View Full Version : Summilux 35, which one to keep?
I have 2x Summilux 35 mm. This is one too many. But which one should I keep?
They have both had a CLA this week, so functionally they're equal.
one is the version with the infinity lock, serial number 2347924.
the other without the infinity lock, serial number 2870124.
The one I will keep will be used of course. I shoot 90% b&w. Street photography, some architecture.
In deciding which one to keep, I would also like to take into account which one has the highest 'collectable' value. This would be the one to keep, if it is also the best lens.
Any tips are welcome !
The one I will not keep will be in the classifieds here soon...
... one is the version with the infinity lock, serial number 2347924. the other without the infinity lock, serial number 2870124...
Basically, you can flip a coin...
Both have the same optical formula. The earlier version takes the bazaar rectangular metal shade that bayonets onto the front of the lens - E41 filter size. The other takes the clip-on shade, in which series VII filters are housed - if memory serves, it has no filter threads.
The earlier version (especially if you have the shade) will fetch more money for its collectability.
I had this lens with the infinity lock. It does bring a higher resale. Of the older 'lux 35s there was an improvement in coating and I think that the one you have has the newer improved coating. You'll want to check (I recall the cutoff as around 225xxxx) but also, my understanding is that lenses of that vintage differ somewhat from one to the next....so go based on which lens you prefer. My Summilux sold for more because of the infinity lock. I sold it because while a really nice lens, the newer 35 asph Summicron worked better for me.
I have the 35 lux with infinity lock and it is only 40 away from yours. It takes the clip on hood using series filters. If I recall correctly even your older one was past the supposed cut off point where a change was supposed to have been made. As to which is worth more I have no clue but they should be at least equal in optical quality if they are past the cut off point.
Any ideas on value are still welcome...
As a rough guide you could look here http://members.aol.com/dcolucci/a.htm .
thanks Bob, very useful link. I'm actually following a tabbed version on the bay at the moment, bids at US$ 1500 and still 7 days to go..
I suppose as with a lot of things, right time right place makes a lot of difference.
Then again, as someone said, it's sitting on a shelf and doesn't eat anything...
Us dutch people are known for being tight..
I've used 35 Summilux 2347624 for almost twenty years now first on an M3 and now a M6. Great lens. My 35 Summilux Asph. is almost totally flare proof but much bigger so I keep using the old one for most work. All 35 Lux lenses are limited production so if you could keep both, it might be a good investment.
Both the lenses you have would be conceded 'collector's' lenses. The early series 7 filter in hood Summilux with the locking focus tab were made in very limited quantity. The later Summilux from the serial number should be a German made lens and has the reputation of being better made (quality control) with different 'latest' lens coatings (flare control).
If you like the locking feature they are hard to come by. The advantage in durability being the metal construction compared to the later plastic focus tab (they do rarely crack). In feel I find the plastic 'soft' contours comfortable, but the old style metal tab is nice too. In use the locked position on a small 35 makes it easier to mount/unmount the lens.
Optically other than the coatings the lens formula is the same and should perform similarly, but from my experience there are sample variations. I'd do a side by side test and see if this is the case. If the lenses are physically the same - focus/aperture action, wear of the aperture blades, glass condition - pick the one that seems with the best image, and you like ( tab action ). Selling price should be about the same +/- $200 depending on finding the ideal (high price) buyer.
From an article on this lens from an old Viewfinder, the coating change that might be significant happened just around the 2.8 mil range so it is possible that you have the newer coating on the later lens. You should see some green reflections in with the magenta. That would possibly trump the value on an earlier infinity lock version. Mine had the lock, took the series vii filter and had the later coating. I sold it years back for 1200.00 with the hood.
Hope this helps. I would go with the best lens from point of view of the image....prbably the later lens but for B&W maybe not :)
Just checked a reference book, Leica/A History illustrating every Model and Accessory by Paul-Henery van Hasbroek, and he seems to indicate that the 35 lux pre asph was recomputed around 2166702 with improved optical quality resulting. If he is correct, and I have no reason to doubt him, both your lenses are the same optical formula. If one of them says Made in Germany it may just bring a higher price as for some if it is not Made in Germany it is not really Leica and as a result somehow inferior. I mentioned the guide to get a ballpark figure but following actual sales, as you are doing, might be a better indication of current market value. There have been so many Leica price increases that I think it has dragged older non asph lenses up in value. I think TomA in a previous thread gave what he thought they may be worth in user condition and of course as he said the closer to mint the higher they seem to go for. Condition is everything for a collector. Me, I would keep all the supposed dud Canadian made Leica lenses I can get and let someone else have the privilege of the Made in Germany ones, for a premium of course. YMMV.
thanks guys. Both lenses are made in Canada, so no difference there.
As there's no difference in optical formula and collector's value, I would take the infinity lock as decision point - if you like it, keep that one, if not, the other one. Personally I am not a great fan of infinity locks, though I have it on two 50mm lenses I use often (Summicron collapsible, Canon 1.2). I remember I missed some shots from time to time, when quick focusing/shooting was required and the @#%& lock was on.
I prefer mine with the infinity lock because I got used to it. I know it's there and as soon as I touch the camera I release the lock and set hyperfocal.
I guess if I were in your position I would sell the "collector" lens and keep the "user." All other things being equal, collectors value condition and every time a lens comes out, there's a risk of damage.
But I'm not in your position. I also have a 35mm Summaron 2.8 with the lock. I like it because it is smaller, lighter, and takes the same hood as my dr summicron. It lives on my M2.
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