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Travel gear and 3 lenses


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I'm going on a trip to Cancun,Mexico next week.

It's going to be a vacation but I'm very interested

in the archeological sites in the area,like Tulum and

Chichen Itza too.My problem is that currently I own

a 35mm1.4asph/summilux and a 50mm summicron.I'm plannning

to get a new lens either the 21mm/2.8asph or the new 90mmAsph/apo.

I can get only one of them,if You are familiar with the

area in question which one would You get?

Thank You for Your response






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It is not the area but your shooting style that determines which

lens you should get next. There will be telepoto and wideangle

compositions galore which ever way you go. Do you ever wish

you could get a little closer to your subject, to make it more

intimate, and still fit it all in? Do you like to give attention to

something close up but have the sweeping background there as

well? If yes, wide is the way to go. Do you like to pick out details?

Do you like to put some space between you and your subject to

make them feel more comfortable? Go telephoto. If you want to

do both buy the stunning 90/2.8 and with the change buy the

Voitlander/Cosina 15mm. What would I do? As I already have the

90/2.8, my next lens will be wider than my 35/1.4 asph but how

much wider I am not sure. I personally do not like that superwide

"look" and may only go to a 28. I am holding out for my bank

account to recover and for the long rumored 28/2!

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John's answer is a good one-your post leads me to suspect that wide

angles are what you need amongst the Central American pyramids, and

that up close portraiture will be only an occasional need.




I would suggest that you try to get (if possible at short notice) a

90/4 Rokkor made for the CLE or a used Tele-Elmarit with the 21. Sell

the Tele-Elmarit or Rokkor when you have the cash for the apo/asph

Summicron. The loss should be minimal as there is a ready market.




John's alternative is not a bad one, but your style of shooting will

greatly determine your ability to use the 15mm to advantage.

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The M camera's framelines only go as wide as 28 (M3, 50; M2,

35; M6HM, 35). All wider lenses need separate finders, though

some people prefer to estimate the field of view rather than have

to switch between the two finders. I like the separate finders

myself. The Voitlander/Cosina 15 comes with a viewfinder.

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FWIW i would get the 90 f2.8.That way you have a portrait lens.People are much more interesting than stones...:)

To get panoramas I find the Leicas viewfinder the best.

Better than slr. Place on tripod and shoot panoramas the old way ,frame at a a time.I did one od seascape blew up to 8 x 12 and the 5 together strech 5feet across my wall !Your lab will have to make equal density prints.

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I'd get the 21. The people in Cancun aren't nearly as interesting as

the stones. If you already had the lenses, I'd have said 21/50/90 for

this trip, but another consideration is that the 90 is quite a

handful. How about the 21 and an 85mm Jupiter (Russian--eBay, about

$125, usually, plus the cost of an adapter ring) on the side--small,

light, fast, sharp (if you get a good one), considering what it

costs. Then upgrade to the 90 asph some time later when the bank

account recovers.

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I have an M6TTL/24-2.8 aspheric/35mm F2.0 aspheric and a 50mm F2.0

Summicron. In the past several years I have owned the 21mm 2.8

aspheric/35mm F1.4/50mm F1.0/90 mm 2.8/90mm 2.0/135 aspheric. All of

the ones that I got rid of were great lenses. I just didn't like the

way they fit my needs. In my opion the M6 is more suited for wide

than tele. I particularly didn't like seeing a large lens barrel

through the viewfinder, ie., 50mm F1.0 and the 90mm F2.0.




For the first time in many years of Leica ownership I am perfectly

happy with my configuration. The 24mm 2.8 Aspheric stays on the

camera most of the time. It is the finest Leica lens that I have

ever owned. I often let it hang as waist level and "shoot from the

hip" in places that I want to make pictures but don't want people to

know that I am shooting. The depth of field is incredible. With a

little bit of practice it becomes easy to keep the camera level. I

own the 24mm viewfinder but seldom use it. The entire viewfinder

from side to side gets me close enough to actual.




To answer your question. I have owned both the 21 and the 24 and I

would choose the 24 hands down. You already have two other wonderful

lenses. Although it is a wonderful lens I would not choose the 90mm

F2.0 because of size and weight. I think I would wait until after

Photokina. There are rumors that a 90mm F2.8 Aspheric will be

introduced. Please don't hold me accountable for this but I do think

Leica is going to "pull the stops" with new product introductions at

Photokina. A miniaturize M Winder is rumored as well which interests





Good luck on your trip.

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I seem to travel extensively for my job. In a couple weeks I'll be in

San Antonio, Texas for a week for training, and next month I'll be in

San Diego for a conference. For both trips, I'm tempted to take an

M6, Tmax 400, and my 50/2 'cron lens. When it gets to be the morning

of my departure, I will probably grab the 35/2 'cron, undoubtedly for

both trips. Dang it. I hate that part of me that is so hung up on

being "prepared." Sometimes I wish I had only the 50/2.

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It must be just me, since everyone likes the 35, but as much as I try

I don't seem to be able to have EVER made it work for me. I bought a

new one six months ago, and carry it on the camera a lot to encourage

me, but have printed only one photo taken with it, and that was just

a spontaneous group shot as a favor for a friend. To me its not

normal enough to be normal, and not wide enough to be wide. These

days it's almost always my 50 or 85 that gets used. Go figure.

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<img src="http://www.spirer.com/images/govpal.jpg"><br>

<i>Uxmal, Copyright 1999 Jeff Spirer</i><p>



First of all, if you want good shots of ruins, don't bother with

Chichen Itza or Tulum. There's too many people, and it's really hard

to understand the place with seven million tourists. Go to the Pu'uc

Route instead, and the photographic opportunities, and the

opportunity to understand and experience the places, will be there.<p>


Secondly, only you can know what lenses you will find useful. If

you've been happy with the lenses you've been using, take those and

don't bother with a new one. I haven't use anything longer

than "normal" (50mm on a 35mm camera) in years, so why would I want a

90? You should think about what you really want to photograph.<p>


The above photograph was taken with the equivalent of a 21mm lens

(it's a 43mm on a Mamiya 7.)

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Michael Darnton, August 09, 2000 writes:


<i>It must be just me, since everyone likes the 35, but as much as I

try I don't seem to be able to have EVER made it work for me. </i>




Tony Rowlett, August 08, 2000 writes:


<i> Dang it. I hate that part of me that is so hung up on being

"prepared." Sometimes I wish I had only the 50/2. </i>


I have to say I feel exactly the same way. The only reason I use a 35

is because it's on my Hexar, and it's wonderful. I think I see things

more in 28mm, and, it is so true, life was so much easier when it was

just me, my K1000 and a 50mm lens.


People have often said the Hexar�s 35mm lens is a knock-off of a late

70�s Leica 35mm. My question is- is there something special about this

focal length and the image quality you can get from it? I mean, can I

expect to get the same socks knocking-off effect from other focal

lengths in Leica M?

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