Quote Originally Posted by msbarnes View Post
I am looking for a collapsible 50mm but I wonder clean samples are more difficult to come by. I'm interested in the Summitar/Summicron/Elmar. Were those coatings worse than the lenses that I own?
I wouldn't say worse, but softer. The Summitar has a reputation for having quite soft coating that can come off apparently quite easily.
The Summicron (collapsible) has a soft front element - I've seen many, many examples with lots of scratches.
I think the Elmar has soft coating too, but I'm not sure.

In my neck of the woods, many lenses I come across are hazy. Even if a lens can be cleaned, dealers just don't want to pay to have it done. I'm not sure if that's a worldwide trend, or just here in Japan. At any rate, in my experience generally the older the lens, the harder it is to find a clean example.