Summilux 35mm pre-asph shots
Old 11-05-2007   #1
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Summilux 35mm pre-asph shots

There are 2 lenses that I believe wrap up and define what is the elusive "Leica look": The Summilux 35 pre-asph and the Summarit 5cm (clean sample, of course!) and as a third I would place the 21 super-angulon f3.4. This is only my opinion based on long searches and, obviously, shooting experience. Let's not forget that I am not an expert and I don't want to be one.

Some respected RFF members do all what they can to discredit this lens in favor of the newer Zeiss or ASPH offerings. They say it's not sharp, shows light falloff and it flares. My personal thinking is those are part of its qualities and undeniable charm. One doesn't shoot the 35 summilux pre-asph for sharpness per se. One shoots it for its overall very unique rendition.

I know, I know,. I probably sound ultra biased. But believe me, I am not! As a matter of fact, this is the lens I used the least during my trip (about 3 roll total, only!) but my best shots are with this lens. I constantly underestimated its qualities in favor of either the Noctilux or the 21 Super angulon... A mistake.
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Old 11-05-2007   #2
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My two favorite lenses, the 35mm pre-ASPH Summilux and 21 SA-M... (coupled with an M4-P)
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Old 11-06-2007   #3
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I have not had any problems regarding sharpness when using this lens. OTH I rarely shot wide open.

Bob
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Old 11-06-2007   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ErikFive
Ill see if I can dig up some shots taken wih this lens. Im not sure where they are. Gabriel owns mine now.

Nice shots from all of you.
I've been trying to get different sorts of shots, but I've noticed something. I think the lens has fog/haze. My shots don't look nearly as crisp as the others posted here

I'm beginning to suspect this lens is prone to haze. I cleaned the outer elements last night, and see an improvement, but I flashed light through it, and I see a faint film on a few surfaces. I see the same thing on my Summarit now, so that's got to be it.

Anybody know how to open this lens? I really really like it, otherwise...
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Old 11-06-2007   #6
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Oh yes Gabriel! Your lens has haze, definitely!

The first pic shows it all over! Have your lens cleaned and love it forever. Definitely a great performer and the Classic Leica.
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Old 11-06-2007   #7
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I, for one, will not berate the S-lux 35 pre-asph. I have one and I like it. So, it might not have the sharpness of the Asph 1.4, but it doesn not have the flare problem either. Mine is usually on a M2 as a low light lens. I haven't come as far as a friend in Paris though. He uses the 35f2 IV generation during the day and at 6 pm he changes to the pre-asph S-lux! He is a Magnum member since the early 70's and knows his bl/w and his 35's.
It is small and compact, it handles well and its only real competition is the Nokton 40/1,4, but that lens is bigger.
The combination of a 35/1,4, a 21/3,4 and the S-cron or S-lux and a M2 will do very well, even compared to the newest glass. Particularly if you are a bl/w shooter. The contrast is manageble and you can do 16x20" prints without problems.
The filter size is bit of a hassle, but as I rarely use them, it is not critical.
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Old 11-06-2007   #8
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Is the Summarit NB refers to LTM ?
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Old 11-06-2007   #9
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Exists in both mounts, HV.

Nice photos, Ned, as usual.

Roland.
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Old 11-06-2007   #10
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gas attack!
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Old 11-06-2007   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom A
The combination of a 35/1,4, a 21/3,4 and the S-cron or S-lux and a M2 will do very well, even compared to the newest glass.
Sounds like my set up ... (except the M2) Now, just the Noctilux is missing and I am done for a while ...
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Old 11-06-2007   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sam_m
gas attack!
uh huh.. exactly.

I had been considering a move to the 35 cron ASPH but now... hmm....

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Old 11-06-2007   #13
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the examples here are further prove to me that good photography sells equipment. There's no doubt in my mind that these scenes would looks just as good having been shot with another lens with the same specs.
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Old 11-06-2007   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ywenz
the examples here are further prove to me that good photography sells equipment. There's no doubt in my mind that these scenes would looks just as good having been shot with another lens with the same specs.
Yes and No... For sure good photography helps selling equipment (GAS attack ....) but also this lens (Summilux 35mm pre-ASPH) has something that can't be seen in photos, it's size and handling. There is no other 35mm f/1.4 available in this size.
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Old 11-06-2007   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maddoc
Yes and No... For sure good photography helps selling equipment (GAS attack ....) but also this lens (Summilux 35mm pre-ASPH) has something that can't be seen in photos, it's size and handling. There is no other 35mm f/1.4 available in this size.
Notice how I only said the "image" will look just as good
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Old 11-06-2007   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ywenz
Notice how I only said the "image" will look just as good
And you also said "if it were shot with another lens with the same specs" -

I guess I'd like to find an ASPH 35mm f1.4 lens that's the same size as the Lux and that can fit my M-mount rangefinder
Cuz it sure would be "cheaper" than the Leica.

Dave
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Old 11-06-2007   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ywenz
the examples here are further prove to me that good photography sells equipment. There's no doubt in my mind that these scenes would looks just as good having been shot with another lens with the same specs.
The 35 pre-asph, just as the Summarit and the noctilux, has it's very own unique look. A scene remains the same scene, no matter which lens, I agree. But each lens renders it differently.
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Old 11-06-2007   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ywenz
the examples here are further prove to me that good photography sells equipment. There's no doubt in my mind that these scenes would looks just as good having been shot with another lens with the same specs.

You are absolutely correct, any other lens would be as good. The point is that this lens has a rep for being worse than the other lenses. I think most users of the pre asp lux 35 just want to show that it is not all that bad and most likely pretty useful. Why would that generate GAS.

Bob
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Old 11-06-2007   #20
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A couple of images from Morocco last Spring.
M6 and Summilux 35mm pre-ASPH.
One image with the typical Summilux flare.
Oh well, it is what it is.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg casa.jpg (189.3 KB, 1360 views)
File Type: jpg mara 2.jpg (167.0 KB, 1145 views)
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Old 11-06-2007   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikon Bob
You are absolutely correct, any other lens would be as good. The point is that this lens has a rep for being worse than the other lenses. I think most users of the pre asp lux 35 just want to show that it is not all that bad and most likely pretty useful. Why would that generate GAS.

Bob
Now you got me thinking!

I never cheap out on lenses but I'm not rich. I'd rather eat ramen for 3 straight months and only drink water if it would allow me to save and own the best. I cheap out on jeans, T-shirts, but never on suits, ties and shoes. I may cheap out on camera bodies, but never on leneses. As a matter of fact, I own what I arguably consider the best Nikon and Leica have to offer, thanks to Ramen and Rice.

Considering all the above, why would I try convincing myself about this lens? Trust me, I love hunting lenses and in this case, my 35mm hunt is looooong over.
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Old 11-06-2007   #22
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Pictures look great, I love your threads.
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Old 11-06-2007   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sam_m
gas attack!
Big time!
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Old 11-07-2007   #24
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Pictures look great, I love your threads.
I second this
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Old 11-07-2007   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tajart
i know they are different lenses, but i'm curious if anyone has compared the 35 lux with the nokton 40/1.4 - in terms of image making, physical objectness, and handling? just curious

I own and use both of these lenses. The 35mm Pre-ASPH summilux on a Leica M, and the 40 Nokton (singe-coated version) on a CLE - so I don't think I've ever shot them back-to-back on the same roll of film.

Still, a general comparison can be made. Both lenses are small for their wide aperture. The focus on my summilux is smoother and a bit easier than my Nokton, but the Noktons aperture ring is easier to find with the fingers, especially since I ALWAYS have the hood on the Summilux and NEVER on the Nokton. But in general, I find both lenses handle well ergonomically for me - i.e., no big issues there.

The picture characteristics of the two are quite different to my eyes. I'll start by saying that I like both, and plan to keep both. The nokton gives pictures with a clean, "modern" look, nice color rendition, is flare resistant, and sharper than the Summilux in the f/1.4 to f/2.8 range. I never had any complaints about the bokeh of the CV Nokton. My only criticism of it, is that sometimes the pictures from it are clinically razor sharp, but lack a little.... character!

Enter the Summilux and why I keep both. My summilux I think is typical from what I've seen and read (it's a late-ish one with seris VII hood, but not very late) - it's not the sharpest in the wide apertures, but by f/4 is as sharp as any 35mm I've ever used (35mm summicrons, Canon 35/1.8, Konica UC-Hexanon, CV 35/1.2). Wide open, the results are somewhat more "hazy" looking, but nothing that ruins a shot in my experience, and nothing that a bit of contrast boosting in Photoshop can't deal with. The bokeh of the Summilux is very pleasing to my eye, a tad nicer than the Nokton. I pretty much shoot the 35mm Summilux with B&W film, so can't say anything about color rendtion.

SUMMARY: both lenses are nice, but the NOKTON, IMHO, represents what must be the ALL TIME BEST BARGAIN fast, small rangefinder lens! Unless, you don't like the 40mm focal length...

...for example, if I didn't have a CLE, I probably wouldn't own the Nokton. I know that many people happily use their Noktons on Leica M's with no 40mm framelines, but for some reason this just doesn't feel comfortable for me.

'Hope this helps.
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Old 11-07-2007   #26
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Yaron

Thanks for your post on the CV Nokton 40/1.4 compared to the pre asp lux 35. I use the same version of the lux as you do and am in general agreement with your thoughts on it. It confirms for me that if I were looking today to replace the lux that I would go with the Nok 40. For RF use speed is good but not size and the 40 Nok seems to fit the bill nicely.

Bob
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Old 11-07-2007   #27
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Bob, you're welcome.

I forgot to mention that unfortunately, the 35mm pre-ASPH Summilux only focuses down to 1 meter, whereas the CV Nokton goes to 0.7 meter. THIS IS A BIG DEAL FOR ME. That 30 cm makes a big difference for small subjects.

See this picture "Anarchy in Danish Suburbia" (taken at 0.7meter with CV 35/1.2 Nokton, which ALSO focuses down to 1 meter, and is ALSO a great lens, but which is TOO BIG for a general purpose lens in my opinion). It would no way be as impactful at 1 meter:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2366/...fb1b3b2040.jpg

Now, the 35mm Summilux ASPH does focus down to 0.7 meters, and I like it's character from what I've seen (don't own it), but it seems un-justifiably expensive with lenses like the 40mm CV Nokton around...
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Old 11-07-2007   #28
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Quote:
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Pictures look great, I love your threads.
Thanks! It is a photography forum after all, so why not post many pics?
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Old 11-07-2007   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepyhead
I forgot to mention that unfortunately, the 35mm pre-ASPH Summilux only focuses down to 1 meter, whereas the CV Nokton goes to 0.7 meter. THIS IS A BIG DEAL FOR ME. That 30 cm makes a big difference for small subjects.
That is one of the biggest plus points of the Nokton for me. Because
it allows to take portraits at .7m like you would with a fast 50 at 1m.

Roland.
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Old 11-07-2007   #30
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Dare we bring up the spectre of.. *gasp* "Bokeh"?

I have read that the Nokton has nasty bokeh - I personally have owned two copies and haven't really had any issues with the bokeh but hey.. some folks think it's.. um.... "harsh".

Just tossing this out there,
Dave
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Old 11-07-2007   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcsang
Dare we bring up the spectre of.. *gasp* "Bokeh"?

I have read that the Nokton has nasty bokeh - I personally have owned two copies and haven't really had any issues with the bokeh but hey.. some folks think it's.. um.... "harsh".

Just tossing this out there,
Dave
Like here for instance ?



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Old 11-07-2007   #32
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If I had a 35 Lux I would have posted something already - for the time being, I guess I may hunt down a 35 Lux ASPH or a 35 Cron ASPH - not that I can afford them.. but then again.. ya only go around once eh?

Dave
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Old 11-07-2007   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepyhead
I forgot to mention that unfortunately, the 35mm pre-ASPH Summilux only focuses down to 1 meter, whereas the CV Nokton goes to 0.7 meter. THIS IS A BIG DEAL FOR ME. That 30 cm makes a big difference for small subjects.
I agree. I need to find someone who can do this for me to modify my 35 'lux pre-asph. I asked Sherry K. and (I quickly read my e-mail before leaving) I don't think she answered that question, except she can do a CLA. I hear she does excellent work.

I'm pretty certain this can be done; the question is who?.
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Old 11-07-2007   #34
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If the pre-ASPH could be modified to focus closer, THAT WOULD BE A BIG HIT with me!
PLease keep us posted, thanks.
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Old 11-07-2007   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maddoc
Sounds like my set up ... (except the M2) Now, just the Noctilux is missing and I am done for a while ...
Rather than a Noctilux I would go for the 50f1.4 ASPH. Modern film can handle far more "push" and the 50/1,4 is MUCH better at 1.4 than the Nocti at f1 or f1.4. It also focuses closer (and better). It is also smaller and nimbler than the Noctilux, which counts for a lot in my book.
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Old 11-08-2007   #36
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Damn! These shots have changed my mind...
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Old 11-08-2007   #37
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Old 11-08-2007   #38
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This shot is, IMO, a typical 35 summilux pre-asph look. Funny thing, it didn,t take me long before understanding the lens and differntiate it from other while looking at prints or scans.
Of course I didn't have time to focus, but this too plays a part in the overall look the 35 gives.
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Old 11-08-2007   #39
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Old 11-08-2007   #40
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Ned I thought you took that lovers photo with a 21mm
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