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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!

 

It might be because the Zeiss 35mm Biogon F2 is significantly better.

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I had the 35 Summicron ASPH, then used the 35 Summilux FLE for a few years, but came full circle and am back to the Summicron ASPH. I much prefer the Summicron ASPH.   I would respectfully propose that many people have a confirmation bias in stating a preference for the Summilux due its higher cost and its perceived status as the "best" 35mm Leica-branded option.   I didn't feel that the Summilux had an improvement in image quality that mattered in real-life use. Shooting at 1.4 had lots of

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.   Hello guest! Please regi

The 35mm ASPH has got to be the most versatile lens I've ever used, I also own a Mandler 35 summicron which I adore equally. Mine's a 2016 copy with the metal hood. I guess the reason why 35mm summicron doesn't get mentioned often is because it's so "normal" and you don't expect it to "shine" like other specialty lenses (luxes, APOs) when in real life it's so practical and performs wonderfully in all situations.    Attached some images captured mostly on films, some digital. Compressed images

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I had the 35 Summicron ASPH, then used the 35 Summilux FLE for a few years, but came full circle and am back to the Summicron ASPH. I much prefer the Summicron ASPH.

 

I would respectfully propose that many people have a confirmation bias in stating a preference for the Summilux due its higher cost and its perceived status as the "best" 35mm Leica-branded option.

 

I didn't feel that the Summilux had an improvement in image quality that mattered in real-life use. Shooting at 1.4 had lots of vignetting, focus challenges, and a look that got old pretty quickly. I also found it to be too big, especially when compared to the Summicron ASPH, which I would argue is a masterpiece of ergonomics.

 

I am using the Summicron ASPH on a MM1 and M-D, and pretty much always shoot wide open at f2, and I have never found it wanting in sharpness. To me, it is the quintessential Leica lens: excellent ergonomics, ideal focal length for rangefinder shooting, and brilliant ergonomics. It is the best kind of tool in that it simply gets out of the way.

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I had the Lux 35 FE briefly and, comparing it to the latest 35 cron, there was no optical or stylistic difference from F2 onwards in print, even at relatively large sizes. 

 

THe only optical difference was at 1.4. And I must say to my eyes the results were wonderful. 

 

However, there was, of course, a noticeable difference in handling. The Lux was larger, a little heavier, and a little less smooth to focus, perhaps due to the FLE. Did others also have that slightly uneven focusing action? Or was it just my copy? 

 

 

I had the 35 Summicron ASPH, then used the 35 Summilux FLE for a few years, but came full circle and am back to the Summicron ASPH. I much prefer the Summicron ASPH.

 

I would respectfully propose that many people have a confirmation bias in stating a preference for the Summilux due its higher cost and its perceived status as the "best" 35mm Leica-branded option.

 

I didn't feel that the Summilux had an improvement in image quality that mattered in real-life use. Shooting at 1.4 had lots of vignetting, focus challenges, and a look that got old pretty quickly. I also found it to be too big, especially when compared to the Summicron ASPH, which I would argue is a masterpiece of ergonomics.

 

I am using the Summicron ASPH on a MM1 and M-D, and pretty much always shoot wide open at f2, and I have never found it wanting in sharpness. To me, it is the quintessential Leica lens: excellent ergonomics, ideal focal length for rangefinder shooting, and brilliant ergonomics. It is the best kind of tool in that it simply gets out of the way.

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Depends on sample variation but FLE can explain this slightly uneven action. If it does not bother you i would keep it as is or i would take the risk to return it more than one time to get better results. Been there with my 50/1.4 asph. It is now butter smooth but it took two shippings to Germany and several months to get there. No regret but i prefer to warn you.

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Yes, stiffer due to the separately floating group and needed mechanics. As bigger as it is compared to the f2 ASPH, I always find myself going right back to the f1.4 FLE after swapping them

out for a day or two.

 

Between the 35/1.4, 21 SEM, 75 f2 APO and 135mm f3.4 APO, i have a hard time finding anything to complain about, especially on the M246 I have as all of those lenses are perfectly matched for the camera’s rangefinder.

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The 35mm ASPH has got to be the most versatile lens I've ever used, I also own a Mandler 35 summicron which I adore equally. Mine's a 2016 copy with the metal hood. I guess the reason why 35mm summicron doesn't get mentioned often is because it's so "normal" and you don't expect it to "shine" like other specialty lenses (luxes, APOs) when in real life it's so practical and performs wonderfully in all situations. 

 

Attached some images captured mostly on films, some digital. Compressed images appear pixelated but the files look good on my laptop and on prints.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I love this lens. "It's my dessert island lens".  

It renders beautifully and the bokeh is ok. I use this for landscape, portrait and documentary.

 

 

 

Edited by stephengv
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It seems to me that people are debating these lenses in isolation and not in reference to the "medium". In my experience, the various lenses that can shine on one camera can be "boring" on another. For example, the old lenses (in particular Cron 35 V1 8-element, Cron 50 V2 Rigid and the Elmar 90 3-element) work really great on the Monochrom for me where they provide a beautiful range of half tones and the attractive retro look often associated with black and white imagery. But I don't like them nearly as much on the colour cameras. Similarly, I really liked the rendering of the Mandler era lenses, e.g. the 28 Elmarit pre-Asph (and some more modern lenses like the Lux 50 Asph, 35 Asph) on the M9 where their slightly lower contrast was matched very well with the CCD sensor's characteristics (punchy colours, higher contrast out of camera). Moving forward to the CMOS chip cameras, where the OOC images come out more flat in the quest to provide wider dynamic range, the most modern lenses (like 50 Apo or Lux 35 FLE) provide the most pleasing images for me. In short, I was very happy with the Cron 35 Asph for many years, starting with my M6 back in the days of film, but prefer the rendering of the 35 Lux FLE these days, on the M10. 

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On 8/9/2018 at 6:19 AM, adan said:

 

 

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.

 

 

 

This corner smear is why I sold mine in favour of my pre-asph version IV. I also found the background blur too boring. I prefer the swirl of the pre-asph.

Pete

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Hello,

I have a summicron V1 8 lenses, a summaron f2.8 6 lenses and the summicron ASPH silver V1. I had the summicron V4 7 lenses, but I liked it the less of the 4; as it flares quite easily and does have a lot of spherical and astigmatism abberations if opened less than f4. Also it was difficult to have the corners sharp with the V4.  The summicron Asph 35 is very sharp and contrasty up to the edges. It gives perfect pictures. It still has some astigmatism abberations and some slight distortion. It is the best lens to take pictures agains the sun (very high resistance to réflexions). The summaron 35 F2.8 is a very nice lens, very sharp and contrasty and as the summicron V1 8 lenses has the best sharpness (no CA, no astigmatism, no distortion) and provides very nice colors. To me the summicron V1 is the best of the 4, as it is very sharp every where, even in the corners,  starting at F4 and gives the most pleasing colors contrast and finesse as well as no distortion. It could flare when facing the sun, which could be its only weak point. It is also very light and well balanced on the M body. Most of my pictures are made on a leica M240 and a Leica M5 (in black and white). I also have the summicron rigid 50mm F2 and elmar 90mm f4 3 lenses which are also giving the same kind of finesse , colors and pleasing very high sharpness.

Best regards.

Dominique.

 

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