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Thread: WATE on M9?

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    WATE on M9?

    I've been considering the options for a 15mm lens to replace my CV (which indeed is rather poor on the M9) and was looking at the ZM 15/4. But at ~$3500 *YIKES* it's only a marginal savings over a WATE. And then there's some risk of edge problems still.

    Which leads me to wonder about the WATE in general and on the M9 in particular.

    How does it perform? Handheld, wide open? If I put the camera on a tripod and stop it down to say f8, will it produce a well-defined image over the entire field? Is it sensitive to flare? How is it handheld - if I change focal lengths, will the camera notice for lens correction or do I need to manually change it? Or turn the camera off and back on? (Never used it on an M8 so sorry if this sounds dumb. ) Any center IR hot spot on the M9? Does it render like modern Leica ASPH lenses do in general in terms of color and contrast?

    The more I think about the WATE, the more attractive it becomes, at least conceptually...

    Help persuade me! Show me some photos!

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    Re: WATE on M9?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jan Brittenson View Post

    The more I think about the WATE, the more attractive it becomes, at least conceptually...

    Help persuade me! Show me some photos!
    HI Jan
    the WATE is excellent on the M9 - it's excellent at all focal lengths, from wide open to stopped right down. The only down side is a very small amount of barrel distortion at 16 and 18mm.

    I wouldn't be without it!

    To be honest, the WATE and the 75 'cron are the two lenses I would never sell . . . no Aswhin, not even for a noctilux!

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: WATE on M9?

    THe WATE performs very very well on the M9. No issues with color shifts at the edgets, well corrected distortion, and very hand holdable even at slow shutter speeds, so that the f/4 aperturs is not much of a limitation. It performs close to perfectly wide open and really shines by f/5.6-8 based on my experience. I only sold the lens to fund my new Noctilux, and being unable to justify owning a 4K lens that I would use rarely...but IMHO, if you love to shoot wide, you can't go wrong here. Don't wait on the WATE...

    IF there's any convincing, it should be done through images. I offer up these, to show the unique properties and field of view of the WATE on the M9. I suspect that down the road, I may pick up the lens again.....once the finances allow. It's definitely a worth lens.





    Ashwin Rao
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    Re: WATE on M9?

    the only other possible downside that I'd see, by the way, is the size of the Frankenfinder...it's a biggy...
    Ashwin Rao
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    Re: WATE on M9?

    Those photos are sweet, Ashwin! They're great shots, but they also show off a bit of Leica "look".

    Good point there on the finder...

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    Re: WATE on M9?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jan Brittenson View Post
    Those photos are sweet, Ashwin! They're great shots, but they also show off a bit of Leica "look".

    Good point there on the finder...
    Yes, the Frankenfinder .. it is a thing of substance, but it works really well, despite being rather large - again, sweet on the M9












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    Re: WATE on M9?

    Darn you, Jono!!! You're gonna want to make me hurt my wallet again with your captures...

    Great captures!
    Ashwin Rao
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    Re: WATE on M9?

    Quote Originally Posted by ashwinrao1 View Post
    Darn you, Jono!!! You're gonna want to make me hurt my wallet again with your captures...

    Great captures!
    Well, you keep doing your best to get me to shell out on the Noctilux . . . it's only fair revenge.

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: WATE on M9?



    Oh man, why did I have to ask...

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    Re: WATE on M9?

    hahah....good stuff....
    Ashwin Rao
    Seattle, WA
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    Re: WATE on M9?

    Jan,

    As Jaap and Ashwin said , the WATE is perfect on the M9.

    Have it, love it.

    I too used * A LOT * the CV on the M8 and loved it to death. When I bought the M9, the CV/15 problems with the M9 were already documented so I decided that since I use wide quite often, I decided to gift myself a WATE.

    Thankfully bought one demo unit with the frankenfinder for a steal.

    Its a marvel.

    Again, like Ashwin said, F4 is at first a slow speed but the lens is compact and very light, so you can REALLY handhold at quite slow speeds, so F4 aint really a problem. Put it this way : I love small apertures. I have a 1.0 Noctilux and I lust for a 0.95 Noctilux.

    Ye, I'm a sucker for bokeh and speed.

    But still, I wouldnt trade my WATE for a WATE Summilux.

    The size of the WATE is perfect.

    Also, one thing you can't ignore : the frankenfinder.

    Its big , its cumbersome but also its very well made and its nice to have.

    Thing is : if you find a set ( lens + finder ) for a good price, buy it.

    Otherwise just buy the lens.

    One trivia about the WATE is that its the first true zoom lens for M : the MATE ( 28-35-50 ) isnt a real zoom, you click between focal lenghts but you cant choose an intermediate focal lenght with it. You can with the wate, as you can with a "slr" zoom.

    Just a curiosity

    Anyway, its a fantastic lens.

    Couple of my humble captures with it :




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    Re: WATE on M9?

    I just picked up this lens and can only hope to strive to capture pictures as good as Ashwin's and Jono's! At least I have something to strive for now!

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    Re: WATE on M9?

    And now Goncalo's pics! Geez...I've got even more to strive for now!

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    Re: WATE on M9?

    Goncalo, magical pics!

    Danny, congrats on this lens! Thanks for the kind words & enjoy this beautyl Seeing these amazing images is making me miss mine....but it's such an expensive beast, and I don't go so wide so often....with these ultra wides, on the M9, Leica glass appears to be the way to go, as it is best corrected, as Goncalo commented! Further Size is a plus. It's relatively compact, for a 3 focal length solution!
    Ashwin Rao
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    Re: WATE on M9?

    Any thoughts on the new CV 15-35 viewfinder? Looks like it might be slightly less imposing than the Leica... If anyone has had a chance to try it out I'd love to know how the 15 framelines compare to the 16 end of the WATE!

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    Re: WATE on M9?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jan Brittenson View Post
    Any thoughts on the new CV 15-35 viewfinder? Looks like it might be slightly less imposing than the Leica... If anyone has had a chance to try it out I'd love to know how the 15 framelines compare to the 16 end of the WATE!
    No Idea
    Don't write off the Frankenfinder though - it's very accurate, has a level in it, and it's not that big!
    I guess you might call it a triumph of function over form but at least the function is triumphant!

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: WATE on M9?

    It is a great lens on M9.
    Cheers,
    Ario
    Last edited by Ario Arioldi; 10th October 2010 at 22:32.

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    Re: WATE on M9?

    Unbelievably good shots everyone! WATE rocks, even on M8!

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    Re: WATE on M9?

    It looks like it's impossible to find a FrankenFinder, either new or used. For now I'll try using the CV 21 VF - the old plastic one, using the optical edge for 16 and the framelines for 21, and winging 18 as somewhere inbetween... Might be good enough for handheld. Worth trying at least before buying a CV zoom finder.

    Folks, keep your eyes peeled! If you see a FF on sale, let me know!

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    Re: WATE on M9?

    Quote Originally Posted by ashwinrao1 View Post
    THe WATE performs very very well on the M9. No issues with color shifts at the edges,
    Unfortunately this is not uniformly the case. Some have reported that they get red edges. I have had two M9's; with my first one I had no issues. My second M9 has red edge issues at 16mm with the WATE (even with the newest firmware), although only in some conditions.

    That said, as many have shown here with their images, its an outstanding lens on the M9 and has a really nice Leica-style rendering.

    Jeff

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    Re: WATE on M9?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jan Brittenson View Post
    Any thoughts on the new CV 15-35 viewfinder? Looks like it might be slightly less imposing than the Leica... If anyone has had a chance to try it out I'd love to know how the 15 framelines compare to the 16 end of the WATE!
    I have a WATE with Frankenfinder as well as the CV alternates 12, 15, 21 with zoom finder and others.

    The CV finder is a little smaller, but it is larger front to back, has no bubble and you can't see outside the frame. It's nice and clear, shows average distortion levels and is nicely made. However, it's still over $500 and just doesn't work as well as the Frankenfinder. If you get the WATE, get the Frankenfinder unless you need a finder that goes up to 35mm.

    And yes, the WATE works wonderfully on the M9 (and M8). It has a bit too much distortion at 16mm but is otherwise outstanding.

    Henning

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    Re: WATE on M9?

    Can someone post a picture of M9 with WATE and Frankenfinder? I want to see what it looks like

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    Re: WATE on M9?

    Amazing inages, everyone!

    I've been thinking about a lens in the 18mm range to complement my 24mm elmarit... Back in the film shooting day, I had a Canon system with a 24mm and a 17mm. While I used the 17mm only 1/5 as often as the 24mm, it did get a decent amount of use. Hence my desire to add a similar lens in the Leica digital system.

    SO... I was looking at the 18mm elmarit and the CZ equivalent, and hadn't really considered the WATE. Looking at these images makes me think that I really need to consider the WATE as an alternative as well. My wallet may be very unhappy about that, though.

    Can anyone speak directly to the performance of the WATE at 18mm compared to the 18mm CZ lens? While the 18mm elmarit is in there as well, from all measures, the CZ is the better lens (distortion, falloff, distortion, DISTORTION, etc.) I'm not interested in a lens that will require substantial processing in the computer before lines look straight and the color doesn't go all funky on the left edge.

    Right now, all my lenses are Leica, and I prefer the rendering and contrast of the Leica lenses over the CZ lenses in general, and actually prefer the rendering of non-ASPH Leica over ASPH Leica as well, but not in every case. The non-ASPH lenses seem to have smoother transitions that I find more pleasing. I'm sure they aren't quite as sharp at the ultimate point of focus, but I'll give that up for nicer transition rendering and OOF rendering.

    Thanks,


    ---Michael
    a7r, a7rII, FE 16-35, FE 24-70GM, FE 70-200, Loxia 21mm, 35mm, 50mm

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    Re: WATE on M9?

    Quote Originally Posted by mjm6 View Post
    Can anyone speak directly to the performance of the WATE at 18mm compared to the 18mm CZ lens? While the 18mm elmarit is in there as well, from all measures, the CZ is the better lens (distortion, falloff, distortion, DISTORTION, etc.) I'm not interested in a lens that will require substantial processing in the computer before lines look straight and the color doesn't go all funky on the left edge.
    The Leica 18mm offers the best MTF performance, and the WATE the poorest, with the Zeiss in between. But the Leica 18 and WATE have very even performance center to edge, while the Zeiss has excellent central performance and the poorest edge performance. The latter can sometimes be seen. Overall though the performance of all three is excellent.

    The Zeiss, as you noted, has the best distortion performance and the distortion of the WATE is something that annoys me at times, but I can fix it if it annoys me with LensFix, a front end for Panotools which can correct distortion perfectly. The distortion of the Zeiss is sufficient that I would need to correct that at times as well, and obviously that of the Leica 18 as well. However, for ultimate performance it's best to get the lens that gives the best technical performance other than distortion right off, as distortion can be corrected while edge performance can't be improved. Under these considerations the Leica 18 wins.

    The lenses are not a lot different in size or weight, with the WATE being the longest and thinnest, and the Zeiss being the shortest and widest. Obviously, the Zeiss has to be coded in some way.

    The Zeiss 18mm finder is the brightest and nicest for looking through and the Leica 18 finder is more compact and least likely to snag on things. The Frankenfinder is the best once you look through it (and not at it!) because while it's not as bright as the Zeiss (minimal difference) it has more space around the framelines, parallax correction and a bubble level. It also has a locking shoe. The Zeiss finder I do have (25/28) snags on things more than the Frankenfinder due I think to the funny corners that Zeiss put on it and it slips out of the shoe more easily.

    I got the WATE and finder through a Leica promotion for a lot less than the Leica 18 alone would cost now when I got my M8, and I'm delighted. I wasn't that sure that the relatively slight differences in focal lengths would be useful, but they certainly are. It's my go-to wideangle lens when a large aperture isn't necessary.

    Henning

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    Re: WATE on M9?

    Henning,

    An excellent commentary, and much appreciated. That brings a lot to think about for me on a lens in that focal length.

    I've got to start saving up for the M10 the rate things are going as well, but the Leica lenses need a bit more attention before I make a decision on a short lens.


    ---Michael
    a7r, a7rII, FE 16-35, FE 24-70GM, FE 70-200, Loxia 21mm, 35mm, 50mm

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    Re: WATE on M9?

    Quote Originally Posted by kalex View Post
    Can someone post a picture of M9 with WATE and Frankenfinder? I want to see what it looks like
    Here you go:



    M9, WATE & Frankenfinder by jhapeman, on Flickr

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    Re: WATE on M9?

    Cool thanks. It is a frankenfinder

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    Re: WATE on M9?

    I'm using WATE with the CV 15-35 finder, it's nice with the smaller size than the frankenfinder and it is very bright.

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    Re: WATE on M9?

    Quote Originally Posted by kalex View Post
    Cool thanks. It is a frankenfinder
    It certainly is . . . funny how I've come to rather like it - I guess it's a triumph of function over form

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    Re: WATE on M9?

    I finally managed to find one... and it's big. Works great, though.

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    Re: WATE on M9?

    The images posted from the WATE are sure impressive! I've never even held one in my hands, let alone get to shoot it. Jan, we should get together again sometime and try each other's crown jewels <Grin>.

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    Re: WATE on M9?

    bugsbugs,

    Could you post of picture of your CV 15-35mm finder with the WATE mounted on the camera? Thanks in advance.

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    Re: WATE on M9?

    WATE on M8

    -bob

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    Re: WATE on M9?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    WATE on M8

    -bob
    fantastic

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    Re: WATE on M9?

    Can't complain about the WATE on M9 ...

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