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Thread: Finding a new body for 2 old Leica R lenses ...

  1. #1
    Member hiker's Avatar
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    09 May 2011
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    Finding a new body for 2 old Leica R lenses ...

    Hi there.... I have 2 R lenses - Elmarit R 2.8/35 & Summicron 2/50 and would like to use these on a digital body with the appropriate adaptor.
    I'm resigned to the fact that Leica doesn't see fit to offer a solution - there must be many enthusiasts in this position.
    Have looked at Lumix G1, Olympus Pen as small bodies (not bulky DSLR) with recognised quality.
    My question is regarding the manual features of these lenses on new 'Auto/Manual' digitals.
    For example - focusing - does the camera recognise the lens focus? or is it all guesswork?
    The speed/aperture - does the lens change the camera or does the user change the change the camera to match the lens, or the lens to match the camera etc etc.
    thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Ausphotography Regular jjphoto's Avatar
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    04 Apr 2007
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    I only use Leica R lenses with 'bulky DSLR's' so I probably can't answer any of your questions accurately however you must consider that the Leica R lenses are entirely manual and the only connection you will have with any camera, 'bulky DSLR', or otherwise will be via a 'chipped' adapter which may allow the cameras autofocus to at least tell you when you have accurately focused the lens and to add lens info to file. I don't use any chipped adapters at all. Can't see the point. I far prefer to focus manually, or using Liveview where possible. I figure if I'm going to get the focus wrong then I prefer to make the mistake myself instead of the camera making it for me, that's why I don't like AF.

    You will always have to meter at the aperture you intend to be shooting and not all cameras play nicely in this area. So if shooting at F8 then you have to stop the lens down to F8. Of course it's difficult to focus at F8 so you will then need to open up to focus, then stop back down to shoot, etc etc. It's a pain in the butt unless you pretty much shoot wide open, or close to it, so then there isn't any need to keep changing the aperture anyway. I just spent all day shooting a Contax 50/1.4 wide open on a 5d2, had excellent results and argueably more in focus shots (and almost certainly sharper too) than if I'd used an AF lens at the same aperture. Using adapters on lenses doesn't have to be difficult but it's not suited to all types of photography either.

    If I where you, I'd opt for the 'bulky DSLR' and preferably a full frame body because you can then at least take advantage of the lenses you have. FF bodies give you greater creative freedom as they allow a shallower depth of field then you will get with crop cameras.


    PS, the avatar was shot with a Leica R 50/2 on a 1ds2.
    Last edited by jjphoto; 01-07-2011 at 1:23pm.

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