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Archive 2023 · Leica Lenses and the M11

  
 
1bwana1
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · Leica Lenses and the M11


At the same time I posted this thread I also sent an email to RedDotForum/Leica Store Miami asking the same questions. I have watched some of their content on YouTube and they seem very knowledgeable. Surprisingly Josh called me on the phone personally to answer my questions. First, I will say that I am both surprised and grateful for the time he invested in this. Especially since I have not bought anything of note from him in the past. That will change. He is knowledgeable, and enthusiastic. I learned a lot from our conversation.

Basically, he said the same things that others have posted on this thread. The broad range of Leica lenses are fully up to the task of resolving the M11 60mp sensor. But he says that is the wrong question. He says one should focus on the look he is after. Yes, if you want the most clinically sharp images, full detail images over the entire M11 sensor, then the APO lenses are best. But pretty much all of the lenses will give you that stopped down. Also, all of them will give you excellent results in the center from wide apertures. The question is what character the lens provides as it falls off.

Specifically he talked about my lenses. He did recommend that I upgrade my 35mm Lux ASP (pre FLE) to a more modern version as he feels I would find benefit in my usage of this FL. Unfortunately, he said the soonest he could provide a copy of the new version is well over a year out, and that I would have to get on a list even for that. Leica must be doing very well. He said just enjoy what I have in the meantime. I have loved the images my current version is producing, so I am in no rush. He said my 50mm Summicron is optically current so no benefit to be had by upgrading it. I appreciate his honesty in this and not just trying to sell me something.

We then moved on to discussing the reliability of the M11 Camera. He acknowledged that he has read the reports on line of failures. He said that many have asked him about this. However, this has not been his experience with the M11. He says he has sold a lot of M11 cameras since it was released. The number of his customers that have experienced any kind of problem are very small. Less than 1% for sure. Since the latest firmware he has had almost zero issues. He also acknowledged that Leica service can take time. So, if one of his customers has any kind of problem, he just replaces the camera with new, and he deals with Leica. Huss would have benefited from this attitude.

Like I said, I was very impressed with the effort to provide top level information and service Josh showed. Leica Store Miami seems like a great place to do business. Let's hope the whole Leica channel exhibits this same level of customer centric service levels.



Apr 19, 2023 at 10:28 AM
rscheffler
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · Leica Lenses and the M11


IMO David Farkas did a really nice M11 written review accompanied by very good photos, something that's becoming rarer with the increasing prevalence and general preference for video content. He has done really good Leica-centric articles for his store's site over many years, such as Photokina reports and interviews, as well as equipment reviews - his trip to Iceland with the S system is one I enjoyed. I've frequently referred to his articles when fact-checking my posts here... He's certainly a great Leica resource.


Apr 19, 2023 at 10:47 AM
RexGig0
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · Leica Lenses and the M11


Yes, Josh Lehr and David Farkas are excellently helpful.

I have ordered from Leica Store Miami, with very prompt response/service, each time.



Apr 19, 2023 at 10:54 AM
dalegaspi
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · Leica Lenses and the M11


1bwana1 wrote:
I just watched a video where it is claimed that the Leica lenses prior to the few newest releases , and the APO lenses are not capable of resolving the 60 mp M11 sensor.

I was very surprised to hear such a claim. He provides no real data or sources to back up this claim.

Also interesting to note that he has had 4 brand new M11s brink on him in the last year. Scarry for me.

What do you guys think?


i'm going to call you out here, man; he didn't exactly say that. he started comparing the Voigtlander 50 APO and 50 SUMMILUX at 2:50...and he's kind of right (i can say this first hand because i own both lenses and the M11). he said he has not tried the Leica 50 APO...but his point was that OEMs put out new versions of their lenses (with Fuji as the worst offender) to keep up with high megapixels of the camera...which is not exactly crazy...Fuji even admitted to that when they put out new versions of their X lenses.

that said, he's most likely wrong about the Leica 50 APO (i say most likely because i have not tried the Leica 50 APO), though...it was designed specifically with the digital sensor in mind, it was introduced along with the OG Monochrom.

for the others, i suggest you watch the entire video before getting out the pitchforks.

context matters.






Apr 19, 2023 at 11:26 AM
retrofocus
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · Leica Lenses and the M11


rscheffler wrote:
IMO David Farkas did a really nice M11 written review accompanied by very good photos, something that's becoming rarer with the increasing prevalence and general preference for video content. He has done really good Leica-centric articles for his store's site over many years, such as Photokina reports and interviews, as well as equipment reviews - his trip to Iceland with the S system is one I enjoyed. I've frequently referred to his articles when fact-checking my posts here... He's certainly a great Leica resource.


I watched some of their videos (Leica Store Miami) which - as expected - is very sales-centric on Leica gear. Criticism is hard to find there also in the articles, but I agree that some useful information can be taken from the content.



Apr 19, 2023 at 01:26 PM
RexGig0
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · Leica Lenses and the M11


retrofocus wrote:
I watched some of their videos (Leica Store Miami) which - as expected - is very sales-centric on Leica gear. Criticism is hard to find there also in the articles, but I agree that some useful information can be taken from the content.


Yes, they are Leica-centric, but one thing I like is, in some of their episodes, they encourage viewers to keep using good, older equipment. One entire episode, perhaps two episodes, of Red Dot Forum LIVE have been all or mostly about discontinued Leica products. One of David Farkas’ favored lenses, the Elmar-M 24mm ASPH*, is discontinued, but he says that he will keep using it. Josh Lehr has spoken of discontinued lenses and M cameras that he still likes using. Josh inspects all of the used equipment at Leica Store Miami, so he gets to test lenses and cameras frequently.

I have particularly noticed that both David Farkas and Josh Lehr speak favorably of the M Type 246 Monochrom, which has encouraged me to keep my 246, and to postpone acquiring an M10 Monochrom. Most memorably, this was during the episode “Leica Underdogs.”

Josh Lehr loves the M Type 262, which is apparent in his face, whenever it is mentioned, in any episode. I do not think that he owns a 262, but he really enjoys it when a 262 is taken in, during a trade or buy. (I do not own a 262, either, but both the M-D 262 and M 262 exemplify “minimalist cool,” better than other digital M cameras.

Red Dot Forum’s you-tube channel is, understandably, specifically about Leica products. They are polite about it, but will not discuss M-mount lenses made or marketed by Voigtlander/Cosina, or Zeiss. They have favorably discussed accessories, such as straps and bags, that do not have a Leica label.

*I like this lens, too, which is why I recall this one, specifically.



Apr 19, 2023 at 02:54 PM
retrofocus
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · Leica Lenses and the M11


RexGig0 wrote:
Yes, they are Leica-centric, but one thing I like is, in some of their episodes, they encourage viewers to keep using good, older equipment. One entire episode, perhaps two episodes, of Red Dot Forum LIVE have been all or mostly about discontinued Leica products. One of David Farkas’ favored lenses, the Elmar-M 24mm ASPH*, is discontinued, but he says that he will keep using it. Josh Lehr has spoken of discontinued lenses and M cameras that he still likes using. Josh inspects all of the used equipment at Leica Store Miami, so he gets to test lenses and cameras frequently.


These were the episodes I also most liked. But no pun intended, the gear they presented was the one going for quite high used prices. They "neglected" mentioning similar better deal options out there. They always mixed collector based black paint lenses and cameras into the mix, too. I enjoyed one episode especially where they talked about accessories where I found a very good and affordable option to carry lenses in a small bag. I wish they would focus more on these things than showcasing hyper expensive leather straps etc.

I have particularly noticed that both David Farkas and Josh Lehr speak favorably of the M Type 246 Monochrom, which has encouraged me to keep my 246, and to postpone acquiring an M10 Monochrom. Most memorably, this was during the episode “Leica Underdogs.”

Yes, agreed, I remember this episode and also read the review article about the M 246M.

Josh Lehr loves the M Type 262, which is apparent in his face, whenever it is mentioned, in any episode. I do not think that he owns a 262, but he really enjoys it when a 262 is taken in, during a trade or buy. (I do not own a 262, either, but both the M-D 262 and M 262 exemplify “minimalist cool,” better than other digital M cameras.

+1. It is all very subjective what somebody likes or not with gear - I personally like the video-based M 240 better but that's just my 2 Cents.

Red Dot Forum’s you-tube channel is, understandably, specifically about Leica products. They are polite about it, but will not discuss M-mount lenses made or marketed by Voigtlander/Cosina, or Zeiss. They have favorably discussed accessories, such as straps and bags, that do not have a Leica label.

Correct - this is always mentioned by some viewers in the comment thread during the live video session to compare with CV or Zeiss lenses which will always be ignored. Focus is clearly on selling Leica gear or Leica-associated products like Adobe software or accessories from associated third party dealers.

I remember one episode where both one time only outspokenly - and rightfully so IMO - criticized Leica for removing the Summarit lens line from the Leica lens product line. I think this was the only time when they criticized Leica for anything. Even the known Leica M6 patch flare issue of used camera versions was only mentioned by them in a tiny side sentence to easily overlook in one of their film camera episodes. This is a bit ironic since I watched a few months ago an episode on YouTube (in German) from the Leica store in Wetzlar about the older M6 camera versions where this issue was clearly addressed and talked about.

Advantage of buying from RedDot Forum (Leica Store Miami) is that gear is likely well maintained/repaired/CLAed and comes with warranty. But the used gear price tags are quite high compared to alternative sources to purchase from IMO.





Apr 19, 2023 at 05:34 PM
1bwana1
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · Leica Lenses and the M11


dalegaspi wrote:
i'm going to call you out here, man; he didn't exactly say that. he started comparing the Voigtlander 50 APO and 50 SUMMILUX at 2:50...and he's kind of right (i can say this first hand because i own both lenses and the M11). he said he has not tried the Leica 50 APO...but his point was that OEMs put out new versions of their lenses (with Fuji as the worst offender) to keep up with high megapixels of the camera...which is not exactly crazy...Fuji even admitted to that when they put out new versions of their X lenses.

that said, he's
...Show more

I appreciate yor comments but must stand by my statement.,

At around 2:49 he clearly states that the VM APO resolves the 60mp M11 sensor, and the Sumilux 50 doesn't. That is pretty clear.

Then at around 4:09 he states that one of the benefits of Leica's new 50mm Summilux is that it does resolve the higher mp sensors. Also pretty clear.

In any case I wasn't getting out any pitchforks. I was just asking whether others here on FM agree with his statements about this. I am only researching the question at this point.

Yes, context matters and this was my take away from his statements.




Apr 19, 2023 at 06:13 PM
highdesertmesa
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · Leica Lenses and the M11


1bwana1 wrote:
I appreciate yor comments but must stand by my statement.,

At around 2:49 he clearly states that the VM APO resolves the 60mp M11 sensor, and the Sumilux 50 doesn't. That is pretty clear.

Then at around 4:09 he states that one of the benefits of Leica's new 50mm Summilux is that it does resolve the higher mp sensors. Also pretty clear.

In any case I wasn't getting out any pitchforks. I was just asking whether others here on FM agree with his statements about this. I am only researching the question at this point.

Yes, context matters and this was my take away
...Show more

What he was saying was definitely confusing and sometimes contradictory. But I think we were just watching him verbalize his thought process in real time – I don't take stuff like that seriously. It's just entertaining to listen to (for me) – like camera store conversations back in the day.

Also, when people on YouTube videos say things like they're not sure or they're not technically minded – you can judge what they say accordingly.



Apr 19, 2023 at 11:01 PM
cbass
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · Leica Lenses and the M11


I think you should list your old lenses at deep discount for a fast sale before this information becomes mainstream and prices tank.

Now back to being serious. Most of it has already been covered and the LensRentals article is a simple way to think about it. System MTF = Camera MTF x Lens MTF. But that doesn't mean the guy in the video doesn't have a point. The reality is it starts to get complex.

24MP sensor has a theoretical resolution of around 83 lp/mm. 60MP sensor has a theoretical resolution of around 132 lp/mm. 132 lp/mm is in a different league from 83 lp/mm the latter being much easier to achieve. This assumes the sensor can reach those figures, but it can't. At best a sensor can do high 90's with the best sensors doing 94-98% and that is only at certain ISO's. As ISO increases then that number drops quickly.

The other problem is as the aperture gets smaller than diffraction starts limiting resolution. At f/8 you are diffraction limited to around 89 lp/mm. This is below the theoretical limit of 132 lp/mm of the 60MP sensor. This is probably where people will start getting upset and calling BS because this does not reflect what they have seen. This is true and generally the wider the aperture the more lens aberrations and the shallower the depth of field and thus you see performance increase as you stop down. The higher the resolution of the sensor the better it records details even if those details happen to be aberrations and softening from diffraction.

Newer optics have better aberration correction especially at wider apertures and into the corners and thus will look cleaner than older lenses. Generally, as this will depend on aperture and depth of field. If what you are recording isn't in focus, then it doesn't matter too much if it's better corrected.

There are other issues such as the final print output. If you aren't printing at large magnification (large image size), then you aren't going to see any of these differences. Even if they can be seen, then viewing distance will matter to see them. You might see differences at 20x30 that you won't be able to notice at 8x12.

Oh ya, technique matters as well. Hand holding has limits. If you don't have good technique and equipment like a sturdy tripod, good focus accuracy, etc. then you aren't even going to reach the potential of your old lenses.

Bottom line is it is a huge balancing act and is the sum of many parts.



Apr 19, 2023 at 11:53 PM
rscheffler
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · Leica Lenses and the M11


^ Great points!

dalegaspi wrote:
i'm going to call you out here, man; he didn't exactly say that. he started comparing the Voigtlander 50 APO and 50 SUMMILUX at 2:50...and he's kind of right (i can say this first hand because i own both lenses and the M11). he said he has not tried the Leica 50 APO...but his point was that OEMs put out new versions of their lenses (with Fuji as the worst offender) to keep up with high megapixels of the camera...which is not exactly crazy...Fuji even admitted to that when they put out new versions of their X lenses.

that said, he's
...Show more
1bwana1 wrote:
I appreciate yor comments but must stand by my statement.,

At around 2:49 he clearly states that the VM APO resolves the 60mp M11 sensor, and the Sumilux 50 doesn't. That is pretty clear.

Then at around 4:09 he states that one of the benefits of Leica's new 50mm Summilux is that it does resolve the higher mp sensors. Also pretty clear.

In any case I wasn't getting out any pitchforks. I was just asking whether others here on FM agree with his statements about this. I am only researching the question at this point.

Yes, context matters and this was my take away
...Show more

So first I'll admit I haven't watched the video and likely won't (I really, really prefer to consume this kind of information in written form). Does he actually have the new Lux to compare against the first version? If not, then he's just regurgitating Leica's marketing (the better performance appears to be limited to the center of the image). Secondly, having owned a single copy of the 50 Lux ASPH for over 10 years, I have noticed that over time it will loosen up and go softer, which is very apparent wide open, but less so even at f/2. So, I can only wonder about the condition of his copy.

That said, I'm not going to dispute that the VM 50/2 APO is the sharper lens. But the 50 Lux ASPH also isn't a 'soft' lens. Way back Len Rentals did a comparison (their blog isn't loading for me right now) of a bunch of 50s and the Lux ASPH had really high resolving numbers. But that was before the advent of the Cron APO or VM APO.

Sounds like his wording is somewhat off. It might be better if he said the VM resulted in a higher system MTF than the Lux ASPH. And perhaps it's the highest system MTF possible when that lens is used. But how can he say it actually resolves 60MP? If that's the case, how much does the 50 Lux ASPH actually resolve, in numbers, according to him?

On a tangent - back in the fall when I was trying out all of Canon's mirrorless cameras for my transition from DSLRs, I really liked the 45MP R5, but felt like I wasn't seeing a huge boost in real resolution from it compared to the 20MP camera I was previously using for sports under typical sports conditions: higher ISOs, moving subjects, sometimes at somewhat marginal shutter speeds, with a Canon 200-400 that probably isn't quite as sharp as their latest 400/2.8. Since I wasn't going to give up the 200-400 and high ISOs are the norm and not the exception, I prioritized other features and opted instead for a 24MP camera.



Apr 20, 2023 at 04:27 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · Leica Lenses and the M11


rscheffler wrote:
^ Great points!


So first I'll admit I haven't watched the video and likely won't (I really, really prefer to consume this kind of information in written form). Does he actually have the new Lux to compare against the first version? If not, then he's just regurgitating Leica's marketing (the better performance appears to be limited to the center of the image). Secondly, having owned a single copy of the 50 Lux ASPH for over 10 years, I have noticed that over time it will loosen up and go softer, which is very apparent wide open, but less so even at
...Show more

The following is a comparison (which is now archived) of Leica 50/1.4 Lux and Voigtlander 50/2 APO, both being optimal copies: https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1707236/0&year=2021#15636310

At f/2 and in the center, the two lenses appear to be very similar. While I haven't personally tested the Leica 50/2 APO, I don't believe it performs any better than the Voigtlander based on real world images and its MTF chart.



Apr 20, 2023 at 05:07 PM
Paul.S
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p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · Leica Lenses and the M11


Thanks for the heads up on the hot shoe. I have been watching this guy for a while and wondered why so many have bricked m11's. I've noticed that when I place the evf on my m11 it sometimes freezes, never thought about turning it off.....Will be doing that from now on.

highdesertmesa wrote:
As was mentioned, the M11 does let you more easily evaluate resolving power of a given lens, but I wouldn't call this sharpness. It's simply with one lens you can "see" more detail. Also, images from the M11 taken with older lenses/lenses with less resolving power can take a crap-ton of sharpening in post without looking over-sharpened or provoking unwanted artifacts.

That said, even my non-APO lenses not designed to be ultra-high resolving can resolve more detail at infinity on the M11 than I can see with my eyes with 20/15 vision.

I would say that you will not be disappointed using
...Show more



Apr 20, 2023 at 06:39 PM
cbass
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p.2 #14 · p.2 #14 · Leica Lenses and the M11


I was reading a blog by someone that does resolution testing and I have not confirmed if this is true, but the claim was that Bertele’s first Ernostar 100mm f/2.0 from 1923 has 98% the resolution compared to the Leica Apo-Macro-Elmarit 100mm f/2.8 in the center, but only the center.

What this means to me is if you need corner to corner sharpness especially at wider apertures, then you are better off with a modern aspherical lens. If you are primarily doing people photography especially portraits, then you will be fine with older spherical designs. At some point greater detail on a portrait becomes a greater hinderance than asset. I have seen modern lenses and resolution sensors resolve tiny peach fuzz hairs on women's faces that you can't see with your naked eye. Of course, this does not mean that older optics are not as sharp on center as many are about as good as anything modern. Center sharpness excellence was achieved long ago.

Even with landscape it gets complex as depending on the scene depth of field matters. You can't record details that aren't in focus. For landscape, when possible, f/8 and be there generally works out well with any lens.

Again, this gets more complex as I have seen a photographer that uses a Noctilux f/0.95 wide open to shoot forest scenes for a very unique and dreamy look that is very pleasant. Here the focus is not technical perfection but focuses more on creating a mood.

It comes down to are you happy with your photographs and is it really the lens that is holding you back or other things like lighting, composition, environment, etc.



Apr 21, 2023 at 04:13 PM
flash
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p.2 #15 · p.2 #15 · Leica Lenses and the M11


1bwana1 wrote:
……….

Specifically he talked about my lenses. He did recommend that I upgrade my 35mm Lux ASP (pre FLE) to a more modern version as he feels I would find benefit in my usage of this FL. Unfortunately, he said the soonest he could provide a copy of the new version is well over a year out, and that I would have to get on a list even for that. Leica must be doing very well. He said just enjoy what I have in the meantime. I have loved the images my current version is producing, so I am in
...Show more

Walked into the Leica store in Sydney and bought a new 35 ‘lux off the shelf, no problems. If you really want one then no worries. Look around a bit. The 35 APO Summicron is the hard one to get. But by all reports the CV 35 APO is as good or basically indistinguishable.

I should note that one of my favourite lenses on the Monochrom, is the MATE. It’s definitely not up to the task, resolving power wise, but it makes pretty mono images. I too find myself caught up in the BS that is chasing ultra high resolving lenses. It’s a fairly modern phenomenon that’s followed digital cameras. We really didn’t do that with film. We chased a look. It was common to have a *sharp* lens and a *portrait* lens of the same focal length. Or a few hand made effects filters. Now I have a cupboard of super high resolving lenses and I’m not convinced I’m making better images because of them.

Gordon




Apr 21, 2023 at 04:26 PM
highdesertmesa
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p.2 #16 · p.2 #16 · Leica Lenses and the M11


flash wrote:
Walked into the Leica store in Sydney and bought a new 35 ‘lux off the shelf, no problems. If you really want one then no worries. Look around a bit. The 35 APO Summicron is the hard one to get. But by all reports the CV 35 APO is as good or basically indistinguishable.

I should note that one of my favourite lenses on the Monochrom, is the MATE. It’s definitely not up to the task, resolving power wise, but it makes pretty mono images. I too find myself caught up in the BS that is chasing ultra high resolving lenses.
...Show more

Many chased highly resolved images with 4x5 / 8x10 film. It was nearly impossible to land the cover of a landscape magazine shooting 35mm.



Apr 21, 2023 at 08:28 PM
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