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28 Summicron vs 28 Elmarit...

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Hi everyone, and thanks for the many answers. Steve, thank you for the link, found your review and samples of the Elmarit very useful - and beautiful as well. I poarticularly like how it renders in black and white.

 

I have now seen quite many photos taken with an Elmarit over the internet, and think I am quite familiar with its style. However I cannot find many of the Summicron: I was wondering if anybody could also point out some links where I can find some?

 

There is guy who wrote a review of the Summicron somewhere on the ineternet (will post the link as soon as I find it again!), and he says that he bought the Summicron after having sold the Elmarit, and then had to sell the Summicron again and go back to the Elmarit, because he found it very difficult when focusing. He reckons that, while the Elmarit forgives many focus unaccurancies, you need to be very precise with the Summicron, and this made it extremely difficult for him in street photography. Any feedback on this?

 

Ed

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Ed,

 

I also read that review...can't remember where it was posted, perhaps photo.net or something.

 

From what I remember of the article, his issue with the cron' was that at 2.8 it had much more shallow DOF when compared to the elmarit. For his work he preferred to shoot at 2.8 with longer DOF, which is what he enjoyed about the elmarit, while the cron', though faster by a stop, at 2.8 required more precise focusing due to the change in DOF. As far as I know, it was not a focusing problem but a difference, which was serious enough for his type of shooting.

 

I'm not an expert on lens design so I can't comment on how true this is, but I think there is some difference in DOF when shot at the same apeture between the cron and asph. Or it could just be that I am reading into the image after that review. Bottom line, I don't think the difference is that great. Others could also probably comment on this.

 

These are not the best comparison photos but I hope they will give you a sense of the character of the lenses. The first two were taken with the Elmarit and the latter with the Cron'. The last shot is a bit out of focus. Lighting conditions and sources were very similar, if not identical. Not much pp with any of the photos except for exposure and wb control. They were all shot at either ISO 320 or 640.

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Thank you very much for posting these photos, Mark - it is true that pictures speak more than a thousand words!

 

I agree with you that the advantage the user found in focusing with the Elmarit may be due to its DOF. It is a good bonus for street photography, though! Do you think that the difference of DOF between the two lenses is only at wider apertures? The sharpness and contrast of the Elmarit that most user seem to experience may also add to this "easier" focusing issue.

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...I agree with you that the advantage the user found in focusing with the Elmarit may be due to its DOF...

What do you mean by this if i may ask? At the same aperture and focal lengths DoF is exactly the same no? I use both Summicron and Elmarit asph and i've never noticed any difference from this standpoint. Perhaps you refer to different OoF renditions? Just curious.

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Hi, Ict. As Mark mentioned above, some users reckon that the Summicron has "a more shallow" depth of field than the Elmarit. I agree that this may be just an effect given by the high contrast and sharpness of the Elmarit that make areas which are oof still look relatively sharp.

 

Anyway, what are your views about the whole Elmarit-Summicron issue, Ict? It'd be great to hear the opinion of another (lucky) owner of both!

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...some users reckon that the Summicron has "a more shallow" depth of field than the Elmarit....Anyway, what are your views about the whole Elmarit-Summicron issue, Ict?...

Never noticed this shallower DoF personally. I prefer the size of the Elmarit asph and the image quality of the Summicron. The Elmarit asph is more contrasty with a slighty harsher bokeh. The Summicron is slightly smoother but is quite a sharp lens as well. If you like the IQ of 35/2 asph or 50/1.4 asph you will be happy with the Elmarit asph. But if you prefer slightly smoother lenses like the latest pre-asph 50/1.4 or even the Elmarit 21/2.8 asph, the Summicron would be a better choice. Beware that both lenses vignette a bit but i don't see significant differences at same apertures between both. Mainly a matter of tastes... and wallet size

IMHO.

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First of all, thank you Steve and Mark for your Elmarit photos. Very nice!

 

And thank you to everyone else for some very useful information.

 

I have been on the fence as to whether or not I should buy the 28 Elmarit. (It was not an either/or decision. I don't want to spend the money for another Summicron right now.)

 

I was especially interested to hear about contrast and depth of field. I like a lot of contrast and an increased depth of field so the Elmarit is probably what I need to round out my lenses. The Elmarit 1:2.8/90 mm, the Summicron 1:2/50 mm, and the Summicron 1:2/35 mm work great with my old M6TTL but I am missing a wide angle lens for the M8.

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The Elmarit 1:2.8/90 mm, the Summicron 1:2/50 mm, and the Summicron 1:2/35 mm work great with my old M6TTL but I am missing a wide angle lens for the M8.
Hi -- On the M8, the 28mm focal length is only a very mild wide at 61° angle of view, equivalent to about 37mm on 24x36 film. For me this is the "perfect" all-round lens. But if you want a wide angle lens for an M8, the 24mm is useful (acts like a 32mm), and even 21mm is only as wide as a 28 on a film camera.

 

I thought the user comments about the 2.8/28 Elmarit showing more DoF than the Summicron was unusual, and counter to optical theory. For a given circle of confusion size, the physical diameter of the aperture is the determining factor in DoF. And clearly two 28mm lenses would have the same aperture diameter at the same f-stop, therefore the same DoF. But it might SEEM like two 28's have different DoF due to the way each transitions from sharp to unsharp and what the bokeh is like.

Edited by Dougg

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For a given circle of confusion size, the physical diameter of the aperture is the determining factor in DoF. And clearly two 28mm lenses would have the same aperture diameter at the same f-stop, therefore the same DoF. But it might SEEM like two 28's have different DoF due to the way each transitions from sharp to unsharp and what the bokeh is like.

 

Exactly!

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Hi !

I bought a new M8 just two months ago and went for the cron, simply because I'd like to have the extra

I'd tested the M8 w/ the Elmarit before and everything was fine.

Everything except the noise when overextending the ISOs into 1250 and even worse 2500.

 

I compared it against the Nikon D700 (don't discuss this, please) and because of the advantages of Nikon's sensor in low light scenarios I decided to not to go for the Elmarit.

 

However if size matters more than anything else, then the Elmarit is yours.

Cheers

Michael

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Leica publishes its lens data sheets on their website. If you are interested in the DOF data have a look there.

 

Regards

Steve

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Just a message to encourage people - especially those who have had the chance to try or own both the Summicron and Elmarit 28mm asph - to keep this interesting and useful thread alive.

 

Personally, I had the chance to buy a second-hand Summicron a couple of months ago, and am very satisfied with the results so far. However, being my - letteraly - everyday lens, I sometimes still wonder if the beautifully sized and light-weighted Elmarit would have been a better choice.

 

I am sure many other users and internet surfers would be interested in reading (and seeing!) more about this controversial topic, on which there is not much on other sites either, so please keep on posting your comments, comparative reviews and especially photographs!

 

Cheers,

 

Ed

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Posters to this thread have mainly been comparing the current versions of the 28mm Elmarit and Summicron. What I would like to know is how the current 28mm Elmarit ASPH compares to the second generation 28mm Elmarit. I just got the M8 and have been using it with lenses that I haven't used in over twenty-five years, especially the 28mm Elmarit. I've been very happy with the results in terms of sharpness and detail. What I'm not happy about is how much of the viewfinder is blocked by the lens, especially when the lens shade is on — that model's shade doesn't even have a cutout.

 

So I'm thinking about selling the old Elmarit and getting the current ASPH model just because it's so small, about the same size as the 35mm Summicron that was my mainstay back in the early 80s. However, I've read some disparaging posts about the ealier Elmarit 28s that aren't borne out by my experience, either with film back then or with the M8. Mind you, I almost never used the lens wide open.

 

Many have written that the new Elmarit is more contrasty than the Summicron, potentially a disadvantage for me, and that it's sharper, which is a plus. But how does it compare in those respects to the 28mm Elmarit from the 1970s?

 

Any feedback would be much appreciated!

 

Andrew Borowiec

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The laws of optics prohibits the 28 cron having less DOF than the elmarit at the same aperture and distance from the subject. I guess I should read the link before commenting, but my guess would be that the 2 lenses were not exactly focusing at the same point, that they were not identically calibrated. This would give the impression of a different DOF. It's also possible that the cron was showing focus shift, but I have not heard this to be a problem with this lens, it does not appear in my sample. As for the choice, I first has an emlarit and loved it's size and sharpness. It was a little too contrasty in some brighter lighting, but quite good. I was using a 35 lux as my primary lens on the M8. I decided to try the 28 cron, and made that the primary lens, so the extra stop was desired. I also did prefer the way it draws, especially it's great sharpness at 2.0 and lovely transition to a softer OOF area than the elmarit. Lately however I'm returning to the 35 lux as the "lens cap". If this continues, I may sell the cron, get the elmarit again for a great small kit, and put the remainder toward a 21 lux. best...Peter

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I would love to have the 28 Summicron, but am well enough happy with the Elmarit. It is a great lens, has decent enough bokeh, to me is not too contrasty, and most important, when on my M8, I can put it in a coat pocket. Here are some shots that I believe fairly show its capabilities.

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Andrew,

 

This is one of those choices I've been kicking around for a year or so. I tried out a 28 Elmarit ASPH and a 28 Summicron two years back. I liked the size of the Elmarit but preferred the files from the Summicron. Having a 21 and a 35, my need for a 28 is not pressing so I put a purchase of a $3-4k lens on the back burner.

 

Since then, I've often found the 21 too wide and the 35 too narrow, so I'm again looking at a 28. I looked at those test files I shot again based on how I'd be using this lens (landscapes, travel, editorial and not portraits) and the Elmarit ASPH looks pretty good. Then I went to: LFI Gallery - Galerie entered 28 Elmarit ASPH in the search function and saw how others are using this lens and those landscapes, travel and editorial shots looked just fine. These are areas where a little crunch (micro contrast) improves the image. So I'm saving up again.

 

Sure, having a 28 Summicron would be nice but I can get both the 28 Elmarit and a new 50 Summicron for a few hundred dollars less than the price of a 28 cron. If I buy the pair, I can use the 50 for portraits and the 28 for everything else. Well not exactly everything... I'll still keep my 21, 35 and 90.

 

Tom

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The laws of optics prohibits the 28 cron having less DOF than the elmarit at the same aperture and distance from the subject. ...

 

Are you sure? I don't know enough to be able to comment with authority but can say that I have seen enough comparisons between the V4 cron and cron asph to feel there may be a difference between those two. It may be due to OOF transitions, but objects placed behind the point of focus are more recognizable with the V4 - you seem to be able to see more detail and therefore effectively have more DOF. It is not epic in all shots but is certainly noticeable when side by side comparisons of the same scene off the same tripod etc are shown. quite a few people have illustrated this.

 

The two 28s are both asph, but it does not mean the asph elements are acting to the same corrective extent (dont know about the number but I assume one each). It may be that the two are the same in apparent DOF, but with the 35 asph and the V4 cron if I had to ballpark it, I would say the V4 gives 1/2 to a stop more apparent DOF. what causes it and whether it is just tricks on the eyes I dont know....

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I have seen enough comparisons between the V4 cron and cron asph to feel there may be a difference between those two. .

 

I'd be curious of knowing how the Cron and the Elmarit V4 compare: could you tell us - or show us! - something, batmobile? I've always wondered whether the pre-asph has a much less contrasty, softer and vintage-like looks...

 

Ed

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28 Cron F2

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28 Elmarit 2.8

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28 Cron F2

/applications/core/interface/imageproxy/imageproxy.php?img=http://stevehuffphotos.zenfolio.com/img/v8/p436068249.jpg&key=6a25f1b4cabaaf59e90cc47802c0197924447fa56c05b13ca3d541e6663e2b40">

 

28 Elmarit 2.8

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