Author Topic: "Leicia Look" - "Leica Look" - Why Don't We Ever Hear About A "Nikon Look"?  (Read 3093 times)

MEPER

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When I used my Summicron 50/2 DR with adapter on my Z50 I thought I could see some "Leica glow".
What could be interesting is to take with me a Nikkor-H 50/2 with F-Z adapter and take identical images with the two lenses and then see how much of a difference there is.
I have a feeling that the difference is less than expected. The 50/2 is < 100 USD used. The 50/2 DR a lot more......how much more I don't know. I think the DR is prized a bit lower than the "normal" Summicron but more than 100 USD.

I have attached an example using DR Summi on Z50. Straight converted from RAW. I like the light and colors and I thought the lens has a bit to do with it. But probably the Nikkor-H 50/2 can do the same. The DR Summi is stopped down a bit so no "wide open" glow.

When people shows images taken by a special vintage lens and claim the lens has a lot to do with it.....it is difficult to argue....but.....

When you talk about "Leica glow" do you always mean "wide open"  .....or very close to "wide open"......never stopped down?

Jack Dahlgren

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Taking that concept one step further, I would like to ask this question  -  "Does the flange distance difference between Nikon DSLR cameras and Nikon mirrorless cameras result in a different rendering (look)?"

To make short lenses work well on cameras with large register distances a retro focus design was often used. This can indeed change the character of the lens. Close range correction (CRC) was also employed with shorter lenses to allow them to perform well. They typically change the distance between lens elements to do this. This will also have an impact on the “look”. In lens design there are a number of different parameters to be juggled. Prioritization of one can have a negative impact on another, so choices need to be made either explicitly or by letting the chips fall where they may.

Mirrorless with a shorter register can make it possible to not use a retro focus design which can give a designer a bit more freedom.

Hugh_3170

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Jack, your thinking is what was behind my Reply #3 in this thread.

There are several lists of lens register distances on the internet;  an up-to-date one is here:  https://briansmith.com/flange-focal-distance-guide/

Some groupings of Nikon and Leica register distances relevant to the discussions in this thread are:

Nikon Z 16mm, Nikon S (Rangefinder) 34.85mm, and Nikon F (SLR) 46.5mm.

Leica L 20mm, Leica M 27.80, Leica M39 Screw 28.80, and Leica R (SLR) 47.0mm.

Both rangefinder and mirror-less register distances are ~2 to ~3 times smaller than their SLR counterparts, hence imposing less constraints on lens designers. 

In the instance of the Nikon Z mount, not only is the register distance the shortest in its class, its throat diameter is the largest, thereby reducing another design constraint.  The Nikon Z lens designs have, I am sure, benefited from the reduction of these two constraints resulting from the design of the Nikon Z mount. 

Whether the more perfect modern Z lens designs that have followed this new mount will exhibit such "Glows" is what I am wondering about.  I think that there is more to this overall question than coatings alone.


To make short lenses work well on cameras with large register distances a retro focus design was often used. This can indeed change the character of the lens. Close range correction (CRC) was also employed with shorter lenses to allow them to perform well. They typically change the distance between lens elements to do this. This will also have an impact on the “look”. In lens design there are a number of different parameters to be juggled. Prioritization of one can have a negative impact on another, so choices need to be made either explicitly or by letting the chips fall where they may.

Mirrorless with a shorter register can make it possible to not use a retro focus design which can give a designer a bit more freedom.
Hugh Gunn

Birna Rørslett

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'Glow' is usually a sign of residual aberrations ... So it is a sign of the advanced optics of modern times that we see little intentional 'glow' even at the widest apertures.

The short register of the rangefinder systems did not require the retro-focus design necessary for the SLRs. However, this doesn't come without associated problems, in particular for modern digital cameras. A non-retrofocus wide-angle lens like the classic 21mm from Leica, Contax, Nikon, and others, will cause colour moiré on a digital sensor due to the incidence angle of the off-centre imaging rays. A retro-focus lens reduced this problem significantly. So there is no universal truth here regarding what principle is 'best'.

In my opinion, it's better to find a lens the drawing and rendering of which you like, and use it to take photographs. Optical perfection does not create better images by itself, and the same goes for using old lenses.

Jack Dahlgren

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'Glow' is usually a sign of residual aberrations ... So it is a sign of the advanced optics of modern times that we see little intentional 'glow' even at the widest apertures.

The short register of the rangefinder systems did not require the retro-focus design necessary for the SLRs. However, this doesn't come without associated problems, in particular for modern digital cameras. A non-retrofocus wide-angle lens like the classic 21mm from Leica, Contax, Nikon, and others, will cause colour moiré on a digital sensor due to the incidence angle of the off-centre imaging rays. A retro-focus lens reduced this problem significantly. So there is no universal truth here regarding what principle is 'best'.

In my opinion, it's better to find a lens the drawing and rendering of which you like, and use it to take photographs. Optical perfection does not create better images by itself, and the same goes for using old lenses.

Completely agree that “best” is subjective. In my opinion making the most of what you have is the most interesting challenge.

richardHaw

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i am pretty sure that when you have spent an amount of money that can buy you a kidney in the black market your lens will certainly exhibit the said "leica look" ::)

from what i've learned from reading and talking with people, it seems that the direction of lens development and design within nikon is fragmented and is decided by the project head, that is why it is hard to agree to something. for example, Sato-san, the father of kitlens aka kitlens king is also the designer of the 58/1.4G and 35/1.4G (maybe the 28/1.4G, too), considered by many to be superior in terms of refinement compared to other japanese brands. but kitlenses do not need these levels of refinement.  :o :o :o

Steinar Kibsgaard

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We've all heard Leicaphiles wax poetic about the unique and artistic "Leica Look".  To see examples of the Leica Look, here's a link to my Flickr "Leica Look" gallery.  https://www.flickr.com/photos/f2guru/galleries/72157721471974918/

I've recently purchased 9 Lightroom presets from MrLeica.com that are supposed to enable me to artificially obtain the Leica look in post with one click.  I'm doing some long term testing to see how close these presets make images taken with non-Leica gear look Leica like.   

   # Do you agree there is a Leica Look? 
   # Is there a Nikon/Nikkor look?  Are there certain Nikon cameras and/or Nikkor lenses that produce the greatest Nikon look?
   # Can presets change the look of an image so that you are fooled into thinking it was taken with different gear than was actually used?

I like most of those pictures, and I agree there is - or was - a certain Leica-look, and a lot here have it.
Thanks for starting this thread.

Gerhard2006

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i am pretty sure that when you have spent an amount of money that can buy you a kidney in the black market your lens will certainly exhibit the said "leica look" ::)

from what i've learned from reading and talking with people, it seems that the direction of lens development and design within nikon is fragmented and is decided by the project head, that is why it is hard to agree to something. for example, Sato-san, the father of kitlens aka kitlens king is also the designer of the 58/1.4G and 35/1.4G (maybe the 28/1.4G, too), considered by many to be superior in terms of refinement compared to other japanese brands. but kitlenses do not need these levels of refinement.  :o :o :o

Gerhard2006

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There’s a really good comparison of the Nikon Z6 with the Leica M240 using the same Voight lander lens on YouTube. It’s by Matt Osborne. I don’t have the link but he certainly shows that there’s no difference between the two cameras nowadays there’s no difference in shutter noise either which the Leica used to be king of not having a mirror.With mirrorless this is not a problem. Regards Gerry

John Geerts

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Wannabebetter

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We've all heard Leicaphiles wax poetic about the unique and artistic "Leica Look".  To see examples of the Leica Look, here's a link to my Flickr "Leica Look" gallery.  https://www.flickr.com/photos/f2guru/galleries/72157721471974918/

I've recently purchased 9 Lightroom presets from MrLeica.com that are supposed to enable me to artificially obtain the Leica look in post with one click.  I'm doing some long term testing to see how close these presets make images taken with non-Leica gear look Leica like.   

   # Do you agree there is a Leica Look? 
   # Is there a Nikon/Nikkor look?  Are there certain Nikon cameras and/or Nikkor lenses that produce the greatest Nikon look?
   # Can presets change the look of an image so that you are fooled into thinking it was taken with different gear than was actually used?

Leica is a bloody cult or a bad habit, I'm not sure which. In truth, I believe it is all Euro-centrism vs anything Asian with the possible exception of anything branded "Once Made in Sweden". When the Chinese take Leitz-anything with them on a mission to the dark side of the Moon, then perhaps my cynicism might abate some. Until then: Leica is for fans and for other people who might think the Third Reich wasn't such a bad idea, save for the Holocaust ruining it for everyone. The rest then - and in this case Nikon - that is ostensibly Asian is for real work, art, and science. To wit: Nikon was how I saw the world, and beyond, for much of my life. One last thought: I always thought German camera smelled funny. Ditto anything made in USA over ten years old.

RobOK

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It seems some Nikon bodies and some lenses have cult followings and have a "look", I guess the D700 camera and the NOCT and the 58mm. I have heard people talk about the Nikon color, but not necessarily a Nikon look. Some of the "Leica look" gallery seem to be a little green to them, is that part of the "look"?

MFloyd

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The last Leica I bought was an M6 in 1997. Now becoming trendy again. I have no talent to use this camera effectively. But I love his Bauhaus styling. I keep it for its esthetics. The Fuji roll is probably for almost two years in the camera …
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