Leica After the homewrecking incident, what to do with the shrapnel

Apr 2, 2018
So I had the fling with Df. It lasted about 7 days and I did have fun
with the prime once it arrived (not so much with the zoom). The
problem is that Df is too good. It is too nice to use, the sensor is
too great, the lenses too good for the value. I saw immediately that
prolonged relationship with it will mess up my good thing with Leica.

With Df and the soft zoom returned in time, I can sigh from relief. It
felt bad to return a perfectly fine camera, if not a perfect camera,
but I can always return to it if circumstances change.

I have these two lenses as shrapnel from the incident.

- 85 f/1.8 AF-D
- 28-70 AF-D

The 85 is really great. I bet all the AF-D lenses with low element
counts are superb. The compact zoom I didn't have chance to test out,
sadly.

So, what to do?

- Sell/trade these two for something else? 🤨
- Keep them in the boxes until something happens with Leica? :)
- Buy an F-M adapter to be used on my Leica M? :eek:
- Buy a Leica SL, the old king of mirrorless cameras? :D


The SL thing is an old fantasy, I believe it's soon going to die. The
benefit of SL is that it pretty much adapts all the lenses out there.
Like CaNiSony but with the added benefit of adapting M lenses really
nicely. And I believe the German design on the UI and body is toppest
of notches.

Getting an adapter to adapt Nikon F to Leica M, and then using the
live view capabilities of my MP 240 makes sense in theory. But is it
going to be *any* fun using the slow and pixelated and laggy MP EVF
for this purpose. It should kind of work out because I'd still be
shooting 90 % native M lenses and the 10 % other ones. Leica M10
supposedly offers a more contemporary live view experience but I
haven't been able to test the camera out anywhere.

In any event, trading up my MP240 for an M10 or M10P is more costly
than just buying an SL alongside my MP... This is my main dilemma at
the moment. Also, the chances are very high that the new M11 that
might or might not come out next year is not going to offer any big
improvements in its EVF approach. And I don't even know if the M10
already wouldn't be perfect. Things like delays and lags can't be seen
in Youtube videos, one'd have to see the camera in person.

But yes, Leica SLs are dropping to around 2200-2500 € and that's a
camera that's beating a great many current MILC cameras easy peasy.


The big sadness is also about the fact that having handled Df for a
bit, many of its shortcomings would be greatly amplified in SL. Df is
pretty much like I anticipated, it's an "analog" camera in that its
viewfinder, its metering and its autofocus probably aren't as digital
as mirrorless cameras are. There's a high chance SL would fail me in
the fun factor in some ways Df didn't.

Yet again, there's no denying SL wouldn't have its pros and with these
values it's going these days there's not much of a loss crossing that
camera out of my bucket list...


What about M43?

.71x speedboosted 85/1.8 becomes a 60/1.3
.64x speedboosted 85/1.8 becomes a 55/1.2

In other words, a nice long portrait lens. But sadly I have no use for
portrait lenses for m43.


PS

I'm so happy with the Panasonic GX80 also. In that sense a push towards the heavier FF gear is not as appealing as it once was.

Heh... during my Nikon fever days I already envisioned my future with the Df, an affordable 810 as the second body, heavy tele lenses and a full on backbag to haul all that around... That idea seems again so unnecessary.
 
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BrianS

Legend
Jul 7, 2010
The Manual Focus Nikkor lenses would be better for using with an F-Mount adapter on the M240. The AF lenses- just do not have the dampening that I love. I use the AF lenses mostly as ... AF lenses.

BUT- the adapter is cheap, try it for yourself.

You can place an ad here, I know some members are looking for these lenses.
You can put up a want-to-trade, eith er for Leica mount lenses or for Manual focus lenses.

My Df lives in peaceful harmony with my Leica's. Each have about 100 lenses available to them.
Kind of like the Washington Naval Treaty of 1925. Building arsenals of lenses is balanced 1:1. The Kodak Retina cameras - only about 20 lenses, Canon FD mount- they whine and complain a lot.
 

William Lewis

Regular
Feb 10, 2020
Hayward WI
William Lewis
I've been finding that I like the older AF/AF-D lenses better than the newer AF-S lenses. Not sure why - a little smaller, yet feel better made than the super light plastic fantastic. OTOH, I can't complain optically - the 35/1.8 DG is amazing.

I owned Leica in the past and loved the IIIf especially. But I'm doing Nikon now and having loads of fun with it. Such, as the saying goes, is life :thumbsup:
 

BrianS

Legend
Jul 7, 2010
The AF-D and original AF lenses were not designed by the Marketing Department.
I am very disappointed in newer Nikon lenses, the 105/2.8 AF-S micro-Nikkor and the reliability in the VR lenses. Too expensive to fail so readily.
 

William Lewis

Regular
Feb 10, 2020
Hayward WI
William Lewis
There is also the G lens issues. I'm not as annoyed as some by the lack of an actual aperture ring since it can be done by the dials on the camera but by the same token I don't care to lose the options.
 
Apr 2, 2018
The Manual Focus Nikkor lenses would be better for using with an F-Mount adapter on the M240. The AF lenses- just do not have the dampening that I love. I use the AF lenses mostly as ... AF lenses.

BUT- the adapter is cheap, try it for yourself.
Yes these lenses are definitely not dampened and for a good reason. But I couldn't exactly say I hated the feeling. :)

Is there a maker you can recommend? I don't know if I want to spend $20 on an adapter that fouls up the distance scales or infinity focus for example. As such I'm only eyeing the Novoflex products which are quite pricey.

My Df lives in peaceful harmony with my Leica's.
I wish that was the case for me. Not a week and I felt it in my bones that this cohabitation between Df and M is going to break something in me. Both have their own downsides but Df was being too solid for its own good.

There is also the G lens issues.
My main problem with the AF-S lens was that it focused too smoothly. There's no feedback about whether the lens focused or not. I like the little vibration and noise from the screw drive. Similar to Fujifilm lineup, there's a frustrating decision to be had in Nikkorland, whether you want optical excellence at the cost of reduced haptics or want less performance but better feeling lenses... This is the one thing I can avoid in Leica world.
 
Is there a maker you can recommend? I don't know if I want to spend $20 on an adapter that fouls up the distance scales or infinity focus for example. As such I'm only eyeing the Novoflex products which are quite pricey.
Beware that the Novoflex adapters intentionally are made a little bit short, causing infinity focus at a focus scale position just before ∞. I think I read somewhere that they are 0.07 mm short. I just checked a Novoflex adapter for Minolta with a Minolta MD 2/28 at f/2.8 on my Sony A7Rm4 and ∞ focus sits at roughly 6 m which would correspond with the adapter being roughly 0.1 mm short; at f/8 infinity focus sits at 3 m, that's focus shift for ya :).

Once I bought an adapter on eBay from a Polish supplier who claimed his adapter had exactly the correct register distance. He might well have been right; his Canon FD adapter didn't allow infinity focus on some of my FD lenses, so I bought a Novoflex adapter which solved the problem. The Polish adapter is now used for the Canon FD Macro 4/200, where infinity focus is hardly ever necessary. Most cheap Chinese adapters are also a little bit short, mostly even more so than the Novoflex adapters, but I also got adapters which were not short and that can be a problem. With the magnified view of a good finder like the one in the Leica SL you will notice that focus shift is all too common and that setting focus to the ∞ mark hardly ever means that the lens is focused exactly at infinity. That's what they call opening a can of worms.

Some people claim that an adapter should have the exact register distance when using lenses with floating focusing. While this is theoretically correct, I doubt if this is going to cause problems in practice. Coincidentally I was testing this afternoon with a few 28mm lenses because the Zeiss Distagon 2.8/28 (Contax) isn't very good at close-up so I pulled out a few Minolta 2/28 lenses that have floating focusing, and used with the Novoflex adapter they were significantly sharper at close quarters than the non-floating-focusing Zeiss.

Yes, Novoflex adapters are expensive and to be honest, I'm not completely sure that they're worth all the money. I bought them used for most of the common legacy lens mounts and they serve me well, but a lot of Chinese adapters work well too, although you might have to look for an alternative if you get one that is too long for your lens(es) or produces internal reflections.
 
Apr 2, 2018
Beware that the Novoflex adapters intentionally are made a little bit short, causing infinity focus at a focus scale position just before ∞.
Thank you, very informative. I will have to google up what's the story with this intentional 0.07 mm shift.

Naturally I hardly ever rely on the distance scales on any camera; sometimes the precise focus is not necessary for the shot and then I just focus my lens by the hard stop minus a tiny movement. I guess this is a playful luxury I better leave for the M cameras or whatever systems that still use hard-stop focus rings ;)

I'm guessing the adapters are all made a bit short to allow tolerances in both the lenses and the adapters themselves. Worst case scenario, the adapter would be too thick and infinity wasn't possible.

But I sure like my focus distance scales, although I also like if I don't have to pay 170 euros for a piece of metal :)


(Reminds me, the Leica M-SL adapter is 400 € 😵 😵)
 

BrianS

Legend
Jul 7, 2010
I just checked my adapter- bought over 10 years ago. Made in Japan, but I don't think it is available any longer.
I used it with Scale Focus on my M8, mostly with a Nikkor 24mm F2.8.

If you get an inexpensive adapter, and it is on the Short Side: you could hack out a custom shim to move the F-Mount farther out in the Tube.
 

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