Lens combination suggestions on M8 please

Discussion in 'Leica M Forum' started by defektive, May 4, 2011.

  1. defektive

    defektive SC Veteran

    375
    May 4, 2011
    Tasmania, Australia
    Real Name:
    Sam
    I'll start one of these lens suggestion threads that pop up all over the place.

    1) I have purchased an M8 and am looking at an elmar 24/3.8 as my first lens. I would like to run with only two lenses in my kit so what would you consider as my other focal length? I would like something that I can use for a few candids/portraits as well as landscapes and scenes and that is reasonably fast (f1.7 or faster). At this stage I am looking at either a 35 or 50. My budget is around the $500 mark and I don't mind buying used.

    2) If I don't get the 24 what are the two focal lengths people suggest? I have don't want any thing longer than about 65mm (maybe down the track).

    Cheers,
    Sam
     
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  2. soundimageplus

    soundimageplus SC Top Veteran S.C. Charter Member

    578
    Jul 6, 2010
    Have a look at some of the Voigtlanders. They can be very reasonable S/H. The 35mm f/1.4 is a tiny lens and lovely image quality. I used mine on both M8 and M9. If you can find one the Voigtlander 35mm f/1.7 Ultron is a beauty. No longer made and needs a conversion ring because its screw mount. I sold mine and I've regretted it ever since.

    You could probably get a couple S/H and they wouldn't loose value so you could upgrade later. The Voigtlander range doesn't quite match up to the Leicas wide open but stopped down they are every bit as good. Well made too.



     
  3. retow

    retow SC All-Pro S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 24, 2010
    I would consider the brilliant ZM 25 f2.8 and combine it with the special ZM 50 Sonnar (despite focus shift), i.e. giving you 33mm and 67mm equiv. focal lengths respectively on an M8. Instead of the Sonnar, the CV 50 f1.5 has an excellent reputation, no noticeable focus shift and will save you some USD. I'm not sure I would start with the Leica 18mm, too slow, too wide for general use. But that's just my opinion. Performance wise, the ZM 25mm is one of the best m-mount lenses money can buy and the Sonnar is almost two lenses in one, dreamy (portraits) fully open, sharp and contrasty starting at f5.6.
     
  4. defektive

    defektive SC Veteran

    375
    May 4, 2011
    Tasmania, Australia
    Real Name:
    Sam
    Thanks soundimageplus, I have been looking pretty closely at the ultron but read that the 1.4 suffers pretty badly with focus shift compared to other lenses, have you had an issue with yours? Which one of the two would you rather have and why?

    I agree about your 18mm comments retow, I used to have a 20mm on a 1.5x crop sensor and found it a bit too wide for my liking so an 18 on a 1.33x would be worse from my point of view. I'm only looking at the 24 because it has an excellent reputation and I love the images I have seen that it produces, besides I think my photography would improve by having a wide lens that I couldn't ignore because of what it cost me! It's one of those cases of buying a lens for it's performance rather than it's focal length (and its one of the few current Leica's that just squeeze into my budget).
     
  5. retow

    retow SC All-Pro S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 24, 2010
    Ok I misunderstood, thought you were referring to 24mm equivalent focal length, which would require to buy the 18mm lens, thus my comment. However, when it comes to 24mm m-mount lenses, I believe the ZM 25mm is the best deal in town. Anywhere as good as a Leica at much lower cost. I use the 24mm Elmarit but if I'd start buying lenses today, it would be the Zeiss. On the M8 you will probably use a 24/25mm lens a lot, since it will be equivalent to a moderate wide to standard focal length. The Elmar is quite slow for such kind of use.
     
  6. soundimageplus

    soundimageplus SC Top Veteran S.C. Charter Member

    578
    Jul 6, 2010
    My f/1.4 was OK, and I had no problems even wide open. Of the two, I prefer the 35mm f/1.7 Ultron. I think its sharper.

    I've personally gone to a one-lens option with my M9. I only use a 50 Zeiss f/2 Planar T* on it. I didn't mention it because it seemed outside your budget. Its the sharpest lens I've used in any format on any camera. I just love the freedom of one lens. Plus there's no dust spots to clean off.

    By the way the M8, and the M9 are "hoovers" for dust. You will probably need to clean yours regularly or find someone who can do that for you. I've never known cameras so bad for that.
     
  7. BillN

    BillN SC Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 25, 2010
    S W France
    Real Name:
    Bill
    just another suggestion - have a look at the Zeiss 28mm f2.8 Biogon - these can be found at a good price

    I have that and the Ultron 35mm f1.7, (screw mount - you should get a very good one for £150 used - and at that kind of price it is a real bargain), plus the Summarit 35mm f2.5

    The Zeiss is physically bigger than the other two - but 28mm = near enough to 35mm on the M8

    Overall I think I prefer the Zeiss although the Leica Summarit 35mm is a great (small) size and now sits on my M8 most of the time

    I'm happy using any of the three

    agree with the dust on sensor comment - if you are paranoid it can be really really annoying
     
  8. usayit

    usayit SC Regular

    113
    Sep 4, 2010
    My two lens combination is the 35mm and 75mm Summarits on the M8 for all around shooting; Compact, lightweight, fast focusing (short focus throw). Highly underrated lenses in the Leica lineup. Both are very sharp and resistant to flare (outdoors in bright sun).

    At one time, I used to carry just the 50mm normal lens in the film days. I found 50mm kinda odd on 1.33x crop M8. As such, I sold the 50mm Summarit only to buy another 50mm when the M9 arrived.

    I also like the V/C 28mm Ultron f/1.9 (old LTM version).


    Point the camera down during lens changes.
     
  9. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 12, 2010
    Philly, Pa
    1+ on the 28 1.9 Ultron. A great lens on the M8 or RD1-s.
     
  10. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Real Name:
    Jack
    I agree with David about Voigtlander's.

    I have the 35/1.4 (single coat), and have not experienced any focus shift at 1.4. If you buy it from a reputable place like Adorama or BH, you can always return it if you find any problems. Oopst, just noticed you are in Australia. Not sure what their return policy is for outside of US.

    Now, the Cosina Voigtlander Nokton 50/1.5 is probably the best CV lens out there, IMO. It's only in screw mount, so you'll need an adapter. Compared to the 50 Summilux, I'd say that the 50/1.5 is almost as good, but for only a fraction of the price (~$500). Out of all my CV lenses, this is definitely my "go to" lens. Here's a review for the lens in Steve Huff's site: Voigtlander Nokton 50 1.5 Lens Review | STEVE HUFF PHOTOS

    Let us know what you end up with!
     
  11. defektive

    defektive SC Veteran

    375
    May 4, 2011
    Tasmania, Australia
    Real Name:
    Sam
    Thanks for all the replies. Looks like I purchased the 24mm at an auction overnight so that is definitely one of my focal lengths. I think 75mm would leave me too much of a gap, if I had just a 24 and a 35 I'd be too wide wouldn't I? I think I'd be better off with a 50 to go with the 24. Bare in mind that I have two young sons that I try to keep up with that sometimes requires a little bit of reach:eek:
     
  12. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Real Name:
    Jack
    For the M8, 24 and 50 would be a nice combo! And that's great, because there are so many options for the 50. Off the top of my head:

    Leica - Noctilux, Summilux, Summicron, Summarit
    CV - f1.1, f1.5, f2.5
    Zeiss - f1.5, f2

    I'm sure I'm missing a few more!
     
  13. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 12, 2010
    Philly, Pa
    24 & 50 is beautiful as it gives you that 1/2 or 2x FOV.
    Good choice....
     
  14. Brian

    Brian SC Top Veteran S.C. Charter Member

    638
    Jul 7, 2010
    The 35/1.7 Ultron is great lens, quite good wide-open. If you can find it, grab it.

    You mention a $500 budget, most of the Zeiss lenses will run past that mark.

    The other Voigtlander lens that you might look at is the 28/2. Available new, and under $600.

    For fast 50s, the vintage lenses are quite good. A Canon 50/1.8 and M-Adapter will run in the $200 range used.
     
  15. defektive

    defektive SC Veteran

    375
    May 4, 2011
    Tasmania, Australia
    Real Name:
    Sam
    Ok, got it sorted. Have bought a Hexanon 50/2 to go with the Elmar 24/3.8 and M8. That's all the cash gone so I'll have to save up for a fast 35 at some point.

    Thanks all.