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First few photos with the M8.2 + Voigtlander 35mm f/1.4

Discussion in 'Leica M Forum' started by TraamisVOS, Jan 19, 2011.

  1. TraamisVOS

    TraamisVOS SC Hall of Famer

    Nov 29, 2010
    Melboune, Australia
    I'm finding composition and framing a bit difficult because the frame lines don't exactly match up and I don't know how to set it up yet. The rangefinder focusing method is going to take some getting used to, I'm not used to having only a small patch in the middle of the viewfinder for focusing, as opposed to the whole visible viewfinder/screen in other cameras.

    No hood or UV/IR filter (haven't arrived in the mail yet), there was flaring in some of the outdoor shots.

    The first two shots below had some serious cyan edging in the backlit highlights but it doesn't seem to show up after converting to JPG via iPhoto.

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    5369221925_0b90cf0f08_b_d.

    5369784664_0331d786ab_b_d.

    5369172799_2675e3c0d3_b_d.

    5369824284_87f1f09811_b_d.
     
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  2. christilou

    christilou SC Hall of Famer

    Jul 13, 2010
    Sunny Frimley
    Number 3 and the B & W shot work for me. In these two shots you've clearly caught the eye of someone and the camera is focussed directly on the girl in the B & W. The camera's rendition of the light in the first three shots is lovely too :)
     
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  3. TraamisVOS

    TraamisVOS SC Hall of Famer

    Nov 29, 2010
    Melboune, Australia
    Thanks!

    I did some post-work on the photos, I can post the unedited uncropped photos if you want to see them.
     
  4. Ghosthunter

    Ghosthunter boo!

    Sep 8, 2010
    London UK
    Andy
    Well they are superb!! Crystal clear and sharp. The exposure is pretty spot on also! Great set. These Voigtlander lenses really are superb for the money. They seem to be about half the price of the Zeiss ones. I have wanted the 40mm f/1.4 Nokton for years, May have to get that next.
     
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  5. TraamisVOS

    TraamisVOS SC Hall of Famer

    Nov 29, 2010
    Melboune, Australia
    Thanks ghost! I was umming and ahhing about which lens to get after reading the Voigtlander reviews (all the good and the bad) and I don't regret the 35mm after trying it out this afternoon. I almost bought the 40mm but decided on the 35mm because I kind of like a bit of space in my photography (I'm also a serial cropper so space is good). Taking into consideration the 1.33x sensor I might go for a 50mm next for a bit of variety, or higher, at some point in the future.
     
  6. Ghosthunter

    Ghosthunter boo!

    Sep 8, 2010
    London UK
    Andy
    Well that camera laps up the quality through the glass! Very nice.

    Did the 40mm f1.4 get a good review?
     
  7. TraamisVOS

    TraamisVOS SC Hall of Famer

    Nov 29, 2010
    Melboune, Australia
    I noticed a trend in most of the Voigtlander lens reviews and feedback that I saw, this was from reading actual reviews as well as trawling the forums for any comments made from the masses. Most commentary related to, and was applicable equally to, the 35mm f/1.4, 40mm f/1.4 and to a very very small extent the 50mm f/1.1.

    So if I were to summarise generally about Voigtlanders based on what I've read, it is that the lenses are 'character lenses', that is that they are generally known to have little quirks or qualities about them, including a slight lens barrel distortion and less sharpening at the corners or outer edges of the lens, and bokeh leaning slightly on the harsher side. Compare with Leica lenses where there is no distortion and sharpness is maintained throughout the photo.

    There may also be some cyan in highlights or colour shifting towards the edges but apparently some Leica lenses suffer from that also (I know I've definitely seen it in the Panasonic-Leica lens on my LX5 for what it's worth), so I view this as a neutral point.

    In spite of the issues above, there have been many people who have been happy with their Voigtlanders, either from not experiencing those issues described above, or from embracing those slight imperfections.

    Probably my favourite summary I've read was Steve Huff's comment that (I paraphrase) for a fraction of the price of the equivalent Leica lens, with the Voigtlander you're getting about 90% of the quality of a Leica. Personally, I'm ecstatic with 90% of a Leica lens without having to pay 90% of Leica prices at this stage of my photography.

    The only thing I didn't understand was backfocusing or focus-shifting (I've tried reading up on it but still don't quite understand what it is). While there were some sporadic complaints of back/shift focusing, many others have said they've never had a problem with it and I don't have reason to doubt the many fine photos posted on Flikr using Voigtlander lenses, so I don't perceive that to be a recurring or sticking problem.

    The only Voigtlander lens which I saw far, far more positive feedback than negative was the 35mm f/1.2 which has been discontinued as far as I know.

    So that in a nutshell is what I've understood from two weeks of intense internet trawling before I settled on the V 35mm which I am really happy with so far.
     
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  8. Ghosthunter

    Ghosthunter boo!

    Sep 8, 2010
    London UK
    Andy
    Thanks very much for the in depth reply. I do see owners of Leica cameras using exclusively Leica, Zeiss and Voigtlander lenses so there must be something good about them! The lenses i have been most impressed with for corner to corner even sharpness are the recent Zeiss lenses which you can get in Canon, Nikon, Pentax and M42 fitting. Although very expensive they are still cheaper than Leica and about twice the price of Voigtlander. These are the lenses i would love to own and the cheapest one that i want is over £700. This is one reason i bought the Zeiss Flektogon. It's a superb lens and was only (Only he says!! ) £150. I'm really impressed with it but there are better old Zeiss lenses out there but i have no idea which are the best. I need to post on the MF lens forum.
     
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  9. BillN

    BillN SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 25, 2010
    S W France
    Bill
    Andy, for the M43 cams the Zeiss G lens - the Planer 45mm f2 is really good although the adapter for M43 is quite expensive - I'm not sure if they do an adapter for the NEX - there will be quite a lot of images over on GetDpi under M43 cams plus some on the M43 (sister) site and I think some on this site - Christina used to post quite a few images with the 45mm and 90mm

    They are reasonable to buy on EBay - although as I said you need a metabones or Kiron adapter - which are quite large and slow to use

    to my "unskilled" eyes they seems as good as the RF lens albeit a lot slower to use, (because of the way it has to be focused on M43 cams)
     
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  10. TraamisVOS

    TraamisVOS SC Hall of Famer

    Nov 29, 2010
    Melboune, Australia
    Just prior to coming to still photography, I was hanging out in the filmmaker forums. Filmmaking / motion capture cameras was how I got started in all this. In the filmmaking world, Zeiss lenses are very well respected glass (filmmakers look at lenses slightly differently as compared to still photographers) and if it's good enough for them, I can imagine it's definitely good enough for photography.

    In in the past couple of weeks, I did read a bit about the Zeiss lenses from the perspective of a still photographer and the impression I got was that Zeiss are more consistent in their quality and its prices reflect its place between the Voigtlanders and the Leicas. I toyed with the idea of getting a Zeiss, particularly if I was going to settle on one lens for the M8 for now but 150 pounds for that Flektogon sounds like a steal. I just looked up some images on Flikr, it's a nice lens!

    I think a lot of my photography is going to involve wide apertures and shallow depth of field to some extent (ie. street, family & friends, walkabout). So I'm not too fussed about corner to corner sharpness where sharp detail is likely to be lost in bokeh anyway. I hope I'm not being too naive for saying that. For deep DoF landscape photography I'd feel a bit differently I suppose.
     
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  11. usayit

    usayit SC Regular

    113
    Sep 4, 2010
    Very Nice! Looks like you are slowly getting a hang of your new M8. The first three shows a focus on capturing light (as opposed to an isolated subject) to convey overall feel of a "story". Very street photographer-ish.
     
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  12. usayit

    usayit SC Regular

    113
    Sep 4, 2010
    Kinda curious about this. In what way are the frames not matching up? Smaller .. larger... off-center? All I can think of are the framelines on your M8.2 (as opposed to the M8's 0.7meter) are configured at 2meters but that shouldn't bee way too obvious unless you were transitioning between an m8.2/m9 to a an M8.

    It does take some getting used to if you spent the last many years focusing on a prism screen. Think in terms of absolutes... rather than relatives. On an SLR, you kinda turn the focus till you get close, then move a little with finer adjustments till you go past focus point, and then you bring it back some. Your movements are all relative.... a blurred image doesn't immediately indicate far or near focus. Although this was vastly improved over time with prism'd focusing screens

    On a rangefinder, think first... how far is your subject. Is it closer to 1 meter or closer to infinity? If you subject is far, quickly turn your lens focus to infinity, bring the viewfinder to your eye, then turn towards close focus until the images align. If the subject is close, quickly turn your lens focus ring to close focus (1 meter, 0.7 meter), bring the viewfinder to your eye, then turn towards infinity until the images align. If most of your subject matter is close, turn the lens focus ring to close focus immediately after taking a photo. Vice versa if most of you subjects are far. You are set for the next shot.

    Some have become so familiar with a single particular lens, that they can look at a subject, judge their distance, and turn the focus ring to prefocus even before bringing the camera to their face. Depending on aperture, focal length, and subject distance, they'll take the shot without exactly aligning the patch.. know that their subject is still within DOF. Then there is hyperfocal distances.

    If you have a lens with a tabbed focus ring, its even easier since you can "feel" where the lens focus ring is positioned. This is also one reason why focus throw (length and feel) plays a big role in a lens purchase decision for me. One of the reasons why the Summarits f/2.5's with their short and light throw feel good to me. By comparison the Noctilux is so so so so long and heavy which translates to slow focuses.

    sorry... I've done it again.. rambled.. Have fun.. that's the most important thing.
     
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  13. usayit

    usayit SC Regular

    113
    Sep 4, 2010
    btw... Ignore anyone who snickers at a Voigtlander (or Zeiss) lens on a Leica. V/C lenses are good in their own right.. and price very well.

    I much enjoy the 35mm Nokton, 28mm Ultron, 21 color skopar, and 12 heliar on mine. The 28mm ultron feels very natural on the M8.
     
  14. TraamisVOS

    TraamisVOS SC Hall of Famer

    Nov 29, 2010
    Melboune, Australia
    I read your post earlier today and after work I played around with my camera to try and figure it out but I'm still not sure! I have 'lens detection' switched off, the default frame lines as viewed in the viewfinder seem to be close enough to the 35mm equivalent (1.33x 47mm) but for some reason my shots are sometimes just slightly off, for example cutting off people's legs at the bottom of the photo a little more than I thought, or maybe slightly more headroom above their heads, that kind of thing. I think maybe this is something I need to get used to, I think it might be because I'm not used to seeing more through the viewfinder than what I would normally see in other cameras.

    Thanks usayit, this is very helpful advice. I am nowhere near the level where I have any confidence prefocusing yet, I didn't think about this as being a matter of DoF but I will keep that in mind and see if I'm able to gauge focus this way. But I can see now why people say telephoto lenses on a RF is very difficult to use.


    This is my first and only experience with RF lens so I don't have any preconceptions yet about different varieties. This lens that I've got has a raised and curved spot where I can place my finger to move the focus ring.

    No no, you've helped to give me a plan of approach with the RF, thanks very much! This is masterclass-style advice.

    I wanted to get the 28mm initially.. I still want to get it at some point. I wish there were affordable faster wide angle lens below 28mm for the M8.
     
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  15. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    BB
    Traam, I'm coming in late to this thread but just wanted to let you know how excited I am for you! There's something special about the colors and lighting. I am looking forward to a long and successful relationship between you and your M8 - and its various and upcoming lenses.:biggrin:
     
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  16. TraamisVOS

    TraamisVOS SC Hall of Famer

    Nov 29, 2010
    Melboune, Australia
    I regret to say that the LX5 and the Leica purchase has been a lot more inspiring from a photography point of view than when I purchased the 7D....:biggrin: I'm not sure exactly why. Even on Flikr, although I've seen some great photos from the 7D groups, I remain uninspired. It's the LX5 and Leica groups that I have drawn inspiration from.
     
  17. usayit

    usayit SC Regular

    113
    Sep 4, 2010
    regarding the framelines...

    Lens detection in the camera doesn't impact frame lines.... it's purely a mechanical thing. It is possible that the wrong frame lines are coming up. The frame lines are determined by the length of one of the flanges on the metal mount of the lens. It pushes a lever a certain amount of distance... which in turn selects the frame line to present in the viewfinder.

    On the front of the camera, there is a frame line preview lever. As you move the lever while looking through the viewfinder, you can see them change. Remove the lens from your camera. The lever is spring loaded and should be positioned as far away from the shutter button as possible. In this position, the viewfinder should be presenting the 35mm and 24mm frame lines for the M8. The inner frame lines are the 35mm ones. Now attach your lens to the camera. Is the frame line preview lever in the same position? Are the frame lines the same two; 35mm / 24mm? If so, then the lens is engaging the camera properly and bringing up the appropriate frame lines.

    Your m8.2 is calibrated at 2meters. Position yourself 2 meters away something that has horizontal and vertical lines... something like a book shelf. Pay particular note of where the 35mm frame lines cross over. Take a photo. Examine the photo and it should be pretty close. Its really subtle but as you focus on things that are closer than 2 meters, the crop is tighter as you focus farther the crop becomes wider.

    btw.. 2 meter calibration is traditional since the film days. The M8 (non 0.2) was calibrated at .7 meters which means the crop is much looser. This bothered many traditionalists and was one of the reasons why someone would pick an M8.2 over the original M8.


    Yup... telephotos are a limitation of a rangefinder which is a factor of base length; the distance between the viewfinder window (the one you look through) and the rangefinder window (small one near your shutter finger). The M8 is missing 135mm frame lines (but has the 24mm ones) but I have had good results using the older goggled 135mm f/2.8 elmarit. The goggles enlarge the 90mm frame lines.


    Keep having fun...
     
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  18. TraamisVOS

    TraamisVOS SC Hall of Famer

    Nov 29, 2010
    Melboune, Australia
    Before I got the lens, I noticed that pushing the lever presented different frame lines in the viewfinder. I wondered if the lever's position would change depending on the lens installed but it doesn't touch the lens. I can still see the same frame lines with the lens attached which I presume are the 24mm and 35mm lines you described. This confused me a little because I thought that the 35mm lens would be more of a 47mm lens. After reading your post above, my understanding is that the crop factor has been accounted for in the frame lines, is that right? So 35mm = 47mm?

    I'll try your bookshelf exercise tomorrow. I kind of did try a similar exercise a couple of days ago using the dimension of the computer screen as a guide for the frame line border. The more I think about it, the more I think the frame line issue is actually me not being used to using a rangefinder....
     
  19. deirdre

    deirdre SC Top Veteran

    652
    Sep 26, 2010
    Except for older screw-mount lenses from companies like Nikon and Canon, these are the only ones that would give rangefinder coupling (and not all of them do, like some of the Voigtlander wide angles). There's also very few adapters to use non LTM or M lenses on Leicas as there's no market for them because of the rangefinder coupling issue. Without that, you've just got scale focus.
     
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  20. Ghosthunter

    Ghosthunter boo!

    Sep 8, 2010
    London UK
    Andy
    Traamis, have you got any experience of the Voigtlander 15mm f4.5 wide?