Saturday, June 15, 2013

Whole Lotta Leica - June's Lens is the Modern Carl Zeiss C Sonnar 50mm f1.5!

Zeiss C Sonnar 50mm f1.5 Lens
This month, I'm going from an old, slow (f3.5) wide angle LTM lens to a modern, fast (f1.5), 50mm.
The Zeiss C Sonnar is a very interesting and controversial lens. The "C" stands for classic, which means that this is a modern incarnation of the classic Zeiss Sonnar design, made with modern materials and manufacturing processes. I believe it's manufactured in Japan. To me, this is the perfect marriage - classic German design and modern Japanese manufacturing.
Because it's based on a classic design, there is some focus shift when shooting close up at wide apertures. This means that while your rangefinder indicates you're in focus, the lens' focal point is a little closer o further away. There is a lot of talk online about having your Sonnar "optimized" for focus at either f2.8, which is a common wide aperture to use, or f1.5, which is why many people spring for an expensive fast lens - to shoot wide open.
I got my C Sonnar used, so I honestly don't know which aperture it's optimized for. I've shot it at both f2.8 and f1.5, and have no complaints.
(Click Here) to see a shot at f2.8 on film.
So, wish me luck! I'm taking the M9 and the C Sonnar (only) to a weekend Leica workshop in DC. I hope to have some nice results to share with you soon.