Any preference for Leica 50mm/2 current version over Zeiss Planar 50mm/2 ZM ?

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by Alexz, Dec 1, 2006.

  1. Alexz

    Alexz Member

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    I'm thorning between Zeiss Planar ZM 50mm/2 and Leica Summicron 50mm/2 (current version - with telescopic hood) to serve as my main working lens on soon-to-be acquired RF (presumably Bessa R3A).
    According to Reid's review (where also Nokton 50mm/1.5 Asph was reviewed), all three perform nearly identical (sharpness-wise) having slight edge to Planar and Summicron in contrast.
    The Summicron is offered for 125$ more (it is used in LN condition fro reputable seller) then Planar + vented hood.
    Do you think Summicron nevertheless worth the premium of 125$ over brand new Planar ? What is your opinion ?

    Thanks, Alex
     
  2. Biogon Bill

    Biogon Bill Member

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    I have a Summicron, but I think I'd be happy with either lens.
     
  3. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    This is simple.

    If the Summicron was also new - what would be the price difference?

    Would you pay that?

    If not, taking a small chance, since you say the Summi is LN, are you willing to pay $125 for the "brand" knowing that only YOU know it was bought "used" (that is - so long as you don't tell anyone).

    Optically, I doubt you'll ever notice a difference - but unless you buy both - how will you ever know?

    Why do RF'ers so agonize over gear anyway?
     
  4. Alexz

    Alexz Member

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    > If the Summicron was also new - what would be the price difference?
    > Would you pay that?

    Xmm, I would expect the price difference would approach something like 50% (say, 400-600$) which definitely would put Summicron out of question.

    Frankly, new or used but indeed in LN condition doesn't make much difference (aside of some warranty on brand new which isn't the case for used of course), so it's probably indeed down to brand preference rather then quality choice though I'll be glad to be pointed to even subjective quality/reliability differences if such exist between two of these.
    The additional argument aside of "brand pride" would probably be resale value. Apparently Leica original glass holds its value undoubtedly, so chances if one will be willing to sell it after usage being in the same condition as was bought, no money loss will be suffered.
    Having said that, it seems however that the Zeiss also holds its value cery well....

    > Why do RF'ers so agonize over gear anyway?

    Good question, but probably can be extended to a general photo geeks community, not only RF'ers...;-)

    Since I assume 50mm lens will serve as my main tool and will probably make 60-80% of my RF photography, I strive to get the best one I can afford. This Summicron is priced probably at the very top of my budget for fine normal lens thuogh still can be fitted in it, but Planar being cheaper alternative apparently provides no less quality...go figure...
     
  5. Biogon Bill

    Biogon Bill Member

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    You can find some additional thoughts & a direct comparison here: www.imx.nl

    Look at the list on the right side bar for the 3-part series reviewing the ZM lens series. It includes direct comparisons with Leica lenses in parts 2 and 3.
     
  6. naturephoto1

    naturephoto1 Subscriber

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    Hi Alex,

    Optically they may be close in performance. I have never handled or seen the Zeiss optics. However, I have handled many many Leica lenses. I use the R series but mechanically they operate much like the M series lenses. Leica uses the self lubricating brass on aluminum for their focusing helixes. This allows Leica to use lighter oils rather than the heavier greases used by other makers. Though the brass makes their lenses heavier, I would bet you dollars to donuts that you will feel the difference in the focusing of the 2 lenses. No other manual focusing lenses have the buttery feel that Leica lenses have. They are very smooth with no backlash in their focusing.

    Rich
     
  7. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    I have both and the Zeiss is every bit as smooth as the leica.....
     
  8. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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  9. Alexz

    Alexz Member

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    John, not willing to start over another religios Leica vs others wars, just to mention ZM lenses are mainly to go with Zeis own new line (new Ikon), though being M-mount, certainly an alternative was meant for Leica glass as well as for any M-mount RFs (such as Bessa). Right, time will tell how well they will manage in the future and how firm will keep their value, at least current reviews get ZM Planar in the same league as current Summicron optically and mechanically (aside of probably very subjective hair-split narow differences that may probably be more worth of academic discussion...).
    Not to impact Summicron merits on its own, but I was just curious whether there can be any practical reason to pay a premium over ZM Planar new price for used mint Summicron (aside of proven resale value of the latter)...
     
  10. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Tom, I also have both and I agree.
     
  11. Biogon Bill

    Biogon Bill Member

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    Leica has now become a third party manufacturer of lenses for Ziess M-mount cameras. :tongue:

    Actually, John, Zeiss was never a camera manufacturer, so they have always been a third party supplier of exquisite optics. Being "third party" does not imply "inferior" unless you want to read it that way.

    As a point of fact, they have never left the market, not been "in & out." Zeiss has been around as an optics company for 180 years. I'd say that's pretty good staying power. They are an older company than Leica & a much larger one with a much more diverse application of optics, greater research facilities, & far better financing. If I had to put money on which company would be around longer, my money would be on Zeiss.

    I love your turn of a phrase >". . . go over like a fart in church." I'm still laughing oveeer that one. :D :D :D