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King of Bookeh or something else ?


vonrozen
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Stuart Richardson

The name is just something somebody on the internet said once. If you are a looking for a classic looking 35mm lens with pleasing bokeh, it certainly fits the bill, but I don't think there is anything particularly magical about it, other than how that moniker drives up the prices. Basically, my advice would be that if the price is good and you want a classic rendering, it is an appealing lens. If the price is high, and if you are wondering whether it will give you magical results because of

Ray Vonn

Yes that seems to be the one and in good condition too. I’d recommend it because modern lenses from all manufacturers seem to render too alike these days but the Summicron IV doesn’t, it has its own character, and is not streamlined to just bokeh, which is a subjective thing anyway. It is a Leitz lens, so in good condition it will not will be crap; it will be good. But you should spend time getting to know what it does well and what it doesn’t do well (which is all part of the fun) and you will

pippy

Don't! Unless, of course, you really need an enormous amount of depth-of-field... As Arnaud has already written in the post which immediately followed yours; if you shoot at f16/f22 the resultant images will be MUCH softer than had they been shot at f11 due to diffraction. I also agree with what Ray Vonn says in post #41 in that you could find yourself spiralling into a bottomless pit unless you take a step back and really give some serious consideration to your position. There is a ve

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Posted (edited)

It would be good for the OP to first state what his photographic intentions are.

  • Bokeh is subjective. What one considers nice, another may not.
  • Is 35mm an essential pre-requisite?
  • Is a minimum f/2 a pre-requisite? Bokeh often gets better at f/1.4 or f/1.2. e.g. Summilux 35 and Voigtlander Nokton 35  f/1.2.
  • Does it have to be a Leica?
  • There are many lenses that render nice out-of-focus areas in the image. 

If OP is just looking to buy the Summicron 35mm IV then a price vs condition assessment needs to be made. A physical inspection of the lens is needed and only the OP can do it. Price points for this lens are readily available online.

And yes, the photos are of the IV.

Edited by rramesh
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I'd say go for it! It's a very nice lens and if the glass is good (no fungus, haze, etc.), you can't really go wrong with it. The price you mentioned seems like a good deal (original hood included is a plus), even if you send it for CLA later.
The color rendering of this lens is amazing. When I shoot the V4 on my M-P240, post production is sooo much easer compared to  when I shoot with the Summilux 35mm ASPH FLE, which colors are often not as easy to get 'right' (to my eyes) when shot on the 240.

As others aready have mentioned, bokeh is not that special and i.m.h.o. rather ugly at f2. Stopped down from f4 and up it smoothes out very nicely.

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Sorry , I have another question (surely a basic one  for most of you) : If it merely says LEITZ SUMMICRON  on the lens could it be a fake ? Here in Paris you sometimes see  good offers but there is a lot of fraud too - one becomes paranoid easily ...

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2 minutes ago, vonrozen said:

Sorry , I have another question (surely a basic one  for most of you) : If it merely says LEITZ SUMMICRON  on the lens could it be a fake ? Here in Paris you sometimes see  good offers but there is a lot of fraud too - one becomes paranoid easily ...

Never seen fake Summicron-M myself.

I had this type of engravings on real (= good lens) Cron 35 that I used.

[ engravings can be

Inscriptions - LEITZ LENS MADE IN CANADA SUMMICRON-M 1:2/35
LEICA SUMMICRON-M 1:2/35 E39 3XXXXXX
LEITZ SUMMICRON-M 1:2/35 E39 3XXXXXX

from Wiki (again)

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41 minutes ago, vonrozen said:

Thanks Erik . I have heard this view ( that Canada lenses have plastic) being contested by forum members ( not on this one ! ) who claim to have worked for Leica !

Well if you click on the link in my post, there is photographic evidence of the plastic parts!

Erik

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Later versions of the v4 have the serial number engraved on the lens bezel, along with word Leica, the name of the lens and the filter size. The earlier lenses with plastic parts had the serial number engraved on the back of the aperture ring. Very easy to spot.

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, vonrozen said:

Sorry , I have another question (surely a basic one  for most of you) : If it merely says LEITZ SUMMICRON  on the lens could it be a fake ? Here in Paris you sometimes see  good offers but there is a lot of fraud too - one becomes paranoid easily ...

You shouldn't worry too much about your lens if it's perfect optically.

On a side note, if my understanding is correct, your lens was perhaps made in Germany.

Here are the cues I found:

1) The serial number engraved above indicated clearly that this lens was made in 1989.

2) This lens might be Ernst Leitz Wetzlar, ELW version.

With that said, there's a good chance that your lens is different from the ELC version, if so, it might not come with plastic parts.

IMHO, do not grab the lens while you pick up your camera. It is perilous and you should avoid it. Instead, grab the camera body.

Edited by Erato
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5 hours ago, lct said:

AFAIK if the lens is made in Germany it is engraved as such on the barrel of the lens.

Yep, you're right. I checked those photos from OP and it's "CANADA".

But the later post was No, 3486122, which could be misleading to me.

3485401 3486400 Summicron-M 3.5 cm 1:2 (black.ELC+ELW) 1989 1000
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sorry , yes  because working in the arts I came across another photographer who is persuading me to buy his lens for the same price, it is more recent ref number , as you can see . Thanks very much for your comments and advice. what a wonderful forum !  Kind Regards , Alexander ( Paris)

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to be honest it is so stressful to buy a Summicron, I think I will consider as an alternative the Leica M 2.8/35mm Summaron , which may be just as suitable but cheaper and always made in Germany (!) especially as i tend to shoot at f16 or 22 with long pauses , etc . Are those 2 lenses very different apart from their speed ?

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Summicron 35 would not offer f/22.

In those close down apertures, diffraction would ruin your pictures.

So I can see Summaron 2.8/35 better choice ...

Better yet is using neutral filters as x4 or x8 to close lens to "optimum apertures" f/8 or  f/11.

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