Leica IIIc lens suggestions

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by kavandje, Jan 21, 2009.

  1. kavandje

    kavandje Member

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    Hi all!

    I have just obtained a 1950 Leica IIIc, with a pair of lenses: a collapsible Summitar 50mm f/2, and a Steinheil München Culminar 85mm f/2.8. The camera needs a bit of work, but is largely in good working order.

    All I'm missing is a wide-angle 'street' lens. I'm looking for something sharp, fast, perhaps around 24mm. Preferably Leica or Zeiss, but I'm open to suggestions.

    Also: A viewfinder for the 85mm...

    Any suggestions?

    d
     
  2. nemo999

    nemo999 Member

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    There is no contemporary 24mm lens for your Leica - the widest contemporary lens was a 28mm f6.3 Hektor. The only other screw-thread lens wider than 35mm was the 28mm f5.6 Summaron, which is a nice lens, a bit younger than your Leica, unfortunately sought after by collectors and so more expensive than it is really worth.

    There are new Zeiss lenses in Leica M mount, not screw mount as far as I am aware. A lot of people use the Voigtländer 25mm f4 lens, readily available new or used for not too much. You can also fit Nikon SLR lenses or Pentax M42 lenses via adapters.

    If you want a contemporary lens, you might find a Canon 28mm f3.5, but this will not be cheap if in good condition. An 85/90 finder should not be hard, Leitz finders secondhand but a bit expensive, Voigtländer new or secondhand, not too dear, also some older finders from Braun, Kodak etc. Not too hard to find.
     
  3. Pinholemaster

    Pinholemaster Member

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  4. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Hi,

    Through a series of adapters, you can put a wide range of Canon, Nikon, and other lenses on that camera. Rangefinders are great for this, because the distance from the lens flange to the film is narrow compared to an SLR. Same reason Canon FL and FD bodies are great for adapting other lenses to (but FL and FD lenses are not good for adapting to other SLR systems).

    You will have to zone focus, of course.

    I would first look into what adapters you can rig up. Then start looking for 24s. A 24mm 2.8 will be nice and small/light. Canon ones can be had for well under $50. They are probably one of the most common lenses Canon made after the various 50mm 1.8s and 1.4s
     
  5. Rolleiflexible

    Rolleiflexible Restricted Access

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    The Summitar is a good lens -- not as
    wide as you seek, but a very good lens.
    Remember, when you deviate from a
    5cm lens you will have to use a separate
    viewfinder, which adds bulk to the rig.
    You might want to shoot a few rolls with
    the Summitar before making a decision.
     
  6. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    BTW, the Summitar is my main LTM lens. It is great, IMO, for black and white or color. My only other Leitz lens is the Summar f/2.0. I use this one because it has a great look. It is not as sharp as the Summitar, but it has very unique "shakiness" to the out of focus areas that is just beautiful for some things. I hear that the Summicron is even sharper than the Summitar, but the Summitar has never left anything to be desired. I just wish that I could mount it on an SLR!!!
     
  7. leicarfcam

    leicarfcam Member

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    Two lens to consider are the CV 21mm f/4 or the 25mm f/4. Both are outstanding lens and can be found at cameraquest.com
     
  8. jolefler

    jolefler Member

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    Never heard Summar OOF ares described that way before...very fitting.

    Jo
     
  9. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    The Voigtlander lenses are outstanding and I highly recommend them. They are every bit as sharp or sharper than vintage LTM mount lenses, and they are multi-coated so much more resistant to flare.
     
  10. kavandje

    kavandje Member

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    Thanks all for the suggestions!

    The camera is on the way to Solms as I type this for a thorough going over, including new shutter curtains, rangefinder repair/adjustment, shutter "reawakening" (the slow speeds were very sticky), a thorough CLA of the lens and a bunch of other stuff.

    I'm waiting to have the camera back before I make any firm lens decisions -- and I WILL push a few films through the camera before I do anything else -- but I've sort of settled on the 21mm f/4 Voigtländer, though I have to admit that I am mighty tempted by the 15mm f/4.5. Experiences? Anyone got any pictures online they can point me to?
     
  11. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    I have both of these lenses. I much prefer the 21mm f/4. It couples to the camera rangefinder, and it is a sharper lens. The 15mm f4.5 is not rangefinder coupled, and is a spectacular lens IF you need the field of view. There is some vignetting. You estimate focus with this lens. For what I shoot 98% of my slides are with either the 21mm or a 35mm focal length lens.
     
  12. davela

    davela Subscriber

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    At 28mm there's the Voigtlander 28/3.5 for $250-300 used, a first rate modern wide. The Canon 28/3.5 is a good classic piece and makes decent images stopped down a bit for around $200-$250 used. As pointed out above, the Voigtlander Skopar 25/4 is a modern classic and a true bargain at about $180 used with a finder. A 28mm finder will cost at least $70 used, or one can use the Russian turret finders which are excellent for about $50-60. The Russian Orion-15 28mm/F6 certainly makes nice images if the Flickr examples are any guide - these seem to run around $200 used - it has a following, although I've not owned one (yet!). There are a few others that are pretty rare and expensive, but interesting for sure if you're lucky enough to acquire one without taking out a second mortgage (e.g. Kobalux 28/3.5, Komura 28/3.5, Canon 28/2.8)
     
  13. neelin

    neelin Member

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    I have the cv28/3.5 but I REALLY like the scale focus only cv25/4 with its focus detents at 1, 1.5, 3 meters for lookless zone focusing while streetshooting. The focus detents put it over the top for me.

    There is a Canon 28/3.5 for sale now over at Rangfinderforum now. I have no connection with the seller.
    robert
     
  14. nemo999

    nemo999 Member

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    Both Voigtländer lenses are technically excellent so long as you're sure you want something that wide. When I'm photographing landscape, for example, in the late afternoon with low-angle light, I find it very hard to get out of my own way with a super-wide lens and avoid including my own shadow in the picture. A 24/25 mm lens is easier in this respect.
     
  15. luvcameras

    luvcameras Advertiser

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  16. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    I have the 21/4, and I find it to be about as wide as it could be without turning into sort of a gimmick. It's a really wonderful lens, but you have to be a little careful with the edges of the frame, to avoid getting stretched faces and similar weirdness.

    Basically anything I've shot with a Bessa-L uses this lens: <http://www.flickr.com/photos/ntenny/tags/bessa/>

    There are reviews out there of the 15 and 12 superwides with pictures, but after playing with the 21 I decided I didn't need to go wider. I'm thinking about one of the Voigtlaender 35s next.

    -NT
     
  17. kavandje

    kavandje Member

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    I have the Voigtländer Nokton Classic 35mm f/1.4 on my Leica MP, and I'm as happy as can be. I got the coated version, since I can't guarantee I'm never going to shoot colour...
     
  18. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    All the current Voigtlander lenses are coated. What your choice was either a "single" coated, or "multi" coated on that lens. A almost trivial difference. Both lenses would be excellent for color. Lens coating does not determine whether a lens is fully corrected for color photography, in fact coating has NOTHING to do with lens correction. Millions of brilliant color photos were made before any type of lens coating was invented. Coating only affects contrast and flare.
     
  19. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Wrong, coating can have a huge effect on colour correction. I have an early 50's coatedTessar that gives quite a distinctive blue colour cast to images, similar uncoated Tessar lenses are neutral, as is a single coated Xenar from the last production run. Modern Multi-coated lenses are well balanced and neutral.

    Ian
     
  20. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    Yes, any coating that has a color cast can affect the color balance of the resultant negative or transparency. However, the lens ability to register all colors of the spectrum at the same plane (the film plane) determines the "correction" of the lens. If a lens does not register the colors in the same plane, you get chromatic aberrations or distortion, color fringing. This is a function of the lens computation and design, and Not a coating function. Lens coating on an undercorrected lens will not improve the correction, it has to be designed into the glass. There were plenty of well-corrected lenses designed and used for color photography long before coating was introduced.
     
  21. elekm

    elekm Member

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    The 15mm lens is a specialist lens and will simply be too wide for most situations. Aside from vignetting wide open, converging lines also become a problem when the camera isn't held level. This could lend to some interesting photos, but as a general purpose wide angle, I think that you'll find that it's not the best lens.
     
  22. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    Here is a shot with the 15mm Voigtlander. It was the only way I could get the whole bridge in, within limited distance.
     

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