How to complete a R lens equipment : LUSENET : Leica Photography : One Thread

Hello, I'm a Leica R8 owner. I presently have a 35mm Summicron and a 100mm Apo-Macro-Elmarit. My ideal equipment is in a focal range from 24 to 180/200mm. I'm thinking of buying a zoom 80-200mm Elmar. But it is a gap between 35 and 80 mm. I'm uncertain: a 50 mm (Summicron or Summilux) or a 35-70 Elmar? I'm also interested in a wide lens, but I'm uncertain between the 24 mm Elmarit and the new 21-35 Asph. Thank you all very much! Elio

-- Elio Daniele (, February 17, 2002


It boils down to how much of your shooting requires wide apertures. With the 35/2 you have at least one fast prime lens in a useful all- round focal length. The 35-70/4 and 80-200/4 are superlative lenses and perform magnificently even wide open. I would personally wait for the 21-35 in that range because the 21/4 is good but not mind- boggling (it's a 1960's design after all) and the 24/2.8 is a Minolta design that's fine but not worth the Leica price premium. If the 21- 35 is anywhere near the performance of the 35-70 and 80-200 it's worth waiting for.

-- Jay (, February 17, 2002.

Depends also on the lens speed you need. If you like macro work, plug the middle with a 60mm macro Elmarit. I use a similar setup, with a 19mm Elmarit on the wide end. I'm waiting to see what the 21-35 is like, but I won't likely rush into it.

-- Ken Shipman (, February 17, 2002.

I use a similar outfit with an R7. My personal favorite is the 50 Summicron, small, light sharp and inexpensive. Puts says the new Summilux is the best ever but my cron cost 1/4 of what I will have to pay for the lux. I agree with Ken that the 19 is something I need and will probably have later this year. Good luck.

-- Don (, February 17, 2002.

I agree with Jay. Take your time! I would start with the 35-70 F4 for the moment as this will plug the gap. The next purchase is a telephoto: Your options are a prime lens such as the 180 F2.8 or a zoom lens such as the 80-200 F4 or the 70-180 F2.8. To complicate matters a bit, there is even talk of a new 80-200 F2.8 to be built in Japan to Leica specifications but this may take a while. At this time both the 80-200 and 70-180 are excellent lenses but the latter is the only one boasting an APO (apochromatic) rating. Try them both and see. Finally, as to the wide angles, either the 19mm F2.8 or the new 21-35 F3.5-4 will suit you. I have the former and it is an amazing lens. Try them all and see. Build your collection slowly and happy shooting.

-- Albert Knapp MD (, February 17, 2002.

Elio, you have two superior Leica lenses. I am not particularly fond of zooms, so would lean either towards the wide or the normal for the next lens. The 19mm should be considered because it is such a wonderful lens and will give you capability that you currently do not enjoy, but ask yourself if you will use it that often. I now use only Leica M, but formerly owned R, and I really used the 60mm a lot - my favorite R lens. It did everything well, but you already have the 100mm Apo Macro Elmarit. The new 50 Summilux would be very attractive; a redesign with wonderful capabilities and high speed. Deciding which Leica lens to buy next is always a delightful problem to have.

-- David (, February 17, 2002.

Isn't there a rumor that a new 24R is in the works? It may be worthwhile to look into that further. I think the 24 length is a great lens and more usable than the 19 ( I have the 19 but you will use the 24 more)and the 21-35 zoom. The 24 makes you move around to get the picture rather than just zooming from a fixed location which may not offer the best view no matter what the focal length.

-- Bob Haight (, February 18, 2002.

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