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Real Newbie Question

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I currently have an M9-P on order as well as a Summilux 35mm f1.4 asph. I am fairly sure that the camera will arrive long before the lens will and, being a newcomer to rangefinders and Leica, I do not have any other lenses (yet!).

 

One option is to buy a used lens which will see me through until the 35 Lux arrives and then, hopefully, sell it and not lose too much.

 

My dealer has a Leitz Summicron 5cm f/2.0 for sale.

 

My question is (an here is the newbie part): Does the '5cm' bit equate to a 50mm prime. Logic says it must. Also the details for the lens does not state whether or not this lens is 6 bit coded. My guess is that it is not a coded lens.

 

If I am right in the above, the last question is, is this lens worth considering as a 'cheap' interim solution?

 

Thanks for any advice.

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Maybe stick with the focal length, 35mm and buy a new Zeiss 35 f2.8. I think you will be surprised by the quality: I foolishly sold one I had in favour of a 35 Summarit, but although ergonomically preferable this lens lacked the nth degree of resolution of the Zeiss. So I ordered yet another one and again it's marginally better optically. FWIW The Summarit is better built but comparable in performance to the v4 35 Summicron which everyone likes. I preferred the ones I have had to the ASPH Summicron (three examples over time!).

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Congratulation on your purchase.

 

All your assumptions are correct.

 

But I have to say, the notion of buying a Leica lens with the express intention of selling it feels rather sad to me.

 

Nothing wrong with it of course, and plenty of people no doubt do it.

 

But they are such beautiful things that they should be treasured and used; every Leica lens I've ever owned has offered something unique and beautiful, so I'd suggest you think hard about a focal length you might want to keep along with the 35, and look for a lens in that range that will serve you for a long time. There are plenty about if you're open-minded about it.

 

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I am in same position as you. There seems to be M9 and P bodies in UK, but no lenses available or on the horizon. The local dealer also sells Zeiss lenses, so to get going I bought a Planar 50mm/F2. The lens has great write up's. I believed them when they said a lot are opting for Zeiss in the current situation (although they didn't have a 35mm Zeiss either!)

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Yes, it is at least 50 years old, a decade per cm

, and that is indeed 50 mm, but still a fine lens if in good condition, certainly for the use intended. It will not be coded, nor will it need to be as it can be selected in the camera menu. Edited by jaapv

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Leitz went back to focal lengths in millimeters around 1958. So a 'Leitz Summicron 5cm' would have to be either a collapsible (v.1) Summicron or a very early rigid (v.2) Summicron. These are real oldies. Check with the dealer which one it is.

 

There are nevertheless people who love these vintage lenses, even to the extent of taking pictures with them ... The question of reasonableness has a lot to do with the actual model of the lens, and with its condition. Only a experienced hand can judge this. At least, I presume that the dealer isn't trying to sell you a screw-mount lens! – Obviously, the lens won't be coded. The earliest 50mm Summicron that can be identified manually by the recognition menu is the v.3, from 1969, but coding a 50mm lens is not necessary.

 

Using a collapsible Summicron on the M9 also means that you must mount or remove the lens when extended only, not collapsed (users say that collapsing the lens while it is mounted is OK, in spite of Leica's warnings, but I can't personally confirm this for the Summicron, only for the collapsible Elmar lenses).

 

The old man from the Collapsible (and sometimes Collapsing) Age

Edited by lars_bergquist

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The reason I would opt, initially, for a 50mm is that it would be different to the lens which I have actually ordered. My thinking being that if finances allowed I could make a decision to keep the interim lens when the new one finally arrives.

 

Unfortunately finances would not allow me to stretch to a 50mm Summarit (which I believe are readily available). Rather I could buy a Summarit but would HAVE to trade it back when the new lens arrived. At least with a cheaper option I could just stretch to keep it.

 

I have had a quick look at the Zeiss (Biogon) and some of the sample pics really are very sharp. I would not rule this option out.

 

I know the Summicron is old now but at £499 it is a lens I might choose to keep so - Im glad it gets a favourable vote from Jaap.

 

(Does £499 seem a fair price - if mint?)

 

Hope this post makes some sense.

 

Thanks all.

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A lens that I like very much, but to be honest, for instance Erwin Puts does not agree:

 

50mm F1.5 Summarit by Leica - Ffordes Photographic

 

299 GBP

 

 

I think I would have said "far too expensive" to your find a year ago, but nowadays, I had a look around on the Internet with trusted dealers, and there is not much out there. I would say 499 GBP for a mint V2 Summicron is fair to slightly high.

Edited by jaapv

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Advice from another newbie: Make order for 50 summillux(you can even find it in stock if you're lucky, seems like new batch was distributed among dealers recently), believe me you will end up buying this lens anyway. And buy 75 summarit for the meantime. Great lens to play with while waiting for luxes, easily available and pretty cheap too.

Dont buy vintage lens now, very hard to find properly calibrated one and you may get disappointed with photos quality, especially if you are new to rangefinders.

Edited by bbbonthemoon

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Adjusting focus is a not-too expensive, week-turnaround operation for a technician. If you buy from a reputable shop, they will have a return policy too.

 

A nice alternative is a Color-Skopar 35 - 2.5 If you buy one from Cameraquest you can be sure that the lens will have been looked over by Stephen Gandy.

 

Maybe not a Summicron asph, but it is really good. And so affordable that it is impossible to lose real money on resale.

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I am also new to all of this.

 

One of the magic qualities of the M9 is that the lack of auto-focus and auto-aperture means every M mount lens from the 1950s onward work just fine, and with a simple adapter, every screw mount lens from the 1930s onward also work.

 

There are many great lenses, classics really, produced in the last 80 years that can be purchased for 10% or 20% of the price of a new (unavailable) Leica lens. You can even try out a few Russian lenses that cost less than an official Leica lens cap! Nikon and Canon lenses have held up very well over the years.

 

I would buy one of these lenses, play with it awhile until your new lens arrives, and then sell it for what you paid for it. It also gives a cheap way to experiment with different focal lengths.

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jappv,

I love my 50mm,f1.5 that came new on my M3 in ’54.

Funny thing is that at the time… and long after…. the photo magazine experts

knocked the hell out of it what with their fancy tests and all. And, I do believe,

this propaganda has lasted to this day!

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