Ok, rangefinder setup specifically for 28/2 and 20/2.8

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by Andrey, Feb 27, 2008.

  1. Andrey

    Andrey Member

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    I don't really like my wides on SLR cameras, so I'm using SLRs for normal and telephoto.

    I have fixed lens rangefinders for normal lenses.

    I need good wides. And I need them to be fast and of good quality. Good wides are the only reason for me to invest in coupled rangefinders.

    I'd want a leica, but I'm thinking bessa is also appropriate in terms of bodies.

    I tried canon autofocus 20mm, 24mm L and 28/1.8 and I'm not satisfied at all and in general hate the canon L line because the lenses are huge. Canon FD 28/2.8 is nice, but slow.

    I want wides and I want them to be unique with no equivalents for SLRs. For example all the wides for rangefinders from 20 to 28 at f/4 are not really interesting to me, because my 17-40 is quite a nice and contrasty lens.

    15mm heliar is one unique lens which I'd like to get, or the zeiss 15/2.8
    35/1.2 is another thing which I will get eventually

    You can't get equivalents of those lenses for SLRs

    I'd also like a 28/2 or faster
    And maybe a 20mm, f/2.8 with quality markedly better than SLR lenses like that. If there's a 20 f/2, I'd love that.

    I understand good things cost money.

    What would you recommend that would suit the requirements?
     
  2. Pete H

    Pete H Member

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    Zeiss all the way. I have recently bought the Zeiss Ikon rangefinder. The body is very nice to use and the viewfinder is so large! Sometimes the led display in the viewfinder is difficult to see, but that's the only (very minor) niggle.

    The Zeiss 21mm f/2.8 Biogon is also superb, although the finder is ridiculously expensive.
     
  3. Richard Wasserman

    Richard Wasserman Member

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    The Zeiss ZM lenses are excellent, although in a 15mm I'd get the Voigtlander because of price. I have one and it is very good.. I would use them on a Voigtlander R4A/M camera. It has a finder designed for wide angle lenses, no need for separate viewfinders.

    Richard Wasserman
     
  4. lns

    lns Member

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    Leica makes a 28/2 for the M mount. It costs about $3,600 new, but people seem to love it. Cosina Voigtlander makes an Ultron 28/1.9 that's less than $500. It's large, but people seem to love it. Leica makes a 35/1.4 that's very nice, but it is in the same price range as their 28 cron. CV makes two fast 35s, a 1.2 and a new 1.4. CV really could be your best bet; they have a very broad lineup. I would look on the Cameraquest website for a nice rundown on the whole line. And, if you can give up one stop, I would second the Zeiss recommendation. These lenses are fantastic.

    If you pursue the excellent suggestion of the CV R4 camera for your wide lenses, I've read that the camera works best with physically smaller lenses. But most of the faster lenses are bigger (except for the new CV 35/1.4). If you chose faster lenses that are bigger, you likely will need accessory viewfinders, but can use any M mount rangefinder.

    -Laura
     
  5. Andrey

    Andrey Member

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    Why does the lens size matter for a camera?
     
  6. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    I assume large lenses will block the built-in viewfinder.
     
  7. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    ...and you'd be correct. Not every large lens on every rangefinder camera, of course, but enough so that you'd better check before you buy to avoid unpleasant surprises.
     
  8. elekm

    elekm Member

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    And I might add that it has a lot to do with the balance of a camera.

    I didn't think this meant much until I had a camera that always hung with the lens pulling it forward. After a while, it becomes a real drag on your neck.

    If you never hang a camera from your neck -- and some people don't -- it's not an issue. But if you do, a well-balanced camera takes on more meaning.
     
  9. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    For me, it also depends on how blocked the viewfinder is going to be. I wouldn't put the 35/1.2 on the R4A/M, but apparently the 35/1.4 is smaller and more easily mounts on the camera.

    When I had a Canon P, I remember that the 35mm Ultron I borrowed just slightly blocked the viewfinder, but not enough to have any effect on taking photos.
     
  10. davela

    davela Subscriber

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    I concur with the comments about the 15mm Heliar for LTM. It's a great bargain even though it's a bit "slow". It deserves status as a modern classic. The Kobalux 21mm F2.8 in LTM is a "bargain" too -- in a relative sense! These seem to get $500-800 depending on condition, finders, etc.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 28, 2008
  11. Rolleiflexible

    Rolleiflexible Restricted Access

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    But Andrey says (1) he wants the camera only for wide-angle work (which means the viewfinder will be irrelevant) and (2) he wants a fast lens, which requires a big lens.

    Andrey: For a body, I would recommend a Leica screwmount. You can find a working Leica IIIa for maybe $300. You cannot find a better or more compact body for your purposes.

    For lenses, your only economical option is the 28mm f/1.9 Voigtlander Ultron -- a highly-regarded lens, rangefinder-coupled, that can be purchased for under $500. You will have to buy, also, an auxiliary 28mm viewfinder but that will be true for any lens in the range you are contemplating.

    Good luck with it.

    RFXB
     
  12. Rich Ullsmith

    Rich Ullsmith Subscriber

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    A Contax G2 body can be had for about 300-400, and the 21mm with viewfinder for about 700. My 21mm has been permanently glued on since I got it. Had I known, I would've just bought the body and this lens.
     
  13. Karl K

    Karl K Subscriber

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    This is an interesting thread because...

    ... I believe it applies to a broad base of 35mm shooters. I agree that RF is the only way to go with focal lengths below 50mm. The lens choices are huge. If money were no object, here's what I would get:

    15mm f/2.8 Zeiss Distagon ZM
    21mm f/2.8 Leitz Elmarit-M Asph.
    24mm f/2.8 Leitz Elmarit-M Asph.
    28mm f/2.0 Leitz Summicron-M Asph.
    35mm f/1.4 Leitz Summilux-M Asph.
    Now that you're about $19,000.00 lighter you'll be ready for any wide-angle situation.

    Oh, wait a minute....you'll still need an M-Body!

    Now, let's get serious:
    15mm Heliar
    21mm Kobalux
    25mm Skopar
    28mm Ultron
    35mm f/2.0 Canon (screw-mount last version with black knurled focus ring)
     
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  15. Andrey

    Andrey Member

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    So, nobody made an 24 or a 20mm at f/2?

    That 28mm ultron looks interesting. How good/bad is it wide open?
     
  16. nyx

    nyx Member

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    There is Zuiko 21/2 for Olympus OM but not sure about it's quality (and it goes for cca 1000$ because people are using it on their Canons as there is nothing like it). But it's not a RF lens.

    28/1.9 Ultron vs 28/2 Summicron - here is what Puts has to say about it - http://www.imx.nl/photo/voigtlander/voigtlander_cosina_lenses_u.html
    If 2.8 is ok, many other choices there - leica and zeiss being the best followed by m-hexanon.

    as for 35-40mm, if you want 1.4, good image quality wide open and nice bokeh, you have basically only 35/1.4 summilux asph there. if you don't need good bokeh, 35/40 noktons are fraction of the price and not that much worse in all other aspects. If f2 is good enough, Zeiss Biogon 35/2 is (imho) on par with summicron asph and significantly cheaper. Also M-Hexanons and UC-Hexanons there being very good.

    In 21 or 25mm focals, I would get Zeiss there too. Cheaper option would be probably Kobalux (sold under many different names).

    Leica and Hexanon lenses have best build quality, Zeiss worse and CV the worst (but still much better than most plastic lenses Canon produces these days).
     
  17. lns

    lns Member

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    As I shoot a 21 often, I am curious why you think you need f2? Is it for low light? (I don't mean this snidely -- I'm really curious. I have a CV 21/4, which has been enough for me. Every once in a while I think of trading up to the Zeiss, but I don't really think I need either the extra stop of the f2.8 version or the improved performance of the f4.5 version.)

    The 28/1.8 is very well thought of, but I have never used it, because I like smaller lenses. I would check Flickr for examples wide open.

    -Laura
     
  18. Rob Skeoch

    Rob Skeoch Advertiser

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    I thought the 28mm F1.8 was dropped from the line up a few months ago.
    I know when the Bessa distributor sent me new pricing earlier this week because of the launch of the 35 F1.4 the new pricing had a number of lenses missing ... including the 28.

    Back to the question at hand... I would get the Zeiss 18mm and 25mm myself.... the 15mm is great because it's fast but it's too big. The 18mm is large but still fine. The 25mm is a real gem.

    -rob
     
  19. Andrey

    Andrey Member

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    Well, I have a 17-40 f/4 zoom which at the very least has acceptable quality wide open if I'm not shooting architecture. So getting a 20-24mm f/4 lens will directly overlap what I have already.

    Also, I can have an OK 20/2.8 in any SLR setup. I was hoping that since the lenses for RF don't have to be retrofocus anymore, someone would make an f/2

    I understand 2.8 is sensible, but that zeiss is a biogon and not a distagon, which loses major brownie points. And ideally I'd want a significant difference from the run of mill SLR setup.
     
  20. lns

    lns Member

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    Well, if I were shooting architecture, I would go with Zeiss's 21/4.5, which is significantly better than the run of the mill SLR setup because it has so little distortion. You can look on the Zeiss website for MTF charts of all their lenses. I don't know the difference between a biogon and a distagon. I would say, though, that you are getting a lot of recommendations for Zeiss lenses, including from me.

    I can see why you don't want to overlap what you already have. I have always understood that people prefer rangefinders for wide angle shooting because of lower distortion and sharper images. It's apparently to do with the distance of the lens from the film. So there may be benefits of going wide angle with a rangefinder that have nothing to do with the lens's maximum aperture. (I have no personal experience, never going wider than a 28mm on an SLR.) In addition, a rangefinder has other benefits over an SLR in some situations: for example, the lenses are smaller and there is no mirror slap.

    On the other hand, if you already have a set-up you're comfortable with on an SLR, maybe that's enough. I just use rangefinders for wide-angle 35mm photography because that's what I have.

    Best, Laura
     
  21. Rolleiflexible

    Rolleiflexible Restricted Access

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    Andrey, I have been thinking through your querty, because your criteria are so specific, for reasons you have articulated well. You say you want an RF lens that is "unique with no equivalents for SLRs." But you didn't say why, and I've been puzzling over the why. And I've come up with a why, and it might not be your why, but it is motivating me to consider the same lens options.

    I shoot portraits. I've never much been engaged by wide-angle lenses because the vast DOF doesn't fit with the way I want my subjects to pop from the background. BUT if I had a 28mm Ultron with a 1.9 maximum aperture, then I could shoot it wide-open, and kill off some of the DOF in the image. That would make a wide-angle lens interesting to me, for my purposes.

    This is an interesting thread. Thank you for starting it.

    RFXB
     
  22. Venchka

    Venchka Member

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    Zeiss 21/2.8 Distagon with correct adapter on a Canon EOS film body. I doubt that any RF lens will compare. The Zuiko 21/2.0 may lack a bit of the image quality of the Distagon, it's size make it a winner. A similar adapter is available for Zuiko lenses. Or just buy a nice Olympus body. That combination won't be much, if any, larger or heavier than a similar RF combination. I think Nikon made a 28 and/or 24 1.4 lens as well.

    If the C/V 28/1.9 has been discontinued, there are lots around used.

    If the OP tried the Canon EF 24/1.4 and Canon EF 35/1.4 and didn't like them, that person is hard to please.
     
  23. Andrey

    Andrey Member

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    I've seen one go for 3 grand. It's a bit out there.

    BH still has them. Funny enough I can't find the official CV site that's responsible for bessa.

    35/1.4 is a perfectly fine lens. I don't like it only because it's too big for me. 77mm is too much.

    24/1.4 is soft... and big.
     
  24. Venchka

    Venchka Member

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    You get fast...

    ...or small. Very few lenses can give you both.

    Nobody ever said that the best would be cheap. :rolleyes::D By the way, the Zeiss Distagon is HUGE also.

    That leaves the Olympus 21/2.0. Fast & small. I have no idea what they sell for.

    Tina Manley would be surprised to learn that her 24/1.4 lens is soft. Maybe she already knows that. Perhaps, in her hands, it doesn't matter. She does coax very nice images from the lens.

    Good luck!
     
  25. cotdt

    cotdt Member

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    all the good and fast lenses are big. the zeiss distagon is big as well.
     
  26. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    Good, fast, small: pick two. :smile: