Site Sponsors
Results 1 to 29 of 29

Thread: Do lenses work differently on film and digital?

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    352
    Post Thanks / Like

    Do lenses work differently on film and digital?

    Hello

    I am having a problem with one Lenca lens that I sold.

    The lens was CLAed by Leica certified tech, and then sold to somebody. I just got an email from the buyer that the lens I sold is either not focusing correctly or not sharp until it is stopped down to F8. And I received those images, and I agree with the buyer's claim, images at wide open is terribly out of focus. I also received images taken with Summilux 50mm wide open and the image is very sharp.

    Now, I have contacted the tech about this problem. Then I was asked which body is being used. I told the tech it is M9, and I also told that the M9 body focuses perfect with sharp image with the buyers other lenses. Now I was told that the problem is because the lens is used with digital body, and the tech suggested me to refund money, and sell it to somebody who shoots with films. Then, the lens should work fine.

    Now, my question is if one lens does not work with M9, will it work fine with film body?

    Anyway, I gave the buyer for options of either sending it back to me for refund, or send it to somebody such as DAG for another CLA.

    Thank you for your help.
    Hiromu

  2. #2
    Senior Subscriber Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    1,306
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Do lenses work differently on film and digital?

    Some lenses show focus shifts - focus moves with aperture - on a digital camera. Not much to be done about that. The only lens I've personally run into that does it is the CV 40/1.4, but the effect is real. However, it doesn't sound like this is what's happening... it could be the buyer's M9 is out of calibration as well - if this is a 90 or 135, maybe even 75, and they haven't had a lens longer than 35-50 before, then they may simply not have noticed!

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    352
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Do lenses work differently on film and digital?

    Thank you.
    The lens having problem is Summicron 28mm, and the buyer's M9 works perfect with Summilux 50mm.
    Hiromu

  4. #4
    Senior Member mathomas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    1,148
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Do lenses work differently on film and digital?

    I have read (in LFI, no less) that a digital sensor is so flat (essentially two-dimensional) that it shows focus shift problems much more easily than film. Film apparently has enough depth (though still obviously very shallow) that focus will possibly be good at some layer of the emulsion. I find it hard to believe that film's "depth" is enough to account for focus shift problems, but I have heard/read it more than once.

    I'm sorry for your position. I've been on the other side: I bought a lens here on getdpi.com that focus-shifted on my M8. I also sent example photos to the seller, and he kindly and quickly refunded my money. It's the right thing to do, though painful and frustrating. (In this particular case, he actually reproduced the focus shift on his M9 after receiving the lens back. He had not noticed it in his prior use since he didn't shoot wide-open very much).

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    352
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Do lenses work differently on film and digital?

    Thank you, Mike.

    Yes, the buyer is returning the lens for refund.

    I am aware of focus shifting with some other lenses such as Summilux ASPH 35mm (not the latest), but never with Summicron 28mm...

    Well, once I receive the lens back, I will have to test with film body to check if it works...

    Thank you.
    Hiromu

  6. #6
    Super Duper
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    3,848
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Do lenses work differently on film and digital?

    Lenses not focusing with digital are fairly common -- here is one thread I found, re: sending to DAG for calibration.

    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?t=16580

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    352
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Do lenses work differently on film and digital?

    Quote Originally Posted by monza View Post
    Lenses not focusing with digital are fairly common -- here is one thread I found, re: sending to DAG for calibration.

    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?t=16580
    Thank you for good info.
    Hiromu

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    65
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Do lenses work differently on film and digital?

    I agree with you, Mike, that the problem is caused by the thickness of the emulsion. Of course, in black and white film there is generally only one light-sensitive (silver halide) layer, but in colour film there are several, representing different colours (e.g. blue, yellow, green, red). When using colour transparency medium-format film, with fast lenses, I had the impression (rightly or wrongly) that the colour tinges of out-of-focus areas depended on which layers the out-of-focus light rays struck. And for a film with a warm-colour layer on top you could make the picture slightly warmer by marginally under-exposing, so that a larger proportion of the light never made it through to the layers below. These experiences convinced me that the thickness of the emulsion in film, and the order in which the layers were placed in the case of colour film, were rather significant and important to the picture. In contrast, the sensor plane of a digital camera is of negligible thickness. Nettar
    Last edited by Nettar; 13th January 2011 at 12:29. Reason: Spelling!

  9. #9
    Senior Subscriber Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    1,306
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Do lenses work differently on film and digital?

    The Summicron 28 though should have no issues - lots of people use it on both the M8 and M9. Chuck who frequently posts here has one and loves it on his M9. I'm inclined to think it wasn't properly reassembled...

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    352
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Do lenses work differently on film and digital?

    Quote Originally Posted by monza View Post
    Lenses not focusing with digital are fairly common -- here is one thread I found, re: sending to DAG for calibration.

    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?t=16580
    Quote Originally Posted by Jan Brittenson View Post
    I'm inclined to think it wasn't properly reassembled...
    That's what I do not want to see since the Leica tech is often recommended by many people, but have to check out that possibility. So once I received the lens back from the buyer, I will check with my film Leica and see what I get. If the tech is right, then I should see good images on my negs. If not, then I have to send it back for another CLA.

    Thank you.
    Hiromu

  11. #11
    Subscriber Member jaapv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    770
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    250

    Re: Do lenses work differently on film and digital?

    That tech does not know his job. Since 2006 Leica lenses need to be adjusted to narrower tolerances for reasons outlined above, and all competent technicians do that. Leica will return lenses nowadays " adjusted to M8/9 specifications" It is not rocket science...
    JAAP
    http://www.jaapvphotography.eu
    The colours of my generation are black and white.

  12. #12
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    Bill Caulfeild-Browne's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Bruce Peninsula, Canada
    Posts
    2,535
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    184

    Re: Do lenses work differently on film and digital?

    I bought a 75 Cron asph from a reliable source who had had it cla'd before selling. It was front focussing badly on my M9 - but had not been on his!

    We got it fixed under warranty and now it's fine. I can only assume that it was abused in transit to me by the PO which was enough to put it "off". All my other lenses are fine and now it is too.

    Bill

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    519
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Do lenses work differently on film and digital?

    Curiosity question - what would you do with M9 on warranty - if you would like to calibrate CV or ZEISS lens?

    Solms states they only calibrate LEICA lenses.

  14. #14
    Senior Member thrice's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    1,265
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Do lenses work differently on film and digital?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry_R View Post
    Curiosity question - what would you do with M9 on warranty - if you would like to calibrate CV or ZEISS lens?

    Solms states they only calibrate LEICA lenses.
    Sherry Krauter and Don Goldberg both calibrate to M9 tolerance.

    The issue here is NOT calibrating for digital OR film. They both have the same register distance. Only difference is that front focus won't be as visible on film due to the thickness of the film compensating slightly, VERY slightly.

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    519
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Do lenses work differently on film and digital?

    Quote Originally Posted by thrice View Post
    Sherry Krauter and Don Goldberg both calibrate to M9 tolerance.
    Thanks Thrice, any place in Europe?

  16. #16
    Senior Member thrice's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    1,265
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Do lenses work differently on film and digital?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry_R View Post
    Thanks Thrice, any place in Europe?
    I don't know any unfortunately. I'm in West Australia.

  17. #17
    Super Duper
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    3,672
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Do lenses work differently on film and digital?

    I concur what others have expressed, namely the 28mm cron asph does not generally exhibit focus shift, nor is fussy, so if it was focus adjusted properly after a CLA, (and esepcially that it is a wide angle f2 lens), then the lens should focus properly on most any properly adjusted m8 and M9. Although you can test it by shooting it on a film body when you get the lens back, may I suggest that you try it also on any number of M8/M9 you might be able to try it on. If adjusted correctly, then it should focus correctly on most all of these bodies, if not, it may just be a simple case of needing simple focus adjustment by a qualified tech and then all should be fine.

    Dave (D&A)

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    352
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Do lenses work differently on film and digital?

    Quote Originally Posted by thrice View Post
    Sherry Krauter and Don Goldberg both calibrate to M9 tolerance.
    Sherry does not work on digital.
    And the lens was back from her.

  19. #19
    Subscriber Member Chuck Jones's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Studio City, CA
    Posts
    700
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    18

    Re: Do lenses work differently on film and digital?

    I wouldn't waste your time checking a 28mm 'Cron ASPH on film. Just go ahead and send It back for adjustment. It should make little to no difference. The 28 'Cron is a GREAT lens that focuses just fine on M8 or M9, and is tack sharp on both bodies, in my own experience. Having used it extensively on my M8 and a bit now on my M9 I give it two thumbs up for sure. One of the top four or five lenses made for a Leica M in my opinion. Clearly, your example is out of adjustment.

  20. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    352
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Do lenses work differently on film and digital?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Jones View Post
    Clearly, your example is out of adjustment.
    I hope that's the case. But I need to see it by myself before asking the tech for another CLA. Though, the tech did suggested me to simply re-sell to somebody who shoots films, rather than sending it back for another CLA...

  21. #21
    Subscriber Member Chuck Jones's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Studio City, CA
    Posts
    700
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    18

    Re: Do lenses work differently on film and digital?

    Quote Originally Posted by khiromu View Post
    I hope that's the case. But I need to see it by myself before asking the tech for another CLA. Though, the tech did suggested me to simply re-sell to somebody who shoots films, rather than sending it back for another CLA...
    Khiromu, with due respect, there is no question that digital alignment is much more demanding than film for exactitude. With digital, a .01 mm difference does make a difference. But specs are specs, and just because film is more forgiving doesn't mean that the tech didn't make a mistake. If the 28 'Cron is adjusted correctly, and your body is adjusted to specification as well, the 28 'Cron is right up there with the best of the Leica lenses made.

    Even the tech's suggestion that you pawn it off on someone with less critical eye makes me very suspicious. What happens if he goes digital one day? I'm sorry, but to me, if a tech told me that I would take it as a blow off from someone who doesn't want to take responsibility for a mistake. Almost as lame an excuse as just having him tell me to shoot it at f/8, and the symptoms disappear. I'd :bang: the sucker

  22. #22
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    352
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Do lenses work differently on film and digital?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Jones View Post
    Khiromu, with due respect, there is no question that digital alignment is much more demanding than film for exactitude. With digital, a .01 mm difference does make a difference. But specs are specs, and just because film is more forgiving doesn't mean that the tech didn't make a mistake. If the 28 'Cron is adjusted correctly, and your body is adjusted to specification as well, the 28 'Cron is right up there with the best of the Leica lenses made.

    Even the tech's suggestion that you pawn it off on someone with less critical eye makes me very suspicious. What happens if he goes digital one day? I'm sorry, but to me, if a tech told me that I would take it as a blow off from someone who doesn't want to take responsibility for a mistake. Almost as lame an excuse as just having him tell me to shoot it at f/8, and the symptoms disappear. I'd :bang: the sucker
    Thank you for your comment.
    Yes, I agree with you.
    I am now awaiting from the buyer for some more test shots since I no longer have digital body, I cannot "prove" that the lens is mis-aligned or something that does not work with digital body.

    Hiromu

  23. #23
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    819
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Do lenses work differently on film and digital?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Jones View Post
    Clearly, your example is out of adjustment.
    You don't know that. The buyer's M9 could be out of alignment and the 50 Lux may have calibration issues as well. A car's right tire can be worn and pull the right, and the left tire worn as well and pull to the left. The car will go straight, but it doesn't mean the car is in proper spec. And replace one tire, and the equilibrium is disrupted. There are too many variables here and nothing has been eliminated at this point. It's a lousy position for the seller because their lens may be perfectly fine, or maybe not.

    Another potential issue with the 28mm Summicron is the front element - which can become loose over time. Once that happens, the lens needs to go to Leica for service or someone who can collimate the optics back to proper specifications.

  24. #24
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    352
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Do lenses work differently on film and digital?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Black View Post
    You don't know that. The buyer's M9 could be out of alignment and the 50 Lux may have calibration issues as well. A car's right tire can be worn and pull the right, and the left tire worn as well and pull to the left. The car will go straight, but it doesn't mean the car is in proper spec. And replace one tire, and the equilibrium is disrupted. There are too many variables here and nothing has been eliminated at this point. It's a lousy position for the seller because their lens may be perfectly fine, or maybe not.

    Another potential issue with the 28mm Summicron is the front element - which can become loose over time. Once that happens, the lens needs to go to Leica for service or someone who can collimate the optics back to proper specifications.
    Yes, that's why I don't want to conclude if the CLA was done poorly, or the buyer's M9 has mis-calibration, or anything else. It's possible that the CLA was perfect, but the mail carrier mis-handle the package.

    Anyway, I want to see it in my hand with my own shooting habit if there is any problem with it.

    Hiromu

  25. #25
    Subscriber Member Chuck Jones's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Studio City, CA
    Posts
    700
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    18

    Re: Do lenses work differently on film and digital?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Black View Post
    You don't know that. The buyer's M9 could be out of alignment and the 50 Lux may have calibration issues as well. A car's right tire can be worn and pull the right, and the left tire worn as well and pull to the left. The car will go straight, but it doesn't mean the car is in proper spec. And replace one tire, and the equilibrium is disrupted. There are too many variables here and nothing has been eliminated at this point. It's a lousy position for the seller because their lens may be perfectly fine, or maybe not.

    Another potential issue with the 28mm Summicron is the front element - which can become loose over time. Once that happens, the lens needs to go to Leica for service or someone who can collimate the optics back to proper specifications.
    John, your right, I don't "absolutely" know that for sure. You're correct, I am making an assumption before physically examining the lens in question myself. And yes, the other lens his buyer has, the 50mm 'Lux, could have alignment problems as well. The body cam could be out of adjustment just as easily too. Or a combination of all three possibly. But that frankly is not likely, given that both lenses are not off, just the 28mm. Having owned both, I dismiss the body and user error, as the 50mm 'Lux is much more sensitive to calibration faults than the 28 'Cron is.

    It is also certainly possible that the lens took a severe shock in shipping serious enough to knock the front element loose, but that also is going to take a professional examination to determine. Not something your going to fix in your garage shop in either case. What some people forget is though a technician may be Leica trained and certified (I wasn't aware Leica certified outside technicians either, when did they start doing that?) they do not always have access to the very sensitive & extremely expensive equipment to properly calibrate to the standards that Leica does. 0.01 is a very tight tolerance.

    Kindermann up in Canada used to be the Leica distributor for Canada, but gave it up as the gear necessary to do repairs was way too costly to afford for such a relatively small market. They had Leica trained and certified warranty repair technicians on staff, and back when they did repairs were a lot faster than Leica in the States or in Germany on repair turnarounds. But they do not own the test gigs necessary for alignment or repair of the newer lenses, which the 28 'Cron falls under the description of.

    Given that nobody but Leica themselves (who actually MAKE their own tools!) own precise enough tools to do the alignment perfectly (call Leica NJ and ask them, or call Kindrmann directly to check for yourself), and given that I heard nothing from anybody about the lens being bad before it went in for a simple CLA, combined with the 50mm 'Lux working perfectly (that lens is a real bear when it's off), I will stand by my first conclusion, the lens is out and needs to go to someone who can properly align it correctly. Which, to my understanding, is either to Leica in NJ (who now has invested the huge cost in the necessary alignment gear, and can repair most everything M save for the Noct I'm told) or directly to Solms in Germany. I wouldn't trust a problem lens to anyone else, as nobody else has the correct equipment to do that fine an adjustment to guarantee the result. This is an exacting procedure, NOT for the faint of heart.

    It's so hard to do right, that even Leica sometimes blows it, and the lens needs to go back for correction.

    As always, just my opinion.

  26. #26
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    352
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Do lenses work differently on film and digital?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Jones View Post
    John, your right, I don't "absolutely" know that for sure. You're correct, I am making an assumption before physically examining the lens in question myself. And yes, the other lens his buyer has, the 50mm 'Lux, could have alignment problems as well. The body cam could be out of adjustment just as easily too. Or a combination of all three possibly. But that frankly is not likely, given that both lenses are not off, just the 28mm. Having owned both, I dismiss the body and user error, as the 50mm 'Lux is much more sensitive to calibration faults than the 28 'Cron is.

    It is also certainly possible that the lens took a severe shock in shipping serious enough to knock the front element loose, but that also is going to take a professional examination to determine. Not something your going to fix in your garage shop in either case. What some people forget is though a technician may be Leica trained and certified (I wasn't aware Leica certified outside technicians either, when did they start doing that?) they do not always have access to the very sensitive & extremely expensive equipment to properly calibrate to the standards that Leica does. 0.01 is a very tight tolerance.

    Kindermann up in Canada used to be the Leica distributor for Canada, but gave it up as the gear necessary to do repairs was way too costly to afford for such a relatively small market. They had Leica trained and certified warranty repair technicians on staff, and back when they did repairs were a lot faster than Leica in the States or in Germany on repair turnarounds. But they do not own the test gigs necessary for alignment or repair of the newer lenses, which the 28 'Cron falls under the description of.

    Given that nobody but Leica themselves (who actually MAKE their own tools!) own precise enough tools to do the alignment perfectly (call Leica NJ and ask them, or call Kindrmann directly to check for yourself), and given that I heard nothing from anybody about the lens being bad before it went in for a simple CLA, combined with the 50mm 'Lux working perfectly (that lens is a real bear when it's off), I will stand by my first conclusion, the lens is out and needs to go to someone who can properly align it correctly. Which, to my understanding, is either to Leica in NJ (who now has invested the huge cost in the necessary alignment gear, and can repair most everything M save for the Noct I'm told) or directly to Solms in Germany. I wouldn't trust a problem lens to anyone else, as nobody else has the correct equipment to do that fine an adjustment to guarantee the result. This is an exacting procedure, NOT for the faint of heart.

    It's so hard to do right, that even Leica sometimes blows it, and the lens needs to go back for correction.

    As always, just my opinion.
    You may be right. I may have to send it to Leica, instead of anybody else.

    By the way, do anybody know the cost of simple CLA by Leica NJ? I was quoted for about $150 for CLA on this lens, and I assume Leica charges more.

    Hiromu

  27. #27
    Super Duper
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    3,672
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Do lenses work differently on film and digital?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Black View Post
    You don't know that. The buyer's M9 could be out of alignment and the 50 Lux may have calibration issues as well. A car's right tire can be worn and pull the right, and the left tire worn as well and pull to the left. The car will go straight, but it doesn't mean the car is in proper spec. And replace one tire, and the equilibrium is disrupted. There are too many variables here and nothing has been eliminated at this point. It's a lousy position for the seller because their lens may be perfectly fine, or maybe not.

    Another potential issue with the 28mm Summicron is the front element - which can become loose over time. Once that happens, the lens needs to go to Leica for service or someone who can collimate the optics back to proper specifications.
    This is why I menioned in my post above, that the quickest easier way to determine if the basic problem is with the lens, was to try it out if at all possible on at least two properly calibrated M8/M9 bodies. Hopefully there is a dealer or other users in your area that the lens can be tried out on their bodies.

    On a separate note, DAG (Don Goldberg) would be quite capable of focus adjusting this lens and besides his expertise, he uses a properly calibrated M9 to check focusing after adjustment. Besides Leica, he would be a superb individual to have check out the lens with.

    Dave (D&A)

  28. #28
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    Bill Caulfeild-Browne's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Bruce Peninsula, Canada
    Posts
    2,535
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    184

    Re: Do lenses work differently on film and digital?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Jones View Post
    I wouldn't waste your time checking a 28mm 'Cron ASPH on film. Just go ahead and send It back for adjustment. It should make little to no difference. The 28 'Cron is a GREAT lens that focuses just fine on M8 or M9, and is tack sharp on both bodies, in my own experience. Having used it extensively on my M8 and a bit now on my M9 I give it two thumbs up for sure. One of the top four or five lenses made for a Leica M in my opinion. Clearly, your example is out of adjustment.
    Couldn't agree more, Chuck!
    Bill

  29. #29
    Senior Member thrice's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    1,265
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Do lenses work differently on film and digital?

    Quote Originally Posted by khiromu View Post
    Sherry does not work on digital.
    And the lens was back from her.
    Last I checked, M lenses didn't have any electronics in them... My 35 lux asph came back just fine from her and was used on the M9. If the 28 Cron was out of calibration after being set up by Sherry, I'd send it back.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •