Add primes to Leica R zoom outfit + 35'lux better than faster film? : LUSENET : Leica Photography : One Thread

Is it overkill for an amateur to add primes in ranges already covered by zooms? I have the 21-35, 35-70 and 80-200 (all 'new') and seldom need fast lenses. Does it make any sense, or rather, will I gain anything, by picking up, say a 180mm or a 24/28mm? I shoot about 5 rolls a month.

On a similar subject, with a M6 and 28asph, 50'cron, 90asph apo, does it make sense to add some speed - say the 35mm 1.4? Some of my friends think I am absolutely nuts and could by years supply of faster film, rather than spending c.$1800 for one more stop. Thoughts?

-- panicucci (, May 28, 2002


Unless the money is absolutely burning a hole in your pocket, keep it or buy film. Only get the faster lens if you find you absolutely need it with some regularity.

Fast films are amazing these days. I recently made 40x60 Lightjet prints from 35mm Fuji Press 800 negatives for a client to hang as murals in their reception area, and they are unbelievably good.

-- Dave Jenkins (, May 28, 2002.

Wow Panicucci, you must be some amateur if you own all those lenses listed above!! Seriously if you are accustomed to using zooms and rarely need super speed, I reckon you will find using a prime a pain in the butt. Personally I would use primes 24 and 50 and then have the 80-200 zoom.

-- Karl Yik (, May 28, 2002.

you must be a very rich guy. can i borrow some money so i can buy a second M6-TTL?

no, i don't think it's overkill. if you can easily afford it, i don't see any reason to hold back.

-- Dexter Legaspi (, May 28, 2002.

wait a minute...with that gear you only shoot 5 rolls a month?!

-- Dexter Legaspi (, May 28, 2002.

I've been down that path, Panicucci. Leave your R system as it is, unless you want to go into something like macro or very long lens work. Your zooms will do everything else you need except low light work. That's where your M comes in. Your Summicrons will handle that job in all but the dimmest light. Unless you need another focal length don't do it just to get faster. If you must get down to lower light levels, you could consider a Noctilux to complement your 50mm Summicron (not a substitute however). Overall, however, adding more equipment than you alredy have will just frustrate you. Instead, go take pictures with your already excellent outfits, and enjoy the pictures they will produce.

-- Ken (, May 28, 2002.

The 28/2 in your M outfit is as useful as a 35/1.4 since at f/2 a 28mm can be handheld at the same speed as 1.4 on a 35. If I added to your M outfit it would be a Tri-Elmar (for daytime and indoor+flash convenience) and a Cosina 15 or 21 to get something substantially wider than 28.

The R outfit you have is indeed lacking in speed but not a 28/2.8 or 180/2.8 that are only one stop faster than your zooms, easily done with faster film, and not offering much additional finder brightness. I'd get either a 50/2 or a 2-lens combo of 35/2 and 90/2, which would give you a 2-stop advantage over your zooms.

-- Jay (, May 28, 2002.

I think maybe you need the new 50 Summilux-R, which Erwin says is one of the best 50s ever. This adds one quality with speed lens to your R system. Even National Geographic is beginning to use more higher speed negative film in their articles.

Interesting. G

-- Gil Pruitt (, May 28, 2002.

In september in köln at the fotokina there will be an new apo-summicron-R 2/90 asph based on the same M-version, as one can hear here in germany - more than a rumor. this would be a good prime to add to your Primes, if you like the focal length. peter

-- Peter Lueck (, May 28, 2002.

don't let the previous posts deter you. there are very few of us who would not buy another lens or body or... if we could afford it. in my situation I figured out what i like to shoot the most, portrait work, and made sure that those lenses are well backed up with primes.for your aR, the 90 is much smaller and easier to hand hold than the 80-200, and since I shoot a lot at that range it is worth the investment. the 35 f1.4 to me seems to be a bit redundant, however I lust after the 75 f1.4, for low light portrait work.

-- greg mason (, May 28, 2002.

It really depends on your goals. If you need the speed, get the lens. I have a 50mm F/1.4 that I use on my travels in low light situations such as museums etc.

-- Albert Knapp MD (, May 28, 2002.

Panicucci. Well no one can say you haven't done your share in helping to kept Leica Camera in business. :-) As far as your original question, I think your friends are steering you coorectly. You have plenty of speed in your M system and enough equipment to make great pictures. I recommend more exposures and more film, not more lenses.

-- Eliot (, May 28, 2002.

M-Summilux ASPH 35mm f1.4@1/30 when focused at 1.5m has a different OOF redention compares to M-Summicron ASPH 35mm f2@1/15 at the same distance.

M-Summilux ASPH 35mm f1.4@1/30 with Superia-Reala looks different compares to M-Summicron ASPH 35mm f2@1/30 with Superia200.

M-Summilux ASPH 35mm f1.4@1/30 freezes a face that's about to turn away. M-Summicron ASPH 35mm f2@1/15 leads you to think it is not a sharp lens.

M-Summilux ASPH 35mm f1.4 is more than just a faster M-Summicron ASPH 35mm f2.

-- y.shawee (, May 28, 2002.

Using the above logic, Panicucci, you'd better plan on buying every lens Leica makes. They're all different from each other. ;-)

-- Ken (, May 28, 2002.

Ken's right. Each leica lens has its own fingerprint. It's up to you to decide what is overkill or a waste of money.

I like to keep things simple. I have 3 m6's, 28 Cron, 35 'lux asph, 35 Cron asph, and a 75 'lux. I also have an R6.2 with an 80 'lux and 180/ 2.8 APO. I still want to get a 21 and 50 for my M system. To me, this isn't overkill because I shoot more film in the average day than you do in a month. I also routinely work in low light. It would not be uncommon for a pro to have overlapping zooms and primes. Many do it so they have a backup. That's why I have two 35's, since it's my most used focal length. But if you're not shooting assignments to put food on the table, backups are a little less important.

I strongly diskike zooms. I find they can be useful if you can't change position, such as at a sporting event, etc. But I'd rather use a small number of lenses, and use my feet to find the best framing. I only use my R system for longer glass. IMHO, you can't beat an M for shooting with wide/normal glass.

You mentioned that you seldom need fast lenses. Unless you're a collector (and there's nothing wrong with that), I'd say stick with what you've got. Take the money to buy film. Better yet, use it to travel or maybe do a workshop or something.

-- noah (, May 29, 2002.

Thank you all.

Excellent opinions and answers all around.

-- Panicucci (, May 29, 2002.

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