Jump to content

Best Non-APO 50mm lens for a M.


M2Pete
 Share

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

Advertisement (gone after registration)

I know the answer to this is very subjective so I'll try to set some perimeters/guidelines and hope that helps. I had a stroke four years ago that, despite attempts at recovery, has left me dependent on a walker and really slowed me down. Needless to say, it changed the way I take photos and, while the new learning curve has been interesting I have had to settle acknowledging on a couple of realities. I use to shoot primarily 28mm or 25, sometime 21 or 25mm, but cannot do that now (maybe landscape?) as my walker slowed my pace keeps me from getting close and I am no longer adept at reacting in a timely fashion. So I'm trying other options.

That the end of the sob story.

I've started focusing on 50mm and even 75mm lenses. I have plenty of 50's but now really looking for a fast 1.4 or 1.8. The Leica APOs are a little above my pay grade but, selling some of my wider lenses, I am able to look at Sumicron and Sumilux options. I am by no means adverse to other brands (my standard 35mm was a Zeiss Biogon) but the Sumilux really has caught my eye.

Any ideas or owners of the cron or lux that prefer one or the other? Any other makes for suggestion over what Leica offers?

Much thanks!

Edited by M2Pete
Link to post
Share on other sites

The current 50 M Summilux ASPH is in fact an APO design, according to Peter Karbe, just not advertised as such. Mine has served well for many years. But there’s a reason the standard Summicron has been in the catalogue for so long; it’s also an excellent performer. But a Summicron is f/2, if speed is important. There are of course earlier generation used Leica lenses, including the pre-ASPH 50 Summilux. The options have been covered in many similar threads.. both 50mm and 75mm options. Just a couple…


 


There are dozens of others.

Lens selection is subject to personal tastes and preferences, not just IQ, but handling and ergonomics. My choices are aided by demo or rental (if buying new) whenever possible… shooting, editing and printing with my own workflow.  For me, surveys are no substitute for practical experience.  For used lenses, I stick to reputable Leica dealers with warranty and return policies.

Jeff

Link to post
Share on other sites

Elmar 50 M. Definitely better than the Summicron iv, which is better hooded than the v and thus less flare prone. The Elmar 50 equals the APO sooner than any other Leica 50 when stopping down towards 5.6, where all fifties have only pixelpeepable differences, that cannot be recognized in print.  Somewhere in this forum you can see the test for that. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know which 50mm one is the best.

In most situations, the BEST lens is only as good as the photographer.

In my multiple 50mm lenses for M, my best now is the modest Summarit-M 2.5/50mm.

In the past some other lenses were the best at once or twice (or more times !), Noctilux 1.0, Summilux, Elmar-M, Elmar LTM, Mate, Canon, Nikkor, Zuiko, etc.

Link to post
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, M2Pete said:

...I have plenty of 50's but now really looking for a fast 1.4 or 1.8...

You don't mention which other 50s you have nor whether you lean more towards 'vintage' or 'modern' rendering so we don't really know what you are after but if you want faster than an f2 (as you write in your OP) and, financially-speaking, can stretch to the current Summilux then I suspect that it would be your preferred option.

Philip.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, otto.f said:

Elmar 50 M. Definitely better than the Summicron iv, which is better hooded than the v and thus less flare prone. The Elmar 50 equals the APO sooner than any other Leica 50 when stopping down towards 5.6, where all fifties have only pixelpeepable differences, that cannot be recognized in print.  Somewhere in this forum you can see the test for that. 

OOOH! A friend loaned me this earlier in March for a week, he offered it to me for a very reasonable price and my 28. I really liked it's size and it quirky setup but was wary of the 2.8 aperture and whether it could create enough separation. Need to revisit the photos I took. Maybe this is whatI'm looking for. Thanks.

Edited by M2Pete
Link to post
Share on other sites

Advertisement (gone after registration)

14 hours ago, Jeff S said:

The current 50 M Summilux ASPH is in fact an APO design, according to Peter Karbe, just not advertised as such. Mine has served well for many years. But there’s a reason the standard Summicron has been in the catalogue for so long; it’s also an excellent performer. But a Summicron is f/2, if speed is important. There are of course earlier generation used Leica lenses, including the pre-ASPH 50 Summilux. The options have been covered in many similar threads.. both 50mm and 75mm options. Just a couple…


 


There are dozens of others.

Lens selection is subject to personal tastes and preferences, not just IQ, but handling and ergonomics. My choices are aided by demo or rental (if buying new) whenever possible… shooting, editing and printing with my own workflow.  For me, surveys are no substitute for practical experience.  For used lenses, I stick to reputable Leica dealers with warranty and return policies.

Jeff

I agree. I had some reservations about creating this post but my lack of knowledge about Leica's faster 50's and  fear/laziness pushed me to publish it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

15 hours ago, Jeff S said:

The current 50 M Summilux ASPH is in fact an APO design, according to Peter Karbe, just not advertised as such. Mine has served well for many years. But there’s a reason the standard Summicron has been in the catalogue for so long; it’s also an excellent performer. But a Summicron is f/2, if speed is important. There are of course earlier generation used Leica lenses, including the pre-ASPH 50 Summilux. The options have been covered in many similar threads.. both 50mm and 75mm options. Just a couple…


 


There are dozens of others.

Lens selection is subject to personal tastes and preferences, not just IQ, but handling and ergonomics. My choices are aided by demo or rental (if buying new) whenever possible… shooting, editing and printing with my own workflow.  For me, surveys are no substitute for practical experience.  For used lenses, I stick to reputable Leica dealers with warranty and return policies.

Jeff


Let’s be honest here: the “apo” name is just an absolute marketing gimmick. For a lens to be truly APO, it is NOT supposed to show any CA at all. But knowing this, Leica then said that its lenses are somewhat APO corrected.

Well, if you ask me: absolutely all lenses are somewhat apo corrected, therefore ALL lenses are somewhat apo.

No, the Leica APO naming scheme is pure marketing. And it truly is, where APO Somewhat means more “science” involved.l

One thing is sure, within Leica’s own standard, ALL their lenses are apo. Or absolutely NONE. Both these answers are correct.

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

If a lens shows CA in any measure, it is NOT APO. How can it be? LOL!

But yeah, we live in this world where we accept silly explanations such as  “a little bit more APO than...” so here we have a non APO lens (the 50’summicron apo) that is so-called APO because it is better corrected than the older design. Both show signs of CA, but the APO  a little less, abd this is supposed to make it  “a little bit more APO”.

Or the good old 50mm Summilux asph “that is a APO lens but just not called as such”. This is one of the silliest thing, really. 

 

Edited by Capuccino-Muffin
Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe the OP is really asking “best non ASPHERICAL lens”. Or at least, this would be the question to ask.

In that regard, nothing can beat the good old spherical Summicron V5, which was regarded as the best 50mm lens in the world fir its whole existence, and probably still is. Or is at the very least #2 on the list, superceded by it’s newest iteration, the Summicron V6 so-called “apo”.

It is superceded by the V6 NOT because of the APO capability (because they are either both APO or both aren’t), but because of the ASPH VS NON-asph difference. And yes, there are many, many soherical lenses that actually perform better than aspherical lenses.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe the OP is really asking “best non ASPHERICAL lens”. Or at least, this would be the question to ask.

In that regard, nothing can beat the good old spherical Summicron V5, which was regarded as the best 50mm lens in the world fir its whole existence, and probably still is. Or is at the very least #2 on the list, superceded by it’s newest iteration, the Summicron V6 so-called “apo”.

It is superceded by the V6 NOT because of the APO capability (because they are either both APO or both aren’t), but because of the ASPH VS NON-asph difference. And yes, there are many, many soherical lenses that actually perform better than aspherical lenses.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

If you want a Leica 50mm with wider aperture than f2,  get the 50mm summilx asph.

Otherwise, if you're mainly using it for landscapes, you can't go wrong with a 50mm summicron or a 50mm elmar-m f2.8 (I have both), or a summarit F2.5 or f2.4. 

Both the summicron and elmar-m are excellent, there is no size advantage with the extended elmar-m over a summicron, the elmar-m is cheaper to buy and you won't see any difference between them at mid range apertures.   

You will definitely not see a difference between any of them in prints.

Your other current options are the numerous Voigtlanders (the 50mm apo-lanthar is a match for the Leica apo-summicron asph at a fraction of the outlay), Zeiss planar and sonnar and some Chinese stuff that I have no personal interest in or experience with. 

It's your money and your call.   

Edited by Ouroboros
Link to post
Share on other sites

18 hours ago, M2Pete said:

I have plenty of 50's but now really looking for a fast 1.4 or 1.8. The Leica APOs are a little above my pay grade but, selling some of my wider lenses, I am able to look at Sumicron and Sumilux options. I am by no means adverse to other brands (my standard 35mm was a Zeiss Biogon) but the Sumilux really has caught my eye.

Any ideas or owners of the cron or lux that prefer one or the other?

Sure if you intend to shoot indoor or in low light, Summilux 50/1.4 asph. Otherwise Summicron 50/2 apo preferably or Summicron 50/2 v5 if you are on a budget. The Elmar-M 50/2.8 remains my all time favorite but i can hardly advise it as a single lens and everybody don't like triplet lenses as much as i do. Happy snaps :).

Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Capuccino-Muffin said:


Let’s be honest here: the “apo” name is just an absolute marketing gimmick. For a lens to be truly APO, it is NOT supposed to show any CA at all. But knowing this, Leica then said that its lenses are somewhat APO corrected.

Well, if you ask me: absolutely all lenses are somewhat apo corrected, therefore ALL lenses are somewhat apo.

No, the Leica APO naming scheme is pure marketing. And it truly is, where APO Somewhat means more “science” involved.l

One thing is sure, within Leica’s own standard, ALL their lenses are apo. Or absolutely NONE. Both these answers are correct.

 

 

 

A lot of marketing, for sure, although one could argue that Leica’s standards in labeling APO are (or at least were for many years) somewhat tighter than other companies.  
 

Interestingly, even Karbe thought the label “a bit silly” for the 50 Summilux ASPH, which is why the 75 M APO Summicron ASPH is marketed as APO, while the 50 M Summilux ASPH is not.  As he explained to David Farkas long ago (see paragraph #6)….

http://dfarkas.blogspot.com/2008/09/photokina-2008-day-2-taking-it-easy-and.html?m=1


Nevertheless, the 50 M Summilux ASPH was a very difficult and amazing accomplishment in many ways, as Karbe explained (see both pages)…

https://www.shutterbug.com/content/leica-lens-saga-interview-peter-karbe

Jeff

Edited by Jeff S
Link to post
Share on other sites

If your only qualm with APO lenses is the cost, the Voigtlander 50mm APO is probably the sharpest 50mm M lens other than the 50mm APO Summicron. It is around 1000 dollars and built well, like most Voigtlander lenses.

Back when the 50mm Summilux ASPH was introduced, I traded my 50mm f2 Summicron for it. I found that they performed very similarly, the main difference being that the Summilux ASPH had an extra stop. Both are extraordinarily good lenses. Any of the three will keep you happy, I would imagine.

Link to post
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Stuart Richardson said:

If your only qualm with APO lenses is the cost, the Voigtlander 50mm APO is probably the sharpest 50mm M lens other than the 50mm APO Summicron. It is around 1000 dollars and built well, like most Voigtlander lenses.

Back when the 50mm Summilux ASPH was introduced, I traded my 50mm f2 Summicron for it. I found that they performed very similarly, the main difference being that the Summilux ASPH had an extra stop. Both are extraordinarily good lenses. Any of the three will keep you happy, I would imagine.

I echo that about the 50 Summilux ASPH and the 50 Summicron v5. Both are incredible lenses. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks to all that responded and for the record, I think I fell for the APO marketing scam. You all have given me a number of choices and I appreciate that. My fast 50’s are a Skyllaney refurbished J8 and a VC f1.5 Nokton LTM that is/was my favorite (my spelling should alert all I’m a Yank). Recently found out the latter has some haze so thinking I owe it to myself, as a 50th birthday present, to splurge and get some Leica glass. Your replies will definitely help. 🙂

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...