Photographer Mathieu Stern decided to test out a vintage Leica lens that retails for nearly $4,000 on eBay. He tested its capabilities in a series of photos, the results of which he says don’t justify the hefty price tag.
A keen YouTuber, Stern has posted a review video to his page. In evaluating the lens' capabilities, Stern notes the softness of the images often mean that although the subject’s skin looks great, the eyes are not entirely in focus. As far as depth of field, he says: “The background doesn’t really melt away [when] wide open. In portraits, it can distract from the subject.”
Playing to its strengths, the f/1.4 aperture helped create a nice “mood” when taking pictures under a bridge.
Always one for experimenting, Stern also adapted the lens using a macro stretcher adapter in order to take images of smaller details.
Stern says the biggest downfall of the lens is the positioning of the focus ring. “It’s hard to use the lens in a natural way with your fingers… I missed my focus a lot of the time.”
He concludes that some of the $20 lenses he’s used in his previous experiments are to his preference and that it may be the Leica name carrying weight for this particular piece of equipment.
All images used with permission of Mathieu Stern.