Best 50mm ltm lens

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Either the universe has a wonderful sense of irony, or James has a cruel sense of humor. Forget the speedy and expensive Summilux and Noctilux; the Summicron is the lens that earned Leica glass its place at the very top. With the Summicron, Leica set the standard for how a 50mm lens should look and behave, a standard that holds to this day. But to really understand why the V3 comes with such a bad reputation, we should look at the history of Leica itself.

The Summicron V3 was manufactured froma time Leica would probably like to either redo or forget entirely. It was simple; rangefinders were out and SLRs were in, which spelled certain doom for rangefinder-centric Leica. The brand quickly found themselves playing catch-up to more forward-thinking Japanese manufacturers.

Though Leica tried to stay relevant by developing their Leicaflex SLR and updating their flagship rangefinder system, both pursuits eventually ended in almost complete disaster. The Leicaflex cameras never offered anything significantly different from other SLRs and the too-radical-for-Leicaphiles M5 flopped hard, leaving the once-legendary manufacturer in dire straits.

In their flailing, the brand made an unthinkable move that still angers some Leica geeks to this day — they changed the optical formula of their most sacred lens, the Summicron. But in doing this, Leica committed the cardinal sin for many die-hard Leicaphiles — they screwed with tradition. As a result, the Summicron V3 has been treated as the runt of the Summicron litter.

But after shooting it for a little over a month, I have to say that most of these criticisms are wildly overblown. Sure, the V3 might not stack up when compared to its siblings, but when compared to every other fifty in the world it proves to be one of the best in the category.

Among other things, Summicrons are renowned for their outstanding sharpness and resolving power. But the V3 is considered inferior to all other Summicrons in this specific department. But where the V3 really starts to show its legendary character is when we notice that it retains resolution and sharpness to the edges of the frame at every aperture and yes, that deserves italics.

The Summicron V3 continues to excel when it comes to subject isolation and, you guessed it, bokeh. In-focus areas fade gracefully into their backgrounds, which are some of the smoothest in 35mm photography. Even more interesting is that the while the Summicron is based on the traditional Double-Gauss lens formula, famous for its distracting and busy bokeh, it somehow sidesteps that issue entirely and instead gives the most beautiful bokeh this side of a Zeiss Sonnar.

Contrast on the Summicron V3 is an interesting thing to consider. Contrast is still of the flatter variety, typical of the Summicron design. But what separates the V3 and all Summicrons from the rest is not the amount of contrast the lens has, but the way that it treats contrast.And this is the result.

But then lens choice is a really personal thing in my opinion.

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Despite this I feel the need to share with you my favourite lenses for M-mount cameras. So, I have compiled a list of my ten favourite M-mount lenses that I have used over the years.

best 50mm ltm lens

The list is in no particular order, as I think that each one of these lenses has its own spot, and because I found grading them to be really really hard.

It is the same focal length and aperture, but that is where the similarities end. Canon made some great lenses in the past and this was one of them. They also made some truly rubbish lenses, the 1.

I like the 1. The 1. The lens is also easy to handle. And it gives you a delightful bokeh without being too frantic around the edges. Of all the Canon lenses this and the 35mm f2 also known as the Japanese Summicron are my favourites. They are cheap and easy to find, as Canon made tons of them. The only things you need to watch for are separation of the elements a common issue with Canon LTMmould and haze, which is common in older lenses.

You will often see cleaning marks on them too, as the coating was not all that tough. I first got my hands on one when I bought a CLE from my old boss and it had the 40mm attached.

I love the sharpness of this lens and the size. It is tiny and very very easy to use. The unusual focal length, between 35mm and 50mm makes it less popular than many lenses but I feel that is should not really be overlooked. You can guess the framing if you have enough experience and this lens should not be missed.InI got myself a Canon 50mm f1.

It was dreamy with special spinning bokeh, during that time I thought I was having the best large aperture lens available for rangefinder cameras. But GAS continuously persuading me to look at other fast lenses. The magic was the silky skin rendering, creamy bokeh that I have never seen before. It was so special to me. Honestly, as a beginner searching for a Noctilux they all looked the same to me and I cannot tell which one should I get given the price varies among them.

So the question is which version should I get? I admit that I was a bit crazy about studying different Noctilux f1 lenses from Tommy Oshima to Tinyeyes on flickr. I tried to skim through every post to see if they mention which serial of the Noctilux they are using.

If you take a closer look at the bokeh and sharpness, you will notice the difference on each version. Generally speaking, they all inherited the same kind of mood with spherical like bokeh which gives you a very 3D look. I have tried 6 copies of Noctilux at different times, E58 Version 1Version 3 with clip on hood and Version 4 E60 with build in hood. E58 Version 1 pinned hood It has a filter size of 58mm with the most vignetting at wide open among 4 different versions but at the same time add extra character to this lens.

What is so different about this lens compared with the later version is that colour is generally muted and not as vibrant as the later versions. Earlier type coating will have some serious Leica glow and produce the softest texture of the skin. If price is not a concern, this is the version I would highly recommend you to try. E60 Version 2 pinned hood It is the rarest version as it has the lowest production unit.

I have only tested it out in a shop but never owned it. E60 Version 3 clip on hood It was my first Noctilux, its character is a combination of Version 1 and Version 4. It has better sharpness than Version 1 and 2 more obvious on film. Colour is very rich and has higher contrast. Bokeh is still very creamy but maybe due to the coating, it renders with more details in the bokeh than version 1. E60 Version 4 build in hood The Noctilux that I first saw and fell in love with.

Canon 50mm f/1.4 ltm lens Review – An impressive classic gem

I was attracted to its convenient square hood but honestly I was very disappointed when I found out the hood is so loose and made of plastic. Anyways, many people aim at the later serial numbers starting at or because it has modern coating and captures sharpest images on digital cameras.

The Nikkor 3.5 1.8 LTM and Canon 50 1.8 LTM on the Monochrom

But if you are looking for creamy bokeh, this lens is not suitable for you. For me, I shoot both digital and film but mostly with film so I ended up getting a very early serial starting with with coating and picture rendition similar to version 3. The magic of Noctilux is that by using its thin depth of field, you can separate your subject easily. It creates excellent portraits with mood and I would say this lens cannot be easily replicated by other lenses.

The glow from Noctilux F1 is the essence to create the special and magical mood in your photographs. Noctilux Version 3 was my first Noctilux copy after upgrading from Canon 50mm f1.I am a big fan of large aperture lens and bokehliciousness images. Since I already have possession of the Schneider Xenon 50mm F0. Alternatively, I had my eye on a similar Canon offering: the Canon 50 F1.

This is was introduced by Canon in and it was the fastest mass market lens available in Leica Thread Mount at that time. This lens is less than a stop slower than the Canon's famous big brother and the prices is only about a quarter of the F0.

There are two chrome versions of this lens and also a limited completely black version made specifically for Black rangefinders. Japan" on the front of filter thread. The Canon 50mm F1. There are 11 aperture blades with a minimum focusing distance of 1 meter.

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The filter size thread on this lens is 55mm and filters may be applied accordingly. The rendering of images is very similar to the Canon 50mm F0. In this case, the Canon 50mm F1. The Canon 50mm F0. In terms of wide open performance, the F1. When stopped down, the sharpness of image progressively increases and peaks at F8. I highly recommend buying the genuine Voigtlander or Novoflex LTM to M adapter as they are extremely well-built and will not incur any "loose play" like the cheaper eBay adapters.

It is an amazing lens that can be had for a relatively cheap price that works like a charm on any Leica rangefinder camera. Most importantly, it is a fun lens to shoot withand offers a very unique rendering. Canon 50mm F1. Size and Build Quality There are two chrome versions of this lens and also a limited completely black version made specifically for Black rangefinders.

Film 2 Articles 9 Posts 15 Gallery 17 Reviews The Canon 50 1. Ahhh, old classic lenses.

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Sometimes you just gotta love them, sometimes you just gotta hate them, and other times you just want to use them for their unique classic character to inject something cool and different into your photos.

True, some of these lenses are gorgeous and some are not so gorgeous but the fact remains. You can get a classic unique rendering and many times on the cheap, especially when compared to big money Leica modern glass. Since shooting the Leica Monochrom I have discovered, thanks to Ashwin Raothat sometimes old classics will perform better on this camera than the newest ASPH versions. When you want perfection, sharpness and amazing micro contrast it is tough to beat modern Leica glass.

My 1st thoughts were. Hmmm, what about the Leica 50 APO masterpiece? I know that lens rocks on the MM but the more I thought about it the more I was intrigued simply because old classic lenses are MUCH cheaper usually than the modern counterparts. High contrast lenses like those Leica ASPH lenses can be a bit too much contrast in bright conditions.

Canon 50mm f/1.4 ltm lens Review – An impressive classic gem

The hard part is finding it though as many shooters out there buy these lenses up as soon as they appear on the site, but if you check every day you may just find something. I managed to find a Canon 50 1. Much smaller than my Summilux but I just knew there was no way in hell this lens would even come close to the Lux.

I imagined soft wide open, hazy and nasty Bokeh. In the video above I show the adapter and take it on and off. You can see how tiny it is.

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Many prefer the Voigtlander to avoid any focus issues. I will let you know in a bit but also wanted to talk about another little gem of a lens. A Nikkor 3. I was not aware of this little lens until an e-mail came in from Ashwin where he mentioned that once again, KEH had it. Curiosity got the best of me and there it was.

Why so high for an old and aging 35 1. Luckily, KEH has an excellent return policy so my worries were gone. I took it out and tested it out with an ND filter to tame the AZ sun.Discussion in ' Leica and Rangefinders ' started by fredusDec 10, Hi there, I'm having an interest for old lensese lately and would like to know if your opinion what would be my best best for a Leica 50mm LTM Between a summitar and an elmar Hi Fred - I have both lenses - elmars uncoated and coated - and coated Summitars.

I also use old Summars, but - as in all photography - and Art - much depends on what you want to achieve. I find I use my Leica I more than any other camera these days, and it's fitted with its original standard uncoated elmar. I like this combo because of its lack of size and bulk.

For colour work, I use an UV filter, but am happy with the way the uncoated lens captures and registers light, without overdoing contrast and colour.

That said, a lot of photographers won't agree. So to answer you - try them both and see what suits you. You can find good examples of both - and they're not going to break the bank. Cheers Rob. Both are good though neither would be my first choice. Summitar would be easier to use while the elmar is smaller and cooler looking. If you want a coated one, whatever it is try to get one with coatings intact ; it's obvious when it's there but not when it's missing - if you see what I mean.

For uncoated Elmars, it's the older the better, for colour. Hard to find, but you asked for the best. Let me clarify that: When you're buying a coated lens, the coating on the front is obvious ; if it's not, then it's not there. And if it's not there I think it upsets the colour ballance a bit. A chap who gave us art students a crash coarse in photography s believed that old, old lenses aquired a coating, naturally. I can well believe this ; if you have ever dug up a very old glass bottle, in the garden, the glass surface has started to stratify, giving a rainbow, or even a gold colour.

Be interested to hear others' thoughts on this. Adrian - that's an interesting - and fascinating - idea about the acquired coating on very old lenses. I have an original 50mm elmar on my Leica I, but it shows no signs of natural coating.

I love the way this lens renders colour - perhaps just suits my eye - but I hope the attached image - one of the first I took with this lens and camera - will show something of its capabilities. I shot almost into the sun to get some idea of possible flare and glare, but even with the reflected glare from the sea and sand, it did a wonderful job.

I've posted these shots earlier - to try and express my enthusiasm for this old uncoated lens. I also have a Elmar with cleaning marks to the front glass, yet it still does a great job.These two super-fast lenses have never really piqued my interest — the 0. The gist of the tweet was that I should try the lens as I might like it too. At the time, I was a little smitten with the results, and after a bit of reading, I became quite inthralled by it.

But, apparently in a moment of clarity or possibly financial shortfall I decided to stick to my guns and carry on down the Sonnar road. He subsequently bought one and came back to me with some positive thoughts. That was that, until some months later when Anil got in touch to say he like to sell his Leica gear through 35mmc — including the Canon lens. The only noticeable mechanical issue is a very slight bit of give in the focus.

Focusing in either direction, I can just feel the slightest click before the helicoid is engaged. Long throw lenses are easier to focus more precisely, but can be slower when frequently shooting between close and distant subject matter.

Which 35mm LTM lens?

It also has an infinity lock which is a little annoying, though could quite easily be removed. There are of course a few spots of dust, but the glass itself is free of any of the nasties often found within lenses of the era.

As is always the case, wide open is where it vignettes the most too. Actually, the only time I really noticed it — certainly in an arguably more negative way — was when Connie asked me to take a photo of her doing a cartwheel. I knew I was too far away to take a good photo so I just focused and snapped to humour her.

You can see the extent of the vignette because of the type of image it is. Framing close for a portrait, vignetting tends to get a little lost into the bokeh. Rainbows are the name of the game. And sometimes looking at images elsewhere online some squiggly patterns in the opposite corner to where the sun hits the frame.

best 50mm ltm lens

I do try not to get carried away by bokeh — my extended thoughts on the subject can be found here. Largely speaking, it just gets out of the way. That being said, given the right circumstances, you can find yourself with slightly edged out-of-focus specular highlights.

One thing I have felt missing somehow is the melting transition to out-of-focus that I get with some other lenses in my collection, specifically my Sonnar lenses. Of course stopping down sees all round improvements.

best 50mm ltm lens

Of course, this is speaking objectively about what is apparently a good copy.


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