M mount on Fuji X-Pro1 and on others

Yep, that’s it. I have tried a lot of lenses in my life, but I reach a pretty good level of satisfaction with those tiny ones. I have mounted those lenses on the X-Pro1, but it could be on Leica bodies, Oly M43 or Sony A7 series. This is where I am, where I’m standing with my gear early 2016. Ok, I definitively don’t care about the autofocus speed. This article is about GAS, my GAS and my healing of it. I’m probably going to sell some of the gear below, but in the meantime, let’s share some of this experience.

Let’s start with my widest angle, the Voigtlaender Ultron 21mm f1.8 Asph. You can see it here with the adapter I designed to mount the Lee filter series 100. It works with the big stopper, it works with the GNDs too.

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This is not the best balanced body and lens couple, but the output is pretty gorgeous. It behaves like a 32mm.

The I have a bunch of 28mm, I hunted them for a long time.

The first, one of those I like the much is the Voigtlaender 28mm f2 Ultron. It’s not the Leica Summicron in terms of sharpness, I saying wide open, but so far I’m pretty impressed by the results. It works well, but my copy is perhaps good, or better that usual. Who knows.

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The second one is something I’ll qualify very strange. The Minolta M-Rokkor 28mm f2.8. This is a lens made in the seventies by Minolta in Japan for the Minolta rangefinder CLE. It suffers of the whale shark disease, white dots inside the lens. But so far it doesn’t affect the image quality on a visible manner.

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The fire one is the lens I chose instead of the Leica Elmarit version, the Zeiss ZM 28mm f2.8 Biogon. This is a lens I have for a short time now. I like it, it’s sharp, sometimes too much.

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Then the 35mm, I also have a little collection of lenses I’m using in particular situations.

I had before a Leica Summicron 35mm f2 Asph. A very good lens. I had to sold it. Now I think, I’ll certainly chase one in the future. I replaced it by the Zeiss ZM 35mm f2 Biogon. They are very close in terms of sharpness. Not sure about the bokeh, but I think as far as I remember pretty close. A very good choice, except for Sony A7 series.

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One of my favorite 35mm is the Voigtlaender 35mm f1.2 Nokton Asph. This is an amazing  lens. Excellent at f1.4 and with a real creamy bokeh at f1.2. There’s no secret, I like the voigtlaenders.

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The next 25mm is the latest Voigtlaender 35mm f1.7 Ultron in chrome version. I like this lens, it’s particularly sharp. I chose it certainly to try, and at the end of the test it worked simply good. A very good choice and a bargain in Europe (march 2016). It’s a bit long for a 35mm, I’ll certainly have to modify the lens hood to fix it directly on the lens instead of screwing it on a dedicated spacer. It might be then almost 8 mm shorter (a third of an inch)

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My last 35mm is the Voigtlaender 35mm f1.4 Nokton Classic MC. I chose this one for its really special rendering. This is not the sharpest lens, but it has a special character and it works pretty well on Sony A7 even if it has field curvature issues in certain circonstances.

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Now I have a alien, the Leica Summicron 40mm f2, made for the Leica CLE rangefinder camera. A very interesting lens with a very particular rendering. Tac sharp, but with something extra. A very good choice particularly on M8. It’s very compact. (1973)

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Then www are reaching my preferred ones, the 0mm family.

I have to start with a very particular lens, the 1957 Leica Summicron Rigid 50mm f2. I found this one like new, like if somebody took it directly from the late fifties through a time tunnel. Impressive. The lens is providing absolutely gorgeous colors and the sharpens is totally amazing. You can chase some of the best modern lenses with it.

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Then, I have another Leica Summicron 50mm f2, the type IV, made in Canada in 1983. This is also an absolute winner and maybe one of the best lens to pair with the Fuji X-Pro1. Amazing. Gorgeous for portrait, really close to the latest Fuji 56mm f1.2 in terms of sharpness. The bokeh is most probably better on the 56mm due to the 1.5 additional stops.

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The next one is a legend, one of my favorite, the Leica Summilux 50mm f1.4 Asph. The latest one. One of the three four best lenses in the market. Not the one I have always on the Fuji, but the one I’m working with on a daily basis. Absolutely a dream lens, a must have if you can afford it. Crazy sharpness, uber creamy bokeh. Perfect in all ways.

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A good choice if you are looking for something similar to the Summilux, you can check the Voigtlaender 50mm f1.5 Nokton Asph. A really really good lens for just a fraction of the price of the Leica one. Sharpness, good delicious bokeh. A real challenger. One of my favorite. It’s so good, that I’m usually unable to say if an image is coming from the Nokton or from the Lux.

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The black version in aluminum is also very good. It’s awesome with the Sony A7 series.

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Then in the Nokton family, there’s the ultra fast, ultra bulky Voigtlaender Nokton 50mm f1.1. I call it « the poor man Noctilux ». In fact it’s not a Noktilux, it’s doesn’t perform like the Leica dream lens. But I was recently very surprised by the results. Usually, the mechanical side of the rangefinder coupling must be perfect to work well with a Leica body. If the coupling is not perfect, then the results are not interesting. But, with an EVF, this is another story. It forks well, it works very well. Recently I have purchased a VM close-up adapter for the A7S. If you reduce the minimal focus distance and you use it with an electronic viewfinder, the the results are impressive, silly magic. This is not the sharpest lens, but it provide really decent results, with an excellent character.

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To finish this review of some lenses you can pair with an X-Pro1, I have only one remaining telephoto lens. The Leica Summicron 90mm f2, made in 1987. I like this lens. I made a weeding recently with this lens on my Sony A7S. The light conditions were awful. But the results were sharp and really amazing. It’s maybe a little bit heavy, but this is also a good.

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What I miss, I had the 35mm Color Skopar from Voigtlaender, a really good choice. An extremely small pancake, perfectly sharp. I had also the Leica Summarit 75mm f2.5. A good sharp lens. But I never called in lave with it. And this is important. The results were not upon my taste. I have also tried the Zeiss planar 50mm f2, the Zeiss Sonnar f1.5. Both are very interesting. Maybe some activities for the futur. I have also tried the Voigtlaender 75mm f1.8. This was interesting, but at the end pretty heavy, long and not really useful.

I also would like to try an old rangefinder Canon 50mm lens. The Japanese Summilux. I also would like to try the Russian Jupiter 3, another interesting thing I guess. Maybe the next version from Lomography. One of my dreams is to try the MS Optical Sonnetar, the 50mm f1.1 from Mr. Miyazaki san. That could be something interesting. It’s small, compact and very fast.

I’m obviously not shooting with these lenses all the time. But I’m changing often, and adding sometimes some challenges by using old lenses in modern conditions. It’s a way to progress. The X-Pro1 is very good on that.

PS: Some of this lenses will be on sale…

Cheers.

 

 

 

 

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23 réflexions sur “M mount on Fuji X-Pro1 and on others

  1. Great reading as always Dragan. I think you can tell I am also working through my own GAS problem, but having a lot of fun doing it. My bigget problem is that I am sometimes too quick to let a lens go to fund the purchase of the next. I should keep them a little longer as I’ve let at least one lens go that I should have kept – the Voigtlander VM50mm f/1.5. Like you I can confirm this lens works extremely well on both the A7s and the A7rII; it’s more than sharp enough to perform well on the megpixel warrior :o)

    It is however, hard to get focus perfect at the bigget appertures; even using focus peaking there is a margin of error that can throw the final image off a little. It’s fine when you’re not under any time pressure to shoot, but when you have to be quick or when you are under pressure to be quick, it’s hard.

    I’ve also had the 40mm Classic. On the A7s this is a superb lens. No it’s not tack sharp but as you’ve already commented before, on the cats eye of the A7 line up, with such a low pixel count, you can get really excellent results : http://www.tearsinrain.co.uk/everywhere-else/az7xtmwq4ehitaqv8gcwa6sfwyomvr

    Sadly, this lens does fall apart on the megapixel warrior A7rII. It’s just not a good fit for sharpness. You can get it to an acceptable level of sharpness but it’s really really hard at anything bigger than f/2.8.

    Drop me a line with what you’re planning to sell as I may be interested in buying from you.

    best regards my friend

    Greg

    1. Hi Greg, thank you for your comment. You’re perfectly right, the 50 Nokt is a serious lens. Very good, directly from the biggest aperture. About the focus peaking on Sony, it works good, but only with wide angles. Not very accurate with 35, 50 and biggest focal lenses. I’m personnaly using the highest magnification to ensure I’m perfectly in focus. This is how I achieve to have the best possible focus on my Nokton 50mm f1.1. at full aperture.

      I’ll let you know about the lenses I’m going to sell obviously.

      Cheers

      Dragan

  2. Hi fella,
    Wow you made a hell of a journey with all those lenses!
    The one that I’d definitely like to have is the VM 50/1.5.
    Was about to buy the same Rokkor-M recently on ani… with the white spots, when someone was very persuasive with the seller I was in contact 🙂
    As for focus peaking, I mostly use the magnification as without it may be tricky especially with fast lenses.
    You said you’re selling some, could you pls text me which ones?
    Cheers,
    Marco

    1. Hi Fabrizio. I haven’t given a name to my adapter so far. But that’s a good idea. Certainly the Drago adapter. I’ll see that. Thanks for the visit. Actually I have a batch in manufacturing. Pricing will be adapted after we finish. But not more expensive than a Lee ring.

      Cheers.

      1. Hi,

        How is going your work? do you have any result?

        Sorry for bother you, but i am very interested in! 🙂

        thanks in advance
        Fabrizio

      2. They are ready. I received a batch last week. Just the brass screw that is missed. I’ll be ready to sell next week. But before I do that I’ll have to write an article on it an to explain how it works.

      3. Hello Fabrizio, I have made some trials with the batch of lens shade I have recieved from manufacturing and there’s a mistake on the length. So they work but not as expected. I’ll have to fin a way to make them work accuratelly and this is on the way. I’ll not provide a solution that is not perfectly working. Are you using a big stopper?

      4. Hello Fabrizio, I have 10 of them at home. They have a manufacturing issue, so that means that you can use them but idf you place them badly on the hood, then it will vignette. So that’s why I’m not selling them so far. By the way, I’ll see if I can find a solution. After that, they will need to have black oxydation coating.

    1. Pour être franchement honnête, pas vraiment. C’est un X-E2 avec visée centrale et écran pivotant. La qualité d’image est la même. Après c’est une question d’ergonomie. C’est propre à chacun.

    1. en terme de qualité et de piqué? Le voigt Ultron est extraordinaire, est-ce qu’il y a une différence par rapport au 23mm f1.4 de Fuji. Difficile à dire. C’est un choix difficile. Si vous avez un Leica et un Fuji, alors ça a du sens, si c’est uniquement sur Fuji, alors à mon sens, l’option du 23mm f1.4 est meilleure. C’est moins cher, surtout en occasion et le 23 possède aussi une échelle de profondeur de champs et une nmise au point manuelle de qualité. Difficile de trouver des avantages autrement pour l’Ultron, même si je ne vois pas de différence avec le 21mm d’un point de vue qualité. Il y a un albul sur mon Flickr pour le 23mm et un autre pour l’ultron. Je vous laiss vous faire une idée. Merci de la visite.

  3. Merci beaucoup pour votre réponse très rapide!
    Je vais aller voir votre Flickr.

    Avez-vous pu tester d’autres équivalents à ces deux objectifs?
    Merci.

    1. En APS-C, oui. Tous les Zeiss G de Contax ou en monture M ne sont pas bons à cause de la formule optique du Biogon. La lentille arrière est très bombée et très proche du capteur, ce qui fait que les rayons latéraux sont très obliques et créent des aberrations chromatique ou du smearing. Pour le reste, des objectifs de reflex anciens Nikon ne sont pas bons à pleine ouverture à f2.8, il faut diaphragmer.
      Le nouveau 23mm de Fuji est aussi une excellente option, en ce qui me concerne.

      1. Très bien merci!
        Il y a de bien belles photos sur votre flickr…
        Une dernière question dans le cas ou je trouverais un Ultron à bon prix.
        Sur la photo je crois voir la bague d’adaptation fujifilm m mount (l’ultron n’est pas indiqué comme compatible d’après fuji), est-ce bien le cas?
        M’en recommandez vous une autre?

  4. HI! Really enjoy the blog—never knew the lenses themselves could look so pretty haha. Anyways, I was wondering what your process of manual focusing is like on the X-Pro1. Is it fairly easy to use the EVF? And if so, do you prefer focus peaking, the zoom-in magnification, etc.?

    I’m looking into the Fuji X series line (specifically those that I can get on a student’s budget: X-Pro1, XT1, XE2, etc.) and would love to be able to both take auto focus snapshots with a Fuji lens but also mess around with manual focus vintage lenses at some point.

    Thanks!
    Brian

    1. Hello Brian, thanks’ for visiting. What I have to say is that the focus peaking isn’t good enough when focusing wide open with a fast lens. That’s why I prefer the standard mode. But with a wide angle stoped down, there’s no worries, you can shoot even without magnification. About the lenses, try some old Minolta Rokkor. They are good and inexpensive. Some old Contax are also very good. Now if you can get some Voigtlander in M mount, they are absolutely amazing. But the budget is different. Old Rokkor Minolta manual lenses are really amazing for sometimes just 50 to 100 bucks! Hope this will help you. If you are choosing between the T1 and the X2 over the Pro1, this is a good deal. The Optical viewfinder of the Pro1 is unasable with the manueal lenses from my stand point. And I have tried to achive that. Cheers.

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