Leica Place - Leica User Group
I love my various Sonnars, but until late last year my main lens was the Leica 50mm f/2 Summicron v5. That changed when I got the urge to "upgrade" to the 50mm f/1.4 Summilux ASPH, and I did so selling my trusty Cron and buying a 50 LUX from fellow Leica Place member Mijo. The 50 LUX was perfect and the price was very fair, but after shooting with it for about ten months I just found it was, if anything, too perfect. My biggest complaint was that I had no complaints.
So, I'm back full-circle and have sold on the 50 LUX and bought another 50 Cron. I prefer the lighter weight and smaller size. I love the lighter touch to the focusing ring and the tiny 39mm filters. I like the "Mandler Look" and slightly harder edge to the way the lens renders. I like the bokeh, which to all conventional wisdom is busier and therefore inferior to that of the 50 LUX ASPH, but it works for how I imagine a 50mm should look.
Here are three exceptionally boring pictures of my messy desk that show well how the foreground and background bokeh look with this classic lens. First shot is focused near MFD on the text in the upper left corner of the computer screen. Second focused at a little over one meter at the Chinese characters on the pen and scissor cup (black text on green). The third is focused at about five meters on the hanging bell chime. All on the M Monochrom at ISO 320, f/2 with an orange filter.
L1000129.jpg by Andrew F, on Flickr
L1000130.jpg by Andrew F, on Flickr
New KMZ-Zenit lenses for rangefinder cameras (L39 / M mounts) | Leica Rumors
I was hoping a J-9 from Zenit/Lomography would come along. The original is very difficult to get to work wit a Leica, really needs the internal translation cam to be redone. The J-9 held to the original 7/3 optical layout and did not simplify to the 5/3 used by Nikon and Zeiss after the war. My opinion- the Bokeh on the original is smoother than either.
This J-9 is one-of-a-kind, 1950s Optics repositioned in a 1975 barrel, placed in a 1960s focus mount.
Spring 2016 by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr
Focus is good from 1.15m to ~30m. Lots of time.
I'll be saving for the new J-9...
I don't know how much traction this thread will get, but I couldn't find another suitable place for these pictures of Buddha statues taken at Wat Sisaket in Vientiane, Laos. The Wat was Chao Anouvong's personal Wat, which makes it all the more surprising that it is almost the only Buddhist temple to survive the Siamese invasion and sack of Vientiane after Anouvong's bid to free himself from the suzerainty of Siam.
Of the 2000 Buddha statues housed here, some have been restored from that invasion, apparently, and others have found shelter after having suffered the ravages of time. Walking the edge of the courtyard where the Buddhas are housed it is hard not to be deeply moved.
Ten photos follow, all taken with the trusty Leica X1, using the accessory optical VF. I find it an absolute joy to shoot and am attached to it in a way that the Buddha would have advised against.
Not cheap at $649- but this is a fast Rangefinder lens with two triplets in it. About 1/2 the price of a new C-Sonnar, and a bit less than a 50/1.5 M-Mount Nokton. A near-mint J-3 runs $300, and you can figure that it will need a full CLA. This "Jupiter-3+" looks like the original Jupiter-3 design has been updated to close-focus to 0.7m. Chrome-plated brass is used rather than aluminum. I have modified a couple of original J-3's to focus closer, it is not hard to do. Basically a few cuts into the metal allows the close-focus position to exceed 1m and the focal length of the lens must be brought closer to 51.6mm.
The engravings are different in the new J-3. I suspect the optics are the same, why change a winner. At $649- I expect KMZ quality control, which was much better than the late Valdai lenses. ALSO- with a change in the barrel, setting the rear triplet in closer will reduce the focal length to the Leica standard. This is certainly necessary to allow accurate focus from 0.7m to infinity.
There are fast Sonnar formula lenses that I do NOT own, the Tanar 5cm F1.5, 500 made. That one would cost more than this new J-3+, and I already have the Nikkor 5cm F1.5. You could buy a few of these new J-3+ lenses for the price of the Nikkor. Both are chrome over brass, both focus close, and both made to the Leica standard.
I have Five cherry-picked Jupiter-3's that span from 1950 through to 1984, two KMZ's with Zeiss serial numbers, a late 1956 KMZ, 1975 ZOMZ, and 1984 Valdai. Also a 1949 ZK Sonnar. I have a lot of Fast Sonnars. The KMZ Jupiter-3's are among the best 50/1.5's ever made by anyone.