Cosina Zeiss vs. Leitz M lenses?

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by trex|1, Feb 11, 2009.

  1. After buying an M3, I dug around for a lens for it.the Cosina 50mm 1.5 Nokton was too big and I did not like the
    bokeh. The 40mm 1.4 Nokton was nice, but the framelines not matching up was annoying. So, I ended up with a
    Cosina Planar 50mm Zeiss 2.0 lens. This lens is a very very nice lens. It is sharp wide open, and I am very happy
    with it.

    My question, with Leica prices somewhere up in the stratosphere, how do you guys think the Cosina Zeiss line
    compare with comparable Leica focal lengths?
  2. Why don't you go look for some lens reviews?
  3. If I read your post properly, you already settled on a lens and are happy with it. What, then, is your concern?
  4. My, this place is getting dangerous. What if the guy wants to be reassured he made a good choice? What if he's planning on buying some more lenses? What if he just wants to have a little chat about Zeiss and Leica lenses? Geez!
    Sometimes, I question the use of these forums, when I read some reactions.
  5. Okay, Darius, you did yourself well. The Zeiss Planar is one of the best of the pick of 50/2 lens made by anybody for M mount. It rivals (and some say beats) the Summicron 50/2. My only quibble with it is that silly bump of a focusing tab. With time you get used to it as the focusing unstiffens. I don't have one only because I have a Summicron 50/2 which I love dearly (plus a whole pile of other 50mm lens--I don't need any more).
    So happy snaps and be at peace. The Planar is one of the best deals going.
  6. Its great, I'm sure. I prefer the built-in lenshood of the latest Summicron myself, but those Zeiss Ms are tasty.
  7. The Zeiss made by CV are at the top of the heap. CV plain lenses are a generation behind, but very acceptable
  8. Yeah, These forums are getting pretty dangerous. Most of the time I feel I need a thicker skin before I ask a question.
    I think you should be happy with the Planar. I couldn't afford to spend on Leica glass. So, my first real glass was the Zeiss 35mm f2 Biogon. It's a great. If the 50mm Planar is up to the same requiremnts. You will not be dissapointed.
  9. From what I've read, for 35/2 and 50/2, it's a matter of taste and opinion between Summicron and Zeiss ZM lenses.
    Zeiss knows their stuff. They, along with Nikon make the lenses used for photolithography of integrated circuits, which are heading towards 35 micron feature sizes. That's waaaaay in excess of 100 lp/mm. Also, Zeiss is a huge name in movie camera lenses, which are incredibly expensive.
  10. Let me recommend the Zeiss Sonnar f1.5 50mm. I think that this is an excellent lens. There is a thread on this lens. The new Summicrons are also excellent, too. Pretty much all the Leica, Zeiss, & Voigtlander lenses are excellent. Much has to do with price and preference...and availability on the used market, should you go that way. On the new Voigtlander lenses there has been some negative discussion on the wearing of the black finish. If you are using an older camera and taking pictures not worrying about how the camera looks but operates then the finish is not an important issue.
  11. If you want to find out how good a lens is, there are dpzens of reviews accessible via Google and sample pix via Flickr.

    If you've already bought the lens you can go one better- try it for yourself and see.

    The OP may be have posted just to shoot the breeze. I can give my two cents' as well as anybody.

    Or he may have posted because he wants to overcome his post-purchase dissonance. That I don't get involved in.
  12. Wai-Leong-Lee: « If you want to find out how good a lens is, there are dpzens of reviews accessible via Google and sample pix via Flickr. If you've already bought the lens you can go one better- try it for yourself and see. The OP may be have posted just to shoot the breeze. I can give my two cents' as well as anybody. Or he may have posted because of post-purchase dissonance. That I don't get involved in. »
    So what? Just ignore him and move on, if you have nothing helpful to say. The OP does not need you to tell him there are reviews for lenses. And you put words in his mouth. You are being so unfriendly, it's incredible. Do you realize your reply looks like «Go f... yourself»?
    I've said it on another forum, is this really why we (at least, some of us, apparently) contribute financially to help support
  13. A camera body that is five times the price of another should be at least twice as good, if not 3 or 4 times as good.
    Same for a lens. My 28 mm f1.9 Voigtlander-Cosina aspherical lens is less than 5 times as expensive as the Leica Summicron ASPH, but the latter is not 3 or 4 times better. I doubt I would see much more in my 10x15 inch prints with the Summicron, except perhaps at apertures wider than f2.8, which in any case risks having more (less critical-) out of focus areas than at smaller apertures.
    The Zeiss-Cosina lenses are well-positioned in quality-price terms. Considerably less expensive than the Leica lenses, and about 2 X more than the Voigtlander lenses, they deliver for their price, and more.
    I do not own any, partly because they are in general quite heavy, but they and the Zeiss RF are certainly great buys.
    The Summicron 35 ASPH, which I do use, is one of the two or three best Leica RF lenses 2008 or earlier. But even Leica Guru Erwin Puts admits that Zeiss has got it more right than Leica (to mid-2008 at least) in terms of designing lenses of qualities more suitable for digital sensors and their geometry.
  14. Darius -- they are excellent lenses and are quite similar to the summicrons and elmarits in image quality and execution. The only area where they are obviously bested is in the high speed lenses -- they only offer a 50/1.5, and that is a retro lens. This is not to disparage it, but it is not meant to compete with the performance of the 50/1.4 ASPH. Similarly, there is no ZM answer to the 16-18-21, 21/1.4, 24/1.4, 28/2, 35/1.4, 75/1.4, or any 135mm lens. For Leica's part, they have no answer to the 15/2.8, 18/4, or 21/4.5.
  15. BTW, Darius, I have the Zeiss 50/2 on my M8, and I love it. I had the Summicron 50 before, and it is a super lens, of course, with a look of its own, but the Zeiss is not far behind, as far as my modest amateur eyes can tell. Now, if Zeiss could be a little less mean and sell the HOOD that goes with it.
  16. Michael,

    I haven't put words in anybody's mouth, so don't you go putting "Go f... yourself" in mine.

    I don't see any evidence the OP has searched any lens reviews.

    And the reason for my post is because you apparently think that this is becoming a dangerous place.

    But does it make sense to not even search for lens reviews-- stuff which good reviewers and expert lens testers have labored weeks or months over, using optical bench tests in some cases, and all available for free-- when one wants to find out how a lens is? Or does it make more sense to throw a chestnut into the ring and rely on the luck of the draw as far as opinions are concerned?

    To ignore the wealth of formal reviews, as well as the tons of past threads-- does that make sense?

    Why do you advocate ignoring the wealth of readily available and free detailed information that the Internet provides?
  17. It's pretty hard for a lens maker to mess up a late-generation 50mm f2. Having said that, the Zeiss has a great reputation. The difference between the Planar and the Type 4 Summicron will likely have more to do with your personal taste than anything else.
    I think there is a lot more variation at the f1.4 / f1.5 class. A lot more variation in terms of both performance and fingerprint. It probably has to do with an f1.4 being harder to design than an f2. The best performing f1.4's are as good as or better than the f2's at f2 ... I have the 50mm Lux Asph in mind. After that, it's more about fingerprint, bokeh, and other subjective factors. You didn't like the Nokton, and yes, I have heard from others that its bokeh is harsh, but it's a favorite of mine on the Canon 7. Others don't like the bokeh on the Lux Asph, and it remains my workhorse 50. In fact, I find it has a very distinctive bokeh really isolates the subject when used wide open.
    So it all comes down to what you like. Sounds like you have made a good choice.
  18. Wai-Leong,
    Can't you let it go already? Enough is enough. You adopted a dismissive "find out for yourself" tone from the start. And unfortunately, it's becoming all too common on these forums. People say "check the archives." Well, maybe the archives and tests didn't tell the poster enough. In any case, why start a fight?
  19. Because there seems to be a highly negative attitude against those who advocate self-help.
  20. I had a Bessa R2 and the Voit/Cosina lenses were terrific. Have a look at those too. They are fully functional M mount lenses.
  21. stp


    Wai-Leoing, this thread will become part of the archives. The archives evolve as gear changes and as new people get involved. A year from now members will be reviewing this thread if they have a question similar to that posed by the OP. Even after they read this year-old thread, they may want some reassurance and a more up-to-date assessment, and they will then post a question similar to that posted by Darius. That's how many people operate, and that's one of the functions of this system. I'm sorry you don't support it, but I'm glad others do.
  22. Take photos and don't worry too much about negligible differences between Zeiss and Leica lenses, no matter whether these lenses are made in Germany, Canada or Japan. The Zeiss design lenses are superb and so are Leica lenses. No matter which lens you pick, it would never be a grave error in choice.
  23. Wong-Leai, first it's Michel, not Michael, thank you. You don't «advocate self-help», you advocate self-glorification, yours, by trying to belittle another member.
    What makes you think you're entitled to lecture people on the right and wrong ways to use this forum? Who do you think you are? I'll tell you what, 75% of all questions asked here could easily be answered with:
    1) Go read the reviews,
    2) Go read your manual,
    3) Go search
    4) Ask your retailer,
    5) It's not the gear, it's the photog.
    Many people, myself included, prefer to discuss on forums than to read reviews. SO WHAT? Many people, myself included, sometimes forget what they have read, or didn't quite understand. SO WHAT? Many people, myself included, actually like to see different point of views and opposite attitudes expressed. SO WHAT? Many people, myself included, like to see how opinions change as time passes, and, yes, may ask the same question at a year interval. SO WHAT? Many people, myself included, think photo forums are there to ask, help, suggest, alert, give head ups, give opinions, and above all have fun discussing what we love. SO WHAT?
    Stop taking youself so seriously, and let others live their lives the way they like.
    If your kind of nasty attitude prevails, I believe pretty soon will just stop operating for total lack of entertaining and learning value.
  24. I know this does not address the original question but I am moved to add my 2 cents about the "dangerous" nature of these forums. I feel that the point of a forum is to provide a collegial place for people with particular interests to share ideas and opinions. I am sure that any of us are perfectly capable of looking up reviews and tests but I am interested in hearing/reading about the thoughts/experiences of other enthusiasts. The "self help" suggestions are unhelpful, unnecessary and sometimes rude. If you have no opinions to express then don't bother to respond.
    Never tried a Zeiss, love my Leica 50/2 and came to this thread to see what people thought about Zeiss, as I have been considering some of the Zeiss wide angles.
  25. Or what Henry just said. Thank you, Henry
  26. This must be my punishment for dishing out unwanted advice to my friends in the real world as opposed to the virtual world. Thanks for the valuable lesson Wei Leong, now I know to be more supportive and sympathetic next time a friend or my wife comes to me with some kind of gripe or looking for help. I at least know now, how not to answer them... cheers! In a roundabout way you helped me out.<p>

    As for the reason for my inquiry, I am in fact a big fan of reviews, and like to dig around for them. I have read almost all the reviews of the M3, and want to do one of my own. But the forums play a different role. This a kind of real-time interactive thing, where we can bandy about our experience and opinions. There is actually a dearth of information regarding the topic in question.<p>

    I bought the silver planar. The finish perfectly matches my M3, and luckily it had smooth focus, the only sample I found that did, and I like the tab. I have actually come across late model Leica Summis used that were cheaper, in the 400 dollar range, after I got my Cosina lens, and it got me thinking... The other thing is a prejudice against Zeiss made by other makers. I know how good Zeiss is, and it is amazing that their QC translates even when Cosina makes their products (or is it a Cosina lens and they merely pay Zeiss for the rights to brand them??).<p>

    Anyway, I was also surprised to see I am very happy with this lens, but I would not mind buying a Summi as well to try it out.<p> I owned the real McCoy in the past, a 35mm old school summilux and a Canadian 50mm Summicron, this was about 12 years ago. I should have kept that outfit... Leica Lust, what can you do? I guess I will have to buy them again...heh heh. For now though, it is the 50mm planar and a 90mm CLE.
  27. M-whatever, your post just demonstrates it's you who's abusive, rude and having the self-glorious attitude.
  28. Zeiss M mount lenses, Voigtlander M mount lenses and also Zeiss (made for Nikon F) lenses are all made in Japan by Cosina. Some are really good. Some are a disappointment (the 50 1.4 F mount is no better than the Nikon, and will never be worth $1000.)
    ...But overall they are very good, just the same. You would need a big loupe to tell the difference. And you need to be comparing like to like as well.
    But if you add to these the "best" (notice I said "best"), of the Leica M lenses...the Summicrons and Summiluxes, then there is a difference. But would many know how to look at an A4 print and point to the differences. I don't think so. Maybe some could....and most likely with the Summicrons...and they are a stop slower than the Summiluxes too. The Nocton 0.95 is just so hard to focus...but I know a dance photog who can take sharp dance with one wide open in low light on an M3! me. The Voigt Nocton in 35mm is very nice indeed.
    What sort of photography lends itself to the best of these lenses?...not landscapes, not sports, but people shots...From B&W available light group scenes, to gorgeous A3 colour portraits. Its not the sharpness, but its the rendition of colour tones and contrast. You can see it. A portrait taken by someone who knows light and knows his 90 Summicron can produce a print that looks like you are peering through a window at the live person, but with a certain softness that can't be defined. That's a Summicron. But it takes a very good photographer, and film use, to know it. You won't get the same result in digital.
    Leica M lenses are not reknowned for wide angle mastery as much as in the 35/50/90 range. thats the sweet spot. And its no coincidence that this range is where Leica reign supreme. You need to be stepping into serious medium format territory to do as well. IMHO.
    I am amongst many who thought they could step up from quality Nikon AI-s manual photography, to Leica M series. It takes a gifted photographer to draw out the rendition differences to take advantage of Leica. I am certainly not one of them, so I humbly stay with Nikon. I'm quite happy.
  29. "M-whatever, your post just demonstrates it's you who's abusive, rude and having the self-glorious attitude."
    Boy, in addition to your attitude, you just HAVE to have the last word, don't you?
  30. I've had both Zeiss and Leica M lenses and when it comes to comparison of the Zeiss f/2 lenses I'd say that they exhibit a little bit of extra micro-contrast compared to the Leica equivalents. For film this works well to improve acuity if you like a modern super sharp 'look', but with digital (M8) I did find sometimes that the Zeiss look was a bit too high contrast compared to Summicrons.
    If you're comparing the Zeiss to pre-ASPH lenses then this difference is more pronounced. The comparable faster Zeiss has that same characteristic 'glow'.
    The Leica Summicron's also have excellent sharpness and micro-contrast - I'd just say that they exhibit slightly more subtle rendering and for me produce a slightly (and I mean slight) more natural sharpness. This is a bit hard to explain objectively - it feels kind of like explaining the character differences of two very fine wines.
    Bottom line for me was/is that I wouldn't think twice about shooting with the Zeiss lenses on film and saving considerable money compared to the Leica equivalents. For digital, I've found the subtler rendering of the Leica glass to be preferable but unfortunately at the expense of my bank account. :)
    Hope that helps a little. Just my $0.02.
  31. Listen to us... It's funny, because of course I agree that Leica lenses are like a "fine wine," but who would ever believe us....
  32. This is getting very mysterious.
    Someone says, "check the reviews" and gets abused and is accused of having an "attitude", whereas those who heap abuse are not being accused of any kind of "attitude".
    The whole thing could have been very simple. Darius could have said, yes, I know I can check the reviews, but I prefer to hear some new opinions. End of story.
    But for some reason, some people here prefer to slam the guy who says, "check the reviews".
    So who has the "attitude"?
    Why is it that some of you think that asking people to check the archives is wrong? Did nobody in your lives ever say to you, "Have you read the manual? Have you checked the FAQ? Have you read the memo I sent you?"
    I fail to see a good reason why someone who says, "check the reviews" or "search the archives" should be flamed.
    Yes, people can prefer to not search, not read reviews, etc. But is there something morally wrong to advocate self-help?
  33. "but who would ever believe us...?"
    The writers of the more than 10,000 posts to this section of the forum, that's who. And the uncountable number of Leica buyers since 1952.
    So if you put Zeiss (Cosina) glass on the front of your M, then expect to be only let into the hallway of the leica House, and not into the parlour with the family.
    ("or is it a Cosina lens and they merely pay Zeiss for the rights to brand them??)
    You are half right there. Zeiss actually pay Cosina to make their lenses. There aren't many German accents in the factory at Nakano, Japan.
    So don't get carried away...your lens is the same under the paint that Voigtlander put on their Bessas.
  34. Wai-Leong, if you still haven't understood that answering flatly, curtly and, yes, rudely «Why don't you go read some reviews» is akin to «Get lost, your question is of no interest... you should not post it here because you haven't made your homework... you're not worthy of my helping you... I don't have time to waste with you... etc...», then I'll give you a lecture of my own, to which, at 66, I think I'm entitled, given the state of this discussion: you have a lot to learn in terms of social behaviour, friendship and understanding between human beings. And above all that an Internet forum gives one the unlimited power of words, which you should know to use wisely and with a modicum of sense and sensitivity.
    It's all in the manners, my friend, of which you have none.
  35. I was surprised to see how long this thread became. Sometimes this forum is a bit stern. I've bought a 25mm Zeiss thanks to the great discussions here without needing to start a thread. Wai-Leong did have a point.
    The discussion is so often just about the glass and the image. Less flare with Zeiss seems to be an advantage. Orville Robertson said something which surprised a lot of people a few weeks ago: its the Leica M body that is more important to him than the Leica lens. I get exactly what he means. But for the same reason, the 50mm Summicron has the tab and the reversible hood and lens cap that I can uncap and recap and turn right in a second. The lens-caps for the Zeiss lenses are so fiddly and unreliable. And initially my son kept telling me "Dad, you've got the lens cap on still." Thirty years in photography before I did that.
  36. Richard, Leave the cap at home, place the hood on correctly and get a HoodHat. Roger Hicks and his wife , Frances, suggested them after I had recently burnt holes in two shutters on the same day in Mexico. It will change your life.
  37. Internet forums attract a lot of rude, strange people w/o any social skills. Best thing to do is ignore them. Trust me, they'll go away.
    As to your original question Darius, I haven't used the lens you bought, but on the whole have not been that impressed w/ the Cosina lenses that I have shot. Your M3 would have a Leica 50 Dual Range if I had it. The shots from my last D.R. were eye popping. I think the RF world is divided into two camps, the Leica optics end and the Zeiss end. My old MF folders have Zeiss lenses but their images are a lot different than the modern lenses, and I do love their way of rendering.
    The fun thing about the M3 is that now you have a camera that will take many, many different lenses so you can play around a little w/ different combinations. I do agree that the new Leica prices are crazy, but there are a lot of used lenses at very good prices. Congratulations on your M3 and on finding a lens that suits you. If the M3 had a meter it would be the perfect camera for me. Great camera.
  38. Thanks Charlie. I'll get one. Good hoods on the Zeiss too.
  39. M-whatever, you ain't got no right to lecture nobody, whatever your age. And especially at 66, if you haven't developed any wisdom or learnt anything about being mellow, don't expect any respect, cause you don't deserve none.
  40. Who's talking about «mellow»? LOL!
    Wai-Leong, you know what? Respect from you, I couldn't care less. I care about respect from respectable persons. But I'll hand it to you: you have a great way of reversing the order of things (chronologically and otherwise) and try to render others guilty of your own initial fault.
    Why don't you go read some good manners book?
  41. wow. I was interested in reading the answers to Darius' question and all I found was a high-school girl cat fight. Seriously. Can we stick to the topic at hand?
  42. Jeremy, apparently it's pointless because there are plenty of lens reviews out there. Therefore, I call for this to be the last post of the internet as everything is already there.
    /white noise
  43. This a "Way Long" thread, innit! :p
    Punning in a cunning kind of way, or is it cunning in a punning kind of way....? Let's just make sure not to lose our way... no matter how long the way is, you know to finding Leica Nirvana, which is what life is about....damn! I think I attained Geekhood instead....
  44. Optically, my Zeiss ZM lenses are as good as the Leica's I've had in the same focal lengths (21,28,35,50). They have better flare resistance in my experience. Mechanically I've had lots of trouble with my Zeiss ZM's. My Biogon 28, Planar 50, Sonnar 50 each need or needed trips Zeiss to get the focus action fixed. My Biogon 35 was in chrome and proved itself a bit soft and prone to surface damage in typical use.
    Despite the trouble I still actually prefer the rendition of the Zeiss lenses and am willing to put up with having to baby them a bit more in trade for the image quality and excellent price.
    Best wishes
  45. M*
    Don't try to preach manners from your high horse. You ain't fit.
    Did you ever notice, what's the first thing the forum asks you when you click post a new question? No? Let's spell it out for you then.
    It says, have you searched for an answer before, and provides a Google search box for PN. Why do you think PN does that?
    Yet you come out with a downright hostile attitude to a stranger just because he advocates this, and think that being 66 somehow gives you the right to impose your views on the world.
    What baloney! What a fake!
  46. As the saying goes:
    "I may not agree with what you say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it!"
    Lets all calm down....flaming is not part of our passion. Go back and have a look at today's fav photos and just say: "One day I hope to be as good as that." These photographers could produce these images with a box be envious of their skill, even if it seems that its more like expertise in Photoshop.
    Zeiss or Leitz, who cares? There is an old rule which stands by most of us. Buy the best lens you can afford, and be happy. I cannot afford to buy either so I say with Nikon and do the best I can. Just like $2-3k secondhand Zeitz lenses are what some want, my $2-300 old Nikkors are enough for me.
    I tried a rangefinder...spent a couple of grand on a Voigt with three Cosina lenses (Read Voigt, Zeiss) and I missed the 100% rangefinders of my Nikons, so I went back. The lenses were great. Its not an issue. What is, is using what enables me to take photos with the minimum of fuss.
    Here is a shot that anyone who has done their study will recognise...and done with a crappy old Leica III with a pullout 50/2.8. When we are good as that, we can lecture others.
  47. I did wonder about those optech hood hats. Wonder if one will work with the rectangular hood on my summicon
  48. Ain't nothin' crappy about a Leica III and a pull out 50/2.8.
  49. Why don't you look at the photos posted on flickr for each Zeiss lens and judge for yourself, or go read owners tests and opinion on the Zeiss Forum on I have the Zeiss Biogon 25mm f/2.8, Zeiss designed it not Cosina, Zeiss sent Cosina special lens fabrication equipment and the lenses are assembled on a separate line to Zeiss quality control standards. Zeiss German design Japanese talented perfectionism yeilding a lens like mine that Zeiss says can resolve 200 l/mm.
    Its all good and you are getting value for your purchase dollars.
  50. I use a HoodHat on square shades, like the 28 f2.8 Elmarit. They have a variety of sizes. I've got one on my Zeiss 21 f2.8 as well.
  51. Darius: "how do you guys think the Cosina Zeiss line compare with comparable Leica focal lengths?"
    Wai-Leong: "Why don't you go look for some lens reviews?"
    I wasn't aware us guys have published reviews of those lenses.
  52. Hi Dan,
    That is my impression as well. The actual optics are pretty great, but the fabrication is not anywhere near up to Leitz standards.
  53. Wai -Leong. Why not take a few days off. It is obviously the wrong time of the month for you or you are a very stressed
    person. Perhaps if you inhaled it might solve your problem. Sensible and reasonable question with helpful responses. This is what PN is or shoud be about. Having just bought an MP I find the thread interesting.
    Carry on gentlemen.
  54. I don't have a PMS.... As for inhaling, it is escaping from reality, but doesn't really change things.
  55. My dad always said, "When you argue with a crazy person, no one else knows who the crazy person is." I'm sure it's a quote he heard somewhere, but he never attributed it. I advise everyone to try a HoodHat. It really will change your life.
  56. "Yes, people can prefer to not search, not read reviews, etc. But is there something morally wrong to advocate self-help?"
    So this is now the Leica Last Resort forum. Dont use us as your first port of call and research everywhere else first, and if you cannot find the answer then and only then trouble us with a post? Morally wrong no but pretty silly telling people not to discuss things on a discussion forum but read reviews for their answers instead. With that logic no forums like this would exist!
  57. Arthur Plumpton wrote: "A camera body that is five times the price of another should be at least twice as good, if not 3 or 4 times as good."
    How do you quantify the goodness of a camera body (or lens)?
  58. Really good thread. I bought an M3 and paired it with the Nockton SC 40m. Recently bought a Leica 90 2.8 Elmarit m.The point is ,I am happy to mix and match depending on price,quality and the amount of usage that I will put the lense to. The helpful opinion which has always been the hallmark of this forum has often proved invaluable to me in making these decisions. Please continue to provide it.
  59. It s no reason for argument or even fighting.We just share our experience of the lens and that s it.
    I currently use the nokton 35mm/1.4 and I found it really amazing.But maybe I just be a little sensitive.I think the color what this lens brings out is a bit too much.
    So if money is not the biggest prob,i will prefer leica lens.
  60. Frankly both of you: Way Leong Lee and Michel Galileo are boring with your endless argument which brought NO useful contribution to this forum!
  61. "How do you quantify the goodness of a camera body (or lens)?"
    1) by measurements (lens MTF charts, lens centering, mechanical construction and life without re-adjustment or repair, precision of response on exposure or focus, comparative ability to produce a 10X or 20X magnification print using the same materials, etc.),
    2) by subjective evaluations of quality, in comparative use, by persons of experience (reviewers, other)
    and 3) by a quantitative and qualitative quality/ price evaluation, based on the foregoing.
    There may be even better ways to predict how good is a photographic instrument, but I don't know of any.
  62. Stuart: I think Leica now have a comparable lens to the zm 18/4, their 18/3,8 should be very interesting.
    OP: I had a ZM 50/2 and thought it a fine as an all-round lens, but I traded it for a mandler-designed 50/1,4 lux. What it lacked was low-light applicability and a distinctive look, a character flaw or something that said 'this is That' lens. This is just my take, of course. I have a thing for lenses that might be 'flawed' in a certain sense but yet have a distinctive rendering. I think the sonnar zm 50/1,5 is a more interesting lens in terms of its rendering.
  63. Hi Darius,
    congrats on a nice combo. IMO, for all practical purposes, the ZM Planar, modern Summicron, and M-Hexanon 50/2 are pretty much equivalent. Of course there are some minor differences when it comes to flare, and high magnification resolution, but not much.
    With respect to signature, it gets more interesting when you consider other specifications. For example, the M-Elmar 50/2.8, ZM 50/1.5 and Summilux pre-asph v3 produce beautiful images, all three in very different ways. The M-Elmar, BTW, is quite affordable.
    Some Leica prices are partially justified in the design, not only in the quality. For example, the modern Leica 50/1.4 Asph includes aspherical, floating AND apo elements, none of which are featured by Japan-made ZM lenses.
    In general, I don't think Cosina Voigtlaender vs. ZM quality is any different. There are better and not so good lenses. For example, the CV 28/3.5 and 35/1.4 that I use often are very high in build quality. One Nokton I had "wobbled" (easy to fix), but similar issues have been reported on Planars and Biogons. In general I feel it's great that there are so many lenses of different specifications to choose from.
    I would be interested in more information about the manufacturing process of the two lens lines at Cosina, and other details; for example, how are CV aspherical surfaces made, compared to Leica for instance. Haven't found anything yet, however.
    Regarding build quality, if you like chrome and brass, nothing currently available beats the built quality of Leica, Nikon LTM or Canon LTM lens of the 60s though :)
  64. ok, did we decide the ZM 50/2.0 is ok?
  65. did any one ever perform a side-by-side test of ZM 50/2 and Summicron-M 50/2, shooting the same scene at the same time on Provia or something similar? that could be really interesting to see...
  66. My Voigtlander Nocton 50/1,1 test at
    Regards and thanks
    Roberto Piero Ottavi
    Leicapassion © Admin

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