BackgroundWhen I travel overseas and need to pack light, I often take my Leica M2 rangefinder camera with its compact 35mm and 50mm f/2.0 Summicron lenses (and light meter, filters, and hoods). But recently, I have been thinking wide, which must go along with my increasing girth. Some options:
- New Leica 24mm f/1.4 Summilux-M lens. $7500 in USA. (Wow)
- Used (OK, "pre-owned") Leica 24mm f/2.8 lens. About $1800. (Lesser wow)
- Used Zeiss Biogon 25 mm f/2.8 ZM lens. About $750.
- New Skopar 24mm f/4.0 lens. About $400
ResultsThe good: The optical results were better than I expected. I do not have a genuine Leica 24, so I have no basis for comparison. Sure, it is not as "sharp" as my 35 Summicron, but so what? Sharpness phobia consumes pseudo-photographers on digital camera web pages. For $20, I am pleased.
The clumsy: Framing is a problem. If I move my eye left and right and up and down the maximum extent across the M2's eyepiece, I think I see most of the 24mm coverage. The lens blocks part of the view, and using the genuine Takumar hood is hopeless. To do: buy a 24mm auxiliary finder. Focus is totally manual.
The heavy: The Takumar with its Fotodiox adapter is a bulky and rather heavy cylinder.
Here are some examples from Romania and Greece. The film was Fujifilm Acros, exposed at EI=80. Praus Productions in Rochester, New York, developed the film in Xtol. I scanned the film with a Plustek 7600i scanner using the Tri-X 400 profile (the SilverFast software does not have an Acros profile).
|Rooftops, view from Kronhaus B&B, Braşov, Romania, 24mm Takumar lens.|
|Room with a view, dormer window at Kronhaus, Braşov, Romania. Leica 35mm f/2.0 Summicron lens.|
|Room with a view, dormer window at Kronhaus, Braşov, Romania. Takumar 24mm f/3.5 lens.|
|Never-complete hotel, Nerantza, Greece|
ConclusionsThe 24mm Takumar lens works well on the Leica M2. Framing is clumsy and you need to guess the distance of your main subject, but that is not too critical with a wide angle lens. I already had the 24mm lens, so $20 for an adapter was a bargain way to get wide angle coverage. A 24mm auxiliary finder would be helpful.
Other photography articlesPlease click the links for other articles about equipment, informal tests, and film:
- Decay with the Leica
- Decay with the Rolleiflex
- Kodak Panatomic-X film
- Decline of an industrial empire, Eastman Kodak Company
- Leica IIIC camera repaired and perfect
- Another look at the Leica IIIC camera
- 1950s 50mm Dual-range Summicron lens
- 135mm Takumar lens
- Olympus Trip 35 compact camera
- Another look at the Olympus Trip 35
- Fuji GW690II camera ("Texas Leica")
- Yashica Electro 35CC compact camera
- Kodak BW400 film
- Kodak Ektar 25 film
- 250mm Sonnar lens for Hasselblad
- 35mm Takumar lens for Pentax
- Fomapan 100 film
- Kodak Technical Pan film
- Quick test of a Leica Monochrom vs. film