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Archive 2012 · Leica "look" real or myth?
  
 
Emacs
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p.4 #1 · p.4 #1 · Leica "look" real or myth?


timballic wrote:
This is gorgeous, real separation as you say, and clarity, and wow saturation, (pulling "back" the green saturation?!).


Can easily be without saturation boost. For example, this one doesn't have it (Lux 35 ASPH FLE @1.4 on NEX-5n):



Oct 06, 2012 at 01:19 PM
AhamB
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p.4 #2 · p.4 #2 · Leica "look" real or myth?


sebboh wrote:
there's probably more people shooting zeiss on leica than new leica lenses on leica just because of the price.


My (limited) impression is the opposite. The M9 is so expensive that I'd expect owners to spend at least as much if not more on Leica lenses. Knowing that the ZM lenses can be (nearly) as good as the Leica offerings also takes a certain level of education, which is bound to be more sparse outside of forums.



Oct 06, 2012 at 02:35 PM
sebboh
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p.4 #3 · p.4 #3 · Leica "look" real or myth?


AhamB wrote:
My (limited) impression is the opposite. The M9 is so expensive that I'd expect owners to spend at least as much if not more on Leica lenses. Knowing that the ZM lenses can be (nearly) as good as the Leica offerings also takes a certain level of education, which is bound to be more sparse outside of forums.


hmm, i've seen lots of people posting about getting an m8 or m9 for the rangefinder experience but not being able to afford to get leica glass. basically there are lots of people for whom the price precludes both so they either have to choose the leica camera with non leica lenses or leica lenses with non-leica camera (eg NEX). surprisingly, most of the people i run into with m cameras are either shooting old leica lenses (pre asph or really old) or zm lenses. i doubt my personal experience is a large enough or unbiased enough sample to be significant though, so perhaps you're right.



Oct 06, 2012 at 03:10 PM
sebboh
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p.4 #4 · p.4 #4 · Leica "look" real or myth?


denoir wrote:
There is a distinct rendering characteristic to the Leica lenses (both individually and as a group) that isn't just a question of optical perfection. In fact when looking at MTF charts you can often see that Zeiss lenses have more optically ideal characteristics - especially when it comes to field curvature.


care to elaborate on what you feel that distinct rendering characteristic is?



Oct 06, 2012 at 03:12 PM
carstenw
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p.4 #5 · p.4 #5 · Leica "look" real or myth?


Subtlety of colour is definitely part of it, as is holding the highlights and shadows well. Also the way the plane of sharpness fades out to boke is very different than Zeiss lenses, very often. Leica lenses isolate more quickly, looking less real than Zeiss lenses, but somehow very beautiful and pleasing.


Oct 06, 2012 at 03:22 PM
vuilang
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p.4 #6 · p.4 #6 · Leica "look" real or myth?


wfrank wrote:
Lens quality talk is all fine, interesting and so on. But I'll add that the average Leica shot will be taken by a quite skilled photographer and to me that is at least as much part of the Leica look than anything else.

A good lens is just a prerequisite.


that's head-on... Skilled photog is the best camera.
there is no way an average photog would spend at least $10k on those leica...



Oct 06, 2012 at 03:32 PM
carstenw
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p.4 #7 · p.4 #7 · Leica "look" real or myth?


I can assure you that you are wrong; lots of mediocre photographers do spend lots of money on Leica equipment. Not enough to characterise Leica ownership that way, but Leica is not immune to rich patrons, just like the guy who spends half a fortune on L glass and believes that he is now a serious photographer, and so on. It is pervasive.


Oct 06, 2012 at 03:41 PM
wfrank
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p.4 #8 · p.4 #8 · Leica "look" real or myth?


carstenw wrote:
I can assure you that you are wrong; lots of mediocre photographers do spend lots of money on Leica equipment.


But they dont post here. Do they post at all?

I bet most of them would do very good with an everyday DSLR body and a Samyang lens. But it wont happen, the investment is already there and who would look back in such a situation?



Oct 06, 2012 at 04:35 PM
AhamB
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p.4 #9 · p.4 #9 · Leica "look" real or myth?


carstenw wrote:
Subtlety of colour is definitely part of it, as is holding the highlights and shadows well. Also the way the plane of sharpness fades out to boke is very different than Zeiss lenses, very often. Leica lenses isolate more quickly, looking less real than Zeiss lenses, but somehow very beautiful and pleasing.


I think this is exactly the kind of thing that the OP wanted to hear.



Oct 06, 2012 at 04:45 PM
edwardkaraa
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p.4 #10 · p.4 #10 · Leica "look" real or myth?


carstenw wrote:
Subtlety of colour is definitely part of it, as is holding the highlights and shadows well. Also the way the plane of sharpness fades out to boke is very different than Zeiss lenses, very often. Leica lenses isolate more quickly, looking less real than Zeiss lenses, but somehow very beautiful and pleasing.



That is very true. The effect is very beautiful and pleasing, often described as painterly, but the Zeiss "classic" bokeh being well defined creates a stronger three dimensional illusion and more realism IMHO. The comparison that Ron posted on the first page is very revealing.

Ironically, Zeiss has been emulating the Leica look in the most recent designs.



Oct 06, 2012 at 04:56 PM
 

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wfrank
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p.4 #11 · p.4 #11 · Leica "look" real or myth?


Talking about colors, most of these lenses where designed for film. Not digital sensors. People here are now talking about nuances of green, subtlety of colors and so on. I respect that, not mean to ridicule or anything. But these greens (or any other color) would inevitably look different on film.

I have not yet had the pleasure of any significant usage of Leica optics. But as a parallel I love the colors Contax Zeiss lenses produce on the Canon 5D2 sensor. The designers of these lenses never saw that. They looked on prints made from film.



Oct 06, 2012 at 04:59 PM
Mike Tuomey
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p.4 #12 · p.4 #12 · Leica "look" real or myth?


sebboh wrote:
care to elaborate on what you feel that distinct rendering characteristic is?


carstenw wrote:
Subtlety of colour is definitely part of it, as is holding the highlights and shadows well. Also the way the plane of sharpness fades out to boke is very different than Zeiss lenses, very often. Leica lenses isolate more quickly, looking less real than Zeiss lenses, but somehow very beautiful and pleasing.


In an embarrassingly gushy post to this thread back a page or two, I tried to say what Carsten says much better. Leica's newer lenses (the ones I've been able to use anyway) seem to lift the light, especially at the extremes, in a very pleasing way. I cannot express it properly, it's a kind of visual sweetness, but it's there for me.



Oct 06, 2012 at 05:05 PM
AhamB
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p.4 #13 · p.4 #13 · Leica "look" real or myth?


wfrank wrote:
Talking about colors, most of these lenses where designed for film. Not digital sensors. People here are now talking about nuances of green, subtlety of colors and so on. I respect that, not mean to ridicule or anything. But these greens (or any other color) would inevitably look different on film.

I have not yet had the pleasure of any significant usage of Leica optics. But as a parallel I love the colors Contax Zeiss lenses produce on the Canon 5D2 sensor. The designers of these lenses never saw that. They looked on prints made from film.

The designers tuned the coatings and glass types to transmit different colors in different proportions. I don't think they could have designed for film because there are so many different emulsions (negative and chrome) and then different photographic papers as well, just like different digital cameras, RAW developers, screens/printers/printing papers produce different colors.

edwardkaraa wrote:
Ironically, Zeiss has been emulating the Leica look in the most recent designs.


Out of interest, which lenses would that be, in your opinion?



Oct 06, 2012 at 06:26 PM
edwardkaraa
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p.4 #14 · p.4 #14 · Leica "look" real or myth?


AhamB wrote:
Out of interest, which lenses would that be, in your opinion?


In my opinion, of course, I think the 35/1.4, 24/2, 25/2, 135/1.8, 135/2 and possibly the 85/1.4 ZA too.



Oct 06, 2012 at 06:31 PM
Makten
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p.4 #15 · p.4 #15 · Leica "look" real or myth?


edwardkaraa wrote:
In my opinion, of course, I think the 35/1.4, 24/2, 25/2, 135/1.8, 135/2 and possibly the 85/1.4 ZA too.


I haven't tried more than four Leica lenses (two modern, two old), but the ZF 35/1.4 is nothing like those. Again; I think people see things and similarities that are there just because we are talking about good lenses. For instance, I found the Voigtländer 15/4.5 just as good as any Zeiss I've used, while the Sonnar 50/1.5 doesn't share anything with the ZF:s, in my opinion.

I think you have to understand that there is a different team designing every single lens. While the manufacturers of course use certain types of glass and coatings, the design of the lens is probably much more important for the "look", and it explains the non-similarities within each brand.



Oct 06, 2012 at 06:48 PM
carstenw
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p.4 #16 · p.4 #16 · Leica "look" real or myth?


David R. wrote:
does my Porshe corner better than my Ferrari...


Here is your lost letter: c



Oct 06, 2012 at 06:49 PM
carstenw
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p.4 #17 · p.4 #17 · Leica "look" real or myth?


Mike Tuomey wrote:
In an embarrassingly gushy post to this thread back a page or two, I tried to say what Carsten says much better. Leica's newer lenses (the ones I've been able to use anyway) seem to lift the light, especially at the extremes, in a very pleasing way. I cannot express it properly, it's a kind of visual sweetness, but it's there for me.


Well, I liked your post and knew exactly what you meant



Oct 06, 2012 at 06:50 PM
edwardkaraa
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p.4 #18 · p.4 #18 · Leica "look" real or myth?


Makten wrote:
I haven't tried more than four Leica lenses (two modern, two old), but the ZF 35/1.4 is nothing like those. Again; I think people see things and similarities that are there just because we are talking about good lenses. For instance, I found the Voigtländer 15/4.5 just as good as any Zeiss I've used, while the Sonnar 50/1.5 doesn't share anything with the ZF:s, in my opinion.

I think you have to understand that there is a different team designing every single lens. While the manufacturers of course use certain types of glass and coatings, the design of the lens is
...Show more

Yes, of course, but there is certainly a difference in the design "philosophy" of classic Zeiss vs modern Zeiss. They seem to be aiming for a more buttery bokeh and lower contrast in the shadows/highlights and higher resolution, characteristics that people are praising Leica for in the previous posts.

I am not sure I like the new Zeiss look. Luckily the ZM, at least the ones I have, are very old school Zeiss.

I forgot to add the 24/1.8 for E mount in my list above.

PS. Regarding the Sonnar 50, I believe it was clearly stated by Zeiss that they wanted to achieve a classic look with uncorrected spherical aberrations and soft WO rendering.



Oct 06, 2012 at 07:01 PM
Makten
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p.4 #19 · p.4 #19 · Leica "look" real or myth?


edwardkaraa wrote:
Yes, of course, but there is certainly a difference in the design "philosophy" of classic Zeiss vs modern Zeiss. They seem to be aiming for a more buttery bokeh and lower contrast in the shadows/highlights and higher resolution, characteristics that people are praising Leica for in the previous posts.


Hmmm, what lenses are you refering to? While there might be a philosophy, each Zeiss lens has its own character and I don't find the three ZM I've had (35/2.8, 50/1.5 and 50/2) having much in common or that they would differ from the SLR lenses, more than the SLR lenses differ within their range.

"Buttery bokeh" is not what I have in mind when it comes to any Zeiss, except maybe for the Sonnar 50/1.5. Buttery bokeh for me is modern Nikon or Sigma, or perhaps Leica.



Oct 06, 2012 at 08:36 PM
recordproducti
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p.4 #20 · p.4 #20 · Leica "look" real or myth?


I find it interesting that as far as I can see, nobody mentions any comparisons with Nikon lenses and their rendering. Having switched from Canon to Nikon I'm struck by how different they are.

Anyway, I'm saving for a Leica,I love the 'look' they produce, I could have one now but until I can afford a few fast lenses I'll keep saving :-)



Oct 07, 2012 at 12:02 AM
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