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Leica Summilux 50 vs. Canon 50/1.4 shootout

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I had the opportunity to borrow my friend's camera and go out and take some pictures.



- Both were shot in aperture priority and auto white balance. 

- Leica was focused using live view and focus peaking, Canon was aimed at the same spot and shot using autofocus. 

- Both were set at ISO 100. You will note that the Canon seems to have one stop faster light sensitivity - where the Leica will be at 1/4000, Canon 1/8000

- Both were shot in RAW and processed in Lightroom without any adjustments 

- The Canon 5D Mk2 is a 21.1MP camera using the Canon EF 50/1.4 lens (worth AUD$700)

- The Leica M10 is 24MP camera using the Summilux ASPH 50/1.4 (worth AUD$6000) 


Here is the first series, both shot at f/1.4: 


Canon 5D, and 100% crop




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Well in these photos the Leica craps the Canon from a great height.

However, before jumping to the obvious conclusion, are you sure that the Canon lens is optimally calibrated.

Edited by MarkP

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I can't say for sure that the Canon lens was properly calibrated. The reason we took these photos is because both me and my friend were curious about what the extra dollars a Leica would buy you.


We both agreed: 


- The Leica has superior center sharpness

- The Canon vignettes less than the Leica

- The bokeh on the Leica is massively superior. It is creamy and smooth, while the Canon is busy and distracting. 

- The transition from "in focus" to "out of focus" happens more suddenly on the Leica than the Canon. 

- The Canon has a warmer colour cast, the Leica is cooler. Whether it is a difference in the lens, or in the camera's AWB, we did not know (and did not control for). 


Of course this does not take into account other advantages and disadvantages of the Leica. Once the Leica is focused, it shoots immediately. The Canon feels slow in comparison. And of course, the Leica feels much nicer. 


The Canon's remaining advantages are its much more versatile lens and flash systems. 

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The 5D2 has a menu setting for optimizing camera/lens focus.....simple to know if this was addressed or not. I hope a tripod was at least involved.



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I have a Canon ƒ/0.95, in fact it is the 4th that was converted to M mount. The first three conversions

sucked. In my day job as an urban daily news paper photographer I used the lens on its intended Canon

body where it performed as expected, which would not be accepted in today's 1:1 pixel displays.


One likes the rendering or does not. We must ask if the difference is really worth USD 9,000 or more?

Edited by pico

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