Jump to content

If You Were Me: The 50mm Dilemma.


Recommended Posts

Advertisement (gone after registration)

2 hours ago, oldwino said:

Who knows? But I would think that Leica knows what they are doing, material-wise. They are not new at this lens game. 
An ultimate might be a re-issue of the V2 rigid, with the same build quality, but with modern lenses with modern coatings. But what would that cost? $6-7K each? 

Pretty sure Leica released a Rigid look-alike with Summicron v5 optics a while back. 

/applications/core/interface/js/spacer.png">
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 61
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

This topic IMHO has been beaten to death over the years, but is always open to fresh observations. I offer my opinion, having owned many Leica and 3rd party 50mm lenses over 50 years of shooting, film and digital. Simply, you can't go wrong with any Leica offerings, as long as the ergonomics of a particular lens work for you. Several years ago I sold my 50 crons, luxes and noctis in favor of the OLD 50 elmar 3.5 red scale, and also kept a few CV, old Canon, and Nicor LTM lenses which work fine o

Metal in lens construction varied over time. more on lens construction This trio would be my dream team 😄   Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content. Hallo Gast! Du willst die Bilder sehen? Einfach registrieren oder anmelden!/applications/core/interface/js/spacer.png">   but in real life, I use this trio happily   Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content. Hallo Gast! Du willst die Bilder

Everyone has been extremely helpful in this thread. I know the whole "help me decide on a lens" thing has been done to death, so I apologize for that, and I thank you for your advice. After thinking about, ended up pretty much throwing everything out the window and going with a different focal length altogether.   I went with the 40mm f/2 Summicron-C. I figure that if all goes well with it (I don't have focusing issues, the framing isn't too difficult to guess with an M3, etc.) I will

Posted Images

Lookalike Rigid only.

the optical cell is not removable, and the distance setting is very short throw like the other same period Summicron 50mm.

I have this nice lens with the LTM mount same optical cell and same focus throw limited to 1m 😉.

 

 

nice lens though,

have a nice read here of 50th Anniversary

one of the best made Summicron 50mm

Edited by a.noctilux
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, pedaes said:

Let's be clear, the rubberised grip you are talking about was a conscious design feature which some like, some don't. If you feel the manufacture of Leica lenses isn't up to your standard the answer is obvious.

I think it would be absurd of me to imply that Leica lenses aren't "up to my standard." My concern is not with the inherent build quality of the Summarit, but the tendency of rubber to deteriorate. I personally believe this to be a legitimate concern, conscious design feature or not. I have also read the the rubber can be conditioned periodically to prevent deterioration, so maybe its a non-issue.

---

Anyway, I am looking hard at the 40mm Summicron-C. I know that there are numerous potential pitfalls with this decision, but I can't stop thinking about this lens.

As far as I can see, the pros are that it is extremely compact, f/2 maximum aperture, excellent build quality, price, and excellent IQ with some "character" (subjective).

The cons are: incompatible focal length (though if I can be accurate enough using the entire window of the M3, I'm okay with that), possible parallax issues (this has been brought up, but I can't find anything definitive), strange filter thread pitch, potential focusing issues which may or may not be a myth (due to focus cam), strange "doughnut bokeh", and loss of sharpness in the corners.

 The cons seem to outweigh the pros here (at least in theory), but this lens is calling to me. I think at this point I'm thinking out loud, so apologies to anyone who keeps getting unwanted notifications for this thread.

 

Edited by Brancbūth
Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Brancbūth said:

(a.) I'm extremely non-confrontational. I shoot primarily candid shots in the street - almost no landscape whatsoever - and occasionally my wife and dogs. Obviously, 28mm requires you to move in close, and simply put: I'm not comfortable enough to get the shots I want. Pair this with the prohibitive dangers of COVID-time street shooting, and I'm left with a lens that is far from conducive to comfort. I will keep it but, as my only lens, it hasn't been ideal.

 

I think your main problem is fear; calling it "non-confrontational" is a nice of saying that you're afraid to get close, and shooting with a 50mm isn't really going to solve that problem.  If anything, it will make you look weird and maybe even creepy.  Just because you're keeping your distance by using a longer focal length doesn't mean that they can't sense your "discomfort".

Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, MrFriendly said:

I think your main problem is fear; calling it "non-confrontational" is a nice of saying that you're afraid to get close, and shooting with a 50mm isn't really going to solve that problem.  If anything, it will make you look weird and maybe even creepy.  Just because you're keeping your distance by using a longer focal length doesn't mean that they can't sense your "discomfort".

This is exactly correct. I am afraid to get close (now, especially). It's something I'll have to work on when things return to some semblance of normalcy.

Link to post
Share on other sites

From my experience with many 50s, I advise you to look for a Heliar 2/50.It shows the desired flat contrast for film with still good micro contrast and is compact enough when retracted. It is practically the 2.0 alternative to the Elmar.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Advertisement (gone after registration)

52 minutes ago, Brancbūth said:

I think it would be absurd of me to imply that Leica lenses aren't "up to my standard." My concern is not with the inherent build quality of the Summarit, but the tendency of rubber to deteriorate. I personally believe this to be a legitimate concern, conscious design feature or not. I have also read the the rubber can be conditioned periodically to prevent deterioration, so maybe its a non-issue.

 

If my 80mm Summilux-R from 1980 is any indication, it’s a non-issue.

I would look at the 50mm Summilux v1 and the 50mm Summicron v3.

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, MrFriendly said:

it will make you look weird and maybe even creepy

Well in that case Brancbüth is in good company. HCB was a very shy person, looked weird and may by some well have been seen as creepy in our time - when making his photo’s that is. 

Edited by otto.f
Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, Brancbūth said:

I would previously have purchased the pre-ASPH ‘Lux in a heartbeat, but after reading through countless threads, I noticed numerous people describing “unbearable” barrel distortion. Normally these characteristics would not put me off, but a few users described the lens as “unusable.” What has your experience been?

I have an early-model Summilux (II) built at a time when Leitz was still using the (I)-style mount. In mechanical terms it is a joy to handle. And yet time and time again I find that when heading out for a photo outing, the lens that I fit to my camera is the retractable Summicron. This is another superb example of traditional craftsmanship, and visually it just looks "right" - a link to the classic days of the past when most Leica users would have a 5cm retractable Elmar, Summar, Summitar, or Summicron.

Now as regards Summilux distortion - yes, this lens does display significant barrel distortion, but this will only be apparent in a photo with strong verticals.

As a test, I took a photo of the bookshelf in my office. Barrel distortion is clearly visible, but this can be eliminated in Photoshop by applying Lens correction>Geometric distortion>+1.7.

if you send me your email address in a private message, I'll send you a jpeg, and you can judge & adjust for yourself.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have quite a number of 50mm lenses. But when I look through a box of prints, generally A4, the success of a picture comes down to the subject, composition and lighting. It is nice to compare lenses but some of my best pictures have come off the cheapest/least expensive lenses.

If you want something that looks different try this one, modern and sharp, but only f3.5

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello,

Going through the thread, most leica 50mm were cited 😊

If I was you, I'd try to think about what type of rendering you like for your b&w film and take it from there. Lenses from the 50s-60s, Mandler or modern... I'd also suggest an oportunistic choice if it is hard to decide: whatever lens you choose, condition is very important and it will allow you to re-sell the lens if you do not like it. In the end, there is no way round but to try for yourself. You can let luck decide what to try first by trying to find a good deal locally. 

I'd also check the photos in the I like film thread as well as on flickr. Plenty of b&w film shot using 50mm there.

Happy hunting!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hope your hunt is going well, if you are looking at Summicron V1, buy from a dealer as the lenses can have internal haze. Teh 50s I have used are 3 copies of the DR Summicron, wonderful lens, one I had had some rear element severe scratches and it was still good. I don't use 50mm much so I end up trading or selling them. I inherited an M3 and bought a 1953 V1 from KEH, it was ratedas a "user" but I can't find anything wrong on it, front and rear glass is nice, no obvious scratches. It is a nice lens, very nice with film. Following is at F2

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, tommonego@gmail.com said:

Hope your hunt is going well, if you are looking at Summicron V1, buy from a dealer as the lenses can have internal haze. Teh 50s I have used are 3 copies of the DR Summicron, wonderful lens, one I had had some rear element severe scratches and it was still good. I don't use 50mm much so I end up trading or selling them. I inherited an M3 and bought a 1953 V1 from KEH, it was rated as a "user" but I can't find anything wrong on it, front and rear glass is nice, no obvious scratches. It is a nice lens, very nice with film. Following is at F2

Off topic, but I find that KEH actually underestimates the quality of its products. I'm always pleasantly surprised by what I get from them.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Everyone has been extremely helpful in this thread. I know the whole "help me decide on a lens" thing has been done to death, so I apologize for that, and I thank you for your advice. After thinking about, ended up pretty much throwing everything out the window and going with a different focal length altogether.

 

I went with the 40mm f/2 Summicron-C. I figure that if all goes well with it (I don't have focusing issues, the framing isn't too difficult to guess with an M3, etc.) I will have a relatively fast, sharp, well-built, and extremely compact lens that I'm very happy with. I realize that I have essentially traded one incompatible lens with another, and it may not be ideal as an only lens. I figure that with the money I saved picking up the 40mm 'Cron, I can use the remainder to pick up a collapsible 'Cron or Elmar (which I'm definitely contemplating). @analog-digital, if you have any additional advice for this lens, please let me know.

 

Thank you all again.

Edited by Brancbūth
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Brancbūth said:

I realize that I have essentially traded one incompatible lens with another

Sort of ;). Your new 40/2 will bring up 50mm frame lines in your M3's VF. Being the wider frame lines available, you'll end up using the whole VF instead i suspect. As for filters, you'll have to look for Series 5.5 to be used with the rubber hood of the lens. Now 39mm filters can be used instead if you don't screw them too tight. Otherwise the Summicron 40/2 is a very good lens indeed if you don't mind its softness at edges and corners @ f/2  and a pleasure to use if you like compact lenses. BTW it must be the smaller M lens ever made IINW aside from the (rare) Elmarit 40/2.8. Both "C" lenses made for the film CL and working fine with the digital CL as well. FWIW.

Edited by lct
Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, lct said:

Sort of ;). Your new 40/2 will bring up 50mm frame lines in your M3's VF. Being the wider frame lines available, you'll end up using the whole VF instead i suspect. As for filters, you'll have to look for Series 5.5 to be used with the rubber hood of the lens. Now 39mm filters can be used instead if you don't screw them too tight. Otherwise the Summicron 40/2 is a very good lens indeed if you don't mind its softness at edges and corners @ f/2  and a pleasure to use if you like compact lenses. BTW it must me the smaller M lens ever made IINW aside from the (rare) Elmarit 40/2.8. Both "C" lenses made for the film CL and working fine with the digital CL as well. FWIW.

The lens I purchased actually came with a B+W series 5.5 filter and the collapsible rubber hood. Alternatively, I have read that an adapter is available for converting the strange thread pitch of the 40mm 'Cron to standard filter threads, but I suspect this may cause some vignetting. I will have to look into it.

Edited by Brancbūth
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, tommonego@gmail.com said:

Hope your hunt is going well, if you are looking at Summicron V1, buy from a dealer as the lenses can have internal haze. Teh 50s I have used are 3 copies of the DR Summicron, wonderful lens, one I had had some rear element severe scratches and it was still good. I don't use 50mm much so I end up trading or selling them. I inherited an M3 and bought a 1953 V1 from KEH, it was ratedas a "user" but I can't find anything wrong on it, front and rear glass is nice, no obvious scratches. It is a nice lens, very nice with film. Following is at F2

 

Gorgeous shot, and thank you. I have chosen a lens (a 40mm f/2 Summicron-C), but at a cost which would allow me to purchase a v1 Summicron as well (which I plan to do).

By the way (I know you Vermonters are probably tired of hearing this) my wife and will be making a move to VT in the next two years or so. We are both eager to begin spending countless painful hours shoveling snow.

Best.

Link to post
Share on other sites
vor 2 Stunden schrieb Brancbūth:

Gorgeous shot, and thank you. I have chosen a lens (a 40mm f/2 Summicron-C), but at a cost which would allow me to purchase a v1 Summicron as well (which I plan to do).

By the way (I know you Vermonters are probably tired of hearing this) my wife and will be making a move to VT in the next two years or so. We are both eager to begin spending countless painful hours shoveling snow.

Best.

You get a plow guy to do your driveway, we are lucky that ours is short and flat. The walk to our drive we have to shovel 3 to 5 times every storm as our garage and house roofs meet right over the walk. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
vor 4 Stunden schrieb Brancbūth:

@analog-digital, if you have any additional advice for this lens, please let me know.

 

Thank you all again.

I think the 40mm f / 2 Summicron-C isn't a bad lens. I don't know if it's as good as a Summilux because I don't own a Summilux. I'm not crazy enough to spend so much money on a lens if you can't tell the difference to the cheaper ones. And I now contend that few, if any, see the difference. Why do we want the perfect lens when we can't even get a good picture? Does the picture always have to look perfectly sharp? And the 40mm f / 2 Summicron-C has a good price / performance ratio, which cannot be said of a Summilux. Buy it and if it's not enough for you, sell it again.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...