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Monday, 02 May 2022


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For the 50mm category: the Leitz 50mm f/2 Summicron-DR or the equivalent single range model.

I know you like to shame this Elmar-M 50mm/2.8 for its sub-par build quality, but I love mine regardless.
Transitions from focus to out of focus is so delicious. It may be my favorite M lens but unfortunately 50mm isn't my favorite focal length - I wish it came in a 35mm version.

Fav M lens is the pre- asph summilux 35mm

Voigtlander 40mm f/1.2 Nokton Aspherical. It’s my favorite lens. For the record, I also own 3 Summicrons.

Minolta M-Rokkor 40mm f/2.

Currently, I don't own a Leica or any other camera that takes the M-mount. But thanks to adapters and mirrorless cameras I can use various lenses on my Fuji X-Pro bodies. Right now I have four Voigtlaender lenses on TTArtisan adapters. Probably my most useful is the older non-aspherical 28/2 Ultron, a lens that equates to a 42mm in APS-C format. It's not the sharpest lens I own but it does have a nice "look" and it is something of a do anything lens. Secondary would be the Voigtlaender 40/1.4 Nokton Classic SC. It's long for a normal on the Fuji at 60mm equivalent but I like it because it pairs well with the Ultron. The Ultron also pairs well with the Voigtlaender 21/4 Color Skopar. That lens is a bit slow yet excellent otherwise.

When I used Leicas I was always a two camera, two lens guy--one normal and one slightly wide. That's still how I shoot today, either with the Fujis or the Nikons.

I watched the video at the New Yorker link. You don't have to know anything about snooker to know that was an amazing performance. I felt for his opponent, who was probably wondering why he'd bothered coming.

Just been watching Judd Trump winning frames very handily in today’s first session. The score is now 14-11 in O’Sullivan’s favour (from 12~5 overnight) so the momentum has been with Trump so far today. Could we see a second ‘Black Ball’ final?

PS - I’ve lived in Sheffield for nearly 40 years but have never been to the Crucible for the snooker…. I have been there to watch drama, however.

[Damn, I was afraid of that. Trump seems to like playing from behind. I'm rooting for Ronnie to win. Trump will one day surpass Ronnie's record for centuries, and I'm already sad about it.

Oh, and I went to school for three years about three stone's throws from the White House, and never went on a tour. The thing was, there was *always* at least a 4-hour wait, and it was always easier to think "I'll do it some other time." --Mike]

I was snookered once, at a carnival game. 😁

Favourite M lens is the 40mm Summicron. Prefer it to the Minolta Rokkor equivalent. The Leica version has lower contrast, which may be technically inferior but has a nice look and costs an almost reasonable amount.

I am intrigued by the Voigtlander Heliar 40mm f2.8 but haven't tried it.

The only M-mount lens I've used is the 40mm that comes with the (original) Leica CL, so I guess that must be my favourite.

The only M-mount lens I have and use regularly is a Voigtlander 40mm f1.4 Classic MC. Nice rendering, decent bokeh, and small. I use it on my Sony A7R II as my walk-around combo. The other lens in this category, though it is bit of a cheat, is an 1950's Canon ltm 50mm f1.5 Sonnar-formula lens. I keep an M-mount adapter on it all the time and I love, love, love it. It's a really special lens.

My favorite M-mount lens is the Konica M-Hexanon 50mm f/2. Not an exciting or glamorous choice. I haven't subjected it (or any other lens) to rigorous testing, but I like using it and I like the results.

Anticipating one of your two favorite M-mount lenses: the Summicron-C 40mm f/2 is lovely but I cannot get along with the form factor. Smaller than I'm used to and I don't much care for focusing tabs. The results are so good though. Maybe I should give it another try.

What's the other favorite lens I wonder?

The Minolta M Rokkor 40mm f/2. Summicron image quality for $400!


I love my 50mm Zeiss Sonnar 50mm lens. I also have a Summilux 50 but for some reason I prefer the Zeiss—probably because it is lighter, smoother focus, and I really cannot see any real difference in the picture quality. ( I am not really concerned with specs, but only in what my eye sees in the print.)

Mike you may be aware of a famous UK sport commentator from the last Century called David Coleman - who was fabulous but well known for his various gaffes. Whole books have been devoted to 'Colemanballs' of which one of the more famous from many years ago was from a snooker game; something asking the lines of "for viewers watching in black and white, the yellow ball is behind the blue".... I guess monochrome photographers could have made a stab at working out which was which....enjoy!

I ended my acquisition of Leica gear in the '90s, so my favorites have no doubt been eclipsed several times over.

My most used, most likely mounted to my M6 was the basic 1980s vintage 50mm Summicron with focusing tab and vented hood.

Optically, my 90mm Elmarit M was amazing, but I couldn't get on with the tiny frame lines and inability to visualize the selective focus from this lens. Reading that this was the same formula as the Leica R version almost had me getting an R body and that mount's Elmarit.

Maybe a follow up question could be what lens did NOT live up to the hype in the M system for us? For me, the version IV 35mm Summicron "bokeh king" required too much stopping down to be competitive with my 35mm f/1.4 Nikkor.

28mm Elmarit, third version, the one with the 49mm size filter. Mine is made in Canada.

My favo(u)rite M lens is a 1961 35mm Summicron (the 8-element version). I just love the weight of it, in the hand, but especially the joyous things it does to reds and golds on an M9.

Clicked the wrong button and 250 words went >poof<. Arg. Short version: The perceptual needs of my vision have widened over the years.

First: 50 /1.5 Summarit (my only Leica lens at the time, ca. 1992, and therefore my favorite by default)


But then, 50/2 Summicron (still used, but then-current):


Aging brain/widens vision/Summicron 35/2:


But finally landed on a non-Lecia lens, the C/V 35/1.2 v.1



Phew. Let me get this posted before I click on the wrong "x" again.

I am not sure which lens I should get to document snooker. Do you have any recommendations? Strategies for photographing snooker? Which format (digital, if you please...) is best for snooker-tography? Will good practice of snooker-tography demand specialty lighting? If so, which is the best?

Finally, do Leica make any snooker specific lenses?

Have you considered a career as a professional snooker photographer? Is there a market for that?

I have not had a chance to watch the snooker championship, although no doubt it's worthy. (In another life I'd have been able to learn to play the various table games- not yet in this one though).

My favorite M-mount lens though... my 1959 50/2 Summicron-DR. Mine since 1978. If I still had a working Leica M, I'd be using it today.
Second choice, my former 90/2 Summicron-M from the 1980s. Very sharp, lovely tonality, and handled perfectly on the camera.

#1 would be the 50 Summilux-M and #2 (if I can choose another) would be the 35 Summilux-M.

Ronnie has won, 18-13.

A good follow up for those that read the New Yorker article--


This year was a great championship run--lots of drama.

Preferred M lens:
Definitely the Voigtlaender Nokton 1.2 / 35mm, as it has a very nice image character and which I now only use via adapter on my Sony A7II, however, especially since this large and thick lens obscures too much the rangefinders of the Leica M6 or the Zeiss Ikon ZM on the lower left.
The newer Zeiss ZM Sonnar 1.5/50mm also very much deserves an honorable and esteemed mention, although I almost never use it because I don't like the angle of view of the 50mm lens, but the image characteristics and bokeh at f/2 is actually wonderful.

M mount? No, not really. LTM? Now that's where the fun is.

Summitar 50/2. I blather on about it all the time, but it seriously is a wonderful lens. Wild & crazy wide open with the same glow as the Summar but stopped down it has the almost clinical sharpness of the early Summicron (before it got too sharp).

Really need to find another one that I can afford.

Leica 50mm Summilux-M. A breathtaking lens at all apertures. Top image at f/1.4.
A close second is the Leica Q2 with it's 28mm f/1.7 lens, another stunner. (Second image Q2 @f/1.7)



2/35 asph. Always liked 35.

The 90mm F2.0 Apo/Asph.

Superb quality, even at full aperture. Sharp, great tonality, exceptional rendering. Just unfortunate that the best camera to use it on is not an M Leica.

my two favourites:
the super angulon 21mm f/3.4
the summilux 50mm pre-ASPH (any of the three versions)
but the ASPH isn't bad either

makes a perfect combination for me.


TV snooker became popular when the BBC decided it would be a good test for the new fangled colour TVs
"Pot Black" was the favoured programme

Zeiss C-Sonnar 50 f/1.5.

I wonder if there is a list or spreadsheet available with all ever produced leica M lenses?

I only shoot with Leica lenses.

See for this my Instagram of website



I watched chunks of the snooker semi-finals and final at the weekend as I was visiting my mother, who always enjoys it. I'd not describe myself as a fan* but the BBC has been showing it for many years and the Crucible in Sheffield seems to have become the sport's spiritual home.

A top level game is mesmerising and draws you in and of course the playing skills are out of this world. I did think of you Mike and your pool playing friends.

Judd Trump had some awful luck in the early frames and O'Sullivan looked in great form and pulled ahead. By Sunday evening Trump's odds of pulling it back weren't great but he rallied on Monday. However, 'Rocket' Ronnie remained in control and secured that elusive 7th world title.

* on the grounds that it's surely not a sport if you don't get out of breath. See darts. ;-)

Well, I don’t know much (actually nothing) about M-mount lenses, but I have played snooker, and like it better than pool…..but it’s been a few decades since I’ve played either.

Rightly or wrongly, always thought snooker was the more cerebral game.

Now please do billiards….yes, the kind with only 3 balls and no pockets on the table. It always seemed to me that that was pool/snooker for geniuses.

Keep the cue sports content coming!


The 50mm f2 Hexanon. On film, just beautiful.

On digital, it’s more complicated; the interaction between lens MTF and pixel density produces a combined look that can make different lenses look very different tonally and in their drawing of fine, medium and coarse textures.


My “favorite” M lens is the one mounted now….because I hate f’ing around switching prime lenses while I lose the subject! Might as well keep your lenses in little plastic display cases! Oh, wait…

Well, for me it has to be a 40. Close to 35 mm but not too wide and close to 50 but not too tight. And, since one of my favourite cameras is Minolta´s CLE, the one is the M-Rokkor 40/2. But my CLE is something of a hangar queen, currently off to be repaired. Because of that, I got a Voigtländer Ultron 40/2 to use on my manual Nikon bodies. The Rokkor is definitely the sharper and more contrasty of the two, but the Ultron has less rowdy out of focus-areas.

35mm Summicron ASPH. It's what I use every day, so I guess that makes it my favorite.

28/35/50 MATE. Great Travel Lens - one lens for a variety of situations!

+1 for Roger‘s favourite as its mine too: Voigtländer 40/1.2

The viewpoint matches my “normal” view and it balances nicely on the SL as well as M10

The brass Leica 35mm Summilux ASPH (pre-FLE).

How could I possibly not post this picture, taken just a couple of weeks ago ??

Birger (80) is teaching Anton (13) to play 5-pin billiards.

Taken with my favourite M-Mount lens - Summicron 40/2.0. Camera: Leica M8. I had the lens filed down to trigger the 35mm frame lines - a perfect match, giving me a very natural 53 mm-e view.

Link to larger version: http://www.imagepro.dk/TOP/L1122097_Edit_Border_1500.jpg

I hate to be pedantic (honestly) but I need to point out that Jon Schick's reminiscence refers to 'Whispering' Ted Lowe, the much missed voice of snooker. I don't remember David Coleman commenting on snooker. Anyway, another controversy rages about this - what were the actual colours in question? No-one seems to be absolutely sure!




My recommendation - make sure it isn't an O'Sullivan match. He doesn't seem to like photographers and has been known to have them ejected

Having taken whimsical potshots at two of your commentators, here's my answer(s) to the real question...

In order...

50mm Summicron (non-asph) on M3

40mm Summicron on CL (I know you prefer the Rokkor btw)

35mm Summicron asph on M4

Split between 40mm Summicron and 35mm Summicron from the 1950s. LEAST favourite was a 35mm Summaron f/3.5. Too soft to suit my tastes.

The billiard table sounds like a heart felt subject.

I'm a fan of the 50 Summicron 'Rigid' or DR.


I also like the Summarit-M lenses. They are unfussy, light, and have very good imaging tendencies. People bash them for being 'budget' lenses, but I find I actually reach for them often over their high-priced brethren that I own b/c there's always something that's a pain to deal with on many of them... too heavy, too big, they develop wobbly front portions, sticky uneven focus due to floating elements, and on and on. The Summarit M just work and work well.

Though technically not an M-Mount lens (it is a thread mount lens I use with an M-Mount adapter), probably my favourite and most-used Leica-style lens is a Konica UC-Hexanon 35mm/f2:

I also have a great liking for the photos from my Leica Summilux 75mm/f1.4 - but I find I don't use it all that often, probably because it is larger and more awkward than most RF lenses.

Here's one I took with it a quite a while ago:


Favorite LTM lens adapted to M is the Konica UC-Hexanon 35mm f/2.
If it must be native M mount, then the Minolta M-Rokkor 40mm f/2.

All the ones I've worked with are old, so my favorite is old. It was the 90mm Summicron that I bought around 1973. No "APO" or anything.

First lens in that focal length range I owned.

I have two favourite Leica M lenses that I use everyday. For B&W using my Leica Monochrom, I almost always use my 35 mm Lux FLE and for colour, I use a 50 mm Lux Asph.

Here's a link to two examples using each lens...



For color it is the m-rokkor 40mm F2
For b+w the 50mm summicon rigid or the DR


I don’t own any M mount lenses other than Cosina Voigtlander ones.* My fav is a toss up between the 50mm Color Skopar (screw mount with adapter) and the 35mm Color Skopar Snapshot II.

The 35mm has somehow shaken itself loose and gone all wobbly, so I guess currently that makes the 50mm my fav. I don’t think it was ever all that popular, but I really like it.

Peace & all that,
* arguably illogically, I’ll spring for an M body, but not M lenses.

ZEISS C-Biogon 35mm f2.8 works so well on my M240 and M6 I really need two of them!

You will not be surprised here.
A compact duo of Summicrons, the current 35 ASPH and the 50 V. Nice images and confortable in the hand.

For me it's the Voigtlaender Heliar f2.5 75mm, which I use with a Chinese close-focusing adapter on a Sony A7II body. Bokeh is fine, sunstars as well, sharpness is plenty, bulk and weight are minimal.

CA could be an issue, but as I mainly do b&w, it does not have the same adverse effects as in color images.

It took me quite some time that a focal length of 75mm on full frame comes close to my favourite angle of view.

There's a selection of images taken with this lens here: https://markus-spring.info/tag/voigtlander-heliar-2-5-75mm/

I probably loved my 50mm Dual Range Summicron the most - it just seemed so “right“. I also liked the 21/3.4 Super Angulon. Not as “corrected” as my Zuiko 21/2 which I like even more than the SA, but in a different way.

Right now it’s the Summicron 40/2 for the CL. Again, it just seems “right”. And 40mm is “more right” than 50mm. I haven’t worked with the Rokkor 28/2.8 enough yet to form an opinion. But it could end up being “the best”. The point is, there are a lot of great M mount lenses from which to choose.

My favourite M-Mount lens is the Zeiss Planar f2 50 mm ZM used on a Leica M2. It is of high optical quality without resulting in a "clinical" look of the images. It was the main tool to portray my kids growing up.

Summicron-M 35/2, fourth version (the last non-ASPH one). I never found a 35 (or 35-equivalent) the rendering of which I liked as much as I did the one from this lens.

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