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What's your favorite 35mm lens on the M11? Any surprises compared to prior M bodies?


eyeheartny
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On 9/5/2022 at 1:44 AM, Jeff S said:

I was merely responding to your post about renting the 35 Summicron and Summilux lenses, and your tastes and preferences regarding them and resulting output. 

Personally, I don’t rely on lenses for unique looks.  There are already myriad rendering possibilities using either of the two cited lenses, depending mostly on me and my shooting, editing, printing and display decisions. Last thing I need is some “weird niche” lens to distinguish my work.  YMMV.

Jeff

 

As a sumicron owner I sometimes consider getting the summilux but from the comparison imaes I have seen online the two lenses produce pretty much identical images they only real difference beting at f1.4 or f2. Would you agree?

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35 minutes ago, Antonio Russell said:

As a sumicron owner I sometimes consider getting the summilux but from the comparison imaes I have seen online the two lenses produce pretty much identical images they only real difference beting at f1.4 or f2. Would you agree?

Speed is the most obvious distinction, but for me there are other differences regarding flare tendencies, out-of-camera contrast/color, bokeh (depending on circumstances), as well as handling and ergonomics. All of these characteristics can be addressed by the user -  at the shooting, editing and/or viewing/printing stages - so I wouldn’t make any definitive statements. I can produce widely varying pics/prints from either lens. Only way for you to effectively determine IMO is to use them in your own workflow. Online viewing of others’ work wouldn’t/doesn’t influence my assessment.

Jeff

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1 hour ago, Jeff S said:

Online viewing of others’ work wouldn’t/doesn’t influence my assessment.

Jeff

Me neither but the comparisons over at https://www.streetsilhouettes.com/ give me the impression that at the end of the day the actual images produced are pretty much indistinguisable... 

Out of curiouslity, why do you have both cron and lux in the 35 mm focal length?

 

Edited by Antonio Russell
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3 minutes ago, Antonio Russell said:

Me neither but the comparisons over at https://www.streetsilhouettes.com/ give me the impression that at the end of the day the actual images produced are pretty much indistinguisable... 

 

 

That guy is a troll and a provocateur. If you read his stuff he's clearly saying outrageous stuff on purpose. Either that or he's losing his mind. He's gone way off the rails over the last few years. COVID seems to have broken his brain. I'd advise taking everything he says with a very, very large grain of salt. I'm genuinely not sure whether he's unwell or just turned into a cheap troll. 

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5 minutes ago, Antonio Russell said:

Me neither but the comparisons over at https://www.streetsilhouettes.com/ give me the impression that at the end of the day the actual images produced are pretty much indistinguisable... 

Out of curiouslity, why do you have both cron and lux in the 35 mm focal length?

 

At the end of the day, nobody knows or cares what gear has been used for any of my pics and prints, if worthy in the first place.  This has been demonstrated by print viewing, from both film and digital.  Only exceptions are curious photo gear-heads.  
 

My most significant criteria for lens choice are available native options for the camera system, handling and ergonomics, speed/focal length, and any other special requirements (SL lens weather sealing, etc). I didn’t ‘need’ to add the M Summilux FLE to my longstanding Summicron, but it gave me another capable option to use with my current 3 M digital bodies (M(9) M, M10-M and M10-R). I listed some of the different characteristics. But sometimes less is more. Besides these two lenses, I own only one 28mm and one 50mm M lens, despite being an M user since the 80’s. I’ve tried and sold others, and might end up doing that with one of the 35’s; the FLE is still relatively new to me.

Jeff

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The 35mm Summilux FLE is fantastic with the M11. It in no way feels like it's underperforming versus the camera. I have that and the APO Summicron 50mm. While not exactly apples to apples, I'd expect the APO 35 performs similarly to the 50mm. 

The APO is somewhat sharper, no doubt about it. The colors are also a bit less saturated and probably more true-to-life. The Summilux is more romantic. It's a little creamier, even at the same aperture, and the colors are richer/dreamier.

That being said, the 35mm is *plenty* sharp with the M11. Here's a picture of my cat I took with the 35 Summilux the day I upgraded from my Q2 to the M11:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/jeremybunting/52264127106/in/dateposted-public/

Pic will look better on Flickr. Very minimal editing here. I'm pretty sure this was at f2.8 or so--the aperture info frequently displays wrong as we all know.

This one I'm fairly certain was shot wide open:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/jeremybunting/52274848129/in/dateposted-public/

Look at those pores, Jesus Christ. You can't tell me the lens is beginning to show its age if you're sure you're in focus.

My M11 is with me nearly every time I leave the house these days. I take the APO 50 out for daytime and outdoor shooting. But I also do quite a bit of nightlife shooting indoors in very suboptimal lighting conditions. The extra stop on the Summilux FLE makes a huge difference. The M11 starts to get more noisy than I'd like past ISO 3200. The extra stop is the difference between my having to shoot at ISO 3200 versus 6400.

If I didn't have the APO 50, I'd be tempted by the APO 35, but the Summilux 35 FLE is indispensable. The combination of these two lenses really feels like all I'll ever need. I'm sure I'll be tempted to pick something else up somewhere along the line (maybe a Noctilux 75mm).

Anyway, suffice to say, I can't imagine you'll be disappointed with how the 35 Summilux FLE performs on your M11. If I had to choose only one lens, it would be that one for the low light performance. 

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6 minutes ago, Jeremy Bunting said:

The 35mm Summilux FLE is fantastic with the M11. It in no way feels like it's underperforming versus the camera. I have that and the APO Summicron 50mm. While not exactly apples to apples, I'd expect the APO 35 performs similarly to the 50mm. 

The APO is somewhat sharper, no doubt about it. The colors are also a bit less saturated and probably more true-to-life. The Summilux is more romantic. It's a little creamier, even at the same aperture, and the colors are richer/dreamier.

That being said, the 35mm is *plenty* sharp with the M11. Here's a picture of my cat I took with the 35 Summilux the day I upgraded from my Q2 to the M11:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/jeremybunting/52264127106/in/dateposted-public/

Pic will look better on Flickr. Very minimal editing here. I'm pretty sure this was at f2.8 or so--the aperture info frequently displays wrong as we all know.

This one I'm fairly certain was shot wide open:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/jeremybunting/52274848129/in/dateposted-public/

Look at those pores, Jesus Christ. You can't tell me the lens is beginning to show its age if you're sure you're in focus.

My M11 is with me nearly every time I leave the house these days. I take the APO 50 out for daytime and outdoor shooting. But I also do quite a bit of nightlife shooting indoors in very suboptimal lighting conditions. The extra stop on the Summilux FLE makes a huge difference. The M11 starts to get more noisy than I'd like past ISO 3200. The extra stop is the difference between my having to shoot at ISO 3200 versus 6400.

If I didn't have the APO 50, I'd be tempted by the APO 35, but the Summilux 35 FLE is indispensable. The combination of these two lenses really feels like all I'll ever need. I'm sure I'll be tempted to pick something else up somewhere along the line (maybe a Noctilux 75mm).

Anyway, suffice to say, I can't imagine you'll be disappointed with how the 35 Summilux FLE performs on your M11. If I had to choose only one lens, it would be that one for the low light performance. 

Many, many thanks for this. Exactly the kind of post I was hoping to get! First off, you're absolutely right that the FLE is performing beautifully on your M11, it's certainly razor sharp and renders really nicely. Good to know about the ISO performance on the M11 being iffy above 3200 to your taste. Funny enough it isn't sharpness that was my main concern, more the microcontrast and focus falloff of the 35 APO that seems just breathtaking. 

What made you pick the 50 APO versus the 50 Summilux ASPH? I've been considering whether I can swing both the FLE and 50 Lux ASPH instead of trying for the 35 APO and the pricing should just about work out comparably. I've also thought about the Voigtlander 50 APO as well since I don't use 50 nearly as much as 35, but to have a nice 50 with that absurdly good IQ. Would appreciate any thoughts you have! 

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3 minutes ago, eyeheartny said:

What made you pick the 50 APO versus the 50 Summilux ASPH? 

Well, I already had the 35mm Summilux. The M11 crops beautifully so I didn't feel like the 50 Summilux would give me much more than what I had. I thought the APO 50 would offer a different experience, and it does for the reasons described in my last post. Plus, the lens has been out for quite a while, so I was able to get a super clean used example for $6k. 

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I shoot film almost exclusively now, but I bought the 35 FLE when I was using my M10. It does have a more cinematic,  almost filmic quality that I very much like. It's still great with film, in its own way.

I don't own--likely won't ever own unless I move back from medium format--the 50 APO, but for the image quality I most admire, I consider it the finest lens in production. Period. 

So, I was eager to see the 35 APO, but I just don't see the same IQ that the 50 expresses. Sure, it's crazy sharp. But there will always be a younger guy, with a quicker hand, and a faster gun....

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Just now, bags27 said:

I shoot film almost exclusively now, but I bought the 35 FLE when I was using my M10. It does have a more cinematic,  almost filmic quality that I very much like. It's still great with film, in its own way.

I don't own--likely won't ever own unless I move back from medium format--the 50 APO, but for the image quality I most admire, I consider it the finest lens in production. Period. 

So, I was eager to see the 35 APO, but I just don't see the same IQ that the 50 expresses. Sure, it's crazy sharp. But there will always be a younger guy, with a quicker hand, and a faster gun....

Damn you! Now I want to rent the 50 APO and compare it to the Voigtlander 50 APO Lanthar and the 50 Summilux! 😂

 

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4 minutes ago, eyeheartny said:

Damn you! Now I want to rent the 50 APO and compare it to the Voigtlander 50 APO Lanthar and the 50 Summilux! 😂

 

Why not just go on Flickr and study photos? 

The problem for me is that what I love most about the 35 FLE or 50 APO renderings (different things) is only expressed maybe once per 100 shots. I simply don't know how to replicate the look on demand. But, like pornography, I know it when I see it. 

All that matters is whether you see something in the rendering that you like. And then can you tame the lens to create photos that way? That's why I generally shoot with a 75 year old non-ASPH LTM lens rather than with my FLE.

Edited by bags27
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Here's a relatively boring portrait from a friend's wedding, taken with the APO 50. I think it captures the lens' strengths and qualities with respect to detail, color, and bokeh (even if the composition isn't particularly interesting). The way the dude in white's right shoulder slowly softens and blends into the background without that exaggerated iPhone portrait mode look--it's a pretty magical lens (when there's light).

https://www.flickr.com/photos/jeremybunting/52277805433/in/album-72177720301176412/

 

Edited by Jeremy Bunting
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16 minutes ago, Jeremy Bunting said:

Here's a relatively boring portrait from a friend's wedding, taken with the APO 50. I think it captures the lens' strengths and qualities with respect to detail, color, and bokeh (even if the composition isn't particularly interesting). The one the dude in white's right shoulder slowly loses softens and blends into the background without that exaggerated iPhone portrait mode look--it's a pretty magical lens (when there's light).

https://www.flickr.com/photos/jeremybunting/52277805433/in/album-72177720301176412/

 

That is exactly, precisely, what I most admire about that lens. The natural blending from the emphasized subject to background. No other lens, to me, tells the same natural story. It accords perfectly with what my eye "psychologically" sees. Thanks!!!

Maybe the 35 APO is just too wide for that type of rendering. And I've never seen it on the VC 50 APO. If I had, I'd have bought it in a picosecond. 

Edited by bags27
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14 hours ago, Jeremy Bunting said:

Here's a relatively boring portrait from a friend's wedding, taken with the APO 50. I think it captures the lens' strengths and qualities with respect to detail, color, and bokeh (even if the composition isn't particularly interesting). The way the dude in white's right shoulder slowly softens and blends into the background without that exaggerated iPhone portrait mode look--it's a pretty magical lens (when there's light).

https://www.flickr.com/photos/jeremybunting/52277805433/in/album-72177720301176412/

 

I think a softer lens would have benefit the guys skin. sharpness is not everything 

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4 hours ago, rcusick said:

28mm is becoming the new 35 for me.  The ability to crop with 60mp is amazing. 

Well the M11 at 1.3 and 1.8 crop modes turns a 28mm into a 28 to nearly 50 and a 35 into a 35 to nearly 75 at a decent resolution. 

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21 minutes ago, SJH said:

Well the M11 at 1.3 and 1.8 crop modes turns a 28mm into a 28 to nearly 50 and a 35 into a 35 to nearly 75 at a decent resolution. 

Yeah, but the perspective is still the same as the original lens. It does change the look compared to using a lens at its native focal length. Cropping is clearly not as good as using a lens at its “real” focal length due to the changes in perspective that affords. 

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