View Full Version : 3,5cm Elmar or Summaron?
What is the difference between these two lenses? I already have a Jupiter 12 for my Leica IIIb but want the "real thing" now, which one is preferable for both color and bw? Could I use serial numbers to tell if it's a coated lens? Many sellers don't mention if it is or not, or should I assume that it is uncoated unless stated?
The Elmar in 35mm was one of two or three Leica lenses I found to be garbage.
I like the 3.5 screw Summaron a whole bunch and would never sell it. Pics are much like the first 8 element Summicron. If you want a modern look in screw mt, you will need a CV one. Don`t know anything about Russian glass and never will .
You will need to send it to DAG or somebody for cleaning because if it is not crystal clear it just does not work like a Leica lens. No fog is acceptable and most have some.
I've got a 3.5 Summaron. The lens had a slight haze when I got it (it was made in the 50s). I had it cleaned and the results are excellent. Keep in mind that the Summaron is a six element design and the Elmar is an older four element design. A good Jupiter can be as good as a 3.5 Summaron if you are lucky enough to come across one. The problem with the Jupiter is the corner sharpness.
A new CV is a good alternative as I spent $250 on my Summaron for the lens and cleaning.
What is the difference between these two lenses? I already have a Jupiter 12 for my Leica IIIb but want the "real thing" now, which one is preferable for both color and bw? Could I use serial numbers to tell if it's a coated lens? Many sellers don't mention if it is or not, or should I assume that it is uncoated unless stated? Thanks J
The Elmar isn't a bad lens when coated but the Summaron is a far better performer and worth the extra cost. As has been said, many of the Summarons will have haze internally and require cleaning. I have two Summarons and cleaned both myself. They both do nicely and I like them.
The Elmar's cost more reflects collector scarcity pricing than practical value. The Summaron 35/3.5 is a far better value, better lens design. I was very lucky to get an Elmar for $144 (eBay, seller in Latvia), they normally go for a lot more.
I don't find mine to be garbage, it's perfectly respectable. Weak in the corners, but decent contrast. Makes fine 4x6 prints. But pushing what is basically a Tessar design to a wide angle lens is a bit marginal. I use it as a "travel" wide angle.
I have a Canon 35/2.8 if I want quality. (A double-Gauss like the Summaron.) That's the 35mm LTM lens I'd use if taking negatives on T-MAX 100 for 8x10 glossy prints...
I find the Summaron less contrasty than the first version 35mm Summicron. The latter lens is very sharp and gives beautiful results.
If you already have a 35 mm Jupiter, J, and it gives good pictures, it is "the real thing". I don't see the need for another lens of the same focal length. If you must have a Leitz lens, the Summaron is much to be preferred. I used a 3.5 version from 1985 to 2002, and I now have another of the same. The Elmar's definition is not nearly so good, besides which it messes up the corners of the frame. Many lenses which were made without coating were coated later. Equally, coated lenses could have their coating removed by heavy-handed cleaning. Serial numbers are therefore not to be trusted. Just look at the reflection of something off the front or rear element. If you see a colour, generally blue or magenta, the lens is coated.
The Summaron uses the more modern 6 element double gauss design, as opposed to the Elmar's 4 element in 3 groups Tessar design.
I have the Summaron 3.5 coated and the Jupiter 12. As was just mentioned, the Jupiter 12 performs rather well for its age. It also has a built-in lens hood and allows for the use of a more modern lens cap.
With regards to the Summaron 3.5 it uses brass construction and the traditional LTM focusing lever with an infinity lock. A word of warning, the Summaron lens hood is an expensive commodity. You can cut down a FISON for the 5cm Elmar instead.
About hood cost, Solinar is right. Unless you offer a really large sum of money, you may well be told to FOOKH off.
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