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shirubadanieru

50mm Summilux V1 anyone?

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Hi everyone, I just purchased this lens to shoot on both film and digital, I read forum posts and reviews online, but there's way more information on the V2 / V3 than the V1, which makes sense since this lens only lasted two years so not a lot of people out there actually using it I guess?

I mostly bought this lens to shoot portraits and complement my favorite lens of all time, the summicron 35mm 8 elements (also a v1 lens :p). I tried the 50mm summilux asph and pre-asph v2/v3 but didn't enjoy the rendering of the pre-asph v2/v3 that much, nor the size of the asph.

I think I've tried all 50s that Leica has made, and my favorite is the first Summicron collapsible, so by now I guess you can figure out I really like Leica's rendering from the 50s (and it also seems I have a thing for v1 lenses...)

What do you think of this lens if you own it or have used one before? How's the performance at F1.4~F2, and also a bit closed down at F4~F8?
Do you still shoot with it nowadays? If so, would love to hear your thoughts on it :)

Thanks and to a 2020 with lots of great memories to be captured!

Edited by shirubadanieru

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Posted (edited)

Hello,

I had one some years ago and now "replaced" by other lenses.

The Summilux 50mm "I" ( serial number  to 1 844 000) has some Summarit 1.5/50 character (LTM mount which I use before),

on my unit of Summilux 'I", the wide open pictures were not as "nice" as I hoped, too much flare when some light is in the frame (corrected in "II" in my use).

 

I have other lenses in 50mm and did not want to use this "special lens" mixing characters of Summarit 1.5 and other lenses.

 

As usual, in my view, you use it for some time then judge if it's for you or not.

We are all different in our practice.

Edited by a.noctilux

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After purchasing the 50/1.5  Summarit I was hooked on the lens, wide open the lens has the beautiful softness and low contrast.  My copy was mechanically failing.  The ver. 1 Summilux is the same optics with perhaps the best build quality, it flys under the radar unlike the similar rendering 35mm Summilux ver. 1.  These lenses and I'll include the thambar are special for their soft wide open rendering, yet sharp at f5.6.  In effect, choose your rendering, soft or sharp, no need for filters or lens changes.  The ver. 2 is said (by Leica) to be an improvement, and at f1.4 it renders a sharper image while sacrificing the ver. 1 sharpness stopped down.  My copy glows at f1.4, and yet is sharp at F4-F8, I use it for travel and love it's nighttime rendering wide open or for portraits.  When I purchased my copy I also found very little about this lens in the forums, I paid $1200-$1300 for it from a well respected dealer that had it cla'd.  The glass is pristine same for a tiny spot of cement separation.  I inquired about having the elements recemented but the risks and costs weren't worth the bother, besides the lenses imaged beautifully and despite being a 60 year old lens I hope to one day hand it down to my 22 year old son for use well into the future.  I am underwhelmed by the lack of written material and forum posts yet at the same time overjoyed for an affordable lens.  I feel the same for the dual range summicron  price and can not think of a good reason why these lenses continue to be great bargains.  I hope you enjoy your lens as much as I do, I am looking for similar lenses in other focal lengths, besides the two I mentioned the 35mm summaron, f3.5 (iirc) would be similar but I've never seen one, my only knowledge is from reading the extreme popularity on this forum.  The 21 super angular might also fit here but digital color casts make it unusable for me.  Other brands may well have optics with similar character, I don't know any.  Lastly, I have tried duplicating the wide open characteristics of these lenses with filters on more modern lenses without success.  Perhaps the cinema guys in Hollywood could do this with their great in depth knowledge of filters in every nuance known.  

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3 hours ago, darylgo said:

After purchasing the 50/1.5  Summarit I was hooked on the lens, wide open the lens has the beautiful softness and low contrast.  My copy was mechanically failing.  The ver. 1 Summilux is the same optics with perhaps the best build quality, it flys under the radar unlike the similar rendering 35mm Summilux ver. 1.  These lenses and I'll include the thambar are special for their soft wide open rendering, yet sharp at f5.6.  In effect, choose your rendering, soft or sharp, no need for filters or lens changes.  The ver. 2 is said (by Leica) to be an improvement, and at f1.4 it renders a sharper image while sacrificing the ver. 1 sharpness stopped down.  My copy glows at f1.4, and yet is sharp at F4-F8, I use it for travel and love it's nighttime rendering wide open or for portraits.  When I purchased my copy I also found very little about this lens in the forums, I paid $1200-$1300 for it from a well respected dealer that had it cla'd.  The glass is pristine same for a tiny spot of cement separation.  I inquired about having the elements recemented but the risks and costs weren't worth the bother, besides the lenses imaged beautifully and despite being a 60 year old lens I hope to one day hand it down to my 22 year old son for use well into the future.  I am underwhelmed by the lack of written material and forum posts yet at the same time overjoyed for an affordable lens.  I feel the same for the dual range summicron  price and can not think of a good reason why these lenses continue to be great bargains.  I hope you enjoy your lens as much as I do, I am looking for similar lenses in other focal lengths, besides the two I mentioned the 35mm summaron, f3.5 (iirc) would be similar but I've never seen one, my only knowledge is from reading the extreme popularity on this forum.  The 21 super angular might also fit here but digital color casts make it unusable for me.  Other brands may well have optics with similar character, I don't know any.  Lastly, I have tried duplicating the wide open characteristics of these lenses with filters on more modern lenses without success.  Perhaps the cinema guys in Hollywood could do this with their great in depth knowledge of filters in every nuance known.  

This is an awesome post, thank you! I also agree with the DR, what a great lens! Steel rim is now priced beyond reach but it sure looks lovely :) 

This Lux (alongside the DR) probably has the most beautiful design of any 50mm lens that any brand has ever created!

i just got the lens today and took it out for some test shots, great Bokeh, lovely glow and rendering, it complements my 8e rendering quite well! Adding the sample shots here if anyone’s curious! 

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Congratulations. Lovely lens!  Did it come with the rare front metal cap?

I have the rare screwmount version of this as well as the 8-element Summicron 35 v.1. They go hand in glove, and if you love one, you will love both.  The 35 Summilux v.1 is similarly masterful.

By the way, the Summilux 50 v.1 I understand is not quite the same optics as the Summarit (or Xenon) despite much on the web to the contrary.

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20 minutes ago, M9reno said:

Congratulations. Lovely lens!  Did it come with the rare front metal cap?

I have the rare screwmount version of this as well as the 8-element Summicron 35 v.1. They go hand in glove, and if you love one, you will love both.  The 35 Summilux v.1 is similarly masterful.

By the way, the Summilux 50 v.1 I understand is not quite the same optics as the Summarit (or Xenon) despite much on the web to the contrary.

Oh nice the ltm one is even rarer! You seem to have a great lens collection, do you have any favorites? Mine are the 8e and 50 collapsible, hoping this lux will become my 3rd favorite. 
 

I just got it literally today so too soon to say but it’s seems to render with less glow and more sharpness than the summarit right?

 No I got the cap for the hood only but no metal cap for the lens or a filter which apparently has to be the old e43. 

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Interesting thread; there's a gorgeous one for sale at Leica Manchester - sadly way too dear for my pocket!

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1 hour ago, shirubadanieru said:

Oh nice the ltm one is even rarer! You seem to have a great lens collection, do you have any favorites?

It changes, but your lens is one of them!

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the first Version is still a great performer I frequently use. Main difference to the second Version (I also owned) to my eyes is that the V2 is better in Resolution and contrast wide open but the V1 looks better towards the edge when stopped down. But in those days performence wide open was essential. Apart from performance I like the old scalloped chrome barrel more. The Performance of the V1 Comes close to the Summicron V2 when stopped down, really a great lens.

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Shirubadanieru, I was just thinking: ¬†have you tried the 90mm ‚Äúfat‚ÄĚ tele Elmarit? ¬†The optical performance the same as¬†with the other lenses you like, and in chrome version the build is of similarly¬†beautiful quality as your DR and 50 Lux v.1, all 1950‚Äôs-60‚Äôs¬†Leitz jewels.

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57 minutes ago, Musotographer said:

Interesting thread; there's a gorgeous one for sale at Leica Manchester - sadly way too dear for my pocket!

I checked it out of curiosity, it's almost double of what I paid last month; you can definitely find cheaper than that in mint condition. If you are interested it seems the price for this lens in Asia and US are much cheaper than in the UK so I recommend you to have a look :)

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13 minutes ago, M9reno said:

Shirubadanieru, I was just thinking: ¬†have you tried the 90mm ‚Äúfat‚ÄĚ tele Elmarit? ¬†The optical performance the same as¬†with the other lenses you like, and in chrome version the build is of similarly¬†beautiful quality as your DR and 50 Lux v.1, all 1950‚Äôs-60‚Äôs¬†Leitz jewels.

True it does seem like an enlarged 50lux ahah I have never tried it as I tend to stick to 35/50 with 35mm being my most used focal length. It does look beautiful and if the rendering is similar to the others it should be amazing. Also quite affordable compared to other lenses. Is this 90mm another one of your favorites? : p 

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19 hours ago, M9reno said:

I have the rare screwmount version of this as well as the 8-element Summicron 35 v.1. They go hand in glove, and if you love one, you will love both.  The 35 Summilux v.1 is similarly masterful.

By the way, the Summilux 50 v.1 I understand is not quite the same optics as the Summarit (or Xenon) despite much on the web to the contrary.

I am envious of the screwmount, iirc there was one for sale at a substantial cost in the past year.  

re: not the same optics,  Thanks for pointing this out,   when I look at the optical design, it is almost identical but there are subtle differences and I am guessing the glass elements have changed.  Do you have any details on the types of glass?   

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2 hours ago, darylgo said:

I am envious of the screwmount, iirc there was one for sale at a substantial cost in the past year.  

re: not the same optics,  Thanks for pointing this out,   when I look at the optical design, it is almost identical but there are subtle differences and I am guessing the glass elements have changed.  Do you have any details on the types of glass?   

I had the same question on optical design and like you saw diagrams that implied very little change or none.  It was Malcolm Taylor, before I took the dive on the v.1, who assured me that the Summilux is different from its f/1.5 predecessors, certainly in terms of its post-war glass, though I lack the specific data.  Once I had Xenon, Summarit and Summilux I could compare the difference.  The first two perform like brothers, with minor differences between them best attributed to the condition of my copies.  The v.1 Summilux stands out and renders wide open in a way that to my eye is modern (post WWII), sharper, with significantly more contrast, and a smooth out of focus area recognisably related to the rest of the Summilux family, up to the latest ASPH version.

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20 hours ago, Musotographer said:

Interesting thread; there's a gorgeous one for sale at Leica Manchester - sadly way too dear for my pocket!

There is another copy bing sold at a non-silly price here (a well-known and respectable seller - though I obviously have no connection):

https://www.jogeier.com/leitz-leica-m-summilux-1-4-50mm-chrome-17050.html

It comes with the elusive cap!

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Sharing a couple more shots :) Been loving this lens with my M9, it’s definitely much sharper / contrasty than the Summarit f1.5 & has much better rendering than the 50 lux pre-asph v2 (my opinion only, others may differ). Definitely an underrated lens! Will share some I took with the M4 once I get them developed. 

Shot 1 @ f4, shot 2 wide open, shot 3 @ f2.8 (sry for low res, this doesn’t allow for higher res shots)

 

Edited by shirubadanieru

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In my opinion it's the most beautiful looking 50mm lens, maybe one of the most beautiful lenses in the world even. 

The rendering is very creamy with low contrast and great although a bit busy bokeh. 

Renders also gorgeous on the Monochrom. 

Attached a photo taken with it on the M10

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Just got my film shots developed and was surprised at how sharp it rendered wide open (and such a lovely Bokeh). Shot on Tri-X @ f.14 ; nothing special about the shoot itself, it was more for testing the lens. 

 

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