Archive for September, 2018

#RoseCityPhotoFair less than 2 weeks out! #PortlandCameraSwap and a cool Photography Exhibit as well! 9/29/18 at Jackson Armory

PhotoFair Camera Shows

from photoclubPDX website

We announced a while back the PCPDX would be having a Photography Exhibit at this year’s Portland show and it will be 10am-2pm. At least 10 photographers will exhibit work. Come by and check out all the great deals on cameras, darkroom supplies, film, lenses, modern and vintage, accessories and more and while your here, take a look at the amazing work of local Portland Photographers! #RosecityPhotoFair #PortlandCameraSwap September 29th, 10-3 at #JacksonArmory

photo by Angela Holm photoclubPDX

photoclubPDX has a broad variety of artistic styles represented among some 300 members. Photography clubs are a great way to meet people with shared interest and explore photography together with all the cool gadgets and gear you buy at PhotoFair 🙂

Visit photoclubPDX at their website https://www.photoclubpdx.com/

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Portrait Elmarit for R Mount

picture of bbq

Leica R 2.8/90 on EOS 5D Mk III wide open.

I recently came across a very clean example of a Leitz Elmarit R 90/2.8. Generally I am not inclined to shoot a 90mm lens with an opening that small, but the price and the legend were too good to pass up. Let me say first, if you have not handled R mount Leitz lenses, be prepared as they are much heavier than they look. The build quality is about as good as it gets for an SLR lens of any vintage. Leica R mount lenses can be adapted to any mirrorless body with appropriate adapters.

I shot the lens on my Canon EOS 5D Mk III and it was of course a sharp and crisp lens and all of that. But honestly, I can’t say for certain it is any sharper than my EF 85/1.8 USM and that lens offers full compatibility with my camera and Canon’s legendary USM AF that is fast and precise. So I get AF and an extra 1.4 stops of speed what gives? Two things, one Leica lenses are just so delicious. To get a lens from a maker like this for less than $400 is worth it just for the satisfaction of owning and shooting with a product that is universally accepted as the very best. Why not?

picture of woman

Leica R 2.8/90 on EOS M5 with focal reducer wide open

There is however a second reason, and it may or may not surprise you. I while back I wrote about focal reducers and you may have noticed I had a shot taken with this very lens and the cheap Chinese focal reducer. The shots were marvelous and I ended up with a 65/2.0 which works out to about a 100mm effective focal length on my little EOS M5. The lens is small enough to fit well with the size of the M5 but it is as heavy as the camera so it feels a little front loaded.

Some may ask, “Hey Rod, why don’t I just use the M mount 2.8 Elmarit instead, it is much smaller and lighter?” That is a good question friends. Here is a chart that might help:

The R lens is a little bigger and heavier than the M version but it focuses MUCH closer and fits both EOS SLRs and most Mirrorless bodies with an appropriate adapter. It is also less expensive. The R lens is simply more versatile and affordable.

Whether you choose and M mount or R mount lens you will get a well made instrument. Leica builds their gear to a standard, not a price point. One can genuinely appreciate that commitment to quality above all else that few equipment makers believe in anymore.

In today’s world of amazing computer designed lenses these old Leica lenses no longer have the definitive advantage in optical quality they once did. They still however win hands down against any and all modern comers in build quality. Sometimes some of the less “exciting” lenses like this Elmarit 90/2.8 can be found for very reasonable prices and camera swaps such as PhotoFair, at cool camera shops like Blue Moon in Portland, OR or Seawood in San Rafael, CA. Even online at Ebay and such.

Why not own one of these or another old Leica R lens. The R lenses are the value proposition for Leica. Summicron R 50mm, Elmarit 90 and 135mm are all priced rather well in the market place. Whether you shoot a DSLR, crop sensor mirrorless, or the full frame mirrorless bodies from Nikon, Canon along with the long standing Sony models, these older lenses continue to serve photographers many decades after they were built. That is just too cool.

I did a video on the lens as well for PhotoFair.

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