R system lens questions

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Hello! In the near future I plan to buy used R wide-angle lens like 35 or 28's on whatever bodies of Leica (R3, R4, R-E or SL2). I use Nikkor 2.0/28 wideangle to B&W autonom-reportage and enlarge the photos on a Leitz Focomat IIc (grey). I am infected with this Leica "thing" after having Focomat enlarger. Is there optical difference between the 2.8/35 and 2.0/35? If I buy a lens what should I observe on it? (except the scratches and wabbles).

Kris Kiszely

-- Kris Kiszely (kcris@freemail.hu), February 09, 2002


I recommend the 35 2.0 summicron R with the built-in hood. It is a great lens and you can find them reasonably priced. Good Luck!

-- Don (wgpinc@yahoo.com), February 09, 2002.

I had a late 35 f2.8 Elmarit (55mm filter, built in hood) and it was an especially superb lens. Zero distortion, excellent flare resistance, and sharp as a pin even wide open. The MTF charts put the 2.8 slightly above the 2.0 Summicron if you follow that sort of thing. When I sold my R7, I wished I could have kept the 35 Elmarit and used it on my Nikon.

-- Andrew Schank (aschank@flash.net), February 09, 2002.

The 35/2.8 E55 version is arguably a slightly better-performing lens than the 35/2 E55 version and much lighter and less expensive. However for reportage the 35/2 or even the 35/1.4 might better serve your personal needs. Both the earlier (E48) and current (E55) 28/2.8 are excellent lenses, with the current version a floating-element design with better overall performance in the close-up range at the wider apertures.

For reportage I would caution about the R3,4,5,-E,and SL due to the less sensitive metering in low light compared to the R7,R6/6.2, SL2 and R8 (in order of increasing low-light sensitivity).

-- Jay (infinitydt@aol.com), February 09, 2002.

Hello Kris. In my experience both second optical versions of the 35mm f2 Summicron and f2.8 Elmarit R lenses are superior performers to early versions with the Summicron R f2/35mm simply having that one stop advantage. Early versions of each take series 7 filters whilst later versions use 55mm screw-in filters. Both later versions are good performers but IMHO not up to the current M lenses in performance. An interesting intermediate second version 35mm Elmarit R f2.8,uses a square detachable hood which incorporates a wheel,for fitting a rotatable series 7 polariser. Regards.

-- Sheridan Zantis (albada60@hotmail.com), February 10, 2002.

Thanks the quick answers! More question: Is optical difference betweeen the older and the newer R wideangle lenses?

Regards Kris Kiszely

-- Kris Kiszely (kcris@freemail.hu), February 10, 2002.

Erwin Puts seems to be a less enthusiastic admirer of the 35mm E55 Elmarit, than those of you above. He implies the 35mm f2 is better--I have not used an Elmarit so cannot comment. The Summicron 2nd version is an excellent lens with nice imaging qualities (bokeh and all that stuff) and it focuses very very close so is an extremely useful normal lens. The current Summicron is very expensive new, but in its 3rd cam (non-ROM) variant and s/h is much more reasonable.

-- Robin Smith (smith_robin@hotmail.com), February 11, 2002.

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