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Thread: Lenses for M9

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    Lenses for M9

    All,

    Here are three lens scenarios for an M9. I shoot street and do not want a lens wider than a 35mm.

    1) the two great lens plan #1: the new Lux 35mm asph and latest version of the Elmarit 90mm.

    2) the two great lens plan #2: Cron 35mm asph and Lux 50mm asph.

    3) the one great, two good lens plan: Cron 35mm pre-asph V2or V3, Lux 50mm asph, and latest version of Tele-Elmarit 90mm.

    I know patience is needed for some of these lenses. That's OK. Also, each of these plans would likely cost about $6700-7000.*

    I know any related decisions and preferences are quite personal, as we all see and shoot differently. But I think I can benefit from some input here.

    Thanks in advance for any ideas or input ...

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    Re: Lenses for M9

    Hi Ramosa,
    Great to here from you here! Personally, I'd go for plan 1....gives you the most range for your photography....and a killer combo of lenses (I have both and love them dearly)....There are no faults to plan 2 either other than lack of focal length reach. While plan 3 seems sound, I think you'd find yourself desiring to upgrade the Tele-elmarit or pre-asph 'cron relatively fast, and then that might cost more...

    Best,
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    Re: Lenses for M9

    I shoot with a cron 35 ASPH and a cron 75. In my experience a 2x progression (2x35 = 70) doesn't leave a gap since you can cover the difference with your feet easily, but also won't have you changing lenses all the time. For wide angle use I prefer 18, but use a WATE (16-18-21). Needless to point out, 2x18 = 36. For the occasional reach I toss a Tele-Elmar 135/4 in the bag. While 150 would have been even better (2x75 = 150) 135 is already hard enough to use on an M9, and of course is as long as it gets. (Though unless I pack light I'll throw a Sony a850 with a 70-200/2.8 over a shoulder and keep the 35/2 on the M9, bringing the WATE in a pocket and leaving the 75/2 and 135/4 behind.)

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    Re: Lenses for M9

    Ashwin: Too funny. I almost emailed you about this, but I know how busy you are. I recall reading thay you're primarily a 35-50-90 guy--and wondered which would be harder to wrest from your hands ... the new Lux 35mm asph or the Lux 50mm asph?! Thanks for your input. This has been very useful already. Do you mind the hood blockage on the Lux 35? (I have never experienced that.)

    Jan: Thanks so much. Your comment, along with that of Ashwin, has me settling into the 35 plus a tele camp. I could even start with a 35mm and keep my 80mm to see if I'm happy with the reach.

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    Senior Member Peter Klein's Avatar
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    Re: Lenses for M9

    Ramosa: I use the "old" 35 Lux ASPH. I usually use it with a screw-in vented 46mm hood from "Heavystar" on eBay. It's less obtrusive than the original Leica hood.

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    Re: Lenses for M9

    Hi Ramosa
    I don't shoot street (no streets around here), so perhaps my input isn't so valuable.

    My feelings are closest to Jan's - the 75 'cron really is a lovely lens . . . but then, so is the 90 slim elmarit (and it's much less than half the price).

    I have both the new 'luxes (35 and 50) the 50 is really impossible to do without, the 35 gets used much less (go figure).

    I understand you need a 35 from your choices . . . I guess that if I were you I'd go for a 35 'cron asph and a 75 'cron asph. . . . If I were me I'd go for

    xxx WATE
    xx 24 'lux
    xxx 28 'cron asph
    xx 35 summarit
    x 35 'lux asph (latest)
    xxx 50 .95 'noct
    xxxx 50 'lux asph
    xxxxx 75 'cron asph
    xxx 90 slim elmarit

    I've put xxx to designate how much each lens gets used

    beware - it's a slippery slope (mind you, I used to have 11 leica lenses )!

    The only real advice I can give, is don't get a 'stopgap' lens unless you're pretty sure you can get your money back on it, in my experience they don't get used.

    Having seen the recommendations at LUF, I'm with the poster who suggested 35 'summarit, 50 'lux and 90 slim elmarit - I have them all, and they're all wonderful.
    Good Luck
    Last edited by jonoslack; 26th July 2011 at 15:15.

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    Re: Lenses for M9

    1st choice would be the 50 lux asph would be my cornerstone from there it would be 75 cron for two lens. Just love both of these lens.

    2nd choice would be the 50 lux asph with the 35 cron for the two lens.

    For option one I would not hesitate to add a VC 35/1.4, VC 35/1.7 or Zeiss 35/2 in the mix if needed. For the second I would add a VC 75/2.5.

    Then again with the availability of lens you may just let the market drive you and pick up the first available on your list and then the second. Certainly the price of a single 35 Lux FLE could take your whole budget if you started with that particular lens. Then again the 50 Lux is certainly a less expensive but can be a difficult find.

    Good luck with your decision.

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    Re: Lenses for M9

    Quote Originally Posted by seakayaker View Post
    1st choice would be the 50 lux asph would be my cornerstone from there it would be 75 cron for two lens. Just love both of these lens.

    2nd choice would be the 50 lux asph with the 35 cron for the two lens.

    For option one I would not hesitate to add a VC 35/1.4, VC 35/1.7 or Zeiss 35/2 in the mix if needed. For the second I would add a VC 75/2.5. ...
    35 (or 40) plus 75 mm would be my choice. Given the price and availability of the Leica lenses nowadays, I'd first buy Voigtländer 35/1.4 or 40/1.4 and 75/2.5, shoot with them a while, then decide precisely what Leica lenses to spring for.

    Both those lenses together will cost a little over $1000 and you can always get 85-90% of that money back when you decide you want the Leica lenses and can obtain the ones you want. A veritable pittance compared to buying two Leica lenses !!!

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    Re: Lenses for M9

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    35 (or 40) plus 75 mm would be my choice. Given the price and availability of the Leica lenses nowadays, I'd first buy Voigtländer 35/1.4 or 40/1.4 and 75/2.5, shoot with them a while, then decide precisely what Leica lenses to spring for.

    Both those lenses together will cost a little over $1000 and you can always get 85-90% of that money back when you decide you want the Leica lenses and can obtain the ones you want. A veritable pittance compared to buying two Leica lenses !!!
    Quite right - that's always the consolation with M lenses: if you buy them well, then you don't lose too much if you change your mind.

    That sounds like a Good Plan Godfrey . . . . I can see your resistance slipping!

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    Re: Lenses for M9

    I love both the 35 Lux AsphII and 50 Lux Asph, they just produce a certain power/richness in images, and leave many creative flexibility regarding DOF.
    If I had to go 2 lenses only I would probably got 35/1.4asphII and 75/2.0 (or 75/2.5 if budget is limited (which I dont own but I guess it can do 90% of what my 50/1.4asph and my 90 Elmarit can do).
    35-90 I used for many years with a M6, it worked good at that time but now I would miss something in the middle.

    An interesting option could also be 35 Summarit, 50/1.4 asph and 75 Summarit or 90 Elmarit.

    Funny- I have more than 10 Leica M lenses but the 35/1.4asphII, 50asph and 90 Elmarit are my most used and favorites these days.

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    Re: Lenses for M9

    I shoot a lot of street . Doing an edit of about 45K images with M8/9 on the street ....so its right in front of me. Since I shoot with 2 bodies always ...my combination is 28summicron and 50summilux asph . This will cover 90% of my images in all varieties of lighting.

    The advantage of a 28 is that you can work with looser framing and adjust in post processing. When you get close to people you normally have to shoot quickly and watching the edges while anticipating the moment. Plus when you get just a little closer with a 28 (than a 35) the background includes more area and information(context) .

    But with one body I like the 35 1.4 best and you can t beat the new version of the 35 1.4 (but you also can t buy one at list ). I like the 75/2 a lot more than the 90/2.8 but that will blow your budget as well. The 90/2.8 is a excellent street lens as its small and can be carried in a vest or jacket easily .

    I would go for your first choice.

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    Re: Lenses for M9

    see...you need all three just to make your life harder....

    90 Elmarit:


    35/1.4asphII:




    50/1.4asph:



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    Re: Lenses for M9

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Quite right - that's always the consolation with M lenses: if you buy them well, then you don't lose too much if you change your mind.

    That sounds like a Good Plan Godfrey . . . . I can see your resistance slipping!
    LOL ... Never had much resistance to buying an M again, just not enough money. ;-)

    The way my photography is going, the SLRs are becoming niche players for when I need long lenses and for doing table top work. Most of my shooting since April has been with the GXR and its two camera units. When the M-lens camera unit comes out, I'll use my Skopar 50mm on it, add a 25 or 28 mm lens and later add the 40 and 75 mm ... which sets me up nicely for a Leica M9 body when the funds arrive. All part of a "master plan" ... right!!!

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    Re: Lenses for M9

    Most of the above advices would be ok for me as well, with one exception, I wouldn't go for a 50 summilux: to heavy for regular use. Therefore if you had to go for a 50, then go for a summicron or one of the Carl Zeiss family (needless to say that this outrules a noct as well).
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    Re: Lenses for M9

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron (Netherlands) View Post
    Most of the above advices would be ok for me as well, with one exception, I wouldn't go for a 50 summilux: to heavy for regular use. Therefore if you had to go for a 50, then go for a summicron or one of the Carl Zeiss family (needless to say that this outrules a noct as well).
    I thought that as well (the 50 'lux too heavy) but I carried it all around Crete last autumn in my hand, and it really was fine.

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    Re: Lenses for M9

    I too have to pipe min for the 50 LUX. Just an amazing lens.

    The second lens I use almost more is the 28mm 2.0. I had the WATE, a 15mm Zeiss, a 15mm CV, 12mm CV a 21 ASPH and you know what? I find it better to pan with the 28mm. More detail, flexible and a surprisingly good FOV (doesn't look like a pano)

    I sold my 75 LUX: a GREAT lens, and I never mounted it. Not enough more than the 50 and not as good for portait as the 90 chron.

    The surprise lens, that I take trekking is the 135mm latest version. It can focus well, but for reach, just set at infinity for anything more than 100 meters away and you can bring those castles and birds etc right up close.

    28, 50,135 for 3 lenses on the go.

    Victor

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    Re: Lenses for M9

    Quote Originally Posted by gogopix View Post
    The surprise lens, that I take trekking is the 135mm latest version. It can focus well, but for reach, just set at infinity for anything more than 100 meters away and you can bring those castles and birds etc right up close.
    ssssshhhhhh . . . it's the one lens weakness in my "I don't need anymore Leica lenses" rant

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    Re: Lenses for M9

    thanks for all the input, folks.

    peter: i really like the rendering of the "old" 35 lux asph. fine, fine lens. i really need to experiment first hand to see if i'm a 35mm dominant shooter or 50mm dominant shooter. a pretty basic thing, but i have never used a 50mm field of view on a RF. (the closest i have come is 67mm field of view.)

    jono: i hear you. having pondered this all, i really think i need to be patient, get the M9, keep my lux 50mm and planar 80mm (perhaps temporarily), and somehow pick up a 35mm lens. i really need to experience, first hand, to see how different--and/or how similar--the 35 and 50 are. (i know the 35mm field of view from using a 28mm on the M8, but i don't have experience with a 50mm field of view.) that "patient" approach should help me pretty quickly decide what i should do. keep 35-50? or, if 50 isn't my bag, sell my lux 50mm.

    seakayaker: more good advice. this type of advice really unpins my decision to be patient and experiment first hand with 35 vs (or in tandem with) 50.

    godfrey: thank you. if i find that i prefer 35 to 50, i will definitely do something like 35 and 75/80/90. all the advice has really underscored the value of experimenting (pretty quickly) with 35 vs 50. i just have never used a 50mm field of view on a RF. and you're absolutely right: there's a lot of sense in making these tests with an affordable 35.

    t_streng: great input. that's the question i need to answer through some experimentation. is 35 and a tele fine, or i am, at heart, a 50mm guy. and, per your second post, lovely photos! they say to me, "keep my 50 lux." love the other captures, too, by the way. the rendering on the lux 35mm is incredible in the second capture.

    glen: thank you. i see how a 28mm could work with cropping for me. but, having tried an 18mm on the M8 (which becomes a 24mm), i found that i really never used the lens. it was just too wide for me. (more evidence that i'm not garry winogrand ) that's why i view my wide range to be a 35mm.

    ron: i hear you. the thing is that i currently have a lux 50. i used to have the cron 50, and it's a great lens. for my use on an M9, i will really want one fast lens of at least 2.0 or, better, 1.4.

    gogo: i know. there's a definite possibility that i'll put the lux 50mm on an M9 and never want to take it off. my concern, though, is that i may, instead, actually feel that way about a fine 35mm lens. once i get the M9, i will also get a 35mm--as a means of making this comparison.

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