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Thread: leica 18 super-elmar vs Zeiss ZM 18

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    leica 18 super-elmar vs Zeiss ZM 18

    Anyone has experience with either on a digital M? Do you HAVE TO buy a separate viewfinder to see the brightlines? If so, what are ur opinions on the Voigtlander 24mm VF?

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    Re: leica 18 super-elmar vs Zeiss ZM 18

    I use the 4/18 ZM on the M8 and just use the entire VF. Do you have to buy an external VF? Nope, I don't own any (well, okay one - came with the 50mm Mamiya 7/7II lens). I don't really care for them, personally.

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    Re: leica 18 super-elmar vs Zeiss ZM 18

    Is your ZM18 coded? If not, any colour shift or vignet issues in RAW files?

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    matmcdermott
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    Re: leica 18 super-elmar vs Zeiss ZM 18

    have the 18 s-e and use an external viewfinder -- with glasses there's no way around it -- can't even see the 24mm frames so no hope of seeing where the 18 would be. if you don't wear glasses I suppose you might be able to, but can't verify. I use the voigtlander 25mm viewfinder and find it very serviceable. couldn't stomach the price for the new leica viewfinder with framelines for both 18 and 24 field of view and won't keep the lens to use on any future full-frame M (18 is waaaay too wide for anything I shoot), so no big deal for me not having both.

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    Rogwp
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    Re: leica 18 super-elmar vs Zeiss ZM 18

    I have the 18mm Leica, wear glasses, and only use the camera's viewfinder. I find if I move my eye around I can get the 18mm view (more or less). It only takes one shot to confirm the view, peek at the lcd, and I am good to go.

    The brain is capable of more than we credit it for at times, and I saved myself $800 +/-.

    My advice is to just use the lens, and you will soon "learn" what is in the frame.

    I do have a spirit (bubble) level mounted at all times- it is important to keep the camera back vertical, or you will be spending too much time in Photoshop! Roger

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    Re: leica 18 super-elmar vs Zeiss ZM 18

    Thanks for the responses so far. How about IQ between the two?

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: leica 18 super-elmar vs Zeiss ZM 18

    I was looking for this exact comparison on the LUF but could not find any direct comparisons. I have the 18mm Zeiss and find it to be an outstanding lens overall. I use the Zeiss 25/28 finder (which accepts the same diopters as the Zeiss Ikon camera ) and find it to be perfect using the 25 frame for the 18mm.

    The recommendations on finders are correct ..you can learn to see without looking(but this takes practice and a lot of shooting) .....the finder is helpful in situations where the framing is critical . I frequently use the finder to see the field of view but then revert to the camera finder for actual shooting .

    The 18mm takes quite a bit more care to avoid distortion when compared to the 21mm. I have tried it for street shooting and when you get it right..its dramatic but its harder to do.

    The Zeiss 18mm renders consistent with all the Zeiss ZM lenses. Compared to Leica Zeiss zm lenses tend to have higher contrast and equal resolution. The Leica lenses excel in micro contrast and color saturation. So it depends on your subject matter and taste as to which is "better".

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    Re: leica 18 super-elmar vs Zeiss ZM 18

    Thanks Roger. So I gathered from ur post that the ZM18 has its distortion well controlled? Did you have to code your lens to avoid any colour shifts? Would u be kind enough to post some samples on a digital M?

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    Re: leica 18 super-elmar vs Zeiss ZM 18

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogwp View Post
    The brain is capable of more than we credit it for at times,

    My advice is to just use the lens, and you will soon "learn" what is in the frame.

    Roger
    Roger, you trust your brain for the framelines but not for the level? I find that mine works well for this too but I am not so critical; and use only 21 & 25 on the m8. (and use glasses)
    Last edited by gero; 2nd August 2009 at 08:02.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: leica 18 super-elmar vs Zeiss ZM 18

    Quote Originally Posted by francishmt View Post
    Thanks Roger. So I gathered from ur post that the ZM18 has its distortion well controlled? Did you have to code your lens to avoid any colour shifts? Would u be kind enough to post some samples on a digital M?
    For my use the distortion is well controlled...but I do mostly street shooting and travel ....not into landscape or architecture where it would show up more. To code the lens you have to have the 28/90 frame to use the WATE coding..not sure whats requied to match the new 18mm code. My mount was changed out by zeiss and then I had DAG handle the coding and check the calibration. I have not noticed any problems when using the WATE 18mm as my 6bit code.

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    Re: leica 18 super-elmar vs Zeiss ZM 18

    Sorry for my ignorance, but what is WATE? For the 28/90 frame, that's 2 brightlines built-in into the M8.2, right? Did you have to send it to Zeiss Germany to have the mount changed? Lastly, what is DAG?

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: leica 18 super-elmar vs Zeiss ZM 18

    The WATE is the Wide Angled Tri Elmarit 16/18/21:4. The 6 bit system works with the code on the lens mount and the specific frame line selected. The mount must bring up the correct frame lines as well as having the code to work. I believe for the WATE its the 28/90 framelines(they are a pair the others are the 24/35pair and the 50/75 pair). I don t know the new code and frame used by the new 18mm elmarit ...this might work better and maybe not require a mount change.

    Some dealers (Popflash ) were able to get the 18mm directly from Zeiss with the correct mount or arrange with zeiss (USA) to change the mount at no charge. DAG is Dag Camera repair (in USA) a well respected Leica service provider. He can make arrangements to have your mount milled for 6bit and then test the lens after reassembly for proper calibration. If you are buying a new Zeiss 18mm you should talk with Popflash as they do a lot of this .

    You can avoid this if you decide on the Leica 18mm which only comes with the 6bit coding as it was released after the M8 .

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    Re: leica 18 super-elmar vs Zeiss ZM 18

    Quote Originally Posted by francishmt View Post
    Is your ZM18 coded? If not, any colour shift or vignet issues in RAW files?
    Mine is temporarily coded, though I've only been able to get it to read as a 21mm, not an 18mm (a work in progress).

    I don't have a UV/IR filter on it at the moment either... But it seems to work just fine as long as you're not shooting certain things. I'll probably pick up a B+W 486 filter for it in the near future though, as Leica doesn't make one in the 58mm size.

    It should be noted that I have a "late version" of this lens - where Zeiss machined a groove around the mount (and moved the screw out of the way) and also brings up the proper framelines - for easier self-coding.

    As far as IQ, it's very typically Zeiss/ZM. Excellent in every measure and distortion is very well controlled. Very sharp.

    I use mine primarily on the M8. Though I want to throw it on the Ikon... Which will require an 18mm finder.

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    Re: leica 18 super-elmar vs Zeiss ZM 18

    The Voigtlander 18mm is the smallest of the 18mm lenses and because it is LTM, it can use a coded adapter.




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    Senior Member thrice's Avatar
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    Re: leica 18 super-elmar vs Zeiss ZM 18

    Voigtlander 18mm? I have never seen such a lens, do you have any more information on it? I would be very interested in its performance

    EDIT: oh google says it was only released as a prototype, what a shame I would really have liked one

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