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50mm Summilux vs. ASPH


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I had already the non-ASPH (last version with sliding shade) when I bought the ASPH. So whilst I planned to sell the non-ASPH I made many the same shots with both lenses. From f/4 to f/1.4, there is increasingly more difference, with higher contrast and more corners sharpness in the ASPH. Of course once one stops shooting resolution tests of subjects on a single plane across the frame, one discovers that there are few real-world subjects where it is possible to have sharpness from centre to corner @ wide aperture, due to limited depth of field. From f/5.6 to f/16 there are decreasingly consequential differences between the lenses.


Because I own also a Summicron, which is an excellent performing lens and to my eye so close to the Summilux-ASPH from f/2 and lower, when I rationalised my kit I sold the ASPH. There is something, strictly of my personal aesthetic, that I like in the character of the non-ASPH at wider apertures. In curing some aberrations, Leica made the ASPH to perform with clinical superiority, but to me it is lacking the charm (for lack of a better word) of the non-ASPH.


My suggestion is to rent or borrow or buy with return rights these both, and try for yourself, if you have any artistic preference at all. If you are satisfied to buy on the results of graphs and tests, then the ASPH is clear the winner.

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My favourite 50 is the latest Summilux 50/1.4 pre-asph (code # 11868).

Gentle on older skin at full aperture, plenty sharp stopped down one or two stops, very sweet bokeh, no flare at all.

Quite good with young skins as well but if you look for extra sharpness the 50/1.4 asph that i own as well is the way to go.

Price to pay for this extra sharpness will be some harsher bokeh though, mainly at f/2 and slower apertures.

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I just bought few weeks ago a Summilux M 50 f:1,4 Asph

I think that this lens give in a dark excellent color reproduction as you can see here




I have tried to take inside a church (like you) with no light at all

and i am surprised by the sensibility of this lens

My 50mm is "coded" (Rom contact) and with a M8, it represents a good couple.


Happy New Year Wilfredo to you and your family

and to all of you in this forum

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