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Thread: Beating a dead horse: Leica kit advice

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    Beating a dead horse: Leica kit advice

    Hello,

    Need some advice on potentially switching kits. I know these threads are tiresome but just want some feedback on whether I'm doing the right thing. All my stuff is listed in the Buy/Sell.

    Currently shooting film on a chrome MP, with Summilux 50 asph., Summicron 35 asph., and a Summicron 90/2 last pre-asph. Everything is chrome.

    I put together this kit over time when I finally moved on from my M3 Summicron DR, and have had a lot of time with it. I went with all chrome because I was so used to my M3. Needless to say, the new kit just doesn't have the same vintage feel as the old M3 and at time, I find my self feeling uncomfortable walking around with an MP with a Summilux on it. Hence I am considering switching to the black paint MP, more discrete.

    The other thing is, I really like the 35 focal length but find myself mostly using the 50 because of the extra stop. I shoot a lot in available light and am not really into pushing film, so the 1.4 is just enough for my purposes.

    The Summicron 90 gets limited use because I find the frame lines too small, even with a 1.4 magnifier. Also, I think 3 lenses in general is just overkill for me. Ideally I just want to have two.

    Hence, I'm looking to go black MP .72 with a 35 Summilux FLE for day to day, and the Summilux 75 for portraits in available light. Seems like this kit would simplify things for me and not make me feel as self conscious about my equipment in public.

    Any feedback is welcomed, THANKS
    Last edited by ruskiantonov; 16th January 2016 at 21:20.

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    Senior Member rayyen's Avatar
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    Re: Beating a dead horse: Leica kit advice

    I'm all chrom too.
    Why not try M7 alc with 8 elements.
    My most used combo in analog M.
    Leica | Angenieux | Alpa | Hasselblad | Phase One
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    Re: Beating a dead horse: Leica kit advice

    Ideal low light film combo: 35mm Summilux + 50mm Noctilux

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    Re: Beating a dead horse: Leica kit advice

    I feel black is best with Leica. But it's nice that people are given the option.

    An M-P + 35FLE would be good. But what's wrong with the 50Lux? I'd sooner suggest you stick with just the 50Lux and nothing else. The 35/75 although a great combo. Requires you to frequently change lenses to get the shots you want. It won't be as cut and dry as day portraits vs walkaround/night shots.

    Not saying you couldn't get use to using JUST a 35FLE.. But with extra lenses in your pocket, and a 35FLE mounted you'll find yourself switching to the 75 more often then you would if you just had a 50Lux mounted and a few lenses in the pockets.

    Also on film I'd sooner suggest finding the mostly cheaper 35lux-ASPH pre-fle. When I did comparison shots with my film M and my digital M and all my lenses (at the time I had both FLE and pre 35lux) and I thought the pre-FLE was better on film.

    For the price of an M-P though, I'd spend a bit more and pickup a used M240 Gonna save you lots in the long run (films getting expensive + developing costs).

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    Re: Beating a dead horse: Leica kit advice

    mY thoughts: Summilux 75 is a great lens but quite a bit bigger and heavier than the 50 Summilux, and also more difficult to nail focus.
    35 FLE sounds great. If I shoot M it is 90% with 35 and 50mm.
    If you find the 50 Summilux too big why not go 35 FLE + 50 Summicron?

    From my point of view I think a M body + 3 lenses is quite easy to carry.
    Frienkly I would just stay with what you have. I even allways though the MP is overpriced compared to an M6 when using film.
    I even would go for the M7 because for me it would be a plus to have an A mode in situations where light and people change/move. But I understand that the M6 and M7 dont feel like a M3 or MP.
    If you like the M3 so much-why not just shoot with the M3 and get a 35mm with goggles?

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    Re: Beating a dead horse: Leica kit advice

    Thanks for the replies everyone!

    Quote Originally Posted by rayyen View Post
    I'm all chrom too.
    Why not try M7 alc with 8 elements.
    My most used combo in analog M.
    While the m7 is a great camera, I don't like its reliance on batteries, I don't really need aperture priority. The MP is perfect for me, no Leica designation, fully mechanical, available meter (unlike the m3) Regarding the 35 8 element, I really would like my main lens to have a more modern feel, e.g. 50 Lux asph.

    Quote Originally Posted by FrozenInTime View Post
    Ideal low light film combo: 35mm Summilux + 50mm Noctilux
    Way too expensive for me. Maybe a older f1 one day but doubt I'll over own the .95 Also 35/50 is really what I'm looking to get away from, too close in focal length that always renders one mostly idle (in my case the 35)

    Quote Originally Posted by aDam007 View Post
    An M-P + 35FLE would be good. But what's wrong with the 50Lux? I'd sooner suggest you stick with just the 50Lux and nothing else. The 35/75 although a great combo. Requires you to frequently change lenses to get the shots you want. It won't be as cut and dry as day portraits vs walkaround/night shots.

    Not saying you couldn't get use to using JUST a 35FLE.. But with extra lenses in your pocket, and a 35FLE mounted you'll find yourself switching to the 75 more often then you would if you just had a 50Lux mounted and a few lenses in the pockets.

    Also on film I'd sooner suggest finding the mostly cheaper 35lux-ASPH pre-fle. When I did comparison shots with my film M and my digital M and all my lenses (at the time I had both FLE and pre 35lux) and I thought the pre-FLE was better on film.

    For the price of an M-P though, I'd spend a bit more and pickup a used M240 Gonna save you lots in the long run (films getting expensive + developing costs).
    Don't think I'll ever own a digital Leica. I'm a hobbyist, develop my own film and prints at home. Its the film process that really drives my passion for photography.

    When I shoot, I usually just put one lens on and go out with it, so I won't have to worry about switching lenses too often. The problem I have now is that I hardly ever use my 35/2, which is a shame considering I spent a good chunk of money on it. Same with the 90, though even that gets more use. I'm trying to have lenses that are substantially different in focal lengths, just seems like that type of kit makes more sense in my case.

    The 35 pre-FLE is a good shout, especially regarding film. I might opt out for that one, depending on what the market offers. Do others find that to be true as well? I.e. not much difference between FLE and pre-FLE when it come to film?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paratom View Post
    mY thoughts: Summilux 75 is a great lens but quite a bit bigger and heavier than the 50 Summilux, and also more difficult to nail focus.
    35 FLE sounds great. If I shoot M it is 90% with 35 and 50mm.
    If you find the 50 Summilux too big why not go 35 FLE + 50 Summicron?

    From my point of view I think a M body + 3 lenses is quite easy to carry.
    Frienkly I would just stay with what you have. I even allways though the MP is overpriced compared to an M6 when using film.
    I even would go for the M7 because for me it would be a plus to have an A mode in situations where light and people change/move. But I understand that the M6 and M7 dont feel like a M3 or MP.
    The focus shift of the 75/1.4 is off putting, but I've heard the lens produces such magic that I feel like I need to try. Will probably have to get it CLA'd and calibrated anyhow.

    35/50 combo is exactly the dilemma I'm trying to get away from. I really don't mind a good hefty lens on the front of my camera, I love the feeling of the 50/1.4 asph., I don't think I'd mind the feel 75 Summilux. Can't be much bigger or heavier than my chrome 90/2.


    Again thanks for the replies

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    Re: Beating a dead horse: Leica kit advice

    Quote Originally Posted by ruskiantonov View Post
    35/50 combo is exactly the dilemma I'm trying to get away from. I really don't mind a good hefty lens on the front of my camera, I love the feeling of the 50/1.4 asph., I don't think I'd mind the feel 75 Summilux. Can't be much bigger or heavier than my chrome 90/2.


    Again thanks for the replies
    Chrome lenses while beautiful are heavy and somewhat strangely balanced...

    The 75 Lux gets a lot of perhaps overwhelming praise ... flares like a roman candle and hitting perfect focus is difficult on film without live view.

    Perhaps a used 75 Summarit to discern if 1.4 vs 2.5 amounts to anything ... save a grand or so and much lighter to carry.

    Me ... 50 Lux and any small 75 ... most portraits I prefer are at F4 - F 5.6 ... like to have the nose eyes and ears discernible.

    Film while organic and wonderful limits your ability to play in less than ideal light ... which is OK if you accept the limitations.

    After scanning dusting and spotting some 7000 negatives I would prefer to emulate it without all of the drama of the film process.

    However this is because my wife will never allow the process in the house ... too many divergent scents ...

    Again ... 50 Lux and 75 ... your choice ... but honestly silver versus black is more in your perception than others reality.

    Cover the camera with a neoprene glove and no-one will look at you twice.

    Regards,

    Bob

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    Re: Beating a dead horse: Leica kit advice

    Quote Originally Posted by ruskiantonov View Post
    The focus shift of the 75/1.4 is off putting, but I've heard the lens produces such magic that I feel like I need to try.
    I had the 75 Lux for 5-6 years and finally sold it for a 75 ASPH (and never looked back).

    The Lux is based on the old R Lux 80 design and is much softer / less crisp than the new 75 ASPH.

    In the old "film" days, the extra stop vs the Cron was a plus, but with the current MM and M's we rarely need it anymore. And when we need it, you have a 75-25 chance your focus is off.

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    Re: Beating a dead horse: Leica kit advice

    I tend to prefer my M kit to be modest in size and weight. I'm almost at my ideal kit now:

    M-P typ 240 for digital
    M4-2 body with MR-4 meter attachment for film

    Elmar-M 24mm f/3.8 ASPH
    Summilux 35mm f/1.4 v2
    Nokton 50mm f/1.5 ASPH (LTM)
    Summarit-M 75mm f/2.4

    I had a Summilux 75 ages ago, and have always wanted a Noctilux 50. But I found that I was always shooting at f/2.8-f/4 with the 75mm anyway to gain enough DoF to be useful—why carry the bulk if you're not going to use the wide open setting? The current Summarit-M 75mm is an outstanding performer at a reasonable price.

    The Nokton will be exchanged for a Leica 50mm this year, I think. The question is, which one? An APO-Summicron-M 50mm would be nice but is rather expensive. So is the Noctilux 50mm. I'll probably go with a nice older Summicron 50, as long as it's been six-bit coded. They're compact and perform beautifully, and are small and light.

    Or I'll just keep the Nokton. It's not like it's a bad lens. :-)

    G

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    Re: Beating a dead horse: Leica kit advice

    Quote Originally Posted by ruskiantonov View Post
    Thanks for the replies everyone!



    While the m7 is a great camera, I don't like its reliance on batteries, I don't really need aperture priority. The MP is perfect for me, no Leica designation, fully mechanical, available meter (unlike the m3) Regarding the 35 8 element, I really would like my main lens to have a more modern feel, e.g. 50 Lux asph.



    Way too expensive for me. Maybe a older f1 one day but doubt I'll over own the .95 Also 35/50 is really what I'm looking to get away from, too close in focal length that always renders one mostly idle (in my case the 35)



    Don't think I'll ever own a digital Leica. I'm a hobbyist, develop my own film and prints at home. Its the film process that really drives my passion for photography.

    When I shoot, I usually just put one lens on and go out with it, so I won't have to worry about switching lenses too often. The problem I have now is that I hardly ever use my 35/2, which is a shame considering I spent a good chunk of money on it. Same with the 90, though even that gets more use. I'm trying to have lenses that are substantially different in focal lengths, just seems like that type of kit makes more sense in my case.

    The 35 pre-FLE is a good shout, especially regarding film. I might opt out for that one, depending on what the market offers. Do others find that to be true as well? I.e. not much difference between FLE and pre-FLE when it come to film?



    The focus shift of the 75/1.4 is off putting, but I've heard the lens produces such magic that I feel like I need to try. Will probably have to get it CLA'd and calibrated anyhow.

    35/50 combo is exactly the dilemma I'm trying to get away from. I really don't mind a good hefty lens on the front of my camera, I love the feeling of the 50/1.4 asph., I don't think I'd mind the feel 75 Summilux. Can't be much bigger or heavier than my chrome 90/2.


    Again thanks for the replies
    About the film vs digital = look of lenses question. I'd say it depends on what you're looking for in a lens. I find a lot of my lenses have a similar quality (older vs new) on film. The bokeh is obviously visibly different (for some lenses). And sometimes the colors are. But all things considered the lenses end up less "unique" from one another, then on digital.

    IF you're just looking to spread out your kit. I find that 28/50/90 is a more compelling setup then 35/50 as you'll switch more often.
    I also find 21/35/75 to be spread out enough to switch.. But I'm the type of person who no matter how many lenses, will always opt for the 50mm when possible.

    After reading a bit more. I would probably just downsize my kit to a M-P (because it's cool looking) and a 50Lux-asph and that's it.. The rest of the lenses would just dilute my shooting enjoyment at that point


    Just to add.. The 75 Summarit isn't bad at all. I just don't like the min distance of the 2.5 version.. At .7m the 75mm is a more versatile lens.. So you would need the 75 Summarit 2.4 (which is newer and more expensive for virtually the same performance).

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    Re: Beating a dead horse: Leica kit advice

    I have and use an M6TTL and M3 for most of my work in Leica, also have an M240 that I got used that only sees duty for certain commercial and editorial jobs, much prefer real black and white photography with Tmax 400 pushed to 800 that gets printed in my darkroom.

    As far as lenses go, I only have and ever will have three, a 28mm 2.8 Asph, 35mm 1.4 FLE and a silver Zeiss 50mm F2 Planar that mostly lives on the M3. I have been through a few 50mm 1.4 Asph's over my career and while I have liked them when I have needed them, I find them to be just a little too unbalanced to have ever become a favorite combo (especially the chrome one) & for low light work with film, a 35mm 1.4 gives at least two more stops of hand held ability in my experience so that on either the MP .72 you are thinking about or my .72 M6 is really the best option there is for an all rounder.

    Now then, I do happen to find a bit of a difference in the 35mm 1.4 Pre-FLE and the FLE on film. I notice a bit more micro contrast when wide open using a super sharp film like Tmax 400 which really punishes lenses for performance. I think the out of focus areas are a bit nicer on the pre-fle and I like the size and ergonomics better but the FLE is really the be-all, end-all fast 35 and it works dynamite on a film M.

    The 28 2.8 asph is an awesome compact lens that takes care of the wide end, no need for me to go wider and use one of those distracting external finders. The Zeiss 50/2 pretty much killed my desire for any Leica 50, it is perfect in every way and is fairly light.

    My M6TTL has the MP rangefinder upgrade, full griptac covering plus strategically placed pieces of it in the thumb rest area and bottom, 90 & 135 frame lines removed, it is by far the best Leica body I have ever used and that includes the rare MP-3.

    So that is my take on it, I have what I consider to be the perfect kit for *me* in Leica and want for nothing more. This fall I am taking the two film M's to Cuba for a month to work on a story, the M240 will most certainly stay at home.

    Good luck in your quest and even more good on you for using film, the right choice for sure sir.

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