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35 Summilux Pre-ASPH vs 35 Summicron Pre-ASPH vs 35 Summicron ASPH (2016 edition)

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Hi Guys,

 

Am fairly new to Leica (6 months in) and I would like to seek your advice on which 35mm lens to get. I currently use a M240 body with a 60mm F1.2 Konica Hexanon and a 50mm Summicron APO. I am looking to add a 35mm lens to compliment my existing collection (and will be looking at add a 28mm Elmarit when the new one releases end of the month).

 

I am considering the follow:

35 Summilux Pre-ASPH

35 Summicron Pre-ASPH Version 1

35 Summicron Pre-ASPH Version 4

35 Summicron ASPH (2016 edition)

 

After doing some extensive research, I feel like the 3 Pre-ASPH lens may be a better compliment as it is softer / has more of a leica glow (since my 50mm APO and the 28mm Elmarit are both bitingly sharp)? I was originally going to just get a 28 and 50 and NOT the 35 since it seems to be too close to the other 2 focal lengths, so I am now thinking maybe getting something with more of a unique characteristic). Just wondering what all your thoughts are and why you think so? Your kind assistance is very much appreciated. Thank you.

 

Best Regards,

J

Edited by jmui852

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J,

 

It would be very hard (if not possible) to choose one lens for you.

They are so different and none is to be throw away.

You would have as many opinions as answers.

 

I currently use the first 3 of your list (Lux, Cron 1, Cron 4 + bonus Cron 2) and can not choose "only one".

 

As usual,

I suggest that you take one of them, use it a while, then you can choose to like it or not.

 

If not, you could buy another one, and so on.

 

Nobody can choose for you.

 

Regards,

 

Arnaud

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No one can choose for you,  but I would suggest you keep all the lenses in the same time era.   That would mean the 35 ASPH.  35 V4 is not that much different except a bit more snap and a wee bit better corners. 

 

But since the Konica is an old lens,  you might pair it with an older 35 and use the 28/50 together.  Pre asph `lux is a nice old lens.    It is soft, low contrast until stopped down some. The later serials are said to be better.

 

I used to have a 8 element Summicron 35 V1   and I suggest it may be more in keeping with the Konica.  Collector value keeps the price high as with the 35 1.4 pre ASPH.  

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If you want a 35mm lens with softer rendition than that of 50/2 apo and 28/2.8 asph, i would forget both 35/1.4 FLE and 35/2 asph. Remains 35/1.4 pre-asph and 35/2 pre-asph. Only the former shows some "glow" i.e. halos around highligts. Not sure if you comprehend the word "glow" this way though.

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In that list I'd personally go for the V4.  Quite modern in rendition yet still full of character.

 

I'm not a big fan of using lenses that are too old on digital bodies because I (subjectively) do not like the resulting look.  This includes V1-V3 Summicrons.  They are great for film though. 

 

The outgoing Summicron ASPH is great.  Faultless in any objective aspect of its rendering, but it doesn't have much of a character (say the same way the 35/1.4 ASPH or ASPH FLE does). That may or may not be important to you.

 

The pre-ASPH Summilux flares very easily. If you so much have a person in white shirt in your frame when shooting wide open you will get flare.  Some people make very good use of the softness / aberrations of this lens at wide open but I personally prefer a 35 that is a more universal performer.

 

I now shoot with the Summilux FLE and I absolutely love this lens.

 

Hi Guys,

 

Am fairly new to Leica (6 months in) and I would like to seek your advice on which 35mm lens to get. I currently use a M240 body with a 60mm F1.2 Konica Hexanon and a 50mm Summicron APO. I am looking to add a 35mm lens to compliment my existing collection (and will be looking at add a 28mm Elmarit when the new one releases end of the month).

 

I am considering the follow:

35 Summilux Pre-ASPH

35 Summicron Pre-ASPH Version 1

35 Summicron Pre-ASPH Version 4

35 Summicron ASPH (2016 edition)

 

After doing some extensive research, I feel like the 3 Pre-ASPH lens may be a better compliment as it is softer / has more of a leica glow (since my 50mm APO and the 28mm Elmarit are both bitingly sharp)? I was originally going to just get a 28 and 50 and NOT the 35 since it seems to be too close to the other 2 focal lengths, so I am now thinking maybe getting something with more of a unique characteristic). Just wondering what all your thoughts are and why you think so? Your kind assistance is very much appreciated. Thank you.

 

Best Regards,

J

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In that list I'd personally go for the V4.  Quite modern in rendition yet still full of character.

 

I'm not a big fan of using lenses that are too old on digital bodies because I (subjectively) do not like the resulting look.  This includes V1-V3 Summicrons.  They are great for film though. 

 

I'd have to subjectively agree but make an exception for monochrome sensors; the V1 Summicron was designed in the late 1950's with B&W film in mind and is what it appears to does best. And as always, YMMV.

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J,

 

It would be very hard (if not possible) to choose one lens for you.

They are so different and none is to be throw away.

You would have as many opinions as answers.

 

I currently use the first 3 of your list (Lux, Cron 1, Cron 4 + bonus Cron 2) and can not choose "only one".

 

As usual,

I suggest that you take one of them, use it a while, then you can choose to like it or not.

 

If not, you could buy another one, and so on.

 

Nobody can choose for you.

 

Regards,

 

Arnaud

 

How would you compare those 3 (as to be honest I am kinda deciding amongst those 3, given I already have 2 sharp lenses in the 50APO and 28Elmarit so I am leaning towards avoiding another sharp modern lens and instead will want to go for something with more characteristics)

 

No one can choose for you,  but I would suggest you keep all the lenses in the same time era.   That would mean the 35 ASPH.  35 V4 is not that much different except a bit more snap and a wee bit better corners. 

 

But since the Konica is an old lens,  you might pair it with an older 35 and use the 28/50 together.  Pre asph `lux is a nice old lens.    It is soft, low contrast until stopped down some. The later serials are said to be better.

 

I used to have a 8 element Summicron 35 V1   and I suggest it may be more in keeping with the Konica.  Collector value keeps the price high as with the 35 1.4 pre ASPH.  

 

May I ask how would you compare the V1 to the V4 and also the Lux Pre ASPH? What elements of these respective lenses attract you the most? What determines when to use which lens for you?

 

 

If you want a 35mm lens with softer rendition than that of 50/2 apo and 28/2.8 asph, i would forget both 35/1.4 FLE and 35/2 asph. Remains 35/1.4 pre-asph and 35/2 pre-asph. Only the former shows some "glow" i.e. halos around highligts. Not sure if you comprehend the word "glow" this way though.

 

Yes that is what I currently have in mind as well.

 

 

In that list I'd personally go for the V4.  Quite modern in rendition yet still full of character.

 

I'm not a big fan of using lenses that are too old on digital bodies because I (subjectively) do not like the resulting look.  This includes V1-V3 Summicrons.  They are great for film though. 

 

The outgoing Summicron ASPH is great.  Faultless in any objective aspect of its rendering, but it doesn't have much of a character (say the same way the 35/1.4 ASPH or ASPH FLE does). That may or may not be important to you.

 

The pre-ASPH Summilux flares very easily. If you so much have a person in white shirt in your frame when shooting wide open you will get flare.  Some people make very good use of the softness / aberrations of this lens at wide open but I personally prefer a 35 that is a more universal performer.

 

I now shoot with the Summilux FLE and I absolutely love this lens.

 

Please correct me if I am wrong, from what I read all modern lenses (in this case the ASPH for both Crons and Luxes) are very sharp but lack character just like you mentioned. And since I have 2 sharp lenses in the 50 and 28 would it make sense to get an old lens for my 35? Re the Pre ASPH Lux it only flares wide open correct? When stopped down I read it is very similar to the other lenses?

 

 

I'd have to subjectively agree but make an exception for monochrome sensors; the V1 Summicron was designed in the late 1950's with B&W film in mind and is what it appears to does best. And as always, YMMV.

 

Would it look nice if I convert my photos taken by my M240 into Black and White? Seems like the Pre ASPH Lux has a strong glow (or flare) when taken wide open in monochrome, how would the V1 and V4 look in Black and White? Thanks.

 

Regards,

J

Edited by jmui852

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[...] Yes that is what I currently have in mind as well. [...]

 

 

Then the 35/1.4 pre-asph would give you glow in spades, mainly at f/1.4 and to a lesser extent f/2. Beware that this lens tends to flare a lot though. Better choose a late version to get modern coatings if you can. 

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Then the 35/1.4 pre-asph would give you glow in spades, mainly at f/1.4 and to a lesser extent f/2. Beware that this lens tends to flare a lot though. Better choose a late version to get modern coatings if you can. 

 

How do I know if it is a late version? Are the ones that are made in Germany considered late versions? Or can i determine by the serial number? Sorry for asking but what exactly is the difference between the coating? Thanks a lot! 

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I own the new lux35FLE, the 35cron 4 and the Summaron 35. I would advise the cron35 4 in your case. You're right in your judgement of it. I prefer to use it for B&W

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When it comes to character of a lens, it is more than just new versus old.  

 

When a lens designer designs a lens, he / she starts off by varying the various design parameters to reduce all aberrations.  Eventually the designer reaches a point where an aberration can no longer be reduced without increasing another.  It is at this point when the designer has to decide what mix of residual aberrations to be left uncorrected in the final design. The residual uncorrected aberrations play an important part in determining the "character" of that lens. 

 

Modern Leica lenses are so well corrected (due to advances in computational tools, material choices, and manufacturing methods etc) that most of them have very little residual aberrations left.  While they are closer to the theoretically perfectly corrected lens, they also tend to have less character.

 

However, an f1.4 lens starts off with far more aberrations to be corrected than a 2.0 lens, and will typically have more residual aberrations left.  So the faster lenses (1.0, 1.4, etc) can still have quite a bit of character in their rendering.  This is my understanding anyway.  

 

Personally I find that lenses like the 50/1.4 ASPH and 35/1.4 FLE to have very recognizable character even though their rendering is decidedly modern.  This makes them very good all round lenses.

 

But having said that, I wouldn't hesitate to own something like a 35 Summicron IV given your criteria, if f2.0 is all I need.  And if you shoot a digital M body (where high ISO speeds are readily accessible), I do think f2 is sufficient for most applications.

 

Personally I shoot mostly ISO 100-400 films so the extra speed of the 1.4 is very useful.

 

 

 

Please correct me if I am wrong, from what I read all modern lenses (in this case the ASPH for both Crons and Luxes) are very sharp but lack character just like you mentioned. And since I have 2 sharp lenses in the 50 and 28 would it make sense to get an old lens for my 35? Re the Pre ASPH Lux it only flares wide open correct? When stopped down I read it is very similar to the other lenses?

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Given that you are already a Konica shooter, I'd also recommend the very sought-after 35/2 UC-Hexanon

 

http://www.dantestella.com/technical/hex352.html

 

This lens caused quite a sensation when it was released and still has quite a following.  It is similar to the Summicron IV in terms of being relatively modern in rendition yet still full of character.   

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How do I know if it is a late version? Are the ones that are made in Germany considered late versions? Or can i determine by the serial number? Sorry for asking but what exactly is the difference between the coating? Thanks a lot!

I cannot tell the exact difference sorry but the later the better in this respect. You may wish to choose a superb (but expensive) titanium made 11860 or a black 11870 made in Canada or Germany around the nineties preferably. Mine is a German made 11870 from 1989 # 35015** with latest coatings i've been told but i have no proof of that. You may wish to ask for more details on the Leica Collectors & Historica forum (link below).

BTW the 35/2 v4, that i have as well, is a very good lens indeed but it shows no glow at all.

http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-wiki.en/index.php/35mm_f/1.4_Summilux_II

http://www.l-camera-forum.com/forum/35-leica-collectors-historica/

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J.

 

Some years ago, I tried to find the only M 35mm to keep

.

 

Once I used those 35mm: Cron IV, Cron asph., Lux Ti, and M-Hexanon

 

 

I have kept Cron IV, never regret Asph., then regret the Lux 35, rebought black one

 

Then came Cron I (8 elements) this one is the best for my MM/M9.

To be complete, I have found one Cron II, the best in wide open area.

 

So, may I suggest one of Cron I (8element) or IV to begin with.

 

Arnaud

 

 

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I'm aleays amazed at how the cron V2 is always ignored.

 

I love my V2. Besides it's exquisite compactness and optical qualities with character, that aperture tab is just so cool.

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I am considering the following:

 

35 Summilux Pre-ASPH

35 Summicron Pre-ASPH Version 1

35 Summicron Pre-ASPH Version 4

35 Summicron ASPH (2016 edition)

 

Three versions? Aren't there really only two versions with no optical changes? The only differences I find are in barrel material, infinity lock or none, an optional goggle, and lens shades.

Edited by pico

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J.

 

Some years ago, I tried to find the only M 35mm to keep

.

 

Once I used those 35mm: Cron IV, Cron asph., Lux Ti, and M-Hexanon

 

35mm_4objos.jpg

 

I have kept Cron IV, never regret Asph., then regret the Lux 35, rebought black one

 

Then came Cron I (8 elements) this one is the best for my MM/M9.

To be complete, I have found one Cron II, the best in wide open area.

 

So, may I suggest one of Cron I (8element) or IV to begin with.

 

Arnaud

 

Since you have owned all of those lens, How would you compare the 8 elements to the Lux Pre-A to the version 4? Thanks so much!

Edited by jmui852

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Hi Guys,

 

Am fairly new to Leica (6 months in) and I would like to seek your advice on which 35mm lens to get. I currently use a M240 body with a 60mm F1.2 Konica Hexanon and a 50mm Summicron APO. I am looking to add a 35mm lens to compliment my existing collection (and will be looking at add a 28mm Elmarit when the new one releases end of the month).

 

I am considering the follow:

35 Summilux Pre-ASPH

35 Summicron Pre-ASPH Version 1

35 Summicron Pre-ASPH Version 4

35 Summicron ASPH (2016 edition)

 

After doing some extensive research, I feel like the 3 Pre-ASPH lens may be a better compliment as it is softer / has more of a leica glow (since my 50mm APO and the 28mm Elmarit are both bitingly sharp)? I was originally going to just get a 28 and 50 and NOT the 35 since it seems to be too close to the other 2 focal lengths, so I am now thinking maybe getting something with more of a unique characteristic). Just wondering what all your thoughts are and why you think so? Your kind assistance is very much appreciated. Thank you.

 

Best Regards,

J

 

Definitely have a look at this informative thread.

 

 

Having a few 35mm Leica lenses at hand, I made a 1:1 comparison of the image qualities. I’m posting the test pictures here as it might be of interest for some of you as well.

 

Here’s the setup:

- M9 on a tripod, cable release

- focussing distance 2.00m, resolution chart in the center and on the far right

- lens detection off, all settings on ‚standard’, ISO 160, WB ‚cloudy’

- jpg ‚normal’, out of camera

 

 7/4/7/1/4/432320.attach

 

These are the lenses:

 

- Summilux 1.4/35

- Summilux 1.4/35 FLE

- Summicron 2/35 V1

- Summicron 2/35 V4

- Summicron 2/35 asph

- Summaron 2.8/35

- Tri-Elmar 4/28-35-50 E55

- Summicron-C 2/40

 

 7/4/7/1/4/432321.attach

 

 

All used without lens shades. Each lens shot from maximum aperture to f5.6

Here’s the link to the flickr set with the full res files:

 

https://www.flickr.com/gp/kaspart-/1k7i87/

 

Lens and aperture are indicated in the file name.

 

Feel free to explore and compare yourself.

Thomas

 
Personally, and IMHO, the Cron Asph has my vote for my architectural and scenic photography and the 35 1.4 FLE as a second (after the 50 1.4 Lux) for portraits, street and group shots.
 
Now that said, I find the bokeh on the 35 Summarit to be also wonderful and the price as well, so in order of most often used, my top three are:
 
1. 35 Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0 Version V (1997) 11879  Black or 11882 Chrome
2. 35 Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 FLE 11663 Black or 11675 Chrome
3. 35 Summarit-M f/2.5 11643 Black (I have no experience with the f/2.4 version)
Edited by stevesurf

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