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When the 75mm Summicron-SL was released, everyone was (rightly) excited. Then the 90mm and 50mm generated less excitement, followed by the 35mm, which got everyone all hot and bothered again.

Now, the 28mm seems to have landed with a thud. Is it because it’s 28mm, a focal that doesn’t seem to excited people anymore (ie they should have released a 24mm instead)? Or is it just not that “good” compared to the 35? Or, is it everything it should be, but when Leica meets expectations, that hardly raises any eyebrows? 

I ask because I am thinking of building a small kit of Summicrons, and I’d be much more inclined towards 28-50 rather than 35-75, unless of course the 35 & 75 are just way better lenses. 

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I'm an avid 28mm user.  Thing is, the SL 28mm Summicron-SL is… too big and expensive.

I have the Elmarit-R 28mm V2 lens.  1/2 the physical size of the new lens, and even with the R-L adapter it is still smaller. I can use it almost on any mirrorless camera, and not just L Alliance members.  Image quality at f5.6 - f11 is stellar.  AF?  Don't need it.

So, for me, IMO, for my needs and purposes… the new 28mm is a non-starter.

For others, I assume the 28mm also isn't wide enough for the current fashion of shooting with < 21mm lenses.

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Yeah, for me, my 28mm is the Q2. I'm fully down to get the 24 once it's released.

Part of the reason there's less internet buzz about the 28 could be that the lens, up until a week ago, was backordered and unavailable. Just not in the hands of many folks yet despite being released for a few months. 

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I was very interested in 28 SL Summicron but distortion (not scientifically proven, just my observation from posted photos) and size, drove me away from purchase.

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Hi, 

 

honestly, price and size not being considered, you can choose the Summicron-SL lens setup which fits best to your purpose. I think they are, within certain borders, all very, very good or as good as it gets for each focal length.  And of course I would welcome, if they all would cost half and have half the size :D

 

My lens setup was always driven by the idea, that it is not only great as a dual or triple lens setup but also as a single lens setup. Which always leads me to a "I must have a 35mm lens" setup. 

In the past, Leica M, this lead me to a 21, 35, 50, 90 plus the 28 Summaron (which is outside of every competition) setup. The lenses where smaller, so even if I wanted to go light, three or four lenses where a easy one. And with going on the move with just one lens, the 35 Summilux FLE was usually the choice, sometimes the 50 - depending on my mood.

However, if I wanted to have a bit more flexibility but wanted to keep it really light, I always was in a hassle which to take. 35 and 50 are too close, the 28 Summaron and the 50 summilux will leave me in the dark at 28mm when dawn creeps on me ... ah, you know, the typical inner fights when you have or want to limit yourself :D

With my move to the SL I decided to go for the 35mm first and added shortly after the 75mm. From my m-lenses I only kept the 28 Summaron (as said, still free of any competition this brilliant little bugger :) ).

With the prices and the sizes of the SL-lenses most of us are a bit forced to make conscious decisions with  the planned lens set up. Mine was, to later, once available, add the 21 Summicron-SL, as 28mm are too close to the 35mm (for cost and size reasons). BTW, I do think 28mm is a brilliant focal length, which makes thinks not easier ... 

In my urge to add something wider I've bought the Sigma 12-24, with which I did not warm up due to size and weight distribution. It is a specialists lens, and not for me. So I've made a change to the Sigma 3.5 24mm Contemporary, which is in fact brilliant. It is small, light, well build, renders really nice and can get ridicules close. And, I've payed around 550 Euro for it. I thought it to be a gap filler until the 21 or 24mm from Leica is available, but am not so sure any more. It is not my most used focal length, and the Sigma is more than good enough on the SL2-s. 

 

The 75mm is btw also a brilliant focal length. It is a bit more narrow than the 50, but not as tight and "in distance" than a 90. The 90 might be for many the better pure portrait lens. And yes, it might be more flattering, but in comparison, it is already compressing quite heavy, while with 75mm you get a more natural look - at least in my opinion. 

 

To make the confusion complete: When three lenses are the goal, which often is the case, I still think 28-50-90 is the most versatile set up as it is covering the broadest range. 

When starting with a 35-75 set-up, you will always be between the chairs when extending the range. A 50 would be close to either focal-length, a 28 very close to the 35, but still a workable partner to the 75, and also the 90 is quite close the 75 ... and so on and so fourth. 

My current solution: Core lenses: 35-75 plus the 28 Summaron(you meanwhile get why ;) ) - extension: 3.5 24 Sigma and 2.8 105 Sigma Macro (also a great and not too expensive lens). Ideas: Why not a zoom again, maybe a 24-70? Or a nice 1.4 50 (oh, so huge), or adding the 2.0 50(🤤) ... or keeping the money until wisdom comes down on me ... my wife is just at this very moment shaking her head in disbelief ... 

Conclusion: We are all damned to constant struggle :D :D 

 

Now I stop before I continue blabbering.

 

Good luck with your choice ;)

 

Cheers

Daniel

 

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vor 11 Minuten schrieb Daniel C.1975:

Conclusion: We are all damned to constant struggle :D :D 

...best summary ever;)

For my lens set-up I am somewhat double-track - I do have the 3 Leica Varios, so with 3 lenses I am covered from 16mm to 280mm, and, from a quality perspective and my main subjects in landscape photography, I should not ask for more...

However, there is something special about primes, and this is not only the optical quality (which in my view is most of the time more pixel peeping than a matter in real life...), it is the change in creativity and approach as well as the higher open aperture and bokeh effects which always made me wanting primes in additions to zooms.

This got me to adding the 90mm and 50mm SL Summicron to my (now heavy) bag. And I guess I will add in one point in time a wide angle prime, but not the 28. This is not about optical quality (see my comment above..), it is more about that this is a "neither meat nor fish" focal length. It is the angle most mobile phone shots look like and it is the focal length of the Q (that I own and love, despite that 28mm). Therefore I am waiting for either 24mm or 21mm SL Summicron and hoping for a 35mm Q...

In the end, it is about personal preferences... 

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9 hours ago, oldwino said:

I ask because I am thinking of building a small kit of Summicrons, and I’d be much more inclined towards 28-50 rather than 35-75, unless of course the 35 & 75 are just way better lenses. 

Why don't you go for Sigma 24mm + Summicrons 35-75 (or 50mm)?

This way you'll get best of both worlds

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That's what I'd do: get a 24-90 and add a 35mm SL or a 50mm SL. Why is that? Well, the SL2-S I recently purchased is my first professional digital stills camera (before that, I got myself a Fuji XE-3, a nice little companion). But as a director/DoP for commercials and filmmaker, I've owned lenses and film cameras (digital and analogue) over the last three decades. My experience on moving-picture gear, as I found out immediately, can safely be transferred on stills (and, of course, video).

That's what I've figured out on my journey, often with some pain:

For many jobs, a short zoom (in stills land that's called a standard zoom) that covers the field of views which are not too alien to human perception (which is in FF typically 24-90mm focal length, with the 24mm perhaps a tad too wide), does that job and is a fast and reliable way to get your shots. When amid everything, when time is a factor, when the temporary moods of your subjects matter, when there are scenes that won' be repeatable, nothing beats a zoom lens. You don't have to swap glass and realign yourself to the new lens. These saved seconds are hell more worth than the possible gain in optical quality coming with primes.

And to be happy with the outcome, the zoom lens should be excellent and not a cheaper makeshift for missing primes. The 24-90 tics that box. It does its job so well that I'm hesitant to buy a PL-adaptor for my Angenieux Optimo, which costs three times more than the Leica zoom. It's that good. And for stills, its AF implementation is very snappy and accurate.
But besides the zoom lens, I used to own a set of primes, in my case Zeiss Super Speeds. But truth be told, the primes were hardly used, only on selected jobs and could have been easily rented without economic sacrifice. However, there was only one lens which I used more than the others, I'd say by the factor 10. It's been the 35mm prime. In FF land, that translates to the 50mm. So, I figure, I'm a fifty guy. Others find themselves being 35mm aficionados.

In my case, any other focal length in a prime would be an add-on, a luxury item, or a speciality lens like a very long zoom lens for birders or sports photographers (who would never buy into the Leica SL system anyway). But like with the zoom, the prime should be very, very good and a joy to work with. Otherwise, where's the point to shoot with it?

Of course, we're all different. And I have mates who are essentially lens collectors, and that perfectly fine. But when I'd buy into a new system, I'd buy first the best standard zoom I could possibly get and get my preferred focal lengths as a prime. However, this prime lens should render the pictures in a way my zoom lens could never achieve. For my taste, that would be typically dimensionality (which the 24-90 shows plenty), focus roll-off, bokeh, and sharpness that is kind to skin. 
Since March, I've shot over 20.000 photos with the SL2-S and the 24-90 (please note my affection for culling; thus, I show no hesitation pressing the trigger button). But I still don't feel the desire to decide between the Summicron 50mm SL and the Summilux 50mm SL for the next purchase. Right now, I'm leaning towards the Summilux. But after the next 20.000 shots, I might think differently. Or I'll stay with the zoom. It's a hell of a lens. 

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14 hours ago, oldwino said:

When the 75mm Summicron-SL was released, everyone was (rightly) excited. Then the 90mm and 50mm generated less excitement, followed by the 35mm, which got everyone all hot and bothered again.

Now, the 28mm seems to have landed with a thud.

You would expect the first Summicron to make waves. I think the rest of your story can be explained by the fact that 35mm is traditionally Leica's most popular focal length. The SL Summicrons are, by design, one lens that comes in different focal lengths. There isn't that much to discuss, unlike Voigtlander (for example) who make lenses with completely different personalities.

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I mean I think it could be multiple reasons. Personally I own the 35,75, 90-280 and the Q2. Q2 satisfies my 28mm itch and I love that it's light as well, perfect date night kit. 

Personally I'm already covered with the q so I don't need the 28mm. When I shot with Fuji xf I had the 16mm (24mm ff equivalent). It had very close focus and was amazing for food shots. 

Now that I have 28mm, im more than likely in the market for 24mm again if it turns out to be exceptional or 21mm. I'm a little bit embarrassed about how much I'm spending here as it's just a hobby but I'm doing it responsibly so 🤷🏾‍♂️

 

That's my story, I'm also tempted by the idea of getting a digital m and the 35 apo . 35mm is my favorite focal length but sometimes the 35sl is just too bulky.

 

We'll see what happens but honestly in general I think Leica has just covered 28mm a lot of times in a lot of ways so that's why people aren't going crazy at the moment. And maybe due to stock as well. This is just my opinion if course 😉

 

 

 

 

 

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vor 23 Stunden schrieb Daniel C.1975:

To make the confusion complete: When three lenses are the goal, which often is the case, I still think 28-50-90 is the most versatile set up as it is covering the broadest range. 

When starting with a 35-75 set-up, you will always be between the chairs when extending the range. A 50 would be close to either focal-length, a 28 very close to the 35, but still a workable partner to the 75, and also the 90 is quite close the 75 ... and so on and so fourth. 

Well-worded!

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On 6/14/2021 at 1:55 AM, oldwino said:

I ask because I am thinking of building a small kit of Summicrons, and I’d be much more inclined towards 28-50 rather than 35-75, unless of course the 35 & 75 are just way better lenses. 

When I check my pictures' metadata that I've shot with the 24-90, I find the 50mm and 35mm focal lengths ranking first, with the 50mm taking the lead considerably. Following this logic, starting the kit with 35mm and 50mm would make the most sense. With a 35mm and 75mm for a starter kit, there'd be too much of a gap for me. Anything longer than 50mm rarely comes into use in my world because compression kicks in, and dimensionality naturally becomes flatter, regardless of who's the manufacturer. Exceptions seem to be little chaps like birds photographed on longer lenses because seeing them magnified on pictures is an abstraction to our experience in reality (which is the fascination of such images); thus, the compression isn't distracting much. But I admit that the extended 90mm end of the 24-90 can be beneficial when moving towards the subject isn't possible (which don't do the 70mm of a regular standard zoom as good).

I'm not sure whether a prime kit is about covering the field of views as versatile as possible, unless you can draw from unlimited resources. I'm more leaning towards the idea that a prime can supercharge the artistic expression of one's preferred field of view and fosters coherence. 

A colleague of mine shoots most of his commercial work with a 27mm Zeiss Masterprime on S-35mm sensors, which roughly compares to a 35mm FF lens. His FF 35mm f 1,4 prime isn't leaving his stills camera anymore. He loves to explore the broader field of view of the 35mm with the shallow depth of field only a fast prime can achieve and uses the zoom when versatility is on the table. 

That's my approach too. Covering versatility with the 24-90, and at some point researching my preferred focal length of 50mm in depth with a dedicated prime. 
(Naturally, someone else approach might be completely different. Dimensionality and the localisation of subjects might not be desirable for others. Perhaps someone is after a distinct flatness and blurry backgrounds. Then a 90mm SL would be the right choice or the 75mm SL for a fabulous in-between-prime, and the 90-280 an excellent daily companion for even more compression.)

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@hansvonsI agree with you - 35-50 is a very natural lookin set of lenses. Here’s a reason most people gravitate to them. 28 seems very wide to me already, and 21/24 is just “outrageously wide”; they’re special effect focal lengths.
Likewise, 75 feels a bit claustrophobic, as does 90. 
 

I guess my comfort zone is really 35-60-ish. I have the Sigma 65/2, and I really like it. Just a touch of compression, as you say. And one of my favorite lenses on my film M is a 40. So maybe I’ll just wait for the compact Leica 40mm Summicron-sl to come out…🤣

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The Q2 made the 28 redundant for me. The 28 Summicron might be better, but not enough to make me replace the Q2 I already have. My most used lenses on the SL system are, like many others, 28/50/90. So basically with a Q2 I didn't buy the 28mm or a second SL2 body.

Gordon

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I really struggle to see why Leica made this 28mm over other lengths.

- Tons of SL2 owners own a Q2

- Tons of SL2 owners have a 35/2 which isn't wildly different from 28

- They already have 28mm serviced by the 24-90 or the rebranded sigma

Why on earth they didn't prioritise something like a 18/21/24 over a 28 I can't fathom.

 

 

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16 hours ago, oldwino said:

@hansvonsI agree with you - 35-50 is a very natural lookin set of lenses. Here’s a reason most people gravitate to them. 28 seems very wide to me already, and 21/24 is just “outrageously wide”; they’re special effect focal lengths.
Likewise, 75 feels a bit claustrophobic, as does 90. 
 

I guess my comfort zone is really 35-60-ish. I have the Sigma 65/2, and I really like it. Just a touch of compression, as you say. And one of my favorite lenses on my film M is a 40. So maybe I’ll just wait for the compact Leica 40mm Summicron-sl to come out…🤣

I crave smaller SL Leica lenses. Compact 40mm Elmarit... 😇

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The Q2 is cannibalizing the sales of the Summicron 28mm. 

You can easily get a used one for 4000€, cheaper than a new Summicron 28, and for that you get a second camera, a fully compatible battery, the same SL2 sensor, a macro option. More or less body footprint and weight are the same as the 28mm.

I'm sure the 28 Cron has better performances, but for me it's a non starter for the reasons above. 

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