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Thread: Japanese RF LTM Lenses? any good?

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    Senior Member dude163's Avatar
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    Japanese RF LTM Lenses? any good?

    Hi all,

    Im looking for any user info on Nikkor lenses and Canon Serenars, anyone have any tidbits /advice/warnings to tell me about them?

    Cheers

    Robert

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    Re: Japanese RF LTM Lenses? any good?

    Just picked up a nikon 5cm f/2 from a member here, who modded it for close focus. I really like it so far in a day or two of use. Seems to have sufficient resolution for 12mp m43, so I'm guessing it'll hold up reasonably on film (haven't shot it on the M6 yet...will be tonight though). Has an interesting glow wide open, but without being soft or mushy or flat. Has an interesting character to it.
    --David

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    Re: Japanese RF LTM Lenses? any good?

    With the Canon Serenars: be able to inspect for haze on the glass on each side of the aperture blades.

    The Canon 50/1.5 is a Sonnar formula lens, a good rendition of the pre-war Zeiss Sonnar. Not a copy, it is made to the Leica standard focal length.

    The other Canon lenses are Planar formula lenses.

    The Nikkor 5cm F1.4 has somewhat harsh Bokeh compared with the f2 Nikkor and Zeiss and Canon lenses.

    The Canon 50/1.8 is quite good, usually can be found at reasonable prices. The 50/1.9 is collapsible, same formula as the Summar- but somewhere closer to a Summitar in performance.

    Canon 50/1.9:

    Canon 50mm F1.9 Serenar - SeriousCompacts.com Gallery
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    Re: Japanese RF LTM Lenses? any good?

    The Nikkor mentioned above, at the new close-focus and wide-open on the M9.


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    Senior Member Gary Clennan's Avatar
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    Re: Japanese RF LTM Lenses? any good?

    The Nikkor 5cm f/1.4 is a great choice if you can find one in good condition... I really like mine.


    DSC02795 by Gary Clennan, on Flickr


    DSC02779 by Gary Clennan, on Flickr


    DSC02815 by Gary Clennan, on Flickr


    DSC02826 by Gary Clennan, on Flickr

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    Senior Member dude163's Avatar
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    Re: Japanese RF LTM Lenses? any good?

    So all you need is a LTM>M mount adapter and any LTM lens should work ?

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    Re: Japanese RF LTM Lenses? any good?

    Yes- all of the Japanese Leica Mount lenses are made to the Leica 51.6mm focal length standard.

    The Canon 50/1.5 seems to be optimized for F2.8. The Nikkors are optimized for wide-open work.

    On the Nikkor 5cm F1.4: the lenses after about SN 330xxx or so are slightly larger in diameter, probably when Nikon went to a 24x36 negative on their cameras. The earlier lenses may vignette a little bit more, but have slightly smoother Bokeh. I have an early one in Leica mount, and many (8 or 9) in S-Mount.

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    Senior Member dude163's Avatar
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    Re: Japanese RF LTM Lenses? any good?

    Brian, Im glad you answered here, are they a worthwhile purchase? or am I better off saving up to buy Leitz lenses?

    My main reason for going to an M8 inteh first place is a have a hobby of using vintage lenses on my SLRs and I also noticed that the Canon/Nippon Kogaku gear is half or less than the *real* leica gear.

    Thanks again for the info!

    Oh, forgot to ask, how are the 85m lenses? the Serenar 85/f2 for example?
    Last edited by dude163; 2nd June 2012 at 13:18. Reason: 85mm question

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    Senior Member Gary Clennan's Avatar
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    Re: Japanese RF LTM Lenses? any good?

    I would say try some of them out - you don't have much to lose. Considering the age of the lenses you are currently using, the performance of these Nikkor's or Canon's could very well be better. It is also a matter of what performance traits you are after.... The Serenar was designed as a portrait lens which means (back in the day) it was meant to have a softer look. Also keep in mind that the 85mm Serenar is VERY heavy.

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    Senior Member dude163's Avatar
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    Re: Japanese RF LTM Lenses? any good?

    Is the 85mm as heavy as my Helios 40? because that weighs 900grams

    Its great to fend off Paparazzi or Zombies

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    Senior Member Gary Clennan's Avatar
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    Re: Japanese RF LTM Lenses? any good?

    I just know it was made in 1948 and is heavy... Here is one a while back on Fred Miranda which (may have) sold...

    FS: REDUCED Canon 85mm f/2 Serenar LTM leica - FM Forums

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    Senior Member dude163's Avatar
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    Re: Japanese RF LTM Lenses? any good?

    Thanks Gary, I contacted the seller , and he sold it on ebay

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    Re: Japanese RF LTM Lenses? any good?

    I have both the Canon 85/2 and the Nikkor 8.5cm F2.

    The Nikkor wide-open on the M9:



    I have used the Canon on the M8, will be uploading some pictures.

    The Canon and Nikkor both use 48mm filters.

    The Canon is a Planar formula lens, I think it is 6 elements in 4 groups. The Nikkor is a Sonnar, 5 elements in 3 groups. The Nikkor is shorter.

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    Senior Member dude163's Avatar
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    Re: Japanese RF LTM Lenses? any good?

    I like the planar look but the sonnars have the cooler bokeh imo!

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    Re: Japanese RF LTM Lenses? any good?

    Canon 85/2 Serenar, wide-open on the Leica M8.

    With a Canon 48mm Hot Mirror filter. How did they know we would use it on a Digital???







    Distance shot, at F4.



    additional: the 75mm framelines on the M8 and M9 are perfect for 85mm lenses. Provide 100% framing. The 90mm lines are perfect for the Nikkor 105. "Worked out for me!"
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    Re: Japanese RF LTM Lenses? any good?

    There are a ton of really good Canon and Nikon lenses in LTM. I don't have my pictures well-organized by which lens I used, so there aren't dozens of examples I can show. But here's what i have, with my favorites *'ed (though all are good):

    Canon: 25/3.5*, 28/2.8, 35/2.8, 50/1.2*, 50/1.5*, 50/2 collapsible, 85/1.8*
    The 25/3.5 is a Biogon formula, very nice rendering, but exhibits some light fall-off as the rear element protrudes deeply.
    The 50/1.2 is a special lens, with some wild bokeh wide open.
    The 50/1.5 is a really good Sonnar type, with warmer colors than the Nikkors.
    The 50/2 collapsible is from 1949 and quite uncommon. Kind of like a Summar, but much better coatings.
    The 85/1.8 is very sharp and modern, but somewhat larger than many RF lenses.

    Nikkor: 28/3.5, 35/1.8*, 35/2.5, 50/1.4* (x2), 50/2* (x2), 50/3.5 rigid, 85/2*, 105/2.5
    The 35/1.8 is a great lens, sharp and good contrast, but can do swirly bokeh.
    I have two of the 50/1.4 Sonnar-type lenses: An early one (s/n 5005xxxx) that is quite sharp, but low contrast and warm-ish color. A late one (s/n 380xxx) that is cooler in tone, but doesn't seem sharp on my R-D1 (maybe needs shim adjustment?)
    I have early and late copies of the 50/2 Sonnar-type lens, and they're even better performers than their faster brothers, IMO.
    The 50/3.5 is very nifty -- a rigid Tessar formula with close-focus capability, built so smooth and solid it's a pleasure to handle.
    And the 85/2 is a sweet long Sonnar -- the earlier chrome version was too heavy for my taste, so I got a late black one instead.

    I'll try to post a few pictures later.

    ::Ari

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    Re: Japanese RF LTM Lenses? any good?

    Oh, and as Brian mentioned, the Canon lenses can be prone to haze, especially the later black-barreled ones, due to some interaction between the aperture lubricant and the coatings on the elements to either side of the diaphragm.

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    Senior Member dude163's Avatar
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    Re: Japanese RF LTM Lenses? any good?

    Im glad I found out about these!

    Japanese lenses that competed with Zeiss and Leica, who knew! ( well , not me !)

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    Re: Japanese RF LTM Lenses? any good?

    Nikon | Imaging Products | NIKKOR - The Thousand and One Nights / Tale 36 : Nikkor P.C 8.5 cm f/2

    Nikon | Imaging Products | NIKKOR - The Thousand and One Nights / Tale 34 : NIKKOR-HC 5cm f/2

    Good reading on history of Nikkor lenses.

    I have a 1948 Nikkor 5cm F2, collapsible, and a very late Rigid 5cm F2. The performance is near identical, changes in the coating were made. The construction of the optical fixtures changed.

    And I have a Nikkor-P.C 10.5cm F2.5 in four differemt mounts.

    http://imaging.nikon.com/history/nikkor/45/index.htm



    It's a hair sharper than the 8.5cm F2's. Which I have in three different mounts, was never made in F-Mount.
    Last edited by Brian S; 4th June 2012 at 02:56.

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    Senior Member dude163's Avatar
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    Re: Japanese RF LTM Lenses? any good?

    Thanks for all the help and advice all!

    Hopefully I can post some shots once I get my new lens!

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    Senior Member dude163's Avatar
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    Re: Japanese RF LTM Lenses? any good?

    Lens is here, adapter will be here this week, stand by for shots!

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    Senior Member dude163's Avatar
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    Re: Japanese RF LTM Lenses? any good?

    I posted these in the image thread, if cross posting is not allowed let me know and Il delete this post:

    Serenar 85/2 from Brian that is ABSOLUTELY spot on!




    http://dude163.blogspot.com/
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    Re: Japanese RF LTM Lenses? any good?

    Very nice, Dude!
    I have trouble nailing focus with my Canon 85/1.8 wide open or at f/2.

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    Re: Japanese RF LTM Lenses? any good?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Clennan View Post
    The Nikkor 5cm f/1.4 is a great choice if you can find one in good condition... I really like mine.


    DSC02795 by Gary Clennan, on Flickr


    DSC02779 by Gary Clennan, on Flickr


    DSC02815 by Gary Clennan, on Flickr


    DSC02826 by Gary Clennan, on Flickr
    ≠1

    Love mine too

    Woody

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    Re: Japanese RF LTM Lenses? any good?

    Quote Originally Posted by kermaier View Post
    Very nice, Dude!
    I have trouble nailing focus with my Canon 85/1.8 wide open or at f/2.
    You should have Brian set them up for you!

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    Re: Japanese RF LTM Lenses? any good?

    Quote Originally Posted by dude163 View Post
    Hi all,

    Im looking for any user info on Nikkor lenses and Canon Serenars, anyone have any tidbits /advice/warnings to tell me about them?

    Cheers

    Robert
    I am super happy with my Nikkor 50 1.4. I love how it draws, it's color rendition etc

    You be the judge

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    Re: Japanese RF LTM Lenses? any good?

    One more with the Nikkor 50 1.4

    This is a sunset picture showing the smoke from the Colorado High Park Fire.

    It makes for beautiful sunsets but horrible smoke smell and of course the massive destruction

    I really love this lens

    Woody

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    Re: Japanese RF LTM Lenses? any good?

    Mmmm, that's a really nice sunset! Are you using film, digital?

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    Re: Japanese RF LTM Lenses? any good?

    Quote Originally Posted by kermaier View Post
    Mmmm, that's a really nice sunset! Are you using film, digital?
    M9P Digital

    Woody

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    Senior Member dude163's Avatar
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    Re: Japanese RF LTM Lenses? any good?

    Woody, thats awesome art wise, it sucks situation wise


    someone asked what a Serenar 85 looks like on a M body


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    Re: Japanese RF LTM Lenses? any good?

    It looks good on the M8.

    This lens originally came with a Leotax D-IV. It looked good on it as well.

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    Re: Japanese RF LTM Lenses? any good?

    That sure does look nice. Very clean lens as well it seems...

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