Looking for a "normal" rangefinder lens

traveler_101

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Has anyone tried either the Voigtlander 28mm/1.9 Ultron or the 28mm/3.5 Color Skopar on an E-P1/2 or any micro 4/3 camera? I'm look for a manual focus lens in the "normal" range for street photography.
 

cosinaphile

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i own the 28 1.9 lens it a small heavy barreled lens thats just ok to good wide open but not as sharp as the 50 1.5 nokton.... at f4 or so its very good

the 28 f2 that replaced it is native m mount and much more expensive but is said to be sharper......... the 28 1.9 is screw mount. i use a 15 dollar screw to m ring to use it on my m to m4\3. you can also use a screw to m43 adapter that has no moving parts from e bay for about 30 bucks i have one of those adapters too and keep it on the voigtlander 15mm 4.5 permanantly
 

Jonas B

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Not many lenses are as sharp as the Nokton 50/1.5... The 28/1.9 is from what I have heard a good choice for µ4/3 cameras as there is nearly no smearing at the borders. That is as opposite to the new 28/2 version, which btw also exhibits some focus shift.

I returned my 28/2 after having bought it wishing I had picked the 28/1.9 instead. Then I ended up with an FD24/2 instead for wider FOV but that's another story.
 

cosinaphile

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didnt know about the smearing corner issue with the 28 2 , the 28 1.,9 seems to have pretty even sharpness across the frame
 

traveler_101

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The 28/1.9 is from what I have heard a good choice for µ4/3 cameras as there is nearly no smearing at the borders. That is as opposite to the new 28/2 version, which btw also exhibits some focus shift.
Thanks, I read the same report somewhere, though ahuyevshi praised the new version (28/2) and seems to have gotten great results: https://www.mu-43.com/f81/cosina-voigtlander-28mm-f-2-nokton-image-thread-1526/

I returned my 28/2 after having bought it wishing I had picked the 28/1.9 instead. Then I ended up with an FD24/2 instead for wider FOV but that's another story.
The 28/1.9 seems to be difficult to find (no longer in production) and the one source I've found has a "no returns" policy. :rolleyes:

What about something like a Canon rangefinder lens, e.g. the 28mm/2.8? What is the FD24/2--if you have had a good experience with that?
 

Jonas B

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The FD24/2 is a Canon SLR lens from the times before AF. It's not really an option for you as I guess yo want a small lens. The FD24/2 is good with a nice rendering even if it has some CA towards the borders, but it is big.
 

cosinaphile

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i would not say i am unhappy with the lens...... i like its look the smoothness of focus, its build quality and appearance on my ep1\gf1 and of course its speed ,

if you are not pixel peeping the shots look perfectly sharp and color and contrast are fine . the 28 1.9 is a lens i enjoy taking out when i need a fast normal ... the second fastest " normal " i use is a pentax 24 f2.8 110 lens

the CV 28 1.9 lens is a fine performer stopped down ,[ which is something that can be said of many lenses] because it is a 28mm design, i can forgive its not acting like a 45 or 90.... further its the fastest 28 rangefinder lens in history , which is a feather in its lens-cap , ..........so to speak

its just that when i compare it wide open with the contax g 90 2.8 the contax g 45 f2
or the voigtlander 50 1.5 it lacks the superior sharpness of those lenses, but i use it and have taken quite a few keepers with it .... its by no means a dog.
 

cosinaphile

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here is the lens at 5.6 iso 200

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cosinaphile

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i just realized that the 1:1 format is not optimal for judging corner sharpness

so here is a 4\3 shot iso 200
28 mm 1.9 at 1.9 natural jpeg

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hertz

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The 1,9 is my everyday-lens since I aquired it (about three weeks ago now). I would expect that my sample might look even a bit softer wide open than yours´,Cosinaphile, when used for such a wide scene. But from about 2,5 on I use mine without reservation. Compared with my optically best Zeiss Distagon 2,8/28mm the initial raws appear softer at 2,8 and even 4 (but this Zeiss is a sharpness-monster by all means). At very first glance I was about to dismiss my sample. But the lens records quite differentiated fine contrast, so it lives up competitively with the Zeiss when adequate sharpening is applied. So my love for its great built quality (by far the best from my quartet of screwmount-Voigtländers), nice handling and last but not least great aesthetics is uncompromised. I as well had to take the risk of ebay-no-return-habits you mention, traveler101, but I´m glad I did in this case. I can say that for my purposes only one of the Zeiss ZMs were a valuable alternative, but since I can´t try those beforehand (to check whether this maybe sensor-induced corner-smearing issue applies) I stick with the Voigtländer enjoying the money spared.
BTW – for purposes of street photography my recent “get anyone lens out of the box and try”-exercise prooved both the 3,5/28 as well as the 2,8/28 OMs as pretty capable, any makes a very compact combo with the E-Ps at no costs... Two examples linked not to blow this post even further (“Vollbild” shows better size)
for 3,5: Picasa Web Albums - Hertz-Eichenrode - Neu hinzugeko...
for 2,8:
Picasa Web Albums - Hertz-Eichenrode - Neu hinzugeko...
Best
Hans-Jürgen
 

Ulfric M Douglas

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Would it be at all possible to mechanically whip off the whole lens from one of those Canon (or other brand) rangefinders? Didn't some have 30-ish-mm focal length and wideish aperture on a good lens?
 

traveler_101

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to Hertz and cosinaphile . . . my thanks

Except for the first one, those were reasonably sharp cosinaphile, but not really satisfying until stopped down to 5.6. That one was sharp. Thanks for the effort. Doesn't really sell me the lens, I must say. Where is that cosinaphile, Philly?

Hertz, your shots with the E-3 and the Zeiss of the sea are amazing. The feeling of stillness is just so pure and deeply sad. I think these work so well aesthetically because they seem to have acquired a slight yellowish tinge, perhaps from the lens or a filter (?) on the black an white photos, and second you managed somehow to minimize the contrast making us feel a part of the photograph . . . in effect you managed to minimize the distance between the viewer and the viewed. . . truly good work. Much of your walk-about stuff was excellent too, i.e. what you choose to photograph shows imagination, e.g. Berlin bei Hackescher (shot through the restaurant window which distances what we see outside in a suggestive way); the child and mother (madonna and child) at the Berlin Banhof, very nice, the girl with the adidas bag at the rail station and many others. You seem to like to travel by rail. :smile:

I just have a quick question: I see you use a 35mm lens (OM) in some of these shots with the E-P2. I am interested in that FOV as well for a walk around lens. Care to comment on its uses?

Thanks for your post, Mark
 

hertz

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Thank you very much, traveler 101, for your intense look and your very kind comments, they are highly appreciated. About the tint – well, this is just postprocessing. Channel mixer in PS f.e. or my highly prefered approach per LightZone make it pretty easy to achieve any one- or multi-colouration-effects, per LZ even limited to freely defined luminance-ranges in one step. Praises to Brian to promote this software so actively!
BTW it is interesting how LZ improved my pre-conception during shooting; you can achieve anything with PS, but for me the clear tool-layout made it to a part of my viewing practice when shooting (you see, I am not following the "pure photography" approach :), just decorating paper). These sea-shots are meant as a series and when looking at the scenery I knew how it would look like per PP, even the look on the adequate paper for printing (Ilford smooth fine art in that case, wonderful for b/w when calm abstract subjects profit from the smoothly structured surface of the paper more than from flat surfaces for highest detail). Fine to hear from you it worked.

35mm – some classic numbers work interestingly well on (m)4/3 IMO. As the only lens I choose anything between 24 and 28 for normal distance street scenes, just to be sure not to miss something. But from my results I learned that 35 should be about perfect since I often crop some of the 28-results (means: I don´t walk close enough…). Olympus seems to have thought their line with similar sympathy - first I wondered why they choose 35 as a “core”-number (both 2,0-pro-zooms feature 35mm, the second of those rare Oly-primes was 35). So I tried again my OM 35s; esp. the not so well regarded 2,0 works well for me. After recognizing the value of 35 I chose a - pretty inexpensive but sharp – Y/C Distagon 2,8/35mm (while prefering the oof-rendering of the OM and the 35 Ultron´s). On the E-P2 it were this 1,7 Ultron I “had” to aquire, interesting lens, bit weird performance below f4 concerning corner sharpness with my sample. For my practice the Ultron 1,9/28 will stay as my regular mft-28, but if any chance will be to try a Zeiss ZM 2 or 2,8/35mm successfully I´ll get one and I expect it to become my most used lens for street-purposes (as long as I miss to walk close enough :)). Conclusion – just try and please report your experiences.
Best
Hans-Jürgen
 

traveler_101

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Hans-Jürgen, thanks for your detailed answer. I am new to digital photography and sometimes forget how important PP has become. I have done some myself now but am still working out how I feel about it for my own work. I see some photographers set strict limits on what kind of post production processing they will do. In any case it worked well for you.

I am glad that my own intuition about a 35mm as a walk around lens on :43: may be correct. I've tried using an OM 50mm/1.8 lens as a walk around but it is way too long. 25mm is "boring" according to Brian Mosley and I agree with him after using the 25/2.8 pancake on my E-420 (Hans-Jürgen you're not the only one who pays close attention to what he has to say!). On the wide side of "normal" the 17mm is very good and in the other direction, 28 and 35 seem to be the alternatives; I think after reading your comments, I'll try a 35.

Speaking of this I have been trying to get an answer to the following question on the dpreview board but no one there seems to know:

Which 35mm Voigtlander lens is better on a micro 4/3 camera? the Color-Skopar Pan Type II for Leica M mount, or the older version, the Color Skopar Classic, Leica Screw Mount? They are both still available and at good prices.

How about it anyone? :cool:

How about it cosinaphile? By the way, cosinaphile, do you have a photographic collection published on line? I'd like to have a look.

Thanks, Mark
 

cosinaphile

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Hans-Jürgen, thanks for your detailed answer. I am new to digital photography and sometimes forget how important PP has become. I have done some myself now but am still working out how I feel about it for my own work. I see some photographers set strict limits on what kind of post production processing they will do. In any case it worked well for you.

I am glad that my own intuition about a 35mm as a walk around lens on :43: may be correct. I've tried using an OM 50mm/1.8 lens as a walk around but it is way too long. 25mm is "boring" according to Brian Mosley and I agree with him after using the 25/2.8 pancake on my E-420 (Hans-Jürgen you're not the only one who pays close attention to what he has to say!). On the wide side of "normal" the 17mm is very good and in the other direction, 28 and 35 seem to be the alternatives; I think after reading your comments, I'll try a 35.

Speaking of this I have been trying to get an answer to the following question on the dpreview board but no one there seems to know:

Which 35mm Voigtlander lens is better on a micro 4/3 camera? the Color-Skopar Pan Type II for Leica M mount, or the older version, the Color Skopar Classic, Leica Screw Mount? They are both still available and at good prices.

How about it anyone? :cool:

How about it cosinaphile? By the way, cosinaphile, do you have a photographic collection published on line? I'd like to have a look.

Thanks, Mark

heres some...

Flickr: cosinaphile's Photostream

and also about 50 images in the gallery here
 

hertz

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I see some photographers set strict limits on what kind of post production processing they will do.

Hi Mark, of course I respect that but for me strict is a category applying to both death as being strictly unavoidable and care for any life as strictly reasonable ;-), hobby is fun, even that not strictly :), ok., nonsense mode off for now.
Would be interesting to analyze why 25 should appear to be more boring on m4/3 than the equivalent 50 as the one classic on small format film - will take my 2,8/24 OM, may be good exercise to try to get close enough...; rarely chosen because may sample (must be the only around according to the usual ravings) being not as sharp as my prefered lenses.
2,5 35 Voigtländer - wondered about the same like you before aquiring the 1,7 - following Sean Read´s praise for the Classic and comparing results from the II in the net fwiw left me with the impression that both versions may differ more by sample variations than by type - nothing reliable though.
Now let´s ask please to show your results :) (in case I wasn´t too dull to locate those).
Best
Hans-Jürgen
 

Jonas B

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(...)
25mm is "boring" according to Brian Mosley and I agree with him after using the 25/2.8 pancake on my E-420 (Hans-Jürgen you're not the only one who pays close attention to what he has to say!). On the wide side of "normal" the 17mm is very good and in the other direction, 28 and 35 seem to be the alternatives; I think after reading your comments, I'll try a 35.
I'm surprised to read that. A normal lens is boring?! What was the context, or how can I find this statement?

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/Jonas
 

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