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Thoughts on summarit 5cm 1.5?


rirakuma

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Hi everyone, I've been struck by the noctilust but unfortunately I cant afford one. I was going through alternatives and the summarit has really caught my eye. Its got an old school rendering but I understand that its a fairly low contrast lens and soft wide open. Is it possible to get a bit of pop (or subject seperation) from the summarit 5cm with a little PP?

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My answer is: no and yes - in certain limits.

 

No, as far as depth of focus is concerned. There is a considerable difference between the dof of a lens at f/1 and another at f/1.5. This is a full stop, and you won't be able to change it in post-production. So there is no alternative for someone looking for the Noctilux character of rendering out of focus parts of a picture and its very thin regions of maximum sharpness. .

 

If you are looking for means to give a Summarit photo some more contrast, you are not completely lost. Lenses with low contrast run lower risks of results with burned out highlights. If one compares a shot from a low contrast lens with the same opening and same shutter time to a shot with a high contrast lens, you'll see big differences in the histogram. Usually the low contrast lens gives you more space to tweak white and black-point, contrast and clarity. Capture One offers better tools for this than Lightroom does.

 

On the other hand, the more you tweak the more you'll loose as far as a certain character of an old lens is concerned. If you look at the threads with "old glass" on different M models, you may find many examples where a special look of an "old" lens is well served without having to put up with muddy contrast, washed out colours and boring detail. Though sometimes you get the impression: where is the difference to a modern Summicron? - and if you look closer you find the difference: the "old glass" example looks artificial with too much make-up on its wrinkles.

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As far as DoF goes, I find these technical documents exceedingly useful.

 

Index of /docs/manuals/lenses/35mm/rangefinder/leica

 

For each lens you have tables showing the depth of field at a number of apertures and distances.

This gives you exactly the information to assess how much subject separation you can get at what distance and what aperture for a given lens.

 

Here, the sentence "There is a considerable difference between the dof of a lens at f/1 and another at f/1.5" can be translated into a precise figure and you can then make up your mind and determine what is important for you.

 

Cheers

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The old Summarit is a lens I like, and indeed it is not so soft wide open... no more than the first Summilux; you can play with PP for contrast, but the DOF is the one of a 1,5... I haven't the CV 1,1... but I think that it can be a good alternative, with the plus of a real extreme narrow of focus.

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Thank you everyone for your help :)! I had a play with some of the available images of the summarit and I think you guys were right. I wasn't too concerned about the depth of field but with a little PP contrast can be added and it looks more like a modern lens although this can lessen the natural old look from the lens. There's also an incredibly useful thread that popped up recently and I really do like the rendering from the summarit but I don't think I should use it expecting modern results. I might buy a 50mm asph if I can raise some funds. Thanks again for the insights.

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If you can consider a Summilux 50 asph, financially speaking, you might have a look at the Summilux 75. It has a similar (although certainly not the same!) type of special rendering as the old Noctilux. and a comparable narrow DOF.

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The Summarit also has a strong tendency to flare and it's one of those lenses that definitely need a hood. If you are looking for very thin DOF at great value, I'd recommend the Nokton 1.1 as well.

 

Yes, flare is there, no way... a lens to be used in "safe" light conditions... and, btw, its XOONS hood isn't so easy to find... :o (and 3rd party alternatives are also not common. but do exist)

Edited by luigi bertolotti
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Have a look at your frame lines - in angle of view there is not much difference. ;)

<hides behind flameproof curtain>

 

I wish I could but I'm still waiting for my first M :(. The glass have been sitting on the shelf for a while because we've had a bit of a hiccup here since Leica Australia is opening in April. As for the hood I bought a generic one from ebay eBay Australia: Buy new & used fashion, electronics & home d�r, not quite as handy as the xoons because its a screw on but its also much cheaper and I hope it does the trick.

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I bought a Summarit 1.5 last year, it's a nice enough version but there is a bit of haze on the lens. This adds to the low contrast of the lens unfortunately. I should have kept the Canon 0.95 and not bothered with the Summarit 1.5. I unfortunately have a small stable of 50's which includes a modern Noctilux 0.95. I'm tempted at this point to sell the summarit and look for a Canon 1.2 instead.

 

Good luck!

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I have a completely clean one. Seen within its period it is a very good lens. Quite usable sharpness wide open which improves significantly on stopping down.

The only thing I dislike is the rather wild OOF rendering.

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I might buy a 50mm asph if I can raise some funds.

 

This is a minefield of opinion - and there are lots of really interesting threads here to prove it :) - but if you don't have the money for a new Noctilux, the Summilux Asph is definitely worth considering. The Noctilux is in many ways an as yet unsurpassed feat of optical engineering among 50mm lenses, but the Summilux may be "good enough" (a wholly unsatisfactory term for this lens) for you.

 

You can later sell it on when you've saved up enough for the Noctilux, should you still want one. Or - which is perhaps more likely - you'll end up owning both :)

 

If you're drawn (pun intended because why not) to older rendering, then a middle way price-wise may be the f1 Noctilux.

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The old Summarit is a lens I like, and indeed it is not so soft wide open... no more than the first Summilux; you can play with PP for contrast, but the DOF is the one of a 1,5... I haven't the CV 1,1... but I think that it can be a good alternative, with the plus of a real extreme narrow of focus.

 

+1 others have said it before me - the summarit is almost two lenses in one. character, glow, swirley bokeh etc. at f1.5 and f2; with a useful increase in sharpness and contrast above f2. quick summary: don't expect a noctilux look, but try it - there's a good chance you will like it.

 

search a bit and you'll find several threads.

 

good luck

 

rick

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Quite usable sharpness wide open which improves significantly on stopping down.

The only thing I dislike is the rather wild OOF rendering.

 

At F1.5 on Ricoh GXR:

 

 

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And

 

http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-forum/leica-m-lenses/253049-view-through-older-glass-51.html#post2351152

 

Pete

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Just a quick comparison of the cropped center from a "kitchen-table" picture:

 

All at maximum opening, all at 1/60sec on M9:

 

Summarit:

 

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Summilux pre-asph 1. Version

 

 

 

Summilux pre-asph. 2. Version

 

 

 

While these three examples where converted to jpgs with default settings in LR, th following shows the Summarit after some tweakes on gradiation, contrast and clarity:

 

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here's the summarit at 1.5, 2.0 and 2.8, out of camera (M8) no adjustments etc. just watch the hazy soft look clean up at f2 and f2.8.

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