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Leica R Series Lenses
  
 
Gary Clennan
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p.298 #1 · p.298 #1 · Leica R Series Lenses


Love that one Michael! It really evokes a joyful (yet fleeting) feeling of youth...


May 12, 2014 at 05:39 PM
carstenw
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p.298 #2 · p.298 #2 · Leica R Series Lenses


Maybe I am more sensitive to little jabs than others, but let's just stop here, and move.


May 12, 2014 at 05:59 PM
Samuli Vahonen
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p.298 #3 · p.298 #3 · Leica R Series Lenses


Kind request -- please take it easy, this is photography, which is supposed to be fun...


I don't think, and hope, that world is not so black and white as seems to be here. At least I'm not looking for same properties on every lens. Actually I'm trying to find different kind of rendering "lens families", from which I can form sets of 3 lenses (I'm usually shooting with 3 bodies). I'm more or less set for shooting season 2014 "main set" having Elmarit-R 28mm, Contax G 45 and Zeiss ZE 2/135 (having Zeiss 2.8/21 and Leica 2.8/180 APO as replacement lenses if focal range is different than what I'm usually shooting with). I have few other alternative sets already "Olympus OM" set set 2.8/24, 50/1.8 and 3.5/135 (might replace last one with 2.8/100 if I find cheap one), and "Traditional Zeiss" set with C/Y 2.8/28, C/Y 1.4/50, G 90, and working on few other "sets".

What I was trying to achieve with Summicron-R 35mm was to build lens set matching Elmarit-R 90mm (E55) rendering style; which I like very much, and which is quite different compared to my "main set" rendering style. Tried shooting 28, 90, 180 but the FOVs didn't work together, the gap between 28mm and 90mm was too much for me. I could combine 60mm with 90mm, they seem to share similar rendering, but really would need 3rd wider lens to this "set". Maybe I get the 60mm and then try if 28, 60 and 90 combo, if it would work in field.


What comes to Summicron-R 35mm, like I already earlier said; not useful for fullframe usage for me. However as my world isn't just black or white, and I'm considering using it in "square project" when I figure out some other common theme for the project AND can get over of idea giving up 12mm sensor width, which sounds horrible. I enjoy quite a lot it's rendering in the square crop, and rendering actually is more or less what I was looking for (inside the square). Alternative method is to hide field curvature by using easy boke subject/framing like JaKo's 2nd picture on post #20 on page 308 - not very useful for me, as I have very little number of subjects, which would allow me to do this.




I wish people can have different opinions without fights in here. This far it has been possible, and hopefully also stays that way in future as well. If we all would be alike, this would be pretty damn boring place...





Completely unrelevant picture - Elmarit-R 28mm v2 @f/4, 1/10s, A7r @ ISO 100, B+W Circular Polarizer 55mm



Samuli



May 12, 2014 at 08:11 PM
ocean2059
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p.298 #4 · p.298 #4 · Leica R Series Lenses


Here are few this afternoon with Sony A7r.



ocean2059 2014


Vario-Elmar-R 35-70/4





ocean2059 2014


Elmarit-R 19/2,8 V2





ocean2059 2014


APO-Telyt-R 180/3,4




May 12, 2014 at 10:29 PM
JonPB
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p.298 #5 · p.298 #5 · Leica R Series Lenses


Vario 21-35.


Orchestration. Portland Japanese Garden, Portland, OR. by [email protected], on Flickr


Follow the signs. by [email protected], on Flickr

Happy shooting,
Jon



May 13, 2014 at 12:15 AM
ocean2059
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p.298 #6 · p.298 #6 · Leica R Series Lenses


Jon, Could you comment on the performance of the Vario 21-35? I have been thinking about getting one but couldn't quite make up my mind. Thanks.


May 13, 2014 at 12:52 AM
JonPB
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p.298 #7 · p.298 #7 · Leica R Series Lenses


ocean2059 wrote:
Jon, Could you comment on the performance of the Vario 21-35? I have been thinking about getting one but couldn't quite make up my mind. Thanks.


It is a hard lens to describe. I gave it a shot a few pages up, which you might want to look for. My problems with it:

-astigmatism. This is limited to the 21-24mm part of the range. It only becomes problematic when there's a more-or-less continuous, textured surface, where you know there should be both radial and tangential detail, but only the radial detail shows what you expect to see--the tangential blurs out.

-corner fall-off. Again, only in the widest parts of the zoom range and with the same kinds of subject matter. While primes have a steady drop in resolution from the center, the 21-35 maintains good performance out through the mid-zone, then plummets. Even though the contrast and resolution may be on par with a prime lens toward the corners, it simply looks worse because the transition is noticeable with the 21-35. At the extreme corners and 21mm, the zoom doesn't perform well at all; it isn't "bad," especially when compared to 20mm lenses from the 1970's and 1980's, but neither is it what people think of when they think of "Leica."

What the 21-35 does well, though, is across-the-frame contrast and good midzone performance. This is made possible by the astigmatism and corner fall-off. :-)

As far as overall optical quality goes, I'd happily put my 21-35 toe-to-toe with the 25, 28, and 35 C/Y Zeiss lenses and expect the 21-35 to win, though "winning" will probably be more of a matter of taste than anything definitive. (The Zeiss 21 is a bit of a paragon. I'd put my 21-35 up against pretty much any other SLR prime, though, including Leica's 21/4 and 24/2.8 primes, subject to the above two points which may affect how the results are interpreted.) The current Z 28/2 and 35/2 are likely slightly better than the zoom, as are the latest Leica 21/2.8 and 28/2.8. Oh, and I believe the Zeiss 25/2.8 focuses insanely close, which is a considerable benefit.

(Two caveats: first, I use it mostly on a Speed Booster, which changes things but I don't know exactly how; second, I haven't used those other lenses. But I researched my purchase of the 21-35 as carefully as I could and haven't seen anything since to contradict my choice. Also, on film, the 21-35 at its worst--corners, wide open, 21mm--rode circles around the Pentax FA* 24/2 when stopped down. Then again, the FA*24 is more of a reportage lens like the Summicron 35 that we've just been discussing, so while it was my wide angle benchmark it may not have been a good lens to compare to. Simply put, it is hard to design a wide angle lens that can handle both f/2 and respectable resolution in the corners.)

I don't know how good the autofocus offerings are--that feature is a huge negative in my book. I suspect that a good copy of recent designs, like Fuji's 10-24 or Canon's rumored 16-35/4, will challenge many aspects of the 21-35. However, I also suspect that my Leica will outlast those lenses and is more likely to be useful on future cameras than they will be.

If you're looking for Super-Elmar-M 21/3.4 type performance, you won't find it with the 21-35. If you're looking for a more compact but still high quality alternative to the wider-range and f/2.8 zooms that Canon and Nikon offer, you may or may not like the 21-35. (If anyone's in the Portland area and wants to do a shoot out, send me a PM.) But its current price reflects the fact that it competes strongly against a collection of three or four $500 to 700 manual primes, with a slower aperture but less size and weight and far more convenience. FWIW, I seriously considered selling my 21-35 and decided against it. For now, it is a lens that makes shooting more enjoyable. I think that, in 20 years, this is a lens I'll be glad I kept.

Wow. That grew longer than I expected it to be. [Maybe I should start a blog.] Any particular interests or concerns? :-)

Cheers,
Jon



May 13, 2014 at 03:06 AM
ocean2059
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p.298 #8 · p.298 #8 · Leica R Series Lenses


Jon, thank you very much for taking the time to provide these details answers. I think I will start to look for one as these attributes of the lens is what I am looking for. Currently, my Elmarit 19 and Vario 35-70 are being use the most and the Vario 21-35 should fit in-between. Thanks again!


May 13, 2014 at 04:21 AM
JonPB
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p.298 #9 · p.298 #9 · Leica R Series Lenses


One last one--well, three--then bed. These were also with the 21-35.


A place to. (Portland Japanese Garden, Portland, OR.) by [email protected], on Flickr

The full image on Flickr is some 15,000 pixels wide, and I only have 1366 pixel monitors. So, before I run a print of it, if someone who has a large monitor wants to warn me that it is no good, that'd be appreciated. :-)

Cheers,
Jon



May 13, 2014 at 04:36 AM
JaKo
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p.298 #10 · p.298 #10 · Leica R Series Lenses


First shot at f/4, remaining two at f/1.8












Smile and move on








May 13, 2014 at 05:20 AM
 

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Greggf
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p.298 #11 · p.298 #11 · Leica R Series Lenses


Love the R 80 shots Jack! Well, the 28 E55 is a given, too!
Gregg



May 13, 2014 at 05:24 AM
zygibajt
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p.298 #12 · p.298 #12 · Leica R Series Lenses


Few fast test shots I took at my backyard right after purchasing Canon 1DsMKI about year ago. Summicron 35/2













And today with Summicron 50/2 in very poor light




May 13, 2014 at 04:42 PM
clmusic
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p.298 #13 · p.298 #13 · Leica R Series Lenses


Summicron-r 35 WO







May 13, 2014 at 04:47 PM
Jon Tainton
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p.298 #14 · p.298 #14 · Leica R Series Lenses


Possibly a vintage year for the Bluebell carpets in the oak woods of the Forest of Dean. 60 Macro Elmarit & 1Ds3












May 13, 2014 at 10:32 PM
Jon Tainton
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p.298 #15 · p.298 #15 · Leica R Series Lenses


JonPB wrote:
It is a hard lens to describe.


+1.

I can't comment on WO performance, as I go for DoF at f8-f11. I am still trying to evaluate / characterise the lens performance vs focus distance setting across the zoom/aperture range, I should never have looked at Leica's published DoF tables. It's akin to using a TS lens in checking near/far/edge/corner detail for every composition, except there's a range of focal lengths to be factored in.

It may be astigmatism impacting on some subjects/scenery more than others, but I suspect it's more complex than that and it's almost as if there's a non linear path for the optimal IQ across the aperture/focus distance and focal length. I hope that makes sense?

JonPB wrote:
Any particular interests or concerns?


Colour fringing can be a pain for some scenes and I've had the displeasure of seeing magenta/green/yellow and blue, in high contrast areas e.g rock/snow, land/sky, sky/leaves ...



May 14, 2014 at 02:45 PM
Jon Tainton
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p.298 #16 · p.298 #16 · Leica R Series Lenses


80-200/4 + 1Ds3







Escarpment




May 17, 2014 at 06:45 PM
JonPB
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p.298 #17 · p.298 #17 · Leica R Series Lenses


Summicron-R 90, Speed Booster, NEX-7.


Portraits of Trees - Powell Butte - 1 by [email protected], on Flickr


Portraits of Trees - Powell Butte - 2 by [email protected], on Flickr


Portraits of Trees - Powell Butte - 3 by [email protected], on Flickr



May 18, 2014 at 09:59 PM
Roni1948
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p.298 #18 · p.298 #18 · Leica R Series Lenses


Hey friends! I have a quick question about the R camera itself. I was recently playing with an old R4, and noticed the viewfinder is simply huge and bright. I looked up the details online, and found out it's based on an old Minolta XD-7 camera and has 0.87X magnification and 94% coverage. It's a pure joy to use. Why are modern cameras only 0.7X or 0.75X maximum? Is it to facilitate 100% coverage? It truly detracts from the experience when focusing with manual lenses.


May 23, 2014 at 05:39 PM
JonPB
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p.298 #19 · p.298 #19 · Leica R Series Lenses


The root problem, as I understand it, is autofocus. The phase detect sensors need light; a semi-translucent mirror directs light away from the viewfinder and onto the autofocus sensors. To keep the viewfinder bright, then, they compress the image (reducing magnification, as you say), and also changed the focusing screen to one that transmits more light but does so by increasing apparent depth of field.

When comparing magnification numbers, it is important to note what length of lens is used. Some manufacturers use a 50mm lens at infinity on cameras with an APS-C sensor, just like what was the de facto standard in the film era; this gives the same magnification specification as a 135-frame camera, because objects in the viewfinder are the same size, but the size of the viewfinder is much smaller. To get equivalent numbers, the lens needs to be 50mm-on-135-frame equivalent, or about 35mm for APS-C cameras.

Manual focus on a DSLR is tremendously helped by using a manual-focus screen, like the Canon S-type, which some companies (focusingscreen.com) cut down to fit other brands of DSLRs. But for enjoyment of the viewfinder, a pre-autofocus SLR is hard to beat. (I moved to film because I loved that large viewfinder so much. I've done my best to not look through a medium format viewfinder, because they will be larger and more immersive still.)

Cheers,
Jon



May 23, 2014 at 08:55 PM
JonPB
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p.298 #20 · p.298 #20 · Leica R Series Lenses


Jon Tainton wrote:
80-200/4 + 1Ds3

Escarpment


Jon,

I like your photos more and more. I generally like punchiness, but yours have a subtlety to them that seems to grow in character the more I look at them. I might have to experiment more to see if I can't achieve that.

Cheers,
(another) Jon



May 23, 2014 at 09:02 PM
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