560 Telyt vs new 560mm modularlens

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I have done extensive testing with the 560mm Telyt and would like to know how it compares to the new 560mm 4.0 modular telephoto. Any comparitive advice would be appreciated. In addition, how does the 560 4.o compare to the latest Canon and Nikon 600mm lenses?

Thanks, Lawre

-- lawrence beck (stork@lawrencebeck.com), December 06, 2001


I've used the Modul system (borrowed) but do not own it. Compared to the Nikon (which I own AF-S glass)IMO I couldn't see any difference in performance. It's a lot heavier, a lot more expensive, and a *lot* harder to re-sell. Those handles on top also make it a *pain* for wildlife photography because they snag on branches. The latest Canon lenses have IS, which in my estimation (as a Nikon user)puts them in a class by themselves and if I could I'd switch. The 560/6.8 Telyt is a slow lens with only 2 elements and significant preformance drop in the corners...no comparison at all to the others. But it is certainly lighter.

-- Jay (infinitydt@aol.com), December 06, 2001.

Well, without having used either (you can hence ignore my comments if you choose!), the current modular lens is clearly going to be much better and is faster. It is after all an APO lens, and Leica do not use this appellation lightly. The old Telyts, produce a nice image, but I doubt seriously compare in overall quality of the current modular system. The Telyts are telescopic lenses and have great field curvature, which seems to work for wildlife, but will cause difficulties for scenes that require edge to edge sharpness.

I also agree with Jay's points about their size, although to be fair that if you have more than one long lens the size is not so bad, since the design is modular - this is the point of the modular system. Personally though I think the real problem is the prohibitive price which I think makes any real long lens work with current Leica APO style lenses (i.e. on a par with Canon and Nikon) out of the question unless money is really no object. Even the 280/f4 APO is about $5000, whereas a 300mm Canon L IS f4 lens can be obtained s/h for $1100. I certainly could not afford this kind of money. The 560 modular system is even more.

My gut feeling based on my experience of Leica optics is that the modular system is probably very good, and might even be marginally better than the Canon and Nikon equivalents. But this really is a big money zone. Any reasonable person spending this kind of money would want to compare and test the lenses themselves. Canon and Nikon dealers would oblige (you can rent to start), but Leica dealers often barely have a 280f4 APO in stock, so I think the odds are against you doing such a test. Coupled with the difficulty of resale, I think that for a modern supertele work, you are better off with a Canon or Nikon (it does pain me to say this!).

-- Robin Smith (smith_robin@hotmail.com), December 06, 2001.

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