Which SM 35mm lens ?

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by subhash_tiwari, Oct 29, 2005.

  1. Have recently acquired a Canon IVsb body, and eyeing a Leica IIIg.
    Would like to get a 35mm (focal length) SM lens (leica/Nikkor/Canon)
    to use for B/W street photography. Prefer no slower than f3.5. Any
    recommendations for quality/value ?
  2. Silly me. Of course, none are slower than f3.5. consider speed too in terms of value.
  3. You might want to consider the Voigtlander 35mm F2.5 color Skopar
  4. On Al K's suggestion I got a Canon 35 mm f1.8(in LTM), and it rocks. I've shot color slides with this lens on my R2 Bessa that are gorgeous.
  5. Add the Voightlander 35mm f1.7 and your done with the list for best quality for the price. The older Canon/Nikon/Leica LTM lenses are going to be a risky choice given their age, condition, and price. If you like the look of the old lenses, be prepared to buy two or three until you find a good one. A real gamble would be Russian lenses, but they are cheap enough that you could buy several and shoot with the best. Try KEH or Pacific Rim Camera for return policy and a reasonable selection of the older lenses.
  6. I am told that the Voigtlander 35mm F2.5 color Skopar, is the same formula as the screw mount Canon 35mm f2 ... I have both and that seems reasonable ... I also like the Canon Serenar 35mm f2.8 for a sharp but less contrasty look ...
  7. Try a contempoary lens to the bodies you mentioned. I use a 2.8 LTM Summaron. Nice glass.
  8. Canon 35/2.
  9. Don't forget a finder. The IVSb viewfinder only does 50mm, 100mm, and 135mm (sort of).

    If you really want to do street photography -- fast shots -- plan on using the hyperfocal technique. Between focusing with the main VF/RF, and then composing with the finder, you won't be very fast. Of course, that makes lens speed less important.

    Another thing to consider is the focusing throw. Older LTM 35mm's focus from infinity to 1 meter in 1/2 turn. Some newer ones are much faster, like the Canon 35/2 does it in 1/4 turn. For fast action, the shorter throw can be convenient. The Canon 35/2.8 and 35/1.8 are 1/2 turn lenses.
  10. Another bump for the CV 35/2.5, great lens! But if you're on a budget the Jupiter 12 isn't too shabby either. I used to have a IVSB2 and preferred the results with the J-12 over the Serenar 35/2.8. No problems mounting with earlier Canons or Leica III series.
  11. jtk


    I've got a Summaron 35 f3.5 and a Canon 35 f2. IMO the Summaron's as good as the Canon, but of course it's slower...as well, the aperture settings are mechanically more fussy. If the question is "what's best" I suspect it'd be a Summaron 2.8, but you'd have to shop carefully and pay big $$. I did in fact spend more than that to get my two 35's.

    CV's (I've got two other lenses) are nowhere near Canon/Leica build quality, which might not be relevant except that you plan to hang this on a wonderful classic camera.
  12. If you're lucky, you'll find clean and not super expensive Canon lenses. I enjoy using the Canon 35mm/1.8, 50mm/1.8, and 85mm/1.9 lenses. They are built rock solid and are excellent optics.
  13. Looks like everybody mentioned just about all the candidates he could have in mind, except for the CV Ultron and CV Nokton.<BR><BR>
    Subhash, I guess what everybody is trying to say is that they're all good, depending on who you ask?
  14. One reason why nobody mentioned the CV Nokton is that it isn't LTM.

    The CV 35mm lenses aren't copies of Canons. Both the Canon 35/2 designs have seven elements in four groups, the CV 35/2.5 has seven in five. (The Canon 35/1.8 has six in four.)
  15. The CV 35/2.5 is a nice, sharp lens and I do enjoy it for those qualities. However, I often find myself aching for more speed. It does occupy a sweet spot in its price range though, so I would not rule it out. It is also extremely compact.
    My friend had the CV 35/1.7 for some time, but couldn't bring himself to keep it, due to its size. It was bigger than even a 50/1.5 lens. Of course, if you need the speed, the price is right and size is a non-issue, the CV 35/1.7 is a keeper too.
  16. Nikkor 35mm F2.5 available in LSM
  17. My 35mm Elmar is very sharp but there s a little vignetting.
  18. Thank you all for your advice. I am leaning towards the CV 35/2.5, Canon 35/2, or the Summaron, but the latter at 2.8 is hard to find at reasonable cost. Will keep an eye out.
  19. CV 35 1.7 is much smaller than the Nokton 50 1.5. Its also a great little lens although the build quality is not the best.

    I'm assuming you meant the 35mm 1.2.

    The CV 35 2.5 is a great little lens. Very compact and inexpensive.
  20. I've been given a summaron 3.5 with no scratches, cleaning marks etc [along with a iia and an Elmar which in turn had been cleaned to death]. I shot a few rolls with it and the results were horrible [not sharp, very poor contrast - at all apertures] Upon close inspecion with a flashlight I found only some very very mild haze. The physical condition of the lens barrel is perfect. And the moral? With lenses that old don't buy anything before testing.
  21. Despite all the nit-picking they are all good, but IMMAO the Summaron 3.5 is the best buy dollar for dollar!
  22. I recommend the Summaron 35/2.8 in LTM. It is sharper then the first two version Summicrons and has that Leica look.
  23. The Canon 35/2 from the early 1960s would be an excellent choice. It might not score as high on technical testing as the best of modern equipment, but is more than adequate to take excellent pictures under a wide range of conditions. The Canon 35/1.8 also produces good photos and would be a solid choice, although the 35/2 is in my experience somewhat better. I have never used the Canon 35/2.8; my guess is that it would be good value for money and fine for daytime use, but a bit slow for available light work. The Canon 35/1.5 is more of a collectible than a lens for daily use. In daylight, the results it has produced for me are somewhat less satisfactory than the Canon 35/2 or 35/1.8. It was, however, designed primarily for available light shooting, at a time when Tri-X was the fastest film available and lens speed was a matter of prestige for camera manufacturers. Nikon made a Nikkor 35/1.8 LTM lens that had a good reputation, but I have never used one so cannot comment on it based on personal experience.
  24. They're expensive but you could consider one of the limited edition 35mm Asph Summicrons that Leica introduced in 1999. I used one for 4 years on a IIIg body (with adaptor it is now an M lens) and it was a great combo. Even with the finder it made for a very compact, pocketable street camera, with incredible sharpness. Alas these lenses are not inexpensive, but definitely are the sharpest thing you can put on a screw-mount body.

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