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28 Summilux vs. 28 Summicron Asph V2


Nick Lo

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14 hours ago, genji said:

Good summary with one exception. In the Pros section for the Ultron II you wrote: “great manual handling experience (some say comparable to the Cron)” which contradicts both my own experience (admittedly subjective) but more importantly it contradicts what you wrote in the Cons section, “Too small and that makes the handling experience less satisfying comparing to the crons and lux”. The Ultron’s handling can’t be “great” and “comparable” to the Cron (i.e. as good as the Cron) and also “less satisfying” than the Cron. 

I have both the Summilux and the latest Summicron 28mm lenses. My original intention had been to pair the Lux with the Ultron II, the former to be used at or near wide open and the latter for zone focusing at f/8. The Ultron’s rotten (for me!) handling prompted me to replace it with a Cron. That notwithstanding, I would strongly recommend that you get the Ultron II because haptics (handling) is totally subjective and you may well find that the Ultron is perfectly acceptable for you in that regard. If that turns out to be the case, you will have an optically superb lens at a fraction of the cost of either of the Leica alternatives. If you don’t like Ultron II, then you can sell it at a relatively insignificant loss and use what you’ve learned to choose between the Cron and the Lux.

Thanks Genji for the comments. Yeah, the handling experience reports on the internet are conflicting. Some say they love the handling and some said they don’t like it because it’s too small. That’s the reason you see it on both sides in the summary of what I read/seen/heard. Hope that clarifies the confusion. 
May I ask what was your handling experience with the ultron II. What made you sold it? How does it compares to Summicron? What are lacking? Thank you. 

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11 hours ago, hdmesa said:

I take issue with this part of the 28 Cron "cons" listed, at least when used on the M10-R. From the 28 Cron Safari I had for a while: color was on par with Lux (if you want muted color, try the 50 Cron :) ), no color cast other than what Leica sensors already have which is slightly green (IMO), microcontrast wide open was better than Lux wide open, and sharpness was incredible – as good as my CV 35 APO, so I don't think an Ultron could surpass it. It's possible Leica has improved the quality control of this lens for later copies, or perhaps the Safari version was given special attention during assembly/testing.

Thanks for the sharing. Your real world experience and findings are very helpful!

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1 hour ago, Nick Lo said:

Thanks Genji for the comments. Yeah, the handling experience reports on the internet are conflicting. Some say they love the handling and some said they don’t like it because it’s too small. That’s the reason you see it on both sides in the summary of what I read/seen/heard. Hope that clarifies the confusion. 
May I ask what was your handling experience with the ultron II. What made you sold it? How does it compares to Summicron? What are lacking? Thank you. 

I think it’s fair to say that for many (if not most) Leica M users, the smaller a lens is the better. I do not share that view. Instead I have an optimum size (diameter & length) and weight range. My ideal is represented by the Summicron 28 ASPH, the Summilux 35 FLE, and the 35 and 50 APO-Summicrons. The Elmarit 28 Pre-ASPH and the Summilux 35 Pre-FLE, both of which I replaced with the latest versions, also conform to this ideal size. These lenses all have a diameter of around 53mm and a length of 40mm or more. The Summilux 28 and the APO-Summicron 75, each of which takes a 49mm filter, lie towards the top of my optimum size range but not outside it.

My first plan was to pair the 28 Lux with a 28 Elmarit ASPH but that fell through as soon as I learned that the Elmarit is only 30mm long. Way too short! So I bought the Ultron 28 v2 and was very happy with its optical performance. But the Ultron is only 36mm long and, worse still, it tapers (whereas the Cron 35 ASPH does not). It’s the combination of shortness and tapering that made it too fiddly to keep. My use case for the Ultron was zone focused street photography but I don’t belong to the set the aperture & hyperfocal distance and away we go school. Rather I’m constantly adjusting the focusing ring to match the subject distance, something the size of the Summicron makes a lot easier. Optically the Ultron and Summicron are probably about equal—which is why I suggested you try the Ultron first—whereas my strong views about haptics put me well outside the mainstream opinion.

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55 minutes ago, genji said:

I think it’s fair to say that for many (if not most) Leica M users, the smaller a lens is the better. I do not share that view. Instead I have an optimum size (diameter & length) and weight range. My ideal is represented by the Summicron 28 ASPH, the Summilux 35 FLE, and the 35 and 50 APO-Summicrons. The Elmarit 28 Pre-ASPH and the Summilux 35 Pre-FLE, both of which I replaced with the latest versions, also conform to this ideal size. These lenses all have a diameter of around 53mm and a length of 40mm or more. The Summilux 28 and the APO-Summicron 75, each of which takes a 49mm filter, lie towards the top of my optimum size range but not outside it.

My first plan was to pair the 28 Lux with a 28 Elmarit ASPH but that fell through as soon as I learned that the Elmarit is only 30mm long. Way too short! So I bought the Ultron 28 v2 and was very happy with its optical performance. But the Ultron is only 36mm long and, worse still, it tapers (whereas the Cron 35 ASPH does not). It’s the combination of shortness and tapering that made it too fiddly to keep. My use case for the Ultron was zone focused street photography but I don’t belong to the set the aperture & hyperfocal distance and away we go school. Rather I’m constantly adjusting the focusing ring to match the subject distance, something the size of the Summicron makes a lot easier. Optically the Ultron and Summicron are probably about equal—which is why I suggested you try the Ultron first—whereas my strong views about haptics put me well outside the mainstream opinion.

I think we share the same priority when picking lenses. I am practicing zone focus by feel so lens ergonomic is very important. You have some very strong points about why the VM Ultron is not ideal to your needs even the image quality is on par with the summicron. 

You may just saved me time and money with this post! THANK YOU! 

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I currently own the 28 Ultron Type II and previously used the 28 Elmarit ASPH. I really like the output of the Ultron. The handling is ok, but not as nice as the Leica due to the different focus tab design. What has not been addressed in this tread (unless I have missed it) is how great the flare resistance of the Ultron is - much better compared to the Elmarit ASPH. This is a huge advantage for me, plus the lower MFD is useful as well. Focus smoothness and aperture ring resistance are pretty much perfect on my Ultron, so quite happy overall.

As a side note, I will never understand why Voigtlander won't stick to a certain style / aesthetic for more than one single lens. Designs are all over the place. Even the latest Ultron 28 II and the 35 II which are supposed to be same line / style / generation have different aperture ring designs 🙄

Edited by Alexander-HH
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I pretty much agree with all of the Ultron II comments. My copy has a smooth focus tab and the aperture ring has the right amount of resistance so I would not knock its build quality or handling in any way, other than for its size (which as others point out, is very subjective). It feels “different” than Leica lenses perhaps, but in no way does it feel cheap; the fit and finish are excellent. I don’t like the cap and hood designs as much as Leica’s, but this is entirely forgivable IMHO; the lens is very flare resistant and cheap, so don’t buy the hood and throw away the cap and don’t think about it. I wish there was some haptic indication that 0.7m was being reached but this is easy enough to manage; when I want ~0.7m I focus to minimum and then back off on focus until I see the rangefinder patch begin to move. Quite fast in practice. 


If the Summicron had more advantages optically I would have saved for it, but it just didn’t feel worth forking out another $4k for me. At the price of the Ultron II, you really can buy it, try it for a while, and sell it if you don’t get along with it. If you can find one used (they do pop up on Fred Miranda) then you can do this almost for free. 
 

Good luck in your decision!

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On 4/9/2022 at 10:13 AM, Nick Lo said:

Thank you all for contributing to the discussion and giving advice! I am still debating but it will come to a conclusion in a week or two I believe!

Here is what I've read, seen and heard so far: 

Summilux: $7800 USD

Pros: The most handsome 28mm M mount lens, full Leica updated design language, best built quality, Authentic Leica handling experience, neutral colors, unbeatable micro-contrast and 3D pops, best bokeh quality, the sharpest Leica 28mm ( Close/mid range /infinity), fastest (f/1.4), it's rendering is hard to describe but unique,  Well distortion control most of time.

Cons: Very expensive, heavy, blocking a big portion of the range finder, quite strong CA in high contrast scene, distortion when shooting close at certain angle. 

 

Summicron ASPH V2: $5100 USD

Pros: Compact but still handsome, much lighter than the Summilux, best built quality, does not block the range finder as much,  Full Leica updated design language. Authentic Leica handling experience, mute color, very good micro-contrast although it's behind the Summilux by a noticeable margin, sharper than all other Leica 28mm except the Summilux, great CA control, no distortion, busier bokeh towards the edge in some rare situations.  

Cons: Still expensive, somehow lack of character, mute color, very slight green color cast, less pop relatively, not as sharp as the Voigtlander Ultron II, surprisingly. 

 

Voigtlander Ultron II: $899 + hood ($79)

Pros: Cheap, Light, Very Small, focus tab, great built quality, great manual handling experience ( some say comparable to the cron), excellent micro-contrast, rich color, pop outputs, sharper than the Summicron, sharp corner to corner,  virtually doesn't block the range finder, MFD 0.5m,

Cons: Too small and that makes the handling experience less satisfying comparing to the crons and lux. Focus ring QC issue on some copies? Very strong vignetting, CA stronger than the Summicron, Magenta color cast, Hood costs extra, The design is totally different from the modern Leica lens, No focus ring haptics to hint users at 0.7m, swirl/busier bokeh close to extreme edges  sometimes. 

 

Summilux is the best performer but the price and size make me have a second thought... Anyone chose VM Ultron II over Summicron? The more I look at the outputs of the VM 28 Ultron II, the more I like it. But I concern about the handling experience is not on par with the Leica lenses ( smoothness of the focus ring vs. Leica? aperture ring too tight? Focus by feel usability? Is the size too small to be comfortable?), The little CA and bokeh look at the edges do not bother me at all. I am not a fan of its look and design though I believe I can live with it. 

 

 

 

 

 

A very good pros/cons comparison but I notice that you haven't included flare-resistance.  It might be of little concern to you and that's fair enough but resistance to veiling flare can reduce contrast and, to some degree, acutance ('sharpness') under certain circumstances and this could affect your comparison.

My 28/2 Summicron v1 is the second most flare-resistant lens I have ever used; (the most flare-resistant is my 50/1 Noctilux v4 but that lens isn't part of this discussion) and a 28 mm lens's naturally wide field of view will 'scoop in' light from oblique angles, which is where veiling flare often attacks from so it's relevant here.

Just something you might think about pulling into your considerations. 🙂

Pete.

 

 

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The new 28/2 Ultron is the best Wideangle-M I've come to own, that includes the 28 Summicron V2, 24/3.8 Elmar and 21/3.4 Elmar.

Sharpness edge to edge is even wide-open absolutely astonishing, something none of the Leica lenses I've owned have managed, even if they were correctly centered (which most of them weren't, to be honest). It even outperforms the Q2.

Handling/aesthetics is were Leica shines, that's a given. But the size and weight of the Ultronis a bonus, with the focus tab and the amount of resistance it's easily manageable. 

A drawback might be vignetting, but you might call it character and seize to add any in postprocessing 🙂

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2 hours ago, insomnia said:

The new 28/2 Ultron is the best Wideangle-M I've come to own, that includes the 28 Summicron V2, 24/3.8 Elmar and 21/3.4 Elmar.

Sharpness edge to edge is even wide-open absolutely astonishing, something none of the Leica lenses I've owned have managed, even if they were correctly centered (which most of them weren't, to be honest). It even outperforms the Q2.

Handling/aesthetics is were Leica shines, that's a given. But the size and weight of the Ultronis a bonus, with the focus tab and the amount of resistance it's easily manageable. 

A drawback might be vignetting, but you might call it character and seize to add any in postprocessing 🙂

High praise for the Ultron. I think what really sets the CV lenses apart from some comparable Leica versions is the insane amount of microcontrast, which visually amplifies perceived sharpness. I have alway suspected that Cosina uses the latest Zeiss T* coating and optical glass source used for the Zeiss Otus/Milvus lenses.

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Am 4.4.2022 um 22:42 schrieb tom0511:

I have the Summilux 28mm. Its a great lens, however I don't use f1.4 that often and think about changing to a smaller lens like the 28/2.0II or CV.

The Summilux shows some purple fringing and quite some vignetting wide open. The shallow DOF is nice sometimes, but its kind of a special effect which doesn't work for all subjects.

Would be great to have all these lenses in hand to compare. I wonder how the 28 Summicron and Summilux and Elmarit compare at comparable f-stops.

I also have the 28/5.6. Its a fun lens, you know its not the best corner sharpness, but overall a very classic film like IQ IMO.

I compared the three mentioned lenses a few years ago.

At f2.0 and f.2.8 the Summicron beats the Lux and the Elmarit towards the corner. The Summicron also shows less CA than the Lux at f2.0 and f2.8.

 

The Lux makes sense if you use it wide open quite often, and then as landscape lens at f5.6 / f8.0.

Otherwise the Cron V2 is the more sensible way to go imo.

 

I went back and forth a few times. In the end it was the Lux for me.

 

Edited by anickpick
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vor 2 Stunden schrieb anickpick:

I compared the three mentioned lenses a few years ago.

At f2.0 and f.2.8 the Summicron beats the Lux and the Elmarit towards the corner. The Summicron also shows less CA than the Lux at f2.0 and f2.8.

 

The Lux makes sense if you use it wide open quite often, and then as landscape lens at f5.6 / f8.0.

Otherwise the Cron V2 is the more sensible way to go imo.

 

I went back and forth a few times. In the end it was the Lux for me.

 

Thanks for sharing your experience. Doesn't make the decision easier though ;) 

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I’m a 28mm junkie. I’ve owned the latest versions of the elmarit, summicron, summilux, Q1, and even the old school Ricoh GR LTM lens, GR2, and GR3.

I’ve used them on film and digital bodies.

The lens that gets 90% of use, and the ONLY lens I’ve kept is the Summicron. I’ve probably taken 20k digital photos and run through 100+ rolls of film with it over the past 6 yrs.

(still have the GR3 though, as that camera fills a unique role)

 

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The reason I got rid of my CV 28 II was because it didn’t mount to my MP correctly. That might sound weird, but I had to quite literally use all my muscle to twist it to “click” into place. I returned it and they gave me a new copy, but had the same issue. I ended up buying the Elmarit and called it a day. Love the lens! If Voigtlander fixed the issue, I’d consider getting another 28mm f2 II from CV.

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16 hours ago, boostisbest said:

I’m a 28mm junkie. I’ve owned the latest versions of the elmarit, summicron, summilux, Q1, and even the old school Ricoh GR LTM lens, GR2, and GR3.

I’ve used them on film and digital bodies.

The lens that gets 90% of use, and the ONLY lens I’ve kept is the Summicron. I’ve probably taken 20k digital photos and run through 100+ rolls of film with it over the past 6 yrs.

(still have the GR3 though, as that camera fills a unique role)

 

agree! 

Edited by stefanusj
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12 hours ago, 28framelines said:

The reason I got rid of my CV 28 II was because it didn’t mount to my MP correctly. That might sound weird, but I had to quite literally use all my muscle to twist it to “click” into place. I returned it and they gave me a new copy, but had the same issue. I ended up buying the Elmarit and called it a day. Love the lens! If Voigtlander fixed the issue, I’d consider getting another 28mm f2 II from CV.

Interesting, I'm hoping to pick up the same lens for my MP. This might be an issue.

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On 4/13/2022 at 11:26 AM, intangiblethings said:

Interesting, I'm hoping to pick up the same lens for my MP. This might be an issue.

I’m not going to lie, it makes me nervous about buying another CV lens, but they all get rave reviews. I’d love the 50 APO, or the 35 Ultron, or the new 40mm skopar. But I don’t want to get frustrated by it again

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If you don't buy the 28mm Summilux, I would (as others have) suggest the Ultron II. I had the Summicron Asph II and sold it after getting the Voigtländer lens, since it was better than the Leica in every way except vignetting in the f/2 - f/2.8 range. (From f/4 the Ultron II vignettes less.)

If flare resistance is of importance, the Ultron II is so strong that I consider a hood a waste of money and space in the bag.

See my test images here (some are side by side's with the Summicron Asph II:

28mm Ultron II (web) – Google Disk

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  • 5 months later...

ok guys... I added a Summicron V2 to my Summilux...Why? I am hoping for less purple edges, I prefer the size...Time will tell if I prefer it over the Summilux so I might sell the Lux in the future, but I need some time to be sure...The Summilux has been one of my most used lenses.

 

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