Leica VARIO-ELMAR-R 35-70 mm f/4 on Nex 7 (pics)

Started Jan 13, 2012 | Discussions
Paul Richman
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Leica VARIO-ELMAR-R 35-70 mm f/4 on Nex 7 (pics)
Jan 13, 2012

I've been going back and forth with this lens since it arrived yesterday. At first I liked it:

  1. Not too big or heavy on the Nex 7.

  2. Seemed nice and sharp.

  3. Love the macro capability.

  4. Very well built (but wish it had a better cap).

Then I took more shots, and last night I thought I'd return the lens:

  1. Too much distortion at 35mm, and somewhat, at 70mm.

  2. Macro shot had too much uncorrectable CA at f5.6, and blurry corners.

  3. Wishing it was shorter (the darn converter adds an inch).

This morning, I used LR3 distortion correction to correct the 35mm shot, and found that it was still perfectly sharp. All right! Then I retook the macro shot at f8 and f11. It was much better, and nearly completely CA correctable. Yes! But it's still long....

So, now I think I'll keep her, and save $3000 (MATE). Here are some photos from this saga (so far). Click on "Original" to see the largest size I've provided here.

The first photo is of my favorite test place, the Boulder Theater. I'm going back today to test this lens against my Zeiss 24-70mm f2.8.

The next images are macros of a flat leaf, at f8.

Then there's my favorite test wall in Boulder:

100% crops:

Sea urchin macro (2 f8 images stacked):

Taken by my iPhone with perfectly horrible lighting, my Nex 7, Novoflex adapter, and my A77 with the Zeiss 24-70mm lens extended.

Comments, suggestions, advice warmly welcome!
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Paul Richman
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l_objectif
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Re: Leica VARIO-ELMAR-R 35-70 mm f/4 on Nex 7 (pics)
In reply to Paul Richman, Jan 13, 2012

Paul, thanks for sharing your thoughts and samples. The IQ looks superb to me and I, personally, don't worry too much about the distortion! At 35mm, it looks quite normal to me and after all, I can fix that easily in Photoshop! I really think this is the glass I would choose if I get a Nex camera.

BTW, I come quite often to Boulder (my daughter goes to college) and I was not aware of the theater! I must try to find it next time, maybe the end of February, on my way to Vail!

Some shots from last Summer in Boulder:
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1038&message=39221170

Regards,
--
Louis

My DPR Gallery (Dlux3, Dlux4,Dlux5, Nikon D300)
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Paul Richman
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Thanks again, Louis...
In reply to l_objectif, Jan 13, 2012

I will be away on a photo trip to San Diego and back, with lots of stops along the way, in February. I'll be here the last week of February, though. Give me a jingle (720-352-3588) and perhaps we can go our and shoot!

If you have an iPhone or iPad, you might also want to look at my Boulder in UHD and Little Worlds apps.

l_objectif wrote:

Paul, thanks for sharing your thoughts and samples. The IQ looks superb to me and I, personally, don't worry too much about the distortion! At 35mm, it looks quite normal to me and after all, I can fix that easily in Photoshop! I really think this is the glass I would choose if I get a Nex camera.

BTW, I come quite often to Boulder (my daughter goes to college) and I was not aware of the theater! I must try to find it next time, maybe the end of February, on my way to Vail!

Some shots from last Summer in Boulder:
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1038&message=39221170

Regards,
--
Louis

My DPR Gallery (Dlux3, Dlux4,Dlux5, Nikon D300)
http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/6584690903/photos/slideshow
My contributions to DPR Challenges:
http://www.dpreview.com/members/6584690903/challenges

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Michael Everett
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Re: Leica VARIO-ELMAR-R 35-70 mm f/4 on Nex 7 (pics)
In reply to l_objectif, Jan 13, 2012

This looks excellent. Do you or does anyone have any idea how this lens compares with the 28-70 Vario-Elmar?

Michael

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Paul Richman
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Thanks, Michael...
In reply to Michael Everett, Jan 13, 2012

... I think Erwin Puts discusses this in his article, which you can google for. As I recall, that is an earlier lens, and not as good this one.

Michael Everett wrote:

This looks excellent. Do you or does anyone have any idea how this lens compares with the 28-70 Vario-Elmar?

Michael

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Dr. Ulrich  Rohde
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Re: Leica VARIO-ELMAR-R 35-70 mm f/4 on Nex 7 (pics)
In reply to Paul Richman, Jan 14, 2012

Very nice pictures !

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Paul Richman
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Thanks, Urich!
In reply to Dr. Ulrich Rohde, Jan 14, 2012

Just snaps to test the lens, but I kinda like 'em too.
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Paul Richman
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E60?
In reply to Paul Richman, Jan 14, 2012

I may have asked this before, and if so, please forgive my repeat.

I've been reading the brief manual for the Vario-Elmar. It says the filter size is E60, and the lens diameter is 62mm. The lens is wider than the filter?

So, I just want to make sure that I should be ordering a 60mm filter for this lens, say a B+W?
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Irakly Shanidze
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Re: Leica VARIO-ELMAR-R 35-70 mm f/4 on Nex 7 (pics)
In reply to Paul Richman, Jan 15, 2012

Told you so

Judging from the pictures, you obviously know what you are doing. Can't wait to see tri-elmar pictures, should you decide to opt for one.

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Paul Richman
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Thanks, Irakly...
In reply to Irakly Shanidze, Jan 16, 2012

... Just got the Tri-Elmar 16-21 this morning. What a lens! I will post some images as soon as I get some good ones. But I have tested it, and it is FANTASTIC on the Nex 7, even wide open.

I like zooms allot, as they help keep my speed of capture up in changing environments where I want to use different focal lengths. Changing lenses is slow, but fine if I have the time.

Hence, a Leica Vario Elman 21-35mm will be here in a couple days.

This equipment is so much lighter and smaller than my old Nikon gear it's laughable! And manual focus with he Nex 7 is such a breeze....

Thanks for your help and interest, Irakly!

Irakly Shanidze wrote:

Told you so

Judging from the pictures, you obviously know what you are doing. Can't wait to see tri-elmar pictures, should you decide to opt for one.

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Steven-T
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Re: Thanks, Irakly...
In reply to Paul Richman, Jan 17, 2012

The Leica 21-35 R Asph is an exceptional lens.

Now, Paul needs a Leica R 70-200 (or something) zoom!

Paul Richman wrote:

... Just got the Tri-Elmar 16-21 this morning. What a lens! I will post some images as soon as I get some good ones. But I have tested it, and it is FANTASTIC on the Nex 7, even wide open.

I like zooms allot, as they help keep my speed of capture up in changing environments where I want to use different focal lengths. Changing lenses is slow, but fine if I have the time.

Hence, a Leica Vario Elman 21-35mm will be here in a couple days.

This equipment is so much lighter and smaller than my old Nikon gear it's laughable! And manual focus with he Nex 7 is such a breeze....

Thanks for your help and interest, Irakly!

Irakly Shanidze wrote:

Told you so

Judging from the pictures, you obviously know what you are doing. Can't wait to see tri-elmar pictures, should you decide to opt for one.

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Paul Richman
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Irakly - your website is impressive! (nt)
In reply to Irakly Shanidze, Jan 17, 2012
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Re: Thanks, Irakly...
In reply to Steven-T, Jan 17, 2012

Steven-T wrote:

The Leica 21-35 R Asph is an exceptional lens.

I'm excited! It comes Weds.

Now, Paul needs a Leica R 70-200 (or something) zoom!

Mmm... I've been seeing allot of those on ebay. They're not very expensive, especially compared to other Leica lenses. Are they any good?

They seem too big for what I want. I'm going for small and light now. I'll have the Leica 90mm f2.5 and Leica 135mm Teylt f3.4. The Nex 7 has a 1.5 multiplier. I think I'm pretty set for now. My hiking kit is almost 1/4 the size and weight of my old, now sold (and I miss it!) Nikon gear.

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Steven-T
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Re: Thanks, Irakly...
In reply to Paul Richman, Jan 17, 2012

The Leica R APO tele zooms are great, but bulky and heavy (and VERY expensive, for me).

I bought a Elmar 135/4 for $170 last year, with the only money I had. But I just broke the filter thread last week. The 135mm becomes 210mm on C3 (and N7). With a little cropping, it has been my only M tele.

What I missed most is my Canon 17TSE for landscape and architecture. Just don't understand no one markets a M-shift adapter for NEX. With my fast f/1.2 and f/1.4 primes for (street - used to, and) portraiture, I am holding onto my Canon EOS, for now. But I have been selling down my Canon gears starting two years ago. Need to do more . . .

Kindest,
-Steven

Paul Richman wrote:

Steven-T wrote:

The Leica 21-35 R Asph is an exceptional lens.

I'm excited! It comes Weds.

Now, Paul needs a Leica R 70-200 (or something) zoom!

Mmm... I've been seeing allot of those on ebay. They're not very expensive, especially compared to other Leica lenses. Are they any good?

They seem too big for what I want. I'm going for small and light now. I'll have the Leica 90mm f2.5 and Leica 135mm Teylt f3.4. The Nex 7 has a 1.5 multiplier. I think I'm pretty set for now. My hiking kit is almost 1/4 the size and weight of my old, now sold (and I miss it!) Nikon gear.

Paul Richman
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