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steed

Need advice on heretic question: collapsible summicron vs canon 1.4 ltm

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May need to have a one camera one lens trip. Lots of scenery along the way. Collapsible summicron or Canon 50mm f1.4 ltm with adapter? 

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I did an article for the LHSA Viewfinder on the Canon 50/1.4 Ltd, popularly known as the Japanese Summilux. It is a fantastic lens. The Summicron is very good, and was quite good at the time it was introduced. The rigid version is much better. The Canon is relatively inexpensive but really very, very good.

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The Canon is bulkier but one stop faster. Stopped down to appr. 5.6 it is on the same level as the rigid Summicron (Version 2) and as said above - very very good. The col. Summicron is softer wide open, offers lower contrast than the other ones but is compact. I sold the Canon, kept the Summicrons: the rigid is used outside on ocasion and the collapsible stays on the shelf.

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I have both (the Canon belongs to a friend but I can use it).

The Canon has more contrast and a more “Japanese” glass look to the pictures. The collapsible Summicron is smaller when collapsed for carrying and a bit more smooth Leica like in the look of the pictures, as far as my experience goes.

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Steed,

 

 

I use (and own

even more 50mm lenses) some very nice 50mm include these two...

 

Summicron or Canon, I don't know myself which one to use as only one lens to rule them all.

As side note I'd use as only one for a time Summilux-M 50mm II (no asph.

) or Summarit-M 2.5/50mm on M.

 

To help for choosing one of the two,  I have some ideas but that may not be important for you.

Results can be much the same in most of time with same aperture with the two.

 

- depend on which M, I'd go for one or the other :

  a - film M, I'd take Canon for it's f/1.4

  b - digital M, I'd take Summicron which if need be more ISO value can be used

 

- if size and weight matter, Summicron is of course the choice

 

- aperture opening at close down can lead to "happy" or not so happy "out of focus rendering with spots"

 

here two pictures to judge by yourself

 

Sorry, I forgot to unmount the M ring on Canon

 

.

 

 

..

 

Aperture opening at f/4 almost round for Summicron and not really round for Canon

 

...

 

 

And my hommage to Mrs Peel

 

Wish see her more often.

Edited by a.noctilux

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The Canon 1.4 is a fine lens, but when used on an ltm Leica the diameter blocks too much of the finder. It does much better on a Canon ltm body, as the finder window is farther off-axis. Since the OP mentioned an adapter with the Canon, I assume it would be on an M model, where ic should be fine.

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Here's one shot with the Canon 50/1.4

Santana at the House of Blues Las Vegas

 

I enjoyed your Viewfinder article on the 50/1.4 Canon LTM... very comprehensive. Having had mine recently reconditioned, this lens is pretty much the mainstay on my M240, I like it that much.

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Is it for film or for digital?

Is low light going to be involved?

 

I could not find better lens for BW film than CC.

Canons LTM lenses needs to be cheched for haze.

If scenery to be taken 1.4 has little use for it, if mid night booze to be taken then 1.4 is a plus.

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I have both a rigid Summicron and the Canon 5cm f1.8 all chrome "Hiroshi" lens in LTM. I would say there is very little to choose between them. The Canon probably has very slightly more contrast and fractionally better sharpness in the centre of the image used wide open but suffers from slightly more spherical aberration at the edges than the Summicron, which therefore is more consistent all across the image. Both lenses get noticeably better when stopped down to f2,8. The coating on the Canon is far more robust than the notoriously soft "drip" coating on the contemporaneous Leica lenses. Finally in "bang for your buck" the Canon lens wins hands down, costing approximately one fifth of the price or less of an equivalent condition Summicron. I prefer the f1.8 Canon to the f1.4. Firstly as others have mentioned the viewfinder blocking is less and I understand that the incidence of non-cleanable element fogging is less common on the all chrome f1.8 lenses compared with the black barrel models. 

 

Wilson

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I enjoyed your Viewfinder article on the 50/1.4 Canon LTM... very comprehensive. Having had mine recently reconditioned, this lens is pretty much the mainstay on my M240, I like it that much.

Glad you enjoyed may article. I have an obsession with older lenses and love trying them out on my Leica M cameras. Here is another article you might find interesting, reposted on Red Dot Forum. At the time I wrote this, I rounded up all of the 50mm lenses I could lay my hands on in M and LTM mounts. Unfortunately, the Canon 50/1.4 was not one of them.

 

https://www.reddotforum.com/content/2014/10/bokeh-kings/

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Glad you enjoyed may article. I have an obsession with older lenses and love trying them out on my Leica M cameras. Here is another article you might find interesting, reposted on Red Dot Forum. At the time I wrote this, I rounded up all of the 50mm lenses I could lay my hands on in M and LTM mounts. Unfortunately, the Canon 50/1.4 was not one of them.

 

https://www.reddotforum.com/content/2014/10/bokeh-kings/

Thanks for the link, interesting article! I notice, this time you included the Canon 50/1.2; I also have this one and although not as revered as the 50/1.4, they are, according to some tests I’ve seen, about equal once you get to f/4 or so. There are some situations where it comes in handy and compared to the others, is still a bargain.

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A long time ago I used the collapsible Summicron on my f & g bodies together with Ilford FP3 when travelling. Developed in Microphen and with the proper contrast Agfa paper through the contemporary Schneider Componon, usually at 10x magnification, I found it entirely satisfactory.  The main point of the collapsible was that it was a better fit in my anorak pocket.

For less grain and more critical sharpness i sometimes used Panatomic in D-76. Never blamed the lens for bad snaps.

No experience with Canon 1,4, but did briefly use the 1,2 wide open (on a Canon7) for its light-gathering ability. Too bulky and not particularly sharp.

Nowadays I would assume that the newer collapsible Elmar, Voigtländers collapsible Heliar on a digital body would be usable in lower light, give better results and still be compact. With improved film they might even serve better on M-3\4\5\6\7.

p.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The modern 50 Elmar is the only Leica lens I have ever had (and I have owned a lot over the years and currently have around 35) that I felt was badly made. Compared with my older Elmars, dating back to 1931 and including a late 1950's M mount model, the barrel was very sloppy and if you pointed the camera downwards and gave it a shake, the lens would fall out from the collapsed position. It could be wobbled slightly when "locked" in position. The diaphragm control ring detents were sufficiently weak as to allow the merest brush of anything against the ring to alter the aperture. If I had bought it new, it would have gone straight back to Leica but I bought second hand by mail. As I bought it in 2007 and it was a factory coded lens, it cannot have been old and worn out - just sloppy manufacture. Its optical performance was OK but not as good as say the 50mm/f2 Zeiss Planar ZM I also had at the time, either in sharpness or more particularly in contrast, where the Planar is almost too high.  Wilson

Edited by wlaidlaw

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I, too, had an Elmar-M 50 that was "sloppy". I sent it to DAG, and he tightened it right up. Was better than new after that. Sharp lens, VERY short focus throw. 

I had a Canon 50/1.4 at one time. Also a sharp lens, but VERY long focus throw. So long, in fact, that it became annoying.

The collapsible Summicron I owned was just ok. Great build quality. A little too soft and low contrast at f2-2.8, and just ok at f4 and above. Didn't work so well for how I like to shoot.

The best of the collapsible lens I've tried is the Konica Hexanon 50/2.4 LTM. Very sharp from wide open (sharper than the Elmar, I feel). Very modern rendering. Build quality is so-so - reminds me of my Elmar more than the Summicron. 

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11 hours ago, oldwino said:

 

...I had a Canon 50/1.4 at one time. Also a sharp lens, but VERY long focus throw. So long, in fact, that it became annoying...

 

Hi Beck

Not sure which Canon 50mm f1.4 you have but my ltm model has same throw as my Summicrom 50mm f2 ltm (collapsible)...that is 180°.

 

I have other lenses though which have much more throw.  It can be irritating, i agree.

 

...

 

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18 hours ago, oldwino said:

I, too, had an Elmar-M 50 that was "sloppy". I sent it to DAG, and he tightened it right up. Was better than new after that. Sharp lens, VERY short focus throw. 

I had a Canon 50/1.4 at one time. Also a sharp lens, but VERY long focus throw. So long, in fact, that it became annoying.

The collapsible Summicron I owned was just ok. Great build quality. A little too soft and low contrast at f2-2.8, and just ok at f4 and above. Didn't work so well for how I like to shoot.

The best of the collapsible lens I've tried is the Konica Hexanon 50/2.4 LTM. Very sharp from wide open (sharper than the Elmar, I feel). Very modern rendering. Build quality is so-so - reminds me of my Elmar more than the Summicron. 

There may not be much that can be done about a “sloppy” Elmar than apply thick grease to the focusing helicoid to “tighten it up”.  It was probably what DAG did In this case.  Sadly that doesn´t address the root of the problem that you, Wilson, and many others have experienced with this lens, since it will eventually go right back to its original sloppy state.

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40 minutes ago, M9reno said:

There may not be much that can be done about a “sloppy” Elmar than apply thick grease to the focusing helicoid to “tighten it up”.  It was probably what DAG did In this case.  Sadly that doesn´t address the root of the problem that you, Wilson, and many others have experienced with this lens, since it will eventually go right back to its original sloppy state.

If I had been the person signing off on the final redesign of the Elmar, I would have sent it back to the development team. Compared with my earlier f2.8 M mount version, it just did not feel like a quality product. All the other collapsible lenses, feel like a hydraulic piston, tight and damped. The final Elmar felt like a Jupiter Russian lens. Given the price of Leica equipment, it is essential that both the look and the feel are that of a quality product. Leica nearly always achieve this, which is why I cannot understand what went awry with the Elmar. I was going to look up the release date of the final Elmar on the Wiki but the Wiki seems to have vanished with the site redesign. I hope it returns as it was a very useful quick reference for us historic Leica eithusiasts. 

Wilson

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