Leica M backfocus (?) at large distances

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kamituel Senior Member • Posts: 1,352
Leica M backfocus (?) at large distances

I reported recently (in this thread) a potential issue I'm having with a Leica M2 paired with Nokton 50 1.5 II lens. I just got a second test roll developed and it indeed seems I might have a problem.

I shot first roll handheld. But this time I was more careful - I used a tripod and a release cable.

All my test shots shot at close and medium distances are fine, as sharp as I expected. Even the ones I shoot handheld (e.g. of my son). But when I shoot subjects further away, e.g. a building 50+ meters away, they're just soft.

Here are examples. All shot on a tripod, released with a cable. I focused the lens at its hard stop, hoping to get the distant building in focus:






To my eye, only at f5.6 the image is reasonably sharp. It's noticeably softer at f4, and below that it's just soft.

Am I missing something here? Is this - misfocusing only at large distances, but not at medim and close distances - an issue that's possible or common on Leica M cameras?

Or maybe those shots aren't really ouf of focus and my expectations are too high? With film, I've only shot 4x5 and MF (6x6, Rolleicord) so far, I've no hands-on experience with 35 mm film.


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