Almost have a CLE, but what lens?

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by brian steinberger, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,561
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2007
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    I'm looking to purchase a Minolta CLE from a member over on RFF. I want to use the camera when the light gets low outside or even maybe some indoor stuff, and shoot mostly from f/2 - f/5.6 range. I've heard great things about the Rokkor's ansd that there are two models. The older Rokkor's are identical to the Leica 40/2 Summicron-C but are un-coated. And the newer CLE Rokkor's are Japanese made but are multi-coated. Can anyone recommend which lens is better wide open or if they are equal? I'm currently shooting a Nikon F100 with 50/1.8 and while the 50 is ridiculously sharp a few stops down, not so much wide open, and a RF is just nicer to focus in low light anyway.

    So basically what 40mm lens do you recommend I get when preferring to shoot at or near wide open and how will it compare to the nikkor 50/1.8 I already have?
     
  2. elekm

    elekm Member

    Messages:
    2,059
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2004
    Location:
    New Jersey (
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    The Rokkor lens is not an uncoated lens.I usually start a camera with its intended lens. I don't know why. Must be a Mr. Monk thing.

    If the optical design is identical, performance should be identical or close to it.

    Shoot with it, and see if you like it. That's probably what I would do. Gea ius fun, but ultimatelly it is about you as the photographer.

    And either lens should be able to perform adequately.

    I always am amused by people who dump lenses because at f/4.0 or whatever, there is a slight harshness in the left corner of the photo.

    I think we need to peep less at pixels and spend more time looking at the bigger picture.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 12, 2013
  3. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,561
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2007
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    Even the older version?
     
  4. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,405
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2005
    Location:
    NE U.S.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  5. Xmas

    Xmas Member

    Messages:
    6,451
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Uncoated post WWII Ja lens is web rumor. A CLE lens is unlikely to be the same glass as the glass catalogue changed, older glass was cancelled newer glass better IQ.

    If you are using 400 ISO film for available darkness then a Nikon and a CLE won't be detectably different.

    If you are buying without a lens the Cosina Voightlander 40mm f1.4 is available either SC or MC ie single or multi coated, in M mount. Later glass better IQ but not detectably different.

    Lotta people prefer the single coated CL or CV lens. There is signature difference even when there is no visible flare.
     
  6. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

    Messages:
    3,925
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Location:
    Adirondacks
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Uncoated lenses pretty much went out with WWII. I had a Kodak 35RF which had a hard coated lens, it was made according to the serial in 1941. The Rokkor of which you speak was made in the 70s, everything was coated, many already multicoated by then.
    The single coated 40mm Rokkor is a fine lens, I used one and it is excellent.
     
  7. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,561
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2007
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    Thanks guys for the responses. I'm my OP when I said uncoated i meant just single coated. I'd like to go with a rokkor but wondering if I should hold out for a later multi-coated CLE version. I'm gonna be shooting mostly in low light on overcast days. If I'm not gonna be shooting a lot with it in the sun maybe I can get away with the older rokkor?
     
  8. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

    Messages:
    3,925
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Location:
    Adirondacks
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    You know, multicoated lenses are not magical. They need proper lens shades just like any other lens, multicoating does not make flare go away. The difference between an uncoated lens (of the design the Rokkor uses) and a coated one is huge; the uncoated lens will be almost unuseable under certain conditions - the difference between single coated and multicoated is comparatively minor. And I make this statement based on my experience in using uncoated, single coated, and multicoated lenses of various designs over about 30 years. I get stunning results from my 1960s Nikkors, none of which are multicoated. I also get stunning results from my 1900s > 1920s Dagors, none of which are coated.

    Low light on overcast days? You'll hardly see the difference - except for a slightly different "look" that will be most noticeable with color film.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2013
  9. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,561
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2007
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    Thanks for that info. I'll only be shooting black and white with this camera.
     
  10. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

    Messages:
    3,925
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Location:
    Adirondacks
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Get an old, inexpensive, uncoated screwmount something-or-other, say an early Elmar, and an M to screwmount adapter. The uncoated lenses can be a lot of fun when used with an understanding of their limits. I have a ~1936 Rollei Standard with an uncoated Tessar, I use it a lot in the woods and it gives a lovely smooth look with excellent shadow detail, very little to no flare as long as I use a decent shade. The slight amount of veiling flare present in all uncoated lenses gets the film off the toe of it's response curve, bringing up the shadow detail - who'd a thunk uncoated lenses actually have some slight advantage in certain situations?:laugh:
     
  11. Xmas

    Xmas Member

    Messages:
    6,451
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    The look is more pastel shading in the shadows less in middle tones, many people like that.
    There is a consequence adaptive compression of sceans very suitable for digital or narrow scale film...
    With a 'flashing' of shadows which makes the film faster in the shadows differentially.

    I use two sets of LTM lenses a single coated set of Canon and Multi coated set of Cosina Voightlander with LTM to M adapters they are ok on M Leicas.

    On a dull day I uses the MC lenses.
     
  12. momus

    momus Member

    Messages:
    2,701
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2009
    Location:
    Lower Earth
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    The Rokkor 40's are wonderful lenses, and very small too, which is a plus on your little bitty camera. They have that classic Leica look, at least mine did. I wouldn't worry about single vs multi coated. Doubtful you'd see much difference at all. Uncoated is nice for B&W. I have some really good stuff from clean Summars, but f2 performance is often a little soft, but still nice. I agree, w/ my eyes, a RF is easier to focus in low light. The thing w/ uncoated lenses is that if you put a yellow filter (nix for low light) and a hood on the lenses, you'll get better contrast and no flare issues unless you're shooting right into the sun or something. These are all old lenses, so internal glass condition will be more important for optical quality and flare resistance.
     
  13. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,561
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2007
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    Interesting idea with the filter. I use b&w MC filters. Would this ecssentially make the single coated lens multi-coated?

    Btw... I purchased the CLE and 40 rokkor. It's an older single-coated one. Got them together as a kit.
     
  14. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

    Messages:
    3,925
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Location:
    Adirondacks
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Absolutely not. Think about it. You screw a filter to the front of the lens; how will this affect the coatings on all the other surfaces of the lens' elements?

    What multicoating on the filter will do is make it less "visible"; since the front surface of the lens is single coated, it will reflect some small (not much) amount of light (so will a multicoated front surface) - the multicoated filter will reflect very little of this back into the lens. I've learned that multicoated filters are almost mandatory on uncoated lenses, due to mcuh brighter reflections from the (uncoated) front element.

    Momus was posting about using a yellow filter with B&W film on an uncoated lens to bring the contrast up, it is the hood he mentions which reduces flare, not the filter. The yellow filter works by cutting blue light; what color cast does haze have in color photos?

    Just use your lens and stop reading the advertisements about how wonderful and magical multicoating is. A single coated lens with a proper shade is usually better than a multicoated lens without the shade, use them both with a shade and there's very little to choose from. In a zoom lens, with mabe 16 - 18 or more air glass interfaces, multicoting starts to have really important benefits.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 14, 2013
  15. Patrick Robert James

    Patrick Robert James Subscriber

    Messages:
    624
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2012
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Brian, just use the lens that you are getting with the CLE knowing that it is a fine piece of glass. A lot of Leica enthusiasts compare lenses down to the minutiae which I find rather ridiculous. Almost any lens that you can buy today is far better than what people like HCB used and he did all right, didn't he? I could make a very compelling argument that the modern Leica (and Zeiss) lenses are too good.
     
  16. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,561
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2007
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    Thanks so much guys. Great information. The lens comes with a cap and hood from a CLE version rokkor.
     
  17. Xmas

    Xmas Member

    Messages:
    6,451
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    You were lucky lots of M Leica people buy the kit for the lens and sell the body on.
    Id get it a hood and filter just in case you drop it or a sea gull targets you.
     
  18. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,561
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2007
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    I actually had to sway him a bit to sell the lens. He wanted to keep it as he uses it on his M6 frequently, but ultimately decided the kit should be kept together.
     
  19. elekm

    elekm Member

    Messages:
    2,059
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2004
    Location:
    New Jersey (
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    I hope you have a lot of fun with this camera. I've always been intrigued by the small size of the CL/CLE cameras.