Leica Next lens?

William Lewis

Veteran
Location
Hayward WI
Real Name
William Lewis
So, been really enjoying my Leica M 240 since I got it. Nice collection of lenses so far:
35/1.7 Ultron
35/2.8 Jupiter 12
50/1.5 Nokton
50/2 Super Rokkor
50/2 Jupiter 8
50/3.5 Industar 22
90/4 Elmar

I'm pondering the next addition. Perhaps someone here will chime in?

What I'm considering the most is a Voigtlander 75/2.5 Color Heliar. Looks like an interesting lens in many ways and it would be fun to have a use for the frame lines :) as well as being a handy bit for portrait work.

OTOH, I'd like to try something a bit wider than I've done in the past. The Voigtlander 25/4 seems to be available at a decent price. I do wonder how much bigger an area than the VF is covered by it since I really would rather avoid using an external finder.

On the gripping hand, there is a cheap Canon 50/1.5 Sonnar on Ebay right now and I can always use another 50!
 

rayvonn

Hall of Famer
Location
London
So, been really enjoying my Leica M 240 since I got it. Nice collection of lenses so far:
35/1.7 Ultron
35/2.8 Jupiter 12
50/1.5 Nokton
50/2 Super Rokkor
50/2 Jupiter 8
50/3.5 Industar 22
90/4 Elmar

I'm pondering the next addition. Perhaps someone here will chime in?

What I'm considering the most is a Voigtlander 75/2.5 Color Heliar. Looks like an interesting lens in many ways and it would be fun to have a use for the frame lines :) as well as being a handy bit for portrait work.

OTOH, I'd like to try something a bit wider than I've done in the past. The Voigtlander 25/4 seems to be available at a decent price. I do wonder how much bigger an area than the VF is covered by it since I really would rather avoid using an external finder.

On the gripping hand, there is a cheap Canon 50/1.5 Sonnar on Ebay right now and I can always use another 50!
That's a nice selection you've got going there. You have 35mm to 90mm seemingly covered so why not go much wider? By which I mean 21mm and wider. Of course, you'll need the external OVF (using live view on the back screen isn't in the spirit of it is it :D). I have a 21mm which I use with an external ovf and find it hard work, I certainly don't use it as often as the 35mm/50mm focal lengths. It's all about preparation and seeking the subject appropriate to fit the wide focal length which for me doesn't come naturally. But when that does happen, I really do like the end product and find the process fun. There are plenty of 21mm options out there and going even wider to the Voigtlander 15mm or even 12mm lenses, there really is scope for out of the ordinary unique images. Going wider like this makes more sense to me on a rangefinder than extra long, especially when it comes to ease of focusing that rangefinder. Just my thoughts.
 

William Lewis

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Location
Hayward WI
Real Name
William Lewis
That's why I was thinking of the 25 since 21 seems SOOO wide to me. OTOH, a quick glance shows me the price of the 21/4 is similar to the 25... might be interesting to jump out that wide.
 

rayvonn

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Location
London
That's why I was thinking of the 25 since 21 seems SOOO wide to me. OTOH, a quick glance shows me the price of the 21/4 is similar to the 25... might be interesting to jump out that wide.
Certainly is wide, but a challenge nevertheless, which can be fascinating. I used to think focal lengths that wide were solely for landscapes, an idea quickly disabused when using such a lens.
 

William Lewis

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Location
Hayward WI
Real Name
William Lewis
I'll seriously look at that then when the money and the ebay auctions come up at the same time ;) I also see that Voigtlander makes a 21/25 combined VF that might be handy if I go this route.
 
Location
S. Oregon Coast
Real Name
Andrew L
I really think you should explore Cosina Voigtländer's cool wide angles, from the 15/4.5 to the 21/4 and 25/4. You have too many 35s and 50s, and who needs more tele than the 90 that you have? 50 is really secretly a telephoto if you use it just right.
 

albertk

Veteran
To fit in with the Russies:
try the Orion-15. It can be coded as the new 28mm Summaron F5.6. It is stellar, can be stopped down to F11 without a problem, no fringes, CA and the such of modern lenses. The lens does not require coding, even without, there is no noticeable color shift on the edges.
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I had the non-coupled Voigtlander 25 F4, very sharp, & pleasant. But . . . the early model often has a green cast that cannot be taken away. Easily seen when changing lenses: shift between images.
 

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Location
Switzerland
Real Name
Matt
I find shooting wide on a Leica (which, on rangefinder, usually means wider than 28mm, but I'll get to that) really enjoyable. I understand the reluctance to add an external finder, but in many ways, it's liberating: Just zone focus (you know wide lenses make that easy) and enjoy, and if you do have the time, focus with the rangefinder, frame with the external. Works for me with my 21mm and 24mm lenses, and I even prefer it when using a 28mm lens on the M 262.

On the subject of what lens to choose, you've put yourself in quite a conundrum - because both 25mm and 75mm are desirable and rewarding focal lengths and the Voigtländers are both good lenses to start with; I can't comment too much on the 25mm, though, because I've never used it for any considerable length of time, just handled it a while back.

But here's the thing: If you can be bothered with experimenting with manual lens settings, the old Voigtländer Color Skopar 21mm f/4 pancake is a very pleasing lens (you just need to set a suitable lens profile - both "slow" Leica profiles will work - or you'll get wonky corners; not a problem if you choose to go monochrome). On that note, the new Voigtländer Color Skopar 21mm f/3.5 Aspherical seems to be quite the powerhouse, but from what I gather, you prefer buying used ... If you know what you're doing (and from your lens collection, you're bound to), the 21mm f/4 is quite a helpful addition to any kit. As for framing: If you're okay with framing a bit loosely, you'll not have troubles with the 21mm f/4 - because apart from the colour cast you get without a profile, it's quite a good performer. You don't always need a finder to get worthwhile shots (though, as indicated, I personally prefer working with an external finder).

All that said, my current first choice would be a brand new lens that covers the slightly less exciting, but eminently useful 28mm FoV: the Voigtländer Ulton 28mm f/2 II Aspherical. That lens seems to be quite a win - and it's said to be even better than its impressive 35mm f/2 stablemate. But here's a thought: The old 28mm f/2 (which we'll probably have to call non-aspherical in the future) is quite a neat little lens, and pretty inexpensive used. It's very usable wide open, and solid stopped down a bit. If you like the Ultron f/1.7 optically, you'll be quite happy with the 28mm f/2 - it's not quite as sharp and precise, but well-behaved in quite a similar way, and it's classically styled with a nice focus tab and screw-in hood that doesn't add a lot of bulk to the lens. In terms of handling, the 28mm f/2 is my favourite Voigtländer lens (well, it's a tie, really - with the 21mm f/4 pancake :)).

M.
 
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Location
S. Oregon Coast
Real Name
Andrew L
I know what you mean and in some ways I wish it were that straightforward. The problem/ benefit is that so many RF lenses render so differently. It can be deep hole one goes down.
I know, and I said it coming from a sometimes similar place - at one point I owned M4/3 17/2.8, 20/1.7, 25/1.8 and was even in danger of picking up the other 17mm or another 25mm. But don't you find it can be a bit paralyzing when you try to decide what to take with you for the day? I guess trying to pick your favorite rendering is like trying to pick a favorite child, though - the prospect of getting rid of any of them is tough.
 
Location
Switzerland
Real Name
Matt
I know, and I said it coming from a sometimes similar place - at one point I owned M4/3 17/2.8, 20/1.7, 25/1.8 and was even in danger of picking up the other 17mm or another 25mm. But don't you find it can be a bit paralyzing when you try to decide what to take with you for the day? I guess trying to pick your favorite rendering is like trying to pick a favorite child, though - the prospect of getting rid of any of them is tough.
I know what you mean, but I don't actually find things that difficult: I know what I prefer and usually pick that - the other stuff gets used when I want something different, special or more to the point. E.g. my favourite 50mm for M mount isn't my best (it's actually my "worst" if you believe what you read :rolleyes:): the Voigtländer Nokton 50mm f/1.5 Aspherical - I have smaller, sharper and faster options (the fastest being to all around best lens - but also by far the heaviest). Usually, I pick the pleasant compromise ... And to round it off, with 35mm, it's pretty different: My favourite lens is also my sharpest, most contrasty one - and one of my smallest; it's not fast, though: the Zeiss C Biogon 35mm f/2.8. My 35mm choices are even more numerous - and I like and use them all, but not equally. Horses for courses ...

For me, a lens can be a tool as well as a brush - sometimes, you want the sharpest tool, sometimes, the smoothest (or quirkiest) brush ...

M.
 

William Lewis

Veteran
Location
Hayward WI
Real Name
William Lewis
Thanks folks for the great conversation.
I do love my 50's and how they all differ from one another. That's why adding the Canon 50/1.5 Sonnar type is so tempting. Oh, there's aother one I forgot I had - my Industar 61 L/D 50 (ok, 53)/2.8. I'll have to pop it on my 50mm adapter :D

Right now, looking at ebay, I have my eye on a Voigtlander 21/4 though it doesn't come with a finder so I'd have to pick that up separately. OTOH, the price is low enough to make that acceptable.

I do see that the Orion 15 can be found reasonably priced as well. Tempting. Very tempting ;)
 

rayvonn

Hall of Famer
Location
London
I know, and I said it coming from a sometimes similar place - at one point I owned M4/3 17/2.8, 20/1.7, 25/1.8 and was even in danger of picking up the other 17mm or another 25mm. But don't you find it can be a bit paralyzing when you try to decide what to take with you for the day? I guess trying to pick your favorite rendering is like trying to pick a favorite child, though - the prospect of getting rid of any of them is tough.
The comparison with those m43 lenses is a good one, I remember very well owning the Oly 12/Pany 14/ Oly 17/ Pany 20/ Pany 25 and satisfying myself of the differences. With rangefinders it’s like that but at least 5 times worse.
 
Location
Switzerland
Real Name
Matt
The comparison with those m43 lenses is a good one, I remember very well owning the Oly 12/Pany 14/ Oly 17/ Pany 20/ Pany 25 and satisfying myself of the differences. With rangefinders it’s like that but at least 5 times worse.
I needed years to finally settle for one "fast fifty" for :mu43: - I owned the Panasonic 20mm, Olympus 25mm f/1.8, Sigma 30mm f/2.8 and Sigma 30mm f/1.4 at one point, all of which I really liked for what they were (though the 30mm f/2.8 was definitely redundant - but such a nice lens all the same). Only recently, I sold off the Olympus 25mm and Sigma 30mm f/1.4 to get the Panasonic 25mm f/1.4 II because it offers a more desirable set of compromises (the Sigma still renders more pleasingly, the Olympus is considerably smaller and lighter - but the Panasonic is sealed and has pretty good optics). It's similar. However, only in M land, I tend to consider yet another 35mm or 50mm lens as legitimate acquisitions (after all, it could bring something new to the table) ... Crazy, but so very rewarding at the same time. That reminds me ... There's a nice Voigtländer 50mm APO on auction in my area ... Got to keep an eye on that one. :)

M.
 

William Lewis

Veteran
Location
Hayward WI
Real Name
William Lewis
Silly question perhaps, but how much smaller is the field of view of the whole M 240 finder than what a 21mm lens sees? Or how much extra is included if I try to use the built in finder till I can afford to add a 21mm external finder?
 
Location
Switzerland
Real Name
Matt
Silly question perhaps, but how much smaller is the field of view of the whole M 240 finder than what a 21mm lens sees? Or how much extra is included if I try to use the built in finder till I can afford to add a 21mm external finder?

It's considerable! I think I can demonstrate that:

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Leica Elmarit-M, 28mm f/2.8 (non-asph.); some finder blockage on the right lower corner, so not as accurate as I intended (I wanted to align the earth line), but RF patch very consciously placed, the finder image was otherwise pretty accurate (the leaves in the lower left corner were within the frame lines).

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Voigtländer Color Skopar 21mm f/4; no profile (for either lens btw. - so you get to see the cast in the corners). Sorry for the reflections and all - this was just quick and dirty, no pp whatsoever (and minimal preparation). I couldn't see the ceiling in the finder ...

M.
 

William Lewis

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Location
Hayward WI
Real Name
William Lewis
Thank you for that demonstration. Presuming it doesn't get bought by someone else first, I have my eye on a 21/4 and will have to get a finder of some kind to actually use it. :thumbsup::drinks:
 

William Lewis

Veteran
Location
Hayward WI
Real Name
William Lewis
I've seen a Ricoh one for $120. The Leica ones are a smidge above that :doh: Well, I'll figure something out. I've got an eye on a VC 21/4 without a finder at a "Must grab" price for payday and I'll figure the rest out after that.
 
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