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

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Why Minolta?
From: "Simon Coates" <>
Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2000 21:43:26 +0100

I would like to add my input to the above thread.

I very recently changed from Minolta AF to Leica R, and purchased the
28/2.8, 50/2 and 100/2.8 APO.  I have the Minolta 28/2.8 and 50/1.7 so was
able to test these lenses directly against each other.

I stuck a two-page newspaper spread on a wall and took pictures of it with
both cameras tripod-mounted at all apertures, which although would not give
me lpm figures, showed how the lenses resolved fine text.  My conclusions:

50mm lenses
The Leica Summicron at the centre at f/2 (its' 'worst' aperture) was sharper
than the Minolta at any aperture.  In the edges the Summicron was far
sharper.  I have read tests on the Minolta 1.7 and 1.4 lenses and the 1.7 is
supposed to be a better performer...

28mm lenses
My Elmarit is the latest version, and in case you are wondering has a razor
sharp performance.  At f/2.8 it almost outperforms the Minolta at any
aperture.  From f/4 it is clearly sharper than the Minolta at any aperture.
The Minolta has quite severe vignetting at f2.8 and f/4.  The Elmarit has
only slight vignetting fully open, which disappears by f/3.5.

Overall, the Leica lenses are far sharper than the Minoltas.  Of course,
lens sharpness is only one measure of performance.  I have used 'el cheapo'
Jessops ISO 200 print film in the Leica and comparing the prints to the
Minolta with Fuji Reala 100, the Leicas show far better colour saturation; I
usually use Velvia with the same result.  The 100 apo has amazing colour

I feel this particular thread is going nowhere; Leica lenses are top
performers, with a number of them being the very best in the world.  As for
Minolta making lenses for Leica - this is possible, as Minolta are one of
the few (only?) lens makers that actually make their lenses from the base
raw materials, so it is not suprising that they will supply to Leica, and
then Leica completely take it to bits again and make it a top lens.  They
probably supply other manufacturers as well.

You get what you pay for, in the photographic world as in anything else.