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lens array for possible M8

Discussion in 'Leica Cameras' started by virginia bill, May 18, 2011.

  1. virginia bill

    virginia bill New Member

    May 8, 2011
    I have the opportunity to buy an M6 with six lenses: 15mm Voigtlander, 21mm 2.8 Leica, 35mm f/2 Leica, 50mm f/2 Leica, 90mm f/2 Leica, and 135 f/2.8 Leica. The only problem is that I must have a digital body. So I'm thinking of proposing a swap to a reliable dealer: the M6 plus two (or three?) of the lenses for a clean used M8 body. But I've never used an M8, so I'm not accustomed to the 1.33 crop factor.

    Hence my question, to those with M8 shooting experience: which of these lenses should I insist on keeping? I know I should keep the 35mm, but none of the others seems as apt. The 15mm and the 21mm seem too wide, the 50mm seems just awkward, the 90mm and the 135mm seem too long.

    This outfit would become my main camera system for street shooting, landscape, and people. I've also got a Panasonic LX5 as my go-everywhere camera, and I'll soon buy a DSLR with a big telephoto for wildlife. But I really want this Leica. I've missed my M3 ever since I sold it, and I've finally realized I loathe the interface and handling which come with every DSLR. So I need a little help in sorting out the lens package.

    And no -- I can't just keep the M6. As fine as that camera is, I've thought the problem through carefully and can't go back to film.
    • Like Like x 1
  2. jankapp

    jankapp Regular

    Aug 28, 2010
    You are familiar with full-frame lenses/cameras.
    On the M8 the mentioned lenses have focal lengths of about:
    20, 28, 47, 70, 120 and 180 mm.
    My choice would be to keep the 28mm (Leica 21mm) for landscapes+streetshooting, the 70mm (Leica 50mm) for people and the 120mm (Leica 90mm) as a tele. The Summicron 90 is an f/2 and will show a slightly better DOF.
    My 2 cents.
    • Like Like x 2
  3. deirdre

    deirdre Top Veteran

    Sep 26, 2010
    I think the 15mm is an absolute must, it's a wonderful lens.
    Otherwise, given the above, I'd probably go with what jankapp said.

    I find I use 28mm (37 actual) most on my M8, but I like the usual wide. I use the 15mm on both the M8 and my CL.


    Now the other thing you need to know about the M8 is the IR cut filters. In shade and warm environments (but not exclusively those), the M8 will record infrared and color shift. Without the IR filter:


    Same date, but I realized my error and went back and put the IR filter on. Another side by side, this time in California a few days ago:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    • Like Like x 2
  4. usayit

    usayit Veteran

    Sep 4, 2010
    It depends on the version of each lens and how you shoot

    I would think about keeping the 21 and 50.

    90mm - I am assuming this is the common second version. too big and slow focusing.

    135mm- If this is the non-bugeyed version, m8 willnotnhave the appropriate framelines. even with the eyes, the lens is big and the rangefinder base length is a bit short.

    21mm- m8 doesnt have framelines but I found the whole viewfinder a close approximation. It will be wide enough for the story telling focal lengths that street shooters prefer without being so wide that distortions become obvious. This lens holds value.

    50mm- I am assuming its the later non aspherical version. Well liked for its classic rendering and performance. Its a bit odd on the m8 but you get used to it. Its fast and slight telephoto will be your subject focal lengthmand the 21 will compliment it. It holds value

    35mm- is one of my favs on the m8 BUT you cant keep all three of the most valuable lenses (21, 35, 50) and still have enough to buy the m8. The others simply dont have enough value.

    15mm- I have the 12mm heliar. Not particularly useful to me. Not really that wide on a crop.

    Personally, i would consider keeping the 35mm and selling thd rest. Then buy the m8 with 75 summarit. Or heck, sell everything and get the m8 with 35 and 75 summarits. My most used kit on the m8 is the 35 and 75 summarits. compact, fast focusing, flare resistant, and sharp classic look. I like it enough and I have used it enough that I will still use that kit over the m9 on many occasions
    • Like Like x 1

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