back to the store because:

    1 - she would yell again at the clerk, which seemed a new in job
    2 - it was free

    So you have to wait a bit more (weekend )

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    Re: Leica WATE for 2200 / 2500 / 3500usd ? Good deal ?

    Oh, too bad..!

    Meanwhile, I bought 15mm. Could not wait longer. Unfortunately, last days I had much less time, than 1-2 weeks before. Of course I made first shots, and must say this lens has both pros and cons. It misses sth, that I indeed can observe with other Lecia lenses I have and also some WATE samples I saw. But from other side - is quite sharp. Really sharp as wide lens. I will give it a chance & more time.

    Also - vignetting and red corners - they exist, but not as much as I was afraid. Photos I took - I was able to correct just in LR (vignetting plus graduated color filter). Maybe not perfect, but acceptable in shots I took. I will play with CornerFix probably next week or during weekend.

    Best Regards,
    Jerry_R

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