Three High-Speed 50mm Leica M mount Lenses (plus a Fuji X mount thrown in) Part I 

Without a doubt, one of the benefits of getting into the Leica M system is for their astonishingly high quality optics. Especially over the last 25 years, Leica M lenses have achieved a high level reputation for outstanding optical quality.

Brand new, current Leica M lenses are expensive. But not all new M mount lenses are. Two easily available series of M mount lenses are from Voigtlander and Zeiss, both made by Cosina.

The pricing difference is enormous when comparing the same focal length and nearly identical widest aperture. For this article, Downtown Camera in Toronto gave me access to the classic “normal” focal length for a full frame or film Leica M body, the 50mm (the focal length of choice for legendary photojournalist, Henri Cartier-Bresson) with the high speed aperture of f1.4 or f1.5 (for our purposes).

Featured in this article are Leica’s 50mm f1.4 Summilux, the Zeiss ZM 50mm f1.5 C Sonnar and the Voigtlander 50mm f1.5 Nokton.

High Speed 50mm's Voigtlander Nokton f1.5 Zeiss ZM Sonnar f1.5 Leica Summilux f.14

High Speed 50mm’s
Voigtlander Nokton f1.5
Zeiss ZM Sonnar f1.5
Leica Summilux f.14

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Leica M camera compared to Fuji X-Pro1: Set-Up for Street Photography Part II

The method I described, on shooting with the Fuji X-Pro1 in Part I, didn’t emerge from a vacuum. It’s closely based on how I learned to shoot with a Leica M rangefinder, over three decades. In turn, that was something I learned from reading how the great masters of street photography, people like Josef Koudelka, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Joel Meyerowitz, used their Leica’s for their work. Today, Leica M rangefinders are still being made.  There are various models, including a gorgeous 35mm film body called the MP, and the high-end digital M (Type 240).

The legendary Leica M3, with a 28mm accessory bright frame finder & Zeiss ZM 28mm lens

The legendary Leica M3, with a 28mm accessory bright frame finder & Zeiss ZM 28mm lens

Of the Leica M bodies throughout history, my all-time favorite body to use for street photography, is the Leica M3. Continue reading