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meerec

50 APO vs 50 // can’t see any difference

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Honestly after more pixel peeking I do not see compelling differences enough to upgrade my summicron 50 v5 to summicron 50 APO ... the former is just so good ūüė䬆

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10 hours ago, pixelman said:

What shutter speed did you use?  If you hand held less than 125 or 250th of a second you likely won’t see a difference.  In a controlled environment the APO should be noticeably better.

hi @pixelman I shot without much control to be honest ... AUTO-ISO which was around 600-1250 and shutter speed set to 1/2xFL = 1/100 sec in all shots

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11 hours ago, albertknappmd said:

look at your pictures at 100 mag and if in focus, you will notice a significant difference.

 

@albertknappmd I did just that and I did not see significant differences ... really hardly noticeable

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10 hours ago, tsleica said:

Shoot a brick wall..you will see a difference...lol..

I am not going to shoot a brick wall @tsleica¬†hahahahaha¬†ūüėā

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9 hours ago, otto.f said:

Perhaps you should compare them with a monochrome if your dealer has one

The camera bodies of interest to me @otto.f¬†are the ones I own now, not what the dealer¬†has on the shelf¬†ūüėāso in my case is the SL and CL and I shot with both. Is the Leica MM the only camera that will take a significance advantage when shooting with 50 APO vs 50 v5? If so ... I've lost interest in the 50 APO !!

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Yeah the Summicron is already a great lens.... the differences are subtle at best.  Too see real world differences (not an optical test bench) there's always the Summilux and Noctilux :D

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9 hours ago, lct said:

Not easy to do comparos. I used to do a couple of them in the past. Needed a tripod, same subject matter, same light, same FoV, same focus point... same everything but lenses. Better get some edges and corners in focus as well since it is there that differences are the more obvious.

Hey @lct it may be right ... but why would I care? MY idea was to shoot an image the way I'd casually shoot a portrait, not to scientifically prove one lens is potentially better than the other. What I care is a practical outcome. I have now an opportunity to upgrade my 50 v5 to 50 APO through a lenses swap transaction with another shooter but at this stage I see no point !!

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9 hours ago, mmradman said:

Maybe your plain Summicron has APO optical cell fitted by mistake¬†ūüėé

@mmradman¬†ūüėāūüėā maybe ... it is fabulous indeed

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9 hours ago, spydrxx said:

Cheer up - if you can't tell the difference, then you can be comfortable with your current lens and not have a GAS attack to spend more money. This is a blessing, not a curse.

@spydrxx indeed, I feel rather blessed and my pending lens transaction (swapping EM 24 + SEM 18) for the 50 APO may not be making sense at all

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8 hours ago, pedaes said:

Why would a simple lens comparison make you go insane. What were you expecting to see? There are loads of credible lens tests around that show the differences - which is not just about sharpness across the frame. Are you now comfortable  that you have satisfied yourself that any claimed benefit is a myth? http://www.lenscore.org

@pedaes I spent a lot of time researching the 50 APO ... read the post / review by Overgaard, listened to Peter Karbe, looked at every image ever posted on the internet shot with the 50 APO -- before going out to the Leica Store to do a simple comparison. So I was fully hyped up by all that search I did, and then ... boom!! I bring the pics home comparing the 50 v5 with 50 APO and I see nothing. Nothing of the things other people have been telling me I will see. That is why I felt like *insane*. And still do ... in a way disappointed.

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15 minutes ago, Mr.Q said:

eah the Summicron is already a great lens.... the differences are subtle at best.  Too see real world differences (not an optical test bench) there's always the Summilux and Noctilux :D

@Mr.Q ... maybe in the future I should aim at the Noctilux rather than the 50 APO 

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Meerec,   It will get down to what genre of photography you want to do with the 50mm lens.  As  you are well aware, each draws differently and all have their pros and cons.  When I owned the 50mm Apo-Summicron, my clients found the images to be too "real" for landscape photographs.   Aussie competition judges told me the same thing even though they really liked the content of the images.  So, I went back to the 50mm Summilux-Asph that as you recall, is an APO design.  According to Peter Karbe, the lens really should be called a 50mm Apo-Summilux-Asph.  Tough decision.  I am sure our friends at Leica Sydney will help you with whatever you decide to do.   r/ Mark

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Meerec - on the one hand, your test is a bit like driving a Lamborghini and a Yugo at 60 kph - of course you won't see much difference (except the upholstery quality). ;)

OTOH, if that's how you like to shoot (and so do I) then the vanilla 50 is just fine - there's a reason it has not needed redesigning optically for 38 years.

What makes the APO special (maybe)?

- Corner sharpness (and your corners are all blurred anyway - no sharpness to compare)

- APO performance (which simply means - focuses 3 wavelengths of light in the same plane.) You'd need to shoot in a situation where color fringing would show - much stronger contrasts than skin tones against skin tones. Sharp-edged highlights on the verge of blowing (car chrome trim, leaves against sky, for example).

- Focus shift - you'd have to shoot both lenses under very controlled conditions (test chart or firmly-seated subject, tripod) at f/2, f/2.8, and f/4 - to see if the plane of focus shifts from eyes to eyebrows or some such, with stopping down.

- Extra precision in assembly (which has to be matched by an equivalent extra precision in technique). Not to complain, but in your male portrait, you managed to focus on his sideburn with one lens and his glasses with the other - that doesn't demonstrate anything! ;) And on digital I don't bother with hand-held tests at less than 1/1000th sec.

- Flare control (maybe - the APO had a flare issue of its own until Leica made adjustments) - and again that will depend on shooting in flare-prone conditions.

- megapixels - the APO is forward-looking to the day Leicas may have 48 Mp or more, where you might see more difference. Or on ultra-fine-grain microfilm. Or an MM. 24 color-demosaiced Mpixels just won't reveal that much more sharpness above 80 lppm (but some, in the right conditions).

And even with all that - the APO will not be 3x "as good" just because it is 3X "as expensive." The last 20% of additional quality makes up 80% of the price (as with most engineering).

All that being said, I'm not in the market for the APO either. Would be a waste with my style of shooting.

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5 hours ago, meerec said:

@spydrxx indeed, I feel rather blessed and my pending lens transaction (swapping EM 24 + SEM 18) for the 50 APO may not be making sense at all

Swapping your 24 isn’t very wise anyway. 

I dare say btw that the Elmar-M 50/2.8 will outperform the Summicron 50/2.0 v5 at f2.8, at least my copy does.

There was a test here on the forum that showed that at F4 and for sure at F5.6 all 50’s are equal

Edited by otto.f

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2 hours ago, adan said:

Meerec - on the one hand, your test is a bit like driving a Lamborghini and a Yugo at 60 kph - of course you won't see much difference (except the upholstery quality). ;)

OTOH, if that's how you like to shoot (and so do I) then the vanilla 50 is just fine - there's a reason it has not needed redesigning optically for 38 years.

What makes the APO special (maybe)?

- Corner sharpness (and your corners are all blurred anyway - no sharpness to compare)

- APO performance (which simply means - focuses 3 wavelengths of light in the same plane.) You'd need to shoot in a situation where color fringing would show - much stronger contrasts than skin tones against skin tones. Sharp-edged highlights on the verge of blowing (car chrome trim, leaves against sky, for example).

- Focus shift - you'd have to shoot both lenses under very controlled conditions (test chart or firmly-seated subject, tripod) at f/2, f/2.8, and f/4 - to see if the plane of focus shifts from eyes to eyebrows or some such, with stopping down.

- Extra precision in assembly (which has to be matched by an equivalent extra precision in technique). Not to complain, but in your male portrait, you managed to focus on his sideburn with one lens and his glasses with the other - that doesn't demonstrate anything! ;) And on digital I don't bother with hand-held tests at less than 1/1000th sec.

- Flare control (maybe - the APO had a flare issue of its own until Leica made adjustments) - and again that will depend on shooting in flare-prone conditions.

- megapixels - the APO is forward-looking to the day Leicas may have 48 Mp or more, where you might see more difference. Or on ultra-fine-grain microfilm. Or an MM. 24 color-demosaiced Mpixels just won't reveal that much more sharpness above 80 lppm (but some, in the right conditions).

And even with all that - the APO will not be 3x "as good" just because it is 3X "as expensive." The last 20% of additional quality makes up 80% of the price (as with most engineering).

All that being said, I'm not in the market for the APO either. Would be a waste with my style of shooting.

@adan -- great points, you're right on the money with all your statements or at least they make sense to me !! So maybe future-proofing is one such good reason to invest in glass that will last through a few generations of cameras. I admit that the test was totally unscientific ad hoc unprepared and chaotic (even my negligence in properly focussing my subject as you picked up correctly and I'm totally aware of) -- I just thought the differences will be obvious to me anyway to support my go-no-go-decision ... And I was no prepared to find out that the old design by Walter Mandler is so good even today encapsulated in the summicron 50 v5. Thanks for the comments.

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14 minutes ago, otto.f said:

Swapping your 24 isn’t very wise anyway. 

@otto.f agree that it would be a loss not having the elmar-m 24 // a very fine lens

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4 hours ago, LeicaR10 said:

Meerec,   It will get down to what genre of photography you want to do with the 50mm lens.  As  you are well aware, each draws differently and all have their pros and cons.  When I owned the 50mm Apo-Summicron, my clients found the images to be too "real" for landscape photographs.   Aussie competition judges told me the same thing even though they really liked the content of the images.  So, I went back to the 50mm Summilux-Asph that as you recall, is an APO design.  According to Peter Karbe, the lens really should be called a 50mm Apo-Summilux-Asph.  Tough decision.  I am sure our friends at Leica Sydney will help you with whatever you decide to do.   r/ Mark

that is so surprising @leicaR10 about the judging the landscape photos competitions !

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33 minutes ago, otto.f said:

I dare say btw that the Elmar-M 50/2.8 will outperform the Summicron 50/2.0 v5 at f2.8, at least my copy does.

You cannot buy the elmar-M 50 anymore in the shop, second hand only ... @otto.f

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6 hours ago, meerec said:

Hey @lct it may be right ... but why would I care? MY idea was to shoot an image the way I'd casually shoot a portrait, not to scientifically prove one lens is potentially better than the other. What I care is a practical outcome. I have now an opportunity to upgrade my 50 v5 to 50 APO through a lenses swap transaction with another shooter but at this stage I see no point !!

You see no point¬†but you ask don't you. ūüėČ Personally i have both lenses so i can only tell what i see. Now i don't print large and i prefer lenses with character so i can assure you that buying a lens like the 50/2 apo is not necessary at all.B)

Edited by lct

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3 minutes ago, lct said:

You see no point¬†but you ask doesn't you. ūüėČ Personally i have both lenses so i can only tell what i see. Now i don't print large and i prefer lenses with character so i can assure you that buying a lens like the 50/2 apo is not necessary at all.B)

yep ... I get the point @lct¬†-- I asked because I was not sure ... now¬†I've learnt a lot from this exchange by you and others, it's been very helpful -- I have now information I need to make a decision on my own (I never expected anyone to decide for me¬†ūüôā)

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