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Pole for my next 28mm purchase


ERA23

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Hey everyone,

I have been scouring the interent for to find an answer to my question. A question that many have asked over and over again, having bored and enraged forum readers across the web. 

Let me tell you the current standing: I have been shooting  exclusivley Leica for 1 year now with my wonderful Safari m10-P, i have fun with my current lenses a 50mm summicron safari and a 35mm asph mk2. Two lenses that fit my needs perfectly and follow me everywhere i go even during the lockdown i carried them when i went for my daily 1h walk. I haver been shooting streets, portraits and when I get out of Paris, some landscape.

I have had a itch to buy a 28mm for a few months now since i feel like it could be an interesting new lens to change things up. The search with the Voigtlander 28mm followed by the ZEIS 28mm, i thought my search was over. The Zeis was a good inexpensive choice as it costed 700€, sharp and contrasty i thought it was for me. But hellas i was wrong because lurking nearby for a little bit more money - the Leica 28 mm f2.8 Elmarit asph mkI, a little lens that is supposed to be sharp contrasty and unlike the Zeis better ergonimcs and LEICA. I found this lens for 1100, i thought it was interesting but soon realised that the MKii version would be even better given the improvments for the digital sensor. My search alted when the Summicron 28mm safari was announced, i was in love, i called, i cried. 4200€. I knew this lens would have been the best of the bunch better than the Lux because of size and better than the rest because ... it's Green. But i once again started my search again. I got back to my search and discovered that all acceptable Elmarit asph mki in good shape would cost me at least 1400, which i did find. Reputable source and warranty, but from another reasonable source, a Elmarit asph mkii, for 1700€, for a little more i could have a better newer lens with warranty. 

All seemed to be over, the research complete the dice had been thrown, but plot twist (Another one), for sale for 1800€ a Summicron 28mm asph mki was up for sale, apprently has better micro contrast, and overall a better lens than the Elmarit mki. For the price difference it seem like a no brainer but because of it's age and the fact that the new lenses are optimised for digital sensors i am ultimatletly confused.

 

Elmarit mkii:

Pros:

  • Small
  • Newer
  • Better hood
  • optimised for digital sensors and supposed to be extremly sharp

Cons: 

  • Apparently very contrasty?
  • worst bokeh?
  • too contrasty?

Summicron mki

Pros:

  • F2
  • Very well regarded lens 
  • Better micro contrast?
  • The value will retain for longer
  • More depth of field

Cons:

  • Ugliest hood ever and falls to easily
  • Bigger
  • The new version is apprently much sharper in the corners
  • older

 

Now the reason I am asking for your help is because i need to choose which one i should go for. The elmarit i am scared of it being too contrasty and i am scared that the summicron might be more distorted and less sharp. 

Hence why i am asking you wise people of the L-Camera-Forum! Please share your thoughts, cast your vote and if you have both, comparative prictures to show the difference in micro contrast and overal contrast look of the lenses :) 

Sorry for the long post, but has my girlfriend will kill me if i spend another evening telling her about the pros and cons of each lens she will kill me. 

Edited by ERA23
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To me, you seem to be overthinking the issue and ending up not doing anything. I sincerely doubt, unless you shoot professionally or blow up and print in the range of 30x40 inches or so, that you will see a noticeable differences which can't be evened out in post processing. Yes pixel peeping might reveal differences, but really do they matter?

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IMO, "you gonna lose that girl" if you talk to her about meaningless gear.  

Here is Ultron 28 1.9 ASPH. Hood is hold by big screw. Not contrasty, not expensive. Look for complete set with focus stick (comes in separate plastic bag withing original lens package).

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All good lenses, capable of fine... or mediocre... results based on the user. FWIW, like many others, I use the 28 Summicron ASPH v.1 with a different hood (made for the older 35 Summilux ASPH).... various discussions available via search.

Jeff

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Easy ;). Do you need f/2? If yes, the Summicron v1 is one of the very best. Different hoods are available, do a search on the forum. If you don't need f/2, the Elmarit 28/2.8 asph is one of the very best too. I prefer the v1 personally because of its smaller size but it is a matter of tastes. Happy snaps :).

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2 hours ago, ERA23 said:

I have had a itch to buy a 28mm for a few months now since i feel like it could be an interesting new lens to change things up.

Get a 21mm (the SEM is a great deal in Leicaland) or a 90mm (used Summicron or Summarit). That would take you out of comfort zone for a while - and, while you experiment, your GF will get some breathing space.

I know, I'm not answering the question you asked - but that's what I would do...

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2 hours ago, humerc said:

I have nothing to help you with your problem, but if it helps: I am in the same situation, only that I am lusting for the 28 Lux and can’t decide... hard decisions...  :)

I think the Lux is wonderful the picture it take a trully spectacular but i find it a little too large and everyone i spoke to a couple of people who owned it and said that it spent more time on the shelf than on the camera.

2 hours ago, spydrxx said:

To me, you seem to be overthinking the issue and ending up not doing anything. I sincerely doubt, unless you shoot professionally or blow up and print in the range of 30x40 inches or so, that you will see a noticeable differences which can't be evened out in post processing. Yes pixel peeping might reveal differences, but really do they matter?

Yes it is a big problem, hopefully in a week i'll have picked. 

 

2 hours ago, Ko.Fe. said:

IMO, "you gonna lose that girl" if you talk to her about meaningless gear.  

Here is Ultron 28 1.9 ASPH. Hood is hold by big screw. Not contrasty, not expensive. Look for complete set with focus stick (comes in separate plastic bag withing original lens package).

Welcome, dear visitor! As registered member you'd see an image here…

Simply register for free here – We are always happy to welcome new members!

Hahahha, hopefully not or else i will loose one of my favourite photo subjects. I have tried the Ultron a while back but i didn't love the ergonomics and the picture felt very different from the "leica look". But i see why it's a choice for many, i have a 25mm colour skopar, it was my first lens on my M4-p but after buying my first Leica lens i could never go back.

 

2 hours ago, Jeff S said:

All good lenses, capable of fine... or mediocre... results based on the user. FWIW, like many others, I use the 28 Summicron ASPH v.1 with a different hood (made for the older 35 Summilux ASPH).... various discussions available via search.

Jeff

Hahah, i did read about that hood and it is an interesting solution!
 

 

1 hour ago, Dennis said:

Voigtlander Ultron F/2 meanwhile. It's only $550 USD but with I read a lot about it, great performance. You see how it feels like to shoot with a 28mm first, then you get a Safari version later 😉

Hahah by the time i buy it the price will have probably x4 😆

 

 

1 hour ago, BradS said:

You know you're never going to be satisfied with anything other than the green one. Life is short. Save your money and get the one you want.

...and stop annoying your girlfriend. :)

I showed her the, she laughed, but she said if i buy the safari she will defently leave me, something about having to put the food on the table😆

 

 

1 hour ago, lct said:

Easy ;). Do you need f/2? If yes, the Summicron v1 is one of the very best. Different hoods are available, do a search on the forum. If you don't need f/2, the Elmarit 28/2.8 asph is one of the very best too. I prefer the v1 personally because of its smaller size but it is a matter of tastes. Happy snaps :).

 

Having only summicrons, in my head i obvously think i need the f2, do you see an acctual difference in the picture. As i take a lot of B&W i want to make sure that the grey are well balanced and not to harsh. Do you see a lot of difference between the 2?

 

1 hour ago, Ecar said:

Get a 21mm (the SEM is a great deal in Leicaland) or a 90mm (used Summicron or Summarit). That would take you out of comfort zone for a while - and, while you experiment, your GF will get some breathing space.

I know, I'm not answering the question you asked - but that's what I would do...

I will acctualy be looking at the voigtlander 21mm f1.4 for the next time i travel to japan for some landspaces and city photography, the 90 has defently been in my mind for protraits! You picked to very different lenses, super wide angle and telephoto 

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I had the Summicron 28/2 v1... a fine lens but with a weakness: the front section becomes loose (and looser) and it has to go back to the factory for repair. This is one of the improvements in later versions, as well as a more secure fitting for the lens hood.

To replace my Summicron I got the Elmarit 28/2.8 v2 (11677) which was a lot more compact (not that the Summicron was big) and, performance-wise I had no qualms at all. The lens hood screws into place very firmly.

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1 hour ago, ERA23 said:

Having only summicrons, in my head i obvously think i need the f2, do you see an acctual difference in the picture. As i take a lot of B&W i want to make sure that the grey are well balanced and not to harsh. Do you see a lot of difference between the 2?

Both are contrasty lenses with high acutance but as far as my copies are concerned, the 28/2.8 asph v1 has a bit less shadow detail than the 28/2 v1 which has a bit softer OoF rendition too. Differences are not obvious though. If size and money are not a concern i would say the 28/2 v1 is the better lens but fact is i use the 28/2.8 asph v1 more often in good light because i prefer small lenses and i'm a raw shooter so adjusting contrast in PP is not a problem for me. Due to its small size the Elmarit is a joy to use on the digital CL too. Now i prefer the Summicron in low light and for portraits generally. FWIW.

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2 hours ago, Richardgb said:

had the Summicron 28/2 v1... a fine lens but with a weakness: the front section becomes loose (and looser) and it has to go back to the factory for repair. This is one of the improvements in later versions, as well as a more secure fitting for the lens hood.

That's quite easily overcome by keeping an eye on the three tiny screws around the circumference and tightening them when needed, which will save sending the lens back to the factory.  Also by not picking the lens up by the front section where the weight will bear on the screws.  I had mine for a decade and that was all that was needed to stop the front section working loose.

My 28/2 Summicron v1 was the second most flare-free lens (the first being my f/1 Noctilux) so I never found a need to use a hood with it and its superb micro-contrast* didn't suffer.  *Gradual and smooth transition from black to white, which promotes the capture of fine detail.

Pete.

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There's another recent "which 28mm?" thread: https://www.l-camera-forum.com/topic/309211-what-is-best-28mm-lens-for-m-mount/#comments. You might get some answers there.

This said, I suspect you'd prefer a more personalised response. To be honest, if you don't want a Voigtlander, Zeiss or any other manufacturer's 28mm then you just don't (don't matter whether they are comparable to Leica/better). Between the 28mm Elmarit Asph v2 and the 28mm Summicron v1, I'd go with the Summicron.

  • I'd choose the f2 aperture as it is more flexible for portraits (and in this situation, corners don't really matter). If you're doing street photography and are zone focusing, or landscape photography, you almost certainly won't be shooting wide open anyway. I assume (never tested) that the Summicron v1 at f4 to f8 does perfectly fine for landscape. I'm not sure how big a difference shooting the Elmarit asph v2 and the Summicron stopped down really is.
    • I think things might be a little different if you shot on a Sony/Nikon/Canon/Panasonic body as the sensor stack does affect corner performance (smearing), but on an M body this isn't a big deal. Jono Slack compared the Leica 28mm Summicron v1 and v2 here in terms of stopped down performance on different camera bodies: https://www.slack.co.uk/leica-m-resolution.html
       
  • Another reason for Summicron v1 is that it's "almost there" to the v2. I know a Safari version is a safari version, it's green and has a slide out hood. If you want that, there's no other choice. But that's aesthetics. In terms of rendering and performance, I know the v1 and v2 perform very comparably. As such, it may even put you off selling the v1 for a v2/v2 safari later on, and you use the money for other things/lenses/gear. If you get the Elmarit Asph v2, you'd always be wondering...I did. If you decide to sell the Summicron v1 later you'd likely be able to get back most of what you spent (or more).
     
  • It seems you're quite concerned about how contrasty the Elmarit Asph v2 is. Both Elmarit Asphs are definitely punchy lenses, a little too much for my taste. You can always stop the Summicron down or boost the contrast slightly in post if you find it lacking (mind you the Summicron is not lacking on "punch", I'd say it's a little bit more toned down).
     
  • I would try to keep a lookout a 6-bit coded 28mm Summicron v1, preferably a later production one (post 2011 +/-). But note, either way this point is personal preference and not crucial at all:
    • The reason for coding is for any colour cast correction/vignetting correction the 28mm Summicron lens profile provides (I shot my v1 uncoded i.e. forgot to manually code it..I did see what appeared to me to be a colour cast in the corners wide open -> could be colour cast + vignetting or just vignetting).
    • The reason for a later production model is because Leica changes lens coatings over time + newer lens
  • I would also buy from a reputable dealer with warranty ideally for peace of mind.
     
  • As mentioned by others, the hood on the Summicron is a non-issue. There are plenty of 46mm screw-in hoods on the market or the 35lux asph v1 (pre-FLE) hood (or 12466 hood if you can find). You can also shoot it hoodless (like farnz pointed out). You could even buy a silver or safari green hood (Overgaard one though pricey in my opinion) to match your camera.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  • Points against the Elmarit Asph v2: Aside from contrast, I felt the Elmarit Asph v2 was just physically too small and difficult to mount on and off the way I usually mount my lenses (you'd grip the base of the lens to mount and the focus ring turns when you mount it, etc...to me this was an inconvenience/annoyance). Another gripe was that it is quite off-balance when I used it on my M240. It made the camera swivel when I hung it cross body or around my neck because the lens is so small and light. It's not a bad lens mind you, and a lot of people are happy with theirs. Just not for me. Also, the v2 with the original hood on loses its compactness (Summicron without hood might be about the same size as Elmarit v2 with hood).
  • Side point on the 28lux: I think if someone wanted the best 28mm M lens for portraits, the 28lux is that lens. I must say it is one of my favourite lenses for rendering. The lens has a very cinematic feel. The bokeh is soft and reminds me of the 35mm Summilux Pre-FLE. It is big, not awfully big, though it does have a "presence" on the camera (as in you'd know when you're using it, it's not weightless and "fun"). Testament to the 28mm Summicron, I kept mine over the 28lux when I owned both. The Summicron really does offer the best size-speed balance. Additionally, I'd argue that the 28lux doesn't outshine the Summicron or Elmarit Asph v2 stopped down for landscapes.

Not being pushy about the Summicron, I just wish I got mine earlier instead of trying various 28mms just to end up with one again (v1 Cron, went through numerous other 28mms and then ended up with the v2). 

Sorry for the long reply and hope this helps (...your girlfriend)!

Edited by chasdfg
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ERA23,

Don't be shy, buy what you want (keeping your girlfriend happy also),

then tell her it's for her that you bought it 😉.

 

Another thing is with each choice, you would end up with future one less choice to choose from.

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I have a version 1 28 2.0 and the version 2 2.8 asph.  Since you have the M10 the one stop difference is probably not an issue for lower light (but is if you want more blur).  I use the 2.8 a lot more than the 2.0 simply because of the size.  Your circumstances are different from other discussions about 28's because the Safari green is part of the mix.  You might consider the v1 28 2.8 asph for now since it's a relatively inexpensive option and then sell it once you save enough to get the green 2.0. 

Ray

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16 hours ago, Richardgb said:

I had the Summicron 28/2 v1... a fine lens but with a weakness: the front section becomes loose (and looser) and it has to go back to the factory for repair. This is one of the improvements in later versions, as well as a more secure fitting for the lens hood.

 

My 28mm summicron  asph v1 has never had this problem.  Maybe I am lucky or maybe a few owners have been unlucky, who knows, but I'm not convinced that every 28mm summicron v1 will develop the wobbles.

Since 28mm is my most used focal length, my 28 summaron-m has it's own character and makes a good alternative when I don't need the bulk of the summicron v1.   My CV 28mm color-skopar f3.5 is also tiny and a good performer.

My advice to the OP is to buy the 28mm summicron to complement his existing 35mm & 50mm summicrons.  It would make a versatile set of summicrons for 1, 2 or 3 lens carrying even though the filter sizes don't match (46mm vs 39mm).

 

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