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Al Brown

Summicron M 50 (IV and V) vs. Hexanon M 50

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Posted (edited)

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Please share your opinion - if you have used or owned both lenses or any opinion on the topic. Mostly interested in comparison of render, sharpness, bokeh, pop etc. according to you - digital sensor or film.

Early reports indicated the Hexanons were inferior. According to LHSA "some Hexanon early samples were reported to have focusing discrepancies, long since resolved, and that adversely affected initial sales. The current consensus: Konica KM and Leica M lenses, even those with longer focal lengths and wider apertures, can be used interchangeably on both cameras without problems." Lots of posts ot the tiny flange difference between the cameras, but here we discuss the lens.

Mr. Rockwell even went as far as comparing the build of Summicron 50 (V) to the Hexanon-M 50 side by side and they indeed look almost identical. Check the pic on his webpage under the Hexanon topic.
I have recently acquired a Hexanon-M 50/2 (photographed below on my M) and it is a stellar performer, slightly better wide open (especially corners) compared to Summicron M 50/2 (IV) in all the tests I did.

YMMV.

Edited by Al Brown

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Al Brown said:

Please share your opinion......
Mr. Rockwell even went as far as comparing the build of Summicron 50 (V) to the Hexanon-M 50 side by side and they indeed look almost identical.......
I have recently acquired a Hexanon-M 50/2......and it is a stellar performer, slightly better wide open......compared to Summicron M 50/2 (IV) in all the tests I did...

Interesting to read about your experience with the pair, Al. I've never even seen one of the Hexanons in 'real-life' (not that I've tried hard to find one) let alone had the chance to compare one with my V4 Summicron but I did read Mr. Rockwell's review a few years ago and didn't remember him having had such a positive experience as yourself. I've just re-read it and his opening comments are;

"This Konica lens is more than capable of creating fantastic images. If you're counting pixels, its performance is clearly inferior to the Leica Summicron 50mm f2 (i.e. the 1979 - 2013 V4 and V5 optical formula) which this Konica does its best to imitate.".

Ken Rockwell, of course, has his well-known antipathy to most non-Leica  offerings - certain Zeiss optics excepted - so this prejudice must always be taken into account when considering his expressed views! As I said earlier; I doubt I'll ever get the chance to compare the two but you seem to be very happy with your sample and perhaps that is the only thing which matters? Enjoy it!

Philip.

Edited by pippy

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Posted (edited)

M-Hexanon 2/50mm ...

This is one of the "secret not to be diffused lens".

More than ten years ago, I had opportunity to buy one cheap second hand ( as usual, I told myself 'if it's not good, just sell it after trying').

But still now I always keep it as it's a very nice performer and "cheap for what it offers", not far less than Cron IV/V,

but in some cases it's not up to Summicron lenses that I have.

Mine has very small discrepency on RF coupling with Leica M bodies, but works nicely on Konica Hexar RF,

so I've done nothing to "repair" it.

I must use it a bit more 🙂.

 

When I use it on Monochrom, it's very nice, only the filter size is E40.5, that bother me as I must use adapters for colored filters that I have.

Sliding hood is too short (as on 50 Cron V, I mount screw-in hood for better contre-jour control) and focussing ring is a bit "sharp" for my delicate digits.

 

In the same M-Hexanon, I have also 2/35 and 2.8/28 that can be used without any fear.

They are as good performer as Leica lenses of same period and specifications.

 

 

Edited by a.noctilux

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Al,

I haven't used the M-Hexanon 50/2 but I do have the Dual M-Hexanon 21/35 and it is an excellent performer.  I don't compare lenses because every comparison is subjective and will in some way coloured by the reviewers likes/dislikes preferences, or perhaps even sponsor's wishes.

The Hexanon's have a reputation for excellent build quality, which doubtless you will already be aware of with your 50/2.

The one area where the Summicron IV and V sometimes struggle is flare when shooting into the light.  You might try your Hexanon into the light and see if you're satisfied with its performance.  If you are then perhaps you will have answered the question.

Pete.

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vor 11 Stunden schrieb Al Brown:

 Konica KM and Leica M lenses, even those with longer focal lengths and wider apertures, can be used interchangeably on both cameras without problems.

That's right.

.

vor 11 Stunden schrieb Al Brown:

 Lots of posts ot the tiny flange difference between the cameras ...

That's a common misconception. In fact, there is no difference in the flange distances between the cameras. Instead, there just is a difference in the defiitions what 'flange distance' is supposed to be. Effectively, they're the same.

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Also on this topic - I do not know if anyone is really interested, but I successfully coded the lens to Summicron 50 (III) 11817 which is 010111.
It was impossible to code to Summicron (IV) or (V) which is 100001 because the screw was recognised by Leica's 6-bit reader as one of the black bars (as you know the white bars do not matter much). So I opted for the next best thing. It is also recommended by La Vida Leica website for M-Hexanon to code as Summicron (III) but I am not sure about this, as the lens seems identical to Summicron (V) in build. Anyway, I chose the only possible approach and the procedure was relatively hassle free. I have a foolproof 6-bit coding system that starts with Sellotape, continues through trial and error with Sharpie and ends in permanent acrylic black paint. See the attached photo.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Al Brown said:

Also on this topic - I do not know if anyone is really interested, but I successfully coded the lens to Summicron 50 (III) 11817 which is 010111.
It was impossible to code to Summicron (IV) or (V) which is 100001 because the screw was recognised by Leica's 6-bit reader as one of the black bars (as you know the white bars do not matter much). So I opted for the next best thing. It is also recommended by La Vida Leica website for M-Hexanon to code as Summicron (III) but I am not sure about this, as the lens seems identical to Summicron (V) in build. Anyway, I chose the only possible approach and the procedure was relatively hassle free. I have a foolproof 6-bit coding system that starts with Sellotape, continues through trial and error with Sharpie and ends in permanent acrylic black paint. See the attached photo.

Filling that summicron crew with a little white paint works too.

Edited by jdlaing

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On 3/10/2020 at 5:11 AM, Al Brown said:

 

Also on this topic - I do not know if anyone is really interested, but I successfully coded the lens to Summicron 50 (III) 11817 which is 010111.
It was impossible to code to Summicron (IV) or (V) which is 100001 because the screw was recognised by Leica's 6-bit reader as one of the black bars (as you know the white bars do not matter much). So I opted for the next best thing. It is also recommended by La Vida Leica website for M-Hexanon to code as Summicron (III) but I am not sure about this, as the lens seems identical to Summicron (V) in build. Anyway, I chose the only possible approach and the procedure was relatively hassle free. I have a foolproof 6-bit coding system that starts with Sellotape, continues through trial and error with Sharpie and ends in permanent acrylic black paint. See the attached photo.

 

 

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Coding the M-Hexanon 50/2 as Summicron 50/2 v3 or v4 doesn't change anything but exif data in my experience, at least on my M240 and digital CL.

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53 minutes ago, lct said:

Coding the M-Hexanon 50/2 as Summicron 50/2 v3 or v4 doesn't change anything but exif data in my experience, at least on my M240 and digital CL.

It also removes the hassle of "NO LENS" message during live view, and EXIF is a good thing, no?

 

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31 minutes ago, Al Brown said:

It also removes the hassle of "NO LENS" message during live view, and EXIF is a good thing, no?

Depends on the body i guess. On my digital CL the lens is recognized as Tele-Elmarit 90/2.8, don't ask me why. This way i know that i was not using a Summicron at least. Otherwise it is a fine lens indeed. It is not flare free but it has less flare than the current Summicron 50/2 non apo, especially when strong light sources are outside the frame. The Hexanon has less focus shift too. My copy # 3216*** suffers from back focus on the M240 though but it is not a problem on mirrorless cameras. 

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