How bad is coma flare on the ZM35/2 Biogon lens?

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by castor_garcia, Mar 24, 2011.

  1. Hi,
    I've been meaning to purchase a used copy of this lens for my M6 but I've been put-off by reviews that say it has considerable lack of coma flare control. I mostly shoot empty streets very late at night and the streets lights and lamps are always on the bakground, often times they are my subjects. I just want to have an idea how bad the coma flare on this ZM lens is. Does it occur easily? I mean, do I just point at a lamp and out the smudges come? I would love to see some night shots with street lamps if that isn't too much of a bother.
    Kind Regards...
     
  2. it is quite resistant to flare. but if you shoot a lot in low light, wouldn't you want a faster lens? i know i would.
     
  3. Hi, thanks for the reply. F2.0 is the fastest my budget can get, besides, I've managed (but not too well) with a VL 35mm 2.5 before I sold it, so I might be ok at F2.0. The 35mm summilux is simply out of the question (for more or less 2 years) and the VL 35mm 1.4 Nokton may not be my cup of tea.
    I understand it is resistant to "common" flare (sorry, I don't know how to call it) like direct sunlight, but I've read that some smudges come out when shooting small light sources... Here's an example from a review:
    http://diglloyd.com/articles/LeicaM/images-ZM/L1001545-ZM35f2-ap1.jpg
    I'm wondering if this happens all the time or it's just a right-place-right-time thing.
     
  4. I doubt you will find a better lens for night work that is within your budget.
    Here's a few examples from film images. They all have smudges to some degree. Except in one case the smudges are symmetrical. I don't know how to tell the difference between coma flare and film halation artifacts.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/willie_901/167990609/in/photostream/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/willie_901/167990472/ note the star pattern
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/willie_901/167990423/in/photostream/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/willie_901/167990507/ Worst case I saw
     
  5. Hi William, thanks for the samples. 2 and 3 seem to be just fine, pleasant even, particularly the star pattern. number 4 seems to be something to be concerned about. I wonder if you often get them this worst often. I love the mood of your photos, by the way.
     
  6. Thanks, Castor,
    THe more you overexpose the point source, the more often the flare artifact will appear.
    I did not find it to be common.
    However most of my night rangefinder work was done with the 50/1.5 C-Sonnar.
     
  7. If shooting at night with a slower lens use faster film or small tripod. For more controls at this price point consider a used Cosina 35mm/1.2. Although a much larger lens, it produces superior results against almost any lens put up against it, including Leicas.
     
  8. At f/2 or larger, you can't avoid coma with lenses in 35mm. If you get something like the AF-S Nikkor, you may minimize (but not eliminate) it: http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/35mm-f14-afs.htm
    Use a tripod and stop down to eliminate coma effectively.
     
  9. Hi William, thanks, you've been helpful/enlightening. I went ahead and got me a used ZM35/2 for $660. I think I got a good deal as the glass is perfectly clean. There's a very slight play on the focusing ring though.
    Hi Paul, thanks, I've read somewhere that Voigtlander will be coming out with a 35/1.2 Nokton soon (or have they released it?), seems interesting.
    Hi Fred, thanks, I'd get one if it could fit in my M6 :)... I heard the 35mm Leica Summicron has great control of coma flare... but it's just too expensive...
     
  10. I have this lens. It is very soft wide open at F2. Just be prepared for this fact.
     

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