First negatives from new Leica........

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by Jim Moore, Oct 10, 2004.

  1. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Member

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    I just finished developing a few rolls that I took today to test out my new Leica MP/90mm APO.

    All I can say is.............................................

    WOW!

    Looking at them on the light box they are Tack Sharp!

    I'm going to try and print a couple tonight and I'll post 'em in the gallery.

    Jim
     
  2. clay

    clay Subscriber

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    Some people will totally dismiss the leica optical 'mystique'. But once you try them, you 'get it'. Just wait until you see something from the 35 cron or lux.


     
  3. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    I was one of those people and I sure 'got it', almost fell off my chair looking at my first roll of film from an M6 28mm elmarit-M...
     
  4. Fintan

    Fintan Member

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    Jim, can I ask how they compare to your Xpan?
     
  5. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Member

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    I am afraid that I do not have an Xpan. I was looking at these before I purchased the Leica though.

    Jim
     
  6. Fintan

    Fintan Member

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    sorry Jim, I thought you had one. I do myself but was just curious how they would compare. Good luck with it !
     
  7. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Member

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    No problem :wink:

    I too would be very interested to hear from someone who has both cameras.

    I was very tempted to go with the XPAN II, but finally decided on the Leica.

    I would still like to get one eventually for the Panoramic format.

    Jim
     
  8. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Did you post them yet....?
     
  9. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Member

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    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2004
  10. luvmydogs

    luvmydogs Member

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    Jim,

    I really like the work in your gallery. The thing I like about your photographs is that they look like so effortless to take, yet I know you need a good eye to recognize them in the first place.
     
  11. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    excellent shots!
     
  12. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Member

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    Thank you both for the kind words.

    Jim
     
  13. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Have to totally agree and have only had a 56 M3 with 50mm Summicron for about 16 years. The negs print more like 120's with tonality & sharpness. Comparative Pentax images are crisper, more micro-contrast and appear slightly grainier despite being exposed & developed at the same time in the same multi tank.

    The only other camera system I've experience which produced similar quality results on 35mm was an Exacta VX100 system. Can't take credit for the images I just did all the processing.

    It's the way the lenses are computed.
     
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  15. garryl

    garryl Member

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    I'd love to see a head and sholders portrait--please?
     
  16. rbarker

    rbarker Member

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    "Traffic Cop" would be my caption for the plumbing shot in your gallery. :wink:

    Nice shots with your new MP. I remember that feeling of the first set of Leica negs very well. Kinda like one's first print in the darkroom, eh?
     
  17. Huw

    Huw Member

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    I have both Leicas and an Xpan, the Xpan produces very sharp negs, comparable to Leica at 36x24 and everso slightly softer at the ends of panoramic for the 45mm and as sharp at the ends (no point doing corners here) with the 90mm. Slightly OT, I have been using the CV 35mm f2.5 M mount a lot recently, better than my 50 'cron (rigid 1st type) for sharpness.
     
  18. Nicole

    Nicole Member

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    I'm sooo interested in the Leica M7.

    How well does it fair for candid portrait work? I guess for my style of work which is... well, I'm not quite sure. But I do like shallow DOF's and low light and moody shots.

    I love this camera, fits me perfectly, although I'd have to sell my house, lol. The only other camera I'd love to get one day is the XPAN.

    Jeff Ascough has mastered the Leica very well. http://www.jeffascough.com/index.htm

    I love his work and if this is what can be achieved with a Leica, then I can sell all my other gear very happily to go towards the M7! Just need a few more dollars to stretch the rest....
     
  19. rbarker

    rbarker Member

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    Leica Ms do very well at candid 35mm portraits due to the relatively small size and quiet shutter. (Leaf shutters are even more quiet, but the Ms are pretty silent for focal plane shutters.) That's one reason street photographers like them so much. The big advantage I'd see for your style of work, Nicole, is that Leica lenses perform very well wide open.
     
  20. Helen B

    Helen B Member

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    ... and you don't need an M7. There are plenty of options that will not cost as much.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  21. Nicole

    Nicole Member

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    Ralph & Helen, it's so great to hear from you. The M6 would be great although I do like to shoot sometimes on Aperture Priority, which is where the M7 comes in. But, I guess the Nikon FM3A would also do good job and be cheaper as I can use my existing Nikon lenses. I do have an issue though with being 'left-eyed' so that the lever knocks me in the head. :D Just a minor handicap. It's always nice to read these threads. Jim, I'm sooo sorry for the hijack. I'll call it off here. :smile: I can't wait to see more of your posts.
     
  22. kwmullet

    kwmullet Subscriber

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    Helen, thanks for opening the door to my post. I've been wrestling with whether or not to post on this, but didn't want to start a new thread.

    I'm getting more and more tempted to get some kind of rangefinder with either Leica screw/LSM or Leica "M" bayonet mount compatability. As I've looked around and begun my learning curve, the issues seem to shape themselves into:

    cost
    LSM lenses on average tend to cost less than M mount lenses.
    Non-Leicas that have the mount I want seem to be a good way to get
    into the market. ​

    Rear element clearance
    Some wide angle lenses and collapsible lenses require more clearance "in the box" than some third-larty LSM- and M-mount cameras can provide.​

    two or one finder?
    It looks like cameras contemporary to the Leica III series have two finders: one rangefinder to focus, and a separate viewfinder to frame the image. This is the arrangemeng I have on my Crown Graphic. I guess preferences on this would be a thread in itself. With two finders, you have to switch back and forth every time a subject moves and you have to re-focus. One finder with an RF is still a compromise, since you have to move the focus spot to the point of focus, then move the frame back to where you want it.​

    Single frame, multiple frame, or accessory viewfinder?
    I get the impression that some RF cameras have a mechanism for switching the framing lines in the viewfinder between common focal lengths like 35,50,90. On older cameras, what I'm reading is that this yields a viewfinder that doesn't age quite as well, and is a bit dimmer than single frame viewfinders. If I want to frame more accurately with non-normal lenses, though, in a brighter, single-frame viewfinder, it seems that I need to use an accessory finder.​

    Resolving Power/Sharpness
    From what samples I've seen, I was starting to get the imression that older screw-mount/LSM lenses are generally less sharp than their M-mount counterparts. Just recently, though, I've seen what I thougth were some nicely sharp/contrasty images shot with Jupiter LSM lenses with a Russian (Soviet?) knock-off Leica clone. Is the issue that older lenses are just more likely to have accumulated more abuse and have the potential to be either WAY less sharp or JUST as sharp as contemporary lenses, depending on the particular lens? How about the concept of the LSM mount itself? Wouldn't screw mount provide for some minimal variance WRT exactly where the lens stops on the thread as opposed to the (seemingly) more precise M mount? Does M provide more accurate and predictable focus than LSM?​

    Knob, Single-throw or Multiple-throw?
    Maybe it's the way I shot when I was growing up, but I just don't get a sense of closure when shooting with my Canon EOS -- No satisfying thumb throw after each shot. Myself, I just can't see shooting with a 35 that has a knob to advance the film. Ideally, I'd like a single-throw lever. I guess that limts the field quite a bit.


    ---
    So, I'd be willing to get an RF with a single frame viewfinder and have the inconvenience of using an accessory finder if it was parallax corrected and the single-frame viewfinder gave me substantially brighter focusing than a multiple-frame viewfinder. Is that the case?

    How about the sharpness/contrast of LSM v. M lenses?

    What third-party LSM bodies are likely to give enough clearance in the box to use collapsible and ultra wide-angle lenses? How about the Canon 7 or Canon P?

    Finally, I'd like to find something with both M and X synch (or at least X synch) so I can use both flashbulbs and electronic flash.

    Oh -- and I couldn't care less if it has a meter. In fact, I'd be happy if it didn't. I'd rather just fly by the seat of my pants or use my hand-held spot.

    Thoughts?

    -KwM-

    (oh great... I just read Nicole McGrade's last post and now I feel guilty about being a thread hijacker. If that's an issue, I'll delete this and start a new thread if I get to it before the edit timeout.)
     
  23. Nicole

    Nicole Member

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    KwM - :D I wouldn't worry. Jim's avatar may look scary but he doesn't bite! :tongue: Interesting read nevertheless.
     
  24. rbarker

    rbarker Member

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    The M was introduced around 1954, I believe, with a slight overlap of lens availability between the two mounting systems. Generally, however, the thread mount lenses are of older designs, some of which have a strong aesthetic following, even if they were less sharp or contrasty than newer designs. There are, however, LTM-M adapters available, allowing the use of the older lenses on Ms.

    Yep. There are, indeed, compatibility issues between some of the Leica clones and earlier wide-angle lenses. A couple of the Leica "reference" sites provide a run-down on which lens won't work with which camera. Also, some of the non-Leica M-mount cameras have a slightly different mount-to-film measurement that needs some caution.

    True. There is also an issue of slight variation in the triangulation of the rangefinder when re-composing in critical focus situations when shooting at f/1.4 or f/0. Essentially, if you rotate or turn the camera on its center (the lens axis) when re-composing, you change the distance to the subject slightly, thus changing what's in focus. So, you either have to "slide" the camera to re-compose, or make a slight adjustment in the focus through experience.

    There is also an issue of rangefinder accuracy between Leica Ms and the clones. The clones mostly have shorter rangefinder base lengths (the distance between the two rangefinder windows), making the rangefinder slightly less accurate.

    I've only used the M6TTL, which has lens-linked finder frames, but its finder is plenty bright for even low-light shooting. Older cameras often need a good CLA, including a cleaning of the viewfinder and rangefinder elements, as over time, these get grunged by atmospheric contamination.

    Note, too, that there are variations between earlier M models as to which frameline sets were included for which lens focal lengths. The popular M3, for example, included frame lines for 50, 90 and 135 lenses, but not 35 or 28. Thus, auxiliary finders (hot-shoe mounted) are necessary for those lenses. Later Ms offer different viewfinder magnification ratios, which also affects the frameline set included. The choice essentially pivots around whether you want a 135 frame or the 28 frame.

    In many cases, I think the differences can be rather subjective. Later M lenses included design improvements that increased resolution and contrast, and some of the latest designs include aspheric elements that provide even better correction for certain optical abberations. Wear within the focusing mount can certainly affect sharpness, but the old 50mm DR Summicron is still one of the sharpest 50s around.

    Yep. Leica IIIGs and earlier are knob winds, and early M3s used a double throw advance, as there was concern early on about potential film damage resulting from the thumb lever being too fast.

    The auxiliary finders have no lens linkage, so they can't be parallax corrected. Each has a set of instructional guidelines for estimating the framing through experience, however. Even with the framelines in the viewfinder, there is an inherent difference in magnification based on distance, so there are guidelines as to whether to use the inside edge of the frameline or the outside edge, depending on subject distance.

    In general, I think you'll find the more recent lens designs to be sharper, particularly those lenses with aspheric elements.

    Some of the M4s (or perhaps M3s) had both M and X sync connectors, I believe. Later models are X-only, or perhaps triple-X, depending on your subject matter. :wink:

    I'm not sure about lens compatibility issues with the Russian clones, but my impression is that most of the problems related to specific wide lenses, particularly the 28mm Super Angulon that was offered at one point. If you get a modern body and use modern lenses, I'm not aware of any problems. With earlier models, particularly clones, you have to pay attention to the specific model/lens issues.
     
  25. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Member

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    Self Portrait :tongue:

    Nicole,

    I highly recommend a Leica. If there's any way you could get one you will own it for life and never regret buying it.

    Jim

    P.S. I do not feel that this thread has been hijacked at all. As always, great information..
     
  26. bjorke

    bjorke Member

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    Of course, the fact that the 21mm and 45mm Contax lenses are crisper than the corresponding Leica optics shhouldn't sway your judgement.....


    (ducking all spitballs!)