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What is the best value second hand M lens ? - 35mm M Summaron, Summicron or Summarit


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8 hours ago, Rokkor said:

Hi,

for an analogue M with a potential digital application in the future, I am looking for a 35mm lens. Second hand prices are high currently and in the budget friendly field I see the following options (besides Zeiss ZM35mm/2.8 and Voigtländer Ultron 35mm/2.0):

 

• Summaron 35mm /2.8

• Canada made Summicron 35mm/2.0

• Summarit 35mm/2.4

 

If we assume they can be had around +/-1000 bucks each - which route would you recommend?

I read that the Summaron is very vintage, the Canada Summarit an excellent choice and the Summarit has mixed reviews. Also as it is fairly new, I read it performs very well on digital cameras.

Thanks for your recommendations.

Personally, I'd forget the older two lenses (summicron & summaron) and go for the summarit only if you can't run to a used 35mm summicron asph.  Otherwise, why not take a look at the CV Nokton f1.2 v3?

 

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The Summarit without a doubt. Save a little by seeking the earlier F/2.5 version which is identical optically.

Somewhere in this thread was a comment about the differences in size between the 2.5 and the 2.4 version I guess. Since there is no difference in the lens performance here is a quick »style comparison«.    Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content. Hallo Gast! Du willst die Bilder sehen? Einfach registrieren oder anmelden! Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content. Hallo Gast! Du willst die Bilder sehen? Einfach registrieren oder anmelde

I’ve said the same elsewhere, not jokingly, although probably too late now. I think if prices had been much higher, and marketed accordingly (compact, low flare, no focus shift, superb optically and ergonomically... albeit with the improved hood and no rubber ring), they might have been extremely popular as a Summicron alternative.    Notice how problems with some of the most expensive M lenses, e.g, loose aperture rings on the 50 APO, or sticky focus action on the 50 Summilux ASPH), are

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8 hours ago, Rokkor said:

Besides the build quality would you recommend a Canda Summicron at all? Or is then the Summarit a better choice?

I have not used either Summarit, but have been extremely happy with the very clean Summicron (II) that I added about a year ago and shoot on the M262 and M246.  I don't use a hood, and the images are nicely saturated and contrasty, with no visible flare to date (mostly in "non-challenging" conditions). 

My main 35 for many years was the Summilux ASPH pre-FLE, overlapping for a time with a Summicron (IV).  The images I get from the Summicron (II) stand up well to the results from those two.  If I found a Summicron (II) and a Summarit in comparable condition and close in price, I would buy the Summicron.

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vor 21 Stunden schrieb pgk:

I've had both. The Summarit flares less. Otherwise they are both good performers and neither will disappoint. Personally speaking I would say that for value, a 2.5 Summarit is hard to beat. Its a really nice little lens. I would have kept mine but I do shoot in low light so a Summilux replaced it and I'm happy with having done so - but if you don't need the extra stop and a third then the Summarit is a great choice even so.

Sounds reasonable and seems underrated indeed. Thank you.

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vor 13 Stunden schrieb Runkel:

I have not used either Summarit, but have been extremely happy with the very clean Summicron (II) that I added about a year ago and shoot on the M262 and M246.  I don't use a hood, and the images are nicely saturated and contrasty, with no visible flare to date (mostly in "non-challenging" conditions). 

My main 35 for many years was the Summilux ASPH pre-FLE, overlapping for a time with a Summicron (IV).  The images I get from the Summicron (II) stand up well to the results from those two.  If I found a Summicron (II) and a Summarit in comparable condition and close in price, I would buy the Summicron.

Thank you for the recommendation and hinting at the Summicron II. I would consider a Summicron still, just that the market seems a bit over the top if it comes to used Summicron lenses. Therefore I lean towards a Summarit unless s good offer pops up.

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vor 15 Stunden schrieb Ouroboros:

Personally, I'd forget the older two lenses (summicron & summaron) and go for the summarit only if you can't run to a used 35mm summicron asph.  Otherwise, why not take a look at the CV Nokton f1.2 v3?

 

Clear statement. Thank you very much! Will have a look at the Nokton too.

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vor 21 Stunden schrieb a.noctilux:

Ah 35mm 😇.

 

My long story concerning 35mm Summicron IV .

- I first purchased second hand in the 1980's then have had more than dozen over time, as at that time, from 1990 to 2005,

I wanted "nice" one, but some needed repairs, I know now why, but not by then ...

Now I know that "Canada" or early "Germany" 35 Cron IV have some fragile plastic parts which could not stand "hard use"

(or miss-use like grabbing the hood when mount/unmount the lens, I've done that 😝)

- some buys/sells later, now I have two "nice" 35 Cron IV : one "Canada" and one "Germany" which I'll use (with care ! ) for decades to come

...

Now most of time I use Summarit-M 2.5/35mm happily ("normal use" of course).

Time to time I use my other 35mm lenses ( f/1.4 to f/3.5 ), as each IS different from others .

Thank you. Did not know about the plastic parts in the Canada Summicrons. You seem convinced about the Summarit too. With addition of your other Sumicrons.

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vor 21 Stunden schrieb pgk:

I've had both. The Summarit flares less. Otherwise they are both good performers and neither will disappoint. Personally speaking I would say that for value, a 2.5 Summarit is hard to beat. Its a really nice little lens. I would have kept mine but I do shoot in low light so a Summilux replaced it and I'm happy with having done so - but if you don't need the extra stop and a third then the Summarit is a great choice even so.

Can see the reason for Summilux for low light. Thank you for sharing.

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vor 16 Stunden schrieb pippy:

In actual fact the 39mm filter thread makes the f2.5 the more attractive option IMO as I have (and use) such filters with my M Monochrom.

As far as the original question goes;

FWIW I have an old (1954) Summaron-M and, after it was treated to a CLA, it's perfect for my needs but if I was to go out shopping tomorrow I would probably go for a Summarit as a 'first option' 35mm. Although I don't have either of the shorter f/l Summarits I do have the 75mm and 90mm versions and couldn't be happier with how they perform.

Philip.

Thanks Philip. The Summaron has some Charme to it. Even those are very high in price currently. Do good to know you would also tend towards a Summarit as a first M 35mm lens.

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vor 17 Stunden schrieb RF’sDelight:

+1  Summarit-M 2.5 or 2.4/35

I keep on recommending the Summarit line up which is somehow mistaken for »cheap« Leica lenses in the sense of inferior IQ. Probably developed with the Peter Karbe mantra »Stop down for what?« in mind, you get excellent performance with just a half stop below the Summicrons.

But… of course the Summarit rendering is more on the »modern« side where the Summaron and Summicron inhertit a bit more of Walter Mandler’s Leica glow. 😉

 

Thank you and great article by the way.

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Somewhere in this thread was a comment about the differences in size between the 2.5 and the 2.4 version I guess. Since there is no difference in the lens performance here is a quick »style comparison«. 
 

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8 minutes ago, rpsawin said:

Maybe the Summarits could be made in Portugal as more budget friendly.

 

[As requested above] The budget reputation likely caused customers to erroneously assume lower quality, and avoid purchase, in the first place.  But much of Leica’s M line is mostly made in Portugal already, probably including the Summarits; final assembly in Germany.  Leica did, however, specifically market 9 M lenses this Summer as made in Portugal, at lower prices. This was likely done to avoid US tariffs on German lenses.  The Summarits weren’t included, but that’s likely because the line was dead by then.

Jeff

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Yes. Leica is currently selling lenses made in Portugal at lower prices because of tariffs. Everything I've read about the Summartis says they are quality lenses. Since they are not an unknown design it would not take a great deal of effort and resources to reintroduce the line and offer them at lower prices. I guess I'm a bit of a sucker for the thought of a quality Leica lens at a lower price.

Oh well..

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10 minutes ago, Jeff S said:

This was likely done to avoid US tariffs on German lenses.

That's exactly why it was done.  I'm curious to see if the tariffs are dropped and Leica "Made in Germany" lens prices reduced if the administration changes hands as a result of the upcoming election. 

Edited by logan2z
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1 minute ago, rpsawin said:

it would not take a great deal of effort and resources to reintroduce the line and offer them at lower prices.

The prevailing opinion seems to be that the low price is what caused the line to fail in the first place.  Maybe Leica needs to re-introduce them at a higher price in order to make the line successful ;) 

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1 minute ago, logan2z said:

The prevailing opinion seems to be that the low price is what caused the line to fail in the first place.  Maybe Leica needs to re-introduce them at a higher price in order to make the line successful ;) 

I’ve said the same elsewhere, not jokingly, although probably too late now. I think if prices had been much higher, and marketed accordingly (compact, low flare, no focus shift, superb optically and ergonomically... albeit with the improved hood and no rubber ring), they might have been extremely popular as a Summicron alternative. 
 

Notice how problems with some of the most expensive M lenses, e.g, loose aperture rings on the 50 APO, or sticky focus action on the 50 Summilux ASPH), are still tolerated as a cost of hand made goods, and a correctable issue, while any problem with a Summarit was attributed to low quality construction.  Marketing is a funny business.
 

Jeff

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