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Chaemono

APO 50 Summicron-SL vs. APO 75 Summicron-SL - image thread

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This thread is to show some differences between the 75 Summicron-SL and the 50 Summicron-SL when approximately the same size and placement of a subject is kept in a frame. I didn't check which lens is sharper because I had one mounted on a 24 MPx sensor and the other on a 47 MPx sensor. I suspect that the 50 Summicron-SL is a bit sharper in the corners. In fact, it's the sharpest lens I've ever seen wide open. Both are excellent optically and which one to get/keep will not only depend on one's preferences but also on the effect one wants to create. The 75mm focal length will make background objects appear closer to the subject and, therefore, accentuate them more, while the wider angle of the 50 Summicron-SL will make objects in the OOF area appear further away and, therefore, cause them to be less distracting. On the other hand, the AFOV of the 75 Summicron-SL will lead to less distortion of subjects if they are placed equally and framed to appear of the same size as with the 50 Summicron-SL which depending on what one is shooting and from what angle can be important.

 

See how the bucket and the well in the background, even though they are nicely blurred, distract from the subject in the 75mm picture?

Less compressed JPEGs here: https://www.smugmug.com/gallery/n-thQ8ZX/

S1 + APO 50 Summicron-SL

S1R + 75 Summicron-SL

Edited by Chaemono
Spell checker caused 'Summicron' in the title to appear as 'Summieren'

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Let's look at distortion now. As stated, I attempted to keep approximately the same size and placement of a subject in a frame and to see what difference this makes. In order to achieve this with a wider angle lens and to match the 75mm focal length, one will have to move closer to a subject. Moving closer to a subject changes the perspective, however, and can, depending on what and from angle one is shooting, introduce significant distortion.

 

In the two below I should have moved even closer to the car with the 50 Summicron-SL which would have made distortion due to change in perspective even more pronounced. Still, it’s obvious that the picture taken with the 75 Summicron-SL is to be preferred.

Less compressed JPEGs here: https://www.smugmug.com/gallery/n-thQ8ZX/

S1 + APO 50 Summicron-SL

S1R + 75 Summicron-SL

Edited by Chaemono

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From another angle, the distortion of a shorter focal length that requires getting closer to a subject may not be significant. The 50 Summicron-SL may still work, therefore, like in this frame here.

Less compressed JPEGs here: https://www.smugmug.com/gallery/n-thQ8ZX/

S1 + 50 Summicron-SL

S1R + 75 Summicron-SL

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Still, there is something about that longer focal length that makes the 75 Summicron-SL also a walk-around lens and perfect enough to bring subjects close. If I had to choose, I would mount the 50 Summicron-SL on the hopefully more compact and lighter SL2 and probably carry the 75 Summicron-SL in the bag, just in case. 😁 

Less compressed JPEGs here: https://www.smugmug.com/gallery/n-thQ8ZX/

S1 + 50 Summicron-SL

S1R + 75 Summicron-SL

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Thanks for putting these up.  50+90, or 35+75, or 35+50+75+90??

These are all superb lenses, best judged on usage, rather than performance.

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90 definitely not to be taken along. It’s a portrait lens. If I went on a trip, I would take the 28 Summilux-M with an adapter (stopped down to f/2.8 it starts to become a great performer optically) and the 50 and 75 SL Summicrons. Hopefully, the SL2 will be a bit more compact and lighter than the S1/S1R. That’s pretty much all one needs with a 47-50 MPx sensor. 

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1 hour ago, Chaemono said:

90 definitely not to be taken along. It’s a portrait lens. If I went on a trip, I would take the 28 Summilux-M with an adapter (stopped down to f/2.8 it starts to become a great performer optically) and the 50 and 75 SL Summicrons. Hopefully, the SL2 will be a bit more compact and lighter than the S1/S1R. That’s pretty much all one needs with a 47-50 MPx sensor. 

I don't understand where the "90 definitely not to be taken along" comes from. I just finished a project in Rome where the 90mm's reach was invaluable and I didn't take a single portrait. 

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Thank you. Interesting thread...what is your conclusion? which lens would you use for which application?

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vor 4 Stunden schrieb tom0511:

Thank you. Interesting thread...what is your conclusion? which lens would you use for which application?

I know you’re trying to sell your 75, Tom, now that the 50 has finally arrived. I think, both, the 50 and the 75, can co-exist for different reasons.

As stated at the beginning, The 75mm focal length will make background objects appear closer to the subject and, therefore, accentuate them more, while the wider angle of the 50 Summicron-SL will make objects in the OOF area appear further away and, therefore, cause them to be less distracting. When one wants to accentuate a background object because it adds to the composition, the 75 is better. When one has a less interesting OOF area and wants all objects in it to appear further away from the subject, the 50 is better. Also, the AFOV of the 75 Summicron-SL will lead to less distortion of a subject if it’s placed equally and framed to appear of the same size as with the 50 Summicron-SL. Depending on what one is shooting and from what angle, distortion can be an issue, and, hence, the 75 should be preferred. Unless, of course, one moves further away from the subject with the 50 and then crops.

Still, the conclusion is, don’t sell the 75. It has a role to play.

Edited by Chaemono

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vor 5 Stunden schrieb Agent M10:

I don't understand where the "90 definitely not to be taken along" comes from. I just finished a project in Rome where the 90mm's reach was invaluable and I didn't take a single portrait. 

With enough inspiration, the 90 can be put to use for other than portraits, I guess. 😀

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The classic Leica 3 lens kit has always been 35-50-90.  A more modern kit is 28-50-90.

75 is an odd focal length for me too.

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It depends on what one is shooting, of course. I’m talking as a walk-around kit 50 accompanied by the 75 and the 28 Summilux-M are not that odd. I find the 90 as a walk-around lens often too tight. Also, 75 is further away from 50 than 50 is from either 35 or 28 (I was good in math, one can tell).

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You may have a point about 35 vs 50 but 28 is much further apart. 
What matters, in terms of focal length gapping, is the angle of view.

28mm Summicron-M, diagonal field angel - 74,0°
35mm APO-Summicron-SL, diagonal field angle - 63,4°
50mm APO-Summicron-SL, diagonal field angle - 47,2°
75mm APO-Summicron-SL, diagonal field angle - 31,8°
90mm APO-Summicron-SL, diagonal field angle - 27,3°

Honestly you are the first person I've come across that carries both a 50 and a 75 as part of a 3 lens kit, but obviously there is no right or wrong in preference.

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vor 23 Minuten schrieb Mr.Q:

You may have a point about 35 vs 50 but 28 is much further apart. 
What matters, in terms of focal length gapping, is the angle of view.

28mm Summicron-M, diagonal field angel - 74,0°
35mm APO-Summicron-SL, diagonal field angle - 63,4°
50mm APO-Summicron-SL, diagonal field angle - 47,2°
75mm APO-Summicron-SL, diagonal field angle - 31,8°

Yes, of course, you’re right. And in percent, the change from 28 to 50mm focal length is much larger (78.6%) than from 50 to 75 (50%). 

vor 28 Minuten schrieb Mr.Q:

Honestly you are the first person I've come across that carries both a 50 and a 75 as part of a 3 lens kit, but obviously there is no right or wrong in preference.

With those high res FF sensors, 75 is the new 90 . 😉

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Using both 35 & 50 or 50 & 75 can be quite too close to each other. 

I think that spacing its lenses is better. Ex :

21 + 28 + 50 + 90

24 + 35 + 75 + 135 

 

Have you noticed that Leica is releasing its APO-Summicron-SL by similar batches ? So you can choose the best suited among each year ?

1st batch : choose between 75 or 90

2nd batch : choose between 35 or 50

3rd batch : choose between 21 or 24 or 28 

Within each batch no need to have them all. Only one should suffice. 

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If you take into account a rumoured SL2 with 47MP and its cropping ability  

You can get quite a selection of 8 useful focal lengths. With just 3 lenses :

21mm @47MP = 24mm @36MP = 28mm @26MP = 35mm @16.5MP

50mm @47MP = 75mm @20MP

90mm @47MP = 135mm @20MP

 

Or choose more traditional: 

24mm @47MP = 35mm @20MP

50mm @47MP = 75mm @20MP

90mm @47MP = 135mm @20MP

 

Or this compact spread :

35mm @47MP = 50mm @20MP

75mm @47MP = 90mm @32MP = 135mm @14MP

 

Or pair it with Q2 :

28mm @47MP = 35mm @30MP = 50mm @16MP

75mm @47MP = 90mm @32MP = 135mm @14MP  

 

To sum up. Choose whatever suits you best. 

Edited by nicci78

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I thought to exchange my 75 for a 90 - not because I prefer 90 but because 75 is close to 50.

On the other side I find 75 a very attractive focal length and more flexible than 90. I am often not too far to my subjects (kids fo example), specially when shooting indoors.

75 also fits wonderfully as a 28-75 or 35-75 combo or 16-35 + 75.

On the other side 50 is something which can be used for even more subjects than 75, and it includes the surrounding a little more.

At the moment I will probably keep both.

I think with 90 it would be more towards a 3 lens combo (even though many years ago I used my M6 with just 35 and 90 and that worked out pretty good as well), and 75 works better for a 2 lens combo.

 

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I agree with Tom’s comments on how practical the 75mm focal length is. 

This may be an ill-conceived notion of mine, but somehow I have this idea that prime lens IQ matters more for photographs taken with focal lengths of 50mm and above. For this reason I will never get the 35 Summicron-SL or any SL prime wider than this. I much rather use the SL SVE 16-35 there. 

To try to justify my odd choice, 50mm is my favorite focal length on FF. The reason I like the 75 with the 50 together is that in my own warped logic, the 75mm focal length is like 50 but works better in certain situations. See the Jaguar wheel above, for example. It’s like having taken the picture with a 50mm lens (see the 50mm version), just with less distortion. 😁 Not sure 90 would have worked out so well there.

Edited by Chaemono

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No surprise 24-70mm zooms are popular choice with Canon, Nikon, Sony and now with Panasonic and probably later Sigma.

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