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"No love for the 75 APO-Summicron-M?"


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Recent photo overlooking downtown Los Angeles with the MP240 and 75mm Summicron  http://www.photobasecamp.com   Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content. Hallo Gast! Du willst die Bilder sehen? Einfach registrieren oder anmelden!

Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content. Hallo Gast! Du willst die Bilder sehen? Einfach registrieren oder anmelden!

Mathematically and ideally true - but the spherical and chromatic aberrations of the 75 'lux tend to spread out the "zone of readable sharpness." Or as lct says, the difference between sharp and blurred areas changes more slowly. I made this test last time I switched between a 75 'cron and a 75 lux, and had both available at once. Which lens produces a larger "field" of "readably sharp" letters? Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content. Hallo Gast! Du

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They do pop up in the 2000-2500 CHF range. Sort of in the ballpark of a new Summarit. I do not think I will ever part with the 75 Summicron. The only reason would be not having any more cameras to mount it on. Extremely unlikely ...

 

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I'm surprised - I see a lot of people talking about it, and rarely see anyone talking about Summarits!

I have one and it is the M lens I would dispose of last, the one I would grab as I ran from my burning house. I have kept it, and will continue to do so, even though I recently sold my last M body, to be used with my SL.

The focal length suits me: it shows the specific subject in a scene that I am actually looking at. A 50 shows more surroundings, and a 90 is just a bit too tight for everyday use.

The Apo-Summicron 75 has an unusually short closest focus distance. This is handy in itself, but also gives you close to macro when used with an OUFRO.

Add to that the compact size (compared to a summilux, say), and superb IQ.

What not to like?

Edited by LocalHero1953
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I have had two 75mm Apo-Summicrons. Its an incredibly good lens. Stunningly fine detail is produced from it. Its downside may to be mechanical because there have been quite a number of reports of focus issues and it appears to have a complex close focus correction group which shifts relative to the front group as it focuses closer. Tolerances seem to be tight and so it needs precise calibration to work well. My first copy was well out, my second was perfect.

BUT! I have disposed of my latter one and retained the Summilux. Why? Well it is my least used focal length and I find the quirks of the Summilux mean that I use it more. So rather than have two little used lenses I decided just to retain the one which I used more. I don't like getting rid of lenses but in this case I felt that I could live without one of two of the same focal length.

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I tested the Summarit against the APO a few years back and my eyes could see no difference, in real-life use, that would justify the price premium attached to the APO. I kept the Summarit.

Then, a few months ago, I had the opportunity to buy a boxed, mint APO at a price too good to pass (well below 2000 CHF...😉), so I ended up getting one too...

The construction of the APO feels of a higher quality (and mine is impeccably calibrated), but I find the Summarit somewhat easier to focus with the RF. If I were to pixel peep, I'd say that the APO's edge and corner performance is marginally better. I also see a very slight difference in colours, but it's so subtle that it might just be my eyes. The APO also focuses down to 0.7m, closer than my Summarit (I have the first f/2.5 version). 

Bottom line: the APO is used mostly when I need the extra 1/2 stop (and can focus at leisure) or want absolute sharpness across the frame (landscape, details, etc.); the Summarit's ease of focus gives it the edge for general / street photography; for portraits, I resort to other lenses (eg, the 75/1.4), as both are too sharp for my - and often my subjects'... - tastes. YMMV.

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I use more my Summarit 75/2.5 than Summicron 75/2 outdoor but the latter is my favorite indoor when i don't need the speed or softness of my bulky Summilux 75/1.4 or when i don't use a 50/1.4 or 50/1.5 instead on APS cameras. People stating that f/2.5 or f/2.4 is fast enough indoor must shoot in brighter interiors than i do or use cleaner bodies than my M240 and digital CL at high isos. If i had to keep one 75mm lens only it would be certainly the Summicron.

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I never thought I would love this focal length so much. Perfect for a close portrait, especially indoors. For me the Summicron is the sweet spot amongst the three lens types. Short focal distance, fast aperture, proper weight, built-in hood.

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I have used, but never owned, the 75 APO but have seen amazing pictures taking with it

Personally I do not use 75 that much, and when I do, it is for portraits. My trusty 75 lux is more than enough for my use

When I am out and about I will normally use 28-35-50 95% of the time

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I have both the 75 Lux and the 75 APO. I have had the 75 Summarit. I felt the 75 Summarit was too close to the 75 Lux stopped down. The 75 APO is in entirely different sphere, it's very much an APO, much like my 50 APO or 90 APO. My primary focal length is 28, but when a longer focal length is called for I take the 75 APO for daily walk about. If I am going to do portraits, then I take the 75 Lux.

I bought the 75 Summarit as a light travel lens, but with the hood from hell, it's size becomes the same as the 75 APO. My 75 Summarit developed a serious issue (the front element fell off) and when it came back from repair, I traded it for a used 75 APO. The difference in weight has never been a problem, but the added resolution on my Monochrom was significant and the ability to change filters without removing the hood is an advantage. Don't get me wrong, I love Mandler era lenses, and the 75 Summarit does deserve the praise of being the best of the Summarits, but the 75 APO is a modern, high resolution, uber sharp lens. The 75 APO is also my main choice for Macro/close focus. It's just a superb all around lens.

 

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Since I put James up to this, here's my take. Very similar to pgk's (post #8) and some others.

The raw optics of the 75 'cron are extremely good. Better than the 90 APO, especially closer than 2 meters. And better than the Summarit, close-up. Thanks to the floating element.

It is more APO than the Summarit, which shows slight red fringing at wide apertures.

But the floating element (I'm fairly sure) has produced problems with focus consistency and image quality far more than with other 75s/90s I've tried. The 75 'crons just seem to go out of whack more often - I've owned five or more over the years since it was introduced. I think a floating element (variable optical formula) was just "a bridge too far" for a proxy-focus, rangefinder lens of large aperture and focal length longer than 50mm. Especially one of light(ish)-weight internal construction.

There were times when the focus in the center was OK, but extra field curvature (soft corners) or color fringing showed up which were not normal, but due to some kind of slippage in the secondary FLE movement mechanism. At which point it is no longer the exact lens Peter Karbe calculated.

I also occasionally got central "hot-spots" once moving to digital, from the concave rear element reflecting the shiny sensor back onto itself.

Purely as a point of personal taste, I also find the 75 Summicron to be too "clinical" and metallic and harsh in rendering tones. I'm fine with a sharp lens for portraits, but the contrast was just too high for me. By  the time I tame the macro contrast in processing, the skin-tones lose that 3D look. The Summarit falls in-between the 75 cron and 75 lux for contrast.

Currently I use a 90 Elmarit-M for smaller and lighter, and a 75 Summilux if I need fast or close.

For howie (since he posted as I am posting), here are two nice coincidental shots of the same man in the same place with:

(hat) 75 Summilux (at f/2) - gentler drop-off in sharpness front to back (spherical aberration), gentler skin tones

(no hat) 75 Summicron (at f/2) - starker contrast, skin (and other details) more "steely," rapid focus fall-off.

Take your pick - I prefer the first.

Edited by adan
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Besides the obvious of size, weight and aperture there is the look. The 75 lux is very soft. Very close to the f/1 Noctilux in feel. It’s great for women’s portraits, very romantic wide open. Stopped down and it changes personally, clean, sharp but not overly so. 

The 75 APO, is sharp, extremely so  if you want high resolution and detail, it’s a better choice  

 

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23 minutes ago, adan said:

Currently I use a 90 Elmarit-M for smaller and lighter, and a 75 Summilux if I need fast or close.

75 Summilux (at f/2) - gentler drop-off in sharpness front to back (spherical aberration), gentler skin tones

75 Summicron (at f/2) - starker contrast, skin (and other details) more "steely," rapid focus fall-off.

To add a little, the Summicron is 'better' corrected at all apertures which gives it a precision which the Summilux never quite matches. However the Summilux has sufficient, but very little, residual spherical aberration thoughout its aperture range to take the 'bite' out of images it produces. This results in very smooth photographs with lots of fine detail which has clarity but is not quite as severe as that from the Summicron. Depending on your likes and dislikes, one may be preferable - Karbe's Summicron is undoubtedly the better corrected lens, but as adan says, this comes at the cost of complexity of mechanical design. The Summilux is slightly less well corrected, especially noticable wide open(;)), but is still a great lens. I'm with adan in that my favourite two short teles are the 75mm Summilux and 90mm Elmarit-M despite neither being up to the standards of today's state-of-theart designs.

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We have a nice choice of tools to select from, for the purpose we want to put them to use towards.

It’s nice to have a choice based on aperture / price / size / weight / MFD / APO or non APO / focus throw and filter size to name a few. 

Some samples taken with the APO75:

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