Category: Photograhy
Type: Public
Created: Aug 10, 2009
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Location: Pittsburgh Pennsylvania
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Test of the new Leica Super-Elmar-M 18mm f3.8 asph. lens.

Test of the new Leica Super-Elmar-M 18mm f3.8 asph. lens.

Photographer: George Thomas Mendel Photography

These images were shot on a Leica M8 digital camera at asa/iso 160. The red Ford truck was at an aperture of f5.6 (did not record the aperture of the other image). No IR/UV cut filter was used (requires a 77mm adapter ring, and i do not have that filter at 77mm)

The images were jpg compressed to 2100 pixels wide for the web

I gave this new lens a run last week for sharpness and found it to be
absolutely sharp to pixel failure between f4 and f8, at f3.8 there was an ever so slight softening overall that would probably never be noticed until enlarged to 16x20 or larger. At f11 and f16 I noticed a loss in overall sharpness (probably due to difraction around the small aperture blade opening).

As seen in the image of the abandoned station there is no visible
distortion or light fall off, the vertical lines of the column are
perfectly straight and the yellow flower (focus point) is very sharp at full enlargement.

As seen in the truck image, sharpness and contrast are excellent, at
full enlargement the inspection sticker can easily be read (the head light was the focus point).

Of course a full test would have to be on film due to the smaller sensor size of the digital M8 (1.3X factor).

If Leica makes a full frame M9 digital camera (hopefully soon), this lens could easily prove to be one of the best landscape and architectural lenses ever made. I say that because most of my work in that area, is with a 21mm on a full frame chip, and sometimes just a little wider would be perfect (I have found that 15mm is just too wide to look natural in many cases). Also, with many super wide lenses, distortion and sharpness are a real problem as the lens designs become extremely complicated (they could be made perfect, but who could afford a $10,000 14mm lens).

note: these images were made hand held (no tripod)
station 1/250 th of a second
truck 1/1000 th of a second

I was told that the ford truck is a 1959
I was also donating photographic services of a handicapped camp today, and found no signs of flair even with the sun just outside of the edge of the images (can't release the images to the public for obvious reasons)

The price, well by Leica standards it is cheap. In the real world, well you could buy a average slr and lens for the same price.

-camera supplier

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