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Thinking about a Summitar - any advice pls

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I my considering my final, ultimate, categorically very last purchase of a(nother) Leica LTM camera and lens (really!). A Summitar is a possibility.


So far I have a '49 coated Elmar and '52 red scale Elmar, collapsible 50/2 Summicron, 50/1.8 chrome Canon and 50/2.5 Skopar (a 50/1.5 Nokton is available but is mostly used on my M4). I am slowly becoming familiar with the character of each lens, and for the time being the Canon & red scale Elmar are dedicated to colour, the Summicron & older Elmar to B+W (the Skopar is multi-purpose).


Now, with the opportunity of buying an exc++ coated Summitar plus accessories quite cheaply I am wondering if that lens would fit in my line-up, particularly for B+W street & townscape photography. Is there a place for a Summitar amongst all of these other lenses? Also, I'd rather not explore the enigma of the Summar (not sharp but nice tonality, etc). I'd greatly appreciate learning if, and how, people use a Summitar alongside other 50mm lenses. Many thanks. Al

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Alan, I think that by the point of view of a collector, Summitar is a fine lens to have... but for use, given your current set of 50, I see no real usefulness : I have one, but I always found that is rather similar to 1st Summicron as global rendition, with the Cron definitely sharper at 2 to 4; generally speaking, it's a more luminous Elmar...

If you like to have a DIFFERENT 50 I'd suggest Summar as a cheap choice, or a fine Summarit (supposed you cannot find an unscratched Xenon...)

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Luigi, do you know, wether there are any differences between a coated (!) Xenon

and a Summarit?




For what I know, the optical design is THE SAME : but maybe the glass were something different... the Xenon had a very "soft" glass in the front lens, terribly prone to scratches... Seems to me (when I GENTLY clean them...) that the Summarit has a harder surface... really you have a COATED Xenon ? Uncommon, I think...

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Thanks, Luigi!


No, I hav'nt a coated Xenon and I never saw one, but in the yaers about

1950 it was possible to send Lenses to Leitz and they coated them. So

I have a coated Summar, and some years ago I saw a coated 1.9/73 Hector.

(The front glass of the original Summar also is very soft. I think it was

polished before coating.)



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Until last week (when I bought a 90mm Elmar) Summitar was my only Leitz lens. I like it very much, very useable and very good results. A fine shooter! All my photos here in the forum were taken with Summitar.


Of course it is bigger than Elmar 3,5, but my pocket can acomodate the camera and Summitar without problems.



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  • 3 weeks later...

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