Quote Originally Posted by Xmas View Post
It is certainty very rare to see a pre M leica (or any Contax) in the streets being used, and the ones Ive seen have all been amateurs no pros.....
Yep, today's pros rely on Photoshop

Quote Originally Posted by Xmas View Post
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He did not have a computer to do a more complete optimization and he had a more limiting glass catalog, modern lenses are smaller, better, cheaper...l
You are wild guessing here, there are a only few people who are aware what types of glass Leitz used back then and even today.
Elmar they say is based on Zeiss Tessar, You don't need a computer for such simple lens formula.

Quote Originally Posted by Xmas View Post
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agreed polycarbonate and high refractive index, all the pros have them, soft is questionable...
Todays pros shoting Nikon or Canon are blind for everything beyond 100 lp/mm (Nikon D800E physical resolution limit is ~ 100 lp/mm, Nyquist frequency)

The shots they get today, using "modern" black, plastic, ugly dSLR lenses are much softer (and distorted) than what You can get with ltm Elmar 3,5/50 (or any decent prime made for RF film cameras) and films like Kodak t-max, Agfa Copex-rapid or some of the still available color negative or slide films.

With ltm Elmar You get distortion free photo, since this design is nearly symmetrical and resolving power great up to ƒ 5,6.

The above been confirmed true several times already by authorities like Carl Zeiss AG Camera Lens Division in lens test conducted by Dr. Hubert Nasse, senior scientist at Zeiss and chief optical designer.