Leica M8 with Elmar 135mm f/4 lens

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The 135mm focal length is not popular among Leica shooters. Its the longer telephoto you can get with a rangefinder Leica and damn hard to focus. The Leica Elmar f4 is a 40 years old lens I got at a very cheap price, for those rare times I would use a telephoto lens with my M8.

As you can see from the image above, its an awkward combo. A very long lens which attracts attention when you shoot with it.

The main problem for me was to accurately focus this lens. Even with the 1.4x magnifier attached, its very difficult to focus correctly. I mostly use this lens on my Sony NEX 5N where its much easier to focus with the focus peaking feature. The rare times I will use this lens with the M8 is almost always on a tripod. Even then, it takes a couple of shots (at least) to get a sharp image.

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The color and image look is definately more classic compared to a modern lens. I believe its an excellent lens for b&w photos, but you can also get some nice color images with it. Its truly a specialty lens since on the M8 I can’t work handheld and get consistent results. It sure requires a perfectly calibrated rangefinder and lens to get the more out of it. Personally, the 90mm is the longer I would shoot with trust with my M8, but for those who would like to try a longer focal length, these lenses come pretty cheap today on the used market.

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(c)2013 Konstantinos Besios. All Rights Reserved.

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