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king of bokeh vs 35mm APO


kengai
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Guest Nowhereman
3 hours ago, Al Brown said:

...I noticed you asked a very similar question a few years ago here

Thanks for alerting us to this. Yes, just looked at the other thread and don't see why the OP wants to repeat that discussion which, at 5 pages, was thorough and informative.
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'KoB' may simply be a synonym for 'Version 4'.

I have no experience with the APO, but do find the KoB to be a magnificent lens on film, in fact, my very favorite Leica lens.  The APO certainly has higher resolving power and reduced chromatic aberrations.  This would be particularly beneficial in high megapixel digital bodies.  I think that's the deciding factor in choosing between the two.  Unless, one is enamored with the KoB rendering, the APO would seem to be the superior lens.

IMHO.

Edited by Danner
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1 hour ago, Nowhereman said:

Thanks for alerting us to this. Yes, just looked at the other thread and don't see why the OP wants to repeat that discussion which, at 5 pages, was thorough and informative.
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While I completely agree that we have more than enough thread duplication there is a subtle difference. The previous thread was about the differences between the KOB and the then current ASPH. This thread is about the KOB & APO. :)

 

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I can't speak of APO but I currently own 35 Summicron V4 and 35 Summilux Asph FLE. The latter has more resolving power and uniformity across the whole frame. The "old" Summicron has a typical Leica rendering of the Mandler era: Punchy central image with a very good resolving power and a gradual growth of aberrations toward the corners. To me, the V4 OOF is the best of all 35 I owned. People portrayed with this lens are 3D they come out of the picture. The recent lenses are little bit boring, phenomenal in their technical sheet but too "linear". People portrayed with a 35 LUX FLE are perfectly drawn and so the rest of the pictures but the overall image is a bit flat. High resolving power is not necessarily synonym of better picture, but it helps a lot in hard situation when there's no available light and you have to shoot wide open with high ISO; in this case recent lenses are clearly better.

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This one picture is one example of what people like about the Summicron v4.  Excellent colors.  Rapid separation between forground and background.  Decent bokeh.  Sharp.  The only thing I don't like is lackluster contrast.  Shadows get lost. 

Edited by rcusick
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This is not rapid rapid separation from focus plane. Background still has a nice texture and this is the nice bookeh of this lens. Modern recent lenses do have a rapid separation, when you take a shot with a 50mm the effect is similar to a shot taken with a tele-photo lens. To me this is not nice or good bokeh. It's a subproduct of a well designed lens but it doesn't mean bookeh is nice.

The lens who built the magic Leica heritage are all with slow separation from focus plane to OOF-Planes and with aberrations who give some peculiar texture to the OOF-Planes. I'm not saying old lenses are better than newer ones; I'm saying nice bookeh is not related to rapid separation from focus to OOF.

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The V4 is over rated, IMO, but if I had to pick one to live with between the V4 and the APO, which I both have, I would pick the V4. Reasons are: 

1. Size. The V4 is half the size. 

2. Rendering. The V4 is more gentle, more mandlerish. Where I personally notice it more is on the edges and corners, where the V4 produces smudge, while the APO is just clean and perfect. I prefer the more imperfect rendering, which I find creates a better mood in photos. 

If value is also a factor, I would go as far as recommending a silver copy, which Is raising so fast in value. You can get it today for half the price of the APO, and probably sell it next year for much more than a used APO. 

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