Leica Nikkor-W 3.5cm F2.5 on the Leica M9 and M Monochrom

BrianS

Legend
Jul 7, 2010
This is another "Rodney Dangerfield I don't get no respect" lens. Everyone talks about the 3.5cm F1.8, wich typically goes in the $1500 range in Leica Mount and ~$1,000 in S-Mount.

This Leica mount version of the 3.5cm F2.5 ran $300, and the S-Mount version was ~$250.

These are 6 element in 4 group Planar type lenses, same as the 35mm Summarex. I find the Nikkor optics to be just as sharp as the Leica lens, and the contrast to be higher. The Leica mount lens is tiny, uses 34.5mm thread mount filters. This is a hard size to find; I wrap a layer of nylon tape around the threads of a 34mm filter and use it.

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BrianS

Legend
Jul 7, 2010
Wide-Open, the SR-71. Bokeh is not as smooth as the 35/1.7 Ultron- a lens that uses aspherical optics to reduce spherical aberration. The Nikkor 3.5cm F2.5 and 3.5cm F1.8 are over-corrected for spherical aberration- busier out of focus areas when used at the extreme. The F2.5 lens uses a "flowering" aperture similar to the Zeiss Opton 50/1.5 Sonnar and modern Sonnar to reduce focus shift.

Wide-open

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BrianS

Legend
Jul 7, 2010
This image gives the illusion of "3-D", I've taken pictures of this F-86 with a lot of lenses. The Nikkor 3.5cm F2.5 "has something" to it! This is stopped down a little.

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F-14.

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F4u Corsair

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And a P-40,

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BrianS

Legend
Jul 7, 2010
I have the 3.5cm F1.8 in S-Mount, a good user picked up for $400. It has a 1-stop advantage over the F2.5 version. My 35/1.7 Ultron AND the 3.5cm F2.5 cost me less than half the F1.8 Nikkor. i'm happy.
 

rbelyell

All-Pro
May 14, 2013
NY Mtns
this is a tremendously underrated lens. its the sharpest smallest $300 lens i ever owned. excellent contrast and color for an old timer. i should never have sold it.
 

Peter Klein

Regular
Dec 31, 2014
Seattle
Peter Klein
Pampas Grass! It makes a great test subject for lenses and sensors. It really shows subtle rendering and tonal range. A friend let me try his M Monochrom a couple of years ago. I took two pictures of backlit Pampas Grass like this. One was exposed for the highlights, the other as much for the shadows as possible without blowing the highlights. Went home, put them in Capture One. I could make either one look exactly like the other. I'd never seen flexibility like that in a digital sensor. That, and the beauty of the rendering, convinced me that I had to have a Monchrom of my own. So now I do. Thank you, Pampas Grass.
 

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