La Vida Leica!

A little help for someone new.....
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Author:  darling [ Thu May 29, 2014 4:28 pm ]
Post subject:  A little help for someone new.....

A little help if possible?
I am a complete newbi to Leica and I am hopefully purchasing a secondhand M9 within the next week or so and need advice on a lens!!
What would be a good lens to go for???
I know there are so many to choose from, I don't have a huge budget but obviously want the best that I can.
I generally take portraits, architecture and landscapes.
Any advice would be gratefully received.

Author:  JDLaing [ Thu May 29, 2014 5:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A little help for someone new.....

A 35 or 50mm is usually a very good start.
There are many choices with prices from one end of the gamut to the other.
If at all possible, and you are near a store that carries M mount lenses, try one or two out.

I personally over the years gravitated towards two basic lenses with others added to use for what I needed, or wanted.

The two basic ones I will never let go of are the MATE and WATE.
Medium Wide Angle Tri Elmar 28-35-50 and Wide Angle Tri Elmar 16-18-21. Each are one lens with three focal lengths. The prices are not for the faint of heart but if you total up three separate lenses you'll see where the advantage lies in both portability and price.

For Architecture and Landscapes the maximum 4.0 Aperture are no problem whatsoever.

One thing more I did was to add a fast 35mm f/1.4 and a 50mm f/1.4 just for the low light capability and narrow depth of field.

Zeiss and Voigtlander are good and more economical choices that Leica for the non purists and regardless of some might say one is Bette than the other they are really just different.

Good luck with the M-9 and I'm sure you'll love it. I had one and an M-9P prior to getting an M-240. Great tools every one of them.

Author:  Double Negative [ Thu May 29, 2014 6:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A little help for someone new.....

A very good question! We wrote an article to address that, called Choosing Focal Lengths.

But JDLaing nailed it; a 35mm or 50mm lens should probably be your starting point.

Congrats on the M9, and good luck with it - you'll surely love the camera and the images it is capable of!

Author:  Duane Pandorf [ Thu May 29, 2014 9:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A little help for someone new.....

May I ask what camera and lens setup have you been using? If it's a zoom maybe you could search your image database for your most commonly used focal length. Then start with that.

Also ask yourself what subject out of those you mentioned you shoot the most of.

I've only been shooting a digital Leica M (M-E) for a year and a half and thought I was a 50mm shooter. I've found now I prefer the 35mm. The 35mm framelines almost fill the entire viewfinder which I now prefer.

I travel a lot and find the 35mm lens is all I need most of the time.

Your challenge once in the game is deciding the "look" you want your photography to say about you. Meaning what is your style.

Older non ASPH lens are going to render the classic look you may have seen from the Life Magazine years ago. Or the modern ASPH lenses are going to give that clinical look.

The rangefinder experience may completely change the way you think about photography.

It's a whole new experience from anything you may have already grown used to. It's like getting off the 6 lane expressway and touring the rolling 2 lane country road.

I would highly recommend reading Thorsten's M9 info here: ... amera.html

Author:  Jip [ Fri Oct 03, 2014 6:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A little help for someone new.....

Since you say you like to shoot Portraits, Architecture and Landscapes I would go for a 50mm lens, with the 50mm for example you can do all those things, while with maybe a 35mm shooting portraits already gets a little tricky.

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