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Thread: 18mm and 35mm focual lengths options - any advice

  1. #1
    SAKIIMAGES
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    18mm and 35mm focual lengths options - any advice

    Hi all,
    Well its been over a month since I invested in rangefinder photography by buying an M8 with a 28mm Cron. I have always looked at owning a leica but with the digital age around us I opted for a Canon 1DS MKII a while back... very happy with it too...However I was drawn to the M8 when it came out and since I picked it up I can not let it go. Something raw about using a camera like this brings me back to my childhood years. So now I am looking at a reducing bank balance as I try and build up my lens kit for it.

    I am about to purchase a 75Lux as I am in love with the way it draws at f1.4-f2. I also have a 50mm f1.5 CV (I will wait for a new Leica Nocti when it comes out and I have won lotto. So for now I am looking at the a wider angle option and a standard lens option (for me being the film 50mm range) which is approx 35mm lens on the M8.

    I'd like peoples view on these 2 focal lengths and what type of gear would be ideal. I have been looking at the Zeiss 18mm f/4 Distagon (good price point and well built lens) and considering the 35mm Cron. I think the 35 cron option even though a superb lens will be a tough call for me as I do like low light shooting so the extra stop would be nice but not sure I can afford a 35mm 1.4Lux, maybe the 35 1.4 Noktor Classic... however its not Leica nor Zeiss quality (or is it?)

    Anyhow I probably started another thread which has been answered in various places but hope you can assist... and yes I know at the end of the day its all about the images not the lens, but I am a sucker for good glass.

    Cheers

  2. #2
    Senior Member ecliffordsmith's Avatar
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    Re: 18mm and 35mm focual lengths options - any advice

    Hi,

    Me again, I do not have the Zeiss lens but it is something I am considering myself.

    Do you have a subscription to reidreviews.com? If not I can highly recommend it. Lots of lenses are reviewed here for the M8 and also there are some very interesting essays on photography in general.

    Anyway, here are some 35 cron ASPH examples that I think show the colour, sharpness and detail this lens provides. It is also a very compact lens and is my most used lens by far.

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    Senior Member ecliffordsmith's Avatar
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    Re: 18mm and 35mm focual lengths options - any advice

    Sorry, one more that I did not attach properly in the above message.

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    Re: 18mm and 35mm focual lengths options - any advice

    The Zeiss 35/2 Biogon is also very good, although a bit bigger than the 'cron. I see that you are interested in the 18/4, so this may be a bit OT, but check out the Zeiss 21/4.5 Biogon. Extremely compact, high resolution and zero distortion. The 18/4 is quite large for a rangefinder lens.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: 18mm and 35mm focual lengths options - any advice

    Search the archives i have some reports on the Zeiss 18mm that you will find interesting . Great lens lots of punch , little contrasty but sharp as can be.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: 18mm and 35mm focual lengths options - any advice

    With the 28 and 50 I don't use 35 much at all anymore. I generally stick to 12, 21, 28, 50. Do you feel like you have a gap between your 28 and 50 that a few steps either way can't cover?

  7. #7
    SAKIIMAGES
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    Re: 18mm and 35mm focual lengths options - any advice

    Team thanks for all the feedback. ecliffordsmith amazing images with the 35 cron, I suspect the quality of these images is the photographer not the lens right :-).Also have been thinking about joining reidreviews.com so will do that today and check out the articles.

    I will check out the 21/4.5 Biogon but I think I prefer the 18 only because it reflects the standard 24mm length.

    Guy had a look at the reports. Sounds like a nice lens but seems like it needs a bit of work. Seems to me the Zeiss 18mm requires a modified flange, coded and a special filter. I am not sure were to get this done in Australia so that may be a chalenge unless someone is able to offer another solution. With all this done so that it behaves as Wate at 18mm seems like a good choice.

    TEBnewyork, if I apply logic when thinking of glass I would have another house :-) but I do agree. I did find myself in a situation that the 28 was too wide and 50 to tele in the cafe the other day and would have loved to have had a 35 for the situation. If I got up to get the length I wanted by foot I would have lost my seat :-)

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: 18mm and 35mm focual lengths options - any advice

    Actually that has changed recently you can buy the Zeiss 18mm with the new mount from Popflash and i think they can have the code recessed for you just to paint in the code. Than you just need a 58-60 step up ring and a leica 60mm filter. If interested send Tony a e-mail at Popflash and he can most likely get you all hooked up and ready to go
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  9. #9
    SAKIIMAGES
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    Re: 18mm and 35mm focual lengths options - any advice

    Thanks Guy. I will drop Tony a line and see what the deal is.

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: 18mm and 35mm focual lengths options - any advice

    If you like Leica glass, you should really take another look at the 21 Asph in addition to the Zeiss 18...

    My .02,
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: 18mm and 35mm focual lengths options - any advice

    The Zeiss 18mm is probably my most used lens, second only to the 28 summicron. For the price it is extremely well built and razor sharp. Leica will have a hard time competing against this lens.

    I use a 58 b&w UV/ir on mine and after much testing coded it as a 21mm. At the 18mm setting the correction was a bit too much (ended up with red corners). The Leica filter with step up is closer to the WATE 18mm but then one can't use the hood. I purchased before the correct bayonet option and bought a JLM milled bayonet. Works fine and took seconds to switch over.

    I would by this lens again in a heartbeat. Don't even hesitate.

    35 of course many more options.

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    Re: 18mm and 35mm focual lengths options - any advice

    don't forget older 35 lenses either. a lot of people love the pre-asph Cron v. IV (or III if you want a lot of contrast). and the later pre-asph Lux's are quite sweet and incredibly small. i bought one (though i was kind of lusting after an earlier version for more glow and a different draw), but couldn't resist the beautiful glass on this one. even shooting directly into light, i'm hard put to make it flare. the only difference is it's slightly softer (especially wide open) than the Asph. the older glass will give a different look and feel to your images as well. since you already have 28/2.0 (what a sweet lens!), you might have fun going down the pre-asph route.

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    Re: 18mm and 35mm focual lengths options - any advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    If you like Leica glass, you should really take another look at the 21 Asph in addition to the Zeiss 18...

    My .02,
    and would I ever agree Jack. The 21 asph is a marvel for the modern asph look. But not too much contrast and lots of micro contrast for that great Leica look. Really glad I own this one

    Best

    Woody

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    Re: 18mm and 35mm focual lengths options - any advice

    The only current options for 18mm that I can think of are the Zeiss and Leica WATE. I have been very pleased with the WATE plus you get the bonus of also getting a 16mm and 21mm.

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    Re: 18mm and 35mm focual lengths options - any advice

    The 18mm is excellent, and if you want that focal length there is no reason to hesitate in purchasing it.

    For 35mm lenses, there are a lot of options. I chose the 35/1.4 ASPH, but recently their price has really become stratospheric. Nevertheless, I would highly recommend finding a used copy if you can swing it. On film it is my most used lens, and it is very nice on the M8 as well. It is one of those few lenses that does almost everything well -- it is very sharp without being harsh, it is fast, nicely balanced and compact, it is resistant to flare in most situations, and it has really nice bokeh. Here are a few shots I have taken with mine. The first two are at 1.4, and the 3rd was f/4 or f/5.6...I don't remember the fourth.









    If you don't go for the 35/1.4 ASPH, people have been raving about the 35/2 Biogon, so I would look at that very carefully. Of course, any of the summicrons are superb lenses. If you are looking for a bit of a left field recommendation, the 35mm f/2 Hexanon for the Hexar RF was as good as the 35/1.4 ASPH, it just was a stop slower. If you can find one, it will serve you very very well.

  16. #16
    SAKIIMAGES
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    Re: 18mm and 35mm focual lengths options - any advice

    Plenty of good advice. I think I better win lotto. Stuart your images are beautiful. I think I need time to build this kit up and have some patience.

    I was thinking about the Leica 21mm too as I have seen some amazing images with that lense. I think I will walk before I run.

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    Re: 18mm and 35mm focual lengths options - any advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Gowin View Post
    The only current options for 18mm that I can think of are the Zeiss and Leica WATE. I have been very pleased with the WATE plus you get the bonus of also getting a 16mm and 21mm.
    For the extra $4200 (compared to the Zeiss) I'll use my feet to replicate the 16 and 21!

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    Re: 18mm and 35mm focual lengths options - any advice

    Quote Originally Posted by charlesphoto View Post
    For the extra $4200 (compared to the Zeiss) I'll use my feet to replicate the 16 and 21!
    Using your feet is certainly an option under ideal conditions (e.g. room to move). However, no amount of feet movement can change a lens's angle of view or perspective.

    I pointed out the Leica WATE as one of the only two options I am aware of for the 18mm focal length. Also, since I didn't pay anywhere near the cost of a Zeiss 18mm plus $4200 may have something to do with my perceived value in the three-in-one lens. With that said, I am a fan of the WATE - it is a very good lens, but may not be for everyone.

    Mark

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