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Summilux 75mm F1.4 vs Hexanon 60mm F1.2 limited


reddot925
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Hello,

 

Was having an interesting discussion with my regular Leica shop manager so I thought I would get opinions here as well.

 

I have the Summilux 75mm which I hardly use because it's a bit too long and heavy for street and I don't do much portrait, but still, I can't make up my mind to sell it as it's the harder to find German V3 version, and as we all know the 75 'Lux is no longer in production.

 

On the other hand, 

 

http://www.yanidel.net/gear/60mm-hexanon-review/

 

One of the many excellent reviews that says the Hexanon 60mm F1.2 Limited can be used to a certain extent with the 50mm frame line but still gives a more short tele like perspective.     I mainly shoot 50mm and it could be something I'd use more.   

 

Would I make better use of the money (and even some profit) that's just sitting there if I were to trade the Summilux for the Hexanon?    

Edited by reddot925
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Hello,

 

Was having an interesting discussion with my regular Leica shop manager so I thought I would get opinions here as well.

 

I have the Summilux 75mm which I hardly use because it's a bit too long and heavy for street and I don't do much portrait, but still, I can't make up my mind to sell it as it's the harder to find German V3 version, and as we all know the 75 'Lux is no longer in production.

 

On the other hand, 

 

http://www.yanidel.net/gear/60mm-hexanon-review/

 

One of the many excellent reviews that says the Hexanon 60mm F1.2 Limited can be used to a certain extent with the 50mm frame line but still gives a more short tele like perspective.     I mainly shoot 50mm and it could be something I'd use more.   

 

Would I make better use of the money (and even some profit) that's just sitting there if I were to trade the Summilux for the Hexanon?    

 

 

I have no idea whether you'd make better use of the money but, speaking from experience, there is rarely any meaningful gain from chopping and changing between perfectly good pieces of equipment. If you mainly shoot 50mm then I suggest you stick with that. I wouldn't sell a classic Leica lens for a Hexanon – it's the kind of move that you will live to regret. 

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I agree, but I do have couple of good Leica's 50mm already.    So the choice would be keep the 75mm just in case I may need, or to replace it with something like this Hexanon 60mm that I may occasionally use it on the street in place of the 50mm for different look.     The last obvious choice is to sell for cash but this was not my intention to consider selling Summilux today.

Edited by reddot925
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..... and as we all know the 75 'Lux is no longer in production. 

 

On a purely practical note, although no longer in production Leica can still service this lens. I wonder what options are available for the Hexanon should it ever need work or parts?

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That was my thought, looking at those linked Hexanon shots, they all look easily replicated with a 50mm lens to me.

My feeling too... and I suppose you do have a 50 1,4... and 75 is more different from 50 than 60 (sorry for the obvious...

) Frankly, I wouldn't make such an Exchange... sell the 75 if you don't use it (is very well valued) , but imho the "Exchange" with this (surely intriguing) 60 isn't a real gain. Edited by luigi bertolotti
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The M-Hexanons are very well made, I'd say the construction and feel is generally on par with Leica (the 35 UC-Hex may even be a notch above, certainly better made than the Summicron 35 v4).

 

I have also read reports that this particular lens needs adjustment - OTOH, I've had a couple of 35 and 50 M-Hexanons that worked flawlessly on my M9.

 

I don't know how different the perspective is between a 50 and a 60. But I know there's a big difference between 50 and 75, which gives you more options.

 

Not sure what you mean by "trade": the 60/1.2 has high collector value due to its rarity and, unless you are making a great deal, you may be asked to add a good chunk of cash to your Summilux in order to get the Hex.

If it's a straight, like-for-like trade, I'd go ahead: if you don't like the Hex, you can always sell it, buy back a Summilux (or not) and pocket some extra cash.

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Thank you @Ecar, good to know about the build quality.

 

Yes indeed it's 'trade up' not a straight trade.   But I'm getting a good deal on the Summilux so still putting up additional cash but reasonable.

 

One more question please, I was told today that the Hexanon gives too 'modern' color and doesn't have a leica's classic feel to the image.  I've seen quite a few pictures and still can't come to that conclusion yet.  Since you have used some of the Hexanon before, I presume on a Leica body, is this the case?     

Edited by reddot925
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Color is a very subjective matter and the medium (film type, or camera sensor in the case of digital) plays a bigger role IMO than the glass itself in perceived color difference straight out of the camera. In any event, there's not much that you can't change in post-processing if you are willing to invest a bit of time.

 

FWIW, I let the Hexanons go because they felt overall flat to me. I'm stressing "overall" and "to me" here. Again, nothing wrong with those I had for a while, just not particularly inspiring for me: yes, perhaps the color palette was a bit colder and not as rich/deep as the equivalent Leica lenses, perhaps the contrast was not where I wanted it to be, perhaps they didn't play well with the M8/M9 CCD sensor, I'm not sure. I'd need to get back to the pictures I took with these lenses (I bought a lot of four - two 35s and two 50s from an estate sale, used them for a month or so and then sold them again - the only one I regret selling is the UC-Hex 35 due to its build quality).

But don't just take my word for it: it's been a while and others here may have different opinions and readily available sample pictures.

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A significant difference between Hexanon 1.2-60 and Summilux 1.4-75 is the M39 thread of the Hexanon.

Has anyone used the Hexanon on a Barnack-Leica?

Is it still possible to focus by rangefinder?

 

A lens similar to the technical values of the Hexanon 1.2-60 would be the Sonnetar 1.1-50, which was also available in extremely small numbers with M39 threads.

Could anyone ever compare these optical exotics?

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One more question please, I was told today that the Hexanon gives too 'modern' color and doesn't have a leica's classic feel to the image.  I've seen quite a few pictures and still can't come to that conclusion yet.

It's also reasonable to imagine that many of the photographs you have seen have been subject to some sort of PP.

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What camera are you using? If you don't have the M10 yet, you might want to try the 75 lux on the M10 and with the camera's slightly higher magnification you might find it easier to use and be happier with it. I would be reluctantly to make this trade, but I love shooting portraits and the special look of the 75 lux.

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Wow, funny to see how things change so fast on the internet.

A few years back, during the (violent headaches and vomit inducing) bokeh fad, where street photography shown on forums was all about blurry backgrounds, the hexanon was a prized trophy over which the internet fora lost a lot of sleep, thanks to GAS.

 

Now it has fallen into the land of the forgotten. And the bokeh fad as well. What a liberation!!

 

There was a time when it would have taken three summilux 75 in exchange for one hexanon.

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A lesson that I learnt on myself about 30 years ago : " it's silly (*)  to have a f1,2 lens if you never use it at 1,2 , apart from testing..."

 

(*) ... even if was silly also what I did : bought and sold a Noctlux 1,2 within 6-7 months, earning something like 30 Euros and losing about a 16x/18x  value increase in 20/25 years...

  

Edited by luigi bertolotti
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Those Hexanon and Minolta M lenses were considered poor man's Leicas 30+ years ago and were sometimes underrated then. I have no experience with the Hexanon 60/1.2 but it is said to be sharp at all apertures in the centre of the frame including at f/1.2 and f/1.4 where it is softer in the corners but hardly more so than the Noctilux 50/0.95. Now the Summilux 75/1.4 is softer at wide apertures so you could miss this very softness if you like it. Also i seem to recall that the Hexanon suffers a bit from focus shift at around f/2.8 or f/4 but again i have no experience with this lens. FWIW.

Edited by lct
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I have no idea whether you'd make better use of the money but, speaking from experience, there is rarely any meaningful gain from chopping and changing between perfectly good pieces of equipment. If you mainly shoot 50mm then I suggest you stick with that. I wouldn't sell a classic Leica lens for a Hexanon – it's the kind of move that you will live to regret. 

 

 

I do agree with on the regret part, but the paradox of that is sometimes just to keep certain lens on the shelf just because it's a classic lens also causes regrets of missing out on so many other genuinely great lens out there that we never get to try.

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