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50mm Summilux Version 1 - Opinions and Examples?


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14 hours ago, Laharrier said:

...I would have chosen the Summarit 1.5 but finding one without damaged coatings is nearly impossible. Just saw one sell on ebay for $600 with heavy cleaning marks. 

Oddly enough I did manage to pick up a Summarit (M) which is optically pretty much perfect - I suspect it has worn a filter for the whole of its 69-year life - and can confirm the remarks made in Arnaud's post above (#14) but I bought it because of - and not despite - these characteristics. It's an interesting lens when used at f1.5 - that's for sure!

As far as the reply from DAG goes; I have a pair of 7A 50mm f1.1 lenses (which are user-calibrated) and went through exactly the experience and process he details in his comments. If I needed 'stuff' to be pin-sharp at f1.1 / min-focus I would have had to accept that things will then be soft until f4. For my needs I chose to set them up to front-focus slightly (co-incidentally by around the same amount as your v1 Summilux) and I have to remember to tweak - to a very small extent - images shot wide-open close-up.


Edited by pippy
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Just dropping an update here as I have been using this lens more and more, and I absolutely love it. It’s rendering is definitely unusual. Colors skew towards reds and yellows, the contrast is low and it’s not terribly sharp wide open, but if you nail focus it’s actually not unsharp at all. Stop it down to f/2 and it comes alive. But the bokeh and smooth nature of this lens at f/1.4 make it really something special. As discussed earlier in the post it front focuses a bit at 1.4 but at f/2.8 it is perfect. Just knocking focus back a hair at 1.4 works beautifully. I suspect nice versions of this lens will grow in popularity as more people experience them. I think a big reason you see less than favorable reviews of this lens is that it’s fairly uncommon now and not many people have used one. 

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