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View Poll Results: Bigon VS Cron
Zeiss 35/2.0 Biogon 484 50.52%
Leica 35/2.0 Summicron ASPH 474 49.48%
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Biogon Versus Asph Cron....
Old 09-26-2007   #1
cmogi10
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Biogon Versus Asph Cron....

Battle of the titans! The Zeiss Biogon 35/2.0 versus the Leica Summicron 35/2.0 ASPH...One costs multiple times as much, but which one is really better? Or the better question is which one do you prefer and why?
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Old 09-26-2007   #2
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I have the cron in silver 'cause it's way prettier but really want both...
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Old 09-27-2007   #3
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A Zeiss Biogon instead of a Leitz Summicron would be 'foolish!'

(that's why I voted for the Biogon)
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Old 09-27-2007   #4
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This is different! They're not just light tight boxes anymore...
Although that doesn't really help my arguement, ah, whatever.
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Old 09-27-2007   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmogi10


This is different! They're not just light tight boxes anymore...
Although that doesn't really help my arguement, ah, whatever.
I would seriously choose the Biogon though ... I think Leica lenses no longer have the awe that they once created in the minds of the converted who would pay whatever they asked for them!

ps ... how are you going with your search for the 75 Lux?
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Old 09-27-2007   #6
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One deal is in the air...
It's been surprisingly hard though, when I didn't have money for one they seemed to be everywhere, now I have money and no where to be found hah.


O, and until I get a chance to really spend time with the two lenses I choose the Biogon as well. See, I'm not completely blinded by the big L!
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Old 09-27-2007   #7
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Let biogons be biogons?
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Old 09-27-2007   #8
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Why limit yourself to f2? They make the Summilux for a reason.

I was impressed with the Summicron when I borrowed one but the Summilux is something else.
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Old 09-27-2007   #9
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This does never end, doesn´t it?

A discussion like this has become quite boring nowadays. We all agree that Biogon and ´cron asph. are different. So everybody is allowed to use the one he likes better.

Thomas
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Old 09-27-2007   #10
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I bought a Biogon this past Tuesday. I'll post when I get some postable shots.
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Old 09-27-2007   #11
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I just bought an asph 35 cron in silver. As im sure there is little difference in the photographs taken by these two lenses, there is something to be said for the build quality of leica lenses. I own some of the zf zeiss lenses. Great pieces of glass for sure, but they feel a little light. at least compared to the leica glass i have.

And.

Maybe the most important reason to buy leica. You can finally stop wondering whether 'you should have just bought the leica in the first place.'

In my experience at least.
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Old 09-27-2007   #12
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I´d be really interested in compairson pics between the two, showing the "ASPH harshness" and the "biogon smoothness" as the Web rumor goes :-)

I´m thinking bout getting a 35 too, both those lenses are beyond my reach money whise (for now) but from the handling perspective I´d get the Cron Asph. I love smaller lenses (thou the biogon aint big!) and esp. Focus tabs! in fact I can´t live without focus tabs and all my lenses have at least cable binders on them as tabs. that "nipple" thing on the biogon is my biggest concern with that lens...

lets see some pictures people! preferably same subject shot with both lenses of course!

ps. wordpress, if you let yours go for a € grand, I´ll have a talk with my bank manager ;-)
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Old 09-27-2007   #13
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Better in terms of picture qualit or build quality. The latter the Leica.
Zeiss works well stopped down, and has more nutral cast when shooting color. Leica better for everything else.
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Old 09-27-2007   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJV
Why limit yourself to f2? They make the Summilux for a reason.

I was impressed with the Summicron when I borrowed one but the Summilux is something else.

FOR SURE! That is one seriously hot lens. You can Hand hold that thing at 4th, the chrome ones are way heavier, but that image is so hot, very clear depth of field.
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Old 09-27-2007   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kalokeri
This does never end, doesn´t it?

A discussion like this has become quite boring nowadays. We all agree that Biogon and ´cron asph. are different. So everybody is allowed to use the one he likes better.

Thomas
Well I'm sorry I forced you to click on this thread and force you to read all the boring answers.

I know the lenses are diffrent, and I'm fully away that they might like one better then the other, I just want to know why because I'm currently torn between them.

Have a nice day
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Old 09-27-2007   #16
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Carl,

If I were you I would decide based on
similar signature when compared to whatever other lenses
you get/have, and ergonomics. Even more important
since I understand that you are reducing your kit. They must both
feel very different wrt handling.

I would consider the Summilux as well, because it should be the
perfect fit with the 75/1.4, signature and all.

Best,

Roland.
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Old 09-27-2007   #17
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Unfortunatly there's no way I would be able to afford one at this point, as nice as it would be.
Yeah, I think once I hold them both side by side and shoot a roll I will know which one it's going to be. I just have to somehow get them to try out.
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Old 09-27-2007   #18
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Carl,

Follow these links for about 200+ samples from each lens:

Leica Summicron 35mm f2.0 ASPH

Zeiss Biogon 35mm f2.0
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Old 09-27-2007   #19
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My vote goes for 'Cron ASPH, at least this is the one I acquired just a week ago from Tony Rose after torning between the choices (Cron vs Biogon) for several weeks.
I had no doubt about optical quality of both, read numerous reviews of both (including Reid reviews for subscibers), but there are several reasons that made me spend nearly twice as much for the Cron as new Biogon costs:
1. From numerous examples by Cron ASPH vs Biogon and Cron v4, I noticed the former one produces more shallow DOF at given apertures and I liked that - appears as some kind of 3D appearance. Both Biogon and Cron v4 tend to go a bit more smoothly into OOF, which sometimes may also appeal, but I prefer that obvious separation that new'Cron ASPH offers. Might be pure aestetic issue.
2. According to several technical reviews, 'Cron ASPH might be slightly fallter in field (i.e. slightly more unifors sharpness into the corners), but yet that might be more academic that practical.
3. Cron ASPH is physically smaller (without hood). Size does matter (to the opposite direction though ) for me, since I tend to go for street shooting with two Ms, one with either 50mm or 90mm, the other will be either 50mm or 35mm.
4. I really like the square hood of 'Cron ASPH - just so sleek and great looking one, not to mentioned more optimized then regular round hoods.

What I'm not sure I'll so happy with - focusing tab. I used to regular camera/lens handing, with my left hand supporting the camera from the bottom with fingers controlling focusing ring and I feel really comfortable this way with my 50mm Summicron. Now, with that tab on 35mm Cron ASPH, it appears I'll have to alter my regular handing to get acustomized to tab (single finger) focusing....
That is somethign that would not probably bother me would I choose Biogon...
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Old 09-27-2007   #20
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the Biogon, because I have it And I like the name ... angle of live.

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Old 09-28-2007   #21
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Alex, maybe you'll come to love the tab... I do. I also like the smaller size of some Leica lenses, but it also goes the other way with such as the 21 and 24, which flare out to a larger filter size at the front than the equivalent Biogons. My old 35 'cron is tiny compared to the 35 Biogon but there's a lot of optical progress between the two. Enjoy your new 'cron ASPH!
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Old 09-28-2007   #22
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Thanks Doug, I actually have to force myself to love the tab, after all I really like the lens, so will probaly just a matter of my adjustment to tab focusing.
Still having troubles to figure a proper handholding the lens to make tab focusing convenient. Which finger ? How the lens should rest in my left hand in order to conveniently focus by a finger in the tab ? Need to figure...
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35 mm Summicron ASPH
Old 09-28-2007   #23
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Talking 35 mm Summicron ASPH

I dont own a Biogon.
Here 2 pictures with the Leica 35 mm Summicron ASPH.
I like 3D effect. ( prints are much better )
F1000039_2.jpg

F1000023_2.jpg

Eelco
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Sorry, too
Old 09-28-2007   #24
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Sorry, too

Quote:
Originally Posted by cmogi10
Well I'm sorry I forced you to click on this thread and force you to read all the boring answers.


Well, Carl, I´m sorry, too.

I didn´t mean to offend. I just meant, that´s a very personal decision. Both lenses are very good - as far as I remember all the other threads about this subject nearly everybody agrees with that opinion. Each one has a "personal fingerprint" and feels different when handling it. You have to try out yourself whether you prefer the Biogon or ´cron asph.


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Old 09-28-2007   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kinok1
I just bought an asph 35 cron in silver. As im sure there is little difference in the photographs taken by these two lenses, there is something to be said for the build quality of leica lenses. I own some of the zf zeiss lenses. Great pieces of glass for sure, but they feel a little light. at least compared to the leica glass i have.

And.

Maybe the most important reason to buy leica. You can finally stop wondering whether 'you should have just bought the leica in the first place.'

In my experience at least.

Build quality is one of the major gripes I have with Leica at the moment. Four recent lenses in the past couple of years with major mechanical issues and my asph summilux wasn't built right at the factory. All four have had focusing mount issues with binding in two, sloppy wobbly focusing mount in one and my asph won't focus to infinity and focus on the film plane id off (confirmed by DAG ). My new A La Carte MP had the shutter fail and the ISO dial was loose from the factory.

The Zeiss lenses may be lighter in weight due to alloys being used but I feel they are better built. No problems at all with my Zeiss lenses or body.
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Old 09-28-2007   #26
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The honest answer is I can't say. I only own a Biogon, but it is one hell of a lens and I cannot imagine any circumstances under which Leica could justify the price differential.
See the attached Biogon image for an idea why I'm so happy.
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File Type: jpg L1017272.jpg (62.1 KB, 1120 views)
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Old 09-28-2007   #27
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It is always interesting for me to read threads like this one and see that, often enough, optical quality of a lens is not the primary reason for choosing that lens. Instead, the perception of built quality and “feel” are often the determining factors. Frequently, weight of a lens is associated with its built quality. There is only one thing in the whole wide world that fulfills the criterion “built like a tank”. Looking at the MTF diagrams, distortion and vignetting curves for the two lenses, biogon appears to be optically a better lens wide open and closed down. It is hard to tell from looking at these diagrams how a lens will render an image on film or sensor. My impression is that Zeiss lenses render color more accurately than Leica lenses. Because of its optical qualities, I chose a biogon. It also fulfilled, by a big margin, my other most important criterion for choosing a lens: “the price”. My pockets are only so deep. Both lenses are built well enough to do the job for me.


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Old 09-28-2007   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjovin
It is always interesting for me to read threads like this one and see that, often enough, optical quality of a lens is not the primary reason for choosing that lens. Instead, the perception of built quality and “feel” are often the determining factors. Frequently, weight of a lens is associated with its built quality. There is only one thing in the whole wide world that fulfills the criterion “built like a tank”. Looking at the MTF diagrams, distortion and vignetting curves for the two lenses, biogon appears to be optically a better lens wide open and closed down. It is hard to tell from looking at these diagrams how a lens will render an image on film or sensor. My impression is that Zeiss lenses render color more accurately than Leica lenses. Because of its optical qualities, I chose a biogon. It also fulfilled, by a big margin, my other most important criterion for choosing a lens: “the price”. My pockets are only so deep. Both lenses are built well enough to do the job for me.


Zoran
I'm very critical about my work and equipment. It's much more than a hobby, it's my living. I own both the Biogon and asph Summicron and disregarding price I feel the Biogon is the superior lens in optics and build. The same goes for the Planar vs the summicron 50's. The Planar walks all over the summicron IMO. The old saying you get what you pay for is not always correct.
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Old 09-28-2007   #29
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Why not include the Hexanon 35mm/2.0 in the poll?
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Old 09-28-2007   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexz
Thanks Doug, I actually have to force myself to love the tab, after all I really like the lens, so will probaly just a matter of my adjustment to tab focusing.
Still having troubles to figure a proper handholding the lens to make tab focusing convenient. Which finger ? How the lens should rest in my left hand in order to conveniently focus by a finger in the tab ? Need to figure...
Alex I have/had the same issue with tabs. Came from SLRland where tabs didn't exist. However I use a Leica 35/1.4 ASPH and I've actually grown to like the tab on that lens (and that lens only). I crook my first finger into the tab and my thumb is at a right angle to it and pressed into the side of the body. It works for me...
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Old 09-28-2007   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadowfox
Why not include the Hexanon 35mm/2.0 in the poll?
If one reads some statements about Biogon/Summicron Asph. one may come to the conclusion that the "last generation" Gauss-type lenses aren't good enough anymore for many critical purposes, or people. This may include the Summicron-M 4th gen. as well. And of course such good "vintage" lenses as the W-Nikkor 35/1.8, Canon 35/2, 35/1.8...
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Old 09-28-2007   #32
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I neglected to talk about color in my earlier posting.
On top of all of its other qualities, he Biogon has the most accurate color rendition of all of the lenses in my rather large armory.
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Old 09-28-2007   #33
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carl, i have owned and used both. you might check the ergonomics of each lens..... ymmv
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Old 09-28-2007   #34
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X-ray, I just wonder what an unfortunate circumsatnces you happened to ge involved with your Leica gear...
I know, you're quite seasoned shooter, apparently used to own lots of gear and shot a lot with Leica and others, so that your opinions is something to consider, but I still can hardly believe one would encounter such notorious lack of luck with expensive Leica gear...
My Leica experience obviously cannot compete with yours, I shoot with Leica less then year, even though own two bodies and 3 genuine lenses. All of these brouight and immense joy and pleasure to my photography and so far had nothign to worry about their reliability (knocking into wood....). I like that reassuring precision mechanics feel in my Leicas (though I hadn't chances to try out new Ikon neitehr Bessa), somehow I feel my money invested well...
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Old 09-28-2007   #35
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Almost 40 years of professional Leica use and many bodies and lenses. Never any problems other than RF alignment and a broken self timer spring in the first 35 years. The newer generation of Leica gear is leica in name only and looks Leica but believe me it isn't Leica traditional quality. Hard financial times has driven Leica to cut corners and it now shows.

I have 6 M bodies currently and a full set of Leica glass plus a Nikon RF system (always wanted one) for giggles, a ZI and 25, 35 and 50 Planar and a Bessa R2 with a few CV lenses (28 Ultron, 35 Nokton and 50 Nokton). The Bessa is a kick around camera that I leave in my car and the three MP's and M6 along with my ZI are my main workhorse 35's. I have one of my original M2's and M3's and have basically retired them. My Leica glass is mixed late non asph and current asph but my experience goes back 40 years with 60's vintage and 70's vintage lenses and bodies. I will say that I like the ZM glass in every way vs the current leica glass. Build and image quality excell IMO. Even the CV glass is superb and build is very good. If I were to start over with the knowledge I have today I would buy mainly ZI's and ZM glass with a few CV lenses that I currently own for speed. Again IMO the main differences in optics are in the mind of the user not in the print. One day I'm going to post a variety of images and see if anyone can tell me what brand they were shot with. I'll wager that no one can do this.
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Old 09-28-2007   #36
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Well, time will tell, as long as with my Leica experience. I have now a specimen of legendary Leica fame - an M3 which is a real pleasure of very smooth and soft mechanics and the representative of Leica contemporary technology cut by M6 and all of my lenses, while the last purchase tops by 35mm 'Cron ASPH. I feel content with these and will likely to see how they will fair with years..
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Old 09-28-2007   #37
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AlexZ - In my early years of Leica M use I shot over 10,000 rolls through three bodies (bought used) with only 2 rf alignments and the self timer spring on my early production M3. No question these were the kings of durability and set the standard for all other camera makers. Thsi kind of quality was also typical of Nikon in both their FR's and slr's. I'm still using a mid 60's F, Nikkormat FTN and lenses and an early f2 with no problems to date. I can't even guess how many rolls have been through these. This kind of quality is what I've grown to expect and demand particularly from $3,000+ bodies and lenses.
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Old 09-28-2007   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thafred
I´d be really interested in compairson pics between the two, showing the "ASPH harshness" and the "biogon smoothness" as the Web rumor goes :-)

I´m thinking bout getting a 35 too, both those lenses are beyond my reach money whise (for now) but from the handling perspective I´d get the Cron Asph. I love smaller lenses (thou the biogon aint big!) and esp. Focus tabs! in fact I can´t live without focus tabs and all my lenses have at least cable binders on them as tabs. that "nipple" thing on the biogon is my biggest concern with that lens...

lets see some pictures people! preferably same subject shot with both lenses of course!

ps. wordpress, if you let yours go for a € grand, I´ll have a talk with my bank manager ;-)
Raid did a very exhaustive test of all the 35mm lenses, including the Biogon, Summicron Asph and the Summilux. It was very recent and can't be too far down in the archives. Pictures and lots of discussion. It is a very well done test with good conversation to go along.
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are you sure?
Old 09-29-2007   #39
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are you sure?

that the asph was included in the test? Pretty sure the v4 pre asph wasn't included, though it was pretty comprehensive with the exception of the cron v (and asph?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Rountree
Raid did a very exhaustive test of all the 35mm lenses, including the Biogon, Summicron Asph and the Summilux. It was very recent and can't be too far down in the archives. Pictures and lots of discussion. It is a very well done test with good conversation to go along.
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Old 09-29-2007   #40
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Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 11,126
Quote:
Originally Posted by ampguy
that the asph was included in the test? Pretty sure the v4 pre asph wasn't included, though it was pretty comprehensive with the exception of the cron v (and asph?)
Here are most of Raid's results:

http://ferider.smugmug.com/Technical/317348

he did include two versions of the pre-asph Summicron (v1 and v3)
and the asph Summilux.

Best,

Roland.
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