Leica Showcase Canon 85mm F1.5, Super-Speed Telephoto

BrianS

Super Moderator
Apr 3, 2013
124
This lens is the Canon answer to the Summarex 85 1.5 and the Nikkor-SC 8.5cm F1.5. Canon made about 2350 (Peter Kitchingman) of these lenses, Leica made about 4000 Summarex's, and Nikon made about 2000 8.5cm F1.5 lenses total, about 500 in Leica mount. The Canon sells for a fraction of the price of the other two. I paid $425 for this lens, they routinely go for under $700.

The Canon 85 F1.5 is a Planar type lens, 7 elements in 4 groups, arranged 1-3-2-1, identical configuration of the 5cm F1.5 Simlar lens that came with my Leotax. A uniquely Japanese formula lens, computed in 1937. I have the Simlar. The Leica lens is a Planar type, 7 elements in 5 groups, 1-2-2-1-1, similar to the 5cm F1.5 Leitz Xenon. The Nikkor is a 7 element in 3 group Sonnar, 1-3-3.

I've never shot with the Summarex or the Nikkor. I am very, very happy with the results from the Canon. This lens is reputed to be prone to flare, low-contrast, and soft. The glass on mine is close to perfect, no internal haze. It is much sharper than I thought it would be, and seems to be higher contrast than the Canon 85/2 that I owned. Swirly Bokeh, but well corrected for spherical aberration.

Wide-Open on the M9, ISO2500.

Marine Museum
by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

Full res Jpeg uploaded for this shot. The battery was weak, some shots show banding. But not this one.

ISO 160, wide-open:

Marine Museum
by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

I chose this shot for the reflection in the picture. The lens handled it quite well.

The only downside of the lens: Wide-Open in direct sun and some high-contrast light, I noted Purple Fringing. I used LR on a few shots to get rid of it.

Closest Focus, wide-open.

Marine Museum
by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

New memorial at the Marine Museum.

Marine Museum
by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

Focus is PERFECT on my M9.
 
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BrianS

Super Moderator
Apr 3, 2013
124

BrianS

Super Moderator
Apr 3, 2013
124
Canon 85 F1.5
by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

In my opinion, this lens is highly under-rated. If I run into a Summarex or Nikkor-SC 85/1.5 anywhere near this price, I will grab them. But given the performance of this lens- no need to spend $1500~$3000 on them. The Canon was made in about the same numbers as the Nikkor and Leitz lens. I doubt the difference is due to performance. I think Canon owners have just kept this lens a secret...
 
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BrianS

Super Moderator
Apr 3, 2013
124
A few more shots- Ice Skating rink, Manassas. It was in the 60s today, anyone falling would be wet and cold.

Wide-Open, ISO160.

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
Manassas Ice Skating by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
Manassas Ice Skating by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

I need a little more practice, but not much more difficult to focus on moving action than the 8.5cm F2 Nikkor.
 

BrianS

Super Moderator
Apr 3, 2013
124
At F4:

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Manassas by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

Manassas by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
Manassas by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

This lens gets along with the M9. Will try on the M Monochrom when it gets back from repair, sensor is showing signs of corrosion. The M9, bought two years before- kept side-by-side most of the time, went for trips to Florida on vacation- no signs of a problem.
 

carlb

All-Pro
Feb 6, 2013
123
Ugh! I'm always 'ginger' with the sensor cleaning on these, so I still have artifacts even after cleaning. Don't know if those are corrosion or not. I suppose if they change location, they're not corrosion, heh.

LTM, not M, right? I should look at getting the adapter, sure opens up the lenses that can be RF focused.
 

BrianS

Super Moderator
Apr 3, 2013
124
The M Monochrom showed a "scar" that did not move after wet cleaning. Bright spots, "Pits?" showed up rather than typical dark spots. The M9 sensor: nothing stayed in the same position after cleaning.

The Voigtlander adapters are the best. This lens is amazing. I will take it, and the Simlar 5cm F1.5 for an outing. I do not know of other 1-3-2-1 Planar formula lenses.
 

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