Question about Leica 50mm Elmar

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by joe7, Jan 29, 2011.

  1. joe7

    joe7 Member

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    i;m interested to get 50mm Elmar for my M3,but i''m not sure which one of the Elmar is the best one.
    i've saw on internet,there's a few variant of Elmar,from different production years,like Elmar f/2.8 that having 15 blades apperture,and the Elmar-M f/2.8 with 6 blades.FYI,i'm shooting BW most of the time.
    Thanks
     
  2. mablo

    mablo Member

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    Well, the original Elmar 50mm/3.5 is quite nice little lens but flares very easily. Try to find an after war model with coated lens and check that the coating is still there. Coating helps a lot with contrast and flare. If money is not an object I'd recommend the newer 50mm/2.8 model. The number of aperture blades doesn't mean anything. There are some that say it affects bokeh but that's basically baloney.
     
  3. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    You dont never need to invest in newer lenses , I believe older the Leitz , it becomes better. I used Leitz 5 cms f:3.5 Elmar and its super good lens , no match today , even better than todays latest Leica lens.
    It doesnt flare and super high contrast , exceptionally deep colors lens. Its a mona lisa of lenses and hand calculated , consumes years of best minds in optics.
    It is better than noctilux and summilux. If you can be a subscriber , you can see my gallery. You dont need any newer lens , its better than newer lenses. Invest 10 dollars and become a subscriber and visit my gallery.
     
  4. Xmas

    Xmas Member

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    Hi

    There are several variants of the Elmar but they all (indeed any lens) benifits from use of a hood, suggest you budget for a hood as well.

    The very early lenses f/3.5 have a push on (i.e.clamp on) fitting FISON
    The 53-62 f/3.5 have a 39mm screw in or 42mm clip on ITOOY
    The 57-72 f/2.8 ditto
    The 94-04 f/2.8 a 39mm screw in

    The last lens is usable at any aperture even for critical work the earlier f/5.6 or smaller, especially the f/2.8.

    Noel
     
  5. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    Well the older ones are the classic ones. The one's Leica made it's name on in a sense. However, if you don't like that classic look, low contrast and a bit flarey, then get one of the modern ones. I want an Elmar, but don't need one. I'll eventually pick up the last one, the Elmar-M. Classic design, but pretty modern capabilities. Right up my alley.
     
  6. jja

    jja Member

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    I have owned two Elmars, one from the 1960s and the latest version with modern optics. My 1960s Elmar was f2.8, was very well made, and produced outstanding tonality in b&w. I paid $250 for it a few years ago, but I think prices are up to around $350 or more these days. The one thing I did not like about it was that turning the focus ring also caused the aperture ring to rotate, and vice-versa, so it was necessary to set aperture before focusing.

    I currently own a modern Elmar-M. Like its predecessor, it has great tonality, with a step more contrast and definition. Current prices for this lens are $600+. Though it is not as compact as earlier versions, I think the Elmar-M is very special. For me it is a lens that escapes objective description--images are sharp, blacks are very black, the lens seems to etch the image onto the film.
     
  7. davela

    davela Subscriber

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    The coated Elmar 5cm F3.5 is a fine lens. Look for a coated model without scratches or haze. (expect to pay $150-200)
     
  8. agfarapid

    agfarapid Subscriber

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    I've had the 15 blade Elmar for many years. It's a sharp and compact lens producing excellent contrast. Without offence to previous posters, stick to the more modern version; ergonomically and optically it's superior to the earlier screw mount 3.5 versions.
     
  9. Tony Karnezis

    Tony Karnezis Member

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    The fact that you have received recommendations for Elmars of all ages and designs means there is no best lens, only one that is better suited for what you want your images to look like. What are your aesthetic goals?

    As agfarapid said, there are ergonomic considerations as well. Since I have a DR Summicron that I use on an M3, I wanted a lens with a more vintage look that gave the smallest possible package on a Leica IIIc. Therefore I bought a coated f/3.5 Elmar despite its well known ergonomic eccentricities. In contrast, the f/2.8 Elmar is beautifully built, very smooth and ergonomically "superior" to the f/3.5, but it is too heavy for my needs on the IIIc. I find it balances much better on the M3.
     
  10. joe7

    joe7 Member

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    one of my friend is offering me a leica 35 mm Summaron,that comes with goggles and Leica 50mm f2 summicron v4..i really don't know how to choose.i'm doing street shots most of the time,and i love contrasty image from the 50cron,but not sure bout the image quality and contast of 35mm summaron.both of the lens is in excellent condition...need your opinion here,as my knowledge in M mount lens is very limited.Thanks
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 2, 2011
  11. KrankyKraut

    KrankyKraut Member

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    The Summaron is one of the best lenses you can get for b&w. Images have a tonality and "look" that's unsurpassed, for b&w. For color, there are better options. The 50mm v4 is superb all around.
     
  12. jja

    jja Member

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    Both lenses are really excellent, you cannot go wrong with either. As Kranky says, Summaron has great b&w tonality. The Summicron will have better contrast, but make your decision based on preferred focal length.