Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2000/08/23

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Subject: RE: [Leica] Lens test
From: Paul Chefurka <>
Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2000 12:59:19 -0700

>From: Larry Kopitnik []
>It has been repeated so often, that at 5.6 all current and
>well corrected lenses perform very well and whatever 
>differences in fine
>detail rendition and micro contrast are available, the 
>handheld shooting, by
>vibration and focusing inaccuracy will degrade these differences.
>So if I shoot most often around f/5.6 or so, and I shoot probably 90% 
>of the time handheld -- and this is how I shoot, by the way -- there 
>is little to no meaningful optical advantage to my using Leica lenses 
>over other top brands. At least that's how I'm interpreting the 
>above. Am I interpreting correctly?

Well, maybe if you always shoot with the sun behind you, and you don't care
about bokeh and stuff like that.  I've certainly found major differences in
flare characteristics, for instance,  between similar modern lenses -
especially when shooting contre-jour.  I love my 35 Summicron ASPH for its
behaviour in such situations, at any aperture.

Another example is that I hate the background rendition of my Micro-Nikkor
55/2.8 (a more than adequately sharp lens by anyone's standards), even at
5.6.  Give me a 50 Summicron any day.

So, while absolute tack-sharp rendition of in-focus micro-detail may be
compromised by hand-held shooting, there's a lot more that Leica lenses
excel at that shines through.