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Leica Lens Quality Pic.

[I recently recieved this e-mail and, whilst I haven't reproduced the test myself, it makes interesting reading:]


Hi Paul

I enjoyed reading your article on Leicas, whilst sharing your cynicism, I thought you may be interested in my own test...

I recently tried a comparison with Canon 28-70 f2.8L, 70-200 f2.8L lenses and the Leica M 35mm f2 ASPH and 90mm Elmarit M. I had recently traded in a Canon body as the camera bag weight of two motordriven bodies, two fast zooms etc was straining my shoulders badly, and invested in a Leica M6 and initially a 35mm for general photography, then a 90mm for portraits, and was keen to compare lenses.

I loaded Fuji Velvia and photographed two indian saris (intricate pattern and colourful) hanging on a washing line in gentle morning sunshine. The cameras were on a tripod and the metering done in both cases with a gossen hand held. I set the zooms to 35 and 90 (f8 1/15s) respectively shot half a roll, rewound and loaded the M6, wound on (with body cap!) and reshot.

The results were surprising, I honestly could not tell any difference whatsoever in the enlargements (20x16 with Nikon lens) for the 35mm setting. Both showed v good resolution and contrast, edge to edge. The 90mm however showed a big difference as the Canon was much superior in every way and revealed texture and definition that just wasn't there in the Elmarit. A disapointment I have to say! I use the M6 almost daily as it is very light , discrete and quiet, but for anything critical it seems I'll still have to lug the Canon zooms around! (either zoom weighs as much as the M6 with the 35mm lens!). It must be the coatings or the trendy flourite glass in the Canons I guess. It's just that I was hoping for the much talked about 'revelation' enjoyed when leica trannies are compared to other makes on a light box. Its true that I can get pictures with the small Leica that would not be possible with the enourmous and noisy Canon, and I have been told by Leica fans that 'there is more to it than just resolution and contrast in that they offer a more natural looking image' but to me for a £1000 they should beat a zoom hands down.

I like your web site!

Douglas Fry


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