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35mm: Summilux FLE or APO-Summicron?


kengai
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On 3/14/2021 at 8:54 AM, kengai said:

I have no particular need for the 1.4 aperture, so I have the question of which one to choose.
What can be the main differences in performance between the two?

1. Both

2. APO35/2

3. You will succumb and get the 35FLE in addition to the APO35/2 

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Well, it would be nice to first see some independent reviews, preferably with true, side-by-side comparison images. The already-mentioned Reid Reviews site is well-respected.

I used Lloyd Chambers’ site to help me to decide between the 35mm Summilux-M FLE and the Zeiss 1,4/35mm Distagon ZM, but, he has not yet blogged that he has acquired an APO-Summicron-M 35mm. My subscription to his Leica pages has already expired, but, I may renew, at the end of March, when my bank account gets a fresh infusion of cash. I may, also, subscribe to the Reid Reviews site. (My decision against acquiring an FLE  was not based upon price. I was able to pay the price, for a well-preserved, pre-owned FLE, and perhaps, save just a bit longer and buy a new one, at the time. Distortions and aberrations were the deciding factors, in deciding that the Zeiss Distagon would provide good service. My “character” lenses are the 50mm Summilux-M ASPH, and the 90mm Thambar-M. I like my 35mm lenses to as free of “character,” as possible.)

My best guess is that the new 35mm APO-Summicron-M, having been designed with today’s higher-resolution Leica cameras in mind, will be the optically superior lens, with fewer distortions and/or aberrations, especially when shooting color images. I am still trying to decide whether shooting color, or monochrome, is more important, to me. Until I do so, I will not know whether to endeavour to acquire a new APO-Summicron-M 35mm. 

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4 hours ago, RexGig0 said:

Well, it would be nice to first see some independent reviews, preferably with true, side-by-side comparison images. The already-mentioned Reid Reviews site is well-respected.

I used Lloyd Chambers’ site to help me to decide between the 35mm Summilux-M FLE and the Zeiss 1,4/35mm Distagon ZM, but, he has not yet blogged that he has acquired an APO-Summicron-M 35mm. My subscription to his Leica pages has already expired, but, I may renew, at the end of March, when my bank account gets a fresh infusion of cash. I may, also, subscribe to the Reid Reviews site. (My decision against acquiring an FLE  was not based upon price. I was able to pay the price, for a well-preserved, pre-owned FLE, and perhaps, save just a bit longer and buy a new one, at the time. Distortions and aberrations were the deciding factors, in deciding that the Zeiss Distagon would provide good service. My “character” lenses are the 50mm Summilux-M ASPH, and the 90mm Thambar-M. I like my 35mm lenses to as free of “character,” as possible.)

My best guess is that the new 35mm APO-Summicron-M, having been designed with today’s higher-resolution Leica cameras in mind, will be the optically superior lens, with fewer distortions and/or aberrations, especially when shooting color images. I am still trying to decide whether shooting color, or monochrome, is more important, to me. Until I do so, I will not know whether to endeavour to acquire a new APO-Summicron-M 35mm. 

Hmm, I shoot primarily with the M10 Monochrom and yet if I choose to shoot with an M10R it would not in any way change my feeling as to whether the new 35 APO would work for me as both bodies will produce staggering images with this lens, I have no doubt at all in fact. The difference will come from the M10M producing overall superior image quality due to no Bayer/color filters IE the 4 channel distribution of colors whereas the 40 MP Monochrom will act more like a 60 MP in how it resolves. The new 35 APO, like its partner the 50 APO provide some of the cleanest highest acuity files available in a Rangefinder system so if that is what you are striving for either body will work incredibly well. Pardon me if I missed something in your note and misunderstood you. For me the launch of the new 35 APO will allow a lot of us to put this lens on any of our Leica cameras, preferably M I feel, and work to obtain extremely clean, clear, optically pure images that will most likely prove to be timeless photographs. I am not a fan of the 35 1.4 FLE lens, however I have used the standard 35 Summicron ASPH for a very long time and the new APO I feel will replace it and will become  the main all around lens on my M bodies. 

Edited by insideline
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I’ll give my biased assessment.  I’m a speed guy and own the FLE. I watched the red dot video and tbh I did not see THAT much improvement in sharpness over the FLE.  I personally felt they were reaching a bit especially on the center at equal apertures. I also thought the color saturation on the FLE was ever so slightly more than the APO.   
 

Couple things to ME that I think...  
1. Shooting wide open or near it is for character, necessity, or both.  I will NEVER understand why people compare extreme corner sharpness wide open on a flat surface. Real world photos never have a flat surface and therefore a shot at 1.4 will have only a slim depth of field, unless of course you are shooting at infinity all the time.  The only people that generally care about the extreme corner  would be a landscape shooter/architecture photographer, but in their case they would likely be stopped way down for DOF anyway.  
2. If I want a “perfect” lens, I would love to see a real comparison between the new 35 Leica APO and the Voigtländer 35 APO when it comes out. The CV 50 APO is remarkably good, so I suspect the 35 will be as well. Maybe the Leica is better, but we are talking some SERIOUS $ difference between the 2. (You could get a used FLE + CV APO for less than the Leica)
3. Compare real world images between the 2 at equal apertures and I bet 99.9% of people couldn’t tell which it was shot on either digitally or on print in a blind test.  We are talking cream of the crop optics in both lenses.  
 

long story short, I thought the FLE presented a much more versatile package with the benefit of 2x the light gathering ability. Modern sensors don’t require this as often, but when you need it, it’s there and can make the difference between a sharp image or one with excessive grain or motion blur.  

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1 hour ago, Ccoppola82 said:

2. If I want a “perfect” lens, I would love to see a real comparison between the new 35 Leica APO and the Voigtländer 35 APO when it comes out. The CV 50 APO is remarkably good, so I suspect the 35 will be as well. Maybe the Leica is better, but we are talking some SERIOUS $ difference between the 2. (You could get a used FLE + CV APO for less than the Leica)

+1

 

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2 hours ago, Ccoppola82 said:

You could get a used FLE + CV APO for less than the Leica

To begin with, I wonder why I wouldn’t prefer a Leica S if I’m starting to think of an M lens of more than 5000€$. What you want to attain with the Noctiluxes or the OOF character of the APO35, isn’t that way more versatile and convincing with MF? Given the fact that most M lenses under 5000 are already extremely good or nice. 
If money is not an issue at all, OP has already answered his question indeed. Except that I’m in love with the OOF rendering of the FLE. And why would you *need* 1.4 anyway in these times of high ISO. 

Edited by otto.f
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3 hours ago, otto.f said:

To begin with, I wonder why I wouldn’t prefer a Leica S if I’m starting to think of an M lens of more than 5000€$. What you want to attain with the Noctiluxes or the OOF character of the APO35, isn’t that way more versatile and convincing with MF? 

I am inclined to agree with you. Size/weight being the big caveat.

My personal view (after owning an M 35mm ASPH; M 75mm Summarit; M 50 Summicron v5; M 50 APO;  SL 50 APO on the SL2) is there are differences across all these lenses, but the most obvious game changer BY FAR in image quality for me has been going up a sensor size into medium format, in my case to a GFX100S.

Of course if one’s heart is set exclusively on the M form factor, going up to medium format is a moot point!

Edited by Jon Warwick
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1 hour ago, Knipsknecht said:

... it comes very handy on my analog M‘s😇

I just meant to say that you don’t buy so much a Summilux out of necessity or handiness, but rather for the liking of selective focus. 

Edited by otto.f
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I do not understand why posters suggest a massive so called medium format camera as better alternative to an expensive M lens?

The cameras are massive and the sensor is slightly bigger.

My old mamiya c330 produced a massive slide or negative in no way related to what passes for medium format in 2021.

If you like the m system you might want a 35mm apo summicrom but not a bloody great leica s or fuji brick!!

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39 minutes ago, steve 1959 said:

I do not understand why posters suggest a massive so called medium format camera as better alternative to an expensive M lens?

The cameras are massive and the sensor is slightly bigger.

My old mamiya c330 produced a massive slide or negative in no way related to what passes for medium format in 2021.

If you like the m system you might want a 35mm apo summicrom but not a bloody great leica s or fuji brick!!

Actually the Hasselblad X1D2 body and combined with the very small XCD45P lens measurably out resolves my M10 Monochrom with a 35 FLE and the combination of the 45P on the X1D2 body is actually about the same size as my M10M with 35 FLE with the Hasselblad being the more comfortable to hold and use. For image quality its the Hasselblad every time no contest actually, but the M rangefinder is a different experience to shoot with, yet both cameras are wonderful tools. 

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1 hour ago, insideline said:

Actually the Hasselblad X1D2 body and combined with the very small XCD45P lens measurably out resolves my M10 Monochrom with a 35 FLE and the combination of the 45P on the X1D2 body is actually about the same size as my M10M with 35 FLE with the Hasselblad being the more comfortable to hold and use. For image quality its the Hasselblad every time no contest actually, but the M rangefinder is a different experience to shoot with, yet both cameras are wonderful tools. 

Its smaller than an M10 your saying with its only small lens v a big leica lens??  why not compare it with a fast lens like the FLE? 

Your talking about a totally touch interface camera with no aperture ring on the lenses and a slightly larger sensor than full frame?

You have fun with your hasselblad by all means but i do not understand why people suggest a bigger camera with sluggish auto-focus and  operates like a smartphone as an alternative to a fully manual small rangefinder camera with a range of compact lenses.

Also if your so keen on the improved image quality why mess about with hasselblad X1 when there are much bigger sensors available? 

 

 

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28 minutes ago, steve 1959 said:

Its smaller than an M10 your saying with its only small lens v a big leica lens??  why not compare it with a fast lens like the FLE? 

Your talking about a totally touch interface camera with no aperture ring on the lenses and a slightly larger sensor than full frame?

You have fun with your hasselblad by all means but i do not understand why people suggest a bigger camera with sluggish auto-focus and  operates like a smartphone as an alternative to a fully manual small rangefinder camera with a range of compact lenses.

Also if your so keen on the improved image quality why mess about with hasselblad X1 when there are much bigger sensors available? 

 

 

I could have sworn I said I compared the X1D2 and 45P combination with the 35 FLE mounted on an M10M, oh wait I did and I said they are the same size. I have used Leica and Hasselblad together now for 50 years and I shoot primarily with an M10M and I have 27 Leica M lenses which I started buying new in the early 1970's so pretty sure I have a handle on the benefits of both. FYI the sensor is quite a big bigger than FF not slightly vs the 35 Full Frame and the results show in every file. Do you own both and compare on a daily basis? Also that touch interface you mock on the X1D2 makes for an incredibly fast and accurate camera to use in the field and mush quicker and more intuitive than my M10M. Again, shot side by side for absolutely the finest clarity, sharpness and accurate colors the Hasselblad wins every time. I will say that to obtain the best portrait images on the X1D2 platform it takes the XCD 80 1.9 lens which is much larger than even the .95 Noctilux, but even when I I used my now sold 75mm 1.25 Noctilux on my M10M or SL2 bodies, the X1D2 and 80 1.9 were simply in another league for overall image quality and for me thats what I look for. I use both and love them both. To go any larger in sensor to obtain anything meaningful in measured image quality that would mean utilizing the stunning but very very expensive Hasselblad's H series 100MP full frame cameras or the even more expensive Phase One 100 or 150MP full frame medium format cameras which are over $50,000 for the body alone, not the Fuji 100S as that sensor is the same size as the 50 MP Sony sensor in the X1D2 and Fuji 50MP cameras. I don't have that financial ability but if I could afford it I would be shooting with one of these as these even larger sensors provide the ultimate in image quality. 

Edited by insideline
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10 minutes ago, insideline said:

I could have sworn I said I compared the X1D2 and 45P combination with the 35 FLE mounted on an M10M, oh wait I did and I said they are the same size. I have used Leica and Hasselblad together now for 50 years and I shoot primarily with an M10M and I have 27 Leica M lenses which I started buying new in the early 1970's so pretty sure I have a handle on the benefits of both. FYI the sensor is quite a big bigger than FF not slightly vs the 35 Full Frame and the results show in every file. Do you own both and compare on a daily basis? Also that touch interface you mock on the X1D2 makes for an incredibly fast and accurate camera to use in the field and mush quicker and more intuitive than my M10M. Again, shot side by side for absolutely the finest clarity, sharpness and accurate colors the Hasselblad wins every time. I will say that to obtain the best portrait images on the X1D2 platform it takes the XCD 80 1.9 lens which is much larger than even the .95 Noctilux, but even when I I used my now sold 75mm 1.25 Noctilux on my M10M or SL2 bodies, the X1D2 and 80 1.9 were simply in another league for overall image quality and for me thats what I look for. I use both and love them both. To go any larger in sensor to obtain anything meaningful in measured image quality that would mean utilizing the stunning but very very expensive Hasselblad's H series 100MP full frame cameras or the even more expensive Phase One 100 or 150MP full frame medium format cameras which are over $50,000 for the body alone, not the Fuji 100S as that sensor is the same size as the 50 MP Sony sensor in the X1D2 and Fuji 50MP cameras. I don't have that financial ability but if I could afford it I would be shooting with one of these as these even larger sensors provide the ultimate in image quality. 

I chose the M because i wanted a fully manual camera much like my old minolta SLR but with even better quality,,,,,i have no interest in your touch interface hasselblad or any other super full frame camera as they have no appeal to me.

But good luck to you with your big camera and anybody who buys the 35mm APO to get the best the M system can offer.

I dont buy into the "ultimate image quality" thing myself because the best photographers use any variety of gear but simply produce great pictures with whatever they happen to use.

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Not really much bigger (if at all)...foto via fstoppers.

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Edited by m410
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