The last.

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by Allen Herbert, Sep 9, 2017.

  1. The Leica Myths and Legends foretold.

    To praise Leica for the pure quality of thier lenses and build quality is seen as a great sin by many photographers.

    But, is the Leica glow a reality,and the ability of thier lenses to cast a 3D image seperating individuals other than a compressed image which most other cameras portray.

    Are they just seen as rich folks toys lost forever among the branded names for the rich and wealthy.

    Or, is there something else; a choice from the last manufacturer in Europe struggling to survive.
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2017
  2. The "Leica glow" is a myth, i.e. you can see it if you really want to see it.The 3D effect can be achieved with any lens by using a wide aperture. It's more pronounced if you use a longer-than-normal lens (shallower depth of field).
    Nothing against Leicas, good cameras. I use them and like them, never mind the myths, legends and other hyperboles.
  3. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    I had the good fortune to have a trusting Father willing to let his 15 year old son use his M 3 kit. I credit that to firmly launching a lifelong interest in photography. I still have the camera and lenses, it works and gets used on occasion. The current Leica crop are very tempting, particularly the Monochrome, but out of the range I can afford, or more honestly what I am willing to spend. I settled on Nikon 50 years ago, and have been very satisfied. That said, if money were no object, say I hit it big on the Lottery, I don't believe it would take me long to accumulate a couple of Leicas and a run of lenses.
  4. ."That said, if money were no object, say I hit it big on the Lottery, I don't believe it would take me long to accumulate a couple of Leicas and a run of lenses" Sandy

    Would it be true to say.

    That the majority of photographers would like a Leica, to settle smugly in their kit bag, if they had the coin.
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2017
  5. A Leica M is probably ideal for street photography - small, discrete and simple to operate. Like BMW's and Porsche's, those who can afford one often have no clue how to drive it.

    If the "Leica Glow" refers to smooth bokeh when wide open, then I tend to agree. The problem using a rangefinder is getting it actually in focus where you want it, especially wide open. Zoom lenses are out of the question, but a 35/50/90 set of lenses covers practically any subject suitable for a Leica.

    The other thin about Leica lenses is what appeals to me the most. They are sharp from corner to corner, perfect for architecture and landscapes in that regard.

    I bought my first Leica (M2) 53 years ago, and it's still good to go. I inherited an M3 a couple of years ago, and with renewed interest, and disappointment with film, bought a a digital M9 to go with the lenses I had accumulated. It's been a nice trip, but I'm too pragmatic to believe in the "magic."
  6. There certainly is a magic to Leicas - it's the pride of ownership. A brand is not merely a label, it's a promise and a story.

    The idea that Leicas are for rich people is not a justifiable opinion. I have owned several. Lots of people who are not even remotely wealthy own and use Leicas every day. They'd be more popular if the average consumer had a bit more exposure to them (because most people don't own one). My favourite Leica right now, the M10 (if I wanted one) is cheaper than Nikon's and Canon's best DSLRs.

    And the best RF lenses, regardless of who makes them, are more interesting to me and many others than the best SLR lenses. I'd say that the best value 50mm lens today, for any format, is made by Voigtlander, and it's the 50/3.5. The best outright 50mm lenses are made by Leica, but those are not for everyone.

    I won't say that Leicas are the best value in terms of price-performance. That is just never going to be true. And they'll never sell more units per quarter than the big Japanese companies (not yet, anyway). But let me tell you this much: long after DSLRs stop being made, Leica will be making the M for many years to come.
  7. Seriously, you guys need something better to do.

    The cameras are fun to shoot with. If one cannot afford it, you buy something else.

    Yes, it really is that simple. Anyone or anything "glowing" needs to get checked out.....quickly.
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2017
    bertliang likes this.
  8. Sour grapes, Greg?
  9. Why would I have sour grapes? I was out capturing the sunrise this morning with my M262, 18mm Super Elmar and 28mm f2.8 Elmarit ASPH...

    Sour grapes is the last thing I suffer from. More like indecision....which three or four of the 10-11 lenses I own that I'm taking this next week to Banff, Canada.


  10. Greg, lovely shots!

    BTW I recall a thread from about ten years ago, which I can no longer find, which shows that a 50 Summicron is best shot at f/4, not wide-open. The example shown was, IIRC, of people holding signs. The point of the demonstration was that f/4 provided more depth as the focus rolloff was more gradual.
  11. Allen, Fred is probably right. Though I've always put the 'glow' down to veiling flare. I've found the '3D' effect more pronounced in some lenses than in others; though that may be a placebo effect. I've been using a voigtlander 75mm LTM that I recently purchased, and its image quality is quite stunning around f5.6. And likewise Greg, great shots.

    Regards, Arthur
  12. Here is an example of "Leica Glow" as displayed by my gold and rosewood "Swedish Army Leica". :D
    direct from the Ukraine
    Allen Herbert likes this.
  13. Thanks Karim and Arthur. After pondering for a few days, I settled on a three lens M262 setup for Banff of the 21mm f3.4 Super Elmar, 35mm f2 Summicron ASPH and 75mm f2 Summicron APO.

    One last for the thread, waiting for the sunrise, with the M262 and 28mm f2.8 Elmarit ASPH.

  14. rickhyman

    rickhyman Life through a Leica

    The reason I like my Leica M is it provides great quality images in a small light camera. The lenses in particular are quite a bit smaller and lighter than comparable quality lenses from Canon or Nikon. I also like the fact that I have to take the photo, not the camera.
  15. Leica 28mm lens on a Fuji xt1....

    The signature is Leica, which is interesting, as it tells the story that its all about the lens....unless on a Sony when Leica lenses go weird.

    Used both.
  16. Are we looking at the Leica glow:)
  17. The best way to understand this myth is to shoot an image with the same film ( EX. Tri-X ) with a same focal lens and with several other cameras. Develop all films in a standard development and print all different negatives in a general time temperature based developer and see the results and YOU SEE CLEARLY THIS MYTHICAL GLOW ON THE NEGATIVE THAT COMES FROM THE LEICA LENS.
    I am a devoted Leica photographer and my experience of using Leica goes back to 20 years back when I found this Mythical glow in my B&W photos and decided to dump all my other cameras and buy my First M6. Since then I found myself the difference between the Leica lenses and the other brand lenses. This is highly visible on a camera with an older sensor( M8 as an example ) and a Leica own lenses.

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