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Leica 28mm Elmarit rendering similar to 50mm Summicron?


JonVdG
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I've been shooting a lot on the M8 and M9 with a 50mm Summicron Version IV. I have the need for some consistency across my images, so I'm searching for a 28mm lens that renders a black and white image most similar to this 50mm. Most of my work is landscape. I'm considering all versions of the Elmarit, but I'm open to trying the Zeiss Biogon as well. I've done a lot of research and I have good awareness of most of the other characteristics (size, weight, cost, etc.), so I'm most interested in hearing insights specifically into black and white rendering. 

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1 hour ago, lct said:

Elmarit-M 28/2.8 v3 (11804) or v4 (11809), the better being the latter.

I agree with LCT.  The 28/2.8 Elmarit asph is much contrastier than the v4 50 Summicron as would be the Zeiss Biogon I expect.  

You might consider the Voigtlander 28/1.9 Ultron, which is an older lens and has a similar rendering to the v4 50 Summicron by f/2.8.  Wider open may produce a gentle vignetting at the edges (which I'm quite fond of) so you might want to take that into account.

To get the closest rendering to the v4 50 Summicron I think the v1 28/2 Summicron asph would get my vote although you'll be paying a bit more.

Pete.

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1 hour ago, farnz said:

I agree with LCT.  The 28/2.8 Elmarit asph is much contrastier than the v4 50 Summicron as would be the Zeiss Biogon I expect.  

You might consider the Voigtlander 28/1.9 Ultron, which is an older lens and has a similar rendering to the v4 50 Summicron by f/2.8.  Wider open may produce a gentle vignetting at the edges (which I'm quite fond of) so you might want to take that into account.

To get the closest rendering to the v4 50 Summicron I think the v1 28/2 Summicron asph would get my vote although you'll be paying a bit more.

Pete.

Like Pete, with experience, the closest to the Summicron IV for me is the Summicron-M asph. 2/28mm.

But for lanscape, I would use the Elmarit-M asph.2.8/28mm (close down anyway) for it's balancing contrast and resolution.

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Thank you all - I really appreciate hearing your experiences. I suspected the Version 3 or 4 of the 28mm Elmarit would be the closest to this 50mm Summicron, based on dates. Version 3 was developed at the same time as my Summicron (beginning 1979), but my particular version was made in Germany, which supposedly gives it a later manufacture date of the early 1990's. I'm not sure how much Leica adjusted coatings or other optical characteristics during a version's lifetime, if at all, but I suspect there was little or no sample variation in terms of rendering. As such, I'm tempted to try the Version 3, but I'm drawn to the smaller size and slight optical improvements of Version 4.

The Summicron remains tempting as well, but the additional weight, size, and cost, even though not tremendously more, are pushing me toward the Elmarit. The ASPH Elmarit remains tempting as well for its small size, but I am concerned about its increased contrast relative to my 50mm Summicron.

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Talking about size and weight of Summicron-M 2/28mm asph.

It's kind of miracle that Leica Camera can create a F/2 Summicron lens as almost same size as F/2.8 Elmarit of same period.

Elmarit-M IV 2.8/28mm at 260g , 53mm x 41.4mm

Summicron-M asph. 2/28mm at 270g , 53mm x 40.8mm (first version)

I have/use some 28mm lenses for M, so I can comment their best use:

Summicron-M asph. 2/28mm used without it's big hood is mainly for when I plan to use at f/2

Elmarit-M asph. 2.8/28mm came much later and it's my prefered 28mm for everyday use.

After all it's pretended increased contrast can be handy for lanscape with so many details and color hues to resolve and retain.

What I appreciate in 28mm Elmarit-M asph. (so small and short) is the zero blockage in VF when I want to give full life to my framing.

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2 minutes ago, a.noctilux said:

... Elmarit-M asph. 2.8/28mm came much later and it's my prefered 28mm for everyday use.

After all it's pretended increased contrast can be handy for lanscape with so many details and color hues to resolve and retain. ,,,

Hi, Arnaud,

With the greatest respect, increased contrast will not reveal additional detail, only higher acutance and resolution can offer that.

Pete.

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Hello Pete,

I'm with you 100%, so I wrote "pretended increased contrast".

Never saw that in my real pictures from Elmarit-M asph.

The rendering in real photos at same aperture (from f/5.6 on to f/11) of the Elmarit-M asph. IS as pleasant as with my long-loved Summicron-M 28mm.

At f/5.6 the most pleasing rendering for me is from Summaron-M 5.6/28mm but that is off topic.

I do understand that every lens has it's own flaws and attractions, what I try to learn is how to use at their best for the sake of image I have in mind.

I just use those lenses (like other lenses I use) and never try to explain why to myself 😇

Edited by a.noctilux
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41 minutes ago, a.noctilux said:

Hello Pete,

I'm with you 100%, so I wrote "pretended increased contrast".

Never saw that in my real pictures from Elmarit-M asph.

The rendering in real photos at same aperture (from f/5.6 on to f/11) of the Elmarit-M asph. IS as pleasant as with my long-loved Summicron-M 28mm.

At f/5.6 the most pleasing rendering for me is from Summaron-M 5.6/28mm but that is off topic.

I do understand that every lens has it's own flaws and attractions, what I try to learn is how to use at their best for the sake of image I have in mind.

I just use those lenses (like other lenses I use) and never try to explain why to myself 😇

Thanks, that's actually quite insightful. I've heard several folks suggest the Elmarit ASPH has too much contrast compared to Version 4, at least according to their tastes. I even talked to a gentleman selling the ASPH on Craigslist who said he had decided to keep the Version 4 for this reason. That got me thinking that the increased contrast must be quite substantial. However, I rarely shoot in bright sunlight and much prefer overcast conditions so perhaps the ASPH would be fine even if that contrast is present. For its size, weight, and slight corner IQ improvement, I would certainly prefer the ASPH.

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Hi

I put in a warm vote for the 28 elmarit v4! However, I find the 50 cron latest to be something in between the 28 elmarit v4 and the 28 cron asph. So in my eyes you will be pleased with either. Still find the elmarit v4 to be the most charming option though... ,-)

PS: the 28 elmarit asph I sold of with no regrets... I find it to be too harsh/contrasty even if the size as such very much ¨fulfills¨ the M philosophy

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48 minutes ago, JonVdG said:

Thanks, that's actually quite insightful. I've heard several folks suggest the Elmarit ASPH has too much contrast compared to Version 4, at least according to their tastes. I even talked to a gentleman selling the ASPH on Craigslist who said he had decided to keep the Version 4 for this reason. That got me thinking that the increased contrast must be quite substantial. However, I rarely shoot in bright sunlight and much prefer overcast conditions so perhaps the ASPH would be fine even if that contrast is present. For its size, weight, and slight corner IQ improvement, I would certainly prefer the ASPH.

Acutance is another name for micro contrast whereas what you call contrast is macro contrast i guess, right? From this viewpoint, i found more acutance out of 28/2 v1 & v2 or 28/2.8 asph v1 (no experienve with v2) than out of 50/2 v4 or v5 personally. This is at least partly a subjective point of view though and you might be perfectly happy with 28/2 or 28/2.8 asph that are my favorite 28 anyway. I just prefer matching them with lenses having more apparent (to me) acutance like 50/2 apo, 50/1.4 asph or even the latest 50/2.8 personally. YMMV.

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Since images from any 50 compared to any 28 will be non-matching in so many ways, I do not feel any remorse about taking my Cron V together with my Elmarit 28 ASPH on a walk.

Most of the time, however, I tend to lug around a „hybrid“ kit (28 ASPH & APO 90 ASPH on digital bodies and Cron V on a film body). I use them all for b&w exclusively. Since I do not aim for publication, visual consistency of a given set of images is less important to me than exploration. But, of course, YMMV.

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