Leica X-Vario for Macro Photography


With proper care and attention almost any camera can generate good pictures if the operator composes something of interest and is careful of how they use it.  I have circled back to wondering why I need another camera and what am I going to photograph.  Another camera or lens is of value to me only if it contributes significantly to finding and photographing something different that I can’t do now.

I ordered a used Leica X-Vario camera since it has a unique fixed zoom lens that goes from an effective 28mm to 70mm that doesn’t extend much.  Its shortest extension is at 50mm and with just a little extension it goes to 70mm and that is its macro position.  I hoped to then put a macro conversion lens on it to gain closer focusing and a better macro capability in a small package.  I tried the conversion lens and it worked fine although it is limited to f/6.4 in that macro position.  I decided to try this approach for macro photography based on an article that I read in which Leslie Gleim made some excellent pictures with this setup.  Check out her article.

Next, I put the same macro conversion lens on my Fujifilm 50mm F2 lens and made some comparison images.  I could see no significant differences between the Leica and the Fujifilm setups (in good light) except for the Leica having less depth of field at that focal length.  With the Fujifilm lens I could go all the way up to f/2 if I desired less depth of field.

I gained no advantages with the Leica X-Vario over the 50mm F2 lens on my Fujifilm cameras, but I do gain additional depth of field capability, more megapixels, a better LCD and EVF, and better focusing with the Fujifilm cameras.  Because of these findings I am not keeping the Leica X-Vario for macro images.  The Leica makes good images but since I already have other capability at a lot less cost, I will probably use the macro conversion lens on the Fujifilm 50mm F2 lens.