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  1. #1

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    Best M mount 35mm to 50mm lens for $1000

    I am getting a Bessa body R2 or R3 and I have about $1000 to buy a lens in Leica M mount. I lean toward a 50mm but a 40 or even a 35, if better value, would also be good. This for people photography in intimate and not so intimate settings.

    What are the best 50mm, 40mm and 35mm rangefinder lenses in Leica M mount for about $1000 US? I am looking for consensus, more or less, if that is possible. What are the most accepted candidates in those categories for that price?

    Thanks

  2. #2

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    How important is speed to you? If it's critical, then I would recommend the Voigtlander 35mm f1.2 Ultron.

    If you don't have a critical need for speed, then at the longer end, I would be looking at one of the following: The 50mm Dual Range Summicron, or the Konica 50mm f2.0 Hexanon M.

    Another sleeper is the 40mm f2 M-Rokkor. These 50mm lenses can all be found for more like $400-600, while the 40mm Rokkor can be gotten for under $300.

    If you shop carefully, you could get a very nice current generation Summicron M (but without the coding for M8 exposure feedback) in Ex+ or better condition for under $1000. There is a very nice one on ebay for a Buy Now of under $900 currently.
    Last edited by dougjgreen; 06-01-2009 at 12:05 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  3. #3

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    Zeiss Planar ZM 50mm or even the 35mm.

  4. #4

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    Worms, can of. Open.
    Heavily sedated for your protection.

  5. #5

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    You could probably have my Konica 35mm UC-Hexanon in exchange for a $1,000 USPS money order. Maybe.

    You could have my 50mm Nikkor/1.4, Canon 35mm/2.8 and Voigtlander 75mm/2.5 lenses for the same $1,000 USPS money order. Maybe.

  6. #6

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    Yup: "okay, pal. drop the opener and step away from that can!"

    But really, I hope not to get too much of the hair splitting arguments over the relative merits of two excellent $1000 lenses. What I really need is to know what my choices are at that level because I am new to range finders.

    I am also considering spending less on the lens and getting a Leica M2, M3 or M4 body. Not sure. Depends on the lens suggestions and the prices of user M bodies..

  7. #7

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    There are tons of outstanding choices. But you really need to narrow it down. 35mm lenses are not the same as 50mm lenses, and f1.2 or f1.4 lenses are not the same as f2 lenses. What do you actually want? There is no singular "best".

    If you want a 50mm f2 lens, there are a few really stellar candidates which I listed in my earlier posts. But there are also 35mm f1.2 and f1.4 candidates, that are, frankly, not quite as sharp in the center as the best 50mm f2, but they are a heck of a lot better on portions of the frame that don't exist, and at apertures that don't exist, on a 50mm f2, than those 50mm f2 lenses are - what do you care more about?

    And the faster lenses might have better bokeh wide open, but slightly less center resolution when stopped down. Which do you care about more?

    You have presented a question that has simply too many degrees of freedom to have anything close to a uniquely correct answer.

  8. #8
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    50mm f2.0 Summicron, buy used at ~$600 - $700 - they don't wear out.
    DARKROOM AUTOMATION
    f-Stop Timers - Enlarging Meters
    http://www.darkroomautomation.com/da-main.htm

  9. #9

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    Thanks for the replies. Change of circumstances: I have more like $600 to $700, not $1000.

    I'm leaning towards the 50 f2 Summicron. Question: what does "dual range" mean?

    @Nicholas: Were you recommending the same lens as dougjgreen-- the "dual range"? Or is that a different lens? Is it an older version?

    @dougjgreen: Yes I realize 35mm is not the same as 50 and f/1.2 is not the same as 2.0. I'm really not looking for a "uniquely correct answer." Just suggestions about the better performers in this mount at this price. Or the consensus classics, if they exist.

    I'm leaning towards a 50, but am considering the 35's. I'm just looking for candidates to research further. Ultra speed is not extremely important, although it would be nice to have a 1.8.

    Do you guys shop for such lenses on ebay or elsewhere. KEH seems rather pricey to me on these, but I don't like buying lenses on ebay.

    I'm also looking at Rangefinder forum for sales and here.

    Thanks a lot.

  10. #10

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    Hey folks: I found this at Cameraquest, http://www.cameraquest.com/mlenses.htm

    A kind of quick and dirty summary of M lenses. It explains Dual Range, although I'm still not sure I get it. That's the lens I'm looking for at this point. Shopping tips welcome.

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