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Summilux 28 - Partner?


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Hi there,

I am currently thinking about the best companion to my Summilux-M 28. I used to own the Lux 50 and the APO 50 as well. I am kind of struggling between these two and also the Noctilux 50 / 1.2. Still, although I love the bokeh (from what I've seen on the web so far) of the Noctilux 50 and also the Lux 50, I still think that the APO 50 accompanies the Summilux-M 28 best, in terms of color rendition and modern look. What do you guys think, what would be the best pick two keep a consistent look across the lenses.

Cheers!

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If you haven’t seen it yet, they did a great and very informative review of all Noctilux with live tests as well as screenshots for focus and bokeh. They showed the Lux asph 50mm and Cron APO 50mm for comparison. You can see how the Noctilux asph 50mm f/1.2 differs.

See below the link Jeff S posted:

 

17 hours ago, Jeff S said:


Jeff

 

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I am still a bit undecided between the APO 50 and the Lux 50. Nonetheless, I guess the Noctilux 1.2 is not the right choice to find a solid partner for the Lux 28. I kind of tending towards the Lux 50 as I think it has at least some character whereas the APO 50 is a bit unromantic. Difficult choice, especially with a potential upcoming Lux-APO 50 (leicarumors). Thanks for the replies so far!

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4 hours ago, BJohn said:

I am still a bit undecided between the APO 50 and the Lux 50. Nonetheless, I guess the Noctilux 1.2 is not the right choice to find a solid partner for the Lux 28. I kind of tending towards the Lux 50 as I think it has at least some character whereas the APO 50 is a bit unromantic. Difficult choice, especially with a potential upcoming Lux-APO 50 (leicarumors). Thanks for the replies so far!

"unromantic" might be a bit harsh!

I have the 28 Summaron-M and the 28 Summilux ASPH.  I have found that I prefer the rendering of the 28 Summaron on my Monochrom, and the 28 Summilux on my M10-D.  No science in that, I just prefer them that way round.  So, the next question is, which 50 with which?

I have a choice of 4 - 0.95 Noctilux, 50 Summilux ASPH, 50 APO Summicron & 50/2 Summitar (the 9 blade version from 1948) - each has its charms, as I'm sure you can guess, with the weird bokeh of the Summitar to the creamy out of focus treatment of the APO (note - actually, the Noct, the Summilux and the APO are all apochromatic).  There are so many factors which go into each (disregarding the Summitar) - the Noct and the Summilux are similar, in many ways.  

What was your experience of the APO and Summilux, and why did you sell them?

For myself, I am currently pairing the 50 APO with the 28 Summilux, and the 28 Summaron with the 50 Summilux ASPH on my Monochrom;  I like that combination.  The APO is relatively free from  aberrations (if I can describe it that way), but then it doesn't seem to suffer from flare, it's sharp from corner to corner, its colour is very similar to the 28 Summilux, it doesn't suffer from purple fringing and its bokeh is creamy.  I've never really held to the view that aberrations add character - at least not so much in a good way.  Playing to a lens' strengths is easier when it has fewer faults ...

Edited by IkarusJohn
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9 hours ago, Hanno said:

what type of photography do you like and do?

That's a nifty question: uff, I am gravitating towards portrait and abstract photography but also like landscape / travel photography (basically what I posted on my Instagram lately). For the former one I am reworking my homepage but this will still take a lot of work. If I would pick one genre for the lens I would say: portraiture!

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8 hours ago, IkarusJohn said:

"unromantic" might be a bit harsh!

I have the 28 Summaron-M and the 28 Summilux ASPH.  I have found that I prefer the rendering of the 28 Summaron on my Monochrom, and the 28 Summilux on my M10-D.  No science in that, I just prefer them that way round.  So, the next question is, which 50 with which?

I have a choice of 4 - 0.95 Noctilux, 50 Summilux ASPH, 50 APO Summicron & 50/2 Summitar (the 9 blade version from 1948) - each has its charms, as I'm sure you can guess, with the weird bokeh of the Summitar to the creamy out of focus treatment of the APO (note - actually, the Noct, the Summilux and the APO are all apochromatic).  There are so many factors which go into each (disregarding the Summitar) - the Noct and the Summilux are similar, in many ways.  

What was your experience of the APO and Summilux, and why did you sell them?

For myself, I am currently pairing the 50 APO with the 28 Summilux, and the 28 Summaron with the 50 Summilux ASPH on my Monochrom;  I like that combination.  The APO is relatively free from  aberrations (if I can describe it that way), but then it doesn't seem to suffer from flare, it's sharp from corner to corner, its colour is very similar to the 28 Summilux, it doesn't suffer from purple fringing and its bokeh is creamy.  I've never really held to the view that aberrations add character - at least not so much in a good way.  Playing to a lens' strengths is easier when it has fewer faults ...

Thanks for sharing your impressions with these lenses! You asked a very good question which I am not able to answer to the fullest! The main reason for selling the Lux 50 and buying the APO 50 was a very good price deal. I think I should be honest with that one: it was a good deal and the lust for having the perfect Leica gem (that's what my brain told me to do).

The main reason for selling the APO 50 was relatively simple: I collected a lot of lenses over the past years and felt like that I only would need one lens to rule them all, i.e. the Lux 28. So here I am, with only one lens and quite happy for the last 16 months. Now, I am more playing around with light / shadows / contrasts and would like to explore the world of abstract photography and somehow miss the possibility of getting closer. That was like the main point of thinking about a potential re-buy of a 50mm lens. And then I was like: okay, what is the better partner to accompany my 28 Lux?

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5 hours ago, BJohn said:

Thanks for sharing your impressions with these lenses! You asked a very good question which I am not able to answer to the fullest! The main reason for selling the Lux 50 and buying the APO 50 was a very good price deal. I think I should be honest with that one: it was a good deal and the lust for having the perfect Leica gem (that's what my brain told me to do).

The main reason for selling the APO 50 was relatively simple: I collected a lot of lenses over the past years and felt like that I only would need one lens to rule them all, i.e. the Lux 28. So here I am, with only one lens and quite happy for the last 16 months. Now, I am more playing around with light / shadows / contrasts and would like to explore the world of abstract photography and somehow miss the possibility of getting closer. That was like the main point of thinking about a potential re-buy of a 50mm lens. And then I was like: okay, what is the better partner to accompany my 28 Lux?

Hi John

I think you nailed it down - I am not sure there is one perfect partner, i.e. a lens that does it all.

The 50 Lux asph, 50 Cron Apo, 50 Noctilux 0.95 and the 2021 50 Noctilux 1.2 have been designed by the same team and designer. Obviously he created them with different design purposes in mind. You can do very well with only one, but then it is about choices. None would do it all. The magic, creamy bokeh etc. of the Noctilux/Summilux versus the purity and performance of the Apo. The Apo represents PK’s dream in design: that you step down a lens only for more DOF.

Maybe your difficulties in choosing one is that you may ideally want 2x 50mm for different (design) purposes.

One may dream of the Noctilux 0.95 + Apo combo in 50mm, except that there is the price, the bulk, the focusing, the blockage in viewfinder etc. of the Noctilux. You do not need both but they are so complementary. As a step down, and for more practicality, obviously the great combo is the 50 Lux and 50 cron. The 50 Lux is 2 lenses in one, as you know, closer to the Noctilux wide open and closer to the Apo stepped down. Such a combo makes sense obviously if you are shooting wide open. Otherwise one lens would suffice and the cheaper Lux is probably the best choice, all the more given its flexibility and the extra stop.

For portraiture, the Lux is a great choice and probably more a go-to for most portraits. But the apo has its says on some form of portraiture. You don’t always want a creamy wild and spectacular bokeh. With colours there is the concept of advancing (warm) and receding (cool) colours and the Apo can work well with a warm consistent and uniform bokeh surface. The Apo works well also with B&W and shapes, forms, contrast of a subject with a white background. The soft lighting and your distance to subject will impact how well the apo can work for portraiture. It is all about choice.

If you really need one, and you focus on portraiture, you can’t go wrong with the 50mm Lux.

So if you are still debating and hesitating, it’s probably because you may want both!

You can start with the Lux, and see overtime if you still miss / feel the pull for the 50 apo.

Alternatively, you can shoot with the Lux 28mm and crop if you are using M10-R or SL2 to get your 50mm format and go with the 50mm apo as the partner lens. 

See which one of these 2 options you feel the more excited with!

As long as you follow your instinct and intuition, you can’t go wrong. :) 

 

Edited by Hanno
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5 hours ago, BJohn said:

Thanks for sharing your impressions with these lenses! You asked a very good question which I am not able to answer to the fullest! The main reason for selling the Lux 50 and buying the APO 50 was a very good price deal. I think I should be honest with that one: it was a good deal and the lust for having the perfect Leica gem (that's what my brain told me to do).

The main reason for selling the APO 50 was relatively simple: I collected a lot of lenses over the past years and felt like that I only would need one lens to rule them all, i.e. the Lux 28. So here I am, with only one lens and quite happy for the last 16 months. Now, I am more playing around with light / shadows / contrasts and would like to explore the world of abstract photography and somehow miss the possibility of getting closer. That was like the main point of thinking about a potential re-buy of a 50mm lens. And then I was like: okay, what is the better partner to accompany my 28 Lux?

"What type of photography do you do", should maybe read what type of "look" attracts you. You sold the other 50's I would guess because not one of them provided you with the look that subjectively you desire. Tomorrow my copy of the new 1.2 Noctilux arrives and I am already very strongly of the opinion the the classic original 1.2 design shot wide open will provide me with that unique portraiture look and feel, yet from F2 onwards it is sharper than my old E58 F1 Noctilux so I can use it similarly to what the 1.4 ASPH Summilux would provide past F2 all in a size very similar to the 50 1.4 ASPH Summilux black chrome I have, basically two lenses in one. Subjectively I adore the look of both the 1.2 Noctilux and F1 Noctilux shot wide open for portraiture so that answers my question what to pair with the 28 Lux. Plus the best second feature of new 1.2 is how much smaller it is even than my E58 F1 Noctilux.

I agree that while the 50 APO is a brilliant lens in every measure, optics, size, clarity, acuity etc etc it does not provide enough character to portraiture work for "me", so that is the question to ask yourself, did you sell the 50 APO due to lack of "character", if so then yes I would look very very hard at the new 1.2 Noctilux. It is going to be my main 50 now for precisely this character look when shot wide open for portraiture and I am totally ok with not having the super sharp clean look of the 50 APO for portraiture work.

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2 hours ago, insideline said:

"What type of photography do you do", should maybe read what type of "look" attracts you. You sold the other 50's I would guess because not one of them provided you with the look that subjectively you desire. Tomorrow my copy of the new 1.2 Noctilux arrives and I am already very strongly of the opinion the the classic original 1.2 design shot wide open will provide me with that unique portraiture look and feel, yet from F2 onwards it is sharper than my old E58 F1 Noctilux so I can use it similarly to what the 1.4 ASPH Summilux would provide past F2 all in a size very similar to the 50 1.4 ASPH Summilux black chrome I have, basically two lenses in one. Subjectively I adore the look of both the 1.2 Noctilux and F1 Noctilux shot wide open for portraiture so that answers my question what to pair with the 28 Lux. Plus the best second feature of new 1.2 is how much smaller it is even than my E58 F1 Noctilux.

I agree that while the 50 APO is a brilliant lens in every measure, optics, size, clarity, acuity etc etc it does not provide enough character to portraiture work for "me", so that is the question to ask yourself, did you sell the 50 APO due to lack of "character", if so then yes I would look very very hard at the new 1.2 Noctilux. It is going to be my main 50 now for precisely this character look when shot wide open for portraiture and I am totally ok with not having the super sharp clean look of the 50 APO for portraiture work.

I am very curious how the new Noctilux 1.2 will elevate your photography! Reading all the friendly and helpful recommendations, I am with you all that I may need two 50mm lenses.

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15 minutes ago, BJohn said:

I am very curious how the new Noctilux 1.2 will elevate your photography! Reading all the friendly and helpful recommendations, I am with you all that I may need two 50mm lenses.

Me as well but I own my Dad's original 1.2 Noctilux that he purchased new in 1968 and we have kept it all this time so as long as the new 1.2 renders in a similar manner to our original copy then I know its a keeper to provide the more artistic portraiture look I personally love, plus for street work the out of focus rendering is more artistic as compared to either the 50 APO or 50 1.4 Summilux ASPH. I will also be relieved for the new 1.2 lens as I am not comfortable any longer taking my Dad's original copy out into the field. 

I hope you land on what is the look you desire for your personal portrait work, and yes you may well need to own two different copies of 50's for the choice in rendering. For cost reasons I chose to keep my 50 APSH Summilux in the black chrome to accompany the new 1.2 Noctilux, as I find the BC Lux sharp 'enough' with a lovely smooth out of focus rendering and saved thousands of dollars over having the beautifully clear rendering 50 APO. 

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45 minutes ago, BJohn said:

I am very curious how the new Noctilux 1.2 will elevate your photography! Reading all the friendly and helpful recommendations, I am with you all that I may need two 50mm lenses.

You were living my dream life (satisfied with lens) and you're about to live my nightmare (too many lenses to know which one to chose, and when you know which one you chose, you end up missing the other). Trust me the grass is greener on your side. Think well. 

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4 minutes ago, Steven said:

You were living my dream life (satisfied with lens) and you're about to live my nightmare (too many lenses to know which one to chose, and when you know which one you chose, you end up missing the other). Trust me the grass is greener on your side. Think well. 

I agree Steven, I would land on one new 50 to go with the 28 1.4 Lux. If he prefers the more artistic look then the new 1.2 Noctilux, best all rounder 50 1.4 APSH Summilux, cleanest and most pure optically in and out of focus rendering, the 50 APO. For me its the new 1.2 Noctilux matched with the 28 1.4 Summilux. Now if I can just figure out what to do with the other 22 M lenses I own and my deep curiosity for the 24 1.4 Summilux.............

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28 minutes ago, insideline said:

I agree Steven, I would land on one new 50 to go with the 28 1.4 Lux. If he prefers the more artistic look then the new 1.2 Noctilux, best all rounder 50 1.4 APSH Summilux, cleanest and most pure optically in and out of focus rendering, the 50 APO. For me its the new 1.2 Noctilux matched with the 28 1.4 Summilux. Now if I can just figure out what to do with the other 22 M lenses I own and my deep curiosity for the 24 1.4 Summilux.............

I know his photography style. I would not recommend either the APO not the Nocti. I would get the ASPH if I was him. Funny how we speak about "he" as if he cannot hear us 🤪

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@insidelineand @Steven make good points.  Much of the lens analysis on this forum drills right down to the pixel level - interesting, but in the end, not that relevant.  I tend to read up about a lens I might be interested in; I take into account all the reviews and comments; chose what I think will work best for me, and move on.  

Whichever lens you select, it will be fabulous.  I would suggest that you probably don’t want similar rendering with your 50 as you have with your 28.  For portraits, the Summilux ASPH is probably a better choice than the APO Summicron, but the APO is probably a better all round lens ... Not sure that helps.

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12 minutes ago, Fedro said:

I have both, but if I had to choose one it would be the Apo

I have a strong bias for modern lenses though

Fascinating how different we all are, because as of tomorrow I will own all three (plus many more 50's but thats a problem not a plus) and I know I will pick the new 1.2 first, 50 1.4 APSH second, and the amazingly pure 50 APO third because I prefer a more vintage artistic look especially on the M10M.

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