[I] will be starting a series of posts with comparisons of Leica M (or ltm) lenses, all thanks to Raid. I am starting it off with the Canon 50 ltms.
Before Canon made SLRs, they made rangefinders. Actually the story goes that a japanese man by the name of Goro Yoshida opened up a Leica only to get angry at the fact that Leicas were made of regular pieces of brass and metal, that man and two partners went on to create an alternative to Leica: The Kwanon. Canon made great rangefinders back in the day, and they had superb, superb glass to mount on their rangefinders. They made the canon ltm 1.8, the canon ltm 1.4 and the canon ltm 1.2.
While there is no 0.95 in this comparison, Canon also made a sexy, sexy 50mm 0.95, aka the “Dream lens”. There were apparently less than 20.000 made and as you can guess they are VERY sought after. Check out this flickr group for some sample pics and the occasional sale.
Real rangefinders need rangefinder coupled lenses, and if you are in a budget, you can scrap the name of Leica off your list and replace it by either Voigtlander and Canon. You can find the Voigtlander 35mm 1.4 or 40mm 1.4 at around $350 in good condition, and the canons around that same price. For the Canon ltm 50mm 1.2 you are looking at around $500. The real question you have to ask is does the half stop worth the extra money and the extra bulk (relatively large on a rangefinder). But whatever you decide it must be said that the Canon ltm 50mm 1.2 is one of the most affordable really fast glass, along with the Nokton 1.1.
For those who don't know to mount an ltm on an m mount you need an ltm to M adapter.
Note: Heavy images, please be patient to load
Comparison by Raid
Cover pic by Squinza