Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2011/03/20

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Subject: [Leica] New portrait of my son added today
From: tedgrant at (tedgrant at
Date: Sun, 20 Mar 2011 08:02:02 -0700
References: <>

Chris Crawford offered:
Subject: Re: [Leica] New portrait of my son added today

> Its inherent in the classic Sonnar formula. A lot of lenses made with the
> Sonnar name, like the 150mm Sonnar that was sold for Hasselblad and for 
> the
> Rollei SLRs, were not really Sonnar designs.
> The original Sonnar formula, sold for the old Prewar Contax cameras, had 
> the
> focus shift but it was accepted because it was one of the first good f1.5
> lenses..the price you paid for speed.
> I think the originals were calibrated to be accurate wide open. The ZM
> version is basically a modern recreation of the original, complete with 
> its
> flaws. The flaws are a tradeoff for the lens' high sharpness and unique
> bokeh. Some people claim that is has a more 3-D rendering. I don't know
> about that, but I do like the look it gives.<<<

Hi Chris,
Thank you for the explanation on this lens. As once again after 60 years of 
photo time in the published world we never cease to learn. During my LUG 
tenure, how many years? I don't have a clue, but it's been several.

I've learned more techie stuff than I could ever imagine and always 
surprised I made it as far and as successfully as I have without knowing 
many of the technical aspects I've read on the LUG.

In the case of this particular lens if I should find it didn't focus where I 
expected it to I'd have thrown it away, traded it in very quickly or 
relegated it to the paper weight corner of the desk.

Shooting for major publishers, one's own books and documentaries for "paying 
clients" is tough enough without having to think ... "Is this that weird 
lens that doesn't focus right on the mark?" while hopefully catching just 
right moment .

Heck if one is wasting brain cells concerned with some kind of focus shift, 
without total concentration on the "Gold Medal Winner" at the Olympics the 
race would be over while your figuring out which aperture to use.

Once again I've learned.... don't ever buy any lens that isn't sharp right 
where you focus!

Very interesting to learn about these things as it can save money and loss 
of a good picture. Thank you for the explanation.
Dr. ted

Replies: Reply from chris at (Chris Crawford) ([Leica] New portrait of my son added today)
In reply to: Message from chris at (Chris Crawford) ([Leica] New portrait of my son added today)