Finally picked one up - was it everything that I dreamed of?Read More
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Amy and I took a weekend out of our busy schedule to spend some time with friends at Ocean City, where we had rented an Air BnB for the long weekend.
The weekend brought together friends that I have not seen since Mariah's wedding and it felt really good to get out and relax, or as much as I could afford to since I was still burdened with school work during the weekend.
I took my Leica M9 with my new to me SUMMICRON-M 35mm f/2 ASPH that I had picked up from the good folks at Leica Store Miami for what I consider to be a good deal. I've been looking for a good opportunity to use this lens and luckily I had found that chance with the sunny environment of Ocean City, MD.
It's no surprise that the images that a SUMMICRON can produce is nothing short of stunning as even shooting wide open at f/2 bring out the resolving power out of the aging M9 with plenty of micro contrast for that pop that I love about Leica lenses.
However, the other lens that truly impressed me was the Voigtlander Nokton 50mm f/1.5 ASPH. The rendering out of that lens paired with the M9's CCD sensor gave the images a classical look without looking too clinical as other lenses I've seen where the race to have the sharpest lenses have gained favor over the lens' character in the modern digital photography world.
Remember, raw sharpness is not everything.
With the sun at its peak, the light proved to be too overpowering for the Nokton at its widest aperture at f/1.5, which is unfortunate since most of the micro contrast magic truly pops at f/1.5.
With the power of post-processing and Lightroom, I was able to save most of the highlights from shooting wide open and added some flavor to my liking to recover the contrast.
I forgot to add that I had also brought my venerable Leica Q with me on this trip, but I didn't have the urge to bring it out since I was having too much fun with both the SUMMICRON-M 35mm and the Nokton. Both of these lenses filled my needs for a wide-angle and long focal lengths, while at the same time, filling the speeds I needed for both wide depth of field and low light.
Picking up this SUMMICRON-M 35mm ASPH completes my dual 'cron setup paired with the legendary SUMMICRON-M 50mm f/2, while the Leica Q continues to fills my thirst for going wider with its gorgeous SUMMILUX-M 28mm f/1.7 ASPH, which is cheaper than purchasing the SUMMILUX-M 28mm f/1.4 ASPH by itself that costs over $6,000 for just the lens. If you're looking into getting your feed wet into the world of full-frame Leica cameras, I would wholeheartedly advise you to start with the Leica Q. My gateway drug into this club started from there and I have to say that I love every bit of it.
I've recently picked up a new lens from a friend of mine, the Voigtlander Nokton 50mm f/1.5 and I have to say that I've loving what Voigtlander lenses can render with the Leica M9's CCD sensor. The classical rendering from both the previous Nokton 35mm f/1.2 ASPH II (sold due to the size and heft) and this lens made me a big fan of how the images look with very little post-processing work.
I was also looking at the Zeiss 50mm f/1.4 ZM as a contender to Leica's Summilux-M 50mm f/1.4, but the reviews I've read about the focus shift and rendering (I'm personally not a fan of contrasty images that the Zeiss renders), the Nokton rose to the top of the list and it has more and earned its right to stay in my camera bag.