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Old 29/09/09, 18:51   #1 (permalink)
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Default Zeiss 35/2 ZM vs Summicron 35 asph or 4th.

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I have the Zeiss 35/2, which I like a lot with my M7 for b&w. Almost too contrasted (I remember the lenses in my RX were the same), but I can correct that in scanning and in PS to some degree.) Now, if I have a good opportunity to buy a Summicron 35/2 pre-asph, should I trade in the Zeiss? In other words, is the Leica lens worth the extra money compare to the Zeiss? I'm talking sharpness, resolving power and overall tonality for b&w. I will usually use a yellow filter for b&w. I am just an ordinary amateur photographer, but I like my gear to be better than me

Thanks.
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Old 29/09/09, 20:41   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Zeiss 35/2 ZM vs Summicron 35 asph or 4th.

Do you know which version (there are four) of the pre-ASPH Summicron you have been offered? They are all good, but users seem to talk about v.1 and v.4 more than the other two.

I use an 8-element v.1 which vignettes slightly wide-open and has lower contrast than my 35 ASPH but the contrast seems to improve a bit as you stop down. The lens has wonderful tonality, is sharp in the center wide-open and again sharpness improves as you move to f5.6 or f8. The images from the v.1 have a distinct vintage (60's) look to them which you may not like, but that's why I have the lens.

Unfortunately I don't use a Biogon so I can't compare, but my v.1 was described as "battered" by the person who sold it to me (it definitely wouldn't win a beauty contest). It was CLA'd recently by Steve Choi and Steve told me that the lens was good for another 30 years of heavy-duty service. There is sample variation from all manufacturers, but I have heard of build quality issues with some of the Zeiss lenses so I would go with Leica from a durability perspective.

If you want to look at images I would find out which version you've been offered and go to flickr and then search on that version tag.

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Old 29/09/09, 20:47   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Zeiss 35/2 ZM vs Summicron 35 asph or 4th.

The v.4 35mm f2 Summicron is the legendary lens of the pre-Asphs. There is nothing bad written about this lens.
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Old 30/09/09, 04:11   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Zeiss 35/2 ZM vs Summicron 35 asph or 4th.

The summicrons are all capable of rendering solid negatives, with the asph being the finest all-round 35/2 lens ever made. I have owned the zm 35/2, the summicron 35/2 IV and the asph. The zm 35/2 gives a gloss to its images that I didn't like, and it is big for a 35/2, being slightly bigger [compared w/o hoods] than the asph summilux. The best summicron 35 for the dollar is the third version, but my favourite in terms of use and rendering is the asph. It is dependable and predictable and renders beautifully. my 2 cents cdn., thomas
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Old 30/09/09, 04:52   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Zeiss 35/2 ZM vs Summicron 35 asph or 4th.

I have both the ZM 35 2.0 and a Summicron 35mm IV version.
I think both lenses produce similar types of images, although the the zeiss does have more contrast.
I like the way the Zeiss handles color film, in particular.

The Cron IV is very sharp and has a quality all its own that is difficult to describe.
It is also much smaller than the ZM, which works well with the weight and proportion of an M body.
I bought the Cron with the idea of selling the ZM but I haven't been able to part with it.
It is a great lens for the price.

Last edited by el fotografo; 30/09/09 at 04:54.
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Old 30/09/09, 05:10   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Zeiss 35/2 ZM vs Summicron 35 asph or 4th.

Whenever shooting b/w (which is almost always) I take off the Summicron 35 ASPH and replace it with the v4 pre-ASPH. The latter being my favorite lens by far. The ASPH version is far too contrasty for my taste, especially for b/w. I find the overall resolution of the v4 to be sufficiently sharp (unlike the ASPH's more clinical sharpness), and very smooth overall and tonally superior in my opinion.
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Old 30/09/09, 06:06   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Zeiss 35/2 ZM vs Summicron 35 asph or 4th.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smb View Post
The v.4 35mm f2 Summicron is the legendary lens of the pre-Asphs. There is nothing bad written about this lens.
Apart from the users complaining that theirs fell apart in their hands...

There are some criticisms some users have levelled: not too sharp wide open, but no lens is perfect with all the character we want and ideal technical performance.
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Old 30/09/09, 07:19   #8 (permalink)
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Default AW: Re: Zeiss 35/2 ZM vs Summicron 35 asph or 4th.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smb View Post
The v.4 35mm f2 Summicron is the legendary lens of the pre-Asphs. There is nothing bad written about this lens.
I bought the 35 Cron Version IV second hand and be impressed. It's so small and my b/w work gets the look I want.
Here two shots of my friends in a shopping mall with different light sources, just quick and dirty...

Flickr: deandare06's Photostream

Acros 100, Diafine, Coolscan V

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Old 30/09/09, 08:15   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Zeiss 35/2 ZM vs Summicron 35 asph or 4th.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hammam View Post
I have the Zeiss 35/2, which I like a lot with my M7 for b&w. Almost too contrasted (I remember the lenses in my RX were the same), but I can correct that in scanning and in PS to some degree.) Now, if I have a good opportunity to buy a Summicron 35/2 pre-asph, should I trade in the Zeiss? In other words, is the Leica lens worth the extra money compare to the Zeiss? I'm talking sharpness, resolving power and overall tonality for b&w. I will usually use a yellow filter for b&w. I am just an ordinary amateur photographer, but I like my gear to be better than me

Thanks.
If you are concerned with getting better tonality from your ZM biogon B&W film shots, try decreasing film speed by 1/3 stop and reducing development by 15% from what you are currently using, then try some prints.

I use ZMs mostly, as well as a couple of CVs and Leica lenses. The ZMs are high in contrast, but if you expose and develop accordingly you will get open shadows, controlled highlights and beautiful prints. They will however appear more 'real' than shots from older lenses due to reduce internal flare and very high resolution.

I find that when using films like Delta 100 with the ZMs that some subjects can look a little clinical due to very high resolution and image clarity. Using FP4+ or a faster film makes the look more traditional. You will be left with a lens that is amazingly resistant to flare yet produces a very smooth long tonal scale with nice bokeh. I am not saying an older Summicron is not worth exploring only that the solution to high contrast with the ZMs is very simple (unless you get the film developed by a lab and you have no control). If I can shoot creamy negs with open shadows and easily printable highlights in full Afghan sun then it is certainly possible.
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Old 01/10/09, 15:53   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Zeiss 35/2 ZM vs Summicron 35 asph or 4th.

I like the flare-resistance of the ZM, as well as the higher contrast. Also, I'm a control freak and like the 1/3-stop increments. You and I both know that won't much matter, but I like to think this attention-to-detail will be reflected by good exposures which will translate tonality to the print. Yada yada It's a keeper
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