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28mm cron ASPH - how good is it?


Guest V64
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I recently 'traded' a Zeiss 25mm f2.8 for a mint- leica 28mm ASPH cron. The 28mm has been a great disappointment (compared with the 25mm).

 

The only other lens I have to make comparison tests is a Zeiss 50mm Planar, and these (informal) tests have suggested that the two lens show almost identical performance (resolution) at f2.0. (Newspaper broadsheet at a distance which allows a page to fill the frame).

 

My overall (real world) impression is that the 28mm ( compared with the 25mm) is soft, low contrast and is subject to flare (I always use a UV/IR filter) -but not dramatically so. It simply lacks the impact of the 25mm.

 

So I hesitate to refer it under guarantee to my dealer, mainly because I do not know what to expect from the 28mm.

 

Two 100% centre crops, first the Planar then the Cron

 

All opinions welcome

 

Thank-you

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My 28 Cron is not soft. I don't see any particular problem in the shot above, but why don't you do some real-world tests. I doubt if it matters much if the 28 Cron appears a little soft at the near limit.

 

Zeiss lenses are more contrasty than Leica lenses, in general, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they are sharper, they just appear to be, due to our brain's processing. Try to process the images to the same results and see how they compare, but do a real shot, not a piece of paper. Also, more contrasty lenses can lead to lower dynamic range in the image, so be sure to check that too.

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I don't have this lens, but I had occasion to compare similar lenses in the 21 mm range. The quality difference may be measurable, but imo the end result in a print is more a matter of taste than of objective quality differences. You should be able to see very little if any significant quality difference between the lenses. Maybe because your dealer sold you only half a lens as he seems to have kept the Summi for the next customer? ;)

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I ordered this lens to be my lens cap on my M8... I was more used to the 35mm and wanted something more, hence the 28.

 

Its pin sharp, dont worry about it.

 

3285506197_c66bcbf402_o.jpg

 

Sharpness against book pages dont make very good pictures for me...

 

But this lens DELIVERs, specially in the B&W department.. love it... trying to re-educate myself for the 28mm FOV though...

 

3286325454_92a4956df8_o.jpg

Edited by proenca
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Just noticed the same thing myself, as I traded in my 25 Biogon for the 28 Cron just last week. The Cron is smoother, less "crunchy" and preserves highlights much better. But absolute lpm resolution, the 25 Biogon wins, but it needs to be stopped down to f/4. When I compared f/2, 2.8, and 4.0 on the 28 Cron, all apertures rendered an equivalent level of resolution. That was very impressive. The 25mm Biogon really is an f/4 lens, and that was the reason I traded it for the 28 Cron. I gained two stops of usability.

Edited by jplomley
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Thank-you all for your comments and examples, yes it is a good lens - let me re-phrase my question - how can I tell if my (used/early) example is a good (or poor) copy?

 

My 'real world tests' show that the performance does not really vary with aperture or distance - it is just that it hasn't met my expectations (based on my use of a Zeiss 25mm) - these expectations may be wholly unreasonable and relate more to differences in contrast and color..

 

As I say my real world experiences have so far been 'negative', and I find it difficult to make absolute rather than comparative judgments - hence my question is 'would a real world comparison with a Zeiss 50mm Planar be valid'. My experiences so far (real and artificial) is that the two examples are much the same.

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Certainly the Zeiss color rendition is different. I would say more "sizzle", particularly reds. In comparision, the Cron tends to furnish a more muted palette.

 

My feeling is that in the 28 Cron, compromises were made in terms of absolute resolving power in order to satisfy the f/2.0 aperture. Perhaps a fairer comparison would be the 24/2.8 Asph vs 25/2.8 Biogon.

 

Out of curiosity, why did you trade the 25 Biogon for the 28 Cron?

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My overall (real world) impression is that the 28mm ( compared with the 25mm) is soft, low contrast and is subject to flare (I always use a UV/IR filter) -

Thank-you

 

V64, try it without the IR filter.

 

You may well find the performance you're looking for is being degraded by that IR glass.

 

:D

 

Rolo

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Leica MP / M8

Leica 28mm Sumicron 2.0 chrome - gorgeous

Leica 50mm Summilux pre-asph v3

Leica 35mm Summaron 3.5 - the beauty

IR filters and a Billingham bag

 

Did you not find (M8) 28 too close to 35? And how do you deal with flare on Summaron, eg which lens hood/ filter on or off?

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Test the accuracy of the focus too. Perhaps it is not exactly right.

 

Theoretically there is the possibility that your copy isn't quite right, but the photo you posted doesn't really show it. Try posting a real-world shot with crops from the corners.

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I agree with most of the responses: certainly don't judge this lens' potential (or any lens' potential, for that matter) with pseudo lab shots and pixel peeping. The 28 cron has a lot of character and one of my favorite things about this lens, actually, is that it's relatively low contrast for an ASPH lens. I can always increase contrast if I want to in post, and as someone already mentioned, the lower contrast is a real benefit for B&W images.

 

The Zeiss lenses to me are a bit like a home theater audio system. They're balanced for an out-of-the-box "pop", and while this appeals to some (perhaps most), I want something a little more neutral, like a pair of reference monitors. The Leica and CV lenses tend to give me that. I'm not saying the Zeiss offerings are poor by any means--clearly they are world-class optics. They just don't suit my tastes. If I want the pop of Zeiss lenses, I can get close to it via sliders in Aperture.

 

Anyway, the 28mm cron is my favorite lens by far. The only thing that will replace it--maybe--is a 28mm lux, if that ever happens.

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Out of curiosity, why did you trade the 25 Biogon for the 28 Cron?

 

two reasons - speed and I found that with the 25mm I was always having to 'crop' - it was 'too wide', and I found the 35mm cron too 'long' for interiors, so I actually traded both for the 28mm, and it is certainly has a 'natural EFOV' which suits my style - so I really want it to work - and it is easier to select from a selection of one lens (although I also use a 15mm, a 50mm Planar and a CV 75). I think I maybe starting to regret that decision!

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Did you not find (M8) 28 too close to 35? And how do you deal with flare on Summaron, eg which lens hood/ filter on or off?

 

I traded a Zeiss 25mm and a 35mm cron for the 28mm cron. On the summicron I use the standard hood and a UV/IR filter. I need to experiment with a 'tighter hood' such as screw in rubber Hoya.

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V64, try it without the IR filter.

 

You may well find the performance you're looking for is being degraded by that IR glass.

 

:D

 

Rolo

 

I take your point - I find the effect of IR on greens/yellows/blues to be so marked that it is not an option for me - I need to explore using another (tighter) hood than the standard one.

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I recently posted regarding the 28 Summicron asph vs the 28 Elmarit asph. Many people described, and posted pics, regarding the differences (other than speed,size, and price). And, one of the key differences seemed to be the real/apparent? increased contrast and sharpness/ resolution of the Elmarit. I don't know if I'm using the right technical terms here, but in lay terms, the Elmarit images (at least on my computer screen) appeared contrastier...some might say harsher.

 

Since I'm new to this digital world, I don't know if it's easier in post processing to "tone down" an image vs "punch it up." But, given your desires compared to the Zeiss, I wonder if you might not be happier with the Elmarit. And, it's a lot smaller and cheaper than the Summicron.

 

Anyway, FWIW.

 

Jeff

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"... the 28mm ( compared with the 25mm) is soft, low contrast and is subject to flare (I always use a UV/IR filter) -but not dramatically so."

 

I completely agree with your assessment, & that is why I use it & not a 25 or 28mm Zeiss lens.

 

"It simply lacks the impact of the 25mm."

 

If by impact you mean Zeiss' excessive contrast, then I agree again.

 

Its greater control of highlight & shadow detail is another reason (besides wider aperture) that it's a better choice than the 28 Elmarit.

 

Kirk

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