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Archive 2022 · MS-Optics Apollon 36mm f1.3 (Leica M-mount)

  
 
Fred Miranda
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p.3 #1 · p.3 #1 · MS-Optics Apollon 36mm f1.3 (Leica M-mount)


Toothwalker wrote:
A focal length of 36 mm is not unusual. What is unusual is that a manufacturer states the true focal length, instead of rounding it to a number that photographers are more familiar with.

The Voigtländer Nokton 35 mm F/1.2 Aspherical has a focal length of 36 (35.8) mm. There are probably more examples.


The new CV 35/1.5 seems also narrower than 35mm.



Dec 09, 2022 at 12:05 PM
Juha Kannisto
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p.3 #2 · p.3 #2 · MS-Optics Apollon 36mm f1.3 (Leica M-mount)


thrice wrote:
This one and the discontinued Alpa Apo-Switar (which was actually a Schneider 35mm Apo-Digitar-XL). No others for rangefinder cameras that I know of


There is also a Sankyo Kohki W-Komura 36mm f1.8 Japanese LTM lens from 1963 which is really rare.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/32582084@N06/50835212627/in/pool-camerawiki/
https://jelabs.blogspot.com/2011/04/w-komura-f18-36mm-ltm.html

One available for 313500 yen in B-rank condition where previous owner has "shaved the part near the mount": https://cameranonaniwa.jp/shop/g/g2111020263936/

Added some more samples with the Apollon (on my A7C) at Hiroo with the Apollon at various apertures from f1.3 to f8:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/z43iYbkwUXqq1dYQ9



Dec 10, 2022 at 06:51 AM
Toothwalker
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p.3 #3 · p.3 #3 · MS-Optics Apollon 36mm f1.3 (Leica M-mount)


Fred Miranda wrote:
The new CV 35/1.5 seems also narrower than 35mm.


Yes, that one is also 36 mm.




Dec 11, 2022 at 02:37 PM
SlowDriver
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p.3 #4 · p.3 #4 · MS-Optics Apollon 36mm f1.3 (Leica M-mount)


Review (kind of) on JCH:
https://www.japancamerahunter.com/2022/12/lens-review-ms-optics-apollon-36mm-f1-3/



Jan 01, 2023 at 08:35 PM
Juha Kannisto
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p.3 #5 · p.3 #5 · MS-Optics Apollon 36mm f1.3 (Leica M-mount)


The lens is still backordered / available for reservations only at MKDirect. I've been enjoying mine a lot and it's my #1 favorite MS-Optics lens so far. I added some more photo album links to the original post from latter half of December now.

In the meanwhile I also picked up a new Sonnetar 73mm f1.5 (from remaining old stock at Lemonsha Akihabara store) to my collection around Christmas. Wanted to get one before they become difficult to find as new/unused. I think it was the last one they had, but there's still some new ones (old stock) remaining in some other online stores.



Jan 02, 2023 at 04:45 AM
Juha Kannisto
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p.3 #6 · p.3 #6 · MS-Optics Apollon 36mm f1.3 (Leica M-mount)


Update: MKDirect just updated their page today and they have the black version of Apollon in stock now and they start shipping from the new stock from 5th of January (it's now New Year holidays in Japan). They expect to receive new silver stock sometime during January.

https://www.mkdirect51.com/
(link may need to be pasted in browser for it to work)



Jan 02, 2023 at 05:20 AM
a_simple_look
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p.3 #7 · p.3 #7 · MS-Optics Apollon 36mm f1.3 (Leica M-mount)


Hello!

I am new to this forum but I have been reading many threads ever since I go interested in MS Optics lenses. Really great discussions and people here.

I bought the Apollon lens a few weeks ago and really enjoy using it.

I have been adapting the lens to my Fujifilm X-Pro 3 and Sigma FPL.

Recently, i tried out the lens on a Leica M11 and found focusing to be an issue.

When the images line up on the rangefinder patch, they don't seem to be in focus on live view.

I was testing this out at f1.3.

After discovering the issue, i tested it out with my mirrorless cameras.

On the Fuji, i get infinity focus at 3m marking on the lens. On the Sigma, i get infinity focus at 5m marking.

Is this a known issue which custom made lens like these? Anything i can do to correct the issue?



Feb 05, 2023 at 04:42 AM
BastianK
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p.3 #8 · p.3 #8 · MS-Optics Apollon 36mm f1.3 (Leica M-mount)


a_simple_look wrote:
Hello!

I am new to this forum but I have been reading many threads ever since I go interested in MS Optics lenses. Really great discussions and people here.

I bought the Apollon lens a few weeks ago and really enjoy using it.

I have been adapting the lens to my Fujifilm X-Pro 3 and Sigma FPL.

Recently, i tried out the lens on a Leica M11 and found focusing to be an issue.

When the images line up on the rangefinder patch, they don't seem to be in focus on live view.

I was testing this out at f1.3.

After discovering the issue, i tested
...Show more
Your adapters have slightly different length, enough to account for those different distance readings.
On some of the MS-Optics lenses the rangefinder coupling can be adjusted (I have used the MS-Optics 35mm 1.4 and 35mm 1.3 but not the 36mm 1.3, so not sure if it is possible here).
Either way: on the M11 I strongly recommend to use liveview with these lenses.
They have a lof of aberrations like field curvature and focus shift that make using the rangefinder a PITA even if the lens is perfectly corrected.



Feb 05, 2023 at 05:16 AM
Juha Kannisto
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p.3 #9 · p.3 #9 · MS-Optics Apollon 36mm f1.3 (Leica M-mount)


a_simple_look wrote:
Hello!

I am new to this forum but I have been reading many threads ever since I go interested in MS Optics lenses. Really great discussions and people here.

I bought the Apollon lens a few weeks ago and really enjoy using it.

I have been adapting the lens to my Fujifilm X-Pro 3 and Sigma FPL.

Recently, i tried out the lens on a Leica M11 and found focusing to be an issue.

When the images line up on the rangefinder patch, they don't seem to be in focus on live view.

I was testing this out at f1.3.

After discovering the issue, i tested
...Show more

When using the lenses on mirrorless cameras with an adapter it depends a lot on adapter thickness and there is some field curvature with this lens (definitely the case with my A7C) so the perfect infinity focus for center will be a bit different than perfect infinity focus for midframe and corners. On my A7C I usually use f8 with the Apollon when I want best corner-to-corner sharpness and I focus on mid-frame rather than center to balance it out. With my spec-accurate Rayqual adapter I usually focus between 5m and infinity with this lens for those infinity shots (observing the focus peaking across the entire frame). For center the optical focus would be a bit closer and for edges/corners it would be a bit further. Focusing on mid-frame seems to balance it out for best overall results.

With some of my MS-Optics lenses I can use hard infinity to get best stopped down corner-to-corner infinity results with my A7C + Rayqual adapter but with some of the lenses I need to focus a bit closer and carefully balance it for countering the field curvature. With my Voigtländer VM-E close focus adapter II (as well as I) I always have to focus a bit closer since the adapter is slightly thinner than spec. With the wider lenses like 28/2 and 36/1.3 it is more likely that best corner-to-corner results require focusing a bit closer than hard infinity.

I have no Leica or rangefinder cameras so I haven't tested rangefinder patch accuracy with any of my MS-Optics lenses.

With Apollon there is no documented way to adjust the focus (e.g. there is no SA control) but there might be some undocumented method.

Where did you buy the lens from? If you bought from MK Direct, I think they could support getting any technical advice from Miyazaki-san with regards to possible focus adjustment. Probably JCH can also provide such support.

This Apollon lens seems to be remain popular as MKDirect has been out of stock most of the time and it seems they constantly have more reservations than incoming stock. It's certainly been one of my favorite MS-Optics lenses (I have 11 MS-Optics lenses now).

I added links to a couple of my latest photo albums with this lens to the original post now as well.



Feb 05, 2023 at 05:38 AM
a_simple_look
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p.3 #10 · p.3 #10 · MS-Optics Apollon 36mm f1.3 (Leica M-mount)


BastianK wrote:
Your adapters have slightly different length, enough to account for those different distance readings.
On some of the MS-Optics lenses the rangefinder coupling can be adjusted (I have used the MS-Optics 35mm 1.4 and 35mm 1.3 but not the 36mm 1.3, so not sure if it is possible here).
Either way: on the M11 I strongly recommend to use liveview with these lenses.
They have a lof of aberrations like field curvature and focus shift that make using the rangefinder a PITA even if the lens is perfectly corrected.


Thanks! Just wanted to be sure that it wasn't a lens issue.

It makes sense that it may be due to the adapters differing in spec. Will use liveview instead!




Feb 05, 2023 at 08:10 AM
a_simple_look
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p.3 #11 · p.3 #11 · MS-Optics Apollon 36mm f1.3 (Leica M-mount)


Juha Kannisto wrote:
When using the lenses on mirrorless cameras with an adapter it depends a lot on adapter thickness and there is some field curvature with this lens (definitely the case with my A7C) so the perfect infinity focus for center will be a bit different than perfect infinity focus for midframe and corners. On my A7C I usually use f8 with the Apollon when I want best corner-to-corner sharpness and I focus on mid-frame rather than center to balance it out. With my spec-accurate Rayqual adapter I usually focus between 5m and infinity with this lens for those infinity shots
...Show more

I got to know about mkdirect after reading your posts on this forum. I order the Apollon from them.

Would highly recommend them. Their service is top-notch.

I emailed them on the issue and they have forwarded it to MS optics.

Is there a particular brand of adapter you would recommend if I want to minimise (reasonable that it will always be there to certain extent) such issues? I am currently using K&FConcept M->FX adapter and TTArtisan M->L adapter.






Feb 05, 2023 at 08:16 AM
Juha Kannisto
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p.3 #12 · p.3 #12 · MS-Optics Apollon 36mm f1.3 (Leica M-mount)


a_simple_look wrote:
I got to know about mkdirect after reading your posts on this forum. I order the Apollon from them.

Would highly recommend them. Their service is top-notch.

I emailed them on the issue and they have forwarded it to MS optics.

Is there a particular brand of adapter you would recommend if I want to minimise (reasonable that it will always be there to certain extent) such issues? I am currently using K&FConcept M->FX adapter and TTArtisan M->L adapter.

Rayqual adapters are designed to be as spec-accurate for thickness as possible and they are very well made so if you want to maximize the chance of being able to use adapted lenses at hard infinity, those adapters are usually the best option. However, there may be some lenses that fail to reach perfect infinity with those adapters due to lens variation and then it's best to have another option as a backup. I use Rayqual adapters as my first choice and Voigtländer (slightly thinner) adapters as 2nd (also for Helicoid extension purposes). I have Rayqual adapters for both M->E and M->L. Cosina (Voigtländer) doesn't make adapters for L-mount though. In addition to Sony cameras I also have a Sigma fp (not the L versions).

Good to hear that the ordering process worked out well with MKDirect for you



Feb 05, 2023 at 08:42 AM
RustyBug
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p.3 #13 · p.3 #13 · MS-Optics Apollon 36mm f1.3 (Leica M-mount)


a_simple_look wrote:
Recently, i tried out the lens on a Leica M11 and found focusing to be an issue.

When the images line up on the rangefinder patch, they don't seem to be in focus on live view.

I was testing this out at f1.3.



Have you checked the focus at different aperture settings other than 1.3?

Curious, as you found it "off" on the native mount (sans adapter).
Could this be an issue of focus shift, and maybe the lens is calibrated to align at say f/2, rather than WO.



Feb 05, 2023 at 11:13 AM
rscheffler
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p.3 #14 · p.3 #14 · MS-Optics Apollon 36mm f1.3 (Leica M-mount)


a_simple_look wrote:
Hello!

I am new to this forum but I have been reading many threads ever since I go interested in MS Optics lenses. Really great discussions and people here.

I bought the Apollon lens a few weeks ago and really enjoy using it.

I have been adapting the lens to my Fujifilm X-Pro 3 and Sigma FPL.

Recently, i tried out the lens on a Leica M11 and found focusing to be an issue.

When the images line up on the rangefinder patch, they don't seem to be in focus on live view.

I was testing this out at f1.3.

After discovering the issue, i tested
...Show more

I think you need to test the lens on the M11 or another Leica M camera to determine if there is an infinity focusing error. As Bastian stated, the adapter thickness will be the problem and it's very likely the adapters you have are slightly too thin (this is very common and possibly intentionally done).

In regards to poor rangefinder focus wide open on the M11, was the focus consistently off in one direction and which direction was it? And as Kent (RustyBug) mentioned, did you test the lens while rangefinder focusing at any other apertures within 2-3 stops of wide open?

Prior to digital it was fairly common for lenses with focus shift characteristics to be rangefinder calibrated one or two stops from wide open. That way when working wide open, there would be slight but acceptable front focus, much of which might have been masked by the strong spherical aberration 'haze' and certainly less noticeable, if at all, in normal print sizes. And stopped down a bit more than the calibrated aperture, focus would shift behind the intended point of focus, but the increase in depth of field might be enough to sufficiently mask the shift.

That said, in the current digital era, it would seem most rangefinder lenses susceptible to focus shift are usually rangefinder calibrated for wide open use. For example, apparently Zeiss changed the calibration aperture for the ZM50/1.5 Sonnar from f/2.8 when it was first released for their Ikon film camera, to wide open as Leica's then new digital rangefinder cameras gained popularity. This was probably because of the tendency of digital users to view their images at 100% zoom where focus inaccuracy becomes much more noticeable than average print sizes.



Feb 05, 2023 at 09:26 PM
nehemiahphoto
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p.3 #15 · p.3 #15 · MS-Optics Apollon 36mm f1.3 (Leica M-mount)


Not sure if it helps you, but none of the 5 MS Optical lenses I have used on RF's have been calibrated to WO shooting . I recently figured out how to adjust the 73 Sonnetar to spot of WO at MFD to 20 feet.

My 35/1.4 Apoqualia was horrible for focus accuracy, at infinite or near.

Still on the fence with getting this lens...looks very good though.



Feb 09, 2023 at 09:28 PM
Juha Kannisto
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p.3 #16 · p.3 #16 · MS-Optics Apollon 36mm f1.3 (Leica M-mount)


nehemiahphoto wrote:
Not sure if it helps you, but none of the 5 MS Optical lenses I have used on RF's have been calibrated to WO shooting . I recently figured out how to adjust the 73 Sonnetar to spot of WO at MFD to 20 feet.

My 35/1.4 Apoqualia was horrible for focus accuracy, at infinite or near.

Still on the fence with getting this lens...looks very good though.


Recently I noticed that Apollon is also available via Japan Exposures now (they only list the Black version currently):
https://www.japanexposures.com/shop/camera-lens/ms-apollon-36-f1.3.html

Their price is much better than JCH's but not as good as MK Direct's.

MK Direct had some stock of the Black version from early Janauary to about mid-January but since then they seem to be out of stock. They were expecting to get Silver version in stock in January but it has not shown up as in-stock up to now. Perhaps there have still been more orders of both versions than incoming stock so they have been back-ordered all the time.

I'd still highly recommend this 36/1.3 Apollon

Most recently I got myself a 28/2-II Black Urushi from Map Camera (this specific one: https://www.mapcamera.com/item/3717013579436), although I already had the 28/2-III Urushi Sun edition. Version II has much nicer handling than version III, e.g. aperture can be controlled with the hood on II but not on III and II also focuses closer. Before that I also picked up H-Petz 57/2 from fotoborse, as they had some Silver (new unsold stock) ones remaining and they had an attractive price on those (57800 JPY including tax). Been very happy with both of these recent additions. Petz has exceeded my expectations as it doesn't have too obtrusive Petzval rendering wide open and it also works fine for corner-to-corner sharpness stopped down and I really like the overall IQ with that one.



Feb 09, 2023 at 11:34 PM
a_simple_look
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p.3 #17 · p.3 #17 · MS-Optics Apollon 36mm f1.3 (Leica M-mount)


RustyBug wrote:
Have you checked the focus at different aperture settings other than 1.3?

Curious, as you found it "off" on the native mount (sans adapter).
Could this be an issue of focus shift, and maybe the lens is calibrated to align at say f/2, rather than WO.


Yeah. It seems off at f4 and f8 too.




Feb 11, 2023 at 10:28 PM
a_simple_look
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p.3 #18 · p.3 #18 · MS-Optics Apollon 36mm f1.3 (Leica M-mount)


I got in contact with MS Optics through mkdirect. After a few emails (they reply really quickly), they asked me to send the both lenses back to check and fix. Will update once i get them back.


Feb 11, 2023 at 10:30 PM
Juha Kannisto
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p.3 #19 · p.3 #19 · MS-Optics Apollon 36mm f1.3 (Leica M-mount)


a_simple_look wrote:
I got in contact with MS Optics through mkdirect. After a few emails (they reply really quickly), they asked me to send the both lenses back to check and fix. Will update once i get them back.


I hope it works and you get a useful improvement. I understood you got Apollon 36/1.3 but what was the other lens?



Feb 14, 2023 at 05:30 AM
nehemiahphoto
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p.3 #20 · p.3 #20 · MS-Optics Apollon 36mm f1.3 (Leica M-mount)


I tried to order through MKDirect, but it’s out of stock. Any idea when it’s back?


Feb 15, 2023 at 01:27 PM
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