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Thread: Which Leica 180 ?

  1. #1
    Member Rafael Macia's Avatar
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    Which Leica 180 ?

    I am looking for a 180mm Leica R lens. The 180 3.4 APO, has close focus limitations, I like the size of the 180 2.8 R , (Version II) .... Version I..the one with the tripod socket is way too heavy.
    The APO 180 2.8 at $4,000 plus is too much $.
    What would you think the better all around 180? The 3.4 Apo or the 180 2.8 Version II ?
    .........or any other alternative other than Leica glass.
    I will be using it on a Leica 240 M
    I would mostly be using the lens on a tripod.

    thanking in advance for any suggestions.
    rafael
    Last edited by Rafael Macia; 8th February 2015 at 11:49.

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    Re: Which Leica 180 ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rafael Macia View Post
    I am looking for a 180mm Leica R lens. The 180 3.4 APO, has close focus limitations, I like the size of the 180 2.8 R , (Version II) .... Version I..the one with the tripod socket is way too heavy.
    The APO 180 2.8 at $4,000 plus is too much $.
    What would you think the better all around 180? The 3.4 Apo or the 180 2.8 Version II ?
    .........or any other alternative other than Leica glass.
    I will be using it on a Leica 240 M
    I would mostly be using the lens on a tripod.

    thanking in advance for any suggestions.
    rafael
    The one I'll be using is the small and light Elmar-R 180mm f/4. It's a very sweet lens!

    G

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    Member Rafael Macia's Avatar
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    Re: Which Leica 180 ?

    Why do you recommend it?

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    Re: Which Leica 180 ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rafael Macia View Post
    Why do you recommend it?
    It's light, it's small, it's fast enough, and it has lovely imaging quality. It's also very reasonably priced.

    I have a 180/2.8 v1. It's too large and heavy to lug around much. The Elmar-R 180/4 is lighter than the Elmarit-R 135/2.8.

    G
    Godfrey - GDGPhoto Flickr Stream
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    Senior Member doug's Avatar
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    Re: Which Leica 180 ?

    I wasn't impressed with the 180mm f/4. IMHO its features that appeal to me most are the tiny size and light weight. The optical quality was OK but not stellar, and it flares readily. The 180mm APO-Elmarit-R is an optical gem but the current market value and my casual use of this focal length led me to sell it to put my scarce funds into equipment I use more often. I expect that when I buy another 180mm lens it will be the f/3.4 APO-Telyt-R and I'll figure some way around the close focus limit.
    Last edited by doug; 9th February 2015 at 09:11.

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    Re: Which Leica 180 ?

    Quote Originally Posted by doug View Post
    I wasn't impressed with the 180mm f/4. IMHO its features that appeal to me most are the tiny size and light weight. The optical quality was OK but not stellar, and it flares readily. The 180mm APO-Elmarit-R is an optical gem but the current market value and my causal use of this focal length led me to sell it to put my scarce funds into equipment I use more often. I expect that when I buy another 180mm lens it will be the f/3.4 APO-Telyt-R and I'll figure some way around the close focus limit.
    It may not be a "stellar" performer compared to the 180 APO, but it's good enough for me, Doug. I haven't seen any flare with it, but then I'm pretty good about avoiding situations that stress flare... :-)

    Some test shots with the Elmar-R 180mm:
    https://www.flickr.com/search/[email protected]&q=180mm
    (There might be a couple from the Elmarit-R 180 v1 in there, but most are the Elmar-R.)

    Not every lens has to be "the very best performance possible" to be useful. Compact size, light weight, and modest price with good enough performance is very appealing to me for a lens I use a relatively small amount of the time.

    G

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    Senior Member doug's Avatar
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    Re: Which Leica 180 ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    Not every lens has to be "the very best performance possible" to be useful.
    I never claimed otherwise.

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    Re: Which Leica 180 ?

    " I expect that when I buy another 180mm lens it will be the f/3.4 APO-Telyt-R and I'll figure some way around the close focus limit. "

    Doug,
    It is possible but i do not think you will like the quality when focusing close.
    This lens is best and i must say fantastic near infinity, better than most, but degrades closer.
    That is probably why Leica did not bother to allow it to focus closer.
    Best...

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    Senior Member doug's Avatar
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    Re: Which Leica 180 ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Biglou View Post
    Doug,
    It is possible but i do not think you will like the quality when focusing close.
    This lens is best and i must say fantastic near infinity, better than most, but degrades closer.
    That is probably why Leica did not bother to allow it to focus closer.
    Best...
    Yes I've used this lens before and I'm willing to accept that compromise. If I may plagiarize Godfrey's remark, at close range it may not be a "stellar" performer ... but it's good enough for me.

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    Re: Which Leica 180 ?

    I have no doubt your talent will allow for fantastic pictures, whatever the lens.

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    Re: Which Leica 180 ?

    I have the 180/3.4. Close focus is not an issue for me. It renders beautifully as do all my R lenses on a D800E. It's light and small, and amazingly cheap as R lenses go, very little not to like IMHO.
    Cheers,
    Jeff
    www.jeff-grant.com

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    Re: Which Leica 180 ?

    When I was looking for a good quality 180 or 200mm lens a while ago (for my M240 and some other cameras), I also looked at the Leica 180's. The Apo Elmarit is just too much money now and rather big and heavy besides; the 180/4 is not sharp enough, especially on m43 cameras and other high pixel density cameras, the older Elmarits are showing their age and the f/3.4 Apo, just like other posters reported, doesn't focus close enough and isn't that great close up anyway.

    And while not every lens has to be optically excellent, things often work out better if I have the option of optical excellence at my call. So I settled on the Voigtlaender 180/4 Apo-Lanthar. It's very close in performance to the Leica 180 Apos at infinity, and a lot better than the f/3.4 close up. It also focusses to 1.2m/4ft. It is tiny (about 98mm from the front to the M flange when adapted), but quite dense. They are only available used now, in various mounts. I got one in a M42 mount and am quite happy with it.

    Henning
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