Photography Review Index

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Camera Reviews

Leica M10

Leica M Typ240 

Hasselblad SWC 

Hasselblad 2000FC/M

  

Lens Reviews 

Leica

Leica 50mm F1 Noctilux-M Lens

Leica 50mm F0.95 Noctilux ASPH M Lens

Leica 50mm F1.4 Summilux ASPH M Lens

Leica 50mm F2.0 Summicron M Lens

Leica 75mm F1.25 Noctilux ASPH M Lens

Leica 75mm F1.4 Summilux-M Lens

Leica 18mm F3.4 Super-Elmar ASPH M Lens

Leica 21mm F3.4 Super-Elmar ASPH M Lens

Leica 21mm F1.4 Summilux ASPH M Lens 

Leica WATE 16-18-21mm F4 Tri-Elmar-M ASPHERICAL Lens

Classic 

Canon 50mm F0.95 “Dream Lens” 

Canon 50mm F1.2 LTM Lens

Canon 85mm F1.8 LTM Lens

Nikkor 8.5cm F2 LTM Lens

Nikkor 5cm f/1.4 | Nikon 50mm F1.4 LTM 

Nikkor 5cm f/1.1 | Nikon 50mm F1.1 LTM

Fujinon 5cm f/2 | Fujinon 50mm F2 LTM

Fujinon 5cm f/1.2 | Fujinon 50mm F1.2 LTM 

Unique

Alpa Kern Macro Switar 50mm F1.8/F1.9 Lens

MS Optical 50mm F1.1 Sonnetar for Leica M

Nikkor-O CRT 55mm F1.2 Lens

Konica Hexanon 50mm F1.2 M Lens

Konica Hexanon 60mm F1.2 LTM Lens

Voigtlander Nokton 50mm F1.1 M Lens 

Voigtlander Nokton 50mm F1.5 Asph M Lens

Zeiss 50mm F1.5 C-Sonnar T* ZM Lens

Zeiss 15mm F2.8 Distagon T* ZM Lens

Zeiss Hologon 15mm F8 for Leica M

Hasselblad 110mm F2.0 Planar T* Lens

Rollei Planar 80mm F2.8 HFT LTM Lens

Cine

Kodak Cine Ekton 50mm F1.5

Kinoptik Apochromat 75mm F2

Angenieux Type S5 50mm F1.5

Angenieux Type M1 50mm F0.95

Angenieux Type S3 75mm F1.8

Angenieux Type P1 90mm F1.8

Dallmeyer Super-Six 2inch 50mm F1.9

Dallmeyer Super-Six 3inch 76mm F1.9

Dallmeyer Septac Anastigmat 50mm F1.5

Schneider Kreuznach Xenon 50mm F0.95    

Futura Freiburg BR. Frilon 50mm F1.5


Collection Guide

Leica Collection

Leica MP Collection Guide

Hasselblad and Rolleiflex Collection 

Camera Gear Customisation

  

Miscellaneous 

Why Choose Leica? 

Street Portraits 

Personal Gear 

Sun Tao Calligraphy

Nikkor-O CRT 55mm F1.2

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The Nikkor-O 55mm f/1.2 CRT lens was produced in the early 1970's by Nikon to take photos of oscilloscope screens. This very rare speciality lens was made for industrial use to record faint cathode-screen traces and came with a long Leica Thread mount. It can be mounted on any Nikon camera with the LF adapter and a restricted focusing range is achieved by rotating it in the adapter. Alternatively, it can be modified by a master technician and converted to Leica M mount to be used on Leica Rangefinders.

The uniqueness of Nikkor-O CRT 55mm f/1.2 lens is not because of its curvature as used in monitoring CRTs but how incredibly sharp and good it is at resolving images. Once converted to Leica M Mount, the unique character is completely presented through its motion-like bokeh provides a sense of movement for still images.


Specifications

Lens Mount: M39


Production Year: 1970s


Construction: 8 Elements / 6 Groups


Diaphragm: 13 Aperture Blades


Maximum / Minimum Aperture:  F1.2 - F11


Closet Focusing Distance: ~1m


Filter Size: 52mm


Weight: 260g

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 Doo3 

Doo3 

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Doo3

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Doo3

Nikkor P.C 8.5cm F2 LTM

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The Nikkor-P.C 8.5cm f/2 was a significant lens introduced by Nikon. The medium telephoto lens was introduced in 1953 as Nikon’s first attempt at this focal length. The lens is based on the popular Zeiss Sonnar design and It was one of their best selling lens. The Nikkor 8.5cm f/2 was competing against likes of Leica and Canon with similar focal length offerings. The size advantage and smooth rendering makes the Nikkor stands out from the rest of the competition.  

 

Lens Version

Chrome Barrel

  1. Nikon S
  2. Contax
  3. Leica Screw Mount

Black Barrel

  1. Nikon S
  2. Leica Screw Mount (Rare)


Specifications

Lens Mount: Nikon S | Contax | LTM


Production Year: 1953


LTM Mount


Construction: 5 Elements / 3 Groups


Diaphragm: 10 Aperture Blades


Maximum / Minimum Aperture:  F2 - F32


Closet Focusing Distance: 1m


Filter Size: 48mm


Weight: 425g

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Rollei Planar 80mm F2.8 HFT LTM

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In 2002, Rollei made the commercial decision to commission an improved version of the Cosina-Voigtlander Bessa R2. This was known as the Rollei 35, which includes a reproduction of their three most successful lenses:

 

1) The 40mm f/2.8 Sonnar that had incorporated the original compact Rollei 35S

2) The improved 80mm f/2.8 Planar with HFT coating as used on the Rollei GX/FX Medium Format Camera

3) The 50mm f/1.8 Planar as used on the Rollei 35 series of SLRs, which never made into actual production.


The Rollei Planar 80mm f/2.8 was designed by Carl Zeiss and made in Germany by Rollei of Braunschweig. This 80mm lens is based on the design of the famous twin lens Rolleiflex 2.8GX/FX TLR, which is an amazingly sharp and high resolution performance lens.

 

Despite being marketed as an Leica M mount or Rollei M RM mount lens, this lens is actually a Leica screw mount lens sold with an LTM to M adaptor. Therefore, it can be mounted on earlier screw mount cameras as well. Unlike the Rollei Sonnar 40mm f/2.8 HFT, which had an option of an external 40mm viewfinder, there is no external 80mm viewfinder by Rollei for this lens.


Specifications


Lens Mount: L39 | LTM


Production Year: 2003


LTM Mount


Construction: 5 Elements / 4 Groups


Diaphragm: 10 Aperture Blades


Maximum / Minimum Aperture:  F2.8 - F22


Closet Focusing Distance: 1.2m


Dimension: 55mm X 73.5mm (90mm with Hood)


Filter Size: 43mm


Weight: 475g

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Angenieux S3 75mm F1.8 Lens

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Angénieux is a French optics company in Paris founded by Pierre Angenieux in 1935. It has manufactured lenses for still and movie cameras, and also for military applications. 

The Angenieux Type S3 Lenses are the rarest and most expensive offered by Angénieux Paris. The Angenieux S3 75mm F1.8 is arguably more rare and better portrait performer than the Amazing Angenieux S3 100mm F2. It is the Holy Grail of Angenieux Lenses due to its insane rarity but also it’s magical rendering, thus demands astronomical prices in the current market.

What’s so magical about the Angenieux S3? It combines the best of both worlds, the sharpness and charmastic rendering from the Angenieux S5 & P1, with slight hint of the magical glow from the S21. The bokeh is very unique with a swirly character and is extremely smooth.

 

Specifications

Lens Mount: Leica M


Format: 35mm | 120mm (Covers Medium Format)


Focusing: Manual Focus (MF)


Diaphragm: 12 Blades


Maximum Aperture: F1.8


Minimum Aperture: F22


Closet Focusing Distance: ~0.8m


Filter Size: 49.5mm

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Futura Freiburg BR. Frilon 50mm F1.5 Lens

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The Frilon Freiburg BR. Frilon 50mm F1.5 Lens was produced briefly in the Freiburg Factory Germany during the 1950s and it was the Fastest of all the Standard FL Lenses available for Futura 35mm Cameras.

The Futura 50mm F1.5 lenses have a unique M34 mount with the focussing mechanism part of the camera body rather than on the lens. There were a few examples available in Leica M39 Screw Mount and the rest could be modified to be used on Leica M Cameras.

It is a Rare Cine Lens due to its short production run and Seldomly Seen on the Market. 

 

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Dallmeyer Septac Anastigmat 2inch 50mm F1.5 Lens

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Dallmeyer Pre-Septac Anastigmat 50mm f/1.5

Dallmeyer is an English Lens Company made by J.H. Dallmeyer. Their cinematic lenses are famous for its out of focus rendering and oil-painting quality bokeh. The Septac Lens composition is Seven elements in Four groups with Double Gauss Type Glass Design. Due to its extremely limited numbers that generally demands astronomical prices on the market.

Dallmeyer can be graded from Kinematogrph, Super-Six, Dallac, Speed and Septac. This belongs to the “Pre-Series,” which is before everything and the earliest Septac. This is much rarer than Septac and offers better rendering with oil-painting style bokeh. The lens been uncoated, making it perhaps the Rarest Dallmeyer Lens.

 

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Dallmeyer Super-Six 2inch 50mm F1.9 Lens

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Dallmeyer is an English Lens Company made by J.H. Dallmeyer. Their cinematic lenses are famous for its out of focus rendering and oil-painting quality bokeh.

Due to its limited production numbers that demands very high prices on the market. It’s cine lenses can be graded from the following series: Kinematogrph, Super-Six, Dallac, Speed and Septac, which is the ultimate and the rarest. However, Dallmeyer is most well-known for its Super-Six series, which offers strong 3D image quality, unique colour rendering, swirly and oil-painting like bokeh.

Although Dallmeyer Super-Six 50mm f1.9 is famous as the standard lens of Witness Camera which has been manufactured by the British Ilford Corporation, the Lens shown here is very early production lens that is later converted to Leica mount. The Lens composition is Six elements in Four groups with Double Gauss Type Glass Design. They were made with extremely expensive rare earth elements that earned them the name “Super Six.”

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Dallmeyer Super-Six 3inch 76mm F1.9 Lens

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Dallmeyer is an English Lens Company made by J.H. Dallmeyer. Their cinematic lenses are famous for its out of focus rendering and oil-painting quality bokeh.

Due to its limited production numbers that demands very high prices on the market. It’s cine lenses can be graded from the following series: Kinematogrph, Super-Six, Dallac, Speed and Septac, which is the ultimate and the rarest. However, Dallmeyer is most well-known for its Super-Six series, which offers strong 3D image quality, unique colour rendering, swirly and oil-painting like bokeh.

There are significant differences in image quality and price between each series. Also within each series there are both coated and uncoated versions, with the recognisable “DC” Dallmeyer Coating but uncoated versions are generally more rare and collectible.

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Sun Tao Calligraphy 孙涛 书法家

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Sun Tao is from Wuhan, Hubei Province of China. He graduated with Master Degree from Chinese Ministry of Culture and Chinese Calligraphy Court. Sun Tao is the Arts Director of Huazhong University of Science and Technology and Appointed Calligrapher for the Chutian Calligraphy Court of Hubei Province.

Since the 1980s, Sun Tao has been recognised by the Ministry of Culture, the China Federation of Art and Literature, the Chinese Calligraphy Association, the Chinese Disabled Persons Federation, the Central Committee of China and many other institutions. Sun Tao have won multiple awards including the "Chutian Star Award", "Huanghe Group Star Award" and “International Handicapped Painting and Calligraphy Awards".

Sun Tao has participated in large-scale cultural performances of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. He has taught more than 10,000 students from all around the world. Sun Tao has also participated in many Cultural and Art exchange between China, South Korea, Japan, New Zealand and Australia. His works have been collected by political figures and individuals from more than 30 countries.

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孙涛是中国湖北省武汉市人,中国文化部中国书法院研究生毕业,华中科技大学同济医学院书艺指导。湖北省楚天书法院特聘书法家。

自上世纪八十年代多次获文化部,中国文联,中国书协,中残联,民革中央等机构举办的”楚天群星奖“ ”黄鹤群星奖“ 历届 ”国际残障人书画奖”,培养大,中,小学生及外国留学生逾万名。

曾参加北京2008奥运会大型文艺展演,曾多次参加中韩,中澳,中新,中日文化艺术交流活动,作品被三十多个国家政要与个人收藏。

 

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2018年7月28日,在悉尼chatswood 的中华文化中心举办了【孙涛悉尼书法展】,来自悉尼的华人议员和文化精英等嘉宾约200多人参加了剪彩仪式。

 

On 28 July 2018, the Sun Tao Sydney Calligraphy Exhibition was held at the Chinese Cultural Center in Chatswood, Sydney. More than 200 guests of Australian and Chinese elites attended the opening ceremony.


澳大利亚美术家协会,澳大利亚琴棋书画协会,澳大利亚中国文化传统协会,湖北同乡会联合主办的此次展览,展示了孙涛老师近年创作的书法精品,展现了他的师承渊源及深厚的书法造诣,受到了行内专家和观众的高度评价。

 

The Australian Artists Association, the Australian Chess and Calligraphy Association, the Australian Chinese Cultural Tradition Association and the Hubei Fellowship Association jointly hosted the exhibition, which exhibited the calligraphy works created by Sun Tao in recent years. The exhibition showcasing his mastery and profound calligraphy that is highly praised by audiences and experts in the calligraphy industry.

 

孙涛书法作品国外展出场馆

  • 韩国光州美术馆
  • 澳大利亚悉尼市政大厅
  • 墨尔本市政大厅
  • 新西兰惠灵顿市政大厅
  • 日本大分市美术馆


Sun Tao Calligraphy Worldwide Exhibition Venues:

  • Gwangju Art Museum, Korea
  • Sydney Town Hall, Australia
  • Melbourne Town Hall, Australia
  • Wellington Town Hall, New Zealand
  • Oita City Art Museum, Japan


孙涛书法作品收藏机构

  • 英国剑桥,牛津
  • 法国第三大学
  • 澳大利亚悉尼大学,新南威尔士大学
  • 德国海德堡大学
  • 美国哈佛,耶鲁,哥伦比亚大学
  • 30多个国家的孔子学院


Sun Tao Calligraphy Collection Institutions:

  • Cambridge and Oxford University, United Kingdom
  • University of Paris III, France
  • Sydney University and University of New South Wales, Australia
  • Heidelberg University, Germany
  • Harvard University, Yale University and University of Columbia, United States
  • Confucius Institutes in more than 30 Countries
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Angenieux Type P1 90mm F1.8 Lens

Angenieux Type P1 90mm f/1.8

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Angénieux is a French optics company in Paris founded by Pierre Angenieux in 1935. It has manufactured lenses for still and movie cameras, and also for military applications.

The Angenieux 90mm F1.8 Type P1 is a famous portrait lens made by Angénieux between 1950 to 1961 and available in A1 or A2 models. The lens is well-known for its extreme high resolution, exceptional smooth bokeh and romantic colour rendering.


Specifications

Lens Mount:

M39 | M42 | Exakta | Rectaflex


Production Year: 1950


Construction:

5 Elements / 4 Groups


Diaphragm: 12 Blades


Maximum Aperture: F1.8


Minimum Aperture: F22


Closet Focusing Distance: 1m


Filter Size: 56mm


Weight: 380g

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Konica Hexanon 60mm F1.2 Lens (Compared with Konica 50mm F1.2)

Konica Hexanon 60mm F1.2 LTM 

The Konica Hexanon 60mm F1.2 has always been one of my dream lenses. It is a very rare lens with a limited production number of only 800 units worldwide. The unique focal length of 60mm with a large aperture of f/1.2 making this lens very special, which is the only 60mm f/1.2 lens ever made for any rangefinder cameras.

The Konica Hexanon 60mm F1.2 lens is offered in the original version with L-Mount back in 1955 or the revised modern version with LTM Mount in 1999. Both versions can be easily adapted to Leica M or other mounts using the right adapter.

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Build Quality

The build quality of the Konica Hexanon 60mm f/1.2 lens is excellent and on par with some of Leica lenses. The build quality is very similar to its little brother, the Konica Hexanon 50mm F1.2 lens but it is finished in matte black paint barrel with a chrome front rim.

The Konica Hexanon 60mm f/1.2 lens is relatively smaller size and light weight compared to other similar ultra fast lenses. The lens weights almost the same as the Konica Hexanon 50mm F1.2 at just over 400 grams for such large aperture lens. The focus ring feels buttery smooth when turning and the aperture ring clicks solidly in place with half stop increments.

 

Image Quality

The Image Quality of Konica Hexanon 60mm f/1.2 is nothing short of amazing. The lens produces medium to high contrast, excellent colour saturation with very smooth and pleasant bokeh. When shooting wide open, it is extremely sharp with great three dimensional image pop.

This Lens has Dual Characters

1) Under Normal or Not Ideal Lighting Conditions: It renders just like the Konica Hexanon 50mm F1.2 Lens with similar signature especially in low light or cloudy environment.

2) Under Great or Ideal Lighting Conditions: It renders like Oil Painting with vivid colours and extremely pleasant background under sunny or well-lit environment.

 

Specifications

Lens Mount: L39 | LTM


Production Year: 1955 | 1999


LTM Mount


Construction: 7 Elements / 6 Groups


Diaphragm: 10 Aperture Blades


Maximum / Minimum Aperture:  F1.2 - F16


Closet Focusing Distance: 0.8m


Filter Size: 58mm


Weight: 410g

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The Full Set Includes:

  • Konica Hexanon 60mm F/1.2 LTM
  • Chrome Auxiliary Viewfinder (KONICA 60)
  • Chrome Konica UV Filter
  • Black Vented Lens Hood (KONICA HEXANON 1.2/60 JAPAN)
  • Black Front Cap and Rear Cap (HEXANON)
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Angenieux Type S5 50mm f/1.5 Lens

Angenieux Type S5 50mm F1.5 

This is the Overview of the rarer version of the Angenieux S5 50mm f/1.5 Lens named the Kodak Cine Ekton 50mm f/1.5 Lens made by Angénieux, which essentially has very similar optical qualities to the regular Angenieux S5.

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Angénieux Paris are famous for their still and cine lenses and some of them are traded at extremely high prices. The Type S5 tends to be most popular in the Angenieux Type S lineup, which it is crowned with the Double Gauss Optical configuration. That is the reason why the Angenieux 50mm f/1.5 Type S5 lens is so expensive and very difficult to obtain.

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The Angenieux 50mm f/1.5 Type S5 Lens comes in different versions and all can be modified to Leica M mount to cover full frame. Once converted, the lens can be used on Leica Rangefinders as a all-purpose 50mm lens, which is capable of handling strong glare or shoot in low-light conditions. The Angenieux S5 50mm f/1.5 lens produces extremely high resolution and saturated colour images.

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Rendering

  • Produces “Movie-Like” Images
  • Original Cinematic Effects
  • Smooth and Unique Bokeh
  • High Contrast
  • Rich Colour Saturation
  • Film Grain Qualities (Night Scenes)
  • One-of-Kind Cine Lens
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Kodak Cine Ekton 50mm f/1.5 Lens Gallery

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Kodak Ekton 50mm f/1.5 Lens

Kodak Cine Lens Made By Angenieux

My Pathway to Document this Incredibly Rare Cine Lens (Regular Update)

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Kodak Cine Ekton 50mm f/1.5 lens is the ultra rare “Kodak” edition of the Angenieux Type S5 50mm f/1.5 lens. It is the Kodak Cine Lens Made By Angenieux Paris. This Cine Lens produces cinematic rendering with strong movie mood and rich colour saturation. It offers even better bokeh and colour tone than the normal Angenieux S5.

The Kodak Ekton produces incredibly sharp images when shooting wide open just like modern aspherical lenses and renders film like qualities under extreme low light conditions.

 

Rendering:

  • Produces “Movie-Like” Images
  • Original Cinematic Effects
  • Smooth and Unique Bokeh
  • High Contrast
  • Rich Colour Saturation
  • Film Grain Qualities (Night Scenes)
  • One-of-Kind Cine Lens

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Angenieux M1 50mm F0.95 Lens

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Angenieux is a French cinematic optics manufacturer founded in 1936. It has made lenses for still and movie cameras, and for military applications.

The ultra fast Angenieux 50mm F0.95 movie camera lens has increasing popularity in the past decade through the adaptability of cine lenses onto new digital camera systems including conversion to use on Leica M.

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Comparable Lenses

Canon 50mm F0.95 (1961)

Schneider Xenon 50mm F0.95 (1970)

Leica Noctilux 50mm F1 (1975)

Leica Noctilux 50mm F0.95 (2008)


Rendering

The Angenieux 50mm F0.95 was originally designed as a Cine lens and it does not fully cover the 35mm full frame. It offers signature Angenieux colour and bokeh, which is vividly romantic with a strong movie mood. It is sharp wide open as all other pre-aspherical ultra fast lenses without visible glow or prone to flares. The lens produces medium contrast with high cinematic rendering.

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Modification

The Angenieux 50mm F0.95 can be adapted to be used on modern digital camera systems such as Micro Four Third and Sony NEX. It can also be physically converted to Leica M Mount through the additions of an aperture ring, diaphragm blades to control apertures, focusing barrel and a new heilcoid to allow full functionality on Leica Rangefinders.

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Leica M Modifications can be done by the following skilled technicians:

-Miyazaki San (Japan)

-Traditional Master (Hong Kong)

-Hawks Factory (Taiwan)

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Kinoptik Apochromat 75mm F2 Lens

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Kinoptik is a French cinematic optics manufacturer founded by Georges Grosset and Gerozes Perthuis in 1932. The Kinoptik Apochromat lens series has excellent apochromatic optical design and also benefits from the symmetrical Double Guass lens construction, which results extreme high resolution with rich colour saturation and unique bokeh.

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Versions:

  1. FOYER
  2. FOCALE
  3. APO

 

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Specifications


Production Year: 1944 onwards


Construction: 6 Elements / 4 Groups


Diaphragm: 16 Blades


Design Features

  • Double Gauss


Maximum / Minimum Aperture:  F2 - F16


Closet Focusing Distance: 1m


Weight: 490g

 

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Alpa Kern Macro Switar 50mm F1.8/F1.9 Lens

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Introduction

The Alpa Kern Macro Switar 50mm was exclusively made for Alpa cameras by Kern Aurau in Switzerland. Alpa is a precision Swiss watchmaker combined forces with Kern who was famous for making optical glass at the time to produce this legendary lens. The Kern Switar 50mm F1.8 was firstly introduced in 1951 and replaced by Macro Switar in 1958 with close focusing capability of 28cm for macro photography. The Kern Macro Switar 50mm F1.9 was introduced in 1968 with revised lens design and newer coatings for improved optical performance.

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Build Quality

Alpa is known as the precision watchmaker thus no surprise that the Alpa Kern Switar 50mm lenses were extremely well engineered. The build quality is excellent and on par with well-known cinematic lens makers such as Angenieux or Schneider at the time. The Kern Switar 50mm lenses were hand assembled and finished in either chrome, black paint or combination of both. 

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Image Quality

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Image quality from the Alpa Kern Switar 50mm lenses are exceptional and the lens excels at macro photography. Images produced are extremely sharp with high contrast and vivid colour saturations. Alpa claimed that this is an apochromatically corrected lens of unequalled quality, which is found to be true in most situations.

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The Kern Macro Switar 50mm Lenses have close focusing capability when used with liveview for macro photography. The details retained by this lens is incredible with extreme sharpness and pleasant rendering, which is an amazing achievement on modern rangefinders.

 

Practical Use

Unlike Modern lens design, when the aperture ring is turned that the yellow dots appeared indicating the visifocus depth-of-field scale for the selected aperture stops. The focus ring has an extremely long throw and takes several turns to reach the minimum focusing distance of 28cm equivalents to 1.8x magnification, which is extremely useful for close-up work.

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Modern photography technological aids such as live-view or high resolution electronic viewfinder, which allows to maximise the ability of the Kern Macro Switar 50mm Lenses to reach its full potential for macro photography.  

 

Alpa Kern Macro Switar 50mm F1.8

VS

Alpa Kern Macro Switar 50mm F1.9

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The Kern Switar 50mm F1.9 Lens was introduced later with revised lens design and newer optical coatings compared to the Kern Switar 50mm F1.8 Lens for improved performance. The Kern Switar 50mm F1.8 has golden yellow colour coating whereas the Kern Switar 50mm F1.9 has golden yellow with purple coloured coatings.

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The Kern Switar 50mm F1.9 has updated lens design with an additional element with 8 elements in 5 groups compared to 7 elements in 5 groups of the Kern Switar 50mm F1.8 Lens. The Diaphragm blades also have been moved forward in position. The improved lens design resulted better optical performance for the newer Kern Switar 50mm F1.9 Lens.


Lens Versions

   Nekogahora Camera Collection  (Clockwise)

 Nekogahora Camera Collection (Clockwise)

  1. Macro Switar 50/1.9 (Surgical 81)
  2. Macro Switar 50/1.9
  3. Macro Switar 50/1.9 (Gold Plated)
  4. Kern Aarau Switar (Automatic Diaphragm)
  5. Macro Switar 50/1.8 (Black Paint)
  6. Macro Switar 50/1.8

 

Adapters

There are three popular Alpa to Leica M adapter options on the current market and the price is reflected in it’s materials & build quality. The finish of the adapters are mostly in either Chrome or Black and most adapters are Rangefinder Coupled. However, during actual use might require manual calibration to work perfectly on Rangefinders.

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I will rank the adapter brands from most to the least expensive:

  1. Shogun
  2. Metabones
  3. Kipon
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Specifications

Lens Mount: Alpa


Production Year:  1951 (F1.8) | 1968 (F1.9)


Construction:

7 Elements / 5 Groups (F1.8) 

8 Elements / 5 Groups (F1.9)


Diaphragm:  9 Blades


Maximum Aperture:  F1.8 | F1.9


Minimum Aperture:  F22


Closet Focusing Distance:  0.28m


Filter Size:  48mm


Weight:  280g

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Gallery 

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Voigtlander Nokton 50mm F1.5 Aspherical VM Lens

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50mm is my favourite focal length as it best represents human eye perspective for street photography. The Leica 50mm F1.4 Summilux ASPH Lens is my favourite out of them all and I have tried similar fast 50mm lenses offered in Leica M mount, which includes the Zeiss 50mm F1.5 Sonnar ZM and Voigtlander Nokton 50mm F1.5 Aspherical VM Lens.

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The Voigtlander Nokton 50mm F1.5 Aspherical has a classic barrel design  with all metal construction finished in either black aluminium or chrome brass. The lens is inspired by the original LTM version made in the 1950s and specifically manufactured the modern version with classic looks. It uses the same basic lens design as the classic version with modern performance by incorporating an aspherical element into the optical design to reduce aberration and distortion with improved sharpness. When shooting the lens wide open at its maximum aperture allows it to generate shallow depth of field with pleasant smooth bokeh. It is the best combination of modern and classic world.

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Specifications

Lens Mount: VM | Leica M Mount


Construction: 6 Elements / 5 Groups


Diaphragm: 10 Blades


Maximum / Minimum Aperture:  F1.5 - F16


Closet Focusing Distance: 0.7m


Filter Size: 49mm


Weight: 220g / 293g (Black | Silver)

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Leica Noctilux-M 75mm F1.25 ASPH Lens Review (Compared with 50mm F0.95 Noctilux)

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Leica is known to make some of the best lenses in the world with Noctilux been their flagship lens. The Leica Noctilux-M 75 mm f/1.25 ASPH Lens is a significant milestone for Leica Camera AG, as it is Leica’s first attempt to produce the Noctilux for another focal length apart from the world renowned Leica 50mm F0.95 Noctilux ASPH Lens. The Noctilux has always been the King of all Leica lenses and it symbolises an object of desire that will remains a dream for most photographers.

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First Impressions

The Leica Noctilux-M 75mm F1.25 ASPH Lens is the most expensive on-going production lens by Leica with a staggering price of $12,795. I am lucky to be the first customer delivered with this amazing lens in Australia.

The Leica Noctilux-M 75mm F1.25 ASPH Lens is not as large or heavy as I would expect. It shares the same lens design as the Leica 50mm F0.95 Noctilux ASPH M Lens, it is basically the taller and bigger version of the 50mm Noctilux.

The 75mm Noctilux has similar black anodised finish but is larger in diameter and longer in length in comparison. It is only when you put the lenses together side by side that you can see the size and weight differences. The build quality is impeccable just like the 50mm Noctilux, which represents one of the most well made lens by Leica. The built in hood design is different, it has the twisting hood on the 50mm Summicron APO rather than the sliding hood on the 50mm Noctilux, which allows it to lock in position better.

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Lens Design

The Leica Noctilux-M 75 mm f/1.25 ASPH Lens incorporates the latest optical design elements to maximise image performance. The complicated optical composition involves two aspherical elements to ensure maximum sharpness and low dispersion. The use of low dispersion glass along with anomalous partial dispersion helps with the reduction of chromatic aberration (CA), which has been a common issue with the Leica 50mm F0.95 Noctilux Lens. The floating lens element system also assists with maintaining consistent high image quality throughout the entire focus range. Lastly, the optical design consists of 11 diaphragm blades allows smooth and pleasant bokeh to be produced.

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Build Quality  

The Leica Noctilux-M 75 mm f/1.25 ASPH Lens is an enlarged version of the Leica 50mm F0.95 Noctilux ASPH Lens with similar build quality. Both lenses are probably the best lenses ever made by Leica, with The 75mm Noctilux been the larger and heavier lens. The lens is longer in length and wider in diameter, which weights in at just over one kilogram that is exceptionally heavy for a rangefinder lens.

The Leica Noctilux-M 75 mm f/1.25 ASPH Lens is finished in black anodized with integrated hood that can be retracted or extended by twisting the hood. There is inner thread for a non rotating 67mm screw mount filter that can be applied.

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Image Quality 

The Leica 75mm F1.25 Noctilux-M ASPH Lens has Modern Rendering similar to the The Leica 50mm F0.95 Noctilux-M ASPH Lens but with slightly less Contrast and Colour Saturation. Both lenses are Clinical Sharp but the the Leica 75mm F1.25 Noctilux-M ASPH has the edge in Sharpness when shooting wide open. The Leica 75mm F1.25 Noctilux-M ASPH produces shallower depth of field with exceptionally smooth and creamy bokeh, resulting stunning performance for portraits. 

There are less Optical issues with the Leica 75mm F1.25 Noctilux-M ASPH lens due to the Newer lens design. Chromatic aberration or Purple fringing is non existent and Vignetting is non visible when shot wide open, which is a significant optical improvement over the previous generations of Noctilux.

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Rendering

After extensive use of this lens, it can be notice that the rendering is dependent on a combination of factors including the subject, the background and lighting conditions.

Dual Character: The Leica 75mm Noctilux can produce natural, smooth and pleasant renderings similar to fast 75mm lenses such as 75mm Summilux or 75mm Summicron APO. The lens can also produce three dimensional high contrast and colour saturated renderings similar to 50mm Noctilux ASPH or even 50mm Summicron APO. The only way to achieve the photographers “desired look” is by keep shooting under different variations or conditions whether it is for portraiture or street photography.

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Practical Use 

The Leica Noctilux-M 75 mm f/1.25 ASPH Lens is an ultra fast telephoto lens with ability to produce shallow depth of field and unique rendering to isolate the subject even in low light conditions. The short telephoto focal length is perfect for portraiture and allows to take street photography without disturbing the subject.

Focusing with this lens is relatively easy with modern camera technology aids such as live view with focus peaking and high resolution electronic viewfinder. Traditional method of focusing through the rangefinder is also precise with a highly calibrated lens copy. The focus ring is exceptionally smooth with short focus throw and the aperture ring clicks in place half or full stops.

The Leica Noctilux-M 75 mm f/1.25 ASPH Lens is too heavy to be handheld for prolonged use, as it is extremely front heavy when mounted on Leica M Rangefinders. For the first time, there is a tripod mount on the lens body and it comes with a tripod adapter for mounting the lens directly onto tripods for maximum stability.

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Leica 75mm F1.25 Noctilux-M

VS

Leica 50mm F0.95 Noctilux-M

Physical

The physical differences is obvious with the Leica 75mm F1.25 Noctilux-M ASPH been the larger and heavier lens of the two. The Leica 75mm F1.25 Noctilux-M ASPH measured at H91mm x W74mm, which is taller and slightly wider than the Leica 50mm F0.95 Noctilux-M ASPH measured at H75mm x W73mm. The 75mm Noctilux is about 300 grams heavier at 1055g compared to 700g weight of the 50mm Noctilux. The build finish for both lenses is black anodized but the retractable hood design is different, as the 75mm Noctilux has twisting out hood compared to the 50mm Noctilux with sliding out hood design. 

Imaging

The Leica 75mm F1.25 Noctilux-M ASPH has a maximum aperture of F1.25 whereas the Leica 50mm F0.95 Noctilux-M ASPH has a maximum aperture of F0.95. However, due to the longer focal length of the Leica 75mm F1.25 Noctilux-M ASPH and shorter minimum focusing distance at 0.85m resulting both lenses with similar shallow depth of field. Bokeh produced by both lenses are exceptionally smooth and pleasant with the 75mm Noctilux offers even smoother bokeh due to the design with 11 diaphragm blades, as the number of diaphragm blades is not specified for the 50mm Noctilux.

The Leica 75mm F1.25 Noctilux-M ASPH Lens released in 2018 has the benefit of the latest optical technology compared to the Leica 50mm F0.95 Noctilux-M ASPH designed almost a decade ago back in 2008. The Lens design is very similar for both Noctilux incorporating complicated optical composition with two aspherical elements to ensure maximum sharpness and optimal performance. As a result, the sharpness is equivalent but the chromatic aberration is significantly reduced on the 75mm Noctilux. Chromatic aberration or purple fringing was a common issue for the 50mm Noctilux and this has been solved with the newer lens design consisting of low dispersion glass and anomalous partial dispersion.

Justification 

Since I have been a long time user of the Leica 50mm F1.4 Summilux ASPH Lens that shared many similarities with it’s bigger brother, the Leica 50mm F0.95 Noctilux ASPH Lens. Whereas the Leica 75mm F1.25 Noctilux ASPH Lens is an entirely different focal length with improved lens design.

During practical use, the Leica 50mm F0.95 Noctilux Lens provides marginal improvement in optical performance over the amazing Leica 50mm F1.4 Summilux Lens but at a significant increase in size and weight. In contrast, the Leica 75mm F1.25 Noctilux Lens not only provides a different focal length to the Leica 50mm F0.95 Noctilux Lens but with improved sharpness and bokeh quality especially when shooting wide open. 

 

Sample Testing

(Bokeh vs Sharpness) 

  

Summary 

Extremely fast maximum aperture of F1.25 with incredible control over shallow depth of field and benefit using in extreme low light conditions.

The short telephoto focal length of 75mm is suitable for people images and portraiture with the manipulation of extreme depth of field when shooting wide open.  

The lens design features allow extreme sharpness with minimum chromatic aberration or purple fringing. Rare design incorporating two large aspherical elements for improved sharpness and reduce distortion. The diaphragm with 11 blades allows smooth and pleasant bokeh to be produced.

Practical design with twisting extendable lens hood to reduce lens flares. A tripod mount is inclusive within the lens to compensate for the heavy weight and stability when shooting from a tripod.

 

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Specifications  

Lens Mount:  Leica M

 

Production Year:  2018


Construction:  9 Elements / 6 Groups

 

Diaphragm:  11 Blades


Design Features

  • Two Aspherical Elements
  • Anomalous Partial / Low Dispersion Glass
  • Floating Elements System


Maximum / Minimum Aperture:   F1.25 - F16


Closet Focusing Distance:  0.85m


Filter Size:  67mm


Dimensions (Length x Width):

91mm x 74mm


Weight:  1055g

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Gallery 

STREET PHOTOGRAPHY

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B&W PHOTOGRAPHY

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NATURE

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PORTRAIT

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Zeiss 50mm F1.5 C-Sonnar T* ZM Lens

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The Carl Zeiss 50mm F1.5 C-Sonnar T* ZM Lens is inspired by its predecessor from the 1930s with the Classic Sonnar lens design. It’s fast maximum aperture at F1.5 makes it suitable for portraiture and people especially in low light conditions. The C designation in the lens stands for compact lens design and classic optical performance with signature Zeiss colour rendering. The Classic Sonnar optical design produces high sharpness combined with modern Carl Zeiss T* anti-reflective coating to reduce flare and provides high contrast and clarity.

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Build Quality

The Zeiss 50mm F1.5 Sonnar ZM has classic design that makes the lens compact in size. The Sonnar lens is relatively small and lightweight for its fast maximum aperture. The focus ring turns smoothly and the aperture clicks in place nicely. However, there presents focus shift with this lens design and it can be countered by keep the issue in mind when adjusting the focus or find a better lens copy less prone to focus shift.

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Image Quality

The Zeiss 50mm F1.5 Sonnar ZM lens produces signature Zeiss colours with classic rendering. The separation between the subject and background manufactures that 3 dimensional pop effect to its rendering. In addition, the vintage sonnar lens design also offers unique soft glow and smooth creamy bokeh, which makes it perfect for portraits.

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Comparison

The Leica 50mm F1.4 Summilux ASPH is bigger, heavier and more expensive than the Zeiss 50mm F1.5 Sonnar Lens. Both lenses produces amazing bokeh with shallow depth of field but the rendering is very different. The Leica 50mm Summilux is clinical sharp with modern rendering and the Zeiss 50mm Sonnar produces pleasant images with classic rendering. The Zeiss 50mm Sonnar is convenient to carry due to its compact size and weight with less viewfinder blockage than the Leica 50mm Summilux ASPH.

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Specifications


Lens Mount: ZM | Leica M Mount


Production Year: 2004 - Present


Construction: 6 Elements / 4 Groups


Diaphragm: 10 Blades


Maximum / Minimum Aperture:  F1.5 - F16


Closet Focusing Distance: 0.9m


Filter Size: 46mm


Weight: 240g (Black | Silver)

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Conclusion

The Zeiss 50mm F1.5 C-Sonnar T* ZM Lens is a great alternative to Leica 50mm lenses. It’s price to performance ratio is exceptional compared to similar lenses. The lens compact design and unique rendering is perfect for people portraits.

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