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Having a hard time deciding between Summicrons and need help


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Hi all,


So I'm in a bit of a dilemma and wanna see what other people think. I had a v3 35 Summicron for several years and loved it, but ended up selling it for a German v4 35 summicron. Well, the glass on that lens was destroyed by DHL. So then I bought a Canadian v4 which arrived with the front ring that holds the hood way out of alignment, so the square hood sat at a 45 degree angle and the indexing was off...


DAG informed me that the front ring or retainer ring is held together with glue which is why that happened. So he aligned it back into place and even filed the ring a bit to get it perfect.


4 years later and still no problems with it coming loose. However, I am constantly worrying about banging the hood up against something and knocking it out of alignment again. Also, I hate circle hoods so that's out of the question.

I have someone wanting to buy my v4 Canadian 35 Cron for $2400 (after eBay fees) and I have a friend I can buy a v3 from for $1500 shipped. The paint is worn to hell on his but the optics are perfect and its mechanically perfect as well. 


Would you go through with it and pocket $900 in order not to not have to worry about it coming out of alignment? I want something I can be a bit rougher with and the v3 is fully brass.

I used a circular hood with the v3 when I had it and just absolutely hated that thing. It made my lens seem massive and I find the hoods terribly ugly. Since the glass is so recessed in the v3, can I just rock it without a hood??


I know the v4 is technically a superior lens but at the end of the day, will an actual photographer even notice a difference? I mean any summicron is a good summicron?


What would you do?


I have to make a decision within 24 hours. 





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From your description you've had both so you should be able to make an informed decision. You are not stuck with any one hood, there are plenty of independently produced hoods in a 39mm thread that come in all shapes and sizes available on ebay so you should be able to find a hood for the V3 that would suit you better.

Great forum name BTW.



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5 hours ago, Pyrogallol said:

Buy the v3.

Is the v4 the one I read about that breaks in half at a plastic bit?

Yes, that’s the Canadian version.  Op’s one should be fully fine as long as he holds it near the camera body when mounting/removing though. 

For the op, if financially doable, I’d tend to get the v3 and decide after keeping both for a while. I tend to keep lenses that received a good cla, but this is just me…

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I will echo the advice by @Aryel , especially the part regarding the need to hold a lens near the mount, when mounting and dismounting it. There are plenty of lenses that can eventually be twisted apart, if we grasp them too far forward.

Regarding the front element being recessed, I want to protect more than just the front element. If the lens has filter threads, and I do not want filter glass to be in front of the lens, or to use true hood, a step-up ring can act as a miniature hood. I like the brass Heliopan step-up rings. (For the non-English-speaking readers, the better term, when translated from English, may be “adapter ring.”

I am not qualified to provide advice regarding the several 35mm Summicrons. I clicked on this discussion to try to learn something. 🙂

Edited by RexGig0
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Ended up picking up a super nice v3 for $1400 from a reputable shop in person. Selling the v4 for $2800 so I can use the pocketed cash for an m2 body or film. It has been forever since I used one if these but it feels way better than the plastic Canadian v4. Nice, brass, has some weight to it, doesn’t feel like it’s gonna fall apart. Just nice having a lens I don’t feel like I have to baby anymore. Came with a nice 12504 hood but one thing I love about this lens is the glass is so recessed I can get by without a hood. Not a fan of the circle hoods and I know if I hardly bumped the square hood on the v4, it would knock the retainer ring or whatever out of alignment and I’d have a 45 degree angle hood and a DOP scale that is off. Easy to fit in a jacket pocket now if need be.Pretty stoked on it.The ergonomics of the v4 are much nicer but don’t think I’d ever get one again unless it’s the German one. I’m sure the version 4 is better for color film but I shoot hp5 100% of the time so…

Edited by streetpussy
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