I've got a Leica M2 and a M4-P with some lenses. When I first got the things I went out of my way to see the difference by
Originally Posted by BradleyK
shooting Kodachromes with my F2 with it's (old) 50mm Nikkor and my Leica M4-P with its (new then) 50mm Summicron.
(tripod, mirror up on the F2 and shutter release.)
It is just something some Leica geeks do when they acquire a Leica I suppose. There was no appreciable difference between the Leica stuff and the Nikon stuff.
I did not put anything on a optical collimator or shoot pics of lens test charts because I usually don't take pictures of things like that.
So....big deal! But I like the size of the Leicas and I prefer to take them when I go hiking.
I have owned some of the best Leica glass ever, the 28 Summicron, 35/2 Asph, 35 1.4 Asph & 50 1.4 Asph M mount lenses. I bought them to shoot some 35,000 Kodachrome slides from August of 2006 through January 2011. I also shot Nikon F mount and Hasselblad XPan with the film.
What I found in my very experienced professional eye is that the Leica glass was just a tad better in terms of color compared to the Nikon and Hasselblad in daylight or average light. But when the light got lower, mixed, etc, it came alive, made a noticeable difference. In terms of sharpness, it also made a difference back then. When the project was over, I compared my 35 1.4 Leica to a brand new Nikon 35 1.4G on slide film and could hardly tell the difference except for the sizes of the lenses.
That was with slide film, where I believe Leica glass makes the biggest difference. With color negative, and digital, there was far less of a difference so I sold most of it, re-tooled to a much smaller kit and then shot black and white for a year. What I saw with black and white film was much like what several on here are saying like Thomas. It just did not make that big of a difference in the final neg scan or print, it REALLY did NOT. I either carried the image with my talent or I did not, the lens did not matter nearly as much with black and white film as it did with color slide.
So again, I sold almost all of the small kit I had re-tooled about this time last year. What I have left is a M3, 50mm Collapsable Summicron and a KILLER Zeiss 50mm F/2 ZM. Honestly, I wished I had the Zeiss 50/2 instead of the pricey Leica 50mm 1.4 asph LHSA when shooting Kodachrome. It is lighter, just as sharp at F/2 for the most part and has third stop aperture increments which would have been stellar for Kodachrome.
If you do a side by side test and keep it purely scientific *and* shoot black and white film, you might find a slight difference in the lenses, but that is it. For example, the Zeiss 35/2 is supposedly a bit better in the center than the $3,000+ Leica 35mm F/2 Summicron Asph. The Leica is better in the corners. The Zeiss 50mm F/2 Planar is simply amazing, many great Leica shooters like it equally to the 50 Summicron. But I also kept the old 1956 Collapsable, mine is a rare clean one with a trace of cleaning marks and that is it. I love the old world look of it wide open and it is darn sharp from F/4 on down, but it flares like a Coke Bottle, hence my using the Zeiss instead.
I had a wonderful time shooting Leica with Kodachrome, but when it was done, that overpriced gear was sold off as quick as I could get it done. If you have the money, don't mind babying the gear because collectors get ticked if you so much as put a paint mark on the lens, go for it. But if you are like some of us on here who are TRULY photographers and put the final CONTENT of the photograph first, don't think twice about using great glass like Zeiss instead of now GROSSLY overpriced Leica.
Yes, Leica is nice glass and with color slide it makes a marked difference in the kind of light where there are more than 3-4 sources all within a 1/2 stop of each other, it makes things really pop. But for black and white, just not that much.
Anyone who tells you different can kiss the object in this photo I uploaded, shot with the Leica I sold last week…:-)
The Zeiss 35mm f/2 is an excellent lens. I've seen darkroom prints made from photos taken with one on an M6. If I didn't already have a 35mm Summicron I would be perfectly happy with the Zeiss.
I had a 35mm Summicron version IV (the famous bokeh king) and I sold it and got a Zeiss 35mm f2.8 C-Biogon. The Zeiss is CONSIDERABLY sharper anywhere in the frame at f2.8 and is sharper at the corners at all apertures. It cost half as much new as the Summicron costs used. I also have a 28mm ZM Biogon and it is incredible too. Haven't tried the Leica 28mm lenses, but the ZM is a hell of a lot better than the Nikon and Olympus 28mm f2.8 lenses I have.
I have a Summicron 35 IV and will *not* sell it because I appreciate it's draw and feel. That being said, I love my Nikkors, and I sure as hell love my Rokkors! Leica freaks who insist only Leica is the best have probably never laid a finger on Minolta or Zeiss glass.
Stop worrying about grain, resolution, sharpness, and everything else that doesn't have a damn thing to do with substance.
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fotget leica.it's overrated
Sorry, what do you mean by "substitute"? What kind of look are you going for?
Originally Posted by Steve Mack
Those who know, shoot film
1100 Dollars is enough to buy the lenses I've mentioned before the Summaron and the Summarit ( a fast lens 1.5) as well as a 4/90mm Elmar they might not be the sharpest lenses in fact I am sure that most of today's Voigtländer and Zeiss lenses are sharper but they have the Leica look. Leica never was the sharpness King imho but in terms of the way they render a scene they are unique and can't be compared to other lenses. One can always recongnize the look of a 35mm Summicron or the much cheaper Summaron, the Summarit has an old style look. Voigtländer and Zeiss lenses are superb but I feel that they don't have a distinct look or at least not as distinct as Leica lenses. Maybe somone can rent you a Leica kit and different lenses. The end result is the important thing not the way you got there , sorry Citroen.
Heh, this thread is somewhat funny, reminds me of endless threads on dpreview, where people are measurbating and pxel-peeping (grain peeping in the case of apug ).
I have a Leica-CL with a (gosh!) Voigtländer Nokton Classic f1.4 S.C.
The lens is from 2004 I think, excellent glass for the most part.
For the record; Any fairly well-made prime-lens will out-resolve the film anyway, what you are left to judge then, is contrast, color rendition and bokeh (and build/operation quality).
I am sure the Leica lenses are excellent lenses, but I seriously doubt you will see any difference at all from a different branded lens, as long as it is a quality one.
Sure, having an "All Leica" is perhaps the "best" according to the purists, but in the end, it's a light-tight box with a lens and a logo.
Whether it says "Leica" on the logo or not, is imo more or less a fashion statement. :P
Yes, build quality and yadi-yada, I know.....I know. If you want to have a "pure Leica package", be prepared to pay, if you are sensible and interested in taking actual photos while saving some money, look at Leica-cam + different branded lens. (still expensive, but you'll have money for film later)
While Zeiss lenses are more than acceptable alternatives to Leica ones (there are often some differences in signature, etc., but the choice is more down to taste), Zeiss one are hard to find used and used Leica lenses can sometimes be cheaper.
Depending on what lenses you're looking for, but here (in Europe) l've seen 35mm Summicrons going for less than €500 in reputable shops.
P.S. My experience with Voigtlaender wides is that they are good for their price, but really vignette a LOT!
Last edited by Rol_Lei Nut; 03-19-2012 at 05:46 AM. Click to view previous post history.
M6, SL, SL2, R5, P6x7, SL3003, SL35-E, F, F2, FM, FE-2, Varex IIa