elmar f2.8 classic vs summicron f2.0 collapsible
I 'm looking for a collapsible lens.
My requirement is for it to be useable at f2.8 (for portraits) and smaller than my Summaron when collapsed. I believe both of these lenses are smaller than my Summaron but with the Elmar having a slight edge.
The Elmar ergonomics are supposed to be not the best but for the sake of compactness, that is something that I might deal with. I do not want a non-39mm filter threaded lens for sure.
I have not quite figured out what the consensus is on the old Elmar. How does it perform at wide apertures? Generally OK? I hear that the Summicron is soft but I'm mainly interested in shooting a lens at f2.8 so if they are both comparable at f2.8 then I might as well go with the cheaper/smaller one--the Elmar. I haven't tracked the prices too much but the Summicron is likely to have a bit of an inflated ego and hence costlier.
If I go with the elmar, then can it use the Summicron hoods? I have those so I wouldn't bother with the new screw-on ones.
However, my thinking is that the Summicron is the better lens (between the two).
the 2.8 is a lot more collapsible/compact than the summicron -- not sure why,mostly a matter of more glass. Both, in my experience, are excellent performers, the 2.8 is a bit newer design if ur talking classic lenses, not the new line they came out with a coupla years ago.
Get the best you can afford and take pictures, leave the lens testing to guys with optical benches. In practice, they're both really good.
The Elmar ƒ/2,8 could use the barn door hood that fits Summitar, Summicron and pretty much any 50mm lens that got 42mm front, that includes Zeiss Sonnars and the FSU Jupiters.
As far as performance @ ƒ/2,8, IMHO the Elmar is more efficient lens design, since it sports less elements.. although its not as symmetrical as Elmar ƒ/3,5.
ƒ-stops describes DOF better than light transmission. Thats why cinematographers use T-stops.
ƒ-stops does not take in account the number of lens elements, surfaces etc. etc.,
The only thing Elmar and Summicron share at ƒ/2,8 is the same DOF @ ƒ/2,8 (or any other ƒ-stop), character and light transmission are gonna be different, hence some folks swear by Elmar, others by Summicron.
The only awkward thing I find with the 1:2.8/50mm Elmar is that as the whole lens turns when focussing, the aperture index dot also goes round to where you cannot see it! This also happens with the f/3.5 Elmar and f/2 Summar I have for my lllf. The summicron wouldn't do this I think. But then if you are shooting wide open it would not matter. I like the little focussing lever on these 50mm and 35mm lenses.
The lens hood will fit anything with an E39 front, (the earlier lenses being A36 though need slip-on hoods).
If the compactness is so important, perhaps you should be looking at a screwmount camera rather than an M series?
I agree with Darko about not selling - I wish I still had the Summitar that came with my lllf: I sold it when I bought the more compact Elmar!!
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I'll throw in my 2 cents here. I owned a newer black 50/2.8 Elmar for a few months, shot a number of rolls, and decided to sell it. It's a good lens, really good, and VERY cool looking too. But I am HUGELY subjective in my like and dislike of lenses. To me I look for a certain character in my lenses that can perhaps best be described as moderate contrast, strong but not clinical sharpness, creamy midtones and a background bokeh that emphasizes a some 3-D look. And I shoot almost 98% B&W. I find this character (though in differing degrees and ways) in my 50/2 Summicron DR, 50/2 Summitar, 50/3.5 Elmar, 50/2 Nikkor-S and 45/2 Planar-G. The 50/2.8 Elmar just did not have that certain unique character for me. Neither did the Canon 50/1.5, the 40/1.4 Nokton and yes, even the 50/1.4 Summilux (late one too) all of which I tried and later sold off. TOTALLY subjective so take that for what it's worth. In the end handling will be important but to me I can eventually get used to how a lens handles if it's giving me the results I want. So bottomline advice from me would be try them both, shoot a bunch of rolls, develop and see which you like better. You can easily sell them for what you paid if not more. Have fun.
I own a mint M mount 50mm f/2.0 Collapsible Type I. The lens performs best at f/4, drawing classic, beautiful portraits. The performance at f/2 is flat in contrast. The performance is just behind the Summicron DR at f/2.8. At f/2.8 to f/3.5 it has low to medium contrast and is the equal of the DR, Type II. The lens is small but not as small as an Elmar. An old Elmar 50mm f/3.5 has lower performance at wider apertures since it is 4 elements in 3 groups. The sweet spot for the Elmar f/3.5 is f/8 vs f/4 for the Cron. Performance improves in the Elmar f/2.8 but at f/4 my guess is the collapsible is better. Between a Summitar, Summicron and Elmar an older Cron is the best choice for B&W portraits. If using color film I suggest a Summicron Type III or IV. Learn more at kenrockwell.com
To appreciate the 1950/60 older glass the lens must be clean. After 60 to 65 years mint optics are hard to find.
Image outlines for the collapsible at f/4 are sharp and rounded, midtones creamy, and backgrounds oh so smooth. The lens iris is a circle.
Last edited by Richard Jepsen; 12-12-2012 at 03:54 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Elmar ƒ/3,5 stopped 1 or 2 stops performs the best, ƒ/8 is not what Elmar was optimized for.
Originally Posted by Richard Jepsen
Even on the uncoated Elmar ƒ/3,5 LTM., the R index is above ƒ/6,3 - that's 2 stops from wide open.
ƒ/8 is the stop, where all lenses performs equally bad.
Larger DOF with prime lens does not mean best optical performance or sweet spot, unless You want Your shoes ends and infinity to be in focus.
I am very content with my 2.8 elmar, my subjective view is of a well rounded good performer, not up the standard of the latest summicron of course, but quite capable, the photograph taken wide open and against the light being an example.