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SL2-s IQ with 50mm rom


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Dear all,

Been searching this forum but decided to ask directly...

I use my SL2-s with Sigma i-series (24 and 35) but am tempted by leica glass (and manual focus) as to be expected 😉

Question: will a 50mm R summicron ROM with adapter give a usable and comparable - or better - result IQ wise?

I can buy a nice one for not too much money and even with a new leica R to L adapter will be less than a M 50mm summicron for which I have the adapter btw.

Plus more R lenses will then be interesting to buy.

Or is modern glass so much better suited to digital that it is a futile idea?

Cheers, Arnold

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53 minutes ago, aj55 said:

Question: will a 50mm R summicron ROM with adapter give a usable and comparable - or better - result IQ wise?

 

No. Native glass like Sigma, Leica and Panasonic L mount lenses will always perform “better” because they are designed specifically for L mount cameras. 
However, adapted lenses can give you a different rendering, so they can also give you the look you are looking for. 

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Internet myth...  A high quality sensor like the SL2S will enhance the quality of older lenses. The only thing that might be better is that newer wideangle lenses may handle corners better than older M ones due to the incidence angle - but Leica's sensors are designed to minimize this effect. You may miss electronic corrections which is what Simone refers to - but most R glass does not need them. The optical part is not designed with a specific camera in mind. (except the Q)

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Posted (edited)

It depends on what you are looking for. If you are looking for absolute max image quality in a 50mm lens for the minimum price and are not bothered by AF or auto aperture, it would be hard to argue against the Voigtlander 50mm APO Lanthar, especially since you already have the adapter. The 50mm Summicron R is a very good lens and assuming it is in good condition and performing to spec, it will be a nice lens. But in terms of sheer technical performance, it will not be as good as the Sigma and Panasonic 50mm lenses for L mount. You still might prefer that classic look over those lenses though. That is a matter of taste. I think if you want to try a Leica lens a 50mm Summicron is a very good place to start. You just need to understand you are comparing a Leica lens designed in the 1970s to lenses designed in the last five years.

https://www.overgaard.dk/pdf/Summicron-R_50_mm_Technical_Data_en.pdf

In a simple answer to the question: "will a 50mm R summicron ROM with adapter give a usable and comparable - or better - result IQ wise?"

Usable: Definitely. Comparable or better? Doubtful. From technical measures like contrast and sharpness, no, it will not. From an aesthetic standpoint? Maybe. It will depend on your taste.

Edited by Stuart Richardson
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I like to add to the question. Does the Leica R adapter with ROM lenses keep the aperture open and close it like on R cameras, or does it act like the M lenses with no aperture control ?

I have been using 3rd party adapter and it only attaches the lens

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Posted (edited)

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I do not own R lenses but as a comparative I've used about 20 M lenses on my new to me SL2s and they all perform pretty much the same to my eyes as they do on my M camera. I'm not a big pixel peeper though. Here is a bit of a nothing pic but one with detail running along the width of the frame into the corners. This is with one of the least optically capable lenses I own from a technical standpoint, the 35mm pre aspherical Summilux v2. I think you will be fine with the R lenses. Like others have stated, you may even prefer the way they render over what you currently have. 

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Edited by costa43
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3 hours ago, Simone_DF said:

No. Native glass like Sigma, Leica and Panasonic L mount lenses will always perform “better” because they are designed specifically for L mount cameras. 
However, adapted lenses can give you a different rendering, so they can also give you the look you are looking for. 

Not in my experience. I have little experience with Leica SL lenses, but I do own the 35 Summilux TL, which is excellent in every technical aspect, but some of the R lenses appeal more to me. I have tried a few other brand lenses on the SL, both older MF designs and more modern designs like the Lumix 20-60 which is praised for its value for money...
It is really good and handy on both my TL2 and SL, but if I want pleasing results, even my lesser R zooms are on par, my 35-70 Macro Vario-Elmar F4 R is superior (and can be found at about 30% more than the new price for the 20-60).
I own a large collection of R primes from 60s to 80s mostly. They are all superior in performance to the 20-60.   

1 hour ago, Photoworks said:

I like to add to the question. Does the Leica R adapter with ROM lenses keep the aperture open and close it like on R cameras, or does it act like the M lenses with no aperture control ?

I have been using 3rd party adapter and it only attaches the lens

There is no adapter on the market for any MF lens that does this. All will just use the aperture set on the lens all the time.

37 minutes ago, Stuart Richardson said:

The ROM contacts only transport exif data and possibly metering information (at least they did in the R system when you used a rom lens and rom teleconverter). The aperture actuation in the R system was mechanical, not electronic. 

The ROM contacts and Leica R-L adapter does this:

  1. Recognize the lens attached and set the lens profile accordingly (and set for IBIS if your body has it)
  2. Save the chosen lens profile (non ROM) or the recognized lens name
    With a "dumb" adapter the EXIF always says 'UNKNOWN LENS'
  3. Read out the used aperture (ROM only)
  4. Read out the used FL (ROM zoom only)

IMO that functionality is very limited. 90% of my lenses are non-ROM so only point 2 remains as advantage to a dumb adapter costing 1/10 of the Leica one.
So, in most cases I just use an URTH adapter, about the cheapest on the market that is mechanically as good as the Leica one. Some others will perform the same, but some of the Chinese ones can potentially damage lens mount or camera mount, or have a mount lock that is unreliable so your lens could be dropped by accident. I have had experience (have used R - MFT, Canon, and other brands for years) with each of these malfunctions. Fortunately just a "near lens drop", but that was enough for me to ditch that adapter.

That also means that the value of ROM R lenses is greatly exagerated for use on the SL series. What counts is the design and condition of the lens. In case of the Summicron 50, it makes little sense to pay the premium for a ROM sample because you can find 40 year old Summicron 50 R lenses that perform exactly the same. Any ROM lens is around 20 years old now, so condition is more important than ROM / not ROM in my experience.

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37 minutes ago, dpitt said:


I own a large collection of R primes from 60s to 80s mostly. They are all superior in performance to the 20-60.   

 

Are you seriously comparing a prime lens to a basic kit lens?

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They work just fine. Expect a classical rendering, very good central sharpness. You will see some OOF CA, and in the extreme highlights,  a few pixels of purple blooming on the non APO lenses - both of which can be removed. This image SL & 50mm R Summilux (Non-APO)

 

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5 hours ago, jaapv said:

Internet myth...  A high quality sensor like the SL2S will enhance the quality of older lenses. The only thing that might be better is that newer wideangle lenses may handle corners better than older M ones due to the incidence angle - but Leica's sensors are designed to minimize this effect. You may miss electronic corrections which is what Simone refers to - but most R glass does not need them. The optical part is not designed with a specific camera in mind. (except the Q)

And M mount.

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, Simone_DF said:

Are you seriously comparing a prime lens to a basic kit lens?

Not really. You claimed that any L mount lens will perform better because it is designed for the L mount. Which is simply technically not true.There is no reason why a MF with a good adapter should not perform on a L mount camera. Maybe that holds true for AF and OIS lenses that need electronics. But optically any R lens will not loose performance because of the L mount adaptation.

I started by comparing the Summilux 35 TL prime which I own, and is my best L mount lens, although it is APS-C. From what I see in my results on the TL2 and SL, compared to the Lumix 20-60 and R lens zooms and primes.

Technology has advanced, and some budget lenses are very good now, but I think R lenses in general still offer very good value for money if the optical results are your priority. On top of that you get a very compact design, but of course you have to sacrifice AF and O.I.S.
So YMMV.  

I would be very interested in a direct comparison from the Summicron 50 R II against a Sigma 50 F2 for example.

Edited by dpitt
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I own a set of R-primes for small video projects on the SL2-S. There‘s a reason why their market value goes up. The cinema/video crowd buys them like hot cakes, especially the rarer ones with a favorable focal length like the 35mm Summicron V2. These are now in M territory, the 35mm Summilux R even surpassed the Noktiluxes a few years ago and is now factually unavailable (most ended up rehoused as cine primes).
 

Most R primes are vintage lenses. They flare (film people love flares), show lots of character and are pretty sharp for what they are. If you are looking for flatness, colder rendering (I prefer that for skin tones) and high built quality you’ll be served well with the 50mm Summicron V2, the pre-APO non-E6 Summilux, even the Summicron V1. It’s a superb lenses for people photography. Just make sure that your copy is flawless regarding the optics. The housing can look heavily used. 

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55 minutes ago, hansvons said:

the 35mm Summilux R … is now factually unavailable (most ended up rehoused as cine primes).

???

I just checked my camera trunk.  It's still there.  1991 ROM.

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49 minutes ago, AZN said:

I just checked my camera trunk.  It's still there.

Good for you  😉

I just checked eBay. There are a few for sale between 12,9K and 6K. 3 years ago, when I was in the market, only 2 were for sale over a few months. 

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As for looks I very much like the two pics. Of course I don't know how much they were edited but for lack of a better word I would say they have a "creamy" look.

Mind you I am doing my very best to avoid the word "analog", ;-))

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1 ora fa, aj55 ha detto:

E ho comprato un Summicron R 50mm molto belloper soli 350 € in un negozio di Rotterdam.

Sono felice 🙂

This seems to me to be the most important thing: if photography is not your job but your hobby, the search for a tiny fragment of happiness is the right approach. If I can give you a little advice, always focus at the largest aperture; only then, if necessary, close the aperture to the value you want. The focus of your Summicron -R (and mine) will be much more consistent and precise with focus peaking. Good light!

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