Need LTM lens with short throw/quick focusing action?

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by j_w|36, Apr 7, 2015.

  1. I just bought a mint Canon P for $190 and am looking for a fast 50mm. To anyone with a Canon 1.4 ltm: is the action quick and smooth, and the throw short? I learned to shoot on an slr with a very quick lens, so I've grown to love a lens that can match my reaction speed when shooting on the street.
    Image quality is, of course, the most important component I consider. However, I need to be able to get the shot off quickly when I haven't pre-focused. A good balance of sharpness and Bokeh quality is also important as I shoot plenty of candid portraits. Contrast I can fix in the darkroom if need be.

    Anyone have any ideas about ltm lenses with short throw/quick focus ring action? I'm not looking to spend much more than 500 on an LTM lens if possible. Someday I may want to invest in an M3. For now I want to improve my chops on rangefinders with the P.
    Thanks so much,
  2. LTM 50mm lenses pretty much ubiquitously have a 180 degree focusing throw from infinity to 1 meter.
    The Canon 50/1.4 is smooth to focus, the exact feel will depend on the state of the lubrication of the helical. It is a steal, price/performance wise, easily acquired for less than $500.
    The limited-edition LTM Summicron 50/2.0 from 1999 (originally for Japanese market) has a 90 degree focusing throw. Only 2000 made, hard to find now, can't imagine getting one for less than $2000 used now.
  3. Another option would be the Canon 35mm f/2.0 lens. It also has a 90 degree focusing throw. (But the predecessor 35mm f/1.8 lens has a 180 degree throw.) Should be just within your budget.
  4. Use the Canon 50mm f/1.4. You'll get use to it. Top shelf lens. But, yeah, the 35mm f/2 on the P is a great speed package with a moderate wide angle view. You might enjoy my post about it HERE. So light, so compact yet so sharp. I think John is right, either should fit your budget.
  5. Thanks John,
    So in general do M mount lenses have shorter throw? I shoot primarily 50mm, but if the canon 35mm is a bargain perhaps I'll indulge.
  6. Get the Japanese 50 Nokton 2nd hand (discontinued.)
  7. SCL


    Another good lens is the CV Color Skopar 35mm f/2.5. It has a focusing throw of less than 90 degrees. More modern rendition.
  8. Same with the CV Ultron 35mm f/1.7. I just checked mine. I also use the Canon 50mm f/1.4 and have no complaints.
  9. I think shorter focusing throws require tighter manufacturing tolerances for accurate focusing. Even there, they are really only "safe" (in terms of accurate focusing) on 50mm or shorter focal length lenses. You won't see 90 degree focusing throw on 75mm or longer lenses, indeed these often have 270 to 350 degree focusing throws.
  10. Look at the 35mm 1:3.5 Summaron
  11. I just had a look at my 35/3.5 Summaron, a great vintage lens, but it has the usual 180-deg, focusing throw.
  12. Thanks for the responses everyone! I'll certainly get a 35mm in the future, but 50mm is my bread and butter focal length. I don't have quite as many uses for 35mm the way I currently shoot. That's probably because I've never owned a 35mm lens (except for on my minox which, truth be told, actually gets a lot of use. Does anyone here primarily shoot a 35mm lens? How would you characterize your style of photography/what do you typically photograph?

    Thanks again,
  13. SCL


    Hi Jon - When I got my first Leica - I got a 35mm lens (Summaron 2.8) and it was the only lens I used for a number of years, unless I borrowed one from a friend for special use. I used it for a lot of walk-around shots in southern Europe, and then family pictures, including portraits. I just didn't feel as comfortable with a 50. I then got a 135 for special purpose use. BTW, I'm talking rangefinder cameras only...when I added a SLR, I tended to use 50's - 135. A couple of years ago, having sold my old 35 Summaron (great old style rendering) and a 35 Summicron (outstanding modern sharp rendering), I began seriously using a 50. Found after a year or so, I really missed the 35, and picked a a less expensive CV 35 Color-Skopar 2.5. Glad to be back in the saddle with a 35.
  14. Shorter focusing throws require higher-precision fingers. Unless you're collecting them "just to have" the more-common lenses with 180-degree or greater motions are completely adequate.
    Voigtlanders are excellent lenses. I used a 35 a great deal for news work as an all-purpose close-in lens, when there would not be an opportunity to change lenses.
  15. Does your canon 1.4 ltm have focus ring wiggle? I just picked one up and noticed there is a bit of play while focusing. Not used to that. I suppose I could learn to live with it though if it is par for the course for this lens.

Share This Page