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Archive 2012 · Best Leica walk-around lens for 5Dmk2
  
 
LucifeL
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Best Leica walk-around lens for 5Dmk2


Since for the past 2 months as a wannabe film making student i have been working on my Photography / Filmmaking kit for my 5Dmk2. A month ago lots of fm'ers gave me the advice to go for contax etc. Firstly, my sincere apologies to all those people for their time and advice, why?? i have had a change of heart. Instead of buying 3-4 lenses for 2000 $s which i eventually wanted to give up for leicas i rather begin with one. Hence at the moment i can only afford "a" 2000$ lens. in about 6 months to a year i will organize a kit of 5Dmk2 + Zacuto EVF pro + 19mm, 35mm, 50/60mm, 85/90mm. This way i am thinking it will give me time to understand each lens better, what i can do and cannot do with it.

So to begin with, if you had a 5Dmk2 and had to choose just 1 lens to begin with, which one would that be?

I have chosen 35mm - F1.4 Summilux-R, F2.0 Summicron-R, 35mm F2.8 Elmarit-R. I would like more information on the summilux and summicron, like which version is optically better and stuff, like for the elmarit i have read that ver II & III are optically superior.

I would really like Summilux but at almost 2,200$ from KEH its sort of blowing my budget . But i have read that stopped down at f2 its really sharp hence better than the other 2. Don't know the difference between 3 versions. Right now KEH has a 35 F1.4 SUMMILUX ROM (67) marked "Excellent".

Read that Summicrons are supposed to have beautiful colour and sort of 3D feeling at close ups but not as sharp as elarits, i'm not sure. Right now KEH has 35 F2 SUMMICRON 3 CAM (SERIES 7 IN HOOD) marked "Excellent" for 1,035 $. This is ideally in my budget at the moment.

Read that Elmarits are supposed to be really sharp but are sort of flat.
Right now KEH has a "Bargain" labeled one for 339$, i don't know what to make of that, as i have no experience at these standards. All i am looking forward to is decent enough clean optics . These are on ebay for 650$ but guess most are 1st versions and ebay is sort of scary.

I am also drooling at 19 F2.8 ELMARIT 3 CAM (82) (CANADA) form KEH at 1,535$, just dont know which version and think will be sort of limiting for a first walk-around. ?

I mailed KEH about these lenses 2 days ago regarding the serial no.'s and stuff but they still have not replied me . Is it ok if i just go ahead and buy the lens from them. Currently there are not any listings here in "fm" too except one for Summicron-R which is in germany.

So what do you people think ? and thank you all in advance for putting up with my noobness.



Aug 02, 2012 at 11:57 PM
carstenw
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Best Leica walk-around lens for 5Dmk2


The 35 Lux-R is sharp in the centre even wide open, quite an amazing lens. It probably needs some filing to avoid hitting your mirror though. The Cron is somewhat less impressive, but used right it can deliver great images too. I found it quite hard to focus on a 5D though. I have never tried the 35 Elmarit.

If you want to buy a 19 Elmarit-R, get the second version (quite compact, whereas the first version is very large), it is much better (and more expensive), but even so, it isn't sharp in the corners until stopped down a bit. The Zeiss 21 is a stronger lens, but it of course doesn't have the Leica look, and is totally different. The 19mm I see on KEH is the first version. I wouldn't pay anywhere near that much for a version I. In fact, I wouldn't buy a version I



Aug 03, 2012 at 12:15 AM
JohnJ
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Best Leica walk-around lens for 5Dmk2


The 35 lux will strike the mirror on a 5d2 so unless you shave the mirror (I wouldn't touch the lens) then it isn't even an option.







If you have a couple of K burning a hole in your pocket then consider the R 50 E60, which may cost closer to 3K these days. I think that's what all the kids with a video/dslr are getting these days...

If you like the 28mm focal length then you can't go past the R 28 E55.



Aug 03, 2012 at 12:39 AM
freaklikeme
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Best Leica walk-around lens for 5Dmk2


The only problems with the 35 'cron are the extreme corners and the bokeh's a little more controlled, so it tends to get busy faster than with the 35 'lux. The 'cron focuses closer. KEH is pretty high. Be patient and you'll see E55s pop up between eight and nine hundred. The 'lux will, as previously indicated, foul the mirror. Switch to an a850 or 900 and that problem goes away.

The 19 Elmarit KEH has is the first version, which is a good lens, but that price is high. The second version will foul the mirror of your 5D as well.

Edited to add: The 35-70/4 is a kick-ass walk-around lens and shouldn't set you back more than six to seven hundred. If you're not a fan a zooms (I'm not) this one will probably change your mind.



Aug 03, 2012 at 12:48 AM
LightShow
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Best Leica walk-around lens for 5Dmk2


KEH store their used lenses in a warehouse at a different location, they can't tell you about any details that haven't been noted on the info page, it's not a big deal with some lenses, but others that have different versions of the same lens, they can't tell you anything. Also they use the same picture for all the lenses that are the same type.


Aug 03, 2012 at 02:15 AM
LucifeL
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Best Leica walk-around lens for 5Dmk2


The 35 Lux-R is sharp in the centre even wide open, quite an amazing lens. It probably needs some filing to avoid hitting your mirror though. The Cron is somewhat less impressive, but used right it can deliver great images too. I found it quite hard to focus on a 5D though. I have never tried the 35 Elmarit.

If you want to buy a 19 Elmarit-R, get the second version (quite compact, whereas the first version is very large), it is much better (and more expensive), but even so, it isn't sharp in the corners until stopped down a bit. The Zeiss 21 is a stronger lens, but it of course doesn't have the Leica look, and is totally different. The 19mm I see on KEH is the first version. I wouldn't pay anywhere near that much for a version I. In fact, I wouldn't buy a version I


Thanks for the reply, well i was prepared for the mirror shave for 35 Lux-R and 19 ELm-R, but guess it will have to wait. In ebay, there is nothing below 3,200$ and i soooo can't afford that right now. Guess my sweet collection will have to wait.

If you have a couple of K burning a hole in your pocket then consider the R 50 E60, which may cost closer to 3K these days. I think that's what all the kids with a video/dslr are getting these days...

If you have a couple of K burning a hole in your pocket then consider the R 50 E60, which may cost closer to 3K these days. I think that's what all the kids with a video/dslr are getting these days...

If you like the 28mm focal length then you can't go past the R 28 E55.


Jha jha jha…!!! i might as well find myself a corner and cry myself to sleep.. currently on ebay nothing below 3,800 $, but sweet lens this has to be my 50mm kit lens someday. As for R 28 E55 nothing below 2,200 $

The 35-70/4 is a kick-ass walk-around lens and shouldn't set you back more than six to seven hundred. If you're not a fan a zooms (I'm not) this one will probably change your mind.

Thanks a lot for hooking me up with this lens checked it out on flickr, its one of the only other thing i can afford there, the only thing a bit intimidating about it is, f/4.

KEH store their used lenses in a warehouse at a different location, they can't tell you about any details that haven't been noted on the info page, it's not a big deal with some lenses, but others that have different versions of the same lens, they can't tell you anything. Also they use the same picture for all the lenses that are the same type.

Thanks for the info i really appreciate it. I don't think i would be comfortable buying form KEH with such limited information, especially when the rices have been marked up

SO i can either go for the 35mm Elmarit-R, which has better stops and have seen some really good landscapes come of it. And yet, the practicality of the zoom lens is tempting too. There is a 35mm Elmarit-R for 825$ on ebay says almost new in the box and there's a 35-70mm f/4 for 1200 $ in supposedly mint condition with box. There are 2 more from Hong kong (850$) and Taiwan(999$). Are these on the expensive side I need to buy atleast one lens and order leitax adapter for it and have it reach New york before 29th Aug to my friend's place who is leaving for India on Aug 29 hence will bring it to me. I need to Decide fast on this



Aug 03, 2012 at 05:38 AM
johnahill
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Best Leica walk-around lens for 5Dmk2


freaklikeme wrote:
Edited to add: The 35-70/4 is a kick-ass walk-around lens and shouldn't set you back more than six to seven hundred. If you're not a fan a zooms (I'm not) this one will probably change your mind.


+1, I acquired a 35-70/4 a few months ago and have nothing but good things to say about it.
I did try a 35mm elmarit earlier this year but returned it as it was not sharp into the corners.

At around f5.6 at 35mm the zoom IS sharp into the corners probably more so than any of the Leica-R 35mm primes.



Aug 03, 2012 at 07:50 AM
jpeter
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Best Leica walk-around lens for 5Dmk2


I own both the 35-70 f4 zoom and the 35f2 summicron (mid 80's e55 version). Both lenses are very sharp and render colors nicely in my opinion.

I use them both. The summicron has very little distortion, so lends itself to stitching photo's better. At f2.8 it is good for portraits with some background blur.

The 35-70 is really a great lens, some distortion at the wide end , only f4, but my goto lens for traveling light.

Sometimes the little things make you really like something. I like the hoods on both of these lenses. THe cron hood is retractable and easy to use. The zoom hood is screwed on, but can be left on always and the cap still fits.

JP



Aug 03, 2012 at 02:24 PM
LucifeL
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Best Leica walk-around lens for 5Dmk2


johnahill wrote:
+1, I acquired a 35-70/4 a few months ago and have nothing but good things to say about it.
I did try a 35mm elmarit earlier this year but returned it as it was not sharp into the corners.

At around f5.6 at 35mm the zoom IS sharp into the corners probably more so than any of the Leica-R 35mm primes.



jpeter wrote:
I own both the 35-70 f4 zoom and the 35f2 summicron (mid 80's e55 version). Both lenses are very sharp and render colors nicely in my opinion.

I use them both. The summicron has very little distortion, so lends itself to stitching photo's better. At f2.8 it is good for portraits with some background blur.

The 35-70 is really a great lens, some distortion at the wide end , only f4, but my goto lens for traveling light.

Sometimes the little things make you really like something. I like the hoods on both of these lenses. THe cron hood
...Show more


Oh yes, since i completely forgot about summicron i was looking into it the whole day today, i must admit, i'm really torn here. I simply cannot decide between f2 cron and the Zoom … i really like that Zoom but in situation like low light , twilight and Night time markets and city streets.. i know i would wish perhaps i had bought the cron. . While checking flickr for f/4 i did not see a single low light shot even attempted by anyone. This is really getting difficult for me.



Aug 03, 2012 at 05:12 PM
Tri Tran
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Best Leica walk-around lens for 5Dmk2


Not great shots but it gives you an idea of the character of the Summicron


Portland Japanese Garden 11 by Anh Tri, on Flickr


Portland Japanese Garden 10 by Anh Tri, on Flickr


Portland Japanese Garden 8 by Anh Tri, on Flickr


Portland Japanese Garden 6 by Anh Tri, on Flickr


Portland Japanese Garden 4 by Anh Tri, on Flickr



Aug 03, 2012 at 05:56 PM
 

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LucifeL
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Best Leica walk-around lens for 5Dmk2


Tri Tran wrote:
Not great shots but it gives you an idea of the character of the Summicron


Hello there,
Thanks a lot for you effort, That's some neat shots there, i am already keeling towads summicron here but my only worry is the corners ...
can you please tell me you have stopped down to what? in these shot… coz i notice the edges are not really -really dark here.



Aug 03, 2012 at 06:18 PM
carstenw
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Best Leica walk-around lens for 5Dmk2


Zooms are quite flexible, but the limitations and fast speed of a prime will help you develop a vision much faster. One of the problems with zooms is that you don't really develop an eye for the framing, since it is flexible.


Aug 03, 2012 at 06:42 PM
Tri Tran
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Best Leica walk-around lens for 5Dmk2


I think all the shots either f2 or f2.8


Aug 03, 2012 at 06:48 PM
freaklikeme
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Best Leica walk-around lens for 5Dmk2


Yeah, on the zoom you do have to live with the slower speed, but the good news is that lens is usable wide open. The only reason to stop it down is to increase DoF. Two stops isn't insignificant. And I loved my Summicron. If I hadn't switched to Sony and the lux, I'd still be happily shooting with it. But for a walk-around lens, I wouldn't give up the zoom. It's just too handy, and I'd rather come to an exposure compromise than give up its performance (or pop $7-10k for the f/2.8 version).


Aug 03, 2012 at 06:53 PM
LucifeL
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Best Leica walk-around lens for 5Dmk2


carstenw wrote:
Zooms are quite flexible, but the limitations and fast speed of a prime will help you develop a vision much faster. One of the problems with zooms is that you don't really develop an eye for the framing, since it is flexible.


I think that is exactly why i wanted to spend individual time with each prime. Because all this while with zooms i know my framing has been been weak. And i would like to improve on that.

THank you carstenw for highlighting that for me, again i don't want to be quick at picking an easy lens.

So i think i have finally decided, I'm going for the Summicron f/2 E55, saw a few in ebay close to 1200 $i guess. I would like to check the zoom out when i am a better photographer someday, when i don't fear it.

So my final set up is Canon 5Dmk2 + Zacuto Z-finder EVF pro + Leica 35mm f/2 Summicron-R E55 Leitaxed

Guys amongst these summicrons which is better, i see there are some pre 1991 3CAMS and ROMS, is ROM superior to 3CAMS ? I presume all lenses after 1991 are ROMS.



Aug 03, 2012 at 07:50 PM
carstenw
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Best Leica walk-around lens for 5Dmk2


ROM is a set of electronic contacts, and only does anything with R8 and R9 cameras. They could be retrofitted to 3-CAM lenses, and are independent of the lens design to a great extent. I would ignore their presence, since they will come off with the mount anyway. It might be cheaper to get a version without.


Aug 03, 2012 at 08:16 PM
freaklikeme
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Best Leica walk-around lens for 5Dmk2


carstenw wrote:
ROM is a set of electronic contacts, and only does anything with R8 and R9 cameras. They could be retrofitted to 3-CAM lenses, and are independent of the lens design to a great extent. I would ignore their presence, since they will come off with the mount anyway. It might be cheaper to get a version without.


Agreed, but just to clarify, the ROM contacts don't get removed when Leitaxing to Canon. You remove the screws, set the EF mount on top of the original R mount, and run the screws through both of them.

to the OP: I would look for an E55 35 'cron made in Germany. While nothing changed in the optical formula between the Canadian and German, shooting both side to side showed stronger performance (better color, less CA, better center sharpness) in the German. Optics suppliers? Coatings? I don't know. But I'm not the only one who noticed a difference.



Aug 03, 2012 at 08:49 PM
carstenw
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Best Leica walk-around lens for 5Dmk2


Ah, didn't know that about ROM and Canon, I have only done Nikon.


Aug 03, 2012 at 09:04 PM
LucifeL
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Best Leica walk-around lens for 5Dmk2


Guys i have been reading that the 35mm summicron-R are particularly hard to focus, is it true like focusing sharp, bang-on can be tricksy with this lens, is it true. How do the Summilux-R and Elamarit-R fair in comparison. Will it come slowly with handeling and practice...?

Because i have already ordered the Zacuto EVF but for lens there are 2 options currently form Ebay UK, a 1000£ 35mm summicron-R and a 2,200£ 35mm Summilux-R.

Coz i have a history where i have screwed up good shots with Manual focus even more so under lowlight situations, that's the primary reason for me investing in Zacuto's EVF.




Aug 09, 2012 at 09:05 PM
telyt
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Best Leica walk-around lens for 5Dmk2


freaklikeme wrote:
to the OP: I would look for an E55 35 'cron made in Germany. While nothing changed in the optical formula between the Canadian and German


I am not aware of any E55 35mm Summicron-R made in Canada. E55 50mm Summicron-R, sure. E55 35mm Summicron-R, no. The Canadian 35mm Summicron-R is an older model, has a different optical forumula, uses Series VII filters instead of E55 and uses a separate hood.

LucifeL wrote:
Guys i have been reading that the 35mm summicron-R are particularly hard to focus


No more than any other wide-angle lens on an AF camera's viewscreen.



Aug 09, 2012 at 10:14 PM
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