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  1. #11
    Lee L's Avatar
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    Stephen Gandy at cameraquest.com carries the new Zeiss Planar and the C/V Nokton, and is very familiar with the various Leica lenses as well. Since he has two horses in the race and a healthy respect for the third, ask him for a comparison.

    BTW, the Zeiss Planar is built by C/V to Zeiss designs and specs, and under Zeiss quality control.

    You could also find a used 40mm Summicron-C at a good price. Been using one for nearly 30 years and have had people claim 11x14s from it had to be MF with slow film and the right developer. The 40mm f:2 Rokkor M is the same lens, at KEH for $300 now in excellent condition. Looks like the 40 Summicrons have taken a big jump lately. Use to be about $250 in vg to excellent condition, now looks like closer to $350-$400 KEH bargain condition. But sometimes KEH bargains are in better condition than you bargained for. (Sorry 'bout that. )

    In practical terms, you probably couldn't go wrong with any of the lenses mentioned so far. I also like the 1/3 stops, especially for transparencies. Money, features, angle of view, prestige nameplate... Nice to have choices. Oh, and the Planar has a cute blue index button for mounting orientation, entirely different from the Leica red button.

    Lee

    BTW, if you find a 40.5mm Minolta lens cap for the 40mm Rokkor M out near Crested Butte, it's my wife's. PM me here.

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee L
    You could also find a used 40mm Summicron-C at a good price. Been using one for nearly 30 years and have had people claim 11x14s from it had to be MF with slow film and the right developer. The 40mm f:2 Rokkor M is the same lens, at KEH for $300 now in excellent condition. Looks like the 40 Summicrons have taken a big jump lately. Use to be about $250 in vg to excellent condition, now looks like closer to $350-$400 KEH bargain condition. But sometimes KEH bargains are in better condition than you bargained for. (Sorry 'bout that. )
    The 40mm M-Rokkor is slightly more desirable than its optical twin, the 40mm Summicron-C, since it is multicoated and takes standard 40.5mm filters. The Summicron-C is a little weird in that respect.

    There seems to be such a kneejerk tendency to try to divert people away from Leica optics that I sometimes wonder whether there might be a tiny bit of non-objectivity involved. I happen to have a 50mm Summicron (latest version), and it is for all intents and purposes optically flawless. There certainly may be better lenses out there, but it would likely be a test bench superiority, not something which would be noticed in practical use.

  3. #13
    Paul Sorensen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Hoskinson
    KEH "Bargain" 70-79% of original condition. Shows more than average wear. May have dents, dings and a goodly amount of brassing and finish loss. Glass may have marks that should not affect picture quality.

    $484.00??

    Forget it!

    Build quality of the Ikon/Planar? Haven't seen one taken apart and analyzed. I would expect it to be Excellent.
    This is more about KEH than about your lenses, but I have purchased many items from KEH in bargain condition and feel that every one of them exceeds the above description. I understand that it is their description, but that is my experience.

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Sorensen
    This is more about KEH than about your lenses, but I have purchased many items from KEH in bargain condition and feel that every one of them exceeds the above description. I understand that it is their description, but that is my experience.
    Paul, I was reacting to the price of the lens in combination with the description. My feeling is very strong the particular lens is overpriced by at least 2x given its described conditon. I'm just not willing to pay an inflated price for a "name" like Leica (or Hassleblad for that matter), particularly not for a well used normal focal length lens of modest speed.
    Tom Hoskinson
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  5. #15
    Paul Sorensen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Hoskinson
    Paul, I was reacting to the price of the lens in combination with the description. My feeling is very strong the particular lens is overpriced by at least 2x given its described conditon. I'm just not willing to pay an inflated price for a "name" like Leica (or Hassleblad for that matter), particularly not for a well used normal focal length lens of modest speed.
    Makes sense. I just read that description and thought "that doesn't describe anything I have ever bought from them!" so I thought I would pass that observation along. I don't know Leica lenses, to me everything Leica is overpriced.

  6. #16
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trivette
    There seems to be such a kneejerk tendency to try to divert people away from Leica optics that I sometimes wonder whether there might be a tiny bit of non-objectivity involved. I happen to have a 50mm Summicron (latest version), and it is for all intents and purposes optically flawless. There certainly may be better lenses out there, but it would likely be a test bench superiority, not something which would be noticed in practical use.
    For what it's worth, a few years back I was shooting a series on 35 mm which had a lot of backlit subjects in it. I started out with a Leica M3 with a new 50 mm Summicron, the flare of this lens in backlit situations drove me nuts, even with a correct Leica filter and the lens hood pulled out. Aside from that, this was a very sharp lens with excellent field flatness. I also tried a Nikon FM2n with a new 50 mm f1.8 AIS lens, bad flare again. I disposed of both of these cameras and went back to Pentax and a 43 mm f1.9 lens - excellent sharpness, admittedly not the high micro-contrast of the Summicron, but great flare suppression.

    I also have a new f1.5 Nokton - in terms of flare, this seems to behave like a Leica Summitar (immediate forerunner to the 1st version of the Summicron), although I have to say the lens hood supplied with the Nokton is ridiculously small. I now have a bigger hood but have not tested the lens for flare yet with this hood.

    Of the lenses mentioned so far, the Zeiss could be a good choice, although for less money an f2.5 Color-Skopar could be good. Being a wizened old photographer, I tend to select a 4-glass lens for better flare suppression - of all the lenses I own, the champ for flare suppression has to be a 360 mm f5.5 Tele-Xenar. Only 4 glasses and single coating, but it never flares even with the sun in the picture or more critically just outside the frame.

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by David H. Bebbington
    ...Of the lenses mentioned so far, the Zeiss could be a good choice, although for less money an f2.5 Color-Skopar could be good. Being a wizened old photographer, I tend to select a 4-glass lens for better flare suppression - of all the lenses I own, the champ for flare suppression has to be a 360 mm f5.5 Tele-Xenar. Only 4 glasses and single coating, but it never flares even with the sun in the picture or more critically just outside the frame.
    I certainly agree about 4 glass lenses and flare suppression. I do a lot of shooting towards and into the sun as well.

    The original Voigtlander Skopars and Color-Skopars were classic 4 glass Tessar designs. The current Color-Skopars in Leica mount are indeed excellent lenses, but I am not aware of any that are 4 glass designs. For example, my 21mm f4 Color-Skopar is an 8 element 6 group design.
    Tom Hoskinson
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  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Hoskinson
    KEH "Bargain" 70-79% of original condition. Shows more than average wear. May have dents, dings and a goodly amount of brassing and finish loss. Glass may have marks that should not affect picture quality.

    $484.00??

    Forget it!

    Build quality of the Ikon/Planar? Haven't seen one taken apart and analyzed. I would expect it to be Excellent.
    I haven't bought from KEH in years, but everyone I know who's bought "bargain" from KEH lately has been THRILLED. Often the item is in excellent or better condition, plus KEH is very good on returns if you're not satisfied.

    That said, I'd opt for the new Zeiss anyway.

    Earl
    Honey, I promise no more searching eBay for cameras.

  9. #19
    Lee L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David H. Bebbington
    Of the lenses mentioned so far, the Zeiss could be a good choice, although for less money an f2.5 Color-Skopar could be good. Being a wizened old photographer, I tend to select a 4-glass lens for better flare suppression - of all the lenses I own, the champ for flare suppression has to be a 360 mm f5.5 Tele-Xenar. Only 4 glasses and single coating, but it never flares even with the sun in the picture or more critically just outside the frame.
    The C/V 50mm f:2.5 Color Skopar is 7 elements in 6 groups, not 4 as your note might be read to imply. If you read online user reports and comments, such as on the CVUG list (Cosina Voigtlander Users Group), the impression you'll get is that this is not one of the finest in the C/V lineup. The 50 f:1.5 Nokton gets much better reports. I haven't used the 50mm Color Skopar myself, so this is secondhand information, but compiled from a number of owners' and users' reports. I haven't read a single report saying the 50mm Color Skopar is a great lens. I do love my 75mm f:2.5 Color Skopar, which Erwin Puts claims is based on the Elcan (that's E. Leitz Canada) 75mm f:2.5. But I liked it even before I read that claim.

    Also, I'm sure most people are aware that there are a few generations of 50mm Summicrons out there, not all of which perform exactly alike, so comments on one may not necessarily pertain to the other generations. I'm not enough of a collector or hardware nut to have memorized the exact details on this, but I'm sure you can find it online somewhere.

    Lee

  10. #20
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee L
    The C/V 50mm f:2.5 Color Skopar is 7 elements in 6 groups, not 4 as your note might be read to imply. Lee
    I must admit I did not check the specification of the f2.5 Color Skopar but made this comment based on my recollection of the very good 50 mm f2.8 Color Skopar on the Vito C I owned 35 years ago. C/V must have been having a bad day if they went to all the trouble of re-computing the lens from 4 elements to 7 to gain only 1/3 of a stop in maximum aperture with worse optical performance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lee L
    Also, I'm sure most people are aware that there are a few generations of 50mm Summicrons out there, not all of which perform exactly alike, so comments on one may not necessarily pertain to the other generations. Lee
    This is true. I did say that the lens in question was new a few years ago, in fact it was new in 1995 - I think (although I could be wrong) that this version is still the current one. In terms of choice of Summicrons, I think I like the first version best - I had one of these on a Leica IIIf which I used to use for press work. I recall good sharpness but without the fierce micro-contrast of the later lenses.

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