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Thread: Best 3 lens film kit

  1. #1
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    Best 3 lens film kit

    Hi All,

    Sorry to ask such a open question about lens and I know there is a wealth of information and views already posted.

    I want to take an M6 and shot some film and wanted to see what the views are to the best 3 lens kit for film on the M6. I was thinking:

    1. Leica 28mm 2.8 ASPH
    2. 50mm 1.4 (pre-ASPH)
    3. 90mm 2.0 cron

    Look forward to your views.

    Regards

    Rodney

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    Re: Best 3 lens film kit

    That seems like a great kit. I tend to like things a bit wider, so I usually go for 25/2.8 ZM, 35/1.4 ASPH, 75/1.4
    My photos are here: http://www.stuartrichardson.com and more recent work here: http://stuartrichardson.tumblr.com/ Please have a look at my book!
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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Best 3 lens film kit

    Rodney

    This depends on what type of shooting you do and where . For example in large cities or in europe I tend to go wider with my first lens. But if you get anywhere near water .. alot of times you just can t get closer . You style affects this as well ... how close do you usually get . Lots of factors.

    It took me a while but now I rarely shoot with anything longer than a 50mm or wider than a 24mm. My first pick would be the 28/2 summicron and I think it pairs nicely with a 50 summilux either the preasph or the asph. And I do like the 90 asph a lot but it just doesn t get as much use.

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    Re: Best 3 lens film kit

    These days I often carry either combo of the follwoing 4 lenses:
    24/1.4, 35/2.5 50/1.4, 75/2.5
    For me 24,50,75 would work fine.
    For some reason I dont carry 90 that often any more.

    In earlier time I used just a M6 and 35/2.0 and 90/2.8 which was fine too, but today I am kind of a fan of 50mm.

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    Re: Best 3 lens film kit

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Richardson View Post
    That seems like a great kit. I tend to like things a bit wider, so I usually go for 25/2.8 ZM, 35/1.4 ASPH, 75/1.4
    +1; Both your kit and Stuart's are wonderful focal lengths to have as a kit.

    Best.

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    Re: Best 3 lens film kit

    Lately I've been restricting myself to these three: 21, 35/2 and 75/2. It's worked well and I especially like the 75/2. I've even been considering selling the 90/2, but haven't brought myself to do it because I just don't want to give up the longer reach, even though I don't use it so much anymore.

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    Re: Best 3 lens film kit

    Common three lens choices are 21, 35, 75, else 24, 50, 90/100

    Personally, I am aiming towards 21, 35 , 90... though I think I am chasing a moving target in a three lens setup

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    Re: Best 3 lens film kit

    28 and 50 is a great set. I use it myself quite often. If you like 28, get the 28/2 and buy a cheaper 90/2.8 instead of the Summicron. If you are anything like me, you'll use the 90 a lot less than you suspect.

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    Re: Best 3 lens film kit

    My M6 classic kit consist of Nikkor lenses. 28/3.5 and 35/3.5 LTM, and 50/1.4 S. When shooting RFers I prefer smaller lenses and because I shoot more in daytime I don't mind the slower speed of the wides. Surprisingly, the 50/1.4 is every bit as sharp as the current 50 cron when shot from f/2 on.

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    Re: Best 3 lens film kit

    I'm thinking of a film system around the 50mm 1.4 pre-asph I recently purchased. With film, filter sizes are important, so what about a Zeiss 21mm f2.8 Biogen ZM, and a 90mm f/2.8 Elmarit-M to round out three lenses that use 46mm filters?

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    Re: Best 3 lens film kit

    my m7 kit is a 35mm summicron, 50mm summilux preasph and a 90mm summicron

    it works well for me.

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    Re: Best 3 lens film kit

    My 3-lens kit for film Leica M body: 24 Elmarit ASPH, 35 Summilux ASPH, and 75 Summilux.

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    Re: Best 3 lens film kit

    Quote Originally Posted by Ocean View Post
    My 3-lens kit for film Leica M body: 24 Elmarit ASPH, 35 Summilux ASPH, and 75 Summilux.
    Nice kit......my four lens kit substitutes a 50 Lux ASPH and 90 Apo ASPH, for the 75, I'm set for life

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    Re: Best 3 lens film kit

    24 2.8 ASPH, 35 cron version IV, 90 cron pre-ASPH, and 50 1.4 ASPH (with F1 Noctilux always in bag.) Seldom use the 24, though, so don't keep it in bag.

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    Re: Best 3 lens film kit

    I usually carry a 50mm 1.4 ASPH and a 28mm Summicron. If I'm going shooting indoors, I may grab the 18mm Zeiss; if I'm going outside I sometimes put a 90mm macro Elmar in the bag. I mostly just carry 2 lenses; almost never more than 3.

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    Re: Best 3 lens film kit

    I typically use three - 21/1.4, 35/1.4 and 90/2.8 work for me on the M9. I have a WATE that I'll sometimes use if I need uber-wide.

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    Re: Best 3 lens film kit

    21/1.4, 35/1.4 - that's it. Zoom with your legs for the rest.

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    Re: Best 3 lens film kit

    My M5:
    3 lens kit film kit:

    Voigtlander 25mm f/4
    Voigtlander 35mm f/1.4 SC
    Zeiss C-Sonnar 50mm f/1.5 T* A magic lens at f/1.5-f/2 if you understand the focus shift that Zeiss built into for these 2 apertures, and how to use it.
    Last edited by M5-Guy; 28th July 2010 at 18:41.

  19. #19
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    Re: Best 3 lens film kit

    You should have rephrased your question thusly:

    Your best 3-lens kit for (a) $15,000, (b) $10,000, (c) $5,000, (d) <$3,000; otherwise you'll always get the most expensive lenses as being the recommended ones, and nobody needs f1.0 or f1.4 for every lens. There's something to be said for having the 50mm f2.8 Elmar (collapsible) as one of the three lenses, as this lens has Leica pedigree in terms of being used a lot during the heyday of film.

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    Re: Best 3 lens film kit

    I would think the following to be good 3 lens solutions

    28/50/90
    35/50/90 (my fav)
    24/35/75
    35/75/135

    Depends on your flavor, what you have...Your kit sounds lovely as is...
    Ashwin Rao
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    Re: Best 3 lens film kit

    24 lux, 35 lux , 90 cron
    Likes 1 Member(s) liked this post

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    Re: Best 3 lens film kit

    My 3 lens kit:

    35 and 75 Cron in my bag, every day, everywhere.

    50 Cron in the cupboard, gathering dust....

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    Re: Best 3 lens film kit

    Quote Originally Posted by hobbsr View Post
    Hi All,


    1. Leica 28mm 2.8 ASPH
    2. 50mm 1.4 (pre-ASPH)
    3. 90mm 2.0 cron


    Rodney
    fine choices. i have a elmarit 28, lux 50--and want to add a 90. those focal lengths would be my favored trinity of lenses.

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    Re: Best 3 lens film kit

    Update
    I have sold and bought

    My new 2 lens kit is

    CV 28/1.9 ASPH
    Zeiss 50/1.5 C-Sonnar

    Great combo

  25. #25
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    Re: Best 3 lens film kit

    Quote Originally Posted by hobbsr View Post
    Hi All,
    ..
    1. Leica 28mm 2.8 ASPH
    2. 50mm 1.4 (pre-ASPH)
    3. 90mm 2.0 cron
    ...
    I personally would prefer either 90/2.8 or 75/2.7 (thats what I use a lot) instead of the 90/2.0

    eventually 50asph instead of the pre-asph (here I am not sure -I use the asph - rendering wise I woud like the pre-asph but I am afaraif of focus shift

    eventually /personally I would rather have 12 or 24 instead of 28.
    If I would take 28 I would prefer the 28/2.0cron - great lens

    my 3 lens kit is 24/1.4, 50asph and 75/2.5

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    Re: Best 3 lens film kit

    Very much depends on what you shoot and what your style is. About half of my work is urban landscape. My preference for this situation is a 35mm pre-asp cron v.IV, 50mm lux asp., 90mm elmarit. This is a very compact and flexible kit and to my mind the classic Leica line up in terms of focal lengths. Sometimes I substitute a 28 cron for the 35, depending on my mood.

    I often shoot wider - sometimes very wide - in which case I stitch frames taken with the 35 or 50..

    Of course when I'm out at night or at a party I carry an entirely different kit - ditto if I'm doing real landscape where I typically carry more lenses.

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    Re: Best 3 lens film kit

    For me it depends on what I'm shooting. For 'scapes I like something sharp and crisp to bring out texture and detail, even in shots with people in it. I loved the Biogon 21 ZM on film and I love it on the M9. I plan to check out the 18's and the WATE though. For these types of shots I rarely want anything out of focus, so OOF rendering isn't critical. Nice, but not critical.

    For people I like something a little gentler, in particular the 35/2 IV. I used to have the (previous) 35A lux, but sold it. These types of shots are generally not everything-in-focus and I like to play with focus for separation.

    I like 50 for landscapes, these shots tend not to have anything OOF either. I don't currently have a lens for this for the M9, but the 35/2 IV stopped down will work fine.

    For compression I love the APO 75. These types of photos tend to be more abstract, with simple light, dark, and opposing color areas, clear and crisp mixed with smooth OOF regions. I think Jono uses his very similarly - love some of his stuff! Also a competent natural landscape lens for compression - but so is the 90/2.8 when stopped down. I find the APO 75 more versatile, personally. Bigger, but not too big.

    For reach I have a Tele-Elmar 135/4. But I got this for the M8 and am not entirely sure if it's long enough on the M9 (without cropping). It's very nice to have for the rare need though and wasn't that expensive.

    I may keep the M8 for a second body. I'm thinking the 35/2 IV on the M9 and APO 75 on the M8 could make a nice event shooting kit. I haven't done this much the last few years, so I'm not sure it's worth holding onto an M8 for.

    Anyway, that's my story for what it's worth... With the M9 it's the same as it was on the M6 shooting film, and on just about every camera I've had before then going back to Minolta X-700 in the mid 80s. (I couldn't afford Nikon then, but later upgraded to an FM2 and AI/AIS lenses. Obviously Leica wasn't even in the realm of possibility.) Everyone is going to have a different story, depending on what they shoot and how...

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    Re: Best 3 lens film kit

    Of course, writing that I forgot how hard the APO 75 is to frame on the M8... meh.

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    Re: Best 3 lens film kit

    OK you three lens kit folks, what bag are you using to keep your kit small? I have a 15, 28 and 50 on a M8 and am looking for a bag to match.Yes, I read the bag thread, but people here seem to be into small and light.

  30. #30
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    Re: Best 3 lens film kit

    Fogg B-Laika . . there is nothing else to match it!

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Best 3 lens film kit

    Errrr.... three lens kit.

    I vary, but my normal is:

    WATE
    35 'lux ASPH
    75 'cron

    because it's small and it works

    Just this guy you know

  32. #32
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    Re: Best 3 lens film kit

    My favorite two lens kit is:

    Ultron 28/2
    M-Hex 50/2

    If I were to carry a third lens, it would probably be the LTM 15/4.5 (I'd prefer an 18mm, but I can't afford it!). If CV ever releases a 50/1.4 with 0.7m min focus, I'd replace my M-Hex with it.

    I like using the Tenba padded insert with my messenger bags.

  33. #33
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    Re: Best 3 lens film kit



    I choose M50/1.0
    Last edited by LJ2004; 6th October 2010 at 16:47.

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    Re: Best 3 lens film kit

    On my M8, here’s my trinity:
    1) Elmarit 28 2.8 ASPH
    2) Lux 50 1.4 ASPH
    3) Elmarit 90mm 2.8 (which I am looking to buy now)

    When someday I get an M9, it would be the same—or I may replace the Elmarit 28 with a Cron 35.

    I have pondered the Cron 90mm 2.0 instead of the Elmarit 90 2.8, but size plays a big factor in my choice of 28 and 90.

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    Re: Best 3 lens film kit

    On film/M9 camera:

    1) Leica 28mm Summicron, 50mm Summilux ASPH or pre ASPH, (Leica 18mm Super Elmar or Zeiss 18mm Distagon if you want ultrawide, 90mm Elmarit if you want moderate telephoto) as your third lens)
    2) Leica 24mm Summilux, Leica 35mm Summilux ASPH (the new one), Leica 75mm Summilux or 75mm Summicron APO/ASPH if you want a smaller lens

    On M8 camera:
    1) Leica 28mm Summicron, 50mm pre ASPH, 75mm Summicron APO/ASPH
    2) Leica 28mm Summicron, 50mm ASPH, 75mm Summilux
    3) Leica or Zeiss 18mm, Leica 24mm Summilux, 50mm Summilux ASPH or pre ASPH

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    Re: Best 3 lens film kit

    Quote Originally Posted by hobbsr View Post
    Hi All,


    1. Leica 28mm 2.8 ASPH
    2. 50mm 1.4 (pre-ASPH)
    3. 90mm 2.0 cron

    Rodney
    Great choices, Rodney. My three-lens kit for my M8 is an Elmarit 28 2.8 ASPH, Lux 50 1.4 ASPH, and Rollei Planar 80mm 2.8. (Of course, those translate to 37, 67, and 106 per the M8 crop factor.) On an M9 (or film M body), I would probably keep the same set up, though I would want to see if I wanted the 80 to be longer (e.g., a 90).

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    Re: Best 3 lens film kit

    Quote Originally Posted by ashwinrao1 View Post
    I would think the following to be good 3 lens solutions

    28/50/90
    35/50/90 (my fav)
    24/35/75
    35/75/135

    Depends on your flavor, what you have...Your kit sounds lovely as is...
    Ashwin: the 35/50/90 was also Cartier-Bresson's fave three-lens kit.

  38. #38
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    Re: Best 3 lens film kit

    My favorite Leica M kit became an M4-P or M6 TTL body with

    Elmarit-M 24mm f/2.8 ASPH
    Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH
    Summicron-M 50mm f/2
    Summilux-M 75mm f/1.4

    lenses after about thirty years of using Leica Ms. I'd have preferred the newer 75mm f/2 or f/2.5 as the Summilux was a bit bulky/heavy and took a lot of care to focus accurately wide open.

    Most of the time I'd carry only two or three of the four lenses, which ones depending on my mood, but I don't think I ever left the 35mm behind.

  39. #39
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    Re: Best 3 lens film kit

    Quote Originally Posted by ramosa View Post
    Ashwin: the 35/50/90 was also Cartier-Bresson's fave three-lens kit.
    Awesome. I had heard that as well, and I am in hallowed company for sure.....

    I am struggling the the following options for a coming trip

    24/35/75/135

    OR
    24/35/50/90/135 (flanking my fav kit with a wide and tele option)

    The 1st option is certainly more "efficient", but the does not include my fav focal lenths of 90 and 50....which could make me a bit sad....
    Ashwin Rao
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    Re: Best 3 lens film kit

    Ashwin: Your fine collection of lenses makes for difficult travel decisions. (That's the only benefit--I guess--to my having far fewer lenses. Ha.) I'd think if 50 and 90 are your favorite focal lengths, you should fit them in. Could you "survive" on the 24/50/90/135 (thus, dropping the 35)?

  41. #41
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    Re: Best 3 lens film kit

    Hi Aswin,

    As you well know, picking lenses to take on such a trip is most often personal and goes along with ones style of shooting. There is no right or wrong..just whats best for you and what you feel comfortable with, in capturing the kind of shots you strive for.

    Personally if every focal length were available but had to limit to a four lens kit, for myself it would be 21, 28, 50, 90 ..even though my favorite lens is 35mm and I also adore the 135 f4. Reasoning is 28mm seems to be a bit more flexable in travel photography as opposed to a 35mm. A 50mm is a must except if your 75mm is a cron (see below)..which emulates the great 50mm lenses. My second choice would be 21, 35, 50, 90 since for me 35 & 50 are totally different. I possibly could substitute the 135mm for the 90mm. Lastly there is a reason why I haven't included a 75mm in a 21, 35, 75, 135 kit as you basically suggested and thats because my 75mm is the Summilux, which cannot be substututed for a fast focusing 50mm or even for something like the 75mm cron. As you know, the 75mm Lux has a unique look especially for portraits but is reasonably slow and methotical to work with (as great as it is).

    Knowing your wonderful images, whatever you take, you're going to come back with shots that are going to wow us all. Lets us know what you decide.

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 21st November 2010 at 19:04.

  42. #42
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    Re: Best 3 lens film kit

    thankg, Ramosa and Dave. Right now, I am leaning towards the 24/35/75/135 combo, because I'd prefer to have an efficient kit for travel.

    Dave, my 75 is the 'cron, so I think I could get by with it as a close enough emulator of the 50 lux asph (plus, since I got this lens, I keep wishing to use it more, and here's my chance).

    50 and 90 are more in my comfort zone, for sure, but I think I can accomodate to the 24/35/75/135 kit. What I'll probably do to decide is take the kit out for a spin somewhere local and crowded and see what I can do with it....

    I'll keep you all posted, and either kit will fit in my bag....don't think I could go wrong ; )
    Ashwin Rao
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  43. #43
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    Re: Best 3 lens film kit

    Hey Ashwin, where will you be going to? and what do you plan to shoot? will help define what you should bring

    In your proposed combo, I don't see the 0.95 on the list? What happen? You have a wonderful NYC collection and you won't be able to achieve quite the same with others.

    FYI, I am also debating of what I should bring in my upcoming Central America trip.

    Off topic question, do you use any magnifier with the 0.95?

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    Re: Best 3 lens film kit

    Since I last posted a preference for 21/35/90, I have almost exclusively used 21/2.8ZM, 35/1.2CV, 50/1.5 J3 sonnar... guess I was wrong!

  45. #45
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    Re: Best 3 lens film kit

    Basic 2 lens kit 35 and 75, add a 24 for a 3 lens kit.

    Pick the lens speed with some consideration for kit size, my choices 24 Elmarit, 35 Lux ASPH, 75 Cron Apo.....nice balance of speed and size

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