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No love for the 35mm Summicron Asph?

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I just got word that my 35mm is free from NJ and back on it's way to me. I'm curious why I don't hear more about this superb lens on the forum? While clinical, it renders more in the style of the 90 Apo, both having been designed in the 1990s under the direction of Lothar Kolsch (Peter Karbe was on the design team at the time but not heading it). It certainly has a different signature then Karbe's more recent lenses. Post your examples!

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probably because it is what it is. I've seen people buy into the system to use this lens. Everyone knows what it's capable of. It's the most known quantity of 'affordable' entry level Leica glass. I love it and it's my go-to lens but I'm not sure what more can be said about it. Unless people disagree, then they'll probably be discussion.

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 It's a good 35mm lens.  It has reputation for it's propensity to flare, but I've never found that to be a problem. 

 

The image I uploaded yesterday to 'I Like Film'  was made with the 35mm summicron asph.  Make of it what you will, but most discussions about rendering are suspiciously subjective and usually degenerate into pointless comparisons with other lenses, imo.  It does it's job well enough and is worthy of a place in any set of Leica M lenses.

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Summicron-M 35mm Asph. long history of love/no love for me.

 

When I discovered one some ten years ago, it was great Love of the modern rendering, as until then I used 35mm Pre-asph. (Cron version IV of course) in Summicron and Summilux.

Pre-asph. sold then I bought other 2 asph. in Titanium coating and Silver : three types of same lens available by then.

 

Happy for some years, but...

 

After trying Summilux-M 35mm asph. , I loved less the Cron asph. I don't know why.

 

Now, all 35mm Summicron asph. sold not used them much for years.

 

Good lenses but I've found others that suited my practice better.

 

I understand well people who adore them.

 

I understand also people who find them so-so lenses.

 

I used those 35mm, by then

 

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The lens is frequently mentioned here, particularly when newbies ask for suggestions for first lenses, or when comparisons are sought between it and earlier iterations or the Summarit line. There was also discussion when the updated version was released a coulple of years ago...

 

https://www.l-camera-forum.com/topic/255654-new-summicron-asph-35mm-how-and-why-did-they-improve-the-current-one/page-1

 

I’ve owned one for many years, and have commented in various related threads, including discussion of flare and/or focus shift. It’s a fine, core lens option.

 

Jeff

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A very nice lens, I have a 30x45 inch metal print (beautiful print from Bay Photo) of the below image of Peto Lake in Western Canada that I took in 2017 with the 35mm f2 ASPH and my M262 hanging on my back office wall.

 

Shortly after that trip I sent mine to NJ as well, where it stayed for close to 6 months waiting for a CLA, during which time I bought a new 35mm f1.4 FLE. The Summicron has since returned and been used very rarely due to now having the Summilux.

 

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For many years with film I owned the V4 cron. Before the switch to digital I changed to the ASPH Cron. Better than the V4 on film for me. Sold the V4. Downside to the Cron ASPH, as an everyday carry lens with the M, the Cron was heavier and didn't balance as well. The V4 was a featherweight.

 

Fast forward a decade later I'm finally shooting M digital and tried a Zeiss 35/2.8 C-Biogon. Better than my Cron and as light as my old V4. Sold the Cron, bought the ZM 35/2.8 and never looked back.

Edited by jim0266

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Not so sure about that. It's a legendary lens, particularly amongst the more practical street and documentary photographers. The Summilux 35mm ASPH is probably my personal favourite for that 1.4 magic. But the cron offers virtually the same quality in a smaller, far cheaper package with just a one stop penalty. 

 

I can't imagine a 35mm F2 getting better. Apart from the flare. That can be a bit annoying at times, even with the hood on. 

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I can't imagine a 35mm F2 getting better. Apart from the flare. That can be a bit annoying at times, even with the hood on.

The 35 Summarit (albeit f2.4) not only flares less, but exhibits less focus shift than reported on many samples of the Summicron, including mine.

 

But all of these 35s are superb lenses, fully capable of terrific results in the right hands and in a total print workflow.

 

Jeff

Edited by Jeff S

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I've never thought of it as 'legendary', in fact it's the lens whose rendering qualities weaned me off the 35mm focal length after being a devotee for decades. I just never liked it's harsh and boring characteristics, and in the twenty five years I've owned mine I've used it less than any other lens I have. At the moment I much prefer my 35mm f2.5 CV Skopar.

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I've never thought of it as 'legendary',...

 

The only "legendary 35mm Summicron is v1, but heavily overpriced and overhyped too.

A Leica Summarit 35 is IMO better than the other Summicron versions in every case (specially bokeh) but except speed of course, so I sold it.

Since two years I'm now very happy with my Voigtlander Ultron 1.7/35 VM - an exceptional great lens (bokeh, sharpness wide open, 3D, etc.)

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I'll use these both lenses:

 

Leica 35mm f/1.4 Summilux-M (1960-1995) type 11869 (black) & Leica 35mm f/2 ASPH Summicron-M (1996-today) type 11882 (chrome).

 

The Cron is a perfect every day lens, has more weight and more contrast. So when shooting situations with a lot of contrast, i prefer the old Lux.

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I must admit that I do not own the 35 asph summicron first of all, but I can’t disagree more about the fingerprint of this lens being likewise as the 90 APO. I love my 90, whereas I can’t get my feeling around this 35 at all. There’s an often heard argument here about its sharpness to the edges, but I couldn’t care less. For landscape, where edge-sharpness is important, I would never use an M in the first place.

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The only "legendary 35mm Summicron is v1, but heavily overpriced and overhyped too.

A Leica Summarit 35 is IMO better than the other Summicron versions in every case (specially bokeh) but except speed of course, so I sold it.

Since two years I'm now very happy with my Voigtlander Ultron 1.7/35 VM - an exceptional great lens (bokeh, sharpness wide open, 3D, etc.)

 

Not sure if the v1 is deserving of "legendary" status. Lets just say its unique amongst them for having 8 elements and being the first of the 35 summicrons its sought after. My sense is that its the v3, v4 and later on v5 summicrons thanks to Magnum, that have made them indispensable in the line up.

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I just got word that my 35mm is free from NJ and back on it's way to me. I'm curious why I don't hear more about this superb lens on the forum? While clinical, it renders more in the style of the 90 Apo, both having been designed in the 1990s under the direction of Lothar Kolsch (Peter Karbe was on the design team at the time but not heading it). It certainly has a different signature then Karbe's more recent lenses. Post your examples!

First of all, glad to hear the saga is over and your lens is on its way back. Thanks also for the brief history on its creation. I have the current v6 and absolutely love it. Prior to that I had both the v1 and v4. I think we don't hear much about the v5/6 because of a few reasons.

1- It lives in the shadow of the 35FLE.

2- the focal length is so similar to how the eye sees that the lens doesn't bring any of its own drama along with it.

Edited by Kwesi

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I just got word that my 35mm is free from NJ and back on it's way to me. I'm curious why I don't hear more about this superb lens on the forum? While clinical, it renders more in the style of the 90 Apo, both having been designed in the 1990s under the direction of Lothar Kolsch (Peter Karbe was on the design team at the time but not heading it). It certainly has a different signature then Karbe's more recent lenses. [...]

 

Both 90/2 and 35/2 show the typical acutance of modern Leica lenses. I am unable to perceive any significant difference between them and later lenses attributed namely to P. Karbe. YMMV.

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I'm not sure why anyone would take the 35 'cron ASPH for granted, or not like it.  It is an outstanding lens and is one of my favorites of the few Leica M lenses that I own. 

 

Before I got my first digital M, the 28mm Summicron was my #1 lens choice for street photography; I put quite a few rolls of Tri-X through my MP and 28 'cron. 

 

The 35 'cron is equally capable on the street, though.  It has become my jack of all trades lens and spends more time on my M-P 240 than any of my other lenses. 

Edited by Herr Barnack

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I've never been able to fall in love with the 35 Summicron ASPH. It just seems like a "not anything in particular" lens.

 

Not the sharpest in the center @ f/2 - the V.4 edges it out. Not the cleanest in the corners @ f/2 - the Summilux ASPH edges it out. Not the lightest or smallest - all the pre-ASPHs beat it there, sometimes by a lot. The bokeh (when present) is smooth to the point of boredom. Definitely not the least-expensive.

 

Personally, I also find it a bit too "pink" in color rendering (see Greg's picture above - pink rock, haze and clouds, and grayed-down evergreens in the distance. Not to my taste - not a critique of the photo).

 

I kept one for the first year of my M10, for the 6-bit coding (M10 didn't like the hand-drawn coding on my v.4) - finally, this Spring, swapped it even for both a tiny 35 Summicron v.2 and a 28 Elmarit v.2. Much happier now.

 

My 35 v.2 (and my previous v.4 for that matter) is a lot softer in the corners and only very slightly tighter in the center @ f/2 - but at 1/3rd the price and 3/5ths the weight, a heck of a lot more comfortable and "M-like" to work with.

 

Note - all of the above is based on the original 1997 design - the recent revision with screw-on shade may have improved on some of those items. After 20 years, it is/was certainly due for a revision. Now if Leica can just shave off 100 grams...

 

Below: 35 ASPH f/2 @ f/2 - corner of picture. Just more streaks and glows and vviibbrraattiiingg details than I want, given the weight and price.

 

 

 

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Please help me understand what is so lagendery about this lens.It does not have the technical quality of 50mm apo or 21 sem or 24 elmat and maybe 75mm apo.Corner sharpness is problematic,focus shift is present etc.Ok it is maybe becouse of character but i never saw a photo from 35 cron which pops or jumps out of my screen.Even i saw that kind of photos from 28mm cron but not 35.Angle is great for dayly use but it is not an cheap lens.I have used sony zeiss 35mm 2.8 and it was even better than cron and very cheap.

For your info i have a M10 with 50mm apo and 24 elmar which are both lagendery lenses for me.

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