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28 Summicron vs 28 Elmarit...

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Contrast problem? I don't see it...

Not a lot of highlights in your nice image Jaap.

Pictures like below might be more difficult to manage IMHO.

(R-D1, 28/2.8asph, f/8, 200 iso)

 

 

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I tested all of the current 28s in detail for a review earlier this year. There are some differences in contrast, as well as small differences in resolution, between these two lenses.

 

Cheers,

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Not a lot of highlights in your nice image Jaap.

Pictures like below might be more difficult to manage IMHO.

(R-D1, 28/2.8asph, f/8, 200 iso)

 

Thanks

 

So you mean full sunlight shots. Well, the weather wasn't bad that day...No photoshop at all except web resizing, C1- I didn't touch any slider... Wideangle wheels btw..

It distorts .... So does the Summicron, I believe. The contrast is nicely handled though, check the highlights in the white balustrade against the white stonework and the chrome on my car.

 

 

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When discussing contrast, it is well to make the distinction between diffuse highlights (which reflect more than 85% or so of the incident light) and specular highlights, which are actual mirror images of a light source such as the sun.

 

In the boat prow above, Jaap has lost detail in the white paint, but not in the windmill's more greyish upper wall, in the next picture. It used to be a rule of thumb that in a good B&W print diffuse highlights should hold detail. Specular highlights had to burn out however as their intensity in the subject could be many times greater than even the whitest paint. In a sense, their 'reflectance' would be seen as several hundred percent!

 

There are situations when a bright overcast sky turns into one giant light source, and it is practically impossible to get both detail in the cloud cover and in the landscape below. Then you simply have to get rid of the sky.

 

Shadow detail is more subjective and revolves around the diffuse notion of 'holding important detail'. With a good spot meter, it is nearly always possible in any subject to find an even deeper shadow. Edward Weston used to sacrifice enormous amounts of potential shadow detail in order to get intense detail in the brightest diffuse highlights. Actual original prints (not book reproductions) of his desert landscapes do show this.

 

An objective discussion of the ability of a lens and a sensor's way of rendering contrast should be based on tests with a controlled subject, such as the Kodak Gray Scale. Read the instructions carefully! How far down can you discern shades of black, if you can barely see the difference between patch A (near-100% reflectance) and patch 1?

Aye, that's the rub ...

 

The old man from the Age of the Darkroom

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In the boat prow above, Jaap has lost detail in the white paint, but not in the windmill's more greyish upper wall, in the next picture. It used to be a rule of thumb that in a good B&W print diffuse highlights should hold detail. Specular highlights had to burn out however as their intensity in the subject could be many times greater than even the whitest paint. In a sense, their 'reflectance' would be seen as several hundred percent!

The boat was not mine, but it makes no difference to the argument...

The white paint, after PS,(to show the highlight, it does not improve the pidcture at all) still shows some detail. I suspect lct's boat does too. Our screens are not capable of rendering the contrast.

 

Shadow detail is more subjective and revolves around the diffuse notion of 'holding important detail'. With a good spot meter, it is nearly always possible in any subject to find an even deeper shadow. Edward Weston used to sacrifice enormous amounts of potential shadow detail in order to get intense detail in the brightest diffuse highlights. Actual original prints (not book reproductions) of his desert landscapes do show this.

 

 

 

That is true, but on the M8, provided you get the highlights good, the shadows can be recovered to an amazing extent.

 

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Thanks It distorts .... So does the Summicron, I believe. The contrast is nicely handled though, check the highlights in the white balustrade against the white stonework and the chrome on my car...

Triumphal (TR6?) picture Jaap.

Proof that one can find some sun in Holland after all.

Just kidding of course but yes it is exactly the kind of subject matter for which i prefer lower contrast lenses personally.

Cheers.

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Hmm, the deadlights seem to indicate that it is a TR5 or perhaps earlier. The TR6 had a flat hood with headlights tucked in underneath. Nice car.

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While we are talking contrasty lenses, this goes to show that so-called medium contrast can be a real asset. This is the pre-aspheric 21mm Elmarit wide open. There is no fill lighting except the chandelier, which cannot have helped much! The detail in the rightmost window had to go, but note that not only the woodwork but also the curtains are intact (so where is the lense's reputed sensitivity to flare?) – I doubt that the current aspherical 21mm would have fared this well. By the way, this exposure, the best of them, was on Auto, and so was the white balance!

 

The old man of a Certain Age

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Hmm, that does not produce much of a photograph,Thom, more like a pictorial record... Anyway, it IS the 28 Elmarit again, to stay on topic....

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Personally I have the 28cron and like it a lot.

 

Why? Coming from film i was used to a 35/1.4asph - so with the crop and 28mm being the "new 35mm" lens with f2.0 I allready lost 1 stop compared to earlier times, 2.8 I find kind of slow.

 

The size is great IMO, very easy to handle.

 

The somewhat lower contrast I also like, thats by the way a reason for me to use the 21asph (which also has slightly lower contrast) more often than the 24asph.

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I am a big fan of the 28/2 it doesn't have excessive contrast like a lot of the modern lenses. These 2 shots required pretty wide dynamic range. The cafe was at ISO 320 the street performer 1250, both -2/3 EV. I may get one of the lower contrast CV's that Sean has reviewed or an older Leica like the rigid summicron to see how it performs on the M8. To much contrast in the raw file is a real detriment and is fatal in harsh lighting.

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A Summicron when shut to f2.8 is fully corrected, an Elmarit will have to be shut to f4 for similar results. The difference in weight, however, (and price) is indeed something to consider.

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Great discussion of the Leica 28s, but I would like to hear more comparisions to the pre-asph Elmarit. I chose the Elmarit Ver. IV I guess it is, for cost reasons initially. It is almost identical in size to the Summicron. I don't have experience with the new Elmarit 28 ASPH, but have heard the ASPH is higher contrast than my pre-ASPH.

 

I really enjoy this lens, but like others on this thread, I wonder if I could appreciate the extra stop of the Summicron, and is it worth the upgrade... Not so much in low light scenarios, but DOF. Can I practically isolate subjects with a more narrower DOF, with the Summicron? Effective 37mm on a M8 is still fairly wide and that one stop difference maybe minimal in reducing area of sharp focus. Bokeh is another way to describe this, but I am really interested in the noticable difference in DOF at f/2.8 vs f/2.0.

 

Thanks!

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If you like smooth bokeh the 28/2 is the way to go IMHO.

Otherwise the 28/2.8 asph is a great lens indeed with a bit more contrast than the Summicron.

If i had to keep one 28 only it would be certainly the Summicron but i would miss the small size of the Elmarit...

 

Dang, that was a lot of work to illustrate the differences and I really appreciate your efforts as it helped me too!

Regards,

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Does anybody have a side-by-side picture of both lenses? I would like to get an idea of the difference in size, and my dealer is out of summicrons...

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I was asking myself this question last month. I own both the new 28 Elmarit and the 28 Cron Asph.

 

Currently my 28 Cron is for sale on ebay: item #130202617519

 

While most of the posters here are focusing on the image quality between the two lenses it was really the size that made my decision to sell the Cron. Also the 28 was my favorite lens on film--which I no longer shoot in 35mm.

 

I would like to have the 28 angle of view for my M8 but w/o having to use an external viewfinder.

 

With all the talk about possible M9 or M8 upgrades I haven't seen any discussion of a possible road that would make sense for Leica. Settling on the 1.3x chip size and starting to develop a line of digital only lenses for that format.

 

BTW the shot below is from the 28 Cron.

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