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Thread: Recommendations for Leica M tele lens

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    Recommendations for Leica M tele lens

    I know the M is not a wildlife camera, but I do enjoy birding and would like to maximize my reach. This would also be a travel lens to comliment my 50 and 28 cron. Thanks in advance for your responses.

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    Re: Recommendations for Leica M tele lens

    135/3.4 or 135/4.0 or 135/2.8
    My choice was the 135/3.4 which sould be optically the best of the three but it is quite expensive compared to the other 2.

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    Re: Recommendations for Leica M tele lens

    HI There
    It does rather depend on your budget. If you're going for the 135, then the f3.4 apo is definitely the choice - otherwise the 90 slim elmarit is as sharp as a pin . . . and is easier to focus than the 135 (and a great deal cheaper too).

    Just this guy you know

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    Senior Member bradhusick's Avatar
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    Re: Recommendations for Leica M tele lens

    Having owned the 135 APO I ended up keeping the black 90 APO ASPH instead. Easier to focus, faster, better images. No exactly a lightweight, but wonderful glass.
    Brad Husick

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    Re: Recommendations for Leica M tele lens

    My favorites are the Elmarit-M 90mm f/2.8 and Tele-Elmar-M 135mm f/4 lenses. Same diameter (similar to Summilux, etc.) and filters (46mm) and are quite compact. IQ is ridiculously good from either and they're both still relative bargains in the Leica world.

    The APO-Telyt-M is essentially as good as it gets, but is pricey. Same thing with the APO-Summicron-M, but it's also much larger and heavier since it's an f/2. Will you see the difference? Maybe. Most cases, probably not so much.

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    Re: Recommendations for Leica M tele lens

    I was thinking about 135 only because the OP said "maximise" the reach.

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    Re: Recommendations for Leica M tele lens

    ^ Indeed. Without resorting to additional means (read: Visoflex) 135mm is as long as it gets. On many Leica bodies you get 135mm framelines at least, though an external finder might be worthwhile (e.g. the SCHOOC).

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    Re: Recommendations for Leica M tele lens

    I don't do wildlife photography, but I have a 135 f4 tele-elmar and have found it to be a great lens on my M9... you can't beat it for the price!

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    Re: Recommendations for Leica M tele lens

    I reviewed both lenses not that long ago, though perhaps not quite as in-depth as later reviews, FWIW:

    Elmarit-M 90mm f/2.8
    Tele-Elmar-M 135mm f/4

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    Re: Recommendations for Leica M tele lens

    I'd recommend the elmarit 135/2.8. I use one on my M8 and really enjoy the results *when* I get it to work that is. It's a tad unwieldy and makes the camera weigh a lot.

    But like I said when it gels I'm very happy with the results. Plus I think out of the choices. 2.8/3.4/4. It might be the least expensive

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    Re: Recommendations for Leica M tele lens

    Thanks for all the responses - and of course for all the wonderfull pictures you guys have posted. Double Negative I enjoy your La Vida Lieca site and thanks for the reviews.

    Pluses and minuses each way it seems - no clear winner in my mind yet, but the 90 seems to tick most of the boxes so far. It would be great to be able to handle both the 135 3.4 and 90 elmarit as I find the "feel" can often be the deciding factor, but that is unlikely to happen. I suspect this might come down to price/availability/condition.

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    Re: Recommendations for Leica M tele lens

    The hardest thing about the 135mm lenses, is that infinity, 20' short of infinity, and 80' short of infinity are damned hard to separate accurately with the mechanical viewfinder and if you screw the pooch on the 135mm in that respect the images are fit to trash.

    Again, not to put too fine a point on something you already acknowledge, but the M system isn't well-suited to "telephotography".

    I'd borrow/rent a 135mm before you buy one. Do you own any of the magnifiers?
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    Senior Member Taylor Sherman's Avatar
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    Re: Recommendations for Leica M tele lens

    If you're looking to get a feel for 135mm - the FL, if not the actual lens size/weight - the older (silver, non-"tele") Elmar 135/4 are pretty good. I picked one up for about $250.

    They're a bit longer than the Tele-Elmars that followed them, but not very heavy, and optically they're still quite good.

    FWIW I use mine on a Nex-7, not a rangefinder, so keep that in mind :-)

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    Re: Recommendations for Leica M tele lens

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    HI There
    It does rather depend on your budget. If you're going for the 135, then the f3.4 apo is definitely the choice - otherwise the 90 slim elmarit is as sharp as a pin . . . and is easier to focus than the 135 (and a great deal cheaper too).
    Jono

    What is the "slim elmarit" you are referring to? The 39mm filter version or the 46mm version. Both are 2.8 so I am not sure which you mean.

    Mark

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    Re: Recommendations for Leica M tele lens

    Unless you are willing to put some real effort into it....I would avoid the 135 lenses. It is hard to get accurate focus (as mentioned above) and its darn hard to calibrate your m9 and the 135 ..at all distances . To have any chance you will need the 1.4X magnifier .

    The 90 /2 apo summicron is a great lens and actually easier to use because it has a longer throw (more turns to achieve infinity) ..this helps you get accurate focus . This lens is large by Leica M standards ..but that is the only draw back. The 90/2.8 Elmarit-M is an excellent lens ...small,easy to use and excellent image quality . My preference for travel is the 90 elmarit-M .

    When I use the 135APO at distance I always try hard to shoot at F8 to avoid focus errors .

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    Senior Member Taylor Sherman's Avatar
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    Re: Recommendations for Leica M tele lens

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Steber View Post
    Jono

    What is the "slim elmarit" you are referring to? The 39mm filter version or the 46mm version. Both are 2.8 so I am not sure which you mean.

    Mark
    I'd guess the 39mm-filter 1974-1990 version:

    LEICA Lenses

    As opposed to the previous "fat" one.

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    Senior Member Gary Clennan's Avatar
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    Re: Recommendations for Leica M tele lens

    I tried a bit of "birding" this morning and it was not as difficult as I expected. Not as easy as my DSLR but quite good.


    L9992203 by Gary Clennan, on Flickr


    L9992212 by Gary Clennan, on Flickr

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