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  1. #1
    Jim Moore's Avatar
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    LEICA 28-35-50MM F4 ASPH TRI ELMAR

    As always I received some excellent advice on Leica cameras before I made my purchase.

    Now I would like to ask for opinions on the LEICA 28-35-50MM F4 ASPH TRI ELMAR.

    Does anyone have any experience with this lens? I'm thinking about getting this to go along with the 90mm ASPH/APO that I picked up with the camera.

    Thanks!!!

    Jim
    "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take"...Wayne Gretzky

  2. #2
    clay's Avatar
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    Jim:

    As a Leica-phile, I feel it is my duty to point out that the best thing about a leica, IMHO, is its ability to quietly, inconspicuously, and easily allow you to take a photo in just about any lighting situation. Which means that you will eventually want a fast lens. And the leica fast lenses are probably the best in existence(again, purely my opinion). The bottom line is that an f/4 lens on a leica is akin to putting tire chains on a Porsche. I would recommend a prime lens - probably the 35 or 28. And at least f/2 in speed. If you can afford the 35/1.4 or the 35/2, you will probably never need another lens in that focal length.

    I used Nikons for 20 years (and still do for stuff like closeups), and I always would stop down few clicks when I wanted a truly crispy negative. The beauty of the Leica glass is that the lenses are pretty outstanding (for the most part) when they are wide open. And they get even better stopped down. The lens you mentioned is certainly a fine lens, but it is slow. However, the fast leica prime lenses will allow you to use the camera the way it was designed to be used, and sometimes will produce results for you wouldl never get with any other system.


    two cents worth of opinion.



    Quote Originally Posted by JMoore
    As always I received some excellent advice on Leica cameras before I made my purchase.

    Now I would like to ask for opinions on the LEICA 28-35-50MM F4 ASPH TRI ELMAR.

    Does anyone have any experience with this lens? I'm thinking about getting this to go along with the 90mm ASPH/APO that I picked up with the camera.

    Thanks!!!

    Jim

  3. #3
    Jim Moore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clay
    Jim:

    As a Leica-phile, I feel it is my duty to point out that the best thing about a leica, IMHO, is its ability to quietly, inconspicuously, and easily allow you to take a photo in just about any lighting situation. Which means that you will eventually want a fast lens. And the leica fast lenses are probably the best in existence(again, purely my opinion). The bottom line is that an f/4 lens on a leica is akin to putting tire chains on a Porsche.
    Thanks Clay,

    Very good point!

    Jim
    "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take"...Wayne Gretzky

  4. #4

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    As I got my camera with a 35/1.4 and the 90/2.0 later, I would recommend the 35/1.4 or 35/2 as well. I usually use one camera with a .72 viewfinder and the 35 mm and a "back-up" M3 or S/M with a 50 mm, but 90+% of the shots will be taken with the 35 mm.
    When I switched to Leica M the improvement was using slower b/w films with slower shooter speeds and wide open aperture. Like using 400 speed film instead of 3200.
    So a slow lens like /4 would not give me that advantage.

    35 and 90 is an excellent allround kit.

    Wolfram
    Colour? We can always use an airbrush later...

  5. #5

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    Jim,
    First off, the tri-elmar is an excellent lens. Leica's don't always have to be used with fast lenses, it's only that fast wide angles and situations that require a quiet camera play to Leica's strength. These are two areas where a Leica is better than the best pro-level SLR you can buy. However, if you're going to use your Leica as your all around 35mm camera, the tri-elmar may make good sense. Three focal lengths without changing lenses, and in terms of price, three focal lenghts for the price of two. For use as a travel camera, the lens has a lot to offer. In terms of speed, Leica lenses are way sharper at f5.6 or f8 than they are at f2, and many shots require good depth of field, anyway.

    That said, I ended up buying a 35mm Summicron ASPH and a 50mm Summilux for my M6 TTL. I found the tri-elmar to be too long to be a comfortable fit on my Leica. To me, it felt awkward in actual use. The focal length ring on the lens didn't seem to have a positive lock at the 28mm position. Finally, I too couldn't give up the speed of the fixed focal length lenses for the convenience of the tri-elmar. My pictures with the Leica seem evenly divided between f1.4 and f8 with very little in between. The 35mm Summicron ASPH is a good match for your 90mm Summicron ASPH in terms of sharpness and image characteristics. Personally I like the particular qualities of my 50mm Summilux (now no longer the current version) and have learned to work around its limitations. It has fantastic bokeh at f1.4 and f2 and is as sharp as any lens made at f8.

    The decision is ultimately going to come down to what you're comfortable with and an honest evaluation of the kinds of pictures you're going to take, not the kinds of pictures other people take. If you bought the tri-elmar you could always supplement it later with a fast focal length in the 35-50mm range, or vice-versa. The plus side is that for the Leica M, Leica doesn't make a single bad lens.
    Take care,
    Tom

  6. #6
    Jim Moore's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for the great advice. As always it's very much appreciated.

    I'm walking out the door now with Leica in hand and heading downtown. I'm so excited to try this camera out

    Jim
    "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take"...Wayne Gretzky

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.Kollig
    35 and 90 is an excellent allround kit.
    I almost agree. But I wouldn't live without a 50 mm...

    A Leica M7 with 28, 50 and 90 is my "dream team" in Rangefinder.

  8. #8
    Helen B's Avatar
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    As Tom has written:
    'The decision is ultimately going to come down to what you're comfortable with and an honest evaluation of the kinds of pictures you're going to take, not the kinds of pictures other people take.'

    I find the Tri-Elmar to be ideal for landscapes, and for travelling light when combined with either the 35/1.4 or the 50/1.4 with the possible addition of a 90. I wouldn't get a Tri-Elmar in preference to a fast prime though. Having a Tri-Elmar, but not the 28/2 for example, would not feel right for me.

    The original version seems like comparatively good value second-hand - I was offered an original version at a very good price and decided to see how I liked it. The focal length click stops and the frame selector are not very positive on my example, but it is easy to develop the habit of turning the f/l selector ring just past the click stop and then back, rather than straight to the click stop. I've never had it 'fall out' of the selected frame. From that description you can see that my example has 'Leica Precision' printed right through. It is a fine lens optically of course.

    The original version has no depth-of-field scales. I find this to be a minor inconvenience at times, but it is easy enough to carry a paper copy in my bag for the times when I want something better than my bestest WAG.

    The lens front is better protected from stray light and from physical damage on the original version than on the new version. This feature alone actually makes the original version more attractive to me than the revised version.

    Best,
    Helen

  9. #9
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    I have a new version of the tri-elmar lens and it is used mainly for landscapes when I travel. I do also have the 35, 50 and 90 mm prime lenses for when I want to have the speed. The whole kit fits into a nice small bag, so I can take it all or just one or two lenses. The lens that I would like to have is the 24, but it's outside of my price range at the moment.
    Diane

    Halak 41

  10. #10
    rbarker's Avatar
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    Sorry I didn't see the thread earlier, Jim.

    If you purchaed the Tri Elmar, which is reputed to be a fine lens (given the f4 limitation), you may find that the Tri-Elmar/90 kit really needs to be supplemented with a 24mm ASPH (28 isn't always wide enough), a Noctilux for low light, a 50 DR for close-ups, and a 75 'Lux for those in-between shots in sorta-low light. Oh, and a 135/2.8 is great for really shallow DOF, too.

    Leica M - it's not a religion, it's a wallet virus.
    [COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]

    Ralph Barker
    Rio Rancho, NM



 

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