Victoria's Light

Be-Nighted

These images were shot tonight with my Leica M240 and an adapted Canon 50mm F 1.4 LTM lens, the Japanese Summilux.  All images were shot at F 1.4 at ISO 1000.  At 1/40th of the Leica’s ungodly $4,000 cost, the Japanese Lux is not a bad compromise.  Of course, I have never shot the real 50 Summilux so a true comparison is not my calling.  I wanted to try a lens that opened up the night with my Leica.  The lens was mounted with a well built Metabones LTM (screw mount) to Leica adapter that I got on ebay for $15.  Original Leica bodies used screw mount lenses.  The Leica screw mount lenses are primitive by modern standards with soft glass and largely lacking any coating.  But many still command premium prices due to superb legacy image quality.  It was not until production of the M series bodies that the modern bayonet mount was employed.  The lens has a tiny bit of oil on the blades and focusing is a tad stiff.  It has an infinity focus lock lever and its build quality is extremely high.  Many lenses from this era have radioactive materials leading to yellowing, but this one does not have any  I haven’t checked it with a geiger counter.  I have enountered this yellowing (from Thorium in the glass) with a few Pentax Spotmatic lenses.  It is cured by leaving the lens on a window sill for several days, sitting atop a piece of tin foil with the caps off.  The lens focused well with the rangefinder patch on the M240.  It has none of the fogging or mold or scratches that afflict many lenses of this era.  It comes with a nifty lens hood that snugly secures to the lens barrel with a small screw.  The lens balances very well on the M240.  If you can find a good copy it’s highly recommended for giving that extra bit of needed light.

I shot these images in the black and white film mode on my camera, but Lightroom has limitations with Leica’s rendition of RAW files (.DNG) and it reads them without the film simulation unless one shoots both DNG and a .jpg copy.  That’s too much hassle and memory hogging for me.  I quite like the color renditions from the Leica CMOS sensor and the Canon.  Sharpness of the lens is good if not Leica-tack sharp.  Less than expert manual focusing may have something to do with lack of sharpness.  I don’t notice any back focusing issues or vignetting.  I very much like the quality of these images from this fine lens and my cherished M240.  The M240 imparts a film-like feel.  Of course, that appeals to old me.

Another fun way to end a long work day, experimenting and having a java.  Cheers!

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Expat Journal: Postcards from the Edge

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Hi I'm Martin Smith, a amateur photographer that likes to shoot solely film. I use black & white with the odd colour image thrown in and mainly use a Leica M4-2 with Summicron 35mm and 50mm lenses. I tend to shoot anything I like, objects, scenes, landscape or street life.

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