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Leica R Series Lenses
  
 
jhinkey
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p.310 #1 · p.310 #1 · Leica R Series Lenses


Almass wrote:
Just a small note on Leica R lenses.

Not ALL Leica R lenses are stellar and many are plain standard.

Following are the stellar Leica R (primes only and not including Modules and Zooms).

Clasified in focal lens order:

- 15mm f/2.8 Super-Elmarit-R ASPH
- 28mm f/2.8 Elmarit-R II
- 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-R II (E60)
- 80mm f/1.4 Summilux-R
- 90mm f/2 APO-Summicron-R ASPH
- 100mm f/2.8 APO-Macro-Elmarit-R
- 180mm f/2.8 Elmarit-R
- 280mm f/4 APO-Telyt-R

The 35mm f/1.4 Summilux-R - 180mm f/2 APO-Summicron-R have been superceded by other brands.


I would throw in the 180/3.4 APO Telyt onto that list. For long distance shooting it is stellar on my D800.



May 09, 2014 at 05:09 PM
zhangyue
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p.310 #2 · p.310 #2 · Leica R Series Lenses


I think Leica R lens can be divided to two group quality, Bench quality and real world quality.

In Almass's lens recommendation list, other than 50lux and 80lux, I think rest all belong to Bench quality, (certainly having real world quality at the same time) which usually require a huge prime to getting them.

But for me, real world quality are the main reason I pick R. they come from 50lux any version, 80lux (portrait only), 35cron(other than f8 landscape), 35lux, 50cron, 90cron.. I found them perform extreme good WO at f1.4 or f2 most of the frame, smooth transition, no SA,(except 80lux) no CA, gentle color. Rest 20% of frame, when use at WO you can see jittery bokeh, soft corner etc (example: 35, 50cron, 35lux at f1.4, 50lux VI/II at f1.4...)

I won't claim I can pass blind test but general speaking I can trace Leica R's specialty in rendering. That is the reason I would pick several R lens over M equivalent, even M may(most likely) have better bench quality.

I believe its inherent render quality can be traced in good hand with right subject. For my photography, I use R lens for my family pics, They suit me perfectly. 100% case I don't require bench quality, I love the lens I have and plan to keep them life long....

The beautiful rendering in DOF and color and moment in life are priceless.

50lux R WO





35cron WO















80lux WO




















35lux WO or f2
































May 09, 2014 at 05:14 PM
Jon Tainton
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p.310 #3 · p.310 #3 · Leica R Series Lenses


zhangyue wrote:
... I have and plan to keep them life long....


I think something that's often missed when discussing 'stellar' or 'lesser' R lenses, is the overall engineering design and build quality - irrespective of model - and Leica's continued commitment to servicing them, which means that your plan has a solid foundation.











Wood Sorrel an indicator plant of ancient woodland in the UK - 100 AME




May 09, 2014 at 09:20 PM
Gary Clennan
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p.310 #4 · p.310 #4 · Leica R Series Lenses


Michael - what a wonderful set of photographs!


May 09, 2014 at 09:54 PM
carstenw
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p.310 #5 · p.310 #5 · Leica R Series Lenses


jhinkey wrote:
I would throw in the 180/3.4 APO Telyt onto that list. For long distance shooting it is stellar on my D800.


Also add the 180/2 Cron APO and the Modul lenses.



May 09, 2014 at 10:34 PM
robin bush
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p.310 #6 · p.310 #6 · Leica R Series Lenses


Canon 1ds3 Leica r 28mm v2 F11

Regarding my experience of Leica r lenses. I have owned 19mm v2 , 28-90mm asph , 35 F2 cron last version.
Leica 28mm is the only one I continue with.
Leica 19mm is a wonderful lens but slightly soft in extreme corners.
35 cron wonderful colour but not for my landscapes, didn't have great corners.
Leica r 28-90 asph proved a disappointment for me, 28-40 range produced colour fringing.





Takapuna first Sun




May 09, 2014 at 11:06 PM
Alpha_Geist
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p.310 #7 · p.310 #7 · Leica R Series Lenses


Samuli Vahonen wrote:
Get v2, v1 has annoying "broken ninjastar boke" @ f/4 = why I shoot either wide open or f/8.

Samuli


Thanks for the heads up Samuli!



May 09, 2014 at 11:36 PM
Worldinlens
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p.310 #8 · p.310 #8 · Leica R Series Lenses


rirakuma wrote:
I just want to thank Aleksandr (worldinlens) for getting me into Leica lenses. He was my earliest inspiration to get in touch with colour photography. Its been years since we have spoken but I am very grateful for his help during my start in photography.

90 cron R


Thanks a lot, for me pleasure to help anytime But without doubt im still leaning myself with Colour photography



May 10, 2014 at 12:01 AM
golfkidds
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p.310 #9 · p.310 #9 · Leica R Series Lenses


/Users/matsumotoatsushi/Desktop/L1003125.jpg



May 10, 2014 at 04:47 PM
JaKo
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p.310 #10 · p.310 #10 · Leica R Series Lenses


zhangyue wrote: I think Leica R lens can be divided to two group quality, Bench quality and real world quality.


How true Michael, how true!
Not only Leica R lenses fall into this category, not only Leica, but many lenses from serious optical makers also. And many of us fall for it too!
Everyone wants perfectly performing glass; sharp corners at max aperture, no colours distortions, smoothest Bokeh, perfect geometry, etc, etc. The search for the perfect lens only leads to ‘Photophilia Nervosa’

Reading forums can only make matter worse. There are too many choices and too many new products introduced over last few decades. Again: ‘Photophilia Nervosa’


In a way it’s almost good that Leica discontinued its R series. If you think about it, R series reached its top plateau before going to next generation of ‘improved, re-invented, modernized, ASPH this, re-engineered that and done better than Mandler’ Ultimately R died at its full glory just like other technologies of 60-80s (the best of vacuum valves replaced by 0.000001 THD of transistors era or century of analogue recording and vinyl production replaced by ‘Perfect Sound Forever’ digital media, just to bring few that depend on perception rather than measurements)

Anyhow, shooting film, even briefly, few rolls, can bring anyone reaching for the technically perfect glass back to reality. Heck, watch, if you haven’t, ‘Finding Vivian Maier’ flick. It should make you purchase two accompany books (actually, skip the first one!) and look differently at your next lens purchase.

For me, despite fighting the urge for techno-evil I just mentioned above, Mandler lenses seem to be the ultimate solution.
[End of rant]


“Bestie Boy’, ‘Goody Girl’ & ‘Behind the [Red] Door’
All wide open…



















May 11, 2014 at 06:19 AM
 

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Jon Tainton
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p.310 #11 · p.310 #11 · Leica R Series Lenses


JaKo wrote:
Everyone wants perfectly performing glass; sharp corners at max aperture, no colours distortions, smoothest Bokeh, perfect geometry, etc, etc. The search for the perfect lens only leads to ‘Photophilia Nervosa’

If I've understood it correctly, the Laws of Physics dictates there can be no perfect lens, so, it's down to the lens designer to maximise/minimise the aberrations to 'taste' and latterly factor in the lift from software correction.

JaKo wrote:
Reading forums can only make matter worse.

+1. Too many forums are 'weather vanes' rather than 'signposts'. Happily though, with enough real world use a general consensus is reached on a lens performance.

Edit - punctuation, sigh ...


Edited on May 12, 2014 at 03:25 PM · View previous versions



May 11, 2014 at 08:21 AM
JonPB
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p.310 #12 · p.310 #12 · Leica R Series Lenses


I think that most of us, along our photographic journeys, have developed quirky standards to help us determine what kit works best. Some people want high resolution in the corners, and they'll forego wide angle perspectives to get there. Some people want to be in control of their mistakes, so they forego autofocus and autoexposure. Some people want the smallest kit that'll make given quality prints at a given size; some people want the most pixels they can get and enjoy zooming in and out of their photos.

Personally, I treat digital cameras as being disposable and buy lenses for their forward compatibility. This rules out most electronics, so I'm left with mechanical lenses: pre-autofocus era systems, Leica, or Zeiss. (Interestingly, it appears that EF lenses might have forward compatibility due to adapter chips.) Leica and Zeiss are the most recently designed, and were designed for high optical quality. M lenses are prohibitively expensive for my budget. Ultimately, I went with Leica R because the system is larger than Contax/Yashica and generally makes my eyes happier. I'm happy with my choice. I certainly wouldn't suggest to someone else, though, that they should choose to shoot with these lenses just because they work well with my quirks.

Being human, I know that part of the reason I like the faults of my Leicas is rationalization and confirmation bias. People will defend their favorite tools until they're blue in the face. But I also like to think that I like them for what they are: good, not perfect, but enough in every respect that I could, if I so choose, make quality images with them for the rest of my life. That idea is more appealing to me, for the moment, than achieving a different optical aesthetic or higher technical quality.

To each their own.

Cheers,
Jon



May 11, 2014 at 04:48 PM
JaKo
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p.310 #13 · p.310 #13 · Leica R Series Lenses


^^^ Ditto!

I can only add that with today’s high MP, AA-less cameras they can create a perfect balance with older, classic drawing style lenses. Michael’s images above are just prove of that.
If I want to achieve classic look, I get Mandler designed glass. For more modern style Zeiss steps in. As a result I ended up with multiple lenses in some focal lengths.

Again, to each their own.



May 11, 2014 at 06:27 PM
Ronny _Olsson
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p.310 #14 · p.310 #14 · Leica R Series Lenses


Two great set Michael and Jack


May 12, 2014 at 04:53 AM
carstenw
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p.310 #15 · p.310 #15 · Leica R Series Lenses


JaKo wrote:
How true Michael, how true!
Not only Leica R lenses fall into this category, not only Leica, but many lenses from serious optical makers also. And many of us fall for it too!
Everyone wants perfectly performing glass; sharp corners at max aperture, no colours distortions, smoothest Bokeh, perfect geometry, etc, etc. The search for the perfect lens only leads to ‘Photophilia Nervosa’

Reading forums can only make matter worse. There are too many choices and too many new products introduced over last few decades. Again: ‘Photophilia Nervosa’


This is not an accurate characterisation. There are people for whom certain lenses ruin their shots, and the 35 Cron-R falls into that category for Samuli. The lens simply isn't optically good enough for what he wants to do. For you and Michael, soft and smeary corners may not detract, but characterising others as being in some vain and futile pursuit of perfection is unkind. Keep in mind that Samuli happily shoots with the ZF50 Planar, which isn't a perfect lens by any means.


Edited on May 12, 2014 at 08:37 AM · View previous versions



May 12, 2014 at 06:26 AM
JaKo
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p.310 #16 · p.310 #16 · Leica R Series Lenses


^^^ Carsten, Samuli clearly purchased wrong lens for his specific purpose and subjects of his shooting (see his own remarks in previous posts) Purchase of Passion? It happens to many but Buy & Sell provides relieve to it.

Also, Zeiss 50MP is not on his fave lens list (again, see his previous posts on this topic)
Lastly, he is eloquent enough to express his own opinions without side caddie’s repetitive help.

Don't see Cron-R 35 being worthy shooting with? Fine, move on.




May 12, 2014 at 06:57 AM
carstenw
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p.310 #17 · p.310 #17 · Leica R Series Lenses


Planar, not Makro-Planar. I share his preference for the Planar.

I didn't say that the 35 Cron-R wasn't worth(y) shooting with, I said I didn't like it.

If you want to get into an argument here, you need to brush up on your reading skills.

Side-caddie? JaKo, I used to enjoy your posts but you have really lost the plot here. What happened?

Edited on May 12, 2014 at 08:47 AM · View previous versions



May 12, 2014 at 07:05 AM
Almass
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p.310 #18 · p.310 #18 · Leica R Series Lenses


JaKo. side caddie’s repetitive help!!!!

That is unbecoming of you and probably you were having a bad hair day.

Carstenw is a long standing and respected member at FM and whilst you might not agree with his point of views, let us keep the discussion civil here.

Thank you.

Edited on May 12, 2014 at 08:49 AM · View previous versions



May 12, 2014 at 08:44 AM
carstenw
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p.310 #19 · p.310 #19 · Leica R Series Lenses


Hey, I resemble that old remark!


May 12, 2014 at 08:46 AM
Almass
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p.310 #20 · p.310 #20 · Leica R Series Lenses


OK. Corrected


May 12, 2014 at 08:49 AM
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