50/1.4 pre-asph Summilux...sharp lens?

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by Mewael, Oct 1, 2013.

  1. Mewael

    Mewael Member

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    Is the 50/1.4 pre-asph Summilux sharp wide-open? I'm interested in type 2.

    I have a DR cron but I sometimes need that extra stop of light. I know there are plenty of alternatives but I'm specifically interested in this lens. If it is half-decent wide-open then I'm not interested.

    I always felt that f1.4 Leica lenses needed to be aspherical to be good....
     
  2. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    Yes it is.
     
  3. tony lockerbie

    tony lockerbie Subscriber

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    Very.
     
  4. Mewael

    Mewael Member

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    OK

    It is just that some people are very picky with Leica lenses and value a lens as junk if the successor is a tiny bit sharper. I'm not THAT picky, but some of my old speedsters left more to be desired at wide apertures, like my canon 35mm f1.8 LTM...but that lens is known to be soft.
     
  5. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Most people own much better lenses than they are photographers.
     
  6. Mewael

    Mewael Member

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    True.

    It is just that I mostly stick with slower lenses because from the internet and my experience, faster lenses are more difficult to design and not always great at wide apertures. For 50mm, I feel that f2 is the sweet spot and difficult to screw up. f1.4 seems to be a hit or miss aperture, and anything faster seems to be dodgy, atleast the early incarnations.

    I just wanted to here what the members on apug had to say because the members here are generally more reasonable.
     
  7. miha

    miha Subscriber

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    As with every fast lens make sure the RF system of your camera is precise enough to be able to cope with the shallow DoF. Sometimes adjustments are needed.
     
  8. sangetsu

    sangetsu Member

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    Personally, I prefer the Nokton 50/1.5, but my old Summilux is not bad. You had better get the focus bang-on when shooting wide open, otherwise it is not going to give you sharp results.
     
  9. jamespierce

    jamespierce Subscriber

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    I have one, and wouldn't trade it for the ASPH by choice. It's sharp, not as clinically sharp as the newer ASPH design but it has that signature Leica glow in spades. It's a more natural lens.
     
  10. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    Although purely subjective opinion I tried the Summilux you mention, didn't like it so much and actually kept my DR instead, felt the DR had much more of the signature and personality I strive for, especially for black-and-white work, that I happened to prefer. The Summilux was a great lens don't get me wrong however for the cost I just didn't want to keep it because I was very very happy with my DR. The great thing is you can try the Summilux and easily sell it for what you paid for it so if you want to give it a try I would recommend you do.
     
  11. Mewael

    Mewael Member

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    thank you for your advice.

    The difficulty focusing wide open might be an issue...I'll see how it works for me.

    Sometimes I feel that if I can't capture an image at f2, then it isn't an image worth capturing, lol.
     
  12. 250swb

    250swb Member

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    The reality with Leica lenses, as with any other lens, is that it will not, cannot, be as sharp fully wide open as stopped down a bit. That said Leica lenses tend to be more sharp than others wide open. So you have a balancing act. To say it is sharpest wide open is a fantasy, even Leica never aspired to that, f/4 being the datum point if your preffered DOF coincides with that, but any other aperture is perfectly acceptable without any big traumas.


    Steve
     
  13. CamCrunch

    CamCrunch Member

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    If you're looking for sharpness and not necessarily the Leica name/look, you might want to consider the VC 50mm 1.5.
     
  14. Pioneer

    Pioneer Subscriber

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    I own a Summilux Pre-Asph. It is great on my M7 and works perfectly, but it does not work well with my M9. I am sure that sending the M9 and Summilux in for adjustment would help. But, since I have other very, very nice lenses that do work quite well with my M9, I'm not going to bother.
     
  15. Xmas

    Xmas Member

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    The CV /1.5 has better MTF and less vignetting. But is big.
     
  16. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    For a few years I shot indoor sports with a Canon 50mm f/1.4 and ISO 400 film. Then Kodak introduced T-Max 3200, and a Summicron at twice the shutter speed produced much better images in every respect.
     
  17. TheToadMen

    TheToadMen Subscriber

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    Same here from me with this set! A beautiful combination and I also like the focussing with this lens. Easy & naturally to use.
    Better than my Summicron types.
     
  18. Red Robin

    Red Robin Member

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    Sadly true with my kit, but I keep trying to improve.
     
  19. sepiareverb

    sepiareverb Member

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    Sharp in the center wide open, but not flat field at all. Shooting anything parallel to the film plane at even 2.8 will result in out of focus corners. I've had three different examples of this lens over the years, two of the first type, then the one with the built-in hood. All three acted like this.
     
  20. Xmas

    Xmas Member

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    The type 1 optics ran from 59-63 the type2 from 63 on until asp. note this is from memory.
    There were several different mechanical designs e.g. a LTM version but all post 63 were the type 2 optics.
    They have a nice signature and the early ones are single coated...
    The MTF diagrams are available for the type2 and they are good for the design epoc. It was popular cause it was small and light for 1.4 and good contra jour.
    gbag space the final frontier...