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50/1.4 ASPH vs. 50/2 (IV) - Quick Check.

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Guest leica_mage

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Between these two lenses, which one would you stick with signature-wise only (meaning no ergonomic or maximum f-stop considerations - so ignore f/1.4 on the Summilux!), and why?

 

I have my own ideas, but being forced to choose between the two signature-wise only, I'd like a little more input in case I've missed something.

 

Thanks very much in advance for your time and input.

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Guest leica_mage
I would choose the E46 pre asph over them both. Signature wise...

Sorry Erik, thanks ever so much for your reply, but it's off topic and I don't like that lens.

 

At all.

 

I'd rather a 5cm/1.5 Summaron at that point, and certainly the latest Elmar.

 

1.4 ASPH or 2 (IV)??

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I was wrestling with this same problem myself this week. I have a 50 f2 and was offered a 1.4 ASPH at a fantastic price. I went for a walk with both lenses and took the same shots with XP2 on a .85 MP. I really wanted to buy the 1.4 at the end of the day it didn't impress me enough. I printed all the shots 6x9 and took the back to the store where we all mulled over them for quiet some time. The general censuses the 1.4 occasionally looked a little more bitie but this also showed up the the out of focus areas. On shots were you had fine lines in the out of focus areas at a certain frequency the blur interfered with its self and made the lines more defined. I mentioned how I felt about the lens to a mate that use to have one, he said the reason he sold his that he felt it was too clinical and looked like a very good Japanese lens. He also though that for black and white his Voightlander 50mm f1.5 looked very similar. This guy is obsessed with the feel of the image he bought three 35mm f1.4 ASPH before he found the 'one'.

 

After trying everything to convince myself that I should buy the 1.4 ASPH I couldn't. The Summicron is such a beautiful lens, I love showing other photographers enlargements, as they go speechless for seconds, the images from this simple little lens are captivating.

 

I am known as the ultimate consumer by my friends (I think it a sickness), so I always like to have the newest and the best. So after my little trial am happy in my heart with my choice. The 1.4 is a technical marvel but to my mind the f2 paints an prettier picture.

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This is all very subjective but if you want the "look" than the Summicron has the look and in fact any one of the 50mm Summicrons will have the "look". If you want high contrast, etch a sketch sharpness then the Summilux asph is it. But anyone can do sharp. Even the $300 CV Nokton is sharp but a bit harsh I think. I have the Summilux asph, a few 'Crons and chose between them depending on film and subject matter.

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My only experience with reasonably modern Summicrons is the current one, and I've had two of those. Sold both because I didn't like the way they drew the image - painfully sharp and I didn't particularly like the OOF of either. Now I use a DR Summicron.

 

I've also used two of the 50/1.4 ASPH lenses, both E43 LHSA versions. Quite sharp, but a much more pleasant overall signature than the Summicrons. I'd stick with the Summilux, it seems to have an undeserved reputation for harshness on the internet, not quite sure why. It's a wonderful lens.

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Between these two lenses, which one would you stick with signature-wise only

 

I believe there is no definite answer to that question. Some people prefer the Summicron, others the Summilux asph. Both are incredibly good lenses. I use both and if forced to sell one would certainly keep the Summilux. In the end, you have to buy the lens YOU like best.

 

Cheers,

 

Andy

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Sorry Erik, thanks ever so much for your reply, but it's off topic and I don't like that lens.

 

At all.

 

I'd rather a 5cm/1.5 Summaron at that point, and certainly the latest Elmar.

 

1.4 ASPH or 2 (IV)??

 

Ok Sorry then.

 

I have owned both the 50 lux asph and the cron. I would say that it really depends on wheter youre gonna use it on a M8 or with film. And B&W film, color or slides? I have different opinions about them.

 

I would probably go for the Asph though in the end. I think it really depends on which one you like the best. I have come to the conclusion when I buy lenses that I really dont care about another persons opinions as long as im not after the same look, contrast etc that the person has in his/hers pics, but thats just me.

 

Its kinda hard for me to choose between these two signature wise cause I would always choose the asph because of the extra stop. I like taking pics in dim light so it matters to me.

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Not everybody agrees on the number of versions of the Summicron 50.

Do you mean the Cron # 11817 (1969-1978) w/o tab or # 11819/11825 (1978-1994) with tab?

I own the Cron 11819, a late Summilux pre-asph and the Summilux asph, plus a couple Elmars.

IQ wise, the Cron 11819 and the Lux asph are not the same beasts.

The Cron 11819 matches well lenses from the seventies / eightees like the 35/2 IV, the 40/2 or the 75/1.4. The Lux asph matches better the 35/2 asph or the 75/2.

The Lux asph is very contrasty, like your current Elmar for instance. It is very sharp at f/1.4 and sharper than the Cron at f/2. Its bokeh is not really harsh but somewhat grainy at those apertures to become a tad too sharp at f/4, f/5.6 IMHO.

The Cron 11819 is still contrasty but less so than modern lenses. It is a bit soft at f/2 otherwise it is quite a sharp lens and its bokeh is always smooth.

Edit: Which would i stick with? Ask me if i prefer Bordeaux or Bourgogne my friend.

If i had to keep one 50 only it would be my late Lux pre-asph, two 50 it would be the latter and a current Elmar.

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Guest leica_mage

lct, I'll check the number at home - in any case I mean the latest without tab and telescopic hood, which is a variant (functionally, not optically, of 11819/11825).

 

Andy and Erik, of course I know what I like and what I want. I want to check against others' experiences too, however.

 

I'm not too hung up about f/1.4, never had a problem as I've a rock-steady grip that yeields me fine results down to as low as 1/4.

 

moorewebstuff and lct, that OOF rendering of the Lux ASPH is one thing I love that lens for.

 

In fact, lct, you nailed it, because It's the f/4, f/5.6 performance of that lens which worries me. The Summicron is delicious at those apertures, not so razor-like but somewhat gritty, which I like.

 

Oh, and Erik, I don't care for digital. I'm a film man, 99% black and white.

 

And my model signature is that of the 35mm Summicron ASPH, which is eminently tweakable according to film/development/printing regime...

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...I mean the latest without tab and telescopic hood...

I don't own it but i've tried it in the past. Does not render like mine as far as i recall. Its bokeh looked less smooth. Don't know why though. I'd ask an actual owner if i were you

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I don't own it but i've tried it in the past. Does not render like mine as far as i recall. Its bokeh looked less smooth. Don't know why though. I'd ask an actual owner if i were you

I am an actual owner and find OOFrendition wonderfully smooth (shall upload an example). But I also adore the Lux ASPH's - in a different way.

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I am an actual owner and find OOFrendition wonderfully smooth...

So much the better then. Cheers.

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...But I also adore the Lux ASPH's - in a different way.

So you would like to sell your Cron and buy the Lux Asph?

Matter of tastes of course but if you do portraits of not so young people and/or if you need smooth OoF at medium apertures, you'll probably miss your Summicron.

My advice FWIW: if you don't really need f/1.4, keep the Summicron.

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Guest leica_mage
So you would like to sell your Cron and buy the Lux Asph?

Not necessarily...

 

Matter of tastes of course but if you do portraits of not so young people and/or if you need smooth OoF at medium apertures, you'll probably miss your Summicron.

Oh, I'm all into exposing wrinkles and warts, I've no quasi-Thambar qualms about idealising skin textures, etc.

 

Besides, I don't like 50 for portraits that much. My portrait focal lengths are 28, 35 and 75/85.

 

My advice FWIW: if you don't really need f/1.4, keep the Summicron.

'Tis stellar advice, save for two things:

 

(i) I find the Summicron too smooth at times, missing the bite and above all translucent sparkle of my 35mm Summicron ASPH, and these the Lux ASPH delivers, albeit in somewhat tamer measure;

 

(ii) The 35/2 ASPH is really King of the Knight (unlike the 35/1.4 ASPH, which I tested extensively - ironic, no?), the 50/2 becomes dull at night. I think the 50 Lux ASPH brings back the luminance of the 35/2 ASPH into the 50mm realm...

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Prefer the lux_asph, sold the cron.

Not only seem images from the lux more "alive" I also prefer the bokeh from it.

Cheers, Tom

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I don't own it but i've tried it in the past. Does not render like mine as far as i recall. Its bokeh looked less smooth. Don't know why though. I'd ask an actual owner if i were you

 

The Tabb'ed 50 cron (11819/11825) and the the current one (11826/11816) share the same optical cell designed by Walter Mandler. The mount is the difference as well as possibly a difference in coating, but the last bit is pure specualtion on my part.

 

- Carl

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Once upon a time I owned both a v. IV (current) Summicron and the v. II Summilux. I sold both and bought a Summilux ASPH. Why?

 

Two different reasons, really. I sold the old Summilux because I did not need the 1.4 speed. And—I sold the 'cron because while a really excellent lens under ideal circmstances, it was and is a dog when it comes to resistance to stray light. It produces flare phenomena that are specifically its own, and which can and do ruin pictures. The Summilux ASPH is as good at 1.4 as the 'cron is at 2.0, when it comes to rendering detail, but the resistance to flare and irradiation makes it vastly superior, both overall and in the clear rendering of these details.

 

But of course some people do not want clarity. They prefer the view though the foggy specs of lenses with stray light and undercorrected speherical, and call it 'the Leica glow'. But there was nothing specifically Leica about it. All the old lenses had it. Good riddance.

 

Now if you are of that persuasion, there are two solutions. The first is to buy a soft filter to make your excellent Leica lens less excellent. Another, and more honest, is to go buy a Japanese zoom lens.

 

The old man from the Age B.C. (Before Coating)

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The Tabb'ed 50 cron (11819/11825) and the the current one (11826/11816) share the same optical cell designed by Walter Mandler. The mount is the difference as well as possibly a difference in coating, but the last bit is pure specualtion on my part...

Yes i know this Carl but the same could be said with lenses like the pre-asph Lux 35/1.4 and 50/1.4 which latest versions are not identical IQ wise to earlier ones.

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