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50 Summilux ASPH/Pre-ASPH differences ?


rafael_macia
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I just picked up a black paint 50 Summilux, pre-ASPH. (I am a sucker for black paint lenses). I am wondering what are the differences (simplified) ... between the pre ASPH and the 50 ASPH Summilux? Is it such a great difference?

 

I already have a late Summicron 50. Which is fine for the limited use I use the 50 for.

 

I know, I am a bit confused ... about what to do, but any opinions on differences etc. are appreciated

 

thanks

Rafael

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Well, in short, I'd say the pre is a lower overall contrast lens compared to the asph. The asph has finer resolution and is better corrected due to a more modern lens design. That said, I own the pre exactly for its lower contrast and find it to be an excellent short-tele portrait lens. I don't own the 50 apsh myself (I do own the 35 asph) and in a perfect world I'd own both 50s because sometimes you want a higher contrast (punchier) rendering and sometimes you don't.

 

There, I got through that whole paragraph without using the words "clinical" or "Leica glow".

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Hi Rafael:

 

I have both, the ASPH in black paint (I'm like you, love BP) and the 1962 v2 pre-asph. The v2 re-asph has basically the same optics as the latest pre-asph. The asph is very, very sharp wide open across the entire FOV of the M8. I often use it as my portrait lens. The pre-asph is no slouch either. It is also very sharp wide open but not as sharp as the asph. Both have very pleasing bokeh. Many regard the ASPH is the best 50mm ever. However, there are also many that prefer the pre-asph as having the classic Leica look. I love them both.

 

Alan

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Hi Rafael:

 

I have both, the ASPH in black paint (I'm like you, love BP) and the 1962 v2 pre-asph. The v2 re-asph has basically the same optics as the latest pre-asph. The asph is very, very sharp wide open across the entire FOV of the M8. I often use it as my portrait lens. The pre-asph is no slouch either. It is also very sharp wide open but not as sharp as the asph. Both have very pleasing bokeh. Many regard the ASPH is the best 50mm ever. However, there are also many that prefer the pre-asph as having the classic Leica look. I love them both.

 

Alan

 

 

I was not aware the ASPH came in BP. I will hunt for an ASPH. I like the very sharp wide open aspect. The 50 Sumilux sounds to me like the difference between the 35 Summiluxes; pre and ASPH. The 35 ASPH is very sharp wide open, as the pre is not

I very seldom shoot wide open, in any event.

If I find a BP ASPH I will insist on purchase return rights. I am afraid of back focus, which plagued my 35' lux. Front focus and backfocus seem to be inborn characteristics of the rangefinder based system.

Autofocus might be the future answer.

(now I use a 35 BP 'cron which is perfect ........ but I miss the 'lux !).

 

This Leica thing is some kind of sickness. No?

It has been distracting me since 1968.

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Rafael the BP ASPH is an LHSA special. Some came with MP3 bodies and a Leicavit, some were sold as single lenses. I forget the numbers but I think there are about 2000 of them, half silver chrome and half BP and they are identical looking to the pre-ASPH v.1. The black ones are tough to come by, Rich Pinto or Tony Rose may be able to get you one. The pic below shows what they look like compared to my v.2 pre-ASPH.

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There were 1000 LHSA 50/1.4 ASPH's made, 500 of them in black paint, 500 in chrome. They were made along with the MP3 and Leicavit. I tried to find a black one for some time to go along with my MP3 and 'vit, but no dice. They pop up on occasion....but they will be pricey now. As peter_n indiciated some were sold in kits, others seperate.

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The latest 50/1.4 pre-asph is sharper than the pre-asph v2 in my experience, mainly at f/1.4 and f/2.

The asph is of course sharper and more contrasty than both latters at f/1.4, in fact the sharpest 50 i've ever had at this aperture. From f/2.8 to f/5.6 its bokeh is somewhat harsher though.

My favourite for portrait and street is the pre-asph. For landscapes the asph. If i had to keep one it would be the latest pre-asph without hesitation. Matter of tastes of course.

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Guest volkerm
From f/2.8 to f/5.6 its bokeh is somewhat harsher though.

 

That is my impression, too, from the pictures seen here in the forum. The background rendering with the ASPH can be really ugly.

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I just picked up a black paint 50 Summilux, pre-ASPH. (I am a sucker for black paint lenses). I am wondering what are the differences (simplified) ... between the pre ASPH and the 50 ASPH Summilux? Is it such a great difference?

 

I already have a late Summicron 50. Which is fine for the limited use I use the 50 for.

 

I know, I am a bit confused ... about what to do, but any opinions on differences etc. are appreciated

 

thanks

Rafael

 

The pre-ASPH is a classic that dates back to the 1960's. It was in production for +40 years and still is one of the best highspeed 50's around.

 

In technical terms the ASPH may be the best performing 50 ever made. The performance is truly in a class of it's own.

 

Which one you pick depends on what look you're after and the size of your wallet.

I have the pre-ASPH and am very happy with it. In particular it's stellar for black and white work.

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...If I find a BP ASPH I will insist on purchase return rights. I am afraid of back focus, which plagued my 35' lux. Front focus and backfocus seem to be inborn characteristics of the rangefinder based system.

Autofocus might be the future answer.

(now I use a 35 BP 'cron which is perfect ........ but I miss the 'lux !).

 

This Leica thing is some kind of sickness. No?

It has been distracting me since 1968.

 

I would not worry too much about backfocus. Mine backfocused but was easily adjusted by DAG. Now it is very easy to focus. Leica, however, was not able to fix the problem after two trips there.

As much as I like my black paint LHSA 50asph, I wish it had the slide out shade like the rest of them. It has the balky separate hood which is a pain especially when on the move.

 

Alan

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As much as I like my black paint LHSA 50asph, I wish it had the slide out shade like the rest of them. It has the balky separate hood which is a pain especially when on the move.
Alan get the 43mm Voigtlander shade from Steve Gandy at Cameraquest. About the same diameter as the lens' focusing barrel. :)

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Alan get the 43mm Voigtlander shade from Steve Gandy at Cameraquest. About the same diameter as the lens' focusing barrel. :)

 

Thanks Peter, that would be an improvement. Looks like you and I have the same pre-asph. IMHO it is the most beautiful lens in all Leicaland:)

Alan

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A couple of questions, if I may;

 

The BP Pre ASPH I have, has the pull out shade, and 46mm filter diameter, which identifies it as the latest Pre ASPH, (if I am correct).

Earlier PRE ASPH's have a 43mm front diam. ?

 

The 50 BP ASPH, is shorter and has a simple ribbed focus collar,rather than the scalloped collar, and takes a clip on shade? (46mm ?). It is made to mimic the shape of the first (version I) 50 Summilux?

 

Are the 50 Summilux's PRE ASPH'? in Peter N's photo both the chrome and black ?

Is the shorter one the ASPH ?

 

thanks!!

This is a bit confusing, sorry.

 

Rafael

 

(psst. looking for a 50 ASPH if anyone has one .... black)

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The BP Pre ASPH I have, has the pull out shade, and 46mm filter diameter, which identifies it as the latest Pre ASPH, (if I am correct).

 

Correct.

 

Earlier PRE ASPH's have a 43mm front diam. ?

 

Correct (the ones without the pull out shade have 43mm filter thread)

 

The 50 BP ASPH, is shorter and has a simple ribbed focus collar,rather than the scalloped collar, and takes a clip on shade? (46mm ?).

 

No, it has a scalloped focussing ring and 43mm filter thread.

 

It is made to mimic the shape of the first (version I) 50 Summilux?

 

Yes.

 

Are the 50 Summilux's PRE ASPH'? in Peter N's photo both the chrome and black ?

 

No, those are the LHSA 50 asph in both chrome and BP.

 

Is the shorter one the ASPH ?

 

No.

 

Andy

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