Leica: Obsolete

lightdrunklightdrunk Big grinsPosts: 84Registered Users Big grins

I've always wanted a Leica. It has always represented technical excellence and professional status. Something to aspire to, if I only had 8K for the body only and another 2-5K for lenses. But I'm reading reviews of cameras and discovering a growing opinion that they're not any better than some of the high end cameras made by Nikon, Canon, Sony and others. My D850 with a Nikkor 24-70 f2.8 can match the image quality of a Leica. And certain fine mirrorless cameras can compete for Leica for compactness. I now think Leica is a commodity fetish, like a Range Rover, which is not any better than a Toyota Four Runner, but costs more. Argue with me.

Comments

  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Posts: 21,185Super Moderators moderator
    edited July 3, 2019

    Leica lenses can still be "special" and produce a unique image quality, but you don't necessarily need a Leica body to experience that goodness. A large many old Leica M39 mount lenses will fit Sony and FujiFilm mirrorless bodies and yield that special Leica look.

    Many other Zeiss lenses are similar in image aesthetics too.

    A few third-party lenses have a special look to them as well. For example, a Russian-made Industar 55mm f/2.8 I-61 L/D (Leica M39 Thread Mount) has an optical design similar to the LEITZ 50mm f/3.5 ELMAR, except that it uses a Lanthanum glass element which makes the lens slightly radioactive. (Just alpha waves and not particularly dangerous.) Optical performance is very good to excellent, and you may have to purchase several to gain an excellent copy (as manufacturing quality control was inconsistent).

    A Russian Jupiter 8, 5cm (50mm), f2 (LTM/M39) has a similar optic design to a 50mm Sonnar, and has a wonderful creamy look when wide-open. (The Jupiter lens is allegedly a very similar optic to the LEICA SUMMICRON 50mm f/2 Rigid in aluminum.)

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    Then again, the Canon EF 135mm, f2 L USM has a fantastic ability to blur the background in addition to a really short DOF:

    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • MitchellMitchell Major grins Posts: 3,503Registered Users Major grins

    I don't think obsolete is the right word, but Leica digital cameras are certainly overpriced when compared to the competition. The magic pixie dust and unicorn moonbeams found in the Leica equipment certainly do not compare to the quality found in most of the full frame competition out there today. Pick up some high end prime glass to go with your D850 and you are all set. Portraits with my FF Nikon bodies and my Nikon 105mm, f1.4E have a great look at half the cost of anything I could do with digital Leica.

  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Posts: 21,185Super Moderators moderator
    edited July 10, 2019

    @Mitchell said:
    I don't think obsolete is the right word, but Leica digital cameras are certainly overpriced when compared to the competition. The magic pixie dust and unicorn moonbeams found in the Leica equipment certainly do not compare to the quality found in most of the full frame competition out there today. Pick up some high end prime glass to go with your D850 and you are all set. Portraits with my FF Nikon bodies and my Nikon 105mm, f1.4E have a great look at half the cost of anything I could do with digital Leica.

    ^^Wonderful Nikkor lens!

    I have also salivated over the Nikkor "DC" (Defocus Control) series primes.

    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • MitchellMitchell Major grins Posts: 3,503Registered Users Major grins

    @ziggy53 said:

    @Mitchell said:
    I don't think obsolete is the right word, but Leica digital cameras are certainly overpriced when compared to the competition. The magic pixie dust and unicorn moonbeams found in the Leica equipment certainly do not compare to the quality found in most of the full frame competition out there today. Pick up some high end prime glass to go with your D850 and you are all set. Portraits with my FF Nikon bodies and my Nikon 105mm, f1.4E have a great look at half the cost of anything I could do with digital Leica.

    ^^Wonderful Nikkor lens!

    I have also salivated over the Nikkor "DC" (Defocus Control) series primes.

    Ziggy, the Nikon 105mm, f1.4E is like no other lens I've owned. I don't have any Leica cameras, but I don't need another system after using this lens.

    I do own the 135mm DC after lusting after the lens for several years. Nice, but it doesn't get used now that I own the 105mm.

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