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pinchers of peril

What's the deal with all the different 35mm summicron versions?

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Sorry if this has already been discussed.  I am interested in getting a Leica 35mm summicron but there are so many dang versions of the thing.  I know that some are asph and so that is a different beast but even with the non-asph there are so many different versions.  Anybody have a good resource to make sense of what is out there.  I know there are some "made in Canada" etc.  Are there any specific versions considered better or worse?  Thanks

 

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ok, then a quick search returned Thorstens take on the Summicron 35... http://www.overgaard.dk/leica-35mm-summicron-M-f20.html  I didn't read it, but there seems to be at least photos of each and some comparison table.  There may (or may not) be some useful information on Ken Rockwells site. I think there is a PDF of Erwin Puts book available.

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Hello Pinchers of Peril,

 

Welcome to the Forum.

 

After you do your research you will find that all of the 35 mm Summicron lenses are good lenses by today's standards. Altho some versions may be a little better at "something or other" in a certain situation or at a wider aperture. They all give pretty much the same results at F 4, F 5.6 & F 8.

 

Which, for many people, is where most of their photography is.

 

Best Regards,

 

Michael

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Maybe a bit off topic, but I am concidering buying a Summicron pre-asph v4. How is the sharpness and bokeh at f/2 compared to a Summilux pre-asph stopped down to f/2?

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Choosing is personal thing depend on what one's need in "lens rendering".

 

Comparing Leica lenses from different versions is something very hard and loss effort anyway.

 

In the past, I had no choice of 35mm Summicron for M.

My first was the version IV in '80's.

Over time, I have/had other versions of 35 Cron.

 

A phrase to differenciate them from my own experience over time:

 

Version I (dixit 8 elements) soft with little contrast at f/2 and much better contrast from f/2.8 and very good after that

 

Version II and III same optical 6 elements more contrast at full open and almost equal from f/2.8 better "flat field" but less "romantic than 8 element"

 

IV (7 elements) is another step (not much) in contrast full open,

 

Asph. version is the best contrast rendering at f/2 and keeping that closed down

 

 

 

To resume:

each version is different and as good from about f/4 or f/5.6 on 3 dimensions subjects.

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Maybe a bit off topic, but I am concidering buying a Summicron pre-asph v4. How is the sharpness and bokeh at f/2 compared to a Summilux pre-asph stopped down to f/2?

 

Same "look", at f/2 as it's rougtly the same optical formula between the two.

 

Summilux-M has no screw in filter and focus to 1m except "M3 version" to 65cm.

 

Summicron-M 35 v. IV has screw filter thread E39 and focus to 70cm.

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From Wiki https://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-wiki.en/index.php/35mm_f/2_Summicron-M_IV

 

 

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

 

Those are beautifully made with different look.

Here we can see that the Summilux is as compact as Summicron.

 

Not the case with Asph. versions of them.

 

 

comparison of my "old stable of 35mm for M" (middle is Summicron-M 2/35 asph.)

I regret a little bit the 35 Lux Ti when it was sold and bought one "black" after some time

.

Edited by a.noctilux

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In essence lens design has improved over the years and the 35mm Summicron/Summilux versions have followed this pattern too. The most noticeable difference in performance is at full aperture. Later versions perform 'better' at full aperture than the earlier ones. The pre-aspheric lenses all have sufficient residual aberrations to limit their wide open performance somewhat more than the aspheric lenses, but to some their lack of full correction can produce a pleasanter and smoother look than that from the aspheric versions. Stopped down all will give pretty good images so really its the wider apertures where differences are more noticeable.Earlier lenses are softer at full aperture than later ones and can exhibit a 'glow' which again some rather like.

 

You may want to think of the varying performance in terms of being craftsmanlike in earlier lenses and precision in later lenses

.

 

FWIW you might find this of interest: http://marinewildlife.co.uk/info/leica-35mm-f1-4-pre-aspheric-summilux-m/

Edited by pgk

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