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Getting a new 50mm


davorb
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Hello Davorb,

What kind of opinions do you want ?

As I wrote so often, each lens is different from the other(s) that the best to find out is to try by oneself.

If there are opinions out there, do you really think that it would apply to YOU ?

 

Anyway, as I don't use the Apo Lanthar, I'm happy with my multiple 50mm Summicron ('I' to 'V/VI' for many years), still use other 50mm lenses though.

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Davorb,  In my decades of using the M, S and SL systems, I found the lenses have their own unique way of rendering.  It is hard to describe each rendering, it is best to simply either rent or borrow several types of 50s you would like to try and see for yourself.  The other idea, take a look at the forum thread, "Nifty 50" or Flickr and it might give you an idea how a particular 50 renders.  For my genre of photography, I found the 50 Summilux rendered better for my work than the 50 Apo Summicron.  Same with the 50 Summicron and 50 Summarit.  It all depends on what you want for your photographic images and personal taste.  r/ Mark

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IMHO every lens is so different that the only way I've decided what I prefer is to try them on the main type of subject I like to photograph (eg, portraits? landscapes? etc).  

For example, many people might think the M 50 APO is fantastic, and I owned it for several years, but personally I sometimes found its high contrast and high acuity rendering to be difficult for me to tame ....my preference is more for lots of fine detail (ie, resolution) that combines with a "gentle" rendering (ie, less contrast, less acuity), because it helps me gets towards my preference for a more filmic look that i think works nicely for portraits.

I also owned the 50mm v5 for over a decade .....my own copy had issues with veiling flare and very strong field curvature, but I preferred its gentler rendering to the more modern M 50 APO. 

Edited by Jon Warwick
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3 hours ago, davorb said:

Is it worth getting the Summicron 50mm v5 if you already own the Voigtländer 50mm APO Lanthar?

Tried Googling but didn't find many opinions. How do they compare (not just image quality, but also portability and Leica balance test)?

Hi, I own and use both. -  The Apo Lanthar is overall the better lens. But the handling of the Summicron, being more compact and having a sliding hood, is more pleasant. 

As usual, there is always a trade-off ... 

 

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On 7/31/2021 at 2:29 PM, Knipsknecht said:

@davorb The question is, what does your APO Lanthar miss? What are you looking for that the Lanthar couldn’t provide?

Compactness?
CV 50/2 apo: 53.0mm x 55.6mm, 49mm filters
Cron 50/2 apo: 47mm x 53mm, 39mm filters 
Cron 50/2 v5: 43.5mm x 53mm, 39mm filters 

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vor 1 Stunde schrieb lct:

Compactness?
CV 50/2 apo: 53.0mm x 55.6mm, 49mm filters
Cron 50/2 apo: 47mm x 53mm, 39mm filters 
Cron 50/2 v5: 43.5mm x 53mm, 39mm filters 

… that might be true, but the TO didn’t told us anything about his motivation. It could be the feel of the lens, it’s smell, it’s weight, the way it renders the color red … you got it😉.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...

New to the forum, so apologies if 'necro-mancing' a thread is ill-advised. 

I own the Voigtlander 50mm f/2 APO Lanthar and the Leica 50mm Summicron V5. I started with the Voigtlander (adapting to a Z6 with the VM-Z Close Focus Adapter) and decided to rent a few MF 50s and eventually purchased the Summicron V5 (which now lives on a 'new to me' M-240). 

Ergos is extremely subjective, but I did find it easier to use the Voigtlander. The focus ring is larger and the distinct knurling is effective for your hands to differentiate to the aperture ring.  That said, in practice, your hands will quickly adjust to either.

In terms of image quality, the APO Lanthar is the more modern lens and the output is punchy and contrasty. 

If you are looking for a lens that is sharp across the frame, then the APO Lanthar is a fantastic choice, as it will 'Brick Wall' test better than most m-mount 50s:

That said, I prefer the Summicron. I find the output to be much more pleasing and true. I also think it's the perfect goldilocks 50..giving you great output and character. BW images are much more pleasing with the Cron. 

I find the Summicron images just require less work in post, whereas the APO's images just can be 'too much'. I feel that the draw to MF lenses is the charm/character that they posses (the Summicron, as evident in the image above...flaring in what I feel is a flattering way), the Voigtlander is very much (and no slight to it) a modern lens that happens to focus manually. Not wrong. Not better. Just depends on your needs. 
 

Edited by kriskunisch
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I am a recent purchaser of the 50:2 v4 (same optics as the “v5” current but in a very slightly smaller body, and has a focus tab).  I absolutely love it. @kriskunisch’s examples above are a typical representation of this lens (beautiful use of it by the way !) 

edit: I just realised this thread is several months old. Maybe the OP already bought. 

Edited by grahamc
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  • 2 weeks later...

I have both and since getting the VM Apo, my mint, in the box, V5 is retired. Stopped down, they are both fantastic, but at f2 or 2.8, the APO is sharper. Render-wise, that's a matter of opinion so you would need to try them both together. Rent the Apo and see how you like it.

Joel

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 7/31/2021 at 6:33 PM, cboy said:

The 50 cron is arguably the quintessential leica lens. I guess to scratch the itch you have to at least try it yourself to see if it work for you or not.

All the best

I have owned a lot of 50mm lenses for the M mount. For me when it is all said and done, the "Cron 50mm f2 is the best best lens out there. Great ergonomics, sharp, super sharp all the way through. The focus and aperture rings are smooth as silk.

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I have owned  Summicron , v 1 collapsible , V1 rigid , V1 DR , V2, V4 , V5... Noctilux F1 , Summilux pre asph v2 ,  and Summilux ASPH , and the cV Nocton 1.2 

out of all the 50s my 2 favourites were the Summicron DR.. and the Summilux ASPH .... I did not like the Summicron V5 only because I prefer the focus tab on the V4 .. if you have large hands the focus ring is a little small.   

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