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Leica Summilux 25mm f1.4 or Elmarit-R 24mm f2.8


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Hi all D3 and L1 users.

 

Anyone had the chance to consider or compare the 4/3 Summilux 25mm f1.4 to the Elmarit-R 24mm 2.8 ?

 

Apart from the obvious aperature speed differences and associated bokeh, AF versus manual focus, I'm starting to form the opinion that with most Leica lenses, the sweet spots tend to be around the mid-aperature settings.

 

Price is not really an issue, even though the differences are pocketable.

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Hi all D3 and L1 users.

 

Anyone had the chance to consider or compare the 4/3 Summilux 25mm f1.4 to the Elmarit-R 24mm 2.8 ?

 

Apart from the obvious aperature speed differences and associated bokeh, AF versus manual focus, I'm starting to form the opinion that with most Leica lenses, the sweet spots tend to be around the mid-aperature settings.

 

Price is not really an issue, even though the differences are pocketable.

 

I have both lenses and they exhibit close to their best performance wide open and reach optimum performance 2 stops down. The 24mm Elmarit is an outstanding 70's vintage Minolta floating optical design, built to the highest mechanical standards by Leica in Germany. It is my favorite lens on my R8. In terms of optical performance, speed and modern day automation on a 4/3rds platform, the 25mm Summilux is a no brainer. Get on the waiting list at B&H and be patient.

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I've got the Elmarit-R 24 2.8 and it's a lens that one needs to use carefully. It exhibits significant field curvature which can be trap if used wide open and there are critical features near the edges. Stop it down and it improves noticeably in this respect. I've found it to be great at f8 and try not to use it wide open and this tends to work with landscapes. Summary, the curvature issue makes it a tricky lens to get the best out of at times, but otherwise its fine.

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...the Elmarit-R 24 2.8 and it's a lens that one needs to use carefully. It exhibits significant field curvature which can be trap if used wide open and there are critical features near the edges.

 

Ditto. It will also deliver very even and editable files unlike summilux generally (dont have the 25 sorry), though focus is also very important, which might be problematic on your 4/3. f/stop shutter speed is a non issue. Youve got higher ISO and they are still reasonable in low light rendering so I think you can afford the underexposure. On an AF camera I think I would go for the AF lens, on focus issue alone.

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Dugby,

 

In order to get something like the equivalent of a 50mm lens in 24x36mm format for my Digilux 3, I bought a second hand 28mm R-Elmarit, rather than the 24mm Elmarit, last year.

 

The 28mm Elmarit is praised in the literature and it is great indeed. This I found out when I used it in the Caribbean where 1:1.4 is certainly not what is urgently needed. Even at a distance of 30 to 40 cm (thanks to the floating element?) and at 2.8, the quality of that lens quite impressed me, to put it mildly. I should add that I was lucky enough to get hold of the 28mm Elmarit in its current version (built in 1993, ie apparently one of the very first of the current version). The current version of the 28mm Elmarit is described in the literature as rather superior to its predecessor which was built between 1970 and 1993.

 

I do not know the old 28mm Elmarit, but I can definitely recommend the new one. And 48mm or 50mm or 56mm should not make much of a difference in terms of focal length.

 

Kind regards,

Peter.

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My experience is no good feeling about LEICA R 24mm F2.8 first type. I bought second hands one, but it has chromatic aberration, it is 2 dot on DMR, if 4/3 it will 3dot.

Therefore I sell 24mm F2.8.

Why this lens has chromatic aberration, in my guess, it is lens age. Digital system is more nerves about aberration.

 

But LEICA 28mm F2.8 is fine, I feel big diffrence about 24mm and 28mm.

 

Panasonic/Leica D Summilux 25mm f1.4 is very nice lens. The picture is more neutral than Leica D 14-54 F2.8-3.5. And can’t compare with LEICA R Summilux 35mm f1.4, because very different taste, 25mm f1.4 is more crispy.

 

I recommend 25mm F1.4.

 

Best Regards

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Dugby,

 

As your original enquiry was posted in mid-April, I am not sure if the comparison under discussion is still an issue to you. If it is, I would like to direct your attention to a number of relevant tests carried out by a leading German magazine, ColorFoto, which seem to confirm part of what has been written in this thread.

 

In a test around the year-end of 2007, the PanaLeica 25mm Summilux got a rather mixed review, mainly due to value-for-money considerations. However, the technical review was also not as enthusiastic as was usually the case in the past when an original Leica lens was under review. (This was not always so, for example, the 14-50mm Elmarit was highly recommended by ColorFoto.) Unfortunately, I no longer have a copy of that magazine. The 28mm R-Elmarit got rave reviews in 11/1997 and 11/2002, ie it was rated "excellent" and described as being in a class of its own if compared to Nikon's, Canon's etc, but also Zeiss', efforts. The 24mm R-Elmarit got "only" a "very good-excellent"-rating in 11/1997 and they pointed out that it did not quite reach the level of the 24mm M-Elmarit. The latter was rated "excellent" and marginally weaker than the 28mm R-Elmarit.

 

I am aware that such tests should be taken with a grain of salt. However, if you ignore the comparison with non-Leica lenses, the description of the relative merits of the Leica lenses tested is interesting in my view.

 

Regards,

Peter.

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Dugby,

 

As your original enquiry was posted in mid-April, I am not sure if the comparison under discussion is still an issue to you. If it is, I would like to direct your attention to a number of relevant tests carried out by a leading German magazine, ColorFoto, which seem to confirm part of what has been written in this thread.

 

In a test around the year-end of 2007, the PanaLeica 25mm Summilux got a rather mixed review, mainly due to value-for-money considerations. However, the technical review was also not as enthusiastic as was usually the case in the past when an original Leica lens was under review. (This was not always so, for example, the 14-50mm PanaLeica Elmarit was rather highly recommended by ColorFoto.) Unfortunately, I no longer have a copy of that magazine. The 28mm R-Elmarit got rave reviews in 11/1997 and 11/2002, ie it was rated "excellent" and described as being in a class of its own if compared to Nikon's, Canon's etc, but also Zeiss', efforts. The 24mm R-Elmarit got "only" a "very good-excellent"-rating in 11/1997 and they pointed out that it did not quite reach the level of the 24mm M-Elmarit. The latter was rated "excellent" and marginally weaker than the 28mm R-Elmarit.

 

I am aware that such tests should be taken with a grain of salt. However, if you ignore the comparison with non-Leica lenses, the description of the relative merits of the Leica lenses tested is interesting in my view.

 

Regards,

Peter.

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LFI published a brief article about the Summilux 25mm for 4/3, and it wasn't enthusiastic. It was a surprisingly cold review. However, the users of the lens are very pleased, considering the positive comments in forums, etc.

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Thankyou Peter and Rosuna. My research has shown mixed results regarding the 25mm Summilux-D, whilst there no question that its a good lens. I'm trying to ascertain if there a Summilux-R or Summicron-R lens within the 24mm to 35mm range allowing for the 2x crop, may be a viable alternative to the Summilux-D for a D3/L1. For many years I was a 50mm-only shooter with an film Olympus OM4, and feel I could live with a prime in the traditional 48-55mm range.

 

The Summilux-R 35mm results that Calvados look terrific on his 4/3 Olympus E-3 http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-forum/digital-forum/52090-summilux-r-35mm-f1-4-mit.html , but I want that type of "look" with something closer to the 50mm focal length.

 

I suspect using the Summilux-R 35 on a D3/L1 as a standard all purpose lens will eventually be frustrating with the 'portrait' 70mm profile, for my general purpose photographic usage.... I'm trying to find one prime lens that I would be happy to travel lightly with, without having to change lenses.

 

Pana/Leica have some big gaps in their 4/3 lens roadmap that need some announcements.... or maybe I'm looking for too much from a 4/3 architecture ?

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Dugby,

 

I know exactly what you mean. With my analogue R6.2, I was a keen user of a 50mm Summicron myself and a 35mm Elmarit was my shortest focal length. The current 28mm R-Elmarit I bought only recently, ie especially for my Digilux 3, and I found out that it is a very impressive lens. The 25mm PanaLeica Summilux, by contrast, is not even mentioned by Leica on their website - which probably tells us a little story... As far as I know, Olympus will issue an ultra-compact 25mm (?) 4/3 lens soon, maybe they have issued it already. I am rather sceptical, though, whether this will be in the same class as a Leica lens. Please don't mistake this for arrogance, I have used Minolta lenses for decades and was surprised by the difference when I made the transition to Leica 10 years ago.

 

Regards,

Peter.

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Pana/Leica have some big gaps in their 4/3 lens roadmap that need some announcements.... or maybe I'm looking for too much from a 4/3 architecture ?

 

I think the 4/3 line depends on Panasonic, not Leica.

 

The 4/3 system is interesting, with superb zooms. It is far easier to design good lenses for smaller formats, because the diameter of the light circle multiplies many aberrations. However, the 4/3 systems doesn't offer diverse fast lenses. I suppose it is due to difficulties related to retrofocus designs and lens "speed". Even a 35mm lens (70mm in 35mm format) for 4/3 must be a retrofocus design, or something similar. The register of the 4/3 system is 38mm.

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Some observations from experience.....

I have an old Tamron 24/2.5 Adapt-All that is a sharp optic, but the Bokeh is a mixed bag. Focusing short focal lengths with the E-1 and E-3 is, for me, is more difficult than longer focal length lenses. The 24mm is not a quick shot lens, unless you prefocus and stop down for DOF. So, check out the manual focus on your camera, at short focal lengths, as part of your choice parameters. My 24mm doesn't get used much.

The other choice is the Sigma 24/1.8.

Bob

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I have the 24/2.8 Elmarit R and it is an outstanding lens, not a negative comment on any images I have taken, and my printer cannot beleive how good the lens is. I'd buy another in a flash. Cant compare to the new Summilux, but if to be used on a 4/3's camera, probably thenewer lens is preferred.

 

gene

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