Leica "look" real or myth?
/forum/topic/1154629/3

1       2       3      
4
       end

Emacs
Registered: Aug 19, 2012
Total Posts: 183
Country: N/A

timballic wrote:
rscheffler wrote:

As for samples... I don't have any SOOC cat photos to show but have one PP'd 21 Lux image I'm pretty happy with of my cousin's dog. The PP for this was basically exposing for the background and bringing up the foreground about 2 stops in LR, and pulling back the green saturation a bit and tweaking the yellow and orange hue characteristics. It was shot at f/1.4 and I really like the separation I see, yet the background is still fairly defined.





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):



AhamB
Registered: Jul 11, 2008
Total Posts: 4861
Country: Germany

sebboh wrote:
redisburning wrote:
edwardkaraa wrote:
Then I must be in the smallest of the smallest minorities who shoot Zeiss glass on Leica cameras!


I think there are a few of us around.


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.



sebboh
Registered: Nov 02, 2009
Total Posts: 9677
Country: United States

AhamB wrote:
sebboh wrote:
redisburning wrote:
edwardkaraa wrote:
Then I must be in the smallest of the smallest minorities who shoot Zeiss glass on Leica cameras!


I think there are a few of us around.


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.


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.



sebboh
Registered: Nov 02, 2009
Total Posts: 9677
Country: United States

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?



carstenw
Registered: Dec 26, 2005
Total Posts: 14915
Country: Germany

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.



vuilang
Registered: Jul 20, 2005
Total Posts: 633
Country: United States

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...



carstenw
Registered: Dec 26, 2005
Total Posts: 14915
Country: Germany

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.



wfrank
Registered: Feb 09, 2011
Total Posts: 2739
Country: Sweden

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?



AhamB
Registered: Jul 11, 2008
Total Posts: 4861
Country: Germany

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.



edwardkaraa
Registered: Sep 27, 2004
Total Posts: 6863
Country: Thailand

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.



wfrank
Registered: Feb 09, 2011
Total Posts: 2739
Country: Sweden

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.



Mike Tuomey
Registered: Jul 23, 2005
Total Posts: 2788
Country: United States

sebboh wrote:
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?


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.



AhamB
Registered: Jul 11, 2008
Total Posts: 4861
Country: Germany

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?



edwardkaraa
Registered: Sep 27, 2004
Total Posts: 6863
Country: Thailand

AhamB wrote:

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?


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.



Makten
Registered: Jul 14, 2008
Total Posts: 4035
Country: Sweden

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.



carstenw
Registered: Dec 26, 2005
Total Posts: 14915
Country: Germany

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


Here is your lost letter: c



carstenw
Registered: Dec 26, 2005
Total Posts: 14915
Country: Germany

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



edwardkaraa
Registered: Sep 27, 2004
Total Posts: 6863
Country: Thailand

Makten wrote:
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.


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.



Makten
Registered: Jul 14, 2008
Total Posts: 4035
Country: Sweden

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.



recordproducti
Registered: Jul 11, 2005
Total Posts: 215
Country: United Kingdom

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 :-)



1       2       3      
4
       end