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Guest guy_mancuso

Summarit Series 35,50,90 Ugly Test

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Oh the 21mm Elmarit is the brother of the 28 cron and they render very similar. i have it love it and it stays in the bag for use all the time. Great lens

 

Hey my friend

 

I totally agree on the rendition of the 21 Elmarit. I have struggled trying to reduce my total investment in M lenses without throwing the baby out with the bathwater! I went back and forth between the 21 Elmarit and the 24 Elmarit because the 24 Elmarit is probably the sharpest tool in the shed. But after much comparing I finally decided (as I also did with the 50 Lux pre-asph compared to the newest 50 Lux asph) that the drawing of the 21 Elmarit was overall superior to the 24. I say this with the total understanding that this reflects my personal priorities, not something you could measure. The 24 probably measures better than most and provides wonderful images but just doesn't create the magic of the 21. I think the issue boils down to the OOF portions of the image but I may be wrong. Just seems that way to me.

 

I think it is possible that we are all chasing the resolution, contrast and other measurables that define the criteria for purchase. I won't go further because Sean Reid has gone way beyond what I could ever hope to achieve in defining the need to fulfill your personal imaging priorities. So long as you stick to what floats your personal boat, you ultimately can't go wrong.

 

Woody Spedden

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...defining the need to fulfill your personal imaging priorities.

Woody Spedden

 

Hi Woody,

 

That is indeed what it comes down to. I've been eating, sleeping and breathing Summarits throughout this holiday week/weekend and there's lots of material to sort and prepare. Testing aside, I've been shooting with them, for most of the day each day, Thursday through today.

 

They're excellent lenses, all four of them and, if F/2.5 is fast enough for a given photographer, I think he or she should give them serious consideration. They are not "starter" lenses at all; I could easily see a photographer keeping any of them for many years.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

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Guest guy_mancuso

I agree if the speed is fast enough for your type of work than these are great lenses to have. They have almost everything going for them in many ways. Honestly i think it ill come down to speed and look for many people. What the third element brings price adds something else to the party and that maybe a extra lens for travel to replace a bigger and heavier lens. I also think it will be a gap lens for some also . Like a person that may have a 50 and 90 and needs a 75 to fill in the gap. So in the end they will be very popular and sell pretty well for leica. If you think about it buying all four lenses is 6k , many have 2 lenses that cost that much. Pretty interesting to think about it just in terms of dollars

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Good to know that the Summarits are excellent, it would have been surprising if they hadn't been.

 

Sounds like good business for Leica even though one buyer category - people buying a Summarit instead of another Leica lens - will impact sales of the faster lenses. There will, for example, be a proportion of buyers of the 75mm f2.5 who might otherwise have gone for the APO 75/2.

 

Hopefully, we'll see the same excellence appear lower down the focal length scale with some more reasonably priced wide-angles and it will be interesting to see which older lenses are retired over time.

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Guest guy_mancuso

Nice follow up would be a 12mm f4 and 15mm f4 for around the same money. But leica still needs to make a few new fast ones 21mm F2 and a 24mm F2. That extra stop can mean a make or break for some folks.

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Guest guy_mancuso

Mark you maybe right people may opt for a less expensive 75mm for example but volume maybe what they are thinking with the Summarits. In leica terms there not expensive and you can certainly buy a few at once compared to buying one fast Lux or Cron. My only fear and it is only a thought really is Leica getting away from the fast glass but I really don't think they will do that, sometimes there is more pride than money at stake. Leica is one of those few companies that does care about there pride and reputation. But i am really watching what there next turn will be.

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Guy, I'm sure the volume of Summarit sales will be great but there will at least be some impact on sales of the Summicrons where the extra cost for half a stop might not seem worth it.

 

Interesting to know if they'd go for as wide as 12mm and 15mm, wouldn't they stick to the "standard" focal lengths of the Frankenfinder first?

 

I wonder too about faster lenses. Only Leica know where they are headed in the terms of sensor but if you look at the Nikon D3 - been playing with one and the results at ISO 6400 are impressive - larger sensor, similar pixel count, greater sensitivity/lower noise, less need for fast lenses, at least to ensure correct exposure.

 

A larger sensor for the M in the future might reduce the justification for faster lenses.

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Guy, I'm sure the volume of Summarit sales will be great but there will at least be some impact on sales of the Summicrons where the extra cost for half a stop might not seem worth it.

 

Interesting to know if they'd go for as wide as 12mm and 15mm, wouldn't they stick to the "standard" focal lengths of the Frankenfinder first?

 

I wonder too about faster lenses. Only Leica know where they are headed in the terms of sensor but if you look at the Nikon D3 - been playing with one and the results at ISO 6400 are impressive - larger sensor, similar pixel count, greater sensitivity/lower noise, less need for fast lenses, at least to ensure correct exposure.

 

A larger sensor for the M in the future might reduce the justification for faster lenses.

 

Thanks Mark, since I debated the choice of a D3, right before I opted for the M8. I suppose I really don’t care at this point since the Leica has a lot more appeal, or so they say.

Regards,

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Daniel, the D3 and M8 are different tools for different work. I use a Nikon for some of my weirder projects. Right now, the D2x is out in the cold trying to capture pictures of badgers using a motion sensor to trip it and send images via wireless back to me in the warm here watching the monitor with a cup of Earl Grey. Not exactly M8 territory.

 

My own hands-on with the D3 says it's very impressive and instantly conveys the impression of being "sorted", though I daresay it will have the odd problem. OTOH, it's huge, intimidating, noisy (though not as noisy as the D2x) and the separate wireless pack is going to be a pain. A lot is riding on it for Nikon and I hope to have one by Christmas.

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I believe the Summarit line will be a winner for Leica. I suspect they will steal some sales away from Leica's other more expensive lenses because they are so good. However, the fact that they are so good and more competitively priced puts Leica in position to take sales from C/V and Zeiss. The other sales position the Summarits fill is what Guy touched on earlier - a more affordable gap lens. Thats the position I am in with the 75mm focal length. I already have the 50 Lux and 90 Cron AA and would like to have a 75mm. In my case, its difficult to justify the cost of the 75mm Cron AA - not as difficult to justify the Summarit.

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It's very interesting to see just how good a modern conventionally designed lens - without throwing every expensive technical trick at the design - can be.

 

Makes the wonder whether by revisiting the design of some of the older lenses (thinking especially 35mm Summilux here) a reformulation of the lens design could help improve them.

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Guest guy_mancuso

Well what I think folks don't understand in lens design is it is not really hard to make good or great 2.5 or 2.8 lenses , it does not task special lens designs like the Lux or Crons do which require a whole new set of problems that need to be controlled by APO techniques and ASPH techniques. It is very hard to design a 1.4 or 1.2 lens compared to a 2.5 lens. So you really have to throw in a lot of tricks to make a excellent Lux lens. Look at the 50 lux for example if you noticed the size alone compared to the 50 summarit it is almost twice as long . More elements and more lens issue that need to be solved in the design of the lens. It is luckily also one of the best 50mm lenses in the world too but that is because leica is extremely good at this which the reality is leica is a optical company first than a camera maker .This makes the Summarits easier and cheaper to make because they don't have to get into Apo and Asph designs. This also brings the costs way down. This is not really new stuff even Canon and Nikon need to do the same things in there fast glass and less work in the slower glass.

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One thing I dont understand is that all Summarits are f2.5 even though their price is also about the same. Why?

Well, I would have expected a 90/2.5 more expensive to build than lets saya 50/2.5

With all used Summicrons out there I dont see why anybody would buy a 35 or 50 mm "slowish" f2.5 lens.

However I find the f2.5 for 75 and 90mm much more interesting/ better price-value-ratio.

If I compare prices of the 75/2.0 and 90/2.0 to those of the Summarits and looking atthose comparison images I dont see how to justify the money for the more expensive lenses in the 75 and 90 mm range.

In my case I might add a 75 Summarit to my 75/1.4 for light travel.

Thanks Guy and others here for posting images from the lenses.

Cheers, Tom

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I dont see why anybody would buy a 35 or 50 mm "slowish" f2.5 lens.

However I find the f2.5 for 75 and 90mm much more interesting/ better price-value-ratio.

If I compare prices of the 75/2.0 and 90/2.0 to those of the Summarits and looking atthose comparison images I dont see how to justify the money for the more expensive lenses in the 75 and 90 mm range.

In my case I might add a 75 Summarit to my 75/1.4 for light travel.

Thanks Guy and others here for posting images from the lenses.

Cheers, Tom

 

I've been using a 35/2.5 for a few years now and never felt that restricted. At least not on the M8. At times on my M4 an extra half stop may have made for a more comfortable posture (leaning against walls and lightposts for slow shutter spead support.) But still, 2.5 covers 95% of all needs.

 

And, if I didn't already have an excellent 90/2.8M, the 90/2.5 would be my top choice in a long lens - light, fast, cheap.

 

Thanks for running the tests Guy.

 

Tom

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Tom, I think that the nicer spec of the 90 Summarit is offset by the ease of designing a short tele compared with a 35 or 50, which can be tricky to get right. Look at all the great 90s and 75s, and compare to the many, many iterations of the 35s and 50s.

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Guest guy_mancuso

Okay here comes the big test on sharpness. I will run a separate thread it is longer than a roll of toilet paper. Rough work glad i don't do this everyday. LOL

 

Sean I don't envy you for one bloody second my friend. LOL

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The color checker shots show the saturation of the older 35 & 90 lenses is down.  Not enough to worry over.

 

I do a lot of nature/landscape and corner sharpness is mayor criteria for me and you do not address it.  I settled on the 35 Asph as it made better corners over my V4.    My 90 macro makes sharper photos than any of the 90`s I have except at 2.0 and 2.8.   

 

I tried 4 75 1.4 and they all were soft until around 2.5 and many other report the same.   I now know the lens has focus shift like the C Sonar and I should maybe have had it calibrated for 1.4.  With digital,  it becomes easier to do testing.

 

All in all, your test show buy the lens by size, weight, speed criteria rather than  center sharpness.  

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[...] I tried 4 75 1.4 and they all were soft until around 2.5 and many other report the same.   I now know the lens has focus shift like the C Sonar and I should maybe have had it calibrated for 1.4. [...]

 

Matter of calibration i guess. The 11815 i've just received shows little to no focus shift at first glance (TBC) and is plenty sharp at f/2.8 and on. Soft lens at f/1.4 though. F/2.8 on my Sony A7s mod here: https://photos.smugmug.com/Other/Samples/i-DFk6bFL/0/O/DSC03315-c1si.jpg (9MB file). Funny to read Guy and Sean nine years ago BTW.

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