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a dramatic proof of the new 35 APO supremacy?


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7 minutes ago, LarsHP said:

When we buy Leica, we also "buy" the history about Leica, and that we have bought something special. I can relate to this myself, so I am not pointing fingers at anyone. However, the huge price tag is not justified by optical quality alone in my opinion.

Don't count me in please. I have nothing to do with luxury items anymore but when i wanted them they were more expensive than mere cameras... 

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The reissue of legendary lenses  is quite unique, as were all Noctiluxes , the Summilux 50 asph was hailed as the best 50 ever, the Summilux 75, the Summiluxes 21 and 24, the APO Telyt Modul system, the Summicron 50 APO ,the Telyt 180/3.4 APO, and I have just started. I’d say that many Leica lenses were quite unique at their release and quite a few still are. 

If some Leica lenses are too expensive for some people there are excellent ZM and CV lenses for them so what's the issue? Hard to understand those recurrent rants about Leica prices. Leica M lenses are the very best compact lenses in the world. One does not have to buy them don't they, so why raining on others parade? To repeat banalities? 

I think it is always difficult to transfer the results between different lenses (mostly under standardized conditions) with real life situations. Most of my portrait photography is done with the 50 Apo and an analog M. But to be honest when I look at the photos, I can not decide whether I took the photos with the 50 APO,  my Nikon 1.4/50 (from with a F6), or a 2.8/50 Elmar (which I sold). 

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14 minutes ago, LarsHP said:

However, the huge price tag is not justified by optical quality alone in my opinion. 

High end lenses are like high end audio products in that the law of diminishing returns applies. And worse, our ability to discriminate the differences between extremely good and even better, is hampered by a lack of really sufficient, comparative technical data, our varied understanding of what the actual available data does tell us and an inability to use such equipment in ways which will satisfy our creative requirements at a technical level which requires such lenses. I have no doubt that the apo lenses made by Leica are exceptional, and as such they are a satement about what the company is capable of producing. Whether this translates into reality photographically for most of us is another question entirely. But if you want a lens capable of outresolving its competitors, then you are going to have to pay for it. Whether you consider it worth the asking price is up to you. If you don't then don't but it. I won't be, my current lenses are more than good enough, but I find it interesting that Leica are prepared to go down a production and marketing route that few other manufacturers would dare to.

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3 minutes ago, pgk said:

High end lenses are like high end audio products in that the law of diminishing returns applies. And worse, our ability to discriminate the differences between extremely good and even better, is hampered by a lack of really sufficient, comparative technical data, our varied understanding of what the actual available data does tell us and an inability to use such equipment in ways which will satisfy our creative requirements at a technical level which requires such lenses. I have no doubt that the apo lenses made by Leica are exceptional, and as such they are a satement about what the company is capable of producing. Whether this translates into reality photographically for most of us is another question entirely. But if you want a lens capable of outresolving its competitors, then you are going to have to pay for it. Whether you consider it worth the asking price is up to you. If you don't then don't but it. I won't be, my current lenses are more than good enough, but I find it interesting that Leica are prepared to go down a production and marketing route that few other manufacturers would dare to.

From what I see and read from side-by-side tests, the 35mm and 50mm Apo-Lanthar lenses are on a similar optical level as the Apo-Summicron-M lenses, but at a fraction of the price. In other words, it's not about diminishing returns. 

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13 minutes ago, LarsHP said:

From what I see and read from side-by-side tests, the 35mm and 50mm Apo-Lanthar lenses are on a similar optical level as the Apo-Summicron-M lenses, but at a fraction of the price. In other words, it's not about diminishing returns. 

The problem is that its difficult to know just how well a lens has been tested. I used to MTF test lenses - at infinity. But we actually use them at closer distances too and checking them throughout their focus range was too expensive to be economic. Equally, checking for sample variation in a number of lenses isn't viable either. If you are happy with the quality of the Apo-Lanthars then that's fine and they are probably excellent lenses. But knowing just how comparable they are is difficult to gauge because the extensive testing required would be prohibitively expensive and time consuming. 

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43 minutes ago, LarsHP said:

Regarding Veblen goods, I certainly think this applies to current Leica pricing strategy, so we obviously disagree. See my post above.

(I actually had to look up the concept before replying and discovered that what I had just written refers to the Veblen idea.)

As long as you don’t have any insight in production costs and profit margins this is a baseless accusation. 

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2 hours ago, lct said:

Then what do you think of people with 30+ years experience considering Leica M lenses the best compact lenses in the world? Stupid? Absent minded? More money than brain? Tick the appropriate box :D.

I don't know how you managed it, but you quoted the wrong person. I didn't say the words for which you quoted me

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38 minutes ago, jaapv said:

As long as you don’t have any insight in production costs and profit margins this is a baseless accusation. 

You are of course totally right that I have no knowledge about production cost and profit margins. However, I don't consider it a baseless accusation since the prices of Leica M lenses are about five times of lenses of similar quality. 

I think this thread have gone long enough away from its topic, that I will stop the discussion about Leica prices here. It's obviously a controversial topic in this forum. I didn't mean to troll or insult anyone, just to make that clear. 🙂

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The point is that they are not of similar quality. Some parameters are similar, like resolution, and those are the easy ones for reviewers to “test”. However, there are other, more complex properties that make Leica lenses superior and those are the exponentially more expensive last few percent 

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17 minutes ago, jaapv said:

The point is that they are not of similar quality. Some parameters are similar, like resolution, and those are the easy ones for reviewers to “test”. However, there are other, more complex properties that make Leica lenses superior and those are the exponentially more expensive last few percent 

I think it is a bit OTT. If no one ever mentioned loose aperture ring or QC slips of paper we find in lens packaging but often lacking credibility I would be inclined to believe you.

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Peter Karbe had some interesting things to say on precisely this subject in his latest interviews.

33 minutes ago, mmradman said:

I think it is a bit OTT. If no one ever mentioned loose aperture ring or QC slips of paper we find in lens packaging but often lacking credibility I would be inclined to believe you.

Qc is a different subject ;)  It has been discussed here often - it would make Leica products painfully more expensive to get QC in a handbuilt process up to the same level as is attained in an automated assembly line.  You run into a quis custodiet ipsos custodes dilemma.

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No, I am speaking of the design parameters as applied by Leica. For instance: The Zeiss 35/1.4 is slightly "better" and cheaper than the Summilux 35 FLE - but Leica shifted the design compromise to smaller on account of viewfinder intrusion as opposed to the larger Zeiss, despite very comparable performance.

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1 hour ago, LarsHP said:

I think this thread have gone long enough away from its topic, that I will stop the discussion about Leica prices here. It's obviously a controversial topic in this forum. I didn't mean to troll or insult anyone, just to make that clear.

You are not the first one in 50+ years and it is still totally unclear to me :D. Just kidding. 

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On my phone, so not going back to quote, but basically yes the CV 35 APO optical performance is similar (at 50cm and longer obviously), but if you asked CV to build it much shorter, make it focus to 30cm, and they could let the corners go a little bit the center must get sharper... oh, and there can be little to no vignetting — I don’t think CV would be willing or even capable of taking that on.

Sp yes the Leica version is too expensive for me and maybe for Lars, but is it too expensive for what it is? I’m thinking no. And the market is bearing the cost — or maybe someone can tell me where I can find one in stock, lol.

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If some Leica lenses are too expensive for some people there are excellent ZM and CV lenses for them so what's the issue? Hard to understand those recurrent rants about Leica prices. Leica M lenses are the very best compact lenses in the world. One does not have to buy them don't they, so why raining on others parade? To repeat banalities? 

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I must say, the concept of supremacy is a bit of a straw man - suggest a given lens is the best thing since sliced bread, then set about proving it.  To what end?  Then we get into the “luxury” discussion and Leica not being 5 times better than another brand …. Production cost isn’t linear, nor is quality.  Leica, a small company in a high cost country, trying to make the best lenses they can to a given formula (that goes with the M system) is never going to be cheap.  But what they produce is usually special.

For myself, I try to identify the lens in the focal length I want, buy the one that sounds like it will suit my needs best and move on.  If I liked the 35mm focal length, I’d buy this APO in a heartbeat.

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