Leica R glass... Users?

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by TNcasual, Jul 17, 2017.

  1. TNcasual

    TNcasual Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Dec 2, 2014
    Knoxville, TN
    I like shooting with my three Leica R lenses, Elmarit-R 28 2.8, Summicron-R 50 2 and Macro-Elmar-R 100 4. Yes, they are heavy chunks of glass, and they do take a little extra effort to use. But, I really like the results that I get with them. Going back through my pictures, I find that some of my favorite images where taken with one of these lenses.

    It doesn't really seem that anyone else on the forum is using Leica R glass. I realize that Leica stuff is pretty over-priced, but some of the older Leica R lenses are not extravagantly expensive on KEH or MPB. I just don't find many instances of people user Leica R on m4/3 much anywhere, and just a few instances of people using them adapted to other digital cameras (Canon, and other Leica cameras.) Even @Amin Sabet@Amin Sabet's Leica forum doesn't have much traffic for Leica R.

    I was wondering if anyone knew of a place online that could be a good resource, but more importantly, that has an active user group. I am looking for first hand knowledge with the glass and a place to share what I produce.
     
  2. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    It does seem like 2x crop sensor may be a less desirable choice for adapting high end 35mm film lenses. I would suspect most who have invested heavily in classic lenses would probably want to use them on a FF sensor, or APS-C with a speed-booster. There are several good manual focus lens forums, but I don't know if there will be a large community for m4/3 and high end classic lenses for that reason.
     
  3. TNcasual

    TNcasual Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Dec 2, 2014
    Knoxville, TN
    I used my lenses on the Fuji X-E2 that I had for awhile. While the results were nice, they weren't anything that I couldn't replicate on my E-M10.

    That was my experiment with APS-C. Sometime in the future I may try out an A7 with the lenses. But I am just happy with my Oly that I don't see moving to FF as something I need.
     
  4. JamesD172

    JamesD172 Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    481
    Aug 18, 2016
    James Dolezal
    Out of curiosity, how do results from your Leica R glass differ from native lenses? What do you like about them?
     
  5. TNcasual

    TNcasual Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Dec 2, 2014
    Knoxville, TN
    Heh, I just do.

    Some of if it simply subjective. It just so happens that some of my favorites are with the lenses. Some of it has to do with the process. More thought goes into using the manual lens, so more thought goes into the image, resulting in an overall more interesting image. Some of it is the lenses themselves. There is a certain quality to the bokeh and to the transition areas that I find pleasing. I also think that there is something to the color rendering, but haven't put my finger on it yet.
     
  6. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    There's no way you can replicate the FOV and DOF control. That's what most people list as the biggest con when using FF lenses on a smaller sensor. I'm not saying it should matter to you, but it does to most. Which is why you may be having a harder time finding fellow m4/3 + 35mm Leica users.
     
  7. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    Well, you can get a wider-than-APS-C (1.4x crop) FOV with a cheap $75 focal reducer from eBay. When stopped down past f1.4, I also find that it improves resolution a bit, as well. Anything slower than f/2 typical performs better all-around with the focal reducer.
     
  8. TNcasual

    TNcasual Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Dec 2, 2014
    Knoxville, TN
    DOF I'm not that concerned about. With the macro lens, I attempted a 4 image stack at f/4 on a flower just for fun. So DOF can still be narrow with that lens. As for the others, I enjoy the fact that the 28mm at f/5.6 is essentially hyperfocal. That is an advantage.

    As for FOV, it would be nice to recover some of that wasted image circle. That is why I am considering the Kipon focal reducer. It is at 0.7x. So my 28 2.8 goes to a 20 2, the 50 2 goes to a 35 1.4, and the 100 goes to a 71 2.8. And I don't have to buy a new camera with adapter and fight the learning curve. The added FOV is also what I liked most about using them with the Fuji.
     
  9. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    That focal reducer works on APS-C, too, giving near native FOV and DOF.
     
  10. TNcasual

    TNcasual Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Dec 2, 2014
    Knoxville, TN
    See above comment about purchasing and learning a new camera system.

    I am not against getting something to try out my lenses. It just isn't in the cards, financially, for me for the foreseeable future.
     
  11. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    For what it's worth, the Kipons are twice the price of the generic option, and I'm not sure they're any better. If finances are what are holding you back, I wouldn't rule out the $75 eBay cheapies. They work surprisingly well, especially for slow lenses, as I mentioned above.

    No doubt. Then again, most 35mm film lenses are not particularly well corrected in the corners, since film emulsions are much better able to absorb light from steep angles than digital microlenses. I suspect that from a optical performance point of view, an APS-like crop might end up being the best compromise. I personally have found that film lenses wider than 50mm don't impress me with their cross-frame sharpness, that's for sure.

    It kind of depends on what your perspective on adapted lenses is, in the end. I specifically tailored my legacy lens purchases to the field of view they give me with the M4/3 crop. If people have a sentimental attachment to how an old film lens looked on their 35mm SLR, they're obviously going to be disappointed to varying degrees with a crop from any non-FF digital camera. But I don't think that's the case with @TNcasual@TNcasual, as I seem to recall he inherited these lenses when he was already an M4/3 user.
     
  12. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    And if you re-read my statements, I was never trying to convince you to do anything like that. I was just trying to explain why there doesn't seem to be as large of a user base for high end manual lens users using m4/3.
     
  13. TNcasual

    TNcasual Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Dec 2, 2014
    Knoxville, TN
    Before I buy, I will definitely do more research. I had just heard that the Kipon and Zhongyi ones were better than the no-name ones.

    Yes. I acquired these after I was in m4/3. While not inherited, I paid considerably less than what they would cost to purchase on ebay, KEH, etc.

    That is the conclusion I have come to, hence the thread to see if anyone had any suggestions.

    I have found a pretty active thread over on Fred Miranda for Leica R glass. I'm not sure many are using m4/3, but I might start contributing there.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. JamesD172

    JamesD172 Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    481
    Aug 18, 2016
    James Dolezal
    You should also continue to post here though, part of the reason I love this forum is the variety.
     
    • Agree Agree x 4
  15. TNcasual

    TNcasual Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Dec 2, 2014
    Knoxville, TN
    I'm not leaving home.

    I am just looking for others with experience with these lenses.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  16. walter_j

    walter_j Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    442
    Sep 10, 2013
    Hagwilget, B.C., Canada
    Walter
    I get the twitches when i see photos with leica lenses too. I have the 17.5 and 25 CV which are pretty good, but id take a leica. 5000 for a lens though.
     
  17. ph.

    ph. Mu-43 Regular

    33
    Feb 14, 2010
    norway
    I primarily have Leica R-, some Zeiss C\Y optics (and two ancient OM macros) for use with FF cameras, but find the corresponding Metabones 3/4 speedbooster adapters very good for use with longer lenses on the PenF.

    The 180mm f3,4 for example is quite compact. It is good enough for my purposes, as is the sonnar 85mm f.2,8, although I presume that if they had been designed for a smaller image circle they could have been even better. The quite small R 21-35 zoom is also entirely usable. I occasionally use a wider 3\4 lens zoom (3/4 for its inherent optical corrections so as to avoid the usual software shortcuts), but olympus MFT optics are smaller and lighter if large pockets are out of the question.

    The ability to choose aperture and precicely control focus rather than being hostage to what the camera feels it should do, is a great advantage. Olympus auto-lenses are optically OK,but not as predictable and using electronic manual mode gives no great advantage to using fully manual optics in the first place.

    p.
     
  18. TNcasual

    TNcasual Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Dec 2, 2014
    Knoxville, TN
    If you don't mind, what other Leica R lenses do you use? Also, what FF camera do you use them on?

    I agree with the choosing aperture and focus comments. That is why I like legacy lenses. They don't replace native glass, just provide a different shooting style.
     
  19. ph.

    ph. Mu-43 Regular

    33
    Feb 14, 2010
    norway
    Probably not useful for others, but since you ask.

    Occasionally I use the R 50\2 which for view angle purposes becomes "70"1,4 with the Speedbooster on MFT. 1,4 plus Olympus stabilization allows slower shutter speeds. This combination is also smalller and lighter than the next step up the speed ladder .For macro, my R 100\2,8 becomes "142"\2 on MFT.

    Not perhaps so handy on the smaller MFT body, but I have tried my R 80-200 -even with the 2x extender (most recent version) and my 35-70. Sharp & contrasty enough, but I mainly use them on my FF.

    For really distant subjects with clear air a 500mm R mount, but that is with the FF Canon remotely controlled and focussed via computer scree on a solid tripod so as to avoid vibration. Infrequent use. If Olympus ever gets round to providing tethered control of the Pen F insted of battery-draining wi-fi systems I will try it with really long optics. Their standard camera to computer cable should be able to perform as well as the simpler Canon USB Cable.

    To your original question, if one already has Leica R optics, they are well worth keeping. They work well on full frame and are perfectly capable of getting good snaps. The real, pocketable advantage of MFT, however, can only be gained by using optics designed for its smaller image circle. With only manual controls they can shed even more bulk.

    p.
     
    • Appreciate Appreciate x 1
  20. TNcasual

    TNcasual Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Dec 2, 2014
    Knoxville, TN
    Thanks, @ph.@ph.

    I use my 50 2 regularly. I especially like it for long exposure stuff with or without ND filters.

    My macro is the 100 4 on the big heavy bellows. I thoroughly enjoy using it. I would really like to use it on a FF camera to use its full image circle. I think in would give outstanding results.

    Due to some house renovating, I have to put off picking up a focal reducer for awhile. Guess I'll just have to my best with what I have.