View Poll Results: Do you think Leica lenses outperform the top end lenses from Nikon/Canon/Minolta?

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  • Yes, they are the best lenses around.

    165 36.34%
  • No, I think the Nikon/Canon/Minolta ones are better

    29 6.39%
  • No, don't think there is a difference. The non-Leicas are just as good

    79 17.40%
  • They might be, but I probably can't tell the difference anyway.

    181 39.87%
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Thread: Do you think Leica lenses outperform the top end lenses from Nikon/Canon?

  1. #61
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    Default Re: Do you think Leica lenses outperform the top end lenses from Nikon/Canon?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ansel View Post
    You see, to the purists, a lot of things cannot be scientifically measured. There is always such a thing as, "more 3D look" , or "something I can't explain, but the photos just look nicer, or lifelike", etc.

    But do still want to own a Leica if I have the chance and the money to spare.
    With spare dough, most of us would be clearing the shelves at camera stores! Ansel, you've refreshed many a daydream and fantasy.

  2. #62

    Default Re: Do you think Leica lenses outperform the top end lenses from Nikon/Canon?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ansel View Post
    You see, to the purists, a lot of things cannot be scientifically measured. There is always such a thing as, "more 3D look" , or "something I can't explain, but the photos just look nicer, or lifelike", etc.

    But do still want to own a Leica if I have the chance and the money to spare.
    People like to believe that it cannot be scientifically measured, in fact it can.. just that people do not measure it. Most of the time it's the linearity of the light transmission at different wavelength. So if you're able to apply various tone curves, you should be able to obtain the desired results.

  3. #63
    Senior Member Ansel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you think Leica lenses outperform the top end lenses from Nikon/Canon?

    Quote Originally Posted by lsisaxon View Post
    People like to believe that it cannot be scientifically measured, in fact it can.. just that people do not measure it. Most of the time it's the linearity of the light transmission at different wavelength. So if you're able to apply various tone curves, you should be able to obtain the desired results.
    Oh! You mean I can make my Nikon image look like a Leica image by applying various tone curves?

    Please do share....

  4. #64

    Default Re: Do you think Leica lenses outperform the top end lenses from Nikon/Canon?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ansel View Post
    Oh! You mean I can make my Nikon image look like a Leica image by applying various tone curves?

    Please do share....
    To a certain extent possibly, but definitely not the sharpness and micro contrast.

  5. #65
    Senior Member Ansel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you think Leica lenses outperform the top end lenses from Nikon/Canon?

    Quote Originally Posted by lsisaxon View Post
    To a certain extent possibly, but definitely not the sharpness and micro contrast.
    Can u provide a graphical example? I am really interested, cos, up to now, we can only explain the diff subjectively. Time for an objective explanation.

  6. #66

    Default Re: Do you think Leica lenses outperform the top end lenses from Nikon/Canon?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ansel View Post
    Can u provide a graphical example? I am really interested, cos, up to now, we can only explain the diff subjectively. Time for an objective explanation.
    What you can probably do is to shoot the same image with Leica and non Leica lens and look at the histogram as well as the difference for the entire image.

  7. #67
    Senior Member Ansel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you think Leica lenses outperform the top end lenses from Nikon/Canon?

    Quote Originally Posted by lsisaxon View Post
    What you can probably do is to shoot the same image with Leica and non Leica lens and look at the histogram as well as the difference for the entire image.
    Hmmmm.....this means i need to get an EOS, or Epson RD1s, or M8. And then go and borrow a Leica lens from someone.

  8. #68

    Default Re: Do you think Leica lenses outperform the top end lenses from Nikon/Canon?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ansel View Post
    Hmmmm.....this means i need to get an EOS, or Epson RD1s, or M8. And then go and borrow a Leica lens from someone.
    Hmmm... Might there be a curve available to emulate something like that? I believe that even if it could emulate 100%, the user will always feel that it's still not the real thing....

  9. #69
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    Default Re: Do you think Leica lenses outperform the top end lenses from Nikon/Canon?

    I don believe all leica lens are made better than nikon/canon... etc top end lens...

  10. #70
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    Default Re: Do you think Leica lenses outperform the top end lenses from Nikon/Canon?

    Quote Originally Posted by ExplorerZ View Post
    I don believe all leica lens are made better than nikon/canon... etc top end lens...
    I don't believe that we are talking abt ALL leica lenses being made better than nikon/canon or watever lenses. But I would say I have been happy with most leica lenses I've used so far. (used only ah.. not owned..) I can only dream... In fact, the very first time i hit a shot with one, I was quite happy to go home and 'throw' away all my canon lenses... but alas.. the need for AF kept me for doing so.. *laugh*

    But if I may quote an example from a friend regarding an incident a coupla years ago.. when digital has not taken over the face of photography...

    They were both invited to make images of some birds at the birdpark.... I have no idea what bird it was.. but I wasn't there.. .. but it was a yellow one.. my friend was using a canon system.. and his friend, a leica.. now dun ask me what lenses and what system.. I'll put their skills as equally good, 'cept the preference of system and how deep their pocket goes.. they were both using the same film and they both sent it to the same lab.

    Somehow or rather, the lab manage to mix up the prints from the rolls of film... and they were very apologetic.. but my friend and his friend just laughed when they saw the prints and say its not problem at all..

    why?

    Simply becuase the stark difference in quality from both cameras is just so apparent. They just took the whole stack.. and went.. here's urs.. here's the leica... and wala.... problem solved..

    Its just an illustration from an oldie photographer when I was just starting out and asking the very same questions as some of you guys here... is the leica really so much better? well.. I would just say go get one and try it for yourself... as my saying goes.... "Try it... You may like it...."
    Last edited by Itsbits; 13th May 2007 at 05:38 PM.

  11. #71
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    Default Re: Do you think Leica lenses outperform the top end lenses from Nikon/Canon?

    Quote Originally Posted by Itsbits View Post
    I don't believe that we are talking abt ALL leica lenses being made better than nikon/canon or watever lenses. But I would say I have been happy with most leica lenses I've used so far. (used only ah.. not owned..) I can only dream... In fact, the very first time i hit a shot with one, I was quite happy to go home and 'throw' away all my canon lenses... but alas.. the need for AF kept me for doing so.. *laugh*

    But if I may quote an example from a friend regarding an incident a coupla years ago.. when digital has not taken over the face of photography...

    They were both invited to make images of some birds at the birdpark.... I have no idea what bird it was.. but I wasn't there.. .. but it was a yellow one.. my friend was using a canon system.. and his friend, a leica.. now dun ask me what lenses and what system.. I'll put their skills as equally good, 'cept the preference of system and how deep their pocket goes.. they were both using the same film and they both sent it to the same lab.

    Somehow or rather, the lab manage to mix up the prints from the rolls of film... and they were very apologetic.. but my friend and his friend just laughed when they saw the prints and say its not problem at all..

    why?

    Simply becuase the stark difference in quality from both cameras is just so apparent. They just took the whole stack.. and went.. here's urs.. here's the leica... and wala.... problem solved..

    Its just an illustration from an oldie photographer when I was just starting out and asking the very same questions as some of you guys here... is the leica really so much better? well.. I would just say go get one and try it for yourself... as my saying goes.... "Try it... You may like it...."
    I believe one is able to separate the stack of photos by referencing the negative.... other result like shooting style or so could also let them get them to sort out their photos easily.

    anyway the question here is "Do you think Leica lenses outperform the top end lenses from Nikon/Canon"
    unless your friend using canon is using top end lenses, it is not relevant to this question.

    the most I could say is, not all leica lens are better than the top end lenses from canon/nikon, im pretty sure there are some good lens from both nikon and canon which are better than the leica counterpart...

  12. #72

    Default Re: Do you think Leica lenses outperform the top end lenses from Nikon/Canon?

    Quote Originally Posted by ExplorerZ View Post
    I don believe all leica lens are made better than nikon/canon... etc top end lens...
    A cardinal rule of comparison is "apples to apples", ie don't compare a zoom with a prime, don't compare a 90 mm lens with a 35 mm lens, don't compare a 1937 Leica lens against a 1997 Canon lens and say it's is not as good, etc.

    As I said earlier, "outperform" can mean many things beyond just lpm or contrast. I'm not referring to 3-D look, more lifelike images, etc. which are hard to agree. There are many other factors, such as resistance to flare, distortion, bokeh, etc.

  13. #73
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    Default Re: Do you think Leica lenses outperform the top end lenses from Nikon/Canon?

    Well Said..

    Quote Originally Posted by waileong View Post
    A cardinal rule of comparison is "apples to apples", ie don't compare a zoom with a prime, don't compare a 90 mm lens with a 35 mm lens, don't compare a 1937 Leica lens against a 1997 Canon lens and say it's is not as good, etc.

    As I said earlier, "outperform" can mean many things beyond just lpm or contrast. I'm not referring to 3-D look, more lifelike images, etc. which are hard to agree. There are many other factors, such as resistance to flare, distortion, bokeh, etc.

  14. #74

    Default Re: Do you think Leica lenses outperform the top end lenses from Nikon/Canon?

    why all the need for a debate... theres a comprehensive review comparing leica, zeiss, canon and CV lenses here..


    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/re...nsreview.shtml

  15. #75
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    Default Re: Do you think Leica lenses outperform the top end lenses from Nikon/Canon?

    Quote Originally Posted by jdredd View Post
    why all the need for a debate... theres a comprehensive review comparing leica, zeiss, canon and CV lenses here..


    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/re...nsreview.shtml
    which in turn refers to: http://www.imx.nl/photosite/comments/c036.html

  16. #76

    Default Re: Do you think Leica lenses outperform the top end lenses from Nikon/Canon?

    Forget all that, Hasselblad's and Rollei's lenses are the best ...... just kidding

    Hard to compare, but I don't doubt that Leica lenses are definitely very well-made, although it comes at a serious price (current M models at least).

    I did meet someone who has a Leica 50mm R on his Canon 5D, and he prefers it over his Canon lens. I've seen the prints and they look good, at least in digital terms. The tiny Leica lens looks odd on the massive 5D, though ...

    Best way of course is to try yourself if possible, hands on, no theories.

    Or read this writer's thoughts on why he uses Leica lenses on his Canons, just one of the many varied opinions, this one in favor of Leica (it is obvious the writer is a Leica body user too) :

    http://nemeng.com/leica/002f.shtml



    .

  17. #77

    Default i'm sooo tired & fed up with this kind of questions

    as they have the same quality as: 'a lotus elise is better than a porsche boxter'

    both have pro's & con's.
    The aim of a camera is making pix & enable the fotographer to 'write with light' (the exact meaning the greek word)
    I've use soo many cameras (RTS,137Quartz/X700,X9000 or Maxxon/F2/F3/OM1,2,4,10,40/R5/F75,F90,EOS620,50/AE1PROG,A1/MAT124/SL66SE/501CM/Silvestri/XPAN/PentaconSix/PEN FT,myju,Minilux,M3, ....FZ20/EXILIM/) and came to the conclusion - forget about bodies & lenses - they must fit you
    so XPAN & OM4 are my favourites, SL66SE if i have time & force to carry & use it - i love my PEN FT (with Planar 1.4/50)
    sooo many people believe, the equipment makes the pic - what a misunderstanding (& perfect marketing of our japanese friends)- if u reached a certain level, stop looking!
    I'd never ever carry 2kg of chinese plastic - which are 95% of all digicams - i want the feel the mechanic & the see the light & not thousends of knobs, think about the working behaviour of AF & metering - that's what manufacturers & their produkts distinguishs - a kind of philosophy & marketing.
    If u like to talk about MegaPix, active image control, zoom factor, staus symbol & image of product, forget about your worn out 'working horse'
    Did you ever thought about Picassos pencil or about Ansel Adams' lens & films? Their tools fitted to their personality (remember Erich Salomon?)
    So my choice is my OM4 with 2/85, even if i could use the fantastic (?) Summicron 2/90 ... why discuss about a possibly superb lens with adapter to a camera with AF & full automatic control. A Leica Body including 50mm is about 400/USD, so try if u can life with it or loan one - and do me one big favour - use the technical discussion just for one purpose: pictures

    Tilman

    if u really like to discuss, so think about a high end optic like the new ones from Oberkochen (resolution about 400lp/mm) on a optical sensor with the same performance then the color films from the early age of Kodakcolor 60yrs ago ;o)

  18. #78

    Default Re: i'm sooo tired & fed up with this kind of questions

    This debate is pointless, much like the great Contax Vs Leica debate our forefathers (who could afford them) had. To each his or her own. Whether you use a Canon L lens or a Leica 'Cron doesn't make a difference if you don't know the technics on how to take a good picture. The main thing is to go out and shoot and learn how to take a good picture, not spend time here singing praises about your super duper high end wonder lens and your do it all DSLR.

    Samuel

  19. #79

    Default Re: i'm sooo tired & fed up with this kind of questions

    There is a place for those who think that the equipment is secondary to the photographer and his technique. But there is also a place for people who want to discuss equipment. One should not try to say that others' discussions are worthless.

    Contrary to most beliefs, a camera is not just a light tight box, its design and functionality directly affects ease of use, reliability, performance, compatibility, etc. which affects how you use your equipment, what it is great at and what it is not good at.

    Ditto, a lens is not just something to focus light with, its very design depends on the optical approach chosen by its designer, what choices have been made wrt the optical aberrations, and thus determines what it is good at and what it is weak at. Thus you can match a lens to a shot if you know what you want to shoot and what you value in a picture.

    There's obviously strengths and weaknesses in every lens. It's easy to get religious about C vs N or (in this case) L vs rest of the world. This is unfortunate. But when the price of Leica lenses is so high compared to other lenses, is it not legitimate to ask whether you're getting more for it compared to other lenses?

    However, I do think performance should be looked as a whole, and just in terms of optical performance, but also physical performance-- construction, quality of materials, reliability, weather resistance, weight, ruggedness, etc.
    Last edited by waileong; 28th May 2007 at 11:21 AM.

  20. #80
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    Default Re: Do you think Leica lenses outperform the top end lenses from Nikon/Canon?

    canon L IS zoom (convinient) and leica R APO lens (image quality) are best partner...

    if u can not tell the image quality dif between EF50/1.4 and contax 50/1.4, it's ok since dif is little.

    but if u can not tell the dif between EF 50/1.4 and R 50/1.4 or R50/2,,, I will say u are blind...dont use DSLR any more, go back compact DC...
    Last edited by thinkvision; 19th July 2007 at 02:24 PM. Reason: updated

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