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meerec

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

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Just another thing when I am trying to recall the example pictures that were shown here in that forum: We saw in fact some differences but I would not call these „improvemants“. I remember that there were some differences in blured background. Just slighly different not better. I never considered having that APO lens and always prefered having the f/1.4 instead.

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6 minutes ago, Alex U. said:

Just another thing when I am trying to recall the example pictures that were shown here in that forum: We saw in fact some differences but I would not call these „improvemants“. I remember that there were some differences in blured background. Just slighly different not better. I never considered having that APO lens and always prefered having the f/1.4 instead.

Different feeling here. In bought the apo because i dislike the 50/1.4 asph's OoF rendition around f/2.8. Too harsh for my taste whereas the 50/2 apo was the only 50 i knew of providing both edge to edge sharpness at all apertures and smooth bokeh.

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20 hours ago, meerec said:

I can’t see any noticeable difference between these two lenses in those test snaps. What is wrong with me? What is wrong with that 50 APO. Is my copy of summicron 50 so good? What should I be looking at? What am I missing? 

The question is about what were you expecting? You are comparing two extremely good lenses. How different did you expect them to be and in what way?

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For me as an S user, this is a frustrating reminder that while Leica makes some of the greatest lenses available, they consistently fail to give you a body that makes those achievements visible. When they released the S lenses Peter Karbe said they would hold up for the next three generations of sensors. Three camera bodies later we are still at 37mp. Hopefully the new 64mp S will demonstrate some of the strengths of the lenses. It is the same with the M10...only 24mp with the best set of 35mm lenses at a time when all the 35mm competition boasts 40+mp cameras. We as Leica users fetishise the lenses but rarely get a body that truly tests them. I realize that there are other priorities and I am not saying the S and M cameras are bad, but it is a very strange marketing choice to make the highest resolution lenses of a major manufacturer and while putting out the lowest resolution headline cameras of a major manufacturer. 

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26 minutes ago, Stuart Richardson said:

For me as an S user, this is a frustrating reminder that while Leica makes some of the greatest lenses available, they consistently fail to give you a body that makes those achievements visible. When they released the S lenses Peter Karbe said they would hold up for the next three generations of sensors. Three camera bodies later we are still at 37mp. Hopefully the new 64mp S will demonstrate some of the strengths of the lenses. It is the same with the M10...only 24mp with the best set of 35mm lenses at a time when all the 35mm competition boasts 40+mp cameras. We as Leica users fetishise the lenses but rarely get a body that truly tests them. I realize that there are other priorities and I am not saying the S and M cameras are bad, but it is a very strange marketing choice to make the highest resolution lenses of a major manufacturer and while putting out the lowest resolution headline cameras of a major manufacturer. 

It’s only friendly, you can keep your lenses for ages while the recording medium is changing. 

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1 hour ago, pgk said:

The question is about what were you expecting? You are comparing two extremely good lenses. How different did you expect them to be and in what way?

I expected a lot !! @pgk

In the city I live, and currency I operate with, the v5 costs 3,300 and APO costs 11,000. Don’t i have the right to expect?

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37 minutes ago, Stuart Richardson said:

For me as an S user, this is a frustrating reminder that while Leica makes some of the greatest lenses available, they consistently fail to give you a body that makes those achievements visible. When they released the S lenses Peter Karbe said they would hold up for the next three generations of sensors. Three camera bodies later we are still at 37mp. Hopefully the new 64mp S will demonstrate some of the strengths of the lenses. It is the same with the M10...only 24mp with the best set of 35mm lenses at a time when all the 35mm competition boasts 40+mp cameras. We as Leica users fetishise the lenses but rarely get a body that truly tests them. I realize that there are other priorities and I am not saying the S and M cameras are bad, but it is a very strange marketing choice to make the highest resolution lenses of a major manufacturer and while putting out the lowest resolution headline cameras of a major manufacturer. 

Hmm, I definitely see what you mean, however, Leica M is also about the goldilocks' path. Take the APO 50 for example, yes you can see a difference in resolution on a higher res body but a large (but somewhat under-appreciated) part of its charm is its completely transparent behaviour and the sharp contrast drop whilst maintaining the rendering and size of the v5 cron (at the expense of price). I see the M10 as something similar, the 24MP hits a sweetspot of resolution, DR, size and etc., for rangefinder shooting in absence of IBIS.

Also to consider is this "can I see the difference" thing, of which this thread is a good example. Just because I can see the clear difference on my retina display, with my (fairly good) eyes does not mean the OP can see it immediately on their setup because we are comparing the last 10 percent of optical performance. So this is another optimisation problem Leica has to consider. Is the increase in megapixels (and potential gains in size of the body) worth forcing people to change/improve their rangefinder shooting discipline if the end result can only be spotted consistently by a small (but non-trivial) percentage of people? 

Having said that, my opinion is that a 28/30MP M body would be a good evolution from the M10 in keeping with the goldilocks path, but that the SL and the Q should be more ambitious - the 37.4MP* of the new Zeiss ZX1 seems like a sensible model for the next generation of the Q or SL. 

*I assume this (37.4 rather than 42) is a very conscious decision by Zeiss, afterall they parter with Sony.

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1 hour ago, Stuart Richardson said:

For me as an S user, this is a frustrating reminder that while Leica makes some of the greatest lenses available, they consistently fail to give you a body that makes those achievements visible. When they released the S lenses Peter Karbe said they would hold up for the next three generations of sensors. Three camera bodies later we are still at 37mp. Hopefully the new 64mp S will demonstrate some of the strengths of the lenses. It is the same with the M10...only 24mp with the best set of 35mm lenses at a time when all the 35mm competition boasts 40+mp cameras. We as Leica users fetishise the lenses but rarely get a body that truly tests them. I realize that there are other priorities and I am not saying the S and M cameras are bad, but it is a very strange marketing choice to make the highest resolution lenses of a major manufacturer and while putting out the lowest resolution headline cameras of a major manufacturer. 

I’m not in the same boat with you @Stuart Richardson. I sail with CL and SL not S and for my purpose 24 MP has been okay. But at the same time, I’d like to see excellent results produced by those lenses. The results, in my opinion, do NOT depend on the number of MPs in the sensor. Some 18 years ago I acquired my very first digital SLR. It was a Canon D10 [not 10D ... that came so much later]. It was a 3.2 MP body (three point two megapixels). I still have many images in my Lightroom catalogue shot with various L lenses from Canon with that body, and even today, these images are not short on beauty. 

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5 minutes ago, Panda2 said:

Just because I can see the clear difference on my retina display, with my (fairly good) eyes does not mean the OP can see it immediately

Hey @Panda2 I looked at my test comparison images on a Retina display as well and I even put my reading glasses on, which I normally don’t require ... still couldn’t see much difference, only insignificant touch. 

😂😂

I’ve made these points already and will say it again: 1/ summicron 50 v5 that I own is a very good lens, 2/ summicron 50 APO that costs 3.5 x more delivers fantastic results but this incremental goodness isn’t worth $7,700 — to me, 3/ summicron 50 APO will deliver more visible results on Leica MM than what I’m able to see on my SL.  That’s what I have learnt in the last 24 hours. And it has been an interesting discovery. 

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2 minutes ago, meerec said:

Hey @Panda2 I looked at my test comparison images on a Retina display as well and I even put my reading glasses on, which I normally don’t require ... still couldn’t see much difference, only insignificant touch. 

😂😂

I’ve made these points already and will say it again: 1/ summicron 50 v5 that I own is a very good lens, 2/ summicron 50 APO that costs 3.5 x more delivers fantastic results but this incremental goodness isn’t worth $7,700 — to me, 3/ summicron 50 APO will deliver more visible results on Leica MM than what I’m able to see on my SL.  That’s what I have learnt in the last 24 hours. And it has been an interesting discovery. 

As an experiment, I opened your files on my non-retina 10 year old display and the differences were clear to me even there... 😂

But yes, I agree wholeheartedly with the second paragraph. The photographer in me already thinks we (or rather, I) have spent too long pixel-peeping today.. life is short, and the summicron v5 is an awesome lens 😄

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You'd probably need to be looking 200% or even 400% to maybe see a resolution difference? At this level, you'd be hard pressed. It's a later version of the same lens so the rendition seems pretty similar. I have the last version of the Summicron pre-APO myself. Does seem like a crazy cost jump, but that's Leica right -- quality and price is no object? 

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The APO and lenses like it bring out the mystery in the human artistic eye.  Do you see it or not?  Sure there are differences but get it if it’s something you’ll aboslotuley love.  I’m lucky enough to have an APO and lux. Since I have both I can fully admit how the lux is actually that good all around and at f2. Making a/b comparisons, The APO is better IME at f2.  

Dont get it because you just want to wear it like jewelry. I know some people start off with that purpose hehe. 

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@lexontario

ill play and I’ll admit so difficult to say looking at it on a forum  

Looking at it from my phone I can’t tell from those images.   But I see a more immediate transition of resolution from the brown material in front of the guitar and the table cloth to the left and right seems brighter. APO on the second one is my guess. 

Knowing I had to put effort into comparing even if flat out wrong. Those on the fence should ask themselves as well if it’s worth it.

Btw I use mine on an M9. 

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Leica has always dreamed of a "perfected" 50mm f/2.

Even in the 1960's they were making sketches of (and patented) a layered glass element - 5 glasses of different refractive indices, individually ground to fit against each other, be cemented together, and ground out again into aspheric front-back surfaces. I.E. the net refractive index would change, moving from the center of the lens to the edges. Totally impractical - that single element alone would have cost (in today's money) more than the APO. But they were trying.

Against that drive, there did have to be a "cheapest" Leica M lens, and until the Summarits of this century (f/2.5) that was to be the 50 Summicron (or intermittently, the Elmar f/2.8 collapsible). So Leica stayed with the well-understood and fairly simple near-symmetrical "double-gauss" 6-element design introduced as the Summar 50mm f/2 in 1933, making improvements over the decades (Summitar added a 7th "corrective" element, retained in the original rigid or collapsible Summicrons of the 1950s.)

By the 1960s, the price competition from Japan was getting serious (50mm f/2 Nikkor - $106 in 1961), so with the intro of the Leicaflex SLR, Leitz Canada went back to 6 elements to save money - an M version followed in 1969.  Both the R and M lenses were revised again, with 4 flat surfaces (another reduction in cost) - R 1976, M 1979 (today's v.4/5).

That was pretty much as far as the DG design could be pushed, so it has stayed the same for 38 years. But as the new tools of molded ASPHs and floating elements were introduced, the dream of "the perfect 50 Summicron" was revived. (Note that floating elements are - difficult - with an M lens: they subtly change the optical formula (i.e. the focal length) and with a "proxy" focus system depending on lens travel and a rangefinder, that can bollux the geometry of the levers and cams).

I'll bet Peter Karbe has been nagging Dr. Kaufmann ever since he took over as chief designer: "Please oh please oh please let me design the perfect 50 Summicron!!"

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6 hours ago, carbon_dragon said:

You'd probably need to be looking 200% or even 400% to maybe see a resolution difference? At this level, you'd be hard pressed. It's a later version of the same lens so the rendition seems pretty similar. I have the last version of the Summicron pre-APO myself. Does seem like a crazy cost jump, but that's Leica right -- quality and price is no object? 

 

You are right. Zooming in at 200% or 400% just to see the difference is impractical. I don't think it's worth the money. I'm sorry for this comment, peace!  

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