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Thread: Leica Macro Summarit S 120mm f/2.5 Opinions

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    Leica Macro Summarit S 120mm f/2.5 Opinions

    I've been thinking of moving from Nikon to the Leica S system so that I can use lenses like the Leica Macro Summarit S 120mm f/2.5. If anyone has any experience moving from Nikon to Leica S and Leica Macro Summarit S 120mm f/2.5 for beauty and fashion photography, I'd appreciate hearing your experiences.

    Thanks,

    Dennis

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    Re: Leica Macro Summarit S 120mm f/2.5 Opinions

    Only thing against it IMO is that it can sometimes hunt for focus

    john

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    Re: Leica Macro Summarit S 120mm f/2.5 Opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by dennishuang View Post
    I've been thinking of moving from Nikon to the Leica S system so that I can use lenses like the Leica Macro Summarit S 120mm f/2.5. If anyone has any experience moving from Nikon to Leica S and Leica Macro Summarit S 120mm f/2.5 for beauty and fashion photography, I'd appreciate hearing your experiences.

    Thanks,

    Dennis
    Dennis,Its very sharp wide open and stays sharp until diffraction sets in at f8,great Bokeh,colour and contrast too.

    It focus hunts so not great for moving objects although I heard the new S firmware improves this.. or you could override the AF with manual to avoid hunting..

    The screen grab I attached shows the S120 compared to the H 120 mk2 ,both wide open.. as you can see the S is extremely good,(Same settings were applied to both files)

    If your planning to use flash I would buy the CS version .

    As for Nikon I have the 70-200 vr2 and 85mm 1.4G.. they're pretty good and focus quicker,just not as good as the S,especially wide open..

    That my 2cents


    Rob

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    Re: Leica Macro Summarit S 120mm f/2.5 Opinions

    The S120 is an exceptional lens amongst an exceptional system of lenses. Being a Macro, it has a bit longer focus throw, and when working closer up the auto focus can hunt. Leica has recently issued new firmware that is supposed to improve the AF of all the S lenses ... how much it impacts this lens remains to be seen.

    The other thing about all of the S lenses is that unlike most AF lenses, they are also superb full-time manual focus lenses, so you can fine tune manually on the big bright viewfinder.

    Are you aware of the recent introduction of a S100/2? This may be exactly what you are looking for as it is like a 80mm in 35mm terms ... it is the fastest aperture S lens and promises to be one of the best super-fast MFD lenses ever made.

    - Marc

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    Re: Leica Macro Summarit S 120mm f/2.5 Opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    The S120 is an exceptional lens amongst an exceptional system of lenses. Being a Macro, it has a bit longer focus throw, and when working closer up the auto focus can hunt. Leica has recently issued new firmware that is supposed to improve the AF of all the S lenses ... how much it impacts this lens remains to be seen.

    The other thing about all of the S lenses is that unlike most AF lenses, they are also superb full-time manual focus lenses, so you can fine tune manually on the big bright viewfinder.

    Are you aware of the recent introduction of a S100/2? This may be exactly what you are looking for as it is like a 80mm in 35mm terms ... it is the fastest aperture S lens and promises to be one of the best super-fast MFD lenses ever made.

    - Marc
    Good point about the 100mm Marc,its also 200grams lighter and should AF faster due to less elements..

    Rob

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    Re: Leica Macro Summarit S 120mm f/2.5 Opinions

    Morning

    I'm in exactly the same position and have recently been using a S2 with a 70cs to see how it handles, one question I have for you guys who work all the time with this camera, is the focusing noise the same for all S lenses? On the 70mm the noise as it focuses is really loud, on the one I'm using at least, is it a problem with this camera or with the system as a whole? It's not a big deal as I manually focus most of the time but it is disconcerting to say the least. Is the S any quieter? I'd really like the 120 if I go for it, if it hunts and also makes the same noise, it would be a real pain, not enough of an issue to detract from image quality but there nonetheless.

    Mat

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    Re: Leica Macro Summarit S 120mm f/2.5 Opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by mjr View Post
    Morning

    I'm in exactly the same position and have recently been using a S2 with a 70cs to see how it handles, one question I have for you guys who work all the time with this camera, is the focusing noise the same for all S lenses? On the 70mm the noise as it focuses is really loud, on the one I'm using at least, is it a problem with this camera or with the system as a whole? It's not a big deal as I manually focus most of the time but it is disconcerting to say the least. Is the S any quieter? I'd really like the 120 if I go for it, if it hunts and also makes the same noise, it would be a real pain, not enough of an issue to detract from image quality but there nonetheless.

    Mat
    Oh, if you think the 70 is loud, get ready for the bzzzzzt noise the 120 makes as it slowly racks focus... the 70 seems downright silent in comparison!
    I've used both the S2 and S on a couple of occasions, but besides the significantly better control layout of the S, I didn't notice any speed differences on the side of the AF or processing.

    Quote Originally Posted by RVB View Post
    Good point about the 100mm Marc,its also 200grams lighter and should AF faster due to less elements..

    Rob
    Oh wow, I totally missed this announcement, looking at this I'd probably want the 100 over the 120... Reading around the net it seems the 100/2 won't have a CS version, so if you need those fast sync speeds, the 120 will still be your go-to lens.

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    Re: Leica Macro Summarit S 120mm f/2.5 Opinions

    Good point

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    Re: Leica Macro Summarit S 120mm f/2.5 Opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by RVB View Post
    Dennis,Its very sharp wide open and stays sharp until diffraction sets in at f8,great Bokeh,colour and contrast too.

    It focus hunts so not great for moving objects although I heard the new S firmware improves this.. or you could override the AF with manual to avoid hunting..

    The screen grab I attached shows the S120 compared to the H 120 mk2 ,both wide open.. as you can see the S is extremely good,(Same settings were applied to both files)

    If your planning to use flash I would buy the CS version .

    As for Nikon I have the 70-200 vr2 and 85mm 1.4G.. they're pretty good and focus quicker,just not as good as the S,especially wide open..

    That my 2cents


    Rob
    Thanks for the images and information! It would be the CS version that I would get. I forgot to put that in my post. I would change that in the thread but I don't seem to be able to do that.

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    Re: Leica Macro Summarit S 120mm f/2.5 Opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    The S120 is an exceptional lens amongst an exceptional system of lenses. Being a Macro, it has a bit longer focus throw, and when working closer up the auto focus can hunt. Leica has recently issued new firmware that is supposed to improve the AF of all the S lenses ... how much it impacts this lens remains to be seen.

    The other thing about all of the S lenses is that unlike most AF lenses, they are also superb full-time manual focus lenses, so you can fine tune manually on the big bright viewfinder.

    Are you aware of the recent introduction of a S100/2? This may be exactly what you are looking for as it is like a 80mm in 35mm terms ... it is the fastest aperture S lens and promises to be one of the best super-fast MFD lenses ever made.

    - Marc
    Hi Marc,

    Thanks for the information. I did see that announcement. It did look interesting but I was looking for something with a longer focal length for beauty. If they make a CS version of the S100/2 then I might still consider it. I also especially like the fact that the S 120mm F/2.5 CS is a macro lens for beauty.

    Regards,

    Dennis

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    Re: Leica Macro Summarit S 120mm f/2.5 Opinions

    I shoot with the same systems. I am not as experienced and many on this forum, but these are my observations. I have both a D810 and S Typ 006 with the 120mm and 70mm CS lenses. The 120 lens has a full 540 deg. of ring rotation vs. 90 deg. on the Nikkor 85mm f/1.4. Perhaps the slower screw type focus motor combines with with the long throw to make things difficult. I do know that it very difficult to rely on without modeling lights (I use some battery powered strobe packs). The solution I found is to manual focus and then dial in with the back button. It would be nice if it had a focus limiter.

    Another interesting thing is shots are 1 stop under exposed compared to the 70mm CS under identical conditions. I checked with Leica Miami who tested a their sample and got similar results. Reportedly they communicated this to Germany and are investigating. For the time being their rational is a "bellows effect." Not really a deal breaker because you compensate when you know about it, but still odd just the same.

    Having said that, for portraiture I love the lens. It's my favorite lens and my pic for most shoots.

    Example with Profoto white beauty dish over / under set up.



    Another outside using CS (500sec i think) to kill ambient and Profoto Acute B through translucent umbrella for key.

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    Re: Leica Macro Summarit S 120mm f/2.5 Opinions

    Dennis have you considered the 180mm?it focuses fast and has an optional adaptor for close focus.

    Rob

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    Re: Leica Macro Summarit S 120mm f/2.5 Opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by Ristretto View Post
    I shoot with the same systems. I am not as experienced and many on this forum, but these are my observations. I have both a D810 and S Typ 006 with the 120mm and 70mm CS lenses. The 120 lens has a full 540 deg. of ring rotation vs. 90 deg. on the Nikkor 85mm f/1.4. Perhaps the slower screw type focus motor combines with with the long throw to make things difficult. I do know that it very difficult to rely on without modeling lights (I use some battery powered strobe packs). The solution I found is to manual focus and then dial in with the back button. It would be nice if it had a focus limiter.

    Another interesting thing is shots are 1 stop under exposed compared to the 70mm CS under identical conditions. I checked with Leica Miami who tested a their sample and got similar results. Reportedly they communicated this to Germany and are investigating. For the time being their rational is a "bellows effect." Not really a deal breaker because you compensate when you know about it, but still odd just the same.

    Having said that, for portraiture I love the lens. It's my favorite lens and my pic for most shoots.

    Example with Profoto white beauty dish over / under set up.



    Another outside using CS (500sec i think) to kill ambient and Profoto Acute B through translucent umbrella for key.

    Great photos! I appreciate the samples. Thanks for sharing your experiences especially about the exposure and focusing.

    Regards,

    Dennis

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    Re: Leica Macro Summarit S 120mm f/2.5 Opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by RVB View Post
    Dennis have you considered the 180mm?it focuses fast and has an optional adaptor for close focus.

    Rob
    Hi Rob,

    I did see the 180mm but wanted something faster than f/3.5 but I did read good things about it. I do like that focal length. I did not know about that adapter so I appreciate you informing me of it. I will check that out.

    Regards,

    Dennis

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    Re: Leica Macro Summarit S 120mm f/2.5 Opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by Ristretto View Post
    Another interesting thing is shots are 1 stop under exposed compared to the 70mm CS under identical conditions. I checked with Leica Miami who tested a their sample and got similar results. Reportedly they communicated this to Germany and are investigating. For the time being their rational is a "bellows effect." Not really a deal breaker because you compensate when you know about it, but still odd just the same.
    Hey,
    Just wanted to let you know you aren't alone. I have been blaming my S body, when the whole time I think it is the 120 CS. It never hit me until recently that the Lenses themselves have a 'Firmware', and that this could be the Problem Root. Also, I shoot 98% of my Portraiture with the 120.
    I have had meetings with the Manager of the Store I bought it through for hours. I have done hours of testing, again, dimwit me, thinking and testing for the S Body.

    Fact: None of the Leica US Team has any idea of what is going on.or at least they are no letting on.
    Fact: Having seen Threads (finally) with numerous people who have had their 120's shipped to Germany, Leica Germany is VERY aware of a problem. Many threads of people losing their Autofocus on the Lens which presently means sending the Lens to Germany.

    Problem/Fact: Leica US and Leica Germany do not share information with each other. If some of the Members here are going to Photokina, maybe we can get things rolling in the right direction.

    Will the new Firmware potentially fix this issue. (????)
    Regards,
    william
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    Re: Leica Macro Summarit S 120mm f/2.5 Opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by WPalank View Post
    Hey,
    Just wanted to let you know you aren't alone. I have been blaming my S body, when the whole time I think it is the 120 CS. It never hit me until recently that the Lenses themselves have a 'Firmware', and that this could be the Problem Root. Also, I shoot 98% of my Portraiture with the 120.
    I have had meetings with the Manager of the Store I bought it through for hours. I have done hours of testing, again, dimwit me, thinking and testing for the S Body.

    Fact: None of the Leica US Team has any idea of what is going on.or at least they are no letting on.
    Fact: Having seen Threads (finally) with numerous people who have had their 120's shipped to Germany, Leica Germany is VERY aware of a problem. Many threads of people losing their Autofocus on the Lens which presently means sending the Lens to Germany.

    Problem/Fact: Leica US and Leica Germany do not share information with each other. If some of the Members here are going to Photokina, maybe we can get things rolling in the right direction.

    Will the new Firmware potentially fix this issue. (????)
    Thanks for sharing your experiences and what you have read about the lens and Leica US and Leica Germany. I would hope that a small company with a good reputation would be better than what you describe.
    Likes 1 Member(s) liked this post

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    Re: Leica Macro Summarit S 120mm f/2.5 Opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by dennishuang View Post
    Thanks for sharing your experiences and what you have read about the lens and Leica US and Leica Germany. I would hope that a small company with a good reputation would be better than what you describe.
    Agreed Dennis, Thank you. It seems this "small company" is continually rolling out New Systems without seemingly taking care of current Customers and CURRENT Equipment. Don't get me wrong, it's the best in my Opinion.

    I've been lucky enough to have my Images retained by Lecia AG for Web Usage over several Campsigns. However, with recent problems with my S System and going to the absolute top of the Chain in Leica USA Land, to be told "I'm the only one with any problems" then to finally be able to Log on to "Red Dot Forum" (you see the site went down for about a week), seemingly being the only one concerned as I called Miami to be told they had no idea THINGS WERE DOWN. . When finally the site was available, I found there were numerous accounts of people sending in their 120 CS's for problems to Germany. The US team at the same time is telling me there are NO reports of problems with the lens. WTF. I am a Professional Headshot/Fashion a Photographer that relies on the 120 as my main Tool. End of Story.
    I've reported my issues on other Forums, with no results. I was even told by Leica people to cool down. Unfortunately, in my area, most 120 CS users like to go in their backyard and take pictures of flowers, then go back to their couch and sip on Chardonays.
    Within the last year or so, Blackstone has made a significant investment in Leica AG. No longer a "small company". IMHO
    Regards,
    william
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    Re: Leica Macro Summarit S 120mm f/2.5 Opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by WPalank View Post
    Agreed Dennis, Thank you. It seems this "small company" is continually rolling out New Systems without seemingly taking care of current Customers and CURRENT Equipment. Don't get me wrong, it's the best in my Opinion.

    I've been lucky enough to have my Images retained by Lecia AG for Web Usage over several Campsigns. However, with recent problems with my S System and going to the absolute top of the Chain in Leica USA Land, to be told "I'm the only one with any problems" then to finally be able to Log on to "Red Dot Forum" (you see the site went down for about a week), seemingly being the only one concerned as I called Miami to be told they had no idea THINGS WERE DOWN. . When finally the site was available, I found there were numerous accounts of people sending in their 120 CS's for problems to Germany. The US team at the same time is telling me there are NO reports of problems with the lens. WTF. I am a Professional Headshot/Fashion a Photographer that relies on the 120 as my main Tool. End of Story.
    I've reported my issues on other Forums, with no results. I was even told by Leica people to cool down. Unfortunately, in my area, most 120 CS users like to go in their backyard and take pictures of flowers, then go back to their couch and sip on Chardonays.
    Within the last year or so, Blackstone has made a significant investment in Leica AG. No longer a "small company". IMHO
    William,

    I would also not find the experiences that you have had to go through acceptable. Thanks for the information you got from the other forum. I will go to the other forum to do more research. The wisest thing for me taking into account many things would probably be for me to stick with my Nikon system but I keep thinking about having faster flash sync, more megapixels, and better lenses.

    Regards,

    Dennis

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