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Leica M Typ 240
Leica 18mm f/3.8 Super-Elmar-M ASPH

Aperture Series: Lundy Pond, Pre-Dawn (M240)

This sub-freezing pre-dawn scene shows the fundamentally strong performance of the Leica 18mm f/3.8 Super-Elmar-M ASPH. The 18/3.8 SEM appears to be the best 18mm lens available, but the brand-new sample used here has an issue, as the discussion shows.

Side note: this is Lundy Canyon (Nov 7, 2013), just north of Lee Vining, CA. Highly recommended for fall color (yellow aspen leaves), but after the leaves drop the droves of photographers depart, leaving this area all but vacant—a very peaceful and restful experience and one I prefer over the eye-popping but relatively crowded early October experience. I offer photo tours in this area occassionally.

Raw conversion

Some of the very blue pre-dawn canyon light has been neutralized, but not all, in order to remain true to the mind’s eye of this early time of day. The colors this early in a mountain canyon are muted inherently and tend to be quite demanding of lens performance as there is no “sweet light” to distract from the reality of what is recorded.

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Diglloyd Guide to LEICA contains in-depth coverage of Leica M system cameras and lenses, with additional coverage of Leica M Monochrom, Leica Q.

Special emphasis is placed on Leica M lenses and certain Zeiss ZM lenses.

  • Make better images by learning how to get the best results right away.
  • Save money by choosing the right lens for your needs the first time, particularly the Summilux/Summicron/Elmarit choice and/or Zeiss ZM.
  • Make better images, a sort of “cheat sheet” saving yourself months or years of ad-hoc learning. Processing parameters are discussed and shown.
  • Jaw-dropping image quality found nowhere else utilizing Retina-grade images up to full camera resolution, plus large crops [past 2 years or so].
  • Real world examples with insights found nowhere else. Make sharper images just by understanding lens behavior you won’t read about elsewhere.
  • Aperture series from wide open through stopped down, showing the full range of lens performance and bokeh.
  • Optical quality analysis of field curvature, focus shift, sharpness, flare, distortion, and performance in the field.

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Aperture series 3.8, 5.6, 8, 11 available in full article

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