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Next logical step to replace a 50mm


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Hello everyone,

I always hate it if my first post is one in which I ask for help, but I am kind of stuck and would love to get your thoughts on my next lens.

For years I shot analogue B&W on my M4 and loved every bit of it. I then decided to go digital and got myself an M10 Monochrom which I absolutely adore. 

As for lenses I had the 28mm Summicron ASPH II, 50mm Summilux E46 and the 90mm Summicron III. I never really thought about changing this setup as I loved the 50mm Summilux E46 to bits, though I noticed that I shot it less and less and in recent months not at all. Until now, any other combination did not make sense as, for me, the 35mm or the 75mm is too close to the 50mm, so why mix it up? 

However, as fate would have it my 50mm Summilux E46 is no more (unfortunately), so I am now left with only my trusty 28mm & 90mm Summicrons and a gaping hole in between. My initial thought was to replace it with another 50mm, but that raised a question: Why should I do that, especially since I seem to no longer gravitate to the 50mm focal length as I did in the past.

So would it make sense to sell the 90mm and switch to a 2 lens setup with 28mm and 75mm and if so which one of the 75mm? The 75 Lux is too heavy for my taste and I did have my fair share of focus shift with the 35mm 1.4 ASPH, which I would not want to have back in my bag. I would even consider the VM 75 Ultron, but the 0.5m close focusing distance really puts me off.

OR

Switch out everything and go for 35mm and 75mm to close the gap a bit?

OR

Get a 50mm Summicron and soldier on.

My thoughts are: I kind of like shooting "longer" focal lengths (50mm and up), but I am afraid the 75mm might not be able to really replace a 50mm as walk-around lens for which I used the Lux for years. The 28mm on the other side sometimes feels too wide to walk around with, so wouldn't it make more sense to go 35mm and 75mm? But on the other hand I love the 28mm focal length for shots across the table as it gives much more context and thanks to the 40MP cropping is always an option.

As you can see my thoughts are half-baked at best and it feels like a complete mess in my head. And apologies for rambling on and on and on...

So what would you do? Is there something I'm forgetting?

Thanks guys!

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I'm biased towards the 50 Summicron, as I used one as my main lens from 1968-on. With digital I added a v5 Summicron (like the built-in hood) but see little difference even on my M10. I always used 35, 50, & 90 as my kit, as even on film I'd crop a bit to cover any gaps in range. With M10 my 35 Summarit 2.5 has become my main lens, as IQ is great even cropping to 50 FOV.

Lately I've been shooting a lot of film - down to 50 ISO - and have been very impressed with the Nokton 50 f1.5 for both IQ and build quality. I wouldn't buy a Summilux anymore, so you might consider this as a lower-cost "sometimes" lens.

For my style I seldom go wider than 35, but when needed have the tiny VC 21 f4 and TT 28 f5.6 that pack in a corner of my bag.

From what you describe I think 28 & 75 would make a good kit for you,

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I've been using a CV 75mm f/1.8 Heliar Classic for many years and am quite happy with it. By design, it's not super sharp wide open (not soft focus, more "gentle" focus) and sharpens up stopped down. It also only focuses to 0.9m, so doesn't "overshoot" your rangefinder. Sadly, it's discontinued, but still available used, so might be worth testing out if you can afford to "rent" one buy buying it with the idea of selling it later at a modest loss if you don't like it.

It's my understanding that the new-ish 50/1.5 Heliar Classic is the same optical formula as the 75/1.8 Heliar Classic, so if you like that look, they still offer it, just in a different focal length. If you don't like soft-ish wide open, there are lots of other options.

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I was mostly into 50mm and then gravitated towards 35mm after some adaptation, learning to go even wider.

My personal approach is the following: if there is one lens to have, that would be a 35mm, ideal as a walk around and all purpose lens. A used pre-asph v2 could be quite interesting, still affordable, interesting at 1.4 and relatively sharper at 2 or 2.8.

I would then add a longer focal, 75mm being quite interesting for portraits or to make more abstract pictures (ie less cluttered, focusing on a specific "element"). An APO Summicron 75 or even Summarit 75 would be a good choice if you find the Lux 75 bulky.

NB: you can always add later, a "cheap" 21mm like a super angulon or used SEM21 for the occasional, creative wide angle shots. It could even challenge you more than a 28mm 

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I'd suggest getting an inexpensive used 50 and a 75. That way you can experiment a lot and not bemoan the loss of your 50 Summilux. There are a number of non-Leica 50s which emulate their Leica cousins at a fraction of the cost. Read thru the discussions on this forum to get some idea of the offerings, the comparisons, and pros and cons. Unless I was shooting professionally for a living, I wouldn't pay the exhorbitant Leica prices, having previously owned many Leica offerings over the last 55 years. I still own some, but I have gravitated toward the LTM ones which I use both on film and digital. I've been impressed by Voigtlander's offerings and some of the Chinese knock offs as well. Good luck in your new lens challenges.

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1 hour ago, Unukolora said:

So what would you do?

it all depends on your use case. you could consider just buying some used 3rd party lenses to test whether you like the 35mm and 75mm combo, 

if you want a really cheap 50mm replacement, the TTA 50mm f1.4 is surprisingly good 

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I wouldn't switch anything out right now, I would add one lens and see how you get on. While another 50 would be the logical choice, personally I wouldn't be without a 35, which is the one I reach for first and is different enough to a 50 to justify having both. The 35/2 ASPH v1 does it for me, but there are any number of other options from Leica and third parties.

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Walk around with 50 is something I have quit as soon as I was able to get my first 35mm.

Walking with 75 ? No idea how it could be any use...

50/75 are worse combination of framelines.  Way too close and confusing.

35 is nowhere close to 50. 35 is universal,  50 is nothing but short tele.  It must be huge emptiness to accommodate this range.

I did several and different attempts with 28. No cigar. 24 ... meh...

21 is my go to walkaround.

Disagree ?

Yes, because here is no simple answers. 

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3 hours ago, Unukolora said:

So would it make sense to sell the 90mm and switch to a 2 lens setup with 28mm and 75mm and if so which one of the 75mm? The 75 Lux is too heavy for my taste and I did have my fair share of focus shift with the 35mm 1.4 ASPH, which I would not want to have back in my bag. I would even consider the VM 75 Ultron, but the 0.5m close focusing distance really puts me off.

If you like your Summicron 28/2 v2 you will like the Summicron 75/2 apo as well.

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I would like to second the recommendation of the 75 Summarit (especially the 2.4) as a compact option with excellent image quality.  I also have the 75 cron which I adore, but I often opt for the summarit due to the weight and size difference 

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I'ld go for 35 summicron or equivalent, old look, and ditto 50mm. In my pictures together this is 60-70% of the lenses used. This combo allows some adaptation to the subject (isolation). They are all excellent choices.

Then for wide take a very small lens, like 28mm F/5.6 (I saw I used it very much in cities and landscapes - you have to turn the aperture down anyway.) There are interesting old ones and some very interesting new ones. They are so easy to pocket.

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28 + 75 involves a lot of changes; the right lens is always the other one, so opportunistic shots are missed.

35 + 50 may seem restrictive at first, but makes for a more relaxing pairing.

With digital, stitching removes much of the pull to carry a 28 or 21mm.

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According to your previous/current lens pedigree you will LOVE the 75 APO. You are right to let the old 75 lux go, the sporadic focus error via RF is just too frustrating and unpredictable and there is no point having a lens that requires a constant thought process to use.
When choosing the 75 APO make SURE that it is a post-2020 model, they are mostly flawless, many earlier ones have this internal FLE thing that gets "75 lux level" frustrating again. Alternatively, get the 75/2.4 Summarit. Will not break the bank and is excellent! Go with 2 lens setup, use 28 and 75 OR 35 nad 75.

For me, 75 and 90 are too close to own both in APO versions (I have a brutal black paint 9cm Elmar from the thirties instead to compliment my 75 APO when I need character). OTOH, the 50 and 75 are NOT too close for me, and neither are 28 and 35 or 35 and 50. To each his own.

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Not trying to dissuade the OP using 50mm lens here.

For me, it's time to re-use another 50mm lens, plenty out there to choose, like Summicron, another Summilux, Noctilux, and so many in third party brands.

A life time is not long enough to try them.

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I use the 28Summicron f2 and 75APO ( purchased in 2012). I only have one MP film body now that was purchased in 2010 so am looking for a third lens and a second body. I have thought about the MA and the Summilux 1.4 fle last years model in chrome (no close focus) or I could just forget about a new camera body and third lens and go for the 50m f2 APO. But dealers have said to me don't use the 50APO on a film body! 

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vor 14 Stunden schrieb Unukolora:

As you can see my thoughts are half-baked at best and it feels like a complete mess in my head

So you better wait till the fog rises. If I understand you correctly, you didn't use the 50 so much lately. Why not just wait until  you feel the need for that FL ? You can than decide in what direction to look. Fast, compact, clinical, dreamy or just  plain vanilla....... 

 

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