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  1. #1
    Laurent's Avatar
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    About to make the plunge... what lens(es)?

    I'm afraid I'm giving up to GAS, and on the verge of getting a Leica M4 (I love classic cameras, and this one looks the most classic I could find).

    I just need to set the meeting up to get my hands on the camera (looks pristine), and get some lens(es).

    I'm considering an offer for two collapsible lenses, a 50/2.8 Elmar and a 90/4 Elmar.

    I also have an eye on a Nokton 35/1.4

    Does this seem a good planning for the beginning?
    Laurent

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    If that were me, I'd look for a Summicron - an excellent, all-purpose lens. Then I'd add a 35mm, or wider, at some point.

    The Elmars are decent lenses, but if you're going to get a Leica M, you might as well get the best lenses that you can afford. Leica produced a new line of Summarits a few years ago, and I'd probably seek out one of these in both the wide angle and short telephoto lengths.

  3. #3

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    the elmar 2.8 and summicron are both excellent choices for a start -- older summicrons may even have more problems than a newer elmar, ya never know.

    You hear a lot about this or that lens being better or worse, but really, none are what you'd call bad unless they've got mechanical issues or have hazed up, which some can do My Elmar 2.8 was near mint but had some haze that actually turned out to be etching on an interior element by oil outgassing, needed a new element installed, was not cheap.

    the Nokton is a Voigtlander/Cosina lens -- those take very nice pictures too and, being much newer, have a lot of computer optical engineering in them that older leica lenses didn't. I've got a 35 1.7 and a 16 4.5 and both are really lovely.

    Get the lens that meets your needs best, not the one with the best reputation. The quality of the end product is 5 percent the equipment and 95 percent you.

  4. #4

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    The 40mm Summicron is a superb lens. (And the Minolta version 40 Rokkor) Should have kept mine

  5. #5
    Laurent's Avatar
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    Thanks for your replies. I read some (let's say "a lot" about the different lenses, and I'll be going for a Summicron as my first lens.

    My intent is mainly street photography, to supplement my 'flex, and the wide aperture and better ergonomics seem important to me.

    The one I'm lusting after is from 1990, so I guess I won't be disappointed by performances.
    Laurent

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  6. #6

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    An M4-2 is cheaper.

    When the Nikon F appeared the photoj carried a motor drive F with 5cm and M2 with 3.5 cm f/1.4.

    The poor ones substituted a Canon P with a Canon f/2 35mm LTMp for the M2.

    In dull light and low contrast the Canon 1:1 finder is faster than M2

    So id still pick a M2 with a (Cosina) f/1.4 35mm or the above Canon P and 35mm f/2.

    Move in closer with a 35.

  7. #7
    darkosaric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laurent View Post
    Does this seem a good planning for the beginning?
    Yes. And not just for the beginning . Good plan for lifetime.

  8. #8
    Laurent's Avatar
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    Well, I've just put my hands on my first M, almost like new, save for the leicameter and strap markings... This is a lovely camera, I can't wait to put a lens on it!
    Laurent

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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Laurent View Post
    Thanks for your replies. I read some (let's say "a lot" about the different lenses, and I'll be going for a Summicron as my first lens.

    My intent is mainly street photography, to supplement my 'flex, and the wide aperture and better ergonomics seem important to me.

    The one I'm lusting after is from 1990, so I guess I won't be disappointed by performances.
    I'd like to put in my vote for the version 4 summicron; the same optically as the current non-APO summicron, and it uses/needs a clip-on shade. I think those provide better impact protection than a pull-out shade.

    s-a
    I photograph things to see what things look like photographed.
    - Garry Winogrand

  10. #10

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    All the best with the M4. It is "made" for the 35mm lenses, as the framelines for 35mm nearly fill the viewfinder. I like that, some prefer to be able to see via the viewfinder what is coming into the field covered by the framelines - as you can do on the M4 with a 50mm lens fitted.

    the Nokton 35mm f1.4 (which I do not have) gets different reviews from different people, some of them quite experienced photographers: see the threads at Rangefinder forum for example.

    I love collapsible lenses while they are collapsed Nice and compact, looks cool. But don't forget to pull the bloody thing out and rotate to lock before hitting the shutter button. I reckon almost everyone has stuffed this up at least once. I'd suggest a rigid Summicron (have one) or one of the Voigtlanders. And the Elmar f4 is a just so-so performer (have two - one refurbished by Sherry Krauter) - try for some other 90 for the long term.

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