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28mm 2.8 asph vs. V4 (or others?)
Old 08-31-2010   #1
braver
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28mm 2.8 asph vs. V4 (or others?)

I've been reading up on 28mm for the Leica M mount, used a Canon 'Winogrand' for a while and recently bought the Elmarit apsh. From that experience and reading, I still don't know which lens is the one for me. The Canon was a bit too retro, the apsh. is a bit too contrasty (I shoot trix). I don't feel like ditching the tiny asph. just yet, but I am looking around for other options, because 28mm is my main length, and I believe perfection should be out there somewhere.
So, I thought, the asph. lenses are know for their contrast and harsh rendering, while the pre-asphs are still very looked after for their rendering with b&w film, so perhaps I should be looking into an older 28mm.
Budget is not much of an issues, but the 'cron is a bit hard to justify. Perhaps the v4 is the ticket, but I can't find much info on that one. V3 and before don't get much love. But in all my reading, I just haven't found the knowledge I seek.
What 28mm do you think I should be looking for, for medium contrast (neither HCB nor DSLR) street photography with trix?
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Old 08-31-2010   #2
monochromejrnl
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try the voigtlander 28/3.5 LTM - small compact and great b&W tonality... sufficiently contrasty without harshness... good colour saturation and resolution...

I wish I used mind more - but find that 35mm is plenty wide for me 95% of the time...
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Old 08-31-2010   #3
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I love the Elmarit ASPH you have; what a great little lens ergonomically -- and I love its contrasty rendering. But if you want a lens with more micro-contrast for B+W than Mandler's Elmarit Version 3 might be the one for you in terms of rendering. Check out image samples of it in action at the M-mount group on flickr.

http://www.flickr.com/groups/8673143...rit28mmf2.8III
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Last edited by thomasw_ : 08-31-2010 at 13:37.
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Old 08-31-2010   #4
MikeTinsley
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I have a 28mm elmarit, but I have no idea what version it is - how can you tell? I like it in B&W with film though...
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Old 08-31-2010   #5
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Old 08-31-2010   #6
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Old 08-31-2010   #7
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I would suggest that as long as you dont need the speed the CV 28 2.5 is a good idea. A V4 elmarit will have contrast soemwhere between those you have tried. I have a ZM Biogon and it is supposedly marginally less contrasty than the elmarit asph. A hexanon is also worth consideration... many options really! If you dont mind bigger, the 28 1.9 ultron is of more modest contrast too.

My humble opininion is that the V3 elmarit is grossly over priced. its not small and costs more than a new Biogon when used. The V4 is often priced ridiculously and the hood is enormous. The lens is the same size as the 28 summicron asph, which if you have the money, might be just what you are after in contrast terms, but its a heck of a price of you dont need F2.

Its a shame CV do not make a current slow 28mm.... prices for the CV 28 3.5 LTM have rocketed due to cameraquest charging through the nose for the last few. They used to list at $289 or something and are now $500 if he has any left. This has of course totally screwed the used market too and you'll pay more for a used one now than a new one a year or two ago.
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Elmarit V3
Old 08-31-2010   #8
leicashot
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Elmarit V3

This is IMHO the most overlooked lens in the Leica M lineup. Why?

Because it has a big head, fairly large hood and is older.

People are always stating that the V4 and ASPH are much sharper, but I've never seen comparative tests proving this. Plus the V4 and Summicron are barely any smaller, especially with their large hoods on.

Here is a sample of what I'm talking about, all shot WIDE OPEN at f/2.8. This lens is sharp all over the frame to extreme corners, even wide open at close, mid and far distances. Flare is well controlled and distortion is average for this kind of lens. Bokeh is very neutral.

Full frame image



Crops at 100%





Full frame image close range



100% crop



Full frame



100% crop from corner



Now while these aren't images to admire, I feel they do demonstrate the qualities of this lens, and having owned the Elmarit ASPH and Summicron ASPH in the past, I believe they're barely any better, if that. I would only sell this lens to re-buy the Summicron. I also compared this to my good coop pof the VC 28/1.9 and the Elmarit was much sharper and contrasty at f/2.8, but had a bit more vignetting, which I feel may be this lens's only weakness in performance. Highly recommended for under $1k for a Leica lens.
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Last edited by leicashot : 08-31-2010 at 16:07.
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Old 08-31-2010   #9
Tim Gray
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If 28 is your main lens, money is no object, and other 28's aren't to your liking, the answer is the 28 Summicron. It's my favorite lens. Yeah, it's expensive. Buy it used. A lot of people are selling their copies now that the M9 is out since they were using it as a 35mm replacement on the M8. It's fast, sharp, small, etc. Not too harsh. The biggest problem with it is the large hood and it's penchants for vignetting. To remedy the first, just don't use the hood. The second you'll have to deal with.

The CV 28/3.5 is also a great lens, but I like the 28 Summicron more.
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Old 08-31-2010   #10
ampguy
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I'd go Elmarit v3 (E46) or better - M Hex 28/2.8 for modern / color, and keep your Canon 28/2.8 for normal / b/w, compact usage.
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Old 08-31-2010   #11
J J Kapsberger
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OP:

If your photos taken with the Elmarit-M 1:2.8/28 Asph are too 'harsh', you're doing something wrong. The lens is blameless.

I own one and can tell you it's not too contrasty, too harsh. It's a beautiful lens.

Do yourself a favour—keep your copy. You own as fine a 28mm lens as any.
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Old 08-31-2010   #12
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For "perfection" in 28mm B&W, you should try the 28/1.9 Ultron. This is the lens which renders most like the DR Summicron or Summaron - low contrast and high resolution. The Summicron is optically better of course, but the contrast is higher, and the price is 8 times as much.











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Old 08-31-2010   #13
braver
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J J Kapsberger View Post
OP:

If your photos taken with the Elmarit-M 1:2.8/28 Asph are too 'harsh', you're doing something wrong. The lens is blameless.

I own one and can tell you it's not too contrasty, too harsh. It's a beautiful lens.

Do yourself a favour—keep your copy. You own as fine a 28mm lens as any.
You might have a point of course and I may just have to look very closely at how I develop, perhaps this lens needs a different approach. My 50 lux however delivers a more classic tonality with lower overall contrast, which drove me to look for a 28 that is closer to that.

I still wonder if the v4 is the ticket, but I get the feeling there are very few out there, and they're fetching more than what the asph. does because of that.
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Old 09-01-2010   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by braver View Post
You might have a point of course and I may just have to look very closely at how I develop, perhaps this lens needs a different approach. My 50 lux however delivers a more classic tonality with lower overall contrast, which drove me to look for a 28 that is closer to that.

I still wonder if the v4 is the ticket, but I get the feeling there are very few out there, and they're fetching more than what the asph. does because of that.
but when I look at your other lenses they are old school. As good as the asph is, this high contrast elmarit will be much higher in contrast than the rollei and v2 summilux and this will mean your explsure development and processing will need to be different to account for the contrast differences between lenses. Shoot with a v2 lux and elmarit asph on the same roll and the difference is glaring.

It is very hard to work interchangeably with such a difference in contrast. I shoot mostly ZMs and asphs, with a 75 and 35 sumamrit thrown in, so its quite easy, but even so I note the lower contrast of the 35 summarit. If I were to shoot an old type 50 elmar on the same roll it would come out flat as a pancake with the way I expose and develop for these modern optics.
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Old 09-01-2010   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turtle View Post
Shoot with a v2 lux and elmarit asph on the same roll and the difference is glaring.
Yes, this is exactly the practical issue I'm looking at! Now, how to deal with it?
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Old 09-01-2010   #16
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In practice, you have to overexpose and underdevelop. I've had the Elmarit 28 ASPH and I sold it, because I decided that for the modern look and versatility, the Summicron is better. I have also used the 28 Biogon, v3 Elmarit and 28/2 Ultron. In my opinion, the V3 Elmarit is the worst of them all. The Biogon is very nice for street, but has strong curvature of field, the 28/2 Ultron is a nice lens, but has minor focus shift issues and is so and so wide open. As said before, for B&W photography the 28/1.9 Ultron ASPH is hard to beat if you shoot it with a film like Tri X handheld. For perfection, you can get the Summicron, Delta 100 and a tripod.
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Old 09-01-2010   #17
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If you consider the V4 Elmarit, also try the Hexanon 28mm - they have the same optical formulas, and one French photography journal rated it as a better lens when it came out. I use one, and the contrast is just perfect for me- I've used the CV28/3.5, CV 28/1.9, and the Summicron 28. The Cron was too much money for me, and it might be one of the best lenses Leica ever made, but the Hexanon was the perfect balance for me in terms of image and value.
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Old 09-01-2010   #18
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I must be blind because it seems I'm the only one in favour of the V3. Oh well, I'm a lucky one ;-)
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Old 09-02-2010   #19
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I've been on the same road. I've had Leica 28/2.8 ASPH and was looking for something with less contrast and less harsh OOF rendering. Before I had Minolta Rokkor 28/2.8 with white spots which I liked it but due to damage it flared a lot. Leica ASPH is most flare resistant lens of all Leica 28 lenses on the other side.

Then I changed it to Elmarit v4 (the E46 pre-ASPH) which was very fine lens for colour, but I didn't like it in general for BW due to (for me) unusual rendering of OOF. Mine had also a little loose aperture ring which Leica service has not fixed and it was very easy to accidentaly change aperture while changing focus. Also it focused closer than rangefinder coupling was setup so I had few closeups unfocused. I saw Summicron as the only option and found a good deal to buy one so I swapped 28mm lens again. Summicron is indeed a great performer, with softer rendering and excellent resolution of small details, but I think it (same as Elmarit v4) lacks some bite the Elmarit ASPH has.

Here is what I found out: If I don't use external viewfinder only Leica 28/2.8 ASPH and VC 28/3.5 are only good choices to use of contemporary lenses. Others will block standard M6 viewfinder considerably to comfortably use. 0.58x bodies are hard to find (a la carte Leica is way over what I'm willing to pay for camera body) - still they don't solve the blockage of viewfinder which I consider for wideangle important. Modern ASPH lenses are very picky on focus, and f/2 aperture for zone focusing is just non-sense. I'm going to sell the Summicron soon as I found 35mm FL better for 0.72x body. It's also my most expensive lens and I don't like to wander through the world with too much money in equipment.

If I was about to give you an advice, use your Elmarit and adjust your film exposing and developing habbits. Give the film a little more exposure and develop for less to lower the contrast. If you want to get rid of modern look, just use Rodinal.
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Old 09-03-2010   #20
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My recent shoot with the V3, some shots were wide open, without hesitation for exceptional sharpness across the frame. Starburst flare against the sun is nice.

http://www.rangefinderforum.com/foru...ad.php?t=94625
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Old 09-04-2010   #21
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I find that the v3 has a very nice look to it's images.

I would choose it over a v4 35mm cron every time except that it's slower and bigger. So in practice it gets left home too much.

I also have the 28mm f1/9 Ultron which I really liked at the time. But I'm using the Leica glass more now.
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Old 04-23-2011   #22
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Go with the Leica Elmarit-M 28mm f/2.8 v3 or Voigtlander Ultron 28mm f/1.9.
The overly crisp, ultra contrasty, and digital-looking images I have seen with the ASPH 28mm Leicas are not appealing to me.
To whomever said that there is nothing wrong with the ASPH lens and that it is faultless, you are ignoring the stated preference and taste of the OP.

Last edited by filmfan : 04-23-2011 at 09:16.
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Old 04-23-2011   #23
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I have been working through the same issue. I have a 50mm lux (E46) and want a 28mm to go with it. I had a 28mm Elmarit f/2.8 v.4 for a short time. I really liked the lens, but if I shot both on the same roll, the difference between the contrasts was excessive. They did not pair so well. So, I got a 28mm Ultron f/1.9 ASPH, and it seems to be a fairly good match. I've only got a couple of rolls through it, so it's too early to tell for sure, but so far it is promising. It also has the benefit of using 46mm filters, so one size fits both. Also, it has a similar look and feel to the lux in use, so they interchange nicely.

Now, if MTF's are any indication, the 28mm Elmarit f/2.8 v.1 has graphs that very closely mirror the lux v.2 graphs. I would love to get my hands on one and try it out, but they seem to be highly collectible. I rarely see them, even on ebay, and then they go for over $3,000.
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Old 04-23-2011   #24
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I do Like the ASPH Elmarit very MUCH
its a Tiny Lens , Sweeet, beautifully Sharp
i only shoot film & use Rofdinal so to me its NOT as Hard Edge as some may speak of...
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Old 04-23-2011   #25
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Lol, this is old I'm shooting a lot more color film lately, and changed my lenses around a bit. But still hanging on to the 28 asph. Now that I usually complement it with a 35 asph, I figured I could look into development and exposure adjustments to deal with sunny days. Getting better results, and still loving the tiny size. Also bought the even tinier 'Winogrand' 28 again and basically stopped looking fo anything else.
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