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Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by stradibarrius, Jun 5, 2009.
because if budget restraints you could only afford one RF lens $500.00 or less what would it be?
Well, it would depend upon the camera and what framelines it had, but I really like the last version of the Minolta 40mm f2 lens for the CLE. It can be found for under $300. I feel that 50mm is a bit long to be the main RF lens.
Of course, that's for general purpose work. For something really special purpose, I would get a Voigtlander 15mm lens with viewfinder and get a dedicated Bessa-L body. I sold most of my Leica-Mount RF stuff last year, and that's the thing that I most regret selling. Figure $350 for the lens and finder, and $100-150 for the dedicated Bessa-L body.
If you want classic Leica, perhaps a Collapsible 50mm Summicron, or for a more modern lens, a 50mm 2.8 Elmar. My price guides will help give you a better idea of your choices:
Leica M Lenses http://www.antiquecameras.net/leicamlenses.html
Leica LTM Lenses http://www.antiquecameras.net/leicascrewlenses.html
Personally, I like the 50 mm focal length. So for me, it would be one of the 50 mm. f/2 jobs. I know it might be a bit above your price point, but I'd put some money aside on a regular basis until I could afford one. The f/2 is fast enough for some pretty low light work, while the f/2.8 lenses could leave you wanting at times. The f/1.4 lenses are just too horrendously expensive for that extra stop of light. I'm not into the finer points of Leica lenses and variants, but I doubt there's a bad one in the bunch. Any of the variants would make me a very happy camper.
For me it would be a Voigt 21mm. I have this lens on my Contax IIIa 90% of the time.
If it's screwmount, you can get two great lenses if you don't need speedthe Voigtlander 35/2.5 and the 50/2.5. They are both very small, handy, sharp, and with excellent contrast. The 50 has a great vintage look to it, but with excellent contrast. The built-in hoods with push-on caps make them super handy to use. Add LTM to M adapters if using on M-mount.
If its just a 50, the Konica Hexanon 50/2 has a smooth, clean look, and very sharp. The built in hood with push-on cap makes it a pleasure to use. The lens feels very solid and well made. About $400.
The Summicron 50 is a great lens, very sharp. To me it creates a harder edged image, more etched, than the Hexanon. About $500.
For a less-well built lens with a great Sonnar look, buy a Jupiter 3 if you can have it collimated by Brian Sweeney to focus properly at close distance at f1.5. Softer contrast than the above lenses, very sharp, with beautiful out-of-focus areas. Total cost perhaps around $100, plus LTM to M adapter if needed.
I'm sure there are other good ones.
collapsable sum .. ( 50f2 )
its less filling and tastes great
( yes i have one ) ...
I have the new Leica Summarit-M 50 f/2.5 and love it. With the $500 constraint, I'd buy the Voigtlander 50/2.5 Color Skopar. f/2.5 is wide enough aperture for nice bokeh, and 50mm is a focal length that I never become tired of. The tabbed focus ring is wonderfully functional for me.
This *was* my first LTM lens (that didn't come with a Soviet camera as a rear lens cap), and while it's a great lens, 21mm is awfully wide (and f/4 is awfully slow). In hindsight, I would have been better off with something like a 35 or even a 28.
Canon 50/1.8, for me. Fast enough, affordable, and well constructed.
Summar 5cm f/2.0 (and a hood ).
For a Leica M (or M-mount camera), I would go for the classic: Summicron-M 50mm f/2.
For a LTM camera, one of them kooky 50mm f/2 collapsibles is the knees.
Oh, that soft contrast in the Russian lenses. So sweet.
When I bought my second hand M6 I had to do the same choice. What lens to choose ? I opted for a 35 cron and I never regret my choice.
The 50mm f2 Summicron is the only M fit lens I have, it's a great performer.
Mine would probably be the Vogitlander[spelling?] 15mm f4.5 lens. My current 'first' lens and only Leica mount lens is a Jupiter 8(Screwmount counts, right?)
I think for me the 35-50mm focal length is where I would get the most use. 28 is a bit wide for the "one" lens starter kit. I have been reading about the CV 40mm's as well as their 35's and 50's. This lens would be going on an M2 body.
I have a 3-lens 'kit' for my Leica MP, which has not so much been carefully assembled as randomly accreted:
Voigtländer Nokton Classic 35mm f/1.4
Summicron-M 50mm f/2
Leitz Elmar 90mm f/4
Of the three, the Voigtländer spends most of the time on the camera. I do a certain amount of low-light in smoky metal bars, and the f/1.4 is the correct tool for the job here. The 1.2 would have been nice in terms of the additional n'th of a stop of aperture, but having read a number of reviews comparing sharpness and overall performance, I went for the 1.4.
The Summicron is my 'kit' lens which is being a trifle unfair, as it's possibly the sharpest 50mm I've ever seen, feels like a jewel in the hand, bla bla gush gush. I wish it were just a tad faster. I may one day see if I can get hold of something in a 1.4 as well.
The (1950's era) Elmar was got for a good price (well under €200), is in good condition, and I needed a 'portrait' lens. Yes, there are better M-mount lenses in this range, but I wasn't going to argue that price for a piece of vintage Leitz iron. Again: when I am big and clever, I may obtain a more 'precise' short tele in the 70 to 90 range. But for now the Elmar will do.
Any of these three, depending on what you want to use the camera for, would be a good 'starter' lens.
Every one is different but, I'd suggest a 50mm as a first lens, then perhaps a 35. The M2 has no frame lines for the 28mm. Remember that the M2 has only frame lines for the 35, 50 and 90mm lenses. (My 90 and 135 are seldom used.)
The Voigtlander 15mm Heliar would certainly be a interesting choice as well. I have this lens and it certainly opens up some unusual opportunities.
My first was an Industar-22, followed by an Industar-50, a Hektor 135mm, an Industar-60N, and a 21mm Voigtländer Skopar.
Most of the lenses mentioned can be found for the $$$ you want to spend. I think you would have to look for a long time to find a 35 Summicron for under $500 though. You would almost have to fall into it like the D80 for M2 swap.
The 40mm M-Rokkor is a good lens for not a lot of $$ & the collapsible 50's make for compact sets also for not a lot of $$.
As above the camera has framelines for 35/50/90 lenses, for a 40, most people use the outside of the 35 frame. Long lenses aren't really the strong point of the M cameras.
Wrong way. The frame for the 40mm would be INSIDE the 35mm frame.
Canon LTM lenses. High quality. Low price.
If you want to shoot B&W, without any doubt , the 50/2 Rigid or DR Summicron, or at worst the Collapsible Summicron, if you want to shoot colour, without any doubt the 50/2 Planar, try to find it second hand.