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  1. #1
    darkosaric's Avatar
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    Summicrom 50mm M - "glasses are bit foggy"

    So,

    time has come - I am buying leica M6 . My friend is going in Berlin and he will do shopping for me. I have money for M6 but for new or relatively new lens not right now. I see one, two summicrons are around 200 euros - with remark: "glasses are bit foggy". What I can expect in final image because of this?

    I always wanted summicron 50mm. Should I go for this one and later (next year probably) buy newer version, or should I go for voigtlander first?

    Shop is:

    http://www.meister-camera.com/berlin/

    thanks,

  2. #2
    Depth's Avatar
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    Well, if a fungus is causing it then don't even bother with it.

    And you can expect the lens to suffer from things like less contrast.

  3. #3
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    For 200 euro you should be able to get a very clean Summicron, optically.

    Probably not from a dealer, but unlike most lenses there's less to go mechanically wrong. I have an early M series Summicron and it's a wonderful lens, very sharp and superb in low light levels great for hand held work.

    Ian

  4. #4
    Rol_Lei Nut's Avatar
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    Some older Leica lenses were prone to "fogging" (not necessarily fungus - aparently something to do with the glass sometimes degrading due to the lubricants used - still very bad).
    I'd definitely avoid them! Lower contrast and more flare would be expected, at the very least.

    While Meister Camera tends to rate conservatively, any mention of fog, even by them, would be a no no IMHO...

    As a stopgap: A Soviet lens with a M39-Leica M adapter ring?
    Yes, Russian roulette, but some of the Soviet lenses were very good (tweaked 1930's Zeiss & Leica designs). The 50mm lenses apparently have more keepers than some other FLs (easier to build?).
    Anyway, if a 'Cron is what you want, go for it, but fog-free!
    Last edited by Rol_Lei Nut; 02-11-2010 at 04:29 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    M6, SL, SL2, R5, P6x7, SL3003, SL35-E, F, F2, FM, FE-2, Varex IIa

  5. #5

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    I've got to tell you, the Cosina-Voigtlander lenses are really good. A friend of mine has the 50 mm f/1.5 Nokton and it's really good. I don't think that you will see an appreciable difference between that lens and a comparable Leitz optic. Brand new they are around $390 US at B&H, and you can probably find one for less on the used market. If you're bound and determined to have a Leitz lens, this won't do. But if you're looking for a very good, fast lens and don't care who made it, it's worth a look. The f/2 Heliar is really good too and will likely cost even less.
    Frank Schifano

  6. #6
    Depth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fschifano View Post
    I've got to tell you, the Cosina-Voigtlander lenses are really good. A friend of mine has the 50 mm f/1.5 Nokton and it's really good. I don't think that you will see an appreciable difference between that lens and a comparable Leitz optic. Brand new they are around $390 US at B&H, and you can probably find one for less on the used market. If you're bound and determined to have a Leitz lens, this won't do. But if you're looking for a very good, fast lens and don't care who made it, it's worth a look. The f/2 Heliar is really good too and will likely cost even less.
    I agree.

    I rented a Voigtlander Nokton 50mm f/1.1 and was surprised by the optical quality. Sharp wide open and the contrast is wonderful. And it's a fraction of the cost of a Noctilux and slightly slower.

    Shot taken with the 50mm f/1.1

    A few more shots in this set.

  7. #7
    darkosaric's Avatar
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    thanks for replays . I will avoid foggy ones. If I don't find summicron for good price - for start I will go with voigtlander

  8. #8

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    ...and you just might find that the Cosina-Voigtlander stuff is plenty good enough too. Leitz optics are beautiful; but they're also seen as status items and, dare I say it, fashion accessories. At one time, Leitz products probably had it all over the rest. I don't think that's so much the case today. Good lens designs are not secrets.
    Frank Schifano

  9. #9
    Rol_Lei Nut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fschifano View Post
    Leitz optics are beautiful; but they're also seen as status items and, dare I say it, fashion accessories. At one time, Leitz products probably had it all over the rest. I don't think that's so much the case today. Good lens designs are not secrets.
    I thought the current ststus symbol was more along the lines of an AF camera mounting a huge white lens (Freud dixit)...

    There are differences between lenses and their signatures.
    Some may be matters of taste, others having more real impact (flare resistance being an important one).
    Designs are not secrets, but the commercial will to make a lens as good as it can be is often not there. Consumers will often throw their money at convenience and electronic gadgets rather than truly good optics.
    M6, SL, SL2, R5, P6x7, SL3003, SL35-E, F, F2, FM, FE-2, Varex IIa

  10. #10
    T42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rol_Lei Nut View Post
    ...Consumers will often throw their money at convenience and electronic gadgets rather than truly good optics.
    The longer the feature list the better, right?

    Several years ago I took a shot of an accident scene with my 1953 Summicron. I noticed that the red light from an emergency vehicle had flared a bit on the print. I had thought of the lens as clear, but on close inspection it did have a bit of haze.

    I sent it to Sherry Krauter at Golden Touch in New York. She took the lens apart and cleaned it. She also did some work on the helicals which made the focusing operation more like how it would have been when new. If I recall correctly, at that time the price for the service was USD $113. The flare went away, and the contrast came up.

    Having said that, I am wondering it the OP might benefit from having a Jupiter 8M in the interim. I am very pleased with the one on my Kiev 4a. I think it can be had in 39mm LTM, and then be adapted to M bayonet. My 1969 Jupiter is more contrasty than my 1953 Summicron. This gives the illusion of it being sharper, but it isn't. The Leitz optic seems to be a bit kinder for people images.

    Henry
    A Certified Dinosaur
    Nikons F, F2, D700, Leica M3, & Kiev 4a

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