Thread: Leica-M Survival Guide (Dragon and Weapon)

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  1. #1 Leica-M Survival Guide (Dragon and Weapon) 
    Senior Member Serge Polevitzky's Avatar
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    All -- this forum may be very short-lived, as there may not be that many RED Dragon/Weapon Leica-M shooters. Since the MX lens well seems to be different from that
    on the Dragon & Weapon cameras, what follows only applies to Dragon & Weapon. Someone correct me if this is wrong, but I don't want to imply that something "fits"
    or "works" on an MX camera, and have someone damage a camera or lens when that combination doesn't work. End of disclaimer.

    To start, it appears as if THERE ARE IN FACT some Leica-M lenses wider than 50mm that (a) fit without damage, and (b) do not have terrible CA or other micorlens problems due to their angle of incidence on the Dragon photosites.

    First candidate is the CameraQuest-modified 35mm f/1.2 Nokton. I think Phil Holland has reviewed this lens -- search the 2014 archives for the results. My take is that the lens is pretty good, your interpretation may differ.

    Second candidate is the Voigtlander 28mm f/1.8 -- don't know if it's been modified (or if needs to be) to mount without damage. Phil was going to test the lens, but I haven't found his results. BTW, thanks, Phil, for all your work in supporting us !

    Stephen Gandy at Cameraquest has also posted 10mm f5.6 and 12mm f/5.6 and 35mm f/1.7 Leica-M lenses -- dont know ANYTHING about these, but maybe someone else can investigate ?

    Hope this helps someone --- Best !
    Serge
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  2. #2  
    Senior Member Tommaso Alvisi's Avatar
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    Nice idea Serge!

    Quote Originally Posted by Serge Polevitzky View Post
    Voigtlander 28mm f/1.8
    Do you mean the 21mm F1.8 or the 28mm F2.0?
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  3. #3  
    Senior Member Serge Polevitzky's Avatar
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    Tommaso -- good to hear from you ... if you google "Phil Holland Dragon Leica-M" you should find links in reduser.net that go into detail. I believe Phil was talking about the 21,, f/1.8.

    Here's a sample from Phil's posting of 05-21-2014, 02:15 PM [to me the lens looks like the 35mm, not the 21mm ... but I think the point is that -- if you watch for CA & lateral color
    fringing, quite a few of the wider than 50mm lenses -- Voitlandger, Zeiss(!), and Leica -- that can be used. Generally, the wider the lens, the more likely the lens will have 'artifacts.'


    Quoting from Phil:
    "I have informed Red that the manual is incorrect on this matter as Dragon has a wildly different sensor box, lens port, and bushing designed compared to Mysterium-X.

    Epic Dragon + Leica DSMC Mount + Leica Summilux-M 21mm f/1.4 (frame right):


    I literally took delivery of the Leica Mount yesterday after doing those initial tests a few months back because I was really pleased with the results and images. I'll be testing pretty much ever M lens at some point.

    What I can say is at the moment the Leica Summilux-M 21mm f/1.4 didn't play nice due to the unique and extreme light angles it pushed out. It's a lens not exactly design for this system.

    Also, to make note. Certain older 35mm Summilux-M primes may have slightly different design variations in the rear. So those versions need to be tested.

    However! In the Summilux-M world the 24, 35, 50, and 75mm looked great. Like spooky good.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tommaso Alvisi View Post
    Nice idea Serge!



    Do you mean the 21mm F1.8 or the 28mm F2.0?
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  4. #4  
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    I have m mounts for both dragons. A very useable thing is Contax c/y to m adapter that lets you use Contax macro tubes and extenders in original c/y mount with Contax lenses. Another cool thing is ltm to m adapter. Mount it and just screw on and off your ltms.
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  5. #5  
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    Thought I'd add some info here.

    At the moment, only Leica, Zeiss and Voigtlander are still making Leica-M-mount lenses (along with a few odd ones from smaller scale manufacturers now and then).

    Here's a list of those currently manufactured Leica-M mount lenses -

    Voigtlander - http://voigtlaender.com/vm.html

    10mm Hyper Wide Heliar f/5.6

    12mm Heliar Ultra Wide Heliar II f/5.6 - (Fits*/Vignettes/Doesn't focus to infinity)

    12mm Ultra Wide heliar III f/5.6

    15mm Super Wide-Heliar f/4.5 Aspherical III - (Fits*/Vignettes)

    21mm f/1.8 Ultron

    21mm Color-Skopar f/4.0 - (Doesn't fit*/Vignettes)

    25mm Color-Skopar f/4

    28mm Ultron f/2.0

    35mm Nokton II f/1.2

    35mm Nokton Classic f/1.4

    35mm Ultron f/1.7

    35mm Color Skopar Pancake II f/2.5

    40mm Nokton f/1.4 (Single/Multi Coated) - (Fits/Vignettes)

    50mm Nokton f/1.1

    50mm Nokton f/1.5 Aspherical

    75mm Heliar f/1.8


    Zeiss - http://www.zeiss.com/camera-lenses/e...ont2815zm.html

    15mm Distagon T f/2.8 ZM

    18mm Distagon T f/4 ZM (Discontinued)

    21mm Biogon T f/2.8 ZM

    21mm C Biogon T f/4.5 ZM (Discontinued)

    25mm Biogon T f/2.8 ZM

    28mm Biogon T f/2.8 ZM

    35mm Distagon T f/1.4 ZM - (Fits/Vignettes)

    35mm Biogon T f/2 ZM

    35mm C Biogon T f/2.8 ZM

    50mm C Sonnar T f/1.5 ZM

    50mm Planar T f/2 ZM

    85mm Tele-Tessar T f/4 ZM


    Leica - https://us.leica-camera.com/Photogra...ica-M/M-Lenses

    16-18-21mm Tri-Elmar-M f/4 ASPH

    18mm Super-Elmar-M f/3.8 ASPH

    21mm Summilux-M f/1.4 ASPH - (Doesn't fit*)

    21mm Super-Elmar-M f/3.4 ASPH

    24mm Summilux-M f/1.4 ASPH

    24mm Elmar-M f/3.8 ASPH - (Fits/Vignettes)

    28mm Summilux-M f/1.4 ASPH - (Fits/Vignettes)

    28mm Summicron-M f/2 ASPH

    28mm Elmarit-M f/2.8 ASPH

    28-35-50 Tri-Elmar-M f/4 ASPH

    35mm Summilux-M f/1.4 ASPH - (Doesn't fit*)

    35mm Summicron-M f/2 ASPH - (Doesn't fit*)

    35mm Summarit-M f/2.4 ASPH - (Fits/Vignettes?)

    35mm Summarit-M f/2.5 - (Fits/Vignettes)

    50mm Noctilux-M f/0.95 ASPH - (Fits/Vignettes?)

    50mm Summilux-M f/1.4 ASPH - (Fits/Vignettes)

    50mm APO-Summicron-M f/2 ASPH - (Fits/Vignettes?)

    50mm Summicron-M f/2 - (Fits/Vignettes)

    50mm Summarit-M f/2.4 - (Fits/Vignettes?)

    50mm Elmar-M f/2.8 - (Fits/Vignettes?)

    75mm Summilux-M f/1.4 - (Fits)

    75mm APO-Summicron-M f/2 ASPH - (Fits)

    75mm Summarit-M f/2.4 - (Fits)

    75mm Summarit-M f/2.5 - (Fits)

    90mm APO-Summicron-M f/2 ASPH - (Fits)

    90mm Summarit-M f/2.4 - (Fits)

    90mm Summarit-M f/2.5 - (Fits)

    90mm Elmarit-M f/2.8 - (Fits)

    90mm Macro-Elmar-M f/4 - (Fits)

    135mm APO-Telyt-M f/3.4 - (Fits)


    *Fits with physical modification of the rear lens element (or surrounding metal) or with cutting of the removable OLPF's flare-guard.


    Edit - Removed direct links to individual lenses to make room for more results.
    Last edited by Les Hillis; 07-25-2016 at 09:12 AM.
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  6. #6  
    Senior Member Ketch Rossi's Avatar
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    Love the Leica-M lenses, have used them for many years, and love them on the RED as well, even so sometimes they are too small for the application, at times are just the absolute perfect companion, wish I could share some work done with them, but the only 4 jobs done with them ares till off limits...

    The mighty Noctilux... On the Epic-M "M8" before She got the Dragon upgrade... ;)

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  7. #7  
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    Interesting flashback Ketch, pity we didn't get to see more of your results with the lens.

    I remember how being able to use the Noctilux was one of the factors that led to RED making their Leica-M mount in the first place - http://www.reduser.net/forum/showthr...ica-M+Noctilux

    Some Noctilux examples from that thread - https://vimeo.com/32581016 https://vimeo.com/33052427 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qh1nvLSYQpc&feature=g-all-u&context=G2cc6c13FAAAAAAAA

    ...


    Some more info that wouldn't fit into the previous post -

    Here's a diagram based on some rough measurements I made using a Leica-M mount on a DSMC1 Dragon camera fitted with interchangeable OLPF's. It shows to within a millimeter or so how far the rear elements of a lens can extend into the OLPF housing before being physically obstructed. (On the DSMC1 MX, camera's, not Dragon, there's only room for the rear lens element to extend about half a millimeter or so from the end of the lenses bayonet mount, which is a lot more limiting than what the Dragon cameras allow.)



    Keep in mind the rear lens elements of different lenses will extend to varying degrees as the focus is adjusted, with the rear element extending furthest when focusing to infinity, so when checking whether a lens will fit, make sure its focus is set to infinity as well as its closest focus distance to see the full range of movement.

    As a lot of you know, even when the lens will focus to infinity without hitting the OLPF housing, if the rear lens element extends too far, the light leaving the lens will hit the camera sensor at too extreme of an angle to be read properly by the sensor. That will result in darkening, discoloration and blurring/smearing of the image around the edges of the frame. Those side-effects can be mitigated sometimes by changing the focus, over or under exposing (ie. by burning out or darkening the image) or by cropping the image (in post or by down-rezzing and windowing the sensor). The discoloration and darkening can also be corrected, either totally or to some extent at least, by post-processing the images. Here's an example (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYVqug-eEUQ) using a process described here - http://lavidaleica.com/content/using...correct-images

    Apart from the above, it should be pointed out too, for those totally unfamiliar with range-finder lenses, that a lot of these M-mount lenses are no different to other stills photography lenses when it comes to having undesirable characteristics like breathing, image-shifting, chromatic aberration and dubious quality control. It's all there, to some extent or another.

    With a FFD (Flange Focal Distance) of 27.8mm, there are a lot of other mount-type lenses with longer FFD's that can be adapted for use with a Leica-M mount camera (as can be seen here in this chart - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flange_focal_distance). That includes a lot of old and obscure lenses, too many and varied to mention.
    Last edited by Les Hillis; 05-16-2016 at 03:37 PM.
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  8. #8  
    Senior Member Ketch Rossi's Avatar
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    Yes a pity indeed Les.
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  9. #9  
    Senior Member Serge Polevitzky's Avatar
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    Les -- I have a Zeiss ZM 35mm f/1.4 & an Mg Weapon. My eyeball measurements put the total Bayonet Depth + Max Rear Element Depth at Infinity to be 12.5mm to maybe 14mm
    (my eyesight ain't that good). Any idea how much 'depth' the Mg Weapon can take before lens meets OLPF ? I'm a little leery about poking any sort of measuring device into the
    camera .. but may resort to this. Any help (including someone else has tried this .. and succeeded without damaging the camera or lens) would be much appreciated !

    Tx -
    Serge

    Quote Originally Posted by Les Hillis View Post
    Interesting flashback Ketch, pity we didn't get to see more of your results with the lens.

    I remember how being able to use the Noctilux was one of the factors that led to RED making their Leica-M mount in the first place - http://www.reduser.net/forum/showthr...ica-M+Noctilux

    Some Noctilux examples from that thread - https://vimeo.com/32581016 https://vimeo.com/33052427 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qh1nvLSYQpc&feature=g-all-u&context=G2cc6c13FAAAAAAAA

    ...


    Some more info that wouldn't fit into the previous post -

    Here's a diagram based on some rough measurements I made using a Leica-M mount on a DSMC1 Dragon camera fitted with interchangeable OLPF's. It shows to within a millimeter or so how far the rear elements of a lens can extend into the OLPF housing before being physically obstructed. (On the DSMC1 MX, camera's, not Dragon, there's only room for the rear lens element to extend about half a millimeter or so from the end of the lenses bayonet mount, which is a lot more limiting than what the Dragon cameras allow.)



    Keep in mind the rear lens elements of different lenses will extend to varying degrees as the focus is adjusted, with the rear element extending furthest when focusing to infinity, so when checking whether a lens will fit, make sure its focus is set to infinity as well as its closest focus distance to see the full range of movement.

    As a lot of you know, even when the lens will focus to infinity without hitting the OLPF housing, if the rear lens element extends too far, the light leaving the lens will hit the camera sensor at too extreme of an angle to be read properly by the sensor. That will result in darkening, discoloration and blurring/smearing of the image around the edges of the frame. Those side-effects can be mitigated sometimes by changing the focus, over or under exposing (ie. by burning out or darkening the image) or by cropping the image (in post or by down-rezzing and windowing the sensor). The discoloration and darkening can also be corrected, either totally or to some extent at least, by post-processing the images. Here's an example (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYVqug-eEUQ) using a process described here - http://lavidaleica.com/content/using...correct-images

    Apart from the above, it should be pointed out too, for those totally unfamiliar with range-finder lenses, that a lot of these M-mount lenses are no different to other stills photography lenses when it comes to having undesirable characteristics like breathing, image-shifting, chromatic aberration and dubious quality control. It's all there, to some extent or another.

    With a FFD (Flange Focal Distance) of 27.8mm, there are a lot of other mount-type lenses with longer FFD's that can be adapted for use with a Leica-M mount camera (as can be seen here in this chart - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flange_focal_distance). That includes a lot of old and obscure lenses, too many and varied to mention.
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  10. #10  
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    Hi Serge, that diagram I made shows the distance (12.5mm) to the plastic part of the OLPF housing/bushing that can block the rear lens element, not the glass of the OLPF itself. There's another 5mm or so between that rectangular plastic frame/bushing that blocks the back of the lens and the actual glass covering of the OLPF.

    What that means is, you can try mounting the lens to the camera and at worst, it won't fit and you might leave a slight scrape or mark on that plastic part of the OLPF housing that came in contact with the back of the lens.

    Judging by your own measurements and the pictures of the 35mm f/1.4 ZM that I've seen, I'd suggest focusing the lens to it's minimum/closest focus distance (to minimize how far the rear lens element extends) and mounting it to the camera, then slowly turning the focus to see if it will reach infinity.

    The general rule of thumb though is, if a lens has to extend that far into the lens port/OLPF housing, it's probably going to show an unacceptable amount of vignetting, discoloration and smearing around the edges of the frame anyway.

    Hope that helps.
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