Leica 50mm woes

rayvonn

Hall of Famer
Location
London
I'd grab it.
I did. Canon 50mm F1.2 LTM on its way to me by the weekend. Condition isn't good externally, there's a scratch or two on the front element and the aperture blades were those apparently inappropriately greased by Canon when the lens was released many years ago. But I'm told this has no effect on IQ, the main thing being there's no haze. The seller was quite keen to emphasise shooting at F1.3 as opposed to F1.2 to get best results in terms of "that edge of sharpness and detail together with a nice glow" (I do like it when a seller is upfront about what they're selling). We'll see. I'm expecting this'll be a different process and rendering compared to my Leica/ Zeiss lenses so hopefully fun times ahead.
 
This lens is very easy to take apart and clean the surface behind the aperture. A retaining ring holds the barrel into the focus mount, once it is out- the rear group unscrews.

I use mine at F1.2, and have compared with the Canon 50/1.4. The latter is sharper than the 50/1.2 used at F1.4. BUT- the 50/1.2 rendering is better, and I prefer it over the 50/1.4.

I ended up buying another 50 today- a very early (127th) Minolta Chiyoko 5cm F2, under $150 with shipping from Japan. There is some question about the optical formula of this lens, I have seen it listed as a 7 element in 4 group like the Summitar and I have seen others list it as a 7 element in 6 groups. There are two versions of the lens, the earliest one used 40.5mm filters, others use 43mm. I'm wondering if the formula changed. For $150, worth finding out. If it is different, will do a comparison.
 

William Lewis

Top Veteran
Location
Hayward WI
Real Name
William Lewis
I've been really like the Chiyoko I picked up though I think my next one will probably be a Nikkor for the Sonnar type hole in my bag. The question becomes 50/2 or 50/1.4 and then finding one I can afford :)

In the meantime though I do plan to stick to the Nokton through October so I should have a much nicer feel for it and I want to be sure to use it at more than just wide open. OTOH, I could just get a variable ND and adjust that instead :roflmao:
 

rayvonn

Hall of Famer
Location
London
The Canon 50mm F1.2 LTM and LTM to M adapters arrived today, so I took a first random shot wide open, no editing other than straight conversion to B&W. Wow, I'm glad I followed @BrianS 's advice, this certainly provides me with characteristics I didn't have in my other lenses.
L1013608 copy.jpg
 

rayvonn

Hall of Famer
Location
London
Well I seem to have lucked out on this Canon LTM F1.2, the worry when buying used off the internet is always the condition of the lens, despite what the seller says, plus realignment etc. But this is all that I hoped it would be, classical rendering and bokeh out of the box (well subjectively to my eye at least, insofar as it proves to me the embodiment of sharpness not being everything). Plus the "glow" as RF users refer to it, I've now seen for myself that this seems to be real, not some result of out of sync/ defective focusing :laugh1: . I'm due a dud lens at some point, but happily not this time.
L1013620 copy.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

This is wide open at F1.2 - one thing I've learned about LTM lenses is that the coding is all over the place and quite often wrong.
 
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Although Cosina-made Voigtlander and Zeiss optics are wonderful they do not suit Leica's digital sensors from the M8 to the M10. Statistics show that 85% of all new users who bought an M bought a Japanese lens to go with it only to find out, in the long run, that at full speed it suffers significantly at the edges, it has little control of flare and coma, has an imprecise focus coupling with the M mechanism, and other issues of less importance. You don't buy a used Ferrari to stick a Fiat engine in it. I wouldn't.

I counted my 50mm lenses in Leica Mount. Seventy-Five, from MANY different manufacturers going back to 1934. Counting the SLR lenses that I converted to RF Coupled M-Mount, Eighty. Twelve of those are made by Leica, also going back to the 1930s.
I've made my own light-boxes and written my own software for testing vignetting of lenses on my M9 and M Monochrom.

INF-DIAG.jpg


I disagree completely with the above statement. The reason for me buying the M9 and M Monochrom was to use lenses going back 90 years as they were meant to be used: RF coupled and Full-Frame. CCD sensors do better than CMOS sensors at corners- and the offset microlenses designed by Kodak for the M8, M9, and M Monochrom are so good that I can use a Jupiter-12 on them and be no different from using on film.

One of the least expensive lenses used on my M9,

L1016483.jpg


Industar-61L/D, Tessar formula. Wide-Open. I did a CLA on this one, was ~$10.

Imprecise-Focus?

7Artisans 75mm F1.25 wide-open on the M9.

L1020431.jpg


A $450 super-speed lens, I'm sure the Leica lens at $14K more is better, but unless they send me one to test- it will be an unanswered question.
https://www.overgaard.dk/pdf/Datenblatt_Noctilux-M-1.25-75mm-ASPH_e_2.pdf, one question answered. Vignetting is about the same for the two lenses. Vignetting on mine is as measured on the M Monochrom. The technical reference for Leica- probably direct measurement, not on the camera.
 
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1935 Carl Zeiss Jena Sonnar 5cm F1.5, converted to Leica Mount.

carousel-6.jpg


An older shot- on Film, probably the Canon P.

This lens has a coated front element, I've seen another from the same batch just like it. In 1935, Schott had their coating equipment installed at the factory. I have a 1936 Sonnar with all surfaces hard-coated.
 

William Lewis

Top Veteran
Location
Hayward WI
Real Name
William Lewis
So I posted this in Black N White/Words no words:
L1004018.jpg


Nokton 50/1.5 wide open, focused at infinity, I liked it & got a couple of likes for it. Posted it at a different place and got a person saying it seemed "soft".

I'm not seeing it, especially when I look at the full size jpg. It's no scalpel but OTOH, it's f/1.5 & it grabbed the early fall atmosphere fine to me.

Just curious if anyone else sees it as being objectionably soft?
 

rayvonn

Hall of Famer
Location
London
So I posted this in Black N White/Words no words:
L1004018.jpg


Nokton 50/1.5 wide open, focused at infinity, I liked it & got a couple of likes for it. Posted it at a different place and got a person saying it seemed "soft".

I'm not seeing it, especially when I look at the full size jpg. It's no scalpel but OTOH, it's f/1.5 & it grabbed the early fall atmosphere fine to me.

Just curious if anyone else sees it as being objectionably soft?
Doesn't seem soft to me and certainly not "objectively soft", I've been trying a bit of landscape wide open myself to grab the atmosphere as you described, it's an effective way of shooting.
 
The Canon 50/1.2 original is LTM, so a simple adapter is all that is required.

Unless someone modified a 50/1.2 SLR lens to M-Mount, that takes more work. I did that with a 50/1.4 FL mount lens.
 
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