Site Sponsors
Results 1 to 43 of 43

Thread: Help Me Buy a Leica lens - not too many $$

  1. #1
    Senior Member JMaher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Sarasota
    Posts
    942
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    16

    Help Me Buy a Leica lens - not too many $$

    I am thinking about trying a manual lens on my Sony (A7r & A7II).

    I am intrigued by all the discussions on Leica lens and think I should just try it.

    HOWEVER, I am being cheap about this and would like to be around $500 (less if possible) (more if I need to) Possibly I am crazy and there is nothing good around this price?

    I have two focal lengths I am currently interested in.

    - small 90 for portraits (probably my first choice).

    - 28 (or even better a 24).

    I call upon any of you - what would be a good place to start?

    Jim

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    London
    Posts
    590
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Help Me Buy a Leica lens - not too many $$

    Well you could pick ip one of the old 90 elamar's or elmarit's for a few hundred pounds and they will probably perform well for what they are. Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be any leica 28mm lenses that perform well on the A7's though the Minolta m-rokkor 28/f2.8 is about the best performer but then it has the issue of white spots around the front element

  3. #3
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    Vivek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    13,608
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    21

    Re: Help Me Buy a Leica lens - not too many $$

    M-Rokkor 90/4 (the smallest 90mm there is) and M Rokkor 28/2.8. Don't be spooked about the "white spots" the Leica M lenses have more problems than that (IQ wise). Both are Minolta lenses and not really Leica.

    The one lens I a super pleased about (on an A7r) is the AA Summicron 75/2. If you can, highly worthwhile to have it in your arsenal.

  4. #4
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    jonoslack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    East Anglia & Cornwall (UK)
    Posts
    11,778
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1

    Re: Help Me Buy a Leica lens - not too many $$

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    The one lens I a super pleased about (on an A7r) is the AA Summicron 75/2. If you can, highly worthwhile to have it in your arsenal.
    Nice to have something we can unequivocally agree on Vivek - a gorgeous lens, small but perfectly formed and sharp where it should be, with a lovely bokeh where it shouldn't.

    Just this guy you know
    Likes 1 Member(s) liked this post

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    77
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Help Me Buy a Leica lens - not too many $$

    Sony is releasing 28mm f2 in Feb-April... Zeiss wide and tele Loxias are coming at the end of this year..

    For 90mm, I recommend also Contax g 90mm 2.8 ($274 at Adorama). MF adapters are not the best, but you can convert to m or get the af adapter. Other small Leica option is Summarit 90mm f2.5. I saw it used as low as $1000.

    Here is Saxbike posted a Contax g photo:
    http://www.getdpi.com/forum/618821-post264.html

    Mine on nex:




    On the wide side CV21 1.8 works also, wide open on A7R:



  6. #6
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    Godfrey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Near San Jose, California
    Posts
    7,931
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Help Me Buy a Leica lens - not too many $$

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    M-Rokkor 90/4 (the smallest 90mm there is) and M Rokkor 28/2.8. Don't be spooked about the "white spots" the Leica M lenses have more problems than that (IQ wise). Both are Minolta lenses and not really Leica.
    The M-Rokkor 90/4 was a Leitz design, and was actually made by Leitz on the same assembly line as its twin, the Elmarit-C 90/4, in Germany until Leica discontinued the CL. Minolta continued its production for the CLE in Japan.

    G

  7. #7
    Senior Member JMaher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Sarasota
    Posts
    942
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    16

    Re: Help Me Buy a Leica lens - not too many $$

    Thanks to everyone for their comments.

    **
    Within the reasonable price range these are under $400
    M-Rokkor 90/4
    LEICA 90MM F/4 ELMAR C WETZLAR

    The LEICA 90MM F/2.8 ELMARIT BLACK M MOUNT LENS {39} is around $600

    LEICA 90MM F/2.8 TELE-ELMARIT-M BLACK M MOUNT LENS {39} around $900

    All these are basically graded at KEH of rating of excellent

    The 75/2 is around $3,000 and far out of range for a "starter" Leica lens.

    While I loved my Contax T - the G lenses seem to be difficult to focus easily or so I have heard.

    Any further thoughts based on the price comparisons?
    Likes 1 Member(s) liked this post

  8. #8
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    k-hawinkler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    The "Land of Enchantment"
    Posts
    3,304
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Help Me Buy a Leica lens - not too many $$

    Quote Originally Posted by JMaher View Post
    Thanks to everyone for their comments.

    **
    Within the reasonable price range these are under $400
    M-Rokkor 90/4
    LEICA 90MM F/4 ELMAR C WETZLAR

    The LEICA 90MM F/2.8 ELMARIT BLACK M MOUNT LENS {39} is around $600

    LEICA 90MM F/2.8 TELE-ELMARIT-M BLACK M MOUNT LENS {39} around $900

    All these are basically graded at KEH of rating of excellent

    The 75/2 is around $3,000 and far out of range for a "starter" Leica lens.

    While I loved my Contax T - the G lenses seem to be difficult to focus easily or so I have heard.

    Any further thoughts based on the price comparisons?

    My suggestion: Tele-Elmarit 90/2.8. It's small and an excellent lens.
    There is also an Elmarit-M 90/2.8 (it's not the Elmarit you listed). It's even better than the TE but big and heavy.
    With best regards, K-H.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    belgïe
    Posts
    1,492
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2

    Re: Help Me Buy a Leica lens - not too many $$

    Quote Originally Posted by JMaher View Post
    Thanks to everyone for their comments.

    **
    Within the reasonable price range these are under $400
    M-Rokkor 90/4
    LEICA 90MM F/4 ELMAR C WETZLAR

    The LEICA 90MM F/2.8 ELMARIT BLACK M MOUNT LENS {39} is around $600

    LEICA 90MM F/2.8 TELE-ELMARIT-M BLACK M MOUNT LENS {39} around $900

    All these are basically graded at KEH of rating of excellent

    The 75/2 is around $3,000 and far out of range for a "starter" Leica lens.

    While I loved my Contax T - the G lenses seem to be difficult to focus easily or so I have heard.

    Any further thoughts based on the price comparisons?
    You're not likely to find any Leica lens within your price range unless something is seriously wrong with it. You just aren't… M lenses, maybe, but not Leica branded.

    What didn't you like about the Contax glass? You said you loved it but have heard they are difficult to focus? Have you tried? On what body? Manual lens will be quite similar as far as ease on the A7 bodies, at least in my experience.

    If you have a lens who's draw you love, I'd try it on your cameras before searching out Leica glass -- an adaptor is far less money.
    my flickr
    Likes 1 Member(s) liked this post

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    London
    Posts
    590
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Help Me Buy a Leica lens - not too many $$

    Quote Originally Posted by JMaher View Post
    Thanks to everyone for their comments.

    **
    Within the reasonable price range these are under $400
    M-Rokkor 90/4
    LEICA 90MM F/4 ELMAR C WETZLAR

    The LEICA 90MM F/2.8 ELMARIT BLACK M MOUNT LENS {39} is around $600

    LEICA 90MM F/2.8 TELE-ELMARIT-M BLACK M MOUNT LENS {39} around $900

    All these are basically graded at KEH of rating of excellent

    The 75/2 is around $3,000 and far out of range for a "starter" Leica lens.

    While I loved my Contax T - the G lenses seem to be difficult to focus easily or so I have heard.

    Any further thoughts based on the price comparisons?
    I have the elmarit-M 90/2.8 (narrow version with built in lens hood) and it is indeed a fantastic lens. Yes it is out of your price range but is worth every penny it costs and I would say it punches well above it's price range

  11. #11
    Senior Member JMaher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Sarasota
    Posts
    942
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    16

    Re: Help Me Buy a Leica lens - not too many $$

    Cam,

    Contax makes great glass. My Contax T was a compact rangefinder with a fixed lens.

    My understanding is that the "G" lenses do not smoothly work when adapted. The is not the case with all Contax glass but is particular to the "G" lens type. Please correct me if this is a mistaken opinion. I have heard noting but praise about the "G" 90 sharpness but many complaints about adapting them.

    Jim

  12. #12
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    Godfrey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Near San Jose, California
    Posts
    7,931
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Help Me Buy a Leica lens - not too many $$

    Everyone is focusing on Leica M-mount lenses when Leica R-mount lenses are, most of the time, equal or better quality, work better on the A7 series bodies than M-mount designs, and are generally far less expensive (until you get the late '90s super models).

    Both the Elmarit-R 24 and Elmarit-R 28 mm lenses are easily findable for $500-$700. I have the 24mm and it is a peach. The 28mm (version 2) lens is even better, but it typically goes for a solid bit more money (and honestly, the differences are small).

    A Summicron-R 90mm f/2 is a super lens for portraits, and also findable between $500 and $650.

    Note that R lenses are not small like M lenses, but they are extremely well made and produce superb imaging qualities. My R lenses are why I own the A7—I don't have any native lenses for it, and only occasionally use other lenses on it (M-mount or Nikkors or pinhole lenses).

    G


    Quote Originally Posted by JMaher View Post
    I am thinking about trying a manual lens on my Sony (A7r & A7II).

    I am intrigued by all the discussions on Leica lens and think I should just try it.

    HOWEVER, I am being cheap about this and would like to be around $500 (less if possible) (more if I need to) Possibly I am crazy and there is nothing good around this price?

    I have two focal lengths I am currently interested in.

    - small 90 for portraits (probably my first choice).

    - 28 (or even better a 24).

    I call upon any of you - what would be a good place to start?

    Jim
    Godfrey - GDGPhoto Flickr Stream
    Likes 2 Member(s) liked this post

  13. #13
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    77
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Help Me Buy a Leica lens - not too many $$

    I use Techart MK 3 af adapter with Contax g lenses. Here are videos that show the af speed:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hn75Ega35WY
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UpxM2NR628E

  14. #14
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    Vivek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    13,608
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    21

    Re: Help Me Buy a Leica lens - not too many $$

    Quote Originally Posted by JMaher View Post
    Cam,

    Contax makes great glass. My Contax T was a compact rangefinder with a fixed lens.

    My understanding is that the "G" lenses do not smoothly work when adapted. The is not the case with all Contax glass but is particular to the "G" lens type. Please correct me if this is a mistaken opinion. I have heard noting but praise about the "G" 90 sharpness but many complaints about adapting them.

    Jim
    I bought one here as a set (with Metabones adapter). I do not find it (focusing) particularly bothersome but it is too contrasty to my taste even in soft light. With flash use, it will be even worse than the FE 55/1.8 but may be sharper as well.

    The focus ring is slightly wider than the E mount while the aperture ring diameter is quite narrow unlike a M-Rokkor or an Elmar 90mm.

    I will snap a pic if you like.

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    belgïe
    Posts
    1,492
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2

    Re: Help Me Buy a Leica lens - not too many $$

    Quote Originally Posted by JMaher View Post
    Cam,

    Contax makes great glass. My Contax T was a compact rangefinder with a fixed lens.

    My understanding is that the "G" lenses do not smoothly work when adapted. The is not the case with all Contax glass but is particular to the "G" lens type. Please correct me if this is a mistaken opinion. I have heard noting but praise about the "G" 90 sharpness but many complaints about adapting them.

    Jim
    I honestly have no clue re the G lenses.

    I am just hoping you can open your mind and consider other options since, I think, the Leica ones are out of your range… There are others that are quite stunning (look in the oldies thread) and see if something thrills you.
    my flickr
    Likes 1 Member(s) liked this post

  16. #16
    Senior Member JMaher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Sarasota
    Posts
    942
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    16

    Re: Help Me Buy a Leica lens - not too many $$

    Cam - Thanks for your comments. I am not really hung up on Leica just looking to try something new. The idea of a small lens with great optics is appealing.

    Godfrey - will look at the R versions. Probably heavier than I had hoped but they may be fun as well. Also considering the two f/4 options you suggested.

    K-H - considering the Tele-Elmarit 90/2.8 for it's size and quality.

    Every one else, thanks as well for interesting suggestions with I could justify the more expensive lenses but probably not at this point.

    Jim
    Likes 1 Member(s) liked this post

  17. #17
    Super Duper
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Ithaca, NY
    Posts
    3,541
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Help Me Buy a Leica lens - not too many $$

    Hi Jim,

    The Contax G lenses can be modified to Leica M mount and focusing is then quite easy and smooth.

    Here is a modified Contax G 45mm f/2 Planar mounted to a Sony A7II via a Phigment M to E adapter.

    Snap taken with above setup at f/4


    and with the Contax G 90mm f/2.8 Sonnar


    As Vivek noted, the Contax G lenses have very high contrast, but are also very sharp. Bokeh is not as smooth as the leica lenses and can be harsh at times.
    Carl
    Gallery
    Likes 2 Member(s) liked this post

  18. #18
    Senior Member JMaher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Sarasota
    Posts
    942
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    16

    Re: Help Me Buy a Leica lens - not too many $$

    Carl,

    Somehow I missed this. I originally looked at these lenses for m4/3 and the adapters were pretty awkward. This is a much better option for these lenses.

    Jim

  19. #19
    Senior Member Annna T's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Swiss Alps
    Posts
    1,444
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    3

    Re: Help Me Buy a Leica lens - not too many $$

    Quote Originally Posted by JMaher View Post
    Cam,

    Contax makes great glass. My Contax T was a compact rangefinder with a fixed lens.

    My understanding is that the "G" lenses do not smoothly work when adapted. The is not the case with all Contax glass but is particular to the "G" lens type. Please correct me if this is a mistaken opinion. I have heard noting but praise about the "G" 90 sharpness but many complaints about adapting them.

    Jim
    This is all correct. I did also have a Contax T and liked it a lot. This was my first camera with a good lens. The Contax G lenses which I have too, are difficult to MF because they were made for AF and adapters have to make use of a small screw to focus it. Often they aren't able to move it smoothly. I have got a smart Deothech adapter, but my version is rather tricky and often isn't't able to focus smoothly either. Plus those smart adapters are pricey (although the price may have come down since I got mine).

    The G lenses are excellent, very sharp with a lot of micro contrast, but their bokey is a little busy and they exhibit purple color fringe quite easily in backlight situations. They have a very different look from the M lenses and are better adapted to those who like very sharp pictures than to those who want smooth bokey for portrait work.

  20. #20
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    Godfrey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Near San Jose, California
    Posts
    7,931
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Help Me Buy a Leica lens - not too many $$

    Quote Originally Posted by JMaher View Post
    ...
    Godfrey - will look at the R versions. Probably heavier than I had hoped but they may be fun as well. Also considering the two f/4 options you suggested.
    ...
    Here are my Leica R lenses on the A7:


















    The only one that's rather too unwieldy is the first, the Elmarit-R 180mm f/2.8 v1. It's a very large and heavy lens; the Elmar-R 180mm f/4 is FAR nicer to carry about.

    G
    Godfrey - GDGPhoto Flickr Stream
    Likes 5 Member(s) liked this post

  21. #21
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    k-hawinkler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    The "Land of Enchantment"
    Posts
    3,304
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Help Me Buy a Leica lens - not too many $$

    Quote Originally Posted by JMaher View Post
    K-H - considering the Tele-Elmarit 90/2.8 for it's size and quality.

    Jim
    Hi Jim, here is a shot and crop with the TE 90/2.8 on M9.



    With best regards, K-H.
    Likes 1 Member(s) liked this post

  22. #22
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    jonoslack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    East Anglia & Cornwall (UK)
    Posts
    11,778
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1

    Re: Help Me Buy a Leica lens - not too many $$

    interesting advice from Cam, Godfrey and others. with respect to the Contax lenses, the Contac/yeshiva mount lenses are really good and reasonably priced. they work well on the A7. here is a link to the UK Contax website for manual focus lenses: Contx Manual focus lenses
    Ebay in Getmany can be a good source. FFords also have a good selection (some unused).
    Lots of gems which often mirror the Leica R range for much less money.

    Just this guy you know
    Likes 3 Member(s) liked this post

  23. #23
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    London
    Posts
    590
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Help Me Buy a Leica lens - not too many $$

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    interesting advice from Cam, Godfrey and others. with respect to the Contax lenses, the Contac/yeshiva mount lenses are really good and reasonably priced. they work well on the A7. here is a link to the UK Contax website for manual focus lenses: Contx Manual focus lenses
    Ebay in Getmany can be a good source. FFords also have a good selection (some unused).
    Lots of gems which often mirror the Leica R range for much less money.
    Thanks for that Jono. Any idea how the con tax 28 performs on the A7?

  24. #24
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Gothenburg, Sweden
    Posts
    1,309
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Help Me Buy a Leica lens - not too many $$

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    (...)
    The one lens I a super pleased about (on an A7r) is the AA Summicron 75/2. If you can, highly worthwhile to have it in your arsenal.
    Hi Vivek,
    If you have the time: I would appreciate if you elaborated a little about the M 75/2 AA. How much APO is it? Is there any field curvature to worry about? How is background and foreground bokeh if compared (I'm interested in background bokeh only.)
    I ask as I like the focal length and the Voigtländer 75mm is anything but APO... and I'm contemplating looking for the AA75 or the Lux-R 80mm. Any comments are appreciated.

  25. #25
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    528
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Help Me Buy a Leica lens - not too many $$

    Quote Originally Posted by scho View Post
    Hi Jim,

    The Contax G lenses can be modified to Leica M mount and focusing is then quite easy and smooth.

    Here is a modified Contax G 45mm f/2 Planar mounted to a Sony A7II via a Phigment M to E adapter.
    Carl:
    Is the modification to M mount commercially available or was this a DIY effort? I recall a website for a fellow in Japan who did this type of thing for fairly hefty dollar amounts.

    Regards,
    John

  26. #26
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    iiiNelson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    3,187
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Help Me Buy a Leica lens - not too many $$

    Quote Originally Posted by Viramati View Post
    Thanks for that Jono. Any idea how the con tax 28 performs on the A7?
    I have 4 Contax Yashica lenses and like most SLR lenses they perform great. I'm selling 3 of them to make room for some native gear but in longer focal lengths 85, 135, and 180.

    They all have the Zeiss look and can be a very contrasty to some.
    Sony Visible Light & IR Photographer
    http://www.iiinelsonimages.com

  27. #27
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    iiiNelson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    3,187
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Help Me Buy a Leica lens - not too many $$

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    I bought one here as a set (with Metabones adapter). I do not find it (focusing) particularly bothersome but it is too contrasty to my taste even in soft light. With flash use, it will be even worse than the FE 55/1.8 but may be sharper as well.

    The focus ring is slightly wider than the E mount while the aperture ring diameter is quite narrow unlike a M-Rokkor or an Elmar 90mm.

    I will snap a pic if you like.
    The 55FE is actually pretty awesome for flash work even with softer light.
    Sony Visible Light & IR Photographer
    http://www.iiinelsonimages.com

  28. #28
    Super Duper
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Ithaca, NY
    Posts
    3,541
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Help Me Buy a Leica lens - not too many $$

    Quote Originally Posted by jfirneno View Post
    Carl:
    Is the modification to M mount commercially available or was this a DIY effort? I recall a website for a fellow in Japan who did this type of thing for fairly hefty dollar amounts.

    Regards,
    John
    Hi John,

    Here is the eBay link for the dealer in Calif that converted my lenses. He seems to have a new business name now and also newer parts with engraved distance scale and knurled focus ring. Note that this conversion does not use the original screw drive, but adds a smooth turning helicoid.
    Carl
    Gallery

  29. #29
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    528
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Help Me Buy a Leica lens - not too many $$

    Quote Originally Posted by scho View Post
    Hi John,

    Here is the eBay link for the dealer in Calif that converted my lenses. He seems to have a new business name now and also newer parts with engraved distance scale and knurled focus ring. Note that this conversion does not use the original screw drive, but adds a smooth turning helicoid.
    Thanks for the link.

    Regards,
    John

  30. #30
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    Vivek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    13,608
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    21

    Re: Help Me Buy a Leica lens - not too many $$

    Quote Originally Posted by HiredArm View Post
    The 55FE is actually pretty awesome for flash work even with softer light.
    I thought so and I was saying that it would be a bit too contrasty without proper modification (to soften the light).

  31. #31
    Senior Member JMaher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Sarasota
    Posts
    942
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    16

    Re: Help Me Buy a Leica lens - not too many $$

    I really like the 55 with strobes but then again I am fond of larger modifiers to soften the light.

  32. #32
    Senior Member JMaher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Sarasota
    Posts
    942
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    16

    Re: Help Me Buy a Leica lens - not too many $$

    I will look into the Contax c/y lens options as well. I tried one of these on m4/3 but it was a number of years ago and it was a 50.

    Jim

  33. #33
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    Vivek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    13,608
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    21

    Re: Help Me Buy a Leica lens - not too many $$

    Quote Originally Posted by JMaher View Post
    I really like the 55 with strobes but then again I am fond of larger modifiers to soften the light.

    In that case you would like the Contax G 90/2.8!

    I have shown this >1 year ago. Taken with a M Rokkor 90/4 (made in Japan and made by Minolta for those who care) and an amateur flash set up.


  34. #34
    Senior Member JMaher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Sarasota
    Posts
    942
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    16

    Re: Help Me Buy a Leica lens - not too many $$

    A Summary (and thanks to all).
    Excellent information for someone looking at manual focus option for the Sony A series.

    For someone just trying to branch out (me) it looks like the following are good options:

    Relatively inexpensive but lightweight and good quality but f/4:
    M-Rokkor 90/4
    LEICA 90MM F/4 ELMAR C WETZLAR


    Contax C/Y - sacrifice size and weight in return for excellent optics at a good price

    A little more Expensive:
    Leica R Options - sacrifice size and weight in return for excellent optics at a reasonable price
    Contax G - it looks like the conversion to M mount makes these easy to use but adds to the expense.

    A little More Once Again:
    Tele-Elmarit 90/2.8 - small size and weight

    Jim

  35. #35
    Senior Member biglouis's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    2,128
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Help Me Buy a Leica lens - not too many $$

    Interesting thread.

    Imho, the best bang for the buck lens on the A7/r is the last generation Elmar 50/2.8.

    Good for portraits as at 2.8 the bokeh is creamy. Stopped down it is as sharp as any good Leica lenses. I can't believe how cheap these are. Great for landscape which is how I use it the most.

    An equally good performer is the C-40 Summicron (which was produced for the CLE). I owned one of these and only sold it recently to fund a v3 Summicron 35/2 which also works very well on the A7/r.

    Both the 50 Elmar and C-40 Summicron seem to be much unloved and available for ridiculously low prices compared to the more exotic Leica glass.

    I had the C-90 Elmar and was not as enthralled with it on the A7/r as I should have been. I thought it a bit weak and soft. I sold it and plumped for an Elmarit 90/2.8 last version which is a bit of an expensive lens (relatively) but still a whole helluva lot cheaper and underrated than most Leica glass. I believe that Erwin Puts rates this version very highly indeed. BTW, not sure what people mean by the 'Tele' Elmarit but the last version Elmarit 90/2.8 is a bit weighty.

    There is a lot of superb Leica glass which is not at silly prices because it does not appeal to fondlers... er, I mean posers... er, I mean collectors.

    Just my two cents.

    LouisB

  36. #36
    Senior Member JMaher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Sarasota
    Posts
    942
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    16

    Re: Help Me Buy a Leica lens - not too many $$

    If I go for the Tele Elmarit how do I recognize the latest version?

    Obviously I an unschooled in the art of Leica

    Jim

  37. #37
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    k-hawinkler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    The "Land of Enchantment"
    Posts
    3,304
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Help Me Buy a Leica lens - not too many $$

    Quote Originally Posted by JMaher View Post
    If I go for the Tele Elmarit how do I recognize the latest version?

    Obviously I an unschooled in the art of Leica

    Jim
    This one: 90mm f/2.8 Tele-Elmarit-M - Leica Wiki (English)
    Not this one: 90mm f/2.8 Tele-Elmarit - Leica Wiki (English)

    LEICA 90mm f/2.8 TELE-ELMARIT-M by Ken Rockwell, worth reading though.

    For an overview of Leica M lenses: M Lenses x Focal Length - Leica Wiki (English)
    With best regards, K-H.
    Likes 1 Member(s) liked this post

  38. #38
    Super Duper
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    3,848
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Help Me Buy a Leica lens - not too many $$

    There are plenty of under $500 Leica lenses, if you are looking at older 50s like the Summitar, early Summicron collapsibles, the aforementioned 40/2 Summicron, the older 50/2.8 Elmar.

    Most of these lenses will give a vintage, low contrast look.

    In exchange for the small size and light weight of M lenses, you'll give up close-focusing ability (as compared to SLR lenses), unless you opt for one of the M adapters with a close-focusing helical.

    Or you could look for lenses that have so-called 'cleaning marks' or slight haze, which can lower the price into your target range, but generally speaking have little to no affect on the image. Moderate haze can lower contrast but this can be fixed in post.

    As far as 28s and 90s, the only Leica branded lens in that range is the 90/4. It wasn't that long ago that 90/2.8 Tele-Elmarits were cheap (I remember selling several for $350ish) but the market has changed.

    I find adapting SLR lenses to be a much better option, if price is a major factor. I also find them to be ergonomically superior to adapted M lenses, generally speaking.

    The Contax C/Y are a great choice, with the typical Zeiss look, with a lot less weight and price than the Leica R options. The Leica R are very-well made, over-engineered, but this adds a lot of weight. I once compared the Leica 60mm Macro Elmarit vs. the equivalent 60mm Contax C/Y Makro Planar-C, and the Contax weighed 30% less, with no real sacrifice in build quality. Plus I prefer the Planar 'look' to the Elmarit.

    The Contax G lenses are great, probably better than the equivalent C/Y, but do require a quality adapter as they don't have focusing helicals. Yes, they can be converted to M, but that's another $330 for each lens, and they still won't focus as close as SLR lenses unless you spring for the close-focusing M adapter. These adapters work, but can be tricky and sometimes confusing as this means two focusing helicals...


    For unconverted G lenses, the Metabones G adapter is probably the best overall. There is also an auto-focus adapter available from Tech Art, about $275. Chad (Show Performance) uses one of these on his Sony.

    Lastly, if you really want vintage rangefinder lenses, don't overlook the 1950's era (heavy) 85/2 and 105/2.5 Nikkors in Leica thread, or the 28/3.5 Nikkor. The latter is ergonomically challenging but quite good. There are also some excellent Canon options in Leica thread.
    Last edited by monza; 4th January 2015 at 15:16.
    Likes 1 Member(s) liked this post

  39. #39
    Super Duper
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    32° 31' 37.06" N, 111° 6' 0.9" W
    Posts
    4,334
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Help Me Buy a Leica lens - not too many $$

    Maybe I'm completely off base here however I haven't seen anyone mention (at least I don't think so) Voigtlander as a possible choice; I had a 50mm from them while had the M9 and was impressed. They do have a nice lineup of lenses.

    Just a thought
    Don Libby
    Iron Creek Photography
    Blog
    Tucson AZ

  40. #40
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    Michiel Schierbeek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Amsterdam/Normandy
    Posts
    4,058
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    762

    Re: Help Me Buy a Leica lens - not too many $$

    I have the Elmarit M and the Elmarit R. I prefer the Leica R in photo and build quality.
    It also has a lovely collabsable hood.

  41. #41
    Senior Member JMaher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Sarasota
    Posts
    942
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    16

    Re: Help Me Buy a Leica lens - not too many $$

    Don,

    Somehow Voigtlander has been skipped over entirely. I suspect there any many good ones to choose from but I have never owned one of them.

    Michael - interesting comment on the "R".

    Jim
    Jim

  42. #42
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    422
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Help Me Buy a Leica lens - not too many $$

    No love for the rigid summicron? Not too pricey, lovely rendering, especially for B&W conversions, and a build from days long gone by. If I had $600 to spend on a leica M lens and could buy only one for a Sony A7, I'd consider the rigid cron before many others.

    The best 90 for my money is the elmarit-m imho. Probably out of Jim's budget at around $1200 these days, but very fine value. Not as good on center or across the frame as the elmatir-m, the tele-elmarit is nice and compact but one must careful; some of them show fungus-based etching or the start of it.
    --Mike

    My Flickr

  43. #43
    Super Duper
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    3,848
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Help Me Buy a Leica lens - not too many $$

    A Rigid Cron with clean glass and smooth operation is a bargain at $600. Those are going for quite a bit more in the usual marketplace, mostly due to demand from MM owners...

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •