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Thread: Leica Landscape

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    Leica Landscape

    What are your favorite focal lengths for landscape work - long, short, or in between?

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    Senior Member Gary Clennan's Avatar
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    Re: Leica Landscape

    All of the above!
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    Re: Leica Landscape

    "Yes."

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    Re: Leica Landscape

    My own favourite is 28mm – I use it for virtually all my landscape stuff.

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    Re: Leica Landscape

    Haha, "yes" is right. But for me that generally means the 35/1.4 ASPH or the 75/2 ASPH. Sometimes a 50mm, and less frequently a 28 or 25. But I live in a country with BIG landscapes and views, so standard and slightly long lenses are useful to bring the landscape a bit closer. Sometimes a very wide angle here can make the landscape vast to the point of it losing detail and impact. In other words, it is spectacular enough as your eye sees it, no need to dress it up further!
    For example, this was taken with a standard lens (80mm on 6x7):


    Or to give a more comparative example, here are two views of the same scene one take with the 25mm biogon (and cropped to pano), and the other with the 75mm. I think the 75mm is the better shot as it has a clearer focus and better captures the feel of the landscape. The 25mm gives you a sense of the expanse, but includes too much extraneous information...





    In any case, I would say the lens choice should be dictated by the scene, rather than just choosing a super wide that will capture everything or choosing a lens that is sharp from corner to corner. I would say the lenses closer to standard are often most useful, particularly if the landscape you want to photograph is very nice to begin with!
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    Re: Leica Landscape

    Thanks for the replys so far - I am trying to minimise the number of lens I have as I want to finance a trade trade from M8 to M9 now (as I think an M10 will be even more expensive) and I am hoping that restricting myself to 1 or 2 lens will improve my photography over the next year. I currently have a 50 and 28 cron, and I am contemplating trading in the 28 and M8 and using only the 50 or replacing both with a 35 cron which I think might split the difference between them. I expect to add a 75 or 90 later. I hate to sell a lens but can not afford to keep both if I buy an M9. Advice more than welcome.

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    Re: Leica Landscape

    Keep your 28mm and 50, and consider adding a Voigtlander 90mm f/3.5 APO or (if you can find one) a 90mm Hexanon. They are both compact, very sharp 90mm lenses that can be had for very low prices compared to Leica gear. They are NOT compromises, they are inexpensive alternatives...it is not particularly hard to design a high quality slow 90mm lens. The APO Lanthar costs just over 500 dollars new at a place like camera quest, and B&H has some used ones: Used Voigtlander APO Lanthar 90mm f/3.5 Lens 45BA224B B&H Photo
    You could also get the 75mm f/2.5 Color Heliar. Again, not a compromise, just a less expensive alternative. If you decide later it is your bread and butter lens, and you can afford it, then you can upgrade.

    Edit: misunderstood the situation a bit. Well, selling the 28 and 50 for one 35 is not a horrible move...nice to avoid if possible, but if not then it's reasonable. I would say consider the 35mm Summarit though, if you can find it cheaper. I had one along with the 35/1.4 ASPH and they were not so far apart. It is a very very good lens. The glass is so good these days that it does not make sense to chase the APO and ASPH summiluxes and summicrons if you really have to stretch to afford them. I say this as someone who shoots with a lot of them, as well as with older lenses. The differences are not often as huge as they are made out to be, though they are often there...with a landscape lens that you can shoot at middle apertures and on a tripod, it makes even less of a difference.
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    Re: Leica Landscape

    Any lens. Even the ones you have not mentioned, can be used for a landscape.

    It really depends on how you see, what you see and equally important what and how you want the viewer of your image to see and experience.

    There is a reason for all the different focal lengths. Your way of seeing things is one of them.

    No one can see for you. But you alone can make the viiewer see.

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    Re: Leica Landscape

    rayyan, yes you are of course both insightful and correct and a good reminder that we should be more concerned with the image itself rather than what is used to creat it. All too often we get carried away with the technical aspects of things to the expense of the creative side.

    Stuart,
    Thanks for the comments. I know you also had an M8 and that this is a very subjective question - but given the choice of selling a lens to buy an M9 - or keeping M8 and adding another lens instead - do you find the M9 to be so much the better camera? At some point the M8 will need to be replaced, and as an aside I wonder how long the M9 will be available and worried the M10 will be priced out of my range, so this might be an opportune time to upgrade. Used M9s are as rare as hens teeth in this part of the world.

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    Re: Leica Landscape

    I would rather have the M9. I think it is a much better camera overall. For me, the gain in resolution, switch back to full frame, lack of IR filters, better high ISO, better color and ability to manually code lenses made a big difference. I liked the M8, but it would be very hard for me to go back. If you can wait until Photokina, however, the price of the M9 should go down a bit more once the M10 is announced. It would be a good time to get one...
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    Re: Leica Landscape

    Right on, Stuart - I can totally see your reasoning on lens choices considering the scenery. Your suggestion of the CV 75 and 90 (and Hex) lenses is also a good one; both are very nice for not a lot of money.

    If you must have Leica, my personal favorite is the Elmarit-M 90mm f/2.8. Perhaps more so than most - it was a real bargain as far as Leica glass went until the number of M9 shooters hit critical mass.

    I'd probably lean towards a 90 just to give a little more space between it and the 50. For some reason, I just never liked the 75mm focal length (though some swear by it). Which is a damn shame, because the Lux and APO-Cron are some serious shooters. C'est la vie.

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    Re: Leica Landscape

    I regretted every time after I sold a Leica M lens. On several occasions, I had to spend more money to buy some of them back! So my 'policy' now is to NOT sell any of my Leica M lenses, period.

    The 28 Summoicron and 50 Summilux are excellent on M8, but they are much better on M9. You really have a hard decision to make! The M9 price has come down a bit and you just have to be patient.

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    Re: Leica Landscape

    I don't tend to regret sales of Leica lenses, as long as I think I am moving toward lenses I would prefer and will want "forever." That said, I regret two lens purchases: 1) a Super Elmar 18 asph, which was way too wide for me; and 2) a Cron 35 asph, which (see classifieds) made no sense and, thus, hasn't been used! (Kick self again per that purchase!)

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    Re: Leica Landscape

    Don't sell the 28 Summicron. If you really want the M9 try and wangle it another way. In 5-10 years time both M8 and M9 will be potential paperweights but the 28 Summicron will keep on rocking.

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