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Choosing a compact 28mm lens


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Good Morning, 

I know this focal length has been discussed quite a lot on the forum, and I've read most of the thread from beginning to end but didn't find a firm answer yet. 

For fifteen years, I've only shot on 35mm lenses, as I never liked the 50mm field of view. Recently, I discovered the 28mm focal length and absolutely fell in love with it, thanks to my 28mm Summilux. It has made it my new favourite focal length. I find this lens to be near perfect. I love the way it renders wide open, I love it on my M10R, I love it on film, and I love it on my SL2-S, both for stills and video. Its only downside is the size and weight. Somedays I don't feel like, or just can't go out with a lens of that size with me. I need to be lighter, or simply more discreet. 

I am now looking for a second, more compact length, for daily carry. I am not taking into consideration the Summicron, as I'd rather use the Summilux. My decision will probably be between the Elmarit and the Summaron. 

Advantages of the Summaron: 

- it looks great on the camera

- everyone says its fun to use

- I love the vintage rendering I see from the photos on the forum, as I'm more into vintage lenses than modern ones like the elmarit in general. 

- it's tiny tiny tiny 

Advantages of the Elmarit: 

- It's not much bigger than the Summaron 

- It's usable at night, especially on the SL2-S

- I'm a sucker for DOF.

- It's said to be one of the most versatile lens, as it can do everything. 

Any opinions, or experience to share from some of you who have used one, or both of this lens ? 

At this point, I am leaning towards the other extreme from the Summilux: the summaron. Extreme opposite in size, weight, look, and probably rendering too. 

But the idea of more stops of light on the very capable elmarit tempts me too. 

Thanks for you guidance. 

Edited by Steven
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My vote, FWIW, goes to the Elmarit. More of an all-rounder than any of the others for everyday shooting. And, since I don't really trust too much talk about such a subject, I shall simply upload some photos.  M10 and M10M + 28mm f2.8 Elmarit-M ASPH 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

I think that the word "lines" is not a good choice. I'll take the first photo you posted as an example. There are wide vertical bands on  both sides of the photo. There is no pixel peeping required to see them nor any searching required. They are easily and immediately visible. It would seem that this is not due to the lens, as @lct has said, said, said and said again. So maybe it's due to the pp you have applied. Maybe you can post a non pp version? Of course we are not all looking on

The 28 Elmarit was my first Leica lens ever. It's just outstanding. I traded for a 35 because I don't to enjoy framing and using a 0.72x with a 28mm FL. But, wow. I remember I was so impressed by the 3D pop of this pic. It's just me, or it's there? Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content. Hallo Gast! Du willst die Bilder sehen? Einfach registrieren oder anmelden! It was just a snapshot of a family. But look the almost SOOC result. When I see results like

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Just now, pedaes said:

Thanks, but seems to be of a similar size at the Summicron which I discarded in order to protect my Summilux 28, which is not going anywhere. 

My idea is to complement it with a very compact 28mm. The elmarit of the summaron. To give you an idea, I looked into the pre asph elmarits of which I love the rendering, but I decided to discard them as well due to size. 

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Posted (edited)

Steven, you would end up with each anyway 😇.

So just buy one of the two (as me ! ), then the other.

I can NOT choose which one to use/have.

The two and some others are very nice for what they are in each their own way.

No logic can help here !

 

As side note, The Summaron 28mm can be used with not ideal lighting ...at 1/15 or 1/30 with M

 

 

 

Edited by a.noctilux
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The Summaron is the only lens I bought new. Unlike you, I have never "got on" with 35mm and I got the Summaron the day it was released. Since then it has been just about glued onto my M9. I like it so much that I was very tempted to get a second one for my MP.

Apart from the rendering which is the only reason I bought it, a minor bonus advantage for me is the it make an M body with it on pocketable... in a pea coat anyway which is what I wear when it's not too hot. That combo in one pocket and my FAT Tele-Elmarit in the other is great for me.

The "slow" speed of the lens has never been an issue for me... even on the low iso M9, but of course YMMV on that one depending on your subject.

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I used to own:

 - Elmarit ASPH

 - Elmarit v4

 - Leica Q

I'm a big fan of 28mm focal length and contrary to you, never bonded with 35mm...

Now I own Summicron v1. I understand your remark regarding Cron vs Lux. But based on your posts and comments in other threads I think you will miss shallow DOF. Summicron will give you both, DOF and small(er) size/weight. I somehow think you ruled out best possible lens for you Cron v2.

If you insist on putting Cron out of list than I think Elmarit v4 or even v3 are very valid options. Smaller size and nice, "vintage vibe", rendering. Contrary to the modern rendering of Lux.

Anyway at the end I expect that by the end of 2021 we will read your comments and hopefuly also see your photos related to Cron, Elmarit and Summaron...😋👍

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TBH i'd go for the 28 Summaron (in black, if you can find one!) or the 28 cron v2.

I have the 28 cron v2 and it'd get that over the 28 elmarit v2.  Personal preference of course, but it's faster and not that much bigger and to me represents the best size, speed, image quality and cost balance of all the Leica 28mms out there (some might argue the 28 cron v1 does it even better because of the price, and there is some dispute as to whether the v2 is optically better than the v1. I view the v2 as a step-up though, if not just in terms of optics then also in terms of build).

I understand the appeal of protecting your 28lux, but both the 28cron v2 and the 28lux render differently enough for both to occupy one's kit. I had both at one point, but sold the 28lux to keep the 28cron, but i'm not a 28mm guy so i figured i only "need" one.

My gripe about the 28 Summaron is the 1m MFD. No issue with the speed because that's what you get with the size. 

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Posted (edited)

It will probably come down to whether you place DoF above Vintage/Modern Rendering.

I almost always place a great value on the 'small and light' ethos but, for my needs, the Summaron - nice though it undoubtedly is - was really just that bit too slow so discounted it.

I bought the v1 Elmarit ASPH. The pre-asph versions are too bulky for my taste and, additionally, the ASPH shares the 39mm filter-thread found on most of my M-lenses and I do use filters quite a bit (typically B'n'W stuff with the Monochrom and a Pola on the M-D Typ-262 although occasionally the other way 'round...).

Before making my decision I had been fortunate enough to be given a v2 ASPH to try out and whilst I loved pretty much everything about it I did not like the hood-size in comarison to the v1. From what I remember you don't always use a hood and if that's correct then this aspect is a non-issue. The v2 hood is a 'better' design in that the v1 clip-on can, on occasion, also clip-off - and did so once as I was crossing a busy road. Fortunately no vehicle trampled it to death but it was a close-run thing...

Philip.

Edited by pippy
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10 minutes ago, chasdfg said:

in black, if you can find one!

I liked the idea of those... and then I saw one. IMO it's hideous. And the price of it now is just silly. I saw a new one a couple of days ago at €4500.

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51 minutes ago, ianman said:

The Summaron is the only lens I bought new. Unlike you, I have never "got on" with 35mm and I got the Summaron the day it was released. Since then it has been just about glued onto my M9. I like it so much that I was very tempted to get a second one for my MP.

Apart from the rendering which is the only reason I bought it, a minor bonus advantage for me is the it make an M body with it on pocketable... in a pea coat anyway which is what I wear when it's not too hot. That combo in one pocket and my FAT Tele-Elmarit in the other is great for me.

The "slow" speed of the lens has never been an issue for me... even on the low iso M9, but of course YMMV on that one depending on your subject.

I did see some photos you posted early on with the lens in the image thread. It looks great. 

One thing that makes me lean to the summaron is that people who own it usually describe it in a very passionate manner. The elmarit is described as a great all around performer, like a good student, but I never hear the passion. 

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Confirm the advantages of the Elmarit that You list, they are real. It is compact enough in the hands of a grown-up male. Bought this together with my first M8 and have been using it with further M, CL and SL -cameras. The list of the Summaron are bagatelles in comparison. The Elmarit is fun to use and always delivers good results. 

 

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38 minutes ago, Cobram said:

I used to own:

 - Elmarit ASPH

 - Elmarit v4

 - Leica Q

I'm a big fan of 28mm focal length and contrary to you, never bonded with 35mm...

Now I own Summicron v1. I understand your remark regarding Cron vs Lux. But based on your posts and comments in other threads I think you will miss shallow DOF. Summicron will give you both, DOF and small(er) size/weight. I somehow think you ruled out best possible lens for you Cron v2.

If you insist on putting Cron out of list than I think Elmarit v4 or even v3 are very valid options. Smaller size and nice, "vintage vibe", rendering. Contrary to the modern rendering of Lux.

Anyway at the end I expect that by the end of 2021 we will read your comments and hopefuly also see your photos related to Cron, Elmarit and Summaron...😋👍

Pre Asph elmarits are too bulky for me. 

As for the Cron, I suppose it's the best all rounder for me. But it's too close to the Summilux, and I really prefer the rendering of the Lux which I find to be VERY unique. 

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23 minutes ago, chasdfg said:

TBH i'd go for the 28 Summaron (in black, if you can find one!) or the 28 cron v2.

I have the 28 cron v2 and it'd get that over the 28 elmarit v2.  Personal preference of course, but it's faster and not that much bigger and to me represents the best size, speed, image quality and cost balance of all the Leica 28mms out there (some might argue the 28 cron v1 does it even better because of the price, and there is some dispute as to whether the v2 is optically better than the v1. I view the v2 as a step-up though, if not just in terms of optics then also in terms of build).

I understand the appeal of protecting your 28lux, but both the 28cron v2 and the 28lux render differently enough for both to occupy one's kit. I had both at one point, but sold the 28lux to keep the 28cron, but i'm not a 28mm guy so i figured i only "need" one.

My gripe about the 28 Summaron is the 1m MFD. No issue with the speed because that's what you get with the size. 

Good points, thanks for sharing. I really prefer the Lux over the Cron. If I get the Cron, I will never use the Lux. An elmarit or a Summaron would not be a direct competitor to my lux, on the other hand. 

I can live with the 1m MFD as my most used lens has that same constraint. 

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23 minutes ago, pippy said:

It will probably come down to whether you place DoF above Vintage/Modern Rendering.

I almost always place a great value on the 'small and light' ethos but, for my needs, the Summaron - nice though it undoubtedly is - was really just that bit too slow so discounted it.

I bought the v1 Elmarit ASPH. The pre-asph versions are too bulky for my taste and, additionally, the ASPH shares the 39mm filter-thread found on most of my M-lenses and I do use filters quite a bit (typically B'n'W stuff with the Monochrom and a Pola on the M-D Typ-262 although occasionally the other way 'round...).

Before making my decision I had been fortunate enough to be given a v2 ASPH to try out and whilst I loved pretty much everything about it I did not like the hood-size in comarison to the v1. From what I remember you don't always use a hood and if that's correct then this aspect is a non-issue. The v2 hood is a 'better' design in that the v1 clip-on can, on occasion, also clip-off - and did so once as I was crossing a busy road. Fortunately no vehicle trampled it to death but it was a close-run thing...

Philip.

Indeed, I NEVER use a hood, on any lens, because of compactness reasons. Thank you for the information, very helpful. 

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12 minutes ago, ianman said:

I liked the idea of those... and then I saw one. IMO it's hideous. And the price of it now is just silly. I saw a new one a couple of days ago at €4500.

While I'm a sucker for limited editions, I really love silver lenses in general. For once, the silver version is cheaper, here! 

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I think you should just get the Summaron. Silver, even smaller than the elmarit IIRC, much slower and with a greater difference in rendering between it and the modern 28lux. I found the elmarit i had too contrasty sometimes. The Elmarit ASPH does the job well but the Summaron is more charming.

You might want to check out the MS Optics 28 f2 while you're at it. It's smaller than the Summaron and a very quirky lens (with speed, and on an SL or live view it even goes to 0.3m). Stop it down with no size penalty.

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8 minutes ago, Steven said:

I did see some photos you posted early on with the lens in the image thread. It looks great. 

One thing that makes me lean to the summaron is that people who own it usually describe it in a very passionate manner. The elmarit is described as a great all around performer, like a good student, but I never hear the passion. 

Well, you know me ;) I'm passionate about the images that can be made with the lens. From what I've seen of your photographs, I think you would love it... it'n not a Summilux, that's for sure, but it's capable of producing photographs overflowing with character. Having said that... I haven't got a 28mm Elmarit so I can't compare.

One small annoyance I have with the Summaron, it being so small are occasional close ups of focusing fingers. But I rarely zone focus so it may not be an issue at all for other users.

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