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Wondering Leica can produce M lens with true closeup capability


Active Member
I wonder why Leica do not produce true 1:1 macro lens for M system. Can it technically be done? Although M system is not SLR, with its nature, it also suit for close-up work. If we use a lot of original Leica close-up attachments, it's too bulky and trouble. Do anyone have technical advice? I guess recently launched Macro-Adaptar M attachment is specially for Macro Elmar 90/4. No other lens can share its benefit although reproduction ratio is still pretty low 1:3 compared with SLR. I think 1:1 should be the target. Any idea?

They have! It's called the Visoflex system. Have a look at it on one of the online pages, it effectively turns your M into a SLR.

Seriously, parallax error gets worse for rangefinders the closer the subject distance. Also there is changes in the field of view. The M rangefinder *compensates* (partially) for parallax but not for field of view changes.

It's optically impossible for a rangefinder to have total parallax correction (not compensation).

Karen, I know Visoflex system as I've been using for long. I just want no bulky attachments (like Viso house, focusing mount, tubes etc.)

When you said parallax error, I am not familiar with the theory but will go back to text book for info.

Pls explain the field of view problem.

Sorry - if you want to do 1:1 close-ups, you can't use a rangefinder. The only camera to do it with is a view camera or a reflex.

Parallax is the first issue. Naturally the viewfinder shows a different image than the film will see. In normal circumstances this doesn't matter too much, as it is too small to be significant. When close-up, however, the difference can be between looking at something, and looking down on it. A very different picture! The moving framelines compensate for parallax, but not for the viewpoint. Even if they could be moved to frame the thing correctly, the viewpoint is still so different that in, say, a picture of a very small flower, the base of the flower may show to the film, but the top would be what you see in the viewfinder.

The other issue is depth of field. At 1:1 magnification there is very little, and you want to see how much there is. You can't do this except on a reflex camera or with a view camera where the actual image is what you're looking at.

Sorry to be so negative - a rangefinder camera without a reflex housing is just the wrong tool for the job.}
I know we tend to love our Ms to bits and think they are best thing since…..
However, they really are a specialist photographic tool, with many limitations compared to other equipment.

Patrick, if you want to do true macro get and old 4x5†monorail, it really is the best tool for the job. If you need more mobility than a monorail affords, find a flatbed with enough extension. For even more mobility a small format SLR is the answer. The object of photography is to get the image. To get the image select the tool for the job. Use the Leica for situations where it works best.

Regards Craig
Andrew / Craig / others,

thanks for yr advice. Well understood the limitation, and still want to get more out of M system.

Does anyone try new Macro Adaptor M? Is it compatible with other M lens? Does it still produce 1:3 or even greater reproduction ratio?