Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1999/03/10

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Subject: Re: [Leica] 135/4 Tele-Elmar M
From: Mark Rabiner <>
Date: Wed, 10 Mar 1999 11:23:18 -0800 wrote:
> For quite some time I've been curious about the 135 Tele-Elmar. The key question
> being, if I had one, would I ever use it?   I don't even like using a 90 on an
> M. I thought a 135 would be worse.
> On a recent trip to Vancouver Island in Canadian B.C. I had a chance to use a
> 135/4 TE. I only my M system on that journey. I ended up using the 135/4 TE
> quite a bit. The light was such that I used it wide open most of the time. I
> came away thinking that this is a very nice lens. I had both an M3 and an M6.
> Obviously the M3 viewfinder is better suited to the 135, but I didn't find the
> M6 viewfinder all that bad.
> It was very different framing and composing an image within a small section of a
> much larger visable image. Sort of the antithesis of an SLR. Most of my
> photographs on this excursion were typical scenics; photographs of shorelines,
> light houses, boats in harbor and underway, etc.snip The
> subject matter was static. That's probably why I found the 135 easy to use.  I
> gave it quite a workout and, quite frankly, I found it indispensible.
snip The thing I disliked most was that I couldn't see in the viewfinder
> the compression quality that comes with using longer lenses. That would be more
> apparent in the viewfinder of an SLR. Although, in retrospect, I'm not sure
> that's too important. I'm not sure if  looking into an SLR or looking through an
> M makes any difference in the final result.
> Dave

A couple of weeks ago I got the new 135. I had owned the 135 Hector for
a year a few years back so I was used to the framelines and I use a 90
Elmarit often.
I brought it into the TV room one night. If this sounds funny I was also
bringing it into the bathroom with me and was it next to my bed when I
slept. I usually get over this with a new lens after a week.
So anyway sitting in my TV chair in my TV room I pointed the 135 3.4 at
the screen.
We have the a big TV 35 inch diagonal screen. I sit nine feet away an
average distance it seems to me.
The 135 frameline fit the sides of my TV screen. Did I find that a
surprise! If you would have asked my I would have guessed somewhere
between a 50 and a 75mm frameline would have been it. (If I was not in
the room when guessing)
This made be think the chunck of reality that I slice out when I click
my shutter using the 135 is very ergonomic and therefore useful and
appropriate for me or others.
Mark Rabiner