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The Voigtlander Ultron 28mm f2.0...
Old 08-09-2008   #1
P. Lynn Miller
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The Voigtlander Ultron 28mm f2.0...

Decided to start a new thread since my original thread is getting rather long and convoluted.

I am walking out the door right now with the Bessa and 28/2 for a few hours on the coast, so I will be back with some pretty pictures soon.
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Old 08-10-2008   #2
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I've heard a few people mention that the R2A finder is "roughly" 28mm coverage. What has been your experience with this. I am considering a 28mm lens but don't really want to use the separate viewfinder, at least not all the time.
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Old 08-10-2008   #3
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Unfortunately, I am bespectacled, so the finder of the R2 that I can see is considerably less than the field-of-view of the 28, but if I am quite sure that without glasses, I would not really need the 28mm finder.

If I did not wear glasses, I would tape the finder window so there were no frame-lines and use the whole R2 finder like Tom A. has suggested.
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Finally Some Photos...
Old 08-11-2008   #4
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Finally Some Photos...

I have finally had time to scan and post-process some negatives taken with my new Ultron 28mm f2.0.

After spending a few days with the Ultron 28mm f2.0, I am even more impressed with this lens. Internal flare is extremely well controlled. The lens is scary sharp right into the corners and able to resolve incredibly fine detail. There is some light fall-off in the corners at 2.0 but is gone by f2.8 or so. I would venture to say that with very high resolving film like Efke KB25, Rollei Pan 25 or Adox CMS 20, you will need a drum scanner or the highest-quality enlarging optics to get all the detail onto a print. This lens is that good.

As for the hood, it does a splendid job of keeping the front element dry from rain and spray in a driving gale. I really do not wish for a large hood, as it would start to seriously obstruct the viewfinder, although it would have little effect on an external finder.

I have never been an 'early-adopter', and never among the first to own a newly released lens. But something about the personality and ability of the Ultron 28mm f2.0 motivated me to do something so out of character that I am still in shock by my purchase of this lens. But there is no doubt that this lens has to be the best investment I have made in optics in years, right up there with my impulse purchase of a pair of Swarovski binoculars about 20 years ago.

If you are even considering this lens, just buy it.

I have more negatives to scan and will post photographs as I get them scanned and processed.
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Old 08-11-2008   #5
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Thanks for posting your comments. I have been very seriously considering this lens, and may buy it at the local dealer this week.

Last edited by alien8 : 08-11-2008 at 06:08. Reason: typos
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Old 08-11-2008   #6
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gday,
just finished my roll with the new ultron. picked it up today from mainline. love the size and feel. haven't seen the results yet but can't wait to shoot some more tomorrow.

p. lynn. scott said you've got one of the first ultron in sydney and shot some comparing it with elmarit asph and non-asph. the results were favourable. excellent!
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Old 08-11-2008   #7
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I'm looking forward to picking up mine from the post office, hopefully this week. Lynn, I'll photograph my wheels!
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Light Fall-off af f2.0
Old 08-11-2008   #8
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Light Fall-off af f2.0

Winoto, good to hear that you spent some time annoying Scott today! Look forward to seeing some photos from you.

I will be the last person to start a Voigtländer vs Leica debate. But I this I can tell you, that this is not a Nikkor in my rather large collection that can compete with this lens. I have to pull out the medium format to get the resolution that this lens is delivering with Efke 25. Cosina have set a benchmark that will be tough to follow with any new lens release in the future, but I am hoping for a 35/2 of this caliber is on the cards.

Hey, Ed, good to hear from you again. Stop by when you get back to Sydney. We can compare cameras and bikes!
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Old 08-17-2008   #9
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I am hoping to have some quality high-resolution scans next week. I have several rolls of color negatives to scan, so I will have some color photos to post soon.

I have also shot a complete roll at full aperture, f2.0, to show the performance of this lens wide open. Hope to post a few from that roll later today.
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Old 08-19-2008   #10
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Is the little hood fixed to the lens, can it be taken off and replaced with something else ? Just wondering, since I dont like the small hood that much.
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Old 08-19-2008   #11
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The hood unscrews from the lens. Everyone is making a big fuss about the hood or lack of. But this lens handles side-lighting and flare so well, that I have yet to be able to make it flare in dozen rolls of film or so. And I shoot a lot of frames with the sun shining straight on the lens.

I would expect that VC will make a big hood for it, but I will not be getting it, as in practical use it is not needed and it would encroach on the viewfinder too much.
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Old 08-24-2008   #12
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I just shot some stuff with a 28f2 Summicron to compare with the Ultron 28f2.0. The Summicron is higher contrast and a bit more prone to flare in bright areas. Center sharpness at f2.0 is marginally better with the Ultron and the edges are slightly better with the Summicron. In either case you have to use a 30x loupe to see it!
The smoother contrast of the Ultron makes it a better bl/w lens. The contrast of the Summicron is very high, similar to the 35f1,4 Asph and the 21/24 Asph's. The effect is a bit brutal and you would have to keep track of the rolls shot with the lens and pull the time at least 15-20% if you shot in bright light. It would not affect it in dull, overcast light and might be good there.
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Old 08-24-2008   #13
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Hi Tom, Do you agree the CV 28/1.9 has a very Leica like glow at wide apertures. Is the new 28/2 more clinical now that it is sharper?
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Old 08-24-2008   #14
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Thanks for your insight, Tom. Much appreciated.

I only own the Ultron 28/2, so I cannot compare with similar 28's such as the Leica's or even the previous version of the Ultron 28, the f1.9. So I can only say that I am very, very pleased with the Ultron 28mm f2.0.
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Old 08-25-2008   #15
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When the Summicron 28f2.0 was announced at Photokina in 2000, Mr Kobayashi also introduce the 28f1.9 at the same time!
I tried both of these lenses "side by side" and found that there was not much difference between them. The Summicron had and still has a higher contrast and more tendency to flare than the 28f1.9. They were pretty dmaned close as to sharpness though. Both were Aspherics and with this comes a tendency to "harsher" rendition. This is not a problem in color, but in bl/w it can push the contrast up a bit.
The new Ultron 28f2 is marginally sharper than the 28f1.9 and the Summicron 28f2, but as it has a non aspheric formula, it is over all smoother with less harsh edges.
For a fast 28 either of these three lenses will do you well. If you already have one, it is probably more a case of ergonomics that decides which one you would prefer. The old Ultron 28f1.9 is a big lens and blocks a fair bit of the finder with its hood. The Summicron 28 is not exactly svelte either and you have the hood intruding quite a bit if you use it on a M 0.58 or a ZI Ikon and the R4. The hood on the Ultron 28f2 is small and uncomplicated and really does not mess up the finders too much.
OK, price wise is another matter. The Summicron 28 is expensive, very expensive and performance is good. The Ultron 28f2 is a bargain at about 1/6 or 1/7's of the Leica offering with no percievable loss of performance!
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Old 08-25-2008   #16
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Thank you for your comments about the lens: I am next to decide the purchase of a new 28mm, after having had the last Elmarit-M (pre-asph and asph). The one I miss most is the last pre-asph Elmarit-M. Has anyone compared the Ultron to the pre-asph Elmarit, even if they're of different max apertures?
I have also tested a few weeks ago the new Nokton 35/1.4, and didn't like it at all. It is too contrasty, flares too much and has a very disturbing field curvature, even at infinity. Can anyone tell me if the Ultron 28mm has a similar signature to this lens (that would be a deal breaker for me)?
Thanks in advance,
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Old 08-25-2008   #17
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Ed,

As I mentioned before, I only own the Ultron 28/2, so I cannot compare. So hopefully Tom A. will be able to help you with his vast experience with rangefinder lenses.

As for the Nokton 35/1.4 vs Ultron 28/2, I do not have a 35/1.4. But I can say that I was intending to buy the 35/1.4 but I did not like the lens. Now before someone starts bashing me, my dislike was a purely personal issue. The 35/1.4 has proven to be a great field lens, but my brief testing experience left me cold and unaffected, so I left it on the shelf. Where as the 28/2 has a very different personality which immediately meshed with me and my type of photography.

I can say the 28/2 is very flare resistant, seems to have about the right amount of contrast, but as field curvature, to be honest not quite sure what you mean so I cannot give an opinion. The lens does seem to be quite 'flat-field' in that it seems to hold a fairly flat focus plane.

All in all, I am thrilled with the Ultron 28/2. I am hoping that Cosina will be able to introduce a 35/2 and 50/1.4 with the same build and image quality soon as I will be the first in line to purchase both of these lenses.
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Old 08-25-2008   #18
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The 35f1.4 Nokton has been given a bad rap in my opinion. I have two of them and use them frequently. What most people missed with this lens was its place in the 35 line-up. It was never meant as a competition to the 35f1.4 Asph or the Zeiss Biogon 35f2.
Japan has a great love affair with the older style 35f1.4 Summilux. This has pushed the prices up to "fantasy" level. The Nokton 35f1.4 was the means to make a lens with similar characteristics, but also better controlled flare and higher resolution. It is actually a very good lens, but it has some of the old S-lux signature. Field curvature, though not as prominent as the S-lux, a bit of "smearing" of light sources at the edges and it will show some flare, but much less than the S-lux.
The so called "focus shift" is very much a tempest in a teacup. It seems to be something that only shows up on M8's, none of my film cameras has shown it!
It is a lens that suits some peoples shooting style and others cant stand it.This was the case with the old Summilux too - the first version truly "sucked" in my opinion, the later ones worked fine with my TriX/M2 type of shooting and the Nokton 35f1.4 fits in there.
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Old 08-25-2008   #19
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thanks P Lynn Miller!

don't know how well my 28 Elmarit-M ASPH would stand against your 28 Ultron but I like the ASPH for its small form factor. Just the same, you've shown the Ultron to be a solid performer. would like to see more of its boke and what it can do in color.
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Old 08-25-2008   #20
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Tom,

Thanks so much for your input. My trouble with the Nokton 35/1.4 was that I was used to my old Nikkor-N 35mm f1.4. The lenses were as different as night and day, so the Nokton 35/1.4 just did not meet my expectations. That is why I previously stated that my dislike for the Nokton 35/1.4 was purely personal.

Since spending time here at RRF and seeing photos posted by others using the lens, I can see it is a great lens. If I stumble across a used 35/1.4 for the right price, I will pick it up as it is a handy focal length and aperture to have.

But the Ultron 28/2 is a completely different lens which has quickly become one of my most used lenses. It is just that good.
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Old 08-26-2008   #21
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Thank you Tom for your comments. I used the later pre-asph Summilux-M 35/1.4 for a long time and only on film, AFTER having had an asph one: a matter of weight and size decided my preference. It flared madly and it was actually a dog at 1.4 sharpness wise compared to the asph. But it had a very nice signature. Given the correct light conditions, it was an incredible performer.
The Nokton has a real focus shift problem on the M8, it has a very noticeable barrel distortion (much much more than the old Summilux) and its flare is surprising in that you cannot seem to ever know when and where it will appear. I -unscientifically- tested only one sample for a week, gently loaned by a friend, so I don't know if these are issues specific to that sample, but I didn't liked it.
It is obviously a matter of personal tastes, and in no way I am implying it is a "bad" lens in any way. But for now in the 35mm focal length, I prefer my IV version Summicrons.
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Old 08-26-2008   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P. Lynn Miller View Post
But the Ultron 28/2 is a completely different lens which has quickly become one of my most used lenses. It is just that good.
Thank you, this difference is reassuring. Any signature difference from the Nokton 35/1.4 increases my interest in this lens.

My fear was that the new Nokton 35/1.4 signature was a new "direction" for CV to follow, and that all new lenses would have had that character.
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Old 08-26-2008   #23
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Quote:
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I have also tested a few weeks ago the new Nokton 35/1.4, and didn't like it at all. It is too contrasty, flares too much and has a very disturbing field curvature, even at infinite.

I have the Nokton 35/1.4 SC. I have it too contrasty for B&W too. But I resolved the issue with a filter and created this results @ http://www.rangefinderforum.com/foru...662#post867662
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Old 08-26-2008   #24
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I am actively searching for more Ultron 28/2 photos. Indirectly convincing myself to get one!
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Old 08-26-2008   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gohaj View Post
I am actively searching for more Ultron 28/2 photos. Indirectly convincing myself to get one!
If you go to our Flickr site you will find about 120+ photos done with the 28f2. Some where shot in May/June in Japan and some back here in Vancouver. Just tag "Voigtlander Ultron 28mm f2.o" and these and others will show up.
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Old 08-30-2008   #26
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Hi Tom A, would you recommend this cv 28/2 over the leica 28/2,8 ? Why/why not? I have always liked the look of that elmarit for its size. But is it also a higher contrast lens like the summicron?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 08-30-2008   #27
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I haven't had that much experience with the 28f2.8 Asph - the few shots I did with one looks fine. A friend had one and I borrowed it. He later got rid of it because he wasen't satisfied with the performance on a film M! Wide open the corners were less than "perfect" (his words).
I think that the Ultron 28f2.0 is a better choice. The corners are softer than a Summicron [email protected], but not so soft to make them unusable. By the the time you hit 2.8-4 they are the same. The Ultron is actually better in the center @f2 than the Summicron @f2 - and if you shoot wide open, corners are usually the least of the problem.
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Old 09-02-2008   #28
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Last Saturday's Concours de Elegance in Gastown as usual provides a great test setting for a lens. This is with the ZI body and the Ultron 28f2.0. Film was Acros 100, developed in Beutler (home made) dilution 1part A/1 part B and 10 parts of water for 7 min (10sec agit/60 sec).
Classic Chrysler Airflow from 1935.

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Old 09-02-2008   #29
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Another car shot from Saturday. Packard Coupe, even has a small hatch behind the drivers door for the golfbag!
Zeiss ZI and Ultron 28f2.0 and again Acros 100 in Beutler.

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Old 09-02-2008   #30
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FAB shot TOM....the first one in particular


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Old 09-02-2008   #31
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Yes, it was with the Ultron 28f2.0. Gastown here in Vancouver is difficult to shoot in. Either bright sunlight or deep shadows. I think this was at 5,6 or around that.
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Old 09-07-2008   #32
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Threads like this aren't helping - I'm trying to resist selling my Ultron f/1.9 for a f/2.0. I'd really like a "native" M-mount 28 with a smaller hood!

The new version's flare resistance is particularly appealing since I like to shoot available darkness in town at night. The f/1.9 is no slouch in this area, and the f/2.0 doesn't seem to give up any of this ability.
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Old 09-07-2008   #33
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Ken, if anything, the 28f2.0 is more flare resistant than the 28f1.9. Part of this is the aspherical design which on the f1.9 makes it a bit more flare sensitive (same thing with the Leica Aspherical lenses - deadly sharp but prone to flare). The 28f2 can flare, but you really have to work at it. All lenses can be made to flare,of course - but the key is to know when they do it as with a rangefinder you really dont know that until you pull the film of the developing reels!
I have now had the 28f2.0 for more than three months and I like it more and more. It is one of those lenses that you feel a certain confidence in. If you get the focus and exposure right - the lens delivers what you want every time.

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Old 09-07-2008   #34
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Quote:
I have know had the 28f2.0 for more than three months and I like it more and more
Hi Tom,

How does it compare with the 28/3.5? I ask because I'm sorely tempted by a fast 28 (I've found myself a few times this year with the 28/3.5 in low light when I really needed an extra stop or so. But, I already have a fast 35 (the 1.4), I love my 28/3.5, and I don't have a lot of money to spend on gear right now, so it's not an easy decision (though not a decision I'll be making for at least a few months).
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Old 09-08-2008   #35
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Thanks, Tom!
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Old 09-08-2008   #36
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Quote:
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Hi Tom,

How does it compare with the 28/3.5? I ask because I'm sorely tempted by a fast 28 (I've found myself a few times this year with the 28/3.5 in low light when I really needed an extra stop or so. But, I already have a fast 35 (the 1.4), I love my 28/3.5, and I don't have a lot of money to spend on gear right now, so it's not an easy decision (though not a decision I'll be making for at least a few months).
The 28f3.5 is still among my favourites. It has a look in black/white that is all its own. I also like it because of its size - nice little lens to stick in a pocket and combine with a M2 and a 50 for a sunny day.
The Ultron and the Skopar are equally flare resistant - i.e very good. The added f-stops are handy with the f2 and can make a difference in interior or night shooting (unless you stay of coffee for a looong time - you have problem with the 28f3.5). I think that the two lenses complement each other rather than compete!
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Old 09-08-2008   #37
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The 28f3.5 is still among my favourites. It has a look in black/white that is all its own. I also like it because of its size - nice little lens to stick in a pocket and combine with a M2 and a 50 for a sunny day.
The Ultron and the Skopar are equally flare resistant - i.e very good. The added f-stops are handy with the f2 and can make a difference in interior or night shooting (unless you stay of coffee for a looong time - you have problem with the 28f3.5). I think that the two lenses complement each other rather than compete!
Thanks - that's really the kind of thing I was hoping to hear. I'll probably give some serious consideration to a 28/2 in the New Year, but if there had been a chance it would make the f/3.5 redundant I doubt I'd be able to do it.
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Old 09-09-2008   #38
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Originally Posted by oscroft View Post
Thanks - that's really the kind of thing I was hoping to hear. I'll probably give some serious consideration to a 28/2 in the New Year, but if there had been a chance it would make the f/3.5 redundant I doubt I'd be able to do it.
Alan, take it from me. No lens is ever reduntant - they just become "alternatives" and can occasionally be used to hold down papers on the desk! This might explain my "lens" drawers - chockful of older (and newer) lenses. I make it a routine to cycle through all of them over time - sometimes just to confirm why I liked or disliked them!
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Old 09-09-2008   #39
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Alan, take it from me. No lens is ever reduntant - they just become "alternatives" and can occasionally be used to hold down papers on the desk! This might explain my "lens" drawers - chockful of older (and newer) lenses. I make it a routine to cycle through all of them over time - sometimes just to confirm why I liked or disliked them!
Hehe, yes, good point. For months I've been thinking I should get rid of a couple of my OM zooms (they all overlap, and I haven't used any for ages anyway), then last weekend I thought I'd take them out to shoot and decide which ones to keep - and you've probably guessed, I'm keeping all of them
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Old 11-26-2008   #40
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Has anyone compared the CV 28/2 with the ZM 28/2.8? I am trying to decide between these two lenses and would be interested to know how they compare in edge performance when stopped down to f/4 and beyond, as well as how out of focus rendering compares at f/2.8. Also, is there much barrel distortion to speak of with either lens?
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