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adan

Is this normal for 35 f/2 ASPH?

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I thought correction for coma (the little orange wings on the bright point light sources near the frame edges) was one of the hallmarks of the ASPH 35mm lens designs.

 

However this new 35 Summicron ASPH does not seem to be doing nearly as well as the Summilux, nor is it much different than the 35 pre-ASPH.

 

Just looking for feedback from other 'cron ASPH users before I raise it with Leica.

 

M9, ISO 400, 1/250th sec. f/2.0

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Just for comparison, this is what the 35 Summilux NON-ASPH does - same scale, f/1.4. Obviously the 'cron ASPH is an improvement in that case.

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Just for comparison, this is what the 35 Summilux NON-ASPH does - same scale, f/1.4. Obviously the 'cron ASPH is an improvement in that case.

That is certainly the case -- but not even my dear old v.4 Summicron behaves like Andy's ASPH.

 

The old man from the Age of the Pre-ASPH Summilux

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Hmm - this was what MY v.4 cron produced @ f/2. Was consistent with 3-4 other samples I tried out over the years.

 

Same scale, but uprezzed from an old film scan. Longer but skinnier wings.

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Jaap: Could be (or a combo of both). Question remains - normal?

 

Looking back at some previous research:

 

35 1.4 ASPH vs. 35 2 ASPH vs. 35 preASPH v.4 - TEST - Photo.net Leica and Rangefinders Forum

 

it may be....

 

I might add that reading the Leica promo material, they mention improvements in the 35 f/2 ASPH as: brilliance, vignetting, distortion, field flatness - but not coma (or astigmatism) specifically.

 

Whereas "coma" IS specifically mentioned in the materials for the 35 'lux ASPH. Maybe I just got the two conflated.

Edited by adan

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Whatever the name for this defect is, my 35 Cron ASPH produces this effect too.

After the first happiness about the great little lens wore down, I use it less and less, since I got a 28 Cron ASPH too.

 

The 28 Cron is crazy - no such heavy defects and being able to shoot right into open light sources gives a lot more freedom than the 35 Cron ASPH.

 

Night shots with the 35mm I try to avoid as for these ugly little light deformations.

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+1 When I switched from film to the M8.2, I started using the 28 cron asph in lieu of my 35 cron asph in most situations. (The 50 lux asph is a nice counterpart with it.) I've parked the 35 cron except when I want to travel light with just one lens. The 35 cron is still a great lens, but suffers some issues, including some focus shift at f4 and f5.6 (just like Sean's sample).

 

Jeff

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See also EP's opinion of the lens.

 

It's good, he says, but not as good as the other Summicrons, and IIRC, not as good as the Zeiss equivalent.

 

His review is the closest thing I've seen to a pan of a Leica lens from him.

 

That's my recollection, gathered long ago. I may be wrong.

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See also EP's opinion of the lens.

 

It's good, he says, but not as good as the other Summicrons, and IIRC, not as good as the Zeiss equivalent.

 

His review is the closest thing I've seen to a pan of a Leica lens from him.

 

That's my recollection, gathered long ago. I may be wrong.

 

Howard, can you kindly point me to his writeup on the lens. I am interested in learning more about it.

 

Just yesterday, I came over an interesting scene on my way back home:

 

an open field of blank ground waiting for construction work with 2 meter high vegetation leading into 4 big raw concrete buildings in the middle of construction.

right in the middle of these concrete blocks were welding workers lighting the huge blocks of concrete like a theater stage in the mid of the night, making a wonderful scene to photograph.

 

I only had the R-D1 and (unfortunately) the 35 Cron ASPH with me.

All frames are messed up. there were around 10 very bright lightsources (welding work and flood lights), resulting in 20 bright flare spots all over the frame.

 

Each flare spot had a wonderful 30º opened arch shaped strong flare angle, taking any possibility of photoshopping these spots meaningful.

 

The 35 Cron ASPH is the worst night photography lens, I have ever tried - even worse than the old Nikon 50 f1.4 AF-D with (!!!) a filter.

I don't understand, how Leica lens designers could overlook this fault, whereas other modern ASPH lenses are worlds better in this regard.

 

Only it's compact size, low weight, perfect focal length during day time on the R-D1 and the fact, that my M7 has a 0.85 finder prevents me from selling it off (I would love the 28 on my M7 - I might get another one, maybe even a 0.58 this time

).

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Erwin Puts' review is here:

 

OlderMlenses

 

His Conclusion:

Summicron-M ASPH 35mm and Summilux-M ASPH 35mm are the more modern designs and are capable of better image quality than the Summicron-M 35mm.

 

The differences are visible, but you must compare the images side by side to see it. Summicron-M ASPH 35mm is a superb all-round lens with a very even and excellent performance. Its images have the special Leica characteristic, that can be seen in most modern Leica third generation designs: image clarity of a very high order. Summilux-M ASPH 35mm is a lens that brings Summicron quality into an f/1,4 design , but this superior performance at full aperture forces the designer to balance the optical parameters in a different way.

 

Summicron-M ASPH 35mm and Summilux-M ASPH 35mm have a different fingerprint and therefore a different audience and photographic capabilities.

 

If you need F/1,4 there is no alternative. If F/2,0 is enough for you the flavor of Summicron-M ASPH 35mm and its price/volume are very attractive. In performance it and its sibling Summilux-M ASPH 35mm are in the same league.

 

The Summicron-M 35 was and is a excellent lens. It is a tribute to the designers of that lens that it took Leica 20 years and the most modern design- and production technology to bring optical quality to a higher level. The photographer, willing to exploit the superior qualities of the ASPH lenses, must be willing to upgrade his technique also.

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First, thanks again for the feedback..

 

Howard, which "EP" were you reading? The same one who says of the 35 Summicorn ASPH:

 

"The Art of Perfection...High contrast and crisp, very fine details at full aperture...The flatness of field at full aperture is stunning. Flare suppression is excellent....at f/2,0. Summicron-M ASPH 35mm gives a high contrast image image with excellent micro contrast and a crisp rendition of extremely fine detail from center to the well into the outer zones....Summicron-M ASPH 35mm is definitely better at f/2,0 than Summilux-M ASPH 35mm at f/1,4....a superb all-round lens with a very even and excellent performance. Its images have the special Leica characteristic, that can be seen in most modern Leica third generation designs: image clarity of a very high order." ?

 

OlderMlenses - about half-way down.

 

However, from the same review -- and on topic - "....the [summicron] ASPH is not perfect: in the corners and sometimes (in very unfavorable circumstances well into the outer zones) you still detect traces of coma."

______________

 

And of course, LMBSGV and I were posting simultaneously...

Edited by adan

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Yeah, forget my post. I shouldn't leave something like that without a link. I posted too late to be thinking properly, and am not currently able to track it down.

 

Maybe it was one of those between-the-lines things. Maybe it's not in the write-up on the 35/2 ASPH, but in reviews of other lenses. Or maybe I'm just not to be trusted.

 

Seriously, thanks for calling me on it. It's wrong to post hearsay, and doubly wrong to do so under someone else's name.

 

I will check it out and either justify the post or recant. For the moment, consider that earlier post as dumb, poorly assessed, and asinine.

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Puts re 35/2 Zeiss:

Biogon-T 2/35 ZM (http://www.imx.nl/photosite/comments/c016.html)

This is a nine-element lens in six groups. At full aperture there is a fair amount of coma, but hardly any curvature of field. The coma does reduce the overall contrast quite visible. At f/4 coma is gone completely and the lens from there is an outstanding performer. Compared to the Summicron-M 2/35 ASPH the ZM has better curvature of field, but less contrast and crisp definition wide open. Performance on axis is equal between both lenses. This Biogon is a bit overstretched as a high-speed design. The design itself does not support high-speed lenses and it would have been better if the marketing people of Zeiss had restricted themselves to an aperture of 2.8.

 

I was wrong. Summicron comes out ahead of Biogon.

 

I retract my statement that the Biogon tested better.

 

My excuse: Poor memory. And that's no excuse.

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To paraphrase Puts’ comparison of the (then) three 35s, as you’ve mentioned above, the 35/2 M is just about the equal of the 35/2 asph, which is more or less the same as the 35/1.4.

 

Looking at the 28 Summicron (http://www.imx.nl/photosite/leica/mseries/testm/m2-28.html), Puts says:

Compared to the Summicron 2/35 ASPH, the new Summicron 2/28 wins in the department of definition of very fine detail, where the 35mm is of slightly lower contrast. The Summicron 35 however wins in the area of distortion. Stopped down the 35mm lens is a bit softer overall, but we are here discussing differences on a very high level of performance.

If we take a helicopter view of the Summicron line for the M, we can note that the Apo-Summicron-M 2/90 ASPH. is the best overall and at full aperture, closely followed by the new Summicron 2/28 ASPH. The Summicron 2/35 ASPH is third with a somewhat lower overall contrast and a softer rendition of very fine detail at all apertures. The Summicron 2/50 upholds its reputation at smaller apertures, but begins to show its age at full aperture performance.

 

Putting the 35/2 ASPH comments together, Puts seems to feel it’s a good lens, but not quite as good as the other new Summicrons. And he says that you have to look hard to see the difference between the Summicron 35/2 M and the 35/2 ASPH. Yes, the fact that Leica couldn’t do much to improve the performance of the of the pre-aspherical Summicron is a great testimony to the quality of the earlier lens. However, Leica did break new ground with some other lenses. Separately, discussing the 75 Summicron, Puts says (http://www.imx.nl/photosite/leica/mseries/Sum275/s2-75.html):

The four lenses in the focal range from 50mm to 135mm represent the Olympic platform for the Leica M range: the Summilux-M 1:1.4/50mm ASPH, the Apo-Summicron-M 1:2/75mm ASPH, the Apo-Summicron-M 1:2/90mm ASPH and the Apo-Telyt 1:3.4/135mm are able to extract every possible image detail from today's film emulsions and one feels entitled to question the necessity to improve these lenses further as long as one is working with film.

 

I generalized improperly. A good 35/2 is fine. Since Erwin didn’t rhapsodize over it as he and others have done about some of the recent Summicrons, I slid it into a lower rank.

 

I remembered incorrectly what he had said.

 

I retract my above criticism of the lens. It was unwarranted and wrong, and again I thank you for holding me to account for the misstatement.

 

 

BTW, the URLs I quote here are probably not current. I think they come from his previous web host.

Edited by ho_co

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Not to worry, Howard - the 3 x 35mm review we quoted from takes very careful reading to keep the 35 f/2 ASPH and the vanilla 35 f/2 straight. Erwin tends to jump about in his comparisons in that one.

 

Anyway, it made me look up the review, which does mention residual coma (or whatever it is) - so at least my lens is not off-base.

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I only had the R-D1 and (unfortunately) the 35 Cron ASPH with me.

All frames are messed up. there were around 10 very bright lightsources (welding work and flood lights), resulting in 20 bright flare spots all over the frame.

 

Each flare spot had a wonderful 30º opened arch shaped strong flare angle, taking any possibility of photoshopping these spots meaningful.

 

The 35 Cron ASPH is the worst night photography lens, I have ever tried - even worse than the old Nikon 50 f1.4 AF-D with (!!!) a filter.

I don't understand, how Leica lens designers could overlook this fault, whereas other modern ASPH lenses are worlds better in this regard.

 

 

Hmmm....I really must start working to get my skills up to your level, I never was able to get those results with this lens... Might it be that your front element/filter was filthy?

 

 

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