Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/08/08

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Subject: Re: [Leica] ISP charges and new R lenses
From: Eric Welch <>
Date: Sat, 08 Aug 1998 21:48:59 -0500

At 10:01 AM 8/9/98 +0800, you wrote:

>monthly bills in four figures (US dollars) on more than one occasion in 
>the last couple of years. 

Ouch, I'll try to be brief!

>Back to Leicas - tell us how you like the 70-180. I tried one once and 
>found it far too heavy, the focussing throw too wide, the need for 
>seperate strap inconvenient and was disappointed that it would not accept 
>the 1.4 converter. Maybe Leica will produce a new 1.4 converter which 
>would work with this lens and the new 180 APO??

Well, I used it a lot tonight, at around sunset at a horse show. I'm
working on a photo essay on a woman who raises miniature horses (i.e. that
are under 38 inches tall). I discovered when shooting directly into the sun
that it really does flare at 135mm and longer. This is the chink in the
armor of this lens. But I still love it. Stop it down to f/22 and zoom
while pointing at the sun and it looks like a Pink Floyd concert laser
show. (Just kidding). A bit disappointing, but I'm hoping Leica will come
up with a less reflective grease on the rails that the elements move on
when they zoom that causes this. (My friend Pete Stone - ASMP prez. on
Portland, Oregon told me what causes it). 

Other than that, this lens is flawless. The image quality is stunning. I
think the focus has a long throw, but I find that much better for follow
focus of fast moving subjects. That's ironic, but it works for me. And I
like the two touch zoom focus. Ted and others have remarked they don't like
the texture of both rings being the same. I guess it's a problem, but I and
finding I can hold my hands and fingers just so and can zoom and focus at
the same time. And I've only had it one week! I could NOT do that with
Canon's 70-200 2.8 USM. And one-touch zooms I just can't focus and zoom at
the same time. (Sorry I'm not being brief).

I do not regret getting this lens. I think for shooting against the light
at the long end, I'll just have to get either the 180 Apo Summicron or the
280 Apo telyt (f/4 or 2.8). What a terrible choice! The ability to zoom
while shooting is a major asset for shooting slides. Crop in camera is very
handy for optimum quality. Especially when this lens is as good as standard
lenses (except in this one situation at the long end against the sun).

>What other lenses would you hope they come up with at Photokina? A 
>28-70/2.8 and the 21-35 2.8 (I heard of a couple of months ago) would be 
>welcome. My guess is that the 24, 60, 135 and one of the 35s are due for 
>updating and who knows - maybe the 90 APO ASPH will be out in R and M 
>mounts (and the 135/3.4 APO I heard of too??).

I'm guessing a 90 Summicron APO ASPH M AND R. Maybe another lens or two,
maybe a new body M or R. But we'll just have to see. Further out? I bet
every M lens from 90 down is ASPH eventually. Maybe a Noctilux ASPH? Nah,
not yet.

What I would want? A 24 or 28 Summicron M.

I have heard about a 21-35 2.8, but I've got to wait from some wealthy
Canadian to buy one and then decide it's too heavy before I get one. :-)
- -- 

Eric Welch
St. Joseph, MO

Cooperation can only be reached if we work together