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Summicron 50 question


EBruner

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Can someone tell me why does my Summicron 50 not have a thumb tab, but my Summicron 35 does? I find it harder to quickly find focus without the tab. Maybe I an just spoiled by the 35, but I wish my 50 had one. What am I missing here?

 

-Eddie

Edited by EBruner
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Variations on the design - probably from "market surveys." Rigid and DR versions in the 60s had the "infinity lock" tab of older lenses. The 1969 version had no tab. The 79 version (same optics as the current one) did have a tab. When they changed to the built-in hood the tab disappeared. I think it's back in the new APO Asph version?

 

The current Zeiss ZM Planar does have a tab, which helps the handling. I have both it and the current Summicron, and the Zeiss is almost as good. In fact I seem to hit focus better with the Planar - probably due to its lighter touch and the tab.

Edited by TomB_tx
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What am I missing here?

 

A focus tab.

 

Only the prior version of the 50 Summicron added a tab; all other 50 versions have none (although some had a button). On the other hand, I believe all the 35 Summicrons have had a tab. This is a source of debate among users; some love having a tab, while others hate it.

 

Don't even get started on focus throw, short or long, or tight versus looser.

 

You might want to buy one of Erwin Puts' books, e.g., the Leica Chronicle, which details the history of Leica products. There are many other sources as well. These discussions keep Leica folks awake when they're not out shooting, or debating issues here.

 

Jeff

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If you want a focus tab, suffice it to find out a second hand version of the 1979 to 1994 model. Serial numbers are 11819 (black) and 11825 (chrome) and you can have the black model with a nice convex tab called "tiger claw" if you like that (pic). Otherwise most black and all silver models have a concave tab normally. Compared to the current Summicron 50, the 11819/11825 is smaller, has a separate hood, is a bit softer at f/2 and has a bit more flare. Better do side by side comparos to see a difference though. Otherwise it is optically the same lens with perhaps different coatings but i'm not sure of that.

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Serial numbers are 11819 (black) and 11825 (chrome). Compared to the current Summicron 50 ... is a bit softer at f/2 and has a bit more flare. Otherwise it is optically the same lens with perhaps different coatings but i'm not sure of that.

 

Are you sure it's softer? If it's the same optically then how can it be softer? I haven't heard of this before.

 

Does anyone else have the same experience? Thanks

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I have two versions of this lens: the 50 years of Summicron commemoration version, and a Leica 1913-1983 version. The last one has a tab that I like. I never noticed any difference in one being softer than the other, or flaring. This version only changed in appearance, but not in design. I read opinions of several people who liked the version with the built-in hood not as much as the version with separate hood, because the separate hood seems to be better.

Lex

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Are you sure it's softer? If it's the same optically then how can it be softer? I haven't heard of this before....

Matter of coatings perhaps i don't know. Just my experience. Kept the tabbed version since 1981 and got the current one last year.

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Matter of coatings perhaps i don't know. Just my experience. Kept the tabbed version since 1981 and got the current one last year.

Could be coatings? Could be the difference in the mount? Could also be sample variation...

 

I have the sliver chrome tabbed version 11825. I remember this kind of flare at f2.8. But then again, I haven't tested it specifically for that.

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A focus tab.

 

Only the prior version of the 50 Summicron added a tab; all other 50 versions have none (although some had a button). On the other hand, I believe all the 35 Summicrons have had a tab. This is a source of debate among users; some love having a tab, while others hate it.

 

Jeff

 

I know what you are getting at, but just to be complete here it is worth noting that the very latest 50, the APO 50 has a focus tab.

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I have two versions of this lens: the 50 years of Summicron commemoration version, and a Leica 1913-1983 version. The last one has a tab that I like. I never noticed any difference in one being softer than the other, or flaring. This version only changed in appearance, but not in design. I read opinions of several people who liked the version with the built-in hood not as much as the version with separate hood, because the separate hood seems to be better.

Lex

 

A separate, rigid hood also makes for a better crumple zone than the integrated, sliding hood of the current Summicron in the event disaster strikes. That's why I specifically looked for and bought a v4 'cron rather than the current model (with the same optics).

 

I was always very annoyed by the sliding type hood on my 105mm F/2.5 AiS Nikkor. The way it was built it would have been easy to design in an internal bayonet hood lock.

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