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M8 & Summilux 35mm


leffe
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35mm f1.4 Summilux-asph has worked great on my M8.2. No problems. There seem to be some who have problems with back focus, front focus, or focus shift but I don't have those problems. I have a also have 'classic' 35mm f1.4 Summilux that I have not tried yet. My other Summilux-asph I haven't tried yet. I think it's a great combo - the M8 + 35mm Summilux-asph. Good luck.

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f/1.4 is accurate. f/2 and smaller requires a "bump" forward when focusing to correct for focus shift. Once I knew what the lens was doing I figured out how to compensate and it's been a good experience since.

 

I knew what I was getting into when I ordered the lens last summer so I'm not put out by the focus shift. Would I prefer not to have to deal with it? Of course, but, in practice it's not been a major issue so far.

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I love my chrome ASPH 35 Summilux. It is one of the last ones made, with a factory date of September 2006. It is set up with a fraction of front focus and has very modest aperture shift. It is however HEAVY. It seems a bit heavier than the longer MATE. It had obviously had very little use when I bought it about 16 months ago, as its focus was quite stiff and a bit jerky. This has eased and smoothed off very nicely. Until I got my MATE, it was my most used lens and it is always on in the evening or inside buildings. I think the only thing that might make me give it up, is if Leica came out with a 28/1.4 Summilux. I prefer the results from the 35 Summilux to the 50 ASPH Summilux that I had, until I swapped it for the MATE. The 50 is so sharp that it can end up giving photos a slightly harsh look and I was not wholly comfortable with its bokeh. The 35 seems to match the M8 to a "t" and in my eyes, has nicer bokeh. I did not like the standard hood and slip off (it does frequently) lens cap. I have replaced mine with the larger hood and clip in cap from the 28 Summicron, which fits perfectly.

 

Wilson

post-17844-14286841345993_thumb.jpg

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It is my standard lens on the M8. I have not had a real problem with front-focusing. Strangely, on occasion, the focus ring seems stiff, and then after use, seems to get easy to focus again. (Wilson's description of the focusing as "stiff and jerky" is sometimes, though not always, my experience.) If you are looking for the one lens to have with an M8, I would recommend that 35 Summilux. JB

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It is my standard lens on the M8. I have not had a real problem with front-focusing. Strangely, on occasion, the focus ring seems stiff, and then after use, seems to get easy to focus again. (Wilson's description of the focusing as "stiff and jerky" is sometimes, though not always, my experience.) If you are looking for the one lens to have with an M8, I would recommend that 35 Summilux. JB

 

Ditto.

Beautiful lens!

 

Dejan

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It is my favorite lens on the M8 as well, and I have a chrome version with essentially no focus shift. The earlier copies seem to fare better than the newer ones in this regard.

 

Having said this, overall I prefer the 50 Lux ASPH, and once the FF digital M comes out, I will switch to this lens.

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Proceed with caution.

 

I have sent mine to Leica USA for focus adjustment twice. The result is attached below. The focus point was "50"

 

F1.4

F2.0

F2.8

F4.0

@ min focus distance

 

Beyond the min focus distance, the aperture >= F 5.6 is completely unusable.

 

 

Leica should list this lens as "risky with the M8". I bought it to use with my M8 but it is not usable. I could send it to DAG but for now, it stays on my M6s permanently and produces wonderful images.

 

m

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post-30051-14286841356192_thumb.jpg

post-30051-14286841380015_thumb.jpg

Edited by mmk60
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Assuming you're talking about the 35 LUX ASPH, you will be hard pressed to find a better lens for the M8.

 

The responses above are a good reflection on the capabilities of this lens. This is an f1.4 lens that performs like a champ at f1.4, with great bokeh, beautiful rendering (sharp without being edgy) and compact dimensions relative to other lenses of commensurate speed and performance.

 

About the only criticism you will see from time to time is that some may exhibit focus shift. This issue is not specific to the 35 LUX ASPH and can afflict any f1.4 RF lens. You may need to try another sample or arrange for calibration of the afflicted sample with your body. No pain, no gain !

 

I am thrilled with my (black) 35 LUX ASPH which exhibits no focus shift at all on my M8.

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What Wilson said above about the chrome 35mm Summilux-asph being heavy is true. It's why I own two of the lenses. I bought the chrome one first. Frankly, I just didn't like it because of the weight. I finally was able to pick up a black one and what a relief. Look I carry around Canon 70-200, an 85mm f1.2 - so I know heavy lenses. It's just that the chrome one is (for me) a bit heavy on the M. It's no Noctilux but it is significantly heavier than the black. It's built like a tank and you'll notice I haven't gotten rid of it. LOL

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I have replaced mine with the larger hood and clip in cap from the 28 Summicron, which fits perfectly.

 

Wilson

 

Looks great in chrome. But that lens hood is brutal. Interestingly, most ditch the hood on their 28 CRON and use the 35 LUX hood instead.

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I own a 'lux ASPH and I find the focus shift just a minor nuisance. I did own a pre-aspheric Summilux and discarded it very quickly. It is atrocious wide open. There is lots of coma, and even normal diffuse highlights---let alone light sources and reflections---spread a veiling glare over the rest of the image. You will be hard put to find anything at all sharp in it.

 

In order to have acceptable image quality you have to stop down at least to 2.8, preferably to 4. So the lens was actually slower than my v.4 Summicron! The lens is quite good at f:8, with the kind of low contrast and slight flareyness of a first version 50mm Summicron, but that was not what I wanted.

 

The old man from the Age of the M3

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Looks great in chrome. But that lens hood is brutal. Interestingly, most ditch the hood on their 28 CRON and use the 35 LUX hood instead.

 

Ozkar,

 

I do quite a lot of my photography in crowds and I have lost count of the number of times that someone with a large lumpy backpack (what a menace they are in crowds and trains, where the carrier seems oblivious of the chaos and pain they cause) has either backed into me or swung their backpack into my M8. I lost two of the earlier 35 Lux caps when they got knocked off in the dark and I could not locate them. I agree the 28 Cron hood is a bit of a beast but it is a very robust lens protector and the cap clips in securely. I did give away my 35 Lux hood and cap to another forum user for use on his 28 Cron.

 

It is so interesting to hear yet again that there seems to be two classes of 35 Lux. Those that aperture shift and those that don't. According to Leica, they all do, so some considerable extent and they explain the optics of why this is so (LFI article last year). I would love to hear their optical explanation of those that don't. I am guessing that the tolerances are so fine, that it is currently impossible to manufacture this lens consistently, although there do seem to be a higher percentage of good chrome lenses over black ones. Now I have posted this before but my guess (again!) is that brass can be machined to closer tolerances than aluminium alloy. Brass is certainly a lovely material to machine with natural lubrication and excellent cooling conduction, against alloy, which is much "stickier", with a tendency to spall. I have never heard a good explanation why they stopped production of the chrome lens in October 2006, just as the market for this was about to explode with the introduction of the M8.

 

This is why I feel that it is a lens due for an update with an internally moving focusing element like the current 50 lux and perhaps a double sided aspherical element to control the spherical aberration, although this would be a costly item. Also bring back chrome but preferably, chrome plated aluminium or titianium to keep the weight down. Chrome plating aluminium is very feasible nowadays.

 

Wilson

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Ozkar,

 

I do quite a lot of my photography in crowds and I have lost count of the number of times that someone with a large lumpy backpack (what a menace they are in crowds and trains, where the carrier seems oblivious of the chaos and pain they cause) has either backed into me or swung their backpack into my M8. I lost two of the earlier 35 Lux caps when they got knocked off in the dark and I could not locate them. I agree the 28 Cron hood is a bit of a beast but it is a very robust lens protector and the cap clips in securely. I did give away my 35 Lux hood and cap to another forum user for use on his 28 Cron.

 

It is so interesting to hear yet again that there seems to be two classes of 35 Lux. Those that aperture shift and those that don't. According to Leica, they all do, so some considerable extent and they explain the optics of why this is so (LFI article last year). I would love to hear their optical explanation of those that don't. I am guessing that the tolerances are so fine, that it is currently impossible to manufacture this lens consistently, although there do seem to be a higher percentage of good chrome lenses over black ones. Now I have posted this before but my guess (again!) is that brass can be machined to closer tolerances than aluminium alloy. Brass is certainly a lovely material to machine with natural lubrication and excellent cooling conduction, against alloy, which is much "stickier", with a tendency to spall. I have never heard a good explanation why they stopped production of the chrome lens in October 2006, just as the market for this was about to explode with the introduction of the M8.

 

This is why I feel that it is a lens due for an update with an internally moving focusing element like the current 50 lux and perhaps a double sided aspherical element to control the spherical aberration, although this would be a costly item. Also bring back chrome but preferably, chrome plated aluminium or titianium to keep the weight down. Chrome plating aluminium is very feasible nowadays.

 

Wilson

 

Hi Wilson,

 

Once the M8 comes out of the Billingham I just remove the lens cap and leave it in the bag. Since the LUX wears a UV/IR at all times and is further protected by it's hood I don't bother fitting and removing the cap whenever I wish to shoot. But I can appreciate the benefit of using the 28 hood since the cap is more secure. The cap on the 35 LUX ASPH is not quite as secure as that on the 28 CRON, but it is substantially better than the flexible rubber hood on my 28/2.8 ASPH (or any of the 35 CRONs) which just fall off in a gentle breeze.

 

The focus shift has me miffed. The lens is not entirely responsible for this phenomena. It is also related to the calibration of your M8's RF. I tried two other samples of the 35 LUX ASPH before settling on mine. The two I rejected were not that bad. It's just that my sample is perfect. Does this suggest that there are two classes of M8 ?? I can't say. But manufacturing tolerances can affect the build/setup of the RF just as much the lens.

 

Focus shift is also not specific to the 35 LUX ASPH. There have been plenty of complaints regarding the 50 LUX ASPH and, more recently, one regarding the new 24 LUX ASPH. I tried a 50 LUX ASPH on my older M8 and the focus shift was shocking. I guess if you want to shoot with an f1.4 lens on a digital RF you're going to have to muck about until you get it right. But the end result is well worth a little pain along the way !

 

Ozkar

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