Question about body - lens compatibility across brands in M mount

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by ilkka_nissila, May 8, 2007.

  1. Hi all,

    I would like to ask how likely it is that if I mix e.g. Minolta CLE vs. Leica
    vs. Hexar RF optics/bodies that there will be minor focusing issues. I want a
    sharp fast wide angle with some digital compatibility and am thinking about the
    Leica M 28/2 lens, and at the moment I can't pay the cost of an Leica M body
    given the high cost of the lens itself. I am thinking about buying either a
    Hexar RF with 50mm lens or a Minolta CLE with 40/2 lens and use the 28/2 Leica
    lens with the body. Will everything work smoothly even wide open?

    I prefer the quietness and relatively low cost of the Minolta body but the Hexar
    has the advantage of the 50mm framelines similar to what are in Leica's bodies
    (instead of the 40mm of the Minolta). The disadvantages of the Hexar from my
    point of view are the coloring (I prefer black and the body for sale isn't) and
    the extra noise due to automatic winder.

    In the future I plan to get a digital body once the price becomes reasonable.
    With this in mind, the 50mm of the Hexar would be preferable, but on the other
    hand the Minolta would allow me to get what I need now at a much lower cost.

    I am new to 35mm format rangefinders and mainly my interest is in indoor people
    photography.

    What about the built-in meter of these bodies? I generally prefer to use manual
    exposure which would mean an external meter with the Minolta, from what I've read.

    Ilkka
     
  2. I used to shoot an MP and a Hexar RF side by side and had no focus problems. That may just
    have been my particular cameras, but I don't think you will see any problems. At the time, I
    shot lenses from Leica, Konica and Voigtlander and I mixed them up all the time. Everything
    should work smoothly. If there are problems, it is probably more the difference in particular
    bodies than the difference in brands. <P>As for the metering, that is another story. I
    eventually sold the Hexar RF, as much as I like it, largely because the metering pattern was
    different than the MP. It was not better or worse, just different, so I found it difficult to get
    consistent metering using the two different cameras at the same time.
     
  3. What Stuart said. Cameraquest has more information on the meter variations for pretty much every camera.
     
  4. You might want to check the Minolta CLE focussing ramp (the slope of the ends of the helicoids of the dedicated lenses of the ancestor CL were different those of optics of the M series) versus that of the Leica M or the Hexar RF. Apparently the older CL had a different focussing ramp thanthe M bodies and mixing optics could ("could") provide some problems wide open. But if you use wide angles, the differences might be too slight to be important, given their greater depth of field than longer lenses, at similar apertures.
     
  5. Hello, Ilkka - The compatability/focus issues have been discussed before, sometimes at great length, and now and then even by well-informed photographers. :)
    I just found one such thread, largely but not exclusively addressed to the various 40mm f/2 lenses (there were 3, two Minoltas and one Summicron-C).
    In that thread and others, I would pay particular attention to posts by John Collier, because (i) his grasp of the details always impressed me; *and* (ii) it appeared that his statements were never offered just for the sake of participating in the argument.
     
  6. CLE focusing is the same as any Leica M-mount. What I'd be concerned about, and don't have an answer for, is whether the construction of the newest 28/2 works well with the placement of the CLE's metering cells. The Leica CL and Minolta CLE have nothing in common beyond lens mounts and 35mm film.

    I use a CLE and an M4-P side by side with Leica, Minolta and Voigtlander lenses and have encountered no incompatibility problems.

    http://www.rangefinderforum.com/photopost/showgallery.php?cat=500&ppuser=1085
     
  7. In that thread and others, I would pay particular attention to posts by John Collier, because (i) his grasp of the details always impressed me; *and* (ii) it appeared that his statements were never offered just for the sake of participating in the argument.
    Michael, Your commentaries are always interesting. Ilkka does not appear to be asking about the CL though.
     
  8. An Hexar RF should work just fine with most Leica lenses (in fact I found that it even works perfectly with big-a**ed lenses such as the Jupiter-12 and the Russar MR2, and fits coll. lenses in coll.'ed position, like the Summar). To increase your chances of getting a good H-RF, make sure you get a late serial numbered one (Mine is 14-----).
     

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