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andrewteee

50mm lens for the SL for my 50th - which one?

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I am having a similar debate to the OP, albeit between the APO Summicron-M 50/2 and the Summilux-SL 50/1.4. The APO-M 50/2 is ultra compact in size and weight compared to the Lux SL, but is massively expensive, not weather resistant, and 'only f2'. From reviews I've read and images I"ve seen, the Lux SL somehow has even better colors, sharpness, and 3D pop than the APO 50/2, is almost half the price, has AF, and is fully weather sealed. But it is almost as big and heavy as the 24-90 and takes up just as much slot space in my gear bag. 

 

I own an SL, M10 and M246, and purchasing the APO 50/2 is a heavy initial investment, but enables me to use it across all three bodies (it seems to be particularly magical with the 246). I sold the 24-90 recently and am looking to bookend the system with 16-35 and 90-280 SL zooms, the latter of which I already own, and thus I am looking for the perfect 50 to slot in between the two zooms, but am having trouble deciding between APO 50/2, Lux SL, and potentially the APO-SL 50/2 scheduled for a release in the first half of 2019. 

 

Any thoughts on this?  

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Buy the 50 Summilux -M ASPH instead, and use the savings compared to the APO Summicron M to take a trip. And gain a stop in the process. I also prefer the ergonomics of the Summilux M vs the APO.

 

Jeff

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Or even the "standard" Summicron. The differences to the APO are there, undoubtedly, but they are so subtle that 95% of photographers don't benefit by them and 99% of viewers don't see them on normal prints. You need a photographer with impeccable technique, a trained observer and a faultless print at least 1 meter wide and then the APO will show its superiority.

 

Don't forget that Internet raves about lenses are based on 100% or even 200% viewing which bears little if any relationship to reality.

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All true, although the 50 Summicron has a greater propensity to flare than the other two. Still, all superb lenses in the right hands. Lots of other good options , too.

 

Jeff

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Or even the "standard" Summicron. The differences to the APO are there, undoubtedly, but they are so subtle that 95% of photographers don't benefit by them and 99% of viewers don't see them on normal prints. You need a photographer with impeccable technique, a trained observer and a faultless print at least 1 meter wide and then the APO will show its superiority.

 

Don't forget that Internet raves about lenses are based on 100% or even 200% viewing which bears little if any relationship to reality.

I shot on the M240 the 50 APO, 50 Summilux ASPH, Noctilux, and for the fun of it the 70S on an S006. I walked around the Leica Store LA and they were nice enough to let me shoot quite a few shots to duplicate with each combination.

 

It surprised me that I preferred the APO shots repeatedly when I viewed at home. They were close enough that I purchased a Summilux ASPH but definitely preferred the APO. It was difficult to to say why those shots stood out when shooting each at f/2 and I didn’t have them labeled to know which I was viewing.

 

I was left not seeing the need for impeccable technique (other than perhaps to avoid motion blur or misfocus?) and I didn’t print 1m wide either. I did print two shots (Summilux and APO) on 17x22 paper with my P800. My opinion didn’t change with the two prints.

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All true, although the 50 Summicron has a greater propensity to flare than the other two. Still, all superb lenses in the right hands. Lots of other good options , too.

 

Jeff

Regarding flare, I will rate the lenses with the 50Cron APO-M being the most flare resistant, followed by 50Lux-M, and with 50Cron-M flaring most (all latest version).

 

Based on using the three lenses for some time (years), I ende up selling the latter two.

 

The 50Cron APO-M is one of the optically most perfect M-lenses made by Leica.

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Well, I turn 50 on Monday and this week I ordered the Summilux-SL. I opened it and I've taken it on a couple of photo walks to make sure it's working properly (it is). One thing I've realized is that it's been a while since I've had a fast FF lens (excepting the Q) and I'll have to readjust to it. I've come to be used to (and maybe prefer) pictures with more DoF. Many years ago I used to shoot what I called "Ground" pictures with the Canon 50L (f1.2) - I think revisiting that project may be may first use of the Summilux-SL. I also used to shoot landscapes with the Ricoh GXR 50mm pair; I'll have to take photowalks with the Leica to revisit that project too. I think I may still end up using the 24-90mm more often, though. 

But whatever the aperture, the Summilux-SL is amazing. I've also remembered how much I like the 50mm focal length. 

I saw that Leica has more Summicrons planned... looking forward to the 24mm or 21mm! 

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46 minutes ago, andrewteee said:

Well, I turn 50 on Monday and this week I ordered the Summilux-SL. I opened it and I've taken it on a couple of photo walks to make sure it's working properly (it is). One thing I've realized is that it's been a while since I've had a fast FF lens (excepting the Q) and I'll have to readjust to it. I've come to be used to (and maybe prefer) pictures with more DoF. Many years ago I used to shoot what I called "Ground" pictures with the Canon 50L (f1.2) - I think revisiting that project may be may first use of the Summilux-SL. I also used to shoot landscapes with the Ricoh GXR 50mm pair; I'll have to take photowalks with the Leica to revisit that project too. I think I may still end up using the 24-90mm more often, though. 

But whatever the aperture, the Summilux-SL is amazing. I've also remembered how much I like the 50mm focal length. 

I saw that Leica has more Summicrons planned... looking forward to the 24mm or 21mm! 

Congratulations on your purchase and your birthday. It’s a great lens.

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I finally got to get my 50SL: I traded for it at Leica in Bellevue, but the seller had yet to finalize their deal with the store until a few days ago, so it was on hold for me for about a week.

It is a stunning lens. I also have the 50M ASPH, as well as a bunch of other 50s: v5 Cron, 5cm Summarit, 5cm Summitar, MS Optical f1.1, 7Artisans, v2 Lux, and I've had the f1.1 Nokton, as well as 50s for other systems. The SL is the most impressive. The biggest, but the sharpest and cleanest, with lovely oof rendering. I love it.

I thought about waiting for the SL cron, but what if it's priced like the 50APO? This like-new 50SL was to good to pass up, and I'm glad I didn't.

Edited by hteasley

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Go for the classic Summicron R 50mm. It’s a fine starting point - inexpensive and easy to find. It handles very well on the SL.and is amazing in IQ for such a humble lens. If you find after a while that you need AF go and give the SL75 a try. It is quite close to 50mm und quite small and a joy to use on the SL. I often use it rather than the SL50, which is optically also perfect (Leicas most perfect 50mm), but a beast in size. Or select the SL50 if you don’t mind the size/weight, optically it is unbeaten, it is the reference lens for 50mm. (Together with the Otus 55mm.)

If you instead prefer minimal depth of field and a special bokeh, go for the Noctilux. Maybe better you go for the older one. The f/1.0 Nocti is very special and cheaper than the f/0.95 , which is already almost too perfect/clean for me. 

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