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28 Summicron vs 28 Elmarit...

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Title kinda says it all. Either of these would be the equivalent of a 35mm on an M8 – traditionally the most popular lens length on an M. But which to go for?

 

Summicron: hugely respected, by the sound of it. f2.0 which could make a lot of difference for interior, available light shots. We know the quality is great.

 

Elmarit: optically very good, according to EP's review. Smaller and lighter than the Summicron. HALF the price.

 

As someone who hasn't had the chance to try either of these lens yet, my big question is this: does the aperture difference between f2 and f2.8 make much difference at all in terms of depth of field? The actual light-gathering capabilities can to a degree be compensated for on a digital body by changing ISO on the fly, making the half-stop-or-so difference on the lens what Joey from "Friends" would call a "moo point"*. But I've always chosen wide aperture lenses for my cameras partly in order to maximise my options in terms of getting bokeh zones in the shot. Here, though, the price difference is so big that I don't think the f2.0 is necessarily a no-brainer. More like a half-brainer...

 

Anyone have any views on whether the jump from f2.8 to f2.0 is worth a thousand pounds?

 

__________________________________

* A moo point: a point where you might as well be saying "moooo". The kind of point a cow would make.

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The Cron is less contrasty, and has better corner performance on film. The Elmarit is very sharp but too contrasty for some in sunlight. Wide open, the Cron has some of that old-style magic, whereas the Elmarit is just sharp.

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The Cron is less contrasty, and has better corner performance on film. The Elmarit is very sharp but too contrasty for some in sunlight. Wide open, the Cron has some of that old-style magic, whereas the Elmarit is just sharp.

 

Thanks, Carsten, that's worth knowing.

 

I do want to make the right choices first time round, rather than make the cheap choices and then (a) regret them and (

have to buy again. So in that sense I'd rather save up and wait for the right lens than get something in a hurry. I'm intending them to last me a long, long time, after all!

 

BTW, the 21mm Elmarit is working out really well so far. Since that's the only Leica lens I have any experience of, would you say it's tonally similar to the contrasty 28 Elmarit? That would give me at least some frame of personal reference.

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I had the 21 Asph and I would consider it's contrast /fingerprint quite close to the 28 Summicron Asph. I would still say the 28 Cron has slightly less contrast. The 28 naturally was sharper then the 21 at the edges wide open.

 

IMO it's a lot of cash to pay for 1 stop and lower contrast. I happened to pick mine up at a very reasonable price, I don't know if I'd pay full retail over the price of the 28 elemarit Asph. However if your seriously into B&W then the higher contrast of the Elmarit may pose some issues with overall tones. But I'm being really picky here. Either lens will preform superbly, one will soak up all your cash while the other will allow cashflow to recover quickly for your next purchase.

 

Don't rule out the VC 28 f:/1.9, also an excellent lens by all accounts if a little bigger.

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I can write from the experience of someone who sold a 28 'cron after buying the new Elmarit only to later buy another 'cron and sell the Elmarit. For me, the difference in maximum aperture is not that important and I was attracted to the Elmarit by it's small size. As much as I like the results, I hate the size and proportions of the 28 'cron (I have the same feeling about most of the current crop of fast Leica lenses). I very much wanted the Elmarit to be the solution but I found it lacked much of the character of the faster lens. The Elmarit is contrasty, bitingly sharp and appears to have more depth of field than the 'cron at equivalent apertures (the latter might just be a consequence of the overall sharpness of the lens). In general, the results I was getting with the Elmarit seemed a little bit too 'digital' for my taste and I decided to sell the lens and go back to a 'cron.

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And here is one (beach) i made earlier with my elmarit

....

for me size matters as it is my primary travel lens so needs to fit nicely into a rucksack.

 

The same but different (Restaurant) was taken on 50mm lux wide open.

 

Would be really interesting if someone could post two identical shots taken with a cron and elmarit

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If you don't need the extra stop of the Cron, but want the softer look wide open, the last pre-Asph gneration of the Elmarit is almost the size and look of the Cron, and ought to be significantly cheaper.

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Most of it's been said, but one other point: The version 4 Elmarit and the Cron Asph are of similar size -- by comparison, the 28 Elmarit Asph is tiny at about half the length.

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It may also matter who the neighbor's are. I got the 28 elmarit with the M8. As said, I find it wonderfully sharp, with strong contrast. I have a 24 elmarit which is low contrast with a very different (and pleasing) look, and a 35 lux asph which gives me 2 more stops though a more modern look like the 28 elmarit. So, as tempting as the 28 cron is at times, my "neighborhood" is working for me. If I want to shoot with large DOF probably hyperfocal, and especially if I want a punchier look, it's the 28 elmarit, if I need 1.4 or 2.0 it's the 35 lux, when I want to paint, it's the 24 elmarit. Having that really small 28 elmarit is a nice option, especially for street candids, that I wouldn't give up at this time. best...Peter

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I can write from the experience of someone who sold a 28 'cron after buying the new Elmarit only to later buy another 'cron and sell the Elmarit. For me, the difference in maximum aperture is not that important and I was attracted to the Elmarit by it's small size. As much as I like the results, I hate the size and proportions of the 28 'cron (I have the same feeling about most of the current crop of fast Leica lenses). I very much wanted the Elmarit to be the solution but I found it lacked much of the character of the faster lens. The Elmarit is contrasty, bitingly sharp and appears to have more depth of field than the 'cron at equivalent apertures (the latter might just be a consequence of the overall sharpness of the lens). In general, the results I was getting with the Elmarit seemed a little bit too 'digital' for my taste and I decided to sell the lens and go back to a 'cron.

 

I agree with the sentiment on size, and I think the Elmarit does absolutely solve that problem. If you can get away without the hood at times it's even smaller.

 

But I also agree about the character, although admittedly I've not shot as much with it as I'd like to before making such a judgement. And I too notice the increased depth of field, which was a surprise.

 

The good news is, both 'cron and Elmarit are so hard to find, resale values for minty condition lenses are often higher than retail list, so no matter you shouldn't have to worry.

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Hi Guy,

 

I have them both and have not used the f2.8 since the Summicron arrived. The 2.8 os a very nice lens, but it is 2.8, and I seem to most always use the M inside and the extra stop gives me that little extra leeway, so I bring it and leave the slower lens home. The image quality of the f2.0 is excellent (as is the slower, but most contrasty lens).

 

I think these shots are along the lines of those you would be taking. 28@f2.0

 

/applications/core/interface/imageproxy/imageproxy.php?img=http://homepage.mac.com/billh96007/.Pictures/PaulPhilRecoding/Ed,28@,f2.0,0735.jpg&key=b43bf64ddf3cf1239fe2a29ccdd4c63a53988f55def0df5b869f9624d970766f">

 

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As noted by others the Elmarit is relatively contrasty, but I've had very little difficulty taming the contrast in Photoshop, when necessary.

 

Larry

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Guest guy_mancuso

I went straight for the Cron when i was buying my 28 mm. My one big reason was speed it is the fastest wide angle but I just love the results from it also. It's a lens i will never sell.

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Haven't shot with the 'cron, and probably would agree with all the above comments. The elmarit is lovely with its small size, as it fits just under a jacket, and maintains the balance of the camera, as (for me) it was designed.

 

I've been enjoying 50 'cron, with its shallow depth of field and bokeh, and miss that a bit with the 28 elmarit. The 28 elmarit is sharp as a tack. Maybe the contrast is a bit higher, but it can deal with pretty harsh contrast well. It just isn't quite buttery smooth, like the older lenses, but it is a fine lens nonetheless.

 

Geoff G

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I think somebody should start defending the poor Elmarit... It is a bit different from the Summicron, but the character it exhibits is completely in line with the newer Leica asph lenses. There is nothing wrong with the images it takes and the differences are quite subtle.Hand-held shooting and web-sized jpegs will eliminate most of them for us to see. It is a perfect companion with for instance the 2.8/90 for a mini-outfit on the street or when travelling, or with a Summicron 50 for that matter, and a perfect everyday lens for a carry-around M8. In the end, If one owned both lenses, I would say that the Summicron would be the "superior" lens, but that the 2.8 would see the lions share of use in daily practice.

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Guest guy_mancuso

Nothing wrong with the Elmarit at all . I just went for the speed of the cron and i like the look. Actually been thinking of getting a 21 2.8 pre asph because of the speed and down below 28 i am all F4 lenses. I am just a fast glass whore, always have been. Size for me is meaningless . I had Canon and the DMR these M lenses are a treat, trust me

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Well I'll stand up for the Elmarit. When I was looking for a 28 I knew this was the lens I wanted. The 2 to 2.8 was not a big deal for me, I just up the ISO if needed.

DOF, Personally I like greater DOF with a wide lens. I don't think I have ever shot it at f/2.8.

Price, Well I'm broke after all the Leica gear I've bought and the savings on the 2.8 helped me in the money department. The f/2 Cron is going for $3195 at B&H. That is more then double the cost of the Elmarit, for one stop, NO thanks.

Sharp, you bet. Not sure what others are saying about the contrastyness of the lens. I think it is fine in that department.

 

I'm very happy with my choice of a 28mm lens.

Everyones needs vary. If cost is nothing to you then buy all the faster lenses.

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Guest guy_mancuso

Yea but I'm broke now Ed. LOL

 

Thank God i am earning my money back with these heavy purchases. I really feel for the hobbyist. So glad they came out with the Summarits at least it will help people get into Leica lenses.

 

Hell you just can't go wrong with almost any leica lens, there all really good. You simply will get good results with any of them . Just depends on what look you are after more than anything.

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Well I'll stand up for the Elmarit. When I was looking for a 28 I knew this was the lens I wanted. The 2 to 2.8 was not a big deal for me, I just up the ISO if needed.

DOF, Personally I like greater DOF with a wide lens. I don't think I have ever shot it at f/2.8.

Price, Well I'm broke after all the Leica gear I've bought and the savings on the 2.8 helped me in the money department. The f/2 Cron is going for $3195 at B&H. That is more then double the cost of the Elmarit, for one stop, NO thanks.

Sharp, you bet. Not sure what others are saying about the contrastyness of the lens. I think it is fine in that department.

 

I'm very happy with my choice of a 28mm lens.

Everyones needs vary. If cost is nothing to you then buy all the faster lenses.

 

Ed,

 

My sentiments, exactly!

 

Larry

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