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50mm dilemma: 50mm f/0.95 Noctilux vs 50mm f/2 APO Summicron


Pierre68
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Hello everybody.

I just wanted to know what you guys would do. As a 50mm fan I have a 50mm f/1.2 AA Noctilux (latest), a 50mm f/1.4 Summilux, a Zeiss 50mm f/1.5 Sonnar and a 50mm f/2.8 Elmar collapsible. I happen to have som cash available and two used lens showed up in my neighbourhood: A 50mm f/0.95 Noctilux and a 50mm f/2 APO Summicron. Both for about the same used price. So my question is if you had the same lens, which of those two would you like to add to your collection?

Thanks for your input

Pierre

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Hello Pierre,

From the number your 50mm lenses,

I'd say this (as usual ! 😞 😞 ) :

simple, take the first one, then the other later on 😉

...

that is what I'd do anyway... having done this for so long.

 

 

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I am a 50 fan as well :)

I’d say the Noct .95 has some magic but is not an everyday lens : it is big and has only interest at .95 (since you have the Noct 1.2 and a lux 50). how often would you use it, all the more so the 50/1.2 can give you some magic as well ?

the APO 50 is amazing (for me) not only because of its sharpness, more because it its amazing clarity and the clean pictures you get, at all distances including MFD, and is cleaner at high iso than other Lenses.

it would probably get more use and a more different look than the .95 from the lenses you already have

but of course, it depends on what you shoot and as @a.noctiluxwrote, you may end up with both (which I did) ;)  

 

 

 

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Thanks for your input. I shoot candid portraits (some of which in low available light), street photography and landscape. So I guess both lens would have their share of good use.

Actually I use the Summilux for 70-80% of my shots, portraits, landscape and street photography, it does every thing well. Then comes the f/1.2 Noctilux for some low light candid portrait, or even "not so low" light as it really has a wonderful rendering of its own for portraits. The Zeiss f/1.5 also has a nice signature of its own between f/1.5 and F/2 for portraits. The Elmar is used mostly with B&W film.

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I am a 50 fan as well. I own the Noct 0.95, the Lux Asph and two APO 50’s.

In a way your question is not logic as the APO and the Noct are incomparable. Nevertheless, I would choose for the APO 50. It is much more an alround lens and quite small, which makes it ideal for travelling.

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I can add that in my practice, not one lens is logic choice.

Another track, I follow my feeling and buy when I can, use the device then decide keeping or "whatever".

I know that is the only way to learn by myself.

So no logic choice Apo-Summicron-M or Noctilux 0.95 or another "nice" 50mm lens.

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That's a nice assortment of 50's, well covered.  You can never have too many 50's with Leica.  Make the dealer an offer for both and then start looking for the Noct 1.0 and the original Summilux, 1959-1961, follow up with the Summilux 1961-mid 2000's.  They're all different and special.  Have fun.  

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Posted (edited)

Considering your assortment of 50mm lenses and the fact that you already have a 50mm f/1.2 AA Noctilux, I would lean toward getting the 50mm f/2 APO Summicron.  IMHO it will give you a rendering that will be different from the rest of the 50s in your line up.  It is also lighter in weight, making it more of a daily walkaround lens than the 50/0.95 Noctilux.

It goes without saying that if both are within reach money wise, get both.  😁

Edited by Herr Barnack
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Posted (edited)

50 is my favourite focal length. You have 2 of the very lenses I’m considering getting next for more “character” (the reissued 1.2 or the 1.4)!

I used to own the M 50 APO and thought it a very reliable lens (no obvious field curvature, low flare, low chromatic aberration, lovely built-in hood etc), but now I have the Voigtlander 50 APO Lanthar instead, which produces remarkable image quality when considering the much lower price, albeit the Voigtlander has a larger lens length and no built-in lens hood.

It doesn’t answer your question, but for very well corrected lenses, rather than owning the M 50 APO, I am very pleased with the APO Lanthars (50 and 35mm available), partly because it also leaves me with residual cash for exploring a complementary purchase of what I consider to be the more “unique characters” of the Leica 0.95 / 1.2 / 1.4.

Edited by Jon Warwick
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Personally, I would lean towards the 50 APO if I had your collection of 50’s. The 0.95 has more purple fringing than I would like wide open, and if I weren’t planning on using it wide open I’d grab the ‘Lux instead, so it becomes a true niche lens, and you already have that niche covered with the 1.2. Couple that with size/weight of the 0.95, and the viewfinder blockage… Get the APO instead. Superb lens. It just “gets out of the way” when you use it—no surprises or weirdness. Superb micro contrast. Small and light. It’s a great lens.

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Posted (edited)

I have some 50’s 

the 0.95 aint everyday use unless u only have that lens like i was used to, but situationally u have some to pick from, it would go down the pecking order

my use case, the reissue 1.2 noctilux over the 0.95 and the apo and more preferred when travelling with one lens but not ruling out i’d still go with 1.2 noct in that matter

so my take, i’d go with the apo and next month, take the 0.95

dont let either of them loose! 
 

i have the lux asph which is my least use lens

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Edited by jakontil
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Posted (edited)
vor 18 Stunden schrieb Pierre68:

Hello everybody.

I just wanted to know what you guys would do. As a 50mm fan I have a 50mm f/1.2 AA Noctilux (latest), a 50mm f/1.4 Summilux, a Zeiss 50mm f/1.5 Sonnar and a 50mm f/2.8 Elmar collapsible. I happen to have som cash available and two used lens showed up in my neighbourhood: A 50mm f/0.95 Noctilux and a 50mm f/2 APO Summicron. Both for about the same used price. So my question is if you had the same lens, which of those two would you like to add to your collection?

Thanks for your input

Pierre

Do you use a digital or film body ?  The most important question here imo. If you use a film body, you won't be able to use the 0.95 open without a ND filter in normal lighting conditions.  

For me, using several film bodies, the need to fiddle with the ND filter on, off just became a nuisance... apart from the nuisance, the ND filter will give you a tint. I had a recurrent discussion with the lab because of this and  when they complained I knew it was the 0.95 with the ND filter.  Different brands have different tints, the Leica ND has a greenish tint.

pro: Unique rendering, huge max aperture, very nice for separating objects in medium distance

con: weight, size, need of ND filter if you want to make use of the charms of this lens.  If you use film, the max speed of your body will be 1/1000; if you use a digital  M  only  2 apertures faster.   If you go go a SL, you are fine, but then you have an M lens on a SL body.... 

Conclusion:   0.95 is a nice "special interest" lens, say for a wedding photographer.   Unless you are a collector or hoarder.. ..

( you may have guessed by now: I sold the 0.95  after two years  of a "shelf queen" existence. The ample number of Noctis on the bay tell me that I'm not the only one with that  conclusion ) 

 

 

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MP; NLX 0.95 open, Portra 400

Edited by Kl@usW.
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I have both lenses.  They are fantastic.  However, given what you already have, my advice is save the money.  If you must have something, then go on a trip or put yourself in a position to take more photos.  The lenses you have will already give you the coverage you need in ease of use, resolution, character, low light capability, etc.

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Am 20.7.2022 um 14:36 schrieb Drmat:


I have both lenses.  They are fantastic.  However, given what you already have, my advice is save the money.  If you must have something, then go on a trip or put yourself in a position to take more photos.  The lenses you have will already give you the coverage you need in ease of use, resolution, character, low light capability, etc.

Well I did not really thought about that. That would open a whole lot of opportunities....

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On 7/20/2022 at 3:02 PM, Pierre68 said:

Well I did not really bought about that. That would open a whole lot of opportunities....

Pierre, not clear for me.

So you would go on a trip and use what you have now, then ...

If it's the case, you may just delay your "Noctilux/Apo-Summicron" choice (s).

Not bad solution 😉.

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9 hours ago, a.noctilux said:

Pierre, not clear for me.

So you would go on a trip and use what you have now, then ...

If it's the case, you may just delay your "Noctilux/Apo-Summicron" choice (s).

Not bad solution 😉.

Sorry there was a typo in my post. It's corrected now. I meant I did never thought I could NOT buy one of these two lenses ans use the money for something else instead. But for now I am still sitting on the fence...

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If the goal were to complete a “collection,” I would carefully examine each lens, to determine the better-preserved sample. This alone, might provide the answer. I prefer that my pre-owned lenses be “pre-loved” lenses. If both are really nice, I would then research prices, and see which seemed to be the better financial deal. I will add the disclaimer that I am not a “collector,” though I do tend to accumulate multiple Fifties and Thirty-Fives.

On a more practical level, as the owner of a Summilux-M 50mm ASPH, an Elmar-M 50mm, and two “Special Edition” Summicrons, both with the 1979 optical formula, well, I know that the Summilux-M ASPH is plenty large enough to want to carry, on an M body, and provides the background blur that I really like, so, I would probably opt for the 50mm APO, which offers something just a bit different from any 50mm that I now have, while being the smaller of the two choices.  

 

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Posted (edited)

Hi Pierre

Which Leica cameras do you own?

Wide open, the 0.95/50mm works well with a good EVF (aka SL2, SL2S, Q2, M11).

 

Edited by Hanno
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7 hours ago, RexGig0 said:

If the goal were to complete a “collection,” I would carefully examine each lens, to determine the better-preserved sample. This alone, might provide the answer. I prefer that my pre-owned lenses be “pre-loved” lenses. If both are really nice, I would then research prices, and see which seemed to be the better financial deal. I will add the disclaimer that I am not a “collector,” though I do tend to accumulate multiple Fifties and Thirty-Fives.

On a more practical level, as the owner of a Summilux-M 50mm ASPH, an Elmar-M 50mm, and two “Special Edition” Summicrons, both with the 1979 optical formula, well, I know that the Summilux-M ASPH is plenty large enough to want to carry, on an M body, and provides the background blur that I really like, so, I would probably opt for the 50mm APO, which offers something just a bit different from any 50mm that I now have, while being the smaller of the two choices.  

 

I am not really considering myself as a collector. I am more like exploring the possibilities that different lenses offer. Both lens are in pristine condition. The Noctilux comes back from CLA by Leica Switzerland. The APO Summicon is in like new condition.  I agree with you that the 50mm Summilux Asph is a very nice lens and that's my most used lens as it is so polyvalent. The f/0.95 Noctilux might offer something more in term of catering light and Bokeh but I am aware that this will come at the price of more difficulties to neail focus when wide open.

6 hours ago, Hanno said:

Hi Pierre

Which Leica cameras do you own?

Wide open, the 0.95/50mm works well with a good EVF (aka SL2, SL2S, Q2, M11).

 

I have a M10R and a M10M with the latest iteration to the visoflex. I am not a big fan of EVF though... 

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