Photos & Projects

A few snaps with the Leica M8 and Zeiss 28mm ZM Biogon

June 18, 2016

My Leica M8 has been out of action for a little while. It’d become difficult to use for anything other than close up portraits, so I just lost interest in using it. The issue with its focusing was down to little more than rangefinder calibration, but I just hadn’t got around to getting it sorted. A week or so ago I needed to send the M4 for a check over to the same chap, so I sent them together. They both landed back with me yesterday morning, thankfully, in good time for me to have a go with the M8 and the Zeiss 28mm ZM Biogon I have on loan from Zeiss (review coming soon).

My expectations for the Biogon were fairly high, it’s hard to find a bad word written about this lens. The only thing that people seem to disagree about online is just how good it is. My interest is a little more specific – I’m much more intrigued to seeing how much character it shares with my Sonnar – but more on that in my review.

Of course, when combined with the M8, the 28mm gives an effective equivalent focal length of about 35mm. If you read my brief thoughts about the 28mm Elmarit-M you’ll know that I don’t feel like a big user of the 35mm focal length. I usually find it not wide enough, or not long enough, instead favouring 28mm or 50mm respectively with a rangefinder. I say with a rangefinder, as actually when I’m shooting a point & shoot camera, I get on just fine with 35mm…

I have a strong appreciation for the fact that these preferences must just be in my head, as actually yesterday I sort of proved myself wrong. With the 28mm lens fixed to the M8, I quite happily snapped away, and found the focal length just right. Perhaps I need to rethink the preference, or maybe the M8 28mm combination just gives me more of a sense to freely snap than if I was shooting a film rangefinder with a 35mm lens. One way or another, I enjoyed shooting yesterday afternoon, and fully intend to get as much out of this combination whilst I still have the lens in my possession – it’s certainly more enjoyable than shooting digital with my Sony csc cameras… Anyway, here is a few the shots from yesterday.

An afternoon with the M8 and 28mm Biogon

An afternoon with the M8 and 28mm Biogon

An afternoon with the M8 and 28mm Biogon

An afternoon with the M8 and 28mm Biogon

An afternoon with the M8 and 28mm Biogon

An afternoon with the M8 and 28mm Biogon

An afternoon with the M8 and 28mm Biogon

An afternoon with the M8 and 28mm Biogon

An afternoon with the M8 and 28mm Biogon

Cheers,

Hamish

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12 Comments

  • Reply
    jenquest
    June 18, 2016 at 7:49 am

    You’ve got a very good eye.

    • Reply
      Hamish Gill
      June 18, 2016 at 7:50 am

      Cheers πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Terry B
    June 18, 2016 at 9:50 am

    Hamish, whenever I see quality images posted from an M8 I am always struck by the colour rendition, which even comes across in web posts. It seems to support what many proponents of the M8 say about it relative to the M9.

    One interesting thing that seldom gets mentioned alongside the crop effect on FoV is that DoF remains the same for the lens in question. This can prove beneficial as although you have a FoV of 35mm, the DoF is that of a 28mm, quite a difference. Is this something that you have explicitly exploited?

    By the way, look after the LCD as Leica has no spares, so you could end up with an expensive display piece! :D)

    • Reply
      Hamish Gill
      June 18, 2016 at 11:28 am

      The colour is definitely really nice – I think Zeiss lens helps in that too!
      And yes, I would say the added depth of field of using a wider lens is definitely helpful. I didn’t mention here, as for these particular shots I didn’t feel like I made use of the difference – though I have mentioned it in the M8 review I’m slowly putting together.
      As for the screen – the only thing I’ve used it for is displaying/changing the ISO – beyond that I don’t use it really – hopefully my lack of use of it, should keep it lasting longer …?

  • Reply
    Aukje
    June 18, 2016 at 3:32 pm

    Nice images, I like the ones of the staircase. There seems to be some vignetting that add to the character of the lens, give it a vintage look.

    • Reply
      Hamish Gill
      June 21, 2016 at 9:33 pm

      Thats the camera I think Aukje – or at least the camera plays a part. The lens doesn’t seem to vignette as much on film

  • Reply
    Alex Hakimi
    June 18, 2016 at 11:28 pm

    Nice photographs Hamish. The Zeiss ZM lenses really do offer excellent value. On the whole, I prefer the modern Zeiss look to the modern Leica look. I highly recommend checking out the ZM 25/2.8. I bought it on a whim and it has quickly proven itself to be one of the best wide angle lenses I’ve ever used. In fact, I should probably write a review on it.

    • Reply
      Hamish Gill
      June 21, 2016 at 9:34 pm

      Me too – Stacks of contras, colour and pop – its the way forward for me I think!

    • Reply
      Hamish Gill
      June 21, 2016 at 9:35 pm

      … And, yes! You should! πŸ˜‰

  • Reply
    Tommy
    September 2, 2017 at 9:47 am

    Wow. very nice image. I love the colour rendition.they remind me of either ektar film / fujifilm x series’ classic chrome. Does this come straight out of the camera or you edit them / use some presets. Thanks!. thinking of getting an m8

    • Reply
      Hamish Gill
      September 3, 2017 at 2:16 pm

      I would have applied some edits, but I can’t remember what, sorry

  • Reply
    Jim Kuo
    June 16, 2020 at 8:11 pm

    A wonderful luminous color rendition of the CCD sensor combined with your Zeiss lens. Thanks for sharing!

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