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Thread: Lens advise sought

  1. #1
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    Lens advise sought

    I have an opportunity to purchase the Leica 35mm f1.4 Summilux ASPH FLE at a very good price. Nevertheless it's still a lot to lay out and before I make the leap I would appreciate advices as to whether I would see much improvement over my current VC Nokton Classic 35mm F1.4 MC which I use a lot on my M240. The Nokton seems quite good to my eye but I'm curious as to the comparisons.

    If the question is naive I apologise.
    "There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer." - Ansel Adams

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    Re: Lens advise sought

    I don't have the lux fle, but I do have the CV, like you. I've seen alot of shots from the FLE. It's arguably the best 35 ever made, and technically alot better than the CV.

    However that's not to say you can't get along fine without it

    If it really is a good price, you can always resell, if you are disappointed

    or...put the money to something you don't have....sem 21, for example, and a finder. (maybe you do have one ) Some other FL you don't have covered.

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    Re: Lens advise sought

    Well I tried out the nokton 1.4 as I wanted something smaller and lighter than the nokton f1.2 v2. After one day I took it back as the focus shift when stopping down was so bad that it was really unusable! So if you can handle the size and the weight I would go for the Nokton f1.2 especially as wide open it has the most beautifully smooth Bokeh/Out-of-focus-rendering and when stopped down a little is a sharp anything across the frame, doesn't focus shift either

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    Re: Lens advise sought

    Not owned the CV 1.4 but had the CV 1.2 v1 and own the FLE at present. I've owned the CV 2.5 35 and both the v1 and v4 summicrons. Also owned the Biogon for years and did use it on the M9. The FLE is the sharpest of all wide open but the gap narrows as you stop down. The CV 1.2 is an exceptional lens even at 1.2. The biggest difference I see between all lenses mentioned is the FLE is crazy sharp at 1.4 all the way to the corners where the others need stopping down to get to the same point.

    In real life if you're not pixel peeping you're not going to see ha huge difference. IMO the trade off for corner sharpness is a technically superior image but sterile. The FLE is almost too perfect. Unless you're making large prints of landscapes with a lot of detail corners aren't that critical. I shoot commercial and documentary and the corners can be critical in the commercial but not so much in the documentary.

    In my M9 kit I carry a 24 Elmar, 28 CV 1.9, 35 FLE, 50 1.4 asph, 75 1.4 and 90 apo asph f2. To me the prettiest images and smoothest come from the 75 summilux and the 28cv. I've often questioned whether the others suit my style and personality of my work as opposed to slightly older non asph glass.
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    Re: Lens advise sought

    Thanks to all for the responses. Lots to consider now.

    Appreciated

    Ray
    "There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer." - Ansel Adams

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    Re: Lens advise sought

    The 35/2 Summicron to be an exceptional lens if you do not need the extra stop, and it is light and small in comparison to the Summilux.

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    Re: Lens advise sought

    Don't forget the voigtlander 35/1.7 Ultron ltm. It has lower contrast, similar to the 28/1.9, and performs quite well. I don't think the focus shift is anywhere nearly as bad as the 35/1.4, if it occurs at all. If you prefer higher contrast the 35/2 zm biogon is stellar, IMHO.
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    Re: Lens advise sought

    Ray, if you shoot the 35 focal length a lot and have the money, buying the 'lux and trying it out makes sense to me. Like others say, it's critically sharp at f/1.4 and down, has low distortion, great corners - a stellar fast lens without focus issues. What's not to like? Sell it if not your cup of tea - sounds like the economics are in your favor anyway.

    There are other lenses that are better for the money for different things. (Shooting landscapes and architecture with the ZM 35 f/2 at f/4 to f/8, for example.) But the Lux can do just about everything very well. Worth a trial, imho.
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    Re: Lens advise sought

    From my perspective, it's the best lens in the M system: It's fast, it has very good ergonomics, the performance is superb at all apertures, it has one of the most useful angles of view and it balances well on the camera. For many people, a 35mm or 50mm will be their most used lens on an M camera, so if you are going to bother shooting with an M in the first place, it is worth spending most of the lens money on one or both of those lenses. I agree with Seakayaker that a summicron is another option, but I think if you can get a good price on an FLE, do it. The extra stop is useful in my opinion...both for very low light work and for isolating the background a bit more.
    When I go out with just one lens, it is almost always the 35/1.4...it does it all -- portraits, landscape, low-light, street photography. It is an extremely versatile and capable lens.
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    Re: Lens advise sought

    Thanks all and I'm sold on the FLE. Hopefully here in a few days!

    Very much appreciate everybody's help and input.
    "There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer." - Ansel Adams

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