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Archive 2011 · 35 mm for Leica M
  
 
lovinglife
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p.2 #1 · 35 mm for Leica M


Interesting--If you are looking for subject isolation, im wondering if going from 28mm to 35mm focal length will do it for you.. As Luka pointed out, short of moving up to a 35mm summilux i'm not sure u would find what u are looking for.

That being said, I love the 28mm focal length (in combination with a 50, which would provide the subject isolation you are looking for). For me, the 28mm Summicron ASPH is a perfect lens. Although it does not produce much bokeh, it does seem to do well in the subject isolation dept.

The only other lens I would replace it with is a 35mm Summilux ASPH FLE, but i have not been able to find one as of yet.. At this point I'mm pretty happy with 28mm as it's not too wide as to distort facial features, and at the same time wide enough for most landscape types of use.

If I was you, I would keep the 28/2....

Here's an example of the subject isolation i can get with mine...







Edited on Dec 09, 2011 at 03:40 AM · View previous versions



Dec 09, 2011 at 03:17 AM
denoir
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p.2 #2 · 35 mm for Leica M


redisburning wrote:
um, are you sure?

you see, it's not that I don't believe you per se, I just want to make sure I understand what you're saying. the 35/2 is really sharper than the c-biogon? I have heard the c-biogon is more moderate lens in terms of global contrast and renders like the zm 25 and has similar resolution numbers. I have also heard that the c-biogon is better in the corners.

could you please elaborate? I would really like to see comparative samples; I am genuinely curious. I couldnt figure your site out lol.



When in doubt, look at the MTF charts The 35/2 is @ f/4 (blue) and the 35/2.8 @ f/5.6 (black).







The C-Biogon is good, but it fails to deliver excellent performance mid frame at 40 lp/mm (the fine detail in the image). It's field curvature is also far less graceful than the one of the 35/2 with rather drastic swings, making it less than perfect for landscapes. The MTF charts also show worrying symptoms of astigmatism (the sagittal and tangential lines crossing each other).

Don't take me wrong, it's not bad - in fact it is very good. It's just not top end performance. The 35 Lux ASPH falls into the same category - very good but not as good as the ZM 35/2 stopped down and at/near infinity.



Dec 09, 2011 at 03:27 AM
redisburning
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p.2 #3 · 35 mm for Leica M


so I guess it's the sharpness, lack of distortion and speed of the biogon vs the size and OoF of the c-biogon?

for the majority of my shots I would say the number 1 critical thing is performance on the plane of focus at f4 but the downright weirdness of the biogon's OoF areas is somewhat worrying to me. I had thought that the c-biogon would have been the same in the center, slightly better in the edges and significantly better in the corners and with better OoF at f4.

taking into consideration what you've said, I think I would go for the biogon. I very badly want a 35mm for my M2; I went with the planar first because it seemed like a safe choice.

I notice on some of your pictures though that the corners look downright smeared even at f4. I thought I had escaped this by going to RF optics but I guess that's the nature of the beast. best not to put anything critical there, then, I suppose.



Dec 09, 2011 at 04:16 AM
Mirek Elsner
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p.2 #4 · 35 mm for Leica M


so I guess it's the sharpness, lack of distortion and speed of the biogon vs the size and OoF of the c-biogon?

I hear the Biogon-C has an exceptional flare resistance. No need for lens hood and compact size makes it attractive for situations when size matters, at least for me.

Here is some reading:
http://imx.nl/photo/zeiss/page116/page116.html



Dec 09, 2011 at 04:54 AM
edwardkaraa
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p.2 #5 · 35 mm for Leica M


denoir wrote:
The 35/2 has one feature that no other 35mm lens that I've tried has (and I do own a bunch of them and I've tried many) - it's awesome stopped down and near infinity. It's one of the best landscape lenses I've ever used - right up there with the 21 Distagon. The C-Biogon is good stopped down, but nowhere near as good as the f/2 Biogon.

When travelling I usually bring along two 35mm lenses - the 35/2 Biogon for stopped down landscape photography and the 35 Lux ASPH for all the rest.



Fully agreed about the stopped down performance at infinity. However, I am quite fond with its close range rendering too. The bokeh may not be the best but the 3D and high contrast are very suitable for reportage.



Dec 09, 2011 at 04:58 AM
JimBuchanan
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p.2 #6 · 35 mm for Leica M


denoir wrote:
The 35/2 has one feature that no other 35mm lens that I've tried has (and I do own a bunch of them and I've tried many) - it's awesome stopped down and near infinity. It's one of the best landscape lenses I've ever used - right up there with the 21 Distagon. The C-Biogon is good stopped down, but nowhere near as good as the f/2 Biogon.

When travelling I usually bring along two 35mm lenses - the 35/2 Biogon for stopped down landscape photography and the 35 Lux ASPH for all the rest.


The only 35mm lens I haven't heard any comparative descriptions of in this conversation is the Leica M 35mm Summicron. Any experience with it, compared to the ZM 35/2?



Dec 09, 2011 at 05:03 AM
rico
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p.2 #7 · 35 mm for Leica M


JimBuchanan wrote:
The only 35mm lens I haven't heard any comparative descriptions of in this conversation is the Leica M 35mm Summicron. Any experience with it, compared to the ZM 35/2?

Pre-ASPH versions have a balanced rendition (a quality sometimes called "round"). Image center is actually softer than midfield in versions III and IV, as evident in my scans and MTF by E.Puts. I don't have the CZ B35 ZM, but can compare against the Sonnar 35/2.8 of the Contax T3. The CZ S35 is a modern computation of six elements, three of which are high refractive. The result is high contrast and color saturation, with an impression of extreme sharpness. The older 'crons simply cannot compete in this particular way.



Dec 09, 2011 at 08:04 AM
edwardkaraa
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p.2 #8 · 35 mm for Leica M


rico wrote:
The result is high contrast and color saturation, with an impression of extreme sharpness.


I like the way you describe it, especially the "impression of extreme sharpness" part. It somewhat sums up the entire Carl Zeiss classic look.



Dec 09, 2011 at 08:21 AM
sebboh
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p.2 #9 · 35 mm for Leica M


rico wrote:
Pre-ASPH versions have a balanced rendition (a quality sometimes called "round"). Image center is actually softer than midfield in versions III and IV, as evident in my scans and MTF by E.Puts. I don't have the CZ B35 ZM, but can compare against the Sonnar 35/2.8 of the Contax T3. The CZ S35 is a modern computation of six elements, three of which are high refractive. The result is high contrast and color saturation, with an impression of extreme sharpness. The older 'crons simply cannot compete in this particular way.


what about the cron asph? i've not seen or heard much about it on this forum.



Dec 09, 2011 at 08:23 AM
JonasY
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p.2 #10 · 35 mm for Leica M


denoir wrote:
I know this is very cruel, but I can't help myself. Have you considered the 35 Lux ASPH?

http://peltarion.eu/img/m9/lux35.html


Well, even though I know that Leica lenses will keep their value (most likely, even with a decent interest rate) I cannot afford that kind of lens right now, I'm still a student for christ sake! If it turns out that I will keep the Leica route, I will definitely eventually buy the best lenses possible regardless of cost.

lovinglife wrote:
Interesting--If you are looking for subject isolation, im wondering if going from 28mm to 35mm focal length will do it for you.. As Luka pointed out, short of moving up to a 35mm summilux i'm not sure u would find what u are looking for.


First of all, that's a great shot! You have a valid point, but there are more reasons for this switch. This time, I really want just one lens for all-round purposes, and I'm just more of a 50mm (eqv) than a 35mm guy. Especially on non-FF. I don't want to carry two lenses, and I certainly don't want to have to choose between them – at least with focal lengths close to each other. This might sound stupid, but for me this was a real turn off with my D700.




Dec 09, 2011 at 08:29 AM
 

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carstenw
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p.2 #11 · 35 mm for Leica M


Yeah, that lens-changing ability really kills the D700

The Cron ASPH is a very nice lens which does very little wrong, but it is missing some of the magic of the Lux ASPH. I prefer it to the Cron IV, but this is a question of taste. It is sharper, has much less CA, and much of the time the boke is at least as nice as the Cron IV, "King of Boke" notwithstanding. Sometimes the IV is nicer though, granted. I did a somewhat in-depth comparison of IV, Cron ASPH and Lux ASPH on l-camera-forum at some point. I could look for the link if anyone is interested.



Dec 09, 2011 at 08:49 AM
Mike Tuomey
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p.2 #12 · 35 mm for Leica M


denoir wrote:
The C-Biogon is good stopped down, but nowhere near as good as the f/2 Biogon.


Your narrative assessment seems more exaggerated than the differences in the overlaid mtf charts for both lenses. Taken as a whole, looking at both sets of graphs, "nowhere near" doesn't seem justified in characterizing the performance differences between the lenses at f4/f5.6.



Dec 09, 2011 at 01:17 PM
Makten
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p.2 #13 · 35 mm for Leica M


Mike Tuomey wrote:
Your narrative assessment seems more exaggerated than the differences in the overlaid mtf charts for both lenses. Taken as a whole, looking at both sets of graphs, "nowhere near" doesn't seem justified in characterizing the performance differences between the lenses at f4/f5.6.


I agree, the charts look very similar and that can also be seen in image comparisons. The 35/2.8 is really an awesome lens that has no obvious weak points except for the slow speed. However, mine didn't focus correctly on my M cameras, so I sold it.



Dec 09, 2011 at 01:43 PM
denoir
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p.2 #14 · 35 mm for Leica M


Mike Tuomey wrote:
Your narrative assessment seems more exaggerated than the differences in the overlaid mtf charts for both lenses. Taken as a whole, looking at both sets of graphs, "nowhere near" doesn't seem justified in characterizing the performance differences between the lenses at f4/f5.6.


That will obviously depend on your standards. Most people think a kit zoom is more than good enough while I'm sure you do not. I don't consider 40 lp/mm dropping down to MTF60 mid frame to be acceptable for a top end landscape lens. The 35 Lux ASPH does it as well and is the primary reason why I don't consider it to be in the top tier of landscape lenses.

Then again, I use four different 35mm prime lenses for different purposes, so my standards are probably unusually high. Still, it's not like it is not noticeable.

I've posted this example a bunch of times previously:















40 lp/mm sagittal overlay on the image:






100% crops:






The sagittal blur you see corresponds precisely to the dip in the MTF chart - that's MTF80 vs MTF60.

Field curvature is not the end of the world, but a desirable trait for a landscape lens is that it should be a graceful transition and not wavy like the one of the C-Biogon or the 35 Lux ASPH. That wave can be a positive thing at closer distances as it gives more volume to the rendering. It's not positive however when you do traditional landscape photography where you want an even rendering and no rapid changes in field curvature - especially not mid frame.



Dec 09, 2011 at 02:00 PM
3D.Doug
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p.2 #15 · 35 mm for Leica M


I'd have a difficult time arguing about Zeiss quality, awesome. But I do like my 35 ASPH Cron on M9.







There's something about this rendering, I really like, not that it's that great an image based on content.








Dec 09, 2011 at 05:05 PM
JimBuchanan
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p.2 #16 · 35 mm for Leica M


sebboh wrote:
what about the cron asph? i've not seen or heard much about it on this forum.


Yes, my above question about the 35 Summicron, was meant for the ASPH version.

The MTF chart for the 35 Summicron ASPH has the same diverging tangent and sagittal lines as the 35 Summilux does and seems to be common among Leica late lenses. From Denoir's illustration of the 35 Lux, it seems the Cron is also guilty of these field curvature "waves".

This lens trait seems to be quite different than the ZM 35 lens MTF which shows more parallel lines at higher % MTFs.



Dec 09, 2011 at 05:41 PM
Mike Tuomey
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p.2 #17 · 35 mm for Leica M


denoir wrote:
I don't consider 40 lp/mm dropping down to MTF60 mid frame to be acceptable for a top end landscape lens. The sagittal blur you see corresponds precisely to the dip in the MTF chart - that's MTF80 vs MTF60.


From 10-18mm mid frame, if I'm reading the chart properly, the ZM 35/2 drops sagitally from MTF87 to MTF69. From 8-16mm mid frame, again, if I'm reading properly, the ZM 35/2.8 drops sagitally from MTF79 to MTF60, as you point out. Aren't these similar performance slopes within the frame (though different start and end points, of course), meaning both lenses have similar contrast variations at 40lp/mm within the respective dimensions?

Fully acknowledge the "wavier" performance of the ZM 35/2.8 at 40 lp/mm compared to the 35/2, but the charts suggest there is a corresponding mid frame drop-off in performance from both lenses. My standards and experience are not nearly as refined as yours, but I still think that saying the performance stopped down of the 35/2.8 is "nowhere near" that of the 35/2 is an exaggeration.



Dec 09, 2011 at 06:04 PM
denoir
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p.2 #18 · 35 mm for Leica M


Well, this is what it looks like if we just look at the sagittal 40 lp/mm:







I included the 35 Lux ASPH as it is actually not all that different from the 35/2.8 at that aperture and spatial frequency.

I'll explain my "nowhere near" comment. I have a bunch of 35mm lenses and I've used many of them. It's my favorite focal length. There is however one thing I've never been quite pleased with and it's the stopped down, near/at infinity performance for use in traditional landscape photography. Something has always been 'off' enough to annoy me. The 35/2 Biogon is the only exception. So my comment is not based on the MTF charts, but on experience and I'm using the MTF charts to try to explain it.

My theory, and it's admittedly a vague one, is that the 10-20mm region is a critical one as that's where the interesting stuff will be at if you are doing rules of third or golden ratio compositions (I use both a lot). In such a composition your eyes will look at the general area where the field curvature hits the 35/2.8 and the 35 Lux ASPH and the effect is somehow detrimental. (This wave can be seen at 20 lp/mm as well).

That thing, whatever it is, annoys me enough to usually use a strong descriptive style. The "nowhere near" was a very mild form. My usual comment would have been that the 35/2.8 is completely worthless for landscape photography and anybody using it for such a purpose should be tried for crimes against humanity Well, I'm working on toning down my descriptive style.



Dec 09, 2011 at 09:28 PM
zhangyue
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p.2 #19 · 35 mm for Leica M


Hi. Luka,

by rule of third, should you care more about 1-11mm region, assuming one third happen at 6mm on the MTF curve. In that case, seems 35/f2.8 has slightly edge.

I agree based on Published MTF from Zeiss, 35mm/2 is better from 8-18mm region, but seems losing out 18-21.6mm region for the extreme corner. Though, the publish MTF for 35/f2 is at f4 and 35/f2.8 is at f5.6. So we are not really apple to apple comparison. it would be interesting to do a real world compression of these two lens with identical setting.

To me, they are both top performers from MTF with each their own advantage.



Dec 09, 2011 at 09:52 PM
denoir
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p.2 #20 · 35 mm for Leica M


Yes, the thirds should be in the safe region for both. Perhaps golden ratio then:







(35/2.8 on the top).



Dec 09, 2011 at 10:17 PM
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